Thursday, October 31, 2013

Name these cats!

Last week, I attended a cat foster orientation program through the Washington Humane Society.  The program provided some basic information about WHS and cat care, and after completing it, everyone was eligible to take home kitten(s)/cat(s) from the shelter.  The foster program frees up space in the shelter for more animals, allows more high maintenance animals (read:  kittens) to get the attention they need, and helps sick animals recover faster (lots of animals in the shelter contract upper respiratory infections).  It's also a good way for very shy animals to be adopted, since the shelter environment stresses those animals out and a stressed animal does not appear friendly to potential adopters.

A few days later, I was back at the shelter to pick up my two foster cats!  They are a bonded pair of two year-old boys who were found as strays after their owner threw them out of the house.  I assume they are brothers.

The black one is extremely outgoing --- he immediately took to me and follows me around the apartment everywhere I go.  I was brushing my teeth this morning, turned around for one second, and when I turned back he was in the sink.  I didn't even see him come into the bathroom!


The white one is very, very shy.  He spends most of his time hiding under the bed, although he will come out when he hears the bag of cat treats opening.  He's slowly warming up, but he's not letting me pet him yet (hence the crazy zoom utilized on all photos of the white cat).

[ETA:  I can tell that these cats are after my own heart because:  1) so far, they have shown no interest in destroying my purses, and; 2) they keep trying to get into my closet!]

The shelter named them Midnight (black one) and Leo (white one), but I'm not crazy about those names.  Help me come up with something better!

Here's what I've got so far:

Blackacre and Whiteacre
A bit of legal humor.  You know how in math class, when you are referring to an unknown variable you call it "x" or "y"?  In property law, when you are referring to an unknown or generic lot of property, you call it [color]acre.  Greenacre, blueacre, blackacre, whiteacre.  I was excited about these names at first, but they just haven't rolled off the tongue as I'd hoped.  Plus, non-lawyers will always be confused.

Pepper and Salt
My mom's suggestion.  Totally works, although I found it a little strange to call a cat "salt."  (Note that I love food names for cats.  Some of the kittens currently up for adoption are called "milkshake" and "ketchup" which I think is adorable.)

Wall-E and Hal

When the black one talks, it sounds just like the robot Wall-E from the beautiful Pixar movie of the same name.  Eve (Wall-E's robot girlfriend) would be a perfect name for the white one, but because the white one is actually a boy, I figured it needed a male name.  "Hal" is Wall-E's best friend and sidekick (although he is but a lowly cockroach).  Like Wall-E and Hal, the two cats are a bonded pair.

Yin and Yang
Because when the two play together, they sort of look like a yin-yang!

James and Barney

After James and Barney Stinson, interracial half-brothers on How I Met Your Mother.  This is my favorite of the options so far because the names are easiest to remember and say.  This pair of names would be totally legen --- wait for it, and I'm glad we're talking about cats because even though they are not supposed to have it some stereotypes still live on and this next word is --- DAIRY.  Legendary!

So, what do you think we should call these cats?  Also, if you live in the DC area and are interested in adopting them, let me know :-)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Available here.  (affiliate link)

Allie's book is out!  Who's excited?  Based on a quick skim of the table of contents, it looks like around half of the entries are original (or at least new to me), while the other half are already on Allie's blog somewhere.  I'll probably buy it just because I think she's great.

Also, the book ordering page she wrote is pretty cute.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Happy Paw-Nukkah!

The end of 2013 is in sight, and that means a few things:  gawking at the absurd price of holiday-time airfare, throwing plans together for what will surely turn out to be a lackluster New Years' Eve, and making charitable donations to reap the tax benefits in 2013.  Even corporations like to get in on the action, often offering to match the charitable donations of others made during this time.

Last week, on my way to work, I got an email from the Washington Humane Society (WHS), informing me that two foundations --- the Nelson P. Delavan Foundation and the Weir Foundation --- would be matching, dollar-for-dollar, all donations made to WHS before November 30.

Then, a day or two later, my law firm sent out an email, offering to match, dollar-for-dollar, all donations made before the end of the year, up to a maximum of $1,000 per employee.

I mentioned in my last post how much I love the fact that the WHS allows anyone with an interest to come in and play with the animals.  The dedicated staff and volunteers keep the shelter clean and do their best to keep all of the animals happy and healthy.  WHS is a no-kill shelter that accepts ALL animals surrendered in DC, so every pet that ends up there knows it stands a fighting chance.

This is a very generous offer and a great combination of events, as I can now make a modest donation to nonprofit that brings me the greatest joy and entertainment --- the Washington Humane Society --- and that modest donation will become a pretty decent one once it is matched by the Delavan and Weir foundations, and then matched again by my firm.  (Sadly, my firm's check will probably not arrive during the WHS's November 30 doubling period.)  My only regret is that I can't donate the full $1,000 maximum for my law firm matching program.

So, here's a crazy idea.

I get the sense from the comments on my previous post that we've got a couple of animal lovers around these parts.  What if I ran an online fundraiser for any interested parties?  If you feel like helping me take advantage of the fact that my firm will match any donation I make up to $1,000, here's what we're going to do:

*  Visit my fundraiser page over at  YouCaring is a free fundraising site that, unlike other sites, does not take a percent of your earnings to make a profit.

*  Make any donation you like, or none at all.

*  On November 27, the first night of Hanukkah, the fundraiser will end and I will donate whatever we raised to WHS.  I will post a screenshot of the donation once it is made.

*  Whatever amount we raise will be met by the Delavan and Weir foundations, and then matched again by my law firm (up to $1,000).  A $17 donation turns into $50, and $50 turns into $150. 

Note that even though my firm will only match donations up to $1,000, I will be donating the full amount raised through the fundraiser to the WHS, no matter how much it exceeds the $1,000 benchmark.

I'm excited about the chance to make at least a little bit of a positive impact for the WHS.  More money for them means more space, more supplies, and ultimately more animals who can find shelter and eventually permanent homes.

Absolutely no pressure to donate (aside from these heartbreaking animal photos).  I will only post about this three times over the next month:  once now, once a day or two before the deadline as a last reminder, and then once after the donation is made.  I just figured I'd let you guys know what I was up to in case you were interested in helping me reach that $1,000 benchmark.

Here's the link to my fundraiser again if you're interested.  Every little bit helps (and will become a big bit when all is said and done).  If you would rather donate directly to the WHS (which would be tax-deductible), you can do so here and your donation will be doubled by the Delavan and Weir foundations.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Damn it, Anthropologie.

1.  I don't drink much tea.
2.  I don't drink tea out of pots.
3.  I have never felt the desire to have a teapot.
4.  I still bought this because EFF, it's cute.  And maybe now I will host tea parties?

I feel like this is the very definition of an "aspirational brand."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Battling The Blahs

Hey everyone.  Sorry I've been MIA...I've been battling a serious case of the blahs.  I will return with outfit posts soon, but in the meantime, here are two of my favorite places to go to battle mild bouts of non-clinical depression:

Crossfit (or Exercise Generally)

One of my worst qualities as a human being is the fact that it is extremely easy for me to slip into complete physical inactivity.  I don't know how it happens; I will go from working out 3-5 times a week to ZERO for WEEKS.  However, I've noticed in the last few months that going more than two days without physical activity has a very dark effect on my mood.  It's wonderful to recognize this, as it's helped me both to keep a regular exercise schedule and to recognize the biological factors (i.e., lack of endorphins) that could be impacting my mood.  I like Crossfit, but I also try to bike or run if I don't feel like attending an exercise class.

Washington Humane Society

There's something comforting about hanging out with animals, especially when you have zero responsibility for cleaning up after them and just get to participate in the fun stuff, like cuddles and ear scratches.  I found myself at the Washington Humane Society's Northeast DC outpost one day just to look at the animals (this location is convenient running distance from my house), and to my delight I discovered not only a very friendly staff that is happy to have you hang out with the pets even if you are not adopting (and will not judge you if you sit on the floor for an hour with two kittens falling asleep in your lap), but there is also a room in the shelter called "Kitty City" (pictured above) that is basically just a room full of cats.  You can walk into the room and just pet whatever cat comes up to you looking to be pet.  It is an amazing mood-booster.  (If you don't have a humane society near you but still want to help the pets, why not buy something for the Humane Society next time you are on Amazon?  Our DC humane society has an Amazon wish list, and your local one probably does, too.  I threw a $4 set of newborn kitten bottles in with my last order of poker chips.)

How do you like to fight the blues?  Where are your happy places?
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