Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hot Kitty Hot

As I've said one million times before (possibly two million), I get nervous meeting new people. I project and over work it and I just lose my shit about it. Since I'm supposed to meet approximately 1499 new people in a week I've been thinking about this challenge a lot. I've made some strides to reach out to people I know solely via internet in order to ease into the whole thing. So now, of course, I'm also over analyzing my conversational style.

I think sometimes I talk too much about my pets. I mean, I listen to plenty of kid stories and job stories and home repair stories so I think I'm in good company but I could do a 2 hour director's cut HBO special with bonus dance mix about my pets. On a good day. It's not politics or religion so it's pretty safe. Except, is it? I fear that people judge when you talk about your pets overmuch. Do they think I want kids but am substituting my pets or that I'm a one trick pony or that I'm a shut in who doesn't interact with any humans? OK that last one might not be as far off as I'd like to think.

In an effort to make myself feel better I thought back on my ancestry. Maybe this predisposition to pets is genetic. I mean, my great aunt married at the age of 45 and she and her younger husband raised poodles instead of kids. (Probably for the best and I'll spare you the Milk of Magnesia story to prove it.)

I immediately thought of my childhood cat, Blackie. (Shut it. I was 3.) He came to our house because he had curled up on the warm van engine while my dad was in school and the janitor came out to warn him before he started the truck. A year or so later (I was a kid, all times are approximate) he disappeared for a couple of days. My mother went downstairs to pee one night and heard piteous yowling. She finally found him holed up in the attic with a horrendous eye injury. Since this was before the luxury of 24 hour emergency vets she stayed up all night sitting in a chair with Blackie in her lap until the vet opened. He lost the eye but lived on happily without it to the ripe old age of 16.

My great grandfather (I think) had a dog that attended his lectures at a university. And another dog who attended parties on fraternity row.

The best story about my mom and cats, though, is that when she was very little and her mother would let her put out the cat food she would tell the cat, "Careful. Hot kitty. Hot!" just like everyone told her when they gave her food.

Let's leave out the infamous story about the way my grandmother hooked my uncle to the side of the house with what can only be called a leash. Or the one about his simplest tactic for escaping it.

And what about...

Oh crap, I'm talking too much about my pets again. At this rate I'm going to have to make myself "safe topic" flash cards for Blogher.

*All photos by me but none of these cats are mine. They're from a photo shoot I did for a shelter a couple of summers ago.


  1. that last little black beastie is adorable :). and conversations? i'd be nervous as all get out if i were going to blogHer, which I should be but I'm not. glad to be a guinea pig tonight!

  2. You'll be fine. I'll end up being a mute. That's usually what happens in these situations.

  3. Naomi B.7:39 AM

    I am mostly reserved and quiet if I am around people I don't know. I like to observe, get a feel for what people are about before I go starting conversations with strangers.
    And then I was in Direct Sales for a time and was trying to come out of my shell a bit. I found "The Power of Approachability" by Scott Ginsburg helpful because it gives lots of ways to start conversations that don't put you in the spotlight, but does make other people comfortable around you.
    I'm not in direct sales anymore, but I still appreciate what I learned from this book. It's a quick read. You've got time.
    Good luck. My palms are a little sweaty for you.