Elementary, my dear Mommy!

DSC_0235Working all day really takes it out of you.  I work pretty decent hours really, but it’s work and sometimes it sucks.  I love the drive home because it allows me some time to collect my thoughts and transition my mind from work to home.  It’s good to have that 20 minutes all to myself.

When I get home, there are usually two beings waiting for me: Won (my boyfriend) and Chester (my cat).  On Mondays and Thursdays Won is in class when I come home, so I only expect to see Chester.

Let me first introduce him a bit.  We adopted him last year from the local animal shelter.  He’s still relatively young.  He’s not quite a year old and we think he was born some time in March 2012.  His honorary birthday has become March 1st 🙂  He is a domestic short haired tabby and like all tabby cats, he has that signature “M” on the middle of his forehead. I’d like to think it stands for “mommy” or my initials 😉  We love him to pieces and I think we can both agree that he has added a great deal of enjoyment in our lives.  I think there’s a lot less tension and anger in the home and we are more prone to just loving one another 🙂

Coming home on a “Chester Day” is always really interesting.  Today, he was very, very active.  Now, most cats generally sleep during the day and I’m sure he still does much of that, but he also seems to have a lot of adventures that I rarely see when I’m at home.

Here is Chester’s fun day in pictures:

Exhibit 1. He apparently opened the sliding pantry door, which I’ve seen him do, and pulled out every plastic grocery bag from their hiding place at the bottom of the pantry, stuffed neatly into a paper bag.  Most of these now have holes on the bottom.  Thank you Chester.

Bag Cat
Bag Cat

Exhibit 2. One of his favorite past times is opening this cabinet door and exploring inside.  I don’t like that he does this because he has direct access to the chemicals beneath the sink.  He doesn’t seem to get into them and I’ve made it very difficult if he tries by barricading the entrance to the sink cabinet with various superfluous pots and pans.  It appears he ventured inside the cabinet today as well.


Exhibit 3.  The thing he probably loves most of all in his little kitty world is going into the bathroom, opening mommy’s drawer and pulling out hair ties. This cardboard thing used to be full of newly purchased hair ties.  He has managed to pull all 100 off except for two and I reason it’s because he can’t quite get them over that indentation.DSC_0444

Not only does he steal them, but he deposits them all over the house and most often in or around his food and water bowls.DSC_0432

Exhibit 4: He has started this new thing where he likes to simply open this box and sniff around inside, never really taking anything out.  I think he just likes making sure that the hairbrush is still stowed inside and not coming for him 😉DSC_0440

Exhibit 5: This is perhaps the best of all.  I decided a couple of days ago, after buying some new clothes, to donate some of the ones I no longer wear to Goodwill.  Without really thinking anything of it, I put the bag on my office chair, thinking I would just get it later when I had a chance to drop them off.  Well, I came home today, the bag was on the floor and it was riddled with holes.  Hm?  How did this happen?  There must be a massive rodent walking around my apartment and only chewing giant holes in this one thing…DSC_0438

What’s funny about this is that NONE of it bothers me.  I get so bothered when Won makes a mess or leaves stuff sitting around or when anything is dirty.  I have a strong compulsion to straighten, organize, and clean.  I especially can’t stand it when the counter top is in disarray.  Actually, I can’t stand in when anything is in disarray 🙂

Nothing Chester does bothers me.  It might bother other people, but I just find it all very fascinating and sweet.  Even though my house was a mess when I came home, something which would normally bother me quite a bit because of my OCD, I am not frustrated or angry with him because it makes me realize just how incredibly clever this little guy is.  He must be rather intelligent to figure out how to open doors and cabinets and boxes.

Perhaps the only purpose of sharing this story is because I love my cat and his antics.  I needed someone to share this with, especially because Won won’t be here for awhile 😉

I hope this illustrates that OCD doesn’t rule every aspect of my life and sometimes I CAN let things go!




111 thoughts on “Elementary, my dear Mommy!

  1. That’s awesome. Cats are so smart and fun. 🙂 Did you know that petting a cat (or dog) has been proven to lower blood pressure and ease depression too? I guess we can add temporarily curing OCD too 😀

  2. Super cute! Cats are like kids curious and adventurous. I envy that spirit in them. Hey question you wrote your name in Korean characters, do you speak Korean? I ask cause I am learning the language

    1. Good question! Yep, I know quite a bit of Korean. I took a year officially in college and have been studying by myself for the past five years. My boyfriend of 5 years is Korean, so I thought I’d better try to learn his language 😉 Are you going to be studying in college?

      1. I am planning on moving there before the end of this year. I am actually learning on my own with a site called Talk to Me in Korean, which is really good. I have been studying for about two years, I am good with reading and writing, but lack of conversation makes my conversational Korean not so good. I am so excited to meet someone else who is learning Korean.

      2. Will you go there to study abroad? I plan to move with my boyfriend within the next 3 years or so. I’m kind of scared, but it will be a lot of fun after I’m settled in I’m sure. For you as well 🙂 It’s always fun to experience a new culture.

        My Korean professor actually wrote quite a few textbooks and they’re rather affordable, less than $30. They are called “Integrated Korean” I believe. They provide a detailed background of the language 🙂 If you need someone to help you either me or my boyfriend can help! It’s a fun language to learn 🙂

      3. No, not for study. To work actually. I went there for three weeks last year, and literally fell in love with the culture and the people. Thanks for the info I will check out the textbooks. I have a several that I use, but I go throw them fairly quickly. Also the offer for help is greatly appreciated and will be most definitely be accepted and utilized. There is a lack of Korean speaking people in South Florida…oddly though lots of Japanese and Filipino people (which does not help me at all).

      4. You’re very lucky to have visited there. I’ve never been myself. From what I hear, it’s pretty amazing. This info comes from people who are not originally from there. My boyfriend thinks it’s so stressful compared to here and I can understand that. I think it would be an amazing experience to work there. His mother owns a school and eventually he will work there and one day run it. I hope to take part in that too 🙂

        Also, if you’re near a university, perhaps the international center has conversation clubs? Mine did anyway.


      5. I agree with your boyfriend it is more stressful there in many ways, but oddly it is also more laid back in many ways. I know that those two states contradict each other, but when you go there you’ll see what I mean. I am looking for a conversation club, but in here in South Florida the clubs mostly speak Spanish. Megan thank you for taking the time you didn’t have to, I really appreciate your kindness.

        너무 감사합니다!

      6. No, I get that. The one thing he loves most about Korea is the excellent customer service anywhere, something that is unfortunately an oddity in the US. The most difficult part is speaking a language that has an honorific case. I think he is so used to speaking English without worries of offending anyone by not speaking up to them that it is so stressful to him to think about that when he goes home. Regardless, it’s a fun language, I think 🙂

  3. He sounds like a proper therapy cat. We are ready for OUR next one—Tippie passed away this last November, his birthday was right around Mother’s Day. My wife (and I) NEED SOMEBODY WARM, FURRY AND PURRY…to hold!

    1. They are great to have and I think are therapeutic in a way. It’s time for you to get another funny little buddy to bring you happiness again 🙂 It’s so difficult losing a pet :*(

  4. Ok, this story makes me smile, because we were talking about kids on one of your recent posts, and you said you couldn’t like them. And I wondered, I bet she must hate cats for all the mess they make, the litter on the floor and the fact that toilet germs get stamped on everything their paws touch. And here you are, a cat lover, who would have thunk it? Now if you can love cats with OCD, then kids are no problem…… I love the cabinet thing—found my little feral cat Buffy in one the other day–no idea how long she was stuck in there. They are like little toddlers who stay that way for 20 years. I love the toys, Taffy carries his little mouse all around the house with him and thinks that our bed is the mouse’s bed too…. 🙂

    1. I love it when cats carry things in their mouths because usually what they carry is way to big for their tiny mouths and it just looks too funny & cute. The story of your cat in the cabinet reminds me of once my sister’s giant cat got trapped in a closet all day. She came home and heard something move in the closet and it was him. He was wedged in such a way that he couldn’t sit all day! When he got out, she said he was stretching for a long time. I know it sounds cruel, but it was actually kind of funny.

  5. Cats and Dogs are pure love, they also know how to wrap you around their paws 😦
    Loving them and writing about it will make anyone feel good 🙂
    Don’t like Won off the hook, I agree keep it clean 🙂

    1. They do provide a great deal of unconditional love. He’s a bit manipulative I think when he flashes those big eyes and desperately cries when he wants a treat 🙂 He’s great to have around. No worries, Won is never off the hook!

  6. I have to admit I don’t particularly care for cats, perhaps because my main experience with them has been the neighborhood cats who are allowed to wander at will and who all seem to target my garden for their litter box…but your post and photos really made me smile this morning. I love your attitude toward your little friends’ misadventures, and the photos were truly funny. Thanks for a cheering start to my day! 🙂 And thanks for the likes on our blog!

    1. I can see why you wouldn’t like cats! There’s nothing worse than cat poo, especially in a place where you are growing things to eat 😦 I just buy the best smelling litter around because it’s so terrible! haha.

      He’s definitely fun to have around and even better that it made a non-cat lover smile 😀

  7. I totally love cats and am so glad that yours is giving you a fun time! I’ve moved away from home and currently don’t have any but as soon as I get my place, I’m going to get me one, for company!
    I enjoyed your post! Pat Chester for me, will you?

  8. My kitties LOVE hair ties too. We find them everywhere in the house. It’s so cute to watch them play with them. They hold them in their paws and stretch them out with their teeth, which of course sends the hair tie flying across the room, so they have to chase it and pounce and bat it around. And I agree, I dismiss so many things the cats do that would otherwise bother me if my kids were doing it. LOL!

  9. I’m a cat person too. We have two senior boys, having lost our elder ladies over the last two years. Your Chester is bored. He needs a buddy. Either they will both get up to no good, or they will both settle down and just play with each other. That’s what I recommend. Kat

    1. Oh, he is definitely bored. I feel sorry for the poor baby 😦 Our landlord won’t let us have multiple cats, which is terrible because they do best when there are multiple cats in the house. One day we will get him a friend 🙂

  10. Aw he’s so adorable! And such a little devil (in a good way!) My cat likes to hide in carrier bags so I have to make sure I don’t leave any lying around! I know what you mean about OCD. I’m the same, I let my cat get away with things that I wouldn’t let my family do. They’re too cute to get angry at 🙂 xxx

    1. He is a darn cutie. You should post a pic of your cat 🙂 Are you talking about the carrier bags for your cat? If not, my mistake, but I have left his pet carrier sitting out for like a couple of weeks now. He just gently climbs inside and sits, often sleeps. I think he likes to have his own “place” and he enjoys looking at us through the mesh 😉

      1. Sorry, I was talking about the plastic shopping bags. I worry about him suffocating himself! I got him a cat tube for Christmas for him to hide in instead and he only used it once. He never likes anything I buy him! I might make a post with a few photos of him 🙂

      2. Chester loves grocery bags too 🙂 I think it has something to do with the noise. I too bought Chester a crinkle tube a few months back. He uses it, but he gets aggressive with it and there are holes all down the thing. One thing I’ve learned, don’t spend much on them 🙂 It seems that the things he enjoys most are stuff that belongs to me! e.g. hair ties 😉

  11. Wow, this is a great lesson you are learning from your kitty. Our pets can teach us so much about ourselves. I enjoyed reading about Chester’s antics too.

    1. Yes, he’s too funny! I’d like to think he’s teaching me things because it’s sure not the other way around! His daddy actually taught him how to play dead at the sound of a “gun,” which is actually just my bf saying “bang!”

  12. Cats are so clever and endearing! I had one that used to like to hide out in the cupboard, too. Thankfully, mine did not connect with the under-the-sink cupboard. Then, too, I had a small child then, so harmful stuff had to go up high in a hall closet. Thanks for sharing this. It really made me smile at a time when I needed it.

  13. I’ve enjoyed reading this Megan. I have some little experience of OCD. As a child walking home from school I sometimes had to backtrack to touch things I’d missed – and I have a thing about straightening pictures. Sounds like you are coping well, and that little tabby cat will give you so much pleasure. God Bless

    1. Ugh, the dreaded sidewalk cracks! This sounds like my childhood. That stupid saying about breaking your mother’s back. It still runs through my head when I’m walking down a sidewalk. Indeed, my kitty is definitely a great source of happiness 🙂 I can’t imagine life without him.

  14. Loved this! I am the proud kitty mama to one just like yours and another who has the habits that your Chester has. They are fun, entertaining and they ground us in what’s important…laying around and stretching among them!

  15. I just adore our cat. He is the cutest animal ever. He LOVES playing with empty plastic bags and trying to get the aspirin bottle away from me when he hears the pills rattling inside, thinking it’s a toy to play with. Also, his favorite place to sleep, other than on my shoulder when I’m laying down, is on a blanket in our closet. So cute! Oh, and he hides when it’s raining out. Poor guy doesn’t like any type of loud noise and hides either behind the toilet or in the bathtub when it’s raining, even if there’s no thunder. Gotta love my little guy!

    1. I love how quirky cats can be 🙂 Your kitty seems like a sweetie. Mine too likes to play with pill bottles. I used an old one and put some cat food in it and it works just as well. That doesn’t stop him from going after the actual meds 😉

  16. Loved this post. =) Cats are fantastic. I just lost my little girl almost a month ago (she was over 17 and I’d had her since she was 8 weeks old. She had a very long, very happy, very loved life.) and when she was Chester’s age, she too was obsessed with plastic bags and chewing holes in them. Every time I’d ask the vet about it she’d just say “It’s part of her personality. Don’t make a big deal out of it.” She also pulled the hair ties right out of my hair in the middle of the night and would run around with them in her mouth. I think they love them because they spring around if they try to play with them, it’s part of their cat entertainment. She was also madly in love with Sharpie markers. She’d attack them, but she also loved the smell of the ink for some reason. Nothing like watching your cat get high off your handwriting. LOL.
    Any way, I just wanted to let you know this was great and to thank you for liking so much of what I write on my own blog.

    All the best…..Li

    1. Those are great stories 🙂 She was lucky to have you and I’m sure you were happy to have her. They are so entertaining and I will never live life without a little furry friend ever again. I think you’re right about the hair ties because the elastic makes them bounce around a lot. I love Chester’s antics and I definitely think it’s part of his personality. He’s such a cuddler too. Last night he slept in between us on the bed, underneath the blankets, head sticking out, just like a person. It was precious 🙂
      Thank you for sharing!

  17. He’s a beautiful tabby! That is very smart. I’m not sure about that kind of cabinet door but I’m thinking about baby resistant door things for the chemical under the sink cabinet. i can hear mine trying and banging the doors again and again trying to get them open. I think a pet is the perfect thing for any anxiety like that. The tolerance you have for what he does is a good first step towards tolerance of other things and if nothing else its comic relief. 🙂

    1. I have thought about getting those child locks for the cabinets and I should, but I think that’s my laziness showing through! 🙂 He’s so cute to watch when he does it though hehe

  18. I love this post! My cat (orange tabby) likes to play with plastic bags too. He will just leave them out everywhere and make holes which can be unpleasant when I fill it with trash later. Even though he touches things that make me feel uncomfortable I overlook it a lot, but if my boyfriend does No Way!

  19. Chester is a beautiful kitty, Megan. (I should know because he looks a lot like mine!) Regarding that last picture, just be sure Chester is only tearing the plastic bags and not actually eating any plastic. I once had a cat who became extremely and mysteriously sick. Several expensive medical tests later, he suddenly cured himself by puking up a piece of plastic bag. After that, we had to keep all plastic bags out of his reach. My current cat prefers chewing leather — damaging, but not life threatening!

  20. Hahaha i like this cat! He’s very beautifull! My cat love hair ties too! When I drop it on the floor, he runs to it and bite in it. I love cats!! You have a very nice site! Thankyou for the like! 🙂 Haha and sorry for my English, but it’s for my a difficult language, hahaha.

  21. Ahhhh…. being owned by a cat is a wonderous thing !!!!
    I’ve had allergies since 1982 when I got my first kitty. I’ve put Benedryl in business since then. I should have purchased stock.
    Wonderful to have angel kitty put the world into perspective!
    Many blessings ♥
    Connie (& kitty, Gizmo & pooch, Max)

      1. Oh yeah, they are so loving and caring companions. But give work so many cats 🙂 I also have the disease, and this past year has not been back to the doctor, now I’m fighting myself terribly, despite doing things, I have this insane fear … need to get back to some proper medication. Okay, good to hear from you. Best Leo

      2. Thank you Megan! I’m loving your blog, and I also love see your photo, you look great! Then the wind and rain are shaking the sea this weekend, there will not be surf, the way will be cleaning house. cook and to talk with the cats!! Stoked … Good weekend! Leo

      3. I’ve had a wonderful week with my little cat 🙂 It’s been actually quite beautiful here and I bought him a harness and leash and took him out for the first time in a LONG time 🙂 Thank you for the compliment. That’s too kind of you 😉

      4. You’re welcome Megan! The kitten has behaved well with the leash? 🙂 I was never able get close to my cats with a leash! 🙂 Glad that you have had a good week! Lots of love and peace.

      5. Yeah, we brought him to the store to try it on and he was scared there, but he didn’t really fight it much. It’s fun to have a cat that’s so calm!

  22. He’s cute. One of my cats, Marbles, loves bags, too, and is always finding them and putting holes in them. He’s 15 now so Chester probably won’t outgrow it either.

    1. I actually hope he never outgrows any of his antics, with the exception of breaking drinking glasses by knocking them off the counter 🙂 It’s what makes him so enjoyable.

  23. My cat Annie does the same thing with my rubberbands! She also keeps them around her food dish which I like to think is some type of security for her when I am gone 🙂

    1. I’ve come to the conclusion that they are his treasures 🙂 I had an outdoor cat once that would put dead mice in and around his bowl. I think this sort of equates that. maybe not though!

      1. That’s super interesting, considering that my cats make ALOT of mess – I have a tabby much like chester ❤ and another beautiful kitten. They are constantly chasing bugs and making general messes. Although we don't know each other – I am proud (for lack of a better word). That shows a lot of strength on your behalf! Needless to say, I am following your blog from now on – your journey is a very interesting one.

      2. It’s kind of amazing that cats make such messes. I didn’t know they did this until I got Chester. As you can see, he’s very messy 🙂 I love that about him though. As a matter of fact, he is working open the pantry door as I type this, probably searching for more plastic bags.

        I’d like to say I was proud of myself for making it through each day, but mostly I’m grateful. Yay! I’m so happy you’re following my blog. You’re comments are fun and I feel like I know you 🙂

      3. Oh plastic bags. With my cats – its boxes. And due to my addiction to online shopping, there are always fun boxes to hide in and scare mummy. It’s all very fun 🙂

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