Is this what being patriotic is like?

April 18: New shirt that reminded me of Tennessee by MeganMorris

I was shopping at Target the other day (for, like, the third time in a week—don’t judge) and stopped by their soft t-shirt section (Ian and I are obsessed with soft t-shirts and will wear no others) and saw the one pictured above. (Also: how many sets of parentheses are allowed in one sentence?)

I knew it was related to a comic book character because the tag screamed MARVEL COMICS, but I had to Google to make sure that it was, indeed, Captain America. And here’s where I got weird. Despite the fact that it was the softest soft t-shirt I’d felt, and despite the fact that the star reminded me of the stars on Tennessee’s state flag, I considered not buying it because I was afraid it would look “too patriotic.”

Because lately it seems that the only people who wear “‘merica, fuck yeah!” shirts are assholes who think gays shouldn’t be able to marry, women shouldn’t be able to receive reproductive health benefits with their insurance (despite the fact that Viagra and other boner pills continue to be covered with no qualms) or have any kind of control over their bodies, and we should punish poor people and make life increasingly difficult for immigrants.

So I sat there in Target for a good five minutes trying to decide if I should buy this $10 t-shirt that I really liked, design- and material-wise, because I was afraid that people who wouldn’t recognize the emblem as that of a comic book character would think I was one of “them.” Either with them or against them—I didn’t want to be mistaken for that kind of person. That kind of patriot.

And then, it struck me: I am more worried about being mistaken for a proud American, because of what that means now, than as a comic book nerd.

In the end, I bought the shirt for three reasons:

  1. It was really, really soft. And as a nerd, I generally like to support other means of nerdery, even if I’m not into comics.
  2. I don’t give a shit what people think about me. Well, I try like it’s my job to not care, but I’m human so I fail at this occasionally. But really, none of us should care how perfect strangers perceive us, especially those who would judge someone based on a t-shirt.
  3. I don’t want “patriot” to mean “person who wears American flag paraphernalia to show that he/she hates everyone who is not a middle-aged, white, straight Christian.” So I am going to wear this shirt and love gays, abortion rights and birth control pills. And while we’re at it, I’ll also wear this shirt in support of immigrants, welfare and atheists. Because what’s more American than challenging the opinions of the loud-mouthed majority around you, right?

Ha, but you know what’s really going to happen? Nobody is going to notice or give a god damn about the shirt, because in the end it’s just a t-shirt. And it doesn’t matter.

Poor Baby Kitty

Saturday morning I got up at the crack of dawn (8 a.m.) and hauled BK to the groomer to get her fur shaved off, King Boo-style. BK is a purebred Maine Coon, so she blows her coat about once a year. Not just her top fur, either. She loses the thick undercoat ALL over the house. And unfortunately, middle Tennessee decided to bring summer to town in late February this year, so she’s been blowing her coat for more than a month now.

BK is a beautiful cat. I mean, she’s basically the most gorgeous cat you will ever see. Look at this and tell me that you’ve seen a better-looking cat:

BK is the best-looking cat in the world

That’s what I thought. You haven’t. And you never will.

Unfortunately, she looks dumb as shit with no fur. The groomer did a great job, but she is a cat meant for long hair. I had them do a modified lion cut—her body is shaved but she still has fur on her head and a full tail, as well as her “boots” (the fluffy part of her feed up to about her knees).

We knew that she was skinny, but with no fur she just looks gaunt. And despite never having been anywhere near overweight, she has belly skin that just hangs off her. Near her back legs she has this paunch that hangs down to about her knees and resembles—as best as I can describe it—scrotum. I got so freaked out about it that I messaged a friend on Facebook who’s a vet to ask if this was normal. I hate being “that guy” who tries to get free advice from friends, but it was late Saturday night and I was afraid it was an indication of a medical condition. My friend assured me that it’s normal and is called an “apron.”

Poor shaved kitty

But worse than how she looks is how she feels. She’s obviously uncomfortable. She spent Saturday and last night stomping around on our pillows in the bed, finally laying down only to immediately get up, frustrated, and try to find a better position. Last year King Boo did the same thing for a few days, and this year it only took him a day to get used to his new fur.

She’s eating, drinking and behaving normally otherwise, though, so I guess it will just take her a few days to acclimate to the change of her coat. She alternates between looking sad and looking like she is going to murder me as soon as I fall asleep, so I hope she finds some relief soon. Poor kitty.

On the bright side, she’s being incredibly nice to King Boo. I guess she figures they’re in this stupid haircut club together.

Bonus picture of BK as a kitten:
Sweetest kitten ever

Shaved kitteh is shaved

You’d think I’d have learned my lesson after last year, when I waited until April to have King Boo shaved and wasted almost an entire month chasing around after his tumbleweeds. You’d think, after summer came in February this year and spring was hardly to be seen, that I would have just gone ahead and gotten his hair cut in early March like I kept threatening.

What you don’t know is how glorious his fur is, though. Like a rabbit’s, except that it’s attached to the friendliest and silliest cat I’ve ever known. I wasn’t aware that a personality could attach itself to fur, but apparently it can. And did. And so I procrastinated shaving it off him.

But we’re in this weird, belated spring period now, which means I want the windows open at all times. Which means cat hair that had fled beneath the couch has been unearthing itself for the past week. Which means it was time to shave King Boo.

So we did. Well, the groomer did. And now, my beautiful, sweet, silly, kind cat who’s never in a bad mood and usually looks like this:

Now looks like this:

He’s gotten over it quicker this year than he did last year, but I think he can tell we’re laughing at him. Poor guy.