Wikipedia tells me Baltimore is “The City that Reads.” I’m down with that, Baltimore.

As you read this, I am SPEEDING my way toward Baltimore.



Well, I mean, in a perfect world I am. You could probably check my Twitter feed and make sure it happened. If all goes WELL, as you read this, I am speeding toward Baltimore. Let’s just say that. So we don’t jinx it. I should be there in about half an hour, and I’m there until early Monday morning. I don’t know that there will be time for blogging – R. and A. have planned a Baltimorelicious trip for me, full of magic and wonder. We have multiple adventures planned for each day, which I will not tell you about, because it will ruin the surprises for when I get back and I blog about them. I will, however, give you some highlights:

  • Much time will be spent making a very big deal out of seeing Baby CeeVee in person, because she’s just about the most wonderful non-official niece I have. She is beautiful and smiley and of COURSE the most brilliant and I plan on cramming many years worth of love and doting into a four-day (and a few extra hours) trip, because how else will she know that her far-away unofficial Aunt Amy loves her more than all the chocolate in all the world, I ask you?
  • There will be both giraffes and penguins on this trip, and also sharks. This is a very animal-centric vacation. That’s why I love R. and A. – they know that I need to see all the animals on my vacation. I promise if there’s a chance to act like an animal, I will be all over that.
  • There will also be two literary-themed excursions, but not ones I’ve mentioned before, so they will be SURPRISES. I will be obnoxious and take many photos, promise. My camera battery is charging and I’m taking my power-pack thingy for my phone, just in case.
  • There will be flowers and crafts. FLOWERS AND CRAFTS! Also possibly hippies. Maybe even dirty ones.
  • There will be something historical and fighty.
  • There will be something theatrical that will make you all laugh and laugh.

There! Those are some hinty hints. I promise you are all going with me in spirit. But not in person because you couldn’t all fit in the guest room. I will take photos and get souvenirs and remember all the good things and blog about them when I return. ALSO, there is wifi at R. and A.’s house, so when I get home I can get online. That is EXCITING. So I can’t promise a blog for the next few days, but maybe. And I will try to be better about Twitter and/or Facebook, but sometimes I get distracted by real people and actually having experiences when I’m on vacation so the internet disappears for me. That’s not always a bad thing.

SO, what I am SAYING, is that if you contact me/comment on the blog/tweet me/whatever the hell, and I don’t get back to you in a timely fashion, don’t fret, jellybeans, I’ll be coming home Monday. Promise.

And don't get crabby. Get it? Crabby? Because Baltimore and I'll be by the sea? URGH FINE I THOUGHT IT WAS FUNNY!

And don’t get crabby. Get it? Crabby? Because Baltimore and I’ll be by the sea? URGH FINE I THOUGHT IT WAS FUNNY!

Dad is quite sure that a., I will be killed on the train (and when I said, “Dad, I don’t think too many people are killed on the Amtrak, wouldn’t we hear about that on the news?” he said, “SIGH AMY! It’s GOVERMENT SUBSIDIZED! They cover up the murder statistics!”) and b. I will join the government while I’m there because those are my people. I said, “DAD. We are not even going to Washington!” and he said, “IT’S ALL WASHINGTON OVER THERE.” I like that he knows all the things. Mom is just worried I’ll be killed on the train. Not because of the government coverup, but because of sexmurderers. Mom thinks you will be sexmurdered anywhere but your own living room, and she’s got her eye on you, living room.

...and of sexmurdering. And covering up murder statistics. As they do. AS THEY DO.

…and of sexmurdering. And covering up murder statistics. As they do. AS THEY DO.

Also, in sad news of failure, the Lucy’s Football household is officially a one-cat household again. Over the past two months, Newcat was…how to say this nicely…not playing well with others. Me, to some extent (there was extensive growling and scratching and attempts at biting) and Dumbcat – well, I’ve had cats that didn’t get along before, but it was more of the hissy-spitty variety. This was more of the full-on attack variety. She wouldn’t allow him to use the litterbox, sleep, eat, walk, or exist, basically. She would lurk and leap at him whenever he went anywhere to do anything. He’s nervous as it is, but he started getting extremely neurotic; he’s licked the fur off a number of places on his body, which he’s never done before, and he’s throwing up everything he eats and going to the bathroom wherever he can, because he’s afraid of what awaits him if he uses the litterbox. He was spending most of his time under things; the couch, the desk, the entertainment center. He’d only come out when I went to bed and then snuggle so close to me it was like sleeping with a furry hot water bottle. (And it’s getting warm out, so it was a furry hot water bottle I didn’t so much want.)

I tried many things. None of which seemed to work. Mostly I had to pick him up and carry him over her, and scold her when she attacked, and that was not a way to live for him, and did nothing for her. I kept thinking it would get better. But the other morning I woke up and his face was covered in dried blood and he meowed pitifully when I got it off and she’d clawed him in about five places overnight and I decided that, no, I didn’t have time for this, and neither did he. He’s 13. He doesn’t deserve to live his senior years afraid to go to the bathroom, or to eat, or licking his fur off because he’s nervous.

I brought her back to the shelter today. I didn’t even care that they were judgey. I used to be judgey of people returning animals, too. I know. It’s tough. You have to put animals down there. It’s a shitty job. But I have to think of Dumbcat, who I promised, eleven years ago, I would take care of to the best of my ability. This wasn’t a good fit. She was miserable; he was miserable; I was miserable.

We’re going to stay a one-cat household until there’s no longer a Dumbcat. Which hopefully will be a billion years from now, because I don’t like to think about that.

And since I dropped her off this morning, he’s come out from under the couch and is tentatively sleeping near me, and only looking around a little to see if he’s about to get pounced on, even though I am telling him she is gone now.

It’s the worst; I feel like I’ve failed as a human. But I did what I could, and I had to think rationally. I asked the people at the shelter where I got her if she was good with other cats and that I wouldn’t take her if she wasn’t. They said she was; that they’d had her around MANY other cats. That was obviously not true and they were just trying to get her adopted. All’s far in love and war, right? No. Not when it’s a living creature. That’s shitty, and unethical, and I will be warning people away from there if I’m asked about that place in the future.

ALL of your faces, lying volunteers. Every one.

ALL of your faces, lying volunteers. Every one.

On to a million things more I have to do in the next three hours before bed. Yes. Yes, I have to go to bed tonight at 7pm because I have to get up at 3am to leave for the train at 5am. I know. Such is the life of a fancy travellin’ lady. Hope you’re all ready for a trip to Baltimore! Here we go!

About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

31 responses to “Wikipedia tells me Baltimore is “The City that Reads.” I’m down with that, Baltimore.

  • sunraeny

    Aww I’m sorry to hear about newcat but I totally understand and would do the same thing if some new pet was upsetting Riley.
    Have a blast on your trip!! I love the inner harbor and the aquarium there!!!


  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Baltimore always remind me of hard-shell crabs and that scene in As Good As It Gets. Make sure you get some hard-shell crabs. Apparently.


  • sortaginger

    I love Baltimore! It is on my short list of places to move to when I decide to ditch Richmond for good.


    • lucysfootball

      I am in LOVE with it. I had no idea it would be so awesome here. It’s really amazing. So much history. So many amazing buildings. So much fun being had with my friends and their baby. What a great city!


  • DogsDontPurr

    Hugs to you and your kitty. I know how totally heart wrenching this must have been. (Is is pollen season?…my eyes are getting a little watery.) But you did the right thing for both cats. Don’t beat yourself up about it. ((Hugs))


  • the_lunatic

    Have fun!!! Can’t wait to hear all about it :)
    As for Newcat … you tried, and for the sake of the other kitty, it was for the best.


    • lucysfootball

      I am having the best time! There will be epic blogs with MANY photos!

      Yeah, it was not an easy decision, but Dumbcat is my guy. We’ve been through a lot together. It wasn’t fair to him at all.


  • Charleen

    Oh, poor Dumbcat! Poor Newcat too, it’s not really her fault. (And poor you! My stomach’s getting all knotted up just thinking about it.) Hopefully Newcat finds a better fit, and I’m very glad Dumbcat doesn’t have to worry about her anymore.


    • lucysfootball

      It was a terrible situation. But it was the best decision. And he’ll be so much happier and feel so much safer, and I hope she finds a solo-cat household she loves.


  • franhunne4u

    Poor Dumbcat. Please do not feel like a failure – getting adult cats together is always complicated.

    You are not a failure – but neither are the cat shelter volunteers, until they really lied to you. Which they usually don’t – they want the pets to be happy at their new homes – just look at Alcohol Cats from a pet shelter volunteer (NOT ME) and you will agree. And – the staff usually feel like failures too, when a cat is returned.

    Perhaps newcat just changed her behaviour at your place. Like my two did back in 2006. If a cat behaves one way in the shelter it does not mean she will be the same at a new home. *could illustrate it with a long story of my own experience, but don’t want to make this too long*

    I don’t know your cat – Dumbcat may be happy being at home alone. At the age of 13 he is probably quite quiet. If he does not complain about your long absence, he will be fine. He is a senior cat even if he may still have 10 years ahead of him. A distinctively younger cat is stressful for him anyway. But especially after this traumatising experience with Newcat.

    I suppose I would not try for another cat during his lifetime, too. It’s ok, when he is ok with it. Says a “crazy old cat lady”.


  • Heather

    I’m sorry Newcat didn’t work out, but it DOES NOT make you a failure. You know cats well enough to know that some cats will NEVER get along with others, especially once their introduced as adults. She’ll find a good home with someone else who is otherwise catless, and then she can be as territorial as she wants. I hope Dumbcat is feeling better soon!


  • becomingcliche

    Hope you have a great trip. And now I am sincerely hoping for some dirty hippies.


  • Nagzilla

    Poor Dumbcat! I hope he recovers and doesn’t have PTSD from the experience. And I have to say, your dad is hysterical. Have fun in Baltimore! Don’t get sexmurdered by dirty hippies. Or sharks.


  • Kris

    Aw, poor Dumbcat! I’m glad his mommee had his best interests at heart, even if it was hard to return Newcat. I know one little boy kitty who will just LOVE having his mommee to himself again (as well as the litter box)!

    Bon Voyage! I look forward to hearing about the dirty sharks and sexhippies (or whatever it was… ;-)


  • mfennvt

    That’s a shame about Newcat, but you did the right thing for yourself and Dumbcat. We’ve had to return a couple cats to shelters because they just didn’t fit in, no matter how hard we tried.


  • greengeekgirl

    You are the best cat mommy. Maybe Dumbcat will be chilled out by the time you get home from Baltimore! Since he will definitely not have to worry about prowling Newcats. Poor guy.

    I can’t wait to hear about allllll of your adventures!


    • lucysfootball

      Adventure posts coming soon! I had the best time!

      I hope Dumbcat is in better spirits when I get home. He will be velcro when I get there, though. He doesn’t like when I’m gone for 8 hours, let alone a few days. “MOMMY WHERE HAEV YOU BENE?” says Dumbcat, and follows me all around like Mary’s little lamb.


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