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Unhappy Dido Burns

Unhappy Dido Burns

Photo by Mr. Right-Click

Listen: I don’t want this to become a blog about cats, nor do I want to beat you over the head with overwrought literary metaphors.

Oh who the hell am I kidding? I love overwrought literary metaphors — how often do I get a chance to work in references to The Aeneid? And cats are good for traffic, apparently. So suck it up, people. Cats are big news around here lately. I don’t like it any more than you do, BELIEVE ME.

So what we decided, after Mr. Right-Click (aka Aeneas) went ahead and decided to found Kitty Rome, was that I would set about building my own version of Cat Carthage, and then we would see which one the cats liked better, and that would be the one that stayed in our bedroom. This was an emergency situation, so I realized that I would have to get started on a solution immediately. I think you know where this story is going.

ikea burbank

That’s right: the San Fernando Valley.


I had kind of a vague idea of what I was going to do. It involved building a staircase and dyeing sisal rope and, eventually, fashioning some kind of perch high upon the wall on which the cats could sit. I planned to situate all of this stuff behind the door in the bedroom so that I didn’t have to look at it as often, even though it is decidedly better looking than the hideous monstrosity that Mr. Right-Click had ordered from KittyMansions.com.

Photo by Mr. Right-Click title=

Initially, things were looking pretty good. I added a second flight of steps, and the cats were taking to the Carthage structure pretty well. It looked like perhaps we could forget about the whole Rome nightmare after all, even before it had arrived. I still had several things left to do on my plans for Carthage, but if they liked it this much already, then I didn’t have much to worry about, it seemed.

Photo by Mr. Right-Click

Then Kitty Rome arrived. In pieces. In three separate boxes. And one thing you should know about Mr. Right-Click is that he doesn’t put shit together. I’m not really sure if it’s because he cannot put shit together or if it’s because he just won’t put shit together. I just know he doesn’t do it. So basically, Kitty Rome sat around for a few days, and there was some “handyman” who was supposed to come to put it together, but said handyman never showed up because apparently, even though we are in the midst of a recession and everyone needs money, handymen and handywomen are just too busy these days to come to my house and construct cat empires.

So after a few days of stubbornly walking past the pile of cat stuff that wasn’t mine piled on the ground, I did what all obsessive compulsive people do, when faced with a pile of crap on their bedroom floor that they know they aren’t allowed to throw away: I started constructing the goddamn thing myself. Yes: I participated in my own destruction, and felt I was powerless to avoid doing so. What is worse is that the bastard cats sat and watched me from their hideous trailer park cat perches the whole time, and if they could have eaten grapes and had serfs fanning them, I’m sure they would have, but I was busy building for them, so they napped on and off instead.

Photo by Mr. Right-Click

It seems like now would be as good a time to underscore that, much as you should never trust a ho, you should never trust a cat. If you want a loyal friend, get a dog. A cat will cut you just to see what your blood tastes like. I’m not exaggerating for effect: Edie actually did this to me, last night, as I was putting together this godawful thing for her. Right in the middle of it, she reached over and clawed me and then licked her lips. Here’s the scratch:


And here’s her smug face afterwards:

Photo by Mr. Right-Click

This is what my bedroom wall looks like now:


Even Mr. Right-Click — Catneas himself — said, last night, as we were going to sleep, “Wow, that thing looks . . . bad.”

But let me assure you: this is not over. If I have to douse Cat Carthage in some kind of kitty crack to get them to take to it, make no mistake: I’m not above that. These damn cats will get their “enrichment” from Ikea and like it! Not over, I say!

Comments (27)

  1. Nic
    Oct 26, 2010

    Well, it could be worse: he could have built a catio.

  2. Oct 26, 2010

    As bad as it is, I can’t seem to take my eyes off of it. It’s mesmerizing in a 70’s shag, jungle gym, kitty Valhalla kind of way.

  3. Oct 26, 2010

    You know, I want to complain about this whole cat theme lately…but I can’t, because it’s making me feel superior somehow. I mean, I have a great deal of IKEA shit in my house…but I don’t have anything that is covered with carpet. So I guess I win.

    Also, every post about cats is a post that contains no basketball. Yay!

  4. Oct 26, 2010

    He doesn’t build shit. But otherwise, he definitely would.

  5. Oct 26, 2010

    Valhalla! Ahahaha. That is even better. THAT is what they should have named it.

  6. Oct 26, 2010

    Oh! Oh! I’ve been trying and trying to think of what you need to go with that thing, and it finally dawned on me just now: a waterbed. Do you have a waterbed? Because that thing needs to be right next to a waterbed.

    And then next to the waterbed, you need one of those wire and ceramic magazine stand thingies that has the built-in ashtray in the top, and the remote-control holder on the side.

    And then you need some Precious Moments figurines on an adjacent shelf, or perhaps in the adjacent bathroom, where you keep the extra toilet paper covered with crocheted things that have sticks of cinnamon sewn on to the top.

    Basically, that thing is a slippery slope to rural cheesehead decor. Just so you know.

  7. Oct 26, 2010

    Today is the first Lakers regular season game, Kerry! Funny you should mention it. Also, LeBron has a new commercial out. So, you know, if you want, I can try to combine the cats and the basketball at some point . . .

  8. Oct 26, 2010

    Macrame. This thing needs macrame.

  9. Oct 26, 2010


  10. Oct 26, 2010

    Let’s see . . . cats playing basketball? No! I’ve got it: Cats doing basketball analysis. THAT’S GENIUS: OUTRAGED SPORTS CATS.

  11. Oct 26, 2010

    You are so right, Kerry. I’ve been agape as this catrosity has been constructed, here and on Twitter, and it just seems so … not Anna. Anna, can’t you reupholster or modify that thing in some way? Perhaps incorporating Apple fancat sleekness or the Louis Vuitton Damier print?

  12. Oct 26, 2010

    I’ve shown you that I’m in the middle of constructing cat carthage! Cat carthage cannot be built overnight, people! It takes a long time to order in the right kind of FLOR tiles for the stairs, and do you know how much sisal rope it takes to cover those IKEA stairs? A FUCKING TON! I am ON IT, but I need time. I need time!

  13. Oct 26, 2010

    Oh my god, that thing is even more hideous now that it’s in your house. I don’t think I noticed that cat-shaped doors before. Gah!

    I confess to being baffled about why you would assemble it instead of going the, “Get it done before Friday or I’m shipping it back” route, but then I’m the kind of person who will step over a pair of socks in the living room 178 times before finally noticing them and picking them up, so I suspect we have different levels of tolerance for this sort of thing.

  14. Oct 26, 2010

    I am starting to question your sanity Anna. That thing is THAT hideous. Jesus. Get it out of the house.

  15. Oct 26, 2010

    Um….wow. What you need for that thing is the cleansing power of fire. However, if you need any crocheted bobbles of ultimate ugliness, just say the word.

  16. Oct 26, 2010

    Seconding the cleansing power of fire!

    I just feel that, during a moment of sacramental marital passion, if my eyes fell upon that catplex, it would result in a certain ebbing of desire. I think this is covered in the Kama Sutra.

  17. Oct 26, 2010

    Okay, I should preface my comment with: I love cats. I love my cat so much I’m afraid I won’t love my kids as much as I love him. I’m totally serious, it’s a sickness.

    But! If it takes more than 10 minutes to put together something for a cat, it is not worth it.

    Cats like nothing, they hate everything you get them just to spite you and if you hate it, they love it with every fiber of their being. We bought the greatest little cat house and my cat has EATEN all the threads holding it together. Because he is a cat.

    And a devious mastermind. The cats always win.

  18. Oct 27, 2010

    I love how the little cubby-holes are shaped like cat heads…. because cats can’t have regular round holes to entertain themselves…… HEAVENS NO! They must be cat head shaped! BOW TO THE CAT HEAD.

    This message took five minutes to construct due to a cursor-chasing kitten who is now perched on my head.

  19. Oct 27, 2010

    Dear God, you’re going to be custom fitting Flor tiles and seriously wrapping it in sisal rope?

    You really love your husband.

  20. Margie
    Oct 27, 2010

    Oh my. What can else can be said. You were right; looks like a trailer park for cats.

    “Get off my lawn!”

  21. Oct 27, 2010

    Boy, nothing says “kinky love nest” like a kitty castle such as that one. Cue the 70s porn music, Anna. 😉

  22. Oct 27, 2010

    You also don’t know my husband. The amount of complaining I would have had to deal with would not have been worth it.

  23. Oct 27, 2010

    That’s one way of looking at it.

  24. Oct 27, 2010

    The stupid cats don’t even like it! The CATS even think it’s ugly.

  25. Oct 27, 2010

    I just found your blog today and I’m a new subscriber! Love it.

    I think the cats need some pink flamingos to help themselves feel more at home.

  26. Oct 27, 2010

    Don’t forget the lava lamp. Good job constructing this monstrosity, though it probably means you’re the designated family assembler from now on.

  27. As you know I live in the armpit of America-Columbia, South Carolina. So I can help you with some decorating tips!

    1. Black velvet picture of Elvis, Michael Jackson, Jesus and several children all hugging
    2. Waterbed with BUILT IN STEREO AND CLOCK. YES. They sell them. (I hired a carpenter to build a simple platform and painted it white. But yes, i has a waterbed
    3. I have the owl I macramed in Summer Camp on my back porch, and you can’t have him, but I have a few planters that I could ship you. I’ll be waiting by the computer to hear back.
    3. Shag rug. Green, orange, or mustard yellow.
    4. Lessee…when I met My Man, he had an ivory chess set on a table made from a tree trunk. “That’s a priceless family heirloom!” It’s on the back porch with a huge fern covering it.
    5. Several plastic tables.
    6. A stereo with a tape deck.
    7. I could go on, but I am only trying to divert myself from musing over pictures of male genitalia, so I will sign off, over & out.

    yours in tackiness, Lorrie

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