Most people in my life know by now that my cat Chloe died about a month ago. I debated on whether I needed to say anything about it here, but considering how often she popped up in pictures throughout the entire life of this blog, it makes sense to say goodbye to her on A Stylized Hysteria. About a month ago, she was outside after dark and was hit by a car. She was found by a very sympathetic good Samaritan and returned to me. The next morning she was buried in my parents backyard, a place where she spent hours exploring and chasing birds and bugs. I remember the moment I left the house that day. I paused and looked at the open window and told myself “she always comes in when it’s dark; let her enjoy the afternoon in the sun.” I regret that decision every day.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know how much I adore animals (especially cats) and what a big part of my life they are. I can’t imagine a life without these loving, crazy, demanding, furry family members.
A few of my favorite things about Chloe cat:
- When I brought her home as a six month old kitten, she immediately ran under my bed and stayed there for three days and nights. I was starting to feel like a failure until the fourth day. I came home from work and found her bravely hiding under my clothes hamper. I knew then everything would be okay.
- Chloe was my first cat and I didn’t know that hissing meant “back off.” So she’d hiss at me and instead of leaving her alone I’d pick her up and shower her with kisses. After that, her normal greeting to people she was warming up to was a vicious hiss.
- As a kitten, she adored running around on my bed when I was trying to make it up. There were so many times I’d find a Chloe-shaped lump under the sheets if I turned my back for a minute.
- She was deeply shy and afraid of humans when I brought her home. When she felt comfortable enough to sleep on my bed with me, I was happy. When our first winter together rolled around and she spent evenings curled up behind my knees on the couch, I was thrilled. When, after three years together, she fell asleep on my chest, I felt so loved and proud to be chosen by her. It was wonderful.
- Once we moved into my parents house, Chloe discovered the joys of suburban living; mainly, the basement. She would arrive in my bedroom at night with spiderwebs and dust covering her whiskers from her expeditions to the darkest corners of the house.
- Once Chloe decided she liked me, I never got a good nights sleep again. She was convinced prime snuggling time was between 1-3am. Almost every night I was awoken by a cold, wet nose on my hand or a plaintive meow and kneading of my kidneys. I still find myself waking up in the middle of the night – she trained me well.
- She turned up her nose at sushi, steak, poached fish, cheese, bread, and sardines. Cat treats held no appeal. Her one indulgence? My mothers various palm trees. They all suffered at Chloe’s hand (mouth).
- She loved baiting her sister, Calliope, into wrestling matches. She never won a single fight and often ran away in defeat. But she always came back for more. Maybe with a little more time she could’ve developed her right hook and become a lightweight champion.
I still sometimes expect her to greet me at the door when I get home from work, but I’m working on it. My friends and family have helped by accepting my overly emotional reaction and letting me talk about her often. A friend painted the most beautiful picture of her, based on one of my favorite photos of Chloe. It truly captures her constant look of disapproval and concern for her silly, overly affectionate guardian who often preferred a night in with her cats than hitting the town.
I’m grateful for what she taught me about patience and responsibility. And I think she knew that she was deeply loved during her life. I’ll miss you, Chloe.
When macabre meets over the top opulence…this is what you get.
Gristly human remains. Ornate jewels. Not staged by a brilliant design house (anyone else getting a little Alexander McQueen from this?) but rather ripped out of Europe’s history. These remains date back to the 15th and 16th centuries and are “catacomb saints.” Apparently saints were way more blinged out than I thought. These photos are courtesy of photographer Paul Koudounaris, who is the only person who has been allowed to photograph these beauties. Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs comes out next month, and I can’t wait ’til it’s on my coffee table. I originally read about this on Gawker and this news article has some further insight on the history of these very luxe corpses.
As I’m typing this I’m also shifting uncomfortably in my seat. My ass hurts, guys. So very much. Why, you ask? (I know you didn’t actually ask about my ass, but get ready to hear about it anyway).
Last night, I went to The Handle Bar in South Boston. It’s a boutique cycling studio, similar to the spin classes at your gym, except hyped up on amphetamines. I took a few traditional spin classes about 3 years ago and thought I knew what to expect. Hah!
Holly, the chick covered in sweat a.k.a me, and Kristen.
The Handle Bar provides each student with a towel (good lookin’ out, bro) and help newbies set up their bikes and secure our shoes, since they require students wear specialty cycling shoes that can be rented at the front desk. Our instructor, Elise, took us through a quick warm-up then pushed the class through one of the most intense cardio workouts I’ve ever had. There were hills, speedbumps, and flat road sprints. Pretty sure we climbed the cycling class equivalent of Mount Kilimanjaro, but my clouded brain (caused by a mini heart-attack) may be distorting my memory. Things got really interesting when we pulled out weighted bars and did a short but effective arm workout while riding. I was grateful when class ended because damn, it was hard. But I already find myself thinking about how to work it into my workout rotation, as I clearly have the stamina of an elderly bunny and need some help. Be warned, The Handle Bar doesn’t have changing rooms (and only 2 bathrooms), and the lack of showers made for an interesting ride home – sorry fellow MBTA passengers, I swear I don’t normally smell that bad! But I’m looking forward to getting back in the saddle (once my ass stops hurting).
[Let's pretend I haven't been MIA for months and get right back into it, shall we?]
I blame Holly. My gorgeous, farie-esque partner in crime has the most incredible fashion sense. She can combine a thousand and one elements into a single outfit and it’s awesome. But. Her taste in shoes often leaves me bewildered (is Frankenstein-chic a thing?). At this point, we’ve agreed to disagree about what goes on south of our ankles and consider it a pleasant surprise when we find a pair of shoes we both like. I suspect I’ve been spending too much time with my dear friend, because the line has been blurred. The line is shoes, by the way, not the summer smash hit that borrows a bit too much from Marvin Gaye.
I used to be sure. Now I look at a lug sole, a leather bootie with cutouts and chains, and I think…maybe? Yes. No! maybe. Point #1 on the blurred line: Ugly Good. As in “They are so ugly. I WANT THEM ON MY FEET RIGHT NOW!”
1) Walter Steiger, 2) Shoe Cult by Nasty Gal, 3) Jeffrey Campbell, 4) Zara
I can so imagine strutting around in those Jeffrey Campbell boots with leather leggings and a cape, pretending I’m an action hero in a post-apocalyptic America when in reality, I’m just grocery shopping.
Do I win the Worst Blogger Award? I’ve been MIA for quite a while and for the life of me, I cannot find a place in my new apartment to take good outfit photos. Here’s my proof:
There are so many important details to this outfit that I just couldn’t capture. I’ve got a great shametuck going on, but can you tell? No. My shoes are awesome. Not that you’d know. Well, I’m determined to find the perfect blogging spot, so bear with me. And stay tuned…there’s a giveaway coming up!
shirt – J. Crew
dress (as a skirt) – Alternative Apparel
shoes – Jeffrey Campbell