Cats and KonMari

11 May

I just want you to know that after my last blog post, Monk was really lovely for about three straight days. I started to feel a little bad for publicly shaming him. Then one day I was washing my face and as I bent over to rinse, all soapy-eyed and disoriented, suddenly he launched from the back of the bathroom toilet to the back of my body. I stood up and yelped and he got so scared that he dragged his claws down my back to hang on for dear life.

So. I have to get a second cat now.

cat face

Illustration by The Gross Uncle. Check him out on Twitter!

I can’t do this anymore. I’ve been thinking for a while that I’m starting to look older than I feel, and while a portion of that is just the reality of aging, a serious part of it is that I wake up at least 3 times that I can remember the next morning from Monk just pushing shit off of shelves and onto the floor. All night long. I can play with him, feed him, let him sleep on my face, open windows for him, let him push through all the blinds and break every single set in the house – doesn’t matter. He thrives in chaos. He wants to watch the world burn.

I feel bad for whichever future cat has to put up with him. I’m just hoping it helps him chill out. Probably best if it’s a really fat one with a strong batting arm. And maybe an unnerving stare. It’ll be super weird and change the vibe of my apartment, but I’ll probably be able to do something about these bags under my eyes.

Partially because of Monk’s inability to allow things to be on open, horizontal surfaces, and partially because I recently read Spark Joy: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I’ve developed a sort of obsessive habit of organization and systemization in my house.

One would think that with all my office jobs, I would have employed approaches to organization in my own home, but it really hasn’t worked that way for me. You might recall this from my frequent posts about the disgusting filth that is my apartment. If you need to get caught up, I think this shining diamond where I admit to hanging fly tape around my apartment and lived in filth until two flies mated on me will do the trick.

Apparently that’s the final straw for me: flies fornicating and turning my limbs into their love den.

Anyway I read this book on the life changing magic of cleaning up your crap, and it really flipped a switch for me. And like anything good in my life, I’ll just way overdo it until it’s actually kind of harmful.

If you’re not familiar, Spark Joy is a book about the KonMari method. You might be familiar with some jokes about it. They boil down the KonMari philosophy to hugging all of your possessions to feel whether or not they bring you joy and then ditching them if they don’t. It’s quite a bit more complex than that, but I have to admit: she does tell you to hug things. I skipped that part. I can get a sense of my level of joy from just looking at something. It comes along with my knack for being distant and judgy.

The more complex elements of the book involve proper use of containers, assigning everything a place, and giving everything you own enough room to breathe. Clutter is actively sought out and destroyed. Boxes begin to form systems that then run the regular functions of your life almost automatically.

This might not be true for everyone, but it’s true for me.

I took a note from the KonMari method that I needed to arrange my life in a way that best suited the things I do every day. Why, oh why do I get my makeup out of the bag every day, use it, and put it back in the bag? I should just keep it out and find a way to  present it so that looks all right while it’s out so and I won’t feel like the place is a mess. Also: why do I put the things I often need in hard-to-reach, ridiculous places? Why do I let a cupboard in my house be continually overflowing so that every time I open the door I get upset?

Of course, this sort of life-changing magic is what I probably need on my quest for super humanism, so I’ve basically gone section by section through my house and eliminated these occurrences. I know where almost everything is, I have implemented quick and easy systems, and my whole apartment is almost entirely customized to me.  

I think it’s beginning to be a problem.

I have a lot of systems now, and I really don’t like things to be out in the open. If I have clutter in an area because I’m working on a project, the materials all need to be in a basket or a bowl. All the cheese in my fridge goes in its own basket. Things I have to do are organized by section and type. I now have a To Do List template that breaks up my to-dos into correspondences, errands, tasks, and notes. Yesterday I asked our graphic designer at work if she could make me a desktop screen for my computer that was separated into labeled sections for my desktop icons to be visually filed.

I started to really wonder if I was having an issue when I insisted that my dirty silverware sit in a bowl in the sink because the look of them scattered all over the bottom of the sink made me kind of crazy.

At least I’m not hugging them all?

Admittedly, I think things are getting a bit out of hand. I was meal prepping for the week (putting lunches together for work) and decided to overhaul my kitchen cupboard with boxes for each type of lunch item: grains, bars, spreads…I just think it’s gone too far.

Of course I can’t just go back to letting things go; I have a monster cat on the prowl and if I leave my craft supplies out mid-project he will knock them to the ground. I can’t leave a ponytail holder out without him putting it in his teeth and carrying it to a hidden nest he’s made somewhere in the underbelly of my living room couch (THAT’S WHERE THEY ALL GO).  He has some strange obsession with seltzer water that means I can’t even put my drink on a table and walk way. If I do, he’ll knock the entire thing over and act like it was that way when he found it. Like I said: he just wants to watch the world burn.

So I guess I need to start searching the cat adoption sites again. Actually, a cat café just opened up near me (this is real. This is not a test). It’s a place where you can get coffee and hang out on the bottom floor or go play with adoptable cats on the second floor. Maybe I’ll just go take a look real quick – you know, just to see what’s there.

If I find a 20 pound one with a real mean stare, I’ve got a winner. 

foot eater

Illustration by The Gross Uncle. Check him out on Twitter!

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15 Responses to “Cats and KonMari”

  1. Michelle at The Green Study May 11, 2017 at 8:47 am #

    I’ve used a lot of tips from the KonMari method, without all the possession hugging, and it’s been helpful. Secondly, DON’T get a second cat. Don’t do it. Please don’t do it. Cats are happier as solitary creatures, even if they’re complete shits. I made this mistake. Had a cat that yowled constantly and woke me up all night long. Adopted a calm, loving cat – who absolutely hates the old cat and expresses it by random bathroom habits and fighting. So now I’ve doubled the problem. More is not better. More is just more.

    Like

    • Jackie May 12, 2017 at 9:24 am #

      I’ve actually heard they’re best in pairs so this is surprising to me. Monk did do better when Lola was alive so I wonder if it would help him. But of course there’s no way to anticipate personalities! Thanks for the tip.

      Like

      • Michelle at The Green Study May 12, 2017 at 9:28 am #

        I actually had a similar scenario. Adopted two cats, one died and I thought the other might be lonely, so I adopted again which landed me with two exponentially neurotic cats. It might work out for you, but you’re right, you just never know what you’ll get.

        Like

  2. Ice_Badger May 11, 2017 at 8:52 am #

    yeay a second cat (this is not in anyway because I want to share the madness of having multiple cats…)

    I look older than I feel…it comes from being 41 and feeling 20 on the plus side people tell me I don’t look 41..I don’t know because I have no idea what 41 is supposed to look like…

    this organisation method sounds awesome…and unattainable to me in my house of clutter and chaos… I am going to read the book though and find out…i am intrigued!

    Like

    • Jackie May 12, 2017 at 9:26 am #

      This system is built for clutter and chaos. Also, I love that you’re always up for a challenge. And hear, hear on the age thing!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ice_Badger May 12, 2017 at 10:13 am #

        I am always up for a challenge…
        Clutter and chaos taming is definitely challenging!!

        Like

  3. pegoleg May 11, 2017 at 10:00 am #

    I’m impressed with your organization, but can see how it could morph into a problem. Kind of an Hoarders Opposite Phobia.

    I watched back-to-back episodes of Hoarders the other night, after years of not seeing it, and was uneasily looking around my way-too-cluttered-but-still-walkable living room, wondering if the time had come to get serious about going through all of my junk. Hmmm…

    Like

    • pegoleg May 11, 2017 at 10:00 am #

      I think that “an” is supposed to be “a.” Gack!

      Like

    • Jackie May 12, 2017 at 9:27 am #

      Yes; I wonder if in a few years when KonMari has saturated the market, if they’ll have shows dedicated to exposing excessive organizers. This might be my big shot!

      Like

  4. lsawyer713 May 11, 2017 at 11:13 am #

    Hi Jackie, I’m sure the KonMari method asks you to hug your possessions not your positions, right? I wondered if you were practicing some weird sexual thing…
    Anyway, my cat is exactly the same at night. She LOVES pens, when they are thrown on the floor. Anything on my dresser that makes noise is played with to wake me up. I have taken to putting pillows on my dresser to keep her away from anything up there. I come home from work and if she is sleeping, I make sure to wake her up so she knows how it feels. That doesn’t really work but it makes me feel better!
    Thanks for letting me know my cat is not the only one…
    Laurie

    Like

    • Jackie May 11, 2017 at 12:12 pm #

      ahaha I love that you wake her up in the middle of sleeping to inspire empathy. And thank you so much for the edit!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. bikerchick57 May 11, 2017 at 7:20 pm #

    Have you thought about calling the “My Cat from Hell” guy?

    Like

    • Jackie May 15, 2017 at 9:51 pm #

      No because I didn’t know he existed until just this moment, but golly I wonder if just watching the show will teach me a thing or two. Or at least help me feel like there are people who understand my plight..

      Like

  6. Cindy B May 14, 2017 at 10:13 am #

    Have you considered re-gifting back to your parents? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jackie May 15, 2017 at 9:50 pm #

      I truly have. Repeatedly! I’m just too attached to the little butthead. I was a sucker from the start.

      Like

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