Transpetting

, , , , | Working | November 19, 2017

(I love cats. I had two, and last summer my mother-in-law surprised me with a third one. She very adamantly wanted to find us a long-haired kitten, and ultimately adopted a little Maine Coon-mix girl… or so we thought. Because of “her” long hair concealing the, uh, back bits, we don’t notice “she” is a “he” until shortly before his first vet visit at six months. At the vet, we go through the standard first-time visit procedure, answering questions about his health, diet, behaviour, etc. We continuously catch ourselves referring to the cat as “she,” and explain the mix-up to the vet, thinking it’s a funny and probably somewhat common occurrence.)

Vet’s Assistant: “She’s trans.”

(We smile at that. She doesn’t smile back. She is dead serious.)

Vet’s Assistant: “No, I mean it. She’s trans.”

(It stopped being cute immediately and started to become concerning. How in the h*** do you get to be a veterinary assistant and still think that a cat has ANY idea about gender and transgenderism?!)

Have Lunch Or Be Lunch

, , , , , , | Related | November 16, 2017

My family has always loved the sea, and we’ve always had a boat, travelling around New Zealand during weekends and holidays. Growing up, my siblings and I loved to swim off the boat whenever it was anchored, and we often proved difficult to persuade out of the water, causing our mother to go hoarse as she yelled over the waves for us to come in.

The year I was 12, we were anchored in the Hauraki Gulf which is around the top of NZ’s North Island. My siblings and I decided we’d have one more swim before lunch. I was wearing a snorkel and a mask and although I could hear Mum calling us in for lunch, I decided to take one more dive. I dove and resurfaced a couple of times, moving away from the boat. On my third dive, I turned up the right way, floating in a circle to see all the fish… and found myself staring into the face of a grinning great white shark.

Looking back, years later and with a degree in marine biology under my belt, I know now it was quite small — probably not even seven feet — which meant it was a juvenile. It was so close I could see each one of its ampullae of Lorenzini, the black marks around the snout. Every cell in my body was screaming in terror, but I had frozen in place. After regarding me for a couple more seconds in what can only be described as mild curiosity, the shark swam away on its business, leaving me to float, still literally scared stiff, to the surface, where Mum was standing on deck waving her arms in the air.

“Honestly, [My Name], you are such a dreamer! I’ve been hollering for you the last 15 minutes. I know you could hear me when you popped up! What do I have to do to get you out of the water, start screaming that there’s a shark around?”

Although that baby great white gave me the fright of my life, it sparked in me an obsession with sharks that has endured to this day. I studied marine biology at university and have a fantastic career in shark research. I’ve cage-dived with great whites in New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. The first time, at Stewart Island in New Zealand, I was privileged to see a magnificent, 18-foot male pass majestically back and forth in front of the cage. He was truly astonishing, but as I gazed at him, marvelling at his sheer size and power, I couldn’t help but think back to the little, baby great white who’d started it all!

Mom Hates It When Birds Leave The Nest

, , , , , | Related | November 13, 2017

(I am living on my own for the first time, and I’m talking to my mom on the phone while walking back from getting groceries. My mom is being a mom, telling me about how much she worries about me.)

Me: “Mom, I’m fine. I’m really liking school and I’m perfectly sa–”

(Just then, something comes at me and I see it out of the corner of my eye. I scream and duck down, just in time to miss the seagull that’s just dive-bombed me. I would like to point out that I had no idea birds do this when you walk by their nests and I didn’t know there was a nest in the car-lot I was walking past. Not knowing these things, it’s incredibly hard for me to explain this to my mom.)

Mom: “What? WHAT HAPPENED? Are you all right?”

Me: “I’m fine, Mom, but you’re not going to believe this. This–”

(As I’m about to explain this, the seagull turns around, facing me with evil, yellow eyes, and lets out the biggest battle cry it can muster as it prepares to dive again.)

Me: “MOM, I’VE GOT TO GO!”

(I hung up my phone and booked it out of there. Needless to say, I did not help my mom feel more secure.)

Make You Laugh Like A Donkey

, , , , , , | Learning | November 12, 2017

(The summer before I start fourth grade, at age nine, I spend most days at a summer school/daycare hybrid with lots of kids up to my age. It’s brilliantly organized; each week has a specific educational theme, with snacks and activities and guests all focused on that theme all week, often including a Friday field trip related to it, too. One week in particular is focused on animals or farm life or something. We have a guest speaker who is telling us about different farm animals.)

Guest: “And what is this animal?”

Class: “A horse!”

Guest: “Right! What about this one? Kind of looks similar…”

Class: “A donkey!”

Guest: “That’s right! And did you know that sometimes a horse and a donkey will have a baby? Does anyone know what we call a half-horse, half-donkey?”

(My hand shoots up enthusiastically.)

Guest: “Yes?”

Me: “A JACKA**!”

(The class, and some of the instructors, erupt in laughter.)

Guest: *awkwardly* “Well, no, we call it a mule.”

Boo And Boo-Two, Too

, , , , , , | Romantic | November 11, 2017

(I’ve fallen into the bad habit of calling both my boyfriend and my cat ‘Boo,’ which leads to confusion such as this.)

Me: *to the cat* “Hey, boo!”

Boyfriend: “Are you talking to me, or to the cat?”

Cat: “Meow!”

Boyfriend: “Well, that answers that question.”

Page 1/2812345...Last
Next »