If I were an animal, it would be hard to honestly say which one I would be. I think that I would be a combination of a lot of animals, actually.
First of all, I’d be a horse, because they are strong and proud. While I am not physically or emotionally strong, mentally, I am strong. I am a fighter. I keep going, even when I don’t know where to go. With God as my guidance and strength, I can (metaphorically) move even the tallest of mountains. I am also proud of who I am, and the woman that God is creating me to be. I don’t give up without a fight, and I am beautiful, inside and out, just like all horses are. Perhaps this is why they are my favorite animals.
Second, I would be a cat. I am small, like most cats are, and I am also naturally curious. I like to explore the world around me and investigate things that I haven’t previously known about. I always have to know the “why” behind something, and I don’t stop looking or questioning until I am satisfied with the answer. I also really like to sleep. 🙂
Finally, I would be a dog. Dogs are loyal and kind, and will make good companions for life, and I believe that is the case with me, as well. I am a loyal and compassionate friend, and I will never leave your side. Once I am committed to someone, I am in it for the long haul, for better or for worse. I will tell you the truth in love, but I will also do my best to be kind about it.
So what kind of animal would I be? That’s hard to say. But I would hope to be a combination of some of the best kinds of animals in the world…
You’ve seen them before: the people dressed up in strange outfits, running around town, or in schools, etc. It’s not Halloween, in fact, it’s the middle of the year, and yet a small group of people really enjoys doing this on a fairly regular basis. This is the group known as: the cos-players. Cosplay literally means: costume-play, and it is exactly that. People dress up in costumes to emulate their favorite characters from video games, TV shows, anime, movies, and more. Typically, these people go to conventions, purchase memorabilia from many different categories they like, and then go home and post pictures of their cosplay online. If you think it’s strange, you’re not alone. I did, too. In fact, for the longest time, I hated anime, cosplay, and everything to do with it. Though perhaps that was because people used to cosplay in school, which is what annoyed me more than anything. However, after I met my husband, he introduced me to the world of anime and cosplay, and now I love it, and probably won’t stop doing it until I’m in my fifties or sixties. Here’s why:
It Helps Me Get Out of My Shell
As you know by now, I am a very introverted person. I can fake extroversion for the sake of work, but I need time to relax, unwind, do my own thing, and be myself. I need room to express myself in ways that I can’t when I am at work. Therefore, cosplay helps get me out of my shell a little bit. By dressing up as a character that I like, I am able to show others around me the things that I enjoy, and have a little bit of fun while doing it. Plus, it helps me to find others with a common interest. Since my husband and I go to anime conventions and comic-cons on a yearly basis, it is nice to be able to see people of a similar mindset, dressed up in their wide variety of outfits. Plus, if I meet someone who likes my outfit, or if I like theirs, we can strike up a conversation, talk about each character that the other is emulating, and maybe even make some new friends.
It Gets Me Out of My Comfort Zone
Another reason why I like cosplay is because it challenges me and gets me out of my comfort zone. When I was in high school, I wouldn’t have been caught dead cos-playing. Now, though, it’s something that I really enjoy. I definitely feel a bit nervous walking down the street every time that I am headed to the convention, especially with all the people that are not going to the convention, but who are walking by or driving down the same road. I can feel their eyes staring at me, I wonder what they think, and I start to worry that they are silently judging me, especially since I am in my twenties and am still enjoying stuff like this. Whatever, let them judge. If they don’t like it, that’s their prerogative. I don’t dress up inappropriately in any manner, and I don’t emulate anyone violent, so I feel that what I am doing is just a unique, interesting way to have some fun.
It Allows Me to Be Creative
When I am coming up with my cosplay outfits, I go all-out. I don’t just go for the “cheap” version of the outfit by throwing together things that I have around the house. I usually start with eBay or similar sites to see if I can find the full outfit of what I am looking for. If I can’t, then I set to work figuring out how I can make the outfit look like the thing I am trying to emulate, while also making it my own. This year, I am going as the Cheshire Cat from the original Alice in Wonderland. Therefore, I have spent over a year putting together all the different pieces of the outfit, but it is now complete. The comic-con that my husband and I are going to is in June, and I am beyond excited to show off this outfit, maybe take a few pictures with people, and see what others think of it. This will also have been my most creative cos-play thus far, though next year’s will be even more complicated, as it will require actually making the majority of it. Next year, I will be going as Koro-Sensei from Assassination Classroom, which should be pretty challenging.
Here’s what this year’s Cheshire Cat cosplay is composed of:
Finally, I am trying to decide if I want to do makeup or not for this outfit. At the very least, I will paint my nose and paint on some whiskers, but I don’t know if I want to do more or not. I wear purple glasses, so anything else might be overkill. But here are a few of the makeup options that I am thinking of so far:
I am more of a simple girl, so I think that I would be more comfortable doing the makeup like the second picture, but with a pink/purple nose instead. However, I do think that it would be fun to try and go all-out with the makeup from the first picture. I really can’t decide. I have until July to figure it out, so I guess we shall see what my husband thinks I should do when that time comes.
Well everyone, that’s it for now! I hope you enjoyed learning more about why I like Cos-playing, and hope that you may be adventurous enough to try it yourself. It really is quite fun! If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please send them my way!
My cat, Saber, is truly something to behold. She’s a sweet (most of the time, when she wants to be) Domestic Shorthair that my husband and I adopted from our local animal shelter in September 2016, when she was just three months old. She’ll be a year old in June, and she’s already gotten so big. Here’s a picture of her:
While she is sweet and beautiful, she can also be rather…tenacious at times, and I mean that in the most literal sense of the word. A Google search of “tenacious” yields this definition: “tending to keep a firm hold of something; clinging or adhering closely.” And another definition: “not readily relinquishing a position, principle, or course of action; determined.” This is my Saber in a nutshell. She is probably one of the most tenacious felines I have ever met. Let me tell you why:
1. She Literally Holds a Firm Grip
Saber often likes to pounce on my leg and dig her claws in, and occasionally even bite me while doing it. Of course, she’s just trying to play and utilize her hunting skills, but it really hurts! She’s been good about not doing it in the last few weeks, though, at least not on my right side, which is typically her leg of choice. Maybe she knows I’m getting a tattoo there, and that’s why she hasn’t chosen to do this as much. For that, I am grateful, because she really knows how to be aggressive when she wants to play in this manner. Usually a firm, “no!” and picking up her favorite toy and playing with her is enough to get her to stop. Most of the time.
2. She is Persistent about Playtime
Ever met a cat who is absolutely persistent about being played with 24/7? Probably not as persistent as my cat is. When she wants you to play with her, she lets you know by meowing as loud as she can. Her meows often turn into shrieks or screams at times if you aren’t paying attention to her the second that she wants you to. The cutest thing she does, though, is when my husband and I come home from work, she will meow at us and rub up against us until we acknowledge her. I’ve noticed that if I go do something in the apartment before acknowledging Saber after I walk through the door, she will meow, and meow, and meow, and meow, while following me around, until I pet her and say hi to her. But I love this, and think it’s absolutely adorable.
Another way in which Saber is tenaciously persistent about playtime is that she will do things to get your attention–often messy things, to let you know she wants to play. She may unroll the toilet paper, start scratching in her litter box just to see how much litter she can kick out onto the floor (thank heaven for litter mats), drag food out of her food bowl and then bat it all around the bathroom floor, or jump in and out of the bathtub and run back and forth through the house at mach speed. But I love her through it all. She’s cute, and she’s just trying to get a little attention. And I, as a good kitty mommy, am happy to oblige.
3. Speaking of Playtime…She Thinks She’s Our Personal Alarm Clock
Saber has a job in this household, or at least she thinks she does. 🙂 She operates as our personal alarm clock on a daily basis. When she was a very small kitten, she would sleep curled up on my chest most of the night, then would wake up at 4 A.M. and start getting into things. However, she eventually grew out of that and now, she starts out by sleeping on my chest, then migrates to the foot of the bed by morning. She generally likes to wake us up between 6:00 A.M. and 7:00 A.M., which is fine, as we have to work, but she’s persistent! She’ll start chirping, as though she sees a bird, at about 6:15 A.M, which is code for, “Mom and Dad, wake up!” Normally, it’s mostly, “Mom, wake up and play with me!” but she’ll take whoever wakes up first. I try to ignore the chirping until at least 6:30, but this usually results in her pouncing on me and playfully biting me, or she’ll jump up on the bed, lay on my chest, and start batting at my face until I get up and go play with her favorite toy out in the living room. Speaking of toys, want to know what she has chosen as her favorite? It is literally a piece of fleece cut into strips and attached to a string. Similar to this, but slightly larger:
Yes, my cat is a tenacious little girl, but I love her despite everything. Often, when she and I are relaxing at home on one of my days off, she will curl up on my lap, purr, and fall asleep as I am lying on the couch watching Netflix, Hulu, or playing video games. When she does this, my heart absolutely melts. I love cuddling my kitty and bonding with her, any chance I get.
I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the tenacious life of the American kitty. I’m sure if Saber could talk or type, she would add more to this blog post, but that is all that I could come up with for now.
Tricks of the Trade
One last thought that I will leave you with. If you’re looking for some good supplies for your cat, I highly recommend PetSmart. They have quite the selection for cats, both online and in-store. Here are some of the things that I use to keep my kitty happy and healthy, and to also maintain nice, clean, scratch-free (relatively, except for our furniture) living quarters:
Whisker City Litter Catcher Cat Mat–This thing has been an absolute life saver for me! At our old apartment, whenever Saber would use the litter box or play in it, she would throw piles of litter everywhere and get it all over the bathroom floor. I actually ruined a vacuum cleaner because I was constantly vacuuming it up all the time. Now that we’ve moved to a larger apartment, we have this litter mat, and it is extremely convenient. Any mess she makes is confined to the mat, and I can just shake it out onto the floor and sweep it up whenever I replace her litter.
Good Natured Kitten Food–This is the PetSmart brand of cat food, and it is what I am feeding Saber right now. It’s first ingredient is chicken. It’s mostly chicken and vegetables, and has no by-products in it. It’s super healthy, and super affordable! I’ll keep feeding it to her over the course of this month and next month, then when she turns a year old, I’ll switch her over to Good Natured Adult Food. She only likes dry food, but they do also offer wet food for cats and kittens, should you desire this over dry food.
Tidy Cats Lightweight Cat Litter–This is literally the best cat litter that I have discovered so far. As far as odor control is concerned, I’d probably give it about a seven out of ten, but in terms of effectiveness and weight, I’d give it a ten out of ten. It’s so easy to scoop when cleaning the litter box each day, and because of how lightweight it is, it doesn’t hurt my arms carrying it up to our third-floor apartment, like other types of cat litter do. This is the only cat litter that I will buy, now that I know of its existence (I was using Fresh Step with Febreeze before, which is also good, but very heavy), and will be sad if they ever stop making it.
Comfort Zone Spray with Feliway–This is one of my favorite cat products so far, and one that I will probably keep using with every cat that I ever have. It has several different functions, all of which are absolutely wonderful. The biggest thing that we use it for is to keep Saber from scratching at our bedroom door when we have to close it, and to keep her from scratching walls in general, or trying to jump up and get at the fish tank (which, thankfully, she hasn’t done, yet). It works like an absolute charm! We also spray it in her carrier a few minutes before we have to take her somewhere, and it calms her down enough to where she will just meow in protest, but won’t frantically try to find a way out of the carrier like she used to when she was younger. This also works as a deterrent for cats to stop urinating in the house, though we have never had to use it for this purpose, as she only did that when she was sick when we first adopted her, then stopped doing it once she got healthy, and has used the litter box ever since with no problems. Therefore, I can’t speak to its effectiveness as a deterrent to urinating, but others say it’s effective. It’s also safe for cats, as it only has two ingredients: Feline facial hormone/pheromone, and ethanol. We have never had any problems in using it, and will continue to use it indefinitely.
Ever since I was a child, I guess you could say I’ve been a bit of an outlier. I’ve never really gone with the crowd, I’ve always sort of just done my own thing. I remember constantly being told by my classmates that I was “weird,” but never understanding what they meant by that. Now that I am older and wiser, I understand that they viewed me as someone who goes against the grain–not a trendsetter, but rather, a shy, quiet girl with strange interests. And today, I am proud to admit that they were right. Yes, I am weird, and no, I’m not ashamed of that. After all, if we were all the same, life would be pretty dull–the world would be a pretty boring place.
I suppose my weirdness started when I was in elementary school. I loved horses, and I would talk about them nonstop. From a young age, I researched all kinds of horse breeds and sought to learn more about them, and though I never had a horse of my own, I fell madly and deeply in love with these majestic creatures. I even started “club unicorn” when I was in second or third grade and they asked us to make “clubs” in class (in hindsight, I don’t know why the teacher thought this was a good idea, as it ultimately just caused more division between the popular and not-so-popular kids).
I never talked much in school, even through high school, except when in conversation with my closest friends. But they found that when they got me talking about something that I was passionate about, namely horses, I wouldn’t shut up. That’s actually how my best friend and I became best friends. We met in our freshman year of high school. We sat next to each other, but didn’t really make conversation. She tried to get me to talk, and one day noticed a spiral notebook I had with a horse on the front of it. She asked me if I liked horses, and apparently, the rest was history. I wouldn’t shut up, and a great, rock-solid friendship was born that is still strong today. I’m glad it happened this way. Frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Those aren’t the only weird quirks about me. Growing up, I wore pretty mismatched clothing. In fact, one of my outfits of choice was a pair of camouflage sweatpants, coupled with whatever shirt or hoodie I could find. I didn’t care if my outfit matched, so I would often go to school in some pretty interesting looking outfits. Ironically, I look back on pictures from middle-school and high-school years and laugh out loud at myself, wondering, “Oh my gosh, why didn’t anyone ever tell me those pants looked horrendous on me, or that I wore mismatched clothes?” Of course, back then, even if they had told me, I probably wouldn’t have cared, and would have just kept doing it. Honestly, I think the mismatched clothing came as a sort of rebellion against the rules of the middle school I had attended. While we didn’t wear uniforms, we couldn’t wear anything that had words, pictures, or logos of any sort on it, unless it was the school’s logo. All of our clothing had to be striped or solid colors. Our shirts also had to be tucked in at all times, even if they looked ridiculous. I remember once getting in trouble for having a two-piece dress (skirt and top that were separated), and not having the top tucked into the skirt. I told the principal it was a dress, but he didn’t care, and made me tuck it in anyway. I liked many of the things we did at that school, but I hated the dress code, and I remember that when my mom took me school shopping upon entering my freshman year of high school, I asked for everything I could with cute pictures, logos, and words on it, as I was so happy to finally be able to wear whatever I wanted. Did this result in some odd outfits at times? Maybe so. But I didn’t care, I was happy.
I have to laugh at myself now, because I remember walking around high school and seeing kids dressed up in cosplay outfits, and thinking how stupid that was. I also remember hearing about anime, but never watching it for myself, and thinking that it, too, was stupid, if it caused my fellow classmates to cosplay and LARP (Live-Action Role Play) every day at school. I remember wanting no part of that. Then, when I started dating the man who has since become my husband, we started watching anime together. He already liked anime, and he got me interested in it, too. I tried finding a few on my own, and found it hard to engage in the story line, and I was bored within the first five minutes of the show. That’s when he recommended Clannad and Clannad: After Story to me. That is by far the best anime love story of all time. I still bawl like a baby every time I watch it, yet it is absolutely so poignant that I had to purchase the whole series on Blu-Ray. I occasionally binge-watch it, and bawl when I do, but it’s worth every minute. It’s that good. As my husband and I usually say whenever we’re talking about sad or moving animes or movies we’ve watched, “the feels on the bus go round and round” and “the feels in the sky keep on turning.” 🙂 Now, I watch anime all the time. Some of my favorites include Clannad, Clannad: After Story, Sword Art Online, ItaKiss, Kobato, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Little Busters, Charlotte, Rewrite, Kanon, and more. I also now cosplay, and in fact am planning on going as the Cheshire Cat from the original Alice in Wonderland this year. I’m so excited for it and can’t wait! Yes, I know I’m in my twenties, and that cosplay may be seen as weird, but that’s why I’m an outlier! I know I’m weird, and I don’t care! I just embrace it! It’s fun!
Probably another thing that makes me an outlier: I don’t easily get jokes. I never have. All of the popular kids in school used to make jokes, and I never got them. Which only served to make the kids think that I was even stranger or even more of an outcast than they originally thought. But I didn’t really care, because there were often glorious moments when a friend of mine or my youth leader and I would have something amazing and funny happen, and it would become our inside joke. And when that happened, it was simply marvelous! Even now, it takes me a little to understand some of the jokes my coworkers make. They’ll say something, and I won’t get it, and then about fifteen minutes later, I’ll randomly start laughing, because I finally got the joke. And then they all give me strange looks because I just got it, but I don’t care. It’s all in good fun.
Honestly, probably the biggest thing that I’ve been seen as weird for, is also the thing that I am most proud of. I am a Christian. I have been ever since I was a child, as I was born and raised in a Christian home. Jesus has been very much a part of my life from the moment that I was born, though I didn’t know him personally until 2013, but that’s another story for another time. I’d walk around school talking about Jesus and even reading my bible, mostly from 6th grade all the way through high school. If there were any Christian clubs or organizations that started in my school, I was always a part of them. I participated in See You At the Pole every year, and was unashamed. I miss that event, I wish that there was still a way to do it as an adult, but I celebrate the love of Christ in other ways now. People often called me a “Jesus Freak” or a “bible thumper,” but I didn’t care. To me, it was never about being popular. It was just about being kind and showing others the truth. I’ve never been ashamed to declare my love for Jesus, his love for the world, and the truth and grace that he proclaims for all of us. Even now, I am still a dedicated Christian, and preach the word to others every chance I get. It’s just who I am. He never abandoned me, but rather, he saved and blessed me in every way, so I will never abandon him. In him I live, and move, and have my being. Amen!
Finally, the thing right now that probably makes me the quirkiest is that I am perceived as a crazy cat lady. I talk to my cat, I go on and on about my cat, because she is like a child to me. She is very sweet (most of the time) and I absolutely love her to pieces. My friends and coworkers call me a crazy cat lady, and maybe I am, who knows? All I know is I love my cat, and I am not ashamed! Of course, the other thing that makes me strange is that I communicate significantly better in writing than I do in verbal communication. I often get tongue-tied at work when trying to tell my coworkers a funny story. Just yesterday, I said that someone put both titles on the same stock number, when I was trying to say that they put the same stock number on both titles. It confused my coworkers, so I had to clarify. Here’s an illustration of how written versus oral communication works for me:
In conclusion, I am socially awkward, I have weird interests, am obsessed with animals, I enjoy anime and cosplay, and I am religious, and that makes me an outlier in every sense of the word. However, I am completely okay with that, because at the end of the day, you have to know who you are and be comfortable in your own skin before you can even begin to relate to others. And I don’t necessarily think being weird is a bad thing, anyway. In my case, I have met others who have similar interests and passions, and thus, have forged good friendships. Perhaps the same can be true in your case, as well.