a million seconds of perspective

We’re having work done on our house, and today they’re in the attic over my office. It’s so loud I can’t think in there, so I’m in my bed with my laptop, still in my jammies at 1:30pm. Talk about dressing for the job you want! I’m living the dream, surrounded by my very happy dogs and one very unhappy cat.

Our cat, Luna, is all black, so she spends October 28-November 1 inside every year, for her safety, because some people really suck. This doesn’t really bother her on the 28th, but by the middle of the day on the 29th, she makes it really clear that she hates us and would very much kill our faces in our sleep with murder death.

Now, because of the loud work in the house, and the construction crew walking in and out the front door, Luna is confined to the bedroom with me and the dogs, where she can let everyone know how truly and completely pissed off she is.

For much of the last hour, she has: tried to lay down on top of my hands while I type, made pancakes on my stomach while showing me her butthole, groomed my beard, bitten my chin, hissed and swatted at two of our three dogs (which Marlowe thought was an invitation to play, which was quite a disappointment to them both.)

Now she seems to have temporarily tantrumed herself out, and she’s at the foot of my bed, pointedly facing away from me, ears shoved back in righteous indignation and furious anger.

And people wonder why I’m a dog person.

Anyway, I’ve just taken a break from writing to watch some YouTube, including one of the most important videos I’ve ever seen from John Green. It’s something I needed to see today, and I think it’s something at least some of you will want to see, too. Take a few minutes and watch it, and I think you’ll be glad that you did.

43 thoughts on “a million seconds of perspective”

  1. It is amazing that we watched the video at the same time… not really. I guess statistically there were many people filling themselves with the wisdom that comes from the incomparable John Green. I feel that this is one of the most insightful videos ever made… not just for John. I find that more and more of the people that I love online also love each other… it makes the world seem even smaller than usual and makes me feel even more connected to it. Thanks for being so damn Awesome Wil.
    -Anna

  2. Ugh, cats. Got one to make my wife and 3 little girls happy. Glad they love him , but he and I have an understanding about personal space, and ours not crossing.

  3. We currently have only 1 black cat (We lost his black momma from cancer 11/2012 ) and he has been an indoor only cat from the day we trapped him.

    If you want to make Luna’s time better, get her some “Yeowww! Catnip” bananas. It’ll take her mind off being outside (and she just might decide to stay inside too).

  4. I really enjoy how you paint a scene with words! You have many colors in your palette, just like Bob Ross. Happy Bob Ross Day!

  5. “My mother used to tell me, ‘Elwood, in this world you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.’ Well for years I was smart, I recommend pleasant.”
    Fantastic quote. I really must track down this movie.

  6. That’s so wild. I didn’t know who John Green was until he mentioned he’d written Looking for Alaska. I just finished an online novel writing class where the teacher references that work constantly for examples of good writing.

    It’s a small world.

  7. That really is a fantastic video. I’d actually reblogged it on tumblr and promptly wrote “Hank” instead of “John”, because my brain is currently rebelling against the change in air pressure.

    Also, yes, we keep our kitties indoors all year ’round, ‘cept for the occasional walk round the yard on their harnesses. Enough drivers around here have nearly mowed me down while I’m trying to cross the street. Kitty wouldn’t stand a chance.

    Though, if they were outdoor cats, they’d be kept inside the weeks before Halloween. Some people really do suck.

  8. LOL, and THAT is why I’m a cat person. Love it how cats give this total b***ch attitude, despite the fact almost every creature around them is 3-30 times their size.

  9. Wow! Loved that video! Thanks for posting it Wil. I truly look forward to your posts, and I am so grateful that you are so willing to share a little bit of yourself with the public, your fans, and I really hope you never stop doing that! It is nice to see that someone I watched on Star Trek growing up, is as down to earth and “normal” as the rest of us, with the same problems, likes, dislikes, and aspirations for a happy life. Keep up the great work, and I can’t wait to read what you post next.

  10. “P O O K A — Pooka – from old Celtic mythology — a fairy spirit in animal form — always very large. The pooka appears here and there — now and then — to this one and that one — a benign but mischievous creature — very fond of rumpots, crackpots, and how are you, Mr. Wilson?” “How are you, Mr. Wilson?” Who in the encyclopedia wants to know?

  11. Poor Luna!

    I saw that video earlier and there’s one caveat I’d add… HARVEY is a wonderful movie but it can be triggering to those uneasy with the mental health care system.

  12. If I ever hated anything (I try really hard not to), it would be cats. Assholes, every one. They have that little bit of DNA strand in there that “remembers” they were once worshiped and have to let you know that you should emulate the Egyptians in this.

  13. poor dear luna! how horrid that she has to spend national cat day trapped indoors because some people just can’t wrap the whole “don’t be a dick” philosophy.
    and as always, john green is brilliant.

  14. Thanx, Wil, for the video, I saw the movie years ago and it always lifts the dark clouds. As Jerry Pournelle, often says, despair is a sin.
    Bill

  15. We have a black cat as well, and have to keep him inside for the week for the same reason. Some people really do suck.

  16. Long time reader and first time commenter – just had my memory jogged of an incident that happened to my parents and I about seven years ago with our first cat, a black cat named Marley.

    On Halloween night she came back into the house walking funny and after a quick visit to the vet the next day, we found out her tail has been snapped in half at the base (where it connects to the rest of her body). Obvious connection with Halloween night. It was horrible and people really do suck.

    We had to put her down and it was very sad. I’ve been paranoid about letting any of my subsequent cats outside ever. Sad :(

  17. It probably because we don’t do Halloween across the pound, but can anyone explain why cat’s or especially black cat have to be kept inside at the end of October? The naïve side of me can only come up with the idea that cat’s get kidnap for costumes. (And returned to the owner in a nice basket with cookies and a pink bow on November first.) The more dark side of me think they may be killed because of superstition, but why only around Halloween?

    1. My best friend tried to adopt a black kitten around Halloween a few years ago. She was a stage manager trying to train a stage cat from a kitten. The shelters refused to allow black cats to be adopted out in October because people will either return them after Halloween, having treated them poorly, or will kill them in some awful fashion. Mean humans suck. She eventually found a family that adopted one to her, and kept up with her and the kitten to make sure nothing untoward happened. I’m proud to say that I am auntie to that little black polydactyl hyperactive ball of fluff four years later. Cat’s nuts, but she’s awesome. Mean people suck.

      And Wil? Please keep posting this kind of thing. It helps me keep my brain and my husband’s in perspective.

      1. Oke, They are killing cats,… Wait what? Why?

        Does this have anything to do with the “black cat cross your pad” superstition? But why only in October? Please tell me this is not groups of teenagers trying to freak themselves and friend out on “Halloween-parties”. I still believe that (even in America) one teenager in that group has enough empathy or commonsense to be horrified by the act and stop it.

  18. Ah, shit. *sniffs* Thanks for sharing this today, Wil. I’m not a sufferer of depression but my Beloved Wee Granny is very ill and I’m a bit vulnerable today. But I’m here, so is Mee-maw and today IS beautiful.

    P.S. I’m a dog person. Always have been. But at my daughter’s request we have shared our home for the last year with 2 Bengal cats. And dammit if they haven’t warped me into a crazy old cat lady!

  19. When I had a black cat, I lived on Staten Island. Specifically a part of Staten Island where there were a lot of assholes. We kept him inside all the time (except when we took him out on a leash, which he hated). I didn’t trust people not to hurt him any time of the year because he was a black cat. And because his mother was feral and this was Staten Island not far from the landfill, I frankly didn’t trust him to be able to find his way home again. He was sweet, but not very bright and he was scared of everything.

    Thank you for the video. I also suffer from depression (well, recently rediagnosed as bipolar, and that was a bit of a shock). When it got really bad and I had to take some time off, my boss (also in publishing oddly) was as awesome as John Green’s. I eventually ended up spending some time in a hospital, which helped immensely and I’ve pretty much been in remission since. Sadly, I have no talent for writing because the stories I could tell from that time would be pretty strange.

    I thank you for constantly putting your battle out there. It has helped so many people. Your lack of silence about it makes you even more awesome.

  20. Thanks for the link to “a million seconds of perspective”, Wil. It’s always wonderful to know we are not alone with our Black Dogs/Guilt Clouds.

    Getting hints and little bits of how-tos from others who deal with similar Boogeypersons provides hope that there is always that one more thing we can try before we put the barrel in our mouth.

    Christina Crowe
    Author of My Search for Serotonin: Experiences of Suicidal Depression and how to deal with it

  21. My black cat is Zeplin (I don’t know why it’s misspelled – it just is). She’s an indoor kitty, but we are definitely more careful with her around this time of year. She’s almost 15 and still going strong. I’ll take it!

    And the vid? It made me smile, and that is a nice thing indeed. Thanks for sharing!

  22. This post is OT so feel free to skip it. However, some questions must be addressed. So last week when the Kings put a thorough beat down on the PHX Coyotes Wil tweeted “Dear Phoenix Coyotes: what’s your position on apples? Do you like them? Do you like them apples? Asking for a friend.” I’m here to thank the Kings for the apples. Apples are high in vitamin A, which as everyone knows, is a key ingredient to good eyesight. And who can benefit from good eyesight you ask? Well goalies of course, how else can you explain Mike Smith’s 40+ saves against the Kings which was the main reason for the Coyotes’ 3 to 1 win last night? I was so excited about apples, it motivated me to go and make something. http://i79.photobucket.com/albums/j126/rhettro1/Wil-YotesFan_zps078759d1.jpg

    PS: Luv ya wil. ;)

      1. Hot damn, Wil, you is much smarter than I ever woulda thunk ya waz.

        Multi xox (I’m an old lady so not to fear — at least, not a LOT, eh? :-) Well, maybe. hee hee)

  23. Poor Luna, well not really. I have 2 black cats that do not go outside at all but just in case, we keep them locked in my bedroom…together. So currently I have my baby, who doesn’t like anyone, and 2 black cats that don’t exactly get along well. Guy is older and Izzy is a kitten. Izzy thinks Guy is her “daddy” and follows him everywhere and it drives Guy nuts. I hear a lot of hissing and meowing. The things we do to keep our babies safe!

  24. I worked at an animal shelter for 12 years for the first 6 of those years we did not adopt black cats the week before Halloween for the last 6 we did. We never really had any more problems with them this time of year then other times and black cats being the hardest to adopt out we didn’t want to take a week away from them. In fact certain years we ran adoption promotions to help get them adopted. When I was on call the week of Halloween I never had any calls or reports of abuse to black cats or went to rescue injured ones. I know people suck but I do think they are getting better with the black cat thing, but I could be wrong I just don’t want to be.

    As for cats I will always have one, they just make me laugh. I love both my dogs to pieces but in my heart of hearts I am a cat person.

  25. I am totally a dog person, too. Cats can be such jerks.
    Also, that video reminds me, I have a copy of “Harvey” at home left by a previous roommate. I should go watch it!

  26. I have a saying. “You don’t choose a cat for a pet. It chooses you as a owner.”

    I may have had dogs and cats at one time or another but I prefer dogs (the more practical of the two)

  27. I am currently suffering a deep, depressive state due to a combo of the blah, rainy weather, the creeping up of the holidays and missing my kids who are off with their own lives a million miles away from me. Well, not really a million miles but I live in Texas, they live in Pennsylvania and well..not in the right headspace for perspective when it comes to them and how much I miss them. But, I may sit down and watch Harvey tonight- it IS one of my all time favorite old movies and I really need a kick in the blues to get of this sad. :(

  28. Construction is annoying. Cats are…weird. John Green never fails to blow my mind and make me want to be better, smarter, and more awesome.

    That is all.

  29. Poor Luna!

    So if your dogs are stressed and acting out they deserve time and understanding (and rightly so) but when there are major sudden changes to your cats environment and she is stressed and tries to bond with you and elicit reassurance (which is exactly the behaviour you describe) she is evil and this is why you hate cats.
    :-(

  30. FWIW, Wil, a cat showing you its butt is a sign of respect – it means they trust you not to attack from behind. And the kneading of your stomach, and grooming your beard (and biting your chin), are both signs of affection, things a kitten does while feeding to get mommy to let down more milk. So I guess Luna knows you have her best interests at heart. Of course, she still has to beat up on the dogs, because she *is* a cat after all…

    1. I left my black cat shut up for a weekend with his play mate and now he has taken to pissing in surprising places. It’s very disturbing having to sniff out the next pee location.

      1. Get an ultraviolet flashlight. You can find ok ones in electronic stores or a good one online. Cat urine fluoresces so it “glows” in ultraviolet light. This should make it a lot easier to find.
        I’ve had several black cats and always kept them in at the end of October. People can be dicks and treat them badly. They don’t have to be black though. One Halloween I was taking the kids trick or treating and we heard a tiny and desperate “mew”. Someone had doused a grey kitten in something awful. We got him taken care of and took him home (I worked for a vet). I already had 4 cats but I was able to find him a good forever home.

  31. I need to let my inner Green shine through….
    Luna needs some Stark tech; she could do some REAL damage to her enemies with a few upgrades. Murder death on a grand scale…..

  32. I adore Harvey….it’s a once a year watch with a fire, fuzzy blanket, and a glass of wine. Aside from teaching, I do a casual stint in mental health with teenagers–who have no perspective, raging hormones, internal angst, and turmoil which leads to, well….no perspective and catastrophic thinking…..this video is priceless. Thanks for sharing something I will be sharing with my students.

  33. We superstitiously keep Nyx, our black tom, inside. I always thought it was because people felt they were lucky because they were associated with witches. Damn, last time we mixed politics and religion, people got burned at the stake. Lol I’m wondering though if his Mom is black tuxedo if it’s safe o to be out. People do dumb things for
    dumb reasons. Cats don’t judge out loud.

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