Saturday, August 22, 2009


The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Kitties Will Be Kitties

It has been nearly 13 months since we adopted Phoebe and Toonces, who are five-year-old, sister-cats. Phoebe was just rooting around in the closet to my left because...she must; Phoebe was made to root.

More than 20 years ago, when I first came out, I learned that it was a truism/stereotype that every [American] lesbian liked playing softball and all of them had cats. I tried softball again in my 20s, even as I had traumatic memories from elementary school, but I resisted the cat concept.

And also failed again at softball.

Softball was one thing, but cats were never going to be part of my household; of that, I was certain. I hated the way their food smelled, how they shed everywhere and their apparent lack of loyalty to the hand that was feeding them.

Lesbians Will Be Lesbians

Circa 2009, I am a loving cat-parent. Cliche or not, they're sweetening Pat's and my life gigantically. They are whimsically/mercurially/only occasionally affectionate, but even just watching their little, baby-tiger bodies walking around the house melts me.

And I feel such a tenderness when I feed them, even though their food does smell awful. Always, they act like they're starving till I put the double-dish down in front of them. And then their twin-ness is the most apparent as they seem to crouch and lap at their Supreme Suppers identically.

I resist writing about them because I sound so mushy-platitudinous.

Being Dog-like Myself

Earlier this week, a dear friend of mine from a faraway timezone said, "Sarah, you're the most honest person I know. You're so trusting and I think you get hurt because of it sometimes. You remind me of a dog who lies on his back, so that we can pet his stomach -- so trusting, but it leaves you vulnerable."

It was a vivid analogy and metaphor. Pat and I talked about it later and realized that being trusting might be one of the traits we have most in common. "I'd rather go through life being too trusting than being cynical," Pat said.

And then another colleague, a relative stranger, asked me to mentor him at work because of another colleague's endorsement: "She said you're passionate, candid and trusting, and that's what I need." That friend is also from a faraway timezone.

In my case, passionate might be a polite way of saying intense, rather than being a euphemism for having a bad temper. Could I change my candid, passionate, trusting nature? Would I want to? Or is it my destiny?

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