When you give a cat a bed …

When you give a cat a bed, the cat will ignore the bed.  Always.

When I first adopted my kittens, I went out and bought two cat beds from a pet store figuring they would each use one bed.  I have had them for two months now and I have only seen them in the beds twice: once on the afternoon that they came home with me and then later that night.DSC_0360

So where do they sleep?  Usually not these beds.  Most of the time they either sleep on my bed or cuddle up in their cat tree.


But I have an idea for something new to try.  I finished some clementines the other day and decided to give the box to the cats.  Then this happened:


I think I’m going to put a blanket in the box and see it keeps getting used as a bed.  I hope so!  But these are cats I’m talking about, and it is very likely that they will lose all interest in the box as soon as I start calling it a bed.

Name updating status

I had my name legally changed a few weeks ago, which is a relief because my old drivers license basically stopped working.  When I went to adopt my cats the woman at the Humane Society took one confused look at my license and immediately told me “this isn’t you.”

I’m honestly surprised at just how easy the entire process has been.  I was in front of a judge for a whole 30 seconds, just long enough to verify my old name, age, and that I’ve been living in the county for at least a year.   Easy!

I’ve heard that the difficult part of a legal name change is updating everything afterwards, but that part hasn’t been too bad (so far).  The Social Security Administration office took about 45 minutes to work through, and there were only 3 people in front of me at the Secretary of State.  In a little over an hour I had updated my Social Security card, drivers license, car title and car registration.

I have been visiting as many places in person as I can, and showing my court papers in person.  The longest part is usually waiting for my turn in line and actually talking to a representative to update my account takes less than 5 minutes.  This was way better than I was expecting, but I suppose it helps that I am doing all of this over the holidays when I have extra time.

I can already tell that updating the deed to my condo is going to be more challenging.  The county Register of Deeds told me that I would have to find a title company and have the deed redrafted, which hopefully won’t take too long.  I am not expecting this change to be free.

I am going to tackle updating my name at work (and therefore with my health insurance company) after New Years.  I hope everything goes smoothly!

How did I pick my name?

One of the most common questions I have been asked the last several months is “How did you pick your name?” so it seems like a good topic for a quick blog post!

I chose my first name (Anna) last January.  I had tried out several names in my head since at least freshman year of college, but none of them really felt like they fit.  My solution was to copy what other transpeople had done for renaming themselves:  I looked up how popular my old name was in the year I was born, and found the matching female name.  I found “Bryan” ranked number 54, and when I slid my eyes over to the female column my first thought was “Anna … that’s a palindrome!”.  The name stuck.

My middle name was easier to pick out.  I already knew that my old middle name (James) was my Dad’s first name, and I decided long ago to stick with the naming pattern and choose my Mom’s first name (Michele).  I still considered others, just in case I found something that I liked better, but in the end I kept coming back to “Michele” since it just felt … right.

Cats Playing With Water

I was brushing my teeth last night and, like usual, my cats both made their way onto the bathroom counter. They seemed curious about the water running in the sink, so I left it running a bit and watched them play. While brushing my teeth this morning I pulled out a camera and took pictures 🙂


Corran and Mirax have noticed the water!


… and Corran chooses to investigate!  (Also, I hope Mirax isn’t chewing on my toothbrush).


“I can touch it, but I can’t hold it.  What is this substance??”


I think she’s just thirsty.  I wonder if I should find an upstairs water bowl for them?

Why I can never be “stealth”

For many trans-people, one of the biggest goals after transition is to go “stealth”. This means hiding your past from everybody your interact with so that nobody knows your true history.

I don’t think I can ever do this.

First, putting yourself into a situation where nobody knows your past is very challenging. Packing up and moving to another town where nobody would know me is a big decision to make, especially since it would mean leaving behind all of my friends. My friends were super-supportive of me during my transition, and I could never just abandon them after everything they have helped me through. So even if I was to move to a new place, far away from the people that know me, I would still have an issue with all of my identification that declares me to be male. The state of Michigan requires reassignment surgery before I can fix the gender marker on my ID, and that is a huge step that I haven’t even begun to wrap my brain around yet.

But there are other reasons I could never be completely stealth, as well. I like to joke about my transness with the people I’m close to, for example: just the other day I proudly declared that I’m a Time Lord on her second incarnation (and regeneration in real life takes way longer than it does on Doctor Who!). If I was ever stealth, it would mean I’m no longer able to speak the amusing comments that sometimes pop into my head, and that just wouldn’t be fun.

Just because I’m not completely stealthy doesn’t mean I go around broadcasting my history to strangers. I don’t introduce myself to somebody with “Hi, I’m Anna and I’m transgender!” since that would just be awkward. I know I pass well, and that gives me the freedom to choose who I want to reveal my past to. Sure, it’ll require some basic trust building when I make friends with somebody new but that’s okay. My new friends will get there eventually.