Episode 2.15 Complaining About Your Crummy Week with Friends

One time Kaarina and I ate vegan ice cream bars on a beach in Victoria

I don’t know about you but I’m having a crummy week and I really didn’t feel like recording a minisode and Kaarina suggested that we could just chat about our crummy weeks instead so we did that. We talk about complaining, and cats, and roller derby, and barbershop, and teaching, and mentorship, and Glow, and just a whole bunch of things, and here are some links:

  • We talk a little bit about the pleasures of complaint, but did you know that brilliant feminist scholar Sara Ahmed has written extensively about the feminist complaint? I’ll probably do a whole minisode on this at some point, but in the meantime, you can start reading here.
  • Read this if you want to know more about the Toronto attack and the ideology behind it. Content warning for violence and misogyny.

  • If you would like to see my enormous chorus in action, here are our semi-finals and finals packages from Internationals in Vegas last year.

  • Kaarina mentions Notes from a Feminist Killjoy, which you should definitely read if you haven’t yet!

  • Great job. Now let’s all watch this trailer for Unfinished Song and cry.

The podcast theme song is “Mesh Shirt” by Mom Jeans off their album “Chub Rub.” Listen to the whole album here or learn more about them here. Follow me @hkpmcgregor, follow Kaarina @kaarinasaurus, and tweet about the podcast using #SecretFeministAgenda.

Secret Feminist Agenda is recorded on the traditional and unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

5 thoughts on “Episode 2.15 Complaining About Your Crummy Week with Friends

  1. Hi Hannah.

    First of all thank you for this amazing pod cast.
    I listened to this episode on my commute this morning. Although I cannot help you with the rampant and soul crushing misogyny, I might be able to help with the cat problem. I have been fostering cats and working with cats for many years now and have had some charges who were very challenging to get in their carrier. You and Pancakes both do not need 3+ hours of fighting. Is the issue catching her in the first place, or getting her physically in the carrier?

    Feel free to email me. I would be happy to hear more about what the problem is an how to help you both make vet visits easier.

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    • The problem is indeed catching her. She doesn’t like to be picked up or even touched too aggressively/enthusiastically, and she’s very small and very fast. Our event solution was to corner her in the bathroom, but that took work.

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  2. Hi Hannah.

    Humm. Yes. That can be stressful if she is hard to catch in the first place? You are not alone. Most cats hate the carrier. It is common for them to yowl for the entire time they are trapped or even eliminate as soon as they get in. I had one foster who went completely nuts and would flail for dear life, which meant my arms were gouged to shit. But you can get back control.

    Doing a little bit of work on a daily or even weekly basis will make a huge difference for the next time she needs to travel.

    Getting her used to the carrier:

    The first step is to get her comfortable with the carrier. In most homes the carrier only comes out when its time to go to the vet, so it is easy for cats to associate the carrier with a negative experience. If you leave the carrier out all the time, then it stops being a big deal. Ideally you can get her to even like the carrier by making is a safe and fun place. Put her favourite bed or blanket in the carrier, and hide the best treats and her favourite toy in there daily. This will encourage her to explore the carrier on her own. I would even recommend taking the door off for this step as she needs to have free access to come and go as she pleases.

    When she seems like she is going in on her own step up the game by feeding her in the carrier. Food=good times in the cat world.

    Getting her used to being touched:

    This doesn’t need to be invasive or stressful. Hold some of her food in your hand and get her to take a piece at a time directly from you. When she is close give her slow blinks. Breaking up direct eye contact with long, slow blinks, or even looking away is cat language for “I am not a threat”. She might even slow blink back at you. This can honestly be for 1-3 min before dinner time.

    Once she is taking food from your hand give her head a soft pet between treats/ food.
    Over time, as she feels more comfortable, increase the amount of touch and decrease the frequency of treats. Always reward the touch by finishing with a treat.

    Towelling her:

    In the mean time … the towel technique. So great for safely handling angry cats for claw clipping, medication and putting in a carrier. Ideally you will be able to move beyond needing to use the towel, but for right now it will keep both of you safe.

    Isolate her in a small area of the house with the carrier where there are not a lot of places to escape. A bathroom is perfect. Take the towel and slowly drape the it over her covering her completely, even her head. No sudden movements or loud noises. Then put your arms along the length of her body so that her head is facing away from you and wrap the towel under and around her, just like you are wrapping a burrito. Fold the rest of the towel under her bottom for a extra layer of control. Here all her limbs should be held tightly against her body in a nice, tight snuggle. (The official term for this is purrito, or a spicy purrito if the cat is cranky.) From this position you can lift her into the carrier, head first, holding all her limbs close to her body. and quickly close the door behind her. The towel can either stay in with her (she will just climb on top of it) or be pulled out if she is willing to stay in there.

    If this is still hard, start by tipping the carrier so that the front door is facing the ceiling. You will want to prop it against something like a wall so that it is stable. Then put the towel wrapped cat in the carrier backwards and quickly close the door behind her. This step is for cats who are just having none of it!

    Good luck with Pancakes! Hope this helps.

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  3. Hi Hannah,

    This reply is a long time coming….sorry for the delay….life, am I right?!

    I love your podcast. Full stop. It has gotten me through the ever-ending onslaught of man garbage we’ve all been dealing with. I appreciate all the effort you put into making the show educational, interesting, and comforting to those of us who listen.

    This episode was PERFECTION! I live in Toronto and had been feeling a particularly foggy depression I couldn’t fully articulate the week this came out. It was difficult when I was out with friends. I was irritable at home. I couldn’t look away from the news and yet it was overwhelming to read through it. I wanted to SCREAM in public: WHY DO YOU HATE US! Anyway…it was shit. Then I listened to this episode and you so beautifully articulated that which I couldn’t, that which was was suffocating me. And I took a deep breath and listened along with you and Kaarina, and the episode ended and something amazing happened… there was again the peace in solidarity, in community, in powerful rage, and in being a feminist. Thank you, so much!

    Have a great long weekend!
    M

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