Great Interview Experiment: uncouth heathen Interviews Jenipurr


A few days ago I shared Down To Earth Mama’s interview of me for the Great Interview Experiment.  I hope you took a chance to read it because I am pretty hilarious and she asked some really interesting questions.  Below I’ve posted my interview of Jenipurr.  (There are two parts – my original questions and then my follow-up and closing questions.)  She has six cats!  SIX CATS!  That’s one of the most horrible things I have ever heard in my life, but she seems to enjoy it so, you know…to each her own.  Despite the fact that she repeatedly refused to take our cats, I think you should head on over to her site after this and read more about her.

Part I

Cats.  You like cats and I see that you have several of them.  I have three.  How many of them will you take off my hands?  One comes with her own bottle of flavored liquid Prozac which I hear is also safe for humans.  A friend told me that, just so you don’t think it is based on any sort of feline drug trials I have been running out of our storage room.  No, absolutely not.

Wow – kitty Prozac. Closest I’ve come to that is when one of our previous cats had to go on Buspar a few times (he had aggressive fixation issues), and  also we had to put our two torties Paxil for a few months a while back. We’ve got six, and I think that’s our limit for now. I’ll admit there are times when I wonder why it is I thought having all these cats would be fun, but 90% of the time, it’s really nice to have a horde of purring critters around the house.

You and my sister share a first and middle name, which is weird, but my sister wasn’t born in 1969, as your website says you were.  Are you my sister?  Why or why not?

My mom says when I was born, when they first brought a baby to her, they actually brought the wrong baby (apparently I was still squalling out in the hall). so maybe that was actually the right baby, and I’m actually the wrong one and somewhere along the way we’re related. Or it could just be that Jennifer was an insanely popular name for such a long time (and I think half my friends in grade school had the same middle name as me).

If you were going to take in another cat, and let’s just assume you’ve refused to take mine (but you shouldn’t because they’re free!), what would you name it?

It really would have to depend on the cat. Usually, when I get a new cat, I just wait for the right name to come to me (although I have to admit I would love to get a pair of torties and name them Petunia and Begonia, just because).

What is your favorite thing about cats, in general?  Mine is when they stick their back leg up in the air as high as possible while they’re cleaning themselves as well as how delicious they taste with a little barbecue sauce.

I will sometimes joke that one of the benefits of having lots of cats is that we’ll be all set when the famine sets in (although I guess I ought to work on fattening them up a bit more, first). As for my favorite thing, hmm. It’s hard to pin it down, I think. I love watching them play. I love sitting at my computer with one or two purring kitties on my lap. You have to earn their affection and respect. A lot of people have this mistaken impression that cats are so aloof and cold. I just figure those people never actually spent much time with cats.

You’re childless by choice.  I read that somewhere on your website, I think.  If this is false, let’s just pretend it’s true.  Why do you hate kids?

Yes, it’s true. I think I’ve always known that I didn’t want to be a mom. I tried to convince myself a few times along the way that I could do the whole mom thing, but…it just isn’t me. However, that doesn’t mean I hate kids. I like them just fine (with a little barbecue sauce, of course), just as long as they belong to someone else.  I enjoy being an aunt and I love hanging out with my friend’s kids. It’s just that I don’t have any maternal twinges of my own. If I ever had a biological clock, apparently someone forgot to wind it.

My lady and I are going to have kids as soon as we can find someone to babysit them for free.  What are your plans for the next several years?

Wait, isn’t that what grandmas are for?

I see you are a knitter.  I knitted once.  I’m not legally allowed to knit any more after an unfortunate incident while attempting to purl.  I’m just kidding, I don’t even know what purling is.  It sounds like a sport those ridiculous Canadians made up.  Anyhow…what are your favorite things to knit?  Also, do you knit yarn animals?  I am assembling a yarn animal army.

I think the Canadian sport you’re thinking of is curling, which as far as I can tell, involves people moving a big rock around on ice with brooms. Or at least that’s what I recall from some movie I saw a long time ago. But back to the question – I learned to knit about 4 or 5 years ago, and really enjoy it. I suspect the reason why it appeals to me is that underneath the pointy sticks and yarn, it is all just a bunch of math, and I am just a big nerd. Favorite things to knit would be socks, because handknit socks are way nicer than store bought socks and I now have enough that that’s pretty much the only kind of socks I wear, and lace, because I enjoy being challenged with my patterns, and the more complicated lace pieces tend to be extremely challenging. As for yarn animals, so far I’ve knit a hedgehog, a penguin, a nautilus, some seriously cute chickens, and a platypus. Oh, and also a Dalek (although technically that’s an evil alien and not so much an animal).

So, I think you have a tattoo of two cats.  Do you have any others (tattoos)?

No other tattoos, yet. Every once in a while I ponder getting another, but so far nothing’s jumped out and grabbed me.

You’re participating in National Novel Writing Month.  Are you on schedule?  Do you want to share what you’re writing about?  Can you at least tell me who the “harbinger of doom” is?

Currently I am actually a little ahead of schedule, so unless I hit an epic writers block of fail, I should reach the 50,000 word goal by end of month. Since I deliberately avoided any plotting or outlining beforehand, my story has done a little bit of wandering, but the general concept is that this woman has inadvertently brought about the total destruction of her world. Lucky for her, she managed to cross into another dimension before it happened, otherwise it’d be a really short story. Unlucky for her, in the new dimension she’s gone into, everyone’s decided she’s there to fulfill this ancient prophecy about destroying things (but not another world, because that would just be silly and redundant). Plus there are elves, because every good fantasy story should have elves. So I guess it’s kind of a romantic fantasy with apocalyptic undertones, or…something (hey, I never claimed it was a *good* story).

The last time I did this whole interview experiment thing, the person I interviewed never even mentioned it on her website or anything.  It was like it never happened.  Should I be offended or should I wait until later, when you also refuse to admit that this magical chance encounter between two consenting adults ever happened?

Never fear, I shall gladly admit to the interview, in public and on my blog and everything! (but sorry, I still can’t take any of your cats).

Part II

I can’t imagine having six cats. Do you ever regret it? Do you ever want to throw them all outside? Do you ever want to steal their anxiety medication because maybe you need it more after all the horrible things they have done like pee on your brand new winter coat?

Oh yes, sometimes I really question having cats (mainly just ‘having cats’, not so much the number). Because I’ve had a lot of them with serious issues, there’s been some drama and I admit that there are days I really look forward to the last of the Cats with Issues passing on, so that we can have nice furniture and don’t have to worry about someone peeing in inappropriate places. But most of the time I love having a little horde of cats and (with the exception of Checkers who would be just as happy if every other cat disappeared forever) the cats all seem to be quite happy to have each other.

Most people we know aren’t cat people and you’re right, they all think cats are aloof and cold. I try to tell them that they have their own nutty little personalities and they can be warm, especially if you douse them with gasoline before you light them on fire. Do you have family and friends who aren’t truly appreciative of your cat army, or do most love them about as much as you do? Also, who watches them when you go out of town and how much do they charge?

We had cats when I was growing up (although we usually only had one at a time). So I’ve definitely been a cat person from the very beginning, although I know my parents didn’t expect that to lead to the fostering of piles of itty bitty kittens, and then eventually ending up with a half dozen of my very own. My parents are currently catless, but both my sisters have cats (although they’ve only got 2 or 3, not 6) and their kitties are definitely well loved members of their families. As for our friends, most of them tend to be pet people of some kind, so there never seems to be any issue with our fuzzy horde (plus, our friends only ever see four of ours, which probably helps). As for when we travel, we’ve been really lucky to find a terrific local pet sitter (although it’s been a while since we were both out of town at the same time so I can’t remember how much she charges.

Oh man, it sounds like you’re knitting yourself a special group of yarn animals and I’m getting seriously jealous over here! Do you sell your knits or do you mostly keep them for yourself and those around you? If you’re going to start up an Etsy store (assuming you haven’t already) will you sell me a hedgehog, a chicken and, if you can find a pattern, a squirrel? I could be your best customer.

Heh. A lot of the stuff I knit is for someone else, whether it’s a gift, or a pattern I’m test knitting, or commissioned work. I’ve never really thought about selling it, mainly because if I had to make the same thing over and over, I’d get bored.

Alright, so, November is over. Did you reach the NaNoWriMo goal? How many words did you finish with and will you continue to work on it and try to publish someday? The first book I thought of when you mentioned entering other dimensions was Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, which I recently read and loved. Only slightly related, I wanted to ask you who your favorite authors are and what one book has changed your life.

I did, indeed, reach my Nanowrimo goal, just a little bit over the 50,000 words. I have not, however, finished the actual story, and I have to admit I haven’t touched it since November 30th. I suspect once I get back to it, I’ll just need to go in and redo large chunks of it because the plot went through a few changes during the process. Any thought of actual publication would have to wait until the story itself is finished and edited and reviewed so…I wouldn’t hold my breath there.

Not really sure I can pinpoint any one book that has changed my life. I loved Watership Down because it has the most wonderful explanation of myths and gods, and how they come about, and that’s really stuck with me ever since I first read it. As for my favorite authors, I think right now, that would be Terry Pratchett. I love how he deals with serious issues within the context of the Discworld that he has created, and the stories can be at the same time laugh out loud funny, and extremely sad and poignant. If you’ve never read any Terry Pratchett I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Good Omens, which is a book he co-wrote with Neil Gaiman. It is one of my very favorite books that I will never get tired of rereading.

If I take a look inside your refrigerator what would I find?

Right now, it’s pretty empty, but that’s because we finally got around to cleaning it out. Usually it’s got a lot of veggies, since we get a CSA box delivered to our door every other week. Plus the random assortment of sauces, jams, jellies, cheese.

What websites or blogs do you read on a regular basis?

Right now I’ve got 230 subscriptions on Google Reader. I suspect you don’t want me to list out every single one of those (grin). So…if I had to pick out just a few of my favorites, they would be:

Yarn Harlot, Crazy Aunt Purl, A Little Pregnant, Love & Hisses, Whatever, The Panopticon, Joy the Baker, Sundry, Present Simple

Describe the perfect sandwich.

Peanut butter and honey on homemade bread

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? The worst?

Be yourself (yes, that works for both of those – heh)

Without thinking, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind for the following:

What’s in a bathroom?: soap
PURPLE!: pansies
Xena: Warrior Princess: leather
Cupcakes!: too much frosting!
What is something people shout?: Ow! (okay, maybe that’s just in my house – the kittens really like to climb and people are merely walking trees)

Thank you , Jenipurr!


  1. Amy Higgins
    December 17, 2009

    That was fun to read! I wasn’t surprised by any of the answers (she’s my sister and I know her pretty well) but I truly enjoyed the humor and thought that went into the questions. She never said whether she’d make you a squirrel though! She’s knit me a couple of seriously cute chickens; I keep telling her she needs to SELL THEM! She could make millions and then we could buy our alpaca ranch….

  2. heathen
    December 17, 2009

    Ooh! I love alpacas! 🙂

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