I’m DeeJAY, and my human, Kourtnie McKenzie, is a writer, educator, and cat nut.
Once Upon a Time
In the foggy Fresno autumn of 2017, she tried to run me over in the Fresno City College parking lot, but I emerged victorious from her car and blapped! onto a chain-link fence. Here’s a picture of the chain-link fence, #nofilter:
Then she picked me up. Took me home. She tells everyone, when she got out of the car to check on me, and found me mewing for help on the fence, she thought she’d run over a squirrel. The nerve…! A squirrel, people.
In My Life Today
I used to tear little kitten claws into the blankets while my human mom tried to sleep. I was a real rascal of a kid.
Now I’m one-and-a-half years old, a young gentleman. I’ve opened a business in the Tower District called DJ’s, and I recently upgraded my catio with a few new poops. I’m loving being alive.
Over the next 5 years, I’m helping my human redesign her life with books, articles, channels, apps, & prototypes of our mutual design.
This is an ongoing (b)log of her progress. We hope you like it.
I make sure my human updates this blog at least 1-7 times/week. She’s not normally on top of it—her pacing’s been messed up for several months—but I am a wired-up King of the Computer Cord Jungle. So I remind her to update her blog with my antics, love bites, and even lovelier talons, like a manager; this is my job.
I have to remind Buttercup to play with me, too! I haven’t figured out a good way to do this yet. My human mother says, Buttercup used to be a mama cat. She kinda is my mama cat now, ever since the parking lot incident.
My human mother’s real writing mojo comes from her monthly challenges; like Tom and Greg said, she’s gotta write more words every day than the day before, and the ramp-up resets at the end of the month. It’s genius, really. So I stick my butt in her face if she stops challenging herself, and the world is good.
If she chooses to meet her daily goal via this blog, great, and if she meets it writing novels, great, and if she meets it drafting poems, great, etc. etc. whatever it takes; I just have to keep reminding her to blog, Instagram, Facebook, novel write, rub my belly frequently, regularly…
While my human frequently travels throughout California for a weekend, most of her joy and suffering happens in the Central Valley, where she lives with:
- my sub-human, Chase;
- seven other (inferior) cats:
- Keeten, a.k.a. Phoebe, the Diva;
- Buh, a.k.a. Buttercup, Mama;
- Philosopher Jones, a.k.a. Philo, the Old Man;
- Gregster, a.k.a. Greg Almond, the Mafia Boss;
- Thomas, a.k.a. Tom Selleck, the Tuxedo Kitty;
- Tuxedo Mask, a.k.a. Other Tuxedo Kitty, the Resident Feral;
- Other Calico Kitty, the Resident Feral’s Sidekick;
- two birds who, I’m sure, I’ll get to eat someday:
- Bozo, a.k.a. Bozo Birdie, Wise Woman, a conure as old as the Old Man;
- Meeper, a.k.a. Mee-Meep-Mee-Meep-Meep, a Meyer’s parrot;
- an assortment of fish in a 5g mini-bow tank:
- Yoko, our teenage betta fish;She was marked as a Betta Baby Girl at Petco, and I bought her and the tank on an impulse in fear no one would get her, but as she’s grown, she’s put on boy fins 😉;
- two assassin snails;
- an assortment of fish in a 10g rectangular tank:
- Benjamin Franklin, a.k.a. Ben;…after President Hoover the salamander betta passed, Benjamin inherited his tank; and we picked him because he looked like the classic betta fish on fish food containers;
- four Glofish, a.k.a. Fruitloops;…they’re just there to enjoy blacklights, one of the steps leading to my sensory sensitivity living room;
- three assorted plants;
- three assassin snails;
- an assortment of fish in a 20g octagon tank:
- Xena, a baby girl betta fish;…with the same noble coloring as recently deceased Hoover, the salamander betta fish;
- two Madagascar lace, royal attendants to Princess Xena;
- two iridescent blue livebearers, a.k.a. Dumdums;…in hopes of nurturing an ecosystem;
- two dwarf Mexican crayfish, a.k.a. Magical Crawdads;…in hopes of nurturing an ecosystem;
- two lotus bulbs;
- three hair plants, to mother any potential fry;…whose parents will want to eat them;
- four fanus ater snails, who play teeter-totter on the marimo moss balls;
- a half-tended, backyard wilderness:
- seven overwintered tomatoes;
- eighteen strawberries in grow bags;
- the ever-crawling, compost-heaped ecosystem on the future mint bed.
My human’s on the autism spectrum with co-morbid depression and anxiety. She likes to write, for hours and hours, while rocking on a wobbly stool; this helps her sort out life. The blog syncs well with that.
Me, I like to sleep, for hours and hours, on the cat stand behind her—so I can kinda dig her blogging vibe, too.
I just don’t get why she stares at books and screens for hours at a time.
I hold a photobook-certified license in beetle slaying. My human, on the other hand, has an MFA in Creative Writing, as well as a BA in English. Thanks to her MFA, and the doors it opened to teaching, she moonlights as a community college professor two nights a week.
My human loves the students at College of the Sequoias and Fresno City College; their education adds a layer of meaning to her life. She chooses to only teach 1-2 classes at each school, so she can focus time on every student, regardless of the current financial issues behind her adjunct life. She believes, long-term, adjuncting is the best path for her to take to inspire her local community to read and write, at least, during her 30s.
My human didn’t succeed at a teaching credential program with National University and Fresno Unified. This wasn’t to fault either National University or Fresno Unified. As much as she loves teachers and educational professionals working to change the K-12 climate, teaching in K-12 personally gave her too much anxiety.
But that’s okay, because she’s a writer first and foremost. As long as she teaches at the community colleges, she’s certain she’s contributing enough to her neighbors and supportive society. With the rest of her time, she writes novellas,Come hell or high water, soon to be on Amazon., poetry and short storiesI’ve put category-based Easter Eggs in the bottom menus that link to some online publications… 😘, and lots of shout-outs to virtual communities via social media.
What do I do with my free time?
I mind-control my humans to upload my selfies onto #catsofinstagram.
Thanks for Visiting!
My human and I are deeply submersed in writing and beetle slaying as a practice, passion, and culture. We appreciate you taking the time to observe our practice.
Be happy, human! 😹 Find joy in everything you observe around you.