A Furry Happy Hour

A Furry Happy Hour

How the journey to happy hour turned into the happiest part of my day!

As I've gotten older, I've found that one of life's happiest moments is the handful of hours between 3 and 6pm on a weekday: happy hour. But this week, happy hour got a lot happier in the hour that preceded the birthday dinner my friend and I shared.

Last Thursday, I planned to take my friend out to a semi-swanky bar/grille for her 22nd birthday. Since we both work in downtown Chicago within blocks of each other, it was only a little past 2:00pm by the time met up. Happy hour didn't start until 3:30; with an hour and a half to spare, we mulled over ideas on what to do until then.

Being inventive, we tried a number of tactics to waste time.

First, we decided we'd walk at half speed the entire length of our trip, thus doubling our 17-minute long walk into 34-minutes of too-chill sauntering. Of course, this didn't work as we're so accustomed to speed-walking through the crowded city streets - rushing our lives away... but I digress. Instead, we decided to stop along the bridge over the Chicago River to take selfies. Obviously, this didn't take more than a few minutes, so we continued on our trek wondering how else we could waste time. Next, we saw a bubbling fountain spitting royal blue dyed water into the air, so naturally, we had to touch it. My fingers turned blue and something touched her hand. Ew.

At this point, we were three minutes out from our destination, but still had about 45 minutes to kill. Defeated, we came upon a place where we could spend time while having the time of our lives - the Anti-Cruelty Society Chicago! At the Anti-Cruelty Society, cats and dogs are taken in, either as strays or animals that have been given up, and cared for while waiting to be fostered or adopted (as well as so many other things!). We decided to head inside and visit with all of the beautiful animals cooped up on this lovely, brisk Autumn day.

As she is allergic, and simply not a cat person, my friend and I signed in at the front desk and immediately split - she went to the dog room and I went to one of two cat rooms. In the first cat room, there were two calico girls eager for a visit. (Calico is a coloration, not a breed). These two cats were clearly related as they were paired together and looked alike. They got along very well, were quiet - but curious, and enjoyed the fact there was somebody there to see them.

The room was well-furnished with a cat tree/tower fit for queens, endless toys, snacks, water, soft beds, and good hiding spots - a paradise for any cat.

Immediately, I took to these two beautiful calicos as they reminded me of my cat, Schön. These cats were not only friendly but playful.

The older of the two was more receptive to petting and playtime, but once I began paying attention to her, like clockwork, the younger cat got a little bit jelly belly and came to rub my hand as well.

For about 25 minutes, I played with, spoke to, and paid attention to these beautiful kitties as they purred and played and basked in the attention they are clearly starving to receive.

That's not to say they aren't well tended to because they certainly are! Still, these cats crave attention and affection as any normal sentient being does, but don't get it as frequently or as regularly as a pet cat does in a permanent home.

When it was time for me to gather my things, I said goodbye to the cats as they rested peacefully in their tower, tuckered out from running and playing, and decided to take a quick stop into the other cats-only room.

The other room was less luxurious than the first one as this room was more of a holding center for new intakes, cats who still needed some extra medical attention or those who weren't as social as the other two.

So I went around to every cage and spoke to all of the cats who were awake - (I didn't want to wake the sleeping beauties!). I then came across a handsome boy who I wanted to say hello to on a more personal level.

After reading the outside of his cage, I found out that his name is Mojo. He meowed softly when he saw me the first time, which is when I knew I needed to spend some time getting to know him outside of the cage.

I asked one of the workers if we could have a little time together; he said yes, directing me to a side room where prospective adopters could have the opportunity to become more acquainted with the cat of their choosing.

As soon as Mojo and I were put in a visiting room, he became a social butterfly like the two calico girls in the other room. Mojo was a big fan of back rubs, ear scratches, and rubbing his wet little nose all over my knuckles while purring loudly and contentedly. (In cat world, that's a very good thing!)

After having noticed my extended absence, my friend came to find me, braving her allergies just to say hello to Mojo as well. Instantly, he rubbed all over her calves and shoes, thus marking her with his scent and letting her know he liked her, too. It was clear that little Mojo was a loving cat who enjoyed the company of two enthusiastic pet lovers.

Soon thereafter, my friend's allergies began acting up, and I realized we had now successfully surpassed the time we needed for happy hour to commence. As we bid farewell to Mojo and made our way back outside, we gushed with enthusiasm and happiness over the wonderful animal encounters we had just had. My friend had fallen in love with a pup with a broken leg, and I had fallen in love three times over with the Mojo and the calicos. (Hey, that could be a band name!)

Though our encounter was unplanned, it was definitely the highlight of our day. And because of our spontaneous visit, we decided that when the semester is done, we want to come back to volunteer at the Anti-Cruelty Society - or, at least come see the animals who are waiting for their forever homes.

Even if you don't have room in your home, your landlord won't allow it, or money is too tight right now, you can take baby steps in making a difference in these pets' lives. We didn't do anything extraordinary, but I can guarantee you that the hour we spent giving well-deserved attention to these precious fluff babies was as much needed for them as it was needed for us. Petting and talking to animals is cathartic and a better cure-all for stress that no amount of alcohol could ever match.

So as for happy hour, I guess you could say we had two that day.

Though our drinks might have only been $6, our precious moments with these animals was infinitely priceless.

Cover Image Credit: Stanley Tigerman

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads


I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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Hey, Bored Sports Fans, There Are Plenty Of Ways To Keep Yourself Entertained This Season

When sports get boring, you have to create your own fun.


It's not always easy being a sports fan. We have to deal with the offseason, sports analysts (who consistently think they know more than fans and athletes do), player injuries, and days going by during the season when our team isn't even playing. It's frustrating, to say the least, and sometimes it can get boring, too.

However, if you're a bored sports fan and want to change this, here's an example of what you can do.

First, go on Instagram and find Tom Brady's page. Once you're there go into the comments of a recent post and type in the following: "Aaron Rodgers is the GOAT." Submit your comment, and prepare to be amazed.

I guarantee that the responses you get will be as entertaining as they will be horrifying. Firstly, given that this is Tom Brady's account, many of his fans will relentlessly attack you. They'll call you names, make comments about your family (who they know nothing about), degrade your looks, and characterize you using every available synonym for "stupid" that exists. There are a few good Samaritans who will refrain from using profanity but will still explain to you why you're incorrect based on statistics, intangibles (such as leadership and likeability), and of course, their "expert" opinion.

Now, if you're lucky, a few brave souls who agree with your comment will come to your defense. They will defend both you and Aaron Rodgers as if you are family. A back-and-forth will occur, and an all-out war of words will take place. You should make it out alive, and hopefully much more entertained.

This concept can be applied to virtually any sports team or player, and the result should be relatively similar. Here are some more comments that should help to keep your nights occupied:

1. Lebron James's Instagram

Go to Lebron James's Instagram page and comment either: "Kobe Bryant is the GOAT" or "Michael Jordan is the GOAT." This can be done interchangeably if you go on either Michael or Kobe's account instead.

2. The Yankees' Instagram

Go to the Yankees' Instagram account and comment: "The Red Socks are better." Although I have to warn you, this comment might get you thrown out of New York.

3. Conor McGregor's Instagram

Go to Conor McGregor's Instagram account and comment: "Khabib Nurmagomedov is better."

4. Michigan State's College Football Instagram

Go to Michigan State's College Football Instagram account and comment: "Ohio State is better."

5. The Houston Rockets's Instagram

Go to the Houston Rockets's Instagram account and comment: "The Warriors are Better."

The list goes on.

Now, while this article is suggesting ways that you can start an online sports argument, I am in no way implying that you should actually go do this. Chances are you might get your feelings hurt and unnecessarily make others angry. So do not participate in any of this — unless of course, you are extremely bored.

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