Orange Cats in My Life – Part V: The Ones That Got Away

Last year in December I told what I thought was the last part of the Orange Cats in My Life series. I haven’t opened a new chapter since then – it’s still just Rusty who is everything I’ve ever wanted from a cat (though I wish he’d stop eating plastic because it gets really tedious trying to keep plastic-free all spaces accessible to him). But recently I realized that there were more sides of my obsession with cats that I haven’t covered in either those posts about real cats (Found and Lost and Those that have just broken the flower vase…) or imaginary ones (A Grin without a Cat and Love from the First ‘Awww…’). Hence this interquel (it seems to be a real word; I found it while trying to figure out if there was a special term for a story that was a sequel and a prequel at the same time).

***

For many years, while we couldn’t get a real cat, I was drawn to a cat theme in… everything. It doesn’t mean that anything with any cat depiction would do as some non-cat people seem to think (we all like perfumes but there are perfumes and there are perfumes – right?) but I had accumulated a number of cute Christmas ornaments, toys and jewelry featuring that object of my affection, which definitely exceeds any “civilian” person’s interest in felines.

Visual art isn’t something that is present in my day-to-day life. Two-three exhibitions per year at the local museums, three-four hours or until I get extremely bored (whichever comes first) at various museums during vacation trips and an occasional article in New Yorker magazine – that’s the extent of my interest in it. My house is decorated with a couple of enlarged photo prints, two paintings given to me by my father, who knows much more about art, and several ink drawings created by my friend many years ago. From time to time we would visit an art fair or, while on a vacation, walk into one of those galleries that seem to be so popular in all the touristy locations. But most of the objects offered there I cannot classify either as art or even suitable décor pieces – so mostly those visits had an alternate motive of warming up or cooling off (dependent on the weather at the location).

The gallery on the Big Island, in addition to a nice cool environment had also an extra attraction: a large selection of fine and costume jewelry. And while I was killing unswimmable scorching hours searching for a gem (figuratively speaking) among the offerings my vSO was browsing paintings. I do not remember if it was the only work of that author in the gallery, I don’t even know what exactly it was – an oil painting (most likely) or lithography, but it immediately captured our attention.

Nazran Govinder The Shining Sinners

Nazran Govinder, The Shining Sinners. We spent some time dancing around this piece. We almost bought it. But none of us had ever heard of the author; we’d never bought any art before, so we had no point of reference to figure out if the price was even close to be right (around $800, I think). We didn’t have a smartphone or even Internet at the condo back then to do a research. So we arrogantly decided we would do it once we were back at home. Worst come worse, I could always call the gallery and buy it over the phone…

After we came back, I read more about the artist, realized that I previously saw some of his sculptures at other galleries, decided that I wanted to get that painting (and maybe one more), got distracted… By the time I started actively looking for The Shining Sinners the author had suddenly died at age of 44. You can probably imagine what it did to his work. I couldn’t believe that I, all by myself, without reading somebody else’s reviews or articles, discovered an artist, whose paintings I liked, and I missed the chance to buy the piece that I really liked.

***

Once a friend of mine sent me a link to the perfect pair of boots. She said she thought those were made for me.

Camper Cat Boots

What happened next is hard to explain. They were on sale for $100. By Nordstrom. With free delivery & return. They had my size. But I didn’t know the brand (do you see the pattern?) and I thought that maybe I should look for them in a store… By the time I figured out none of the stores around carried Camper (the brand), the boots were gone. I knew everything about them by that time but it didn’t help. I searched all online stores – no luck. I set up the recurring search on eBay – nothing but a misrepresented pair in a bad shape that I bought and returned. I even wrote to Camper Customer Support recently to ask if they ever plan to re-introduce the model – they don’t. The only positive outcome from that experience is that now I and two of my friends who were following my fiasco remember it every time we are about to postpone a purchase that might not happen later. There’s a rule called “Julia’s boots”: buy first, have doubts later.

***

Wouldn’t it be appropriate to round-up the topic telling the story of a missed perfume opportunity? I can’t: not only there are no cat-themed perfumes that I let slip away (like those on the picture below that I borrowed from The Scented Hound’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide) but I don’t have a single regret about any perfume. It’s not that there are no perfumed I wished I could get now that aren’t available – there are plenty of those. But none of them fits the bill of “could have but haven’t.” What about you? Were there any perfumes in your life that got away?

Rare Perfumes

And since it’s almost a New Year Eve here, Happy New Year to all my friends and readers! Be happy, be healthy and let the missed opportunities in your life be only of the caliber of those in this post.

Happy New Year from me and from the most important orange cat in my life.

Happy New Year 2015

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35 thoughts on “Orange Cats in My Life – Part V: The Ones That Got Away

  1. Ooh, as a compulsive researcher, I can relate to your purchase paralysis, which tells such a salutary tale – ‘Julia’s boots’ is a great name for this syndrome of extreme caution. I remember from my marketing studies the term ‘post purchase cognitive dissonance’ for when you regretted buying something shortly afterwards. Your mindset may be the pre-purchase equivalent – everything doesn’t click or feel right till you know more about the provenance and perceived image and value of the item. Breaks off to wish you a Happy New Year – it is just midnight as I type! Camper is a brand I know and I have some ox blood coloured leather boots that are quite timeless and still going strong 14 years on. My felt grey Mary Jane-meets-Noddy shoes (trust me, they were splendid) wore out in the end from constant use.

    The painting reminds me a bit of Rosina Wachtmeister – bold use of colour blocks, cat themes. I do agree that because one likes cats doesn’t mean we want everything with a cat image on. I was given a pvc tote bag for Christmas with kittens on it that isn’t really me at all…ah well. ;)

    • Just remembered the perfume that got away – Plus Que Jamais of course! I saw it in store in Paris in 2009 and even picked up the box, but did that ‘fondle and replace’ trick of mine, which can be the step immediately before Julia’s Boots syndrome kicks in. I thought it was expensive and walked away. Bought a IUNX perfume instead, largely on novelty grounds! I have managed to swap for about 10-15 ml of PQJ since at a guess, so I don’t massively regret the lack of an actual bottle now, especially as I have so much else in my collection.

    • Happy New Year to you too, Vanessa!

      It’s good to hear that those shoes are still doing well a year later :)

      ‘post purchase cognitive dissonance’ doesn’t happen to me too often, which probably can be explained by my tendency to act like a cat: I keep preparing to jump but by the time I decide to pounce the bird is long gone.

  2. Aww darn, I wish those cat boots, in particular, hadn’t gotten away from you: they are that very rare intersection where cute meets chic, and they would have looked rad on you! I will keep the “Julia’s Boots” rule in mind, and will offer it up as justification (to Mark as well as myself) for my next savvy purchase. ;-)

    To answer your question, there have never been any perfumes in my life that got away. Perfumes are easy; it’s the other missed opportunities in life that are my regrets (luckily there aren’t too many of those, but a few). Here’s wishing you and yours – and the magnificent Rusty, naturellement! – a Happy New Year!!

  3. Those cat boots are amazing, Undina, and I weep for you. Although my love of cats (which goes far beyond civilian) doesn’t express itself in many trinkets, I know where you’re coming from – they’re simply the best. :)

    I’m too new at the perfume game to really regret missing out on anything – but once… once… once I passed up the fig tree from heaven at a local nursery – filled with juicy figs the size of my fist, bursting with ripe, sugary sweetness. That tree was amazing. But when I wanted to buy it Clint was like “How many fig trees can you have? We already have 3!” So I didn’t buy that fig tree and it *haunts* me… it truly does. Especially when summer comes round and my inferior fig trees produce small inferior fruits… *sigh*

    I hope to never make this same mistake again! Be it in the garden, perfume, or else!

  4. Happy New Year, dear Undina! In the picture, Rusty looks like he is on the verge of doing a Linda Blair head spin (I was horrified when I googled what she looked like in that scene…still shuddering).

    Anyway, my natural spontaneous purchasing tendency usually prevents Julia’s Boots Syndrome. Surprisingly I do have a perfume that got away – Slumberhouse Zahd. I took my time looking at the notes and even asking TheFragrantMan Jordan a question and by the time I was ready to buy, all 125 bottles sold out! I got a sample of it from one of my NYSniffa buddies but of course, I have to hunt down where that sample landed. Another one that got away was the Tauer Rose Flash although really by the time I heard about it (I think you mentioned it first), it was already too late.

  5. Happy new year, Undina. Rusty is as handsome as ever.

    I LOVE cats. I’ve always lived with cats but unfortunately I can’t have one at this moment… When I travel, I’ll be taking more photos of the local cats than the photos of people. In fact, just the other day, I was thinking about dedicating a blog post to the cats I befriended here and there. I don’t blindly collect cat themed objects, like I don’t collect every single perfumes on the market. Need to have a certain “click”.

    I’ve never had a perfume slip through my fingers… With perfumes, there always have been a second chance. Althrough, in Egypt, I missed an opportunity to acquire a beautiful alabaster Bastet stature…

    • Happy New Year to you too, Magpie! I hope it will be peaceful for you.

      I love the idea of the cat-centered blog post! I take a lot of pictures of other people’s cats as well. I will probably share them one day.

  6. I suffer from Julia’s Boots syndrome. I buy a lot of things spontaneously but a good percentage of stuff I spend too much time overthinking whether I should buy it or not and then when I make up my mind it’s gone. There are perfumes that got away from me too. Slumberhouse Baque was one. I tried it, I loved it, I waited too long and *poof* it was gone.
    Happy New Year to you and your handsome kitty!

    • Thank you, poodle. Happy New Year to you too!
      As I told in my reply to Vanessa, that behavior reminds me of how some cats do it. While preparing to jump and switching from one paw to the other, they might loose the focus or do it long enough not only for one bird but for the whole flock to fly away.

  7. Lovely post, dear Undina!
    I’m with Ines here. Since I live in fear of missing out and things being gone, I rather err on the side of regretting the purchase than regretting that the item got away from me.

    Rusty, my dear beautiful cat, this is another stunning photo of you. Give your “parents” lots of cuddles and cat kisses!

    • Thank you, dear Birgit – from me. And Rusty, once he gets his extra treats, will be at least happy (if not grateful) ;)

      I’m somewhat more cautious with not purchasing now, especially when a return is easy. But I think that I still have to keep reminding myself of the rule from time to time.

  8. Dear Undina!
    Have a very wonderful year ahead, hope it will be one of the best years in your life.

    I loved reading your post about the cats that got away. I loved that paining with square-shaped cats that unfortunately you didn’t manage to buy. I just wonder why the author decided to name it “shining sinners”. And those boots, they are so cute! Here in Poland they would definitely attract everyone’s attention.

    I know the pain of “something got away” – I also prefer to know something about the brand/manufacturer before I buy from them. Just as I prefer to buy a perfume that I already tested, rather than buy it unsniffed. Happened to me with Prada Amber Pour Homme Intense. I foud it in one of the online perfumeries in Poland but I didn’t know the scent. I was drawn to the scent but wanted to make sure I like it. When I tried it and wanted to buy, it was out of stock in the shop. Luckily it returned after some time (at a lower prize) so at first place it got away, but in the end, I got it.

    Love Rusty picture with his head turned around by the Christmas tree. And his tail is so fluffy.

    • Thank you, Lucas. I wish you all the best in the New Year. Rusty’s tail is one of his most attractive attributes.

      I don’t know why he named the painting this way. I’ll investigate and report back.

      I’m very persistent, so I keep looking for those things that I let escape. So one day…

  9. Love the “Julia’s boots” rule :) After all, life is short! Also, thanks as always for the holiday pictures of Rusty! Perhaps the plastic is what makes his coat so shiny and fluffy?

  10. Love love love the boots, I can understand your regrets. I try NOT to collect cat themed things, just to not get too cutesy, but those boots… At some point I will have a cat, even if it doesn’t fit right now. Yes,I’ve had regrets, but first of all, the reason I didn’t buy was always financial, so I can’t really fault myself, and secondly I do think that you get second chances if you look hard and long enough. I hope that will happen for ‘Julia’s boots’ too.
    A very happy new year to you ( and Rusty of course)

    • If you cannot buy something, it’s not the same. You still might regret the situation but you cannot blame yourself for not acting.
      I keep looking for all the items I once missed and hope to still find them one day.

      Happy New Year, Asali!

  11. Awwwww- especially about the painting!!!! Sometimes you just need to trust your eye! Easier said than done, i know. Like Vanessa and you, i am a compulsive researcher so i sympathize..:). But the perfume that got away has nothing to do with research: vintage shalimar from the 60s in an umbrella bottle on etsy. I put it on my birthday wish list but of course it was gone. I did buy a half bottle of vintage shalimar subsequently at a thrift store but the bottle was broken at the mouth and the vintage a bit uncertain ( it is one of my prized possessions though). The other was coty’s rose- it is too difficult to spell it on the iphone ( i am typing on my phone..:)).

    • At some point I stopped using the phone to write anything – too frustrating. Now I only read there.

      With vintage perfumes the only deterrent factor should be price. If it’s not a factor, then you have to buy it when you see it – or it might be gone forever.

  12. Glad I finally caught up with this great post. A belated Happy New Year Undina!

    That painting and the boots are wonderful – you have at least proved you have great taste. My mother’s version of “Julia’s boots” is “It’s better to have it and not want it than to want it and not have it”.

    Pleased to hear this hasn’t been the case with perfume at least. The only one I wish I picked up on ebay when I saw it is Attrape-Coeur.

    Love that great pose of Rusty’s. I truly appreciate his feline charms even if I am a “civilian” when it comes to cats :)

  13. Happy New Year Undina! There have been several perfumes that I have gotten away from me, but to be honest, I couldn’t tell you what they are because they don’t mean anything to me like they did at the time. Thus said, I am trying to be more selective in my purchases and my wants. Of course, this is the philosophy until the next item that I can’t live without comes into my view!

    As for Rusty, you need to start selling him as a marketing commodity. They say that Grumpy Cat has made several million dollars this past year. Rusty is much cuter!

    xoxooxxo

    Steve

    • Steve, I think you might be as indiscriminate in your wants as you wish – as long as you exercise some moderation in your purchases ;)

      You are right about Rusty being cuter so I shouldn’t probably tell him that I spent the last 4 days, while on a trip, wearing a t-short with Grumpy cat as a part of my loungewear. I should probably order one with a picture of Rusty.

  14. Pingback: My Vega, My Sin – About a Vintage Perfume and a Black Cat | The Sounds of Scent

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