Friday, March 11, 2011

A startling lack of acceptance

** Warning: The happy Kitten is not in today. What follows is a bit of a rant. **
I always talk about how proud I am that my local community is so accepting. If I manage to continue this blog, you're likely going to see that come up frequently. But right now, I'm feeling as though someone is out to prove me wrong.
Yesterday, on FetLife, a rant went up. It started simply, if snarkily enough. I'm paraphrasing here, but just barely: Is it just me, or is everyone suddenly into the AB/Little lifestyle? A trend, I assure you, that I will not be following.
(Brief pause to explain. AB stands for "Adult baby". AB/Little play is a term used to explain the kink of age regression. For many, it has nothing to do with sexuality. That isn't true for all, but it is for most. It also isn't about incest. It is about going back to feeling safe, loved, protected and innocent. For the AB's, it often involves wearing diapers, for all it involves dressing like a child, coloring in books, and playing with toys and letting all the worry and stress of adult life vanish. It is a very tabboo and misunderstood part of BDSM. In many places, people really frown on it and shun those who admit to being into it, so many AB's and Littles hide that side of themselves.)
Our community is different. It has always been very open and accepting. We are enormously open minded in many respects. Many still don't understand the kink, and are not into it, but they openly accept and encourage those who are. I'm all for that. But that one note spawned an entire day's worth of commenting. There were over 60 comments by the time I went to bed. Some were defending the AB's and Littles, but the ones who weren't, were very confrontational, going so far as to call the group closet pedophiles.
This was followed by something else. The BBW (big beautiful woman) issue. When it comes to fashion, even fetish fashion and photography, when a photographer wants to do a hot and sexy shoot, they almost always choose the thin girls. Unless it's for a BBW fetish series. A bunch of we larger women decided it would be fun to get together and do a BBW shoot, with one of the really talented local photographers. A very positive thing... I thought it was, until someone who is actually a good friend of mine bitched to me about how she felt left out because she was thin. This was a "what the fuck?" moment for me. How dare we exclude the type that always gets the sexy spotlight... we're such bad people. Much as I adore the one who said that, I have to admit it got my hackles well and truly up, though I kept it from her.
So, the Kitten is a bit cranky today. But will stop ranting now.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Kitten's First Leatherwork Project

I'm one of those sorts who wants to be crafty, but is not. I want to be able to make nifty things with my hands, especially fun and kinky stuff, but I simply never knew how.
However, that is about to change. Yes, indeed, the Blind Kitten is going to (attempt to) make her very first kink leather project. Namely a collar.
I got the inspiration this morning. I want a central o ring, that would sit against the throat, then strips of leather connecting it to two smaller O rings to either side. Two more leather strips, then two more smallish O rings, and finally two last strips that meet at the back by the buckle. Should be able to do it all with rivets, so with a little bit of help, this might just work.
Now, to decide if I dare aim high enough to attach kitty bells, and if it should be all black, or contrasting black and deep blue. Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Blind Kitten 101

So, now that you have found this corner of the interwebs, you might be wondering who I think I am. This is the section most likely to change on a frequent basis, as I think of new things I want to add. So, check back for edits and updates.

A) Blind - Well, mostly. I get a lot of questions about this. I have no sight at all in my right eye. Zip, zilch, nada, and have not had any since I was six, so am used to it. In the left eye, it is as though someone smeared a thick layer of vaseline over a window. I see swirly, blurry shapes and colors. My pupil is always dilated, so I am quite sensitive to light. I see it very well. Too well. However, I do not view any of this as a handicap. In fact, it is something of a blessing in disguise. So don't pity me, I don't pity myself.
B) Height: 5'6", or very nearly, and content with it. Though I'll still wear heels and become taller.
C) Weight - 223 lbs at my last weighing.
D) Hair: Subject to change without notice. Currently a combination of a darker, sort of blood-red undertones with brilliantly bright (so much so I can see it in direct sunlight), fire-alarm-red shade, and I am also in the process of growing it out again. It is thick, slightly curly, and soft. I think it is my best feature, personally. At the moment, it has grown to halfway down my back.
E) Other stuff - Dark blue eyes, kind of. Fair, soft skin. B cup breasts. Also, I'm cute. Mew.
F) Cute - Well, I think I am. Granted, I can't see my own reflection in a mirror.
A) Kitten - This is hard to explainin a short blurb, but I have the personality and character traits of a kitten. This is a bit deeper than just me being cute and playful, though there's some of that, too. I do kitten-play in the BDSM scene, but again, it goes a bit deeper than that. But if you treat me like a kitten, I'm going to be happy.
B) Submissive - Yes, I am a kinky wench. I am very much into the whole BDSM thing, and I identify as submissive. That doesn't mean I am a door mat, though. Anyone who knows me would likely snort out loud at the very idea of me being a meek little thing.
C) Shy - At first, yes, I am. When you get to know me, I'll open right up, but when you don't, I am unlikely to make the first move to start up a conversation. Also, plunk me in the middle of a group, and I will shut up quick. This only seems to apply to groups, though. One on one, or online, I'm a lot more open. I also am a lot less shy when acting in one of my official capacities (ie: Volunteer Coordinator or, board member, or member of the orientation committee)
D) Sensual - I am not just talking about sex, though hey, I do love sex. I am addicted to my senses, especially touch. I am a texture junkie, from the glossy smoothness of leather to the soft rasp of velvet, to the whisper of silk. I like to touch others, and be touched in return. Scents have a strong influence on me, both positive and negative. I love different kinds of light, especially the soft, silver radiance of a full moon or flickering orange-gold glow of candlelight. Tastes can make me melt into a puddle, and sounds tell me a lot about my environment, and can heavily sway my emotions. So, yes. I am addicted to all five senses, even the one that doesn't work so well.
E) Self Deprecating - If you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at? I crack jokes about my blindness all the time. Or other aspects of myself. It is just my way.
F) Affectionate - I am a total cuddle slut. I will hug, snuggle, stroke, touch, grope... well... you get the point. I don't always have to know you well, though I am usually faster to do this with those who identify as female than those who identify as male. I don't know why that is. So, if you are uncomfortable with this, I urge you to either gently let me know, or else don't come too close.
G) Geek - And proud of it. I am smart. I read fantasy and science fiction. I should really make wikipedia or google my home page, since I will randomly go off and research something that has just caught my interest.
H) Spiritual - I am not religious. I do not belong to any particular faith. But I am a deeply spiritual person.
I) Girly: I like pink. I like pretty things. I like to dress up. But, and I realize how odd this is, I loathe shopping. All in all, though, I'm very girly.
J) Dedicated: I am very much dedicated to the local BDSM community. This includes the local playspace/society, the Society of Bastet, which I will always work to support and expand, but it goes further than that. The community is more than our society, and I consider myself dedicated to the whole, both as an entire group, and the individuals that make it up. Gods know we aren't perfect, but there are an awful lot of wonderful people in it.
K) Vulnerable - I tend to swing back and forth on this one. At heart, there is a lot of vulnerability, but I'm like a pendulem when it comes to showing it or hiding it. That does mean that I do need reassurance. Even if I'm not actively seeking it, or pretending I don't mean it, when it comes down to it, I do. That doesn't mean I'm weak or emotionally frail, because I'm not. It just means I'm human.
L) Poly: I know polyamory means different things to different people. To me, it means I am capable of loving more than one, and that love of one does not diminish love of another. It does not mean that I am having sex with everything that moves or offers. But, if you have any interest in me, you have to be able to accept this, as it is unlikely to change. However, the precise terms are negotiable. If I found the right partner, say, I could very likely limit myself to only playing with others without sex or emotion, but it would have to be a very special person.
M) Sassy: I most certainly can be. I'm not quite in the brat category, mind you, as I don't do this just to get punished/attention, but I am definitely a sub with an attitude, sometimes.
N) Independant - Sometimes, too much so. This is particularly true where it relates to my blindness. I am submissive, and I do crave control, but there are parts of my spirit that will always want to fly free and do things for myself, and it is in your best interest to respect that, or you'll find me chafing against the restrictions. I suppose the trick is to work with me to figure out together which parts need the control, and which the freedom. I chalk this up to my feline aspect.
O) Shameless Flirt - This is actually an understatement. Once I get past the shyness, I will flirt with pretty much anyone. Usually, it doesn't mean a thing but that I like you, but if it makes you uncomfortable, please just gently tell me, and I will cease and desist.
P) Adorable - I am damned fucking cute, and proud of it.
What A Girl Wants
This is more specific to anyone wondering what it takes to get me. Men always say that women are hard to figure out and there should be a book. This isn't that book, but it is a good guideline for me.
A) Intelligence - Biggest aphrodesiac ever. I'm sorry, but if I perceive you as less intelligent than I am, I won't respect you enough to be interested. The good news is that I tend to assume you to be intelligent until proven wrong. The bad news? I will judge your intelligence by your use of the English language. So don't start sending me badly written messages, or talk to me like you dropped out in first grade.
B) Dominant - Do I want you to pull me over your shoulder and carry me off, caveman style? Well, okay, there are times that appeals to me, but really... not so much. Outside of play, I prefer a far more subtle domination, but I am still old fashioned enough to prefer you to take the lead.
C) My Hair - Nothing will both get my attention and make me weak in the knees faster than grabbing me by the hair and pulling. Pull softly. Pull firmly. It doesn't matter, this is one of my biggest triggers. I mean it. Try it and see what happens.
D) Affection - I might want you to flog me until I scream, tie me down and have your rough way with me, but I also want you to hold me, stroke my hair and flesh, and tell me I am a good girl. I want to be nurtured.
E) Anticipation - If you want to do something to me, tell me about it. In lurid detail. I'll likely wind up whimpering if you do this... and wanting it as much as you do.
Miscellaneous Facts
These are things that just didn't fit anywhere else, really.
A) I sleep with a stuffed animal. While I am emotionally attached to it (a teddy bear Sir gave me), any stuffed animal, or pillow, will do. I just need to wrap my arms around something and tuck it under my chin to be comfortable.
B) If I could choose an epitaph for my own eventual tombstone, it would simply be: She loved.
C) I have crazy exam phobia. It doesn't matter how much ass I've kicked on preceding ones or how well I know my stuff. In the last day or two before one, I become convinced I will utterly fail. And I bitch about this fact. It's probably very annoying to witness.
D) I analyze myself way too much.
E) My favourite pet name of endearment is kitten. My favourite derogatory one is slut.
F) Some day, I really want to swim with dolphins.
G) My favourite place in all the world is Disney. I want to go there with kinky friends... don't ask me why. If I got married, I'd want to go there on a honeymoon. It's my happy place.
H) Every time I comment on a picture, I wonder how many people are confused by it.
And there you have it. Any questions? Ask, I obviously have no problem with baring my soul.

FAQ of the Blind Kitten

What follows is semi tongue-in-cheek, and semi serious. Most things I write about myself do have some humour in them, and this is no exception, but I do get asked these questions a lot. Well, I've been asked all of them at least once.
Q. Um. I don't want to offend you by asking, but how did you get blind?
A. First of all, no question is going to offend me, that's almost impossible when it comes to blindness. I can't promise not to laugh if the question isn't particularly bright (see below for an example of this), but I won't be offended. This one is actually the most frequently unasked, but wondered about question.
The answer is long, though, and can be found in the previous post.
Q. Hey, how on earth do you use the computer?
A. For me personally, I have a text-to-speech program called JAWS (job access with speech). It converts everything that is in text, and reads it to me, with inflections for punctuation. It's sometimes utter crap with names, though. And even worse when things are misspelled.
Others use other ways. If you're just low vision,you can get programs to magnify the screen, and there are also Braille display keyboards, where there is a row at the very bottom with little pins. These pins pop up to form a line of Braille for a line of text, so you can read line by line. I hate Braille, though, and avoid it.
Q. You just answered the phone by greeting me by name. How the hell did you do that?
A. Talking stuff, again. I have a talking call display that speaks the number of the person calling. I learn to recognize numbers that frequently call. I also have a talking watch, talking clock... hell, half the things I own talk to me. Or maybe that's just in my mind.
Q. Hey, Blind Kitten, can you check out my picture?
A. Nope, I can't. I do have a bit of sight, enough to see lights and distinguish very vague shapes and some colours, but all I see from my laptop's screen is a blue-white light.
Q. Dude, how the hell do you type?
A. I was taught to type at age 12... that would be 23 years ago. By this point, I type without even thinking about it. I just know where the numbers are.
Q. Hey, why do you keep your eyes closed so much?
A. Remember that comment about seeing light? Well, I see it really, *really* well. Ever gone to an eye doctor and gotten those eye drops that dilate your pupil, then walked out into bright sunlight? I'm like that all the time, some light hurts. Also, I spend so much of my time listening that I frequently shut my eyes to better focus on it. It's just habit, though I suspect it means I look sleepy all the time. But that does fit in with being feline.
Q. So, just what can you see?
A. If you really want to know, here's an experiment: Get a pair of goggles. Cover up the right lens entirely. Now, take some vaseline. Quite a lot of it, actually. Smear it liberally over the outside of the left lens. Now, put on the goggles. Tadaa, you're in my world. That's what I see. Nothing on the right, and very, *very* blurred on the left.
Q. Is it true that your other senses become sharper if you lose one?
A. You know, I'm still not sure. My hearing isn't any sharper than that of the average bear, but my ability to discern information from what I hear is considerably more developed than that of most people. On the other hand, I am quite sensitive to touch. So, I don't know if it is a nature or nurture thing, but I do think I pay more attention to my remaining senses.
Q. Can blind people have sex?
A. I wish I could say I've never been asked this question, but... I have. Okay, only once, but I have. I share it just to give you a measuring stick. If you have a question, and you think it might be a stupid question, just compare it to this one. If it seems less intelligent than this than, yes, it may be stupid, but ask anyway as it will amuse me. Otherwise, ask without fear.
Oh. And the answer is... yes. Yes, we can, and we are damned good at it.
Q. Blind Kitten, do you want to feel my corset/skirt/sexy little dress?
A. Yes, I do. But not your face,I don't actually get anything out of feeling people's faces. But I can tell how sexy you are by feeling your outfit. It isn't just an excuse to grope all the cute and sexy ladies that I know, honest.
Q. Can you recognize me just by my voice/boobs/height/body odour?
A. No to the last one. :P Ditto to the second last one. By boobs... only one person currently has that distinction. As for voice... it depends. There are some people that I always know, every single time. There are some who have a 50/50 shot of being recognized by voice, and then there are some that I just never, ever get. This has absolutely no bearing on how nice your voice is, or vice versa, nor on how well I know you. So, please, if you think we're bosom companions but I don't know you when you say hello, don't take offense. And it's better to tell me who you are (even if I answer with "I know" every time, I have a tendency to fear offending people so sometimes pretend to know who you are while secretly not having a sweet freaking clue)

Introduction of the Blind Kitten

First things first, let's start with a bit of background and some interesting things to know about the Blind Kitten, and this blog. Not really in that order, though.

** WARNING ** This blog is liable to contain some topics of an adult nature, you have been warned.

I plan to discuss pretty much everything. Kink, sexuality, kittens, being a kitten, spirituality, humour, and anything else that races through my ADD mind. Ooh, look, a butterfly.

So. I'm 35, live in Nova Scotia, and am a blind chick that identifies as a feline sort. I'm about as active within my BDSM community as it is possible to be, love steampunk, make fun of myself all the time, read too much (via audiobook) and share more information about myself than most want to know.

So, why am I blind? Everyone wants to know, but no one is willing to ask. Below is a copy of a post I put on my Fetlife acount:
I've decided to share this with my friends, chiefly because many have asked, and I've gotten the impression that many more wonder about it, but are scared they'll give offense if they ask.

I don't mind discussing my blindness; it isn't the central aspect of who I am, but it was likely the heaviest influence in shaping my personality. I don't want pity nor praise, however, neither, I think, are called for. It is what it is, and I am who I am. But I don't mind sharing it. The first bit is obviously stuff I know only because I was told.

Shortly after my birth, just a few days after I was brought home from the hospital, I became very sick. It turned out to be an infected umbilical cord. While this had no direct impact on my sight, it took the doctors over a week to figure out what was wrong with me, to the point that I nearly didn't make it. This was in the 70's, and for reasons I've never understood, they did a *lot* of X-raying of my tiny self to try and work it out. I mention this only because my father adamently maintains that this had a negative impact on my sight.

At any rate, they did eventually work it out, and I was saved and returned home. But a few months later, while my father was holding me, he noticed something wrong with my eyes... my pupils were split. I don't entirely understand what caused this, but surgery had to be done to open my pupils fully. As a result, they remain constantly dilated to this day. That's why I see light so well now.

This surgery led to cataracts forming, and a few other initial problems. However, at the age of 4, I was diagnosed with glaucoma, which is very rare in children, as it usually affects the elderly. Glaucoma is essentially a buildup of pressure in the eye, because the fluid that usually moves/drains... doesn't. It puts pressure on the optic nerve and other delicate structures, and if not treated, will damage those structures beyond repair.

From that point until I was in fourth grade, my glaucoma was wildly out of control. I spent anywhere from one to four months in hospital each year, having surgery after surgery and was on constant eyedrops. By the time I was six or seven, I had lost all the sight in my right eye. I don't remember what it is like to see from both eyes per se. The only reason that I can remember seeing out of that eye is because they used to put a patch over the left in an attempt to make me use the right more, so it would grow stronger (obviously, it failed). I remember running around outside with an 19 month older sister who was cranky because our mother was forcing her to stay with me in case I had a problem.

However, the sight in my left was pretty good, relatively speaking. With coke bottle glasses, I had 20/80 vision. Almost good enough to drive.

After fourth grade, things stabilized. Until I was sixteen, though I was on constant eyedrops and at least monthly trips to the eye doctor, there were no more surgeries or hospital stays. The last surgery had apparently worked.

Or it did until that eye got infected. I suppose this may have been inevitable. The structure that was letting the fluid drain also left a hole into the inner eye structure. Not one you could see, but big enough for bacteria to enter.
The infection was bad enough that I woke up one morning with slightly blurred vision, and went to bed unable to see a thing. We'd gone to emergency (it was a holiday when this happened), but the doctor wasn't very worried. We saw the same doctor again the next morning... and this time, he was very worried. We'd moved from Halifax to Charlottetown when I was fifteen... said doctor had me on the next plane from the island to Halifax, as Charlottetown didn't have the facilities to treat me.

The infection was cleared up, and my vision restored, but less than a week after I returned home, the pressure in that eye skyrocketed out of control... the infection had destroyed what was keeping the pressure down.

I spent the next six months in and out of the hospital. More in than out. Surgery after surgery was tried. Finally, after nine failures (two of which had temporarily blinded me... one due to a small hemorrhage that let blood into my eye, the other due to a detached corroid), the doctor tried something new. He used a technique that was still very new and quasi-experimental. It involved inserting a small tube in my eye.

The tenth surgery worked to lower my eye pressure. It worked so well, in fact, that the pressure dropped to zero. This was even worse than having it too high. While it was fixed with an eleventh and (for the time) final surgery, the two days of zero pressure destroyed my cornea, and over the next month or so, my sight went kaput. Worse even than it is now.

By rights, this should have broken me. Under normal circumstances, I suspect it would have. However, I had already applied to attend a summer camp for blind teenagers in Ontario that summer, and the doctor reluctantly agreed to let me go. We both knew my sight was going to worsen, but we also knew there wasn't a way to stop it. Four days after my final release from the hospital, I was on a plane to Ontario.
It was the first time I'd ever been around blind folks of my own age. Many had sight worse than me. Many had never seen. Most of my sight left while I was there, and it was the best environment I could have been in. I was having fun, in spite of things, and was definitely surrounded by people who knew exactly what I was going through.

Upon returning, we started once again consulting doctors. It was felt a cornea transplant would probably fix things, but they wanted to wait a bit, just to be sure there wasn't another way. Meanwhile, I obviously couldn't return to normal school. I couldn't read, didn't know how to use a cane, or do any number of daily activities I'd taken for granted. I spent grade 11 at the school for the blind here in Halifax, during which time they decided to go with a transplant and so put me on the waiting list. I learned to read Braille, to use a cane, to clean stuff without seeing, cook without seeing, etc. The people at the school kept expecting my breakdown, but it never came. In fact, within six months, I was better at getting around than any other student, all of whom had been doing it for years. I chalk this up to wanting to get back the independence I was used to.

Irony struck in June. In Braille, in addition to a symbol for each letter of the alphabet, there are over 250 "contractions" for common groupings of letters, as well as a myriad of rules around them. The day I was taught the final contraction was the day that I got the call that a transplant was waiting.

So, back to the hospital. They fixed my cornea. At first, there was no change. But after a few days, my vision started coming back. Let me tell you, you'd be amazed at how excited you can get at being able to see a crack in the sidewalk that you couldn't see the day before. I think the best moment was the day my mobility teacher took me to the public gardens and I realized I could once again distinguish individual leaves on the trees.
I wound up with 20/200 sight in that eye. Less than what I'd had... but do you think I minded? Hell, no.

So, I went into grade twelve. All my supposed counsellors at school tried to convince me to take a partial course load and graduate a year late... they told me I'd fail if I took a full one. I refused to listen. I had to take classes from a weird melenge of all three high school grades in a bizarre schedule that had me doing grade 11 biology the term before I did grade 10 general science. But you know what? I passed. Sure, I just barely passed a couple of classes (like Math), but... I passed, and graduated with my class.
And my vision stayed constant. I had to have occasional surgeries, yes, and my life still revolved around doctor's visits and taking eyedrops, but things were stable for another eight years.

Remember that teeny tiny tube they put in my eye back when I was sixteen? Well, when I was 24, it shifted and started scraping my cornea. Took awhile to figure out what was wrong. They snipped the tube down a bit, but the damage was done... I lost that cornea. Back I went on the waiting list.

Meanwhile, my health in other areas was utterly crappy. My life still revolved around my eyesight, and it was frustrating. This only got worse after that second transplant, because my body was rejecting it. I wound up on hourly eyedrops. I was seeing the doctor every 2 or three days. I was getting weekly injections in the eye. Nothing was working. I asked the doctor if he thought this would change... he wouldn't give me a straight answer. That made up my mind for me.

My entire life had been centered around my vision, and I was sick of it. I wasn't living, I was struggling to maintain something that kept eluding me. I made the choice... I would rather truly live, but with blindness, than continue in this weird existence of hospitals, doctors, pain and frustration. I walked away.

It took eight more years. Years in which I was finally able to turn my attention towards other health problems plaguing me, switch from using a cane to using a dog, and relearn the skills they'd taught me back at the school. This time, my health problems were solvable. They're completely cured, now. I'm healthy. I'm happy. I'm back in school, on my way to a career that I will find fulfilling. I've never been happier.

I tell people all the time that I don't mind my blindness, but don't often explain why. This, I think, should show exactly why that is. Sometimes, you have to let go of something if you're going to move on in life. It's hard as fuck... but worth it.

There'll be more insights into who I am as we go, but as far as the blind part of the Blind Kitten, that's where I've come from.