Monthly Archives: October 2019

Victoria Thurman, Cat Burglar

All my life I have never truly been a ‘pet person.’ We had tons of cats when I was growing up. My whole family is cat crazy. I’m neutral. I never knew I could love an animal like the rest of my siblings, until my gay BFF (Kevin, who lived across the street) and his sister got a puppy. The sweetest cocker spaniel ever. Sandi. He knew the path from Kevin’s house to my house. Whenever they couldn’t find him at their house, they knew to come ask us. I remember dog sitting for Sandi one weekend and he needed a bath. I loved him so much I didn’t care that he smelled awful and I didn’t care how wet I got while bathing him. On visits home from college I would walk over to Kevin’s house when they were away and greet Sandi at the fence and pet him and talk to him. But cats…

Cats were a different story. So, when I heard a cat crying outside my apartment throughout the night, I knew, not my cat, not my problem. The cat belonged to our next-door neighbors at the first apartment complex I lived in when I moved from Colorado to Tennessee. And the next night, same thing. I only knew the cat had a home. Next door. My sister, Kathryn and I shared an apartment and she had a dog. Her dog would escape sometimes and chase the black and white fluffy cat up trees. I did feel bad about that. But he was the neighbors’ cat. Not mine.

It was January 2010 and it had been raining. Snowing. Sleeting. Freezing rain. Just flat out cold and wet. And all through the night for two weeks, I heard the cat crying. I’m not heartless. I just don’t like confrontation and did not want to get involved with the neighbors. But on January 16th during a freezing rainy evening around 11:30pm, I crept downstairs and meekly asked Kathryn if she could go outside and get the cat. (I’m much better at committing a ‘crime’ if I have an accomplice who actually does the deed.) I could not bear to listen to her cries any longer. No living creature should be out in that cold rain. I was only sorry I had not retrieved her days earlier. Kathryn went out, found the cat in the bushes and brought her into the warm apartment. I had a towel and wrapped the cat up in it and rushed her upstairs.

This poor cat was shivering, wet, muddy, and just scared and cold. I did my best to clean her and dry her. And then we settled on my bed to go to sleep. She slept on my face all night and I’m telling you, she stank like the dickens.

I woke up at 7:00am and called my oldest sister, Rebecca, who loves cats (probably an understatement).

“Guess what? A cat slept on my head all night long.”

“Aww, are you cat sitting?”

I told her what happened. She encouraged me to go to the store as soon as we got off the phone and get cat food, litter, litter pan, and whatever else I would need. We weren’t sure what I should do with the cat, but knew I should at least keep it inside my apartment for a couple of days.

When I returned from the store, I set up the litter pan. The cat stood and stared at it and then up at me and then back down to the pan, like “are ya kiddin’ me?” Oh. Yeah. It was a bit small for her. She was a pretty large cat. Well, it would have to work until I figured out how long she was staying. I fed her and wiped her down with pet wipes. I left her upstairs and went to talk to Kathryn and that is when I found out the whole story.

It seems that the neighbors, two college age girls, got the kitten in the summer and Kathryn saw it in the window all summer and fall. Then in December they got a puppy and soon after is when we saw the cat outside. They would leave a can of tuna out for it, but she was meowing all night long for weeks. She was always near the door, if they really wanted her, they could have easily gotten her. I told this story to Rebecca and she said, “Congratulations! You now own a cat. You cannot give her back to those people after they have treated her so horribly.”

I named her Bell because she had a jingle bell on her collar. I took the collar off though, because I didn’t want her to get hung somewhere and choke, like one of the cats we had long ago. Every night Bell curled up with me. She would stretch out beside me in the crook of my arm and snuggle her head in my shoulder and then turn her eyes to stare into mine. It was the sweetest thing. I knew then, I loved this cat.

Bell and I moved out of that apartment three months later and I took her to the vet. My first time ever at a vet!

The doctor took one look at my cat and said, “What made you think this cat is a girl?”

I shrugged, “I don’t know.” I didn’t go rooting around looking for stuff.

“Well, this is a big ‘ol tom cat. See,” the doctor said as he held Bell up and continued, “There’s his penis!”

I almost fell out on the floor. Does he not know me?! You just didn’t say those kinds of things out loud in front of me. It was like the word just hung there and echoed through the halls… “penis, penis, peniiiisssss.”

I left the office stunned. Bell cried in his carrier in the back seat and I cried in the driver’s seat, as I drove home. I live with a boy?! Our whole relationship was based on a lie!

It will be our ten-year anniversary this January and Bell (aka Bellboy) and I have gotten over the shock and have been doing just fine. I love that cat, even though I think he more owns me than I do him.

Stranger Danger

It was about two or three years into my Colorado experience when I decided to go to a strip mall near my apartment to visit the bookstore. As I was leaving the store and was about to step off the sidewalk into the parking lot I heard, “Ma’am.”

I stepped off sidewalk. I don’t know people here. “Ma’am!”

Another step.


I guess that’s me. I reluctantly turned around and saw two young ladies who rushed over to me.

“Can you help us?” One asked.

The other one explained that they had come from Commerce City on a bus to go shopping on this side of town and the bus left them behind. They both had babies at a daycare that closed at 6:00pm. It was 5:20pm. None of us had cell phones to call the daycare. (I don’t know if they tried to use a store phone.)

I was so not sure what to do. I mean this was a time in my life when I didn’t really think of myself as an adult who would be brave enough to do something like picking up ‘hitch hikers’. An internal struggle went on in my brain as I stared at them waiting for me to answer. I was very aware time was ticking away and the longer it took me to decide, the closer six o’clock came. Commerce City was thirty minutes away! What should I do?! It’s two of them and one of me. I wasn’t a black belt in anything, and I had once been warned that Commerce City was a dangerous suburb of Denver and to never go there. I was kind of freaking out.

And then I felt a sudden peace, as if Jesus Himself were standing next to me or at least His energy, assuring me I would be safe. It felt strange to think that, but I knew it was true. I told the ladies, “Sure. I can take y’all.”

We walked to my car and settled in and they gave me directions. I got onto I-70 heading east. Melissa (I honestly don’t remember their names) sat in the front and her friend Brandy sat in the back. Melissa talked to me the whole drive. I noticed when I merged onto I-270 toward Commerce City, that Brandy had fallen asleep. Well, at least she trusted me. I knew I should be more trusting, but as we got closer to their destination, I was listening to Melissa with one ear and trying my hardest to memorize the route backwards.

“Turn left at the first light,” she said. I thought, So on the way back, remember it’s going to be right…

I couldn’t help my fears slipping past Jesus. In my overactive imagination I thought these women could have boyfriends, who threatened them to go to Lakewood and trick an unsuspecting, gullible woman to come back with them and meet them. Those evil boyfriends could be waiting for us in a warehouse, to then rape and murder me once I was delivered. So I guess if I was murdered, I wouldn’t need to memorize the directions home so intensely. But if I could escape, I would definitely need some lay of the land.

Melissa had directed me through many turns. I was starting to forget the backwards way out.

“See that park over there?” I looked ahead and to the right. “Drive straight, through that light and then turn right and park on the side at the other end.”

I looked at the park as I drove around it. There were tents set up everywhere. I noticed a sign announcing that it was a Boy Scout camp out. I was breathing a little easier. I remembered the time when I was ten and riding my bike, I hit a patch of dense sand that stopped my bike abruptly. I flew over the handle bars, face planting into the gravel of my street, right in front of a neighbor’s house where a Boy Scout meeting was being held in the front yard. When I lifted my head, I was surrounded by all members of the troop, who then helped me up. I knew now, that this was the place to be if I needed any help.

When I stopped my car, the women had five minutes to run as fast as they could to the daycare to get their children. They both thanked me for the ride and Melissa told me a short cut to get back onto the highway. I was safe.

Jesus’ energy was with me the whole time, I didn’t need to doubt His presence. I don’t mean to sound religious because I am on a different spiritual plane than I had been long ago, but I just really felt a greater presence letting me know I would be safe, and that I would be helping these women out in what to them was a real emergency. He was watching over all three of us. It was one of those Guideposts ‘He works in mysterious ways’ moments, from the other side of the story. The significance of it was not lost on me and I will never forget the experience.

Manifesting Dreams

My oldest friend, who I am still friends with today, Laura, and her family always went out west for summer vacations. I have known her since we were four. Her father was a geology professor at the same college where my dad taught English. My family spent our summers in New Hampshire at my grandmother’s house and visiting with our cousins. We had the East coast experience, but her family had the pioneer experience. The West. I remember looking at pictures at Laura’s house upon their return, of Colorado, Montana, Utah… Oh wow, did I want to go see those mountains in person.

I remember part of a conversation I had with my gay BFF when I was in college. I don’t know what I was manifesting, but it must have been quite a bit, because he told me, “God never listens to me. He is too busy listening to you.” This is a reminder to me, for one, about the Law of Attraction and how attitude is everything, but I didn’t know that then, and two, that I have been asking God (the Universe) for things for a long time. There are about three things that really showed me that what I believe in, I can manifest. What I work hard for, I can accomplish. And it is not always in my timing. This is one of them:

When I was twelve, I started asking for calendars with photographs of America. When I was in college, I found a coffee table book on sale, with photographs of America. By the time I left college, the binding was broken and fell open at the Colorado pages. I didn’t see how I would ever get there. And my naivety led me to dream that someday my husband and I would go there together. Well, that never happened.

When I was twenty-nine and living in Atlanta, I started working for a computer company through a temp agency. We were working on contract at an insurance company. I had only joined the corporate world the year before with a computer software company (that was bought out and I lost the job). I promise you I did not know anything about computers, my first day at that job, I had to ask them how to turn the computer on. But I stayed after work every day studying Microsoft Office to catch up with the rest of the world. I only really ever wanted to be an artist and an author, so I didn’t know much about being an administrative assistant, but I knew how to help people. At the new job I was working for two lower managers. I was supposed to get a permanent job with them four weeks after starting. I asked them every week after the first month, “When will I get to be permanent?” “Soon,” was always the answer.

Meanwhile, (my first day, actually) I noticed they had an office in Denver, Colorado. Holy **it!!! I am asking for it!!! I had not asked God for much in those last few years. I had turned into a pessimist. But no longer! I had wanted this dream since I was twelve and husband or no husband, I was going to ask for it and trust God for it. Sometimes you just have to do things on your own; you cannot wait on someone else to show up and hold your hand when the opportunity presents itself. So now you know why I was so eager to get on board permanently. I decided the first thing to do was to make friends with the admin in the Denver office so I could know when a job opened up.

I started the job in June and things were going so well. Kelly (the Denver admin) and I were getting to be good buddies. Deep into October I finally got the permanent job. And this is where you have to believe that God’s timing is everything because you do not know what is going on behind the scenes. All I could see was, I wanted to go to Colorado and they were prolonging my chance. Would it even happen? Had I bugged management too much about being on permanent? Would I just be a temp forever? What I could not see was that the admin for the director of my department, who lived in North Carolina, was moving on to a different job and the director wanted me to be his admin. I was floored. (Yes, God can give you things greater than what you even asked for.) I would be working for the two upper managers and in my job offer discussion, they told me to name my salary. Holy **it!!! I only just learned how to turn on a computer a year earlier, making $12.50 an hour. A year later I was being told I could ask for any salary I wanted! I did my research for a range and I asked for the middle. I didn’t quite get what I asked for, but close to it. A significant increase. What would I do with all that money?! (Save it for Colorado.)

At this point in my dream not a single solitary soul knew anything about it. I have since learned, that I was very smart not to bring other people into a fledging dream. Let the seed take root first. So for five months I was the only one who knew. The same week that I was hired on permanent I was relaxing at my desk and decided to call Kelly.

“Hey! What are you doing?” I asked.

“Filling out college applications for Texas,” she casually said, as if it were just another day.

Holy Shit!!!

I jumped up from my seat, “WHEN ARE YOU LEAVING?!”

“Why?” she asked.

She became the first person to know my secret plan, though she couldn’t understand why I wanted to move to Colorado. (She was from New York, which explained it.) Kelly kept my secret.

Then came time for the Atlanta office Christmas party. I was asked to take charge of planning it. The wheels were turning in my dream-filled mind. The Denver VP was coming to Atlanta for our party. Hmmm. So I sat him at my table beside me so he could go ahead and get to know me and know he liked me and would want me to be his admin. Worked like a charm. He loved me. However, he did not have a clue what I was planning. 😉

My oldest friend, Laura, just happened to have gotten married in Michigan in August and moved to Denver in September. Now it was time to pull her into my plan. In February I flew out to Colorado (for the first time ever!) to see her and meet Kelly! Yes, yes! Colorado was everything I dreamed of and wanted. In April (yes, April) Kelly called me.

“It’s time to tell them,” She said.  Wow. Here it is. My moment has come.

The next day I talked to my boss and she talked to hers. He asked me how I even knew there was an opening. I told him Kelly and I talked all the time. He smiled and said, “Well, I need to talk with her boss.”

About an hour later, Ricky came over to my desk and said, “Now are you sure you want to do this?”

OMG. I had been planning for so long. I was so used to not having it, I never reallllly thought about what it would mean to have it. I would be states away from my family. I only really had one friend out there. I think the color drained from my face in the split second I was thinking this and then came the thought I will always remember when starting something new. “You’ve been here and done this. GO!”

I looked at Ricky and said with full confidence, “Yes. I’m sure.”

He smiled and said, “You’re going.”

Holy shit!!!

Victoria (Me) at Dead Horse Point State Park in Utah 2004

I moved in mid-June 2000 and lived in Colorado for eight years on my own.

I am working on another project with God now, but I cannot tell anyone. It needs to take root.

Target Run, Sex, and Done!

On a Target run today, ideas and inspiration bombarded me and I couldn’t wait to get home and start writing my blog. I planned a “Tell All” in weekly segments. I mean it took me four years to get any blog inspiration. But I have come home to a blank page and can’t think of where to start. Distracted on FaceBook, I came across Mortified Podcast #175 “I Don’t Get How Sex Works.” Decided to listen to it.

These people are so awesome (and brave to get up in front of strangers to read from their journals). My stories don’t seem half as good as theirs. I mean, a seventeen-year-old who is clueless about sex and went to the library to secretly read romance novels and then decides to write her own. Too funny! It was a good story too- albeit a little elementary, though that is the point. I knew nothing as a teen. Especially about sex. I never read romance novels as a teen. (What was I reading??) I was extremely sheltered. The first time my gay BFF came over to see my room (keep in mind this was 1985), he turned and looked at me full on serious and said, “Victoria. You do not hang sweaters. You fold them and put them in a drawer.” Wow. He was so smart- My fifteen-year-old self thought. He taught my sisters and I how to use the washing machine. Wow. So smart. He was (technically) my first kiss. He joined my family at a park looking through a telescope to see Halley’s Comet. (Which I tried hard to, but just didn’t see it.) After we got home, we said goodbye on my front porch and he kissed me! I was in love. And later that year, he helped me buy a dress for prom. Wow, he knows so much about fashion! Sixteen-year-old me thought. He did my hair and make-up for the prom! Wow. He is so amazing. Seventeen-year-old me thought.

I was still clueless…he had to actually spell it out for me. He told me he was gay. Ugh, twenty-two-yearold me thought.

Ironically, my gay BFF is the one who introduced me to Mortified and said I should dig out my old journals from high school and apply to be a part of the show. Besides being ‘in love’ with someone I didn’t know was gay… I don’t think I thought about real sex that much in high school. Hmmm… Late bloomer. (What the hell was I thinking about?!)