Bad Kitty

If you’ve been a long time reader of my blogs or essays, you’ll know something about me most people in my day-to-day life don’t know: I love cars. Let me be clear, I know next to nothing about cars. I don’t know what’s good horse power or any other engine terms aside from “turbo,” “V4/6/8,” and “It’s time to change the oil.” But even if I don’t know the vernacular, I know the power, and it’s powerful cars that I have a healthy respect for. IMG_0008It has been just under a week since this beauty came into my life. So far, there have been two reactions from people who see it. The first, people congratulate Kyle. We literally had someone say to him in a parking lot, “Hey nice ride, man.” I just cheerfully said “Hey, thanks!” and then drove it home.

The second reaction has been one of “Haha, that’s hilarious, Nicole.” That is to say, there’s a certain amount of disbelief that it’s mine. I will admit to being a bit of a jokester, but this reaction still takes me off guard a bit. It seems I haven’t been very vocal about my love for the Chevy Camaro, and people don’t realize I just bought my dream car.

Let me take the time to clear this up for the world so we can get back to talking about my precious baby Bad Kitty: I have been in love with Camaros since I was a kid. Firebirds, Mustangs, you name it. If it was fast and sleek, I wanted one. When Chevy rolled out the new generation of Camaro, I drooled over that car for years. Still, I always understood it wasn’t a realistic dream, so I tucked my imaginary Camaro back into the furthest reaches of my brain and went about my business being a respectable adult.

When the lease on our extremely fancy, extremely expensive SUV ended, we knew it was time to downsize. We didn’t need that much vehicle anymore because the girls are older, and we needed a considerably smaller car payment now that we were looking at being a three-car family. We had been poring over websites for weeks, looking for something that would fit our new needs and new budget. And then I saw Bad Kitty.

Kyle was the voice of reason all the way to the dealership. “This isn’t practical,” he said. “What will you drive in the winter?” he said. And then he drove it. “What line do I sign on?” he said.

And I had myself a 2011 V6 Chevrolet Camaro RS.

Now, for the sake of transparency, there are a few reasons why this car was in our price range. For starters, the last owner seemed to have been hit by every rock on the road. There are more than a few dents. There are lots of places where the clear coat has begun to peel, and, as happens with black cars, you can see every scratch like the light from the Ark of the Covenant shines through. Some jackwagon glued a phone holder to the dashboard and left behind a mess of residue. And, well, Bad Kitty is a bit stinky. Those are just a few things that would have scared off anyone else looking to buy a Camaro. But not this gal.

Along with my love of cars, I have a love of mechanics. Radios, toasters, cars, whatever. I love the challenge of taking a broken machine and making it work again. I love taking things apart, making them pristine, and then putting them back together. I suppose you could say I’m a tinkerer. I never have any idea what I’m doing, but that’s half the fun.

In buying a Camaro that could use a little TLC, I understood what I was taking on. While others may groan at the work involved, my little mechanical heart is on Cloud 9 from the possibilities. I’ve already begun searching the internet for replacement parts and getting recommendations for good places to take it for this and that. We have one neighbor who is a mechanic, and another neighbor who does body work, and one who has every tool known to man. Between YouTube and this wealth of resources at the end of my driveway, I am confident that I can get Bad Kitty back to her original glory, and then keep her looking as beautiful as the day she rolled off the assembly line.

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