Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Statue Scaredy Cat

I've decided that I'll photograph all the bulldawg statues but my little accomplice isn't so sure!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Meow Mix

For most of my childhood I wasn't allowed to have a cat. Every time I'd ask, my father would simply say that some wild dog would probably catch it and eat it, so why bother. This worked well for him because how do you reply to something like that? Naw Dad I'm up for a little excitement...let's try it anyway? I knew right off that there would be no animals in the house, and I also knew that he was probably right about something potentially killing the cat. And because I'd witnessed first hand how excited my father got when his headlights exposed an unsuspecting possom trying to cross the road at night to find a little grub to eat, I also had to think about him as a potential hazard as well. "Ah ha! Looky there" he'd shout upon seeing the possum and then before I could even focus my eyes on the little guy I'd hear him underneath the truck tires. Duh dump! And then, "got 'em!" Ah ha! Ha ha! And if there ever was a time when my father wasn't too sure whether or not the animal was dead, well he'd glance in his rearview mirror to make sure there was no one coming, throw the gear in reverse, and then go at it again, this time with veracity and skill and focus. All I could do was put my hand over my little brother's eyes to shield him from sight of it all, but unfortunately there was not much to be done about the recurring duh dump from underneath us. Such is life in the country. You can actually take time to kill a thing in the road, once, twice, three times if you have to. Dad did this with snakes sunning themselves on the blacktop or the dirt roads in the summers too. There wasn't too much excitement way out there amongst the forest and trees and tractors and gardens and folk but once in a while, a snake or possum would get brave enough to try his luck.
When I was older and had years of therapy under my belt to overcome the duh dumps in my childhood, I decided I would get a cat. First there was Charlotte, the sweetest grey tabby I've ever known, and then six months later we adopted Rusty, her half brother. And because I was whiny about the prospects of them going under the knife, we had a cute little litter of six kittens! Nevermind the fact about the incest. Hal and I helped birth the babies one night. I remember it well. Lost a good comforter that night in the process. Big fat pregnant Charlotte was lying between us in bed when she squawked and squeaked and we knew it was time to get her out of our bed. We picked up the whole comforter with her on it and spread it out in the livingroom floor. And then we watched in equal parts horror and delight as all her tiny little babies were born. The last little guy didn't make it and Hal and I both got tears in our eyes as we wrapped him up and buried him out back. Bradley was the fifth, and most difficult. Because Charlotte was so tired from licking, licking, licking and birthing, birthing, birthing, we'd had to intervene with him and cut his cord and get him out of the little protective sac. His back legs didn't want to work at first so we babied him a lot and wound up keeping him for the next seven years. Charlotte and Rusty and Bradley had to move into the warehouse where Hal's business was when we had to move into the dorm for my graduate assistantship, and eventually Charlotte and Rusty put out a paw and took a ride to some other place I suppose. But Bradley stayed and was the best and loudest and most "talkative" cat I'd ever known. When we were living up in Virginia after grad school, we adoped P.P., a sleek black kitty. She's still with us and has decided that a) she hates the new kittens, and b) she's never coming into the house again. She still shows up for supper and rubs all over my leg if no one's looking. She's a warrior cat and must protect her image in the neighborhood at all cost. This means lots of hissing and growling and not a whole lotta lovin'. Recently a new little kitty has decided that he wants to live here, or at least around here, which sometimes means the garage, again, if no one's looking. Thing is, he looks exactly like P.P. except he's much younger and thinner and scared of me. I discovered him one night when I went to put food out for P.P. and thought for a moment that he was P.P. The cat across the street looks like P.P. too, except he's older and fatter and his face is it's not unusual to see a black cat that isn't mine. Over the last two months I've been shooing the old fat cat back to his house and trying to get the young thin cat to trust me. He's got an adorable face and I think P.P. might be willing to tolerate him. So every night I put the Meow Mix out and every night I talk to him in my very best kitty voice and he's getting more and more comfortable. Today I have decided that I will give him a name. But since I've never had a cat adopt ME, this will require some consideration. It needs to be something that evokes survival and bravery and cuteness all in one.

The other day my neighbors and I were chatting about some loose and lost boxers wandering around. Crush was trying to make his eight and a half pound body look menacing and foreboding so the dogs wouldn't come after him. He stood sideways and arched his back and fluffed out all of his thick orange fur.

Is that your cat?

Yes, that's the mighty Crusher as Hal calls him.

Just then the stray comes up on the porch.

Is that P.P.?

Nope, that's our stray I tell her. I catch myself. Our stray?

Then her old fat cat crosses the street towards my yard. P.P. is there too. Soon there will be three black cats standing on my porch, a calico in the shrubs, and little menacing orange tabby fluffing at the edge of the sidewalk.

Boy, all the cats just love your house!

It must be the Meow Mix.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

24 cents

A few weeks ago my father called me at 6:30 something in the morning to tell me that there was a feature story coming on one of the morning shows describing how you could make money from the ease of your own home by using Google. He called three times but I was sleeping peacefully upstairs that night with my phone located downstairs. When the tot finally woke me up at a little after eight, I saw the missed calls and dialed him back. Urgently he told me to turn on the news and watch and then hung up. I turned on the television and listened (I had to listen because I had no picture on channel 2 - funky cable) with one ear while Sarah whined in the other ear that she wanted donuts and milk and Dora all in the same breath. I realize that the anchorwoman is talking about Google Adsense which I installed onto my blog shortly after I started writing it. At noon my father calls back. Did you watch that thing about how you could make money at home? I tell him yes, and that I'm already doing what they told people to do. "Huh" was his reply. Then, "well have you made any money?" Yes Dad. Twenty four cents so far. At this rate, I'll have enough to buy a cup of Starbucks coffee in three years.

CLICK people CLICK!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Meow, Ahhhh Chooooo!

I have found one more thing in life that annoys me: sneezing cats. The little stinky kitties that I adopted in June have grown a lot, and they've turned into real furballs. Most of the time they are sweet and cuddley, kind of like a squirmy little ferret I saw at a pet store last weekend. About two weeks ago, they got the chop chop if you know what I mean...sterilizations. Can't have brother and sister mating or any other kitty mating going on around here. Apparently the weakened immune systems they had because of their surgery helped them both catch a cold. Have you ever known a cat with a head cold? Clara sneezes about every half hour or more. And she doesn't just sneeze once. She sneezes and sneezes and sneezes again! Yesterday she crawls up in my lap to sniff the air around me while I'm eating my lunch. I immediately start to try to get her off of me when she stops and looks right at me and sneezes. A big sneeze too for a five and a half pound cat. Little droplets of cat mucus fly everywhere and I pause to take in what has just happened. Slowly I rise, the cat jumps back to the floor and my lunch goes in the trash. No sooner than I've sat back down she comes back, lies down right beside me on the couch and sneezes again! Meanwhile, Crush starts sneezing in the other room, the back bedroom, and he does this several times because I can hear it echoing down the hall. In a minute he staggers in the livingroom where we are and his little eyes are barely open -- his furry face seems puffy. I want to throw them outside, because their sneezing is gross, but I can't just do that..won't help them get well any quicker and I feel sorry for little Clara..having had a c-section myself not so long ago. So, tell me. What do I do for a couple of pitiful sneezing cats? My future lunch depends on it.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Santa Clause is Watching You..

This one was too cute not to share with the world. Too bad Christmas only comes once a year. Of course lying to my child about Santa and then using that lie as leverage for good behavior ought to be a parental crime punishable by some obscure law. I have a problem telling Sarah about mythical creatures that bring things: Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, etc. but what do you do when every other kid in this region of the world believes in them too? I wonder how this group lie got started? Probably way back in the cave man ages some little cave girl was thundering around the cave screwing up everything or whining so loud that she was scaring off animals that could have been that night's dinner. Or maybe a little prehistoric tot was clubbing his little brother when some mother decided that if she made up Santa or something like him, that promises of new animals skins to wear or new sharp pointy spears being delivered by this figment of her motherly imagination would get the little clubbers to calm the heck down and eat their dinner or stop scratching up the cave walls. Okay Sarah, yes, there's a Santa.