Coming Soon:


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Interlude #5: It’s Never Good To Name Your Pet After Inappropriate Body Parts

  Yes, it's true, I once named a cat after an inappropriate body part.  No one could come up with a name and being the only female animal in the house I named her appropriately or so I thought.  One day at work my phone rang and a good friend of mine said she heard we had adopted a new kitten.  I told her yes and asked her if she wanted to see pictures of my Vagina.  The reply was quick, soft and to the point.  "I'm in the phone center, you're on speaker phone...and there are about 10 people in here."  I hid the rest of the day.  The cat was quickly renamed to Beijing in honor of the Olympics going on when we got her.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


    When I was a child, every Christmas morning my two younger sisters and I would wake up in the middle of the night. It was the same every year. I would wake up and tip toe to the door to peek out, then make a quick u-turn in to my sisters' room. They would be awake already, both sitting on one or the others bed, giggling quietly to themselves. I would speed across the room and leap onto the bed bouncing them both to the ground. We would sit there quietly laughing, asking each for the millionth time, "Do you think they're up yet?" Eventually our minds would wonder to what lay down the hall and to the left, under the huge Christmas tree that we knew was lit so Santa could find it easily. It was now 2:00am

    As we softly guessed about the great gifts Santa might have brought, my middle sister's eyes would grow wide, not with wonder, but with the realization she was about to be sick. She'd jump off the bed, one hand holding her nightgown above her knees so she could run and the other hand slapped tightly across her mouth, she'd fly off to the bathroom with her robe flapping in the wind behind her. My youngest sister and I, abandoned on the bed, would look at each other first in shock, then in realization. IT'S CHRISTMAS! It was now 2:30am

    Our parents, having gone through this ritual for years, dragged themselves out of bed at hearing the commotion. Mom went to the bathroom to calm my middle sister down and Dad went to the bedroom where my other sister and I were dancing on the bed caroling, IT'S CHRISTMAS! They'd calm the three of us down and tuck us back in to bed with promises that Christmas would soon be here. It was now 3:00 am.

    It wasn't long before I was back up and around the corner to my sisters' room again where we quietly giggled and asked each other, "Do you think they're up yet?" for the billionth time. Our parents hearing the commotion and looking more like zombies then elves would drag themselves out of bed, come in to the room and announce that yes, Santa had been here. We would run out and sit in our perspective spots by the tree and its mounds of gifts while mom and dad would find spots in the back to sit and watch. It was now 4:00am.

    With the gift giving done and a good breakfast ate, the three of us would sit in the middle of the carnage we created and start a day long play fest while Mom laid on the couch snoring and Dad slept on the recliner with his head tilted back and a little stream of drool sneaking out of the corner of his mouth. It was 6:00am.

    For a long time, I had forgotten about those wonderful if not weird Christmas mornings until one year I was reminded of them in a not so subtle way.

    It was Christmas Eve and we were tired from visiting all the relatives from both sides of the family all day. We arrived home weary and ready for bed. I turned on the lights to the tree so Santa could find it easily in the dark, then headed for bed.

    I was awakened by the sound of rustling coming from the living room, a quiet, hushed rustling but enough to wake me. I began to toss and turn. A muffled sound escaped the pillow next to me, "what's the matter?" I reply with my suspicions that the cats are playing among the gifts under the tree. I'm told not to worry about it and go back to sleep. It's now 2:00 am.

    I'm again awakened a short time later by a hacking sound. I roll out of bed and grab my robe. The pillow next to me mumbles again, "What's wrong now?" I reply with my suspicions of a cat having a hairball under the tree. I stumble into the living room and find the hacking cat. I calm him down and drag him and his brother to the foot of the bed and lay them down. It's now 2:30am.

    A half hour later, I feel the cats restless at the end of the bed. I hear them jump down to the floor, knowing there headed back out to the tree. Tiny rustling keeps me up, I toss and turn. It's now 3:00am.

Finally, without warning, all sounds cease. I relax and begin the search for the slumber I long for.

    CHOO-CHOO!!! We both fly out of the bed holding are chest as the extremely loud train sound came crashing in from the living room. Somehow, the cats found the tiny little "on" button to the train that encircled the tree. I threw down the covers I dragged with me when I jumped up in my terror, put on my robe, and exclaimed, "Get up, It's Christmas gawd dammit!" It's now 4:00 am.

    We dragged ourselves out to the living room looking more like zombies than elves and found the cats sitting in front of the tree watching the train go around in circles.

    We opened our presents and the cats played in the carnage of wrapping paper and empty boxes while we ate our breakfast of frozen waffles. As I sat myself down in the armchair I heard a muffled sound come from the couch, "I'm beat" followed soon by the sound rolling thunder. It was the last thing I heard as I felt my lids become heavy and shut. It was 6:00am.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Wild Reindeers of Sunny California

    In the middle of the cotton and polyester blend field of snow stood the majestic wild reindeer of sunny California, unmoving, its fur thick and black as night, its eyes unblinking. I slowly crept up to the beast striving not to startle it. I reached out softly and stroked its back gently as I whispered into its ear. It seemed to calm it for it sat down, momentarily relaxing. It reached up with its hind leg and vigorously scratched its ear, ridding it of whatever unwanted thing or creature was in there. The little gold bells on its grandiose antlers jingled as it scratched, distracting the wild reindeer momentarily. Jingle Jingle Jingle. Its eyes wide, it searched the horizon for the mysterious sound. In the distance, on the edge of the field near the square caves of white, it spotted another of its kind lying down, facing it with a pursuant look. It stared back.

    It was strange seeing another of its kind, being as rare as they are, but against all odds there it was across the field at the edge of the world. It glanced away from the new arrival to scout other areas for just a moment. Seeing nothing else, it turned back, the new arrival seemed minutely closer. It cocked its head slightly to the left wondering was it really closer, when the mysterious jingling came back. Jingle Jingle Jingle. Madly, it looked around for the source of the sound. Not able to locate the sound he turned back to the new arrival. It was closer, almost half the distance it was before. It was still lying down, facing it, its eyes staring unwaveringly.

    Its eyes glared at the new arrival as it dropped its own body down to the ground in quick motion. Jingle Jingle Jingle. Frantically, its head swinging in all directions, the sound getting louder and stronger, it searched to no avail for that horrible sound. It turned its attention back to the new arrival, it was gone. With a quick jerk to the left it saw nothing. Jingle Jingle Jingle. A quick jerk to the right, it was too late, all he could see was black fur flying at his face at supersonic speed.
    The new arrival attacked from the right, flying through the air like a bad walnut chucked out of a hole in a tree by a really mad squirrel. It could feel the front legs of its attacker wrap around the back of its head, teeth bared, biting into its antlers. Jingle Jingle Jingle. The sound drove the wild reindeer insane, he fought back. Bringing its hind legs in and under the new arrival, it pushed with all its might and flung the brute over its head and onto its back. Jingle Jingle Jingle. Its mind foaming from the horrible sound, it leapt and attacked back. A swipe with its hoof connected directly to its attackers antlers. Jingle Jingle Jingle. The wild reindeer's ears pricked up, the sound, the maddening sound, it was the new arrivals antlers. With a new ferocity it attacked, with its site on stopping the horrible sound.

    Arms entangled, legs flaying, bodies rolling as one, they fought, each going for the majestic antlers of the others. They rolled and fought across the great field, crashing and bumping. Jingle Jingle Jingle. I dove out of the way, escaping being crushed, or worse yet, scratched. They crashed into the square caves of white so strong it created a great avalanche. Little bits of antlers flew from the big ball of fur rolling across the field. Jingle jingle jingle. I could not believe my eyes. I stared in wonder, watching in awe as these great and rare creatures…

Suddenly and unexpectedly, I was dragged out of my hypnotic state as I watched the majestic creatures do battle. The earth shook and the heavens above opened up as a big booming voice emanated,

"Oh good gawd, take those damn antlers off the cats before they kill themselves!"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


    We plan and plot for hours or even days to find that perfect gift to surprise our loved ones at Christmas. What to get, how to get it and where to hide it for the big surprise come the morning of December 25th. We finally come up with a perfect plan for the perfect surprise when what to our wondering eye should appear, SURPISE!, just not quite the way we planned it.

    It was a warm winter morning in December when a brilliant idea came to me. Having just moved in together, our furnishings were bare. I called up a friend and told him what I had planned for a Christmas gift for my happy little family and asked for his help. Thinking it would be a wonderful surprise, he was more than happy to oblige. He drove over to my place to pick me up in his Jeep Wrangler and we headed off to the store.

    On the way, we debated whether or not everything would fit in his Jeep. Suggesting we could make two trips if it didn't, we continued, content there would be no problems.

    At the store, we headed off to the electronics section and there they were, displayed proudly, hundreds of screen all glowing with the same images. With each glorious display I visited, the T.V.'s got bigger and grandeur and my friend got more nervous about it fitting into his Jeep. I assured him it would fit and continued on. My eyes fell upon the last display, a massive 36" Sony Trinitron with surround sound, a DVD player and a DirecTV box.  My eyes glazed over, this was the 90's, it was go big or go home. A salesman approached me as I wiped the drool from the side of my mouth and my friend leaned in to me from behind and whispered that I should try and see if they would lower the price if I purchased everything.

    The salesman started in on his speech and I quickly cut him off with the wave of my hand, "I'll take it all!" I exclaimed as my friend groaned behind me. The salesman, afraid I may change my mind, frantically wrote up the ticket and had me in front of a register to pay within 30 seconds. He informed us where we could pick up the purchase and gave us the pick up ticket.

    In the parking lot on the way to his Jeep, we debated again whether everything would fit. We both agreed it was going to take two trips and drove the Jeep over to the pick-up area. As we got out of the Jeep, a store employee came out with two massive carts, one had a huge box that must have been close to five feet wide, and asked if they were for us. No, I say to him, we got the 36" T.V. Laughing, he tells us that's what is in the huge box. My friend and I look at each other and I know exactly what he is thinking, it's not going to fit, period. 

    "It'll fit" I say determined. I give him the 'what if we' speech and he grudgingly agrees it might work. Off come the doors, the roof, the gas can, the spare tire and yes, the back seat. The salesman, no longer laughing with us but at us, knows exactly what I'm going to ask next and nicely suggest we put what turns out to be, most of my friends Jeep right inside the door of the pick-up area and he will watch it for us. We manage to fit the T.V. into the Jeep but nothing else. We head off to his place to hide the T.V. in his garage until Christmas Eve. Three trips later and the day exhausted, everything is in his garage and his Jeep is reassembled.
Cleaner I might add.

    The gifts all wrapped and hidden safely, Christmas Eve finally arrives. My friend and his other half come over and we have a wonderful dinner. Afterwards, as per plan, I state we need more beer and ask my friend to come with me to the store. I use the excuse to borrow the Chevy Blazer because I'm out of gas. Off to his house we sped.

    With the two of us straining to pick up the huge T.V. we fit it into the Blazer with a ¼ of an inch to spare on either side, being mindful not to rip the wrapping paper. Everything else sits on my no longer smiling friend in the passenger seat.

    Back at my place, I enter the front door and grab the cats. With everything we are bringing in, the front door is going to be left open so I lock the cats in the bedroom. They hate it. We head out the door to start bringing in the gifts and I can hear someone yelling after me, "where is the beer?" I yell back," there is plenty at the back of the fridge, look behind the vegetables!" Thirty minutes later, everything is in and you can no longer see the Christmas tree behind all the massive boxes all wrapped pretty. I could see the wonder in the eyes I love and I think to myself, this was a lot of work but tomorrow morning, the look of surprise on that cute little face will be worth it.

    Everyone settles down, and I head down the hallway to let the cats out. I get the bedroom door open just a crack when the door is flung from my hands as two furry blurs go tearing past me, pieces of carpet flying up behind them. I tear off down the hall after the terrible two, knowing whatever they are going to do, will not be good. Just inches behind them, we fly out to the living room passed the startled guests, they leap over the coffee table and head straight for the massive boxes all wrapped pretty. Stuck on the wrong side of the coffee table that I can't leap over, all I could do was watch in horror as both cats in unison reached up to the biggest massive box all wrapped pretty and with one swipe, rip the wrapping paper. That's all they did, one swipe and there the massive box all wrapped pretty stood with a big gash in the paper, framing the word Sony, practically blinking like a neon sign from Vegas.

    A quiet hush fell across the room. I stood there, horrified that all my work for the big Christmas surprise just got flushed down the toilet. I threw out my arms as if revealing the word in Wheel of Fortune and in my best Vanna White impersonation, said to the still stunned crowd, "Um, surprise".

    We laughed most of the night about it. It may not have been the surprise that I plotted and planned, but it was a good one.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Awards Everywhere

     I had a story that was to post today called 'Funny, I Don't Recall Eating That'.  I pulled it before it posted becaues I entered it into a contest and one of the rules was it could not be published.  It did not specifically say internet but a lot do and I did not want to chance it.  I will know by mid February if and where it places and if it does not place I can post it then.  Obviously, I feel it is a great story which is why I entered it.

     Instead of the story today, I have a little time to acknowledge some awards I recieved from some truley great people.  I hope not to offend anyone, I wont be following some of the rules, but I did want to acknowledge them.

First, I recieved the Superior Scribbler Award from Tina @ The Clean White Page
                                                                                  Bendigo @ Bendigo's Rage

I originally Recieved this award from Leeuna @ My Mind Wandered...and it never came back and you can check out the post and who I passed it on to here: Superior Scribbler Award

2nd, I recieved the Kreativ Blogger Award from The Trailer Trash Queen

I originally recieved this from Jenno @ The Life And Times Of La Jenno  and you can check out the post and who I passed it on to here: Kreativ Blogger Award

3rd, I recieved the Over The Top Award from Ms Burb @ Burb's Buck & Buntline Inn
                                                                         Adorabibble @ Adorabibble

This is the one I'm going to have the break the rules on.  Between work, the holidays and being sick I will have to follow up on this at a later date.  I just wanted to get this up to acknowledge the wonderful people who gave these to me in the last couple of weeks.  Everyone of these sites are fantastic and I urge you to check them out. 

Again, Thank you all and thank you to everyone who follows me


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Trusting Turkey

    A long time ago on a special day, war broke out. Color and Joy were over taken by the cold and dreary Grays. Color and Joy knew something had to be done but what, they did not know. Far on the horizon, a hero awoke from a loud and horrendous roar emanating from his nose. Thus began the final battle of the Color and Joys against the Grays on that day of Good N Plenty.

    The only color came as rays of warm sun flowed around the wooden slats and rippled across the bed to form a pool of pure comfort in a drab and colorless morning. In the pool the hairy heathen lie, blissfully enjoying his quiet as I floated across the green grass of carpet to be by his side. I hovered over my flea laden co-conspirator of past as his eyes slowly opened to reveal two trusting windows reflecting my own soul.
Without words, we each knew it was time to breath new color into the steel gray life that hung around the morning air. With a nod from each of us, I slid off to the edge of my kingdom to take a peek across the vast desert of my journey to the metal dragons den. I spied three of the enemy Grays, sitting, staring at a box of light between me and my destination, their king lying motionless beside them. With a glance back to my hairy heathen friend, I let him know with an evil grin of my imminent return, then headed out.

     Ghost like, I slid through the enemy, eyes down, passing each unnoticed. I made it across the lifeless landscape to the place that held the metal dragon called Amana easily but I feared the return would not be as kind. Numerous doors leading to nowhere confused my mind as I searched for my treasure fruitlessly. Perplexed, I sat and thought. My eyes drifted over to Amana, sleeping now but soon would be awake. My eyes grew brighter as my sight fell upon its glass belly. There in the depths of its bowels, the treasure I sought. With feet of air I crept to the metal dragon and delicately pried the beasts belly open to retrieve my prize, the Container of Joy, bruised black and blue and worn down from years of use.

     With treasure in hand there was but one task left before my stealthy return, slay the metal dragon. I reached to my side and unsheathed my rusty wrench, silently crawling across the back of the dragon to the one spot that would kill it. I slowly raised my rusty wrench above my head then thrust down with all my strength, connecting to the one spot that would extinguish the fires from hell. With a quick, precise turn, the dragon laid lifeless, unable to harm anyone again.

     Treasure secured and dragon dead, I prepared myself for the journey back to my domain where my hairy heathen friend waited. I shimmied across the bottoms of huge eight foot cliffs and hid in the shadows of soft plushy rocks. Across the desert I flew for what seemed like weeks but was mere seconds of my life lost to the trek.

     Upon my arrival, my hairy heathen friend smiled. I saw in his face the trust I needed to win the war against the Grays. I lifted my friend into the air and carefully placed him into the Container of Joy. Time was of importance, the King of Grays was soon to be at the den of the metal dragon Amana. I hoisted the container with my friend inside and journeyed back to Amana's den.

     With my friend inside, I placed the Container of Joy into the metal dragon's stomach. With one last look, I checked to see if he was alright and his expression back told me all was well, then I sealed him closed inside the belly of the metal dragon.

     Quickly and effortlessly, I donned my disguise; lips turned down, back hunched and bags under my eyes and hid among the Grays. Their King moaned, rustled and rolled over, awake. He stood, scratched his humongous butt and cackled if there was any mud water. I pointed towards Amana's Den and declared the dragon might have some hidden in its belly. With one last scratch and a blast of air, he was off.
      I could hear him search the numerous doors leading to nowhere, then silence. A yelp of surprise, followed by four lettered words flew from Amana's Den. The Grays flew up to see what the matter was with their king, I followed. The king sat on a tiny throne across from Amana, its belly gaping open. My hairy heathen friend was sitting on the surprised king's lap, smiling, inappropriately licking himself. Soon, the Grays caught onto what had happened. Their mouths started to turn up, their eyes lighting up. Color and Joy soon began to spread, filling Amana's den then spreading across the great desert, filling the world with smiles and laughter.

Dedicated to Orkin who always trusted me to never hurt him no matter what situation I put him in.
Yes, this was my way of saying I put the cat in a turkey pan and stuck him in the oven to scare my roommate…safely of course.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Yes Virginia, The Cat Can Lock You Out of the House (revised)


    Sometimes, something happens so bizarre, so out there, that you think no one would ever believe you. Such a thing happened to me in August 2009. In fact, the incident is what inspired me to pick up writing again after two decades. I hastily created a blog site and named it aptly "Stories From an Innocent Owner of Mad Cats". In my excitement of this new site, I wrote "Yes Virginia, The Cat Can Lock You Out of the House" and posted it on  Aug 10. I sped through the story in a rush to get it posted and it never got the treatment it deserved, so I have rewritten it and reposted it in hopes it gets the attention it deserved.
     From three months ago today, I give you the story that started it all...

Yes Virginia, The Cat Can lock You Out of the House!

    Everyday we go about our lives doing our daily rituals. Somewhere during those rituals we wind up doing something stupid. Usually we take the easy way out and blame it on ignorance. "No one told me", "who would of thought" and "officer, I had no idea the speed limit wasn't 110". Most of the time we secretly know better, we just thought for one small fragment of time, we could get away with it. Pets are the same way. I'm pretty sure every time I have had guest over, the cat knew what he was doing when he plopped down in front of everyone and started licking himself inappropriately. I'm also convinced the guest standing next to a child who exclaimed "wish I could do that" knew better also.

    One August morning I awoke from a rare good night's sleep. I got up, did my usual morning routine, checked the cat food, checked the water bowl and cleaned the Almond Roca out of the cat box. Being busy the last couple of days and not home a lot, the cats were feeling a little ignored so I played with them for a short bit giving them the attention they were so craving before heading down the stairs to make coffee.

    With coffee in hand I opened the sliding glass patio door about a foot and slid outside to enjoy some early morning summer sun. As I sat down in the white plastic chair and propped my feet up on the cheap patio table, I heard my neighbor say good morning to me from the other side of the fence. I asked how she was doing and we chit chatted for a few minutes before she went back in to her place. I reached into my pocket and pulled out my cell phone to see what time it was. I was running behind and was going to be late for work if I didn't hurry. As I stood up I heard the familiar sound of a seven pound cat jump onto the patio screen door. Turning around, I discovered my flame pt. Siamese, Fuego, plastered to the screen door about 6 feet up.

    As I reached out to open the screen door with the cat on it, I realized I had only opened the patio door about a foot. Fuego was on the screen right next to the edge of the patio door. His feet blocking me from opening the screen door, I sternly asked for him to get down. He stared blankly back. "Come on, get down", I said in my I'm not kidding anymore voice. He stared blankly back. "I'll give you a treat", emphasizes the word treat. He stared blankly back. Back and forth I went, alternating between telling him I was going to kick his fuzzy butt to I'll scratch your belly.

    Finally, he started to break and I could see him crane his head back and forth looking for that perfect spot to flop down at. He eyed a particular safe landing area and started to tense up ready for the leap of faith. "Good kitty!" I cheered, and with that, his brother Toby came running over and sat his big behind down right where Fuego was going to crash land. I looked back up to the seven pounds of fur still stuck to the screen, my eyes wide with horror. He stared blankly back.

    With cell phone in hand, I contemplated calling work to tell them I am going to be late but decide against it. I was quite sure telling them my cat locked me out of the house is the equivalent to telling your teacher the dog ate your homework. Eventually, Toby got bored and went to explore some other part of the house and Fuego was able to jump down. I felt lucky because I'm positive Fuego could have stayed up there for hours.

    I made it to work on time without having to utter the words "Officer, I had no idea the speed limit wasn't 110".

    After a long day at work, I came home to find everyone waiting for me at the front door like a pack of dogs. I ignored them all. I finished the day sitting on the couch watching some T.V., still a little miffed. Fuego came sneaking up from the side of the couch, jumped up and crawled into my lap. He looked up at me, smiled and started purring. I stared blankly back. He purred louder. "That was stupid" I tell him as I feel the corners of my mouth slowly inching up.

    I am sure he knew what he was doing when he jumped on the screen. I am also sure Toby knew what he was doing when he sat down in the only safe landing area for Fuego. There not stupid cats but for one small fragment of time, they knew they could get away with it.

To all of my followers, Thank you

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Interlude #4: If You Have A Moustache, Get A Dog!

    I was awakened each night to what felt like Muhammad Ali slapping me in the face. My eyes would open to find my new Kitten sitting on my chest staring at me. This happened for weeks, every night. I seem to be the only one in the house this kitten hated so much he felt the need to punch me around as I slept. I was laughed at and mocked for getting beat up by a tiny cute adorable little kitten. During the day, he seemed to love me but each night the lights went out, the gloves went off. Ding goes the bell, whack goes the paw, right in the nose.

    It wasn't until one afternoon, when I saw my tiny cute adorable little kitten playing with a toy, that I finally caught on. He was batting, punching and flinging a fuzzy little worm cat toy. I reached up to my hairy upper lip and the light of understanding shined down on me.

    Doing my Sally Field impersonation, "you love me, you really, really love me", I ran to the bathroom and snatched the clippers from the drawer.

    That night, with my closely cut upper lip hair, I grabbed the fuzzy little worm cat toy and placed it on the end of the bed. I shut off the light and smiled, looking forward to my first uninterrupted night of sleep in weeks. As the drunks were all going home, I was again startled awake by a left hook to the face. My eyes popped open, wide awake with confusion in my head. There on my chest sat the tiny cute adorable little kitten and there on my face sat the fuzzy little worm cat toy.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

You Know When You’re So Scared, Nothing Comes Out Of Your Mouth?

    At one time or another we've all been so scared as to scream. Our mouths open wide, jaws drop to our chest and the corners of our lips are about to split as we take in the horror that is upon us. We fill our lungs to capacity for maximum sound, expecting to snap eardrums for miles. All that air goes flying out in what should have been one blood curdling scream but instead we get a sound that's quieter than a whisper. Sometimes, this is a good thing.

    We had some guest over one weekend and on the second morning of a wonderful time I was in the kitchen making breakfast when one of them walked in looking dead tired. I asked if he was ok and he responded with he was fine, just didn't get any sleep. He dragged his limp and lifeless body over to the kitchen table and sat down, rubbed his eyes and said, "You know when you're so scared, you open your mouth to scream and nothing comes out?" I told him I did, usually in nightmares. "Let me tell you about my nightmare then", he said.

    It seems he got up around 1am and had to use the bathroom. He quietly felt his way down the dark hallway to the pitch black bathroom, stepped in and shut the door. He felt around the cold wall for a light switch to no avail.  Not being able to see, he sat down instead of standing to urinate.  As he sat there in total darkness he felt a warm breath blow across the back of his neck. At first, he thought he just imagined it but it happened again. He could feel the hairs on the back of his neck and arms start to stand up as panic started to take over. He finished quickly and was ready to bolt out of the bathroom when he felt another warm breath followed by a tiny little tap on his left shoulder. Panic took over. He froze. He opened his mouth to scream but nothing came out. Fear had him glued down and visions of his decaying body being discovered on the porcelain thrown sent chills down his spine. Just as the last fleeting pictures of his life flew across his vision, he heard a tiny little sound come from behind him.  These were the last seconds of his life.  The tiny sound came again and this time he heard it clearly.  Meow.   That's when he realized there was a cat sitting on the toilet tank right behind him. After that, all he could think of was, thank gawd that he was sitting on a toilet.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Superior Scribbler Award from My Mind Wandered...


     It always surprises me when I recieve an award from someone.  I write my post and put them out there for the world to read not knowing if they are going to be loved or hated.  Preferably loved but it's alright if some are not, they are mine and I still love them in all there imperfections.  I started this blog on Aug 10, 2009 and I worry about the future.  How many stories can I tell?  What happens if I come home one day and find my cats puffing on a pipe wearing a smoking jacket boring as hell.  It's nice to know though, at this time I am doing something right, that people are enjoying what I write.  With that I would really like to thank Leeuna for the fantastic Superior Scribbler Award.  You can check out her great site My Mind Wandered...and it never came back!  Her mind wanders to some great places and lucky for us she writes it down.

     Like many awards, this one comes with conditions, so here goes.

*Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.

*Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.

*Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.

*Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!

*Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

I have everything done except the 5 blogs so without further ado:

  1. just kicken it around by plainolebob.  It is truely one of the most hysterical blogs I have read.
  2. The Time Crook by Hunter.  I'm not even going to tell you to check out a certain post  that stands out because ALL of his stories and haikus stand out.  Trust me on this, you HAVE to go back and read the older posts too.  Just don't be drinking anything while reading, swallowing and laughin at the same time hurt.
  3. The Good Girls by Sarah.  Sarah has a way of putting words together to create some very wonderful stories.  While reading the stories she writes your world will fade out and hers will take over.
  4. SecretOfficeConfessions by Kate.  Publishing will never look the same agian.  Wildly funny, you wont know if you want to work there or run screaming from the building.
  5. plentymorefishoutofwater  An Englishman's guide to dating and social etiquette.  A mans perspective on dating.  He holds nothing back in his extremely humorous stories on dating.
There are more but I am only allowed 5 and these five are great and consistent.  Thank you again Leeuna and thank you Bob, Hunter, Sarah, Kate and Plenty More Fish for writing stories that make us feel.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Interlude #03: You Named Your Cats After What???

     A long time ago, back in middle school, a friends family had two cats.  Their names were Trix and Coco Puffs.  I asked him one day who named them and he told me his Dad.  I replied "I take it your dad likes cereal a lot".  He replied, "no, hookers".

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Curiosity Didn’t Kill The Cat, But I’m In Critical Condition: Run Away, RUN AWAY!

    We all have are phobias, whether it be reptiles, things under the bed or midget clowns from space, there is something that scares us. Most of it is irrational, we can't be hurt by it but in our minds it will cause a slow and excruciating death. For me, I have a very common phobia; spiders, I just take it to the extreme.

While hiking one day with some friends, we came across a snake. The back end of the snake was under some shrubs on the side of the path and the front end was lying there lifeless out in the sun. The six of us stood in a circle around the snake arguing whether it was dead or just playing possum. One of us chimed up that they could see the rattles on the tail. I suggested we leave it alone and continue past the snake. I believed it to be alive. We followed the path up the rest of the shrub filled hill and there it ended abruptly. We made a u-turn back down the trail and came across the shrub where the snake was. I say was, because now there was only a little slither trail in the sand where it had laid fooling us into leaving it alone. Everyone was getting antsy and looking around, afraid the rattler was going to jump out and yell booga booga and bite them I them in the ankle. I seemed to be the only calm rational one out of the bunch. As we made our way to the bottom of the hill, looking in every direction but forward, we came across a field of dry grass about four feet high. Out in the field about a hundred yards was hill with wild gourds growing on it. I wanted to get a closer look but there was no trail out to the isolated Garden of Eden. Single file we decided to trudge out there. I was fifth in line in our parade of soldiers marching through the swamp of dried grass. About 25 yards into our little walk I got a quick glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye. Instantly, I turned into a bowling ball and the five people in front of me flew off like pins into the grass. They knew me pretty good and I heard someone yell as I sped towards the hill leaving them lying in the grass to die with our enemies, "did you see a spider?" I gasped out of breath, still sprinting; "I dunno, it was black and moved!" Carl Lewis has nothing on me when there's a spider involved, or in this case a possible spider. I sacrificed all six of them to the Snake Gods of the Grass that day just to get away from a spider that may or may not have existed…and unfortunately, I'd do it again.

Yes, I have a quite common phobia of spiders. The advantage of such a phobia is I can always run away…or so I thought.

    Rock was the Harry Houdini of cats. He could get from point A to point B and no one would see him do it. Before opening the front door I would scan the area for any signs of the sneaky mongrel. I would then crack open the door just enough to slide my body through, slip outside, shut the door and lock it. I would proceed down the steps to the sidewalk and there would be Rock, sitting there. To this day I don't know how he did it but he always seemed to get out the door without me ever seeing him.

    One early evening he did this and as I got to the sidewalk to pick him up, he bolted. He ran around the side of the house with me in hot pursuit and like the bullet train entering a tunnel, he shot underneath the house. I called his name a couple of time and got nothing back. I went inside and snatched the can of treats from the kitchen and shook it a few times in front of the hole Rock had shot through. Like a Jack-in-the-Box from hell, Rock popped out of the hole, an all black cat covered in a thick mass of sticky, stringy spider webs. I dropped the treats and ran like I just saw Ichabod Crane come flying across the bridge of Sleepy Hollow.

    I ran into the house gasping for breath and slammed the front door shut. "You're cats out wandering the streets; you need to go get him". I explained what just happened and out the door my other half goes to get the cat, laughing the whole time. As the web coated feline is snatched from the street and taken to the bathroom to be cleaned up, I stepped outside to grab something from the car. As I entered the house I find Rock sitting in front of the door way. I jumped back out and quickly shut the door and rang the bell. The following conversation took place.

"Who is it?"
"It's me, Rocks in front of the door and there is a spider on him."
"Did you see one?"
"I dunno, he's black and moving."
"Who is? The spider or Rock?"

    After some convincing that Rock was de-spidered, I entered the house giving the furry spider bus a wide berth, just in case. I sat myself at the corner of the couch and Rock sauntered over and sat at my feet. I scooted over to the other side of the couch and Rock scooted over and sat by my feet again. I got up and preceded down the hallway, the mini spider toting terrorist got up and proceeded to follow me. I ran. He chased me. I sped down the hallway at break neck speed barely getting to the bedroom door in time to shut it and keep Rock from flinging anything with eight legs and a mound of eyes at me.

    Rock chased me around the house for a few days before I was finally convinced that if any spider was indeed on the cat it probably died from the fumes emanating from the cat box during one of Rocks daily trips to it. I sat down on the couch and saw Rock in the middle of the living room floor looking in my direction. I whistled, called out his name and patted my knee with my hand. Rock looked at me, stood up, stretched, turned around and walked away.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Interlude #02: Halloween Treats

A Friend of mine made this one year for a halloween party.  People are still talking about it to this day.  I'm actually thinking of making this to take into work.  What do you think?

Here's a great Idea for a Halloween treat to take to a party.  It's simple to make and very tasty.  The presentation alone will have you the talk of the town for weeks.  First, you get some finely chopped nuts,  just how much depends on the size of the presentation container you use and we'll get to that in a bit.  Dump the nuts into your presentation container to fill the bottom about 1/2 an inch.  Next get some tootsie rolls and unwrap them.  Place them in the nuts.  Bury some, roll some around, just lay some on top.  For the presentation container, use a small cat box, preferably new, and a pooper scooper, also preferably new and walla!  Kitty Surprise Treats!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I Think Your Cats Mooning the Dog

     Moving is a traumatic experience for most of us. It's the same routine every time, the packing, the unpacking, the trying to figure out where you got everything from and why in the hell you still have it. Moving is traumatic and if you have a pet it's even harder.

     Imagine my surprise, when I and my cat Fred moved into a house with three other cats and everyone got along instantly. A couple of sniffs, a high five and Fred was eating from the same bowl with the other cats. The only thing left was to teach Fred to be an indoor/outdoor cat and to use the cat door. He was now an indoor cat living in a world where other cats could come and go as they please. He caught on quick and everything was great…for about a week.

    About a week after the move everything was wonderful until one night the neighbor's dog started barking. All night long he barked. Being a new neighbor, nothing was yelled out the window. The next morning I slowly dragged myself out to the kitchen where I could smell the coffee and asked if the dog barks all the time. I was told no, didn't even know the neighbors had a dog. I let it go.

     That night around 11pm the onslaught of foaming at the mouth barking started. A few "shut up" were sternly yelled out the window to no avail. The day after the third night I paid a visit to the neighbors and introduced myself. I learned the dog was not new, they had him for 4 years, he's never barked before and he wasn't going to be put inside for the night because he would chew up everything. After the fourth night I found new and colorful words flying out of my mouth and out the window, all had no impact on the barking dog. On the fifth night, again around 11pm, it started. I dragged my sleep deprived butt out of bed and stomped like a crazy person out the back door. I was done. The dog and I were going to have it out once and for all.

     I slammed out the back door and marched to the middle of the backyard and stopped. I was embarrassed. The tide had instantly turned. I felt a tap on my shoulder and heard these words calmly come from behind me. "Your naked, the porch lights on, the houses here are on raised foundations so they can see you over the wall and I think your cats mooning the dog". Standing on the block wall with tail up, facing away from the barking dog was, of course, my cat Fred. It was a perfect perch, just out of reach of the dog but next to a bush so when the dog owners would come out they wouldn't see the mooning cat.

     The next night around 11pm the dog started. I quietly got up, put on shorts and with head down, went to get the cat off the back wall. The dog was quiet. Never did tell the neighbors, not after some of the words I slung out the window.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Interlude #01: Score One for Originality

     I asked my Boss if I could go home early and she asked why.  So I told her my cat had gas, was constipated and I was afraid it might explode.  She let me go home on account of originality.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

We interrupt this program…

    Recently I received the Kreativ Blogger award from La Jenno. With it, I am supposed to thank the person who gave it to me so La Jenno at The Life and Times of La Jenno, thank you so much. Also, I am supposed to tell 7 things you may not know about me. I have had a tough time the last few days grappling with how to do this in my blog. Did I want to go 7 serious things or 7 fun things. I wasn't sure. I decided to go with 7 serious things. I originally didn't feel it was appropriate to post this in my blog as I try to keep it more a story blog then a blog about me but in the end I decided to post it because after all, I am technically the Innocent Owner of the title and I am truly honored by the award coming from La Jenno. Keep in mind, this was a very long time ago but was huge factor in shaping who I am today. So here are 7 things you did not know about me.
  1. I was a junkie in my early years. Sharing needles and all.
  2. I was homeless for awhile (see above) living under an overpass near Angel's Stadium in the Santa Ana River bed
  3. I was arrested for trying to purchase drugs, turned out to be a police officer
  4. I was on all the local news for trying to purchase the illegal drugs from an officer during a big sting operation. Must have had 100 phone calls on my machine the next day.
  5. I got Hepatitis C from sharing needles with a person who ended up dying of AIDS. I didn't get AIDS but the version of Hepatitis C I got was the worst possible version.
  6. Two years ago I went through a treatment for a year to attempt to get rid of the Hepatitis C. It was rough and very little chance it would work on my version of the disease. It nearly killed me, literally, but I refused to stop the treatment. Finally, they had to stop treatment a month early fearing I might not make it through due to the complications I was having from all the side effects. I won the war. I beat all odds and have been clear of the disease for two years and my liver is coming back quite nicely.

  7. I am neither regretful nor embarrassed of my past. It made me who I am and I am proud of myself.

    Finally, I am supposed to pass this award on to someone else. Without further ado, I pass this on to one of my favorite story tellers by far, Hunter, who's blog The Time Crook is a fantastic mix of stories. Fiction, poetry, crookery, his imagination seems limitless.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Close, But No Cigar

    As we drive down the road with our pristine print out of MapQuest sitting beside us unlooked at, we wonder "where am I?" Our second thought is usually, "how did I get here?" It never occurs to us to actually READ the thing we printed out. We briefly think to ourselves, should we ask for directions, but that thought disappears as quickly as the life of the bug that just hit our windshield. We are lost and we will never admit it. We would rather drive around 45 minutes to get to a place 15 minutes away before asking for direction. After all, if a butterfly can find its way from North America to its home thousands of miles away in South America, we certainly can find our destination only 10 miles away. I'm willing to bet the butterfly asked for directions.

    I grew up hearing fantastic stories about how pets were lost miles away and found their way home. A cat with three legs lost in the desert hundreds of miles away was found meowing at the grief stricken owner's door two weeks later. A dog in the middle of a bitter break up was taking by the ex who moved out of state only to find its way home to the side he really loved. Then there's my pet, the indoor cat that escaped and couldn't find his way out of a box if I drew it on the floor.

    With two weeks of food and a water supply to support a small community, we left the cats for their first weekend alone. Out the drive way and down the street is as far as we got before we made our u-turn back home to open a couple of windows so the animals could have fresh air over the weekend. I just didn't know how much fresh air one of them was actually going to get. With windows open we head back to the fully packed car, my one bag and the other ten that are not, and we head off to Vegas baby.

    After a great weekend and a  long exhausting drive, we pull up back home and find the front window open as we left it and the screen with a big hole not as we left it. A quick search of the house and one cat, Bull, was located. The other cat, Rock, was nowhere to be found. With bags left on the porch and treat cans in hand we head off to search for the missing cat.

    We lived on 3rd street inside a mobile home park. Rock couldn't have gotten far. A plan was drawn to choose who will search where and off to 2nd and 1st street I went. Four mobile homes in on the left side of 1st street Rock is found lying on the porch of an unoccupied mobile home, it's the same location as our home just two streets over. I called out his name, gave the treat can a shake and the cat followed me home like a dog. I explained that the cat was found in the same lot we were in, just two streets over, and I'm quickly told the cat takes after me. I'm sure it was a complement.

    Another year goes by before the cats are left alone again for the weekend. No windows were left open this time. Upon returning home we find the front window open about half a foot, the replaced screen with a big hole in it and one missing cat. The window he escaped through wouldn't latch and he figured out how to slide it open, too bad he couldn't figure out how to get home. With battle plans drawn I head off to 2nd and 1st street again. There's Rock, same place as before.

    Eventually someone moved into the place on 1st street and every time we left for 2 days I would go and warn them they may be visited…and a couple of times they were.

    I'll never understand how salmon can find the correct stream to swim up or how migrating birds know where to go. I ask myself why do some people know distinctly were to go and others couldn't find their neighbors house. Why can a cat lost in the desert find its way home and if mine blinks he's lost. I don't know. Until then though, I will continue to add an extra hour to my travel time.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Are You Insane?!

    Through out our lives we pass by many people. We pass each other at work, in the grocery store, in our own neighborhood. Some we stop and talk to and others we pass up. Some we downright run away from. In a split second we make a decision based on their looks, the way they walk, their mannerism. We know nothing about them yet we make our choice. We don't do this with anything else; we don't choose our cars, our homes or even the clothes that we are wearing that fast. First impressions can make or break a great thing in our lives.

    Way too soon after a special pet passed away, I was handed a piece of paper. On this piece of paper where two pictures of two flame pt. Siamese kittens at the local animal shelter. The two kittens, brothers, were scrunched up, eyes wide and looked ready to attack or run from the camera man. They looked mean and grungy. I wasn't in the mood for more animals at the time. I declined. After hours and hours of debate I was talked into "at least going to look".

    At the shelter we looked at the dogs, rabbits, ducks and finally the cat house. The cat house had rows and rows of cages filled with cute, lovable little kittens and cats, any of which would make a great pet. I was directed to two cages off in the corner. In the first cage was the first flame pt. Siamese that was in the picture and in the second cage was his brother. There they were, both of them, hunched in the back and eyes wide. I stuck my fingers up to the bars of the first cage and was awarded with ears pulled back and a hiss. I stuck my fingers up to the bars of the second cage and was awarded with the same thing. Yep, they were brothers alright.

    There is a little glass room at the end of the cat house that you can have an animal taken to interact with. I declined. I don't want a mean grungy cat. We debate again. I lose. As the shelter employee is taking the first cat to the room, she remarks that if the cat bites or scratches us, it will be put down immediately. I comment on how nice her big leather gloves are she is wearing. We get to the room and she places the kitten on a chair and leaves. At one end of the room is a little kitten sitting on a chair with it ears pulled back and all hunched up looking ready to eat me, at the other end are two grown people afraid of a little kitten. Worried that it will be put down if it scratches us I say it's time to leave. The reply I got back was "let's get them". Are you INSANE?! I think to myself, except the words actually came out of my mouth. I look over and I see I'm getting the stink eye and it's not from the kitten. We debate yet once more. I only half loose, as we decide to just take one of the brothers.

    After the paperwork is done we are told they will call in about two days for us to pick up the kitten. Two days go by and we are off to the shelter. Sitting in the waiting area a lady comes out with an animal box in her hands and a horrible screeching sound emitting from it. The box hissed and growled at me the whole way home.

    When we got home, I sat the box in the middle of the living room. There it sat making the meanest noises I've heard in a long time. "Ready" I asked. I sat on the couch with the box on the floor facing away from me and opened the lid. Out sprang this mad kitten that ran around the coffee table two or three times, stopped, looked up at me, and jumped in my lap. He purred. It was the craziest thing I have ever seen.

    Two days later we went and picked up his brother. Worried that lightning wasn't going to strike twice I sat down on the couch in our living room again with another box growling at me. I faced the box away from me so as not to be attacked when the brother was released. I opened the new box. Out sprang the second mad kitten who ran around the coffee table two or three times, sniffed his brother's butt, looked up at me and jumped on the couch right next to me and fell asleep. My jaw fell. We named them Fuego and Toby and as I write this it's been two years of pure entertainment and love.

    First impressions and quick decisions are not always a good thing. Sometimes, it's important to get to know someone. I don't know why Fuego and Toby were like the way they were at the shelter, bad day maybe. We all have those. I think about all the things I would have missed out on had I not gotten to know these two cats. Imagine all the people we passed up throughout our lives and never said hello to because we didn't like their clothes or their ears were pulled back and their eyes wide. Could they be a Fuego or a Toby? Next time you pass up someone, ask yourself, did you just pass up someone who could have become your greatest friend?


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Who Ate The Bread?!

    When it comes to food, we all have are dislikes and likes. Some of us will eat anything and others are picky. We starve ourselves all day because nothing looks good or we gourd ourselves to the point of exploding because it all looks delicious. We make more decisions about food everyday than anything else, do we eat out or do we cook at home, do we eat healthy and light or go for some indulgence. Wouldn't it be nice to just find a plate of food magically in the same spot every day, always there and ready to eat? We would be in heaven. I've explained this over and over till I'm blue in the face but my cats just don't get it.

    I was surprised one day when going to make a sandwich. The back end of the wrapper had been ripped apart and the bread was all chewed and scratched. I tossed the bread in the trash and ate something else. An hour later, the bread was found on the floor, the wrapper ripped a little more, the bread chewed a lot more. A week later and a new loaf of bread was found lying on the kitchen floor. It was obviously, hunted down and attacked. It was mauled pretty bad and couldn't be saved so I put it to rest. I was starting to get flashbacks of the last time I had a cat who was obsessed with food. I was starting to sweat.

    Canned food has been banned from my house for a few years now. Thanks, to Rock and Bull back in the mid 90's and my aversion to constantly picking up trash that was thrown around the house. Those two were fed canned food every night between 5:30 and 6pm. If you missed the deadline, well, let's just say it wasn't a pretty site. It would start slowly. There would be a small crash as the kitchen trash would be knocked over. It was 6:01. There would be some rustling and crinkling as the trash started being removed from the can. It was 6:02. There would be the sound of feet running and cupboards opening, that would be me rushing to get the food out. It was 6:03.

    At 5:45 one evening I realized I was out of food. I jumped into some shoes, grabbed the car keys and sped off to the store like a mad, crazy person. I made my purchase and peeled off to home. With food in hand I swung open the front door and stepped in. The entire floor was covered in tiny little pieces of trash. The living room, the dining room and the hallway looked like a ticker tape parade had just caravanned right through. I could see no cats. I ventured down the hallway passing the bathroom. Ticker taped. The bedroom door stood before me, ajar. I pushed it all the way open and there sat two cats, both staring at me, on the bed in the middle of tiny little pieces of trash. It was 6:05. It wasn't that they just strung trash all over, it was the fact that they chewed it into tiny little pieces first. Canned food was now banned.

    The bread in my house is no longer left out. It has to be locked up and secured. For awhile, there were no senseless bread murders, that was until one grocery shopping day. I put down the first round of grocery bags on the kitchen floor and went to get the rest. One minute, that's all it took. With bags in hand I rounded into the kitchen. On the floor was a plastic grocery back. Sticking out of the plastic grocery back was a white, fuzzy butt. Flying past the white, fuzzy butt were little pieces of bread. One minute, that's all it took.

   With so many decisions we make on a daily basis, it would be nice to find a plate of food that just magically appears in the same spot every day. No more trying to figure out what to make or where to eat. It would just be there, the same thing every day, all year. Yes I would eat out of the trash too.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Cat Farts!

    Let's cut to the chase, everyone farts. We spend our entire life coming up with unique ways to blame it on anything and everything. We are embarrassed by it yet we all do it. Fill a room with 30 people and an all too familiar smell and you would get 30 comments along the lines of "I didn't do it", "I don't smell anything", "did something just die?" It's in our nature, we can't help it.

    Opening the front door one cold, late October afternoon, I entered the house only to be hit with an over bearing smell. I called out to my roommate, "I think the pumpkin went bad, it stinks". He responded from the other room "it's fine, it was the cat". How sad, I thought, we've come to blaming the cats. I hollered in response, "The cat's 2 years old, you mean to tell me he chose today to start blowing air poo?" And then the familiar response, "wasn't me".

    The following day as I sat at the computer doing what I'm sure was extremely important things, the familiar smell of rotten pumpkin came bellowing up. I looked across at my roommate who had a big smile on his face and was trying not to laugh, "wasn't me, I swear". "Go outside", I begged. It was too cold to open all the windows. "Better yet", I said, "go down the street". Yes, that bad. Laughing now, he says "I swear, it's the cat"

    For a week this went on and every time, he blamed the cat. I pointed out that it only happened when he was around. I pointed out that before I could smell anything, he started laughing. I pointed out the cat was only 10 pounds and 10 pounds of cat could not produce that.

    At the end of the week as I sat at the computer doing what I'm sure was extremely important things, I was enveloped by rotten pumpkin once again. Just as I was about to say something, I realized, I was alone. Almost alone I should say. At my feet lay 10 pounds of cat looking up at me. Although he couldn't speak, I could read his eyes and they simply said, "Wasn't me".

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Oh, You’ll Notice Me Alright! (Part 2)

    Some cats are fat, some are skinny. Some run around like crazy while others lie around all day. Some cats are perpetually happy while others have wild mood swings. Some are smart while others, well, not so much. They come in all different colors and sizes but they all have one thing in common. They want to be noticed. They crave love and attention just as we do. The next time you're in the same room with a cat and you see it looking at you, don't turn away. If you do, prepare yourself for battle. It wants your attention and it's going to get it one way or the other.

    After the "it's not sleeping" incident, the two cats Frankie and Oreo, were to be kept inside. It was quite obvious this was not to their liking when I was informed that my cats were not potty trained. My two year old cats that never had an accident before had started having them right in front of the door they used to go in and out of. After a couple of days "accidents" it was decided to put the cat box in front of the door for awhile. This was the back door to the yard and no one really used the door except to let the cats out. This didn't work. Every day I would come in to clean the box and there it would be, clean. And every day, there next to the box, on the floor, would be "an accident". This went on for a couple more days and soon to be mother-in-law broke. It was decided that Frankie and Oreo could go outside. They could roam and frolic around all they wanted but only when supervised. So every day, soon to be mother-in-law took them outside.

    One morning soon after Frankie and Oreo had been re-potty trained, I walked into the living room where I found my then fiancée standing in the center of the room with my soon to be mother-in-law and my soon to be father-in-law. They were all staring at the floor where there used to be a six foot circular throw rug now mysteriously missing. None of us claimed any knowledge to its whereabouts. After a quick search around, the rug was found in my soon to be in-laws bedroom scrunched up at the end of their bed across from the bathroom door. Again, none of us claimed any knowledge to how it got there. The last person to see it in the living room was the soon to be mother-in-law just before she hopped in to the tub for an afternoon soak. The rug was immediately picked up and put back into its place. Nothing in this house was ever out of place.

    It was a big throw rug and weighed about five pounds. I had a feeling Oreo was involved. Ever since the bunny/snail incident, Oreo had been on a quest to get soon to be mother-in-laws attention. And he was doing it. He slept on her bed. She threw him out. He'd hop back up. She put him out to the family room and shut her bedroom door. He'd run across the room full tilt, jump up and hit the door with all four and walla, open door. He'd hop up on her bed, she'd sigh, and they both would nap. This was a daily occurrence.

    One evening while watching TV, Oreo comes sauntering across the family room to the infamous door of soon to be mother-in-law's bedroom. Standing on his hind legs he stretches up the side of the door and with both paws on the door lever pulls down. Click. He turns and saunters back the way he came. Less than a minute later I hear the sound of claws tearing up the carpet as this cat goes flying by like a NASCAR driver from hell. Straight across the leaving room and headed towards the infamous door, he jumps, he shoots, and he scores. Door open. Oreo heads back to the center of the family room and begins to pull this throw rug that weighs almost as much as he does. He jerks, pulls, and shakes this rug all the way to the room, to the foot of the bed across from the bathroom. The bathroom that a particular person just happened to be in, taken an early evening soak.

    Eventually a compromise was agreed upon. A fresh laundered towel was placed on the foot of the bed every day and every day whenever she was in the room you could find two cats lying on a towel at the foot of the bed. Yes, two cats. Eventually Frankie caught on and started riding the coat tails of Oreo for that attention high they both looked for in life.

    We were there for awhile but eventually it came time to move on. Out of a war between a person and two cats, a bond was created, a strong bond. The cats stayed…as requested by soon to be mother-in-law.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Oh, You’ll Notice Me Alright! (Part 1)

    Cats are like people in many ways. They have good moods and bad moods. Sometimes they want to play and other times they want to be left alone. Most of all though, just like us, they crave love and attention.

    I was in my early 20's fresh from moving back to California, living with my fiancée at the time and seven other people. Money was hard to come by and the traffic in and out of the house was just too much. Her parents offered for us to move in with them and we both agreed it was a great idea. There was only one issue, cats. Her mom did not like cats and we had two of them, Frankie and Oreo. After much discussion with her parents, rules were set and it was agreed the cats would come with us. The cats broke the rules starting on the second day.

    My soon to be mother-in-law loved to feed and watch the wild bunnies out in her yard every morning. Upon returning home from work on the second day of living there I was summoned to the kitchen like a five year old caught doing something wrong. With that 'you are in deep trouble' look in her eyes, she has me look out the kitchen window and asks me, "What do you see?" There were little pieces of lettuce, carrots and various other vegetable parts strung throughout the yard. It looked like somebody's salad exploded. I wasn't quite sure where this was going and I didn't really know what to say, so I said the only thing I could think of, "If you're trying to grow a garden, you're going about it all wrong".  My attempt at humor fell flat. "No", she says, "I was trying to feed the rabbits, the ones your two cats kept chasing away all day". For whatever reason that will for now and ever be unknown to me, Frankie and Oreo had decided sometime that morning that they loved my soon to be mother-in-law and would follow her around day and night, never to leave her sight. And they didn't.

    Things got worse the following week when a bunny (which I was assured was NOT sleeping) was found outside the front door and Frankie sitting right next to it. She picked up the cat, leaving the 'not sleeping' bunny for me, and preceded to explain to Frankie in a mom to child voice that, yes she loved bunnies and that it was bad what he did. This was the first time she had ever touched one of the cats let alone acknowledged them. Cats like people notice things like this and to Oreo, Frankie was getting attention. The following morning the front door was opened and there on the porch was Oreo with not one but THREE 'not sleeping' snails. He was much slower than Frankie.

    The war had started. It was on. Cats are like people in many ways. They want love and attention just like we do. And they'll do anything to get it.
(to be continued)

Monday, August 24, 2009

I Can Make It, I Can Make IT…I Can’t Make It

     Grace. Finesse. Agility. These words are synonymous with cats. They have beauty and style as they maneuver around with pinpoint accuracy to snatch a bug out of mid air, the swiftness to trip you up without ever getting kicked. Grace. Finesse. Agility. You can use these words to describe all cats. So why did mine just smash into the side of the table, face first?

     Rock sat on the arm of the chair, looking back and forth between me and the table, as if to say "I can make it". I stared back, "no, you can't". His hind legs squatted down and tensed up, "I can make it". I rolled my eyes, "no, you can't". His tail flicked, butt wiggled and snap, off he went. Two feet, that is all he had to do and yet he still landed face first into the side of the table. I shrugged my shoulders, "told you so".

     He has been like this all his life. Luckily, he never got truly hurt but it did cause some problems. On a trip to the Vets office I was called back to the consulting office. "Mr. Innocent, have you or anyone in your home ever hit your cats?" he asks me. I told him no, I do not believe any animal should be hit for any reason. I have two squirt bottles and a super soaker for when they're bad. Super soaker is for that long distance bad and I'm too lazy to get up. He proceeds to tell me my cat has a fat lip and it looks like someone hit him in the face. Trying not to laugh because this is serious stuff, I try to explain that Rock came running down the hall this morning at full speed and turned the corner…too soon. He went head on into the wall. Even to my own ears this sounded like the "I got a black eye from the door" story. The Doctor gave me the stink eye basically and told me that Rock would have to stay for about two days.

     Two days later, I stopped by the Vets to pick up my cat. I'm told by the receptionist that the Doctor would like to speak to me. She ushers me into the tiny consulting room to wait, horrible thoughts are running through my head. I'm thinking he really believes I abuse my cat and he's not going to give him back. After 10 minutes the door opens and in walks the Doc, "Mr. Innocent" he says to me, "I owe you an apology". It seems, Rock was sitting on the examining table and made an attempt to jump over to a counter top. He didn't make it.

     Grace. Finesse. Agility. You can use these words to describe all cats. It just depends on how you look at it. When Rock crashes, he does so with great finesse. He has the agility to always land on his feet as he crashes to the floor. And he has all the grace of a drunk as he swaggers off down the hallway in search of a new place to sleep.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I Spent a Fortune on Toys and THAT’S What You Play With!?

     Let's face it, as cat owners, we spend a fortune on our feline friends. Our cats have more toys and gadgets than Batman. We get them scratching posts, beds, treats and more toys than a rich kid at Christmas.

    I purchased little plastic balls with bells in them. They last two days. The cat bats it around for a few minutes the first day and then is bored with it. By the second day I have stepped on it and broke it. So, I tried again. I went out and got them little stuffed fishes with catnip. I come home from work one evening and find my house looks like a murder scene, little bits of fishes from one end to the other. Cat nip is now banned. I tried feathers on a stick. My arm got tired from waving it around. I found this cool little fishing pole with a fish dangling from it. Casted it out and the cats went crazy chasing it. They loved it. Only problem was, their favorite part of this was the string, which they chewed through thus destroying the toy within the hour. On top of that, another fish murder happened right after. Fish are now banned. I hung one of those cat scratchers from the door knob. Someone pee'd on it. Wasn't me.

    One day the cat comes sauntering in, passes the large, stuffed to the brim toy box of his, and starts going crazy batting and flipping this little thing around. I spent a fortune on toys and my cat plays with the little pull tab off of a gallon of milk.

    Through out the years I have discovered that cats will play with three things forever. None of them cost a dime. Old shoe strings, wadded up paper and the pull tab off of a gallon of milk. So once a month, I throw an old shoe lace on the floor, wad up some flyer I got in the mail and drop a pull tab for them to play with and then I go dust the cobwebs off their old toys.

Friday, August 14, 2009

“That’s Not My Cat, Sir!”

To many non cat people, cats all look alike. I once owned two black cats. I knew who was who but many of my friends couldn't tell them apart. They would try to hide the fact they didn't know which one was crossing the room. They had a 50/50 chance of calling the right name. They were wrong 100%. "What does your instinct tell you?" I would ask them. They would reply and I would tell them to never trust their instinct. For me it's easy. One weighs about 2 pounds more than the other. One has fuzzier hair. One will stare at an open flame on a candle and burn all his whiskers off. How hard can it be?

On the other hand, I don't believe my landlord (not the ones I have now) could tell the difference between a cat and an elephant. This isn't about the two black cats, which would be understandable. This is about a unique cat I had about twenty years ago. Occasionally this cat, Felix, would escape from the house to enjoy a little freedom.

My landlord was a nice guy over all but insane. I was re-arranging the adjustable shelves on the wall we shared with his unit one day when there was a knock on the door. He wanted me to put them back the way they were. Apparently, I was not allowed to make any changes to the place without his permission. Good thing he didn't notice we painted the place.

All was quiet on the western front when one day I got a phone call. Felix, he says, is getting out and using his garden as a rather large cat box. I was a little confused since the cat had not escaped in weeks but I apologized anyway. For weeks this went on. Every other day I was getting a phone call or a knock on the door. It couldn't be my cat but he swears he saw Felix with his own eyes. He's seen my cat plenty of times with all the visits he made to "make sure everything was ok". I just couldn't figure out how my cat was escaping, let alone getting back IN to the house.

Finally the answer came one day. I heard my landlord hollering for me to come outside and get my cat. I ran to the door, swung it open and there was my landlord holding a cute white cat with black spots weighing about 10 pounds. He politely started chewing me out and telling me I had to either keep the cat indoors or find a new place to live. He just kept on going and wouldn't stop. I couldn't get a word in no matter how hard I tried. Finally, I put my hand up, looked him straight in the face and said, "That's not my cat, sir!". I told him to wait right where he was. I went and got my cat, all 38 pound of his fat tabby butt. "THIS is my cat" I said. He just put the stray cat he was holding down and walked away. He never complained about my cat again.

Yes, to many non cat people, all cats look alike. To the cat owner, we notice every little thing. From the way they walk to the way they look at you. Nothing gets by us…most of the time anyway.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How To Get Your Cat To Come Running When You Call Its Name

Name it “Treats”. Really. Out of all the cats I have ever owned, that is the one word they will come running to every time. You don’t even have to shake a can. Just whisper the word “treats” and anything with four legs will be at your feet in seconds.

I had two kittens, about six months old, who loved to get on the counters in the kitchen. Every time I turned around, there they were, on the counter. One night I had some friends over for dinner and had to get some extra plates out of a cabinet that was up high. Being 5'6" I grabbed my cheap flimsy step stool and tried to retrieve them. As I'm standing on my tip toes at the top of this step stool, a friend of mine, a foot taller than me, tells me to hop down and he will get them. "No no" I say, “I can reach them". Just as my fingers brush the edge of the plates, the cheap flimsy step stool starts to give. He bellows at me, "Get down! gawd dammit", and like magic, there are two kittens sitting right in front of him. Yes, they had heard those words for the last two months more than there given names. I had two cats who thought their names were Get Down and Gawd Dammit. Eventually they grew into nice healthy cats with attitude that only came when it suited them.

Finally, after 43 years, I have a cat that will come when you call his name. Fuego. Actually, he comes to you every time you call any name. It doesn’t even have to be a name, really. Make up a word and say it and he’s there, at your feet, ready to be petted.

Let’s face it, when cats want attention they will come. If they don’t, you’re out of luck. Next time you get a new cat or kitten name it what you like. Any name will do. But, if you want it to come running every time you call it, name it “Treats”. It works every time.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Yes Virginia, The Cat CAN Lock You Out of the House

The rule of thumb is, I feed you, pet you, play with you and buy you new toys, you do not lock me out of the house. It is an easy concept to grasp for most people. So why is it so difficult for cats to understand? They're not stupid by any means. Just think of all the times you had guests over. The cat comes strutting into the middle of the room, looks around, makes eye contact with everyone then plops down and starts licking himself inappropriately. Maximum embarrassment with little effort. Brilliant! No, they're not stupid. They know exactly what they are doing.

A couple of days ago I awoke from a good night of sleep. Nice and rested. I do my normal routine. I put food in the bowl, get fresh water and clean the almond Rocha out of the box. I make sure each one of the three cats who own me are petted and played with then head down the stairs to make some coffee.

With coffee in hand, I slide open the patio door and head out to the patio in the backyard. I shut the sliding screen door and begin enjoying a beautiful California summer morning. As I finish my coffee, I hear a familiar sound. Claws on a screen. I turn around and there is Fuego about six feet up plastered to the screen. I holler for him to get down but all I got back was the "what, me?" face. If you own a cat, you know what I'm talking about. Unfortunately for me he's not only on the screen door but he's right next to the edge of the sliding glass door so I cannot slide the screen open. After a few minutes of me alternating between pleading nicely and demanding sternly that he get down and let me in, he finely starts to break. I see him start looking for a spot to jump down to. He spots one. Just as he is ready to submit and let me in, his brother, Two Ton Toby, comes sauntering up and plops down in the only place he has to jump down. Nice. It's been about 10 minutes already and I have to get ready for work. My cell phone is in my pocket and I contemplate calling work and telling them I am going to be late because my cat locked me out of the house. I decide against. I am pretty sure that is equivalent to "my dog ate my homework".

Eventually, Toby decided to go explore some other part of the house and Fuego was able to jump down and let me in.

After a long day at work I come to find everyone one waiting for me at the front door. I ignore them all. I finish up my day sitting on the couch watching some TV, Still a little miffed. Fuego comes sneaking up from the side and plops down right on my lap. He looks up at me, smiles and starts purring. I'm done for. No, cats are not stupid and yes Virginia, the cat CAN lock you out of the house.