2017 A To Z Challenge – I

Challenge2017

When I was young, I had all the patience in the world, because I had all the time in the world, to have patience. Drip – drip – drip – drip!  As I grow older, and have less time – and less time to waste – the countless idiot things that countless idiots do, has eroded away much of my goodwill and patience.  For the letter

Letter I

I’m going to put on my super-powered Iron Man Grumpy Old Dude suit, and tell you what blows the breeze up my kilt, and causes me

IMPATIENCE

Back in April, I was merrily gamboling and frolicking through the sunlit meadows of the Blogosphere. With carefree abandon, I gathered bright, pretty flowers and thought-provoking word-prompts for the A to Z Challenge.  While I was trying to do this, WordPress had a construction crew in, tearing down and rebuilding their site.

It was bad enough that my computer needed a good cleaning – both physically, and electronically. When I finally took it in, the techs knitted two kittens from all the hair and dust in the tower.  They flushed out cookies, and Trojans, and malware, and bots – and defragged the hard drive.  Works faster – Right??!

Everywhere except WordPress! There, it could take a minute – or two minutes – or three….once it took almost five minutes just to shift from one page to another.  All the while with that irritating little ‘wheel’ spinning uselessly in front of my nose, like a couple of my teenage girlfriends – promising something, but never delivering.

Eventually, I’d get impatient, and left-click, just to see if I could prod something into happening. WordPress is not responding because of a long-running script and a button that said, Click to stop script.  I only made that mistake once.  It stopped the script, all right….and the connection to WordPress – and my Word program – and my Internet Outlook browser – and my PC!  No ‘Blue Screen of Death,’ just a black screen of Duh -Where Did Everybody Go?

(Push the ‘On’ button. Your last session ended unexpectedly. No Shit! Did you wish to recover the session? The sooner, the gooder!)

So, I’d wait – and wait….and wait. Eventually, I’d get impatient, and left-click again.  This time the notice read WordPress is not responding. Click to recover page.  😯  Nice of you to warn me.  Looking over my shoulder, the Grim Reaper said, “I’d click that, if I were you.”  So, I’d wait – and wait….and wait.  Drip – drip – drip – drip.

Eventually, WordPress got the walls painted and the new drapes hung in the Stats page. Things run a bit quicker and smoother there, now.  I can reserve my impatience for the idiots on the roads, and in the supermarkets, and on-line.  (Not you lovely people though.  You have great intelligence and show exquisite taste.  You’re here, aren’t you?)  😎

 

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Poppa Attack

poppa attack

Just to show that procrastination isn’t the only reason that I don’t get accomplished, what I should. Like Mary and her lamb, I love (most) animals, and they love me.  When I stop in at the daughter’s place, I don’t usually sit down.  I get in and out quicker.

The above photo, dark and murky though it may be, shows what happens if I sit in the big recliner chair. Daughter is hosting two short-haired female Chihuahuas for a breeder.  One insists on licking my entire face – could be for the perspiration salt – could be because she really likes me.  The other doesn’t lick faces, but will clean out both of my ears.

The grandson’s German Shepherd-cross never believes that the Chihuahua does my face correctly, and insists on re-licking it. With a much larger tongue, it should take her less time, but if I don’t insist on coming up for air, it could go on all afternoon.  She took out my sapphire ear-stud out one day.  I never noticed, and I’ve never replaced it.

The daughter’s younger male cat, who will not be picked up, has picked up on the fact that I’ve been practicing my petting and skritching at home.  He has settled onto the left side of my lap, while the little female loudly stands below him at my knee.

Not seen, on the sofa to my right, is Benny, the big son to my now-gone Contessa. He was battling a two-ear infection, with partial deafness and vertigo, but still loudly insisted that I reach out to him too.

The daughter sometimes babysits the breeder’s little, male, long-haired Chihuahua, when she’s on a business trip. He will let no man near him, but will run to the daughter when I arrive. She is allowed to pick him up, and hand him off to me.  There, he quickly settles into the crook of my left elbow, and closes his eyes as I stroke him.  He’d probably purr, if he were a cat.

The wife insists that I’m the reincarnation of St. Francis of Assisi. All this adoration is like high-octane gasoline; it fuels my soul.  It de-stresses me, and lowers my blood pressure, though it doesn’t help my memory or concentration.  “Why did I come in here today??  Shopping??!  What for?  What time is it?  What day is this?”   😕

Ode To Contessa

 

SDC10926

Contessa – my little one – my Missy – my Lady Cat – my gravatar partner – the one who happily, excitedly, ran to greet me each day as I left the bedroom – has died, and I cried like a baby!

It was not unexpected, but it was no less painful. A retired breeder, she was with us just over 5 years.  She was 16 years old, but many Bengals live to be 20.  She was supposed to be the wife’s cat, but she adopted me and kept me in line just like she did the dog.

A couple of years ago, she developed some sneezing, coughing and wheezing. It was feline asthma.  The vet warned that, when we lost her, it would probably be to breathing problems.  Month by month, the coughing grew more common.

About a month ago, she caught a head cold. Nose was stuffed up and runny.  From February last year, to her vet appointment this year, she dropped from 8 pounds, to seven.  Whether because she felt poorly, or just couldn’t smell her soft food, she stopped eating.  By the time we got her to the vet again, she was down to 5 pounds.

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He gave us some antibiotic, and some high-calorie food. We got the medicine in, but not the food.  When Bengals stop eating, it’s almost impossible to break the cycle.  They will starve themselves.  She spent a week in the computer room, taking the occasional sip of water.  She finally came out and collapsed on the carpet in front of the bathroom door.  The end seemed inevitable.

As I sat in the living-room, reading, I suddenly realized that she’d dragged herself downstairs and was on the floor at my feet. I like to think that she wanted to be near me at the end.  Minute by minute, her breaths became shallower.  I hoped that she would quietly, painlessly drift off.

I had called the daughter and asked what to do with her when she passed. Daughter said that, as soon as I was sure she was gone, to seal her in a plastic bag and put her in the freezer, until a decision could be made – burial with a marker in the back flower garden, or cremated, and her ashes returned?

I’d had a long, hard day with the wife in the hospital for a knee replacement. I left a plastic bag and a note for the son.  I tried to go to bed at my usual 5:00 A.M., but I couldn’t sleep, and I couldn’t leave the problem to the unsuspecting son.  Besides, if she wanted to be with me, the least I could do is be there for her at the end.

I put clothes back on and went and sat beside her, occasionally stroking her. I couldn’t read.  I couldn’t think.  I alternated between the chair, and pacing the floor, cursing Fate and the Universe, and crying.  It seemed each breath was a little shallower than the last.  At one point she raised her head to look at me.  I want to believe that she was making sure that I was still with her and was comforted.  Then she sank back down and I thought that had been her last breath.  A couple of minutes later, she shook her ears and moved her head.

Around 6:00 AM, she seemed to spasm. Her front legs didn’t work, but she used her hindquarters to scoot a couple of feet across the floor.  I was afraid that she was in distress.  I rushed upstairs to the computer.  Our vet is 15 miles away, and doesn’t open till eight, but there’s an animal hospital a mile down the road which opens at 7:30.  I could take her there as soon as the son gets home with the car, to have them end any pain.

Around 6:20, she rear-leg drove herself over into a corner, behind a scratching post. Cats want to die alone, with dignity.  She managed to flip herself over onto her chest and tummy.  She lowered her face, her mouth and nose into the carpet, and….

I lay beside her, gently touching and stroking her, and crying my eyes out. When the son got home, we bagged and froze her.  Next week, when the wife can walk, we’ll take her to our vet’s.  The price for a job-lot cremation is $25.  A single-animal cremation, with her ashes returned is $200.  The son says he’ll split the cost.  We’ve done it for the others.  Honor says that we shall do it for her.

I don’t know how such a small, little lady managed to occupy such a large part of our hearts and lives. She was definitely part of our weird family.  Like any human relative or friend, she will be sorely missed, and never forgotten.  I/we thank you, my regal little Countess.  Be at peace!

SDC11016

***

I composed this post later in the morning that it happened, to help myself deal with her passing. Thank you for reading my very personal tale of loss.  I’ll be back soon with something a bit more up-beat.   🙂

Cat Blog – AKA: Views And Likes, Come To Daddy

They say that, after a while, people and their pets begin to look alike. I don’t know about looking like my pets, but I know that I/we have begun to act like our cats, and the cats, sadly, have become like humans.

Experts say that cats don’t talk to each other the way people do. They have many different meows and other sounds to express wants, needs and feelings.  Two or more cats may make sequential sounds, but it’s not conversation.

I can make a low-pitched rumble in the back of my throat that sounds very much like purring. For reasons not known to me, it is called ‘vocal fry.’  About 30% of people do it at the end of words in normal speech.  The Kardashian females are especially noted for it.  When a cat purrs at me, I can purr back, and we’re both contented.

Cat Blog

When the son comes home in the morning, Mica jumps into his lap, digs his claws into tough denim pants, and demands his whapping and scratching. If son is distracted by food, drink or newspaper, Mica soon yowls to remind him that attention is missing.  The son says he’s learned to read and time these outbursts.  Just as the cat opens his mouth, the son meows loudly at him.  He says the look of confusion is precious.  Wait, what??! I was gonna say that.

I have some mild allergies that sometimes make me sneeze – never once, always at least twice, usually three, occasionally four, at least twice, five in a row. If Mica is in the room, or awake and able to hear me, after each and every sneeze, he lightly meows.  The recovering Catholic wife insists that he is blessing me.  As if I needed blessing, or the cat is authorized to do it.  I think he’s just telling me to keep the noise down, to protect his sensitive ears.

Each of our cats has a different time and place where they demand attention. With Tonka, it’s often as I recline my easy chair for my afternoon nap.  Suddenly I have the equivalent of an 18-pound building block on my chest, wanting to snuggle in – try to breathe, try to breathe.  No wonder superstitious mediaeval peasants thought that cats ‘sucked the life out of babies.’  It’s known as positional asphyxia.

Cat Day

In the winter, the air in the house is so dry that we got half-inch-long sparks off doorknobs, so we installed a humidifier in the hall, outside the bedrooms. It had push-button controls on the upper surface.

As we accumulated cats, we found that they will jump up, and pad around on a humidifier, even when it’s running.  Waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of a cat-induced, speed #10, oncoming tornado is a real adventure.

We eventually bought a new humidifier, with touch-screen controls at a 45° angle on the front edge. When cats jump down from something, they slide their front paws over the front edge….  And here comes the tornado again!  We’ve gone two winters now without running it.  A few electric sparks are not as much of a shock as that.

Cat Scratch Fever

All of my cats demand attention at certain times, but Contessa (my little ‘Missy’), is the one who hangs out in the computer room with me while I’m working, or trying to.  She’s also the one with the sharpest claws.  My arms finally reached the point shown above, before I learned to use peripheral vision to notice her coming.  I saw a blog-post the other day.  All it was, was a photo of an arm, scratched worse than mine, with the caption, “Why yes, I do own a cat.  Why do you ask?”

Now, a gentle paw slap as she tries to grab, my attention and my arm, is enough to make her sit back on the floor. Most females don’t want my hands anywhere near them, but when she’s in a ‘pet me’ mood, she demands them all over her.  After 5 long years, she’s even finally taken to lying on her side on the floor at my feet, so that I can rub her tummy – a sign of trust.

Other trust signs are the long, slow, two-eyed blink, and lifting their tail and showing you their butt. They have to trust you enough to take their eyes off you, and the exposed rump not only means that they’re temporarily defenceless, but there are scent glands, which we can’t smell, but which they use to identify themselves to others.

Cat Decision

catacomb – beauty salon for felines
catalyst – cat’s inclination after too much catnip
or – a feline who really makes things happen

catatonic – party fare for cats substituting milk for gin
catechism – manual for turning your doubting tomcat into a true believer
catsup – dinner party for fat cats (catered, of course)
catamaran – a cruise boat for kitties
catastrophe
– four felines and a decorated Christmas tree
catapult – what felines apparently use to get into your lap….when you least expect it
Catalan – a Spanish gato
catamount – wherever your kitty climbs up, to sleep
catfish – be sure to put the lid back on the aquarium

yin_yang_cats

I Was In The Neighborhood

Neighborhood

I recently wrote about some neighbors from Hell, and some of you indicated that you had some first-hand experience.

In nearly 50 years of marriage, we’ve never had any really bad ones, merely ‘interesting’ ones, like the kids in the other half of our current semi-detached.  A girl, 8, and a boy, 6, who never ‘walk’ down stairs, they sound like they have a collection of bowling balls, which they pour down.  My son works all night, and ‘tries’ to sleep during the day.  These two rattle cups in our kitchen on the side away from them.

In a public housing complex, one neighbor was a single mother. She’d had a son, and then, 25 years later, a change-of-life daughter who she indulged.  The kid wanted a kitten, and was given one, but neither the 10-year-old, nor her pet was allowed in the house when Mom was not there.

Too poor/stupid to buy a harness or collar, the girl put a heavy cord around the kitten’s neck and tied it to a cedar bush while she was at school. One day the kitten was startled by something, and leapt up into the bush a couple of times.  My wife happened to look out our back window, to see it dangling from the cord.  She rushed out in time to save it, and spoke to the mother.  The kitten bit the girl, and she threw it down the basement stairs.  It survived that, but eventually ‘disappeared.’

She was given a pet rabbit. I’d forgotten about the no pets in the house rule.  I came home from work about 3PM one afternoon, to see a blue, plastic, recycling box inverted in the back yard, in the blazing sun.  An hour later, the kid showed up and removed an almost heat-stroked bunny from beneath.  I told her not to leave her pet in the sun.  “Well, it was shady there when I left.”  [The sun moves during the day, you little ****!]

Like daughter, like Mother. She came by her dumb honestly.  I came home one day to see the mother’s car with a coat hanger sticking out of the top of the driver’s window – oh-oh!  Sure enough, when I went inside, the wife told me that she’d locked her keys in the car.  The wife had explained the catch the lock with a coat hanger, but her fingers weren’t strong enough.

I went out and had it open in a couple of minutes, and took a bundle of keys that a building custodian would be proud of, to the door. I told her that she should have another set of keys for just this situation.  “Oh, I have a second set of keys.”  “Well, where are they?” “On the chain, with the others.”

The kid was a little pudgy, and her mother restricted her diet, possibly why she wasn’t allowed alone in the house. We always had a bag of hard candies in our glove compartment, to suck on, on long drives, to avoid the need to stop at Burger King for drinks.  This was when I first started regularly locking the car, when the candy disappeared for the second time.  I also installed a locking gas-cap, because some people in the complex had their gas-tanks siphoned, and others had water, pop, sugar and sand poured in.

In my Racism Hurts post, I wrote of a beige neighbor from Guyana, who was such an asshole that he qualified for the ‘Paki’ label. A problem to others, he was more entertaining, if irritating to us.

We rented a brand new house which a relative had purchased as an investment. A pair of young professionals had it built, but he got a great job offer in another city, even before they moved in.  We had to meet his wife there to get the keys.

She assured us that they had not lived in it, but her brother had, for a couple of months, while getting an apartment after a messy divorce. What few possessions he had left were locked in the garage, and would be gone by the weekend.  I grabbed the garage-door handle and lifted….and the door rolled up.  Of course, he had to surrender the key; it’s not locked.  I rolled the door down and said nothing.  It’s not my problem.

Our problem was the young couple who moved in on the other side. She was the airhead instigator. He was the ‘Yes dear.  Yes dear.’  A new house – we went almost a year without a paved driveway, clattering in over mud and gravel.  Finally, I helped the owner lay timbers as a frame, on their side.

A city by-law requiring that all structures, like fences and driveways, had to be 2 feet inside the property line had been rescinded. The legal maximum width for a single dwelling driveway was 17 feet.  We drove two cars, so he and I made it 18 feet wide, bringing the timbers to about 3 inches from the property line.

After it was filled and paved, I came home one day, and found three little bamboo sticks between the houses, the kind you tie flowers up to. Not very straight, the line between any two would miss the third by 2 or 3 inches, but Hmmm….

Sure enough, the next time he saw me outside, he told me that my driveway was on his property.  “No, it’s not.”  “Yes it is!  You’re going to have to tear it apart, and remove some of it.”  “It’s not on your property!  Why would you think it was?”  “Well, I measured.”  “Measured from where?”  “I measured from the house.”  That explains the gardening stakes.

I asked why he hadn’t measured from the survey marker. “Huh?”  I walked down to the sidewalk and pulled back the sod we’d cut to put the timbers in.  There, 3 inches on his side, was the large steel spike that the surveyor had pounded in at the property line.  “Uh – Okay.  Never mind.”

That winter, I began by pushing the snow on the outside of the driveway, into the drainage swale between the houses. One day, I came home to find my wife embroiled in an altercation.  Apparently (the female) one of them had figured that, in the spring, when the snow melted, instead of flowing downhill into the sewer, the melt-water would flow 3 feet uphill, over the edge of their foundation, and flood their basement.

There she was, on a snowy, December front porch, in a bathrobe and slippers, screaming, “You fat pig! You fat pig!” at my poor wife.  Not exactly the way to win an argument.  Still, from then on, I pushed the snow down a short driveway, and piled it on the City-owned Boulevard in front of their house till they couldn’t see over it, across the street, and there wasn’t a thing they could say about it.

They say that good fences make good neighbors, but even Trump couldn’t build a fence high enough to make this pair of morons good. 😯

A To Z Challenge – K

april-challenge

I’m going to kludge out another alphabetized blog-post, if that’s

O   letter-k

with you.

KARMA

noun

Hinduism, Buddhism. action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation: in Hinduism one of the means of reaching Brahman.

Compare bhakti (def 1), jnana.

Theosophy. the cosmic principle according to which each person is rewarded or punished in one incarnation according to that person’s deeds in the previous incarnation.
fate; destiny.

Synonyms: predestination, predetermination, lot, kismet.

The good or bad emanations felt to be generated by someone or something:

Let’s get out of here. This place has bad karma. 

Like Christianity’s Heaven/Hell carrot/stick, karma is a concept invented by insecure people desperate to prove to themselves that they have some kind of relevance and importance. I just can’t buy it.  I am happy with me and my life as it is, and what may or may not happen to me when it is finished.

Whether you call it Life, or Karma, or the Universe, or God, there is proof that it is profoundly disinterested in you. All the being good, or praying, amounts to absolutely nothing.  One person prays for a sunny day, so that they can go to the beach.  A farmer prays for rain for his crops.  One will claim that his prayer was answered.  Whatever occurs, does so at the frequency of random occurrence.  There is no Karma!

KNOWLEDGE

acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation; general erudition:knowledge of many things.

the body of truths or facts accumulated in the course of time.

I have very few abilities – at least marketable ones. I continue to research things that will do me absolutely no good.  I like to think that I have a considerable body of knowledge, but the only thing I know for sure, is how little I really know.

KITTENS

There, I’ve put the word in my post, and I’ll put it as a tag to the post. No definition, ‘cause you guys all know what kittens are and love them.  (No, no, Rants!  Not for dinner, with some fava beans, and a nice Chianti. 😯 )  No photos, ‘cause my four cats are far from kittens.  If you want pictures, YouTube and the blogosphere are rife with them.  This is just an experiment to see how many hits and likes I get by mentioning them.  You can tell me how much you love them.  (Or not)

Okay! Okay!  Don’t yell.  You talked me into it.

sits

KNITTING noun 1. the act of a person or thing that knits. 2. the act of forming a fabric by looping a continuous yarn. 3. knitted work.

Idioms

  1. stick /tend to one’s knitting, to mind one’s own business: Don’t worry about my work—just tend to your knitting.

to devote oneself to one’s assignments or responsibilities: Years of sticking to his knitting finally paid off.

Knitting is a very Zen-like, or Yoga-type activity. Like pacing the floor, or twiddling one’s thumbs, it gives the body something to do while the mind relaxes.  Unlike the other two, at the end of knitting, you have something concrete to show for the time and energy you’ve spent.  The wife should soon have finished, a heavy, cozy, pair of bed-socks to keep my ever-aging feet warm, so that I can sleep.

Knitting can be so relaxing, that the wife usually only does it while we are watching TV, or the daughter is visiting. If she tries to do it without some sort of external mental stimulation, she often nods off.  If I take the daughter to a medical appointment where she might have to spend time waiting, instead of a book, she often brings some knitting.  She knits up 12” X 12” wash-cloths that she markets online.

I seem to have knit up the raveled sleave of care for this post. I’ll go get lost, till it’s time to publish my L post.  See you there.   😀

 

The Cats That Own Us, Part 4

Granma Ladybug did three blogs about our cats, here, here, and here, if you want to go back for a look.  Then she decided that blogging wasn’t really her thing, so it falls to me to continue the tales of The Cats Who Own Us.  Ancient Egyptians worshipped cats.  If the bunch at my house are at all representative, it’s easy to see why.  You’re not given any choice!  Cats have been domesticating humans for over 3000 years.  We’re still a work in progress, but coming along nicely.

SDC10928This is about Contessa, another Bengal, as all ours are.  Like our other cats, she’s also known as Missy, LadyCat, Kitten, and occasionally by epithets best not repeated in polite company.  She was named Tess by the crazy cat lady, but LadyRyl had decided that she wanted to adopt the name Tess.  So, it was decided to expand and regal-fy (?) her title a bit.  She claims she deserves it.  Didn’t matter, as soon as she joined the clowder, I took to calling our smallest cat Missy, or, despite the fact that she’s the oldest, Kitten.  When she’s acting dignified, she’s LadyCat.  Our vet says we’re the only family with so many names for each of our cats.

When we took LadyRyl up to pick up her big boy Benny cat, the wife saw Contessa, who is his mother, and fell in love.  Isn’t she beautiful?  We already had two cats; we didn’t need another.  A cat’s a cat – until we got her home and she became my cat.  Now she’s precious.  She was a breeder and wouldn’t be available for almost three years, but the wife put in a reservation.

By the time we finally got her, she’d been in a bit of a fight, which puckered her right eyelid, causing the eye to constantly weep.  Crazy cat lady is reliable and trusted, but we still took her to our vet for an introduction.  He found that, havSDC10475ing birthed lotsa litters of kittens, her teeth were bad, in fact a couple had already fallen out.  He recommended surgery to remove a total of 14, including her right upper fang.  Now she meows with a lisp, old Snaggletooth does.   While he had her under, he repaired the eyelid.  To harden her gums, sometimes she captures my hand and gnaws on my fingertip.

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The first week we had her, she climbed onto the wife’s lap, seeking comfort and protection.  I didn’t intend to steal her from the wife but, not having one, I’m a sucker for a pretty face.  Soon, she was cuddling in my lap.  It’s her picture with me that I use as a gravatar.  Soon she was confident enough to be on the floor, independent, and Empress of all she surveyed.Picture 203

Before LadyRyl injured both knees, she studied for veterinary’s assistant.  Being the smallest, Contessa’s claws are the sharpest.  Occasionally, when we have daughter and grandson over on a Sunday, I trap Missy in a bathroom and Ryl clips her nails.  Neither the wife nor I can accomplish it.  Having been poked and prodded, grabbed and pushed, by Cat Lady and her female assistant, and now by the daughter, she is leery of everybody, but especially women.

SDC10948 Slowly, she has gone from skittish, to reluctant, to acceptant, to expectant, to demanding.  In fact, I think she’s one or two degrees past demanding.  She can be Damn-manding, and now, Entitled!

The clothes-storage tub she sits on, to look out the window, is in the computer room.SDC10901

If I come in, to work on a blog, she immediately jumps down and gives me a head-butt.  What a little anvil-head!  It’s PET ME, or get a broken shin.  Since that sometimes didn’t work, she’s taken to reaching up to remind me.  She aims for the short sleeve of my tee-shirt, but often catches the inside of my elbow.  Remember those sharp claws??  I do!!

I’ve set a bad example; I’ve caved, and petted her.  Now, She Who Must Be Adored, won’t stop, no matter how much I fuss over her.  Type four words, pet the cat, type three words, pet the cat, type two words, pet the cat.  It’s a wonder I publish Picture 194anything.  I’ve had to put her out and close the door.  When I do stroke and skritch her, from ears to tail-tip, she falls over on the floor so that I can rub her tummy.  Not “lies down,” I mean falls over, with a thump that can be heard across the room, she’s in such a hurry.  Not much bigger than a pack of the revived Twinkies, she’s got a purr like a 15 horse trolling motor.

Which way did they go?  How many of them were there?  How long ago did they leave?  I musPicture 163t find them, for I am their LEADER!

Apparently I am her slave, and she must supervise me.  If I leave the main floor, to go upstairs, or down, she must be ahead, to lead, even if she doesn’t know where we’re going.  Going down, she always stops on the landing and head-butts a pillar in the railing, being irresistible, till I sit and fuss over her.  I may have to remove the wooden ones and replace them with metal to prevent Little Anvil-Head from breaking them out.  Like her floor-flop, the landing-clunks can be heard across the room.  Sometimes I step past the top of the basement stairs, to use the main-floor washroom, and she loses me in the rush.

Archon Had A Little Cat

Mary had a little lamb,
whose fleece was white as snow.

And everywhere that Mary went,
the lamb was sure to go.

It followed her to school one day
which was against the rule.

It made the children laugh and play,
to see a lamb at school.

And so the teacher turned it out,SDC10177
but still it lingered near,

And waited patiently about,
till Mary did appear.

“Why does the lamb love Mary so?”
the eager children cry.

“Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know.”
the teacher did reply.

Since she never had a chance to be a kitten, she’s taking advantage now.  Both to play, and to establish dominance, she will suddenly start chasing one, or all, of the boy-cats.  If one of them makes it up on a chair, or the feeding box, it’s Home-Free, and she will go chase some-one, or something, else.  She even terrorizes, and now, flirts with, the dog.

Everything is a, “Toy, Daddy!  Toy!” – a shell from the terrarium, the wife’s wooden, tatting-decorated pill-box, aSDC11016 crocheted cup-holder.  The floor is littered with cat toys, but she always seems to find something else.

What did the old grump ever do without her, and what did she do without all of us?  Who could resist a face like that?

Next time, I’ll tell you about our immovable object, boy-cat, Tonka.

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