R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Give it to me! Give it to me!
I’ve written before about my two feline friends, Sophie and McCloud. McCloud, as you will recall, is my step-cat. He weighs in at 21# and has essentially no self-respect. He will stoop at nothing for food, he drools, he rolls off beds and crashes to the floor in the middle of grooming himself. Food and affection used to be his only goals in life, rendering him more dog-like than cat; now he has added sniffing Her Highness’s butt to his list.
Sophie, at 8#, is all cat. Pure and simple. I won’t explain it to you because if you know cats you already understand. She has been bracing for winter with a slightly increased appetite, nocturnal forays into the world of rustling leaves and nesting mice. Her coat is twice as thick in less than a month.
Yesterday this piece of mail advertising the Cat Caddy showed up in my mailbox. A delightful cat bed/home/carrier all-in-one. This beauty, at 90.00, is the "total piece of furniture for your cat." "Your cat will feel cozy and content in this soft bed at home and safe and secure at the vets! Makes travel a breeze!" Okay, I ask you. Does this cat (who just finished subduing this wild animal she sits upon, after 30 minutes of growling, kicking and gnawing) look as though she would willingly snuggle down and sleep in the same contraption that also serves to transport her to
Hell on earth the veterinarian’s office? Do you think she’s going to hop right in when I say, "Hey! How about a car ride to Dr. Darga’s office?" How stupid do they think cats are? Does the step-cat look as though he would fit in an 8x12x12 carrier?
I believe this is wrong marketing, These things would have great appeal to my neighbor’s Shitsoosnotsoo dog, Ramona.
Shhhhh. My father’s ashes are gathering into a mini force-4 storm at the mere thought of my hiring someone to gather my leaves. But here’s the thing: We have an acre of land surrounded on four sides by over 50 mature oaks and hickories. We have more in our gutter than most people have in their yard. We live in a city that gives you one 30 minute opportunity to have your leaves in the street if you want them gone. This window was set months ago, regardless of weather conditions or life circumstances or business travel. Our lot is 600+ feet deep and they all have to be down to the dirt road between 8:20 and 8:35 Monday morning.
It’s true (you’re right, Dad)- I could have started a month ago and kept at it for five hours a day, rain or shine, blustery or no, as they fall in whirls and clumps. Or- I can pay RICARDO! Ricardo, who also provides our mowing service for 32.00 a week will, for the low, low price of 175.00, arrive today with 8 men and 4 underage boys, 2 giant riding mowers, 7 gasoline-powered backpack blowers, four rakes and one broom. In eighteen minutes they will all smile and holler "Beunos Dias, Mizzz Bennett!" and disappear my leaves. The zebra finches in the aviary will scream, the guinea pig will cower, the cats will hide and in 18 minutes the leaves will be gone. They will have cleared every bit of lawn, gutter, deck, walkway, under the bushes, driveway, window wells and the two, but only two (and not the other four I leave covered), garden beds of leaves.
Then they will do my neighbor’s two acres in equally short order and they will yell, "Adios, Mizzzz Bennett! See you in the Spring!" and head for other lawns and then parts south. I love Ricardo. Edgy Mama loves Jonathan, the gay boutique clerk, but I love Ricardo. And we wonder why we have an immigration problem.
(on Monday at 8am there will be 2 stories of leaves in the road in front of my house- it is the collection place for our block, the most heavily treed in the city named for it’s trees. The city will send in three or four double bed tractor trucks and giant bobcats repeatedly to remove them. It is the most photo worthy opportunity of the Fall season and I will definitely have pictures.)
My post on formal education generated wonderful, thoughtful and funny comments. Thank you, everyone. I’m not going to link to all of them as the links are already in the comment signatures. Roxanne and Bonnie, I found reassuring on the idea that you could actually be a viable human being with a fine arts degree. Two of the husbands of my teacher friends do not have college degrees but are as successful, if not more, than most people. Hoss doesn’t allude to any formal education- we know he went to high school; do you think he’s been getting by on just his magic twanger since then? I doubt it…Grace tells a delightful story of her education in her comment and it’s worth circling back to read. And the last comment that got posted was by my brother-in-law who wears flannel nightgowns. And although you couldn’t tell from his comment he is one of the two brothers who have JD degrees. He writes:
30 some years ago, I thought about becoming a teacher, but I was put on academic probation in my first year at school and flunked “Principles of Education” in my second year. 11 years, five colleges and two professional licenses later, I finally graduated with a BS in social science.
Which reminds me. Rich once said:
BS — well everybody knows what that is.
MS — obviously, that’s More of the Same.
And PhD? Piled higher and deeper.
Anyway, so now I teach at the University where this all started. Irony. Isn’t that the tool you use to smooth out the wrinkles in life?
Baby Fix! Alexis is here for two weeks with her lovely parents. As a threesome they are a hoot, reminding me of those first days with Daniel when there was absolutely nothing in my life but baby. Juanita records every feeding time, every diaper change, every hiccup. Chris carries Alexis around, chattering rhetorically, "Shall we see if the kitty wants in? Let’s do that! Mommy will be done in the shower in a minute. She has to get cleaned up. You wear her out!"
I knit Alexis a spiffy hat. Lots of color on the brain in the early days insures a creative future. Here is Alexis after an exhausting trip to the pediatrician. As soon as his plane gets in, Rich and I are heading out to the cottage for one more crisp, clear,sunny day so they can have some just family time. Sophie will go with us so she can kill the deer skin in front of the woodburning stove- again. But it won’t be in any cat caddy; she’ll travel curled on my lap, with her GPS in full operational mode. What are you doing this weekend?