Archive for January, 2003

Let the Wild Rumpus Start!

January 31, 2003 - 7:49 pm 2 Comments

There was an enormous crash, thud, and sound of stuff rolling around on the floor upstairs a minute ago. The kitchen is directly above the office, and my first thought was that a cat had knocked over a 12 pack of Coke in the pantry. The problem is that both hub and I checked and there is absolutely nothing out of place upstairs.

I think Gus is having some fun with us. This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been haunted by a pet, but the concept makes hub very uneasy.

Our dog, Polliwog, used to sit at the end of the driveway in the evening and let out one little bark when it was time for Dad to get home from work. For months after she died, we’d hear her bark.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve felt a cat jump up on the bed and then realized that the cats are all in the other room.

I think it’s really comforting. But who knows what Gus is going to get up to, now that he feels well? As a kitten he was absolutely full of beans.

Hub’s wondering if Gus is upset because he’s out in the garage awaiting internment.


January 31, 2003 - 11:46 am 8 Comments

About 5 years ago, Gus snuck out the back door which hadn’t closed all the way. He was always looking for adventure, and once escaped he was loath to return to the drudgery of everyday life.

For the first couple of days, he hung out near the house. I’d see him sunning in the flowerbed or lurking under the porch stairs. Every time I’d go out to get him, he’d zip away even further. We figured that he’d eventually get hungry and decide that his adventure was over, so we left food in the half-open garage for him and started to wait him out.

Only the food didn’t get eaten. He’d wandered far afield, and we saw neither hide nor hair of him for a couple of days. I was beside myself – he was a Gus, he didn’t know what to do if a car was coming, and the only dogs he knew about were the ones who liked kitties. I made flyers and carefully sealed them in plastic so they wouldn’t wilt in the rain, and I stapled about 50 of them on various telephone poles all around the neighborhood. I told all the kids I saw to look out for the Siamese kitty. I met all my neighbors that week, knocking on their doors and asking if they had seen him. The one nice lady across the street didn’t speak any English, so I tried to tell her the best I could in my mangled Spanish about what Gus looked like. An hour or so later she came whooping and yelling across the street, saying that the cat was in her back yard. It was not Gus, but rather another male Siamese bluepoint, oddly enough.

After about a week I had pretty much given up hope. I didn’t think the little guy could survive that long on his own. There were no leads, no knocks on the door, no calls about the posters. In my heart I was sure he was dead, and I mentally started the long emotional process of saying goodbye.

One night Hub took me out to dinner to try to get my mind off things, and on the way home he said “Let’s just drive slow on the way home, one last time, and look.” So we did, and I looked and saw nothing. Hub saw a flicker of grey in a little culvert on the side of the road, a couple of blocks from our house. We pulled over, shone lights around, and saw… Gus – skinny, wet, cold, but absolutely full of beans. This time he didn’t run from me, but stayed still as I approached and let me pick him up.

We brought him home and he pissed in the cat box for about 4 minutes straight. A fastidious creature, he probably disliked squatting in the dirt like a dog. A quick bath and about a gallon of food and water later, and it was like it never happened.

This morning, Gus went on his last adventure. As the vet was going to get him to do bloodwork, Gus let out a little gasp and fell over dead, peacefully and naturally. I have a spot picked out for him in the back yard, where the blue jays fly thick and the sun warms the grass.

Farewell, kitty, Augustus Asparagus the Only, 1990-2003, velvet-pawed monkey overseer coversnuggle purrman.

Book report

January 30, 2003 - 6:50 pm 3 Comments

I just got through reading The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. It took me about 4 hours to read. I feel a bit gypped when I finish a book that’s supposed to be one of the best written in years that quickly.

It’s about a girl who was raped and killed and who narrates the story from heaven. The first part of the book was very interesting, the second part was long and drawn out with constant, seemingly unrelated, and extraneous scene shifts, and the last part was simply bizarre, as if the author wasn’t quite sure where to go with the story.

I wouldn’t recommend buying the book, but you could borrow it from a friend or the library.

The top books that I’ve read in the last year are still Boy’s Life, by Robert McCammon; House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski; and From a Buick 8, by Stephen King. Any one of those is worth the purchase price, most especially Boy’s Life, where the prose is nearly as melodic as Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles.

Cat update

January 29, 2003 - 7:23 pm 3 Comments

To the surprise of everyone, especially the vet, Gus is looking a little perkier today. I went to visit this afternoon and he stood up and head-bumped me, paid attention to what was around him, and purred and purred. The vet says he’s going to just let him be until Friday, when he’ll check his bloodwork and see how it’s doing. Thanks to everyone for your kind words!!


January 29, 2003 - 4:02 am Comments Off on Clarification

I have nothing against protests. If you need to burn a flag, go ahead. I may not think it’s the coolest thing ever, but it’s your right (although burning the symbol of your right to burn the symbol of your right is a bit like the snake that eats itself, but I digress).

No, my problem is that people are co-opting a legitimate distress signal into a protest symbol. Now if there’s a ship at sea that’s taking on water and lost its radio and its only option for a distress signal is an upside down flag, is it going to get ignored?

How often do you pay attention to car alarms anymore? How abouy the winshield cardboard that says “Need help, call police”? To me flying the flag upside down to protest a war is akin to calling 911 and saying, “Help! Help! The president’s talking about war!”

Link removed

January 29, 2003 - 2:57 am 4 Comments

“The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.” Flying a flag upside-down is a signal for any passing military member to come and help. All the dolts who think they’re cool by flying their U.S. flags upside down are actually undermining their own damned cause.

I don’t think that the sentiment of “Fuck Bush” represents extreme danger to Everlasting Blort’s life or property.

Life’s too short to link to nimrods.

Gus: The Theatre Cat

January 28, 2003 - 6:37 pm 3 Comments

Gus is the Cat at the Theatre Door.
His name, as I ought to have told you before,
Is really Asparagus. That’s such a fuss
To pronounce, that we usually call him just Gus.
His coat’s very shabby, he’s thin as a rake,
And he suffers from palsy that makes his paw shake.
Yet he was, in his youth, quite the smartest of Cats –
But no longer a terror to mice and to rats.
For he isn’t the Cat that he was in his prime;
Though his name was quite famous, he says, in its time…

-T.S. Eliot

Gus is not doing well. He is less than 4 pounds now, and can barely stand up. It looks pretty hopeless, and I think tomorrow will be a very unhappy day.

When it rains, it pours.

January 28, 2003 - 1:02 am 4 Comments

To recap the day’s events:

1 y.o. is still sick, feverish and crapping and puking everywhere, with the added bonus of being really lethargic and scaring us.

I put up a forum for people wanting to discuss their Featureprice (sucks) experiences, over here.

The cat’s really not doing well; he’s been in the hospital over the weekend with an IV in and his numbers are not going down enough. He’s also not eating, and the vet says that if he doesn’t pull through by Wednesday, he probably won’t pull through at all.

We were supposed to drop off the kids in Houston and go to the ranch this weekend, but since one is dreadfully ill and the other hasn’t gotten sick yet, it’s looking really doubtful.

On the plus, or minus, side – I joined Weightwatchers Online last Wednesday. My weigh-in day is Monday, and as of this morning I’ve lost 2 pounds.