Category Archives: Pets

I am getting sick: Just a blog before I go (Randomonia at its finest)

Ι can feel some sort of sickness inching closer to my typically excellent immune system, guns ablaze, teeth bared. Of course. I have a ton o’ shite to do — my brother is coming for an extended stay/visit/possible move to the East Coast, it’s Super Bowl time, my house is a fright and I just bought groceries.

If I get sick, I won’t eat the groceries. But then again, Nick’s coming. He’ll eat the groceries.

I’m kind of not making sense anymore today, but I have to get some thoughts out, and I think all my creativity is spewing out of me, like when you’re about to run out of gas and you get that last little splat of petrol.  Or that last little bit of spray “Cheez” that shoots out at you like black powder. (I haven’t had “cheese food” in a long time. Why is my brain thinking about “cheese food”?) Again… sickness.

I don’t have the strength to string together transitions to make a full blog. So here come da subheads.

 I’m in Bristol now

I left the quaint little suburb of Collinsville, Ct., and moved to the bustling blue-collar burg of Bristol, home of the Worldwide Leader in Sports, where somehow I still maintain employment. I spent my first night in Bristol and instantly liked it better than the country. Not saying that the suburbs of Connecticut aren’t nice, but they just aren’t my people. I’m not country club enough to live out there. I drink beer, not wine.  From the bottle. I leave the house without makeup. I eat fast food sometimes. I am not a size 00. I didn’t fit into the Farmington Valley mold. I’m OK with that – Bristol is just more my speed and style, and I have a great house I’m renting. My drive time to work went from 35 minutes to seven minutes. Which is even better considering the snowfall in Connecticut went from 35 centimeters a season (2011-12 winter) to seven inches a week or so (2012-13 winter so far).

Lomez the Cat: Best Ever? 

394789_10151384956082148_1886350992_nWith all due respect to the memories of Percy and Tito, the best male cats I’ve ever had, and the sweet Piper, who stood by me through thick and … well, mostly thick as skinny isn’t in my nature, Lomez the New Cat is just … awesome. He charmed the pants off the vet and techs at the new clinic in Bristol. When I got him, he still was A Man. So I had to take him to the vet to De-Man him and he was back to full force within five hours. He purrs. He plays. he sleeps on me and butts his head into my face.

There’s just something about him. He’s … sexy. I mean, I don’t wanna be with him or anything, that’s gross, but he’s just got swagger. He’s sweet and snuggly and hilarious. I think he was meant for me, though I found him on CraigsList. Leon is so jelly. (Am I too old to say that?)  He’s even dragging Penny Cat out of the attic. She’s Anne Frank‘d herself up there on her own volition since I moved. She’s really, really pissed about the move. But she’s always need another cat bodyguard. Percy was the previous Kitty Kevin Costner to Kitty Whitney Houston. Now Lomez has sort of taken over that role. In a sweet way. He defers to her. It’s just so freaking cute.

 Townhouses of the Holy

I want to trademark that phrase and make it into a style/music/sports magazine. I probably shouldn’t be revealing that in a blog, but I don’t think anyone reads it so yeah, there’s my idea. Consider this my verbal trademark. Can you do that?

 The AT&T commercials are great

I am ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE that they are the best commercials in a long time. I will stop the DVR and watch them. Does this mean I am actually a kid person?

 

 The Bat

It was a slow news day. The highlight of the night for SportsCenter’s 11 p.m. show was a bat being loose in a Marquette game. The game basically came to a stop. It made me laugh a lot, but that might be the fever. SportsCenter had a lot of fun with it. It’s been a fun week for weirdo stories about bats and good heart-warming stories about getting a kid with Down syndrome on Top Plays… I was part of that, and it was pretty great. Thank you, Twitter, for making my heart smile.

 

 OK, I feel the fever building. Meeeeee eyes, they buuuuuurn…

I’m sorry for this blog. I shouldn’t even post it. But it has Lomez pictures, so it’s worth it.

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January 27, 2013 · 12:06 am

The Zombie Apocalypse ain’t got nothin’ on this nor’easter aftermath

I came home last night to a warm, illuminated house. Not a rarity, normally, unless you have become a resident of the state of Connecticut in the last three months.

I didn’t have power for the better part of four days — and I’m one of the lucky ones who got it back before the week is out. I have guilt about this. They’re forecasting a restore time of Sunday at 11:59 p.m. for the majority of the Farmington Valley (where I live),  capital Hartford and its glamorous offshoot, West Hartford.  Heaven help Connecticut Light and Power if they go even a second beyond that. Tempers around here are hair-trigger, and I don’t blame people.

Even as I’m typing this, I don’t know how my little hippie ‘burg got so lucky to get power back. I’m working a semi-late night shift at ESPN, one that sees me getting home around 11:30 p.m. For the last few days, it’s been a ridiculous drive home, as there are no stop lights working and I don’t have the best memory of where they should be. Since the Valley is composed entirely of tree-lined two-lane state routes and not highways, there are no other alternatives to getting home. And people drive fast — myself included — so I’ve found myself doing the ol’ “Okie Roll” through the absent stop lights, when I see them. Often I don’t see the stop spots until after it’s too late… Sorry, Connecticut!

There’s nothing spookier than driving home in pitch blackness, except my drive home from ESPN during the nor’easter itself on Saturday — but that’s another story.  Suffice it say my knuckles have never been whiter, and Garrison Keilor’s voice more welcome. That calming man got me home. Back to last night — I was so surprised when I pulled up into my little town of Collinsville to see it not only lighted, but kinda bustling. We don’t have a convenience store (C’MON QuikTrip! I NEED YOU!) in our area, but we’ve got a semi-nightlife, oddly enough. I’m not complaining about the power being on, it’s just odd that we got it back before other, more populated, parts of the state.

I think it has something to do with the trees. We’re on a sort of mountain, and the trees fall forward, it seems, and don’t do a ton of damage. My drives home from ESPN have been not only darkened, but full of peril. Felled trees crowd the shoulders, and my poor baby Corolla has accidentally scraped many a branch I didn’t see. Giant trees dangle perilously on power lines overhead, nearly touching the top of my car. Broken trees lean in, hugging the restraining fences but nearly winning the inertia war. I’m convinced one is going to just snap off and fall when I’m underneath. My driveway at home is partially blocked by a huge limb too — but I just park where I can at this point. One of my neighbors blocked entrance to the semi-circle drive by parking her car in the middle and retreating to safer parts when the nor’easter hit. Not that I blame her — but it’s a parking free-for-all outside my ancient home.

No restaurants are open in the Valley, as far as I can tell. If they are, they’re accepting cash only, which I don’t have — and ATMs are electric, it seems. I’m eating at home or at ESPN every day. Accidentally dieting, as it were — I’m a fan.

I awoke yesterday to a digital clock flashing in my face and I didn’t understand why. I was under two heavy blankets, my spare bedroom’s comforter and my down comforter, a cave of warmth, with a sleepy orange kitty cuddled with me. (The dog has personal space issues and sleeps on his own bed; Percy Cat doesn’t care much for anyone and sleeps in the other room. Penny, however, thinks I’m the best thing that ever happened to her.) I leaped out of bed when the ray of understanding hit me that yes, dear, that is electricity — and I made the happiest pot of coffee. With ground beans. I brought in all the stuff from my refrigerator/front porch and marveled at what stayed viable. The days are getting up in the 50s, but it’s so cold at night, the milk stayed fine in the shade, as did everything else. Connecticut’s trash will be extra-smelly the next few weeks with ice cream and meat remnants, but if you put your stuff out in Nature, you at least got  something edible out of it. If the ‘coons didn’t get it — that’s why I hung mine. I am SO country sometimes.

So I got up yesterday, drank coffee, reveled, washed some clothes, and then the power went out again. I ran to the bathroom to take the world’s fastest shower, and resigned myself to the fact that we wouldn’t get it back again — but it came back in 15 minutes, and it’s stayed on. I had chicken soup, watched ESPN, and curled my hair with hot-rollers. I put on an actually carefully planned outfit, not the first warm thing I could lay hands on. Let me tell you, changing clothes in a 48-degree house is ridiculous — strapping on a bra is akin to strapping frozen bags of corn onto your midsection. And I never remembered to keep my clothes in bed with me, like some suggested — besides, with the cat, they’d be coated with even more fuzz than normal.

Just to recap my first three months in Connecticut: Earthquake, hurricane, October nor’easter. I expect state officials to ride me out of town on the proverbial rail as soon as they pinpoint that I’m somehow behind this. I guess my Oklahoma weather juju just came with me — and for that, Nutmeg State, I apologize. With intensity.

In the aftermath today, and yesterday, music is  sweeter than ever, which is saying a lot, since my music collection is like fine dining to me. I heard the Osborne’s “Rocky Top” and felt complete again. As I’ve typed this, the silly Bangles song “In Your Room” has been on — I bought it a long time ago when I was in love or something — and I didn’t even try to change it. I’ve only changed it when it’s played the slow sad stuff. Can’t have that right now. It’s a time of relative joy.

What saved me from my four days in darkness was reading and my iPhones, which I ran dry every night, if we had cell service. Lost that for a day too. I finished Patti Smith’s “Just Kids,” which is EXCELLENT, and got about halfway through Jerry West‘s “West By West.” I went to  West Q&A session the other day at ESPN. He’s a wonderful, charming man who makes me hate the Lakers a little bit less — but not much. His book is funny, conversational, intriguing, enlightening — and candid. I appreciate his honesty. I read both under battery-powered light. I tried to remain thankful for the multitude of blankets I had, and the job I have that has showers, warm food and Starbucks — ESPN got me through the hardest part.

Haha, “Dancing in the Dark” just came on my iTunes, no foolin’. I didn’t do any of that — too cold — but I did channel some of Bruce Springsteen’s grit since Saturday night — and I hope everyone else can too. It’s tough. But it’ll be over soon. And he’s right — you can’t start a fire without a spark. I should’ve also mentioned that the entirety of Connecticut smells like a campfire.

If this doesn’t end soon, there will be an apocalypse that zombies will fear — seriously, cold, bored people can only take so much.

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Filed under Connecticut, ESPN, Pets, Sports, weather

How to Dismantle Your Cat’s Meth Lab

Really, how do you do it? I’ve never dismantled a meth lab, so when I finally find the one that Percy’s been keeping in business in my garage, I’ll need to know how to do it. It’s not a Google search I look forward to — and now I’ll just find my own blog entry. This is backfiring. At least I’ve seen lots of “Breaking Bad.” Surely that will help.

Percy Leonard Katt

Here's Percy. Doesn't he look crazy, like he's a notorious methmaker?

Let me back up a bit: When my brother lived with me, Percy, my mammoth-esque tuxedo cat, fell head-over-heels in love with Nick. Percy could take or leave me, but Nick, hoo boy, he’s a champion in Percy’s eyes. Mostly because Nick catered to his every whim, first and foremost being let out into the garage. I should also tell you that Percy can open doors with his thumbless paws, which is more terrifying than you could ever imagine. He will be holding hostages before the year is out.

So Nick comes up with a theory. I should probably warn you that Nick is weird like me. But Nick’s theory is that Percy is either building a bomb or a meth lab in the garage, and that’s why he wants to go out so often. And since Percy meows with ferocious intensity to be let outside, he cabbaged onto the idea that yes, it was a meth lab, and Percy is very concerned about getting the chemistry correct.

He’s good at keeping it secret. But randomly, when Percy’s out there by himself, we’d hear a tool drop to the floor, then a scuttling, and once he opened the garage door. I don’t know how, I just know that he was gone for a minute, then on the front porch meowling to be let in.

Percy goes in an out of the garage about 17 times a night. I don’t know what he does out there, because if I open the door, he either hides as quickly as possible or runs inside. Or yells at me. Seriously, he looks at me and yells. Like, “MOM!!! CLOSE THE DOOR AND LEAVE ME ALONE! I’M DISTILLING CRANK IN HERE!”

I apologize to him, quickly grab the laundry out of the dryer and move on. I don’t want to be caught in between my cat and his methmaking.

Sometimes, I leave my windows open in my car and find Percy in the driver’s seat. He’s going to steal my keys and drive to Cranktown, I just know it. I don’t know where Cranktown is, but I bet Percy does. I bet he’s the Foursquare Mayor of Cranktown.

And I’ve mentioned this before, but during the blizzard, there were sets of kitty tracks going back and forth to the garage. And Percy still went in the garage, even when it was -13 and my car remained frozen even parked in there. I think he was dealing to the neighbor cats. I also think that maybe he’s got a deal with the ghetto birds, the choppers that circle my house from time to time. Perhaps they’re landing in my back yard and collecting the new batches for sale. My questions are: What does Percy do with all the cash? Why won’t he share? Does him bringing it in the house make me an accessory to the fact? Is cat meth different than people meth? Does he sell cat meth to humans? Do they then become cats?

What I’m afraid of is that the DEA will converge on my house and blame me for all that meth. And really, do you think they’ll believe me that Percy built it? Let this blog serve as my testament: I DO NOT have a meth lab. It’s my cat’s. Really.

I don’t think I’d believe me. And I also think maybe Nick and I watch too much television.

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Filed under Brain Disorders, General Nonsense, Pets

Five signs your dog is on crack cocaine

I came home today and realized that Leon, my blue heeler/lab-type dog is probably on drugs. How do I know this?

Leon Russell in the snow

Don't let that sweet-boy look fool you. He's doing crack cocaine, and you can't tell me otherwise.

He’s pretty subtle about it, but with my trained journalistic mind, I’ve got it figured out from these five telltale signs.

5. He doesn’t eat his food until the next day. I know that usage of crack cocaine makes people less hungry. I always fill his bowl up, then he stares at it for a minute and goes back to the couch. He eats it while I’m at work, or is possibly selling it for more crack.

4. He thinks the squirrels are after him. He demands to go chase the squirrels off of the back fence, fiendishly whimpering out the back door, then taking off like a shot to rid the yard of squirrels. Either the squirrels are with the DEA, or they’re selling bad shit. Or the paranoia is making him crazy.

3. He steals. I’m sure of it. I know for a FACT that Percy, my male tuxedo cat, has a meth lab in the garage, so why is it out of the realm of possibility that Leon steal money out of my purse? I never have any cash. Who else would do it? I know I didn’t spend it all on Diet Coke and Taco Bueno.

2. He’s moody. I get home from work, and he freaks the fuck out for like 10 minutes, licking and spinning, then retreats to his spot on the couch. I know I’m boring, but does the excitement wear off that quickly?

1. He needs to “go outside” at odd hours of the night. After I’ve taken my bedtime sleepy medicine (thank you, makers of Tylenol PM,) and my senses are dulled thanks to its liver-damaging powers, he immediately scampers to the back door, demanding to be let out. I know there aren’t squirrels out that late (unless they’re covert squirrels… curiouser and curiouser…) and even the mention of the phrase “go outside” makes him slobber a little. Pavlov’s dog, my ass. Pavlov’s crack addict is more like it.

I don’t know what to do about this. Do you think they “Dog Intervention” would be a good show for A&E? And if you take this idea and run for it, I’ll turn my crack-addled dog and meth-making cat on you.

Oh, the carnage. There will be blood.

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Filed under General Nonsense, Pets