Dos, the Evil Cat Who Came to Live with Us

you're not my real mom

True, Dos. But here’s a newsflash – we don’t like you, either! And I don’t WANT to be your “real” mom. And we do know that your ACTUAL mom was a SLUT. Does that sound harsh? It’s just that of the six kittens in your particular batch, NONE of them even RESEMBLED one another. Genetics, Dos. More than one father – six, in fact. If my kind readers think I am being mean – you ought to hear how Dos has talked about US for the past decade and more. FOURTEEN YEARS, people! We didn’t ASK for him. He just MOVED IN; he got peeved when his first 2-legger parents adopted a dog he didn’t like – so he just moved next door – to us…where he has stayed for 14 years, complaining EVERY DAY about the food, the company, and the accommodations. Dos is a jerk, pure and simple. He won’t let us do the dishes!


No, you may NOT do the dishes right now. I’m washing my paws.

He scatters crud from the back yard all over his “area” to discourage others, then takes up all the space on the couch right by the ARM REST.


You people are SO SPOILED! You don’t really need to lean on something in TWO directions at once. Suck it up, buttercups – and don’t even THINK about trying to move me.

He tries to keep us from using the mouse; it is his opinion that all mice are his.

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MINE! And the keyboard as well.

He’s devious. He kills birds, and mice, and lizards, leaving them around as warnings to keep us under his control. So why not us? He insists on keeping a close eye on us as we sleep; it’s unnerving to wake up in the middle of the night and see his eyes gleaming in the darkness from the bottom of the bed – or on your chest. A couple of claws to the jugular as we sleep, then jump down and bathe in the bloody results. He’s a menace, and he rejoices in it.  Must close – to judge from the yowling, Dos needs a treat RIGHT NOW; I live to serve him.

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Memories of Joe the Crow

The small town where my grandparents lived had a pet crow. Yes, the ENTIRE TOWN. His name was Joe. Yes. Joe Crow. No sarcasm or racism implied. They just called him Joe. (As the “bad” name is “John Crow”,  we will let them off the hook on this.) Joe was a pistol. In the beginning, when he first showed up in town (and we have no idea from where), he lived for laundry day. This was when everyone put their clothes out on a clothesline to dry. Usually a Monday. Joe would come by and pluck EACH AND EVERY clothespin from the lines in the entire area, thus allowing all the laundry to drop to the ground. Housewives were furious. Husbands, on the other hand, came to love Joe. He would walk – not fly – into the domino parlor “downtown” (i.e. the “main” small street that had a few small crossing streets) most days, and strut around on the counter, doing a dance for peanuts and otherwise making himself welcome. My grandmother – one of the few housewives who found Joe’s antics rather amusing – decided that Joe was just being Joe, and refused to get mad at him. Instead, she put out her laundry one morning, and just waited. It didn’t take long. Joe showed up. He started to remove the clothespins. Then, she called him. (She’s the one who named him, actually. She just yelled: “JOE CROW! Come over here!”) And after a bit, being curious above all, he wandered over close to the lawn chair she had parked herself in to wait for his arrival. She had PEANUTS. Just like at the domino parlor! She threw a couple on the ground. Joe was a goner. He LOVED breaking in to those peanuts! He followed her to the front door, hoping for more. She told her neighbors the trick. Soon, Joe was always stuffed full of peanuts, and laundry remained on the lines. But that’s not ALL. Oh, no. Turns out, Joe had just been bored. Once people made a fuss over him, he never hit another laundry line. All people had to do was talk to him, admire him, stroke his feathers a bit. He was a major affection junkie. Obviously, at some point in his life, Joe had been “domesticated”. Well, that may or may not be the correct description, because although he had obviously been someone’s “pet”, it also became apparent that his tongue had been “split” at some point, so that he could learn to “talk”. I find that horrifying – and don’t even know if that barbaric action did what it promised. I didn’t want any details, even as a child – but that’s what my grandfather told me. And Joe COULD talk a bit – many words, actually. He could certainly mimic sounds. And he seemed to enjoy doing so – often, and loudly. He also liked to ride on the hood of my grandfather’s car, all the way downtown. When I was little, the roads were still packed dirt, so cars could not travel fast on them. And “downtown” was only about 3 blocks. But Joe loved it. He would perch on the hood, one claw grasping the windshield wiper, and ride magnificently into town. Joe lived for many, many years, fed and coddled by everyone who knew him. Sheltered in the winter in various garages; stuffed with peanuts (and healthier food) year-round; and sprayed with garden hoses in summer – which he LOVED. I was lucky to know him for 2 summers in my youth.

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My short story has been published!

My short story has been published! I must admit, it’s exciting. Thank you, Lorie!

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Downsizing – the Movie

Was looking forward to watching my screener of “Downsizing”, which we did tonight.
Anyone who knows Hollywood history will immediately understand my upcoming reference to one and two “reelers” – also known as “shorts”. Forgive me for preaching to the choir, therefore; but for those who might not understand, let me explain that the average “reel” of film back in the silent era took about 10 minutes to unfold. And, back then, these were very popular short movies – usually presented before the “main” movie (six-reelers!) Think Mack Sennett’s Keystone Cops, Charlie Chaplin, and the adorable Mabel Normand. 

Also, although the short story seems to be an orphan genre these days, sometimes an idea that makes a GREAT short story, when stretched beyond its breaking point makes a too-attenuated and annoying novel. I’m sure you have all read one of those.

Put those together, and you have “Downsizing”. A movie that could have been a decent 90-minute film, but which was extended, to its detriment, into 2-plus hours. Adding insult to injury, the powers-that-be took a pretty good idea and presented it so ham-handedly and superciliously that this viewer is insulted. We GET it, dudes! In fact, we GOT it immediately! No need to bang us on the head with it. Don’t try to make a two-reeler into a six-reeler. Just don’t. It never works.

Ngoc Lan is charming and oh-so-talented. She rises above the cheesy insistence by the writer/director/who knows upon Pidgeon-English and stalwart “frozen-face”; she is the bright spot in the film. Kristen Wiig is non-existent after the first 20 minutes, which is a darned shame. Niecy Nash provides a bit of fun early in the movie (but how can she not? She’s wonderful, no matter HOW you cast her!) 

As to Matt Damon – I have long believed that as an actor, he’s a pretty good writer.

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Bread and Circuses

In light of the deeds being “promised” – or, in my opinion, threatened – by the administration currently in power, consider, if you have a moment, the observations of a Spanish poet who died in 1936, at the age of 38. Reading his short but devastating comments are well worth your time. Many of us are asking for the truth. What we are getting is bread and circuses.

“The terrible, cold, cruel part is Wall Street. Rivers of gold flow there from all over the earth, and death comes with it. There, as nowhere else, you feel a total absence of the spirit: herds of men who cannot count past three, herds more who cannot get past six, scorn for pure science and demoniacal respect for the present. And the terrible thing is that the crowd that fills the street believes that the world will always be the same and that it is their duty to keep that huge machine running, day and night, forever.”

“The day that hunger is eradicated from the earth there will be the greatest spiritual explosion the world has ever known. Humanity cannot imagine the joy that will burst into the world.”

“A nation that does not support and encourage its theater is – if not dead – dying; just as a theater that does not capture with laughter and tears the social and historical pulse, the drama of its people, the genuine color of the spiritual and natural landscape, has no right to call itself theater; but only a place for amusement.”

Federico Garcia Lorca

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There’s a new “beat” poet in town.

Finally – a new poet explodes upon the literary scene. Her name is Lucy, and she’s a puppy. She has taken pencil in paw and written her first opus. Enjoy.

“Dey say a cutie pi izz what I am.
I KNOW it!
I OWN it!
A cutie pi
izz what I am!”

Dis my furst origgonal pome. Sorry for da spellen. I izz puppy, you no. Spellen not on da list of tings I knead. Treats are on da list. Also bones, my blankee, an lotza kuddles. (O – an my minkey and da bare. I chace dem when Mommy trows dem. (I nevr bring dem bak, doe.) But spellen izz not so much big deel.

I just want to tank da nice people who tink I izz cute.

Because dey izz rite – I izz frickin adorbs.

Mommy sez I can’t say dis, because izz narssissticknaresizisicknarsiktik…self-centurd an rood.  But Mommy is wrong, becuz I reely IZZ frickin adorbs. Dis izz a fak, and faks izz reel.

Or dey were – befor dat weird orange two-legger started orduring eveyboddy aroun and sayin deres faks and den deres alturnet  allternent not reel faks, dependin’ how he feelz at da moment. I tink heez mor narssissizzik  selfie-centurd an rood dan ME!

Fur sure.

Lader, peeps.

Luv, Lucy


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Why don’t I care? What’s wrong with me?

My husband has just been reading to me a FB post.

Apparently, Melania Trump had lunch.

And for some reason, this is important.

Well, of course, lunch is important. Breakfast, I hear, is MORE important, but I won’t make an issue out of it.

I asked him whose page he was reading.

He didn’t know. But he knew this post was a post from Sara Palin, who thought we weren’t paying attention to the fact that Melania had lunch. She said we didn’t care – that it would not be on the news.

Thanks, Sara, for telling us that Melania had lunch.

Or something.

I read this back to my husband, asking him if mine was an accurate assessment.

He replied, “Close enough.”

I think our brains are all turning to melted cheese.

Which, of course, you could eat for lunch.

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A Poem for Toot

Our wonderful friend (and author) Kate Thornton wrote this poem to commemorate the passing of our sweet little girl. It is a tribute not only to Toot, but to every beloved pet anyone has ever loved and lost, so I share it with you now.

“They transcend the barriers
of language, thought, culture, species
To remind us that they are not really individuals
but a long line of successful succession
An unbroken parade of that which we hold most high
that for which we all strive, that which is right there
All the time. Every time.
Missy, Coco, Toot, Spot, the single names we give them
Their real names unknown
Lady, Tippy, Caesar, Spooky, all the gentle spirits
Who reflect us in all our broken disarray and love us
They love us. They cannot do otherwise.
They would do anything for us
Except live forever.
And hurt us only once, when they leave
But return again and again, the succession of dogs unbroken
Though our hearts may be, until the next wet nose reminds us
that they are still here”


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Godspeed, darling little Toot


Our adored precious angel sweetheart Toot left us tonight. Quietly, peacefully, unexpectedly. No trouble – just sorrow. From the day we got her – April 3, 2008 (she was 5), until tonight, she never gave us anything but joy and laughter and a saucy attitude. She had a certain little swagger – her flag of a tail swishing – that will be unforgettable. She was our darling. She only outlived her “sissie” Cleo by 8 months. I have no idea how we are going to cope with this – I only know that it’s going to be bad. I feel so very sorry for our new puppy, too, who will now grow up an only dog. Poor little Lucy knows Toot is gone – no doubt about that. Toot was the only other dog little Lucy has ever known, and she adored her.
All I can say is, if there is a heaven, Toot will be waiting for me, right there with Cleo and Fluffy and Tulip and Alpha and Pom Pom and Tiko and Bingo and all my other babies.
Kinky Friedman, one of my all-time favorite authors and an all-around good guy, quoted this when his beloved cat Cuddles died. It is very true, and it is a comfort to me now:
“We who choose to surround ourselves
with lives even more temporary than our
own, live within a fragile circle;
easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps,
we would still live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only
certain immortality, never fully
understanding the necessary plan.”
Irving Townsend
So, until we meet again, rest in peace, sweet little Toot. Go play with Cleo and Fluffy and wait for me, please. I’ll be along one of these days.

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Even a bad photographer takes a good picture now and then.

Kind of amazed, looking at this picture. Because it’s beautiful, and I’m the one who took it – with my cell phone camera. I guess sometimes even a blind squirrel finds an acorn…

Image may contain: plant, flower, outdoor and nature
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