September 18, 2018

Long life to Mrs. B

Cats are curious creatures. Well, of course, they are. Who hasn’t seen a cat nose into things better left un-nosed. But what I am referring to is that cats are curious creatures – peculiar, remarkable, bizarre little animals who can be at the same time both needy and independent. They can be affectionate one moment and ready to take your hand off the next. Cats enjoy being unpredictable, a trait that I firmly believe that they cultivate from kittenhood. They are also wonderful little pets that the world would be a sadder place without.

As some of you may remember at this time last year I had three little cats. They started life under my shed, born to a feral mother. I adopted them as outdoor kitties. Alas, two met unfortunate ends within weeks of each other leaving me with Mrs. B. 

Dear Mrs. B. started life as a little male kitten known as Bigglesworth. When the vet informed us that Bigglesworth was not a he, but a she, she was renamed Mrs. Bigglesworth and, as is usual with longish names, soon became Mrs. B. 

Mrs. B. is now fifteen years old. Translated into human years she’s a grand old lady of seventy-six. Interesting how the computation is made. Cats age most quickly in their youth. The first year of a cat’s life takes her all the way from infancy to mid-teens. Second year she jumps up to mid-twenties. Then she ages four of our years for each additional birthday celebrated.

I have recently come to understand one of the more mysterious things I have seen cats do. Have you ever seen a cat jump up, run into the middle of, say, the driveway clearly with a definite purpose in mind, only to stop dead, sit down and clean his ears? I finally figured it out! They are doing what I do all the time. I am at the kitchen sink and need clean towels. I leave the kitchen for the purpose of getting clean towels. I get upstairs only to find that I have no idea why I am standing at the top of the steps. At which point I sit down and clean my ears. Not really. I go back to the kitchen and stand at the sink until I remember what I had forgotten. Maybe cats do the same.

At any rate poor old Mrs. B. is now into her dotage and getting a bit senile. And I can certainly sympathize. She’s a little greyer and a bit slower. She complains a lot. Her meow has changed. It’s a throaty meow that sounds as if she is coming down with laryngitis. She cries for food after she’s just eaten because I’m pretty sure she’s forgotten that she just ate. She’s a bit lonely. I think she still misses her siblings. With any luck Mrs. B. will be around for another few years. I hope so. Each morning I walk out the kitchen door and say, “Good morning, Mrs. B.” and she comes running from the deck to get her breakfast. I dread the day she doesn’t.

September 7, 2018

Moving on and writing again

Well, I’m finally in the mood to get back to writing – at least, I think I am. It’s been a long couple of years with enough distractions to completely throw me off whatever game I may have had. Some good things, sadly more bad things, have been keeping Tom and me up nights and running around days. But these things are settling down a bit and I feel like I can catch my breath and try to focus.
Mainly because Tom’s cousin’s house was sold last month! And Eileen herself is ensconced in a shared apartment with 24/7 help. While she is not always happy about it, she is safe, sheltered and looked after. And this is a major load off our minds.
Emptying the house was fun! I am being facetious. It was not fun. I freely admit it, Tom and I are too old for this crap. The house was dirty and dusty and there were a fair amount of mouse droppings in rather strange places, always a joy to come across. But it’s done and in the hands of some other poor schmuck who can deal with the water in the basement and the windows that won’t open. Yay!
And so, as I said, I am trying to return to writing. And I think I will begin with my list of pet peeves and just get some much-need venting out of the way. I’m clearing my mind, so to speak. And my mind could certainly use some clarity. Here we go in no order of importance whatsoever.
1 - People who back into parking spaces when they just could just pull through. I don’t understand this phenomenon, but see it all the time. A practically empty parking lot. Tons of spaces where you can just pull through to face out. But no, these people back in. Why? I would really like to ask one of them someday, but my husband fears for my life (or possibly my sanity).
2 - Bathroom stall doors that open in! Who thought this up and why? There is no room in those little spaces. We spend our time trying not to touch anything and yet to get out we must back into the toilet. It’s just yucky.
3 - Waiters who ask, “Are you finished working on that?” If they think the food they have just served you needs to be worked on, then they should just apologize for serving it. How about, “May I take your plate?” instead.
Here, I must admit that I am rather a grammar-hammer. I love the English language and it hurts to hear it used badly. So, the next few are grammar related.

4 - The use of ‘I’ when ‘me’ is correct. This misuse has become rampant. I heard our eloquent President Obama misuse it at Senator McCain’s funeral. It’s not rocket science. “Tom and I went to the store.” “Matthew went to the store with Tom and me.” When in doubt, take out the other name. ‘Matthew went to the store with I.” No, he didn’t. He went with me.
5 - ‘LIKE’ every other word.
6 - Using there’s (singular) when you mean there are (plural). Newscasters, among many others, say this all the time.
Well, now that I’ve vented and my mind is clear, I will try to come up with interesting tales of life in the slow lane to regale you with in future posts. Right now, I am running to Target run where I will certainly see someone backing into a space muttering, “It’s like real hot out there.” Wish me luck.