My Kitten Children Category

A Very Public Apology

6 Mar 2008 In: My Monkey Cats: Monkeys & Cats

Well, t’would be if the whole InterWeb read it, right?

Dearest Monkey Cats,

I can’t tell how sorry I am that I let you down. Literally, because of tears and snot and the pills haven’t kicked in yet. And when they do, I won’t have the ability to articulately tell you how contrite, remorseful, penitent and ashamed I am that I let down those who I wanted to support the most, and I will no doubt wander off the topic (WHAT? ME WANDER OFF THE TOPIC? THE EARTH IS OFF ITS AXIS!!!! DOGS AND CATS – aren’t they cute?) – ah – yes, that’s it – I would start talking about how the earth is REALLY an oblate spheroid and WHY DO I KNOW THAT?? Also, purple sea urchins and their scientific name – WHY DO I REMEMBER THAT????? – it’s Strongylocentrotus purpuratus

So I won’t go into the whys and whats and wherefores. You know them anyway as far as they can be understood. Just know this:

  • I’m so PROUD you made it to regionals with the trio and two solos (was it more?); that’s so amazing! And that was in SPITE of anything I did!
  • I believe if all is fair in the World (well, it isn’t, but I hope for you and for today it is) that you will make it to State competition most certainly despite me.
  • Bless you for being so sweet and kind about my ultimate flake-i-tude. You are such wonderful young ladies (and I get to say that ’cause I’m old). I refrained from saying you are “sweet spirits,” though it’s true.
  • Which reminds me, thank you for keeping an old lady vaguely in touch with the popular culture of today! It makes me happy. YOU guys make me happy. I can’t keep up with you, but that comes with being old and decrepit.

So there you have it. I love you!

Most Fondly and Repentantly,
CHA Kate (well – CAKE)

P.S. No matter what, I think I should get to take credit for the lack of “Adam and Eve” in any performance you ever do. May I take small comfort from that?

P.P.S. Oh – also, despite the stress and whatnot, Nessa, I’ve no doubt that whoever played the Fauré for you did not massacre the certain passages that I do (though I slaughter it WITH a poised demeanor, a certain flair, and – seemingly against all odds – a straight face. I didn’t go to University for NUTHIN’).

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Tibbles

1 Feb 2008 In: Blood is Thicker..., LIVESTRONG, My Monkey Cats: Monkeys & Cats

You know – tibbles – a summary of bits and pieces – catching up with the highlights from a time period in which I’ve been either too lazy, busy, crazed or tied up by kidnappers to update my blog for my faithful reader(s). They are like stringettes. Individual stringettes… Simpson’s Individual Stringettes – for attaching notes to pigeon’s legs, DESTROYING HOUSEHOLD PESTS…. NO, no, no – I shan’t go down that road, I shall not. Tying up very small parcels…

Mock all you want; this phrase will be sweeping the nation before you can say…uhm..before you can say – “SIMPSON’S INDIVIDUAL STRINGETTES!” Ah, but where to start.

Well, on December 22, 2007, my darling niephew (that all-encompassing phrase “niephew” will sweep the Nation, too – I have no doubt) Anders turned three AND truly beautiful baby Moses Giles Samuelson-Lynn was born (who doesn’t look ANYTHING like Winston Churchill or Chairman Mao, as babies often do at first).
Anders in the First Snow 2007

In January, hearty congratulations to lovely Niephew Sarah who officially graduated (with excellent test scores, indeed). There was even a ceremony with two dozen or so other “non-traditional” students. My faux Niephew, Tyler, was even one of the speakers (it was awesome – he gave a completely extemporaneous graduation speech – I think the sweeping hand gestures made it). They gave them diplomas and tassels, but had I known their would NOT be caps and gowns (even LEIF got a cap and gown to graduate from St. Marguerite’s kindergarten) I’d have loaned her mine (from my University graduation – yes, I had to BUY it – I could rant about how stupid that is – but she could have been the first high school graduate with a Phi Kappa Phi ribbon on their ensemble).

This past Tuesday I took Grandma Lee (SHHHHHHHH – DON’T TELL HER – REMEMBER: EVERYTHING I SAY ABOUT GRANDMA IS A SECRET FROM HER) to get her chemo pump attached and for her first radiation treatment. She had an Implantable Venous Access Port (a “Super” or “Power Port) put in last week and tattoos and other preparations for her radiation. I think it’s a great delivery system for her. They’ve been able to give her iron infusions through it and blood samples. And when she’s not hooked to her chemo pump she can even shower because the port is under the skin.
WEIRD fashion-style photography of the Implantable Venous Access Port

The chemo pump is amazing. Over the course of a week it dispenses a gradual dose of chemotherapy (in her case FU5) in a small machine that you carry around in a fanny pack (alright you Brits – STOP LAUGHING – “Bum Bag”). This lessens possible side effects and makes her simultaneous treatments (chemo and radiation) so much easier. They just refill it every week and flush out her port.

I wish she felt better, but the size of the tumor is substantial (it’s a “bulky” mass that’s probably been growing and bleeding for a long time) and it compromises the walls of the colon. Since her lymph nodes are involved as well, one of the specialists said it was important to shrink the tumor before they did any surgery. He was also so concerned about a possible bowel blockage that he inserted a stent to keep her colon open. I’d no idea that you could do that. I’d make a joke in poor taste that she was jealous of my Dad’s two stents and had to get a bigger one and put it in an – uhm – unexpected location, but it’s not really funny; she’s incredibly uncomfortable. We believe she’s probably in pain as well, but she won’t cop to anything but “discomfort.” Hopefully when the tumor shrinks she’ll get some relief. Three radiation treatments down, twenty-two to go: You hang in there,
Grandma! (shhhhhh)

Which brings up an important reminder: NEVER, EVER FORGET THAT ANYTHING I WRITE OR SAY ABOUT GRANDMA LEE MUST NEVER GET BACK TO HER EVER. EVER EVER.

Today – mmm – yesterday, technically, as we are the medical havoc and ruination family, Shirleen had eye surgery. Well, tear duct surgery, to be more specific (up through her nose). She has an unusual condition (WHAT – Shirleen has an unusual condition?) that causes her left tear duct to run constantly and squirt arbitrarily. They were not able to find a non-surgical solution (flushing it out and whatnot), so after they scanned to make sure there was nothing in her eye orbit that might even be connected to her brain (or something like that) she helped schedule her own surgery (since she works in the hospital in that department). She even threatened to get off the table in a surgical gown and go to work if they made her wait or something.

Anyhoo, the surgery was quick and successful (even though the doctor had to repair a deformed nasal turbinator – ?). Unfortunately, in recovery her nose started to hemorrhage. And why? Because if some sort of freakish thing can happen to Shirleen during a medical and/or dental procedure it likely will. They successfully stopped the bleeding; this process evidently involved something called a “nose torpedo.” She’s still wearing it, from what I understand. OH, ALAS, FOR YOUR SCHNOZ TO BE BETTER VERY SOON, SHIRLEEN! Oh – and anyone who wants is welcome to pass that along – go crazy.

And my dear Monkey Cats, your Crazy Heathen Aunt Cake Kate hasn’t forgotten you. How could she? YOU HAUNT HER DREAMS! Ha ha. In a GOOD way? It was Solo and Ensemble Competition time again on Wednesday. No prevaricating blossoms of any kind this year; we had placid Ernest Charles trio, Clouds, this time. They did a very lovely job, and I don’t think I made the “bell-like” chords sprinkled throughout the piece entirely TOO cacophonous (in performance). My principal goal for me was to NOT repeat the rubber-chicken-moment debacle of last year’s competition.

I also played for M.C. Nessa’s solo. She sang a lovely Fauré piece that I massacred when I played it for M.C. Amy’s audition for Chamber Choir last year (they took her in spite of my über-dissonant additions). I was very proud of her because she introduced herself DECLARATIVELY and CONFIDENTLY (AMEN), sang lovely French and, most importantly, kept going and was poised when she forgot some lyrics. A lesson for ALL PERFORMERS. Oh – and with MY Monkey Cats there’s never an “Adam and Eve” pose in sight.

I even got to do an almost completely unrehearsed performance of Bist Du Bei Mir with a euphonium player. “Little King,” a wee freshman, was abandoned by his accompanist a couple of hours before the competition, so I agreed that I’d probably be better than nothing (M.C. Amy would have certainly played it better, but she was already accompanying seven thousand people and singing with another five hundred or something very, very close to that). It was a very creative performance that sounded nothing like Lady of Spain. And I’ve no doubt that he will learn some semblance of tempo with a little more experience. The tone was nice… Oh – and Adam Keith owes me $15. I’ll take that in small cash bills. (?)

We found my entirely too grown-up Niephew Will ACTUALLY FILLING OUT PERFORMANCE REVIEWS. He became an honorary Monkey Cat for the evening, did the “Money Dance” at arbitrary moments throughout the afternoon/evening (he’s on the Junior Varsity Ballroom Dance Team – that’s really all the explanation I can dream up). We deviated from tradition with a Jamba Juice break, but we did end up with the requisite Taco Bell feast. We waxed nostalgic about past Taco Bell feasts, talked about their plans after high school (They are graduating! My baby Monkey Cats are Graduating. Monkey Kittens?) and they confirmed that I am, indeed, very, very old. You’ve just gotta love them. Hugs and Kisses, Monkey Cats!

Happy ‘Ween

31 Oct 2007 In: Celebrate!, LIVESTRONG, My Kitten Children

Ever-discerning Terry sent me the PERFECT greetings for this day:

Now THIS is a hybrid.

Thank you, Terry, and thanks to I Can Has Cheez Burger. I think it’s SUCH a lovely chapeau, perfect for any and every occasion.

Oh – and I’m sure all y’all thought I was going to talk about breasts today. Yup, I said it: BREASTS, BREASTS, BREASTS! (Go Google, GO!) I decided to wait until tomorrow. I wanted to make the point that we needn’t limit discussion of breast cancer awareness and breast health JUST to Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

When I called to make Lark’s appointment (R.I.P. Little Fluffy One) at the veterinarian I also made an appointment to get my Kitten Children their long overdue vaccinations. For one, brief, completely unhinged moment I considered taking them all in together. But realizing that Lark’s prognosis would probably not be good, and also taking into the account the ridiculous logistics of taking one really sick lil’ dog who deserved my full attention and two Kitten Children who HATE riding in the car, I made an appointment for them today.

I think I’ve reached my medical office saturation point for the time being. Not all of these visits have been bad – and only one completely heartbreaking – but between appointments of my own, the appointment with Lark yesterday, taking Shirleen to a pain clinic yesterday (for a procedure with REALLY LONG NEEDLES – I still thought it was fascinating to watch – no offense Shirleen – I know HAVING it was not fun), then I took Shirleen BACK to the pain clinic today (after which, I thought I might strangle or bitch-slap someone, grab them by the collar and scream, “GIVE HER SOME MEDICATION PLEASE!!!! THIS WOMAN HAS A PAIN THRESHOLD UNLIKE ANYTHING I’VE EVER SEEN AND YET SHE’S HARDLY SLEPT IN MONTHS AND MONTHS.” She’s frustrated and angry, but much more patient than I am). Perhaps this is because during special nerve injection procedure, which I watched from the doorway of the “operating” room, I unexpectedly saw the visage of the Virgin Mary in one of the myriad x-rays of her scar tissue and back hardware. Seriously. I’ve certainly never been a disciple of any religious icon, but I almost loudly exclaimed, “A face, a FACE!!!” It’s THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY! LIGHT CANDLES!! GENUFLECT!!! I showed great restraint, however, and did not say ANYTHING until she and I were alone at which point she responded that perhaps we should all now worship her butt, though technically the scar tissue is a smidgen higher than that. Since she’s in wretched pain and horrifically sleep deprived we can give her the benefit of the doubt. So perhaps the Virgin Mary apparition in her scar tissue gives her miraculously high pain tolerance. Why not.

OHHH – speaking of keisters, back to the five zillionth medical appointment, which was this morning with the Kitten Children. The first adventure was putting them together into the soft-sided animal carrier.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but since she’s not watching me type this, I am going to tell you a little secret (perhaps I should say a LARGE secret): Fiona Maura MacArthur, the younger of my babies, has a really substantial heinie. What’s more, as she grew she developed this hanging, baggy-skin, belly thing (they say it’s a calico proclivity). To top it all off, she has a wee little head. The amalgamation of these particular characteristics, to tell the truth, causes her to look like an optical illusion from some vantage points. The fact that she’s slightly bow-legged only enhances the effect.

I’m not being cruel; even my MOTHER calls her “fat-butt” (but in a very sweet tone so that ostensibly Fiona does not catch on). Besides, I relate.

For those of you who do not know me personally, no matter what my actual “size,” I have ALWAYS been “pear-shaped.” Oh, YES. As a matter of fact, more than once the jaunty tune, “I like Big Butts,” has lovingly been dedicated to me at a karaoke bar (one must admire the exquisite musical stylings of Sir Mix-A-Lot). It’s one of my life theme songs (everyone has theme songs for their lives whether they know it or not). Another of my life theme songs is “Mahbootay” by Laura Love. It’s an an insightful, astute commentary on the sizable derrière. I had the privilege of seeing her live at a folk and bluegrass festival a number of years ago. I had her autograph Shum Ticky with a fond inscription to my “big ol’ bootay.” In case you don’t believe me:
Love to My Bootay!!!

That day Janet asked me to grab a Lucy Kaplansky CD for her and get it autographed (since I was getting one, too). I had it signed, “To Janet, who was to lazy to come down the hill and get this signed herself.” I’m funny like that.

Anyhooooo, I suspected that Fiona had gained a couple of pounds this year (which – to me, anyway – feels substantial in a cat). I felt like BeBe (that’s Beatrice Alessandra Gatto, remember) was maintaining her lithe figure. I put them both in the carrier with GREAT DIFFICULTY, partly because they knew something was up (and were thus thwarting my well-intentioned efforts) and also because it was rather a tight squeeze. Nevertheless, I think that BeBe (who abhors car rides the most) was still more calm with Fiona in close proximity.

Then, when we got to the vet and went into the examination room, extracting the Kitten Children from the bag naturally proved to be rather a battle. But one by one they were weighed, had their temperatures taken (anally – BOY THEY LOVE THAT – I’ve tried that procedure on BeBe myself and am happy to leave it to the professionals whenever possible). They had their injections and nose spray vaccinations – I love that most of these now last for three years. They only need the FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) vaccine every year by nasal spray. They really were very good Kitten Children. A little selective hissing and twitching, but that was it.

Then, after we’d conversed about various medical issues such as the acronyms and placement of the assorted vaccinations, we discussed Fiona’s weight. Yes, indeed, she’s gained two or so pounds and is borderline overweight. Just like me, she will always have a posterior of significant proportions no matter what her size, but I need to keep an eye on the weight issue. OR I could let her get corpulent, repeat the jojoba oil debacle and start calling her “Shorty Greasy Spot Spot.”

But the very best moment was when, after our intelligent medical discourse, I mentioned something about how Fiona had always had a large rump. To this the vet responded – OH YES SHE DID – “Ah – she has a Badonkadonk Butt.” That’s by far the best diagnosis I’ve heard in a long time (PERHAPS ever). Well, if I hear that someone has actually been diagnosed with “Hot-Dog Fingers” that might run a close second.

I imagine if I were a tad more “Honkey Tonk” I might have to add that Trace Adkins ditty to my list of life anthems.

Hmm. My wind seems to be back, and it’s LONG.

Oh – P.S. Please imagine that every time in the above post when it says “today” it actually means yesterday and when I’ve written “yesterday” it’s really “the day before yesterday.” “Last week” is still “last week,” and a number of years ago… I think you get the picture.

There are those who don’t believe that my reasons for not leaving the house much are compelling. Ah, but consider this: Last Wednesday I’d fallen asleep in a chair and missed the dress rehearsal for “The False Prophet.” Yet Sarah still needed me to bring her the video of The Natural History of the Chicken during her lunch break so they could watch it in her religious studies class.
Great Cinema.  Seriously.

I drove the tape over to her high school and happened to park right behind a police car. While in the process of “tele-locating” Sarah, I noticed that in the cop car, on the divider window between the driver’s seat and the “perp” section of the vehicle (that should answer the question about whether or not I watch too many re-runs of all various editions of Law and Order and CSI) there was a sign – a professionally-lettered sign in large capital letters (big enough for me to read even though I’m extremely overdue to get new glasses). The sign read, “STUPID.”

I REALLY wanted a picture of this. But by the time I had re-set my camera phone with the right flash setting so that I take ANY semblance of a recognizable image at all, the police officer got in his car and drove away. Little did I know, this was not merely an amusing oddity, but a SIGN (metaphorically as well as literally) – something portending events in my immediate future. Alas, I did not recognize this foreshadowing.

So after purchasing Gerbera daisies for the Monkey Cats in four different hues (a mistake, I came to find, because NO ONE WANTS ORANGE) and paying a little extra for them to use lemon leaves instead of odious leather-leaf and making sure there were water tubes and purloining tons of little insert cards that said things completely irrelevant to a vocal performance like “Get Well Soon” and “It’s a BOY” and “Happy Birthday,” I was on my way.

I was driving through the “river-bottoms” (as the locals say) and, admittedly, not really paying attention to my speed, etc. Then, as a wretched nightmare from my past, I saw flashing lights in my rear-view mirror. Yes, I was speeding. And though it has been ages since I got a ticket (I’ve grown a little and chilled out the lead foot – REALLY), I know the drill. I don’t get warnings. I get CITATIONS (with the one notable exception of my twenty-first birthday upon which I deigned to use a pitiful, wheedling voice and say, “But it’s my BIRTHDAY” – I almost was serenaded by police officers, but they were too shy in the end to sing to me). I don’t have the necessary blonde bimbo appearance to avoid tickets, I guess (my apologies to blonde bimbos but your sexy wiles deserve a SMALL mention because I sincerely doubt you’ve gone to traffic school five gazillion times and had your license suspended, etc.).

And I knew it wouldn’t do any good to attempt to explain to the officer that after I’d delivered The Natural History of the Chicken to my niece who’d HAD CANCER and run an errand to purchase gifts for DESERVING YOUNG PEOPLE, that it had been imperative, for reasons that I couldn’t really put into words, that I sing along intensely and vociferously (and repeatedly) with a delightfully angry Avril Lavigne song and that’s why I hadn’t noticed my speed. But, OH JOY, since my record has been clean, I CAN GO TO TRAFFIC SCHOOL AGAIN!!! By now I am practically a traffic school connoisseur. I shall have to post an update as to how the local traffic school stacks up to my previous experiences.

Later in the afternoon, it was time for the “Solo and Ensemble” competition. I should say right off that I am NOT a great pianist at this point in time. I do have the ability that I consider imperative from a singer’s perspective for any accompanist, which is to damn the torpedoes, JUST KEEP PLAYING. Nevertheless, every so often, when I’m teaching a voice lesson or the like, I start the introduction to something and I just HAVE to stop because the piece of music I’ve just played has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the notes or the key or the time signature on the page. Then I halt, momentarily baffled, and start again playing something much more akin to the written music.

Now, in my defense, I’d run through “The False Prophet” with the Monkey Cats on what I must describe as several different “honky-tonk” pianos (each incapable of playing several key notes – different ones, depending on the piano). Then I’d run through the accompaniment on my own piano (admittedly not enough). But when we went to perform, after I’d reminded them to all look alive (unlike the bulk of the singers we’d seen who looked more or less like zombie automatons) and to NOT utilize the “Adam and Eve” hand position (just think about it – you’ll get it), I sat down at the grand piano in the High School Choir room.

I’ve never played this piano before (though I don’t suppose that’s really an excuse). So the Monkey Cats are standing poised and ready, I’m poised and ready at the piano, and I proceeded to play an introduction so completely unrelated to the piece that follows that I might as well have favoured everyone with an impromptu rendition of La Marseillaise or Pour Some Sugar. I did have the presence of mind to just keep going, squelching the nigh-unto-overwhelming impulse to make it into a most amusing Victor Borge-esque moment in which I would have stopped, looked quizzically down at the keyboard, had a “light-bulb” moment, opened the piano lid and pulled a rubber chicken out of it. Then, after tossing the chicken into the audience I’d have sat down as though nothing had happened, played the introduction semi-perfectly and everyone would have had a hearty laugh. Ha ha ha.

Luckily, I don’t believe that the skills or lack thereof of the accompanist made any difference in the scoring of their performance. The Monkey Cats did very well with their singing even after hearing the somewhat Avant-garde selection I sprung on them right before they were to open their mouths.

Last year, after singing, I took the Monkey Cats and at least one Monkey Cat Boyfriend to Taco Hell, where we spent $42.11 on food. AMERICAN. I kid you not. ALL of the girls remembered the amount to the penny. They wanted to go again this year (tradition, of course), but we had fewer Monkey Cats in the first place (and we were missing one, actually, so they substituted the “Honorary” Monkey Cat, Josh) and everyone’s boyfriend was either gone or being a “dweeb.” Consequently, we only spent a paltry $26 and forty-something cents.

At Taco Hell, when the subject of my butt somehow came up (it always “ends” up there, no pun intended), and they all reminded me with pride that they’d not poked me in the tookus or jiggled my posterior, Monkey Cat Nessa proceeded to poke my left lunch-lady arm and exclaim loudly something to the effect of, “See, she JIGGLES.” I laid down the law at this point, saying that Hoppy and Bob were OFF-LIMITS, too (thank you, Garrison Keillor).

Then I told M.C. Nessa to “look right at me and pay attention” and went on to regale her – and yes I used these very words – with a “cautionary tale” about making fun of certain behaviors or parts of peoples’ bodies because Karma would come and, pardon my saying so, BITE YOU IN THE ASS. I
used several examples from my own life.

I think, perhaps, the timing might not have been right, as they were well onto their way to being completely punch-drunk. Oh well.

But, HEY MONKEY CATS!!! YES, OVER HERE!!!! I’M HOLDING UP SOMETHING VERY SPARKLY AND SHINY!!! Okay. My young and innocent friends, please consider what I had to say when you are feeling calm (perhaps at the dentist – semi-anesthetized) and if you REMEMBER what I said, know that it is true and beware of the Karma. Thank you.

Just a few other things briefly:

  • Josh, the Honorary Monkey Cat, can “read” your nose. I’m not going to attempt to explain this right now. And he has a Cherokee butt (he said so himself – don’t think that I’M being inappropriate).
  • The daisy lies to “Doris.” Also, that song could be made ribald, lewd and utterly FILTHY with very little effort.
  • A Mr. Pringle wrote “The False Prophet.” I do not know whether or not this is the perfectly-shaped potato chip magnate Pringle or a completely random Pringle who had nothing to do with the idea of smushing up the potatoes and then reforming them into symmetrical potato-smush shapes (genius, really – processing processed food for symmetrical/aesthetic purposes and so they fit such a lovely cylindrical container).

Ah, how I’ve missed most of you, too.

Hmmm. Let me clarify: I’d have missed you all, but I’ve managed to see a few of you and therefore cannot “miss” what I’ve seen or have been seeing.

Just a few important things:

  • Dearest Amy, who I’ve never met, DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT YOU GOTTEN YOURSELF INTO?
  • I prefer “Accompaniroooo.” I feel that it’s the appropriately deferential title.
  • Let me just say it ONE LAST TIME: My posterior is OFF LIMITS. That is rehearsal rule numero uno.

Thank you, that is all

All My Love,
Crazy Heathen Aunt Cake Kate

Yesterday I received this email from one of the original Monkey Cats:

Subject: solo and ensemble and ze new monkey cats

Hello crazy heathen aunt cake, sorry, Kate. If you have not been informed by your forget ful neice [sic], saria we need you to accompany us, maybe. Respond as quickly as possible or call Nessa at: [number omitted OF COURSE]

I called Sarah, and, yes, indeedy, she’d neglected to mention it, “because all of our lives are different and crazy” and that they needed someone to play for them on “the thirty-somethingth.” Or was it “the thirtieth or thirty-somethingth” – and they were rehearsing “for the last time (?) tomorrow.” She also said that it was an “easy song so they just needed someone to play” (as opposed to coaching). We’ll see. I’ve witnessed their rehearsal techniques.

I asked who was singing, and it seems that with this slightly different array of Monkey Cats I shall even meet a NEW one. I also inquired as to WHAT they were singing. Evidently, this “easy” piece is entitled “False Prophet”. “False Prophet?” Oh yes, “False Prophet.”

“Who wrote it?” I asked. Sarah did not know. She did, however, explain that “False Prophet” is “about a daisy who tells a lie.” Yes, daisy. As in the flower.

Terry, can I PLEASE say that I’m waiting with “bated breath?” It’s a song about A FLOWER THAT TELLS A LIE!

I will say this: NO ONE – let me repeat – NO ONE is going to poke at my substantial tookus this time. My butt is OFF LIMITS. That will be rehearsal rule numero uno.

Second Update on Greasy Porcupine Felines

23 Jan 2007 In: My Kitten Children

BeBe now has a large bald spot on the nape of her neck. Wait – cats don’t have neck napes, technically, right? Wait – SCRUFF! She has a large bald spot on her scruff (correct me if I’m wrong, my vet people). And it’s my fault. Well, it’s ALL my fault, but I believe this is especially my fault.

I realize that’s the area I was holding down desperately, particularly during the SECOND bath, so that she would not catapult (no pun intended, but HA HA HA HA) into the air and securely attach herself to the ceiling. Or my face. Consequently, that spot was probably still oily. I gather she’s taken care of that very thoroughly – SINCE YESTERDAY.

It will grow back; I know this from experience. I obtained this knowledge because of an incident having to do with one of Janet and Erik’s cats and a shedding implement and a water pistol. It was very surprising, but Shirleen, as usual, as Doctor Doolittle incarnate, was able to explain it to me.

Looking on the bright side, the skin on BeBe’s bald patch doesn’t have even a hint of dandruff.

Shirleen, of course, former Dog and Animal Groomer Extraordinaire (still pretty extraordinaire at it, when her fused back and her busy schedule allow her to occasionally coif the wee doggies), knew just what to do with the Greasy Kitten Children. I asked her yesterday, in a falteringly hopeful voice, “Won’t the oil just eventually soak in?” She rolled her eyes (subtly – YES MY MOTHER TAUGHT US TO ROLL OUR EYES AND SHE CAN ONLY TRY AND DENY IT) and in a patient voice explained that they’d have to be bathed again because the oil would just stick in the undercoats. I don’t think it had even absorbed that far.

Shirleen also suggested a particular method to use. So the Kitten Children are now luxuriously clean by everyone’s standards (if you’ve ever bathed a cat you’ll know that they lick themselves NON-STOP for two or three days afterwards). I only have a few panicked feline Velcro claw marks. And they EVEN have forgiven me (or they’re lulling me into a sense of complacency to plot my untimely demise).

Here is my only complaint: Shirleen HELPED you bathe Truman, Jennette. She conveniently “ran an errand” yesterday as I was bathing the cats. And no one else was qualified (or could be bothered) to answer my cries for help when BeBe was ATTACHED FIRMLY TO MY SHOULDER AND WAS WORKING HER WAY DOWN MY BACK. Wait – Sarah came and asked if she could help, but by then I had BeBe pinned down in the Kitchen Sink WITH MY ENTIRE BODY so I couldn’t really think of something for her to do. Shirleen DID turn Lark (my Parents’ wee geriatric dog) into a clean and lovely semblance of a poodle which is only a little odd because she is a Maltese.

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A Few Quickies

20 Jan 2007 In: I Have Learned THE HARD WAY, My Kitten Children

Though I have a longer entry in mind touching on recent interesting events in the household and holiday reminiscences and all that jazz, I’m not ready for it yet. Please don’t cry; I know you wait with bated breathe for my next entry novel. I do have these noteworthy tidbits:

  • The GURU reigns true and mightily as always forevermore and tomorrow! Thank you so much for finding the requisite secret places. And curses on the wretched hackers who try to plague your existence. I spit on them; phhhht.
  • The Cativity is ON SALE! Hurry now before the limited supply of “sweetly sculpted polyresin” has been depleted!
  • This item has taken away any vestige of what scant innocent memories remain from my childhood.That reminds me - Where is that edible underwear, Grettir?

    “Candy” Bra

    Moreover, it does NOT look very supportive. And I feel bad for the person who had to Photoshop® her nipples from between the rows of candy beads that make up this “sexy candy lingerie.”

  • Less is more when it comes to hair products for one’s Kitten Children.

    Today I bathed them – after cutting their claws and shedding them – they still are keeping their distance from me.

    I still find the incongruity of the fact that my Kitten Children are completely fascinated by the bathtub and/or shower yet you’d think that giving THEM a bath was medieval torture at its best (worst?). They want to watch ME bathe. They’ll even drink soapy bathwater (yuck). They want to chase water from three ounce bathroom cups down the drain (I should explain this game some time). But God forbid I get THEM completely wet.

    So suffice it to say, despite my Father’s firm belief that any respiratory distress is caused by the Kitten Children (as opposed to POORLY TREATED ASTHMA – and PETTING THE KITTEN CHILDREN AND THEN RUBBING ONE’S EYES AND NOSE AND SUCH – WHICH IS JUST STUPID), I gave in to his badgering and attempted Operation Feline Bath (and if you don’t think it’s a major to do you’ve never bathed a cat).

    I got all five thousand towels at the ready, as well as their shampoo and Kevlar body armor for me (I wish). Then I got the BRILLIANT idea that since they get dandruff, especially when it’s so cold and dry, I should use the same treatment I use when I think my scalp is dry. My strategy is so use copious amounts of jojoba oil (theoretically the most like the natural oils in one’s skin). So I dumped jojoba oil on each FURIOUS Kitten Child and tried to really work it in. Oh how they loved that. Then I did the regular shampoo and rinse (and desperate wrestling while attempting to keep my voice soothing and evenly-modulated). I snuggled them in towels and tried to get them to sit by their favourite heating vents. But – OH – they were having none of it. They wanted to go far, far, far away from me and then “re-bathe” themselves (which somewhat defeats the whole purpose of the “allergy” wash since saliva is usually the most severe feline allergen anyway).

    Later, when I did catch a glimpse of each Kitten Child’s wee, resentful face, I realized that the simple shampoo would have been best (not to mention it would have made Operation Feline Bath SHORTER). They look like greasy porcupines. And you can tell that they detect a residue on their fur that they cannot seem to lick off (and I tell you – they are being persistent). I’m hoping the oil soaks in and they feel so luxuriously moisturized that they love me all the more. Or ever again.

Cheese Wisdom

“My whole family is lactose intolerant and when we take pictures we can't say cheese.”
— Jay London

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