On the weaponization of cats

The man is in the shower. The girl is in the kitchen. The girl is home sick, second day in a row.

The man finishes his shower and is drying off when he hears the following two things:

  1. The girl making panicky noises, yelling and stuff.
  2. Gray cat making a noise like it is trying to yack a knitting needle.

The man has heard these noises before. Noise one means the girl is upset about something. He assumes she is upset about noise two. Noise two means the cat is about to vomit. The man knows he has about one second to throw the cat outside.

The man does the following in less than one second:

  1. Finishes drying off, more or less, so he doesn’t track water through the house.
  2. Runs naked into the kitchen and grabs the cat the way you do in this situation, sort of like an automatic rifle that is firing at random.

Then the man runs with the cat to the front door, opens the door and throws the cat outside.

Too bad for the man, though that #1 and #2 used up his second, so when he’s running through the kitchen and entry way naked, holding the cat like a rifle that is firing, the cat is spewing its breakfast on everything. It was not a dignified moment for anyone.

Too bad police weren’t kicking the door in to arrest me, the man tells the girl. Or missionaries knocking at the door.

Waste of a cat.

The man got dressed. Then he cleaned things up.

The Golem

Golem sit in front of new TV.

Golem tell girl how unutterably stupid all the show are for a little while until he notice he spoiling all girl fun. Then he stop.

Golem watch stupid show for a while and cuddle with girl. She put head on Golem shoulder, which give Golem nice, fathery feeling.

Girl turn off TV and they sit and watch black TV. That a little less boring than watch show, just chill and talk.

Girl go to bed. Golem watch TV some more (still off). Golem fight sleep in front of turn off TV. Golem let three cat out. Cat want back in because raining out. Golem notice wind blow shed door open. He go out in rain and put back rock that hold shed door shut. Golem wonder, hey, what that buzz/doorbell sort of ring sound?

Golem figure out doorbell short out in rain.

Golem go out to gate where doorbell button is. Golem reach in slit to wiring and wiggle he finger around to see if something loose.

Neighbor all see Golem skeleton like in cartoon.

Golem pull finger back out. Golem go, Hey, that not 220 volt. You call that 220 volt? Still, Golem have extra spring in step when go back into house.

Doorbell box on wall smell like fire. Box first go Bzzz then Dinnnggggggg then Zzzt and make big spark. Then light all turn off.

Golem look around and determine that all flashlight in house have dead battery or not in right place where suppose to be for state of emergency.

Golem make lot of noise move ladder around in dark. He look at doorbell box with dim light from cell phone. Golem find little tiny screwdriver to fit screw that hold it on and take it off then look around floor with dim light from cell phone for little screw that he drop but he not find it.

Golem take off face plate and loosen two screw inside and take out so doorbell not go Zzzt again when he go out to fuse box and turn light back on. Golem leave ladder there and faceplate off so maybe wife figure situation out when she get up early because have to work while he get to stay home and sleep in on account of holiday.

Golem go to bed. Golem get up later because cat make noise which mean cat want out. Knock stuff off table and stuff.

Cat hide, but Golem know hiding place. Two cat. One cat hide under sofa. That cat dumb and easy to catch. Other cat hard to catch so Golem use science. Golem leave office door open. Cat go downstair, Golem go downstair. Cat go upstair hide in office. Golem go into office close door. Cat corner. Cat go to door, pretend I just normal, good cat, I just want out this door please okay? Golem say, okay kitty. Golem pretend to open door, catch cat. Golem throw out cat. Golem catch easy to catch cat. Golem throw that out too. Sensitive cat also want out, because he not stand all this drama no more.

Fourth cat already outside. So no cat inside! Yay!

Golem go to bed.

Golem wife ask what up with ladder?

Golem tell wife story about doorbell.

Golem and wife sleep. Sweet dream, Golem.

It snowed just now

I stood out on the sidewalk watching it, using a sewing machine as an umbrella. Wearing my bowler hat. An umbrella wearing a bowler hat is absurd. The cat had a worm. Possibly more than one, so I took her and her brother to the vet for a pill each. And to make an appt to have her sterilized. They shaved her belly and did an ultrasound to see if she is pregnant, because she refused to pee on the little paper stick.

There I stood, looking at that familiar ultrasound monitor image, trying to think of a good joke, none coming. How will I explain it to my wife if one looks like me, like that. And all the while, big flakes of fallout drifting to earth out the window. Apocalyptic humor.

Freshly-shaved cat belly is a soft thing.

We’ve been looking for the leopard slug, or whatever it was, unsuccessfully. It’s out there, somewhere. It’s a feeling like when the jungle drums stop, you know? That slug is out there.

I hear they come from Spain. Climate change. They come from Spain, like these butterflies a friend found on her oleander come from Greece. Like the butterflies, only way more slowly.

Except, it didn’t snow.

Darkling I listen

John Keats was sitting at his kitchen table. Everyone else was asleep. He was drinking filter coffee and wishing espresso wasn’t such a pain in the ass to make.

It was very humid. He was trying to write something.

He wrote, “Blah, blah, blah.”

He wrote,

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a musèd rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—
To thy high requiem become a…

John Keats took a drink of coffee. He wondered what time it was. He looked at the corner of the journal he was writing in, as if there would be a clock there, and marveled slightly at the way use of computers colors one’s use of print media.

“Darkling I listen,” he read.

Then the cat ran into the kitchen. It ran in circles as if something were chasing it. It stopped, then it started again, in full panic mode. John Keats squinted, and perceived that the cat had a petunia stuck to its asshole.

The cat ran back out of the kitchen.

John Keats went into the living room and meditated. Then he got the kid off to school, and went to work.

News from the crick

I went walking along the creek this morning because my shin and ankle hurt too much for me to run. The creek is high and muddy from the rain we’ve had (most excellent thunderstorm night before last) and there was a pair of swans. Then I saw a beaver swimming downstream. I jogged a little to catch up with him, then walked parallel with him for a while. This irritated the beaver and it dove and came up further downstream, and nearer the far bank. As we got closer to the swans, I saw that they had 6 cygnets and they saw us (noticing first me, then the beaver). One headed downstream with their young and the other swam first in my direction, then towards the beaver when it noticed him. The beaver dove again and resurfaced down stream from the swans and we all relaxed.

It was tense there for a minute.

Then I walked back home, where I picked some lettuce for the tortoise, and noticed that a horde of slugs had discovered our lettuce. They prefer the iceberg to the arugula, which is probably harder for a slug to pronounce. “Let’s eat the aru- arugu- oh, fuck, let’s have iceberg again.”

Then I cleaned litter boxes. One of our cats learned a life lesson last night, it seems, namely that it is easier to eat balloons and rubber bands than it is to keep them down.

A Christmas Carol, reloaded

Prologue

Tiny Tim: [Crawls into tight hiding spot] [To himself] I should be safe in here.

Act I

Scene I

Mrs. Cratchit: [Driving cleaning lady to her next gig] Sheesh, what’s that awful smell?

Cleaning lady: Factory? The car?

Mrs. Cratchit: It smells like burning. It gets worse every time we go around a corner.

Scenes II, III, IV

(yadda, yadda, yadda)

Act II

Scene I

Bob Cratchit: [We are outside the bathroom, he is inside.] Ow.

Scene II

Bob Cratchit: [Same location] Ow, my head. [Sound effects: Retroperistalsis]

Scene III

Bob Cratchit: [We are now inside the bathroom with Mr. Cratchit] [Sighs] [Sound effects: gurgling intestines] Ow, yet fascinating.

Scene IV

Mrs. Cratchit: [Street scene] How do you open the hood, anyhow?

Act III

Scene I

Bob Cratchit: [Struggles impotently with giant pine tree wrapped tightly in netting. Looks at base of tree, realizes it is way to fat to fit into Christmas tree stand] Sigh.

Scene II

Bob Cratchit: [Drinks aspirin drink. Arranges tools beside tree on picnic table: saws, chisel, mallet. Looks at axe, has vision of chopped-off fingers and spurting arterial blood, sets it back down.] Not with this residual blood alcohol. [Begins chipping away at trunk of tree with chisel]

Scene III

Bob Cratchit: [Places tree in living room, cuts away the plastic netting. The tree is about two feet too high for the ceiling. He clips off the tip, which is too fat to fit inside the ornament that traditionally goes atop the tree. He steps back and regards the tree, which resembles Olive Oyl wearing a crinoline dress and stretching out her arms] Next year, I must buy a tree earlier.

Scene IV

Tiny Tim: [From hiding place] Meow.

Mrs. Cratchit: Ohmigod.

Tiny Tim: [Crawls from underneath hood of Mrs. Cratchit's automobile, his fur badly singed on all sides, eyebrows and whiskers included.] Meow.

Cleaning lady: Whoa.

Mrs. Cratchit’s friend: I’ll bring you a cat transporter.

Act IV

Scene 1

[In the Cratchits' living room, which now smells like pine tree and singed cat]

Mrs. Cratchit: [sorting through Christmas ornaments] The vet said he’d be in shock for a while.

Bob Cratchit: I really should have gone tree-shopping earlier.

Mrs. Cratchit: It’s fine. It’s a nice tree.

Bob Cratchit: You’re too kind.

Mrs. Cratchit: The vet didn’t even charge me anything. Here, gold, silver, blue, purple but not so much red this year, okay?

Bob Cratchit: Okay.

Mrs. Cratchit: And I still need you to put the fiddly little hooks on all the chocolate ornaments. For some reason I bought hundreds this year.

Bob Cratchit: [Looks at huge pile of chocolate ornaments, which dance kaleidoscopically in his blurred vision, like the "bad trip" scene from a cautionary late-1960s anti-LSD movie.] Okay.

Bob Cratchit: [Begins hanging ornaments from tree, one by one.]

Mrs. Cratchit: And I like the red star atop the tree. We don’t always have to have that other thing.

Bob Cratchit: The red star does have an appealing communist look to it, doesn’t it.

Mrs. Cratchit: Maybe we’ll use it every year from now on.

Bob Cratchit: I wonder if you can get little hammer and sickle ornaments to go with it.

Mrs. Cratchit: Well, I’m off to do some shopping or something.

Scenes 2, 3, 4, 5

yadda, yadda, yadda

Act V

Scene 1

Bob Cratchit: [Pets Tiny Tim, carefully.] What the hell were you thinking?

Scene 2

Bob Cratchit: [Pets Tiny Tim, carefully]

Scene 3

Bob Cratchit: [Regards tree, now fully decorated] She’s right, it’s not that bad after all.

Scene 4

Bob Cratchit: Sorry, Tim, the vet said we can’t let you out for a few days. You’ll have to go on your litter box.

Tiny Tim: God bless us, everyone.

Doing it, baby

I am doing it, baby. You can watch here.

The Metamorphosism Theory of Writing is, writing is like a cat going to the bathroom on the litter box. And re-writing is sifting through the litter with the little shovel, and going, “turd, turd, pee, turd, pee, hey is that a ruby? Nah, just a Barbie shoe. Turd. Pee. SAPPHIRE!!!”

The thing is, you have to go to the bathroom first and not sift until you’re done and it’s cooled off. And then you have to sift for long enough, yet know when to quit.1

1MToW is a work in progress