08 September 2005

Over My Dead Body

Finally, some attention is being paid by the news media to the plight of animals left behind in the exodus from New Orleans and other ravaged areas. All along there has been some footage of dogs left stranded on rooftops and such -- which bring me to my knees every time -- but never a follow-up to what happened to the poor beast.

Some would regard me as an idiot. Bleep 'em. To me, my cat is my child. Granted, as an intentionally childless woman I really don't appreciate actual human children as much as some of my fellow homo sapiens. But this is a personal choice and really should be respected as such.

If a catastrophe did strike this area (probably have to be an earthquake here in the southern Willamette Valley) and I was at home when it happened, there is no freaking way you'd be evacuating me and leaving Sir Bentley Winston III behind. This fellow is way more than just a cat.

We found him at the pound, while checking out the dog a relative was thinking about adopting. One of the shelter employees said hey, don't you want to look at the cats? and me, being a cat person said, OK. That's when we were introduced to Resident Number Such-and-Such, a black and white domestic shorthair. Declawed, neutered, 1-1/2 years old. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy. (Thanks John Lennon.) Donnie, the shelter attendant said hey, this cat is a bargain! Neutered! Declawed! (yeah, I know, but it was already done.) Don't you want to hold him? Yes. And the rest is history.

This "cat" generally comes running to greet us when we come home. His tail doesn't wag, but he flings himself to the floor and rolls over to reveal his plentious belly, which MUST be rubbed. He comes when he's called. When the weather is chilly he sleeps under the covers with us. He's recently developed the dog-like habit of begging for food in the kitchen.

And just a few minutes ago, while watching the news and then declaring to him (while rubbing his tummy) that I would NEVER never ever leave him behind he looked me in the eye and redoubled his purring efforts. He understood exactly what I was saying. Don't even try to convince me otherwise.

And by the way -- he had been scheduled for euthanization the previous morning, but Donnie (bless you wherever you now are) had begged for a stay of execution. If we hadn't come along that day, there's a good chance he'd be history. And that still tears at my heart...

06 September 2005

Ob La Di, Ob La Da

Life goes on.

When the hurricane hit and ran, when the levee broke, there was a strong urge to write about it. But what could I write that others had not already said, and said well. Would it help to rant about the government, from Bush on down the line? Nope, it would just raise my blood pressure. Would it help to state the obvious; that this was one mother of a storm, that it will take years to regain a sense of normalcy, that my heart goes out to those who've lost everything? Nope.

So I'll tell you about the wedding we attended Saturday evening. The bride's second wedding, the groom's fourth. Yes, fourth. The groom's five, yes, five children were in the wedding party, along with the bride's son. It was held at a private residence, overlooking a pond on a perfect summer's day. The wedding had a beach theme, so all of the wedding party were in Hawaiian prints, and many guests wore Hawaiian shirts and casual wear. It all went off without too many hitches, other than a small boy falling into the pond. He was quickly fished out and ran through the crowd screaming, but it was all right. For the rest of the evening his name was "Scuba Steve," and he continued to cause mischief such as sucking on the beer-laden ice cubes from around the keg while his father virtually ignored him and his brother, who had earlier asked us for "matches to build a fire." Charming.

On Labor Day we had a small gathering, and the step-varmints discovered the oversized hula hoops we've made from irrigation tubing. Russell, who's fourteen, caught on amazingly and hooped most of the afternoon. Given that his usual past-time is sitting on the couch with his game-boy, this was a welcome breakthrough. Of course his little sister was appalled that she was not the center of attention and behaved in an obnoxious manner for most of the day. But they're alive, we're all alive, we're all together, and that's no small thing these days.