The Loudest Man I Ever Slept With…

Insomnia by Cat

I took this video in May, when Sheikh was still sleeping above my head.

Not very long ago, he was his usual fat and fluffy self, but then became boney and light as air in a few short weeks. He eventually stopped eating altogether. He hid out most of the time, and what kept me awake during that time was not his snoring, but my nerves, while I tried to search him out, hoping not to find him dead under the stairs or the couch.

“He’s old, though,” I thought. “It may soon be time…”

Monday, he stopped drinking water. By 5 am Tuesday morning, he was gone. I wish now that I could say I’d just found him dead, having gone to sleep and stayed that way. The way he did die was hard to watch – he was in pain, a lot of pain, I think, and I have a huge amount of guilt over not getting him to a vet in time to either heal him of whatever caused this, or to save him from a such a hard death.

Sheikh

“Sheikh”
?-July 23, 2009
R.I.P.

He was wonderful company for the last few years. I’m really going to miss him…

We took him out to The Dog-Lady’s farm to bury him. On the way there, I told The Evil Hypnotist that no way were we getting another cat. I don’t want to get attached to any more pets. No. Way.

Ky was upset: The Patchouli-Cat has never been alone… she will miss Sheikh, too… she needs another cat for company….

No. Way.

When we got there, I opened my door to step out, and five large dogs piled into the van. I was trying to get them out when they noticed the box with Sheikh in it. It was really odd to watch them. They obviously realized that whatever was in that box was dead, and I would have expected them to try to get into it, but they didn’t. They got very quiet, sniffed at the box, and one by one (by one, by one, by one) they all filed back out the driver’s door.

By the time I got over to Ky, she was sitting in a lawn-chair, cuddling a teeny-tiny black kitten.

Well, shit.

I said, “No. Way.

She said, “Please…?”

I said, “No. Way.

She said, “Pleeeeeeaaaaaaase?!”

I looked at The Dog-Lady, and said, “Help me, would you?”

And The Dog-Lady looked back at me and replied, “Hey, you owe me. I took your dog.”

Shetbag.

For the record, I am not attached to this little monster. Not.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “This is How You Remind Me” – Nickleback

Somewhere, There’s a Silver Lining…

Somewhere, There’s a Silver Lining…

"Shine On"

“Shine On”
Taken November 10, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550

It was a wicked week. Ups, downs, and a few upside-downs, to boot.

On the “up” side, the Lily-Dawg has her new home. As I write this, I imagine she is either paddling in the creek or lazing on/tearing through the back field of “her” farm, located down the line toward Teeny-Tiny Town…

It’s possible, too, that she’s slobbering into the wind with her head stuck out the passenger window of her new owner’s car. The new owner, you see, prefers dogs to people, and the older dogs are spoiled right rotten. Lily, at 10, is now the second of what The Dog Lady considers to be her “older kids”. And the “older kids” get the Extra Special Treatment, which includes rides in the car. Every time The Dog Lady gets into the car.

The Dog Lady came to my work to get her. Kyla tearfully brought Lily over, introduced her to her new Mom, and ran her through her groovy-cool set of “gimme the treat” tricks. The Dog Lady was especially tickled with Lily’s high-five. And then, she promptly renamed the dog “Lillers” and removed the leash, saying, “Now, let’s get rid of this nasty ol’ thing, eh?”, to which Lily Lillers readily agreed, very much approving of the disgust with which The Dog Lady threw the thing into the trunk – most likely never to be retrieved again.

When she went to let her into the back seat, though, the Other Older Kid told her to piss off. Lily Lillers was unperturbed, however, and simply called shotgun.

It was unbelievably excruciating to watch Ky wipe the tears away as best she could, and turn her back on the dog to walk away. Lily Lillers had a hard time at first, too, trying to scramble over The Dog Lady to get out the window and back to her kid. She settled down quite happily again, though, as soon as Ky disappeared around the building. That somehow made me feel worse.

And Sheikh the cat, who went from avoiding the dog to stalking the dog… to shooing the dog away from her own water dish so he could drink first… to doing this really hilarious “duck-down walk” while following the dog around very closely, making it necessary to continuously bob his head so as not to get hit with her tail… to sleeping beside the dog… is moping around, demanding to know where his dog is…

I kind of miss her myself. All her F-ing hair is still here, however, so I expect I’ll get over that.

Eventually.

Meantime, I’ll just keep picturing Lillers The Lily-Dawg slobbering into the wind with her “laughy-face” on….

* * *

One of the “downs” of the past week was the mysteriousness going on at the J.O.B…. what with secret meetings, and the near-completion of several construction projects, and confusing replies to the “what’s going on?” questions… which all ended up being boiled down to most of the staff being laid off in a couple of weeks’ time, when a form of automation process kicks in… no more dancing in the parking lot. Sigh…* Those remaining will be trapped (trapped, I say!) behind glass.

No one’s saying yet, who’s staying vs. who’s going, but some have already put their notice in (thankfully for me, because the fewer there are when the axe falls, the better my chances of avoiding it, I think).

I’ve continued to apply for jobs in my New Weird Field as they come up over the last eight months, but generally don’t even get an interview. There are too many people in administration et al, who have been laid off, but at least have actual working experience, applying for the same jobs, I think. When I do land an interview, it invariably goes very well, but again…. I have no “real” experience in any of the fields I have accreditation in.

So, I’ve begun to apply for other “crap pay” jobs. And I’ll be crying on Louie’s shoulder over it all, mooching for more hours, just as soon as…

As soon as…

As soon as…

(Yeah, this is a hard one… the “upside-down” part…)

Just as soon as I go talk to the mortgage holder of the house that’s not supposed to be mine, because my “legal” papers, once translated to plain english only stipulate that The Sire agrees not to try and get money out of me for the place.

Worse, the mortgage holder is a credit union; the only type of banking institution that can legally suck my wages away whether I can afford it or not. Which I can not.

My new lawyer told me, “Now, when you go down there, and they ask you for your work number, for God’s sake don’t give it to them! Hopefully, they won’t find out where you work until you can get the place cleaned up enough to live in. It doesn’t look like you can afford both places…”

When I morosely pointed out that in a couple of weeks, I may not have a work number to not give to them, he jumped on it, very pleased, apparently.

“Good! You won’t be lying when you tell them that you’re looking for employment. With luck, they won’t foreclose before you can get things straightened out.”

I asked him if there was any way at all out of this, other than taking over the house….

“Weeeeellllll….. you could do what The Sire’s doing, and just ignore it altogether – they may not look for you if they can find him…. but when they foreclose, it will affect your credit something awful.”

“So, that’s a ‘no’, then, huh…?”

“You could claim bankruptcy…”

And that’s a ‘no’, folks. Not doing that. Nope.

And worse…. if all goes well, and I take over the payments, get caught up on the defaulted payments and overdue taxes and insurance, and then sink a shitload (more likely two shitloads. Three even.) of money into fixing the place up to sell, I can’t sell it unless The Sire signs off, or I can get a court-order.

And worser, even…. if I do all of that successfully (read: when pigs fly and other miracles), he could legally walk right back in and take the house out from under me, simply by beginning to make the payments himself, again. I don’t think he’d do that; I really don’t – but the thought that he could

You see, the part in my “legal” papers that states that I give up all rights to the house, its contents, and any or all income or profit from its sale, is already in plain english and means sort of, almost, not-quite-exactly that. The house is “ours”. Or the house is “his”. It ain’t never “mine”, even if I get stuck paying for it. The only way around that is another court-order.

And, hopefully, that will be the silver lining I’m looking for… followed shortly thereafter by the sale of the F-ing money pit.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Rock and Roll Song” – Valdy

This is About as Exciting as It Gets…

This is About as Exciting as It Gets…

Lazin' Around

Lazin’ Around…
Taken February 25, 2008 with
Canon PowerShot A550
© Les Becker, 2008

My life is fairly straight-forward and routine-oriented. I really like it that way. If there’s going to be any excitement, I’d like to plan it, trouble-shoot it, and control all aspects of it, thank you very much.

Patchouli, the cute little fur-ball you see above, feels otherwise. She has, in fact, been the cause of many incidents of “excitement” around here, much to my dismay. She revels in causing emergency situations calling for cool heads. I don’t deal well with emergencies, if you must know.

When Patchouli pulled a heavy table-top down on her head a couple of years ago (did you know it’s possible for cat shit to come out both ends of a cat at the same time?), my way of dealing with it was to scream and cry a lot. She survived, obviously, but the credit goes to the thankfully cooler heads that were actively prevailing at the time. You’d never know the cat got bonked, except that she’s a little retarded, now.

Okay, maybe more than a little retarded.

She likes to squish herself through the 2-inch width of open window by my desk, to sit on the 2-inch width of ledge – the only thing keeping her retarded little head from meeting the pavement of John Street before being squashed flat by a truck. She sits on the other side of the glass, smiling at me, waiting for the panic attack.

She also likes to sit beside one of the many candles that burn here every evening, twitching her tail through the flame. Smiling. I keep waiting for the Whooomph! that will signal the beginning of her painful demise…

Yesterday being Wednesday, the kuckiest day of the week, historically speaking, I spent the evening indulging in my weekly habit of tub-soaking in a dim bathroom, radio playing, candles burning, bath oil oiling… and my face painted with one of those “stress-relieving” facial masques that are supposed to suck out all the day’s tensions while erasing 40 years’ worth of wrinkles at the same time.

I’ve never actually seen my face with this goop on – I don’t have the guts to look, truthfully – but it looks yellow coming out of the jar, at least by candlelight, so I can just imagine the vision I must be while wearing it.

For the full effect, you must imagine me, as well, with my hair yanked back and tucked into a shower-cap. Oh yeah…. and naked. That got you laughing, right?

Anyway….

Patchouli likes to keep me company in the bathroom on Wednesday evenings. It’s the candles, of course – the flames fascinate her, and she loves to sit on the vanity and watch the reflection of the candles in the mirror, twitching her tail back and forth…

I got sick of hauling myself up and out of the tub every two minutes to put her down on the floor. Aside from getting car hair all over my wet hands, and then transferring it into the bath water, there was also a good chance I’d catch a glimpse of my face in the mirror and scare the bejeezus out of myself. The thought kind of makes the idea of meditating in a hot bath by candlelight to wash Wednesday away a little laughable. As does the idea of the cat suddenly going up in flames, which is why I finally put her out the door.

I had just settled back down, with the water up to my shoulders, and my neck resting on The Turkey’s squishy bath pillow…. Siiiiiiiiiiigggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh……. when I heard a quack.

I did. I heard a quack and it wasn’t a duck.

It was Sheikh, the other cat that owns me. Sheikh quacks. He does. You can hear him here, if you don’t believe me…

I hadn’t noticed him sitting in the sink, but there he was. He’s “poof-ier” than Patchouli. I think that makes him more flammable. I got thinking that a better word might even be “combustible”, that’s how “poofy” he is…

Well, the vision ran away with me, and all I could imagine was that Whooomph! sound, followed by shrieking coming from either me or the cat, or both, and Sheikh flying down the hall, in flames, followed by myself, dripping wet and naked except for my shower cap and my face painted yellow, screaming, “The cat’s on fire! The cat’s on fire!”

And I got laughing. Hysterically. Out loud.

I KNOW!!!

I could just imagine The Guy Across the Hall on the other side of the bathroom wall, wondering what all the laughing and quacking in my bathroom was about…

I haven’t decided how well yellow facial-masques or bath oil or candles work for relieving stress and tension. I do know that laughter works wonders.

* * *

P.S. A very special Thank You to David McMahon for awarding me the ever-elusive Post-of-the-Day Award for “Mein Kluben! Mein Kluben!” My dad was tickled pink when he heard the news (my mom wanted to know if there was any money in it…)

Random Song-for-the-Day: “The Animal I’ve Become” – 3 Days Grace

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"The Waitress, the Whiskey & the Handcuffs" is for sale in digital and paper formats at
The Les Becker Bookshop.