Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Limo the Legend Lives On

Cats are a touchy topic. And the fact that I am even trying to tackle this topic is all rather ambitious and controversial of me.

Some hate cats; In fact, I know a very upstanding US citizen who is rather appalled by the mere presence of a feline and goes into a state of legitimate but minor fear.

Some love cats; In fact, I know someone who has paw print tattoos on her arms and talks about her cats nonstop and studies feline behavior. And others are neutral to the critters (much like my opinion of chinchillas).

But I am one of those people who, on a scale of one to thirteen, is about a 9.7. I like cats, I enjoy cats, but I do not love them and I do not oogle and awe over them, (with the exception of hairless cats, but I've never seen a hairless cat although I would very much like to). However, when I notice a cat, I feel obligated to bend down and give it a good scratch behind the ears as I am deeply and importantly talented in regards to giving cats scratches behind the ears. And I can't let my talent go to waste now, can I? No.

So I will tackle the topic of cats with great care and by illustrating, as best I can with my limited human capacity, the story of Limo. Many of us will remember our dear Limo whether we are cat lovers, cat haters or those void of an opinion to the creatures. And then we will get a dewy far-away look in our eyes and think "Limo really was a legend."

Limo passed away a few months ago after seventeen years of a debaucheries lifestyle. She had two teenage pregnancies (I doubt she even knew the fathers), she roamed the streets at night, scaled walls and made her way into forbidden spaces via burglarious entries—not to mention that killing small animals was her favorite hobby. As a result from her carousing and impulsive behavior, the well-loved degenerate died at the tender age of 17 from a wound in the hindquarters incurred a vulgar brawl between her and a rodent.

Let us rewind a few years to the day we brought her home.

Even back then, her savageness revealed itself. She enjoyed softly biting the legs and feet of her human victims and digging her claws into their flesh. She would hide behind a corner and then attack her victims when they least expected it. She acted as if it were some sort of rambunctious game to be taken with a smile on one's face and a laugh in one's throat. It was as if she was enjoying her ghastly hobby. Despite her strange psychological condition and her love of danger we decided to keep this tabby cat. But, we still didn't have a name for this thing.

As a seven year old, I was in favor of a truly lame name like "Puzzles" or something akin to that. My sibling was in favor of the name "Limo." Yes. Like the car. Why you ask? Well, you see, when you held this cat in an odd position and stretched her out as long as you could, she lengthened like a slinky. We observed that when stretched a bit, the cat was abnormally elongated. Thus, we decided collectively that her name would be Limo because she resembled a long car.

She had at least nine lives and was a highly esteemed mouser, well-known in cat circles for her uncanny ability to discard of any rodent, bird or reptile. She also attempted to off some canines at their attempt to eat her offspring when she was a teenage mother. I cannot stress enough her ability to kill animals as she left them all over the place as if to show off and brag the way women brag about the smokin’ deal they got on some designer shoes at the mall.

Now I do feel like perhaps I am not putting the best construction on dear Limo and I'm only magnifying her failures (hey, we all have failures...some just more than others..). But Miss Limousine she was an overall nice kitty. Although she did not enjoy being held or cuddled she displayed her affection by rubbing her cat hair on the legs of humans. She also liked to stand as a human stroked her fur. She only got truly upset with humans if they stepped on her tail. Although she killed pretty much anything smaller than her (and some critters bigger than her) she respected humans. And I can say with utter certainty that she never tried to kill me or eat me.

Despite her beastliness, her ravenous appetite for rats, chipmunks and hummingbirds I have to say that I loved that cat. And I still like cats in general.
So, with all this to say about Limo, how is it that a quiet unassuming citizen like myself comes to have an opinion of cats that is slightly above neutral when clearly I have been subject to observing their destructive character? It could be that Limo produced a son called Salty who was a delight (the complete opposite of his mother). Salty and I were quite compatible and enjoyed many afternoons sitting on the porch as I dressed him in doll clothes and he sat there purring.

Or, it could be that cats are pleasant to the eyes and their fur is very tempting. One is simply obligated to run their hands through it and give the feline a nice scratch behind the ears.

Or perhaps you don’t like cats because you had a cruel 2nd grade teacher who wore glasses that made her to resemble a Siamese cat.

So, whatever your reason is as to why you like or dislike cats, I am 100% sure that you have good solid evidence to support to position on cats with empirical evidence.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Giant's Plight

Now there is something I really must tell you, which I find quite funny, although children tend to think it's lame.

Sidekick (a friend of mine) works in a school around a large amount of miniature people of young ages, also called children. In this world everything is miniature. There are small miniature desks and chairs to accommodate these small not quite full grown people. So, Sidekick looks like a giant in such an environment. He also makes a point of ordering the tiniest coffees. So, when he arrives at the school, he is holding this small cup that makes his hand look huge. Then Sidekick sits down in a little chair meant for seven year-olds. He then makes really lame jokes that go like this "Hey look! I'm a giant in a small chair with this little cup of coffee. Look I'm such a giant!" Isn't that funny? Well I think so.

But, the kids look at him and don't find his jokes all that funny. But the less funny they think the joke is, the more funny I think it is. Maybe I'll even get him one of those giant pencils that they have at toy stores to make his joke more realistic.

So, what of all this talk of giants? It may all seem irrelevant. But, giants are people too, no matter what mainstream media tells you. Anyways, I usually don't feel like a giant, but last week I found myself in a situation in which I could identify with Sidekicks feelings of giantness. I will continue to illustrate this point by something telling you a seemingly unrelated event.

I managed to let my pile of laundry get unmanageably large this week. So finally, I went down to the basement to fiddle with this problem. I began to do laundry. I put the whites with the whites (although I don't really own any white clothing), the blacks with the blacks and the delicate fabrics with the delicate fabrics.

Well, we got some new washing machines that are green friendly. I still haven't figured out to use them. So, with the delicate clothing, I pressed "lights" well because they were all light colored clothing (light blue, teal and the like). And then I read the instructions posted on the machine "Light= hot water." Oh fiddlesticks! That means I am going to shrink my cashmere sweater (and my super warm wool socks from Finland)! I frantically pressed other buttons on the machine, but nothing changed. I should have read the directions! I went back upstairs and made myself a cup of tea as I waited for my clothes to wash and hoped for the best.

When I went back downstairs, I took the delicate clothing out and realized my sad lot. My favorite (and only) cashmere sweater looked a bit smaller than normal. So, I set my sweater out to dry on the counter and using all my might, stretched it as long as I could, but the fibers seemed a bit too tight and I managed to rip a small hole in it during my stretching exercise.

Finally the sweater dried so I sausaged myself into it. Despite the stretching, it did not fit anymore. I pulled and tugged at the sweater in hopes of making it fit, but all hope was dashed when I realized nothing would work. I looked like a giant stuffed into a tiny piece of fabric meant for a seven year old. I looked hideous and so, like any good woman, I despaired and my cup of tea and I commiserated. I then went through my mental Rolodex of seven-year-olds I know that might want a cashmere sweater but came up empty handed. If you know any, please let me know.

So if you want to feel like a giant, go ahead and wreck a cashmere and then try to fit into it. And if you want to wreck a sweater, I can tell you how.

And also, don't be like me, rather read the directions before you execute an action.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Fleeting Freckles

"Hey freckle farm!" Nothing haunts me and brings me back to 6th grade like those words. This insult was hurled at me by a young man of thirteen years with several moles on his face. I just looked at the bully dumbfounded and speechless. After the fact, I thought of some clever retorts such as "Shut up mole hill face!" But, I was in such a state of complete surprise I couldn't think of a witty reply (or any reply at all). I just continued to sit there with my jaw dropped as I let the insult sink in.

But, he was right. I was a freckle farm. And I hated it!

I was one of those kids with freckles. And when you are a kid with freckles people say things to you. The dental hygienist says things like "Oh look! Freckles! How cute. My granddaughter has freckles!" People make comments to your mother in the grocery store about her freckle-faced child. Grandpas ask you if they can play "connect the dots" with your freckles. Aunts tease you in the summer when your freckles reveal themselves in full bloom. I always won their annual summer "freckle contest" by having the most freckles. They would say things like "Oh look! Here comes the freckle contest winner."

Well, I wasn't enjoying my freckles. I felt like they made me a spotted person. Who wants to have spots? Maybe some breeds of dogs don't mind, but humans don't generally pick out spots to punctuate their face. There is no medical procedure that I'm aware of that gives people freckles. There are no special creams that make ones skin appear more freckley. Therefore, I never saw my freckles as a coveted trait. Rather they were an aesthetic liability as far as I was concerned.

But somehow I managed to survive the trauma of being a freckle-faced child. And as an adult, my freckles have faded and they only reveal themselves after being on a vacation, near the equator, for a month, and that only occurs rarely. However, that kind of happened during the heatwave in the summer. I went over to a friend's house and he commented that I was looking "awfully freckely." And I beamed because no one has commented on my freckles in years.

I have this odd sense of loss. I miss them. I miss the unwanted attention one gets when they have freckles. I wish people would stop me in the grocery store to say "I love your freckles!" But they don't. Because I am not a kid with freckles anymore. The freckles have faded. Instead, I'm just another faceless person in the hustle and bustle.

So, let me employ the old cliche "You don't miss it until it's gone." Well, the same can be said for freckles, you don't miss them until they're gone.