What is one word that describes you?

Limiting yourself to a one-word descriptor is so out of one of those sad personality tests. Based on your response, all sorts of shallowness are revealed. So clearly, Portzibee Communications couldn’t use you as a class three interoculator for intra-corporate affairs ( 32 K per year).

Much better that you smile and walk away from their idiocy. The hamburger place is offering 42K.

But if you must simplify life in that particular manner, why not develop a plan in which you identify, over the course of the day, which word most epitomizes you at that moment? 

  • You just made your wife upset over some dumb thing? Penitent.
  • Complete the most fantastic game with a great score? Super.
  • Missed feeding time for the cat and dog, and the cat threatens a visit with Catzilla? Idiot,

So there you have it. Don’t be staid. Be creative! And now I must be off to open cans of food for the cat and dog lest I go from idiot to cretin.

The Director’s Chair

It was supposed to be a modern family remake of War and Peace. But with this crew, it will likely turn out as a middle school version of Waiting for Godot. It would be my master’s work as a director, my entree to Hollywood—instead, bitter ashes and a showing on local access television.
The dog, incapable of even barking his lines, my father – constantly ad-libbing – no, no, no, you idiot!
Perhaps I should have taken my mother’s idea of doing a Tik Tok cooking show.

No, No, you buffoon, it’s apricity, not apricot. Do you see what I have to deal with?


Game On! the first chipmunk of the season has been sighted. Yes, he was not one of the chubbier chippies that are so appealing. He appeared this morning on the ice near the stone wall. Father rebuked me because I did not chafe and bark at the door or howl with outrage.
Mine will be the long game this year. I will keep my peace until the furry little rats come up on the porch within range of my mighty lunge.

Last year I was young and inexperienced. I barked and then chased. The chipmunks dived into their little chipmunk holes and chittered with amusement. It was merely a type of entertainment, and I was just a barking Buffon ( a word I recently learned from the kitty).
This year will be different; kitty has suggested chasing before barking. She has also recommended her sort of yowling hunting cry. But somehow, every time I try it, she rolls on the floor and behaves like she has had too much catnip. She can’t be laughing at me…only humans do that.
Quick! There is another one. Open the door; the hunt is on!

Wild Thing

Do you believe in fate/destiny?

Chaos. That’s what life with a cat can be unless we are talking about the order they wish to impose on the household – dinner precisely at five PM, being able to sleep in the crook of your arm at four AM, and let’s not forget the time you are expected to be up for breakfast. Otherwise than that, chaos.

Reading an article just the other day, I was informed that cats have, in the framework of domestication, just been tamed. Dogs have been around for almost ever, but the cat just wandered in last week looking for mice and a cozy place to sleep. My cats informed me of this years ago. “Get used to it; we are wild animals.” Then they remind me that they have domesticated humans and, only more recently, dogs.
They permit small indignities for the sake of altruism. We are, after all, just glorified can openers. Ah, destiny.

New Room

We finished the major renovation on the back room – soon to be my wife’s room for all the activities she has had no space for over the years.

I’ve converted an unfinished storage room upstairs and have the greenhouse workshop, but this is all hers. Oh, one minor quibble, the best window has a beautiful yard view, especially of a bird feeder. So guess who has decided that this window is hers and that the work table in front of it is a proper cat bed?

Xenia, Empress of all she surveys, feels that her mother’s objections are unsolicited and that she should be glad to have a cat supervising. I’ll let them work out their arrangements.

I have been erecting shelving and planning a pantry work counter with cabinets below for all the items my wife needs. But I have to be careful. It’s too easy for me to put up what I think she needs rather than follow her lead and give her what she wants.

In the meantime, the dog has decided that the other window is a great place to monitor squirrel activity next door. It may be my wife’s room, but she’ll have lots of company.

Pernicious rumors

There is a pernicious rumor that father makes these combs for my grooming. I want to address this in a direct and frank manner.

First, I am sure that the source of these slanders is none other than that mutt of questionable parentage, Max. Just because he lacks lustrous, silky fur like mine is no reason for him to slander his betters. Having short scratchy fur is OK if you are merely a dog.
Secondly, I do not need or ever use perfume. Cats are born into a state of perfection and need no amendment.
Finally, It’s time for my second breakfast. So bring it to me here on the dining room table father, the mother isn’t home yet, and she’ll never know. Chop-chop!

Team Work

I am ambivalent about the partnership between our cat, Xenia, and our dog Max. It has gone from enemies to frenemies to partners in the past couple of weeks. Back in August, they could not even be on the same house floor, but just before Christmas, I came home one evening to find them lounging together on the second-floor landing and looking for an evening snack.
So this relationship has progressed from gladiators meeting on the arena‘s sands to something entirely different. Even my wife, usually much more the optimist than I, admitted it was a surprise.

Then the six in the morning, arias started up again with Xenia in my room singing about hunger, the agony of abandonment by beloved humans, more about the desire for breakfast, and just a bit of a threat regarding what might come next. OK, those we’ve had before. But it was the baritone growls and yowls of Max that surprised me. Damn! They were doing a duet.

I get up, stumble downstairs, make them breakfast, and they slink off to the living room to lie in front of the fire. Obviously, the cat is the dominant member of this partnership. She has years of experience manipulating humans, and she gets results. What more can you want?

Xenia Houdini

I don’t care what my sister said. I was not being an impulsive brat! I was merely going out for a bit of exercise. No reason for mother to shriek at me!
That hound, he dropped the dime on me, ratted me out to father. Howling at the door until they came running.
Of course, it was pleasant to watch as they ran to and fro, trying to find out how I had gotten out without their noticing. That will remain my little secret. It’s so endearing seeing them flummoxed.
I’ll have to get on father to do more shoveling. That icky white stuff is soooo messy. I know my cousins in Florida don’t have to put up with the nasty stuff!

In the meantime, I’ll warm up on the heated blanket and ponder how I can precipitate more mayhem. It’s so much fun being an evil genius,

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