Earlier today, I met two puppies at a backyard barbecue. They were tiny labradors (one golden, one black) and they ran around excitedly while tugging at their harnesses. At one point, I was handed the harness for one of the dogs, and even though he was too small to drag me anywhere, he certainly gave it the old college try. Although he was adorable and energetic, I couldn’t help thinking about the rigors of owning a dog: the constant walking, feeding, playing, and coddling. Then I thought about my cat, who is self-sufficient to the point where he shows disdain for people. Isn’t there an animal that sits comfortably between needy and aloof? A hamster, maybe?
Archive for the ‘Mutts’ Category
Recession, inflation, unexpected expenses; there are all kinds of reasons why people need extra scratch. If the last 15 years are any indication, we can expect to pay a lot more for health insurance, prescription drugs, college tuition, gasoline, food, and retirement. Prices for all of these things have been trending upward, the same way prices for single-family homes trended upward during the go-go aughts. But while I understand the urge to pad one’s bank account, there are some things I just won’t do for money. Grabbing hold of a goose’s tail and examining its backside is one of them.
There’s something mischievous about a cat in a jumpsuit. Why in the world would a feline dress himself in a green one-piece? To celebrate the first day of spring? To exhort his fellow animals (humans presumably included) to act in an environmentally conscious manner? To remind old-school Nintendo fans of the frog suit in Super Mario Bros. 3? Or to wreak whatever havoc a spring kitten in a lime-green getup can wreak? This particular cat’s intentions might be benign, but if I came across a similarly-tinted tabby on the street, I’d turn tail and run the other way.
My cat loves, loves, loves him some basement, especially now that it’s gutted and he can get himself dirty by going down there. The door to the basement is usually closed, but every time I open it, he scurries downstairs like a cat possessed. Once he’s down there, he spends hours just sitting on the concrete. Then, when I try to shoo him up the stairs, he meows loudly and refuses to budge. I don’t get it. Sure, he has a slightly larger litter box in the basement bathroom, but it’s not like he sprints to it once he reaches the bottom of the stairs. What is his obsession with being underground?
Apparently, jack o’ lanterns are hard to carve. At the very least, they’re hard to maintain. Last weekend, my wife bought two tiny pumpkins from the grocery store. After she brought them home, I laid out some newspaper on the counter, carved the pumpkins out with a spoon and a melon baller, and cut out some very rudimentary faces (basically, eyes and a mouth). Then I put them on the front porch for the world to see. Three days later they were grossly decayed, with the eyes and mouths crumpling inward and the outer skin becoming leathery. Maybe large pumpkins would fare better, but I don’t feel like putting in hours of carving in order to find out.
It’s officially autumn, which means the leaves on the trees have permission to change colors and fall to the ground. Actually, the trees on my block have been shedding leaves for months, with dried-out bunches gathering in my yard since late spring. I’ve raked and bagged, but they’ve always reappeared in greater numbers. And now that it’s fall and the temperatures have cooled…look out. Of course, there are benefits to raking leaves in late September. Can you say jack o’ lantern bags? I know I can.
I consider myself to be an enlightened husband in that I do a great many chores around the house. I buy the groceries and balance the checkbook; I cook the meals and wash the dishes; I sweep the floors and mop them afterward; I even mow the lawn, trim the hedges, sweep the sidewalks, and water the grass. But there’s no way I’m doing laundry. Ever. My wife is fully in charge of the dirty clothes: gathering them, washing them, and folding them. It’s a chore I don’t miss, even though I’m fully capable of throwing a load in the wash. My wife also cleans our cat’s litter box, which is a pretty daunting task, given that our cat is old and (ahem) husky.