Archive for the ‘cats’ Category

To Sawyer

You gave us a lot of smiles, Lickey. You will be missed.




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Literary Cat

I didn’t realize that I had a very literary cat. Sawyer, one of the best cats on the planet, came to me from the local humane society about two years ago. I could have gotten a dog, which would have breathed dog breath all over the house and eaten portions of shoes and furniture…and garbage. But instead, I picked out Sawyer.

He’s become quite the avid reader. As proven by the following:

1) Sawyer catches up on the latest music news in Rolling Stone magazine – with his favorite girl.

2) Sawyer prepares to read the newly released, “So Brave, Young, and Handsome,” by Minnesota-based author Leif Enger. It just arrived in my mailbox.


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Clipping Claws

I’ve learned from past experience that de-clawing cats often render them psychologically useless.

SawyerWhen I purchased my cat from the Humane Society, he was nearly a year old and I decided to let him keep his claws even though he’s purely a house cat. I clip his claws frequently and he seems to like it. He purrs. I clip. Not all cats are like Sawyer. I’m certain that as a stray kitten, he was raised by a dog. The result includes several dog traits like licking anything and everything, playing fetch, and barking (OK, I made that last one up). But he is very dog-like.

And loyal.

I think he knows I could have had him de-clawed, but chose not to and for that he likes me…for that and also because I feed him.


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A Cat And A Bobbin

When I was first married – during that very first year of wedded bliss, actually – my then-wife’s cat swallowed a sewing bobbin. This story is about that event.

Gucci was a handsome gray Siamese cat — a purebred blue tip or silver tip Siamese — something of that nature. He was part of the marriage package and we got along quite well (the cat and me). And as cats go, he was curious and temperamental.

In that first year of marriage, we lived in a small two bedroom apartment above a furniture store on main street in smallville Iowa. My former wife enjoyed crafty things as many women do. In fact she was an interior designer at the time and our little flat was appropriately decorated with fineries that managed to find their way home from the design studio in her super-sized carrying bag. The spare bedroom was the crafts room and in it was all her sewing gear. It’s here where she made linen shower curtains and tie backs, draperies, costumes, pillows and other crafts too. It’s also here that Gucci found the sewing kit that included tiny bobbins loaded with various colored thread.

One evening, when my children’s mother returned home from work she found Gucci racing about the apartment at high speed – slamming his hind end into a wall and spinning about to race the other direction. She finally caught up with him and noticed a Bobbinlength of thread coming from his ass. Purple thread. She naturally pulled the thread thinking it would come out. It did not. Gucci, the magic cat, had a piece of magic thread and somewhere in his bowels sat a bobbin spinning inside him whenever he licked at the thread, or whenever someone pulled on it.

It was time to pay a visit to the local vet.

After a few x-rays, the vet confirmed that the cat had, indeed, swallowed a bobbin. The vet explained that because of the bobbin’s size, the cat would not likely pass it naturally. This left two options: a) surgery and b) “assisting” in the passage of said bobbin.

We were newly married. We had no disposable income to afford on a cat surgery…in fact we were so poor we bought the large package of Wonder Bread, divided the loaf evenly and froze half to make sure it would sustain us for a full two weeks. With the vet’s agreement, we opted for Option B in hopes the bobbin could be pushed from Gucci’s intestines.

Holding the cat firmly on the vet’s exam table, Mr. Vet began massaging Gucci’s abdomen. He worked the bobbin slowly and within a minute or two, “clink, clink…” the metal bobbin met the metal exam table and the cat gave a huge sigh.

I’d like to say Gucci returned to his normal state after that episode. However, upon returning home he promptly chewed all the fur from the base of his tail and wouldn’t let anyone near him for a week. He was inconsolable. He did, eventually, become a shadow of his old, pre-bobbin, self…but it took a few months. Perhaps cats have short memories.

He lived to be 17 years old and provided many humorous stories – many of which involve hairballs in the middle of the night.


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Lost In Translation

My cat, Sawyer, thinks I’m bilingual.Sawyer

Who am I to meow anything differently? Fluent Catanese is not an easy tongue to learn. It’s taken a good 20 years of practice, understanding the dialect and perfecting the correct enunciation.

The thing that continues to confound me, however, is why when Sawyer meows me awake in the middle of the night and I tell him to shut the hell up, he rarely listens. Or maybe his tiny cat brain just doesn’t compute vulgarities spewed forth in the dark.

When it comes to nighttime translations, his hearing seems a bit selective. Eventually, he’ll get tired of spending the night in the laundry room.


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  1. I prefer cats more than dogs. I can cope with other peoples’ dogs. Just don’t think for a second I’d ever adopt a dog as my own. What’s worse than dog breath and freshly wet dog smell?
  2. I’ve lived in the Midwest my entire life. Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota: the trifecta of the central U.S.  Nebraska wins the title for flattest and most boring.
  3. I’m in a career in which I received my degree – corporate communications – and have my Aunt Dorothy to thank for it.
  4. I’m happiest reading a real newspaper at 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning…with fresh coffee that I ground and brewed myself.
  5. Music is a life necessity. I can’t imagine not having music in my life. I get amped finding new up-and-comers. Check out this band: www.quietdrivemusic.com
  6. I’ve worn glasses since eighth grade.
  7. I haven’t balanced my bank account since March (and no overdrafts either!).
  8. Nothing quite compares to a campfire and tent camping on a mild summer night under a full moon…unless, of course, you have access to a luxury hotel suite with room service.


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