Category Archives: Cats

Cat burglar

We were robbed over the weekend.

Before you worry your pretty little heads, know that no one was hurt.  We’re all safe — me, W, the kids and the cats.

It was the strangest thing.  Perhaps that’s they very nature of a senseless crime.  Strange.  After all, it’s an not an everyday occurrence.  Unless you’re a cop.  Or a criminal, for that matter.

So, what did they take?  I use the word “they,” because I have a sense that there was more than one of them.  A pair, or criminal duo.  Or more likely three or four, which would translate into a full-blown crime team.  I’m fairly certain they had a ringleader, several lackeys, maybe even a couple of thugs.  We can’t be sure.  I mean, who can really say.

They took our Purina Tender Moments Whisker Lickin’s (chicken flavor).  I use the word “took” in an attempt to mitigate the violent nature of this heinous crime.  The scofflaws viciously tore through the vacuum-sealed Whisker Lickin’s package and helped themselves to the tender morsels nestled inside.  The brutal manner in which they violated the package indicates that they were sorely in need of a poultry fix.



Whisker Licken's

After closer examination of the evidence, it seems that the perpetrators might have used their teeth to actually tear through the foil-lined package just like some sort of wild animal.  In fact, pieces of the package were missing from the crime scene.  I wonder if the scoundrels took the fragments with them to cover their tracks or actually ingested pieces of the wrapper in their chicken-crazed haste.

Whisker Lickin's

The crime occurred while we were out of the house for the day.  Thank God.

The cats were home, though.

We asked them about it.  Did you see anything?  Did you hear anything?  Did you notice anything unusual?

Moon just turned his head and stared blankly out the window.

Magic jumped inside a laundry basket.

It was a terrible case of PTCD (post-traumatic cat disorder).  Perhaps the worst I’ve ever seen.

“Curse you villains!” I shouted, shaking my closed fist wildly at the unidentified assailants.  “What cruel folly is this!”

Moon turned his head the other way.

Magic sat in the laundry basket.

I opened a new pack of Whisker Lickin’s and fed them each three soft, tender pieces to calm their nerves.


Of mice and lesbians (a re-post)

With all of the cat-mouse excitement this weekend (see here), I thought I would re-post one of all my all-time favorite posts, which details a more successful mouse rescue and contains a similar scream from your favorite butch blogger.  Look for it.   

* * *

“Honey, I need a box or a container or something,” W says.

It’s 6:00 in the morning.

The urgency in her voice suggests that she needs to dispose of a body part.  That’s the first thing that pops into my mind at 6 a.m.  I am Italian after all.

Me: What’s the matter?

W: There’s a mouse in the bathtub.

Me: Is it alive or dead?

W: I don’t know.  His eyes are open.  I’m scared.

She gives me that please-protect-me look, which gets this butch’s motor running every time.

Me: Ok, give me a second.

I go downstairs and assemble a makeshift mouse-catching kit.  I grab a plastic shopping bag, a small plastic tub, a plastic cup and an empty granola bar box.

W: Don’t worry about the blood.  I’ll get that later.

Me: Blood?

W: There’s two drops of blood on the bathroom floor.

Me: But you don’t know whether the mouse is alive or dead?

W: No.

This from a nurse.

Me: Well, where did the blood come from?

We don’t live here

It’s not like we live in that hotel from The Shining where blood seeps in through the walls.

W: I don’t know.  I have to get to work.

Me: Ok, ok, ok.

I walk to the tub, stepping over the drops of blood.  There’s a dark gray mouse sitting on top of the drain.  His eyes are open.  He’s not moving.

I steel myself over the tub preparing to grab a mouse — who may be alive or dead or in a cat-induced coma for all I know — with a plastic shopping bag.

W: Come on, I have to take a shower.

Me: Alright, alright.  If this thing moves, I’m going to scream.

I approach the mouse, hand wrapped in plastic bag.  It moves.  I scream.

I am nothing if not predictable.

Me: Oh God, oh God, oh God.

W impatiently leaves the bathroom.

I chase the mouse all over the tub with the plastic cup.  Finally, I get him to scoot inside and cover the top with the plastic bag.

Mouse in cup

He looks fine.  The clear plastic cup allows for a complete medical inspection.

Me: He’s so cute.  Can we keep him?

W: No.

She’s really grumpy in the morning.

Me: I dub you Mordecai.  Where do you think the blood came from?

W: I don’t know.  There’s only two drops.

Me: Only two drops?  That’s a lot of blood.  Have you seen how tiny this mouse is?  The blood is either from Magic …

Magic is our cat who routinely catches, maims and kills mice.  We have assumed that Magic caught Mordecai in some other part of the house, put him in her mouth and then carried him upstairs to her bathtub of horror where she could bat him around and he’d have no way to escape.  She’s like a feline version of Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs.

Buffalo Bill


W: I doubt it.

Me: Or, another mouse that’s dead.  Or, Mordecai, and he looks ok.

That’s when W notices that Mordecai is missing his tail.

Me: Maybe, he didn’t have one.

Maybe Mordecai is some exotic tailless mouse like a Manx cat, I think.

W: I think all mice have tails.

She starts singing Three Blind Mice.

W: They all ran after the farmer’s wife, who cut off their tails with a carving knife.

Because this is the definitive source when it comes to rodent anatomy.

Me: Don’t worry, Mordecai, I think it’s a vestigial appendage.

I ask W what I should do with Mordecai.

W: I don’t know.  Put him in the yard.

I worry that Mordecai will find his way back inside and into Magic/Buffalo Bill’s torture chamber again.

W: Either put him in the yard or kill him.

Me: These are his two options?  Either release him in the yard or kill him?

This thing has mob movie written all over it.

Me: So, I can’t drive him to the park?  Mordecai, how would you like to live in a park?

I end up walking Mordecai, who is safely ensconced in his plastic cup, to an old industrial park a block down the street.

Mordecai’s new digs

I decide he will become a hobo mouse.  Mordecai the hobo mouse.  I dump him out of the cup and place a Fruit Loop at his feet.  Mordecai sniffs around and then darts under an abandoned trailer.

I tell W.

W: Did you gave him a bandana and a stick?

Me: No.  Just a Fruit Loop.

W: Did you really?

Me: Yes.  I figured that it was the least that we could do after he survived Magic’s tub of terror.

So much excitement and it’s not even 7 a.m.  I try to calm myself, but adrenaline is coursing through my body.  It’s been a big morning.  A big, bloody, horrific morning.

I kiss W goodbye and tell her to have a good day.

“Keep an eye out for the tail,” she tells me before she leaves.

Good God, will the horror never end?

This is Magic in front of the tub all curled up and smiling post-torture session

Middle-age butch screams like a little girl

There was a lot of commotion in our house early this morning.  Our crackerjack mouser, Magic the Cat, had captured a mouse and carried it upstairs to the bathtub for further torture play.

W woke me up so that I could fetch a large plastic cup to trap the mouse and then set him free.  We’ve got this mouse rescue thing down to a science.

I handed the cup off to W, and she pulled back the shower curtain.

“Oh my God, he’s so big!” I said.

According to W, this gave the mouse the courage to scale the walls of the tub and make a break for freedom.

imagesCA3Q04LXWhen the mouse raced up and out of the tub, I screamed.  Loudly.  Shrilly.  Like a 13-year-old girl watching The Blair Witch Project at a sleepover.

Magic stared up at me from the steps.  “You dumb ass.  I had that mouse all caught,” she said.  “Were you waiting for me to gift wrap it for you?”

She can be a total asshole sometimes.

With the mouse on the loose, W and I decided to go back to bed and pretend that nothing had happened.

In bed, W couldn’t resist pointing out the girlish — and very unbutch — nature of my shriek.

“You just handed me a plastic cup and started screaming like a girl,” she said.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know that you wanted to play by rigid gender roles,” I replied.  “Next time, I’ll try to scream in a more manly fashion, ” I added.

And that’s how we started our Saturday.  It wasn’t even 7:00 a.m., and we were having a heady discussion about gender and roles and expectations and whether it is beyond the realm of butchdom to scream in a girlish fashion when a rodent — imagine a ginormous, fanged rodent the size of a micro-wolf — unexpectantly lunges from a tub inches from one’s body.

So, dear readers, please chime in.

If a butch screams at 6:00 a.m. in a bathroom while dodging a giant mouse and no one hears but her femme, is she any less a butch?

What’s the most unbutch thing you’ve done recently?

Christmas gifts and poems by cats

W and I received a Christmas gift in the mail yesterday.

I Could Pee on ThisThe small box was filled with a few hand-crafted soaps, which  are one of W’s most favorite things in the whole world, and a small book entitled “I Could Pee on This and Other Poems by Cats.”

I was tickled by the gift.  It was nice to know that someone had gone out of their way to send us a Christmas care package.

The gifts weren’t extravagant, but I could tell that they were selected with care, and that’s what made them so special.  That, and they were totally unexpected.

The book is hilarious.  It would make a great gift for the cat lover in your family or the crazy cat lady down the street.  On second thought, she might not get the humor.

Here are two poems that struck my funny bone:

Who Is That on Your Lap?

There’s another cat in the house

A cat I’ve never seen

A much younger cat

You seem to know her name

You accidentally called me by her name

Right in front of the lamp

And my friend the throw pillow

I’ve never been so humiliated

I may never love again

* * *


Did you really think

That you could hide fish in rice?

Oh, the green paste burns!

Why my cat has half a Sharpie mustache

I accidentally gave my cat Magic a half mustache with a black Sharpie marker.

I was on the phone with the Help Desk at work.  The tech said to write down the ticket number.  “Do you have a pen?” she asked.

I was holding the other cat on my right shoulder and went to grab a pen with my left hand.  I ended up with a Sharpie and very awkwardly pulled off the cap with my free hand.  The cat walked in front of my hand or something like that.  It all happened so fast.

So, now Magic has half a mustache.

At first, we all laughed and pointed at her.

“I am hideous,” she said to herself.

And, then I gave her treats so W could get a picture.

“Hey, this mustache thing isn’t so bad,” she said.

She pawed the other cat away from the treats.  Which made her look like Zorro.  When she turned her head to the right.  Because she only has half a mustache.


Now, she thinks she’s the shit because she has a partial mustache and the other cats don’t.

Pre-holiday update on Murray the kitten and letting go

With the holidays fast approaching, my posts have been infrequent at best.  So, I thought I would offer a brief update on the latest in my flannel-filled world.  C’mon, you know you’re dying to know what’s been going on with Murray the kitten and that letting go thing.

  • I called my best friend the other day and told her once again how I wanted to fill all of my holes with cats.  She laughed hysterically.  “That’s quite a picture,” she said.  “When I say holes, I mean heart-wrenching emptiness and aloneness,” I replied.  My friends are assholes.
  • I have not found Murray the Christmas kitten.  Yet.  Truth be told, I haven’t been looking very hard.  I’m a big believer in that whole if-it’s-meant-to-be line of thinking.  I know that when the right kitten needs a home, she’ll find us.  I don’t want to just go and pick out the first available kitten that I see.  Oh, yeah, I guess that one will do.  I did that with my first girlfriend and that ended horribly.
  • W told me that it would be totally ok if I got a kitten.  Which I appreciate immensely.  I know she would be ok with me getting pretty much anything — like a boa constrictor or a Russian orphan girl — if she thought it would make me happy.
  • I’ve been thinking that maybe we should foster kittens instead of just adopting a single cat.  I imagine fostering to be like a constant conveyor belt of cute cuddly kittens.  They’re so fluffy!

Yeah, a conveyor belt of kittens. That’s what I need to make me whole.

  • I went to therapy last week and pretty much all my therapist said was “I hear you.”  That’s all that you’ve got?  I hear you?  It was pathetic.  I mean, how screwed up are you when there’s nothing left for a licensed professional to do other than listen?  No advice?  No how could you have handled that differently?  No what’s the story you’re telling yourself?  No how does that make you feel?  It was like having a therapy session with Mr. Potato Head if he was only wearing his ears.
I hear you!

I hear you with my giant pink ears!

  • I’ve been working on the whole letting go thing.  I find that some things are much easier to let go of than others.  I feel like I need a letting go mantra.  Yeah, that’s what’s holding me back.  A kick-ass mantra.  Letting go, letting go, letting go … I’m letting go.  That’s what I’ve been using so far.
  • A gourmet cupcake shop just opened up down the street from us.  I frequented the shop twice last week to buy cupcakes for two celebrations.  I became agitated (read: obsessed and stalkerish) after I learned that the shop sells a cupcake that takes a shot at my collegiate alma mater.  Turns out cupcake shop owner attended a rival school.  I told W that I want to open up a competing cupcake shop in the empty storefront next door.  I have crafted a diabolical plan of vengeance in which I run the new cupcake store owner out of town  and insult her university using animal eyeballs purchased over the Internet.  W tells me that I’m ruining the new cupcake shop for her.
Patent pending

Patent pending

Murray Christmas!

I have decided to fill all of my emptiness and holes with cats.

At first, I thought about bringing home a brand new kitten on Christmas Eve.  I figured that I would scour all of the local adoption places and pick out the perfect kitty.  I would make plans to pick up the kitten the day before Christmas and then surprise the whole family with a kitten in a box.


A box of kitten.  A box of wine.

It just goes to show that boxes of stuff make awesome gifts.

Christmas kitten in hatMaybe I’d dress her up in a little Santa hat or place her in a fur-trimmed stocking.

I can hear the “awwws” as I type.

A few nights ago, I told W that I wanted a new cat and wanted to name her Merry.

“Why would you want to name a cat Mary?” she asked.

“Not, Mary,” I said.  “Merry.”


“No, not Murray.  Merry, as in Merry Christmas.  M-e-r-r-y.  But, now that you mention it, Murray Christmas would be an awesome name.”

W thinks that I pronounce certain words like banana and ruin and now, obviously, merry incorrectly.

Anyway, I’m quite smitten with the idea of a female cat or kitten named Murray Christmas, or just Murray for short.

But then I had an even better idea that would ensure a constant, never-ending stream of furry, adorable felines.

“We should foster kittens,” I casually informed W last night.

No!” she replied immediately without even giving the idea any thought.  “I would get too attached, and they would make a giant mess in the house.”

I told her that I was just researching the subject and assured her that I hadn’t signed us up for anything.  Yet.

Then I mentioned that if she wasn’t into fostering cuddly kittens that need to be bottle fed and socialized we could always volunteer to trap feral cats or feed feral cat colonies.

“I’m not sure what those jobs entail, but they were listed on the website,” I said.

Now, fostering a few sweet, soft kittens is looking pretty good to her.

So is Murray Christmas, for that matter.

My life and the Life of Pi

We lost power for most of today.

I work from home, which means that my office of one was closed.

“You could get caught up with your reading,” W suggested in a text in response to my bulletin about the power situation.

The reading is Life of Pi.  We both read the book a couple of years ago but decided to read it again before we go see the movie, which is out in theaters now.

We take books and movies and movies based on books very seriously in our house.

W has a long commute and re-read Life of Pi in about a week.  That is record time for her.  She passed our paperback copy of the book onto me.

Recently, I declared that I was fine seeing the movie without re-reading the book.

“You have to read the book,” W insisted.

“No, I don’t,” I replied.  “I’m perfectly ok with going to the movie now and re-reading the book later.”

We’ve been engaging in this back-and-forth for about four weeks now.

W insists that I can read the book in like a day because I’m an English major.

I’m a fast reader, but I’m not that fast.  It’s not Dostoevsky, but it’s still 400 pages.

I tell her, sure, I’ll read Life of Pi in between getting ready for Thanksgiving and packing lunches and cooking dinner and chauffeuring kids and doing the laundry and oh yeah working.  At my job.  That pays me money.

“So when you ask what’s for dinner, I’ll have to tell you we’re having Life of Pi,” I say.

When we went out on Saturday to celebrate W’s birthday, we stopped at a small used bookstore to browse.  I picked up a copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  In this case, I had seen the movie (American version) but had not read the book.

This could be me

And I kind of have this Rooney Mara fantasy.  Not that I want to do her.  But be like her skinny, bad-ass, ass-kicking, motorcycle-driving, mohawk-sporting character Lisbeth Salander and have sex with hot young girls.

“I think I’ll read this before Life of Pi,” I say just to tweak W.

I tell the clerk about my assigned reading.

The clerk seems perplexed, probably because I’m the oldest student she’s ever seen.

So, with no power, there’s not much else to do besides read.  I bang out about 175 pages of Life of Pi.  I’ll have the book finished by the weekend just in time for a movie date.

Richard Parker

When I start reading the book, I’m reminded that the Bengal tiger’s name is Richard Parker.

I think Richard Parker would make a great name for a house cat.  Sort of like Jenny Lawson’s Hunter S. Tomcat.  Besides, I’m always trying to one-up Lawson.  What blogger isn’t?

I text W.

Me: Let’s get a cat and name him Richard Parker.

W: No more boy cats.

Read: We already have a male cat and he sprays all over the place like a city fire hydrant on an August afternoon.

Me: Ok.  A girl named Dorothy Parker.

Read: See how flexible I am?  And witty, too.  Just like Dorothy Parker. How perfect!

W: Okay!

Read: My fake enthusiasm should be telling you that there’s no way in hell that we’re getting another cat right now.  

Me: Yay!

Read: I’m so excited that you just gave me permission to get a new cat even though you really didn’t mean it.

Stay tuned, folks.

Nothing good to write about

Wow, I’ve hit a wall.

I didn’t think it was possible, but I’ve run out of things to blog about.

Of course, I could write about the cats.  How I think of them as furry people with four feet and claws and really unpleasant personalities.  Or, how I’ve been trying to modify their behavior using water aversion therapy.  No, not waterboarding, but that’s always an option.  Just a 99 cent squirt gun.  But the little buggers take up too much of my time as it is.  With the food (feed us!) and the water (we’re so thirsty!) and the litter boxes (not clean enough for us!) and the neediness (tell us you love us!  again!  again!).  They have serious self-esteem issues, which is probably why they act out.  I’ve been working on a musical/opera for them.  Like Cats but way better.  It is dramatic and poetic and grand (sung in my opera voice), and the cats like it very, very much, thank you.  “You are good cats.  Very, very good cats …”

There’s the home repairs, but I’m over them.  They are b-o-r-i-n-g.  So is cleaning and organizing and making the house presentable.  Dust and clutter?  Nothing wrong with them, says this guy.

My sexual orientation?  Still gay.

Things with W and I are good.  Sometimes we have to pretend fight to keep things interesting.

Newsflash: My parents are coming to our house for Thanksgiving dinner.  That’s good, because they’ll be spending the holiday with us.  And, bad because they’ll be spending the holiday with us.  What more is there to say?

Nap socksI bought “nap socks” from Brookstone.  They are super soft and warm and fuzzy.  They can be worn for more than just napping, like sleeping and walking and standing, which makes me question the marketing strategy behind this product.  The black and gray ones make me feel Dr. Seuss-ish.  Like Leslie Lou O’Lesbian or the Butchalot.

More socks … I’m thinking about throwing out all of our single, mateless socks.  But I’m not ready yet.  I still like living in a fantasy world in which every sock has a partner.  Forever.

As you can see, I have absolutely nothing to write about tonight.

This old house and this old lesbian (Part II)

I haven’t been posting much lately because I’ve been busy with a slew of home projects.  My goal was to get the entire downstairs finished by Thanksgiving.

We are hosting a large turkey dinner, so we thought it would be nice to actually clean the place up a bit.  We’re hospitable like that.

Truth be told, the house had fallen into disarray thanks in large measure to our three teenage boys and three rebel cats.  And other annoying things like jobs and dentist appointments.

Anyway, last time I posted about home improvements, there was a great cry for pictures.  See here.


As I had mentioned, all of the rooms in our house were painted mustard yellow when we moved in.  You can read about it here.  They looked like this:

W said the color isn’t actually mustard yellow.  Well, it is under the principles of creative license, I replied.  This is a pic for the insurance company showing water damage  from Hurricane Sandy.


Here’s the downstairs bathroom painted a shade of green called “recycled glass.”

Another angle showing a framed print of Warren Kimble’s Cat in Hot Tin Tub.  Our tuxedo cat Magic loves to go in our bathtub after someone takes a shower, so this print reminds us of her.

There was a lot of hubbub over the color of paint for this next room.  You can read about it here.  I had painted over the yellow with a blue that turned out to be a shade of Smurf.  After another coat of paint, the room looks like this:

W made the curtains for the floor-to-ceiling windows.  I absolutely love everything about them.  I framed two pictures that the kids made when they were younger.

Here’s a closer look:

I am thrilled with how the room came out.

There is still work to be done.  For example, the wooden floor in the blue room is going to be painted an antique white.

But for right now this homeowner is content with the improvements.  And, very, very tired.

Here’s one last picture of Magic sitting on top of the bearded dragon’s cage.  I used to call her “french fry” because she likes to sit under the heat lamps.