Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Tag: cats

No Excuse

Would you believe I made a birthday resolution to post more often, then failed to do so? You would? Oh.


In the Incident of Nick’s Cub, Rom said that, while he wasn’t exactly chasing said cub, he did advance toward him slowly while making the scary noise. Of course, Nick was stuck up a tree and knew nothing.

Speaking of which…


The other day, on the bus stop bench in front of White Oak Manor (more accurately referred to as Small Rosebush Manor), there was a large carton of fried chicken. I don’t mean someone forgot their 4-piece meal. I mean a moving-size packing box full. I don’t know if they forgot to bring it on the bus, if the driver said they couldn’t bring it on the bus, they stole it, whatever. But there it sat in the June heat, for who knows how long, and who knows how much longer it would have sat there. But I knew the right man–or whatever–for the job. I advised Nick of its existence in his beat. Yes, he ate it up, cardboard box and all, then fell asleep at the bus stop and had to be towed away on a flatbed truck. Well, we couldn’t just leave him there. People would be afraid to wait for the bus.


Speaking of municipal services–you know that sidewalk in front of your house? How about pulling the weeds that grow between the cracks? It’s interesting that people will stoutly maintain that the parking space in front of their house belongs to them (it doesn’t), but the sidewalk has weeds a yard tall because “that’s not my property.” You know, the city doesn’t have a crew that goes around pulling weeds out of sidewalks. You don’t pay enough taxes for that. (And just spraying them with poison and leaving the dead brown weeds lying there is NOT THE SOLUTION.)


–The Thornton’s card from Charles and his lovely wife J. provided me with fountain drinks and the occasional Roller Grill Item (I can recommend the franks and the bratwurst) for all of 3 weeks. That may not seem like a long time, but gives you some idea of the amount of soda I consume.

–The Walgreen’s card from my colleague 911SK provided me with a new Schick Quattro razor, Raspberry Rain shave gel, Olay Age-Defying body wash (yes, I went back to it–I am ever-defiant), and Romantic Rose deodorant–I am nothing if not romantic.

–The Olde Crowe still perches on the shelf above my computer. You know, I should start taking that thing with me wherever I go, and talking to it in public places.

Speaking of  beings I talk to, I currently have 2 cat scratches on my leg. One is from Glamour when she lost her balance jumping on my lap (on the way to Rom’s lap), and one is from Esmerelda reaching out and desperately trying to keep me from getting out of bed. Love is a battlefield.



Oh Noes!

Correction: Glamour’s correct title is Empress Calicula the Second. Calicula the First was the somewhat-less-noble Zinnia the Worm, in ye olde days before the coming of Esmerelda–the era of Calico Overload.

I Was an Accident Victim!

“WHAT?!” cries Nick, leaping up, and then sinking down moaning because of his wounded knee. Yes, and I was also a victim of a cat attack, but let’s take it in chronological order.


I was crouching on the floor at Walgreen’s–why? To sniff some candles on a shelf near the floor. I decided I would eventually buy all 6 scents when they went on sale. (These are the ones labeled “essential oil blends,” available at both Walgreen’s and CVS. They smell great–not like cheap drugstore candles, which is more than I can say for the other ones available at these venues.) Anyway, having thus informed myself, I looked up to see that an employee had come around the corner with a cart stacked taller than her own height–and therefore her own eyes–with boxes of merchandise. I imagine those of you who’ve been in a car crash (I have not) know the feeling–when you realize “it’s-actually-going-to-hit-me-and-there’s-no-time-to-do-anything-about-it.” So this cart knocked me over, and knocked my 32 ounces of Coke from McDonald’s over also. Luckily it splashed on the floor and not on me. Ironically, had knocked it over myself earlier at the restaurant, but since I didn’t hit it with the force of a cartful of unknown (but apparently heavy) items, the lid stayed on and disaster was averted.

The employee was effusively apologetic–wouldn’t it be nice if you could trust they were sincere, and not just afraid of lawsuits? I assured her I was fine. (Actually, I sustained a bruise on my inner thigh because the corner of my handbasket–probably the kind you go to Hell with, as Rom pointed out–was jammed into it, but that’s hardly lawsuit material.) (Unless you’re a lawyer, I suppose.) She cleaned up the mess, and made sure I received 2 free Cokes from their cooler, which, since they totaled 40 ounces, left me 8 ounces ahead of the deal for my pain and suffering.


Shortly after I got home, my service cat Esmerelda paraded about before me, screaming to be played with. Since I was listening to music (early Rolling Stones anthology), I didn’t want to get off the couch and get a toy. (“She was always bored with a thousand toys, and still she cried all night,” to quote the Stones.) (Let’s not even get started on my listening-to-music practices, for they are arcane and embarrassingly eccentric. OK, mildly pathological.) So I wiggled a pen around the legs of the coffee table for her. This was mildly interesting, but no more than mildly, because she is intelligent enough to know it’s really me doing it. So, to aid her suspension of disbelief, I wiggled the pen underneath her wool tartan throw. (Well, we didn’t get it for Ez–it predates her appearance–but she’s the one who sleeps on it.) This suspended her disbelief a bit too well, since she lunged under it blindly and snagged my finger, and I jerked back with her claw still in me, and you can guess how well that worked out. I was going to finish out the song–“Heart of Stone,” a personal favorite ever  since I used to listen to it in high school and imagine myself a femme fatale (as you might imagine, I was actually the opposite of that)–but, you know, blood, etc. Ez realized I didn’t want to play anymore and left to look out the window. Once I’d applied pressure (knowledge gleaned from listening in on ambulance calls!) and applied a band-aid, she came back and yelled at me to pet her. So I did, a lengthy and perverted procedure which includes letting her nurse on my hand. The hand without the band-aid, luckily.

And you thought I didn’t lead an exciting life.

Festival Day 1: We Fry Everything

But first…



If I see the phrase “hypocritical Bible-thumping Christians” (especially effective when misspelled) ONE MORE TIME, I’ll–thump a Bible, I guess. There are hypocrites in every religion, and I’ve known some self-righteous atheists as well. And it’s not because “religion brings out the worst in people,” but because ANYTHING people have strong feelings about–politics, money, sex–can bring out the worst in them. That’s why we need a police force.

Now that I’ve set the record straight, let’s move on to fried things. Actually, I had nothing fried myself (ribeye sandwich, blackberry cobbler) (SWIRCA booth, ever-reliable cobbler source), but in a world that can give you chicken-fried bacon (with ranch dipping sauce, because it was too wholesome before) and pickle-juice slushies (how about maraschino cherry-juice slushies? that’s something I might actually try)…

I was, as usual, undercover as a 12-year-old boy (well, except for the yoga pants) (and the careful accessorizing), in an attempt to return the Festival to its Halloween roots. My orange skull T-shirt was pronounced “really something” by adults who thought I hadn’t heard them, and “awesome!” by a girl who looked to be about 11.


–Sentiment courtesy of Patti Smith, referring to M-M-My Generation and rock and roll. I am pleased and proud to announce that the music on the midway was HARD ROCK, AS IT SHOULD BE, and not that non-rock stuff it had been for many years previously. To herald my arrival on the grounds, they played “Black Dog” by Led Zeppelin, and “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.” (“But if you do them dirt-cheap,” Nick wants to know, “how much could my cut be?” Fear not, Nick, you will be paid in deep-fried Reese cups.)



On the way to the festival, I passed a young cat on the sidewalk, which arched its back and looked up at me hopefully. Little one, are you lost? Or did someone care enough to put a collar on you, but not enough to keep you inside so you’re not at the mercy of strangers on the sidewalk? I spoke to it kindly, but did not touch it, lest it try to follow me.

And on the way from the festival, I stopped in at the Pet Food Center, and there was a yellow-and-white cat up for adoption–“Neutered and micro-chipped! Adoption fee only $30!” He looked up at me sadly, as if he knew what the outcome of non-adoption could be.

When I got home, my service cat Esmerelda (the reason why I can’t adopt another cat at this time) greeted me purring and led me to the bed to be cuddled. As if she knew.

Days Late, Dollars Short

I woke up thinking, What’s on the agenda for today? Then I realized, Going to work! Aaiiee!! I’ve been on vacation so long, I almost forgot. Then I fell asleep again and dreamed I forgot to go to work until, like, 9 hours after the start of my shift, and I thought I’d be in Big Trouble. But no one seemed to notice that I was grotesquely late. I woke up again and already felt worn out, which is quite the accomplishment when one has yet to get out of bed.


Someone was asking a clerk at Walgreen’s what they felt about the imminent arrival of CVS across the street. (Well, he didn’t use the phrase “imminent arrival,” but you get the idea.) She said she was sure they’d pick up all the smokers, now that CVS has stopped selling tobacco. There’s a slogan for you–“Walgreen’s–your unhealthy choice!” (The previous statement does not reflect the views of Walgreen’s.)

Speaking of which, the Bad Customer of the Week award goes to the woman at $ General, who found out her preferred brand of cigarettes was not available there except in the mentholated version, and said, “I’m not paying for that $hit! I don’t do menthol! What do I do now?” I’m guessing the clerk was thinking, “How the hell am I supposed to know? Consider it an opportunity to give up smoking?


–brought to you by Redd’s Apple Ale, which is probably the reason why I forgot to report them.

“Crush With Eyeliner” by R.E.M. came on Rom’s IPod, and I said, “I love this song!” Nick encouraged me to sing it for him, which actually wouldn’t have been hard, because the verses are more-or-less spoken, and only the chorus involves any actual singing. But I refused, because apparently 2 bottles of R.A.A. isn’t enough to make me feel comfortable singing. I felt on the verge of singing, though, which means that 3 bottles is (are?) the magic number, if consumed in rapid succession. Interestingly (or maybe not–I wouldn’t want to assume), although Nick and I have encouraged each other to sing on various occasions, neither of us has yet done so.

“Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup,” as the old saying goes. During his guided tour of my bedroom, Nick spied my service cat, Esmerelda, lurking in the corner. “Can I pet her?” I assured him she wouldn’t bite or scratch. But as soon as she saw that beast lumbering toward her, she thought, “Aaieee! He knows I’m crunchy and good with ketchup!” and fled in terror. I was sorry he didn’t get to pet her, as her fur is very soft. After they left, she devoted an unseemly amount of time to sniffing where they’d been sitting. “Obviously you don’t get many visitors,” said Nick. Of course, he also called me “wretched and rather crazy,” so maybe that’s the problem.


Two Observations

…because that’s all I have to offer.

–Magazine ad: “You’ve waited all winter for coleslaw.” No I haven’t. I don’t want coleslaw under any circumstances.

–Spotted at the Pet Food Center: “Cat Collar with Breakaway Feature.” Underneath, the Spanish translation read, literally, “Collar of Liberation.” A cat’s life is full of paradoxes.

Do Try This At Home


I received an incredibly dense chocolate cake for my birthday from my sister. (It’s almost finished now, which shows how fast two people can work in three days, considering I received it Wednesday.) With the aid of this cake, we were able to finally answer the question, Is chocolate better than sex? The answer is, Not Quite. It may be better than anything else you could have after sex, though.

And, lest you think product testing is a one-time thing in this household–with a precision that Consumer Reports would approve of, I tried a Gillette Venus razor on one leg and a Schick Quattro on the other, to compare and contrast their properties.


Also for my birthday (yes, you must know all about it–you should realize that by now), Rom put together a cactus garden for me. This is rather eerie, because I’d recently been thinking about my childhood efforts in this direction, but I don’t remember ever telling Rom about it, nor does he remember me doing so. Between cacti, roses and cats–everything’s better with thorns! To illustrate, the Amazing Esmerelda celebrated the anniversary of her adoption the other day by being quite the Bucket of Points with her catnip ball. Glamour had too much catnip and started kicking herself in the head, but these things happen.


Why was there a police car in my driveway? It must be St. Nick and even-more-Saintly Sam delivering my birthday present! They gave me a strawberry chapstick and a sympathy card. (The latter was to offer condolences for all the fun I was missing by refusing Nick’s offer of a birthday ride-along.) Chapsticks were 3 for $3 at Walgreen’s, so I’m sure they picked up a couple for themselves as well, since the police department doesn’t issue those. Although they should, because the discomfort of chapped lips would surely be a distraction in the performance of an officer’s duties.


He does not breathe fire, nor is he foul-smelling. He would probably prefer to have both those attributes, but we must learn to live with our limitations.


The radio was boasting about “The best music from the 80’s and 90’s on Retro Rewind Weekend!” I came of age in the 70’s, and I pronounce the music of the 80’s and 90’s limp and flaccid by comparison, at least as featured there. “I just diiieed in your arms tonight, it must have been something you said” (I may have a sharp tongue, but I’ve never actually killed anyone)(well, unless they crawled home to die and I didn’t find out about it, I suppose) was followed by “What is the meaning of love? Don’t hurt me anymore.” I detect a pattern here.


–I admire its aim.

Time for a manicure (rose-gold foil effect, I believe) and reading about Catholic liturgy and theology during the Dark Ages, plus I better get started on tonight’s apple ale project, or I’ll never finish my 12-pack by the end of my vacation.





From Erections to Kittens

This title was meant to illustrate the range of topics one might expect to find here, but kittens are the result of erections, aren’t they?


From Phillips 66, YOUR LIFESTYLE SOURCE, we have MALE STAMINA POWDER! “Swish and Swallow!” I swear, that’s what it says. “Acts in 30 minutes!” I guess you sit around twiddling your, um, thumbs for half an hour, and then JUMP ON IT, BEFORE IT GOES AWAY! Is there some epidemic of erectile dysfunction in this town? Judging from the number of baby-daddy calls I take daily, I would say not. And, although They tell us “It is not your job to judge callers’ life choices,” I’m going to do it anyway, and say that society was better off without this epidemic of baby-daddyism.


Nick & Sam had a run tonight (and no one made them take this job) (although we did make them take this particular run) of a naked drunk woman inside a man’s house. He had “let her in so she could sober up,” and she urinated on his floor. Then she got blood on his floor, and said that he’d tried to rape her. Investigation determined this was not the case, so I’m guessing it turned out to be her period.


–“I need the police because I went over to talk to my friend, and she punched me in the face, and we ended up grappling in her yard.” Now correct me if I’m wrong (go ahead, I dare you), but someone I’m grappling with in a yard is not going to be a friend. Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by grappling.


These two stories were featured in my original Newsletter, many long years ago, but readers enjoyed them, so I think they bear repeating:

–Once when Rom and I were engaged in, um, grappling in our bedroom, he ended up kicking the window and cracking it. The best part of the story was before we moved out, when the landlord was inspecting the place to see if we’d get the damage deposit back, he asked how the window got cracked, and Rom, who is normally painfully honest, said, “It was, um, that strong wind we had the other night.” It took the hope of a damage deposit to keep me from laughing.

–And once, while grappling by candlelight, as is our custom, the candle set off the smoke alarm. I’m just glad we figured out what it was instead of calling the fire department. Which reminds me of a fire run I once dispatched–“Investigate a smell of burning rubber in caller’s bedroom.” Or a police run, “Investigate a report of a female screaming inside a house,” where the officer’s summation was, “Um, this wasn’t domestic violence.”

(“These stories sure do bear repeating,” they say. “Because we were really wanting to hear stories about your sex life.”)


I would like to thank Rom’s sister for going on at length to family friend Doris (glad to meet you, Doris! hope you found your way to this blog!) about how brilliant, honest, and multi-talented Rom is. It’s all true, and makes me feel somewhat inferior, since I am only uni-talented, depending on whether sarcasm is actually a talent.


Rom’s said sister offered me a lift to work, after I encountered her this afternoon. I said her truck door was locked, since I couldn’t get it open. “You just need to pull really hard,” she said. I did, no luck. “No, it really is locked,” I said. My mother-in-law came over and opened it for me. My mother-in-law is 85 years old. I can’t get out of vehicles without assistance, either.


…about what Nick’s tail looks like–it looks like a snapping turtle’s tail, except longer, of course.


Overheard from across the room–“Sir, did you say the kittens are enclosed in plastic? Could you remove the plastic, so they can breathe?” Reminds me of a call back in the 80’s where a woman gave birth in the toilet. (She hadn’t known she was pregnant, and thought it was an attack of indigestion.) My colleague asked her, “Ma’am, have you removed the baby from the toilet yet?” We can take nothing for granted.


I Got Distinguished Hair!

…from “Mitt Romney Style”

My beauty secret? Regular combing!

I was bending over the heat vent at work, to unplug my phone from the charger, and the person relieving me (D.D., my lone fellow cat-lover) said, “You’ve got model hair!” For one brief shining moment, I thought she meant my hair looked that good, but she just meant it was blowing around.


What I learned yesterday:

–No matter what, you cannot open a soy sauce packet with a scissors without having it splash on your hands. But I wasn’t about to ask Nick to open it for me, so it’s the price I had to pay. And yes, I washed the scissors. Again.

–Having someone stare at me while I eat makes me lose my appetite.

–There is a high rate of recidivism among banana thieves.

Fortune cookie: “You are strong and sensitive.” Right.


%d bloggers like this: