July 29, 2008


Karen’s cake was awesome. The secret was TWO cans of icing. She FILLED in the middle with white butter cream and then put chocolate flavored icing over the top. I was going to get a picture of it, but I wanted to wait until we had cut it, so you could see a cross section. Then I forgot to snap the picture before we went out to the barn and then WHILE we were in the barn, REBA THE FARTING DOG ATE IT.

Reba, in the THREE DAYS we have been here, has eaten:

1) An entire box of Vive cereal (Not three hours after I salvaged half of it from her gaping maw and put it in a ziplock baggy, she counter surfed and dragged the bag away and polished it off. That’s something like 86 grams of fiber in two fell swoop-n-gulps)

2) 5 – 7 baked Cheetos from EACH of us as she told us, one by one, NO ONE ELSE was letting her have even an orange powdered LICK.

3) 1/3rd of a bag of Buffalo Wing Ranch Doritos. (stolen from the coffee table)

4) Chicken Cookie dog treats. (She said the OTHER dog was getting some, and it wasn't fair)

5) 1/3rd of an extremely dark beer. (Sara set it down BRIEFLY to open the horse-gate.)

6) More than half a cake. (We were a little worried about this one because of the CHOCOLATE icing, but she seems to have weathered it.)

I no longer find it amazing that her toots are so…epic.

MEANWHILE, I am heartbroken. A stray-skinny and yowly-lonely yellow cat followed me home from the cemetery where Karen and I were power-walking. I fell for him SO hard. That was Pushkin. Not Alexander Pushkin. BARNEY Pushkin because we put him out on the barn office with kibble and a litterbox and fresh water so he couldn’t mix with Sara’s cats and possibly infect them with something.

I found him Saturday night, and by Sunday morning, I had Scottly permission to bring him home and keep him. On Sunday and Monday I borrowed a lapdesk from Sara and wrote out in the barn office to keep him company. He inserted himself into the slot between the desk and my abdomen and lay there purring and batting at my fingers and rubbing his face on the keys and generally making a HUGE nuisance of himself – the exact right KIND of nuisance. I got close to 5K words done in two marathon writing sessions with him “helping.”

On Monday, after he and I wrote from 6 to 10 am (and it was good stuff, if you will forgive me the hubris,drafty but I could tell it was the RIGHT GOOD BONES of what will be a scene) and then I ran Pushkin up to a local vet and said, “Check for a microchip because this boy is so sweet I can’t believe no one is missing him, then do a feline luke test, and if he isn’t chipped and is negative, we’ll do a full exam and get him vaccinated.”

That seems like a PRETTY CLEAR order of events, but instead the vet did a feline luke check, charged me 50 bucks, and THEN told me he was micro-chipped. NEAT. I got my heart broken and my wallet rogered out in the same ten minutes.

I called his owners who had SAD, HEARTFELT pleas for the return of “Marhsall” on their answering machine, and an hour later, they came and got him. I have been blue ever since, and this morning, trying to draft in post-feline-depression, I perpetrated the follwing line of text:

“His desk was big; he had a big desk.”

I especially like the SEMI COLON in that gem, don’t you? It’s almost like if I had tried to write a sentence that was a palindrome in meaning instead of in form. WAH! OH! PUSHKIN! WHERE IS YOUR OVERLOUD PURRING ENCOURAGMENT NOW?

My heart is sad; I have a sad heart.

Posted by joshilyn at July 29, 2008 12:13 PM

I'm so sorry! Sounds like a trip to the local shelter is in order - you've got cat lust. Kind of like baby lust, but hairier. Meanwhile, how about this, "He had a big desk with a yellow cat sitting on the blotter just waiting to curl up im his lap."

Posted by: Tina at July 29, 2008 12:34 PM

I'm sorry for your sad heart. :(

Posted by: Dory at July 29, 2008 12:42 PM

Our house is still filled with animals; Animals still fill our house.

Posted by: Mr. Husband at July 29, 2008 12:57 PM

Ah, but you have a good soul. Missing Orange cat story:

Our very stupid orange kitten "developed" a little early and so I had him spayed and microchipped at 5 months. In a fit of pique, after returning from his "procedure" he got out and went missing. That was May 1 when he was just 5.5 months old. I was bereft. 24 days later we got a call from a vet that someone had found him limping and brought him in. He had been hit by a car somewhere early in his sojourn and was very injured. (Hip replacement on a 6 month old kitten anyone?) The lady who picked him up was a total dog person. But she found him on a Friday night and her regular vet was closed until Monday and by Monday morning she was totally smitten and so heartbroken to give him back to us. We send her periodic cards with his pawprint on them so she knows he's well-loved. I was glad to get him back until the vet bills from the hip replacement surgery came in. That's OK. We didn't need a vacation this year, right?

Posted by: Jen at July 29, 2008 1:14 PM

One of my parrots flew away in June. No I am not a bad parrot mommy, this was a bird who needed his wings because he was very clumsy. He was generally terrified to be outside, too. But he'd not been himself lately and took it upon himself to fly away,from the perch in my hand. Then he would not let us catch him for three days. After that I didn't hear him anywhere. Now he's gone, probably killed by a hawk, in which case the microchip would not have helped. Maybe the hawk would have eaten the microchip, and instead of finding Einie, we would have found a hawk. It's all very sad.

It's hard to lose an animal, whether it's left you, or it's died, or you have to give it back.
I'm sorry.

Posted by: parrotzmom at July 29, 2008 1:32 PM

I am also wondering about the size of Reba's turds. They must be immense.

Posted by: parrotzmom at July 29, 2008 1:33 PM

I think that if you explained your plight to Pushkin/Marshall's owners, they would happily let you "borrow" his encouraging powers for the duration of your stay. Perhaps the promise of a "thank you" to Marshall at the beginning of the book could help sway their minds??

Posted by: Tammy at July 29, 2008 1:40 PM

Well, can you work out visitation? Maybe instead of a reward, you could get Pushkin's help in writing? I know that had you saved any of my cats, I'd let you have genereous visitation and purr time.

Posted by: Patricia at July 29, 2008 1:42 PM

You're a hero! You saved Marhsall. He was hungry lost and you saved him. :) Alas your heart is broken but think of Marhsall and perhaps the people who have been missing him so. Hmm almost sounds like a Jane Austen novel. Oh well... at least you almost had yummy cake. (yes I know.. not helping.. but at least Marhsall isn't huddling for warmth near a cemetery.. that's got to be worth a warm good thought :) )

Posted by: KlintD at July 29, 2008 2:31 PM

I am sorry; sorry about your Pushkin loss.

Posted by: nik at July 29, 2008 5:06 PM

Just say no! I fall for the adorable little creatures (dog or cat) everytime. This past weekend my three adorable, tiny, sweet angels ate something questionable in the yard. They spent two days expelling whatever from their systems in MY CLEAN HOUSE. I used a gallon of bleach and spent five hours scrubbing hardwood floors upstairs and down. Remember the fond times, have the family send a photo, and you'll always have the barn!! But, just say no!

Posted by: Kimberly at July 29, 2008 5:14 PM

Sad you didn't get the cat, but you did the honourable thing.

What I have to know is, did you eat the OTHER half of the cake?? I would have, but that's just me.

Posted by: TrudyJ at July 29, 2008 6:01 PM

Fagh on warm fuzzy consolation. Tell the vet that Reba has a terrible proctological problem and insist that he examine her personally. Feed her well in advance as an apology. I'll chip in on the fee.

Posted by: rams at July 29, 2008 6:42 PM

LOVE Rams' idea. Dumbass vet.

And also, love the reference to my favorite book (that you didn't write, that is) Walter the Farting Dog. Hands down, the funniest kid's book ever written. That is, if you are an 8-year-old boy trapped in the body of an adult woman. I can't wait till my sons are old enough to get it. (They're 4 and 1.)

Posted by: jenn at July 29, 2008 8:20 PM

I'm so sorry about Pushkin, but I'm sure his parents were relieved to have him back, and there are plenty of other sweet cats who need good homes. We found an orange kitten in our backyard, about five weeks old, and we put up signs, sure that he was lost and someone was looking for him because he was SO sweet. I still can't believe no one wanted him and we have no idea where he came from, but everyone who meets him falls head over heels on the spot.

And about the dog and the chocolate- I used to have an Lhasa apso with a stomach of iron that ate an entire box of thin mints- she chewed through our box holding many cookie boxes, then through the individual cookie box and the plastic wrap inside. She also ate an entire stick of butter once when we accidentally left it on the table. So apparently some dogs don't get sick because of that.

Posted by: Haley at July 29, 2008 8:45 PM

It's not so much that dogs get sick from chocolate, exactly. It's just that it can cause renal failure. And of course dogs lurve chocolate!

I'm with rams and jenn. Make sure Reba has an extra special fiber-laden "treat" four to six hours before a trip to that weasly vet. If my dear pooch didn't have dental problems that are rapidly becoming quite pricey, I'd chip in on the fee too!

And let me say, that desk text is one of the more. . .unusual sentences I think I've ever read from you. You should print it and frame it.

Posted by: Fran at July 29, 2008 10:43 PM

I'm sorry you're going through kitty heartbreak. :-/

Posted by: DebR at July 30, 2008 1:00 AM

I'm so sorry about the kitty. It sounds like he is a real treasure, and while I'm glad he made it back home (and so thankful to you for making sure that he did!) I'm sorry for your loss of him.

(Speaking of awkward sentences ~ yikes! lol)

Here's to more writing ~ and more cake! :)

Posted by: Kim at July 30, 2008 3:09 AM

I have a cast iron muffin pan that makes kitten-shaped muffins, would they be a comfort? They don't purr the same way of course, but they are tasty (if I can pry them out without losing their ears)!

Posted by: Brigitte at July 30, 2008 6:36 AM

Oh, I'm so sorry about Pushkin. (Pushkin is a MOST admirable name for a cat.)

Perhaps a trip to the shelter? And I triple-heart the revenge plot for the vet. Maybe some more of that fibrous cereal is in order?

Posted by: Aimee at July 30, 2008 10:37 AM

oh double darns. Stupid vet.

Posted by: Cele at July 30, 2008 11:29 AM

Doods, I have to step up for my dog here. She is a scrounging, thieving mutt and utterly without conscience, but she does NOT deserve a proctological exam.

I will forthwith plug her sweet, innocent, golden, velvety ears until all this filthy talk of violation has ended.

(Seriously, sufficient punishment for the vet would involve feeding Reba lentils, Cheetos, and cake and just making them share a small room for the night. TRUST. ME.)

Posted by: Sara at July 30, 2008 12:47 PM

You have a big, sad heart. Your heart is sad and BIG. Good on you.

We adopted a stray last year because he was hanging around the yard for 2 months and one night a fox came tripping through while one of us was out feeding kitty. It seemed prudent to adopt before he became Foxy's Midnight Snack, but we literally had to kidnap him into the cellar because we didn't know if he might have anything infectious. He's our fifth.

We figure he lived with college kids because his favorite foods are whatever WE happen to be eating, and potato chips. Not necessarily in that order.

Posted by: firefly at July 30, 2008 2:52 PM

I really liked that short story named "Little Dead Uglies" that on you page. Have you written and other short stories or plays that are availabe online or to get someplace else?

Posted by: Asa at July 30, 2008 5:26 PM

Aww....I'm so sorry you didn't get to keep Barney, but you've made his owners very very happy indeed.
Typing as someone who just took in a little homeless kitten (he's surfing my arm as I type), I can't imagine having to give him up. Your big sad heart is a big, kind, self-sacrificing heart.
If it wasn't for Scott's comment, I'd be suggesting a trip to the animal shelter too.

Posted by: Rompompom at July 31, 2008 2:21 AM

we, too, found a lovely little tortoise-striped stray this weekend, which my daughters named "Buffalo," as in the name of my brother's street, where they found the wee creature. he was the sweetest little critter, very demanding of the snuggling and cuddling. but alas, we had to leave him there in farmville, va., on buffalo street, with my brother and his four cats. bro is taking him to vet for microchip and health check, then looking for a home. great little bitty, with tiny white slippers on front paws and little white knee socks on back, if you want to travel to farmville.

Posted by: dramamama at July 31, 2008 12:36 PM

Tag :) You're It

Posted by: Tina at August 1, 2008 10:38 AM

Perhaps PUSHKINS fambly should reimburse you for the stoopy vet bill. I'm jes sayin.

Posted by: Scottsdale Girl at August 1, 2008 6:10 PM

awww. you make me want to write semi-colon heartbroken poetry...after I get over the jealousy of the required solitary writing time.

Posted by: lindasands at August 2, 2008 11:25 AM