Oct 192019
 

Milo the Dog ventured south from Portland this week to enjoy some “me time,” in Eugene.  For those of you who don’t speak dog, “me time” is doggy language which translates to “pee time.”  It’s a time to pee on new and exciting things – birch trees, box plants, landscape ornamentals, and distracted neighbors.

Oliver the Cat, who has been living in our home as a squatter since last year, translates “me time” to “eat me time.”  This is Oliver’s greatest fear, and what he believes is Milo’s primary goal between his pee times. 

Thankfully, the weather is cooperating, and we’ll have wonderful dog-walking conditions this week.  Here’s the forecast

When he’s not enjoying a nice walk through the daily monsoon, Milo enjoys spending time in the spa (living room) between his pee times, getting his beauty rest –

Living with both Oliver and Milo is like playing a 24-hour game of Tetris.  Oliver goes into the utility hall while Milo is in the house but is let to roam freely when Milo is outside.  Prior to letting Milo back into the house, we must find Oliver, take him prisoner, and transport him either back into the utility hall or put him outside.  Luckily, when he’s not napping (which he only does 23 hours a day), Oliver likes to spend as much time outside as possible looking for creatures to torture and eat. 

I recently caught this action shot of Oliver (don’t blink) –

One of the most exciting things about having Milo visit, is that it gives me a chance to become the key prosecution witness in a murder trial.  As everyone who watches an unhealthy number of true crime TV shows is well aware, the “key” witness in every murder trial is some poor sap out walking his dog at midnight.  Here is an official excerpt of a murder trial transcript (well, it would be official, if I hadn’t made it up):

Prosecutor: “What time was it when you saw the baldheaded man with the bloody knife run from the gazebo and race away in the dilapidated Dodge Durango?

Key “Dog-Walking” Witness: “Uh… About midnight.”

Prosecutor (with a sour look on his face like he just bit into a rotten peanut M&M): I rest my case, Your Honor.”

Sadly, I think it is far too rainy this week for me to witness any murders.  So, there goes that opportunity.  The only way I think I’ll get to witness a murder is if Milo’s “me time,” I mean “pee time,” REALLY becomes “eat me time.”  Good luck, Oliver!  We’re rooting for you!

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Sep 142019
 

Cats come in many varieties.  Among them are Persian cats, Munchkin cats, and Siamese cats.  I have a rare breed of cat.  It’s called an Alarm cat.  My Alarm cat goes off at 5:30 a.m.    And by “goes off,” I mean begins meowing quietly just outside our bedroom door every three seconds.  He then gradually increases his volume to a level just above that of the average NASA rocket launch.  Simultaneously with reaching his crescendo (I swear I am not making this up), he starts slapping the door with his paw.  I put my head under the covers and try to ignore him until I’m afraid he’ll wake the neighbors.

There are many reasons people love cats.  They’re playful.  They’re mischievous.  And, of course, they tear our upholstery to shreds. 

Oliver the Cat is no exception.  He too enjoys playing.  His favorite game is called, “Wait for the People to Leave And Knock Over All the Vases.”  Of course, this is only when he can find the time.

Here is Oliver’s demanding schedule (and by “demanding,” I mean that he does a lot of demanding) –

Wait for me to get up and then demand that I feed him his breakfast immediately.  We always keep dry food available for him but only give him canned food in the morning and evening.

Next, wait for my wife to get up, pretend he hasn’t eaten, and then demand that she feed him breakfast immediately.

(I’m embarrassed to tell you how long Oliver pulled this scam.  His owners, sadly, are not the sharpest knives in the drawer.)

It is then time for him to demand that we let out, so he can go across the street to Neighbor Jim’s house.  Once at Neighbor Jim’s house, he lies about the porch and generally acts like he owns the place – something akin to his County Estate.  So far, Neighbor Jim has been a good sport.  But I’m pretty sure the clock is ticking. 

The remainder of the Oliver’s day is spent either meowing loudly to be let back in, or, approximately 30 seconds after coming back in, following us around the house meowing at the decibel level of an air raid siren demanding to be let out again.

We love Oliver, but having an Alarm cat is challenging.  My only hope for relief is that Oliver doesn’t understand Daylight Savings Time.  I can’t wait to “Fall Back.” 

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The Lawyer’s Song: Navigating the legal wilderness

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Mar 312019
 

We used to have a cat, but we gave it away.  We had a good reason.  It turned out after we got it, that it was A Cat.  As a result, we have been cat-less.

Recently, however, our cat-less life came to a screeching halt.  It began with a phone call from my wife –

“There’s a cat on the porch.  It’s meowing really loud, and it won’t leave.  Come home right now!” The tone of her voice imbued the mild concern of, say, a DEFCON 1 emergency.

By the time I got home, the cat had breached the front door and was sitting in the foyer meowing as if he were Lassie trying to alert us that Timmy had fallen down the well (again).

I want to say ahead of time that I’m not proud of what I did next.  But I did it out of loyalty to my wonderful wife.  So let’s be clear, I am embarrassed to admit what I am about to tell you, but I would do it again if my wife asked (ordered).

My wife developed the theory that the cat might live in a Victorian home two blocks away.  Why, you ask?  Because we live in a Victorian, and she surmised that the cat might have confused the two houses.  It was already 10 o’clock at night, and my initial inclination was to launch headlong into a lecture about how I doubted that this cat was versed in Western European architecture.  Instead, I grabbed my coat.

Off we marched down the street, the cat dutifully following us toward the Victorian.  When we arrived, the cat showed about has much interest in the place as an aardvark being shown a violin.  I even marched up the walkway (like an idiot) trying to interest the cat in following me, but he remained on the sidewalk with a feline expression of sour disinterest.

After it was obvious the cat had no interest in this house, my wife suggested we walk around the neighborhood to see if the cat recognized any of the houses.

Eight butt-cheek freezing blocks later, we arrived back at our house.  The cat was still following us.  When we got to our walkway, he couldn’t race up the walkway fast enough.

We resigned ourselves to the cat spending the night.

The next morning, I made my next critical error.  We didn’t have any cat food, so I looked around the pantry.  I spotted a can of tuna.  As my good friend, who for the purposes of this column I will refer to as “John,” because his name is John Kim, later explained to me, ‘Jack, what were you thinking?  No cat moves from a tuna house, back to a non-tuna house!’

We took the cat to the vet down the street to see if he had an identification chip under his skin.  We learned three things: 1. He didn’t have a chip; 2. He had never been neutered; and, 3. While he didn’t have fleas (that they could find at the time), he did have “flea dandruff.”  (This was new to me, I didn’t think fleas had dandruff.)

Our wonderful local animal shelter helped us look for his owner.  But, alas, no one came forward.

Finally, my daughter’s boyfriend summed it up: “Somebody dumped the cat.”

My wife snapped into action.  Amazon boxes began filling our house.  UPS trucks began getting into UPS truck traffic jams in our driveway.

Here’s a taste –

A ceremonial “scratching post” to remind Rocky (his new name) to scratch our custom upholstered living room chairs.

An automated litter box built to handle a herd (three) of cats.

Enough cat toys to start a cat-themed amusement park.

“Gourmet” cat food.  (The cat’s eating better than I am.)

And, of course, a bed to perch on his favorite end of the family room couch.

In short, here is our situation –

The bad news is, we are no longer cat-less.

The good news is, (so far), the cat has allowed us to stay in his home.


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Also-

Check out these great books:

The Lawyer’s Song: Navigating the legal wilderness

https://buff.ly/2K41Tax

Seven Rules for the College Playground –

https://buff.ly/2IqXxgn

Seven Secrets You Need to Know to Hire the Right Lawyer –

https://buff.ly/2roFIov