Jan 182020
 

Following extensive research into 20th Century military tactics, Oliver the Cat has adopted Ronald Reagan’s “Peace through strength” policy.  Oliver would like you to know that he is NOT a Republican.  He is a card-carrying Libertarian.  (Well, if he had pockets, he WOULD be a card-carrying member.)  This policy is in keeping with one of Oliver’s favorite sayings – the old adage that, “The best defense is a good set of sharp claws.” 

Oliver is adopting this in direct reaction to occasionally having to share his home with his nemesis, Milo the Dog.  Oliver is convinced that Milo is looking for the first opportunity to wolf him down like a Taco Bell Chalupa. 

Oliver employs a three-step defense –

Step one: When he sees Milo, he immediately “puffs up.”  This is that technique that you’re supposed to use when you see a bear.  You lift you coat and raise your hands to making yourself look bigger.  In Oliver’s case, he shoots his back up into an arch that would make St. Louis jealous.  If he does this one more time, we’re going to have to take him to a cat chiropractor.   

Step two: He fires a “hiss” louder than an eighteen-wheeler releasing its air brakes.  (Seriously, Freightliner would be impressed.)

Step three: He charges at his enemy like a rocket.  I’m not sure what Oliver would do if he ever caught Milo, but I’m not interested in finding out.  And I’m quite sure that Milo’s “mom” (my daughter) is not.

Poor Milo, on the other hand, is outmatched on every front.  Milo is curious about Oliver, but he doesn’t seem to hold any grudges. 

Milo only has one true enemy: Skateboarders.

My daughter warned me that Milo “goes nuts” when he sees a skateboarder.  Even so, I was completely unprepared for the level of insanity when he spots one.  He saw a skateboarder half a block away while I was walking him, and (I am not exaggerating) he almost jerked my arm out of its socket lunging toward him. 

It is my fervent hope that one day these two furry knuckleheads we be able to achieve a lasting Détente.  In the meantime, (and I cannot stress this enough), it is critical to the safety of all mankind that we keep the launch codes away from Oliver.

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The Secret Life of Oliver the Cat

 Humor  Comments Off on The Secret Life of Oliver the Cat
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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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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The Lawyer’s Song: Navigating the legal wilderness

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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