Friday, October 26, 2012

Return of the Prodigal Kitty

Now I know that most of you would expect me to be announcing the triumphant return of Colonel Beauregard Sterling Lovell (pictured below).  Sadly that is not the case.

I have grown up with cats most of my life, starting with the infamous but evil Bobb Bookie, and ending my childhood with the B.C. the Lionface.  Bobb Bookie shredded my sucking thumb at an early age and in my Composition class at Iowa State University he was 90% of the reason I received an A in that class.  B.C. the Lionface managed to last from when I was 8 or 9 until a few years after I moved out.  He's currently buried in my parents backyard underneath a Lion statue. 

There were many cats in between those two.  Most ran off, probably to go back to whoever owned them before we acquired them off the streets. One cat, Spike, my Siamese, died of Feline Leukemia, probably God's punishment for my sinful ways if you were to ask the opinion of Pat Robertson.  His half brother was sent away for continuing to spray about the house.  Another was hit by a car- that was my sister's cat whom she never bothered to name before I had to watch it attempt to wreck a car with its head.

After my first son Josh was born, I was given a kitten by a neighbor.  It was all black, except for a small white patch on its chest.  I dubbed him Damien, and that devil cat lived up to his demonic name. I'm convinced he was the reincarnation of the original sinister black cat, Bobb Bookie.  He was one mean ass SOB, and when we moved to Des Moines he went out to an acreage with my ex-wife's aunt and uncle.  He met his maker at the hand of two dogs, both of whom would probably never forget the damage Damien did to them before they finished him off.

Later, after Corwyn was born, we eventually adopted a cat from the Animal Rescue League.  It was part of a group of cats they dubbed the X-men.  This one was named Rogue.  Now normally, I like to name my animals, but I was voted down by the kids and their mother and rogue retained her name.  In our old apartment we let the cat out onto the deck.  Rogue liked to go down onto the downstairs neighbors' grill and then to the ground to run around. (Unlike the Colonel who would only go up to the upstairs neighbors' deck and refuse to come down except when they brought him down through the inside of the building.)  Anyways, she did this often, chasing around squeenies and squirrels and rabbits.  One day she disappeared and we never saw her again.
And of course there is the Colonel, who has spent his time running about the neighborhood, getting nabbed by the next door kennel once before they got to know who he was and where he lived.  And then a few weeks back he disappeared again.  We haven't seen or heard from him since.

Fast forward to earlier this week.  My mom calls me at work.  They got a call at the veterinary hospital she works at from the West Des Moines Animal Shelter. they had found a cat, and scanned it for a microchip that traced the cat back.  Since I was at work, I had my girlfriend call to find out about getting our cat back.  We were saddened to learn that they did not have the Colonel.  I sort of suspected this because I didn't remember having Colonel chipped. The description they gave sounded oddly familiar to me.  After 6 years, Rogue had been rounded up.

Now, with our dog, Gracie, being a puppy, I don't care to introduce another animal into the house unless of course the Colonel finds his way back.  We do miss him.  I texted my ex-wife and let her know of the news of our old cat having shown back up after all these years.  She grabbed my cat carrier yesterday, and today she brought Rogue to her home.  While a bit thinner, Rogue has turned out to be still cuddly and affectionate upon being reunited with her and the boys.  So, while I did not get my cat back yet, our old cat gets to come back to a loving home.  Her she is sleeping on one of the boys' bed with them faking sleeping with her that their mother sent to me earlier this evening:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Politics: Helping Vitriolic Opinions Get Out

Well, we're finally winding down the last few weeks of this election cycle which started, depending on how you count, since the midterm elections of 2010, or the last Presidential election of 2008.  By this time, most people's patience is wearing pretty thin regarding anything political, and yet at the same time these supposed non-caring people are throwing their opinions out there left and right with increased fervor. And some of them are taking great offense at whatever someone from a different viewpoint has to say.

 The last attitude always keeps me pissed off on some deep rooted level that hums constantly below the surface somewhere.  Occasionally it comes to the surface in the face of such incivility when it come sup quite directly.  Case in point, my sister's Facebook page.  One status update she posted during last night's Town hall Debate between President Obama and the Republican nominee Mitt Romney, where she merely repeated a paraphrasing of something Mitt said:

Binders full of women?! And be sure to give them flex time so they can go cook dinner...

Now politically, my sister and I are on opposite sides.  She is a liberal democrat, I am a moderate conservative (but NOT republican).  I can imagine exactly how her voice sounds if she said this statement aloud.  I can even see the look of disgust on her face.  Personally I took little offense to Mitt's statements on this particular exchange, as his answer was more of an example of how he chose to do things to increase females in senior leadership positions in his cabinet when he governed Massachusetts, rather than actually answer the question asked, which was what he'd do to pare the gender pay gap that exists.  Evasive answering by politicians is common place and probably one of the biggest complaints about them.  I assume she took his answer in some different way than what he was actually saying and she voiced her opinion.  Shortly thereafter a "friend" of her and her husband made a comment that he was going to remove them as Facebook friends (My god NOOOO! the humanity of it all!!!) because her political venom is just too much for him to take and he hates having to sift through it all to find her other updates. Well, I sifted through her updates to see what the stink was about.  And I kept sifting, and sifting and sifting some more.  And then I went ahead and re-sifted just to be sure I could find something non-political and venomous within her updated statuses.  I was amazed at what I found.  Going back 2 months, the amount of politically oriented statements I found on her page was ridiculous.  Turns out that the post she made last night was the ONLY one political in nature in any way shape or form.  
Now I see why the guy was so irritated.  My sister, bless her soul, had actually communicated a politically related thought on her page, and it had been seen by a guy who is apparently anti-Obama to the point that one comment made against what Mitt had to say was just too much for him to take, and despite "liking them as people and reading about their family developments" had to resort to killing off their Facebook connection.  REALLY????

Now I'm not exactly a fan of Obama, but I'm also not in the tank for Mitt Romney either.  I can see not wanting to be Facebook friends with my sister too.  I mean, this is Becky we're talking about.  My lifelong arch-rival, who's been out to destroy me and my reputation since day 1!  I won't get into all the details, but lets just say there was more than one instance where she framed me for hurting her when I wasn't even around.  My lack of presence wasn't enough evidence to get out of butt whoopings either.  Sinister master of conspiracy that she is, it only got worse from there.  I'm only Facebook friends with her because it allows me to keep up with what my nieces are doing...and to maintain relations with my brother-in-law.  She's just the awful hippie residue I have to deal with in between.  That and my mom would probably find a way to ground me if I wasn't Facebook friends with her.  I can hear her now, "Michael (she never calls me Mookie), she's your sister.  Now you go and accept her friend request, because it's the right thing to do.  Now be a good boy, and maybe I'll make that sweet potato casserole you like so much when you come up next."  Yes, my mother cheats with her "hard bargaining".


Anyways, back to my point.  So someone might say Facebook isn't the best place to be airing one's political beliefs.  Maybe, maybe not.  The way I look at it is that it's my page, I'll say what I want.  If you don't like it, then don't read it.  Or chalk it up to me expressing myself, and move on to whatever it is about me that interests you.  God Forbid you have to look past one comment to find out what else might be going on in my life.  If anything, it's the serial posters that irritate me on Facebook.  You know, the ones who "like" every damn photo they see as they spend the next hour or so on Google images and sharing it to their page.  Of course, in that hour they often redeem themselves by finding one really funny picture that makes my hour that much better.  It usually involves bodily functions or sarcastic cats.  even if they don't find me squat to be interested in, and I spend 3 minutes continuously scrolling down the page to see what any of my other friends might say, I don't then threaten to "unfriend" them.  That's just immature and stupid if you ask me.

Now I know I find myself quite brilliant and could solve all the world's problems if you just let me make all the decisions.  Unfortunately, while the idea of a world full of more ME sounds great on the surface, the rest of the population seems to have the same self-adulation problem I have.  And I'm sure it will be later rather than sooner before they realize I'm the one who is actually right.  However, like everyone else, you are entitled to your wrong opinion.

Back to the politics.  The exchange bothered me, not because it was my sister the guy said this douche-y stuff too, but because he would say it at all.  Yes he has the same right to his opinion as anyone else.  But there is a thing called discretion, and another thing called social tact.  If he wanted to express his opinion on other people making politically charged statements, he should've done so on his page, and preferably in reaction to something someone said on HIS page.  Going to someone else's forum and then threatening to unfriend them over a mere difference of opinion on who our next political figurehead will be pretty much makes you a moron who's just looking to stir the pot of shit for your own sick twisted amusement.

I couldn't even care less if I agreed with your opinionations or political leanings, sometimes rude is just rude.  I have family with different political leanings and degrees of left and right, and many friends whose views I consider ultra fringe.  But I always adhere to the policy that they have their opinions and I'm more than happy to debate them, or listen to them, or politely agree to avoid the subject matter.  However, if its on THEIR Facebook page and I see it, well then that's on me to move on to whatever other posts they may or may not have and foster our relationship in the ways that work, and avoid whatever might be unpleasant.  

But maybe that's just me having all the right answers on how to do things...