Your Kingdom Up For Sale

Tata: Dan, why am I saving pop tops? I feel like a butt.

Dan: For the Ronald McDonald House on Somerset Street.

Tata: This is not one of your terrible pranks?

Dan: Noooo. Turns out recycling is one of their major funding sources.

Tata: That’s ridiculous.

Dan: Yep, but true.

Does your town have a Ronald McDonald House? Why not call them and ask if my brother-in-law is lying?

Chances Are Your Chances

The tiny town is staging a benefit for Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. I baked carrot cakes and even got over myself enough to make cream cheese frosting with orange juice, which is goddamn delicious and annoying. New Jersey and New York were badly damaged by the storm and recovery will take a very long time and a metric buttload of bake sales.

If you are of a mind to volunteer in New York City or donate money or supplies, please consider assisting the ferocious efforts of the Occupy at Occupy They are delivering food, heat, shelter and medical care to the people of Lower Manhattan and Queens and you can help.

Go When the Wind Blows

Comfort me, oh casserole.

Some time ago, I realized Sweetpea was constipated. If you have not shared a house with a constipated cat, the first thing you’d notice is that your house mysteriously smells like ass. You walk around. You wonder where that ass is. You wonder whose ass smells like that and if it’s your ass and if that turns out to be your ass you vow you will take several showers, simultaneously if possible. But it’s not you. The cat has cat poop that will not leave its cat butt even as the cat travels around your house, sitting on things.

Yes. That’s right. Every surface in your house now requires disinfection, but first you have to fix the cat.

I tried getting her to drink water and fed her tuna water. Nothing. I read up and discovered Metamucil could help. Last night, during the snow storm, I found myself holding six cans of chunk light tuna in water and staring at the empty grocery store shelf where Metamucil would be when my cell phone rang and the vet said hello and asked how Sweetpea was doing! I told him I was pretty desperate and he said, “Canned pumpkin. The cats like it. It’s a little sweet.” He also recommended a warm compress applied to the affected butt, though I couldn’t picture that. Sweetpea took a few small nibbles of canned pumpkin in tuna water sauce and sent it back to the kitchen. She had the same thing for breakfast. At work, I worried and hoped and worried through the day; when I got home, I could see nothing had changed. There were just two possibilities: I was going to moisten a cat’s butt or pay someone else to do it.

I hatched a plan I didn’t like.

I filled the bathtub with warm water and tossed in about a quarter cup of epsom salts. I gathered Sweetpea in my arms, marched up the stairs and dropped her into the tub. She started climbing up me until I grabbed her in just the right way to dangle the back third of the fifteen pound cat in warm bath water while I nuzzled her neck and she made a terrible noise that came to my ear as, “NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!” We stayed like this for a minute, then another, then another, then more. When she got the idea to climb the side of the tub with her back paws, it was only a matter of time before she tried to climb me and I would require an ambulance, so I put her on the bathmat and drained the tub. She dripped, mewed. She ran downstairs and cleaned herself off. I went to the grocery store, determined to think about something else and vegetables, pasta, cheeses fit the bill.

Tata: When I got back from the grocery store, I found two giant gobs of poop on the kitchen floor.

Pete: Oh good!

Thus, the casserole. I required comfort, bleach.

Fly Again And Learn To

Currently a bit stinky.

We have been sick a lot. We had a hurricane and days in the dark. People around us suffered big losses and some are still without power after 10 days. My sister Daria’s house on LBI is covered with a layer of foul-smlling filth. My son in law is being deployed to a desk job in Afghanistan in the spring. There was an earthquake in Guatemala today. Sweetpea got sick, got better and is sick again. I feel ground down and so tired I’m considering making a casserole. Yes. I said a casserole. That might really happen.