Just Chillin’ With My Friend

Mystery and Friend

I’ve been kind of dispirited and fed up lately, and in danger of posting nothing but gripes (people who bring their screaming children to the gym or worse the office where I get my massage goddammit, the idiots down the block last night starting Fourth of July early WHOOPEE) if I post anything at all. But sometimes I turn a corner in my house and see this kind of thing. So I hope people will forgive me for posting cat pictures and adding to the feline overload on the Internet.

Mystery knows where all the big cats like to hang.

Grace Comes By Stealth

1. Rainbow

Years ago I had a quaint dream, full of intensity, of which I remember virtually nothing except for crowds spilling into the streets, shouting “Rainbow! Rainbow!”

I thought of it today, taken by surprise as I walked into the gym under the television screens that I always say I hate. On every one something like the video on this page was playing live, only without the sound.

Photo from Kansas City Star

From kansascity.com

I still have my sign from the 1993 Gay Rights march, my late and ex husband identifying ourselves as “straight married suburban squares” promoting the acceptance of “domestic partnerships.” On account we figured that was all the country would see in our lifetimes. Leapfrogged right over that sucker, didn’t we?

Crying at weddings is traditional so I front-loaded a few sniffles there in front of the parallel pin stack leg press.

2. Old Beaux

I have alluded occasionally to my Nazi Ex. He was primed to become an ex on numerous counts, thirty-some years back, but finding out he had joined one of the country’s assorted white power groups was the last straw. He was one of the ones that the shooter in last week’s murder spree derided as “all talk,” but I have wondered glumly, off and on, what sort of damage he was doing with his above-average IQ and linguistic skills.

The news from Charleston made me go questing on Google again.

He got married last year. To a black lady.

I guess I have to call him my ex-Nazi ex now. I’ll never know when he got over it or what grace stole up on him, but it makes me wonder who the Charleston shooter would be in twenty years if he hadn’t been able to get his hands on that gun.

At least one person eventually walked away from insanity.

The Viking’s Tale

Longtime readers of my blog know Torvald well, but Marc-Andre over at Katzenworld suggested putting his whole story in one place. Here it is. For hardcore kitty Internet addicts, I’ve embedded links to several of the embarrassingly large number of posts I’ve written about him.

I am Torvald Einar Magnussen. That means the one who can vanquish Thor (he’s a very tough God), the first of men, son of the great. You mess with me.

Printer kitty

I was not always called Torvald. The first I can really remember, I lived with some people who had a little girl and she called me Pablo. People brought their broken-down cars to the back yard to get fixed. Very loudly. I didn’t mind the noise. A warrior never minds.

I did occasionally go exploring, since I am also an adventurer. My favorite place was only a few houses away, a big yard full of overgrown shrubbery and a vegetable garden that attracted lots of tasty little creatures. The man who came to work in the garden used to pick me up and put me in his lap when he stopped to rest.


And there was this lady. She would come out of the house and set down food and water dishes when she saw me. I wasn’t really that interested in the food – but then! I saw that inside a strange forcefield there were two other cats! I wanted to meet them so badly, I didn’t know whether to be happy or upset. All I knew is that it was fascinating. There were lots of adventures to have, so I didn’t come every day, but when I did the lady always put out a water dish and petted me. One day she took a flower on a long stalk and let me pretend it was a bird or mouse I could catch. Good practice.

A couple of summers went by and it was getting cool again. One day I followed the lady up to the door and she opened it and let me in. New places! Smells! It was so exciting it almost tired me out. I went back outside and she said “Torvald, you can come in whenever you like.”

Well, I liked that name. It would be beneath a cat or a warrior to come to his name, but I liked it. I came back several times in a row – even on a day when there was so much rain, the lady’s basement was full of water and my paws got wet! I could see the other cats’ paws under the door! I knew they would want to play with me!

And then one day, after a lot of fuss at my house, it was closed up and I couldn’t get in. No one came. All night and the next morning. Finally I went up to the lady’s house because I knew where she kept the food by the door, and pushed over the jar and pulled at the lid. The lady heard me and gave me food and I could tell she was surprised I ate so much.

A few more days went by. The house was still empty and no one came or went! Then – it was raining a little – I came up on the lady’s back steps and found a bowl of food, and while I was eating she picked me right up and took me inside! Next thing I knew I had visited an obnoxious place with steel tables, but she came and got me again at the end of the day, and put a collar around my neck and said my full name.  I think that is what warriors wear.


Now I lived with the two other cats. Really, I tried to be friends – I chased them everywhere and tried to have a good exciting fight! I don’t know why they were so scared all the time.

I had to stay downstairs with the staircase door closed. I was warm and had lots of food and toys and attention, but I was lonely and I used to sit at the door to the upstairs hoping they would come out and play.

And then one day another cat came to the window! Oh she was pretty! I knew it was a she because of how she was behaving.  We talked and talked. And a few days later the lady came in with a box that smelled like the steel table place, and out came the pretty tortie girl.

feigning innocence

feigning innocence

Well, I am a man and I knew what she needed. By the end of the day we were best friends. We still are, even if she never asked me to help her out like that again. (Well, sometimes I chase her and jump on her, but she knows I’m playing.)


Now I didn’t feel so bad about the other cats not wanting to be friends. But I still go up there if I can, no matter how they yell. I know they are warriors too. When more cats came to stay last fall (along with a bearded man who had a new name for me, “Dick”)  I was very very curious, but they act the same way! Why doesn’t anyone but my tortie friend want to be buddies?

One night not long after they came, I was on the screened porch looking out in the yard. It was dark and – something big was out there! My buddy and I stood up against the screen. The lady came to look too. I was so ready to fight, I went for the first thing I could reach, and – oh! I bit my lady and scratched her everywhere! I was so upset I didn’t know how to act. The lady was gone all night. When she came back I heard her say that I was not only a Viking but a berserker. I wasn’t myself for days, until she had a friend come to do something that made me feel calmer. “Animal communicator” was what I heard her called. That is not nearly as fine a name as Torvald, but she did help.

This spring, I heard the lady and the bearded man say that I was growing up and slowing down a little. Then one day  I started to feel a little tired. The next day I was more tired, and the next, I got up from my cat bed and fell down! I couldn’t get my breath. There was a lot of fuss. The next thing I knew I was in the steel table place again — for a whole night! A couple of days later they took me to another place that smelled about the same way, and I got looked at and turned over and checked until I was very tired of it! But I already felt better. The lady and her bearded friend were making me open my mouth and swallow a little pill and some nasty drops every day, and I can’t understand how that could help, but I think that is what did it. So I am as good as I can be about swallowing every time, even though I am a warrior and it is undignified.

They fuss over me a lot now and don’t let me on the porch when it’s hot. I don’t know why. I feel fine now. And I am still a mighty Viking.


Other Cool Videos Of The Week

1. Science Fiction Geek Moment

I owe this one to my follower and followee, Bookshelf Q. Battler, still recovering from his near-fatal encounter with a lightning infused toaster pastry. People, I could have told you: DON’T EAT JUNK FOOD. But do consider this film.

2. Ecumenical Dissonance Moment

I am a bit of an Albigensian myself — at least so far as the vegetarianism, and backdoor Celtic Paganism, and healing by the laying on of hands — so the Pope of Rome and I are unlikely to be good neighbors. But as Popes go, the current one kind of rocks, and this spoof trailer even more so:

Maybe it’s because the Engineer, who passed this on to me, is, well, that kind of Engineer. He wrangles solar panels. I love him because of lots of things [redacted], but not least because he is of that brotherhood that seeks to marry us to the Sun and its eternal grace.

Maybe it’s just my gym rat bloodstream. If only the bones of the earth manifested through flesh and sinew.

Sled And The Engineer Bash Bush

No, it’s not rude. Or political.


That used to be the American Box by the steps up to the kitchen door, which has been there since I moved into the house, stubbornly growing through the porch railings and harboring cardinals’ nests two years out of three. Over time it became a hulking mass of pokey foliage that forced you to list to port when you walked out to the vegetable garden and defied the electric clippers. Somehow, every time I trimmed it back, it ended up with a flat-top.  It was vegetation, which is good I guess, but it became a real pain in the ass.

This spring, for whatever reason, it just went tits up. Those few sprigs of green in the heap: that’s all that was left.

The Engineer and I knocked out the Box in an hour and a half, with a reciprocating electric saw out of his Santa-like bag of cordless tools. It is extremely fucking hot, sticky and bright out, and we emptied a gallon gym bottle and stood under the “Mist” setting of the garden hose sprayer about half way through. We are badassed. And saturated.

I gave up years ago asking David, my alleged gardener, to deal with things like this. If you say “David, you think you could knock out that dead arbor vitae along the back fence?” he will come back with something like “Well, I’d need to get my power saw over here. That’s awful big. I might need my helper. I guess I could do it. Sometime. Just let me know when you want me to do it.” (Didn’t I just ask?) The conversation would go on for half an hour and he would never name a date OR the price for the job. There are now three dead arbor vitae along the back fence.

Our work is cut out for us, but I think that will have to do for today.

You May Say I’m A Dreamer But I’m Not The Only One

Which is NOT one of the popular songs I like (see last post); it just seemed appropriate.

I just plugged in a monthly donation to Bernie Sanders, something I’ve never done for any presidential candidate.. Goddammit. He only says things I’ve been saying for years and says them loudly without an ass-covering retreat plan. If someone comes along who makes sense to me for a change, and he has the chops and experience, what else am I waiting for?