Tag Archives: animals

Cats can’t sing either

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Old Hydrox has become a frequent singer in his dotage.  Jeanne described the ones happening several times per night lately as ‘annoying’.  And I haven’t found a way to discourage him doing it, nor thought of any explanation.

I tend to think he misses being around several cats, possibly [especially] Niaid, his litter-mate who went on permanent mouse patrol slightly over a year ago in Andrews, Texas.  We were all together 17 years, so I’d imagine if a cat’s capable of ‘missing’ another creature Niaid is one of his night songs.

On the other hand, it’s clear Shiva is a part of all this.  He’ll walk over and sit on the floor in front of the chair where she’s sleeping and begin the serenade until he runs out of lyrics.  Sometimes it’s Sweet Betsy from Pike, other times Otis Redding or Roy Orbison.  Fortunately that usually happens during the hours of daylight.

The night songs seem to be triggered by dreams, or by Shiva creeping through the living room where Hydrox and I bed down.  She has to go by here on the way to the litter box, a few laps of water, or to check out the food dishes.  And there’s no way she’s getting past here without the keen ears of Hydrox detecting it, head jerking around to stare.

Usually he’ll contemplate what he’s seen until she passes on her return trip.  Then he’ll jump to the floor and follow her with his immortal prose or a few stanzas of Pretty Woman Walk on By.  Or My Girl.

If he had a better command of English and had ever shown any signs of being susceptible to reasoned argument or persuasion I’d try it.  But a whispered 2:00 am yell at him only results in a brief pause and stare.  Getting up and chasing him around also only gets me back under the blankets with my teeth chattering and him carrying on where he left off.

Maybe I misinterpreting the song.  Hydrox might just be saying, “This getting old is hell.  I surely do miss ambition.”

Cyrano de Bergerac remembering the moon.

Old Jules


The futility of pessimism

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I swan, every time I get feeling low and remorseful, which I mostly don’t, I just can’t hold onto it.  Slips right between my fingers the way a broken egg gets away from a person.  Doesn’t even leave any particles of eggshell hanging around to try to pick away so’s to save the goo.

What I’m saying is I could get used to this.  Something awful.  Here I am, snow outside, me inside.  Jeanne never lets it get below 63 degrees F here in the house, which isn’t something I’ve experienced since sometime before Y2K.  And I’m having to count calories instead of just counting miniscule particles of sodium.

Heck, when I checked into the hospital here almost a year ago I weighed in at 145 lbs, and didn’t have an ounce of body fat.  Fasting before medical tests was agony.  And here I am at 190 pounds, being careful not to gain any more.  I figure I’m around 10 pounds heavier than is ideal for me.  But I’ll take it off gradually, or it will rot off if I croak.

I’m cooking a lot of salt-free stovetop bread, both for bun-type [hamburger-like] or somewhat cake-like.  Or pizza-like.  And no sodium or low sodium isn’t cramping my style one bit.  I can whip out curry fish, curry chicken, ginger beef, sauteed mushrooms, and more kinds of siamin than anyone ever heard of using mung-bean vermicelli and no sodium chicken or beef broth.

Jeanne found some extremely low-sodium Swiss cheese and I’ll confess I almost found myself wallowing in ecstacy with the first, pizza, then omelet that resulted soon thereafter.

Whip over to the double-sink with hot and cold running water, spang wash all the dirties quicker than I can tell about it.  Sheeze.

Here I am gazing out the window, Otis Redding playing on the gramaphone, Hydrox snoring on his wool old-man army blanket.  Shiva the cow cat nosing around finding things of interest under Jeanne’s Christmas tree, curling up on the ‘tree skirt’ [an item I never knew existed].

So here I am trying to work up a good pessimism but it escapes me.  Got an old Frederick Pohl novel [Far Shore of Time] about a third read.  Finished a pretty good biography of Captain Woodes Rogers, a surprisingly scholarly piece of work by David Cordingly.  Pirate Hunter of the Caribbean.  Thinking of passing it on to one of Jeanne’s sons, it’s so fun reading.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not falling into any pit of joy, getting snagged up by the trap of hope.  I’m just muddling along grateful as hell it’s so warm in here, watching it snow.

Old Jules

Flea circus, Portales, New Mexico circa 1955

Flea Circus. Torps Flea Circus Tivoli Copenhagen 1956

Hi readers.  I’d just about decided my memory played tricks.  Two years in a row I remember  the carnival at the Roosevelt County Fair having a flea circus a kid could see for a dime.  Vivid memory because I somehow accidently went into the tent next door where a woman in a bathing suit who had no arms was typing on a typewriter with her toes.

But I’ve told a lot of people who grew up in Portales at that time about the flea circus and none remember it.  Most think I just dreamed it up, or remembered wrongly, which can happen.

Only the reason they thought so, and the reason I’d begun to thnk so, was that I came to believe no such thing as a flea circus ever existed outside imaginations.

The magic of YouTube doesn’t prove a flea market came to town with the carnival in Portales, New Mexico circa 1956, but it proves beyond doubt it might have.

Secrets of the Flea Circus

Secrets of the Real Flea Circus Revealed! National Geographic (Professor Oddnaught)

Genuine Flea Circus

No shortage of flea circuses were making the rounds those days.

So all you people who went to school beside me and don’t remember attending the flea circus I, think there wasn’t one, I say, “Horsefeathers!”  If you hadn’t been spending all your money on the steam shovels and cotton candy you’d have seen it too.  Playing bingo with pieces of corn on a checkerboard never got anyone into a tent where a woman with no arms in a bathing suit typed with her toes.

Old Jules



Nation Horrified By Carolina Panthers’ Disturbingly Graphic Logo Redesign

Sports icons are evolving to better accommodate 21st Century residents
The Onion: Photo FinishSportsfootballUnsponsoredFeb 5, 2012
When the Confederate battle flags became unacceptable as a source of self-identity for Carolinians something was bound to replace them.

Jeanne arrives back in KC area fleeing Japanese nuclear attack on US west coast

Hi readers.  Hydrox and Ms. Shiva did Snoopy dances last night when Jeanne arrived back here.  She’d been the past couple of weeks climbing wet mountains and doing other things people do out there under the Japanese nuclear threat.  Although she didn’t say so to the cats, her arrival was timed in such a way as to suggest she came back fleeing the Japanese invasion of Hawaii.

Japan practices amphibious landing in Hawaii

It’s long been known, both by Japanese military planners and by US historians that WWII would have gone a lot differently if Japan had followed up the Pearl Harbor attack with an invasion of the island.  The recent reinterpretation of the post-WWII Japanese constitution allowing renewed military adventures by Japan requires absorbing lessons learned from WWII so they don’t make the same mistakes again.  Practice landings on Hawaii, and possibly later on areas of the US west coast not yet too heavily contaminated by radiation from Japanese nuclear plants will help assure that next time things will be different.

Anyway, Jeanne didn’t say anything about all this.  Her climbing of Mount Whatchallit, Ranier? etc etc etc went as well as could be expected.  She took plus/minus 2500 photographs, stayed various places, and despite the radiation, wasn’t all that anxious to return.

Today’s a new beginning returning to working two, count’em, two, jobs again.  Which evidently still weighs in better than radiation poisoning as a way to count off the days she has left in life.

The cats and I were glad to see her back, everything else being equal.

Old Jules

Don’t trust the vet to euthanize your terminally ill pets

Hi readers.  If that death penalty fiasco in Arizona didn’t teach anything else worth knowing, it taught that.  If Arizona State Department of Corrections took over the animal killing from the Humane Society the animals would all be dying of old age, getting healthier while everyone waited with bated breath for the final solution.

Thank goodness it was a human being they did that to instead of a cat.

Old Jules

Back in the game

hydrox june 2014

Hi readers.  Mr. Hydrox explained something for me I’d been wondering about a longish while.

Hydrox:  Meeeeeoooooww. Meeeeeoooooww. Meeeeeoooooww.

Me: Jeeze Hydrox.  Ain’t it a bit late for this crap?  Something bothering you?

Hydrox:  No.  I just got to thinking about things.  Missing Niaid.  All those Y2K chickens and that cabin.  Mehitabel.  Tabby and that mountain place we used to live.  All I’ve got now is this other cat here, Shiva.  You.  And that woman who lives here with Shiva.

Me:  Well you do have that.  You’ve got to live for the moment.

Hydrox: I’m not asking for any of that cheap tripe philosopy.  You asked why I was weeping aloud and I told you.

Me:  I’m glad you did, amigo.  I was afraid you were getting sick again.

Hydrox:  So where’s that woman who lives here?  I haven’t seen her for a couple of days?

Me:  She’s off somewhere else, Hydrox.  It’s just you, Shiva and me for the next couple of weeks.

 Hydrox:  So I can meoooow as much as I want and nobody’s going to be kept awake?

Me:  I’ll sleep right through it.  You know that.  And who cares what Shiva thinks?  She used to be a good cow cat, earned her keep.  Nowadays she’s worthless.  I don’t know why Jeanne keeps her around.

Hydrox:  Yeah, but I’m glad she’s here anyway.  This place almost echoes.  I’d go crazy if there weren’t at least one more cat around.

Me:  You’ve got it then, amigo.  I’ll keep feeding her so long as the food holds out.  Maybe Jeanne will pick up some more when she gets back.

Old Jules