Okay boys and girls, it’s mid-December, the area is dotted with Salvation Army bell ringers, the little fat man with the long white beard and jolly “HO! HO! HO!” is being sighted everywhere, there’s streusel and wassail, fresh evergreen trees with lights and ornaments as families gather round the hearth and all of this can mean ONLY ONE THING:
Yes! You’re right! It means I wanna tell you MY TRUE HALLOWEEN STORY ABOUT MY LUCKY LITTLE BLACK CAT…
I’ve been meaning to share this story with you for some time (AND MAYBE I DID – 50,000 WORDS HERE. 50,000 WORDS THERE. IT’S EASY TO FORGET…) unfortunately it kept getting held hostage to my health, but tonight I noticed a tee shirt in a catalog emblazoned with the slogan: “My Favorite Breed: RESCUED!” and so tonight we’ll remedy my oversight. (And rest assured this story IS 100 percent TRUE!)
It’s no secret that my wife and I are “Cat People.” We have FOUR.
“Snugs” is our spayed “catnapped” oldest. She belonged to some former neighbors who insisted on letting her run loose and become a target for an owl, Red Tail Hawk or many other predators around and looking for a fast meal.
FAR TOO MANY folks move to the area picturing old episodes of Lassie (“Run girl! Be FREE!!!) only to encounter the harsh realities of the disappearance of a beloved pet. Some people DO SHOOT “STRAYS”(Re: Run beloved house pet! Be free.) We talked with the neighbors. It did no good.
It was when she showed up at my door at 4 a.m., in a blinding rainstorm, half the hair on her tail missing from a close call, sick as the proverbial dog and begging to get inside that they forfeited ownership. She was deathly sick for nearly five days as she lay on our couch, bundled warmly and hand fed as I used all my old Screamin’ Eagle medic tricks to nurse her back to health. She’s fat and sassy and doing well today.
“Bogey” is our neutered year-old, 99 percent “Bombay” cat (Glass finished coat black as the Ace of Spades with smoky, beautiful, insightful hooded eyes) rescued from the Teller County Animal Shelter. “Bog” is just one, long legged, fine boned, piece of Daddy Long Legs/Fred Astair dancing kittyhood! Amazingly tactile, whenever Bog finds a new surface, he pads and dances on it to demonstrate to us his highly considered opinion as to it’s future viability around the Parish household! (Re: What’s in this for ME???).
Bogey was chosen for TWO reasons: 1. Nancy and I are well aware that, due to “STUPIDstition” – BLACK CATS ARE GENERALLY THE LAST TO BE ADOPTED – IF THEY’RE ADOPTED AT ALL… and 2. We just had to admit that we’d seldom seen a kitten in a top hat, tails, spats with a cane leading the rest of the cats in “MINNIE the MOOCHER!” THIS l’il boy DID wanna go home with us and become “Bogey PARISH!”
And he DID exactly THAT!
Normally, the folks at the shelter do an excellent job of NAMING the young strays and kittens. In fact, we kept the names “Bogart” and “Raven” (RAVEN being the name of my OTHER l’il LUCKY BLACK CAT if I ever get on with the damn Halloween story. Yeah. Yeah. I know. I know…) However it didn’t take us long to figure out that our forth and youngest child (Re: RING TAILED TERROR now just past a year old) was DEFINITELY *NOT* A “LENA”!
After demonstrating feats of gymnastics here before unseen in all my 50 plus year (Re: But Mike, you LOOK SO DAMN YOUNG…) this little EIGHT WEEK OLD SPITFIRE that LITERALLY SCREAMED FOR US TO ADOPT HER came home and was RECHRISTENED “FURBY” PARISH. (Some of you may recognize the name as in “DON’T FEED THE CUTE, CUDDLY LITTLE FURRY CRITTER AFTER MIDNIGHT OR SHE’LL BECOME A DEMON…)
And so it came to pass. ‘Nuff said.
This, of course, leaves RAVEN. Going on four now, I’ve written about her some time ago in a serious effort to get some of you to open your hearts and homes to a new furry child.
It wasn’t long ago I was lying in bed, sick and dog tired when I was awakened by my gorgeous spayed, black Bombay sweetheart pawing at me. Groggily, I declined Raven’s perceived invitation to play and rolled over. Still, she continued pawing at me and began chattering which is almost unheard of from “MY BABY.”
Attempting to clear my head and sort heads from tails, I rolled over on my back and, as I tried to clear the sleep from my eyes, sensed an unusual movement. SOMETHING was DESCENDING FROM MY CEILING AND, SNAPPING AWAKE, I WAS ABLE TO IDENTIFY IT’S CLASSIC SHAPE BY THE NIGHTLIGHT.
Can you say “BIG ASS BLACK WIDOW!” boys and girls???
I didn’t have time to. With a fast slap I knocked it off it’s web strain and to the floor where I proceeded to grab a shoe and do my best, heartfelt imitation BEST HEARTFELT IMITATION OF JAMES BOND CUTTING LOOSE ON THE TARANTULA IN DR. NO!
WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM!!!
Now, is this some epic tale like The Odyssey or The Iliad? Well, only insofar as I’m STILL BEATING STAIN OF THE CARCASS OF THE DEADLY LITTLE B’STARD… WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM!!!
No, my friends, THIS is my Halloween tale to show you that “STUPIDstition” IS EXACTLY THAT: STUPID!!! My sweet, black “RESCUEE” MAY HAVE WELL SAVED MY LIFE! AND SHE CERTAINLY *KNEW* WHAT SHE WAS DOING AND REFUSING TO GIVE UP!
Sooooo… It’s CHRISTMAS folks. GOT ROOM FOR A NEW, FURRY CHILD??? PERHAPS A SPECIAL LITTLE *BLACK* ONE? THEY’LL REPAY YOUR LOVE AND KINDNESS EVERY SINGLE DAY!
Even if you can’t adopt, THE SHELTER WILL ALWAYS BE HAPPY TO TAKE YOUR TAX DEDUCTABLE DONATION! IT’S CHRISTMAS. SHARE PLEASE.
Altogether now: PARISH SAID IT. CHISEL IT IN STONE!
* * *
Before I go, I need to make a SPECIAL APOLOGY to two of MY ***FRIENDS*** AT WALGREENS. We were talking about my latest bout with P-NEW-MONIA and I stupidly tried to make a comparison (“Good people. Good jobs… … for meeting OTHER GOOD PEOPLE.) BUT STOPPED SHORT WHEN I REALIZED HOW BAD THE FIRST FOUR WORDS SOUNDED OUT OF CONTEXT. THERE’S NOTHING WORSE THAN A COMEDIAN THAT HAS TO EXPLAIN HIS JOKE AND I PLEAD “GUILTY” HERE AS THESE FOLKS ARE *DEFINITELY* MY FRIENDS AND NOT SIMPLY WORK RELATED! MEA CULPA!
IN CASE KENDRICK THE THUNDER STEALER STEALS MY THUNDER NEXT WEEK AND WRITES HIS COLUMN, MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL (!!!) AND I’D ESPECIALLY LIKE TO THANK ALL MY WELL WISHERS DURING MY RECENT ILLNESS AND ABSENCE! IT ALL MEANS A LOT TO ME! THANK YOU.