Recommended wine for today’s entry: Columbia Crest Two Vines chardonnay. I tried this recently and am a fan. It received an 86 “Best Buy” designation from Wine Enthusiast; the Washington state winery’s Web site says of the 2006, “lighter-styled Chardonnay offers fruit-forward apple and melon aromas with hints of lemon zest and vanilla. Lush fruit flavors are joined by creaminess on the palate and followed by a lingering, yet crisp finish.” Easy to find and I believe it was in the $8-$10 range.
As my loyal readers know, I have 8 cats and 2 dogs. We didn’t mean to have 8 cats — four of them are products of a (formerly) feral colony that we trapped (ourselves) and spayed (not ourselves).
Illustrating our charming youthful naivete (we were only in our 30s), we thought someone would actually adopt these cats whom we presented to our friends, flipping and hissing and clawing at the cage. So, in an effort to not become attached, we offered them sterile names: Blackie, Blackie-Brownie, Blackie Baby, Chrissy and Hissy. Hissy for obvious reasons, and Chrissy because she, like Blackie, was all black, but that name was already taken. So we went for the rhyme with Hissy.
They were, amazingly, all females, which fortunately cost much more than males to have fixed. Excellent. Hissy, against all odds (as she was aptly named), tamed pretty easily and was adopted and lives on Lakeshore Boulevard. Her name is now Missy.
The other four? Well, because for some reason people opted to take the cute, cuddly little kitties at the shelter rather than ones who, when scooped up from the cage, imbedded their cute little paws and sharp little fangs deep into the scooper’s arm, they all live in my house, along with their girlfriends Meghan and Huckleberry, other adoptees. Oh, and Leroy — yep, a chick too– who came with this house when we moved. And Anastasia, the male (our inability to discern kitty gender has obviously led to significant confusion), who joined Leroy and the possum in the garage and sprays on anything within a foot of the floor.
So the count is: 6 cats inside and 2 in the garage. Plus 2 dogs who appear deceivingly normal. And possum.
If you were to observe this house for an hour, here’s what you’d see:
Chrissy creeping out of the laundry room with a sock hanging from her mouth, crying loudly and plaintively. If you approach quietly, you may round the corner just in time to see her humping the dirty sock on the bathroom floor;
Tate, the golden retriever mix (really he’s just a yellow dog), emitting a high-pitch whine as he paces in the hall. This is because he has to be escorted through doors — we don’t know what caused this, but it’s like he expects Cato (Pink Panther’s sidekick) to spring at him any time;
Baby weaving in and out of whatever human’s legs she can find, rubbing against shins and purring loudly, enticing the person to bend over and pet her so that she can claw a four-track line down their bare arm;
Brownie clawing at her own face, assuring her place in the Guiness Book of Wound Records as
the cat with longest-oozing spot on her face;
Blackie, who has crossed and ulcerated eyes, walking into walls and taking the occasional kitty tumble down the stairs;
Meghan, the bulimic, eating as much 9 Lives as her body will allow, then seeking an official document on which to redeposit it. In the unlikely event no one has left a passport or paycheck on the counter, suede purses and shoes are the second choice;
Huckleberry, despondent over her favorite human returning to college, pulling all the hair out of the underside of her body. She is now tabby from above, Mexican hairless from below; and
Bella, the black Lab who can’t poop without her Frisbee in her mouth, refusing to put any weight on her surgically repaired kneecap, which, $1500 later, has been deemed to be “sound” and “functioning,” yet she gets up as if she were lifting a Dodge Durango on her butt.
In the garage, except for the smell of Anastasia‘s spray, Leroy‘s gloppy eyes (an aftereffect of the nasty fungal infection in her nose that forced me to take steam baths with the cat three times a day for nearly a month) and oh, yeah, possum, everything is status quo.
Well, no doubt you are thinking, “What a hell hole!” “Isn’t that disgusting?” and “Who is this — Ellie Mae Clampett?” and you would be right, pitying me, especially on nights when I need to go somewhere and the possum won’t budge from the top step of the garage, so I have to go out the back and around to get to my car.
But I have found a way to parlay my plight into some pretty significant cash. As Randy would say,
YO DAWG — CHECK IT OUT:
I am going to film a reality show here: REAL WORLD ON ALL FOURS. I think the name would attract any number of sick, lonely people with remote controls and no friends.
Here is the trailer I’ve written (use your deep voice with excess inflection):
Can six catty females exist in one home without the claws coming out? Will Chrissy ever find love outside of the laundry room?
Has Blackie’s abysmal eyesight doomed her to a life of unrelenting headaches and can anyone convince Brownie to stop cutting herself? Will Huckleberry, buoyed by the fact that her best friend will return this summer, give up the Brazilian wax look?
Will Meghan win her battle with bulimia and will the vomit stain on the college applications kill her housemate’s chances for success? Can Bella recover from the physical and emotional scars of her surgery?
You’ll certainly want to know how Tate, the man of the house, fares when he confronts the demons on the other side of the door.
Tune in next week to … REAL WORLD ON ALL FOURS.
I’m looking for sponsors. I’m thinking allergy meds … my husband and children will do testimonials for product.