Monday, September 19, 2011

I think we have a mouse

Shortly after Mocha, our new kitty, came home, my husband Terry and I began to suspect we had a mouse in the house. Mocha sniffed and sniffed every corner looking for the furry intruder. We thought she had found the scent in the living room, but the trace vanished almost as quickly as it began.

We'd hear Mocha chasing something in the middle of the night. At first we thought it was greeblings, those invisible critters that send cats on midnight rips across the room. We flipped on the light about three in the morning, only to find the most innocent looking pussy cat on the floor at the foot of the bed.

We kept watching to see if we could find the mouse. After all, I didn't want to walk downstairs one morning and step on what remained. The more Mocha searched, the more we searched, the fewer traces of said tiny furry critter did we find. Mocha wondered if it were in her office bed. No, but she looked long and hard before she decided it hadn't invaded her hidey hole.

I was about to give up and declare the house mouse-free, when one morning I came down to the office in the basement earlier than usual. Before it could flee, I captured the mouse in a digital image. All I can say is, "Eeek, a mouse."

Monday, September 12, 2011

What's in a name?

Apparently, a lot, since it took us several days to decide on a name for our new kitty. Here's the tale of the naming conundrum.

When the kitty selected Terry as her forever male human, the shelter named her Stella. Her six bright orange kittens were all named for different types of cheeses, Cheddar, Edam, etc. I knew immediately I could not go through life yelling "Stella" like Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire. Just wasn't going to happen. I asked Terry what he wanted to name her.

"Spike." Well, that would be different. I don't know too many kitties named Spike. My girlfriend Karen Wrigley happened to call a couple of days after we brought her home. Karen is an animal communicator and gave me a reading. She said the kitty was too soft to be called Spike. This was during the time she was hiding in the ceiling over my home office. Karen told me she liked high places. No kidding.

We dumped Spike and kicked around Houdini, because she was an escape artist. Then, it was Cheshire, because she liked to vanish. Blondie came and went, as did Ginger.

Finally, we said she looked more like a cup of mocha coffee than anything else. She's fawn-colored with spots where her stripes would be if she were a tabby. Almost looks like a fawn-colored Ocicat. Mocha stuck. When she's doing her midnight greebling chases, she acts like she's had too much Mocha Java before bedtime. Nicknames are MJ and Mocha Java.

Karen was right about her being soft. She is. And now that she's settling in, she's with us most of the time. Still can be a boo-kitty when there is something new. She has to act scared, but it's all an act.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Generational Memories

Every generation has its seminal event, that moment in time where you always remember where you were when...

The Greatest Generation will never forget where it was on Pearl Harbor Day. Every living member can tell you what s/he was doing, what happened next, how many neighbors, family and friends went to the draft office on Monday following the attack.

The Baby Boomers know what happened on November 22, 1963. It remembers the horror of a young president murdered in front of his wife and the nation, the funeral procession, John-John saluting his father's coffin. We remember how we cried and wondered what had happened to our country and what would happen next.

The next generation remembers the Columbia shuttle disaster, as do previous generations. Our children can tell us what they were thinking when they watched the first teacher in space die and knew her students had just seen the same thing.

The current generation has 9/11. Ten years ago we stood as a nation, united by an attack on our basic value system. The "bad guys" struck out symbols of our power. We hung flags in front of our homes and dared them to do it again. The world stood with us and said, "Today we are all Americans."

I have flown a flag every day since the attack. My original 9/11 flag had to be retired when it became too ragged. It's replacement is nearing the end of its life as well. A new one waits in a drawer, knowing its call to duty will come.

What happened? The world hates us. We hate each other. We can't seem to agree on anything. We need to work together, but don't want to. We know how, but I think too many find it too much work to try and fix our problems.

Sigh. Can't we return to the unity and commonality of purpose we felt on Sept. 12, 2001?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Smooth Operator

Have all of you noticed the hypocritical stance our elected officials have been taking in the past week? I'm thinking of four natural events that have "encouraged" state officials holding out their hands for Federal handouts.

Let's start with Eric Cantor, not to be confused with Eddie Cantor. Although... Cantor did a pratfall recently. The Grinch has a verbal tic. If you ask him about Federal funds for anything, his response is to say we have to offset a dollar spent with a dollar removed from the budget. Including relief money for FEMA for hurricane and earthquake damage. For his own state. I guess no one told him that Obama called Governor McDonnell with an offer of a few billion for Hurricane Irene and earthquake damage. McDonnell took the money. Oops.

Rick Perry makes headlines about not wanting any Federal aid for anything. Part of his platform. Obama called him and offered aid to fight the fires and rebuild afterwards. Did that plank just get a little wobbly?

He's still waiting to hear from the governor of New Jersey. My bet? When the call comes, the governor be wanting the money. Ya think????

Is Obama a smooth operator or what? He reaches out to Virginia with Federal aid, thereby undermining Cantor. He reaches out to Perry, thereby undermining one of the larger planks of the tea party.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Schizophrenic No Longer

For a while now I've felt that this blog had a split personality. On the one side, I write a fair amount about writers, books I read, books I review and thoughts about what's it like to be an aspiring writer. As a result, I've attracted some followers of like mode.

On the other side, I write about politics, the world around us, and cats. When my calico was writing for herself, she was properly snarky, as only a calico-with-an-attitude can be. Took after her female human.

I decided to divide the blog. MadMaxisms remains political. It will often have a snarky voice, sometimes cranky, sometimes thoughtful.

The new blog is the writing blog. Called WriteNowRightNow, it contains book reviews, thoughts about writing and rewriting, a chronology of my efforts to get Mad Max 1 published.

Some of you may wish to follow only one blog. Others may wish to follow both. I hope you find something in each that gives you a view into the crazy workings of my mind.

And to begin MadMaxisms's more focused life, has anyone else noticed that Republican governors who loudly screamed that we need less government in Washington were the first to hold out their hands for FEMA funds? If this isn't an ideological about- face, what is? Everyone is against "big government" until they need a handout.