Monday, December 24, 2012

My Christmas Tree Post

This is my last post of the current year.

I told my human mom that I want to send Christmas greetings to all my kitty friends, but I need her help. I want to tell you about my Christmas tree.

I know many of my friends think the Christmas tree was put up so that they can play with all the shiny ornaments, the lights, the tinsel garlands and the bows. Not me. The tree is there for me to sleep under.

Don't get me wrong. I pawed at that little bell, but it didn't ring? What good's a bell if it doesn't ring. So, on my first trip toward the tree, I lay partly on the green rug, partly on the white "snow." This was after I took a thorough tour of the tree and sniffed the toys in the sleigh.

Once I was sure there was nothing that would hurt me, I curled up on the fake snow. It's very comfortable here. I can watch what is going on without worrying that I'll get under someone's feet. My mom can be very clumsy at times. Even when she watches out for me, I can circle around behind her. Then she steps on me. I squeal and earn plenty of pats and hugs. I'm never hurt, but I don't want her to know that. I'd miss my hugs and pats.

Now that the tree is mine, I can move deeper under it. By now, I'm at home and sound asleep, as opposed to the cat naps above. If you look closely, you can see I wasn't really asleep. No more fooling around, It was time for a serious nap. I usually stay under the tree for a couple of hours. Maybe longer. I always sleep next to the little sleigh. The toys keep me company. They don't come out to play until after dark. My mom and dad wonder why I'm so noisy about four in the morning. One of the little bears in the sleigh is quite a character. He likes to tweak my tail. I don't find that funny, so I chase him.

So after my middle-of-the-night romps, I have to retreat to the safety of my tree.

I wish you all a very Meowry Catsmess and a Happy New Year.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Not My Christmas Tree Post

Warning! I'm a very pissed  off kitty. This post was supposed to be about my Christmas tree, but Bruiser ruined it. Do you see that bare patch of my back? Do you? There's a smaller one on my right hind leg, too.

I tangled with the feral cat that hangs out across the street. We call him Bruiser because he has no manners and is very mean. He had the audacity to walk onto my driveway. I warned him not to come any closer. I wanted him to go home. Much hissing and laid back ears. He ignored me. He thought this was his property, so he jumped me. He's so much bigger than I am. I held my ground as long as I could, only getting a tiny nick in one ear. When he attacked again, I ran off. I'm faster than he is, but he was too close. He got claws in my back and leg.

I was all right for a few days. My human mother dressed my wounds with something that stung and smelled bad. I thought I'd heal. I spent a couple of days in the house (my choice) before I went outside again. I started feeling bad about the time the wounds healed. My body ached. I ate and drank normally, but I didn't have any energy. Finally, my human parents really looked at my body. Even though I get a good grooming every day, the lump on my spine came on over night.

I didn't fight too hard when my mother put me in the carrier. I knew the kitty doctor would make me feel better. What I hadn't figured on was him shaving me. I mean, it's so humiliating to have a bald spot. And right before the holidays. Anyway, I had something called an abscess. The kitty doctor drained it. Boy, did it smell bad. Now, I'm almost healed but it's going to be well into next year before my furs grow back. For now, I'm bare with a bit of stubble growing in.

I don't want to go to any Christmas parties because I look awful. I can only find solace in my food dish.

Sign. I hope you don't get any boo boos this holiday season.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Serendipity, Facebook and One BFF

Last week I had one of those experiences that only come with being a Facebook user. And a blog reader.

The whole thing started back in sixth grade when I met my best friend forever, Curly Pam. We went through junior high and high school, undergraduate years at UCLA and into and beyond graduate school. Thick as thieves, we promised to be best friends. And we were, until we grew apart. I came to think that Curly Pam was meant to be my best friend for those years, but who was not meant to come into the future with me. Still, I never forgot her. Our paths crossed about every few years when we'd find an old address book and reach out with a letter. Until about ten years ago when the letters ceased. The last one came back, undelivered and undeliverable.

I wondered what happened to her. Had she died? Did she no longer want to correspond with a friend from the past who wasn't enough of a friend in the present or future? The last letter I had was from Fairbanks where she was living with her bush pilot husband, Jay. Had their plane crashed?

That brings us to the present. I love The Blood-Red Pencil, a blog written by a group of writers on a wide variety of topics. One entry was a wonderful review/discussion about a Western writer named Slim Randles. Can there be a better name for a Western writer?

Slim Randles? I knew a Slim Randles and his younger brother Bob Randles back at UCLA when dinosaurs walked the earth and dirt was young. I clicked the links and read Slim's bio. Too many touch points with what I remembered about my friend's brother. I asked the blog writer what she knew about Slim, but she didn't know if he was from Southern California or not.

I found Slim on Facebook and sent him a message. Within minutes, he responded that he was indeed THAT Slim Randles and could put me in touch with his brother. This would not have happened if Facebook didn't let these links come together.

Slim and Bob both married Pams. Slim married Red Pam back in the the late '60s, moved to Alaska and homesteaded out on the Yukon River. Bob married Curly Pam, my grade school friend, back it the late '60s. They didn't move to Alaska until a few years later. In time, both Randles brothers divorced their respective Pams.

My Pam, Curly Pam, stayed in Alaska and eventually married her bush pilot, Jay. After the birth of their son, I lost touch. We moved on with our respective lives.

So, why did it hurt so much to know that Curly Pam died from cancer this year? Because my husband and I didn't get up to Fairbanks where Curly Pam and Jay lived two years ago when we went to Alaska. Because I could have been a better friend and written more often.

Upon reflection, and news from Slim and Bob, I think my friendship with Curly Pam was meant to lapse. I miss knowing she is no longer of this world. I remember growing up together. And I rue not being a good enough friend to grow old with her.

I am so grateful to Maryann Miller for writing her column on Slim. After all, who could forget that name? I didn't and now I have answers to many unanswered questions. Thank you, Maryann, for helping me close a door to part of my past.