My wife is impossible.  She’s just so unreasonable.  She also scares me. Luckily, she is married to a man who uses reason, patience and kindness when dealing with her and our animals.  For months, she had been bugging me about getting a cat. Well, now we have one.  It’s the same old story all the time.  “Oooh….look at that cat.  It’s so cute.  I’ll take care of it, I promise.”  While she’s working three jobs, guess who will be taking care of it?  Yeah.  Exactly.  Me.  It burns and scratches my ass……quite literally.

Our cat, Otis, has his own personnel key to our house.  It’s actually a key to any room in our house.  We named him after my wife’s favorite character in The Andy Griffith Show, and he seems to be living up to his name.  Otis spends much of his time in his cell, or pantry number one after he’s had a snootful of catnip. He sleeps it off, receives a terrific breakfast from his Aunt B (my wife, Britt) and we wave him goodbye until the next weekend.  Sometimes, if he staggers into the pantry, he begins meowing uncontrollably.  We then read him a book by Dr. Seuss or sing him a song titled Cat Scratch Fever. This and these antics which follow are eerily similar to those exhibited by Otis Campbell on the A.G. Show.

Sometimes, he can’t find the pantry.  He may be passed out in the office, one of our closets, in the dishwasher, beneath the couch, or head first in one of our many urns occupied by former pets using their ashes as though they are his stadium’s many toilets.

Having never witnessed Otis Campbell throw a punch, I couldn’t tell if he was right or left handed.  Our Otis is definitely a southpaw, and I have the scars to prove it.  Sure, just like a champ, he’ll set you up with several right jabs and then surprise you with a vicious left claw.  My wife wonders why our blankets and pillow cases look like a crime scene in the morning.  DNA central.

Once, after we returned home from dinner, we found him riding around on our dog, a one hundred pound canine.  Otis weighs just over a pound.  This was after he found the key to the catnip cabinet.  Just like Barney Fife, I convinced my wife to allow me to provide some necessary form of rehabilitation.  After detoxing throughout the night, I started by giving him the renowned Sylvester the Cat Rorschach test.  After displaying a number of pictures, each response was the same.  “Tell me what you see on this piece of paper.”  Meow.  “How about this one?”  Meow.  The third one he just pissed on.  He looked at Britt with pleading eyes, and she laughingly dismissed him.  She thinks everything Otis does is funny.  She and Otis need to have their own act in Vaudeville.  I didn’t find it funny at all.

I did get back at him once.  Attempting to exercise on the treadmill, Otis came wobbling into the room.  He was fascinated by the treadmill.  With my legs moving, I remained stationary.  Instead of asking me, he just jumped on the treadmill, and after several cat rolls, went flying against the wall.  He hasn’t been on it since.  That made me laugh.

Ultimately, Otis is a pretty affable cat, and we can’t help but love him.  You have to, don’t you?  Just like you and your good for nothing, booger eating, pants pooping, can I borrow some money (borrow?….that’s a laugh) will you watch them for the night, soon to be spending time in the County Jail children.

My parents loved me.  Well, I’m pretty sure they did.



Flat Dance

MichaelFlatleyHis face is as flat as a pancake, and that’s all that is flat about our new, six week young kitten, Michael Flatley Gannon.

Performing a magnificent rendition of the “River Dance” on my face for three consecutive nights, his paws and claws are stamped all over my head.  He is smaller than one of my forearms, yet commands respect while monopolizing any and all of our rooms… dancing, sleeping, drinking and eating in each one.  He also manages to decide where his wet and dry food should remain, depending on his mood.  It’s the first and official Southern Ireland Monarch of our time.  Potatoes were so much easier.

Michael also finds comfort in my wife’s locks during what should be a peaceful slumber for both of us. Her head has become a comfortable nest between the hours of ten and three in the P.M. and the A.M.  It’s the first time I’ve felt grateful for losing my hair.

“River Dance” being beneath him, he refers to himself, with extreme arrogance, as “The Lord of the Dance”.  On a good day, you may refer to him as Mr. Flatley.  When irritated at two o’clock in the morning, it must be Lord Flatley, or simply, Lord.  Sir Flatley is also a name he enjoys after some properly aged bourbon.

Our veterinarian removes his white coat and bows to him before charging us with a significant fine for taking care of a cat who clearly CAN take care of himself. “Good morning, My Lord.”  Good grief.

As I write this, and I’m frustratingly serious, he continues to pounce on all my keys, thus making this silly piece much more difficult to write.  Fortunately, he hasn’t found the “publish” button.

It has now evolved to a 2016 Looney Tunes episode with actual humans and a futuristic animal attempting to withhold me from using my computer. All the claws and scars are non-fictional.  As the former actor, Elmer Fudd,  once said, “I hate that rabbit”,  I don’t think he did.  And, as for today, I don’t hate this cat.







Dancing with the Pirates

Convincing my wife to watch “Dancing with the Stars” with me the other evening caused her to look at me as though I’d finally started taking hallucinogenic drugs.  Of course, I don’t use drugs.  That still remains years and blocks down the path of my bumpy life. She was surprised, because I’d never made such a suggestion.  Late at night, it’s usually Seinfeld or Jaws putting us to sleep.

For years, my mother and one of my brothers have watched this dazzling show and find it entertaining, so I thought we’d give it a shot.  It was entertaining.  You put a pair of dancing boots on Geraldo Riviera, and it guarantees entertainment, in the most sinister of ways.   Not that I can dance, but if Geraldo’s partner just brought a carry on cardboard cutout through customs of him on stage, you wouldn’t have known the difference.  I don’t mind making fun of Geraldo.  I felt he owed me after making me suffer through three hours of mindless television regarding an Al Capone vault not providing any substance or resolution as to why we paid for television.

Years ago, when this delightful program began to air, my mother immediately took interest.  So, living in another city and speaking to her only once a week, I always wished to take interest in her leisurely activities.  Watching “Dancing with the Stars” and “Little House on the Prairie” was one of her activities.

Not giving a Yankee dime about the outcome of the dancers’ demise, I loved my mother’s commentary.  Similar to rooting for a baseball, football or basketball team you don’t give a crap about, you wish to support the ones you love, even if it involves dancing or soccer.  I wanted to root for her horse in this race.

“Who are you pulling for, mom?”

“I’m rooting for the girl with the wooden leg.”

With my sister laughing in the background, I replied with some distraction and incredulousness. “What?  Is this dancing with the stars, or dancing with the pirates?  Does she dance with an eye patch, and is the parrot on her shoulder taking lessons as well?”

Turns out, Paul McCartney’s ex wife was participating in the event, and I had no clue she had a wooden leg, or “prosthetic” now used in times following ancient Greece.  Loving my mother, unconditionally, I had to root for the lady with the wooden leg.