Twas The Night Before The Night Before The Night Before Christmas

This is the non-rhyming, progressively dissimilar, adult child version of the classic Christmas poem.

Twas The Night Before The Night Before The Night Before Christmas | TheFurFiles

As the title implies…
‘Twas the night before the night before the night before Christmas,
(Meaning it was Sunday night, like last night – Christmas is on Wednesday, you figure it out).
When all through the house, not a creature was stirring
Except for the odd pair of cats tear-assing down the hall
Which is typically what they do when everything is quiet.

The stockings were somewhere laying around,
And nobody really cared about Santa
Because they’d learned long ago that he doesn’t exist.
My husband was nestled all snug in his bed,
Visions of cars and computer gadgetry and what unnecessary item he was going to buy at Future Shop’s boxing day sale
Dancing around in his brain.

The kids were out celebrating the holidays
As young adults are sometimes want to do,
And I was expecting a few extra party-goers to end up on my couch downstairs.
It’s fine with me as long as no one barfs multiple times on the Berber.
As if I need that.
The cats do it enough already.

So I was at home, but I couldn’t sleep.
I blame that on peri-menopause, and the fact that I’m a worrier.
God knows what kind of trouble three young people can get into downtown.
One “Hey, watch where you’re going,”
Can turn into a stabbing (or worse, a shootout) these days.
And yeah, I know I exaggerate, but you can’t tell me it’s never happened.

Anyway, as I said, the house was relatively quiet,
When all of a sudden – from somewhere outside, perhaps near the garage – I heard a loud clatter.
Was it one of my kids home earlier than two? Not bloody likely.
Or was it a burglar entering my house at his leisure because
One of my kids has given our garage code to the wrong friend,
And now Johnny the deviant is coming for a visit?

Tightening my housecoat because – according to my husband – nobody wants to see my ugly old gramma nightie,
I went and peaked out the front window.
I knew in a moment that it was just the neighbour hauling in something from his car.
No excitement there, though I did hear him shout
(And remember, it was like midnight),
“Jesus Vera, why is it always me doing all the goddamn work?”
To which Vera answered, “Stuff a sock in it, Hank.”

Once that charming encounter was over,
I went back to the kitchen and sat down at my computer again.
Might as well creep some people on Facebook for a while, I figured.
It was too late to read a book.
My brain was beyond functioning at the “I have to put out effort and try to comprehend things” level,
I just needed to vegetate and let the world come at me in as an annoying and unimportant way as possible.
Facebook obliged.

Two seconds later, the cats were at it again, running around and accidentally knocking over a lamp,
Waking up my husband in the process who hollered from the distant cave of our bedroom,
“I have to fucking work tomorrow.”
Yes, sometimes cats DO sound like reindeer taking off.
If my husband could put them on top of the porch and tell them to “dash away”, he probably would.
“Quiet up there!” I yelled back. Nobody likes a complainer.

As expected, the kids arrived home around 2:30 a.m.
Surprisingly, everyone was in good spirits.
Nobody was completely obliterated – and by that I mean really super-duper drunk.
My car was in tact,
Which is important, because I have to go to the grocery store one more time before the “big day”,
To stock up on milk, and eggs, and all the other stuff that people inhale within seconds around here.
That’s how it is at our house, especially before Christmas.

Now get me some Mistletoe and a Scandinavian hunk in a pair of red and green boxers.
I could use a jump start.
Also, I made up that part about my neighbours.
They would never talk to each other that way.
That’s mainly our family.
Their names aren’t Hank and Vera either.

The end.

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This Is How Smart Cats Really Are

This Is How Smart Cats Really Are | TheFurFilesSome of you may already have thought of this, but I hadn’t, until yesterday when my husband pointed it out.

Cleo – our youngest furry baby – likes to play fetch. Lionel does as well, but not nearly as much.

Now Cleo, she’ll bring her pink mouse to you, and wait for you to throw it. When you do, she’ll run to get it, and then bring it right back – the first one or two times. After that, when you throw it, she’ll run down the hall, stop when she gets there, look at it, turn around, walk back half way, look at you – and if you don’t respond by getting up to get it yourself – she’ll just leave. The game is done.

Now, all this time, I’ve been thinking, “She must not be very smart. She can’t seem to bring it back every time. Maybe she just gets distracted. Or bored.”

Until yesterday, that is, when my husband made very this astute observation. Keep in mind that he’s not even the cat lover out of the two of us. “It’s almost like she’s trying to teach US how to fetch,” he said. “If she were teaching her babies, that’s probably what she’d do. She’d go after it, get it the first time – showing them how – and then on subsequent attempts, she’d leave it, thereby giving them a chance to try.”

“That makes total sense,” I said. I was amazed. It did seem quite plausible.

I knew cats (and animals were smart) but for some reason, I didn’t give her enough credit. Now if I could only figure out why Jackson – one of our older cats – chews at the baseboards. Maybe he’s missing something in his diet. Or maybe he’s trying to clean his teeth. Or maybe it’s a nervous habit – he IS that kind of cat. (Our housekeeper’s cat is on some sort of anti-anxiety drug, like cat Xanax. Maybe he needs something like that.) Or maybe it’s because he’s certifiably C-R-A-Z-Y, as my husband says. And I say to my husband – “You are the reason Jackson is the way he is. You give him a complex. He can sense that you don’t like him.”

“Well, he keeps chewing on my baseboards.” Fair enough.

He also tries to hump Cleo. She really doesn’t like it, and routinely swats him in the face. He hovers over me when I sleep as well, and sits and stares at the wall sometimes.

So there you have it, I have one Jeffrey Dahmer-esque cat (because he IS pretty cute), and three normal ones. I’m actually glad that paws can’t hold giant kitchen knives, or I think we might all be in trouble.

Note: from some of the articles that I’ve read, cats are listed only behind dolphins and chimps in terms of intelligence. Yes, cats ARE smarter than dogs. The cerebral cortex of a cat is greater and more complex in comparison, and it contains almost twice as many neurons. Why don’t cats come when they are called then? They haven’t been domesticated as long as dogs, and/or they are way too smart to be enslaved by us humans. I tend to think the latter.

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The Downside Of Being A Celebrity

My oldest son and I were standing in line at the grocery store the other night waiting to buy a few things. It was busy, and some guy two customers ahead of us was taking forever, paying with what seemed like nickels. Trying to pass the time, Zach picked up a People magazine. “Look what they do to celebrities.” He showed me a picture of Britney Spears – at least I think it was her. Whoever it was, she looked like she’d seen better days.

“When you are a famous singer, the same thing is going to happen to you.” I use the term “when” because you have to believe in order to make something happen. “Are you gonna be able to handle it?”

“I guess I’ll have to.” At this point, there is nothing that could dissuade him from pursuing a career in music. And like his bull-headed father, if he sets his mind to something, there’s usually no stopping him.

“You’d better get ready then,” I said, “because once you are a rock star, your life will be different. For one thing, I’ll be living in YOUR house instead of you living in mine. FYI, your dad and I like oceanfront. For another, people won’t ever leave you alone. You will be under the microscope. Paparazzi will follow you everywhere. Screaming fans will mob you when you go to Target. You’d better be prepared for the worst. And that People magazine, chances are, YOU will end up on the cover at some point, and it may or may not be to your benefit.”

I decided to show him what could happen. Yeah, I made this up…rockstar

“Oh my God,” he laughed when he saw this. “Where did you get that picture?”

“Don’t worry about where I got it. Just know that if I can get it, anyone can. Also, you can snicker about it all you want, but when you are calling me in the middle of the night to say that you are out of Xanax, and that you can’t handle all the stress of life anymore, don’t say that I didn’t warn you.”

“You worry too much, Mom.” He walked away, a bag of Maltesers in his hand. That’s his favourite candy.

“I wouldn’t eat those if I were you,” I called after him sarcastically.

As for his “I’m a worrier” accusation, he’s got me there. I’m a mother. What does he expect?

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