Tag Archives: pets

SuperKlutz and Other Nicknames

These are not what my family members call each other.
These are not what my family members call each other.

My family has an appalling habit: appalling nicknames.

When I was a kid, I had some nicknames that I didn’t mind so much. One was “Cubby,” after the little guy in the Mouseketeers.(1) As I got older and my character and personal traits became more evident, I acquired another one.

SuperKlutz.

I’m not saying the nickname was unwarranted. I was, after all, the child who gave myself a fat lip (2) the day before a ballet recital where we were all supposed to wear red lipstick.(3) I was the teen who managed, while trying to get out of the back seat of a four-door car, managed to land stretched out on the pavement with both feet still in the car.(4)

These things happened in the days before self-esteem was invented, of course. No one would refer to a child as “SuperKlutz” or “Stinkpot” nowadays. I hope.

The odd thing was, my entire family had appalling nicknames. My father habitually called my mother “Old Squaw,” which at the time was not considered politically incorrect. (5) And she didn’t mind. I don’t know what she called my father in private, but I bet it was appalling as well. My sister was “Fuss-budget.” Our family also contained an “Uncle Spud” and an “Aunt Pete.” (6)

So, whom do you think I married? A man whose usual nickname for me is “Old Boot.” I’m not even sure how that one got started. We also have incomprehensible-to-others nicknames for each other, such as “Doodle,” “Ler,” and “Thing.”(7) His family included “One-Eyed Uncle Francis,” who of course, had two eyes. No explanation was ever given for that, either.

Of course, we make fun of “normal” nicknames, calling each other “honey-kissie-lambie-pie” or “sugar-cake-darling-dumpling” until everyone around gags and needs a quick hit of insulin.

The thing is, I think that most families have their own private languages that no one outside understands. They may include nicknames for foods (10), cars (11), exes (12), friends (13), acquaintances (14), restaurants (15), body parts (16), and probably technology, TV shows, and toys, for all I know.

Most of our nicknames don’t get used outside the family. The fact that Dan calls me “Bunny” has until now been as big a secret as that I once belonged to a sorority. (17) Let’s keep it just between us, shall we?

 

(1) My sister was “Buddy.” I couldn’t help thinking that my father really wanted boys. Or wasn’t restrained by gender norms. Or both, I guess.

(2) By bonking a chair I was carrying into a screen door. Geez, did you think I punched myself?

(3) The ballet lessons were supposed to make me more graceful. See how well that worked?

(4) No seatbelt involved, either, in case you were wondering.

(5) For any number of reasons.

(6) The reasons for Pete’s nickname are lost in the mists of time. Her real name was Edna Mae, which, come to think of it, may have been the reason.

(7) He also calls me Bunny, Rabbit, Rabbi, Baby Orange (which he also calls one of the cats) (8), Scooter, Boomameter (9) and, in a throwback to our younger days, Old Mesa Knees.

(8) I’ve written before about our cats’ nicknames (http://wp.me/p4e9wS-8A). Some of them aren’t too flattering either, like Horrible Mr. Horrible Face.

(9) No. I have no idea what that means either. When asked, Dan says it is “something that measures boomas.”

(10) I had a recipe for a sweet baked good involving pastry crust, eggs, cream cheese, sugar, and optional fruit topping. My husband kept calling it “flan.” I told him that wasn’t the thing’s name. “What is it then?” he demanded. I was stumped. “Well, not flan!” I replied. “Not-flan” it has been ever since. After I thought it over, “Way-Too-Big Cheese Danish” would have been more accurate. But by then it was too late.

(11) “The Washing Machine” or “The Demon-Possessed Ventura.”

(12) “The Rotten Ex-Boyfriend Who Almost Ruined My Life,” to give a printable example.

(13) “Nearly Normal Beth,” “Jerk Boy,” “Michigan Dude.”

(14) “Fish-Face,” “Binky.”

(15) “Chateau Blanc,” “La Frisch,” “Waffle Ho.”

(16) General, like “wing-wing” or “gazongas,” or specific, like “throbbing purple-headed warrior” or “quivering love pudding.”

(17) I also used to go by Dusty. But never Dust Bunny, thank God.

Cat Visits From Beyond

First of all, let me say that I don’t believe in ghosts. I also don’t believe that dreams predict the future.

Still, when it comes to cats, spirits and dreams are definitely involved.

Whenever one of our cats dies, my husband and I take turns selecting the next cat – unless one simply shows up at our door and chooses us, which has been happening more and more lately. But if I’m the one to choose, how do I know when it’s time?

I’ve known plenty of people, including my mother and my mother-in-law, who, when a pet dies, swear they will never get another one. Unless they move into a small apartment that doesn’t allow pets – or requires an exorbitant fee for the right – they always do.

I don’t know how other people know when the time is right, but when it’s time for a new kitty, I have a cat dream that lets me know.

Once the cat was Shaker, a tuxedo cat we had for many years. Some time after she died I dreamed about her. She was sitting on the walkway in front of my grandmother’s house, looking just as beautiful and dignified as she did in life. She meowed, turned, and walked back up the sidewalk. I was happy to see her again. (I always am when dead friends visit me in dreams.) And I got the feeling that she was ready for her spirit to move on and make way for another cat in my heart and home.

Another time I dreamed of Chelsea, a black-and-white cat we lost to kidney failure. In the dream, she was curled up in a dresser drawer with assorted clothes – and five tiny kittens snuggled up to her, nursing. Real-life Chelsea was spayed (all our cats are neutered), so I remember thinking it was odd. But again, the message of the dream seemed to be that her visit was to reassure me that she was not alone in the afterlife, and that another kitten was to be welcomed.

Sometimes, however, phantom kitties appear in waking life.

Everyone who has owned cats has had the experience of seeing movement out of the corner of their eye and thinking for an instant that it’s a cat. But when you look around, there’s no cat there.

The strange part is that the half-seen cat is often not a cat that the person currently owns. It seems to be a cat from the past or future, or even an unknown cat, just visiting. Nor is it always just a figment of the imagination, a trick of vision. I have experienced standing still and feeling a cat brushing against the back of my leg. When I looked down, of course, again there was no cat present.

I think these “visitations” are caused by the cat energy that builds up in a house that has hosted felines. It gets tucked away in corners and closets, only appearing when you don’t expect it. I find these phantom kitties comforting, not scary. They are welcome in my house.

A friend of ours lived in a small apartment where he was not allowed to have pets. One day he told us that he would like to have a cat and we told him that his landlady could hardly object to a phantom cat. After a week or so, he told us that no phantom cat had appeared. “Well,” we said, “invite one in.”

“How do I do that?” he asked.

“Put out a mental call – roll out a spiritual welcome mat,” we said. If there’s a better way to describe it, I don’t know what it is.

So John put out a welcoming vibe directed at any spirit cats in the area. The next day, he told us, he saw some movement out of the corner of his eye – a cat he could never quite visualize but also could never ignore or deny. The spirit cat even moved with him when he went to a new apartment.

So are these really cats from beyond or tricks of the light? Wishes or fantasies of cats? Glitches and vagaries of human perception? The truth is, I don’t really care. These feline phenomena – whatever their source – comfort me and connect me with cat friends that I still love and badly miss. And that’s enough for me.

 

The Joy of Napping

Dibujo de una nia en la cama preparada para dormir, es de noche, se est tapando con una manta mientras sonrie

Robert Fulghum tells us that he learned everything he needed to know in kindergarten. I can’t go all the way with him on #1 – Share everything – especially when it comes to Facebook, but I’m a solid believer in #12 – Take a nap every afternoon. (Well, and #9 – Flush.)

I love naps – the sensual pleasure of snuggling into my bed in a cozy little nest of pillows, sheets and blankets; the quiet purr of the fan and the cat who perches on my hip; the knowledge that, for a time, I can let go of the cares of the day; the promise of renewed spirit and energy; the satisfaction of turning off my phone.

Two of the best ways that I know of improving my mood are having a meal and taking a nap. The one often follows closely on the other, a phenomenon I am told is called “postprandial torpor.” (I’ve often wished I could call in sick to work and claim that affliction. Or “rhinotillexomania.” They sound so serious. But if anyone at your workplace knows Latin, you’re busted.)

Naps, however, are part of the reason that I can no longer work regular hours in a regular office. I find that bosses get upset if you take the phrase “break room” too literally. In the past I’ve contemplated keeping a sleeping bag under my desk, but that would never work. Let’s face it – I snore. Prodigiously. Someone would be sure to notice, and object. When I was traveling with my mother, she used to beg me to let her get to sleep before I nodded off.

Fortunately, I work at home, so breaks and naps are entirely my own choice, except in case of deadlines. The transition from desk chair to bed is easy. I’m usually already wearing my jammies, and the commute is just up the stairs. (I can’t nap on the couch. It’s too uncomfortable. I used to be able to nap face down on an airline tray table. This was useful because the flight attendant, seeing me, would think I was dead and leave me alone for the rest of the flight for fear of alarming the other passengers.)

Unfortunately, I’m not able to take “cat naps” – a misnomer if I ever heard one. My cats sleep on average 18 hours a day, and invariably right where a human wants to walk or sit. One of my cats even snores – daintily, but audibly. And no, it’s not a purr. We’ve been thinking of getting a tiny CPAP machine for her, but we think she’d object to the mask. And cats have unpleasant ways of making their objections known. If you have a cat, you know what I mean.

But I digress. Short, 20-minute naps do me no good. They don’t refresh me at all. In fact, they leave me more muddle-headed than ever. But the real reason I can’t take short naps is that it often takes me 20 minutes or more, usually of reading, to fall asleep. Since that’s the case, it’s hardly worth sleeping less than an hour or two.

But some of the time, even two hours of napping doesn’t do the job. Hence I have invented the Mega-Nap, of at least four hours. The Mega-Napping doesn’t usually interfere with my nighttime sleep, either. On one memorable occasion I Mega-Napped for a good six hours, and woke at 9:30 p.m., just in time to go back to bed and sleep for another 10 hours, giving the cats a run for their snoozes. I also suffer from Nap Attacks, when I hit the wall – hard – and simply must nap, collapse into a heap, or bite someone’s head off. Napping is usually the wisest choice.

My husband naps differently. He can take 20-minute naps and get some benefit from them. Even the nine-minute snooze-button naps seem to do him some good. He can also fall asleep at will, which is severely annoying, especially if we’re having a fight. But he has occasionally been known to join me in a Mega-Nap. He has an excuse, however: He works third shift.

With apologies to Robert Fulghum, I do see one glaring difference between kindergarten naps and grown-up naps. Children resist them and resent them and get cranky when they have to take one. Adults seek them and savor them and get cranky if they can’t have one.

 

 

 

The Power of the Purr

My father hated cats – until he cared for Bijou.

His feelings toward cats had their roots in his childhood. Once his mother was bitten by a stray cat that she was trying to help. For that, my father held a grudge. Bijou changed his mind.

Bijou was a smallish tortoiseshell calico, my very first cat. I picked her out of a roomful of cats at the shelter because of her gentle demeanor and because her quiet ways didn’t seem to garner a lot of attention from the other prospective pet owners. Over the years she became a cuddlesome kitty who slept curled up in one of the curves of my body, behind my knees or snuggled by my waist, safe and cozy and sharing warmth.

When my husband and I went on our honeymoon, I asked my parents to look after Bijou. I knew my dad’s feelings about cats, but I felt sure he could at least give her food and water, if not warm up to and love on her as she liked.

My father had cancer – multiple myeloma – a particularly vicious form of bone cancer. It was hard for him to move about, so when he went to our house, he usually ensconced himself in the barrel-backed chair while my mother did the honors filling food and water bowls.

But then Bijou jumped up on his lap.

And purred.

She had been avoiding us a bit before we left, preferring to take up residence under the bed or behind the sofa. We thought it was just a normal reaction to all the confusion and chaos surrounding a wedding.

Actually, she had feline leukemia. She was isolating, as cats often do when they don’t feel well. Maybe the stress of the wedding preparations caused her disease to become active. Maybe it was just her time.

Whatever it was, it touched my father. He had never been one for cancer support groups with names like “Make Today Count.” But one small cat, purring her way through pain and illness that would ultimately defeat her reached him the way nothing else could.

Maybe he saw in her the tenacity in the face of suffering that he too would need. Maybe he read her purr as acceptance of her lot in life. Maybe he saw a cat with every reason to strike out at someone choosing instead to jump up and purr.

However she did it, Bijou changed his mind about cats.

Cats, etc.: The Grooming Salon

I do so love to watch cats grooming themselves. I find it hypnotic and soothing – the smooth play of muscles as they twist and stretch, the sensual splayed toes, the darting little pink tongue, the occasional glimpse of the cat’s nethers.

My husband does not find it nearly so soothing. That’s because Dushenka takes a pause (1) from grooming herself, she starts grooming him. This could keep her busy all day, since he has a lot to groom.

She usually starts with a brief lick to the nose, which I assume is to let him know what’s coming. Then she starts in on his beard.(2) When she’s had her fill of that, she moves on to his eyebrows, though she occasionally misses and grooms his forehead.

Whenever Dan’s shirtless, which is usual in summer and not unknown even in winter, she goes for his prodigious chest hair.(3) I have never seen her miss and accidentally lick his nipple, though I’m pretty sure if she did, he wouldn’t tell me. And I won’t even speculate about her grooming his nethers.(4) They may engage in these pursuits when I’m not around, for which I’m mostly thankful, but about which I’m perversely curious.

I remember a Robin Williams routine in which he said, “If you think cats are so clean, you go eat a can of tuna fish and lick yourself all over.” By that theory, my husband is coated with a thin layer of Super Supper and cat spit, which I must block from my mind when I hug him.

Dushenka occasionally gives my nose a lick, but that’s as far as she goes.(5) Cats in general find no pleasure in grooming me, although I once had a cat, Julia, who was irresistably drawn to roll on my head whenever I had my hair done at a salon. I think she was enamored of the coconut-scented mousse my stylist used, though I know of no of no other cat attracted to coconut.(6)

I also once knew a cat who, when I was sitting on a sofa, was drawn to my curly-permed ponytail.(7) But she did not slurp. She pounced, apparently believing that my ‘do was some sort of rodent or other cat toy.

The only time I experienced a lengthy cat-grooming attempt was when Dan rubbed catnip on my leg. (Thankfully, I was wearing jeans.) Lick, lick, slurp, slurp ensued, until I had a round, damp spot on my thigh.(8)

But ultimately, this post is not about cat spit, or tongue-prints, or even pants-licking. The take-away from this is: Cats groom their kittens. My husband’s mother, therefore, is the cat Dushenka, and he is her child. Please don’t tell the woman who birthed and raised him. Her claim has been challenged. And we all know what happens when you engage in a war of wills with a cat.

The cat wins.

Mama Dushenka and Her Baby
Mama Dushenka and Her Baby

(1) Yep. I went there. Tell me you’re surprised.
(2) Here’s a probably-not-real study that is nevertheless awesome.
“Cats were exposed to photographs of bearded men. The beards were of various sizes, shapes, and styles. The cats’ responses were recorded and analyzed […] 214 cats participated in the study. Three cats died during the study, due to causes unrelated to the bearded men. Fifteen cats gave birth while viewing the photographs.”
For the full story, see: http://www.shinyshiny.tv/2011/01/useful_scientific_research_cats_reacting_to_bearded_men.html
(3) I recently blogged about men’s chest hair, including Dan’s. See: https://janetcobur.wordpress.com/2015/06/14/what-belongs-o…st-if-anything/
(4) Except I just did, didn’t I?
(5) Of course my hair situation is unlike Dan’s. Thank goodness.
(6) Pumpkin, yes. And corn. Neither of which is usually featured in hair products.
(7) Hey. It was the 80s.
(8) Incidentally, I understand that cats’ tongue-prints are as unique as humans’ fingerprints. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that if you leave the butter out, you will find tiny but disgusting furrows in it from kitty’s tastebuds. I guess you could scrape off the affected area of butter, if you’re frugal, but I think most people would prefer to replace it. Especially if there are also little tell-tale hairs clinging to it.

Pets, etc.: Alternatives to Cats

I write a lot about cats. They are the most entertaining of animals, with the most befuddling actions, the most expressive facial and body language, and the most comforting presence. But we’ve had experiences with other sorts of pets too. They’re not as endlessly fascinating as cats, especially our new little guy, Toby, but here are a few stories so they (well, their owners, really)(1) don’t feel left out.

My husband is a cat person (and a dog person too), but he’s really responsible for most of the other kinds of pets who’ve lived with us. When we got married, he came with a set of hermit crabs that lived in a terrarium. They were a little disconcerting because they made odd clicking and scrabbling noises at night. Dan claimed they were constructing a secret missile base, and I can’t prove he was wrong.

That’s about all there is to say about hermit crabs. They’re really not all that interesting as pets go, though if they ever completed that missile base, I would have liked a tour.

Another terrarium-based acquisition was a hedgehog which he named Codger for his sparkling personality.(2) I believed Dan got him to punish me for taking a vacation to Michigan without inviting him along.(3)

On the internet hedgehogs are cute and wear adorable hats or curl up in muffin tins.(4) Codger was not adorable. He was a surly little bastard. His entire repertoire consisted of growling, snarling, and rearranging the furniture. He had a little hedgehog house and a ball to amuse himself with, but all he seemed to do was push them around.

Dan claimed that his spiky pet was so unlovable because he had not raised Codger from a baby. Apparently hedgehogs do better if you socialize them to humans when they’re young. I suggested that Dan try to interact with him, but Dan’s idea of interaction was poking him with a plastic fork. Dan explained that Codger had poked him enough times, so it was only fair.

Once our family included the hedgehog it became more difficult to find someone who would care for the animals if we went away for a few days. It’s relatively easy to find someone to feed and water and play with cats and dogs. It’s a little tougher to find someone who will feed a surly bastard live worms and clean out his habitat while threatened with poking.(5)

And now for the other most popular pet in America – dogs. Perhaps surprisingly, Dan and I both had dogs while growing up. Ours was really the family dog, not anyone’s personal dog. First there was Blackie, and then there was Bootsie.(6) They lived in the garage, exercised on a chain attached to the garage, and ate Gainesburgers. They saw the vet once a year for a rabies vaccination.

I know that nowadays this would be considered animal abuse.(7)

Dan and I once had a dog named Karma, a stray German shepherd mix.(8) We decided it would be karma if his owners found him and karma if they didn’t and we kept him. Hence the name.

Two of my favorite memories of Karma are the time he needed to go to the vet and we needed to provide a urine sample. Dan, always inventive, attached a glass jar to the end of a long stick and walked the dog, strategically placing the jar under Karma’s pizzle at the apropos moment. It worked beautifully.(9) My mother said that she would have paid to see that.

Karma’s other notable behavior was burying bones. You might think this is quite an ordinary thing for dogs to do, but Karma buried rawhide bones straight up and down, with one knobby end sticking up out of the ground, presumably so he could find it later. Our back yard looked like a rawhide graveyard full of tomb-bones.(10)

Our next, and current, dog is Bridget. She was a feral stray puppy that Dan rescued from his workplace when she was trapped and scheduled for extermination. We always tell people that her mother was a golden retriever and her father was a traveling salesman.

She never quite got over being feral. She prefers to live on our deck, where she can see into the house, but not have to interact with anyone inside.(11) (She has a dogloo with cozy blankets, a sun awning and a basement condo, which she hates, for icy weather.)

Dan tried walking her once, but when she saw another dog, she cowered and peed all over Dan’s shoe. We are the only people who can get near her.(12) Bridget once came within sniffing distance of Dan’s friend John, who was a master of the Zen technique of standing on the deck, smoking a cigarette, and Pretending There Is No Dog.

Bridget is getting old now, and has already had one operation for cancer.(13) When she goes, I don’t think we’ll get another dog, though of course that’s up to the universe. Karma, if you will.

What other pets might we have someday? I guess if I take another solo trip to Michigan, I’ll find out.

(1) Don’t get me started on whether we own our pets or they own us or they are family members or we are pet parents with fur babies and similar semantics. I would probably vote with Jackson Galaxy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson_Galaxy) that we are “pet guardians,” though I have been known to address various felines, even full-grown ones, as “Baby-cat.” Just not around people who have human children, unless I know them well.
(2) I would put a footnote here about pets resembling their owners – uh, guardians – but Dan wouldn’t appreciate it.
(3) I don’t quite know why I think a hedgehog is punishment for a solo vacation, but there you have it. I never said my thinking was always rational.
(4) It may or may not surprise you to learn that baked hedgehog was considered a delicacy by noted jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. We did not try this with Codger.
(5) In point of fact, Dan’s friend John was the only volunteer ever. I think they had snarling contests, or maybe decorating competitions. We had to supply the live worms, which I always liked to claim we got at the bugstore.
(6) Hey, we were kids at the time. Think of all the cats there are named Miss Kitty. I got better at naming later.
(7) Although I think the pendulum has swung a little too far the other way, now that we have refrigerated gourmet pet food and Kitty Caps toe covers.
(8) Mixed breeds now are just getting silly. “Labradoodle” is a funny word, but there is no earthly reason for a shih tzu-poodle cross, except someone wanted to call it a shitz-poo. (Which is actually pretty great when I think about it.)
(9) Okay. “Beautifully” isn’t quite the right word. Maybe “effectively.”
(10) Sorry. (Not really.)
(11) When the deck door is open a bit, she and the cats will play a round or two of “I’ve Got Your Ear.”
(12) Her ferocious-sounding bark scares off meter-readers, but if they come into the yard, she hides under the deck.
(13) We did have another pet once, a parakeet named J. Alfred Prufrock (see “The Bird Who Spoke Cat.” https://janetcobur.wordpress.com/2015/01/11/the-bird-who-spoke-cat/) We once got an operation for him when he was sick. Try to find a vet that will do that. There aren’t many.

The Bird Who Spoke Cat

My husband and I were strolling through the mall after having a lovely fish dinner with a glass of wine.1 We ended up at a Woolworth’s, which back then you could find in a mall.2 And once we were there, we browsed our way to the pet department.3

We stopped in front of the parakeet cage and gazed admiringly at the tiny flock. “Let’s get one,” Dan said.

“You’re forgetting that we have four cats,” I replied. “A parakeet would hardly be a snack for them.”

“We’ll hang its cage from a hook in the ceiling.” There was at that time no hook. Dan loves even the tiniest home improvement projects.

“I want the blue one. I’ve always wanted a blue parakeet. We could name him ‘Blue Boy.'”

“He could be a she. How would we know?”

“If he talks, he’s a boy,” I said confidently. “Mostly the males talk.” (I wasn’t sure about this, but I was betting on the fact that Dan didn’t know either.)

“I’d rather get the green and yellow one.”

“Blue.”

“Green.”

“Blue. How are we going to decide?”

Then we made one of our famous deals.

“Let me pick the bird, and you can name him,” said Dan.

“Anything I want?” I asked.

“Anything? Even J. Alfred Prufrock?”

“Yes. Even that.”4

So J. Alfred came home with us and lived safely in his cage near the ceiling.5 We tried to teach him to talk. “Hi. I’m Alfie,” we’d repeat to him. “Alfie-bird.”

We were also talking to the cats. Not that we expected them to repeat what we said, but we had interesting conversations nonetheless.

“Shaker, what’s a kitty do?”

“R-roww.”

“Yes, that’s right.”6

Eventually, Alfie started talking. But bird of very little brain that he was, he got a little mixed up. First he changed his name.

“Ralphie-bird,” he said. “Hi. I’m Ralphie.”

What could we do at that point? We changed his name to Ralph Waldo Emerson.

But that wasn’t the end of it. Oh, no.

Pretty soon he was saying, “Shaker-bird” and “R-roww.”7

Great. A parakeet with an identity crisis. And a cat that was hearing voices from above. From her natural prey, no less.

I could just imagine the little conversations they could have.

“R-roww.”

“R-roww.”

“R-roww.”

“R-roww.”

Pointless, boring conversations, but what can you expect from animals that will never master sign language? Sometimes Dan and I don’t do much better. After all, we were the ones who had pointless dialogues with the cat for the parakeet to overhear.

Come to think of it, I don’t really know if their conversations were pointless. They may have been plotting against us. But the cat was cool and never said a mumbling’ word.8

1. Okay, a couple of glasses of wine.
2. Woolworth’s is what was known as a five-and-ten-cent store. Kind of like a Dollar Store that mated with a Target store, only cheaper, though nothing there actually cost five or ten cents. Except maybe candy.
3. Back in the day, department stores had pet departments, usually stocked with only small, sickly pets like fish and turtles and parakeets.
4. Well, really, we were pretty sloshed. I don’t recommend buying a pet while drunk, but this turned out okay.
5. One of the cats, Maggie, made an ambitious climb up the drapes after him, but couldn’t figure out how to get from drape to cage and had to be rescued.
6. We weren’t always drunk. Sometimes we were just silly. Still are.
7. I was going to write that he also said, “Here, kitty, kitty,” but he didn’t. Also, it’s a very old, very bad joke.
8. H/t Hoyt Axton. Bonus points if you know where it’s from. Not you, huskiebear. I know you know.