The Loudest Cat in Town

LazyCat

If you’re a cat lover, you probably looked at that picture and thought, “How sweet.” If you’re not one, you probably won’t read the rest of this post. And that’s okay. Ever since getting a dog to replace one of our two cats, I’ve come to appreciate the fact that cats are not as ideal as I’d previously thought.

Ashes, shown above in a recent pose, came from a feral background. Rescued and put up for adoption, this white oriental cat–he looked a bit like a Siamese cat then–had gray specks on his neck when he was young. Hence “Ashes.” As he’s grown older, those specks have disappeared.

But who’s going to rename a cat just because the name doesn’t fit anymore? At least the dog’s name–Happy–still fits. But we’re forever trying to refer to her (Happy) as him and to him (Ashes) as her.

But that has nothing to do with the “Loudest Cat in Town.”

I’m not sure when it started–probably soon after getting Happy, though–but Ashes started begging to be fed. I say “begging,” but “yowling” is a more accurate description. And he started yowling for breakfast anywhere from 4:00  a.m. on.

To appreciate our problem, you need to understand several things. We get up at 6:30 on weekdays, 7:30 on Sundays, and whenever on Saturdays. I have my wife’s permission to wake her by 9:00 since I’m always starving by then and she’s the breakfast cook on weekends.

The other thing you need to understand is the fact that Ashes is quite a hunk. Literally. Yes, his fur is thick, but he’s pretty weighty, and we’re determined not to let him get any bigger. Especially since he likes to use our stomachs as springboards getting from one place to another.

So here we were facing (or trying unsuccessfully to ignore) the yowling of a cat before we were ready to get up and to give him less food than he had been accustomed to. Not a great combination.

We finally changed his suppertime from 4:15 p.m. to 8:00. That helped some, since that meant he ought not to be nearly as hungry in the early morning. But it didn’t help enough. So we started giving him his breakfast food along with his supper meal. Two scoops of food rather than just one. That worked wonders.

Relatively.

But he still expected food at 6:30 when we gave Happy her breakfast, and he also wanted food at 4:15 when we fed Happy her evening meal. This fellow wanted it all!

When I say, “He wanted,” I mean he started meowing more loudly than any other cat I’ve ever heard. I’m not sure he doesn’t do it louder than Happy barks, and that’s really saying something.

We finally started giving him a small handful–I’m guilty of giving him more than Kathleen does–each time we feed Happy, and he seems to be satisfied with having two itsy-bitsy meals a day plus the one that’s double-sized.

And that’s the way things are now. Ashes jumps up on the bed and starts meowing closer to 6:30, but still earlier than anyone wants to get up and deal with it.

On weekends, whoever gets tiredest of listening to him gets up, feeds both animals, and then puts Happy out. Even with waiting for Happy to come back in, that doesn’t normally take more than ten minutes or so, and sometimes the person who gets up to feed the animals is able to get back to sleep.

In the evenings when Kathleen is crocheting and I’m reading or writing and soft music is playing in the background, we can count on Ashes to start his evening yowl anywhere from 6:55 on. Fortunately he does stop for a while, but not until he’s worn out our ears and our patience.

Why can’t this beautiful animal have a soft meow like a normal cat?

Oh, well. Things are as they are, and Kathleen assures me that having Ashes’ vocal cords removed would constitute animal cruelty. I’m not so sure.

What about you? Do you have any animal tales (tails?) you’d like to share in a comment?

<>

I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website. Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.

My newest novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Family Christian Stores. Go HERE for links to those places.

Best regards,
Roger

 

Farewell, Famous Dave’s

Alas, the 2014 Christmas season saw the passing of one of our favorite restaurants, Famous Dave’s across the street from the Regal Cinema at Virginia Center Commons.

We understand that the employees didn’t know about the closing until they arrived at work one day and read the note on the door. I’ll bet they weren’t any too happy. Not only to find themselves unemployed at the beginning of the new year, but to be told in such an impersonal and uncaring way.

My assumption is that the management didn’t have the guts to let his employees down gently and thoughtfully. Then again, who’s to say that he knew in time to do that? I could easily see him getting word from some out-of-town higher up sometime after closing on what turned out to be the final night. An out-of-town higher up who didn’t have the courage to treat the local manager properly.

I really enjoyed their grilled chicken sandwich, among other things. Kathleen normally had their ribs. I especially liked their jalapeno flavored mac ‘n’ cheese, and both of us loved the grilled pineapple they used to have on their menu.

One of my biggest regrets is we never sat at the single very tall table that offered special deals to anyone who sat there.

We didn’t get to know the servers at Famous Dave’s as well we’ve done at some of our other favorite eating places. Nonetheless, they always made us feel at home.

I’ll miss seeing those cute t-shirts. The only saying I can recall at the moment said, “PIG — Very important pig.” I wonder how many employees have shredded their t-shirts in anger.

That’s about all I have to say. We still have a good BBQ place nearby–Q Barbeque. But I can’t get my chicken sandwich there. Or my mac ‘n’ cheese. Or those grilled pineapple slices.

Have you lost a favorite restaurant–or maybe a favorite retail store? How did you feel when you learned of its closing? Please share a comment.

<>

I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

Tentative-Front-Cover

My new novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is out now. If you’re interested, please check it out at Amazon.

Best regards,
Roger

On Being Remembered

waxMusLastSupper

(Leonardo’s “Last Supper” as portrayed in the Wax Museum at Luray Caverns;
click on thumbnail to see a larger picture)

We all know we’re going to die some day. Right?

Wouldn’t it be neat if we could know exactly when so we could gather our friends and family around the night before for one last special meal? A real celebration. All of our favorite foods–no counting calories–and we’d get to talk all we wanted to about everything we wanted to talk about because this would be the last time we knew people would be listening to us.

And to make the occasion even more special, we would make this request: whenever this group of special people eats together again, let it be in remembrance of us.

If you’re a Christian–maybe even if you’re simply familiar with the New Testament–you might think this idea sounds familiar.

And well it should. It’s my best effort at describing “The Lord’s Supper”–also known as “Communion” and “The Last Supper.”

Jesus’s death was eminent. And even though he’d been teaching these disciples for three years, He realized that they hadn’t caught on to some of His most important teachings. Like the fact He would be raised from the grave again.

This was His last chance to speak to them and try to prepare them for what He was about to experience. And what they could ultimately expect.

But it wasn’t just a time of teaching. It was a time of fellowship. The Bible doesn’t say anything about the lighter side of the Last Supper, but I’ll bet there was some cutting up before things turned serious. After all, this was a celebration of the Passover, and the Passover was a joyous time, because it celebrated the Children of Israel’s survival when the Angel of Death killed the firstborn of all other living creatures in Egypt.

But the Last Supper turned serious. And when Jesus told his followers to think about Him whenever they ate that kind of meal together in the future, they probably didn’t understand that He wouldn’t be with them…not physically.

The things Jesus told His disciples would happen all came true, and when He rose from the grave and ultimately ascended to Heaven, that gave a whole new significance to the celebration of the Lord’s Supper through the ages.

In my church, it’s a very reverent time. And that’s appropriate in some ways.

But it should be joyous as well.

Please share a comment.

<>

I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” isn’t my only blog. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on “As I Come Singing”–check it out HERE. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

Be on the lookout for my next novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, which releases on November 25.

Best regards,
Roger