Thursday, November 09, 2006

What I Think About While Trying to Sleep at Night

From last night's nocturnal musings...

  1. How many other people out there are willing to tolerate the razor sharp knives attached to their cat's feet digging into their arms while they're trying to fall asleep so that the cat will stay there and purr on them? And how many of those feel that it's their own fault for being negligent in keeping up their kitty's manicures?
  2. I then thought about what my dad would say if he thought I was actually giving my cats manicures. My dad is a good ol' dog, scruff up the fur, rough and tumble play kind of a guy, whom I think would say that cathood should involve predominantly sitting in the garden in the sun, or, if a favored black cat, sitting spookily next to a carved and lit pumpkin after dark around Halloween. Curling up on your lap, knives sheathed, and staying put in front of the woodstove during the winter. I can't find much fault with this interpretation. Although I think my cats would beg to differ. The dog would not.
  3. Then moving back to the manicures, I thought, it wouldn't be so bad if they weren't such lousy tippers. And they keep running up a tab with no sign of payment in sight. So I wondered what my cats would use for currency. Dead lizards. Twist ties. The plastic tabs from gallon-jugs of milk. In fact, in hindsight, I wonder if that's what Lita was trying to do all those years we kept finding all her milk tabs collected in Dylan's right shoe every morning when we lived in Hamilton, and sometimes in Philly. Always the right shoe. Never the left. She was trying to pay her debt to our little society and we just laughed at her. Does that make the cabinet under which I found 27 milk tabs when we moved from Philly her bank?
  4. Moving right along, how can you work in a medical setting with people dying of lung cancer and remain a smoker? Then, in my equivocal way, I wondered if I would be able to give up chocolate/carbs/sugars if proved to be life threatening. In all seriousness, I do feel I have some level of psychological addiction. There's obesity, of course. But I'm not remotely obese and I exercise, so that's not exactly an imminent threat. And smoking is harmful to everyone. Not everyone struggles with their weight and keeping food in moderation. Some people handle it just fine and make it harder for the rest of us who watch everyone else eating the foods we're trying to avoid. So you'd think that would make quitting smoking easier. But you also have to consider that even a little bit of smoking can be a huge downfall for someone trying to quit. A little bit of chocolate never hurt anyone. But what if it did? What if it were like poison? "If only she hadn't indulged in that one square, she would have lived." One of the best compliments I've ever received from my best friend was when she said she admired how I always look at both sides of something and try to see things from the other's point-of-view. Which puts me in mind of something my boss said a few weeks ago and which I've since been thinking about constantly: our biggest strengths are our biggest weaknesses and vice versa. Hence my rambling.
  5. I've noticed that dogs are usually portrayed in media as "talking" with one-word/phrase vocabularies. For instance, in Over the Hedge the dog says only "Play!"; in a movie several years ago (was it Dr. Dolittle maybe?), the dog had a monologue that went something like, "Give me the ball! I want the ball! Throw the ball! The ball, the ball, the ball!!!" And I recently read a magazine article in which a woman imagined how an interview would go with her dog, could he talk. His consistent and somewhat existential answer was always: squirrel (What do you dream about? Squirrel. What's the meaning of life? Squirrel. What could we humans do that would really make you happy? Squirrel.--You get the picture.). I fell asleep imagining what Chewy's inner monologue consists of and settled on something like, "Out! Okay, no, in. Oh, but out! Hmmm, I think I meant in. No, okay, this time, really, out. Oh, but now you're in. But the cat's out! And my food is in. Out to pee, please. And in. Out, need fresh air. How I love in! Same old, better go out. Property's secure, let me in." He could go on. I dreamt of doggy doors.

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