Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"MATCHES MAN"



Animals in a home can be a blessing and a curse. We have two cats; an evil, black & white tom cat (Nike) who reminds me of Osama, and a mild-mannered grey cat (Tofie) who reminds me of a sick, spoiled teenager.

We did not ask for either cat. Nike was an orphan in a box, found by my daughter when he was about 3 weeks old. We had to purchase a special bottle and formula to feed him. In the beginning, after being fed, he would lay on his back with a swollen kitten belly and eyes closed in contentment. It was only later that he turned evil.

Tofie was found at a family gathering in Coquille, Oregon. We found out later that the neighbor boy in Coquille had been mistreating her. Consequently she ran away and was found by my nephew Andrew on the front lawn of my parent’s home. We ended up taking her home to Portland, since the other family members were not in a position to own another pet.

Tofie is not evil, but she does evil things. By that, I mean she does not intentionally throw up on the carpet three times a week after eating a bowl of dry cat food, and running like a bandit when we attempt to catch her between retches to toss her out the front door. We have taken her to the vet, and are currently feeding her hair ball formula and trying to limit her intake, so please don’t accuse us of cat abuse. Her favorite thing is to jump on someone and “make biscuits” on their stomach. Except for the vomit, she is a good cat.

Nike is evil. He reads the daily comics and studies Bucky the cat in great detail. He practices bad thinking and doesn’t care what you think. We had him fixed years ago, and I don’t think he has ever forgiven us. To put it bluntly, he is not a Christian. He daydreams of taking flying lessons and crashing large planes into tall buildings. Need I say more?

We also have a black and white Boston Terrier. Her name is Pekah Boo. Normally, a female Boston should weigh in at about 18 pounds. Pekah is a hefty 40 pounds. Needless to say, she is strong, like the women in Minnesota. However, unlike the women of Minnesota, she cannot handle the cold very well, and would not survive even one day outside in the winter. She lives in the house and has access to the outside through a doggie door that she can barely squeeze through. We have to lay down old bath towels when it rains. Paw prints have a way of showing up on a wood floor. We have two animal houses in the backyard. Both are heated by an electric light. The cats love it, but Pekah is afraid to go in either house. I have never met a dog that is afraid to enter a dog house. It doesn’t make sense. I live in a human house, and I’m not afraid to enter my house. Perhaps she thinks she is human.

Another unusual trait Pekah has is a lisp. She tries, but cannot talk correctly. “Bad thing” becomes “bad ting.” “Love you” becomes “dove-oo.” I normally wouldn’t know this, but Lin is the dog interpreter. Otherwise, I wouldn’t know when Pekah is sad or happy, or wants to go to the office for the morning. Lin tells me when Pekah wants to gorge out on a bowl of leftover macaroni and cheese, or a pile of chicken bones. I have no idea what the dog is thinking.

However, when it comes to the hard things, I step up to the plate. Pekah sleeps on the floor by my side of the bed. It is my job to cover her up at night when Lin pokes me. Pekah tells her to poke me and do my job. I also am the Matches Man. I keep a little book of matches on my nightstand for those special evenings following her overindulgence of wieners or a large ham bone. It is not unusual to be awakened out of a sound sleep. I imagine it is somewhat like putting smelling salts under the nose of a person that is unconscious and near death. I know that if it ever happens when camping, I would bang my head on the ceiling of the camper. There isn’t a lot of head room. Thankfully, that has never happened. At home, however, I have on occasion, sat straight up in the middle of the night, with only one thought—to find the matches. The smell always hits me first, and by the time it drifts over to Lin she is gagging as well. My groping in the dark usually knocks my cell phone or glasses onto the dog below. She is sleeping soundly, of course, because a dog never seems to be aware of flatulence. She looks at me quite perturbed for disturbing her lovely dream.

Eventually, the blessed smoke fills the room and our gasping changes to normal breathing. We usually fall back to sleep in a short while. Sometimes I think our nights are more exciting than our days.

11 comments:

carolyn said...

wonderful to have the willetts back!!!

J.R. said...

I laughed out loud at the bit about the matches. For some reason it reminded me of the camphor in "the night the bed fell". Funny stuff.

Carol G said...

This is too funny! Glad you've got Lin around to interpret for Peka Boo.
We have a cat that barfs too...there is ONE kind of cat food she can eat...or she barfs. Pro Pac...adult...Hairball formula if your interested.

ROD WILLETT said...

We use hairball formula and it seems to work some of the time. It actually helps me when I mix it in my oatmeal with cream and sugar. Rod

RevGoT said...

Rod,

Welcome to the blog-o-sphere! I enjoyed reading your blog post on the matches. You have a flair for humorous story telling. I can imagine the smell, the gagging, the smoke. It's better than being there because I didn't have to wake up from a dead sleep and smell it. Too funny!

Thanks for coming by http://lenscleanse.blogspot.com

ROD WILLETT said...

You're welcome; and I enjoyed your quote from Lord Gladstone.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I did not used to like cats (or any animals).

But since my two-month mission trip to Japan, I now love cats. That is what living with four of them for two months does to you.

Jen said...

Hmmm. . .I still believe that you would be doing the US, no, the WORLD a huge favor by getting rid of Nike. Whether by needle, van tire or bullet, the world would be a happier place without such a creature.
Obviously Pekah's farting is not bad enough for you to feed her only dog food, so you will get no sympathy in this department.
BTW, if something happens to JR and I feel free to take Buddy. He is all the good of your 3 animals with very few faults at all.

ROD WILLETT said...

If it wasn't for my great heart and the protesting of my adult children, I would end his life. Some things, however, must just be endured. Buddy is a good cat, but of course never gets to eat human food. What kind of life is that?

ashok said...

lol..this was soo funny...I didnt know Lin interprets animal languages...and I couldn't recognise that I celebrated last Xmas with Evil and Osama lol...those pets were really cute do You still have them?

ROD said...

They are still around, and Nike is still evil. Pekah still has a lisp, and Lin usually has to tell me what she is really saying.