Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Monday, May 27, 2024

A Day In The Life Of A Cat

And so it is time for the cat to have her say, what with her always having to have the last word.

7:04 AM. Waking up at home A yawn and a stretch to get things started. Slept well. Dreamed of endless fields of catnip.

7:08 AM. Sitting on the back of the couch, examining the exterior. Flying lunches pecking away at the ground. If I was outside instead of inside, you'd be in trouble. However, this is the weekend, and my staff is home. And I'll be outside soon enough.

7:12 AM. Waiting on the staff to get downstairs. Come on, staff, weekend or not, you are still on a schedule, and I'm expecting my breakfast soon.

7:16 AM. Sitting at the bottom of the steps meowing the song of my people as a hint for her to get going.

7:22 AM. The staff finally comes downstairs. Took you long enough, staff, I've been waiting for what felt like hours.

7:24 AM. The staff is busy making my breakfast. I am busy explaining my precise wants and needs. Now then, staff, would it kill you to not pour a bowl of field rations? We've had this discussion. You know I don't like them.

7:26 AM. The staff puts my breakfast down. The bowl of milk and plate of tuna meet with my approval. The bowl of field rations does not. I shall ignore the third with all of my kitty essence.

7:28 AM. Finished with my breakfast. I shall leave the staff to make hers in peace and quiet.

7:35 AM. Sitting on the back of the couch, staring outside. Somewhere in the distance I can hear the incessant barking of that foul hound.

7:52 AM. Making inquiries with the staff about letting me outside for awhile.

7:54 AM. The staff lets me out. Now then, staff, even though it's the weekend, you're only to depart the property with my permission. Catering to my whims is your priorities on the weekend. So I'd better not come back to the door and see the car gone, are we clear?

8:09 AM. Stalking a squirrel.... turns into a chase as the little bastard has seen me and is going up a tree.

8:10 AM. Making an assessment of the situation. The squirrel is up on a branch that's simply too thin for me. If that damned dog were here, he'd be barking up a storm right now. 

But I'm not that damned dog. I'm a cat.

8:14 AM. Well, that's enough of this. I think it's time to go back in.

8:15 AM. Starting to move. Hmmm, feels like someone's watching me....

8:16 AM. In a furious mood after that idiot mutt barked at me from behind me and startled me. Chasing him back towards the woods. He's laughing and I'm howling at him.

8:18 AM. Issuing all sorts of curses and insults into the woods. I know that damned dog is still out there in ear shot. 

One of these days, dog, one of these days....

8:21 AM. Let in by the staff. In a foul mood. 

Staff? I hate dogs.

10:48 AM. Waking up from a nap. Time to go pester the staff.

10:50 AM. The staff was working at her laptop. Emphasis on was. I am now head-bonking her chin and walking around on her desk as an indication of why she should pay attention to me instead.

6:12 PM. Dinner with the staff. She's made herself some meat loaf with potatoes. She's kindly cut up some slices of meat loaf for me. Very good, staff, very good indeed.

8:29 PM. Pondering the great mysteries of existence. Which cat came up with the concept of string theory?

11:47 PM. The staff is off to bed. Good night, staff. Sleep well.

Keep the door open. I have every intention of walking all over you in two hours.

Monday, May 20, 2024

A Day In The Life Of A Dog

It is time once again for the perspective of the dog and the cat. As always, the dog gets the first word in on these things, since he has a really short attention span.

7:03 AM. Waking up at home. Big yawn and a stretch. Slept very well. Dreamed of chasing squirrels.

7:06 AM. Looking outside. Lots of birds pecking around on the grass. No sign of a squirrel. Otherwise I'd be barking by now.

7:10 AM. Waiting on the human to get downstairs and see to my breakfast. After all, I can't open cupboards, what with not having opposable thumbs.

7:19 AM. The human comes downstairs. I thump my tail vigorously against the floor. Good morning, human! Fine day, isn't it? Say, it'd be swell if we got to my breakfast, wouldn't you think?

7:22 AM. Watching as the human pours me a big bowl of kibbles.

Oh boy oh boy oh boy....

7:23 AM. Licking my chops after finishing off breakfast just three seconds short of my all time fastest record of finishing breakfast.

7:28 AM. Making inquiries with the human as to if she'll let me out for a run.

7:29 AM. Out the door and on my way. See you later, human!

7:32 AM. Running through the back fields, barking my head off, as happy as I can be. Life is good!

7:48 AM. Stopping in to see Spike the Magnificent, Tormentor of Squirrels. Hey, Spike!

7:50 AM. After the customary doggie greetings, Spike and I get down to discussing essential matters. The movement of the enemy squirrels. What the mailman does on weekends. 

7:54 AM. Spike and I discuss expectations for the coming days. Supposedly some rain is in the forecast.

Well, that's good. Rain is good to splash around in.

7:57 AM. Parting ways with Spike to begin the journey home. See you later, Spike.

8:07 AM. Passing through the woods, as happy as I can be.

8:12 AM. Passing by the property where that cranky cat lives. Hey.... there she is on the grass. With her focus up a tree.

I should go say hello.

8:14 AM. Advancing quietly towards the cat, who still doesn't know I'm here. I think I'll surprise her.

8:15 AM. Within three meters. Okay, close enough. Now then, be ready to run at a moment's notice once I start barking....

8:16 AM. Sprinting back to the woods, thoroughly pleased with myself after making that cat jump for the heavens. Sure, she's chasing me, but it was worth it.

8:18 AM. Still hearing the howls of rage coming from back where that cat lives, and various feline curse words. Boy, is she mad.

Oh, well, time to get home.

8:31 AM. The human lets me in when I get home. Human? For the record, don't believe anything if that cranky cat calls and makes accusations.

10:28 AM. The human is having coffee. I have mooched a cookie from her.

12:15 PM. Lunch with the human. She's been kind enough to provide me with a ham and cheese sandwich.

6:28 PM. The human is having dinner. She's cut up some bacon and apple pancakes for me.

11:48 PM. The human is off to bed. Good night, human. Sleep well. 

I'll be down here guarding the house. In between well earned naps.

Monday, May 13, 2024

The Place Where Dreams Go To Die

Leafs Nation In Collective Mourning; Rest Of World Shrugs And Moves On

Toronto (CP) It's been a few days since the Boston Bruins beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in Round One of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, sending the Leafs packing early yet again. A game 7 finale which went to overtime saw the Cup drought in Toronto extend now to 57 years. There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth, questions being asked, blame being laid in Leafs Nation. Bars are doing a brisk business soothing the pain of the fans. Leafs management and players are wondering who among them will take the fall this time.

The game in Boston saw the Bruins win in overtime and advance to the next round. Thousands of fans gathered in Maple Leaf Square in Toronto watched and had their hearts dashed to pieces yet again as their Leafs blew it. Again. Generations of fans saying, 'next year' will continue unabated, though perhaps a few might take the hint and realize that next year will never come. Their team is cursed, and the curse is not getting lifted anytime soon.

"For lack of a better term, it's a collective delusion," sports psychologist Warren Alliston told this reporter. "People conditioned for decades, by their parents and grandparents, into believing that this year could be their year. That the Leafs would rise to the occasion. Instead of dealing with reality, which is that the Leafs suck."

When asked if that was a professional opinion, Alliston shrugged. "Not at all. I'm an Edmonton fan."

Wreaths have been placed around Maple Leaf Square, along with hats, t-shirts, and even jerseys in a state of mourning. People in familiar blue and white attire have been seen crying and holding each other for support in the downtown streets near the arena. Some of the more bitter have been seen burning a  Leafs jersey and vowing that they've had enough- though in fact they did the same last year, and will be replacing that jersey over the summer and giving their boys one more chance.

Head coach Sheldon Keefe was fired in recent days, part of the fallout of yet another broken season. "These things happen," he told reporters with a dismayed shrug afterwards. "It's part of the game. Nobody lasts forever in one team. I'll move on, do other things.... say, is anyone hiring?"

Team president Brendan Shanahan, who's been part of the Leafs for a decade with little to show for it, is under pressure from Leafs Nation to do something. "I know it's hard for the fans to have hope, but things will get better," Shanahan told reporters after the Keefe firing. "We're going to get the guys out on the ice next year and they'll play better and everything will be just as you dreamed of all those years when this team was floundering. I promise."

The fact that he's been saying pretty much the same thing in post-season press conferences for years is another matter entirely.

"We're doing great business," bar owner Ted Davis said from his downtown watering hole, The Penalty Shot. "Yeah, folks are feeling down about the guys losing like that, but that's what alcohol is for. It soothes the pain you're feeling in your heart and tells you that everything is going to get better. It's the best thing for you."

"Are you taking money from the liquor companies for saying that?" this reporter inquired.

"How did you know that?" Davis asked, heading back inside to feed the misery of a horde of Leafs fans.

"It's not fair!" one fan told this reporter afterwards, in the company of two friends. "That Cup belongs to us! It belongs to our boys! And we keep getting robbed of it. There's this great big ****in' conspiracy to keep the Stanley Cup out of the hands of the Leafs. And that ****er Bettman is right at the heart of it. He ****in' hates Toronto. Me and Harry and Jack, we're the biggest fans of the Leafs. Ever. And it breaks our hearts every year seein' this happen. Again and again and again. Our boys deserve this win. They deserve it! Am I right, boys?"

Harry and Jack nodded. This reporter inquired if they had considered that it might be time to give up on the team. "**** that! And what, root for the Jets?" 

It seems there is no reasoning with Leafs Nation. The grieving process continues. Some have channeled their pain in healthier ways and have moved on to root for the Blue Jays, since their season is just getting underway. But the pain for many continues to be drowned by alcohol, and punctuated by denial and bargaining. They continue to feed themselves the lie- that next year will be a better year, that all of this will be forgotten. And come October, they'll be back, crowding the Scotiabank Arena, earning their reputation as the most hated fans in the NHL all over again.

The last word goes to a man who seems to be the very definition of a Canadian. A legendary Mountie who's among the most formidable, dangerous, and grumpy people walking the earth today. RCMP Inspector Lars Ulrich was found by reporters at his detachment in the foothills of the Rockies in Alberta. The Inspector, whose low opinion of entertainment reporters is well known, was reassured that they were well aware that he was not the other Lars Ulrich. This seemed to lighten his mood. He was asked how he felt about the entire matter.

"I find it amusing. I'm an Oilers fan myself," Ulrich admitted. "And watching a bunch of Leafs fans tie themselves into knots of agony every year... well, it's hilarious."  

"Lars! Lars!" a voice called out from the back of the crowd. Reporters turned and saw a fresh faced entertainment reporter coming along, followed by a camera. "Lars, good to see you. Brad Bradley, Entertainment Tonight. What everyone wants to know, Lars, is why Metallica didn't attend the Met Gala. Any comment on that?"

The real reporters backed off to give the Inspector plenty of room. Ulrich glared at Bradley. "I am not that Lars Ulrich."

Bradley laughed. "Oh, such a kidder, Lars!"

What followed next was one left hook from the Inspector that sent Bradley flying forty meters. Ulrich was already pursuing him before Bradley even hit the ground. Bradley got up, with the Inspector hot on his heels in what became an epic chase all the way to Cemetery River. It ended with Bradley in a body cast in hospital, groaning incomprehensibly. 

This is what happens when you insult the world's grouchiest lawman.