All posts tagged Cats

Lost chickens, Crucified Bears and other sacrifices

Published April 15, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

It has been a grim week, the kind of week that would make a more disciplined writer churn out a great novel, or at least some heart-wrenching ode to the world, but it’s all I can do to pretend I give a teeny-tiny rat’s behind about anything but the inside of my eyelids.

Late Wednesday night, this plane of existence lost Samantha, a sometimes sweet, sometimes haughty calico cat. She who always preferred me to anyone else. She had been feeling less than fresh for a while, but I was hoping for a few more days at least. I woke up and she was lying next to the bed and I reached down to pet her and then I saw her sweet little face. I think she had been gone for a while, but I still went to get TallBoy, my Amanda Friend’s oldest son who is renting a room here. I told him I thought Samantha was dead and I gave him a clean pillowcase for her just in case she was. Then we found a box and he took care of her so I wouldn’t have to.

My Sammie Cat is gone.  Obviously, I took Thursday off from school so I could wallow in my sadness.

Since grades are due for progress reports tomorrow, I went to school on Friday, knowing that no one understands loss of a pet like a child. I knew that the something would turn me around a bit, emotion wise.

I didn’t have to wait long.  My school celebrates Mass every Friday morning and every week I try to be a good example by singing, to encourage my students to do so, as well. My Joyful Noise is usually compromised by our Music Teacher picking the world’s most obscure Catholic hymns, so, of course, I didn’t know the opening hymn. There was a glaring grammatical error. The phrase was the Crucified Bears. It should have been Crucified, bears, but no.   Capitalizing both words it is implied that somewhere in Catholic Dogma there are actual, bears who are Holy Martyrs.

As the day progressed my students did a great job of supporting me and explained that my Samantha was now being looked after by Saint Francis, who loved all the animals. And that Sammie was probably frolicking with Jaime’s cousin’s chickens, who were lost, presumably, to marauders.

The Samantha I know would not have time for such nonsense and she would let you know by barfing up a hairball.

Love your animals.

Hey, Baby, it’s the Fourth of July

Published July 4, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Great song by an great band.  It’s on my mind today, even though it has little to do with my mood and overall demeanor today.  There’s a lot going on in my head, on all levels. (yes, my head has levels.)  I get a daily update from the fine publication, The Week. It is a list of the ten things I need to know today (Not me, WriterChick, but me as part of the public that has access to the still free press. )

At the top of the list is the statement that North Korea has successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile. Now BatBeard says that I shouldn’t put a lot of stock in what the press says.  I agree with that to an extent, but I have to say that the mere concept makes my sinus cavity pinch a little.

Now the sinus cavity pinch could actually be a clot of cat hair waiting to break free in  giant sneeze. I pulled a muscle in my lower back Sunday evening. It’s nothing major.  I have done this before.  I have a bazillion good intentions, including getting the hell back into the gym to start good habits before the next school year. I also need to clean my house. All of these things are not possible while my lower back seizes.

I spent yesterday lying very still. The cats were delighted. There was a hilarious acrobatic routine with my sweet old kitty Samantha.  She’s very lightweight these days and I kept trying to get her lie somewhere else while I went to the bathroom. I would pick her up and move her, but by the time I was able to leverage myself into a position where I could sling myself out of bed, she was back on my shoulder, chest or stomach. This went on for some time before I was actually able to get out.    BatCat Frances is bigger and is very aggressive in her need for affection, she pummeled me around for a while but eventually settled in.

So to celebrate my eventual win over the cats, I took myself down to the Starbucks to get a latte (double points today). I reveled in my ability to climb into the car and actually function in the sunlight. As I pulled into the drive-thru, I noticed a man sitting on a bucket in the parking lot. He was wearing a tinfoil hat upon which he had affixed two huge wings and he was playing the guitar.  This is notable because I have heard of the tinfoil hat community, but I had never actually seen a member. (And, judging by the headgear, he is clearly a leader or at least a messenger.)  This entertained and delighted me.

Because today, we are still free.  Although if things get any crazier, I’m going to make my own hat and see if i can join the band.

Do yourself a favor and give X a listen:

Fourth of July by X

I don’t know

Published July 24, 2016 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I am not sleeping well. My insomnia is a by product of that time my head blew up. The chemical changes to my brain goo has made it damn near impossible to have a relaxing nights sleep.

I hate to whinge and whine because I do have a lot to be grateful for. The disruption of my schedule, and chronic insomniacs must keep to a very strict schedule, is due to my trip to Durango, Colorado to see Actor Boy.

Actor Boy has a new job that he truly loves and he is happy and healthy, albeit it busy, and since I have the time, I went up to Durango to see him (There are many, many fun stories about the trip, but I will get those down for public consumption when I’m not feeling so stabby.)

I have gotten less than six hours of sleep per night since I have been back.  It’s starting to take its toll. I am exceptionally crabby and anyone who knows me is aware that I can indeed be a mean, vile Gorgon. Fortunately I have medication that helps.

Last night was one of those nights and I took a nap today. Well, I tried to take a nap, but my nap was fitful and I woke up freaking out; a little like the dog in the Foghorn Leghorn cartoon, you know when he gets paddled awake? Actually if I saw Leghorn strolling by right now I would blow his face off, or get in my car and run him down, because really? I’m just trying to get some rest.

I realize this sounds like my crazy manifesto. I am really tired and I woke up hot, vexed and melting down. The melting down may be due to the fact that it is 101 degrees outside and I got up for water and noticed that there were two cats looking at me forlornly. My sweet kitty Samantha and her archnemisis Frances were completely out of food and water.

This set me off slightly because I am not the only person who lives here and I have been mostly trying to sleep, so I haven’t taken an active cruise through the house, partially because I don’t want to have to look at my back yard and the crumbling back porch area; in my current state I may just break off a hunk of porch, drive over to EH’s home and stand next to his intact home and bonk the wall at low speed but steady intervals, just loud enough to interrupt his house’s regular rhythms. He now has three little boys, all under the age of three.  (I know,I can’t handle the karmic blow from fighting insomnia with insomnia.)

So back to the cats. Frances and Samantha and I have the same question. Why, on the hottest day of the year do they not have water or food? They don’t have thumbs and I know they have interacted with the Tall Boy and Batman today.  Why did they wait to show their sad kitty faces to me, adding another factor to my meltdown?

I guess they figured, “She’s already cranked up, we might as well take advantage of the momentum.”

So now we know.

A trip highlight. Batman is my boyfriend. I am pretty excited about that. Now if he only had cat food in his utility belt.





I should and I would, but I don’t wanna

Published November 15, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I’m having motivation issues. I am also having headache-general malaise-ennui problems, too.

I did manage to slog through another story for the contract. It was so gooey and icky sweet it actually made me feel as disgusted as if I had just eaten soggy french fries dipped in cotton candy. (I know! That’s gross!)

I have a lot of stuff that I need to do and fully intended to do today. I still have another installment for CatNoMoWriMo before I face the full wrath of Meankitty. (I think the dream I had where my backyard turned into a swamp and there were forty cats just wandering around was some sort of Nightmare on Elm Street cat threat.)  I know what I want to write I even have my scientific facts lined up and ready to parade around.

I just didn’t do it.

I also have heaps of information to fire up my rant on education (Oh, yeah, that thing.)  as well as some new and exciting stuff about the fall of mankind and what humans need to do to survive the next Extinction Level Event.  (Why, yes, I know it is kind of dickly not to give you that information or at least my source materials.)

But I got sidetracked by my headache which is making me woozy.

But the story in my head dragged me to the computer.

I started cobbling together the ideas for my second novel years ago. I got a brainstorm on it’s format and there’s a teaser on my webpage under the works in progress. For a long while now, the individual characters have popped out and began speechifying.

The working title is Intentionally Left Blank

This took over the machine today.

The end is just the beginning

Billy Russell arrived early. He needed the time to be alone before the celebration started. He sat in the middle of the floor and pulled out the locked metal box. Carefully removing the key from its hiding place, he clicked the box open. There were only a few things in the box. Most of them he had seen before. There was  a picture of two young girls. One held a baby in her arms, toddler sat on the knee of the other.

Billy smiled. He knew their faces like he knew his own. He carefully set the picture aside and took a notebook out of the box. It was the kind of cheaply made thing you only found in discount stores and every spare inch of paper was covered with words. These were stories and poems of such brilliance and innocent beauty that no one would ever have believed they came from the mind of girl who spoke so little that everyone assumed she was either a complete idiot or had some developmental disability.  Billy opened the notebook and read his favorite. He had heard this story in the author’s voice so many times he knew it like he knew his own name.  A tear fell from his eyes and onto the page.  He placed the notebook next to the picture.

There were only two things left in the box, a much folded scrap of paper and a cassette tape.  He pulled out the paper and unfolded it.  The writing was so small, he had to squint to see read it. He had read it so many times he knew what it said. It had arrived. in an envelope full of newspaper clippings. The clippings were advertisements for various medical supplies. The ads didn’t mean anything. The note was stuffed into the bottom of the envelope.

The tiny words said it all.

“I took care of it. J didn’t mean to. Love you, K. Don’t come again.”

He straightened the paper as much as he could and placed it next to the picture and notebook. This last one would be the hardest of all. He reached under the couch and pulled out the player. He popped the tape in and pressed play. The sweet voice that told him stories and yelled at him and made the rules and kept him safe came forth. It was just as warm and comforting as he remembered it.

“I don’t know who you are now. That’s for the best. The night we left, you were so mad at me. You kept reminding me that it was your idea and we should have let you be there. It doesn’t matter, you know. None of it matters now.  It may have been your idea but we planned it that way. We had to get you out of there and away from it all. That was the plan all along.  I know it has been hard for you to understand, but this is the only way it works. We kept it away from you as much as we could. You are the best of us. We all knew it. You are the best and so you deserved the best chance, and that means we had to take care of it for you so you can take care of yourself.

You asked me once if I was your Mother. Everyone always asked that. The ages are almost right and if you talk to people they will say it was always assumed. It’s not true. I wish it was, because then I would have had more to say than I did.  But I was your mother in every way that counted.   Every single thing I have done since you were born has been for you. I wanted to keep you out of it.  We all did.

I don’t know what else to tell you. When they find this and they find me, you will truly be free of all of it and all of us. I know you don’t want to, but try and understand why we did it. We love you so much. Take your best chance and have the best life.”

The tape hissed as it ended and Billy pulled it out of the player. He felt like a shell as he remembered opening the envelope when it had arrived just a few months earlier. He hadn’t heard from her in over a year. He knew she hadn’t forgotten him anymore than he had forgotten her.  It was for the last best chance.

He pulled the tape from the plastic casing and tied it into knots. He stood up and crushed the casing, then went into the kitchen for a large metal pot. He pulled out his lighter and set fire to the tape, dropping the rank and smoldering ribbon into the bottom. He ripped the cover off of the notebook and dropped that in first. He methodically ripped every page out and dropped it into the flames as they began to burn down he dropped in the scrap of paper.

He took one long moment to look at the faces of his sisters and brother one last time, then dropped the picture in. He waited until everything had burned out before he took the key out of the box and dropped it in the garbage disposal. He stomped on the metal box itself, bending the hinges loose. He put every moment of every bit of pent-up rage he had in every movement. He remembered their faces and the last time they had all been together. He couldn’t let any bit of it remain with him now.  He put the mangled box in the metal pot. He didn’t think anyone would go through his trash, but you never knew.  He put the pot in the back of his closet along with the cassette player. He stood up and turned his back on Kane Grey for the last time. It was almost time for Billy Russell’s bachelor party and the guest of honor couldn’t be late.

CatNoWriMo: or submit to Meankitty, puny human!

Published November 8, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

My sister-in-law, the wondrous and amazing author Jody Wallace (  is also a the typist for Meankitty. (www.meankitty.c0m)  She is also a great mom and a fine Purrveyor  of snark. (Sorry I couldn’t resist the pun.)

November is National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWirMo. There is an official website and organization set up to help writers challenge themselves to write enough every day so that they will have an entire novel written by the end of the month.

This probably helps a lot of people. It makes me a little balky.

My sis-in-law set up a different kind of challenge CatNoWriMo

The structure is a little more fluid and will be judged and evaluated solely at the discretion of Meankitty.

To appease Meankitty, the stories must be written about cats and cats should be presented in a favorable light.

This is the beginnings of my offering

A-Purr-calypse Meow or Oh, Rat’s Zombies


Part One: In which Fluffers senses danger afoot while enjoying a sun spot


Fluffers licked a paw and washed her face. She wished The Girl Thing wouldn’t use that sticky stuff that made the floor shine. Fluffers had tried to show her displeasure by covering it with a number of other liquids, but The Girl Thing only made the loud noise and put more of the sticky down. It was a huge waste of valuable nap time to dwell on it. It wasn’t so bad. The floor situation and the unfortunate name were the only real problems she had. The Girl Thing said her name was Fluffer Nutter. That was much worse. The Boy Thing said that it was insulting to call any creature by that stupid name. Fluffers was surprised. The Boy Thing wasn’t usually that smart. He did not at all appreciate the token of her esteem.  Fluffers decided she would keep all future heads of vole for those who might appreciate them.

The sticky paw situation was just the beginning. Fluffers stretched in the sun spot and arranged herself so she could reach maximum warmth. The Dog Thing galloped towards her and she extended one paw in his direction. He turned and went the other way. They had an understanding, sometimes they huddled together for warmth or treats. This was not one of those times.  She enjoyed the sun and the sparkle it made in the air. As she watched the sparkle, she noticed a small creature lurking in the pile of leaves nearest the house. She would have to do something about that. She thudded a paw on the window. The rat didn’t even turn its head, just marched importantly away. She pounded the window again, loud enough so the Girl Thing called from the other room.

“Fluffers, is there something outside?”

Fluffers hoped she wouldn’t come in here; if she did Fluffers would have to get up and pretend to be excited and then she might not get her nap time.  By the time the Girl Thing got in the room and Fluffers arched her back and made a perfunctory hiss, the rat was gone.

There was something wrong with the situation. Even the chin skritches and good kitty cooing did nothing to assuage the uneasiness Fluffers felt.  She thought about this as she rubbed her face in the reward nip. It was soothing and helped her think.

She had nothing against rats, that is, not as long as they were willing to work within the system. For the most part, they were willing to negotiate. Most of the cats in the neighborhood worked out a deal, if the rats remained out of site they were permitted to co-exist and to get the occasional treat tossed out in the garage (always in a pre-determined space so as not to get  the Boy Things and The Girl Things riled up.) If a rat showed himself to a human and if there was shrieking involved, the rat must then leave or face the consequences.  A rat that strayed too close to a house would at least meet the eye of the cat of record and hurry away. This one didn’t even saunter defiantly or scurry in fright.  This one simply went about its business as if it were completely unaware of its surroundings. It was almost as if it were bewitched.

Fluffers felt her whiskers tingle. This was a clear sign of danger ahead. She rubbed her head against the nip and tried not to think about it.