Preparing to salivate on command….


Living with cats is always more than one bargains for; they have a strong connection to the forces of chaos and entropy, and dealing with their capricious natures is as difficult as, well….. as difficult as trying to herd cats…. a well-used, and well-deserved cliche, if not actually an iconic adverbial state…. The potential volatility of a close relationship with a feline can be especially true when one is dealing with a cat with “issues”…… Now, you may ask, what kind of “issues” could such a “wee puir beestie” as these adorable creatures possibly have? Well, I’m here to tell you, they can be quite nasty issues, driven by dark emotional states, and made worse by the lack of human capability to understand the nature of Cat…..

At this point, I would be expected to outline some of the cuter, or perhaps, funnier episodes with our cat that demonstrate how adorable they are, and what wonderful companions they make for us seniors…. and, I would, if I could….. However, OUR cat does NOT do cute, or adorable, or even funny, for that matter…. She just does psycho…. She does that quite well, but I can’t say that as much of a recommendation, as her unfortunate destructiveness tends to keep us scrambling to the store to replace knick knacks at an alarming rate…. We’ve got Bed, Bath, & Beyond on speed dial from having to check their inventory so often, due to PC 14666,destruction of private property by a feline perpetrator acting in the guise of one of Satan’s minions….

This poor little devil started life with some handicaps, unfortunately, which are, sadly, compounded by her relatively obnoxious personality, an unfortunate trait caused by being raised feral for the first month of life…. She’s never really recovered all of the veneer of civilization that more domestic cats assume; she’s got a wild edge she has a hard time controlling, and which causes her, and us, a bit of conflict….. You see, she bites…. the little asshole never learned that it isn’t polite, or acceptable, to bite humans, not even for affection, and certainly not as a habit in anger…. Kitties who develop this habit often end up as recreational flying toys, aka, Frisbees, after having been unceremoniously been tossed on the interstate after biting their human in a pique of anger or warning….

This cat also has the usual cat arrogance, and a number of prerogatives upon which she insists; for example, upon arising in the morning, she informs whoever is up that she wants food, water, an open window, and company, NOW. Actually, anything she wants is required to be furnished NOW, but, this trait is one I don’t worry about, since to a cat, or dog, or other creature of their ilk, NOW is all there is….They don’t spend any mental time in the past, or in the future, so they always want whatever they want right away, simply because, for them, that’s all there is to time….

Now, if only she could learn that counter tops, refrigerators, cupboards, computers, and other parts of the house and furniture are NOT all her domain, and she does NOT have free rein to jump on or into everything she sees….. She also tends to believe that whatever falls on the floor belongs to her, but, in this, at least, she will negotiate, if one is prepared to give up some crumpled up paper, or, even better, tinfoil, in any compromise exchange of favors…. It’s lowering to have to negotiate with a cat, but, they’re very good at hostage situations, so, one must deal on their terms, at least until whatever she’s hidden is found, or rescued….

Now that I’ve demonstrated that we too have a cat, one that can provide nearly unlimited material for study or exposition, merely by existing side by side with us in our domiciles, I suppose I can get on with what we came here for today….. Learning the techniques needed for certain types of literature are well practiced, and better learned by writing about animals….. and, one will find, after a time of watching them closely, describing their behaviors can be a full-time, frustrating job; learning to do so well can be considered excellent training for any writer…. One MUST know how to set a scene, and make the reader see what the author wishes them to see; learning to describe the actions of a Cat are the perfect method for learning to do that well….

None of the above even begins to consider all the material that is also available in this category, of a more complex, personal nature, to wit: writing about our complex, loving, yet adversarial personal relationships with the cattus domesticus with whom we may end up sharing space…. People’s relationships with their cats are as deep, and loving, and complex as those they have with any person…. This, of course, gives us a fertile field from which to draw our subject matter, and makes writing about cats a staple exercise for anyone who wishes to consider themselves to be a competent author….

It’s also quite fun, re-living whatever experiences one has with their cats, who are, in truth, as much our best friends as dogs….. The long-standing agreement we humans have with the cat species is much different than the one we hold with dogs, but it is just as ancient, and just as strong on both sides….

Now that I’ve completely gone off, far afield, in a direction never before taken, there must be some way to get back on track, and get my butt into the water, diving for pearls to create some thoughts in those empty heads out there…. It seems I’d best get to it quickly today, too, as my carpal tunnel has picked today to act up, numbing my fingers as I type…. Oh boy, this will be FUN!….. NOT!  Oh well….

Shall we Pearl?…..

Tell me, O Octopus, I begs,
Is those things arms, or is they legs?
I marvel at thee, Octopus;
If I were thou, I’d call me us.

— Odgen Nash (1902-1971)

Ohmigosh, Most Puissant Keeper, Protector of the Forever Dubious, help us! Do not desert us in our hour of need! Give us this day our humble desire, for sustenance to feed the mind, to help them grow to become worthy tools in the hands of our Gentle Readers. (Hmm…. okay, to all those Gentle Readers out there today….. please ignore any and/or all anatomical inferences, or references, in that last little statement…. I’m afraid I got my metaphors mixed up with my euphemisms, and the results are a bit confusing…. so, never mind….. ) Let Smart Bee, that most excellent of databases, find and offer up the most intelligent, the most ironic, the funniest pearls, no matter how old, dusty, or what dark corner in which is was found….

There you go, ffolkes, my version of prayer…. Let’s hope Ohmisgosh was listening….

“Every day should be passed as if it were to be our last.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 633

“Reality happens when you don’t make it to the bathroom.” — Smart Bee

“It does not matter whether the cat is black or white.  So long as it catches the mouse, it is a good cat.” — Deng Xiaoping

“Big Business and State Socialism are very much alike, especially Big Business.” — G. K. Chesterton, G.K.’s Weekly, 4/10/26

Men must be taught as if you taught them not,
And things unknown propos’d as things forgot.

— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Criticism, Part iii, Line 15

“Power must never be trusted without a check.” — John Adams
(Side note: When I first saw this, I read it as “never be trusted WITH a check!”….. but, it works either way, doesn’t it?….)

Knowledge by suffering entereth,
And life is perfected by death.

— Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1809-1861) — A Vision of Poets, Conclusion

Hmm…. Smart Bee is showing off, I think…. That, or it feels as if the contractual obligation for obscurity hasn’t been met, and is just doing its part to help the team…. I won’t bother to remind it that it’s only January, and we have a very long time to get that done…. It was a nice gesture, even if it does leave us scratching our heads a bit…. I suppose it’s one of those pearls that will sit in there, in our heads, until it ripens, whereupon it will explode, leaving us all in awe at the sheer genius thus displayed….     Or, maybe not…. Only time will tell, once again…. Funny how that keeps happening….

“Verbing weirds language.” — Calvin (from “Calvin and Hobbes”)

Someday, I believe Calvin & Hobbes will be on a par, reputation-wise, with Pogo, Doonesbury, Dilbert, and a few other comic strips that are, because of the genius of their authors, as much social commentary as humor. Calvin’s display of all of the most dramatic human characteristics, including the vices, is perfectly counterbalanced by Hobbes brilliantly wise (both in creativity and common sense…), compassionate, grounded yet wildly original, commentary, whether presented in an existential framework, or something more mundane. With the little complaint above, the creator, Bill Watterson, articulates a particular pet peeve of mine…. in three words…..

I am in awe of this statement, much as when I find a piece of poetry that displays such an innate understanding of language, while simultaneously showing the power of using it well…. Using verbs as nouns, and vice versa, is a habit of modern culture I deplore as much as any other in the field of language usage; seeing it is an issue for others is a big relief to me, especially in a media venue that can influence a lot of people’s attitudes….

Of course, it’s something that will fly right by those millions of folks who DON’T read, either books, or newspapers, but, hey, one can’t have everything…. Those particular folks won’t be worrying much about what a verb is, or a noun, anyway, and won’t be deliberately switching them around to try to appear clever…..

There, now you can never say I don’t just ramble incoherently for no reason at all…. I just saw the quote, and it ticked off this little mini-rant against a very minor form of linguistic ignorance…. As we say around here…. never mind….. Here’s a nice poem to make it all better….. You didn’t notice the spoiler above, in the intro section?…. Don’t worry, neither did I, until the proofing stage…. Our minds can play funny tricks on us, can’t they?….

Adventures Of Isabel

Isabel met an enormous bear,
Isabel, Isabel, didn’t care;
The bear was hungry, the bear was ravenous,
The bear’s big mouth was cruel and cavernous.
The bear said, Isabel, glad to meet you,
How do, Isabel, now I’ll eat you!
Isabel, Isabel, didn’t worry.
Isabel didn’t scream or scurry.
She washed her hands and she straightened her hair up,
Then Isabel quietly ate the bear up.
Once in a night as black as pitch
Isabel met a wicked old witch.
the witch’s face was cross and wrinkled,
The witch’s gums with teeth were sprinkled.
Ho, ho, Isabel! the old witch crowed,
I’ll turn you into an ugly toad!
Isabel, Isabel, didn’t worry,
Isabel didn’t scream or scurry,
She showed no rage and she showed no rancor,
But she turned the witch into milk and drank her.
Isabel met a hideous giant,
Isabel continued self reliant.
The giant was hairy, the giant was horrid,
He had one eye in the middle of his forhead.
Good morning, Isabel, the giant said,
I’ll grind your bones to make my bread.
Isabel, Isabel, didn’t worry,
Isabel didn’t scream or scurry.
She nibbled the zwieback that she always fed off,
And when it was gone, she cut the giant’s head off.
Isabel met a troublesome doctor,
He punched and he poked till he really shocked her.
The doctor’s talk was of coughs and chills
And the doctor’s satchel bulged with pills.
The doctor said unto Isabel,
Swallow this, it will make you well.
Isabel, Isabel, didn’t worry,
Isabel didn’t scream or scurry.
She took those pills from the pill concocter,
And Isabel calmly cured the doctor.

~~ Ogden Nash ~~


I did a search of the morning’s headlines when I sat down to begin today’s effort, but, found nothing worthy of a rant, or even minor outrage, other than the usual critical view I have regarding the media’s choice of what news is fit to disseminate…. To be fair in their defense, I also try to keep in mind that I don’t have access to, or time to look at, ALL of the information that is out there to be absorbed…. So, I content myself with what passes for mainstream news, without falling into the trap of getting it from any site or organization that has a vested interest in what is to be brought forth…. such as, say, Fox News, MSNBC, or any of the major networks or their affiliates…. In short, I don’t much trust any of the news outlets that have ANY connection to a vested interest, so, it can be hard to get the straight story on many events….

In the long run, this, along with just about anything else one might think of, is a moot point, which only serves to illustrate the reason today’s Pearl won’t have what might usually be expected in the way of a rant, or as my good friend Lou puts it, my “bitching” about society’s ills….. Due to the (apparent) sparsity of my audience, loyal as those few are, I can’t argue that what I’m doing often FEELS like bitching…. That’s okay, though, because I’m only concerned with the message, and getting it over to people who need to hear it; there’s no denying, for that purpose, bitching is good. Well, it feels good, anyway, so, I’ll keep at it….

In the meantime, though, in order to fulfill the formatting requirements of this blog, I have to put SOMETHING here…. This means, of course, it will have to be a random, old-school pearl, with no particular rhyme, reason, or parameters for inclusion, other than…. it must SOUND as if it means something….

“The most important reason for the drug laws in this country is to encourage a healthy distrust for the law.” — Smart Bee

“Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom.” — Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“Orthodoxy is not thinking – not having to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.” — George Orwell (1903-1950), “1984”

“Death is a commingling of eternity with time; in the death of a good man, eternity is seen looking through time.” — Goethe

“In this world there is always danger for those who are afraid of it.” — George Bernard Shaw

“Paradoxically though it may seem, it is none the less true that life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” — Oscar Wilde

“If the whole human race lay in one grave, the epitaph on its headstone might well be:’It seemed like a good idea at the time.'” — Rebecca West

Sometimes, this process works better than I know…. Upon due reflection, this may be one of those times…. Any ideas?….

Well…. instead of going into such a deep subject, or relying solely on what may be the oldest bad joke in the English language, I’ll just go on about my business as though nothing undue or immoral had occurred here…. which, you will note, it didn’t…. technically….. On that relatively positive note,  I bid thee adieu, until tomorrow….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Which is Why….

Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.