Time to post this one, and am I still buried in e-mail or am I still buried in e-mail. (Six pages! And now those who insist on innovations at Google/Blogspot are fouling up this site, so the "Publish" button isn't working!) Categories: Animals, Education, Etiquette, Food, Green, Halloween, Maryland, Poems, Politics, Psychology, Travel, Zazzle.
Saturday was National Cat Day, they say. I wish other local "animal rescue" types had observed it. The woeful saga of antisocial Barnie and the social cat family at the Cat Sanctuary will be a long, long post. I'm trying to post something else today.
For dog people...
Btw, I've read The Book of Barkley; it's a beautiful, poetic dog memoir.
Once in a burst of cat love I started writing a first draft of something to be called The Book of Black Magic. I was about halfway through those fresh memories of my first social cat's wonderfulness when the cat was murdered; after that, especially considering that I'd been inspired by The Cat Who Came for Christmas and wanted it to be a story that ended with the cat still alive and purring, I didn't feel like writing the rest. Years later I picked up that manuscript and contemplated writing something to be called The Legacy of Black Magic, about other Cat Sanctuary cats. Reading those old memories of Magic reminded me how much I'd lost of the second half of her too-short life. So there'll probably never be a book about my first cat, specifically, although there is a short e-book about the Alley Cat Tales of our more recent social cats.
I mention that because The Book of Barkley is what The Book of Black Magic probably wanted to be, and won't be: all the pet memories, good and bad, that don't compromise the privacy of human friends; strictly the story of a good dog's too-short life. You may laugh. You may cry. You may want to hug your dog, or adopt one if you don't own one, or adopt some other animal.
But, much as I wanted to be able to say just one good word in aid of the Humane Pet Genocide Society-approved animal shelters where Barnie-cat so truly needs and deserves to be...I can't. I have finally met the once-in-a-lifetime cat who can't be socialized by any amount of cat or human love, who really needs to be sterilized and confined and prevented from ever meeting another animal smaller than at least a school-aged human...and are the shelters helping keep Barnie alive until someone wants to adopt a cat like that?
They are not. They are so not. Most notly. They want to exploit me and Barnie, either forcing a writer who has literally lived on peanuts and caffeine alone for more than two weeks to feed an animal that the said writer practically hates by now, or else forcing that animal to be killed...and then claim that it's aaaallll because people in my rural neighborhood allow most of our cats, who are nicer than Barnie, to live like the normal animals they are, rather than because they (the shelter people) refuse to acknowledge the rarity of an occasional aberrant antisocial cat who belongs in solitary confinement for life.
I still don't know whether Barnie actually killed the spring kitten Violet, because Heather, Irene, and Tickle together are just about capable of figuring out the words "guard Violet" and keeping her well hidden somewhere near the Cat Sanctuary, and Violet is capable of hiding...for two weeks? Just...barely...possible. Heather pulled off an equally improbable stunt last year, and since Violet disappeared I've not seen more than two of my three adult social cats at one time, and they've not been far from home. I do know that, whatever is wrong with whatever Barnie has in the way of a brain, Barnie is the very distinctive-looking, very fluffy, very cuddly, indoor-pillow-substitute sort of cat some people want. But nobody seems to want to help me locate that kind of people, because I think most cats deserve a natural life. Ooohhh, evil deviant me!
Well, hate me if hate gives you pleasure...I still think that my social cats' freedom to protect my home from mice, socialize normal cats so that it's hard for a visitor to tell that e.g. Inky or Damian haven't been true social cats all their lives, and breed more of whatever makes cats social into the local gene pool, has nothing whatsoever with the existence of an occasional antisocial cat like Barnie. Barnie has changed my mind about Barnie's lovability, but not about the lovability, and respectability, of my cats or yours.
Meanwhile--for Inky's own good, and not to please the Humane Cat Hater Society--Inky's spaying has been funded and scheduled, thanks to the generosity of Barkley's fans and +LB Johnson ; may their tribe increase. (For new readers, Inky needed to be spayed, not because all cats should be sterilized and confined until they either become extinct or are only available from "breeders," but because Inky, individually, has a dysfunctional gene that caused all her kittens to die painfully before they were a month old.)
Trigger warning: this is the latest update of some old bad news, and may raise your blood pressure.
Once again...those who feel a need to speak to someone else in a rude way, in a public place, are not telling the public that the person addressed is an inferior person; they're telling us that they are inferior people. In the Friday Market I heard a rude man with a two-day beard shouting for a car-pool buddy, using a name that might have been the man's real family name so I'll change it, "Hey, Smith! Smith!" as if he were calling a dog. Mr. Smith pointedly ignored him the first four or five times, finally approached him and growled, "Wotta you want--Fuzzy?" It perturbs me that these were not ten-year-old boys; they were probably in their sixties, maybe well-preserved seventies. And they might well be senior members of old landowning families, which is what people in Virginia usually mean when we say "gentlemen." Heaven help us all.
Weighing in on another important language question: Yes, this Southern Lady really dislikes being "included" in "you guys" by clueless Yankees--actually "igmos" is the word. ("Igmos" means Individuals Geographically Marooned Outside the South, and it also means what it sounds like to most native speakers of English. Precisely.) Yes, if we're going to be p.c. and protect cultural imports from "appropriation," it would be "destructive cultural importation" for Northerners to say "youall." Waaail! So let me propose, as seriously as anyone can possibly take this topic, a compromise: "Y'all," drawled in that mostly upper-crust, upper-tier-of-the-South manner (as distinct from other Southern accents that are even more problematic), is for Southerners only. What Yankees (and some Canadians, e.g. +Mona Andrei ) say is not really going to come out sounding the same, because they don't have upper-crust Virginia-or-North-Carolina accents in any case, so their attempt to say "y'all" does not actually even sound as if they were imitating us in an offensive way. I for one find it cute. But, if we need a rule: Yankees, Canadians, and residents of the other English-speaking countries have a perfect right to say "you all" or "all of you" in their own native accents. That's not cultural appropriation at all. It's just common courtesy. And so is "you two," or "you readers from Australia," or "you in that row of seats," or just "you lot," whenever a more restrictive solidly-plural form of "you" is appropriate.
Read more about igmos in a raunchy but hilarious series that begins here:
More McDougall recipes:
You know what this is. You know what to do.
Over the weekend I wrote that series about marketing web sites to us desperately poor writers and other freelancers. Today I wrote, mostly, sample articles for two other sites for which I'd like to be an occasional guest blogger, as recommended in the parts of the series scheduled for Thursday and Friday. The more substantial of those articles was a summary of what regular readers have learned from previous Link Logs about glyphosate and E. coli corn. Here's a link (other than Twitter) that I read and used for the first time today. (Note: the foreign site linked below--based in Canada, post written in Wales--accepts research some important U.S. sites are still denying, although the position of this web site is that NIH and CSPI may just possibly have had money shoved distractingly in their faces when the data started rolling in. We're uncommitted about glyphosate causing cancer but we jollywell know it causes plenty of other bad effects in the meantime.)
With The Nephews all in school and most of the neighbors' children grown-and-on-their-own, I so totally don't do Halloween that in yesterday's brainfog I didn't even realize it was Halloween. (Dense brainfog was a predictable result of a Total Fast that included thirty hours without caffeine.) Bing, however, wanted everyone to admire this historical monument where actual human skulls have been used as decor items:
Pris joins the mostly snarky Tweep who shared this in prayers for the hurt and the bereaved:
In Washington there were the Metropoems (printed on posters displayed in Metrorail cars). In Boston the latest thing is short poems written on sidewalks...
This may be bad...Thomas Sowell is feeling frustrated enough to stoop to random thoughts instead of a teacherly, well-organized short article or long book!
This one uses Election 2016 for examples, and ends with a request to Candidate Trump, but what it's about is the psychology of motivation:
Here's one about relationships...since Wordpress is eating the comments +Beth Ann Chiles requests, I'll answer her question here. I prefer to be asked, in relationships of any kind. (If I have to take any active responsibility or make any decisions, which would certainly include doing the asking, I'm probably not having fun and probably don't consider the person--or animal--a real friend.) It was actually a great favor to what's probably not the best part of my "self" when I was a 21-year-old dropout with mononucleosis and a thirty-something successful professional in a church I attended turned down an obligatory reciprocal invitation to dinner. It gave me an automatic excuse, which was so congenial to my natural personality that I caught myself relying on it even when it wasn't true, for letting other people do all of the asking: People who have more money don't really want to hang out with people who have less money (and everybody, including some homeless panhandlers, presumably has more money than I have). Thank you, snobby pseudo-Christian "sister," wherever you may be.
Note that it's not really true, although it's something crybully types might like to believe, that I was sooo huuurt by the slightly older woman's turning down my invitation, etc., etc. I thought it might have been nice to have friends in that town, and she had some qualities I would have liked in a friend; I didn't think she was a friend, yet, or close to being one. I really had asked her to dinner because I'd been taught that that was something I was expected to do. I may have felt snubbed, but mostly I felt relieved.
Virtual visit to North Carolina...in spring.
Moving right along to Thanksgiving, we find, on sale today: