Out of the Slammer and Into the Good Life

We went to our local county fair today, the oldest continuing fair in Texas.  We wandered around in one of the exhibit halls, ogling prize winning tomatoes, stalks of sorghum and sacks of wool.  Then we stopped in front of one of the displays that the 4-H kids had assembled.

The tryptich display featured our SPCA, with lots of information on its “no-kill” shelter status.  It included a number of photos of the 4-H teens who volunteered their time.

As I scanned the photos, one of them caught my eye with its immediate familiarity.  It was Kelso, the little long-haired Chihuahua we’d adopted three weeks ago!

He was behind bars in his pen, with his ears pinned back and his tail drooping.  If there had been a caption under the photo, it could have said “Please save me!”

Then we noticed another photo showing one of the boys kneeling in front of the pen, offering his hand to Kelso through the bars.

Here’s how Kelso looked in “the slammer”—

And here is Kelso with his new best bud, Culvey—

What a difference a few weeks make!


Yackk! Get Over It!

This morning at 5:00 am, National Hairball Awareness Day arrived a little early.  That joyous day usually falls on April 30, but my cat, Culvey, (and his digestive system) couldn’t wait to get the party started.  


I heard him yackking and flew out of bed to make sure he wasn’t depositing his celebratory gift on the rug in the living room.  No, instead he was leaving it on the rug in the kitchen.  After cleaning up the results of his revelry, I went back to bed, only to have the party animal jump on my chest and attempt to plant a big smooch on my mouth, not unlike a drunken husband returning home from a bachelor party in the wee hours of the morning.

Since today isn’t the official day for hairball awareness (although I was extremely aware of it at five in the morning) I wondered what special treat March 9 held in store.  This day must have some kind of designation to set it apart from the other 364. 

I went on trusty old Google and discovered a list of various celebrations and awarenesses that have been bestowed on most of the days found on our modern calendar. 

Guess what?  In an amazing tie-in to hairball awareness (one that could only have been cooked up by a conspiracy theorist or Glenn Beck) today is :

National “Get Over It!” Day

And, it even has its own poem!  Courtesy of www.getoveritday.com:



Plus, today is also Barbie Day and Panic Day.  (Been there, done that.)

Tomorrow is Registered Dieticians’ Day, maybe something my cat could profit from.

And, if you think National Hairball Awareness Day is gross, just be glad I didn’t include a link to the Cat Butt Museum.


Culvey, the Internet Celebrity

Wow!  Was I surprised today to get an email from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) letting me know that my cat, Culvey, was being featured on their website.  I had submitted his photo and a brief “bio” about him to the HSUS “Pet of the Week” contest they administer.  Every week a pet that has been rescued in some way or adopted from a shelter is featured in their email newsletter.

This article for December is called Home for the Holidays.  (Click on the link to go to that page.)  There’s a photo slideshow you can scroll through to view the pets whose corresponding stories appear on the page.  Culvey is the second photo–and a very handsome fellow he is too, if I do say so myself.

Please consider adopting your next pet from a shelter and, as always, please spay or neuter your pets.  Help prevent pet overpopulation, which always leads to the tragedy of euthanasia for unwanted animals.

Culvey says “Thank you!”



Handy Hints for Hunters

The days between Nov. 1 and Jan. 1 in this part of Texas are hell indeed—and not because of the usual onslaught of tourists who do their holiday shopping in our picturesque city. 

No, my friends, it’s deer hunting season. 

The third highest form of religion around here behind Jesus and football.

Needless to say, we are not hunters.  My husband and I like to think of ourselves more as biologists.  We like to preserve life, not shoot it.  Yes, I know, the deer in the Texas hill country practically outnumber the humans.  They need to be kept in check—the deer, not the humans.  (But that is a provocative thought).  Although….the maniacal drivers do a pretty good job of controlling the deer population, as evidenced by the roadkill we see every time we drive into town.

We dread hunting season for several reasons, not the least being that our local newspaper publishes photos of smiling hunters of all ages posing with their dead deer.  The heads of the animals are held up so all can see their cold, dead eyes.  (Didn’t anybody watch “Bambi” when they were a kid?)

But the main reason we hate hunting season is not so much about what the hunters take with them, than what they leave behind.

Trash.  Lots of it. 

Our country roads’ volume of litter goes up at least 100% when the hunters are here.  Cans, beer bottles, empty deer corn bags.  (For the uninitiated:  before deer season,  folks who have deer leases put feed out to lure the deer, who then become used to such a spread and hang around so the hunters riding up in their ATVs can shoot them like ducks in a barrel.  Ah, what sportsmen!) 

And, just today, I saw a large trash bag lying along the road with the carcass of a field dressed deer spilling out on the ground.  What a slob.

So here are some handy hints for the mighty hunters who flock to our area:

1.  I know y’all aren’t from around here, but when driving the back roads it’s customary to nod or lift your hand in a slight wave when approaching an oncoming vehicle.  A little politeness and neighborliness go a long way.  Don’t blast by with a scowl on your face.  We can see you’re driving a Hummer, but you don’t have to prove beyond all doubt that you are, in fact, an asshole.

2.  On a similar note, slow down!  You think it’s exhilarating to drive a one-lane, curving road in that SUV of yours, but there are other cars and sometimes people on that road.  Also, get the hell over to the side of the road when another car is coming your way.  We’ve nearly been run off the road by hunters who think it belongs to them.  It doesn’t—didn’t your mother teach you about sharing?

3.  Watch where you’re aiming that rifle.   We have had “hunters” who illegally hunted on a small, less than five acre parcel next to us.  I don’t care to be shot while doing the dishes in my kitchen.  Housework is bad enough without having to worry about stray gunfire.

4.  And about that trash of yours.  If this is the way you treat Mother Nature, I’d hate to see how you live at home.  Would it kill you to save that empty beer can, styrofoam cup or candy wrapper and put it in a trash receptacle later?  Monkeys at the zoo are more discerning about where they fling their poo than you are with your detritus.

I can’t wait for January 1st to arrive.  No longer will I be subjected to the spectacle of camouflage-covered beer bellies at the supermarket. 

Until it’s turkey season. 

I’ll be rooting for the turkeys—the feathered ones, that is.


Art on the Laundry Room Door


I love French advertising posters, and the art of T. Steinlen in particular.  I did this painting (with apologies to Steinlen) on the door leading out of the laundry room in the little 1870’s limestone house where we lived here in Texas until a year ago.  This is an ad for the Clinique Cheron veterinary hospital.  The really funny thing is after I did the painting, we had cats come into our lives that looked just like the ones pictured here.  Coincidence?  I think not. 

This painting was done with craft paint and took me the better part of a month because the light was only good for about four hours a day in that room.  Artificial light just made it too glary to work.  (Is glary even a word?)  I liked this ad because we have practically run our own veterinary hospital over the years, what with all the stray dogs and cats we’ve taken in.  At one point we had seven dogs and one cat.  Now we have six cats and one dog.  Go figure….