Monday, February 21, 2011

Puppies, Claws and Fleas

Sure, she looks cute now.
I get it. Puppies are adorable. Kittens are cuddly. Baby animals reduce us to inarticulate goo.

Like most children I started begging my mom for a kitten shortly after learning to speak. Fluffy fur? Win. Pull-able tail? Win. I had to have one.

I named our first kitten "Sarah" because I'm original like that. She was cute, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed. She was also a blood thirsty piranha.

For Sarah, every day was hunting season and your ankles were the game. She would hide behind the couch, in baskets of laundry and I'm pretty sure there were times she would descend from the ceiling a la Mission Impossible.

After the removal of her front claws she came at you like a Velociraptor instead. She was a real charmer.

The animals that followed in the wake of Sarah weren't on her level of insanity. Most of them were actually quite gentle and even sweet. However, as I got older I started to realize how much of a responsibility these little creatures were. They insisted on eating regularly. Some of them needed walks. They even defecate and stare at you until you do something about it.

Not what I signed up for.

Don't get me wrong, I love animals. I do. But I love them the way I love babies. I'll come play with yours then hand it back over when it starts to fill it's diaper.

I'll sympathize with you when your dog eats your pumps, then go home and hug my intact shoes. I'll hand you a paper towel when your cat coughs up a hairball on your carpet, then go home and kiss my hardwood floors.

Maybe someday I'll feel the need to have a dependent furball in my life. Anything is possible. For now, I'm content.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


A stopped moment on I-94, during my 2hr+ drive home.
I guess it takes the entire city of Chicago shutting down for me to make a blog post. I'm sitting here, day two of no work and no classes, digging deep into the pantry so I don't have to try to fishtail my way to a store.

All my muscles are very upset with me. They told me it wasn't a good idea to shovel for several hours yesterday and now they are chanting "I told ya so" every time I move. At first I had the six-year-old reaction of: SNOW! YAY! LET'S GO PLAY IN THE SNOW! SURE I'LL SHOVEL, IT'LL BE FUN! That enthusiasm lasted all of five minutes. I've never had to clear two feet of snow before and it's an experience I'll add to the "never again" list.

Yes, that's my car under there.
Digging my car out was the pinnacle of the day. The drifts had made it almost unrecognizable and yet it was still in better shape than the cars on the street.

We had to clear the driveway first which took roughly an hour and a half (with a snow blower even). Then I had to clear the car off and try to get to the snow that the wind packed under the car so that the tires would move. I started the car, thinking it would be easy to move it over to the clean part of the driveway so we could get to the rest of snow behind it. My car wasn't having it. It took another hour, pounds of salt and the smell of burning rubber to get my car to move.

The reports of stranded cars on Lake Shore Drive makes me thankful I was driving into the city and not out of it. If you have ever been to our fair city or can equate Lake Shore Drive to one of your popular highways you understand how intense it is to think of people just abandoning their cars and running for it. I can't imagine having to make that decision.

At the end of it all I am lucky to live in a place with heat and water pipes that won't freeze. I'm going to use my unexpected time off to get some writing done and ask the snow gods to retire.