Archive for November, 2008




10:28 pm · category: Uncategorized

Do you know what seems to make everything in life better?  Fried ham steak and canned new potatoes with loads of butter and salt.  Take that, Life!  (Except not literally, because I don’t want to die of a high cholesterol-induced coronary at 34.)




7:02 pm · category: Body of Mine

I know this makes some of you shake your head in horror and bewilderment, but I don’t drink coffee.  Mostly, anyway.  A couple of times a year I’ll get a caramel macchiato from Starbucks or have a cup full of equal parts creamer and sugar and hot chocolate and coffee at Aunt Doodie’s, but for the most part I avoid it.  There are two reasons for this.  Number one:  It has an aftertaste worse than that of Diet Coke that will stick with me all day no matter how many times I brush my teeth.  Number two:  Well, that’s because of Number Two.  I usually just say coffee hurts my stomach, but the truth is it makes me shit my guts out.

Nevertheless, I do own a coffee pot and always have coffee in my house.  Sometimes I need it for cooking other stuff (The best chocolate cake I’ve ever had is chock full of coffee and mayonnaise.), but mostly I have those items available for guests because I know I’m in the coffee-free minority.  But lately I’ve discovered that I really, really, really like the iced hazelnut coffee thingie at McDonald’s, and it doesn’t cause me any intestinal issues if I nurse one all day long.  But at over $3 a pop, I can’t very well be buying them very often, so I decided to start making my own.  Today I picked up the hazelnut syrup and got ready to tingle my taste buds.

Coffee pot?  Kaput.

I know that for some of you this would be a tragedy of apocalyptic proportions, but I was just peeved that a fourth thing broke within two weeks.  What’s next?  A broken bone, maybe?  I’ve never had one of those and I don’t have health insurance, so that seems likely.



One Word Meme

Not even two weeks in, and I already hate NaBloPoMo.  It would be better if everything I had to say didn’t end with “and then my __________ broke.”  So here’s a meme stolen from a gozillion people — most recently Podgy.

Instructions: Use one word to describe or answer the following list. (In the comments is fine – or on your blog if you like.)

1.Your house?

2.Your significant other?

3. Your hair?

4. Your family?

5. Favorite place to eat?

6. Your favorite thing you can see right now?

7. Where is your cell phone?

8. Your favorite drink?

9.Your dream/goal?

10. What room you are in?

11. Your hobby?

12. Your fear?

13. Where do you want to be in 6 years?
14. Where were you last night?

15. Something that you aren’t?

16. Pie?

17. Wish list item?

18. TV show?

19. Last thing you did?

20. What are you wearing?

21. Vacation spot?

22. Your pets?

23. A best friend?

24. Your life?

25. Your mood?

26. Missing someone?

27. Your car?

28. Something you’re not wearing.

29. Your favorite store?

30.Best memory?

*I don’t actually call it a parlor; I call it a living room.  But that was two words, so I had to get creative.



8:19 pm · category: NaBloPoMo

You know how bad things come in threes?  Let’s see if we can narrow down exactly what the third thing was after my laptop kicked it and my car tried to blow up.

Was it when I flea dipped a dog on Friday that later apparently had a bad reaction and spent 36 hours at the vet in intensive care?

Was it when I was so desperate for NaBloPoMo fodder that I detailed the contents of my kitchen on Saturday?

Was it when I woke up Sunday convinced I was sick, even though my only symptom was that I was ridiculously cold?  So I stayed in bed for something like 27 hours completely bundled up with either a laptop or a book to keep me company?  And then woke up at 3 a.m. with my hips screaming in agony because apparently sitting in bed is not really good for you?

Was it when I got home today and found myself freezing all over again, then realized it was 55 degrees and that maybe I was cold because it was cold outside?  AND THEN FOUND OUT MY HEAT DOESN’T WORK?!?

The only up side to this is that I’m wearing my flannel zebra striped pajamas and look criminally cute.  The down side is that for the first time in my life I wish I could knit, because then I’d have a pair of those horrendously hot, tightly woven socks.



An Open Letter

7:20 pm · category: NaBloPoMo

Dear Life,

Stop fucking with me.





An Army of One

9:59 pm · category: Body of Mine

Okay, technically, my car didn’t “blow up” so much as it threatened to by expelling things from the wrong places.  Yesterday it decided to start lurching and acting like it couldn’t get a steady supply of gasoline when I was en route to purchase the new laptop I so desperately needed for my coursework, freelancing, and NaBloPoMoing.  I let it “rest” for awhile in my friends’ driveway, but when I got ready to leave it decided to spew thick, white smoke (So dramatic!) and drip gasoline from the tailpipe.  Come Monday, I will be driving my daddy’s truck until I can figure out what the hell is wrong with the car and scrape together the money to repair it.  Until then, I’m stuck here at my house without transportation.

Now, you have to remember that I live in a place where there is absolutely no public transportation: no trains, subways, buses, cabs, etc.  You either walk, bike, or drive; there are no other alternatives.  And while one of my favorite things about my house is its location (outside of town in a gently traveled area with beautiful scenery), it’s not exactly an ideal place if you don’t have wheels and are not in particularly good shape.

Last night I caught a ride home with my friend Kim’s parents, as they were en route to Little Rock and could drive right by my exit.  Those kind folks were nice enough to stop at a gas station so I could buy a pack of cigarettes.  I called Aunt Doodie to tell her of my situation (She likes to stay abreast of these things.), and then whined about my lack of supplies.  Aunt Doodie showed up on cue this morning with a 1/2 gallon of whiskey and a two-liter Coke.  It seemed I was all set for this stuck-at-the-house thing.

Until I got hungry.

I was starving by noon today.  You have to understand that I’m doing a half-assed version of Body for Life, so I’ve extended my “free day” to “free days” — Saturday and Sunday — wherein I eat pretty much what I want (read: anything and everything, within certain reason) on the weekends.  So I fully expected to be able to have KFC Original Strips and frozen hot chocolate and cocktails any time I wanted for 48 consecutive hours, provided I could drive into town to procure said items.  But that was not to be, due to my auto issues.  How was I going to survive my much-anticipated “free days” without snacks and such?

Apparently, all I needed to do was look in my freezer/refrigerator/pantry.  Here’s a condensed list of items I found:


  • 1 (1 lb.) pkg. ground turkey
  • 2 (3 lb.) pkgs. chicken breasts/tenders
  • 1 (1 lb.) pkg. deveined shrimp
  • 2 (1 lb.) pkgs. fish (tilapia and cod)
  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 2  individually self-packaged lean pork chops
  • 3 cheap-ass, disgusting, pre-packaged steaks (Lou will enjoy those)
  • 1 individually packaged bacon-wrapped beef tenderloin
  • 1 (2 lb.) beef butt roast
  • 1 pkg. frozen Brussels sprouts
  • 1 pkg. frozen spinach
  • 1 pkg. frozen turnip greens
  • 1 pkg. frozen breaded okra
  • 2 pkgs. Smart Balance butter substitute
  • 13 Lean Cuisines, variety
  • 1 pkg. whole wheat cheese tortellini
  • 2 (1 gal.) bags homemade bread crumbs


  • 1 tub Smart Balance butter
  • 1 lg. jar mandarin oranges
  • 1 lg. jar Barlett pears
  • 1 lg. jar pineapple
  • 1 (carton) low-fat sour cream
  • 1 (1/2 gallon) soy milk
  • 2 cartons egg whites
  • 2 (opened) pkgs. sliced cheese (Sharp and Jalapeno Jack)
  • 1 (unopened) (2 lb.) pkg. Sharp cheddar (shredded)
  • 23 (!) bottles various condiments (pickles, salad dressings, pastes, jams/jellies, traditional condiments, cocktail sauce, Durkee sauce, various shakey cheeses, etc.)
  • 1 onion


  • 2 cans tomato soup
  • 2 cans cream of broccoli soup
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 4 cans chicken and rice soup
  • 6 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 6 cans vegetable beef soup
  • 3 cans various Chef Boyardee selections
  • 15 cans chicken broth
  • 1 jar chicken bullion cubes
  • 2 cans mushroom gravy
  • 2 cans beef gravy
  • 1 can chicken gravy
  • 1 can ranch style beans
  • 3 cans cream style corn
  • 2 cans blackeye peas
  • 1 can purple hull peas
  • 2 cans asparagus
  • 1 jar green olives
  • 8 cans tuna
  • 2 cans peaches
  • 1 can pineapple
  • 2 boxes raisins
  • 1 canister prunes
  • 1 pkg. dried apricots
  • 3 pkgs. whole grain pasta (various shapes/types)
  • 4 pkgs. rice (brown long grain, brown basmati, white basmati, brown instant boil-in-a-bag)
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 pkg. Alfredo sauce (to make)
  • 8 sweet potatoes
  • 1 box whole wheat crackers
  • Several (more than) half-empty boxes of specialty crackers and the like

And, of course, this doesn’t even include my baking cabinet or my spice rack/cabinet.  I bake, on average, four loaves of bread a week, so of course I have tons of flour, sugar, yeast and spices of all varieties.  Add in the oats, flax, karo, molasses, honey, coconut, nuts, and cocoa, and I’m pretty much set until Christmas.

Determination: If it seems likely the world is going to mostly end, you should come stay with me.  Also, I am not likely to go hungry this weekend.

(In my defense, I make my own bread crumbs and store them in the freezer forever.  Did you know you can use pretty much anything — crackers, chips, etc. [any flavor/seasoning!] — and toast it, dry it, and crush it to make bread crumbs?  If you do that, you usually don’t have to season the crumbs!  And since I mostly just use them for holiday casseroles, making my own comes in handy.  Also, I don’t actually eat “cream of” soups from a can.  [Except, on rare occasion, the broccoli variety.]  But Thanksgiving is coming up — which means casseroles galore! — and Kroger was having a kick-ass soup sale.  Yes, I have become the woman who is excited by soup sales.  [Soupy Sales?  Just okay.]  And the Chef Boyardee is in case my youngest sister decides her children are safe in my care and can stay overnight at my house.  [Except for the Chili Mac.  I like Chili Mac, okay?])



That’s The Way It Goes, I Guess

10:38 pm · category: Uncategorized

Today I bought a new laptop!

And then my car blew up!


I’ve been writing every day (six pages on Election Day!), and I’ll post and backdate those over the weekend.  I won’t qualify for a NaBloPoMo prize, but at least I won’t feel like a quitter.



Been There, Done That Meme

Bold the ones you’ve done, and add one at the end.

1. Bought everyone in the pub a drink
2. Swam with wild dolphins
3. Climbed a mountain
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive.
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid.
6. Held a tarantula.

7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone.

8. Said “I love you” and meant it.
9. Hugged a tree.
10. Done a striptease.
11. Bungee jumped.

12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Stayed up all night long, and watched the sun rise.
15. Seen the Northern Lights.  (But I did see something incredibly similar that was a bright fuchsia, and it was AMAZING.)
16. Gone to a huge sports game. (I’m assuming the Cotton Bowl counts.)
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables.
19. Touched an iceberg.
20. Slept under the stars.
21. Changed a baby’s diaper.

22. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon.
23. Watched a meteor shower. (This is one of my most very favorite memories.)
24. Gotten drunk on champagne.
25. Given more than you can afford to charity.

26. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope.
27. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment.
28. Had a food fight.

29. Bet on a winning horse/dog.
30. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.
31. Asked out a stranger.
32. Had a snowball fight.
33. Photocopied your bottom on the office photocopier.
34. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can.
35. Held a lamb.
36. Enacted a favourite fantasy.
37. Taken a midnight skinny dip.
38. Taken an ice cold bath.
39. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar.
40. Seen a total eclipse.
41. Ridden a roller coaster.

42. Hit a home run.
43. Fit three weeks miraculously into three days.
44. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking.
45. Adopted an accent for an entire day.
46. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
47. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment.
48. Had two hard drives for your computer.

49. Visited all 50 states.
50. Loved your job for all accounts.
51. Taken care of someone who was shit faced.
52. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
53. Had amazing friends.

54. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country.
55. Watched wild whales.
56. Stolen a sign.
57. Backpacked in Europe.
58. Taken a road trip.
59. Rock climbing.
60. Lied to foreign government’s official in that country to avoid notice.
61. Midnight walk on the beach.

62. Sky diving.
63. Visited Ireland.
64. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love.
65. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them.
66. Visited Japan.
67. Bench pressed your own weight.
68. Milked a cow.
69. Alphabetized your albums.
70. Pretended to be a superhero.
71. Sung karaoke.

72. Lounged around in bed all day.
73. Posed nude in front of strangers.
74. Scuba diving.
75. Got it on to “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye.
76. Kissed in the rain.
77. Played in the mud.
78. Played in the rain.
79. Gone to a drive-in movie theatre.
80. Done something you should regret, but don’t regret it.

81. Visited the Great Wall of China.
82. Discovered that someone who’s not supposed to have known about your blog has discovered your blog.
83. Dropped Windows in favour of something better.
84. Started a business.
85. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken.
86. Toured ancient sites.
87. Taken a martial arts class.
88. Sword fought for the honor of a woman.
89. Played D&D or another RPG for more than 6 hours straight.
90. Gotten married.
91. Been in a movie.
92. Crashed a party.
93. Loved someone you shouldn’t have.
94. Kissed someone so passionately it made them dizzy.
95. Gotten divorced.
96. Had sex at the office.
97. Gone without food for 5 days.
98. Made cookies from scratch.

99. Won first prize in a costume contest.
100. Ridden a gondola in Venice.
101. Gotten a tattoo.
102. Found that the texture of some materials can turn you on.
103. Rafted the Snake River.
104. Been on television news programs as an “expert”.
105. Got flowers for no reason.
106. Masturbated in a public place.
107. Got so drunk you don’t remember anything.

108. Been addicted to some form of illegal drug.
109. Performed on stage.
110. Been to Las Vegas.
111. Recorded music.
112. Eaten shark.
113. Had a one-night stand.
114. Gone to Thailand.
115. Seen Siouxsie live.
116. Bought a house.
117. Been in a combat zone.
118. Buried one/both of your parents.
119. Shaved or waxed your pubic hair off.

120. Been on a cruise ship.
121. Spoken more than one language fluently.
122. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone.
123. Bounced a check

124. Performed in Rocky Horror.
125. Read – and understood – your credit report.
126. Raised children.
127. Recently bought and played with a favourite childhood toy.

128. Followed your favourite band/singer on tour. (I’m counting this one, even though it was the WWE rather than a band.)
129. Created and named your own constellation of stars.
130. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country.
131. Found out something significant that your ancestors did.
132. Called or written to your MP/Congressperson.
133. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over.
134. …more than once?

135. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge.
136. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking.
137. Had an abortion or your female partner did.
138. Had plastic surgery.
139. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived.
140. Wrote articles for a large publication.
141. Lost over 100 pounds.
142. Held someone while they were having a flashback.
143. Piloted an airplane.
144. Petted a stingray.
145. Broken someone’s heart.
146. Helped an animal give birth.
147. Been fired or laid off from a job.

148. Won money on a TV game show.
149. Broken a bone.
150. Killed a human being.
151. Gone on an African photo safari.
152. Ridden a motorcycle.
153. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph.
154. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced.
155. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol.

156. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild.
157. Ridden a horse.
158. Had major surgery.
159. Had sex on a moving train.
160. Had a snake as a pet.
161. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
162. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing.
163. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours.
164. Visited more foreign countries than US states.
165. Visited all 7 continents.
166. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days.
167. Eaten kangaroo meat.
168. Fallen in love at an ancient Mayan burial ground.
169. Been a sperm or egg donor.
170. Eaten sushi.
171. Had your picture in the newspaper.
172. Had 2 (or more) healthy romantic relationships for over a year in your lifetime.
173. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about.
174. Gotten someone fired for their actions.
175. Gone back to school.
176. Parasailed.
177. Changed your name.
178. Petted a cockroach.
179. Eaten fried green tomatoes.
180. Read The Iliad.
181. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read.
182. Dined in a restaurant and stolen silverware, plates, cups because your apartment needed them.
183. …and gotten barred from the restaurant because you did it so many times, they figured out it was you.
184. Taught yourself art from scratch.
185. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
186. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt.
187. Skipped all your school reunions.
188. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language.
189. Been elected to public office.
190. Written your own computer language.
191. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream.
192. Had to put someone you love into hospice care.
193. Built your own PC from parts.
194. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you.
195. Had a booth at a street fair.
196. Dyed your hair.
197. Been a DJ.
198. Found out someone was going to dump you via LiveJournal.
199. Written your own role playing game.
200. Given a tramp a sponge-bath.
201. Masturbated a caged laboratory animal.
202. Pretented you liked Kevin Smith movies when you secretly didn’t.
203. Deliberately, personally, and purposefully insult someone to their face to cause as much harm as possible.
204. Sold any part of your body, or any product from it, for money.
205. Had a secret published in post-secret.
206. Sent food or wine back in a restaurant.
207.  And regretted it?
208. Seen a bioluminescent tide.
209. Robbed a grave.
210. Taken a microgravity airplane (or spacecraft!) ride.
211. Inspired a painter.
212. Had a three-way conversation, speaking 3 different languages (sometimes all 3 in one sentence) and everyone understood.
213. Held a raptor in your hand.
214. Been excommunicated from a major religion.
215. Breastfed during a rock concert.

216. Used fake ID.

217. Eaten an animal you can’t buy at the supermarket.




12:40 pm · category: NaBloPoMo

I turned 18 in January 1992.  In May of that year my boss — a small business owner in small-town Arkansas — took her daughter (who had recently celebrated her eighteenth birthday) and me to our county courthouse to register to vote.

In November of that year I cast my first vote in my first ever election for Bill Clinton — a man I’d met a number of times and whom I trusted to lead my country despite his obvious faults.  I watched his televised acceptance speech on the steps of Arkansas’ Old Statehouse — a place I’d walked past dozens of times — and marveled that I had played some teensy-tiny role in bringing to be this moment in history, when a man from a place called Hope (better known in Arkansas as “the place with all the watermelons”) was elected leader of the free world.


Is there anything noteworthy about the 1996 Presidential campaign?  Not in my memory, no.


I remember the 2000 election almost as clearly as I remember the one in 1992 — unfortunately.  I was on a trip to an invitational tournament with the high school quiz bowl team I coached.  It was one of those rare trips where we were traveling so far that we had to drive up the night prior to the tourney and stay in a motel to ensure we would arrive on time for our first game the following morning.  My team was an interesting — and evenly divided — mix of conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats.  (Even though, you know, none of them could technically vote due to their age.)  But they were whip-smart kids, and they possessed firmly held political ideals.  I remember this night distinctly for two reasons.

First, two of my female team members explained to me how wearing thong undergarments meant one didn’t have panty lines.  This discussion occurred as we walked to a gas station late that evening for caffeine so we could study a bit longer than usual.  (“You just have to accept that the thong is going to go up your ass crack, and then you’ll be fine,” they assured me.  They were right; I started wearing thongs within the month, and before the end of the first year of the new president’s term I was going commando.  [Still am, if you're interested.])

The second thing I clearly remember is going to bed that night knowing Gore was firmly in the lead.  But when the team gathered on the bus the following morning, we learned that Gore had not, in fact, definitively won.  (I always found it amusing that the person who delivered this news was the lone pagan on the team, who stayed up to follow the incoming returns when the rest of us had gone to bed assuming our political fates were sealed.)  You can imagine, then, the good-natured ribbing on the bus that morning en route to the quiz bowl tournament.  I seem to remember McDonald’s — our traditional breakfast stop when a Cracker Barrell wasn’t available — was selling/giving away cheap, plush donkeys and elephants as some sort of political tie-in campaign.  After devouring my Egg McSomething, I clearly remember returning to the bus to find a stuffed donkey hung by noose from the ceiling of the bus by the more conservative team members.


Ah, the Kerry Campaign.  I can’t say I was necessarily excited, but I was hopeful that the country wouldn’t, as a whole, be stupid again.  Because, really?  BUSH?  I was in seminary (Yes, seminary.  You know — Jesus school?) at the time and living with my parents.  (Shut up!)  I remember staying up almost all night monitoring the WD and* on Monday, then walking to my polling station (less than 1/4 mile away) at 8 a.m. on Election Day.  (Here’s where I have to admit that I was somewhere between tipsy and morning-after drunk at the time.)  I even remember what I was wearing that day.  (Those jeans?  Wore them at Cassy’s a couple of weeks ago.  I am not one much for fashion.)  And I guess I’d been in serious denial, because I was somewhat devastated that Bush prevailed.  AGAIN.  I mean, seriously, America?  Had you not been paying attention?  Because I’ll vote for boring over stupid any day.


Some time ago — probably a year or more? — someone on the WD (not from the U.S.) posed the possibility of either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama becoming the Democratic nominee in the 2008 election.  Although I never responded to that post, I dismissed either of these possibilities out of hand with an inner eye roll.  A woman or a black man as the Democratic nominee?  Ha!  No fucking way!  Now, I certainly don’t like to think of myself as a product of my racist, sexist, poverty-stricken state, but I am not stupid, either.  I know how conservative middle America works, and I knew that neither a woman nor a racial minority had a snowball’s chance at being a presidential candidate.

Okay, well, I was totally (read: thankfully) wrong.  (I, for one, was completely enthralled when the Democratic nomination came down to Clinton and Obama.  And I’ll admit that I supported Clinton at that point; this was due in part to the fact that I knew what a force H. Clinton would be due to my being an Arkansan — and, of course, my belief that all Southern states would be more likely to elect a woman before an African American.)

When it became apparent that Obama would be the Democratic nominee, I momentarily freaked out and had a spell of about two weeks wherein I leaned more toward McCain.  This was odd, because I felt like a traitor of sorts.  But I was basing my vote on looking for the most qualified candidate, and I felt Obama was rather inexperienced; moreoever, I didn’t find McCain completely and totally terrifying.  (As opposed to, you know, BUSH.)  And then a friend put it to me straight: “So, Bradi, you don’t think Obama is smart enough to recognize his limitations and select and appoint people who will fill in those gaps?”



When Jon Stewart announced Obama’s win on Indecision ’08, I freaked out.  I threw my Entertainment Weekly in the air and clapped my hands and whooped.  Then I grabbed my dog around the neck, hugging her tightly while screaming, “We did it!  We did it!”  I smiled fondly and appreciatively at McCain during his concession speech, and I cried right along with Oprah and Jesse during Obama’s acceptance speech.  And then I stayed up half the night writing this, which surely must be my longest post ever.


Millions of other bloggers will be telling their stories today.  Mine is not particularly interesting or insightful.  But I won’t not post this, because this post tells an important part of the story of who I am: a politically active, involved and aware person who doesn’t dismiss a candidate out of hand based on party lines or religious beliefs.  A person who grew up in a place where it was an (mostly) unspoken given that minorities have no place in leadership or politics.  A person who still feels as though her vote counts, even when her state bleeds red and passes unconscionable measures.

A person who hugged her dog tonight and yelled, “We did it!” and thought, “Yes, we can.”

* That actually pretty much explains everything about how I get my information.



Kitty to Good Home?

7:31 pm · category: Uncategorized

When I came back from California, one of my cats was missing.

The cat in question, Nigel, is solid black.  He’s also so lovable and friendly that he’s never without affection for long.  But Nigel and his “brother,” Quentin, became inside/outside cats about two months ago.  I let Nigel out when he asked just before I left for the airport, and the people who came to check on and feed the kitties didn’t see him the whole time I was gone.  When I returned three days later, there was still no sign of Nigel.

You can imagine how depressed I was.  Nigel’s one of those cats who wants to sleep under the covers snuggled right between my boobs, and if I don’t hold him he will nip and scratch my arms until I wrap them around him.  Quentin, on the other hand, is quite aloof (typical cat) and desires attention and affection on his terms.  But since Nigel’s been gone, Quentin has decided he’d like some of that boob action, too, and he’s been perched on Nigel’s “regular” spot behind me on the chair.

I figured Nigel was gone for good; after all, it’s been 12 days.  Besides, people kept telling me not to let him out because it was almost Halloween and black cats have a way of disappearing around that time.  I figured those people didn’t know what they were talking about, but when he was MIA for about five days I sort of said a little prayer and hoped he was enjoying kitty heaven.

But this afternoon Quentin jumped off the back of my chair and went to the door to the deck, gurgling out these horrendous meows.  I kept telling him to wait and I’d let him out when I finished the article I was reading, but he was insistent.  And then, suddenly, he was meowing on two different tones at once.  Now, unless Quentin took Tuvan throat singing classes while I was gone, that shouldn’t have been possible.  And sure enough, there stood Nigel on the other side of the door, his little pink nose pressed up against the pane of glass as he wailed to be let in.

Nigel is, in fact, in perfect health.  I’ve rubbed him and scratched him all over, and he doesn’t seem to have any injuries.  It’s possible he’s lost a little weight, but I can’t be certain.  And he doesn’t seem to have any fleas.  I can’t imagine how or why he would be gone 12 days without injuries or weight loss or fleas, so I’m thinking someone must have taken him in.  (He’s absolutely the kind of cat who would follow you anywhere if you stooped down to pet him.)  So I’m very, very happy right now that my cat is home.  I’m going to go snuggle with him now.