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Archive for the ‘Wrangling’ Category

It is time we lifted the veil on a closely held secret that is eerily similar to the fictional secret “revealed” in Men in Black. In that classic film, Lt. Gerard told the Fresh Prince of Bel Air that although Earth lives under constant threat from alien invaders (one of whom is Monk), nothing bad ever happens, thanks to an elite band of heroes wearing boring suits, white shirts, and Ray-Bans. They then went to work saving the world from a metamorphosed Bobby Goren, whom the cats had always thought was one of the good guys. Come to think of it, the movie was very confusing.

Confusion aside, movie-goers left the theater knowing that Earth is under no threat from aliens.

But our secret, gentle readers, is all too real. We all face an eminent danger of immense proportions. But worry not. Buddy is on the job fighting evil. What is that evil, you ask?

Packaging. Any form of packaging. You thought it was there to protect your purchases. It has actually swallowed up your merchandise while waiting to attack you in the middle of the night. Are you scared yet?

Sometimes it’s the tape on boxes. Sometimes it’s those small plastic grocery bags with handles. Today it was the seemingly harmless white tissue from a gift bag. The caretaker brought in a bag and set it on the table, then went to change clothes. While thus occupied, she heard a kerfuffle in the dining room. Apparently the tissue had attacked our hero and had been wrestled to the floor.

Fighting the Fell Beast

Fighting the Fell Beast

This tooth and nail and tissue battle raged violently for a few minutes, and then upon suspecting that the remaining tissue in the bag was getting ready to attack, Buddy whipped around and unleashed his super power, commonly known as blue laser vision.

Blue Laser Eye: Superpower Superb

Blue Laser Vision: Super Power Superb

At this display of force, order was quickly restored. Due to Buddy’s quick thinking and mad skills, the world is once more safe. The threat averted, he showed his mastery of the defeated tissue by treating it as a pelt and covering his paws with it.

Tissue Master

Tissue Master

Now all he needs is a pair of Ray-Bans and one of those flashy things, and he can consider himself an official employee of MIB. He would love the opportunity to make the caretaker forget some of those things she always nags him about. But he would have to be careful; he certainly wouldn’t want her to forget to buy cat food!

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With many apologies for a post title that uses up two of the world’s limited hyphen resources, the caretaker presents this report on Cowboy Buddy of the wild, wild west. Given the shorter days, colder weather, and the caretaker’s extended absences, Buddy has had to find ways to pass his time indoors. What’s worse, he has realized through hours of vigil at the windows that even if he were able to spend sufficient time on his beloved porch, he would not have as much entertainment as he would like. Fewer birds and squirrels are willing to brave the cool winds, and Mr. Shorty has been absent for days, probably curled up on a sherpa blanket beside a roaring fire. For several weeks, Buddy has had little to do besides eat and sleep, so he has spent his waking hours alternating between two extremes: fierce tantrums, in which he races through the house and yells “MAARRROOOOOW,” and unbearable doldrums, in which he mopes and imagines how wonderful everyone else’s life must be. For obvious reasons, the latter state is much easier to photograph:

Sad Little Face

Sad Little Face

But at some point in the past few days, Buddy decided that anger and self-pity are equally futile, so he set about finding a suitable activity to fill his dreary days. He soon tired of killing the bathroom rug, and although Cat TV is amusing for a while, it is entirely too tame when compared with the experience of reality TV on the screamed-in porch. His current activity was inspired by a line in Charles Portis’  True Grit, which is on the caretaker’s current reading list. At one point the impudent Mattie Ross proclaims, “I will go further and say that all cats are wicked. Who has not seen Satan in their sly faces?” Buddy was highly incensed by this prejudiced remark, so he set about to prove that at least one cat is not wicked. (He makes no such claims for Bear.) He decided that there was no better way to redeem his honor than to become a cowboy. This career, the gentle reader would agree, is much more difficult to pursue without the ready availability of cows, but such obstacles mean nothing to a persistent soul like Buddy. A wrangler at heart, he has taken up tracking and capturing all manner of small bits and bobs, including paper strips from the shredder and those paper-and-wire bag ties that are provided freely in the produce department of grocery stores. (Please don’t mention that to Buddy. While you’re at it, you should probably not mention that because of his colorings he is considered a cow cat, for that thought alone will start all kinds of unprofitable philosophical musings about self-loathing and the angst of modern existence. Quite frankly, it is already difficult enough for the simple-minded caretaker to live with such a deep-thinking cat.)

As with any of Buddy’s pursuits, cowboying is an all-or-nothing proposition. It is apparently not enough to capture the bag ties and bring them to justice. They must first be chewed, mangled, and otherwise abused once they are captured. In fact, they are often caught, manhandled, batted about the floor, faux forgotten for a moment, and then re-pursued. A single bag tie can provide hours of amusement. But all things must come to an end, even for a cowboy. When a bag tie has been damaged beyond its ability to provide entertainment, it is dropped unceremoniously into the food bowl, the cowboy’s way of providing his own rations when the caretaker has been negligent. Just this morning, the caretaker went to the kitchen to find that a previously full bowl was now graced with three pieces of dry food, several crumbs that fell during an eating frenzy, and two bag ties that had been crushed almost beyond recognition.

So all you little ladies out there have nothing to worry about from those rogue bag ties. Cowboy Buddy is on the job, and all of us in the wild, wild, west appreciate his tireless efforts to protect us. We don’t even care that the west was not nearly so wild before he arrived because it wasn’t nearly so interesting either. We hope we have many more wild years before Cowboy Buddy rides off into the sunset.

Keeping Vigil

Keeping Vigil

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