Thursday, February 26, 2015

Classic Cardigan Twofer: The Stupid, Rotten, Very Bad, Humiliating Life Lessons My Dogs Once Learned

Some things a dog only needs to experience once. Here are two separate accounts of such things - one each for Jon Farleigh and Dewi.
(Note: The number of lessons that preceded and followed these particular examples is greater than my patience for writing them down. Let's just say, they're well-educated.)

Originally published on 7/5/11 and 10/4/11, respectively (gasp, they were just babies then!)...

Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way by Dewi - Fruity Soap

The night before last, while I was milling around in the master bathroom, I heard The Hubby exclaim (in the dog version of his "what have you gotten into now" voice)...

The Hubby"Boys, what have you gotten into now!?"

[cue slight groan as human lowers himself to carpet and slithers halfway under king size bed]


 Me [with dread]: "Yeah?"

[cue slight groan as human slithers out from under bed and stands up using only three limbs]

The Hubby (now standing in bathroom with outstretched arm and "how the heck did they get this?" look on his face): 
"How the heck did they get this?!

(Meanwhile, Dewi is smacking his lips - as if he has peanut butter smeared on the roof of his mouth - with an ever-so-slight dollop of suds trailing down his left jowl.)

This is the part where I turn the blog over to Dewi and let him tell his story - in pictures.

I am not laughing, but my people seem to think this is funny. P'shah.

You dogs, pay close attention!

Any questions?

No dogs were physically harmed during the original incident nor during the making of this blog post. The soap, however, needed a thorough rinsing due to dog slobber contamination. Oh yeah, and Dewi swiped the soap out of the walk-in shower when I had my back turned.

Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way by Jon Farleigh - Ingesting Hair

Jon Farleigh swallowed some of his own hair (never mind how I know this), which, this afternoon, led to a series of unfortunate events. 

At this time, Jon Farleigh will take over the blog and tell the story in his own words (okay, mostly pictures).

Hairy dogs, pay attention!

If you eat some hair and get that "not-so-fresh" feeling, DO NOT use this...


...when you should be using this...
...or else the Mom person will use these...

Any questions?

Please leave me now.


Well? What sorts of life lessons have your pets learned?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Yes, Virginia, Cats Do Purr in Heaven (and Here's Why)

So yesterday - in a typical bout of deep thought - I found myself questioning (for the first time ever) whether cats purr in Heaven. And if they do, why? I mean, since it seems that cats purr on Earth mostly to express contentment, wouldn't it be redundant, or wasted energy, for them to purr in Heaven? Because, duh, it's Heaven, and they'd be purring non-stop!

But then, the thought of never getting to hear cats purr in Heaven made me sad (assuming I'll be joining them there), because besides Dewi making wookiee noises, babies laughing, mockingbirds singing and waves crashing, I can't think of many other noises from nature that I enjoy half as much as a cat's contented purring. sigh

But before I could get all sad about not wanting to go to a Heaven without cat purrs, I told myself to step back and consider the question from another angle: maybe cats purr because they're happy on Earth, but for some other reason in Heaven? Then I looked over and saw Maddox, and thought, Maddox doesn't purr a whole lot, but when he does he gets all into it, with gurgling noises and kneading...and then, I thought of my new t-shirt that shows a kitty baking bread, and I thought, GREAT SCOTT, THAT'S IT! Cats purr and knead when they're happy on Earth (due to memories of their mama's milk bar, I suspect), but in Heaven, cats knead and purr BECAUSE THEY'RE MASTER CINNAMON BUN BAKERS! SQUEE! Makin' Bread

Yes, that had to be it! Cats purr in Heaven while they knead the bun dough! (Think about those dwarfs whistling while they work!) And even more, because it's Heaven, cats' breath will no longer smell of tuna, but of vanilla icing, and they won't need claws nor teeth, nor will they shed (but they'll still look the same, just a little fluffier, like unicorns) and EVERYBODY will love them, because in Heaven, everybody loves warm, kitty-made-with-love cinnamon buns! 

Oh, and then I remembered that my Maddox (like lots of other cats) has extra toes on his paws (polydactyl), and was like, OH MY GOSH! Polydactyl cats, in Heaven, are like Jedi Master bun makers! They're the cats in charge of teaching all the standard, 5-toed kitties how to knead cinnamon bun dough to angels' standards! And, you guys, the stars (might have) aligned in the East and it all made perfect sense! Imagine how soundly I slept last night!

And now? I'd like a warm, sticky Cinnabon, thank you! Wouldn't you?


This post is dedicated to the life and memory of my dear, sweet Eva kitty, whom my family unexpectedly lost last week (from what was likely advanced lymphoma). I wrote about it on Facebook, where you can find more details. 

Three years ago, I wrote another post about Eva; her purrs were top-of-mind that day, too (though for different reasons). It was, and remains, a celebration of my unlikely bond with this cat. Here it is again, in its entirety. Thank you for celebrating Eva with me!

Originally published on March 22, 2012...

Why I'm Head-Over-Heels for My Oft-Hateful, Once Borderline-Feral Cat

We (I) rescued Eva a few years ago from a life on the lam. She showed up on my front porch out of the blue one day, covered in ticks and half-starved. She was far from reciprocal of my attempts at friendship, but grateful for a meal.

For weeks after taking her in, I agonized that I'd made a HUGE mistake in keeping her. She never came out of the basement except to eat, and she distrusted (and therefore, treated with disdain) every human in my house. It was awful.

But then slowly, after - I presume - she began to view us (especially me because I'm the one who was with her most of the day) as not threats so much, but colony members, she made more and more appearances and even allowed some limited handling (meaning, only from the front and only her head and neck).

It wasn't much, but it was enough to give me hope.

Weeks and months passed, and so did Eva's penchant for lonely basement living. And while she still preferred to see the human's hand before it made contact with her fur, once it did, she clearly enjoyed it, narrowing her eyes and belting out choruses of idling lawn mower engines in the distance.

Then one day she followed me.

Not to her empty bowl. Not to the pantry where the cat treats are dispensed. Not to the couch where the bowl of ice cream I'd just finished would be placed on the floor for her licking pleasure (yes, I do).

But simply to the place where I was going.

Because on that day, in that moment, all she (this borderline-feral, emotionally-scarred animal) wanted was me.


On a typical morning around here, the cats curl up in their favorite out-of-the-dogs'-reach place and nap for a good two-three hours.

Eva's preferred napping place is in my bedroom, even though I have to shut the door behind her to keep the dogs from running in and wreaking havoc.

When I opened that door today, Eva raised her head in typical fashion, had a good stretch and was eager to participate in the morning's activities (eating, cat box-visiting and self-grooming in a sunbeam, in that order).

So today, like most days, she made her way to the kitchen - where the dogs eagerly awaited their after-breakfast snack. However, unlike most days, she didn't keep to the rest of her routine.

You see, while the dogs were still frolicking in the kitchen, I'd made my way back down the hall to my bedroom. I almost got there, too.

But then, I heard the bell on the cat's collar, then galloping footsteps, and just as I was about to cross the threshold of my bedroom door, she flew past me in a blur of black fur. And when she turned, flashed me a look of adoration that beckoned like a magnet to steel.

And it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Eva'd returned to the very place she'd just eagerly left. However, not for food nor water. Not for an after-dinner grooming session, nor to satisfy any other cat-ly need. 

It was simply because it was where I was going.

Because today, in that moment, all she (my borderline-domestic, cherished family pet) wanted was me.

So, I shut the door behind us and held reverie in the chorus of idling lawn mower engines in the distance.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

8 Obvious Reasons Why Dogs Sit on Cats [With BONUS Video]

If you've lived dangerously* - as I have - perhaps you've witnessed it: a dog backing up to a cat and resting his entire backside (usually with tail in the upright position, thereby, fully exposing the butthole) directly over the cat's face. Or, if his aim is off (as my dogs' usually is, because they're corgis, and have limited clearance between their butts and the floor), on the flat part of the cat's side, as if sitting on a back-less futon.

It's quite a sight to behold, actually. Not so much the act of sitting on the cat, but that, in many cases, the cat either a) seems to enjoy it, or b) is momentarily paralyzed from shock, and therefore, just lies there motionless, and allows you to take several photos and/or video.

Now, I realize many of you haven't lived as dangerously* as I, which is why I've curated this collection of my own photos**, plus a compilation video (of someone else's dogs and cats). I think you'll find it (the collection) educational.

* By dangerously, I mean, there's a flock*** of pets in my house. 
*** Flock = at least 3 broken vacuums in 4 years.
** Previously published.

What? Is there something stuck on my fur?

Yeah, I'm thinking that's gonna leave a skid mark. 

Speaking of educational, it occurred to me a few hours ago, that there must be a good reason why dogs get the urge to just sit on a cat. I doubt anyone has ever done a scientific study on that, though (who'd fund one?), so I didn't bother wasting my time on Google. I was, however - using personal anecdotal evidence - able to brainstorm a few reasons of my own. They all seemed obvious, I might add. See if you agree.

8 Reasons Why Dogs Sit on Cats
  1. to dominate them
  2. to humiliate them
  3. to retaliate against them
  4. they think it's funny
  5. they're emotionally immature (might be redundant)
  6. chairs are too hard against their hard dog buns
  7. they thought you gave the command, "sit on a cat," when you actually mumbled, "go to your mat"
  8. they heard your command perfectly, but sat on the cat because it was softer than their mat. 
So? Think I'm in the ballpark? Can you think of any other reason(s)? Does anyone want to sponsor a scientific study? 

Wait! Before you decide whether to sponsor the study, check out this (hilarious) video compilation!
P.S. Do not be alarmed. Sometimes the cat sits on the dog, too. Those instances would NOT be included in the study.

So, how about now? Think I should set up crowdsourcing to fund a study? Yeah, me neither.

Might as well check for bedbugs while I'm down here...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

5 Ways My No-good, Broken Dishwasher Triggered a Happiness Windfall for My Dogs

My dishwasher quit working earlier this month. Naturally, it outed its state of malfunction just after I'd carefully crammed in the last possible dirty dish. (Dear dishwasher makers: Maybe think about adding a "breakdown imminent, do not load" warning chime to future models? Because the current system of "let's let her fill it all the way up and see if she cries when it doesn't start" just isn't cutting it. Thanks for listening.)

It stayed broken for nearly two weeks, because a) there is a shortage of "authorized brand A" service providers in every zip code in America, which means one will wait at least three business days (so sorry your appliance broke down on a Thursday before a holiday weekend) before the initial service call, b) the part that broke (99% of all appliance parts) is not in the van and must be ordered, and c) a second service call must be scheduled (refer to "a" above for details).

I hate washing dishes by hand. Hate, as in I'd rather set them on fire and run. I don't know why, and - for the love of dogs - I can't help the way I was born! (Hint: No judging!)

Anyway, thanks to my family's help, no fires were set and we all managed to eat without running out of plates and utensils. (Let's hear it for overcoming first world problems! ahem) The funny thing is - about three days in - I realized the change in routine was affecting Jon Farleigh and Dewi, And, if given the choice, they would've had me doing the dishes, over the dishwasher, forever. 

Because, all of this:

5 Ways My No-good, Broken Dishwasher Triggered a Happiness Windfall for My Dogs

1. It forced me to spend more time in the kitchen, near the pantry, where the corgi (and kitty) snacks are kept. For the record, I would not have given them the extra treats had they not looked so dang cute/desperate in my moments of weakness.

Might I trouble you for a snack?

Why, yes, I'm a fan of snacks. Snacks are great!

I might only have 23 more minutes to live unless you get me a snack.

I've chewed up a stool, slippers, a briefcase, a chair and all the USB chargers; don't make me chew up a pantry door, too. 

2. I repeat, it forced me to spend more time in the kitchen, and therefore, less time typing/surfing the net/not paying attention to corgis at the office computer. Apparently, I distract easily when performing menial kitchen labor.

Excuse me, I'm over here! Do I need to tap dance, too?
(Sure wish the dishwasher would break down.)

3. A friendly service technician (named John) got to come over and play with the dogs. And by that, I mean - in order to be heard over the playing - I had to yell things like:

  • "Jon, stop jumping! Oh, oops (Mr. service tech John), my dog's name is Jon too; just ignore me if you hear it!"
  • "I'm so sorry, they're just really happy to see you!"
  • "Hey, come on in! They love people; they're just loud! Jonny, stop the barking!"
  • "His favorite game is fetch; he's just trying to get you to toss the rope!" 

Yeah, turns out, corgi happiness necessitates yelling at (and confusing the heck out of) service techs named John.

OMG! It's the dishwasher fixer!

Maaaaaa! Mr. John fix-it man is AT. THE. DOOR!

4. To avoid washing dishes, we ate more pizza (which technically doesn't even require a plate). It so happens that some members of my family don't like the crust. Others LOVE it - especially with soggy bite marks around the edges. Those family members are furry dwarfs named Jon Farleigh and Dewi. It's OK, though; the carb-loading "fueled" them for their play dates with service tech John. 

No, I didn't run over the pizza with the car. This is NOT pizza (it's dried lamb lung for dogs☺). But these ARE the faces the dogs made when we ate the pizza (on paper plates). 

5. I had no choice but to use the dogs as substitute pot-scrubber cycles. It's just that when one is forced to wash dishes by hand, one can use a little help loosening cooked-on food particles, like smashed pot roast veggies and gravy, or fried egg, for example. I'm telling you, dog spit is nearly as effective as Cascade; it just doesn't smell as nice. 

Note: SIMULATED pot-scrubber cycle. That's actually dog food on doggy plates. I didn't film them licking my plate. Gross!

...Then, on the 13th day, the dirty-dish doggy jubilee was over. I guess I'm glad. I mean, why wouldn't I be glad? Could there be anything worse than being forced to spend more time in one's kitchen washing dishes (with one's dogs, cats, and family) than in front of a glowing computer screen?*

*Of course there is, you sillies! But, blast it to hades, I'd rather count grains of rice than keep washing those dang dishes by hand! Besides, there are plenty of other appliances around here that could break at any minute. Can you imagine what would happen if my washing machine went out, or my microwave? Bye bye, computer! (Talk about a doggy jubilee!)


So, have your dogs (or any type of pet) ever benefited from a similar household misfortune? 


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