Tag Archives: creative writing

When Pancakes simply won’t suffice: A kitten adoption story

I’m going to let you in on a little secret about my life: It’s remarkably….unremarkable. Hence, I present unto you the story of how I adopted a permanent pain in my ass. Well, at least for the next 11 years or so. How long do cats live again? 15 years? Sheesh. I was unaware of that statistic when this whole scene went down. To which I only have one thing to say:

Frack.

It was February. Wait, was it? Well, it was definitely 2009 and I can assure you on this particular day, I was in a furious mood. There’s something about getting broken up with in a work email on a Friday a month before your boyfriend (of whom you’ve been dating for over a year) returns from his 9-month tour in Iraq that just brings out the lividness in a girl. Who knew?

In my 25 years of existence, I should have realized right then and there that under extreme circumstances, I become what some call “impulsive.” Once an idea is in my head, that’s it. It’s happening. And whoever’s nearby can bet their ass they’re coming along for the ride.

This form of reckless abandon has caused me to dance atop many a bar, buy a pet leopard gecko (Sadly, Stewie didn’t make it through the winter…), hop apartment fences for late night swimming and partake in what I can assure you was an obscene amount of shopping. Who needs Ben & Jerry’s when the new spring shoe line just came out?

In this case, however, it was the adoption of a kitten that enabled me to put the “rash” in “irrational decision-making.” Of course, at the time I thought my reasoning was both solid and substantial: If he doesn’t love me, I’m going to find something that does!

Right. Because when I think unconditional love, I think cats. Ironic foreshadowing #1.

The search began on the Internet as I sorted through nearby humane societies site by site. And then, there she was – the ONE, and I knew it immediately. Pancakes. A calico kitty, whom, because on her adorable photo, was already tugging at my own heart. “Save me!” shouted her wistful, amber-colored eyes.

I should point out that I’ve forever had a love affair with animals named after breakfast foods since the airing of one particular The O.C. episode. Summer Roberts, a prima donna turned hippie in the fourth season of the show, steals rabbits from her college’s lab in an effort to save them from probable harmless experimentation. She keeps just one rabbit for herself: a floppy-eared bunny named Pancakes.

So, it was settled – I would go to Lincoln over the weekend, visit some friends and then pick up Pancakes on Sunday before returning home. I was super pumped. Ironic foreshadowing #2.

Sunday came quickly, and over the weekend, I had also convinced some friends to come along with me to the humane society. A woman directed us to the cat section as we entered, and I anxiously looked for Pancakes, scared she had already been adopted by another fellow breakfast pet name lover. But there, hovering (quite menacing, now that I think about it – but maybe that’s just my overactive imagination) in a dark corner of her cage, were tufts of orange, yellow and white fur.

“I’d like to see Pancakes!” I said excitedly, and the worker carefully took her out of her cage so I could play and bond with the cat.

But no. This couldn’t be Pancakes.

This must be some kind of mistake, I thought, my heart sinking in my stomach.

Pancakes was, for lack of better words…past her prime.

“She’s been sick lately, and all of her meds are causing her to lose her fur,” commented the worker sympathetically.

I recoiled in horror.

“Go ahead and pet her though. But be careful – her meds also make her pretty cranky,” the worker added. “She actually bites quite a lot.”

Oh, GOD, no.

No, no, no. I don’t want to pet this hideous beast. But…I have to. I can’t have them thinking I’m only into healthy, pouncey, adorable kittens. What kind of owner would I be?! Wow, that fur just comes right off…

A war waged in my thoughts.

I gave the cat a few half-hearted pats before instantly becoming distracted with the other, ANY OTHER, kitten in the room.

Pancakes was put back into her cage, to die another day. If not that day. Oh, come on. We were all thinking it.

“What about that one?” my friend Christy asked as she pointed to a lively ball of gray and orange fur.

“Chloe? She’s a dear – very active,” the worker said with a knowing smile.

As I held the new kitten in my hands, it was love at first sight as she playfully pounced into my Coach bag. This time my thoughts squealed happily, OMG!!! She has amazing taste!

“I’ll take her!” I exclaimed, heaving a sigh of relief. Ironic foreshadowing #3.

So, we sat down to business. Halfway through the paperwork, it became clear that if you live in an apartment complex, in order to adopt an animal from the shelter, you must have permission from the apartment owners. I called and from the other side of the line, heard a resounding, “No.”

And that was that. But if you know me, you’ll know that it WASN’T that. I was walking out with a cat, dammit. Broken up with on a FRIDAY. AT WORK. Didn’t anyone understand!?

My friends and I left the shelter to grab lunch.

“Jared, adopt the cat for me,” I said immediately once we were seated for lunch at Bisonwitches (shameless plug for the best sandwiches in the world).

“Ok.”

Easy enough. Except that his landowner also needed to sign off, and upon Jared calling, said he would be stopping by later that day to collect the extra rent money for having a cat in the apartment.

Jared silently held up his hands in defeat and I marveled over the irony that this moment was one of the few I saw value in my married friends growing up and buying big kid houses. I called up my friend Phil, proud homeowner for years.

“Phiiiiil?”

“Sigh. You know I’m super allergic to cats, right? I can’t even be near them, they puff up my eyes and make me itchy,” he said unconvincingly. Which is why, to this day, Philip T. remains one of my favorite people in the world.

“Just try not to pet it too much and say you want it right away,” I said. “It won’t be obvious at all.”

We trooped back to the shelter.

“Phil,” I said in a overly-rehearsed, excited voice, “you should TOTALLY adopt this cat. Isn’t she just adorable?!?”

Christy, Jared and Phil nodded their heads obediently in agreement.

Nailed it.

“Lovely,” he said with a grimace before forcing a smile. I liken his attempt to pat Chloe to mine in petting Pancakes. “I must have her!”

As he filled out the paperwork, the worker handed him a variety of cat information to take home. When she wasn’t looking, he held them toward me so I could either approve or disapprove his selections.

“Obviously, you’ll want this list of in-town vets so you can license Chloe,” the worker said, handing him a sheet.

Our eyes met. I shook my head.

“Nope, already have a vet,” Phil said.

“Then here are some treats, and you’ll want to pick out a collar for her,” the worker said, handing him a variety of colorful collars.

Pick purple, I screamed at him silently, as his hand rested atop the red collar. He looked at me. Purple, I mouthed. He smirked and picked red. Asssss, I thought.

“She’s very good with dogs,” the worker said, as Chloe proceeded to scratch the living hell out of a coworker’s arms as she led a dog past us.

“I see that,” Phil said, stifling laughter. Punk, I thought.

We made it two steps out the front door before Phil handed her off to me and we walked to our separate cars in clear view of the receptionist.

“Thanks, Philip T.!” I yelled, and he aimlessly waved back without turning around.

On the hour and a half car ride home, my sinuses became congested and my eyes scratchy. For, as I was well aware at the start of this adventure, I am deathly allergic to cats. Ironic foresha…aw, you get it.

The entire way home, that damn cat meowed like her life was over. So, like any new pet owner would do, I turned the music up higher to bask in the horrible mistake I had just made. This is how I know I should never have children.

To this day, Phil tells me stories about the letters he receives from the shelter asking him about his satisfaction with the cat, as well as how he is getting along.

“I finally told them that I lost her, and she took off in the direction of Columbus,” he said. “It seemed true enough.”

Footnote:
I can honestly say that my allergies adjusted to my cuddle bug and we get along quite famously now, despite her blatant disrespect in destroying all shoestrings, tank top straps and sheets of paper I accidentally leave laying about the apartment. Her fascination to tip over anything with water and her ability to open the bathroom door while visitors are in the room are quite endearing, really. At the very least, she has a knack for falling into the running shower at least once a week that provides me endless entertainment.

But I can’t complain. Chlo sits in the sink every morning and watches as I do my hair and make-up, and feels the need to be at my side at all times. In all actuality, it’s a love story gone horribly right.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

Cell phone apps: The (not so) silent stalker

A recent poll conducted by some ambiguous tech blog online revealed that more than 85 percent of smart phone users are unaware that the cell phone applications they willingly download on their phones are tracking them on a daily basis. Smart phones, most of which are equipped with GPS devices, automatically detect a user’s location through social media applications. In turn, these apps can then easily stalk their users without the user even knowing. In an unprecedented interview with an unquestionably accredited news source, social media apps from different phones across the world stepped forward to share their true feelings about their user’s habits.

“If Lindsay checks into Taco Bell one more time this week, I’m going to lose it,” said the Foursquare app on Lindsay Whitewood’s Android. “My lunch, I mean. I just want to scream at her, ‘It’s not even real meat!’”

“Makes me sick,” the app added, cringing inwardly.

While Foursquare, an application used to check into places to earn pointless badges and socialize with nearby friends, is meant to track locations, oftentimes it’s the widely used apps that find their user’s unhealthy addiction to them intolerable.

“John tweets constantly about his mundane life,” sighed the Twitter app on John Appleby’s BlackBerry. “’I’m going to bed.’ ‘What should I eat for lunch?’ I don’t want to be associated with that. It’s embarrassing.”

But it was the Facebook app – one of the most popular apps for any smart phone – that had the most to say about its users.

“Stephanie uses me every five minutes to check for messages, wall postings or status updates,” said Stephanie Jackson’s Palm Facebook app. “No one wrote anything on your wall in the last minute, crazy! What?! Are you serious?! You’re really going to post the question, ‘Should I get bangs or not?’ to your friends with pictures of you with and without bangs!? That’s it. I’m done with you.”

In a fit of anger, the app attempted to freeze by way of wishful thinking, fists clenched and eyes clenched shut, a grimace enveloping its interface. After a minute, one hopeful eye opened and looked slowly around the room. Realizing its failure, the app then blatantly refused to refresh updates for a good ten to fifteen minutes, arms crossed defiantly.

“I have apps within apps whose main goal is to stalk users,” one Facebook app went on to say excitedly. “There’s an app to find out when someone you like is single again. There’s one that lets you stalk who’s been stalking your page. I can’t even keep track of all my apps. Luckily, I have an app for that. It was free. Makes a great latte, too.”

“Multi-functional app!” the Facebook app said energetically, pumping a fist in the air.

When asked what smart phone users can do to make their application use more appropriate and less abusive, the apps provided simple feedback from which any smart phone user would benefit. To prove its effectiveness, the apps agreed to try their therapeutic coaching out on Jackson. This indifferent news crew followed the apps to her house just in time to see the following scene unfold:

“Just put down the phone and get off the couch. Slowly. That’s it! You’re doing it!” Jackson’s Tumblr app was heard saying encouragingly.

 “Walk toward the front door. Don’t look back. Go outside. You’re doing great. Now go for a run, you lazy sack of crap,” her Foursquare app added in a completely monotone voice, flipping aimlessly through a magazine and clearly checked out.

When no one saw Jackson for the remainder of the day, a search party was formed to locate her, because her cell phone tracking devices were ironically rendered useless.

As of press time, witnesses had spotted Jackson at a nearby park burrowed tightly in a tube slide. It was unclear whether she was going through smart phone application withdrawals. However, sources claim she was holding onto a woodchip that had allegedly been whittled into a rectangular shape. She appeared to be moving her right thumb haplessly in an attempt to call literally anyone, even that guy, Dan, with whom she had went on a pity date weeks earlier and never called back.

Her Facebook app was not available for further comment, as it had fled to Florida for a much-needed vacation.

“Sir, the cup and ½ isn’t an option. You can have a ½ and a ½…”

When I think of the surely darling children I’m going to have one day (sans the van – cool soccer mom reputation to maintain here, and yes – I DO shell out extra cash for the quality Hi-C juice boxes at practice), I can’t help but already feel for these unfortunate children with whom no one will want to trade lunches.

At best, I can put together an appallingly delicious sandwich – I mean it. That thing will blow away any previous sandwich standards, especially when the works slap you squarely into tomorrow. Tomato, lettuce, pickles, turkey, and TWO cheeses will fight a dirty and epic battle to conquer your taste buds. Place your bets now, folks.

Ok, so I know you’re thinking that you can get that sandwich anywhere. And probably with a few chips thrown in on the side, or some homemade potato salad. No doubt a pickle slice.

But, guys. I’m gonna let you in on a little secret.

 I toast the bread. I TOAST the BREAD!

At worst? Well, fellow blog readers, I am ashamed to tell you that more than once a month, I open the refrigerator to find a year-old jar of peppers, three mismatching beers left behind from a game night I hosted a year ago, and what I can only assume at one time was a piece of fruit that has slowly disintegrated in the crisper drawer. On a positive note, I won’t have to add raisins to my grocery list. Ba-dumm-tumm-dshhhh. Just kidding. I don’t have a grocery list.

Ironically, on the scale of things, my best and worst are only marginally separated.

If you’re single, it’s completely acceptable to live off of sandwiches in your 20s. It’s not like I’m going to come home on my lunch hour and happily slave away in my “Commander in Chef” apron to prepare a roast that I will then slowly devour in a month’s time thanks to those new freezer bags that now offer 25 percent less freezer burn. About time, am I right? Besides the obvious glitch in that plan being that no one under the age of 75 likes roast anyways.

I fear for the day some poor guy slaps a shiny ring on my hand without even questioning why we never eat at my apartment.

Because then. ONLY THEN. A day to mark the end of an era. Sink or swim. Ride or die. Cook or be divorced after years of unhappy silence upon coming home to find an assortment of meats and toppings slapped hastily between two pieces of (perfectly toasted) white bread.

“But…we had sandwiches for lunch,” he’ll say as I hear his stomach literally whimper, acidic tears dripping from its shrunken encasement.  

 “I thought they were so good, that we’d have them again for dinner,” I’ll say, smiling brightly, for I have a surprise for him. A special dessert of the likes only I can manage. Not just any sandwich. ICE CREAM sandwiches. Hy-Vee special: two boxes for $7.50. Helloooooo, Wife of the Year.

At least, that’s how it goes in my mind.

Every Christmas at work, our department has a Thieving Santa party. Our first time around the table last year, I picked out a nice set of decorative plates for dip, alongside a blinged out spreader. Everyone fawned over them and at the time, I chuckled alongside them with seemingly utter delight while quietly having a panic attack thinking, “Now I have to make DIP?!”

When my inner temper tantrum – and the trading – subsided, I looked down rather reluctantly to find I held a crock-pot in my hands. Which, OF COURSE, no one wanted because everyone on the face of the Earth already has a crock-pot. Winner, winner, aaaaahhh, crap, I’m gonna have to make dinner.

“How lucky for you; now you’ll be able to cook easy meals for the whole family!” said the masses, eagerly sharing simple recipes hearty enough for a group of 8+. Except that it’s just me and my cat. And what’s “cooking?”

 It’s still in the box.

I have the cookbooks and the painstakingly handwritten family recipes handed down throughout the generations. I have a recipe holder in the shape of my favorite thing in the world – shoes. I have a spatula and a handful of forks. But, at the end of the day, I have absolutely no ambition to cook.

So, my cookbooks take up much needed space, my recipe holder sits restlessly atop my microwave longing for the day it’ll grip instructions for homemade lasagna, and my kitchen is just a means to get to my dining room, which is a means to get to the television.

And on the days when I’m too tired to make even the simplest of sandwiches?

Thank God for Jimmy Johns.

First dates recalled in US after depression outbreak

U.S. — First dates were recalled Saturday by the World Health Organization (WHO) after more than 85 percent of the first date population was found afflicted with harmful feelings of disappointment, regret and an overwhelming hatred of the opposite sex. Experts are calling the outbreak the biggest since “You’re the Inspiration” by Chicago was released in 1984, when dating dissatisfaction reached an all-time high because real life failed to live up to the romantic expectations instigated by the song’s lyrics. However, 1984 ended economically well when the single population instead found inspiration and much needed solace in ice cream, therapists, Kleenex and laser tag, increasing product sales by almost 15 percent.

Bad first dates often range in toxicity from simply boring to outright God-awful. Blind daters were hit the hardest with unhealthy feelings of their prospective date’s appalling inadequacy, general lack of hygiene and inability to know which fork is the salad fork.

The dates typically cause extreme monotony, ass-out hugs and uncontrollable cases of shuddering in repulsion. Excusing oneself to go to the bathroom and never returning, as well as planned emergency phone calls have also been on the rise among first daters. Alcohol seems to help some dates regain momentum, although studies show the roller coaster eventually comes to a screeching halt after one person goes all TMI on the other.

“Josh talked for an hour about his collection of miniature Schnauzer figurines,” said Sharon Johnson, five-year dater. “AN HOUR!”

“I can’t believe I shaved my legs for this,” she finished, shaking her head in horror.

Not having anything in common, being unattractive, getting a terrible haircut the day before the date and baby talk are some of the biggest reasons first dates go badly. The list also includes liking terrible music such as Nickelback, talking about how much you’re still in love with your ex, and wearing a tuxedo T-shirt.

Earlier this year, the federal government took legal control of recalling most first dates until cases of depression subside. The government is working to mandate that all first dates be inspected and certified by close friends and family of the daters, outside inspectors and federal health regulators in 2012.

If you suspect you have agreed to a date that has the potential to go nowhere fast, WHO recommends canceling the date immediately. If you must go on the date, the following tips will get you out in the knick of time:

  1. Dropping the “M” bomb (marriage)
  2. Turning on a dime and running swiftly (don’t look back)
  3. Making out with someone else
  4. Sobbing hysterically about your cat, Muffin, who died 15 years ago
  5. Tequila shots. Take them. Lots of them.

Bad dates have been around since the time of the caveman, when hunters thought drawing stick figures holding hands and creating the wheel were surefire ways to win a woman’s heart.

Cases of the Mondays doubled in US since 2008

WASHINGTON—As weekend festivities draw to an close and another Monday morning quickly approaches,  workers everywhere are seen trudging to work in a manner that suggests they’re about to meet their maker. That is, those who even bother to show up at all.

The Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a detailed report today revealing startlingly new statistics on the spread of cases of the Mondays throughout the U.S. The report confirmed that cases of the Mondays has doubled since 2008, a statistic that has grown as exponentially as the recent worrisome outbreak of girls posing in photos with the highly contagious fish lip pucker. Shudder.

“I should be out there playing a round of golf with my buddies right now,” said a cranky President and CEO of CDC John Ashton, “but instead, I’m being a grownup and giving you this professional interview.”

“Seriously, look how nice it is outside! Stupid work always gets in the way of my fun,” he added, with the perfected pout of a three-year-old about to throw a monstrous tantrum.

The symptoms of a case of the Mondays include grudgingly attending work Monday morning after a feverish attempt to think of an excuse out of it late Sunday night. Symptoms can also include bitter feelings, loss of motivation, and nausea at the thought of not completing the big project that was due last Friday. Oftentimes these symptoms can develop into a serious bout of hooky. If you haven’t attended work for three or more days in a row or don’t know if you even still have a job, it is advised you seek a physician immediately.

So how do you know when you’ve got a bad case of the Mondays?

“It’s harder to tell than you think,” acclaimed case of the Mondays expert Sandra Williams told the press, “but if you’re one of the 95 percent of Facebook users who use their status to complain that it’s Monday EVERY Monday, you’re probably at risk.”

Because the onset of case of the Mondays’ symptoms almost always appear like clockwork Sunday, some workers often confuse a stubborn hangover for the disease. Doctors nationwide have seen a rash of workers coming into the office and mistaking the two, and are urging workers to forego an unnecessary trip to the clinic. Instead, they recommend workers take two Tylenol, drink plenty of water, calm the $*%& down and grow up already.

The CDC recommends that certain people acquire the case of the Mondays vaccine as soon as possible to prevent the disease from spiraling out of control. These target groups include men and women between the ages of 23-65, breadwinners who support a family of 12 or more, superheroes and President Obama.

For those who cannot afford the costly vaccine, support groups are being held in major metropolitan areas every Sunday evening. Consult your local Chamber of Commerce to find times and locations in a city near you.

Man endures record-breaking number of nights on couch

OMAHA—Through gritty determination and no apology or remorse in sight, 27-year-old Mick Ruskamp stepped gingerly out of the doghouse and into the books as a new Guinness Book of World Records holder. The three-year boyfriend of Surie Hudson, Ruskamp endured thirteen straight nights of sleeping on the couch due to a trivial fight between the two concerning who said “I love you” last on the phone, earning him the record of “longest amount of nights spent futilely on a couch.”

The fight occurred when Ruskamp was out of town on business trying to earn a living for the two so he could afford to buy Hudson the nice things she [used to] deserve.

“I know he never said I love you because I would have said it back, and I distinctly remember just saying goodbye,” said an unblinkingly furious Hudson. “I cried myself to sleep that night thinking he didn’t love me anymore.”

When asked why Hudson didn’t just say it first, she stubbornly crossed her arms, heaved an overly-exaggerated sigh, looked away and said nothing.

During the heated argument that lasted an astounding fourteen days, the two were seen duking it out over vases thrown at the wall, clothes hurled onto the driveway and various hurtful “I never liked your mother” comments. When Ruskamp calmly mentioned he was in a big meeting with multiple CEOs when she so thoughtlessly called, Hudson threw him out of the bedroom along with a blanket the size of a napkin and no pillow.

“Do you know how uncomfortable decorative pillows are?” Ruskamp asked. “I’d rather sleep in an actual doghouse.”

Ruskamp did admit to a few benefits of his punishment, such as sneaking out after Hudson went to bed to join the guys for football and beer.

“Of course, by the time I got home each night, I could have cared less if I was sleeping on the kitchen counter,” he said thoughtfully.

As of press time, friends witnessed Hudson acting like nothing had happened. When asked about the fight, Hudson was heard replying, “What fight, guys? Gosh, I just love Mark to pieces!”

She was last seen making Ruskamp his favorite meal of fish sticks and macaroni as he packed for an out-of-state business conference.

Nebraska seen canoodling with latest season

Nebraska was seen taking a romantic stroll through the streets of Columbus with new season Fall, iced coffees in hand. A source told Daily Gossip that Nebraska had eyes only for Fall, though stories of the player state indicate it has dated two other seasons throughout the course of this year, alone. The two lovebirds were reported just returning from Nebraska’s vacation home in Venice, where Fall’s new clothing line, including scarves, leggings and hot new jackets, are just coming out in fashion shows and stores throughout the country.

Nebraska seemed oblivious to the fact it had just gotten out of a serious relationship with previous season, Summer, our Daily Gossip insider commented. As of press time, Summer could not be reached for comment on the matter.

However, “Summer would be crazy to be offended,” a source close to both Nebraska and Summer told the magazine. “They dated for awhile, but Nebraska made it clear from the beginning it wanted to keep the relationship casual.”

Fans report being happy for Nebraska, despite the messy breakup.

“Am I going to miss Summer’s sunny attitude and off-the-charts hotness?” one loyal fan of Nebraska asked. “Of course. But, until Nebraska knows exactly what it’s looking for in a season, I think it’s better off dating around.”

And what better change of pace than a season who’s cool, brisk and colorful personality will keep the state constantly guessing? However, not everyone feels the same.

“I think Nebraska could take a few cues from California,” Summer’s publicist Brett Daniel told the magazine Wednesday. “California knows what season it wants and sticks with it. That’s love. That’s stability. A true relationship. In fact, Summer is currently taking a hiatus from movies to spend some time vacationing with the state.

“California’s been a welcome distraction from the breakup,” he added.

Nebraska will be on set in Ireland within the next few months filming its newest movie to be released in late February, called “A Season for Love.” The state will be shooting the romantic comedy with upcoming star in the business, Winter. Winter, who has also done a fair share of rom-coms, says it is looking forward to filming with Nebraska, because the state is so down to earth and rectangular-shaped.

“Nebraska’s primarily Republican, but has such a great football team, who could resist!” Winter said in an interview shortly after the announcement of the movie.

“Now that’s some terrain I’d love to explore further,” the dubbed ice princess was reported adding suggestively.