Miss Kitty lands in a pool of butter

Friday, October 12, 2007

Several of you have asked about Miss Kitty. Let me assure you that she is fine. If anything, Miss Kitty is better than fine.

A friend of ours had a particularly good way of describing the good fortune of rescued pets. She owned a dog that was spoiled beyond belief. (Aren't most pets?) Our friend, who had the most beautiful Virginia drawl, once said of her dog: She fell on her you-know-what and landed in a pool of butter.

Try saying "pool of butter" with an authentic Virginia accent and it'll give you the shivers.

Recall, if you will, that Miss Kitty was a free-roaming cat the Sullivans agreed to provide a dog-free home for on the condition that Miss Kitty would be an outdoor cat. Why? My wife is allergic to a lot of things. No. 1 on the list is cat dander.

So Miss Kitty became queen of the patio and all that surrounds it. She grew fat, sleek and sassy. And she became a part-time indoor cat.

That was my wife's doing. Honest.

Miss Kitty gets to come in when my wife comes home from work. She stays until she wants to go out or we go to bed. In the meantime, she gets indoor treats from my wife and, for much of the evening, my lap. It is an arrangement that we all seem to enjoy.

One morning this week, I went out to get the paper while it was still dark. The light on patio is one of those energy-saving contraptions that takes a while to brighten up. In the dim light I saw Miss Kitty and then realized she was standing face to face with an enormous raccoon. Neither animal was inclined to walk away, and I sure as heck didn't want to be in the middle of a furry set-to.

I said to the raccoon: "Shoo!" It looked at me as if to say, "Is that the best you can do?" Miss Kitty seized the opportunity to take a swipe at the raccoon with her paw, which is full of thorns. The raccoon ambled off into the hedge.

Pretty exciting, huh? That's a cat's life.

The Associated Press reported this week that an international media rights group called Reporters Without Borders has asked China to ease its Internet controls.

"Though the communist government promotes Internet use, it has also set up an extensive surveillance and filtering system to prevent Chinese from accessing material considered obscene or politically subversive."

Hey. Wait a minute.

I don't want to tell an international organization of journalists which torch to carry, but it seems to me like we should be cozying up to the Chinese. If the Chinese government has a filtering system that works, I want it.

Of the hundreds of e-mails I receive every day, I consider most of them to be obscene or subversive. A great deal of money has been spent on filtering systems that divert thousands of unwanted e-mails daily, and I am grateful for that. But I get the feeling the Chinese could keep hundreds of unwanted e-mails from ever making it to my computer.

Bring it on.

While doing some yard work last weekend, I came close to decapitating the thumb on my right hand. My wife found the box of adhesive bandages. I don't know about you, but I think whoever invented easy-open bandages had a screw loose. When do you not have time to read the easy-open instructions? Right. When you're bleeding to death.

The only thing I can think of worse than opening bandages is using plastic wrap. Now my wife has found that kind of plastic wrap that is sticky all over one side and is guaranteed to make airtight packages for food storage. She loves it.

In my opinion, this is the work of the devil. Satan dreamed up the plague for the Middle Ages and saved sticky plastic wrap for me in the 21st century.

And how many times have I cut myself trying to use easy-tear plastic wrap? Which means I have to open an adhesive bandage. Which means the devil's work is never done.

R. Joe Sullivan is the editor of the Southeast Missourian.

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