Ordered at Wendy’s for lunch today: spicy chicken sandwich, side salad with blue cheese dressing, biggie diet coke. Received: spicy chicken sandwich, biggie fries, side salad with ranch dressing, biggie iced tea.

Luckily, I realized how badly they’d fucked up before I got very far from the restaurant and turned around. Which was a big pain in the ass. The chick working the register inside could see the pissed-off-ness on my face, I think, but that didn’t stop her from asking three times what kind of dressing I’d wanted.

The irony is that just last week I was thinking to myself that I should write a letter to Wendy’s headquarters, ’cause at that particular location, they’ve only fucked up my order once in ten months.

That would now be twice.

From now on, I guess I’ll not pull away from the drive-up window until I’ve slowly and carefully checked to see that each item in the bag matches what I’ve ordered. I used to hate those people when I worked at McDonald’s, but it’s certainly understandable to me as an adult.

The realtor who came by last night didn’t stay for long. He took a tour of the house, made some notes, and chatted with us for a few minutes. He’s going to, as he put it, "Run some numbers" and get back to us later in the week. He was pretty nice, unlike some of the other realtors we’ve dealt with. A few weeks ago, we went to look at a house Fred found on Valley MLS, and the realtor was incredibly annoying, following us from room to room and chattering up an obnoxious storm. Realtors should be available to answer questions or to point out things, but other than that, they should shut the hell up.

When we had the house on the market two years ago, the realtor had an assistant named Eric who had the biggest, gooniest laugh in the world, and rather than being funny, it was simply annoying, because he’d pull that laugh out for any and all occasions.

We had another realtor come today, and it was funny – my opinion of him before he arrived was that he was a slick salesman, just from seeing his website and his ads on TV. Fred was all excited to have him come, because he’s always seemed very soft-spoken and sincere in his ads. When he left, Fred thought he was a pushy bastard, and I thought he was a go-getter.

We drove around for an hour or so after dinner, looking at houses and seeing what’s for sale in the area. The problem is that Fred wants a house that’s 1,800 or more square feet, on an acre or more of land, in or near subdivisions with sidewalks, and preferably fairly new. All for $100,000, and that’s just not going to happen, certainly not in this area. When I pointed that out to him, he got all defensive: "What, you’re changing your mind, after we’ve been driving around for an hour??"

I keep going back and forth between refinancing the house we have and staying here, or finding a smaller house on more land. I honestly think in the end we’d be better off in a smaller house on more land, because we can pay off the mortgage – and our cars! – quicker, and Fred retiring at 50 starts to seem more like a real possibility.

Ah well. Y’all know you’ll be amongst the first to know however we decide!




Okay, all of y’all who write the journals I read, stop it right now! Stop writing, stop updating all the time, ’cause I’m more than a week behind, and when I open Eudora and see all those notify updates winking and waving at me, I feel like I’m drowning in the written word.

So you will kindly stop having lives and updating until I am caught up. Thanks s’much.

(You understand, of course, that if I were already caught up on my journal reading, I’d be bitching about how no one updates often enough.)

At dinner Sunday night (red beans and rice, if you must know) Fred imitated the spud, who was laughing dorkily at something that wasn’t the slightest bit funny, (don’t feel sorry for her; she loves it when he imitates her) and in his imitation he resembled nothing so much as a demented horse. I almost shot a red bean out of my nose, I was laughing so hard.

For Mother’s Day, I received a lovely bouquet of yellow roses residing in matching yellow smiley-face mugs:

Perfect for me, yes? Fred apparently called the florist, told them how much he wanted to spend and told them to make it as yellow as possible. The two halves of the bouquet were nestled on a styrofoam platform covered in yellow ribbon.

A lovely, lovely surprise.

So, it appears that we may (or may not) be about to put the house on the market. We’re unhappy with both the amount of money we’re paying out for the mortgage every month, plus the tiny, tiny amount of land we’re on (though perhaps we should have thought of that before we put the pool in?). We’ve been discussing moving away from town, to a somewhat smaller house on a bigger piece of land. There’s a realtor coming to talk to us in about ten minutes, so that should be fun, considering how much I love and adore realtors.

For the record, it’s been almost exactly two years since we last put the house on the market, left it there for two months, and then decided not to sell, because we couldn’t find any houses we liked as much as this one. I’m sure the neighbors will be rolling their eyes when (if) they see the "For Sale" sign in our yard again.

I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to having strangers traipse through the house, opening drawers and doors, and scaring the shit out of the cats, but I’m ready for more land and less house. As I’ve told Fred, this house just doesn’t feel like home to me, no matter what I do. I’ve been ready to sell for a while now, but Fred needed to do his tightly choreographed Dance O’ Fear before he came to the same conclusion.

Of course, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that it was my idea to take the house off the market last time, and all but badgered Fred to agree.

This time, however, I’m ready to stick to it.

I think.




Welp, it’s apparently time to move, time to move on out of the south, back to the civilization we’re used to.

Wednesday evening, Fred and I picked the spud up from her flute lesson and were driving back to the house when she began regaling us with tales of riding her scooter.

"There were these two old women," she said. "And they were on the sidewalk, and I was fixin’ to go down the hill…"


I’ve dealt with the slight southern accent she’s acquired, and the usage of "put up", as in "I’ll put up the leftovers", when in FACT the leftovers will NOT be put UP, but rather put SIDEWAYS or even DOWN, or – as I prefer it – put AWAY.

"Fixin’ to", I don’t think I can handle, not at all.

After thinking about "fixin’ to" again, I need to go lay down, I think. Well, maybe it’s the yummy greasy Mexican food we had for dinner (we went out! At Fred’s suggestion! Which never happens!). Or maybe that pint of Ben and Jerry’s.


Before I go, I must share another story with y’all.


Yesterday afternoon when Fred got home from work, I was downstairs in front of the computer. I walked over in front of the door, hoping that when he opened the door and saw me standing rightthere it would startle and scare him, and perhaps he’d even let out one of his patented Fred And3rson high-pitched screams o’ terror.

He wasn’t at all startled, just smiled and said "What’re you doing, Bessie?"

I opened my mouth and said "I was trying to kill you. Uh. Scare you."

Talk about your freudian slip!




I hate my neighbors. I just… HATE. THEM.

Okay, I don’t hate them all the time, but more and more often these days, I’m hating them. Across the street, we have the Alejandro family. Alejandro is not their last name, but it’s what we started calling them before we knew their last name (it’s one of the kids’ names), and so it has for the most part stuck. Mr. Alejandro can spend, I shit you not, 6 hours mowing and edging his postage stamp-sized lawn. He starts around noon on Saturday and as we’re sitting down to dinner around 5, he’s just getting around to sweeping the sidewalk by his house. I can tell that he’d really like to sweep not only the sidewalk by his house, but also the entire 1/2 mile length of the street besides. Anal does not begin to describe that man. I can only imagine what it’s like to live with him. "Your shoes are not lined up exactly, and what’s this?? A PIECE OF GRASS ON THE BOTTOM OF YOUR SHOE??? TO THE DUNGEON WITH YOU!"

Across the street from the Alejandros, catty-corner to our house, is the Jackson family (again, not their real name). They have a 6 year-old daughter who loves to ride her bike, but has to ride it within sight of the house (or so I assume), so she rides from their house, along the street to our house, turns around in our driveway and back to their house. Over and over and over 50 bazillion times a day. That doesn’t bother me much, though it does get rather hypnotic and then I’ll find that an hour has passed and I’ve been watching the little Jackson girl go backandforthandbackandforth. No, what bothers me about the Jacksons is that without fail, just as I’m approaching the couch to lay down with Miz Poo for a quick little catnap, Mr. Jackson, no matter where he is or what he’s doing, decides at that very moment to start up his car and turn the mega-bass stereo up as high as it can possibly go.

This afternoon he was all about J. Lo.

That’s okay though – the people came today to put in our termite protection system (or whatever the hell it’s called) and had to drill through cement.

At 8:30.

I hope it woke Mr. Jackson up.

The neighbors across from the Jacksons, next door to us, are the Kravitzs, whom we named after Mrs. Kravitz from Bewitched. No matter what we’re doing – pulling out of the driveway, getting the mail, watering the plants on the front steps – if Mr. or Mrs. Kravitz is outside, they stop whatever they’re doing and turn to stare at us and examine closely our every movement. They are apparently – hee! – bewitched by us and our fascinating lifestyle, that’s all I can figure.

That, or they’re thinking to themselves, "Are those the fattest people on earth, or what?" (Well, not anymore…)

The neighbors on the other side of the Alejandros we refer to as "The Reds", short for "That Redneck family". I am convinced that it’s only because of neighborhood rules that there aren’t broken-down piece of shit cars up on blocks in their lawn. According to Mr. Alejandro, who is not only anal, but also a gossip (The Anal Gossip will be the name of my first novel) told Fred that the Reds’ youngest daughter "has spells." No, I don’t know what that means, either. Their son (I think there’s more than one, but I’m not sure) is known as "pyro" – every neighborhood needs a pyromaniac, yes? – and their oldest daughter spends every free moment of her life sitting on the roof and smoking. When she’s not hanging out on the corner, watching traffic and making out with various and sundry boys, that is.

Their oldest son (like I said, I’m not sure if there’s more than one boy) has the LOUDEST FRIGGIN’ CAR. It’s an old one, and every freakin’ time he starts it up, the entire neighborhood shakes. And he doesn’t just start it up and go, oh NO NO NO, he starts it up and revvvvs the engine, and then he revvvvvs it some more until the windows in all surrounding houses are about to shatter, and then he SPEEDS off down the road.

This is why I want to buy 3,000 acres in the damn middle of nowhere.



In case none of you are aware, let me warn you that opening an eFax account is similar to being part of the mob, in that once you’re in, you’re in for life. eFax, if you don’t know anything about them, has a cool little service wherein you are assigned a fax number, and when someone faxes something to that number, it arrives as an email attachment.

Pretty cool, right? Even cooler is the service where you can send something to eFax via email, and they FAX it for you! This additional service originally cost something like $5 a month, and like a dumbass I signed up. When they raised the charge to $9.95 a month, I cancelled the account.

The third time I cancelled the same account, it actually got cancelled. Apparently, they really valued me as a customer, or something.

Every month since then, I’ve received an eFax email telling me of all the thrills and chills of being an eFax member. As if I were still an eFax member.

Maybe changing my email address would get rid of them? I’m afraid, though, that like Fingerhut, they’ll be following me from email to email and house to house for the rest of my life.

Fingerhut’s scarier than the student loan people. I’ve changed my name twice and moved three times since I’ve ordered anything from them, and somehow they still track me down and send their big, thick, fancy catalogs to me with which to tempt me.

I’ve managed to stay strong. For the most part, anyway.

Gervase was on As the World Turns today. I didn’t really watch it (I’m a one-woman soap opera one-soap opera woman these days), but it appears he was a bad guy. How freakin’ weird is it, to see the Survivors all over the place still? Colleen’s in the new Rob Schneider movie, Gervase and Sean are hitting the soaps, and Kelly’s got some kind of adventure show going on. I watched E!’s Survivor: The True Hollywood Story (which was on Wednesday and I had to tape) over the weekend. Not all the Survivors were featured, but boy howdy didn’t Jenna get defensive when they asked if her fifteen minutes were up. "Fifteen minutes is all in your head!" she huffed.

Suuuuuure it is, Jenna. Hear that? The clock’s a-tickin’…

I wonder if the casts of Survivor 2, 3, etc. will have the staying power of the original cast. Somehow I doubt it – I mean, who the hell even remembers who was on Real World Seattle?

That was a rhetorical question.



Okay, by popular request (see yesterday’s entry), here they are:


Those were the five that sprang to mind. "Tits" (which I hate) always makes me think of the ex, whose greatest compliment to me (oh, the romance!) was: "You got some nice titties."

Hard to believe it didn’t work out.

Libraries are just the shit, aren’t they? I visited our local library for the first time in about 3 years and checked out Anne Rivers Siddons’ Low Country on audiotape; I listen to audiobooks when I walk in the morning, and I’m about to finish Dean Koontz’s Dark Rivers of the Heart (which I highly, highly recommend, by the way), and since I’ve been listening to Stephen King and Dean Koontz books for months now, I decided I needed something a tad lighter. It was between Low Country and Bill Bryson’s A Sunburned Country, and since I’ve read and liked Low Country, it was the winner. This time, anyway.

Aside from the audiobook, I also checked out volume one of Pride and Prejudice (the miniseries), so I can see whether all the brouhaha about Colin Firth is justified.

And I was wandering toward the front desk to check out when the title of a book caught my eye. I picked it up, leafed through it, and liked what I read. So I took that as well. The title? Something’s Wrong with Your Scale: A Romantic Comedy. Like I ever could have passed that one up!

My butt hurts. I got all ambitious and rode my bike for 5 miles this morning (not that impressive, I know, but remember that this is only the second time I’ve done any riding at all). And then when Fred got home, we drove over to a greenway on the other side of Madison and I biked from one end to the other and back again, which was a total of 4 miles. I’ll probably be lucky if I can even walk tomorrow.

Oh, my achin’ ass.



Survivor spoilers coming up in the next few paragraphs, so if you haven’t seen the last show, you may want to skip down past the little sun. That said, I’m not completely disappointed that Tina won. I think I would have liked it better if Colby had won, but compared to the original, where I desperately did NOT want Kelli to win, I would have been happy either way this time. I don’t like that Tina backstabbed Mad Dawg, but I have to say, that’s the only thing I’ve truly disliked about Tina. Well, that and her spending so much time telling Colby that she’s never really contributed financially to her family, that her husband’s always been the breadwinner. Rumor has it that she comes from a wealthy family, and her husband makes a pretty penny. We finally got around to watching the reunion show (it started at 9 pm our time, so we had to go to bed and tape it instead of staying up ’til 10) last night, and it just KILLS me to ever ever say anything nice about Jerri. Y’all KNOW how much I hated her and did a happy dance when she was voted off, but I must say that even with everyone saying mean things about her every 10.2 seconds (fully deserved, of course), it was amazing to see that it didn’t get to her. She laughed every time, didn’t get bitchy or uppity, and I have to say, that’s probably more than I would have done. And I did feel sorry for Debb, although I didn’t care for her, and think that she should have known that her life would be ripped apart and scrutinized to death. When I’m on Survivor 45, y’all will say nice things about me, right? Uh…right? Oh, which reminds me. They’re talking about doing a celebrity Survivor, which just REALLY ticks me off. I don’t want to see friggin’ CELEBRITIES on Survivor. If I wanted to see Kate Hudson cavorting around in a bikini, I’d go to the freakin’ movies. Gah. So. I almost passed out in the shower this morning. I got back from my walk (7 miles, thankyouverymuch) and sat down in front of the computer to read email and putter around. Once I cooled down sufficiently, I went to take my shower. As I was sudsing up my hair, I noticed that my arms felt really, really weak. A few seconds later, I realized that I was seeing big black spots in front of my eyes and they were getting bigger. I sat down and put my head between my knees as Miz Poo chirped and talked at me from the other side of the shower door. When the threat of passing out passed, I rinsed my hair and body and got out of the shower, dressed, and sat back down at the computer. I tried drinking a bit of water and felt better for a few moments, until I stood back up. I walked over to the couch and laid there for 15 or 20 minutes, Miz Poo attending me. I felt better again and stood up to go blow-dry my hair, and immediately felt worse. Light-headed, slightly nauseous, weak limbs, rapid shallow breathing, and I was cold but sweating up a storm. I gave up on blow-drying my hair and went upstairs to call Fred and ask him what the symptoms of heatstroke might be. We talked for a few minutes, decided I might have low blood sugar, and so I sat at the kitchen table to eat an orange. I would have preferred a candy bar, but unfortunately, we don’t got none o’ them ’round these parts. I hung up the phone, finished eating the orange and went to lay down under the covers. I snoozed for about an hour and woke up feeling much better. Once I ate lunch, I felt completely better. I’m guessing that from here on out I need to carry an orange with me to eat at the halfway point so this doesn’t happen again. If it never happens again in my life, it’ll be too soon for me. Not a pleasant feeling, at all. We watched Footloose this weekend. Fred and the spud watch movies every Friday, Saturday and Sunday – it’s a tradition, their bonding time, if you will – and occasionally I join them. I brought my book to the living room with me, figuring I’d just watch my favorite parts and read during the rest. Instead, I watched every damn moment of it. When, I ask you, did Footloose get so freakin’ cheesy? When it came out in the theaters, I was a Junior in high school, and I saw it at the theater SEVEN times, each time loving it more than the last. I SO wanted to be Ariel, wanted to do the thing at the beginning of the movie where she rides down the highway with a foot on her friend’s car and a foot on her boyfriend’s truck, going 70, with an 18-wheeler coming at them. Instead, I found myself thinking "I wanted to be THAT? Why, she’s just a skank ho!" ("skank ho" being my new favorite expression) I spent much of the movie cringing, especially the part where Ren drives to the abandoned whateveritis with his cigarette and beer (um Ren, where’d you get that beer? They don’t allow dancing, but they’ll allow minors to purchase beer, is that it?) and breaks out the dancing moves. Cringe-worthy, that. We spent a good part of the movie saying to the spud "When you are a stupid teenager, this would be something you WILL NOT do." Thus ensuring that she’ll go out of her way to do it, I’m sure. Speaking of the book I’m reading – Disobedience, by Jane Hamilton – I just passed a point where a character in the book claimed she knew 35 different words for breasts. Myself, I can only come up with 5. What does that say about me, I wonder?]]>


Survivor‘s going to be on in an hour and fifteen minutes, and I do believe I’ll go mad with the waiting.

My prediction for the million bucks is Colby, but it really all depends on who wins immunity. If Colby and Keith are the final two, Colby’ll win, no doubt. If it’s he and Tina though, I think he’ll have a tougher time of it. Keith vs. Tina? Tina, no doubt.

I almost hope Colby doesn’t win, just because he’s won every reward and immunity challenge in recent history. I could feel Elisabeth’s frustration last week. You’d think Colby would be smart enough to throw one or two of the reward challenges, just so everyone wouldn’t feel so frustrated.

I spent the morning (after exercising, o’ course) on the couch watching Felicity and Once and Again. We don’t have the channel Felicity comes on – what is it again? – but FOX shows Felicity at 3:30 am Thursday mornings, and since I go against that "females can’t program the vcr" stereotype, I tape it. Once and Again comes on Wednesday nights at 9, and since Himself’s face would melt off if he was in bed as late as 9:03, I have to tape that as well.

About Felicity, I have this to say: What the fuck is Ben’s problem? He friggin’ breaks Felicity’s heart once a month. She needs to kick his stupid ass to the curb and take up with Noel again. Ben ain’t nothin’ but heartbreak, baby.

And every Ben I’ve ever known has been a total asshole. What’s up with that?

About Once and Again, I have this to say: TWENTY-ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR A FUCKING WEDDING??? God in heaven, what’s up with THAT? I have to admit, I just don’t get the whole thing where you hock your kidney to pay for a big wedding that lasts a few hours. What a waste! My first wedding – the expensive one – cost something like $300, and most of that was food. We had a sit-down dinner at a semi-nice restaurant for 20 of my family and friends. The second – and last – one cost about $100, was just Fred, the spud and I, and included the best damn cake I’ve had in my life. And I giggled half-hysterically through the entire ceremony.

The only way it could have been better is if we’d flown to Vegas and gotten married by John Wayne Bobbitt. Which we seriously considered. Well, him or Elvis.

Anyway, back to the subject. I’m thinking Lily and Rick need to work on their communication skills. The wedding they did have ended up being really nice, I’ll admit. I teared up more than once.

Oh, and in what universe is Lily the prettier sister? Puh-lease.

I have discovered a new way to deal with bugs. I tend to leave the back door open on nice days (and we’ve had a lot of nice days recently) so the cats can go out into the backyard if they’ve a yen to, and as a result we get the occasional uglynasty red wasp in the house. Since I’m not really the cruel type (at least not usually) what I’d prefer to do is shoo them back out the door, but they tend not to comply with that. I don’t like squishing them, because they leave a mess on the windows. And since I wash my windows every three years whether they need it or not, that’s not a good thing.

One day last week, another red wasp wandered in, buzzed around the ceiling, buzzed around the window, and gave me dirty "I’m going to sting you, bitch!" looks. I tried to shoo him out the door, but no go. So I hooked up the vacuum cleaner, attached the attachments to make the hose longer, and sucked that fucker right out of the air. One minute he was making threatening "Right in the eyeball, bitch!" faces, and the next, THWOOMP! he was gone into the vacuum cleaner to live out the rest of his life with a lot of cat hair and dust.

I’ve done it to one other red wasp since then, and Fred got a nasty long-legged mosquito the other night, but since then we’ve been relatively bug-free.

I think word is getting out in the bug world. "Psst! Avoid that house! Bob went in there last week and then Wanda a few days later, and they haven’t been seen since! I peeked through the window the other night and they were going after Antoine! It’s an abattoir in there!"

What? You don’t think bugs would use the word "abattoir?"




Fred had no problem whatsoever getting Spanky into the cat carrier this morning. He popped him in the carrier before Spanky knew what was going on, and in the carrier poor Spanky stayed for half an hour until the vet’s office was open and I could go drop him off.

During that half hour, Miz Poo, Mr. Fancypants, and Tubby sat around and sniffed at Spanky through the holes in the carrier, probably relieved that it wasn’t their turn, not this time. Spanky made one strong attempt to escape, but since he could only fit a single paw through that two-inch hole, he was not terribly successful.

I sent Moira an email last night, and she insisted I put the story in my journal so, word for word, here it is:

We’ve been having a problem with one of the cats pooping next to the litter box, on the rug it sits on, instead of inside the litter box itself. Every time it’s happened, I’ve gotten all pissed and bitched about it to Fred. Finally, he suggested that I put newspaper next to the box, and just toss the paper when it happens. So I cleaned the entire litter box area and put down several pieces of newspaper to catch the wayward poo. The next morning I come downstairs, and what do I find? A little pile of cat poo.

NEXT to the newspaper. As if the little bastard had said “Oh, can’t poo on Mom’s newspaper, don’t want to get it all nasty!”

Figures, doesn’t it?

And since this is apparently going to be an all-kitty entry, I must inform you all that the reason Spanky needed to go to the vet’s this morning is because he’s been having problems peeing. Every time I walked by the litter box, he was in there, and this morning he was in pee position on the rug in front of Fred’s shower, and nothing happened. I thought at first that he might be diabetic because it seemed that he was drinking a lot as well, but come to find out (I just picked him up from the vet’s) he actually has Cystitis which, according to the informational pamphlet they gave me, is the medical term for "inflammation" (their quotes, not mine) of the Urinary Bladder.

We have to give him 3 pills a day for 3 weeks. Thank god Fred’s pretty good at getting the cats to take pills, because I’m completely hopeless.

Oh, and we have to give him the ultra-expensive Hill’s Science Diet Prescription Formula. And since it’s hard to control what he eats when there’s food available all the time in the food dish, that means we’ll be feeding that ultra-expensive food to all the kitties.

AND all of the other kitties need to have their yearly exams and shots, and I made the stupid mistake of making an appointment for each of them on a different day next week.

Since I don’t want to take a second mortgage out on the house to pay for all those appointments, I guess I need to call and cancel them and reschedule one every other week or something.

Tomorrow, perhaps I’ll fascinate y’all with stories about dryer lint.




So, after reading an entry at HateYourDaddy, I went onto Napster to download He Stopped Loving Her Today (shaddup) and was amazed anew at the freakin’ idiots who can’t spell. Not sure whether I had the title of the song right, I searched under the artist’s name. George Jones.

No files found! said Napster. That was odd, I thought. Maybe Napster was being screwy. So I disconnected from Napster and reconnected. Searched on George Jones. Again, no files found! Okay… Searched on "stopped loving" under the song title. Up came a huge list of He Stopped Loving Her Today, sung by Georg Jones. And Georges Jones. And Geroge Jones. Not a single George Jones in the bunch.

It better not be any of y’all perpetrating the misspellings, ’cause I don’t want to hunt you down and snatch you baldheaded, and you know I will. That sort of thing just gets all over me.

(Note: I have been informed by Himself that Napster has turned on filtering because the court ruled against them, so people are misspelling stuff on purpose. Who’s the dumbass now, huh? That’s right, me.)

Spanky had a vet appointment today. The plan was that I would drop him off around 7, and Fred would pick him up on his way home from work. I started the way I usually do: I got the cheap cardboard carrier down from it’s usual spot over the washer and dryer. I left it out on the stairs while I lifted weights, so that the cats could get weirded out by it’s existence and then get over it. When I was done lifting weights (owwww, my arms…) I went upstairs, carrying the carrier with me, got dressed (since I didn’t want to show up at the vet’s office in bright green shorts and a lavender t-shirt; I don’t generally wear that particular outfit in public), opened the carrier, and went looking for Spanky. He wasn’t hard to find, since he was rolling around in a patch of sunlight in the dining room. As I picked him up, he was wary but happy, purring his fool head off and rubbing his whiskers against my shirt.

Hey Mom, where we going? he asked happily. We going to go have snacks? I like snacks, but Tubby always steals my snacks! Oh hey, you know, you shouldn’t leave that box thing sitting out, because it’s got all those kitty fear molecules all over it from when you take us to the place where they stick things up our butts and scare us. Um, Mom? Mom, that’s not funny, stop trying to scare me! Mom! Mom! I don’t want to go in the box, Mom! They will hurt me at that place and I will drool all over the place and embarrass myself and you in front of the butt-sticking guy! NO! NO BOX!

As I put him in the cat carrier, which opens from the top, he made like a flying squirrel, each of his four paws outstretched as far as possible, each in a different direction. I managed to cram him into the carrier – eventually – and started to close the top, and somehow he came shooting out between the two panels before I could get them locked shut.

"DAMN. IT!" I yelled. The spud came out from the kitchen where she’d been eating her morning bowl of cereal. Spanky ran into the dining room and hid behind the couch, certain that I would never find him.

"Can you get him?" I asked the spud. She bent down and picked him up.

Oh thank you, he said frantically. She was going to put me in the BOX! The BOX! I don’t like the BOX! I like SNACKS but Tubby always tries to steal my SNACK!

I went over and took him from the spud and headed back for the carrier.

Oh Mom! he purred. Where were you? Something bad just happened, but I don’t remember what. Are we going to go lay in a patch of sunlight and stretch? I like to do that. That and snacks. Is it time for a snack?

He was halfway in the box before he realized what was going on. I had a firm grip on him and was certain that this time I’d get the job done. He grabbed at the outside of the box with his front paws, trying to squirm away from me. I forced his front paws into the box, and he managed to get his head outside the box.

"GOD. DAMN. IT. GET. IN. THERE!" I bellowed, sweating more profusely than I had even during the sixth set of Pulley Extensions which kick my ass in a big way. Spanky shrieked in terror, squirmed frantically, and shot out of the box like a greased pig. He zoomed across the room, through the master bedroom, and into the master bathroom. I stood up and panted, swearing loudly and inventively.

"Should I get the other carrier?" the spud suggested. The other carrier is made of hard plastic and opens in the front, instead of on top. I asked her to get it from the downstairs closet and shut the door to the master bathroom so he couldn’t escape.

He hadn’t really thought that one through, apparently.

When the spud came up from the basement, we went into the bathroom together, walking through the crowd of cats huddled in front of the closed door. Miz Poo’s tail was fluffed out as far as I’ve ever seen it. Much as she and Spanky fight, I guess she didn’t care for hearing him yowl in terror.

Spanky was huddled in the closet doorway and eyed the new cat carrier with suspicion. That’s not a snack! he protested.

When I walked toward him, he scooted past me and ran behind the toilet. I put the carrier on the other side, hoping he was stupid enough to run right into it. He didn’t, only curled up as small as possible, perhaps hoping we wouldn’t see him. I tried pushing at him, and he wouldn’t budge. I picked up the spray bottle and sprayed him, hoping it would make him move. It did not.

So I gave up. Called and changed the appointment to tomorrow. Fred’s going to get the damn cat in the damn carrier before he leaves for work.

Spanky has already forgiven me. All it took was a single yummy kitty treat.