A visit to the vet

                  June is the time of year that I take the family cat, Toby, to see the veterinarian. I take him to a local farm supply store where a vet and staff visit one Saturday each month. The visiting vet clinic is held in the back of the store in a large open area.

                The process to take Toby to the vet is somewhat involved. If he gets any idea what I am up to, he disappears, never to be found until after the clinic is closed. It’s true. I don’t know how he does it. To limit his ability to hide, I shut all the doors in the house and place the cat carrier where he cannot see it. Then, I put fresh food out and wait for him to show up. He always does (he’s kind of stupid about food) and that is when I scoop him up and force him into the carrier for the trip.

                Now, I have, over my many years, learned to translate catspeak. What follows is a conversation that took place between me and Toby, our 12 year old orange short hair. I did have to do quite a bit of editing as cats are among the most vulgar animals on the planet. The narrative picks up just as I scoop him up and away from his food bowl and to the cat carrier.

“Hey! Just what in (expletives deleted) are you doing? Put me down you (expletives deleted)!

“You’re going to the vet. It’s time for your shots.”

“The (expletives deleted) I am. No! I am not getting in this box and you can’t make me! I’ll kick your (expletives deleted) teeth out!” (Now from inside the carrier box). “Let me out of here! I’m not going to the vet! I just went a year ago!” (expletives deleted)

“Quit whining. You do this every year and every year it’s the same thing. You pitch and moan and nothing happens. You’re such a baby.”

(Very long string of profanity that lasts a full two minutes).  “A baby? Let me out of this box and I’ll show you a baby. You’ll never shave again! I’ll rip your heart out and show it to you before you die, you (expletives deleted)!

“Do you remember the waiting area from last year?”

“Yes, so the (expletives deleted) what?”

“Do you remember all of the dogs that were in that room?”

(Long silence) “Lucky thing for them I was in my cage. A lot of dogs would’ve have (expletives deleted) died that day.”

(Now in the waiting room surrounded by twenty or so dogs and their owners). “Well, big mouth, we are here again and there are a lot of dogs here. Want me to let you out?”

“No, you’d better not. I’m afraid they would all run away in abject fear and make a mess of the place. No, I’m better off in here. I don’t want to hurt all those sorry (expletives deleted).”

                With that, Toby wedged himself into the back of his cage and tried to look invisible. I had to pry him out to get his shots. When it was all over and he was back in the safety of his cage, he announced, “Lucky thing you held me down, (expletives deleted). If you had let go of me the dog carnage would’ve been terrible.”

                “Sure buddy.”

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Advice for new husbands

There is a certain satisfaction at this stage of my life in being able to impart some wisdom of some sort to the younger generation. Such is the purpose of this discourse. If I am able in some small way to ease the path for those men who are just embarking on a journey of perpetual wedded bliss with their one and only true love , then I will consider my life fulfilled. Take the following advice to heart, dear friend, and you and your beloved will enjoy a long life of happiness and ecstasy.

New husband, know that your sweetheart may have some different habits and routines that may not match your own. I can safely state that the first thing you will notice in your darling one and only is her inability to properly utilize the toothpaste tube. It is a minor thing, to be sure, but many a honeymoon bliss has been ruined by the lowly toothpaste tube. You will squeeze the tube from the middle (as most men do) and your new bride will roll it up. The first time she sees a squeezed tube it will create no end of dismay and anguish for her and, ultimately, for you. Those who are given to squeezing are rarely, if ever, bothered by a rolled tube. Not so for the wife who rolls her tube. One would think that the freedom of the western world were at stake, considering the protestations of your dear wife. Friend, there is a simple solution. Buy two toothpaste tubes. It’s as simple as that. It will save you no end of strive and trouble (not to mention the lecture from she who considers herself perpetually correct).

A much more serious consideration is the position one leaves the toilet seat in. The up or down argument has raged for generations and I  see no final solution in sight. Gentleman, if you have lived on your own awhile, you probably have kept the seat in a permanent up position as a matter of convenience. Your loving bride is just the opposite. In fact, she may not be aware that the toilet seat has an up position. It is with the strongest terms that I warn you, devoted husband, that the first time your gentle wife gets up in the middle of the night and suddenly, to her soggy consternation, discovers that there is an up position for the toilet seat – well – you will get wind of a side to your lovely wife that you have, heretofore, never seen and hope to never see again. She will also employ a command of vocabulary that you have never heard from her either. Wedded bliss will leave your household for a time while she ponders your, now many, faults. Avoid this problem altogether and keep the seat down. I know it’s a hassle but the alternative is just not worth it.

There is one final tip that I want to leave you with. If she ever asks you if she is fat or if a certain outfit does not look good on her – well – you’re on your own.

Let’s get serious for just a minute

In light of last night’s GOP debate in New Hampshire, the following quote seems fitting:

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” –John Adams, Address to the Military , 1798