The 2,000 Dollar Cat Penis

People talk heroically about saving lives. I’ve done no such thing; however I did once save a cat’s genitals, much to my father’s chagrin. That last sentence sounds like a cross between absurd and perverted so I’m going to elaborate.

Once upon a time, when I wore the same shirt every single day for a month and never washed it, my mother underwent chemotherapy. It was a difficult time for her and the only creature that consistently brought her joy and comfort (because I merely brought dirt and increasingly large amount of grime) was her cat Splat*.

In between treatments my parents decided to take a mini-vacation. I was living at home at the time so I was charged with taking care of their home and pets. Before he left my father handed me a credit card instructing me to use it in the event of an emergency.

Splat had been slightly ill before my parents’ mini-vacation but watching my parents’ car disappear into the distance pushed him to the brink of death. Responsible daughter that I was, I rushed Splat straight to the veterinarian.

Splat was dehydrated and very sick. The prognosis was grim, there were crystals in his penis and the only way to save him was to cut off his penis, or carry out expensive operation to remove the crystals. Apparently this is a common problem with cat penises. (Or is the plural peni? I don’t really concern myself with the grammatical intricacies of cat genitals.) To top it off, afterwards Splat would eat an exorbitantly expensive food in order to prevent a reoccurrence.

“Well” the vet asked, looking to me to make a decision, “what will it be?”

“How much is the operation to remove the crystals?” I responded tentatively.

“Two thousand dollars” said the vet grimly.

Not possessing a penis, I wasn’t sure of the value of one. In my experience all of the men I met seemed to value theirs greatly. In fact I remembered reading about a man who had fallen asleep on railroad tracks and awoken a triple amputee. Upon learning the extent of his tragedy, the man’s first concern was whether he had lost his member; he was elated that he hadn’t. But on the other hand, Splat had been neutered a decade back, so as long as he was still able to urinate, it seemed that his penis was mostly decorative rather than functional. A bit like a pompom on top of a winter toque. In light of that, it seemed like the obvious decision was to get rid of the penis entirely. Then I thought of my mother’s dismay when she arrived home to discover that her cat was missing a part. I was charged with taking care of the house and the pets, and ideally my parents wanted both to remain as they had left them.

Uncertain as to whether this constituted an emergency but sure that it would end with my mother arriving home to a whole, happy cat, I handed over my father’s credit card.

Two days later, I drove a still woozy but rehydrated Splat home from the vet. My mother hugged him close “My poor Splat, you almost lost your penis” while my Dad gazed in horror at the bill.

It wasn’t rushing a child from a burning building or pushing someone out of the way of a speeding car, but until his dying day, every time Splat groomed his junk, I thought about my decision and was proud.

You can't see his junk, but let me assure you, it was both expensive and beloved. Much like Waterford crystal but with more pee. (Photo Credit : My Dad)

You can’t see his junk, but let me assure you, it was both expensive and beloved. Much like Waterford crystal but with more pee. (Photo Credit : My Dad)

*Names have not been changed because Splat was an animal not a human, also what with possessing the most expensive feline penis on the planet, I feel the world should know his name.

Hop On Pop

I’m twenty-five weeks pregnant which means at the best of times I feel like a sausage blimp; some sort of gas filled entity stuffed into too little skin.

Picture a zeppelin with a skirt and you have me. Photo Credit : theatlantic.com

Picture this zeppelin with a skirt and you have me. Photo Credit : theatlantic.com

And at the worst of times I’m a vomit fountain.

Which for the record is the opposite of this kind of fountain which can brings scads of people sugar coated joy. Photo Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

For the record, is the opposite of this kind of fountain which can bring scads of people sugar coated joy. Photo Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

And at all times I am tired.

Today the role of Unwashed shall be played by this character. Photo Credit : affordablehousinginstitute.org

Today the role of Unwashed shall be played by this character. Photo Credit : affordablehousinginstitute.org

However despite this, I agreed to go out to dinner with Tex and his friend. The restaurant was only a third of a kilometer from the apartment so Tex decided that we should walk. Tragically, a half an hour beforehand, my body decided that I should sleep. This was how Tex and I found ourselves shuffling along while I kept my eyes closed.

One hundred meters from the apartment I stopped and refused to go any further. “I want a piggyback ride!” I demanded. Sensing that he was a second away from dragging his pregnant wife’s supine body down the sidewalk towards the restaurant, Tex agreed.

 It would have looked exactly like this if Joy was wearing a cowboy hat and wrangler jeans; Tex is just as chipper and I was just as motionless. Photo Credit : infinity.wordpress.com

It would have looked exactly like this if Joy was wearing a cowboy hat and wrangler jeans; Tex is just as chipper and I was just as motionless. Photo Credit : infinity.wordpress.com

I’m not sure whether it was my bulky jacket that made me forget about the giant basketball that is now my midsection or whether I was that drunk from exhaustion, regardless Tex knelt down and I jumped as high as my heavy body and intense acid reflux would allow which wasn’t high at all. I made it halfway onto his back before my belly caused me to slide off and I remembered that I was five and a half months pregnant.

It was at then that I started laughing the maniacal hysterical laughter of the exhausted and was so loud that passersby turned to take in the commotion. Happily, I ended up giggling myself the rest of the way to the restaurant.

Domestic Packing Battles and Unhygienic Oral Practices

A funny thing happens when I begin to pack. My thoughts become disorganized and suddenly the idea of wearing only a multi-coloured afro and suspenders for a weekend seems entirely appropriate. Tex had yet to witness this phenomenon until last night. Frankly I’m surprised that we are still together. Prior to becoming a cowboy, Tex was an engineer, as such, he approaches life problems like packing systematically, whereas I take the hippie-artist scattershot route.

Obviously a shirt would be overkill, but otherwise the perfect ensemble for any occasion. (Photo Credit : fancydress.com)

Obviously a shirt would be overkill, but otherwise the perfect ensemble for any occasion. (Photo Credit : fancydress.com)

7:00 PM – My flight leave in less than twelve hours

Tex “Have you started packing?”

Unwashed “No, why would I do that?”

7:45 PM – A 4:20 wakeup call dictates an imminent bedtime

Tex “You need to start packing”

Unwashed sitting on the couch reading “I’m getting there”

8:03 PM

Tex “Where’s your suitcase?”

I take the suitcase from its spot by the front door and choose to lay it on the futon which is only the second most inconvenient place in the apartment, the first being in the middle of the kitchen table.

Then I commence throwing random articles of clothing onto the shag carpet in the other room.

8: 21 PM

Tex, who is busy doing dishes and being helpful, calls from the kitchen “You’re busy packing right?”

I stop lolling around on the soft carpet for a moment to throw a pair of rainbow striped socks onto the mixed up pile next to me. “Yes, I’m so busy, in fact I’m almost done.” I call back.

Tex “So you have tights?”

Unwashed “No”

Tex “A skirt?”

Unwashed “No”

Tex “A dress?”

Unwashed “No”

Tex “Underwear?”

Unwashed inwardly “Does one really need more than one pair for four days?” aloud “No”

I spend the next twenty minutes walking back and forth between the bedroom and the living room where I’ve put my suitcase, depositing random items into it, like a pair of high heels, a camera battery charger but no camera. Tex watches all this with amusement and just a hint of concern.

A half hour passes, inexplicably I am no more ready to leave and I have somehow lost the capris and shirt that I was wearing in the process. It’s at this point that I decide to fine tune my twerking form in my underpants. Watching my leopard print butt wiggle back and forth in a manner that one could neither describe as dancing nor twerking Tex asks “And this helps you fold sweaters and shirts how?”

Unwashed stops bouncing “Ummmm”

Tex “Do you have pyjamas?”

Unwashed “No”

Tex “Do you have a toothbrush?”

Unwashed “I don’t need one”

The look of horror on Tex’s face necessitates an explanation. “One should replace their toothbrush every three months, I travel on average once every four to six, so I buy a new one when I arrive.”

Tex looks skeptical of my determination to buy a toothbrush upon arrival “I’ll get your travel one out of my bag.” He lays the orange toothbrush on the kitchen table, where it can’t be missed.

After nearly half an hour more of cajoling from Tex, I am packed and Tex is oddly exhausted. I don’t know why, he wasn’t the one running back and forth everywhere trying to find passports and the like.

This post is dedicated to my more hygienic half, who shows patience and kindness in the face of my ridiculousness and disorganization.

The Time I Played Sports Ball

Once upon a time, when I thought that short shorts were appropriate winter attire, I played football. During my third year of university I was a nose tackle for an all-girl team. My justification for joining the team was I could run and . . .  I could run. The fact that I didn’t know or understand the rules to the game and had no other athletic abilities to contribute besides this was immaterial.

This was how I found myself crouched with one hand behind my back and the other on the ground, waiting to grab the ball and pass it to more skilled ladies behind me. The umpire, or whatever the person was orchestrated football games would shout “Third down” or “second down” and I would hold my confused self still and think “down to what?” and then the buzzer would sound or maybe it was a whistle and I would grab the ball.

This is the birdie right? (Photo Credit : championacademyrochester.org)

This is the birdie right? (Photo Credit : championacademyrochester.org)

What came after that was always confusing, there were many different plays that I was supposed to memorize but since I was preoccupied with understanding what the heck was going on in the game, I never learned them. Then I would run as fast as I could, watching for the ball and praying that it wouldn’t be thrown to me because I hadn’t learned how to catch.

My understanding of the rules was shoddy at best. I thought the defense’s job was to continually hold the offense in one place for the entire hour and that we would only be given a break if a touchdown was scored by the other team. Happily, I received lots of breaks.

Along with not knowing the rules to the game I was deficient in the other elements of football playing. Based on my limited observation of athletics, it seemed that fighting and trash talking comprised a large part of organized sports. As I stood at five foot two inches at best, fighting seemed unwise and like a good way to be smushed when I was paired with a girl who approached six feet in height. And I felt bad throwing insults at the other players because they were doing their best. Not to mention that their best was far better than mine.  So at the start line? At the line of aggression? At the scuttle line?

The cuddle line? That one makes sense- these men are getting ready to hug the HELL out of each other. (Photo Credit : Wikipedia)

The cuddle line? That one makes sense- these men are getting ready to hug the HELL out of each other. (Photo Credit : Wikipedia)

When all the female footballers would line up, right before the referee or whoever it was called start or whistled or blew the fog horn, I would spew nonsense. “How many elbows do you have?” I would cheerfully ask the growling girl across from me. “What?” she would falter and her defense would weaken for the moment that I needed to push past her and run the only play I knew “the fly” which was in essence running as far and as fast as you can past the other team then turning around to watch for the ball that I couldn’t catch. Or I would change it up “Watch your toes, I have a wooden leg” I would cry as I moved through the tussling line of ladies.

My football career culminated in a game that was played on a freezing November evening. My parents came to witness my twenty-three seconds of glory, which was the amount of time it took for the opposing team to score eighteen points. Sometimes reflecting back to these halcyon days, I think to myself, perhaps I shall take up another equally absurd sport that I don’t understand like boxing or lacrosse.

An Unwashed Cover Letter

I  re-wrote my cover letter recently, apparently the one I was using wasn’t appropriate. I’m publishing a version of it so you, my readers can decide for yourselves.

Dear Big Cheese,

I’m awesome. As in like super awesome. So awesome in fact, that you might think I can fly. I can’t but I am that great. You should really consider me for a job with your company.

Along with being super amazeballs fantastic, I have lots of skills. For example, I steal. A lot. But before you get too worried and start locking up the staplers, I should tell you that I only steal ideas, which I will bring to your company. Because I’m super awesome amazeballs great. It’s going to be marvelous, let me tell you. I’m sure you’ll love my habit of stowing unusual fruits in my clothing. It livens up meetings like you wouldn’t believe. My habit takes the joke “Is that a banana in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?” and makes it fresh again when I remove an orangelo from my skirt and offer it as a snack to everyone “I know it looks like alien baby spawn, but it tastes good!”

Seeing as you’ll be contacting me soon, I’ll give my email address, I check it far more often than my phone, which I last saw under the seat of my truck when I drove it to the junk yard last May, sarahwritescreativethingshere@gmail.com . Also in case you missed it, that was a hint that I’ll need a car and a chauffeur. I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

Dragon fruitily and sometimes kumquatily yours,

The Great Unwashed

For the record I still don’t see what’s wrong with my cover letter. Admittedly it’s never gotten me a job, but who reads those things anyway?

Please “Like” this post to support my continued use of this letter.

Ridiculous Debates and Second Hand Underpants

I’m currently preparing to leave Quebec, which means only one thing; it’s time to put all of my possessions into a suitcase that seems to shrink in size with each passing second. Packing also leads to one of my most loathed activities; lifting objects. My deep seated hatred of carrying anything heavier than a bag of marshmallows leads to bizarre thoughts because I will go to any lengths to lighten my load.

Around the time that my suitcase was half full, I started to question the utility of garments like underwear and whether I could justify donating them to Goodwill.

Underpants are like cars right? They’re better value when they’re used. (Photo Credit : copyblogger.com)

Underpants are like cars right? They’re better value when they’re used. (Photo Credit : copyblogger.com)

Or whether I actually needed hygienic items like my toothbrush. After all, I only use it twice a day- are clean teeth truly necessary? Bulky or oddly shaped objects were subject to the most scrutiny. Staring at my hairbrush, I weighed the utility of looking like a swamp monster against the additional room and decreased weight of my luggage.

So worth not carrying a hairbrush. (Photo Credit :sodahead.com)

So worth not carrying a hairbrush. (Photo Credit :sodahead.com)

When my suitcase was almost full, I contemplated becoming a fully-fledged hippie and going braless, however I figured this freewheeling lifestyle might not go over well at my work, thus the horror that is brassiere shopping to replace said bras won out over the reduced weight and bulk of getting rid of them.

As I laid across my suitcase, willing my body to be larger and thus able to make the zipper close, I had a long debate with myself over whether I actually needed my sweater and coat. Who needs body warmth when you can happily wheel a light suitcase through a train station? I also came |thisclose| to leaving my second pair of shoes at the Salvation Army in the name of carrying less.

Even after I dropped off all of the books I brought with me at the local second hand store, my suitcase still weighed an ungodly amount.  Scouring my possessions for anything that I could be rid of, I spotted them; my shampoo and conditioner. What right do I have to call myself the Great Unwashed when I’m schlepping cleaning products back and forth between provinces? Into the recycling bin they went. With that final act, I realized I had chucked, donated and compressed everything that I could and for better or worse my elephant sized suitcase was packed.

My suitcases once I finished packing. (Photo Credit: trekearth.com)

My suitcases once I finished packing. (Photo Credit: trekearth.com)