My Doomsday Bucket List

Get ready! Today is End of the World Day (again)!

I’ve already prepared a to-do list:

  1. Shampoo hair.
  2. Rinse.
  3. Repent.
  4. Repeat.
  5. Rent a limo and cruise through the streets of New York City eating a slice of hot pizza.
  6. Beg the Messiah to absolve me of all my sins.
  7. Binge-watch Outlander.
  8. Check the Second Coming Countdown! Have You Got Your Shit Together? ticker on CNN.
  9. Repent.
  10. Eat a foot-long Italian BMT with extra mayo and triple the meats.
  11. Spend rest of day in the bathroom watching Home Alone 3 on iPhone.
  12. Repent.

Are you ready? What’s on your to-do list? Is today really the end? If not — dear God, pleasepleaseplease can it be before the next presidential election?

And if for some odd reason, I don’t disappear into the heavens leaving behind only a pile of my clothes during the Rapture today, I look forward to your comments and likes below.

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Nuclear Bedtime Stories

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I have a lot of things going against me: I’m from Maine; I’m a woman; I’m a Virgo; I’m introverted; I don’t know how to use semicolons effectively. These aspects of my personality result in a few glaring facts — I have no tact, I think too much, I talk a lot, I make too many lists.

Well, excuuuuuse me (Steve Martin) if I see things for how they truly are, then feel compelled to blurt these nuggets of wisdom to anyone within earshot. I can’t help it. Life, death, human existence, string theory, string cheese existence. How do you NOT think about these things?!

Usually I save up all my bone-chilling revelations during the day, only to unleash them onto my poor husband just as he’s drifting off to sleep.

“Hey, honey?” I ask, ignoring the gentle snoring and loud farting. (We’ve been married a long time, I think I’m allowed to let a few rip every now and then.)

“Huh?” he asks, rubbing his eyes.

“There is a theory that the universe is just a big-ass hologram. Our 3D reality is actually stored on a 2D surface. So what we’re experiencing isn’t real at all, just an illusion. Yeah. I believe it. Makes total sense.”

“Okay,” says my husband as he rolls over.

Silence. More farting.

“Hey, honey?” I whisper.  “Did you know that some dude, I think it was Elon Musk…but maybe it was Sheldon on the Big Bang Theory…anyway, he said that there is a huge chance we are in a computer simulation, created from the future. Like we’re inside some insane Sims game, living out our pathetic little lives for some advanced civilization, just for the shits and giggles! Maybe we’re only one of millions of other simulations! The universe is just one big video game!”

Silence. I continue to think so intently, my brain leaks out of my ears.

“Dammit, if only I could live in the simulation where I’m Oprah,” I sigh into the dark.

“Okay,” murmurs my husband.

Silence. Soft farting.

“Hey, honey?” I prop myself up on my elbow. “I was talking with Judy who used to work for a big power plant out in Washington State like 40 years ago.  She said she knows things, top secret things about all the nuclear waste they’ve buried over the years in the ground! Just massive amounts all over the country.  And all these power plants buried this toxic crap in underground tanks that have shelf lives of like 50 years, and pretty soon, all of it will leak into all our water supply! I’m pretty sure it already has! We’re all gonna die a slow radioactive death!”

Silence.

“Ah well, good night, honey,” I whisper. Then I fall into a deep peaceful sleep and dream I’m riding bareback on a unicorn with Sting.

My husband suffers from insomnia; I have no idea why.

 

 

White House in Crisis: Fresh Outta Crises

Last week, on a steamy morning deep in the bowels of our nation’s capital, CNN reporters gathered in the press room prepared to hear the latest news from the White House.

After patiently waiting for several hours, the reporters grew concerned. Not because they noticed anything amiss — I mean, let’s get real, these guys wouldn’t recognize a news story if it bit them on the tuchus — but because the vending machine supply of Skittles was in danger of running out.

Suddenly, an intern burst through the door and yelled, “Hey guys! This isn’t even the press room! It’s the janitor’s closet!”

“Well, that explains the overpowering stench of bleach and vomit,” said one reporter as the others nodded in agreement.

“Besides,” said the intern, “there is no crisis today. You heard me — none! No news to report!  Go home!”

A collective gasp filled the room. The reporters were all atwitter.

No crisis?”

“Nothing bad happened?”

“I can go home? But I hate my wife!”

Yes, the impossible happened. The breaking news?

There was no breaking news.

No insane tweets. No willy-nilly firings. Not even a potent fart stealthily released on a crowded elevator.

The next day at a press conference — curiously held in the janitor’s closet for realsies — Trump attempted to explain his lack of breaking news and wind.

“Listen up, nimrods! Look, here’s the thing. It turns out I’ve already met my firing quota this week. That’s right. Yesterday, I fired 25 people by the time my nap rolled around. Melania says I’m only allowed 10 a week, tops. Sad!”

“But Mr. President,” a reporter asked, “Why do you even have a firing quo–”

“You’re fired.”

“But I…”

“But I….” Trump mocked. “But you are so fired.”

“But I’ve got 10 kids! And 3 wives!”

In response, Trump held up his itty-bitty finger and rubbed it together with his teeny thumb.

“Good one,” smirked the fired reporter. “Tiny violins?”

“What? I have no idea what you’re talking about. I do this whenever I have a brain fart. Calms me down. And the loser behind you with the stupid grin,” Trump pointed.

“You’re fired.”

“No, sir, I am not fired.”

“Fired.”

“No…”

“Fired.”

“This is ridic–”

“Fired fired fired fired fired fired fired fired fired fired fired fired–”

An awkward silence fell over the room. President Trump’s barrage of firing and pointing, and pointing and firing this man went on for five solid minutes before someone finally screwed up enough courage to interrupt.

“Psst! Mr. President!” whispered the janitor standing in the corner holding a mop.

“What do you want now, you unbelievable jackhole?”

“Um…the person you’re firing….ahem… is your reflection in the window.”

“OK, OK, OK. Amazing stuff. Seriously, amazing. Peace out.”

And that is how Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of these United States, left office. Not due to a long agonizing process of impeachment, or a respectul resignation, or the discovery of naked photos of Putin on his cell.

He fired himself.

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Coming to prime time TV this fall:  Apprentice: The Washed-Up Celebs/Ex-Presidents Edition!

 

 

 

Woman Gets Shred of Sanity Back During Commute

Greetings fellow bloggers, bored cats, and heavily tattooed men in orange jumpsuits wasting their 10 minutes of Internet time because they googled “Kim Kardashian Boobs”!

Not only do I blog here at She’s a Maineiac, I’m also a seasoned reporter, interviewing poor slobs about their redonkulous lives.

You might remember my last report, Woman Refuses to Live in the Moment, in which gluten-freak Oprah dished out unsolicited advice to a broke woman and her farting asthmatic cat, Mr. Wankers.

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No? Well, shut up and eat a bagel.

Now time for today’s report!

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Sometimes the daily grind of life is all too much for one 47-year-old woman from the quaint coastal village of East Scrotum, Maine (not to be confused with Scrotum’s Point, a sad little town north of South Bunghole).

Ah yes, Maine — The Way Life Should Be.™

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Unless your life should be that you’re perpetually broke, your feet ache, your boobs sag, and your shit stinks.*

I met up with Starla Turdbucketsen early one morning to see how she does it. How does she survive in today’s crazy-ass world? How in god’s name does she wake up every effing day — remember who she is — yet continue to get up anyway?

“It ain’t easy,” Starla sighed, blowing a steady stream of smoke into my face.

“So, you smoke cigarettes now?”

“No.”

“Let’s talk about your life. Who is Starla Turdbucketsen? You’re a daughter of an elderly parent who thinks Elvis reincarnated as a 13-year-old gospel singer from Sweden. You’re a mom of a teen who thinks he’s going to college to triple major in YouTube Celebrity/Video Gamer/Culinary Farts. You’re a mom to a tween daughter. You’re a wife to a man who incessantly watches MASH reruns in his underwear.”

“Correct.”

“Starla, in the past year, you’ve gone through menopause, major surgery, and the legal separation of Chris Pratt and Anna Faris. You work two jobs, yet you’re wearing a bra you bought circa 1989. Any thoughts, insights or revelations you’d care to share with us about being a modern woman in today’s society?”

“Well, if I have to pluck one more freaking gray hair out of my chin, I swear I’m gonna lose my shit. So there’s that. ”

“So, why do it? What gets you going day after day? Why not just drive your Toyota Corolla into the nearest brick wall?”

“The commute.”

“The what?”

“Are you deaf, you unbelievable nimrod? The commute!”

Oh yeah, the work commute!

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(And yes, my doctor says I’m currently suffering from progressive hearing loss, but let’s get back to Starla and her desperate attempt to cling to those last few scraps of sanity.)

Let’s face it — most of our lives would be a never-ending shit parade if not for those blissful 28 minutes of the morning when you are alone in your car, driving to your soul-sucking job.

I think most harried Americans would agree, the commute is that rare time when you are free to let it all go. That’s right…just take a deep breath…roll down the windows to air out the stench of “medicinal” marijuana…crank some hip-hop…and forget our president is a cross between Forrest Gump and Gary Busey.

Slide1“What is it about the commute that appeals to you, Starla?”

“Two words: No. News.”

“Two more words: ‘Nuff said.”

And so concludes another in-depth interview! Stay tuned next week when I ask Starla her take on the current nuclear crisis with North Korea! (Preview: She thinks it’s the classic “my missile/ego/therapy bill is bigger than yours” dust-up)

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*In 2007, the Maine State Tourism Board fired the marketing director after he presented the slogan: Maine: The Way Life Should Be (Except For Those Who Are Perpetually Broke & Their Feet Ache & Their Boobs Sag & Their Shit Stinks. If That’s You–Move To New Hampshire.)

 

Just Another Maineiac Monday

Lately, I’ve had zero time to blog. So I thought I’d quickly throw up a mishmash of the super important stuff that’s currently taking up all of my precious time.

Let’s start with Gordon Ramsay.

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“Oh, bloody hell.”

My 10-year-old daughter is obsessed with him. She watches all 179 of his current TV shows. Here’s just a sampling:

Master Chef
Master Chef Junior
Kitchen Nightmares

Hell’s Kitchen
Hotel Hell
The F Word*

Satan’s Pantry
Beelzebub’s BBQ Jamboree

The ‘Goddammit, My Face Resembles a Shar-Pei’s Ass, So You’d Better %$#^ing Suck It Up and Cook, You *&^%ing Donut!’ Kitchen

My favorite Ramsay show? It’s Raw! Where top-level culinary geniuses from around the globe forget how to cook a piece of chicken.

While Gordon’s ranting and raving are a bit much, I do appreciate the enlightening cooking tips he dishes out to the contestants like razor-sharp jabs to the nads.
Gems like:
“It’s raw!” and “IT’S RAW!” and “IT’S BLOODY %^%^%$##$%$%$% RAW!”

Image result for Gordon Ramsay
It’s not f***ing cooked properly! Are you not f***ing getting that, you f***ing wanker! Maybe if I crouch down to your bloody level and f***ing scream in your f***ing  stupid face, you’d bloody f***ing catch on!

My daughter and I watch Master Chef Junior, because who doesn’t want to see an impressionable young child have her dreams crushed to paprika in front of millions of people?

Image result for masterchef junior kids crying
[sniffing] [sobbing] [soul dying inside]
And every episode is chock-full of suspense.

[ominous music] Will they cook it right?

[music swells]

…or won’t they?

[dramatic pause]

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“Too salty.”

 

Speaking of salty, what in the bleeping name of Jiminy Cricket is going on with these dagnabbit hoozeewhazzits?

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In case you’ve been living in an underground bunker filled with a lifetime supply of Spam and Dr. Pepper, these are Fidget Spinners. Or as I like to call them:

Dum-Dum Doohickeys
Stupid-Ass Shizznitzels
Flippety-Floo F*** ME!s

My kids begged me to buy them one. All the cool kids had one and all the uncool teachers hated them.  They were sold out everywhere. Weeks went by,  and my kids were still sans Zigzag Dilliwackers.

Finally, we stumbled upon a stash at the local pharmacy. I couldn’t wait to see what all the hubbub was about. Is it magic? Is it a game? Is it like a Rubik’s Cube?

I picked one up and asked, “So, what is it?”

Kids: You spin it.

Me: And then?

Kids: That’s it.

Me: [puts fidget spinner back down, then slowly walks away to weep in the car]

 

And how was your weekend?

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*Actual TV show

 

The Final Curtain

 

curtain

This is a true story that happened over 13 years ago.

 

“Say your goodbye,” the emergency room doctor suggested, his eyes brimming with compassion. But the deep wrinkles etched across his brow revealed the weariness of all the pain and death they had witnessed behind the hastily drawn curtain.

Say your goodbye.

The beeping of machines dissolved into the background. The relentless ticktock of the clock on the ER wall paused as if waiting for my response. I felt myself sinking into black nothingness. My fingers shook as I clasped her limp hand and traced her wedding ring, its sharp edges jolting me awake. The abyss beckoned me: Don’t be afraid! Lean in! Peer into the darkness!

Say your goodbye.

I leaned over to kiss her pale cheek for one last time. I knew my mother was minutes away from leaving her body, but never expected the stark coldness, the unforgiving finality, the emptiness lying beneath my lips.

I wasn’t sure what to do next. I never had the chance to say goodbye to my dying dad. How do you say goodbye? What do I say? Thanks? Thanks for raising me? For teaching me hard lessons? I’ll see you again someday? Catch you on the flip side? Don’t go? Don’t leave me here all alone? Fear gripped my heart, squeezing the air out of my lungs. I was suffocating right along with my mother. A torrent of tears spilled down from my eyes onto her face. My entire body shook as I held onto her hand.  I can’t do this alone. I can’t do this. I can’t say goodbye. I’m not ready.

“Mom…I love you,” I sputtered into the abyss.

“I’m…..fine….don’t….worry,” my mother gasped, her breath gurgling between each word. “I love you…tell….your brothers…I love them.” She closed her eyes.

This was it. I can’t believe she’s dying. My mom! Dying! It’s just not real. It can’t be real. An ER nurse gently ushered me away from my mother as the doctor closed the curtain around the stretcher once again. She walked me to a small windowless waiting room separate from the larger waiting room outside the ER. This must be the private room for family members waiting for someone to die? Will they move me to an even smaller room when they tell me she’s dead? “We will try and get her stable,” the nurse said. “For now just wait in here. I’ll come get you if anything happens.”

It was midnight. Only bad things happen at midnight.

Only a few hours before I was drifting off to sleep next to my snoring husband and one-year-old son in our upstairs bedroom. A heavy rain pounded on the roof of our house. Without warning, I felt the atmosphere shift; the particles in the air pulsing and bright. Something is off, the universe whispered. Something big is happening.  Electricity surged through my body. The only other time I’ve felt this way was the night my dad suddenly died in a hospital bed 3,000 miles away.

I sat up, listening intently to the steady thrumming of the rain above our heads. I nudged my husband awake. “What was that? Do you hear that?”

“What? I don’t hear anything,” my husband whispered. “It’s just the rain. It’s nothing.” He rolled over to snore again.

But the rain wasn’t right; the wind urgent. Something was wrong.

I crept down the hallway and stairs into the dark kitchen. I wasn’t sure why I was checking, but I knew I had to check. An unseen force propelled me to walk through the kitchen to the door leading to our attached garage. I slowly opened the door, the wind howling outside in response. A low grown escaped from the shadows on the floor. There was my mom, lying on the bottom steps below her in-law apartment above the garage.

“I…can’t…breathe,” she whispered, her tiny frail body wrapped in her nightgown and bathrobe. She was still clutching her phone in one hand. She had managed to make her way down the steps to get help, but didn’t have the energy to remain standing long enough to knock on my door.

Now I was in a hospital, with my mother and The Abyss hiding a few feet away behind a thin white curtain. Soon two of my older brothers arrived and we waited, the foggy early morning hours bleeding into each other. Finally, a nurse entered the “Waiting For Death” room where we had sat for hours like stone statues. “She’s turned a corner! She’s stable!” she informed us.

We were stunned. The ER doctor suggested many times to me that she would probably die that night as she was drowning in her own fluids, her lungs almost completely filled from the congestive heart failure. But now she was suddenly stable. “If you hadn’t found her when you did…” he said to me, his voice trailing off.

My mom almost died that night back in 2003. I said my final goodbye, but the universe had other ideas. They transferred her to Maine Medical Center in Portland and a week later she underwent a quintuple bypass and valve replacement surgery at the age of 69. After the ten hour operation, she emerged feeling like a new woman. “I have a new heart now!” she told me in recovery. The surgeon informed us the average lifespan after such a surgery was 10 years.

Of course, her Mainer stubbornness proved him wrong. I’m thankful to have spent an additional 13 years with my mother and counting. She’s 83 now and enjoys relatively excellent health. I’ve let a lot of things go since she almost died. Peering into the abyss will do that to you. Our once stormy relationship has softened over the years to one of forgiveness, respect, and love.

Often we talk about those final moments; the time she was almost pulled over the edge. I’ve asked her more than once if it hurt to not be able to breathe, or if she was scared to die.

“Oh no, not at all,” she insists. “There was no pain. It was very peaceful. I saw your dad, you know. He was standing at the foot of my bed with two really big angels on either side of him. I knew I would be okay. Not scared at all. I was ready to go.”

I’ve seen death up close before when I was 21 and viewed my dad’s lifeless body lying in a coffin. I’ve carried the burden of not being present when he left us. I felt cheated out of saying goodbye to him. Yet the years of guilt, anger and sadness gradually faded away, transforming into acceptance and gratitude.

I don’t know why I went out to the garage that night. But the universe has a way of balancing things out. Saying my last goodbye to my mom that rainy October night prepared me again for the final curtain. I know when the time truly comes for my mom or me, I’ll be ready to jump into that abyss with less fear and more love.

Top Eleven Things I Hate About Being President

Hey, losers! It’s me, the President of the United States.

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Yes, I am still here.

No, I don’t want to be here anymore.

So please enjoy my top 11 Reasons Why Being Prez Sucks Bigly Time:

11) Thought it would be more like that movie where the bratty kid gets all the ice cream in the world served to him in a king-sized bed.

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10) No hookers.

9) No p*****s worth grabbing anywhere, let me tell you.

8) White House staff didn’t like my idea of putting Sean Spicer and James Comey inside a massive hedge maze with one bag of Doritos, an ax, and no way out.

Image result for the shining maze

7) All these meetings with all the talk-talk-talk and blah-blah-blah and this-n-that and poopie-doopie-doo. Just shut the hell up and let me nap.

6) Me no likey thinking! Thinking hard!

5) I miss my spectacular view of all the numbnuts protesting outside Trump Tower. White House is not high enough! How am I supposed to look down on people? SAD!

4) No gold-plated anything.

3) NO SPRINKLES FOR MY ICE CREAM!

2) NO SPRINKLES FOR MY ICE CREAM!

1) I ask you–how am I supposed to live without sprinkles? OUTRAGEOUS!

So that’s my list and it’s amazing.

Stay tuned for more hijinks and mayhem as I continue my spectacular quest to get impeached — including hiring a skywriter to fly over the White House every hour with the words: GET ME OUT OF HERE! I WANT MY MOMMY! and a photo op of me having a “Bed-In” with Putin and Kim Jong-Un I like to call, “Give Dictators a Chance”.

Bigly News!

I’ve been coughing up posts for this blog for almost seven years now — for free and with absolutely zero chance of ever gaining any real success or exposure beyond the 200 pathetic cats that read my drivel.

Image result for cats on computers gif

Well, that’s about to change.

I’ve just received news through my agent that Melissa McCarthy has signed on to produce a TV Land series based on my blog. Remember the failed TV show, Sh*t My Dad Says starring William Shatner that was based on some guy’s twitter feed? Yeah — this one will actually be good.

The tentative title: The Bad Blogger

The synopsis: The show will follow the life and times of WordPress blogger Marla — a middle-aged, bitter, grade-A crank who is doomed to live in a frozen tundra teeming with Maineiac assholes. She longs to make it as a successful writer, only to be served a big, fat, steaming pile of failure time and again. After much soul-searching, coffee brandy, and the occasional cigar, she finally finds her purpose by posting funny cat videos to her blog followers.

I’ve watched the above video about 152 times and laugh harder each time. What kills me is the look on the white cat’s face when she realizes she didn’t ring the bell hard enough, and the other cat is getting the food but she’s getting bupkis. That look? That’s my face. Every day of my life. Where’s my damn kibble?!

All pissed-off cats and nobody-bloggers-like-me-who-will-never-have-any-real-success-thanks-for-nothing-Melissa-McCarthy aside…I love April Fools’ Day. Two of my favorite pranks I’ve pulled over the years include:

  • Wrapping a huge spool of twine around my brother’s friend’s car, encasing it completely. Took him hours to unwind it. During a blizzard. After he  had just finished a brutal 10 hour shift at work. Hilarious.
  • Telling my boss my husband and my co-worker’s husband were both caught cheating on us — with each other. This was an elaborate prank that involved several people and we managed to keep it going all day long — and my boss believed every bit of it. Hysterical.

So, in the spirit of being mean for a cheap laugh, so far today I gave my kids a spoon in a bowl of milk and cereal…that I froze solid the night before. Later, I’m swapping out the mayonnaise for vanilla pudding.

My husband told me this morning right after I woke up that he got an email stating our health insurance premium is going up to 852 bucks a month. Then he let out a cackle and said “APRIL FOOLS!”

I didn’t think it was funny.

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What sort of devilish pranks have you pulled? Let me know so I can use them next year.

All Snow and No Play Makes Darla Cray Cray

Okay, enough’s enough. I can’t take the news anymore. I’m just gonna come right out and say what we’ve all been thinking:

I don’t give a shit that Beyoncé is pregnant with twins.

Whew! Oh, god! I feel so much better now! The tension has left my body!

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Cue the angel choir

And man, if only I had a nickel for every time I announced my pregnancy wearing a diamond-encrusted G-string and a solid gold porcupine crown.

So this winter’s been particularly…uh…challenging for us Maineiacs. We’ve had about 25 Nor’eastahs in a span of one week. Roughly 5,000 inches of snow. But it’s the powdery fluffy kind, so it’s all good…

kids-winter-blizzard-2017
…for them — 7 snow days and counting

Three days ago, we sent Pa Ingalls out with a shovel and a pair of snowshoes to go fetch us some Dunkin Donut’s coffee and he never returned. The wimpy-ass bastard. All snow and no coffee makes Darla a dull girl. And super bitchy.

But like I said — the snow is plentiful. Great for skiers! Yeah! Hit the slopes! The skiing will be FANTASTIC. Hooray!

happy-skiers_fe

Fuck the skiers and fuck all your stupid snow.

Don’t you hate that? Seeing those people with the goofy grins plastered on their faces. All happy and jazzed about winter.  Getting exercise. Enjoying life. It’s unnatural! Everyone knows you’re supposed to stay inside and chug Dunkin coffee while bitching about how rich everyone is at the Grammys.

ceelo-green-gold-zoom-33e1411c-3717-4844-80a5-b0c3e26aa298
CeeLo Green after his Liquid Gold Diet went awry.

This week we also had that annoying “made-up” holiday, Valentine’s Day. You know what other holidays are made-up? Pretty much all of them.

slide1I’m sorry I’m hating on Beyoncé, skiing, and that guy in the top hat holding a pissed off giant rat. I blame the 12-foot wall of snow that has me trapped here on my couch. If only there were something else to get steamed about…something in the news on TV that really burned my britches enough so that I could jump on Facebook and shove my unsolicited opinion in everyone’s faces.

I got nuthin.

Meanwhile, tell me how your winter’s going so I can live vicariously through you.

The Cat Who Thinks She’s a Dog

…A Cautionary Tail…

sleeping-maggie

I love cats. Always have, always will. Why?

  • They don’t talk.
  • They don’t have political views.
  • They don’t talk about politics.
  • They don’t talk.

I consider their personalities sort of like mine: introverted, opinionated, always critical of others — but in that endearing, almost imperceptibly smug way.

slide1I also equally adore dogs, so please, no hate mail.

Many cats have owned me over the years.  As a kid, my first cat was Fluffy (aka Lint), then Cujo (aka The Old Man), followed by my fat orange tabby, Conan O’Brien (that I once regrettably used as a crampon), and now we are graced with Miss Maggie the Magnificent’s presence.

And apparently, she’s a dog.

Me: You are not a dog.

Maggie: Ruff.

Me: You are not a dog.

Maggie: Arf.

Me: You are not a dog!

Maggie: Bow wow?

Me: YOU ARE NOT A DOG!

Maggie [blank stare]: D’oh! [licks own ass, tries to eat an invisible bug, farts]

Me: Hmm….maybe you are a dog…

So our 8-month-old puppy almost died last week. Not to bring this post down from the previous high of an ass-licking farting cat, but yeah it’s true. She suddenly projectile vomited out of the blue. (I suppose that’s really the only way one can projectile vomit as there’s usually not much of a warning.)

I was the only one home when it happened. She let out this sound only dying cats make. I immediately flipped out and started sobbing. I’m known for being emotional. I’m ridiculously sensitive to other’s pain and suffering. I feel it as if it were my own. And pets? To me, they are pretty much the only pure goodness that’s left in this godforsaken world.

I started crying when we brought her to the vet and didn’t stop crying until about 3 days later.

“It’s just a cat!” you sneer. I weep for your soul.

To make an excruciatingly long story short, she was hooked up to an IV due to being severely dehydrated and lethargic. Blood tests ruled out pancreatitis and kidney disease (rare for a kitten).

Yet she was clearly dying. Her ears were cold as ice and she wasn’t responding to my touch or voice or the flood of tears falling onto her face. They did X-rays and saw something “suspicious” in her stomach, but they weren’t sure. It looked like her intestine was bunching up “like a curtain on a curtain rod,” the vet suggested.

They couldn’t immediately do exploratory surgery because it seemed her organs were rapidly shutting down and the stress might put her over the edge and kill her. We put her in an emergency clinic overnight and I cried some more.

Finally, the next morning she was brighter and I had to make the decision to do surgery. There was a chance they would find nothing. I told them to do it as soon as possible. The very idea that I might have to tell my kids she died (the world’s sweetest kitten!) just about killed me.

There was something special about Maggie. When we saw her at the animal shelter she was sitting with another kitten. The other kitten spent his time clawing at her and sitting on her head. She just calmly sat there, all sweetness and light. I said, “That’s the cat. She’s the one.” You just know these things. It’s fate. All my pets came from the pound and all of them were the most loving gentle souls. (Except for Fluffy. We referred to him as Psycho Cat.)

From the minute Maggie got sick, I had this feeling she ate something bad. She was always getting into things. It’s like having a hyper toddler in the house all over again. Maybe it was a little piece of string? My son has tiny elastic bands on his braces that are constantly breaking and popping off, maybe she ate one of those? The vet did the surgery and called me when it was over.

“She’s doing great,” said the vet. “We found something.”

And boy howdy, did they find something. When we arrived, the vet held up a Ziploc bag filled with this large mass of string, carpet, ribbon, yarn, and a plastic straw. Yes, she had swallowed almost half of a straw. Part of it was inside her intestine and the glob of string was blocking the pylorus region. We were lucky the straw didn’t perforate her intestine and lead to sepsis.

Apparently, she had spent the better part of her young life eating things she shouldn’t eat. Such as her scratching post, the living room rug, the feathers and ribbons from a cat toy…a straw.

As we were checking out at the vet, the receptionist said, “Oh, you’ve got the foreign body removal cat! Don’t feel bad — we just surgically removed a wire hanger out of a dog last week!”

A man behind us in line said, “And my dog once had a rope yanked from his stomach! I think he also ate half a shoe once!”

For some reason, their cheerfulness when describing possible future foreign body horrors didn’t make me feel any better.

I’m beyond thrilled to say Maggie is 99% healed. I think her image as a cool cat might never recover, though. But she wears that Cone of Shame with doofus dog pride.

Woof.