Thursday, August 18, 2005

Sun Bathing & a Desk-cleaning Cat

Someone sent me a joke in my email today entitled something like How Strippers and Cats Are Similar. I won’t post it unless someone asks for it because I judge it to be rather pejorative. With Jessica Rabbit at the moment taking on those who write absurdly about strippers and strip clubs, I’ll not add to the ridiculousness comments she is so wisely countering.

However, I did realize today that there is a similarity between Alex and Candy. Both love to sun bath. Both worship the warmth of the sun. Even now, in late-summer, Candy is not content unless she spends her twenty minutes in the tanning booth each day. She even convinced me to join her once—and only once. Although I tan easily and seldom burn, the brief time I had in that booth resulted in my acquiring burned buttocks. I spent the next week with the overwhelming desire to scratch an area of my body that good taste decrees one not touch in public. I have promised myself that I shall not do that again.

Alex also likes the sun. And, when he is indoors, he often sits on my desk beneath my high intensity desk lamp, if it is on. I suppose that’s OK, except when he decides to clean my desk.

Now, I admit that I do not keep a neat desk. In fact, I once put a small sign on my desk that read Neatness Is the Sign of a Sick Mind. I am also one of those people who forgets the existence of things unless I can see them: Out of sight, out of my thoughts is the way I operate.

Through the years I have put away (and out of my sight) checks received, bills to pay, letters from important (to me) people, etc. only to find them months or years later. For example, several weeks ago I discovered a check from Sears reimbursing me $50.00 for an overpayment I had made in 2001. It took me two days to locate and contact the correct people at Sears and they told me that they will issue me a replacement check to cover the now out dated one in “ten to twelve weeks.” Actually, I could use the check today. In reality, I could have used the check in 2001.

Back to Alex, who, when he gets tired of sun bathing beneath my lamp, stands up, stretches, and walks around the desktop pushing anything light enough for his paw to move onto the floor. So this morning, when I left for an appointment, I could not find my cell phone. I had placed it on top of my desk in the wee hours of this morning after responding to Candy’s telephone call. At 9:00 a.m. it wasn’t there.

So, because I was running on a tight schedule, I left without the cell phone. That wasn’t good. Five minutes into my drive, at a place where four expressways meet—locally called Spaghetti Junction—all traffic came to a halt on a curving ramp leading from I-71 to I-65. I was on that ramp when the traffic stopped and behind me cars came to a stop for as far as I could see. And there we sat for over forty-five minutes, as people got out of their cars, talked, and walked up the ramp to see what was stopping us. I joined them and saw that a large house car had evidently tried to take the ramp curve too fast, gone from the right to the left lane, and a small compact car was embedded in its side.

The wait for the accident to be cleared from the ramp was disquieting for me only because I had no cell phone and could not contact the people with whom I had the appointment to inform them that I was caught in a traffic jam. And I had no cell phone because…

When I came home this evening, I found Alex again (still?) sun bathing beneath my lamp and took the picture posted with the article. I also found my cell phone, a pen, two cigarette lighters, a wrist watch I hadn't been able to find for weeks, and some mail on the floor behind my desk.

I thanked Alex for cleaning my desk.


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