Dog Tales and a Reflection on Cats

Baxter with his white woman, 2009
He is your friend, your defender, your partner, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. 

I’ve never been worthy of “such devotion,” but it wasnt for a lack of trying. I thought it would be easier with cats. Some stories...

Peggy and I went to a Christmas crafts’ fair, and behind one of the tables stood a psychic” who, for a price, would go to people's houses, read their pets' minds, and share what she learned. I decided to test her ability: “My wife and I have a black schnauzer named Baxter who likes to sit in my wife's lap and stare adoringly into her eyes while she pets him. When she stops petting him, he slaps her.” (All of this was true except that it was a touch rather than a slap). Do you think it could be a racial thing?” The psychic patiently explained that black fur on a dog doesnt imply African ancestry, and that schnauzers dont think of race in the same way people do. I thanked her for the information.

Bonnie Blue, 1999
When Bonnie was half-grown, she and I would pick Peggy up after work. One night I saw Peggy before Bonnie did, so I said to Bonnie, Bonnie, where’s Peggy!? expecting her to look toward the building, but she instead jumped to the floorboard and looked under the seat. This isn't to say that Bonnie wasnt smart. One day, Peggy was alternating between throwing a Frisbee and a tennis ball to Bonnie, when she decided to throw them both in rapid succession to see which one Bonnie would retrieve first. Bonnie put the tennis ball onto the cupped side of the Frisbee and brought them back together. Another time, she was playing fetch with an eight-foot limb by holding it midway so the weight was balanced. When she ran between two closely-spaced trees, the limb knocked her on her butt. After regaining her composure, she grabbed one end of the limb and continued on her way.

Bonnie loved to swim, and one day she got caught in a strong current. Peggy was upstream of me, and yelled for me to swim out and grab Bonnie when she passed, but Im a weak swimmer, and I had complete confidence that Bonnie could make it out on her own. I later had Peggy promise me that she would never, ever try to save a dog from drowning, lest she end up like a local woman who died in the Willamette near a downtown park when she tried to save not just one but three dogs, all of whom made it to shore. 

Wendy, 1988
When Peggy and I lived in the country, I would sometimes sneak off into the woods and climb a tree while Wendy was napping on the porch. I would then call her, and she would track me to the tree, although she never once thought to look up. She would instead circle the tree repeatedly before returning to the yard and starting out again. When I tired of the game, I would climb down when she wasn’t looking and call her. 

I took Wendy everywhere I went. When I was a roofer, she spent her days on roofs. When I traveled the country visiting communes, she visited communes. Peggy, Wendy, and I, were at a Paul Winter concert at a Sufi retreat center in New York state when he invited the audience to join him in a howl. When he signaled an end to the howl, Wendy didnt get the message, and people looked around angrily trying to locate the jerk who wouldn't shut-up. I considered stopping her, but since it was her species that had inspired the howl, I let er rip.

I left another concert with Wendy flat on her back in my arms. She often lay that way, but the day being hot, and Wendys limbs flopping loosely (schnauzers joints are unusually flexible), a lady asked, Is your dog okay? Shes dead, I answered, but its okay because she was old anyway. When people complimented me on what a neat dog she was, I would say, Im glad you like her. Give me $50, and she's yours. When they declined, I would drop the price until they either caught on or went away mad. My mother said that I had an inappropriate sense of humor.

Twice, I left Wendy with other people while I ran an errand, and both times I met her on the road looking for me when I returned. The second time, I felt sure she would stay put because Peggy was there too, but no, she came after me. Despite her devotion, she never liked to be petted. She would endure a pat or two, but then she would walk away.

Wendy and I used to hitchhike. One cold winter's day, we got only one ride between Vicksburg, Mississippi, and Tallulah, Louisiana, and that ride was a short one. We surely walked fifteen miles on asphalt that day, which was far enough that Wendys footpads became blistered, and I had to carry her.

I used to bike all over Eugene with Bonnie and Baxter, and, unless there was a lot of traffic, I didn't leash them. One cold day when I walked to the heart of downtown, I leashed them, but my hands were in mitts with the mitts in my coat pockets. I was too lazy to loop the leashes around my wrists before putting on my mitts, so I didn't know that the end of Bonnies leash had fallen to the sidewalk until I got to where I was going, and she was nowhere to be seen. I soon found her standing on the far side of a busy intersection. Two women were with her, but she snarled at them when they tried to pick up her leash. Both women thought I was a complete moron, and I was in no position to argue.

Scully and Ollie, 2016

I have many dog stories but few cat stories. Our four cats miss us when we're gone, rejoice when we return, and are devoted both to us and to one another, but nothing can beat a dog for sharing adventures. One reason we got cats was that we thought their lack of interest in going places would protect us from a surfeit of grief when they died. We were wrong. 

Scully, our tuxedo girl, tends toward timidity, but she would have to be a block of wood to not realize how much I love her. Two weeks ago, I was writing a post when she ran into the room crying insistently. I stupidly surmised that she wanted to be petted, but when I got up to pet her, she ran from the room, and I returned to my post. Two minutes later, she came again, and this time I followed her to the far end of the house where Sage had accidentally been locked in the laundry room and was crying to get out. 

The next day I was in bed when Scully got tangled in a string, one end of which was tied to a stick and the other to a toy. I didn’t know of her trouble until she jumped into bed so I could free her. Free her? FREE HER!? Oh presage of death! I will never be able to free Scully, the weight of my love equaling the weight of my bondage. She’s only a cat, some might say, but what an empty saying it would be to a heart on fire with adoration. 

“What greater gift than the love of a cat.”
—Charles Dickens

In Response to Tom Sightings

Tom (in the comment section to yesterday's post): "I'm no Trump supporter, but while I cannot speak for your Uncle Earl, I do not believe that everyone who voted for him is an evil hateful person. My brother-in-law, for example. He voted for Trump.... I don't agree with him on a lot of things. But I know he's a popular teacher; he's volunteered to help a lot of disadvantaged kids; and yes, he also volunteers at his church. Anyway, I suggest you read 'Liberals, You're Not as Smart as You Think' from May 12 NY Times for another perspective. And even so, I don't think the proper response to hate ... is to hate back."

Just to be clear... First off, Earl is my father-in-law. Secondly, Trump is not a conservative by any common measure of conservatism that existed pre-Trump, yet Trump has so dominated the Republican Party (the same party that deplored him a mere two years ago) that it only recognizes two kinds of people, those who support Trump (who Republicans euphemistically refer to as conservatives) and everyone else, who they call liberals. While I might lean more toward the liberal end of the spectrum than what used to be called the conservative end, I am not a liberal. For example, I want strong borders; I deplore political correctness; I favor the death penalty; I'm appalled by "Black Lives Matter;" and where its feasible, I think that long-term welfare recipients should be required to work. I also agree with yesterday's definition of conservatism inasmuch as it upheld the importance of a balanced budget.

"And even so, I don't think the proper response to hate ... is to hate back."

You previously expressed the same sentiment in regard to another of my posts, and I didn't know what you meant then or what you mean now, or what you would suggest in lieu of what you call hatred. That said, I think that fear and hatred are understandable responses to being attacked, and to the extent that they inspire a productive counterattack, I even think they're admirable. Of course, one can split hairs, such as many Christians do when they claim to hate the sin but love the sinner, this despite the fact that their love sure can look like hatred. Do I hate Earl? No. What I see in Earl is a formerly good man who keeps Fox TV on all day, and when you expose yourself to hours of lying and ad hominem attacks, day in and day out, you can't help but be affected. The day that Earl told me of his admiration for Trump was actually the first time I had ever seen him angry in the 47 years that I've known him, and, although old age itself often changes people, the main influence I saw in his anger was Fox, without which we surely wouldn't have Trump.

I know whereof I speak because I used to listen to Fox radio (Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Lars Larson, and even Michael Savage) for hours everyday, but after several years I gave it up, the turning point being when I undertook a serious effort to verify what these men were telling me. What I found was that Fox would take some story about, let's say, a condo owners' association telling some aged war veteran that he couldn't fly his boxcar size American fly all day everyday, and then people like O'Reilly would omit such details as the size of the flag, and the fact that it obscured other residents' view of nearby scenery. Finally, he would spend hours and hours waging personal attacks against the members of the condo association. He would constantly refer to them as "America haters," and his staff would uncover every potentially embarrassing thing they had ever done and twist it to cause maximum humiliation, after which these poor schmucks would be besieged by insults and death threats.

After I stopped listening to Fox, I came to feel as if some violence-inducing drug was working its way out of my system, and the Fox of today is far more virulent than the Fox I used to listen to. In fact, Fox has gotten so bad that, on the rare occasions that I turn it on, I can't listen for more than five minutes before I become too disgusted to continue. I have a blog reader who told me that he listens to Fox so that he can get "both sides of the story," but Fox doesn't give both sides. Fox doesn't even give one side. Fox only gives a fictionalized version that is calculated to provoke maximum outrage. Like Fox, Trump is beside himself with anger every waking moment, and I see Earl going in the same direction.

Say what you will about hatred, Tom, there is no longer room in the Republican Party for anyone who doesn't support Trump, and who could be more hateful than Trump himself or more cowardly than the Congresspeople who stand behind him for fear of losing their jobs? My problem is this: when someone voices support for a man who exhibits continual depravity, I can't see in that person a good heart or even an intelligent mind, no matter how mild-mannered he might seem. Think back to Hitler, do you really believe that all those people who supported Hitler went about yelling and assaulting people like so many frothing-at-the-mouth mad dogs? No, no, no. While the Brown Shirts were spittle-flecked, most Nazis seemed like ordinary people, people like Earl, at least until the conversation turned in a direction that set them off.

Supporting a man like Trump is not something you do if you're good at heart because Trump's mean-spirtedness and ignobility are so appallingly obvious. Take his policy of separating immigrant kids from their families and insisting that he had no choice but to do it because the Democrats made a law that forces him to do it, yet the Obama administration didn't do it; no new laws have been passed since Trump took office; and Trump's OWN PARTY controls both houses of Congress. When public outrage became overwhelming, Trump signed an executive order banning the practice of separating children from their families, saying that he did so because he cares deeply about children. What can any reasonable person conclude from this other than that he was lying when he said he could do nothing about the problem?

Sadly, another bizarre twist to the story is that the executive order by which Trump claims to have solved the problem is so lame that all but one of the 2,500 children are still separated from their parents (that one sued). Even before he signed the order, Trump was told that it wasn't a problem that an executive order could remedy because the only way to keep the children with their parents would be to do what Obama did which was to release the parents from custody prior to their hearing date (it being unlawful to keep families in prison, and there being no other place to put them). Trump was unwilling to do that, and wouldn't have needed an executive order to do it if he had been willing. He has therefore knowingly left the people who are enforcing America's immigration laws with no way to carry out his executive order. As the days go by, and the kids are still living in detention centers, he will no doubt do what he always does when something doesn't go his way: he'll blame the Democrats and some imaginary "Deep State."

No one who isn't brainwashed by Fox is likely to be fooled by Trump, and even then, it would require willful ignorance because Trump's lies are as unsophisticated as those of a five year old and there are new ones everyday, often at a rate of several a day (CNN puts the average lies per day at 6.5*). Trump lies so often that I feel nauseous just trying to remember the ones from a week ago. So, Tom, you deplore my "hatred," but what would you suggest that I replace it with given that I truly don't believe that anyone can support Trump from a position of innocence? While I recognize the necessity of compromise when it comes to electing a president; in order to support Trump, one has to go beyond mere compromise and into taking the position that "the ends justify the means," which is the very thing that conservatives used to condemn Communists for doing. 


What do Romans 13 and Melania's Jacket Have in Common?

In the last six weeks, the Trump administration has separated over 2,500 immigrant children from their parents in an attempt to discourage other parents from applying for refugee status. Many of these children have become so lost within the system that the system itself doesn't know where they are.

Last week, Trump's attorney general quoted the Biblical book of Romans to justify the administration's position that it is immoral for people, even people who are in fear for their children's lives, to bring those children into America illegally: “Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers... for the powers that be are ordained of God.” The passage was previously used by British loyalists to proclaim the sinfulness of America's secessionist movement, and later by American slave holders to insist upon obedience to a law requiring all Americans, abolitionists included, to return escaped slaves to their masters. 

Yesterday, Donald Trump's wife put the frosting on the cake of the latest insanity when she traveled to one of the hundred or so child detention centers to show how much she cared about the welfare of immigrant children. Her jacket read, “I REALLY DON'T CARE, DO U?”* Her spokeswoman defended Melania's apparel by saying, “It’s a jacket. There was no hidden message. After today’s important visit to Texas, I hope the media isn’t going to choose to focus on her wardrobe.” The president disagreed, saying that Melania meant to convey that she didn't care what the "Fake News Media" says. I will spare you additional details, but suffice it to say that it was a fairly ordinary week in the Trump administration, with the country becoming even more angry and even more divided between the pro-Trumps and the anti-Trumps. Many wonder if we'll even have a country by the time Trump leaves office.

Peggy's father, Earl (who I knew for 40-years before I started calling him Dad), voted for Trump, and every time we've talked for the last two years, I wanted to ask him how he likes his choice, but I didn't because Peggy objected. Yesterday, he volunteered that Trump is just what America needs, a claim that he underscored by comparing The Donald to Teddy Roosevelt, a pre-WWI president whose racist imperialism spread senseless death around the world and who is best remembered for saying, "Walk softly but carry a big stick." 

I was so appalled by Earl's claim that the loudly bullying and ever boastful Trump "walks softy," that I seriously wondered if my 88-year-old Baptist deacon father-in-law is becoming senile. When I remembered that he watches Fox TV for hours a day, I surmised that a steady diet of hate speech in combination with old age must have rattled his brain, this being the most kindly interpretation that I could make. He and I have often disagreed, but until yesterday I at least respected his goodwill and intelligence. How though, am I to respect a man who believes that the fascistic callousness and brutality of the Trump Administration is born of strength, even Godliness? When I hung up the phone, I felt as if something within me had died. Scant though it is, my only comfort is that the same experience is being repeated all over America. Like Jesus before him, Trump  can truthfully claim: "I came not to bring peace, but a sword... to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person's enemies will be those of his own household.”

The pacifistic Quakers surely give more thought to morality than other churches. One of their guidelines is based upon the belief that we can only bring peace into the world to the extent that we rid ourselves of the animosity that causes war. I am failing miserably in this because I no longer regard our nation's political divide as representing a difference of opinion between well-meaning groups with neither group having a monopoly on truth, but rather as a war between the flawed good of the Democratic Party and the limitless evil of the Republican. To illustrate the enormity of this change, until well into this century, I consistently voted for Gordon Smith, a Republican senator, and I'll never forgive his Democrat rival, Jeff Merkely, for the dirty campaign that he waged in the election in which he defeated Smith. Now I don't know if I will ever again so much as consider voting for a Republican.

Democracy rests upon the high-minded belief that the best form of government is one in which issues are debated thoroughly, after which the people decide. Sadly, I can no longer accept the people's decision if their decision is in favor of a political party that I regard as distilled evil, a party exemplified by a man who starts his every day with a predawn resumption of the lying, bigotry, bullying, boastfulness, ignobility, and seamless asininity, of the day before. There is a huge chasm between being mistaken but acting honorably, and knowing exactly what manner of man you're voting for and electing him anyway. This is the essence of my disillusionment with Earl. When he voted for Trump in 2016, I thought he must surely be acting in ignorance, but now I see that I was the one who was ignorant, ignorant in my high esteem for Earl. It is said that time heals all wounds, so I can but hope that the future will find me thinking better of him than I do today.


Is This Funny?

The following joke was forwarded to me by a Christian who was dismayed that I took offense: 

"An atheist was seated next to a little girl on a plane when he turned to her and said, 'Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker when you do.'
"The little girl replied,
 'Okay, what would you like to talk about?'
"'Oh, I don't know,' said the man, smiling smugly at her sweet, trusting innocence, 'maybe how we know that God, heaven, and hell are all imaginary.'
"'Okay,' she said. 'Those could be interesting topics, but let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, a cow turns out flat patties, and a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?'
"The atheist, visibly surprised by the little girl's intelligence, says,
"'Hmm, I have no idea.'
"The little girl replies, 'Do you really feel qualified to deny the existence of God, heaven, and hell, when you don't know shit?'"

I asked Peggy what she thought. "Christians might like it," she said, "unless, of course, the roles were reversed." I reversed the roles: 

"A Christian was seated next to a little girl on a plane when he turned to her and said, 'Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker when you do.'
"The little girl replied,
 'Okay, what would you like to talk about?'
"'Oh, I don't know,' said the man, smiling smugly at her sweet, trusting innocence, 'maybe how we know that God, heaven, and  hell are all real.'
"'Okay,' she said. 'Those could be interesting topics, but let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, a cow turns out flat patties, and a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?'
"The Christian, visibly surprised by the little girl's intelligence, says,
"'Hmm, I have no idea.'
"The little girl replies, 'Do you really feel qualified to affirm the existence of God, heaven, and hell, when you don't know shit?'"

Turning the joke around is like remaking a silent film so that a fair-skinned maiden with golden curls laughs dementedly while tying a swarthy man in a black cape to a railroad track. Jokes about Jews, gays, black men, blonde women, atheists, and other groups, usually rely upon unflattering stereotypes, so by reversing the roles of the characters, a joke simply becomes a head-scratcher. But in the case of atheists, what stereotypes? That atheists are conceited, embittered, condescending, unethical, white, and male*. 

I think it possible that the creator of this particular joke was inspired by the story of David and Goliath and by Matthew 18: 2-6:

"And He [Jesus] called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, '... Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven... but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.'" 

Although the child in the joke failed the humility test, the predatory desire
of the atheist to use his imagined superiority to vanguish her belief in Jesus put me in mind of a documentary about the life of Bill Nye. In one cringe-worthy incident, Ken Ham was giving Nye a tour of Ham's creationist theme park in Kentucky when Nye inexplicably tried to persuade a little girl (of six or so) to study up on evolution. In the minds of creationist Christians he surely assumed the unflattering role of the atheist in the joke, the same role for which Jesus thought drowning was too good. The downside of being a member of a despised minority is that your detractors are eager for any excuse to justify hating you all the more--and encouraging others to do likewise. 

Do you regard this joke as innocent humor?

*Although 78% of American atheists are white (, women atheists outnumber men atheists in the under-65 category:

Why not just kill cats?

I can think of three understandable reasons for being angry at cats: cats pee and poop in flower beds; cats leave tracks on cars; cats decimate wildlife. While it's true that cat owners bear all of the responsibility for these problems, it's their cats who are vulnerable to retaliation, and I consider it probable that people who dump cats' mutilated remains in their owner's yards (see last post) are trying to send a message to everyone who has outdoor cats. 

When I moved into this creek-side neighborhood 28 years ago, it contained an abundance of squirrels, raccoons, nutria, songbirds, opossums, non-poisonous snakes, and waterfowl. Roughly ten years ago, multiple neighbors got multiple outdoor cats (one neighbor had eleven), and I watched in horror as those cats decimated the wildlife. Thanks to irresponsible cat owners, the birds that lay their eggs in the high grass across the street are all gone as are the non-migratory waterfowl (dead migratory birds being replenished by new arrivals). I went from finding several garter snakes and king snakes a year in my yard to only seeing one in the past eight years. Even the nutria, opossums, and raccoons have been hard hit, presumably because cats target their young.

I got cat shit on my hands so often while working in my flower beds (buried cat shit blends in nicely with dirt clods) that I finally took to wearing plastic gloves. Then there were cat tracks on my car and the trauma experienced by my own cats every time they see outdoor cats in their yard. People who have outdoor cats claim that I should take all this in stride. Their arguments take six forms: (1) It's inhumane to keep cats indoors*; (2) I really need to lighten-up about cat shit in my flower beds and cat tracks on my car; (3) Cats are natural predators, so it's only natural that the local wildlife be decimated by a superabundance of recreational killers; (4) Cats only "cull" old and weak birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals; (5) Numerous studies and my own abundant observations notwithstanding, cats are such sorry hunters that they rarely kill anything; (6) Finally, there are those whose poor self-image cause them to take pride in their cats' hunting prowess.

If I had previously disliked cats or was indifferent to them, what I have witnessed in this neighborhood would have turned me into a bonafide cat hater. But is killing cats the solution? Surely, a dead cat can't harm wildlife or poop in flower beds, but would the benefits of killing cats outweigh the downsides? Unless it's done on a large scale (as by the government in Australia**), I can think of several reasons why it wouldn't, and I'm going to devote the rest of this post to arguments I might offer someone who was thinking of becoming a cat killer due to legitimate concerns regarding the damage done by outdoor cats:

(1) There being so many ways to bring good into the world, is one that brings death to cats, grief to their owners, outrage to the community, and stress to yourself, worthy of your time and talent?
(2) Would you want your child to follow your example?
(3) How much would you worry about being caught, and if caught would the satisfaction of having killed however many cats justify the resultant hatred, job loss, criminal prosecution, and abandonment by friends? 
(4) Studies show that many cats seldom if ever hunt, and still others are too old to hunt (cats begin to decline, mentally and physically, at age seven), which means that the bulk of the killing being done by a limited number of cats. How, then, would you know which cats to target? 
 (5) There's a saying that goes: Behave as if your actions were to become universal law. If you wouldn't approve of all of the world's people using unilateral violence to solve problems, would not your use of violence suggest egotism and arrogance?
(6) Would you be saddened by the need to erect a lifelong wall of secrecy between yourself and others, a wall consisting of the times you hid in the shrubbery on dark nights slaughtering cats? Or would you boast of your killings to everyone you trusted, only who could you trust, not just today, but next year when you and they had an argument? 
(7) When you caress a loved one, would the memory of the terror and death that your hands inflicted put a distance between you? 
(8) What would you do if an innocent person was openly accused, possibly assaulted, and had his property vandalized?
(9) If people came to surmise that an environmentalist was responsible for the killings, how would you feel about their resultant hatred of all environmentalists and their possible targeting of a specific environmentalist? 
(10) How many cats do you plan on killing--one, three, a hundred, as many as possible every weekend for years--possibly branching out from your neighborhood to other neighborhoods and even to other towns? 
(11) When you die, would your unknowing loved ones wrongly praise you as having been a man whose life was a blessing to all who knew him, who loved children and animals, and who devoted himself to making the world safer and kinder for all its inhabitants?

* If your cat spends much of its time alone, and you don't provide him or her with abundant opportunities for exercise and stimulation, this is true, but then you shouldn't have a cat.

The Murders of Blazer and Spot

Ollie, Scully, Brewsky
A sixteen year old tabby named Blazer was decapitated and dismembered in Portland this week, and a cat named Spot died similarly two months ago. Upon researching these deaths, I found that cats fall into the hands of sadists far more often than even I, pessimist that I am, realized.

Why do I feel more saddened and outraged over the death of a cat in Oregon than I would over a child in Syria? Perhaps it's because I've become hardened by the numerous stories and newscasts I hear about murdered children. Then again, maybe having four cats simply gives me a greater ability to empathize with people whose cats are murdered. Beyond these possibilities, what other factors determine the level of human outrage and grief over the killing of any animal, human or otherwise? Six possibilities come to mind. 

(1) Do we like to eat the animal, or the animal's milk or eggs (because bulls don't give milk and roosters don't lay eggs, they're routinely killed)? (2) Did we perceive the victim as belonging to a group that is inferior or threatening? Such factors are why, other things being equal, white people tend to grieve less for black victims, Christians for atheist victims, and almost everyone for rattlesnakes and grizzly bears. (3) Did we perceive the victim to be like us, and did he or she live near us? If yes, we will take the loss more personally, and we'll worry that the same fate will befall us. (4) How similar to our species was the victim's species? Few people have qualms about killing insects. (5) Was the victim cute? The cuteness factor is why people who couldn't kill a bunny can kill a rat despite the fact that rats are more like humans than are bunnies, in ways both flattering and insulting. (6) Was the victim innocent? Innocence only exists in animals and children, but with one major difference: animals live their entire lives in innocence, while children are soon able to choose evil. My belief that cats are innocentand my own species depravedprobably played a significant role in my reaction.

While I was cuddling with my two-year-old tuxedo girl, Scully, today (Queen of My Heart II, I call her), I said, "My god, I don't know how I could bear it if what happened to Blazer happened to you," and I was very glad that she could neither understand my words nor comprehend evil. If there is any good that comes from this tragedy, perhaps it will be that more people will keep their cats indoors, the world containing an abundance of people who should have never been born.