Category Archives: Carl

A Letter To The Cat

Dear Carl,

I know Spring starts tomorrow. I know that there is a deeply-rooted urge in you to go out and shag all the fine-looking girl kitties you can find. But you cannot go outside. You know this.

The #1 reason why is that you are a proud and dedicated nudist. That’s partially our fault, for not insisting you wear a collar early on. We’re two-and-a-half years into our lives together and you’ve been naked all this time. To insist you wear a collar at this point would be futile, I think.

The #2 reason why you cannot go outside is because you are extremely handsome and someone would scoop up your naked self and take you in. I would be extremely sad about this, and I refuse to even imagine what Jillian would do. You’ve seen us freak out when we can’t find you, right? Imagine that, multiplied by seventeen squintillion, plus one. You do have an identifying microchip embedded in your body (does that make you a cyborg? I think it does), but you are just so handsome, I doubt anyone would question too closely from whence you came.

The #3 reason why you cannot go outside is really something I didn’t want to have to tell you. But, sweetie – your parts no longer work. That faucet is turned off. The factory is shut down. The supply chain is broken. You have no balls. I don’t mean that in the “you’re a pussy” way, even though you are technically a pussy [cat], but your wee kitty balls were surgically shut down. I’m sorry to tell you this. And I’m a little bit sad that your incredible handsomeness will not be passed down to another generation of kittehs. Responsible pet ownership requires certain sacrifices, you see.

So even though I know your dearest wish at the moment is to get outside, I really can’t let you go out there. The best I can do is give you a sunny window with a view of the neighbor’s chimney where all those birds live. It’s TV For Cats!

The Human

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The Cat Is Mad At Me

The front of our house has five gigantic windows (one set of two and one set of three, which includes the Bird Suicide Picture Window). I tend to keep the blinds closed in the morning because the sun blasts through and heats up the house and that’s just uncomfortable for anyone. Plus, if I open the blinds, I usually have to put on pants.

The cat, who is on-record as being not completely “there,” enjoys sunning himself and spying on the neighbors from the windowsill. When the blinds are down, he will make his desire to jump up there known by… jumping up there. Blinds be damned! On occasion, I will open the blind for the middle window, it being the giant picture window (and the one that lets ME spy on the neighbors easily). This is the configuration for today.

However, Carl can’t seem to figure this out. He is currently sitting in front of one of the blinds-down windows, yowling. He will look over his shoulder from time to time and give me A Look, but he hasn’t yet developed the killer mind-bullets that we all know cats are trying to achieve. If he would just shift his hairy bulk two feet to the right, he would see that there is a perfectly useful windowsill for him to jump up to and fall off of. Stupid animal.

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In praise of the boring life

It had been too quiet. Usually, if we neglect to let the cat out of the basement (he is banished at night until he is neutered), he will announce his displeasure by rattling the door and banging on the furnace ducts. Yesterday, however, there was none of that.

That’s not terribly unusual – sometimes he finds a spider to eat or a hidey-hole to snooze in. But last night, before bed, I went down to make sure he had food and water and all that and he didn’t come out to greet me.

Uh oh.

Last weekend, we’d gone into the crawlspace because he had been pooping in there and it needed to be cleaned. After cleaning up the poo, I sprayed the area with bleach because EW. I was hoping the eye-searing bleach fumes would keep his crazy ass from going back there, but I was wrong.

I’d cracked the basement windows a tiny bit so the bleach fumes didn’t kill us all, but Carl is apparently STRONG LIKE OX and was able to open one of the windows all the way, enlarge or create a hole in the screen, and escape.


Despite my physical therapist threatening to amputate my legs above the knee for doing this, I crawled up there and all the way back to the window. Sure enough, there was a Carl-sized hole with ginger hairs attached. ACTIVATE FREAKOUT MODE!!

Where was my cat? It was raining out there! Was he okay? Was he still in the backyard? How long had he been gone? Freddie and I went out to the backyard with flashlights to see if we could pick up clues or find our wee cat boy, but to no avail. Freddie then drove around the neighborhood a bit (in the pitch dark rain) but Carl was not sitting on a curb anywhere, waiting for a ride.


How would I explain to Jillian that we lost her best friend? I honestly didn’t think he would escape because those windows are freaking difficult to open and it wasn’t open more than an inch! WHAT A JERK. A strong jerk.

I emailed the neighbors and told them to keep an eye out and to let me know immediately if they found Carl or saw him or anything. Then I put up a quick ad on Craigslist. Then I fretted. And fretted some more. And cried a little bit.

Eventually, I realized there was literally nothing else I could do until morning, so I headed up to bed and fell into a very troubled sleep.

About an hour later, I woke up to hear Freddie say “Is this your cat?” He was standing there HOLDING CARL!!!!!!

Freddie has some kind of freaky superhero hearing (unless I’m speaking to him, then he becomes magically deaf). He heard some cats yowling outside and went out to check. In his boxers. Sure enough, there was Carl trying desperately to get back in the window from which he escaped. There was another cat with him – a black and white kitty I’ve been seeing around the neighborhood. I wonder if that cat would have come inside as well, or if it was a street cat that picked up our Carl and took care of him while he was out in the Big World.

Anyway, Freddie snatched him up and brought him inside. Carl was wet and bedraggled and FILTHY and bleeding from his back paw. We wrapped him in a towel and checked him out as best we could and he is all right. The cut on his back foot wasn’t serious and stopped bleeding overnight, and he is happily purring on top of the clean laundry that I need to fold.


People complain about their lives being boring. But look at the alternative: you could be looking for a lost cat so you don’t have to explain to your 5-year-old daughter than her best friend is missing. You could be at the hospital, watching your wife die of cancer. You could be praying that the car will start in the morning so you can get to work.

A boring life is the greatest luxury in the world. I’m glad to have one.

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Giving Thanks – Day 8

Today I am thankful for the pets. We have a dog and a cat who are both equal parts adorable and insane.

Piper is the dog. She’s been with us just over 2 years now and is finally starting to calm down. Because she’s part Border Collie, she needs to have a job to do or she gets anxious. Luckily, her job is herding Jillian around. When Jill isn’t around, Piper whines and frets until Jill reappears. It’s very cute.

Carl is the cat. He’s only been with us a few months, but he has gone from adorable wee fuzzball to gigantic handsome cat-boy. He’s fluffy and cute and entertaining as hell.

We love the pets.

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