It barely reached zero degrees fahrenheit today (1-10-17). Forecast for tonight is twenty below. I skipped my trip to the post office two days in a row.
All eight cats have come into the house including that massive hooligan, Finnegan. Duckie, the smallest of the ferals and the crossover who led the way through the cat flap to colonize the furniture, has come into heat. All the others are also hitting puberty and doing their best to answer the call, but having a little trouble with the mechanics of “hooking up.” They get the biting the neck part. And everyone is making all sorts of sexy sounds, finally including terrible shrieks. Fastidious little Tuxie is keeping her distance — it’s not a white-tie sort of event. Momo and Douxie are the other boys. I’m not sure about Shorty, as he’s too wary to let me even look at him across the room.
Granny Mamacat has been sleeping on the sofa all day and was yesterday as well. Maybe she’s ready to give birth. Maybe she’s sick. If I go into the same room, she goes out the cat flap. I try not to go into that room so she’ll stay quiet. She has a big lump on one side that might not be kittens.
What could be worse? Well, this immigration of ferals has introduced a new set of fleas. Adam had’em and so do I. Bunny seems to have bald spots, which I’m hoping are the result of over-vigorous scratching of itches, so I used the last of the flea med on her. All the bedding and my nightie will spend the evening in the garage, because the one usefulness of such low temps is that they will kill fleas. Of course, I’ll have to bring it all back in at bedtime and it will be cold.
I have three kinds of flea killer besides the cold. One is based on pyrethrum, made from chrysanthemums; one is a complex version of the same thing; and one is basically what we used to call laundry soda, which is close to baking soda. Two are sprays and one is powder. The sprays are hard to get onto the cat because I use water spray and compressed air to drive them off places they shouldn’t be. I knew I was in trouble when the directions on one spray said, “Lather the cat well and rinse.” There are only four of these cats I can even touch.
What could be worse? Politics?
I don’t know whether to count the tales of Trump in Moscow paying people to pee on each other while he watched as a “worse” or a “better.” As weirdo, “daring,” supposedly sexual behavior goes, it’s a relief that it evidently didn’t involve a child. (And it was probably warm.) But as revenge on the Obamas it’s totally ineffective. As blackmail, if it’s true, it’s useless now. The “pussy” is outta the bag. (These are low jokes but sort of fit the situation.) This morning it’s labeled untrue. But believable, given Trump.
Of course, there is a best-selling child’s book called “I Could Pee on This” which was purportedly written by a kitten. We could all send copies to the White House in case Trump hasn’t chosen a pillow book yet. (It can be vetted later.)
Credibility will be the issue with this story, but Trump’s attitude and behavior all along makes it easy to believe he did this little ditty and probably worse. And probably has always indulged in what he thinks is his entitlement. Vulgarity has always been considered an indicator of immorality. Likewise with greed.
Mixed social attitudes about taboos that result from changing ideas about what is important and what is natural have created a lot of opportunities to cause outrage among enemies. Those whose morality is strict — esp. when it comes to anything previously hidden and forbidden like excretion or sex — sets them up for scandal. In the past the naughty things have been the privilege of those who have enough money and power to hide them, a secret entitlement for wealth, church, and government. As Abu Graib made shockingly clear, it’s easy to impose mental torture on men who are afraid of nudity, menstrual blood, or dogs. But as various African outlaws have demonstrated, it is possible to violate taboos so deep and biologically based that they threaten sanity. It is impossible to understand eating one’s own flesh, killing one’s own loved ones, choosing which hand to be amputated, murdering babies.
Peeing and breaking wind are often considered funny. Remember ancient Prince Phillip stinking up the Royal balcony? And all those metaphors about impossibly elegant people still not shitting cold cream? Excretions, even if only gaseous, prove we are animals. But some still insist that humans are NOT really animals, rising towards being angels. Which shows they are not using the minds that make them human.
Some people would say that my loss of control over cats and fleas is immoral. It’s certainly unpleasant. To some it would mean poverty, and they would be right, but poverty is only a precursor to possible immorality, not immoral in itself, except when it is imposed unnecessarily by profiteers and then THEY are the ones who are immoral. The mistake the greedy always make is that no matter how elegant and bullet proof their automobile may be, it still must be operated on shared public streets and it still must obey the universally agreed upon traffic laws. When the poor see such vehicles go by, the response may not be envy but hatred.
Cats are flea-vectors and fleas can be disease vectors, so that’s why they should be eliminated aside from the fact that they itch and raise a bump. For a kid with HIV, a flea bite can be more serious. Any break in the skin is always a possible point of entry for infection. Accepting feral cats into this house means risking fevers passed from mice in this grain town. If I were a little more wealthy, I would get the cats I can catch to the vet for sterilization or euthanasia. We don’t have the population density for humane societies.
I’m not willing to accept shooting feral cats. In the Philippines they have been shooting drug dealers on sight, which expanded to shooting drug users and is likely to expand to whoever looks like a drug user. They say in Brazil “they” have been shooting street urchins. Killing cats is a small entering wedge for violence. Because cats, like rabbits, survive as a group rather than individuals unless they are pets, their weapon is fertility.
But that’s a whole other topic, humans and fertility. Maybe we should encourage peeing on each other, since it won’t lead to more children. They say urine is not particularly infectious. Just icky.