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24 August 2003
Saga of ... the Kitten!

'Twas rather eventful, this past week. It began as any week does of late, with my wife and I groggily moving about the apartment, getting ready to face another lovely Monday with me at work and she at school for 12 and a half hours. As usual on Mondays, I arrived at work early, and began to settle down on the front steps of the building for a bit of reading before going up to begin the day. However, it was then, just as I set my stuff down, that I was attacked. By what, you may ask? By a small, white ball of fluff whose voice was a good three times as big as it was. Yes, dear readers, in a matter of mere moments, this little creature was all over me, rubbing, purring, mewing at the top of its considerable lungs. It wanted attention, it wanted love, it seemed to want my coffee. How could I not just scoop it up and take it home?

Apparently, someone decided abandoning the little tyke on the front walkway of a corporate building would be a great way to rid themselves of a pesky responsibility. I swear, if I ever meet the person, I'll shake them 'til they're blue then drop them off in the middle of nowhere with half a cup of trail mix and no water. It's no better than they did to this adorable little kitten. So, yes. I scooped him up and whisked him home, setting him up in the bathroom with food, water, a small bit of milk, a makeshift catbox that would serve until I could come back later, and most importantly, a door between him and our two cats, who I knew would not take kindly to a small intruder (later to be proven right, by the way). And then I went back to work, worrying about him all the while.

Thankfully, I was able to find a couple of friends (thank you Rahlus and Mike!) right off who were very interested in adopting the kitten. Kathy and I would have taken him in just fine, but three cats is a bit much, so we are glad we could find a happy home for him with no trouble. We planned to trade the kitten off the next night, and all would be fine, right? Wrong. The kitten had fleas. Bigtime fleas. Sigh. So, another friend (thank you, Jonathon!) and I attempted a bath, but the fleas were stubborn little runts. A professional would have to do it. Now, you'd think this wouldn't be a problem. You, however, would be more wrong than you could possibly imagine. You see, vets only seem to bathe animals in the mornings. And PetSmarts seem to vary from location to location on their policies, and regardless of this, they were all booked up. Sigh, again. It turns out that Mike found one in Plano (north of Dallas, and will take you at least forty minutes to get to and from, no matter what your starting point is in the metroplex) that could take him, so we arranged an exchange of sorts. I met them there (after getting completely turned around and ending up in Farthest North Plano Beyond the Lake, which is like ending up in Cleveland, when you were only going around the corner for some milk), the kitten was bathed and rid of his pestilence, and then taken to his new home, where he would be named Loki and have much fun. Happy ending, right? Yes, very much so. I couldn't be happier for Loki (who Kathy has insisted should have been named Timothy Conrad) and for Mike and Karl, though I do admit that the kitten wormed his way into my heart right quick, and I was sad to see him go.

But though that is certainly a happy ending, it was not to be the ending. Nosirreebob.

You see, now our kitties had fleas, as did our apartment. This was Tuesday night. Wednesday I tried calling about to get them an appointment for baths and their shots, figuring we could bomb our apartment while we were out. Heh. Right. PetSmart only bathes cats through Thursdays. The vets could not on weekends either. So, I resolved to take Friday off, drop off the cats first thing in the morning while the place was being fumigated, have a bite to eat with my wife, then pick the cats up a few hours later and clean the apartment. Well, it sorta went like that, though the "few hours" were more like most of the day, and the cleaning took forever and nigh upset my back in the process. And then Friday was finally done, and now the kitties are getting over the terrible experience, and our place is probably cleaner than most new apartments, and though we are both tired and stressed and a little cranky, I yet do not regret my actions. Because are we not stewards of this planet, after a fashion? We cannot solve every problem, to be sure, but when they trot right up to us and ask our help in so plaintive a voice, ought we not bend down to give that help? I could not turn a blind eye to such a helpless creature, and now our two friends have a new friend to share their home and lives. Loki's got a chance at a happy life now, which he'd never have had before. That makes it worth it.

And now, I look forward to a very uneventful week. I hope. If you're interested, Loki's got his own website already, complete with terribly adorable pictures. Just go
Jelly Pinched Wolf   7:21 PM
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11 August 2003
On Former Toads and Really Obnoxious People

As some of you may have read over on my wife's blog, we got to see Glen Phillips (formerly of Toad the Wet Sprocket) this past Friday night at the Gypsy Tea Room here in Dallas. 'Twas a good show, but there were issues. First, after suffering in the heat and humidity outside (even evenings here lately have been at best unpleasant) we were treated to the extreme opposite indoors. The blast of arctic climes as we reached the door was refreshing at first. Not so much after several hours in a hard plastic chair. My poor wife was nearly as blue as the stage lights that kept painting Glen in Zombie-esque death tones. Still, that was not so bad. Not nearly as bad as the chattering that went on throughout the show.

Now, maybe I'm getting old, but it seems to me that if you spend money to go to a concert where they actually provide seats 'cause it's just one guy and a guitar, you might want to actually shut up long enough to hear the music. Seriously, if you wanna socialise, there's many a bar waiting to serve your needs. Let the musicians do their thing without the constant raucous shouting in the background. Admittedly, they quieted down a bit for Glen, but the poor opening act (a young Filipino artist whose guitar was bigger than she) had naught but rudeness to play to. Now, opening acts probably expect this, but there's a limit, in my opinion. Not to mention the fact that as opening acts go, Bea was pretty good. Not really something I'd purchase, but she has a good voice (reminiscent of Bic Runga or, as my wife noted, the lead singer of Shivaree), can rap pretty darned fast, and showed a fair wit in her songwriting. She got far less respect than she deserved, and I gotta say, I was rather put out by it. Especially when they continued the rudeness once Glen had taken the stage. Like I said, it wasn't a rock concert. People don't stay quiet at a Metallica concert--nor should they be expected to. Heck, no matter how loud they get, the music will likely just drown them out anyway. But Glen's got an alterna-folk thing going on. One guy, or one chick, with a guitar demands a bit more serenity.

But then, manners and decorum are rapidly becoming relics, aren't they? I mean, we paid for it, so we can do whatever we want with that time, right?

Ah, well. Nevertheless, we really enjoyed the show, though I think I enjoyed it more than my wife. Besides fighting off hypothermia, she just doesn't care for Glen's solo stuff as much. And she's right, too--Glen, unfortunately, can never be Toad. Toad is, alas, no more. He's a really good solo artist, and I will buy his stuff (especially the collaboration with Nickel Creek), but he can never be the nigh perfect band that was Toad. Everything moves on, though. And we have several good albums to remember them by. Can't really ask for much more than that, can we?
Jelly Pinched Wolf   6:13 PM
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