The Original Cat Burglars Unveiled

Tucked in between “news articles” about alien abductions and man-eating butterflies on the World News Daily Report, I found this gem hidden away.   Long story short, it claims that an elderly lady trained her cats to steal jewelry from her neighbors; the epitome of “cat burglars.”

click photo for story

I admit, there is a part of me that wishes this was a true story.  I could absolutely get on board with training my cats to do cool things other than bringing me dead bugs. Let’s face it, though; cats only do what they want to do, and it always involves a smug, self-serving attitude and a “what’s in it for me” end goal.

I can see me, 20 years from now, in full Crazy Cat Lady mode.  I’d train my cats to do things like weed my garden, mow my lawn, put away the dishes, and fold the laundry.  In my fantasy, I am the ruler of the roost, the commander of the cats, the kitty whisperer.  The truth is, I live to serve my cats.  They have me so well trained that I respond to the smallest puking noises they make, even from a dead sleep.  I have given all of my furniture to them to use as thrones, perches, or beds.  I believe all of the cat food commercials I see, and my cats eat better than I do.  I clean litter boxes religiously and keep lint rollers to clean off the clothing that my cats allow me to wear when they aren’t using it as a bed.

On that note, the article makes me laugh when it references that these cats were voluntarily malnourished; apparently, according to the report, they deliberately made themselves seem skinny and underfed so that people would take them in to their homes to feed them.  After the neighbors opened their hearts and homes to the skeletal felines, the cats would abscond with anything of value.  Only then would the elderly cat-keeper reward them with food.

Really?  If I tried to train my cats this way, they would laugh at me.  “What’s in it for me? Better make it worth my while. And don’t even think about not feeding us, we know where the treats are. More important, we know where you sleep.”

Now I have no doubt that a cat COULD think of this clever scheme.  The only thing that keeps cats from taking over the world is the lack of opposable thumbs.  But would they really want to?  And perhaps therein lies the real reason cats don’t rule world…they simply can’t be bothered.

Let’s review the cons against this whole organized feline crime spree:

  • The scheme cuts into the most important time of the day: Nap time.  That rare 20 out of 24 hours they spend napping would suffer if they were involved in such a time-consuming racket.
  • Ignoring humans: The burglary idea would definitely require freely interacting with humans for something other than dinner, and seriously, what cat wants that?
  • Movement: To fully realize the potential of this scheme, cats would have to move.  More than from one end of the bed to the other.  This is an instant disqualifier.
  • Potentially uncovering plans to rule the world: Cats cannot have their plot revealed.  While it is no secret that cats plan to take over the world, the exact plans cannot be revealed until the perfect time.
  • A drop in Facebook and You Tube ratings: The cat community doesn’t like to talk about it, but it thrives on internet ratings.  If cats are implicated in robberies, it’s very possible that cute kitten video viewings will drop to dangerously low levels, resulting in a complete breakdown of the internet as we know it today.

Now, let’s review the reasons cats would voluntarily choose to do something, heck anything, at all:


Lastly, let’s consider the odds of a cat being trained by a human to do something that he does not already want to do:


As much as I wish this story could be true, I think this will forever be relegated to the land of satire.

And that’s probably a good thing.

Memory Lapses

I am creative.  I am powerful.  I am woman, hear me roar.  I am also just a tad forgetful.  Like “forget what I had for breakfast while the fork is still in my hand” forgetful.  I need to document my thoughts while I am out and about or they will be forever forgotten in the vast jungle of my mind.

What do you do if your mind is a sieve?  If you’re anything like me, you send notes via text to yourself to remember ideas, appointments, and events.  If it’s not written down, I can forget a thought quicker than anyone else I know.  I was going to suggest an Olympic Sport called Speed Forgetting, but I forgot to mail the letter.

Yesterday evening, I was looking through my text messages for something and came across this message I sent myself over a week ago.  Check this out:

“The eyes are the windows to the soul. Sometimes they reflect a vision of hell.”

Wow.  What a deep thought.  What a great lead in to an unforgettable blog post.

Too bad I cannot recall for the life of me what I was thinking when I wrote it.  Or where I was, or what I was doing.

This cryptic line seems to be the beginning of a wonderful biopic journal of my life’s journey.  It is a cool line for the first sentence of a horror story.  It could have been what I thought when I woke up one morning and saw bags and dark circles under my eyes after spending a sleepless night trying to remember my Great-Grandmother’s middle name.

I have absolutely no idea why I sent that to myself. At all. Was it because of an instance of animal cruelty that I’ve seen? People suck, I’ve said that often…because they do, and it’s very possible that an incident of animal cruelty prompted that comment to myself. It’s equally possible that the stories about school shootings or perhaps a news story of a child abuse victim or domestic abuse victim set me off.  Or, the amazing line could have come to me as I was watching a poor retailer slog through a transaction with a customer who was acting like a complete asshole, or a woman who realized she was wearing white after Labor Day.

The world may never know.

The way my swiss cheese brain works is a mystery, even to myself.  There are just so many versions of hell, and everyone you meet everywhere has their own personal hell.  For some, hell might be driving to work.  Someone else’s hell may be dealing with their cable company (and I suspect the cable guy has a few versions of hell as well).  The upper class may think it is hell dealing with the butler, and the butler sure as heck knows it’s hell dealing with his snobby boss.  The lower class sees the hell of poverty and sadness every day, and the middle class thinks it is hell to have to pay taxes to help the poor through that particular hell. A child thinks hell is when school is not cancelled for a snow day; the teachers probably agree with that version of hell and the parents may, too. Hell is not being able to use that amazing word in Words with Friends that you really want to use, or my personal favorite, forgetting why I walked into a room.

So many meanings of hell.  So many possible reasons for my amazingly creative phrase.  Such a shame to have such severe short term…and long term, apparently…memory loss that I cannot recall the moment this profound statement was imagined.

Think about it.  “The eyes are the windows to the soul. Sometimes they reflect a vision of hell.”  I want you to consider this phrase carefully.  I want you to ponder it deeply.  Repeat it over and over.

And then, can you please tell me what the hell I was thinking!?

A Radical Idea

Now I’m not about to pontificate like some hippy guru coming down from her cabin in the Vermont mountains, but please, take a look at the picture below. That’s our universe. It’s where we live. See how small we are?  See how absolutely minuscule our existence is in the grand scheme of things? We’re pretty much a drop in the bucket and that’s being generous.

I don’t mean to say this to be depressing. Quite the opposite, truth be told. It’s supposed to be a reminder that before we get livid over political differences, religious beliefs, or even just the people who cut in front of us in traffic, we should remember that we’re really sort of insignificant in this vast web of gases and atoms.

Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t be involved in what’s going on in our world today, especially politically speaking (goodness knows, we have to be now, more than ever), or that we should give up on our faith to placate someone else… what I am saying however, is that when it comes to arguing with strangers online or with Uncle John at the next family dinner — neither of whom will be listening anyway, because they’re so entrenched in their own mindset — maybe rethink your participation in an argument that will only serve to create stress and anxiety for you and will likely end up being more of a name-calling contest than a civil debate anyway.

Instead of getting enraged, how about we just focus on being nice to each other? That’s it — just be nice. Pretty simple, right?  I just think that as we rotate around our gargantuan sun that in itself is part of an unimaginably vast galaxy within an inconceivable array of other galaxies (with the potential of other dimensions that could be just as large), let’s just try to make the ride a little more pleasant for each other.

And let’s not include just humans in that concept – include animals, too.  Be nice to other living creatures.  I mean, really, how hard is that?  When you sit down and think about it, it just seems like the most logical thing to do.

However, I know it will never happen on a large scale because we’re human after all, and something as simple as “being nice” would just never work for our species as a whole. It’s beyond us, which is sad, really. But imagine what we could accomplish if we could pull off this amazing yet simplistic feat!  The issues that could be settled and the problems that could be resolved are boundless.

So maybe we start small.  Maybe smile at that neighbor who is always grumpy or hold the elevator for that person who is obviously late.  Perhaps throw some food to the stray you usually shoo away.  Or give some change to the homeless person you always try to ignore as you make your way to work.  Maybe realize that your kids can have a bad day too so you ignore the half-made bed that would normally spawn a lecture, and instead pull out a family board game.  It should all be so easy, really.

And the craziest part of this hare-brained idea is that the world, which is already so overwhelmed with stress and worry, would actually become a better place, allowing for less and less stuff to be stressed and worried about.  I know….ironic, right?

Charitable Contributions

Charity starts at home on the road and I just want to give a shout out to all those altruistic folks on the highways, at red lights, and in parking lots who are oh-so-kind enough to share their music with those of us less fortunate who might not have music of our own to listen to.

Without you, we might have to sit in glorious silence going over that speech we have to give in the PR meeting later, or perhaps, god forbid, we might catch up on the news or the latest weather report, or even be forced to listen to that audio book we checked out at the library just for our commute to work.

If it weren’t for you sharing your music at such a loud decibel that our cars shake, we might never know the pleasures of obscenity-laden music or lyrical rape scenarios, all while having our spines realigned and our heads on the verge of implosion from the sheer force of the bass.

So thank you, fellow citizen!

Thank you for doing your part to make what is already an annoying undertaking — our daily commute or running errands — that much more intolerable by giving of yourselves and your delightful taste in music.

A Push for Flexible Morality

If you have five minutes to spare, I invite you to read this article.

Don’t worry. I’ll wait…

Okay, are you back? Good, because I have a lot to say on the topic. But you knew that, right? If you didn’t get to read the article, the long and short of it is that vegetarians shouldn’t beat themselves up with they decide to have a pork chop or two when amongst friends – in fact, they should feel obligated to do so just to show others that veganism and vegetarianism is “flexible.” You know, to make people comfortable around it…and therefore low-key encouraging others to give part-time vegetarianism a try.

There are so many things wrong with the author’s position in this article. Just at the surface, I find the concept of vegetarians being encouraged, nay, guilted into breaking their own moral code for the sake of others to be so misguided. From the article: “So the vegetarian guest eating meat when offered has probably shown the host that it is possible to be a (flexible) vegetarian and, at the same time, occasionally enjoy some meat without feeling guilty.” In reality, could doing so inspire others to adopt the vegetarian lifestyle if they see that it’s not such a rigid or strict discipline? Doubtful. Like with most things in life, people eat what they eat for a reason and they will change their lifestyle only when they’re ready and for reasons of their own, not because they saw a vegetarian breaking their own personal code of ethics at that dinner party last week.

My own response to this article?  It is NOT the guest’s job to convince the host or any other guest to become vegetarian, nor is it their obligation to be flexible in order to show that others can eat less meat while still maintaining a sort-of, kind-of vegetarian lifestyle.

I feel the article gives a negative portrayal of vegetarians, assuming every one of them brings a soapbox to stand on wherever they go because it’s their civic duty to coax people over to their side. But I can only really speak for myself. Do I wish people would eat less meat (or no meat at all)? Yes. Do I tell them to eat that way? No. They’re adults. They can make up their own minds on what they want to eat. But if someone is curious and asks me about vegetarianism, I’m more than happy to give them information as to why that particular diet appeals to me.

But it’s not my job to show others that vegetarianism can be flexible and therefore “easier” to the masses. Why should a vegetarian anyone be forced or encouraged or guilted into doing something that makes them physically, mentally, and emotionally ill — and is contrary to everything they believe in — just to show someone else it can be done?

To me, what should’ve been addressed is the host’s lack of manners for forgetting the dietary restrictions of a guest they presumably like and respect enough to ask to dinner. In case you didn’t read the article, the whole point that started this conversation was that the fictitious host and/or hostess forgot their guest was a vegetarian and therefore gave them a pork chop to eat. I also find it odd that out of all the meats out there in the world, they chose pork chops. But I digress.

Back to the whole “flexibility” thing…every vegetarian and vegan has their own reason for choosing that kind of diet, not least of which is to do their part in ending animal suffering. Contrary to all the jokes and memes out there, this is not a trivial reason. Some people are vegetarians for religious reasons. Does the author expect flexibility when it’s for religious reasons? Or is it only when it’s for other, non-religious, reasons? I wasn’t aware that morals were flexible, or rather, that it’s not a big deal if they are flexible. I mean, basically, the writer is asking a vegetarian to be flexible in their morals just to be polite to a host.

Then, the writer tells vegetarians to take heart in the decision to go against their beliefs and strongly held “code of ethics” because it could — could, mind you — have the positive effect of showing others that vegetarianism can be do-able for those who still want to eat meat sometimes. That’s a hell of a lot of responsibility for one person who simply does not eat meat, if you ask me.

Show and tell on the part of a dinner guest is not and should not be necessary to get this point across and I think it’s appalling to expect otherwise.


You Want Picante?? I’ll Give You Picante!!

I saw this on the newswire the other day, and be forewarned, it’s old…it was just something that popped up as a stupid meme and after researching, I found that it was indeed true: “Woman stabs boyfriend over salsa, say Akron police.” What?  She didn’t like Latin music? After reading several different articles on this incident, I found out that the story was even more ridiculous – more ridiculous than hating a sassy, sexy dance, you say? Why yes, that is exactly what I’m saying. This woman exploded into a murderous rage when she discovered that her boyfriend had eaten all the salsa they had on hand. Salsa. As in the condiment. The nerve of him!

Apparently blinded with anger at the thought of having no salsa picante to put on her cheeseburger, she grabbed a pen and started stabbing the boyfriend.  Not happy with the results from the writing instrument, she proceeded to knock the guy’s t.v. over (I have absolutely no idea what his t.v. had to do with anything) and after retrieving a knife from the kitchen, tried to finish the job the pen had started. After the “salsa savagery” was done, she fled, but was pulled over by police after a somewhat brief car chase. The boyfriend was expected to live and presumably has no dietary restrictions going forward.

My first thought was, “What the hell is wrong with people?”  That was my second and third thought too.  Maybe she would have had an excuse if he’d eaten all of their foraged truffle-essence quiche or their Coquilles St. Jacques. But salsa? Really? I mean, I guess I could understand if it was some kick-ass homemade salsa. You know, the kind you can’t find in your neighborhood grocery store or say, the 7-11 on the corner. Understanding is one thing, but I just want to make it clear, I still don’t condone food-related violence. Even if someone who shall remain nameless did steal the last bit of my Haas-Gooey Cake.

Anyhow, the woman in question told the police that the reason she stabbed him was because she “wanted to leave.” However, I’m thinking there has to be more. Right? I mean, there just has to be. A person doesn’t just snap over salsa. Do they? Maybe she had been salsa-deprived as a child. Maybe his finishing off the salsa was just the straw that broke the camel’s back in their relationship. But still, good grief! Leaving with her toothbrush after throwing his in the toilet would have been much better, and she wouldn’t be facing felonious assault charges.

Sadly, there are plenty of examples of stupidity out there in the world. A Utah man was convinced that his girlfriend was causing his headaches, so he shot her. She lived.  He’s still getting headaches in prison. Go figure. No-one ever said the guy was bright. Two ex-cons in Florida brought home a woman from a bar for an evening of “fun.” During the troika tryst, one of the cons shouted “Switch!” The other con didn’t want to, so he stabbed his buddy. You really need to be careful about picking and choosing your ménage à trois partners before doing the deed. Maybe set out some rules or sign a contract or something. You know, just to keep the stabbing down to a minimum.

But going back to the salsa lady…I don’t know if the boyfriend knew that running out of salsa was his girlfriend’s flash point, but seriously, should he have?? I mean, you’d think the guy would know just how strongly she felt about her condiments. Still, it seems like an awful lot of responsibility for one person to bear – eat this salsa and be stabbed or not eat the salsa and be deprived of some kick-ass salsa? What do I do, what do I do!?

I think, just to be on the safe side, I’m gonna start asking for extra packets of salsa when I go to Taco Bell to keep in my kitchen junk drawer… just in case something like this should ever befall me. I can use them to fend off any salsa-crazed zombies that infiltrate my house by throwing them as I back out of the kitchen to safety: “there! there! there is your salsa, you salsa-crazed zombie!” And all will be right with the world once more.


Dating Games

Most of us haven’t been lucky enough in love to have found our soulmate while we were playing in the sand box during recess in Kindergarten. How nice would it have been to cross off “Find the One” on our list of Life Goals back before we could read? No, for 99% of us, we weren’t so fortunate. We didn’t find “the one” before getting a driver’s license. We weren’t flaunting our promise ring at pep rallies.

As much as we’ve tried to fight it, most of us regular folk have had to wade through the dreaded social purgatory known as dating. Some of us have been thrown back into the dating pool more than once. As you are probably aware, the entire process of dating is a very difficult and often scary endeavor.

Meeting up with someone you hardly know? Terrifying. What if the date goes poorly right from the start? What if he shows up drunk? What if he makes a stupid joke? What if his breath stinks? Hell, what if HE stinks? What if he’s an ax murderer? There are so many valid fears that can flood the brain as you walk through the doors of the restaurant/café/zoo/bookstore to meet your date.

Nowadays, we have online dating. It’s supposed to make everything easier, but in fact it comes with its own series of perils. Getting to “know” someone online is so much different than meeting face-to-face. (“Know” is in quotations because the anonymity of the internet doesn’t really allow two people to get that close physically or emotionally. So how well can you actually get to “know” someone online? I mean, it’s all predicated on the parties being honest, and well, in this day and age, we all know how that can go.)

In some cases, having that digital distance between yourself and your suitor can be a good thing. I personally find it easier to speak my mind when I have a little time to formulate a reply to questions. My written responses have more depth to them and I represent who I am better in the written word. In person, there’s always the chance that nerves and anxiety will get the best of me and I’ll blurt out the first thing that comes into my head, and that’s not always a good thing, trust me. Such is the life of a raging introvert.

Those of you who are familiar with the online dating process know that in most cases there are only two roads to go down when you’ve identified someone you might want to get to know better. Option #1: Either you or the person you’re corresponding with loses interest after a while and—POOF—one day they’re gone. No explanation. No reasoning. Just gone. Try not to take it personally. It happens to all of us. Option #2: The dreaded meet-up. Now, this is where it gets tricky.

Everyone gets nervous before a first date, but I’ve found that the things we’re scared of are usually completely different depending on one’s gender.  Men are often afraid they’ll show up and find that the woman sitting across from them looks nothing like their pictures. Yes, the chance that she might be 20 or even 30 pounds heavier than she claimed to be is usually the biggest fear that keeps many men up at night. Or so I’ve been told by the men I’ve discussed this topic with (yes, I did my research).

In fact, in what seemed like a moment of kismet, just as I was finishing up drafting this entry the other day, a member of a group I belong to on Facebook posted about the anxiety he was feeling over getting the number of a woman at work – apparently a colleague of his thought that he and this female coworker would hit it off. Well, since the colleague couldn’t describe this woman to his satisfaction (or else, he didn’t trust the description), he asked said colleague to surreptitiously take a photo of her and text it to him, you know so he could see that she didn’t resemble “large Marge,” a character from Pee -Wee’s Big Adventure. Only then would he be interested in even getting her number. I’ll leave it to ya’ll who don’t know the character to Google it.

Women, on the other hand, are mostly afraid they got suckered into a date with an ax murderer itching to use the new tools he has stashed in his trunk, and that their body will be dumped into a garbage can before the night is through.

Dating games. Aren’t they fun?