The year is rushing toward its end, with its promise of holidays, the weather fooling us with deceptive mildness. New year brings the real freeze, taxes, darkness at 4 P.M., and a long stretch without holidays (Valentine's day is good, but you don't get off work for it).
We just use the short form for taxes now, so instead of most of a day it takes most of 15 minutes. You might take a little satisfaction in your progress this past year or plan improvements for the next, but for every simplification or cost saving, I swear, another complication and cost shows up to replace it.
That little black devil in the pictures is the complication that appeared this year. Just like Gilligan 6 years ago, Blackberry showed up as a starving kitten at the back door, and as in the Grateful Dead song where the narrator says to the Dire Wolf, "Come on in," that's what we said. With B.B. Bunny, that makes three orphans taken in from the unforgiving suburban landscape to fill the house with hair, cat toys, and litter pans.
We're doing our part for the jobs crisis, at the vet and Petco. And for whoever makes the litter.
B.B. doesn't have the run of the house due to his love of chewing anything electrical-cord-like, so he can't cause trouble outside his room, and I make his litter in the shredder from scrap and newspaper, and he's never, in 9 years, been to the vet. He never bites or scratches, gives kisses freely, and keeps real quiet.
Cats are smarter, and therein lies one problem. They learn (exactly what they want to, not what you want) and dream up creative but work-producing mischief daily. The other is that kittens get overstimulated easily and could give the Energizer Bunny a run for his money any day. We have learned to put the houseplants way up because Gilligan would pull my minefields of toothpicks out with his teeth and claw the dirt up, like he wanted to, anyway. Any candles or vases have been banished to storage. No flowers in water, of course.
The one thing that will improve things and return the success score for this year back to a draw is that at year's end Blackberry will be old enough for the vet to remove his, uh, manhood and even more important, those front claws. Those two racks of fish hooks have shredded our hands, legs, arms and toes. I used a half-cup of stain remover to clean up the blood all over my pants leg. While front-clawless Gilligan jumps up into your lap for some quality time, Blackberry climbs up you like a human ladder. Once settled in, he goes into a deep sleep, and like a baby, is at his most attractive then. His good qualities will be much more evident once those ninja daggers of death are removed.
Who knows what next year will bring.