January 25, 2012

A Puppy’s Perspective

Posted in Cats, Humor, Just Life tagged , , at 8:08 pm by catsinboxes


“Toby!” I do my best to sound reproachful. No movement. I try again,

“Toby!!” This time more emphasis and more reproach. Two dark eyes stare innocently at me.

“Toby; you get down right now!” I’m starting to get a reaction. He starts to move, just a little bit. I play hardball.

“You know what Mommy says!” Maybe it’s my imagination, but this tact works. He uncurls and hops off the couch. Then he sashays up to me, tail wagging apologetically, giving me his I-know-I’ve-been-naughty squinty eyes. I can’t help it, I pet him, but still scold.

We’ve had an audience the whole time. Two cats in the midst of their morning nap on the other couch. Duncan slumbers on, ignoring the disturbance, but Kitty-Kitty, ever the social one, is stretching and trying to attract my attention. I can imagine Toby’s thought process. I don’t know what your problem is, look at them! They sleep on the couch all the time! They even sleep on Mommy’s bed. Why can’t I take a nap on the couch now and then, huh? It’s just not fair. I think you like them better . . .

I answer Toby’s thoughts out loud,

“I know it’s not fair, but if we wanted to keep cats off of furniture, they would have to live outside.” And it’s true. Cats are simply cats, and that’s just what we expect. Dogs are supposed to be loyal and obedient and subservient to man. Cats? There’s a reason that Rudyard Kipling wrote in his Just So stories about “The Cat Who Walked by Himself.” It’s just the way they are, and I love them for it!



January 18, 2012

If only . . .

Posted in Bargains, Books, England, Favorite Quotes, Poetry tagged , , , at 10:53 am by catsinboxes

I’m in the midst of reading Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber.  I bought it for a bargain as a Kindle ebook.  (Right now it’s only $3.44!)  I don’t how long it will stay that price, but I thought I would mention it.  As an Anglophile, I love the picture of life at Oxford that Carolyn gives.  As a literary buff, I love the many quotes and literary allusions that she weaves into her memoir.

This isn’t going to be a book review (though one will surely come!), but I want to share one poem that I particularly enjoyed.

“If only the good were clever,

If only the clever were good,

The world would be better than ever

We thought that it possibly could.

But, alas, it is seldom or never

That either behave as they should:

For the good are so harsh to the clever,

The clever so rude to the good.”

~Elizabeth Wordsworth

January 16, 2012

A Big Cat in a Little Box!

Posted in Blogging, Cats, Humor, Just Life, Uncategorized tagged , at 5:36 pm by catsinboxes


January 14, 2012

Tour of Mount Olympus

Posted in Creative Writing, Mythology at 10:19 pm by catsinboxes

Background: this was written for a query, but I ended up not submitting it.  It was a tad too long, and my life was crazy.  I decided to just leave it as a fun piece of creative writing.  I love Greek mythology, so this was just plain fun to write.  Forgive the flood of information; like I said, there was a word limit!

Welcome to Ancient Greece!  What would you like to see?  Delphi?  Sparta?  Athens?  Oh . . . let me see . . . Hah!  You’re in luck my friend, it’s not everyday that visitors get a tour of Mount Olympus, home of the gods.

Before we get started, let me introduce myself.  I am Hermes: god of thieves, rogues, merchants, orators and – oh yes!- travelers.  Naturally, I’m the one who got picked as official tour guide when Mount Olympus started giving tours.

I don’t have much time though, only about an hour.  I’ll explain later, now it’s time to leave.  Take my hand; these sandals have wings for a reason.  Now this is what I call speed!  Did I mention to you that I also control the wind?

We’re above Thesaly now in northern Greece.  Just a few more minutes, and we’ll be at Mt. Olympus.  Do you see all of those clouds ahead?  Keep watching them.  Now they’re parting.  Those women are the Seasons, and they’ll only open the cloud gates of Mt. Olympus to a god.  That’s why you need me along as your tour guide!

Now we’re through, and you are officially in Mount Olympus.  Pretty impressive, isn’t it?  As soon as we go through the cloud barrier, the weather changes.  There’s never any rain here, NEVER snow, and the sky is always that beautiful shade of blue.  We did have a fire once, but that was a long, long time ago.  Right ahead of us is the palace.  It’s huge; it has to be, with all of the gods that live here.  Let’s start walking, and I’ll point out the different gods to you.

It’s pretty busy right now because of the council I told you about.  That’s nice for you because there’s a good chance you’ll get to see all of the 11 other gods, including my two uncles, Poseidon and Hades.

Normally those two aren’t here very often.  Poseidon has a nice underwater palace and a lot to keep him busy as god of the sea.  That’s nothing compared to Hades; he’s perpetually busy as Lord of the Underworld.  The reason that they are here is because there’s a big argument about some little island in the Aegean.

It’s not that much of an island, but Poseidon, Hades, and my half-brother Apollo want it . . .

Speaking of!  Look over there, by the stable, but try not to stare.  That’s Poseidon, my father Zeus’ brother.  See that trident he’s holding?  One tap of that will cause an earthquake.  There’s a reason he’s by the stables, after all, he is the god who invented horses.

Oh, look over by that loom!  The goddess weaving is Athena.  She’s another of my half-sisters, and the goddess of wisdom, warfare, and pretty much anything that involves thinking!  If you’re ever in Athens, keep an eye out for Athena.  Athens is her city, and she loves spending time down there.

Standing next to Athena is Apollo.  He’s another half-brother (most of us younger gods have Zeus as our father, all except Aphrodite.).  He’s the god of music and poetry.  I think he’s trying to get Athena on his side.  Athena’s too smart to be won over by pretty words.  She knows as well as I do why Apollo (and Poseidon and Hades for that matter) want the island.  Word has it that there is a very pretty water nymph living in that area.

Isn’t the girl next to Apollo his girlfriend?  Oh, by the Stix, no!  That’s his twin sister, Artemis.  She’s the goddess of hunting.  And she doesn’t date, she’s vowed to always remain single.  Don’t mess with Artemis; she won’t hesitate to use that bow and arrows.

Hah, you are lucky today!  Look over by that workshop.  The god in the smith’s apron is Hephaestus.  He’s the smith of the gods; I can’t begin to tell you all the things he has made.  His mother, Hera, is standing next to him.  She is Zeus‘ wife and the queen of the gods. Don’t ask me why he picked her.  Do you see that kind of jealous expression?  That’s normal for Hera.  She doesn’t appreciate any of Zeus‘ other wives and especially not his children.  I should know, I’ve had my share of run-ins with Hera.  All I did was talk her 100-eyed servant to death, and she had a cow!  (That whole fiasco started with a cow, but that’s another story!)

Sitting on the workbench outside the shop is Aphrodite.  Is she married to the guy in armor who is sitting next to her?  Uh, no.  That’s her brother-in-law, Ares.   Though, if you ask her husband Hephaestus, he would say they get along a little too well.  That’s what happens when you’re married to the goddess of love; there’s always a lot of romance and love turmoils.  Aphrodite just loves that sort of thing.  Steer clear of her if you don’t want trouble, that’s my advice.

Let’s see, who else do you need to meet?  Ah yes!  There’s my half-brother Dionysus.  He’s staying busy getting refreshments ready for after the council.  As the god of wine, he always gets that sort of job.

In the garden over there is my aunt Demeter, goddess of plants.  She’s very happy right now because Hades brought his wife along on this visit to Olympus.  That’s Persephone, standing next to Demeter.  She is beautiful; beautiful enough that she caught Hades eye.  Then he caught her . . . but I don’t have time for that story either.

There’s Hades now, I think he’s looking for Persephone.  He is a bit grim looking, but I can understand why.  One of my jobs is guiding dead souls to the Underworld.  I just need to get them to the River Styx and the boatman, Charon.  But that’s enough for me.  It’s not a nice place down there, except for the Elysian Fields where heroes go, but I never get that far.

You’ve seen almost everyone except . . . there he is!  That is my father, Zeus: King of the Gods, Lord of Mount Olympus, Ruler of Men.  I think he’s on his way to . . . By the Styx!  Look at the time.  The council meeting is going to start soon.  If I’m late for that, Athena will have my hide.  Quick, come this way.  Oh, and be sure to bow to that goddess by the fire.  She’s my aunt Hestia, and she is the oldest of all the gods.  What does she do?  She tends the hearth and is the goddess of all households.

Now we’re out of the palace.  I don’t have time to bring you back, if only . . . “Iris!  Come here!”  This is Iris.  She’s goddess of the rainbow and acts as messenger of the gods whenever I’m busy.  She doesn’t need the cloud gate.  It has been said that all roads lead to Rome, but I say that all rainbows lead to Mount Olympus.

Now, hurry along with Iris. Goodbye, and enjoy the rest of your time in Ancient Greece!