Saturday, March 29, 2008

Headline: "Henry the Cat Joins Earth Hour '08 Blackout"

This is me, one hour ago, sitting on the bathroom floor, observing Earth Hour against my will. I'm all for conservation, as protecting the planet is to everyone's benefit, humans and mine. But seriously, turn off your lights for an hour? What kind of sacrifice is that when most people will just spend it basking in the glow of the television or blogging by the light of the monitor? Why not suck it up and eschew all electricity for one hour?

I bet if I had turned on the TV to CNN one hour ago, I would have seen the anchors commentating by candlelight, prattling on ad nauseum about the "planet in peril." Hiding in the dark for the hour was the preferable and safest thing to do, as, contrary to popular belief, cats cannot see in the dark. Really. I read it on wikipedia.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Your tax dollars, boomeranged

Yesterday the lady and gentleman of the house received The Letter from the U.S. Government informing them they will be receiving the much hyped tax rebate that is part of President Bush's plan to stimulate the economy. Not only has everyone, with the exception of those living in a bunker, already heard about the rebate, most have also heard about The Letter they would be receiving informing them of the pending windfall.

Apparently, the government believed some people would be confused if they received money out of thin air. Because humans are so honest, they will not cash a mystery check that finds its way into their mailboxes, and so they would have no extra money to spend, which is vital to Stimulating The Economy.

It cost the government $42 million to mail out The Letter. The lady of the house was beside herself all day, wondering aloud how that sum of money could have been put to better use. In the hopes of shutting her up, I decided to do a little investigating to see what $42 million would buy.

For $42 million, you could do one of the following:
  • Pay the salary of 1,050 elementary school teachers for one year
  • Pay for 4.2 million flu shots
  • Buy 13 million gallons of gas
  • Spay/neuter 646,000 cats
  • Pay for 56,000 colonoscopies
  • Pay for 280,000 mammograms
  • Buy 15,556 complete sets of military body armor
I assumed I would please the lady by providing this information to her. However, she is now frothing at the mouth, and her face has turned blue.

What did I do wrong?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

So how does this "Spa Day" thing work?

Perhaps feeling guilty about admonishing me yesterday, Carla suggested that maybe I have taken too much of the world's idiocy to heart and that I should schedule some "down time." She then gave me a little Swedish massage and told me to go do something fun. So I decided to surf on over to YouTube to see how other cats take a spa day.
  • I can assure you that manicures and pedicures are not a cat's idea of R&R, no matter how soothingly this lady talks. And when I saw her bring that tube out at the end of the video, I thought she was going to go on to brush her cat's teeth. To my relief, it turned out to be some sort of treat dispenser.
  • I usually find cat-on-cat action pretty distasteful, but this deep tissue masseuse could be pretty useful around here.
  • I have heard horror stories about cats kidnapped for the red light district. This poor cat was forced to perform shiatsu on a dog.
I've got sort of a David Lynch-ian taste in my mouth after the last one, so I think I'm gonna go find a windowsill and have a nap.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I egg your pardon

"Henry, I was just catching up on your blog from last week, and I see that you did not post the photo of Buster in his Easter basket in your Sunday blog, per my request," says She-Who-Need-Not-Be-Named.

Gulp, says I.

"Do you KNOW who pays the Internet bill around here?" says SWNNBN.

Why don't I just wait until next Easter?

"You are blogging on borrowed time."

I see your point.

AI 7

It aired. I dozed. Nuff said.

Anderson Cooper's Excellent Adventure

Since I recently referred to Anderson Cooper as a blowhard, I thought perhaps I should actually watch an episode of his show to see if my rather cavalier assessment was accurate. The show is AC 360, as CNN dubs it, which puts me in mind of Andre 3000 of OutKast. So naturally, I was expecting something a bit hip. What I wasn't expecting was to see Anderson refer to one of his interview subjects as "dude." Indeed, when his guest James Carville (who Carla informs me is quite a pill) calls himself a Washington outsider, AC360 says "Dude! You're Mister Washington." I looked at Carla, and she said "Now, Ed Bradley was a hepcat, what with his silver beard and earring and all, but he'd sooner French kiss Andy Rooney than call someone "dude" in an interview."

So from the little bit I was able to stomach of AC 360, I can't say for sure if he's a blowhard (though my Spidey senses tell me I'm on to something), but he is unequivocally a buffoon.

Friday, March 21, 2008

CNN profiles pet blogs that aren't mine

An article today on CNN's Web site chronicles the growing trend of pets with blogs. And the fodder is oh-so-predictable. Cretinous cats with unforgivably bad spelling. Obtuse dogs whose blogs are the equivalent of: "Pant, pant. Round, bouncing object. Must ... slobber ... on ... it." I'm surprised CNN didn't profile a blogging mouse who shares incisive analyses such as: "Cheeeeeze! It's not just for crackers anymore."

An erudite cat such as I can see right through this smokescreen. CNN is afraid to feature animal bloggers who might actually have something more astute to say than Wolf Blitzer (who, to the relief of wild canines everywhere, is not part of their family tree). I am less of a blowhard than Anderson Cooper and, unlike Larry King, I do not frighten small children.

CNN correspondents don't want you to know that they're being shown up by creatures without opposable thumbs (which, by the by, is highly overrated if you ask me—Blitzer has two of them, and it hasn't done a whit for his journalistic abilities).

While it's important that dogs, for example, have a way to interact with their peer group besides sphincter-sniffing, it's dangerous for self-aware animals to be excluded from the sphere of news coverage. I challenge Soledad O'Brien to investigate this sector of non-human Internet commentators, if only to show that CNN is not a coward.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Easter Bilby: An idea whose time has come

In Australia, rabbits are considered vermin—unwelcome European invaders that eat more than their fair share of roughage. So for its icon of Easter, Aussie conservationists have lobbied hard to ordain the bilby, a ratty-looking native marsupial, as its purveyor of choice for holiday eggs. When you think about it, it makes much more sense for an animal with a built-in pouch to do the job. What are humans teaching their children about mammalian reproduction by leading them to believe that bunnies lay eggs?

Australian confectioner Darrell Lea has boosted the cause by manufacturing and selling chocolate Easter Bilbies, and the company donates some of its profits to the national Save the Bilby Fund. The candy has chompable-ears that should still satisfy the bloodthirst of any chocolate-bunny converts. Sales of chocolate bilbies now reportedly outnumber chocolate bunnies 8 to 1.

I worry a little, however, that the Fund might be inadvertently hurting the potential proliferation of the bilby by stating that, "When the baby bilby is born, it looks like a baked bean with legs." I suggest that Aussies keep those babies away from America's New Englanders. Otherwise, the Boston Baked Bean may take on a whole new texture.

To see chocolate bilbies being made, click here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Attention all rabbits: mind your ears and tongues

Easter is fast upon us, and sadistic children everywhere will soon be savagely biting the ears off chocolate bunnies. I know, I know. You probably find this activity harmless. But remember what happened when trinket manufacturers decided dyed rabbit feet would make dandy keychains? Somewhere a diabolical entrepreneur is thinking: People are ravenous for chocolate bunny ears. But they so quickly melt away. Real bunny ears are substantive. Sort of like a Slim Jim. And then a light bulb appears: Eureka. Rabbit-ear jerky! I don't think it'd take consumers long to get on board.

The baby bunny in this picture has no idea what kind of world awaits him. If he did, he wouldn't have his marketable appendage so carelessly perched on that wire. Nor would he expose that dainty pink tongue. Let the chocolate kitten tongue story be a cautionary tale. German chocolatiers are eager to double-dip any protruding extremities in their path.

Look sharp, Peter Cottontail!

Cooleosis? Cooliosis? How does Randy Jackson spell that?

I was on my favorite fleece blanket at the edge of the recliner, in thrall to the Sandman, when my ears pricked to yet another invented word slipping off Randy Jackson's tongue. He said it in praise of someone's performance. I'm not sure whose it was, because American Idol's Beatlemania Part II proved the perfect soporific for me. I can only suppose that one of the contestants had a groovy case of scoliosis. Then I dozed off again, happening to open my eyes in time to see Sayesha Mercado step on stage. Just in case the performance wouldn't dazzle, she put the twins on display to shore it up. But beware, Sayeesha. Even a great rack couldn't save Kady Malloy.

Speaking of using everything in your arsenal .... is it just me, or has Carly Smithson started really slathering on the brogue? Seems like in auditions, there were only subtle hints of Ireland. Maybe next week, she'll whip out the Bono shades. Or maybe Bono will appear and whip the contestants. That I'd wake up for.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Blogging Blahs

Forgive me readers, for I have sinned. It's been 1 week since my last blog-fession. All I can say in my defense is that I have been taking advantage of the newly arrived Daylight Savings Time to catch up on some extra sunbathing in the window.

I will need to refresh myself on current events of the last week, after which I'm sure I'll have more than enough clever wittitudes to share. I also have some things I'd like to say about the Easter bunny. For now, I can offer you only this nugget. The homeowners' extended family visited yesterday, and one of them referred to me as Henrietta. I really hate that. My name is Henry, with a "y", short for nothing. And yes, I'm a girl. I will not respond to any queries addressed to "Henrietta" of "Henry." Consider yourself warned.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Would someone please put Kristy Lee Cook* out of her misery?

I'm sure she would do the same for her horse if she came upon it behaving the way she did on American Idol tonight. Not a fan of her anyway, but this time was particularly abominable, abysmal, appalling, atrocious .... (must I continue with the alphabet of shame?). We never thought we'd prefer listening to Elmer Fudd in a blender full of jackhammers.

Two enthusiastic paws up for:

• Chikezie**, this is the second time I have heard the lady of the house scream "Chikezie!" "Woo-hoo!!!!" The first time was when you did Stevie's "I Believe." Even if we learn on the Internet tomorrow that you lifted the arrangement, execution is execution, and you, Chikezie, are the grim, if a bit dorky, reaper.
• Here's something I never thought I'd hear the lady of the house yell: "Amanda O., you totally smoked it! That almost makes up for all the other times we prayed for a merciful god to end your suffering!" I mean, it sounded like maybe she even hit a non-screamed note somewhere in the vicinity of where it should be.***

We'd anticipated tonight's sing-off with the certainty of this equation: Lennon-McCartney + David Archuleta = Dream Team. But alas, the sum was Nightmare. Poor kid. It stinks when people say you're great only 4,999 out of 5,000 times.

And Carly, who we hearted, we now only half-heart. Predictable, we thought.

All in all, a ruinous meeting between the Beatles and people who are old enough to be their great-great-grandchildren. Sony, puh-leeeeeeeeeze, put the LM Songbook back under lock and key.

*I resent that I had to Google the spelling of her name, because that is yet another minute of my precious time I could have spent napping and getting paid for it.
**Had to Google that spelling too, but with much less resentment.
***The man of the house, watching it on TiVo under duress, panned it summarily.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Paid to sleep. Mr. Deutekom, I salute you.

The average cat sleeps 16 hours a day. I guess I'm about average, give or take a few minutes. But now I realize that I've been letting a potential goldmine slip through my paws. Yde van Deutekom, a 22-year-old from the Netherlands, likes to sleep too. By his own admission, it's the only thing he's good at. So rather than get a job, he has launched a Web site that will allow him to stay in bed indefinitely, save for about a half-hour to eat and shower. He sells ads on his Web site and solicits donations. So far, he's been in bed for 25 days and "earned" nearly $10,000.

This young man's enterprise is brilliant, and I'd like to be the first cat to steal his idea. I'm always told I should pull my weight around here. While Deutekom is being paid to be lazy, I and other cats sleep as much as we do because it is simply part of our physiology. (Trust me, no person wants to share a home with a cat plagued by sleep-deprivation, whose side effects include psychosis and homicidal/felicidal tendencies.) So it is without shame that I ask my readers to dig deep into their pockets and toss a little money my way. After all, it is to your advantage that I am well-rested and lucid enough to continue producing a superlative blog.

I accept PayPal, Visa, rupees, euros, pesos, yen and krugerrands (please: no U.S. dollars or Sharper Image gift cards).

Click here to watch me sleep.

Click here to watch the lazy Dutchman.

Friday, March 7, 2008

And you thought I was thinking of food

When you notice a cat in profound meditation
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

T.S. Eliot, The Naming of Cats

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Suck it up, number four

Brett Favre calls it quits, saying "I'm tired. I'm just tired." He's 38 years old. In human years, I am 56. I'm tired too, but you don't see me whining about my heart not being in it anymore. People count on me. Not only in this house but, I'm told, in the blogosphere at large. It seems like pundits have exhausted their vocabulary. "Superdelegates," "pitchy" "in it to win it." On American Idol, the adjective-challenged Randy Jackson has resorted to making up words, most recently "prowness." And so it's left to me to scour the ether and find something fresh to say. But I do it. I do it for my family. I do it for the world. When I could just take a nap.

This fall, when everyone is craving the wonky pass play that manages to hit the mark, leaving us to exclaim "Sweet Nelly on a tricked-out teeter totter!" When cheeseheads are dreaming wistfully of the unintelligible, pre-snap, gruffly shouted melange of numbers (is it three-nineteeeeeeeeeeeeeen?), what will I be doing? Probably slaving away at the keyboard, pouncing on the nauseating political process and finding fault with fashion everywhere. And what will Brett Favre be doing? Taking a nap.


Thursday haiku

On the window sill
Helios, oh handsome god
It's toasty in here

©2008, Henry the Cat

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Starbucks needs new employee training videos

Carla's aunt was at Starbucks this morning and asked the barista-gal who she thought would win Ohio and Texas today. She replied, "When are they playing?"

Monday, March 3, 2008

It's 3 in the morning! Leave me alone.

Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama are locked in a fierce public debate about who would best prepared to respond to a national crisis if the White House phone rang at 3 a.m. Am I the only one who thinks this question has a game-show quality about it? Each contestant could be given a horse tranquilizer, then awakened about an hour later and asked a series of random questions to determine cognitive function under sleep deprivation. At any rate, it's clear who would not be qualified in this household.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Happy belated birthday, Nellie

Somehow I missed that Nellie, the world's oldest dolphin born and living in captivity, turned 55 last week at Marineland in Florida. Here she is being treated to her yearly fish-in-ice birthday cake. She also received an honorary master's degree in marine science. Then everyone raised their glasses to her and made a toast: "Here's to yet another year you won't get to swim in the ocean!"