Bob snores.

I can hear him across a room or in my lap.  He has a sort of combination wheeze and whistle.

I’m not bringing this up to clue anybody in on my—virtually non-existent–love-life, I’m calling it to the attention of the members of Bob’s Fan Club.  He has fans.  One of these days he’s going to stop just sitting on my lap while I’m typing this stuff—at considerable risk of falling off his precarious perch—and he’ll take over  the keyboard to give his side of every event around here.  Don’t believe any stories that appear about his beating up on the NFL linebacker tomcat that keep showing up to pursue the calico mamma that’s made this place her home-away-from-home(wherever that is).  Fuego, the Mister Macho Cat here, shrieks,  growls and cusses whenever the big dude shows up and can be seen through the windows or doors, but NOBODY wants to go out and go for a knock-down-and-drag-out fight to the finish.  I’ve tried opening the doors but do you think any one of them(Champ, the other inside guy, puts his paws over his eyes and sings, “Meow-meow-meeeow; I can’t even hear you now”.  No confrontations there.) is going to go outside.  Not on your tintype.  These cats may be crazy but they’re not stupid…or maybe it’s the other way around.  In that same vein, I’ve been telling everyone that since their ploy of leaving their cat toys around to cause me grave bodily injury has not worked out all that well—the 5th metatarsal IS healing O.K., I think; x-rays will  tell the tale—their next step is to figure out how to use the phone to call out for pizza—anchovy, no doubt.  If that happens, I’m toast.  The stories in The Villager will shift to consumer reports on cat litter.

Speaking of which….  The price of cat litter is sort of upside-down right now, since they brought out the new, lightweight stuff.  You’re paying more for less poundage, which is, actually, fine with me because hefting those plastic buckets or big cardboard boxes around—up the back steps, down the basement stairs—is a drag, both literally and figuratively.  And then there’s the sheer pickiness of the feline tribe.  Some of them like it dark and sandy, some of them like it light and “flingable”(Somebody is always experimenting with this; they could probably succeed at professional softball.).  Somebody likes the “all-natural” wood chips or corn cobs or pine needles or whatever it is.  Nobody likes the scented variety.  Somebody likes it deep, somebody likes it shallow so they can make artistic swirls and piles (so to speak).   Most of the time the selection of litter boxes is up to their  demanding standards but sometimes there’s a solitary box in another corner that seems to have all the attraction of a ‘coaster at Cedar Point…Gotta GO there!

As soon as somebody invents an automatic  litter system that really works, I’m investing.

Luckily, I’m not that woman down in Texas who is seeking a new home for her pet, which just happens to be a 1000 lb. bison named Bullet (Nice word-play).  She’s posted an ad on Craigslist—alongside the porno  stuff and fly-by-night business opportunities, no doubt—listing the price for the big bovine at $6,000, but with restrictions requiring that Bullet be allowed to interact with people, pretty much as he does now.  No burgers.  Good luck with that!  The family  claims that the bison is tame and housebroken.  And what size litterbox would that require?  Who gets to empty that one?  How often?  Or does he just go to the door and bellow when he wants to go out?  Better make sure that he’s all settled for the night or it could be a very rude awakening at 2 a.m. when you’re thinking that one more chorus of “Home, Home on the Range” was not what you were dreaming about.  Tell the buffalo to roam somewhere else.

She does say that Bullet is used to being around people but he should never be left alone inside the house or with children….  Or in a china shop?

Other animals in the news include :

Thousands of tiny red crabs that have been washed up on beaches in Orange County, California—also Laguna Beach.  It’s apparently courtesy of El Nino, the weather phenomenon which has screwed us all over the past year or so—the warmth in January, the snow in May, the storms in the south and the prairie states—the list goes on.  Usually these little guys are farther south, off Baja California but  El Nino currents have brought them up to plague the surfers and swimmers.  Can’t even eat them, apparently, because they’ve been affected by the pollution that we keep dumping, willy-nilly, into the oceans.

Not quite so pelagic (of or relating to life in the open sea) is the story about the million or so—after a bowlful, who’s counting?—goldfish and minnows which were dumped into a lake—Tempe Town Lake, near Phoenix.  The point of this transport of  the shiny guys all of the way from Arkansas by truck, was that they would serve as a natural insect control by devouring midge flies’ larvae at the bottom of the lake.  They’ll also probably wind up being snacks for the bigger fish already in the lake—bass and carp.  Would that be not-quite cannibalism, since goldfish are just smaller versions of the rather large carp family, domesticated in China ages ago?  This is a man-made lake which was drained earlier this year to replace a dam at its west end but it ‘s open now.

Picture the goldfish swimming about after being dumped, frolicking in the expanse of water, when all of a sudden they hit a concrete barrier and fracture their little fins.  What do they say?  Dam!