“LITTLE MAN ON THE COUCH”…On Springtime, Icons & Levitation

The chipmunks are coming. The chipmunks are coming.

TP: Do I note a bit of a bounce in your step today, Little?

LM: I believe you do, doc. It is April, you know.

TP: Yes, the greening of spring has begun.

LM: And the chipmunks will soon be on the run!

TP: Hmm. Looking forward to the chase, are you?

LM: The chase, the culinary rewards and, of course, going for a new personal best. You know, last fall, I had two (count ‘em) hat trick days…three chippies captured on the same day and carefully laid out for dad’s admiration. The old guy was downright giddy about it. Imagine what he’d do if I hit a foursome?

TP: Well, good luck with that. But I’d keep that trick under your hat unless you want to alienate that “Snow White” lady friend of yours. I recall getting a concerned letter from her after she read about your hunting escapades last year.  Asked if I was running some sort of Hannibal Lecter apprenticeship here.

LM: Yeh, she’s a bit over the top, that one. Fails to acknowledge the beneficial exercise involved for yours truly, and that we only have about two hundred of the little Chip & Dales running around the property. Somebody’s gotta cull the herd.

TP: Yes, well, just sayin’. Anyway, how was Easter?

LM: Pretty good, but I can’t help wondering how the rabbits got that gig. I mean, Easter’s about religion, candy, and eggs. What do rabbits have to do with any of that? Still, each year, everybody hops down the bunny trail. Kittens are just as cute and bouncy. And you know I could do a What’s up, doc? as good as that carrot-chompin’ Bugs Dummy character.

TP: Is that what bugs, sorry, bothers you? That cats don’t have an iconic role model?

LM: Icons? We’ve got my boy, Garfield. He’s cool.  But Sylvester–always getting outwitted by a bird named Tweety. Tweety!!! And Tom, who’s been chasing the same stupid mouse for, what, 75 years. Loser. And that Dr. Seuss—best he could come up with was to put a cat in a floppy hat, spoutin’ rhymes? Ugh. Yeah, I think we’re a little thin for icons. So it goes.

TP:  So it does. Meanwhile, how are things with your mom? You been showin’ her the love?

LM: Yeah, had to. She just had one of those big birthdays. You know, the ones with a zero at the end? Said it depressed her. Frankly, I think it depressed dad more. He kept wandering around the house mumbling about how he never thought he’d be married to someone that old. They partied their way through it though.

TP: Good. How about Curly? Any news there?

LM: Oh, you’ll love this. So about a month ago, we get a message from his mother—you know, the tomato thrower and all-around rabble-rouser from mom’s most recent estrogen encounter group?

TP: I remember.

LM: Right. So here’s the message: I might be getting a cat that levitates. How cool is that?

TP: Levitates.

LM: Yeah, as in possessed. The message goes on to say that the cat’s feral (duh), about a year old, and “levitates, swats, and tries to bite.” Didn’t say anything about throwing up pea soup or having an aversion to religious articles, but those blanks are easily enough filled in with some imagination. Anyway, Curly’s mom thinks this would be “cool.” I mean, doc, as you well know, I am no great fan of Curly, but that little stooge already has enough on his plate, what with all the dogs out there and another orange cat named after a Jedi Master. Now this? I feel for the kid.

TP: I think it’s good that you can show feelings for the youngster.  Feral cats can be pretty wild.

LM: Wild! I’ll say. Remember last summer when that one set up shop in our back shed and dad had to catch him in the cage? Did I ever tell you the rest of that story?

TP: I don’t think so.

LM: Listen up. So dad catches this wildling and he and mom transport him to the vet to be checked out before handing him over to some cat whisperer woman who thinks she’s gonna house train him. (Right.) Well, the wildling sits all nice and quiet in the cage on the ride to the vet, where mom and dad are directed to a small exam room to wait for a tech. When the tech comes in, mom and dad explain the situation and they all debate what to do. Meanwhile, the wildling is maintaining his Dr. Jekyll persona, building false confidence that he’s been reformed by sitting in this cage for, what, one stinking hour!? The dopey tech buys it and finally says, OK, let’s open the cage and have a look at him.

TP: Not good.

LM: Not good at all. Bear in mind, the three of them—mom, dad, and the tech—are in a room the size of a small bathroom. No place to hide from, you know who, Mr. Hyde, who takes a few cautious steps outside the cage before putting himself into hyper gear to start climbing the walls—literally scaling one wall, jumping to another, back down to the floor, up onto the metal exam table, claws grasping for anything and everything, even the ceiling tiles at one point. Meanwhile, the three idiot adults (no offense to my parents, but what the hell were they thinking…) are covering up like they were in a bat cave. Dad, at one point, leans down to see that the cage door is still open, presumably hoping that Dr. Jekyll will miraculously turn himself back in. Just as dad is rising back up a little, he comes face-to-face with Hyde who has just metallically screeched to a temporary landing on the exam table and takes a ferocious swat at dad’s head.

TP: Close call?

LM: VERY close. Dad immediately fell back and grabbed his nose in hopes it remained where he last blew it.

TP: Crazy.

LM: Even crazier when the tech then escaped out the door to get help, leaving mom and dad in a serious WTF state. A couple minutes later, two techs came back with a blanket and were able to corral the wildling back into the cage.

TP: Sort of takes “levitation” out of the cool category.

LM: Doesn’t it?

TP: Hey, Little, before I forget…what’s the latest on your mom’s “Show Your Soft Side” animal abuse thing?

LM: Going great. They just made it a stand-alone non-profit, whatever that means. She and her two musketeer partners are thrilled. Anyway, with baseball season about to kick in, a couple more of the Orioles are scheduled for photo shoots with their pets soon, startin’ with Mr. Buck, the manager. Adam Jones and Matt Wieters are already Softies, you know. I like that Wieters guy…got a cat almost as rakishly handsome as me…a bit less husky, but a fine looking young fellow nonetheless…the cat, not the catcher.

TP: Got it.

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