Monday, October 31, 2005

The Penile Chronicles, Chapter Two

October 30, 2005

I just woke up to find myself in a pair of woman's shorts.

Normally, I'd find that to be an exciting way to start a Sunday morning, wondering how I could find myself in such a situation. However, just as the air from that first crisp autumn morning hits you in the face and makes you realize the dreams of the summer have passed, I had a similar wave of reality when I recognized that just outside of the woman's shorts was a hard canvas couch.

I looked around and found myself in the familiar settings of Ray's friend Scott's apartment. Two blankets were placed over the rest of Ray's body, and, other than being incredibly confused, I suspected everything had gone according to plan. But how in the hell did I end up in women's clothing...especially at Scott's place, which has proven to be akin to the House of Usher to members of the Fairer Sex?

I looked around my living space to see if there was any indication that I'd been used the night before, and I saw nothing. Andy, the twins and I were clean as a whistle.

What could have happened last night to encase me in women's gym shorts?

I started talking to the Other Head, and see if he had any insight into the events of the previous evening. Now, normally, he and I don't often see eye-to-eye on things - it seems we often have two seperate agendas when it comes to women. But, seeing as how I was ensconced in a strange woman's garments miles away from a woman, I was definitely curious. I knew he knew the answer. The trick was getting him to tell the tale.

He was surprisingly gabby, at first. The Other Head told me about the Halloween party the night before in Columbia. Now, if there's one thing Other Head and I agree with is our mutual dislike of Columbia. He gets lost easily there - curved roads, subdivisions, poor signage, stupid street names - and the only girls' Ray's ever dated there were just not it. I remember this one girl who swore up and down that she was really cool, and she showed up on the date wearing - I'm not making this up - a prom dress. Poofy shoulders, ruffles. See, that'd be cool if we were in high school and it was actually a prom, but we were 30 and in Annapolis and eating crabcakes. Not exactly a prom setting. She wasn't wearing it ironically, either. She said she'd never been to Annapolis before and wanted to dress up...*yawn*

Anyway, where was I? Gawd, I'm so easily distracted sometimes. So, I was talking to the Other Head, and he mentioned the Halloween Party, and how we got dressed up. That's when I remembered the pain.

See, Ray and the Other Head got the brilliant idea of dressing up as Ben Stiller's character White Goodman in "Dodgeball." Funny movie - hell, I laughed at it, and am ALWAYS a fan of Mrs. Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor. So, I wasn't mad when Ray suggested the costume idea - wearing the body armour outfits they wore in the Dodgeball tournament itself. Ray carefully constructed the costume using purple Under Armour and used rollerblading pads to simulate the shoulder pads.
It was a good theory...until it came time for the pants.

Ray's about 5'9", and usually weighs 200 pounds. He's a solidly built dude. I spend most of my days looking at his thighs, and they appear to be a rather muscular set. My neighbor in the back, Andy, has two huge yards which seem to garner more attention than they deserve, IMHO. I mean, they're buttcheeks, people. Two huge wads of flesh and muscle that poop comes out the middle of. *I'm* the one who does all the real work, people! *I* should be the star, not some, some ASS...

Anyway, he bought a pair of XL football tights to complete the costume. We had some difficulty getting them over the thighs and rump, but, once on, I was cramped, but comfortable. Ray trotted out the ensemble at the party on Saturday night.

First off - it was a little colder than we expected, and the thin Under Armour simply wasn't enough to keep Ray's upper body warm. The football pants were doing their job for the most part, though the legs were complaining about a lack of warm blood going to the feet. I figure they were just being wimpy.

The party itself was fun. One dude dressed as a mad scientist, and gave Ray a couple of shots of Belvedere vodka. Lots of women seemed enamoured over Andy's turf in the black tights, but I'm sure I caught my share of glances, too. The football pants, while tight, did give me a certain profile, that's for sure.

However, towards the end of the night, I started feeling lousy. It could have been the alcohol, or perhaps it was an overdose of sweet foods at the party (we LOVED Leilani's apple pie), but I started feeling dizzy. The legs - the knees especially - which had been griping for hours, were being joined in the complaints by the stomach, the feet and, soon, even life-of-the-party Andy. What was going on...?

All I remember was wanting to sleep...

And then waking up.

I asked the Other Head if he was hung over - a charge he vigourously denied. I asked other parts of Ray's body what their status was. The knees told me they were shot, and the thighs were in poor shape. The stomach was ready to revolt, but not because of too much alcohol. Surely something was amiss.

It was when I glanced a look at Ray's costume that all things became clear. The Under Armour was an Adult Medium - a little tight, but not too bad. However, the label on the pants stuck out to me like a beacon in a storm. The size said "XL" alright... CHILDREN'S XL!!! Ray had bought and worn clothes that were literally made for somebody 100 pounds lighter!

Excited by the news, I stood up and looked at my friends. I wanted to shout out the news that Ray was bad at shopping, contrary to all that we had held to be true. Ray and the rest of his body had gone back to sleep, but the red dent in Ray's stomach proved to me that my guess was right.

Hopefully Ray won't get the brilliant idea of wearing Underroos next year. I gotta make it thought this life, you know?

The shorts were from our friend Leilani, who apparently took pity on our situation and donated the shorts so Ray wouldn't have to fall asleep in pain. How sweet! Nice pie AND a good heart. What more do you need? A good friend indeed.

In all, no harm done, other than Lefty has a seam mark where his...uh...what...I guess where his hair would be. I got over the lingering soreness, though I'm not sure why Ray'd put me in such a situation. I thought he and I were friends. I'll get over it, though.

Stomach still hates Ray, and Andy...well, that's just Andy being Andy.

Still...Children's XL...what a dick!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Penile Chronicles, Chapter One

January, 2003

FOR A TIME, the hardest parts of my existence were the nightmares. They came, like clockwork, every night at approximately 1:30 AM. At least, I think it was 1:30 AM; it was hard to see the dim glow of the clock radio from under the blankets and boxer shorts. But, on those rare occasions when I could tell the time, I think it was 1:30 AM.

I would be walking down the street - Anystreet, U.S.A. - with Ray smiling from above. I was free of the bounds of the oppressive underwear, and was hanging with my clean-shaven friends Righty and Lefty. We were the Three Stooges, or, like three little Elvis's, more accurately, with Ray serving as our Colonel Tom Parker. We were probably coming from some adventure, like a Beatles' movie, gently poking fun at the Establishment. All was right in our world.

But then, the scenery would change. Like a bad wipe in Star Wars, the scene would change from peaceful Endor to a harsh desert scene of Tatooine. Suddenly, we were sweating, and the heat coming from the sand below was definitely having an effect on my head. I strained to look at my surroundings - everything was barren. Dry. Dead.

The noise came from our side. It was a monster - some sort of lizard with brown hair and scaly skin. We started running away, and the monster followed. It reached out after us with these long arms and these, these...paws...that wanted to rip our warm flesh from ourselves. Righty, Lefty and I could only hope that Ray's legs were strong enough to keep us from harm's way.

Then we fell. I didn't see the fall happen - I was too busy looking at Lefty and Righty curl into their hiding spot, leaving me on my own. I did see what we all tripped on - a Playskool kitchen set, of all things - and the sand was replaced by a rough carpet, and the desert was actually a living room in Pikesville, Maryland. As the blood rushed to the knee and shins, I blacked out. Hard to do in a dream, I'll grant you that, but when I came to, I looked up to see the monster had 30-weight sandpaper and was about to use it on my delicate sides.

I'd snap myself awake, begging for comfort, but unable to find any. The nightmare was so real, so tangible, it couldn't be imagination only, could it? Surely something was causing my mental anguish. I tired to start a conversation with Righty - he's the sensitive one of the twins - but he was sleeping solidly. What I wouldn't give for rest like that...

These nightmares became more real with the passing nights. I dreaded sleep. I'd pester Ray to stay awake. "Just one more website, Ray!" or "Come on, let's play XBox! I'll let you win, dammit!" or "What's on cable, ole' pal?" but when Ray would hit the mattress, I knew I had no more begging for the night.

The restlessness took a toll on relations with my neighbors. Lefty and Righty stopped talking to me, and Andy, the ass who lives behind us, started talking too much. Loud mouth, and the worst breath. Still, not being able to talk to Righty hurt. I always counted on him. He was my rock, and, he was ignoring me.

I started talking to a doctor. She told me I wasn't getting enough exercise, and I could see her point. However, she pointed out that I couldn't work out in her gym, and that nobody works out in her gym. Hmph. She didn't need to be so snobby about it. I don't need to hang out at the most popular club in town, but not sure if I want to go to a club with nobody dancing.

I met a friendly waitress in Annapolis, and while she wasn't able to exorcise the demons, it was nice hearing kind words. She suggested, rather sweetly, that I needed help. With nowhere else to turn, and still being shunned by Righty, I went into therapy.

Through group therapy, I was told I'd never function if I couldn't get these dreams out of my mind. One solution was proposed to me as initially ridiculous, but it seemed like it might be effective. I was told to remember as much I could about a harrowing experience. The idea was that these dreams were being triggered by some sort of trauma, or, even a near-death experience.

After a deep-tissue massage, I went into a quiet, reflective mood, and my mind recalled the events of the evening these nightmares started.

We all had been out dancing with our friend John Enoch, a young, recently-divorced writer from Baltimore. We'd been out at Rascal's, a nightclub in Towson, Maryland. I remember being attracted to a cute blonde, but she was more interested in the emotionally-fragile Enoch. I tucked my pride into my foreskin vest and played the part of the wingman, as once again I was the Goose to Enoch's Maverick. The blonde's friend wasn't awful on first glance, though an awful highlighting job on a lousy haircut firmly rooted the young lady into a swamp of mediocrity. The hair would have worked on an Adam Ant impersonator - I may be a dick, but I have standards. I wasn't interested, but, duty calls, and I knew John needed me if he would have a successful mission. Ray danced with the friend. Ray was polite, Ray was sociable. I wasn't interested, though. I can't emphasize this enough. I didn't show one throb of interest. She didn't even know I had a pulse.

So, back to Pikesville we went, the whole lot of us, to the townhome of the woman with the lousy hair. We watched a movie in the living room, and as I was plopped down into a comfy chair, a TinkerToy poked Andy pretty hard. He's an ass, but the TinkerToy didn't need to be so rude. I quickly summized that this woman had kids, though I could hear none of the tell-tale whining indicative of children.

John and the cute young blonde went downstairs - to do what, I could only imagine. At that point, the friend looked at Ray and Ray's Pants, so I could safely assume she was looking for a piece of me, too. I was SO not into this right now - I really just wanted to go home. I didn't want to work out for anybody, especially one with a hair cut and highlights that resembled wing tip shoes.

She sauntered over to the comfy chair (I could see this through a strategic opening in the boxer shorts and the light allowed through the pant zipper's teeth) and started rubbing Ray's shoulders. According to the internal memo I got from the shoulders, she had the grip of a Teamster. She kissed the back of his neck, and, according to the me-mail I got, her lips were dry. Based on the information I was being provided, my services would not be needed, and I couldn't have been happier.

Ray got out of the chair and mumbled something about getting some water. He went into the kitchen, the whole time using our combined brain to figure a way out of this. His friend was in the basement, hooking up with some much-needed post-divorce lovin', and he was trying to avoid what could easily become a desperate, awkward situation.

He came back with two glasses, and saw that the woman had taken her (admittedly) cute sweater off and was now wearing a camisole. Again, from my vantage point, I saw this and really wished she'd have left the sweater on. Ray saw a spare room, and asked what was in there, trying to avoid from having to go anywhere near the 50% topless woman.

"That's the boys' playroom," she replied.

"Oh," Ray responded. "How many boys do you have?" He saw the PlaySkool kitchen set in the corner.

She sauntered over "Well, my the younger is 6, and the oldest is 12."

"12?" Ray questioned.

"Yeah, I had him when I was young and dumb. I was barely 15 at the time I had him."

Ray gulped. Hopefully the PlaySkool set was for the younger child.

She put his arm around his shoulders. Once again, his shoulders sent me the message that this was definitely not something to be pleased about.

"Where are your boys?" asked Ray.

"With their father, my ex-husband," she said. Wispering, she added "We can be as loud as we want."

Another body shudder confirmed my fear that Ray was stuck in a situation where I must fight my general nature, along with Righty and Lefty, to avoid doing ANYTHING to get into a situation where I could see the light of day, or, in this case, the dark of the boy's play room.

That's when the pain began.

I felt it, and I was a good foot or so away. She touched Ray's hand with her palm, and ran it down the length of his arm. The pain sent a shock through his arm and straight into the spinal cord. It was searing, like being burned unexpectedly on a stove, or getting a shock from a lousy electric outlet. Ray looked down at his arm; it had turned red.

"You're revved up, aren't you?" the woman asked toyingly, thinking that I was somehow getting aroused by pain (which, trust me, I simply ain't into. After growing up getting smacked around by baseballs, bicycle seats, toddlers and bad follow-through on a tennis serve, I don't need more pain). I looked down to see Righty and Lefty retreat to their hiding spot. Andy recoiled in fear.

"Um, uh..." Ray stammered out. His arm was red - his arm was sending me messages like 12 year old girls with cell phones - and I could tell his arm was ready to chew itself off. Like so many times before and since, I had to do the thinking for him, but this time, to AVOID sex, but yet, not blow things for John downstairs.

She grabbed Andy. Good for my neighbor that Ray was wearing thick pants, but those pants were touched with the acid hands. They'd be ritually burned later.

Being as close to the Freudian concept of the id as possible, I looked for Ray's basic needs at the time. He was fed, he had clothes, he had water. He had shelter. What he didn't have was a good job. However, he had been talking to a phone company in Michigan about a job, and dammit, it's all I had to work with!

"I'm not sure if this is a good idea," said Ray, suprising himself.

"Huh?" she asked, grabbing Andy again, and slowly reaching towards me and the twins.

More forcefully, Ray repeated his previous statement, and added "I'm going to Michigan for a job interview on Monday. I'm leaving tomorrow morning, and, if I get the job, I'll be moving there in a couple of weeks. I sure don't want to start something that would have to end so soon."

The woman stopped approaching me with her burning hands, but instead looked up at Ray. "Why Michigan?"

I let Ray's brain catch up on this. "See, I work in a specialized field. Not many places around here need somebody like me, so I've got to go where the jobs are. Right now, they're almost 1000 miles away."

She turned away, and started crying softly on the couch. "Right when I meet a guy who I think I have a future with, he's leaving! What the hell?"

I was stunned by that comment. I mean, I'm a dick, but I've NEVER thought about having a long-term relationship with somebody I just met. Psycho! I felt the need to see if her decomposing mother was dressed up in a rocking chair.

After a few minutes, she said "You really are special, Ray. You could have done me all night and just left without a qualm in the world, but, you didn't. You're a good guy for not leading me on." She kissed Ray's cheek with her dry lips.

John came up a few moments later, with a big grin on his face. He and the blonde had been downstairs for over an hour (note to self, must get a cockring with a clock in it), and had gotten it on twice. Bully for him. The girl came up a second later, and saw her friend on the couch with red eyes, and put her arm around her. She told the blonde "He's a good guy right there, he really is. I can't believe he's moving to Michigan, though."

Ray shot John a quick eye flare to make sure John didn't even question this news, but, when John saw the awful highlights in a better lighting situation than the bar, he figured it out. *I* had done the thinking for both of us, and had done well.

I was a happy dick for coming through in the pinch like that.

As we said our goodbyes, John and Ray decided to go stop at a diner. John asked if the girls wanted to go along, but they remained. The blonde gave John a big hug, and the woman got off the couch and gave John a hug, and squeezed his arm. The blonde gave Ray a hug, too, and the woman gave him a hug and a lingering look.

On the way to the car, John asked Ray "You didn't get a handjob from her, did you? Her hands were rough!" Ray said "I noticed, and no, I didn't. I didn't want her to touch me" and he showed John the red marks on his arm.

As we got to the car, the woman came out of her house and ran toward us. John had left his phone downstairs, and she gave it back to us. As she walked away, I could see her green skirt through my denim and zipper prison. Once I got a good look at it, she had a nice ass...

The Penile Chronicles, Introduction

Inspired by Edward in Los Angeles, who just had his book "The Male Thing Explained" published, I have decided to write a series of stories about My Male Thing - my penis.

Now, for those of you who have heard, my penis has lived a life of ups and downs; he has been in the hottest clubs, and down and out with only a couple of nutty friends and an asshole neighbor. He has had some interesting tales in his 32 years on this planet. Indeed, a hard knock life - used as a glorified door stop for the first 17 years, only to be shown brief episodes of daylight, only to be bound and gagged with a form of a garbage bag tied around his head, shoved into smelly, dark caves, and forced to do push-ups until throwing up, my penis has a very gripping tale to tell.

So, dear Reader, please view these stories for what they are - A Dick's Tale. One Cock's Story. A Percy Who Walks Amongst Us. For some, they will be entertaining; for others, a warning. In the end, it will simply be a way for my penis to get some things off his chest, as it were, and hopefully bring a smile to the readers' collective soul.

Here ends this introduction, and now, on to the tale.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Adieu, mon chat - Squeaky 2001 - 2005

Six weeks ago, my little white cat Squeaky bolted out of my apartment in Virginia and off into the woods nearby. He's been a mostly- outdoor cat, and he was hard to contain in both Baltimore and Edgewater. He'd been doing pretty well in Virginia, but, like his old man, that old scent of wanderlust kicks in, and once you catch a whiff, it's time to go.

So, Squeaky went.

Usually, he'd stay away for a day or two at a time; sometimes he'd be gone for a week. But this is now week number six, and nobody in my neighborhood has seen my little buddy. He's a vocal thing, too, so, I'm sure somebody would have heard him by now.

To make matters worse, there's a small white stray cat in my neighborhood who looks like Squeaky. It's not him, but it looks like him. Everytime I see Fake Squeaky, I get excited, run up to him, and then see his face. It's not Squeaky. I've seen Fake Squeaky four times, and each time, I think it's my cat. Each time, I look away dissapointed.

Damn Fake Squeaky.

I'm not sad for Squeaky, though. I mean, I'd hate for him to be suffering, or to be caught by mean kids, or trapped someplace he can't escape. That would bother me. But he lived his life with spirit and attitude. He did more in his four years with me than most humans, let alone pets.
I met the cat in the spring of 2001. My mother had picked him up from a litter of kittens that were being given away in front of a local shopping center. This cat was to be a gift for my uncle Larry, who had always wanted a white cat with blue eyes. I had been cat-stting Larry's cat Dawg at my rowhome in Baltimore. Dawg, also an outdoor cat, jumped to the top of my backyard fence, nearly seven feet up, and then jumped down the other side. My fence was seven feet on my side, about 20 on the other. Don't think he expected that. Once Dawg landed, he flipped out, freaked out and darted away. I put up fliers for the missing cat, checked the pound, SPCA, but nobody ever found Dawg. Shame, too. Dawg was a good cat.

I guess the pull of the outdoors must be strong for a cat like that. I can't imagine leaving a warm house with food and water to go bolting off into a strange city. Then again, I can't imagine chasing mice and crapping into sand.

Larry did not want the kitten, and, being as how I had the room, and "lost" Dawg, I took in the fuzzball. What a cute little thing, too! Big blue eyes, and walked out of its cardboard box of a cage to check me out. This kitten knew no fear. Five minutes in, and he was giving me the once over, like a drill instructor over a group of fresh-faced recruits.

I remember trying to figure out what to name my new pet. Snowball seemed so common, and I didn't want to give the cat a dumb name. Big blue eyes - maybe Frank is a good name. I work with telecom and networking stuff, and ethernet cable is called Cat Five. So, Five would be a cool name. Then I heard the worst meow in my life. Sounded like a mouse trying to hump a dog's chew toy. Or a child's toy in desperate need of WD-40. The sound came from the little kitten's mouth.

Thus, the feline was dubbed "Squeaky."

Squeaky's first few months were uneventful. Cat Hospital of Towson gave him a checkup, and said "She's a good, healthy little girl." So, I was glad Squeaky was a gender non-specific name. I hadn't stared at my cat's genitals, but trusted that if the vet says it's a girl cat, it's a girl cat. The rest of the time was teaching the kitten to interact with Kramer, the Big Dumb Dog. Squeaky didn't take any gruff from the ever-playful canine, and would bat on his head with a rapid-fire paw combo. That was the only sign of violence from the feline, other than a hatred for the ceiling fans' pullchains.

At night, Squeaky would sleep with her little head on my hand.

One night, in September, a sewer rat was hanging out on S. Port Street in Baltimore, where my happy pet mini-menagerie resided. Kramer was barking his tail off at the vermin intruder across the street, and I figured he'd scare the rat away. So, I opened the door to let Kramer out. Instead, out dashed Squeaky, making a beeline for the rat. I screamed for Squeaky to come back, but it was too late. The kitten was about to be killed by the street-hardened Baltimore sewer rat. I expected the rat to pull a knife on the cat, or pull out a Glock and bust a cap in her ass. I've seen Baltimore city sewer rats rob people. They carry pagers. Not wanting to get between a rat and a cat, I waited for the fight to end with Kramer at my side, inside. I heard the most awful sounds, the sounds of an animal in pain, and then, of an animal dying. I thought of where I'd bury the cat. My neighbors poked their head out their doors to hear the sounds of death.

The cat came back to the door about 30 agonizing seconds later, blood and fur everywhere. Squeaky had had enough. I picked the kitten up with my baseball glove and put the little thing into the tub to clean and disinfect. I was sure I'd be running to the emergency vet clinic in North Baltimore.

Washing away the blood was easy enough, and I checked out the white fur for any open wounds. Nothing. The rat's claws escaped the cat. I looked for puncture wounds, to see if the rat took a bite. Nope. All the blood and guts belonged to the rat. The cat was spic-and-span.

Squeaky lunged at the rat Wolverine-style - claws drawn out, going right for the face. Squeaky's paws and claws were ripping apart the flesh of the rat before he even had a chance to fight back. That awful noise was the sound of a rat dying, and, one kitten's rage.

Once Squeaky the Girl Kitten proved her mettle against the sewer rat, she was something of a celebrity on S. Port Street. "Is that the kitten who killed that mouse?" asked one new member of the neighborhood. "No, killed the rat" another would correct. Mike, the old-time Balmer, Merlin, resident next door, delighted in telling and retelling the tale of Squeaky and the Sewer Rat at the neighborhood bars. Each time, Squeaky got smaller and the rat got bigger.

By now, that cat probably killed that rat in utero.

Squeaky's next big adventure occured in October. Once proving herself to be a rat killer of renown, she decided that the outdoors was the place to be. There were millions of rats to be killed in Baltimore outside, not so many inside. So, Squeaky, Defender of Port Street, Eliminator of Vermin, would bolt outside whenever possible. Usually I'd snag her within a few seconds (I'm not a teenager anymore, but I am fleet), or sometimes a minute. I secured the back yard and allowed her to walk out there, under supervision, of course. I didn't want to have a bunch of Baltimore city sewer rats pull a gangland beating on Squeaky because she took out a made rat.

The backyard was fine...until she too got to the fence. The same fence Dawg jumped over. I froze for a second as the cat sat perched, looking at me with those big blue eyes. I didn't want to move quickly for fear of startling the kitten, and having Squeaky end up in the same world as Dawg...where ever that was.

Squeaky didn't jump backwards, but forwards, towards me. Her little paw was caught between the cinder blocks of the wall, stuck near the mortar. Her momentum carried her forward, and with the paw jammed, she twisted and torqued wildly to the concrete below. She landed on her hip, and ran into the house. I figured the cat just hurt it's tailbone, a la Deputy Dawg and Muskie.

Except the cat limped all night, and simply rest on the other side of the hip. I stayed with Squeaky all night, giving the little thing aspirin and softly petting her ears. I knew she was in a lot of pain. Her leg just flopped around. Obviously, it was broken, and pretty badly. The emergency vet was 20 miles away, and booked solid. I doubted the cat would tolerate a long car ride, and the clinic around the corner would be open in a few hours. Hopefully the aspirin would hold.

That morning was Squeaky's great rebirth, if you will. I've heard stories of folks who have gone through massive surgeries, from transplants to open heart procedures to sex-change operations, and they call the it a time for a new start, a new beginning. This is what happened at Eastern Vetinary Clinic.

VET TECH - So, what happened to Squeaky here?
ME - Well, she fell pretty awkwardly on her hip last night, and has been limping since.
VET TECH - He's definitely favoring that leg, that's for sure. He seems ok with the pain, though.
ME (noticing shift in gender) - Yeah, I gave HER plenty of aspirin last night, well, at least, what I thought would be appropriate for an eight-pound kitten. Two pills over the eight hours.
VET TECH - That's about right, I'd reckon. (TO CAT) How you feeling lil' fella?
ME - I'd imagine she's feeling pretty crappy. And, why do you keep calling Squeaky with male terms?
VET TECH - I was going to ask why you were doing the same with female terms.
ME - Huh? Squeaky's a girl cat. (RAY NOTE - I think girl cat is the technical term)
VET TECH - Nope. Squeaky's definitely male.
ME - Wha...?

The vet tech pointed out two impossibly small little testicles. They looked like fuzzy white tic-tacs. I had no idea.

VET TECH - See? Boy cat parts, plain as day.
ME - Uh, not very big, are they?
VET TECH - No, not on him. But they're there. You never noticed before?
ME - Well, I never stared much at my cat's privates, to be honest.

So, poor Squeaky the Cat became Squeaky the Cat - thank God I chose a gender non-specific name.

Squeaky's leg was actually a broken hip joint. The bone between a cat's pelvis and it's hind leg actually breaks fairly often. With most cats, a quick surgery clears out the broken bone, and the cat grows a fiberous mass, like a strong ligament/tendon combination in it's place. Femoral Head Obstectomy. I had no idea cats could do such things.

Oh, and Squeaky also got neutered that day. Poor little critter. He spent about 5 hours of his life really being a boy cat. Amazed the lil' bastard never put on a dress around me in spite.

His recovery was pretty easy, and the vet's prediction that he'd be back to his/her old tricks in a matter of weeks proved spot-on. While he always walked with a slight favor on that affected foot, he never seemed in pain and ran as fast, if not faster, than before. Bionic Kitten. The Six Million Dollar Kitten. RoboKitten was my favorite.

RoboKitten became RoboCat in 2002, and I went from overpaid telecom start-up sales engineer to unemployed. I cashed out my 401k, and headed west. A good roadtrip is what I needed to clear my mind. But, I didn't want to kennel Squeaky for 3 weeks or so. Mom wasn't a huge fan of boarding a cat. Squeaky didn't interact well with other cats, so, I couldn't have one of my friends with cats house him.

So, Squeaky went with me.

His first exceedingly long trip in a car went well. He was never bad in a car anyway, and I had trained him with small rides to stores and shops so that he'd be used to longer trips. He'd get a treat - a new toy, pit beef, catnip - and he began to really enjoy rides. He even knew "bye-byes" - the term I used on the dogs to symbolize a ride. Now, Squeaky knew to get excited on a ride.

We left on March 15, 2002, at 6:15pm. We headed west, with all sorts of clothing, food, catnip, litter pan, special destinky litter and camera equipment. We got caught up in road construction in Western MD, and his little ears popped with the change in atmospheric pressure. He slept about 85% of the way, more intent to crap in his litter box or stare at me than the scenery around him. A day later, he got to see my old haunts in Des Moines, Iowa. The day after that, he saw his first blizzard in Nebraska. Later that day, his (and my) first buffalo. That afternoon, his first Rocky Mountain sunset outside of Cheyanne, Wyoming. That night, Denver, and the Eisenhower Tunnel. The next day - the outer rim of the Grand Canyon, and the lights of Las Vegas. We spent three days in Vegas for Doug Stanhope's wedding - an old friend from my stand-up daze - and the debauchery included within. A day after that, and Squeaky was in Los Angeles with me and my lifelong buddy Gabe.

It wasn't until the ride home a few weeks later did Squeaky get it - life on the road and on the run is fun. Somewhere in between Arizona and New Mexico, Squeaky looked out the passenger side window, and stood up on his hind legs. He stuck his head up against the glass, looking out the window. A massive mountain stood between us and the Mexican border, and he just watched it drive by. He looked at the desert around, and I'd like to think that he knew we were driving past something amazing. While I believe dogs are intuitively more responsive to human reaction than cats, I know Squeaky saw something that day - maybe some idea of what living in such an area would be like - all the snakes, desert rats, scorpions - he could tangle with. Maybe he saw the peaceful nature of the emptiness around. Maybe he viewed it as a giant litter box. Who knows? He watched that scene for 10 minutes or so before curling up for another nap, but I think he figured it out - he should have been looking around more often.

Squeaky was always an outdoor cat. He tended to view his inside time as opportunities to eat, dry off, lick his butt, take a crap in a litter pan, and to plot his next outdoor adventure. One time in 2004, his outdoor adventures got him caught in a blizzard. He decided to go outside about 6 hours before Maryland got hit with an icy storm. Not his smartest manuever. He was outside in the snow for a day before I heard a faint meow while out looking for him. I heard the sound coming from a manhole cover. I went to the garage, and got out a big metal pole to remove the manhole cover. After wrestling with that, I climbed into the icy storm drain. With my flashlight, a bit of cat food and the realization that another storm was coming, I aimed the light down a semi-crushed metal pipe. There, I saw a small little cat looking back at me. There was Squeaky, with bits of ice and snow around him. I tried to flush him out with food, and then remembered "I have a 10 foot pipe. I'll force him out. "

The cat moved 11 feet into the pipe. There went that idea.

I threw some food down there for him, and planned on retrieving him the next day. He was obviously too scared to come out now.

That night, another six inches of snow fell, and I woke up to find a snowplow had covered up the storm drain. Squeaky would have been buried! So, I dug out the snow, removed the cover with my big black pole (heheheh) and looked for Squeaky. No sign of him, though.

I figured four days later, after freezing weather and no sign of his paws in the snow that he was gone for good. I knew he was a tough cat, but no house cat survive sub-20 degree weather, right?

I was wrong. Three days after resigning myself to his demise, I saw cat prints coming out of the storm drain. I chased them around the house until I got to the ledge by the basement steps. There was Squeaky. Cold, dirty, but otherwise stable. He went inside, got some water, and killed a field mouse in the basement.

Good kitty!

He liked living the inside/outside life. He was friendly when he needed to be, insistent on getting fed, and delighted to be scratched behind the ears on occasion. Otherwise, he wanted out. Mice, birds, moles, small lizards, frogs, toads - Squeaky killed them all.

I guess coming to Virginia was a bad idea. A few months ago, he'd been in a hell of a fight with another cat in my old neighborhood in Maryland. Mom had been keeping him since she needed a good mouser, and, secretly, the company of the cat. But, this new cat in the neighborhood was stronger and faster than Squeaky. He'd come back inside with scratches on his head, paws, back. When I saw the scratches on his neck, I realized this other cat was trying to kill Squeaky. So, I made the brilliant move of bringing him to Virginia for a couple of weeks. Let him calm down, get healed, get cleaned up, and maybe not want to get into scraps with this other cat.

And he was good for a while. He seemed to enjoy my roommate's cats, which stunned me, and curling up with me in bed, like he did was he was a kitten. All was right in our little world.

Until he meowed loud enough for the entire neighborhood to hear. He wanted out NOW!

That was six weeks ago. Nobody's sen hide nor hair of him since. Other than sightings of the Fake Squeaky, the SPCA and Animal Shelters haven't seen him, and the two calls from folks in my neighborhood were identifying the Fake Squeaky.

So, goodbye, my little friend. You were the best cat I ever owned. That you were only the second cat I ever owned is secondary. You were a good little buddy, and I miss you terribly. I hope you've found a new place to live and you're treated well.

And that you'll remember the mountains.


Friday, October 14, 2005

Why I haven't posted in a while...

1) Cat
2) Girlfriend (or sudden lack thereof)
3) Lost

I am ADDICTED to that goddanged show!!! Oh my Lord, I know I'm late to the party, but, I'll drink enough to catch up!