Monday, I told you a little about our boy, Leo.
So many of you responded with stories of your beloved pets. Thanks for that. One of our friends, Laurie of Adventures of Writing blog, sent me an email and photo with his story. I’d like to lead off Go Ask Daddy with it.
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He slept on top of the fridge in summer and on the floor in front of the fire in winter. Some nights when the wind blew hard and the tin roof rattled he would leap onto the end of the bed. He wasn’t scared, I think he wanted to make sure we were okay.
He came into the world in our laundry in 1986 and ended up the only survivor of six. His mother was a Himalayan chocolate point Persian. A real lady, that is until she met his father and showed him a good time in the gutter in front of the house. I’d read the novel Rambo and decided that would be his name and he lived up to it in spades.
When he didn’t like being with us he would go across the road and spend a day or so under the house opposite. We lived in suburbia then and he made sure he knew every household within the block. Who could resist those deep eyes and thick grey hair a la Russian Blue?
I ran over him in my jeep when he was six months old and I was devastated. The Vet said he shouldn’t have survived but he did. He never fought me when I took him home, his lungs had protruded from his mouth and now they were back in place. Even though I’d hurt him, I think he knew it was an accident.
My life was in a downturn at the time and he would come and sit next to me on the front steps. He’d rub against my side, wait for the scratch behind his ears then sit quietly. I’d talk to him, then he’d purr now and then.
When his therapy session ended he’d wander off.
Rambo was a mouser par excellence. We moved to the country when I left the police and settled in an old farmhouse. He’d found his niche. He didn’t wander off, no he hunted and brought dozens of mice back to the house so we could admire them.
We had to watch him eat them, then he’d wash his face and strut away to lie down in the barn. When he wasn’t charming us with his prowess and company he spent time sleeping on the fridge. He’d nestle among the stuff that found it’s way there and if you didn’t pay him any attention, then he’d flick things off.
We never had a snake in the yard, he’d catch them and bring them into our bedroom and let them go. He brought a 4-foot brown snake in one evening (Worlds 2nd most venomous land snake) and jumped on the bed with it. It slithered onto the floor, the wife screamed and he thought it strange that we didn’t applaud him.
After several crunching sounds from under the bed, we knew the snake was dead. He gave cuddles until he felt you’d had enough and then bound away. We moved twice after that and ended up back in the suburbs, he wasn’t impressed and sat under the house opposite for a week before coming home.
I’m sure he thought we’d suffered enough. He settled and became the neighborhood favorite. The last year of his life he began to lose weight and slowed a little. He slept more and stayed close.
My marriage was on the way out and when my wife was away for three months he became my confidant and sounding board. He sat by the fire one morning and I saw that he was in great pain, he was 18 years old now. I picked him up and he cried, I knew what had to be done.
I never thought that his going would affect me so much, even as I write this the tears are flowing. I still miss him.
Thanks Laurie. That’s a hard act to follow, mate.
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1. Will my bike work OK if it’s wet?
It should. But that’s no reason to leave it outside when it rains.
Because you’re not allowed to ride beyond the end of the road, you won’t have to worry about painted lines. They can get slick in the rain. Rain won’t immediately damage your chain, either.
When I was a kid, I was afraid it would. Your brakes might not work great when they’re wet, so take it easy. In fact, why don’t you just put your bike in the garage and come ride one on the Wii? We’ll even have snacks.
Put your bike away, first. I just put gel in my hair.
2. How many words do you have to have on your blog?
I aim for 400-600 words. I have better aim at the disc golf course, in grocery store parking lots and even at the urinal.
I tend to write … over. Right now, this post is nearly 900 words, and we still have three questions to answer! Some bloggers like the quick hit. We’re talking 250-300 words, sometimes less. A trendy thing now is the long-form post.
A long-form post goes on for more than 1,000 words. We’re almost there.
The real key in all this? Photos. And paragraphs. Lots of paragraphs. Very rarely will you see a post with graphs bigger than three lines on this blog. I love me some white space – and I’m not talking South Charlotte. It’s a little air to breathe and read.
3. What’s the difference between a cinnamon roll and a cinnamon bun?
Every father waits for the day his child asks this question.
That’s just me? My bad.
It’s an age-old battle, one that philosophers have debated for centuries. The FDA is non-committal on the subject, and Secretary of State John Kerry famously declared in his presidential campaign in 2004 that he preferred cinnamon rolls to buns.
Then he was overheard at the NATO summit declaring his love for cinnamon rolls.
Albert Schweitzer and Aristotle were in the roll camp. Bertrand Russell and Epicurus were staunch bun men. That doesn’t sound right. Anyway, call it what you’d like. Just not something stupid, like a cinnamon snail or cinnamon scroll (these are things).
And please … daddy gets the biggest one.
4. Did you ever bicycle?
I’ve owned three bikes in my life.
One had a banana seat. One was an actual Seattle Seahawks bike, right out of the Sears catalog. The last one I had, I sold for $10 in a yard sale. Low, low price. I was going to charge $12, but it had a broken pedal.
The pedal broke just as I turned onto a busy street.
I heard a crack, then had a closeup of the pavement. I walked home and guestimated which of my internal organs might have ruptured. The Seahawks bike was so heavy I couldn’t pop a wheelie on it.
That first bike though …
My parents bought it for me at a flea market. It was bright yellow, with a banana seat that seemed 17 feet long. I rode it with my socks pulled up to my knees. It was ugly, even for the 1970s. It’s a wonder I didn’t get my ass kicked.
I didn’t know how to brake, so when it came time to stop, I’d run myself aground on our front lawn in a controlled crash. So, maybe my last ride was much like my first. It’s the cycle of life.
5. Why do punks wear a belt when their pants are saggy?
First, the cinnamon buns debate, now this?
Hippocrates and John Locke have asked the same thing. It’s a mystery of life, such as why there are 10 hot dogs in a package, but only eight hot dog rolls? (Or are they buns?) Why is Clint Black white, and Barry White was black? And why do the Pittsburgh Steelers have a logo on just one side of their helmets?
In my quest to uncover the truth, I learned the origin of saggy pants. In prison, it begins as an indicator of … um, status. (There are no Facebook status updates in prison).
I suppose they wear the belt to keep the pants down around the sub butt-cheek level, and no further down. Because … anything lower would just look silly.