My children took advantage of one of my fatal discipline flaws. Should their behavior cross the line and require discipline, activating my funny bone rendered me useless. The pastor in our small Methodist Church offered healing by laying on of hands at the end of the regular Sunday Service. I suspect that was one of the few times John, age ten, had ever listened. He made a move as though he was heading to the front. I was totally surprised, and caught his arm, thinking he’d misunderstood.
”What’s going on?” I asked.
”I’ve got a heat rash!” He giggled.
”Sit down.” He got me.
A New York City yuppie moved to the country and bought a piece of land. He went to the local feed and livestock store and talked to the proprietor and asked to buy one hundred chicks.
“That’s a lot of chicks,” commented the proprietor. “I mean business,” the city slicker replied.
A week later the yuppie was back again. “I need another hundred chicks,” he said. “Boy, you are serious about this chicken farming,” the man told him.
“Yeah,” the yuppie replied. “If I can iron out a few problems.” “Problems?” asked the proprietor. “Yeah,” replied the yuppie, “I think I planted that last batch too close together.”
Patches was an appealing calico kitten until you took her personality into account. She clearly had issues. I have to admit, I never got her to a cat psychiatrist, so my diagnoses may not impress the more knowledgeable among you. At first, like any kitten, she was all teeth and claws as she frisked around. My daughter was a sweet little girl, totally enamored of Patches. That fickle feline wouldn’t give her the time of day unless the child was opening cat food. Patches spit or hissed at me every time I got close.
Conversely, Patches couldn’t get enough of my son, even though he put forth nothing good. He’d stick rolled tape to her feet and she’d come back for more. He rubbed her fur the wrong way. She loved it. He never fed her. My daughter would try to entice Patches to sleep with her. Patches always struggled loose and sped into John’s room. Should she be locked out, she yowled at the door till he let her in.
Patches might have been a Floozy in a previous life. She loved Bud, too. If John was not available, she’d cuddle up on Bud’s lap and purr like a washing machine. I believe she also suffered from hallucinations. From time to time, she’d be walking across the floor and seem to see something then panic wildly, before running to hide under a bed or sofa. Other times, she’d wake from a dead sleep and run till she banged her head into the wall. It was not uncommon for her to pursue an invisible mouse or yowl at nothing. It never occurred to me me till now, but perhaps she was Seeing ghosts.
One night, John was gone, so Patches had to make do with Bud. She hopped on him in bed, moving several times, made a lot of biscuits, with her purring in overdrive the whole time. It was impossible to go to sleep. Eventually, she settled down. “Finally. That’s a relief.” I said, “Maybe she finally went to sleep.”
In a muffled tone, Bud answered. “Yeah, well I’d feel a lot better if her butt hole wasn’t right over my nose.”