Simply 6 Minutes: If I Fits, I Sits

Cats are interesting animals in that they’re so flexible. They can figure out ways to fit in just about any location, including, as you can see, in an open toilet. Evidently there’s no water in this particular commode, or I doubt that Kitty here would have bothered getting in, because they generally don’t like getting wet (although there is a breed called the Turkish van who loves the water and goes for a swim whenever she can).

It’s amazing how they do it. They seem to know just how to turn their body so they can fit as much of it as possible into a small space. We had several that would curl up in one of our Dutch ovens if we made the mistake of leaving one on a counter. We had one that particularly liked a large mixing bowl, and we’d find her lying in it with just her head poking up.

I suppose they have a good reason to do that sometimes. Hiding seems to be a feline habit, even though there’s nothing to hide from. Sometimes I think they do it to drive us crazy…

Christine Bialczak runs Simply 6 Minutes.

Simply 6 Minutes: The Joys Of Long-Haired Cats

One time, Mary and I saw a stray cat walking around the neighborhood, took her in, and later discovered that our new arrival was pregnant. Judy, a brown-pointed tabby, had five kittens: a gray tabby, an orange tabby, a tortoiseshell, and two medium haired calicos: Tuffy, a muted calico, and Li’l Linda, a bright-colored calico.

(Sadly, I can’t seem to find pictures of them, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.)

The care of a long- or medium-hair cat requires that the cat be brushed at least once a day, sometimes more, or their hair gets matted and tangled and, if it gets very bad, needs to be shaved off. Which is fine, if you can get the cat to sit still long enough to be brushed. Which, unfortunately, we weren’t able to do with Tuffy and Linda. They were born apparently believing that humans had cooties so badly that the mere touch of a person would infect them with whatever they had, which frequently was love and concern, and any time we approached either of them they took off in a hurry. It became almost a game: if they were sitting somewhere and we needed the seat, we’d walk up to them saying "I’m gonna give you attention!" You could almost see the fear in their eyes a split second before they took off for under the bed…

On a couple of occasions, they got so badly matted that we had to take them to the vet and have them "buzzed" like the cat above. It was usually preceded by a cat rodeo where we would chase the cat around the house until she ran into the carrier, after which we’d close the door and take the little darling "bye-bye car."

They never did quite get the hang of being friendly with us, and we weren’t disposed toward forcing ourselves on them. But we loved them anyway and miss them now that they’re gone.

Christine Bialczak runs Simply 6 Minutes.

Simply 6 Minutes: A Pure-Bread Dog

You just had to know that someone was going to come up with that joke, didn’t you?

I remember Jay Leno saying that he hated seeing dogs wearing costumes. He probably wouldn’t like this one, either, even though it’s technically not a costume.

This has me thinking, not about dogs, but about brands of bread. A lot of them were local to Chicago, like Holsum and Silvercup, and I can think of one that I never saw in Chicago, Sunbeam, complete with a cute little girl named "Little Miss Sunbeam" on the wrapper. She was eating the bread, which I think called for a caption that said "SERVING SUGGESTION."

I remember a comedian (maybe it was Leno, I forget) who saw a can of soup, and on the label there was a picture of the soup in a bowl with the caption "SERVING SUGGESTION." His reaction was "Of course! Put it in a bowl! What a clever idea!"

We had Wonder Bread, of course, with the "red, yellow, and blue balloons on the wrapper." And we had Butternut bread, that came in a blue checked wrapper. They advertised heavily in Chicago. They had a jingle, "Tut tut, nothin’ but Butternut Bread." After a while they replaced that with a jazzy jingle that said, "Bring home the Butternut Bread, Fred!" Then, around the mid-’60’s, the Peanuts gang did the commercials, like this one…

I think Butternut was made by the same people that made Dolly Madison cakes, because they also promoted those.

My favorite, though, was Roman Meal bread. I think it was my favorite because it had a centurion on the wrapper. I guess it was no better or worse than regular white bread.

Does anyone remember Beefsteak Rye bread?

I haven’t seen it in stores in like forever, so I guess it’s one of those products that’s vanished from everywhere but my mind…

Christine Bialczak runs Simply 6 Minutes.

Simply 6 Minutes: Where’s Da Kitty?

Every cat that lived with us over the years liked to hide. Some were hiding from some of our more rambunctious felines, others were just looking for a place where it was dark and cozy so they could sleep. Still others had the attitude "If I fits, I sits."

We had a cat that would climb under the blanket on the bed and spend the whole day there, only coming out to eat. He was nothing but a lump under the covers most of the day.

Any time a box came into the house, all of them fought over who would get to sit in it. Funny thing: the smaller the box, the bigger the cat that would try to get in it. We had a few that never grew that big, almost like permakittens, and they would be the ones to hide in a TV box, while the 20 lb. behemoths were always trying to fit in a shoebox.

The cat in the picture probably had help getting all wrapped up like that. It’s amazing that they tolerate being wrapped in paper like that…

Christine Bialczak runs Simply 6 Minutes every week.

Simply 6 Minutes: Paradise (?)

This week’s prompt is the idyllic scene seen above. Kind of looks like a Sandals resort, from what I’ve heard people say about them and what I’ve seen on Wheel of Fortune, which gives away a lot of trips to Sandals resorts.

I’ve never been to one, myself. I don’t swim and I burn easily, the joy of a redhead’s complexion. I should have been a redhead, according to Mom, and I seem to have everything but the red hair. I do, or at least did, have red highlights when I was younger. Not anymore, since I inherited my mother’s side of the family’s tendency to go gray early. The red hair comes from Dad’s side of the family, though Dad didn’t have red hair, either. Most of my Holton cousins are, or at least were, redheads.

Have to stay on track here. My train of thought hopped the tracks there for a minute…

Yhe resort picture above looks like a nice place to go, if you’re into that sort of thing. Lots of palm trees, a few chaises longues and sun umbrellas… I can’t quite make out what the building is. A bar, perhaps, or some sort of outdoor eatery. I think that’s where I’d be, under the overhang and protected by the sun.

It’d be interesting to see a show like Cheers done in this sort of atmosphere, wouldn’t it? Now, of course, someone’s going to come along and tell me what the show is. Anyway, we’re out of time.

Christine Bialczak runs Simply 6 Minutes.