Simply 6 Minutes: Kitties!

Now, everyone together: Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww…..

We got our first cat on New Year’s Eve, 1977, and since that time we’ve had at least one cat, and often more (on occasion, many more). Right now, we’re back to where we started, with just one, and have decided that this is it for a while. When she goes, we’re going to wait at least a year before we consider adopting again. We have a lot of things we want to redo in the house, most notably the kitchen and the bathrooms, and, with workmen walking in and out, we don’t want to have to lock a newcomer into a room, lest he or she dash out the door, or, as was the case the last time we had the bathroom done, disappear into the walls of the house and be lost forever (actually, the one that did that found her way out, but we’ve sealed off that way out).

Besides, even though cats are arguably easier to take care of (show them where the food is, show them where the box is, and let them figure out the rest), cats are still work. They need fresh water and food daily, as well as to have their box scooped and occasionally emptied, washed, and filled with fresh litter. They have to go to the vet once a year for a checkup and occasionally will develop health issues that require more frequent visits (and more money). And they can worry the hell out of you. They’ll stop eating for a day or two, or make a habit of going into a room in the other part of the house and start howling for no other reason than they’re bored, or find a new hiding spot and spend several days enjoying the solitude while you and the rest of your family dash around frantically wondering "where’s the cat?"

Mary and I nevertheless are not looking forward to the empty nest…

Christine Bialczak is the host of Simply 6 Minutews.

Simply 6 Minutes: Karma, Karma, Karma…

Well, I’m calling it a chameleon, anyway, because of the way the eyes look. From 1983, here’s Culture Club with "Karma Chameleon."

You know, he kind of looks like Jim Henson’s character Wilkins in the old "Wikins and Wontkins" commercials. You can tell that Wilkins was an early Kermit the frog, or a prototype…

These two guys showed up in commercials for Kraml Milk in the Chicago area.

They didn’t even change the commercials, just the product they were hawking.

Just one of those days when I didn’t feel like writing much…

Christine Bialczak runs the Simply 6 Minutes blog hop.

Simply 6 Minutes: Funny Animal Love?

The picture above is called "funny animal love." Whether that’s funny ha-ha or funny weird is a good question. It’s more like adorable than anything. I mean, it appears that the cat is a pretty young kitten, not a newborn, but probably less than a year old. The dog, I can’t tell how old he or she is. I’d say maybe around two years old.

This looks to me like the kitten is trying to establish herself as the dominant animal in the house, and judging by the look on the dog’s face, I would guess that he’s just fine if the kitten wants to rule the roost.

We had a situation where one of our neighbors dropped a kitten off at our house, and we already had several adult cats, including an older male. The kitten, who we named Willie because he looked like a Willie, would run up to the male, who was Larry because his sisters were Moe and Curly, wrap his paws around Larry’s neck and try to pull him over. And, of course, he couldn’t, because Larry was older and bigger. It wasn’t as though they were hurting each other, and Larry’s attitude seemed to be "yeah, okay, whatever."

A few months later, Mary brought home a little black kitten who we named Sherman because he marched around the house like a little general. At the time, Willie was much bigger, and Sherman did the same thing to him. And Willie’s attitude was "yeah, right, whatever."

That’s really all there was to it. None of them were feral, and the seemed to understand they were to be inside cats and there was plenty of room for all three of them. Larry could be in the living room, Willie could be in the basement, and Sherman could be in the kitchen. If Willie came upstairs and walked into the kitchen, there’d be no growling. Ditto if Sherman went up to the bedroom: Larry wouldn’t get all bent out of shape.

They didn’t love each other, but they didn’t hate each other, either.

This weird little story was written for Simply 6 Minutes, which Christine can tell you all about.

Simply 6 Minutes: Costumes And Pets

I can’t think of a way to say this that won’t offend someone, but I have a real problem with people who dress their pets up in costumes just so they can pose them for pictures. Go to Facebook during the Christmas season, and you’ll likely find a post from someone who’s dressed their dog or cat up like an elf. The animal usually has an expression on its face like it’s plotting revenge: "When I get this crap off, I’m gonna take a whiz on the carpet."

It’s kind of like Ralphie in A Christmas Story whose great-aunt Clara thinks he’s a four-year-old girl and makes him bunny costumes.

There are a couple of good reasons you’d want to dress up a pet. One is to brave the elements, especially if you have a dog like a Mexican Hairless or a cat like a Sphinx that has almost no hair. The other is dressing your pet in a Thundershirt that makes it feel secure during thunderstorms or when the kids in the neighborhood are shooting off fireworks. But, other than that, costumes on pets is just wrong.

On a related subject, I read somewhere that people don’t adopt black cats or dogs because they don’t photograph well. People who think that need to look at any of the dozens of black cat or dog groups on Instagram and rethink that. I’ve had a few black cats in my life, and they were all wonderful pets, and just gorgeous. Maybe you need a better camera…

Christine runs Simply 6 Minutes.

If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Simply 6 Minutes

I never saw the movie If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium, the 1969 comedy starring Ian McShane and Suzanne Pleshette. IMDb says it’s "The humorous adventures of a group of American tourists taking an eighteen-day guided bus tour of nine European countries." I remember movies from that era, such as The Magic Christian with Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr and The Party with Sellers and Claudine Longet, and they were crazy, and now, of course, I want to see them worse than anything and am wondering where I could find them. I know Turner Classic Movies has The Party and probably the others, but is there a single place that has them all?

The reason I want to see the oversexed crap from the ’60’s and ’70’s is that, compared to the oversexed crap Hollywood is producing these days, the older stuff is practically Cannes material. At least in the ’60’s and ’70’s they didn’t have CGI.

Anyway, this is how I occupy my days and weeks these days, because I’m permanently disabled and I go pretty much nowhere. I mean, I haven’t left the house in a month. Can you imagine that? I know, you’ve proably spent more time at home thanks to you-know-what, but it’s like I haven’t even been outside in a while. It’s still there, isn’t it?

You do end up with a notion that one day just flows into the other, especially since the only thing we watch is MeTV and the same thing is on every day Monday thru Friday. Honestly, if I didn’t have the date and time in the upper right-hand corner of my computer/laptop screen and it didn’t appear on the lock screen of my phone, I wouldn’t have a clue.

Christine Bialczak from Stine Writing coordinates Simply 6 Minutes each week.