Strange angels

17 07 2013

It happens about once a month.

Kitty boy changes where he sleeps at night: sometimes at the end of my bed, sometimes on the bedroom chair, sometimes on the small chest, and sometimes in the living room.

But with some regularity, in the middle of the night, Jasper will creep up on to my chest and purr and peep and squeak until I wake up enough to scritch him. And if the noises (or his weight or a misplaced paw) don’t do it, he’ll nudge around one of my hands until I bring it to his head, then he’ll settle in, a block of purring fur.

Okay, I don’t like being woken up, but he’s just so affectionate and. . . yeah, I’m a sucker, so yeah, he gets away with it.

Actually, the purring and blocking wouldn’t be so bad, but at some point he’ll get super affectionate and start to lick my chin or my neck, and I have to move my hand to deflect him—because I know that after the licks come the nips and then the chomps.

No, I can’t recall that Jasper—who I did once call the Vampire Kitty—ever has bitten my neck, but having had my toes be on the receiving end of the lick-nip-chomp routine, I ain’t taking any chances.

I don’t know what’s going on with him; it’s entirely possible he’s just being. . . cat.

Trickster, on the other hand, never bothers me in the middle of the night, but when the alarm goes off in the morning, or if she hears me stir, she’ll jump on to the bed or come up from the foot and sit, just sit, right next to me, waiting for me to wake enough to throw a pettin’ her way.

Of course, then she’s got this weird step-dance she goes through where she arches her back and circles around and smashes her head into my hand, to which I almost always respond, “weirdo”.

Whatever. Cat.

Cats.

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Hey look-a here, just wait and see

17 07 2013

The summer between my third & fourth years at Madison I worked “maintenance” for the university.

I put “maintenance” in quotes because we didn’t really do any maintenance—that was left to the regular civil service staff; mostly, we cleaned.

I’d worked food service the summer before, but “maintenance” was much better because there were more hours: full-time, M-F, in the Southeast dorms (Sellery A & B, Ogg, and Witte).

The first 4 or 6 weeks we cleaned all of the windows in all of the dorms, inside and out. The supervisors (also students) would come around and stand sideways to the windows to check for streaks and missed spots and ponies, telling us to re-do a bunch if we were on schedule, or just to wipe up the errata if we were behind.

Then they’d task us with various bullshit—cleaning out window wells, cleaning and painting dumpsters (not as bad as it sounds, actually), removing the tar that seeped up through the cracks in the basements. (Word was the Southeast dorms were built on a swamp, and tar had been used as filler. I don’t know if that was true, but tar really did ooze out of the cracks.) Anyway, they kept us busy until the end of the summer, when they needed us to do real work again.

A big chunk of that real work was cleaning up after bankers. The university ran seminars for businessfolk, putting them up in the dorms, so we did the maid-work, cleaning rooms, bathrooms, etc., during and after their stay. It wasn’t a bad gig: the dorms were air conditioned, and the bankers would often leave booze and food behind.

We were supposed to toss these leavings, but, c’mon, who does that? The regular civil service staff and the student workers had a silent understanding, each taking what was left and saying nothin’ to nobody.

As we worked these various jobs, our work crews would shift. I ended up maid-ing with a couple of girls I didn’t know very well, and, really, hadn’t been terribly interested in. Nothing awful: they had their group, I had mine.

They, however, turned out to be the perfect pair to work with. There were no awkward conversations about keeping the booze, and, like most (although not all) of the student workers, saw no point in working too hard. We did what we needed to, nothing more.

Anyway, what prompted this reminiscence was the one girl, whose face I can barely make out, but she had straight blond hair, who’d walk around muttering “she’s sure fine lookin’ man, she’s something else” at her friend (also blond, but curly), and they’d both crack up.

One lunch hour—for which we had to punch out—we took some of the leftover beer and whiskey and found a spot decently away from the main office and all ate together. I finally asked her about the line.

“Eddie Cochrane,” she’d said, then repeated, “She’s sure fine lookin’ man, she’s something else.”

I didn’t know the name of the song, but remembered Eddie (after briefly confusing him with Tommie) Cochrane, and way later found a best-of cd with, (what else) “Somethin’ Else”.

So, after that verrrrrrrrrry long prelude, for your listening pleasure:

I was listening to it early this evening. It’s a great song.

And not a bad memory.