April 2011 Issue

I suppose I should explain why this issue of TWD is so late. So I’m sitting on the living room couch a couple of weeks ago, and I notice that Boots the Cat is staring at the ceiling. This is not unusual, because Boots is obsessed with ceilings in general, and this ceiling in particular due to the honking huge ugly ceiling fan the previous owner of this pile installed. We’ve always meant to take it down, but that would leave a big hole in the ceiling and would also require me to climb up there, which, as will become apparent in a moment, would be a very bad idea. Anyway, I glance up and notice that Mister Boots is actually staring at a huge, nasty-looking spider crawling across the ceiling and due to arrive above my head in about 30 seconds.

I have a problem with spiders, which is too bad because this house is infested with about nine different species of them. I’ve taught myself to ignore them most of the time, at least the little ones, but I happen to know this one is the kind that bite, a lesson I learned about a week after we moved in, when I sustained a chomp on my hand that took a month to heal. So I hop up and go out to the kitchen, where we have a tall, heavy chair of the sort intended to be used at a breakfast bar (which we do not have, so I don’t know why we have the chair). It’s tall enough to put me up near the ceiling, so I drag it into the living room and clamber awkwardly up, intending to show the spider a fascinating article on funicular railways I’d been reading in the magazine our local electric coop puts out instead of reliable power. I’ve never met a spider who wasn’t totally into railroads, so maybe we can be friends.

In retrospect, I figure that my shoulders must have been about eight feet above the floor when everything went wrong. Somehow the stool began to tip, launching me into thin air, whereupon gravity kicked in and I fell straight to the wooden floor, landing on my right shoulder. From eight feet up. The Very Heavy Stool, meanwhile, was doing its own acrobatics, and somehow managed to land on top of me, smashing my left knee, left upper arm and (go figure) my right hand. It hurt. Everything hurt.

Long story short, nothing was broken, but I had bruises all over and, more importantly, seemed to have torn or otherwise damaged the tendons in my right shoulder, making that arm unusable and very painful. Breathing, in fact, was very painful.

That was more than two weeks ago and my shoulder still makes sleeping difficult. And since I have only limited use of my left arm because of the ms, I haven’t gotten a lot done lately. You should see the lawn. It’s awesome.

So, in the end, the spider got away and I have had to promise at least once a day ever since not to climb up on anything ever again. What makes this all even more stupid on my part is that I have fairly regularly fallen of off ladders outside in the past few years, so my sense of balance is clearly no good anymore.

This cat is a piker.

Elsewhere in the news, Inky the Cat is mad at me because I said she’s beginning to look like a bowling ball with ears. But she is. I think she’s making up for being the runt of the litter and last in line for food as a kitten, and she’s doing it with a vengeance. If she notices you making a sandwich, for example, she races out to the living room, where most informal eating takes place, and positions herself carefully for the most effective begging. Once the food arrives, she perches on the arm of the sofa and cries piteously until you give her a bit, then a bit more, and so on until the score is You 3 bites / Inky 7.

Page 2 of 3 | Previous page | Next page