In Association with

That was Zen, This is Tao

By Matt Sedik

I broke down, succumbed to my fears of commitment, and got a cat from the SPCA. He's a three year old, big, black short-haired jobber that was originally called "Fred". They're not too bright or creative in those shelters, must be the kibble fumes or something. Anyway, as soon as "Fred" got home we had his name legally changed to "Wingnut", which is far more appropriate. I call him "Stink Monkey" for short. Ok, maybe not it's not shorter, but it's my term of affection nonetheless. We're still in that "I want you to sleep with me, because I paid $28.50 for your sorry cat ass and you owe me for pulling you out of the race to be kitty glue" vs. his "...and your name is?" phase. Basically he's freeloading. He's not doing the obligatory "I need to rub up against you now to be adorned with ear scratches" thing as I was hoping. That's ok, things are still new. He's getting acclimated to his new digs. In the meantime I'm calling 1-900-GOODCAT to speak to a feline who really appreciates me.

Just last weekend I had to take Wingnut for his very own First Vet Visit. We went to our family vet, Dr. Mark, who I've been going to on and off for years... (clarification: ok, I haven't been going to him, just taking my pets...) Anyhoo, I bring in Wingnut and the nurse assistant person is this Goth Chick, you know the type: pitch black hair with faded magenta streaks, pale skin, black long-johns under the green doctor scrubs, huge doc martens boots, probably listens to bands like Nine Inch Nails and the Cure... Ok, so Goth Nurse needs to take Wingnut's temperature. Rectally. Ok, not necessarily a pretty sight, but if he needs it...

Goth Nurse asks me to hold down his head/front end while she does the dirty work to his backside. Amazingly enough, he wasn't too scared (which kind of bothers me, because it means I have a male cat who doesn't mind getting probed with foreign objects...) So I'm holding him, scratching his head, and for some inexplicable reason (I have no idea where it came from), as he's receiving the business end of the medical device I lean over towards his head and say softly (but just loud enough to be heard in the small examining room)

"Remember, this is just like we practiced at home..."

Now the Goth Nurse is scared. More so than the cat, and he's got a glass rod in his bum. I'm surprised I could even deliver than line with such a straight face in front of a nurse wielding a cold rectal thermometer. Must be my way of dealing with the situation, resorting to humor that throws everyone else off. Anyway, it was a perfect example of why I shouldn't be let out. It also illustrates by inability to communicate with women on a one-to-one level, even if they've got a rectal thermometer in hand.

I think I broke a personal record for the number of times I used the words "rectal" and "thermometer" in the same story.