27 June 2008

Quote by Bertrand Russell

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

Ergo, the zimdog asks you,

Have you questioned yourself today?

20 June 2008

The Surprises of Cat

Those of you who know Dr. Dalloway Muffintop Snatchworth Riff-Raff von Kittenheimer are those of you who knew the coolest cat of the modern era. She had a great sense of humor...

...whether she wanted to or not. This still is my favorite thing about her. She loved me unconditionally, despite the silly dress-ups or her reluctant adventures as Spider-Cat. Despite her vehicle, she was pretty much a dog in cat form.

Well, yesterday, the cat I knew threw some pretty enormous surprises my way.

Surprise #1
Her was a him, but regardless what the vet said, I decided after the fact that he'll always be a she to me.

Surprise #2
She was a very sick cat.

Now resting in peace, free from my antics...

Dr. Dalloway Muffintop Snatchworth Riff-Raff von Kittenheimer, or Kitty

After the comprehensive exam, the vet told me cats hide their illness well. Kitty is proof of this. While visually emaciated, the weight loss came on slowly enough over the past few months that, too busy with all my human bullshit, I hardly noticed she was living off her body fat. Even in her anemic, frail form, she managed to hide a mass the size of a key lime. There it was, right next to the tangle in her intestinal tract where the vet thinks she was bleeding out. I never thought any different of her health. Her ingestion and out-gestion showed little change from usual. I seriously thought I was just taking my cat in for yearly vaccines. An hour later, I left the vet's office without Kitty.

The vet offered me some options. Even the optimistic options were not promising (not to mention being well beyond my financial means), but I still asked for a few minutes to think it all over. The unmanly crying commenced as soon as the vet and his assistant shut the door. As I sat there in catharsis, hanging out with Kitty, I gave her the usual routine: some quick-shine shoulder blade rubbing; cradling her on her back while I rubbed her face; and holding her up by the armpits, dangling her above my head. The last one she always seemed neutral on, but that one was for me because it always made me laugh. And of course she put up with it, because I was her favorite human.

When the vet returned, I asked him to put my cat out of her misery. Prior, I was one to consider euthanasia unnecessary. Even minutes before making a decision, I wondered why shouldn't I just let her die naturally. Euthanasia is always selfish with pets, for no animal would choose death over life, but using my unique human perspective in the moment, I made a decision for Kitty. I figured she'd want her last minutes to be good ones spent with me. After the fact, I still felt my decision was right, and surprisingly, I was relieved when the anesthesia overdose struck her. She tightened, died with her eyes open, turned soft, and like that, my sadness was gone. I'm no expert biologist or philosopher, but this seems to me like evidence of unseen, unconscious chemical communication between life forces: feeling relief from relief.

The vet asked me if I wanted to feel the mass. Once I had a sense for it, he tried to explain why he asked if I wanted to feel it. I don't remember his reasoning, but I remember my stupid reply: "I have some biology background, so it's interesting for me." God, what an idiot I turn into around death. I become as distracted as I am humble. There is something to this though. When I arrived at Emily's house after her grandmother died, that was the first thing Emily's mom asked: Did I want to touch Grandma Millie's hand? Maybe it's knowing the rest of the being has moved on, and it's only a physical vehicle left in front of me, or maybe it's just to confirm what denial tries to avoid. Either way, being alive and touching the dead brings some sense of comfort I'll have to consider more.

I wanted to blog about this last night, but I was fighting a headache. Today, the house seems that much emptier, so perhaps doing this now provides therapy when I need it more. I already miss her retarded meow, and the way she'd follow me around the house for minutes at a time. She certainly leaves a bigger void than the 5 pounds of mass no longer here.

This one's for you, Kitty:

03 June 2008

Dogs on Dixie

A couple weeks ago, I got pulled over by one rather large waste of money in a uniform. Speed traps are not only insulting to drivers. They also reduce the policemen working them to traffic machines. Were I not one of only five cars on Dixie Highway at the time, I might agree that they were doing something to benefit other drivers. Clearly, the event was more a fundraiser for the city than a declaration of road safety. Unfortunately for me, I was the guy paying more attention to the road and less attention to my speedometer; as a result, I am penalized for...accelerating to pass another car.

The police"man" stepped into the road to direct me over. In an alternate universe, I plowed straight through his ass. Luckily for him, I'm a safe driver in this one. As he cited me for "unlawful speeding," I complained to his partner in legal crime. The partner listening to my loose mouth claimed he's never been pulled over since becoming a policeman. Maybe he was telling the truth. Maybe he wasn't. Either way, he will probably never know how I felt in that moment. And he'll certainly never know what it's like to pay an exorbitant amount of money so Chief Hog can meet the monthly quota.

It's a funny thing about Dixie Hwy. Going north, the speed limit is 35. Going south, it's 40. Guess which way I was going. Yep, 52 in the 35. Like I said, I wasn't on constant speedometer watch (because I prefer to watch the road, you know, that direction my car is headed). I can't honestly say whether I hit 52 or not. I probably did. What I refuse to believe, however, is that 35 is a reasonable speed limit for Dixie Hwy. The wide, grassy median sports a north-south train track while industries and establishments line the road sides. Where's the residentiality that would warrant 35, or even 40mph going the other way?

Traffic cops know where to put the speed traps. They put them where the speed limit seems inappropriately under-set. Then they suck in their stomachs against the shaded side of a building and wait for the fastest of the few to come along. I was only trying to go somewhere and be productive. I'm not against policing Florida drivers. I'm just curious why the traffic police can't focus their authority on the drivers like the ones cutting me off with a fist in the air or the ones tailgating me with a phone in their ear? It is counter-logic to only penalize someone for driving over a certain speed. Seems to me, it's not necessarily how fast I drive; it's how I drive. I don't think radar guns can detect when I have both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road.

Did you know it is illegal to refuse signing a traffic ticket? When the issuing cop handed me the ticket for my signature, I was fuming fucking mad, so I took the clipboard and drew a fast line as my signature. He informed me I was required by law to sign as it appears on my license. I told him it didn't matter if I did, like it doesn't really matter what you do on a credit card line. In excited motion, he opened my door and ordered me out of the car, threatening me with arrest. I think I actually saw semen seeping through his pants.

I knew anything that followed would not proceed my way if I got out of the car. Fighting hollow citations is far more effective than fighting power-hungry humans.The badge on his shirt gives him the power to do almost anything he wants. If he saw me as angry (which I was), he has the authority to tase me, shoot me, beat me, or do whatever he deems necessary. And then he'll charge me for "resisting arrest" and whatever official name they give "not signing a traffic citation." If I'm lucky he will forget about the "unlawful speeding" offense. I don't agree with this fact of law, but I recognize its unfortunate presence. so in an amazing moment of sudden humility, I told him, "Fine. Give it here. I'll sign your bullshit."

Most everyone I know is nice to the police who pull them over, but I'm telling you, you are making a mistake. Think about the long run. Any courtesy you show them only adds to the power they feel. And they are not just doing their jobs. I'm vomitingly tired of hearing that line. If someone doesn't want to feel the wrath of the people, then that person should not take a relatively comfy job in public service. They work for us, so they should be able to listen to our heart-felt criticism without retreating behind their authority.

Nuff said. Obviously this is a sore subject for me. I had to get the good news out about baby z before I could handle these emotions. In closing, I'd just like to say to traffic cops all over the land...

Get a job, buddy. What you're doing now is not work. It's robot-ing for an organization that steals the other kids' lunch money. Now, if you get out there and focus solely on dangerous drivers, then you will have earned my respect.