Thursday, December 23, 2004

Gag! More Cat Crap!

So I opened my mailbox today to find a 2005 Charles Wysocki cat calendar. It was from Jamboney, my little brother. This is the third time he’s given me this exact same calendar! I have the 2004 one sitting right here, still shrink-wrapped, so I can compare the two. They are absolutely identical. January 2004 features Herkymer the Killer with a mouse dangling from his paw and guess what? So does January 2005! February 2004 features Maggie the Messmaker as does February 2005. At the very least you’d think that the publishing company would have mixed the pictures up a bit--say, make Mabel the Stowaway, who was Miss August 2004, be Miss November for 2005. Is that too much to ask? I mean, they’ve even upped the price of the thing. The 2004 calendar was $12.95; the 2005 is $12.99!

The first time the Jamboney gave me this calendar (in 2000), I actually put it up on the wall. I thought it was awful, but at least it was the first time I’d ever seen it. Plus, at that time I lived in Chicago, and it was possible the Jamboney would come to visit. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. The Jamboney has Down Syndrome, and as I happen to think that no one should get me anything for Christmas, I really, really, really think the Jamboney shouldn’t get me anything. He works about 20 hours a week at a special workshop where he gets paid less than minimum wage. So this hideous calendar probably cost him about three hours’ wages!

Now it may be that ever since the Jamboney came to visit us here a couple of years ago, a certain (possibly traumatizing) incident may have caused him to make an insoluble association between me and cats. The Jamboney visited during the reign of the Boss, and almost as soon as the Jamboney walked through our door, the Boss spewed forth a five-foot long pool of watery vomit. The Boss had always been a puker, but I’d never seen anything nearly this impressive issue from him. The Jamboney was horrified, but as soon as he collected himself, he made the following statement: “That is a very sick cat. I think you’d better take him to a shelter right now.” This was said with his arms folded across his chest and in his most authoritative voice. For the rest of the weeklong visit, the Jamboney and the Boss went to great lengths to avoid each other. So perhaps the Jamboney is actually trying to punish me by sending me the same sickeningly syrupy cat calendar year after year.

Nah. The Jamboney doesn't have a vindictive bone in his body. I suspect that my dad had a hand in selecting the calendars, in which case there is even less excuse for it. Surely my dad knows me well enough by now to know that while I like flesh-and-blood cats, I do not care for cat-related crap. He must have noticed that I do not serve tea and cookies to him from a cat-shaped teapot and a cat-shaped cookie jar.* Our refrigerator has no cat magnets on it; our bed has no cat bedspread on it; our windows have no cat curtains hanging from them; and our toilet has no cat toilet seat on it. Deduction: Rozanne does not like cat-related crap.

I know this is a very Scroogerella post, but I think it only underlines the point I made Monday about people feeling so pressured by this stupid, unnecessary Christmas gift-giving that they’ll just buy any old thing to get the obligation out of the way. Getting the calendar was the last straw for me, so I’ve made the decision that I will thank everyone who got me gifts this year but tell them not to do it ever again, and let the chips fall where they may. Harrumph!

*These are both terribly misguided gifts I was given in the past. The teapot was impossible to use because the handle (the cat’s tail) was hollow and when the pot was filled up with hot water, grasping the tail to pour burned my hand. Nice. I sold it at a garage sale. The cookie jar arrived broken, so I just threw it away. This is what I mean about Christmas gifts being such a terrible waste of money, time, and natural resources.

I decided to freecycle the calendar, so a woman whose little girl is "bananas" about cats will be stopping by this afternoon to pick up the calendar for her daughter for Christmas. I hope she enjoys it. As I may have mentioned, my issue with Christmas gifts is that I don't think adults need them.


Blogger Mac said...

Joyeux Noel, Roxy! I'm right there with you on the cats. Met someone recently who had a great house in Seal Rock, Oregon. 40-foot wall of glass overlooking the ocean. Smack in the middle? a big-screen TV. On top of the TV? A box of ashes and a freeze-fried cat. I want to know where he had the cat freezedried when it died so I can give gift certificates to friends and family. Cat's are great yogis, but my eyes swell shut within 20 feet of a litter box.

May God bless the kitties and release them from this world.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Betsy said...

I am so with you.

But you knew that already...

10:46 AM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

A freeze-dried cat on display? Who were these people? I would have run for my life! That is super creepy.

10:46 AM  

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