Monday, July 31, 2006

Do cats hunt cans?

Before being trapped in houses and city apartments, when tabby cats roamed the forests and the streets, marking their domains and fighting amongst themselves like mini tigers, how did they nourish themselves? Beef? Turkey liver? Seafood? Any of these aspic? I think not. They ate mice!

How did cat food manufacturers decide that cats like to eat seafood in gelèe? Or perhaps roast beef? And if they would prefer rare or well done? Nature seems to dictate that cats like their meals raw, like mince, but you don't find mince-flavored cat food, do you? You don't find that, just like you don't find mouse-flavored cat food. Or even bird-flavored cat food, except for chicken or turkey, which is too big for a cat to stalk and kill anyway.

Good things come in small packages, and Garfield got a small package this afternoon. He felt like a real cat today when he received his little box. Upon smelling it he went wild, as a real cat should.

I'm sure you can picture what happened next.

As with the gladiators in ancient Rome, there were spectators to watch this brutal sport. But rather than being bloodthirsty supporters of the violent game, one spectator boycotted the event, and even claimed that the event organizers are "mean" and "cruel". This particular individual must be of the popular opinion that cats are natural canned food eaters who are unable to look after themselves, instead dependent on a third party to open their cans for them. If this were the case, wouldn't cats be long extinct? Anyway, were the creatures that are processed into canned food prepared in a friendlier way than a cat hunting a mouse? Either way they get dismembered and disemboweled and discombobulated. But that's the topic of a whole different blog.

Audience or not, nature took its course.

Should we allow nature to take its course on a grander scale, breeding adorable, fresh, organic mice for Garfield to eat daily, or should we continue to serve him up smelly canned food that's full of chemicals and strange slaughterhouse leftovers? Not to mention this canned stuff gives him gas that can stink up a whole room in a matter of a fraction of a second. Or should we go a step further and create mouse-flavored cat food, in canned and dry varieties? Somehow I think cat-owning city dwellers would just wrinkle their noses at this choice which is not appetizing to humans, picking out instead some sort of liver pate in a cat shaped can, rather than giving their cat what it really wants: sweet mice!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Garfield was on holiday in Pirna.

Someone is staying inside for a while.

Word on the street has it that the problem cat Garfield was out causing lots of trouble in the neighborhood last Friday, going into other people's apartments and even the school around the corner. Janitors chased him away, and finally, a teacher took him to her home. In Pirna. This is outside of Dresden, far away. Come on, if you find a cat that you can see has had an operation, would you just take it to your far away home? Or would you maybe think "Perhaps someone around here owns this cat which has had an expensive veterinary treatment."? Following an intense search effort by people in our house and neighborhood with help of the "Garfield ist weg!" signs, we had several tips as to the possible location of Garfield, and finally the teacher's attention was brought to the fact that she had stolen our cat, and she brought him home yesterday. Really, I think we're pretty lucky she took him, he was in good hands, as she is a cat owner herself. And she's an honest person, she did return him, she could have just kept him in his far away hideout, and we never would have known. Thank you friendly teacher who works around the corner!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

If you have any information relating to the whereabouts of Garfield, please notify us by comment or email a.s.a.p. Anonymous tips also accepted.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

O Tannenbaum

Yesterday a small group of us went hiking to Schrammstein in the Saxony Switzerland with little Willy. In the throes of our wanderlust, we adapted a new wanderlied:

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
simmer unseren Willy down.
Er ist so upset jetzt,
dass er gleich einen puke absetzt!
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
simmer unseren Willy down.

and I just thought of a new verse:

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
simmer unseren Willy down.
Er ist so sehr aufgeregt,
seine Eltern sind durchgedreht!
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
simmer unseren Willy down.

Actually, Willy remained quite calm on the hike, it was when we crossed the border into the Czech Republic for dinner that he freaked out. I think it was because of the translations on the menu that he got upset. At this restaurant, you could order "Chicken Gordon Blue" (and it was "Gordon Blue" in all 3 languages, Czech, German and English), or "Indiana Styled vegetables" (really Indian-style vegetables). But the best funny English we saw was in Decin while searching for a gas station that was open past 9 p.m. There was a shop called "Dog Ham"! So I guess someday if nobody needs English lessons in Germany any more, I could probably find a job just on the other side of the border...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Barefoot in the city?

As a child, I loved to run outside directly following a rainstorm and splash in the puddles in the crisp, post-rainstorm air, barefoot naturally. As my age increased, my love of walking outside in the soft green grass in the summer with no shoes remained, and even sometimes I would relish the feeling of wet sand squishing between my toes at the beach. But this was all in the country, in places where going barefoot was acceptable and rather safe, excepting the occasional sharp rock that poked my foot. The rule of "no shirt, no shoes, no service" in public is common knowledge in the United States, and if you don't know it, it's posted on the doors of most convenience stores and other shops. And honestly, I don't know of anyone who would really want to walk around on hot, dirty pavement or into stores with no shoes...but here there seem to be plenty of people who incredibly do have a taste for walking around on hot, dirty pavement littered with broken glass. Is it religion? Is it some sort of test of will? I can't imagine that it's pleasurable, but it seems like each summer there are more and more people hitting the sidewalks and the gravelly paths in the park without shoes. And it's not like the sidewalks of Dresden-Neustadt are any cleaner or less hot than sidewalks elsewhere, it's likely that the opposite is true. Here's just a sample of some of the delicacies you can find on the sidewalks here: all forms of dog waste, broken glass, vomit, unfinished meals that people just drop, dirty diapers, prophylactics (used and unused), assorted fireworks, German flags... Plus, these people are not just hitting the streets shoeless, they venture into stores lacking footwear as well. Amazingly, they are not sent away, they are allowed to go about their shopping, tracking their foot and street germs everywhere. A former boss of mine back in Beaverton accosted a small child in a supermarket who was not wearing shoes, and forced the child's mother to put her in the shopping cart, because not only is it dangerous for a child to be walking around a supermarket with no shoes where perhaps some jar broke and there's still a tiny shard of glass on the floor just waiting for a tender little foot, it's dangerous for the supermarket as well because they could get sued for the injury to the child. Here people really do get injured on the sidewalks, even though they can see the giant shards of broken beer bottle on the sidewalk from the night before, but they never seem to learn. I've seen more than one person here on crutches with a bandaged foot from stepping on a piece of glass. Plus, don't feet turn to incredibly unappealing leather-like appendages when not protected by shoes? I guess I just don't get the whole barefoot in the city thing.
If you've made it this far into this blog entry, you can participate in a contest! My first Remember White Rabbit contest! Tell me who the person in the picture with this post is in a comment. If you're right, Little Wee the bunny might let you pet her tilted head.