My fifth grade students were discussing the question, “Which is more powerful – hope or fear?” I had found an NPR interview with a finalist in the Kids Philosophy Slam that posed this question a few years ago, and played it for the class. I wanted them to hear the high school student explain why he thought fear was more powerful. Apparently, when I listened to it the first time, I didn’t notice one of his statements. Basically, he surmised that the only animals that feel hope are humans.
Now, if you have a dog or two in your family I think you will agree with me that the thought of humans having sole claim to hope is preposterous . And, if you aren’t familiar with the canine species, I would like to submit the following photos. You be the judge as to whether or not humans are the only animals with the capacity for hope:
Sorry. Don’t know how the Big Mean Kitty one got in there.
I miss Big Mean Kitty. Yes I know it has seemed in my last few BMK posts that I felt a slight antipathy toward this psycho dog toy with homicidal tendencies. But I guess I might have had a soft spot for him after all.
We shipped Big Mean Kitty off to the Great Landfill in the Sky this week. We think. He didn’t go without a fight. As Cap’n Firepants lugged the garbage bag out to the trash, a series of squeaks emanated from the bottom. The whole Firepants household stopped what we were doing and stared at that bag. The Cap’n raised an eyebrow at me as if to say, “Are you sure you want to do this?” I gulped. “Keep going,” I bravely squawked, sealing the fate of Big Mean Kitty. “And make sure you put a really good knot in that bag.
When I returned home later that day, the garbage can was in the middle of our driveway. I had to wheel it out of the way to pull my car in. As I did that, and Dimples checked the mail, I surreptitiously took a peek inside. Empty. Phew. No, I really mean phew. It stunk in there. If the garbage piled on top of him didn’t do him in, Big Mean Kitty surely would have suffocated from the fumes.
So, now we have the replacement Big Mean Kitty, which was kindly bestowed upon us by our cousins, the Globetrotters. Seemingly unaware of the change in their leadership, the dogs welcomed the new potential troublemaker with a serious game of Tug of War.
But, almost from the beginning I sensed there was something different about this Big Mean Kitty. Maybe, it was finding him trying to escape, not long after the above episode occurred, through our kitchen cabinets.
Or maybe it’s his attempts to scoot under the sofa out of sight.
But I think it’s the fetal position I keep finding him in that is the real clue.
This Big Mean Kitty is a Big Purple Pussy.
At least I don’t have to worry about him murdering us in our beds.
Incident Type – Damage to Property
Incident Date – 9/29/11
Address – Somewhere in the middle of San Antonio, TX
Victim(s) – Female, age 8 and Female, age It’s-None-of-Your-Business
Details – The two females entered their home at approximately 4:30 PM, and discovered the following destruction:
The two suspects, AKA Wonderbutt and Mrs. Pain in the Butt, have past criminal histories of Destruction of Property (particularly when the tall, blonde one senses the approach of a thunderstorm). It is believed that Mrs. P.I.B. actually does the breaking and entering, while the short over-weight one with an underbite does the destroying. Both suspects should be considered toothed and dangerous. Detectives are also investigating the whereabouts of the possible Mastermind behind these nefarious acts – a suspect also known as Big Mean Kitty.
Anyone with information that will lead to the termination of these activities should contact The Wonderbutt Hotline at 555-0000.
Released 09/30/2011 at 5:00 PM
Our family is being stalked by Big Mean Kitty. He apparently took a much-needed shower and hopped on a plane to Houston so he could greet us at our cousins’ apartment this weekend upon our arrival. He arranged himself strategically in the entry hall with his rear end up in the air–the better to freak me out.
Our cousins, The Globetrotters (the most well-traveled couple I’ve ever met), tried to convince me that they had just purchased this Big Mean Kitty at their local grocery store, and that I shouldn’t take its pristine appearance and precise positioning personally.
In her attempts to persuade me that this Big Mean Kitty was a harmless imitation of the homicidal one we had left (I thought) at home in San Antonio, Mrs. Globetrotter went out the next morning to find one for us to take home. The last one at the store was purple instead of orange, only somewhat alleviating my suspicion. Just because the Houston grocery store near our cousins is the only one on God’s green earth that still sells those dog toys doesn’t prove our own Big Mean Kitty hadn’t kidnapped and gagged their new one so he could continue his quest to make me appear mentally unhealthy.
It did help the Globetrotters’ case, though, that they have two dogs of their own. I mean, it would have been really weird if they had a Big Mean Kitty and no dogs, don’t you think?
Lola, their Boxer, was quite fond of Big Mean Kitty #2. She pranced around with it in her mouth, basking in our compliments about her amazing predatory skills. I think, however, that her obvious pride had less to do with any affection for the toy than with her desire to flaunt it in front of her little brother, Monté, the Terrier.
Monté saw his chance when Mrs. Globetrotter brought the purple kitty home. He was quite certain this new toy would be for him, and was very disappointed when I put it in my suitcase, and carefully zipped it most of the way, assuring myself that Purple Kitty would not be able to make his way out and learn bad ideas from Big Mean Kitty.
Five minutes later, out into the living room pranced Monté with the new Purple Kitty. The zipper may have deterred Purple Kitty from escaping, but did not keep Monté from working his way into suitcase. According to Monté, zipping your suitcase most of the way only works when you have boring stuff like underwear in your suitcase.
After Purple Kitty was safely zipped all of the way into my suitcase, poor Monté was again toyless. Well, actually, he had tons of toys, but being shut out of two Big Mean Kitties seemed to destroy his interest in anything else.
To console him, Mrs. Globetrotter brought out a new toy, a kind of miniature version of Big Mean Kitty stuffed for some obscure reason into an ice cream cone.
Both dogs immediately lost interest in Big Mean Kitty and began to fight over the new one. Cruelly tossed to the side without a backward glance, Big Mean Kitty watched from the floor as Monté and Lola played their game of Brains vs. Brawn over the mildly disturbing Kitty in a Cone toy.
Monté knows he cannot win against Lola’s viselike teeth, so he has (with Mr. Globetrotter’s coaching) perfected the sneak attack, lulling her into complacency until she begins to lose attention. As soon as her focus breaks, he sweeps in to swipe the toy away. Only to drop it immediately when Lola leaps up and towers over him.
And so, the game continued. Monté and Lola played their parts tirelessly while Big Mean Kitty sat there and plotted his next move. The introduction of Kitty in a Cone was but a small prelude to the fate that awaited him when we returned to San Antonio. Purple Kitty was about to usurp BMK’s control of the Wonderbutt household. Intimidation was no longer enough. It was time for a new plan…
Allow me to introduce you to Big Mean Kitty, Mrs. P.I.B.’s favorite toy.
Big Mean Kitty has withstood a lot of abuse over the years, and he’s beginning to look a little like a candidate for the dumpster. However, I can’t seem to bring myself to throw him out. And it’s not just because Mrs. P.I.B. loves him.
Quite frankly, I am scared of him.
You see, that pose in the picture – no human in our house positioned him that way. We just came home one day, and there he was, chillin’ by the back door.
That time we took a picture. But there have been many other times that, for purposes of evidence, we should have and didn’t.
Like the time he was doing the splits.
Or the time he was doing a perfect bridge in the hallway in front of Dimples’, the gymnast’s, bedroom.
It’s a little disturbing to turn the corner in the house and see this:
Now, I was never one to be afraid of clowns, and I thought the main character in the Chucky movies looked far too ridiculous to be even remotely scary.
But Big Mean Kitty is freakin’ me out.
I think he might be a little miffed at the arrival of Wonderbutt into the household. Wonderbutt doesn’t treat him as mildly as Mrs. P.I.B. , and the stuffing has started to come out of his joints (Big Mean Kitty’s – not Wonderbutt’s) as a result. The abuse may have propelled Big Mean Kitty over to the Dark Side. What used to seem to be amusing quirks of fate now seem to be his own menacing interpretations of “I’m going to murder you in your bed.”
I was in the middle of composing this little tribute when we took a break for dinner. When I finished dinner, I got up to take my plate to the kitchen, and there was Big Mean Kitty, who had been in the living room when we sat down. Wonderbutt, who usually likes to take toys and whack me in the leg with them while I’m eating, was sitting about a foot away, looking up at me like he was saying, “Did you just see that? He walked right over here and plopped himself down next to your foot.”
No wonder the dogs weren’t intimidated by a snake in the house the other day. They’ve seen worse things creeping around.