13

Feral Purrfessional – Part 3

Image result for medical cat

Where we are: Katie Kitty has been given a scholarship to Mid-America Animal Tech. She plans to become a Feral Purrfessional to provide medical care to the feral cat population. She has arrived at the school with her mother and sister Charlene. They have just met Katie’s roommate Elise and her father Edgar. Read the beginning of the story here and Part 2 here.

Elise: We start tomorrow. Let’s go see where everything is.

Katie: Great idea! I think the labs are across the street. And the lecture rooms are the next building over.

Charlene: That way you guys can’t blow up everything at the same time.

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Katie: Thanks, Char. We really appreciate your support.

Katie looks at her mother and Edgar.

Katie: Are you coming, Mama?

Mama: I don’t know. I might be more frightened than ever about leaving you here.

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Edgar: Let’s go with them, Mrs. Kitty. That way you can see how safe it is.

Mama: Please call me Rose. No one calls me Mrs. Kitty. It sounds so strange.

Edgar: All right, Rose. I can explain what things are. It will make you feel better.

Rose: I guess that’s a good idea.

The girls race ahead chattering about how much fun they are going to have. Rose and Edgar follow close behind. There is a puma guard at the door to the labs.

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Guard: I’m sorry, but you’re not allowed in the building until tomorrow when classes start.

Edgar pulls out an identification card.

Edgar: It’s OK. I’m Edgar Khatt, Anatomy Purrfessor.

Guard: I’m sorry, Purrfessor. I’m new to the building. Please go ahead.

They enter the building, and Katie looks at Elise.

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Katie: Your dad works here?

Elise: Yeah. I don’t like to tell people. They think he got me in the program.

Edgar: Don’t worry, Katie. She won’t get more help than anyone else. I have an assistant who does the grading.

Katie: That’s pawsome, Purrfessor Khatt! I already know one of my teachers.

Edgar laughs.

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Edgar: That’s the spirit, Katie.

Rose: You mean you’ll see Katie every day, Edgar?

Edgar: Not every day. But several times a week.

Rose: I’m so glad to hear that. You don’t seem scary at all.

Edgar laughs again.

Edgar: Well, I’m glad to hear that. Here’s my lab.

He opens the door and turns on the light.

Charlene (startled): There are dead cats in here.

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Rose (terrified): You’re going to make them kill cats?

Edgar: Of course not. These are models, not real cats. We need the students to learn all of the bones and such so they can help others.

Rose (relaxing): Oh, of course. That makes sense.

Katie: Look, Mama. This one opens up to show the muscles.

Charlene: And this one has bones.

Elise: And they have real cats come in to show how the parts work for walking and jumping and other things.

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Katie: I can’t wait!

Rose: Well, I guess this isn’t too bad. What about the other classes?

Edgar: The students are very closely supervised. Some of the skills are practiced on each other, like weight and length.

Rose: How do you know when they’re ready to graduate?

Edgar: It’s a two-year program. Then the students work in our clinic for 3 months to practice their skills.

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Rose (hesitantly): Well, it does sound like a good program. Do you think she’ll be safe here?

Katie: Mama! Stop asking so many questions. You’re embarrassing me.

Edgar: It’s OK, Katie. (Turning to Rose) It’s very safe here. We’ve never had a problem with any of our students. All of the buildings are locked at night, and guards patrol the campus.

Rose: Thank you, Edgar. I feel much better.

Edgar: I’m glad to hear it.

The girls have been examining all of the models and displays. Katie and Elise seem to be bonding. Charlene still thinks some of the models are real cats.

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Edgar: Anybody interested in an anchovy and tuna pizza? I know a great place.

They walk to the restaurant and find a table. Katie and Elise talk nonstop about classes, books, shopping, and room decorations. The others mainly listen. Finally, they walk back to the dorm.

Edgar: How long are you staying, Rose?

Rose: We’re going to sleep here tonight and catch the train in the morning.

Edgar (disappointed): I was hoping to show you more of the town. At least let me take you to the station in the morning.

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Rose: That’s very kind of you.

Early the next morning Edgar picks up Rose and Charlene.

Rose: I want to thank you again. I feel so much better about Katie staying here. I’m going to miss her, but I won’t worry so much.

Edgar: If you’d like, I can call once in a while to let you know how she’s doing.

Rose: That would be wonderful. Here’s my number.

Charlene: There’s our train. We have to go.

Rose and Edgar purr.

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We will be taking a break next week for Cat Forum: Surviving Back to School. Then we will find out how things work out for Katie and Rose.

All pictures courtesy of Google Images

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3

A Mind Run Amok

Random thoughts that may or may not have something to do with being home sick last week.

Food

I’ve been reading about Pizza Hut and all of their new crust/topping/sauce combinations. And then thinking about how food companies tailor their offerings in different countries. Do you think a haggis/head cheese/kidney pizza would sell in Scotland? Or is that more of a Subway sandwich combination?

Back in the dark ages when people made gingerbread houses by hand, you had to make them close to Christmas so they’d still be edible on the holiday. People who were good at them (not me) spent hours making them look good. Now there are kits, so there’s not a lot of skill required. It appears that there isn’t any real time constraint either. The expiration date is months in the future. So is it already hard and dry when you make it?

Santa Claus

As we all know, Santa lives at the North Pole. We also know that the North Pole is only a set of coordinates because there isn’t any land/ice mass at the top of the world. So I’m thinking that his workshop must be on one of those really huge ice floes in the far north.

Since he lives on an ice floe, he’s probably going to be affected by global warming the same as the polar bears. Which brings up a series of questions:

  • Will he need to relocate operations?
  • Where would be remote enough to keep everything secret? Maybe Antarctica?
  • Would he pay relocation costs for the elves?
  • Would he offer any kind of training so they could move into another field?
  • Would he replace them with penguins who probably work more cheaply and don’t require housing?
  • Would he keep anyone at the old workshop or just close it completely down?
  • Are there any hazardous waste issues? Old lead paint?

American Football

Speaking of climate change, some of us in Michigan are wondering if the temperature may be dropping down in the underworld. You may have heard that the Detroit Lions qualified for the post-season with two games remaining. Of course, the next day they almost lost to the Chicago Bears who were playing with a backup quarterback who hadn’t started a game in three years. The same Chicago Bears they tore apart on Thanksgiving Day. Same old Lions.

On the other hand, have we finally seen the end of Bobby Layne’s curse?

You’ve never heard of Bobby Layne’s curse? Or Bobby Layne? He was an outstanding quarterback who led the Lions to several championships in the 1950’s. (Yes, you have to go back that far for the glory days.) In 1958, the Lions traded Layne to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was not happy. Layne responded to the trade by saying that the Lions would “not win for 50 years.”

For the next 50 years after the trade, the Lions accumulated the worst winning percentage of any team in the NFL. The Lions were 1-10 in postseason appearances. The last year of the supposed curse, 2008, Detroit went 0-16 and thus became the first team to lose every game of a 16-game season.

In the 2009 NFL Draft, right after the curse supposedly expired, the Detroit Lions drafted University of Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford. Stafford was an alumnus of Layne’s former school Highland Park High School and also lived in a house on the same street as Layne’s. Coincidence?

So what do you think: bad drafting/coaching/playing for 50 years or a curse? I’m going with the curse.

TV Commercials

Returning to the dark ages when I started watching football on TV, the commercials were mainly about beer and food. Then we moved on to ED. It was a little embarrassing, but probably a mass market.

As we get closer to Christmas, the commercials have turned overwhelmingly to jewelers. I understand that a lot of men propose over the holidays. And a lot of men buy jewelry at Christmas. But were there really that many who are watching the first college bowls this past Saturday who needed reminding that they were going to buy an engagement ring? An expensive engagement ring?

 

 clipart christmas, xmas, holiday, holidays, tree, trees, star, stars

0

A Lesson in Economics

I have been following the progress of the workers at McDonald’s trying to get the company to agree to pay a living wage. The company responded by posting a sample budget online showing how they could live on the wages they are currently getting paid. I thought the best part was the line item showing income from a second job. The budget is no longer available online.

I have no idea whether McDonald’s could afford to pay their employees more and still make a profit. However, the whole conversation made me think about life at Ralph’s (of course). The hourly pay scale tops out at $10/hour, with a couple of positions going to $11. The team leaders start at $10.50. Since it is a family-owned business, I can’t find out how much money the company makes.

So I’m trying fantasy economics (like fantasy sports, but less fun). Because I really hate math and accounting, I am not dealing with administrative and overhead costs, taxes, sales v. profit, or any of the other things that would actually make this a useful analysis. I am attempting humor after all, and it’s hard enough when you’re dealing with numbers.

The cheese I stock brings in an average of $6,000 – $8,000/day (insert joke about local bowel habits here). During the holidays and other busy times, it can earn twice that. I am the only employee in that section of the store. In the interests of fairness (probably the only time I will worry about it), I am going to use $7,000 as my basis. That equals $49,000/week or $2,520,000/year.

I wanted to have some type of comparison for the numbers, so I decided to look up some things that I could buy for $7,000.

I could get 3 pairs of Christian Louboutin Python pumps at Bergdorf Goodman ($1759 each). Unfortunately, I couldn’t wear them to work and I’m sure my friends wouldn’t know enough to be impressed.

Instead, I could get 3 Armina Aquamarine beaded necklaces ($1745 each). I really wish there was a Bergdorf’s around here. If I’ve calculated correctly, it would only take me 10 weeks to get the pumps and the necklace.

I could get 5 3.1 Phillip Lim Goat Fur satchel bags pink and black ($1395 each). Goats in New York must be different than the goats out here. Our goats come with hair not fur.

How about 12 Rebecca Taylor leather/ponte paneled dresses ($550 each)? I think it’s a regional thing. Even when I worked as a consultant, I would not have worn a $550 leather dress to work.

Every fashionable woman has heard of Hermes scarves. How about 6 cashmere and silk shawls ($1125 each). I would probably get toner on it the first time I wore it. You never hear about getting them cleaned.

If I went to Macy’s, I could get a nice 1 ct. t.w. diamond engagement ring. At $6900, it pushes the limits of the $7000, but it does come with a 15% discount. Of course, I’d have to figure out what to do with the old one (and explain to my husband why I needed to buy one for myself).

On a more humble note, I could get 700 dinners (mostacolli, lasagna, or chicken) at my local pizza place ($9.99 each). I might want to order a few less and get a few 2-liter bottles of Pepsi at $2.25 each. Besides I don’t know 700 people. And when my daughter eventually gets married, I imagine she probably will want something different for dinner.

So, I’m thinking that maybe raising my ceiling to $11/hour might be a financial possibility. Or more realistically, I should probably start buying lottery tickets.