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Feral Purrfessional – Part 5

Image result for cat clinic

Where we are: Katie Kitty has been given a scholarship to Mid-America Animal Tech where she will study providing medical care to the feral cat population. She has bonded well with her roommate. Elise and her father spent Thanksgiving with the Kittys. They are coming back for Christmas. You can read the beginning of the story here.

Katie: I can’t believe it’s already the end of the semester. It seems like we just got here.

Elise: I know. We’ll be getting our first grades in a couple of weeks.

Katie: Yeah, just in time for Christmas. Great timing.

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Elise: I don’t know why you care. You have gotten the top grade in everything.

Katie: I know. But the school’s paying for everything, and it makes me nervous.

Elise: Let’s talk about Christmas break. I can’t believe your mom is going to put up with me and my dad for a whole week. It’ll be just like having a real family.

Katie: Be careful what you wish for. My mother can be a little overwhelming.

Elise: Well, I think it’s going to be fun.

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Before they know it, finals are over and it’s time to go home for the holidays. Edgar has bought the tickets for the train, and they settle in for the ride. Edgar seems to be in a particularly good mood. He even buys the girls mousicles as a snack.

Katie: Professor Khatt, thank you so much for buying my ticket. I’m sure my mother appreciates that she didn’t have to spend the money.

Edgar: I was glad to do it. After all, your mother is going to let us stay with you for most of the holiday break.

Katie: I think she enjoys having people to cook for and fuss over.

Edgar: She is a very nice lady. She has been very kind.

Image result for christmas baking

Rose meets them at the station. She hugs them all and talks about all the decorating and baking she has been doing. When they get to the house, it smells wonderful.

Edgar: Rose, I want to thank you again for inviting Elise and me here for the holidays. I think she’s tired of spending all her time with me.

Elise (hugging him): Daddy, I love spending time with you.

Edgar: I know that. But it’s nice to be somewhere with all these decorations and food. And more cats.

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Elise: That’s true. Your house is beautiful, Mrs. Kitty.

Rose: Thank you. I really enjoy this time of year. Everything’s so sparkly and bright.

Edgar pulls out several boxes in Christmas paper.

Edgar: Do you ladies exchange gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas?

Rose: Edgar! You shouldn’t have bought us anything!

Edgar: I couldn’t come here without something for the kittens. As long as I was shopping for the kittens, I decided to get something for everyone.

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The kittens surround Edgar, looking at the packages and purring.

Rose: We generally open everything Christmas morning, after Santa Claws has come.

Edgar: Sounds good. I forgot that Santa Claws would be coming here. Elise has been too old for a while.

The next night is Christmas Eve. They sit in the living room and talk about past Christmases and tell stories. Finally, they go to bed. It seems like they just get to sleep when the kittens start meowing.

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Muffin: Get up! Santa Claws has been here!

Fluffs: And you should see all the stuff he brought!

Edgar: You must have been very good kittens.

Fluffs: It’s hard sometimes.

Edgar laughs, and they all go downstairs. The kittens are right. The front room is full of kitty toys and treats.

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Elise: Wow! Santa Claws never brought me this much stuff!

Edgar (teasing): Well, I guess you weren’t this good.

The girls exchange gifts with each other, Rose and Edgar. They ooh and aah over everything. There are only two gifts left. They are from Edgar to Katie and Rose. Edgar picks up Katie’s and gives it to her. He also hands her an envelope.

Edgar: Read the letter first.

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Katie reads the letter and squeals.

Mama: Katie! What does it say?

Katie: It’s from the Dean at Animal Tech. She says that since I have the highest grades in the class, I get to study with Maria Meowska.

Edgar: Maria is a former student who runs a feral clinic near the school. The first-year student with the best grades in her first semester gets to work with her at the clinic. There’s very little paws-on experience, but the student learns at lot.

Elise: Katie, that’s paw-some! My roommate is a star!

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Katie: I can’t believe this! It’s so exciting! Thank you Professor Khatt!

Edgar: That’s not my gift. The letter is from the school.

He hands her a package. When she opens it, she squeals again.

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Katie: It’s my own stethoscope and examination tools! Thank you!

Rose: Those look awfully expensive.

Edgar: We can’t have our intern looking like she had to beg for her equipment. Besides, I get a faculty discount. (He grins.)

Finally, Edgar gives Rose her present. He watches nervously while she opens it.

Rose: Oh, my goodness! It’s a necklace with a heart on it. Edgar, you spent too much money.

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Edgar: Nothing is too much for you. Will you come north and marry me?

Rose looks at him and starts to cry. Edgar looks scared.

Rose: Of course, I will.

Epilogue: Rose and Edgar were married a few weeks later. She and the kittens moved into Edgar’s house. Katie graduated with honors. She and Elise joined Maria’s feral clinic and expanded it to offer services to the entire area around the school.

Image result for and they all lived happily ever after

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It’s the American Way

There’s a form of punishment called Chinese Water Torture. The basic idea was to drip water onto the person’s forehead until they were driven to confess.

For some reason, that came to mind when I was thinking about Tuesday’s election.

We don’t live in a large metropolitan area, so our candidates are not the ones taking out expensive ads on local TV stations. It’s probably just as well. After the last 2+ year Presidential election cycle, I’ve learned to tune out any ad that starts with people talking in “significant tones”.

Of course, that means that I don’t watch the gubernatorial ads either. I wonder what happened to that silly idea about people interviewing candidates and presenting their views on various issues?

A candidate came around door-to-door meeting voters a couple of weeks ago. It’s happened once or twice before. Having lived in the city for many years, it’s a little disconcerting to see a well-dressed stranger pull up. I always check for religious tracts.

It has to be a little scary for the candidate too. We live in a politically conservative area. I think that means everyone has a gun. On the other hand, most people are so impressed by the effort that they give the guy a chance. Or at least remember his name.

We’ve had a lot of candidates with fuzzy agendas and vague promises. I think this might be the first year we’ve have a proposal that’s fuzzy and vague. Not that the language is written in such a way as to get people confused. Rather, no one understands what the proposal will do. Including the candidates.

We can’t find anyone who will own up to writing the creature. All that seems to be coming out of it is that it will be good for business. Probably small business. May do something for the people too. Impacts the current tax situation somehow.

It was at this point that I intended to make a humorous comparison about how much easier it would be to live in Great Britain because I have heard that the election campaign season is limited to the two months prior to the election.

However, it seems that this is one of those cases where a little information is a dangerous thing. I had neglected to take into account how many political parties there are in Great Britain. The first clue probably should have been the number of countries in that small space.

The second clue might have been that England has been around for a very long time. Political parties seem to be like any other belonging. The longer you’re around, the more stuff you have in your attic.

Beginning with the basics. There are five major parties contesting elections. Definitions courtesy of Wikipedia. Without reference I knew about the Conservatives (center-right), Labour (center-left, and misspelled according to my computer), and the Liberal Democrats (center-left). There are also the UK Independence Party (right wing) and the British National Party (far right).

The Green Party is apparently more united and doesn’t have what we Americans would call a primary. Or they may not have more than one person interested in running. Their members are too smart.

So, right off the bat, we have the potential for multiple candidates for five parties. I have no idea how many different positions are contested in each election but for their sake, I hope it’s fewer than the federal and state Senate and Congressional districts I deal with. (Besides the President and locals).

In the last election, there were 18 other parties getting votes. They run the gamut from the National Front on the far right (think fascism) to the far left Socialist Alternative (Trotskyist) and Communist Party of Britain (Marxist). I liked the name of the Pirate Party, but was disappointed to discover that they promote reform on copyright and privacy laws (oh, that kind of pirate). But my absolute favorite/favourite is The Official Monster Raving Loony Party. It promotes parties and makes fun of the other parties. I think I could have a political future there if I ever move.

I can imagine living in London or some other major city. You would be getting the major parties everywhere, the minor parties on select stations and areas, and the fringe parties on flyers and posters where they have a following.

If you lived on the west side of England near the Irish Sea, you might be able to hear ads for the Northern Irish parties as well. In the north, you have Scottish parties and in the southwest, you have Welsh parties.

Not only would you be hearing from candidates you couldn’t vote for, you’d have trouble understanding them. (Well, that part may not be so different.) Even for two months, that would be annoying. With the general election to follow.

Maybe our system isn’t so bad. (Yeah, right.)