Here is what I packed for my trip:
- Black sweater
- Black shirt
- Brown sweater
- Gray sweater
- Sweater that starts out black then becomes gray at the bottom
I know, right? Stop with the bright colors! You’re hurting my eyes. I did also pack my bright blue v-neck sweater “from Rome, Italy” that my mother gave me. She always says it like that. “From Rome, Italy.” As opposed to Rome, Nebraska, I guess. I will wear that if I start to depress myself.
When I moved to LA from Seattle I could not get over everyone and their bright colors and, you know, lust for life. Seattle was all about the not-bright tones. Who knows? Maybe it has changed there and everyone will be dressed like they’re going to a Jimmy Buffet concert, but I am doubting it.
Plus, will you all stop emailing me and telling me it’s cold there? I do not wish to know this. Let me find this out when I get there. I brought layers. I do not need more to dread in advance.
But the good news is I forgot I have NEW LUGGAGE that my mother got me for Christmas. I have been using the same suitcase with the cabbage roses that my Aunt Mary got me for my 30th birthday, and I would like to point out, in case you hadn’t noticed the part where I am winning the Cloris Leachman lookalike contest, that my 30th birthday was some time ago.
I used to be way into the cabbage roses, but now every time I got out that suitcase I felt like Nels Olsen and I were headed off to an exciting weekend to Mankato. Isn’t that the town people would go to on the Little House TV show, Mankato? It was something like that. I told you I wasn’t that into the show.
So I got out my super exciting, chosen JUST FOR YOU three-piece luggage set, like I’d won it on The Newlywed Game, and oh! It has all these little compartments and zippy parts and it ROLLS and it’s hard on the outside and it’s just so newfangled!
And why does this always have to happen?
I mean, maybe this doesn’t always happen to you because you don’t have 48 cats. But for me, who always does have 48 cats, an open suitcase is a golden opportunity to climb around and make sure I take cat hair with me on my trip. Because I need to look unkempt on every continent.
Also plus, I have to take my camera and the camera charger. And the camera cable thingie in case I find a way to show you pictures. And I have to take my GPS so I can find everything, because I haven’t lived in Seattle in so long, plus also I never, you know, hung out at the hospital, so that part of town is not familiar to me. So I have to take that AND the charger. And my iPod and its charger. And I have to take my cell phone and (wait for it) its charger.
I hate to bring up Little House again, but didn’t they manage to travel without all these things? Didn’t they just being a barrel of beans and a fiddle? They didn’t say, let’s pull the wagon here, there are plenty of outlets for our 9239583 chargers. When did I need to get so revved up?
Anyway, the whole point of this post was to tell you why I am also bringing my dead cat and his charger, so here is the story.
I adopted Mr. Horkheimer, my beloved cat who was like no other cat on planet Earth, in 1994 in Seattle. They were just bringing him into the Humane Society while I was there; he was eight months old and already big big big. I think he had Maine Coon in him. He had giant paddle paws and was just an enormous cat. As soon as they brought him in, I said, “Oh, don’t even put that one in a cage. I want that one.”
He was strong. He was calm. He was tough. He was the best hunter you ever met. But he would purr and let you pet him till the cows came home. Whenever I had a migraine, Hork was there. When I was proofreading something? Horkie would join me. Sometimes he’d bat at my pen, but mostly he’d just hang out and be gray.
He lived with Paula and me, and I am sorry to tell you that Paula and our other friend Stacy had a Sheltie, who perhaps Horkie did not take kindly to. He was not for a moment scared of Katie, the Sheltie. Certainly not. He took one look at that exuberant dog and was completely disgusted.
He may have, oh, bitten off just a tiny portion of that dog’s ear. Just once. And he also might have had a hobby of hiding on the dining room chairs and swatting at that beleaguered dog when she’d trot by. Oh, he tormented that creature.
The reason I am taking Horkie back with me is because when we lived at that house, his OTHER hobby, besides inflicting harm on Katie the Sheltie, was he’d go across our dirt road into this field and just have the time of his ding-dang life. I shudder to think what kind of tiny wildlife Horkie gleefully murdered, because I have seen him take down mice and voles at lightning speed before it dawned on me to bell him.
Sometimes he’d go out all night to that field, and when Paula got up at 5:00, Horkie would jump into the bathroom window, and Paula would open it for him, and he would come home that way. He came in through the bathroom window, just like the Beatles song. Interestingly, he was also protected by a silver spoon.
He would trudge into bed with me, sticks and grass hanging off his fluffy tail, and just pass out.
Those days in that field were his salad days. I know he was gloriously happy there. He does not want to be hanging out on the hutch in my dining room. He wants to be blowing around in that field, chasing after mice. So I am going to scatter my Hork there. And as I said before, maybe keep a tiny part of him back to keep with me. Because did I mention he was a cat like no other?