Whatever Happened to Broccoli and His Rat?


Maybe you saw a video I posted to Facebook very late Wednesday night. It was simply captioned:

I’m going to set my house on fire.

Because that seemed reasonable at the moment.

In fact, it’s still sort of a good idea.

So yeah… we’re not great with vermin and didn’t help the cause at all. I admit it. It was late, I was tired, and the only reason we even have cats is that back in 2011 we really did have a rat and mouse problem and I grabbed Sparky from the pound and she went on a murderous rampage. She eliminated all the rats and a couple of lizards too.

She’s a very effective cat… a good eater too.

In any event, after I screamed and the rat got loose (my bad) I did a quick Facebook update. Here’s the video:

And then it went down. And by down I mean downhill. Like a spiral. And it was terrible and I was up until 3 am. Mercifully my husband was out of town so only my son had his Thursday hijacked by lack of sleep.

This is long…. the comments are wildly entertaining though.

We sealed off the bedroom door. My son slept in my daughter’s bedroom and my daughter and I shared a bed the first night. We left Sparky in my son’s room, hopeful that she’d kill the rat. When we awoke and there was no dead rat we decided to open the door and I ran to the hardware store for snap traps.

36 hours later there was still no dead rat. We were grossed out and dejected. We also had to keep doors shut so that pets couldn’t get near the snap traps. Then my friend Jerome told me about his last crummy landlord and the efficiency of electric traps.

I ran back to the hardware store and this time I bought The Rat Zapper
The rat zapper killed the rat really fast They were expensive compared to snap traps but my sanity was slowly spilling away so it felt like money well spent.

This morning I woke up to a red light blinking on the Rat Zapper, and the best news was that Mr. G was home and it was his turn to deal with the rat.

I went to play tennis and came home to this in the trash bin.

[gross image ahead – you’ve been warned]  (more…)

Making Johnnycakes for the Cat


This morning Alexander and his class presented their fifth grade signature projects. Each of the kids had a figure from the Revolutionary War that they did a report on and earlier in the year they did a Walkthrough Revolution. This morning there was a chapel and each of the kids told us about their figure in history. It was really interesting. There was one woman who dressed as a man so that she could fight in the war. When she was injured a doctor discovered that she was, in fact, a she. This woman was given a full pension and retired from the service. I like ten year old girls learning that stuff.

Alexander’s state was Rhode Island and he wanted me to make Johnnycake. You can make them like pancakes (too labor intensive for an early morning) or like a cake. Here’s the recipe:

Boil 2 cups of water and slowly add in one cup of white cornmeal.
Reduce to a high simmer and stir for 5 minutes
Turn off the flame but leave on the burner and stir in:
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter
Transfer the batter to a greased cooking pan and bake at 350 for 45 minutes

I tried this recipe last night and since it requires about 65 cents worth of ingredients I figured I’d do a trial run and then make a batch in the morning. After 10.30 I about passed out and left a pan of Johnny Cake in the kitchen. I woke up to this.

I swear I forget that I have a cat. I’m so used to Junior not being able to reach anything, not even a sofa, that it doesn’t occur to me to put things away.

At 6am I wandered downstairs to make a fresh batch of Johnnycakes and saw cat hair on my kitchen counter and that the buttery glaze of last night’s trial had been licked clean off. Chunks of the cake were missing, some had been swatted around the kitchen floor. It’s fun to mop in the morning. That’s why I had a family. I’m waiting for her to puke somewhere in the house. I’m convinced she just ruins my stuff and vomits to let me know how very much she hates me.

Random: have you ever heard those squeaky mouse toys? You know why they work so well for cats? Because when Sparky has brought half dead mice into the house to torture them before killing them and presenting them to us they sound just like those squeaky toys.

Isn’t that lovely?


Other Women Would Ask Their Mother Why She Needs a Psychic


Texts from my mother

Moms are funny and mine is no exception. I’m not sure if I told you about the time she bought a house at a seance, or about the time that they brought a healer in to talk to the cat to ask her how she felt. The house was a good house but the cat felt like shit because she was 20 years old and they mercifully put her to sleep some time after that cat chat.

I also won’t tell you about the time that Mom was going to add an angled step to the staircase so the chi wouldn’t flow out the front door. You see, if I told stories like these you’d think my mother was silly. She is not a silly woman.

I thought I would share the stream of text messages that Mom and I most recently had.

As you can see I did not know how to hard boil eggs. I texted Mom and she texted me back with directions. Thanks Mom.

You can also see that Jane sent us to the poorhouse recently with her love of oysters. She loves good food, and my hope for her is that she has an excellent job one day or else grocery shopping will be her nightmare.

The first night we were in Mammoth there was an earthquake. We sure did feel it.

This morning’s text signals a return to her youth. Maybe Mom is looking for a new house, or perhaps she’s gotten tired of taking her dog to the acupuncturist and she needs someone to talk to her? I’m not sure why Mom needs a good psychic but I have a feeling it’s going to be a good story.

The Killing is Officially Out of Control


This morning when I went to wake Jane Sparky was curled up her bed. Sparky does not sleep with Jane, and we know that the last time Sparky slept with Jane there was not a happy ending to the story.

This morning was no exception. Although Jane’s sheets are lime green with white and green, there are no flecks of black. The flecks of black you see on the bedsheets are actually feathers. And the red? Well, I’m assuming it’s blood, but since we didn’t find a bird body to go with the wings the evidence against the homicidal manic is strictly circumstantial.

Sparky the Cat and her latest kill a bird


Winning the War on Vermin


You may or may not recall that although Junior is adorable and I do love him best, Sparky was actually recruited by us Gottliebs to win the war on vermin. For the most part Sparky has been useless, she does not love me, but she doesn’t dislike me. She’s a typical cat with me, aloof and busy shedding. With Alexander it’s a completely different story, for Alexander Sparky is all purrs and snuggles, she’s the perfect pet.

Last night Sparky became my favorite too. Watch her at work, and you can look for a cameo of Mr G.

About 45 seconds in you’ll hear Mr G saying, “Jess you gotta do something about this.” Um, I did. I put it on YouTube. Is there soemthing else I’m supposed to do?