Thursday, March 22, 2012

The one where Buddy goes to the vet...

Shhhh!  I'm hiding out in the Computer Turret.  Buddy the Freakishly Large Kitten, who has the claws to match his moniker, needs rounding up for his first visit to the vet.  Not his actual first, of course -- it's his actual second visit, but the first happened without any muss or fuss, as he was not yet freakishly large, and was, in fact, very tiny, and lost in that peculiarly endearing stupidity of extreme-babyhood.

Buddy can con you in a New York minute.  And if his somewhat vacuous expression doesn't start you down the yellow brick road of his various diversions, he has those claws.

He exploits the "awwww..." factor like nobody's business.  Just yesterday, he sauntered up to me as I lay in my come hither pose, draped across my wheelchair, praying for death.  I wasn't feeling so hot.  Well, I was HOT, but, oh, never mind.

He doesn't so much meow as coo.  Maine Coons must be the mockingbirds of the feline community.  So he coos at me, and lifts an eyebrow.  I'm his bitch, and he knows it.

My shoulder hurts like hell.  It hurts worse since I discovered, yesterday morning, the Return of the Fistula (same one, same spot, same everything).  But no matter, I'm Buddy's bitch, and I know it.

Through a series of incisive questions, I determined that Buddy required that a certain ball, the soft, orange one, with the weird spikes, be retrieved for a rousing game of Fetch.  Odd, he usually reserves Fetch tournaments (he and Dobby are Fetch aficionados of the First Order) for the moment I enter REM sleep, which explains my dearth of dreams.

Ouch.  I am not sure that dearth can handle a personal possessive pronoun.

The ball in question turned out to be tucked under the edge of a Persian rug.  The Persian rug was under an antique console table.  Under the antique console table, also weighing down that expensive bit of carpet, was an oversized brass-studded leather Ottoman ottoman, filled with huge rocks.  Just kidding.  No rocks!  Oh, and on the console table?  Two huge celadon vases and an 800-pound concrete Laughing Buddha.

It's not your average graceful, eye-soothing console table.  Lovely turned, tapered legs, yes. But a loud, look-at-me marble top and a heavy, thick, very rectangular plinth that doesn't give the turn or the taper of the legs half a chance.

Yes, I have given that particular Haddock acquisition to the Manor a great deal of thought.  You would, too, if you had moved it, twice, while in a wheelchair and with only one functioning arm.  First, of course, I moved the Ottoman ottoman.  Those Turks and their darned footstools.  Actually, my extensive research shows that the word ottoman came into use as a designation for these bits of furniture because of the early 19th-century affinity for all things deemed oriental, and the act of reclining was considered, of course, oriental. [Don't look at me.  I just report these things.]

Proof that everything is political?  Even this ethnocentric perversion of simple furnishings turns out to be based on imperialist designs, in this instance, by one Napoléon Bonaparte, who molded the codification of orientalism in art with Description de l'Égypte, ou Recueil des observations et des recherches qui ont été faites en Égypte pendant l'expédition de l'armée française (English: Description of Egypt, or the collection of observations and research which was made in Egypt during the expedition of the French Army).

He was a great codifier, Napoléon!  Still, although his failed attempt to colonize Egypt and Syria inspired a wealth of artistic propaganda, napoleonic heavyhandedness was perpetuated by conflicts that continued throughout the century: first with the Greek War of Independence, then the French conquest of Algeria, and, in the 1850s, by the Crimean War.

I'm just saying.
For a completely different point of view, steeped in a more modern sense of the mercenary, read this.

As for the West and our affinity for glossing?  Well, Egypt, Turkey, Egypt, Turkey, who can tell them apart?  What matters is that all these [near] Eastern folk love to RECLINE.  

"What can Egypt be like?" wrote Eugène Delacroix, "Everyone is mad about it."

The Women of Algiers in Their Apartment, 1834
Eugene Delacroix

Right. So!
We're out of coffee, in case you were wondering.

Anyway, Buddy finagled the recovery of his orange spiky ball, and I got to take some extra pain medication, as a result.  In the process of checking out how The Wound had fared during my furniture-moving, vase-lifting exploits, what was kind of obvious was the Return of the Fistula.  Those of you who are detail-oriented may remember that The Fistula first came to my attention following a similar instance of exertion, after The Clearing of the Back Porch.

I crack myself up.  I knew that I'd regaled you, Dear Readers, with the Tale of the Back Porch but had no idea that there was a freaking Fistual Thread!  It appears I haven't consigned The Fistula to further literary recognition since November 7, 2011, when I noted, in my usual fashion, so devoid of drama:
These are the available choices:    
Either my head is going to explode or I am going to cry.
In June 2008, when I began elle est belle la seine la seine elle est belle, it was, mostly, a response to that same immense frustration, and my attempt to both restrain my tears and keep my head.  I thought that throwing fanciful and funny verbiage at my problems might release enough of the stultifying pressure for my lacrimal glands to dry up and -- should my head actually explode -- I wanted to have the documentation required by Guiness World Records.

I'm a Guinness junkie.  That's where I first read about SHR, Spontaneous Human Combustion.  One of the first things Fred shared with Abbot Truffatore and Father Anthony, over cocktails, was my firm belief in the reality of Spontaneous Human Combustion. He even requested some sort of ritualized intervention, as the three of them sat there, tying knots in cherry stems with their tongues.  Yes, Fred unwittingly polluted my chances with those Cistercian Power Brokers. I didn't get to see The Holy Foreskin, their most prized relic, until months after he did.

Does no one else see the hypocrisy?  I mean, so I believe in the ability of the human body to burst into flames without an outside agent or an inciting accelerant.  They believe a bit of shriveled foreskin is imbued with The Sacred.  Hello?

I don't think I can hide out up here much longer.  There's too much to do and it really stinks of cowardice.

It's a great little perch, the Computer Turret. I can see Fred down there, all red-faced and sweaty, struggling to strap the oversized pet carrier into the front passenger seat.

Oh, my God, there's a Buddy paw clawing its way out, talons extended... Run, Fred, run!

POSTSCRIPT [visual]:

Buddy, back from the vet... and healthy as a horse...

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