No Humpy Dumpy

It’s exactly a month ago when we picked up our cat from the gas station and contrary to popular belief—which is by the way one of the greatest fears that I know my wife and I have kept from one another when we rescued the kitten from being a potential road kill—the house doesn’t not stink. There’s no dreaded Humpy Dumpy smell.

Humpy Dumpy was once a popular snack here in the country. It is one of those snacks that taste good but smell funny or weird. Almost everyone before would agree that the best description to it is that it smells like cat poo. I don’t know if it was the reason it eventually got pulled out of the market or if it is because–I just realized–its name brings a lot of pun. Humpy. Dumpy. How can the manufacturers make such oversight.

Here by the way is the TVC of Humpy Dumpy. See if you can also identify the commercial models.

***

There is one reason the house didn’t stink. Or at least that’s what the three of us believe. The litter box. Truth to be told, the only idea I have back then on how to toilet train the cat is to spread a newspaper in one corner of the house and expect him to identify it as to where he should dump. It worked before for our bully guest so I had high expectations it would work for the kitten. I was wrong.

It’s a good thing that even the kitten held on. The first day was uneventful–he didn’t dump which made us wonder when and where it is going to happen. Luckily, my in-law who has cats living with them inside their house told me to get a litter box. I’ve heard of it but never knew what it was and what it does.

So I went around, asked a pet store about it, and I was told that a litter is just actually sand. I rushed back to our place and I just knew where to get one–our neighbor was renovating their house and they have a pile of extra sand outside.

Lo and behold, the kitten used the litter box. It was like a miracle happening right it front of me when I saw him dug in and sit as if he had the litter box since birth!

***

We made a mistake. Few days after our son proudly named the kitten Oggy, we learned from the internet that we got a female. Thus the change of name to Mittens which is a namesake of the Stampy’s cat. Stampy by the way is Marcus’ favorite source of Minecraft tips on YouTube.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (This cat talk makes me hungry. I can smell lunch from the kitchen.)

 

Oggy is Now at Home

Not ordinary, the stars have aligned, we finally got Marcus his cat. Yes, what appears to be SSDD–Same Saturday Different Date–ended with us taking home a stray kitten from an unlikely source.

Stopping at a gas station to fill up, I gave in to wifey’s long standing request to avail of the NBA car sun shield promo. She wants one to show support to her favorite team. So I requested to look at the samples and while waiting for the gas attendant to get the items, a kitten under a Rubbermaid mop bucket appeared from my side mirror. It was the size I’ve been looking for Marcus for more than a month already. Eure-Cat!

“Is it okay to take the cat?” Hiding my excitement I asked the gas attendant as he returns with the promo item samples.”Ano ‘yun sir (What do you mean)?” he asked back, confused. “There’s one that just went under our car, we want to take it home,” I replied. Bending over to look under the car the man confirmed, “Ah, opo sir, para maalagaan nang maayos (yes you can, so that it can be taken care of properly).”

And so after paying for the gas and a Miami Heat sun shield, we drove away from the Phoenix gas station with a black-and-orange patched kitten stowed right under the dashboard. Gas filled, wifey happy, Marcus ecstatic. By the way, he named the cat Oggy from his ever favorite cartoon show Oggy and the Cockcroaches.

Oggy. (Cockroaches not in picture.)

***

Before it happened we came from the church and dropped by SM Dasmarinas. Everything was almost routine but what happened in each place seem to add up.

At the church, being seated right in the front row, I was approached by the ushers and asked if I can bring the wine to the priest to be used during the offertory portion of the mass. I didn’t decline. Of course, as I expected, Marcus tagged along and was also given the ceremonial blessing by the priest.

Then at SM, he led us to the Pet Express store to tour me around at the recently opened shop. He was there once with wifey and it appears that he already memorized the items on the racks. On our way out was a PAWS ‘Catvocacy’ poster. It promotes saving cats.

And these probably were signs that somewhere on our way home could be an answer to Marcus’ prayers that sooner or later he would own a pet cat.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (So far the cat hasn’t pooped inside the house.)

Bad and Good Emails

“Good things comes to those who wait” – Anonymous

Today was almost perfect. But sadly another great creature passed away. Upon opening my email this afternoon, I saw this subject: Baby the Bull- dog! 5/18/98-7/29/07. At first I hesitated, but then opened and read it still. It’s confirmed Baby died. The inevitable did come. I’ve been a fan of this lovable bully since we had Styro who was also an English bulldog just like Baby. I’ve been receiving email updates and occasionally in contact with Dan (his owner) who himself is a very talented guy. Aside from being a good pet owner, he’s also a construction estimator, author and sculptor. He’s so fond of Baby that he dedicated a famous website for him and the rest of his four-legged gang.

I just can’t imagine his sorrow right now after having Baby for 9 years. We “lost” ours after just a year and we we’re almost devastated. Please drop by http://bullybaby.com to appreciate their wonderful companionship.

Goodbye Baby.

****

After one heartbreaking news it seems hard to for me to compose what I initially planned to write. Anyway, today was actually a very good day for me.

It started last week with an unofficial SMS on my application update. “That’s good,” I thought but I tried to be reserved than usual. Then as if by coincidence the priest’s homily on Saturday’s anticipated mass mentioned “I’m not believing, until I see it.” Well, when I opened my email at work the following day, the subject Congratulations! – Application Update almost made me jump out of my chair. That first word alone made my day.

Now I know that the maroon shirt’s jinx has been washed off indeed. When I was called for this position’s interview I was having doubts if wearing that shirt was a good idea as it was the same shirt that I wore when I got dumped by a supposedly good employer. But of course I know that wearing the black shirt would be sending a bad sign as well. Come to think of it, I only have two pairs to choose from. So, that leaves me no choice.

And so today, I started my training as a new leader. I’ve been waiting for this chance for so long and now at least my efforts and my wife’s prayers paid off. There’s still four more days of training and I can’t wait to start and meet my own team.

Missing a Bully Named Styro

One night, after an intense badminton game, I arrived at home expecting another routine I follow when home alone—park car, open door, dump sweat-soaked clothes, watch the late news, and then hit the sack. I was so surprised though when I noticed our Handycam on top of our center table with a sticky note. It says, “…Watch the video! Bulldogs are beautiful! Miss Styro!…” It was from my wife (she’s on graveyard shift that night) who recorded a 30-minute excerpt from a Martha Stewart show on TV which I presume is most likely a rerun. The episode featured English and French bullies. Among them was Tyson the skating bulldog which we have seen first through a forwarded email.

Watching the show brought back memories of a bully named Styro who stayed briefly with us after we adopted him from my aunt. I remember my wife being reserved on the idea of having a dog at home but the moment she finally gets to meet the white bully I knew that the 20-lbs dog did win her heart.

Prior to Styro’s arrival, I diligently researched on how to handle dogs specifically English bulldogs. Unfortunately, on the very first night, the preparation didn’t quite work. What I must have missed was that this wrinkled, snub-nose, big-head creature does already have his own idea of a good night sleep. This is because before sleeping that night, we tried placing him in a cozy corner inside our house to sleep on (barricaded by a makeshift fence of washing machine, cardboard boxes and shoe racks) and what we got instead was total resistance and minutes of hide-and-seek game with him.

Eventually, we gave up the chase. But while re-thinking our strategies, we got another surprise when he just went straight to our bedroom, dropped his stout body on the floor right below our bed, and almost immediately went to sleep and snore. He wants to sleep with us.

So there goes the cozy corner outside the toilet and the start of us having an instant baby who will be between us, on top, on our feet, on our face or whatever its sleeping mood dictates every night for the next months to come.

I cannot exactly remember how long before we adapted to this new company of ours and a new nightly routine introduced to us by this cuddly dog. For the most part of his stay it seems like our subconscious got programmed to get used to his daily activities, one of which was his “peepoo” time which I still think he scheduled himself to happen between 12:00 midnight and 1:00 am daily.

Every time I think about it, I cannot comprehend how I was able to wake up every night during that time. It seems like he has managed to control my mind the moment he sits beside me while waiting for me to get over with my REM and to finally accompany him outside the house while he does his “peepoo.” Well, the saying may be right, “You don’t adopt a dog, the dog adopts you.”

Styro also has his own favorite meals. This dog was a voracious spaghetti eater other than his regular canned or dry foods. And not only that, he knew which spaghetti sauces were cooked well by my wife and which one weren’t. He sips the pasta just like any person does. And although we knew from books that chocolates are bad for them, we occasionally gave him a taste of choco-flavored ice creams, which he likes a lot especially during the summer season.

Having a breed like Styro is a feat almost similar to having a baby. Regular trips to the vet is a must and what’s funny is that during that time we don’t have a car yet, so going to the clinic means taking him through a local transport — tricycle. In the sidecar, a mixture of awe, fear and adoration is what we’d usually get from the drivers to the people we’d pass by with most faces hinting of wondering if it’s a cartoon character they’ve just seen. Even in the clinic, while waiting for our turn, other dog owners would also spend time patting and playing with him which is usually the reason why their own dogs would whine or bark to take back their attention.

Sigh.

Well we can’t actually claim that Styro was the greatest dog among others, but we can be sure that he did left a mark in our hearts when he left us just more than a year of staying with us. He was never just a pet but a family member whom we dearly miss.