The emperor has no clothes

The Wall Street Journal has called him a liar; TIME Magazine has him on its cover with the caption “Is Truth Dead?” The San Francisco Chronicle regularly writes that the man is unhinged. MSNBC outright says he is mentally ill.

But, interviewed for his untruths, he insists that he is believed by his fans and therefore he is all square with the truth. And he holds rallies to support that claim.
It appears to be important to him that the turnout for his inauguration be larger than that of Obama. Well, if one counts the protesters, that might be true.

It is fascinating to watch the man’s progress. Question is, how long will he last?

Corned beef

I had corned beef a couple of days ago, served with shamrocks on the side, and I have to tell you that every bite was a venture into gastronomical perversion. Salted beyond belief, it created instant thirst which lasted into the next day.

How did the English like it, then? I understand that back in time Ireland furnished beef to England. To prevent the meat from being spoiled in transit, they salted it – hence, corned beef though I am not sure where corn comes into it. No doubt it was being served everywhere in Boston where hardy souls downed the meat. Perhaps huge droughts of beer helped.

So much for history.

Fortunes of war

It is coming up on the 64th year since my parents, sister and I landed in Naples with $50 in our pockets and one suitcase each. As depicted in my novel Journey from Shanghai, we had nowhere to go and no one to call for help.

My father was dying of his heart attacks, which occurred every few days, and as we stood there on the dock I wonder, at age 18, what would become of us. It was being proved that exile from Shanghai was only the beginning of the life trials being foisted on us.

I believe the Syrian refugees currently landing in Italy via their precarious routes are being taken to the same camp we were, a facility in Catania, Sicily, that their fates and livelihood were just as uncertain as were ours. And would they reflect, years later, that they had improved the conditions of their existence? At least they were not being bombed and shelled and starved. Otherwise, with no language and some without skills life for them continues to be one of hardship and uncertainty.
I can relate to them on that count.

Excerpt from Meow’s Way cont’d

Pinky could look after herself, I reasoned, if I left her a dish of food and water outside the door. But what about raccoons eating the food? Other cats? No matter. I would figure something out. At least she wouldn’t need a litter box. In the beginning of our friendship, there was a problem with our nights together. I had to get up several times to see if she had come to be let in. When she did come in, at whatever time of night it happened to be, she would jump onto the bed and sleep by my side. Sweet comfort for my spirit, this little furry body purring next to me! After my husband, Renato, died I endured the same painful emptiness everyone does after loss. I did not want another human being next to me. The pet door I installed suited us both. Now she came and went as she liked.

Her belly is a serious comfort zone. When she wants me to stop scratching when ready for sleep, her legs push my hand away. The first time I slipped a hand under her head, she purred wildly. Irresistible – and I did it whenever I could. Sometimes she’d slip a paw into my hand to hold. While I cupped her head, a small cramp would come alive in my forearm, move up to my shoulder and neck, snake down my back, until a monstrous torque took hold of the arch of my foot. My hand stayed put, while my foot proceeded to dig a hole in the mattress. It is a measure of my gratitude for her companionship that I was willing to stand on hot coals for her.

I have since recovered my senses and seek my own comfort first. In the very beginning, she crept up and draped herself around my neck like a fur boa. Her purring filled my throat. Another time, I woke up to a stealthy movement along my legs. She was inching up along them, and when she reached my hip, began to inch back down. She did this several times. Was it a private game? Was she tracking a bug? I went back to sleep

The beginning with Loaner cat

One warm afternoon in November I came into the house after pulling weeds for an hour. A big tabby jumped down from the living room sofa and ran to me meowing. Surprised, I bent down to stroke it and was met with a fierce show of affection. She – most probably a she – rubbed against my hand, all the while meowing in a sweet, high voice.
She wound herself between my ankles, following me out to the patio, jumping up on the railing to rub against me, and purred and meowed without end. I didn’t know what to do with her and retreated to my husband’s den and lay down on the couch to read. The cat jumped up on my chest, at least twenty pounds of her. She rubbed against my face, my hand holding the book, my neck, my chin. I stroked and scratched. She kept up the attack. I thought Help! but really was enjoying myself.
After what seemed an hour, I put her outside and shut the door and fled back to the couch to think about what had happened. We had seen each other once or twice in my yard, nothing more.
She came almost every day after that, since the weather allowed me to leave the patio door open. I bought cat treats, which further cemented our relationship.

And that is how my tabby came to be.

The gloves have come off

Turnabout FairPlay: The media, excoriated by The Donald, is exploring the possibility that he is mentally unstable. I watched MSNBC in fascination as Lawrence O’Donnell interviewed a psychiatrist (I believe it was a psychiatrist) who stated that our president was displaying behavior that conformed with mental illness.

Take, for example his statement made earlier in his campaign that transgender people had every right to the bathrooms of their choice, and his current stance forbidding them that right. He has turned around previous remarks with regularity and firmness that has to be noticed, even by his supporters, although it seems the voters don’t seem to care. Currently, that is. In the meantime, the gloves of the media have come off.

Meow’s Way

Here is an excerpt from my book Meow’s Way:

I am flat, peering under the sofa. Pinky is beside me, also flat and peering into the darkness. Of course, she has no idea what we are doing.I laugh out loud, and she flops on her back and wiggles. It is her orange catnip fish that is missing again. I have considered purchasing a dozen to keep in reserve, but I am as stubborn in continuing my daily pursuit of the fish as she is in losing it.A long, thin dowel is my instrument of retrieval. With it I sweep under all the furniture in the house.

She has other toys, but has a passion for the fish. For a cat who may have been feral before she moved in with me, she has adapted superbly to life indoors, unless she was only half feral before. I had never seen her, a longhaired tortoiseshell with green eyes, in the neighborhood before she came up the steps to my patio, leaned her paws against the door, and peered through the glass. I moved to open the door and before I could invite her in, she backed off and ran away.

She returned again and again, each time following on my heels. Whenever I turned
around she fled. One day she held her ground and uttered several meows in a tiny voice. I interpreted them to mean, “I like you. Can I stay? I’m a good cat. I won’t give you any trouble.” I named her Pinky for her one pink toe.

She did stay. Soon I was scanning grocery shelves for flavors of canned cat food, then loading sacks of dry cat chow in my cart, then picking up leaflets on veterinary pet care. I was having fun. After my budgerigar, Daisy, died, it seemed reckless to acquire another pet that I could not leave for at least two nights at a time. Daisy did not mind my absence if I left a radio on near her. She would cock her head in its direction and, from the pile of droppings below, seemed not to have moved during those days away.

Pinky could look after herself, I reasoned, if I left her a dish of food and water outside the door. But what about raccoons eating the food? Other cats? No matter. I would figure something out. At least she wouldn’t need a litter box.
In the beginning of our friendship, there was a problem with our nights together. I had to get up several times to see if she had come to be let in. When she did come in, at whatever time of night it happened to be, she would jump onto the bed and sleep by my side. Sweet comfort for my spirit, this little furry body purring next to me! After my husband, Renato, died I endured the same painful emptiness everyone does after loss. I did not want another human being next to me.

The pet door I installed suited us both. Now she came and went as she liked.