June 23, 2006

I'll make nice to the kitty cats today.

I've been a little hard on the kitties lately -- with good reason. But it's Friday, and what the hell.

Here I am, somewhere in the distant past. The place -- you can read it on the milk box. The decade -- well, we all had milk boxes then.

Me with an unknown cat

More recently, I actually owned a cat. Here's little Chris holding it.

Chris and Ramona

Hey, do you think that cat is one of these?

45 comments:

tcd said...

That is indeed a Hitler cat! This is more evidence that you are a right-wing fascist! (I'm chnneling q here!)

amba said...

Yes.

Goesh said...

- at least the cat your son is holding doesn't have its eye on his jugular vein.

Dave said...

Newark, Delaware, early 1950s.

That's my guess as to the time period.

MadisonMan said...

Gonna offer up your other arm?

I notice you're closing in on 5M hits, by the way.

Sissy Willis said...

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb -- Isaiah 11:6

michael said...

Newark, DE? You lived there in the 1950's?

My mother grew up there at the same time as you, and her parents lived there in the same house until they passed away. In fact, when I was very little, in the early 1970's, my parents and I lived in Newark while my Dad attended Univ. of Del. undergrad. They live in Wilmington now.

Small world (even smaller state).

Mary said...

aww... Did Chris cut his own bangs?

PatCA said...

I think your tormentor is a jihad cat, covered in the traditional feline chador, one of many such independent terrorists spinning off from the demolished Al Quaeda. However, I would not doubt for a moment he has a copy of Mein Katf somewhere in his lair, as we all know the historical connections of jihad with Naziism.

tcd said...

So like we're all commenting on the cat in the pic and Mary zeros in on Ann's son Chris. Is it just me or does anyone else get the creepy crawlies when reading Mary's posts?

Ricardo said...

Adorable photo. 1955?

"The trouble with a kitten is that when it grows up, it's always a cat." (Ogden Nash)

reader_iam said...

Not only did I live in Newark, Delaware for decades, but a week from today or tomorrow I'll be back there for the annual month's stay with my inlaws. Other family also lives in Delaware, though my parents moved away when my father retired from the university.

Michael: We always referred to Delaware as a "small town." Bet that sounds familiar. The biggest advantage of living in the state is how accessible other places (Philly, Baltimore, DC, NY, beaches in three states, etc.) are.

Newark proper is utterly unrecognizable as the place it was back in the '70s, and it has changed substantially even in the decade since we moved away from Delaware.

I worked at a number of--at the time--well known "Newark" institutions on Main Street over the years. None of those businesses remain, and two--the State Theatre and The Deluxe Diner--were razed years and years and years ago to make way for the new upscale construction that largely marks that part of downtown these days. It's a really weird, even surreal feeling when I walk down there for the first time each year, past my old apartment (which still does exist), and again reconcile memory with reality.

And, Ann, I'm still saying "Brookside!?" to myself, and chuckling. Not in a bad way, of course.

vh: powbq

What happens when you attempt to revisit places and times in the past.

Pogo said...

tcd
'creepy crawlies' about describes it, yes.

reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
reader_iam said...

Heh. Hitler cat: Yes. The "scratchiest" cat I ever met looked like that, so maybe there's something to it.

The obvious question, Ann, is this: Does your 5 millionth visitor get a cat as the prize?

reader_iam said...

Wow, first a double-posted comment, and then both disappeared when I deleted just one!

Must be Friday in bloggerland.

Question, Ann: Is the prize for your 5 millionth visitor going to be a cat?

Joe T said...

That cat is no Hitler cat. It clearly has a beard. Looks more like Trotsky to me.

AllenS said...

Inside the milk box was glass bottles of milk. This was a time before the homogenization of milk, so at the top of the bottle was about an inch of cream. Did you ever peel the cap off and take a swig of the cream right out of the bottle? Did you ever get caught, and spanked?

Ann Althouse said...

AllenS: The days of cream on the top preceded my time. Milk was homogenized for us. Occasionally, there would be a little layer of cream at the top, and we kids thought it was disgusting. My mother would always tell the story you just did about how when she was young they loved the cream part best. We found that incomprehensible.

Speaking of Mother, she almost certainly recited that Ogden Nash line -- which she loved -- on the occasion of me hugging that kitty, which was not ours. That was her stock answer to the question whether we could get a kitty.

The stock answer to whether we could get a dog was that they already had two dogs, and both were hit by cars, and it was too sad when they died. Like if you got a dog, it would go get itself killed, and there was pretty much nothing you could do to prevent it. Both of these dogs were from before I was born. They got the dogs for my sister, and you can imagine how sad these deaths were for her and how unbearable for my parents to see how sad she was. To me, it was incomprehensible -- and unfair. Why did Dell get dogs and not me? Both dogs, by the way, were honey-colored cocker spaniels named Honey.

Speaking of older siblings, Chris's bangs were cut by his brother.

And, I agree with JoeT, that's not a HItler Cat. It's got the goatee and beard arrangement. I couldn't think of who to compare it too. I thought of Maynard G. Krebs. I think of beatniks, not Communists, but let's just say that was my Commie beatnik cat. And she was a real bastard.

Anthony said...

Hey, lookee what just came across my Internets from LiveScience: Myth: A dog's mouth is cleaner than a human's

Despite a habit of licking things no human would dare, Fido's mouth is often touted as scientifically more sterile. Truth is, oral bacteria are so species-specific that one can't be considered cleaner than the other, just different.

But a Komdodo dragon's mouth can still kick @ss.

Ann Althouse said...

"Despite a habit of licking things no human would dare..."

Oh, come on, there's at least one human who would!

Internet Ronin said...

"Maynard G. Trotsky." I like that.

Jim said...

I just trapped another neighbor's cat today. I know that, in Wisconsin, I could just take it out into the woods and shoot it, as it is OK to hunt cats in Wisconsin.

Not here in Texas. The state legislature has made it a felony to kill someone else's cat, so I have to spend good money to ship them to New Mexico to have them killed, where it is legal. Since there is no law against "transporting animals across state borders for the purposes of extermination," there is no problem, except for my expenses and the owner's loss of the esteemed animal.

There has to be a better solution, but Texas law gives me no alternative. What my city should do is sponsor a Humane Society lost-and-found website, where I can negotiate a price for the return of the trespassing cat, a price that would go up, obviously, with each successful trapping of the same cat in the same place.

I am a libertarian animal lover who would prefer to neuter pet owners in general and especially those who allow their pets to trespass and pass zoonoses to neighbors. Is there some alternative?

Internet Ronin said...

How about: Return the cat to the owner and tell him/her that you will ship it out next time.

OR

How about: Take the cat to a local "Don't Kill" shelter and say you found a stray.

You're a vindictive SOB, aren't you? Lucky for you that you aren't my neighbor.

Freeman Hunt said...

My neighbor's cats view my yard as their territory, but I like it. They're accomplished mole hunters.

MadisonMan said...

I know that, in Wisconsin, I could just take it out into the woods and shoot it, as it is OK to hunt cats in Wisconsin.

That bill didn't pass. So don't move here thinking you can bring along your neighbor's cats and then take them into the forest and kill 'em. You can't.

Just trying to save you some money!

TWM said...

Don't give in to the dark side, Ann. Cats are evil. Second only to cows, who every knows fly at night, swooping down to grab children.

TWM said...

Should be "everyone" obviously.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I'm still waiting for my 2 millionth prize -- a vial of squism.

For 5 million hits? Stuffed cat. Stuffed with squirrel.

Tibore said...

""Despite a habit of licking things no human would dare..."

Oh, come on, there's at least one human who would!"


Okay, professor, second thread in two days you've grossed me out with. What's up with that?

Also: That cat looks as much Groucho Marx as anyone else to me.

bearbee said...

Trotsky look-a-like

Wickedpinto said...

Okay, it's a cute pick of you with a kitty cat, and you don't mind pointing out that you had a milk box. What I want to know, is where is Alfalfa?

Alcibiades said...

That's a long haired cat. Hitler cats are obviously shorthaired, as was he. Besides it's way too fuzzy and sweet looking to be a Hitler cat.

Jim said...

Internet Ronin acvised "Return the cat to the owner and tell him/her that you will ship it out next time OR take the cat to a local "Don't Kill" shelter and say you found a stray."

I've tried all that. Our local shelter will come out to pick up dogs or injured or dangerous animals, but not healthy cats. Nor will they reimburse me for the time and gas I expend taking a cat to the shelter, not to mention what I spent for the trap or the fine chicken bait I use to catch them. And, while they charge big-time for returning cat to owner or for adopting out a stray, they have no provision for reimbursing me. I have thought of filing a quantum meruit suit to recover my expenses. Is that the way to go?

I'd like to return the cat to the owner, for a price, but how the hell do I figure out who is the owner? The cats don't talk.

Ann Althouse said...

It's a Persian cat. Iran was not on Hitler's side.

Simon Kenton said...

Jim -

I know a guy who traps cats in a havahart, set in his backyard. He takes them in. He learned the shelter has a no-nonsense perspective - cat with a collar evokes a call, cat without who's a darling gets 3 days, vicious attack cat like the Venus fly-kitty that savaged Ms Althouse gets put down immediately.

He shakes them up vigorously in the cage just before he turns them in.

There's a hint of barbarity here, though as a birder and ex-cat-owner it certainly doesn't bother me as much as it will some others. But it's fair to say he's caught 98 in his yard. He may be irritating to contemplate, but his is not the irresponsibility here.

jar said...

No, he is too cute.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Althouse generational curse: bad bangs.

Ann Althouse said...

Ruth Anne: Bangs is one of the first topics blogged about on this blog. The 5th post in fact. Look at the January 2004 archive. Even before Necco wafers.

Bangs are a big topic for me.

I used to get in trouble in junior high school for having long bangs. I don't get the supershort bangs in that old picture.

As for Chris, as I said, his brother did that one day when we weren't looking. I took a long time to grow back.

PatCA said...

Wow, I had no idea people got so angry about having cats walk into their yards! How do even notice them?

Johnny Nucleo said...

Cute! It's funny how kids hold cats. Cats hate kids. It's actually really funny because it's like Pepe Lepuew.

SaysMeow said...

All right, Ms. Althouse, based on the pictures which demonstrate childhood affection, I will disregard your recent uncharitable comments on the noble order of cats.

(Newark! I lived on Kenmar Drive, Brookside, from 1954 to 1961. When I was about 3, I was bitten by an unknown cat, so my parents decided I should get rabies shots. I suppose they hurt but I don't remember a thing. State Theater...Dorsman's Hobby Shop...sub sandwiches from either Angie's or the Blue Bell...et cetera nostalgia)

reader_iam said...

Meow:

Ooh, Angie's! Just had an intense flashback in at least 3 senses over that reference.

Mmmm ... .

Joe T said...

Jim said:

"Not here in Texas. The state legislature has made it a felony to kill someone else's cat, so I have to spend good money to ship them to New Mexico to have them killed, where it is legal."

"Nor will they reimburse me for the time and gas I expend taking a cat to the shelter, not to mention what I spent for the trap or the fine chicken bait I use to catch them."


Jim, you'd love it where I live (Trollville, MO, a very small suburb of St Louis). I registered my trespassing pet ransom terms with the local animal control office, so now whenever I trap some neighbor's beast in the process of abusing my property rights, I just take the offending critter to the Pet Escrow Center downtown. They inform the owner, who now has 48 hours to meet my terms or negotiate a settlement. If that falls through, I have the option of resolving the matter with hand-to-hand combat, and if I win, the pet owner (or his or her estate ) is responsible for all my expenses, including gas, bait, and a portion of the cost of the trap (subject to the appropriate depreciation allowance, of course).

You gotta love a market-based solution!

Kev said...

My cat had to be put to sleep yesterday, after being with me for five years and in the family for sixteen. She was old and sick and incontinent; indeed, the whole house was her litterbox for the last few months or so. She didn't have anything close to a sweet personality, but we bonded over the years, and I really miss her right now. My tribute is here.