Walking the Cat

So you all know about my latest obsession with dogs which is much different than my obsession with foxes because I could actually get a pet dog one day. I guess I could get a pet fox too, but that’s not as easy as just popping by the pound and picking one up.

I keep trying to imagine my pet dog and what she might be like. I scroll through the SPCA website and pick out contenders. I think I’ll name my dog Lettuce. I’ve decided that’s a good doggy name. I’m also going to get a cat and name him Bacon. Every time I tell my husband that I plan on teaching Bacon to walk on a leash he looks at me like I’m crazy.

“You take dogs for walks, why can’t you take a cat?” I say.

“You just don’t,” he says.

My husband obviously has no vision. He has no idea that I’m going to start a world wide cat and dog walking trend. I imagine myself walking Bacon and Lettuce together on a leashes through my new sidewalk filled neighborhood. It will be great. We’ll get so much exercise and I’ll be totally in control. People will point and say look at that lady walking a cat and a dog on leashes. I’ll wave and smile with pride.

Everyone will think, “Gee that lady has a good idea.” Before you know it in every country in the land people will start waking their cats and dogs together. Inspired by the new found harmony between cat and dog all people will stop fighting and peace will spread across the Earth. All of this walking will cure the obesity epidemic and people will be healthier.

The world will be a much better place just because I taught my cat to walk on a leash with a dog. Once they get the walking down I’m going to teach my dog to drive a car and my cat to read a map.

Now I just need to get the cat and dog.

RIP Frank the Car


When we decided that we were going to move back to Florida we knew that we’d have to get rid of our car, Frank. Since people from the scrapyard had already expressed interest in him we decided the easiest thing to do would be to scrap him. Just writing about it even now gives me a lump in my throat.

You see, Frank was a good working class kind of car. He had calloused hands, dirty fingernails, swore a lot and liked to go down to the local to have a pint with the boys. I’m sure he was pretty good at darts too. Frank served us well. Even though he was 16 years old he only broke down once and that wasn’t even his fault, but that’s another story.

The most convenient way for us to get rid of Frank though was to sell him for scrap. Poor Frank. Here’s how it all went down.

After we drove our fifty million suitcases to the hotel near the airport, we drove Frank to the scrapyard. The scrapyard was a dusty, loud place with lots of men and lots of F words being thrown about. Just the kind of place Frank would feel right at home in. A man told us to drive Frank onto the scale and then we went into the office to find out how much we could get for him. The man at the desk told us the price and asked, “Do you have everything out of it?”

“Yes,” we said.

“All right then,” the man said. Then suddenly a giant claw came down smashed right through Frank’s sunroof and flung him about thirty feet in the air. He landed with a crash on the other side of the lot. Then a second claw picked him up and flung him again into a pile of cars at the far end of the lot.

We both stood their in shock. We were shocked for two reasons. Firstly, we’d never seen anyone throw a car before. Secondly, the scrapyard website has a little section on it about how to be environmentally friendly they must drain all the fluids from the cars before scrapping them. Unless a crew of small invisible men were busy doing that while we were finding out the price that didn’t happen.

When we moved to the UK we bought Frank from a friend for 100 pounds. When we sold him to the scrapyard they gave us 98 pounds. I think we made out pretty good. Too bad I can’t say the same for Frank. He will be missed.

Break It Down

We bought a car in to keep in Florida not too long ago. It was for convenience because we go back and forth between the UK and Florida so often. It was also for prestige because we’re all about looking good. That’s why we have 97 Saturn as our Florida car and a 96 Peurgot 106 that sounds like a tractor as our UK car. Nothing says luxury like a car from the late nineties.

Anyway, when we got the car we told my parents that they could use it. They only have one vehicle and our car would just be sitting in their parking lot most of the time. My mother was insistent that they wouldn’t need to use it. “I don’t want that responsibility,” she said. “I can take the bus.”

My father has been driving it occasionally and my sister needed to use it for a while. That’s fine with us, but the other day we got a phone call telling us that the car broke down. When I say broke down I mean serious everything-stopped-working-stopping-in-the-middle-of-the-street broke down. That’s the kind of broke down that I have anxiety about whenever I drive anywhere. That’s the kind of broke down that ends up costing you more to repair than the car is actually worth. Anyway, guess who was driving it. Have you guessed yet? It was my mother.

My mother will probably read this post and never drive the car again. That’s too bad because even though she drives everywhere at 95 miles an hour the needs to be driven.

Introducing Clio…

Our car, Frank (that’s his name), broke down this weekend. It would’ve been all right if we were the kind of people who didn’t need to go anywhere on the weekend, but unfortunately most of our going happens on the weekends.

My husband thought it was the alternator. I didn’t even know Frank had one of those. Anyway after some thought and a lot of oh-no-what-are-we-going-to-do’s on my part we decided to rent a car. We got a Renault Clio from the car rental place. It looked something like this:

Yes the windows really are that shiny in person. I have pictures to prove it.

Having Clio around was a luxury. We started getting used to the power steering and working radio. Clio even had a CD player. Imagine that! But, Frank was starting to get jealous so Clio had to leave after only a few days.

We took Frank to the mechanic today. Don’t worry he’s made a full recovery.

A Neeeewwwww Caaaaarrrr

Have you ever watched The Price is Right? When we used to do our laundry in the local laundromat The Price is Right was always blaring from the two televisions at either end of the establishment. For those of you who are lucky enough to never have heard of The Price of Right I’ll just say that it’s a game show that’s been on for a very long time. What shocked me is that the other customers in the laundromat seemed completely engrossed in the show. Anyway, one thing about the show that always got on my nerves was when a car was the prize the announcer would always say, “A neeeeeeewwwwww caaaaaarrrrrr!” I hated that. I know winning a new car is exciting, but must he say it in such an annoying manner.

We didn’t win a new car, but decided to buy an old car to make our trips to Florida a bit easier. There’s nothing I hate more than shopping for a car. Actually that’s not true. I think I hate getting a cavity filled more. Oh yeah, and there was that totally unnecessary uterus vacuuming. That was pretty bad too. So when I put it into prespective I guess car shopping isn’t that bad.

My husband is so excited about our new car that he couldn’t wait to have me take a picture of him climbing into it.

Kwik-Fit?

My husband took the car to a place called Kwik-Fit the other day to get the oil changed. The mechanic who has been working on the car is far away so he’s decided to try out some places nearby. We were spoiled in Florida because we had the best mechanic ever.

With a name like Kwik-Fit, we expected it to be something like Jiffy Lube. It’s a chain. It has the word quick–though strangely spelled–in the title. You would expect their service to be quick.

When my husband came home only a few minute after leaving, I knew that either Kwik-Fit really lived up to their name or there was a problem.

“I have to make an appointment,” he said.

“You’re kidding.”

“Guess when the first available appointment was.”

“When?”

“Next week.”

I was shocked and appalled but the shock and appallation (Is that a word?) grew even deeper when my husband told me that he’d have to leave the car there all day.

He asked the guy behind the counter, “If I drop it off at 9 in the morning, it should be done by 2:30, right?”

“Maybe,” the guy said.

Maybe? How long does it take to do an oil change. My husband said that when he was there, there was only one car in the whole place. Kwik-Fit should definitely change it’s name.

Frankie


Some people name their cars. I have to admit that I’m one of those people. I remember all of my past cars’ names and personalities like they were old friends. Herbert was my whimsical Chevette. Elliot was my shy Plymouth Horizon. Claus was a sluggish Volvo 760. And Frankie is an optimistic PT Cruiser.

I’m remembering my past cars because I’m selling Frankie this week. I spent the morning cleaning him out. I gently wiped the dirt off the doorhandles and cleaned crumbs from door pockets. Misty eyed I looked over oil change receipts from Sears.

Frankie and I had some good times together. We like to go to the same places and listen to the same music. He’s quiet, but aren’t cars supposed to be quiet?

I’ll miss walking outside and seeing him, gleaming in the parking lot, waiting for me. He has become such a good friend. It’s hard to see good friends go.

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