Friday, February 24, 2023


First off, thanks to all of you for your kind words and the cards that arrived for us this week. You will never know how much Carlos and  appreciated your love for Tuxedo … and how much Tuxedo loved it, too; after all, he was, if nothing else, the center of our universe.

I think, for me, the hardest part of losing him is going through that first week or so after they’ve gone, and the little things that remind you of the loss. We had done the grocery shopping and returned home;  pulled not the garage and got out to open the door into the house And the close the garage door so Tuxedo couldn’t make a dash toward the yard. He wasn’t there; there was no reason to close the garage door, but I swear I saw him sitting in the doorway to the kitchen like he always did.

This week we had our deck replaced and Craig, who has done work in and out of our house since we moved here, was outside working. And he asked about Tuxedo, because Tuxedo always came out to watch what Craig was doing, or to sit in a windowsill and supervise the project.

The best, or worst, time of all, was one night while watching TV, I went into the kitchen for some peanuts and as I was filling a dish, I saw Tuxedo behind me. He never ate peanuts, we never offered him peanuts, but for some reason he was there and I was crying … again. It took me several days before I could say his name with welling up.

The tears are subsiding, though they are falling right now as I write this because, as you can see over there on the left, we have lost a number of cats over the years and I am now remembering them all. On the bottom row we have Spunky and Voncie, who both passed of cancer in 2005. That’s Thomas, all by himself because he was a huge cat, who also passed in 2005.

The next row up is Scruffy, the tabby, and Lady, the black and white cat; Scruffy died in 2006; he was the old man of the house and when he left us, Tuxedo took that role until earlier this month. Lady, Voncie’s sister, was seventeen when she passed in her sleep a few months after we moved to Camden in 2008. Sweety, another gray tabby who totally lived up to her name, died of old as well, just a few months after Lady. We adopted Tallulah—who looked a little like Voncie—after moving to Camden and had her until she passed from feline leukemia in 2012. We didn’t lose another pet for ten years when MaxGoldberg left us in 2022, and then Tuxedo followed seven months later.

The reason I post about these losses is because of a beautiful quote posted in a comment by Mr. Shife about Tuxedo:

What a wonderful tribute to The Great Tuxedo. I thought of this quote when I was reading this, Bob, and I hope it helps you and Carlos with the healing process.

"It came to me that every time I lose a pet they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new pet who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be pet, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.”
Take care.’

I like to think I have each of their hearts with me and they all have a large piece of mine.

Thursday, February 16, 2023


On paper this never should have worked. Carlos was managing an animal hospital in Miami and Tuxedo was the “transfusion” cat there, after being dropped off by his last owner for being mean. And mean he was; once, when he got out of his cage, he climbed to the top of a cabinet, pushed back an acoustic ceiling tile, and pulled himself up inside the celling to hide. Carlos had to find him, then grab him, and then get him down; which he did. But as he was setting Tuxedo down on the counter, the cat wrapped all four legs around his calf and he shredded Carlos with his claws.

That was my first time hearing about Tuxedo.

A few months later, Carlos asked if  wanted another cat; we had four other cats, down from the original seven, and we didn’t really need another mouth to feed, so I said:

“Let me meet him.”

At the animal hospital, they brought him out and set him on a counter, and I instantly scooped him up, flipped hm on his back and started scratching his belly. Carlos’ co-workers were stunned that Tuxedo was allowing this to happen and so, yeah, we took him home.

And he was not happy. We kept him in the den downstairs so he could get used to the smell of the other cats and the smell of us, before we let him out. See, Tuxedo had been adopted out many, many times, and always brought back within a day or two because "he's mean and hides all the time." The last time, before we saved him, he was returned to the animal hospital and one of the doctors decided to declaw him so he might be more adoptable.

Never a good idea; mean cat .. hides all the time. What to do? What to do? I know! Cut off his fingers! See, declawing a cat isn't taking off fngernails, it's actually removing their "fingers" down to the first knuckle. So they can't scratch themselves, protect themselves, play. And it doesn't make them nicer, it turns them into biters.

Oy! People are stupid.

So that first night he hissed at us, spit at us, growled like a demon cat, tried to bite us and hid from us. I stupidly let him out of the den and he immediately crawled under the stairs. The risers on the staircase are open so Carlos fashioned a leash into a noose-like rope and was able to get it around Tuxedo’s head and grab him out from under the stairs. Oy, the sounds he made at Carlos, the guttural growl and the hissing. Carlos looked at me:

“Maybe we should take him back.”

But I saw something in that cat.

“No, everyone takes him back and maybe that’s why he’s so mean. We’re not taking him back.”

Every day for over two weeks I went in the room where we were keeping him, and I sat there. And every day he came closer, sometimes close enough to bite me and run off; then close enough for me to pet him. And for him to bite me and run off. I threw a ball on a string and he’d chase it; I fed him and talked with him, and touched him when I could, and soon he sat in my lap. It took a good month or so, but Tuxedo became the sweetest cat, the smartest cat, the most playful cat ever.

He started sleeping with us—something he did every night after that until last night—and he took over the house. Scruffy, one of our tabby cats, had been the Head of Household when Tuxedo arrived, and Tuxedo took to following Scruffy and seeing how things worked; when breakfast came, when dinner was served; who went out in the mornings, and who stayed in. When Scruffy passed Tuxedo was Head of Household … again, until yesterday.

Sidenote: the night before he left us, I was holding Tuxedo, and Consuelo came  into the room; I ran a hand along her back and told her that she would have to take over being in charge and Carlos muttered:

‘We’re fucked.”

Y’all know Tuxedo was diagnosed with kidney disease and went on a special diet. Late last week he wasn’t too interested in his food and would only nibble at it. By the weekend, I decided he was done with that special food and started giving him his old food, and he loved that. But he was still losing weight and his back legs were growing a little more unsteady; he lost some muscle mass back there and was wobbly on his hind legs.

By Monday it was clear he wasn’t planning on being around much longer, but we wanted to wait and see; he was still eating a little, and was still drinking water, which kept him and his internal organs hydrated, and we hoped he would slip away quietly at home. Wednesday morning we knew that wasn’t going to happen, and so we once again made that call, and we took him to the vet that afternoon, where he passed quickly and quietly and peacefully with both of his Dad’s petting hm and kissing him and saying our goodbyes. Then we brought him home and buried him in the backyard alongside MaxGoldberg, his best friend.

Sidenote: I have always called him The Great Tuxedo, and Carlos has always muttered, “He’s not so great.” As we stood there crying in the backyard, Carlos said:

“He really was the greatest cat.”

I turned and said:

“Eighteen plus years and you never once said that!”

“I always told him, but  didn’t tell you, because you’d get a big head.”

Last night we sat and talked about Tuxedo and the things we’ll miss: the way he loved us was tops, then came the way he welcomed people into our home. He never hid from strangers, he always met them and sat with them. Once time, a guy was here working on the dishwasher and Tuxedo sat right by his head as he lay on the floor working, and the man laughed about his ‘apprentice.’

I’ll miss the way he met me at the back door when I came home from work, and then walked with me not the bedroom to ‘talk’ while I changed clothes. I’ll miss the way he would play fight and bite me; the way he galloped down the hall when you called him to dinner. I’ll miss that face; oy, the punim on that cat. I’ll miss the way he made himself comfortable everywhere, from a windowsill to a kitchen floor to a spot against the wall.

We’ll miss the way he loved being outside with us, walking along the deck railing or just lying on the table and soaking up the sun. I’ll miss him sleeping n my lap, sleeping on the bed between, and sometimes on top of, his Dads.

I’ll miss every single thing about The Great Tuxedo, but I’ll remember what we learned from him: that if someone seems a little mean, a little shy, maybe even, oh I don't know, a bit of a biter, sit with them, hold out a hand, and maybe, after a while, they'll come to you and become one of the sweetest greatest friends you'll ever have.

That was Tuxedo. And I will miss him every single thing about him, every single day.

We’ve lost a lost of pets over the years, but this one is really doing me in. I’ll be back sometime next week.

Thank you all for your kind words.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

So ...

It's been a day or two around here. We had an expected, yet unexpected houseguest; an old friend was driving from New York City to Tallahassee and asked to spend the night, so we were hit with that.

He's an interesting sort, and I will leave that there.

And to top that off, Tuxedo has chosen this week as his time to leave. Since the weekend he's been lethargic and not eating, though he is drinking water, which is good. But, as he has done for the last eighteen years that we've had him, he's doing this on his terms. The vet has assured us that since he's drinking water he's not in pain as his organs aren't shutting down, so just make him comfortable until he's ready to go.

I told my boss I was taking the week off; he's great that way, because he has pets and he knows ... so I am here at home with Carlos and were holding Tuxedo and kissing Tuxedo and talking to him, and when he's ready, he'll go.

Until then I may stay off this thing  ... Talk soon.

Monday, February 13, 2023

As often happens, sometimes life gets in the way of blogging. I will return as soon as possible.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Snarky Thoughts

Mismatch. I mean, we all knew Ben Affleck and JLo were two very different people. She’s a thirst queen, media whore who never saw a spotlight she didn't want trained on her face, or ass,  and he’s a quiet recovering alcoholic who seems to shy away from the spotlight. But what might have seemed like a good coupling on paper might not actually work in real life, like when Mr. and Mrs. Affleck attended the Grammys and JLo jumped in front of a camera to present an award while Ben pivoted at their table. And while she danced and sang along with each act, Ben looked like a husband who worked all day and came home to crack a bottle of scotch and sit in the La-Z-Boy until he falls sleep.

My Thought: The Misery is real and the sell-by date on this marriage is getting closer every day.


Did you ever think Chris Brown would ever do the right thing or, failing that, act like a decent human being? Short answer: No. At last week’s Grammys his album, Breezy (Deluxe) was nominated for Best R&B Album but he lost to Robert Glasper for his album, Black Radio III. And Chrissy brought the Breezy Bratty out after his loss and sped over to Instagram to come for Glasper. Chrissy’s been nominated for 20 Grammys but has just one win and felt robbed, robbed I say, by this latest loss and tried to rip Glasper a new one; sidenote: Robert Glasper has been nominated 12 times and has five trophies and is really what set Brownie off:


I’m hoping it’s someone who can at least string together a coherent sentence, but then Twitter came for Brownie so I could sit this one out:

“Chris Brown not knowing who Robert Glasper is… is the reason all of Chris Brown songs sound the same.”

“Chris Brown has 20 nominations and 1 win. He taking out his frustrations on Robert Glasper but them 19 Ls are the real enemy.”

“The irony of Chris Brown not knowing who Robert Glasper is that he’d probably have at least two Grammys instead of one if he worked with Robert Glasper. Instead, he’s been doing the same Doublemint Gum steps since ‘ever.”

My Thought: If they were giving Grammys for felony convictions Chris Brown would have been a shoe-in over Glasper.

Extra Extra! After seeing that he’d made an epic ass of himself AGAIN, Brownie went back to social media to faux-pologize but only played the Petty Betty card harder:

“Congratulations my brother. I would like to apologize if you took offense to my reaction at the Grammys. After doing my research I actually think your [sic] amazing. THE ORGANIZATION ISNT DOING US BLACKS OUR DUE DILIGENCE. YOU AND I SHOULD never be in the same categor[y] … two totally different vibes and genres.”

Yeah, Brownie, not an apology, and then suggesting Glasper was in the wrong category and you would have won had the academy done the right thing proves the delusions are real.


The best part of this GOP Congress’ antics is that they  produce ridiculousness rather than giving us anything substantive. Case in point: at a recent hearing about The Twitter the Republicans brought up the fact that a 2019 Tweet by Chrissy Teigen wasn’t removed from the platform after Thing 45 got his Depends in a snit because she called him, um, ahem, “Pussy ass bitch.”

My Thought: That will now and forever be the best part of the Official Congressional Record.


Philanderers Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes are still going strong after their affair went public and the lovebirds ended up unemployed from the GMA and ABC. But love conquers all, doesn’t it? Or does it become less lovely when you learn that, while they both took the boot, Amy’s boot was a Louboutin compared to T.J.’s full-assed combat boot on his fine ass, since she left with a boatload more cash in her bank account than her lovah.

My Thought: One affair will get you the boot with a nice severance, but being a serial adulterer and using your job as your personal sex pool gets you coins and cab fare.


Friday, February 10, 2023

I Didn't Say It

Mitt Romney, GOP Senator, after telling George Santos at the SOTU, that he didn’t belong there:

“He should be sitting in the back row and staying quiet instead of parading in front of the president and people coming into the room. Given the fact that he's under ethics investigation, he should be sitting in the back row and staying quiet instead of parading in front of the president and the people coming into the room. He shouldn't be in Congress and they’re going to go through the process and hopefully get him out. But he shouldn’t be there, and f he had any shame at all, he wouldn’t be there.”

Sadly, Mittsy, your party wants him there because he’s a vote they so desperately need. It’s a good thing the GOP has no conscience or spine because if they had then he’d never have been seated.


George Santos, responding to Romney:

“I think it’s reprehensible that the Senator would say such a thing to me in the demeaning way he said. It wasn’t very Mormon of him.”

It was very Catholic of Santos to lie about being Jewish, or his mother’s passing, or his relationships, or his grandparent’s history, so he’s the last person to have an opinion on anyone else.


Kevin McCarthy, House Speaker, for now, admitting Republicans “took the bait” by allowing President Biden to their childish heckling at the SOTU into political gold:

“The one thing we need to be is, we need to be smart. Don’t take the bait, stay with the American public about what we want to do.”

And yet they don’t know what they want to do. The border? They have no plan. Fentanyl? Nothing done. Inflation? Nope. But they have tons to say about a  laptop and gas stoves and drag queens and education and investigating the investigators investigating the GOP.


Steve Bannon, QAnon wingnut and whiny slob, on Sarah Huckleberry Sanders responding to the SOTU:

“If you’re going to give a counter speech, you’ve got to talk about important issues. Don’t get me wrong, the wokeism is very important. But it’s not quite the heart of the matter right now, right? It’s not the heart of the matter. She is not—the reason is she’s just not—she’s not intellectually capable of going to the heart of the matter, let’s be blunt.”

She’s not smart but she’s who the GOP chose which simply means the GOP is not smart.


Raphael Warnock, Georgia Democrat Senator, saying his new children’s book, “Put Your Shoes on and Get Ready!”, could be banned in Florida:

“Black history is the American story. That’s why I wrote this book. We have to reject the idea that our children will be so traumatized by the truth of our complicated American story that they can’t bear it. [This book] shows young readers that they, too, can find the power to be themselves and make a difference when they have the shoes that fit their feet.”

Children of color? Check. It’s definitely not going to be allowed in any Florida school, especially since a Democrat wrote it.


Megyn Kelly, podcaster, ripping CNN’s Don Lemon for screaming at his CNN This Morning co-anchor Kaitlan Collins:

“If somebody ever screamed at me to the point where I was visibly upset and ran out of the studio, I would have that person fired. I will go out on a limb right now and tell you, that’s not the first time. There will be another woman who he’s co-anchored with—I guarantee you—who’s going to come out and say, ‘Me too.’ Because if you behave like that toward a colleague with whom you share the air and you share the show, this will not be the first time.”

Boy, this Megyn Kelly really stands up for women … unless you’re Dr. Jill Biden. That Megyn Kelly was pissy as hell because the First Lady was introduced as Dr. Biden and Kelly says she’s not a doctor.

Typical rightwingnut hypocrite.