Monday, January 7, 2013

Chewy's Tale

Another short today: just because I’m not technically working doesn’t mean I’m not busy. Plus I’m feeling a little bit of outrage fatigue over, well, everything, and I definitely need to take a break from all that.

So here’s a picture of my Siamese Kitten, the one with the funny story:

His name is "Chewy" because at some point in his life, he was used as a chew toy. It’s not all that bad, really - most of the gnawing occurred on the tail, so careful placement on the shelf renders it out of sight/out of mind, most of the time.

Several years ago I got a wild notion to take a civil service exam. Quite a few people were taking the exam - several hundred, if I’m recalling correctly - so the location of the exam was moved to a local convention center.

At the very same time - in fact, I think it was the day before - someone’s pet lion had allegedly escaped, and had been spotted wandering around the grounds near this center.

I had found it very amusing, initially, because cougars and panthers are something of an urban legend in the metro Detroit area. Every few years, there’s somebody on the news claiming they saw a panther in the woods near their house. Whenever photos or video of said creature are produced, it’s almost always either a case of mistaken identity - someone’s lost Black Lab, or an overfed housecat - or a blurry, unrecognizable smudge.

This time, however, it was no urban legend, or at least it didn’t seem so at the time. I don’t think the lion was ever located, or even confirmed to exist at all. When I got up to go to the convention center that morning, though, we were all still operating under a reasonable suspicion that it might very well be out there.

There was a small outdoor flea market that also operated on the grounds, just coincidentally on the same day of the exam. It’s not one that I went to on a regular basis, because it was a bit out of my way, and not as big (or good!) as my favorite local haunt.

One of the things that annoys me about my local flea market is that some of the dealers there tend to talk big, but flee at the slightest hint of hardship. ("I see a cloud! It’s going to RAIN!") and here were these guys - not a huge group, but a decent number - casually conducting business in spite of the fleetingly small but real threat of a BIG CAT ATTACK.

Ballsy, man. How could I not give them my business?

There were a few things there, but the only thing I found worth buying was the Siamese Kitten. He was in much worse shape even than he appears above - really yellow, and really dirty, like he had been stored in someone’s garage for the past 25 years - but he was only a dollar. It also amused me that of all the things I found at that flea market, at that particularly weird moment of time, was a Breyer Cat!

He cleaned up modestly well, and in spite of running across nicer and less chewed up versions since then, none of them have come with as awesome a rescue story as my Chewy’s. 

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