Category Archives: Cat Chronicles

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

Please believe me, oh great giver-of-gifts, I know you love my children dearly and that you’d do almost anything to make them happy this Christmas. You’re a kind and generous soul. And make no mistake about it; I’ve recognized (with the help of countless reminders) how hard my heathens have tried to be good and grateful and well-mannered these past 351 days. But in the interest of preserving what remains of my sanity, would you please give some consideration to the following bit of information?

1)    For the record, I don’t need any lizards or llamas, bats or birds, real live chicks or even eggs that will hatch. Nor do I have any desire whatsoever for an ant farm and an accompanying anteater (“…in case it breaks open and ants are crawling EVERYWHERE, Mom!”). Furthermore, I have absolutely no use for a potbellied pig or a goat for that matter. Are we perfectly clear on that? NO POTBELLIED PIG. NO GOAT. Period. Also, please ignore all future requests—maddeningly incessant as they might be—for another cat. Seriously. Perish the thought.

2)    Additionally, please take note: it is totally unnecessary to spoil my charges by spending $54 (EACH!) on flimsy pajamas that happen to match those worn by the very dolls they begged for last year. That’s simply ludicrous. Get a grip, Santa. Give Mrs. Claus a new nightie or something instead.

3)    Moreover, bear in mind that I have yet to summon the strength necessary to parent those who thirst for danger. More specifically, those who would willfully and gleefully ride a skateboard, a motorcycle or roller skates down an impossibly sheer slope. Blindfolded. On fire. During an earthquake. I have enough trouble tolerating the wretched scooters they so adore. Perhaps by next year I will have purged from memory my own horrific skateboarding disaster (i.e. the face plant I made one summer afternoon on a gravelly patch of pavement at an inordinately high rate of speed). But who could forget eight stitches? They were purple. And stubbly. And infinitely intriguing to all my friends who wanted to touch the freakish goatee I had seemingly sprouted from my chin. That being said, please refrain from delivering any of the aforementioned instruments of evil.

4)    Bratz, begone! I trust this emphatic petition is self-explanatory, oh Jolly One. Barbies, by contrast, are perfectly acceptable in this household. Besides, I find it largely disturbing that many among our sprawling Barbie community have lost heads and limbs for whatever reason. Intactness would be a welcome change.

5)    Also, if you must darken my door with all-that-makes-noise (I mean music), I beg of you that each sinful device (read: trumpet-kazoo-recorder-drum-keyboard-microphone-guitar-tambourine-maraca-like piece of idiocy) be suitably equipped with soundproofing, some sort of on/off switch or at the very least a volume control thingy. Thank you, in advance.

6)    Also, kindly be advised that my humble abode lacks the space necessary to house the grand and glorious, five-story kitty hotel that my kids have been whining about since the middle of summer. Honestly, it is outlandishly opulent, highly impractical and offensively massive. If you so much as think about bestowing such a monstrosity upon us, I will have no choice but to forego the cookies next year. You can count on broccoli instead, you silly little elfin man.

7)    What’s more, I would be immeasurably displeased to discover a pile of pretend dog poop in anyone’s stocking, never mind those repugnant Walter the Farting Dog creatures. Egads!

8)    Furthermore, Santa, read my lips: NO MORE SILLY@$$ ELECTRONIC GADGETRY. I am appallingly inept when it comes to programming any and all gizmos of a technological nature. I hereby resign from said post effective today.

9)    And for the love of God, NO MORE WATER BALLOONS, GLITTER GLUE OR BATHTUB TOYS. They are the bane of my existence. Enough said.

10) And sweet Jesus, please, please, please don’t bless us with another puppy this Christmas—at least not one that routinely gnaws on furniture, pees indiscriminately, consumes chew toys, destroys leashes (four and counting), eats holes in the carpet, nibbles on Frisbees, plastic Army men and Barbie stilettos, considers deer droppings a delicacy and is entirely bent on causing bodily harm during jaunts in the great outdoors—via our garrote-like tether coupled with a frenzied demeanor and the pirouette dance I have grown to know and loathe. I simply cannot handle another floppy-eared bundle of joy. Not now. Not ever.

11) I would, however, be thrilled to receive an indestructible dog leash dipped in Kevlar, perhaps, and maybe a ridiculously huge cardboard box. Empty, of course. The one you so graciously left for my brood three years ago was far and away the most fabulous item under the tree. It was the gift that kept on giving—till early spring, as I recall.


Planet Mom

Planet Mom: It’s where I live.

Copyright 2008 Melinda L. Wentzel



Filed under Cat Chronicles, Doggie Diamonds, Holiday Hokum, Home for Wayward Toys, Home is Where the Weirdness Lives, Kid-Speak, Normal is Relative, Rantings & Ravings, The Natives are Decidedly Restless, We Put the Fun in Dysfunction

Puuuurfect Pancakes

PREPARATION TIME: Significantly longer than it takes to prepare entrée without a feline helper—or without assistance from children drunk with amusement over said feline and his asinine antics.

SERVES: As many poor souls who dare to partake—despite knowing all the facts.


1 cup dry Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix

¾ cup milk

1 T oil

1 egg

Dash of saliva, eau de pussycat

Tuft or twenty of black fur (see above)

Trace of cat breath (don’t ask)

INSTRUCTIONS: Combine dry pancake mix and milk in a bowl. Set aside on counter. Instruct children not to blow on flour-like heap or to stir clumps of milky mixture with their fingers—no matter how tempting that might be. Search high and low for oil and fresh egg, employing great care not to trip over children or ravenous cat in the process. Set egg and oil on counter and begin search for measuring spoon. Warn children (hand on hip and finger wagging is optional) not to spin or juggle egg—no matter how tempting that might be.

Become thoroughly engrossed in some inane activity like talking on the phone (with husband who SHOULD be home helping with dinner), checking e-mail or responding to 324th child-generated question of the day. Set table. End activities and return to pancake disaster-in-the-making. Work self into frenzy upon sighting cat on counter with head totally immersed in bowl. Throw both hands up in the air and then on top of head (hair pulling is optional) while giving children patented incredulous how-could-you-NOT-tell-me-he-was-in-the-batter?!! type of look.

Really go ballistic when eye-contact is made with little black bastard, now abundantly bedecked from nose to tip of whiskers with flour/milk mixture. Begin fuming profusely from the ears when cat nonchalantly blinks and licks his lips as if to say, “It’s simply marrrrrrvelous.” Bolt in the direction of furry four-legged miscreant, screaming louder than when he shattered favorite butter dish and shredded children’s school calendar—just because. Chase wily little demon around the house like a madwoman bent on thrashing his sorry patutie, while simultaneously launching a lengthy and colorful tirade, recounting each and every misdeed for which he was responsible and all that could have possibly been WRONG with the decision to ADOPT said cat. Kick and pummel self repeatedly for having caved-in to kids’ begging and whining for cat, for becoming attached to his fuzzy little face in the first place and for ever thinking his ridiculous pranks were cute.

Catch breath and regain composure while dismissing feelings of utter rage and loathing toward cat. Give up on locating him for the time being. Vow to thrash him next time. Accept the fact that THERE WILL BE A NEXT TIME. Return to kitchen. Reassure ashen-faced children that you haven’t killed their pretty new kitty. Instruct them not to repeat the words Mommy shouldn’t have said—no matter how exciting that might be during Show and Tell.

Warm griddle or fry pan to medium-high heat or until a few drops of water sizzle upon contact—with pan or with furrowed brow. Remove tufts of fur from flour/milk mixture. Add remaining ingredients to bowl. Mix well. Convincingly explain that all those silly cat germs—now housed in the batter—will surely be killed once we “…put it on the stove and cook the bejesus out of it.”

Pour batter onto heated surface (in desired shapes and sizes), ignoring children’s persistent requests to “Make him one, Mommy! Make him one!”

SERVE & ENJOY: Resist the urge to noticeably inspect pancakes for traces of fur, etc. and deny all claims that… “Mr. Binks helped us make pancakes, Mommy! I think I can smell his breath in here!”

Heaven forbid you give him that kind of satisfaction.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live.

Copyright 2006 Melinda L. Wentzel



Filed under "S" is for Shame, Cat Chronicles, Daily Chaos, Home is Where the Weirdness Lives, Meat & Potatoes, Ode to Embarrassment, Rantings & Ravings

Free to a Good Home…Or to a Mediocre Home in Which an Idiot Who Is Incapable of Saying “No” Resides

So there’s this guy. He will remain nameless in order to protect and preserve his stupidity. And I will remain clueless as to why he chose me as the supposed answer to his prayers late one afternoon several years ago. Perhaps it’s because I exude ignorance and vulnerability much of the time. Eh, maybe. Or maybe it’s because I’m just so gosh darned kind and compassionate.

But I digress. The event unfolded thusly.

My telephone rang and on the other end of the line was a man who was anxious. A man who was fraught with despair. A man who was woefully desperate to unload a cat that he would later INSIST was mine.


“Hello, yes I believe I have your cat. She’s been here at my house for days and days and simply won’t leave. Could I swing by—say in about 10 minutes—so you could take a look to be sure? Otherwise I’ll have to take her to the SPCA—tonight—because I just can’t have this cat here anymore. It’s got to go.”

“You say you have my cat? MY cat? How on earth did you come to the (grandly erroneous and completely irrational) conclusion that it’s my cat you have?” I queried, curious as to how this man’s brain even functioned well enough to pluck ear hairs. What’s more, how did he know I even owned a cat? Maybe I had a pet hamster. Or a goat or something gerbil-ish lurking about.

“Well, your cat is black, right?” he quizzed.

“Right,” I answered, wondering how he knew that, too. I’d never met the man. How could he possibly know me—or my cat!?

“And he has a touch of white on his chest and belly,” I added like a fool. All the while I spoke, I had the stupid phone wedged under my chin and was running around the house like a madwoman lifting blankets and pillows, crawling around on all fours to peer beneath cabinets and couches, tearing apart the little cardboard nest my kids had built for him…frantically scanning the cluttered world in which I live for that fuzzy-headed nitwit of mine with chipmunk breath and a king-sized swagger. Had he escaped into the great outdoors? Again!? Of course, I felt horrible—like a slipshod mother who possessed not one stinking clue regarding the whereabouts of her whiskered and wayward son. Grok!

“Quick! Help me find Mr. Binks!” I shrieked to my kids, burying the receiver in an armpit—calling in the cavalry to help with the search and recovery effort.

“With white paws, too?” he asked. “This cat has white paws.”

“No. Binks’ paws are black. PLAIN BLACK. He has a bit of white on his chest and belly. Just a bit. But mostly he’s BLACK,” I clarified. Again.

“Well she’s a black and white cat and she’s a reeeeeally nice kitty, but I can’t keep her—like I said. I have other cats you know. She’ll definitely have to go to the SPCA,” he repeated emphatically—as if his insistence and caked on layers of guilt would suddenly make me realize, “Yes, come to think of it, my cat does have white paws! I don’t know what the fuck I was thinking! I must have imagined they were completely and entirely BLACK. Silly me.”

And so the debate continued over the black/white issue—ad nauseam, until I happened to think of another inconsistency in his story.

“Wait a minute,” I said. “My cat’s male. And neutered at that. You keep saying ‘she.’ Are you sure the cat you have is female? Because the one I have isn’t. He’s definitely a he. Not a she.”

He paused briefly, but the wheels were turning. Perhaps that strange little man thought that by saying it enough times and by closing his mind to the undeniable facts, he could actually WILL his cat into being mine—convincing not only himself in the process, but whoever happened to be on the receiving end of his spiel.

“Good grief!” I thought. “If only I could FIND the furry little shit! Then the ugliness would simply go away and I wouldn’t have to deal with this delusional individual anymore or with his silly stray. I could show him Mr. Binks, inky paws and all, and prove that HE DIDN’T HAVE MY FRICKING CAT—I DID!” Wishful thinking. Binks was nowhere to be found.

“We can’t find him, Mommy,” my incompetent progenies announced. “Maybe the nice man really does have Mr. Binks.”

“No he doesn’t, you inane twerps,” I muttered through clenched teeth, again with the receiver jammed under an armpit. “He’s around here SOMEWHERE!” I insisted. “Keep looking! KEEP LOOOOOOKING!!”

“Well, I guess you could come by,” I offered (to placate the crowd). “But just for a minute.” Since I can’t seem to locate my moronic ball of fluff at the moment! So he put Her Furriness in a cardboard box poked full of air holes and proceeded to shatter the land speed world record—racing to my home in six minutes flat. Lovely. Just lovely. A delusional man who is also punctual.

Fortunately, my charges found our cat in the mean time—mercilessly torturing something mole-ish in the back yard. “Look, Mommy! Binksy’s playing with his food!” they reported with glee. I marched out the door, cleverly scooped up the unwilling participant and locked him in the basement—proof positive that the numbskull was, in fact, in my care. Now I could deal more effectively with Mister I’ve-Got-Your-Cat—I-Know-I’ve-Got-Your-Cat!

After coming to an abrupt stop and an even more abrupt “hello,” the man leapt from his car and scurried around to the passenger side where the box lay in the back seat. “Here she is!” he announced, giddy with the prospect of unloading that which he longed to unload.

“Well, actually…I found my cat. He’s in the cellar. Really, he is. I’m so sorry, but this is not my cat.” I took a peek anyway. Naturally, I tried to be sensitive and to carefully explain what had happened without gloating or gushing over the glorious news that I (apparently) had been right. I. WAS. SO. RIGHT! Yes I was! Not surprisingly, the hapless cat in question looked almost nothing like Mr. Binks. She was enormous in comparison, much much older than our fuzzy feline and had HUGE patches of white all over her body—more like a Holstein than anything. And she happened to be long-haired—a detail that somehow never made it into our conversation.

At any rate, the man and his cat finally went away, tails dragging and heads hung low. I felt completely awful. Honest, I did. Like a despicable creature devoid of remorse or compassion. A shameless schmuck who failed to rise to the occasion and offer a helping hand. Like someone who under ordinary circumstances is virtually incapable of saying “no.”

But who managed this time.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live.

Copyright 2009 Melinda L. Wentzel

Comments Off on Free to a Good Home…Or to a Mediocre Home in Which an Idiot Who Is Incapable of Saying “No” Resides

Filed under Cat Chronicles, Daily Chaos, Home is Where the Weirdness Lives, Rantings & Ravings, We Put the Fun in Dysfunction