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Part 3 of 3 in the Animal’s Goings On: It’s a miracle I came home with only one

So there we were: the Bright Family was down two pets in one week. It was heart breaking. Winnie was missing and Geddy had passed away. Our spirits were low. Ava lamented with us. It seriously sucks to lose one pet, but two IN ONE WEEK was more than a person should be expected to bear.

We looked for Winnie with constant dedication. Jojo Kitty and Roscoe the Idiot Dog sat around and looked at us with sad eyes. Sometimes there seemed to be an accusing glint to them that I couldn’t really blame them for. We were trying to keep the faith that Winnie would be found, but each day stretched into weeks and naturally we began to despair.

My Honey had a gig one Saturday night and he sent me with the children to Animal Control to do our daily investigation. I warned him that I was not an adult and could not be expected to behave myself with out supervision.

You know me pretty well, Dear Readers. Anything that happened after he made me go by myself was really his fault, don’t you think?pissy-cats

We walked by every single pen and talked to every single dog. None of them new Winnie, or if they did they were staying quiet about it.

As a lark and with no actual intent – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it – the kids and I went into the cat room.

The tiny black kitten chose us. I know you’ve heard that line before, but I’m very serious. He meowed LOUDLY and kept sticking his little leg out and grabbed our clothes. When we took him out of his cage, he purred like a motorboat. I can’t believe rumbling that loud came out of such a tiny dude. We were in love immediately.

In my defense, I did text My Honey a picture of Sassy holding him and he never said no.

So now Quentin has come to live with us. He’s named Quentin after San Quentin Prison since we got him out of kitty jail and Folsom isn’t as good a name. When we took him to the vet for his check up and vaccination follow-up, we learned that he had a tattoo on his tummy from Animal Control when he was fixed. So, yes! My kitty has a prison tat!

quentinHe’s completely gorgeous, absolutely all black – possibly even his soul – with golden eyes. It’s been years since we had a kitten and I forgot that they’re alternately awful and completely charming. His feet are enormous and his tail is ridiculously long – I can’t wait to see how big he gets. Already he thinks he is a panther and he weighs less than 6 lbs.

There is not one thing in this house that he hasn’t tried to kill from the 70lb hound dog to the dryer. He will destroy a bag of kitten food in mere seconds, shred it into oblivion. If you wear clothes with any dangly parts you’re taking your life into your hands. He’s vicious I tell you, except when he wants to cuddle, then you’re definitely required to use both hands. It doesn’t matter if it’s noon or 4am you’re going to need to be awake enough to pet him with both hands and if you can get a foot into the action then all the better. He’s loud and bossy and nuts.

He also has exquisitely soft fur and smells fantastic.

We call him the Velvet Menace and he’s damn near perfect.

Part 2 of 3 in the Animals Goings On: Where the Hell is that Dog?

So, a day or two before Geddy died, Winnie the Wonder Mutt disappeared.

Frankly, this wasn’t shocking. That dog is 1/2 kangaroo. We’ve not been able to keep her in the yard. She can clear that five-foot block wall like it was a curb in a parking lot.

Up until this point, Winifred just visited the neighbors. She had a buddy around the corner–another black lab who enjoyed a good romp. She’s been fixed, so there’s no worry on that account. winnie2

This particular day had called for rain. Not a big deal, we thought. No where in the weather forecast had there been any mention of a typhoon. The rain was torrential, a deluge, plus there was more thunder than usual. Both My Honey and I work on the other side of town from our house. When my family got home right after school, they called, slightly hysterical, that they couldn’t find Winnie. They’d already been canvassing the neighborhood and calling animal control.

We can only suspect that she ended up on the wrong side of a wash or something.

Over the next couple of days we walked and cruised the neighborhoods, we visited all the pounds, we posted on Facebook, Twitter and Craig’s List. Our friends and family were all keeping an eye out. We posted one hundred and fifty Lost Dog posters. We always checked the DOA lists and were thrilled to find that she was never on any of them. At least there was that.

Over the course of the next three weeks, we searched constantly. We got several calls from people who’d found black labs and I visited at least three of them with the possibility that they were Winnie. No luck. As the weeks spread on we began to despair.

Nothing is more depressing that touring the pounds at Animal control and the Humane Society day after day looking for your long-lost doggie and having to leave all those poor animals there alone.

Then Geddy died and now Winnie was lost–our remaining animals Jojo Kitty and Roscoe were seriously depressed, nay despondent. They kept eyeing us suspiciously like, “Which one of us is next?”

It was awful and we were all very sad.

Then one morning, around 5 freaking 30, there was howling. I kept kicking Roscoe the hound dog at the foot of the bed to shut up. My Honey, who was already up for work, stuck his head out of the bathroom and wondered aloud what the hell that was. I didn’t know and I didn’t care; I just wanted it to stop. Once I get to bed, I’m very serious about sleep.

When he opened the back door to let Roscoe out to pee Winnie ran in! She’d hopped right back over the wall and was under our bedroom window howling to be let in.

There was celebratory barking and much frolicking through the house. Jojo Kitty crawled all over her in his excitement. He seriously missed his best friend. She looked great for being gone for 3 weeks and 1 day. There were some cuts and scrapes but nothing we wouldn’t have expected from three weeks of shenanigans. We did think it was unusual that she wasn’t skinny and her coat was shiny. She looked remarkable all things considered.

Now comes the weird part. When My Honey left for work a few minutes later, there were hamburger balls on our front porch. Like the size of softballs, hard, round balls of cooked meat. Very odd, right?

The best we can think, someone had our Winnie for quite a while. They fed her and took care of her because she’s very sweet and pretty, but then she drove them as crazy as she drives us and they brought her home. Our phone number and address is on her tag. Someone dropped her off at our house at 5 in the damn morning and left her meatballs to make her stay.

What the hell is that all about? Why would someone do that?

What ever the reason, we’re so, so happy to have the world’s prettiest hybrid kangaroo home where she belongs.

Do you have any other theories on what the hell happened?


Part 1 of 3 in the Animal Goings On: An Ode to Geddy

While we were on our Sabbatical our wonderful family lost a member and it hurt no less that he was one of the fuzzy ones.

This was Geddy.


My Honey got him as a brother for his puppy – a gorgeous, orange  fuzzy boy. He was the ambassador of cats: He was gorgeous and outrageously friendly. If the doorbell rang, he did not run and hide under the bed as so many cats are wont to do. No, not Geddy. He would trot to the door, flip over on his back, and stare at his visitors with all four feet in the air and invite them to pet his curly belly.

Oh and that belly. His hair was long and thick and the color of ginger that was really more of a peach hue.

There was never a cat with whiskers so long. How he managed to grow them that long, I’ll never know. And eyebrows, too. A massive cat with feet to match.

When Jojo Kitty came along, it took only days for Geddy to teach him the Tao of Kitty. The two of them spent a large portion of their lives entwined as orange clumps of purring fuzz on the bed. His snoring was epic.

Geddy was a sweet soul who lived a long a peaceful life. 18-years of long naps in the sun, belly scratches, and stolen sips from cereal bowls. My kids never knew life without him.

He will be long remembered and always loved. RIP beautiful old man.

We may be walking wounded, but we’re back!


Boy, have we missed you, dear internet, and we’re sorry that we’ve been away so long. Honestly, we just needed a vacation. We’ve been writing this blog for 7 1/2 years – 2,503 posts – and we were feeling a bit sucked dry. That and our day jobs have been crazy busy with overtime and stress and we frankly didn’t have anything left after we got home.

But we’ve missed you.

So many things have happened.

We’ve had long loved pets pass away, another one disappear for 3 weeks, and yet another one come to live with us. There have been slight job changes for the better – things that will make us feel more creative again. Lots of stuff has gone on and we look forward to getting you all caught up on our shenanigans.

We thought we’d start with a ludicrous story to get us back in the groove.

There is a weird thing growing on my left thumb. It’s been there for a while – I first mentioned it on Facebook earlier this month.



I did not follow this advice, but several people commented that it wasn’t as crazy as I thought. Still, no.

I will tell you that I’ve poked it, squeezed it, stabbed it, soaked it, and pushed on it – all with no good effect. I’ve wrapped it in hot compresses and iced it. Nothing helped, in fact it looked worse.

The girls at work were certain it was a spider bite. I flat-out refused to discuss that possibility. I’m telling you, dear internet, I would not survive that diagnosis; I am that afraid of spiders. Just the thought….shiver.

I finally made an appointment with my doctor because it wasn’t going away and it seriously hurt. I was informed that I have a ganglion cyst and that I should, “leave it alone and it will go away. If you don’t like looking at it, then put a band-aid on it. Come back and see me in a month if it’s still bothering you.”

Ava started cruising the internet with this diagnosis. Her sister-in-law had one once and they whopped it with a book and it helped. Wikipedia did inform us that these are often referred to as Bible cysts because:


I’d like you to note that last part. She failed to mention that last bit of information. It seems pertinent.

She harassed me for an entire week to let me hit her with a book. She can be relentless. We have a huge one in our office that gives a horoscope reading for every day of the year. The two ladies we share our office with were skeptical but also a little blood thirsty and I firmly believe they were in. Our boss was excited at the prospect. The guy across the hall thought it was a brilliant suggestion.

Finally, by Friday the damn thing hurt so bad I caved in and let her do it. It took me three times before I could hold my hand still long enough for her to hit me. She did add her own sound effects – something that was wholly unnecessary. Her, “Thwack” was redundant compared to the actual noise of that book smashing my thumb.

I SCREAMED. LOUDLY. THERE WAS CURSING. AVA RAN AWAY. Our boss was mad that we did it without him. The rest of the office is fascinated with it and has added a laundry list of suggestions to cure it each of them more absurd than the last including covering it with Visine and using the canned air to freeze it.

I don’t think so.

Now I have an enormous purple thumb and it’s more swollen than ever. It’s richly painful and I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT LEAVE IT ALONE.

I finally got enough nerve to tell My Honey that I let her hit me. He looked at me long and hard. He finally admitted that one side of his brain thought we were idiots, but the other was just curious enough to wonder if it would have worked and understood why I finally allowed it.

And Ava’s still trying to get me to let her whop again. She’s texted me approximately 680 times over the weekend.

I’m calling the doctor tomorrow and requesting an amputation. Otherwise, Ava’s going to want to try to run it over with the car.



Diagnose the latest issue

The Romance Writers of America national convention is this week. The Quill Sisters are so excited we can hardly stand it. Seriously, we’ve been bouncing around for the last month trying to contain ourselves.

Still, it’s Sunday night – we leave early Wednesday morning – and Amylynn hasn’t packed a single thing. Why is that?

[polldaddy poll=9467194]

I don’t know what the hell is going on over here either

Both of my children have large personalities. I think they have to in order to survive around their father and I. The girl is very dramatic, but her I understand. She’s racing into teenager-dom and nothing says drama like a 13-year-old girl. I’m certain she’ll be thrilled that I’m pointing this out on this blog. Nothing she likes more than to make an appearance here.

Good news, Sassy. This blog isn’t about you. It’s about your brother. Yard-Sale

My boy is a champion martyr. No one can fall on a sword like my son. He mystifies me. More than half the time I don’t have any idea what his problem is or what has set him off, but he makes a hell of a scene.

I’m telling you, he just really likes to be miserable. This does not bode well for a happy life and I sincerely hope he grows out of this. His father and I refuse to buy into this tendency. When he gets up a good head of pathetic steam we generally ignore him.

But sometimes…

I have no idea what his issue was the other morning. He was walking around, all hangdog. I assume his father got after him for something, but I don’t know what it was. Sassy and I went to Target to give them a random $75. While there we received a text from the Bandit.

Come to my room sale

I had no idea what this meant so I asked.

I’m having a yard sale in my room.

I do not know what he was expecting to achieve with this. Perhaps he was planning to run away and needed some traveling money? Maybe he just wanted to travel light. I don’t know. If asked he’ll say he doesn’t deserve to have this stuff. Go ahead and roll your eyes. I did.

I already paid for all that stuff once, I said.

The boy was not amused by this flippant reply so he did the texting version of hanging up on me.

When we got home, there were signs posted all over the house offering his wares: magazines, chapter books, action figures, Legos, and Matchbox cars among the rest of the stuff I’ve already paid for.

Sadly, I don’t think he earned what he was hoping. I was going to suggest that he work on his marketing. Perhaps his immediate family isn’t his target audience.

One of these days I’m going to go in there with a stack of ones and start haggling over his prices. I curious to see how that plays out.

We’d give him the chicken

It seems we’ve been AWOL – and we sorta have. We apologize. Day jobs have been sucking us dry. We feel bad. We miss you, too.

As a peach offering and a promise of more good stuff to come, we offer you this video. We think it’s one of the best we’ve seen in a long while.

The Sisters have been dying for a Bengal kitty of our own. This cinches it.


Such a betrayal

My kid just made me try some weird Oreos.

  • Peanut Butter – chocolate wafer, peanut better cream filling.
  • S’mores – graham cracker flavored wafer with some sort of strange marshmallow cream filling.
  • Blueberry – vanilla wafer with “blueberry” cream.

Full disclosure: I LOVE Oreos. The proper way to eat them is not to pull apart and lick the filling. Nor is it to dunk them in milk. The only acceptable way to eat Oreos and hope to get maximum cookie satisfaction is to shove the whole thing in your mouth at once, chew it up, and drink like a quarter glass of ice-cold whole milk to wash it down. That, dear Internet, is a guarantee of cookie nirvana.

Therefore, when I was approached with these three new flavors I was willing to give them a go.oreo, peanut butter

I’m telling you, if you’re given the opportunity, don’t do it.

I have no idea what kind of Satan-loving communist came up with these but they should be shunned and made to eat nothing but cookies with raisins for the rest of their lives.

You’d think a person who is willing to eat peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon would be a surefire fan of a peanut butter Oreo. You’d be wrong. Ick. oreo, smoresThat’s the most complementary thing I can say about it. Ick.

The s’mores one was the least offensive of the three. I didn’t really get the graham cracker flavor from the wafer and the marshmallow was definitely not something I would have identified as marshmallow without being told that’s what they were going for. Just bad.

Do not put that blueberry atrocity in your mouth. Just don’t do it. Blueberry is my favorite fruit for pancakes, pie, and muffins. It seemed reasonable that I could usher cookie right into that pantheon. I could not. That cookie was awful. It wasn’t fit to feed to the dog. My dog only ate it because he’s not at all discerning. He’ll eat cat poop if given the opportunity. Oreo, blueberry

I did not finish any of these “cookies”. They were bad. I had to eat two regular ones just to get the taste out of my mouth and to remind myself that regular Oreos really are very yummy.

Dear Nabisco people,

Stop yourselves. Just stop.

~Sincerely Amylynn Bright on behalf of cookie lovers everywhere


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