Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Cat Scale

The events of the last ten days have led me to face some realities about myself, specifically about how I mishandle stress. Now, you'd think that life at the Nest would have settled down after FryDaddy came home to recover from his not-exactly-planned-but-not-quite-emergency surgery. And you'd be right, if you were limiting your observations to how FryDaddy was handling things. However, if you were expanding your observations to include how I was handling things, well, let's just say that the term "basket case" would not have been inappropriate. Face it, I was flat-out crispy.

So much so, that mid-week FryDaddy (who was not yet cleared by the doctors to drive) called a mutual friend of ours, Victorian Marxist, and had him drive FryDaddy to the local dollar store where he went on a little spree of silly gifts to cheer me up. Cheer me up. Sheesh. Yet it's amazing how a sand pail full of bubbles, pinwheels, and cheap candy can make me smile. Oh, sure, Tiffany is great, but even they don't sell a miniature Zen sand garden, much less arrange it on the counter so it appears that little plastic dinosaurs are raking the sand and arranging the rocks.

That made me move to the left on the Cat Scale. What's the "Cat Scale," you ask? Think of it this way. On a continuum of cool, relaxed and contented cats of the cartoon persuasion, over on the far left would be Garfield, a plump, pasta-eating (see, carbs are our friend!) feline. Moving from contentment to "failed experiments in stress management" would be cats such as Chubby Huggs of "Get Fuzzy" fame and Sylvester, especially after mistaking a baby kangaroo ("Hippety Hopper," by the way) for a mouse. At the far extreme, where I was hyperventilating this past week, would be the epitome of burnout, Bloom County's own Bill the Cat. (I'm not sure about the placement of more literary cats, such as the Cheshire, Macavity, or Shere Khan. Perhaps you have suggestions on this matter.)

What I can say with authority, Dear Readers is this - don't spend much time in Bill-Land. It's not a healthy place.

Enough for now. FryDaddy is ready to go back to school. I must go play with my plastic dinosaurs and consult a feng shui manual for optimum pebble placement.


Beth said...

Cheshire Cat is somewhere on the low-stress end; just grins and vanishes. Macavity, of course, may CAUSE stress-making situations, but "isn't there" for the uproar. Shere Khan --do not disturb on pain of death :-o

amnbsdad said...

I think we can all sympathize with freaked-outishness, you guys went through quite an alarming experience. I hope you soon slide back toward Garfield, or as close to laid back as you can get anyway.

Mockingbird said...

And of course, the ultimate in cool cats would be John Coltrane.