Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Remembering Spike

I was scrolling through my facebook page today.  I do this because sometimes I post things and forget, so like any self-regulating human being, I make sure that I did not drunk-post anything that I would regret.  Luckily, most of my drunk posts weigh in on the side of silly/stupid vs. embarrasing.  I am too hung up as a human being to go the embarrassing route. Both a blessing and a curse.
In any case, in this self-policing moment, I came across some pictures of our cat, who passed away two and a half years ago.  These days, we have two dogs, but back in the day, we had two dogs and a grey striped bundle of cattitude named Spike. There are times when, in my weakness, I consider getting another cat, but I just can't do it.  I feel like I have had perfection and that any other animal would be a let down.  Let me explain.

What you probably don't know about me is that I am what has been described by my sister-in-laws as a "laissez faire" parent.  Which in their lexicon, probably means I don't apply the proper level of Martial Law in the household. However, I feel that it is best that I choose my battles and trust my kids enough to give them just enough freedom to learn from their experiences, yet remain safe.  You say tomato, I say stuff a watermelon up your bum.  Same difference.

The same trust but verify parenting style came into play when parenting my cat Spike.  He was hipper and smarter than the room about 100% of the time.  A child of the streets, he was born outside, chose his owner and exercised a high degree of autonomy at an early age.  He was not about to be micro-managed by some fascist human trying to impose order on him. Who was I to tell him that he couldn't be an indoor/outdoor cat? He and I shared the same impression of litter boxes; uncouth and a hotbed of disease.  And of course, he's gotta be free to survey the flora and the fauna and occasionally make a kill.  When you don't have your testicles, you have to find other ways to assert your manliness...or so I'm told.

Spike was not a snuggler with his humans, but he cuddled with the dogs like nobody's business. If I got to apply a few lightly appreciated scratches behind the ears, I was over the moon. He forged an astonishingly affectionate relationship with his unhinged brother-dog Buzz, who really was the punishment that none of us ever deserved. Yet there was genuine sweetness and love between Spike and this lizard-brained dodo, in spite of his natural tendencies to chase and erradicate the smaller woodland creatures of the world.  And like all of us, Spike adored Brownie the Wonderdog, because only a half-crazed sociopath on crack and off his behavioral meds would dislike Brownie.

So, I stand by my no new cat rule because how many, cool, smart, independent yet loving, outdoor pooping, indoor sleeping, toast stealing, ukulele playing, dog snuggling, look both ways before crossing the street, cats are there in the universe?  I think one, and I had him.  For this laissez fair cat parent, the is no other but Spike the Hotness Monster.  Behold and appreciate...the cat, the myth, the legend - SPIKE!


This is Spike's badass look. It always reminded me of when Snoopy perched on top of a tree or is doghouse and looked like a vulture.


We call this pose "the roast". It's a more effective name when both feet are tucked under him, but he was not one to conform.


Buttered toast stealing a specialty.


Yes, he played the ukulele. You wanna make something of it?


Sharing nap space.  It was always a coup for the kids if they had multiple animals sleeping on their bed.


Yes, he is judging you. You're just going to have to deal with it.


Clearly, he feels that he can take a better photo. "Gimme that thing."




Thursday, August 4, 2016

Sharing a Super Deal To Italy

Let me say at the top, this is not a sponsored post.  I don't know anyone at Gate 1 Travel and they don't know me.  What I do know and what you probably know about me, is that I love Italy.  I always have my eye out for reasonable airfares and deals to get my American tucas on Italian soil.

So, the other day I was scrolling through the emense dumpheap of email that I get every day and a Gate 1 Email caught my eye.  I am too lazy to opt out of anything, so the quantity of promotional email that I get, fills my mailbox to the top about every week or so.

I have a friend at work who told me about the great rates that this Gate l had to Italy, so I have been monitoring it.  What I saw on this most recent email seemed too good to be true.  It had an offer for 8 days in Tuscany with hotel, airfare and rental car for $699 a person.  I re-read it half a dozen times because I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  Airfare to Italy from NY is generally around $1200.  That's airfare alone. With a lot of homework and shopping, you can get a flight for around $1000, and that takes a lot of work. $699 from soup to nuts? It just seems unbelievable.

So, this company had a trip to Tuscany that costs less than a trip to Florida.  The problem is, I can't go due to work and it is burning me up. It seems almost like a crime to miss out, so I am doing the best thing I can think of as an alternative and passing the information on to you.

Below, you will find both the link to the offer.
Link:The Deal

I hope that this helps someone discover Italy and fall in love with it like I did.  Ciao, bella!