Category Archives: Cats & Dogs

1000 Words: The Drunken Cat

I’ll be running back and forth among topics today like…, well, the sloshed pussy mentioned above.

My various partners and I have had cats since as far back as 1980 and I still get a kick out of their wholly unpredictable mad dashes to and fro. These crazy sprints are entertaining and often hilarious but, in truth, can be just a tad frightening.

You have to ask yourself as the cat is tearing from one corner of the house to another, Has this creature lost its mind? And is the next act him sinking his claws into my jugular vein?

This gets me to thinking about that book How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You. I had to look it up to find out who the author was and, Google being Google, I got sidetracked to a study released in 2015 by some animal behavior researchers from the University of Edinburgh. Kitty cats, they posited, would murder you if they could.

Yep. The USA Today story I found on the research contained this chilling revelation:

If you ever thought your cat was anxious, insecure, suspicious or aggressive toward you, you aren’t making it up…. If they were bigger they probably would consider killing you.

Your House Pet and You.


Get ready because my big story on the quality of Lake Monroe’s water is coming out next week, Wednesday, August 16th, in Limestone Post magazine. It’s part of the Deep Dive project, a collaboration between the LP and WFHB radio news, funded by the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County. Each month LP runs an in-depth story on one issue of vital local importance or another, to be followed up by several weeks of related coverage during the WFHB Daily News at 5:00pm, weekdays.

Lake Monroe at Sunset. [Image: The Loved One]

Publisher and editor Ron Eid has been doing yeoman work keeping Limestone Post alive and covering local and regional topics. Eid not terribly long ago turned the operation into a non-profit, a move in keeping with what’s going on elsewhere in this holy land. My newspaper alma mater, the Chicago Reader, has gone non-profit, as did one of the major Chicago dailies, the Sun-Times.


Jumping (or sprinting) back to cats. That book I mentioned? How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You? Jeez, I must be getting old and forgetful because it was written by one of my favorite cartoonists. Matthew Inman. His website, The Oatmeal, is one of my regular go-to bookmarks. I hit it at least a couple of times each week.

Is this the first slip in my long slide toward dementia? I’ll keep you up to date — if I remember.

Anyway, Inman’s book, published in 2012 by Andrews McMeel, was a New York Times bestseller (briefly), for pity’s sake.


Truth is, I prefer dogs to cats but over the years I’ve had four times as many felines as canines. There’s a simple reason for that: cats are easier to care for. My old pal, the late Steve the Dog had the unforgivable habit of waking me up every morning before sunrise to go outside. He had big floppy ears — he was a beagle/border collie mix — and upon waking up at that ungodly hour, he’d shake his head, his furry ears whapping loudly, causing my eyes to go saucer-like.

Then he’d sit at a distance of about three feet, just staring at me. No matter how much I wanted to ignore him and fall back to sleep, I could feel those eyes burning a hole in me.

Cats, OTOH, rarely stir from their slumber, save for their occasional aforementioned tears through the house. I loved you, Steve, but I loved my sleep in the dark AM just as much.

Steve the Dog.


Even Disney’s getting into the sports gambling racket. Not terribly long ago, sports gambling was viewed as a vice, even a threat to the moral fiber of our great nation. Now, every major professional sports team is hooking up with a gambling outfit and municipalities all over the country are getting stand-alone bookie joints.

Sports betting blogger Ally Mielnicki writes this month that my new home state of Indiana has an annual online gambling handle of more than $12 billion. Residents of my old home state, Illinois, she writes, have dropped $24 billion on sports betting since legalization in June 2019.

Who’s doing all this betting? Pew Research last September reported one in five adult Americans bet on sports in the past year. In May, ESPN found that 67 percent of young men living on college campuses bet on sports.

ESPN is owned by The Walt Disney Company. The Evil Empire of American entertainment long had eschewed any connection to gambling, fearing it might taint the company’s wholesome image. Not so anymore. ESPN is tying in with PENN Entertainment, a sports book, in a 10-year, $2 billion deal. The reason Disney’s now okay with this unholy marriage? ESPN hasn’t been holding up its end of the empire’s bottom line.

Back to who’s doing this gambling. As ESPN mentioned, it’s largely young men. Lest we forget, it’s young men on campuses who fill out the rosters of college football and basketball teams, the money trees that U. presidents and trustees shake gleefully. With players likely dropping whatever scratch they have on legalized sports gambling, perhaps even betting on — or against — their own teams, scandal can’t be far behind.

Big scandal. Huge scandal. Scandal that probably will shake college sports to the core.


Walgreen’s, which doesn’t have a location in Bloomington but is in Bedford, Columbus and Martinsville, has come up with a trick to get panhandlers away from its front doors. Locations around the country are broadcasting classical music, including Bach and Rossini, outside the store.

Apparently, panhandlers don’t like it and move on.

The retail pharmacy chain has been doing the classical music thing for more than a year.

I wonder what old Gioachino Rossini would have thought about that, had he been able to see into the future.


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