Dogs and cats

I love dogs. All dogs. Even dogs I’ve never seen. I have distant friends with dogs I’ve never met, and I love them. You, reading this? I love your dog too (let’s be honest, odds are that I know you, but on the off chance that I don’t, I love your dog). I’m a dog person. Except Chihuahuas. I merely tolerate them. I think this goes back to visiting a friend in high school who had a Chihuahua that got so excited when you came over he alternated jumping on you and running around in circles while peeing everywhere. I suppose you have to admire his coordination, I don’t think I could do that. On the other hand, he probably didn’t care if he peed on himself as much as I do.

But we don’t have a dog. We have two Siamese cats. I don’t like cats, but I love our cats. I don’t wish cats ill will, but I prefer dogs. Other people’s dogs. You see, for the first eight years of my marriage, I didn’t have children, and we often went out in the evening, straight from work, because we live out of the city. Dogs don’t like this sort of thing, they have to go outside for bodily functions, and they get lonely. Cats sort of hope that you come home, but if there is food in their bowl, they really don’t care if you spontaneously combust at your desk.

Growing up, my wife had outdoor cats. My father in law doesn’t believe in having animals live in the house, or taking them to the vet – except to get fixed – because he only wanted so many cats even outdoors. This isn’t quite as callous as it sounds, because he doesn’t believe in humans going to the doctor either. The problem with outdoor cats, is that they tend to meet with unfortunate ends. They get hit by cars, in fights with other animals, whatever. Sometimes you find them, sometimes they just never come home.

So when we got married, my wife wanted an indoor, chocolate point Siamese kitten. I didn’t want a kitten. I didn’t want a cat. I didn’t even want a dog. But I did want to continue to see her naked. So shortly before Christmas that year, I brought home a chocolate point Siamese kitten, whose name would be Ming. Ming and my wife formed an immediate bond that I have never seen between a person and an animal. They adored each other.

Ming and I… he liked to play, and we did that. But it took us some time to reach an understanding with one another, but we developed a strong bond over time. Not like he had with my wife, but we had our own thing.

Ming was smart. He knew his name – which up until that point I never believed cats did. I know what you’re thinking, “He knew his name? You’re right, what a genius.” There is more to the story. One time, his litter box was nearly empty. I poured the last bit of clean kitty litter into the litter box, and threw the kitty litter box into the trash. Then we left for work.

When we came home from work, the trash was tipped over (he did this occasionally because he was just nosy). We came to realize he had tipped the trash over, got the kitty litter box out of the trash, and dragged it next to his litter box, which was in another room. It should be mentioned that he never before or after this dragged anything to his litter box. It should also be mentioned that this was quite an undertaking, as he didn’t have opposable thumbs, or even hands. Finally, it should be mentioned that I have to pickup kitty litter on the way home tonight.

On a very sad Friday morning in 2013, we had to have Ming put down, about two weeks shy of his 19th birthday. I had said I didn’t want another cat. After all, I didn’t want the first one. And we had really good one, so the odds of getting another really good one seemed low. And in the end, I’m a dog person (although I am an other people’s dog person). I had stated this firmly in the years leading up to the end of Ming’s life. So naturally, being the man, I put my foot down, and we didn’t get another cat.

Except, that’s not what happened at all. What happened was we left the vet’s office, we came home and I worked for a little while, we went to lunch, and then went several places in town looking for kittens. When we didn’t find one, we went home and looked online, where we eventually found a couple that raised Siamese cats, and had a pair of blue point Siamese kittens for sale. But I was very firm, and stuck to my guns. Except that what really happened was that we drove straight there, and while trying to decide which one we would choose, I suggested we get both. Sticking with the previous Asian theme, their names are Zin (male) and Miko (female).

I’m sure a shrink, a type of doctor that treats mental disorders that I of course have never seen – except that I have – because the voices told me to go, could tell you all the reasons why what we did was wrong. That we didn’t grieve. But what they’re not taking into consideration is, screw them we wanted another cat (actually two more). We’re grown ups. I don’t wait until some magic day before I turn from heat to air conditioning either. I grew up and started going to work every day for a reason – and I’m pretty sure it’s so I can turn the air conditioning on whenever the hell I want. Or buy kittens. Who are brother and sister. Literally Siamese Twins. They are inseparable – except for the two times that something has happened that caused them to attack each other and we have to keep them separated so no real harm is done. And that’s what I really came to talk about, but I think I’ve put you through enough for right now. We’ll talk about feline redirected aggression, and whatever the hell happened the second time, in another article.

Hi, I’m Dan… and The Holidays Make Me Blarknard, Part I

A little business up front.

  • Hi. I’m Dan. This is my blog. Because of the environment we live in, where somebody says something that could have been said on TV in the 70s and it would have been viewed as “racy”, but now would be a career ender, I had decided to keep it anonymous. However, since my first post it has dawned on me that I’m about as controversial as warm milk. So, yeah, it’s me. My name is Daniel William Henry, Bill Daniels is sort of an anagram of that (not a literal anagram, but a mishmash of names and nicknames).
  • You may have noticed the site has taken a very utilitarian look with all the charm of a high school newspaper (actually  high school newspapers might be fancier now days, if they have them.   They’re probably all websites).  This is because I got sick of trying to get my Cubs logos and pictures of Wrigley field in there.  So here it is.  Just words.  I hope they’re vaguely humorous.

Moving on to business.  The holidays make me blarknard.  Some of it has to do with what the kids want, or that they won’t play with “outside toys”.  Some of it has to do with my wife bugging me to wrap presents.  Some of it has to do with the fact my cars are dirty and people won’t stop leaving fast food cups and old books in them.  This isn’t a holiday specific concern.  I can rant about this pretty much any time.

But that’s not what’s bothering me tonight.  Tonight it’s holiday decorating.  Fall decorating consists of hanging a wreath.  My wife handles it.  Christmas is a different matter.  The Friday after Thanksgiving my parents had the kids from around 4pm until 10:30 or 11:00pm.  What could a couple of parents do with this time?  When my wife asked what I wanted to do, I said “take a nap and binge watch Justified, but you don’t”.  And I was right (I always am, it’s not even worth keeping track of), she had no interest in my idea.  So, we turned toward decorating.

We moved this year, so we looked at the front facing windows of the house, and decided how many trees we needed. We had a slight disagreement about if the double window in our forward facing closet needed one or two.  I felt we needed two. Of course, I was right. We had two 4′ white lighted trees, so we needed one for the hall window, one for the gameroom, one more for the closet, and a tall one for the dining room.  Then our normal tree in the back of the house.  This is 5 front facing trees, and the real one with presents under it in the living room, that faces the back of the house.

First, we decorated the two largest bushes with all the white lights we had, and put them on a remote control.  When men put something on a remote control, they get a great sense of power, not unlike the Wright Brothers felt, or perhaps the guy who invented that remote.  So with warmth in the cockles of my heart, we set out to walmart for the necessary trees, and extension cords that all had a footswitch. This doesn’t make you feel like Orville and Wilbur, but maybe like the guy who figured out how to put that little air vent on the plane so  you’re not having a claustrophobic panic attack before you take off.  Also, when we got to the tree store, my wife decided we needed the “next to the door trees”.  We’re now up to seven front facing trees.

I had it all done before my parents got home, which made me pretty proud.  The streetlight in my yard ruins the effect, but it looks like this:

It’s 7 trees and two bushes.  When I asked about doing the garage windows I sort of got a bit of a “what the hell is wrong with you look”.  So I stopped there.

I was quite proud, so many decorations in such a timely fashion.

Then there’s the neighbor.  He’s the nicest guy in the world.  He’s retired.  His yard is flawless and decorated.  I hate yardwork.  This is not a new development. I hated it at 14, nothing has changed.  He loves it.  He decorated the following day.  He put up 3 lighted animatronic deer, an angel, lit the row of bushes between our yards (which he politely asked my permission to put stonework around so the mulch didn’t move in the rain), a lighted snowman (maybe inflatable).  He lit something I can’t identify on his front porch.  He has a large Merry Christmas sign over the porch.  To cap things off, the top of each window has a lit wreath on top part of the window, and a candle on the bottom.

And he has no streetlight to detract. I’d show a picture, but I’m protecting his innocence.  I’ve been out Griswolded.  It makes me blarknard,  It’s a word you know.  You can even get it on a mug for $25.  I don’t see any proceeds in case you’re wondering.  That makes me… blarknard.  Apparently, a lot of things bother me.

If you read this and hate it, tell me.  If you enjoyed it, please tell a friend.

Blarknard was published by

In my previous article, I invented a word, blarknard.   Blarknard is a word I invented because I’d rather not say fucking insane in a public setting. So I submitted blarknard to This way on the occasions I mean fucking insane, I can use blarknard, and not offend my mother – who has never said blarknard, but has occasionally said the other word.  Not all the time.  Not often.  Not recently.  But when she did, look for a safe place.

Blarknard was initially rejected by  I’m not sure why.  It could be because it’s an obviously made up word.  But it’s, so what isn’t?

Anyway, instead of saying fucking insane and making my mother upset, I can say blarknard.  So, stay tuned for my next post, The Holidays Make Me Blarknard, Part 1.  I can’t imagine there won’t be more than one.