Don't Rush Me
Drowning bowls, Haiti and tolerance . . .
February 03, 2010 - Not too long ago I wrote of the schizophrenic feline that prowls the dark and dreary dwelling, commonly known as Casa de Rush. That cat is Thomas and I don't think he's right in the head.
I've written on the carnage of his youth. How, as a relatively young kitty, one night, as darkness fell, he systematically decimated the Beanie Baby population in said home.
He's a bit older now, but he really hasn't mellowed with age. In short, he's still a freak. For example, he'll purr loudly as you scratch under his chins, or behind his ears, but if you scratch and pet too long, or if he gets tired of the pampering, or if the temperature changes, time moves forward -- whatever the trigger -- he'll bap you with clawed paw. (I say he'll bap "you", because he doesn't do it to me, just everybody else. I guess that makes me First Feline, Alpha Cat, or the biggest pussy in the house, take your choice.)
There hasn't been much blood (or bean) shed on Rush Mountain these days. Mostly because I have hid all the small stuffed animals, but also because Thomas The Terrible has changed his modus operandi. He is now a drowner.
He takes his victims, drags them to the big-enough-for-large-dogs water bowl and drowns them. Is this normal behavior for a cat? Size doesn't matter, these days, either. Where once he only attacked smallish Beanie Babies, he has now moved up the food chain to stuffed critters far larger than himself.
I came home the other week and he drug over to the drowning bowl a fake bear rug from youngest son Sean's room.
That is one maniacal cat.
And, I have taken to sleeping with the bedroom door closed, lest I wake up one night "drowned."
* * *
I wondered out loud, how much is enough in regards to making donations to the overly corrupt, but still poor and recently earthquake ravaged Haiti? If you didn't read that, or forgot, don't call me a meanie or Haiti hater. I didn't say it was wrong to donate to the humanitarian efforts down that way -- I just wondered when we (Americans) would mobilize like that to help our neighbors here in Michigan.
So, that was my question . . . this past Friday, as I opened up my phone bill, I found that I -- Don Rush (read: cheapskate, stingy, skinflint, tightwad and scrooge-like) -- donated $10 of my hard earned money to Haiti. And, I would personally like to thank my son Shamus, for having such a big heart, trying to save my immortal soul, by texting the Haiti relief fund number and signing me up to make a donation.
"Thank you, son. And, remind me again -- why do I pay for you to have your own cell phone?"
* * *
It is a relatively new phenomenon that I have watched slowly grow over the last decade. There is little tolerance these days. We all talk about it is "okay"for folks to live this way, or live that way, or go to a church of their choice, or not to believe in a power higher than themselves, to live and let live and all that, but I think we're hypocrites.
I think we are more critical than ever. I think today folks are more, "You're either with me all the way, or you are against me."
I think Americans are so deeply divided in their politics and beliefs that we border on fanatical adherence to whatever it is we think we know. I think we spout our own beliefs and when someone dares to disagree, we stick our fingers in our ears and shout "la, la, la, la," until the heresy is completed.
I say it's relatively new because while it has been a national trend, it has only recently hit home, locally. Don't believe me?
If I as a columnist, or we, as a newspaper dare to disagree with, say the school district on any issue, folks drop their subscriptions, start up anti-us websites, tell businesses not to advertise with us -- they basically try to put us out of business. In the past, they would write their opinions and we would publish them. We would all look at the each other's side,move on and in the process grow.
I am here to testify, them days is gone.
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Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: email@example.com