Friday, June 19, 2009

The Kind-Hearted Putz

I suppose you would say that I am one. I am somewhat selective in how I dole out my kind-heartedness, but not very. My putzedness, by comparison, is broadband.

Whenever I see a bug in my house, I pick it up and put it outside. Unless it's a mosquito or a housefly. Mosquitoes deserve to die, and the houseflies usually get eaten by the cats, and I'm enough of a jerk to let them go ahead and do that. I am most hospitable to spiders because they, like the cats, eat bugs I don't like.

Speaking of cats... If you encounter a stray one, and you tell someone, the conversation always goes in the same direction.

You: I sawr a stray cat in my yard!

Anybody you tell the above to: I hope you didn't feed it!


You didn't feed it did you?


If you feed it, you'll never get rid of it.

Well, duh. We've all been told this at least a hundred times. It's one of those things you learn growing up; don't talk to strangers, never pee in the dark, bears are more scared of you than you are of them, and never feed stray cats.

But if you're a kind-hearted putz, you kind of have to. The rational side of my brain replayed the message, recorded in the voice of every single person I have ever known, about not feeding strays.

"Don't feed 'em," it said after the message clicked off.

"Yeah, but..." countered the putzy side of my brain. The side that feels sorry for fuzzy little animals who make noise and appreciate Purina.

"I'm serious," the stern, no-nonsense side said, shaking its finger. "You've already got two cats, and you can't afford to adopt this one too. It looks like it belongs to someone anyway. Look. It's been neutered."

"Awww! The poor thing doesn't even have any balls! He doesn't have any balls and he's hungry!"

"I'm telling you--"

"If he does belong to somebody, he's lost right now, and I'd be a real jerk not to feed him. What kind of neighbor would that make me? If I don't feed him, the owls will eat him," the soft side says, edging my body closer to the bag of cat food.

"I don't see what that has to do with--"

"If he isn't well fed," the putzy side says, directing my hand to reach for a bowl, "he won't have the energy he needs to battle them. Besides. There's a thunderstorm rolling in, and poor Henry's gonna be scared on top of everything else."


"The cat. I've decided to name him Henry."

"I give up."

The rational side of my brain usually does give up in these situations. I suspect that it secretly wanted to feed Henry too.

So here I am with two official cats, and a third satellite cat who hangs out on the porch and talks to the porch furniture all night. I've got the rational side of my brain convinced that he's making himself useful out there by eating tree-destroying moths, but that's not going to work for very long.

If any of you time-wasters want a talkative, affectionate male cat who eats moths, and you live near the 49519 ZIP code, let me know! I have one all ready to go.


  1. Omigod, you fed the cat!

    Okay, I gotta go to bed. I shall inscribe a more witty remark on the comment wall at a later date...

  2. First of all, I don't think Henry has anything to fear from owls, as they've all been smothered in the hairy, odorous armcave of the Brawny lumberjack ("King Baby" - Jim Gaffigan).

    However, I do admire your putzy side for being so caring. It also suggests a hidden side to Mr. Putz, as it takes courage and tenacity of its own to hold a position against the stern, no-nonsense side.

    Dang it, this was even less witty than the first comment. I must be banned from Bob Evans forever.

  3. foodaddy's foodaddyJuly 26, 2009 at 8:34 AM

    Loved the internal dialogue, chock full of good comic rhythm and consistency of tone. And a month later, Henry is still occupying the bushes, protecting the house from possums and curious to see what you're going to write next about him.


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