Thursday, September 12, 2019


                                                             by Sam James

      If there's not cats in the house, you can do all kinds of stuff you planned and get it done. You can leave your table with all the sorting in mentally-marked piles, you can leave your book laying where you left it by the stand on the couch, or you can do all sorts of things and be happy it's just the way you left it when you come back.
      If there's cats in the house, when you come back, all the papers are scattered, the book is knocked on the floor, a lamp might be knocked over and there're cats looking up at you and meowing innocently. Mom, we're hungry? Where's dinner?
      If there's not cats in the house, you can let the dogs in without any kind of fuss. If there's  not cats in the house, you can leave the windows open for the fresh air all day long if you want. You can even put your mail in the same place on the table and find it when you get around to looking at it. You can sit down at the computer to eat your snack and no one jumps on your lap right into the food.
      If there're not cats in the house, you have peace and no fleas.  You can get up and take a step without stepping on someone's tail, or without tripping over someone walking slow with tail raised in front of you. (You cannot hurry a cat).  You can open the door and not have to go back to see if you closed it tight, or if it latched, if there're not cats in the house, and they can't go outside.
     You have all kinds of freedom if there's not cats in the house.  You can keep a homemade box lid off your printer  because no one will claim nap space on top of it. You can type without the 25 pounder getting from couch onto your shoulder and gingerly stepping down onto your lap andknldnfnaf and causeing all kinds ojf typos, such as just now.........A flea doesn't jump off his lap into yours.......
      If there's not cats in the house, you can come home and find your light tv where you left it, and your dvd and video player, you can find them all fine on the shelf. But when there's cats in the house.......well, you know.
     If there's not cats in the house, there's no cat fights. (The little three-legged one chasing the big 25 pounder and wrecking the place, ). There's not two of them vieing for the space on your lap when you sit down to read a book and have coffee..... If there's not cats in the house, you get to sleep in your own bed and no one steps on your head in the middle of the night, or no one jumps down on it from the top bunk, or something.
       If there's not cats in the house, cat litter isn't , either. ....all over the beds, the floors, the furniture, if there's not cats in the house.  And you can get up in the morning when you're old and no one is demanding you get up now and feed them, when you'd rather stay in bed and read, or something, or have the maid come in with your cowboy coffee.....then you get up because you want to, actually, because you have to get your own coffee because you haven't got a maid.
       Lots of good things could work well and happen right and save a lot of bad thoughts about what you'd like to do to those darn cats ....if there's no cats in the house.
       You could live in peace. You could come home to an empty house, sit down to read, sort your papers, type your novels, post online, and nothing would ever happen.
        You'd have perfect peace and a silent house, and nobody to blame everything on. You'd have no messes to clean up, no mouths to feed, no one to talk to, no little purrs and raised tails and trusting eyes and little cat talk, no warm bodies on your lap, no little cat feet pattering across the room, no one racing through the house, one telling you in your face it's ok, I'm I am, Mom........
        No one.
        If there's not cats in the house.

Saturday, September 7, 2019


        I awoke to find that I was not up on the edge of a steep roof and afraid to move for fear I would slide off. My legs didn't want to work, there was nothing to hold onto, and the dilemma was that I thought I saw my daughter Sheri down below, which was impossible, because my daughter Sheri had died 6 years ago.   I looked all around the dark tar shingle roof and could find nothing to hold onto. I looked down, and the drop was about ten or twelve feet to the ground, but seemed farther. I thought if I dropped, at my age, I would surely bust something. And I was in enough pain every day as it was.
    I certainly do not know how I even got up on that roof. I was at a site directed by a woman with whom I was in dispute over something, but she was in charge, and there seemed nothing I could do to get my own way in the matter, or get me out of the seemingly hopeless mess I'd somehow gotten into. Since I don't remember now what it was, I can't tell you why or what. You can't detail what you don't know.
       I think a lot of this has to do with the Netflex Canadian series (Heartland) I am currently glued to but increasingly disgusted with.  The women are conniving, selfish, in charge types who can't bear to not have their own way. The young girls are bossy , rude, overbearing. The poor guys in the series haven't a chance. Hence the blonde In-Charger gal in the dream.
        Prior to my being on the roof, I'm not sure of all the events, except that I had been at odds with this gal all during the construction of corrals, poles, building, in my search for something or someone, and I haven't a clue what I was doing on the roof, or why, when the place the house was to stand was under construction, I could even plainly see to the left of myself,  looking down and behind me, the floorboards below and the unfinished framework of the rising home. But I could, plainly, and my heart leaped when I saw the woman next to In-Charger. She looked and talked exactly like Sheri. Well, not exactly, except for her voice. While I was peering over the edge of my dangling legs, attempting to gauge the drop's effect on my useless body, I heard the voices below on the left and off a little behind me. So I peered over the left edge of the roof and saw them. From the top, it was Sheri. Then she turned her face a little, and, while her features were the younger Sheri but a little more stout---not the young, beautiful petite girl I raised, nor the Drug-Destroyed daughter who died---I saw the resemblance was just that--resemblance, but not her. I was seemingly stuck on the roof unable to move or warn her (of what, escapes me). I couldn't move on my perilous seat, not could I speak. 
       I was frozen in time.
        I looked away from them and again over to the peak of the roof, which had been far away. But now I saw that it was close enough for me to turn my body a bit, painfully, and reach a sort of handhold of dried tarred board, or glob, or something, and just as I had decided to risk it,
       I was delivered once again.
       I woke up.  
       I was in my bed, snuggled and warm.
       Mom always said----and thank God for Mom: "It's only a dream, Norma."
       So glad it's only a dream.