The Loh Life

Nine Lives, Part One: He Bounces

Sandra Tsing Loh prepares to deliver some bad news.

For many, it has been a scary month.  For Republicans, the big scare was the election.

For parents, it was Halloween, falling on a WEDNESDAY.  Scariest for some, though— The BIGGEST scream?  Windows 8.  Or maybe that’s just me.  I think of Windows as this Nightmare on Elm Street HORROR franchise that keeps going and going and going.  What the —?  I thought we killed this operating system the last time— But no— “I’m ba-a-ack!”

Anyway, my particular nightmare began with a text I got from my girls’ dad, who has been out of town for a month.  I COULD note that this came the day before a book deadline, when I was in front of the computer 12 hours a day WHILE house-sitting, only taking breaks to drive my girls around and throw food at them, sleeping on an AIR mattress between their beds, waking up every morning at 6 a.m. to Ryan Seacrest and a cat butt on my head—

But it doesn’t matter.  There’s never a good time for the news:

“Suzy’s CAT got hit by a car.  He’s on oxygen.”

Oh no-o-o!  My 10 year old was going to be hysterical!  She loves her one year-old Siamese CATO, who was already a replacement cat for her OTHER cat who died. . . of a mysterious disease.  The dead cat’s SISTER lives on, of course, same litter, yowling, lolling, JUST getting fatter and fatter— But, of course, that is her SISTER’S cat.

Poor Suzy— She just does NOT have luck with pets— cats, hamsters, fish—  I don’t know if she was overfeeding them, but at some point those fish appeared to be molding— Whatever is the OPPOSITE of a green thumb, with pets?  That’s what she has—

But wait.  Now the second part of the message sinks in.

I remind you— First part— cat got hit by a car.  Second part: cat is on oxygen.

Oxygen?  I gathered this did not refer to the popular women’s cable channel.

I confess I didn’t quite know what it meant for a cat to be on oxygen.  I lost many cats when I was a kid— Spot, Snoopy, others— they all ran out into the street and weeping, a little, my mother put them into a green garbage bag.  It was tragic, but death happened.  Just the day before, in fact, I had shoveled a decapitated bird into the trash— one of many, killed by Cato himself, in such a frantic spray of feathers in the bathroom it was like its OWN Nightmare on Elm Street— Or, as I like to call it, Windows 8.  And now Hannibal Lecter is in a mask.  A very expensive mask.

Next week: Breaking the CAT-astrophic News.


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