From the Notebook

May 18, 2021

By Karen

I’ve shifted to a Tuesday-Friday posting schedule due to my day job. Here are the bits I’ve been making note of…

Mask Update from Virginia: Today I went to the Post Office, Target, and Food Lion. The PO still had a door sign requiring masks, and everyone inside wore one. Target had removed its mask sign, but kept the social distancing sign. However, I didn’t see anyone maskless. At Food Lion, I forgot to look for the signs, but everyone was masked. I’m thrilled.

Medina Spirit Triple Screwed: The New York Racing Association suspended trainer Bob Baffert from its tracks, including Belmont, home of the third Triple Crown race June 5. So, Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit can’t compete, even if he wanted to win two out of three.

In any case, Medina will probably forfeit the Derby because Baffert let Medina receive a rash ointment containing the banned substance betamethasone. We await a second drug test to confirm the first failed test, but it’s using more of the same blood sample, so another positive seems certain.

Medina may have shot Baffert a “middle hoof up” in the Preakness. Medina led balls to the wall the whole race, only to fall a distant third to Rombauer and Midnight Bourbon in the final stretch.

So, a promising Triple Crown season will probably fizzle, with Medina Spirit a drug-convicted also-ran. Leave it to humans, right?

What’s No. 3 Worth Outside Horse Racing?: Demonic Dick Cheney’s daughter, Congresswoman Liz Cheney, a wisp of conscience that infuriates Republicans. First, she voted to impeach Trump (on 2nd try). Then she admitted he’s lying about the election being stolen, painting also as liars every Republican scumbag still spouting that bullshit. It was the first and only time I’ll probably ever agree with a Cheney.

So, Liz had to be punished. Through a weaselly, passive-aggressive secret vote, they stripped Liz of her No. 3 position in the House.

Did it ever matter? Did she get wear a special ring or something? I have no idea who No. 2 is. That position may not even need to exist because Kevin McCarthy reeks of No. 2 from constantly rolling in Trump’s crap.

Republicans Remember Insurrectionists as “Normal Tourists”: In real time, the world watched our Capitol swarmed by human Plague rats egged on by Trump to overthrow the presidential election. They smashed windows and doors, beat police, brandished weapons, smeared feces, ransacked offices and stole, and erected a gallows out front for the vice president.

We’ve been seeing video and hearing eyewitness accounts ever since about this nightmare that killed five people.

I’m waiting for Democrats to slam the lid on this garbage that it was a “normal tourist visit” NOW. Arrest the instigators who still sit fat and happy in Congress. Josh Hawley, Marjorie Taylor-Greene et al. need a little “me time” in jail to face the fact that that Trump’s out and so is gaslighting.

Israel – Hamas War: In its latest burst of impotent rage, Hamas started shooting rockets at Israel again, with predictable results: Israel’s Iron Dome is swatting the rockets away like flies, but in retaliation flattening huge swaths of what little they’ve allowed to remain of Palestinian territory.

In the U.S., it seems anything less than 100% unconditional support for everything Israel does is labeled anti-Semitism. But this has nothing to do with race or religion. It’s about oppression and human rights abuse.

Let me put it this way. Say your neighbor has a dog he encourages to poop all over your yard. This makes you angry and you feel he’s violating your land, so you start flinging the feces back over the fence into the dog-owner’s yard. One night, he responds by fire-bombing your house, destroying it and killing your whole family.

You can usually tell who’s “winning” a conflict by counting the casualties (as of this minute):

Palestinians: 212 dead (including 61 children, 35 women), 1,400+ wounded, 2,500 homeless.

Israelis: 12 dead (including 1 child).

Israel absolutely has the right defend itself from attack, but the disproportionate brutality is where I draw the line.

In a perfect world, Netanyahu and Trump would be sharing a prison cell for their lives of financial corruption and depraved indifference to human life, and we’d all be better off.


Medina Spirit on Trump: “He’s Wack”

May 11, 2021

By Tony

Trump, desperate for a social media fix after getting banned everywhere for lying, created his own website, “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump.” (No link. Cats Working is dedicated to stamping out ignorance.)

Trump spews gibberish that people may ♥ or repeat on Facebook or Twitter. We hope journalists don’t scamper after Trump down his new rabbit hole, fouling the media with his garbage.

But on Sunday Trump called Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit a “junky.”

That’s because after the Derby, Medina failed a drug test. It showed too much betamethasone, a steroid horses are given for pain or inflammation. It’s forbidden when they race. Medina’s trainer Bob Baffert has been suspended at Churchill Downs, and the world waits for results from a second test on another portion of Medina’s sample to find out if Medina has to forfeit his Derby win and give up his Triple Crown dream.

Max and Roc helped me “borrow” Karen’s phone and call Medina Spirit to get an opinion straight from the horse’s mouth…

I caught him just before he hit the road to Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

Tony: Hi, Mr. Spirit? Do you have a few minutes to talk to Cats Working?

Medina Spirit: Cats? Working? Are you kidding? The cats prowling our stable hunt purely for sport. But they’re cool, so sure. Make it quick, though. My trailer’s almost ready to go. Call me Medina.

T: Thanks. You were amazing in the Derby. I’m so sorry they might disqualify you for doing drugs.

M: That’s some crazy shit, right? I can’t believe it myself.

T: Did you realize your people doped you before the race?

M: It comes down to this. When they show up with a big horse needle before a major race, you can either kick their balls off and earn a trip to the glue factory, or you can trust that they’re not SO stupid, they’d kill their own meal ticket, so you take the shot.

T: I get it. Why do you think Baffert would let that happen?

M: We call that guy “Baffling” around the stalls. One day he loves his horseys, the next day, we hear he’s shooting them up and getting suspended. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

T: What do you think about Donald Trump calling you a “junky.”

M: To be honest, I’m more pissed that Baffling keeps calling me a “little horse.” What’s that mean? A Shetland? A Falabella? I’ll tell you, I’ve got one thing I’d like to show Baffert any day that makes his own look downright puny, and that’s my —

T: — Horses put cats to shame in that department, too. Speaking of mushrooms, back to Trump.

M: Oh, yeah. What does Trump mean by “junky”? Was my saddle tatty? Was my jockey wearing rags? I don’t get it.

T: I think he meant “junkie,” like drug addict.

M: Oh, right. That clown never could spell. But he knows junkies. He sees one every time he looks in a mirror. And he’s not seeing an orange horse with a fucked-up mane. What a washed-up wack job. It doesn’t take even a lick of horse sense to see that. Why isn’t he in jail yet? People need to muck out his worthless opinions. When it comes to crime, Trump makes Baffert’s horse-rigging seem trifling.

Hey, look, kid, I gotta run. Literally. In the Preakness on Saturday. Against Mandaloun again. He almost beat my ass in the Derby.

T: OK, Medina. I’ve got paws crossed you win again. I hear Baffert’s watching the race from California, so it’s all on you at Pimlico. Best of luck!


Derby Leaves Cats Kentucky-Fried

May 3, 2021

By Roc, Tony and Max

Roc here… When I was a tiny kitten out west in Abingdon, Virginia, my mom always told us never to trust — or stand under — horses. “Freaks on stilts with rocks for feet” she used to call them. Since we’d never seen a horse, my littermates and I had no idea what she was talking about.

But once I came to Cats Working and learned from Adele about the Triple Crown and sat through all those races with her for years, now I know exactly what Mom meant. You never really know what’s cooking in those tiny horse brains in those ginormous bodies.

And humans think CATS are unpredictable!

Adele must be laughing her ass off in Kitty Heaven over the crappy job we did of picking Kentucky Derby winners. Karen remembers all the way back to when the late Fred used to pick the ponies. She says she doesn’t think he or Adele were ever more off the mark than we were.

Max cutting in… Speaking of Adele, I bet she’s up there on Seattle Slew’s back, whispering in his ear, “Your great-grandson Bourbonic came in 13th. Not your proudest moment, huh?”

Curlin, Bernardini and Afleet Alex, who are all living the studly life in retirement, have probably been hearing horsy guffaws around their stables over their descendents running like their shoes were on backward.

Tony… OK, OK, since I’m the new designated prognosticator here, I should be the one to tell you how it went down. In case you missed the race on May 1, you can watch the whole disgusting spectacle right here in a minute. But let me tell you a few things to watch for.

First, we are grudgingly happy for the winner, Medina Spirit, and congratulate him for his amazing race. But we were all hissing right after the race when his trainer Bob Baffert kept calling him a “little horse.” Hey, Baffert, that “little horse” made you the most successful trainer in Derby history with a seventh win. Show some respect!

On Derby Day, two of our picks were getting a lot of promising attention: Known Agenda and Rock Your World. In the end, Agenda became the relative leader of our pack, coming in ninth.

Rock Your World, who went in with second-best odds of winning, was another story. Directly out of the gate he was crowded out by Essential Quality (14) and Highly Motivated (17) and pushed to the far outside, where he remained. Rock did try to recover, but must have started thinking, “I could be in my stall with a big icy bucket of carrot juice, watching this shit on TV,” because he fell back and crossed the finish line 17th.

But by far the MOST bizarre run was by that whitish horse, Soup and Sandwich. He started from post position 19, surged to the front and maintained a steady second place behind Medina Spirit. Then something weird happened. At about 1:35 on the video, it looks like Soup starts running BACKWARD. He lets ALL the other horses pass until he’s dead last in 19th place. (Only 19 horses ran because King Fury, pp 16, got scratched). See what I mean…

Kitty hope springs eternal, so we’ll try to do better with the Preakness. We haven’t heard of any mishaps from the Derby, so at least all the horses made it in one piece, and we’re thankful for that.


Cats’ 2021 Kentucky Derby Picks

April 30, 2021

By Tony (with Max and Roc)

Max and Roc offered to help me do my Kentucky Derby (on NBC from 2:30 p.m., post time 6:57 ET) homework since my first Triple Crown season last year was all screwed up by COVID and I never had the benefit of watching Adele pick her ponies like they did. After much spitting, hissing and fur-pulling, these are the horses we all settled on…

First, I should let you know that the humans’ favorite is Essential Quality (under jockey Luis Saez, 3-5 odds as of this minute, post position 14). Essential is undefeated in his five previous races, so he’s someone our preferred horses need to keep an eye on.

We’re not hoping he loses, exactly, but I’d love to prove that we cats are on horses’ wavelength and better at picking winners than humans are.

Our favorite to place at least 2nd is Known Agenda (Irad Ortiz Jr., 22-1, pp 1). He may find running along the rail crowded, and I know his odds seem long, but Max says we need to consider his “blood.”

Agenda is Curlin’s kid. That should mean something to you. And Agenda should be well-rested because he hasn’t raced since he won the Florida Derby in March. With six total races to his credit, (3 wins, one each 2nd and 3rd, and one 5th), he seems solid enough to be a more serious contender than he’s getting credit for.

Our wildcard is Bourbonic (Kendrick Carmouche, 46-1, pp 20). Upon studying his family tree, Max was impressed that Bernardini is his dad and his paternal great-granddad was Seattle Slew.

And on his mother’s side, Bourbonic’s granddad is Afleet Alex, whose fur-raising run in the 2005 Preakness was a sight Karen says she’ll never forget. In the stretch, Alex clipped heels with another horse, almost went to his knees and threw his jockey, but they somehow recovered and won by 4 3/4 lengths. A few weeks later, Alex went on to win the Belmont by 7 lengths.

Since Bourbonic is starting wide in the outside post position and he’s got that incredible Alex juju flowing through him, we believe he has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Finally, our pick to win is Rock Your World (Joel Rosario, 7-1, pp 15). He’ll come out of the gate right beside Essential Quality and he also has no idea what defeat is. He’s won his first three races and hasn’t been around the track enough to get jaded about racing. Roc especially is rooting for his namesake to maintain his momentum and leave the other horses in his dust as he streaks across that finish line.

Rock Your World wins at Santa Anita (Photo Benoit)

And as Adele always said, we have all paws crossed that every horse finishes safely. May the best horse win.


A Peek Inside My Notebook

February 8, 2021

By Karen

No theme is gelling for me today on Trump 2nd Impeachment Eve, but I’ve got bits and pieces I’ve been meaning to share, so let’s hit those…

First, the Super Bowl. As always, it was so far off my radar, I didn’t know who was in it until Saturday. That’s also when I learned Tom Brady isn’t a Patriot anymore — not that any Trump-loving, alleged ball-deflating cheater ever could be, except in football.

Needless to say, I didn’t watch one second of it. After seeing the 31–9 final score this morning, Kitten Bowl VII on Hallmark we did watch must have had more action and less ego.

Am I mistaken, or haven’t all Super Bowls in recent memory been low-score, over-hyped nothingburgers? Why waste hours watching commercials interspersed with guys inflicting brain damage on each other during those rare moments they’re actually doing anything.

If you asked me tomorrow who played in this game, I can promise you I will have already forgotten.

&

I checked out the new SyFy series Resident Alien, described in the TV promo as “the small-town murder mystery doctor dramedy Earth needs right now.” Here’s the network’s blurb…

“An alien crash lands on Earth [in Patience, Colorado] and must pass himself off as small-town human doctor Harry Vanderspeigle. Arriving with a secret mission to kill all humans, Harry starts off living a simple life…but things get a bit rocky when he’s roped into solving a murder and needs to assimilate into his new world.”

It’s a comedy, but much darker than My Favorite Martian, who never wanted to kill us all. The ‘60s were so innocent…

Also, in Patience, the mayor’s son, a 10-year-old named Max, is the only one who sees Harry as he really is, which sets up the central conflict and the funniest scenes.

&

Another show I stumbled across is Dishing with Julia, a delightful six-part series on PBS featuring vintage episodes of Julia Child’s The French Chef being watched and critiqued by today’s chefs, including wonderful José Andrés and Eric Ripert…

&

If you’re wondering how the cats are doing, Tony has gone totally high-tech. I’m trying to get video of him during our new after-dinner ritual involving a laser pointer. After I eat, I like to sit for a few minutes to let things settle before I complete my 7,500 steps for the day. But now, Tony plants himself on the sardine scratcher and gives me laser eyes until I give him his red dot…

“You’ve got laser duty — NOW — since you’re the only one with thumbs. “

I also showed him Adele’s favorite cat software, “Paint for Cats,” on my old iPad…

“Do not mistake this for a self-portrait. No brown cats here. Yes, we can see color.”

Now, whenever he sees me using that iPad, I get his, “Are you going to bogart that thing ALL night?” look. Roc also likes to play. Stay tuned for video.

&

Last night after we finished Chase the Laser and I settled down for TV, Roc and Tony adjourned upstairs to conduct aerial surveillance from the second and third beams…

“She sure looks a lot smaller from up here.”

&

As I’m writing this post, Tony is lounging in his new favorite sunny spot on the balcony, on the blue perch…

&

In what may become a continuing series, I would like to note that frozen dinners NEVER come out of the microwave looking like the delicious meal on the box…

At least there are a decent number of meatballs.

&

BONUS: Randy Rainbow wrote a song for Marjorie Taylor Greene…


Chapter 131: COVID Chronicles

October 26, 2020

By Karen

Day 226

Trump vs. Football: Which I Loathe More is a Toss-Up

Trying to tune in to Trump’s interview on 60 Minutes on CBS with Lesley Stahl at 7:30, I hit the second-most thing I hate on my TV screen — football.

Adele and Cole wrote about it.

Of COURSE there was a game on CBS. There used to be a game almost EVERY Sunday during the run of Madam Secretary. I’d have to DVR several extra hours to catch it because fucking football running late would throw off the whole night’s schedule.

Last night I couldn’t tape Trump because my Verizon DVR can only handle two shows at once and my Sunday queue is packed. I rescheduled everything that reran later, but not knowing WHEN the freaking football would end, I was screwed.

But the game wrapped at 7:15. Whew! Then CBS switched to ANOTHER goddamn game that still had two whole freaking minutes left.

Two minutes in football means at least 30 minutes of mostly stopped clock, watching guys milling around in tight capris, doing NOTHING. And CBS stayed with it, willfully throwing their whole subsequent lineup under the bus, KNOWING the country was anticipating the interview Trump’s been in a lather over all week.

There is so little action in football for the overall time it takes, while still causing so much brain damage and early-onset dementia, it escapes me how it ever became a national obsession. It’s right up there with golf for hours wasted watching players not play. At least golfers don’t throw themselves into piles to indulge in mass ass-grabbing.

Don’t even ask me what teams were playing these games. I didn’t care.

I kept switching back and forth between programs until I finally did catch Trump staring at Stahl with lifeless eyes, berating and bullying her until he lumbered off the set to throw a hissy fit in the arms of his Hopey…

I had to get that off my chest. We have one more week to go before we tentatively find out if we’ve flushed the tangerine turd, so SDNY can indict him on multiple financial felonies and set him on his march to prison.

BONUS: Speaking of New York, you’ve probably heard how Borat set the scene for Rudy Giuliani to grab his junk in Borat’s new movie. Here’s the scene. The moment begins at about 3:30, but watch how Rudy creepily tries to charm the 24-year-old actress before they adjourn to the bedroom.

DOUBLE BONUS: I found this little gem of a move called The Love Punch (2014) (ignore the reviews) on Amazon Prime. It’s a rom-com for boomers starring Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson, set in Paris and the French Riviera. AND it features Celia Imrie, whom I first saw in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and now she turns up everywhere.


Chapter 127: COVID Chronicles

October 2, 2020

By Tony

Day 205

RAL Calendar Update & My Preakness Picks

Karen’s letting me do a special post today because I’ve got news to report (making Roc and Max look like total slugs in this blogging business).

I still don’t know what month I got, but here’s the photo they’re using…

Karen took this of me on my big photo shoot day after the photographer left and I came out of hiding. But the photographer did clean up the tatty corner of my perch.

Karen also wrote the blurb about me that’s going with it, but I’ll save that as a surprise for anyone who orders the calendar, which you can do from the Richmond Animal League website (no pressure, I get no credit for that).

On the sports beat, the third and final race of Triple Crown season is the Preakness Stakes this Saturday. It will be on NBC and post time is 5:45 p.m. ET.

Only 11 horses are running. Tiz the Law, who won the Belmont and came in second to Authentic in the Kentucky Derby, is taking a pass to rest up for the Breeder’s Cup Classic in November.

Authentic, who won the Kentucky Derby in September, is back as the favorite (odds 9-5) to try for two out of three. He’s running from post position 9. I hope he’s third.

Max Player is the only horse who’s shown up for all three races. He’s starting right next to Authentic in pp 8. Even though his odds are 15-1, I’m rooting for Maxy to win this one because he came in third at Belmont, fifth in the Derby, and his persistence and can-do attitude deserves a win.

And for second place? My pick is in memory of the big sister I never met, Adele. She would have put all her treats on Swiss Skydiver (pp 4, 6-1) because SHE’S A FILLY.

The last girl to win the Preakness was Rachel Alexandra in 2009, a race covered by our late Fred. Then Adele got this exclusive interview with “Alexandra the Great” when she was named Horse of the Year. She’s one tough broad.

BONUS: Karen was poking around the web and asked me to include this delightful montage of show tunes she found (Attn Anita in CA: Moulin Rouge is in here!). It’s delightful and matches her mood after learning that Trump and Melania finally get to experience the joys of COVID. It’s a little long, but it goes fast if you like this stuff…


Melania & Me: A Book Review

September 7, 2020

By Karen

But first… Tony was disappointed his picks didn’t fare better in the Kentucky Derby, but Tiz the Law came in a close second. Max Player pounded down the stretch, but precious moments he lost earned him fifth place. And Finnick the Fierce was scratched before the race for medical reasons.

If you missed it, here’s the race. Watch Max Player break near the rail. His jockey wears hot pink with an orange cap, so you can’t miss him. Max takes it easy until the final stretch. At 1:45 you can see him get blocked behind another horse…

Tony’s taking it in stride and looks forward to the Preakness on October 3.

I just finished Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s Melania & Me, and I can save you the trouble of reading it unless you’re rabid to get deep into the weeds of how Trump’s D-list inauguration farce came together.

Wolkoff meticulously recounts every minute and name involved in the dodgy mess because she’s establishing her own innocence. But it was TMI for me. In the avalanche of far greater Trump scandals since then, to quote Melania herself, “I really don’t care, do you?”

Wolkoff and Melania first became BFFs when Wolkoff worked at Vogue, planning Fashion Week, the Met Gala and other major fundraisers for Anna Wintour. Wolkoff knows everybody, and her stepfather’s the son of jeweler Harry Winston.

She was the perfect mark for an ambitious immigrant whose résumé was as fake as her real estate tycoon boyfriend. Yet Wolkoff believed Melania’s friendship was genuine.

When Trump was sworn in, Wolkoff stayed in D.C. to establish Melania’s East Wing and fend off an Ivanka takeover — while Melania stayed in New York until mid-2017 to renegotiate her prenup — oh, and let Barron finish school.

In the White House, Wolkoff never had a “real” job. She signed in every day as a visitor. The government access on her cellphone and computer kept getting revoked. She was paid NO SALARY as a volunteer to give Melania budget to hire more staff. Wolkoff was never reimbursed thousands she paid for her hotel stays, other expenses — and eventually, lawyers.

Meanwhile, her husband and three young kids lived in New York without her. Wolkoff explains this as her devotion to making Melania the best first lady ever. I call it shit for brains.

Melania feigned concern about Wolkoff’s difficult working conditions, but never helped make the situation better, claiming to do so would be “breaking the law.”

At one point, Wolkoff physically broke down, spending spent weeks having several back surgeries and enduring constant pain.

I think Wolkoff would be Melania’s slave to this day if not for the investigations into the shady depletion of the inauguration fund. Instead, Wolkoff found herself, as the first lady’s friend, personally accused of taking about $25 million, which gave the real thieves time to run for cover.

Wolkoff says she was paid $480,000 for that work and she has all the receipts accounting for the rest of the money. She’s a witness in three investigations. And she has emails, texts and audio recordings to substantiate her book, if needed.

Melania was fine with Wolkoff taking the fall, perhaps because it’s come out that Trump’s D.C. hotel received a hefty portion of the missing money.

But to the last freaking page of this book, even though she describes Melania as plastic through and through, Wolkoff still seems unable to admit that Melania was never her real friend.

Melania gives zero fucks what anybody thinks or says about her, and she believes she’s answerable to no one on any matter. That’s why we hear so little from her. She can’t be bothered.

Wolkoff reveals herself as an idiot who gets played by a heartless, ruthless, single-minded grifter who teams up with a soulless, evil, corrupt Daddy’s boy to stay in the clothes, pampering and prestige she lives for.

Rather than applauding Wolkoff for giving us the truth about Melania and the inaugural money-grab, I’d rather slap her upside the head (as they say in the South) for her years of enabling such a monster.

Melania comes off as a vain, underhanded, high-maintenance nouveau riche ice queen. She’s a financial drain on the country and gives nothing in return but pouts, scowls, illiterate slogans (Be Best) and obscenely wasteful displays of her terrible taste in decorating.

Wolkoff documents how Melania pulls it off by conning otherwise decent people into concealing her innate selfishness, and I hope she’s ashamed of her complicity. Taxpaying voters deserve much, much better from a first lady.


Chapter 123: COVID Chronicles

September 3, 2020

By Karen and Tony

Day 176

Happy Birthday, Roc & Tony’s Kentucky Derby Picks

September 1 was Roc’s 5th birthday and he got a present that thrilled him — the spare Jackson Galaxy stick toy I’ve been hoarding. Through much of his kittenhood, he dragged the original everywhere. This is our third one. It’s such flimsy crap, it’s not even made anymore. Roc seems aware, because he’s being very gentle with it. The others lasted only a few weeks before I had to start duct-taping them together…

On an unrelated tangent, whenever Roc finds all of the 1,457 cat beds in this house unacceptable, he yanks down my towel to make his own bed. Have to admit, it’s pretty cute…

Turning you over now to Tony for the sports report…

Karen says it’s a bad-kitty move to crush a horse’s Triple Crown dream after he wins the first race, so I pick Tiz the Law to win the Kentucky Derby September 5. Tiz won the Belmont Stakes June 20, as well as three other races this year, so he’s on a roll. He’s also the humans’ favorite at 3-5 odds. In a field of 18 horses, Tiz will start from post position 17.

My other two favorites are side by side. In post position 2 is Max Player (odds 30-1) because, well, Max. I also picked him in the Belmont, and he finished THIRD. So, break a leg, Maxxy!

No, wait, horses probably hate that… Run like the wind, Maxxy!

My third pick, at the rail in pp 1 (50-1), is a real underdog who’s never won a race in his life. But his best race, coming in second, was at Churchill Downs, so maybe that track is his lucky charm. Did I mention he’s also missing his right eye?

Because Finnick the Fierce has a name that’s a cat magnet, and he has managed to qualify for the Derby despite all obstacles, I think he deserves a No. 1 feline fan, and it should be me…

Go, Finnicky!

Karen, back over to you on the political beat…

The irony gushes out of Washington from a fire hose. Yesterday, Trump flew to Wilmington to visit the USS North Carolina and commemorate 75 years since World War II’s end. In his spare time, he tries to incite Civil War II.

Upon his arrival, he greeted a modest crowd with his usual gravity-defying posture…

Then he gave a speech exhorting North Carolinians to vote by mail AND in person in case their paper ballot isn’t counted. This caused general confusion and a panic at the State Board of Elections. Voting twice (or inducing someone to do so, as Trump publicly did to the state’s entire population) is a Class I felony punishable by up to a year in prison and permanent loss of voting rights.

In plain sight every day, Trump actively and passively racks up so many felonies, the sun would grow cold and shrivel before he’d ever finish the prison sentence he’s earning. But yet he’s still allowed to roam free.

The North Carolina can only be boarded via a long, gently sloping ramp, and we’ve seen Trump on a ramp. According to locals, this ramp was encased in a tunnel for the first time ever, presumably to hide Trump doing a face-plant or riding in a wheelchair. I feel in my bones that Trump has a wheelchair in the White House.

Reading tweets about the USSNC ramp and seeing photos of it reproduced at politicalflare.com, there’s one where Lev Parnas mentions the wheelchair. After all the time he spent with Trump, he’s probably seen it.

PS: I’ve just started Melania and Me by Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who told Rachel Maddow she began recording conversations after Melania let her take the fall over the missing inaugural money. Apparently, the tapes would dispel any notion that Melania deserves sympathy for marrying a Trump.

In the pages I’ve read so far, if Trump, instead of growing up an entitled brat who’s never worked for anything, had Melania’s hungry ambition and single-mindedness, he’d be a monster who’d make the Trump we know look like a choirboy.

Fortunately, (I say that relatively), I think only Trump’s narcissism, blind faith in his own brilliance and infallibility, and attention deficit have shielded him from embracing Melania’s poisonous intensity.


Chapter 85: COVID Chronicles

June 21, 2020

By Tony

Day 102

Belmont Recap & Funny Business in the Holly Tree

For my first time ever seeing a horse race, I’m pretty proud of my predictions for the Belmont Stakes yesterday. I gave Tiz the Law the benefit of the doubt, since he was the humans’ favorite, and they were right. He won.

But there I was, glued to the screen when MY favorite, Fore Left, shifted into high gear and stunned everybody on the track when he looked for a moment like he was going to pull off a big upset…

Here was the leader board…

Unfortunately, Lefty’s boldness motivated the other horses and some of them overtook him. I’m glad his jockey let him relax back to 9th place because it made no sense at that point to run him to death.

One of the horses that charged in the end was my other favorite, Max Player. He really showed his stuff in the stretch and finished third!

At home, we had some excitement, too. It started when Karen noticed some dead branches on the holly tree outside the kitchen window. When she went to investigate, she found this nest…

There’s this cardinal who’s been giving Roc and me the stink-eye from that tree for about a week now. Little did we know he was shacking up out there…

Turns out he’s married. When Karen was tugging on the dead branches before she saw the nest, he and his wife were having a fit, flapping and squawking. Here he is again (top) and his bride…

She doesn’t look anything like a cardinal, so we thought it was a mixed marriage (do birds do that?). But Karen looked it up and girl cardinals are gray. Also, cardinals are monogamous and keep the same mate for life, so rather than the carefree playboybird he made us think he was, he’s spoken for.

The wife plopped down in the nest as soon as Karen came back into the house. This is their mating season, so she’s probably hatching a litter out there. The nest is too high for Karen to peek into. Cardinals are born in about 12 days, so Roc and I are keeping an eye out for a sudden population explosion.


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