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Reading the Newsgroup with Mommy

by Lori Crews, Houston, Texas, USA


Cast of characters:

Mommy decides to sit down at her desk and read her favorite newsgroup, rec.pets.cats.anecdotes. Sammy runs into the room to see what Mommy is doing. Mommy looks down at Sammy and wonders how Sammy is going to make Mommy's life difficult today, then turns on her computer and starts to enter her password to log in. Sammy jumps on the keyboard typing "mmmmmmmmmm,,,,,,,,,", then steps on the "Enter" key. The computer tells Mommy it can't log her in because her password is incorrect. Mommy murmurs something under her breath, gives Sammy a dirty look, and begins to retype her password. Sammy, who has jumped from the keyboard on its holder to the desktop, reaches down to play with Mommy's moving fingers. Mommy jerks her bloody fingers away from Sammy's claws and inadvertently hits the "Enter" key. The computer tells Mommy it can't log her in because her password is incorrect. Mommy sighs, lifts Sammy off of her desk, and gently places Sammy of her office floor.

Mommy, eying Sammy's twitching butt, retypes her password really, really fast before Sammy can jump onto her keyboard again. Mommy typed a bit too fast, causing a typo to occur, and the computer tells Mommy it can't log her in because her password is incorrect. Mommy grits her teeth, calls the computer a nasty name, then begins to type in herpasswordagain. Noticing movement in the corner of her eye, Mommy turns just in time to catch Sammy in mid-leap, sighs, and gently places Sammy on her office floor. Mommy forgot where she was in the typing of her password so has to backspace to restart. Mommy knows that she will have only one more chance to type in her correct password or the computer will lock her out for 20 minutes before she can try again. In order to outsmart Sammy, Mommy wiggles her foot around on the floor enticingly in order to distract Sammy while she types in her password. Sammy pounces on said foot and sinks her teeth into Mommy's ankle. Mommy says a very bad word, her entire body jerks, and she inadvertently hits the "Enter" key before she has completed typing her password. The computer tells Mommy that it can't log her in because her password is incorrect and that she has been locked out of her computer for the next twenty minutes. Mommy sighs, gives Sammy a dirty look, and then heads for the kitchen to make a pot of coffee.

Twenty-one minutes later Mommy heads back to her office with a cup of coffee, a ham sandwich, and Sammy hot on her trail. Mommy considers locking Sammy out of her office but decides that the sound of a kitten howling at the top of her lungs would be distracting and detract from the pleasure of reading her favorite newsgroup. Mommy can, however, put up with the howling long enough to correctly type in her password and wonders to herself why she didn't think of this twenty-two minutes ago (ah, it must have been the lack of caffeine!). Mommy opens the door to allow Sammy entrance to the office. Sammy starts to give Mommy a dirty look, but is distracted by the smell of a ham sandwich. Following her nose, Sammy jumps up to the desktop.

Mommy has made the rookie mistake of cutting the ham sandwich into two parts. She can not hold both halves of the sandwich and still have a hand free to use her mouse to navigate the newsgroup. Choosing her base animal urges over the aesthetic pleasure of reading the newsgroup, Mommy grabs up both halves of her sandwich, one half in each hand, and holds them up out of Sammy's reach. Sammy decides to climb Mommy's arm in order to reach the delectable smell she has detected. Mommy jumps up with a yell and drops the half of the sandwich which was being held in the hand attached to the arm that was being used as a climbing post. Sammy, having felled her prey, detaches her claws from Mommy's arm and jumps down to feast on her kill. Mommy decides that the office floor (not to mention Sammy's litter box-digging paws) is not sanitary enough for her to salvage her sandwich and she lets Sammy keep her kill.

Mommy figures she now has enough time to read a few posts in peace while Sammy gobbles up every last crumb of the sandwich half - ham, cheese, mayonnaise, bread and all the trimmings including the sliced dill pickles (after all, if this is Mommy's kill that was stolen it must be good, right?). Now everybody, let's laugh at Mommy's naivety! Sammy devours the sandwich in the time it takes Mommy to read just half of Rocky's autobiography. Sammy then jumps up on Mommy's lap looking for the other half of the kill. Mommy starts shoving her half of the sandwich into her mouth as fast as she can until Mommy looks like a chipmunk with cheeks full of nuts. Sammy shoves her nose into the tiny opening left between Mommy's lips and tries to take the kill from Mommy's mouth. Mommy jerks her head back and bangs her head on the high back of her desk chair. This causes a bit of bread to become lodged in Mommy's throat causing Mommy to cough which in turn causes bits of sandwich to be spewed across Mommy's desk and keyboard. Sammy triumphantly pounces on and devours the bits of kill she has managed to wrest from Mommy's fangs. Mommy chews up the tiny bit of sandwich she has managed to wrest from Sammy's depredations and swallows - all the while glaring at the feasting kitten.

Mommy debates whether or not to go to the kitchen for another sandwich, looks down at her ample tummy, and decides that she should forgo further sustenance. Mommy finally gets back to reading about Rocky's early life and her eyes mist up thinking about this and the kindness Steve has shown to his master. In the meantime, Sammy has finished off the last of the sandwich bits from the keyboard and desktop and saunters over to Mommy's coffee cup to see what other goodies Mommy has captured for herself. Sammy leans over to sniff the coffee, misjudges her approach, and manages to snort coffee into her tiny nostrils. Sammy immediately sneezed out the offending brew, along with kitten boogers, back into Mommy's coffee cup. Mommy looks over at her coffee cup and wonders if it's worth the effort to get up and get a new cup of coffee. Mommy shrugs and takes a sip of her coffee, kitten boogers and all, and sighs.

Mommy moves on to a note from Baha about Stosh which invokes the memory of Archie Bunker, and Mommy smiles to herself at the mental picture this creates. Then Mommy reads a note from Helen about how Waffles is learning English and Mommy laughs out loud. The sound of Mommy laughing about something other than Sammy's own cute self peaks Sammy's interest and Sammy jumps on Mommy's lap, puts her paws on Mommy's chest, and licks Mommy on the nose. Mommy is distracted by this blatant bid for attention and pauses in her reading to give Sammy cuddles and scritches. Sammy bites Mommy's hand and Mommy says bad words and gently places Sammy on her office floor.

Mommy goes on to read Oliver T. Fine's note about the invasion of his home by the red dot greebles. Mommy laughs really hard and tells Sammy about Oliver's post. Sammy knows exactly what Oliver is referring to because Sammy has the same problem at her house! Sammy asks Mommy to type a note back to Oliver telling him her concern about a mass invasion. Mommy is laughing while she types and Sammy ends to note by giving Mommy a dirty look.

Mommy goes on to read notes by Victor, Margaret, Helen, Sherry, Tweed, and all the rest of the wonderful people who write to rpca. Mommy decides to write a long story about how Demi found her forever home. Mommy has written 3 pages worth of poignant, moving, insightful, brilliant prose when Sammy jumps up onto the keyboard and steps on the "Sleep" button. Mommy does not know how to get her computer off of "Sleep" mode and tries button after button on the keyboard to no avail. Mommy's voice is becoming louder and louder and she is saying more and more bad words, but none of this makes her computer come out of "Sleep" mode. Mommy gives Sammy a really dirty look and leans over to press the "reset" key on her CPU to cold boot her computer back on again. Mommy has lost all the beautiful words she has just written about Demi and knows that she can never recapture the pathos of the lost post. Sammy grins evilly at Mommy knowing that Mommy will now post something about Sammy instead of that dumb old Demi-cat! Sammy, as usual, is correct!

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