Rescue Me From This Coworker

, , , , , | Working | May 9, 2018

(My mother’s best friend finds a stray cat in an abandoned property and takes it in. When they take it to the vet, they find out she is pregnant, and soon afterwards she has three kittens. My parents decide to adopt one of the kittens. My mom is sharing an adorable video of the kitten with her coworkers just after getting her.)

Coworker: “Did you get her from a rescue?”

Mom: “No, I got her from a friend who rescued her mom when she was pregnant.”

Coworker: “Ugh. I can’t support not getting a kitten through a shelter. Don’t you know there’s thousands of cats looking for homes?”

Mom: “Well, she was looking for a home, too.”

Coworker: “Yes, but this is unethical. Ugh.”

The Power Of Snuggles

, , , , | Hopeless | May 3, 2018

My parents and I are stopping by a favorite restaurant for lunch after a therapy appointment, which was difficult but productive. After we get out of the car, we can hear what sounds like a man calling for his pet and, having a pet ourselves, instinctively look over to see what is going on.

It’s not a pretty sight. The shouting man is in a wheelchair, and he is wheeling after a little Chihuahua as fast as his arms and the bumpy pavement allow. Said Chihuahua, dragging along a retractable leash, is gunning for a squirrel which is headed to a side street. This being Massachusetts, the road is ridiculous; it’s incredibly narrow, yet still allows bumper-to-bumper parking on both sides, lets people drive on both sides, has a speed limit of 35 mph — roughly 56 kmh, for the non-American audience — and plenty of people who go faster than that limit. An able-bodied person, a tiny little Chihuahua, and a squirrel could bypass the parked cars, but somebody in a wheelchair has no chance of getting by them without taking a detour to the nearest crosswalk first.

In a panic, my parents and I rush over to the other side of the road to intercept the dog before it puts itself in big danger. The dog is laser-focused on the squirrel and doesn’t even acknowledge us at first. Fortunately, the squirrel is spooked by our charge and takes a sharp left behind a fence and into a tree, out of the dog’s sight. With the squirrel confirmed lost, the dog starts bouncing towards my parents and me and starts demanding that we snuggle — though Mom restrains me, not knowing if the dog is friendly.

It turns out the dog is the remarkably friendly pet of the man in a wheelchair. Apparently, the dog has the body of a Chihuahua, but his personality and mind are more like the Xolo breed, meaning that he’s social, quiet, loyal, somewhat active, and a lover of snuggles, but unable to resist the allure of a good chase. We have lovely, comforting snuggles, with the dog making the rounds to each and every family member. We make small talk with the man as he wheels over to reunite with his beloved pet.

The man and his dog are absolutely adorable. I will never forget the way that man’s face lights up when he sees that his dog is safe, and that we cared about his dog enough to try to prevent it from rushing into the road. He brightens even more when my mom hands him the leash, and the dog sees it as his cue to hop into his owner’s lap and snuggle. The two of them are like father and son. The whole experience causes us cheer up, too, after the difficult therapy session, though the man never knew what exactly had been going on in our lives.

Dog on lap, the man wheels away with a big grin on his face. We never saw him again, nor even remembered his or his dog’s names. The adorable bond between him and his Chihuahua, as well as both of their warmth and kindness, however, we could never forget. If you’re reading this, sir, thank you for being a kind, caring, and loving person. You and your dog were simply yourselves, but that was all you needed to be and more to make our day so much brighter when we needed it.

Slither Their Way Into Your Heart

, , , , | Learning | May 2, 2018

(We have our own three stooges in our class who often do gross stuff to freak out the girls, and sometimes say misogynistic stuff. While the teacher is out of the classroom, they think it would be fun to release a snake in the classroom. Most girls scream and jump on their desks. I roll my eyes and get up.)

Me: “Hey there, little guy. Did those mean boys put you up to this?”

(I let the snake crawl up my arm.)

Boy #1: “You’re not freaking out? I thought chicks hated snakes.”

Me: “Not all of them.”

Boy #2: “But aren’t you afraid he’ll bite?”

Me: “This fellow is obviously from a pet store. He’s too calm, and if he were venomous, I doubt you two blockheads would’ve been legally allowed to buy it or the store to sell him.”

Boy #1: “How do you know all this?”

Me: “I like reptiles. I recognized his coloration as being that of a ball python, like my pet.”

(They mumbled something and left the classroom. I told the teacher what happened and he called animal control. The knuckleheads kept doing thing to scare the girls, but they were expelled soon after a lot of parents complained.)

A Snake In Girl’s Clothing

, , , , , , | Learning | April 30, 2018

(For biology, the teacher asks us to pick an animal and do a presentation on it. I have a pet snake, so I ask the teacher if I can bring him. She says yes.)

Classmate: “Hey, [My Name], what’s your paper about?”

Me: “It’s a surprise.”

Jerk Classmate: “Probably some namby-pamby, princess pet.”

(I dress very girly and cute, so people often assume I’m a cry-baby princess. I decide, “Screw it. This guy had it coming,” and take Nosferatu, my pet snake, out of the cage and put him around my neck. I tap on my classmate’s shoulder.)

Jerk Classmate: “What?”

(He turns around, sees my pet, and falls on the floor in shock.)

Me: “Who’s the cry-baby now?”

(I got detention and a B, but hey, I made everyone laugh at him, and he leaves me alone whenever I bring up Nosferatu.)

You’re Ducked

, , , | Learning | April 30, 2018

(The preschool where I work backs up to a green space with a creek and a pond. It’s been there for several decades and most of the wildlife know better than to get too close to the playgrounds. The exception is a duck couple we’ve had some problems with. Last year they nested under a piece of playground equipment on the toddler playground, something we were only alerted to when a toddler found the nest and crushed two of the eggs together. We closed the playground for five weeks and waited for the ducklings to hatch. They never did, and we were forced to clean up the mess. This year, the same duck couple attempts to build another nest in the same spot. I move a toy over the spot, but she returns the next day and tries to redo it. Frustrated, I call the local bird society. The woman at the bird society gives me advice.)

Bird Society: “You can do pretty much anything you like to harass the ducks: running at them, yelling at them, spraying water. Anything is okay, as long as you don’t physically injure them. And once the nest is built and contains eggs, it’s illegal to disturb it.”

Me: “We’d close the playground once there were eggs. But twenty two-year-olds kept inside for more than a month is a nightmare.”

(I thank her for the advice and am all geared up to use it when I spot the ducks on the playground again. They are both there, looking for all the world like a house-hunting couple who has shown up to view a property, and are waiting for their real estate agent. Unfortunately, I am in a classroom full of children, and cannot go running at them to discourage them from nesting there. The best I can do is yell at them from the door.)

Me: “Hey! Hey, you ducks!”

(They look at me but remain unfazed.)

Me: “Go away! Shoo! Um… This is a bad neighborhood! Terrible property values! Roving gangs of toddlers!”

(They just stared at me. Yeah, we closed the playground for five weeks.)

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