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The Bang Bang Theories

Right in the P-Hole

What you see here, Reader, is evidence of my belief not to believe in labels.


Situationally. You know, when there’s not a lot of risk at stake – we’re not going to go around ripping labels off of mattresses and pillows and just la-la-la wait and see what happens! No sirree. We’re not crazy like that over at Chez Bang Bang.

But sometimes – sometimes – I go rogue and throw caution to the wind, all laissez faire with my attitude. Because I’m a casual hipster.*

*READER! I was just going to make a funny haha little jokie and type “middle-aged suburban cat lady” and as I was typing “middle-aged” I realized – shocking and also hurtfully – that NO ONE WOULD CLASSIFY ME AS MIDDLE-AGED any longer, as NO ONE would expect me to live to 108 AND WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT ABOUT, LIFE!!!

It’s super jolting when you realize – like I did JUST NOW – that I’m well past middle-aged and here I am talking about shirking labels and I’m mad about my own label.

These are the holes we dig ourselves into, Reader, when we start thinking too much.

Speaking of unsavory holes ~ we have now segued into unsavory hole territory, but don’t fret, we will circle back ’round to labels ~ this unsavory hole has appeared in my flower bed right by my front porch, in the area where Taco the Blind Raccoon would swing by for her meals.  I say “would” because we haven’t seen our old blind girl in a couple of weeks now, and I’m hoping she pops by soon.

I noticed this unsavory hole a couple ah days ago, and I know exactly who the culprit is: a groundhog who’s also made a home under my shed.

I’ve done a little research to try to determine exactly how assholie groundhogs can be, because as I live up against the ravine, I expect there will be mucho animals traipsing about the yard and yes, several of them frequently dine at Trixie’s Cafe, and yes, I realize Trixie has created some of her own problems. However, she’s also going to try to find her own solutions.

I had My Mister fill the hole back in and hoped that would deter the critter.

It did not, and in fact he laughed and laughed right in our face and then flung that dirt even further and went in even deeper.

Reader. I can’t have this burrow here. He has plenty of backyard ravine to go dig around in.

Thanks so Almighty Google, I discovered there are several products you can buy that you fill in their holes with, and also cover it with some heavy steel net stuff and it should work to relocate their asses.

I also read a possibly easier solution, and as Trixie is a tich on the lazier solution side, she wanted to try this first.

This solution says that groundhogs and other diggy-want-to-live-in-a-hole critters can be deterred by the smell of urine, and it recommended putting some clumps of cat pee in the hole and then covering it up.

It got me to thinking ~~ taps nose with index finger in a pondering move ~ if I only knew where I could find some cat pee……

Aha!! Luckily, Trixie’s six three bad cats PEE A LOT and sometimes it’s even in their litter boxes, where she could scoop it right up, freshly made to order!

Yesterday I scooped out some pee clumps and poured them down the hole, covering it back up all unsuspecting like, for this groundhog to get an unpleasant cat pee surprise, much like I do. Hey, if you want to live at Chez Bang Bang, you’ve got to deal with the unexpected cat pee. I don’t make the rules. The six three asshole cats do.

Eager to see if my cat pee trap worked as a deterrent, I jumped outta bed at the crack of 10:30 and much to my delight I saw this:

There was an initial flinging of the dirt, but then it stopped almost as soon as it began.

I wouldn’t be nearly as annoyed if this groundhog dirt digger was working WITH me. I’ve been mostly thinking with just a little bit of doing about putting in a flagstone patio on this side of the porch.

As you can see, we have left off in the digging phase of the project, because my yard is filled with hard-as-fuck-to-dig-up rocks.

If that groundhog was a true friend of the family, he’d be digging his holes on this side of the porch, and then he might actually get a treat from Trixie’s Cafe.

Instead he’s getting a pee-clump surprise shoved right into his dirt hole house.

Let that be a lesson for you, Reader. If you’re not here to work WITH us, we will shove unpleasant smelly things right in your hole.

Wait, I don’t think that’s the message I’m trying to send.

What I meant to say is,  “Your help is greatly appreciated and oftentimes rewarded with a sandwich.”

If this pee hole continues to act as a groundhog deterrent, I am going to market this stuff in little baggies and make my fortune and travel to space. Or the beach. Probably the beach. Natural, organic outdoor diggy-pesk repellent will be the marketing strategy.  Stop over. Don’t mind the smell. It’s nature at work.

Now, back to the original intent of this post, which rambled this train completely off it’s track.

Nevermind. I’ve already said too much. We may or may not get back to that flower at a later date. Believe me, you’ll be fine with or without this knowledge.








Our cat Nosey Dots died on Tuesday.

To say we are shocked and sad is not strong enough.

I’ve had to just sit with my sadness since then, saying nothing online and waiting to write a thing. Because he’s worth a thing being written about him.

But I wasn’t ready. I’m probably still not ready.  I cried in bed last night again.

Just the week before, he lumbered up onto the table to help himself to a drink of my water.

The interesting thing about cats is that they have super powers at hiding their illnesses until suddenly it shows up as dire straits.

Nosey was one of the triplets we rescued from the Coal River in West Virginia in 2014, back when we took pool floats to rafting a gol’damn WILD RIVER, and sheewee was that a bad decision.

However, we found three teensy tiny kittens on the riverbank and brought them home, with the intent to save them and find them super loving families.

We did both of those things.  The super loving families we were going to find for them just became one family, though, and it was ours. And that’s how our cat count quickly escalated to eight three.

They were the cutest kittens ever, these triplets.  And I cannot believe I can’t find a picture of the three of them together, back when they were so cute our friends would just drop over just to see and play with the kittens. That’s how cute they were.

No one wants to just stop and see the cats now. Because they are old and big and lazy. Like their mama.

Once they grew up they didn’t always get along with each other, but Nosey favored Gussy and would often pin him down and let him know who was in charge.

Gussy was more in charge, but he was a third of the weight and no contender when Nosey decided to love him.

Our boy was only 5 years old.

Because he was a 26 lb. hulk of a cat, I never expected a super long life from him. But I thought his trajectory would be a 12-year path. In my mind he had 12 good years.

Apparently he had large masses on his insides, and they were squashing his lungs out.

Maybe that’s why he almost always preferred to sleep with his belly up.

We had to give him a bath on Sunday, he had poops all over his cat butt. He struggled against the bath – even though it was more of just hosing down his back end.  We feel guilt, as we may have escalated the situation. He wasn’t the same after his bath.  He was sick on Monday, throwing up. On Tuesday Kenny said he’d keep a close eye on him – we thought maybe he had a cat flu kinda situation. Kenny bundled him up and put him on the couch in front of the fire where he was purring for hours while I was working.

Right before I got home from work he was having a hard time breathing.  We raced him to the vet, and at one point I thought he had died in my arms before we made it.

I did my typical push-myself-to-the-front-of-the-line move when I have a very sick cat, and they whisked him to the back and put him on oxygen. He was turning blue.

The vet asked us, “How long has he been like this?” and I interpreted it as accusatory because maybe I should have known.  Maybe I should have seen some signs.

I don’t think the vet was accusatory. He’s been my vet for 25+ years. I just took it that way because how could I not know how sick he was?  The bath, we asked him if we brought it on with the bath.  He said no, it was just a bunch of huge masses on his insides and his lungs had water in them, but no from a bath.

So I guess he was just really sick and we didn’t know. Why didn’t we know?

He was never much of a cuddler, but we miss his presence in the house.

His brother Wally has started walking around mournfully meowing for the past two days. He’s never done that before.

We are all sad and have guilt – for not knowing, for washing his butt when he didn’t want it, for not knowing. Guilt is dumb. It doesn’t have to make sense. It just is.

When we returned after having him put to sleep, My Mister checked the mail and there was a postcard addressed to Nosey – his “given” name is Jesse, after the character on Breaking Bad (Walter White Ears, Gussy and Jesse are the names we gave the triplets) – from the animal hospital where he was right then.

He’d never gotten a postcard addressed to him before from the vet.  It could have come addressed to any of his brothers, or any of the other three cats we have, because they all needed this same update. 

My Mister felt it was a sign.  To say, “It’s okay, I’m here, you did your best.”

I thought maybe it was a sign that meant, “What the fuck just happened, Mommy.”

Most likely it was just one of life’s super-random, not-so-funny coincidences.

We will certainly miss our 26-lb-life kitty. Our home isn’t the same feeling without him.


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