The tip of Unreal's cat's tail fell off last Saturday afternoon. We found it lying on the bathroom floor. It was about an inch of black and tan fur and looked sort of like a rabbit's foot.
Unreal is not sure why the tip of our cat's tail fell off. It appeared to be a clean break. There was no blood. We picked up the bit of tail. Nothing dripped. We took the next logical course of action: We carried the tail to the computer and ran Google searches for spontaneous cat tail breakage and kitty leprosy.
Cat disease is engrossing. That is why it took us several minutes to notice that our cat had somehow regained possession of the tail and begun to dribble it around the living room floor like a soccer ball. Either she didn't recognize it or it is cat custom to turn discarded body parts into toys. The sight made us queasy. We snatched the tail tip away and put it on a bookshelf she couldn't reach. She snapped at our ankle. We found that reassuring. If she were truly suffering, like the time she had fleas, she would be lying on the floor, moaning piteously.
We called the vet. The tech seemed perplexed. She told us to watch the cat and bring her in if anything seemed strange.
We monitored our cat all week. No further body parts fell off. The cat ate. She slept. She looked out the window. She licked our face while we were trying to sleep. We didn't dump her on the floor as we usually do, because we felt guilty.
A few days later Unreal paid a routine visit to our own doctor. While she poked around between our legs, we tried to make feeble conversation about that new German book about the woman who is obsessed with her bodily functions and uses her, shall we say, love juices as perfume.
The doctor had never heard of it. She did, however, report that we appeared to have a growth between our butt cheeks. She gave us a mirror to look. It was approximately the size of the tip of our cat's tail (though not furry). The thing would have to be removed. And so what had otherwise shaped up to be a pleasant day ended with a knife to the ass.
While our doctor readied her scalpel, we thought about our cat. We thought about the amazing confluence of our lives. And then, for a change, we thought no more.
Sweet, Sexy and Married
Unreal was just about to let our subscription to Redbook lapse when the magazine's annual "America's Hottest Husbands" spread hit our desk. In a word: yummy. But even more so this year, with St. Louis representing.
Ladies, turn off the lights and turn on the washing machine as you behold 38-year-old Patrick Hawley. The Webster Groves stay-at-home dad, married six glorious years to graphic designer Marcy Hawley, made it all the way to the finals, becoming one of five "sweet and sexy runners-up." The humble hottie recently took a few minutes away from corralling children and cutting down a honeysuckle to explain his secret.
Unreal: You play in a band [Finn's Motel], race bikes and cook gourmet dinners; obviously you like variety in your life. Does this translate to your husbandly, shall we say, duties?
Patrick Hawley: [Laughs] Oh, my gosh, oh, my gosh. That would be more of a Cosmo question. Let's pass.
You used to work in IT. If you ever go back to work, will you put Redbook on your résumé?
Why not? I'll put it in my other interests/hobbies/personal achievements.
You didn't win.
No. Brendan Doane won. He's a postal carrier. He's 37. But he's only been married two years! I thought, Gimme a break, anybody can be married two years!
Do you go out with the ladies who lunch?
Not really; we do play dates and the coffee shops for breakfast.
Who does your hair?
Donna Cohen, Paramount Salon. I hate having my hair cut. But I can sit there for an hour and talk to her.
Where do you get your back waxed?
No back waxing, or mani-pedis. No plucking.
Did you say, "No plucking"?
I race bikes. Bike racers shave their legs. I don't think that needs to be included.
Ah, well, everybody's got their secret grooming ritual.
Bomb Pops Away
Just when Unreal was craving a cherry, lime and blue-raspberry treat, we received this important notice from Wells' Dairy in Le Mars, Iowa:
"Blue Bunny Bomb Pops are perfect for all summer celebrations. Enjoy these rocket-shaped treats on National Bomb Pop Day June 26th, and grab a patriotic red-white-and-blue Bomb Pop on the 4th of July."
National Bomb Pop Day, you say? Wait, there's more!
"Don't forget that you can use Bomb Pops to create tasty recipes for all your summer soirees, too!"
Unreal rang up the Blue Bunny, posthaste. Our long-eared friend wasn't available, so we spoke with Jill Feuerhelm, marketing manager for Impulse, the truck and convenience-store arm of Wells' Dairy, and Liz Compton in corporate communications.
Unreal: I don't see National Bomb Pop Day, June 26, on my calendar. How long have I been missing out?
Liz Compton: It's just a designation by our company to sell our product. We send out a press release to get consumers excited. We don't have any specific celebration that occurs, or anything like that.
So no free Bomb Pops?
Jill Feuerhelm: When we first launched it, everyone in the company got a Bomb Pop T-shirt.
I take it you're not working on making it a federally recognized holiday?
Compton: Uh, no.
Well, I'm excited about cooking with popsicles. Tell me more about that!
Compton: John Kennedy, our "culinologist" on staff, he does a lot of cooking, a lot of creating with frozen novelties. He does everything from meat marinades to melting it down and making it into a sauce.
What kind of meat tastes best with Bomb Pop juice?
Compton: That's a John question. It's the citric acid that works so well for meat.