Welcome to the Zoo (Part 2)

Continued from previous post...

Tommy reading the Sunday paper.

I’ve only recently started to warm up to Tommy/Lawrence. My dad senses my apprehension and is determined to forge a bond between the two of us. “Look! Come look! He’s just like you, Jo,” my dad will say every time Tommy sits in the sun. Tommy loves to “have tanning done,” which is what my dad says when he means “lay out”. My dad’s right — I do like tanning, but these days I’m more into spray tanning than actual sun tanning. Lawrence should really consider switching to a faux-glow, as well — he’s looking more and more like an old Sperry everyday.

I can’t exactly pinpoint the source of my animosity towards Lawrence, but I think part of it stems from jealousy — my dad makes Tommy an omelet every morning for breakfast. Not once has my dad provided such a service for me. The only thing I get from my dad in the morning is an invoice for how many lights I left on the previous night or an assessment of my “illegal” parking job. As if one could park illegally in their own driveway.

Jojo the rat

I’ve noticed that my sister has managed to extend an effort to get to know Lawrence a little better, so I feel as if I should do the same.

Jojo the rat is the only one of these creatures that I’m actually willing to get to know a little better. At first I was apprehensive, especially once I heard that my mom had named him Jojo (which is my nickname). Things get a little confusing around the house with the two of us sharing the same name. I imagine this is how it is for families that name their kids things like William Jr, or William III.

Almost every afternoon, my mom will walk in the house and say, “How’s my Jojo today?”

I’ll start to answer, “Oh, well, I’m —” until she breezes right by me and heads towards the rat cage — and I realize that the question was directed towards Jojo the rat.

Now, I’m not sure if I’m allowed/supposed to discuss this sort of thing, but to put it mildly, Jojo is hung. Why my mom decided to buy the most well-endowed rat in the pet store is beyond me. To make matters worse, she brings the rat to school during the week to share with her middle school students. That’s right — middle school. With what Jojo’s packing, the boys must be doubled over with laughter/envy and the girls must be terrified of things to come.

Buster after a trip to the ER.

Finally, we come to Buster. The first picture is of Buster after he returned from a late night trip to the ER. By the way, I absolutely love taking pets to the vet for the sole purpose of hearing them say, “Buster Clark, we’re ready for you.”

We took Buster to the ER because he was acting very cuddly and affectionate — which is extremely out of character for him. He also seemed to be in a lot of pain, hence the cuddling. As it turns out, he has degenerative disk disease. The vet suggested acupuncture, but we opted for the morphine treatment instead. As a result, Buster developed a small drug habit, but I’m proud to say he’s on the road to recovery.

Buster also suffers from male pattern baldness. He has two bald patches on his forehead that are very susceptible to sunburn. My sister had to put aloe vera on his forehead the other day to sooth the redness and irritation.

Enjoying a little espresso and the morning paper.

Buster actually has three bald patches on his forehead if you count his Harry Potter scar. This particular scar came from Wang, a kitten I had for a few months in high school. Wang was a surprise gift from an ex-boyfriend. He picked her up one night at a Mexican restaurant and dropped her off at my house while my parents were out of town. When he brought her to me, she was all wrapped up in his Tall-Tee, so at first I thought she was a long-haired rat baby or mangled chipmunk left over from Buster’s latest hunting spree. She was about the size of my palm and smelled of Black & Mild cigarillos. She had the beginnings of a beautiful potbelly, so I knew we’d become fast friends.

Wang, contemplating her next victim.

Unfortunately, Wang had left her mother far too early and thus developed a severe antisocial disorder. She had no social interaction skills whatsoever, and she attacked everything that moved. One day while I was at school, she scalped both Buster and our other cat Zoe. She ripped the skin right off of their foreheads. My mom took them both to the vet, and Buster has had a scar ever since. My parents made me give Wang away shortly after the scalping incident. It was a sad day.

Action shot

After reading these past 2 posts, you’re probably questioning the sanity of my family. Of course I love to poke fun at my parents, it’s impossible not to — they provide me with such good blogging material. But I love them for it, and I’m so fortunate to have a family that makes me laugh every single day (whether they’re trying to or not).

(I’d include a picture of my parents, but they said “ABSOLUTELY NO PHOTOS, JO!” And my dad has threatened to start a “counter-blog” to protect his reputation).

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4 thoughts on “Welcome to the Zoo (Part 2)

  1. Smart Guy

    Haha so many animals, they outnumber the humans! That must be awkward having your name also be the name of a male rat. I don’t know how I would feel if my parents got a rat and named it after me. BTW our cats look almost identical! I’m sorry about his health problems though, animals can be so helpless sometimes.

    Reply
    1. joanna Post author

      I know… it’s ridiculous. Baha I’ll tell Buster he has a doppelganger. I’m not sure how he’ll take the news…he tends to be a bit self-centered. And congrats on Freshly Presssed!!! That’s so awesome!!

      Reply
      1. Smart Guy

        Ha ha I know! I had no idea I’d been pressed until I logged onto my blog and saw I had like 500 views in an hour…Crazy. Some people wrote some very…interesting comments. But thanks for finding me in the first place, you helped me get there!

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