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December 13, 2007
A bulletin from the ever-vigilant HodgePodge this morning: the South Koreans now have cloned a cat, and have improved it so that it glows in the dark.

Oh, please. Just what the world needs: Neon Kitten.

The time for Kitten's coming out party is drawing near -- the vet says we should bring him in to be neutered January. It can't come a moment too soon: he serenades the girl cats nightly from the top of the stairs to their quarters, declaring his passion and craving for admittance in paragraph after paragraph of absurdly tiny mews. He jumps on poor Ben when he can, prompting an angry baritone quack and a royal hiss in the middle of the night, all when people are trying to sleep.

In the rest of the house he wreaks havoc, knocking over things, sculpting every rug into a tripping hazard. Shredding newspapers and magazines with his sharp claws -- and even eating parts of them -- before we've had a chance to read them. Wolfing down Ben's breakfast every morning after polishing off his own.

Perhaps the surgery will make him more mature. I think Q secretly hopes it will not -- I come upon them roughhousing all the time. For heaven's sake, don't encourage him! I say, as severely as I can, but I see that it is a losing battle. They are both boys, Q and Kitten, and honor-bound to retain at least a corner of uncivilized soul. Boyhood seems to last as long as life endures, in men. Some frontier must remain, some less-than-decorous place where the spirit of play remains the law, whatever veneer of respectability cloaks the rest of them.

Q sets up a bird feeder on the other side of a kitchen window, so Kitten can see the birds when they come to eat. He is inches from them, on the other side of the glass, crouching perfectly still, with only his tail twitching madly. He watches them intently all afternoon. Q watches him watching them. From all the way upstairs, I can hear him laughing.

Check out the glow-in-the-dark cats at

After Church this Sunday: A Barbara Crafton Book Signing at The Raconteur

Complete your Christmas shopping at Metuchen's awesome Main Street bookstore with a signed copy of her newest book, Mary and Her Miracle, an imaginative retelling of the Christmas story. The reading begins at 1pm, and Q will be on hand to serve hot mulled cider -- he will be the one in a top hat.

And why not grab someone you love and have lunch on Main Street beforehand?French, Thai, Chinese, Italian, Indian, Afghan, Vietnamese and plain old American comfort food abound, all within a block of the bookstore.

If you cannot attend, but want to reserve a signed book, call The Raconteur at 732-906-0009 and give them the particulars. 431 Main Street, Metuchen NJ 08840. Be there or be square.
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