Once again, I've wandered away and left the blog alone and neglected. If Lori didn't drop by and feed it occasionally it would have starved long ago. Lately I've been busy, and I've been saying pretty much what I'm inclined to say on a couple of message boards that we are active in, so I'm pretty much tapped out when it comes time for blogging.
But the other day I was explaining our cat Brian and his magnificent athletic abilities and my daughter recommended I post his story here.
We have a cat, Brian, who is not very bright. He had a little oxygen deprivation problem at birth and you can tell he's a few bricks short. He spends a large part of his day staring blankly into space with an empty look in his glazed eyes. Brian's favorite thing in the world is when Katie dangles a shoelace over his head and then flicks it up into the air. Brian will just up to the top of the doorframes to grab that shoelace, and he'll jump for it all day long. As long, in fact, as someone is willing to stand there flicking a shoelace. We call that the String Game, and although all the cats will play it for a while, none play it as well or as long as Brian. We think Brian doesn't have many options for upward mobility in his life, but he is the undisputed master of the String Game. So K*tie and I have Brian's String Game career pretty much mapped out for him.
Brian will enroll in a high school with a respected String Game program. Even though he's not very bright, the athletic department will provide him with tutors to keep him eligible for his spot on the Varsity String Game team. If he can get his ACTs over 18 by taking the test over and over and over, he can get into a Division I school on a String Game scholarship...maybe Notre Dame or Florida or Michigan...somewhere where he can get some national exposure.
Since he'll only squeak in on academic probation, he'll have to redshirt his freshman year, but that'll give him a chance to practice with the team and "fill out", which means take a higher dose of steroids.
Brian's sophomore season is his breakout season, and he takes his school to the String Game National Bowl Title. Of course, Brian flunks all his classes and is about to lose his scholarship, but that's okay because he's going to turn pro at the end of the year.
Brian signs with an agent and makes himself eligible for the draft. He gets chosen in the first round of the String Game draft by an expansion team that plans to build their franchise around him. He'll be making $15 million his rookie season, in spite of the fact that he can neither read nor write nor ever hope to live independently. He hires someone to fill his kibble bowl, and he has a team of people to clean his litter box and replace the light bulbs in the lamps he knocks over.
Over the next five seasons, Brian makes over $200 million and goes to the Pro Bowl of String every year. Then he blows out a paw making a routine leap in practice one day, and his String career is over.
Brian gets a job doing color commentary on ESPN3. His responsibilities are limited to reminiscing about his own Hall of Fame career, and being a foil for Howie Long. But his retardation becomes glaringly obvious in front of a camera, and Brian gets less and less air time.
The paw never healed right and Brian's been taking ever increasing doses of painkillers for years to get some relief. Over time, Brain descends into alcoholism and catnip addiction. He loses his job with the network, spends his time gambling on unsanctioned String Game tournaments, and eventually hits bottom: broke, addicted and alone. His high-living friends have abandoned him, moving on to the next party.
Finally, Brian gets into a 12 step program and slowly works on becoming the cat he once was. He repairs his relationship with his brother Slipper and takes a job coaching inner city cats on String Game fundamentals.But all those years of hard living have taken their toll on Brian, and he dies quietly, in his sleep, of a heart attack.
Brian was 7.
A made-for-tv movie about Brian's life has been optioned to ABC and is in pre-production. His family will memorialize Brian's inspirational story of hope and sacrifice by offering the rights to Kitty Kelley, but we'll require a $10 million advance, and a fieldhouse built in his honor at his alma mater.Kwachie and I will be promoting his image on posters and cereal boxes, and eventually as a Saturday morning cartoon and a set of limited edition commemorative litter boxes.