This Headline Has My Raven

This Headline is Cancerous

I saw a news article today addressing a problem with a lake in Alberta containing carcinogens. Local residents are not going to bathe or drink using the water from said lake, until such time as they can figure out what is causing the water to become cancerous.

I think that the solution would be to remove the carp from the lake.

Sometimes, I wonder what isn’t cancerous these days. It seems like everything is.

Why, even this blog entry is causing someone cancer somewhere.

What a strange phenomenon cancer is. Cells go wrong and eventually kill us. A coup d’etat on our life from within our own bodies.

Don’t be fooled by my tone here. Cancer has affected folks in my life that I care about. Indeed, it’s not really all that funny. But at the same time, there is something cathartic about thinking of it as an entity and then making fun of it.

Cancer! Yo’ momma!



Cats Have My Tongue

Not everything today will be grim.

No sir!

I get asked every once in a while about the cats that are in my photo album on my blog. Today I will tell you the story of these felines.

Anyone who owns pets knows how these furry (and sometimes not furry*) creatures can burrow their way into your heart (especially moles). Our own fuzz balls, Laila and Logan, were retrieved from an animal shelter near our place.

I realize that at this point, continuing would probably qualify the majority of you to revoke my man license and replace it with a blubbering baby license. However, I don’t care what you think, so the story goes on…

I have always had a soft spot for animals, ever since I was a kid. We did have pets…

  • Fish – Always ended up floating upside down and not breathing
  • Snails – Always managed to escape their escape-proof aquarium
  • Turtle – Once brought in and kept for a few weeks, allowing him to regain health before we let him go
  • Rabbits – One died of heat stroke, the other was let go and did quite well for himself (Forbes top 100 richest animals)


However, I always wanted a cat.

And so, at the beginning of the millennium, I was on my own.

I expressed this interest to some of the gals at work, who immediately tried to talk me out of it using all manner of convincing arguments…

You are always out.

You’ve never had one before. How do you know what to do?

One day you’ll run out of groceries and the stores will be closed, and when you look at your cats, all you’ll see is a steaming platter of meat!


Discouraged, I figured I would wait until I moved in with Mrs. J to get pets. She wanted pets, too, but was afraid of the responsibility.

Bummed out, one day I had to renew my parking pass for street parking, and so went to the place that did that sort of thing. I found out through casual conversation with the lady behind the counter that there was an animal shelter not more than fifty metres from where I was standing.

And so, I visited.

There was a marvellous black cat there who came right up and rubbed her face on my hands. One of the workers commented how this cat hated people, and how this was the first time she’d shown anyone affection (she was abused as a kitten).

I was hooked.

I would visit every so often, bringing old blankets and small toys for them to play with. The more time I spent there, the more I wanted cats. But I needed a strategy.

I began my relentless campaign shortly after Mrs. J and I moved in together. My relentless campaign involved…

  • Me asking if we could get cats
  • Meowing quietly when Mrs. J was around
  • Purring and rubbing my face against her shoulder


Rather than put up with my crap, Mrs. J relented and we agreed to get two cats. She wanted to get older ones as they would already be comfortable with each other.

Unfortunately, when we arrived at the shelter, all of the adults cats that we saw were there were on their own. There were, however, a few pairs of kittens (One of these little fellas sounded like Edward G. Robinson. Meah! Meah! For those who don’t know who that is, think of Chief Wiggum from The Simpsons saying Where’s the messiah now, Flanders? Meah!).

Two of the kittens caught my eye right away. We were told that the pair of furry kittens were not related, but they seemed to get along. They were three months old.

The best thing about them was their personality. When Mrs. J and I would stand by their cage together, they would sit straight, looking at us like cute statues, tails swishing slightly back and forth.

However, when Mrs. J turned around to look at other cats they would start running around acting crazy, climbing the cage and just going nuts.

I knew these were the two for us.

We took them home and named them Fred and Wilma. They didn’t respond well to this, so we renamed them Laila and Logan.

Ever since we brought them home they have had some interesting adventures of their own. I will probably relate some of these stories to folks later on. They are freaking hilarious…



Click to enlarge…



Quoth the Raven

Okay, well maybe not the raven, but me.

I wrote something today that sounded neat (in my opinion)…

Stress is the refuge of the fearful.


I searched on the internet and I couldn’t find it anywhere, so I must be the first one to use it!

I asked Dave about this quote, and whether he thinks it might catch on.

He said that he’s never heard it either, but that I can’t just promote my own quote. Someone actually has to quote me.

Balls to that.

Feel free to use this. Maybe I will become famous!

Here is the format which works best…


Stress is the refuge of the fearful.
– Jorge Figueiredo, 2005


Enjoy this new useful piece of information!




* – I am convinced that if you leave anything long enough it will grow fur**
** – And by fur I mean mould

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21 Responses

  1. Are those fish in the lake like the ones on the simpsons with three eyes? i pretty much bet they are. Im supposed to be cleaning my room…i started…but then remembered you were posting something new so i had to stop and check. so..look. its all your fault that im not working away slaving to improve my living space. thanks:) you rock. and as always your postings bring much joy to a otherwise dreary day:) ~leah~

  2. Great story about the cats. Nice tactic with Mrs. Jorge. hehehe 😉 Sorry, but i don’t think your quote is going to catch on. So many people i know are stressed. I don’t think they all want to admit it is because they are fearful. And apparently we need to have some amount of stress in our lives otherwise we would die. I think i heard that somewhere. Or maybe i just made it up! LOL 🙂

  3. Jorge… WAY TO GO! You still have your “man” license. That was a wonderful story. I too would rather adopt the older kitties, but for a slightly different reason than yours. I would rather have older kitties because kittens will always be adopted. Not everyone wants an older cat. They are put down more often than they are adopted, and this makes me sad. So when the time comes to adopt a new family member again, it will be an older kitty. *Laughs at meowing and purring noises!!* ha ha! You’re a big suck!! 😛 Have a good day Indimidating, Flexible, Handsome Man Who is a big Suck!!! 🙂 (That’s your official title!) Linette

  4. Those cats look so adorable in your collage. You make me wish I wasn’t allergic. And ah yes, the strangeness of cancer… that’s what I’ll be researching if indeed I get this new biology position… the interview went well (even by my perfectionistic standards) so I think I have a great chance of getting it- unless there is someone considerably more experienced than me (which there is unfortunately a good chance of). I like your quote… and I agree… sort of. Except that I insist on being much to literal and think of all kinds of exceptions. But all in all: stress is silly. Think that one’s taken? It’s got alliteration- and a nice snap to it. Maybe you should reconsider “the refuge” and make that one yours… I’ll let you have it 😉 I’m wrecking it aren’t I? Sorry. Take care! T

  5. Thanks J! I can’t imagine how hard it is to type with your fingers crossed 😉

  6. The cats RULE!

  7. >Rabbits – One died of heat stroke, the other was let go
    >and did quite well for himself (Forbes top 100 richest
    >animals)

    Awesome.

  8. Yay to the kitties! I am a first time reader of your blog, but I think you have me hooked enough to keep coming back, like that annoying cat that probably got shot or something. Anyway I loved hearing about how you got your cats. Nice moves on your girl friend, did she respond by hacking up a fur ball? jk As for the cancer thing you would think that people would be afraid to leave their homes by now with all those cancer causing items out and about. Lol what about cell phones? I heard they caused cancer but then you think about how many people got into a car accident because they were talking on them. Heh, I like the what you said. Cancer, “yo mama” I think your quote could catch on because it is true. Because sometimes it is a lot easier being stressed then fearful, so why not. 😄 good luck with that anyway. and hey to help you get started I will put it up in my space under current favorite quotes. With your name of course. 😄

  9. Kittens are indeed wonderful things. When I first moved to Ottawa, we got two little kittens who slept all day and starting around 3 a.m. began to run at each other down the railway hall of my 2nd story apartment. They would meet in the air, around the middle of the hall, just above my landlord’s bedroom, rolling, bumping and screeching, and keep it up until about 6, when they would sleep all day and….

  10. Maybe I’ll use your quote on my page to make you feel better. Your cat story reminds me of the two cats I got years ago. I only intended to buy the girl that was in the cage… the guy I was dating at the time was in love with her. As he was cuddling her, I felt bad for the other cat and picked him up to give him some attention. He looked me in the face with absolute love, then stretched his front legs out against my shoulders and layed his head on my chest and went fast asleep. I felt like he had picked me. They said that they weren’t brother and sister, but he was the only cat she got along with. I bought both… Dominic & Fiona. Dominic was hands down my favorite pet that I’ve ever had. Unfortunatly, last year he developed a blood clot in his spine that paralyzed him & I had to euthanize him, which is getting me teary just thinking about. All along though, he always made me feel like he had picked me. Fiona, always the ball buster has moved on to busting Rocco’s balls now. I’ve had all kinds of pets too, my dad’s a vet so I guess that’s only natural. The turtle smelled terrible, the snails would go from one to 2,000 somehow, my fish always die too, except the ones I never liked, and they live forever. I had gerbils once too. One got attacked by Fiona the ball buster and was crippled after that. Somehow he still managed to eat the other gerbil. And you know… I heard that teflon is a carcinogen too and that 90% of us already have it in our blood.

  11. haha… cute story with the cats. i like cats too… maybe kittens only, but they give me allergies. 😦 i can’t even pet molly (court’s dog) anymore. cool quote, i’ll tell my boss. the employees i replaced (3 people), all took 4 week “stress” leaves before they were fired.

  12. Hey Jorge…. Hope your doing well…. I am a dog person….love the companionship and the cute things they do…and the way they understand everything you say….. Have a great Friday…. Cheers… Diana

  13. Man, you were really “on” when you wrote this. If I could vote, I would choose this post as best ever. Sooo funny in many places. Funnier still, Jason is using those very same tactics for getting a cat. As a kid, we had many animals, no snails, but frogs, turtles, fish, a budgie, rabbits, and a dog. Jason always had cats. We never had cats. My mother is deathly afraid of cats. If I got a cat, she would never come visit again. I think this is why Jason so badly wants a cat. But some of my mother’s fears have rubbed off on me, and I find myself uncomfortable with cats. Still, if he keeps purring, I’ll either give in or club him someday soon. I’m taking bets. Which would you put your money on?

  14. I know somebody in ALberta..would it be mean of me to hope they take a loooong dip in that tainted lake? LOL j/k Have a good weekend.

  15. ha ha ha! cancer, yo momma! by the way, if i get cancer soon, you can expect a hefty lawsuit. the kitties…wonderful wonderful kitties. and so wonderful that you got 2 that were in the shelter together. when i got my cat, ebu, he was alone. he was my sole pet for about 5 years until i got my dog. but they didn’t play together. then when my husband brought his 2 cats to the fold, i realized how much companionship ebu had missed all thsoe years. he just LOVES being with other cats. so now i feel guilty. and i’m going to have to agree with cat. i don’t want to be told that the only reason i feel stressed out is because i’m a scaredy pants. p

  16. I can’t really agree with your quote, Jorge. I mean, after the year I’ve had (two friends died within four months, seller of house that we wanted to move into decided “it was all too much for him” the day of close (so we’re homeless), Grandmother nearly dying. Mother in law with cancer. Oh, and now the happy hormonal roller coaster of a pregnancy to balance it all out with (at least this is a good stress) I can safely say I am currently stressed, and yet, not actually fearful of anything. I just have too much to process and zero time to do it. I’m not seeking refuge in the stress. I’m actively seeking refuge FROM the stress. But maybe I’m an exception. (please, let this be an exception…)

  17. I wonder if it would be better if it said… “Stress is a refuge for the fearful?” That would make more sense.

    Jay – I’m betting you club him. 🙂

  18. Patresa, You must be from the US if you think you can sue me for that. 😉 Listen, I don’t see how you can take legal action if I call Cancer a jackass? Who likes cancer, anyway?

  19. Funny, my Levi doesn’t really seem happy to have the other cats around. He just tolerates them. I’m amazed that Patresa’s Ebu likes having new kitties around. Great kat story. Levi is from the pound. Cassius was brought down as a stray from the mountains and Miss J just sorta wandered into our lives.

  20. […] Comments ksgrrl on This Headline Has My RavenJorge on This Headline Has My RavenJorge on This Headline Has My RavenBelle on This Headline Has My […]

  21. […] have previously related the story of the origin of our cats so there is no real need to go into how Logan entered our lives. It is somewhat interesting to […]

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