Yes, dear reader...through the month of December, leading up to that most sacred of holidays, we'll be bothering you every couple of days with a visit from our own version of the lol cats, starring the Innocent Bystander kittehs, Stan and Ollie. Consider it a kind of little semi, sort-of "Advent Calendar," and our very own Christmas present to you (yes...we're very cheap). Here's the first one...collect them all!
The cat pictures adorning my week-long orgy of "LOL cats" (a craze that's sweeping the nation, thanks to this website), are my long-gone but not forgotten pair of brothers, Stan and Ollie. I got them in 1985. Stan lived until 1998, right before I moved out to San Diego. Ollie lived until 2002, and almost 18. They were my best friends for all those years, and I still miss them terribly.
Unfortunately, they almost killed me, too. Well, at least once. Soon after I got them, I developed asthma. Not wanting to face the truth that was literally both staring--and meowing--at me in the face, I soldiered on with them for all that time. At one point, I caught some kind of flu, which went to my lungs, which was compounded by my asthma, which ended up in the scariest night of my life. I finally called the ambulance, after convincing myself I could drive to the nearest hospital (about a mile away). When it took me 45 minutes to put my shoes and socks on, I gave up and picked up the phone.
The attending physician that night told me that if I would have waited 2 hours longer, I would have dead. My lungs were 75% constricted and I had a fever of 104 degrees, which made the originally think I was had pneumonia. I was in the hospital for 3 days. I got a new doctor out of it, plus a regimen of asthma medications. I got better, but I never got well.
About a year after Ollie died, I stopped using my "rescue" inhaler. I can't tell you the last time I used one. I love cats, but I know my personal days of catdom are over, sadly. I'll never forget Stan and Ollie. I think I was a better person for having them, far better--kinder, warmer, less angry--than I am now, even with the added pressure of "parenthood" and illness. Pets do that to you.
You'll see more of them over the coming months. Maybe my own little corner of "Cheezburger" will become a regular feature. I have 100s of photos of them, all imminently captionable.