Neko Atsume

You can live to be as old as I am and still scratch your head at some of the strange things women do. I guess that goes both ways! Effie has been obsessed with some video game on her iPhone called Neko Atsume (“Kitty Collector”) in which the player has to—get this—collect cats! I guess she has collected as many cats as she can in the real world (for now) that she had to graduate to collecting digi-cats.

She’s hooked! This game is like catnip! I feel like t’s just going to make her want to bring more cats into our furry friendly home. All she does is comment on the cuteness of the cat characters. They’re too twee! We could use a cat-prieve! I’ve lost count of how may there are in this room alone.

The Hoover Sham

Good morning, Grandpa Wiggly!

If you could challenge anyone, dead or alive, to a bout of fisticuffs, on his honor, who would it be and why?


A good morning to you, Badofold! This morning is brought to you by cats and mayonnaise. Start your day right with cats and mayonnaise.

I’m not a violent person. I believe violence is never appropriate and should only be used as a matter of last resort. Indeed, if you have to resort to violence, you have already lost. That being said, if I were to challenge a man to a bout of fisticuffs, on his (dis)honor, it would be Herbert Clark Hoover, 31st President of these United States, and I would pummel that vacuum bag belly of his until his giant head explodes in a dust storm of grit bits.

Why? He knows why!

I had the (dis)pleasure of (almost) meeting the former president when I was a boy. He had been out of office some nine or so years. My fellow schoolmates and I were to have our photograph taken with Herb, but the last minute, I was bumped. I wasn’t given a specific reason, instead I was handed some remedial errand to run for my teacher. However, mere moments before my bumping, I had witnessed Herb and his minions conversing in whispered secrecy with my teacher, Ms. Sanderfer, and Principal Babcock from afar. Right before they broke from their little huddle, Herbert Hoover looked up and pointed right at me (or possibly someone near me… even though there was no one near me). Yes, President Big Nose Moon Face pointed at me with his bony white digit, like the grim finger of Death. One by one, as if trying to act casual, the huddled others each took a gander my way. In what was likely the highlight of his life, Principal Babcock whispered some thing into the President’s gargantuan novelty ear crevice, who then repeated it aloud and inaudibly to the unanimous giggles of the huddled mass of Hoover Horde and others.

With a moist suck of air and a smack of his pallid lips, Herbert Clark Hoover, 31st President of these United States, mumbled gruffly and mouthed, with impeccable locution, an unmistakable utterance that distinctly ended in “-iggly.” Now, he could have said “giggly” or “jiggly” or even “piggly” but we both knew he spat “Wiggly.” Next thing I knew, I was on my way to the front office to deliver a note — a note I still regret not opening because it probably said something like, “Hamper Wiggly.” And hampered I was. Curse my exemplary comportment!

By the time I returned, my schoolmates had dispersed, the photo op had been had and Herb and his Hoover Horde were long gone. See for yourself…

Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover surrounded by schoolchildren

Hump Day

Oh boy! The emailman just delivered my very first correspondence!

Dear Grandpa Wiggly,

Why does my mommy call Wednesdays hump day?

Portland, Oregon

Well Jessie, your mommy likely calls Wednesday “hump day” because Wednesday is the middle of the week. Assuming your mum works the traditional Monday through Friday, Wednesday is the hump in the workweek. Once Wednesday has come and gone, you are over the hump and the rest of the week is downhill. Wheeeeee!

Now of course Wednesday is only considered hump day if you look at your week from the five-day workweek perspective. In a seven-day week that begins with Monday, Thursday would technically be the hump. Wednesday would be the hump in a seven-day week that begins with the Sabbath. I should probably specify the Christian Sabbath, Sunday. Friday evening to Saturday evening is the Jewish Sabbath, which I guess would make Saturday night to Sunday night their Monday, and Tuesday night to Wednesday night their hump day. Unless they round up, which would make… This is too confusing. I should have just said Sunday instead of Sabbath and been done with it.

Mondays are just Mondays. Everybody hates Mondays! Unless of course your Mondays are part of your weekend. Sunday is Grandpa Wiggly’s Friday so that makes Monday and Tuesday my weekend. Mondays are so terrible that many businesses are closed. Hitler was born on a Monday, which back then they called Saturday in Austria–Hungary. Monday is usually when I make mayonnaise for the week, that’s why I call it Mayonnaise Monday! (Did you know mayonnaise saved children from the Nazis? It’s true!)

My ill-tempered, one-armed wife, currently sleeping on the sofa covered in cats, Effie, disagrees with the official Wiggly Calendar. Then again, her week consists of twice as many days on account of her bitterness and cattiness about everything and nothing. She follows the cat calendar, and I don’t mean those 16-month calendars of cuddly cute cat pictures that are sold in the mall around Christmas. I mean the feline calendar.

One cat year is equivalent to fifteen (!) human years. Once you factor in that cats have nine lives, I can’t even begin to fathom when cat hump day falls. That sounds like a task for Math. Or cats. Or a wizard!

For yours wiggly, Wednesday is the first day of my week because, as all of you know grandchildren know, Wednesday is Wiggly Wednesday. That makes Saturday Grandpa Wiggly’s hump day, which makes today, Tuesday, my Sunday.

So, Jessie, now you know why your mum calls Wednesday “hump day.” If I’m wrong and there happens to be another reason, I think that’s a conversation best left between the two of you. Thanks for writing!

Effie’s Nightly Cat-Collecting Ritual

I have a nighttime routine like I’m sure many people do. Nothing special. But my wife — oh lord! She is incorrigible! She has to make sure all of her cats are in the bedroom before she will even crawl into bed. (She could care less about the whereabouts of my cat Mayonnaise.)

One by one she seeks out each cat (this alone can take some time), carries them back to her bedroom and places them on the bed. It’s a rather time-consuming process considering she only has one arm. Some of the cats don’t like to be picked up or carried, and all of the cats hate to be put in a particular spot, much like every cat in existence. Cats are independent, they prefer to pick and choose their own spots. Once all cats are present and accounted for, she can then get into bed peacefully.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, it gets tricky…

For starters, while she’s out collecting the rest of the cats, some of the already collected cats (you know who you are!) attempt to escape. Sometimes they do. If this happens the process suffers a major setback or she might even have to start all over.

Certain cats have specific spots on the bed. For instance: Effie wants her dear, sweet (socially awkward) Linus as close to her as humanly possible so that she can snuggle him between her warm nub and body. Oscar, on the other hand, she wants at the foot of the bed because he is a “miserable beast who pretends to be asleep and bites in the night.”

Then there’s Frederick, who has a personal vendetta against Percy that my wife says stems from deep rooted jealousy. Apparently there’s some sort of torrid love triangle involving Fredrick and Percy competing for the affections of Lady Marmalade. Effie insists that the three of them must be split up at night and that neither male can be closer to Marmalade than the other so as to discourage either from engaging in unauthorized nighttime canoodling with Marmalade because that would lead to confrontation. For the record, all of these cats have been Bob Barker’d (spayed and neutered).

Effie is only satisfied once she has seen all of her cats in the same place at the same time. Why, you ask? Well, she has theories (lord, does she ever have theories!) that some of her cats collude to delve into trickery together to outsmart her. She posits that if, say, one of the cats (in most cases it would likely be Oscar) wants to sneak out of the house that a devious arrangement would have been pre-orchestrated between said cat and an accomplice cat to fool her. Meaning, one cat could be accounted for in one part of the house and then quickly, under the cover of darkness, travel to a second part of the house where he would be counted a second time in place of the escaping cat. And before you ask, yes, she can tell the difference between her cats, she chooses to perform this cat collecting with minimal lighting so that she can sneak up on them quietly and catch them off guard. Let me tell you, there is nothing sneaky or quiet about a one-armed lady who goes bump in the night. It’s a CAT-astrophe!

The cats are in no way required to stay on the bed or in her room throughout the whole night, although she prefers that they do and takes it personally when most of them decide to leave.

Yes, I am married to a crazy cat lady. And I love it!

Little Girl and Kitty in the Meadow

My wife is a creep. Effie keeps this menacing picture that she’s had for years on the wall in her bedroom. She knows how much I don’t care for it. There is something so unsettling about the way the little girl and her kitty stare at you. This evening I came home from the market to find the tiles from the Bananagrams game Effie and I were playing after dinner had been arranged in a most ominous manner. Of course Effie claims she had nothing to do with it. Perhaps the cats collaborated to conspire against me.

Little Girl and Kitty

Little Girl and Kitty

Little Girl and Kitty

Little Girl and Kitty

As you can see, there were upside down tiles that, when flipped over, revealed a more gruesome image. Now little girl and kitty don’t want to keep me warm, they want to keep my arm — a smoking gun indicating one-armed Effie’s involvement.

Little Girl and Kitty

Little Girl and Kitty

Friends Forever and Ever

When I got to this part, I expected perhaps the “secret just for you” might contain a more playful hidden message.

I have a secret just for you.

Kitty was just hungry… And the little dead-eyed girl wants to ax me a question.

I have hunger...

This is just one of the millions of reasons I love my wife…