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Meg's Blog

L.A.M.B., or Not Without My Sausage

Happy (belated) Mother's Day. I spent my Mother's Day doing what I do on just about every Sunday—watching made-for-TV movies. There were some particularly dishy ones on yesterday, due to it being Mother's Day, and all. There was a fabulous one my friend Jen called to alert me to, starring my favorite made-for-TV movie actress Kelly Martin, as a girl whose mother, played by Mary Steenburgen, is mentally challenged. Good stuff.

Later, I found a brilliant movie on Court TV called “Desperate Rescue: The Cathy Mahone Story,” in which Mariel Hemingway plays a mom whose young daughter is kidnapped and smuggled to Jordan by her father. Mariel Hemingway has to hire some mercs, aka mercenaries, to kidnap her daughter back.

If this story sounds familiar, it's because it's basically the same plot as the Sally Field movie, “Not Without My Daughter.” Or, as my friend Beth calls it, for reasons none of us have ever understood, “Not Without My Sausage.” Obviously, we can now only refer to this movie as “Not Without My Sausage.” For example: my husband walked into the room while I was watching “The Cathy Mahone Story” and went, “What's this? Another mom who won't leave without her sausage?”

I told you: Good stuff.

On Friday night I was watching Animal Cops and was treated to the touching story of Cheyenne, a cat that disappeared from her owners' home in Florida, only to be found wandering the streets of San Francisco seven years later. The cat had a microchip inserted in her back that identified her as the long lost pet of the Florida resident who, thanks to funding provided by Ellen Degeneres, was finally reunited with Cheyenne at the San Francisco ASPCA.

I immediately turned to my husband and said, “We're getting a microchip put in Henrietta.”

The next day, we did. It's the least a mother could do.

I am not saying that I think anyone in their right mind would steal Henrietta and take her to San Francisco, or even Jordan. For one thing, I'd like to see them try. I am her owner, and I can't get her into her travel bag without having severe bodily injury inflicted upon me.

For another, why would they want to? I love Henrietta dearly, but there is no denying it would make more sense to steal a sausage. Henrietta has severe personality defects.

This was never so apparent as it was after we returned home from having the microchip inserted at the vet's: Henrietta ran under the bed and refused to come out from under it, no matter how much Pounce we offered. Eventually, we grew tired of trying to coax her out from under the bed, and went about our business, ignoring her.

This only served to enrage Henrietta further. How dare we ignore her? I was watching RAISING HELEN (“When a problem comes along/You must whip it”) in the living room—a room into which Henrietta has ventured only a handful of times since we moved to Florida a year ago—when she stomped into the room, climbed up onto the couch, looked at me pointedly, turned around, and proceeded to sit with her butt towards me for the rest of the evening.

This is Henrietta's patented way of saying, “I hate you.” I have dubbed it “L.A.M.B.” or “Look At My Butt.”

When I have done something Henrietta considers reprehensible, such as taken her on a plane to New York to escape a Category 5 hurricane, or gone on a book tour for 14 days and left her in the care of my husband, Henrietta treats me to a visual of her butt for as long as I remain in the same room with her. You can practically hear her saying:

“See this butt? Yeah. Look at it. LOOK AT MY BUTT. This is all you're getting. MY BUTT to look at it. Yeah, bet you're sorry now, aren't you? You'd like to see my cute fuzzy face, wouldn't you? But all you're getting is the BUTT. LOOK AT IT. LOOK AT MY BUTT. Sucker.”

The thing is, Henrietta has—how can I put this? Kind of a big butt. If Henrietta were a celebrity? She'd be J-Lo.

Not that J-Lo has what I would call a big butt. But others have opined that this is so. I think J-Lo has a normal, healthy butt. As does Henrietta.

And I should know. Because last night, we were treated to four solid hours of “Look At My Butt.” Calling, “Here, kitty,” and “Here, Sausage,” provoked absolutely no reaction from her. She was determined to make us look at her butt all night. When we approached her, she growled, and shoved her face more firmly into the sofa cushions, so that all we could see of her was her butt.

Please tell me: Why would anyone want to steal THAT?

I guess I can't blame her for being so mad. After twelve months of successfully flinging off every collar I put on her, Henrietta is now saddled with a form of ID she can never escape. It is floating in between her shoulder blades, where any trained animal tech can find it.

To make matters worse, Henrietta is an indoor cat. The chance of her ever developing an interest in the great outdoors, much less escaping into it, is nil.

Still, should she ever wander outside and be picked up as a stray due to her complete refusal to wear a collar, at least this way we might be able to get her back. I think microchipping is totally cool. By the next day, Henrietta had forgotten all about it, and was completely normal (well, for her) again.

So I couldn't help wondering, as we watched RAISING HELEN, why humans can't be microchipped as well.

I realize most human beings would not want a microchip floating between their shoulder blades. But why even ask them? Why not microchip them when they're babies? That way, there would be no more need for DNA testing when babies get mixed up—as they do—in the hospital. Just check their microchip, and you'll know who belongs to who.

And there'd no longer be a need to identify decomposing bodies through dental records. Just check their chip!

And why not go one step further, and have the microchip hooked up to a satellite capable of tracking them if they get lost, like LoJack on cars? Imagine how fast Elizabeth Smart would have been found, if she'd been microchipped with KidJack. Or Cathy Mahone's sausage—I mean daughter–for that matter.

What made me start thinking about this was that whole thing in RAISING HELEN, where (DO NOT READ ON IF YOU DO NOT CARE TO READ RAISING HELEN SPOILERS) Hayden Panetierre's character runs off with that horrible BZ guy. Look at all the trouble Helen has to go to in order to find her.

With KidJack, she'd have been able to track Hayden down immediately (and then ground her for life, as I would have done, had that kid been my own. Which, as my husband commented, actually makes it lucky I don't have children, and should probably also serve as a warning to everyone I know not to leave their kids to me in their Wills, in case they haven't figured it out already that I am a Babylicker who would install KidJack in their children's necks if such a product were available, and also possibly call their daughters sausages because it sounds so funny).

Only after RAISING HELEN was over did I realize that KidJack is actually a terrible idea. True, if your daughter was kidnapped by a crazy handyman named Ezekiel, taken to Jordan by her father, or happened to run away with a gangbanger, it would help you to find her.

But on the other hand, what if you were unjustly accused of a crime you did not, in fact, commit, and had to flee from wrongful arrest? It would suck if Tommy Lee Jones or whoever could track you down by your chip.

Plus the only happy memories I have from high school are from the times I skipped class to sit in the third floor stairwell by myself. I loved the idea that, just for one period, no
one knew where I was, or would be able to find me if they tried to look for me (no one ever did).

With KidJack, of course, this small pleasure would be lost.

Not to mention the whole infringement on people's civil liberties thing.

Still, I'm glad I got Henrietta microchipped. Now if she ever tries to run off to live with some baggy-panted gangbanger, I will be able to find her. And then I will ground her for life.

Even if the only reward I will get for my actions is a nonstop view of her butt.

More later.

Much love,

Meg

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