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William C. Altreuter
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Sunday, June 12, 2005

Cats and tattoos have this in common: if you have only one, it is understandable. An old girl friend's name on your bicep can be chalked off to a boozy night in Singapore; that calico just started hanging around, so you started feeding it. When you get your second tattoo, though, you are heavily tattooed, and the second cat means you are on the way to becoming a crazy cat lady. (There are probably crazy cat men, too, but I don't know any.) Thus it was with considerable distress that I greeted A's announcement last week that she had acquired a second cat for our household. If I wanted to live in a circus, I'd become heavily tattooed-- adopting a menagerie impresses me as an unnecessarily complicated way to go about things.

We live in a world full of signs and portents, and even I feel the compulsion to yield to these from time to time. I was in OTB to lay down my carefully researched bet when a longshot rolled over and showed me its belly. Thus it was that I found myself holding my scientifically handicapped trifecta ticket and a $2 Win ticket for Nolan's Cat. It'd be a better story if one of my bets paid off, but it's a disorderly universe, and I had to settle for watching the horse close to third place.

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