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This is Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada, with his cat Cheddar.

Yes. The Prime Minister of Canada is a cat person. And if that were not reason enough to have some happy thoughts about Canada, here’s another one:

In Saskatchewan, Canada, this kind of hooded sweatshirt is called a bunny hug.

Bunny hug is my new favorite word.

I am loading up on things that make me happy today because I had the most annoying dinner last night. We were at a Nepalese/Thai restaurant with relatives and after getting through the ordeal of ordering appetisers (not to name names, but some people from Top Cat’s side of the family like to change their minds four or five times, or order off the menu, or try to make multiple creative substitutions) his 50-year old cousin whips out her phone and starts texting!  Then she makes a phone call to her teenage daughter and asks us if we want to say “Hi” to the brat. She hangs up, and starts texting again — that’s when Top Cat turned to her and asked what the hell was so important that she has to be fiddling with her phone in the middle of dinner.

The cousin got snotty, as if Top Cat had some out of the ordinary, finnicky notions of propriety, and said Well excuuuuuuuse me, she had to stay in touch with her kid because when the kid left the house an hour ago, she said she was going to kill herself, so there.

I didn’t like the tone she took with my Top Cat (and I don’t much like her anyway) and I’ve had it with her drearily predictable need to heighten the drama in any given situation, so I had to call her bluff and I said to her, “If your kid said she was going to kill herself then what the f*@k are you doing here??”

So of course that’s when the cousin huffs and puffs and says she’s leaving and storms off in a hissy fit, saying that she just can’t be around such people (as me and Top Cat). And she exits the restaurant.

When nobody went chasing after her, the cousin came back in and sat down across the table from me and points her finger at me — me — and says that she has a thing or two she’d like to communicate, starting with how her loser husband (the one who can never hold down a job) has been right about me — me! –all along…

… but the other people at the table jumped in and calmed her down and the appetisers came and of course the cousin, the one with the “suicidal” daughter, stayed the whole rest of the dinner. But here’s my small victory:  she didn’t pick up her goddam phone once.

O, lordy. The world is so full of pain-in-the-ass people. Why can’t everybody be more like Canadians?

That nice Mr. Harper (see above), the leader of the Conservatives, is up for re-election (for your information, it is Canada’s 41st Federal Elections). He’s running against Michael Ignatieff, the leader of the Liberal party.

This is Michael Ignatieff:

And yes, that’s his cat. Mimi is her name. When both candidates for the highest office in the land are cat people, I call that a win/win situation.

O, Canada.

7 comments to This picture makes me happy

  • Rachel

    Bunny Hug is now my favorite word too.

    As for the dinner with relatives, it is always nice to have a sport the whole family can participate in.

    I used to have a boyfriend, who actually had a lot of wisdom in his head, although he did not function well in the real world. Our friends used to point out to their kids that if they did not buckle down and do some schoolwork, chores, or whatever, they would end up like Joe.

    Some folks role in life seems to be to act as a living, breathing, in-your-face, bad example. I have been known to get into my car afterward and shout *Please God, dont let me act like so-and-so.*

    Was this a prep-test for Thanksgiving??

  • Thanksgivings must be HOOT at your house.

    If this drama is while she is OUT to “dinner”, what must it be like day to day? And she still has a husband who goes along with this drama?

    Do tell. Sounds like a good story.

    Why is the young one going to kill herself, but the Mother goes out to dinner? She broke a fingernail? or, or, maybe she missed her favorite show on TV ………
    I could go on,……..

  • Deb

    My inlaws are always *right about me.* Apparently, I’m a total asshole. Which means I should fit right in but I don’t. Maybe I’ll show up at the next obligation in a bunny hug. That way I’ll feel the love. And those things are washable, right? I should be able to get the tread marks out.

  • Yes, bunny hugs (what a great word for a sweatshirt) and cat people make things feel right when others are assholes. I imagine you don’t get together with them often…probably daughter skipped the night out so she wouldn’t have to be with her ….mother. How loved she must have felt that her family went to dinner anyway without her when she was in such a state (“suicidal”). Ahh, animals are great. Some person out there said, “the more I know people, the more I love my cat (or dog).”

  • Deborah

    Momma drama. The few times I’ve been in that kind of situation, it’s seemed to me that the women seem to think that kind of insufferable co-dependent behavior is evidence of good parenting.

    I have to deal with that kind of thing in the classroom fairly routinely — even middle-aged students can go apeshit when told to put the phone away or leave the classroom — nope, they should be able to do whatever they want, whenever they want, with impunity.

  • Nadine

    So, this Canadian election really boils down to who has the better cat. Cheddar is adorable (all oranges are), but I gotta go with Mimi. I know she’ll keep Ignatieff grounded. Look at their body language! Mimi’s is my kind of cat.

  • A hooded sweatshirt with tire treads printed on it.. Great idea, Deb.
    Good to wear to family gatherings.

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