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The Laughing Stork

Candy's Column

Nine Years

Birthday Girl

Marcy turns nine years old today.  Our Cinco de Mayo girl.  That’s appropriate considering how many parties she’s helped host in her lifetime.

The first thing I did when I came to Los Angeles, a city where I knew no one at the time, was get a cat.  I had grown up with cats and, having lived with roommates in New York City and then in a dorm at graduate school, had been unable to get one of my own.  Until now.

“But I’m allergic!” cried Mr. Candy, my then-fiancé who was still in business school at the University of Chicago.  I swear he even punctuated his plea with a sneeze.  Apparently, just the thought of a cat caused a reaction.   Yes!  His allergies were THAT strong.

“Oh no,” I sympathized.  “I guess you’re going to have to stock up on tissues.”

It’s my sensitivity that made Mr. Candy fall for me, I think.

I strode into the breeder’s house armed with only one hard-and-fast criterion:  I wanted a male kitten.  Males were more laid-back, I believed, PLUS I did not want the responsibility of spaying a female.  Do you know what they do to those poor girls, what with the ovaries and the uterus and whatnot?  Just saying the medical term for it is painful:  Ovariohysterectomy.  Painful, right?  Gets stuck in your throat, kind of like one of Marcy’s countless hairballs.  Ovariohysterectomy.  Uh-uh.  Couldn’t do it.

“We just had a big litter.  A few of the boys are over here,” explained the helpful and kind breeder, Lisa.

I sat on the floor with the kittens — little fluffballs, all of them — and started to reach for one of the boys when a certain fluffball with a spot on her nose walked right up to me, climbed on my lap and promptly wrapped herself around my arm.  I was a goner.

“She’s really playful.  The first one at my side every morning,” said Lisa.

My heart dropped a little.

“‘She’…?”

“Yes.”

The fluffball nuzzled my arm some more.  Oh, she was working me.  HARD.

“I’ll take her.”

I hadn’t planned on taking one home that night, so I didn’t have my checkbook, a kitty carrier, nada.

“You can pay me later,” Lisa shrugged, handing me a box containing my spotted fluffball.  “Enjoy!”

I left the breeder’s house that night with my first real friend in Los Angeles:  Marcy.  I named her after my favorite TV sitcom producer and inspiration, Marcy Carsey — a woman whose name may actually be more silly-sounding than my own.

And enjoy Marcy, I have.  We have, I should say, because Mr. Candy ended up being the biggest sucker of all and, as it turns out, not allergic to long-haired cats.  Miraculously, he no longer sneezes when I say “cat” either!  HEALED!  The makers of Claritin should bottle his “miracle cure.”  Really.

(RAISING A MARGARITA:)  Here’s to nine years of Marcy snuggling on my lap as I comb her.  Nine years of walking her on a leash out in the courtyard — and her purring the moment she sees the leash.  To the anal-retentive girl who takes such care in covering her poop, we’ve gone through several presidential administrations by the time she’s finished — and who disgustedly covers her brother’s messes for him, too.  To the cat who affectionately nestled herself beside my baby bump and became intensely depressed when I actually had the baby and she took Marcy’s long-standing place on my lap.  To the cat who now follows Miss Skye everywhere… and still plays with the energy of a sprightly fluffball who’s all head.  To the cat who’s given me even more laughs than her namesake.

Here’s to nine more, Miss Marcy.  Cheers!

P.S. — You don’t look a day over five.  Must be those Catox injections!  (Such an L.A. kitty.)

Because sharing is caring, as I tell my kids. (Except my wine. Never my wine.)
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Candy Kirby is the founder of The Laughing Stork and a professional fun-maker who will never stop chasing her lifelong dream: to find the Pomeranian or porn star after whom her parents must have named her. A humor columnist for Disney, Nickelodeon, Scary Mommy, Reductress and Redbook, she also used to be a staff writer for the soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful, where she penned many scripts featuring prolonged heated stares and countless “Who’s the Daddy?” story lines. Candy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young kids and three rescue Persian cats, the latter of whom are the real brains behind this operation (so send all complaints to them).

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