Am I My Own Evil Twin?

Left-handedness caused by twinning? But I have no twin! Did I eat my twin?? Is that gross or cool? Less exciting is if my mom just absorbed the other me. But I am a tad… I don’t know… something… about the idea of having briefly had a sister.

Hope you get another shot at life, Sis.

Edited to add: I called my mom to tell her how she’d probably absorbed my twin sister and she said, “Or you could have some ossified parts of her stuck in you.” So, now all I can think about is having an eyeball in my brain a la some Stephen King book. Thanks mom. I called to give you the heebie jeebies, not to get them.

Ugh, Not the Nashville Room

I dread going to the Nashville room at the downtown library because you have to cross this space that looks down onto the first floor and I have pretty much lost the ability to do that by myself. So, I have to go and explain to the person at the desk in the kids’ section that I can’t walk to the Nashville room the way they want me to walk to the Nashville room, and so I need them to let me down the side hall. Since it is literally insane that I can walk one way and not another and I’m embarrassed, I try to avoid going there at all.

But the library won’t let you interlibrary loan books they have in their collection, which means that, if I’m going to look at Captain Ed Baxter & His Tennessee Artillerymen, C.S.A., I have to go to the Nashville room. Ugh. But I feel like that book could answer some questions I have–was Metcalf Perkins under his brother-in-law’s command? How do you come home and say “Um, honey, I lost your brother?” Ugh. Might we find the elusive Thomas Hayes, Sue’s first husband, among this bunch?

I think I’ve already said this–I know I went on and on about it to my parents–but the thing I admire about Baxter (and his brother Jere) is that they had every reason to encourage Nashville to turn north only to shoot the bird. They’d served in a war they’d lost in an embarrassing and painful manner. They lost valuable property as it was legally transformed into people. And they were raised in a really racist society to believe they were among the princes of it. It’s easy to see how those fuckers just turn away from the rest of the country, you know?

But the Baxters were like “We have to bring the railroads here.” Not that there weren’t railroads here, but they meant from the north. Nashville needed to be connected to Chicago and New York. If the city was going to move forward, it couldn’t do it without reaching out to the north.

They hit a lot of resistance. A lot. And I think it mattered that it was someone like Ed, whose CSA credentials were impeccable, who never met a dead Confederate he didn’t go orate over for as long as he lived (Seriously, if you’re looking for the ghost of Ed Baxter, I wouldn’t bother to look at his house or at his grave. Go find some Confederate monument, holler out that you need a speaker for your celebration, and then just wait for that fucker to show up. He could not resist.), who was insisting on actually being a part of the U.S.A.

Yes, of course the Baxters were rich and they were railroad lawyers, so railroad growth meant financial growth for them, but still. I’m glad they forced the issue.

I’ve been thinking of turning briefly, narratively, to Sue’s mom. It’s not just the two Nancies. But I have been thinking about the fact that Sarah–who I call Sarah in my book–was called “Bettie” in real life, which means that Sue’s mom had daughters called “Eliza,” “Bettie,” and “Lizzie.” Now the second Nancy got that name after the first Nancy had died, but Eliza, Bettie, and Lizzie were alive at the same time. Sue’s grandmother Perkins was named Eliza, but she wasn’t Lizzie’s grandmother. I think Sue’s mom just had a thing for the name Elizabeth and its derivatives.

I’m trying to respect the monstrousness of them, my characters. I think that, in order for it to work, I have to just let them be monstrous, to do things that seem so bullshitty to us. Otherwise, the kid from our time going back in the past to be their monster doesn’t really have the same impact.

Anyway, I’m also excited because Ed was married to Eliza during the Civil War, so she may have made it into the book, at least in passing.

The Professor Cures Mrs. Wigglebottom from Afar

You know what time of year a gal really can’t afford to take her dog to the vet? The time of year when any extra couple hundred bucks you might be able to scrounge up is supposed to go to getting people presents. And believe me, I didn’t even have that this year, hence the call for “Help me find cool things for less than $20 for these folks!”

So, it’s one thing to look on the internet, see folks saying “if your dog is barfing and has diarrhea for longer than 24 hours, take it to the vet” but what to do when that passes in less than twelve hours and your poor dog is just left with having to poop every couple of hours, even throughout the night? And it seems to be slowly improving but in fits and starts? And over days?

A gal may dream of being able to give her dog a common pink indigestion medication. She may also have looked on the internet and found conflicting information about whether this is okay. She may have even thought to herself “But the ingredient list looks exactly like the ingredient list on this dog medicine,” but she may have hesitated to pull the trigger.

Until her friend, the Professor, calls her up and said “I asked my friends who breed dogs about this. Do it.”

Then this poor gal, the subject of our story, the person who has been valiantly trying to keep her dog from eating her own vomit, from eating the cats’ vomit, from eating poop, from eating random things she found in the yard, from eating stuff that’s not even edible just to see, this gal may measure out half a dose of the pink stuff and put it on a plate in the kitchen.

She may call for the dog and say “Eat that.”

And the dog may look at her like “Oh, no. Please, please, please, no. Don’t make me eat that. No, god, no.”

And our hero may yell, “Oh my god, just eat it. Eat it. Eat it. Eat it!!!!!!”

And the dog may sit there, her big brown eyes growing wider in horror. “No, but it’s yucky! Can’t you see how yucky it is?”

Our hero might try another tactic. “Oh my god, Mrs. Wigglebottom. You are totally right. That is disgusting. That clearly looks like Muppet poop or barf. Yep, stay away. No, no, whatever you do, don’t eat that Muppet poop and/or barf.”

And the dog’s all “Whew, thank god. I thought it was fucking insane that you wanted me to eat that in the first place.”


Luckily, I found some pills in the bathroom closet, so I cut one in half and gave it to her hidden in some cheese and we all slept through the night and no one had to rush outside to go poop first thing in the morning.

Ta da!

Please, let this be the end of the poop narrative here at Tiny Cat Pants.