POLL-WORKER REASSURANCE

There's more than one way to skin a cat, I'm told. But I can't find a single one of them on the internet. Is this information that's passed down from father to son as they sit by their fireplace or whatever whittling or whatever, and my Dad decided on a whim to break the chain? Because my cat is in urgent need of skinning. Don't you dare recoil in horror! Or in any emotive state, for that matter--recoiling gives me the creeps. Once you hear the feline misdeeds I'm about to enumerate, you'll be sharpening your knives as you cradle the phone under your chin, begging the information operator for my phone number. Bernice's misadventures in the catbox have been well-documented here, so I won't revisit them, other than to say that if you're a student of the Gag Reflex and its various triggers, you would be well advised to seek me out, as I have become the world's foremost reclusive authority on the subject. I threw in the 'reclusive' part, because your seeking will be in vain, since I have lately gone to ground, having discovered that there are those out there in ether world who watch me from the skies through your various google spy networks in hopes of catching me taking out the trash in my underwear, and you know who you are. In her latest attempt to drive me insane, and she hasn't thought through the ramifications of that, food-wise, Bernice has decided that my sleep habits, which I have carefully perfected over the years, are not to her liking, and she has launched a one-cat crusade to effect change. She fancies herself a maverick, and unlike other mavericks, who are content to merely bombard our senses with the word alone and leave it at that, she has chosen to actually engage in mavericklike action, at my expense. I've always been somewhat uncomfortable with this "walk the walk" approach to things, preferring to cut things off at the "talk the talk" stage, which, I have found, prevents a lot of ill-advised behavior, which only leads to more ill-advised behavior, and on down the line, until we have wars in Iraq and the like. See how I work in these timely topical references? I want to put these discussions in a larger, global context, so you can see that these are not just the musings of a marginalized old goofball, but are the cogently argued positions of a one-man think tank, honed to a gem-like precision on the abrasive wheel of cold but brilliant rationality. And I choose to do that by tossing in these timely references, as I say. Creating appearances is just as effective as actually doing stuff, I have discovered, and a hell of a lot easier to boot. Anyways, Bernice chooses to differ, and has leapt into action, literally. Each morning, after fixing me with a baleful eye for God knows how long as I repose in blissfull slumber, ignorant of her growing disgust at my refusal to get up and join the rest of the human race in its pathetic plodding march to nowhere, she jumps up onto my work table and knocks whatever object is closest onto the floor. Because most of the available objects are coffee cans chock full of pens and brushes and pencils and pastels, this can result in a huge clatter and a terrible mess, and within seconds I'm at the computer, knife in hand, searching vainly for a clue on how to skin a cat. You don't want to just dive into a project like this without preparation, I'm thinking.