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Day 72 — It’s All Relative

You think you’ve got problems.

Scientists predict that the earth’s median surface temperature will increase 9.4 degrees this century—making global warming far worse than expected! Polar ice caps will melt, beaches will go away, and coastal cities will flood.

In the same way I sometimes hide from my problems, the fact that the article was published in the middle of the newspaper is an indication that the world can’t deal with its problems. Global warming is just too big a problem. Maybe unemployment is, too.

When I read the paper about awful things, they disturb me less because someone, or something, always seems worse off than me. Take for instance, Douglas Plude, of Vilas County, Wisc. Plude is charged with drowning his wife. He stuck her head in a toilet bowl and, yes, flushed it! Okay, I got it wrong; Plude’s wife had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. She died, not to be maudlin.

How would someone see that coming?

I guess you could say the same thing about my cat, Mitch. He didn’t die, but he definitely had a worse day than me: He got neutered last week. Mitch must have known something was up when I took away his food and water after 9 PM and then didn’t feed him the next morning.

Instead, I pushed him in his cat carrier, hopped on the Metro and whisked him to the animal castration center. On his check-in sheet, I ordered pain meds out of guilt for not doing it the last time I had a cat spayed. I didn’t want to spend the extra money, which was about the cost of a Happy Meal. The strange rationalizations that possess me when confronted with situations like this while I’m unemployed confound me, because I’m usually a very generous person, both in terms of money and having a big heart.

Mitch survived, and we exchanged a few I’m sorry meows between us. He refused to swallow the pain meds after the second day. I think he liked the catnip better. He was having a better day, and so was I.

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