Monthly Archives: April 2012

Bruiser Loved Women……………..

Ideal Background Tune:    Olin & The Moon;               Another One Down

Two years ago, there were seven permacats (non fosters) here in the house, mostly by accident and partially by choice.   There are now four permacats in the house.   Followers of Ernst Zermelo’s Axiom of Choice doctrine would argue that a mathematical formula using the following to explain the seven cats: “let H be the collection of nonempty subsets of {0, 1}, i.e., H = { {0}, {1}, {0,1} }….yadda, yadda… H has the two distinct choice functions f1 and f2 given by…yadda, yadda”.    René Descartes’ posse and crew would identify the faculty of will with freedom of choice and use the following Descartes quote to describe the seven cats that used to live here: “the ability to do or not do something”.   Ever the fan of The Random, I always believed that serendipity brought Marsha, Jan, Cindy, Bruiser, Sage, Ceeeeeeeeeatie, and Deeeeeeeeogie together under one roof.    The cats would spread out nicely throughout the house and the seven litter boxes were outside.    A newcomer to Chez Mulligan would never know there were seven cats here.  Each of the seven had unique, stupid, marvelous stories.

This is Bruiser’s story.

Bruiser loved women.

Bruiser never shared the roots of his deep and abiding love for women.   Perhaps it was one, or several, of the usual reasons.    The way they smell.    The way an ingénue will demurely look down, briefly, when complimented on her shoe choice or the practiced manner in which they glance back over their shoulder when you drop them safely at home after the first date.   It could be the hair flip.  The hair flip gets most of us deep in the most hidden parts of our soul.   Might have been their intellect combined with their genetic understanding of what real nurturing looks like:  a combination twice as powerful as (and five times more tasty) than a Reese’s cup.    Bruiser loved women.    I could be here in the office covered head to toe in fresh salmon, vigorously (and simultaneously) shaking four dozen Temptations kitty treat bags (his favorite), yet if there was a woman napping on the couch, Bruiser would ignore me and spoon with the woman on the couch.    Such was the strength of Bruiser’s love of women.

Bruiser loved women.

Caroline moved in next door in 2009.   Caroline wears a distinctive, beautiful fragrance, as many of you non-Oregon, non tree-hugging women do.    We can smell you coming and this is good.   It brings a smile to our collective faces.   You tend to smell really, really good.  Thank you.   Two months after Caroline moved in, Bruiser smelled of Caroline each morning.    I’d wake up at 4:45 a.m. and Bruiser would jump into bed with nary a guilty look and begin pawing my face for breakfast.   Caroline is a late riser and her bedroom deck is adjacent to my living room deck.   Caroline sleeps with her deck door open because we are high off the ground and the ocean breeze provides a wonderful backdrop for deep sleeping.    The ocean breeze is Mother Nature’s Ambien, without the sleep walking and embarrassing next day that Ambien often provides.

As our friendship developed, Caroline and I finally compared notes. Bruiser had a nightly schedule.  Once I’d fall asleep with Bruiser spooning me, he’d run upstairs; work his way through the living room, jump from my deck to Caroline’s deck, and jump into her bed.   Spooning her until 4:30 a.m. when he’d run back downstairs to my bed to get me up for feeding time.    Once sated, he’d again retire to Caroline’s bed.   This has gone on for three years and I’ve thanked the Lord many times that Caroline has not moved.     Bruiser would have been hard to explain to a new neighbor and the real estate agents are not in the circle of trust on the Bruiser Sleeping Situation.      Plus, Caroline smells really, really, really good.

Bruiser loved women.


Bruiser was ridiculously loud.

Memorial Day, 1997 was out back loading a surfboard to head to beach and heard this sound over the fence.  “SCREESCREESCREESCREESCREESCREESCREESCREE”.  Fearing velociraptors had killed my elderly neighbor and taken over his backyard for a Memorial Day barbeque, I jumped the fence, ready to make friends with my new, dinosaurian neighbors.   Because who wants to miss a holiday barbeque?    When you are a single male with no genetic code for cooking, you never, ever, ever want to miss a barbeque.  Plus, many skilled barbeque people can roast corn, asparagus, and other vegetables on their grills and grill roasted corn, asparagus and other vegetables are quite tasty.     If you are planning a barbeque and planning on roasting corn, asparagus, and other vegetables, you know who to invite.


“SCREESCREESCREESCREESCREESCREESCREESCREE”.   Looked all over and saw nothing.    Looked all over again and, once again, saw nothing.    Then, saw what appeared to be a small, hairy bat under a bush.    Somewhat disappointed that I would not be meeting velociraptors, seeing the carnage they had inflicted on my (still alive) elderly neighbor, and knowing for certain that a barbeque was not in my immediate future, I picked up the bottom of the bush.   There I found a still yet to be named, two week old kitten with its eyes sealed tight with pus.  That was my first lesson that when a kitten is hungry, it sounds like this  “SCREESCREESCREESCREESCREESCREESCREE”    When it is full, it sounds like this:   “PURRPURRPURRPURRPURRPURR”.    Make a note.

Having no animal husbandry skills at that time, took the still yet to be named kitten to my car, jumping the fence with the still yet to be named kitten in my pocket.   In 1997, I could still jump fences quite nimbly.    Took the still yet unnamed two week old kitten to the only place open on Memorial Day, the Hillcrest Emergency Animal Hospital, where we were greeted by two receptionist vet tech people and seven gentleman with dogs in the waiting room.    The gentlemen with dogs looked anxious.   Using my context clues, perceived that the gentlemen looked anxious because their dogs were sick and they may still have shopping yet to do for their barbeques.    The receptionist asked “what is your kitten’s name?”   I replied, loudly, while holding him in the air in my palm and facing the reception area; “this kitten’s name is Bruiser and if any of your dogs f*ck with him, he will most certainly kick the crap out them.”

And that is how Bruiser got his name.


Bruiser saved the lives of many other kittens through the years.


Once the fine nurses at the Hillcrest Emergency Animal Hospital cleaned the pus out of Bruiser’s eyes, a skill I have now mastered, they sent me home with a six pack of formula and a bottle.     Side note.    If you find a hungry kitten with its eyes closed up by pus saying “SCREESCREESCREESCREESCREESCREESCREE”, you do not have to pay $300 to someone else to wipe the pus out of the kitten’s eyes with a Kleenex.   You can go to the store, buy your own Kleenex and gently remove the pus yourself.   Just saved you $299.   You are welcome.

They also explained to me that where there is smoke there is fire and the odds were significantly in favor that there were more kittens near where I found Bruiser.   The mom probably had too many to feed and tossed the runt.   Bruiser was the runt.   For fourteen years have postulated that Bruiser’s deep and abiding love for women was due to his mommy issues and his abandonment issues.    Not having any formal Psychology or Psychiatry training, have let that sleeping dog lie.    Bruiser loved him some women, though.    Found twelve more kittens that evening under a woodpile and brought them all home.   Trapped and fixed the mom the following week.     This was her last litter, the little harlot.

One bottle is not enough to feed a baker’s dozen of kittens every four hours for two weeks.   Nope.    You need a bunch of bottles because the minute you begin feeding one kitten, you will hear “SCREESCREESCREESCREESCREESCREESCREE”.  That gets really, really annoying.    The best offense to feed thirteen non weaned kittens if this:

  • Buy six bottles
  • Buy seven hundred gallons of kitten formula
  • Tape the first three bottles together in a star pattern
  • Tape the second three bottles together in a star pattern
  • Find someone to date
  • Date that person so that you have an extra body in the room where you keep the kittens
  • You get one three pack of formula bottles
  • Your dating partner gets the other three pack of bottles
  • Feed three at a time, every four hours, for two weeks
  • Wean them……as fast as possible.
  • Rinse
  • Repeat

Ended up keeping Bruiser and his best friend Bo from that litter of thirteen.  Through the experience found that I was a damn good nursing kitten foster.     Still cannot cook, host my own holiday barbeque, or recognize true velociraptor mating calls, but I can raise kittens better than most anyone else on this planet.     Over four hundred abandoned kittens have been through this house since Memorial Day, 1997 and it all started with Bruiser.   And fate.

Here’s a random cross section of the kittens Bruiser helped save through the years:

Bruiser taught Deeeeeeeeegie how to box (pictorial).


Bruiser hated sheets and blankets

Bed making was quite the adventure with Bruiser in the house.  Regardless of where he was in my house (or Caroline’s), twelve seconds after the fitted sheet went “FLUFF” in the air, Bruiser would bound onto the bed with an enthusiasm seldom seen outside of certain aboriginal fecundity rituals in equatorial New Guinea.     With an anger in his eyes similar to what we may have seen in David Koresh and the other Branch Davidians in those last three minutes in Waco, Bruiser would rear back, bear the back feet claws and go to town….rolling around and running from corner to corner as the fitted sheet became fitted to the mattress.    For extra fun, and if I’d been drinking, would sprinkle three or four pounds of catnip on the mattress before making the “FLUFF” sound.    We’d repeat the exercise with the next sheet, the comforter and the top blanket reserved for the day cat hair.   Upon completion, Bruiser would spin around madly on the top of bed, generally clockwise, using his rear legs as the spinner engine before bounding again off the bed and up the stairs at just a hair under light speed.    A skinny, gray, furry Don Quixote looking forward to sharing his windmill conquering tales with the rest of the cat posse, sunning themselves on the deck an oblivious to the epic bed making battle taking place a mere two thousand feet away.   This happened weekly for fourteen years.    The level of enthusiasm never waned in those fourteen years.


Bruiser went to visit God today.

Those of you who chose to procreate have amazed and astounded me for many years and for many reasons.   One of the reasons you have astounded and amazed me for years is you are able to leave your children behind when you travel for business.   Along with bubble wrapping my children whenever they left the house as a precautionary measure, am certain that I could not maintain the career adventure travel many years had I chosen to procreate.  Because I would have to be readily available to remove the bubble wrap and duct tape off the kids when they returned home during the day.    Left on an eight day trip six weeks ago, Bruiser as annoying and lively as usual.  Smelling of Caroline.

Returned home from same trip six weeks back, walking in the door at 1:00 a.m. to a relatively quiet house and an odd urine smell near the armoire in the bedroom.     Found Bruiser hiding in the lower drawer of the armoire in a pool of his own urine, looking confused.    Pulled him out and he could not stand on his back legs.    Put him into bed and the other permacats jumped off.   Learned through the years that when the permacats shun another permacat, God has decided to bring the shunned one home for the duration.   And that is Her prerogative.   Bruiser and I spent our last evenings together watching his favorite, Comedy Central, and reminiscing about the “good old days” when all he had to do was wait in the guest bathroom for me to bring him a bottle of warm formula every four hours.    After I fed him, Bruiser would generally pee on me.

Bruiser had thrown a clot and had no pulse in his back legs…or any bladder control because he kept pissing on me as we spooned.  Life tends to be a big circle; you end up where you began, passing “go” and collecting two hundred dollars each time.   And each time Bruiser pissed on me, am certain he was smiling.   Because Bruiser was not only a loud, lover of women and sheet hater who indirectly and randomly saved the lives of many abandoned kittens throughout the last fourteen years.   He was the most mischievous, evil smiling cat since Lewis Carroll gave us the Cheshire Cat.     Which is why Bruiser was my favorite.   Bruiser is spending his first Easter weekend in the afterlife with his best friend, Sage.    Jumping again and smiling that mischievous smile.

Good bye, Bruiser.    Safe travels.

Bruiser loved women.    Bruiser truly loved him some women.

Bruiser passed on at 10:57 a.m., Saturday, April 07, 2012 in the loving arms of his roommate, DCM.     He was a talker, a lover of women, and the best spooner in the history of feline/human relations.    Most of all, though, Bruiser was a bad ass.  A strong willed, fire breathing bad ass.  Bruiser is survived by his roommate, his sisters Marsha. Jan, & Ceeeeeeeeeeatie, and his brother Deeeeeeeeeeeogie.    His charm and chutzpa will be missed.

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