A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Category: pets (Page 1 of 4)

Pet Therapy

“Honey, pass the peas, please…. Bucket Head, stop licking your pork chop!… Who set the table? Nice job on the napkins, Mini-Me…. Oh, I forgot to tell you, Vincent has a band concert on Thursday; can you get home early?… Hey you guys, who wants Mommy to have another baby?”

“MEEEEEEEEEEE!” the kids all screamed simultaneously while my husband’s eyeballs popped out of his skull and rolled into his mashed potatoes.

Wait. What?

Did I really just say that? Out loud?

And my kids actually WANT me to have another baby?

What the what?!

I’m 43 years old. My husband had a vasectomy nanoseconds after Bucket Head’s birth. I have no business thinking about another baby.

And yet, I do. I think about it. Continue reading

More leopard gecko diaries: the surgery edition

Welcome back to another riveting installment of unauthorized private journal entries by our family pet, Batman, the sexually maturing leopard gecko.

diary of a sexually maturing leopard gecko by The Bearded Iris

If you are just joining us, you should probably read this post first. It’s the introduction to Batman’s diary and it will give you some background on his wiener woes.

When we last left Batman, he was anxiously wondering whether or not his seemingly stuck erection would subside on its own, or if I would attempt to MacGyver it back in with nothing more than a Q-Tip, some KY Warming Liquid, and the bravado of a sleep-deprived veteran mother who watches way too much reality television…


Thursday, February 28, 2013 8:00 AM

Dear Diary,

Worst. Night. Ever. It’s really hard to Wang Chung Tonight when your engorged reptilian rocket has been stuck outside your body, slowly baking under a heat lamp for 11 hours.

My roommate just came to check on me and turn on my daytime light. That’s only going to dry out my unsheathed baby maker even more. I heard him tell his mom that my “hemipenis is still hanging out.” Great. At least HE knows I’m a dude. I could really use another sugar-soak and/or a massage with a happy ending. Anyone? Anyone?


9:00 PM

They’ve given me a few more sugar-water soaks today so my shama-lama-ding-dong isn’t totally dehydrated, but it still hurts and it’s hard to sleep with the constant throbbing.

The mom has spent a lot of time conferring with “experts” on Facebook all day. Apparently one of her Facebook friends used to be a Zookeeper and told her the Q-Tip/lube strategy was legit. Other people are telling her to get me to a vet, pronto. I heard her say she “wasn’t gonna spend no $300 on lizard dick surgery.” Nice language, lady. Do you kiss your dog with that mouth?


Friday March 1, 2013

8:00 AM

Dear Diary,

It’s no use. My prolapsed hemipenis is here to stay! None of the other geckos are going to let me play in any gecko games. I wish I were dead.


9:00 AM

I’m sorry. That was just stinkin’ thinkin’. I don’t wish I were dead. I just wish my roommate’s mom would stop tweeting pictures of my junk and take me to the vet already. In spite of the sugar-water baths, I feel like my boy bulge is starting to dry out a little and that’s making me really nervous. Thank God I have two penises just in case this one is a goner.


10:00 AM

OH HAPPY DAY! There’s an Exotic Vet in the area! Unfortunately, my roommate’s mom thinks that means she’s going to get a lap dance during my exam. If I ever break loose, I am going to pee on her head and make her rue the day she ever exploited my body for Facebook fame.

At least I know the vet won’t try to “MacGyver” my fruit salad back into its hidey-hole with random household supplies. Phew, I feel like I’ve really dodged a bullet.

Holy humiliation, they’re going to transport me in the same disposable food container they use to store leftover macaroni in the fridge. And it’s see-through! Now all the other exotic animals in the waiting room are going to be able to see my party favor.

Have gecko will travel via The Bearded Iris


10:30 AM

We’re at the vet! I’m so excited! This could be the end of my suffering.

They pulled me out of my travel Tupperware to weigh me and I grabbed my chance to scurry up the mom’s arm and onto the back of her head.

Batman seeks revenge via The Bearded Iris

It was HILARIOUS! She stared screaming “GET IT OFF. GET IT OFF. GET IT OFF. GET IT OFF.” The vet untangled me from her hair before I could finish my assault. I peed on his hand instead. Gecko power! That will show them. You mess with the reptile? You get the teabag.


10:33 AM

WHAT. THE. EFF? The vet just flipped me on my back and jammed a giant dry Q-Tip right into my goodie basket! OW OW OW OW OW. That really hurt! Now I’m kinda wishing I had just let the mom do it at home with her spicy lady lube and saved us the trip. I bet she would have been more gentle. Now I feel bad for trying to pee on her head.

Batman at the vet via The Bearded Iris

Also, my vet seriously needs a manicure. I’m just saying.


10:34 AM

He added some lube. It’s a little better, but I wish all these people weren’t watching. Kinda weird. My bulge won’t go back in. The vet just flicked a dried sperm plug off my willie and onto a paper towel. Gross! He said sometimes those block the hemipenis from being able to retract. But it’s too late for me. They are discussing other options. I’m scared!


10:35 AM

OMG. The vet whispered something to his assistant, she left, and came back with a bunch of surgical tools. Holy Mary, Mother of God…

Surgical tools at the vet to ligate Batman's hemipenis via The Bearded Iris

10:36 AM

Okay, deep breath. It sounds like my dehydrated love-nugget has got to go. The vet is going to ligate it with surgical thread so dies and falls off. Good thing I have a spare or I would be freaking the freak out right now. At least it won’t hurt for much longer.


10:38 AM

Wow, that was fast. (That’s what she said.) It really didn’t even hurt that much. And the whole thing only cost $50! I heard the mom say it was the best $50 she ever spent. Maybe she’s not so bad after all.


10:45 AM

On our way home now. We all noticed this sign in the waiting room at the exotic vet:

All you need is love and a dog via The Bearded Iris


My roommate’s mom laughed and said, “Oh yeah? Well anytime our dog has needed medical care it always costs way more than fifty bucks, and he doesn’t even have two penises! Batman is definitely my new favorite pet.”

Awwwwww! This day turned out to be not so bad after all.

Batman the Leopard Gecko via The Bearded Iris



Diary of a Sexually Maturing Leopard Gecko

Batman the uber horny leopard geckoIf you follow my blog on Facebook, you have probably already heard about my family’s Leopard Gecko, “Batman,” and his recent sexual health scare.

Like any family medical emergency, it was a very harrowing few days of worry, investigation, decision-making, and bonding.

Afterward, my son and I were working together to clean out Batman’s vivarium and we discovered a tiny journal, tucked away under the base of his wooden branch.

I know it’s wrong to read someone else’s journal, but under the circumstances, and given that this someone doesn’t even have opposable thumbs, I just had to know what was going through his tiny reptilian mind.

Please forgive me for breaking our family pet’s trust, but his daily musings were too fantastic to keep to myself. In the name of science, I present to you some of the entries from Batman’s journal.

(Please note: this blog post is intended for mature audiences only.)

diary of a sexually maturing leopard gecko by The Bearded Iris

Monday, Feb. 25, 2013

Dear Diary,

Today is my 9-month birthday and I finally weigh 33 grams! I’ve decided to start keeping a journal because I’m noticing a lot of strange but exciting bodily changes and I need a place to express myself and deal with all my feelings.

My roommate is 13-human-years-old and he is also going through lots of changes. He is growing a mustache! Humans are so weird.

My roommate’s mom just came in to yell at him for having so many dirty clothes on the floor. She has a mustache too. I don’t know what it is about her, but looking at her makes me feel kinda funny in my downtown area.

In fact, I’m going to go hangout on my basking rock…it’s really warm up there and I like the way the hot rock feels on my belly, if you know what I mean. {WINK WINK!}


Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013

Dear Diary,

Wow, my body is really changing fast! Sometimes I get this throbbing feeling near my vent. It feels really good at first, but then it starts to ache. I wish I had a girlfriend. I’ve been spending a LOT of time on my branch and basking rock lately. Wiggling helps.

I noticed my roommate getting dressed today. He only has one penis, poor guy. I’m so lucky to have two! I can take turns with them so neither gets worn out or sore. Being a gecko is awesome!

Another difference between geckos and humans is that humans wear pants, so they can get a stiffy without the whole world seeing it. When I get excited, one of my penises pops right out of my vent like the “HOT DOUGHNUTS NOW” sign at Krispy Kreme. Embarrassing, but practical.

I’m wondering if I can get both of my hemipenes to pop out at the same time. Could come in handy if I ever meet twin Doublemint Girl Geckos at a party. SCHWING!


Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 9:15 PM

Dear Diary,

Oh no, I have a big problem.

You know that weird feeling I’ve been having in my crotch? And how I’ve been spending so much time on my rock and branch doing that wiggling thing?

Well a few minutes ago I was doing the humpty hump on my branch and I think I must have rubbed too hard because my love-nugget won’t go back into its hidey-hole! It really hurts and so I was licking it to see if that would help it shrink back up into my body, and that’s when I noticed my roommate staring at my junk and then running down the hall screaming “MOM! Come here! You HAVE TO SEE THIS!”

Oh-em-geeee! Can’t a gecko have some privacy?!

Next thing I knew, my roomie’s mom was holding me and staring at my junk too. Not helping, lady!

You’d think she’d never seen 9 millimeters of turgid gecko groin before because she was all “What the hell?”

Then she took a bunch of photos with her phone. So embarrassing! All I can say is she better give me a cut of the profits if she turns this into a reptile porno.

I heard the mom and my roommate wondering aloud whether it was part of my intestines or a ruptured testicle or some kind of herniated gland. They were clueless. Then they got online for help.

The mom said “Do you think it’s his penis?”

Duh. Ya think? She’s obviously not the fastest mealworm in the box.

Next thing I heard her saying was “Google ‘reptile penis pics’ and ‘pics of lizard groins.’”

Oh yeah lady, encourage your 13-year-old son to do a Google search for any kind of penis pics. Good luck with that one.

Turns out she’s actually a pretty good researcher. Didn’t take her long to find out that I have what’s called a “prolapsed hemipenis,” hemi meaning “half” because like I said before, I have two of them. But then she insulted my manhood and said something like “We don’t even know if Batman is a boy yet, so let’s call it a hemivagenis.” I swear to God. It’s like she’s never even noticed my pre-anal pores. I’m OBVIOUSLY a male. OBVIOUSLY.

At least she knows it’s not my intestines sticking out of my butt. Now let’s hope girlfriend figures out how to help me get this thing back into my body because this bad boy really hurts.

(Editor’s Note: WARNING – the following photo collage may be unsettling to those with weak constitutions. Please close your eyes and scroll down if you know you will be offended by photos of erect reptile reproductive organs.) 

diary of a sexually maturing leopard gecko now featuring a prolapsed hemipenis by The Bearded Iris


9:30 PM

Dear Diary,

You aren’t going to believe this but I am about to take a bath in warm sugar-water! Wish me luck. I’ve never taken a bath before. Hope I don’t drown. Maybe the mom will dim the lights and put on some Barry White so I can really get my groove on. Brown chicken brown cow! 

warm sugar-water soak


9:45 PM

Dear Diary,

Wow, that was really nice. A gecko could get used to those warm sugar-water soaks. Sadly, my perma-bone didn’t shrink or pop back in on its own like they thought it would. I must have irritated it too much with my vigorous tree-branch rubbing. Now it’s swollen and stuck! I feel embarrassed, scared, and annoyed at the same time. I overheard my roomie’s mom say the words “MacGyver,” “Q-Tip,” and “Astroglide.” This isn’t going to end well.


10:00 PM

Dear Diary,

OH SWEET JESUS ON A BASKING ROCK, I just heard her say she can’t find the Astroglide followed by “but do you think this KY Warming Liquid would do the trick?” I feel like I’m going to faint.


10:04 PM

Okay, phew. She decided to see if my boy-bulge subsides by the morning before she attempts to poke it back in. THANK GOD. I’d rather just die than have my exposed sweet meat poked and prodded with spicy lady lube.

{end of journal entry}

Well that’s all the time we have for today, you reptile voyeurs! Tune in next time to read more riveting journal entries about Batman’s coming of age tale and how we helped solve his troublesome perma-bone problem.

See you then!

Click HERE to read Part 2 and hear the “Happy Ending” (wink wink!) of Batman’s weiner woes! 

And just like that she was gone

My daughter’s cat Gracie died yesterday afternoon, quietly at home.

She was only 3-years-old and had been Mini-Me’s 7th birthday present.


We knew this was coming. We just thought we had more time.

Gracie hadn’t been herself for about a month. It started with her peeing in places where she shouldn’t—never pleasant.

Thinking it was a UTI, the vet treated her with antibiotics, and we quarantined her for 4 days to see if she’d improve.

But she didn’t. She continued to pee everywhere. It was awful. I was losing my patience and threatening to get rid of her.

Then Gracie stopped eating. And she climbed up into Nature Boy’s top bunk and started to sleep all the time, much more than usual.

We took her back to the vet about 10 days ago and she was diagnosed with Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). The vet told us it was fatal and untreatable, and that it could be months or just days—there was no way of knowing. She gave her some steroids to make her more comfortable and sent us home.

I’ve been slowly getting the kids used to the idea that Gracie wasn’t getting any better.

“Be gentle with her, kids. She how skinny she’s gotten? If she doesn’t start eating soon, she could die.”

“Eat, Gracie. Come on, girl. Eat something. Just a bite,” the kids would encourage her.

But two days ago, she really took a turn for the worse. I found her behind the washing machine, panting. I tried to coax her out, but she just meowed at me, weakly, and put her head down.

In the morning, I found her resting under the TV armoire. She was exhausted and weak. Her nose was beige instead of its usual bright pink color. I tenderly picked her up and held her for a long time, telling her over and over how loved she was and how much we’d miss her.

When the kids woke up an hour later for school, I told them how sick she was and that I didn’t think she’d make it through the day. I encouraged them to all say goodbye to her just in case.

It was absolutely gut wrenching to watch.

We made her a bed on her favorite brown blanket, but she slowly meandered back under the TV armoire to rest on the cool hardwood floor.

My hunch was correct. That would be her last day.

I checked on her throughout the morning, watching her breaths get shallower and shallower.

Right before lunch, I lay down on the floor next to her and stroked her again, pleading with her to let go. “Please Gracie. It’s time. I love you and I’ll miss you, but it’s time for you move on, sweetheart.”

Half an hour later, she was gone.

Our dog Ike came over and lay by me, putting his head on his paws and looking up at me with his big brown eyes. He doesn’t like it when I cry, but I sensed he too was sad.

I delicately wrapped Gracie’s limp body in one of Mini-Me’s old pink flannel crib sheets, thinking it would make us all feel better, especially Mini-Me. Then my husband and I waited for the kids to get off the bus.

“Is Gracie still alive?” Mini-Me asked.

“No sweetheart. I’m so sorry,” I whispered as I held her.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget the sound of their crying.

They wanted to see her and pet her one last time and kiss her goodbye. We all cried, even my husband who isn’t really an animal person.

Then we all picked out a spot in the yard to bury her and Bucket Head and I went to the store to buy a tree while my husband dug the hole.

We picked a white flowering Dogwood tree because the white blossoms will remind us of Gracie’s pretty white coat. The irony is not lost on my 12-year-old son, Nature Boy. He insists we call it a “Catwood” tree instead.

Everyone said a prayer and we all helped with the burial and tree planting so there would be closure for us all.

Then Mini-Me spent a long time sitting by her new tree, saying goodbye.

At dinner, we went around the table and shared what we’d miss the most about Gracie.

She used to love to do organizing projects with me and sleep on my lap while I was writing. Her furry toes always cracked us up. She loved when we rubbed her feet and would spread her toes for us to make it easier to massage in between each of her little pink paw pads.

She loved to play with our dog Ike’s tail and swat at it as he passed by her.

Gracie was a big hit at Preschool Pet Day last fall!

But our favorite thing about Gracie was watching her groom herself on Nature Boy’s freshly-shampooed head. They had a special bond.

For such a small creature, she sure had a big personality!

She was only in our lives for a short time, but those three years were good ones, for all of us. Today we are sad and missing her, but we are also filled with gratitude to have had such a great pet in our lives. The name Gracie is truly befitting for her, as she has gracefully taught us about unconditional love, loss, and the circle of life.

Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. This is shaping up to be a pretty difficult week.

With love and fond memories,

PS – We’ll resume our Just the Tip Tuesday Back-to-School for Bloggers series next week. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Cat Pee and Clutter Concern: Oh, Grandma’s Here!

My mother came to visit last weekend.

It was lovely. It always is. She does laundry…all the way through! And she buys school clothes, and takes us all out to eat, repeatedly!

It’s so nice to have her here that I don’t even mind the fact that she bought me a book about compulsive hoarding.

I’m not even kidding.

Apparently she heard a fascinating interview about it on NPR and it reminded her of me and my life-long struggle with clutter.

I imagine that some people might get offended if someone came to visit and then gave them a book about compulsive hoarding.

Not me.

Guys? This book is rocking my face off. I always joke about being a borderline hoarder, but apparently I’ve gotten to the point where it’s not a laughing matter anymore. I have so much in common with many people who exhibit this compulsion, it is frightening. But more on that another day. (See? Classic avoidance.)

Instead, let’s discuss a different thing that happens every time my mom visits: my cat Gracie gets pissed. Literally. There is piss, loads of it, in inappropriate places.

So Gracie’s in solitary confinement and I’m In The Powder Room today weighing my options. Meet me over there and we’ll discuss.


PetSmart and Bret Michaels team up to skankify your pets.

Just when I thought I had seen everything, I walk into PetSmart this week and see this:

Well, shut my sass hole.

Is there anything this man CAN’T do?

I mean, a musician, spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association, animal lover, AND a businessman? I thought reviving his career with the Rock of Love reality show was pretty damn genius. But the Rock of Love (Tour) Bus edition? Brilliant. And THEN…to compete for and actually WIN Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice (one month after suffering from a brain hemorrhage and a stroke!) Come on. Bret Michaels must be hiding the best brain ever under that signature bandana. 

Bret proved his business chops by winning Apprentice, clearly. And PetSmart is just the partner to get on that Love Bus and ride it into the sunset of ProfitTown, USA…now 25% off, while supplies last.

Because there is obviously a market for dressing your lapdog like a skank. 

Yes that’s right, it’s a lace-up corset tank with pink frilly trim, perfect for showing your little bitch who’s boss.

Or how about the black rocker tank with jeans combo? Crotchless of course:

Well, isn’t that special (said in my best Church Lady impersonation)…two matching embroidered white crosses on the back pockets, flanking her little doggie backdoor! Because nothing reminds me of the suffering my Lord and Savior endured on Golgotha like a pair of distressed ass-less chaps on my faithful canine companion. (That concludes the Church Lady inspired portion of our broadcast.)

But I think my favorite outfit is this one:

Oh yeah baby…nothing says COME like a black leather mini-skirt on your fur-baby. Bitches who dress like that can’t keep their paws off the Beggin’ Strip, if you know what I mean.

Maybe you’re thinking, I’m not into dressing my dog like a groupie. Don’t worry, Bret’s got you covered. His Pets Rock line also includes a variety of rock inspired toys, bowls, collars, leashes, and accessories.


Yes, I said accessories. For dogs. Like this.

Because all the cool dogs are wearing doo-rags, don’t you know. Keeps their hair out of their eyes while they ride their motorcycles. Also good for dogs with cornrows.


Hey, it takes all kinds. Dress your dog however you want. I’m just excited that our country’s economy is obviously on the upswing. Someday, when anthropologists look back on this period, I want them to see that the economy wasn’t as bleak as everyone said. I want them to note that there was a segment of the population who placed great emphasis on maintaining the rocker image of their four-legged friends.

And also, I want anthropologists to record the awesome power that rockers like Bret Michaels had over people far and wide.

…like this unsuspecting middle aged suburban housewife:

…who was clearly swept away by the sheer magnitude of Bret Michaels’ sex appeal.

What can I say? I’m just grateful I was wearing shorts and not a skirt or I might have whipped off my Hanes Her Way hipsters and flung them at his bandana wrapped head.

Even kids can’t resist the force that is Bret Michaels:


I know. Unfortunate height combo. I promise you, Ms. Child Welfare case worker, my son was not purposefully rubbing Bret’s tube sock holder.

Unless he was, and then I’ve got bigger problems.

Oh my God. Is my son a groupie?

Alright, people. Move along. There’s nothing to see here.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to figure out how to attach this new doo-rag to my dog. It’s a much better look for him than the Hanna Andersson pa-jay-jays Grandma sent everyone the Christmas of 2008.

Don’t say it. Just don’t.

I know.


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