May 2010

I miss Mickey.

It’s funny how a little ball of fluff can work her way into a person’s heart. Especially a special one like Mickey.

She was such a beautiful animal. Her long, silky, silver fur was so soft. Her tail, so exquisitely long, was always held so regally high. Her amber eyes were so sincere. But she was so much more than mere beauty. She was a true friend.

Never have I known an animal so devoted to a person. Mickey lived her life to love me. When I got home from work, she greeted me, throwing her body against my leg and rubbing against me as she looked lovingly into my eyes. When I sat down, she would leap into my arms and kneed my chest and arm until she drooled with pleasure. Then, when she tired of that, she curled gently into a ball and fell asleep in my lap where she would stay as long as I let her.

At night, she decided when it was time for me to go to bed, coming into the living room to squeek her sweet little meow at me. “I’m coming, Mickey” I’d say, as our eyes met, and she would start toward my room, prancing ahead of me down the hall. Once we got there, she jumped onto my bed and waited for me while I completed my nightly ritual. And then, as I crawled under the sheets, she stood, waiting patiently until I got comfortable. When she knew I was ready, she got on my pillow, plopped herself down, curled up next to me, and nuzzled her head into the palm of my hand where she would sleep all night.

I think the hardest part of losing her was how fast it was. On May 1, I didn’t even know anything was wrong. By May 5, we had been to the vet several times, because she couldn’t keep food down. On May 7, I took her to the emergency vet hoping they could help her. The last time I saw her, the vet had her in her arms, kissed her forehead and took her out of the room. On May 9, Mother’s Day, Mickey died of lymphoma. Alone with strangers.

It tears my heart up knowing she had to spend her last days wondering why I wasn’t there. In 10 years, she had only left the house once, and it had terrified her. To think that she was scared and alone in her last days breaks my heart in ways I can’t begin to describe. I hope she knew how much I loved her as she slipped away. I hope she didn’t feel abandoned. If I had known there was no way to save her, I would have never put her through that. I would have held her in the end. She would have had no doubt of my love.

I adored that little fluff ball. I miss her eyes looking lovingly into mine. I miss her smell. I miss her touch. I walk into my room and, for a moment, I expect her to be there. It breaks my heart when I suddenly remember she’s gone. I can’t lie down at night without crying, knowing I’ll never have that little head nuzzled in my hand again. The bed is so empty without her.

Some would think I’m silly for being so torn up over the death of a cat, but she was so much more than that to me. We adored one another. She was like a child to me.

I love you, MIckey.

Mickey McSqeek

April 1, 2000 - May 9, 2010

As our population becomes more and more obese, there is a push towards healthier lifestyles. Restaurants are offering healtheir alternatives, and even fast food chains are taking steps to remove trans fats from their offerings and make changes that promote healthy alternatives. One would think, then, that it would be no problem for a patron to order water at a fast food chain. Water is a healthy alternative to carbonated beverages. Not only that, it’s an inexpensive product from a restaurant’s perspective as well.

Why, then, is it practically IMPOSSIBLE to order ice water at a drive through window?

It seems that, if you want water, you have two alternatives. One, you can buy water, or two, you can have a tiny cup of ice water. As a lover of ice water, I don’t like either option.

Bottled water, while marketed as healthier than tap water, is, in fact, not. Some water bottling companies actually just put tap water in the bottles, others remove “impurities” and remove the good minerals as well. And, even if it IS healthy, it tastes bad. I don’t enjoy drinking tepid plastic flavored water, and I know a lot of other water lovers who feel the same way.

Then there’s the tiny cup option. What? Are water drinkers somehow less important than carbonated beverage drinkers? Are we less thirsty? Don’t we deserve an option to purchase a large cup of water and ice? That’s all I want, really; a large cup of water with lots of ice, just like the person in the car before me wants a large Dr. Pepper with a lot of ice. I’m willing to pay for it, and I’m NOT the only one! 

Here’s how it usually goes…

Me: I’d like the number 8 combo meal but make that combo drink an ice water.

Them: You want bottled water?

Me: No, I’d like ice water in the combo sized cup

Them: Uhhh…okay.

Then I get up to the window, get my food and a tiny cup of water, and usually that water is pink because it comes from the same spicket as the pink lemonade, and the person running the drive-through is too lazy to just let it run for two seconds to get the pink lemonade cleared from the spicket.

Me: Did I not pay for the combo?

Them: No. You were charged for the hamburer and fries but the water is free, so we didn’t charge you for a combo.

Me: But I asked for the combo because I wanted the combo sized drink. I just happen to prefer water over soda.

Them: But water is free.

Me: It’s free in a tiny baby cup. I want a large cup of water.

Them: So you want bottled water?

Me: NO! I don’t LIKE bottled water. I want water with ice!

Them: But we don’t offer that.

Me: Charge me for a Coke but give me water in the cup. Is that so hard?

Them: Blank stare.

Me: Forget it. Just give me the damned baby cup of water.

The sad fact is that this happens almost universally no matter what fast food drive through I go to. It’s like the workers are programmed, and ice water just doesn’t compute.

Why is it so hard to get a large cup of water? I seriously don’t mind paying for it. Just make it an option. Your restaurant will make tons of profit by charging me the same thing they charge for a carbonated beverage of the same size. WHY PUT US THROUGH THE SAME CRAP EVERY TIME WE TRY TO ORDER WATER?  What IS the big deal?

If I sound ticked off, I am. It happened to me again tonight, and went something like this:

Me: I would like the number 8 combo meal, and as that combo drink, which I want to pay for, I would like a large ice water. Not bottled water, not a baby cup of water, but a large water.

Them: But water is free. You have to order another drink with the combo.

Me: NO. Just pretend I’m getting a Coke and give me water instead.

Them: Uhhhhhh…okay.

So I get to the window and what do I get? A large Coke and a baby water. (Because water is free!)

Me: Take this Coke, and pour it down the drain. Rinse the cup out, fill it with ice, and then fill it with tap water. That’s what I ordered, and that’s what I want.

Them: But water is free.


Them: You want bottled water?


Them: But we can’t give you that. We’ll have to charge you for the cup.


Them: Why don’t you take the Coke then?


Them: Okay, lady. I don’t know why you’re so upset!


And so, here I am. I got my water. It’s pink and tastes vaguely of lemonade, but at least I got water. Unfortunately, the food was cold by the time I got home. And, oh…the order was wrong.

Next, we’ll discuss trying to get water at a sit-down restaurant WITHOUT lemon. (Also next to impossible)

Maybe someday we water drinkers won’t be so discriminated against. I’m not holding my breath.