I have a pretty spiffy birthday planned!

First, I get to dawdle in the bath for as long as I like, having a completely me-centered schedule today!

Second, I get to vote! (“The government gets elected”  Loyal and Gentle Readers should see me after class.) All hail the 15th and 19th Amendments! This election matters; see my perhaps seemingly throwaway paragraph last post. Our present governor sounds unfortunately and creepily like Mr. Rogers, but his opponent is a thug; we have some significant propositions up too.

And last, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has free admission on your birthday (and permanently free admission for those named “Isabella,” a wackiness I find endearing).

So in all, a pleasant day. However, its beginning was . . . a little disturbing, for those of us unfortunately prone to magical thinking. (And I defy scoffers at magical thinking to avoid this at least scurrying through your own minds in this position.)

I was awakened last night (or this morning, 12:30 am) by Ripley singing a bizarre new little chrring kitty song. I first did the “What is it, Lassie?” thing until I caught on, and then courteously left the light on for her to better track her mouse, which seemed to be why she was singing, because then she stopped. Upon really getting up at 9, the damn thing was still alive. And squeaking at a volume which corresponds to screams of mousie agony.

Like humans for centuries, I find this whole business dismaying. So after some miserable thought, I flushed it down the toilet. It scrambled in panic as best it could when it hit the water. I almost drowned once, and I have a vivid imagination, as we all know. Not my happiest moment, here. But I figured it was better than being tossed around screaming with broken limbs until I either bled to death internally or my spinal cord snapped or . . . you get the drift.

This being the first thing I did on my 48th birthday, it was hard not to see it as an omen–which leads us to the infamous and unfortunate quotation from the end of possibly the world’s most depressing poem *ominous music*.

But I resisted the general notion of my plans going aft agley–or worse, being slain by a benevolent hand–and so I cast about for something more cheerful. I finally came up with “Life is hard, but mouse poop is really disgusting. And dangerous.” It then occurred to me that I had changed my focus–at first, I had identified with the poor tiny helpless animal–but then I identified with the human who possesses agency.

And trust me, for me, that was the very best metaphorical start to my new year I could possible have.

(Damn them for being so cute!)

Um, damn Mouse #2 venturing out from under the stove at this very moment!

(Ripley!!!!!! RIPLEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

We will now steadfastly ignore omen of mousing cat apparently being sound asleep, and continue on to The Bath, The Polls, and The Museum, saving Removing Yet MORE Mouse Poop until return.

Yep, life is hard.