Reflections in a Mirror (While Shaving) # 28

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•  At 3:30 a.m. on a “dark and stormy night” – with 50-mph winds playing havoc with the trees, Cuddles The Neighbor Cat was kicking at the door … demanding to come in … while he is allowed to sleep indoors with his humans, I’ve been trying to teach him he is an outdoor cat at my house…

I put on a sweatshirt, went outside to sit with him a while. He immediately curled into a tiny ball in the crook of my arm and went to sleep … I’m teaching him one hell of a lesson.

• Overheard a lady talking about her soon-to-be ex … “I was due for an upgrade”…

Maybe some enterprising sorts could open “Upgrades Unlimited” (UU R US)…one-stop upgrading of spouses, phones, plane tickets, etc.

I’m supposed to love bats because they eat insects and are mythically misunderstood. From everything I’ve read, once they’ve decided to homestead there is nothing (legally) I can do to relocate them. I’ve had a couple of black, furry houseguests above my front door for the last three years…

They ( Batman and Etc.) have an annoying habit of not finishing their meals… evidenced by small mounds of skinny, brittle insect legs. I can just see the little buggers giggling each time they flip another leg unto the pile… on the plus side my entertainment costs have gone down because I have fewer visitors.

• A 9-to-5 brain stuck in a 12- hour job.

Moments of my life I can’t get back… asking a cook to explain the difference between shallots and scallions… answering yes when asked if I’d like a little “constructive criticism” (I hate when I do that)… viewing the latest collection of _________________ photos.

The definition of an insufferable egoist appears to be someone who doesn’t accept my forceful, insightful views.

There are days I just have to listen to myself talk to realize how little I know about a wide range of subjects.

A smile is the best when the eyes get involved.

• Self-fulfilling prophecies are scary… want a good day, you got it.

I love my life… at the end, I’ll say, “no complaints…just wanted more of the same”… but if you’re not too busy, maybe next time I could be a little taller with a little more hair.

Doug Mudford is a lawyer and partner at Barr & Mudford, with an emphasis on serious personal injury. He may be reached at Barr & Mudford, 1824 Court St., Redding, 530.243.8008. Send questions for “That Lawyer Guy” to

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Doug Mudford’s photo illustration by Michael Burke of Redding. Click here to see more Michael Burke photos.

Doug Mudford
is a lawyer and partner at Barr & Mudford, with an emphasis on serious personal injury. He may be reached at Barr & Mudford, 1824 Court St., Redding, (530) 243-8008, or
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14 Responses

  1. Avatar EasternShastaCounty says:

    Uh, Mr. Mudford — an outdoor cat? One that roams your neighborhood using your neighbors' yards for his bathroom? If you own a dog or a cat, it's your responsibility to keep it at home.

  2. Avatar AJ says:

    The salient point being, Mr.Eastern, it isn't his cat!! But I think it's quite obvious how brilliant cats are at training us.

    And I agree about loving life as I have lived it . . .am living it . . . however, if you get taller and more hair, I get skinnier and better legs. Sometimes I think Mother Nature show a great sense of humor when assigning us various accouterments.

  3. Avatar Eleanor says:

    Yes, my thought on reading Mr. Eastern's comment was: "uuummmm…..??"

    Always look before you leap! (an original saying)

    My cat – don't worry, Mr. Eastern, it's an indoor, outdoor cat that sticks strictly to our property – also does this throwing itself against the door thingy, until I can no longer ignore it, even though the door next to it may be open. You were very kind to Cuddles, Doug!

    No good deed goes unpunished! (another original)

    Brightened my day to see one of your lists this morning – now I will try to do as you suggest, and have a good day. You too, Doug, thanks.

  4. If you're going to ask for more hair, be very specific about where you would like it. God has a rather twisted sense of humor. I think I WILL have a good day – hope you do the same.

  5. Avatar Doug Mudford says:

    Hi Eastern

    Just to clarify, Cuddles the Cat belongs to my neighbor but I'm always asking if he can come out to play. My 18 year old indoor cat died a few months ago and I don't want another cat in the house for a while longer (I know it's silly but all things considered, it seems a benign sentimentality)…


    • Avatar EasternShastaCounty says:

      Thank you for the clarification. Several of our neighbors have roaming cats that not only use our yard for their bathroom but also feel that our bird feeders are their cafeteria; hence my snippy response. Condolences on the loss of your beloved cat. Yes, it takes grieving time before a new pet can come into your life. But please remember: the best way to repay all the love and affection that a treasured pet brought you is to allow a new pet into your life. Again, apologies for my assumption.

  6. Avatar Doug Mudford says:

    Erin… you made laugh. You are 100% correct. I need to designate my ears, eyebrows and nose as "No More-Hair Zones".


    readers… sorry if I've previously sent this response… please remember my on-going battle with the "send" key… did I or didn't I?

  7. Avatar Ron C says:

    Our cat, the Fonz, used to choose to sleep between us. An attempted good night kiss always left me with a mouth full of cat hair. So we decided to close the bedroom door with the Fonz on the other side. That lasted about 15 minutes. The assault started on minute one. A paw slid under the door, claws up. Ripped back. Door rattle. The rattling became something of a harmonic, and soon the securely closed door popped open. The Fonz came in, gave us a glaring look as he took his place between us. Gales of laughter. We didn't sleep as well as he that night nor any other night after. Never closed the door again.

  8. Avatar EasternShastaCounty says:

    Thank you, Eleanor and AJ, for catching my glaring error. Humbling. This will teach me to read an article twice before I stick foot in mouth (or fingers in keyboard cracks). Mea culpa.

    • Avatar Eleanor says:

      Well, Eastern, it's very decent of you to respond to Doug and to AJ and me in such a pleasant manner. I appreciate that about you and about this site!

  9. Avatar Sally says:

    Reference your visiting bats, years ago I had bat guano on the wall next to my front door (YUK). The door is located in a turret with a very high ceiling. Critter Control placed screening type material up high so the bats had no where to roost. Magic! They were gone and not one was harmed.

  10. Avatar Doug Mudford says:


    Thank you! I'll give it a try. So far my little friends are not afraid of anything and won't move to the new "bat home" installed in a near-by tree.


  11. very funny, as usual, Doug, especially about the cat! We have an outdoor cat who probably lives in other homes, as well. I've never had much luck keeping a cat indoors who really, really wants to go out. She always comes home at night to sleep on the corner of our bed, opposite the Elder Cat. EC gets first pick.

  12. Avatar Budd Hodges says:

    Doug…We had a bat in the house once that I had to get out with the broom, but afterwards I had second thoughts. Maybe that was my Mother-in-law incarnant.

    The winds last month were strong. My lawn chairs were blown to Mt. Shasta and the neighbor's cat ended up in Dunsmuir.