MARTY RUSSELL: Pi had it easy compared to my situation

By Marty Russell

I haven’t complained much about global warming. I figure a milder, warmer winter here in the South isn’t such a bad thing. But the last two days of freezing temperatures and freezing rain bring back memories of those terrible ice storms we suffered through back in the ’90s.
To make matters worse, the past couple of days have brought on an epidemic of cabin fever at my house. Imagine being trapped inside alone all day with three dogs and two cats all of who desperately want to go outside and do cat and dog things. They sit at the door and whine (even the cats), and so I let them out only to have them two seconds later scratching at the door wanting back in.
I now know how Pi felt in “Life of Pi,” trapped in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. I looked up Tuesday afternoon as the sleet was pelting the metal roof of the house here in Oxford and saw three dogs all staring at me with the same expression and probably all thinking the same thing.
“Let’s eat him,” they seemed to be thinking. “He probably won’t taste good, just skin and bones, but it’s something to do.”
And even the cats, who are usually on my side, (the canines are my wife’s side of the family) have turned against me. My oldest, Godzilla, even at 14 years plus, is still feistier and meaner than the much younger Godzuki. Monday, when I refused to give Godzilla more food after feeding him just five minutes earlier, he did a very good Richard Parker impersonation and hissed at me with his ears back and a clawed fist in the air.
So I thought, OK, maybe this is seasonal deficit disorder, you know that condition caused by too little light at this time of the year which causes people to go postal because they’re just not getting enough vitamin C or D or just plain not getting enough of something. So I thought I’d throw a little party for my animal companions.
So I turned on all the lights, cranked up some good old rock ‘n’ roll music, and tried my best to appear festive and unappetizing. They seemed interested for a few minutes, like maybe a party was a good idea. Unfortunately, I think the party they still had in mind was the Donner party.
So now I sit here on Tuesday afternoon staring out the window as the ice slowly accumulates, pine limbs already sagging from weight, hoping the power lines don’t start snapping and leave me in the cold and dark with a houseful of carnivores. I’m actually starting to envy Pi. At least when he felt threatened by Richard Parker the tiger, he could jump overboard into the warm waters. My only option is to step outside and become a human Popsicle.
Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at

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