Whenever my husband and I see one of those telltale signs of trouble, we fall back on an old joke. "The cat is on the roof," we say. I don't remember where I first heard it, and it has many variations, but it goes something like this. A man is away on vacation, and his brother has been house-sitting for him. When he calls home to check on things, the brother says, "Your cat died." "What?" the man replies in shock. "Yep. Dead. Bummer." "How could you be so insensitive, so cruel?" says the man. "You don't break bad news like that. First you might have said that my cat was on the roof. Then, the next day, you might have told me that he had wandered to the edge, but you are trying to coax him down. Next you could say that he fell off the roof, but the vet is looking after him. Then you could tell me he didn't make it. This way, I would have been better prepared." "Sorry," said the brother. "I should h...
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