MOM: Ann, did you let Zorba go outside today?
ANN: (puzzled) No, why?
MOM: Well I heard that 40 to 60 birds died suddenly in Austin today and I just wondered if you Zorba out.
Yes. 64 birds died today in downtown Austin.
No. My sweet cat did not eat or maul them.
Yes. They're being sent to A&M (vet school capital of the world) to be examined.
No. They don't know what's wrong with them.
Yes. They blocked off downtown (two blocks from where I work) during a very inconvenient time of day.
No. They found nothing wrong with the air.
Yes. Rumor is two policemen who worked Congress last night called into work nauseous today.
No. I do not feel sick and although I did have a moment of panic, have not yet hypochondriaced myself into thinking I have acquired what the birds have.
Yes. I just made up that word hypochondriaced.
No. I am not actually a hypochondriac.
I'll keep you updated. Provided there are no more wise cracks about the temperament of my cats.