Blogography Logo
spacer

   

KITTENS!

Posted on Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

Dave!I probably should have waited until the renovations on my new place were complete before adopting, but there are some things that can't wait.

Say hello to Jenny (orange) and Jake (grey)...


Jenny & Jake

Jenny & Jake

Jenny & Jake

Jenny & Jake

Jenny & Jake

Jenny & Jake

Jenny & Jake

   
They just got out of surgery to be fixed, so they're a little groggy and ruffled (especially poor Jenny... getting spayed is no picnic)... but still totally adorable.

Tags: , ,
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  11 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Poop

Posted on Thursday, February 18th, 2016

Dave!"Jenny, don't smack your brother in the head while he's trying to poop." — About the tenth thing I've said today that I never thought I'd be saying.

Because kittens.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Setback

Posted on Friday, February 19th, 2016

Dave!Well, I just made a huge parenting mistake.

Jenny still had her surgery tag collar on and it was so tight that I worried she would get caught on something and hang herself...

Kittens!
Calm Before the Storm.

All attempts at sneaking up on her and cutting it off failed, so this morning I finally grabbed her so I could remove it. Now I'm covered in lacerations (she even bit my nose!) and now they are hiding under the couch terrified. Won't even come out to eat. Probably set back any progress I've made by a week.

But at least I can sleep at night knowing she won't get caught and choke to death.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Socializing

Posted on Sunday, February 21st, 2016

Dave!Since my new kittehs were feral, they're not quite as social as you'd hope. They are a little accustomed to people and pet living, as they were in foster care until they were old enough to be spayed and neutered. But most of their day is spent hiding under the couch. Any attempt to get too close to them when they venture out results in a (literal) hissy fit. But they're getting better bit by bit, and I can play with them from time to time... so... eventually. I hope.

The one thing for which I'm very grateful is that they arrived potty-trained. They have no trouble at all using their litter boxes. I know this because I have to clean their toxic deposits two to three times a day. I have no idea how such little kittens produce so much poop, but there you have it.

And now for photos.

   

KITTENS!

It's Jenny! Being all adorable and stuff. She is bouncing back from yesterday's "trauma" much faster than her brother... and she was the one it happened to. The vet sure took off a lot of fur when she was spayed. I wonder if it's itchy? Poor thing.

   

KITTENS!

Jake isn't the climber that his sister is... she can get anywhere and climb anything to get there... but he gives it his best shot.

   

KITTENS!

From talking to the foster parents, it seemed as though Jenny would be the meek, reserved kitten and Jake the more rambunctious, adventurous one. It's turning out to be the opposite. Jenny is the one who goes balls-out while Jake kind of lays and waits for her to make the first move. And when it comes to play-fighting, she just loves to pounce on her brother any chance she gets. He is rarely the one to go after her.

   

KITTENS!

Always nice when they are on the couch instead of hiding under it, as usual.

   
And... enough kitties for today. But keep tuning in. Something tells me there might be more photos in the future!

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Biological

Posted on Thursday, February 25th, 2016

Dave!Once I can access my blog security again, I may have to create a second blog dedicated to my cats' litter box. Jenny took a dump so mind-alteringly horrific that the smell should be declared biological warfare by the U.N. It's a cross between burning tires, raw sewage, and a rotting corpse at low tide. She spent five minutes trying to cover it up, which is the very definition of futility. That smell ain't going anywhere.

Until I shovel it out, then run to the garbage bin as fast as I can.

It's almost enough to make me regret having invited the little monster into my home.

KITTENS!

KITTENS!

Almost.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Play

Posted on Friday, February 26th, 2016

Dave!In all the articles I read about socializing feral cats, food is always given as the first way to win them over. Once you're associated with food in their tiny brains, they eventually warm up to you.

Unless you're Jenny and Jake, in which case food isn't associated with much of anything except eating.

So I resort to winning them over with the runner up... play.

They seem to forget all about hating humans when you play with them. They'll roll all over my lap and feet np problem... at least until they realize where they are and decide to run under the couch again...

   

KITTENS!

   

KITTENS!

   

KITTENS!

   

KITTENS!

   

KITTENS!

   

KITTENS!

So cute!

   
Bit by bit...

   
Bit by bit...

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Photographical

Posted on Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

Dave!The thing about my feral kitten rescues is that they have spent most of their time in hiding. Everything is scary. Everything is dangerous. And getting accustomed to the fact that not everything is out to kill them seems to be a difficult concept for them to wrap their furry little heads around.

But, more and more, that's been changing. Just last Friday I posted about them crawling all over me to play, which was a huge step.

Yet there was still one lingering problem I had yet to resolve... any time I took out my "real" camera (as opposed to the iPhone shots I've been posting), the sound of the shutter would send them scurrying. I switched to a silent shutter, but that didn't help much. Just pointing the camera in their direction was enough to make them run for the hills.

But yesterday all that changed...

   

Jenny!

Apparently I've whipped out the camera often enough that they're no longer scared when they see it.

Sorry for the deluge of kitten photos that are sure to follow...

   

Bullet Sunday 465

Posted on Sunday, March 6th, 2016

Dave!Double your Bullet Sunday, double your fun! Because a Very Special SHOPPING Make-Up Edition of Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Sam. Anybody saying that women don't have what it takes to bring it in a hard-hitting comedic "journalism" show aren't watching Samantha Bee in Full Frontal. I'd put her up against Trevor Noah, Larry Wilmore, or John Oliver any day. Hell, I'd put her up against Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. Samantha Bee is made of awesome...

Mondays at 10:30pm on TBS.

   
• Free! Well, this is new...

FREE HOUSE! U-HAUL!

A free house is quite a deal. Which is why I imagine it's the "U-HAUL" part that makes this some tricky business. After Googling the costs associated with relocating an actual house, the money involved seems absurdly high. Approaching the cost to buy a house! And I can't imagine that the house will ever be as structurally sound as it was originally, which means that the costs are just beginning. Still, it looks a decent house. I might have taken them up on it if somebody hadn't spray-painted "for sale" graffiti on the front of it.

   
• Vampyre! Turns out one of my new kittens is a vampire...

VAMPIRE CATS!!!!

VAMPIRE CATS!!!!

Here's hoping he stays satisfied with kitten blood and doesn't move on to humans.

   
• Five! And, speaking of cats... high-five, Chris Hardwick... HIGH FIVE!

My cat high-fiving Chris Hardwick

My cats like to watch television and participate as needed.

   
• Con. And... my local comic convention, the Emerald City Comicon apparently didn't get the memo about trying to expand the audience for comic books in a positive way. I find this infuriating. A lot of the time I think people overreact to stuff like this. But in this case? I don't think people are reacting ENOUGH. Take your daughter to Comicon on "Kid's Day" and she gets to wear a badge featuring an illustration of a woman being molested by a monster? Really? And their fix for this bullshit? YOU have the option of trading in your badge to get a different one. Yes, the burden is on YOU. Insanity.

   
• Patriotism. Sometimes... not often, but sometimes... justice wins out.

Learning that freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from consequences is a tough lesson. Though, I have to say... a part of me does feel badly for this kid. Is what he did wrong? Absolutely. Is this the kind of person we want representing the United States of America in our armed forces? No. Did he get what he deserves? Sure. But history has shown time and time again how mob mentality can sway even a good person to do reprehensible things. I know nothing about this guy or where his heart is when he's not being swept up in a wave of hatred. Apparently the forces of evil were so strong that he proudly posted a photo of him verbally assaulting someone on his Facebook page. Maybe that's who he really is, I don't know. But the heinous amount of hate that keeps building and building and building which makes sad events like this possible has been weighing on my mind a lot lately. We, as a society, are far weaker finding our strength from fear and hatred than courage and mutual respect. But that's the way it is. I'm truly happy that justice was served here. I can only hope that it will result in some deep soul-searching that leads to reevaluation and a newfound kindness. But it could just as easily lead to an escalation of the hate that's already taken hold. And we just can't afford any more of that.

   
And there's yer bullets, pardner!

   

CAT WEEK 1: History

Posted on Monday, March 21st, 2016

Dave!Welcome to the first installment of CAT WEEK here at Blogography.

My first cat was a beautiful black cat that I named Midnight. He was incredibly sweet, but didn't have much personality. Any time not spent sleeping or eating was spent trying to be alone. He didn't really want to play or even hang out. So when he passed away, I wasn't compelled to get a replacement.

Forty-some-odd years later, I hadn't changed my mind. I still wasn't interested in having a feline companion. But then I ran across a starving cat that was hanging out at the old apartment complex where I was living, and fell in love with the little guy. I wasn't allowed to have pets, but I did my best to take care of him and "bent the rules" when I could to make sure he was kept safe and warm. I named him Spanky the Cat, and he was awesome...

Spanky Sits!

Spanky was a very social cat, and eventually moved on to a home where he could hang out with other cats. This was a heartbreaking turn of events after having cared for him for the past three years, but I was happy if he was happy.

When I decided to move out of my pet-restricted apartment to a new home, I knew that a new cat was in my future.

After getting settled once I'd moved a little over a month ago, I ended up with brother & sister kittens that I named Jake and Jenny...

Jenny & Jake

I haven't said much about them since then, so I decided to devote a week here at Blogography to get everybody caught up. Starting tomorrow...

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

CAT WEEK 2: Adoption

Posted on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

Dave!Neville and Ginny were two of three feral kittens brought into the Wenatchee Humane Society that I found on their website. They were in foster care until they were old enough to be spayed/neutered. When I went down to take a look at them they were on their way back surgery, but I was lucky enough to speak with the foster parents who were there waiting for them to see how things went. They were very kind to talk to me about the kittens and how terrific they were and how close they had become... and I knew that I would be adopting all three rather than breaking them up. But one of them was "on hold" so I ended up taking the brother and sister. The boy I knew I wanted to be named Jake. The girl I wanted to name Roger but, when I told my mother of my plan, she refused to let me name her thus, so I changed the "G-i" to a "J-e" so they have matchy brother-sister names. Jake and Jenny. Both had been through a lot and were very timid... not wanting to come out of the carrier. But when I put food out, Jake was an animal. Charging out to gobble down every bite in his bowl... and then he started in on his sister's food. I moved her bowl into the carrier where she thought about eating... but ultimately scampered to the back of the carrier to hide without taking a bite...

Jenny & Jake

I honestly didn't care what the cats I was adopting looked like. I actually like homely/odd looking animals that nobody else would want. Missing eye? Three legs? Ratty fur? Bring it! But these kittehs are adorable and perfect in that heart-melting way that makes me want to photograph them for sappy greeting cards. The fact that Jake looks a little bit like Spanky is just the icing on the cake.

Their first week was spent hiding under the couch, only coming out to eat.

Eventually they started staying out a bit more, but then I had a setback in cutting off Jenny's hospital collar (I was afraid she'd get it caught and choke to death) which sent them back under the couch for days.

I spent the second week attempting to socialize them a bit. They were still sleeping under the couch, but most of their day was spent exploring their new home.

As we entered their third week, I was able to spend extended time playing with Jake and Jenny without them freaking out. This led to more trust, which led to them spending most all of their time running around instead of hiding.

And that was my last update, which was a month ago...

   

KITTENS!

Now things are both very different and much the same.

Different in that they no longer run under the couch at the slightest provocation. It used to be when I so much as sneezed that they'd hide away for hours. Now I can be pounding nails into the walls and they'll come see what's happening. Even better, they've become brave enough to be crawling all over me...

But they're also the same in that they only want to be touched if it's on their terms. If you walk up and try to pet them, they're off like a shot.

Maybe. Possibly. Eventually... they'll come around and be a little more accepting, socially.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

CAT WEEK 3: Toys

Posted on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Dave!Jake is usually a very mellow cat. But if there's ONE THING that will set him off... it's Jenny trying to take his toys. Especially his lion or his monkey, both of which he refuses to share. If he sees her with one, he'll come tearing into the room and take it away. And if she tries to take it while he's playing with it? It's go time.

For quite a while, Jake was hiding his stuffed toys on top of the dining room table because Jenny couldn't figure out how to get up there...

Jake Lion

That lasted for two days when Jenny managed to figure it out.

Recently Jenny was playing with Jake's monkey. As expected, he ran up and took it from her as soon as he saw her with it. She chased him around for a while, but eventually gave up and found a blue mouse to play with...

Jake Teaser

Jake charged up and teased her with the monkey... then ran away. I'm guessing he was wanting her to chase her, because he did it four or five times...

Jake Teaser

Jenny was having none of it, so Jake gave up and left her to her blue mouse.

There's also an orange mouse and a green mouse. Jenny loves all of them...

Jenny Thrashin' a Toy Mouse

Jenny's favorite toy is a "cat dancer"... which is a fabric streamer attached to a plastic wand. She'll chase anything string-like, so this is right up her alley. Jake doesn't get the concept. He grabs ahold of the streamer and tries to take it away with him, not seeming to realize it's attached to a stick...

Kittens at Play

I tried getting them interested in cat games on an iPad, which was a lot of fun for them... but ultimately a bit frustrating, I think...

Kittens and an iPad

Of course, the toy that cats love best is the toy they can't have. Like my camera strap. If I take something like that away from Jenny, she'll just move on to something new. If I take it away from Jake though? He will scowl and glare at me for what seems like an eternity...

Jake is cowling

Still adorable.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

CAT WEEK 4: Food

Posted on Thursday, March 24th, 2016

Dave!I did a lot of research on what foods are best for cats and was surprised to see how passionate people get. After weighing all the opinions out there, I decided to formulate my own plan. I am focusing primarily on birds... chicken, duck, turkey... as it seems like that's closer to what cats actually eat when left to their own devices. I've never seen a cat take down a cow or lamb, so I'm avoiding those. Fish worries me because of all the mercury that's in seafood, so I'm feeding them fish sparingly. I am, of course, going grain-free... at least while I can afford to. I am also trying to minimize vegetables, since I've never seen a cat dig up a carrot and eat it. But an argument could be made that the animals they eat in "the wild" have vegetables in their stomaches, so I'm not militant about it. Purchasing food with minimum ingredients and carrageenan-free is pricier than I thought... and can be more difficult than I thought... but will hopefully be worth it in the end.

The wet vs. dry debate is insanely intense with vets landing on both sides of the fence. Wet is apparently better in some respects while dry is better for others (like keeping their teeth clean). I wanted to focus mainly on wet food and offer dry as a dessert but, as you'll see, that's not working out as planned.

The next step is trying to introduce some raw food into their diet. I really like the idea of making my own, but it seems to require a lot of trial and error (and an expensive grinder) to work... so I'll probably wait until they're older. Apparently going raw helps keep them out of the doctor's office to fix expensive health problems, which is always a goal.

Anyway...

I have the kittens on a strict feeding schedule (7:00, 12:30, 6:00) and they both know it. As breakfast approaches, they've taken to coming in my room each morning to act all starving...

Starving Kittens!

The first thing they get is a bowl of wet food. Which Jake attacks right away...

Hungry Jake!

I was told to feed kittens as much food as they will eat because they need lots of food for their growing bodies and will regulate their food intake on their own. But Jake doesn't seem to be doing that, even though he's as active as Jenny is. He LOVES to eat. And any invitation to eat guarantees he'll stick his face in the bowl for a chow-down. Guess he's the exception. Jake is growing noticeably bigger than Jenny, and I'm guessing it's because of his voracious appetite.

Jenny hems and haws about the wet food, but eventually relents and eats some because she knows after she eats some of it, I'll break out a plate of the dry food she loves so much.

At least she used to eat it.

Lately I noticed how her bowl would still be full after devouring the wet food.

After watching her for a while, I realized that she's not devouring it after all. She's just licking it to make me think she's eaten it so I'll bring out the dry food for dessert. The trickster!

She loves dry kibble so much that she often purrs while eating it!

Fortunately, Jenny drinks plenty of water throughout the day to compensate for her diet of mostly dry food...

Jenny Drinks Water!

Though sometimes how she drinks it is a bit... odd...?

Jenny Drinks Water!

You have to be careful any time Jake's around, as he'll chow down on any food that he can get his paws on. The scavenger!

Jake Loves Potato Chips!

In an attempt to offer a healthy snacking alternative, I grew some cat grass!

Jenny in the Cat Grass!

They both like nibbling on it throughout the day... though I don't know how much they're actually eating. Most of the time it looks like they're just playing with it.

Next step? Going to continue researching raw food. Not only is it supposed to be the healthiest way for cats to eat... it's supposed to cut down on the heinous smell of their poops, which would be a nice bonus.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

CAT WEEK 5: Siblings

Posted on Friday, March 25th, 2016

Dave!Jake and Jenny have been inseparable since they came home with me. They eat together, sleep together, groom together, and play together. In the rare occasion that they get separated and one of them realizes it, they'll start walking around looking for their sibling... squeaking in despair. If it goes on too long, they'll get more frantic and vocal, which means I usually have to start looking for them too.

Jake and Jenny Kittens!

Jake and Jenny Kittens!

Jake and Jenny Kittens!

Jake and Jenny Kittens!

Jake and Jenny Kittens!

Jake and Jenny Kittens!

Jake and Jenny Kittens!

Jake is such a good brother. I think Jenny has bad dreams from time to time, as she'll wake with a start and seems troubled. When this happens, more often than not she'll hop up on Jake's perch and snuggle up next to him, then go back to sleep. No matter how irritating it is, Jake never kicks her out or leaves. He'll shift position if he has to... often several times... then try to go back to sleep... but he doesn't abandon her...

Jake and Jenny Kittens!

As entertaining as the kittens are to me... I'm even happier that they are so entertaining to each other.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

CAT WEEK 6: Caturday

Posted on Saturday, March 26th, 2016

Dave!Wrapping up Cat Week with some random kitty pictures on Caturday...

BASK IN THE ADORABLE!!

Jake and Jenny Kittens!
At first I tried keeping them off the dining room table... but it seems kind of cruel. Because they're so tiny, they can't see interesting stuff going on from floor level. One more thing to add to my morning disinfection routine.

   
Jake and Jenny Kittens!
For having started out so afraid and shy, they sure are brave and adventurous now! Anything new is cause for investigation... which means I never have to be alone when assembling IKEA again.

   
Jake and Jenny Kittens!
At first I was terrified that the kittens would somehow knock my beautiful new television off the wall, but after a few tries at interacting with the picture, they gave up. I guess that's what happens when Chris Hardwick doesn't high-five back.

   
Jake and Jenny Kittens!
You would think that this is an invitation to rub her belly. You would be wrong.

   
Jake and Jenny Kittens!
Just when you think that they couldn't possibly do something to be more adorable than they are...

   
Jake and Jenny Kittens!
...they prove you wrong.

   
Jake and Jenny Kittens!
Sleeping is their most favorite pastime. They nap after breakfast, after lunch, and after dinner... then sleep through the night. Thank heavens.

   
Jake and Jenny Kittens!
Compact kittens are the best kittens.

   
Jake and Jenny Kittens!
Jenny's favorite spot is the window sill. She can stare outside for a half-hour or more and not get bored.

   
Jake and Jenny Kittens!
Jake just wants outside. Guess it's time to build that catio...

And that's it for Cat Week. But don't despair, you'll probably be getting another one soon.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 468

Posted on Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Dave!Ignore that Easter Bunny, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Gary. Gary Shandling passed away, and I'm more than a little sad about that. There's been some great tributes by his fellow comedians, my favorite being from Jimmy Fallon when he sang It's Gary Shandling's Show theme song on The Tonight Show... I was surprised that I still remembered all the words...

You will be missed, sir.

   
• FREE! I've used the Nik filters for years. They're amazingly useful and powerful tools that were eventually purchased by Google. And now they're FREE! If you are a Photoshop or Lightroom user, run... don't walk... and click right here to get 'em. The only sad thing is that this is probably the end of development for the set.

   
• Jailed. Sorry... but I'm kinda siding with North Korea on this one. If you are so stupid as to not familiarize yourself with the laws and customs of a country before stepping foot on their soil, then you get what you deserve. The guy even tried to conceal his identity by wearing a hoodie... so don't tell me he didn't know what he was doing was wrong. I mean, holy crap, this is NORTH KOREA... the entire country is a human rights violation, and their history is replete with examples of even the tiniest offense resulting in harsh punishment. This was no accident that landed him in jail, it was intentional violation of their laws. Pity he didn't seem to grasp the consequences for his actions but, again, not North Korea's fault that he's an idiot.

This reminds me of the stupidest fucking movie I've ever seen called Born American where some drunken frat boys cross over into The Soviet Union on a goof during The Cold War. As the consequences of their actions escalate and a small town is decimated while the Soviet army is after them... they, of course, end up captured. And the whole movie is them whining about their horrible treatment and how they don't deserve it because THEY'RE AMERICAN, DAMMIT! Never mind the damage, death, and destruction they caused... BECAUSE: AMERICAN!!!

Well fuck you. All the dumbasses like this do when being dumbasses is make it more difficult (and more risky) for other American travelers who DO follow the rules and customs and want to travel abroad. And here we are, once again reinforcing the "Ugly American" stereotype we so richly deserve. And now I'm supposed to feel sympathy for you because you're a moron? Oh do go on. Do I feel sorry for the friends and family who will miss and worry about this tool? Of course I do. I feel sorry they came to care about somebody who ended up being dumber than a box of rocks.

   
• Balls. Well. This is new. Woke up to the cats grabbing their spongey ball, taking it up the stairs, then pushing it off so they can chase it down the stairs... over and over and over and over and over and over again. They are still doing it an hour later...

   
• Easter. I thought I'd be all cute and give the cats an Easter Bunny for Easter Sunday. Set it next to Jenny while she was sleeping. She woke up and was so freaked out that she grabbed it, drug it upstairs, then ran back to her perch and fell back asleep...

Jake and Jenny Kittens!

Jake and Jenny Kittens!

   
• Thanks. To all the wonderful people who posted birthday wishes on the 24th, THANK YOU. I am truly blessed to have friends that would take the time to say such wonderful things as I inch ever-closer to death. It would be better to have friends that would take the time to send money, but I am grateful just the same. Love you guys. Love you guys and your cheap, cheap hearts.

   
Enjoy those eggs, everybody!

   

Stuff I Bought Week: Scatmat and Ssscat

Posted on Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

Dave!The thing about cats is... they're cats.

Cats... and especially the two kittens I have... are curious by nature, and want to get into anything and everything they can. They're always looking for adventure, which can be problematic when it comes to keeping them safe.

If there's one room I don't want them adventuring in, it's the kitchen. Too many opportunities for them to get into trouble once they're able to jump high enough to get on the countertops. Also... that's where the front door is, and I don't want them running out into the street.

The first thing I tried was putting "Scat Mats" in front of both entrances. These are plastic sheets with conductive wires running through it. They're hooked up to a battery and deliver a small shock when your pet (or you!) make contact with two wires...

Scat Mat!

The mats seem to work as advertised. It just took a few attempts before Jake and Jenny stopped trying to go into the kitchen. When I make their breakfast in the morning, they stop short of entering and wait patiently.

At least they did.

Maybe my cats are geniuses or something, but they just started jumping over the mat on day three...

So...

Not the best solution for keeping cats out of a room. Probably works great for keeping cats off of something though. If that's what you're after, then they might be worth picking up. The only thing that really bothered me with the product (other than them not working for my intended purpose) was that they tell you to store your mat rolled up... but it arrives folded. Which puts big-ass creases in it. They say you can use a hairdryer to smooth them out, but not even an industrial hairdryer would remove mine (as you can see in the above video). Kind of stupid they don't come rolled, as suggested in the instruction book!

After the failure of Scat Mat, I turned to another solution... Ssscat!

This is a can of compressed air with a motion sensor on top. When something triggers the motion detector, it releases a blast of air that scares any cats (or humans) who come within range...

Ssscat!

It's a great idea.

Except mine doesn't work.

Even with two changes of fresh batteries, it doesn't activate when you get near it as it should. Sometimes it will go off with motion, but there's no rhyme or reason to it and it's worthless 99% of the time. I don't know if I got a bad one or what, but it's an even worse failure than the Scat Mat.

Oh well.

Hopefully a solution will come along that actually works.

Until then, there's always "NO!"

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016, StuffClick To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Stuff I Bought Week: casa pura Stair Treads

Posted on Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Dave!For decades I've been vowing that if I were to ever get my own place, I would never have carpeting again.

This was only confirmed when I pulled out the carpeting in my new home only to find that massive amounts of dirt were sitting beneath... belying the clean appearance of the carpet from above. It's pretty heinous... even if you're got a power vacuum like a Dyson.

Anyway...

The problem with hardwood is that it makes for some slippery stairs... especially if you have kittens that struggle to climb them and need something to grab onto. This means buying some stair treads, which is easier said than done, as there are a number of hurdles to overcome. First of all, decent stair treads are really expensive. I've seen them as high as $50... per stair! Second of all, I am picky in that I want something which blends in with my flooring as much as possible... but still stands out enough so people know they're there. Since I couldn't find them local, I had to best-guess while shopping online, which is always dangerous as the color you see on your display rarely matches reality.

Amazon here I come.

There were a few options that caught my eye, but the one that really stood out was the treads by casapura...

  • Most important, the "chocolate brown" color looked to be a good match from what I could tell in the photo.
  • There were 15 treads... exactly the number I needed... when most sets only had 13 (I only have to order one set!). As a bonus, you also get a mat!
  • The reviews were really good.
  • They had a "London" design which was rounded to show off more of the wood, which I liked much, much better than big rectangles that covered everything.
  • They were among the cheapest treads available... just $89!... which meant I wouldn't be out too much money if I didn't like them.

So I ordered them with my expectations kept in check.

Imagine my surprise when I opened the box and found that they were absolutely perfect. The quality. The color. The shape. The size. Everything. They look far more expensive than $89, and work perfectly for my kittens to navigate the stairs safely...

   
Jake and Jenny kittens on casa pura stair treads!

If I have one complaint, it's that quite a few treads didn't have the pattern perpendicular to the edge. It's not hugely noticeable, but for somebody ADD like me, it does drive you a little crazy. Other than that, I'm very happy with the casa pura stair treads... and even happier that I only had to pay $89 for them.

When it comes to installation, it's pretty straight-forward. There are adhesive strips on the back which keep the tread securely positioned. Some people in their Amazon reviews complained that it wasn't strong enough, but mine have been holding just great. I was sure to carefully clean and dry each step to get the best adhesion, so maybe that's all it takes. I did remove a tread to see if it comes off cleanly, and it did, but I don't know if that changes over time.

A helpful hint: After measuring my treads and stairs, I found that they centered with 4-1/2" gaps on each side. In order to make sure they all lined up perfectly, I found a small box that was 4-1/2" wide to set them against...

   
casa pura stair tread installation.

This made installation a snap.

You can find the casa pura treads over at Amazon... though, ironically enough, the "chocolate brown" color I purchased is no longer listed.

   

Caturday 1

Posted on Saturday, April 9th, 2016

Dave!Now that I have awesome cats, I take a lot of awesome photos.

Rather than post them every day, I'll wait until "Caturday" rolls around and see if I have anything worth posting.

This week, I do. Lucky you!

Jake and Jenny spend a lot of time wanting to go outside...

Jake and Jenny Kittens!

Jake and Jenny Kittens!

Jake and Jenny Kittens!

Jake and Jenny Kittens!

It's not worth the worry and the risk to me, so I've decided not to let them out.

Kinda.

I'm drawing up plans for a "catio" enclosure so they can get a little taste of what it's like to be outdoors...

Catio Plans!

I just need to find the time to build it.

It's going to be a lot of time and money I don't have, but I think the kitties are worth it...

Jake and Jenny Kittens!

Jake and Jenny Kittens!

Jake and Jenny Kittens!

Yeah. Definitely worth it.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016, Photography 2016Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Mornings

Posted on Monday, April 18th, 2016

Dave!I've never given much thought to being "a morning person." Since I am constantly battling insomnia and am already awake well before it's time to get up, there's nothing much to think about. Would I like to stay in bed all day watching TV and surfing the internet? Sure. Is it sometimes difficult to get motivated to face the day? Of course. But getting up at the ass-crack of dawn is no big deal to me. Which, I'm told, makes me a "morning person."

And I suppose that's even more true now that I have cats.

Kittens are supposed to be fed 3 or 4 times a day so that they have all the food and energy they need to grow up healthy and strong. I settled on 3 times a day out of necessity (I only get one lunch hour!) and that seems to be working just fine because Jake and Jenny are growing up alarmingly fast.

The trick to making a feeding schedule work is to stick to it like glue. Which means feeding the little monsters promptly at 7:00am, 12:30pm, and 6:00pm. Which, for me, is Before Work, Lunch Hour, and After Work.

That first feeding is a routine that the cats are very much accustomed to, and deviating from it is tantamount to The Apocalypse. It goes something like this:

  • 6:50am — iPhone Alarm Goes Off. This is not to wake me up... I've been up since 4:00-4:30... but to remind me that the kitties need to be fed, and I should put away my work and get moving.
  • 6:52am — Bathroom Break. Everybody poops. Even me.
  • 6:57am — Open the Bathroom Door. Once Jake and Jenny hear the toilet flush, they haul their fuzzy little asses up the stairs as fast as they can so they are waiting for me as I open the door. Then I usually get them all hyped up by saying "Who's ready for breakfast? Should we get some breakfast? Come on, let's go get breakfast!" And we'll all go tearing back down the stairs so I can dish out their wet food.
  • 7:00am — Breakfast! Jake devours his bowl. Jenny licks hers... maybe taking a bite or three if she's really hungry. At this point, I usually go back to my bedroom so I can finish up whatever I was working on when the alarm went off.
  • 7:20am — FEED US! Since Jenny doesn't like wet food very much, I always serve her up some dry food a half hour later. Jake, being Jake, will join in eating her dry food and polish off the wet food she didn't eat. Because of that, he's just as excited for 7:30 to come around as she is. Which means they start hanging out on my bed around 7:20 waiting for me to come back down and give them dessert. Many times I've looked up from my computer to see them just laying there staring at me...

Kitties Say FEED US!

Kitties Say FEED US!

  • 7:30am — Crunchy Time! As soon as I notice that 7:30-ish has rolled around, I start getting the cats hyped up... "What time is it? Is it crunchy time? It is! It's crunchy time!" Which has them going out of their minds as they hop around the room and tear downstairs at top speed.

Then I get ready for work and am out the door.

On those rare mornings where I am slow to get out of bed... usually because I'm in the middle of composing an email or something... the cats will come get me if it strays too far past 7:00am. Usually they'll make their food demands known in as passive-aggressive way possible... like flopping themselves on the floor and staring at me...

Kitties Say FEED US!

If that doesn't work, they'll climb up on the bed and start chewing on my toes or something.

Which is fine. I deserve that if I'm getting off schedule.

I'm a morning person after all.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016, DaveLife 2016Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Suess!

Posted on Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Dave!Can you believe it? They make Dr. Suess cat toys!

As a huge, huge, massively huge Dr. Suess fan, this was big news. They had all kinds of toys, but I gravitated towards Mouse Thing 1 and Mouse Thing 2...


Dr. Suess cat toys!

   
They're super-cool, and the cats seem to like 'em...

   
I'll definitely be buying the Cat in the Hat cat charmer and Mouse in the Cat in the Hat next trip to Petco. Great job to whomever came up with this genius bit of cross-marketing!

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 2

Posted on Saturday, April 30th, 2016

Dave!So there I was... reading through some work at 11:10pm... when I heard a commotion going on downstairs. Not knowing what the cats might have gotten into, I go running to see if anybody is hurt or in danger or whatever.

But when I get downstairs, both cats are lounging on the couch doing nothing at all.

It didn't sound like your typical chase around the house, so I was genuinely curious to know what in the heck was going on. Luckily, I have security cameras everywhere, so it was a piece of cake to go back in time and take a look...

Okay... there's Jake... looking out the window. Jenny is on the right but obscured by the coffee table...

The Visitor!

WHEN ALL OF A SUDDEN...

The Visitor!

GAH! It's that big black & white cat that wanders around! I'd shit my pants and run away too if he popped up in my window!

The Visitor!

Note that Jenny didn't move. I'm pretty sure she could take him.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Behavior

Posted on Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Dave! As it should come as no surprise to anybody, cats are weird.

My cats Jake and Jenny seem weirder than most, as they do inexplicably crazy crap a dozen times a day. And while it's impossible to know exactly what is going on in that fuzzy little head of theirs, TED has released a video which attempts to explain some of what's going on...

I dunno. That just makes cats even weirder to me.

And because I just can't get enough TED, here's another video that's worth a watch...

And now I'm feeling sick. THANKS, TED!

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Surgery

Posted on Friday, May 6th, 2016

Dave!Sigh.

Every since I got an infection after an accident in the Costa Rican rainforest, I've been plagued with problems with my eyes. My vision goes blurry. My eyelids develop cysts. I experience shooting pain. They get tired easily. It's just a parade of misery that won't go away. And this past week I developed more cysts that my body couldn't eliminate, so say hello to my fifth surgery on my eyelids.

The surgery itself is fairly simple. They shoot hideously painful drugs into your lid to numb things down. They put a metal clip in your eye. They flip your lid. They slice it open. They cut the offending material out. They stitch you up. They unclamp your eye. They put a patch on you. You drive home.

Not entirely horrible, so far as things go, but irritating. I was completely wiped out when I got home and went straight to bed. Jake, who was apparently glad to see me, gave me mad hugs...

Jake Kitty Hugs

He was a little freaked about the appearance of my eye, however...

Dave Eyes

And the reason I knew this is that I looked up once he changed position and saw him doing this with his eye...

Jake Eye Twitch

And lest you think Jenny wasn't supportive... she took over when I moved to the couch. Like Jake, the freaky appearance of my eye was something she had to investigate...

Jake Eye Twitch

It's nice to have cats to help(?) with the recovery process.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016, DaveLife 2016Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 3

Posted on Saturday, May 7th, 2016

Dave!When last we left Jake and Jenny, little Jake was being cruised by a horny lady-cat in heat in the middle of the night. She runs into the windows. She rolls around on the patio. She meows and hollers. Jake finds it amusing but, having been neutered, wants nothing to do with it. So as to not encourage whores on my patio, I've been closing the blinds at night.

In addition to the nightly display of eroticism, there's been a rather big breakthrough with Jenny.

Since I first got her months ago, she has refused to be touched. At first she would hiss at you in total fear if you even attempted it. Later she would just dodge you and run away. It's been terribly frustrating, especially since Jake has warmed up to the idea of being petted. He loves belly rubs...

Jake Belly Rubs

He especially likes my mom, and will throw himself in her path to get a belly rub from her...

Jake Belly Rubs

But not Jenny.

The only time I've been able to even touch her is while she's distracted eating. Any other time has been exceedingly rare, even when she's snuggled up on me watching television.

Then one day I'm finishing up some emails so I can take my mom to dinner. I look over and nearly fall off the couch when I see she's sitting there petting Jenny... and had been for ten minutes!

And that was that.

Now Jenny is crawling all over me to get petted. And if my laptop is in the way, she'll roll around on the coffee table until you pay attention to her...

If you turn up the sound, you can hear her purring away like an engine. It's as if she's never had a problem being touched at all.

In other cat news, Jake has gotten too fat for the window sill. He still likes to sploot (lay down with his legs flopped out), which is impossible in such a narrow space. So I built him a ledge to lay on...

Kitty Window Ledge

Kitty Window Ledge

As you can tell, Jenny likes it too. Which means I should probably build another one for the other side. Especially since they use it to hunt flies that end up in the window...

Kitty Window Ledge

Other than that, they're inseparable as ever...

Kitty Window Ledge

See you next Caturday!

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Fostering!

Posted on Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Dave!When I was contemplating adopting Jake and Jenny (and their brother Nick), I was able to speak with their foster parents, who were at The Humane Society waiting for the kittens to come back from surgery. After hearing what great cats they were, I didn't even wait until I could see them in person... I filled out the papers and paid the fee while I was waiting for them to come back.

Today the kittens' foster parents dropped by to see them 4-1/2 months later.

Unfortunately, Jake and Jenny decided to hide under the couch most of the time... Jenny doesn't seem to like strangers, and Jake follows her lead most of the time... which was a bummer, but it was still a wonderful visit because they were kind enough to share some early photos and videos of the kittens when they were fostering them.

Here they are on Day One...

Baby Kitties

Seeing how inseparable they were, it makes me even more sad that I didn't know I could "reserve" the kittens so I could have kept them all together...

Baby Kitties

Baby Kitties

Hopefully little Nick is happy and healthy in his new home.

Anyway...

Apparently Jenny, who purrs like a diesel engine for any reason at all, but especially when you pet her... has always done that...

   Jake may look quite a bit different now, but he acts exactly the same as he did when he was a kitten...

I swear I have videos of him now that are practically the same as this. He still loves to play with stuffed animals just like that!

Hopefully the kittens' foster parents will be able to come back again when the kids are feeling a bit more sociable. It's great that they are so wonderful and caring as to take in kittens before they can be adopted. That can't be easy work, and yet their hearts are big enough to make it happen.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 4

Posted on Saturday, May 14th, 2016

Dave!And here's yet another random sampling of cat-related incidents to occupy your Saturday...

Both Jake and Jenny are getting more angular and "feline-looking" as they get older. It's especially apparent with Jake and the dark shading he has around his nose...

Caturday Cat!

Caturday Cat!

   
Jenny continues to have bad dreams from time to time, whic always results in snuggling with her brother. This time he actually put his arm around her...

Caturday Cat!

Which she appreciates...

Caturday Cat!

   
They usually sleep on their Kitty Condo Tree, but a couple times a week they sleep on my bed...

Caturday Cat!

   
Jenny's biggest struggle each day is deciding whether or not to ambush her brother...

Caturday Cat!

Caturday Cat!

And... she did.

   
And, oh yeah, the kitty whores in heat are still dropping by...

Caturday Cat!

Caturday Cat!

Jake always seems to enjoy the show.

   
And that wraps up another Caturday!

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Shelf

Posted on Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Dave!The cats want to be fed around 5:00-5:30... well before their 7:00am feeding time... and to show their displeasure with my insistence of starving them to death for an hour or two, they will hang out in my bedroom until I haul my ass out of bed and make them their breakfast.

I'm usually up around 4:00-4:30 working, so this doesn't bother me in the least. But, as Summer comes and more and more birds make their way to my neck of the woods, it's gotten more and more irritating. Because Jake and Jenny see the birds out the window, but the window sill is too narrow for them to jump onto from the bed. So instead they sit there and cry or chatter at the birds they can't see too well...

A couple days ago I decided to remedy this by getting a cat shelf at Petco. I would have made one (like I did for the living room window) but I just don't have the time. It seemed a bit pricey at $29, but it works. Jenny took to it right away, while Jake was a bit wary...

Kitten Shelf

But he finally came around yesterday afternoon...

Kitten Shelf

Good thing it's big enough for two... kinda. Jake's fuzzy butt usually hangs off a bit when they're both up there. Now they spend their mornings bird-watching instead of driving me crazy. Perhaps $29 wasn't too much to pay after all.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 5

Posted on Saturday, May 21st, 2016

Dave!For the past month or so, I've noticed that Jake and Jenny occasionally gets so wrapped up in something out the window that their jaws start shaking. For the longest time I've been terrified that it's a prelude to epilepsy or something equally terrible, but have been ignoring it for my own sanity. Recently Jake did it again and it freaked me out so bad that I took to Google to see what might be wrong with him...

...and found out it's perfectly normal when some cats get excited about possible prey.

   
When I'm not available to give Jake a belly rub, Jenny steps in...

Kitties!

   
Now that I'm switching from thrice a day to twice a day feedings, I thought I'd move breakfast from 6:30 to 7:30. But it's impossible to resist the kitties when they come in at 6:45 and demand food. And by "demand" I mean "be so adorable that I just can't stand to deny them anything."

Kitties!

   
Now that Jenny has decided she likes to be petted, she's been running to greet me whenever I return home...

Kitties!

It's the best part of my day!

   
When I'm laying on the couch working, Jenny has been laying on the floor next to me. I put a kitty bed near me against the wall because I was worried I'd forget she was there and step on her. Worked like a charm three days running!

Kitties!

   
And... somebody is reminding me to take a break from blogging...

Kitties!

   
Until next Caturday...

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Toys!

Posted on Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

Dave!So... a really good day to be one of my cats.

Long-time blogging friends Poppy and Dawg sent a Kitty Care Package for Jake and Jenny that came filled with all kinds of stuff they quickly became obsessed with...


Kitty Toys from Poppy and Dawg!

Kitty Toys from Poppy and Dawg!

Kitty Toys from Poppy and Dawg!

Kitty Toys from Poppy and Dawg!

Kitty Toys from Poppy and Dawg!

Kitty Toys from Poppy and Dawg!

Kitty Toys from Poppy and Dawg!

Kitty Toys from Poppy and Dawg!

Kitty Toys from Poppy and Dawg!

Kitty Toys from Poppy and Dawg!

Jenny is especially obsessed with the soft rainbow toy...

And, no surprise, Jake has laid claim to the Crunchy Monkey stuffed toy (he loves stuffed animals!)...

   
Thanks so much to Poppy and Dawg for making my cats' week!

Tags: ,
Categories: Blogging 2016, Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

CATBUTT!

Posted on Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Dave!Okay then... three days in a row... I guess it's become a routine. Every morning Jenny will present me with her morning kill (in the form of a toy), meow a couple times, proceed to crawl all over me for pets until she's sufficiently purry, then start waving her butt in my face when she's tired of my not getting up and unleashing the food bag...

Jenny the Cat!

Jenny the Cat!

And here I thought waking up with a dead hooker in your bed was the worst way to start your day... I think cat butt has it beat.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 6

Posted on Saturday, May 28th, 2016

Dave!Jenny and Jake are still crazy about the big box of toys that Poppy and Dawg sent them.

A surprise hit has been Cat Crazies. They're kinda like the rings on a plastic milk jug... but with waves and ridges that the kitties can grab onto and cart around in their mouths...


Cat Crazies

Cat Crazies

Cat Crazies

Cat Crazies

   
Pretty much how I wake up every morning...

   

The two kitty whores in heat are still putting on performances for Jake most nights...

Cat Whores in Heat

Cat Whores in Heat

I wonder how long cats stay in heat? This is getting a little crazy.

   
Until next Caturday...

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Tribute

Posted on Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Dave!For those who were asking... yes... Jenny still brings me a "kill" every morning in exchange for me making her breakfast. Every. Morning.

If I'm asleep, she drops it on my chest. If I'm awake, she drops it on the floor and announces it with some meowing. It's usually something different every day. This morning it was Tan Mouse...

Jenny and Tan Mouse

She's so adorable when she's demanding food.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 478

Posted on Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

Dave!Worried about missing out on a whole month of Dave's life? Well don't be, because an all new SPECIAL CATCH-UP EDITION of Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• MY HEALTH. The bill for my first eye surgery arrived. Thank heavens my deductible is so huge... I was worried I wouldn't find anything to do with these piles of cash I've got laying around. The good news is that my eye seems to be doing okay now. The only remaining damage is a bump from where the anesthesia was injected into my eyelid. Hopefully it will disappear in time.

   
• MY DIET. I've inexplicably become a milk drinker again. I haven't had a glass in years, but recently had one with a slice of chocolate cake and fell in love with the stuff. I no longer have to worry about my milk expiring... which is cool because even though non-fat lasts forever, I was regularly having to throw it out.

Bad Monkey Lovs Milk

   
• MY DISCOVERY. Laughing Cow cheese has never been a favorite even though I love spreadable cheeses. But recently they came out with an Asiago-flavored version that's just fantastic. I eat the stuff piled on Ritz Crackers constantly...

Laughing Cow Creamy Asiago Cheese Spread

Laughing Cow Spicy Pepper Jack is worth a taste as well.

   
• MY SHOPPING. For much of my life, I've not been an antique fan. Why by old stuff when you can get brand new stuff that's cooler? My view has softened since renovating my guest room, so now I actually stop by antique shops from time to time. Which lead to my paying $28 for this cookie jar...

Cookey Cookie Jar

...and let me tell you why. 1) The bear looks like Ted! 2) Whomever made this didn't fire it properly, so it's sagging on one side and it looks like he's falling over drunk . 3) The lid is also misshapened, so it doesn't really fit the jar. 4) They misspelled "cookie" as "cookey" which is frickin' adorable. 5) It looks awesome next to my gelato machine! How many more reasons did I need? I was forced to buy it! Antiques FTW!

   
• MY SCHEDULE. My cats have turned me into a morning person. I now do my grocery shopping at 7am?...

Shopping Cart

Oh well. The nice thing is that the store is a ghost town that time of day.

   
• MY CATS. They're still adorable. Still wonderful. And I still love having them around. Such amazing animals...

Jake Sleeping Like Only Jake Can

Jenny Being Her Adorable Self

Don't know how I managed without them.

   
• MY DISAPPOINTMENT. I skipped seeing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in the theater but finally caught the "Ultimate Edition" on digital. My thoughts are below, but beware of SPOILERS for Captain America: Civil War (yes, you read that right)...

The Horror That Is S v B

At the end of Captain America: Civil War where Bucky and Cap have beat down Iron Man and are walking away, Tony Stark says "That shield doesn't belong to you! My father made it!" and it's just crushing because of Robert Downey Jr.'s performance. You can feel that Tony is trying to stay proud in the face of defeat, but his heart is breaking on two levels, so there's a tremor in his voice. At that moment... when you are made to feel in the middle of a funny book film... you know that Marvel has completely figured it out. They put the humanity into their cinematic characters in a way that transcends the genre.

Which is why watching Batman v Superman was such a horrendous fucking ordeal. Zack Snyder thinks that taking everything dark and brooding is what adds character to the characters, but he's missing the target so badly as to be... comical. Heaping artificial drama on characters again and again and again just distracts from whatever humanity they might have. It buries it. He has zero sense of what makes a comic book movie reach past the funny books, and that's a huge problem for DC. Their movies are just dark, boring, artificial piles of shit that don't make you *feel* anything. It's the disaster-porn school of filmmaking and people are tired of it. They've seen it all before. Many, many times.

Between DC and Marvel, the one who has the most potential and the easiest road to completely slaying the genre is DC Comics. Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are the most beloved and recognizable super-heroes in existence. Everything else pales by comparison. And yet by hiring a hack like Zack Snyder to helm their films... somebody who could give a fuck about the source material and changes things just because he can... somebody who doesn't want to bring Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman to the screen, but his "vision" of them... it doesn't matter. You go to a film called Superman v Batman expecting to see Superman and Batman... but they're not there. It's just Zack Snyder shit piled on something that vaguely resembles them.

I hated this movie even worse than Man of Steel, if that's even possible. Add another F- to my "Y2K Super-Hero Comic Book Renaissance" scorecard

   
• MY ENTERTAINMENT. Was thrilled beyond all reason that Mark Millar and Frank Quitely's Jupiter's Legacy: Volume 2 has finally, at long last, been started up...

Jupiter's Legacy 2 Cover

This is my favorite comic book series in a long, long time. Apparently they are already working up a movie... here's hoping they get somebody better than Zack Snyder to helm it.

   
And... that's all the catch-up bullets we have today.

   

Cat Catchup: Kittens

Posted on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

Dave!It's tough coming back from my self-imposed blog sabbatical and know what to talk about. Much of what took me away from blogging is a personal matter and won't be discussed here. Sure, there were other things going on, but it's all become a blur that I'm probably better off not revisiting. There are exceptions, however.

The biggest one being my cats, so let's get caught up on that in PART ONE of a THREE PART SERIES, shall we?

First of all, they're doing great. Jenny has become a pretty, petite young lady...

Jenny!

Jenny!

And Jake... well... Jake is still Jake, just a little more grown up...

Jake!

Jake!

He still spends a lot of time laying spread eagle for some reason...

Jake!

Jake!

The siblings still adore each other...

Jake and Jenny!

And do most everything together...

Jake and Jenny!

Jake and Jenny!

Even more important than that, they have become more and more comfortable hanging out with me. At one time I was afraid they'd never even let me touch them... now they've turned into cuddle buddies that can't get enough petting...

Jake!

Jenny!

Jake!

Jenny!

Jake!

Rescuing two feral kittens has turned out to be one of the best things I've ever done. I love them more than I could love just about anything.

Now if I can just keep away from the Humane Society so I avoid adopting ten more of them.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016, DaveLife 2016Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Cat Catchup: Catio

Posted on Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Dave!Hey! This is PART TWO of THREE PARTS updating everybody about my cats.

Way back in April, I mentioned that I was planning on building a "catio" (cat patio enclosure) so Jake and Jenny could go outside while still being safe. My original intent was to design and build it myself, but work got so busy that I ended up hiring a contractor to build the exterior part plans I made, then I could build the interior pieces myself as time permitted..

Catio Building

Catio Plans!

Catio Building

After a few days, it was time to unleash the kittehs!

Catio Building

Catio Building

Catio Building

The cat outside is named "Fake Jake." That's because when my brother was cat-sitting, he thought she was Jake and brought her inside. Hilarity ensued. Fake Jake is kind of crazy-aggressive, and likes to terrorize my cats from time to time...

Fake Jake Terror!

Fake Jake Terror!

Fake Jake Terror!

The contractor ended up putting in four window panels instead of the three I had drawn up in my plans for some reason. This meant having to change my concept for the inside shelves, but it all worked out in the end. I made them to have removable panels so I could use heat-trapping rubber-backed mats in winter to keep them warm... and a mesh floor in summer to keep them cool...

Catio Building

Catio Building

Catio Building

Going from three panel windows to four meant that I didn't have room for a ramp to the top shelf. Instead I devised a narrow "catwalk" that would allow Jake and Jenny to navigate the upper-level and have a shelf to be able to see out of the narrow end...

Catio Building

Catio Building

The finished shelving...

Catio Building

Pretty nifty, huh? Needless to say... a ton of work. But a good project for a novice woodworker because I learned a lot. I also discovered the joys of owning a pneumatic brad nailer, which is about the handiest thing for light construction projects you can imagine.

But the best part of it all?

The cats love their catio.

They are out there all the time...

Catio Building

Catio Building

In the Spring I'll start PHASE 2 of construction, which includes adding a ramp next to the house... adding a log climber in the narrow end... adding a cat-ladder on the opposite narrow end... putting in a cat grass tray... and tiling the floor.

Something fun to look forward to!

And About Those Cubs...

When the Red Sox finally broke their "curse" in 2004, I was on a cruise ship. I was wearing my Boston jersey the whole time, and kept running into a couple who were also wearing Red Sox jerseys... we'd give a "GO BOSTON" wave whenever we passed. The final game of the series was a "sea day" and I remember sitting in a bar on the starboard side of the ship watching the game. When the Red Sox won, I let out a yell and heard another yell coming from the port side. I ran to the banister to look across, and the couple I kept running into did the same. We were yelling across the ship and waving our arms like crazy people. Heck, we WERE crazy people. It was kind of a special way to celebrate a win that some Red Sox fans had waited 86 years... a lifetime, really... to see. So, if it couldn't be Boston, I'm happy for the Cubbies winning the World Series after waiting 108 years! Congrats to the team and all their fans!

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016, DaveLife 2016Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Cat Catchup: Automated

Posted on Friday, November 4th, 2016

Dave!Hey! This is PART THREE of THREE PARTS updating everybody about my cats.

While I love Jake and Jenny and wouldn't trade them for the world, there's one small problem that becomes a big problem when it comes to them allowing me to have them live with me. And that would be when I'm not at home. Travel is something I cannot avoid, which means there are stretches of time that food won't be put out and litter boxes won't be cleaned.

The easiest solution is to have a friend or neighbor drop by twice a day to take care of things. But it's kind of a burdensome thing to have to ask somebody. And so I went looking for automated solutions that would cover me for short trips away. Longer trips would still require a cat-sitter, but those are far and few between.

IMPORTANT UPDATE! AS OF OCTOBER 1, 2018, FEED-AND-GO HAS CEASED OPERATIONS. THEIR CLOUD SERVICES HAVE BEEN SHUT OFF. THESE FEEDERS NO LONGER WORK! Bad enough that the company had to close AND shut down their servers, rendering the feeders useless. But it's reprehensible that they didn't bother to notify their customers... or keep their website up with a message to warn their customers... or push out an app update which warns their customers. Because otherwise there is NO WAY TO KNOW that the cloud service has been shuttered. The blue network light on the units still glows blue! Luckily I test the units every time I haul them out, otherwise my cats wouldn't have been fed FOR THREE DAYS. What a bunch of pig-fuckers. They are perfectly content to let YOUR PET STARVE rather than warn you their product no longer works. I can only hope that some genius electronics expert out there will come up with a circuit board replacement that will allow the feeder to be programmed directly, instead of relying on a cloud service that's been shut down.

The first thing I looked at was an automated feeder.

There are "gravity feeders" that are basically a never-ending buffet of food that keeps replenishing itself until it runs out of kibble. This would be problematic for Jake, because he would eat and eat and eat all day long. They also have gravity feeders that are portion-controlled and timer-driven... but when I bought one for Spanky at my old place, it would clog up and a neighbor had to keep checking on it. I wanted something that wouldn't jam and also allow me to verify that the feeding took place.

Enter the Feed-and-Go automated, web-enabled pet feeder...

I bought two. They work flawlessly. There are six compartments that rotate through the feeding window. That means you have five days (in addition the day you leave) to be gone with once-a-day feedings. If I'm gone for three days or less, I put half-portions in the cavities and set it up for twice-a-day feedings so there's some variety. I had concerns as to what happens if the internet goes down... but each feeder stores a schedule locally, so it's all good. Pricey as hell... but good.

FEED-AND-GO SMART PET FEEDER: $199 from Amazon.

   
But what about the litter box?

I did a lot... and I mean a lot... of research. But every time I read the reviews on those litter trays that essentially drag a rake through the kitty litter to clean the box, there were always horror stories. Rakes getting jammed. Rakes getting clogged with poop. Rakes bending out of shape if two clumps of pee were fused together or if a clump fused to the bottom of the tray. They just didn't seem very reliable.

And then I came across the Litter Robot...

This thing is frickin' magic.

Because it uses gravity to do its dirty work, there's no rake to clog or break. The bottom floor of the unit is a flexible rubber sheet that pops out of place as the dome rotates, so even if a clump gets fused to the bottom, it's still getting cleaned out. I had some problems with the weight sensor at first... but after dumping the litter and re-calibrating, Litter Robot has been operating flawlessly ever since.

And my cats love the thing. They took to it immediately. All I had to do was put the Litter Robot in the same spot where the old litter tray was located, and boom goes the dynamite. Which was a pleasant surprise, because they are generally fearful of entering a space where they can't see a way out. I was more than a little worried that they would be too afraid to jump in. But, hooray, that was not the case. I have two other litter boxes in the house. I took one out, but left the the one upstairs so there's a box on each floor. They hardly ever use it, preferring to go downstairs so they can use the Litter Robot instead. I guess they like the privacy of the dome... and the fact that the box is always clean and ready to go.

The best part? Even with two cats, it only needs to be cleaned every five to six days. In other words, its schedule is the same as my Feed-and-Go pet feeder! Changing out the bag is easy, and I always dump in a Red Solo Cup of fresh kitty litter to replace the litter that was clumped and removed. So far, the litter inside looks like its staying clean. But, for sanitary reasons, I'll probably replace it anyway every two to three months.

The not so best part? Magic comes at a price.

I bought the larger "Open Air" model to accommodate my cats' claustrophobia. It's also the most expensive model (which I recommend it because I think it's how a cat would be most comfortable). So prepare to chop off an arm and a leg. But... damn... I could never... and I mean never go back to scooping out a litter box again. This product is just too perfect. I recommend buying direct from the manufacturer because you get free shipping and a 90-day money-back guarantee.

LITTER ROBOT OPEN AIR: $449 from Auto-Pets.

Jenny and Litter Robot

   
After I ended up being so thrilled with the Litter Robot, I ordered a few accessories. First was the Litter Robot Ramp, which will make it easier for the cats to reach the box when they're older ($50 from Auto-Pets)... next was the Litter Robot Fence, which helps keep the kitty litter in the box (and should come with the unit instead of being an add-on ($25 from Auto-Pets). And, of course, you'll need replacement drawer-liner bags ($50 per 100 bags from Auto-Pets). You can use any clumping litter in the Litter Robot, and I top off with Arm & Hammer brand litter because it's always on sale at Safeway. But I ended up buying the "official" Litter Robot litter too, as it comes pre-measured to perfectly fill the tray when starting out or when replacing old litter. Pricey, but very convenient ($46 for two, 10-lb. bags from Auto-Pets).

   
And there you have it. An automated solution that can cover my being gone for up to five days! It ran me around $1000 for both Feed-and-Go feeders, the Litter Robot, and Litter Robot accessories... but that's a small price to pay for the peace of mind I get when having to leave my Jake and Jenny at home alone. Luckily I already had security cameras installed so I can check in on them as well.

And did I mention that the Litter Robot is frickin' magic?

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016, Travel 2016Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 7

Posted on Saturday, November 12th, 2016

Dave!My cats are not adapting well to the end of Daylight Saving Time.

Jake and Jenny have an internal clock that is eerily accurate. Plus or minus ten minutes, they will let you know when it's feeding time. So when you change a clock that conflicts with their internal timing, they just don't give a shit. Which means now they are wanting food at 6am instead of 7am and 5pm instead of 6pm. This despite my best efforts to gradually shift them an hour later.

My refusal to give in to their demands (as logical as they may be) has resulted in acts of civil disobedience.

And outright theft.

This morning, after having the cats hop on my bed at 6:05 wondering why the hell I haven't fed them yet, I came downstairs to see this...

The cats have been in the pantry...

One of the cats (I KNOW IT WAS YOU, JAKE!!!) went into the kitchen where they know they're not supposed to be, opened the cupboard where they know the cat food is kept, then dragged out a bag of cat treats they know they're not supposed to have, and ultimately had to give up because they apparently don't know you need opposable thumbs to open the zipper lock.

Let's go to the security cameras, shall we?

I KNEW IT WAS YOU, JAKE!

I cut out the five minutes he spent rummaging around in the cupboard. Note how Jenny is being a good girl by staying out of the kitchen and observing from afar. She could have come up tattled on her brother, but I'm rather glad she didn't seeing as how the attempted theft took place at midnight.

Well, what can you do?

Because cats.

I tell you what... if President Obama wants to do something great before leaving office that would help unify the country... he could make the next Daylight Savings Time be permanent. No more dicking with the clocks while we have the Trump Administration dicking with our freedoms.

Just a thought.

If nothing else, he'd have the gratitude of pet owners from sea to shining sea.

   

Bullet Sunday 482

Posted on Monday, November 21st, 2016

Dave!Your eyes are not deceiving you... because an all new Bullet Sunday on Monday starts... now...

   
• #TrumpsAmerica. Hey everybody! Are you tired of not being able to get through a single day without seeing yet another example of the horrendous level of racist bullshit that is inundating our Black youth? Do videos like this make your blood boil?

Might I suggest a donation to my long-time blogging friend Kelly Wickham's amazing organization: Being Black at School so she can help make a difference? She's doing the work to effect change and could use your help.

   
• Certified Pre-Owned. I love creativity in advertising. Especially when it's for such a great cause...

I'd adopt ten more if I could.

   
• Snowline. Welp, winter is coming. Confirmed as I was driving back home today...

Mountain Snow Line.

Mountain Snow Line.

Hopefully it can hold off going full-on winter until next week. I've got another trip over the mountains coming up.

   
• Soul. I was very saddened to learn that the amazing Sharon Jones died. Her performances with the Dap-Kings was a show I have long wanted to attend, and I'm more than a little upset I never got the chance...

Rest in peace, Miss Jones.

   
• Hamiltoon. The cast of Hamilton respectfully asked that Vice President Elect Mike Pence "...uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us..." at the close of their show and President Elect Trump loses his fucking mind, as usual. But that was only the beginning, because crazy-ass Jeanine Pirro of FOX "News" went full-on bat-shit insane... (I'm paraphrasing here)... "HOW DARE YOU CRITICIZE THE STATE AND OUR FUTURE SUPREME LEADER! YOU'VE RUINED MY ENJOYMENT OF HAVING WATCHED YOUR PLAY WITH ALL THE BLACKS AND ALL THE LATINOS AND ALL THE HIP-HOP! BOW BEFORE PRESIDENT TRUMP, YOU INSOLENT SWINE! AND MAY HIS GLORIOUS REIGN LAST A MILLION YEARS!" — I swear... it is only a matter of days before we start hearing "uppity negroes" come out of the mouths of these racist pieces of shit. It is so blatantly obvious EXACTLY what they are thinking... and the team of racist, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, bigoted trash that will soon be running this country has emboldened them to become utterly transparent. They're not even hiding it anymore. I am disgusted to my very core. Oh... and PS... REVERSE RACISM IS NOT A THING YOU FUCKING MORON!

   
Me bullets be gone. See ye next week.

   

Thanks for Nothing? Everything?

Posted on Thursday, November 24th, 2016

Dave!The plan was to get up at 7:00am, take care of the cats, get cleaned up, then drive over the mountains to spend Thanksgiving with family.

All of which was scrapped when I checked the weather report for Stevens Pass...

Winter Storm Warning for East Slopes Northern Cascades, WA. Several rounds of snow for the mountains through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Heavy mountain snow will pummel the Cascades today into Friday morning. Snow accumulations will make travel very hazardous or impossible over mountain passes like Stevens Pass on Highway 2 and east towards Plain, Sherman pass on Highway 20, and Blewett pass on Highway 97. Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until 6 AM PST Friday.

If I had four-wheel drive? I probably would have risked it. But I don't. I don't even have snow tires on. Just some all-weather radials with an old set of chains in the trunk.

And so? Thanksgiving ruined.

Though I did try and be thankful for what I did have: A day home from work.

Thanksgiving breakfast was tacos, because that's all I had to eat. I wasn't supposed to be here, so I never went to the store. They were pretty awesome. Thanksgiving dinner was a plate of butter with some microwaved potatoes...

Thanksgiving Dinner.

Jenny and Jake sure liked having me home. They followed me around everywhere all day long. Starting when I took a shower and went to brush my teeth...

Content Jake in the Sink.

Content Jake in the Sink.

Jenny kept running out to the catio, getting cold, running back inside to steal my body heat, then running right back out again...

Content Jenny.

That's something to be thankful for, I suppose. It's nice to be useful.

Hope your Thanksgiving was equally eventful.

   

Caturday 8

Posted on Saturday, November 26th, 2016

Dave!My back door was glass, which meant I couldn't install a pet door so the cats could go out to the catio whenever they wanted. So I saved my pennies and bought a new fiberglass door, then had a cat door installed in it. After a day of training them, Jake and Jenny figured out how to go in and out as the pleased... without my having to leave the door open and lose heat.

I've decided to hold off until Spring to finish up the catio but, in the meanwhile, I think I'm going to try my hand at making my own cat tree. The cats love the carpeted thing I bought, but it's just so darn ugly. Surely there's a way to make something that's fun and functional, but looks more like furniture than a fuzzy monolith?

Something to think about.

In other cat news... I found some wicker baskets that had a fabric liner while I was cleaning out the garage. Jake just chews on them, but Jenny seems to think they are some kind of impenetrable fortress. Whenever she is being chased or wants to feel safe, in she goes...

Janny In the Basket.

Kinda funny how that works in her head.

But, then again, most things that cats do are funny in my head.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 484

Posted on Sunday, December 4th, 2016

Dave!Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!...

for behold! An all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Groot! There can be no greater news on the internet right now than the new teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 doesn't open until May and I already want to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3...

   
• Less. Having a mortgage wouldn't be so bad if nothing would ever break down and require expensive repairs. But it does. About every two months. And just when you think everything that has broken down has broken down and been fixed? Along comes something new. Which is why a letter for my lender was cause for excitement...

LETTER: "Congratulations! Your mortgage payment has gone down!"
ME: "No way!"
LETTER: "Way!"
ME: "NO! WAY!"
LETTER: "YES WAY!"
ME: "Dude, sweet!"
LETTER: "We're deducting $4.15 from your payment starting next month."
ME: "Fuck you, Letter."

...or not.

   
• Fixed? I love the HGTV series Fixer Upper. Chip and Joanna's design aesthetic and rapport makes for a great show... especially if you're into home renovation like I am. And while I am able to mentally divide my entertainment personality's personal life from their work... it's really tough to watch the show knowing that they attend a church which would happily push conversion therapy on their four kids should any of them be gay. How can you support that?

Fixer Upper.

Even if the Gaines's don't advocate conversion therapy or aren't opposed to marriage equality... they (assumably) financially support a church that does. They are a part of the segment of society persecuting LGBT persons and, more specifically LGBT youth, just for being who they are. And it's this part of our society which is responsible for the toxicity behind the epidemic of suicides among our gay youth. They listen to the idiotic rhetoric of a church like this and think nobody... including God... will accept them as they are and see no way out. No amount of Texas charm or design sense can compensate for that.

   
• Our Dolphin. Here it is... the first book out of Thrice Fiction Magazine's Thrice Publishing. It is a wonderful, wonderful novella by Joel Allegretti that I'm incredibly proud to have had a small part in unleashing on the world...

Fixer Upper.

Order a copy for your holiday reading list... or order a dozen for gifts that are sure to be appreciated! Click here to get Our Dolphin at Amazon.

   
• Crazy. I don't know what's more shocking. That Fake Jake pounded into the catio at a full-on sprint across the back yard... or that Real Jake just sat there at the point of impact and watched it happen without even blinking...

Jenny is still scared of Fake Jake's crazy antics... but Jake is all "meh" about it now.

   
• DST. Global humiliation, domestic devastation, and the threat of nuclear war would all be worth it if President Trump abolishes clock changes and makes Daylight Savings Time permanent this coming Spring. Just sayin'.

   
Well, I guess that's it for bullets. Probably. I dunno. Maybe in an hour I'll come back and add ten more.

   

Ruined in a Day

Posted on Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Dave!When traveling for work in winter, I have to take precautions that I usually wouldn't when traveling in not-winter. Primary of which is arriving early and staying late.

You arrive early in case there are weather delays so you will still get to the job on time. You stay late in case work runs late and you don't miss your flight. It's a bummer because it means your travels are extended, but it beats the consequences when things go wrong. The consolation I have is that if the job finishes on-time (ha!) or early (ha! ha!) you can always catch an earlier flight.

Except when you can't.

Which is me today.

I'm done with work so I can fly home tomorrow. This is great news because I had been planning for it all along. The nice thing is that catching an earlier flight, which can be quite expensive for infrequent travelers, isn't such a big deal when you have status with the airline. But all of that means nothing if they can't find a flight to put you on. Since I've got three flights home this time, it just proved too difficult to get all of them lined up within a reasonable time. My best option had me leaving a day earlier, but arriving home only five hours earlier. Nineteen hours stuck in airports? No thank you.

And so now I'm majorly bummed that I can't go home. Usually I'd try to make the best of it, but I just don't feel like going out into the Christmas shopping crowds of Portland or driving anywhere in the snow. Maybe I'll change my mind tomorrow... but, in the meanwhile, it looks like I'm stuck.

< Insert Frowny Face Here >

Meanwhile, back at home...

The first thing I do when I get up each morning is check my security camera footage so I can see what the cats are up to. I have no idea how many other times during the day I check on my cats, but it's a lot. This is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, I know that Jake and Jenny are still alive and haven't burned the house down. On the other hand, I miss them and am powerless to fix any problems that come up.

Like Jenny seemingly not being able to decide where to sleep last night. Usually, she sleeps with me. But since I'm not there, I have to watch her wander from spot to spot all around the house for hours. Eventually I thought she had settled on a donut bed I leave by the stereo...

Jenny in Bed

But she gave up on that too. Eventually, after more wandering, she headed upstairs. She must have found somewhere to sleep there, because she didn't come back downstairs all night.

And now she doesn't want to come back downstairs at all... even when the pet feeder activates. Jake heard it this morning and came bombing down to eat. Jenny peeks around the stairwell corner at the top, but doesn't come down. I set a motion alert, which texts me 40 minutes later that she's finally coming down. Except she doesn't. She stops at the bottom...

Jenny on the Stairs

Eventually she turns around and runs back upstairs.

Not knowing what's going on... I scrub back through all the security camera footage. Nothing. Then I check the exterior cameras to see if somebody is outside making noise. Indeed there is. The snow plows are running. And Jenny is apparently scared of the noise they make.

Tonight I checked at feeding time again, and it's the exact same story...

Jenny on the Stairs

She made it down an extra step, but still runs right back up before she hits the floor. The snowplows weren't running then, so I can only guess she's still scared from this morning.

I'm assuming eventually she'll get so hungry she overcomes her fears and makes it to the feeder.

Until then I'll spend my time being sad that I can't fly home tomorrow.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016, Travel 2016Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Home and the Unlucky Rabbit’s Foot

Posted on Saturday, December 10th, 2016

Dave!I didn't have to be at the airport until 12:30, which meant I could wait to pack my suitcase this morning and relax a bit before taking my three flights home.

It also meant that I had time to stop by The Maine Mall for lunch. Which would usually be at Johnny Rockets... but they changed their buns to these small crusty things (even when you ask them to ditch the shitty "healthy wheat" bun that now comes on their veggie burger)... so this time I ate at Qdoba. Never thought that would happen.

Anyway...

Flights were uneventful. Even if I did have a layover at shitty Washington Reagan National Airport, which makes you exit security to change concourses. Landed back home at 12:10, got my suitcase by 12:30, cleaned off my car by 12:45, was at my house by 1:20am.

Where my cats were happy to see me. So happy that I had to distract them with treats so they'd leave me alone long enough to unload the car.

Needless to say I was exhausted and decided to go straight to bed.

Which is where I stepped on this...

It's... a rabbit's foot?

It's... a rabbit foot?!

I rush back down to the guest room and, sure enough, this happened...

Dead vintage rabbit.

Okay then. The cats knocked one of my rabbits off the shelf. Sad... but nothing super-glue won't fix.

The question is... how?

How?

I was careful to not have any tall furniture near the shelves that the cats could climb up. The headboard is under the shelves, so they can't be using that. Or can they? Hell if I know. Obviously I don't have security cameras in my guest room... but I'm tempted to put one in there temporarily so I can see what in the hell they're doing in there.

Besides scratching up my new chair.

Welcome home, me.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016, Travel 2016Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 485

Posted on Monday, December 12th, 2016

Dave!Don't go shovel that driveway just yet, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Does Whatever a Spider Can! I've always been more a Batman guy than a Spider-Man guy, but Marvel is looking to change that with their first Spidey film, Spider-Man: Homecoming...

I mean... seriously. Marvel seems incapable of fucking up a movie. They respect the source material and give fans exactly what they're dying to see. This is the complete opposite of what DC does, which is rewrite everything that makes the characters great and give fans what Zack Snyder wants to see... which is always a pile of shit. Couldn't be happier to be getting what looks like an amazing Spider-Man movie. The fact that Tony Stark is in there being Tony Stark just makes it too good to be true.

   
• The Artist Formerly Known As... If you're a Prince fan, GQ has a long, but highly entertaining look at his life from the perspective of people who knew him best. As if that wasn't enough... another genius, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, was interviewed over at Glixel. You're welcome!

   
• No Toys for Tots. After coming across this sorry story, I have concluded that it's probably the stupidest fucking thing I've read in a long time. A charity that collects toys for children won't accept toys raised by a tavern because they prayed on it and decided that toys coming from a bar is a bad thing? Who did this idiot pray to? I mean, she did read The Bible and know who Jesus hung out with, right? Yet another case of Faux Christians following in the footsteps of Jesus... just so long as those footsteps don't lead to conflict with their moral superiority and false virtue.

   
• Can I Be a Lesbian? This had me laughing out loud in the middle of the night at my hotel...

Fortunately, I must not have disturbed my neighbors because nobody beat the door down and strangled me.

   
• Kitty Homebody. Ever since I got back home in the early AM, the cats have been all over me. When I sat down tonight to work and watch Wedding Crashers, Jake came running in and attached himself to me then fell asleep...

Jake Asleep On Me

After a bit he ran to get a snack and I thought I was free... but then Jenny came running in and took his place...

Jenny While I Work

Then she ran to use the Litter-Robot and I figured that was the end of it... except Jake came running back to take her place...

Jenny While I Work

Eventually they must have decided I wasn't going anywhere tonight, and went back to life as usual. Until next time. As if I didn't already feel bad enough about having to leave them...

   
• Paranoia and Smoke Alarms. Just before my trip to Maine, I started getting paranoid about a fire in my garage. That's where my electrical panel is. That's where my furnace is. That's where my whole-home humidifier is. Any of those things could burst into flames and I wouldn't know about it until it burned through the walls and into the house. To set my mind at ease, I ordered another Nest Protect (smart smoke detector) to put in the garage. Now I'm wondering why smoke detectors in garages isn't a thing. Shouldn't they be? Sure it's $100 down the drain, but that's pretty cheap if my electrical panel caught fire while I was in Maine and unaware. Now my house will send me a text if the garage is on fire. So... yay? I suppose now I need to find out how to call a fire into my local fire department so I can actually do something about an alarm when I'm across the country and 9-1-1 won't connect me to the right place.

   
• A New History for Humanity. I whole-heartedly approve of this calendar. A simple change that adds loads of perspective...

Too many people think that all of humanity didn't begin until Jesus came along. This fixes the problem without completely disrupting everything. Until scientists decide that

   
• Trump Diplomacy. This pretty much sums it up...

Trump Being Trump

And anybody still calling me "alarmist" for posting end-of-days scenarios around President-Elect Trump's ignorance and stupidity can go read this and then go read this and fuck off now. You'll note that I linked to a FOX "News" story the second time since the people who love Trump and are not taking this shit seriously seem to think that FOX is the only "news" source that matters. Guess we don't have to give a shit about Trump cutting Social Security and Medicare since we're all probably going to be dead by the time he gets around to it. In the meanwhile... this is how Republicans are saving American jobs?

   
And... the bullets have flown. Until next week then.

   

Nothing, and All That It Entails

Posted on Monday, December 12th, 2016

Dave!I don't know that I got sick, per se... but the effects of all day travel just to go through all day work and then cap it off with another bout of all day travel has taken its toll.

This morning when I got to work I had trouble sitting at my desk. It always felt like I was about to fall over. So I caught up as best I could then ran home to sleep. But couldn't actually get to sleep, of course. That would be too easy.

Welcome to my day of doing nothing.

When I've so much to get done that doing nothing is the worst thing I could possibly do.

Great news for the cats though.

Jenny loves playing fetch. She'll grab a toy (her favorite being Pink Mouse) and drop it on me so I'll toss it out. Then she'll go pounce on it with all the fierceness she can muster and bring it right back...

Jenny Fetch

After about 20 minutes I accidentally threw Pink Mouse under the entertainment center where she couldn't get to it. I thought I was too lazy to go get it, but then Jenny started knawing on my wallet...

Jenny Fetch

Message received.

So I drag myself off the couch, move the furniture, retrieve Pink Mouse, put the furniture back, then give the toy back to Jenny...

Jenny Fetch

Who promptly falls asleep...

Jenny Fetch

Which is exactly what I've been wanting to do all along, the pooper.

Huh. Just noticed something.

Jenny spends a lot of time out in the catio where it's cold... and look at how fluffy her coat is getting! Now I just need to train her to fall asleep across my feet at night.

And, my day of nothing continues...

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016, DaveLife 2016Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 9

Posted on Saturday, December 17th, 2016

Dave!My cats are weird, wonderful creatures. Which is to say that they are cats.

Personality-wise, they are very different. Jake is a sweet, lovable lump who eats too much and plows through life head-first. Jenny is a sweet, petite bundle of affection who is cautious and calculating. Both are curious to a fault, but Jake is the one who will inevitably let it lead him into trouble.

The most serious Jake will ever get is when he is pooping. It is a grave and somber affair which he gives profound consideration. The least serious Jenny will ever get is waiting for Jake to poop, then run up and smack him in the face right in the middle of it. Which she does often.

But that's not the only time Jenny will plan an attack. Ambushing Jake is her most favorite thing, and she'll happily take the opportunity any time she has the advantage. Like this morning when she was giving herself a bath and noticed Jake laying on the floor chomping on a toy mouse... while facing the other way...

Jenny Ambush

Jenny Ambush

Jenny Ambush

Jenny Ambush

Jenny Ambush

Jenny Ambush

Annnnnd... she pounced on him with happy abandon.

Jake never knew what hit him.

Jenny had a snack and then fell asleep in the window...

Jenny Ambush

Don't worry about Jake though. He somehow manages to muddle through...

Jake Naps

Happy Caturday!

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Traffic Ruins Everything

Posted on Monday, December 26th, 2016

Dave!The first thing I did when I woke up this morning was check the mountain pass reports to find out if I will be able to get home. Much to my surprise, Stevens Pass was bare and wet, though the afternoon forecast was for snow. So I made plans to leave at 11:00, thinking that my drive back would be a piece of cake.

And it would have.

If the hundreds of people also wanting to get back over the mountains weren't all leaving at the same time to beat the snow.

Which meant that even though the roads were perfect, I still had an additional 40 minutes of travel time. Which was crappy, yes... but at least I didn't have to chain up.

And thus ends my last trip of the year.

When I finally got home the cats were ecstatic to see me. I was ecstatic to see a bathroom.

And speaking of cats...

And now? Bed.

"Alexa, play George Michael..."

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016, Travel 2016Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Dave16

Posted on Saturday, December 31st, 2016

Dave!For those who only read one of my posts each year... or anybody wanting a recap of the past year here at Blogography... this post is for you! As customary, I've jettisoned loads of the usual junk so this entry is "mostly crap" instead of the "total crap" they usually are.

I suppose I should preface this year's entry with a disclaimer that 2016 was, without a doubt, the worst year of my life. The reasons are personal and I can't go into them here, so you'll just have to trust me. Suffice to say that any other year where I thought I was having a bad year only goes to know that I had no clue what a "bad year" really was.

And now I do.

   


JANUARY

• Had something terrible happen, then went on a blog strike...

Dave On Strike!

   


FEBRUARY

• Had something terrible happen, then adopted my Jake and Jenny (two feral rescue kittens) in an attempt to cheer myself up. Pretty much the only awesome thing to happen all year...

Jenny & Jake

Kittens!

   

• Had something even more terrible happen, but having two amazing kitties to care for kept me from killing myself...

KITTENS!

KITTENS!

KITTENS!

   


MARCH

• Terrible continued to happen, so I bought a new camera and a new lens to distract myself from the shambles my life was quickly becoming...

Sony 90mm MACRO

Sony 90mm MACRO

   

• Had something terrible happen (I turned 50), but was strangely okay with it because: kittens...

Jake and Jenny Kittens!

   


APRIL

• Thought my life was improving, then had something terrible happen, then decided to remodel my guest room so I wouldn't keep dwelling on just how gut-wrenchingly awful things were...

Guest Room Remodel Project

It was a big job, but I had plenty of help...

Guest Room Remodel Project

   


MAY

• Didn't think things could possibly get worse, but then something terrible happened when an eye infection I got years ago in Costa Rica came back to haunt me...

Dave Eyes

Don't worry, I had round-the-clock care...

Jake Kitty Hugs

   

• Things went from terrible to tragic, so I bought another camera lens to distract me from the new level of hell I was consigned to...

Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8

   

• Hit rock bottom, but was able to hang on when my kitten's foster parents paid a visit and shared some early photos of my reason for living...

Baby Kitties

The third kitty was a brother who was adopted before I arrived or I would have adopted all three of them.

   


JUNE

• Made it three days into June before my blog broke down. Then something beyond terrible happened and I had to take the rest of the month off from blogging to recover.

   


JULY

• In an effort to escape from my terrible life while I could still function, I went to New Orleans for a concert.

• The trip to New Orleans was nice, but it didn't make my life any better. Something newly terrible happened when I returned and I decided to take a blogging sabbatical because there was nothing left to say.

   


AUGUST

• Still on sabbatical. Continuing to explore new levels of terrible.

   


SEPTEMBER

• Still on sabbatical. What was left of my world fell apart when the worst day of my entire life came and went.

• Found myself longing for the good ol' days when my life was merely "terrible" and spent the second half of September wanting to die.

   


OCTOBER

• Still on sabbatical. Spent the month of October trying to find a new "normal" that I could cling to so I could escape the demons that returned after a 25 year hiatus.

   


NOVEMBER

• Returned to blogging as a way of clawing my way out of The Pit of Despair for the second time in my life.

• Caught everybody up on the past five months. Starting with my cats, who were my reason for living while absolutely everything in my universe was going to shit...

Jake!

Jenny!

   

• Told everybody about building a catio back in September, which allows my kitties to go outside safely...

Catio Building

Catio Building

   

• Started rethinking not killing myself when Donald Trump was elected President of the United States of America. Ran through the Worst Case Scenario becoming reality.

   

• Took a much needed trip to San Francisco so I could hang out with one of my bestest friends, who happens to be a rock star...

Ace Fontana Rocks the Crowd with Mustache Harbor.

   

• Got Tattoo No. 7...

Dave Deconstructed Buddha on Lotus with Om Tattoo.

   


DECEMBER

We are all fucked.

• No, seriously, we are totally and completely fucked.

Went to Maine for work.

Cold in Portland, Maine

   


And there you have it, the worst year of my life. I still don't know how I survived it (but I'm guessing it was the cats).

I'd say that I'm hopeful for a better 2017, since things couldn't possibly get worse than this... but we elected a total fucking lunatic to run the country, so there's no such guarantee.

Best of luck, everybody.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2016, DaveLife 2016Click To It: Permalink  11 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 10

Posted on Saturday, January 7th, 2017

Dave!Just what you were hoping for... another entry about my cats!

This time of year that's about all that's happening for me. And so...

This is handsome Jake when he's laying on your lap being petted...

Happy Jake Getting Petted

Here is what happens when you stop petting him so you can take a picture...

Mad Jake Not Getting Petted

If he had a knife... he'd cut a bitch for sure. Which is why I'll go back to petting and photographing at the same time...

Jake Snuggling Up for TV Time

And I guess I should stop working when Jake wants to be petted. It never works out anyway...

Jake Invades My Laptop

Jake can't help but be irritating. The minute I leave the house, he's all over the kitchen... the one place he's not supposed to go. I finally installed an alarm that sounds if I'm out of the house and there's movement in the kitchen. It works great. Here's the security cameras catching Jake two seconds before the alarm starts blaring...

Jake Snuggling Up for TV Time

I'd post a photo of him while the alarm sounds, but it's just a blur as he high-tails it out of the kitchen.

Jake isn't just irritating to me... he's also irritating to his sister. A while ago she brought up Jake's stuffed lion toy as her morning tribute. Jake was upset about this, and threw himself down next to it. Jenny, not dissuaded at all, snatched the lion and ran back downstairs with it. Jake, of course, tore off after her. A few minutes later, Jenny came sulking back, then threw herself on the window perch to pout...

Jenny Pouting

I didn't know what was bugging her until Jake came back up with his toy lion in his mouth. Apparently he snatched it back...

Jake Gets His Lion Back

As for Jenny... she's still as adorable as ever. When not pummeling her brother for irritating her, she's been spending a lot of time out in the catio...

Jenny in a Cold Catio

She's also taken to hogging the blankets on my bed. I started rolling them back so she wouldn't lay in the middle, preventing me from being able to get in. So now she just lays on the roll of blankets...

Jenny Steals My Blankets

Every morning Jenny drags toys upstairs as a tribute in exchange for breakfast. Or at least I think that's what she's doing. And now she's going overboard with it... bringing up an abundance of toys. I think she's trying to build an altar to the cat-god Bast.

And every morning I kick all the toys back downstairs so she has something to do the following morning.

Except a couple times now, she's having none of it. She barricades the steps so I can't kick the toys anywhere...

Jenny Steals My Blankets

Typical.

And now I suppose it's time to go to bed.

Assuming the cats will even let me in my bed.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Reward and Punishment, Carrot and Stick

Posted on Thursday, January 12th, 2017

Dave!Tonight one of my worst fears nearly came true.

I went out the front door to drag the trash can from my driveway to my house. After I finished, I went back to open the screen door and noticed that I had left the front door behind it slightly ajar. For some reason I glanced down before opening the screen door and saw... Jake. I pounded on the glass to scare him the hell out of the kitchen before going inside. And then broke out into a cold sweat when I realized that, had I not seen him, it's likely he would have darted outside. The little bastard.

I have done everything I can think of to keep the cats out of the kitchen for just this reason. I even bought "scat mats" to discourage them from stepping foot inside. Touch the mat, and they get an electric shock. That worked for all of two days. On day three, they just started jumping over it...


ZOMG! MY CATS WERE SO ADORABLE WHEN THEY WERE LITTLE!

Eventually they learned that I would yell at them if I caught them in the kitchen... so they started only doing it at night when I was asleep. After I realized what was happening, I had my security system alert me if there was motion in the kitchen after I go upstairs for the night.

Eventually they learned that even if I wasn't in the room, I could still yell at them if they went into the kitchen if I were home... so they started only doing it when I was away at work. After I realized what was happening, I bought an alarm that would sound if there was motion in the kitchen when I'm away from home.

Eventually they learned that even if I wasn't in the room and wasn't home, there was still punishment for going into the kitchen... SO NOW THEY ARE DOING IT WHEN I AM HOME SO THE ALARM DOESN'T SOUND, OUTSIDE SO I CAN'T SEE THEM, AND DOWNSTAIRS SO I AM NOT ALERTED?!? I mean, come on... exactly how many contingencies do I have to plan for before all bases are covered?

Living with cats is enough to drive one insane.

Especially since the little fuckers still pretend to respect the boundaries that have been set for them. When I'm getting them breakfast in the morning, they wouldn't dream of stepping foot into the kitchen...

Jake and Jenny Won't Enter The Kitchen

But there's no question that they are planning their next kitchen break-in. Conditioning by reward and punishment is never cut and dry where cats are concerned.

Also not in question? How Trump is going to react in any given situation.

If you say or do something which displeases future Lord President Trump, you get the stick...

CNN is in a total meltdown with their FAKE NEWS because their ratings are taking since election and their credibility will soon be gone!

If you say or do something which pleases future Lord President Trump, you get the carrot...

Thank you to Linda Bean of L.L. Bean for your great support and courage. People will support you even more now. Buy L.L. Bean

Never mind that there are plenty of American companies in competition with LL Bean who have done nothing to deserve LL Bean getting preferential treatment and free advertising from their soon-to-be-president. But they didn't donate enough money to Trump to merit such treatment, so tough luck, I guess. Maybe if Lands' End were to put Trump's face on the cover of their next catalog proclaiming him "The Best President Ever!" they too will have Trump telling everybody to buy their stuff.

Which is a disgusting abuse of power by the president, but not entirely unexpected.

I live with cats. Nothing is unexpected to me.

   

Caturday 11

Posted on Saturday, January 14th, 2017

Dave!For about a month now, I have been turning the thermostat down in order to save money on my electricity. Heating is by far the priciest contributor to my bill, so I thought it was worth a shot. I never minded adding a couple layers to stay warm... but eventually couldn't take having cold fingers while working, so I relented and went back to a more sane thermostat setting.

The cats never seemed to care one way or another about the lower temperature. Them having fur coats and all. But they don't have to worry about their fingers getting cold while they type.

They don't do much typing on their iPad.

I was reminded of this when I found an old memory card and ran across some photos I took of Jake and Jenny when they were kittens. My favorites being them goofing around on a video game made for cats...

Jake and Jenny Kittens

Jake and Jenny Kittens

Jake and Jenny Kittens

Jenny is an all or nothing kind of gamer.

Jake would rather sit around being handsome than play games...

Jake and Jenny Kittens

Some things never change.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

YOU HAVE BAD INFORMATION!

Posted on Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Dave!

I've been online since... well... before the internet was a thing, really. Back when it was all bulletin boards and CompuServe and modem-to-modem and stuff like that. In oh so many ways, things have changed radically from those early days. But not everything. Some things haven't changed one damn bit.

Here is how online forums have worked since the dawn of time...

Poster: I am a bit confused about something and would appreciate people's experiences and opinions on this matter.
   
Me: Here is my opinion and my experience from having this opinion.
   
Commenter: YOU ARE WRONG! YOU HAVE BAD INFORMATION! GO FUCK YOURSELF!

For a goodly chunk of people, it's never about presenting their own opinions and experiences... it's all about attacking people who have opinions and experiences that differ from theirs.

Responding to some topics is more likely to invite an attack than others... like... say... "What's the best brand of mobile phone, iPhone or Android?"

Another example? As I found out last night, coming out against declawing cats is a topic that invites all kinds of attacks...

Jake!

My opinion on declawing cats is pretty cut and dry... you just don't fucking do it. It's not like cutting your nails, it's like removing the entire tip of your finger down to the first knuckle. And if you're okay with doing that to a kitten, then you probably shouldn't have a cat. I would let my cats scratch the shit out of everything I own and still never consider maiming them like that.

Or...

I'd buy a shitload of scratching posts and cardboard scratchers, put them next to everyplace that my cats want to scratch so they have a more pleasing alternative, cover them with catnip to make them more attractive, put sheets of double-stick shelf-paper on things I want scratch-free to make them less attractive, then slowly remove half of the scratching alternatives once I figure out the ones they prefer.

Time consuming and expensive? Yes.

But it worked. My cats have their claws and me and my furniture are still in one piece.

Though some of my IKEA is sporting scratch marks from the training period. Oh well. Small price to pay.

Of course, there are people who have different opinions. And they are not afraid to attack you because of it. They call you names. They tell you that you're attributing human feelings to an animal. Provide "evidence" that declawing is not inhumane. Berate you for trying to make everybody hate them because they support declawing. Etc. Etc. Etc.

But whatevs.

All I did was provide my opinion and relate my experience, as requested. I don't really give a shit if people want to attack me for it. That's the risk you take.

I'm used to it. I have a blog.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017, Internets 2017Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 12

Posted on Saturday, January 21st, 2017

Dave!We've hit a bout of above-freezing weather this week, which has the cats in and out of the catio all day and night. Especially Jenny, who just loves ripping it up out there. This has me forward to Spring when I'll start working on Catio: Phase Two, which will add even more cat-tastic fun! Though I'll probably be looking at installing gutters first, since the guy I hired never showed up and there's water everywhere.

I think the wet floor is why Jake would rather hang out with me on the couch...

Handsome Jake!

Jake Snuggler!

Jake Snuggler!

Not that Jenny spends all her time outside. She likes to snuggle up from time to time too...

Mopey Jenny!

Or sit around watching television...

Jenny Watches TV!

Also this week... I've started bribing them to spend time in the new cat carriers I bought for their vet visit next month...

Jake & Jenny Crate Training!

Not something I'm looking forward to. At all.

I'm pretty sure the cats won't be thrilled with the prospect either.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

The Cats of YouTube

Posted on Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

Dave!Today was a horrific day for the country in so many ways. I cannot fathom what it's going to be like after four years.

As if that weren't bad enough, I woke up to an idiopathic angioedema attack (which causes random swelling of random places like my tongue, throat, face, hands, or feet). Fortunately, it was just my right foot this time, which is painful and inconvenient... but not life-threatening like other areas can be. I took one of my massive antihistamine pills and hung out until I could put on shoes, then went to work knowing that it wouldn't last. Angioedema fatigue on top of antihistamines is a recipe for falling asleep at your desk.

I expected to head home at noon, but lasted until 2:30. Go me.

After napping for a few hours, I awoke to find that my foot had ballooned back up. So much for some desperately-needed vacuuming.

Which was okay with the cats. Especially Jake, who snuggled up to watch YouTube cat videos for a couple hours...

Jake Loves YouTube!

He can't get enough of those "funniest cats" compilations.

Jake has always been the more affectionate cat... but he's really been ramping it up this past week. He's crawling around my legs whenever I'm standing still. And he's all over me the minute I sit down. I don't know what it's all about, but I don't mind the company. Jenny still likes to sleep next to me on my bed and cry for the occasional cuddle. I guess that's enough for her.

And now... time to take another massive antihistamine pill and hope that something else doesn't decide to go all angioedema on me in the middle of the night. Especially not my tongue or throat... for which I keep an Epi-Pen on my nightstand, just in case.

Though waking up alive in America ain't what it used to be, so who knows if I'll actually bother to reach for it.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017, DaveLife 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Jake 25

Posted on Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Dave!Ain't nothin' going on but the cats.

It's Jake!

   

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 13

Posted on Saturday, January 28th, 2017

Dave!A woman once called my cats "ordinary" after I posted a photo of them when they were impossibly adorable kittens. I'm assuming she was referring to the fact that they were "merely" American shorthair cats, and exceedingly common. Unlike the three Persians that graced her profile.

It was kind of an odd reaction, because I never said anything about them being "extraordinary." I think she was probably just jealous that so many people commented that they were cute.

I asked her if her precious Persians could solve quadratic equations, because MY CATS FUCKING COULD! She never commented back.

Anyway...

This is not my week. First The United States of America ends up in the shitter and now my cats won't let me dry my washing! Jenny loves the clothes dryer. I can never get my clothes out fast enough because she hears the buzzer and immediately runs to the laundry room. Oooh... nice, warm clothes...

Cats in the Clothes Dryer

Once I manage to get my clothes out, Jake decides to hop in too. It'll be at least 15 minutes before I can put the next load in now. But... awwww... look how Jake has his arm around Jenny!

Cats in the Clothes Dryer

Jake sure has grown up to be a big boy!

Speaking of Jake... all the photos I've been posting lately have been on him hanging out with me watching TV. But Jenny does that too...

Jenny TV Watcher

Jenny TV Watcher

The difference being that when Jenny sees something that upsets her on the television, she will run up and smack it. For example, here she is about to smack a 5ive Gum commercial...

Jenny TV Watcher

Other times she will run up just to see what's going on in the world...

Jenny TV Watcher

Smacking my television is a bit upsetting, but she's always really gentle about it, so I don't say anything. When it comes to cats, you have to pick your battles. So far as Jenny goes, she pretty much behaves all the time, and I'd like to encourage that.

Jake, on the other hand?

Well... when he's not going places he shouldn't go (like the kitchen) and getting into things he shouldn't get into (like the water fountain reservoir)... he's doing things he shouldn't do.

Like smacking pictures on the wall. Which he does every chance he gets for whatever reason.

In most cases, I just remove or move the picture. But there is one picture that I can't really move... my original Pulp Fiction poster. It hangs in the stairwell below the banister, and you can only see it going down the stairs. Jake likes to lay on the banister and smack at it. Until I admonish him, at which time he'll sit there pretending he's just innocently looking at it...

Jake Smacker

You can see that he's made it all crooked.

Eventually I can't take how adorable he is and call him over for petting, which he loves...

Jake Smacker

AWWWWWWW! What extraordinary cats I have!

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 14

Posted on Saturday, February 4th, 2017

Dave!My cleaning routine is fairly basic. I divide the house into sections, tackle a section each morning... then vacuum on Saturday... and finally handle any needed repairs or remaining cleaning on Sunday. Simple, really. Except not really. BECAUSE CAT HAIR! GAAAAAHHHH! Cat hair goes beyond dusting and cleaning because it gets into places that require you to tear apart your home to get to. And so I do this on the first Saturday of every month. Which is today. This morning, in fact. Which means my house right now is the cleanest it will be for another month. It's been completely ripped apart with all furniture moved and every crevice vacuumed out.

And then... just as I was sitting down to type this... a clump of cat hair goes floating past the window.

HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?!? WHERE WAS IT HIDING? WHY, LORD... WHYYYYY?!?

It's interesting how my cat's behavior is ever-changing.

As an example, I have a water fountain that I bought for Spanky to try and keep him from meowing for the bathroom faucet. I've had it out for Jake and Jenny since day one. But, unlike Spanky, they never drank from the water spout... they just lapped from the bowl at the bottom...

Kitty Fountain!

Then today I noticed that Jake has started drinking from the water spout instead of the bowl, just like Spanky did. Jenny looks like she's trying to do that, but she goes in sideways and gets more on her face than in her mouth. Oh well. I'm sure she'll get it eventually.

When it comes to ordering pet food and supplies, I bounce between Petco, Amazon, and Chewy. Chewy was recommended by friends, and they've got the best prices on most things, so that's where most of my stuff comes from now. Especially food. You can tell when my bi-monthly shipment arrives, because the cat cupboard is full-up...

Cat Food!

Cat Food!

If there's one place in my house that's organized, it's the cat cupboard.

And then...

STEP ONE: Sniff at the box!

Cat in a Box!

STEP TWO: Step into the box!

Cat in a Box!

STEP THREE: Get in that box!

Cat in a Box!

And that's the way we do it...
It's a cat in a box!

At least they're taking turns...

Cat in a Box!

Cat in a Box!

Cat in a box, yeeeaaaaah!

And now, in security camera theater...

Listen to this and tell me that Fake Jake isn't possessed by Satan! It starts out mournful, but then goes full-on crazy. Note that when Fake Jake smashed into the catio fencing, Jenny ran inside. BUT THEN MY LITTLE TROOPER WENT RIGHT BACK OUT AGAIN! And... can anybody tell if Real Jake is growling back at Fake Jake? It kinda sounds to me like he is!

I have two sets of security cameras. One has video history, the other does not, and only stores a few clips at a time when it notices motion. I had an extra clip camera, so I decided to put it in the guest room, which is where the cats are always getting into trouble. A couple nights ago I heard a crash from the guest room while I was on the phone. When I got off the phone, I go running in and see this...

Cats on a bed!

I check the clip camera and see this waiting for me...

Cats on a bed!

Turns out Jake knocked another rabbit off the shelf. I'd be mad, but he's been playing Jungle Panther Cat lately, and he's too cute to be mad at...

Cats on a bed!

Alrighty then... until next Caturday...

Cute Jake!

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Fake Jake and Curiosity

Posted on Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

Dave!You might remember Fake Jake... the cat who looks a little bit like Jake, which resulted in my brother accidentally bringing him in while housesitting because he thought Real Jake managed to get out. He's also the cat that has been routinely terrorizing my cats when they're out in the catio... though they aren't so scared of him now that they realize he can't get in.

Anyway...

Fake Jake has learned my daily routine, which makes for some interesting times.

In the evenings, he knows what time I get home and will wait for the garage door to open so he can dash in before my car rolls up. This means I have to walk him out before closing the garage door so he doesn't get trapped... or, even worse... follow me into the house.

In the mornings, he knows what time I leave and will wait for the garage door to open so he can dash in after my car rolls out. This means I have to get out of my car, walk him outside, then "distract" him with some petting until the garage door closes...

Fake Jake Mornings

Fake Jake Mornings

He really is a sweet cat... even if he doesn't get along with my cats very well. And, despite living outdoors (even when it's freezing cold out) Fake Jake seems to be a happy, healthy kitty.

Probably a good thing my cats don't get along with Fake Jake... I'd be sorely tempted to steal him.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

The Veterinary Clinic Adventure

Posted on Thursday, February 16th, 2017

Dave!This is a long one, so strap yourself in.

When I adopted my cats one year ago today, I was supposed to take them back to the vet in six weeks as follow-up for their spay/neuter surgeries and to get a booster for a shot they had just gotten. It was never going to happen. As feral rescues, they were still hiding under the couch most of the time at six weeks. I called the vet and was told that since they were indoor cats they could probably get away with waiting for their annual check-up in a year.

Which was today.

This was something I absolutely did not want to do. In preparation I had read several stories from people who had said that their cats became hostile towards each other after their first visit. Something about the vet smell screwing them up or whatever. Jake and Jenny are so sweet to each other that this would kill me, so I was about as nervous as I've ever been. My first time having sex was not nearly as nerve-wracking as this. Needless to say, I did not get any sleep last night.

And then, before I knew it, it was time to go.

Months ago I bought new pet carriers that had doors on the top. I had numerous people tell me that it was the best, least traumatic way of loading your cat for transport.

Thank heavens I did.

I had been training them to go into the carriers for the past several weeks by bribing them with treats. It never failed. Until today of course. Jake went right in. Jenny refused for some reason.

My whole plan was to lock Jenny in first, because she was the one I was most worried about getting to stay in the box. So I grabbed her, with the intent of dropping her through the top of her carrier. She put up a fight, but I got her in on the third try. The commotion agitated Jake, but I was able to shove him in his carrier before he could back all the way out of the box. I quickly locked all the doors, sprayed a shot of Feliway to calm them down, and... voíla... two cats, ready for transport...

Cats in Carriers

At first, they were quite calm about the situation. Yes, they were trying to open the doors and get out, but they were more curious than upset about their predicament. After giving them a few minutes, I hauled them out to the car. I had put a 2x4 in the back seat so they wouldn't be at an angle, then faced the doors towards each other so they could see they weren't alone.

Two minutes after pulling out of the garage, I honestly thought I was the luckiest person alive. My cats were still calm and collected. This was going to be a piece of cake!

Three minutes after pulling out of my garage, Jenny started crying. Seconds later, Jake had joined in. Guess I wasn't going to be so lucky after all.

But the real drama began once I hit the highway. Jake started yowling. Then he was thrashing in the carrier so violently that I was worried he was going to hurt himself. Jenny went catatonic and just laid in her carrier frozen in terror.

Eventually Jake calmed down, but still went into howling fits from time to time. Jenny was in some kind of shock and didn't make a peep.

22 minutes after leaving my house, I pulled into the veterinary clinic. It felt a lot longer than 22 minutes.

When I got out to check on the kitties, I noticed Jake was panting hard and his bedding was flipped on its side. On top of that, his nose was scraped up, the poor guy. His efforts to escape had him in a sorry state. But by the time I had checked in and came back out to get him, he was calm again.

The nurse weighed and took Jake's temperature first. He took it like a champ, then went exploring. Jenny had to be dragged out of her carrier, but managed to be weighed/temperatured without too much of a struggle.

Jenny Hides

The nurse left, then the adventure really began as we waited for the doctor. Jenny ran to hide immediately. First trying to hide under the paper towels...

Jenny Hides

But eventually finding a much better spot...

Jenny Hides

Jenny Hides

Jenny Hides

Jenny Hides

She would stay there until forced to leave.

When the doctor came in, he let Jenny be and took a look at Jake first. The good news is that Jake is in perfect health... but, not surprisingly, could stand to lose 3 or 4 pounds. While I distracted Jakey-Bear with head rubs, he got the vaccinations he needed and didn't even flinch. Then he tried to escape by jumping to the TOP SHELF of the cupboard, and failed miserably. Lucky for him, the doctor had quick hands and caught him before he hit the sink. "Wow. That was pretty good for a cat his size! If he was four pounds lighter he would have made it!"

For safety's sake, we loaded Jake back into his carrier.

Then it was Jenny's turn.

Bless him, the doctor was really sweet in trying to calm her down and make her comfortable. He even let her stay put for the first half of her exam...

Jenny Exam

He finally had to pull her down to give her vaccinations. It wasn't too bad... though I did have to hold her down because she was just not into being exposed in the open like that. The doctor said "you have beautiful cats," and then... $200 later... it was over.

Jake started yowling a bit as we were half-way home, but he wasn't thrashing around hurting himself this time. Jenny never made a peep, but I think she was just exhausted and not catatonic again.

When we got home, Jenny immediately ran upstairs. Jake started walking around the room smelling everything.

Eventually Jenny came downstairs to forgive me for such a betrayal...

Jenny Petting

Jenny Petting

Jenny usually likes gentle petting. But the harder I scrubbed her, the more she liked it. This left her looking a mess, but I think it helped get the vet smell off of her, which I'm guessing was the goal...

Jenny Scubbing

After twenty minutes or so, Jenny hopped off so Jake could have his turn. He was still pretty freaked out...

Jake Petting

But calmed down after five minutes or so...

Jake Petting

So... probably more traumatic for me than them, all things considered. Or so I'm guessing. What I do know is that =knock wood= I am so very glad I won't have a vet visit for another year...

Jake & Jenny Petting

In the meanwhile... all is well...

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 15

Posted on Saturday, February 18th, 2017

Dave!It's a lazy Saturday.

Which is fine for the cats, but I've got stuff to do. Which would be fine except the cats are lazing all over me as I try to get my work done...

Lazy Kitties

Or begging for attention...

Lazy Kitties

Eventually they decided the floor next to me was close enough...

Lazy Kitties

And now? Back to work for me...

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 16

Posted on Saturday, February 25th, 2017

Dave!My life with cats.


Kitties

Kitty Toy

Kitties

Kitties

   

Which is probably better than my life without cats, I'm guessing.

   

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Mini Fake Jake

Posted on Monday, February 27th, 2017

Dave!And so Fake Jake has a new friend.

Kinda.

When I opened the garage this morning, it was two cats I found waiting for me. Introducing... MINI FAKE JAKE!!

Mini Fake Jake!

Mini Fake Jake likes to follow Fake Jake around, which Fake Jake finds very irritating. Poor Mini Fake Jake is constantly being swatted away...

Mini Fake Jake!

Mini Fake Jake!

Mini Fake Jake is shy, but completely adorable.

And now I have to chase two cats out of my filthy garage each morning...

Mini Fake Jake!

I sure hope that Mini Fake Jake has a home to get back to. It's still fairly cold at night.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

City of Angels

Posted on Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Dave!And so here I am back in California for another quick work trip. Though, unlike my previous trip to San Diego which was a breezy nine hours, I'm sticking around Los Angeles for a couple extra days to decompress a bit. I haven't had a vacation in over a year, so it's the least I can do.

The good news is that the weather is supposed to be beautiful for the length of my stay. Given the flood of rains that have been pelting SoCal, that's a pleasant surprise.

The bad news is that I couldn't fly out yesterday, so I had to take an early morning flight to make my meeting...

        "Alexa? Set an alarm for 3:30am."

        "I've set an alarm for 3:30am."

        "Alexa? Kill me now."

I don't sleep very well these days, but I do like laying around in bed. Even if I'm working in bed. Having to drag my sorry ass out of bed at such a heinous hour makes me stabby.

Just ask my cats.

Not that they're happy about it either.

Jenny brings me toys every morning as some kind of tribute. I think that she thinks she has to bring me stuff so I'll get up and feed her. Some mornings she brings one toy... other times she'll bring a half-dozen. The hungrier she is, the more she seems to bring.

This morning when I got up at 3:30 to take a shower, Jenny flew into a panic and ran downstairs to start dragging toys up to me. Since I wasn't in my bedroom, she was confused as to what she should do, so she started making a pile in the upstairs hallway...

Kitties

Poor thing probably thinks she overslept!

Though my cats definitely have a better sense of time than I do, so who knows what goes through her fuzzy little head.

Anyway...

After having made sure that the Litter-Robot was emptied, the Feed-And-Go was filled, the television was turned on with the brightness lowered, and the extra litter boxes were set out, I was off to the airport.

Two flights later, and I was back in L.A.

A city for which I have mixed feelings.

Way back in the day, I worked on a project here over seven months. It was nice money, but having to fly back and forth every other week was tough. Even tougher was having to deal with the business behind showbusiness, which was awful to a mentally-debilitating extreme. Turns out I just wasn't cut out for the Hollywood lifestyle... nice as it was to live it for a little while.

But hey... after work I get to go to Disneyland, so there's that.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017, Travel 2017Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Those Darn Cats and a Farewell to Disney

Posted on Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Dave!Last night at a wonderful early birthday dinner with friends, I had told them how proud I was that I finally managed to get Jake and Jenny trained to not jump on the kitchen counters. Yes, Jake still wanders into the kitchen from time to time but, thanks to sticky mats, his days of climbing over my kitchen counters was over.

And then... less than an hour after getting back to the hotel... I get a motion alert on my iPhone that there's movement in the kitchen. A quick check of the security cameras and, sure enough...

Darn Cats!

Darn Cats!

I rewound the footage to see what made Jake suddenly revolt, and was surprised to see that it was actually Jenny who was the instigator. You can see her beady little eyes reflecting in the dark on the refrigerator return before she makes a spectacular leap across to the kitchen counter...

Darn Cats!

Darn Cats!

Jake hopped up a minute later...

Darn Cats!

Darn Cats!

I thought Jenny had hopped back down, but nope... she was over digging in the sink...

Darn Cats!

Darn Cats!

Eventually I started talking to them from the speaker on the security camera, which was all kinds of confusing for them as they started looking around trying to find out where I was. Jake seemed to think I was on the ceiling, but Jenny seemed to figure it out eventually...

Darn Cats!

Darn Cats!

What's weird is that A) The motion alarm did go off, which usually scares them away, so apparently they are immune to that now, and B) My yelling at them to get off the counters through the camera speaker was equally ineffective. Eventually I rang the doorbell, which finally did the trick.

Guess I need to figure out how to tie the motion detectors to the doorbell when I get home.

It also looks like I will be disinfecting my kitchen counters when I get home.

Blargh.

   
I was pretty much Disney-ed out half-way through yesterday. But the hotel kicks me out in an hour... my ride to the airport isn't here until 3:30... and I have another day left on my park ticket... so I guess I'm going back to Disneyland again today. Oh well. There are certainly worse ways to spend an afternoon.

Still... vacation goals achieved...

  • Ate lunch at Earl of Sandwich daily.
  • Ate a Dole Whip Float from the Tiki Juice Bar in Adventureland.
  • Ate "The Grey Stuff" and Gaston's Brew at The Red Rose Taverne restaurant.
  • Ate beignets at Jazz Kitchen Express in Downtown Disney.
  • Didn't kill anybody.
  • Rode all my favorite attractions (except Pirates and Tower, which were closed).

Until next time, Disneyland.

   

Caturday 17

Posted on Saturday, March 4th, 2017

Dave!Traveling when you've got pets back home is the worst.

Not only are you missing your pets while you're gone, but you're worrying about any trouble they might get into as well. And so, even though I have spent a crazy amount of time cat-proofing my house and making sure there's no trouble they can get into, I'm still checking the security cameras several times a day...

...so I can watch them get into trouble.

Yesterday I posted about them jumping on the kitchen counters where they know they're not supposed to be.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg...

• Jenny dragged most of her toys upstairs, as expected. She also dragged up an iPhone cable, which one of the cats conveniently bit in two. No idea where she got it.

• I left my Hanes hoodie hanging on the back of a chair. It was pulled down, scratched up, chewed on, and dragged around the house.

• My upstairs office is now officially the cat's play room. I've had to pull all of my stuff out because they love to "play" with it. The only thing I had left in there was a desk, book case, and a box of envelopes. Now all I have is a desk and a book case.

• I'm working on a family photo collage in my stairway. Since it's an odd-shaped wall, I've used masking tape to section off where the photos go. Jake ripped down every bit of it he could reach.

• Which was a prelude to him ripping down a "DO NOT LET CATS OUT!" sign that's been in the catio for months. Apparently he's been hating it for a while and suddenly decided he'd had enough. So then, without hesitation...

Thanks, Jake.

   
When I got home last night after midnight, the cats went crazy ove me. Which was nice. Until Jenny decided she needed petting at 1:00am.

And 2:30am.

And 3:45am.

And 5:00am.

Neither her nor Jake have ever bothered me while I'm sleeping, so I'm guessing that she's just making up for lost time?

Anyway... today they had calmed down to their normal(?) selves and spent most of the day outside in the catio because it was just too beautiful out to be inside.

When I left, the weather was like this...

Cali Weather

L.A. was like this...

Cali Weather

Cali Weather

Now that I'm back? This is the view the cats have from their catio...

Cali Weather

Looks like I brought California skies back with me.

Which is great, because this snow can just go away any time now.

Tags: , ,
Categories: Cats 2017, Travel 2017Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Couching

Posted on Monday, March 6th, 2017

Dave!I've been getting up early each morning so I can catch up with the work that piled up while I was kicking' it in Disneyland. Even though I am not a "morning person," I seem to be most productive when I just wake up.

This morning I managed to make some huge headway... first while working in bed... then by moving down to the couch in the living room. When I got out of bed, Jake jumped up and took my spot. When I got off the couch to go into the office, he did it again...

Jake on the Couch

Apparently he's taking advantage of my residual body heat, which is nothing new. When it's cold outside and he's been out in the catio, his first stop when he comes back inside is to glom off my body heat by lying across my lap... whether my MacBook laptop is there or not.

Jenny, on the other hand, seems to actually like chilly weather.

Today after opening the windows for the first time since winter started last year, she was all over it...

Jenny at the Window!

Never mind the pet door out to the catio that she's been using all winter... looking out a window is fun stuff!

As is looking down at me while work... silently judging me as cats are won't to do...

Jenny on the Cat Tower Judging You

None too impressed, is she?

Honestly, I think that's her natural state.

She is a cat, after all.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017, DaveLife 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Veterinary Email Horrors

Posted on Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

Dave!In case you missed it, I took my cats to the vet for their one-year check-up last month.

Not that I wanted to, mind you, but it is required by Washington State law that your cats have current rabies vaccinations. And it is required by my pet insurance that they get an annual checkup. And I wanted to make sure that they got any other vaccinations that are recommended for cats to have so they stay healthy.

The whole ordeal was a traumatic experience for all three of us.

But mostly for me, and I was thankful that I could wait an entire year before having to go through all that again.

And then I get THIS emailed to me this morning...
   

Jenny Needs a Vet Appointment for her FelV Vaccination!

   
After shitting my pants at the prospect of having to take my cats back for another vaccination when I was just at the vet less than a month ago... I called up to find out why in the hell Jenny didn't get this shot already.

Turns out that she did, it's just that the way they have to bill vaccinations sometimes causes erroneous emails to go out. I actually don't have to go back (knock wood) until 2018.

So...

Pants shitting aside, all's well that ends well.

Sometimes, anyway.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017, DaveLife 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Thirteen Minutes Twenty-Seven Minutes

Posted on Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

Dave!Thirteen minutes.

Thirteen minutes is the amount of time between when I leave for work in the morning and when Jenny starts hauling all the toys upstairs that I had just brought down before I left.

Twenty-seven minutes.

Twenty-seven minutes is how long for her to make the nine trips up and down the stairs to do it...

Jenny Toys!

Which means I have to toss all the toys back down again before I go to bed so that she can "go hunting" for her "morning tribute" that she drops by my bed every day.

I'm happy Jenny is keeping herself busy... and all that stair-climbing is certainly good exercise... but I can't figure out what is compelling her to make sure all the toys are upstairs at all times. I had thought that dragging them up was a random process that she did throughout the day. But now, thanks to my security cameras, I know that's not the case. She starts in almost immediately and then keeps going until the job is done.

Guess I am going to have to buy more toys.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 18

Posted on Saturday, March 11th, 2017

Dave!Adopting Jake and Jenny have me contemplating a lot of "What If?" scenarios.

The biggest "What If?" being... What if I hadn't adopted them? What would have happened? I came very close to not getting them because I didn't understand the rules at the Humane Society. If it wasn't me, I'm sure somebody would have adopted the kittens... they were tiny and adorable after all. But they likely would not have been adopted together, and I have a mild panic attack at the thought of Jenny having been separated from her brother at the beginning. Now she would do fine. But, as a kitten, she took a lot longer to come around. The only thing that helped keep her from being terrified for months was that she had her brother to lean on.

Another "What If?" that plagues me is... What if I had gotten to adopt Jake and Jenny's brother? I certainly wanted to once I learned there were three siblings. But somebody had "reserved" the third kitten, which was something I didn't even know was allowed...

Baby Kitties

The only thing I do know is that his name would have been Roger. The name I wanted to give Jenny before my mom forbid it.

Ultimately, two cats is what I wanted, and I do think that a third would have added some difficulty with my travel. Litter Robot would need to be emptied faster, so I couldn't be gone as long. Feeding would also be more complicated. So... all's well that ends well. At least I hope that's true for Could-Have-Been-Roger.

Anyway...

Jenny has become addicted to television. Every night she waits for me to head upstairs, then runs ahead of me... excited that we get to watch TV in bed. And heaven help me if I don't turn it on fast enough! She will start meowing at the television until I do...

Jenny Watches TV

Once it's on, she'll have a seat...

Jenny Watches TV

And watch for an hour or more...

Jenny Watches TV

She likes shows with people talking the best. The West Wing is a favorite. She does not like action-packed shows very much. The noise and fast camera swaps seems to be a turn-off.

If it's too late... or I am concentrating on work and don't want the TV on... Jenny will sit and stare at me with a disapproving look on her face if I ignore her meowing...

Jenny Watches TV

When that doesn't work, she throws herself down and pouts...

Jenny Watches TV

Other than TV time in bed, Jenny doesn't hang out with me very often. Could be because Jake has been really clingy lately. He's on me in the morning before I go to work. Taking a nap while Jenny hauls up her morning tributes...

Jake Hanging Out

And on me in the evening when I get home from work...

Jake Hanging Out

Covered in cats from sunrise to sunset.

There are worse ways to spend a day.

   

Fake Jake Waits

Posted on Monday, March 13th, 2017

Dave!I mentioned a while back that Fake Jake has learned my schedule and waits for me outside the garage every morning when I leave to work and every night when I return.

Yesterday being Sunday, I didn't see him coming or going because I was on weekend hours. But this morning, sure enough, he was waiting for me as I opened the garage door... wanting to be petted...

Fake Jake Waits

Fake Jake Waits

Fake Jake Waits

Fake Jake Waits

   
Such a sweet kitty. To people anyway. He doesn't seem to get along with other cats at all.

Speaking of other cats... no sign of Mini Fake Jake.

Hopefully that kitty made his way back home.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Midnight Alarm

Posted on Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Dave!There's one place in my home that my cats are not allowed to go... the kitchen. Partly because that's where the front door is and I worry about them getting out. But mostly because I don't want cat ass on my kitchen counters.

I had tied the kitchen motion detectors to an alarm to scare them away, which worked great at keeping the cats out. Until it didn't.

I had bought some sticky tape to put on the counters, which worked great at keeping the cats off. Until I removed it after a month because I thought they were "trained." But they weren't.

I was still able to scare them out of the kitchen by remotely ringing the doorbell, but tonight that failed too.

Well, it failed with Jake. He just starts looking around to see where the noise is coming from...

Alarm Cats

Jenny, on the other hand...

Alarm Cats

   
I just don't think Jake is smart enough to learn a lesson.

And so I've added anti-germ wipes to my shopping list.

Again.

I wonder if they sell remote-control water guns?

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Posted on Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Dave!The cats know when I'm leaving.

Packing the suitcase. Emptying the Litter Robot. Filling the cat feeder. Cleaning and filling the water fountain. It all adds up.

And once they realize what's happening... they stick to me like glue...

Leaving Kitties

Follwing me everywhere right up until I walk out the door...

Leaving Kitties

Nobody lays down a guilt trip like cats do.

And I'm off.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017, Travel 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Return to Sender

Posted on Friday, March 17th, 2017

Dave!And that was San Francisco.

Jester dropped me off at the airport and, before I knew it, I was on my way home. Via Virgin America Airlines, which I hadn't noticed on my ticket until yesterday... but, now that they're merging up with Alaska Airlines, I'm guessing this will be happening with greater frequency.

SFO had a display of Ouiji boards on my concourse, which was interesting but surprising. Given how freaked out some people are by them, you'd think they'd avoid putting such an exhibit in a public space like this. And yet...

Quiji Display at SFO!

Quiji Display at SFO!

Quiji Display at SFO!

   
The trip home was nothing exciting, which is the best kind of trip to have.

The cats were, of course, excited to see me. Jake was all over me from the minute I walked in the door, and needed a lot of attention before he settled back into normalcy. Or whatever passes for normalcy in a cat.

Jenny was a bit more reserved... until bedtime.

Then she decided to make up for lost time by bringing me a toy as a welcome back present. Or so I would imagine...

Jenny's Welcome Home Tribute!

Jenny's Welcome Home Tribute!

I started to pet her, but she was more interested in television, as usual...

Jenny Watching TV!

So I guess we're good.

Nobody tell her that I'm leaving again tomorrow...

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017, Travel 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Pack It Up

Posted on Saturday, March 18th, 2017

Dave!And now I'm off again.

Of course the cats figured it out, they always do.

Jenny was particularly upset by the news. So much so that she thought it a good idea to prevent me from packing my suitcase...

Jenny in my Suitcase!

I distracted them with kitty treats and... away I went.

The drive over to Seattle was pretty bleak for March. Usually we're in almost-Spring mode here by then, but not this time...

Seattle Drive March!

Seattle Drive March!

Oh well. The roads were pretty much clear, which is all that really matters.

Las Vegas, here I come.

Tags: , ,
Categories: Cats 2017, Travel 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 19

Posted on Saturday, March 25th, 2017

Dave!It seems as though my cats are getting more and more attached to me as time goes on.

Which means that it's more and more difficult to leave them when I have to travel. Despite their automated litter box, their automated feeder, and their automated neighbor checking in on them... they want me to be at home. And when I return after being gone a while, they cling to me constantly.

This morning while I was working in bed, Jenny laid right beside me the entire time...

Kitties in Bed on a Saturday!

And Jake was snuggled up wanting pets every ten minutes...

Kitties in Bed on a Saturday!

Poor babies.

The good news for them is that the weather is getting nicer, so I'll be able to start working on Catio Phase Two soon. They seem to spend most of their time out there now-a-days, so spicing things up a bit will make their days more exciting.

Hopefully exciting enough that they won't notice me being gone when I have to leave again.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

You’re Better Than This

Posted on Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

Dave!Jenny?

Can I have your attention please?

Are you listening to me, Jenny?

Jenny is Not Impressed

Every morning you bring me a tribute in exchange for my feeding you. It's unnecessary, but I like to encourage this kind of thinking.

Over the past year, you've really put your heart into the task, and I want you to know how much that's appreciated. Hauling a bunch of toys upstairs every day in an effort to please me is dedication you should be proud of, right?

Jenny is Not Impressed

But lately I've noticed a decline in the quality of your morning tribute, and I'm a bit disappointed in you.

Did you hear me, Jenny? I'm disappointed.

Jenny is Not Impressed

I mean, look at what you brought this morning! Just one tired old toy, a ratty tan mouse, and that's it...

Jenny is Not Impressed

Sad! You're not a slacker, so why are you acting like one? You're better than this! If you're going to do something, don't you think you should give it your best effort?

Jenny is Not Impressed

Me too!

Are we agreed that you're going to step up your game? That you're going to take a little less time sleeping, eating, and pooping... and a little more time improving the quality of your work?

Jenny is Not Impressed

Alrighty then, I'm glad to hear it!

Good talk, Jenny. Good talk.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Some Seeds

Posted on Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Dave!Oh look!

That cat I planted has finally sprouted!


FakeJake!

   
Guess that means Spring is finally here...

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2017, DaveLife 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 20

Posted on Saturday, April 8th, 2017

Dave!Jake has started thinking he's the Alpha Cat of the house.

I don't know when the shift occurred, and it's not always consistent, but it's as if he realized that he's got four pounds on his sister and decided to take advantage of it. Sometimes. Other times he just can't be bothered...

Kitties!
Jenny was birdwatching and Jake snuck up on her. Surprise.

Mostly this Alpha Cat mentality manifests itself on the kitty tower.

Jenny always wants the top perch. If Jake's already on it, she'll take a lower perch, but it's the top one she prefers. Jake doesn't care which perch he's on. But 50% of the time when Jenny is on the top one, he'll knock her out of it just because he can. Sometimes she'll fight him for a little while, but eventually she relents.

This is not to say that Jenny is putting up with Jake's delusions of grandeur. She not only stands up to him when it suits her, she is not above jacking up Jake's shit on a daily basis...

Kitties!
She ended up nailing him good... he didn't know what hit him.

I just feel lucky that they still get along.

Needless to say, as the weather gets better and better the cats are spending more and more time out in the catio. They're even napping out there when the sun is shining. I only hope that if Jenny pukes from the bugs she's eating, that she pukes out there as well.

I think next weekend is the weekend I set up the garage as my wood shop. Then I'll be adding even more catio fun. The construction of which will be fun for me too.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 502

Posted on Sunday, April 16th, 2017

Dave!Sure it's Easter, but there are other reasons to celebrate the day, because an all-new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Kitty! Everything I love about cats can be found in this one clip of a kitty trying to escape the field at a Marlins game...

What a trooper! Apparently a Marlins' employee adopted the cat, who was named "Don Cattingly" in a Twitter poll.

   
• Kedi! And, speaking of cats...

Can't believe I have to wait until November for this to come out on video!

   
• Atomic! Okay... putting aside the fact that the trailer for Atomic Blonde features music by both Depeche Mode and New Order... how badly does watching this make me want to see the movie?

Charlize Theron should be in a lot more movies.

   
• Ragnarok! Speaking of movie trailers... how amazing is the latest Thor movie looking?

I'm part of the minority who actually likes the Thor films. The first one was really great at establishing the characters. The second stumbled quite a bit, but was still entertaining. But this? Probably the best Thor yet. Possibly one of the best Marvel films yet.

   
• Spicey! Melissa McCarthy is hosting SNL on May 15th. I'm hoping it's just an hour-and-a-half of her impersonating Sean Spicer, playing out the best of his ongoing fuck-ups. Verbatim. In the meanwhile, we have yet another flawless sketch from last night's episode...

What a big, beautiful slice of chocolate cake.

   
• Politics! The more you know about how politics work in this country, the more you think that we should burn the entire system to the ground and start over...

Politicians don't act in the best interest of those they represent because they don't have to. That's the underlying reason we're as fucked as we are.

   
Now go eat some eggs, you animal.

   

Caturday 22

Posted on Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

Dave!My cats are frickin' adorable.

I mean, most cats are adorable, but every cat is adorable to their human in different ways. Jake and Jenny are very different cats with entirely different personalities and behaviors. And yet... they somehow still manage to get along. They still play together. They still groom each other. They sometimes still sleep together, though Jake has gotten so big that this isn't as practical as it once was.

While reading through a cat forum recently, I saw that people were posting things about their cats they find adorable. I came up with a list of my own, which I am re-posting here for Caturday...

Jenny Watching Jake Watching Something

  • Both cats run to meet me when I get home from work. But it's Jake that gets so excited he just can't stand it. Yesterday when I got home, I had groceries to unload and Jake got impatient waiting for his daily head scratches. So I look down and he's looking up at me with one one paw stepped into the kitchen... a place he knows he is not supposed to go. I look down and say "Jake, Nnnnoooooooo!"... and he draws the paw back. ADORABLE!
  • When Jenny hears me turn on the shower in the morning, she rushes to the bathroom and patiently waits for me to get out so she can get her head scratches. When I open the door and grab a towel to dry off, Jenny will wait for a minute or two... but start meowing if I don't dry off fast enough. That's already pretty adorable, but last Tuesday she yawned mid-meow and I nearly died it was so cute. ADORABLE!
  • When I climb the stairs, Jake will sometimes go racing past me and stop on the step so he can cut me off and get petted. I'll pet him for a minute then climb over him. If he's not done being petted, he'll race past and cut me off again so I'll have to pet him more. ADORABLE!
  • Jenny's favorite thing is smacking her brother in the face. At first she would wait for him to get settled in for a good poop in the Litter Robot, run up and bitch-slap him, then run off. But eventually she got tired of waiting for Jake to poop, and decided to find other ways of smacking him. The latest? She'll haul ass ahead of Jake up the perches in the catio, wait for him to catch up, then smack him in the face as he makes the last jump. ADORABLE?
  • I think I've mentioned before that Jake can't meow. He just kind of "squawks" instead. Like he opens his mouth wide but can't get anything to come out. It's adorable... but even more adorable is that he doesn't seem to realize he isn't making noise. The other day he wanted my attention, but I just started meowing at him. Each time he'd respond with a longer and longer squawk until I couldn't take it any more and gave him pets. ADORABLE!
  • When I turn off the lights and go to bed, Jenny will follow me up and hop on my bed with me because she wants to watch TV. This happens almost every night, but sometimes I don't feel like watching television and leave it off. Jenny will meow until I turn it on. ADORABLE!

And... I'm out of adorable for today.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 503

Posted on Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

Dave!Everybody have a nice Earth Day?

Good! Because an all-new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Sikh! Essential viewing...

The more you know...

Sikhism is a fascinating faith that I haven't studied nearly enough.

   
• Kingsman! Holy shit! Going back to insert this in Bullet Sunday because it's just too good. I loved the first film, and it looks like the second is going to be more of the same!

Very cool that the American version of "The Kingsmen" makes their debut... " The Statesmen!" I wonder if a spin-off franchise is at hand? So long as Matthew Vaughn is involved, that's fine by me!

   
• Krypton! Ooh a TV show based on Superman's home planet... Krypton. This could be interesting! Wonder how faithful they'll be to the source material? Will we get to see the Scarlet Jungle? The Gold Volcano? How about Vathlo Island? The Jewel Mountains? Or even the Red Ocean? Can't wait to find out. The series is being developed at SyFy but, for reasons too fucking stupid to comprehend, they're killing the trailer everywhere it pops up. So I can't share the trailer. I can only share this hilarious reaction video from Double Toasted, which only shows parts of it (NSFW)...

The trailer is getting pretty good buzz. God only knows why SyFy is keeping people from sharing it.

   
• Mountains? When your CAPTCHA tells you to select all the mountain images, so you do... only to find out that they must live in Nebraska and think hills are mountains, which they most certainly are not...

CAPTCH Mountains... Not

#1 and #8 qualify as "mountains"... alrighty then.

   
• These Days! "Take That!" is a band that didn't get huge success here in the US when compared to their home in the UK, where they are massively popular. Even so, I've always liked the band, and was surprised to find out that they released an album back in 2014 that I missed entirely called III. The lead single is a track filled with poppy fun that I can't seem to get out of my head...

Kind of cool how Take That! keeps chugging along even after losing two of their bandmates.

   
• Puppy! And, lastly, your weekly dose of "Awwwww... cute!" is right here...

Amazing how Mother Nature works.

   
And now... I could really use another day of my weekend.

   

Caturday 23

Posted on Saturday, April 29th, 2017

Dave!Cats are still alive and doing well.

So I guess that's a win for me on Caturday then.


Jake

Jenny

   
Probably a sign that I need more cats.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 505

Posted on Sunday, May 7th, 2017

Dave!It's good to be home, because an all-new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Travel Day! Last night I was going to head into Denver for some dinner and bumming around after Howard's birthday party, but made the mistake of "laying down for a minute" and decided I'd rather order out pizza and watch TV. After pizza, I decided to pack up my crap, iron tomorrow's clothes, and get everything ready to go for today. Always a smart move, because I just love being able to roll out of bed, shower, and head out on a travel day. Why I don't do this more often I will never know. I guess that deep down I prefer the mad dash of getting ready in the ten minutes before my ride arrives? Who can say?

   
• Home! When I arrived back home today, the first thing I did was start unpacking. Jenny felt threatened by dirty clothes flying and retreated to her basket...

Jenny in a Basket

Jake kept trying to crawl all over me, so I grabbed his favorite blanket and finally gave in while I was sorting laundry...

Jake Cuddles

Laying down was a mistake, as I fell asleep almost immediately. When I woke up, Jenny had joined in and I was covered in kittens. There are certainly worse homecomings.

   
• Things to do in Denver. Side-by-side on the Denver "Things to Do" rack at my hotel...

Guns and Weed Brochures

But which to do first? Hmmmm...

   
• Hope! As a huge fan of Greek mythology for as long as I could read, I've always had a soft spot for Wonder Woman. When George Pérez reinvented the character in 1987 by jettisoning decades of bad choices so she could be tied even stronger to her Greek mythological origins, Wonder Woman quickly became one of my favorite super-heroes. Which is why I've been awaiting her big-screen debut with absolute dread given the horrendously shitty movies DC has been churning out lately. And yet... there's hope...

Not bad. Not bad at all. I guess we'll know for sure on June 2.

   
• Spidey! And lest we forget that Marvel has a super-hero film of their own coming out this summer...

I mean, holy shit. I liked the first two Tobey Maguire films okay, but this... THIS... is Spider-Man! He moves like you'd expect Spider-Man to move, and it's a glorious thing to see. Cannot wait for July 5th!

   
• Neutrality 2. I have said pretty much all I have to say about the pig-fuckers in our government wanting to sell-out the internet to big media companies. But now that our corrupt asshole of a president is mounting a new assault, all I want to do is explode with rage. Here's a more rational response...

How the American people can be SO FUCKING STUPID as to put up with this FUCKING BULLSHIT is beyond me. But, hey... the American people elected a pussy-grabbing Cheeto Jesus as president, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

   
And I'm fucking done.

   

Tiny Kittens

Posted on Friday, May 12th, 2017

Dave!Awwwww.

The kittens look like Jake and Jenny when they were little.


   

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 24

Posted on Saturday, May 13th, 2017

Dave!I am a hundred miles away from my cats this Caturday... which means I'm checking in on them several times a day via the plethora of security cameras that activated the minute I walked out the door. Usually they are out in the catio, but this morning they were nowhere to be found. In order to solve the mystery, I reviewed camera footage and found out where they went, but it's an area served by a battery-backup local camera, so I'll have to wait until I get home until I find out what mayhem they are up to.

The big cat-news this week that I didn't realize would be "cat-news" until it happened: I bought new couch pillows from IKEA.

Jake and Jenny were all over them the minute I set them down...

KITTIES STEAL MY IKEA PILLOWS!

KITTIES STEAL MY IKEA PILLOWS!

Jenny, in particular, just loves them. She will roll around on them... move them around... bite them... even attempt to tunnel under them like she's building some kind of pillow fort...

KITTIES STEAL MY IKEA PILLOWS!

The first morning after I set them out, I walked downstairs to find all four thrown on the floor. I went back to the security camera footage and found that Jenny had thrown them off the couches in the middle of the night so she could sit on them. She'd even drag them from place to place so she would have someplace new to sit...

JENNY ON PILLOWS!

Most of the day she leaves them on the couch, thankfully, preferring to use them as a throne from which to survey her kingdom...

JENNY IS QUEEN OF THE IKEA PILLOWS!

Jake likes to think he's the queen when Jenny is off eating bugs in the catio...

JAKE IS KING OF THE IKEA PILLOWS!

Speaking of Jake... the minute he sees that I've woken up each morning, he's been hopping up to snuggle. Usually with his butt in my face so he can get rump-scratches...

Jake Morning!

In other cat news... I noticed that there was kitty litter E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E when I got back from Denver. Much more than usual. I couldn't quite figure out what had happened, as I didn't remember seeing a kitty-litter fight when I was checking in...

KITTY LITTER EVERYWHERE!

Then it happened again. And last night I finally figured out why. Both cats are trying to climb in the Litter Robot at the same time... something that hasn't happened before... and it's making a big mess. Not sure how to handle this. But if it gets to be a common thing, I'll have to think of something, because kitty litter is expensive.

This evening when I got a text alert that the Feed-And-Go feeders went off, I didn't see either can running up to eat supper. I pulled up the cameras and saw that they were both out in the catio and must not have heard them cycle. So I use the speaker on the camera to tell them "It's dinner time! Go eat dinner!" which is usually all it takes. When I'm home. When I'm talking through the speaker, they get confused...

Where are you??!

"HOW DID YOU GET IN THAT TINY BOX, HUMAN?!? WHY ARE YOU NOT HERE FEEDING US?!?"

And lastly...

Meet Barnaby, a cat I found on Facebook...

SweetBarnaby!

Barnaby is a 15 year old sweetheart who came to us as a stray. This super affectionate fellow shouldn't be spending his golden years in the shelter. Please come meet dear Barnaby at the VAO soon. He promises to melt your heart.

When I went to the shelter, this is the kind of cat I honestly thought I'd be walking out with. I told them I'd take whatever cat had an eye missing or three legs or whatever it was that was making them unadoptable. I was told "Oh wow... usually we love people like you... but we don't have any cats like that right now." And instead I ended up with two of the most perfect kittens you've ever seen. I hope this sweet older kitty finds a home.

UPDATE: And he has...

Thank you for the outpouring of love and concern for Barnaby. We are no longer accepting applications for him. Barnaby has already received multiple applications and will most likely be going home soon.

Sometimes people are good.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

As Many Mondays Past

Posted on Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Dave!This has not been a very good day.

Last weekend I thought I had a kidney stone, but the pain subsided and I counted my lucky stars that it was gone. Turns out it was a temporary reprieve. Last night I started having pain again, and it only got worse as the evening went on. By the time I woke up this morning, the pain was stabbing through my back so badly that it was hard to walk.

But I had to go in to work, so I took some pills, put on my tough-guy pants, then headed out the door.

Only to find that most of my irises, pretty as they are, had all collapsed under their own weight...

Stupid Irises on the Ground!

What a stupid flower. I guess bees still pollenate them when they're on the ground, because otherwise I'm guessing they would be extinct. I suppose if they are still alive when I'm feeling better, I'll have to tie them up like last year. Still, those plants that manage to stay upright are as pretty as ever...

Yellow Irises!

I anticipated that work would be agony, but it actually managed to take my mind off of things... for a while.

By the time noon rolled around I was D-O-N-E.

And so I went back home, took more pills, then had to spend some quality time with Jenny, who was upset with me for leaving her today in the first place. I'm guessing that shedding her winter coat is an itchy process, because she wants to be scratched all the time... and will start crying if you don't comply...

Jenny Wants Pets!

Eventually I managed to disengage so I could go upstairs where I planned to die in bed. It was a good plan... until Jake decided it was his turn for attention. Or maybe he was playing nurse, it's hard to tell...

Jake Wants Pets!

I streamed a couple episodes of West Wing off Netflix, then decided to listen to some music in the hopes I would fall asleep. But Apple's streaming services were shit, as usual, and I couldn't never get my music to load on my AppleTV...

Apple iTunes Streaming Sucks Shit Through a Tube!

I don't understand why Apple doesn't spend some of their billions of dollars solving a problem that none of their competitors seem to have. I can stream to AppleTV without problem every time I try from Netflix, HBO, Showtime, Starz, Amazon, Hulu, Youtube, and the like... but Apple's streaming rarely manages to work without some kind of issue. If I can get it to work at all. Maybe Apple needs to hire other people to develop their shit since they seem incapable of doing it themselves. When I pay for stuff in the iTunes Store, I expect to be able to have access to it.

Anyway...

Today the heat got up to 86 degrees here, but I never had to turn on the air conditioner... even though I noticed many of my neighbors had. I'm chalking that up to my having installed a ceiling fan in my bedroom, which worked so fantastic for me last year. Such an energy-saver. I wish I had the fixtures in place so I could put them in every room of my house.

And now? Time for more pills and sleep. Fingers crossed. Really hoping that everything works itself out soon, because I can't keep missing work with all the stuff I have to do there.

Much as my cats would probably hope otherwise.

   

Caturday 25

Posted on Saturday, May 27th, 2017

Dave!Shedding.

It's the one part of having cats I could really do without.

Because, let me tell you, Jake and Jenny have really stepped it up a notch when it comes to the amount of cat hair that's blowing through my home. I vacuum and vacuum and dust and dust but there is still loads of the stuff in every possible nook and cranny.

Which is why my most favorite thing ever is now THE FURMINATOR!

The Furminator!

It pulls dead hair off a cat like a magnet and, while it doesn't eliminate cat hair in my home completely, it has drastically reduced what I'm having to vacuum up.

At least it was... for Jenny, anyway. She used to love it, but now she's resisting it. I've had to go back to a "regular" cat brush. Not nearly as effective, but it's better than nothing. And she loves it...

Jenny Got Brushed!

Jenny Got Brushed!

You know it's good when she wants her belly brushed.

Every once in a while I will assault her with The Furminator because she so desperately needs it. Hopefully one day soon she'll be back to loving it again.

Maybe if I get her high on catnip before Furminating her? Jake isn't much affected by the stuff, but it makes Jenny go nuts...

If there's good news to be had in the shedding department, my cats spend most of the time out in the catio as of late. They are out there from sun-up to sun-down most days. The sights, sounds, and smells are vastly more entertaining than what they can find inside the house...

Out in the Catio!

By far the most exciting part of their day is when visitors stop by. Sometimes random dogs drop in, which is always exciting. Jenny wants none of it, and come charging in the house. Jake, on the other hand, is unfazed. Jenny doesn't have a problem with other cats though. Even when Fake Jake is being aggressive, she doesn't get to riled up anymore...

Fake Jake Encounter!

Fake Jake Encounter!

And speaking of Fake Jake...

The poor guy just wants some attention. Some days when I get home from work, he's over in the neighbor's driveway just meow... meow... meowing. My heart goes out to him, so I always call him over to get some pets. But no matter how long I spend with him, it's never enough. He always waits at the door wanting more...

Fake Jake Pets!

Fake Jake Pets!

This past week Fake Jake came over for some love while I was unloading groceries. After petting him for five minutes or so, I turned around and saw Real Jake glaring at me from the screen door. I was caught red-handed spending time with another cat, and he was pissed.

In proud cat dad news... Jake's diet has been paying off. He's down a pound since I changed to indoor food and started restricting his access to food! He's still a lovable lump of a cat, but somethings never change...

It's Jake!

It's Jake with his Toungue Out!

And... that's about it for cat news this week.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017, DaveLife 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 26

Posted on Saturday, June 10th, 2017

Dave!I've been doing some construction in my bedroom, which has been a source of much anguish for my cats. They don't like the smell of the paint. They don't like the dust. They don't like the noise of my power tools. They really don't like the noise of the vacuum cleaner running all the time. I try to keep the door closed so that Jake and Jenny don't walk in paint or get hurt on something, and that's the thing they seem to hate most. They are used to going where they please and telling them they can't is tantamount to tragedy for them.

The thing they do like is that the bedroom windows are open for ventilation. Never mind that they have an entire catio open to the outside world... they like experiencing the outdoors from up high...

Jake and Jenny at the Window Screen

It worries me that they might find a way to punch through the screen and escape, so I've been closing the bedroom door every day when I leave. But last week I realized I forgot, and had to rush home to make sure they hadn't escaped. Which they hadn't. Thankfully.

Speaking of the outdoors...

Fake Jake still comes running for petting whenever he sees me. One day this past week he got a little bit more... aggressively affectionate... when I was giving him a rubdown and split my thumb open...

Fake Jake Mauling

Fake Jake Mauling

I was taking photos of him, so I actually caught the moment when it happened...

Fake Jake Mauling

Fake Jake Mauling

Fake Jake Mauling

He was undeterred by my pain and didn't let up on wanting more petting...

Fake Jake Mauling

Such a sweetheart to people... well, he tries to be a sweetheart when he doesn't have you running for antibiotic cream. Not such a sweetheart to other cats though.

Real Jake is as sweet as ever, often laying down with me when I'm in bed watching television or reading...

Jake Hanging on the Bed

He's not so sweet when he's busting the heck out of the last two crackers in the package...

Jake Eating My Crackers

But at least he eats what he kills...

Jake Eating My Crackers

Jenny has been really skittish as of late. Unless I walk towards her slowly and talk to her, she'll run off and hide. She hasn't acted like this since she was a kitten, so I'm not sure what's going on. Like Jake, she spends most of her time hanging out in the catio. Though with her it's a little more literal...

Jenny Hanging Out

Along with being far more skittish, she no longer allows me to pick her up. And any touching has to be on her terms now. Fortunately, she wants a lot of attention, so I'm not deprived...

Jenny Morning Scratchers

Jenny Morning Scratchers

Jenny Morning Scratchers

Such a pretty girl.

And, with that, I'm off to make more noise, dust, and stink in my bedroom.

   

Bullet Sunday 510

Posted on Sunday, June 11th, 2017

Dave!Time to bask in the rosy glow of the blogosphere, because an all new edition of Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Batman! It's difficult for me to think about Sunday bullets when my head is trying to wrap itself around the passing of original Batman Adam West. It's even tougher to try and explain how his television show influenced my childhood. Yes, the show was cheesy as all get-out, but my love of comic books and super-heroes all goes back to Batman, which I faithfully watched in reruns every day after school...

Adam West and Burt Ward as Batman and Robin!

But the thing that cemented me as an Adam West fan is how the actor totally owned his character, and leveraged everybody's love of who he was to get an entirely new career as an animation voice actor. While probably best known for the Mayor of Quahog in The Family Guy, he voiced dozens of roles...

The Family Guy Mayor Adam West

There have been a lot of famous people rushing to express their condolences, but the one we've been waiting for is from Adam West's Robin, Burt Ward. And with that... godspeed, Adam West. You will be missed.

   
• Black Panther! And... we're finally getting a real look at the long-awaited Black Panther movie. Like everything Marvel touches, it's looking incredible...

And, to think, we've got the new Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok movies coming soon! So great.

   
• LEGO CATS! What happens when two of your favorite things get smooshed into one? There is a company making LEGO Cats!

LEGO Cats!

AWESOME! Thanks to long-time friend and food blogger extraordinaire, Foodiddy, for the link!

   
• Nail Me! Of the many tools I've invested in, my pneumatic brad nailer is one of my favorites. Being able to BAP! BAP! BAP! nails into place is a time-saving bit of wonderful I can't get enough of. There's a price you pay, however, and that's having to lug around an air compressor. For this reason, I've been dreaming of buying a nailer that is cordless and tankless... like the Milwaukee 18-Volt 15-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer...

Milwaukee Fuel 18 Nailer

Problem is... it's like $400, which is a lot of money.

But then Home Depot sends me an email saying it's on sale at 40% off... just $240! And that comes with a new M18 Fuel battery! Sweet! I mean, I don't have $240, so it will have to sit on my credit card with my biscuit cutter, but it's still pretty great. If you're in the market for such a thing, the sale runs through June 21st!

   
• NEWSFLASH: A Studio Ghibli Theme Park Is CONFIRMED for 2020. — And... guess where I'll be going in 2021? There is no way to properly express my enthusiasm for even the idea of such a magical place.

   
• Humanity! I think it's awful we have to make commercials to explain lessons in Humanity 101 but, if we must, this is what it should look like...

This wonderful spot on foster homes for kids is not something new for Norway, they are also responsible for this amazing commercial...

And yet I live in a country that would rather build a useless border wall that will ultimately cause more harm than good (while doing fuck-all nothing to solve drugs or illegal immigration problems) instead of put any money towards those who need it most. That's how fucked up things are now, and how far we've fallen from the basic humanity that used to define us. Shameful.

   
• NEWSFLASH! Jeff Sessions says he’s ‘surprised’ Americans aren’t embracing his anti-marijuana stance. I'm betting a LOT of things surprise this dumbass moron. Like electricity. And indoor toilets. And being able to bring a woman to orgasm...

Sessions Dumbfuckery
Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

I am sick and fucking tired of wealthy old white men making decisions based on their idiotic, antiquated notions. Legalization of cannabis is a growing trend because THE CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY WANT IT, and I find it ironic that Sessions comes from a party who's all about state's rights... except when it comes to something he doesn't like. What a fucking hypocritical douche.

   
And... no more bullets. There's a new episode of American Gods to be watching!

   

Caturday 27

Posted on Saturday, June 17th, 2017

Dave!Life with cats is never boring. Well, actually it's mostly boring. Cats sleep... like... an insane amount of time. But the bits where they are awake is interesting. Mostly because my cats do not exhibit consistent behavior. Just when you think you have a handle on them, they mix it up, and start doing something entirely different.

Jenny, for example, did not "meow" the first 8 months I had her. Unlike Jake, who seems physically unable to "meow," apparently it was because she just didn't feel like it. Then... it started. Just weak little meows from time to time when she wanted attention. That transitioned into this kind of forlorner meow (that was bordering on a wail) when she wanted attention, which breaks your heart. And now? When Jenny really wants your attention, the meows are unleashed. They still sound a bit "sad," but they are numerous and loud.

At first I went running whenever she exhibited this behavior, because I was worried something was seriously wrong. More than once I've gone tearing down the stairs worried that she's sick or trapped under a rogue meteorite that crashed through the ceiling. Nope. She just wanted to be petted, and didn't feel like climbing up the stairs for it.

Most mornings now she will patiently wait for me outside the shower. Apparently she loves rubbing against you when you're damp. Once the water turns off, the clock is ticking. If I take too long drying off, she will start meowing for me to hurry up.

That pussy ain't gonna pet itself, so it would seem.

As I've mentioned many times, Jenny brings me a morning "tribute" in exchange for me getting out of bed and serving her breakfast. She'll waltz in with a toy (or several) and drop them on the floor by my bed anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours before she's due to be fed. Here, for example, she's just dropped off Tan Mouse and is looking up at me in expectation of food...

Jenny's Morning Tribute!

Jenny's Morning Tribute!

Some mornings she will haul a tribute toy all the way upstairs, but discard it before she gets to my bedroom in favor of a different toy...

Jenny's Morning Tribute on My Stairs!

There are times this results in a kind of interesting art installation on my stairs...

Jenny's Morning Tribute on My Stairs!

Her favorite toys, these crinkle-fish that have catnip in them, are rarely offered as tribute. She prefers to keep them with her so Jake can't take them, especially when she's ready for a nap. She'll hunt one or two of them down, then crawl into bed. Like she did here with Blue Fish...

Jenny Sleeping with Her Fish Toy!

You can't tell in this photo (because I was too slow) but she's hugging Green Fish in her little paws...

Jenny Sleeping with Her Fish Toy!

Also new? Jenny has started moving furniture in the mornings while waiting for breakfast to be served. She starts by dragging all the couch pillows onto the floor then moving them around. Then she goes after anything she can physically move. Like the box I've been using for garbage while cleaning out my filing cabinet. Or the brush loop. Or her little scratcher lounge...

Jenny Sleeping with Her Fish Toy!

If I hadn't heard it going on and seen it on security camera footage, I would never have believed it. She will drag/push that thing across the entire house. And it's almost as big as she is! I have no idea why she's decided to become an interior decorator, but here we are.

As for Jake?

Still being Jake. Though a little bit grumpier because I've had him on a veterinarian-dictated diet. And since he's a fairly active cat, he's been losing weight quite nicely. His pronounced belly is almost gone...

Kitties Exploring my Desk!

Jake and Jenny's favorite place remains the catio. Now that it's warmer, they are out there all day long. Jenny will even stay out all night, because that's the best time for catching and eating bugs, apparently. Earlier this week they were both out there while I was working on the couch. All of a sudden they come dashing in the house, then take up residence on the loveseat so they can observe the catio from afar. Turns out the giant dopey black lab was back for a visit, which they do not like at all...

Kitties Watching the Catio!

Though Jenny tried to make the best of a bad situation, as always...

Jenny Grabbing Jake by the Tail!

Jenny Grabbing Jake by the Tail

More excitement was to be had this week because they are repairing the stucco on the condos. This included the stucco in the catio, which meant I had to finally use the pet door blocker to keep them from running out...

Stucco Work in the Catio!

Jake was most definitely not okay with having his catio privileges revoked, because the catio is his favorite place to be. He decided to compensate for his disappointment by being a BAD, BAD KITTY and crawling on the kitchen counters, regardless of how many times I told him to GET OFF OF THERE...

Jake Being a BAD BAD KITTY!

Time for the Clorox Wipes. Again.

Why can't he stay out of the kitchen like his sister?

Oh well. Jake wouldn't be Jake if he wasn't thumbing his paw at authority.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

The Great Jake Escape

Posted on Monday, June 19th, 2017

Dave!And so I'm dead now.

When I went upstairs to watch Netflix in bed at 9pm last night, Jenny was still out in the catio. When I finally decided to go to sleep at around 11pm, I checked the cameras and saw she was still out there. This is not unusual, as she loves chasing bugs in the catio at night. Jake, I assumed, was off asleep somewhere.

When I woke up at 2am, I checked the cameras and saw that Jenny was still out in the catio. No Jake. I activated all the internal cameras. Still no Jake. I assumed that he was still off sleeping somewhere. So I started scrubbing backwards through the internal cameras so I could figure out where.

Jake was nowhere to be found. The last time he showed up was 7:15pm, when he was climbing down the cat tree.

Holy crap! Did I lock him in the laundry room?

No.

I can't find him anywhere.

No big deal, I grab the cat treats and shake the bag. Jenny comes running in from the catio immediately.

No Jake.

This is unprecedented. For Jake to not show up for kitty snacks is inconceivable. He loves those things. Loves them. The only reason he wouldn't show up is because he's trapped somewhere. Or dead.

And thus begins 20 minutes of total panic as I proceed to tear my house apart.

Still no Jake. He's vanished.

Either he has wedged himself somewhere I haven't thought of or... he got outside somehow?

Total panic becomes a complete meltdown as I start checking outside cameras. And there he is. Wandering around the back yard. At least he was at 1:28am, which was almost an hour previous...

Jake Outside!

What. The. Hell?

At first I thought it might be Fake Jake, but the more I watch the video, the more I'm convinced it really is Jake, and he managed to escape. Some way. Some how.

I am trying to think if I have ever been at the panic level I was at that moment.

I honestly don't think I have.

And so there I am, out in the catio with the door wide open, shaking a bag of treats. He shows up minutes later...

Jake Rescued from Outside!

But... how? How did he get out? He was around when I got home from work, I'm sure of it. Did he escape when I took out the garbage? Did I leave a window open somewhere and he pushed out the screen? Is there a hole in the fencing on the catio?

Back to the cameras. And... turns out he pushed off the roof of the catio (video at 8x speed)...

A couple things to note:

  1. Jake paces back and forth, pushing on the roof at different spots. It's like he knows he can push through somewhere if he can get the leverage.
  2. I can't see where he drops to the ground. I'm guessing he jumps over to the shrub, and climbs down that way?
  3. Jenny totally watches him escape.
  4. Eventually Jenny pushes through the roof as well, but chooses not to leave. Thank heavens.
  5. The catio is now closed, pending my securing the roof panels.

From what I can tell, Jake was never too far away from the catio. He appears on the back porch several times throughout the night (video at 8x speed)...

Though he did circle the entire building once. He appears in the front yard at 11:45pm... goes out of frame at the bottom near midnight... then reappears at the top of the frame exactly 30 minutes later. Heaven only knows what he did along the way (video at 8x speed)...

More than once he tries to find a way back into the catio, and most times his sister is on the other side watching him...

Jake Watches Jenny!

Jenny Watches Jake!

So there you have it... Jake's big adventure.

And my nervous breakdown. Because all I can think about is how this could have happened tomorrow when I'm traveling and Jake would have been stuck outside.

Needless to say, I won't be getting any sleep tonight. If ever.

Maybe if I would stop checking the video cameras every 15 minutes to make sure the cats are still inside and safe...

Jake Safe Inside!

Cats. What can you do?

   
UPDATE: Turns out my framing contractor (who also made the roof for the catio) used screws that were way too short. They were barely grabbing into the wood. So when Jake was walking back and forth pushing on the ceiling, the screws were popping out like rivets...

Short Screws!

Short Screws!

I'm replacing them all with screws that are 2-1/2" times longer.

Short Screws!

And... Jake and Jenny can enjoy their catio once again.

And... I can have the peace of mind that the cats can't get out.

Until the next time.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017, DaveLife 2017Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Vegas Redux, Finale

Posted on Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Dave!Despite not having to get up early (my flight wasn't until 11:55am), I couldn't seem to get back asleep after waking up at 4:00am.

Oh well. It gave me time to iron so I didn't have to fly home wrinkled.

In regards to my Leaving Las Vegas... I love McCarran airport. Unlike the majority of US airports, it's very efficient and has been optimized to move people in and out as quickly as possible. TSA PreCheck line backed up? THEY OPEN ANOTHER PRECHECK LANE! WHAT A CONCEPT! And... ZOFG... plenty of gate seating! For all other airports I arrive 2 hours early because even with PreCheck you never know. With McCarran I am perfectly comfortable arriving 45 minutes before flight time knowing I'll be at the gate 15 minutes later and, not uncommonly, walking into the plane ten minutes after. I wouldn't hate travel so much if this was the normal at airports.

The flight home was great.

The drive home, however, was brutal.

True to form, WSDOT can’t concentrate their efforts into QUICKLY completing a single project... they have to sprinkle resources on several projects, which means they all drag on forever. On I-90 East, they have ripped out huge chunks of the highway and just left the holes there, meaning three lanes of traffic become one on a busy Friday where half of Seattle is headed over the mountains.

Which translated into 45 minutes added to my drive time home.

I'm guessing it's going to be left that way all weekend long. And I just don't get it. Light it up, double-shift that shit, and GET. IT. DONE!

How the hell is it that I am constantly seeing videos from other countries where they will replace an entire fucking bridge in two days... or replace an entire fucking intersection overnight that fell into a sinkhole... or rebuild a fucking washed out road in ten hours... WHEN EVERY DAMN PROJECT IN WASHINGTON STATE TAKES MONTHS TO YEARS TO COMPLETE?!?

It wouldn’t be so bad if they would focus on one project and GET. IT. DONE! But they don’t. New projects keep popping up all over the place while old projects sit incomplete. You don't stop for construction ONCE on your journey... you stop FOUR TIMES. I'm guessing I-90 is probably going to be fucked up for weeks... and apparently nobody at WSDOT gives a flying fuck that it’s summer vacation season and NOW is when the roads need to be fully operational. Why would they? It would seem there are -zero- consequences to having everything torn to shit all the time.

And speaking of never-ending construction...

When I pull into my driveway, I notice that my new ultrasonic mole repeller isn't doing the job.

On the contrary, the mole seems to be taunting me by DIGGING NEW HOLES RIGHT AROUND THE ULTRASONIC STAKE!

Kölsche

Ugh. No idea what my next step will be there.

And... apparently there was a power outage while I was gone.

The horrible part about it is not that all the clocks have to be set... but that the Litter Robot DOES NOT COME BACK ON WHEN THE POWER IS RESTORED. How fucking useless! I mean, seriously. WHY? They sell a battery back-up, but I always assumed that it was so your Litter Robot would run while the power was out. I don't care about that... but I care quite a LOT that it just stays off permanently if there's a power interruption.

And so... the Litter Robot was filled. The two back-up litter boxes were also filled. So nasty. And I feel terrible. Especially for Jenny. She is pretty particular about wanting to poop in a clean box. She will hold it and hold it until she can't anymore, and is forced to use it. I can't believe that she didn't poop on the floor. I would have. And so now I have to buy a $40 battery just to make sure Litter Robot works after an outage. This is on top of the already outrageous price for the unit and the accessories I had to buy that should already have come with it.

I ordered the battery so this won't happen again... but, wow. Still feel terrible. I should have been checking the security cameras to make sure it was running.

And with that... time to catch up on all I missed. Good thing I have a weekend coming up...

Tags: , ,
Categories: Cats 2017, Travel 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 28

Posted on Saturday, June 24th, 2017

Dave!It's good to be back home.

On Thursday morning... the day before I was to fly back... I was awakened by my security cameras telling me there's motion in the kitchen. I get all ready to yell at Jake to get out of there, but when I look at the footage, and...

...it's not Jake, it's Jenny...

Jenny Scavanging in the Kitchen

Jenny Scavanging in the Kitchen

She has been a good girl and hasn't been in the kitchen for ages, so this is puzzling. It looks like she's trying to find food maybe?

So I go back through other camera footage only to find she didn't eat dinner last night. She was out in the catio when the feeder activated. By the time she got hungry and made it to the feeders at 1am, Jake had (of course) already eaten all the food. I activated the feeders immediately so she could have an early breakfast, but I still felt awful...

Jenny Scavanging in the Kitchen

And I've been getting a stare-down from her ever since I got back.

Jenny Stare-Down

And now... a mystery to solve.

Before I leave on a trip, I always buy new toys for the cats. Probably out of guilt. For this trip I bought a ball that makes noises... except it's too loud and the cats are scared of it. I also bought a ball with a little moving pole that has a feather on top. The cats are intrigued by it, but pretty much just let it slap them around in the face...

New Cat Toy

And now that I'm home? The ball is missing.

Gone.

Kaput.

Not under the couches. Not in the catio. Not in any closet. It's vanished. No idea where they dragged it off to, and I can't find out what happened on the security cameras. I'm guessing that the cats know where the cameras are and how to avoid them.

One more thing to do...

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Cats. Kids. Mondays. Life.

Posted on Monday, June 26th, 2017

Dave!My cats are a never-ending source of entertainment. They are also not of this earth and defy all my attempts to understand them. That, in itself, should keep them at a distance, but the truth is that they have become intricately woven into my life in unexpectedly deep ways. Part of that has to do with the fact that I'm single and all my best friends and family don't live here, so the cats are acting as surrogates. Part of it has to do with the fact that, for the most part, I like animals more than people.

And part of it is because they're the closest things to kids I plan on having.

Which is why all y'all's horror stories about your kids has zero effect on me.

Sure, your baby may have exploded diarrhea at a McDonalds birthday party... but last night I had to chase Jake around with a paper towel because he had a pebble of poop stuck on his sphincter. His efforts to scrape/bite/rub it off only resulted in an inflamed butt-hole, so there I was. And then this morning I had to inspect his sphincter to make sure the irritation and redness had subsided, which it had. And thank heavens for that, because otherwise we would have ended up at the vet, and nobody wants that.

And sure your baby may cry because it wants to be held... but this morning Jenny was crying as I was trying to leave for work because she wants to be petted. And, unlike holding a baby where you can do other stuff, petting Jenny demands 100% of your attention. And since she knows I will drop everything when she's meowing, she will keep doing so until I give in. The good news is that she was so desperate for attention that I was able to spend 10 minutes brushing her with The Furminator.

And sure you spend your days and nights worrying about how you're going to afford to send your baby to college one day... but I'm spending my days and nights worrying about whisker fatigue.

And for those of you who don't know what "whisker fatigue" is... allow me to introduce Dr. Catsby...

Now, most probably like you... when I first heard of "whisker fatigue," I called bullshit. Cats have been eating out of tiny bowls for hundreds of years. This is just some lame marketing ploy, right?

But then I started observing my cats.

  • There are times Jake will paw food out of the bowl onto the floor and eat it there.
  • Jenny is always hesitant to start eating. Furthermore, she won't actually stick her head in the bowl and bite the food... she licks it until she can't reach it. But when I put the food in a wide bowl or a shallow plate, she will bite it.
  • Jake will sometimes stop eating, walk around a bit, then come back and sit in front of the bowl like he wants to eat... but sits there for a while before doing so. I think it is actually hurting my attempts to get him to lose weight, as he's eating more than he normally would because he's making so many trips.
  • There are times Jenny refuses to eat at all. And by the time she's finally starving enough to force herself to eat, Jake will have eaten all her food.

I've tried plates, but the food gets pushed all over the place. I've tried shallow bowls, but the food still gets trapped in the corners. =sigh!= I guess you win, Dr. Catsby...

Dr. Catsby's Bowls for Whisker Fatigue!

Expensive little suckers.

But if they work? One less thing to worry about!

Though I do hope that Jake can keep a clean sphincter for at least a month before I'm worrying about that again. If I wanted this kind of stress I would have had kids

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

I Got a Heatwave Burning in My Heart

Posted on Friday, July 7th, 2017

Dave!Temperatures finally breached 100° this week, so the air conditioner had to be turned on. Darnit. Odds are it's going to stay on because the forecast is up there for the next ten days. Probably longer.

So much for tiny electricity bills.

Even though I set the temperature between 74° and 76° and use ceiling fans, it's a goodly chunk of money to keep everything in the house from melting.

Including the cats.

And then...

Back in 2015 when Apple released the latest and greatest 4th generation Apple TV, I purchased one to replace my aging 2nd generation unit (which I moved to the guest room). Despite the remote being shit, I was happy with the upgrade. At first. Eventually I found out that the unit had horrible problems streaming video from Apple. Other sources... Netflix, HBO, Showtime, YouTube, Hulu, you-name-it, were all working fine on Apple TV, it was just my iTunes Store purchases that were stuttering and crapping out... or not loading at all.

So when I ended up winning a second Apple TV from an incentive give-away, I just tossed it in the closet. My bedroom TV has Netflix built-in, so I figured I'd just wait until somebody came up with a hack to turn the Apple TV into a web server or something. Since it had problems streaming my rather large collection of Apple media, it just wasn't worth messing with.

Until Game of Thrones Season 7 was announced to be arriving.

My bedroom TV doesn't have an HBO app, so I decided to dig out the extra Apple TV so I can watch Thrones in bed as God intended.

But first I had to find the thing, because I had no idea what happened to it during the move. I've been searching off and on for weeks to no avail. And then this morning I finally found it.

By accident.

My cats have been acting crazy, so I decided to start putting my iPhone charging cable in the tiny empty cupboard above my range hood and microwave where they couldn't get to it... and... voilà...

Tiny Cupboard Treasures!

My "empty" cupboard contained an old phone book, a Hershey chocolate candle, and... my missing Apple TV. In all honesty, I do not remember putting it in there. I don't remember putting any of it there. I can't even think of why I'd have done it.

Probably so I wouldn't lose it?

Jenny helped me set it up...

Tiny Cupboard Treasures!

And... ready for new Game of Thrones on the 16th!

   

Caturday 29

Posted on Saturday, July 8th, 2017

Dave!When I went to bed on Thursday night, everything with my cats was fine.

Something happened that night and everything changed. It's as if they suddenly realized that there are no consequences for their actions... no punishment for their bad behavior.

Yesterday morning began with my waking up to Jake pulling my movie posters off the wall...

Jake Poster Killer

Jake Poster Killer

Iron Man is now crooked. I just left him that way since Jake will just try to pull him down again...

Jake Poster Killer

At least Jenny was being a good kitty, right? No. She was climbing around the kitchen where she knows she's not supposed to be...

Bad Jenny in the Kitchen!

After serving the kitties breakfast, I went back upstairs to get ready for work and slog through my email. It was then I heard cupboard doors banging...

...IT WAS JAKE WAS STEALING KITTY SNACKS OUT OF THE CAT FOOD CUBBY! And he had just had breakfast!

Jake the Thief!

Then he and Jenny chewed it open to get at the yummies inside...

Jake and Jenny Thieves!

Jake and Jenny Thieves!

Clearly my cats have turned a corner and are completely out of control.

Thinking I need to start in on some tough love, I took the advice of Facebook friends and pulled out the squirt bottle. Much to my shock, Jenny was first to get sprayed. She didn't really react. It was like she didn't understand what was happening. Once she figured out she was getting wet, she walked over to the scratcher lounger and started pouting...

Jenny Pouting on the Lounger!

Then I felt bad.

Today things were better... though Jake did decide to pull my clean clothes down to the floor. Again.

Tomorrow's a full moon, I'm hoping the cat madness will end once it's gone.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Catspreading

Posted on Monday, July 10th, 2017

Dave!I always feel sorry for animals having to endure the summer heat while wearing a fur coat. It can't be comfortable. Though my cats still like laying out in the catio when the heat is on, so maybe it's not as big a deal as I'm thinking it is.

Jake has his own way with dealing with the heat... catspreading.

I notice when it's hot out in the catio, he'll usually lay on the cool, shaded concrete... then spread out for maximum heat dispersion...

Jake Catspreading
Yes, I desperately need to wash my windows!

Indoors is another story.

The cat tree sits right under the HVAC vent. When the air conditioning turns on, he'll immediately spread out for some cooling relief...

Jake Catspreading

And then when it turns back off, he'll go back to a normal position...

Jake Catspreading

Perfectly logical. Yet still odd.

But whatever floats your boat, little buddy!

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 30

Posted on Saturday, July 15th, 2017

Dave!I'd have thought that my cats would have settled into their personalities after a year-and-a-half... that no new big surprises would be on the horizon.

It certainly seemed that way. Until this past week, when big surprises did indeed show up.

When I first got Jake and Jenny, they were terribly frightened and shy...

Jake and Jenny Day One

It took a week before I could lure them out from under the couch to play. It took four weeks before Jake would let me touch him... five weeks before Jenny would allow petting. Weeks after that, the cats were fairly sociable and would climb on me if I lured them with a cat charmer. Months after that, Jake would be all over me... Jenny not so much. Eventually she came around, but there were always conditions. If she was laying near me, I couldn't touch her or she'd get scared and run away. Any time I'd be petting her, she'd nervously pace all around me, never laying down or getting comfortable. She'd hop on the bed and watch TV with me for hours... but at a comfortable distance. Every once in a blue moon she'd sit or lay for a few minutes while I'd scratch her ears, but anything more than that just wasn't going to happen.

Until this past week, when all of a sudden she's hanging out with me every morning like this...

Jenny is a Cuddle Bug

Jenny is a Cuddle Bug

Jenny is a Cuddle Bug

Jenny is a Cuddle Bug

Honestly never thought this would happen.

And then there's Jake.

He'll happily hop next to me on the couch or sit in my lap for an hour at a time. He's been doing this for a long while now. But yesterday it got weird.

I came home early from work around 1:30pm. The minute I walked through the door, Jake was all over me, following my every step... rubbing up against me any time I stopped moving. Then I sat down and he was immediately on me to take a nap...

Jake Hangs on Me

He then stayed on me... for the next ten hours... while I worked, watched TV, and ate dinner. The only time he'd leave is to eat or go to the bathroom. If I got up for any reason, he'd start crying and cling to me. I was starting to wonder if he was sick...

Jake Hangs on Me

Jake Hangs on Me

Jake Hangs on Me

Jake Hangs on Me

Jake Hangs on Me

Jake Hangs on Me

Jake Hangs on Me

Jake Hangs on Me

Around 10:30 I went up to bed. He was right there with me until I fell asleep. When I woke around 3am, he was gone. And this morning things seem to be back to normal.

Well, as normal as things can be when you have cats.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Implausible Deniability

Posted on Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

Dave!I don't think that my cats have fully grapsed the idea that there are security cameras everywhere throughout my house and I can see most everything they do.

So when I come downstairs, walk into the kitchen, and see that the cupboard with all the cat food, cat treats, and cat toys has been ransacked, their attempt to profess their innocence by pretending to be shocked and saddened that such a tragedy has occurred doesn't do them any favors.

Nor does blaming "ghosts," which seems to be their go-to explanation.

Today I attempted to show Jake some camera footage which clearly shows he is guilty of breaking into the cat cupboard. Again. He remained steadfast in his innocence.

I'd say he's got a huge pair of balls on him, but he doesn't have any balls at all.

Even so, I'm too proud of him to be angry about it.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 31

Posted on Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

Dave!It's strange how much I worry about my cats when I'm not at home. Not over things like them tearing up the house or making a mess or anything like that... but worry over them being lonely or bored.

Right now I am checking in on them with the security cameras and they are exactly where I saw them when I left yesterday. Jake is on top of the kitty tree and Jenny is laying on the stereo receiver (I think she likes how it gets a little warm... even on the hottest days). She naps there most of the time now...

Jenny on the Stereo Receiver

Seriously, she does.

I've been documenting it with my iPhone...

Jenny on the Stereo Receiver

Jenny on the Stereo Receiver

Jenny on the Stereo Receiver

Jenny on the Stereo Receiver

Awwwww... this one is my favorite...

Jenny on the Stereo Receiver

She's making a pillow out of my Star Wars Blu-Ray collections!

As for Jake? He's busy being Jake. When he's not eating, pooping, or napping... he's destroying my expensive books by chewing on them... sometimes as I am reading them...

Jake Eats a Book

LOOK OUT SPIDER-MAN!!!

And... going to try and be inspired by my cats and get some sleep now.

Which would probably be easier if I were home with them.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 32

Posted on Saturday, July 29th, 2017

Dave!My new cat sitter doesn't start until tomorrow, so Jake and Jenny are on their own for another day. Not a big deal, as I've been gone a lot longer than this and they've been fine. Thanks to Litter Robot, Feed-and-Go, and my security system, they are in good hands. So there's no need to worry about them. And, hey, if something comes up, I can always call a neighbor to check in. It's all good.

Except...

It's tough not to worry when you're 2,500 miles away and you've got all this crazy crap going through your head.

Take, for example, feedings.

In the past I'd fill the automated feeder to max levels so I was assured that the cats wouldn't go hungry while I'm gone. But then Jake had to be put on a diet, so that wasn't a good option any more. Now I put the exact amount each cat gets in the feeder so they aren't over-eating.

But then I started worrying that if Jake scarfs down his dinner... and wants more (which he always does)... will he push Jenny out of the way and steal her food? This is a genuine concern. He's a much bigger cat and, while Jenny doesn't put up with his shit, she's also not in a position to shove him back when she's such a petite little lady.

Last night I got my answer. The feeders activated and Jake and Jenny came running to eat...

Jake and Jenny at Dinner

As expected, Jake mowed through the bulk of his dinner before Jenny had even taken a couple bites. Would he force his sister out of the way to steal her food? Turns out... no... he wandered away...

Jake and Jenny at Dinner

That's a relief... but I know for a fact that when he's hungry later on, he won't hesitate to eat whatever food is left, and he doesn't care whose bowl its in.

In other news... Carl got stuck under the media center this morning. I heard three beeps over the security camera, which means he's sucked up something he shouldn't have. Probably a stray wire underneath. Jake was most concerned when his robot pal stopped working...

Jake Investigates Stuck Carl

I asked Jake to pull Carl out and take him to his charging station, but that was apparently asking too much. Instead Jake climbed the cat tower and took a nap.

Which doesn't sound like such a bad idea. I've been up since 4:30am and work is just getting started now at 2:30pm.

I'm going to need a bigger Coke.

Tags: , ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Asphyxia Again

Posted on Monday, August 7th, 2017

Dave!The smoke-filled air has become so bad that going outside for even a minute is like painting my lungs with glue. Most days now the haze is so bad that I can't even see the surrounding hillsides. The paper said air conditions would be improving, but that hasn't happened at all.

Which has resulted in my cats being upset at me for limiting their time out in the catio.

I only let them out when I can see through the air... and even then just for an hour. Any more time than that and I worry what might happen to their little lungs.

Needless to say I really worry about the animals (like Fake Jake) that are out in the smoke all day and night. This cannot be good for their health.

Ironucally, my Solar Eclipse viewing glasses and camera lens cover arrived today. Don't know if things will be cleared up enough for that to matter, but here's hoping.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017, DaveLife 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

This Isn’t Skepticism

Posted on Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Dave!Honestly.

I don't know what it is.


Skeptic Jake

   
But he's a cat, so...

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 33

Posted on Saturday, August 12th, 2017

Dave!Thank heavens for cats.

Because, seriously...

Although it's not always sunshine and roses. Jake and Jenny are still evolving in their personalities. And their brother/sister relationship. Which is not always great. Now that Jenny has been more and more enthusiastic about hanging out with me, Jake has occasional fits of jealousy where he'll chase her off so he can have all the attention. Nothing violent... yet, and they are still mostly happy together... but it's a growing concern. Jenny can definitely take care of herself, but Jake is a big bruiser of a cat that has some pounds on her.

She makes up for it in attitude though. Just look at this grumpy face...

Jenny Morning Tribute

Jenny dragged Lion all the way upstairs as her morning tribute, then had to meow so I was sure to see it. Unfortunately, it was still an hour until breakfast time, so my ignoring her did not sit well. She started ripping into poor lion, then getting upset when the fur from his mane got stuck in her mouth...

Jenny Morning Tribute Fight

She was triumphant in the end though...

Jenny Morning Tribute Triumphant

As for Jake? Still loves being Jake. Which means every day when I come home from work, he's all over me...

Jake on Dave

Jake on Dave

Jake on Dave

Fake Jake has been hanging around more than usual, which provides endless entertainment for the cats. Jake is no longer afraid of his doppelgänger, which means they actually kind of "hang out" together from time to time. Though I know if the fencing were removed, Fake Jake would likely be on the attack, so catio containment is still critical. This often results in a "Cat Watching Cat Watching Cat Watching Cat" scenario...

Cats Watching Cats Watching Cats

Ugh. Unfortunately, they just power-washed the gutters and concrete, so my windows are even dirtier than usual. Such a pity that window-washing is not including with the HOA fees!

And that's it for Caturday Saturday... now I'm off to the other side of the mountains.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Kitty Pals

Posted on Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

Dave!Well, the world may be going to shit, but at least I have cats to keep me sane.


Kitty Pals

Kitty Pals

Kitty Pals

Kitty Pals

Kitty Pals

Kitty Pals

Just like when they were kittens... but not quite so compact...

Kitty Pals

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 34: Raccoonageddon

Posted on Saturday, August 19th, 2017

Dave!My inability to sleep has nothing to do with my cats. They've always been oddly respectful of sleepy-time. On those rare occasions I do manage to fall asleep, they leave me alone. Even if I just pretend to be asleep, they'll walk in the room, take a look, then walk right back out. It's weird them being so unselfish while being cats and all, but I'm not going to complain.

Except...

Every once in a while...

Something happens and they go all "cat" again.

Like last night when I woke up to armageddon happening downstairs. The cats were freaking out over... something... and the commotion was nuts. Is there a big bug in the house? Did a mouse climb through the cat door? What could it be?

Nothing showed up on the security cameras.

Until I reviewed outside footage.

A family of five raccoons decided to visit the catio, which caused quite a stir. I've sped-up the footage to double-speed...

Here's a zoom-in on the above footage to see them better...

I especially love the little raccoon at the end who is desperately trying to make friends with Jake, who just isn't having it...

Raccoon Friend

   
Guess I need to look into getting some Raccoon Chow.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 34

Posted on Saturday, August 26th, 2017

Dave!As I mentioned in an earlier post, my cats' behaviors continue to evolve.

It used to be that my cats would happily share my affections... climbing on me or next to me at the same time. Usually when I was n the couch trying to work while watching television...

Jake & Jenny Petting

This hasn't been the case for several months. Now if one cat is near me, the other one will avoid me. And they seem to have come to some kind of mutual agreement as to who gets to be where.

Jake gets the couch. Jenny almost never jumps on my lap while I'm sitting there anymore...

Jake Lap Cat

Jake Lap Cat

Jake Lap Cat

Jenny gets the bed. Jake will still hop on the bed next to me from time to time, but only if Jenny hasn't gotten there first...

Jenny Bed Cat

Jenny Bed Cat

Jenny Bed Cat

Jenny is still claiming the stereo receiver as her personal space. It's a great spot to satisfy her television addiction...

Jenny watching Rick and Morty

For whatever reason, Jenny is particularly fond of Rick from Rick and Morty. When she hears his voice, she perks right up.

My efforts at cat-proofing the cupboard where I keep the cat food and cat toy supply has met with failure. My first attempt was a latch that adhered to the doors. It took Jake all of one night to figure out how to move the latch so he could get inside. My second attempt was with a plastic clip that added resistance to pulling open the doors. Jake just pulled harder and opened them right up.

Since he can't open the cans and pouches of food, he settles for stealing toys. I'm forever finding them... still attached to their cards... scattered around the house...

Jake Steals a Toy

Ever since the eclipse, Fake Jake has been visiting with increasing regularity. He stops by at least once a day now, usually more. This is a source of great excitement for the cats. Especially Jake, who watches for Fake Jake out the side window, then goes tearing towards the catio whenever he spots Fake Jake headed in that direction. After visiting for a while, Fake Jake gets bored and wanders off. Jake will then come tearing back inside so he can follow Fake Jake to the guest bedroom window. Whenever I hear kitty claws running at top speed on my wood floors, I know exactly what's happening...

Jake Chasing Fake Jake

Jake Chasing Fake Jake

Jake is obsessed with Fake Jake encroaching on his territory, and will follow him from window to window to window to keep an eye on him.

   
And now it's time for me to set Caturday aside so I can see how big of a disaster the Netflix Death Note adaptation is. The original manga and animated series were pretty great, so my expectations are at an all-time low.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

This is the Story of a Girl Named Lucky

Posted on Monday, August 28th, 2017

Dave!Thanks to things like "blogging" and "social media," I've made friends around the world. I know somebody who lives just about anywhere. In many ways, this is a very cool thing. Especially when it comes to travel, since there's a friendly face I can visit with no matter where I go. But there's also a down-side.

Because when disaster and tragedy strikes, odds are, I know somebody affected by it.

Such is the case with Hurricane Harvey. I have three blogger friends in the Houston area. I have a friend from work just east of there in the Beaumont/PortArthur area. I know other people in East Texas that could ultimately be affected too.

There's few things worse than watching the news and feeling helpless while seeing what's happening to people I care about.

Well, there's one thing.

Destruction from events like Harvey are terrifying and worrisome... and living with disaster looming in an uncertain future is a horrible thing to suffer through... but at least people understand what's happening.

Abandoned animals do not...

Abandoned Puppy Chained to a Pole in Floodwaters
Photo by Ruaridh Connellan ©2017 Daily Mail (UK)

Abandoned Puppy Chained to a Pole in Floodwaters
Photo by Ruaridh Connellan ©2017 Daily Mail (UK)

   
All animals know is to be hungry, scared, and confused as incomprehensible things happen to them. This poor girl was left tied to a telephone pole as the floodwaters started to rise.

I hope it was an accident.

I hope the dog was tied temporarily, and some emergency called the owner away temporarily and they couldn't get back.

I hope this is just a cruel twist of fate that has the owners as upset as I am that this could happen.

Because anything less than that makes me about as upset as I am capable of being.

Luckily the photographer, Ruaridh Connellan, has a heart and rescued the puppy from her plight...

Abandoned Puppy Chained to a Pole in Floodwaters
Photo by Alan Butterfield ©2017 Daily Mail (UK)

Abandoned Puppy Chained to a Pole in Floodwaters
Photo by Ruaridh Connellan ©2017 Daily Mail (UK)

   
I know the majority of people have kindness in their hearts for animals. I know there are a lot of people like me who would risk their lives to save their pets. But I also know there are people who would leave their animals to die if it was inconvenient to do otherwise, and that's pretty hard to take.

You can read the whole story of "Lucky" at the Daily Mail site.

   

Caturday 35

Posted on Saturday, September 2nd, 2017

Dave!Cats are so weird.

I would give just about anything to be able to climb inside their little heads and find out what is going on in their brains. I mean, I'm sure they act the way they do for a reason... I'll just be darned if I know what that reason is most of the time.

Sure some of the time it's just common sense. Like the way they act around meal time...

Jake and Jenny Is It Dinner Time Yet?

That kind of crazy I can understand.

Everything else? A mystery.

Jenny has gotten to the point where all she wants to do is spend the whole day in bed with me. She runs to hang with me the minute I head up to go to sleep... and stays with me until I fall asleep. Mornings are the same thing. Once I'm awake, she will hang with me wanting to be petted until I get up to take a shower. Then she comes and waits by the shower so she can lead me back to bed for more belly-rubs...

Jenny Fuzzy Belly Rubs

Jenny Fuzzy Belly Rubs

Jenny Fuzzy Belly Rubs

Jenny Fuzzy Belly Rubs

   
Jake has started getting very clingy when I get home from work. He will lay on me for hours... only wanting to leave when it's time to eat...

Clingy Jakey Bear

Clingy Jakey Bear

Clingy Jakey Bear

Clingy Jakey Bear

   
For anybody wondering... yes, Jenny does still bring me toys every morning as tributes. And she's getting good at making a whole production out of it, complete with drama...

Jenny Tribute Waiting

Jenny Tribute Waiting

"If you won't feed me, I suppose I'll just put my head down and die..."

Jenny Tribute Waiting

Sometimes she manages to surprise me. Like when she brought DOUBLE PRETZELS as tributes. I didn't even realize that we had two of them...

Jenny Tribute Waiting

   
And... that's enough cats for one day. See you next Caturday...

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 522

Posted on Sunday, September 3rd, 2017

Dave!Don't let smoke inhalation get you down, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• FIRE! Once again it would seem that the Columbia Basin is on fire. This is the view I had on the drive over the mountains...

Wildfire Smoke Scenery

   
• Chase! My... My... My pants! Jake chases Jenny. Jenny chases Jake...

It's the circle of life up in my house.

   
• Tolerance! A short but bittersweet article that's worth a minute of your time: The Christians Making Atheists. The decline of Christianity in a nutshell. But, in reality, it could also hold true for other religions that attempt to hide their bigotry in the guise of religion.

   
• Fresh! This is what happens when you travel a lot and keep forgetting to pack deodorant...

Deodorant Drawer Madness

That's a lot of money tied up in antiperspirant products!

   
• Thrice! Hey! Did I happen to mention that the latest issue of Thrice Fiction has been released, and you can read it online or download it for FREE?!? Well, you totally can! Just visit the Thrice Fiction website!

Thrice Fiction Magazine No. 20

If you like fiction and like to read... it's worth the price of admission. Which is FREE!

   
• All That We Share! Nice to know that while this country is tearing itself apart that other countries are making an effort to keep it together...

Viva la Denmark!

   
Have a good Labor Day weekend, everybody.

   

Where There’s Smoke…

Posted on Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

Dave!The drive back home was awful. In what was just so typical, WSDOT stopped me twice on the pass for projects they'll never finish... meaning I sat in smoke for a half hour. This resulted in an upset stomach and a whopper of a headache. I do not react well to smoke.

Especially when there is so much of it...

Smokey Drive Home

Smokey Drive Home

Much to my horror, it was even worse at home than on the passes. The smoke is so thick I can't even see the surrounding hillsides.

After stopping at work for a couple hours, I ran home to check on my little monsters. And freaked out when I realized that they had been hanging out in the catio when the air quality was abysmal. The first thing I did (after a lot of petting) was close the cat door.

It did not go over well with Jake and Jenny.

Much whining and crying ensued as they tried to figure out how to open the door...

Catio Door Closed!

Catio Door Closed!

Catio Door Closed!

Eventually I relented and let them out for a bit. Luckily they didn't want to stay out long... they don't like the smoke any better than I do... so now I'm in a quandary. Do I keep the door closed so I can rest easy knowing they won't be exposed to air toxins? Or do I leave it open to avoid whining and crying and trust they will limit their own exposure?

Oh I'm closing the door, alright. I don't trust either of them to do anything I want them to do. Instead I distracted them with towels to play with. They love towels...

Cats on Towels!

But eventually Jake started whining again.

So Jenny, ever the loving caretaker, decided to make him feel better by licking his head...

Cats on Towels!

Cats on Towels!

But eventually their gaze kept going back to the door to make sure it was still closed...

Cats on Towels!

This upset Jenny, so Jake returned the favor...

Cats on Towels!

And now... back to finishing assembling a bed, washing linens, stocking guest supplies, and getting some foodstuffs together... just in case my friends have to evacuate their home because of the fires. All I need to do is find a hair dryer and some dentist toothbrush kits in my travel supplies, and I'm ready. I hope hope hope hope that they don't have to abandon their home (I know how that feels first-hand), but I'm happy I can help if they need it.

Betweens hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and other disasters, things are sure a mess in this country right now.

Clearly God is not pleased that Trump was elected president.

Isn't how that works?

Because if I had a nickel for every time President Obama was blamed for natural disaster...

   

Air Quality and You

Posted on Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Dave!Well this sucks.

I think I might be dying. At least the smoke is making me miserable enough that I feel like I'm dying.

Believe it or not, the air quality is better today that it was yesterday... you can actually see the nearby hills. What you cannot see are mountains. The sky is just white when you go looking for them...

Missing Mountains!

Smokey Valley
To see the full resolution, click photo to embiggen.

   
You can kinda see hills there... but that's it...

Smokey Valley

   
I've been keeping the cats inside to protect their little lungs... no catio for you! They are not pleased. They just sit at the window being mad that I won't let them go outside...

Jake Wants my iPhone Camera

   
Jake eventually gave up and climbed on my lap for attention...

Jake Wants my iPhone Camera

   
Though it seems as thought he's finally getting wise to my photographing him...

Jake Wants my iPhone Camera

Jake Wants my iPhone Camera

Jake Wants my iPhone Camera

Jake Wants my iPhone Camera

   
Silly kitty.

Here's hoping tomorrow's air quality is better than today. I don't know how much more of this I can take.

   

Inside Cats

Posted on Thursday, September 7th, 2017

Dave!The air quality improved enough that I decided to let the cats outside for a little while. When I opened the catio door, they didn't last very long... coming back inside after only a few minutes.

I thought that perhaps the smoke was irritating or scary enough that it would keep them from going outside, but my hopes were soon dashed. After verifying that it wasn't a trick and they really could go outside if they wanted to, they started spending all their time out there, as usual.

This meant having to close off the catio again. The last thing I want is two cats with respiratory problems.

Because me having respiratory problems is more than enough. I've been coughing my head off since the smoke started rolling in, and have had just about enough of the stuff.

Given how my cats have been whining about wanting to go back outside, I'm sure they feel the same way.

   

Caturday 36

Posted on Saturday, September 9th, 2017

Dave!As I had mentioned earlier, much of this week was spent with the catio closed for business because of smoke. This was met with much confusion and disdain by Jake and Jenny, who have become very much accustomed to being able to go outside whenever they want.

When not trying to bite the door... or trying to figure out how to open it... they would try to get out by other avenues. Jenny, for example kept clawing at the window. It's like she knew it was futile, but just had to let her frustration be known...

Jenny Wants Out!

Jenny Wants Out!

Eventually she gave up and tried to get into the laundry room instead...

Jenny Wants Out!

I felt bad about it, but it just wasn't healthy out...

Smoke!

And so they spent all their time hanging around being bored...

Smoke!

Or beating up on Carl when he runs out of juice...

Die Carl Die!

Or taking my spot on the couch...

Couch Potatoes!

   
The good news is that, now that they can go outside again, things have returned to normal. Or what passes for "normal" when you have cats.

Jake is back to glomming all over me while I try to work...

Jake Snuggle Buddy!

   
And Jenny? Well... she's back to being the best bedtime snuggle pal you could hope for...

Jenny Bedtime Pal!

Jenny Bedtime Pal!

Jenny Bedtime Pal!

   
Hoping for the best for all my friends, family, and co-workers facing off fires and hurricanes. Stay safe, people.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 523

Posted on Sunday, September 10th, 2017

Dave!Wildfires and hurricanes got you down? Sorry to add to your troubles but another natural disaster has arrived, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Charitable! IF YOU HAVE A KIND HEART AND ARE ABLE TO DONATE TO FIRE/HURRICANE RELIEF... PLEASE VERIFY THAT THE CHARITY TO WHICH YOU ARE SENDING YOUR HARD-EARNED DOLLARS IS GOING TO MAKE GOOD USE OF IT. There are all too many charities which do not. A good place to start is to head to Charity Navigator, which reports on what charities do with their donations.

   
• Orville! The geek reviews for Seth MacFarlane's new sci-fi show The Orville were pretty bad. I decided to tune in anyway, just to see how awful it really was. Except... I actually ended up liking it. No, it's not Galaxy Quest like everybody expected... it's actually a faithful clone of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but with some funny moments scattered amongst the drama...

The Orville on FOX Poster

Actually, I'd argue it's superior to Next Generation, which I never really got into. My favorite part of the show is the helmsman and navigator (Scott Grimes and J. Lee) who have amazing buddy chemistry. Other characters are a bit glossed over, but the previews of upcoming episodes looks like they'll get their day. Is it a perfect show? No. It's a bit uneven and the pacing drags a bit in spots. But those are things that will improve in time as the writers, actors, and directors get everything figured out. The one thing they've nailed though is the special effects, which are pretty great. I've gone from zero expectations to high hopes over the course of just this one episode. May the rest of the season be worth my valuable time.

   
• Intermission! Of course, this was back when a candy bar was 5¢ and you could actually afford to GO to the lobby and buy a treat...

It just gets crazier as the video goes on. I remember some of this from the movie Grease where John Travolta has been stranded at the drive-in... branded a fool. What will they say Monday at school?

Oh Sandy.

   
• Danger! Just when you think you've seen it all, Delta Airlines has to come along and prove you wrong...

The Orville on FOX Poster

Delta claims that the flight was never in any danger. Weather radar implies otherwise, but okay.

   
• Polydactyl! Speaking of hurricane Irma close calls... I was very happy to learn that all 54 cats at Hemingway House in Key West were sheltered and made it through the storm. I haven't been there in over five years, but the place sure made an impression on me...

Kind of a cool place to visit if you're ever in Key West.

   
• Orlando! As I type this, Irma is headed to Walt Disney World. Here's hoping Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Buzz Lightyear, and company all stay safe!

   
And that's a gale-force Bullet Sunday... over and out.

   

Giant Murder Spiders and Rearend Cellular

Posted on Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

Dave!I've been coming to Spokane for work for decades. There are a lot of memories in this city for me.

Most memories are easy to recall here because so much of the city is unchanging. Spokane is a relatively big city that feels like a town. Small businesses in old brick buildings go on for generations. Today I passed by a block of these buildings and remembered that it was where I had my first driving accident. I was coming up to a stoplight when the driver behind didn't stop in time and bumped into me. After we pulled over to survey the damage (surprisingly, there wasn't any) he said "I'm so sorry. I was trying to answer a call on my cell phone." Back then mobile phones were a new technology and I had never even seen one in person. I remember being surprised that Spokane even had cellular service. I was shaken, but sympathetic towards the man's plight because he let me hold his bulky cell phone. It might as well have been magic to me, I was so fascinated by it. I was tempted to ask him if I could make a call, but I knew the pay-per-minute rate of the day was astronomical, so I reluctantly handed it back without comment.

This was not the first time I was rear-ended in Spokane. The second time I was coming up to a stoplight next to Safeway and a woman plowed into me. This time there was damage... albeit minor. I got insurance money to repair my bumper and it looked good as new. The second and third times I was rear-ended, I took the insurance money and went on a trip. Because eventually my priorities shifted. I'd rather travel than have a nice car.

The hotel I stayed at last night is a beautiful restoration property in downtown Spokane. Everything from the public spaces down to the paint on the walls of my room is lovely. Except... holy crap is it noisy.

There is a central atrium where people gather, and everything from quiet conversation to children screaming echoes throughout the entire hotel. And when those children are running around screaming until 2am? Just try sleeping through that. Then... then... there's the air conditioning. Every time the air starts up, there is a loud "snap" followed by a huge "bang." It literally sounds like somebody is trying to break into your room every time it goes off. Especially as you're attempting to drift off to sleep at 3am.

And so I am sleep-deprived and exhausted.

Which made for a fun day at work, I'll tell you whut. I'd best describe my demeanor as "punchy."

C'est la vie.*

Work went exceedingly well and, before I knew it, it was time to grab lunch at David's Pizza (my favorite pizza in the known universe) and head home.

Which was a much better journey than yesterday.

Yesterday's drive across Washington State's Central Basin was long and boring as always... but augmented with the excitement of asshole drivers. The speed limit is 70mph. I drive around 75mph. Occasional I would pass a truck doing 60mph only to have some asshole jam on up to my bumper doing 90mph... who then flips me off when I jet back over to the right-hand lane. Sorry that I interrupted your illegal driving speed, asshole. In what universe do I deserve to be flipped off for that? If I had psychic powers, I would be telekinetically ripping off middle fingers, no lie.

On my way home I stopped at a mini-mart gas station outside of Quincy (home of the best corn in the nation!) to fuel up and grab something to drink. When I went up to the counter to pay, a kindly elderly gentleman leaning on a cane (surely 90+ years old) was in line ahead of me. He was buying a single ice cream sandwich... nothing else... with a credit card. He talked in a whisper, but I could hear him tell the cashier that he couldn't open the package on his ice cream and asked him to do it. They cashier grabbed a pair of scissors and did so, after which the old man said "thanks." He then had to put away his credit card, put his wallet in his pocket, grab his ice cream bar, and shuffle off to destinations unknown. The process took forever but I actually found it fascinating to watch and didn't mind at all. We'll all be there someday, if we're lucky.

Or unlucky, depending on your perspective.

After paying for my Gatorade and a Coke, I pass the old man eating his ice cream sandwich when a thought flashed through my head.

"Holy shit! He's not driving is he?"

I was beyond curious to know if the empty car parked by the mini mart was his, but didn't want to wait ten minutes to see if he drove away in it... or if somebody else was driving... or if he was being picked up... or if he actually walked to the mini mart from somewhere miles away.

After starting up the car, I noticed the MAINTENANCE REQUIRED light had come on. Apparently all those oil change email notices that I had been ignoring had come home to roost. And so I detoured to Jiffy Lube to take care of that, because heaven only knows when I'd ever have time to drive there again. Hey, it was on my way home anyway... so might as well.

As I pulled into Jiffy Lube, I noticed that the air quality in Wenatchee was more smoke-filled than I had seen it all year. This made me very concerned for my cats, so the first thing I did when I got to the waiting room was check my security cameras...

Sleepy Catio Kities

OF COURSE they're both outside. Why wouldn't they be?

And then I noticed movement in the corner of the security camera. What the heck is THAT, I wondered.

Oh... it's just a GIANT FUCKING MURDER SPIDER DISPOSING OF IT'S DEAD LOVER'S BODY!!! I think I actually said "Holy shit! out loud when I zoomed in...

Giant Murder Spider

THE HORROR! I mean, come on... she just dumped the dead body into her web and went back to hiding in the door frame...

Giant Murder Spider

To say I was in a panic is an understatement.

My cats were outside in the catio WITH A GIANT MURDER SPIDER! And since GIANT MURDER SPIDERS are always poisonous, their fate was in serious doubt. Because there is nothing... nothing they love more than to play with bugs. If either one of them saw the thing... my guess is that I would arrive home to a cat in respiratory failure because it had been bitten and poisoned.

So I wait for an agonizing 20 minutes while my oil was changed.

I drive home through work traffic, which is another 30 minutes of torture.

I get home, tear into the house, lure both kitties in from the catio, close off the catio door so they can't get back out, run and grab the bug spray from the garage, run around the house to the catio door, then soak... soak until dripping... the entire upper corner of the frame.

Eventually a tiny little spider crawled out, fell to the ground, and died.

"Huh. I guess when a little spider is close to the camera lens on a security camera, it only looks like a GIANT MURDER SPIDER.

And then I feel so awful. If I had known it was just a little spider, I would have left it alone. I am not a spider murderer. If I find a spider in my house, I catch it and take it outside. I try to console myself with the fact that she murdered her little spider-boyfriend after mating, then dumped his body without a care, but it didn't work. Then I tried to console myself with the fact that the little spider won't be laying millions of eggs which would hatch and fill up my catio with tiny spider babies. Somehow, I was able to make my peace with being a spider murderer after that.

Of course... there's nothing to say that she didn't lay those millions of eggs before she dumped the body.

Which means millions of spider babies intent on revenge for the death of their mother. That's all I need.

   

* Will it impress you to know that I can spell "C'est la Vie" without having to Google it? No? Okay.

   

Caturday 37

Posted on Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

Dave!Jenny is turning into one of the most bizarre cats I've ever known. Which is to say she's an average cat. On one hand, she is terrified of everything. If somebody rings the doorbell or there's a loud noise, she vanishes in a flash. Needless to say that if I have a visitor, she hides until well after they leave. If I walk into a room... even carefully, she bolts. She is the very definition of a scardy cat.

And yet... she is demanding as hell. 20 minutes until breakfast? Screw that. She wants to be fed now. You want to work when she wants to be petted? Screw that. She wants to be petted now. She has discovered how to meow, and she uses it when you displease her. And she's completely manipulative about it. If her first meow doesn't work, she will try different meows until she gets results. It's totally adorable, of course. Well, it's adorable so long as you pet her in the way that she wants to be petted. And she will totally supervise your every move to make sure you are doing it right...

Jenny the Cat

And speaking of supervision... Jenny will show up to lord over you whenever you are working on something interesting. When I was rewiring my media center, she sat staring at me for a full 20 minutes...

Jenny the Cat

In other news... Jenny rules my entire house now.

After getting Carl the RoboVac, I had to remove the electrified "Scat Mats" because Carl liked chewing on them. Jake would always hop over them when sneaking into the kitchen, but Jenny rarely crossed over. And, on those rare occasions that she did, it was never while I was around. But now? She puts her little foot out to make sure she isn't going to get zapped... but she goes into the kitchen whenever the hell she feels like it. And that's whether I am there or not. She is fascinated by the refrigerator, and makes a bee-line to the kitchen any time I dare to open it...

Jenny the Cat

Jake, on the other hand, won't go into the kitchen unless I'm gone or upstairs. And if I ever catch him in the kitchen, he bolts the second he sees me. Jenny, on the other hand, has zero shits to give any more.

And speaking of Jake in my kitchen...

I finally got around to painting two doors that I've been putting off for months. I knew I'd need a third coat, so I just left the paint can on the kitchen counter with the lid barely on and the paintbrush nearby. But then... as I was in bed typing this... I hear a big crash that sounds like it's coming from the kitchen. I take a look at the security cameras to see what the heck is going on, and...

Jake the Cat is Going to Paint

Jake the Cat is Going to Paint

I didn't even wait for the video to finish playing. I tossed aside my laptop and went running downstairs expecting to find my kitchen covered in paint. Except, luckily, didn't happen. Jake walked right by the paint can... went to the cupboard... and pawed a can of PAM cooking spray onto the floor... and that's what I had heard.

In other Jake news... he's been stealing Jenny's new favorite spot on the stereo receiver lately. Though sometimes they do share it. Usually when it's getting close to dinner time and they feel like staring at me in an attempt to get an early meal...

Jake the Cat

At least until one of them passes out from hunger...

Jake the Cat

And, since I mentioned Carl the RoboVac earlier...

Apparently Carlthe RoboVac has declared all-out war on Litter Robot. It's robot vs. robot...

I attempted to tell Carl to be nice since his fellow robot is literally cleaning up shit all day long... but Carl is having none of it.

Probably because he's cleaning up shit every day too.

Though, not literal shit. That would be horrifying.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017, Home RenovationClick To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

The Accidental Bird Sanctuary

Posted on Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Dave!I love my cats... honestly, I do. 99% of the time they are a wonderful addition to my life, and I can't imagine living without them.

And yet...

This morning I got out of bed and was surprised that neither Jake and Jenny were hanging around trying to convince me that they needed an early breakfast. Even weirder? There was no "tribute" from Jenny waiting for me (she brings me toys each morning... in exchange for my feeding her, I'm guessing). These unprecedented events had me worried that they had broken out of the catio or something, and I would be spending my day tracking them down.

Except...

When I turned to go downstairs, I saw them both at the bottom waiting for me.

Ominous.

Then, as I walked into the kitchen to get their breakfast, the pieces of the puzzle started sliding into place. The wild running around this morning was apparently due to a bird in the house. I knew this because there were feathers in front of the cabinet where I keep the cat food...

Bird Feathers Clue

And so I go rushing back upstairs to check the security cameras and... sure enough...

There's a Bird in the Kitchen

I start going back through camera footage in an attempt to figure out how long this has been going on. Here's from an hour prior...

There's a Bird in the Kitchen

It's amazing how stealthy cats are. Jake hopped up and was practically on top of the bird before he flew away...

There's a Bird in the House

Here's an hour-and-a-half prior...

There's a Bird in the House

Poor bird! This footage (featuring Jenny making a spectacular leap to catch him) was from almost two hours prior...

And here's her leap from from a different angle...

   
So proud of her... but also horrified.

I scrubbed the cameras from the time I went to bed until the time I saw the bird feathers. I was expecting to see footage of one of the cats coming in from the catio with the hapless bird in its mouth... but I never saw anything of the kind. It's as if the bird just magically appeared around 4:45am out of thin air. I suppose it's possible that the bird flew into the garage while I was cleaning it and followed me in the house when I had the door open... but wouldn't I have noticed that? No idea.

Meanwhile... I have a bird in the house.

I go back downstairs to look for it and, not two minutes later, Jake and Jenny go tearing through the house, chasing the bird upstairs. I go running after them just as the bird goes flying in my bathroom. Poor thing saw the skylight in there and thought he could escape through it. Not knowing what else to do... I close the bathroom door.

And now what?

Do I sneak in the bathroom and try and catch it?

Do I wait for the bird to become exhausted and hope I can scoop it up and take it outside?

My mind is reeling. About the only thing I know for sure is that I won't be hurting it or killing it. So... What about building a tunnel from the bathroom to the cat's bedroom and opening a window? THAT JUST MIGHT WORK!!!

So I start at the bathroom door...

My Bird Tunnel!

And build it to the cat's bedroom door...

My Bird Tunnel!

   
And... here we go. I apologize for shooting vertically (something I never do for video, because WTF?), but it was the only way to get the important information in-frame...

A few notes...

  • Yes. Yes. I know that building a tunnel was a bigger ordeal than what was needed... but I just don't care. The idea was to get the bird out of my house without hurting him. Trying to catch him in a pillowcase or a cooking pot or whatever was too risky. If he breaks a wing, he'd end up dead.
  • The tunnel took about 15 minutes to build.
  • The posters in my bathroom are by Robert Lyn Nelson, a painter I like from my visits to Maui.
  • The Kleenex box was too big and covered the bird when I was attempting to move him, so I reached for my Aveda Botanical Kinetics Hydrating Lotion (which, by the way, is magic in a bottle if you're looking for a moisturizer).
  • The cat's bedroom is a mess because I had just taken down the extra bed I put up to house friends that might need to evacuate from the wildfires. I pushed all the furniture in the middle so the bird couldn't get stuck between it and a wall.
  • I rotated the camera at the end, not thinking that the movie wouldn't rotate with it. Oops. The bird seemed to fit in the frame better that way.
  • I am amazed that the cats didn't kill the thing. Or eat him. Heaven only knows they had enough opportunities. Guess they thought he was a fun toy rather than breakfast? I'm grateful beyond words, because THAT would have been a horrible mess to clean up.
  • Birds are tougher than you'd think. This poor guy took a beating and was undoubtedly traumatized, but took it all like a champ and didn't seem to be injured when he flew off.

And that was that.

Earlier this month I had posted this on Facebook...

A lot of bird activity outside now that it's getting cooler. My cats spend all day outside in the catio going nuts. I really need to put a bird feeder out there this winter.

And now?

I think that might not be such a great idea after all.

Tags: , ,
Categories: Cats 2017, DaveLife 2017Click To It: Permalink  7 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 38

Posted on Saturday, September 30th, 2017

Dave!At 1:12am this morning, I was awakened by Jenny hopping on my bed and meowing. This is highly unusual. My cats never bother my while I'm sleeping... or even when I'm pretending to be sleeping. I pet her for a little bit, then rolled over and ignored her so I could get some sleep.

At 4:36am this morning, Jenny was back on my bed meowing. This had me worried that Jake was hurt somewhere and she was wanting me to follow her like Lassie. But then... I heard something. The television was turned on with the sound blasting. This happens every once in a while when my DirecTV gets a software update.

And this was what Jenny was trying to tell me all along. So I found my iPhone, fired up the DirecTV app, then turned off the television.

Jenny immediately ran back downstairs.

Where presumably she went to sleep now that the television wasn't going to keep her awake.

The next time Jenny came up was to deliver her morning tribute around 6:30am. Usually I barely notice because she's quite stealthy... but this morning I heard what sounded like a rock being dropped on my floor. Turns out it wasn't a rock... it was a small screwdriver...

Screwdriver Tribute

Note how she dropped the soft mouse toy on the carpet... but the hard screwdriver on the wood floor. I still have no clue how she managed to carry the thing upstairs. I had left it on the kitchen counter, which means she would have had to knock it to the floor first. I check the security cameras and, sure enough, she was there...

Cats on Counter

But Jake was as well, so maybe he knocked it on the floor...

Cats on Counter

The little shits... they know they're not supposed to be on the kitchen counters!

Speaking of Jake... he still likes hanging out with me when I get home from work. Usually he likes to curl up next to me when I plop down for some television. What's new is that if I start to get up when he's not ready to get up... he'll put a paw on my leg to stop me!

Jake's Paw on My Leg

The smarter move is to lay on top of me so I can't get up so easy...

Jake's Paw on My Leg

So soft and fluffy!

Until next Caturday then...

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 39

Posted on Saturday, October 7th, 2017

Dave!I keep thinking that the cats will stay indoors now that the weather is getting colder, but they're out in the catio as often as they ever are. Which is all the time.

They do tend to huddle closer together than usual, however...

Screwdriver Tribute

I haven't turned the heat on yet, so the cats are still vying for the warm spot on top of the stereo receiver. Sometimes this ends up in an awkward pose...

Jake and Jenny trying to fit on the stereo!

Though they often end up in awkward sleeping poses even when they're alone...

Jake oddly sleeping on the stereo!

The couch is cold to lay on, which the cats Do Not Like, so I put towels and blankets down to make them more comfortable. They start out nicely-arranged each morning when I straighten everything out, but they don't stay that way for long...

Jake sleeping in a pile of towels!

Jenny, who loves to watch television more than any cat I know, is particularly happy to make herself a "nest" in the towels and blankets so she can watch TV with me. She was particularly interested in the season one finale of The Good Fight (fantastic show, by the way)...

Jenny watches The Good Fight!

Jenny watches The Good Fight!

At least she was while the show was on. The second the started rolling the credits, she was out...

Jenny watches The Good Fight!

Speaking of Jenny... I've mentioned how she just loves to have her tummy rubbed... but also resents it at the same time. I just got the best photo to date of how she'll grab my had with her front paws to get that good rubbin'... but will push my hand away with her back paws at the same time...

Jenny belly rubs... or not!

Even when I manage to get in a position to rub ONLY the spots she wants rubbed, she will change her mind in a second for any reason and every reason at all...

Jenny belly rubs... or not!

Jenny belly rubs... or not!

Even with all their antics, they are still the sweetest cats ever...

Sweet Jake!

Sweet Jenny!

Until next Caturday then...

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Electric Blanket Dreams

Posted on Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Dave!Last year I was young and foolish and unaware of how expensive home heating was. I turned the thermostat on come October and never looked back.

Until the electric bills started rolling in.

Once I realized how insanely expensive it is to turn the heat on, I tried to be much smarter about it. Having a "smart thermostat" helped, because I could program it to adapt to my schedule and not be wasting energy when I wasn't home. Not that I could just turn the heat off completely... because I've got cats. Sure they have fur coats, but I don't want the poor things freezing.

This year I decided to use my electric blanket so I'm not spending a ton of money heating my home at night, and today was the day it got turned on.

Jenny had absolutely no idea what to make of it.

She walked around poking it and sniffing it... then flopping down on it because it was oh so warm! For the longest time she just kinda laid there in disbelief at what she was experiencing...

Snow in the Mountains

Once she understood that it was indeed toasty heat eminating from the blanket, and not just her imagination, much rolling around and purring ensued...

Snow in the Mountains

Now she's completely passed out from the joy of it all...

Snow in the Mountains

Guess I'm going to have company at night now.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017, DaveLife 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 40

Posted on Saturday, October 21st, 2017

Dave!I haven't posted about my cats in a couple weeks, so let's get caught up then, shall we?

First of all, my efforts to keep my cats out of the cat food/treat/toy cupboard continue to fail. If I tape it, they paw at the tape. If I buy a child-lock, they chew it off. I'm beginning to think that nothing short of a deadbolt is going to do the trick. Especially when I wake up and find this waiting for me downstairs...

Destroyed cat food bag and treat bag!

I know it's Jake who does the breaking in, but every time I check the security camera footage, Jenny is most definitely sharing in the spoils.

Second of all, Jenny continues to love the electric blanket. As I mentioned a while ago, she just can't seem to get enough of it. Even though she's perplexed as to how it works. For some reason there's a disconnect between her brain telling her it's not possible and her body sensing its glorious warmth. She still walks around on it like she can't believe what's happening. Though most of the time she's sleeping...

Jenny having electric dreams!

Jenny having electric dreams!

The only thing that will wake her up is when the local high school football team scores a touchdown and they fire off the cannon...

Jenny having electric dreams!

Just look her crossing her legs like the little lady she is!

Well, except when she's torturing bugs, which seems to be her favorite activity after sleeping. When the painters had to leave the doors open, a LOT of bugs who were looking to find a warm spot for the winter came crawling/flying in. I try to capture as many as I can so I can take them outside, but sometimes Jenny has other plans...

Jenny about to torture a bug!

The little monster.

Speaking of Jenny...

People keep asking me if she still brings me tributes in the morning. The answer is, yes. As you can see from this photo I took last week where she was particularly industrious that morning...

So many tributes!!

Eight... eight... toy tributes. Which has to be some kind of record.

As if that wasn't enough Jenny for this Caturday, I have to share that I think that she has joined in the WAR OF THE ROBOTS that's been going on in my home between Carl the RoboVac and Clay the Litter-Robot. I caught her throwing towels on the floor for Carl to choke on just as he was headed to clean around the couch, THEN SAT THERE WAITING FOR HIM TO ARRIVE...

Jenny Hates Carl the RoboVac!

Clearly Jenny is Team Clay (whom she loves) and not Carl (whom she seems to hate).

And, speaking of Carl, he may soon have a little brother hanging around! More on that next week!

And speaking of hanging around, I think I might have a ghost. I haven't seen them... but will admit I've noticed weird noises going on from time to time. Like one of the cats is walking towards my bedroom, then I look and they are both already in the bedroom. So maybe not just a ghost... IT'S A GHOST CAT?!?? Jake and Jenny seem to spot Ghost Cat often, as sometimes when I check in on them throughout the day I see them acting strangely (well, more strangely than usual). Like they'll be eating and suddenly turn around to look at something...

Cats spotting GHOST CAT!

But when I check the other cameras, there's nothing there. When I captured the above footage, I came home and checked the secondary security camera system (which is on battery back-up and stores locally in case the internet and/or power goes down) but they didn't spot anything either. Then I started scrubbing through the audio thinking it might have been a creak from the house settling or something, but... no. Which is strange, because the microphones are very good at capturing even the softest noises.

So I dunno. Hopefully one of these days I will spot Ghost Cat so I can come up with a name that suits them.

In final Caturday News... it is raining hard while I type this. Really hard. Which has Jenny very upset and confused, as she's raging at the rain she can hear everywhere, but not see (turn your volume way up)...

Jake, however, doesn't seem much bothered by the rain. Here's him "helping" me type up this blog entry...

Jake helps! By Sleeping!

See you next Caturday.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 529

Posted on Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

Dave!I am Sundaying so hard right now, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Feral! This past Monday was "National Feral Cat Day." My cats, Jake and Jenny, were feral kittens when they were found. I don't think they quite adapted to foster care, and were still very much feral little scrubbers when I adopted them. Weeks of patience turned into months of building trust which has turned into 1-3/4 years of the best furry friends I could hope for. They are still, in their hearts, feral cats who are very slow to trust. And they hide the minute anything out of the ordinary happens. Sometimes, on rare occasions, they are even wary of me. But most of the time they love crawling all over me for pets and attention and I've never been lonely since they took over my home. Feral cats are more work than those kitten raised around people... but I wouldn't trade mine for the world. If anything, I think I appreciate them more than I would other cats because I had to put effort into getting them to accept me. And once they did? There's no better feeling...

Jake Naps

Jenny is a Cuddle Bug

Kitty Pals

If you have the opportunity to help out a feral cat, the work is definitely worth the reward!

   
• Dimensions? And so... it would seem that LEGO Dimensions is no more. Typical. Oh well. The gameplay was getting tired... but it was kept fresh by the licensed properties they kept bringing to the table.

LEGO Dimensions Game

Wish they would have got LEGO Star Wars in the mix before signing off... after Disney Infinity dried up, it seemed a natural.

   
• Get Help! The reviews for Thor: Ragnarok have been stellar. And with each new clip released, I just want to see it more...

Cannot. Wait.

   
• Lucifer! Right now there's a lot of good television going on. In addition to The Good Place, which is the best show on television right now, we've also got Star Trek: Discovery, The Flash, The Orville, and Supergirl... not to mention some of the indy oddball stuff (like Dirk Gently), which makes it tough for me to keep up with my shows. But that one show I will always make time for? Lucifer!

Lucifer's Maze on a not-so-good day

Last season was fantastic because "Mom" came to visit, which led to some interesting directions for the show. Now they seem to be focusing on fleshing out secondary characters instead of bringing in new ones, and I couldn't be happier. Maze is probably the best character on the show after Lucifer, but has been largely marginalized. But this last episode (S03:E03 Mr. and Mrs. Mazikeen Smith) puts her in the spotlight and the results are so amazing I find myself wishing they would spin her off into her own show. If you're not watching, you really should be.

   
• Jack! Another show I've been very much enjoying has been the revival of Will & Grace. Though I strongly dislike the two main characters, secondary characters Jack and Karen always seem to salvage the show. The latest episode (S09:E04 Grandpa Jack) is no exception. Jack, who discovered he had a son (thanks to a sperm bank "donation") gets an even bigger surprise when he discovers his son had a son, so he's now a grandpa!

Jack meets his grandson

I will not spoil the story except to say... it's both hysterically funny and emotionally devastating at the same time. And it has two guest appearances that are absolute gold. When they restarted the show, I was hoping that we'd see Jack's son again. I never expected that his story would be this good. Well worth a look.

   
• Decor! When I moved into my home, I noticed that the previous owner had left a lot of decor scattered about. None of it was too my taste, so I made it my mission to toss it all out. The only thing left is a lion head above my doorbell and a weird dried flowers plaque with hooks I use for my keys and hats. The plaque was useful, but I vowed to replace it when I found something better... I never did. The lion I was going to ditch when it was removed for painting... but I ended up putting it back. Don't know why. I kinda like him, I guess...

My feisty lion head!

My key hooks!

I suppose one of these days I really should go shopping to find a replacement for my key hooks.

   
And... Sunday is over. So too are the bullets.

   

Heatwave in a Cold Snap

Posted on Monday, October 30th, 2017

Dave!It's been getting colder. I know this because the heat has been coming on from time to time. And last week I was mostly freezing from the minute I got out of bed... all the way to work... most of the day at work... all the way back home... then right up until I crawled under my electric blanket at night.

But yesterday and today?

Heatwave!

Well, not really, but it's been unseasonably warm out. My cats have been lapping it up... hanging out in the catio as if they know that the warm days are numbered. They are not always easy to spot out there, however...

Cats and Skeleton Cats

Enjoy it while it lasts... enjoy it while it lasts.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Skeleton Cats and Halloween

Posted on Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Dave!It's Halloween again!

This past week when I was at Home Depot, all their decorations and spooky stuff was on sale for 50% off, which wasn't tempting to me (what a waste of money!)... until I saw two cat skeletons for $9 each. Now that I'm interested in.

Jake and Jenny? Well... not so much. They sniffed around for ten seconds, then went on with their busy lives...

Cats and Skeleton Cats

Cats and Skeleton Cats

Cats and Skeleton Cats

Hopefully my trick-or-treaters will be more intrigued with Dead Jake and Dead Jenny than the live versions were...

Skeleton Cats

And don't forget my awesome wreath addition...

Halloween Wreath Upgrade

Now that decorating is done, all that's left to do is pass out the candy...

Halloween Candy

Guess we'll see how many trick-or-treaters I get this year. Last year it didn't top 60.

   

Caturday 41

Posted on Saturday, November 4th, 2017

Dave!Tonight is when the clocks get set back in the USA for Daylight Saving Time ending. You would think that I'd be happy because it means an extra hour of sleep, but I most decidedly am not. First of all, dicking around with the clocks is just plain idiotic in 2017. Second of all, my cats... who don't give a crap what a clock says... will be in my room at 6am tomorrow wondering why in the hell I am not getting my ass out of bed to feed them. What am I supposed to do? Explain to them that they will have to wait an hour because of stupid Daylight Saving stupidity? I suppose I could try, but odds are THEY WON'T UNDERSTAND ME BECAUSE THEY ARE CATS!

Though... the are very smart cats, apparently.

A couple times I've come home and found the television powered on in my bedroom. Each time I didn't think I had left it on, but maybe I'm going senile. On Thursday when I got out of the shower, I head to my bedroom and see my TV on again. This time I KNEW I didn't have it on, so I figured that it is somehow turning itself on. When I go in to turn it off, I notice Jenny laying on my bed staring at the television. I then look at my nightstand and see the AppleTV remote. Suddenly... 2 + 2 snaps together in my head. The AppleTV remote is so overly-sensitive that it will activate if you so much as fart on it. It would be easy for a cat to step on it... even bump it... and turn on the TV. JENNY IS TURNING ON THE TV SO SHE CAN WATCH IT! Except she hasn't figured out how to start up a video, so she ends up staring at the AppleTV menu. Then she gets bored because there's no action, and leaves. Which would be fine, except she doesn't turn the TV off when she's done. I dunno... maybe she comes back when the screensaver activates? Who can tell with her. She's a very private feline...

Jake Messes the Thermostat

And then...

After the TV incident, one of my Facebook friends was joking about the cats finding the thermostat control. I laughed it off... as anybody would... BUT THEN I CHECKED ON MY CATS WITH THE SECURITY CAMERAS ON FRIDAY AND I SEE THIS?

Jake Messes the Thermostat

Yep. That's Jake. Messing with the thermostat.

While Jenny watches.

CATS!!!

That same morning while I was getting ready for work, I find Jenny biting at her back-right claws over and over again. She was walking on that foot just fine earlier, so I go into a panic thinking that something is wrong with the nails. Then I film her in case the vet wants to see it. THEN I Google the issue only to find out that nothing is wrong... she's just giving herself a pedicure...

She hops down and walks away, her foot looking perfectly normal. I wonder how long until I stop panicking at absolutely everything my cats do that's new to me?

Jake has been especially friendly lately. Though I think it's because he likes my body warmth, since he's been sleeping on my chest while I work and watch TV almost every night. Unfortunately, my need to sing along to 80's music is not compatible with his ability to sleep (which is substantial).

Madonna's Holiday...

Jake Listens to My Singing

Thompson Twins' Hold Me Now...

Jake Listens to My Singing

Poor Jake.

I can't be an easy roommate to live with.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

The Art of Home Maintenance. Or Not.

Posted on Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

Dave!Checking in on the cats via the security camera system is always a mixed bag.

Most times, they're sleeping or looking out the window. No big deal.

But other times? Not so much...

Okay... let's unpack all that's wrong with what's going on here.

First of all, Joy the RoboMop has violated her "boundary" and has left the kitchen to mop my hardwood... something that's fine, I guess, but not what I wanted her to do.

Second of all... do you see those neatly-stacked, carefully-sorted piles of dirty laundry? Oh... neither do I... my cats tore into it and made one giant mess out of it all. Glad some cats and robots are having fun breaking all the rules today.

Lastly... Where are my frickin' cats? I have checked every camera and haven't seen them! My guess is that there was a loud noise and they're hiding under the couch or under the bed or something. Either that or they've totally escaped, and now I have a new adventure awaiting me after work.

Can you imagine how boring my life would be without cats and robots?

   

Caturday 42

Posted on Saturday, November 11th, 2017

Dave!Happy Veterans Day, everybody! Thanks to all the men and women who have served or are serving now.

I've been over the mountains since Thursday, letting my robots take care of my cats. For the most part it's an arrangement that works well. Sure my cats miss me, but not enough to keep out of trouble. Like climbing on the kitchen counters so I have to clean and disinfect them when I get home...

Cats Raid the Kitchen

Since the kitchen counters are now the only place the cats are not allowed, it's where they seem to rebel the hardest when I'm gone.

Speaking of not being home...

Jake kept going missing from the security cameras when I checked in. I thought he found a new place to crash in the guest bedroom, but it turns out that wasn't the case at all.

Before I left, I washed a rug and set it across the downstairs bathroom vanity to dry. Jake must have walked across it and sunk it into the sink. Making the perfect place to sleep...

Jake Sink Bed!

Jake Sink Bed!

Jake Sink Bed!

Whenever Jake isn't sleeping on my lap, now he's sleeping in the sink.

I guess I have to buy a new rug since Jake's claimed this one.

Which won't get any complaints from me. Lately Jenny likes to sleep on my arm so I am trapped...

Trapped by SleepyJenny!

But you can't be upset when you have a cat this adorable...

Trapped by SleepyJenny!

   
The drive back across the mountains was uneventful and snow-free (though I had my snow tires put on just in case). Exactly what you want a trip to be when winter has come.

The first thing I did when I got home was to put together a new IKEA wall-cabinet I bought so I have somewhere to put my keys and stuff next to the front door. My cats decided to help...

Cats Help Put Together IKEA

Cats Help Put Together IKEA

Good thing they're so cute. They're completely worthless when it comes to assembling furniture.

Until next Caturday then...

Tags: , ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Black Friday Next Friday

Posted on Friday, November 24th, 2017

Dave!Preparations for my pending vacation have been insanely expensive. I thought I was making it less painful by buying clothes for my journey ahead of time (I started nearly a year-and-a-half ago), but then I went and lost 17 pounds, so all that did was add more expense as I had to replace clothes I'm now swimming in.

But the harder pill to swallow is that I have no money left over for Black Friday clothes shopping, which is one of my favorite things. I loathe having to spend money on clothes (and good quality clothes are pricey), but today is when all my favorite brands go on sale and I can chop 60% or more off my budget for the year. Oh well, just my luck I'd buy a bunch of stuff, lose more weight, then have saved money on clothes I can't wear.

But it's hard to feel sad when next Friday this time I will be in Argentina awaiting the start of my trip.

Though, to be honest, I am a little sad. I just got home to my cats... who were so happy to see me after a week gone... and I'm going to be leaving them again...

Pretty Jenny

Handsome Jake

Yeah, if there's a downside for being 8,000 miles away from home... this would be it.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017, Travel 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 43

Posted on Saturday, November 25th, 2017

Dave!Life has gotten pretty much back to normal after my having abandoned my cats for a week.

Jake acts like he missed me the most... he's been crawling all over me since I got back. He also meows from downstairs when I'm upstairs and waits for me to answer so he knows I haven't left again. If I don't answer, then he meows again until I do. Why he can't just haul his furry butt up the stairs to check in person I don't know. Maybe because he's not a person.

But if you were to ask me which cat actually misses me the most, that would be Jenny. As usual, she runs upstairs when I go to bed so she can hang around and get petted while I watch TV... but she rarely sleeps there. Now, however? When she's done getting petted and has had enough television, she paws at my arm until I lower it so she can wrap herself around it and fall asleep...

Jenny Wrapper

Guess she wants to make sure I don't take off in the middle of the night?

The interesting thing about having nobody home except the cats to any dirty dishes is that the first load tends to be pretty light when I get back...

Jenny Wrapper

If only they were responsible enough to load the dishwasher themselves, I wouldn't have to hire a cat sitter.

Well... they would need opposable thumbs to pick up the dishes, I think.

And to be three times larger so they'd have the strength to pull the door down.

And not gorge themselves on all the food in the first day so they don't starve.

Okay... a cat sitter it is then.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Those You Leave Behind

Posted on Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Dave!It seems like I just got back home.

And now I'm leaving again.

Tomorrow morning I'm off to Argentina followed by a trip to the bottom of the earth (unless you're a flat-earther nut-job, in which case I'm off to the giant ice wall at the edge of the world). I've been looking forward to this trip for decades... have been planning it for a year-and-a-half... and yet I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sad to be leaving. I'm actually really broken up about leaving because my heart aches at the thought of abandoning my cats for 16 days.

Especially when Jenny is laying next to me here acting all adorable...

Jenny Stretcher

   
Of course they're not really abandoned. I've got a cat sitter checking in... neighbors checking in... friends and family checking in... a local security system... an internet security system... a home security monitoring service... they'll be well looked after.

And yet...

It's hard not to worry.

Be well, my furry friends.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017, Travel 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 44

Posted on Saturday, December 16th, 2017

Dave!Having two cats complicates my travel a bit.

Having two cats I love more than just about anything complicates my travel to a terrifying degree. Despite having automated feeders, an automated water fountain, automated litter boxes, two camera monitoring systems, a home security system, and a catsitter to keep it all running while I'm away... I still spend a lot of time worrying about Jake and Jenny every waking hour of every day. Are they doing okay? Are they lonely? Are they safe? Will they forget me? Will they forgive me?

Yesterday when I got home, Jake came running to greet me. He couldn't get enough petting and cried every time I stopped. Jenny kept her distance, but eventually wanted in on the action. The rest of my day was spent making it up to them. Which wasn't difficult because they followed me everywhere, Probably trying to make sure I didn't abandon them again...

Kitty Return

Kitty Return

I turned Carl the RoboVac off while I was gone. Turning him back on resulted in exactly what you'd expect... a lot of cat hair and kitty litter filling up the bin...

Carl RoboVac Bin

I went to bed at 4:30 yesterday and stayed there until 7am this morning when it was the cat's breakfast time.

Today I was planning on unpacking, washing clothes, cleaning house, posting all my blog entires from my trip, and running into work. But my cats had other plans for me. It's rare that they both get this clingy at the same time... but it's been like this all day. Guess they really missed me?

Kitty Love

Kitty Love

Coming home to this makes it very hard to think about leaving them again. Especially to a place like Antarctica where I have no contact with the outside world and no way to check in on them.

Fortunately, I have three months before I have to worry about it.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Rub My Belly

Posted on Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

Dave!My cats have been very glad to have me home.

Though they are never shy on having me make up to them the three weeks I was gone. Many a belly rub has been demanded since my return...


XXX

   
Not that I blame them. I could go for a nice belly rub every once in a while.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 45

Posted on Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

Dave!I just got back after three weeks away a week ago.

Now I'm getting ready to head out again.

It's really tough to leave my cats... especially given how attached they've been to me since I returned. They're all over me night and day...

Jake and Me

Jenny and Me

Jenny and Me

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Blanket Monster of Death

Posted on Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

Dave!I don't celebrate Christmas, but my family does and I do my best to keep up.

This includes a Christmas gift exchange where I ended up with a beautiful new faux fur blanket.

Alas my cats are scared to death of it. For the first half hour from when I pulled it out they wouldn't come near me. Eventually Jake decided to investigate, but was still leery of the thing...

My Cats and the Blanket Monster

My Cats and the Blanket Monster

My Cats and the Blanket Monster

   
He left for about 15 minutes, but eventually came back... a little braver this time...

My Cats and the Blanket Monster

My Cats and the Blanket Monster

My Cats and the Blanket Monster

   
At least he was until Jenny clawed him on the butt while he was "investigating" the strange furry thing that had invaded his home. He much have jumped two feet straight up in the air and then ran off...

My Cats and the Blanket Monster

   
Jenny herself was considerably braver. She hopped right up to sniff out the blanket monster, but left unimpressed...

My Cats and the Blanket Monster

   
After Jake regained his composure, he saw how brave Jenny was and followed suit...

My Cats and the Blanket Monster

My Cats and the Blanket Monster

   
He eventually ran away again, but returned about ten minutes later. This time on the couch next to me...

My Cats and the Blanket Monster

My Cats and the Blanket Monster

My Cats and the Blanket Monster

My Cats and the Blanket Monster

My Cats and the Blanket Monster

You'd think that would be enough to convince him... but no. He left soon after and has been observing the blanket monster from atop the cat tree.

While I was gone one of my cats (Jake) decided to confiscate the cat treats I've been giving to Fake Jake. He's pretty crafty being able to open a sealed plastic container with nothing but paws and teeth...

My Cats and the Blanket Monster

And he ate the whole dang container, the little butt-head.

Guess it serves me right. Good thing I don't have plans to leave again for the rest of the winter.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

And So Jake is Trying to Kill Me…

Posted on Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

Dave!Living in the upper latitudes as I do, winter makes for crappy weather. It's cold, wet, and dark. And its dark for a really long time each day. When I get up to feed the cats at 7am, it's still pitch black out. Luckily, I have an Alexa Echo Dot in my bedroom upstairs to illuminate my home on command.

Or not.

"Alexa, turn on morning lights."
= nothing =
"Alexa, turn on morning lights."
= crickets =
"ALEXA! TURN ON MORNING LIGHTS!!!"
= nothing =
ALEXA? ALEXA? ALEHHHHXAAAAAAHHH?!???

It's then I notice a red glow coming from Alexa over on my dresser. That can't be good.

So I get up in a dark room... stumble over all the cat toys that have been dropped on my floor... nearly tripping into the dresser as I step on a hard compressed catnip mouse toy... then make my way into the hallway.

NOTE: Had I taken a header into the dresser, I could have been killed!

Sure enough, Alexa is all red glowy angry and ignoring me...

Alexa Red Ring Light of Death

"Why U Mad, Alexa?" I mumble as I head out into the darkened hallway... where I trip over Jake on the landing and nearly fall down the stairs.

NOTE: Had I tumbled down the stairs, I could have been killed!

I have been letting Alexa control everything for so long I forget that there are light switches... somewhere... around this place.

Eventually I make it downstairs where my "Smart Home" has turned on the lights for me and I can see again. Jake and Jenny stare at me impatiently as I dish up their breakfast, then chow down while I absent-mindedly ask Downstairs Alexa to turn on the stairway lights... and she does!

Apparently it's only Upstairs Alexa who is broken?

So I Google "ALEXA RED LIGHT" and find out she's not broken at all...

If the light ring on the top of your Echo is solid red, you have disabled the microphone feature. Alexa will not be able to respond to your requests until you have enabled the microphone feature, which will turn the solid red light off.

I missed the little microphone button with the slash through it on top of Upstairs Alexa.

THEN I remember.

Last night as I was falling asleep I was playing Jeopardy with Alexa (totally swept Tuesday's clues!). My cats wanted attention, but I was too tired to do anything. All of a sudden Alexa stops playing and I catch a glimpse of Jake on top of the dresser. I assumed he was laying on the speaker so Alexa couldn't hear me... then I fell asleep.

But that's not what happened at all!

Clearly Jake turned off the microphone so he could kill me in the morning! Remember how he tried to trip me on the stairs? Remember that? Remember? I COULD HAVE DIED!

And so... I am guessing he's more upset over the furry blanket I brought home than I realized.

Looks like I need to be watching my back for a while...

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2017Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Dave17

Posted on Sunday, December 31st, 2017

Dave!For those who only read one of my posts each year... or anybody wanting a recap of the past year here at Blogography... this post is for you! As customary, I've jettisoned loads of the usual junk so this entry is "mostly crap" instead of the "total crap" they usually are.

2017 was far from ideal. And yet... compared to the bucket of never-ending suck that was 2016, it was a vast improvement. So I can't really complain.


JANUARY

Said goodbye to President Obama, a president that I never learned to truly appreciate until the total disaster that's now occupying The White House moved in...

President Obama Photo by Pete Souza
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


   
FEBRUARY

Took my cats to the vet for the first time, something I am definitely not looking forward to doing again in the New Year...

Jenny Hides

Jenny Hides

Jenny Exam


   
MARCH

Went to Disneyland for work, then ranked my all-time favorite Disney attractions.

Cali Weather

   
• Yesterday I listed my favorite albums of 2017. Last March I listed my all-time most hated songs that everybody else seems to love.

   
• Flew to San Francisco to see one of my favorite new musical artists, Wrabel, with my (literal) rockstar friend Aaron.

   
• Headed to Las Vegas, where I finally ziplined down Fremont Street, among other things.


   
APRIL

• Said goodbye to Lil' Spicey...

Lil' Spicey's Last Press Conference

   
Built a built-in desk... for my cats, apparently.


   
MAY

• Flew to Denver to celebrate my good friend Howard's 50th birthday with the Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2!

Baby Groot


   
JUNE

• Built new built-ins for my bedroom closet, which turned out amazing...

Dave's Home-Built Closet Organizer!

   
• Had one of the biggest scares of my life during The Great Jake Escape...

   
Back to Vegas again (for work this time).


   
JULY

Said goodbye to my long-time blogging friend, Anissa.

   
Welcomed Carl the RoboVac to my family...

Eufy RoboVac 11 vs. Jake!

   
Flew to Maine for blueberries (and for work).


   
AUGUST

Said a painful goodbye to my good friend and long-time blogging buddy, Howard.

It's Howard!

   
• Lived through Raccoonageddon.

   
Live-blogged my photographing the eclipse (with my cats).

Total Eclipse Uneclipsed Sun Shot!

   
Read The Nashville Statement so you don’t have to.


   
SEPTEMBER

Lived through another round of wildfires in my neck of the woods.

Smokey Drive Home

   
Built a tunnel for a bird to escape my home before my cats could murder it...

   

   
OCTOBER

• Wrote "Second Amendments and Horse Shit" which surprised some people, I'm sure.

   
• Had some extra money that came my way and wrote about what I did with it... which included getting some old negatives scanned...

Lil' Dave in his fire truck

   
Added Joy the Mopping Robot to Carl the RoboVac and my growing family.

Jenny Eyes Joy Suspiciously!

   
Got my cats into the Halloween spirit...

Skeleton Cats


   
NOVEMBER

Had a colonoscopy... and posted photos of my beautiful colon (you're welcome!).

   
• Flew to Maine and finally visited Acadia National Park...

Bass Harbor Head Light Visit

   
Visited the Eastern-Most Point in the USA at West Quoddy Head Light on a bad weather day...

West Quoddy Head Light Lighthouse

   
• Was first in the USA to see the sun rise at Cadillac Mountain...

Sunrise from Cadillac Mountain in Acadia

Sunrise from Cadillac Mountain in Acadia


   
DECEMBER

• Flew to Buenos Aires and visited Evita at Recoleta Cemetery...

Recoleta Cemetery View

   
• Took in the view at The End of the World...

End of the Road at the End of the World

   
Headed out across The Drake Passage in some of the roughest seas on earth...

M/V Ushuaia in The Drake Passage

   
• Fulfilled a life-long dream when I finally set foot on Antarctica for the first time...

Penguins at Hydrurga Rocks

Penguins at Hydrurga Rocks

   
Photographed Antarctica icebergs at "night"...

Glacier Icebergs

   
Explored the lives of penguins...

Cuverville Island Gentoo Penguin Bath

   
• Had one of the most amazing days of my life when I stepped foot on the seventh continent...

Neko Harbor, Antarctica

   
Got up-close-and-personal with some whales...

   
More penguin photography at Half Moon Island in Antarctica...

Half Moon Island Antarctica

   
• Used Apple's new "iPhone Update Plan" so I could buy an iPhone X and post my thoughts on the astoundingly expensive thing.


   
And there you have it, the year that was the major events in my 2017.

Well, the ones I shared on my blog, anyway.

Thanks once again to my cats, family, and friends for making life bearable through the not-so-great times. Though, I have to say, closing out the year with my bucket-list trip to Antarctica certainly had it ending on a high note.

Here's to a good 2018, everybody.

   

Nevertheless, She Persisted

Posted on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

Dave!Jenny came in and woke me up a little after 4am this morning. This is unusual because my cats rarely bother me while I am sleeping. I petted her on the head, she walked to the door and meowed, then ran downstairs. I rolled over and tried to get back to sleep.

Five minutes later she was back meowing again.

Thinking this is like Lassie trying to tell people that Timmy has fallen down a well, this time I follow her downstairs to find out what the problem is. Was Jake into something he shouldn't be? Is there another bird in the house? She leads me to the Litter-Robot and meows again. Turns out the Litter-Robot is stuck, Jake took a big dump in it, and the litter level is very low. So I replenish the litter, reset the Litter-Robot, then watch as Jenny waits for it to cycle so she has a clean spot to go to the bathroom.

Now... I wouldn't blame you for thinking I'm making this up. It sounds unreal, right?

Except this is Jenny we're talking about... and I have security camera footage that captures the whole thing.

This is my life now.

   
Here's Jake taking a dump in Litter Robot at 3:38am...

Jake in the Litter-Robot

   
Here's Jenny going to use the Liter-Robot at 4:02am...

Jenny wants to use the Litter-Robot

   
Here's Jenny deciding that she is not using a bathroom that smells like one of Jake's notorious dumps...

Jenny declines to use the Litter-Robot

   
Here's Jenny coming up to get me...

Jenny heading upstairs

   
Remember that I ignored her the first time. But she persisted. Here's Jenny leading me to the Litter-Robot at 4:12am where, sure enough, I find it's stuck and there's not enough litter in it to cover Jake's poop...

Jenny leads me to the Litter-Robot

   
Here's me refilling the Litter-Robot with fresh kitty litter so I can reset it...

Refilling the Litter-Robot

   
Here's Jenny waiting for the Litter-Robot to cycle so she has a clean place to do her business...

Jenny waiting for the Litter-Robot

   
And here's Jenny finally having a clean place to go to the bathroom like she wanted all along... while Jake watches her...

Jenny waiting for the Litter-Robot

   
Nobody warned me about stuff like this before I got cats.

Remember, I was a dog person before I got cats.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 46

Posted on Saturday, January 6th, 2018

Dave!While I was on vacation, I could have lowered the heat to save money. I absolutely did not. My cats were still home, and they were accustomed to the temperature as it was set. $26 was a small price to pay... and a drop in the bucket compared to how much my vacation cost.

Now that I'm home?

Jake and Jenny spend half the day (and night) wandering in and out of the catio when the temperatures are freezing.

Jake likes to then run back in the house and hop on me in order to get his feet warmed up. And then promptly fall asleep...

Sleepy Jake

Jenny prefers the electric blanket on my bed. Few things make her happier than rolling around on the luxurious warmth from her favorite spot...

Jenny on the Electric Blanket

Jenny on the Electric Blanket

Jenny on the Electric Blanket

Jenny on the Electric Blanket

Such a cute kitty...

Jenny on the Electric Blanket

   
Speaking of "cute"... earlier this week I compiled the nicknames I call my cats...

Nicknames for Jake: Jakey Bear
Pooh Bear
Poo Head
Pookey Bear
Fuzzy Butt
Chunky Butt
Handsome

Nicknames for Jenny: Jenny Bean
Baby Girl
Pretty Girl
Sweetie Girl
Sweetheart
MEOWSTRESS OF DESTRUCTION!

   
And... no more cat cuteness for you.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Dieting and Mondays

Posted on Monday, January 8th, 2018

Dave!Jake needs to lose four pounds.

Which is not easy because he will eat every bit of food that I put out as soon as he can get it. Jenny prefers to graze over time, which means the minute she steps away Jake will pounce on her food immediately.

I've gotten a little more proactive in taking food away and putting out smaller and smaller amounts that I can ration so Jake isn't devouring food meant for Jenny.

Jake is not taking his diet well.

Tonight I caught him eating from a bag of dry food I was foolish enough to leave on the kitchen counter. He knows exactly what it is... and apparently knows how to open a sealable bag as well...

Jake with his head in a bag of cat food.

I yelled for him to get down, which he did.

Not five minutes later, Jenny hopped on the counter to see if she could get away with snagging a bite or two...

Jenny decides she wants food.

I yelled at her before she could manage it, and she won't look at me now. Even once I called her to come up to bed, she refuses to look me in the eye. Which means I've been getting snubbed and side-eyed all night...

Jenny giving me side-eye all night.

Jenny giving me side-eye all night.

   
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

If I am killed in my sleep, check for claw marks.

   
UPDATE: I've been asked how much food they get. Jake and Jenny get three tablespoons of dry food and a tablespoon of wet food twice a day (each). Jenny doesn't know what to do about wet food. She ate it as a kitten, but now she just licks it. Jake will then walk over and polish off her gravy-free wet food before tackling his dry food. So, essentially, Jenny is eating less than a half cup a day while Jake is eating over half cup a day, when it really should be reversed...

Jake eating Jenny's wet food.

I bought some expensive stainless steel bowls that spread the food out while keeping it centered so that they avoid "whisker fatigue"... but my cats don't seem to care, so I still use bowls for their wet food. As they wear out (or break) I've been replacing them with shallower bowls in the hopes that the cats find them easier to eat from.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018, DaveLife 2018Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 47

Posted on Saturday, January 13th, 2018

Dave!When it comes to cats, I really did luck out. Jake and Jenny are healthy, well-behaved, loving, all-around wonderful pets and I honestly have no complaints. Yes, I wish they would let me pick them up... neither of them (especially Jenny) likes that at all... but it's such a small thing in the grand scheme of things that I don't dwell on it.

When it comes to smarts, they both seem like intelligent cats. Jake has pretty good puzzle-solving abilities and can use process of elimination to find stuff. I was afraid that Carl the RoboVac would choke on Mufasa, a toy lion I brought back from Africa for Spanky which Jake inherited, so I picked it up off the floor and tossed it on the couch. Later that day I checked in on the cats with the security cameras and saw him hunting around the house looking for something. Eventually he found what he was looking for... which was Mufasa...

Jake and Mufasa

Jake and Mufasa

Once he found it, Jake took Mufasa upstairs, assumably to hide it from me so I wouldn't hide it from him. Pretty smart.

And then there's Jenny.

As far as intelligence goes, Jenny operates on an entirely different level. Not just from Jake, but from most cats I've ever seen. She's super smart. When her brother found her secret sleeping spot in the room I use for comic book storage, she went and found another spot to get away from him. Now she sleeps in the guest room closet. To get in, she has to separate the doors by pulling the door out. Something Jake hasn't figured out how to do, and it drives him absolutely nuts.

She's also incredibly devious and crafty.

One morning as I was working in bed, I realized I hadn't seen my cats in a while. Using the security cameras, I found Jake out in the catio pawing at the door trying to get back inside. I couldn't figure out what his problem was, so I went downstairs to see if the door was broke. It wasn't. Jenny had pushed the scratcher lounge in front of the door, then sat on it so he couldn't push through...

Jake and Mufasa

Jake and Mufasa

   
I can only guess this was revenge from when she was asleep on the scratcher lounge and Jake kicked her off of it...

Jake On the Scratcher Lounger

   
She was not happy about it, and was staring daggers at her brother...

Jenny Stares Daggers at Jake

Jenny Stares Daggers at Jake

Jenny Stares Daggers at Jake

   
Jake is a bigger cat that Jenny and uses his size to get what he wants. Whether it's the scratcher lounge, the top spot of the cat tree, or whatever. There's times that Jenny is having none of it though. Like the other night when she was chewing on her catnip-infused paper bag and Jake decided he wanted it. She plopped down on it and refused to let him near...

Jenny's Bag

Jenny's Bag

Once he left, she went back to chewing on the thing. Though I have no idea why. Apparently it doesn't taste very good...

Jenny's Bag

   
If there's one thing Jenny loves, it's ambushing her brother when he least expects it. Usually she does this by running up and smacking him in the face while he's pooping. But sometimes she gets deviously crafty. Like dragging her paper bag in front of the cat door so she can hide behind it and jump on Jake when he comes through...

Jenny's Bag

   
Like I said... next-level smart. And clever and devious.

I really lucked out.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Furry Butts and Dishwashers

Posted on Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Dave!Between the weather and my work schedule there's nothing much else going on in my life.

Except for the cats, of course...


Catastrophe!

Catastrophe!

Catastrophe!

Catastrophe!

   
Turns out I didn't close the pots and pan cupboard, so Jake and Jenny were climbing all over in there. This is great, because I was dying to wash six loads of metal in the dishwasher, and now's my chance!

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018, DaveLife 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 48

Posted on Saturday, January 20th, 2018

Dave!And so... Jenny comes running in from the guest room meowing for attention.

Turns out she's tattling on her brother. I go in to see what he's up to... and he's up on the wall shelves where he knows he's not supposed to be. I go to scold him and then... HE SITS NEXT TO THE RABBIT STATUES AND STAYS PERFECTLY STILL. HE IS CAMOUFLAGING HIMSELF AS A STATUE SO I WON'T SEE HIM!!!

Jake the Statue

Not the most convincing wabbit I've ever seen, and yet... not the worst either. But don't tell that to him. He sat there being a statue long enough that I had time to run and get my phone so I could take a photo.

Eventually he realized the gig was ip...

Jake the Statue

No idea how he gets up there. But at least I know who is responsible for knocking my rabbits off the shelf and busting them...

Jake the Statue

Eventually he pretended to be sorry and dropped by to watch television with me...

Jake the Statue

Just look how sorry he is!

As for Jenny?

Still letting her smarts lead her into trouble. She watches everything I do, and now I'm thinking that she is trying to figure out light switches...

Jenny on the Light Switch

I think she's also taken up Taekwondo. The other night I was rubbing her butt to distract her from the rain falling on the roof (something she really hates for some reason)...

Jenny Butt Rub

But apparently she didn't want to be distracted, and...

Jenny Taekwondo Move

She decided to distract herself by hunting mice...

Jenny Toy Mouse

Nom! Nom! Nom!

Jenny Taekwondo Move

   

I went to bed at 11:00 last night but couldn't get to sleep. Fortunately(?) my cats saved me from a boring night of staring at the ceiling. Since they new I was awake, they took that as an excuse to go nuts. Shortly after midnight I heard them sliding things along the floor. When I looked at the security cameras, it seemed to be wet food packets. They dragged them out of the cupboard before, but the worst they've ever been able to do is bite a few holes in the bags...

Cat Food Breakout

Every time they would fail to get a packet open, they would run and get a different one...

Cat Food Breakout

After a few packets had been dragged out, I saw that Jenny had managed to get one open. She was chowing down...

Cat Food Breakout

As I lay in bed being horrified at the idea of wet food being scattered all over my house, I decided to run down and clean it up before it dried. Sure enough, they broke the bank...

Cat Food Breakout

Much to my relief, the packet that Jenny got open was not wet food, but a bag of treats...

Cat Food Breakout

Ironically, it was CALMING TREATS I bought for when I take Jake and Jenny to the vet next month...

Cat Food Breakout

I'd like to tell you that they calmed right down after eating all those "calming treat," but... not so much. Oh well. At least they didn't look pissed off, like the cat on the front of the package after I put all their food away.

And... what cat antics will tomorrow bring?

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?

Posted on Monday, January 22nd, 2018

Dave!I always make fun of the people who say "Are you kidding me? Are you KIDDING me? ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?!???" when they see their finished home revealed at the end of Fixer Upper (the home renovation show on HGTV). I mean, who says that? It's like, the stupidest thing you could say. YES, WE ARE KIDDING YOU! THIS IS NOT YOUR HOUSE!

Then just now I was unloading a box of cat stuff from Chewy. The cats were obsessed with the shipping box... until I opened the cupboard where the cat food is. Then they abandon the box come ripping into the kitchen like they're going to be fed dinner... an hour and a half early! It was then I found myself saying "Are you kidding me? Are you KIDDING me? ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?!???" — And then I realized either A) I watch way too much Fixer Upper, or B) People actually say that, and I should probably apologize to all the people on TV I've made fun of.

Fixxer Upper Promo Shot

 
It's probably a combination of both those things. My television is tuned to HGTV 90% of the time. I've seen every episode of Fixer Upper eleventy-billion times. I have all the clients memorized. It only stands to reason that the stupid crap people say on these shows is going to get embedded in my brain.

In many ways, watching shows like Fixer Upper is torture this time of year. I want nothing more than to clear out my garage and set up my wood shop so I can get started on all the projects I've dreamed up for my home this year... but that has to wait until Spring when I won't have to worry about my car being piled over with snow.

The last thing I want to do is walk outside in the morning, find an avalance on my car, and find myself screaming "Are you kidding me? Are you KIDDING me? ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?!???"

   

Blanket Dreams 2: Electric Boogaloo

Posted on Thursday, January 25th, 2018

Dave!As I've mentioned a couple times, Jenny loves sleeping on an electric blanket I have under the far third of my bed. She loves it so much that she gets frustrated when she finds that it's not on. More than a few times I've seen her stamping her little foot trying to get it to turn on... or have come home from work and found that she's pulled the blanket away trying to figure out why it's not hot.

Given how smart she is, I thought that maybe I could teach her how to turn it on when she wanted it on. It automatically turns off after four hours, so I thought that might be an easy solution.

I think I'd have better luck teaching Jenny how to turn on the electric blanket if it got hot immediately after pressing the button. But since it takes time for the heat to arrive after pressing it, there's a disconnect there, and her little brain can't wrap itself around the concept. She still paws all around the blanket... stomping her little foot trying to make it be hot, but this may be expecting too much.

Jenny's Heated Blanket

Jenny's Heated Blanket

Jenny's Heated Blanket

Jenny's Heated Blanket

Jenny's Heated Blanket

   
Oh well. I still think you're a smart girl anyway, Jenny!

Jenny's Heated Blanket

Yes... yes... yes... you're still sexy too.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 49

Posted on Saturday, January 27th, 2018

Dave!I cannot get over how smart Jenny is.

She's just bizarrely intelligent, and every day she does something to remind me of it. At first she didn't like the anti-itch liquid on her neck because it made her wet. But now that she understands what it does? She knows to frickin' ask me for it. Then, when I spray it on my hand to rub it into her skin, she turns around so I'm not reaching across her face. It's like she comprehends how things work.

Including me.

She tries different kinds of "meows" until she finds one I respond to (the most pathetic sounding meow, of course)... and then she uses that particular meow until I stop responding to it... then she tries different meows again so she can get her way. She acts all submissive towards her brother, but she also totally manipulates him. It's just gets more and more weird and wacky the more I see what's going on in that little fuzzy head of hers.

As for Jake? Bless his heart.

When it comes to scratching stuff, both my cats are pretty smart though. When they were kittens they would scratch anything, anywhere (my furniture has the marks to prove it) and I was happy to just let it go. As they got older, they learned where they should scratch and where they shouldn't. A part of this had to do with me providing plenty of things that were desirable scratching places. Scratching posts, scratching loungers, scratching cat trees, scratching pads... they've got it all.

And to make sure they don't get bored, I'm always swapping out old, worn scratchers for new ones. The first scratching post they ever had actually wasn't their's... I bought it for Spanky. Needless to say, it's a mess, which is why I've got it out in the catio. The other day I was watching them scratch on it and realized that they like to stretch out vertically on it. Indoors, they don't have anywhere to do vertical stretches, so I decided to buy a new post that was nice and tall.

The cats were scared shitless of the big pole when I brought it in... but the minute I set a toy mouse on top, they were all over it. They love the height, and it's tall enough to even do some climbing...

Jake Climbs the Tall Post

It's a great scratching post... especially at only $38. Nice and sturdy. Both of them can be climbing all over it at once and it won't tip over.

They love it so much that I'm thinking of buying a couple more. It would be nice to have one in their bedroom. Though I'm still a bit upset that I spent an hour cleaning it and they had it trashed the next day...

Messy Cat Bedroom

The messy little monsters.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 50

Posted on Saturday, February 3rd, 2018

Dave!Seventeen days and counting.

Seventeen days and counting until Jake and Jenny have their annual vet appointment. Something that has been stressing me most every day since their last vet appointment. Now that they're two years old (25 in human years), it would be nice to think that they've matured enough that we won't be having a repeat of that insanity that permeated their first trip... but I know better. They are still very much feral cats at heart and not at all accustomed to adventures outside the house or seeing other people.

In order to help ease them into their appointment, I bought Feliway diffusers last month to get them in a more calmed state of mind. I've purchased calming treats for the week before and pulled some of their favorite toys.

And then today I pulled out the kitty carriers for them to get used to. My hope is that, being cats with tiny brains, they've forgotten about anything negative to do with them so I'll manage to lure them in when the time comes...

Jake and Jenny at the Kitty Carriers

Jake and Jenny at the Kitty Carriers

Jake and Jenny at the Kitty Carriers

Jake and Jenny at the Kitty Carriers

   
Just the thought of having to drag them to the vet again...
=shudder=

But, for now... it's business as usual. Sleeping, pooping, and trying to stare me into feeding them early...

Jake and Jenny Waiting

   
Seventeen days and counting.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Fuzzy Bellies

Posted on Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

Dave!"Come of Baby Girl, time for bed."
"Meow."
"Yes. Yes. You can get scratches on your head."
"MEOW!"
"Give me a minute! I have to go to the bathroom."
"MEOWWWWW!"
"Oh stop. You're not dying. I have to wash my hands."
"MEOW!"
"I have to change into a T-shirt... just wait a minute!"
"Meow. Meow. Meow."
"Okay. Okay. I'm coming..."
"Meow."

Jenny Wants a Belly Rub

"Alright! Alright!"

Jenny Wants a Belly Rub

Jenny Wants a Belly Rub

Jenny Wants a Belly Rub

Jenny Wants a Belly Rub

"Meow."

I've never seen a cat get into belly rubs like Jenny does. She goes nuts for them, and is very, very impatient when it comes to her nightly rub-down.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 51

Posted on Saturday, February 10th, 2018

Dave!

Jenny's brain works differently from most cats.

Given how smart she is, just figuring out how to get a toy out of the puzzle box is too boring for her. I found this out as I saw her goofing around with it tonight.

   
At first I couldn't figure out what she was doing...

Jenny and the Cat Toy Box

   
Then I saw she had found a toy mouse and was apparently trying to put it into the cat puzzle box...

Jenny and the Cat Toy Box

   
When she couldn't get it into one hole, she walked around the box and dragged the mouse to a different hole...

Jenny and the Cat Toy Box

Jenny and the Cat Toy Box

   
She managed to poke it through the hole into the box, but then decided she wanted it back. She couldn't reach where it landed, so she had to circle around to snatch it...

Jenny and the Cat Toy Box

   
And... success...

Jenny and the Cat Toy Box

   
I've never seen a cat who plays with toys the way that Jenny does. It's as if just batting them around is beneath her somehow, and she has to find other ways to amuse herself with them.

I amuse myself by watching her try.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 52

Posted on Saturday, February 17th, 2018

Dave!When I bought a house, I truly was not prepared for how much work it would be. My HOA fees cover the yard care and the snow removal... what else is there?

Turns out there's a lot.

Tons of little tasks that add up and overwhelm you day after day. For the longest time I just ignored them until forced to deal with them, but then I started writing all the little things down on a "Daily Chores List" and tackle a new task every day. Sometimes it's something quick and easy... like washing the bathroom mirrors. Other times it's something more involved like fixing the toilet handle or replacing the washers in my kitchen faucet.

Today's chore was three-and-a-half hours of cleaning out my toolbox and organizing my screws/nails/fasteners/etc. storage chests.

It would have probably gone faster, except I had "help" from my cats...

Cat Help!

Cat Help!

Cat Help!

They simply would not stop "helping." They'd climb in any open box or bag. They'd root through every container and bag of garbage. Half my time was spent wrangling cats.

Jake and Jenny just loooooove to "help." Like when they "helped" with my taxes...

Cat Help!

And, of course, they were right there to "help" when I was cleaning out my dresser and end-table...

Cat Help!

When a new order of food and toys arrives from Chewy, the only "help" they're interested in is composting the packing paper...

Cat Help!

Cat Help!

   
I suppose I should be grateful that I have such kind-hearted and helpful cats?

Probably.

   

Receiver Deceiver

Posted on Monday, February 19th, 2018

Dave!After I finished mopping all my floors as my Chore-of-the-Day, I decided to get to work and turned on my television for some background noise. Then, once again, I got a "Cannot Communicate with the Satellite Dish" message. I assumed it was the cable to my DVR that was dying, because I can usually wiggle it and get things working again. But not today.

And so... I had to postpone work and go buy a new cable.

That was the easy part. The hard part was replacing the cable because I have all my cords wrapped up, and replacing one of them means having to unravel others too...

Jenny the Cat

Since I was already having to wade through all my cables, I decided to just disconnect everything and start over. I've made several changes since I first organized everything, and the mess has gotten a bit out of control. Also... I wanted to relocate my stereo receiver because the cats like to lay on it for warmth, and I worry it's not getting enough ventilation and might blow out...

Jenny Sleeps on the Stereo Receiver

Jake the Cat

   
Unfortunately this is a much bigger project than it may first appear. The IKEA media center I have is a really poor design because the shelves don't have enough space to fit my receiver. I decided to modify the unit by taking out the middle drawer, building a shelf there, cutting out the back so I can run cables, then moving the center shelf up an inch-and-a-half...

   

IKEA STUFF!

While I was at it, I decided to see if moving my router off the top would interfere with the WiFi signal. Turns out it did not, so I decided to move it along with the receiver. This is nice, because now all I have on top of my media center is the center channel speaker and Alexa. Much cleaner, and my living room looks less cluttered.

Once the noise from drilling and sawing was done and the cats came out of hiding, I was surprised at how quickly Jake noticed that his favorite sleeping spot had vanished...

New Media Center IKEA Hack

When Jenny finally noticed, she was not happy. Not happy at all...

New Media Center IKEA Hack

The cats then tried to find a new "favorite sleeping spot," but nothing seemed to make them happy...

Cats on Couch Back

   
And now I realize that I should have waited a day to do all this since tomorrow is their visit to the vet, and that's going to be traumatic enough without them losing their stereo receiver napping spot.

Probably more traumatic for me than for them. Which is why I've been dreading tomorrow all year.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018, DaveLife 2018Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

The Veterinary Clinic Adventure 2.0

Posted on Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

Dave!Living with cats has been a joyous experience every day... save one day. My visit to the vet with them last February. It was equally traumatic of all three of us, and I've been dreading having to go back for an entire year.

As I mentioned a while back, I had brought in the cat carriers in early so I could get Jake and Jenny used to being around them.The difference being that last year I was able to trick them into the containers with treats. This year? Not so much. They didn't want to go in under any circumstances. Even by bribing them with treats.

Here's Jenny hanging out with me five minutes before I would betray her...

Vet Visit Two Point Oh

Vet Visit Two Point Oh

In order to trick them into the carriers this time, I essentially had to starve them, then dangle food in front of them so I could shove them inside and lock the door behind them. It worked, of course, though I felt so awful about having trapped them...

Vet Visit Two Point Oh

The 20 minute drive was almost exactly the same as last time. Jenny went catatonic. Jake cried and howled the whole way there.

Once I got to the vet, the challenge was to get them out of the carriers that I had struggled so hard to get them into. Jenny had to be pulled out clawing and meowing... Jake had to be shoved out... then Jenny proceeded to hide in the sink and Jake tried to camouflage himself...

Vet Visit Two Point Oh

Vet Visit Two Point Oh

Vet Visit Two Point Oh

Vet Visit Two Point Oh

Half-way through the visit Jenny just went flat?... I guess the term would be? Like she was trying to melt into the table or something.

Vet Visit Two Point Oh

It was kind of freaking me out... but then Jake noticed his sister in distress and stepped up to try and comfort her. I was doing a pretty good job of holding it together, but just then I nearly lost it. Such sweet kitties. And such a good big brother...

Vet Visit Two Point Oh

   
Just like last year, Dr. Bonnett at Cascade Veterinary Clinic was amazing with my cats. So kind and caring about taking his time to make sure Jake and Jenny were as comfortable and least traumatized as possible.

Turns out that Jake lost a half-pound, but is still a little overweight. Jenny is at her target weight still. Both of them are healthy and have no issues, so I'm feeling more than a little blessed about that. They handled their annual vaccinations like a champ and, just like that, they were done and I was $200 lighter.

After the doctor wrapped up and it came time to get them into the carriers again, they were only too happy to run into them this time.

The drive home was more of the same. Jenny zoned out with an occasional whimper... Jake howling and crying wee wee wee all the way home.

Last year they went screaming from the carriers, hid under the bed for a while, then got all clingy on me. This year they meandered out of the carriers, so I went ahead and fed them... this time without any tricks...

Vet Visit Two Point Oh

Vet Visit Two Point Oh

Instead of being clingy on me, they were fairly clingy with each other, which was nice...

Vet Visit Two Point Oh

And so... all good for another year (knock wood). Now I need a drink.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

The Pergola Predicament

Posted on Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

Dave!My addiction to home renovation shows has reached critical mass. My list of woodworking projects I want to do has gotten so long now that I would have to retire if I even wanted to make a dent in it.

Right now I'm excited for Spring to come so I can turn my garage into a woodworking shop again and get started on two (well, actually three) projects...

  1. Custom Picture Frames. I am building a wall collage in my stairwell of family and friends photos. I'm to the point where there are no frames I can buy to fit in the places I need to fill, so I need custom frames to make it work. Alas, they are SO expensive, so I bought a router table and am going to make my own. It's so much easier than I thought it would be. I also have some prints that I'd love to display, but could never find frames to fit. Now I can make my own.
  2. Remodel My Laundry Room. I want some narrow shelving that will be easy to build, but the main thing I want to do is build new cabinet doors as practice for...
  3. Remodel My Kitchen. I ran out of money when I was remodeling my home, so I never got to replace the kitchen cabinets which I hate hate hate. I then decided I would just reface them with new doors and drawers, but that was also insanely expensive. So then I decided to buy the tools to build my own doors and drawers. I'm also confident that I can tile my own backsplash. About the only thing I am not confident about is replacing the countertops, so I'll have to hire somebody after I'm done with what I'm going to do.

That's months of work given that I can only work nights and weekends.

And yet...

I've got another project I'd really like to tackle.

I want a pergola on my patio.

Well, a pergola over the part of the patio which remains after I built a catio out there. It might also be cool to build a cat run into it with seating on top, like yo...

Pergola Planning

That way I could sit outside and read a book under a little bit of shade while my cats run around. Big Fun for all of us!

By far, the biggest project I've ever tackled, if I end up doing it... but it looks like a lot Big Fun to build too!

   

Kitty PTSD and Hairballs

Posted on Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

Dave!This morning I was working from home when I hit a snag and needed to be in the office to finish up. I was hurrying to get out the door when I noticed that something was on my floor. Too small for a mouse, so I was guessing it was some kind of hideous bug trying to get out of the cold. So I went to get a glass and piece of board to trap him and... it was a hairball. A Jake hairball.

Jake has, on rare occasions started hacking like he had a hairball, but he's never puked one up. I guess there really is a first time for everything.

So, after cleaning that disgusting mess up, I tracked him down to the pad on my media center (formerly the stereo receiver) to make sure he was okay. I asked him about the hairball, but all he did was demand belly rubs...

Kitty PTSD Belly Rubs

Kitty PTSD Belly Rubs

Kitty PTSD Belly Rubs

Kitty PTSD Belly Rubs

Kitty PTSD Belly Rubs

So my fears that Jake might have hairball inducing PTSD from his vet visit are apparently unfounded. If it was a problem, apparently it's all fixed by belly rubs.

Jenny never seems to have hairball problems but, then again, she's more into getting brushed with THE FURMINATOR, so I suppose that's to be expected. So as to avoid any further hairball incidents with Jake, it looks like I may have to start insisting he gets FURMINATED whether he likes it or not.

Because the first time I step in a hairball I will totally lose it.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018, WoodworkingClick To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Moppy Mouse Blues

Posted on Friday, February 23rd, 2018

Dave!My cats don't play with toys much, despite having dozens. That being said, they definitely have favorite toys when they do decide to play with them. Jake's favorite has always been a stuffed lion named "Mufasa" that I brought back for Spanky from Africa.

Jenny's favorite toy changes from time to time, but for the past couple months she's been obsessed with Blue Rag Mouse. She will run around with it, chase it, throw it, and otherwise abuse it whenever she's in the mood to play.

Then last night, tragedy occurred.

Jenny brought me Blue Rag Mouse with his guts spilling out everywhere. The fabric had been well-chewed, which didn't give me much to stitch up. I set Blue Rag Mouse on the counter, tracked down Lime Rag Mouse and gave that to her instead.

She looked at me like I was insane.

(Jenny, not Lime Rag Mouse).

I don't know if cats can shake their heads in dismay. Something tells me that they can't, because otherwise Jenny would have been shaking her head as she walked away. How dare I try and fool her with Not-Blue-Rag-Mouse?

So I shook my head, then went off to bed.

This morning I was having some toast and jam while working on a spreadsheet when I heard a meow. I looked up from my laptop and saw this...

Jenny and Gutted Blue Rag Mouse

Apparently she is not willing to let go of this Blue Rag Mouse situation.

I was pretty sure I purchased the toy from Petco. I thought I'd just go to their site and order a bunch of Blue Rag Mice...

Petco Website

   
Oh good... I found it! And apparently it's not Blue Rag Mouse, it's Blue Moppy Mouse. But then I see this...

Offered in Assorted Colors. Please allow us to select for you.

So, unlike when you order stuff for people and get to select which color you want, stupid animals won't know the difference? Obviously, Petco doesn't know Jenny at all.

And so... I guess I'm running to Petco this weekend to see if they have another Blue Moppy Mouse.

They should tell you this kind of thing will happen when you go to adopt a cat.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Belated Caturday Antics

Posted on Monday, February 26th, 2018

Dave!Since this past Caturday was spent discussing a cat of an entirely different kind... Black Panther... I am picking up the slack by posting my crazy cat lady stuff today.

One of my best finds in the cat toy arena is a new scratching post that the cats have been loving because it's really tall. Unlike most posts, they can stretch out as much as they want and not run out of pole. On top of that, they can climb it like a tree, which is something they both love to do. But Jake is a little more enthusiastic about making a game out of it. Set a toy on top, and he'll jump and climb his way up to grab it and throw it off...

Jake's New Scratching Post

He's kind of violent about it, so you have to be sure that your hands and other protruding body parts are kept clear...

   
It's all fun and games until Jenny makes noise jumping up on the couch and scares him just as he's reached his goal...

   
The reason Jenny is jumping up on the couch is because I set my freshly-laundered pants there. For whatever reason, that's always an open invitation for her to jump up and use my jeans as her personal scratching post. Or, as in this case, bite the crotch out. Which is exactly what I want her to do if somebody ever tries to grab my pussy...

Jenny Crotch Attack... Do NOT Grab This Pussy, Dammit!

   
As I've previously mentioned, nobody appreciates a good belly rub like Jenny does. Every night when I go up to bed, she sprints up for her nightly belly rub. And she will stare at you until she gets her way. Or, if she's really impatient, she'll start meowing at you...

Jenny Belly Rub

Jenny Belly Rub

Jenny Belly Rub

Since Jake got a video this time, here's Jenny's...

   
When it comes to using the litter box, Jenny has gotten increasingly insistent on having a clean place to poop in. She loves a clean box so much that if something goes wrong with the Litter-Robot and she has to wait too long for it to cycle, she has zero problem waking me up at 4:00am to fix that. Last night I noticed her sticking her head in the litter box acting like she was scared to go in...

Jenny and Litter-Robot

Then I saw that the red light was on, which meant that Jake must have beat her there, and Litter-Robot was waiting five minutes before it cycles, which allows the waste to clump and be disposed of more easily. This is no big deal, because Jenny is perfectly content to wait for it to clean itself. I've seen her do so many times.

But this time?

This time she started meowing for Litter-Robot to hurry up.

I started laughing because just when I think my cats can't surprise me... they go and do something like this.

Or this...

Jenny and the Dubai Apple TV Screen Saver

Jenny was watching television, but I had to pause in order to take care of something and the cityscapes screensaver activated. Jenny was not please about this. Not pleased at all. In fact, I think she was quite cross.

I don't know why. That's one beautiful screensaver. I've not been to Dubai yet, and that Blade-Runner-esque view makes me want to visit real soon now.

And that's all I got. See you next Caturday... which is a short five days away!

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018, DaveLife 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

In Sickness and In Health

Posted on Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

Dave!My cats are not pukers. I think I've cleaned up just one puke and one hairball the entire time I've had them. And the puke wasn't really puke at all... Jake was in the middle of eating when he got distracted somehow and left a spot of half-chewed food on the floor. That's as bad as it's ever gotten.

Tonight I get home and cleaned up three piles of puke... each hardly anything but water. Looking back through video footage, I see that it's not Jake like I expected... it's Jenny...

Jenny Pukes

As I was writing this, she just puked a fourth time. Poor thing has an upset tummy for some reason. I'm worried that she's eaten something she shouldn't have, so I've been scrubbing through security camera footage trying to figure out what it could be. But there's nothing. She goofed around for a while, but was mostly sleeping in different places around the house. All household cleaners and anything dangerous are always kept secured from my cats, so I can only guess it's a bug or a bad pouch of food (just to be sure, I threw the rest of the carton in the garbage). Since what she puked up was mostly water, I took apart the fountain for a thorough cleaning a few days early (I rinse it weekly and deep-clean every other week).

Whatever it was, I've been following her around with towels to clean up after her. The poor little girl is so small that when a bout hits, her whole body is convulsing all the way from her stomach. The good news is that the "attacks" have gotten less severe each time... with a smaller amount of water coming up. I just laid with her for an hour on my bed giving her a belly rub and I think she's done. At dinner she didn't eat a lot, but she did eat... and she's kept it down for 15 minutes with no more puking. After her light meal, she climbed on top of the cat tree and is acting like nothing happened... so fingers crossed.

UPDATE: Well, I'd say all is definitely well with Jenny. She just made a spectacular 6-foot leap off the cat tree, had more to eat, then went outside in the catio to be on lookout for the dog that's running around out there...

Jenny Leaps

   
UPDATE: I'm betting that Jenny has been sick for longer than just today. Tonight she wanted to be fed FOUR times. After the third time, Jake... who will eat anything forever, stopped wanting more food, and she ate his food too. She's been drinking a lot of water all evening. She's also gone to the bathroom twice tonight, which she's never done before. I feel awful that I didn't notice she's been ill until she was puking... my guess is that she hasn't been eating much for at least two days, and now she's making up for lost time. I need to pay closer attention to my cats.

UPDATE: Well, it's the next morning and Jenny is getting sick again. Not a lot... and not the severe convulsions she had yesterday... but enough that I'm going into work late so I can lay down with her and make sure she's okay.

UPDATE: And... she's back to 100% again, it would seem. Odds are that I probably was more upset over her getting sick than she was.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 54

Posted on Saturday, March 3rd, 2018

Dave!Well, Jenny might be in trouble.

She keeps puking, but it's never food... it's always mostly water. She gorges herself on water, then pukes it up. When I Google this, there's a lot of things that come up, but diabetes is the most common result. Since Jenny is two-years-old and not overweight that's unlikely, but I'm taking no chances. I'm going to make some changes to try and get her stabilized, then go through the trauma of taking her back to the vet (my nightmare).

First thing I'm doing is changing Jake and Jenny's diet. Jake is overweight, so it's probably better to make changes anyway. Jenny eats dry food and licks the gravy off the wet food I serve... both are loaded in carbs, which are not natural to a cat's diet. My ultimate goal is to move to a 100% raw food diet (more on that later) but, in the meanwhile, I'm going to blend pâté food with warm water and rinse the gravy off the chunky food.

This morning my cats looks at me like I was insane when I set it down, but hunger eventually won out. Jenny was all over the pâté gravy I made, but didn't eat the chunks. Jake ate a little of both. From there, it was me hanging out with Jenny to see if she puked up the pâté gravy. She had small convulsions, but kept everything down. Next time I'm going to add less water to see if that makes things easier.

Second thing I'm doing is temporarily getting rid of the drinking fountain. In the wild, cats usually get their hydration from the food they eat and rarely drink much water. If I'm going to put water in her food and serve raw food, hopefully that will alleviate the need for a water fountain. But... the last thing I want is for my cats to get a urinary problem, so I'm going to put a fountain back after a few days to see what happens. I've also replaced my plastic fountain with a ceramic one.

And then there's raw food.

Many, many pet owners and veterinarians advocate a raw food diet for cats because it more closely mimics the diet which their digestive system has evolved to handle. This is not as simple as it sounds, however. You can't just go buy a chicken at the grocery store, grind it up, and slop out a portion. First of all, refrigeration only slows salmonella poisoning, it doesn't stop it. You would either have to use freshly-killed chicken... or fresh-frozen to eliminate risk of salmonella. Second of all, cats need taurine to survive. Raw meats have taurine but not enough when ground, so you have to supplement it. Ultimately what this all means is that you partially cook the store-bought meat enough to kill any salmonella, add a cat supplement, then grind it all up. Or... order fresh-frozen and use that (which is a lot more expensive, but the best option for some meats).

But, first thing's first... I have to order up an industrial meat grinder.

Then? Research, research, research. Starting here.

Jenny hides her eyes from bright light!

In other cat news...

I finally managed to make it to Petco so I could pick up new Blue Moppy Mouses for Jenny after she shredded the last one...

Blue Moppy Mice

That should last her the rest of the year. Assuming she hasn't changed her mind and wants something else.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Puke Patrol

Posted on Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

Dave!This past Caturday, I talked about Jenny and her stomach problems which have been causing her to vomit several times throughout the day. The poor thing couldn't catch a break, and it was painful to watch her struggle. I resolved to take her to the vet on Monday if she was still puking, even though that bit of trauma was enough to make me want to start puking.

But yesterday things started getting better.

Whether it was pulverizing no-carb food into gravy so her entire diet wasn't so carb-heavy... or switching to a ceramic water fountain... or just waiting it out... I don't know. All I do know is that I haven't heard or seen her puking, and nothing has been turning up when I go on puke patrol each morning.

So far, so good.

Maybe it was just a temporary stomach bug she needed to get out of her system?

We shall see.

In the meanwhile... more research into a raw diet. I'd like to at least work some raw (or form of partially-cooked raw) into their food routine.

Maybe that will help Jenny to not be so aggressive with her Moppy Mice. This morning I noticed that she had ripped the guts out of Green Moppy Mouse...

Dead Green Moppy Mouse

Now that she's got a taste for killing her toys, I wonder how long the three new Blue Moppy Mice I bought her will last?

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Tail End

Posted on Friday, March 9th, 2018

Dave!It's Jake! Hello, Jake!


XXX

   
Sometimes I have the camera on my iPhone ready at just the right moment.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 55

Posted on Saturday, March 10th, 2018

Dave!After dealing with Jenny's stomach bug and having a growing worry that she's becoming diabetic due to her crazy water consumption, I started looking for low-carb foods to hopefully head that off at the pass. This isn't that tough, because there are many wet foods which are no-carb. They're all meat. But Jenny doesn't want to chew wet food... she only wants to lick the gravy off of it. The gravy being the part with carbs. If I buy wet food with no gravy, she still tries to lick it, but won't eat it. The only food she wants to eat is dry food. But most dry foods are carb-heavy.

I started making my own low-carb gravy she can eat by puréeing paté canned food with water. It worked fantastic, but was so gross (I'm never using that blender for my food again!). Then I found Tiki Cat brand, which has a "velvet mousse" which is already blended. I just stir in a half-tablespoon of water and away she goes.

Even better? Tiki Cat also makes low-carb dry food!

Tiki Pets Products

The stuff is crazy-expensive, but my cats love it. And, if they're being honest about the contents, it's a much healthier option for Jake and Jenny than anything else I've found.

I'm also trying out the Tiki Cat Grill, which is a series of flaked fish recipes that have shellfish garnish. Or, in the case of the sardine cutlets varieties, disgusting chunks of sardines in shellfish sauce. Opening a can is gag-inducing for me, but the cats love love love to eat it (or, in Jenny's case, love to lick it).

I still want to investigate making my own raw food to work into their diet though... I'm reading way too many good things about it to let it go. Even with Tiki Cat in the picture.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Lords of the Flies

Posted on Monday, March 19th, 2018

Dave!I worked all weekend, so this Monday was just more of the same. Except I spent most of the day feeling like it should be Saturday because I didn't get a Saturday.

=sigh=

In other news... the flies have started waking up. Not that I've seen any of them in my house, but the cats are going insane out in the catio chasing them around the place...

Jake and Jenny Chasing Flies in the Catio

From the minute I got home, I've been hearing BUHDA BUHDA BUHDA as Jake and Jenny run up and down and up and down.

Though sometimes Jenny prefers to just observe from the safety of her home...

Jenny Watching Flies in the Catio

Jenny Watching Flies in the Catio

Not that I blame her. It's still getting too cold out there for my tastes.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

To The Cat Lair!

Posted on Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

Dave!No toy I ever buy from Chewy will ever compare to the joy my cats get out of the box and packing paper that the toy comes packed in.

This past weekend the packing paper was finally nothing more than a pile of shreds, so it got thrown out. The box survived just fine, but the cats lost interest in it when the packing paper went away.

Until I moved it to the laundry room. Now any time I open the door, Jake goes running for it balls-out...

Jake in his Cat Lair!

   
I think he feels this is his secret lair where he can plot world domination.

World domination being the tiring work that it is, he usually ends up napping after a while. Apparently my lap makes for a better spot to sleep than a Chewy box...

Jake Lap Lair!

   
Among other places...

Jake Lap Lair!

   
Rough life, my cats have.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Playdate Mufasa

Posted on Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

Dave!So I come in from working in the garage and hear one of the cats thumping around on the stairs. I walk around the corner and it's Jake wrestling with Mufasa, his stuffed lion toy. The minute he notices me, he throws Mufasa against the wall and pretends he wasn't just playing with it.

Apparently he's too cool for toys now...

Jake and Mufasa

After that we hung out watching television for a while...

Jakespreading

Well, I say we watched television... but Jake doesn't like TV. He just likes hanging out. Jenny, on the other hand, is enamored with television even more than I am. She can stare at if for hours... especially if it's a show she likes (her favorite is Rick & Morty, and she'll come running any time she hears it)...

Jenny Watches TV

How was I ever entertained at home before I had cats?

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 56

Posted on Saturday, March 24th, 2018

Dave!Sardines are my cats' new favorite thing.

Even Jenny will eat the disgusting giant chunks after she's sucked all the sauce off of them. This is the one food that is guaranteed to be licked clean out of the dish every time. So who cares that my house smells like I'm storing a kettle of fish? My cats are in heaven. =gag=

I mean, just look at this nightmare...

Tiki Cat Chunks of Sardines

I can't say that sardines are responsible, but Jenny is sure turning into a heck of a lap cat. Used to be that her jumping on the couch was a rarity. But now she's all over me almost every day...

Jenny LapCat

Jenny LapCat

   
Makes it tough to get much work done, but she's just so darn adorable that I can't say no...

Jenny LapCat

Jenny LapCat

Jenny LapCat

   
Even when she gets irritated because she wants more space. Then she just keeps kick-kick-kicking me until I move over...

Jenny LapCat

   
But, so long as she's happy...

Jenny LapCat

Jenny LapCat

   
And don't worry about Jake... he still gets plenty of lap-time too...

Jake LapCat

   
And now? Time to bring out the bottle of Febreeze. That sardine smell ain't going away on its own.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Mufasa

Posted on Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

Dave!As I had mentioned last Thursday, Jake's favorite thing on earth is a small stuffed lion named Mufasa. Given how much he loves the thing, I've started to worry about the day it's no longer around, because things have been getting a little weird around here where Mufasa is concerned.

Namely, Jenny has found out that the quickest way to irritate her brother... or, more likely, get revenge on her brother... is to take Mufasa away. And usually when she does that, she rips into the thing, just like Blue Moppy Mouse, which she's destroyed.

As an example... a week ago Jake pushed Jenny off of the cat tree. Next thing I know, she's grabbed Mufasa and is dragging him up the stairs. I check on the security cameras and, sure enough, she's tearing into it. Then she just sits there behind the doorway... apparently waiting for Jake to realize his toy is gone so she can ambush him...

Jenny Steals Mufasa from Jake

Jenny Steals Mufasa from Jake

Jenny Steals Mufasa from Jake

From time to time I'll hear a ruckus going on. Used to be it was general tomfoolery. But now when I investigate, Mufasa is in the middle of it all. Jake does something to piss Jenny off, Jenny steals Mufasa, then Jake will chase her down to get him back...

Jake Catches Jenn yWith Mufasa

Now-a-days when I check in on Jake, if he's awake he's usually playing with Mufasa...

He carries it with him everywhere...

Jake and Mufasa

So while I was waiting for my work files to upload yesterday, I started searching the internet for a Mufasa replacement in case Jake's beloved toy wears out. The way he's been tossing it around and the way Jenny has been ripping into it has me worried for Mufasa's health. No luck so far...

Mufasa Jake's Lion

Looks like I need to fly to Johannesburg's airport in South Africa to get a new one. Or seven.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Between the Sheets

Posted on Saturday, March 31st, 2018

Dave!When it comes to bed sheets, I want them to stay cool and dry. I want crisp, breathable fabric that is tough enough to last. I don't like satin sheets. I really don't like "sateen" sheets, which are cotton sheets pretending to be satin sheets. When a hotel has sateen sheets, I have to kick them off (if it's warm) or wear sweats (if it's cold) because the glossy finish makes me sweat.

After being puzzled for years over things like "finish" and "thread count," I finally figured out that the sheets I want are called "percale," they're made of cotton, and the lower the thread count the better. What's great about this is that the sheets I just described are the cheapest you can buy. Also the opposite of what most people prefer, which is "sateen" in the highest thread count possible... 800 or higher.

So when I was shopping at IKEA and saw "percale" weave sheets at a mere 152 thread count, I was intrigued. Could these DVALA sheets at $25 a set (Queen) be the cool, crisp, breathable, dry sheets I've been dreaming of?

IKEA DVALA Bed Sheets

Turns out they totally are the sheets I've been looking for!

They are absolutely perfect.

No, they aren't soft and silky smooth. Truth to tell, they're actually kind of rough... even after having been washed twice. But that's exactly what I wanted because they are cooler to sleep on, they're tougher, and they have that crispy feel I love.

Cat hair sticks to them like glue, however, so I guess you can't have everything.

But anyway...

It's been an interesting morning at my house. At 6:02am I received a robocall from my credit card company saying that I may have fraudulent charges on my account. So I call the number they gave me, only to find out that they have no idea what I'm talking about, and they made no such call. And I'm like "THEN HOW DID I GET THIS NUMBER TO CALL YOU?" and they're all "WE DID NOT CALL YOU!" and I'm all "YOU DID, BECAUSE I JUST DID A REVERSE LOOK-UP OF THE CALLER ID AND IT'S YOU!" — I'm put on hold for a bit, then they come back and say "Oh, there's a problem with our computers calling people." Typical.

As I'm talking to my bank, I hear the cats banging around in the catio. They've heard that I'm awake, and come charging up the stairs demanding breakfast, even though it's almost an hour away. Jake has chunky white dust all over him, and I wonder if somebody threw a bag of cocaine into the catio while being chased by the police or something. I'm not about to snort my cat since I have no idea if the cocaine is premium grade or not, so I brush it all off and try to go back to sleep. Meanwhile Jenny has found Mufasa on the window perch that was left there last night. She starts ripping into him when Jake notices. And so then I have cats chasing each other all over my bedroom when I just want to get some sleep.

Abandoned Mufasa on a Window Perch

When Alexa finally chimes at 7:00am and the cats come back all crazy because it's breakfast time, I see that Jake has straw in his mouth. The only place I have straw is in the garage... I keep some for Fake Jake's winter shelter. So I go running downstairs and, sure enough, I left the garage passdoor ajar and my cats have been having big fun in my garage, including knocking over a bucket which was filled with drywall dust. Which means there won't be a bag of cocaine in the catio as I had first thought.

AND THEN, as if that weren't exciting enough, I can't find Jake and Jenny's Easter baskets. So now I have treats and cat toys for Easter morning, but no baskets to put them in. Looks like I'll be tearing apart my garage looking for Easter baskets this afternoon.

So this is my Saturday.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018, DaveLife 2018Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Camera Monsters

Posted on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

Dave!Sometimes having security cameras are not the comfort you think they would be.

Like when you call them up and see a black blob covering one of them...


Camera Monster

Apparently scaly monsters have invaded my home. Or have they?

Camera Monster

Camera Monster

Nope. It's just Jake.

Crawling on the counters where he knows he's not supposed to be.

Maybe he's just trying to get a good vantage point to admire the beautiful new ceramic drinking fountain I bought for them?

Yes. That's probably what it was.

Jake took to it right away, but Jenny has been a bit more cautious...

Jenny and the Drinking Fountain

Kind of puzzled as to why. This new one is far, far quieter than the one I replaced.

Cats.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 57

Posted on Saturday, April 7th, 2018

Dave!And so Jenny is terrified of my MacBook power adapter for some reason.

No clue as to why, but if she's near me and I so much as move it from one spot on the arm rest to another, she runs away. My guess is that it fell on her while she was goofing around with the cord, and she's been afraid of it ever since. I can't hide it under anything because it would overheat, so I've just started setting it as far out of her sight as I can.

Because heaven only knows I don't want to miss this...

Jenny on the Couch

Jenny on the Couch

Jenny on the Couch

   
In other Caturday news... Jake's relationship with his stuffed lion, Mufasa, just continues to go deeper. In addition to carting it around with him, he's started taking it to his favorite nap spots so he can sleep with it (probably so Jenny won't take it)...

Jake and Mufasa

Jake and Mufasa

Jake and Mufasa

Jake and Mufasa

Jake and Mufasa

Not that Jenny is in any way dissuaded. She knows exactly how to push Jake's buttons... and the quickest way to do that is to steal his most prized possession.

Last night just before midnight, I heard a major ruckus downstairs which goes on long enough that I climb out of bed to go check it out. That's when Jenny comes tearing into my room with Mufasa in her mouth, dumps him off, then stands there waiting for Jake so she can snatch Mufasa and run off again...

Jenny Steals Mufasa

   
Don't feel too sorry for Jake. He probably ate some scraps of food left in her bowl... or pushed her off the top perch on the cat condo post... or did something else to set her off. That's usually how it goes.

Whether taking Mufasa is better or worse than running up and smacking Jake while he's pooping is open to debate. Jake seems equally irritated by both.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 58

Posted on Saturday, April 21st, 2018

Dave!And so I'm sick.

Which should come as no surprise. I spent over 10 hours trapped on a plane with a girl sitting behind me who was coughing her head off. Of course she wasn't even trying to cover her mouth... parents apparently don't teach that anymore... so I was in the blast zone of the little germ factory as I crossed the Atlantic and then the country.

Luckily, I've got cats who are sympathetic to my Man Cold and willing to offer comfort...

Sick with Jenny

Sick with Jenny

Sick with Jake

   
In other news... I heard a big bang against the screen on the catio and knew that Fake Jake was back. What I didn't expect to see was Jenny out there facing him down. If her brother was there with her, then maybe. But alone? That's my girl...

Jenny faces down Fake Jake

Jenny faces down Fake Jake

Sheesh. I really do need to clean those windows.

And one last thing before I go... when I was in Vienna waiting for my flight back to Amsterdam, I found a box of chocolates with Kitten Jake and Kitten Jenny on the front...

Jenny faces down Fake Jake

At first I thought it was chocolate cat treats meant for cats, but since chocolate isn't good for cats, I'm assuming it must be for cat-lovers who also like chocolate?

Or maybe chocolate-lovers who also like cats. Who can really say?

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 59

Posted on Saturday, April 28th, 2018

Dave!And it's officially Catio Season!

Jake and Jenny are out in the catio almost every day, regardless of weather. Freezing temperatures, snow or rain, they love being outdoors. But now is the time of year where they spend more time out in the catio than inside. The sun has changed position, so they can bask in its glory while enjoying fresh air as well...

Catio Cats

Jenny especially loves it. Jake is happy to lay on top of the cat tree in the window to get his sunlight fix. Jenny will always choose the catio...

Catio Cats

Not that Jake doesn't have his moments. While I was in Europe, he spent the night out in the catio, which I've never seen happen before. And... he still loves keeping a look out for Fake Jake, where confrontations are ramping up as the weather improves...

Catio Cats

   
Trying to get a jump on packing for my next trip later this week, I've run into the usual obstacle...

Cats and Suitcases

   
I was expecting that as my cats got older they would become more independent and want nothing to do with me. If anything, the opposite is happening. No matter where Jenny is in the house, if she hears me turn on the television in my bedroom, she dashes up right away. She can sit there watching television for hours...

Jenny Television Watching Cat

   
Jake has no interest in television, but he does have a huge interest in sleeping. Last night he spent the night on my bed, which has never happened before. I dozed off and was surprised to find him still around when I woke up...

Jake a Bedroom Snuggler

As I turned off the lights and was falling back asleep, Jake started purring like a motorboat. I couldn't see what he was so happy about, so I used the flash on my iPhone...

Jake a Bedroom Snuggler

Apparently he's liking the ceiling fan drying off his undercarriage.

This morning he was still there...

Jake a Bedroom Snuggler

   
And speaking of things still being around... Jake dragged Mufasa in this morning. I hadn't seen his prized lion since I got back from Europe, so I thought he had been lost or destroyed. Nope...

Mufasa Returns

He probably hid it. Forgot where he hid it. Then found it again.

Why he hides Mufasa was apparent just minutes after Jake ran downstairs for a drink of water. Jenny started tearing into him

Mufasa Returns

I'm shocked that she hasn't shredded Mufasa to bits by now. Really hoping that one of my friends passing through Johannesburg O. R. Tambo International Airport can pick up some more Mufasas because I'm not sure how upset Jake will be if he ever loses the one he has.

And... so much for the last Caturday in April.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Day Five: Home

Posted on Monday, May 7th, 2018

Dave!Yesterday was a whirlwind of travel getting from Jefferson City back home. Or maybe it wasn't and it just felt that way because we returned from our ghost hunt at 3:30am.

Whatever the case, Coal Miner's Granddaughter and I decided to start things off right with ICE CREAM FOR BREAKFAST! Yay! Let's set aside the fact that an ice cream parlor opens their doors at 8am each morning and instead focus on the creamy dream that they are peddling...

Central Dairy Ice Cream

That massive ice cream cone there? $3.00 at the Central Dairy. Yes, you read that right... THREE DOLLARS! That same cone would be at least $6.00 anywhere else. And it probably wouldn't taste nearly as good. Because, I gotta tell you... this ice cream was amazing. It's so creamy as to border on being described as "fluffy" and the flavor makes you stand up and say "Dayamn!"

Central Dairy Ice Cream

If you're ever in Jefferson City, MO... this is a must-stop.

After ice cream it was a two-hour drive back to St. Louis Lambert International Airport, followed by a two-hour wait, followed by a four-hour flight to Portland, followed by an hour wait, followed by a half-hour flight to Seattle, followed by a half-hour on the tarmac, followed by an overnight, followed by a two-and-a-half-hour drive home.

Where I was very, very happy to see my cats.

And give them a present I brought back from Jeff City... a stuffed Missouri mule! His name is Moose. Jenny was not impressed. Jake, on the other hand, looked like he might like it at first...

Jake the Cat and Moose the Mule!

...but then started tossing it around. No idea if the cats will warm up to it, but I had to try!

   
And... back to Real Life.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018, Travel 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Feline FOMO

Posted on Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

Dave!FO·MO
/ˈfōmō/
noun, informal
Fear Of Missing Out. Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.

FE·LINE FO·MO
/ˈfēˌlīnˈfōmō/
noun, informal
Fear Of Missing Out as applied to cats. The anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by noises made by other cat(s) in the same space.

   
The older my cats get, the more they seem to care about what the other one is doing.

Jenny can be laying next to me purring away because she's getting petted... but then she'll hear Jake running around downstairs, worry that he's doing something super-fun that she's not a part of, then go ripping down the stairs to see what it is.

Jake likes to sit on my lap while I'm watching television. But the second Jenny goes running by to head out into the catio, he is all of a sudden paranoid that she's spotted something awesome out there, and is running after her to see what that might be.

My cats are in a perpetual state of FOMO.

Over each other, of course... not over me. They couldn't care less about what I'm doing.

Unless it's feeding them breakfast or dinner.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 60

Posted on Saturday, May 12th, 2018

Dave!Yesterday morning I woke up to see Moose the Mule standing in my bedroom.

The fact that he's standing leads me to believe that I sleepwalked downstairs, then brought him up and set him on the floor. So I check the security cameras and, no, that's not what happened at all.

Jake and Stuffed Animals

Here is what actually happened. And, for anybody who ever said that they don't believe Jake can carry Mufasa the Lion around because he's too big for a cat to carry... Moose is TWICE THE SIZE!

Funny, funny stuff.

Anyway... looks like Jake might finally be warming up to Moose.

UPDATE: Here we go again...

Jake's love of stuffed animals isn't surprising, really. When I adopted my cats I was lucky enough to meet their foster parent at the shelter. She told me that Jenny likes to chase a string and Jake liked stuffed toys. Especially a stuffed llama they had...

Jake and Stuffed Animals

I didn't have a stuffed llama, but I did have a stuffed lion I brought back from Africa for Spanky the Cat. So I dug through my old cat toys and found Mufasa. Jake took to him from day one...

Jake and Stuffed Animals

Jake and Stuffed Animals

Jake and Stuffed Animals

   
Jenny didn't care much for Mufasa, but that didn't stop her from trying to take him away from Jake. She wanted it just because he wanted it...

Jake and Stuffed Animals

Jake and Stuffed Animals

Jake and Stuffed Animals

And they've been fighting over that stuffed lion ever since...

Jake and Stuffed Animals

Which has made Jake spend a lot of time trying to keep Jenny from taking Mufasa away. Over the years he's sometimes been more successful than others...

Jake and Stuffed Animals

Jake and Stuffed Animals

Jake and Stuffed Animals

Jake and Stuffed Animals

Such a great cat.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 461

Posted on Sunday, May 13th, 2018

Dave!Mother's Day isn't the only good thing to happen today... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Wubba Lubba Dub Dub! Looks like we're getting another 70 episodes of Rick & Morty!

Jenny watching Rick and Morty

My cat Jenny will be thrilled. Don't ask me why, but she loves the show. I think it has to do with Rick's voice, because if I'm watching and turn the television up, she'll come running to see what's happening. It sounds crazy, but I shit you not. She likes watching television, but she loves the Rick & Morty...

Jenny watching Rick and Morty

Not bad for a Back to the Future parody.

   
• Satan! FOX went on a brutal cancelation spree, axing shows that I really enjoy like The Last Man on Earth, The Mick, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and, horror of horrors, one of my favorite shows ever... Lucifer.

Lucifer Promo Shot

Apparently Reno Nine-Nine has been saved by NBC, which isn't much of a surprise since the show is distributed by NBC. Lucifer is co-produced and distributed by Warner Brothers, but their network blew up back in 2006. No idea where it would find a home unless one of the streaming networks like Amazon, Hulu, or Netflix grabs it. Which would sure as hell be nice, since they could wrap up the show and give us a proper ending. No word yet on what the fate will be for Champions and L.A. to Vegas... two more shows I would be sad to lose.

   
• Challenge! Ariana Grande has always been an incredibly good sport when it comes to putting up with Jimmy's shenanigans, and has played numerous "challenge" games with him on The Tonight Show. And now there's this...

Now that's talent.

   
• Adventure! Every once in a while I see an image posted of what video game graphics look like now compared to what they looked like when I first played video games. It just keeps getting more and more insane...

XXX
Posted by marvinrabbit on imgur.

Video games are more like playing a movie than ever, and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Back when my gaming experience was an Atari 2600, it was just a distraction that couldn't compare with Real Life...

But now that gaming is, in some ways, better than Real Life? Hmmmm...

   
• Try Evil! According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple is going to partner up with the pig-fuckers at Goldman Sachs to come out with their own branded credit card. Looks like Apple has completely given up and decided to go 100% evil. Since the WSJ is behind a pay-wall (deep eye-roll), here's the story at Fortune magazine.

   
• Health! I'm just going to finish my bullets by leaving this right here: The incredibly frustrating reason there’s no Lyme disease vaccine.

   
So long, Sunday... I got a P!NK concert coming up.

   

Caturday 61

Posted on Saturday, May 19th, 2018

Dave!It's kind of strange how having cats has changed my behavior. I am slowly becoming a different person, and it's a direct result of hanging around Jake and Jenny.

Yesterday I received a couple of questions from somebody who found my Antarctica trip in a Google search. I didn't have the answers off-hand, so I had to retrieve my souvenir box. My cats see a box and are instantly in attendance, pawing through everything and chewing on papers, pamphlets, and postcards. And I just didn't care. Two years ago if a cat was chewing on my precious souvenirs I would have ripped them out of their mouths, shooed them away, then been upset for days that my property had been destroyed. But now? It's just stuff. In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter if a postcard has a corner missing? Not to me. Not anymore. They could set the entire box on fire for all I care. I'd rather have happy cats than any amount of stuff. Unless it's going to hurt them, there's nothing I own that's important enough to smack a cat away. Nothing.

But the biggest change has been learning to accept things for what they are. This is a primary concept of Buddhism, and something I've been trying to get a handle on for decades. Jake and Jenny are "just cats." Given their relatively small stature and lack of opposable thumbs, there isn't much in their lives that they can change. Rather than wallow in misery if their attempts to alter their environment fail, they just accept it and do their best to live with it... or they move on. And that's the key. There are some things in life that simply cannot be changed no matter how hard I wish it were otherwise. Rather than dwell on that and be miserable, I've been doing a lot more accepting... and a lot more moving on. And I have been far happier because of it.

Maybe this world would be a better place if more people in charge of things had cats.

But anyway...

So there I was consumed by work when I hear much thrashing and squawking coming from the dining room. Jake is going crazy about SOMETHING, so I get up to see what's going on. Turns out it's just a boy and his mule. Jake is rolling around on the table with Moose...

Jake and Moose the Mule

Jake and Moose the Mule

Jake and Moose the Mule

Jake and Moose the Mule

Which makes me SO happy because dividing their attention between multiple stuffed animals means that Mufasa, Jakes prized stuffed lion, might stay in one piece a bit longer.

In other non-news, Jenny's television addiction is still going strong. Her favorite place in the living room is the coffee table where she can lay and watch TV. Many nights she'll fall asleep while watching...

Jenny TV Sleeper

Jenny TV Sleeper

Which is better than the cats' latest trend... wedging themselves in-between me and my work so they can get petted and fall asleep. They are doing this ALL THE TIME NOW. Even worse? They work in shifts. One of them will squeeze between me and my laptop so I have to set it down... then the minute they leave and I go to pick up my computer again... the other one will do the same damn thing...

Sleepy Cats

Sleepy Cats

And, lastly, I've been leaving windows and doors open in the mornings before it gets hot in an attempt to keep things cool and let in some fresh air. This cuts down on the expense of having to run my air conditioner as much. This has resulted in Jake and Fake Jake having a couple of "play dates" through the screen door...

Jake and FakeJake Playdate

Jake and FakeJake Playdate

Jake and FakeJake Playdate

Though how they can see each other through that filthy window I do not know.

A part of me wonders if I'll eventually be able to let Fake Jake in for a visit... but I honestly don't think this will ever happen. Fake Jake can get very aggressive, and I think that would traumatize Jenny quite a lot. She may be able to hold her own when there's a fence between them, but up close and personal? Probably not.

Oh well.

I removed the heater and berm from Fake Jake's shelter, then cleaned it inside and out, so he should have a nice cool place to hide from the sun this summer. That will have to do. If we end up with a heatwave, I can always let him hang out in my garage.

Until next Caturday then...

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bird Life

Posted on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

Dave!And to think, just minutes ago I was thinking "Gee. What am I going to blog about today?" But, since I have cats, I never have to worry about that for very long.

Case in point?

A bird flew too close to the catio and Jake decided he wanted at it...

It's even more impressive when you see it from the catio side... Jake may have a couple extra pounds on him, but he can move pretty quick when he wants to!

The poor thing looked in really rough shape when I went out to see if he could be saved...

Catio Bird Rescue!

But when I got him turned over it wasn't as bad as I feared. He had slight damage on his right side, but the wing looked intact...

Catio Bird Rescue!

I pet him for a while to calm him down. Once his breathing slowed, I let him be. After a couple minutes, he tried climbing through the fencing, but couldn't manage it. This was making him panic, so I helped him through as gently as I could. He dropped like a stone to the outside of the catio...

Catio Bird Rescue!

I sat with him for a while, petting him until he calmed down again...

Catio Bird Rescue!

Since I had no idea how long he would need to rest up, I decided to make a box with food and water so I could put him on top of the catio where Fake Jake and other cats in the neighborhood couldn't get at him...

Catio Bird Rescue!

But when I went to put him in the box, he started squawking and flew away. I followed to make sure he was in a safe spot... only to find him in a very safe spot, camouflaged in my shrubs...

Catio Bird Rescue!

I'll check on him in the morning to make sure he managed to escape. If not, I guess I'll have to read up on how to nurse a bird back to health.

Of course now my cats are on patrol out in the catio waiting for another bird to come by. Hopefully this doesn't become a regular thing or else I'll have to look into adding a screen on the fencing.

Something I'm sure my cats will just love shredding.

UPDATE: Good news! When I went back in the morning to see if the bird was still there, he was gone! I looked all around to make sure he hadn't fallen out somewhere... but there was no trace anywhere. His wings worked fine when he flew away from me, so I think he was just stunned, tired, scared, and a little hurt. After a rest, he was probably okay. No thanks to my murderous cats.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 62

Posted on Saturday, May 26th, 2018

Dave!It's a three-day holiday weekend! Except I had to work today, so it's not much of a holiday for me. But hey, I got to come home and clean out my garage for six hours, so it's not like I didn't have any fun.

Last Caturday I posted a photo of Jake all sprawled out and was asked if that's how he always lays down. The answer is "no, not always."...

Jake Lays Down

But he does lay like that a lot of times now that the weather is getting warmer and I am trying to save money by not running the air conditioner unless I have to...

Jake Lays Down

Jake Lays Down

Jake Lays Down

And he doesn't much care what people think about it. You'd probably lay spread-eagle too if it were hot and you were covered with fur...

Jake Sticks His Tongue Out

Unless you're Jenny. She's way too much a lady to lay like that.

Speaking of Jenny, she's started getting a bit demanding lately.

So there I was last night, composing an email to head off a major disaster, when I hear the most pathetic WAILING coming from near my feet. I look down to see what in the heck Jenny's problem is, and it's... nothing. Miss Perfect Pretty Princess just wanted to lay down next to me but my computer was in the way. Jeez. You'd have thought she was dying or something. The girl knows how to get what she wants, that's for sure...

Jenny Gets Her Way

Jake doesn't complain, he just jumps up and pushes his way to where he wants to sit. Which means setting down the computer and letting him get his way...

Jake Gets Her Way

The only one in this house not getting their way is me.

And also any fly stupid enough to wander in. The cats are both completely obsessed with hunting them down...

Cat Fly Hunting

Jake and Jenny are surprisingly good at hunting flies. They're patient. And fast. And resourceful. They catch a lot of them.

Which is fine. Except when they eat the flies. So gross.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Cat Assistance

Posted on Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

Dave!Yesterday was supposed to be the day I set up my wood shop in my garage so I can start in on my kitchen remodel. Unfortunately, my garage had more junk in it than I expected, so I'm still working on it. Amazing how even though I'm tossing tons of stuff there's still tons left. It's never-ending. I wish I could make a time-machine, then go back and tell myself "YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAVE EVERYTHING!"

The good news is that I have "help"...

XXX

XXX

Really hoping that this weekend I'll be done and my shop will be up and running. I'm burning precious time I need to get things done!

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 63

Posted on Saturday, June 2nd, 2018

Dave!And... I'm back home.

It was nice to have Friday away from it all, but I'm happy to see my cats again. Yesterday I tried to talk to them through the security system cameras and it went as expected. No matter how many times I try to get them used to it, they are still completely mystified by The Voice of God drifting in from nowhere...

Jake and Jennt looking for the magic voice

   
I washed my sheets the same way and with the same detergent I've always used... but now, for whatever reason... Jenny is all hyped up over them. She's tunneling under them... biting them... clawing at them... and of course I encourage it because she's too cute about it...

Jenny Undercover

ME: My new sheets don't have enough holes in them!
JENNY: Hold my beer...


   
Jake's entire day is made when he spots Fake Jake outside and can go running around the house trying to follow him around. Which is why I was greatly amused when Fake Jake came waltzing up to say hello and Real Jake was obliviously looking in the wrong direction...

Fake Jake Missed Opportunity

Fake Jake Missed Opportunity

   
Jenny dropped Mufasa the toy lion in the water fountain this last week, so I had to hang him up to dry. Jake wanders around looking for him, but ultimately seems okay chewing on Moose the Mule instead...

Jake and More Moose

Jake and More Moose

And, yes, Jake is still dragging Moose upstairs most nights...


Which is fine, except a couple of times I've nearly tripped and busted my ass... or twisted my ankle... because I've forgotten to look out for stuffed mules on my bedroom floor...

Moose the Mule on the Floor

   
Life with cats.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Breakfast Alert

Posted on Friday, June 8th, 2018

Dave!My cats were driving me crazy every time it was close to breakfast or dinner time, because they don't want to wait for breakfast or dinner... they want their food now.

And so a couple months ago I had Alexa set alarms for 7am and 6pm every day so that my cats would learn not to bother me until they heard it was time. And it totally works...

Problem is that I can't set Alexa alarms for anything else or my cats will get confused and think it's time to eat.

Something I learned the hard way when I was baking bread last week.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Jake and Mondays

Posted on Monday, June 11th, 2018

Dave!Too sore to get out of bed. Too tired to go to work. Too worried the cats will eat me to die and not feed them. Especially when Jake is looking at me like this...


Flower Bed Construction

   
And it's a Monday...

   

Cat Cat Catio Ramp

Posted on Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

Dave!Now that I've finished a bunch of projects, cleaned out my garage, and prioritized my to-do list, I've finally converted my garage over to a wood shop. All I have left to do is hang up the dust barriers, and I'm good to start building! A month-and-a-half later than planned, but better late than never.

One of the first things I'm doing is finishing up the PHASE TWO catio projects that have been lingering since last Fall. It all started with a "Cat Ramp" I had planned to run up the side of the structure. I had built it months ago... it's just floor mats wrapped around a 1 × 6 × 10-foot board that was then glued and screwed to a pressure-treated 2 × 6 × 10-foot board... but I never got around to installing it.

Well, I finally did that...

Cat Ramp in the Catio

Jake and Jenny absolutely love it. The ramp gives them an opportunity to use their claws to climb, so it's kind of like and really long scratching post they can climb and run around on...

As you saw at the end of that video, Jenny makes a death-defying leap across the catio, which is something I did not count on. Jake does it too...

They love the ramp so much that I've decided to not wait on the sisal pole and catwalk pieces I planned to add this Fall. I'll get started on those right away.

It's the least I can do to keep them occupied while I'm away from home!

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 64

Posted on Saturday, June 16th, 2018

Dave!One of the first projects I put on my list once I got my wood shop set up was finishing PHASE TWO of the catio. The first part was the ramp, which I installed last weekend. The second part is a giant scratching post that Jake and Jenny can access on three levels... or climb from top to bottom as they wish.

When I drew up the initial sketches for the catio, the pole was already there and installation points were planned. All I needed to do was build the thing. Which was easier said than done, because neither Home Depot nor Lowes had round fence posts in stock. I'd have to wait until I was over the mountains and get it then.

Or so I thought.

A friend from high school on Facebook mentioned that the local farm supply carried them. And so away we go...

Catio Pole Installation

First step was to thoroughly scrub it down with soap and a wire brush...

Catio Pole Installation

Then it was time to fill all the cracks and sand it smooth...

Catio Pole Installation

Catio Pole Installation

After three coats of shellac to protect it from moisture, I went to see how it was going to fit and discovered it was too tall. And so...

Catio Pole Installation

Then it was time to wrap the entire thing in sisal rope so the kitties have something to claw on. I wanted to be sure that it wouldn't come loose, so I bought some cement to glue it in place. Not willing to trust that this would be enough, I stapled it along the way on the back side as well...

Catio Pole Installation

From using maths not quite forgotten (C=2πr) I knew I needed seven rolls of 50-foot, 3/8" sisal. The farm & feed store only had five, so the remainder had to be bought at Home Depot. It was slooowwww going, as I was having to glue-wrap-glue-wrap-glue all the way down...

Catio Pole Installation

Installation was pretty easy. I had wrapped brackets under the sisal... the ends were protected by shellac and silicone, and the spot I had designed for it was easily accessible. I added a third bracket to the top of the pole so it was secured to the ceiling as well. Once it was all screwed together I couldn't budge it, so I'm confident it will be safe for Jake and Jenny.

And speaking of the little monsters... Jake watched me install it through the window and ran out to start scratching on it the minute I opened the door. Looks like another catio success!

Catio Pole Installation

I have one final piece for PHASE TWO that I'm hoping to get to in-between other projects next month. Then, depending how long I'm otherwise occupied in my wood shop, it's on to the finale of my catio plan... PHASE THREE.

Until I dream up PHASE FOUR, of course. Lucky cat bastards!

UPDATE: And... Father's Day came early. Jenny just climbed the entire pole from bottom to top! So proud! Unfortunately, she was climbing opposite the camera, so I don't have video... but here's her little paws peeking out as she scaled to the upper shelf...

Jenny Climbing the Catio Pole

That she ran down the ramp I had installed last weekend is just icing on the cake!

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Hardwood Therapy

Posted on Thursday, June 21st, 2018

Dave!My cats have been stalking each other as I sit here trying to figure out how to not say what I can't talk about. Every once in a while, one of them will make a break and a chase ensues. Then they are all over the house. The living room. The dining room. The kitchen. The stairs. My bedroom. Their bedroom. The guest bedroom. The catio. Then the tables will turn and the chase will reverse itself.

Truly the best entertainment that a can of sardines can buy...

And the best therapy.

I don't think there's anything that makes me smile quite so much as kitty claws on hardwood floors.

   

Caturday 65

Posted on Saturday, June 23rd, 2018

Dave!Today I'm driving over the mountains again. Then, after a soul-crushing ordeal that will leave me wrecked, I'm turning around and coming right back home. Not the best way to spend a Saturday, but that's life for ya.

Fortunately I'll return to piles of work to distract me and two cats to delight me.

Now that Summer has arrived, most of Jake and Jenny's time is spent in the catio... watching birds and napping the day away. Which is exactly how I'd want to spend my days if I didn't have to buy food and pay a mortgage.

The sisal pole addition to the catio has been a huge hit. Jenny started climbing it bottom-to-top from the very beginning. Now Jake is into climbing it as well...

It's really amazing to watch them go climbing. They absolutely love it. I guess all cats do...

Jake Climbing a Pole

Jake Climbing a Pole

The money to add it wasn't too bad... $12 pole plus $50 in sisal rope plus $15 in glue... but the time to clean it, scrub it, prime it, protect it, glue it, wrap it, and mount it was the killer.

Still 100% worth it though.

Guess it's time to build the final part of PHASE TWO so I can move on to other projects for a while.

Tags: , ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Cats and Mondays

Posted on Monday, June 25th, 2018

Dave!I work seven days a week but, alas, that doesn't mean Mondays are any better for me because... because... well, they're still Mondays.

And Mondays is when Carl the RoboVac resumes cleaning my floors after getting the weekend off.

Something that was easy to remember when my security system reported suspicious activity had been spotted on one of my cameras. I tuned in to see Jenny had climbed on the countertop in front of a camera once Carl started roaming, where she was eyeing him suspiciously...

Jenny and Carl the RoboVac

No idea why she can't get used to Carl... but she still hates him after all this time.

Another reason I knew it was Monday?

Well... I had a bit of a lingering cough this morning and decided to take cough syrup for it so I can get some serious work done. And things didn't quite go according to plan.

For those who swig their medicine directly from the bottle because they don't have time to grab a measuring spoon, please be aware that cat anxiety medication looks the exact same as cough medicine in a poorly-lit kitchen from the back...

Accidental Anxiety

I bought the anxiety medication to sneak in their water in preparation for their vet visit this past February. For reasons unknown, I never put it back in the cat cupboard after their appointment was over and just left it on the window sill with everything else. Can you guess which one I grabbed and swallowed?

Accidental Anxiety

Not that I couldn't use some anxiety medication right about now. I have been going through some awful, traumatic times these past couple weeks, and it's really starting to wear me down. If I'm going to keep buying into the idea that everything happens for a reason, then maybe this was supposed to happen.

If I start licking my butt and peeing in a box*, I'll be sure to let you know.

Though, to be honest, I really shouldn't be needing any medication for stuff like this. Not when I have cats.

Sometimes.
When I'm feeling all is lost.
And I have nothing.
One of my cats shows up.
And reminds me that I have everything.

Like this morning when I shook myself awake and Jenny showed up.

Jenny will happily fall asleep if I lay my arm across her and scratch her face. She loves it, and you literally can't do this long enough...

Jenny Cat Relief

But the minute I stop? "HEY! I DIDN'T TELL YOU I WAS DONE!"

Jenny Cat Relief

And then I have to give her mad love again because right now the only thing that makes me happy is when my cats are happy...

Jenny Cat Relief

After Jenny left, Jake showed up for his turn...

Jake Cat Relief

And all was well.

Until I had to get out of bed and hop in the shower so I can start my day (and take cat medicine, apparently). Then Jake decided to show his displeasure by hopping up on the window perch and pouting at me.

I couldn't bear that, so I found Catnip Lobster to keep him company. He was still hugging it when I got out of the shower...

Jake Cat Relief

How much would my life suck without cats?

I honestly never want to find out.

   

*Well, licking my butt and peeing in a box more than I usually do, I should say.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

The Hardest Part About Leaving Is Goodbye

Posted on Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

Dave!Another trip over the mountains today.

This will be one of the hardest trips I've had to make in this life. I wish my cats could come with me, because oh so many days lately they've been the salve that soothes my grief... but I don't think they would do well on a car trip.

Not well at all. Though they love to sit and watch the occasional car drive by, I think a highway full of cars would be too much...

Cats on Lookout

Sad to be leaving. It's so hard to say goodbye.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018, DaveLife 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 66

Posted on Saturday, July 7th, 2018

Dave!When it comes to my cats, I am the absolute worst kind of parent. Rather than enact strict discipline in my household, I always take the path of least resistance because I find it incredibly difficult to tell Jake and Jenny "no" to anything.

It wasn't always this way. I started out with all kinds of rules. My #1 Rule has always been to keep the cats out of my kitchen... for two reasons. The first is that this is where there front door is located, and I didn't want them to wait there and run outside as I came and went. Second of all is because this is where I prepare food, and I didn't want kitty germs and cat hair all over my counters. I went to great lengths to keep them out. Even going so far as to purchase Scat Mats to electrocute them when they walked across them. Well, "shock" not "electrocute" but you get the picture.

Unfortunately, my cats were smarter than Scat Mats...

Yes. Jumping over the mat. Who'da thunk it? But that wasn't even the start. They would also drag things over the mats so they could walk across without getting shocked.

And so... they were allowed in the kitchen since there didn't seem to be an easy way to stop them. Oddly enough, they stopped hopping on the kitchen counters once I let them in, so I am declaring myself the voctor here.

It goes on and on.

Most all my rules have been tossed out the window. About the only one I have left is to not allow them outside, but they've got a catio for that, so I'm not sure I won that battle.

The latest battle I've lost? Letting them play in the cat food cupboard.

I made the huge mistake of storing all the cat food in a lower cabinet. It's all sealed up to keep it fresh, so they can't really get into anything, but I still try to keep them out so I don't have to clean up all the stuff they drag out of it...

Cat Food Breakout

What's interesting to note is that my cats know the difference between the food packets and the treat packets.

They will pull food packets out of the cupboard, but the only packets they try and open are the treat packets. Food packets never leave the kitchen. Treat packets are dragged and thrown all over the house...

Cat Food Breakout

This morning when I woke up, I heard a ruckus downstairs. I knew what was going on before I even looked at the security cameras...

Cat Food Breakout

There was Jake, throwing around a treat packet trying to break it open since he can't find a way to bite it open.

Usually, I run downstairs and take it away because I have a rule about not letting them mess around with food like this... but... well... another rule down the drain. Who am I to deny them fun times like this? I've bought toys which they have ignored that cost a lot more than a bag of treats.

And speaking of treats... Jake loves air conditioning. Loves it. The minute he hears the AC kick in, no matter where he is in the house, he will run as fast as he can to get to the vent above the cat tree so he can bask in its coolness...

Cat Food Breakout

I've posted this photo (or a photo like it) before, but here's Jake showing his true love of cold air...

Jake Catspreading

And since we just can't seem to get enough Jake this Caturday...

There I was, working away, when I have to stop so I can check my security cameras and find out which cat is responsible for the foul-smelling dump that just got left in the Litter-Robot. Because this is my life now.

Turns out it was Jake (big surprise). BUT HERE'S THE PART WHERE I FREAK OUT, BECAUSE AFTER HE TAKES A DUMP, HE SITS THERE STARING AT THE CAMERA LIKE HE KNOWS I'M GOING TO BE LOOKING. JUST LOOK AT THIS SMUG LITTLE BASTARD! ALL PROUD OF THAT POOP HE JUST UNLEASHED!

Cat Food Breakout

Oh gawd... why in the hell are you reading my blog? Who needs to know this stuff? What is wrong with you?

See you next Caturday!

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

A Change of Heart

Posted on Monday, July 9th, 2018

Dave!My cats are too weird... when they are apart. When they are together it's an entirely new level of weird.

When I first got my cats as babies, they were inseparable. Probably because they were scared to be in a new place... but their bond lasted well past the time they got used to their home. You would never see one without the other, and one would always follow the other wherever they would go.

Eventually they decided to live separate lives. Sure their paths cross all the time, but they don't feel the need to constantly be together. Jenny, in particular, is happy to find a private spot to sleep or play where her brother won't bother her. Fortunately my home has two levels, so there's never a problem for them finding a way to escape from each other.

And then over the past month something strange started happening. Jake started following Jenny around like old times... playing where she's playing, sleeping where she's sleeping. At first Jenny was irritated by this and would leave the second she felt he was crowding her. But in the past couple of days she's had a change of heart. Sometimes when she absolutely should not...

Jake Wants to Sleep

Jake Wants to Sleep

Jake Wants to Sleep

Jake Wants to Sleep

Jake Wants to Sleep

Because they absolutely don't both fit on the same platform like they used to...

Caturday Cat!

And it's not just on top of the cat tower... Jake will climb onto whatever space Jenny is occupying...

Jake Wants a Bath

Jake Wants a Bath

And lest you think that Jake doesn't return the favor...

Jake Wants a Bath

I am very, very grateful that my cats get along. But there are times I think Jenny probably wishes Jake would just leave her alone.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Sleepy Time Entrapment

Posted on Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

Dave!Jenny went from a kitten who would never let me touch her to a cat who wants to be petted all day long. She's still terrified of other people, but loves to hang out with me.

What's great about Jenny is that she will absolutely let me know exactly where and how she wants to be petted, and will contort herself into a pretzel to make it happen. And if I am petting her wrong or in a way she doesn't like, she'll paw at me or kick at me to let me know. There have been times she'll paw at me or kick at me because I'm not looking at her as I pet her. The little diva wants my full attention and not some half-assed distracted petting.

Most days now she will clean up after breakfast then run upstairs to hang with me while I'm working in bed. I don't get as much done when I'm working one-handed, but I don't mind because it's a nice way to start my day.

Every once in a while her purring will stop as I'm petting her and I know that she's fallen asleep...

Jenny, a sweet ginger kitty, falls asleep while I'm petting her.

This morning she fell asleep on my foot, which means I can't get up. Sure I could waker her and try to explain that I have to go into the office or else I can't earn money for her food, shelter, and toys... but something tells me she won't be having it.

And so I guess I'm late for work today.

I can always make money putting cat videos on YouTube, right?

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 67

Posted on Saturday, July 14th, 2018

Dave!Jake is a lovable lump of a gentleman... Jenny is a lovable petite little lady. It's tough to compare their size because you can't corral them to sit next to each other. All I know is that Jake is quite a bit larger than his sister.

Then the other day after feeding them, I noticed this...

Cat Comparison Jake and Jenny

I have no idea which sibling is older.

But Jake will forever be the big brother...

Cat Comparison Jake and Jenny

By about a third, I'm guessing.

   
And now?

Trying to do laundry in a house with cats...

Cat Laundry

Cat Laundry

And just when one cat finally gives it up...

Cat Laundry

   
And lastly...

When you spend lots of time and money to create catio perches and toys... but your cats would rather lay on the cool concrete. Hot summer nights and all that...

Catio Nights

   
And last-lastly...

I leave you with cats who like to sleep...

SleepyJake

SleepyJake

Except Jenny woke up before I could get my phone out, so she's not sleeping any more. But she was sleeping...

   
See you next Caturday.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Sweet Cats and Disinfectant

Posted on Friday, July 20th, 2018

Dave!Jake has adapted to living at my place a little better than his sister. Where she's still nervous and runs away from anything and everything, Jake is a little more adventurous. Front door opens? Jenny runs away and hides. Jake will watch... from a distance... to see who it is. If it's me, he runs up for butt scratches. If it's not me, he will run and hide with his sister.

It's sweet.

But he's a sweet cat. Just look at that face...

Jake!

Jake!

   
Except...

My cats haven't been on the kitchen counters since I started letting them in the kitchen nearly a year ago. I was so grateful to not have to keep disinfecting my countertops. Then... for whatever reason... probably chasing a fly or whatever... here we are...

Jake Busted!

Time to pull out the scrub brush and cleaner, I guess.

And speaking of cats named Jake... Fake Jake is still around.

Yesterday I was testing my lawn sprinklers so I can figure out why parts of my lawn are brown. Little did I know that Fake Jake was wandering through when the sprinklers activated. He was Not Happy. I decided to show him some love to cheer him up...

Jake!

Jake!

Jake!

And now?

A new season of Trial and Error is starting! Woo hoo!

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018, DaveLife 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 69

Posted on Saturday, July 21st, 2018

Dave!Turns out that my cats sleeping next to each other like they are kittens is not a phase. I see it all the time now, and it's kinda sweet to see Jake and Jenny getting along so well.

They are particularly in love with the "self-heating" pads I bought last winter. Probably because they are larger than a kitty bed and not because they are cold. I keep my air conditioning off most of the time to save electricity so it's usually around 72-76 in here...

Sleepy Cats

But no worried... Jake still likes curling up next to me for a nap too...

Sleepy Cats

Or pulling the blankets off the bed and sleeping on the floor...

Sleepy Cats

I wish I could sleep anywhere like this.

Or just on planes. I would give anything to be able to sleep on a plane.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 471

Posted on Sunday, July 22nd, 2018

Dave!I've been keeping busy designing and building... but no worries, because a Special Edition of Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Cat Feeding Station! When it came time to decide where I wanted my "designated cat areas to be," everything came together fairly easily. Their food would be in a corner of the dining room next to the kitchen... the litter box goes next to the cat tree... and so on. The problem is that I'm not happy with how things work. The litter box really needs to be moved to the garage, but I'd have to build a pass-through and a containment cage. That's a big project. A smaller project? Building a feeding station...

  • I feed my cats both wet and dry because there are benefits to both. Jenny won't eat wet, however, she'll only lick it. So I buy a "mousse" that I thin down with water and she loves it. Problem is, she is a very messy eater, splashing cat food on my walls and floors that's hard to clean up (I think her tongue must not work properly?).
  • When I am traveling and have the automated feeders out, Carl the RoboVac keeps chewing on the power cords and I need a way to keep them contained.
  • When I throw my back out, leaning down to deal with the cat dishes can be a big ordeal. I need something to lean on in order to make life easier when I'm hurting.

And so? This weekend was the weekend to build that feeding station!

   
• Planning! I always start with a sketch like this...

Cat Feeding Station Construction!

On the left there is the power outlet and an open space large enough to hold the power strip and all the cords for the water fountain and auto-feeders. All the posts in the framing seem like overkill, but since I'll be leaning on it I wanted it to be sturdy.

   
• More Planning I had a hundred bucks worth of subway tile in my garage that I bought to put a partial backsplash in my kitchen. I decided I wanted a full backsplash, so it's all been collecting dust. I decided to use it for the feeding station, but had to make sure I had enough of the stuff, so I laid it all out...

Cat Feeding Station Construction!

I also wanted to make sure that I had enough rows so a "bricklayer" pattern would alternate nicely between the edging.

   
• Even more planning! I am horrified at the thought of wasting material or having a project turn out wrong, so I am very careful when planning things out. It's not enough to calculate the dimensions... I also have to stack up the materials to verify the calculation... then I have to actually model things out to make sure that I am accommodating things like baseboards, plywood underlay, cement board, thinset thickness, tile spacing, and so on...

Cat Feeding Station Construction!

Sure it's a big time-waster, but at least I know that everything will turn out perfectly.

   
• Framing! Once I've figured out how big everything has to be, I cut some cement board for the floor and frame everything out...

Cat Feeding Station Construction!

Because I'm leaning on this, I have to be sure I'm bolting it to the studs in the wall, hence the frame has to match them.

   
• Corded! I mocked up the space I would need for the power cords and such so I could make sure everything fit easily. Thanks to this advance planning, it did, even if the wall bolts had to be off-center a bit on that last stud...

Cat Feeding Station Construction!

That's cords for two auto-feeders and a water fountain power adapter.

   
• Power Supplies! At the last minute I decided to add a conduit pass-through for power cords...

Cat Feeding Station Construction!

This way I can minimize the amount of cords hanging out everywhere.

   
• Underlay! And here's where everything gets covered up with plywood...

Cat Feeding Station Construction!

I went pretty thick for stability... I don't want the tiles popping off when I lean on it.

   
• Underlay Part Two! I don't like working with cement board at all, but it's a necessary precaution when you are working with a tiled surface that's going to get wet. That way if you do end up with a leak, everything won't swell and flex...

Cat Feeding Station Construction!

Note that careful advance planning resulted in a perfect fit for my tiles.

   
• Wet Cutting! I bought a "wet cutter" for chopping up tile, but had only used it once before on flat tile. I had no idea if curved (mud-cap) tile would be a problem. Thankfully, it wasn't...

Cat Feeding Station Construction!

If you are doing a tile project I highly, highly recommend buying (or borrowing or renting) a wet cutter. I bought a cheap one for $80 that spits water everywhere and makes a heck of a mess... but it gets the job done (I just cut a piece of plastic to make a full bib when I use it!). I've tried the tile-score units, but they never do as nice a job and can result in busted, chipped tiles.

   
• Tile Up! This is my second tile project. If you look real close, you'll see that I'm not very good at it yet. But so long as you use a grout color that's not high contrast (like black for white tile) it will look just fine. How I learned this was watching Flip or Flop on HGTV. The one thing that Tarek seems to be capable of is laying tile. I figured if he could do it, I could certainly do it... because any time there is a close-up of his work, it looks pretty bad. Furthermore, any time I've hired a professional, it never looks perfectly set either, so I figured "what the heck" and dove in. Thanks to YouTube videos, you can learn how to do anything...

Cat Feeding Station Construction!

Note that on the floor I didn't set the edge tiles at the same time as the rest. The reason for this is that I am trying not to damage the flooring as much as possible. This means not getting thinset mortar on the hardwood. Instead I put a bead of clear silicone on the edge that touches the floor, then "butter" the backs of each piece so I can carefully drop it into position. Sure it's a lot of extra work, but ultimately worth it. Under the cement board is plastic sheeting to protect the floor even more. About the only damage I did was three screws to secure the board in place (and there was probably a little leakage on thinset that would have to be chiseled off). So now if I ever change my mind on the feeding station, I can tear it out with minimal restoration needed to the original structure.

   
• Busted! I use a Dremel tool with a ceramic cutting attachment to roughen the edges of the cove base tile (getting rid of the glaze so the grout will stick better). I figured if I was going to damage a tile, that would be the time. Fortunately, that wasn't the case. Unfortunately I ended up with a damaged tile anyway. One of the mud-cap pieces was cracked when I pulled it out of the box...

Cat Feeding Station Construction!

Since I had exactly the number of pieces I needed, I was in a panic. I bought the tile from Lowes at least a year ago... would a replacement tile match? Fortunately, the answer was yes.

   
• Finale! Tiling done! Now I just have to wait for the thinset to dry so I can grout it up!

Cat Feeding Station Construction!

Note that I am so concerned about having the tile pattern be balanced and equal that I even put a thin line of pencil tile in the back so it begins and ends on a row of full tiles (I also made sure that the alternating pattern was maintained around the corners!).

And so... almost complete. Overall I'm quite happy with how it turned out. Jenny's messes can be cleaned up easily. The power strip and wad of cables is concealed. The power cords can be hidden when I'm not using the auto-feeders. And I have a really good support to lean against when setting down or picking up food bowls when my back is out! On top of that, it will match what I'm planning to do in my kitchen/laundry room remodel (and matches the square tile used in my bathrooms).

The nice thing about it being tile is that I can hang stuff on it with suction cups! I can label their bowls and even decorate for the holidays... assuming my cats would leave it all alone!

   
• Inside! Given how much I love to design and build things, I will probably be the one who ends up tearing this out to make something different. But, in case I'm not, I left a note for future owners if they decide they don't want a pet feeding station...

Cat Feeding Station Construction!

Now they know who to blame that there's this ceramic tile construct in their dining room!

   
And that's all she wrote... FOR TOMORROW WE GROUT!

   

Holy Grout!

Posted on Monday, July 23rd, 2018

Dave!Apparently "white" as a description is variable. In the case of the grout I bought for my cat feeding station, "white" was actually "light gray." Since this is entirely what I didn't want, I had to make yet another trip to Home Depot in order to try a different brand of "white."

Second time was a charm, because I ended up getting exactly what I wanted...

Cat Feeding Station!

Since this will eventually match what I want for my kitchen remodel, it was important to get exactly what I wanted... a clean, sleek, simple look where the tile was more of a suggestion. That way it's not boring and flat, but also not something which calls too much attention to itself.

Anyway...

Overall, I'm very happy with how everything turned out. Sure there are some minor details I'd do differently now that I've learned so much... but that's the way it goes. My only other option is to never try to build anything, never learn anything, and never accomplish anything.

So next up?

I'd love to hop on my laundry room remodel right away. That would put one step closer to remodeling my kitchen... but I've got other projects I need to knock off my list first.

But eventually... one day...

   

Taking Flight

Posted on Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

Dave!I've never much minded traveling for work. But I'm certainly looking forward to it less and less. Partly because there's so many things I'd rather spend my time on now... but mostly because because I've been doing it for decades and am just tired of it. The glamour of jet-set lifestyle has faded. Take a look at my day...

  • Drive to the airport (25 minutes).
  • Clear security and wait for my flight (90 minutes).
  • Fly into Seattle (45 minutes).
  • Have lunch and wait for my next flight (3 hours 15 minutes).
  • Fly into Boston after a delayed flight (5-1/2 hours).
  • Wait for luggage (15 minutes).
  • Wait for the bus (20 minutes).
  • Wait in line for a rental car (15 minutes).
  • Drive to an affordable hotel outside of Boston (30 minutes).
  • Send files I worked on while flying (20 minutes).
  • Read emails to figure out my schedule (15 minutes).

I'm exhausted and work hasn't even started yet!

But worst of all?

This is as close to my cats as I'm going to get for a little while...

Jake and Jenny Sleeping in the Catio

At least Jake and Jenny aren't losing any sleep over my being gone.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018, Travel 2018Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 70

Posted on Saturday, July 28th, 2018

Dave!And so my work ended two days early. I can either...

A) Take two days off, get some much-needed down-time and disappear... or...

B) Get an earlier flight home so I can see my cats.

What to do? What to do? What to do?

Jenny

Jake

I'll have to think on that and get back to you...

Tags: , ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Let Sleeping Jakey Bear Lie

Posted on Monday, July 30th, 2018

Dave!Tonight was when I was supposed to be traveling home from Maine... but I finished work two days early and got in yesterday early-morning instead. When I waltzed home at 1:00am, both my cats came running to greet me, which is always nice. But then Jenny kind of wandered off to do whatever it is Jenny does. Jake, on the other hand, stuck to me like glue...

Jakey Bear Glue

I finally decided to turn in at 2:00am, but he was not deterred. He was rolling around for belly rubs and would not take no for an answer...

Jakey Bear Sleeping

Jenny still checked in from time to time, but wandered off after she made sure I was still home...

Jakey Bear Sleeping

In the morning I found that all kinds of toys had been left for me, and so I'm guessing the cats are happy I'm back home...

Jakey Bear Glue

Last night things went back to normal... or as normal as things can get when you have cats... but I slept through the Alarm set for Jake & Jenny's 7:00am breakfast this morning, which made for an awkward awakening at 7:45, because both cats were just sitting there glaring at me when I dragged my ass out of bed. They have been conditioned to expect breakfast when that alarm goes off, and don't know what to do with themselves if I don't get on that immediately.

After breakfast I went back to bed to go through the piles of email I had built up. Jake decided to throw himself on the floor and sleep like Jake likes to do. Every once in a while I'd lean over and snap a photo, because he is all over the place while he's sleeping...

Jakey Bear Sleeping

Jakey Bear Sleeping

Jakey Bear Sleeping

Jakey Bear Sleeping

Jakey Bear Sleeping

And now he's relocated to the window...

Jakey Bear Sleeping

I wish I could fall asleep wherever whenever like that.

Seriously!!!

Jakey Bear Sleeping

And why oh why oh why didn't I buy another catnip lobster toy when I was in Maine? Jake loves that thing...

Jakey Bear Sleeping

Back to real life...

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Cat Bites and Iron Man

Posted on Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

Dave!When it comes to cats, I truly lucked out. Jake and Jenny are wonderful animals and rarely give me any trouble. They don't chew on my stuff. They don't scratch anything they're not supposed to. They rarely puke. They leave me alone when I sleep. They're affectionate but not too clingy. They don't meow constantly. They're just the greatest most perfect cats.

99.9% of the time.

Every once in a while though...

I've been bitten three times.

When I first got my cats, they came with hospital collars from having been fixed. My cats were absolutely terrified of me, so I couldn't get close enough to cut them off...

Kittens!
Calm Before the Storm.

After a few days, Jake would be distracted enough while eating that I was easily able to cut his off. Jenny though? Not on your life. And it was scaring me. They spent a lot of time hiding under stuff, and I was worried the collar would get caught and she'd hurt herself. Finally I managed to grab her and cut it... except she was not having it. She clawed my arm so badly I still have marks. And she bit my nose repeatedly, resulting in blood gushing down my face. Not fun for me... and Jenny hid under the couch for two days.

The second time I got bit was when Jake escaped from the catio. Eventually he made his way back to the door, but he wouldn't come inside. So I grabbed him...

Jake Rescued from Outside!

Jake, who is usually a very mellow cat, went full-on psychotic. He was a Tasmanian devil of fury... biting my arm and clawing at my abdomen so deep that I thought my guts were going to spill out Hannibal Lecter style.

And the latest time I got bit? TODAY.

With the heat we've been having, my cats have been shedding their fur constantly. It's so bad that I've been brushing them with The Furminator every day. Jenny loves it. She rolls around while getting brushed and purrs like a diesel truck. Jake, however, merely tolerates it. Most times he doesn't mind so much, but there are other times you can tell he's annoyed. He'll "fake bite" me a couple times, but that's as far as it goes. Today was no different. He was irritated, he pretended to bite me a few times, I ignored him as I always do... and then he lashed out. With a real bite. It wasn't all that painful, but it was shocking.

And so...

Lesson learned. From now on when Jake acts perturbed while being brushed, I'll wait for one "fake bite" and then stop brushing.

Because I like having the greatest most perfect cats.


As I mentioned yesterday, watching the "Director's Roundtable" extra from the Avengers: Infinity War digital home video release made me want to watch all the Marvel Studios movies all over again. And so I am. Starting today...

MARVEL STUDIOS MOVIE OF THE DAY, No. 1: Iron Man
Original Grade: A+ • Today's Grade: A+
   
At the time it was released, it was impossible to comprehend just how revolutionary Iron Man would be, nor what it would lead to. In retrospect, it should not be as surprising as it is. All the elements were there. Robert Downey Jr. inhabiting Tony Stark in a way that was beyond flawless... painstaking faithfulness to the source material... exceedingly good special effects... a story that was highly entertaining, laced with humor, and had no wasted moments... and... did I mention Robert Downey Jr. being beyond flawless? As impressed as I was with this film back in 2008, I am doubly impressed today because it holds up so damn well. It was the perfect beginning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I love it as much now as I did then. Of particular note is the raw mechanical nature of the suit, which literally had to be bolted around Tony. This was incredibly cool to see and, though the process was streamlined with each new appearance, it always maintained its awesome brute-force physically mechanical nature. Until Infinity War where the suit was "nanite enabled" which completely ruins what makes Iron Man be Iron Man. Bummer.
   
SCENE TO BEAT: So many. But when Tony first dons the finished Iron Man armor and takes out all the bad guys in Afghanistan... it's movie magic. And when he returns home and Pepper catches him doing "not the worst things she's caught him doing?"... it's LOL funny too.
   
COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: While Jeff Bridges makes the perfect Obadiah Stane, I question why the villain always has to be a slightly more powerful duplicate of the hero in these films. Iron Man vs. Iron Monger? Sure. But it set a lame precident for too many Marvel Studios films which followed. So much so that they're only just now breaking free of of that trap.
   
SIDENOTE: Nick Fury showing up in the post-credits scene to discuss "The Avengers Initiative" is the icing on a very delicious cake. When I saw this movie in the theater, I was leaving during the credits when some guy started shouting to everybody "DON'T GO! THERE'S MORE AFTER THE CREDITS!" and so I stayed. I was already thrilled with the film. After that scene I was downright giddy leaving the theater.

   

Caturday 71 and Iron Man 2

Posted on Saturday, August 4th, 2018

Dave!This morning I grabbed my phone and delayed Alexa's breakfast alarm because Jake was industriously cleaning his butt, and the last thing I wanted to do was interrupt that. Every once in a while he lets his butt-grooming go, so if he's paying that much attention to things I figure he must need it.

The Alexa alarms I have set for breakfast and dinner are always a great source of amusement. And a smart move on my part, because my cats have been trained to not bother me for food until they hear the alarm. When it gets close to 7:00am/6:00pm, Jake and Jenny will assemble and wait. Then they go nuts when the alarm goes off. I've recorded it these past couple mornings...

Butt first...

XXX

And now? My turn for breakfast.


Continuing on with my revisiting of every Marvel Studios movie...

MARVEL STUDIOS MOVIE OF THE DAY, No. 3: Iron Man 2
Original Grade: A- • Today's Grade: A-
I have never understood why this movie was so poorly received. Yeah, the story had some problems. Yeah, there were scenes that didn't hang together right. But it was still an enjoyable outing. The acting and visual effects were great. Sam Rockwell was perfect. And Mickey Rourke was not nearly the problem that critics made him to be. On top of all that? The debut of Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow! I enjoyed the film then. I enjoyed watching it again now. And the credits scene with Thor's hammer in the dessert still gives me chills.
   
SCENE TO BEAT: The opening where Iron Man jumps out of a plane and lands on the Stark Expo stage only to be robotically disassembled to reveal Tony Stark... being Tony Stark, courtesy of Robert Downey Jr. firing on all cylinders. The Iron Man dancers are just a bonus. A close second? Black Widow mowing through a bunch of security guards at Hammer Tech. Amazing.
   
COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: Whiplash is just another guy in a suit, following Iron Monger in the last movie... a different guy in a suit. It's a missed opportunity trap that so many Marvel Studios movies would fall into.
   
SIDENOTE: One of the most famous Iron Man comic book arcs was the Demon in a Bottle storyline where Iron Man became an alcoholic. That they did a quick nod to it in this film at Tony's party was an interesting choice. I think it was a mistake, but... better a quick nod than an entire movie dedicated to alcoholic Iron Man.

   

International Cat Day and Iron Man 3

Posted on Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

Dave!Oh look... it's International Cat Day! As well it should be. I love my cats more than just about anything, so they should have their own day.

My cats decided to celebrate their holiday by eating and sleeping. Though they also decided to walk all over my kitchen counters, which means I have to scrub everything down now. Fun...

Jake and Jenny on the countertops

Oh... and they also put a nice big scratch in my coffee table. Fun...

Jake and Jenny Sleeping by a Big Scratch

The fact that I didn't strangle them today should perfectly illustrate why every day is International Cat Day around my house.

Well, not my house, really. I just pay for everything... I'm pretty sure it's their house.


Continuing on with my revisiting of every Marvel Studios movie...

MARVEL STUDIOS MOVIE OF THE DAY, No. 7: Iron Man 3
Original Grade: A+ • Today's Grade: A
Being the one to helm the film which followed The Avengers must have been a daunting task. In their infinite wisdom Marvel decided to hire Shane Black to write and direct. This was an interesting move but not an altogether bad fit. As writer of the Lethal Weapon movies and the genius that was The Long Kiss Goodnight, he knows how to create an action beat. Many of Black's decisions were questionable. Retooling Iron Man's long-time villain, The Mandarin, as a Ben-Kingsley-enabled decoy for Aldrich Killian from AIM was a bit weak. The modular armor was fun, but was handled poorly (if the parts were 832 miles from Miami, how did they arrive in 10 minutes?)... not to mention that the suit, which has always been powered by the ARC reactor in Tony's chest, suddenly needs to be recharged with electricity? The whole Extremis angle was lifted from a famous reboot arc from the comics, but used entirely differently... not necessarily in a bad way, though it was certainly a step down. And yet... this was a highly entertaining film with fantastic special effects and an awesome finale (Iron Legion!) that makes for good repeat viewing. I love the movie almost as much as the original, though it kind of falls short in the grand scheme of things these five years later so it gets dropped a half-grade.
   
SCENE TO BEAT: I usually hate whiny child actors ruining films that aren't about children, but Ty Simpkins (who plays Harley Keener) is fantastic. IMDB says he's making a Marvel Cinematic Universe return with The Avengers 4 which is kinda cool. Anyway, despite some great action sequences, all the scenes between Tony and Harley are my favorite. With the possible exception of when Tony chops Killian's arm off and says "Yeah, you take a minute." I LOL every time.
   
COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: Other than the villain being able to magically take over television sets, a trope I absolutely loathe? And the Oracle product placement that's not at all subtle? There are times that seemed as though Tony's dialogue was too scattered and improvised. It didn't come off as natural, and it felt as if Shane Black wasn't sure how to handle it.
   
SIDENOTE: Probably the last Iron Man movie with Robert Downey Jr. which is a darn shame. Seeing hom pop up in Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming (not to mention Avengers: Infinity War) is better than nothing, but boy would I like to see another solo Iron Man flick.

   

Caturday 72 and Guardians of the Galaxy

Posted on Saturday, August 11th, 2018

Dave!I fell asleep on the couch last night while watching the Marvel Studios movie for today. Not easy to do when it's Guardians of the Galaxy, which is one of my favorites of the bunch. Guess it just goes to show how exhausted I was.

I woke up again when I got an alert that the security camera in my driveway had gone down.

This is the email I got...

Your Security Camera is Down!

And... look closer...

XXX

I'm thinking that Fake Jake might be behind my camera going down? The rascal.

I have two more cameras out front, so I was in no hurry to fix whatever it was that was wrong. Instead I finished up my movie and went to bed.

As for Real Jake? Just helping me open my mail this morning...

Fake Jake Opens Mail

Fake Jake Opens Mail

Fake Jake Opens Mail

The rascal.

Jenny would rather lay on the floor for some reason...

Jenny on the Floor

When I went to Petco for kibble, I saw that the low-carb Tiki Cat dry food was on sale. This was cool... until I noticed that one of the flavors was marked as "clearance," which scares the hell out of me. I really, really hope that they aren't discontinuing this stuff. It's the most affordable food I've found that doesn't overload on carbs. In the meanwhile though, I snagged all eight bags and my cats are set for the rest of the year...

Jenny Investigates Tiki Cat

I can probably replace the dry with... something... I guess. But nobody makes the Tiki Cat Velvet Mousse that Jenny eats. And I seriously don't want to have to go back to blending my own. So gross.

Fingers crossed I won't have to.


Continuing on with my revisiting of every Marvel Studios movie...

MARVEL STUDIOS MOVIE OF THE DAY, No. 10: Guardians of the Galaxy
Original Grade: A+ • Today's Grade: A+
I re-watched this movie for the fifth?... sixth? time back in June, so I didn't really have to watch it again to jot down my thoughts. But I did it anyway. And I am hooked from the opening scene of Star-Lord dancing through a dead planet every time. If that doesn't sum up my feelings about Marvel's first "sci-fi" entry into the MCU, I don't know what will. The humor... the characters... the settings... the story... the music... all perfect. And perfectly executed, with amazing casting and brilliant special effects (which are so crucial to a film like this). I've admitted that I laughed when I first heard they were bringing this comic book to the big screen, because characters like Rocket and Groot were just an absurd thing to try and translate. But how wrong was I? And after watching Avengers: Infinity War, I'm even more impressed, because they were able to seamlessly mix Rocket and Groot with everybody else to amazing effect.
   
SCENE TO BEAT: Escape from the Kyln? Escape from Knowhere? The battle at Xandar maybe? I dunno. There are entirely too many good scenes to pick from. I can't even single it out to scenes with one character, because I love them all.
   
COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: Ronan the Accuser is a powerful Kree warrior, but I don't get how he was able to wield the Power Stone. I understand that he only touched it for a few seconds, which is why he didn't die... but how was he able to command it after he smashed it into his Universal Weapon hammer? He's an important Kree but, in the end, he's just a Kree. Not a god or ancient being. Or, in Peter's case, the son of an ancient being. It's a puzzler. And I still think the whole "holding hands" at the end was kinda silly.
   
SIDENOTE: It's amazing how critical this film was to everything that came after it in the MCU. Thanos... Gamora... Nebula... The Collector... and, looking even further forward for next year's Captain Marvel, The Kree. This was also the first time we got a full explanation on The Infinity Stones as well. Doesn't seem possible that such important stuff was set up in what's essentially a comedy, but there's Marvel Studios being all brilliant again.

   

Wildfires and Ant-Man

Posted on Monday, August 13th, 2018

Dave!Whenever a fire siren goes off in town, my heart stops for a second. When you live in a city as small as mine, there's a good chance that somebody you know has their home on fire. Not that it's any less sad when it's a stranger losing their home, but it does hit you harder.

Right now it's especially terrible when the siren sounds because a fire happening when there's wildfires all around us just seems cruel.

Today the smoke was so thick in the air that I could barely make out the nearby hills. If you look at this map...

Washington State Fire Map

...that huge red dot in the middle is just North of where I live. It's a wildfire that's currently 29,186 acres in size and only 5% contained. When the winds blow South, the smoke comes with it. For me that means a day of burning eyes and difficulty breathing.

But that's not the worst part.

The smoke is a constant reminder that hundreds... thousands... of animals are losing their homes and living in terror. And many of those may not survive it. Unlike people, they don't understand what's happening, and that has been weighing heavy on me.

Our local animal shelter has had to stop taking in owner surrenders because they just don't have room. They have to shelter animals from people under evacuation with what little space they have available. And this also weighs heavy on me. I try and think of how terrified Jake and Jenny would be in a shelter... trapped in a small cage with nowhere to hide from the noise and people. I can't imagine how traumatized they would be. I can't imagine that they would ever be the same. I just can't imagine. It's just too awful.

A part of me wants to run down and adopt another cat... do my part to free up some space. But I don't think that's for me. Jake and Jenny are perfect. Life with Jake and Jenny is perfect. We've adapted to each other very well and I think they are happy here. If introducing another element in any way disrupts that, it wouldn't be fair to Jake and Jenny. Or me.

And yet...

I cannot say that I won't give in and take a chance.

I really need to unsubscribe from the Human Society newsletter and Facebook feed. Too many animals need homes.


Continuing on with my revisiting of every Marvel Studios movie...

MARVEL STUDIOS MOVIE OF THE DAY, No. 12: Ant-Man
Original Grade: A • Today's Grade: A
I knew I would love this movie the minute that Paul Rudd was attached to star. Then they went and made it into a caper flick so it would stand out from the pack, which was about a brilliant a move as they could have made. I ended up really loving it. Still holds up today. I'm having to really restrain myself from bumping it up to an A+ here, because I have a tough time seeing how the first Ant-Man movie could have been much better than this.
   
SCENE TO BEAT: That opening scene where SHIELD's headquarters (as seen in Captain America: Winter Soldier (three movies ago) are just being built... and we get a de-aged Michael Douglas interacting with Peggy Carter and Howard Stark... thus immediately cementing Ant-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe before he even appears on screen! Genius! But... yeah... the fight in Cassie's bedroom was pretty great. They played with the size altering abilities in interesting ways, which was a lot of fun.
   
COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: Once again... the villain has the same powers as the hero but is a little stronger. It gets so old. And yet... from a story perspective I get it. Yellow Jacket kinda fell out of Scott Lang's origin story, so it was a logical choice. Fortunately, we got Ghost in the sequel, which was something entirely different.
   
SIDENOTE: With every viewing I remember how upset I was before the movie came out when I heard that Scott Lang would be in the suit instead of the original Ant-Man from the comics. Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne were founding members of The Avengers, and it was a real slap in the face they were being side-stepped. And then I saw the movie and the way they so brilliantly integrated Hank Pym into the history of everything the MCU was building. It was a brilliant move and made perfect sense. It was at this point that I finally just stopped questioning what Marvel Studios was doing until I saw the full film. In most every case they end up nailing it, so why waste the energy?

   

Bird TV and Doctor Strange

Posted on Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

Dave! I decided that I didn't want to spend money on bird seed if the birds didn't want to entertain my cats, because the seed they want to eat is expensive stuff. And so... I moved the feeder back to the window with the cat tree, figuring that this would be the end of it because the birds are afraid of the cats looking at them... except... not so much any more. If the feeder has the nyjer seed they love, the birds are more than happy to put fear aside. Darnit. Now I guess I have to keep buying the stuff because Jake and Jenny go nuts over their new television station...

Bird Feeder Shenanigans

Bird Feeder Shenanigans

Bird Feeder Shenanigans

Bird Feeder Shenanigans

I suppose it beats a catnip addiction.


Continuing on with my revisiting of every Marvel Studios movie...

MARVEL STUDIOS MOVIE OF THE DAY, No. 14: Doctor Strange
Original Grade: A • Today's Grade: A+
The two Marvel heroes I love above all others are Doctor Strange and Black Panther. To see The Master of the Mystic Arts hit the screen in such a spectacular way... and know that Black Panther was coming a little over a year later? Comic book Nirvana. That Doctor Strange ended up being so amazing was just icing on the cake. I don't know why I didn't give it a top A+ score when I first saw it, but upon repeat viewings there's no question it deserves it. The visuals were stunning. The story was an origin story, but it was a good origin story. Some changes they made to get here were terrific... Wong becoming an important character in his own right instead of a manservant stereotype, for example. Some changes were both good and bad... The Ancient One becoming a Celtic woman was good in that it broke another stereotype, but erasing a major Asian character was not good. Other decisions were bad (see below) but not enough to ruin the movie. When taken as a whole, Doctor Strange not only gave us a look at the mystic side of the MCU, it was just a really great movie. I think I love it more every time I see it.
   
SCENE TO BEAT: The battle in Mirror Dimension New York was flawless. To distinguish itself from other super-hero battles, Doctor Strange needed to do something entirely different. The trippy nature of this fight fit the bill perfectly.
   
COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: It still irks me that Marvel Studios eliminated Tibet from Doctor Strange's origin. Yes, yes, I understand that China is a big market and they were being politically "sensitive" to make sure that the film would be shown there... but still. It sucks.
   
SIDENOTE: I didn't think it could get much better than seeing Doctor Strange's Cloak of Levitation act as a supporting character in the film. Little did I know that it would go on to even greater importance in Avengers: Infinity War. Imbuing it with a certain level of sentience was genius.

   

Caturday 73 and Thor: Ragnarok

Posted on Saturday, August 18th, 2018

Dave!The bird feeder outside the window continues to be the gift that keeps on giving.

The cats are happy to spend hours watching the birds come and go. Jake spends the most time watching Bird TV... pawing at the window and chattering at them, but Jenny is a bit stealthier about it, preferring to hide like the hunter she is...

Jenny the Bird Watcher

No doubt in my mind that both my cats would be massacring birds by the dozens if they could get at them. Just one more reason to keep them indoors, I suppose. Poor birds.

And poor bugs.

Any time a bug finds its way into my house, Jake and Jenny are all too happy to hunt them down. Like the poor cricket which Jenny was kind enough to bring in this past week. I saw she had something in her mouth... feared the worst... then watched as she spit him on the floor so she could chase him. Jake also decided to run up and get in on the action...

Jenny the Bug Hunter

Jenny the Bug Hunter

Jenny the Bug Hunter

As much as Jake likes chasing an occasional bug, he seems to prefer his toys. In addition to Mufasa, his stuffed lion, he loves his Peeps Bunny...

Jake and Peeps Bunny

And he really loves Catnip Lobster...

Jake and Catnip Lobster

Every once in a while he plays "Watch the Dummy" and will throw it on the bed and wait for me to pick it up and hand it back...

Jake and Catnip Lobster

Jake and Catnip Lobster

Jake and Catnip Lobster

Toys are far preferable to bird corpses, I'd think.

They're definitely preferable to bug vomit.


Continuing on with my revisiting of every Marvel Studios movie...

MARVEL STUDIOS MOVIE OF THE DAY, No. 17: Thor: Ragnarok
Original Grade: A+ • Today's Grade: A+
Easily one of my favorite Marvel Studios films... perhaps my very favorite... I love this film now as much as I ever did. Deciding to take Thor in a more comedic direction and deconstruct everything he was to this point was absolutely brilliant, and made the character more cinematically interesting than he had ever been.
   
SCENE TO BEAT: All of them. I mean, yeah, the Hulk reveal and subsequent fight is awesome... as is Valkyrie's... and any scene with the incomparable Cate Blanchett's Hela was gold... and Jeff Goldblum was too perfect as The Grandmaster... and that gorgeous battle between Hela and the Valkyrie... and the battle on the Rainbow Bridge with Thor at full power... and Thor meeting Doctor Strange is the stuff that comic book dreams are made of... and... and... and... it goes on and on and on.
   
COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Though I still think it was shortsighted and selfish to kill off The Warriors Three.
   
SIDENOTE: Could there have been a bigger love letter to the art of Jack Kirby than this movie? With every new viewing, I'm even more amazed at just how beautiful and faithful Sakaar is to Kirby's work.

   

Puddles Near Midnight

Posted on Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

Dave!Being allergic to the wildfire smoke that fills the air means that sleep is rare for me. So when I was awakened by a big crash downstairs at 11:48pm, I had zero ambition to run downstairs and see what happened. The alarms weren't going off, so I was relatively certain that it was just the cats goofing off and not somebody breaking in to steal my air purifier.

Thanks to sleeping pills and antihistamines, I feel back asleep in short order.

When I woke up I ran through the security camera footage on my phone and saw that the crash was Jake knocking a stack of DVDs off of my dining room counter. No big deal.

When it was time for the cats' breakfast I went downstairs, picked up the DVDs, filled bowls with food, then went to set them down at the feeding station and...

...STEPPED IN A BIG PUDDLE OF WATER!

What the heck?

Back to the security camera footage, where I saw that Jenny was getting a drink at the same time that Jake knocked the DVDs to the floor...

Jenny and the Water Dish

Jenny and the Water Dish

Jenny and the Water Dish

The amusing part happened after Jenny spilled water everywhere. Both cats decided to go to the feeding station and sit there at the edge of the puddle... just staring at a wet floor, I guess...

Jenny and the Water Dish

And what weird cat antics await me tonight?

Only Jake and Jenny know for sure.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 74

Posted on Saturday, August 25th, 2018

Dave!I won't lie to you, these past couple weeks have been tough. My cats, who are unaccustomed to being told "no" have suddenly found themselves being told "no" quite a lot. They can't go in the guest bathroom because I'm repairing my contractor's shitty renovation work. They can't go into the storage closet because I'm temporarily storing some tools in there. And they definitely cannot go outside because the wildfire smoke has been dangerously unhealthy...

Jake Wants Out

I'm still doing my best to keep them entertained indoors. The bird feeder has been the gift that keeps on giving. Except for my wallet, because the critters consume huge amounts of seed. The cats love it though. Especially when the birds land on the window to get at the food which lands there...

Birds on a Window

Birds on a Window

When not watching birds, Jake likes to wander around squawking to go out. Jenny, on the other hand, has resigned herself to her fate and prefers to stare at me with sour looks all day...

Jenny Sour Face

Earlier this week I had set some jeans down so I could fold them. Jenny took this as an opportunity to crawl around in them. Happy to have found something new for her to do, I just left them there...

Jenny in Blue Jeans

And while my cats have been trying to get out, it seems as though every bug in town is trying their best to get in.

Yesterday after feeding the cats I look over and see that they have stopped eating. I wasn't sure what that was all about, so I walk over and... THERE'S A GIANT SPIDER ON THE FEEDING STATION RIGHT BY JENNY'S FOOT!

Jenny and the Spider
Yes, I realize the spider looks like a speck in this photograph,
but you can't see his GIANT LEGS!! He's at least 2 inches across!

Jenny ignores it and goes back to eating. THEN THE SPIDER CLIMBS ON HER DISH!!! At this point, I'm dying (again) but she carefully eats around the spider until she's done with breakfast. Then I get to TRAP A GIANT SPIDER. GAAAHH!!

The smoke did end up tapering off enough yesterday that I finally let them play in the catio when I got home. Which they did. And they were so happy to be out there that they stayed out there all day.

From morning...

Cats in the Catio in the Daytime

Until night...

Cats in the Catio at Night

Hopefully the smoke is under control for a while so they can spend time outside having fun instead of inside wanting to go outside and have fun.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Window Dressing

Posted on Monday, August 27th, 2018

Dave!Like most cats, Jake and Jenny just love looking out windows. Their favorite window is the one behind the cat tree because the bird feeder is out there. This makes for hours of funtime entertainment... despite it costing me a fortune in bird seed.

I used to keep my blinds lowered to help save energy, but my cats were having none of it. They know there's a window back there, so they will climb under or over or through any obstruction which keeps them from looking outside. And so... I have all my blinds raised to keep them from being inadvertently destroyed.

All the blinds except one.

The middle window on the side of my house gets full sun. The sunlight causes the prints I have on the opposite wall to fade, and so I keep it closed. There are windows on either side for the cats to see out so it's no big deal, right?

Of course it is. These are cats we're talking about.

This morning I investigated a security camera alert I received and saw this...

Cats in the Window

The ONE window in the ENTIRE HOUSE which has the blinds closed... and that's the one they want to look out. Two feet to the right and to the left is an open window. So why? WHY?!??

Because they're cats, of course.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Sowing the Seeds of Love

Posted on Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

Dave!Today after work I ran into The Big City so I could pick up more bird seed. Not that I really have money to be throwing at birds, but they have been so dang entertaining for my cats that I pretty much have to.

Birds are weird in my neck of the woods. During the summer, regular (cheap) bird seed gets me nowhere. The birds that are looking for food are little things and I guess it's just too big for them. And so I buy "nyjer seed" (aka thistle seed) which is tiny stuff that's five times more expensive. In the winter the little birds have gone, and it's only the bigger birds that stick around. That's when I can pull out the cheap stuff and everybody's happy.

I thought I'd be smart and see if the feed store had bulk nyjer. Turns out they did, but at $2.09 a pound, it was actually more expensive than what I can get at Lowe's. My favorite seed is their "Nyjer Plus" which is cut with bits of sunflower seed. The birds don't seem to mind that at all, and it makes less of a mess. Alas, that's almost always out of stock, but today I got lucky...

Nyjer Seed!

Weird how my entire day can be made by bird seed being in-stock at the hardware store, but there you have it. Maybe this is a sign I need to start a new woodworking project? Probably.

The entire time I was looking for bird seed, this was going through my head...

Interesting side-note... apparently we're getting the first new album in 14 years from Tears for Fears this Fall!

One more thing to look forward to...

Tags: , ,
Categories: Cats 2018, Music 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 75

Posted on Saturday, September 1st, 2018

Dave!Hola cat-fans!

This morning Jake and Jenny were lounging in the catio when the Alexa breakfast alarm sounded so they couldn't hear it. That's no fun for me at all, so I kept increasing the volume until they could hear it.

Kitty Napper

And boy did they come running!

I've been working long hours this past week, so my cats have been more clingy than usual. They're all over me from the minute I get home until it's time to go to bead...

Kitty Napper

Kitty Napper

Kitty Napper

And speaking of bed... a couple days ago I told Jenny it was time for bed. But instead of running up the stairs ahead of me, she decided to stay put. This happens every once in a while, and it's kind of a bummer. So I called to her again, and this time she showed up...

Jenny at Bedtime

Jenny at Bedtime

Jenny at Bedtime

Jenny at Bedtime

Jenny at Bedtime

Jenny at Bedtime

Jake eventually showed up and was looking mighty resentful that Jenny was getting all the attention...

Jenny at Bedtime

But don't worry... he showed up the next morning and stole Dorito crumbs off my breakfast nacho plate, which made us even...

Jenny at Bedtime

Nothing cuter than a kitty crunching on Dorito crumbs.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Birds and Memory

Posted on Thursday, September 6th, 2018

Dave!The bird feeder is not depleting as quickly as it once was so I'm guessing the smaller birds are starting to head south? Still going through a lot of seed though. And Jake and Jenny still spend hours watching them out the window too.

This morning when I went out to refill the feeder (again) I saw a small gold bird sitting on the rocks around my flower bed. Usually birds take off the second I open the door, so this was puzzling to me. Thinking he might be hurt or stunned, I thought I'd fill a shallow dish with water and put it next to him. Alas he hopped away every time I tried, so there wasn't much I could do except grab my camera...

Small Bird

Fake Jake would pounce on him in a second, so I did my best to shoo him under a shrub so at least he could rest up in a spot that didn't make him an easy target. Most cats just kill birds for fun. Fake Jake will actually eat them. Which doesn't make me any happier about it (he has food, he doesn't need to hunt!) but at least the poor things aren't being killed for sport.

When I was downloading that bird photo off my camera, I noticed the photo before it was this one...

XXX

No idea where I took it. On the date that was time-stamped on the image I wasn't traveling anywhere, so I'm guessing I shot it somewhere close to home, but I have no memory of it. Boy does it suck getting old. I wonder how long until I forget how to wipe my ass?

Hopefully before I forget how to pay somebody to wipe my ass for me!

Tags: , ,
Categories: Cats 2018, DaveLife 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 76

Posted on Saturday, September 8th, 2018

Dave!Hey! It's my second catioversary!

Before I bought my condo, I specifically asked two questions of the HOA... 1) Can I have cats? and 2) Can I build an enclosure on my back porch for them? Originally it was because I had planned on bringing Spanky with me and, since he was an outdoor cat, I figured he wouldn't be happy if he didn't have a way to be outdoors. When Spanky disappeared and I got some kittens to keep my mom company, I still wanted a way for them to go outside safely.

Work was crazy, so I ended up hiring a contractor to frame it out and put the roof on (something that came back to bite me in the ass later). This was the fastest way to get my catio built, and it's been one of the best investments I've ever made...

Catio Building

Catio Building

Catio Building

Catio Building

Catio Building

It's been a big hit with Jake and Jenny since day one. These are photos from their first time outside since they were rescued as feral kittens...

Catio Building

Catio Building

Catio Building

Catio Building

The only way the cats could get out to the catio was if I opened the door for them. After a couple months, I had ordered a new door with a cat door in it so they could go out whenever they wanted. At first I was worried about them staying out at night, so I'd bribe them to come back in with cat treats...

Catio at Night

Now, of course, they're in and out in the catio at all hours. In the Summer they'll even sleep out there at night because the weather is so nice. Not that the weather does much to deter them. They'll head out on the coldest day of winter without hesitation. Their favorite catio time is Spring and Fall though, because it's so comfy during the day. They'll go out after breakfast and stay there until it's time to come in for dinner.

In new cat news... Jenny, who always bristled when I'd touch her ears in the past, now maneuvers herself as I pet her so I'll massage them...

Jenny's Ear Massage

Jenny's Ear Massage

Last night it finally rained again. Something that fills me with dread because rain can also mean lightning and still more wildfires. But I think the only thing that came with it this time was thunder. So... yay? Jake and Jenny slept through the whole thing. Didn't even twitch when the thunder was crashing. This is surprising to me, because usually strange noises send them into a panic.

I'm hopefully that this is a new trend. I'd love for them to stop being afraid when the High School cannon fires at touchdowns and when fireworks are set off.

Fingers crossed.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 77

Posted on Saturday, September 15th, 2018

Dave!As I've mentioned, my cats are conditioned to expect being fed only after an Alexa alarm sounds. This is fantastic, because they don't bother me for food at all hours of the day and night. It most definitely does not mean that they don't get impatient for that alarm to sound, however. On days they are particularly hungry, they will sit and stare at me around breakfast/dinner time. And heaven forbid I have to go to the bathroom near the breakfast hour. When I exit, this is what will be waiting for me...

Jake and Jenny Waiting for Breakfast

Lately I've been dividing their food up. I give half when the alarm rings, then wait an hour before giving them the rest. Jenny prefers not to eat all her food at once, which means Jake will swoop in and eat everything if I don't. Yesterday I fed them breakfast then went back upstairs to take a shower and check my email. When Jake and Jenny hear me walking around, they know I'm about to head down so they can get more food. Usually they wait for me down there like this...

Jake and Jenny Waiting for Breakfast

Yesterday when I came downstairs I saw that there was cat puke waiting for me at the bottom.

This is highly alarming, because my cats rarely puke. Jake had a hairball and spewed once. Then I had a couple days of Jenny vomiting when she got sick. That's it. They just don't puke much, for which I am grateful.

After cleaning up barf, I went back through the security cameras so I could see if Jenny was sick again. Turns out it was Jake...

Jake and Jenny Waiting for Breakfast

Jake and Jenny Waiting for Breakfast

Then I was all "Oh thank heavens Jenny isn't sick again!" and "Oh well, Jake could stand to lose weight anyway."

Such a bad cat-dad.

I remain impressed that Jenny didn't immediately start puking once Jake had puked right next to her. I suppose I should be grateful he didn't puke on her.

He probably would have liked to have puked on her but he's just too lazy to make it happen.

And speaking of Jake being lazy...

I leave Catnip Lobster on the cat shelves that are in my bedroom window. Both of them just love to lay up there and chew on it. Problem is that they get too excited and sometimes toss it off the shelf. Jenny will immediately jump down and continue to wrestle with it. Jake on the other hand? Nope. He just glares at me until I get it for him...

Cranky Jake is Cranky

Cranky Jake is Cranky

Cranky Jake is Cranky

And of course I do.

Guess I'm a good cat-dad after all.

Until next Saturday then.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Feline Assistance

Posted on Monday, September 17th, 2018

Dave!Going through my mom's stuff has been an awful ordeal. No matter how much I sort through, there's still so much left to go. I thought that waiting would make it easier, but two-and-a-half months later and it's far more difficult. It feels as though the more time that passes the more I realize that I'm never going to see her again, and the more the weight of it crushes me.

This weekend I sorted through some clothes I had forgotten about. It was a bundle that I didn't want to send with her to the memory care facility because it was special stuff... like all the B. Kliban Cats T-shirts she had collected. They're so cool that I was worried they would be stolen and some stranger would be wearing them. Now I'm donating them to Goodwill where strangers will be wearing them after all. Had I sent them with her, she might have at least got to enjoy them once or twice. It's the stuff like this that is so damn hard. It doesn't matter how much I did right, it's mistakes like this that my mind wants to focus on.

After that trauma, I decided to go through all of her recipes and cookbooks. When I was a kid, mom cooked all the time. Later in life she barely cooked at all. Most of her recipes are ones that I won't eat (meat) or shouldn't eat (sweets) and got tossed. Jenny was a big help in sorting things out...

Jenny Helping

Some of the recipes she was happy to rip out of a binder for me...

Jenny Helping

Recipes she really didn't like got chewed on and shredded...

Jenny Helping

There were two recipes I was hoping to find. The first was her Applesauce & Walnut Bread, which is sublime (found it). The second was her Spanish Rice, which was very different than what I've had in restaurants (never found it, dammit).

What I was surprised to find was the recipe for my grandma's enchiladas (from my dad's mom). I have refined her recipe over decades in order to come up with my own vegetarian version. They're awesome. But they're not the same. Now I am very interested in going back to her original recipe and substituting Beyond Meat crumbles for hamburger to see if they're the same as I remember. Wouldn't that be a treat? And speaking of treats... grandma made a marshmallow popover roll that was divine. You roll a marshmallow in melted butter, shake it in a cinnamon & sugar mixture, wrap dough around it, then bake. The marshmallow melts, which causes this amazing gooey mess in the middle that ends up being the kind of thing I'd imagine they serve in heaven. I can't fathom what the carb load must be for something like that. I'm sure it's substantial. But what a way to go!

I have great memories of my grandmother and her many pets, but my favorite memories are of her cooking. She skinned tomatoes by sticking them on a knife and holding it over the flame on a gas-top stove. She opened enchilada sauce cans by chopping into them with a cleaver. She laughed a lot while trying to teach me how to make the food I loved so much. She called me "her little politician" because I liked to talk so much when I was a baby. I didn't get to see her very often because she lived in California and I live in Washington, but I remember an awful lot about those moments.

I also found recipe's from my other grandma (my mom's mom). Including her award-winning apple pie. I've had the recipe for ages... but it's not the same when I make it. Grandma would taste the apple then decide what it needed to make a great pie. More sugar. Less sugar. More lemon juice. Less lemon juice. How much spice got added. It wasn't just a recipe... it was a complex negotiation between ingredients until grandma's apple pie became grandma's apple pie.

My grandpa's pickles can't be duplicated either. He used a measuring cup, but it was never a level measure. He always seemed to over-pour on everything. His specialty was dill pickles and hot pepper dill pickles, but he also made sweet pickles because my grandmother wanted them for her macaroni salad. I remember him measuring out the sugar and watching it spill out over the measuring cup for what seemed like forever. The recipe says "one cup sugar" but there was a lot more than one cup in that brine. It's what made grandpa's sweet pickles become grandpa's sweet pickles.

I suppose I shouldn't even attempt to duplicate foods where the best thing about them was the people who made them. It's an endeavor that's certain to be met with failure.

Today I started putting away my wood shop so I can park my car in the garage now that it's getting frosty in the mornings. I'll still be working whenever I can... at least until the snow comes... but The Big Projects are done for the year. Really hoping that next year I have more time in the shop.

Among the things in the garage that need to be put away are all the photos I had canvased for my mom. I made them when we moved into my new house so she'd understand it was where she lived when she saw pictures of herself... and it was a fantastic investment that actually worked. They worked so ell that I took them with her when she had to leave. After she died I brought them all back home with me so I could hang them... somewhere.

Ultimately I decided they should go in Jake and Jenny's bedroom. When I relocated the guest bedroom to the main floor, I ended up with blank walls, so it was the perfect spot. And just like Jenny "helped" me out with the recipes, Jake decided to "help" me decide how the photos should be arranged...

Jake Helping

He did a pretty good job...

Mom Travel Photos
TOP ROW: Trevi Fountain in Rome, Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska, The Grand Canyon, Temple of Poseidon in Greece, Beach at Natural Bridge in Aruba. BOTTOM ROW: Amalfi Coast in Italy, Southmost Point Key West in Florida, The Colosseum in Rome, Mykonos in Greece, Angkor in Cambodia.

Mom Travel Photos
LEFT: Kauai Beach in Hawaii, Oak Alley Plantation in Louisiana. MIDDLE: Neets Bay Float Plane in Alaska, Chilkat River rafting outside of Haines in Alaska. RIGHT: The Great Pyramid in Egypt. The Sphynx in Egypt.

Mom Travel Photos
LEFT: Wild Africa Trek in Walt Disney World Florida. RIGHT: Phone booth in London, England.

One of these days I really need to put together the bed I bought so this could become a second guest room if I ever needed it. There's always One. More. Thing. isn't there?

I had two canvases left over, so I moved the photos of Mom with Donald and Me & Mom with Micky to my bedroom next to the Mickey patent reproduction hanging on my door...

Mom Travel Photos

And then...

Remember when I was lamenting that I didn't know much about my mom when she was younger? Well, she just delivered! I found over a hundred letters she wrote to my grandparents when she left home. Guess there's stuff to know if I ever want it...

Mom Letters

I honestly thought that this small suitcase was filled with sewing stuff! Of course I never looked inside when she was here... I just put it in her closet for her. Then when she left, I put it into storage with the rest of her stuff. I was getting ready to throw it out but, of course, I had to open it first to make sure it was just sewing junk. Guess it's a good thing I did.

And that was enough fun for a Monday. More than enough.

Now I get to hammer out a guard for the feeding station so Carl the Robovac will stop ramming into the water fountain and pushing food dishes all around the house. Not the best pick for the last project I create before putting away my wood shop for the year, but a necessary one!

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018, DaveLife 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 78

Posted on Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

Dave!I flew back to Seattle today so I could drive home this afternoon. Between lane closures and torrential rains over the passes, the drive was not fun. What was fun? Walking through the door and having Jake and Jenny act like I had been gone for a month instead of one day. I think when I'm gone longer, my cats eventually get accustomed to my absence. But with quick trips they haven't adjusted to my being gone, so they more excited to see me. Or something like that.

But Jake and Jenny's weird behavior when I come home is nothing compared to when I am getting ready to leave.

When I drag out the automated pet feeders, they know.

I didn't take a suitcase this trip, but when the suitcase comes out, they definitely know.

Both of them stick to me like glue when they know I'm going to be gone. On Wednesday night, I brought out the feeders. When I went to bed, Jenny ran to the cat's bedroom and dragged a kitty bed in my room so she could sleep near me. The next morning I picked it up and put it on my bench. After she ate breakfast she came back upstairs, flipped it on the floor, then slept in it up-side down...

Jenny Up-Side-Down Bed

Thursday night she flipped the bed that's on the coffee table onto the floor and took a nap in that...

Jenny Up-Side-Down Bed

No idea what the up-side-down bed is about.

Even when I manage to get the bed right-side-up, Jenny still has problems to deal with. Like Jake coming in and falling asleep on top of her...

Jenny Squished by Jake

Jake is one big kitty so that can't be comfortable. I went to the cat's bedroom and brought another bed in so they could each have one...

Jenny Squished by Jake

But eventually Jake decided he wanted to sleep on my bed...

Jake Sleepy Beddy Time

And then? I was flying off to Salt Lake City and back again...

Salt Lake City View

In other cat news... I opened the door to go to work and Fake Jake was there to say hello. My cats immediately ran to the door. And by "my cats" I mean "Jake" because Jenny preferred to say her hello from a distance...

Jake Says Hello to Fake Jake

Jake Says Hello to Fake Jake

Come mid-October I'll have to tear apart Fake Jake's shelter to put the heating pad back in. I'm thinking I might also see if I can mount a motion sensor or a camera inside so I can track when he's in and out to make sure he's warm and safe when the freezing temperatures come.

Which will be entirely too soon.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 79

Posted on Saturday, September 29th, 2018

Dave!I try really hard not to project human gender traits on my cats. First of all, they're cats. Second of all, they're cats. But it's hard not to. Jenny is a petite and refined little lady. Jake is a big bruiser of a boy. Jenny is complex, scheming, and opinionated. Jake is simple, straightforward, and easy-going. Not that those are necessarily gender-specific traits... but my cats seem to fall into the stereotypes of human society quite well.

And though their personalities are very different, that doesn't seem to matter at the end of the day.

When I first got them and they were scared little kittens, they clung to each other like their life depended on it. After a while, they drifted apart, not really choosing to hang out together. But lately that's been changing. They are back to bathing each other again, which is just too sweet...

A half-hour later...

Jake and Jenny Snuggle Sleeping

Note the large bed I bought them goes ignored. They would much rather snuggle up in a tiny little bed instead.

That's cats for you.

If only humans with all our different personalities could get along together this well.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

It’s a Monday

Posted on Monday, October 1st, 2018

Dave!It's my last day before vacation! Which would ordinarily be a good thing, but Jake is sick.

On Sunday things were fine, but he acted a little strange around dinner. Then this morning he was refusing to eat. I saw that he had thrown up last night, so I went back through security camera footage to see what was going on. He was walking into the Litter-Robot, but was walking out without covering anything up, which means he wasn't going to the bathroom. Eventually he did unleash a poop today, so I thought he was fine.

Except any time he'd drink water he would immediately vomit it back up. Then at dinner he was refusing to eat again.

And so... looks like it's a trip to the vet tomorrow morning.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Meow-Time Trauma

Posted on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

Dave!So... not a great day.

This morning poor Jake was sicker than ever, so it was off to the vet we go. From their annual checkups, I already knew that this was not going to go well. My cats hate being stuffed into the kitty carriers. At least this time I didn't have to trick Jake into one. He was too weak to put up a fight...

Jake in a Cage

Definitely not a happy camper.

And here's where things get strange.

Jake can meow now.

He has never been able to meow in the nearly three years I've had him. Not once. When he thinks he's meowing, he will let out little squawks instead. Sometimes he kinda howls (as with previous vet visits) but no meows. And then on the way to the vet this morning...

Poor guy.

Turns out he's got some problems. The first of which is a blocked urinary tract, so they had to do surgery to unblock him. It was rougher than expected, but he managed to come through okay. They still don't know what else is involved, so he's not out of the woods yet. They need to watch him for a few days... make sure his infection clears up and he can pee okay. Then they will figure out what to do next.

And so... instead of flying out in the morning I've changed my flight and will fly out Friday instead. Then fly right back on Sunday so I can (hopefully) pick Jake up first thing Monday morning (assuming he's ready to be released).

If there's anything to be thankful for, it would be that all this happened before I left. If it had happened while I was gone, he probably wouldn't have survived.

UPDATE: The doctor called me at 6:00pm(!) to tell me that Jake was still doing okay. They're concerned that there's too much blood in his urine, but he's hoping it will start to clear up tomorrow. I get to visit him at 10:00am, so hopefully I'll know more then.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Hospitals and Visitations

Posted on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

Dave!Things not going quite as well as we had hoped. Jake still has way too much blood in his urine, so no next steps can't be decided.

I got to visit him this afternoon. The poor little guy is so confused and scared. I've never been able to acclimate him to other people. There are people everywhere. He's terrified of other animals. There are animals everywhere. He's in a cone, which freaks him out because he can't see. He's tethered with a catheter and an IV, which is no fun at all. He's on drugs, which just heightens his confusion.

The good news is that I'm told he's usually sleepy and lethargic, so maybe he's not quite so bothered by it all. He was sure active when I was there though. He was rubbing up against me... probably wanting me to take him home...

Jake in Hospital

Jake in Hospital

Jake in Hospital

So heartbreaking. It was all I could do to hold it together.

Things are not much better at home.

Last night Jenny was super excited when the dinner alarm rang. But when I put the food out, she wouldn't eat. Instead she wandered around... presumably looking for her brother. They have never not eaten together, so she was understandably upset. Eventually she just flopped on the floor of the guest room and nothing I could do would convince her to come eat.

After I left her alone for a while, she came back into the living room and lay next to me, but still wouldn't eat, even when I would hold the food in front of her...

Jenny is Sad

She finally climbed onto the back of the couch and cried and cried and cried. Trying to console her just caused her to cry more, so I tried ignoring her instead...

Jenny is Sad

Eventually she gave up and went to sleep on the small couch. Still hadn't eaten. At one point I got excited because she woke up... but she just gave herself a pedicure and went back to sleep...

Jenny Pedicure

When I started turning everything off and packing up my stuff, she decided to go eat. At last...

Jenny Eats At Last

After I turned in for the night, Jenny wandered in to fall asleep next to me.

I woke up to her meowing again around 5:00am. Still looking for her brother.

It was around this time that Jenny realized I was laying on a heating pad. She then flops down and uses her back to keep pushing me over until she's claimed the whole thing. I tried explaining that I need the heating pad for my back or I won't be able to bend over to feed her breakfast, but she did not care. Here's me trying to slide her over a little bit... note the foot kicking me away. She is NOT having it. Oh well. I didn't need a back anyway...

Jenny Heating Pad

After taking a shower, she was still soaking up the residual heat from the pad (which I had turned off). Guess it's time to pull our "her" electric blanket...

Jenny Heating Pad

Really, really hoping that Jake has improved when I visit him tomorrow. It would be so much easier to climb on a plane Friday morning if I knew he was getting better.

Not that climbing on a plane is going to be easy. Poor Jenny will be all by herself for the first time in her life for three days.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018, DaveLife 2018Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

The Hurting

Posted on Thursday, October 4th, 2018

Dave!I have to leave for the airport at 4:00am. Needless to say, this has made for a hectic day today. Way too much to do and not enough time to do it. But there was no way I was going to miss out on visiting Jake in the pet hospital before I left, so that meant an afternoon trip into The Big City. Apparently I was way too excited about getting to see him, because I accidentally set off the alarm system as I was walking out of the house. One awkward call to the monitoring company later... and I was on my way.

Jake seemed in a little better spirits today. And I was told that he ate all his breakfast, so that's good news. Alas, there's still way too much blood in his urine, so that catheter isn't coming out any time soon...

Jake Hospital Visit

He ran right up and tried to rub his head on me, but the cone kept getting in the way, so I flipped it backwards to create a fashionable poncho...

Jake Hospital Visit

Jake Hospital Visit

Then he could get in all the head-rubbing he wanted, which was a lot...

Jake Hospital Visit

What he was happiest about was getting face and neck scratches. That cone makes it so he can't scratch himself, so once I got started he really didn't want me to stop...

Jake Hospital Visit

I stayed for 20 minutes so I could (hopefully) spend enough time with him that he will be set for affection while I'm gone. But all too soon it was time to go. I flipped his cone back in place and that was the end of that...

Jake Hospital Visit

Really appreciate everybody's good wishes for Jake. He's such a sweet kitty that it's difficult to see him hurting.

And speaking of hurting...

Jenny is still not taking the absence of her brother well. She still wanders the house looking for him. She still cries when she can't find him. She still wants to spend most of her time hanging out next to me looking sad...

Sadder Jenny

Sadder Jenny

Hopefully her brother will be back in the house Monday morning... fingers crossed.

UPDATE: The minute I pressed "publish" Fake Jake decided to pay a visit and Jenny went screaming out into the catio. I don't know if she's confused and thinks it's Jake or what... but she did not run away when Fake Jake started climbing up the catio...

Fake Jake Catio Attack!

Fake Jake Catio Attack!

Usually, this kind of aggressive behavior would have her running into the house and hiding. Such a brave little girl. Something tells me she'll be fine on her own for a few days.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 482: Aloha Bye

Posted on Sunday, October 7th, 2018

Dave!Home again and all is well... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Homeward. And, just like that, Hawaii is over for me. I would have liked to have stayed another couple days to hang out with my friends and relax but, alas, I've got a cat back home that is undoubtedly really, really anxious to get out of the hospital. I did get bumped to First Class, which is kinda like a vacation. A vacation with a bowl of warm nuts...

Aloha Bye

Aloha Bye

The last time I came to Hawaii for fun was when I managed to tack a few days on the back-side of a work trip in 2011. The four times since then were all work all the time. And while I wouldn't have missed this wedding in Oahu for anything, coming to photograph an event is still work!

   
• Salmon. I have been this close to flying Alaska Airlines' Salmon-Thirty-Salmon too many times to count. But I'm always a gate or two away. Like today...

Aloha Bye

It's not every day you get to fly in a plane painted to look like a big fish... and, alas, today is not my day either.

   
• Simon. On my trip to Honolulu on Friday I saw the available movies I hadn't seen (Tomb Raider, yawn... Won't You Be My Neighbor, awesome... and Blockers, surprisingly watchable) and so on my trip back I watched movies I enjoyed that I've already seen... Deadpool 2 and The Disaster Artist... and also Love, Simon...

This movie is so amazingly good (despite a rough start to the third act) and has an ending that's ten tons of wonderful. I've seen it three times now, and one thing continues to stand out... the casting on this film is phenomenal. Not just the main characters, but supporting roles as well. In particular, Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Garner as Simon's parents. I knew Garner could pull off the emotional weight... but Josh Duhamel?!? And yet...

And that clip has been edited down from the original scene.

The first coming-of-age-love-story with a gay lead character from a major studio was going to be a landmark film regardless of how good it was. Or how terrible. The fact that Love, Simon turned out to be something great is just icing on the cake. One can only hope that more films like this entering mainstream culture becomes a step towards more acceptance and less bullying in our schools. Because isn't high school hard enough?

   
• Haerts. In addition to being one of the sweetest, most charming, funny, genuine films in recent memory, Love, Simon has a great soundtrack. It was especially awesome that Wings by Haerts got a snippet into the movie. It's such an amazing song...

And now I'm addicted to it all over again.

   
• Photography. It didn't actually rain on the wedding yesterday, which was nice. A lot easier to shoot photos when you're not soaking wet. The problem was my poor back, which was in spasm the entire day. I was eating muscle relaxers like candy in an attempt to keep being able to move. The good news is that the photos turned out pretty good. Not so much because of my talent as a photographer, but because the bride and groom are phenomenally good-looking... and patient.

And... despite my not being a professional photographer (and especially not a wedding photographer), this was my sixth wedding shoot. No idea how this keeps happening to me.

   
• Home. Jenny meowed when I walked through the door. Meowed after me when I rolled my bag in. Meowed after me when I went to the bathroom. Meowed after me when when I went upstairs. Meowed after me when got undressed. Meowed after me when I got in bed. She did not stop. "Sheesh. I am sorry I had to leave you all alone! Are you going to calm down if I can bring your brother home tomorrow?!?"

Jenny Cuddler

Such a sweetheart. I hope that Jake and Jenny's reunion goes well.

   
And... I turn into a pumpkin at midnight, so... much aloha.

   

Homeward Bound

Posted on Monday, October 8th, 2018

Dave!The doctor who has been treating Jake doesn't start his shift until 11:00am, but he dropped by earlier in the morning to make sure Jake was able to go home. And so... at 9:00am I headed to The Big City to pick up my cat.

I honestly don't know what it's been like for him at the hospital. My guess is that he's been trapped in a cage the entire time... poked and prodded... having to listen to barking dogs and other strange sounds... no doubt it's been a traumatic time. I feel awful about it, but there wasn't much choice.

Hopefully he'll be back to normal in short order.

Because his car ride home was anything but normal. He can still meow now, like his sister, which should make life a bit more interesting...

I started talking to Jake to comfort him, but that just seemed to wind him up worse than he already was, so I didn't talk much on the way home. I did poke a finger through the carrier to scratch his face, which he loves.

After 20 minutes of listening to one angry, confused, and scared kitty, my next hurdle was awaiting me. How would Jenny react to having her brother home?

Not so great, actually.

I was warned that the vet smell on Jake would freak her out, and it sure did. She spent most of her day stalking him... running up and smelling him... and hissing, hissing, and hissing at him if he tried to get too close...

When Jenny met Jake

Or for no reason at all...

When Jenny met Jake

Jake was upset that he couldn't be buddy-buddy with her right away, but he was still thrilled to be home.

As day turned to night, they seemed to be getting along better. They were hanging out in the catio together for nearly an hour...

Jenny and Jake in the catio

After dinner Jenny's hissing was at minimum and they seemed like they might be getting back to normal quicker than I had hoped...

Cats on the dinner table.

And now for the bad news...

First of all, I have to crush Jake's pills, mix with water, then draw into a syringe so I can hold him down and squirt it in his mouth. He takes it like a champ, but is understandably irritated. Fortunately I only have to do this four times.

And also? Jake has to be on a special diet with special food. Which means Jenny is also on a special diet since Jake eats her leftovers. The bright spot in all this is that they both love the special food. The bad news is that the special food is massively expensive. As in maybe I'm having to discontinue satellite television expensive. But the worst news? I have nearly $240 in cat food I just bought on sale that's now going to be feeding Fake Jake...

Jenny and Jake in the catio

It's expensive, low-carb, quality food-stuff... which is good news for Fake Jake, I guess.

And then there's my share of the massive vet bill... nearly $600! But, hey, it would be over $2000 if I didn't have insurance, so I can't be too upset about that.

Not that the money matters. Can you really put a price tag on this?

Cats on the dinner table.

Jake is so sweet... such a great cat. I would be completely crushed if anything were to happen to him.

Anybody need a slightly-used spleen?

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Claws in Absentia

Posted on Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

Dave!Ever since I got back from my brief Hawaiian excursion, I've done very little except worry about Jake. He seems okay. He's still peeing in tiny amounts a dozen times a day, but he doesn't seem to be in pain or anything like that, so I'm not freaking out. Yet.

No, what worries me is that he appears to have some kind of PTSD.

I'm working half-days this week so I can keep an eye on him. He spends every minute I'm here hanging all over me. He's at my side constantly...

Jake at Home

Jake at Home

   
When I'm not home, however, Jake wanders around crying because he can't find me...

   
With the exception of the patch of fur they shaved off on his arm for an IV, he looks good physically...

Jake at Home

Jake's IV Patch

   
Well... not entirely..

Yesterday afternoon Jenny went climbing up my massive pole in the catio. I watched Jake try to follow her... and he couldn't. Turns out his claws are gone...

Jake No Claws

Jake's Key

This upset me to an irrational degree.

I have never trimmed my cats' claws. When they were babies they scratched stuff they weren't supposed to... but after providing them lots of better things to scratch, they stopped scratching where they're not supposed to. Now they use only the poles and scratcher boards I've bought for them.

When the vet's office called for a check-in, I asked about his claws. They said they do it as a "courtesy' whenever cats are under anesthesia. Sometimes cats are violent and scratch at the staff. Since Jake is not violent I asked if I had the option of specifying that he and Jenny's claws not be trimmed if they are ever admitted. Turns out you can, so I did.

   
This morning I woke up to go to the bathroom and nearly bit it when I tripped on something. I turn on the light and my bedroom floor is covered in toys...

Jake at Home

Apparently Jake is so happy to be home that he spent nearly two hours dragging all his toys up. Including his giant Peeps Bunny. He hasn't done anything like this in months...

   
Jake and Jenny seem to be getting along like they used to now. No hissing is involved. I wish they wouldn't get along on top of the dining room table (pet-safe disinfectant is expensive!)...

Jake and Jenny on the Dining Room Table

   
When they're not together, they're taking turns keeping me from work...

Jake's Nap on My Mac

Jenny at Home

So... I guess we're back to normal then?

Here's hoping.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

In Sickness and In Health

Posted on Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

Dave!Since I'm supposed to be on vacation this week, but ended up home with a sick cat instead, I've been working 10-2 half-days. Except today I ended up going in at 11-3 because Jake had other plans for my morning.

He hopped on the bed with me after he'd eaten his breakfast... then proceeded to puke all over me. And, let me tell you, it was an impressive amount of vomit. Kind of shocking he was even able to contain so much spew in such a tiny body. Fortunately, it was all contained on my blanket so all I had to do was stick it in the wash... four times (just to be sure).

Afterwards he hopped right back on the bed and fell asleep...

Jake Hanging in Bed

I wanted to keep an eye on him for a while, hence my being an hour late to work.

Before heading home to see if Jake had left any puke for me to find, I headed to the grocery store since my refrigerator and cupboards are bare. While there, I was excited that there was a new brand of mayo for me to try (Heinz!)... until I looked at the price tag...

Heinz Mayo

SIX DOLLARS AND TWENTY-NINE CENTS?!?? FOR MAYO?!? WTF?!? IS THERE GOLD IN IT? DOES IT COME WITH A FREE PONY? WHAT?!? Needless to say, no new mayo for me. Perhaps when I get to The Big City next I'll see if they have it for a reasonable price at the Safeway.

And... back to my home.

Which was pleasantly puke-free!

A quick look at the security cameras and I saw that Jake it still able to pee... many, many times... so I'm chalking this day up as a win.

After I run my blanket through the wash just one more time.

   

You’re Outta Here!

Posted on Thursday, October 11th, 2018

Dave!Happy International Coming Out Day to my LGBTQ readers and friends!

Some of you walked through fire to get to where you are today. Some of you are dipping a toe into the flames before taking the plunge. Some of you bounded over the flames like a golden god. Some of you are happy to hang on to your fire extinguisher to keep the flames at bay a while longer. Many of you escaped the fire only to besieged with people lobbing more fire in your direction. But regardless of who you are... what your truth is... I am happy you're here, you wonderful fireproof warrior, you!

Marriage Equality for All

And now... time to clean up another round of cat puke. Poor Jake. I really thought he had turned a corner when he didn't throw up after yesterday morning. It was a lot less than last time though, so maybe he's nearing the light at the end of the tunnel?

Fingers crossed.

   

Caturday 80

Posted on Saturday, October 13th, 2018

Dave!Last night when I got home from work I decided to try a new frozen pizza brand I haven't had before. I don't know why I bother, because they all end up tasting like crap, but I keep holding out hope. The pizza was, as expected, truly awful.

In more ways that one, as it turns out.

While I was removing the wrapper, some of the cheese topping fell on the floor. Before I could grab a towel and get it picked up, Jake swooped in and chowed down. It was only a half-dozen small shreds... but that was all it took. Within five minutes he was puking his guts out. Poor guy.

I don't purposely feed my cats human food, but Jake has been getting into my food since I first got him, and it's never caused any problems. But now? Barf-time.

Which means I have to be more careful than ever that he doesn't eat anything except his heinously expensive prescribed specialty food.

Other than that, he's mostly back to normal. Except for the fact that he is still peeing far more often than usual (beats the alternative) and clings to me like glue everywhere I go. When I lay down on the couch to work, he'll immediately hop on top of me... only hopping off to pee, then he's right back on me...

Sleepy Jake

Sleepy Jake

Sleepy Jake

Needless to say, any time I'm in bed, Jake is there too...

Sleepy Jake

Sleepy Jake

I'm still irrationally upset that his claws were trimmed. I wish I could get past that, because I know they'll grow back... but, still... upsetting...

Jenny Jealousy

Poor Jenny spends most of her time being jealous that Jake is getting so much attention. For some reason they have an agreement that there can only be one cat in bed with me at a time, and since that's mostly Jake... well... let's just say we've been getting our share of irritated glances...

Jenny Jealousy

Not that Jenny is completely ignored. I make sure she gets some lap-time too...

Jenny Sleepy-Time

This week has been a tough one. I am terrified that Jake's urinary problems are going to come back and they'll end up having to cut him open. Every time he uses the Litter-Robot (which is often) I run to make sure that he was able to pee. Every time he licks his junk, I'm worried it means he's having trouble going again. Next week I'm back to working full days and I won't be able to observe him as easily. I've put alerts on the security camera system for motion at the Litter-Robots, but that's not the same as being here.

Six weeks until my next trip. My hope is that everything will be fine by then and I won't have to change my plans. Again.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 483

Posted on Sunday, October 14th, 2018

Dave!Spent my weekend getting ready for winter, but it hasn't been all bad... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Jakespreading. My concern for Jake is either growing or easing depending on which minute of the day it is. On one hand, he is peeing regularly. On the other hand, it's too often... sometimes up to three times an hour. On one hand, he is pretty much back to normal. On the other hand, he has been increasingly clingy. Now he's sleeping with me every night. Which mostly looks like this...

Jakespreading Sleeping

He's sleeping next to me, using my leg as a pillow.

Except...

For the past two nights, sleeping beside me hasn't been good enough. He wants to sleep on top of me. Which is no biggie when I'm laying on my back but, given my recent back pains, I'm more comfortable on my side. He tries to climb on me but there's not enough room, so he falls off and starts getting upset. I fix the problem by leaning against a pillow. He falls asleep on the pillow (and against me), but is fooled to thinking he's sleeping on me. So it's all good, I suppose. But I think I'm going to start looking into some warm pads that might prove more tempting than a pillow. In the mornings when I come back from taking a shower, I always find him laying on the slats above the heating vent, so I'm guessing he might be in love with a warm place to lay just like his sister...

Jakespreading Sleeping

Tomorrow I'm going to place another call to his doctor so I can ask about the alarming number of times he's peeing... and to ask if I should be concerned that he's grooming his junk more often these past couple days. Call me paranoid, but I'd do just about anything to make sure he doesn't have another extended stay away from home.

   
• Who? First of all, I love Jodie Whittaker in the new season of Doctor Who. She is sublimely perfect in the role, and everything you could want for The Doctor she projects in spades. Quirky without being silly. Smart without being stuffy. Entertaining without being absurd. She IS Doctor Who...

Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor

Which is why my disappointment in her first episode being horribly boring was more upsetting than it usually would be. Things picked up a bit in the second episode that aired tonight (the new TARDIS is pretty great), but it still feels like a bit of a slog to get through. I really, really hope that things start picking up... giving both Whittaker and Doctor Who fans the show we deserve.

   
• Boca? When I was last at the grocery store, I noted that Boca Burgers have pretty new packaging. What surprised me is that the burgers inside are different. They are darker. And the taste is different. Not necessarily in a bad way... they're just... different. Still tasty...

New Boca Burger

What I cannot tell is what in the hell they are replacing. Used to be there was "Original Vegan" and "All-American Flame Grilled"... these are "Original All American," which I can only guess is taking the place of both? They ain't vegan (contains cheese like the All-American Flame Grilled) so maybe they are discontinuing those? Confusing.

   
• The Vote. LOLOLOL! Maria Cantwell just released a commercial saying that "drug companies are too powerful and prescription drugs cost too much money." Guess the blowback she got after accepting $75,000 from Big Pharma then voting against cheaper drug re-importation has her worried? Typical piece of shit politician... says whatever she feels she has to at the moment in order to get elected, and then she'll jettison it when she decides to suck Big Pharma dick for cash again. We get the politicians we settle for. We get what we deserve. Not that we're given much choice. My Washington State Voter's Pamphlet just arrived and there's only one candidate I actually want to vote for. The rest are just votes against Trump-enabling Republicans.

   
• Asshole. Vice President Pence would do best to just shut the hell up on all matters pertaining to anything because, odds are, his boss has tweeted something totally fucked up on the topic, which makes Pence come off as a hypocritical asshole. Like this...

VP Pence is deepply troubled about what he's heard about freedom of the press? Really?

Why the hell Pence pretends to give a shit about journalists when it's been made very clear that Trump's administration condemns journalists as an "enemy of the people" is beyond me. Disgusting and pathetic. Like most everything to do with President Trump.

   
• Groupon! Congratulations to Hasan Minhaj on becoming a father...

I can't wait for his show, Patriot Act, to debut on Netflix come October 28th! And, needless to say, if you have Netflix and haven't seen his incredible standup show, Homecoming King, you should do that immediately.

   
Annnnd... scene. See you next Sunday.

   

Global Cat Day?

Posted on Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

Dave!What was once "National Feral Cat Day" has become "Global Cat Day," which is kinda strange because we already have a "National Cat Day" which is October 29 and "International Cat Day" which was August 8. And then there's apparently a "National Black Cat Day" which is October 27? How many frickin' cat days do we need?

Not that it really matters. As anybody who has cats will tell you, EVERY DAY IS GLOBAL CAT DAY!

Regardless, Jake and Jenny were indeed feral rescues...

Jake and Jenny Kittens!

And not much has changed. Other than they're bigger...

Jake and Jenny Kittens!

Though not feral, neighborhood abandoned cat "Fake Jake" is still hanging around. Last year before I headed out to Antarctica, I was worried that he might freeze to death in the insulated shelter I made him, so I bought a new cat shelter that could hold an outdoor heating pad. I also built a berm out of pipe insulation to help keep any wind off of him. It worked great and he survived the winter just fine.

This year when I put the heating pad and berm back in for cold weather, I added a camera so I could get motion alerts and check in on him. He wasted no time making himself at home...

The camera has night vision so I can even see him sleeping in the dark...

Fake Jake Sleeping!

And so... I guess Fake Jake is set for another cold winter.

As for me? I need to wash blankets. And get winter tires on my car. And hibernate.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 81

Posted on Saturday, October 20th, 2018

Dave!Now that I'm waking up to frost on my car, it seems like a good time to pull out the electric blanket. This is a wintertime essential for two reasons. The first is that it saves money on heat because I'm heating just my bed instead of the entire house. And the second? It's Jenny's favorite thing.

And now Blogograpy presents: The Three Stages of Electric Blanket (according to Jenny)...

1. What? What's This?!? So Jenny hops up onto the bed and immediately notices that something is different. Is that... warmth? She decides to test it out by plopping her butt down on the bed...

Cats & Electric Blankets

2. Warmth! Glorious Warmth! At this point Jenny is rolling all over the bed trying to decide what part of her body she wants to heat up first...

Cats & Electric Blankets

3. Heat Isn't Enough! The newfound warmth is okay and all, but that's no replacement for tummy rubs, which she demands as well...

Cats & Electric Blankets

Jake likes the heat too. It's nice to have a warm bum while cleaning your junk...

Cats & Electric Blankets

And speaking of Jake... a setback.

Last night while I was watching television, Jake made a spectacular vomit spew from the top level of the cat tower. Before his urinary tract problems, he never vomited. The only time he ever vomited was when his urinary problems started, so now I'm terrified that he's sick again. The poor kitty just can't catch a break. And neither can I, apparently...

Jake Puking from a Tower

I'm honestly not sure what to make of Jake since he got back from his week-long stay at the vet. He still seems terrified to be left alone. When I'm home, he's on me the entire time... or, lately now, snuggled up to his sister. Jenny tolerates it quite well... until she doesn't. At which time he's right back on me. — When I'm gone he is agitated at first, but sleeps alone or hangs out in the catio alone and seems fine with it. Maybe it will just take a while for him to get over the trauma of all he went through. I hope he'll eventually get back to his "normal." In the meanwhile, it's cute to see him snuggling up to his sister at night...

Jake Puking from a Tower

Jake Puking from a Tower

And to have a warm, fuzzy interruption from work when he wants to cuddle up next to me...

Jake Puking from a Tower

At night he still wants to sleep with me or, to be more accurate, on top of me...

Jake Sleepy-Time

Though now that there's an electric blanket on the bed, it seems like he'd rather sleep on that and just lean up next to me instead...

Jake Sleepy-Time

Jake is not one for selfies, as you can tell...

Jake Sleepy-Time

Health-wise, Jake is still peeing far too often... but both the Upstairs and Downstairs Litter-Robots are reporting that the number of uses per day is trending downwards, so maybe one day he'll be back to where he used to be...

Jake Sleepy-Time

The high peak is when I bought Jake home. The valley before the peak is when Jake was at the hospital and only Jenny was using the boxes. The day after he came back, the Litter-Robot was used thirty-six times. Poor kitty. My vet isn't concerned... yet... but I sent and email on Friday just to ask again if this is normal and will eventually subside.

Fingers crossed.

It can't be fun going to the bathroom ten times a day.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 82

Posted on Saturday, October 27th, 2018

Dave!The weather has been particularly overcast, grey, and cold this week. For me it's been kinda depressing. For my cats though? Totally depressing. Neither of them have felt like doing much of anything. They don't want to play. Or explore. Or run around. They just want to sleep. And it's become somewhat of a routine for them. I get home from work. I watch TV for an hour. Then I make everybody some dinner. After dinner Jenny will jump on the couch next to me and just lay there. Sometimes she'll sleep.

Monday...

Jenny Depressed

Tuesday...

Jenny Depressed

Wednesday...

Jenny Depressed

Thursday...

Jenny Depressed

Though yesterday morning I put some jeans on the table so I could fold them. I turned my back to clean out the lint trap in my dryer and...

Jenny Depressed

I left them there in case she might want to nap there after dinner. But, alas... right back on the couch...

Jenny Depressed

Maybe I need to look into Kitty Prozac?

As for Jake? He's still sleeping on top of me every night. He's mostly back to normal after the vet, but this has lingered...

Jake Depressed

Not that I mind... I just wish I had a handle on whether he's doing okay or this is indicative of a problem. He's still peeing a lot. Too much. But he is peeing, which is the important thing. If not... another trip to the vet is in our future.

And that is something none of us want.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

To The Vet and Back Again

Posted on Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

Dave!This morning I woke up with Jake passed out on top of me... which has become his new normal since he got back from the vet. He doesn't like sleeping alone anymore. Also normal? Him running off to pee first thing after waking up. Ever since the procedure to unblock his bladder, he's been peeing... a lot. Ten times a day.

What was not normal was him digging a hole in the Litter-Robot... peeing... covering it up. Digging another hole... peeing again... covering it up. Digging another hole... peeing again... covering it up. Digging another hole... peeing again... covering it up. Digging another hole... peeing again... covering it up. That's five times peeing with one trip to the litter box.

His frustration was obvious, and I felt so bad for him that I decided to call the vet and find out if he should come in.

The answer, of course, was "yes."

Which caused my heart to sink, because my cats do not travel well. It's hugely traumatic. Jenny goes catatonic. But Jake? Jake just freaks out. He meows and howls and cries the entire way. Which is odd, because normally he can't meow. This time was even worse than last. More "howling" instead of "meowing"...

I usually try and time my arrival at the vet very close to the appointment time so my cats aren't left fretting for too long. Because whether it's in the car or in the waiting room, being trapped in a kitty carrier is not their idea of a good time...

Jake to the Vet

Things were running about 20 minutes late at the vet, which made a bad situation worse. Eventually Jake just kinda collapsed in exhaustion...

Jake to the Vet

Once in the examination room, Jake was so whipped from the trip that he didn't have the energy to do anything but cower on the table. He was clinging to me like glue, which was pretty tough to take. Poor little guy. The doctor explained that there could be any number of things going on, but a urine sample was the best place to start trying to figure things out.

That sounded logical to me... except Jake had peed in the kitty carrier (something he's never done before), so I didn't know if he had anything left in him. Turns out he did, so they went up his peepee spout to go get it. Yikes.

For the ride home, Jake was more inconsolable than usual. He was thrashing in the carrier so hard that I was terrified he'd hurt himself. And so I did something I never thought I would do because it seems like it would be even more traumatic... I let him out. I didn't care if he peed all over the place, I had to try something...

Jake to the Vet

At first things were going great. He stopped crying and started exploring. Things got a little crazy when he decided he wanted to drive though...

Jake to the Vet

And then things went bad again.

Very bad. He ran to the back window and started howling at passing cars... howling at the scenery... howling at road signs... howling at everything. Suddenly I felt like I might have made a terrible mistake...

Jake to the Vet

And then? Right after we pulled into town he relaxed and just kind of whimpered the rest of the way home...

Jake to the Vet

After pulling into my driveway I closed the garage door behind us, opened the car doors, and let him dash into the house.

Where he proceeded to drop and clean off all the vet smell...

Jake to the Vet

Jenny had a tough time when Jake came home last time because he didn't smell right. This time he hadn't been gone long enough to develop a bad smell, so she was unfazed. That was good news.

Another piece of good news? Jake has lost almost a pound from when he was last at the vet! Now he's only about 1-2 lbs. overweight!

Though when I compare photos of Jake to really chubby cats, it doesn't look like he's doing so bad...

Jake Weight

And now I wait for test results.

Hopefully they tell us something.

Hopefully it's an easy fix.

Hopefully I don't have to take Jake back to the vet any time soon.

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Pill-Popping Horror Story

Posted on Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

Dave!Pussy be expensive, yo.

Today I got a call-back from Jake's doctor telling me that there was a small amount of bacteria in his urine. So small that it could have easily come from the dye that they put on the urine slide so they can see stuff. The full laboratory testing is three days away, but the doc said he recommends going with a new regime of antibiotics plus a bladder relaxer plus a pain-killer plus an anti-inflammatory medication so that he's not suffering unnecessarily. I agreed, because it's been two weeks and the poor guy is still peeing ten times a day. And the fact that he is always sleeping on me might be an indication he's in pain or upset.

So off I went to pick up Jake's drugs.

Now, I fully admit that I was radically unprepared for the sticker shock that came from my cat's medications. When added to yesterday's vet visit and labs, we're past $500 now ($2,500 total since his initial visit four weeks ago). Some of that I'll get back in insurance reimbursement. But still... wow. I'm poor.

But the cost is not even the real pain here.

One of the pills has to be dumped out of a gel cap, dissolved in water, then shot into your cat's mouth with a syringe. This is the same stuff Jake was on when he came back from his procedure and it's fine. Jake doesn't like it, but he's chill enough that I got this. Kinda stupid they don't just sell it in liquid form, but whatevs.

I asked if it was the same routine with the other pills.

Of course it's not.

The pills taste awful, so you have to coax your cat into swallowing them. Something tells me that Jake will most definitely not be as chill as this cat...

They gave me a pen, but said it just makes things harder for some people...

And so... I'll give it a go. A part of me wanted to ask if I could give him the pills rectally since that's probably going to be easier than in his mouth, but I resisted. Somebody appearing to be anxious to shove pills up a cat's ass would probably have their cat taken away from them.

The final medication is a liquid. Oh happy day.

Or so I thought.

I asked if I could just drip it on Jake's food... but, alas, that was met with a resounding "no." Apparently it's even worse tasting stuff, so you really have to shoot that into their mouths so you can be sure they won't turn their nose up at it.

Some questions...

  1. Why in the hell do they have some medications come in pill form that have to be dissolved in liquid when they should just put it in liquid form to begin with? This is monumentally stupid.
  2. Cats eat some heinous smelling stuff. Like fish guts. So how hard could it be to make their medication taste like something they want to eat when it's gotta be fairly easy to camouflage?
  3. Is it actually easier to shove pills up a cat's ass than administering them orally? Enquiering minds want to know!

And... on top of all that... it's Halloween!

Last year I made the stupid, stupid mistake of scheduling a colonoscopy on November 1st so I had to pass out candy while undergoing my clean-out prep. Good Lord was that the scariest Halloween I've ever had.

Though this year was not without incident. Every Halloween I deep clean my kitchen while passing out candy. In the middle of it all, a plate slid off of a pile of other dishes and shattered into a billion pieces. Ironically, this is the Corelle stuff I bought for my mom to eat off of because, in her confusion, she ended up breaking a lot of dishes. It's supposed to be super-tough, but just look at this (please ignore the cat hair I managed to find)...

Corelle Busted To Shit

It took me a 45 minutes to clean up the breakage because shards of glass went everywhere. All the way from the kitchen though the dining room and into the living room! Such is the peril of having an "open concept" home! But I wanted to be sure I did a good job because I didn't want my cats getting hurt. I can't afford any more vet bills.

UPDATE: I figured since the liquid antibiotics tasted horrible, I would try being smart about Jake's pills. First I forced him to swallow the antibiotics... THEN I dropped his pill in some crunchy food. Since his mouth was already full of awful, maybe he wouldn't notice the bitter pill? AND IT WORKED! Totally chomped down that pill! Thank heavens. I am so grateful that I didn't have to shove that down his throat too.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 83

Posted on Saturday, November 3rd, 2018

Dave!This morning I woke up hungry for a McDonalds Egg & Cheese biscuit, but I didn't want to pay the stupid amount of money they charge for it. I also didn't want to spend the money on gas to get there (the nearest McDonalds is 20 minutes away). The good news is that I had all the necessary ingredients to make my own. The bad news is that I had to wait in bed 20 minutes before I could actually make it.

You may be asking yourself "How the heck does this breakfast biscuit drama relate to Caturday?"

The answer is "Daylight Saving Time ends tonight."

As anybody with pets will tell you, animals don't give a fuck about Daylight Saving Time. But, for some stupid reason humans do, and so our pets have to live with the consequences.

The way I try to minimize the perceived torture of feeding my cats an hour late is to adjust the time for a couple days before and after we do stupid shit with our clocks. Jake and Jenny get fed when my Alexa alarm goes off at 7:00am each morning. Yesterday I fed them at 7:10am. Today I fed them at 7:20. Tomorrow (after the change) I'll feed them at 6:30. Then on Monday it will be 6:40. Followed by 6:50 on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday they'll be back to 7:00am.

Until Daylight Saving Time starts up again. Then it's this whole mess all over again in reverse.

As I've mentioned previously, I've trained my cats to expect dinner when the Alexa alarm goes off. That saves me being woken up early by impatient cats. Since they know that absolutely nothing will happen until Alexa chimes, they don't bother with bothering me.

Except...

They seem to know when Alexa is jerking them around because their internal clocks are eerily accurate. Yesterday morning at 7:05 and this morning at 7:00am on the dot, Jenny started bringing me toys... apparently in an attempt at bribing me into feeding her. This morning after several rounds of bribes, she just kind of sat there staring at me and whimpering...

Jenny wants food

Heaven only knows how bad it's going to get when the delay gets longer and longer.

Stupid Daylight Saving Time. Can we please, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, just split the difference and finally get rid of this stupid shit once and for all?

Early this week I had decided to wash the cat beds I put on the floor. This change was apparently too much for Jake, who walked in... walked out... walked in... walked out... then walked in again. Like he didn't recognize the place...

Jake in the morning

Poor Jake. As if he doesn't have it bad enough with his health issues. So far neither the antibiotics or the anti-inflammatory has been doing any good. I'm convinced that he doesn't have an infection and his constant need to go to the bathroom has to do with lingering effects of the catheter he had, but who knows. He's got two more doses of antibiotic left, so maybe. I won't really know until the labs are back.

On Thursday I spent over an hour desperately searching for a work document that I cannot find. What I did find was the exact moment I gave up on keeping my cats off the dining room table and decided to invest in Lysol and a plastic-back table cover. I remember this like it was yesterday. I went to scoot the cats off of the table and my mom told me to just let them be so she would have some company while she ate her chicken soup...

Jake and Jenny on the Dining Room Table with Mom

And that was that. I've been disinfecting the damn thing ever since.

I also found photos of Jake's first belly rub...

Jake's First Belly Rub with Mom

Up until that point, petting my cats was something you could only do on occasion. As feral rescues, they were very wary of being touched, and the idea of touching them on their bellies was something that didn't even seem possible. Then one day I came home from work and there was my mom... belly rubbing away on Jake's tummy. I think the look on his face tells it all.

Adult Swim fans will be happy to know that Jenny's infatuation with Rick from the amazing cartoon Rick and Morty is still in full swing. I was bored of watching Hallmark Christmas movies and decided to burn through a couple episodes which, not unexpectedly, had Jenny running in the room to snuggle up next to me and watch. There is something about Rick's voice that completely captivates her...

Jenny Loves Rick and Morty

Eventually it was dinner time and the spell was broken. But until that point, wild horses couldn't have dragged her away from the television.

And lastly on this fine Caturday, a meme that was burning it's way through my Facebook this past week...

Cat Pancake Meme

Cat Pancake Meme

Cat Pancake Meme

=dies=

This could be either one of my cats when I attempt some kind of condescending cuteness with them.

I tried to track down the owner of these photos so I could give proper credit, but all I could see was that it seemed to originate on a bunch of Chinese sites and no credit was ever given. Oh well. That's the internet for you.

And now... until next Caturday, then.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 84

Posted on Saturday, November 10th, 2018

Dave!Today I headed over the mountains, leaving my cats alone overnight.

As if my cats didn't already hate me.

My week was spent getting death-stares from my cats (well, Jenny, anyway) because my efforts to ease them into Daylight Saving Time ending failed horribly. All they know is that I am starving them to death...

CATS WANT TO BE FED!

This next photo is from THE NEXT DAY. But you are forgiven for thinking that it was taken two minutes after the one above, because Jenny has the same sour look on her face...

CATS WANT TO BE FED!

Every day is the same. Jenny will saunter on the warming bed that sits on the coffee table. A little while later Jake will hop on the media center.

And then they will just glare at me.

And tonight, on the night I'm writing this because I was gone yesterday? On Sunday, November 11th, 2018? One week after Daylight Saving Time ended?

Same...

CATS WANT TO BE FED!

Though I should get some love, since I ended up having to free-feed them while I was gone again. They are thrilled at being the ones to decide when they get to eat (which is all the time).

I can only hope that next week they've forgotten all about Daylight Saving Time.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Congratulations! You’re Pregnant!

Posted on Thursday, November 15th, 2018

Dave!My cats do adorably insane things every day. Most of the time all I can do is say "Why?!?"... then laugh about it.

This morning Jenny woke me up at 4:30am. She jumped on the bed. Meowed in my face. Then ran out of the room. "Why?!?" I'm assuming that she's still pissed about Daylight Saving Time ending, but that was a week-and-a-half ago, so who knows? Maybe she was just upset because President Trump said some stupid shit on Twitter (again) and wants everybody to be upset about it because she's upset about it. Heaven only knows that's how I feel daily.

Fortunately, I have the internet to keep me distracted from stupid shit with even stupider shit. Like a young cat named Ulla from Dyrenes Venner i Grønland (Friends of the Animals in Greenland) who underwent an ultrasound to verify she was pregnant...

Kitty Ultrasound by Dyrenes Venner
Photo from Dyrenes Venner i Grønland

Kitty Ultrasound by Dyrenes Venner
Photo from Dyrenes Venner i Grønland

Kitty Ultrasound by Dyrenes Venner
Photo from Dyrenes Venner i Grønland

Kitty Ultrasound by Dyrenes Venner
Photo from Dyrenes Venner i Grønland

Kitty Ultrasound by Dyrenes Venner
Photo from Dyrenes Venner i Grønland

   
As you can tell by Ulla's reaction, she was indeed pregnant... with four to five kittens!

My guess is her shock is because her boyfriend told her that he had been fixed. All men are liars!

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018, Internets 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 85

Posted on Saturday, November 17th, 2018

Dave!I've been steeped in cat drama again this week. Jake and Jenny are still pissed off that the clocks had to change when Daylight Saving Time ended.

But instead of sitting in front of the television hating on me, they are climbing up the cat tree to hate on me from above...

Jake and Jenny Don't Want to Wait for Dinner

Jake and Jenny Don't Want to Wait for Dinner

In other news, I finally decided to put one of my security cameras in the guest room (temporarily) so I could find out how Jake is getting up on top of the hutches...

I thought he found a way to grab onto something and pull himself up. It never occurred to me that he could jump this high!

The camera has also allowed me to see what else my cats are up to in there.

Now that the weather is cooler and it's colder in the house, Jenny has taken to sleeping in the little kitty bed I put in the guest room. It was a great plan, until... Jake decided that he wanted to sleep there. He'll watch her go in and get comfortable, then go in and squish her until she leaves...

Jake Steals a Bed

Though sometimes he is more careful about climbing in with her, and they end up squished together...

Jake and Jenny in a Bed

No idea how they are comfortable in there like that.

After seeing what was happening, I added a second bed...

Jake and Jenny in a Bed

Though sometimes they still end up in the same one...

Jake and Jenny in a Bed

Jenny had a bad dream a couple days ago. It's the first time this has happened in several months (unlike when she was a kitten and had frequent nightmares). She's been a bit clingy after, which is usually just fine. Except when I am trying to do something and she gets in the way...

Jake Steals a Bed

When the box she was in fell off the couch, Jenny retreated to the cat tree where she could keep a wary eye on it...

Jake and Jenny Don't Want to Wait for Dinner

And now... time to clean the litter boxes. Yay.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Fly Away Felines

Posted on Monday, November 19th, 2018

Dave!When I first got Jake and Jenny I was unable to travel because I couldn't afford to pay a service to watch my mom. When I absolutely had to travel, I would bite the bullet and hire somebody. My cats would be terrified of them, but Jake and Jenny would sneak down to the feeders after the caregiver had filled them and walked away.

Once my mom had been moved to a facility, I wouldn't think anything about travel. I had cameras everywhere to look in on the cats. I have a kick-ass home security system to keep them safe. The automatic feeders and Litter-Robot would take care their needs. And they have each other to keep themselves company. If I was gone for more than two days, I'd hire a petsitter to visit every-other-day to make sure everything was tended to. Easy.

When I went to Antarctica and had no internet to check in on the kittehs, I was a little worried about leaving them... but not overly so. Why would I be? They're fine on their own.

But then Jake had his urinary blockage which, if left unattended, would have killed him in days. And now I am absolutely terrified to leave for more than two nights. Jake has been doing better and better over the last couple weeks, so my worries about leaving him have been lessening, but I still can't shake the idea that he's going to have another problem while I'm away.

And then there was tonight.

Several weeks ago, Jake ate two or three small shreds of cheese that fell on the floor when I was grating. A couple minutes later, he puked and puked and puked. Tonight while waiting for dinner, I had myself a snack of some cubed Velveeta. When I was done, there was no cheese left on the plate. So I didn't think anything of it when Jake jumped on the couch and started licking the plate. Sure enough... minutes later he started heaving. No puke, because there was no cheese for him to eat, but the smudges of residue were enough to trigger his stomach. So apparently any amount of dairy protein is enough to make the little guy sick. Which is strange. Because before his procedure to unblock his urinary tract, he would occasionally eat ACTUAL pieces of cheese off my plate with absolutely no problem. No idea what that's about, but I now know to keep anything dairy... no matter how small... away from him.

Hopefully no other allergies pop up.

Especially when I'm away.

I'll be sure to turn off Carl the Robovac just in case.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018, Travel 2018Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Cat Thanksgiving

Posted on Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

Dave!For the first Thanksgiving in my entire life, I have nowhere I have to be. No heading to grandma's house for a family dinner. Grandma is gone. No driving over the mountains to buy a turkey plate for my mom at Denny's. Mom is gone. And while I'm grateful that I have places I could be, I think not being anywhere is what's best for me right now.

Last night I took a handful of sleeping pills so I wouldn't have to think about Thanksgiving. My cats decided to have a party.

  • Jake tried to get into the new auto-feeder and knocked it away from the bowls... so food was EVERYWHERE this morning.**
  • Jenny stepped on the "All Lights On" button on the home remote which lit up the entire ground floor at 2:30am.
  • Jake brought all his toys upstairs.
  • Jenny chased Jake on top of the writing desk and knocked over my Tiffany vase* (which wasn't broken).

So I woke up and got to clean up cat food, turn off lights, pick up toys, and gather toys for my Thanksgiving. Perfect!

Then I got to answer emails while being visited by my cats...

Jake Thanksgiving

Jenny Thanksgiving

Cat Thanksgiving

It was a great way to start my day.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!


*Back when Northwest Airlines was being merged with Delta, they sent out really nice Tiffany vases to their top-tier flyers as a "welcome gift" to Delta's SkyMiles frequent flyer program. Every once in a while I see them pop up on eBay (or other auction sites) for ridiculously low prices (usually around $40-$50).

**Guess I'm coming up with a way of securing the feeder so it can't move. Oh what fun...

Cat Feeder and Jake

Cat Feeder and Jake

Cat Feeder and Jake

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Three’s Company

Posted on Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

Dave!How could I ever be lonely?
I'm never left alone for very long in this house.

Jenny Stalking Me

Tags:
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Caturday 87

Posted on Saturday, December 1st, 2018

Dave!After Jake got back from his procedure to get his urinary tract unblocked, he was peeing a dozen times a day. You could tell he was frustrated and upset about his many, many trips to the litter box, but the medications we tried didn't do much to help. Rather than put him through even more torture of shoving medicine down his throat, I decided to be patient.

Two months after I first took him to the vet... and he's finally back to peeing normally. For the past week the Litter-Robots have been reporting 7-8 cycles per day. When dividing that between two cats, it's 3-4 times a day per cat, which is right where it had been before all this drama started.

To say I'm relieved is an understatement because I'm leaving for a short trip tomorrow. Yes, I've got a cat-sitter checking in and, yes, I've got a security system to keep them safe and cameras to look in on them... but it's not the same.

A part of my cat separation anxiety comes from feeding them. My original auto-feeder, the Feed-and-Go, was bricked and became non-functional when the monsters who made it shut down without warning anybody. Despite how it all ended, I liked the Feed-and-Go because it allowed me to remotely feed my cats if I noticed that Jake ate all of Jenny's food before she got to it or something. I've been looking into other internet-enabled feeders, but haven't found one I like. I bought a timed feeder ages ago as a backup, and decided to try that. I was going to order a second one, but apparently there's no way to sync their clocks which means you end up with one activating before the other. The solution was to buy a "splitter" that will feed two cats from the same feeder...

Cat Feeder Splitter Design

Problem is that the bowls are too close together, and sometimes Jake can block Jenny from getting to her meal. Also, the drop to the bowls is so high that food was bouncing out of the bowls and onto the floors. My solution for that was to build little chutes to transfer the food farther away...

Modified Cat Feeder Splitter

Modified Cat Feeder Splitter

All it took was cutting the drip well from a couple black plastic paint roller trays I found at Home Depot and taping them to the splitter. Not only does it allow the bowls to be farther apart, the change of angle slows the food pour so it ends up in the bowls instead of bouncing out onto the floor.

In other cat news, I noticed that Jenny has a floopy whisker that curls up. I think it might be due to her digging her face into the edge of the warming pad and laying there for hours. And she sleeping in the same position every day...

Jenny Sleeping

I've tried curling it back down, but it doesn't stay. She doesn't seem bothered about it so I guess it'll be that way until it falls out.

Jake, on the other hand, flops around every-which-way when sleeping, so he's floopy-whisker-free...

Jake Floppy

And so... guess I'd better be packing my suitcase.

Tags: ,
Categories: Cats 2018Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 490

Posted on Sunday, December 2nd, 2018

Dave!December is here and you shopping days are numbered. But don't despair... because the greatest gift of all is here! Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Cap! I didn't think it was possible for me to want to see Captain Marvel more than I already did... but then this poster was released...

XXX

UPDATE: And then the second trailer was released...

And holy crap am I dying to see it now!

   
• SO CUTE! And now I want kittens! Again!

But... Jake and Jenny are plenty of cats in my house, so I'll just have to keep watching YouTube videos like this.

   
• A Catch! Speaking of cats and YouTube... my current obsession is watching cats catching fish videos...


Amazing. I don't know why I always thought that fish were an unnatural food for cats. Something that we humans got them addicted to. Maybe because most cats don't like water? But now that I've seen it? Makes perfect sense.

   
• Becoming! I purchased the audiobook of former First Lady Michelle Obama's Becoming because I wanted the experience of having her read it to me. I'm half-way through and it does not disappoint...

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Of course Obama-haters were going to crap all over her no matter what she wrote... and people hoping for dirt will be better-served elsewhere... but I enjoyed going behind the scenes of her life from her own perspective. Mrs. Obama's ability to advocate for hope is inspiring, and I found her words was a welcome distraction.

   
• IN THE NEWS! "REPUBLICAN SENATORS WHO TRIED TO KILL YEMEN WAR RESOLUTION WERE PAID BY SAUDI LOBBYISTS" — We truly do have the best government money can buy. This is fucking disgraceful. For the life of me, I don't understand why Americans aren't rioting in the streets over this bullshit.

   
• A Man Called Ove! I've seen this remarkable Swedish film four times now. I think I love it more with each viewing...

I honestly don't know how to feel about Tom Hanks doing an American remake. Usually Americanizing a foreign film doesn't bode well, but... Tom Hanks. I want so badly for it to be good. If, for no other reason, that Americans who don't like watching films with subtitles will get to see this terrific story.

   
And that's the end of that. Fun times await me, as I'm flying out tonight.

   

Homeward Tuesday Bound

Posted on Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

Dave!Originally I was to fly home on Thursday. This "buffer time" was in case weather caused me to arrive late or there was a problem at work that delayed my leaving by a day or two. Well, there were indeed problems at work (we started four hours late) but, fifteen hours later, I was free.

Exhausted to the point of feeling like my brain had melted. But free.

So instead of waiting until Thursday night to fly home, I rebooked my return trip for tonight. I lost my premium seat, but I'll take getting home two days early in a coach seat any day.

After two days without sleep, I managed to sneak in a four-hour nap at my hotel before they kicked me out. Then there was a 45-minute drive down to Portland for dessert for lunch...

Apple Crisp

Followed by shopping for new Dr. Pussum's Organic Maine Catnip toys that my cats go crazy for...

Cat Toys

And, no, I decided against buying a President Trump toy. If Jake and Jenny want to play with something like that, they can dig in the litter box.

The remaining 100 miles to Boston Logan International Airport blew by in two hours and... viola... here I am flying home... TWO DAYS EARLY! Can you believe my luck?

Sure I'll get home after midnight and still have to go to work in the morning, but still... home.

   

Happy Third Birthday Jake and Jenny!

Posted on Thursday, December 6th, 2018

Dave!It's Jake and Jenny's birthday today! And, miracle of miracles, I'm actually here for once. Last year I was in Antarctica. The year before that I was flying to Maine. Today I was supposed to be in Maine, but got to fly home early.

Since Jake and Jenny were feral rescues, I'm not quite sure how the Human Society came up with their birth date. Maybe the person who found them saw when they were born? I dunno. But December 6th is what's on their adoption papers, so that's what it's been.

It doesn't seem like it's been three years.

But since 3 cat years is about 30 in human years, maybe it seems longer to them? Next year they'll be 35 human years old. At this rate they'll be older than me in 2023!

Jenny spent her birthday terrorizing her brother.

Jake spent his birthday chasing after his sister for terrorizing him.

Typical Jenny. She sneaks up behind Jake and waits...

Jenny Terrorizes Jake

Then when she's sure he hasn't heard her, she pounces...

Jenny Terrorizes Jake

At which point Jake jumps four feet in the air...

Jenny Terrorizes Jake

And a chase ensues.

You can watch the video below. It's pretty spectacular...

I don't know why Jenny feels the need to act this way toward her brother. Maybe it's because he's always invading her sleeping space? I dunno. Sometimes she seems happy to have the company...

Jake and Jenny Sharing Sleepytime

And so... happy birthday, cats!

Adopting you both is still one of the best decisions I've ever made!

Tags: ,