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Caturday 135

Posted on November 16th, 2019

Dave!This morning I was awakened at 4am because somebody was walking through my back yard and I got a security alert on my phone. Just some guy walking by for some reason. Did't look in my windows or anything, so I have no idea... maybe drunk and lost? So I worked for a couple hours, then decided to take a nap. THEN I was awakened by a “person in my house” alert. Which ended up being Jenny sticking her ass in one of the security cameras and just sitting there. =sigh= My houseguests arrive later today, at which time I can turn off my interior cameras and will hopefully be able to sleep in for once tomorrow. That will be nice. Assuming people aren’t walking through my yard again.

Jenny sitting in front of the secutiry camera, blocking the view entirely.

Jenny sitting in front of the secutiry camera looking adorable.
Does this wide angle lens make my butt look big?

As I mentioned a couple Caturdays ago, the stupid clock-changes are a disaster for my cats. They don't understand it. The don't want it. And they most definitely aren't happy about it. I always try to minimize the impact by easing them into it by "falling back" in 15 minute increments, but all it seems to do is draw out their frustration.

Part of the problem is the automated feeder I have. Not only is it a pain to program, but it loses time constantly. So not only am I having to make adjustments for the time change, I'm also having to keep on top of it being the wrong time. All that does is draw out my frustration. I have seriously toyed with the idea of just keeping them on Daylight Saving Time all year long (much like what Washington State wants to do). This would involve my having to get up at 6am instead of 7am each morning for four months so I can feed them the spoonful of wet food they get with their dry food. Something I would gladly do... but it becomes a problem when I have guests over.

The solution seems to be getting a web-enabled feeder. That way I could make tiny 5-minute adjustments from the comfort of my couch and make sure that the clocks on the feeders are keeping proper time without me having to do a thing. I'm a bit shy about doing this, however, given the horrendous experience I had when I previously bought web-enabled feeders (the company shut down the server so the feeders were bricked and I was out $400). Nevertheless... this being the easiest solution, I've been putting aside $20 a month until I could afford one that can be split two ways... or get two feeders that can synchronize their clocks. Alas, at $400 for the two that I want, my $20 a month wasn't going to go very far.

But then...

...I was looking up the cost to get new filters for the cat fountain and saw that there was a new PETKIT SMARTFEED MINI Smart Feeder for $99 on sale for $89 each! The reviews were good, so I decided to take my savings and buy a pair of them...

The PetKit Mini, which is a slender white cylibder with a feeding tray at the bottom and a dispenser spout above the tray.

They are absolutely perfect (once getting the WiFi set up which, thanks to their app, appears harder than it actually is). There is one problem, however... I don't like the fact that my cats are eating out of plastic (this can cause feline acne and other problems), so I thought I'd see if I can construct a holder for my metal dishes when I have a chance. Looks like it'll be fairly straightforward. Though the plastic tray that comes with is really clever because it has magnets to hold it into place... so maybe I can come up with a liner of some kind.

So now I have feeders which can be easily reprogrammed from an app on my phone, making adjusting to time changes far, far more easier than what I used to have to go through. Jake and Jenny were scared of them at first... there's a hissing noise when the seal opens... but now they come running when they hear it activating, just like their old feeder...

Jake and Jenny running to the PetKit feeders at my feeding station.

Now all I have to do is cross my fingers that PETKIT doesn't go out of business and close down their servers any time soon.

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Caturday 134

Posted on November 9th, 2019

Dave!I try to make my trips as short as possible so that Jake and Jenny aren't left alone for extended periods of time. Thanks to the automation tech I bought for feeding and litter box cleaning, they actually could be left alone longer, but I get the feeling they would rather me be here.

This feeling comes from the toy gauntlet that they build for me whenever I get back from being away...

A bunch of toys strewn through the entrance to my bedroom.

Jake still does most of the work... hauling Moose the Mule all the way upstairs... after trotting him on the dining room table. Which is great, because I was dying to disinfect it, and this is just the excuse I need...

Two images... the first with security camera footage of Jake walking on the dining room table with a big toy mule in his mouth... then climbing up stairs.

After breakfast Jake decided to hang out in bed while I watched emails...

Jake snuggled up next to me on my bed... I have my arm around him and am giving him chin scratches.

But it was Jenny who wouldn't leave my side. She missed out on two days of scratches, and she was determined to make up for lost time. Unlike Jake who just kind of sits there and is happy to get scratched wherever you want to scratch him, she moves around so you scratch her exactly where she wants to be scratched...

Jenny flopped on her back and getting tummy scratches while looking adorable.

Jenny staring at me while getting tummy rubs.

Jenny looking at me while getting butt scratches while sunlight streaks across her.

Jenny flopped on her back and rolling around on the bed.

Jenny reaching towards me while I rub her belly.

My poor cats are so deprived.

Happy Caturday!

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Caturday 133

Posted on November 2nd, 2019

Dave!I have made no secret of my apoplectic rage over the fact that we still mess with the clocks twice a year. It is a stupid, stupid, STUPID and outdated practice that only serves to screw up our lives. Washington State is working to get rid of the barbaric practice. Our House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to go on permanent Daylight Saving Time. And now, once our Senate gets off their asses, I'm guessing they will approve it as well... BECAUSE NOBODY F#@&ING WANTS IT! Oregon and California are in accordance and will switch if we switch. Even British Columbia has stated that they would be interested in coordinating with us so the entire West Coast is on the same time because THEY DON'T F#@&ING WANT IT EITHER!

And because state's rights are a joke, passing the House and Senate doesn't men it's a done deal. Because then, once it passes there, we have to get PERMISSION from Congress to actually do it. Which, given the fact that Congress doesn't do jack shit unless it benefits their lazy, corrupt asses, means it could be years before anything happens.

Adding to my loathing of switching clocks? The way it affects my cats.

Their behavior changes when their schdule is altered. Even when I try my best to get them gradually adjusted to it by shifting the clock in only 15 minutes increments, they just aren't having it.

Jake is affected the worst when you delay his feeding. For the past week he's been asserting his dominance towards Jenny and, just like last year, it will likely last another week or so. He'll just randomly decide to climb on top and bite her neck...

Jake on top of Jenny biting the fur on her neck.

Oddly enough, Jenny doesn't seem to mind. She'll just keep looking around like "whatever" about it. Until she does mind, then she'll start hissing at him and smacking him until he gets off of her...

Jake on top of a hissing Jenny biting the fur on her neck.

When this happened last year, I'd go up and pull Jake off of her. That was a mistake. Eventually I realized this made it traumatic for both of them, and it was better to just let Jenny take care of it, which she can do just fine...

Jake on top of Jenny on top of the cat tree biting the fur on her neck.

Jake on top of Jenny and she's hissing now.

Jake on top of Jenny as she twists around and starts to escape.

They still get along fine... but during the switch from Daylight Saving Time, we get an occasional show of dominance.

Fortunately it's quail season, which can take their minds off of the clocks changing and put it where it belongs... stalking birds from the catio...

Jake and Jenny looking out the door flap to the catio.

A big fat quail outside the catio.

Jenny stalking a quail out in the catio.

Jake has joined Jenny out in the catio to stalk the quail.

Jake and Jenny out in the catio looking very serious about stalking the quail.

And now I have to get back to work. And hope that Jake can remain calm while I'm gone.

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Ghosts of Halloween Past

Posted on October 31st, 2019

Dave!Boo?

I headed home from work in daylight hours so I could put out Dead Jake and Dead Jenny, convert my HUE lighting to spooky purple and green, dump my candies in a bowl, then leafblower all the leafs in the front of my home so they won't blow in my house every time I open the door...

Skeleton Cats with Jake and Jenny signs around their necks.

A wreath on my door filled with fake apples, real pinecones, and other Fall-apropriate stuff... with a pirate skeleton in the middle.

An eerie purple glow from my porch light illuminates the front of my home.

Rather than running to the front door and back to my living room all night long, I just stay in the kitchen and deep-clean everything while trick-or-treaters are coming. Which is a far, far better way of spending my evening than two years ago when I was doing a clean-out for my colonoscopy on Halloween. What a massive mistake THAT was. Trying to spend the entire night on a toilet while running to the door to pass out candy? Total nightmare.

And speaking of nightmares, Halloween is truly the scariest night of the year... for my poor cats. I have tried everything to get them used to people, but they just aren't having it. So having dozens of people ringing the doorbell and screaming "TRICK-OR-TREAT!" all night long is not their idea of a good time. Usually I feed them at 5:00 so they can hide before trick-or-treaters arrive, but this year kids were showing up before 5:00. Well, whatever. Maybe they are afraid of the dark or afraid of other kids and this is how they have to enjoy Halloween. But it sure would have been nice to be able to make a sandwich for dinner before people start arriving expecting a candy hand-out.

Alas, Trick-or-Treating is not the same as it was when I was young. Back then hundreds of kids would canvas the entire city and make a massive candy haul. And now? I get around 50 kids maximum. I guess it's too big an effort for too little reward? Maybe it's time better spent playing video games. And kids today have it easy thanks to global warming. Back in my day it snowed for a couple of my Halloweens!

I shouldn't complain though. More candy for me!

Plus... I've got a really clean kitchen now.

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Bug Time Entertainment

Posted on October 29th, 2019

Dave!Happy National Cat Day!

As it gets colder, bugs are looking for a warm place to hide. This has created a flurry of activity out in the catio as creepy crawlies pass through. This has, in turn, created a flurry of activity in my cats. They just love to chase bugs... eat bugs... and, much to my horror, occasionally bring bugs inside to play with.

Unless it's too cold out. Then my cats just watch the bugs through the window...

Jake and Jenny looking out the window straight ahead.

Jake and Jenny looking out the window down on the ground.

Jenny looking out the window while Jake is looking opposite back into the house.

Once the bugs have gone, it'll be time to haul out the bird feeders. Bird Time Entertainment to follow.

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Bullet Sunday 635

Posted on October 27th, 2019

Dave!A busy, busy week for me has ended but I'm just getting started, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Monster. I have been toning down the politics on Blogography because it's just so pointless. Unless you are living under a rock, you already know the horrific shit our president is doing, so there's really no need to repeat it here. But lately it's gotten so bad that my disbelief has escalated to a level I didn't even know I had in me. Fortunately John Oliver was back tonight to put one of the most tragically awful events into perspective...

Holy shit.

There really is no bottom. President Trump lives in a fantasy world where everything he does is perfect and everybody loves him for it. Somebody this detached from reality has no business running the country, and I hope that people are really, really scared about what damage could come next.

   
• Idiocity. And speaking of damage, I saw this headline on The Verge yesterday: Donald Trump wants the iPhone home button back. OH FUCK NO! With all due respect Mr. President, go back to using a flip-phone and leave technology advancements to those of us who know how to form complete sentences which people can actually make sense of.

   
• Good. When I was at Uluru (which the colonizers dubbed "Ayer's Rock") in Australia, there was a sign saying that it was a sacred place to the people who own it and they ask you not to climb it... despite there being a chain path to climb it. So I didn't climb it. There were also signs posted at a few points around Uluru asking you not to photograph it at that point because something sacred to people happened there. So I didn't photograph it there. I don't understand why it's so difficult to follow the wishes of the people whose land you are visiting. You're their guests, and should be grateful that they allow you to visit their home at all. I know I sure was...

Uluru at Sunset in Australia.

By banning people from climbing on it after the month is over, Australia is righting a great wrong. I hope people respect the new ban on climbing Uluru and adhere to the Anangu People's request. It literally is the least people can do.

   
• Kangaroo Cats. I ran across an interesting Facebook post this week which was talking about the "primordial pouch" which appears on some cats. I think it’s genetic. Jake and Jenny both have big pouches. When they run, the skin flops back and forth... it’s kinda hilarious, but doesn't seem to bother them at all. For the longest time I just assumed they were mutants. But apparently that's not the case...

Interesting stuff, that evolution!

   
• Rhinos! Will of Burrard-Lucas Photography is the reason I selected the Antarctica tour that I did. His wildlife photography is the most inspiring and beautiful I've ever seen, and getting a behind the scenes look at how he does what he does is about the coolest thing you'll see on YouTube this week...

Thanks to his BeetleCam invention, nobody does wildlife photos like Will Burrard-Lucas. He amazes me with each new book he publishes.

   
• Pepper. You really do learn something new all the time. My homemade pizza sauce recipe calls for green peppers. I don't normally eat them because I prefer the sweeter red peppers, but the recipe tastes so good that I do what is called for. On Tuesday I came home from work and was already too tired to cook... but then realized that I actually needed to clean my kitchen before I could cook. Double the horror. It's while cleaning that I notice something strange... WHAT HAPPENED TO MY GREEN PEPPER?!?

My green pepper in my hand... TURNING ORANGE?!?!

It's then that my Facebook friends had to inform me that green peppers aren't ripe and, like tomatoes, they will turn from green to orange to red as they ripen. I honestly had no idea. Until Tuesday, I truly thought that they were all different species of peppers.

   
• Hallmark Moment. As you can imagine, I am in full-on Hallmark Movie Mode now that their 10th Annual Countdown to Christmas is in effect. I almost never watch live, choosing instead to DVR the movies so I can jet past commercials. But the new movies for 2019 I have been watching live, and this commercial came up...

Well done. Somebody at World Market really knows their Hallmark audience. I don't understand why any company spending the huge amount of money required for a national ad doesn't put this kind of care into creating them. Most ads are just terrible and something you want to skip. Why would you waste money like that?

   
And now... time to wash underwear so I have something clean to wear to work tomorrow. You're welcome, my co-workers.

   

Caturday 132

Posted on October 26th, 2019

Dave!Both my cats are pretty smart, but Jenny seems to be getting smarter than smart. She learns things.

At 7am the alarm rings on Alexa for me to feed my cats. Both cats are well aware of this and are conditioned to wait for it to sound. This is handy because they don't bother me for breakfast in the morning. The alarm sounds, we go downstairs, they get fed. I also have them trained to expect a treat before I leave each day. I did this so I can leave the house knowing they're both okay and I don't worry (as much) over being gone.

Used to be that any time I went back downstairs after feeding they would both run to me expecting a treat. Jake still does. But this past week Jenny stopped doing that. She knows that I don't really leave the house until I've taken a shower. So now she doesn't get excited about a treat until after she heard the shower running. I know this because I tested it, of course. I can go up and down the stairs a half-dozen times and she won't move unless she's heard the shower run first.

She's just that smart...

Jake, bless his heart, will come running all six times.

Speaking of Jake... have I mentioned that he likes living on the edge?

When he hopped in the cat bed, it slid. So he made the best of the situation. I got nervous about him falling, so I couldn't take looking at this and had to give him a ride back to safety...

Now that the weather is getting colder, the cats have been taking turns sleeping next to me in bed so they can take advantage of the heated blanket. This is mostly Jake while I'm sleeping and Jenny if I'm awake and watching TV or working in bed...

Whenever they are not on the electric blanket, they're in a kitty bed or sleeping on one of the self-heating pads. Though their method of sleeping varies a bit between them. Jenny must be situated in the absolute center...

Jake is all over the place. Sometimes he's half-in, half-out. Or with his head or arm sticking out...

Such is life when you're a bit "fluffier" than the rest.

Jenny has long been a bit particular about appearances, even when sleeping. Or just lounging around looking sexy...

In preparation for Daylight Saving Time (which I HATE HATE HATE!), I've been moving the Alexa alarm for feeding back 15 minutes every few days leading up to it so that there's not a shock when the time change happens. After the first couple days, Jenny expected that I could be convinced to move the alarm back again, so she sat staring at me for a half-hour...

This is something they did all the time before I got them trained on the Alexa alarms for feeding. Now most times they ignore me. Until now. Apparently Jenny seems to know that something's up.

Told you she was smart.

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Homestead Slipper Feet

Posted on October 24th, 2019

Dave!Last year I slowly came to realize that during colder months my feet were always cold when I'm at home. Even with a pair of socks on, they feel freezing. At first I chalked it up to getting older... maybe my circulation isn't what it once was... but eventually came to the conclusion that it was my floors. When I'm upstairs, my feet aren't cold. When I'm downstairs, my feet get cold fairly quickly.

My guess is that it's because my home is built on a concrete slab. To my knowledge, that's never happened to me before...

  • I remember a small home we rented in The Big City and am almost positive it had a crawlspace underneath. I remember being afraid of it because there were spiders under there.
  • My family lived in a small attic apartment here in town for a while (assumably while our home was being built).
  • My childhood home had a crawlspace underneath.
  • From there I moved to an upstairs apartment in The Big City.
  • From there I moved to an upstairs apartment back here in town.
  • From there I moved to my current home, which is built on a slab.

So upstairs apartments and homes with crawlspaces apparently have warmer floors than homes built on concrete slabs. Which kinda makes sense. The concrete absorbs the cold from the earth and, since heat rises, they are cold to the touch when you walk on them. YEAH SCIENCE, BITCH!

So last year I ordered a pair of slippers for 50% off from a post-winter sale, then tucked them away for when cold days came again. After a week of suffering with cold feet, I remembered that I had them... pulled them out of storage... then put them on my feet only to find that they are too big. Like... a whole inch too big. Unfortunately, it's way too late to return them for a different size.

And so I've been wearing three pairs of socks so the slippers aren't falling off my feet... which, as it turns out, makes my feet too hot. But wearing three pairs of socks without the slippers makes it difficult to navigate stairs since I'm sliding all over the place, and so I guess I fail at life or something.

Making a note to add slippers to my Black Friday shopping list.

Cold floors don't seem to bother my cats at all. Though Jenny is sleeping exclusively in the "self-warming beds" I bought them, and Jake is snuggled up against me on the electric blanket all night now...

Me in bed with Jake, who is staring at the camera with his tail in my face under my nose like a giant mustache.

I move a lot when I sleep, but he doesn't seem bothered. At some point I'd like to put a camera on us all night so I can see exactly how mad he gets when he has to wake up and move because I've moved. Apparently it's not irritating enough for him to give up the electric blanket, because he's still there when I wake up in the morning.

The things we do for a warm place to sleep and a snuggle buddy.

   

Caturday 131

Posted on October 19th, 2019

Dave!Somehow... sometime... in the middle of the night I scratched my eye. This happens two or three times a year and I have no idea how I manage it. Do I scratch it with a fingernail? Does a blanket slide across it? Do I get it stuck open when I'm laying on a pillow? Dunno. All I do know is that I wake up in sheer agony, and wishing that I had those OcuCaine drops that the eye doctor uses to numb your eyeball.

In absence of OcuCaine, all I could do is stumble downstairs for some Advil... and nearly die.

When the cats run up stairs, they take a high-speed turn at the top by digging their claws into the stair tread carpet and changing direction. Lately the edge of the carpet has come up, so I have to remember to step around it. Which is something I do by habit.

Alas when I stepped around the carpet, I nearly killed myself falling down the stairs avoiding Blue Mouse... and stepping on Fuzzy Ball Two, which Jake or Jenny apparently ripped off the cat tree last night. My vision was all messed up because of the tears my eyes were making...

Blue Mouse and a Fuzzy Ball from the cat tree tower on my stairs.

After loading up on Advil... and Tootsie Rolls... I went back upstairs to sleep for another 90 minutes before the breakfast alarms rings to feed the cats. But when I got to my bed, it was already occupied...

Any normal person would have moved a cat or two in order to get their bed back. But not me. I slowly and carefully slid in-between them diagonally so they could stay where they were resting. Five minutes later they heard a noise or something and ran off. Which meant my efforts were all for naught. But no worries, Jenny was back soon after...

Jenny laying on my bed with her paws stretched out towards the camera as I scratch her belly.

Jake waited until I got downstairs...

The weather here is that dreary, awful, wet, and grey kind of weather you get before the brisk Fall days with dry blue skies take over. Fake Jake is not a fan at all, and is usually waiting out the rain in one of his shelters...

Fake Jake laying inside his winter shelter looking outside and waiting for the rain to stop.

Or sleeping through it...

Fake Jake laying inside his winter shelter sleeping.

Can't say that I blame him. I'd sleep through these days if I could.

But, alas, it's off to work I go...

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Caturday 130

Posted on October 12th, 2019

Dave!Today after work I was hungry so I ran to the local drive-thru to get some fries to hold me over until dinner. Then I drove home and ate them in my car in my driveway because I didn't want to eat in front of my cats. I would have pulled into the garage and ate them there, but my cats run to the door and wait for me when they hear the garage door opening. The last thing I want to do is get them excited and have them sit there waiting for 15 minutes while I scarf fries.

I mean, come on, this was Jenny staring at me this morning until the breakfast alarm sounded, how can I eat in front of that?

Jenny staring at me from the cat tree in my bedroom.

Though perhaps I am being too kind. According to science, Cats Know Their Own Names, Even if They Pretend Not To. I'm telling you right now... Jenny DEFINITELY knows her name. Jake seems to sometimes, but I'm not 100% sure. In any case, yes, they pretend not to... unless it suits them. The little scoundrels.

Speaking of scoundrels, this is me when I hear a skirmish: "HEY! WHO INSTIGATED THIS?!??? Let's go to the tape!" — =watches camera feed=JENNY! YOU INSTIGATED NOT ONCE... BUT TWICE!!! =sob= I'm so proud of you, my tough little lady!

Little poo-heads!

Though they can also be the most adorable things on earth too. My cats are rarely on my bed at the same time. They take turns... and if one sees the other on the bed, they will leave and come back later. But the electric blanket seems to be a big enough draw that they will make exceptions now...

Jake and Jenny laying next to each other on my electric blanket.

If you remember from previous years, Jenny's favorite thing in cold weather is the electric blanket, which means she will be there a lot.

Jenny walking up to me on the electric blanket looking for the perfect place to lie down.

Though this time of year both of them spend plenty of time using my body heat as a source of heat too...

Jake laying on top of me for heat.

Jenny sitting next to me for heat.

Though, these are cats we're talking about, so everything is not all perfect. Lately Jake has been copping me some serious attitude. Here he is when he couldn’t get a pretzel out of the box and I wouldn’t help, so he turned his back on me. This is despite my calling his name. AND WE KNOW THAT SCIENCE SAYS HE CAN TOTALLY UNDERSTAND MY CALLING HIS NAME...

Jake sitting on the couch with his back to me while a box of pretzels sits next to me.

Jenny's not innocent in all this. Earlier this week she came into my bedroom meowing for treats. I told her no, that she just had breakfast. She threw herself down on the bed and just stared at me with a look of 100% derision...

Jenny looking at me with an air of complete derision.

JUST LOOK AT THAT SMIRK! SCOUNDRELS, I SAY!

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