Posted on January 11th, 2020
I will never understand my cats.
After I returned from my travels a week ago, my cats were all over me. They wouldn't leave my side any time I was home. Jake and Jenny could not get enough of me and I was adored.
But before I get to that, let's take a look at eight photos of them not being able to get enough of me...
Tonight I was at the office working. I lost all track of time, so I didn't get home before Jake and Jenny's dinner alarm sounded. When I walked in the door seven minutes late, they were both sitting there waiting for me.
They were livid.
They ate their dinner and then, instead of coming into the living room to hang with me, they ran upstairs!
A couple hours later Jake finally came downstairs. After a while he hopped up on the couch next to me. Mostly so he could show me his ass...
After making sure his butthole had been clearly presented, he lay down at my feet and threw his head down on my leg so he could look as forlorned as possible... his dinner was seven minutes late, and he was still devastated by the memory of it all. Devastated.
He went to sleep soon after.
I started talking to him so he would come lay on my lap and keep me company while I watched TV. He looked up at me... grunted... THEN TURNED AROUND AND WENT BACK TO SLEEP...
Jenny is still upstairs not speaking to me.
So... gone for seven DAYS, cats can't get enough of me.
Seven MINUTES late for dinner and they are so mad they want nothing to do with me.
I will never understand my cats.
Posted on January 11th, 2020
Earlier this week before going to work I was in the kitchen packing a lunch when I saw the lights in the dining room turn on. This was strange because that set of lights isn't programmed to turn on until 30 minutes before sunset. I was about to tell Alexa to turn them back off when they went off on their own.
What is going on here?
I head into the dining room and... there it is... Jenny is turning the lights on and off.
This was not an accident. She's done it twice since then. I don't know if it's fun for her... or she likes the beep that the smart switch makes... or it's her way of getting attention... or what. At first I was just going to de-program the switch. But then I though "why?" Let her have her fun. If it becomes a problem, I'll just deal with it then.
Also this week I set up a security camera in my bedroom to see if Jake is actually sleeping at my feet all night long. It just seemed impossible given all my tossing and turning. But, yep, he sure does. Not only that, but I am not tossing and turning nearly as much as I usually do. I wonder if my cat buddy is responsible? Seems likely. Previous times I've recorded myself to see how I'm sleeping I'm like a maniac.
Speaking of sleeping with cats...
Jenny will fall asleep next to me... so long as I am petting her the entire time. The minute I stop one of two things will happen: 1) Cry until I start petting her again if she hasn't had enough, or 2) Leave if she has. What's weird is that if I am asleep, she will leave. Neither of my cats will wake me up. Last night I was so sick that I couldn't sleep. I went to bed at 10:00pm and watched television and pet Jenny until 2:00am at which time I couldn't take it any more and went downstairs for sleeping pills. Jenny was gone when I got back.
I took a photo of her every 20 minutes. She doesn't move a lot...
I'm willing to bet that had I kept petting her, she would have slept there until the breakfast alarm rang!
Before I sign off this fine Caturday, I ran across this photo last night and it absolutely slayed me. It's adorable times a hundred...
It's also genius. I'd credit the guy for his fantastic photo if I knew who he was. Obviously he's quite the cat lover, as his awesome wardrobe attests.
Until next week... same cat-time, same cat-blog.
Posted on January 5th, 2020
We may be on the verge of World War III as a reckless, clueless president is intent on starting a war to distract from his impeachment, but all is not lost because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Oh Deer. So there I was falling asleep last night when the security system alarm goes off on my phone telling me that there was a person on the side of my house and in my back yard. I thought it might be a cat trying to get into the catio again, but Jake and Jenny were in bed with me. Nope... definitely not a cat... it was A FAMILY OF DEER! A couple others came along after this video...
Apparently with the warmer weather they are looking for something to eat, because they spent some time in my shrubs before moving on...
I feel horrible that somebody may harm them as they try to survive by heading into suburbia.
• RIP Syd Mead. It's unbelievable how so much of how we envision the future was defined by one guy... Syd Mead. He has created a tremendous volume of incredible work, and I was saddened to hear of his passing.
2010, him. Aliens, him. Blade Runner, him. Blade Runner 2049, him. Star Trek the Motion Picture, him. Tron, him. You will be missed, sir.
• Poop. I loathe coffee. I have never liked it despite my proximity to Coffee Central (AKA Seattle). On those occasions where it's the only thing to drink, I will try it (again) and want to barf (again) so I've just stopped trying. Finally, finally I've found a video which encapsulates how I feel about the entire situation...
• Persevere. And speaking of cats... for all the challenges you meet in 2020... take courage from this cat who perseveres over whatever life throws at them!
Way to go, buddy!
• Squishy. HOLD UP A MINUTE... how many butternut squashes were y'all going to let me buy, peel, and cube before telling me that they make LUXURY BUTTERNUT SQUASH that comes pre-peeled, pre-cubed, and frozen for my convenience?
Y'all are on my list now. — I think I was dangerously close to breaking down crying in the supermarket when I saw it in the freezer case. This changes so much!
• Fly Someone. And lastly, I missed this adorable Christmas commercial from Heathrow Airport. Well worth your time to watch...
What a nice way to end Bullet Sunday! Have a good one, everybody.
Stay safe and be kind, everybody...
Posted on January 4th, 2020
I've heard a number of scary stories about people who have had to leave their cats only to come back and find their shoes pooped in... their clothes shredded... their furniture chewed up. Basically, the cats get their revenge for being abandoned. For whatever reason, I am blessed with two cats who are not vindictive like this at all. When I come back, they are incredibly happy to see me and then hang around me constantly. Whatever room I'm in, they're in regardless of time of day.
But they will leave me if there's something exciting outside. Like Fake Jake stopping by for a visit...
They will abandon me instantly for that...
And now it's time for the second-most dreaded time of year... making an appointment for Jake and Jenny's annual checkup at the vet. Because the most dreaded day of the year... their annual checkup at the vet in February.
Posted on January 3rd, 2020
Somehow, someway I managed to seriously injure my right shoulder. I think the muscle in it is torn or something. No clue whatsoever how it happened, but it's been a couple months. Probably slept on it wrong, because that's a thing that happens after you turn the-big-five-oh.
Since I am not a pro athlete or even remotely physical in any way, this is not a big deal. It doesn't bother me at all during the day because, let's face it, there's not a lot of shoulder action that comes from typing on a keyboard, clicking on a mouse, or watching television. The only time it bothers me is when I am trying to fall asleep* and I end up laying on it funny. Then... ouchies. But, no big deal, I just load up on some Ibuprofen and take a couple Bendryl, problem solved.
Except when it isn't.
Which was last night.
As I mentioned a couple times now, Jake reeeeeally likes to snuggle with me at night now. Lord knows why with all the tossing and turning I do, but he apparently likes a wild ride while trying to sleep. Or he's just terrified I'm going to leave him for a week like I did over the holidays (=insert sad emoji=). On those nights when he wants to sleep on top of me, it's especially awkward because I'm a side-sleeper. So in order for this to work, I have to grab a pillow or two and build a "shelf" beside me that he can lay on. Because, you know, laying beside me might result in him getting crushed and he won't do it. It looks something like this...
When Jake hopped up last night and waited (im)patiently for me to build his sleeping shelf, I had to reach behind me to grab a pillow. Unfortunately I did that with my bad shoulder and twisted in such a way that I let out a yelp. Jake did not have any sympathy at all. He promptly hopped on top of me and fell asleep.
Then, at 3:00 in the morning, I could not get to sleep and simply couldn't take the agony any more. I gently lowered Jake to the bed (much to his annoyance) then escaped from under the covers so I could go drug up on an Ibuprofen and Benadryl cocktail.
And go to the bathroom... again... something else that happens after you turn the-big-five-oh.
When I got back to my bed, he had decided to lay down RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF IT, which meant I had to kinda work my way around him. Eventually he curled up BETWEEN MY LEGS... SO COMFORTABLE... and I passed out 20 minutes later thanks to over-the-counter drugs I was abusing.
When I woke up to the 7:00am cat feeding alarm blaring, Jake was sniffing my face... probably wondering if I was dead. Because if I wasn't dead, why wasn't I rushing downstairs to feed him his breakfast?!?
And so my day was spent attempting to get caught up on work while in a sleep-deprived stupor... occasionally wincing with pain.
How about you?
Though, if you're under 50 years-old without cats, I probably don't want to know.
*I lie. I found out while traveling last week that it hurts my shoulder a great deal if I offer to get a suitcase full of bowling balls down from the plane's overhead bin for a young woman who is 90-lbs. soaking wet if she's a day** and would probably be crushed in the attempt.
**Or however the fuck that metaphor goes. I am from the Pacific Northwest where we don't do that.
Posted on January 2nd, 2020
I have come to the conclusion that once you pass 50 it takes two days to recover for every day you go without a bare minimum of sleep. I went three days without sleep, so it's going to take six days before I recover. Which, for me, will be sometime Saturday.
It was not always like this. Used to be I would operate on a few hours sleep for weeks and suffer no ill-effects. Sometime in my mid-30's this changed and I needed a couple hours extra sleep to recover from a week of insanity. Then I hit 40 and suddenly I needed a day for every day of missed sleep to recover. That was at least manageable. But two days per day? How do I schedule for something like that? Being able to operate at only half-speed is killing me.
Last night I went to bed much earlier than I usually do (around 11:00pm instead of 1:30am) in an attempt to make up for lost rest. Jake, who usually sleeps with me most nights now, fell asleep in the downstairs guest room so I wouldn't be bothered by him. This left Jenny, whom will hop off the bed and go sleep in the other guest room the minute I fall asleep.
But not last night.
Oh no. I fell asleep while petting her and she was very upset about it.
I woke up to the sound of her walking around my room howling because I dared to fall asleep before she was done with being petted. When she gets upset or wants attention, she will meow from time to time... but this was howling. Keep in mind that this camera is downstairs, so what you're hearing is one floor and three rooms away from the microphone. That's how unbelievably loud she was...
I love how she is so loud that Jake wakes up and is all WTF?!? and goes walking upstairs to see what Jenny is on about.
And so... I pet her for another twenty minutes until she was satisfied, then eventually fell asleep and hour-or-so later. Not quite getting the sleep I was hoping for, but... well... cats... you know.
Speaking of cats...
One of my favorite things on YouTube is Super Easy, Barely An Inconvenience, a series of "pitch meetings" for popular films by Ryan George for Screen Rant. The guy does the same thing every time and yet it is hilarious every time. The most recent pitch meeting is for the Cats movie, and it's one of the best yet...
And so now I'm binge-re-watching all of the episodes of Super Easy, Barely An Inconvenience while I work, which is a fantastic use of my time. Better than most stuff on television if I'm being honest.
And here's hoping that Jenny gets all her required petting in before I fall asleep so I can maybe... possibly... perhaps... kinda get some sleep tonight?
Well, she's a cat, so I'm not holding my breath. But maybe I should hold my breath. Can a cat howling in your bedroom wake you up if you've passed out from holding your breath?
Posted on December 31st, 2019
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.
Last year losing my mom was the worst year of my life. This year couldn't help but be better by comparison. But I lost one of my oldest, dearest friends right off the bat, so now I'm horrified at what 2020 may have in store. I guess I've reached the stage of my life where it's all tragedy and loss from here on out? Lord, I hope not.
• Took a look at Schitt's Creek, one of the best TV shows ever...
Took a look at the Seattle Tunnel... and the horrible design of the new spaces it will allow.
• Built a magnificent photo wall in my stairwell...
• Experienced Poster Raising with the Amish...
• Converted another batch more DVDs and Blu-Rays to digital... and explained how you can do it too.
• Wished Jarrod Saltalamacchia, one of my favorite ball players, a happy retirement...
• Dedicated a post to Mufasa, Jake's toy lion, his favorite thing in the universe...
• Lamented the fact that SeaTac International Airport is still a shitpile of fail, even when they build something new.
• Watched as my home keeps getting invaded by trash pandas.
• Spent my 101st Caturday taking inventory of the cats in my neighborhood...
• Watched the funniest stand-up of the year with Nate Bargatze's The Tennessee Kid (highest possible recommendation if you have Netflix)...
• Took Jake back to the vet after he ended up sick again. Still amazed that the little guy can't meow ever... EXCEPT when he is in distress...
• Found out the reason Jake was sick was because he fell off the stairwell banister. Absolutely heartbreaking (and more than a little scary), but he recovered like a champ...
• Built a bannister ledge tray to keep my cats from falling down the stairwell again...
• Talked about the series of travel books I made for my mom to commemorate each of the trips we took together...
• Shared my thoughts on the fucking disaster that was the Game of Thrones final season...
• Once again shared a video on how tax brackets work because I am sick and tired of people believing the bullshit lies that are being propagated. I honestly don't know if this is the best way, but if we're going to discuss tax brackets let's at least be informed as to what they are. And with that in mind, here we go again...
• Said goodbye to Grant, an internet friend who will be sorely missed.
• A visit to the Chihuly Garden of Glass, a magical place crafted by one of my favorite living artists...
• Spent my lazy summer days floating down a river...
• Finally cut the cord and got rid of the toxic mess that my satellite television had become.
• Ooh... Upgrades (a process that is ongoing, by the way!).
• I have opinions. And they get me in trouble by all sides.
• Back in Vegas for the third? Fourth? time in 2019 and decided to take stock of my one-time Planet Hollywood obsession...
• Got to see Janet, Miss Jackson if you're nasty...
• Discovered the total magic of my favorite new thing... THE IMPOSSIBLE WHOPPER at Burger King...
• Got myself an Apple Card... an interesting beast to be sure.
• My obligatory Apple Card unboxing entry...
• Total outrage that Hallmark can't seem to ever get the details right.
• Jake and Jenny's cat personality analysis...
• Hell of a Day, Isn’t It? Talked about what happens when you lose that person you share an inside joke with.
• Impressed the internet when I joined in on the SHOW US A PHOTO OF YOUR KITCHEN CABINET meme...
• Shared my brief attempt at being a home designer.
• Put my iPhone 11 Pro through it's paces... and shared my thoughts in it's incredible camera capabilities...
• Took my iPhone 11 Pro camera for a spin in my favorite American city.
• Ranting against changing the clocks because it fucks up my cats like nothing else... and the quail are back...
• Flew to Minneapolis so I could experience Avengers: Damage Control in real-live kinda virtual reality...
• Caring for somebody with dementia involves telling lies and making decisions.
• Disney+ finally debuted with a slew of watchable stuff to occupy time I don't have.
• Get Angry, Then Laugh... same as it ever was... same as it ever was.
• And, oh yeah, I joined the Instant Pot cult!
• Finally replaced my dying MacBook Pro... with a MacBook Pro...
• Let's take a Very Special edition of Caturday to talk about how technology helps Fake Jake survives the winter!
And there you have it... my 2019 year in review.
Thanks once again to my cats, family, and friends for making life bearable through even the worst of times.
Here's to a good 2020, everybody.
Posted on December 23rd, 2019
Early this morning I got an alert that there was a person in my back yard. Since nobody has any business being there at 4:10am, I grab my phone to investigate. But all that's there is a cat sitting on the porch. Since Jake and Jenny are with me, I decide to ignore it and go back to sleep. But since it's a cat I've never seen before, I make a mental note to take a better look once I've actually woken up. I want to make sure that Fake Jake isn't being bothered by it.
I fell asleep angry that my security system thinks a cat is a person, but it happens so rarely I make my peace with it and drift off to SlumberLand.
Naturally I completely forget about it until I'm in bed tonight. I just took a look and now I know why surveillance thought the cat was a person... the feline was climbing the catio walls trying to get in! Motion that high up registers as a person, apparently.
I can't for the life of me understand what the cat is on about. Until I take a look at the catio camera. Then everything becomes clear.
The strange cat chased a bird into the catio.
And the noise eventually made Jake curious enough to investigate (I've sped everything up so you only have a minute and a half to look at)...
Of course eventually Jenny also got in on the action, though I think the bird must have managed to climb through the fence to freedom before she arrived. There was no trace of it on any camera after the initial mayhem. I feel bad when birds get trapped, but I'm not sure what I can do. So far only two birds have lost their lives due to the catio... which is far, far less bird deaths than if my cats were roaming free outside. So I guess it's a worthy trade-off? I dunno. Maybe when the weather warms up I will look into some fine mesh wire to tie to the exterior so birds can't get in at all. But I bristle at the idea of creating an even bigger barrier between my cats and the outside world. The reason I think they love it so much is because it feels like an entirely different environment. If I close the sides in further so they feel more like walls instead of a fence, then that kind of defeats the purpose.
I may be able to design some sort of shelf-spouts that a bird could get through but my cats are physically unable to reach.
Man. There's at least two months of Winter left and I've already got projects for Spring.
Posted on December 21st, 2019
Jakey-Bear is a big kitty. Which has always been a mystery to me. My cats have never been over-fed. They don't get nearly the amount of food recommended on the package (cat food companies want to sell more cat food, so that's not surprising). Early on I would catch him eating Jenny's food when she would walk away, but I solved this by serving smaller portions throughout the day so that Jenny wouldn't fill up and walk away before her portion was eaten. So why?
Did you just call me fat?!?
Jenny is the opposite. She begs me for food whenever I get near the kitchen. And every time I have to gently tell her "Noooo... you just had your food." It's like she's hungry all the time! But she's far from starving. She's at a healthy weight. Which I guess makes her a normal cat.
Are any of these crumbs edible?
Jake is now permanently attached to me at night. I've woken up and found him on top of me... I've woken up and found him on my head... I've woken up and found him glued to my ass...
I move a lot while sleeping. Jake doesn't seem bothered. Jenny is bothered, but still likes belly rubs...
Lastly... funny story. I keep catching Jake grooming his claws the same way Jenny does. He starts out fairly gentle with the pedicure but then really starts ripping into them..
Happiest of Caturdays to you!
Posted on December 20th, 2019
Yesterday is was overcast but generally pleasant weather. Then the next thing I know it's snowing. It's snowing a lot. I generally accept that the location I live at is going to be filled with snowy winter days, so it's not the actual snowfall that bothers me. It's the people driving in it.
My five minute drive home took closer to 20 because everybody in Snow Central has forgotten how to drive in the snow. Once I got home, the garbage and recycle cans were put away, Fake Jake got a snack when I checked to make sure his shelter was snow-free, and I shoveled a path for him so he can get to the places he likes to go. Though most of his time was spent sitting on my sidewalk runner waiting for the snow to stop...
Alas, it was not to stop any time soon and he had to trudge through a little snow to get back to his warm and comfy spot.
A quick look at the forecast said that it would be stopping and turning to rain in the evening, but it never did. It just kept snowing and snowing and snowing.
When I finally turned in at 1:00am, there looked to be a foot accumulated. Which means Fake Jake will be running up and complaining that his path is blocked when I get home tonight. I'm really getting too old for shoveling all the way around my house, so perhaps it's time to invest in one of those "power shovels." I didn't like that they had a power cord and had to be "scooped," but now they have cordless models from Earthwise with wheels that look pretty well-constructed and have decent reviews...
Guess that will be what I'm saving up for in the New Year. Assuming it continues to dump snow like it has been.
The last thing I want is for a cat who knows where I live to be mad at me.