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Spanky

Posted on Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Dave!Spanky is a name I've given to a cat that hangs out around the complex where I live. Nobody knows where she comes from or who owns her, but she's always hanging around. She's a very friendly cat, so everybody is always happy to see her. Some of us have kitty treats on-hand in case we run into her. I keep treats in my car, because often times she'll follow me as I head to work in the morning... or greet me when I come home.

But the thing about Spanky is that she's kinda become lethargic and unmotivated. Sometimes she'll be walking across the parking lot to see me, but plops down for a nap half-way there. It's like she's pretending he just got shot or something. The first time it happened I went running up to him to see if she was hurt. She wasn't. She just decided she didn't want to walk any more, and the middle of the parking lot was as good a place as any to drop for a rest.

Most mornings I stop to pet her for a minute, only to get a scornful "That's all I'm going to get, mutherfucker?" look of derision when I walk away.

This morning she actually meowed at me as I turned to go, which was new. She used to follow me if she wanted more petting. I can only guess she gets no attention at home, which is why she's always around our complex. And now that Spanky's accustomed to all the attention she gets here, she complains when she doesn't get as much attention as she would like.

Much like bloggers who are upset that commenting and reader interaction are at an all-time low. Their readers are spending their time Facebooking and Tweeting instead of commenting, which has convinced more than a few bloggers to hang it up (or drastically cut back). And that's fine. I get it. Despite having more traffic at Blogography than I've ever had, I don't get more than a handful of comments any more either. But that's not excuse enough for me to close-up shop. Because, as much as I've enjoyed interacting with my readers and finding new friends through blogging, I've always blogged for myself first. Blogging is an outlet for being creative and keeping track of stuff that happens in my life, and I'm not going to give that up just because I'm not getting as much comment attention as I would like.

But, just like Spanky, I fully admit that I have become a bit lethargic and unmotivated.

I put in 18 hours at work yesterday. And that was after having worked the entire weekend. This morning I had to get up at 4:00am for more work. It's quickly getting to the point where I don't even know anything else. Work is all I have right now.

And that's okay. I'm really not complaining about it. Better than being out of work, certainly... and it's not going to be this way forever. But coming home and trying to find something to blog about after you've been doing nothing you can blog about is not easy.

It's getting harder all the time.

And I'm not sure what to do about it.

Maybe I'll just drop down and take a nap in the parking lot while I wait for people to come along and feed me treats while they rub my belly. It seems to work out okay for Spanky.

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Comments

  1. Deb says:

    Dave, that was a very enjoyable post. Thank you.

  2. But I spent all these months lurking… now I gotta comment too? All this work!

  3. With your luck, if you dropped in the lot like Spanky, some crazy lady on her phone would run you over. So don’t do that.

    • Dave2 says:

      DARN MY LUCK! I swear, it keeps me from doing the fun stuff every time! Well, not EVERY time… but certainly those times where it involves me laying in front of a moving automobile.

  4. Poor Spanky. :( Poor you. I hear you though. I always have the best intentions to post. I really do. And I love the little place I’ve carved out for myself both at my blog and at my group book review blog. But sometimes, yeah, I just want to join you for a snooze between the parking lines.

  5. Geekytaitai says:

    This post makes me feel very sad — for both you and Spanky.

  6. I read all your posts, usually on Flipboard on my iPhone, so I don’t often comment. But hi, I’m here & reading & still adore you.

  7. RW says:

    Well I’m not tweeting cuz I don’t twit. And I facebook in bookish face-time spurts and then get the hell out of there. So I have no excuse. But believe me, if I had a can of tuna fish I’d open it and spoon feed it to you.

    Really.

  8. Matt Westergard says:

    Dave,

    I’ve read your blog nearly every day for six years straight. And I’m not a “blogger” – I don’t even read anyone else’s blog. I’m drawn to your travel (my wife and I love to travel too) – somehow I’ve surrounded myself with people who think an “international” trip is to the Bahamas or to IHOP. So it’s nice to know someone who appreciates other cultures. I’ve also become an apple whore over time, so I enjoy your apple commentary. You and I don’t agree on all of our politics, but I’ve learned a lot about gay rights issues via your blog over time – and I can honestly say that I’ve become much more understanding and sensitive to same sex couples. The video you posted a couple months back about the couple where one of them committed suicide brought tears to my eyes. I also share other random interests of yours such as photography and buddhism. So, for some reason I’ve left the longest comment ever, but I truly enjoy your blog.

    Matt

    • Dave2 says:

      That’s so nice of you to say. Especially since my being an advocate for gay rights is a direct result of something that happened on my blog.

      Politics is a funny thing. Mostly because my politics are so all over the map. I’m fiscally conservative… but believe in personal liberties and some aspects of social liberalism. And most of the times my motivation for supporting something on either side of the fence is not for the reasons that most people have (e.g. I support “socialized medicine” because I think it’s the right thing to do, sure… but MOSTLY because the fiscal conservative in me thinks it’s cheaper than denying people health care for treatable diseases, only to have their diseases become UNTREATABLE, at which point we have to permanently pay for their care for the rest of their lives! Treat ’em early so they can go be productive and not have to take my money!).

      Thanks again for the kind words. :-)

      • Matt Westergard says:

        Well maybe we agree on more than I thought since you say you “believe in personal liberties and some aspects of social liberalism”. One of my heroes, Neil Peart, drummer for the rock band Rush, calls himself a bleeding heart libertarian. Like you, he believes in personal liberties, but at the same time doesn’t trust humanity to always do the right thing if left to themselves.

        I have much disdain for Obama and Romney – I can’t really vote for either one of them. I like Ron Paul, not because I want him to be our President (actually, the thought of that is terrifying), but he raises the intellectual discourse of the debates, and has many salient points. So for that reason, I like that he manages to stick around in the primaries – when he talks, I feel that I’m not listening to a bunch of talking points. I live in Connecticut, which by some measures, is the most liberal state in the union. That fact, combined with the electoral college, means that my vote is effectively useless. Therefore, I may write in Ron Paul as a protest vote. Or, I may stay home and call my grandmother instead, which would probably be a better use of my time.

        Nice chatting with you.

        Matt

        • Dave2 says:

          Ron Paul has good ideas on getting government the hell out of our lives… but too many of his more radical hard-line agendas (especially when dealing with foreign policy) are just so whack-adoodle unrealistic and dangerous to even consider him in the presidency. Personally, I was very interested in Jon Hunstman… he had fiscal conservative ideology… but didn’t tie it to radical infringements on personal freedoms. He would have been perfect. But his own party hated him because he wasn’t crazy Right in his thinking, which is really disappointing. I think we’re stuck with Radical Left vs. Radical Right from here on out, with no room for the vast majority of the American people who sit somewhere in the middle.

  9. claire says:

    You made me miss George. That’s what I called the cat who used to hang out on the patch of grass outside my window in LA years ago. We never interacted directly but I was always happy to see him and I’d say hi.

    Give Spanky a belly rub for me. Love that soft fur, but the cats I lived with once upon a time hated belly rubs. A perilous endeavor giving those.

    As for blog comments, it’s just as well I’m used to being unpopular. If I blogged for them, I’d have hung it up ages ago.

    Hey, just noticed your copyright notice isn’t up-to-date in your sidebar.

  10. Etienne says:

    OMG! I’m sorry! Was it something I didn’t say? I’ll comment more, I promise. Please don’t leave me. (Actually, I’m guessing the Blogography spybots know that I’ve been lurking in the background)

  11. I admit I get a little depressed when I go for ten days straight without a single comment… :)
    But as you say, I blog for me, and I wouldn’t give that up, it’s just far too useful for the me of the future to look back on my life as it is now.

  12. Jeff says:

    I would say you work too much, but as I am currently without work, I only wish I had your problems. Maybe time to remember the old saying “All work and no play…”. Since I’m “All play and no work…”, I am apparently very exciting while at the same time very very hungry.

    Keep up the good work. I look forward to reading your blog every day.

    Oh, don’t lie down in parking lots. My mom told me that long ago. Now I know why.

    • Dave2 says:

      Your mom sounds wise. :-)

      Being out of work is no fun. But, at the risk of sounding like a bad inspirational speaker, it can be an opportunity to regroup and move on too. Not as easy as it used to be… but nothing ever is. Good luck finding new work… and listen to what your mom says!

  13. B.E. Earl says:

    Blogging for you first is awesome and all. But I dig the interaction. So the decline of comments does bother me a bit. But I’m gonna keep on keeping on. Great post.

  14. Megan says:

    I know what you mean about not having much to blog about. I’ve started mining my past for content; I can’t not write.

  15. Cyndy says:

    Interesting post. So I’ve always wondered as a reader of blogs…do the bloggers want random people to comment? My favorite blogs are from bloggers who write primarily about their day to day lives. I have often started to comment and then stop because I am scared that I will look like a stalker because they don’t know me.

    So many bloggers that I follow are having great life upheavals lately and I feel so badly for them because I feel like they are friends. I know so much about them…then I realize that they don’t know me at all. So it is a really weird one way street…and I have always wondered do bloggers feel violated when then get comments from total strangers?

    Spanky seems like he is really old or sick. My old cat Frank has taken to napping smack dab in the middle of the driveway lately. Seems to be begging to be roadkill.

    • Dave2 says:

      I like comments from anybody when they have something to add to the conversation! Even if I think I am wrong!

      Even though I am never wrong! :-)

      But, as I said, it’s not the comments that keep me going. I would write even if I received no comments at all. I most certainly wouldn’t want readers to feel obligated to comment. I don’t feel that way when I read other blogs, so how could I expect that of others? But if somebody has something they want to say and they feel like commenting? That’s great! Even from a stranger! You’re only a stranger once, after all. :-)

      As for Spanky… I don’t know how old he is. He doesn’t seem very old. It may be the heat? Sometimes in the early morning I’ll see him going crazy climbing small trees and tearing through the bushes. Maybe he’s just lazy like me!

      And Frank is an awesome name for a cat…

  16. Robin says:

    I have a neighborhood cat that comes by on a regular basis. He actually knocks on the patio door with his paws. So cute. I started calling him Boo Bear since I didn’t know his name. I found out his name is Cowboy and there are four cats and four dogs at his home in the next cul de sac. I think he just wants a little down time and he loves the attention he gets at my house….and the food.

    • Dave2 says:

      Spanky will sometimes meow in the mornings if he’s hungry or really bored… but mostly he’s kind of mellow… happy to hang around until somebody comes out to either feed him snacks or pet him or whatever.

    • Dave2 says:

      I think everybody has priorities shifting when it comes to the internet. It’s just getting so all-consuming that people are having to make choices as to where and how they spend their time. I am no different.

      As for Pittsburgh… I really would like to get back to your lovely city sometime again soon. :-)

  17. you just wrote this to get me out of my reader and over here to comment, eh? i see how you are.
    ya know, if you would come to pittsburgh you would have lots to write about! heehee
    (i’m glad you write for you, but i know comments do fuel many bloggers’ fires…i would like to get better at commenting again. seems my priorities need readjusted!)

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