Posted on Saturday, January 2nd, 2021
When I got my cats, they were inseparable. They would hide together, play together, sleep under the couch together, sneak out to eat together... there was not a single minute that they spent apart. Part of this came from them being rescues that were scared shitless of anything and everything. Over a long period of time I was eventually able to gain their trust, but I was so worried at the beginning that I actually planned for them never wanting to be apart.
One of the first purchases I bought was a dog bed. I figured that when they eventually grew up that they would outgrown sleeping in the cat bed together. Eventually they were able to spend time apart without problem, and the dog bed sat empty. Jenny occasionally slept in it, but it went largely ignored.
Until this past month.
Jenny started sleeping in it all the time. And, of course, once Jake saw that his sister had something she was enjoying, he just had to have it as well.
So now they take turns crashing in it. Or, if you're Jake, crashing out of it...
Not that Jenny's immune. For some strange reason, she's started sleeping in the thing riiiiiiiiight on the edge of the couch...
AND THEN... I looked up a couple evenings ago and saw this...
Now, finding them sleeping together is not impossible. I was treated to this sight just a couple weeks ago...
But I had never seen them together in the doggy bed. Needless to say I had to get up and investigate further...
Tonight Jake has laid claim to it all by his lonesome again, however. He's watching television with me all comfy-like...
I was a part of a holiday gift exchange. As what has become a tradition, my cats end up getting gifts as well. This year it was these adorable "Baby Yoda" (Grogu) ornaments filled with catnip...
Jenny really goes nuts over the things...
Not surprisingly... Jake, of course, still only has eyes for Mufasa. Other toys come and go, but his stuffed lion is always the favorite.
Posted on Saturday, January 9th, 2021
The holidays being over aren't all that sad for me... I don't celebrate any of them... but I kinda feel bad for my cats. Always something new and exciting for them. Lights hanging outside the windows... Christmas cards they can chew on (which is appropriate considering 5 out of the 8 I received were addressed to them)... and all kinds of other stuff that's new and different...
One thing that I wasn't anticipating was Jake and Jenny shedding like it's the middle of Summer when there are some weeks of Winter left to be had. The fur is literally flying everywhere, and petting them results in handfuls coming off in my hand...
And apparently all that shedding is itchy, because my cats will not leave me alone. They want to be petted and scratched and scrubbed...
From the minute I get home until the minute I fall asleep, they are wanting never-ending scratches.
I'd write more exciting details about my needy cats but, well, my cats are being needy.
Posted on Sunday, January 10th, 2021
Free speech has consequences, which is nothing new to bloggers like me... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Colosseo! My mom's favorite landmark is the Roman Colosseum. She asked to visit it every trip we made to Rome which, I believe, was four times (it was a cruise stop twice and a trip stop twice). I'd ask her why she loved it so much and she'd say "I don't know... I just do." When I told her that maybe she was a gladiator in a previous life, she thought that was funny and started telling people that when showing this photo...
Because of this, I very much wish she was still alive, because Rome is renovating the Colosseum, and I think the idea of being able to stand on the floor of the Colosseum arena would be so thrilling to her that we would have definitely made a fifth trip once it was completed. This is really, really cool, and I'd love to be able to visit again. But it won't be the same without my mom there to share it.
• LEGO! I have to say... whomever works in LEGO advertising which came up with this ad for a "Make Your Own MiniFig" game apparently doesn't have the same filthy mind that I do, because, well...
Is that a hotdog in your pants, madam, or are you just happy to see me?
• PERFECT! I've watched this TikTok more times that I'd ever admit. It's hilarious because it's true...
Though I'd argue the point that this is how girls make coffee, because I see plenty of guys doing essentially this. And given my distaste for coffee, this would absolutely be me as well.
• Cute Gay Shit! TikTok is so much more than funny coffee memes. There is some genuinely touching stuff on there that gives me hope for all humanity...
And just KNOW that this gentleman gets lumped in with people he’s condemning because of how he looks and talks. You know it. God bless you, sir.
• NEWSFLASH! FORBES: Close To A Worst-Case Scenario—Former CDC Director Issues ‘Horrifying’ Outlook For New Covid Strain. If your balls don't shrivel up after reading this, then you probably don't have balls. But you are alive if you're reading this, balls or no balls, which means you should be horrified that there are still people not taking this shit seriously. Protect yourself. Protect others. This has catastrophe written all over it.
• Specs? Apple is the most ridiculous fucking company. They want to make their products as simple to use as possible by taking all the "tech" out of everything. Which is fine. EXCEPT YOU CAN NEVER MANAGE TO GET ANY FUCKING SPECS FOR ANYTHING THEY SELL. Will this cable work for charging? I dunno. What is the maximum transfer rate for this cable? I dunno. Can I quick-charge with this cable? I dunno. What about the charger? I dunno. Can you at least tell me if it is USB-PD compliant? I dunno. They literally tell you NOTHING in their support docs or on anything in their entire store. — If you want to shield your customers from scary tech-speak, fine. But at least have the fucking information SOMEWHERE for the people who need to know this shit. Their solution for everything is to say "Well, if it doesn't work, you can always return it." Which is an astound attitude to take considering that it wastes my time and their resources, and I'm getting seriously tired of it.
• Apolitical! My existence right now:
REPUBLICANS: You're just a Democrat shill.
DEMOCRATS: You're just a Republican shill.
ME: I AM NEITHER A DEMOCRAT NOR A REPUBLICAN! I DON'T UNDERSTAND THE NEED TO WORSHIP POLITICIANS AND FALL IN LINE WITH A POLITICAL PARTY RUN BY WEALTHY ASSHOLES THAT ARE PROPPED UP BY WEALTHY CORPORATIONS WHO DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT US! WHY CAN'T I JUST BE A NON-PARTY SHILL?! WHY DOES MY SHILLNESS HAVE TO BE ATTACKED LIKE THIS? I AM A SHILL FOR ALL HUMANITY! AND A SHILL FOR CATS! TOWANDAAAAAAA!!!
Because, like, how could you not be a shill for floofy bellies like dis?
Stay frosty out there, my friends.
Posted on Saturday, January 16th, 2021
When I first got Jake and Jenny, it was recommended I get a Feliway diffuser which releases pheromones that calm nervous cats. I kept using them even after they had acclimated, because I felt it probably helped when I was away traveling as well. The other night I noticed that the diffuser had ran out, which helped to explain why my cats had been curiously cautious lately. Like when I come home and they book up the stairs and won't come down right away when I call them...
So I replaced it. The next day they were all over each other. When I came home they didn't even come greet me. They were too busy giving each other a bath and couldn't be bothered...
When I looked at the security camera footage I saw they were being sweet to each other all night as well...
In other cat news... Jake came in crying one morning while I was working in bed. I assumed that he couldn't find Mufasa, so I went to look (otherwise I wouldn't be able to get back to work). Mufasa was on top of a pile of toys that Jenny was building, so I grabbed him and went to give him to Jake. He turned his head and would not even look at his favorite toy...
I thought they were friends again when Jake dragged him in the next morning...
But then throughout the day, Mufasa was left on my bed...
I went to bed at midnight, but Jenny woke me up at 2am crying her head off. I had no idea why, so it was back to the security camera footage. Turns out that Jenny was sleeping when Jake came up and woke her up. This made her so upset that she decided to wake ME up. And that's when I noticed that Mufasa was still where Jake had left him...
So is the honeymoon between Jake and Mufasa over?
Keep tuning in to find out!
Posted on Saturday, January 23rd, 2021
This biggest news to come out of this past week? I made a major discovery about Jenny, and I have no idea how I failed to realize it before now.
As I've mentioned a couple times, there are nights that Jenny refuses to eat her wet food. It's the same stuff she always gets... mixed with water and mooshed up so she can lick it up... and yet she is 100% uninterested. It drives me crazy, because it's NOT because she's not hungry. That cat is always hungry. So why? Why does she take one sniff and walk away until the dry food is dispensed? Why?
I'll tell you why... odds are I cooked with yellow onions.
There I was having just cooked the filling for some bean and onion flautas. The Alexa alarm rings for dinner time and Jake and Jenny are incredibly excited about it because I'm already in the kitchen. So I dish up the food, mix Jenny's up, microwave for 6 seconds to take the chill off, then set it down. Jake starts wolfing it down immediately. Jenny walks away.
The next evening she's back to normal and laps it right up.
The evening after I am frying up the rest of the onion to use in a tomato sauce. The Alexa alarm rings. I put the food out. And... nothing.
It was as if a light switch turned on in my head.
So I tested my theory three nights later... and yep, there it is. Onion stank is the reason. Apparently if the house has that smell in it she can't smell the wet food enough to think it's "safe to eat" and takes a big ol' pass.
And so I guess any time I am cooking onions I need to start after the cats have been fed and make a late dinner of it. Problem solved.
In other food-related news... last night I had baked potatoes for dinner. Right after taking them out of the oven and getting them dresssed up for consumption, Jake was all over me. He followed me from the kitchen into the living room and stared at me the entire time I was eating...
Look at those owl ears!
I tried multiple times to explain that this was my dinner and he had finished his dinner just ten minutes ago, but he was having none of it.
And in other Jake news... When I came home earlier this week, he didn't come running to the door to meet me like he usually does. When this happens it's 95% likely that the heat is running. And if the heat is running, he climbs the cat tree so it will blow down on him. He loves that. So I take a look and, sure enough, he's up in the cat tree with the heat on. And that's when I notice that this is not the only thing that has happened.
Apparently his lunch did not agree with him, because he projectile vomited it onto the window where it slid down and piled on the window sill...
Since he pukes so rarely, I guess I really don't have cause to complain. It's just that he really knows how to pick his moments, doesn't he?
Oh well. It could always be worse. He could have puked on my bed.
Posted on Sunday, January 24th, 2021
A new era may be dawning, but some things will never change... because an all new Q&A Edition of Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Does the stair shelf you built for your cats work?
Yep! No falls since I installed it! Jenny has never been a banister girl, so she just walks along it on occasion. But Jake still lays up there all the time. Especially in the Summer when the sun shines on it. Since the catwalk I built adds a couple inches to the width, he's a lot more comfortable laying on it, and like to prop his head on the ledge to watch me and Jenny on the stairs. This, along with the catio, are two of the best things I've made to keep my cats safe and healthy.
• Which meal service do you like best?
Are you talking between Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon and "Hello Fresh," the two I am currently using? That's actually a very good question! Both of them allow you to skip weeks (which I do often because they are expensive) so when I do order, I have been bouncing back and forth. Comparing them in a face-off is actually a good idea for a post. I'll do that sometime in the coming week!
• Japanese knives RUST... they are NOT stainless steel!
Yes. When I reading up on knives, this was brought up many, many times. I made my purchase with my eyes wide open. I expected for rust to appear. But it was still the best knife for what I would be cooking, and I just made a mental note to be sure and wash the blade after every use. And I've never seen rust. Until one day I did! I went into a Google panic, found out the easiest way to deal with it was a Rust Eraser, ordered one, and then found out it wasn't actually rust before the eraser ever arrived. It was a piece of food that I didn't get wiped off and only looked like rust. Since I first got it a year ago, I've never seen a speck of rust and my Rust Eraser hasn't even been taken out of the wrapper. My MAC Chef's Knife and Bread Knife are from their "Professional" series which is "rust resistant" but will still rust if you don't wash and dry them immediately after use. I also have some "Original" series knives which are supposed to rust more easily but, as I said, I've never seen any rust on them because I keep them clean and dry.
• Are you still playing Animal Crossing?
Sadly, no. I haven't had time. And I'm scared to look and see how many weeds I'll have to pull in order to get my island back. It's a great game and helped a lot when we were first under quarantine, but I was spending 2+ hours a day playing it and had stop because there were other things I need to do with my time. Might pick it back up one day and just force a time limit so it's not consuming me like it was. Now I've got TikTok for that!
• Where's your Bernie meme?
Ummm... right here!
My house is kept fairly cool in the winter in order to save on heating costs, so Bernie judging me for the temperature... along with Jenny (and Jake, who has clearly turned his back on me)... seems appropriate.
• Are you finally happy now that Biden is president?
No. No I am not. As I have said quite a few times now, Biden was never my guy so I'm not "finally happy" that he's president. I am, however, elated that Trump is no longer president. So there's a big difference there. I won't be truly "happy" until all the career politicians and other assholes who exploit their office for personal gain at the expense of the American people are out of office. I will also be happy once all the pieces of shit who have so severely divided this country are out of office. Alas, what this would take is the American people WAKING THE FUCK UP and realizing that they are being majorly played. But that takes thinking for themselves, and we all know that this is not something we seem to be very good at right now. So... here we are.
• Where's the first place you'll go once you can travel again?
Well, odds are I won't be traveling for work or for volunteering again... at least not any time soon... so it will likely be a personal trip. My guess is it will be one I've been planning for over a year with friends to Maui. We have unfinished business there that we need to take care of. Otherwise? Not entirely sure. It will take a while for the world to get back to normal and I have no idea where my life will be by then.
And that's the last of my answers to questions I've been asked.
Posted on Saturday, January 30th, 2021
Despite the fact that Jake is the one needing to lose weight, it's Jenny that's always begging for food. And nothing gets her excited faster than seeing me head towards the kitchen, because... for whatever reason... she thinks that means I'm going to feed her. I almost never do that because I don't want her trained to be begging for food.
Last night after their dinner was over, I went to the kitchen to load the dishwasher and clean up. She sees this and immediately runs to sit and stare at me. After 5 or so minutes she gives up and walks away. A few minutes after that I get a glass of water to refill their water fountain. She notices and comes running over at top speed. She watches me fill the fountain. She hops over and looks to see if I put food in her bowl. She then howls... and I mean HOWLS... when she sees that I haven't.
I can only guess that she was screaming NNNNOOOOOOOOOO!!!
The rest of the evening was pretty awkward, if I'm being honest.
Jake has been doing better, but he's still being awfully clingy, hanging with me every morning...
He's still weird though. A couple nights ago I heard him crying his little lungs out. It sounded serious, so I dropped everything and tracking him to the guest bedroom. He had jumped up on the desk and apparently was afraid to jump down. So I moved a chair over, then put some jeans on it so he had a soft landing spot. He looked at the chair, then jumped BESIDE it rather than ON it...
I mean... it worked... but seriously, Jake?!?
Probably still traumatized since Jenny chased him off the cat tree a while back...
Poor Jake. He conveniently forgets that he was chasing her around the house first.
And in other Jake news... earlier this week I could not access my home file server from the office for some reason, so I had to come home to get the assets I needed. Before settling into work, I grabbed a couple slices of bread and butter to eat. Then proceeded to drop a slice on me, which sent me scrambling to the kitchen for a towel. This is what awaited me when I got back to my computer...
Not a great day to be me, clearly. Oh well. Maybe that butter will help curtail any hairballs he felt like puking up?
Posted on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021
Yesterday was not a particularly great day.
I've been consumed with a project at work, and packed up my files so I could continue working on it at home while watching Groundhog Day. The entire drive home all I could think about was how exhausted I was and how much I wish that I could just go home, climb into bed, then sleep until dawn.
Once I got home I noticed that the bowl I use to bribe Fake Jake away from the garage with treats if he shows up in the morning was missing. It's not easy to spot from the street, but I always scan the area to make sure that Fake Jake won't come running in front of the car as I pull into my garage, so I noticed it immediately.
And I was furious.
Irrationally furious, but that's how I get when I've exhausted.
WHERE IS FAKE JAKE'S BOWL?!? WHO IN THE HELL STOLE FAKE JAKE'S BOWL? I WILL LOOK AT MY SECURITY CAMERA FOOTAGE AND I WILL FIND YOU! THEN I WILL END YOU! I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN LIKE A DOG! BLOOD WILL RUN THROUGH THE STREETS! VENGEANCE WILL BE MINE!!!
As I stomped into the house I pulled out my phone to check the footage, and...
Oh. Well, I can't even be mad about that. Kinda ironic that if I had actually went after the culprit, I would have literally been hunting down a dog. Luckily, the bowl was still in the street where he dropped it and hadn't been run over or anything.
In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have been so angry. Absolutely anything could have happened, and it wouldn't have necessarily been theft. I should resolve that in 2021 I will wait until facts are in evidence before becoming irrationally angry.
Which, if I became angry then, would no longer be quite so irrational?
I dunno. Something to shoot for, I suppose. Hindsight may be 20/20 but my rage is eternal.
Posted on Saturday, February 6th, 2021
Jenny has me completely wrapped around her paw. And she knows it.
Unlike Jake, who can't meow for some reason, Jenny can... and does... meow when it suits her to do so. When she's upset? Meow. When she wants something? Meow. When she's frustrated? Meow. Last night she hopped up on the dining room table (which mean I had to disinfect it) which is someplace she knows she's not supposed to be. As I was walking by to make dinner, she let out a meow so dramatic that I was compelled to stop and find out what she wanted. Which was to have her head scratched.
Most of the time she just meows to get attention though...
Yesterday morning I got an alert on my phone that I ignored. Then I got more and was compelled to check. VOICES IN MY HOUSE?!?
So I listened in and found that... the cats had turned on the television. Apparently I left the remote out.
And now it's time for my weekly steam-cleaning of the cat feeding station, the cat drinking fountain, and the cat Litter-Robots. When did my weekend start revolving around cat maintenance? Since I first got them five years ago ten days from now, I'd imagine.
Posted on Saturday, February 13th, 2021
Next Tuesday is Jake & Jenny's adoption day. Which means five years ago is when I rescued them from the local Humane Society so my mom would have a distraction to keep her company while I was at work. As her dementia progressed, it became more and more important to have distractions, and two kittens was a good one.
After my mom was gone, Jake & Jenny were a distraction for me, and they've been doing a perfect job of this. Even when I'm not at home. Because my iPhone has a photo block which pulls photos out of my library. And since 90% of my photos are of my cats, 90% of the time it's a photo of one of them. Usually it's cute photos that I have favorited like this one...
Other times it's photos I would just as soon forget.
Like this one which popped up yesterday morning...
It's from when Jake had a very bad urinary tract infection... just before I was due to fly to Hawaii for a wedding. Which means I had to leave the poor thing at the vet hospital... and leave Jenny home alone... while I was half-way across the Pacific Ocean. And even though I pared my trip down from ten days to three days, I was still a wreck leaving the poor thing behind when he was so confused and upset...
And I was a wreck the entire time.
On the morning of 8th I flew down to the vet's office to visit Jake and see if I could bring him home, which I could, because his urine was finally clear. But that just lead to further trauma, because he smelled like the hospital and Jenny was a hissy ball of hate towards him...
It all worked out eventually and they were back to tolerating each other (at least until Jake fell down the stairwell six months later... the day before I had to fly to L.A. for work).
Oh well. It could have been the photo from when I had to rush him back into the vet a couple weeks later... where I made the huge mistake of letting Jake out of his carrier on the return trip. Sure it looked cute on the surface of it all...
...but it was sensory overload, and the poor thing was even more upset than when I kept him in the carrier the entire time. That's probably the time I felt the most awful, because it was entirely my fault.
I feel extremely fortunate that my cats haven't required many trips to the vet (knock wood). The visits I have are tough enough, which is why my iPhone really shouldn't be surprising me with those photos like that. Isn't waking up in a global pandemic every day torture enough?
Posted on Monday, February 15th, 2021
Today is technically a holiday at work, but I'm going in anyway to clean up a bunch of little things that have been piling up. I have decided to wear sweats to the office for the first time ever because nobody should be there to notice. Except you just know that somebody will end up being there and notice. Oh well. I barely have the energy to go into work... let alone change pants. So sweat pants are a step above no pants, I suppose.
And just as I resigned myself to heading into the office a little early, this happens...
And of course she rubs all over me before planting herself, so now I'm covered in cat hari...
Then, before you know it, she's fast asleep... trapping my arm in the process...
I promised myself that I'd be in the office by 10:00am, so eventually I say "Do you want a treat? Is it treat time? Let's go get a treat!" At which time she's flying off of my and dashing downstairs at top speed.
Now, usually when I have to go into work on a holiday, I treat myself to a snack-run at the mini mart. I buy all the junk foods I normally try to avoid. But the idea of having to deal with anti-mask idiocy and "election fraud" rants was too much to bear, so I microwaved a veggie burger instead. Sometimes the snacks just aren't worth it.
Despite icy roads and nearly getting rear-ended, I made it to my desk at 9:58am. So way to go me, I guess...
What followed was a furious three-hour burst of productivity that stunned me so hard that I didn't end up working an entire half-day. Instead I ditched a half-hour early and came home to veg out in front of the television. My free trial to Apple Arcade hasn't been touched yet and will expire any day now, so I should at least take a look at that.
Posted on Saturday, February 20th, 2021
This past week we experienced a bit of a cold snap. Usually when this happens I turn the heat up a bit so it keeps running, because once the temperature drops enough the heat has a tougher time battling its way back. This essentially means the heater is running all the time, which can get expensive. Knowing that the cold was likely temporary, I just left the heat alone. This meant there were times it got fairly cold in my house. The cats have fur coats and are likely warmer than I am, but that doesn't mean they like it. They would much, much rather have a warm house.
An upshot of this temperature change is that Jake and Jenny are often cuddled up together sleeping so they can stay warmer...
Now, to be clear, my cats get along fine. Other than occasional play-fights and nightly incidents of them chasing each other around the house, they mostly just ignore each other. This works out great for me because they take turns seeking attention...
But now that they'd rather spend their non-stop nap-time together, the only way I see them is on the guest room security camera, day and night (except feeding time, of course...
Kind of a bummer, but it beats a $40 increase on my power bill.
I'm confident that in another week or two they'll be back to their normal ignoring each other... and paying more attention to me.
Posted on Saturday, February 27th, 2021
I clean the cat feeding station, the auto-feeders, and the water fountain every Caturday. Both filters in the water fountain get changed out every two weeks. It's something I'm fairly religious about because A) I want my cats drinking as much water as possible to reduce risk of urinary problems and they drink three times more water from a fountain than a bowl.... and B) If the water isn't fresh-tasting, they will stop drinking it altogether... and C) the last thing I want is for bacteria to build up and make them sick.
So there I am sitting down to dinner well after the cats have had their dinner and Jenny starts meowing off in the distance. Something she only does when she's very, very upset.
Needless to say I waste no time running over to see what her deal is. Turns out I forgot to pull the fountain out of the dishwasher and get it set up for Little Miss Jenny to have her post-dinner drink! And so I dropped everything and took care of that immediately. And she watched me as I did it the entire time. After which she was happily (and noisily) lapping up her refreshing H2O...
Glad we got that all sorted.
Jake didn't care so much for fresh water as he cared about playig with the back scratcher I left out...
Not that Jake doesn't have his own prima donna moments.
Earlier in the week I had moved the couch so I could vacuum under it. As I was lifting it up, Jake's favorite fuzzy blanket fell off and I had to throw it back up on the couch. Once I sat down after vacuuming, he hopped up and was furious that his blanky was "wrong." He was grunting and fretting and smacking it over and over and over to "fix" it...
The little guy was so agitated that I finally reached over to scratch his head in an effort to calm him down, only to be brutally rebuffed as he tried to dodge my hand...
At this point I was desperate, and ended up tapping on the window so he would think Fake Jake was outside and go running out to the catio...
That worked, and I did my best to put his blanky back exactly how he likes it. Apparently I did a good enough job, because when he came back he did only minimal "biscuit-making" before I flopped down for a nap...
Whew. Crisis averted!
And that's what having cats is all about isn't it? Crisis management?
Posted on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021
The weather has been really turning a corner these past few days. Gorgeous blue skies and crisp air every afternoon. Which then turns to freezing cold at night, but still... happy to be able to come home from work and be able to open the windows for a while to let some fresh air inside.
Alas, the warmer weather has meant that Jake and Jenny are shedding their winter coats.
With Jenny, this is not an issue because she will happily lay there for hours while I run The Furminator over her to pull out all the hair that's falling out. But Jake? He will let me furminate him... to an extent. He won't let me near his belly with it and 4-5 minutes at a time is his limit.
Which, of course, means that it's Hairball Season for the next month or so.
Most times when I hear that tell-tale sound of him hacking up a hairball, he swallows it. That's good news for me. But every once in a while this time of year he'll puke one up. At which point I am never mad about it. And I always give him some love afterwards to calm him down a bit.
But I gotta say... the last two nights have been a trial.
Jake now sleeps on my bed every night. He'll curl up next to me... then keep pushing my legs away while he "stretches" until I end up on the very edge. A few nights ago he set up shop in the middle of the bed. Which is fine. Still plenty of room for me. But then he keeps snuggling into me harder and harder...
But three hours later after he's pushing and stretching and otherwise pushing me off the bed, I barely have any room left...
Eventually I am able to shift around him when I am ready to go to sleep and everything's fine, so I just deal with it. No problem.
But two nights ago I was awakened at by Jake hacking up a hairball at 2:50am. I know this because my Apple Watch recorded when I had to get up so I could run my blanket down to the clothes washer...
Last night I forget to get my blanket out of the dryer before heading up to bed. It wasn't cold though, so I thought I'd just make do with a sheet. But then... you guessed it... another hairball. This time at 4:35am...
Which meant I had to console Jake, then get him off my sheet... then take the sheeet down to the washer... then remember to grab my blanket before heading back upstairs.
At which point Jake curled up again and fell asleep.
But not before pushing my legs three inches, of course.
Posted on Saturday, March 6th, 2021
Well would you look at that... the two-hundredth edition of Caturday!
Hard to believe there's still new stuff happening with my cats nearly every week for the past five years to keep this going. Though not really so hard to believe. Since the pandemic started, my cats have lead far more interesting lives than I have.
Though Jenny's life is mostly about wanting to be scratched. She sheds like crazy, and is forever stopping me to get a nice rub-down so I can pull out another massive handful of shedded fur. She'll stop me while doing laundry. She'll stop me while cooking dinner. And she'll stop me while coming out of the bathroom every time!
Jake, on the other hand, is far more interested in staying warm. I turned off the heat on March 1st to save energy because it's been getting warmer and warmer. Alas the nights still get fairly chilly, so Jake has been glomming all over me each night and is still there every morning. I thought this would abate after a week or so, but nope. Still there...
Don't ask me how he is remotely comfortable in the positions I wake up to, because I haven't a clue...
And now I'm off to clean out the catio for Spring. They've been spending a lot of time out there now when the sun is out, so it's probably time. And for anybody wondering if they ever fall asleep out there when it's time to eat... well, have no fear...
They may not hear me when I'm a foot away asking them to stay off the table, but they could hear food dropping from a mile away.
Posted on Monday, March 8th, 2021
Happy International Women's Day! Many of my most favorite people in my life have been women, and taking a minute to appreciate the way that women impact our world is important. History is replete with examples of women's contributions being overwritten, dismissed, and forgotten. That ain't right, and I keep hoping that each new day moves us in a better, more positive direction for equality and inclusivity.
I celebrated by watching the movie Hidden Figures, which is a fantastic story of what women have contributed to NASA's Space Program... despite the absurd intrusion of Kevin Costner's "White Male Savior" character into the mix. Did we really need that scene of him taking a crowbar to the "Colored Ladies Room" sign? Especially since IT NEVER HAPPENED?
That kind of crap is exactly why we need International Woman's Day... and Black History Month.
But before sitting down to watch Hidden Figures, I had to find my cats.
When I got home, neither of them came to greet me. This is unusual. Usually at least Jake is there to sniff around me and make sure I smell acceptable enough to enter their house.
They weren't downstairs, so I figured they might be asleep on my bed. Nope. They were on the second guest bed, huddled on a comforter...
Perhaps I was too quick to turn the heat off?
Not wanting to get murdered in my sleep, I turned the heat back on.
Posted on Saturday, March 13th, 2021
Yay! My blog is broke again! Who knows when I'll find time to fix it.
Jake's favorite spot to sleep used to be next to my feet... but now he's upgraded to between my feet. Once he just kind of found himself there... and now he will force his way in there. Sometimes I will wake up and he'll be there sleeping away...
But kinda pales in comparison to Jenny, as usual. She's so smart and so cunning in getting what she wants. She comes running to the door when I go to the bathroom because she knows I'll stop and pet her when I come out. She runs to the kitchen when I walk in there because she knows that she might be able to guilt me into giving her a treat. And now? NOW?!? She waits for me to get up to get something, then dash to my spot on the couch and sit there because she knows I'll sit and pet her until she's had enough and I can get my spot back...
The worst though? She'll run to the door of the bathroom... wait for me to come out and pet her... then, if I stop before she's had enough, she'll run to my spot on the couch for more!
I have no idea what she'll come up with next. But I'm sure she'll find a way to get her way, that's for certain.
And while I didn't find Jake and Jenny in a dumpster, they were feral rescues...
And I feel the exact same way.
Posted on Saturday, March 20th, 2021
Another day. Another bit of terrible news to break my heart.
There's a meme going around Facebook and TikTok which says "The last photo in your camera roll is the reason you're alive."
Here's the last photo on my camera roll...
And here's the photo before it...
No surprise there.
And meme accurate.
Posted on Saturday, March 27th, 2021
I am sick, sick, sick.
Which means I've spent almost the entirety of my Saturdays in bed. Fortunately(?) my cats have been more than happy to keep me company as I lay here dying while lamenting the fact that all the chores I've been meaning to get to are ignored.
They have provided entertainment, however, as I lay here flat on my back trying not to throw up. Like synchronized butt-licking...
Jake has been doing a lot of undercarriage grooming. So either this is normal and I'm just not seeing it... or he saved it up just for me...
And, yes, as I've mentioned the last couple weeks, Jake is still wedging himself in-between my feet and legs to sleep and groom himself. Any time I wake up now, he's almost guaranteed to be there, which is really strange. I move around a lot when I sleep, but he is not deterred. I mean, look how I woke up this afternoon...
I'm practically off the bed and he just doesn't care. I really had to go to the bathroom here, but when I nudged him by pulling on the sheet? Oh... he just turns around and starts giving himself a bath...
And of course it's too cute so I have no choice but to lay there in an uncomfortable position until he finishes... TEN MINUTES LATER!
In other news... more Mufasa drama last night. Jake will run upstairs to drop off his stuffed lion, then go back downstairs and cry because he can't find Mufasa. So I walk it downstairs and hand it to him... only to have him carry his favorite toy right back upstairs again...
I took it down TWICE, because I'm a sucker like that. But can you blame me? Look at that adorable face!
The third time, which was a while later, I took it downstairs and told him "No more! If you bring it back upstairs, it's staying there!" Not five minutes later, JENNY BRINGS IT UPSTAIRS AND DROPS IT ON THE FLOOR!!
NOOOOOO! She was rather proud of herself...
Now what do I do? Technically, Jake wasn't the one who brought it upstairs. His sister did. So was I obligated to take it down to him? Turns out the answer is no. He came upstairs to go to bed not long after.
And, no, I still have no idea why Mufasa hasn't been ripped to shreds given how Jake treats the thing...
Nobody explained any of this madness to me when I got my cats. They should hand out pamphlets at the Humane Society.
Posted on Saturday, April 3rd, 2021
Jake stares out into the catio from on top of the cat tree across the room. Every once in a while he will spot something going on outside and bolt for the catio door at top speed. When you need to worry is when he bolts from the tree up to the catio door then goes into stealth mode. Most times it's birds outside the catio or a moth on the window or something else he wants to murder. No big deal.
But when I look out the window and see that there's a bird who flew inside the catio? Yikes. I open the window and shout "DO YOU HAVE A DEATH-WISH?!?" which causes the bird to fly off.
No idea how he was able to flap his way through the tiny opening in the fence. Good timing, I guess!
This made Jake very salty indeed...
And I'm like "Hey, be mad all you want... but I'm not having you drag a half-dead bird into the house. Or, worse yet, a live bird that I have to trap and release!"
But then he took things up a notch.
Completely ignores me for messing up his fun. And when I do see him? Let's just say that he's holding a grudge juuuuuust fine...
Now I'm starting to wonder if having him murder a bird is better than him murdering me?
Jenny gets salty, but doesn't seem to hold a grudge for any length of time. Whish is a good thing, because she gets upset with me all the time. Mostly when I "pet her wrong." This gets her very cross indeed, and I never know exactly what I've done wrong. I'm guessing that she doesn't even know. She just knows what she doesn't like. To combat this, I've started moving a knuckle up and down so she can manouver where she wants to be scratched and all is good in the world...
Jake on the other hand? He just flops down and says "Do me." He's happy to get scratched anywhere...
Sometimes he is less receptive to belly rubs than others, so I usually avoid unless he specifically asks for scritches on the belly.
And now we go back to Jake wanting to murder me, already in progress...
Posted on Saturday, April 10th, 2021
I have been feeling "off" all day. Sick to my stomach... assorted aches and pains... headache... unable to get comfortable... it all added up to a day of sitting/laying on the couch trying to distract myself with television.
When I finally just called it a day and went to bed, my stomache decided to go into revolt. After a half hour of lying in bed trying to decide whether I should ride it out or go puke out whatever is going on, Jake arrives.
"Jake, I'm not feeling very well... maybe you should sleep somewhere else tonight?"
I then put my feet together so he couldn't sleep between them like he usually does.
The little scrubber forced his way between my shins, then kept twisting and pushing so he'd have his favorite sleeping spot. Eventually I relented because he was not giving up...
After this, my decision was made for me. I will be riding out my nausea until I fell asleep.
But first I have to write this blog post. Because it's Caturday, after all.
Posted on Friday, April 16th, 2021
Yesterday I had a great salad. It was my first "real" food since Saturday. I managed to keep it down, which gave me the courage to have a slice of pizza toast for dinner before going to bed. After my digestive system got going again, all I wanted to do was eat. The pizza toast was a monumentally huge mistake. I was miserable all night, couldn't sleep at all, and finally gave up fighting it.
I wish I hadn't waited so long, because I felt so much better after I finally gave up on keeping it down.
Alas, that was at 2:30am.
What's funny is that through all my misery and tossing and turning and agonizing... Jake never once left my feet. At one point I was a complete mess while Jake was flopped across one leg while digging his claws into my other leg...
Astounding that one cat can take up so much space. I swear he started out curled up on one small corner of my bed. I honestly think that this was his attempt at making me stop moving. He's trying to hold me down or something.
Today I was back at square one. I went back to dry toast and ginger ale and worked my way up to a cheese sandwich for dinner. And that's the end of it. No late night dinner no matter how hungry I get.
I was surprised to learn that some states OTHER than Washington State book your second COVID vaccination appointment at the same time you get your first dose. Since the time between doses is set and known, it's weird that all states aren't doing it this way. My vaccination card had a reminder of when I was supposed to schedule my appointment, but every time I went to the website it told me that no appointments were available for my date. I was getting more and more anxious every day because I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get an appointment for my date.
Then today this message arrived via text and email...
And I'm like why? WHY DIDN'T THEY TELL ME that I would be getting a reservation request so I could make my second appointment and not have to be worried about it? Why couldn't they have told me this and make a stressful situation be not stressful at all? The very least they could do was PUT THIS ON THE WEBSITE!
So now I have my appointment and can dial down the anxiety so I'm not freaking out over the idea of missing my second dose.
Perhaps I'll even be able to get some sleep tonight?
Except... dang wouldn't pizza toast taste great right about now?
Posted on Saturday, April 17th, 2021
It never ceases to amaze me just how easy it is to dump a bunch of money on your pets.
I've done more than my share. Mostly in the form of toys that Jake and Jenny get tired of quickly... which means it's time to go buy more toys. Fortunately, Jake only really cares about one toy... his stuffed lion Mufasa... but he does like new stuff too, as it keeps his life interesting.
One of the most expensive investments happened before my cats even arrived. I knew I would be getting at least one of them to keep my mom company, and worried that the wall-to-wall hardwood floors would be uncomfortable for a cat to walk on all the time. So I bought a bunch of rugs to put throughout the house. I also bought carpeted stair treads to make it more comfortable for them to go up and down the staircase.
It was money wasted.
I found out very quickly that Jake and Jenny will avoid walking on carpet. They will avoid laying on carpet. They want nothing to do with carpet. I mean, look at this...
Well, fine by me. I didn't want the carpet anyway. Especially that ugly shag monstrosity I bought for my living room. Within six months all the pricey carpets I had purchased were tossed. Except for the carpeted stair treads. I left them because even though both cats avoid wallking on it... they do run on it. When they are chasing each other at top speed, they grip that carpet tread with their claws and shred the things. So... better the carpet than my hardwood, I suppose.
You would think that I had learned my lesson by now on buying stuff my cats will ignore.
I just bought a cew chirpy ball to delight them and annoy me. For a few days anyway. They'll be ignoring it within a week.
Posted on Saturday, April 24th, 2021
Every year around mid-April my Facebook Memories® start showing photos of when Jake and Jenny were finally starting to trust me. Jake was mostly okay with me in mid-March... but Jenny? No way. She would only start letting me pet her instead of running away in terror about mid-April five years ago.
It's kinda emotional seeing what caring and patience can do.
For the first month, I was worried that they may never let me near them. But then... gradually...
My cats factor into just about every major decision I make. How long I travel. Where I travel. If I'm going to move to a new city or not. What job I have. And even minor decisions I make. How I arrange the furniture. Whether I leave the window open. What time I wake up.
They're both such a massively huge part of my life.
And having photo memories like this one pop up on Facebook is why I don't mind at all. This is about the time I wanted then to be a massively huge part of my life.
Posted on Monday, April 26th, 2021
Every damn day there's stuff going on that's worse than the day before, and I am exhausted. I just want to crawl under the covers and forget the outside world exists before I even get to my lunch hour because something in the news was the last straw for me.
Flat earthers. Anti-vaxxers. COVID deniers and mask deniers. Q-Anon conspiracy dipshits. Politicians selling us out to their wealthy corporate owners. Asholes making life so much harder for anybody who isn't a billionaire. The list goes on and on, but it generally boils down to mean people and stupid people. And most of the time the worst offenders are both. Those who lack compassion and kindness. Those who are willfully ignorant and not willing to acknowledge truth. It's depressing just how bad things have gotten because these people are intent on fucking it up for all of us.
The good news is that I finally set aside some time to reinstall Wordpress so the PHP update is no longer killing my blog, so there's that.
So I guess there's nothing stopping me from kicking my Monday to the curb a little early and crawling under the covers to play video games for the rest of the day.
Though I'm pretty sure my cats will want dinner come 6:00.
Posted on Saturday, May 8th, 2021
And so now both cats are sleeping with me at night. Used to be just Jake, but now that he's relegated himself to sleeping at my feet each night, Jenny decided that this left the upper half of the bed to her.
Their nightly routine has become painfully predictable.
It starts out when Jake starts sticking to me like glue on the couch about an hour before bedtime...
Then he follows me upstairs to my bedroom. After complaining that I'm not changing into pajama bottoms fast enough, he'll flop over for belly rubs...
Then, just as he starts to zonk out, he gets up to go fall asleep on or near my feet for some reason...
Then, when Jenny sees that Jake is done getting attention for the night, she hops up for her turn getting belly rubs...
But she falls asleep right next to me, as you can see by this photo of me in the morning...
I still find it odd that they choose to sleep next to me when I move quite a bit. Apparently it doesn't bother them. I just hope that I don't end up squishing a cat in the middle of the night!
In the morning Jake usually wanders off as I'm waking up. But Jenny stays right there because she demands more belly rubs to start out her day!
Such an adorable girl. She just can't help be be adorable though. It's her natural state. Whenever the dryer buzzer goes off, Jenny waits for me to pull the clothes out, then hops on top of them. Because they're warm. Then I have to gently pull a piece out so I can hang it up... at which time Jenny is pawing at the pile because she wants all the warm clothes. The paranoia then gets worse and worse as more clothes disappear off the pile...
Poor girl. I'm stealing her treasure!
And that's my Caturday today. Spoiler Alert: I'm pretty sure Jenny will continue to be adorable in my next Caturday post.
Posted on Saturday, May 15th, 2021
A couple days ago when I got out of the shower, I heard Jenny WAILING out the door. I immediately ran out into the hall naked and soaking wet in order to find out what had gone wrong. And there she was... just sitting there meowing her head off. So I start examining her and feeling around trying to find out if she broke some bones or got cut somehow or was otherwise injured. But... nothing. After getting tired of being man-handled by me and my wet hands, Jenny wandered downstairs... apparently no worse for wear.
So I get dried off, brush my teeth, get dressed, gather my work stuff and head downstairs.
Where Jenny is sitting next to the feeding station wailing her head off. Again.
Turns out all this drama was because she was tired of waiting for her morning treat.
So I'm like "Oh thank heavens" and "Holy crap... are you kidding me, Jenny?" Because I've worked hard to resist the urge to reward bad behavior in my cats, and here's Jenny just not giving a crap about anything I have planned. But I be darned if this doesn't make me love my cranky girl even more than I already did. What an amazing cat...
Jake is a lazy boy. He eats when it's time to eat. He never bothers me for food, but it happy to sit and sniff while I eat my food. Jenny, on the other hand, is constantly wanting to be fed. If I even LOOK like I'm headed to the kitchen, she's off like a rocket to follow me in and ask for a treat. What's worse is that now she's the one to snarf up her brother's food if he doesn't get to it quick enough. It used to be the other way around. Earlier this week I tried to correct her at lunch time so Jake could get to his bowl. And she was NOT having it. I ended up having to grab some food out and add new food back to her bowl so that her brother could get something to eat.
I wonder what that's all about?
And speaking of wondering what's this all about with my cats... here's Jake, snuggled up against me as usual. Except he keeps moving north from my feet. Now he insists on sleeping while snuggled up against my butt...
This would be fine... if not for the fact that Jake has a body temperature of 180°. The guy is on fire. Which is not comfortable after a while. So I gently move away... only to have Jake rearrange himself to be snuggled up against me tighter...
Eventually he's grabbing my leg so I can't escape so easily...
Which would be fine if he didn't have a body temperature of 180° AND HAVE HIS FOOT UP MY ASS...
No exaggeration... I had to pull his little foot out my ass...
But don't worry. Jake just adjusted himself again. How he does this without waking up just amazes me. I finally couldn't take it any more. My legs (and ass) were on fire. So I freed my legs and swung them over him to have some space. And he didn't even flinch...
Nope. He just snuggled up next to the other side!
After moving over yet again, he finally got the hint and snuggled up to himself instead of snuggling up to my leg...
But then I had to get out of bed. When he finally woke up. And was not happy about it...
But no worries. When dinner time came around, all was forgiven.
Fortunately Jenny didn't eat his food.
Posted on Saturday, May 22nd, 2021
Whenever I see another cat exploring the great outdoors of my back yard while Jake and Jenny gaze out at them from the catio, I can't help but feel a little bad about it. They're such scaredy-cats that roaming free would probably be traumatic for them (it certainly was for Jake when he escaped!) and even more traumatic for any birds in the area, so I try not to let it bother me too much though.
In an effort to take the guilt away, I bought a "Fresh Patch Cat XL" to drop in the catio so they could at least have some nature to walk on or roll around in or whatever. The stuff is available in different sizes, but I opted for the largest 2' × 4' size to make it more lawn-like. What fun is a miniscule patch? It's grown without dirt and only requires a daily spritzing with water to stay fresh. It's supposed to last three to four weeks, but I'm hoping that it last longer since Jake and Jenny won't be peeing on it and taking dumps on it like a dog would.
The smaller patches come in a waxed-back box. The largest patches do not, so I ordered a tray to go with it. I thought it would be a flimsy thing and was prepared to build a frame for it, but the thing was really tough! The grass itself is okay... though it had sludgey spots and was yellowed already along one side.
After flopping the tray down, all I had to do was roll out the grass and it was ready.
At first, Jake wanted nothing to do with it. But Jenny? she was very curious...
Eventually Jake was onboard though...
I'm not sure if this will be a passing phase like just about every toy they've ever owned... or if they're in it for the long-haul. I'll have to see how things pan out before having to re-order in three or four weeks.
Posted on Saturday, May 29th, 2021
I have loads of photos of my cats. But photo after photo gets boring, so I was looking for something different. I didn't know exactly what that was going to be until I saw one of my long-time blogging friends was painting rocks that she hides for people to find. She paints a lot of cats, so I thought I'd ask about hiring her for a commissioned set for Jake and Jenny. Lucky for me, she accepted. And today they arrived!
There's Kitten Jenny, Adult Jenny, Kitten Jake, and Adult Jake hugging Mufasa. Kim also gave me two Taco Cat rocks to hide.
The only thing I told her is that Jenny needs to have her trademark frowny-face. Everything else... including Mufasa... she came up with entirely on her own! How awesome is that? She captured them perfectly, and I couldn't be happier.
Now I need to build a shadow box to display them.
Posted on Saturday, June 5th, 2021
I honestly don't understand how this stuff happens. Apprently there was a vulnerability somewhere that my protection plugin didn't catch. It only alerted me to the fact that files had changed, and when I look at the source code, I see it there... I just don't know where it's being injected yet.
Reeeeealy hope I don't have to restore from backup.
This will be the look on my face if I have to do a restore from backup...
It's Caturday, after all.
Posted on Wednesday, June 9th, 2021
Remember yesterday when I was talking about trying so hard not to hate because I know where it leads? I've failed for two days in a row now.
Before I get to that, I need to pop some keywords up so Google can index this and perhaps help people who went through what I went through...
HavaHart Live Animal Cage Trap Failure — HavaHart Trap Door Won't Stay Closed — HavaHart Handle Falls Off — HavaHart Trap Model #1079 — HavaHart Trap Defective — HavaHart Victor Trap Manufacturing Defect — HavaHart Trap Won't Work
Last night I had to work a few extra hours so that I could make up the time I lost arguing with shitty AT&T over money they wanted to charge me on a closed account. As I was leaving the office, I thought I saw a kitten running in the parking spaces across the street.
Fast forward to this morning and I was outside social-distanced from my uncle so I could give him some papers my mom had left for him... and I saw the kitten again. My uncle also saw it, so this time I knew it wasn't my imagination.
Well, obviously I'm not going to let a scared, hungry kitten suffer on my watch, so I immediately ran home to get my cat carrier and some food. Sure enough... the little guy (or gal) came running out to scarf it down...
He looked like there might be something wrong with one of his eyes, and he doesn't look 100% well. Which may just be the trauma of being out on the streets trying to survive, but I won't know until I manage to grab him. Except he's so skittish that I couldn't get near him...
And so I called local veterinarian offices to see if they had a trap I could borrow. They did not. So I called the Humane Society because surely they have one... left a voicemail, but never heard back. Eventually I went to Home Depot where they had them in stock...
When I got back to the office, I unpacked the trap and followed the instructions to open it. Immediately the "handle" springs off and slashes a nice gash in one of my hand while the trap falls on my other hand to cut it as well...
Ouch. But whatever. I have a cat to catch. Train tracks run right next to where he's been hiding, and I am mortified that he might be run over. So I don't need a handle on the door. I set it up with stinky cat food, then covered it like what was suggested by a local cat rescue to make it seem more "safe" to the kitten...
I checked the trap every hour. On the third hour the door had sprung and I was ecstatic that I had got kitty so easily. But when I ran across the street to collect him, there was no cat inside. Thinking that maybe a gust of wind set it off, I reset it to try again. But the cat was wary of it...
I worked until 10:00pm when it got too dark to see the trap. So I went home and started taking naps between my hourly trap checks. FINALLY at 2:00am my headlights revealed that the trap had sprung. But, once again, not kitten inside. What the hell?
So naturally I went to the internet to see what I was doing wrong. LO AND BEHOLD, WHAT I THOUGHT WAS A "HANDLE" WAS, IN FACT, A CRITICAL CLIP NEEDED TO KEEP THE DOOR CLOSED! There were videos on YouTube about it from FIVE YEARS AGO and everything...
The kitten had actually been trapped twice, but managed to squeeze out from under the trap door.
I was absolutely enraged.
This company, HavaHart, who never responded to a guy telling them that their product is defective... has ibviously known about this problem FOR OVER FIVE YEARS. Probably longer. How shitty is that? The only way I found out that the "handle" was not actually a handle was because one of the comments on that video explained it. With not a small amount of effort and a pair of wide-grip pliers, I managed to get the trap door clip installed in the slots that hold it...
This is so shitty that I can't even express how angry I am. The kitten is probably so frightened about being trapped twice that they may never go back in now that I've repaired it. My God... all it would take is a simple rivet... or a punch-fasten... or a frickin' dimple... to make it so that this clip... WHICH ALSO ACTS AS A HANDLE PER THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE BOX... won't come flying out and hurting people when you pull on it to open the door. It would also make their product work as advertised. Rage. Rage. Rage...
I continued to drive back to the office every hour, but the scared, hungry, possibly sick kitten never went back in the trap. And I don't blame them. I can only hope that they get hungry enough that they'll try to eat from the trap one more time so I can rush him to the vet and make sure he's okay. I'll still be checking every hour... even though I'm exhausted from lack of sleep worrying about a scared kitten getting run over by a train.
I don't really want a third cat, but I may not have much choice in the matter. I'm not going to abandon the poor thing. Which I've decided to name "Loki" whether it's a boy or a girl. Because Loki in the Marvel Studios movies is famous for being able to escape a trap... just like this kitten. And speaking of Loki...
The first of six episiodes dropped. And it's glorious. It's Loki doing what Loki does best, but also has some heart in it that's surprisingly touching. So nice to see that Marvel Studios is killing it not just with their movies, but with their Disney+ series as well. Can't wait to see where this one goes!
Posted on Thursday, June 10th, 2021
I'm in zombie mode now that I haven't gotten any sleep in two days. One night of worrying about the stray kitten I saw as I walked home from work... one night running back to the office every hour to check on the cat trap... and there's only so long that a person can go on like this.
I've had to accept that the kitten is most likely gone because I haven't seen him since before 2:00am and it's now 1am the following day.
He got trapped twice but, because of the known defect in the trap I bought that I was unaware of, he escaped. Then, undoubtedly terrified of the cage that got him, he moved on.
So now I have a camera of the (repaired) trap on my Google Hub and I only set my alarm every three hours to have a look...
I know that kittens get abandoned every day. I know that this cruel world lets stray cats die of neglect all the time. I know this. And yet here was one kitten I could have saved... but ultimately couldn't. And I don't know how to feel about it so I'm feeling everything.
I'll keep the trap up for a while yet... even though it's undoubtedly futile at this point. Eventually I'll return it to Home Depot for being a defective piece of shit and contact their coporate headquarters to ask that they stop selling this model trap so that others won't go through what I've had to go through. Probably not going to do anything since corporate schenanigans between companies are always going to take precidence over people, but it's worth a shot.
Now back to sleep again until my alarm chimes in another three hours.
Posted on Monday, June 14th, 2021
I took down the animal trap. I'll return the hunk of shit to Home Depot later this week when I get caught up with work. I remain no less livid that traps with a defect that's been reported for over five years are still being sold to unsuspecting people. I also remain heartbroken for that little kitten that I wasn't able to save. I sure hope he made his way to a place where somebody will watch out for him.
Posted on Saturday, June 19th, 2021
I am not home for today's Caturday... I'm at the airport!
It is very, very strange to be at the SeaTac International after so long. Pre-pandemic I was here twenty times a year... then there was nothing since November 2019! I’m not here to travel, alas, but to go to my TSA interview for renewing my Global Entry card. Really wish I could have done that via Zoom, but every effort to make a Zoom appointment failed. So I had to take a 2-1/2 hour drive over the mountains instead.
In other news... Jake has suddenly realized that the alarm that sounds for breakfast and dinner comes from the Alexa speakers.
I know this because now when he's hungry in the morning and wants his breakfast, he no longer bugs me... he is wanting to bug the magical box where the alarm sounds. Apparently so he can convince Alexa to chime earlier or something...
He's done this three times this past week. Patience is apparently not something Jake feels like dealing with when food is on the line.
In other, other news... bring cats...
Reply to @jaylon__05 Bring Cats @jaylenlipp @tommylee_00 ##ringseries♬ Mr. Blue Sky - Electric Light Orchestra
Here's hoping that my cats are having fun without me back home.
Posted on Saturday, June 26th, 2021
I should really know better.
And yet I never learn, because I keep ordering stuff through Kickstarter. I've only been really burned once where the people took the money and ran, but I was dubious at the start and "only" ended up losing $25 (which is still too much to lose, in my humble opinion, because I'm no Elon Musk). Out of all the projects I've backed, I've only been truly thrilled with about 10% of them. Another 20% were less than stellar. And the remaining 70% were scams or absolute garbage.
But, when it comes to taking care of my cats, I'm a total sucker, and ended up backing the "Kitty Spring" cat fountain an eternity ago. The idea of having multiple fountains around the house while I travel appealed to me, and I thought it was smart to find different approaches to the challenge of keeping my cats hydrated when I'm gone.
Turns out, I should have just stuck with a big bowl of water.
Or bought another ceramic fountain, because both my cats absolutely love that thing.
The first problem I encountered when I finally received my Kitty Spring was the size of the thing. For whatever reason I thought I'd be filling a 2-liter bottle... but it ended up being 1/4 that size. This thing is tiny.
The next problem is that it's just not that great of a design. If you don't have it on a perfectly level surface, then the water won't flow out of it like it's supposed to.
The other problem is that the dish with water in it is SO small and shallow that there's barely enough water in it to let the cats know they should drink from there.
And it's this last problem that ended up being so entertaining that it's almost worth the money I paid for a failed product! Jake was the first to drink from it. As he was drinking for that first time, the bottle made a GLUG! GLUG! GLUG! sound as water refilled the bowl that scared him.
So what did he do?
Jake attacked the thing. And even though it comes with a rubber base to hold it to the ground, the fountain is so small and light that it pops right out and spills water everywhere...
Jenny has taken a few drinks from it, but not enough to make it a source of water for her since she mostly ignores it.
Jake will drink from it sometimes, but also not enough to justify the $44 it cost me (seriously not worth it). He is no longer startled by the GLUG! GLUG! GLUG! sound... but he still beats up on it just for fun, spilling water everywhere.
AT LEAST I THOUGHT THAT'S WHAT WAS HAPPENING!
I was wrong.
The reason he smacks it around is because he's learned that doing so causes more water to come out! And I know this because I actually saw him demonstrate twice this past week. First he'll walk up to it. Then he'll start smacking the bottle around. Then he'll drink from the full dish instead of the meager amount of water that was there.
It's really genius when you stop to think about it.
There are two geniuses in my house. I'm growing increasingly aware that one of them is not me.
Posted on Saturday, July 3rd, 2021
When I first bought my cat grass, it started turning brown almost immediately. So instead of spraying it with a little water as instructed, I started dumping water on it by the gallons. That stopped the brown from getting worse... but had the side-effect of causing the grass to grow quite long. The cats didn't seem to mind. They'd happily lay in it and roll around in it. Which is exactly what I bought it for in the first place...
Now that it's too hot out and the cats don't like to go out, I should probably just let the grass die... but I'm genuinely curious to know how long I can keep it alive. Then, when it starts getting cooler at the end of August maybe I can order more and better know how to take care of it this time around?
Worth a shot.
Posted on Saturday, July 10th, 2021
I am too tired to blog.
But it's not like I have a choice, do I? Fortunately, it's Caturday.
That look you get when you cough while your cat was napping...
The reason your video game controller is always covered in cat hair might have something to do with your cat's addiction to video games...
My owners are so disappointed in me.
Posted on Saturday, July 17th, 2021
THUMP. BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA. THUMP THUMP THUMP. THUMP. CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP.
This is what I hear each time I come from work. It's Jake jumping off the upstairs cat tower... running across my room. running down the hall... then running down the stairs. It's nice that he comes running to greet me each day for scratches, and it's something I look forward to.
Jenny is more cautious. She'll wait and make sure that Jake doesn't get eaten before she cautiously slinks downstairs. The difference being that she's completely silent.
The other day I came home and heard nothing.
It happens from time to time. Jake is having a particularly good sleep and doesn't feel like being interrupted. Or he's busy chewing away on Mufasa and that's more important than welcoming be back home.
And then I heard him squawking. Worried that he might be sick or hurt, I went running to find him. Only to see this...
Not sick or hurt... lazy. He didn't want to run to me, he wanted me to run to him...
Eventually he tore himself away from Mufasa and came running after me when I plopped down on the couch. Say goodbye to my spleen...
Though he was nice enough to step over my balls, so that was nice.
Speaking of Mufasa...
Earlier this week Jake piled up two of his toys... then put Mufasa on top. Then sat there squawking (turn the volume up to hear it). I guess he wanted me to come look at it? I was working, so I yelled down for him to come to bed, which he did. But then I felt bad because he was obviously proud of what he accomplished and wanted to share it.
The next morning as I went downstairs to feed the cats their breakfast I was sure to tell Jake how proud I was. He didn’t care. He was over it and just wanted to be fed. Oh well. I tried.
Posted on Saturday, July 24th, 2021
My cats may not be able to speak, but they definitely know how to communicate.
Jenny manipulates me with growing ease. She knows exactly how to meow to get me to give her belly rubs...
But also knows exactly how to tell me that I'm petting her the wrong way...
Jake isn't interested in telling me anything. He's more concerned with looking cute...
And just being cute...
Which is to say that they don't need to say anything at all.
Posted on Saturday, July 31st, 2021
Ugh. I'm so exhausted it feels like my brain is melting.
Jenny is quick to flash the "What in the hell do you think you're doing" look when you are petting her in a way she doesn't like. But she's also quick with the deepest, most earth-shaking purrs I've ever heard when you rub her the right way...
Holy cow, look at that face! That's the same face I'm making right now because I have to work this weekend and don't have time for blogging.
Posted on Saturday, August 7th, 2021
I am not home today... which means I spend every mealtime staring at my cats over the security cameras, trying to see if there's anything that looks wrong with them.
One of the earliest items I bought for my cats was kitty toothbrushes with kitty toothpaste. I had heard that teeth cleaning can be so severe on cats that they have to be put under in order for it to happen, so I wanted to start out with good dental hygiene from the beginning.
Neither one of them was having it.
They would happily lick the toothpaste off of the brush (I'm guessing it tastes like fish or chicken or some other food cats love)... but the minute I start to brush with it? Nope.
Which is why I was really excited to see that Arm & Hammer had a baking-soda-infused water additive that can help to keep a cat's teeth healthy. It wasn't terribly expensive, so I snapped it right up and started using it last weekend.
Fast-forward to yesterday morning when I was doing one of my twice-weekly cleanings of Jake and Jenny's water fountain and... "OH MY GAWD!!! IS THIS MOLD GROWING INSIDE THE WATER PUMP AND FILTER?!? GAAAAAHHH!!!!" Needless to say, I was freaked out. I immediately threw the pre-filter and the filter in the garbage. Then I scrubbed every piece of the fountain with vinegar. Then with soap. Then rinsed with hot water. Then cleaned it again! I was taking no chances that my cats were ingesting mold.
Then after getting the fountain put back together with fresh pre-filter and filter parts and rinsing it yet again with hot water... I filled it up and reached for the bottle of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda Additive and...
Apparently my fountain's filtration system works so amazingly well it is able to filter out an invisible quantity of baking soda from the water supply. Which is a good thing, I guess?
Oh well. I tried.
I really, really hope that my cats never have to be put under for a teeth cleaning. But it's not like I didn't try to help them avoid it.
Posted on Saturday, August 14th, 2021
The primary reason I built a catio is to allow my cats to go outside while keeping them safe. But another reason is to keep the local wildlife safe. Doing my best to make sure that birds and mice and other critters don't get murdered by my psychopathic felines.
It's mostly successful.
Three times a bird has made their way into the catio. Only once has this resulted in a fatality. No mice, moles, or other warm-blooded creatures have died.
Insects, on the other hand? Well... the catio doesn't do a very good job of protecting them at all. My cats just looooove to chomp down on whatever bugs are foolish enough to wander in. Which hasn't been a huge problem. Until now.
Now I have praying mantises waltzing in at an alarming pace. Last week one was challenging Jake to a fight after he got batted around for a bit...
I went back outside and kicked the mantis out of the catio three times! But the stupid, suicidal thing kept coming back. It's shocking how aggressive these things are! But, alas, the thing apparently came back a fourth time...
And then... here they come... again!
I kicked the thing back out but, of course, it came back in. This time both Jake and Jenny decided to have a go at it, so I had to rush right back outside...
I don't understand why this has suddenly become a problem. I rarely saw praying mantises the first five years I've lived here. Maybe it's the heat? I dunno.
What I do know is that any praying mantis looking to die should just head to my catio and have at it.
Posted on Saturday, August 21st, 2021
My cats watch television with me.
Jenny more than Jake, but Jake will absolutely watch the screen if something there catches his interest.
Like me watching an episode of Ted Lasso for the hundredth time...
Jenny is more picky. The one thing that gives me odds of her tuning in to the television is playing Rick and Morty. As I've mentioned before, she absolutely loves Rick's voice. The other day I was getting caught up, and as soon as Rick started talking, Jenny walked from the kitchen to the living room...
Jenny was not pleased with the sexist dialogue, and had to give me a "look" to make sure I knew of her displeasure.
In other cat news... I am beginning to think that Jake suffers from narcolepsy. A couple of times now he has been walking away from me after getting pets and just... collapses asleep! At first I was mortified that he had collapsed dead. But nope... just sleeping...
Jenny, on the other hand, rarely walks away. She will let you give her pets for as long as you are willing to give her pets!
Especially in those hard-to-reach areas, like her armpits. Can cats even scratch there? I don't think they can unless they rub over something?
And, on that note, I really need to get out of bed and make breakfast.
Posted on Saturday, August 28th, 2021
As I was sitting down to write this, Jenny just casually trapped a fly and ate it. And I'm like... WHY?!? YOU JUST HAD DINNER! Jenny may be fuzzy, adorable, and sweet. But she's also a fly-murdering psychopath who loves to kill. =sigh= I hope I'm not cleaning up fly-crusted vomit later tonight.
Yesterday I brought my work hard drive array home so I don't have to go into the office over the weekend. This resulted in Jake laying on the stairwell banister watching me work....
THEN after I start singing along with my music to him, this is what happens...
=sigh= Is my singing really THAT BAD? Apparently.
He can't even fake being interested in the guy who feeds him and gives him a home to sleep in!
Posted on Saturday, September 4th, 2021
Jenny continues to be my little princess... knowing full-well that she can get away with absolutely anything she puts her mind to. She's also very quick to express her displeasure when something is not to her liking. That's definitely on me, because I not only put up with it... I seem to encourage it!
Now that I have Lemon 2.0 so I can work on a destop computer at home, I spend a lot of time sitting at my desk. Jake will often lay on the banister tray I made for him (so he won't fall off again) and watch me. But Jenny? She will sit up there and demand to be petted... meowing her head off if I don't comply!
But look at that face! How could I not comply?
Earlier this week Jenny was out chillin' in the catio (the cats spend a LOT of time out there this time of year when it's warm, but not too hot). All of a sudden she came running in the house, then starts meowing at the window. Glaring. She was furious. I couldn't figure it out, but then some kids with a dog walked by and I'm like... oh...
Weird that she's never done anything like this before. Weird but not surprising. This is just my little princess letting everybody know how unhappy she is with the world.
For the past week-and-a-half, Jake has had a dingleberry on his ass. Not stuck on his fur... but stuck to the skin. I tried to remove it (wearing a rubber glove, of course) but it was really stuck and any attempt was hurting him and I didn't want to rip off any skin in such a sensitive area. Then the thing started GROWING because more would stick to it every time Jake when to the bathroom. And it never fell off as I hoped it would.
Consulting Google, I saw that coconut oil was recommended. So I got the oil, loaded it in a squirt bottle, and would spray his pucker when I got the chance. I thought this would get him to try to clean it himself, but no. I am guessing it hurt when he tried so he gave up.
THEN YESTERDAY, after three days of hitting his ass with coconut oil, I gloved-up and it came right off when he was distracted with breakfast! Jake didn't even notice! Which is why I didn't mind when the little poop-head snuggled up to me that morning...
Because... you guys... YOU GUYS... that tongue!
Such are the crazy things I do as a cat dad that I never even conceived of when I first brought them home. Love this guy.
Posted on Saturday, September 18th, 2021
My cats have never been okay with my traveling. They are barely agreeable for me to go to work. So it will come as no surprise that they were most unhappy for me to leave for a week.
But I really had no idea just how unhappy they would be.
Turns out that after having me home for two years, my leaving would end up being a Very Bad Thing.
Both cats have been glued to me since I got back... even going so far as to share the bed, which is something they do rarely...
Jenny is probably the most upset by my time away. Jake is usually the one who wanders the house crying when he can't find his toy lion, Mufasa, or can't figure out where I am. But lately it's Jenny who's been wandering the house crying. Jake simply never leaves my side except to go to the bathroom or eat...
I guess it's nice to have somebody who misses you while you're gone and is happy when you're back... but having Jenny wake you up at 2:30am because she wants attention is something I hope she gets over real quick!