Posted on Saturday, January 1st, 2022
Tonight while I was waiting for my dinner to get out of the oven, I glanced into the kitchen after I heard Jake and Jenny romping around in that direction. To my horror, I saw Jake on top of the kitchen counter. This is exceedingly rare. The only thing I will (gently) yell at my cats for is to get off the counters. After a couple years, they finally get the message, and just don't do it. I have a motion alert from my cameras that tells me when they've been up there so I know to sanitize and steam clean them... but it hasn't gone of in months. Probably even a year now.
So seeing Jake up there was pretty shocking.
And after I (gently) yelled at him to get down twice (I don't ever scream at my cats... just raising my voice a little is enough for them to get the message), I was disappointed that he was still up there.
So I walk into the kitchen to shoo him down and...
...it wasn't Jake. I left my backpack on the counter. Which is apparently Jake-shaped from a distance.
And now I felt bad, so I found him cowering in the guest bedroom and told him how sorry I was and gave him lots of pets so he would know that I wasn't mad at him. I was mad at me, apparently.
I ordered some things from Amazon that I couldn't get locally. It all came in a nice big box with a long string of packing pillows, so I was sure to set it out for the cats. They both love a nice-sized box filled with packing pillows. Jake just likes to stand around in there looking at everything. Jenny will jump in and smack all the pillows around and roll around like a maniac. It's adorable. The excitement usually wears off after a few days but, in the meanwhile, something new to do that's indoors where it's warm! They go out in the catio from time to time, but never for more than a few minutes now that the temperature gets below freezing.
A box. Best toy money can buy!
Posted on Saturday, January 8th, 2022
This morning while I was working I decided to have New Carl vacuum the house. But first I had to pick up a few things, including the big cardboard box that my cats have been playing in this past week off-and-on. I set it on the sofa and almost immediately Jenny climbed up and jumped inside it. Then she wanted to see out... went towards the side that was on the edge of the couch and... well... there she went. It was hysterical. It started so slowly. She realized she was moving, her little ears laid back flat, her eyes opened wide, and you could see she was trying to process what was happening. Just before the box hit the floor, she hopped out... nearly landing on Jake who walked in to see what the ruckus was about. She was not happy.
My cats are growing more different from each other.
When I am on a Zoom call, Jenny comes walking up meowing and wants to be petted. Then she'll sit and stare at me until my call is over...
Jake waits too... but from a safer distance...
Jenny comes in after breakfast and wants to nap next to me, but she insists on belly rubs while she falls asleep...
Jake just wants to curl up next to me and fall immediately asleep...
In other cat news, Jenny spotted some birds outside and went running to the catio at top speed. They eventually flew off, and she laid there waiting for them to come back, which must have been cold with her belly on the frozen concrete...
Eventually she gave up and came inside so she could thaw out on a warming pad.
And lastly, I leave you with this. Kinda reminds me of how Jenny used to plop down and watch TV with me... completely absorbed by what was happening on the screen...
@gleamon17 Sir David with Dad x #fyp #cats #catsoftiktok #cat #bengal #davidattenborough #fypage #savethetigers ♬ original sound - Grace
Jake has never really been into television. No idea why.
Posted on Saturday, January 15th, 2022
Even though Jake and Jenny can't really go anywhere outside the house except the catio, they are still seem restless and feeling trapped because out every window is nothing but snow. Every once in a while they will go out and meow at it just because... but, for their sakes, I'm anxious for Spring to arrive.
And for my sake.
With each passing day, it seems as though my cats are looking more and more like they want to eat me...
It's The Shining all over again.
And now I leave you with... KITTENS! (here's a link if TikTok is being a dick)...
Times like this I feel like I need another cat.
Posted on Saturday, January 22nd, 2022
Jenny likes a vigorous massage. Earlier this week she was complaining because I was half-assing it, focusing more on my work than her. So I used two hands to really rough her up... and she went bananas.
BELLY RUBS AND BUTT SCRATCHES AT THE SAME TIME?!? MORE!!!
Boy was that a mistake. Now she complains when she doesn't get two hands! She meows. She looks at me in disgust. She paces back and forth next to me.
But since I have to work, I've just gotten better and making sure she gets a good one-handed massage and that seems to be okay...
But sometimes I can't resist that sour little face, so I give in and give her that full-body two-hand massage she loves. What a hit to my productivity!
A couple people have been asking for an update on Fake Jake. He's still doing fine... though apparently he doesn't want to sleep inside my neighbor's house much any more. I guess now that the most bitter days of winter are behind us, he prefers his freedom and sleeping in the shelter I made for him. The old warming pad was dying, so I installed a new one that is at 65° when he's off it and gets up to 80° when he's sleeping on it, so he's pretty comfy...
We've had rain which has created a thick enough crust that Fake Jake can walk on it, so I went out and made sure there's no bird feed left out in the open to lure birds for him to attack...
So... all-in-all he's not doing bad at all. I still worry about there being no heat from above when he sleeps, and I know the cold will be harder on him as he gets older, so I think for next winter I will build something to address that. Maybe even find a way to build a caged run in my garage that he can enter that would make sure he doesn't get run over? I dunno. I've got the whole summer to think about it!
Posted on Saturday, January 29th, 2022
My cats are going a little stir-crazy, which makes no sense because they are indoor cats. It may have something to do with the fact that it's still cold out so they can't lounge around in the catio all day long. It's not that they don't go out there, it's just that they would rather not spend an extended amount of time being cold.
Though it snowed a little bit, which resulted in Jenny booping the snow through the fence for a good ten minutes...
Eventually I went out and grabbed a shovelful to dump in the catio so she wouldn't have to work so hard for it. At which point she completely lost interest. Of course.
Yesterday morning I woke up to Jake flying off of me. Which lead me to suspect that he's been sleeping on top of me again. And so I turned on the upstairs security camera. Sure enough. He came in about ten minutes before the breakfast alarm went off. And this is where he decided to wait...
I cannot fathom how that's comfortable. Though he's more on a pillow than he's actually on me.
In other news... I've been addicted to CatTok lately. There's SO. MUCH. CAT. on TikTok.
This one just boggles my mind (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@goldshawfarm Ginny Barn Cat decided to wear a camera today wage war against my eggs. #catsoftiktok #animalsoftiktok #DisneyPlusVoices ♬ original sound - Morgan Gold
And if I keep seeing videos like this, I will be very surprised if I make it until the end of 2022 without getting a new cat (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@cats.tiktok.acc Reply to @osgiliathburns 🤘🤘🤘#metalhead #cattok #edsheeran #downwiththesickness ♬ Down with the Sickness - Disturbed
I should probably stop looking at TikTok and go back to work. Maybe just one... more... video...
Posted on Saturday, February 5th, 2022
Winter where I live is kinda bleak and dreary. Even when it's not snowing, sunshine can be a rare commodity.
My cats, of course, hate that. The only thing they like more than sunshine is staying warm, and that can be a bit of a chore. I bought electronic warming pads that they could lay on, which they do almost all day long. Jake usually likes to lay on the one in the loveseat, Jenny prefers the one down the couch from where I sit. But lately Jake has been going to whatever one Jenny is already on, which is a bit frustrating. Most times she hops off immediately. But not always...
Why he has to be a little butthead like this is anybody's guess.
If you look at Jenny in that photo, you'll see the latest thing she likes to do... sit when her feet completely underneath her, looking like a little potato...
If I were to guess, this is her way of dramatizing the fact that her feet are cold and I should turn the heat on.
There is light (literally) at the end of the (figurative) tunnel though. This past week we've had quite a bit of sunshine off-and-on, which both cats are fully ready to take advantage of...
Hopefully Spring will happen soon so they can spend their days lounging out in the catio, which is their favorite thing to do. Then I can take down the warming pads for another season and save a couple bucks on my electric bill.
It's pennies compared to the amount I spend on the heating, but every little bit helps.
Posted on Wednesday, February 9th, 2022
I cam very close to acquiring a third cat today.
Not by choice, but because a cat needed a home and they were having a really tough time finding a place for him. He's a little jumpy, so they didn't want to send him to the shelter, but I didn't know if living with my cats would be much better, so I told them I was a last resort kinda guy.
Eventually a good home was found, so I just chipped in to pay for the vet exam and that was that.
If I end up with a cat, I think Jake and Jenny would be more receptive to a kitten, so if I do end up with another cat, that's likely the way it's going to be.
If you've been keeping up with Drennon Davis and the saga of his cats, it looks like Doug is going to be sticking around (here's the link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@drennondavis 2022 is off to a weird start #catsoftiktok #catdad #funnycat #voiceover #talkingcat #adopt ♬ original sound - Drennon Davis
The guy now has four cats, and it all seems to be going well. Surely I can manage three?
Posted on Saturday, February 12th, 2022
As I am typing this, Jake is laying at my feet sleeping.
Not a big deal... he does that a lot. But he must be dreaming or something, because he's grabbing my foot with his claws, which is ouchy, but not unbearably so. It's nice to feel loved...
Yesterday I was at the office most of the day, but worked from bed most of the morning. Last Caturday I mentioned that Jake likes to sleep in the sun that comes through the window, he was like this the entire time...
TikTok has a lot of cat videos. Like a lot a lot. Most of them are the same kind of thing, but every once in a while I see something entirely new. Like a cat named Truffles who has a pair of colorblind-correcting glasses (here's the link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
And Truffles wanting to wear the glasses all the time is not hype. There's other videos where they're acting like it's perfectly normal for a cat to wear glasses (here's the link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@truffles_the_kitty Truffles has no problem communicating! #tikicat #trufflesthekitty #cat #glasses #catsoftiktok #catlover ♬ original sound - Truffles_the_kitty
And now I guess it is perfectly normal.
As is my wanting a baby tiger. They are SO cute (here's the link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@kaitlinthekeeper Have you ever wondered what a baby tiger moo sounds like?! Exodus and Equinox have joined the Out of Africa family 🥰 #tiger #baby #BbStyleFearlessly ♬ original sound - Kaitlin Richard
Something tells me that would not be a good companion for Jake and Jenny though.
Posted on Saturday, February 19th, 2022
Now that it's getting warmer, the cats are spending more time outside... and starting to shed like crazy. Jake more than Jenny by a factor of about ten. The fur just rolls off of him. Every time I run my hand down his back, a handful of the stuff falls out. Using the Furminator brush pulls out enough fur to build another cat.
It wouldn't be so bad if my cats weren't sleeping with me every night and morning. I'm going to have to switch from weekly bedding washing to twice-weekly...
Wishing for the millionth time that I could sleep as easily and often as a cat.
Posted on Saturday, March 12th, 2022
Now that Spring has arrived, Jake and Jenny want less and less to do with me as they spend more and more time out in the catio watching the world wake up. New smells. Birds everywhere.
How can I compete with that?
I can't, really. Though there are still moments where my body heat is of interest, and that ain't nothing...
Seems like only yesterday they were kittens...
But that photo was taken six years ago.
Boy was that a lifetime ago, wasn't it?
Posted on Saturday, March 19th, 2022
My cats live for the Alexa alarm that tells them that it's breakfast or dinner time. They come running up to me and are hopping around all excited that their favorite time of day has arrived. Every once in a while, I try to out-excite them. I freak out and be all "DINNER TIME! ZOMG! IT'S DINNER TIME! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!? YOU GUYS... IT'S DINNNNNNER TIIIIIIIME! WOO HOO!"
The first couple times I did that, they stopped in their tracks and were all "Wow. You're nuts, man." But now? It just makes them even more excited. They're running around... clawing the scratching post... hopping on and off the furniture... just going bonkers. It's hilarious. I cannot imagine my life without these two knuckleheads. They made a crappy day somehow bearable.
But it's not all peaches and cream.
Jake is not above bullying Jenny to get what he wants. And usually it's her spot on the couch or the cat tree. If she has it, he wants it.
Even a year ago, Jenny would immediately bail. She has no interest in confrontation. But now-a-days? It's a mixed bag. Sometimes she will just stay in place defiantly... especially if Jake starts licking her head...
And sometimes she will absolutely fight back if she's not in the mood for Jake's bullshit...
More than a couple times I see her chasing him around the house because he's done something to piss her off. And I'm always like "Good for you!" Because I am also to the point in my life where I don't want to tolerate people's bullshit.
Role models pop up where you least expect them to.
Posted on Saturday, March 26th, 2022
I'm away from home this Caturday.
Which is really sad, because I know that if I check in on Jake at night when he expects me to be home I'll see him wandering around the house crying because he can't find me. And it's even worse now that I rarely leave home (thanks, COVID!).
But when I checked in on the knuckleheads this afternoon, I found that they are consoling each other in my absence...
DON'T WORRY, KITTIES! I'LL BE HOME TOMORROW MORNING!
Posted on Saturday, April 2nd, 2022
I got this new "Fancy Feast Broth with Chunks" cat food because Jake's prescription food has been out of stock (THANKS, COVID!). I opened up the little pouch and immediately started gagging. I seriously thought I was going to puke. But I managed to get it into the bowl... and of course the rank smell compelled Jake and Jenny to IMMEDIATELY start scarfing it down like maniacs. Licking the bowl and everything...
Why is it that the worse something smells, the more my cats yum it up? So gross.
AND CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT THEIR POOPS ARE GOING TO SMELL LIKE?!?
Coming home from work this past Monday after I had been gone for three nights has Jake acting as if I've been gone for six months. Much petting has to ensue before he will let me go. And he's smarter about it now. Lays on my feet to pin me down so he doesn't have to walk after me squawking as I move around the house. And what I said to him as he's rolling around on me? "Gee Jake, your butt looks particularly clean today!" Cats...
Last Caturday I remarked how nice it was that my knucklehead cats got along so well while I was gone. Well, now that I'm home, that's apparently over. When I got home on Friday, Jake came running down the stairs all "WAaAAaAAaAH!!" And I was like, what's up buddy? What's wrong? And so I went back through the camera feeds to see. Turns out I left my bed a mess, and Jake had nested in the blankets. But then Jenny came up and wanted to lay there. So she started beating him up so he would move!
Fortunately, when I'm home they're happy to make peace again...
Makes it worth putting up with stinky food and even stinkier poops.
Posted on Friday, April 8th, 2022
When I bought furniture for my place, I got it all from IKEA because that's all I could afford. I just bought a cheap $40 bed frame because I didn't want an IKEA bed. I wanted to save up for a GOOD bed.
Six years later... and I just went ahead and bought the IKEA bed. I was never going to have enough cash for a GOOD bed. It arrived yesterday and I put it together tonight (I am way too old for this shit... so much pain!).
My cats are not happy.
After it was assembled, Jenny came in and took a whiff of that musty IKEA smell and left in disgust. But Jake? Came in an squawked at the bed from all angles. Hopped on top of it and squawked at it. Climbed the cat tree and squawked down at it. Stood in the doorway and squawked at it before he left.
He is furious at this new bed.
And it's like... no... it's not the bed I wanted, but it's not that bad!
Posted on Saturday, April 9th, 2022
People continue to be surprised that Jake is still obsessed with Mufasa, his stuffed lion toy. And, yep, he really is. Six years strong now.
Most times, he is dragging him around the house, dropping Mufasa somewhere or another. And he's less and less inclined to freak out when he can't find him. And yet... every once in a while...
Thursday night Jake woke me up at 2:00am. And the only reason that happens...
And so... off we went for a game of hide-and-seek. Though it wasn't much of a game. It took two minutes to find Mufasa sitting on the couch.
After throwing Mufasa around for a while, he picked him up and ran upstairs where we went back to bed...
At which point I fell asleep watching him give Mufasa a bath.
Posted on Saturday, April 16th, 2022
Jenny just keeps getting more finicky.
It took a very long time... months... before she allowed me to touch her. Then months more before she was comfortable being touched. Then months after that before anything but petting her back were on the table. After a couple years, she started liking belly rubs.
And belly rubs are a big deal, yo.
You must start with her back. Then give her butt scratches for a while. Then maybe some chin scratches. Then she will flop over on her back, at which time you're then allowed to rub her belly.
At least that's how it was.
Now, there are times that she flops down on her back... but changes her mind for some reason. At which point she will use her back foot to force your hand out of the way...
And if you try to continue on after being denied? She will switch to pushing my hand away with both back feet...
And if you dare to press onward. Things get very serious. That belly closes off real quick...
So... lesson learned. I will be sure that what Jenny thinks she wants is what she actually want.
And I'll try to not be offended if she changes her mind.
Posted on Saturday, April 23rd, 2022
Nothing quite like really needing to go to the bathroom when your cats have fallen asleep on (or around) you.
This has been happening a lot with both Jake and Jenny lately, because I've turned the heater off for the season to save money. They've got fur coats and I can put on a hoodie, so it should be all good.
Except it really isn't, because my body heat is a big draw. This past week Jake was intent on warming up his ass against me...
I thought that I was getting a break when Jake got up to leave, but he decided to trade me in for his sister...
And of course I can't disturb that cuteness, and so I had to hold it a while longer.
Posted on Saturday, April 30th, 2022
For some reason, Jenny has regressed to when she was a kitten and was terrified of me. If I walk into a room she's in, she runs away. If I approach her, she scampers and hides. And even when she comes in to hop on the bed with me, the slightest move will send her running. Any interaction has to happen very much on her terms.
I guess this is revenge for my working late?
But once she's actually on the bed, everything is back to normal. Kinda. She's a bit reserved at first... looking like a little loaf of bread, and if I touch her at this point, she will run off...
Eventually, she'll turn around and allow some butt scratches...
Then, if she deems it acceptable, she'll allow you to scratch her face, but she doesn't look all that happy about it...
But then, if I'm patient, she'll be all "RUB MY BELLY! RUB MY BELLLLLYYYYY!
The little goofball.
Jake, on the other hand, is just Jake. Though he is getting to the point where he wants to smoosh his face up against something when he sleeps. Like my legs...
Though he is happy to sleep absolutely anywhere...
Though right now the both of them are more interested in checking out the new quilt I got for my bed. I think that Jenny is scared of it (though I see her sleeping on it when I'm not home), but Jake doesn't know what to make of things...
Cats. What can you do?
Posted on Saturday, May 14th, 2022
I have been working minimum 15 hour days, 7 days a week, for at least three months.
Jenny looks how I feel this morning...
And now I'm off to work for a few hours before meeting up with a friend to go on a drive. Finally something to look forward to!
Posted on Saturday, May 21st, 2022
Wow... my Friday yesterday was like Monday.
I forgot my glasses downstairs (easy to do when I'm starting with contact lenses again) so OF COURSE this is the day that Jake decided to puke up a hairball in the hall. Fortunately, he was like a seeing eye cat who walked around it when I was heading down to make them breakfast, and I followed him because I couldn't see it.
BUT IT GETS WORSE!
When Jenny doesn't have a clean litter box, she will hold it for as long as she can, then find a spot when she can't hold it any more. Little did I know that both Litter-Robots didn't cycle for some reason, so when I saw the blurry blob on the floor while making the cats their breakfast, I assumed that it was a mouse.
I get my glasses and... NOPE! Jenny took a dump on the kitchen floor.
This is only the second time she's done this, and I feel so bad for her that I can't be even a little upset. She likes a clean place to do her business, and I failed her. Albeit unintentionally.
I am upset for me, because this meant I had to haul out the Pine-Sol and steam cleaner to make sure the floor was fully disinfected!
I looked up the security footage, and poor Jenny looked so ashamed afterwards...
My poor little girl. I promise to check the Litter-Robots each night to make sure they're emptied and clean!
Posted on Saturday, May 28th, 2022
It's a Caturday kinda day.
Yesterday morning after my Zoom meeting, I went to check on my cats. I do not know what it is about my awesome "Jungalow by Justina Blakeney" bed cover... but my cats love it. A lot. They would fight over getting to lay on it after I fold it up at night, so finally I just started folding it in two sections so they can both lay on it...
Though sometimes they do like to snuggle on it together...
The other day I dropped some papers on the floor. Jake comes sprinting up and sat on them before I could pick them up. Which meant I ended up having to sit and wait for him to move before I was able to finish my work for the day...
Apparently this is Jake's way of "helping."
I've mentioned how Jenny can never decide what she wants, but now it's happening with increasing regularity. RUB MY BELLY!!
10 seconds later... WHAT ARE YOU DOING?? NO! NO! NO! NO!!!!
But if I don't rub her belly on demand, she gets even more upset.
Posted on Saturday, June 4th, 2022
Jake is going through a phase of some kind. He wants all my attention the minute I get home from work... then decides that he's had enough after ten minutes or so... then avoids me until bedtime. He'll literally go out of his way to avoid me. This is strange. But it gets stranger.
He's gone from being obsessed with his toy lion, Mufasa, to being outright hostile twords the thing. He no longer carries it around like it's his baby... but instead throws Mufasa around and pounces on it so he can bite bite bite it.
I don't know how much more poor Mufasa can take of this. I've already has to repair him twice. If he ends up in shreds, I have no idea what will happen. I've tried to find a replacement for years to no avail.
Meanwhile, Jenny is all about setting traps for me.
This may look for an invitation for belly rubs...
But I assure you it is NOT. At least usually it's not. You have to attempt pets in order to find out.
Which is just the way it goes with her now-a-days...
Sassy little minx.
Posted on Saturday, June 11th, 2022
Jenny is quite the little princess, and expects me to wait on her hand and foot. And she's getting more demanding with each passing day.
This past week I had to get out of bed for my early morning Zoom call and she hissed at me because I stopped petting her! I had to push sheets against her and pet her a bit so she would calm down...
Jake isn't quite so demanding. But, then again, he's been sleeping with his foot in his face lately...
In other Caturday news... my cats are thieves!
This past week I heard shenanigans downstairs after I had already gone to bed. I took a look at the security cameras to see if I needed to intervene and saw that Jake was attempting to steal cat treats up on the counter... WHILE JENNY KEPT WATCH DOWN BELOW! Seriously, she kept looking up the stairs to make sure I wasn't coming!
I didn't bother to go downstairs. I figured that if they managed to get the bag open, they deserved to have the treats...
On Friday night Jake walked up and informed me it's his dinner time. I informed him that it's 15 minutes until dinner time. He did not like this. He proceeded to jump up next to me on the couch and squawk and squawk and squawk. It's times like this I am happy that he can't meow. Usually I feel sorry for him, but I would go bonkers if he was able to meow at me every time he was upset about something.
Eventually Jake's shenanigans caused Jenny to think that it's dinner time so she woke up and came down. When she found out that it wasn't, she sat and stared at me like it's my fault that Jake can't tell time!
And maybe it is. But, in my defense, Jake doesn't really listen when I try to teach him stuff.
Posted on Wednesday, June 15th, 2022
It's been only 2-1/2 years since I used Command Strips to install photos in my stairwell.
And I didn't just use the tiny strips... I used FOUR of the large strips per frame! Plus I used alcohol to prep the surface, waited a day until it dried, used consistent pressure to stick them on the wall, waited for the adhesive to mount, and everything else the instructions tell you to do.
Today I had a frame fall off the wall. This was surprising, because everything has been holding up so well. The video starts with the footage of a photo falling off the wall with mass-breakage... and ends with my cats' reaction as they were sleeping upstairs. Poor things.
I went to the Command website to see if there was a recall or something... and then see that they are now advising you not to use the strips on textured walls?
Now, my walls are not massively textured. It's a knocked-down bump that was painted just 2 years prior and,as I said, I prepped and made sure that there was good adhesion, so it never even occurred to me that this would be an issue. And I definitely don't remember reading that they're not to be used on textured walls. When I read the instructions for use on how to prep the surface and install and everything, wouldn't I have noticed that?
In any event, I'm more than a little upset. Not because 95% of houses have textured walls (and many of them are probably far more textured than mine!) but because my cats walked through the glass several times before I got home! Jake just barreled down the stairs, avoiding the large piece of glass where he could. But Jenny took the time to put a paw down each step before moving, which was kinda difficult to watch. She was trying to be so careful, but glass was everywhere...
I looked at their paws to make sure they weren't injured or had any glass embedded in them, but I still worry that they might have got glass on their paw and licked it off. Can you imagine the damage to their insides? I'm mortified at the idea of it.
This is pretty awful. Guess one of my next projects is completely replacing all the mounting for my many, many photos. And possibly replacing all the glass with plexiglass as an added precaution.
So... WARNING if you bought into Command Strips as a viable way to hang shit. It really isn't. I don't even know that I would trust them if my wall was completely flat. It's just not worth the risk.
Posted on Saturday, June 18th, 2022
From the moment I got home yesterday, Jenny was following me around the house. Up to and including when I went to the bathroom.She is, of course, too much of a little lady to actually follow me inside, but she was not at all above waiting outside for me to leave...
Don't worry... she followed me back downstairs.
Posted on Saturday, June 25th, 2022
When Jake wants to be petted, it'd dealer's choice. He flops down next to you and is happy to take whatever he gets. Not so with Jenny.
She is very particular. You can never start anywhere near her head at the beginning. Only her back. She will let you know when you can proceed to the top of her head. Then she will let you know when you can move to the sides of her face. Then under her chin. Then her belly. And the process... which never changes... can take a while. Which is fine when I have time. But not so fine when I don't.
And speaking of Jake flopping down anywhere... he really does. He can sleep anywhere low or high...
Oh how I envy him. I have a tough time sleeping in a comfy bed.
Posted on Saturday, July 2nd, 2022
This past week I finally had a day to start putting back together my studio. I kinda had to rebuild it once the shelves I had toppled over in the middle of the night. First I bought a new drafting table... then bought some new IKEA shelves. Since my cats like to watch me when I'm drawing, I decided that I would put a catwalk around the perimeter of the room so my cats could hang our and look down at me. But how to get them up to the catwalk?
I decided to punch out the sides of my shelves in order to create a staircase for my cats.
I still have to trim it out, but I managed to get everything screwed together and bolted to the wall for safety. I also built guardrails so that my cats wouldn't fall out if they tried to pass each other on their way up or down...
The last one there has a hole in the top so that they can get to the top of the shelves. This is looking down the staircase from the top...
The guardrails are built from scrap wood that I painted to match the shelves...
Next up? Guess I need to build that catwalk.
Posted on Friday, July 8th, 2022
I had a very long work day today... 14 hours. Which wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that I got no sleep last night. Just as I was nodding off around midnight, somebody lit up some fireworks, at which point I was wide awake. Even if I were to manage to fall asleep with the noise, the cats tearing off my bed and running into the closet would have been enough to cancel any attempt at slumber.
My watch tells me that I finally fell asleep at 3:30am.
So... 3-1/2 hours sleep then.
It would be nice if I could get at least half the amount of sleep that I end up working in a day.
Posted on Saturday, July 9th, 2022
My cats have a great life.
The full run of my home. The best-quality food. Auto-cleaning litter boxes. Plenty of toys, scratching posts, perches, and places to explore. An outdoor catio enclosure. There's really nothing they could want for. And yet... they do get irritated by their situation. Especially Jenny, who will definitely let you know if she's unhappy about something.
The other day I was working in bed when she hopped up after her breakfast. I was typing out an email and couldn't pet her right away. This was UNACCEPTABLE! Meow! Meow! Meeeeeowwww! I finished up as quickly as I could, started petting her back... then head... then she was comfortable enough to want belly rubs...
No matter what I did, she was not happy. Eventually she just started glaring at me as if to say "HOW DARE YOU BE THIS INCOMPETENT!"
A few minutes later, she left in disgust.
Still, it was better than the time that she hopped up and didn't want to be petted... she just wanted to use me as a support so she could reach her butt...
I've never felt so useful.
Fortunately, I'm not the only one she is unhappy with. Jake is a snuggler. Jenny keeps her distance, even when I am rubbing her belly. Jake? He tries to get as close as possible when I'm petting him. And if I'm already petting Jenny, he will try and get as close as possible to her. This is what happened when Jenny was laying down getting a back massage... and Jake flopped down on her right paw...
Eventually she managed to work her paw free, at which time she started smacking Jake until she got up and left in a huff.
Jake was unbothered. As he so often is.
Posted on Saturday, July 16th, 2022
After returning home from my work trip to Seattle, I ended up having to deal with Jake's separation anxiety. I honestly think that it gets worse the shorter my trip is. If I'm gone for a week, he's happy to see me, but not the clingy mess he is when I'm only gone for just a night or two.
Thursday was about as bad as it's ever been, with him waking me up with his howling at both 10:30pm and 3:30am. This wouldn't be bad, except for the fact that I was desperately trying to get caught up on some sleep...
So much for going to bed two hours early.
And Jake doesn't really make much sense. He comes to bed with me, then leaves to get a drink or go to the bathroom or whatever... forgets that I'm upstairs in bed... and starts walking around the house howling at full volume. I holler down at him to come upstairs, he does, he falls asleep, then I fall asleep, then he wakes up and wanders away, only to end up howling again.
Jenny doesn't keep me up at night after I return from a trip, but she does have a tough time deciding whether or not she wants belly rubs. Which is nothing new. Except now she's much more likely to let me know when she's had enough by using claws...
Now, don't think that she's going for blood here... she's not. Neither of my cats have ever really done this. Jenny clawed me once when she was a kitten because I grabbed her to cut her surgery collar off. And Jake clawed me once when I grabbed him after he escaped out of the catio. But in both cases they were terrified. I was forced to grab them... they were forced to try and defend themselves.
Jake is mostly back to normal now. He's still following me around like a lost puppy any time I'm home, but he's not howling any more.
Posted on Saturday, July 23rd, 2022
I am a very nervous cat dad. I worry about everything all the time even though I really don't have cause to do so. As an example... yesterday morning Jenny didn't come when I shook the bag of treats. This is highly unusual. I thought she might be trapped or hurt somewhere, so I went looking for her. But nope! She was just lounging on the cat cushion I put on the guest bed. So after giving an impatient Jake his treats, I put some in a bowl and took them to Jenny... who was completely uninterested in them!
This has never happened before.
My cats refusing treats is a serious cause for concern.
And concerned I was. I put a security camera in the guest room so I could check in on her from work. All I saw was her resting comfortably every time I checked. Which was about every 15 minutes.
But then lunch time came and she was off the bed like a shot, running to the auto-feeders at top speed. So I have no idea what her deal was. Maybe she was full because she ate some of Jake's food.
And, oh yeah, that's something she does now.
Since the beginning, my cats have been fairly respectful of each other's food. Jake will happily head to her food bowls if she doesn't finish her meal, but rarely does he actually try to get in there while she's actively eating. But now apparently this is something that Jenny does. One day I was preparing my dinner when I look at the cats eating and Jenny has totally horned in on Jake's dinner. I was stunned. Jake just sat there staring at me like "What do I do now?" I seriously hope that this doesn't become a trend.
In other news... we had a small family of quail visit us this morning...
The babies were particularly cute. But quail usually lay a lot of eggs... like one per day or something like that... which means their families are usually quite large. It's sad to see only two chicks when usually you see much more... because that means the other chicks probably perished. Google says that quail chicks have only a 5% to 30% chance to grow into adults...
I have no idea why they would sit out in full sunlight in 100º heat on hot concrete... that can't be good because the poor things are getting cooked. Eventually they got up and scrambled off to do whatever it is that quail do. Probably look for food.
Thankfully my cats are contained and aren't contributing to the quail mortality rate. But you just know that they would like to, as they went rushing to the windows right after they spotted the quail (which is how I knew to look!)...
Best of luck to those baby quail. I hope they make it.
Posted on Saturday, July 30th, 2022
I've been performing an experiment on my cats. Well, not both of them, it's just Jenny.
It was curious to me how she always always always follows me up to bed... unless it's before her 9:00pm nighttime snack. If I head up at 9:30... 10:00... 11:00... midnight... she is right on my heels. But if I decide to work upstairs and head up at sayyyy... 8:45? Nope. She will wait for the feeder to go, then come up after.
But is there a lower limit?
Turns out there is. Experimenting for the past 4 weeks, I confirmed that it's around 40 minutes. I head up before 8:20pm and she will come up and wait for her snack upstairs with me. But anything after that and she stays put for the snack she knows is coming.
Jake's sense of time is not nearly as acute, but he still knows when his dinner is late!
Posted on Saturday, August 6th, 2022
Always looking for new things to entertain my cats, I purchased a big "puzzle box" for treats that they can poke into. Figured it would be a more interesting time for them than just putting treats in a bowl.
Both cats were intrigued. At first.
But after a while Jake found that he could just wait for Jenny to pull out treats, then attempt to take them from her. Surprisingly, she never got all that upset about it... she would just go poking around for another treat. To her, the challenge was as important as the treat...
Eventually Jenny started waiting until Jake was not in the area before she would go back to digging for treats...
Earlier this week I noted that Jake was laying down chillin' with Mufasa...
It was funny to me how Mufasa was sitting upright. I thought it was nice how Jake set him up like that. But then I took a look at the security camera footage and saw that Jake threw Mufasa down the stairs and he happened to land. One could almost say... he set himself upright, because just look at this!
Or maybe not. I think that my cats would let me know if we had ghosts.
Posted on Thursday, August 11th, 2022
Remember yesterday when I was writing about how lack of sleep was turning me into a zombie? Well... I honestly thought that would change last night. Except no.
I was awakened at 5:30am this morning as ping-pong-ball-sized rain was slamming into the roof. And there was Jake right next to my head crying about it. And I honestly don't blame him. The rain was so heavy that it might as well have been 1-inch hailstones, and I was worried about the skylight in my bathroom shattering (something I definitely cannot afford to have happen)...
After comforting Jake enough that he finally stopped squawking at my head and curled up asleep next to me, I started wondering where Jenny was. She's the one who is usually very upset when even a small amount of rain falls on the roof. She paces all over my bed while staring at the ceiling and meowing her head off. If this rain was enough to upset Jake, she must be very cross indeed. But nothing. Perhaps it scared her so much that she's hiding in the guest closet or something?
And then the thunder and lightning arrived.
At which time Jenny came bolting into the room at top speed. She rubbed up against me doing that wailing thing she does when she's worrying about stuff until she too settled down and went to sleep.
So there I was... wide awake after less than 5 hours of sleep, but unable to move without waking up my two sleeping companions. Mercifully, the breakfast feeding alarm went off at 7am at which time the cats went scrambling downstairs to eat... frustrated that my sleep-deprived ass was taking so long to feed them.
Between Mother Nature, Jake, and Jenny, the conspiracy to keep me from sleep continues...
Posted on Saturday, August 13th, 2022
I got a late start to my day.
After serving my cats breakfast, I went to read emails and look through my newsfeed before tackling the massive list of things I needed to get done. Last weekend I hurt my back, so I didn't want to waste too much time. Except my cats did something unusual... they immediately headed back upstairs to take a post-breakfast nap...
Not wanting to interrupt their busy sleeping schedule, I waited 45 minutes for Jenny to wake up before I got started on chores.
First up was cleaning out my bookshelves to make room for new books. Then I cleaned out my kitchen pantry. Then I washed all my dirty clothes. Then I decided to clean out my drawers, which ended with my re-folding all my ties. Jenny wasted no time "helping out"...
While Jake watched...
Once I took away the last tie, she decided she wanted to walk all over them...
I used to have to wear ties a lot. I had over 50 of them. I narrowed it down to my favorites since I rarely wear them now. I saved mostly my Disney ties (half of which are Hidden Mickey ties) and my cartoon ties.
Not like I ever want to start wearing ties again... but I'm saving them just in case. Even though they're now covered in cat hair.
Posted on Saturday, August 20th, 2022
My cats have been a little crazy since I got back from my work trip. I think they must have gotten into some catnip while I was gone. As I type this, they are chasing each other around the house at top speed... and I think it's because Jenny smacked Jake while he was getting a drink of water. It's like she wanted a little excitement in her life, and this was her solution.
Let's see... time to catch up on cat business after the big Blog Outage of 2022 situation.
Did I mention there was a SQUIRREL out on the patio? Boy did that cause a commotion. Jake ran right out to the catio to stalk it...
After the danger had passed, Jenny went out to patrol the catio to make sure that our territory wasn't invaded again. But then she got tired of patrolling and decided to take a nap...
A couple weeks ago I caught Jake sleeping in the chairs that I put upside-down on the table. I thought it looked uncomfortable, so I put a blanket in one of them. Now it's his most favorite spot to hang out...
He especially likes it because he can wander around the table and look down to see what's new on the floor...
But don't worry... Jake still sleeps in his normal spread-eagle configuration even if he's not in his chair bed...
Jake's a little more attentive when watching TV with me though...
While watching the underwhelming new Netflix documentary, Inside the Mind of a Cat, Jake was more intense than usual when he watches TV, so I left it running even though I wasn't interested in watching it...
And now I get to go clean my garage. Or start cleaning my garage. That's a job that will never be done in one day.
Posted on Thursday, August 25th, 2022
The drive over to Seattle was blissfully without incident. The worst part of the whole ordeal was having to say goodbye to my cats. They always know that something's up with I pack up a suitcase, and this time was no exception. As soon as I rolled it out, Jake was going bananas and Jenny tried to climb inside the minute I opened it. Assumably because she wanted to come with me.
Fortunately I'm still able to distract them long enough for me to sneak out of the house by giving them cat treats. One shake of the little bag, and everything else is forgotten.
Posted on Saturday, August 27th, 2022
Home again home again lickity kitty...
Posted on Friday, September 2nd, 2022
When Jake used to get sick or be upset, he hid from me. Him not showing up for a meal or running to meet me when I walked in the door is how I knew something was wrong. But now? Complete opposite. When he eats a bug and feels sick or is stressed about something, he will cling to me like glue. He's so clingy that I've come dangerously close to stepping on him.
Last night I have no idea what happened... probably ate a praying mantis for no reason at all or something equally disgusting... but he was on me. On the couch. Going upstairs. Brushing my teeth. Climbing into bed. And it's not like he's on the bed with me... he's squeezed up to me as close as he possibly can be.
At first, it's incredibly sweet that he thinks of me as comfort food when he's not doing well. But around midnight when I really should be going to bed, it's not quite so sweet. I'm scared that if I fall asleep I might roll over on him and crush him, so I continued to work for another hour. Around 1:00am, I was so tired that I couldn't focus on work and started playing on the internet
The first thing I did was find a TikTok where a guy was talking about crAIyon, a site that draws whatever you can think of. And what was the first thing that came to mind? Taylor Swift eating corn on the cob!
Have you ever seen anything so terrifying? Well hold on to your hats, because next up was Ryan Reynolds on a boat wearing a bear hat!
Then came A bear at the movies eating popcorn in a newspaper hat!
And A cat in a birthday hat eating cake!
Once I got to the nightmare that was Ernest Borgnine Wearing a Dress and Sitting on a Toilet I knew that I had to stop.
AND, NO, I DON'T KNOW HOW MY BRAIN COMES UP WITH THIS STUFF!
After that I came across a TikTok which lead me to a YouTube series by comedian/actor Kyle Prue called Rabbit. For such a shallow premise, it gets shockingly deep. By the time I got to the third episode I was completely obsessed and had to finish off all five (even though Jake had already climbed to the end of the bed). If you want a time-waster that has some serious thought behind it, this is a trailer for the series...
Now, right off the bat I should inform you that when he hits the woman with the hammer, it's not what you think. This is smarter than that. And I'm telling you... if this was a television series, I would totally watch it.
And now it's running close to 2:00am so I really, really need to try and get some sleep. It's now Friday so I guess this counts as my Friday post? I sure hope so.
Posted on Saturday, September 3rd, 2022
Not a great day. All my plans have been scuttled because the smoke is so thick outside that it's blotting out the sun.
No trip to the grocery store. No trip to buy overpriced wood so I can buld something. No nuthin'. Except sitting inside all day and hoping that my house is sealed enough that my air purifiers can keep up with anything that might leak in. Assuming I have to open my doors for any reason.
Oh well. My cats will be happy to have me at home. I think.
Look... it's me when I drop a cookie on the floor (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@funnypetvvip The kitten cried sadly, but I really want to laugh #cat #catsoftiktok #cats #kitten #dog #dogsoftiktok #dogs #pet #pets #petsoftiktok #funnyvideos #animals #fyp #foryou ♬ original sound - TikTok Pet
Or me when I'm trapped in the house all day.
Posted on Saturday, September 10th, 2022
It's starting to feel a lot like Fall.
Which is not great for my cats, because the hot sunny days they crave are slipping away faster and faster. Pretty soon I'll be dragging out the warming pads so they can get the heat they live for.
In the meanwhile?
They luxuriate in the sun whenever it's shining. Especially Jake, who is going for maximum belly exposure...
Tell me you could resist that fuzzy belly...
If no sun is available, they're all too happy to snuggle up next to me...
And then there's Jenny.
My little princess just keeps getting more demanding. This past week she came down to complain after I ran the vacuum. Later I sat down to work and she pushed me aside on the couch because I wasn't petting her enough. Just jumped on the couch and wedged her way onto a pillow that I was leaning up against and started pre-purring to tell me exactly what she wanted...
It's only a matter of time before she doesn't allow me on the couch at all. It's bound to happen given that she's now demanding foot massages...
I don't stand much of a chance in this house, that's for sure.
Posted on Saturday, September 24th, 2022
Saturday was made for staying in bed with the cats.
Which is easy to do when I awoke to my cats giving each other head-baths.
I recorded a dozen minutes of it for no reason other than it made me happy to do so...
It was genuinely sweet. And went on for a full 16 minutes.
Then Jake used Jenny as a foot rest so he could wash his foot, and... well... it was good while it lasted.
Jenny, of course, acts like a little lady and washes her gams without assistance...
I swear... seeing her sour little face is about the best thing I have.
Posted on Wednesday, September 28th, 2022
Last night Jenny and I went upstairs to bed. Jake was following, but broke away at the last minute. I didn't know then, but the reason was because he forgot Mufasa. He had to go run back to get him.
Next thing you know I hear the little guy howling downstairs. I called down for him, and eventually he came... but I had to check the security cameras before I knew what in the heck happened.
Turns out he got half-way up the stairs, dropped Mufasa, had to go back down to get him, and was very upset about it...
On one hand... it's sweet that Jake is still so fond of his favorite toy six years onward.
But on the other... his life would be easier if he wasn't so attached to this one thing above all others.
Like I'm attached to my cats, I suppose.
Posted on Thursday, September 29th, 2022
This morning the wildfire smoke was the worst it's been yet this year (no, I have no idea how this is the case in late September) so I closed off the catio. When I got home Jake was crying and crying and crying at the back door, so finally I was like "OKAY! Go outside! But I tried to warn you!"
After ten minutes, he was still out there, which bothered me greatly because his little lungs are more susceptible to smoke damage than mine, and mine were burning.
Eventually I shook the bag of treats to get him back inside. That's the one thing that's more of a motivator than anything else in his life.
Certainly more than me.
Posted on Saturday, October 1st, 2022
This past week I finally set out the warming pads so I don't have to go bankrupt trying to keep the house warm enough for the cats to be happy. For two days neither Jake or Jenny had found them. Even when I tried to make them aware. But nope. So far as the cats were concerned, they didn't exist.
Until one day they did.
Jenny was walking across the couch so she could snuggle up against me as she's been doing. But once her paws touched that warming pad, I ceased to exist. Now you couldn't get her off the thing even if you used dynamite...
Remember the good ol' days when Jenny thought I was the best thing going...
Well those days are gone.
The other day I had to have a contractor come look at my house so he could write up an estimate for some work that I am not comfortable working on. The minute I opened the door, Jake and Jenny were running upstairs at top speed. I still leave the door to the storage room propped open so they have a "safe space" to hide out in. After the contractor left I ran up to make sure they were okay...
But no worries... the minute it was lunchtime, they were barreling down the stairs as if a stranger had never walked in the house.
Posted on Saturday, October 8th, 2022
Remember how last week I was lamenting that Jenny is ignoring me because I put the warming pads out?
Well, now the newness of the warming pads are over for her. She'll still lay on them, of course, but she's back to preferring my body heat again because I'm more comfortable, I guess. And she has a total routine for it most days...
But she ends up getting a little too comfortable, because her claws come out. She doesn't "make biscuits" like Jake does, but she does like to dig into me when she's really happy to be here and the scratches are good...
Once I say "Ouch!" she actually knows to stop clawing me and turn her attention to getting the smell of me off her paws!
Eventually she's ready for belly rubs...
At which point she's just minutes away from curling up and going to sleep...
Yesterday she didn't even go through her routine. She just curled up and immediately fell asleep...
In that photo, she actually started snoring a little bit, which is about the cutest thing ever.
Wildfire smoke this past week has been about as bad as it gets. I'm hacking up a lung most nights, because I spend all day on drugs to keep me from coughing at the office and don't want to overdo it by being drugged up 24/7. And yet... Jake has been playing nursemaid to me the entire time. I get home feeling awful and he's checking in on me from the minute I step through the door.
And at night? He's next to me when I go to bed...
And still there when I wake up in the morning...
Which is nice, but I feel terrible for him because what he likes most during the moderate temperatures of Autumn is to be outside. But because of the smoke I have the catio closed off. And so he's at the door crying all the time... and even attempting to get the door open. But, alas, I worry about his little kitty lungs outside...
I finally relented yesterday because the smoke was not as bad in the morning (I could see the nearby hills!), and he was out there until lunch...
There are times I really wish I could explain to my cats why I do what I do... because it's always in their best interest in keeping them safe. But, alas, they just have to be mad at me when I deny them what they want.
Such is the life of a pet owner.
Posted on Sunday, October 9th, 2022
My world may be on fire and I feel like I'm dying from smoke inhalation, but never fear... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Todd! Skylar Astin's new show So Help Me Todd is surprisingly great (he was in Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend). If you're looking for something good on TV, this is worth your valuable time...
Please please please can we get a second season of this show. There's so few series on TV now that I really love, and this is definitely one of them. If you've cut the cord like me, you can stream it on Paramount+
• Speaking of Awesome TV... You guys... YOU GUYS! Late last night I watched the Marvel Studios Werewolf by Night special on Disney+ and it's BEYOND good. Exceeded all my wildest (and very high) expectations. I watched it a second time so I could be more detached to catch all the references I might have missed the first time (no spoilers, but there are some amazing tidbits for Marvel Comics fans!). I highly recommend watching it late at night first like I did, because that's really the best...
The clever story... the brilliant cast... the incredible music... the gorgeous cinematography (lovingly shot in black & white)... it's all so wonderful. Especially if you're a fan of all those old monster movies like I am. I'm not posting the trailer because it's best to watch it with no warning, but I give it my highest recommendation. Seriously hoping that Gael García Bernal and Laura Donnelly return for more Marvel projects. They could do a new story like this every Autumn and I would be thrilled. I would subscribe to Disney+ for this and She-Hulk alone... Marvel Studios is really firing on all cylinders.
• Speaking of She-Hulk... I've been loving Marvel Studios She-Hulk: Attorney at Law up until
And the very end of the episode actually accomplished more than the previous episode could. This show has been brilliantly shining a spotlight on misogynistic crap that is systemic to our society (which, of course, has the dude-bro incel brigade up in arms)... and when you watch the coda to this penultimate episode, it's ALL driven home. Everything She-Hulk is shamed for is what men are celebrated for. I cannot wait for next week's finale. This is my favorite Disney+ series after Hawkeye, and I am really, really hoping for another season. Just back up a dump truck full of money to Tatiana Maslany's house and get it done.
• And One More Thing... I'm not going to post spoilers past what's already been spoiled in all the ads for the amazing latest episode of She-Hulk... but there is a huge bomb dropped which doesn't spoil the story that I am still reeling from as I watch it a second time. It's a throwaway line where they say "The Sokovia Accords were repealed..." And it's like... WHAT?!? That's a huge deal that drove an entire film (Captain America: Civil War) and popped up in other films as well. And they dropped it as a nothing line in frickin' She-Hulk? It's actually kinda awesome. And impressive. This is such a great episode. Everything that came before doesn't prepare you.
• Hasan-Bhai "See, that's the crazy thing they never tell you about adulthood. Life gets very real when 'don't want' becomes 'can't have.' " There are so few comedians who can do what Hasan Minhaj does in the way he does it. The guy is hilarious... but so very, very smart in his comedy. To the point that it can be devastating. I have missed him A lot after Patriot Act was canceled. Well, he's back and worth your valuable time on Netflix...
His previous special, Homecoming King, is the best piece of standup I've seen. The King's Jester is almost as good.
• Taking the Temp! Yesterday I installed the warming pad in Fake Jake's shelter... and have a WiFi temperature gauge set on top of it inside the wind-breaker berm. The good news is that he’s spending most nights inside my neighbor’s house, which will be a lot more comfortable as he gets older. But I still want a place he can go if he’s outside so he doesn’t freeze on nights when it's below freezing. I used to have a camera inside so I could check in on him and be alerted when he's there, but all my Wyze cameras have finally died, and I don't plan on buying any more because of their abusive WHY THE FUCK AREN'T YOU SUBSCRIBED TO WYZE-PLUS?? pestering in the Wyze App. What's interesting is that I can still tell when he's laying in the shelter because the warming pad heats up once he lays on it. Here you can see where he was on it at about 2am, then left an hour-and-a-half later...
One of these days I might find a replacement camera that will work, but everything is so expensive that my wallet may not agree to it.
• Toasted! Oh noes! I had half an avocado left and felt bougie as fuck, so I made avocado toast with flakey salt, crushed red pepper flakes, diced green onion, and fresh-ground toasted peppercorns for lunch today... and it turns out FOX "News" was right... now I can't afford my house! AND IT'S ALL MY OWN FAULT!!
I do like me the avocado toast though. Especially when paired with my potato salad, which I made with cayenne pepper in the sauce, and it tastes amazeballs.
We now return to my wildfire-smoke-filled existence already in progress.
Posted on Thursday, October 20th, 2022
My cats have always just run and hid when people are over. I've tried really hard to slowly introduce them to people who are not me, but they won't have any of it. Any time somebody is over, they run and hide in the storage closet in my bedroom that's behind my clothes closet. Eventually I just propped the door open so Jake and Jenny could have a safe space whenever they wanted it.
On Monday I just left my bedroom door open. There's no need to close it because my cats will never come downstairs while the workers are here. Especially with all the noise they were making.
But what I didn't count on? Lunchbreaks.
When the workers went to lunch, Jake wandered downstairs. Then when the workers returned, he didn't run back upstairs... but instead ran out in the catio. Where he stayed the rest of the day until the workers left at 5:30 (I went out and put a litter box out there just in case).
After that, I just closed my bedroom door so they couldn't leave. I already had their auto-feeders and one of their Litter-Robots in there, so they were set. Except they stayed in the closet the entire time and only came out to eat and use the litter box when I'd sit in there with them.
I don't want them licking the primer off the cabinets... but they are going absolutely bonkers trapped in my bedroom. So I decided to build a kinda barricade to keep them out of the kitchen...
Let's see if you can figure out how long it took Jenny to figure out a way around it, shall we?
A) 5 minutes
B) 2 minutes
C) Literally seconds... you have a ladder for them to climb right over it, dumbass!
My second attempt was to wrap the ladder in plastic, which seemed to work great...
Last night I just moved and re-taped the dust barrier to keep them out, which worked fantastic...
Today was clean-up day as all the painting stuff was hauled away. My kitchen cupboard frames are painted! And they look great! Now I just need to have the backsplash tiled and save money to have my cupboard doors and drawers made.
And maybe my floors re-done.
Jake and Jenny have had the full run of the house since 2:00. And do you know where they are now? In my bedroom.
Even though I've moved their food and litter box back downstairs.
But what about the bathroom, you might be asking? You said that there was a big hole in the ceiling, so did that get fixed?
No. No it did not.
But we'll get to that disaster tomorrow. Right now I want to just be happy that I have my kitchen back after three years.
Posted on Saturday, October 22nd, 2022
To say that this past week has been a trying time for my cats is a huge understatement. And they never let me forget it.
Fortunately, as of yesterday, they have the run of the house again... save for the downstairs guestroom, which has been used as storage for all the crap in my kitchen while it was being repaired and the cupboard frames repainted.
They are not happy about this.
They are not happy at all about this.
Jake squawks at the door on occasion, but it's Jenny who is beside herself with rage about the fact that there is a room denied her. She meows at the door. She comes and meows at me. She paces in front of the door for 10 minutes. Then she sits in front of it for ten minutes. Then she starts meowing again. She is NOT a happy camper.
Because she's not used to being denied anything.
I still haven't moved the second water fountain back to the kitchen. This morning there was a line. Jake waited patiently while Jenny tested the water...
Examined the room...
And looked like she was going to puke in the bowl...
Then he finally couldn't sit through any more of this nonsense and crowded his way in after five minutes. Five minutes!
But, hey. Any time they're not trying to get in the guestroom is a good time!
Posted on Saturday, October 29th, 2022
The cats have put up with a lot these past weeks. A lot of strangers coming and going as I have work done and repairs made. Even pre-pandemic when I had a steady stream of visitors, they were having none of it. And now, after years of lockdown, they're even more nervous about strangers as they were before.
The good news is that Jake and Jenny always recover fairly quickly. 20 minutes after everybody leaves, they're down investigating what happened while they were hiding in my closet upstairs.
AND DESTROYING EVERYTHING THAT'S NEW!
There's paper on the floor to protect the hardwood outside my bathroom. Knowing my cats would be curious, I dropped a towel over the edge so they would leave it alone.
At least that was the plan. Jake pulled the towel back while Jenny ripped the paper up...
I could be upset about it, but then Jenny comes running to snuggle up next to me, looks up at me with that sour little face, and there's just no way I can be mad...
Though getting then to snuggle against me is getting tougher and tougher as it gets colder and they want to spend all their time on the warming pads...
I'm not offended in the least. Them liking the warming pads saves me a fortune in heating costs over the winter.
Posted on Saturday, November 5th, 2022
This is not Saturday. It's Sunday. Because I knew that I had the end of Daylight Saving Time to deal with. This is the worst day of the year for my cats, because meals will now be served an hour later until Daylight Saving Time comes back.
But on top of DST ending... we also had our first real snow. This is always entertaining because my cats forget what snow is since the snow left the last time. Jenny takes longer to warm up to it than Jake, who was right outside being fascinated...
The drama around breakfast not happening when expected eventually passed, and all was forgiven when Jake and Jenny decided to hang out while I was working...
UNTIL LUNCHTIME, THAT IS!!
Posted on Saturday, November 12th, 2022
My cats have been more than a little upset about being trapped in my bedroom while workers are here to tear apart my home and take all my money. I can honestly say that I'm not a fan of it either.
Jenny is outright pissed. She meows at me to let me know exactly what's on her mind, then avoids me like the plague for hours.
Jake is tougher to figure out because he bounces back from it quicker. I know he's upset... but then he will climb up next to me on the bed, shit down, then hang out for a while. But he still has attitude...
This week it was especially great, because some birds fighting outside distracted him from his morning ass-wiping...
I'd show you a photo of Jenny, but she's still holding a grudge.
Posted on Saturday, November 19th, 2022
I tried different "automated" litter boxes which self-clean so I don't have to scoop. Not that I mind doing it, but Jenny is very particular about having a clean litter box in which to do her business. If the litter box is dirty, the poor thing will hold it as long as she can... wandering from box to box hoping to find a clean one... then go on the floor when she finally can't hold it any more. I really don't want my sweet girl go through that, so I pay the massive cost for the only automated boxes I trust to do the job... Litter-Robot.
I started with the Litter-Robot 3. It was great. But I started having random "BONNET REMOVED" errors soon after purchase, which would render the unit nonfunctional. I followed all the advice that Litter-Robot Customer Service gave me, but nothing solved it. This was so worrying to me due to my constant travels that I ended up buying a second just in case the "BONNET REMOVED" error happened while I was gone. This error itself is inexplicably stupid. Who wouldn't put the bonnet back on after taking it off? It's huge. It's not like you'd forget or not notice. But despite tons of people having this problem, there was never a permanent fix offered... and nobody ever offered up any hacks to solder a jumper or disable the faulty sensor, so it kept happening.
Enter Litter-Robot 4.
I waited for reviews before I even considered spending SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS buying one. When the reviews came and nobody mentioned any BONNET REMOVED errors, I wrote the Litter-Robot Customer Service and specifically asked if the problem had been solved. About all they would commit to saying was "We've improved the product in many ways." Hardly the assurance I was looking for.
Worried that the cats may resist the new machines, I started by replacing only one of them so they would have a choice. Jenny noticed something had changed immediately...
Jake took a bit longer before he realized it...
In any event, there was no adjustment period. I transferred the litter from the old Litter-Robot to the new so that the smell would reassure them what it's for. But I don't think it was necessary, as they both took to it immediately and the Litter-Robot 3 was forgotten.
After a week of use, here's the positives...
Here's the negatives (photos to follow)...
This is a screen capture showing how one of them is offline. They were actually both offline until I power-cycled the first one...
As you can see, the unit went offline sometime after 11:11am, and I've lost all data from then until I cycled the power at 7:10pm. I have no idea why it's saying a cat was detected at 7:12, because neither of my cats are even in the room. I can only guess that I farted in its general direction, and that was enough to make it think a cat is taking a dump...
This is the tab of the bonnet which will not stay locked into the slot. I keep putting it back in only to have it pop out the next time the unit cycles. Incredibly frustrating...
The bonnet itself is ill-fitting all the way around, with gaps and seams that don't match up...
But, to be honest, I can handle the bonnet being poorly constructed... just so long as I don't get those idiotic "BONNET REMOVED" errors that plagued me for years with my previous units. It seems inconceivable that something costing $700 is so poorly constructed, and I can only hope that it stays operational despite it all.
And that's that. A lot of plusses. Some hefty minuses. But an overall good product that I can't imagine being without.
Pretty sure my cats can't imagine it either.
Posted on Saturday, November 26th, 2022
This was an eventful couple week to be my cats... what with all the construction fixing my home.
For the most part, Jake and Jenny spent their days hiding in the storage closet in my bedroom. I am always sure to take their food up to them... have a litterbox available... and check in several times to make sure that they're not completely catatonic. Which is a distinct possibility given how terrified they are of strangers.
The worst part was when the electrician actually had to go into my storage closet in order to replace the light switch. Poor Jenny backed herself so far up against the wall that she ended up looking like a little puffball...
Jake held out as long as he could... then made a mad dash for it, running past me, the electrician, and one of his nine lives.
He did recover enough that he was up for watching television with me that night though...
By the next morning, they were both back to their normal, abnormal selves. Jake got a paw massage, which he liked a little too much...
Fast-forward to today, and I arrived home from my Thanksgiving adventure over the mountains. As I was unloading the car, Jake was unloading my first load of stuff, including a box of toys I bought them for the holiday. I guess he smelled the catnip?
Remind me to disinfect the countertops.
Jenny is very particular about her toys. Most she won't play with. Some she hates so much that she dumps them in the water fountain. This time she only dumped one in the water... an astro mouse or something. The rest she was indifferent towards.
I got a jumbo-sized catnip toy that she attacked immediately. She was biting it and kicking it with a dedication usually reserved for her brother...
And now? I'm off for a warm winter's nap.
Posted on Saturday, December 3rd, 2022
Yesterday I had a slice of pizza left over from dinner, sitting on a plate next to me on the couch. Without warning, Jake jumps up and walks towards it. I take it away and say "mine." Jake looks up at me, then starts WAILING. And he would. not. stop. And so I was like "Holy shit!" So I gave it to him. He sniffed it a few times, then left. And now I'm like WTF? What were you crying for if you weren't going to at least lick the cheese off of it?
Jake has been acting out a lot lately, and I think he gets it from his sister. He sees how she has me wrapped around her little paw, so he thinks "Why shouldn't I get everything I want too?" And so he's squawking at me just as much as Jenny meows at me... demanding that I pay attention to him or give in to his frustrations when he isn't getting his way.
I am so pussy-whipped.
Take this photo, for example. I was on a Zoom call and Jake came along and sprawled out on the bannister shelf I made so he doesn't fall down the stairwell again. I thought "How cute!" and swiveled my iMac so people on the call could see him. Little did I know that this was NOT Jake trying to be cute... it was Jake waiting to get belly rubs! And when I didn't act fast enough, he was squawking at me... while I was on my Zoom call...
Which was highly amusing to my colleagues on the other end.
Then there was this morning when I woke up and Jake was on the cat tree that looms over my bed looking down at me. I said "good morning" and grabbed my computer to check my email. All of a sudden there was bird commotion outside the window and Jake was riveted...
Then the bird commotion stopped.
And Jake was very upset about it. His entertainment was gone.
So he decided to get mad at me about it.
Squawking and squawking at me... like I was supposed to go wrangle some birds for him, I guess.
Yeah, sorry buddy, but I'm not doing that. There are limits to your demands, and it's better you find that out sooner rather than later.
Posted on Saturday, December 10th, 2022
Every Caturday I tear apart my cat feeding station and steam clean everything, throw the ceramic cat fountain in the dishwasher, sanitize and clean the feeders, and wash the cat warming pad covers, cat beds, and bedding. It's a lot of work, but I want to keep my cats healthy, clean, and comfortable, so I honestly don't mind.
This morning when I gathered all the pet beds and bedding and tossed them in the washer so I could vacuum under everything, I heard meowing coming from the living room. I knew it was Jenny because Jake can't meow.
I look around the corner and she's upset because she wanted to lay in the cat bed that I keep on the coffee table. But the only thing there was the piece of cardboard that I set down to protect my table... and so that's where she was...
Look at her all prim and proper sitting there in her fluffy winter coat! Such the perfect little lady!
She moved when I hauled out the vacuum cleaning to suck up all that cat hair and dust off the table though.
The vacuum is a cat's mortal enemy, after all.
Posted on Saturday, December 17th, 2022
My cats are very upset about the snow that's been dumping down. Very.
Jake will go out in the catio and squawk at it. Jenny prefers to meow at it from the comfort of the indoors looking out the window. Either way, they are having a bad day.
It's different for me.
No matter how bad of a day I've had, coming home to have my fuzzy girl curl up next to me and purr like a motor boat makes it all better...
But then there's Jake, giving me a heart attack when it looked like he was going to jump downthe stairwell...
The last time he did that, I had to take him for an emergency run to the vet.