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Caturday 160

Posted on May 23rd, 2020

Dave!The Mufasa paranoia continues.

Poor Jake is still dragging his favorite toy everywhere for fear that Jenny will hide it if he lets it out of his sight.

The bad news is that half the time he'll get distracted and leave Mufasa unattended. The good news is that Jenny seems to be over it. For whatever reason she isn't hiding the stuffed lion any more. Whenever Jake is wandering the house crying because he can't find it, I'll see it in some totally obvious place. Like sitting on the stairs...

Which is where he will often drop it on his way up or down...

Jenny is far more clever than that. If she wanted to hide it, she wouldn't be leaving Mufasa on the stairs.

But Jake still thinks that she's taking it, and will freak out when Mufasa is missing and Jenny is available to blame. Here he is waiting for her to come downstairs so he can force her to tell him where Mufasa is, even though he was the one who dragged it upstairs just a half-hour earlier...

Note that poor Jenny is all WTF?!?

Which, as you can imagine, is her default state with a brother like Jake.

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Caturday 159

Posted on May 16th, 2020

Dave!My cats have never really responded to catnip regardless of how many times I try. When they were kittens I would buy catnip toys and sprinkle it on scratching posts to entice them, but it never really did anything. Eventually I just gave up. They were happy to scratch on their posts without it (thus saving my furniture) so why bother?

The last thing I bought them were a few toys filled with Maine Organic Catnip. They would chew on them and toss them around, but it didn't seem the catnip was doing its thing.

Then this past week somebody was singing the praises of "From The Field" catnip, so I thought I would give the 'nip one last shot. When it arrived I could smell it through the bag. Heck, I could smell it through the shipment packaging!

I sprinkled it on Jake's favorite toys... Mufasa the lion and Moose the mule... plus the Maine lobster roll that already had catnip in it. He rolled around on them for a bit, but then he wandered off...

Jenny wasn't interested at all.

And so... I guess my cats just aren't genetically disposed to catnip then. I read that can happen. Oh well. At least now I know for sure. Because if they weren't going to respond to this skunk, nothing will do it.

I tossed the bag on the kitchen counter, fed us all dinner, then plopped myself down in front of the television and started working.

TELL ME. TELL ME THAT NOBODY SAW THIS COMING!

So there I am working away when I hear the cats in the kitchen goofing off. I worry that they've gotten into the garbage. But nope! THEY GOT INTO THE CATNIP! Hopped on the counter where they knocked it to the floor, then put a bunch of teethmarks in the bag before slicing an opening and getting it all over the kitchen floor. THEN they decided to roll around in it, fight in it, and go nuts in it. And then there's Jenny picking up Mufasa and throwing him at Jake at the 1-minute mark. So apparently I was making a bad assumption that they were not affected by the stuff. Because clearly...

And so I guess I just wasn't using enough of the stuff or something? The good news is that now I can throw them a 'nip party from time to time.

It's legal to get high in Washington State now, after all.

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Caturday 158

Posted on May 9th, 2020

Dave!I know I keep mentioning how Jenny keeps getting more demanding, but it bears repeating because there seems to be no limit to how much she'll pile on. This morning, for example, she stood by the water fountain and started meowing. I went to see what was wrong and... the water level was too low for her highness's liking. She doesn't actually drink from the flowing water like Jake does, she wants to drink out of the well. So she sat there until I went and got a glass of water to fill it to a more acceptable level.

Earlier in the week she was upset that I was taking too long in the bathroom and she wanted her morning pets and sat outside the door and meowed and meowed.

And before that SHE WAS UPSET THAT THE TELEVISION WASN'T ON! Seriously. Sat there in front of the television meowing until I turned it on.

I'm getting really good at interpreting what she wants. Thankfully.

Jenny spends most of the day and a good chunk of the night out in the catio now. In daylight she naps in the sunshine. At night she... stares out into space? No idea what she's looking at. Or for...

Jenny in the catio out in the dark.

Jenny staring out into the dark.

I planted some flowers outside so that she has something to look at while she's out. I don't know that she appreciates them, but the bees sure do...

Jenny looking out from the catio to the flowers planted on the patio.

And then there's Jake.

Who is also becoming more demanding.

When I got home yesterday, Jake went running around the house and stopped long enough to scratch on his post. He got a claw stuck but, instead of working it free as he normally does, he just sat there squawking for help until I came and freed him. Methinks I spoil my cats a bit too much...

Jenny staring out into the dark.

So... it's nice to be needed... I guess?

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Caturday 157

Posted on May 2nd, 2020

Dave!When it comes to feedings, I've had to develop a specific routine in order to keep the peace.

Jake wolfs down his meals as fast as he gets them. Jenny takes her time, and will wander away and wander back as she eats. Which means if I just feed them their dinner all at once, Jenny will eat a bit then leave. While she's gone, Jake will eat his food, then her food. Which is why that's not really possible.

And so it goes like this...

  • 6:50am — Alexa alarm sounds. I feed them a sixth-can of wet food.
  • 7:00am — The dry food auto-feeder drops the remainder of their breakfast.
  • 9:00am — Tiny portion of cat treats (which I feed them every day because that's how I lure them in the cat carrier when they have a vet appointment).
  • Noon — The dry food auto-feeder drops a small snack for them.
  • 5:50pm — Alexa alarm sounds. I feed them a sixth-can of wet food.
  • 6:00pm — The dry food auto-feeder drops the remainder of their dinner.
  • 9:00pm — The dry food auto-feeder drops a small snack for them.

By spacing out their feedings, Jenny gets all of her food and Jake doesn't get more than his. It also makes sure there's no binge/purge that can come from eating too much too fast.

You'd think that all this would mean that Jake is the one who makes feedings difficult, but that's not the case. As I mentioned last month, Jenny won't bite wet food, so hers has to be pureed so she can eat it by licking. Also? She needs strong-smelling foods or she won't eat them. Which means both of them get fish-based meals whether or not Jake would rather have something else, because fish smells the strongest. And sometimes Jenny isn't satisfied because it's not smelling strong enough and will be upset. For those times I have to mix in some horribly-stinky dried fish flakes to get her eating. And, here's the part you won't believe, Jake never begs for food. Jenny absolutely does, and will go running to the kitchen any time I'm there in the hope that she'll get a snack.

In other Jenny news... it seems there's something besides Rick from Rick and Morty that will cause her to come running... Ray Charles. He was on an old 1977 Saturday Night Live repeat tonight and she came running in to watch while he was singing... then left shortly after he was done...

Jenny watching Ray Charles on television.

In many ways Jenny has changed the most over the years. Used to be she would run away terrified if another cat was within sight. Then she got to the point where she wouldn't run... but instead observe from a distance. And now? She will actively run out to the catio to confront them, pushing Jake out of the way to get there first. A black cat came walking by and she was on it..

Jenny confronting a cat out in the catio while Jake is making his way out to see what's happening.

The black cat out on the porch in front of the catio.

Earlier this week she ran out to confront a GERMAN SHEPHERD that wandered into the yard. I knocked on the window to scare the dog away because I worried he might bite her if she stuck a paw out or something. This was her reaction...

Jenny looking at me while her front paws are hanging off a cat shelf in the catio.

Jake is probably least happy with Jenny's changes. Used to be he could terrorize her and she wouldn't do anything about it. But now? Jenny knows exactly how to get her revenge... steal his favorite toy. Jake is so paranoid about it that he drags Mufasa with him everywhere and looks around nervously when he has to drop him... like here when he wants to groom his belly...

And speaking of Jake, now that the weather has gotten hotter, he's catspreading again. Especially on my bed when I have the ceiling fan on...

Jake flopped on the bed all spread out.

But he'll do it anywhere...

Jake flopped on the couch all spread out.

Still not happy about me photographing his catspreading though. I get a look...

Jake spread out and glaring at me as I try to photograph him.

Sorry, Jake... if not for photos, Saturdays wouldn't be as exciting.

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Caturday 156

Posted on April 25th, 2020

Dave!The more I stay at home... the more clingy my cats get.

Especially Jake, who is spending all night, every night on my bed. He comes in, flops down, then snuggles up next to me. He's there when I fall asleep, then still there when I wake up in the morning. Sometimes he gives himself a bath first...

Jake staring at the camera, mid-stare, in the middle of a bath.

And then.. flop...

Jake laying down getting a belly rub.

Sometimes Jake doesn't bother with a bath. He just goes right to sleep... covering his face because I had the lights on...

Jake laying down with his belly exposed, covering his eyes.

When he's out-out and has stopped purring, I always go in for a belly rub...

Jake laying down spread-eagle.

Jake getting a belly rub while sleeping.

You'd think that he'd wake right up. But nope! He was like this for over a half-hour. Like he's stuck..

Jake in the exact same position... spread eagle... not having moved an inch.

Last night I went to bed early and was watching television. Jenny loves watching television with me, so here she came...

Jenny sitting on my bed watching television.

After a few minutes she was totally invested in whatever was on the TV...

Jenny laying down, still watching television.

The fun and games were over when Jake showed up for bed and decided to give her a facial...

Jake licking Jenny's face.

Then, because Jake feels that the bed belongs to him at night, so he chased Jenny off, the little shit-head...

Jake watching television on my bed.

But don't worry. Jenny has her revenge. Usually when she runs across Mufasa and hides it somewhere. Earlier this week I went to take my morning shower and there was Mufasa...

Mufasa, Jakes small plush lion toy, laying in my shower.

I always feel bad for Jake... no matter what he's done to deserve it... so whenever I find Mufasa I will usually go find Jake so he can have his toy back.

Have a great Caturday, everybody.

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Bullet Sunday 658

Posted on April 19th, 2020

Dave!Life in isolation may be better than no life, but your life is about to get measurably better... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Dough! I finally broke down and baked a couple loaves of my beloved SourJo bread. It was too hard going without, so I used the last of the flour I had been saving and went for it. The result was as delicous as it was beautiful...

Two loaves of delicious bread on a cooling rack.

I have decided to slice and freeze the pan-loaf so I can thaw it out as toast when I need a bread fix. The round loaf, however? That I'll be eating in copious chunks with butter and jam! I sure hope that flour, sugar, and yeast come back to grocery store shelves sometime soon.

   
• Various Corn! Oh look... John Oliver is back to drop some truth on the outrageous levels of stupid shit that have been plaguing us as of late...

The Below Deck: Sailing Yacht drop-in was particularly wonderful for those of us who are fans of the show.

   
• Terms of Agreement! HOLLYWOODREPORTER.COM: COURT RULES PHOTOGRAPHER GAVE UP EXCLUSIVE LICENSING RIGHTS BY POSTING ON INSTAGRAM. This is categorically absurd. A feature of Instagram is that people can embed and share what you post. Mashable wanted to use the image without embedding the Instagram framing. They offered money. The artist refused the amount of money. So Mashable just used the Instagram framing as it was DESIGNED TO BE USED!! If you don’t want people using your work in ways that social media was designed to be used... THEN DON’T FUCKING POST IT TO SOCIAL MEDIA! Especially a site like Instagram where you have to agree to their terms specifically allowing this kind of thing when you sign up for an account. Put your work on a PRIVATE SITE and EXPLICITLY STATE the terms of use (or lack of use) where you are sharing it. This is not rocket science. Nobody should be shocked or surprised as to what can happen when you post your work to social media. THIS IS WHY THEY CALL IT "SOCIAL MEDIA!"

   
• Sucks So Good! One of my favorite movies of all time is What We Do In The Shadows. It's hilariously funny in all the right ways. It spawned a television serious on FX that was every bit as well-done and hysterical. And now they've started their second season...

I was late to the television series (I didn't know it even existed), but now I'm crazy for it. I pre-ordered the entire season at iTunes because I just know that I will be watching them over and over again. Highest possible recommendation.

   
• Moo! Cows are truly some of the most gentle and beautiful animals. Part of why I can’t bring myself to eat them...

THAT is one content kitty right there!

   
• Color! This is probably the coolest thing I've seen all year. A series of RGB colorspace books which depict every color imaginable...

A person with white gloves turning the page of a massively thick volume of color pages in the RGB Color Atlas.
Image attributed to Brittany Schall

Two of the three volumes of the RGB Color Atlas.
Photo by Vegard Kleven

You can read about the RGB Colorspace Atlas over at Colossal. You can see the work over at artist Tauba Auerbach's site.

   
• 'MURICA! And let's wrap this up with a shut-out to the brave nurses confronting IGNORANT STUPID FUCKING ASSHOLES protesting lockdown BY BARRICADING STREETS DURING A PANDEMIC WHEN AMBULANCES MAY NEED TO GET THROUGH...

I am so fucking sick and tired of this idiotic trash that I want to vomit. You can read about it here.

   
And that's all she wrote for bullets this Sunday.

   

Caturday 156

Posted on April 18th, 2020

Dave!I know from my security camera systems that my cats spend most of the time when I'm away sleeping. Within a half hour of me leaving the house, they are off napping somewhere. On a regular office work day for me this means that they are sleeping from 8:30 to 4:00. If I'm gone traveling, they sleep all day and all night, waking up only to eat, drink, or go to the bathroom. Occasionally they'll saunter out to the catio or look out the window, but it's mostly sleeping.

And now that I'm home a lot more than usual?

They are awake a lot more than usual. Sure, they still sleep for hours at a time... but they want to sleep near me while I work or play video games or watch television. This can cause a problem for Jake, because he tends to blend into the background. Especially the fuzzy blanket I got at a Christmas gift exchange which I leave on the couch...

Jake sleeping at a weird angle on a fuzzy blanket except you can barely see him because he's the same color as the blanket.

He loves that thing. But, as you can imagine, I've come close to sitting on him more than once. I've have to really remember to make sure he's not dozing away if I'm going to sit on that blanket.

See where his head is? Take your time, because it's not where you think it would be. That's how he sleeps. I have no idea how or why, but that's how he does it.

As you can imagine, spending more time awake is more opportunity for conflict... even if it's play conflict. The other day I was watching Jenny giving herself a sun-bath out in the catio. Jake decided he wanted to sit where she was sitting, and took a swat at her. Now, most times, Jenny will decide it's not worth the trouble and wander away so Jake can have his way. But lately? She is not having it...

Jenny may only be 2/3 the size of Jake, but she can and does hold her own when she feels like it.

Lately for me, "holding her own" means demanding belly rubs whenever it occurs to her that she wants one...

Jenny leaning her head back to get belly rubs.

Seriously, she will meow and fret until you give in.

I always give in.

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My French Dutch Oven

Posted on April 15th, 2020

Dave!This morning I was awakened at 5am by the sound of a cat puking. Since this happens so rarely, I immediately grab my iPhone so I can use the flashlight on it to see who's sick. Turns out nobody is sick. Jake just had a hairball and, of all the places in my home, he decided to puke it up in my bedroom. Thanks, buddy!

Guess I need to step up my brushing with the Furminator.

And now for something entirely not cat-related.

I have been craving bread for a week. But I haven't baked any because 1) I don't want to use up what precious little flour I have left... and 2) I am too tired after work for a long process of multiple rises. And so... tonight I decided to just whip up a loaf of single-rise "wet bread" which doesn't taste as amazing as my beloved SourJo bread, but it does taste like bread. AND I NEEDED IT!

Bread rising in a proofing basket.

Bread sitting in a Dutch oven after baking.

Bread. At last.

Dutch oven bread always gives me the nicest crust. I used to have a cast-iron Dutch oven that I inherited, which I hated. Eventually I replaced it with an Emile Henry potato pot after a friend and I were discussing bread and she recommended it. The thing is made in France and was really expensive... $100 I think?... but it's so perfect for bread. The reason being that "regular" dutch ovens are deep with a shallow lid. It can be tough to get in and out of it when you're dealing with a "wet loaf" that doesn't hold its shape and may be sticky. The potato pot is less deep but has a tall lid. So there's room to rise, but it's easy to work with. Apparently so many people ended up using this potato pot for bread that it's been rebranded "bread & potato pot" by Emile Henry (a company founded 1850 in Burgundy!).

Which is all a convoluted way to say that my Dutch oven is a French oven, I guess.

UPDATE: The pot is indeed pricey. The red one I have is now $120 at Amazon, but they have a black one for $110 as well. As you can see, the pot is split in the middle instead of the top so that the lid is deeper and the base is more shallow, making it much nicer for bread-making...

And it also does a bang-up job of cooking potatoes, as it was originally designed for.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I just ate dinner and am going to have a slice of bread for dessert!

   

Caturday 155

Posted on April 11th, 2020

Dave!Jake and Jenny are mostly happy to have me home so much.

They like hanging around me, so now they get to do that a lot more. They also like interrupting me when I'm working, so now they get to do that a lot more too. The begging for treats was unbearable at first, but now they're understanding "no," so there's that.

Times like this I'm grateful that they have a catio. The weather has been really nice lately, so they spend hours out there playing and sleeping in the sun.

In other news, my Facebook feed has been filled with videos of cats avoiding obstacles and it's my new rabbit-hole to fall through on YouTube...

And now, since there's not much else going on with my cats and because you may be needing a break from the horrors of the world... here's Baby Jenny having big fun with Baby Jake's tail...

Aw, kittens. I miss that. Makes me wish I had two more.

But not really. I can't imagine being quarantined with four cats.

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Caturday 154

Posted on April 4th, 2020

Dave!I had somebody read about the cat feeding station I built (I needed a way to clean the cats' eating area easily), then email me to ask just how messy Jenny could be when eating. The answer is... very. She loves loves love wet food, but she won't bite it. She always licks it. Problem is that she barely gets any in her mouth that way, so I bought a small blender so I can liquify her half of the wet food for every meal. That way she can lick it all up and be happy as a clam.

After she's done eating it looks like a murder scene or something...

Jenny making a mess with cat food being splattered everywhere.

That was after last night's dinner. This was after this morning's breakfast...

The mess Jenny made with cat food being splattered everywhere.

I always clean it after breakfast, though in the summer I usually clean it after breakfast and dinner because I don't want to attract bugs.

Is it a lot of trouble? Yes. Would my life be easier if I fed my cats only dry food instead of dry and wet? Sure. But I love my cats entirely too much, and this is what you do to keep them happy.

They're totally worth any amount of trouble...

Jake and Jenny snuggling in a cat bed.

Last night I watched my two Quarantino movies after I had blogged for the day, so I'm going to plop them right here. My double feature was Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight...

Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained Movie Poster.

Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained Movie Poster.

Django Unchained is one of my all-time favorite movies. Period. It's a really cool flick filled with terrific characters and fantastic performances by everybody involved. Easily my favorite movie each from Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio, the biggest surprise was Samuel L. Jackson playing one of the most loathsome characters in cinematic history. He is vile. Christoph Waltz didn't have the exceptional material that rocketed him to stardom in Inglourious Bastereds, but he makes the most of his every scene.

My least favorite Tarantino film is Death Proof... not because I don't like it (on the contrary, I love it), but because the rest of his films are just so amazing. The Hateful Eight is in the same boat, coming in just ahead of Death Proof. I love it... and if it were in any other list it would come out near the top... but in a list for Tarantino is comes out near bottom just because some movie has to. This movie is more subtle all the way around, giving us a closed-door mystery with some decent intrigue and stellar performances. It's also one of the most beautifully-shot Tarantino film with the second best red herring in "The Lincoln Letter" (#1 would be "The Briefcase" from Pulp Fiction).

And now all that's left is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which I will be watching tonight.

After which I will have to resist the urge to watch all of Tarantino's movies all over again.

   

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