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Test for Lupus

Posted on April 22nd, 2024

Dave!Earth Day! Which means it's been... um... 38 years since I've eaten meat. THAT I KNOW OF! Because do we really know what's in an Impossible Burger? How do they make it taste so good and meaty? Is it because there's meat inside?

And now? A question. Is this what a parent feels like when they accidentally drop their baby down the stairs?

When I got home, I sat down on the couch to answer personal emails. What I did not see was Jenny sneaking into the room. And I really didn't see her jumping on the back of the couch as I was reaching for my Coke Zero. She jumped into my elbow. Clocked her hard and she ran off. I was mortified. Followed her to her hiding place to check and make sure nothing was broken. Then left her alone.

I called her to dinner and she came down, but was wary of getting near me. She wasn't limping or appearing hurt, so I just let her be. And I've been feeling awful ever since.

Just now she came in and wanted to be petted. So I'm thinking where she hit was on her head and now she has memory loss. Poor thing. I would have been inconsolable if I hit her eye or caused some damage. Hopefully it's something she can just shake off.

And speaking of shaking it off...

There's still something going on in my urinary system. Don't know if it's another, smaller, kidney stone... a piece of the last stone which broke off... just an injury from the passing of the last stone... or lupus.

I feel the need to toss lupus in the mix because that's what House M.D. would want.

But life has to go on, so I popped a couple Advil this morning and went back to work. That's not what House M.D. would want, but he isn't paying my mortgage.


Caturday 352

Posted on April 20th, 2024

Dave!Every night Jenny naps on the cat tree where she can see me... or on the warming pad next to me on the couch. She's doing this so she knows the minute I close my laptop to head upstairs to bed. Because she knows that I'll be happy to pet her for a few hours while working or watching TV. Jake usually heads up a while later...

Jake and Jenny sleeping next to me.

Then, once I set down the laptop and turn off the lights to go to sleep, Jenny leaves immediately because she knows there's no more petting happening. Jake sleeps with me a lot of the time, which is not a big deal because he doesn't need anything from me and doesn't bother me. Mostly. Sometimes he decides to crawl on me because he wants attention, but that's rare.

Well, tonight I did something I never do.

Closed my bedroom door.

It was heartbreaking seeing Jenny walking towards me anticipating getting her nightly petting time, then shutting her out. But I really had no choice. I desperately needed sleep after two nights of not getting any. And having cats on the bed would be a distraction from that.

We'll see if there are repercussions from this tomorrow. Will they shred everything? Poop in my shoes? Chew up the furniture? Nothing is off the table.

UPDATE: After getting 8 hours and 20 minutes of fairly restful sleep, I woke up and opened the door about an hour before their breakfast time. Jake was there waiting. Jenny came running in five minutes later. No repercussions that I've found. Lucky me. This time.


Bullet Sunday 851

Posted on April 14th, 2024

Dave!I may be hard at work hammering studs into my ceiling frame to prepare for construction, but I'm not ignoring this blog... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

• Ultimate Eclipse! After seeing loads of photos and videos of the eclipse as seen on earth, I was surprised when footage started popping up of the eclipse as seen from space...

A fuzzy black spot on the earth!

I'm really hoping that the NASA YouTube Channel eventually gets more of the stuff that came from the International Space Station. Because how amazing is that? Or, if you're a flerfer, I guess it's more like how fake is that?

• Galagos! Okay, this would 100% be me...

I don't know that I could ever not feed animals that wanted food.

• Flowers are a Bonus! Not that animals never give back...

Cats know what buttons to push to win over people.

• Melancholy Hill! If Damon Albarn asked me to eat a pound of broken glass, I'd ask if I could have extra for dessert. Every once in a while YouTube comes completely out of left field with a recommendation that floors me...

I love, love, love Gorillaz. I've gone down a YouTube rabbit hole so many times watching as much content as possible from the "band." But I have never seen this wonderful live performance of one of their best songs before. Magical.

• Faltas Tú! I was eating lunch in a restaurant when this amazing bop of a song came on. Fortunately my phone could tell me exactly what it was. And what's bizarre is that this is not an old song... it's relatively new. The music video mentions the eclipse and was released just over a week ago...

Props to the guy trying to bring back crop-tops for men!

• Adequate! While waiting for paint to dry, I'm cleaning and catching up on Hulu's Shōgun. Early in Episode 07, Lady Fuji's grandfather surprises her with a visit and compliments her on her clean home. She replies "It is adequate."

Lady Fuji

If I had to pick a moment from this show that summarizes my experience in Japan with the Japanese people (whom I adore), that would be it. The Japanese are exceedingly polite, humble, and respectful in order to maintain harmony and calm in society (at least outwardly). It would never occur to them to be boastful and say "Oh yeah, my house IS totally clean! Thanks for noticing!" I ran into that over and over and over again. It wasn't until I studied the language that I started to understand how ingrained humbleness is in their culture. It's something we could use more of in our culture.

• The Talented Mr. Ripley! Dang. Netflix took a beautiful gamble with this series, and it pays off wonderfully. It's very different than the book... and very different than other adaptations I've seen. Much more... menacing?... I think is the word I want? Plus it's a nice slow burn. Deliberately. They have the main character walk all the way up a long set of stairs only to be told that what he's looking for is back down where he started. It would be easy to write that off as a big waste of time, but it's the character's reaction to this setback which makes it so essential to understanding him. AND THEY DON'T EVEN LEAVE IT AT THAT. They revisit in a way that's both funny and even more revealing.

But the real treat is the cinematography. Holy shit is this beautiful. Every single frame looks like it you could pop it out of the film and hang it on your wall. Seriously. I can't even begin to tell you how gorgeous this is. And then there's Andrew Scott absolutely killing it. Again! His work here is a masterclass. Every look he has... every move he makes... no matter how small... it's all important as he paints the role. Highly recommended series if you don't demand a breakneck pace to your viewing.

• Oui Oui! This cat speaks flawless French. But don't worry... there's subtitles...

If they didn't already have a cat, they do now.

Back to hammering then.


Caturday 351

Posted on April 13th, 2024

Dave!I was awakened by Jenny crying in the stairwell shortly after 1:00am this morning. I called to her and she came running to hop on the bed with me. I was worried she might be sick or in pain because she was acting strange... making squeaks and moving around like she couldn’t get comfortable. I was genuinely concerned that I was going to end up with an emergency trip to the vet. But was also thinking that she might have just woke herself up with a nightmare or something. Poor thing...

Jenny snuggled up next to me not doing well.

A half hour later, she finally settled down and went to sleep...

Jenny asleep at last.

That's when I noticed that Jake was still there sleeping (along with Mufasa, which I had found for him earlier)...

Jake and Mufasa sleeping while Jenny sleeps.

According to my Apple Watch, I fell asleep at 2:10am. But then got woken up again at 2:52 by Jenny puking her guts out. Jake ran off (and who could blame him?) and I resisted the urge to talk to her or pet her, because I didn't want her to vomit running and give me more to clean up. After she had puked up a gallon, she too ran off. Leaving me with having to strip the bed and clean up.

When I went downstairs to the laundry room, I saw that both cats were relaxing on their heating pads. Jenny didn't seem to be in any pain when I pressed around trying to see if there was anything wrong, but it's hard not to worry...

Jake and Jenny laying on their warming pads.

After grabbing a couple blankets to put on my bed, I tried to fall asleep, but didn't have any luck. I kept sneaking downstairs to check on Jenny and make sure she was still okay. After I tossed the bedding in the dryer, I gave up trying to sleep and read until it was time to feed the cats their breakfast. Jenny looked okay, but seemed a little unsteady. I was glad I could stay home the weekend to keep an eye on her.

After returning from buying lumber, I thought I'd try to take a nap. Jenny was all... What happened to the blanket? And I was all... You puked like A GALLON of vomit on it last night, so it had to be wiped off and put in the wash. 3 or 4 times. Then THIS blanket will have to be washed then the sheets then the mattress protector. So thanks for that! And Jenny was all... No problem! I know you washed everything last Wednesday, but I prefer twice a week bedding washes instead of weekly anyway!

Jenny wanting pets while I want sleep.

Jenny wanting MORE pets while I want sleep.

When I fell asleep, Jenny was with me. But when I woke up, Jake was there...

Jake peeking up from behind the covers at the foot of my bed.

When night came, I thought I had better get the bed ready...
ME: "Jenny, I know you think you're being all adorable by refusing to move off the bed while I'm trying to make it... but I assure you that you are not."
ALSO ME: "Awwww! Who am I kidding? Who cares that you were the one who puked all over the bed at 2:52am so I had to wash everything again after just three days? Who's the prettiest girl? Who's the prettiest girl?"
JENNY: "Do you want me to puke on this shit again tonight? No? Might want to hold that embarrassing (but wholly accurate) talk."

Jenny laying on my mattress while the mattress protector and the sheets are only on three corners so they aren't in her way.

I keep bringing in bedding. She moved. But in top of the sheets. For comfort, I'd imagine...

Jenny looking at all the bedding piling up around her on the bed.

I pulled the sheets to fit them and she jumps off. Then stares at me with murder in her eyes...

Jenny backlit staring at me from the doorway looking all mad.

Guess I’m forgiven though...

Jenny curled up next to me again.

So, yeah. Quite a night. Hopefully it won't be repeated tonight.

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Caturday 350

Posted on April 6th, 2024

Dave!I was only away from Jake and Jenny for two nights.

They have automated feeders. Automated litter boxes. Multiple water fountains. And neighbors who know I was gone and will step up if there's an explosion or something. And yet? I am still checking in on the security cameras multiple times a day to make sure the food is dispensing and there's nothing wrong. I know parents who are not this concerned about their children, so I'm either a really good cat dad or they're really bad parents. Or both.


Maybe the bad parents are actually the better parents.

I looked in and saw Jenny laying on the electric blanket. I was all guilty and "AWWWWWW!" so I remotely heated up that blanket. Just a little treat for her since I wasn't there (I intentionally leave it lumpy and messed up because the cats like to nest, the rest of the bed is totally made, I swear!)...

Later I got a notice that the automated feeders had triggered, so I looked in, and... no Jenny? This is incredibly unusual. Jake is sometimes late to a meal because he's lazy, but Jenny? Never. She is sprinting for the food the second she hears that kibble hit the bowl.

So I look at all the cameras and... he's still on the blanket?

I'm immediately worried she's dead, so I scrub the camera footage to see if she's been moving. AND OF COURSE SHE HAS BEEN! SHE JUST LIKES A WARM BLANKET! MY BAD! So by being the "good cat dad" I've deprived my cat of her lunch. Because this time Jake was not lazy. And of course he ate all the food.

And now I'm home.

Whether I'm gone 8 hours or 8 days, Jake comes running the minute I open the door so he can get petted. And it seems like every time he wants to be petted more. And when I don't pet him as much as he wants, he follows me around crying.

Whether I'm gone 8 hours or 8 days, Jenny hides from the total stranger invading her house. Eventually, if she doesn't hear her brother getting murdered, she'll peek out and see what's happening. Then, if I move too fast, run out of the room as fast as she can because apparently she thinks I'm a cat murderer after all.

But, hey, at least they survived my absence and didn't burn the house down, so I'm good.

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Caturday 349

Posted on March 30th, 2024

Dave!My cats are frustrated with me because I'm on a mission this three-day-weekend to clean and organize as much as I can. They are much happier when there's no shuffling about and definitely no vacuum, but they get that most weekdays, so I'm trying not to feel bad about it.

My cats, by and large, have been uninterested in my computer. Sure if there's a video they find interesting, they will take a look, but most of the time they couldn't care less what's happening on the display. Except this past week when I was editing some text and Jake was inexplicably fascinated with the words that were appearing before him. He sat and stared at my laptop for quite a while...

Jake staring at my laptop screen.

I still have no idea what it was all about. If I had to guess, he's faking interest in my work because he's still a little clingy after my return from being gone four days over last weekend...

Jake sitting on my lap.

When he's not acting like he has a headache, that is...

Jake holding his head while he sleeps.

As for Jenny? She's been playing it cool since I returned home. She's not been clingy at all... until bedtime, as usual. She has started making a home in my recycle pile from time to time though...

Jenny crawling in the paper of my recycle pile.

Which means that now I can't bring myself to take out the recycling, of course.

In non-cat news... my Instagram page has been taken over by... BATS! And I really couldn't be happier about that. They aren't as adorable as cats, but they come darn close. Especially when they're in photos like this...

Could Baturday be in my future? Probably not. I love bats, but really don't want them in my house.

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Caturday 348

Posted on March 23rd, 2024

Dave!I'm gone to Seattle-side today.

Which is always a big source of stress for me, because I worry about the cats being alone. Not so much because they won't be taken care of (there are feeder robots and litter robots and watering robots to handle their care), but because I know they miss me being there. At night when I'm usually home, they will wander around looking for me. And, if it's Jake, he will be crying out for me as well. That's really tough to take.

But, they always survive.

Even if I no longer let them go out into the catio when I'm gone. I do not want them bringing a bird or mouse or whatever into the house when I'm not in a place I can run home and let it back out.

So I dunno. Maybe I'm overreacting, and they're giving each other hugs to console themselves in my absence...

Jenny stretching out across my arm.

But probably not. They're probably trying to break into the treat cabinet.

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Caturday 347

Posted on March 16th, 2024

Dave!When it comes to cat food, my cats can be picky. Or, in the case of Jenny, very picky.

I think she might not have a great sense of smell, because the only foods she recognizes as foods are pretty stinky. Namely: fish. I have tried all kinds of varieties of food and anything that's not fish is a tough sell.

I received a sample can a while back that I had kept in my car in case I ran across a hungry cat. But I rotate new food in so it doesn't go bad. When I looked at it I saw it was tuna, which is usually okay, so I fed it to my cats... who went absolutely bonkers for the stuff. They were so crazy for it that I ended up digging the can out of the trash so I could buy more of it...

I searched for "Seth & Chewy's Tuna morsels" and saw it was ridiculously expensive. Crazy ridiculously expensive. But I figured it would be a nice treat on occasion, so and bought some of it. But when it arrived, I opened the can and saw pasty, gross-looking "morsels" inside instead of the pink that the original can had been. Then I saw that I actually got "chicken & tuna" instead of just "tuna" because Stella & Chewy's has shitty product labeling that makes it hard to distinguish between flavors. All the cans are the exact same purple, and it's the little square around the flavor that's different.

But the cats loved it just the same, so crisis averted, I guess.

Something else they loved? These Tiny Tiger tuna cat treats...

Tiny Tiger cat treats

I am always trying new stuff just in case the stuff I usually buy is out of stock or discontinued. I especially like how small these treats are because the cats think they're getting more than they really are. Always a good thing when it comes to treats.

Fortunately, unlike Seth & Chewy's, Tiny Tiger has excellent color identity on their products. The chicken flavor is in a bright yellow bag instead of tuna's bright blue bag.

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Caturday 346

Posted on March 9th, 2024

Dave!I'm not writing this on Caturday. I'm writing it on Sunday because Daylight Saving Time starts early in the morning, which is always an adventure.

Of course this is the good time change because the cats get fed an hour earlier, which they will never complain about. The problem is that my new feeders don't reset their clocks, and so I have to manually feed the cats their dry food until they miraculously get themselves set straight.

The irony is that my Chewy order arrived on Friday, which was very exciting for Jake and Jenny...

The cat food drawer full to the brim.

But today-yesterday (Caturday) was less exciting. Jake had a sneezing fit...

Jake sneezing.

And Jenny demanded belly rubs riiiight up until the breakfast alarm rang...

Jenny getting belly rubs.

After cleaning out the closet to make room for the Litter-Robot last week, I found one of the collapsible cat tunnels I bought when they were kittens. Which made them act like kittens all over again...

Jenny looking through the tunnel while Jake waits to pounce.

Jake pounced on the tube once Jenny entered.

Jake ran.

Jenny ran after him.

Bedlam ensued.

Just another Caturday.

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Caturday 345

Posted on March 2nd, 2024

Dave!My cats are hating me right now because I'm painting in the guest room and have the door closed so they can't get in. Never mind that they have the run of the entire rest of the house, of course the guest room is the only place they want to go!

Typical cats.

Today my Facebook memories came up with the news that I adopted my cats Eight Years Ago (back in February... so they're late) and these two photos popped up...


My cat high-fiving Chris Hardwick

It's almost enough to make me want to get another kitten. Almost. Maybe this time I will get a kitten that's not a feral rescue and not terrified of absolutely everything. Except... those cats are easily adopted. I'm thrilled to have rescued a couple problem children. Jake and Jenny have been the absolute best cats.

And speaking of them... this week was kinda a Big Deal, cat-wise.

I got tired of having the Litter-Robot in the "Great Room" which has the kitchen flowing into the dining room flowing into the living room. It's not that it smells or anything (except temporarily, every once in a while when one of the cats has a particularly stinky poo to unleash) but I would really rather not have the cats doing their business next to where I'm watching television.

And so... when the electrician was here last week, I had him put an outlet in my hall closet. That way the cats have some privacy. Not that they seem to care about that, but it's sure nice for me...

Now I'll build a shelf above it with an air-seal so that I can still hang coats above the litterbox. Then I'll put a cat door in the closet door so I can close it off. Nice!

I was very, very worried about moving their pooping place. It's been the same since I got them eight years(!) ago. What I did was move the Litter-Robot about six inches every day until it was in its new place. They never batted an eye, and now they're going there automatically.

I don't know what I was expecting. But it certainly wasn't having things go this easily!


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