Posted on August 24th, 2019
Every once in a while it strikes me just how different my cats are. Jake and Jenny have completely different personalities, but are equally sweet in their own way. Jenny is very smart and calculating. If you aren't petting her in the right spot, she moves so your hand lands where she wants to be petted. She will also complain if you pet her in a way he doesn't like or if you stop petting her too soon. This is the opposite of Jake, who just flops down when he wants to be petted and takes whatever you will give him.
And speaking of Jake...
A friend stopped by to drop something off, which meant Jake was "trapped" hiding out in the catio. After my friend left, I went to the window to tell him that it was safe for him to come back inside (you laugh, but it works). Jake was pissed. SO MAD. He can't meow, but he was acting like he was meowing me a new one. I have never seen him this angry! JUST LOOK AT HIM! (I am on the other side of the window talking to him)...
After this he calmed down and came running inside, but still!
The next morning Jake woke me up at 4:30am. This never happens. My cats simply do not bother me when I'm sleeping unless there's something terribly wrong. I petted him until he stopped whining and crying and fell asleep next to me...
He was still next to me when I woke up. I canceled the Alexa alarm for breakfast so he could sleep in. I thought he'd wake up when the kitty feeder cycled, but he didn't...
A little after 8:00, he woke up and must have realized that he missed breakfast, because he went tearing downstairs to eat.
And speaking of eating...
Both of my cats are always curious about what I eat. They usually come up and smell it, then wander off when they realize that it's "people food" and not something they want. Since I don't eat meat, the only thing Jake and Jenny want of mine is animal products I eat... like cheese, butter, and eggs. If I set down a plate after lunch and there's butter or mayonnaise or cheese on it? They will definitely lick it clean, so I try not to do that because I think dairy upsets Jake's stomach.
A while back I made chip dip, which is pretty much cream cheese, mayo, lemon juice, and garlic. When I got back from putting my clothes in the dryer, Jenny was very interested in it...
It must have been confusing. On one hand... cheese and mayonnaise. On the other hand... lemon juice and garlic. I didn't shoo her away, but instead sat and watched. I figured that if she wanted to give it a taste, I wouldn't stop her. The problem being that garlic is toxic to cats in quantity, so a taste was all she was going to get. But, after a marathon sniffing session, she walked away. Probably for the best.
And lastly today? The very definition of ape-shit... when a tiny mouse goes running by the catio while your cats are out enjoying the sunset...
There I was sitting watching television when they came running into the house, high-tailing it to the bedroom window. A minute later they were running all over the place like crazy cats. I had no idea what happened to get them so riled up... until I went to the security cameras and saw that a tiny little mouse had run by. I guess that's all it takes.
See you next Saturday.
Posted on January 9th, 2019
There are two reasons I decided that Jake and Jenny were going to be indoor-only cats. The first reason was to protect them. I don't want them attacked by dogs... run over by a car... or hurt by some heinous excuse for a human being. No, for my peace of mind and their safety, they are staying indoors.
The second reason was to save the poor birds, mice, and other critters that cats seem to relish torturing.
That being said, I really didn't want to deny my cats access to the outdoors. There's too many interesting things to look at (and even more interesting things to smell) which can help make their lives more exciting than if they were trapped inside all the time. and so... I built a "catio" for them so they can go out when they feel like it. Jake and Jenny love the catio... especially in Spring and Summer when they are out there all day lounging around.
Unfortunately, an occasional bird wanders into the catio. It's happened twice. The first time I was able to build a tunnel to shoo the poor thing outside. The second time I managed to rescue it and get it un-stunned so it could fly off.
Then yesterday it happened a third time. Unfortunately I wasn't home to rescue the poor thing, so I came home to a dead bird yesterday...
I had no idea which of my cats were responsible. My money was on Jake. He was the one who caught the birds the other two times. So I check the security cameras and, sure enough...
Jake sure can move like lightning when he wants to!
A part of me wants to add a fence screen to the bottom foot of the catio to hopefully prevent birds from hopping in. But then I worry that if a bird comes in from above and wants to get out, a screen might make that tough. And so... since it has only happened three times in three years (with only one fatality), maybe I should just hope it continues to be a rare event and leave well enough alone.
Having to disinfect my home because the cats bring in dead birds is no fun at all. I mean just look at Jake going nuts and tossing that poor bird carcass around...
Bring on the Pine-Sol.
And not just for dead birds.
Tonight Jake threw up his dinner.
This is scary and worrisome to me. I'm hopeful that he somehow ate a shred of cheese from my pizza to make him vomit. Because the alternative could be that he's got urinary problems again. The first time was such a horrible ordeal for the little guy that I am in no hurry to go through that again.
And I'm sure Jake would agree.
Posted on December 27th, 2017
Living in the upper latitudes as I do, winter makes for crappy weather. It's cold, wet, and dark. And its dark for a really long time each day. When I get up to feed the cats at 7am, it's still pitch black out. Luckily, I have an Alexa Echo Dot in my bedroom upstairs to illuminate my home on command.
"Alexa, turn on morning lights."
= nothing =
"Alexa, turn on morning lights."
= crickets =
"ALEXA! TURN ON MORNING LIGHTS!!!"
= nothing =
ALEXA? ALEXA? ALEHHHHXAAAAAAHHH?!???
It's then I notice a red glow coming from Alexa over on my dresser. That can't be good.
So I get up in a dark room... stumble over all the cat toys that have been dropped on my floor... nearly tripping into the dresser as I step on a hard compressed catnip mouse toy... then make my way into the hallway.
NOTE: Had I taken a header into the dresser, I could have been killed!
Sure enough, Alexa is all red glowy angry and ignoring me...
"Why U Mad, Alexa?" I mumble as I head out into the darkened hallway... where I trip over Jake on the landing and nearly fall down the stairs.
NOTE: Had I tumbled down the stairs, I could have been killed!
I have been letting Alexa control everything for so long I forget that there are light switches... somewhere... around this place.
Eventually I make it downstairs where my "Smart Home" has turned on the lights for me and I can see again. Jake and Jenny stare at me impatiently as I dish up their breakfast, then chow down while I absent-mindedly ask Downstairs Alexa to turn on the stairway lights... and she does!
Apparently it's only Upstairs Alexa who is broken?
So I Google "ALEXA RED LIGHT" and find out she's not broken at all...
If the light ring on the top of your Echo is solid red, you have disabled the microphone feature. Alexa will not be able to respond to your requests until you have enabled the microphone feature, which will turn the solid red light off.
I missed the little microphone button with the slash through it on top of Upstairs Alexa.
THEN I remember.
Last night as I was falling asleep I was playing Jeopardy with Alexa (totally swept Tuesday's clues!). My cats wanted attention, but I was too tired to do anything. All of a sudden Alexa stops playing and I catch a glimpse of Jake on top of the dresser. I assumed he was laying on the speaker so Alexa couldn't hear me... then I fell asleep.
But that's not what happened at all!
Clearly Jake turned off the microphone so he could kill me in the morning! Remember how he tried to trip me on the stairs? Remember that? Remember? I COULD HAVE DIED!
And so... I am guessing he's more upset over the furry blanket I brought home than I realized.
Looks like I need to be watching my back for a while...
Posted on June 12th, 2009
It's getting to the point that I can't stand to attend public functions because there's bound to be people there.
And most people suck.
Today I attended a conference with other people and came very close to having to kill them all. It started with the dumbass who came in late then sat next to me eating an apple. I didn't pay good money to attend this shit so I could listen to an asshole chomp an apple while somebody is speaking. Then I nearly had to kill the two idiots behind me who were talking the entire time. And don't get me started on the bitch wearing fifty bracelets who was clanking and jingling every time she moved... which was often, because she was taking notes and flipping her hair every ten seconds.
It's this kind of inconsiderate bullshit that causes me to become homicidal. People PAY to attend conferences so they can learn stuff. But you can't learn stuff when you can't hear anything because people won't shut the fuck up and stop being a distraction.
It makes me want to hold my own conferences.
With an attendance of just one person... ME!
Unfortunately, the fee to attend such a conference would be a lot more money than I got.
Psycho Cat sez...
The good news is that once I blow this popsicle stand, I'm off to my sister's house.
It's party time.
Posted on June 11th, 2009
I have a pile of work that won't go away. I have 138 unread messages in my email in-box. I have hundreds of unread blog posts. I even have a box of Junior Mints that is only half-finished... when am I supposed to find time to do all that stuff?
Probably after I drive home on Sunday.
But I'm not counting on it.
Every day when I pull into work, a cat jumps onto the hood of my car and attempts to break in. I like him, and have named him Psycho Cat because he never blinks... he just sits there and stares at you with crazy eyes. This morning he ran all around my car looking for a way inside. Eventually he was smart enough to stand on the door, apparently knowing that I had to open it sometime...
At this point he hopped on my lap and demanded to be petted.
Since I am going to a conference tomorrow morning and a graduation party tomorrow night, I decided to make time for a haircut after work. Fortunately, I'm in Seattle, which has my favorite place to get a haircut ever, Zero Zero...
I don't usually endorse businesses on my blog, but this is the coolest place for hair I've found, and the icing on the cake is that they're pretty darn affordable for a full-service salon (my cut was only $25!). But don't take my word for it, read all the rave reviews on Yelp! If you're in Seattle and looking for a stylist, you might want to give Zero Zero a try.
Since it's almost midnight, I suppose I should try to get some sleep.
Work, email, blogs, and Junior Mints will have to wait until tomorrow.
HA HA HA HA!
I lie. I am so totally going to finish off those Junior Mints now...