Tag Archives: cats

Do I Smell A New Year?

I originally thought I might start off 2018 with a look at last year’s highlights, and maybe throw in a few New Year’s resolutions just to round things out.  But I don’t bother with resolutions, and even if I did they’d be pretty much the same as everybody else’s:  “Stop pigging out on Christmas goodies”; “Find new hiding places for the dead bodies of errant contractors”… y’know, the usual.  And the top stories of 2017 were mostly depressing.

So instead of reviewing the questionable activities of our current world leaders, I’d rather look at what it might be like if we were governed by the benevolent despots we all know and love:  our pets.

If cats ruled the world… we’d be slaves:

  • Naps are mandatory, with a minimum total naptime of 12 hours per day. Disturbing a napping cat is an offense punishable by a life sentence on litter-box duty with no chance of parole.
  • Vegetables and condiments are banned. All meals shall consist of meat and dairy only, with an occasional live mouse just to keep things interesting.
  • All homes must have at least one window that admits direct sunlight; and a soft piece of furniture must be kept in the sunbeam for the sole use of the cat.
  • Humans must take shifts creating a lap for the cat and providing petting services. (Unless the cat decides, in its sole discretion and without prior warning, that it doesn’t want to be petted anymore.  Petting an unwilling cat is an offense punishable on the spot by flaying with claws.)
  • Fur is never to be removed from the cat’s favourite sleeping place. It should be allowed to build up year after year into a felted nest the exact size and shape of the cat.
  • Litter boxes must be cleaned within ten seconds of use.
  • Humans should be spayed or neutered. Not because there’s any health benefit to the humans; just for revenge.
  • Everything is a scratching post.

If dogs ruled the world… we’d be pets:

  • Butt or crotch sniffing is the only acceptable method of greeting. Humans spread too many diseases with handshakes.
  • To ensure optimum health, humans should be taken for long walks at least three times a day.
  • Human walkers must stop frequently to observe their surroundings. This will be strictly enforced by their canine supervisors.
  • Furniture is for the sole use of the dog. Humans are allowed on the furniture only if they provide belly rubs.
  • Stinky substances must be rolled in with abandon. If humans don’t like the smell, they can sleep in the shed.
  • Humans are not allowed to go anywhere unless accompanied by the dog.
  • All meals for dogs shall be at least 50% larger than necessary. It is perfectly acceptable to eat one’s own vomit; and if humans don’t like it they can just look the other way.
  • Everything is a chew toy.

Our household is currently despot pet-free but I’m considering adopting human versions of at least some of their laws; particularly the ones regarding naps, sunbeams, and walks.  Those are New Year’s resolutions I can get behind.

But speaking of behind… I think I’ll skip the butt sniffing.  That might be a teensy bit awkward on pub nights.

Happy New Year, everyone – wishing you all the best in 2018!

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Off The Wall(s)

Well, we’re moving again:  Out of our current rental (our term expires Friday) and into our friends’ place to housesit for a couple of weeks while they’re on vacation.  We’re really hoping our place will be ready by the time they return.  (Not that they’ll kick us out when they get back, but we’d really like to be in our own house!)

So… yesterday afternoon I was sitting in the mostly-empty-but-still-disorganized rental, trying to come up with a blog post in fifteen minutes or less while the phone rang frequently with house-related questions.  My mind was in red alert mode:  “AWOOGA-AWOOGA!  NEXT CRISIS INCOMING AT TWO O’CLOCK!  DECISION-MAKING CAPACITY CRITICALLY LOW!  TOTAL SYSTEM FAILURE IN THREE… TWO…

I took a deep breath or ten and thought, “It’s okay, I’ll just quickly write something off the wall…”

That’s when my overstressed brain got nitpicky:  “No, idiot, you meant ‘off the cuff’; as in ‘informal, without preparation’, not ‘off the wall’; as in ‘eccentric, unexpected, unconventional’!  How do you expect to write an intelligible blog post if you can’t even form a coherent thought?”

It was an excellent question; and one with a very simple answer:  I can’t.

So I’m going with ‘off the cuff’ and ‘bouncing off the walls’, as in ‘nervous, confused, hyper’.  That, I can do.

Here are a few events from this week’s jumble:

  • One of my favourite aunts died this week at age 82, of complications from diabetes and heart disease.  Even though distance prevented me from seeing her as often as I would have liked, her passing still leaves a hole in my life.
  • The herring spawned in the strait outside our rental a few weeks ago and we’ve been enjoying all the action from front-row seats:  the water turned milky jade-green (yes, the entire ocean – that’s a LOT of herring milt); scores of fishing boats rushed back and forth; thousands of seagulls swooped in; followed by thousands of ducks; followed by hundreds of seals and sea lions frolicking and barking only a few yards offshore.  What a show!
  • It’s almost spring:  After the longest, coldest, snowiest winter on record (which must have been scheduled just for us newcomers), the snow is gone, the grass is green, and the rhododendrons and cherry trees are beginning to bloom.  And I saw this cute little guy on one of my walks:

He was moving very slowly – it’s still pretty chilly for salamanders.

  • Our housesitting gig comes with a friendly roommate:  Blue the cat.  After only one day he hasn’t quite forgiven us for not being ‘his people’, but it seems his affection can be bought with a can of Fancy Feast.

Blue the cat is a little blue without his ‘people’. (Actually he’s a LOT Blue – he weighs 22 pounds.)

  • Apparently my brand new 2017 Ford Escape had a leak from the factory-installed roof rack, so the body panels and spare tire liner have been marinating in stagnant water for the past six months.  The whole thing smells like stinky socks when I turn on the heat, but I’m on my third trip to the dealer and it should be fixed soon.
  • Work is proceeding on our house:  We now have electricity, a working septic system, half a heating system, and most of a water supply.  The walls of the garage/workshop/addition are all framed and the roof trusses are arriving today.  It’s happening!  It’s really happening!  🙂

Aaaaand that’s the wrap-up for this week, folks.  What’s new with you?

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Ping-Pong Brain

It’s a small feather-weight sphere containing nothing but air, and it ricochets wildly off hard surfaces (such as the inside of my skull) at approximately Mach 2.  Yep, I’ve got Ping-Pong Brain.

Between the release of Book 11, a Bookbub1 promo for Book 1, and my website redesign, the past few weeks have slowly drained my brain’s contents while accelerating its activity until there’s nothing left but a frantic sense of urgency and the attention span of a super-caffeinated gnat.

For instance, moments ago I clicked over to the internet to find out whether the Style Guide recommended capitalization on the word ‘Mach’, and I found a site dedicated to those pesky word usages that are so easy to screw up:  http://stage-door.org/stampact/traps.html.  The first few paragraphs are standard fare, but if you scroll down to the alphabetical list below there’s a fascinating (and immensely time-sucking) list.

I got sidetracked and wasted a good 15 minutes before I smacked my brain back in the direction I’d originally intended.

After a few more attempts at concentration, I realized that the probability of producing a coherent post for today was approximately equal to that of being picked up by a squadron of flying pigs for a nice aerial tour of the frozen flames of hell.

So I’m not even going to attempt it (neither the coherent post nor the scenic flight with AirPorcine). Instead, here are a few random things that have made me giggle lately:

The following article is a few months old by now, but I still find it funny (in a sad sort of way) that the people of Siberia preferred Barsik the cat to any of their other political options: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/barsik-cat-siberia-russia-barnaul-1.3373334.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a follow-up article, so I don’t know whether Barsik actually won the election.

Next there was a salvo in the ongoing good-natured culinary skirmish between Hubby and me.  I tend to get creative when I’m cooking, while he prefers to follow detailed recipes.  This creates a certain amount of friction when he’s trying to duplicate one of my dishes:

Hubby:  “How much (ingredient) do you put in?”

Me:  “Um… a bit…  Maybe, um, a teaspoon?  Or maybe a bit more.  This much.” *dumps ingredient into palm and displays the small heap*

Hubby (long-suffering):  “And how long should I cook it?”

Me:  “Until it’s done…?”

Hubby:  *grinds teeth*

So he sent me this:

Measuring spoons for a tad, dash, pinch, smidgen, and drop

Measuring spoons for a tad, dash, pinch, smidgen, and drop

These are the official conversions:

  • Tad = 1/4 teaspoon = 1.25ml
  • Dash = 1/8 teaspoon = 0.625ml
  • Pinch = 1/16 teaspoon = 0.3125ml
  • Smidgen = 1/32 teaspoon = 0.15625ml
  • Drop = 1/64 teaspoon = 0.078125ml

(He thinks this will help, but in fact he’s only given me more obscure units of measurement with which to annoy him.  Shhh, don’t tell.)

And finally, my diminished concentration resulted in yet another silly misread.  A couple of days ago, this article came up in my news feed:

nose hair conditioner

I must have a nostril-hair fixation, because I read “Your Nose Hair Is A Bad Conditioner”.  It speaks to my disordered state of mind that my mental critic said, “Well, yeah; duh.  Who’d use nostril-hair as a conditioner?”  I had actually scrolled down about three articles before I went, “Wait, what?

And that’s my brain this week, ping-ponging from cats to cooking to conditioners.  How was your week?

* * *

If you’re interested in the Book Club, I’ve posted a few thoughts about the format for discussion.  I’d really appreciate your input on 4 questions – please click here to reply.  Thanks! 

1 If you haven’t discovered Bookbub.com yet, you may or may not thank me for mentioning it.  It’s a bargain e-book notification service, and you can sign up to receive emails (daily or weekly) containing free and discounted e-books in the genres you select.  It’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to my to-read list… but then again, I’m happy at the sight of 50 books piled up ready to read.  If a burgeoning TBR list stresses you out, you may want to skip Bookbub. 😉

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It’s The Cat’s Ass!

Last year I mentioned that my home is a repository for creepy and disturbing items. But I also have a number of things that aren’t exactly creepy, but nevertheless indicate to the world that the inhabitants of this house are just not quite… normal.

For instance, there’s this:

Yes, that is a cat’s-ass fridge magnet.

Yes, that is a cat’s-ass fridge magnet.

There is, of course, a story behind (pun intended) this.

Our family has always loved cats. I had cats for a couple of decades; my step-mom has a cat; and after being feline-free for quite a while, my sister got an adorable little orange tabby christened Phoebe several years ago.

Phoebe is lovely, but, like all cats, she’s fond of mooning. Especially as a kitten she loved to get her butt right up in my brother-in-law’s face, much to his vociferous disapproval. So when I discovered a package of fridge magnets shaped like cats’ asses, I had to buy them for him as a gag gift for Christmas that year. He duly gagged when he opened them, there was much hilarity, and then I got distracted by cooking and visiting and thought no more about it.

Until everybody left and I discovered the Siamese ass, the rudest one of the bunch, stuck to my fridge.

I laughed (yes, I have to say it) my ass off.

The cat’s-ass magnet subsequently became a family joke, and at one point my then-teenage niece got creative with my one of my other fridge magnets:

 Is that modesty or lasciviousness?

Is that modesty or lasciviousness?

Anyway, years passed and I had pretty much stopped noticing the cat’s ass, until my nephew and his wife visited with their kids last Christmas. Aged seven and four, the kids investigated the house and then joined us in the kitchen. I was yakking with the adults and didn’t notice what was going on until a little voice spoke up.

“Excuse me.” (These kids are polite.) “What’s that?” A little finger points up at the fateful magnet. Two wide-eyed stares fix on my face.

“What do you think it is?”

Nothing but silence and round eyes. They know damn well what it is, but there’s no way they’re going to say it to a strange adult (and I’m as strange as they come).

I can’t help cracking (sorry) a smile. “It’s a cat bum.”

Squeals of delight. “A bum! It’s a cat bum!” Giggle-giggle-giggle!

But after they left I stopped paying attention to the magnet again, except to glance at it occasionally and grin at the memories.

Until last night.

Phone rings. It’s my sister. Laughing her ass off.

Her: “Guess what I just got! 3D cat butts!”

Me: “Wha…?”

Her:3D cat butts!

And she sent me a picture:

cat butts 3

Yes. Yes, those are 3D cat butts.

 

Apparently a co-worker had found this package of fridge magnets and bought them for her, without even knowing the family folklore.

And so another round of tradition begins. Some families treasure special china or heirloom jewellery. We bond over cat asses.

Any oddball heirlooms or traditions in your family?

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