Archive for the 'cats' Category


Last week’s drama

We found out he was missing in the early morning, while getting ready for school and work. In the early afternoon we posted about him in our neighborhood online group, and I made a flyer to distribute to our nearest neighbors.

One neighbor put us in touch with a friend of hers who is very good at finding lost cats and dogs. Seriously, she’s like a cat whisperer with magic powers. Brenda stopped by our house that evening, explained some cat behavior stuff to us (which culminated in her firm belief that “he is almost certainly within one house of this one, probably hunkered down under a deck or a bush”), and gave us some suggestions (and some extra-stinky cat food) for luring him back home.

On the front porch, we put some of our clothes (with our smells on them), one of the litter boxes, Widdershins’ favorite sleeping pillow, and some of the stinky cat food. The hope was that he’d follow those familiar odors home.

We also left a cat-sized opening in our back slider door and planted another bowl of the stinky food just beyond it. And to provide another option for shelter, we left the garage door open about six inches and put yet more cat food in the garage. And then we went to bed.

Around 5 a.m. I heard some meowing outside my closed bedroom door. (We had our other cat, Aisling, locked in our room with us so she wouldn’t run out through the open slider door.) Sure enough, it was Mr. Widdershins! His thirty-six-hour-long adventure had concluded, and he’d come home. Needless to say, there was much rejoicing here!

P.S. Of course he ate ALL of the stinky cat food we’d left out for him, first. (I am pretty sure the 5 a.m. meowing was him saying, “I want more food.”) We just knew that his hunger would bring him home!





Feline fun

If you’ve been in the Internet within the past couple of years and you like cats, there’s a good chance you’ve already seen this. If not, well, then let me introduce you to the fabulous Maru:



Life update: Bits and bobs

I’ve been stockpiling a bunch of links I think are interesting but am having trouble finding the time to give each link the proper writeup it deserves. So I’m just going to dump them into one post and let you wade through them as you like. Enjoy!

Get your SQUEE on: the Battlestar Galactica series bible (PDF).If you liked the recent BSG series even one little bit, you will like this document.

Mark Bittman recently announced that his column “The Minimalist” was leading the New York Times cooking section after  thirteen years. He promises bring his recipes and commentaries to other pages of the NYT (including his blog), so he’s not leaving us for good. If you’re one of his fans, take a look at this page, which functions as a quasi-index/TOC of all of his columns.

I have several friends who run marathons regularly. I admire them for their discipline and dedication. At the same time I think they are slightly nuts. I like the idea of a marathon but feel a bit muddle-headed when I start envisioning all the training that goes into preparing for one. Which is why I found this post intriguing: How to Hack a Marathon If You Aren’t a Runner. So what do you think, those of you who run a lot—would it work for you?

“Are Disney Princesses Evil?” The short version of my response to this is “yes.” But it’s not just Disney—it’s the onslaught of branding that children are exposed to from infancy. This branding seeks to limit their choices and to turn them into consumers, and I think both of those aims are Not Good Things.

The content and language here are a bit crude. But wow, this post just cracked me up: “Neil Gaiman made up this myth.”

Any of you who have ever owned cats or spent a lot of time with them can surely relate to this:[youtube][/youtube]Here’s an anti-unicorn-chaser to follow all that feline cuteness: the Zombie Tabernacle Choir.


Kitty Midnight Madness!



Cats in sweaters

You can see photos of 109 different sweater-wearing cats here. For reals. (No word, however, on if any of the owners or photographers had their eyes clawed out immediately after the photos were taken.)

Want to make your cat number 110? You can knit up this free pattern for your own cat sweater.


“Lost” reenacted by cats



Attention, cat owners

I dare one of you to knit this. Then put it on your cat. And then photograph your cat.

The last two steps will probably require you to execute the “run like hell” maneuver immediately afterwards.


Farewell, Beowulf

Yesterday we said goodbye to our remaining cat, Beowulf. Her sister, Britty, died in March 2008, and we still haven’t fully gotten used to that loss.

Beowulf’s decline wasn’t quite the mystery that Britty’s was—she had recently developed some age-related (she was nearly 16 and a half) health problems that were clear contributors. She’d not been doing well for two weeks took a sharp downturn over the weekend. When the vet saw her yesterday, he told us that her systems were basically shutting down.

Jan and I had already discussed this possibility (with each other and with Sylvia), so we were ready to tell the vet our decision. The three of us went back to the vet’s office to say goodbye to Beowulf (we did not stay for the procedure, but we knew she was in caring hands), and Sylvia really lost it. She was closer to Britty, but now she’s old enough to really comprehend loss and grief, so she was having a hard time.

But even though she’s sad about losing Beowulf, Sylvia does understand why this is the right choice. Jan and I explained to her (as we did with Britty) that if you have pets, one of your jobs is to help them die when it’s time, because they can’t do it for themselves. As I mentioned last spring, this is something that Jan and I very strongly believe, and it’s a lesson we want to be sure to impart to Sylvia.

It’s strange to be in cat-free house (I keep looking for the water dish to see if it needs a refill). We may very well have other furry friends with us in the house one day, but not just yet. For now, it’s just the three of us and the fish in Sylvia’s room.

We’re all sad, but doing all right. I have some thoughts for other posts—maybe in a few days or next week. In the meantime, I leave you with one of my favorite photos of Beowulf. Yes, she is indeed doing what you think she’s doing!*


*This was taken in our apartment. Unfortunately, when we moved to our house, Beowulf completely forgot how to use a toilet and went back to the litter box.


Thank you

Thanks, everyone, for your very kind words about Britty. We miss her a lot, but we know she’s in a place where she’s not suffering—and where there are lots of yummy snacks everywhere, no doubt. (She did love to eat… I kid you not, that cat knew how to open tupperware in her relentless pursuit of food!)

Here’s one last photo of Britty to share with you all. This one gives you an idea of how she got the nickname “St. Britty.” Sylvia spent about half an hour carefully arranging these toys atop a napping cat…who didn’t mind one bit.


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