Recently in Pets Category

Cruelty and Suffering

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There's this statistic I encounter every so often about how conservatives donate so much more money to charity than progressives. I guess it must be true since there's supposedly hard data to back it up, but I wonder how much religion pays a role. After all, conservatives tend to be more religious than liberals, and donations to churches count as tax-deductible charitable contributions. Mormons, for instance, are expected to donate 10% of their income to the church. That's a lot of charity.

That's a lot of charity even for me personally, considering that I started paying tithing before I turned eight. When I was a poor college student with a part-time job, after I wrote that big monthly check the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I didn't feel like I had a lot of money left over to give to other organizations.

When I quit going to church and could give specific amounts to specific groups, I found that I favored organizations that took care of animals. But instead of saying, "Well, I care a lot about animal welfare, so I'm going to give money to groups dedicated to that," it was was more like I figured out that I cared a lot about animals because I preferred donating to the Humane Society over writing a check to the Red Cross. It's not like I never give money to organizations dedicated to taking care of people; I just give more to groups focused on animals.

Engineers and Cats

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I'm not awake enough to think of a title that is anything but descriptive. I am, however, awake enough to enjoy this video. I found it utterly charming. it made me want not just a cat but an engineer.

Sunday So Far

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Here's what I've done so far today:

1. Woke up and got out of bed at 5:30 a.m., which is about 90 minutes earlier than I usually get up. However, it's also three hours later than I got up yesterday, so I was happy. Furthermore, even though I tossed and turned last night, even though I was bedeviled by strange dreams and woke up often, it was a chemical-free night. That's right: no sleep-inducers, not herbal, not prescription, not OTC--not even liquid! I try to vary what I take during a really bad stretch of insomnia so I don't become too dependent on any one thing, and a really bad stretch of insomnia is what I've dealt with for the past few weeks. But I hope that after last night, it has broken--I hope, anyway. I HATE being awake in the middle of the night and exhausted during the day.

2. Read this really awesome piece in the NY Times magazine about our interactions with whales. It was moving and interesting and profound, and after reading it, I thought, "Well! No matter what happens during the rest of the day, at least I've read this, and that will salvage this entire day, and overall, I will count today as a good day." Ha!

3. Went for a nice long walk while the humidity wasn't grossly intense and the temperature uncomfortably high and the sky overcast and gloomy. Which was another reason I figured today would be a good day.

4. Tried to feed my cat, who had most of her teeth removed on Tuesday.

Hours and Hours of Kitty Viewing Pleasure


As I mentioned a month or so ago, I live up high, high enough that the upper branches of old ponderosa pines are what I see when I look out my window. I like this a lot, but it presents certain problems for the creature I share my apartment with: my cat.

Dinah loved the house I sold last summer, because it afforded seasonal fun: during months when the weather was nice, she could hang out on its awesome screened-in porch--she could sit at the door and watch bunnies hop across the lawn and birds hunt for bugs; and when she got tired of that, she could always retire to the couch and just look really cute. When it was cold, there was a stairway perfect for games of cat-and-toy-mouse (I'd throw them and she'd swat them away like baseballs if she felt like making me do most of the work; other times, she'd attack them fiercely).

But this apartment has no porch for her to go out on, and the windows aren't even very kitty-friendly, because the screens are on the inside, which is annoying in a bunch of ways: it means that I have to open the screen, then open the window, then close the screen--two extra steps--every time I want to open a window. Second, it means that the sill a cat would normally hang out on is behind the screen. Dinah was often very bored and I didn't know what to do about it--until recently.

Ape Language

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A few weeks ago, I took Dinah to the vet. While we waited in the aptly named waiting room, I looked at a book on photos of cats, and couldn't help cooing out loud in pleasure over photos like this one or this one of Koko the Gorilla and her various kittens. I came home and googled Koko, and learned that she asked repeatedly for a kitten and, when she got it, named it "All Ball" because it curled up.

I went looking for info on ape language after that, and found this fascinating video, which I hope you will enjoy.

He's the One Everyone Wants

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A friend just sent me a link to this video. I watched it grinning like an idiot, and when it ended, I cheered and clapped. Human beings and dogs are both amazing creatures.

The dog's name is Rookie, by the way, and Rookie's companion is named Carolyn Scott.

For Whom the Cat Bell Tolls


I completely ripped off that title from this story about a cat who can tell when a hospice patient is about to die, and curls up with them for the last several hours of their lives. It's quite remarkable.

Bad Pet Humor


What might erupt in your face if you jiggle or upset it?


Dinah might!

(OK, I know that's a terrible pun, but really, I couldn't resist.)

What to Do with a Bored Cat


The other day a visitor said to me, as my cat sauntered by, "At least cats don't get bored, do they."

This person has a dog, not a cat. Obviously. Because anyone with a cat knows they do indeed get really bored--and a bored cat is a nasty, nasty creature to be around.

My cat is pretty damn bored right now. She's not an outdoor cat, though I'm lucky enough to have a screened porch she likes to hang out on--in the summer. I can't coax her outside at all right now, and she seems to blame me for the fact that it's snowing outside.

To keep her from going out of her mind with boredom and driving me out of my mind in the process, I play this game with her, where I throw cat toys up or down the stairs, and she chases them. Here she is waiting for me to throw a cat toy for her to chase.


But sometimes she gets tired of running up and down the stairs, and decides she just wants to let me throw them to her so she can bat them away, in which case she adopts this pose:


And sometimes I'll throw them too far, so she'll have to reach behind her, like this:


And sometimes, she'll catch the toy and attack it fiercely, in which case she looks like this!




I finally get around to teaching myself to use the camera I got for Christmas, and what's the first image I post on my blog? That's right:


a picture of my cat.


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