From commentor J. Michael Neal, aka That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal:
These are my kids. All of them were adopted as strays. The order of acquisition starts at the top left and goes clockwise.
The first is Monster, my Little Ball of Hate. My roommate pulled her out of a tree in October, 1994, when she was barely larger than my hand. She didn’t get her name in the way most people think. A couple of days after she arrived, I was watching the Dom DeLuise episode of The Muppet Show, and in one of the sketches, a monster muppet was making the same facial expressions she was. It stuck. I am the center of her universe, which just constitutes evidence that you don’t get to pick the center of your universe, because I clearly hate her. She’s a mean, jealous, paranoid little freak and I love her.
Next is Ringling, who started wandering in our yard during the summer of 1998. At the time we brought her in, I said that one more cat (she was the fourth, but death and divorce have moved her up to second) and our house would be a circus. Ringling seemed to fit better than Barnum or Bailey. She is extremely quiet and deep. I can pretty much tell what any of the others are thinking, but often not her. She’s still timid around other cats (except Eddie), and so I have to keep a door in the middle of the house closed so that they stay separated. I need to get one of those Checkpoint Charlie signs to hang on the door so that people know that they are leaving the American zone. I would really like to find her a new home. I think she would be happier as an only cat and it would make my life a lot simpler.
The gray ball of fluff is Dirk. He was shivering under the wheel of our car one day in February 1999, when it was five below. We put him in the basement and had four different kinds of parasites cleaned out of him before we brought him upstairs. He is the smartest of the four, but he’s an underachiever who will never amount to much. He is generally a trouble maker, and in particular is Monster’s tormenter. He doesn’t mind not being the top cat, but he does make her prove it on a regular basis. Every once in a while, when she thinks I’m not looking, Monster will groom his head, so I don’t take their squabbles too seriously even though Monster howls like to wake the dead.
The last of them is Eddie. Poor Eddie. He showed up at the PetSmart I shop at in June 2004. He was very shy, and was also scarred from some sort of blunt force trauma to the head. His left ear is crushed, he has a scar right behind it, his left eye weeps and he drools because he’s missing a fang and his haw doesn’t fit together quite right. Even there, though, you could tell he was inordinately sweet. Even though we already had five cats, I got him as a birthday present for my wife, because neither of us could bear the thought that no one would adopt such a beat up cat. Since then, he has remained the sweetest cat ever (I have only heard him growl once, at an intruding cat on the porch, and only after Ringling got upset), and only gotten more shy as the number of times I have to put him in the box and haul him to the vet to be tortured has grown. He had kidney stones in the summer of 2006 that almost killed him before the vet figured out what it was. He developed an ulcer on his left front paw in the fall of 2008 that turned out to be lymphoma of the skin; that ended with his leg being amputated. This last spring, he licked all the fur off of his tummy, and I took him to the small animal hospital (where he gets all of his treatment since the cancer) to investigate a lesion that looked a bit like the tumor had.
That set off a chain that involved treatment for a liver infection; a root canal and five crown removals; the development of another lesion on his lip in the immediate aftermath of the dental surgery, which the doctor thought really was cancer but a biopsy to be just inflammation; and now multiple trips to the dermatologist to try to figure out why he’s licking all the fur off his tummy and the fur has fallen out on his lip. None of the others has ever been to the vet for anything but their shots. It’s always Eddie. He still loves me after all that, but he doesn’t really trust me; he spends a fair amount of time hiding under the bed, and he’s gotten good at telling when I intend to grab him and put him in the box, so it’s a challenge. Wish him well.
And wifey will squee. She will never visit your house since she likes, well, breathing, but from the pictures she will squee.
Is it early morning yet? It’s only 2:30 in the flyover zone. Beautiful kittehs! I take back all those nasty things I said about you, TMATUP! (even though I don’t exactly recall what they were).
AWS + enough
I have a cat, and she totally knows when I’m going to put her in a crate to take to the vet. I can grab her and walk around the house with her, even on the path I would take to put her in the crate, and she doesn’t react. But somehow she knows the difference between a walk around the house and a trip to the vet. It’s amazing.
Love the way Monster is posing: Yes, you may take my picture.
Aw. Poor kittehs have been through so much. But so cute and so much better off than they would have been. You’re a good man Charlie Brown.
Personally, I am lucky that Ellie always thinks going outside is a chance for other dogs and new smells and that includes trips to the vet and kennel. She’ll be pulling at the leash to get to the front door.
@arguingwithsignposts: Don’t you feel better now? I’m sure Lady Smudge appreciated you playing nice like that.
Kittehs! They are soooooo cute, especially Monster and Eddie. Who’s still up?
@Yutsano: Yutsy! How you be??
@asiangrrlMN: Lemme guess. Your cat is black?
@MattR: Two! Both black. See here. I adore black cats. Well, all cats, of course, but especially black cats. Alas, they are often the last ones adopted.
@asiangrrlMN: I be up and aware mostly because I’m nowhere near ready to crash yet. I’m exhausted for some weird reason and my back arthritis is kicking up something fierce. But otherwise I’m pretty sweet.
Oh and fair warning: I’m gonna be obnoxious with that Jay smooth video. And not just because I think he’s cute.
@Yutsano: Which vid? The ice cream song one? And, you are totally sweet! That’s one reason I fake-married you. I’ve been listening to Sugarland/Little Big Town Life in a Northern Town all freaking day. I would not kick out Jennifer Nettles and/or Jake Owens from my bed. I’m just sayin’.
@asiangrrlMN: I too have a black cat. Bianca followed me home one day when she was a kitten. (For some reason, I thought Bianca would be a clever name for a black cat. The last black cat we had was named Aswad by my brother — Arabic for black — not too imaginative, thought I.) Like other black cats I’ve known, she is especially affectionate. Is this common for black cats?
@Amir_Khalid: PICTURES! I would love to see pics of Bianca. I dunno. I have heard that about black cats, but I have been around cats of other colors who are pretty affectionate, too. My boys, Raven and Shadow, are both very affectionate with each other and with me. Raven is an attention whore who will rub up against anyone’s leg (as long as that person is not a screaming child) whereas Shadow is very skittish around strangers. Some people in my life have never even seen him.
P.S. I like Aswad.
@asiangrrlMN: Aww. They are cuties.
I love that I have a Ringling Bros Circus ad on the left sidebar. Good try Google Ads, but wrong answer.
@MattR: Yes. They are the cutest, sweetest, most special cats evah (but not the smartest). I have that damn Barry Eisler book advert to my left and that fake-animals/supposed to be cute, but are really creepy ad to my right.
@asiangrrlMN: I am suddenly glad I have an ad blocker up. Nothing personal JC as it makes websites process soooo much faster, but I couldn’t take it any more.
@Yutsano: I don’t actually look at the ads because I have trained my eyes to ignore them. So, when the talking ones were around for a bit, I nearly killed my computer. Turn off the sound, says Cole. Um, then how do I listen to my music? Duh!
@asiangrrlMN: It’s really not his fault that most ads are massive bandwith suckers and make your browser run like ass. But at the same time I’m not gonna feel guilty for allowing my browser to run with some efficiency.
I was being indecisive as to which Jake Owen song to seduce you with, so I went for introspective. Lots of close-up shots, although I have a good pure fucking seduction song too.
@Yutsano: You don’t need to seduce me–you had me at hello.
Um…excuse me…I have to go check on that thing. Day-um. His voice just kills me. I tremble to ask, but what is the pure fucking seduction song if this isn’t it?
You know, he’s a nice enough looking guy, but nothing spectacular. When he opens his mouth and sings, though….Replay!
@Tattoosydney: EEK! HE LIVES!! Hi honey!
@asiangrrlMN: You wish, as always, is my command. Nothing like a good blues song with scantily clad slow dancers.
I did mention that he and Jennifer are both single, amirite?
@Tattoosydney: HE LIVES! Oh my god! An FH#1 sighting. I may faint! How the hell are you?
@Yutsano: Great minds think alike, etc. etc. Now, you fluff FH#1 whilst I go check out the vid.
@Yutsano: That is so tasty, I don’t care about his horrible grammar. And, yeah, you told me he and Jennifer are both single.
This is a good song, but stupid video.
Interesting read and cool cats. I love the Brady Bunch thing you’ve got going on there. I know what you mean about Eddie, we had to take our little doggie girl to the vet yesterday to get her teeth cleaned and when we picked her up, she had that look of betrayal in her eyes. It made me feel so bad. She also went and hid under the bed for most of the day. She’s much better today and I think she’s almost forgiven me.
@asiangrrlMN: Meh, he’s from Texas, sometimes they can’t help but live out their Dukes of Hazzard fantasies. You learn to overlook certain character flaws, especially if he were singing something low and slowful to you.
@chaseyourtail: Aw, poor girl. I’m glad she’s feeling better.
@Yutsano: He’s pure country. I am ashamed to say it, but I dig this song.
I’m alive! All good – just insanely busy at work all the time so I miss the late shift on here, and tired out by the time I get home so I miss the early shift on here…
But it’s Friday night, there’s thai food on the way.
How are you?
@asiangrrlMN: Hee. Yesh.
And now for a voice that makes me totally jealous. And I’m not just talking pure vocal range, although if you ever hear him talk OH BABY.
@Tattoosydney: Mmm…I lurve me some good larb guy. I even have a recipe where you can make it with turkey, although I haven’t done that yet.
It just occurred to me that I have my own kitchen again. I haz major happy at that thought.
@asiangrrlMN: Thank you. I’m glad too. She sure has me wrapped around her teeny-weeny little paw.
@Tattoosydney: That sounds yummy! So you’re working like a dog, eh? I’m, um, enjoying some fine music. Yeah. Ahem. Instant classic!
@chaseyourtail: Isn’t it crazy how they totally dominate us? My boys are 9.1 pounds and 10.7 pounds respectively, and yet, I can’t say no to them at all! I’m glad your girl is perkier today.
@Yutsano: Eh. Impressive, but not my style. Too much stylings for my taste. I’ll take Jake, you can have Josh.
@asiangrrlMN: Well le sigh, Josh is quite happily married. If I’m sticking to the single ones though, I’ll go this route.
@Yutsano: He’s better than Josh, but I will still take Jake. WTF is up with all the J names? Do you know who the backup vocal is in this video? The really deep voice?
I’m back to Life in a Northern Town.
@asiangrrlMN: No clue honestly. More than likely some random studio singer. Plus I love how basic that whole song is. A man, a guitar, and backup singers. That’s about it.
@Yutsano: Yeah. You can has! I will be the cream in a Jennifer and Jake Twinkie (again with the J names!)–although, technically, I’m the Twinkie.
@asiangrrlMN: Trying to get the skinny on Hatteras, it’s one of our favorite places. I have a live feed to some hurricane chasers but we’ll know more in about 20 minutes when the sun comes up.
@stuckinred: How close are you to it? Should we be worried about you? You in N.C.?
@asiangrrlMN: I shall take. Plus he’s like close to my age and shtuff. I always have respect for the guys who never let go of the dream of making it big.
This song is meh, but it still makes me laugh, mostly when she hangs off the end of the bar and winks. When a woman does that, gentlemen, grab your jewels, cause you’re in danger of losing them.
@stuckinred: Ganbatte kudasai. Just remember that area has probably seen worse and will most likely do so again. Yet nature has an amazing ability to heal itself.
@asiangrrlMN: Oh no, Georgia is totally safe. It’s a 12 hour drive from here and we go whenever we can. It’s a wonderful place for fishin.
@asiangrrlMN: Yes, totally. It’s amazing how we can fall so in love with our pets.
I just checked out your handsome guys and boy are they cool! I also have a cat. She’s an 18 year old black and white lady. My husband is allergic to cats also but he knew when we decided to get married that she and I were a package deal so he bit the bullet. She doesn’t sleep in our bedroom and mostly he does OK.
@stuckinred: Whew. I’m glad you aren’t in the thick of things.
@Yutsano: Holy crap. That’s funny.
Since we’re in a country kind of mood….Miss Dolly.
P.S. I am MEH, and that song is so not MEH.
@chaseyourtail: Thanks. I love my boys madly, of course. My friends and family tell me they’re spoiled and are flummoxed when I answer, “Yeah, so?” I am allergic, too, so my boys do not sleep in my bedroom, either. Do you have any pictures?
@Yutsano: One more. JC. The man in black. I love the NIN original, of course, but JC totally owns this rendition.
@asiangrrlMN: 40 double D’s FTW! Do you know they’re insured for $1 million dollars EACH?
And here she channels her inner zydeco singer. Not bad for a small town girl from Tennessee!
Maybe the question is not why Eddie licked the fur on his tummy, but why it came off? Especially with the lip connection.
In humans, hair tends to fall out with poisoning, such as treatment for cancer. Cats have even more delicate systems, which is why they’re so finicky about food and need running water.
With him spending a lot of time under the bed, maybe some safe-for-others chemical is ending up on his belly, where it also ends up on his lip when he cleans himself.
I’m just trying to help, because cats can be hard. Thanks for sharing your darling herd! :) I miss having one of my own. Best of luck.
@asiangrrlMN: Here’s some JC for ya, “Drive ON”.
@Yutsano: So is Troy Polamalu’s hair! That’s a crazy pic of it, but he’s hot (Samoan).
@stuckinred: Nice! He does a great rendition of Personal Jesus, too. I am ashamed to admit that I did not appreciate him until within the last year or two.
@Yutsano: Oh, and I don’t believe her breasts are that small. That’s very close to my size, and she’s bigger than I am.
@asiangrrlMN: Do you like Roseanne? Black Cadillac is an incredible album.
@stuckinred: I haven’t heard her stuff. I will have to give her a whirl. For now, though, I think I need to crash. Or rather, I should at least try to get a few hours. Night/morning, all!
@asiangrrlMN: I do…I’ll post some soon. Yaaawwwn, my pillow calls…nice chatting with you. Nite all.
@asiangrrlMN: Her father called her “The Brain,” and while it’s always been apparent why, Rosanne Cash will likely astonish listeners with the new level of writing and depth of feeling she brings to Black Cadillac, her aural memoir of loss, ancestry, and negotiating ongoing relationships with the dead. Cash–who lost her father, Johnny; her stepmother, June Carter Cash; and her mother, Vivian Cash Distin, within a span of two years–makes it clear throughout this rootsy exploration of her past that while grief is unavoidable, faith and salvation eventually become its companion. And as the rockabilly “Radio Operator” points out (“I am calling like a friend / from my future / from your memory / and it never has to end”), the departed seldom really leave the living.
While I have heard about his troubles before, I am saddened anew by his latest troubles. He’s a sad sack for certain; yet what can you do?
They are all darling, though. I hear you about the tortie who wants to be the Only One. Have you checked with older people, maybe put up a notice at a senior center or the like? She sounds like she’d be just right in that kind of situation.
Best to Eddie! You are a saint, J. Michael Neal.
Washington Journal reading Vanity Fair article on Sarah Palin this morning. Not a pretty picture.
Poor Eddie! Our wonderful cat is pulling all the hair out of his tummy also….don’t know why, tried changing food and some drug called Neural…this originally cleared it up, but now his tum-tum is again as bare as ever… nothing else seems to be wrong with him…bored? crazy?
Four cats? FOUR? Amateur! We have nine.
Now excuse me while I scrape the cat hair off my keyboard.
@Amir_Khalid: I have a black male cat that looks like Monster (including the white spot) and he is the SWEETEST cat. I like to say he got extra sweetness with the two extra toes on his front paws.
My black cat hated going to the vet. I once had to take the mattress and box spring off my bed to get him out from under and into his carrier. The sight of the carrier elicited the same reaction every time. I first tried closing the bedroom door, but he would find some other place to hide. I started putting the carrier in the middle of the living room several days before his appointment. He was wary of it at first, but forgot about it by the time of the appointment. When it was time to go, I would grab him and get him into that carrier fast.
Mr WereBear wants to move to a larger place; yet knows this will mean we will get more cats.
He knows it’s hopeless; he had drawn the line at 2… now he definitely draws the line at 3…
Adding to Dont Drive Black, Dont Fly Brown, now we have Dont Pack Scientifically.
Sometimes I really do want to move to Canada to avoid such ridiculous inanity.
@asiangrrlMN: They are so adorable. A friend had kittens (he was given a pregnant cat by a co-worker) recently and I have my eye on the black one. Your blog post is helping solidify this decision!
Love all your kitty pictures. So much fluffiness! My former neighbor had a cat named Monster. When I would go over there, Monster would just randomly come up to me and sink his teeth in my leg. No warning. I wouldn’t even know he was in the room and then, OUCH. No idea what his problem was. I liked him, but he sure was a weird little cat.
Could it be a flea allergy? One of our cats and our dog are both very allergic to fleas. One bite and they start scratching and licking and in the case of the cat, going slightly, temporarily insane.
Our golden retriever (traveled to the Rainbow bridge many years ago) was prone to persistent skin problems. A weekly bath in Neutrogena T-gel shampoo helped somewhat. (Not easy to bathe a cat, I know.)
JMN, your kittehs are lovely. I am sorry to hear that after 12 years, Ringling still hasn’t adapted to living with other cats because the Maine Coon Diva Cat we adopted around xmas has also made it clear that she doesn’t care for having other cats around. I was hoping that would pass. The constant hissing, growling, and huffing (seriously, she gives a frame of reference for “don’t get huffy with me”) are tiresome.
What a beautiful bunch of kittehs! I love their personal stories. Monster sounds just like a cat my mother had. High strung little thing, but she loved my Mom (and ONLY Mom). The rest of us were generally greeted by high pitched growling and/or shrieks.
J.Michael, so glad to see the brood. They are all adorable. Poor, poor Eddie, he breaks my heart.
Poor Eddie. Many, many skritches.
It’s unseasonably cool this morning in northern Illinois, 59F and dry, with a stiff breeze out of the north. A front moved through last night, bringing a lot of needed rain, then the coolth. The pups are nutty as a result–Not hot, Mom! No bugs Mom! Oh, look at the squirrels! Gaby nailed a chipmunk the day before yesterday as a warm-up. I anticipate that several of the slower squirrels will meet their doom over the course of the next few weeks. Nothing like coming home from work and the first thing you have to do is dispose of the bodies.
What’s a Dog Mom for?
Highs in the 70s and sunny for the holiday weekend. After the summer we had, I am very much looking forward to it.
Bless you for taking in so many lovely kitties. Blessings to Eddie and Ringling (don’t give her up, she likes her family). Does your Monster know my Smudge? I sense a kinship there.
Ringling looks EXACTLY like my Smokey. I’m glad I didn’t read something about him going rogue, otherwise I’d have been worried I adopted someone’s kitty.
Those is AMACHOOR cats. Looky here!
Aww, Mr. Neal, you’re a mensch. Beautiful kitties. Good luck with poor Eddie.
G had drawn the line at 2. Very firmly. Then he called me from work one day last year and said, “Um, I just found these kittens in a parking lot …”
@Persia: Yay! Thanks for the compliments. I accept them on behalf of my boys. And, black kittehs are the best. I hope you do adopt the black baby.
Ryan Harrison: 3-6, 7-5, 3-0. Even given that the kid picked up a racket when he was 2, this is too good. No, the match is not over.
(Benneteau retired–injured wrist–great shame)
Here’s Kvitova with an early 2-0 lead on Clijsters.
That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal (JMN)
Thanks, everyone. We’re looking at allergies as the problem with his fur, as there’s some secondary evidence. For instance, he keeps rubbing at his eyes. Since he has no left front paw to rub with, that means extensive bouts of rubbing his face against solid objects including my hand.
He just finished a food trial, and that didn’t help, so they are testing some of his blood. I hope they figure it out, but the thought of trying to give him allergy shots makes me despair. Eventually it settles down to about once every three weeks, but it’s every other day for a while to start with.
Ah, how sweet. I have 4 cats too. Take your Dirk and make him female, and take Ringling, male-ize and Abyssinian-ize her, and we have the same cats. Yes. It is a zoo. This weekend I will spend a lot of time cleaning house because the kitties drag everything out of the drawers and knock stuff off the counters and need every-day roomba which I haven’t really had to time to do lately. And, 4 cats is a lotta poop, and I have a small place.
But I do love the kitties. A woman I work with told a story the other day of how she put her 12-year old cat outside and just left it. Her parents had been taking care of it but didn’t want it anymore, and they “tricked” her into taking her cat back. It cried and cried at the door, but she ignored it, and now it is gone. She hopes animal control picked it up.
You know, I just will never see her the same again. Her reason? It left hair all over the house. If I didn’t think it would screw up my work life I’d just ask her why she didn’t wring its neck right then and there. It would have been less horrible. Instead, I just see her as … what? A monster? A barely functional human being???
If she would have told me she was going to leave her cat outside to take its chances I would have taken it. I would have figured out a way to live with 5 cats. I could have given one cat away to a friend who thinks she’s the sweetest thing ever and then had 4 cats again. But, no. Sigh. Hopefully some wonderful person with a heart picked up that poor kitty and gave it a home.
Nately's Whore's Kid Sister
I have two rescue cats. One of them routinely auditions for Basement Cat status and the other one had been abused so badly that he wouldn’t look or engage with any of us at the shelter, but he’d sit with a “friend” cat so we brought them both home. Took three months to find him again, and a full year before we got to pick him up. He’s got a weepy eye but is the most loving and appreciative animal I’ve EVER been owned by.