Just absolutely beautiful out- 70-80 degrees, blue skies, a nice breeze. It’s Jill Ill’s birthday (the big 40), and they are having a party out at Harry and Chatman’s farm, so I stopped by this afternoon for a few hours with Lily and Rosie and hung out by the pool. Chatman and Harry have a great pond, but they just put in a new pool with a beautiful pergola, so I spent a couple hours poolside with the crew and dropped off a birthday bottle of Tuaca (she loves the stuff).
Rosie, of course, made her presence noted by christening the stone surface of the pool with a very impressive six inch bowel movement, and we all just laughed. Bless her heart. I guess the car ride got her bowels in an uproar.
I confined Rosie to the pool area because she is a runner, but Lily got to explore and saw Desiree and Carl, the pigs, and she met her first chickens, as Chatman held one close to her and let her sniff all over. Lily, always the angel, sniffed, and lost interest.
Came home, made a little dinner, and have had the boss, Steve, on my lap for the last two hours with Rosie on the other hip, just doing my best to let everyone know that this is a house of plenty and there is no reason for anyone to get bent out of shape.
Steve continues to be just the sweetest cat with the biggest personality ever. His one flaw is his love bites are a little painful. We’ll have to work on that. This is kind of crazy, but I think he actually feels better after being neutered. His eyes look less confused and he seems more content, but that could just be that today is a week since I got him and he is maybe settling in. I really do think I got a winner. He’s so different from Tunch in so many ways, but there are so many things that are the same. I love the winking and the purring and the kneading, and how he just flops himself over and asks for tummy rubs.
But not too many, because then he has to bite me. On principle.
And he just adores neck rubs and kitty massages. Poor uptight guy has been horny and hormone driven for so many years, it’s like he is finally learning how to relax.
I’ll start posting more pics of the girls and Steve in upcoming days, but right now, I am just focused on getting my pack in line and creating a new normal. I also have to get poor Rosie to the vet on Monday, because Harry (my vet) saw her this afternoon and thinks she has arthritis and that is why she is gimping around so much. She is fine once she gets moving, but when she first starts to walk, she hops on three legs and carries the back right leg, so I am thinking it is just arthritis and not something horrible like a tumor. Or so I hope. I’m sure Harry will lead me in the right direction when I bring her in. Hopefully it will require little more than some glucosamine and a pill every now and then, but I don’t want my little darling suffering and hope she is fixed right quick and back to being a pain in the ass while flashing me her beautiful knowing eyes.
And I know that many of you don’t like the name Steve, but it really fits. And he is a remarkably good lap kitty. Tunch would lose interest after about five minutes of me acknowledging his awesomeness, but Steve sits there for hours on end, just lapping up the pets and looking back at me to wink every now and then and let me know he approves.
And this is something that would only make a pet owner happy- Harry told me he was very impressed by Rosie’s stool and that my mixture of kibble and wet food with a touch of olive oil for the girls was really helping them out, both their digestive system and with their coats. Funny what makes me happy these days – “MY DOGS HAVE GOOD SHIT! WOO!”
*** Update ***
I forget if I have written about this, but Lily is so damned funny around Steve. You remember I got her from the pound when Tunch was seven and I was cat hunting to always make sure I had a cat in the house, and ran across her, and she was just so sad and pathetic and beautiful I took her home. But before the pound, she had been in a trailer with a hoarder with 20 cats and three other dogs. They were all put down, but Lily was spared because she was not ill and a total doll.
So when I got her, she had (and still has) all these claw marks on her nose and muzzle, an eight inch long and two inch wide open bloody sore on her back and smelled like cat piss, and I couldn’t bathe her for several weeks. But I loved her, so the smell didn’t matter and I can always wash my clothes and sheets so who gives a shit?
She is so funny near Steve. Whenever Steve is around her, her first instinct is to just look away, and it is so obvious and pathetic and funny and awesome at the same time. She almost gets whiplash looking away, and just stands there silently and you can almost read her mind- “I AM NO THREAT. DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT. LOVE LOVE LOVE. PLEASE DO NOT CUT ME CAT. LOVE LOVE LOVE.”
It’s just so precious and funny and sad at the same time.
Ted & Hellen
The name Steve is purrrfect.
And you are a lovely and eccentric, middle aged cat lady.
Which is great!
Of course: he’s a cat. Otherwise he’d be letting down the side.
One of my favorite cats I’ve ever known was a girl cat named Steve. I approve of the name!
As I type this Flossie and Skeeter are throwing around the empty dog food cans that they have stolen out of the trash. Because getting a can of dog food a night isn’t enough for them and they have to lick out the cans.
Arm The Homeless
Today in first world issues, I finally started checking in on Reddit to keep up on the impending console releases, and realized that place is a cesspit of ignant. If they aren’t slagging eachother about benign bullshit, it’s the same fucking meme picture sliced fifty different ways.
Anyone planning on getting a PS4? I was an Xbox owner but I am looking forward to a new ecosystem. Anyone have any opinion on the quality of the online players? Is it the same group of ten year olds and racist fuckwits as XBL?
@Litlebritdifrnt: Did you fix your computer?
Well that was fun.
We adopted our two cats from the local shelter and ended up keeping their shelter-given names. It just fit their personalities.
@Arm The Homeless: What, you got something against MEN’S RIGHTS and MOAR GUNS?
Today was a good day too. I pulled a John Cole and ate a slice of pizza that was still too hot burning the roof of my mouth. I had waited a bit for it to cool off but apparently not enough. I was out of the house so no cat to watch me doing this. Pretty good pizza. I chatted with the owner about the person who painted his map mural in front. I have coffee with this person once a month to discuss writing.
John, my 15 year old Cavalier went thru the same thing recently. Laser treatments (if they have them in your neck of the woods) plus gabapentin should make her feel fine.
Arm The Homeless
@Nerdlinger: luckily I have bookmarked the gaming-related subs so I dont even have to run across most of the stoopid. What a place though. The anthropologists of the 24th century will have a field day with those archives.
Love “this is a house of plenty.” Sounds like Steve isn’t blaming you for the surgery.
Please keep us posted on each animal’s bowel movements. We really do care.
My dearly departed cocker spaniel had arthritis issues. Glucosamine/Chondroitin tablets worked wonders.
Aw, it’s great to hear that the pack appears to be settling down. Fingers crossed for Rosie and her middle-aged bones.
Meanwhile, the neighbourhood squirrels may have earned themselves a reprieve. I put chicken wire around one tomato plant yesterday, set out the half-eaten tomatoes as an offering outside the wire, and provided a small dish of water in front of the plant. Result? All the tomato offerings are gone, the water level is down, and none of my other tomatoes have been molested.
I added chicken wire to the second plant tonight, just in case. We’ll see how things go over the weekend.
We had the big fundraiser for the nurses clinic, a free community health program. It’s an annual tomato sammy, beer and bluegrass party and raised a ton of dough. Normally it is brutally hot but not this year!
Pet poop bulletins?!
I love this place.
Do JRT’s patellas ever luxate? Weak knees are the scourge of many small dog breeds, although I think your vet woud’ve noticed if that were Rosie’s problem. Good news is, while the weak tendons tend to get worse with age, most dogs learn to compensate.
Our rescue papillon Zevon has ‘grade 1’ patellas, the mildest form. Even at eleven, he’s fine running up & down stairs, but since we got him (age five) he’s always been a cautious jumper. And his “happy dog dance” is this weird butt-tucked version — finally figured out that he doesn’t want to bounce off his knees at a bad angle, so he keeps his back legs well under his center of balance.
Giant turds are only funny from children and pets that you love. Today my son, while visiting at grandma’s, woke my mom up to tell her that his poop was green and could she wipe the green out of his bum.
@Arm The Homeless:
It’s because the kids are out of school, it’s been pretty awful for the last few months.
But this happens every year, and come late August/September, it will start to improve. Well, it will improve by reddit standards…YMMV.
ETA: Also, I’ll be getting a PS4…next year, after the initial round of price drops, and when the studios stop making newer games for my perfectly functional PS3.
I’m 90% sure that’s what the Twitters was invented for.
Tuaca. Yikes. :-)
The hoarder was put down? I guess that seems fair……
Get that fixed.
ETA: Cole, not cat. It’ll make for a better night out.
Has anyone ever had to try and find a money manager for their elderly parents? I may need someone to take over paying my mom’s bills (as in, writing out the checks and sending them in in a timely manner) because my mom seems totally confused by the entire process since she hasn’t had to do it in 35 years.
Joy in FL
When I got my sweet orange cat, Arthur, from the Humane Society in 2002, he was about 2. His papers said his previous family brought him there because their dog was attacking him.
He was sweet and nervous, but we connected, which is why I chose him. To the point: once I got him home, when I petted him, he would always bite me for about 5 seconds then lick where he bit for about 7 seconds. This went on for probably 3 years, but with increasingly shorter bites and longer licks. At some point I realized he was no longer biting me at all, but he was still licking me.
I don’t know for sure, but I wonder if the bites were reactions to his stressful previous home, and as he began to feel safe, the biting gradually disappeared.
I’m so glad you found such a great cat. Now can we please have more pictures of your pack?
It sounds like things have been going along great for you guys! I’m so pleased for you all!! :-) What the heck… dog poops are a lot better than many other things we could be reading about. :)
My two cents about the biting issue: the only thing that worked (sort of) with Charlotte is that, as soon as she bites me, petting time is over. I stand up and walk away. She has very slowly learned that I mean it, so she pretty rarely bites me anymore.
With Natasha, what worked was having Boris box her ears when she bit him too hard, but that’s not really the kind of thing you can arrange.
The Other Chuck
And that’s all? A genuine John Cole Maneuver would have had you react by dropping the slice, a dog swooping in to grab it, yelping in pain at the still too-hot slice, running out of the room, freaking out the other dog who runs between your legs causing you to bump into the table, knocking out the leg, which causes the table to collapse, dropping a tray of butter onto the floor which you immediately slip on, skating across the floor with arms windmilling until you crash into the bookshelf which collapses on you, all of which the neighbors see happening through your window and remark “looks like pizza night at the Cole house again”.
Just Some Fuckhead
Who won the bridge match, John?? Do tell!
Steve?? That’s not a pet name. That’s a dentist’s name. Big ol’ cats should be named something like Rocky or Hogan or something.
The dog’s weight makes a big difference in the knees. Sometimes they get thyroid issues in middle age, it’s an autoimmune thing, even if the diet is sensible. My Druid got so much better when he was diagnosed and treated, the extra weight just melted off him, and his arthritis really improved. I haven’t seen pics of Rosie lately but I have the impression she is on the solid side. No offense to Rosie.
And speaking of terriers, someone said Terrier to me when I was describing how relentless my puppy Gracie is, she is non-distractible entirely. I have never met such a determined dog. She’s 50# random yellow mutt, and I hadn’t thought of terrier. But then I looked more closely at her eye, and I hadn’t noticed due to the coloring (dark eyeliner), but she has a terrier shaped eye. Suddenly so much was clear. I’ve never had a terrorist before.
Arm The Homeless
@RareSanity: I considered waiting for a real bundle, but I had two Xbox systems which were loaing value day by day, especially considering that the last game I bought was Skyrim. I am looking forward to Killzone, but I am sure by this time next year there will be a lot more clarity about what the next-gen will really have to offer.
Of course. See the fourth item in this video. Steve is only following protocol.
@jonas: “Rocky-or-Hogan” would be a fantastic name for that cat.
John, I think the biting will decrease as Rocky O’Hogan gets more comfortable, but nonetheless I think you need to let him know firmly that biting is not okay. Not punishment, of course, but stern admonition. My fella got the message after some sharp shouting and a couple of VERY brusk put-on-floors.
Like Steve, he got neutered late in life. And he had to live by his wiles on the street for a period of time. Even when he first arrived from his unknown provenance, it was clear had house manners in his background, but it took him a bit of time to remember them all.
@The Other Chuck: you had me rolling over here! Yep, that’s a day in the life of our beloved John Cole, innit? Thank you for that laugh!
@The Other Chuck: So funny, and so true!
What a lovely sounding day. I went to a funeral. It was a really great funeral, fully of excellent remembrances and a wonderful slide show. Still, it was a funeral. I’m drained.
For anyone who wants a dose of Lily, here’s Cole’s thread when he found her: https://balloon-juice.com/2009/06/05/i-think-this-is-the-one/.
And here’s the post for when she started to come out of her shell–plenty of happy Lily pics in this one: https://balloon-juice.com/2009/06/15/confidence-were-getting-it/.
I just love her!
@The Other Chuck:
Mike in NC
Francis, one of our ragdoll cats, likes to jump up on the computer table and block my view of the monitor until he can gnaw on my hand. Then I get rid of him by opening a can of tuna or sardines. Lazy bastard.
This blog has become totally absurd and meaningless.
Thanks FSM Project Runway is on.
You can hire a bookkeeper or accountant. You can also put all the bills on auto pay, hooked either to her checking account or credit card, and the credit card on auto pay. Then set up an online account for your mom’s checking account that you use to monitor the auto pay.
@Mnemosyne: Can you or another sibling or trusted relative get on her account as a signatory and then set up online bill pay and pay them for her that way? You can do it from wherever you are if it’s set up that way. I know one family that has solved their elderly father’s bill issues in that manner.
““MY DOGS HAVE GOOD SHIT! WOO!”” pet dad, but I mean that in a good way. But yeah. poop.
I dunno Cole, first Zsa-Zsa and now…Steve.
We do not have the same pet-naming philosophy, clearly.
Edit: Tunch is clearly an awesome name. So I guess it’s hard to follow on that.
The prophet Nostradumbass
This thread won’t be complete until Derf whines about it.
I’ve learned over the years when giving my cats long pets to watch for a certain glazed look in the eyes that means the cat is about to bite and possibly draw blood. Often they would wrap their paws around my hand and arm so I got scratched and bitten. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been wounded.
That’s what I call my YorkiePom(Yorkshire Terrier/Pomeranian mix).
@Violet: This was gonna be my suggestion as well. It is what my father did with his mother. Eventually he had to take away her privileges completely because she kept writing checks to charities with money she didn’t really have.
The prophet Nostradumbass
@BillinGlendaleCA: my brother brought two Yorkies into the house, and while they’re cute, they’re also absolute menaces.
So, John, no idea if you’ll read this far down or not, but I realized earlier today…
I was going to suggest the name ‘Ted’, or possibly ‘Theo’ for your new feline acquisition, because he’s just a big old “Teddy Bear”. So naturally when I saw you had named him Stephen, I was a little unhappy. And then I realized that, hey, he could still be Stephen Bear.
But wait, we’re all progressive here. He should really hyphenate his name, having been inducted into your family.
This, of course, makes him Stephen Cole-Bear.
I’m waiting for my brother to call back and I think that’s what I’m going to suggest — we set up an account jointly with her, have her SS and annuity payments sent directly to that, pay the bills from there, and then have an allowance (essentially) sent to her Chase bank account.
He’s gotten fixated on the idea that she thinks that the trust should pay all of her bills, but I’m wondering from something that happened today if the real problem is that she doesn’t want to have the responsibility of paying the bills. If that’s the case, then setting things up so she doesn’t have to worry about the bills but they’re still being paid out of her income may be the ideal solution.
My brother seems to have a weird fixation on the idea that she needs to “learn to be responsible” but, Jaysus, she’s 70 years old. It may be a little late to re-train her on this.
Lovely, realistic story- Iraq War Veteran says K9s for Warriors program saved his life
Wait a minute. A full 50+ comments and nobody said anything about all the pool loungers laughing at (and admiring) dog shit by the pool?
This WV show is sone high class establishment..
:Ellie Mae, you’ll never guess whats floating down on the cee ment pond?”
@Mnemosyne: Your brother saying she needs to “learn to be responsible” may say more about your brother than your mother. Is he perhaps afraid of losing her and is somehow warping that fear into “if she just learns to take care of herself, she’ll be around longer” or something? Your mother probably is responsible, but if she hasn’t had to be responsible for paying bills for a long time, it could seem overwhelming at this point.
Also, does your mother have any memory issues (early dementia, Alzheimer’s) or any other issues (stroke, Parkinson’s, dizziness) that would preclude her ability to manage her life? If so, it’s good to keep those things in mind when planning. It’s much, much easier to get on an account now if she’s still mentally capable than it is when you need a court order or power of attorney to do it.
@Arm The Homeless:
I’ve always had a PlayStation, since the first one, because I tend to play mostly sports games.
But then I don’t think I could consider getting the Xbox One when it became known that it has the capability to restrict buying used games. Yeah, I know Microsoft walked it back, so everything is supposed to be fine. However, we know it’s there, we know it’s functional…and I just can’t risk my game playing being subject to the whims of Steve Ballmer.
Microsoft can giveth, and they can takeith away…at some later date. Maybe they won’t ever re-activate it, but then again, this is Microsoft.
@RareSanity: As a longtime PS fan, and recovering MS contractor, I just have to say, well nothing, actually…
but I’m waving one of those big foam fingers around right now. =)
@The Other Chuck: You left out the part about being either partially or fully naked, so when you drop pizza on yourself you suffer a minor burn.
Flying Squirrel Girl
My super-smart Ridgeback/Black Mouth Cur mix, when left alone, will gather assorted things that smell like me (shoes, remote control, etc.) and bring them to the living room rug. She doesn’t chew on them, just surrounds herself with my things. When I come home, I can just point at the assorted items without saying a word and her ears go back against her head and she turns away and won’t look at me or the things, all the while wagging just the tip of her tail furiously. It is so funny/endearing that I do it just for her reaction, not because I am upset at what she has done.
She really does want nothing in the world more than to please me (OK, maybe she wants a squirrel more), and on days like today I am so thankful to have such a loyal friend.
@BillinGlendaleCA: Wouldn’t that be a porkie?
It’s more that they’ve both gotten into a pissing match over the way my dad left his money and they’re both unwilling to back down. I’m going to call my other brother tomorrow (the one she lives with in the summer) and see if I can get him on board with this plan. If I can, I think it can cool everything down and make everyone a lot less pissed off than they are right now.
I discovered today that my mom’s cell phone is disconnected, which is making me wonder if she didn’t pay that bill. If so, I think that will make her much more amenable to the idea of getting a direct deposit to her checking account that’s “all hers” while the bills get paid in the background.
Ted & Hellen
It’s just so precious and funny and sad at the same time.
Just like life itself.
I remain convinced that the greatest value of having pets, other than the pure presence of love they can provide, is that simply by being, by living out their daily lives where we can see them, they show us and teach us great lessons about life and death, fear, joy, caring, sharing, letting go, holding on, and countless other priceless matters of such gravity and such simplicity that we miss them completely most of the time.
In some sense, which I feel no need to understand, they are angels.
The pet potty updates would work better if you were to rename a pet bowel movement a Mitch McConnell.
So you could tell us that Lily took a nice wet Mitch McConnell and Steve was out in the backyard burying a giant Mitch McConnell.
Just trying to help.
I’m having a shitty 7/26/13 so far. I have a nasty headache; I can’t sleep, and I have to get up in less than five hours. Figgity-fuck.
I think Steve is an excellent name for the cat. The best dog name I know? Phil Collins. I don’t know why but it always makes me laugh myself silly when discussion turns to that dog.
@GregB: My cat Deuce had such rank stank Mitch McConnell’s that he was hospitalized for a week. I’m pretty sure if you put your head out the window you can smell his Mitch from anywhere in the country. He has been battling thyroid issues for about six months and just dropped a lot of weight. Today was the ultrasound and I was bracing for a mass or a blockage, and the big awful decision. Ultrasound shows enlarged lymph nodes. Another test, more waiting. I’ve spent about $1200k in a week and still don’t known anything. I hate this Mitch McConnell.
@Joy in FL: My now 11-year-old female cat bites if you pet her too long. It’s like she’s saying, “I own you – ha!” She bites my brother more quickly than me, but when he first got to know her she wouldn’t let him pet her at all – straight to the biting.
The only way to get her to not bite is to know when to stop petting and walk away.
A decent day turned shitty here. Just went down into the basement and found the furnace leaking. Looks like I caught it before too much damage occurred (basement isn’t finished), but it probably ruined some wood I had stored there. Hopefully nothing will get mouldy.
So, drinking, then drinking and cleaning.
@different-church-lady: Regarding the biting – or any other unacceptable behavior – both my cat and dog always responded appropriately to a very audible tsk-tsking throat clearing sound and would immediately back off whatever they were doing.
I think you all who think you can train a cat not to bite are hilarious.
@Jell-OH Schott: A fifteen year old Cavalier?? What’s his background? And to what do you ascribe his long life?
I have 2 Cavs, 11 and 8.
I’m not gonna post a link to Summer Breeze, but that’s what it was like today. A breezy relief from last week’s heat.
“No. Stop fucking with me.”
That was my breezy lady’s response to a confirmation that, yes, John has renamed his cat Steve. Some shrugging and a face you might find in a silent movie finally convinced her. She took a moment and visibly reconciled.
I believe I have found the burnt toast, but I don’t really know where the jasmine is
If the cat is The Boss, shouldn’t he be named Bruce?
No kidding. I only recently found out that Cavs have pretty horrible genetic issues – to the point that it’s recommended that they not be bred until older than 5 years!
Re: cats, petting, and biting: some veterinarians believe that there’s a thing called “feline hyperesthesia syndrome.” Some vets believe that it can be treated with steroids.. Me, I think cats are much more like me: I like neck rubs, but only for a little while. I don’t bite, usually.
Just leave then.
The new kitteh looks like a Steve. I like the name.
Please post pics of the pack, early and often. And, please, please, do post pics of Tunch. I, for one, would love to see his sweet face.
As for biting, my crazy female cat, Olivia, does worse than that. She is all sweetness and purrs when I pet her then she suddenly turns on me, scratches me, growls, swats at me, and then departs with an indignant look on her face. Go figure!
Paul in KY
@Mnemosyne: I would make a big show of pulling away & acting hurt (not too hard to do as it did hurt). Would also verbally chastise cat. Has worked as now his love bites are much more gentle.
I just think it is because cats don’t understand (at first) how much thinner our skin is than their hide. The bites that were hurting me, would not hurt another cat.
Paul in KY
@The Other Chuck: Have you seen film of that or maybe a police report ;-)
@karen marie: I trained my cat George not to bite me. He forgets if he’s been al fresco too long, but a well-timed, “Hey, don’t bite,” stops the behaviour immediately and he looks ashamed of himself. Cats totally are trainable, you just have to know how to do it.
My old cat Nero was not only super-intelligent but also super-loyal to me, and I trained him to lie down on command. It can be done.
I know that no one is reading this thread anymore, but everyone should watch the “Sad Cat Diaries” and “Sad Dog Diaries” on youtube. They are hilarious. Just go watch them.
Funny thing is (and good for Lily even if she doesn’t know it), that’s the right way to look at a cat: look, then turn away. Supposedly that’s the reason cats always make a beeline for the one person in the room who doesn’t like cats – they look at the cat, and then turn away – while the people who do like cats are basically staring the cat down.
I have a pool and a pond. Pond’s good for you.
@Fred Fnord: Requisite appreciative groan.