Post 450: up all night

I rarely have it happen, but tonight was one of those rare times when my mind kicked into overtime and kept me up all night.

It started with a review of every boss I ever had. What!? I’ve had a few, some wretched bastards, most OK, one or two exceptional and inspired leaders. Of course, my brain focused on the wretched bastards and every single thing they ever did that upset me! Hey, I was surprised how much suppression my brain works under!

Andy at two months of age.

Andy at two months of age.

Yep, those people are history, out of my life, dead or dying, hit with fate’s fickle finger, basically taken care of by the vicissitudes of life. That is, my brain needn’t work up any more terrible and tragic things to happen to these people who don’t exist in my life anymore. Let it go, brain!

I tried thinking a positive thought or two, side tracking the brain from its endless focus on negativity. Tomorrow, for example, Andy and Dougy turn three years old! The Big 3! That’s fun! And my brother and I decided we’d celebrate the birthdays by ordering Blizzards at Dairy Queen. No fun for the cat brothers, granted, but they truly don’t care about birthdays. I’m convinced of it.

That helped.

Then I decided I might as well just get up and hit the computer, maybe write my post for the day, though I have little or nothing to write, unless you enjoy ready brain revenge fantasies about people you don’t know! Probably not.

Besides, when I get into this mode, I come back to one of my favorite quotes, something that is a healthy slap back to reality:


Oh, this blog is about retirement and two cats. Did I mention Andy beat the crap out of Dougy yesterday morning? Bad boy! But they were best buddies and best brothers forever by later in the day. I think it was a dispute over Dougy’s wanton use of Andy’s favorite place to lounge by the front door. Dougy yowled and hissed even. No blood, though. Andy got his point across…for now!

Post 449: No really, this is what I wanted to post today!

As a former vice president of the Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union, I am proud my cats have taken a liking to bird watching! Like me, they are especially interested in identification of the unseen bird in the bushes or trees by song. Andy tries out his expertise in the following video:

Post 448: shopping list

I think of shopping lists as, well, not too helpful most times. Today, though, I was a bit pleased with myself because I went to the store with this list:

What I took into the store...

What I took into the store…

I came home with these items:

Items not on my list are in black boxes of shame...!

Items not on my list are in black boxes of shame…!

I felt pretty pleased with myself! I didn’t get any ice cream or cookies, candy or chips…erm, well, I did get some garlic and sea salt potato chips, but they “spoke” to me. And we’re having hamburgers tomorrow. Um. Yeah! I’m sure that’s what that’s about! And that ginger ale, well, my brother and I were talking about ginger ale yesterday, and it seemed necessary to buy some for “auld lang syne”.

Post 447: PG-13

If you are a delicate petunia, you might want to turn the sound off or down before watching the short video.

I decided to post this anyway since the world didn’t come to an end, and the sun came up today, the day after this happened.

Post 446: Early mornings, we quietly drive each other crazy…!

It takes time to get usable photos and videos for this blog. Mostly, I have issues with low light, dark cats, and a camera that’s not designed for adequate coverage of the first two. There’s just so much you can do with Photoshop and editing. Never mind, I have no shame and will post whatever I have to feed the demand for more cats on the Internet!

This first photo came from a video of Dougy hopping on the table (“Bad kitty!”) after my brother and I finished breakfast and were enjoying the digestive process. It’s a retired guy thing! Anyway, the video includes my brother saying a naughty word (“@$$hole”) and me saying something back about how I was making a video and he said “@$$hole” on it. Two negatives don’t make a positive, eh?! My blog’s rated “G” so anyone can read it, if they have to.

bad dougy on table

It’s a pretty good photo of both my brother (he’s on the right…) and my cat Dougy (the fuzzy one…). For further identification purposes, Dougy’s the one on the table since my brother knows better and is a great house guest!

Then there is this:

andy and dougy 6 26 2014

After a session of “cat toy that looks like a hairy bird on a string” (or “mouse that looks like a bird” — the boys aren’t that fussy), Andy (in front) and Dougy (the other cat) are pooped. Notice how they manage to sleep right in the way. It’s a cat code business that anyone with a cat (or dog) knows is a requirement they must follow if they are to keep in good with the cat union.

dougy 6 26 2014

Inevitably, Dougy gets bored blocking the front door, wakes up, and heads out to other cat adventures.

andy 6 26 2014 sleping

Of course, while Dougy’s off to other cat adventures, Andy holds down the cardboard fort, which, conveniently, allows him to block the main passage to the kitchen in case someone decides to “feed the kitties”. Of course, the kitties were fed earlier, so the next official feeding time is after we get back from the military museum this afternoon.

For anyone still with me, here’s what the boys were doing in the wee hours of the morning. It’s a bit dicey because black cats + low light + camera that handles low light “sort of” =’s one of those videos from Hell that you show family and friends when they stay too late on a work night visit! Here we go:

Since I’m retired, I chose to inflict this kind of video on innocent people stopping by for cute kitty videos.

Post 445: hot day

The forecast is for a July-like nasty hot day (81°F or 27°C, with a thunderstorm in the afternoon). It’s a more tolerable 61°F (16°C) at 5:30 AM, a pleasant coolness I will enjoy as long as it lasts!

I make sure my boys, Andy and Dougy, have plenty of water available in their cat fountain. They are very good about hydrating themselves, though cats sometimes are water-shy. (Especially when immersed in it!) That helps them keep cool.

If the temperature inside gets too warm, I do turn on the air conditioner. When I am away from home for any extended time, I like to leave it on for the cats, too, just in case it gets too warm for their comfort and safety inside the closed apartment.

Andy is cool~!

Andy is cool~!

Cats, though, are pretty smart about coolness. (“Cool cats”!) Andy likes to sleep and laze one of two places in hot weather: the top of the washing machine, which is cool to the touch, or on the floor by the shower. Dougy lounges on the cool floor in the bathroom, too.

Neither cat is as active in the hot part of the day as they are in cooler weather because they are smart about such things. “Mad dogs and Englishmen” alone go out in the mid-day sun, as they used to say, but not “cool cats”!

A friend used to talk about the life lessons he learned from watching his family cats. In defense of other animals — dogs, for example! — I think it is fair to say most animals instinctively know to avoid heavy activities during hot weather, and have developed strategies that work very well toward that end.

I mean, how many dogs do you think would deliberately lock themselves in a hot car while their human runs into the store for the weekly groceries? They are smarter than that, animals are!

My childhood dog Peanuts, for example, went inside his dog house, which had a dirt floor, and excavated a good-sized hole in the moist, cool earth for his hot day comfort. Good doggy! He had lots of water and a nice flowering crabapple tree over his doghouse, too, which added to his comfort.

Myself, I will avoid going outside today. Tomorrow, another hot day predicted, I have no choice since I go to the military museum in the afternoon for my weekly volunteer “work” there. Fortunately, it’s air-conditioned for the safety of the displayed items — and any humans who stumble off the sweltering streets!

My home air will be turned on for the boys.

You! Keep hydrated, remember to treat yourself to any coolness you can, but don’t forget to help your pets keep cool, too.

Post 445: whoa! time to stand back

What a day! Andy was especially clever today avoiding his medicine, though my brother (more clever by far!) trapped him by the open back door by whistling like a bird. That got Andy’s attention long enough for my brother to snatch him up. Poor baby!

I’ve had Internet issues and television issue the past few weeks that came to a head today. Worked out through the provider’s automated help service, I learned the two-way coaxial splitter was the issue. What?! Not unlike cars, anything I know about computers seems to come from bad experiences, failures of parts within the larger device. “Two-way coaxial splitter” is one of those concepts, things, I just want to work. I could give a flip that there is such a thing — and truly don’t want to know there is such a thing! — let alone have to find out they can go bad and I had to locate one of these unicornish devices before I could continue on.

Tried to get one really nice photo of Dougy today. This is the sort of thing I got: Dougy's closed eye portrait brought on by his knowledge that the camera sometimes flashes a bright light...!

Tried to get one really nice photo of Dougy today. This is the sort of thing I got: Dougy’s closed eye portrait brought on by his knowledge that the camera sometimes flashes a bright light…!

Oh, once I re-established connections with/through the two-way coaxial splitter gizmo, the television turned on immediately without any annoying glitches (like it’s been doing) and the computer had instant Internet connectivity. Even videos worked faster on YouTube. “Two-way coaxial splitter” is a new thing to me, but I’ve come to accept it as good. It’s surprisingly common, too, unlike unicorns! I located one with my first telephone call. Whew!

Yes, more photo failures with Dougy!

Yes, more photo failures with Dougy!

My brother has a cellphone that needed minutes added. Grr! Came at the same time I was learning to know what the two-way coaxial splitter was. Too much technology at once! Should be simple. The first 23-number code I punched in was just the start….! (My brother’s daughter’s boyfriend patiently lead me through the process.) Step two was to punch in a 27-number code. Thank you sweet Jesus! The phone was happy with that code, too, and the minutes magically appeared on his phone! Curious, though, that if every human being alive had a unique number, starting with 1 and ending with seven billion whatever, no one would have a number longer than 10 digits long! Clever monkeys, my rump.

Hee! Hee! The challenge just gets bigger and bigger. At least Dougy's in focus. Isn't he?

Hee! Hee! The challenge just gets bigger and bigger. At least Dougy’s in focus. Isn’t he?

Did I mention I broke the glass front of my stove the other day? Why a smoked piece of safety glass was incorporated into the design I don’t know. Seems kind of impractical. Good design? Aesthetically pleasing? Stupid use of a delicate material for the application? Who knows. Damn inconvenient, but the oven and stove still work fine. In time, I’ll figure out what to do with the oven door without the picture window. I suppose I’ll end up buying a new door since just replacing the glass would be too simple. Yep. In the meantime, it looks pretty primitive, just raw metal and parts. Some door.

Hey! Dougy's eyes are open and he actually looks pretty good in this photo!

Hey! Dougy’s eyes are open and he actually looks pretty good in this photo!

Well, Dougy’s photo with open eyes is a bit “soft-focused” but that may be as good as it gets. What the heck! I tried one more time!

dougy 1 june 24 2014

Heck, that’s about as good as it’s going to get today. So I tried taking a photo of Andy.

Yep, Andy turned his head to avoid getting flashed, too. Time to call it quits. There's always another day.

Yep, Andy turned his head to avoid getting flashed, too. Time to call it quits. There’s always another day.

Post 444: Andy’s a bad boy today…!

You might not guess it from that sweet, little face of his, but Andy can be a very bad boy when he wants to be. Today, it was refusal to be given his medication. Yeah, we (my brother and I) eventually caught him using the old Greenies treat method, but it was an hour-long process involving several strategic errors before that one moment Andy fell into my hands.

Andy was not happy to have his photo taken after the "medicine incident" -- i.e. I caught and gave him his medicine...!

Andy was not happy to have his photo taken after the “medicine incident” — i.e. I caught and gave him his medicine…!

Giving Andy medicine takes seconds for administering the dose, but minutes to catch him. On good days (for me!), I just reach down and pick him up. This week,. though, Andy’s decided not to cooperate. Bad boy!

Andy plots his escape, forgetting he's had the daily dose already. "I don't like you!" he pouts out in Cattinese. "Sometimes I don't like you either, buster!" I huff.

Andy plots his escape, forgetting he’s had the daily dose already. “I don’t like you!” he pouts out in Cattinese. “Sometimes I don’t like you either, buster!” I huff.

The bad feelings dissolve fast, though, and Andy and I return to our daily post-dose routines, Andy to watch birds out the back door and me to tell stories about the very bad kitty in my home. Best of all, Andy can’t present his side of the story!

Free, now, to watch birds out the back door! Andy's (and my) mood lightens at the happy change of events.

Free, now, to watch birds out the back door! Andy’s (and my) mood lightens at the happy change of events.

Post 443: Andy makes an entrance

Andy and Dougy get along most times, but there are times they fight for the best spot by the door for bird watching: the little red chair! Not today, however. On top of it, when Dougy took a rest on Andy’s cat lounger, Andy didn’t shoo him off.

What is Andy’s game today? Dougy is confused!

Post 442: cool morning after rain

Yesterday was blistering hot, not a typical June day here on the High Plains. More like July or August weather. Ugh! Last night, however, there was a lovely rain. The warning issued earlier in the day suggested the possibility of Armageddon with 2.5 inch (6.35cm) hailstones, lions (cats), and St. Bernards (dogs) pouring down on us. Yep, winds, hail, and mayhem.

I went to bed last night more concerned about the heat and how to sleep in it than any severe weather warning, but woke up oddly refreshed when Dougy came into my bedroom about 10 till five and put on his “get-outta-bed-and-feed-the-cats” dance. The rains came OK, which made sleep possible, but apparently not of the damaging magnitude predicted.

Andy hides out of reach -- time for medicine! (That's one of Dougy's eyes peeking back at me. Creepy, eh?!)

Andy hides out of reach — time for medicine! (That’s one of Dougy’s eyes peeking back at me. Creepy, eh?!)

I opened the back and front doors to a refreshing coolness that comes from a nice night rain. I hoped opening the door would help me trap Andy so I could give him his medicine, but he is very aware of what I do and have done to catch him in past.

Everything's still wet from the rain

Everything’s still wet from the rain

When I opened the front door, Dougy helped himself to a little adventure. He’s a little rascal!

Open door. Dougy makes the best of it, and walks out for a brief outing.

Open door. Dougy makes the best of it, and walks out for a brief outing.