Cat-a-log FAQ

I received a surprising number of questions related to the cat-a-log series. I've attempted to collect them all, and answer them here.

Q: Does your wife think all cats are sweet? What about dogs?

A: Any member of felis catus is by definition unconditionally sweet. She also views many dogs as sweet, though they tend to be held to a much higher standard, (for example, "humping" is unacceptable and any dog known to have committed such an act is Not Sweet).

Q: Could I interest you in a cookbook of Vietnamese recipes?

A: Sure. I always enjoy sampling new ethnic dishes.

Q: I'm moving soon and am unable to bring my pet anaconda with me, will you give it a home too?

A: Possibly. How big is it? What does it eat?

Q: These posts are fake, right? You don't really live with all those cats, do you?

A: I shit you not.

Q: Do you plan to update your blog if you get any new cats?

A: Absolutely not. If any more cats show up here I plan to kill myself.

That's all (the cats) folks

Apparently there is in fact a 15th cat (or a 14th for you purists out there). If cataloged, it would have been Unknown #3, an as-of-yet unnamed cat that comes to my porch to eat the food my wife puts out. I wasn't able to get a picture, and I'm not sure I recall ever seeing it (they all look the same to me anyway). A shame really, rumor has it that it's missing a paw, I could have had some fun with that.

Interestingly, I received quite a few comments on these articles, almost all of which could be described as schadenfreude. There were also a number of questions, I will attempt to answer those in another post.

Cat-a-log Day 14: Pepe

Last but not least, Pepe.

Pepe

Alright, granted this one might be borderline, but to be fair, many people refer to these guys as Polecats. It comes onto my porch to eat from a dish of food, and my wife and daughter have named it, I think that counts for something.

Other interesting facts:

  • Smells awful.

Cat-a-log Day 13: Unknown 2

Unknown #2... or is it Zorro?

Unknown 2

Yet another cat that I suspect has applied for citizenship under the terms of If it eats, we must greets. I refer to it here as Unknown #2, but someone let slip the name "Zorro" when the subject came up.

Other interesting facts:

  • None.

Cat-a-log Day 12: Unknown 1

This one has been cropping up more and more.

Unknown 1

When I first brought up Unknown #1, my wife explained that it was not her cat, she didn't know why it was hanging around, and that more than likely it belonged to someone and was just wandering a bit. This would be comforting if I hadn't heard it before (see day 6 and day 11 for current examples).

And yes, it eats the food that is placed outside.

Other interesting facts.

  • None

Cat-a-log Day 11: Garfield

Moving on...

Garfield

This is Garfield, another cat who obtained amnesty through If it eats, we must greets.

The look on his face in the picture above it pretty typical for him. I think he's bummed because he showed up 10 cats too late and has to sleep outside.

Other interesting facts:

  • My wife thinks he's sweet.

Cat-a-log Day 10: Baby

This, is Baby.

Baby

I have three words for you. Pure, Unadulterated, Evil. You have never met Baby (and if you are lucky, you never will), but rest assured, she hates you with a passion. When you look into her eyes, you can almost see the gears turning, the plot being hatched. I have little doubt that given the means and opportunity, she'd kill us all.

Other interesting facts:

  • The most ironically named of all our cats.
  • Sold the movie rights of her autobiography to Rob Zombie for an undisclosed figure.
  • Bites (literally and figuratively).
  • Sweet? Surely you jest.

Cat-a-log Day 9: Zoe

Got cat?

Zoe

Believe it or not, there are some that don't like living in an infestation a house full of cats. Take Zoe here for instance, she hates it.

Zoe is Chloe's sister, one of two that represent the first of our cats. She used to be happy and well adjusted, but runaway immigration has taken a toll on her sanity, (at this point there isn't much left). She experiences violent mood swings that result in physical confrontations with other cats one minute, and pulling her own hair out the next. Poor Zoe.

Other interesting facts.

  • Once hid in the same place for 3 days (non-stop).
  • Goes by the alias Zo-zo.
  • My wife thinks she's sweet.

Cat-a-log Day 8: Thumper

Damn, this is starting to feel like work.

Thumper

Meet Thumper. Thumper's most distinctive feature is the absence of a tail. It was recently explained to me that this is the way he was born, but I'm having a hard time accepting that. You see, Thumper is fearless, and I don't mean fearless in a heroic kind of way, I mean fearless in a lack of common sense, isn't afraid even when he really really should be, kind of way. I always imagined that there was some fascinating story of extreme stupidity behind that missing tail, and I'm having trouble shaking it off.

Other interesting facts:

  • Has a foot fetish (seriously, wtf?).
  • Enjoys extreme sports.
  • Is Alfie's brother.
  • My wife thinks he's cute handsome (and sweet).

Cat-a-log Day 7: Chloe

It's been a week now; there are still more cats.

Chloe

Once upon a time we had no cats. None, zip, zero. It was a glorious time. Then one day my wife came to me wanting a kitten. I was initially opposed to this idea but it was clear how important it was to her, so I agreed. She brought home two. Two. One of them was Chloe.

Chloe is a thin and frail cat, which I theorize is the result of some genetic condition which has also left her with an inability to maintain proper core body temperature. As a result, she's been forced to adapt to a parasitic lifestyle, sapping heat from the laps of humans in order to stay alive.

Other interesting facts:

  • Wishes she were a dog.
  • Idolizes my son.
  • Squeaks instead of meows.
  • Also goes by the alias Klo-klo.
  • My son thinks she is sweet.

Cat-a-log Day 6: Stevie

Day 6, Stevie.

Stevie

To the best of my recollection, Stevie was the first cat integrated under the If it eats, we must greets line of reasoning. As you may know, during the Salem witch trials the accused were thrown into a pool of water, if they floated they were deemed witches. If it eats, we must greets is a similar false dichotomy that states that if you place food out for a stray cat, and it eats it, then it must be your cat.

Also, this picture is just begging for a lolcat interpretation.

Other interesting facts:

  • The most mysterious of all our cats.
  • Claims to have previously belonged to both D.B. Cooper and Jimmy Hoffa.
  • My daughter thinks she is sweet.

Cat-a-log Day 5: Fat Boy

With all of these cats, you didn't really think there'd be one named Skinny Girl without a corresponding "Fat Boy", did you?

Fatty

Fat Boy is in fact Skinny Girl's brother, and has the distinction of being the very first cat in our house with a penis. Others would follow, but he was the first. Respect.

Fat Boy is the exact opposite of his sister, the yang to her yin. He struts around the house like he owns the place, and is not easily startled or intimidated. He is so arrogant and obnoxious that if he catches you cleaning a litter box, he'll run straight in to drop a deuce while you're cleaning it.

Other interesting facts:

  • Has (severe )issues with flatulence.
  • Doesn't give a rats ass what you think about him.
  • Is too sexy for this shirt.
  • Also goes by the aliases Phat, Phatty, and, Phatphat
  • My wife thinks he's sweet.

Cat-a-log Day 4: Kiwi

Pictured below is Kiwi.

Kiwi

Believe it or not, I actually like this cat. The reason for this should be obvious, I mean look at her, she's adorable!

Kiwi is one of the many cats that were brought home from the Human Society to be "fostered". At the time she was covered in mange and way too young to be away from her mother. My wife and daughter spent countless hours treating the mange and bottle feeding her while I tried to pretend she didn't exist. Now, you'd think all of that TLC would have resulted in a strong attachment to her caregivers, but you'd be wrong. No, she likes me.

Kiwi will crawl up into my arms while I'm seated on the couch or in front of the computer, nuzzle my face, and then work her way onto her back until she is being cradled like a baby. Sometimes she'll reach out with her paws, put one on each side of my face, and meow softly.

Considering what it took to bring her back from the brink, my wife is pretty emotionally invested in Kiwi. When she sees Kiwi and I together she experiences some combination of dismay, betrayal, or gag reflex. Hey, what can I say, Karma's a bitch.

Other interesting facts:

  • Is awesome.
  • Also goes by the alias Keekee.
  • My wife thinks she is annoying.

Cat-a-log Day 3: Skinny Girl

Next up is Skinny Girl.

Skinny Girl

Let's talk about that name for a second, "Skinny Girl". That's only a short step up from names like Cat, Dude, and Hey You. It would stand to reason that if you find yourself struggling to come up with unique names for your pets, then it is entirely possible that you have too many.

Again, I don't really have much to say about this one, it's a relatively recent arrival. Don't read too much into the expression on her face in the picture above though. She appears confident, maybe even arrogant, and she's anything but. This is one seriously skittish cat and I consider myself lucky to have gotten any picture at all, (about 250 milliseconds after the flash fired, she shot straight up into the air and then hauled ass).

Other interesting facts:

  • Goes by the aliases Inny and Neenee.
  • My wife thinks she's sweet.

Cat-a-log Day 2: Alfie

I give you, Alfie.

Alfie

I really don't know much about this cat, it hasn't been here very long. It is one of many that were/are being (temporarily )fostered here.

What I do know is that you do not want him around when playing darts. Soft-tipped darts inevitably fail to stick from time to time. From the moment a dart hits the floor you have scant seconds to retrieve it before Alfie snatches it up and runs like hell.

Other interesting facts:

  • Is incapable of resisting the allure of a laser pointer.
  • My wife thinks he's sweet.

Cat-a-log Day 1: Star

Meet Star.

Star

Best described as Not Quite Right, Star's mother was a feral stray who rejected her as a kitten, (those wacky animals and their maternal instincts, go figure). A firm believer that no kitten should be left behind, my wife assumed custody. We've had her for years now.

For the most part she keeps to herself. One notable exception to this is bedtime where she demands a prominent position either on or next to my wife. For some reason finding this position always requires a bit of trial and error on her part, and invariably results in several close encounters of her ass and my face.

Other interesting facts:

  • The other cats are unanimous in their dislike of her.
  • If wronged, she will piss on something important to you.
  • Goes by the aliases Tar, or Tartar.
  • My wife thinks she's special, (and sweet).

Cats, cats, and more cats

There are a lot of cats living in and around my house. A lot. When I mention this to people, they invariably want a number, but the truth of the matter is I really don't know, (if that isn't the surest indicator of Way Too Many, I don't know what is). So, I've decided to conduct a little experiment.

Each day, starting tomorrow, I will profile one cat found living here. I will catalog the entire population in an attempt to determine if there are fewer or greater cats than there are days left in 2008.

Let the wagering begin!

Can't Drive 55

I don't know when this started, but I like it.

Speed Limit

Taken on I-10 East about 30 miles west of Junction Texas

Not Ready To Be A Grandparent

One of my daughter's electives this semester is Child Development. That's the course where you're issued an infant and graded on the condition of the child at the completion of the assignment. Return anything other than a healthy well-adjusted baby and your grade suffers.

When I was in high school your "baby" was a raw egg. You were encouraged to personalize your egg/baby and many people did (drawn-on faces, clothing, facial hair, tattoos, etc). As goofy as it sounds, lugging around something as fragile as an egg is difficult for a high schooler so it's not surprising that many of them came back cracked (or worse), Attempts at cheating were common and usually consisted of hard boiling the baby, or replacing it with a suitably similar one in the hopes that the teacher wouldn't notice (somehow they always did though).

My how times have changed.

Sara was issued a startlingly realistic doll, a carrier which doubles as a car seat, a diaper bag, a bottle, and several changes of clothing.

This doll not only looks like a real baby, it's weight and other physical characteristics are very close to that of a real infant. To the point of making it creepy. It's also jam-packed with electronics.

Sensors in the doll detect feedings and diaper changes and record them for later download by the teacher. Let its head fall back or subject it to any undue impact and that will be recorded as well. You'll know when it's hungry, or needs a burping or changing because it gets "fussy". If you fail to respond to your baby's needs properly, and in a timely fashion, it transitions from "fussy" to Screaming At The Top Of Its Lungs. For added effect, the eat-excrete cycle is also accurate which means waking in the middle of the night to care for it.

The program is convincing enough that when my daughter takes her homework someplace public (she can't leave it at home. that'd be bad parenting), she receives very authentic looks of disapproval.

High school child development courses are always pitched as a way of teaching how to properly care for a baby, but in reality it's always been about scaring the living shit out of teenagers. They may have finally succeeded, I for one am terrified.

I don't know if I should be impressed by the genius that is Baby Think It Over, or saddened by the fact that teenage pregnancy is enough of an issue to warrant such extremes.

New Puppy

My wife brought home a new puppy a couple of days ago, a German Shepard, her name is Bela.

I should mention that this time, the act of "arriving home with an animal in tow" was not entirely unsanctioned, (although if it had been I'm pretty sure that things wouldn't have turned out any differently). We had discussed for sometime getting another large breed dog that could hold its own against Ash and keep him company when we weren't home. The Plan called for a female in the hopes that it would be easier for her and my daughter to handle, and so there you have it.

A German Shepard wouldn't have been my first choice, I had sort of hoped to get another Weimaraner, but then I am admittedly more than a little biased on the subject. :) It's not that I have anything against German Shepards though, in fact I had one as a kid and remember her as one of the best dogs I ever had. However, German Shepards are generally a one owner dog, (which incidentally is one reason why they are so popular with law enforcement), and I fear that it won't "bond" with the whole family the way that it already seems to be doing with my daughter. I'm sure that she'll be a fine dog nonetheless.

I'll probably post the gratuitous picture or two when I get some.

Update: Ok, here's a pic.

Bela the puppy


I'm Pathetic

I tried running this morning. Words cannot express the shame.

I am thankful however that I chose to run early enough that most of my neighbors were sound asleep and did not witness the tragic event, and that I was able to resume normal breathing after about an hour.

NP: Pain Redefined, Disturbed

Progress Report: A Reduction in Mass

Myself and five co-workers setup an 8 week weight loss contest with a $50 buy-in, winner takes all, (the final weigh-in was today). Who won this little contest is unimportant, what is important is that caring people came together and supported each other in developing a healthier lifestyle ... oh who the hell am I kidding, I WON!! HAHA SUCKERS!! PAY UP!!

NP: Albatross, Corrosion of Conformity

A Reduction in Mass

As previously stated, I have resolved to reduce the effect of Earth's gravity on my person, and in the interest of full disclosure I have decided to post my progress on the blog.

A bar graph is now visable directly below my hackergotchi, the scale of which is an arbitrary value representing the Effect as of the first of this year. For each arbitrary decrease in Effect the bar will shrink by an arbitrary amount.

NP: God of Mind, Disturbed

Obligatory New Year's Post

It seems like The Thing To Do, create a new post on the first day of the year to reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the coming year.

The problem is, I suck at this sort of thing. My mind always goes blank when trying to come up with events of significance to me, and I loathe the idea of going public with resolutions because I have a dismal track record for keeping them. I'll do my best though.

Significant events of 2005:
  • My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, underwent a lumpectomy to remove the tumor, and has been undergoing chemotherapy since.
  • I became an official Debian developer.
  • I attended my first Debconf, (Debconf5), in Helsinki Finland.
  • I attended LinuxWorld in San Fransisco
  • Sarge was released.
  • I moved to a different department at work, and received a new title and job description, (unremarkable in light of the fact that I'm doing the same thing I've always done)
Resolutions for 2006:
  • For at least the last three years I have resolved to lose weight, and for the last three years I have failed. It's time to try something different so this year I resolve to reduce the effect of Earth's gravity on my body.
  • I resolve to be more interesting so that next year's obligatory New Year's post is easier to write.

NP: Land of Confusion, Disturbed

Parental Sanctuary

The wife and I and our two kids have lived in our present house for several years now. At the very front of the house, first room you pass when you walk in, there is a sprawling space that I assume was intended as a formal living/dining area. We've failed to do anything useful with this room in the entire time we've been here ... until now.

I was walking through the house one day, and as is often the case, I found myself mildly irked by the presence of a dependent at every turn. Walk down the hall, trip over a cat and continue on past my daughters room with the sounds of Christina Aguillera emanating from within. Pass out of the hall and around a dog, through the living room where my son is laid out across the couch, (watching Dukes of Hazzard again), only to narrowly avert tripping over Yet Another Cat. You get the idea. Now it's not that I don't love my family, or that I don't enjoy being around them but sometimes it helps to just get away, even if just for a few minutes.

So I came up with a plan, developed a pitch, and presented it to my venture capitalist at the very next board meeting, (my wife, later that night at dinner). My idea was a hit and a plan was set in motion to create a Parental Sanctuary out of our unused room.

The Plan entails the installation of wood flooring, doors put up in place of the main opening to the room, new lighting, a bar, and of course a computer desk, stereo system, etc, (you know, the basic essentials).

The wood flooring is done, the work performed by trained professionals. The door and lighting however are left up to me, and that's pretty much what I spent the bulk of my weekend on. Yesterday entailed scaring up all the materials including 80" x 60" 15 lite French doors, which should look pretty sweet once it is all done. Today I fumbled with framing the opening and mounting the doors which ended when I found out that I was ill prepared for the task of drilling into a concrete floor.

I plan to spend a little time working on this during the week after work so that I can get it at a point where I actually have a chance of finishing it next weekend. Historically, this is the most dangerous time for home improvement projects. If I let too much time slip and lose my momentum, this door could quickly join the ranks of my other half-finished projects.