Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Given certain superstitions and beliefs I don't think today would be the best day to be a black cat. Being of Japanese descent I think I can relate. I always feel sheepish for God knows why on December 7 (Pearl Harbor Day).

Halloween is always the day I'm afraid Diego or Theo will get loose and having black fur and out and about means it would be even more dangerous out there.

It's a day I don't especially enjoy since both of the boyz love to greet visitors that come to the door and given the activity of the night- that means both will get pretty riled up tonight.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Hey Bob

Saw Bob Dylan live for the 32nd time. It wasn't quite as exciting as seeing him in London last year but nonetheless I always enjoy his performances.

He did four songs from his new CD, Modern Times ("When the Deal Goes Down," Rollin and Tumblin," "Nettie Moore," and "Thunder on the Mountain") and those were my favorite performances of the evening along with a terrifically sung "Simple Twist of Fate."

"Thunder on the Mountain" in particular made me smile wider than I have all fall.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

His Safe Place

My friend M- recently got new carpet so she was kind enough to cut out a piece of her old carpet that I could use to replace the fraying rug that was in pretty rough shape in my main level bedroom.

Of course to install the "new" carpet I had to remove everything from the room and pull up the old rug. This got the boyz pretty riled up. When M- and her dad arrived with the "new" carpet all three boyz were full of equal parts anxiety and curiosity.

Theo was acting like he's never acted before- completely frightened by it all. He was slinking along, tummy low to the ground. He kept going underneath the kitchen table chairs and wouldn't let me comfort him at all.

Since he's usually so social with guests I was a little bit worried. I think I may have figured out his apprehension though. The main level bedroom is where he was introduced into the house. He spent his entire first week behind closed bedroom door as I followed some information I got from the Internet about introducing a new cat into a household with cats. One of the things that was mentioned was to keep the new cat in a fairly small room- a place that he could always return to if he felt in danger in any way.

Theo since hasn't spent all that much time in that room but it occured to me that I had ripped up his safe place and this was the biggest physical change that has been made since he has moved in.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Kilroy was Here

He the original one, that's for sure. Diego-san struck a new pose last night: he hung his front paws and face over the edge of my futon frame. This gave him the appearance of that World War II cartoon drawing- Kilroy.

Unfortunately my camera was downstairs so I couldn't preserve his pose for posterity sake.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Our Social Director

Thompson was directing the social activities in the house last night. First he jumped up in bed with me and urged me to scratch his face. When he was content he licked my hand, went and found Theo who was having spasms on the carpet by the bathroom. He and Theo wrestled for awhile and when they were done Thompson went to sleep with Diego (in a choice spot by a heating vent).

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Smack Dab in the Middle

Theo has asserted himself. He is the one who has claimed the right to sleep at the end of the bed. I don't care which one of the boyz wants that alleged choice spot but the problem for me is that Theo likes to sleep right smack in the middle of the bed. Thus I find myself waking up in the morning sleeping on a little sliver of bed to the very side with Theo contently dozing contently right in the middle.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

What's Going On?

If ever there was a cat that I really wish I could get inside his head and know what he's thinking- it's Thompson.

I've gained his trust- to a degree- so he's there to greet me at the door every evening. Others will come and he'll dart away upstairs or under a bed. He can be so sweet and nice- he's great to take naps with yet he won't "cuddle" like the other boyz. He won't crawl under the covers and share the warmth. He won't lie by my side and let me rub his belly. I think in part it's because he doesn't want to be held down at all. He always needs to be able to get up and bound away if necessary. I understand that. But I wish I could teach him the trust he has in me can be applied elsewhere as well.

Monday, October 23, 2006


The boyz have a pretty good life by any measure. Eat, sleep, eat, sleep, sleep, chase each other around, eat, repeat...

In the past few weeks I've had a craving for pickles. This has been more than satisfied as I've taken some very hot peppers a co-worker gave me, added it to my pickles and have been salivating over some very spicy pickles. This is the kind of joy not even the boyz can understand.

So I guess we all have it good.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


I'm sure the boyz think that they live under a strict dictatorship. However this weekend I proved that this house really is a democracy.

There's been a long standing rule in the house that cats are not allowed on my kitchen table. This rule dates back to the original cat of the house, Max. I made this rule because it seemed unsanitary to let Max walk around the place where I eat my meals.

The rule has continued even though I rarely eat at the table anymore- preferring to eat in the living room so I can watch TV. Saturday I caught Diego on the table looking out the kitchen window. I scolded him but minutes later he was back up there. The view is similar to the bedroom window so there isn't anything unique about that window. But Diego seemed intent on looking at something so I let him be.

A little later Thompson was up in the same spot so by a vote of 2 to 1, I've decided to let the table rule lapse. Poor Max- he did live under a dictatorship all those years...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Sick Day

Called in sick yesterday. I'm feeling run down and exhausted. Theo and I took a long nap together. I love how he makes himself so comfortable when he's napping. He'll lie on his back, on his belly, on his side. He loves to wrap his head deep to his chest. Theo knows how to nap.

Friday, October 20, 2006

It's Diego's World

Last night, Diego-san and I were lounging around watching the National League playoff game. All of a sudden he tore off into the corner of the room and stood tall on the cat tree situated over by the window by the stairs. He stood there for a while so I went over to see what was up.

Sure enough there was a centipede high on the wall near the ceiling. I don't know how Diego originally spotted it, but I was impressed. He's quite the observant fellow.

Later on he saw something on TV he liked (apparently the Mets Endy Chavez) as he sprawled himself across the screen of the TV. I'm not sure what caught his attention but I'm sure it was something important.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I Gotta Be Me

I attended a "Building Influence and Effectiveness" class yesterday for work. We took the Myers-Briggs test which categorizes your personality type.

I took the same test about 10 years ago. My personality type has remained the same over the past decade (which apparently isn't unusual- the instructor said most people stay the same). However my scores were much higher in my categories than they were 10 years ago. That means I more me than ever and I'm really not sure that is a good thing.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Decided that work doesn't have to be 100 percent of my life (at least for the moment) and only put in three extra hours last night. Went out and had dinner and caught up with my friend A- (who also happens to be Diego's favorite person).

We had sushi. I love sushi. It always makes me feel refreshed after I've eaten it.

Got home and the boyz who were made to wait a little longer than normal for their dinner, were extra expressive.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Comeback Kid

When Theo was brought to the cat shelter the story was that some kids had gotten too rough with him and had sat on him crushing his back legs. By the time I adopted him there wasn't much sign of this- he was walking fine albeit slightly gingerly.

The vet I brought him to last summer for his annual checkup was amazed at how well Theo was walking. The vet said when he first saw Theo he figured he'd never be able to use his back legs again.

I mention this because Theo has developed a remarkable jumping ability. This first came out when I got a laser pointer to play with and if I pointed it up far on the wall, Theo was the only one of the three boyz who still tried to get the dot- persistently and rapidly jumping up high on the wall. He wouldn't give up until I made the dot go away.

Last night Theo was chasing Diego up the stairs and when they got to the top and turned around the corner, Theo jump over Diego- like it was a steeple chase. And when he is startled Theo will often jump straight up- quite high- before reversing directions and dashing in the other direction. The boy is an impressive leaper.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Ultimate Cool

Diego-san defines cool.

He has an air about him that is a combination of confidence and style. He walks with a swagger. We do things on his terms or we don't do them at all.

But at the end of the day he likes to snuggle and he has an affectionate streak that is his way of expressing his need for others in this world.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Here Comes the Sun

Yesterday Thompson was following the sun. I noticed him napping on my futon in the main level bedroom. When the sun moved he came out into the living room and perched himself precariously on a cat tree that was taking in the brunt of the sun's rays.

When the sun moved again, Thompson found a spot on the living room couch that housed some sunlight.

He had an excellent game plan for enjoying his sun.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

In the News: My Nephews

First moments in the spotlight for the fingerpaint set
by Emily Johns, Star Tribune

Micah M. has blue marker all over his face.

Micah's last name is Maeda but he doesn't know how to spell it so he says just to call him Micah M.

That blue stuff could almost -- almost -- be stage makeup, because Micah is a budding actor. But it's not.

Micah -- who says he's 5½ -- is blue speckled because his brother, Caleb, spritzed him with a marker.

"I didn't know these could actually squirt," Micah says, holding up a green marker.

Micah, Caleb, and 11 other children ages 3 to 5 were part of a community education class for the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan school district.

The class -- "Lights! Camera! Action!" -- teaches kids how to put on their own play.

The marker debacle happened during set design.

"The Fuzzy Caterpillar" is the week's drama. It's about a caterpillar who wants to have beautiful colors like other animals. The animals tell him, "maybe someday you will," and at the end of the play, the caterpillar emerges from his cocoon as a butterfly.

Vince Evans is dressed like a black cat. His dad, John, says Vince wore the costume for Halloween two years ago. That's why it's a little small -- the legs end right below his kneecaps.

Vince has a soft spot for the family cat, Harley.

"He's at an age right now where he really likes getting into role playing," said John Evans. "We figured the class would be fun for him. He really likes practicing his line at home."

The class meets on the stage at Falcon Ridge Middle School in Apple Valley. The stage is only two feet off the ground, though,, so cast members tend to wander away when they're bored.
Class instructor Jia Brown tells the students to pick a spot where they all want to stand for the play. Thirteen hams rush to the front of the stage, pushing each other out of the way till toes teeter over the edge.

"I see we all love the limelight here," Brown says, laughing.

Brown has taught the community education class for about two years, and she said the district does one or two a month for the students.

Five-year-old Abbey Stensrud pulls a pink and green silk flower from the hand of one of the instructors, then runs to the paper plate she's drawing on for the set. Abbey is going to be a unicorn in the play, with a white body, brown feet and a blue horn.

She holds up the plate and a pink marker and points to the flower.

"I'm coloring it like this," she said.

Before the class is over, Brown takes the kids through one more run through of "The Fuzzy Caterpillar." When the butterfly emerges from its cocoon, Brown urges the kids to stand up. They all start to flap their wings, pretending to fly away.

Four-year-old Maddie Haugen roams the stage, her nose dotted with red and orange marker.

"I think the markers smell nice," she said.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday the 13th

I'm not sure the history behind the superstition that Friday the 13th is a day for bad luck.

Likewise I'm not sure how crossing the path of a black cat means something bad is going to happen.

I do know I have two black cats in my house that I'm entirely lucky to know.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

My Life as a Comic

Darby Conley's Get Fuzzy is threatening to replace Calvin and Hobbes as my favorite comic strip of all time.

Get Fuzzy is about the household life of Rob Wilco who rooms with Bucky, a wannabe bad boy cat who is only slightly dim, and Satchel the dopey but sweet dog.

Rob often becomes exasperated by Bucky's schemes and bad attitude. He often is equally roll yer eyes frustrated by Satchel's naivete and willingness to fall for Bucky's tricks and traps.

Of course the reason I love this comic besides its biting humor is because I can relate to the trials, tribulations, and joys of living with pets with strong personalities...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

His Treat- A Face Rub

Thompson loves to have his face rubbed and scratched.

Often times when I'm lying down he'll come stand on my chest and get his face right next to mine. This is the signal that he wants me to rub his face. I'll back him up and scratch the white space above his noise and rub my hand across his forehead.

He always starts to purr deeply when I do this. And if I stop he'll then move his face right up against mine again- a signal that he doesn't want me to stop.

If that's all it takes to keep him happy, I'm more than willing to oblige.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

His Trick- Staying Warm

I'm not sure it qualifies as a pet trick but Diego-san has learned a behavior that ends in reward.

He has learned that when I'm underneath my covers and he comes and uses his front paws to try and pull back the covers that I'll let him underneath with me. Now that the brisk weather is returning- Diego has pulled out this move from his bag of tricks.

It can be a tad annoying because he doesn't care if I'm asleep or awake- when he decides he wants to be underneath the covers he'll do his thing and ultimately I'll have to give in because he just won't stop. Besides on real cold nights I'm glad to have him so close by- his fur and body heat feel pretty darn good when I'm struggling to otherwise stay warm.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Not Enough Laps to Go Around

Because I'm home so seldom these days, when I am around it's almost impossible for me to spend time alone. One of the boyz always wants to be on my lap- not that I mind.

Thompson and Diego have the courtesy that when one of the other boyz is on my lap, they will wait until the lap opens up before they sit with me.

Theo isn't so polite. Doesn't matter if Thompson or Diego already has claimed the spot- if Theo wants to be on my lap he'll jump up no matter what.

I don't like to punish him because of this- but it really isn't fair to Thompson and Diego and I don't want them to feel neglected. Such is life in a three cat household.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

My IT Cat

I spent most of the afternoon running between three different computers in my house transferring files and trying to set up my new Mac Mini so that it is my primary computer.

The mini is located in my office on the main level of my house. My old PC is now hooked up in the upstairs bedroom. My laptop is hooked up in my kitchen. As I was making the rounds between the three Theo was faithfully following me, I think because he thought we were playing some type of game.

It almost became comical how he was anticipating what computer I was going to go to next. And that's when I realized we were indeed playing a little game. Must be nice to so easily find amusement in all life's activities...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Come on Home

When I get home I enter through my front door because that's where the mail slot is and I pick up my mail on my way into the house.

Inevitably as I'm walking up to the door I'll look in my big front window and see Thompson lying on the top of the couch watching things in the front yard. It's like he's waiting for me to get home (don't know if he can distinguish the sound of my car or my scooter so he knows I'm home). As he sees me rounding the corner of my house he'll stand up and stretch and then when I open the door he's right there meowing away.

It's a nice way to come home.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Rubber Band Boy

Diego has the remarkable ability to sniff out a rubber band no matter where it lies. I can hind a rubber band underneath a pile of papers and undoubtedly will eventually find it lying on the floor somewhere, chewed.

The other night I was lying in bed half awake and was bothered by my Lance Armstrong "Livestrong" bracelet. I remember taking it off and thinking I couldn't put it up on the desk next to my bed because it, being rubber, would tempt Diego.

A little while later I was trying to remember where I put it. I think I put it underneath my pillow but I was too tired to look. The next day at work I noticed I wasn't wearing the bracelet and then remembered taking it off the night before. Sure enough when I got home that evening, there it was lying on the living room floor, chewed.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A First

For the first time ever there was a three way fight in the house last night.

It started off, as it usually does these days with Theo and Thompson tussling. Thompson was getting upset with Theo and started hissing and growling. This got Diego's attention and he went over and soon he and Thompson were wrestling.

Theo usually at this point goes off somewhere but this time he stood by and watched and eventually he too rejoined the fray. Soon it was just Theo and Diego wrestling but all in all a pretty exciting evening for the boyz...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Last night the area around my house was under a tornado watch. I was upstairs watching the baseball playoff game with all three boyz seemingly content in their space.

When the weather lady interrupted the game to give a report on the storms in the area I told the boyz that they were on notice that when I told them to head to the basement they had to listen and follow me down. Theo of course would have- every time I go down the stairs he takes it as a big race and makes every effort to beat me downstairs (he always wins).

I'm sure getting Diego to follow the drill would be impossible. He's so darn independent. And depending on how hungry Thompson was he probably wouldn't listen to me either.

Luckily the storms missed my area and it was just another quiet night.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

My New Mini

I got a new computer- a Mac Mini. It's nothing if not cute. It goes well with my the Mini Cooper I bought last summer. If I continue this pattern I'll end up with a little poodle next summer.

I haven't worked much in a Macintosh environment before so there is a learning curve involved. I was happy I got it hooked up and connected to the Internet. The reason I bought a new computer in the first place- my old PC with Windows 98 takes forever to connect to the Internet- and it's gotten to the point I can't have more than one window open at a time without encountering some problems.

This of course has somewhat reduced the cursing fits that the boyz listen to (and watch) intently.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Atoning for 1967

My Mom was the one who got me interested in baseball. I remember all those summer days when Mom was in another room whether it be the kitchen or the bedroom where her sewing machine was- with the radio tuned into the Twins.

Mom was the one who explained the rules of the game to me and passed on a lot of the historical knowledge than any baseball fan should have.

Being a baseball fan of course means having one's heart broken now and again. For Mom one of these seasons was 1967 when the Twins were in a three way race for first place and went to Boston on the final weekend of the season needing one win to get to the World Series. They didn't win any games and the Red Sox ended up as the American League champion.

Going into the final weekend this season the Twins were tied with the Tigers for first- but since Detroit held an 11-8 advantage in head to head matches- the Twins had to finish ahead because if they tied Detroit- Detroit would be the division champ and the Twins would have to settle for being a wild card entry into the playoffs. This seemed the most likely scenario given that the Twins were playing the defending champion Chicago White Sox and Detroit was playing Kansas City, the worst team in the league.

Both the Twins and Tigers lost the first two games of the series though. So come Sunday if the Twins didn't win it didn't matter what Detroit did. Likewise if Detroit won their game- it didn't matter what the Twins did.

The other big story was Joe Mauer leading the Yankees' Derek Jeter by one point in the batting average category. This could have been historical given that no American League catcher had ever led the league in hitting. Mauer ended up getting two hits on Sunday- sealing his place in history.

The Twins won their game and then watched as the Royals completed a stirring comeback to sweep the Tigers. It couldn't have finished any better for the Twins. The only time they were in first place was the last day of the season. And that's the day you want to be in that position. The post season should be a lot of fun. It's one of the many times in my life when I miss my Mom and wish she could share in all this. She would have loved this version of the Twins and I'm sure it would have more than made up for 1967.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


I had a bit of a bizarre dream last night. I dreamt that I was feeling a tad frustrated with the boyz playful behavior and I noticed the paint on all the walls and ceilings in my house was peeling. I couldn't believe they were ruining my house to that degree.

It doesn't take a psychologist to know where this dream came from. The past few weeks the boyz have been extremely restless and over the weekend I spent a lot of time scolding all three (Diego and Theo specifically) for misbehavior that included knocking over furniture, climbing on the stove, pulling towels off the rack, etc. And also my kitchen needs painting because some of the paint near the ceiling is beginning to peel.

I remember waking up feeling kind of bad about the dream however since the boyz are just being boys.