Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Duck Duck Grey Duck

The IT guy at work told me that a duck somehow got into his house this morning and his roommate was struggling to figure out a way to get the duck back outside. I imagine the boyz would welcome such excitement in our home.

The closest we ever get to that experience is when Thompson does his duck imitation- a squawk like meow he sometimes does to express a bit of displeasure, usually when I'm mocking him (in a loving way).

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


So I was sitting in my living room watching TV minding my own business when I heard a noise coming from the basement that sounded like someone was working on my heating, air conditioning and duct work. Since I knew I hadn't called a repairperson I immediately had a suspect in mind. I checked in my bedroom and sure enough Thompson was sitting peacefully looking out his favorite window and Theo was looking mindlessly off into space perched on his favorite chair. Diego-san? Nowhere in sight.

I ran downstairs calling his name thinking to myself he had somehow gotten trapped inside the duct work. My basement was semi-finished (framed and sheet rocked) last summer so most of the furnace and duct work is not nearly as accessible as it used to be. I peered behind the furnace but could only hear Diego not see him. I scolded him and told him to come on out. A minute later he appeared above on the framing to where a bathroom will go if I ever do finish off the basement.

I have no idea what he was up to, what he got himself into. Further I have no idea, how Diego-san, the boy who gets into everything got himself up to an area above my head but without anywhere I can think of that's easily accessible by a leaping kitty.

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Victim of Routine

Yesterday afternoon I played softball with my nephews and nieces. We then were supposed to meet my uncle, aunt, and cousins who were in town from Denver and San Diego at a restaurant for dinner. Since we didn't get done playing softball until fifteen minutes before we were supposed to be at the restaurant I had to quick scooter home, feed the boyz their dinner and run to the restaurant.

Usually the boyz dinner routine is proceeded by me cleaning out their litter boxes downstairs. Since I didn't have a lot of time I skipped that and just put the food out. This completely threw Theo for a loop. He didn't know if he should begin eating. He didn't know what dish was his. He sat there looking dumbfounded that the routine was thrown out the window. I placed him by his dish and told him things were OK as I headed out the door... Poor Theo.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Another Surprise

Woke up and looked out the window to the sight of snow. It's blippin almost May! I think Thompson shared my dismay and disbelief when he too looked out at the white covering all that lovely green that had got a lot greener last week. Parts of the state got around a half a foot of snow. Thankfully it was more flurry than blurry around my house.

P.S. I.O.U. paid. I've pretty much spent the past 48 hours home with the boyz. Never let it be said I don't pay my debts.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The New Heavyweight

Thompson and Diego-san had their annual visit to the vet yesterday morning. Thompson in particular let me know his displeasure in getting jammed into his carrier.

The big news is that Diego gained a pound and a half the past year and is up to 14 pounds. He thus surpassed Thompson who gained half a pound to just under 14 pounds.

I was a bit worried about having to schedule a teeth cleaning appointment for Thompson since last year the vet said he'd probably need his teeth cleaned this year. But she said other than the tartar building on his back teeth overall his teeth and gums looked OK. I did end up buying some toothpaste. We'll see how that goes. I tried brushing the late great Mr. Max's teeth years back but that didn't last very long. Max loved the taste of the toothpaste so very little ended up on his teeth.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Tornado Drill

I've gone over our house's severe weather plan with the boyz. When the civil defense sirens blare the boyz and I are to go to the basement for shelter. Unfortunately when the sirens do go off (they tested them today) Thompson and Theo tend to get alarmed and head upstairs where they feel the safest. Diego tends to continue doing whatever he was doing.

In other words, it's a work in progress.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Born to Be Wild

A year and a half ago when I changed jobs the length of my commute doubled. Given that I also have to drive through some of the busier areas of town, my love of riding my scooter to work was endangered by my puttering along at the top speed of my old scooter (around 40 m.p.h.) in traffic that should have been going around that speed but in reality was going much faster. So I upgraded my scooter to something with a bit more pep (a Buddy 125).

My Buddy is powerful enough to be classified as a motorcycle under Minnesota law. For the past year I've ridden my Buddy with a permit that I got by just taking a written test. Today I went in to take the road test to earn my motorcycle license. Going in I had been told the road test was not easy. A couple of people I talked with failed the test the first time around.

I was fifth in line when I arrived at the DMV. The first guy to take the test did so on a big old Harley. He struggled through the portion of the test where you have to zig zag between some cones that were not placed very far apart. You weren't allowed to put your foot down when slaloming through the course and this guy did so several times and ended up failing. The next guy in line took the test on a sporty Honda. He also failed to survive the obstacle course.

So the rest of us in line were talking nervously amongst ourselves. Next up was a motorcyclist who passed. The next guy who had a scooter also passed. On my test I put my foot down once during the zig zag course. On my quick stop I hit my brakes too soon and was marked down for that. And then on my quick swerve I clipped the last cone on the course. I thought for sure with that I had failed the test. But the instructor told me I had passed ("just barely.") So now I have my motorcycle license. And I'm officially a bad ass.

Of course I looked kind of silly with my dainty lil scooter in line with these big guys on big old motorcycles. I'll look even sillier if I ever find a side car I can put the the boyz in, goggle them up and take them for a ride. But that would be well worth it...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Foot Stepper

One of Theo's many quirks is he loves, or at least doesn't mind, stepping on my feet when he walks by me. Neither Thompson or Diego-san has ever done that. Theo loves to wander mindlessly between my legs and rub up against me. Often he'll either step on my foot or he'll stop walking and stand on my foot. It's like he wasn't taught the proper etiquette or something.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Smarts Too

Diego-san often gets credit for being the smart one. This intelligence often means he's also the one that gets yelled at most. He knows the few rules of the house- no going behind the TV, no hopping on the stove, no licking dishes in the sink, etc.- and he's the one who pushes the boundaries just as far as he can before I yell at him. He then crosses the line and does indeed get yelled at.

Thompson too has some smarts to him. He's very observant. His latest 'watch Diego, see what Diego does, see what gets Diego into trouble and then go far enough with getting in trouble himself' is at meal times. Diego gets scolded for nudging Theo aside before Theo is finished eating and then finishing Theo's meal for him. Thompson has learned to watch Theo patiently knowing Theo often leaves food in his dish when he walks away. Thompson has learned I don't feel it's fair to yell at him (or Diego) once Theo walks away since I can't monitor the food all day to ensure Theo gets his share of what is distributed. I've never seen Thompson try to nudge Theo out of the way. He's very patient and his patience has paid off with a little extra food here and there.

Monday, April 21, 2008


I wasn't home much this weekend so I know I owe the boyz some extra time in the near future.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Misfits

I first saw the movie The Misfits back in the late 1980's. The 1961 film immediately became one of my all time favorites. The cable channel TCM played the movie last night and it was the first time I watched it in probably over ten years. It's one of the saddest movies I've ever seen- and it's sad on a couple of different levels. The story itself is about a quartet of souls who haven't so much lost their way as lost their place in the world. The Misfits also has the distinction of being Clark Gable's last movie and the last movie Marilyn Monroe finished filming. Marilyn gives a sterling performance both vulnerable and the strong moral center of the story.

I fell in love with Marilyn the first time I saw the movie. By all accounts she was in a rapidly deteriorating condition during the filming. Yet she's able to give such a convincing performance. The thing that made me fall for her was her character's sadness over the mistreatment and killing of animals. That someone could get so upset over the killing of a rabbit seemed odd to me the first time I watched The Misfits. I've reached a place in my own life where I can read news story after news story about human tragedy and death and I barely blink an eye. But whenever I read a story about an animal being hurt or killed I tear up. I don't know if that's progress or a slide down into misfitisdom.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I went to the Minnesota Twins 4 to 0 loss to the Cleveland Indians last night. Now this weekend both today and tomorrow I have to attend a work related class. This cuts into my quality time with the boyz and I'm sure they'll let me know about it. The good news is the weather has been mostly good enough to ride my scooter around town...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Kindred Roomies

Once when I was three years old I was so excited that my brother (who is two years older than me) finally got home from school that I proceeded to run smack into the corner of a wall splitting my forehead open. I ended up in the emergency room and with three stitches in my noggin.

Yesterday as I arrived home and was rounding the side of the house I saw Theo excitedly jump up on the cat tree positioned next to the side window. Unfortunately the cat tree is a little bit higher than the window ledge and Theo lost his balance as a paw slipped off the tree. He bonked his head against the window. This immediately brought to mind my stitches experience.

I have a special place in my heart for Theo. Being the youngest of five kids in my family I think I sometimes struggled with figuring out where I fit in while at the same time feeling the need to be the entertainer of the family. I often think Theo is in a similar position. He doesn't quite know if Diego-san and Thompson accept him and he tags along with one of them just like a little brother. Sometimes Thompson, Diego, and I will be lounging around when Theo feels the need to tear around the room to liven things up. Here is a photo of Theo's special time with me- as I get home and go to the kitchen table to open the mail he loves to rub his face against me as he purrs and purrs. It's the nicest of ways to come home...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hissed Off

There's a little pond behind where I work. Today it was nice out so I decided that I'd take a little stroll. I was coming down the path toward my building when I heard something hiss at me. I looked to my left and there was a large Canadian Goose (not pictured here). I had never been hissed at by a goose before, didn't know it was possible. It was kind of a sissy hiss so I thought about running home and getting Thompson to show this bird what a real hiss sounds like.

I was just about to have a hissy fit about getting hissed at when I looked closer at the goose. She was guarding a nest of eggs. My bad. Mother Goose had every right to be protective and concerned about my intrusion...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Badly Needed Fresh Air

I got the results back from my second blood test. My hemoglobin level tested normal so hopefully whatever was the cause of the count being elevated the first time around is a thing of the past. I still don't feel a hundred percent well but I do feel better than I did last week.

Besides, who could not feel well when you come home to this scene? Temperatures neared 70 degrees yesterday afternoon so I was finally able to air out the house. The boyz were appreciative.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Amazing One

I was lying in bed (in the dark) with Diego-san lying next to me (in the dark). Next thing I knew he was over knocking some of my CDs off the storage shelf. I dragged my butt out of bed, turned on the light already scolding him. I looked up on the wall above the shelf and sure enough there was a spider just out of Diego's reach. How does he do that? It was an eensy weensy spider after all. I'm sure it's all about superior night vision and detecting movement but this was impressive even by Diego's standards...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Not a Ween Fan

I was listening to the new Ween CD, "Quebec" yesterday and I don't think Thompson was enjoying it as much as I was. He had more of a look of concern than enjoyment with the sound coming out of the speakers. I guess Ween just isn't his cup of tea when it comes to music.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Oh No CO?

Theo and I had a rough week. Besides his discontent Monday as I stayed home sick, I accidentally stepped on his tail yesterday causing a bit of a yelp. Then today I accidentally pinched his tail as I was closing the dryer door. Maybe it's best for him to keep his distance from me for a few days.

Actually, he also hissed at me for the first time. He was sleeping on my chest and I reached over to get a bottle of water on the coffee table. I don't know if I startled him, or if the plastic bottle rubbing against the table made some noise he didn't like, but he hissed (albeit it was a small tiny hiss).

The hiss and his Monday behavior, plus his vomiting a couple of times this week made me think that maybe he isn't feeling well either. I got a bit of a scare Friday afternoon when I went back to the doctor to have my hemoglobin level retested. While I was waiting, I Googled "cause of high hemoglobin" and one of the first listings mentioned carbon monoxide poisoning. Given my observation that Theo might not be feeling well, the thought flashed in my mind that we were all being poisoned by a bad furnace or something. When I got home I moved my carbon monoxide detector to different spots in the house including by the furnace and the reading remained zero. I am still paranoid since how does one know if one's carbon monoxide detector is functioning properly?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Beach Dream

OK all you dream experts, I need an interpretation. Last night I dreamed that Diego-san and I were on a beach somewhere. A little girl came over to pet Diego and she was pulling on his tail rather roughly. Diego didn't seem to mind though. The girl's brother came over and told her to stop doing what she was doing because it's not a good idea to play with a skunk. I was just about to correct the kid and tell him my Diego-san was no skunk, but decided to let things be since the girl was being a little rough with my CAT.

Then I woke up.

The boyz and I want to wish one of my all time favorite humans, Stephanie Jane, a very happy 40th birthday.

Friday, April 11, 2008

I'm No Doctor but I Play One in the Blog

One of the dangers of the internet and its impact on our health care system is now you can go online to look at your medical test results. I went to the doctor on Monday and had some tests done. I looked up the results today and all my results except for one fall within the standard test ranges. The one that did not was my hemoglobin count that tested higher than the range.

Given my hypochondriac nature I of course immediately concluded I'm going to die of high hemoglobin. Maybe it's a silent killer. If I was feeling better I'd probably be all riled up but I don't have the energy. So I'll wait until the doctor contacts me to help me know what the test results really mean.

A friend forwarded me this article from the New York Times. Given my logic for the number of cats in my house I've often told friends I'm on my way to being one of those people that they find living with 200 cats. I'm not sure if the tests they did on Monday would detect this 'cat lady' parasite or not....

P.S. Our local weather forecast calls for 5 to 7 inches of snow over the next 24 hours. Blippin %$^&#!!!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Good Kind of Tired

Feeling a little better. I made it to work but by the end of the day I was pretty wiped out. Got home and saw Diego-san looking pretty wiped out too...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Sick Day

I stayed home from work yesterday. I've been feeling really run down and then I caught a cold complete with chills and a fever.

I must've interrupted Theo's schedule because he was out of hand all morning long. I was trying to take a nap and he'd go off into another room and cry and cry. I'd eventually go and check on him and eventually he'd quiet down. Then he'd pester Diego for a bit before finding another room to go cry in. Maybe it was just his way of letting me know he was worried about me but he was just a few steps away from the unprecedented option of locking him in a room upstairs... Good thing it didn't come to that. I would have felt even worse.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

For Emily Whenever I May Find Her

I was tagged by Moki for an interesting lil meme. Here are the guidelines:

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people and post a comment to Mickey once you have posted it.

The nearest book is the one I happen to be reading at the moment, Ann Patchett's Truth and Beauty. Turning to page 123, here are the sentences:

"I have to meet with my philanthropist."

"Oh," she said dreamily, "your philanthropist. You promise that you told him all about your talented friend?"

I'm currently reading the book because I took a short story writing class last winter and the story written by one of my classmates that completely blew me away reminded some of my classmates of Patchett's Truth and Beauty. Since I had not read the book I added it to my list of books to read.

I'll tag Kellie, Diamond, Karen Jo, Momo, and Daisy.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Feets Too: No Country for Old Men

Diego-san and I did our best re-creation of the creepy scene from the movie No Country for Old Men. The scene is the one where the Josh Brolin character is trying to escape from the Javier Bardem character whose money he stole. Brolin is in his hotel room and he hears footsteps come down the hallway that he suspects are Bardem's. The footsteps stop and Brolin sees shadows of two feet underneath the crack between the door and the floor.

I was sitting in my office with the door closed and I heard the pitter patter of feet in the hallway. I looked underneath the door and saw two feet. I knew from the size they were Diego's. We couldn't have done the scene any better.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Amazing Feets

I don't know if it has something to do with Theo's injury to his legs when he was a kitten but often when he is napping on me he'll cross his legs and curl his feet. It doesn't look very comfortable to me but it's kinda cute to see...

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Coming and Going

We live in one of the few parts of the country where during the first part of the week I had to pull out the snowblower yet today I was able to take a nice ride around the neighborhood on my scooter. I opened the skylights for the boyz for a bit and we all enjoyed the fresh air...

Friday, April 04, 2008


I took the day off from work so I could relax and bum around with the boyz. Like Thompson I'm so tired I could plop myself down anywhere and find comfort...

Thursday, April 03, 2008

A Different Kind of Fight

I'm not sure if Diego-san is the one responsible for the scratch on Thompson's nose. If he is he chose an entirely different fight strategy for his tussle with Theo last night.

Theo was bugging him so Diego climbed up so he was seated just a little bit above Theo. He raised his right paw and proceeded to whap Theo on the forehead. He continued doing this as Theo looked up at him dazed, head bent as if to say, 'ow that hurts' but he refused to move away from the whapping.

Actually Diego might have added this to his fight arsenal by watching Thompson. It's a move that is almost necessary for Thompson to defend himself. He stands on his back legs and uses his lone front paw to keep either Theo or Diego at a distance.I have yet to see Theo use the hammer hit yet preferring instead to chase, tackle, and wrestle.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Good One

In the past I've questioned Theo's intelligence. No more. Who would've thunk he'd be the one to pull off a great and successful April Fool's joke on me?

Ever since I got back from my dog sitting duties last month my empty suitcase has been sitting out in the open in my spare bedroom. It usually is stored in my closet upstairs but for whatever reason I just haven't gotten around to putting it away. I think one of the reasons is I was sorta hoping the boyz would get used to it and comfortable that it's just something else in the house so when I need to make my next trip they won't freak out when I pull the suitcase out. Truthfully I hadn't given it much thought and it was probably out of laziness that the suitcase hadn't been put away.

So last night for some reason I got a cleaning bug. I vacuumed all my rugs and cleaned the kitchen. I went into the bedroom to put the suitcase away. I bent down to lift it expecting it to be empty light, and was stunned that it weighed more than it should. Indeed, Theo was hidden inside. I don't know how he telepathically laid this trick out but I almost fell forward with the unexpected weight of the suitcase.

Good one Theo. Job well done.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Rougher... I Don't Even Know Her

About a month ago I looked and saw what looked like a tick on Thompson's chin. I carefully removed it and found out it was a scab. I figured one of the other boyz had nicked him during a wrestling match.

Yesterday I noticed what looked like some eye discharge on Thompson's nose. So I tried to remove it and saw it was a cut. Maybe I should be refereeing the nightly wrestling matches a little bit closer...