Friday, August 31, 2007

Major Squabble

Something severe happened between Thompson and Theo last night and I'm not quite sure what went down.

I was upstairs on the phone checking in on a friend who is really struggling. I heard a piercing yelp and scream downstairs. I hadn't heard such a sound before and I didn't know which one of the boyz was the one calling out. I saw Diego at the edge of the stairs so I knew it wasn't him. I went downstairs and saw Thompson standing underneath the living room coffee table and Theo standing nearby making the horrible squealing sound.

I tried to check to see if he was in some kind of pain but he hissed at me (a first). I went over to Thompson and he growled. This continued for several minutes until Theo let me pick him up. I put him back down and the confrontation continued.

Diego meandered in and I was glad to see him as he got close to both Thompson and Theo and they didn't react. Some time passed and Theo continued squealing in a way that he has never done before. After about twenty minutes or so all things passed and things returned to normal.

I praised Diego for his calming presence only to notice he had ripped a huge hole in the kitchen window screen while all this was happening.

Hopefully Thompson and Theo's rift wasn't so severe that it will be an ongoing long term thing...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Pearly Whites

I got my teeth cleaned at the dentist this morning. Last spring when I brought Thompson in for his annual checkup and shots, I was told that next year he'll likely need to get his teeth cleaned because he's beginning to have some tartar buildup.

This then, is me going on record- that I wouldn't put the boyz through something I myself won't go through and endure. I endured a trip to the dentist. Next year it is your turn Thompson.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Living on the Edge

The guy working on my basement called me last night and said he had smelled gas in my basement. So I called the gas company and they sent out a guy to check it out.

Turns out my carpenter has a fine nose- there was a small leak. I couldn't smell anything except fresh cut wood. Gas leaks of course are nothing to sneeze at. You occasionally will see a story where a house will explode because the gas builds up and a spark ignites it.

The boyz of course were anxious to investigate the situation and finally get back in the basement. I had to lock them upstairs. Thompson got out of my grasp and dashed downstairs. I recovered him, scolded him (one of the few times I've ever done that) and sent him upstairs with the other two.

The gas company guy put a temporary fix to stop the leak (he duct taped the area of the pipe that was leaking) and now I have to get a qualified contractor to do a more permanent fix.

Hmmm. Maybe the gas leak explains Theo's spacey behavior.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Guilt Ridden

OK I'm feeling a tad guilty today. Last night I got home late at night after a long day at work. Theo was at his relentless best (or worst depending on one's perspective) letting me know in no uncertain terms he was hungry.

As I changed out of my work clothes he licked my legs. As I emptied out the litter boxes he licked my legs. When I did all I could to avoid his licking he finally gave up and began chasing Diego-san all over the place even though Diego let it be known this was not time for play.

I finally got the boyz fed and Theo promptly threw up his entire dinner in three different spots in the hallway.

I took him aside and gave him a stern lecture about how sometimes he seems so off in his own world that I don't even know if he considers our home his home; and how he needed to stop disobeying me (i.e. stop licking me when I ask him to stop); and stop bugging the other boyz when they don't want to play. I doubted any of my words got through but I barely saw him the rest of the night.

I woke up this morning and for the first time in weeks hadn't been woken up at any point during the night by Theo standing on my covers or head kneading me. I got out of bed and he was standing on the desk next to my bed that gives him a look out a window. He rarely has ever stood on the desk. I petted him and wished him a good morning and he looked straight at me with his big eyes as if to determine if I was still angry with him. I felt horrible about my outburst and let him know it came from a long long day at work.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Relax Guys

Theo and Thompson often look to Diego for new activities particularly those that might cause a little ire from the one who pays the bills.

One thing I dearly wish Diego would teach the other two is how to relax. Theo and Thompson both are much more high strung and jumpy. Diego-san emphasizes his species' infamous "cool" personality trait. He sometimes gets unruly and riled up (especially when Theo is chasing him all over the place) but he more often is calm, cool and collected.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Boom Baboom

Our great state fair started on Thursday. I live close enough to the fairgrounds where traffic (both pedestrian and vehicular) is pretty heavy and steady. For the boyz the worst part of the next ten days is that every night the fair closes with a fireworks show. It's great for me because I can watch it out the picture window in my living room but of course the explosions have the boyz on high alert.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Doll Revolution

One of the things my friends and family kid me about is my many celebrity crushes. Among the celebrities that have a special place in my heart are Sandra Bullock, Liz Phair, Uma Thurman, Winona Ryder, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck (Filarski).

The original celebrity crush however was on the lead singer of the Bangles, Susanna Hoffs. Back in the days I used to work in the record store my manager knowing about my crush would constantly kid me about Susanna's bug eyes and the way she said "cawps" instead of cops in the song "Walk Like an Egyptian."

One of the Twin Cities best musicians- Tina Schielske- who used to work at the store with me offered to set me up with her friend Missy Morales who Tina said was a dead ringer for Susanna. Unfortunately that date never took place.

Well last night I got to see the Bangles live for the first time in my life. They played at First Avenue, the club Prince made known, if not famous, in his movie "Purple Rain."

What a fabulously fun show. They opened with "A Hazy Shade of Winter." Next was the Elvis Costello song, "Doll Revolution" which was the title song of their last CD. "Manic Monday" was next and I was in absolute heaven watching Susanna grin ear to ear and do that look to the side thing she does with her eyes that still melts my heart. She dedicated "A Hero Takes the Fall" to Prince. The whistling part of "Walk Like an Egyptian" was replaced by the chorus of Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson." Cool. Way cool.

The highlights of the show for me were a superb version of Jules Shear's "If She Knew What She Wants" (a great, great song) and "Ride the Ride" a poppy tune from their last CD that featured the group's peerless vocal harmonies.

They've been out of the spotlight since the early 90's and I never thought I'd see them perform live so it was an absolute kick to go to the show. The bridge to "Doll Revolution" asks the musical question: "What's that sound that turns you around?" For me it was just about every song during the whole show.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Another Bad Habit

Because he still lacks confidence in his jumping ability even though his once injured back legs seem to work just fine when they need to, Theo doesn't so much jump up on things but rather still relies on his front legs to pull himself up on to the bed or sofa.

Likewise instead of climbing up to investigate Theo will often just try to pull an item- mail, hats, place mats, etc,- down off the table, desk, ledge that they lie on and when they are on the ground he can them sniff, lick, and paw at them to his heart's delight. Unfortunately his latest obsession is my iPhone. In the past few days if I leave the $600 item within reach and out of supervision Theo will pull it down on to the floor. I think part of his interest is in the case I bought that is some kind of rubber that protects it well from drops and falls. Still I wish Theo would leave my iPhone alone. It's a nifty little device but doesn't have much to offer for a lil kitty.

Stop it Theo.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I screwed up the boyz schedule big time today. I've been attending a conference located near my home the past couple of days so I've been leaving later and getting home earlier.

Today I decided to skip the afternoon session and go in to the office to attend a meeting. I stopped by my house and fed the boyz because after the meeting I was going over to M-'s to help her write a paper and after that I had a 9:00 p.m. softball game. Thus I didn't know when I'd be home to feed the boyz.

The early afternoon meal surprised them but I did have time to stop home before my softball game and they of course "forgot" that I already had fed them and wanted their next meal. Unfortunately for them (as expressed by Thompson in this photo) they had to wait until I got home again. Fortunately my team won our game.

The Great Rubber Band Hunter

Days after Diego-san moved into the house I noticed all the rubber bands were disappearing. Inevitably I'd find Diego off somewhere chewing on one. i thought to myself, 'this isn't good, wouldn't want him swallowing or choking on a rubber band,' so I hid them all.

I usually get a rubber band wrapped around my morning newspaper so I have to make an effort to remember not to just put it down anywhere. Whenever I do forget, Diego quickly finds it and starts to chew on it.

It's probably been over a year since I slipped up and left a rubber band lying around. This morning I put my morning newspaper rubber band far back on the kitchen counter on top of a coffee mug cover. It was almost as if I was testing Diego, thinking it's been a long time, and this is so out of the way he can't possibly hunt it down.

Sure enough when I got home there were cups knocked over on the counter and the rubber band was lying in the kitchen sink. I must admit, I'm darned impressed.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Being Bums

It was a cold and damp weekend. It pretty much drizzled or rained all day both Saturday and Sunday. It was the perfect weather to stay in bed and watch movies and baseball so that's what the boyz and I did.

Among the movies we watched were Clint Eastwood's bookend films about the battle of Iwo Jima- Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima. Both very good- the latter outstanding. Of course all the explosions and gunfire had Theo on edge.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Got to Get There

Work on my basement resumed after a brief vacation break. The boyz all made it known that they wanted to inspect the work. Diego in particular howled by the basement door just wanting to go where I wouldn't allow him to go. Electrical work has begun and not that there's any live wires down there but I just think it best to wait until all the work is done before the boyz get full access again.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Cats in Sinks

Someone pointed out the website Cats in Sinks to me. One can never tire of looking at cats in sinks. I'd submit this photo but it seems more appropriate for a website called not enuf room for cats in a sink.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Just Hanging Out

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Diego-san's little sister and how every time I come home to see this other black cat wandering the neighborhood it stops my heart thinking my boy has gotten out of the house.

Well Diego gave me quite the scare last night. I finished up my dinner and was doing the dishes. I noticed I hadn't seen or heard any of the three boyz for a while- usually a sign they are getting into something they shouldn't. I went to investigate. I saw Thompson lying on the carpet of the main level bedroom. I went into the bedroom and saw Theo and Diego both in the cat tree next to the open window.

Diego was half inside the house and half outside the house. The screen to the window had torn and he hung precariously outside taking in the smells. He easily could have slipped his entire body out the hole in the screen but for whatever reason had chosen not to do that.

I didn't want to scare him into jumping out of the house nor did I want him to think he was in trouble- he had merely leaned too hard on the screen. The screen had a slight tear in it before so his weight must have ripped the hole even larger. I calmly went over and moved him out of the window. I brought him to the kitchen to another open window and he seemed OK with that.

He hasn't been outside very often- just a few walks we took a couple of years ago. So despite all his bravado and his unmatched need to explore- maybe that big world out there even scares him a little.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Happy Cat's Day

I have a cat calendar hanging in my kitchen and I noticed this morning that yesterday was Happy Cat Day.

Like any kid I used to ask my mom and dad why there was a Mother's Day and a Father's Day but there was no kid's day. And like every parent they answered, "Because every day is kid's day."

Well, I haven't entirely investigated what this Happy Cat Day is all about but I do know in my house it can't be different from every day because in my house every day is Happy Cat's Day (especially around meal times).

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Uneasy Alliance

Diego-san and Theo have always had a complex relationship. I think Diego tends to look at Theo as someone he has to tolerate rather than enjoy having around.

I have noticed in the past couple of weeks however that Diego doesn't automatically just leave if Theo is in the vicinity. Indeed it's becoming more common that the two will lie next to each other.

Of course the full speed chases up and down stairs, around and through furniture, continue to the detriment of the detente.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mother Nature Has More Power than Papa

Saturday morning at 3 a.m. there was a storm that passed through with high winds and lots of lightning. I slept through the whole thing and was astounded when I scooted through my neighborhood to see huge branches, and trees lying all around.

Last night we got another storm that was very similar. The first wave of the storm came around 9 p.m. There was a lot of lightning and strong winds according to the TV stations that were on high alert and full warning status. This was occurring right at the end of Hell's Kitchen and the meteorologist that was all but screaming that the sky was falling did mention he'd go away and let us see the winner of the show. He did, but right as soon as the winner walked through the doorway to culinary award, the meteorologist cut back in.

That first wave of storm mostly missed my area. Then around 11:30 another huge storm came through. I was just about asleep lying next to Theo who was completely zonked out. Then the lightning started- and since I have nice skylights above my bed the whole room lit up. I looked outside and saw my trees swaying like crazy. The rain was really coming down. As the continuous lightning lit up the skies Theo soon was wide awake and looking more than a little apprehensive. Soon all three boyz were up and about looking out the windows and looking at me to see what I was going to do about things.

Diego-san dashed down to the living room to the place he takes safety from Theo's relentless play- the top of the piano. Thompson stationed himself on the cat tree looking out the front windows. Theo was more passive- staying in the hallway where there are multiple getaways and options.

The storm blew through without leaving any damage to my property and the only after effect is I'm very very tired this morning...

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Different Look

Last week I showed you Thompson's worried look. This week I'm showing you his content look. A nap in the sun will do that to a fella.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Happy B-day Diego-San

We celebrated Diego's fifth birthday. He got an extra couple of Greenies this morning and the boyz watched as I sang him Happy Birthday.

This day is Diego's designated birthday because it also is the birth date of his favorite human, A-. It also happens to be my sister's birthday and was my mother's birthday as well.

Happy birthday all.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Fourth Boy

This is the fourth member of my boyz- Bucky the Betafish. Bucky lives on my desk at work.

Earlier this summer a big old pickup truck knocked my scooter over in the parking lot of a restaurant. Part of the damage was my left rear view mirror was broken off. I finally got the mirror replaced a couple of days ago. I brought the knocked off mirror into my office and put it in front of Bucky's tank. Betafish apparently get quite feisty around other betafish and sure enough, Bucky puffed up bigger than a drunk's swollen eyelids. I'd bet anything Bucky could take that fish in the mirror.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Broken Bridge

One of the aftermaths of the collapsed bridge in Minneapolis is that any route I take to and from work has noticeably more traffic. Thus I've been getting home 15 to 20 minutes later than normal. This seems to have Thompson worried.

This is Thompson's worried look.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Make Up Time

I had a mid morning meeting near my house so I decided to take the afternoon off. I spent it with the boyz, watching a documentary on the writer Charles Bukowski. He had a cat who looked a little like Theo.

I took a lil nap with Diego and feel a tad more rested up.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Manic Monday

I had a late night at work and didn't get home until after 10:30 p.m. The boyz were quite restless and weren't shy about letting me know.

Thompson ran away from his "Hello Thompson how was your day? pat on the head." He stood in front of the closed basement door and yowled.

Diego-san didn't seem to know whether he wanted lots o' loving or to show me he was completely indifferent towards me. Theo wanted to be fed.

I wondered what happened during the day. Surely it wasn't just my absence that got all three boyz so wound up.

Monday, August 06, 2007

So Far, So Good

I let the boyz go downstairs and check out the progress on the basement. Diego-san inspected every inch, and made some auditory noises I've never heard him make before. It almost sounded like an "ahhh" and an "Ohhh" as if he was impressed by the framing work or the layout of the space.

Theo was reluctant to come all the way down the stairs. He kinda stood at the top and sniffed around. Eventually he joined Thompson and Diego in walking around. When I finally made the boyz go back upstairs and shut the door to the basement Theo was the one who stood outside the door and whined away- wanting to continue to check out this new part of his world.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


This past week Minnesota Twins traded away my favorite player, Luis Castillo. Castillo only played for the Twins one and a half seasons but he proved he was a very good, consistent second baseman and leadoff hitter. The reason he was my favorite player was he came across slightly goofy. Before each inning he would be the last to take his place on the infield and when he did run out of the dugout he would run in a circular path around the infield to his position. He would take his first practice throw from first baseman Justin Morneau and lob a high throw back. Before each at bat he would stand back to back with the umpire and make a cross before going to the batter's box. He was a fast runner but he walked around like a 90 year old man. I loved this combination of very good and idiosyncratic player.

Today, I felt a little like Luis Castillo. My softball team participated in the annual all day tournament. There were 16 teams and essentially you play until you lose two games. Usually we only win once and get eliminated by noon. Today we won our first game (I leadoff with a home run to set the tone) and also won our next two. We lost our first game after lunch and played two more before losing a second time to finish in second place. We lost both games to the ultimate champion, the local public radio station. By the third or fourth game my legs were aching and like Castillo I was hobbling around like a very old man.

The boyz must have missed their normal Saturday routine though, because when I got home I lay on the couch and took a nap while Diego and Thompson took turns sleeping on my chest. Theo quietly watched on the sofa across the living room.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Three Times

Three times during the night/early morning I heard Theo making the dreaded urping up noise. All three times I scrambled out of bed to try to move him so he wouldn't throw up on the carpet. Each time I'd approach him though, he'd run away.

The first two times he didn't urp anything up. This led to a theory that a cat can't throw up if they are running. I was about to make a note of that until the third incident. This time Theo did throw up while he was running leaving a trail down the hallway. D'oh!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

In the News

A bridge collapsed near downtown Minneapolis yesterday. It was part of the interstate that runs between the two twin cities.

I don't usually cross the bridge on a daily basis- probably only go that way 50 times a year because traffic is usually terrible in the area and I tend to use the side streets. The last time I crossed the bridge was after working late into the evening and since it is part of the quickest route home I decided to go that way. I discovered it was down to one lane due to construction so I made a mental note not to use that way the rest of the summer.

I had a friend coming over last night that lives near that area and I was telling her over the weekend that she probably wanted to take the side streets to my house because of the construction. When I turned on the news my thoughts immediately flashed to her wondering which way she decided to come. Thankfully she did avoid the freeway and she even called me to tell me she was going to be late because traffic in the area was understandably horrible.

As I watched the news coverage Thompson hopped up next to me and I couldn't help but think how random and sudden life is and how something can happen in the next minute that will change you forever. Thompson is such a great soul to share such thoughts with.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Diego-san's Lil Sister

Diego has a little sibling. There's a black cat with a fluffy tail that loves to lie in the middle of my neighbor's backyard. I don't think the cat belongs to my neighbor so he/she is wandering over from somewhere in the neighborhood.

Every time I get home and see this cat my heart skips a beat because I think to myself, "Diego has finally figured a way to get out of the house..."

This lookalike is quite a bit smaller than Diego however. One evening when I was doing my dishes I looked out the kitchen window and this cat was slinking up towards the house. He/she didn't appear to see me so when I tapped on the window it just about jumped 50 feet in the air. I don't think it's been back in my yard since- instead taking up its "residence" in my neighbor's yard. I also don't think Diego-san has seen his lil sibling yet which is probably a good thing- he doesn't need to be tempted to go outside for any reason.