“Normal?” – Not My Relatives! Wanna Pet My Kid’s Skunk?

steve-o and astro

Yes.  It’s a skunk. Yes. It is sleeping atop my offspring.

I am more of a dog person than anything.  I like cats too, and I have cats, but to me there is nothing like the relationship one can have with a dog.

I have no idea what got the POMC started in on skunks, other than he really doesn’t connect with cats, and he’s somewhat freaky about dogs. He was dog bit rather severely when he was nine.  His right hand might look normal now, but that dog chewed it up like burger meat and he has permanent nerve damage.  Dogs have pretty much given him the creeps ever since, which really sucks.

ferret

He had ferrets in high school, much to my mother’s disgust, because ferrets have a funk.  Even I can smell ferret funk, which means they must smell pretty nasty to most people.  Odor aside, they just never really thrilled me much.  I’ve heard them described as “cat snakes,” which is about right.  Dinky, sneaky little bastards as far as I’m concerned.

skunk

In the skunk’s defense, he is de-scented and the only thing about him that really smells is his shit.  Skunk shit is nasty, nasty, nasty.  The skunk himself, however, is very clean and doesn’t really have a smell to him.

Even so, I’d rather deal with a dog or a cat.  Skunks have sensitive digestive systems and special nutritional needs. They have to have their food specially prepared (sort of like feeding a toddler) unlike a dog or cat who can eat prepackaged dog or cat food and be cool with it.  It’s also a real pain in the hiney to find a vet who will deal with skunks.  Their anatomy and physiology is nothing like dogs or cats, so the vets that will work with them generally cost up the wazoo.

exotic vet

Most vets don’t want to see anything that isn’t a cat or a dog.  I can’t say I blame them.

Skunks are a vector for rabies in the wild, which is enough to scare off most people from owning them.  However, the truth is that the only way for any mammal to get rabies is to be bitten by something with rabies.   Domestic, captive born skunks don’t have rabies, and won’t get rabies unless something with rabies bites them.  Captive born and kept indoors, skunks are just as safe to keep as a pet (and not a rabies risk!) as an indoor cat.

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Harmless as Jezebel? I don’t give my indoor cats rabies shots because there’s no way for them to get bitten by something that’s rabid.

Lucy

The dogs do get rabies shots because a.) they go outside and therefore in theory can be bitten by something rabid, and b.) state law requires it.

I am one of those weird people who can really go off on bizarre tangents at times.  I bought – and read with fascination-  this book some while back- Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus..  It’s a compelling read on a rather off the wall subject.  I will have to let the illustrious offspring borrow this one if he’s in the mood for some enlightening late night reading. Of course my tastes in literature are mostly non-fiction (science and history) and often tend to gravitate toward the macabre.

I don’t think I have one “normal” relative.  Not one.  My son passes for normal most of the time, but they are all certifiable.

Mom is probably the one that’s the closest to the cuckoo’s nest- she’s bi-polar with a heaping helping of anxiety, OCD, and extreme naïveté to go along with it.  Jerry is a laundry list of fun beginning with adult ADHD, Helpless Man syndrome, and ending with a rip roaring case of what I call “functional drunk.”

Dad’s gotten a lot more fun since he’s gotten old. It wouldn’t surprise me that like his own father he decides now that he’s 70 years old that, “I’m not old. I’m middle aged.” Nobody had the heart to tell Grandpa when he turned 70 that it was highly unlikely he’d see 140, but he did live to be 91.   I guess it’s all about your attitude.

There’s a phenomenon with some older people where their frontal lobe (the “traffic cop” of the brain) sort of wears out and doesn’t screen one’s conversation as thoroughly as it once did, or probably should.

So Dad, who used to be rather tight-lipped and taciturn, has gotten rather cheeky as he ages.  His oh-so scathing commentary is starting to remind me of my grandmother and great-grandmother (ironically my mother’s mother and grandmother, go figure) and it’s a hoot. It drives Mom nuts, on the rare occasion she actually gets the reference and/or the double entendre. I’m glad that most of the time it goes over her head, for her own sanity and well being.

Mom has her own special brand of near-senility which is even more creepy than my Dad flipping off traffic.  She has always gravitated to the mega-weird parts of Catholicism which is downright scary, but the older she gets the more she watches EWTN, goes to Mass and Confession, and is grabbing on that rosary.  Normally I would say religious disciplines would be a good thing, but she gets Really Weird with it.  She thought that if she left EWTN on all the time full blast that the POMC would see the Catholic light and become a priest.  Never mind that he’s pretty much agnostic and really creeped by “men in dresses.”

To top that off, she’s also blithely ignorant that it’s really, really gauche to ask someone who is a confessional Lutheran and who has done a lot of theological and spiritual soul searching to come on down to the Catholic cathedral to venerate some dead saint’s bones.  Apparently the Catholic school she went to didn’t teach too much about Martin Luther, the 95 Theses, and the Reformation.

I had to decline the bone-gazing and necromancy out of conscience, but as far as she knows I declined because I had to do laundry.  I’d rather tell a little white lie – though I really did do laundry- than go through a detailed theological dissertation on why I don’t venerate saints’ bones.  I don’t need to hurt her feelings.

Even the POMC is borderline OCD. His car and motorcycle both are testament to that.

Both of my sisters could be called “castrating bitches,” due to the fact that they both can run a man like a railroad.

And here I sit with my own frailties and funky wiring.

This Message is Jezebel-Approved, Good News, and So Forth

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Jezebel likes it. Whatever it is.

I love black cats, and I especially appreciate Jezebel.  I acquired Miss Jezebel in October of 2012- she was live trapped on the body shop lot when the owner of the shop requested we trap some feral cats for him to transport up to his horse barn.  I told Jerry that the shop owner could have any cats we trapped, but if one happened to be a young, black female kitten that I wanted it.  We trapped several cats- some grey kittens, a couple of adult calicos and so forth, but one night we ended up with the Perfect Cat.  Young (about 7 weeks,)  all black, and female.  The only problem with Jezebel at that time was that she was feral, and fiercely so.

I warned Jerry to handle her with welding gloves…at least until we could get her through a socialization process.  He learned the hard way that kitten baby teeth can still penetrate (and latch on to) the webbing between one’s forefinger and thumb, and that something that weighs less than a pound can inflict a shit ton of damage under the right circumstance.

There is a process for taming feral kittens which is generally effective (this site outlines it well under “Taming Feral Kittens” ) and it took about 2 weeks with Jezebel.  Now it would be hard to tell that she was ever feral as well as she gets along with people, other cats, and dogs.  This is probably only because we got to her very young.   She’s probably the most laid back cat I’ve had with the exception of Miz Izz, may she rest in peace.  Isabel was also a tamed feral, but Isabel was even younger than Jezebel was when we got her.    Older cats usually don’t do too well.

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Jezebel is 2 years old and all of 5#.  Almost exactly the same size Isabel was.

Miss Jezebel is not my only cat.  I also have Fanny, who is 17# of big, fat cat.  Fanny was bigger than Jezebel is now by the time Fanny was four months old. It’s strange how the variations work, but Fanny was of what I would call rural barn cat stock, while Isabel and Jezebel were city ferals.  Even the male city ferals around us are nowhere near as large as Fanny.  Perhaps small size has its advantages in the city.

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Fanny only looks small in the first pic.  In the second, the freezer gives one a sense of scale.

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This is F.B. (Fluffy-Butt) who generally won’t allow pictures.  She’s a sweet cat, but very reclusive.

F.B. is our only normal sized cat.  We inherited her several years ago when we got Heidi, but we really don’t know much about her other than she was spayed and that she was a few years younger than Heidi.  If I had to guess her current age she’s somewhere between 11 and 13.  The first six months or so that we had her she pretty much lived under the basement stairs, but now she is social with the other cats and the dogs.

corolla

It’s baaa-ck!

My awesome ride has finally been returned to me, thankfully with a flawless paint match and with everything lined up as it should be.  There was a smattering of body dust on the inside of the decklid from where it had been repaired, but other than that no real reason to split hairs.  I’d almost forgotten how much better the stereo is in the Corolla vs. the truck.  Now I just have to get used to the shift pattern again (traditional Toyota 5 speed vs. the sort-of-screwy VW shift pattern that Toyota uses on the 6 speeds)  and the brakes.  I almost put myself through the windshield a couple of times this morning.  The brakes are a lot more touchy.

steel-panther

Steel Panther- yeah!

Speaking of reasons to crank up the stereo.  I know they’re vulgar, sophomoric, puerile and vile, but I recently discovered an ’80’s hair band knockoff called Steel Panther.  This stuff is positively hilarious.  The video for  “Community Property” . is pretty good as well as is the one  for “Pussywhipped” although I would caution not to watch that one if you are offended by depictions of ball sacks.   I also enjoy the inspirational, “Just Like Tiger Woods.”

It’s a pretty good day.  Especially for being in February.

A Road Trip for Miz Izz, The Gene Pool Needs Chlorine, and Entropy Can Be Entertaining

Isabelnotamused

15 is ancient, if you’re a cat.

I had to take poor Miz Izz to the vet on Saturday.  I did so with a bit of trepidation, because when a cat’s 15, anything can be the prelude to the dirt nap.  She has a funky condition on the pads of her front paws called plasma cell pododermatitis or what is commonly called “pillow foot.”  The paw pads swell up and sometimes even crack and bleed (this was the reason I took her to the vet.) Weirdly enough, it’s not a particularly dangerous condition, but given Miz Izz’s age, it can’t be surgically corrected.  The risk of surgery on a 5#, elderly cat is not worth the potential benefit, because it’s neither painful nor life threatening according to the vet.  It can be managed with occasional steroid/antibiotic injections and scuttlebutt has it that essential oils and Vitamin E can be helpful as well.  So she’s back on the fish oil and Vitamin E supplement which I probably should not have stopped giving her.  It does make her coat nice and shiny, and she doesn’t object to the taste, so if anything I don’t see where it would do any harm.

Most cats go ballistic in the car and have meltdowns in the vet’s office.  Not Miz Izz.  She will sit on the exam table quietly and let the vet do her thing.  Isabel was cooperative even when she was very young.  I can just zip her up in my hoodie and carry her around with no problem.  Jezebel also lets me just put her in my hoodie, and is just as laid back about the vet and riding in the car as Isabel is.  Fanny freaks out.  She is well near impossible to transport and has to be in a carrier.  I’ve not had to attempt transport with F.B.   F.B. is usually quite sanguine, but she does put up a wicked struggle over getting her flea treatment.

 Redneck-chick

Some people are very easily entertained.

The photo above is further evidence of the devolution of mankind.  Fifty years ago these people’s grandparents would have been engaging in the fine pastime of ballroom dancing:

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All I can think of is how bad those skirts have got to ITCH!

Every time I go to WalMart, I am reminded of how badly the gene pool needs chlorine.  Either that, or it might help to provide more full-length mirrors in public places so people can see how bloody ridiculous they look.  When your ass is the size of a Toyota Corolla, Spandex pants and a halter top are not sensible wardrobe choices.

It also doesn’t help to try to put camo pants over rhinoceros size butt cheeks.  The camo effect is lost when you’re working with that much surface area.

I ended up having to go home this afternoon with a nasty sore throat.  Yes, I went and had a strep test because it came on rather suddenly (the preliminary test was negative) so I am in bed swilling tea and wishing Jerry would shut up about not being able to find anything in the kitchen.  I’m not fetching anything for him.  I’m trying to get this shit to go away because I really don’t want to call off work tomorrow.  I have the vacation time, and the thought of a whole day of drinking tea and watching History Channel could be interesting, but I really hate taking days off (especially unplanned) because I end up having to fix nine kinds of disasters when I get back.

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I have, but dammit, I’m sick!

I Don’t Wanna Talk About It (But I Will Anyway,) and I Love Lucy

Lucy

Lucy is clearly not a Belgian Malinois (most likely Bulldog and Beagle) but as Mick Jagger once sang: “You can’t always get what you want /But if you try sometimes /You just might find /You get what you need…”

Even considering the insight of the Rolling Stones, I didn’t really need a third dog.  Even so, I was surprised it took Jerry from May to September to end up with another dog.  I wanted another Malinois for Miss Clara to mentor, (and I still do) but when a stray dog (almost) got into it with one of the ankle biters at the campground over table scraps, Jerry had to intervene, and rightfully so.  I couldn’t say no to that face and those eyes.

Either we took Lucy with us, or she’d have ended up with an ass full of buck shot, as the owner of the ankle biter in question would not hesitate to do it.  It was a no-brainer.  We took Sheena, messed up as she was, because she needed a home and we had a space.  Lucy, even though I have little to no experience with either bully breeds or hounds, has a lot more going for her than poor Sheena did.

young female malinois

This is a young female Malinois- not Lucy!

Unlike Sheena, Lucy can hear. Lucy also has teeth. She has a bit of an underbite, (normal for Bulldogs) but she still has 42 sturdy, clean, white teeth.  She’s also young (about a year, according to the Vet) and to our shock, had already been spayed. I feel bad that she was put under anesthetic and cut on only to find out she’d already been spayed, but how were we to know?  In spite of undergoing what proved to be an unneeded surgery, she’s in impeccable health- aside from having to lose a pound or two from her incessant moochings at the campground. (Who can resist those eyes and that face?) She should get down to a proper weight now that she’s on Diet Plate with Lilo and eating pretty much just dog food.  She also has a microchip and tags now, should she manage to wander off from us.

I don’t know why anyone would bother to spay a dog and then not microchip her, or bother to put a collar and tags on her, but that’s not my call.  Against my first instincts, I love this weird looking little dog, even though she waddles when she walks and drools in her sleep.  Even the cats are chumming up to her and kissing on her, (Jezebel especially loves dogs) which makes me wonder if she really went off on the ankle biter, or that if the ankle biter’s owners were just paranoid that she was hanging around and mooching.  Then again, in our house the cats don’t compete with the dogs for food.  The cats eat in a dog-free area, otherwise the cats wouldn’t get to eat at all.  As far as competing with the other dogs, Clara and Lilo are both a lot bigger than Lucy, and she strikes me as being smart enough not to pick a fight with either one of them.

old boobs

I’m starting to think my tits have mistaken themselves for migratory birds, as they have moved so far south.  I know my grandmother warned me when I was 13 that I should always wear a sturdy bra, and for the most part I have heeded her advice, but the effects of gravity, like those of other forces associated with entropy, are inevitable.

Aging sucks, especially when it challenges your deeply held belief that it won’t happen to you.

I’ve been trying to avoid the political landscape as that whole scene is just plain depressing.  I knew what a piece of work our illegitimate president was before he cheated himself into office the first time.  I’m not at all surprised by what’s going on, even though it’s puzzling to me why the illegitimate fraud squatting in the White House hasn’t been impeached, removed and deported by now.

-Apparently playing the race card can still get you very far even with no experience, talent or ability to cooperate with others, and apparently not enough people care that you are illegitimate and lacking any sort of merit, if you can claim a favored minority status- and that makes my blood boil.

Anyway, I told myself I would avoid political tangents today so I am trying very hard not to.  The bad part about trying to avoid doing something is that if you avoid it too hard you step right into it, sort of like when I try to go out in the back yard and try not to step in dog shit.  Usually when I’m hell bent on avoiding dog shit is exactly when I step in it.

Oh, the parallels between stepping in dog shit and the illegitimate, destructive and dangerous Obama administration.  The only difference is that dog shit washes off.

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Today is a New Day, the Hardest Things to Do, and More Victorian Post Mortems

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As much as I dreaded what I had to do last night, I have an odd sense of peace about it.  Sheena’s not suffering anymore.  Even until the end she was herself- conscious, aware, but trapped in a body that couldn’t work right anymore.  She lost the use of her back legs Wednesday afternoon.  All we could do for her until the vet could come last night was to try to keep her clean and offer her water as she wanted it (she was not interested in food.)

I know all too well the scientific/medical reasons for Sheena’s rapid decline.  She’d had mammary growths removed twice.  The first time I didn’t send out for pathology, (there is only one veterinary pathology lab in Ohio, at Ohio State, and  it’s expensive and time consuming to get results) but the second time I did, and the lab said those were benign, but then the growths came back with a vengeance.  More than likely- at least the third go-round, anyway- it was mammary cancer, which can be virulent and spreads quickly in dogs.  By the time I had noticed the mammary growths again (round 3) there were growths in her “armpits” or more accurately, under her forelegs, (lymph nodes abide there in dogs, just as they do in humans) and I decided that I would not subject her to more surgery.  If anyone can gain anything from this experience it is that spaying dogs early can help prevent mammary cancer.  Sheena had several litters of pups before we found her.  We had her spayed, but spaying a 5 year old who’s had several litters doesn’t prevent cancer as effectively as spaying before the first heat.

Sheena didn’t have a good luck of the draw. She was deaf.  She was without a doubt inbred.  She had severe HD to the point of pretty much not having hip sockets at all.  Her teeth were a disaster from the cage biting.  Her physical coordination was worse than mine.  By all accounts, Sheena was “defective merchandise.”  But she was my dog, and she had a heart of gold.  Part of me wanted to end her suffering, but another part of me finds it hard to let her go.

Clara and Lilo know where she’s buried.  The two of them (they are both older than Sheena was) are still in good health, for which I am thankful.  Clara and Lilo have always been close, but as soon as they figured out Sheena was dying they have been almost joined at the hip.  Lilo has been carrying Sheena’s favorite toys around, and Clara has been rolling in the places that still must smell like her.   Dogs grieve, too.

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Today is a new day, but saying goodbye to a friend is always one of the hardest things to do.  It’s got to be the hardest thing about life with dogs and cats.  They just don’t live that long.  For me, while it’s painful to say goodbye, it’s even more painful and empty to choose not to share life with dogs and cats.  No, I am not looking for another #3- I think I’ll let Clara and Lilo enjoy things with just two dogs.  I have four cats, after all.

The problem is, I know those are the famous last words.  If I know Jerry, we will be back to three dogs within the month.

While I’m in the realm of the macabre, and still feeling a bit melancholy, I’ve found a few more of everyone’s favorites: Victorian-era post mortem pics.  Yeah, I know it’s creepy, but as popular as these things are I can’t be the only one who finds them grotesquely fascinating.

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I think this one was a mob hit- got the entire family, which was sort of sick.

baby two-heads

This one is more tragic than anything.  It’s bad enough these twins were likely stillborn, but for someone to want $756 for the original print?

baby stoned

This one sort of leads me to wonder if this child was OD’d on one of the many patent medicines of the day- that contained opium and alcohol?

I bet it happened a lot more than was ever found out.

baby cradle

From the unnatural position of the legs and arms, I almost thought this was a kid’s doll,

but then in Victorian times nobody would have wasted an expensive photograph on a doll.

Artificial Intelligence, Planning a Solitary Get-Away, and Cat Logic

blue hair

Let’s face it.  Most American women over the age of 35 use some form of hair color.  I started going grey in my mid-20s, so I’ve been using hair dye for a very long time.  I like the concept of gainful employment, otherwise I would try a variety of hair colors- electric blue, hot pink, deep purple, etc., but that sort of body décor is frowned upon in the very conservative automotive community.  Tats (which I don’t have) are OK as long as they aren’t on your face or hands, and piercings are generally only for women’s earlobes, (I do have pierced ears) but hair color is something that should at least remotely look natural.

Most of my contemporaries go the blonde or blonde highlights route to disguise their grey, but for me there’s a problem with that.  Since my skin tone could best be described as a half shade darker than albino, (tanning is out of the question) and I have a very round, moony looking face to begin with, blonde hair does not become me.  The platinum blonde that my sister, and many of my contemporaries prefer, would make me look like a giant moon-faced, troll-proportioned mutant.  I still have the troll-like mostly torso type body (short arms and legs, etc) but at least I look sort of normal- from the neck up.

For awhile I tried to match my hair’s original mousy brown, but I never really liked mousy brown much either, and the problem with attempting to match mousy brown is you end up with funky looking dark ends.  So I took the advice of a hairdresser from a trendy (read: expensive) hair salon: cut it short, and dye it black.  It seems to be the least offensive color/style, and dark ends aren’t an issue when they’re already black.

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1987 vs. 2007- at least I didn’t do the California raisin thing…like my sister…

The illustrious Steve-o says every time I dye my hair I am “putting on artificial intelligence.”  Whatever, dude.

Here you can simply enjoy the nature and your life

Someplace like this- accessible only by boat would be nice- would be ideal!

Last year I tried to schedule three entire days for myself, in the camper we already have down in Lancaster.  That worked for about three hours- until Jerry showed up with his loud, whiny self- and the other two dogs.  What was supposed to be three whole days of quiet, reading and rest, with just Clara, became two and a half days of dog-herding, Jerry-whining, NO quiet, and a wicked sinus infection from hell.  I ended up leaving early, after I’d begged and pleaded with the Dr’s office to call me in a script in an attempt to assuage the overthrow of my entire upper respiratory tract by the Endless Green Snots.  Of course, Jerry wasn’t to blame for the sinus infection, but he did his best to make it even more intolerable.  Some “vacation.”  I’d been better off, as far as stress, if I’d just stayed at work.

This year I am going to have to employ a different strategy, should I want a real vacation, and find a remote place to stay (but that has electricity, running water and flush toilets) that Jerry can’t find.  I’m thinking a little different area in the Hocking Hills, or a bit further south.  Maybe my sister will have her summer house in Kentucky habitable this year and I can beg a few days alone down there.  The only problem with my sister’s place is that the drive down there is rather lengthy and can be harrowing.  There is no Sprint access within at least 15 miles, either, so I’d have no e-mail, internet or even people pestering me on the phone.  Then again, those things aren’t technically “problems”- it just means that Jerry would be less motivated to try to find it and follow me, and it would be a forced hiatus from technology and pretty much everything else, which might be exactly what I need.

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Fanny is a BIG cat.

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Jezebel doesn’t care.

It’s actually funny to see them banter about.  How Jezebel rolls Fanny over and smacks her in the chops, I’ll never know, as Fanny is about five of Jezebel, but I’m glad that when all is said and done they eat out of the same food bowl and they have no problem with crashing together on my bed.  All four of our cats get along relatively well.

There’s a show on Animal Planet called “My Cat from Hell.” It’s interesting to see some of the solutions Jackson Galaxy offers, but what he suggests usually works.  That’s impressive in and of itself.  I’ve seen some weird stuff on that show, but I’d chalk most of it up to neurotic/weird/paranoid owners.  If you’re deranged, your cat probably will be too.

Cats and Dogs, the Natty Impaired, and Physical Fitness

petting chartI love this chart, because for the most part, it’s true.

Most dogs are not terribly body sensitive.  Sheena is a bit head-shy, but I think that’s because she’s deaf, which means she’s highly reliant upon what she sees and she doesn’t want anything to obstruct her vision.  Lilo is extremely body sensitive (don’t even try to touch her feet or tail without giving fair warning) for a dog, but she’s an exception rather than a rule.  Clara must think she’s a cat, because she adores having her butt scratched as much if not more than a typical cat.

Isabel and Jezebel (the two black cats, and the oldest and youngest) are cling-on cats.  They love attention, seek it out, and can’t get enough physical closeness, petting, cuddling, etc.  Fanny (the behemoth silver tabby and white) and F.B. (Fluffy Butt, the tortoiseshell Angora) are both more selective about who they want attention from, for how long, and when.  They have their moments of wanting attention, but they also have their moments of being downright anti-social.  Especially Fanny.

jezebel isabelMe (Isabel- right) and Mini-me (Jezebel- left)

Jezebel is not going to be a terribly large cat.  Isabel is very small for an adult cat (just over 5#) and Fanny was bigger than her by the time Fanny was three months old.  Jezebel is about 18 weeks old at this point and is maybe 2 1/2- 3#.  Jezebel will likely grow and fill out a bit after she’s spayed, but I doubt if it will be by much.  Isabel’s spayed too.  Cats do most of their growing before their adult teeth come in.  Jezebel already has her adult incisors and canine teeth (yes, cats are carnivores and therefore they possess four elongated canine teeth, like all other carnivores) and it likely won’t be long before she gets the premolars and molars too.  An interesting (nerd alert) aside- a cat is actually more of a true carnivore than a dog, because a cat is an obligatory carnivore that requires meat in their diet to survive, whilst dogs can survive without meat in their diet.  Cats cannot manufacture their own taurine, which is an essential amino acid that has to do with vision and regulating heart beat.  Dogs (and humans) can manufacture their own taurine, but cats can only get taurine from meat in their diet.

Vegans beware- put your cat on a vegan diet and it will soon go blind and then die- so don’t impose your meatless lifestyle on your cat.   Or on me for that matter.  I may not need meat to live, but I sure do like it.

snickersF.B. is a beautiful cat, but she despises cameras.  I was lucky to get this one.

F.B. is probably the quietest and most unobtrusive of my cats.  She likes attention if it’s one-on-one, and she loves to just chill with the other cats. For the most part she sits back and observes, and sleeps.

fanny2Fanny was aptly named.  That’s what I get for listening to Queen.

Fanny is huge.  17# for a female cat is big.  She has big bones, and she has big meat on the big bones also, which is ironic because Isabel and Jezebel- each- eat more than she does.  They are tiny and svelte, yet they are eating machines.  Fanny is a fussy eater who eats only a very few things, (for instance Fanny refuses Vienna sausages, which the other cats adore) and she slowly and methodically chews each bite.  I feel for Fanny and her metabolism.    She also has a bit of a jealousy complex and an attitude.  She was not at all happy about Jezebel coming in and taking her position as the young petulant indulged one, even though Fanny’s four years old and should be over it by now.

claranlilo1Clara and Lilo have always been close.  Sometimes Lilo will get into Clara’s crate with her.

Clara (top) and Lilo (bottom) have been close ever since we got them.  Clara had been with us a few months when we got Lilo, and they are only a few months apart in age.  Even now that they’re older (Clara’s 10, Lilo’s 9) they still occasionally play tug of war with their toys and play-fight with each other.

tugofwar3They still enjoy this, even though Clara’s bigger and usually wins.

sheena311Sheena is well, Sheena.  She is her own dog.

Sheena’s part Husky.  Sheena has a number of flaws that are consistent with inbreeding- severe hip dysplasia, deafness, gross motor deficits (may or may not be related to HD) and she’s downright goofy.  Maybe some of her cognitive deficiencies are related to the fact that she used to live at the Tetanus Farm which was also a puppy mill and (suspected) meth lab.  There’s a reason why it’s a bad idea to procreate with first degree relatives, and that applies to dogs as well as humans.  But Sheena’s endearing in her own weird way.  I have a soft spot for rejects and misfits.  That must explain Jerry.  A warning to women: if a guy’s 38, straight, and never married, there is a good reason why.

Today begins Jerry’s fitness program.  He’s the one who wanted a membership at the Y and actually gave me money to pay for it.  This is almost scary in a way.  I can’t imagine Jerry in work out clothes, on a treadmill or elliptical, or lifting any sort of weight over 12 ounces.

He will be so disappointed when he discovers the only fluids available at the Y are water, diet soda and fruit juice, and there are no beer holders on the cardio machines.  But I will be happy if he at least goes and gives it a try.

On the other hand, I am anxiously looking forward to enjoying the indoor pool, being able to swim laps starting at 5:30 in the morning, and being able to work out on the ellipticals. Swimming and elliptical machines are two modes of exercise that allow me to get the cardio and strength training I need without destroying my joints even more than they are already.  The Y also has nice showers, so if I choose to go there to work out before work instead of working out at home, I can actually swim laps, do some cardio, and then shower and go to work from there. Nice.

jerry richard simmons

Hopefully he won’t think this is what I mean by “work out clothes.”