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.”

The Things We Do For “Health,” and the Scourge of Domestic Drudgery

Tapeworms, tapeworms, jolly jolly tapeworms, eat them up- YUM!

The tapeworm diet was featured on an episode of 1000 Ways to Die not too long ago I know I probably shouldn’t watch that show so much, but it is entertaining in a dark way to see the convoluted manners in which some people have managed to earn their Darwin Awards. While the thought of going from a size 12 to a size 2 in a few weeks is tempting, the thought of flatworms burrowing through my vital organs and feeding on my blood and other important stuff gives me serious pause.  If we give dogs a monthly de-wormer (essentially this is what Heartgard and other products that contain Ivermectin do- kill off any worm larvae that end up in a dog’s bloodstream or intestinal tract) to prevent them from getting tapeworms, heartworms, and other assorted wormy life forms because they’re harmful to dogs, then it would stand to reason that it’s not healthy to harbor tapeworms in one’s innards.

It’s interesting to note that dogs are always susceptible to worms because of the rooting around and scavenging that they do in the course of their daily activity. There are even worms that are spread by fleas and other disgusting insect life, which is yet another reason to avoid insect infestations.  Dogs’ preoccupation with all things feces also predisposes them to exposure to all sorts of nasty things (sort of like little kids.)  The difference with dogs is that they seem to have much hardier immune systems than humans- at least in regard to infectious disease- and digestive systems that can metabolize almost anything.

Lilo (and every other dog on the planet) might consider cat poop to be the highest of rare delicacies, but she won’t eat lettuce.  Unless it’s soaked in Ranch dressing, that is.

I wonder if the health “benefit” one would gain by losing weight on the tapeworm diet would be negated by the effect of the tapeworms munching on stuff they shouldn’t be munching on.  It’s one thing if they’re sharing that chili dog you had for lunch, but quite another if they are making a meal out of your liver, or your brain.  I guess the bottom line on weight loss by parasite is that it’s probably ill advised.

As far as burning up calories the old fashioned way, a rousing round of housecleaning can do that.  Even though it can count as exercise, I hate cleaning.  I consider exercise to be a necessary evil also. I don’t like it, but I also don’t like the prospect of my ass being as big as the front end of my car.  I don’t want to be the one trolling through the Newark WalMart in search of size 20 underwear.

These could also be a car cover for my Yaris.  Just sayin’.

The problem with cleaning, in my house, is that it is an ongoing effort in futility.  Jerry can destroy hours’ worth of scrubbing and cleaning in one drunk-n-stupid episode, as was evidenced last night.  All he has to do is get good and besnookered, go out to “water the garden” at dusk, and then traipse back on in the house, flopping about, soaking wet with dog shit caked on his shoes.

Let me fling poo on your linoleum!  YAY!!

Yes!  My purpose in life has been fulfilled- scraping dog shit off of the linoleum in the foyer, and then in the kitchen (thank God I got to him before he made it to the carpet, which I had also just scrubbed and cleaned Saturday) and then getting to (joy and rapture) scrape the dog shit off his old-man velcro shoes and hose them down.  Then I got to peel his wet and dirty clothes off the bathroom floor, and had to clean the floor up too.  Never mind that I had scrubbed down and mopped the foyer, the kitchen and the bathroom on Saturday.  Apparently I needed to do it again.

I would hire cleaning people.  If I could afford them- and if I wouldn’t be embarrassed at what they might encounter.

I have found beer cans in places where beer cans should never go.  Beer cans next to the toilet (why not just eliminate the middle man and pour the Natties right on down the john?)  Beer cans in his underwear drawer.  Once I even found a beer can in the litter box, which is making me wonder if Jerry is going down there (the cat boxes are in the basement) and helping the dogs sample the recycled feline buffet.  If it were only beer cans, it wouldn’t be so bad, but Jerry’s filth parade goes far beyond beer cans.

Jerry is also an incorrigible smoker.  If he removes a cellophane from a cig pack, it ends up where it lands- on the table, on the floor, in a house with a mouse- wherever, as long as it’s not in the trash.  The cellophanes are just the tip of the iceberg, not to mention the bane of all vacuum cleaners, especially when encountered in combination with copious amounts of dog hair.   Jerry also has essential tremor, so the world is his ashtray, literally.  That’s part of the reason why it pisses me off so much when he smokes in my car.  I don’t think he can actually make the ashes land in the ashtray, (in the car or at home) and I’m doing good when he actually puts the butts out in the ashtray instead of (acck, acck, acck) the toilet (bad enough) or in the sink.  Removing nicotine stains from porcelain is just so much fun.  I need just such a hobby.

It’s just depressing to spend an entire Saturday cleaning and the place is trashed again by Monday night.

Some more enlightened souls may ask, “Doesn’t Jerry do his share of the cleaning?” I know that there are some men who understand the importance of helping with errands, cleaning and stuff like that when their wives also work.  However, the fact that I don’t have 24/7 to fetch stuff for, clean up after, and cook for His Nibs does not register with Jerry.   Not at all.  He was raised by wolves.  He willingly wallows in squalor as long as it means he doesn’t have to think about where the beer cans, cig pack cellophanes, or dog shit lands.

So forgive me if I’m no Martha Stewart.

I can cook, but you can leave the decorating and cleaning to people who don’t live with Jerry.

Despair, Venting and Cool 80’s Music

I’m trying really hard not to fall into the trap of despair.  I know I should be seeing the glass as half full rather than half empty and all that, and I’m responsible for my own attitude.  This being said, I’m trying to stay out of that festering pit of gratituous self pity that I can get mired in if I’m not paying attention.  Chronic depression, the mental disorder that keeps on giving.

I’m dreading my excursion to the Dr. on Monday.  I know that even though I’ve gained some ground in the Snot Wars that whole business has thrown both my blood sugar and blood pressure off whack, and neither of those have gone back down to where they should be.  I really, really can’t afford any more meds and tests and such, and it’s frustrating that I try to do the right things and I’m still screwed.  Sometimes I just wish I could just quit taking all the damned pills and shots and going through all the bullshit and just drop dead, but it’s not that easy.  Knowing my bad luck I’d just turn into a drooling vegetable and/or end up a double amputee or something and then be even more screwed, so I’m not going to take that path.

I’m also quite pissed off about the POMC and the financial aid bullshit he’s going through.  Supposedly he is still a “dependent student” even though a.) he works full time, b.) he pays all his own bills, and c.) is supporting his own child on top of everything else.  Where in the hell did they get this noise that he’s still a “dependent”- he doesn’t live with me and I can’t claim him or his expenses for tax purposes- SO why in the flying effing hell do they need my farking tax information if I”M NOT PAYING FOR HIM?????  Hello?  Obama, you jackass, is this what you call “education reform”- counting a student’s parents’  income  as if it were the student’s, even if the student doesn’t live with and/or isn’t financially supported by his parents so that it’s harder for the kid to get financial aid?   Of course this is his last year of school (YAY!) but every single time the kid has applied for financial aid he- and me by  proxy- has gotten nine kinds of shit.  Why do they have to make it so damned difficult?  Why the hell am I involved at all?  He’s a farking adult!!!!  Is he supposed to be a 21 year old titty baby?   He supports himself and provides a good deal of support for his own kid.  If anyone needs/deserves a break it’s someone like him who is 21 and NOT still leeching off his parents.  Does the government really think it’s a good idea for parents to support their adult children ad infinitum?  Is this their answer for lazy, ill-educated thugs who want everything handed to them and for their parents to cover for them until they’re 40?  It really gets on my freaking nerves.

 

I thought cutting him off the teat once he got teeth was the right thing to do, but apparently the government doesn’t think so!

Anyway, now that I’ve got that venting out of the way, maybe I shouldn’t be quite so pissed.  It could always be worse, but I guess the frustration is that I deal with the same shit over and over and over and it keeps coming back. 

On the bright side, I have been trolling about for even more MP3s for my collection to add to my cloud drive and player.  I was never much of a Rod Stewart fan back in the 80’s- I always thought him a bit too on the mellow side- but I’m enjoying some of his stuff now.  I have a lovely eclectic mix of tunes- mostly because I really can’t stand most of the local radio stations, and I can’t really narrow down all the music I like to one particular genre.  I like classical, I like blues and jazz and funk, and of course I get into rock and metal- especially the orchestral, grandiose rock of the 70’s and 80’s.  Maybe it’s because I played music long ago, and I studied classical voice, that I tend to be a bit fussy and perhaps even a bit highbrow at times.   I wonder if I could remember how to play bass after 15+ years of not playing at all.  I still have a voice and I still have the range (a little over 3 1/2 octaves- alto II through soprano I, believe that) but my age, lack of stamina and constant snots pretty much keep me from doing much more with that besides singing in the car and at church.  Yes I sing it loud and sing it proud in church.  Lutherans can get away with that.  I’m kind of curious to see on Sunday- I have to go to my nephew’s Confirmation- if the Methodists can crank it out. 🙂

I’ve got to get in a better state of mind.  Maybe a few rounds of “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” might help.

All the cool musicians looked better in 1981.

I have a good time with that- until I remember that Rod Stewart is older than my Dad.  Then I get kinda sorta creeped out.