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Flat cat

There she is, everyone – my one hen! In the absence of Spoon, this is the remains of my flock. This and three roosters. Don’t worry about her, though – she’s little and quick. She doesn’t have any unwanted chicken sex.

I’m late tonight because kitty isn’t himself and I’ve been trying to work out if he’s really ill. He was limping on his right back leg a couple of days ago, and now he’s just moving stiffly and subdued. I tried without much success to get some Metacam down his neck (kitty Ibuprofen – to my surprise, I had a bottle that was still in date).

If he’s still logy tomorrow, I’ll take him to the vet. Have to get a new cat carrier, though – the old one has been a chicken house since forever.

May 22, 2023 — 7:50 pm
Comments: 4

They’re not even my cats

Microchipping cats to become compulsory in the UK this year.

I know. I’m reduced to this. That’s just how boring and awful my day was today.

On a brighter note, some poor headline writer got to use “meow or never” – so that probably increased the quota of joy in the universe.

p.s. Yes. All my cats are chipped, always.

March 23, 2023 — 7:47 pm
Comments: 7

That baleful eye

Visitor at work this morning. I don’t think she’s a one-eyed cat, but only one eye is showing in all the images. Except the next pic: the cat’s butt going over the wall as I tried to get closer.

Well, I guess that’s technically one eye, too.

I know who owns her and where she lives, but that doesn’t means she’ll give me the time of day.

Not much to say for myself. Have a good weekend, everyone!

February 17, 2023 — 8:15 pm
Comments: 7

Pope Kitteh

I did not realize until Sissy Willis linked to this old post on her blog that the pope emeritus, Pope Benedict XVI, was a famous lover of cats. And it was mutual.

“Every time he met a cat, he would talk to it, sometimes for a long time. The cat would follow him. Once about 10 cats followed him into the Vatican, and one of the Swiss Guards intervened, saying ‘Look, your eminence, the cats are invading the Holy See.'”

Huh. An image search of “Ratzinger cat” turns up lots of images, bless ‘im. Anyway, looks like poor old Ratz isn’t well.

Perhaps Lady Bast will have him.

December 28, 2022 — 6:43 pm
Comments: 4

New fren

This girl was waiting for me at work today. Never seen her before. She was skinny, but I think she’s old. She seemed intrigued by her surroundings, so I have a suspicion she’s someone’s inside cat that managed to get loose. I kept checking for her through the day, but she didn’t come back.

I hope she’s safe and warm someplace – the weather is wild again today.

You, though – you need to get out and VOTE! VOTE LIKE THE WIND!

I understand machinery is on the blink in key cities and the news media has been calling it “totally normal” for the vote count to take days. How ever will we ever clean up the hot spots?

November 8, 2022 — 6:00 pm
Comments: 13

We saw the kitties…!

Our favorite cat rescue finally had an open day – first time since the lockdown. And it was packed. People are obviously thirsty for the old normal.

It’s a very long way for us to go when there are cat rescues nearer, but we particularly like this one.

No, we’re not shopping for a puss, we just like to hang out with them. The British cat rescue is a zen place. None of these rows of cages with sad kitties waiting on death row. They’re open and fenced. The cats swan around as they please, with cat trees and boxes and toys and litterboxes at regular intervals.

The cats don’t fight. It’s quite remarkable. We’re told it’s because no cat regards it as his territory.

This time, the poor cats were completely traumatized by so many elderly white women running after them talking baby talk. Most of them hid under or behind the buildings. A few swanned around and hissed if you got too close. It was a hot day, so many were in a foul mood.

It was wonderful.

I know what you’re thinking. “Weasel, that’s the ugliest damn cat I ever saw.” Well, nuts to you, Mister Skeptic. There was a lady with a hedgehog rescue booth there, too.

July 20, 2022 — 7:54 pm
Comments: 9

Wounded warrior

Fat cat went lame a few days ago. Very lame in his left rear leg. One of our cats was very similarly afflicted a few years ago and the vet said it was just a sprain and sent us home with some kitty ibuprofen.

So I ignored it, hoping he would get better on his own. But no. By this afternoon, he was looking into Uncle B’s eyes and making a high-pitched keening noise.

This time, the vet poked around and decided he’d been bitten on the ankle, probably by a rat. I mean, it was still just antibiotics and pain meds and wait, but I’m glad we took him.

We is having a rat problem. Oh yes we is. I’ve actually seen the buggers – always a bad sign. I’m like the johnny appleseed of rat poison right now. Stoaty Poisonseed.

Comes next the stinking dead rats.

May 12, 2022 — 4:47 pm
Comments: 16

Get me down!

Pretty high up for a fat boy. Most of the time, a cat picture like this actually a cat caught mid-yawn, but our lad there really was screaming at me.

He’s a talky boy, is our fat black-and-white. He’s shouting at me to get him down – not because he’s scared, but because he likes us to lift him down off high places. We call it playing tree.

And while I was searching for that post, I found this post of him as a lad, before he had the snip.

I also learned that 13 years ago, this blog was the number one hit on Google Images for “cat testicles.” Sadly, I’m not even on the first three pages any more.

Don’t google it. You will see things you can never unsee.

April 20, 2022 — 6:49 pm
Comments: 7

Charlotte’s best friend

That’s a poorly cast cement kitty sculpture we call Mr Grumpy Puss. It’s such a crude representation, I was astonished when my old cat Charlotte reacted to his appearance in the garden as if he were a real cat.

Charlotte hated other cats and was deeply suspicious of this one at first. After a few days, though, she would sometimes see her sitting on the lawn with him, keeping him company. From a safe distance, of course.

Interesting things go on in the little brains of cats.

Chickens, not so much. The flock have never reacted to him at all, other than to perch on his head and shit down his back from time to time.

That chicken is Violence. She was originally called Violet until we learned her true nature. All the lavender pekins I’ve had were jerks.

December 28, 2021 — 5:45 pm
Comments: 10

The saga of Jorts the cat

I linked to this in the previous thread, but it might be slightly easier to read in text. This is a Reddit thread in the AITA (Am I the Asshole?) subreddit. It’s long, but funny. Well, I found it funny.

AITA for “perpetuating ethnic stereotypes” about Jorts?

THE STORY We have two workplace cats in one area of our worksite. They add value to the worksite, we all love the cats and the worksite cat presence is not the issue. One of the cats (Jean) is a tortoiseshell cat we have had for years. The other cat (Jorts) is a large orange cat and a recent addition.

Jorts is just… kind of a simple guy. For example, Jorts can’t open a door even when it’s ajar— he shoves it whether he is going in or out, so often he closes the door he is trying to go through. This means he is often trapped inside the place he was trying to exit and meows until he is rescued.

My colleague Pam (not her real name) has been spending a lot of time trying to teach Jorts things. The doors thing is the main example — it’s a real issue because the cats are fed in a closet and Jorts keeps pushing the door closed. Jean can actually open all the other interior doors since they are a lever type knob, but she can’t open this particular door if she is trapped INSIDE the closet.

Tortie Jean is very nice to poor orange Jorts, and she is kept busy letting him out of rooms he has trapped himself in, so this seems easy to resolve. I put down a door stop.

Pam then said I was depriving Jorts of the “chance to learn” and kept removing the doorstop. She set up a series of special learning activities for Jorts, and tried to put these tasks on the whiteboard of daily team tasks (I erased them). She thinks we need to teach him how to clean himself better and how to get out of minor barriers like when he gets a cup stuck on his head, etc. I love Jorts but he’s just dumb af and we can’t change that.

Don’t get me wrong— watching her try to teach Jorts how to walk through a door is hilarious, but Jean got locked in the closet twice last week. Yesterday I installed a cat cutout thing in the door and Pam started getting really huffy. I made a gentle joke about “you can’t expect Jean’s tortoiseshell smarts from orange cat Jorts” which made Pam FURIOUS. She started crying and left the hallway, then sent an email to the group (including volunteers) and went home early.

In her email Pam said I was “perpetuating ethnic stereotypes by saying orange cats are dumb” and is demanding a racial sensitivity training before she will return. I don’t think it’s relevant but just in case, Pam is a white person in a mostly minority staff (and no she is not ginger/does not have red hair).

TL;DR: AITA for ‘enforcing an ethnic stereotype’ by joking that orange cats are often dumb?

And the follow-up

Thanks for responding to my query which had truly upset me. I work to have a good relationship with my team and the situation had gotten weird so gradually that I lost perspective.

I just met with HR, she had already met with Pam. HR was concerned about Pam’s comparing ethnic stereotypes with giving a cat a doorstop and they addressed that which went well. HR will follow up to make sure Pam understands. (The replies to my query were helpful to me for this discussion.)

HR also addressed Pam assigning other staff Jorts-related tutoring, as it is not appropriate for Pam to assign others work. This also went well.

We both think Pam had a hard time with the transition from volunteer to staff, and may have “new kid” sensitivity projected to Jorts. Pam got emotional about her perception that I favor Jean over Jorts and gave specific examples. Some of these things are fair. Jorts deserves respect as a member of our team.

There are 3 buildings in our workplace. Jean and Jorts are limited to one. HR told me there were 5 holdouts about vaccines, and restricting unvaccinated people from entering the building (to protect Jean and Jorts) was enough to win over 4 of them. That’s CRAZY, but great.

More importantly: the cats’ presence greatly enhances our work with our clients, and Jorts’ friendly nature has been so great. Both cats truly are doing important work. Truly Jorts deserves to be treated with respect.

We all deserve to be treated with dignity at work, so I will apologize to Jorts about some things that were insensitive or disrespectful.

a. Jean has a nice cat bed with her name on it, while Jorts has chosen an old boot tray in my office with a towel in it. Recently a visitor put wet boots in the boot tray and Pam saw Jorts sleeping on the wet boots. I bought a bed for Jorts today and a name tag has been ordered.

b. I will apologize to Jorts and remove the sign saying “DAYS SINCE JORTS HAD A TRASH CAN MISHAP: 0” Jorts likes to fish dirty paper cups out and he often falls into the bin or gets a cup stuck on his head, etc. (He is able to get out of the bin by tipping it over so it isn’t a safety issue.)

c. Jean’s “staff bio” has a photo of Jean, while Jorts’ bio has a photo of a sweet potato. I did not actually know either cat had a staff bio, but we will use a photo of Jorts instead of a sweet potato.

HR also suggested changing Pam’s duties so she is “in charge” of the cats. This I refused, the cats are my staff, not Pam’s. I think Pam was well-intended but actually not meeting the needs of either Jean or Jorts so they remain under my supervision. (Pam is also not to put cups on Jorts’ head or intentionally put him into frustrating situations given his unique needs.)

Lastly, and this made us both laugh so hard we can’t deal with it in person and will be said via email: Pam admits that she has been putting margarine on Jorts in an attempt to teach him to groom himself better. This may explain the diarrhea problem Jean developed (which required a vet visit).

Pam is NOT to apply margarine to any of her coworkers. Jean has shown she is willing to be in charge of helping Jorts stay clean. If this task becomes onerous for Jean, we can have a groomer help. I am crying laughing typing this.

Have a good weekend, everyone! Next week will be short and sweet.

December 17, 2021 — 6:31 pm
Comments: 8