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Posts Tagged ‘cat herding’

A friend asked for an update on the cat naming conundrum, and I had to report that it is still under discussion.

“I don’t know why this is so hard but it is. All we know is that Argyle doesn’t feel quite right, but nothing else does either. I think it’s a matter of getting to know him better.”

You’d think that a writer would have an easier time with this sort of thing, but I’ve been focused on the importance of finding the right name.

In an effort to make us feel better, our friend sent this:

And I do:)

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What’s My Name?

We’re still discussing whether to change the new cat’s name. Nothing seems quite right yet. His current name, Argyle, has a certain dignified cachet but doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue (or lend itself to endearments; Argie? Ugh; unless he becomes a pirate… which could be cool).

Here are just some of the many possible alternatives (and thanks to fellow cat-owned friends for helping with this list):

  • Bear
  • Dyson, Vacuumer of Food
  • Fezzik
  • Furrdinand
  • Gandalf
  • Hagrid
  • Nanook
  • Orion
  • Purrcules
  • Thunder Cat “Raiden,” Lord of Cuddles and Electrostatic Shocks
  • Tigger

* * *

Photo by Bogdan Farca on Unsplash

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Cat Tale

This is a story about the cat. Also other things.

Lord Argyle suffered through his first trip (with us) to the vet today.

Like so many other vets these days, ours is extremely busy. Between pandemic restrictions, new pet owners, reduced hours and practitioners, vets are having to deal with a lot lately.

Why It’s So Hard to Find a Veterinarian These Days – The Atlantic

Our original meet and greet appointment was scheduled for mid-October, but when we noticed that our fellow was having some issues, they got us in right away. Our vet really is great. 

And yes, I made her brownies.

The final report was not bad. Not 100%, as he is having some allergic reactions, has a weird hole in his gums and oh yes, weighs sixteen pounds.

Sixteen! Big is fine, but we want to make sure he’s healthy too.

So while we think most of these issues will be relatively easy to resolve, we have a bit of work to do.

* * *

Heading home, cat loudly protesting the recent indignities, I watched a thought fly by.

“I was hoping this time would be a little easier. What if he’s not ok?”

To which the rest of me responded, “Are you kidding? One, you are not bleeding, so this cat is definitely easier than Neko.”

Truth.

“Two, if our three-year old cat were instead a newly-rescued kitten, he would have other issues. Fun stuff like conjunctivitis, bad digestion, ticks, fleas and worms.”

Also true. Ew.

“And three, if you went for a check-up today you would have issues too. Are your teeth perfect, your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar ideal, your heart rate and joints and eyesight all functioning at peak levels? Do you exercise enough? Do you eat only what you should and not what you shouldn’t?”

Wellll… You may have a point.*

“And yet, your life is good. Not perfect, but good. Do your best and his will be too.”

Ok. You’re right. 

Here’s to a good life. 

Not perfect, but good.

* * *

* Erm. See the previously mentioned brownies.

* * *

Photo by Jonas Vincent on Unsplash

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My version of that one (super true) cat meme:

Super super true.

Also, kitty needs a new bed.

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The new cat is settling in. Despite the initial freak out and subsequent hiding marathon, today he came out from under his chair and decided that we would be allowed to pet him. We spent an hour demonstrating our kitty servant bonafides, and he graciously decided to give us a chance.

Progress, hooray!

* * *

Photo by Jonathan Cooper on Unsplash

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I may have mentioned our adventures in kitten trapping over the past couple of years (short version: hard but rewarding, remote cameras for the win).

Here are two organizations that were great as we tried to keep the neighborhood from being overrun by adorable, yet vulnerable, kittens:

The good people in these groups have done an amazing job even under the stresses of the pandemic, which has increased demand for pets but also restricted a lot of shelters and the vet services they need.

Fortunately, we were able to help our local cat rescue groups get a lot of kittens off the street before winter. Just as an example, take a look at two of the kittens we saved: Comet and Dasher. So cute!

If you’re in the market for an adorable fur friend, check out the adoption pages at these or your local rescue groups. We’re not ready for a new cat just yet but when we are we’ll go through a group like this.

* * *

Cuteness is our superpower. Photo by Ilse Orsel on Unsplash

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The cat is at the vet today. Is she happy about it? Let’s just say that we should have worn earplugs in the car, and that the vet had the knock-out box ready to go as soon as we got there.

With any luck this should be a pretty straightforward visit, although it’s been some time since Neko’s last checkup so anything’s possible. She’s not the easiest of patients (hence the full-on anesthesia). She’s also an older monster cat who is having trouble with arthritis and teeth and feet, so we’re hoping the vet can help us make her life a bit easier.

(Actually, we’re mostly hoping the cat doesn’t decide to eat us when she gets home. We had to pull her food last night to prep for the anesthesia and she woke us up three times to remind us of that fact. She was really hungry this morning, so tasty delicious human fingers crossed!)

* * *

This adorable, sweet, peaceful cat? This is not our cat.
Photo by Kate Stone Matheson on Unsplash

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The Society for the Constructive Pursuit of Creativity, or SCPC. Yeah, I just made that up. As of five minutes ago it’s my new thing, and it is time to formulate some founding tenets. Like so:

— Be awesome. Duh. And ignore people who tell you that what you are working on is anything but. If you love it, that’s good enough.

— Be constructive. We’re on the planet to laugh and love and all that touchy-feely stuff but we are also here to make things. Elephants think, dolphins talk, even crows use tools. What humans do better than any other species yet met is build. (And don’t give me any guff about acres of mold growing underground or gigantic ant hills; that’s all well and good but when an ant designs the next great handheld device then we can talk.)

— Be productive. That doesn’t mean you have to be a jerk about it, just do your work without worrying too much about the next guy over.

— Be more productive than you were yesterday, or than you thought you could be when you woke up this morning dying for caffeine.

— Try not to overthink. That path leads to insecurity and insecurity leads to procrastination.

— If you must procrastinate, try to make it as constructive as possible. Just because you can’t do what you are supposed to do doesn’t mean you can’t do anything at all. Figure out what your mind will let you work on and do that. When you finish the new thing, add it to your To Do list so you can have the satisfaction of crossing it out at the end of the day. Design a new organization. See? Fun!

— If you happen to be less awesome or productive than you would like, do not under any circumstances beat yourself up about it. That’s like shouting at a cat, momentarily satisfying but with no long-term benefits whatsoever. Encouragement, goal setting, and bribery are much more effective. I prefer cookies or a chilled glass of Bailey’s, myself.

— Treat projects like practice. It worked for Ender. I take notes on the backs of used envelopes and write in pencil to convince myself that whatever I’m doing, it isn’t serious enough to stress over. Hey, whatever it takes.

— Along those same lines, do not be afraid to hack your mind! It’s a great way to increase productivity, to keep yourself from falling victim to those paralyzingly bad habits you developed in grade school, and if nothing else it gives you an excuse to watch good TED videos.

— Finally, fun is our watchword. Remember, if it isn’t fun and it won’t ever be fun and you won’t feel good about it after, you’re doing it wrong.

Motto: A Posse Ad Esse ~ From Possibility to Actuality

Right, that’s done. Now, what was I working on?

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