SENSORS INDICATE

Four cats napping atop my bed

Bed has reached maximum carrying capacity of

one cat per square meter      (k = 1/m^2)

(But where am I supposed to sleep?)

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But what’s it good for?

A recent article in the New York Times briefly discusses the utility of cats, and asserts that their lack of usefulness is attributed to the theory that in contrast to other domesticated animals, the cats have domesticated humans, and generally do not let the humans determine their breeding.

Compared to sheepdogs, cats are generally less useful.  But most people don’t acquire cats for their utility.  We acquire them for their independent nature, for their companionship, for their snuggliness (even for their ease of litter-training).

Of course, there are some cats that are more useful than others — Thunder is my “Alarm-Cat”, an almost-service animal who will diligently nose-bump me as many times as is necessary to get me up on time for work.  She’ll even give me a wake-up call when I take a nap.  The hard part of course, is convincing her about Daylight Savings Time.

Aside from that, Thunder’s “utility” is limited to lap-warming.  Like our other cats, she sheds, sometimes shreds, complains about household arrangements, and consumes kibble.

I own an alarm clock.  It’s great for telling time.  But I prefer my alarm-cat, whose persistence is much more pleasurable that a mechanical blaaaat.

Do you have a cat for a service animal?

Hotbed of Apathy

*sniff, sniff*

“You sound sick,” stated my daughter’s fiancé, M.

“I can’t be sick,” I mumbled in protest, and honked into a tissue.

“Redunculus; you’re sniffling.”

“I can’t be sick; it was Mr W’s day to be sick,” I explained.  “He got first dibs on being out sick today …  If all the classroom staff members who were sick stayed home, there wouldn’t be anyone left!”

I’m sure the students wouldn’t have minded having some of their classes cancelled.  But no, we slogged through the day, hour after dreary, mind-numbing, O-PLZ-STFU hour.  It was, I decided, a veritable hotbed of apathy.  The lead teacher was battling a sinus infection, and I was suffering from what felt like temporal phase-shifts.  And my aches ached.  My ears were ringing and making sharp pains and I was having dizzy spots and nausea.  I was cold and then would have a sneezing fit and then be hot, and would have some odd spastic tic and then be cold again.  They cannot invent a vaccine for this shit any day too soon.

It’s worse when you’re feeling crappy and working 60 hours a week. But it seems like every few days I discover yet another person who’s working multiple jobs, the latest being a cashier with two jobs and Lupus.  (Maybe what the economy really needs is for everyone to take a week off just to get some rest already.  All in favor say, “Aye!”)

And then there’s the strange stress nightmares I get before a semester starts, going through an interminable dream about teaching 3rd grade but starting the same day the students do, and having an unworkable U-shaped classroom without a chalkboard or whiteboard, and the women’s bathroom stalls all cost 75 cents in quarters to use, and …

If you, too, are ready for a diversion, our favorite engineers (previous post) have a new video up on Advanced Cat Yodeling.  M just about ROTFL, as he has been Yodeling with his cats for a long time, and favors the Machine Gun Kiss™  approach.

Itsy-Bitsy

The other night we were holding vigil in the ER (A&E) waiting rooms while a family member was being treated.  Having spent plenty of hours in the waiting places of life, I had brought with me my latest amusement, a sorting box containing a bunch of old necklaces that I was dismantling for salvageable parts.  Aside from the whole reason for being in the waiting room, it was a pleasant experience, and I sat there rocking slightly, filled with the delight of organising bits into rainbow order.

I parked myself in an empty waiting area down the hall from the seats by the ER entrance, free of drafts from the automatic doors, the distractions of anxious people bursting in, and germ-laden sneezes.  I sat there snipping strings, slipping off beads where they rattled into a tray, sorting them, scooping the pieces into small containers, and carefully snapping lids shut.

So I was sitting there at a table where I could keep an eye on the hallway, when a guy shuffled into my airspace.  The first thing I noticed about him was that he reeked of old cigarette smoke and looked disheveled, which I discounted slightly as no one spiffs up for ER visits.  As he began talking to me, I noticed that his speech and comprehension were a bit off, and quickly realised this wasn’t likely a manifestation of an intrinsic impairment — the grungy bloke was drunk.

Oh, joys ( /sarcasm).  I don’t like chit-chat*, and here I was being engaged by a garrulous drunkard.  We then had the most incredible conversation, which he began by asking me,

“Are you counting pills for the pharmacy?”

(Yeah, this was my first clue that the guy was drunk.) Read the rest of this entry »

Holding a cat

Random thought:

Holding a baby is good camouflage

for rocking while standing or sitting.

Cats are less useful.

Set volume control to “Gravy”

4 cats on kitchen floor eating up dishes of chicken-in-gravy

4 cats on kitchen floor eating up dishes of chicken-in-gravy

“CATS ARE NICE.”

“I meant,” said Iplsore bitterly, “what is there in this world that makes living worthwhile?”

Death thought about it. ‘CATS’, he said eventually, “CATS ARE NICE.”
~ Terry Pratchett

Two great videos about two great things we love, Geeks and Cats.

This first one is captioned; Data is trying to train his cat, Spot. Well, that was the plan …

One of our cats is named Spot, after Data’s cat. Our Spot is also a very smart kitty.

Alas, the second one is not captioned, but is a hilarious video by a couple of engineers on cat care.

It’s Final Exams week over here; everyone’s up to their touchis in studies. Back to more serious blogging soon on the usual education-, disability- and insect-related issues.