Ming and Other Pictures

I’ve been working late nights this week and Ming has missed my presence in bed I think. Last night he came out and kept demanding my attention. It was unusual enough when he croaked his meower at me but when he climbed onto my desk it was apparent that he needed attention. After I tried to ignore that, he settled on my Macbook Pro and sat there daring me to remove him. Eventually I was able to convince him to get off my laptop but he sought warmth elsewhere. I snapped a bunch of pictures and as usual a few came out pretty good. I was especially happy with the last few because, up until now, I’ve been unable to get a good picture of his cataracts. He’s totally blind in his left eye and can only see out the edges of his right eye.

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Forcin’ a light into all those stony faces left stranded on this warm July

After a busy day cooking and cleaning on Independence Day, we’ve been a lazy bunch around here. We really enjoyed ourselves on the 4th, though, and were happy to have the company of so many people. The fireworks were fun and I think everybody was entertained. Next year I need to buy fewer ground blooms and more mortars.

Last week I started out the week by traveling to Foster City, CA, for some training at EFI headquarters. Because of the Northern California wildfires, my direct flight was cancelled and I was forced to take a flight through Seattle. By the time I arrived in Seattle, the connecting flight had been delayed and I didn’t arrive in San Francisco until 1:30. Unfortunately, my luggage (a change of clothes and my CPAP) was on another flight which did not arrive until quite later in the day. After waiting in line for at least an hour at the United luggage service counter, I left them orders to deliver the bag to my hotel after it arrived. It was eventually delivered to my hotel while I was at dinner that night.

I was glad to join my friend, Rob, for dinner both nights that I was in California. On the second night, we ate at a nice French restaurant before Rob dropped me off at SFO for my late evening flight home. There were no complications this time and the plane was only half full making it almost enjoyable.

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Nietzsche can’t poop

The other weekend it was so nice outside that we let our cats, Nietszche and Ming, outside to enjoy the outdoors. They enjoyed themselves, I presume, and dutifully returned to the indoors when we called.

A few days after we noticed that Nietzsche was favoring one of his sides and squawking when you touched him on that side. He’s a bit of a scrapper, so we thought he might have picked a fight when he was outside, but could find no sign of wounds. He’s also old so we thought it just might be his old arthritic hips. We left it at that until today, when he was sitting on my chest and I noticed that his hair by his butt was crusty. He was facing me, so I asked Tina to take a look. She refused to look at his little butthole, so I had to turn him while holding his tail up so I could get a look. He really started to squawk then and tried to get away. But not before I could spot the problem: a little turd was peeking out.

I’d seen the same thing once before with Nietszche – he’s constipated. That time we had to take him to the vet to get a cat enema. Hopefully, the vet will be open tomorrow and we won’t have to pay emergency weekend rates. I briefly considered performing the procedure myself, but this site recommends against it.

Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t have caved when he was begging for some of my string cheese.

It’s alive!

Tina and the boys heard the “snap” again while they were eating breakfast this morning. They thought it was by the cat food again, but I didn’t think they could hear a trap in the garage from the dining room. I was right – it was under the stove where I had set two traps over the weekend. Not only was this one alive but it was squeaking up a storm!

I pulled out trap/mouse and put them in the middle of the kitchen floor. Eventually, both cats became interested enough to check it out. I cruelly shot some video with my digital camera while Ming had a look. I should warn you that these videos will be upsetting if you don’t like seeing mice in traps:

I only let this go on for a couple of minutes before I dropped him in a salsa jar with baking soda and vinegar. It was all over in about 15 seconds. (Thanks for the great advice, Thane!)

Finally, here’s a few more from YouTube:

In defense of our cats

A loyal reader recently wrote:

Your blog said: Sunday night we got one by the cat food

You mean your cats can’t catch these mice??? Do they try?

Yes, it’s true – our cats have been completely ineffective in keeping our house pest free. However, it’s not really their fault. Ming, who is 14 years old, is blind in one eye and nearly deaf. Nietzsche is 15 years old and has arthritis. They are essentially just grumpy, old cats at this point in their lives and definitely no longer mouser material.

When Tina and I got married in New Mexico, Nietzsche was not yet a year old but proved to be an excellent mouser. He caught at least two in the short time that we stayed at Jan and Tom’s house and even left one on our pillow for us one night! Those days are long gone now, but they both enjoyed when I let them check out our most recently trapped mouse this morning. More on that later.