Sylvester the Talking Kitty Thursday, Dec 15 2011 

I am officially in love with the Talking Kitty videos created by Steve Cash. In these videos, Sylvester the cat is kind of a dick to his owner, Steve, the dog, Shelby, and the other cat, Gibson.

Here’s my favorite of the videos, which all feature Sylvester’s potty mouth:

He had me at “Fuck ’em!” All of the videos are great and highly addictive!

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Jake & Eddie Friday, Nov 26 2010 

This is Jake and Eddie. Jake is the little gray and white kitty; Eddie is the black one. They’re the newest editions to our family.

Even before Marlowe died, it was clear to me and PJ that Paisley doesn’t like to be alone. She’s a very sociable cat, and she likes feline companionship. While we were at the vet with Marlowe, we saw a little black female kitten, which PJ really took a shine to. He especially liked the potential symmetry of meeting a new cat as we said goodbye to our little boy.

We filled out the application to adopt her from our local humane society, but unfortunately she was adopted by someone else that same day. She has a little brother, who is also black, so we decided that we would adopt him instead. PJ really wanted a black cat.

We were then told by the humane society that it could take up to two weeks to adopt him, which made no sense to me at all. The woman who was fostering him also thought that it sounded unreasonable. We decided not to wait. On the one hand,we were missing Marlowe terribly and needed something to help ease the pain. On the other hand, Paisley was also acting severely lonely. What especially got me was when she would go out onto the back deck and sit in her usual spot, where she’s wait for him to come up the back steps. She was clearly waiting, and Marlowe wasn’t ever going to come up the stairs again. So, PJ and I decided that we needed to get another cat as quickly as possible — for our sakes, if not for hers.

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RIP Marlowe (2002-2010) Saturday, Oct 16 2010 

This morning, PJ and I decided it was time to take our little buddy, Marlowe, to the vet for his final visit.

He had been diagnosed with fibrosarcoma, a very aggressive form of cancer, back in February. The cancer was growing in his right jaw and cheek. He underwent surgery in late February to remove as much of the tumor as possible. But we knew then that the chances of getting it all were slight. While the vet had done her best, the cancer returned, and the past eight months have largely been waiting for this day to come.

I can’t say enough about how much we loved him. He was a very special and loving companion for us and our other cat Paisley. He was always PJ’s cat, enjoying time almost every morning sitting in PJ’s lap while he sat at his desk. As PJ noted today, no one (or nothing else) will ever look at him with such complete adoration as Marlowe looked at him. And while Marlowe never looked at me that way, I’m glad that over these last few weeks he had begun to sit on my lap for up to a half hour at a time. I am grateful to have had this time with him.

Marlowe first entered our lives in November 2002 when he suddenly appeared in the back yard of some friends of ours. He was apparently dumped or got separated from his mother, and he decided that our friends should adopt him. They were unable to do so, so they started looking for a home for him. Due to a couple of factors, we weren’t able to take him until January. No one else adopted him in the intervening time, so he joined our family shortly after the New Year. PJ and I are incredibly grateful that he did.

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At first it was beautiful … Monday, Feb 8 2010 

PJ and I spent most of the weekend without electricity. Our power went out on Saturday around 1 pm and didn’t come back on until this afternoon at 2.

At first the snow was kind of fun. I enjoy shoveling snow, so I shoveled the back deck and started taking pictures of the house. I even worked out with our Biggest Loser DVD.

The power went out just before we left to go to the women’s basketball game (and even though we lost, it was a fun game). So, we walked to campus in the snow and then walked home afterwards. On the way home, we passed one someone we knew who lives near us. His power was back on, so we happily kept walking only to find that our power was still out.

The walk to and from campus was beautiful. We had gotten about 8 inches of snow, and everything was covered in a gorgeous white blanket. And it wasn’t too cold.

While our water heater is gas-powered, and we therefore had hot water, our heating requires electricity and all of our kitchen appliances are electric. And, just as importantly, our garage door is electric. When the power goes off, there’s no way to get into the garage.

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Cat Tuesday: The Mean Kitty Tuesday, Dec 8 2009 

My favorite YouTube channel is The Mean Kitty, which is devoted to videos of a young couple’s two cats, Sparta and Loki. Here’s a sample:

As this video suggests, the entire channel is pretty much just these two cats being cats. I’ll admit that I find almost all cat videos irresistible. The only exceptions are the ones where the people force their cats to play pianos or something. Cats being cats is fun enough — we don’t need interference from people!

Here’s another typical video from The Mean Kitty:

I’ll post my other two favorite Mean Kitty vids after the break …

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Cat Tuesday: A Cheap Cat Fountain Tuesday, Sep 22 2009 

Our friend Wesley forwarded this video to us. I wish our cats did funny things like this! 

Marlowe’s Unfortunate Vacation Wednesday, Jul 29 2009 

While PJ and I were in Italy at the end of June, our two cats, Marlowe and Paisley, stayed home with their “uncle” Nate, an undergraduate who now sits for us when we’re out of town. During our second day in Venice, I got a facebook message from Nate, the kind you never want to get while you’re on vacation: Marlowe had been rushed to the vet’s office and was gravely ill.

Marlowe had stayed outside all day, and when he came in he seemed weak, lethargic, and wouldn’t eat. When Nate noticed that he also had diarrhea, he called the vet’s office and told them what was going on. They told him to bring Marlowe in immediately.

When Marlowe got to the vet, they determined that he was also cold and had lost weight since they saw him in February. They suspected that he might have consumed antifreeze, since tests showed that he had no kidney function. As we learned later, they hooked him up to an IV and started pumping him with fluids, hoping that any potential toxin would be flushed out of his system.

When we got Nate’s message, we called the vet’s office (from Venice), which we now know cost about $40 a pop. We tried to take comfort in the fact that the vet didn’t say Marlowe’s prognosis was hopeless, but that seemed like very little comfort. Needless to say, our last two days in Venice were fairly miserable. We flew through Philadelphia on the way home and arranged with the vet’s office to call them during out layover to see how the results of Marlowe’s second kidney test turned out. This test would indicate whether there was any hope or whether Marlowe wouldn’t make it.

This call is the single most difficult call I’ve had to make so far in my life. I was prepared for the vet to tell us that Marlowe had to be put down and that we wouldn’t see him again. Fortunately, this isn’t what the vet’s office had to say. Instead, they told us that Marlowe’s test had returned to normal but that he hadn’t returned to eating. In fact, he had lost 2 more pounds while he was in their office, making a total of 4 pounds of weight loss in 10 days. The good news was that he could come home for the fourth of July weekend, but we would have to take him back for a third test to see if his kidneys had actually started working again or if the second test was just the result of the IV.

Nate went and picked him up for us so that Marlowe would be home when we got here. Here’s what our poor boy looked like when we arrived:

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Back from Italy Saturday, Jul 4 2009 

PJ and I got back from our vacation in Italy late Thursday evening. Overall, we had a great trip and really enjoyed our time in the Mediterranean sun. The last couple of days were really difficult, but other than that it not only went off without a hitch but was a generally perfect vacation.

Our trip started in Rome, where we spent five days sight-seeing. We arrived on the morning of Monday, June 22. Fortunately, our hotel let us check in as soon as we got there. So, we cleaned up and then went out to do a little exploring. We ended up taking a tour of the Colosseum and then walking around the Roman Forum. We took a brief nap in the afternoon before scouting out again for dinner. While in Rome, we also saw the Mamertine Prison, Capital Hill, the Capitoline Museum, the Victor Emmanuel II Monument, Trajan’s Column, the Largo Argentina cat hospice, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Crypt of the Capuchin monks, the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, the National Museum of Rome, the Baths of Diocletian Museum, the Circus Maximus, the Mouth of Truth, Campo Fiore, Piazza Navona, the Keats-Shelley Museum, the Borghese Gallery, Trastevere, and a few churches and other sites. We also ate really well, had wonderful gelato, and walked what felt like a million miles! And finally, we celebrated my birthday in Rome.

For the second stage of our trip, we spent two days in Florence. This was the part of the trip that I was most looking forward to. An avid E. M. Forster fan, my anticipation was fueled by my love for A Room with a View. While our hotel room did not, in fact, have a view, we did have a lovely time in Florence.

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Cat Tuesday: Cat and a Box Tuesday, May 5 2009 

Thanks to Mark for sending me this!

Cat Tuesday: Paisley’s Tree Tuesday, Mar 3 2009 

When she’s not killing things or laying on someone’s lap, Paisley’s favorite things to “do” is stare at her favorite tree, which stands in the backyard just outside our bedroom window. Here she is next to it:

Paisley can spend hours staring at her tree. This afternoon, despite the cold weather, she apparently needed some tree time, so she spent about an hour outside watching it, so I snapped these photos from inside our kitchen window. This is her usual staring pose:

I find this “activity” as fascinating as Paisley finds her tree. I think the tree staring started when our tree was infested with cocoons. Paisley loved watching the larvae wiggling around inside them. That was a couple years ago, so I’ve wondered for some time now why she still stares at it.

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