Tag Archives: Cats

Did I tell you about the new dog?

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His name is Murphy (the one on the bottom of the dogpile underneath by beagle-boxer mix Riley). We’ve had him about two months now, and other than a little toy aggression on Riley’s part (used to being an only child), they get along great. Murphy is much more respectful of Dax (our cat) than Riley, who still hasn’t figured out that hissing and swatting are not a game.

On a side note my cat is a bit of a badass. About three weeks ago she came inside with a wound about the size of a quarter in her side. She didn’t meow or complain about it, even when the vet had to put three staples in her. She didn’t pick at the wound or anything, and is now well on the way to recovery. Both my wife and I have a greater respect for her, though we still have no idea how she came by such a battle scar.

And in case I didn’t mention it, Coonie, who graced our house for about three weeks was adopted from the shelter a couple months back. We would have loved to keep her, but Dax wouldn’t have it, which in the long run is for the best since Murphy came around.

So here’s how Murphy happened. I was out at Starbucks working on my sermon when I get a call from my wife telling me I had to come home immediately. She was getting Riley into the car, and was going over to the shelter to meet this new Beagle she’d spotted on the website. I wasn’t sure we had enough room in the house for two dogs (even though we have a four dog yard) but my wife has always loved purebred beagles. Truth is, though I was a bit grumpy about it for the first few weeks, Murphy has been a great addition to our home. If he’d been as energetic as Riley I might not be so thrilled, but he’s a real snuggle-bug. He’ll latch onto you on the couch and huddle close all evening. And he’s pretty tolerant of being flipped to the side so he can get some back-scratching along with Riley. And he’s adopted the laz-y-boy in my basement office as his new favorite spot.

Probably most of my reluctance at first was that he reminded me of our previous dog, Simon, who I’d known for eight years and missed a little more than I’d realized. Still Murphy is his own dog and he’s a great companion. He’s definitely more of a mama’s boy, but both of them barrel to the door to jump on me when I come home from work.

So two dogs, a cat, and maybe in a year or two a mini-me. Life is good.

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Review: Henshin

Henshin

Writer and Artist – Ken Nimura

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Henshin is a collection of loosely connected short manga tales dealing with a sort of change. In reality few of the stories rise to the overriding theme of the book, and many are downright awful.

Three of the stories revolve around the author surrogate’s obsession with cats and his desire to own one. He leaves out food for a mysterious neighbor cat, and is rewarded with knocked over pots and deposits of kitty poop. In one tale the taste of a stew he is preparing is improved by these deposits, turning it into a curry. There’s some attempt to relate this improvement to the coffee beans that go through civets, but personally I think this is just gross. Fart monsters as superheroes are also apparently a thing, though the ending to that story was at least funny.

A tale in which a man is delighted that he is able to communicate with a French person to obtain a hammer is ruined by the “twist” ending. The author seems to favor the dark or sinister forces ending in a lot of these tales. A tale about summer watermelon ends with a moral that suicide is something you should do alone. The aforementioned hammer tale ends with a man being beaten to death. And the bookend stories about a troubled kid staying with her uncle throw in mysterious Yakuza elements (in fluffy suits) with little explanation. A manic-pixie-dream-girl story is ruined by the main character’s crass jokes, inability to consume alcohol, and concluding moral that he should drink in the middle of work.

All that said, there are a couple of stories I liked. The story in which the author bikes through his town in order to string together narratives is actually pretty good, especially when he repeatedly comes up with concepts for stories already written. There’s a cute wordless tale about a girl enjoying the best things of summer even in the dead of winter. And a drunken crass tale of two men commiserating over a divorce, ends with a lifelong tale of friendship and baseball. A tale about foreigners living in Japan is imaginative and amusing when frustration manifests as twenty foot monsters.

The artwork varies from tale to tale, but all of it has a rough sketchy quality. Some character expressions are almost indecipherable (I swear an editor character looked like a cyclops).

All in all, you might find a story or two you like in here, but it’s probably not worth wading through all the muck.

(2.5 Stars | A couple of nice tales toward the end, but mostly forgettable)

* I received a free ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Introducing Coonie

We are now outnumbered by our pets. Actually you could also look at it that I’m outnumbered, three women against me and the dog.

Perhaps I should better explain, we have a new cat.

I have long resisted my wife’s suggestions that we get another cat, perhaps a kitten that our cat, Dax, could train up as her own. This could also help to reduce any loneliness in Dax, though she has always seemed perfectly content to lie in the sun and torture our dogs (Simon and now Riley).

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I am not a cat person, though I am directly responsible for the first cat.

Dax ran up on our porch on Beggar’s Night five years ago and whatever inclination we might have had to let her back out into the night was shattered when I uttered the words “we have to take care of the least of these.” Incidentally my pastor finds my interpretation of this passage hilarious. We did make a considerable effort to search for her original owner, but to no avail, and truthfully in that time she had wormed her way into our hearts. We love Dax, though she is a pretty high maintenance cat (now about 9 years old). We give her comfort treats in the morning and the equivalent of kitty Prozac every night (which is a two man job). All of this in an effort to reduce the amount that she pees on our doors, and like many cat owners we have become subject to the whims of our cat, letting her in and out at times of her choosing, lest we be punished.

Don’t get me wrong, she’s very cute. She does the thing where she hides all her legs under herself like a loaf of bread, and makes a really cute purr noise if you poke her when she’s not expecting it. She’ll snuggle with you and purr and particularly likes to lick your feet just after you get out of the shower.

Anyway, about a week and half ago my wife and I were sitting in the living room. She’s watching Bones and I’m catching up on some Arkham City when the dog hears a noise. I love Riley, but we’re still working on the not barking at even the slightest provocation, though in this case his interest was justified. We heard a very pathetic animal noise. My wife and I interpreted this noise very differently as it happens. I thought I heard the cry of an injured animal, maybe a raccoon that had been in a fight, and was probably something to be avoided, lest we get scratched. My wife describes it now as the most pathetic mewing noise you could hear.

Turns out she was right. An extremely friendly little kitty came out of the bushes and started rubbing all over her feet, even allowing my wife to pick her up and more shockingly pet her belly.

I know!

The day before I’d seen some lost cat signs and said that this cat was probably theirs. So we put her in the cat carrier and drove her to her supposed owners. But as it turns out, though she looked quite similar, this was not their cat. We called around for shelters but on a Sunday night there’s really nothing you can do. We searched PetFBI, Craigslist, Facebook, etc. but had no luck finding anybody looking for her. We didn’t want to let her back out into the cold, and she was such a sweet kitty that we wanted to make sure that wherever we dropped her off it was a no-kill shelter. As it turns out, at least in the state of Ohio, this is not an easy thing. We (Ohioans) care more about dogs, who I guess are less capable of taking care of themselves, but still.

But the truth is it was no use anyway. A day in the house and my wife had already fallen in love. Coonie (as I originally nick-named her) has a bushy tail (like a raccoon) and is only about 6 pounds (the vet thinks she’s 6 months to a year old). Her right eye is deformed which also was behind our motivation to make sure she got into a no-kill shelter or had a good home with us.

Cat integration is proceeding well. We may actually have detentes, Dax and Coonie don’t particularly like each other, but they stay out of each other’s way which is way better than Dax has been with the basically feral cat that often came by our house (an orange male we nick-named Worf). Riley actually seems to get along better with Coonie than he ever has with Dax (he has yet to realize that hissing and swatting does not mean the cat is playing). We even caught him licking Coonie yesterday night which she seemed to tolerate, at least initially.

So, I don’t know, I guess now we’re those crazy pet people. This had probably been brewing ever since we bought a coat for the dog (though he has thin hair and it can get very cold outside). If nothing else all the animals keep things exciting, and now I have another adorable ball of fur running around while I try to convince the dog we need to stick together.

Coonie

Any tips on cat-cat, cat-dog integration?

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My Social Media Experiment

By now many of you will have heard about the Facebook study that manipulated the moods of 700,000 of its users. While most people may feel outraged or violated that their feeds were massaged to give you an optimistic or pessimistic view of the world, I had a different reaction.

Why does Facebook get to be the only one who toys with your emotions?

So here’s a little story that’s sure to send you on an emotional roller coaster. You did agree to this in the terms of service, so I don’t want to hear any complaining.

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Lisa loves her cat, Snowball II.

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But Dr. Hibbert ran over Snowball II with his car.

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Bart: “I know how you feel Lise. No kid wants to outlive their pet.”

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It was difficult but Lisa moved on. And in an animal rescue shelter she found the perfect kitty. She named him Snowball III.

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He didn’t last long.

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Marge: “Oh, Lisa. Honey, it’s okay. You’re a Buddhist. So you know your cats are now reincarnated as a higher form of life.”

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Lisa wasn’t sure about replacing yet another kitty. But her love of jazz, and an aptly named cat convinced her to love again.

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When she got him home, she decided to play him some music from his namesake.

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He didn’t care for it.

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So much so, he jumped out the window.

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Marge: “Lord, if you think I’m making lemon bars for your bake sale Sunday, you better stop killing our cats.”

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Lisa had almost given up hope, but then the lord sent her an angel.

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Or a crazy cat lady. Whatever.

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Lisa: “Look, you don’t want to get involved with a girl like me. My cats have a nasty habit of waking up dead. Now go. Cough me out of your life like a bad fur ball.”

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Things weren’t looking good for this cat either.

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But at the last second the car swerved and ran into a tree.

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Lisa named her lucky cat Snowball V, but to save money on a new bowl, she calls her Snowball II.

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But it’s okay. At least Gil’s gonna have food tonight.

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Or maybe not.

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So how does this make you feel?

 

All stills from Season 15 Episode 9 of The Simpsons – “I (annoyed grunt)-bot”. Thanks to Springfield! Springfield! for episode scripts to check the quotes.

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Tales to Suffice

One of the perks of being a member of NetGalley is being able to read tomorrow’s books today. But admittedly I’ve been kind of a bum and I don’t always get around to reviewing the titles until long after they come out. Luckily, NetGalley has a pretty wide array of comics and graphic novels available and I tend to actually get time to read those before the deadline. So here today are three new books that have either just come out or will be coming out in the very new future. Hopefully there’s a little something for everyone (and I can alleviate some of my guilt over free ARCs 🙂 )

Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue DeConnick

prettydeadly-01There’s been a trend in comics lately for end of the world apocalyptic tales with western trappings and well … Pretty Deadly is another of those. If you like Image’s East of West this might be for you, but it honestly wasn’t really my cup of tea. Action scenes, particularly those involving hand to hand combat, come across as blurry and confused. There’s some interesting imagery, including an opponent who dissolves into thousands of butterflies upon being defeated (and if you liked that you’ll get to see that same person killed twice this way). One character in particular, a young girl who wears a vulture on her head, is drawn very inconsistently, and I was finding it hard to pinpoint her exact age.

The story itself seems drag in some places, and move too fast in others. We spend a lot of time with a man in a whorehouse and only a few pages explaining the actual goal and objectives of all players involved (one of whom is Death). There are a few twists and turns that may interest readers who are more invested in this genre, but for me it seemed like a lot of blood and running around for a being just trying to put off the natural cycle of succession (or somehow eliminate Death entirely which is a bad thing…?)

Maybe this title will evolve with more issues, but it’s debut arc (issues #1-5) didn’t work for me. (2 out of 5)

I Was The Cat by Paul Tobin

cover47201-mediumAs a cat owner it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Burma, the talking cat protagonist/antagonist of this graphic novel, has spent his nine lives trying to take over the world. Allison Breaking, a blogger and journalist, is recruited by Burma (who absolutely swears he’s done with the whole taking over the world thing) to write his memoirs, as a way of introducing the talking cat to the world, and revealing his influence over key figures throughout history. Basically each of his tales are a power behind the throne story for some of the world’s greatest (and infamous) leaders, from Good Queen Bess, to Napoleon to Blofeld? (James Bond).

After a while I found this narrative style repetitive, only serving as way to increase the unease of Breaking and her friend with whom she’s staying. Burma’s real plans don’t really kick up until the back half of the book, though I must admit some of his plans for world conquest are innovative. The artwork is excellent and gives a good differentiation between the historical periods being discussed and modern day London. And some of the talking cat moments are funny, particularly when someone pulls his whiskers.

Overall there are a few points of interest but it could have used to lose about 40 pages of filler. An enjoyable enough read, but not one you’ll probably return to again and again. (3 out of 5)

Super Ego by Caio Oliveira

cover47106-mediumThis was definitely my favorite of the bunch. A psychiatrist takes on the job of trying to help super heroes work out their problems, from drinking to survivor’s guilt, to just figuring out how to talk to a girl. We’ve got stand ins for just about every super hero trope, from the Power Rangers to Iron Man (who in this iteration is a man who pilots a giant Mexican wrestler robot complete with mask, El Lucahdor De Fierro)  to even Hawkeye.

But the toughest of Dr. Ego’s patients is Lester, a young kid born of a brief liaison between the Wonder Woman and Superman equivalents. Accepted in neither world, Lester has the power to juggle planets, but he just wants to be able to go on a date with a girl. He’s thin and lanky because he’s never able to exert himself enough to build up muscle mass.

One of my favorite parts of the book is when he has to fend off an alien invasion and instead of just attacking sends them a resume of his previous battles, complete with quotes from other races saying that Earth just isn’t worth it. “Why doesn’t anybody ever read the resume?” he thinks as the aliens inevitably attack and are defeated.

Dr. Ego’s own motives and back story become relevant toward the back part of the book and may make you question whether he’s a force for good or evil. But either way, he’s the only one the suits can talk to. The artwork is imaginative and colorful, and the different superheroes are both recognizable and engaging. I found myself tearing through this one, and wishing there was more (sequel maybe?) (4 out of 5)

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PS. The title for this post is drawn from another series of comics I picked up from StoryBundle. Mostly not very good, but they did have one gag I liked, which was a poster for a new movie entitled “Oh S&*t, Bees!” though they may have cribbed the idea from “Oh F%!k, Zombies!”

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The cat is my fault

please do not leave drinks unattended the cat is an asshole dr heckle funny wtf signs

Ever since a trip to Punderson a few years ago, leaving our cat Dax at home for more than a few days is a toss up as to which kind of cat we’ll have when we get back. Either she’ll be the lovey, snuggly cat, who missed her humans, or she’ll be the living terror that has peed on everything in the house.

This last trip we got the latter (though she tried to make up for it with some purry snuggling nonetheless). The last few days have brought new discoveries and new locales. Typically she just likes to pee on the front and back doors, but now she added the sink and our piano. Fortunately in both cases the damage was minimal.

Our cat adopted us a little more than four years ago on Halloween night, running up onto the porch on beggar’s night and refusing to leave. Us keeping her rather than giving her to a shelter was entirely my fault. I decided at a critical moment to quote scripture, whatever you do for the least of these you do for me. She was thin and in need and we helped her. And we do love her.

On a completely separate note Brian and I were having a conversation a few weeks ago with a woman who was describing a restaurant she went to out east (not the east coast rather, but China and the surrounding countries). She said that the only things with four legs they didn’t eat were tables and chairs. Writing this as my cat tries to suck up to me because she suspects what I’m writing I think, just for a second, they might have the right idea.

But isn’t she cute?

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My wife is right, this cat is totally my fault.

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