Late Night Open Thread

Really tired, and just looking forward going to sleep. Fortunately I have a freshly made bed with clean sheets and a clean duvet cover:


A nice, clean, virgin bed with clean sheets that no one has touched before:


Foiled again. Tell me that is not the most adorable dog ever. As I write this, Rosie is on my lap snoring like she has sleep apnea, so we’ll just keep this Lily being “the most adorable dog ever” between you and me…

104 replies
  1. 1
    ruemara says:

    You and your bitches, Cole. Still a better love story than Twilight.

  2. 2
    Mnemosyne says:

    Our late kitty Natasha loved to hide under the covers of the bed. One time, she startled our cleaning people when they went to make the bed.

  3. 3
    Suzanne says:

    My mother has a Chihuahua named Chica who stays at our house on occasion. A couple of years ago, we had a cold snap while my mom was out of town, so Chica crawled into bed, under the covers, directly between me and my husband. Since our Luna is a 75-pound pit bull, that was an unexpected treat. That little Chihuahua kept us both nice and toasty.

  4. 4
    redshirt says:

    Don’t dogs like always have shit on their ass? Or on their feet and/or nose? Maybe mouth too? In other words, aren’t dogs always covered in shit? Or am I hanging around the wrong dogs?

  5. 5
    Oltrol says:


    Pit bull, really?

  6. 6
    PurpleGirl says:

    Suzanne and Mnemosyne: Those are cute stories.

    Hugo (the Dobermann) was too large to hide in/under covers and blankets; he’d wait until I had settled down before he climbed onto the bed and settled himself down.

    That is a cute picture of Lily.

  7. 7
    WaterGirl says:

    My girl kitty has taken to doing that. You’re right. Cutest thing ever. So endearing.

  8. 8
    AliceBlue says:

    Lily rules! Just don’t tell Tunch or Rosie.

  9. 9
    Oltrol says:

    A 15-year (1991–2005) review of dog attack fatalities investigated by the Kentucky Medical Examiner determined that pit bulls were implicated in 5 of the 11 fatal attacks (45.4%).[34] Another 15-year (1994–2009) review of patients admitted to a Level I Trauma Center with dog bites determined that pit bulls were most often involved in these attacks: of the 228 patients treated, the breed of dog was recorded in 82 attacks, and of these, 29 (35%) attacks were attributed to pit bulls. All other dogs combined accounted for the remaining 65% of attacks.[35] In 44.8% of the attacks, the dog belonged to the victim’s family.[35] The authors state.

    Not the friendliest of breed, IMO. I know, who cares.

  10. 10
    Roger Moore says:

    There is some question about training. Dogs can be socialized to attack people, and the kind of human who will train a dog that way will tend to pick a breed with a reputation for viciousness. So the belief that a breed is vicious can become self fulfilling.

  11. 11
    Punchy says:

    I hope Jeff Bridges is wicked stoned, b/c this TDS interview is an abortion. Is JB really still living off his Lebowski fame from 14 years ago?

  12. 12
    Mnemosyne says:


    So the fact that 29 out of 228 dog bites could be attributed to pit bulls is proof positive that they’re always vicious, dangerous animals?

    Plus, I think your math is slightly off since 35% is the total number of dog bites that were attributed to any specific breed of dog (82/228). In actuality, your numbers show that 13% of the bites were attributed to pit bulls.

  13. 13
    MikeJ says:

    @Mnemosyne: The same pit bull that attacked my dad last spring (he still can’t move his hand correctly from it) put a kid in the hospital in the same week. Very few golden retrievers do that.

    Lots of people are love to talk about how good this or that breed is with kids, but somehow it’s wrong to say one breed isn’t friendly?

  14. 14

    To paraphrase the NRA, we don’t have a pit bull problem, we have a pit bull owner problem.

    I’ve met several of these dogs over the years, two of them rescues owned by my sister. The only problem I observed is that they are what I call willfully friendly and blissfully unaware that their size/weight precludes them from being lapdogs.

  15. 15
    Roger Moore says:

    The 29 pitbull attacks out of 82 with a named breed is also 35%. So 36% of attacks have a known breed, and 35% of those involve pitbulls. Not exactly conclusive, especially considering potential problems with the data (e.g. selective reporting of breeds with bad reputations, incorrect attribution to a different breed with a similar name or appearance, etc.)

  16. 16
    hamletta says:

    @Punchy: Well, that and the Best Actor Oscar he got a couple of years ago.

  17. 17
    Quincy says:

    This article from The Nation needs to get as much attention as possible before the Jan. 22 filibuster reform vote. Essentially Republican Senators have been renting out their ability to filibuster to the highest bidder.

  18. 18
    Mnemosyne says:


    I’m sorry, but what the fuck is wrong with the owner of that dog and why was the dog still able to run around and attack a second person after it attacked your father? I really hope you were able to sue that guy.

    And, yes, golden retrievers have killed children. There is NO SUCH THING as a completely safe dog of any breed.

  19. 19
    Roger Moore says:

    @Comrade Bob:
    I think you’re multiplying by 1710 when you should be dividing by it. FWIW, Google says (0.00254 (US gallons per minute)) x 1.4 psi = 2.07433333 × 10-6 horsepower.

    More important, you haven’t explained why Algore keeps fucking that chicken.

  20. 20
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    (e.g. selective reporting of breeds with bad reputations, incorrect attribution to a different breed with a similar name or appearance, etc.)

    This right here. When a woman was killed in San Francisco inside her apartment, it was originally reported that she had been killed by “pit bulls.” Turned out they were Presa Canarios, a completely different breed. But in a lot of people’s minds, killer dog=pit bull regardless of the actual breed.

  21. 21
    MikeJ says:

    @Mnemosyne: Thew owner took the dog two towns over the day it attacked my dad, because they knew King County was going to come looking for it.

    And yes, every breed you can name has probably killed somebody at some point. But it is far less common. The golden in your story was unsupervised and attacked an infant that it didn’t recognize as a human. The pit that attacked my dad broke his leash and ran across a road to attack a 65 year old man with a camera.

    People always talk about how breed X was bred to kill gophers or breed Y needs lots of room because they were bred to herd marmots. Why can’t people believe that breed Z likes to chew up humans?

  22. 22
    beth says:

    @Mnemosyne: @Mnemosyne:

    That family that had the infant killed just had their other child attacked by a different dog. That’s definitely what you call a dog owner problem.

  23. 23
    Mnemosyne says:


    Why can’t people believe that breed Z likes to chew up humans?

    Probably because some of us remember when it was German Shepherds that were vicious killers. Then it was Dobermans. Then it was regular bulldogs. Now it’s pit bulls, but most of the time it’s not even purebred pit bulls, and even then you can’t tell how much “pit bull” is in the dog unless you get a genetic test. But if a large, strong dog bites someone, it’s automatically a “pit bull.”

    There is a cycle where a certain breed of dog gets a reputation as a “killer,” which leads assholes to breed them poorly and people who want to look tough but can’t control the dog to buy them, and then tragedies happen. And when that breed of dog starts to lose its “killer” reputation, that reputation gets attached to a different dog.

    Don’t get me wrong — large, strong dogs can be dangerous and should only be owned by people who know how to train and keep them properly. But you really can’t tell what a dog will be like simply by determining the breed, and a boxer or German Shepherd or mastiff can be just as dangerous as a pit bull if not trained or bred properly.

    Ironically, one of the characteristics that actual pit bulls and other fighting dogs are bred for is to not bite humans, because humans have to get into the ring with the fighting dogs.


    Thew owner took the dog two towns over the day it attacked my dad, because they knew King County was going to come looking for it.

    Bad owner and poorly trained dog is a very bad (and often dangerous) combination. I really hope they were able to get some kind of injunction against the guy to prevent him from owning another dog after they put that one to sleep.

  24. 24
    LesGS says:

    Have recently acquired (through rescue) a 23 pound Maine Coon cat. I have discovered if I neatly fold my pajamas and place them on my bed, the cat will curl up and sleep on those pajamas. So they are all nice and kitty warm come bed time.

    Downside to a 23 pound cat, once in bed, is that you *know* when they decide to walk up and down your body, then curl up right on your bladder. Maybe you didn’t *think* you needed to pee. Turns out you were wrong.

  25. 25
    Roger Moore says:

    I guess I’m lucky. My cat likes to curl up next to me, but not on me. If I leave my arm out, he’ll lie down in the space between my arm and torso.

  26. 26
    MikeJ says:

    @Mnemosyne: Answer this: A person who lives in an apartment shouldn’t own an Australian shepherd because…..

    If your answer started with “temperamentally they like to…” you’ve just explained why people distrust pit bulls. Dogs have been bred over thousands of years for different tasks. Sheepdogs *want* to herd things. They’ve very protective, good with kids, they even herd children. People like to believe that is true. It’s not true of every last shepherd type dog out there. Some are probably really mean. But it is a good rule of thumb. I don’t see why the opposite isn’t also true.

  27. 27
    JCT says:

    Well, I just got home from a late meeting and found my husband in bed with all 5 of our pets – 2 dogs (one who looks like a black and white Lily) and all three of the cats! Not sure where I am going to sleep as the beagle and her favorite cat sister are curled up on MY pillow.

  28. 28
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Sorry, my dog Hellen is the cutest dog ever.

    Lills can be #2.

    And Ted is the most handsome dog ever.

  29. 29
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Also too: I can’t believe you don’t iron your sheets.

  30. 30
    Ted & Hellen says:


    Plus, I think your math is slightly off since 35% is the total number of dog bites that were attributed to any specific breed of dog (82/228). In actuality, your numbers show that 13% of the bites were attributed to pit bulls.

    I guess it’s comforting to know that regardless of topic, you are incapable of accurate reading comprehension.

  31. 31
    Ted & Hellen says:


    Downside to a 23 pound cat, once in bed, is that you *know* when they decide to walk up and down your body, then curl up right on your bladder. Maybe you didn’t *think* you needed to pee. Turns out you were wrong.


  32. 32
    Gex says:

    It’s been a while since I’ve talked about the GFs cancer ordeal here, and boy, have there been a lot of new developments. To jump ahead a bit, I have been sitting in a hospital room since last Thursday, I’m stir crazy, and this the most I’ve gotten to talk to people outside of a medical setting in quite some time. I apologize in advance.

    She was diagnosed with stage 2a cervical cancer in late August, had daily radiation and weekly chemo through early November, and was found to be free of that cervical cancer in mid December.

    However, in August the PET scan also showed spots on her liver. So when they pronounced the cervix to be cancer free, they also started putting together a new course of treatments.

    On December 28 she had her first chemo for liver and the follow up shot New Year’s Eve. Later that day she was pretty weak and by the following evening she was practically bed ridden. Wednesday she was bedridden and Thursday she was admitted to the hospital.

    Long story short: It is difficult to dose chemo for someone for the first time. It is harder to do so for someone my GFs size. And it is also harder to do so for someone who has just gone through a course of chemo treatments. She got too much and it wrecked her.

    It is, in a word, horrible to witness someone go through this. Clostridium difficile, thrush, and rashes have set in and it looks, in all honesty, hellish.

    She’s been getting morphine for pain, a number of anti-virals, anti-bacterials, and anti-fungals. There’s a shot to boost her body’s blood production capabilities. And she’s been getting platelets.

    The blood counts for the key elements in the immune system have been virtually uncountable until today. So after six days of intense care, we are finally getting to the point where her blood is improving. We have to fix the blood, so we can fix the mouth and the digestive tract, so fix the eating, so we can do the PT that we need to get her home. I honestly have no idea how long we will be here.

    That all sounds terrible, and it is. But oddly, it isn’t all that terrible.

    I am fortunate that my small business employer *specifically* changed their benefits package to provide partner benefits for the GF and that it is pretty good insurance.

    I am fortunate that I can work remotely and on my time so long as I get the work done.

    I’m pleased the hospital no longer enforces office hours and that I was able to basically move into the hospital with her.

    I am so grateful for the hospital staff. It doesn’t go unnoticed that the people who provide 99% of your care probably only receive 1% of the revenue of this place. The nurses, nursing assistants, and so on have been outstanding. To the point that letters will be written and names will be named. I truly appreciate how big of a difference it makes when your caregivers care about their jobs.

    I am relieved to see some positive movements in her symptoms and even in her ability to tolerate the treatments she needs.

    I am happy that her oncologist told us this cancer doesn’t kill anyone. Certainly that’s a casual phrasing and it isn’t 100% true, but I get it. It’s comforting to suspect that the extreme chemo dose is the main problem right now and that the positive signs mean that this will be addressed and we can get back to cancer treatment.

    It is interesting watching the entier health care ecosystem working when it is doing what it does best. I wish every American had access to the care that we have.

    The nurses joke that I have achieved proficiency in the nursing assistant position. I just like that doing the things that I can for the GF not only make it so she doesn’t have to wait for those things, but it makes the nurses’ jobs easier, and then they have more time to give other patients.

    This isn’t really going anywhere. Like I said, I’ve just been sitting here, keeping isolated in a bad flu season.

  33. 33
    El Caganer says:

    I swore for years that my terrier was the biggest pain-in-the-ass dog in the universe. Until the day she wasn’t there any more.

  34. 34
    Mnemosyne says:


    Again,if you’re going to look at hundreds of years of breeding, pit bulls should be one of the safest dogs for humans to be around, because they were bred to fight other dogs and still be able to be safely handled by humans before, during, and after those fights without attacking their handlers.

    The American Stafforshire Bull Terrier (aka “pit bull”) has been a recognized breed in the US since 1898. Why is it only in the past 20 or 30 years that it’s gained a fearsome reputation as a killer dog rather than a dog that plays with children or sells beer?

  35. 35
    Rich2506 says:

    Was referred to an interesting study by some folks at Harvard U., “WOULD BANNING FIREARMS REDUCE MURDER AND SUICIDE?” by DON B. KATES AND GARY MAUSER. I wasn’t really able to figure out the complete URL, but the final document designation is Vol30_No2_KatesMauseronline.pdf. I searched the first ten pages of the Google search and found nothing but “Yeah, yeah!” responses. Is my “google-fu” weak or has anybody come up with a response to the 2007 study?

  36. 36
    El Caganer says:

    @Gex: Hope your GF gets well soon and you’re both out of the hospital.

  37. 37
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Gex: Thinking good thoughts for both of you, and especially healing thoughts for you GF. Don’t forget to take care of you.

  38. 38
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    So tell us, Timmy, what actual number did that 35% represent: 79 or 29? And why exactly is 29 out of 228 a terrifying number that means all pit bulls should be put to death immediately?

  39. 39
    Gex says:

    @Roger Moore: The crook. That’s the best. I have a cat that does that.

  40. 40

    @Gex: Good thoughts and prayers for both of you.

  41. 41
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Les, until your post here I had never even heard of a Maine Coon Cat. Just googled them. Holy shit, HUGE. And beautiful.

    Any differences from standard house cats other than size?

  42. 42
    Ted & Hellen says:


    I learned long ago that you are an idiot who lives in her own world and has conversations with imaginary people who post imaginary comments in imaginary threads other than the one in which you are posting, so…just toddle along and babble at someone else, dear.

    Please pie me.

  43. 43
    Mandalay says:

    Last night I naively asked why the world needed phones that would still work after being submerged in two feet of water for half an hour, but several posters persuaded me that it would be a useful feature.

    Which got me thinking…wouldn’t it be even more useful to be able to drop a cell phone from (say) five feet onto a tile floor or the sidewalk without damaging it? Does any manufacturer brag that it is possible to do that to their phone?

    Years ago it was absurdly easy to steal cars, and I suspect that was because the manufacturers had a vested interest in cars getting stolen. Is it also possibly true that cell phone makers don’t want us to have phones which will withstand being dropped because it would be bad for business? Is there any inherent design/engineering issue with making cell phones tougher?

    I don’t care about my cell phone being waterproof, but I would really like it to be shockproof.

  44. 44
    Roger Moore says:

    I hope your GF is doing better soon; hopefully the “getting better” part is a sign that she’s out of the woods. Watch out with the shots to increase blood production; they can be a bitch. I had to take Neupogen before donating stem cells, and it kicked my ass, so I can’t imagine how bad it would be if I were sick.

  45. 45
    Mnemosyne says:


    Ugh. Thinking happy thoughts for both of you. Your GF has youth and health (and you!) on her side, so hopefully she’ll be able to pull through this rough patch.

  46. 46
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Gex: Hoping for the best for you and your GF. Will keep you both in my thoughts.

  47. 47
    Gex says:

    My sincerest thanks to the kind thoughts that have been posted and that will be posted. Balloon-Juice feels like a unique blog community to me. There’s a reason I let that all out here.


  48. 48
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    I have two Maine Coon mixes and could have told you all about the breed.

    Too bad your first and only instinct in every thread is to be an asshole.

  49. 49
    Another Halocene Human says:

    So here’s something if you weren’t disgusted enough about the world already:

    Virulently anti-Semitic comic book distributed by US Military chaplains in every service and every AOR

  50. 50
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Mandalay: Which got me thinking…wouldn’t it be even more useful to be able to drop a cell phone from (say) five feet onto a tile floor or the sidewalk without damaging it? Does any manufacturer brag that it is possible to do that to their phone?

    Hopefully I’m not betraying a confidence or anything, but Motorola used to have employees drop their phones. Back then the battery would fly off, saving the delicate bits, and they considered that a win. Also had a friend get hurt on the job by flying fallen phone shrapnel.

  51. 51
    ruemara says:

    @Gex: I’m so sorry. Sending healing thoughts to your GF and you, along with a packet of strength because goddess knows it will come in handy.

  52. 52
  53. 53
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Well, that’s special.

  54. 54
    piratedan says:

    @Gex: hope all goes well for you and yours Gex….

    on another tack…. did anyone else see TRMS where she had a brief segment where the NRA is threatening to punish the Tucson gun buyback buy forcing them to resell the collected weapons?

    also too, our own Cactus Barbie has something stupid to say

    she says we need solutions, as long as they don’t have anything to do with guns…. cripes I wish she would self deport herself to whatever delusional dystopia she hails from.

  55. 55
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Gex: Gosh, that’s terrible. Had close family members go through something similar and it just takes over your life. You are fortunate to have such wonderful nursing care in the hospital. I hope you will be able to get some in-come care when they turn you out. I hope you have some friends or family in your life to come in for an hour from time to time when you can’t carry it all on your shoulders. Wishing you love.

  56. 56
    Yutsano says:

    @Gex: I wish you much strength and peace right now. And PLEASE do not forget to take care of yourself as well. I’m certain your other half doesn’t want you to forget to address your own needs even while hers are so great. You’re doing the work of angels.

  57. 57
    Gex says:

    @Another Halocene Human: I’m a bit of an over-doer. I refuse to let others sit in for a couple of reasons.

    1) No way in hell I want anyone to bring anything in. I don’t trust regular people to have the instincts to be as careful as hospital staff, no matter how well intentioned. I don’t feel like we have any wiggle room and the flu seems to be raging through our circles, having had a friend hospitalized for it.

    2) Poor dear was only able to get long stretches of sleep last night for the first time in a week. Between that, the pain, the infection, and the drugs she is so disoriented. She’s having difficulties waking up and having me not be there, so I’ve settled in to this room pretty well. I have had a couple of people come visit me in the 8th floor lounge, and even then she wanted me to be away no longer than 15 minutes.

    When this started, I think I adopted a “This is cancer. If you want to beat it, you bring your A game” attitude. Do that with someone with OCD tendencies and this is what you get.

  58. 58
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Hang in, Gex.

  59. 59
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Also, I buried my cat today. Haven’t had a cat-less house since 1994. Stupid fucking death.

  60. 60
    Narcissus says:

    @Punchy: That’s actually just the real Jeff Bridges

  61. 61
    Another Halocene Human says:


    According to your face, first of all, the body looks more like maybe a Rottweiler but the face on the dog in your link looks a lot like a pittie, just darker. Maybe because of the bobbed ears and enormous jaw, ie fighing dog.

    Also, your link had a list of incidents in the English-speaking world with these dogs, starting with the 100lb woman killed for carrying raw taco meat in a shopping bag and followed with two cases of these dogs killing their owners.

  62. 62
    ruemara says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Condolences. It’s always a surprise.

  63. 63
    Gex says:

    There have been a couple of humorous points.

    I am a sleep stripper. I don’t walk or talk in my sleep, but if it is warm enough, I will take my clothes off without waking up. Sort of awkward at times.

    Years ago I was visiting a friend and ended up sleeping on an air mattress on the floor in the living room. One night we went to bed before her roommate came home. Some time after I fell asleep the roommate returned. Some time after that I woke up naked. I have no idea whether the roommate returned before that or after!

    Right now the GF needs the room at 76 degrees and it is roasting in here, so conditions are ripe.

    The other moment was this: The GF is a stand up comic. Yesterday morning the nurse was encouraging her through a painful treatment and commenting how your skin is your largest organ so we need to take care of it. GF responds, “Your mom’s your largest organ!” Not the best Yo Momma joke you’ll ever hear, but it cracked me up. It was great to hear too.

  64. 64
    Gex says:

    @FlipYrWhig: On no. That’s terrible to hear. I’m sorry for your loss. Hugs.

    ETA: Had to put down my Maine Coon a few years back. The breed is just downright sweet. Sweetest cats ever.

  65. 65
    LesGS says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Well, he’s probably not pure Maine Coon, as I understand that blue eyes are considered a fault in the breed, and Max has ice blue eyes. Tabby with circle patterns on his sides, so my partner looks at him, thinks ‘target’ and says, “Bummer of a birthmark, Max.” White mittens.

    He does not like sitting on laps, but he must be as close to you as possible otherwise, so that I have had to pull a kitchen chair next to my computer so he can sit right next to me. Otherwise, he will come up behind me, rear up, grab the back of my computer chair and yank down. This, of course, has all my arms and legs shooting off in all directions as I try to regain my balance, much to the amusement of my family.

    He’s very playful, but strangely cautious. He’s always been strictly an indoor cat, but wiggling electrical cords have him leaping feet into the air, no doubt thinking, “Snake!”

    I have no idea if his behavior is typical of Maine Coons or if this is just Max.

  66. 66
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Mnemosyne: The American Stafforshire Bull Terrier (aka “pit bull”) has been a recognized breed in the US since 1898. Why is it only in the past 20 or 30 years that it’s gained a fearsome reputation as a killer dog rather than a dog that plays with children or sells beer?

    Really, Mnemosyne? I thought you were better than this. You’re going to pull out the dishonest pit bull apologist playbook, the one they go to when they get busted by their landlords or code enforcement for owning a disallowed breed, or when their dogs get put down for misbehavior and they think the dog was “incited” and “unfairly stigmatized”?

    Spuds McKenzie is not a pit. Not. A. Pit. Bull. I will leave it to those more curious about this topic to go ahead and research these various breeds.

    Btw, the name for the rhetorical fallacy you are engaging in is EQUIVOCATION. It’s saying A is the same as B when they are not. It’s sort of a nicer way of saying that you’re l.y.i.n.g.

    But of course you knew that.

    No pit lover in their right mind would mistake Spuds for a pittie.

    Until they need to lie to somebody about the nature of their dog.

    Equivocate! Misrepresent! Confuse! Conflate! Move those goalposts! Move ’em!

  67. 67
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Rich2506: Wait, his name is Gary Mauser?

  68. 68


    He does not like sitting on laps, but he must be as close to you as possible otherwise, so that I have had to pull a kitchen chair next to my computer so he can sit right next to me.

    My Maine Coon is pretty similar. He won’t sit on my lap, but pretty much must be in the room with me. If I go to the bathroom and close the door, he’ll be outside yelling at me about it. My Maine Coon is very small, for one of them anyway, at about 11 pounds.

  69. 69
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @ruemara: @Gex: Thanks, people.

  70. 70
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Gex: Wow, you are organized!

    I meant more when they boot you out of inpatient care (which they’re terrible about, usually about two days too early and you end up getting admitted again after an unnecessary crisis), you can get these nurses or nurse’s assistants to come by the house every day and help with stuff like catheters and medication.

    And, hmm probably Cole is asleep, and I don’t know to what degree flat out abuse of other posters is a banning offense around here, but if this were MY thread, the kitchen utensil would be finished today.

  71. 71
    LesGS says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I’m so sorry for your loss.

    I hope another critter-companion comes your way soon, although I know with my last loss a couple years ago, it took a desperate rescue situation for me to open my heart again to a new buddy coming in.

  72. 72
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @piratedan: AZ… like, it seems like the whole state has issues.

    During the mortgage fraud blowup that occurred during the housing bubble, some kinds of mortgage fraud were actually legal in AZ. Nobody had ever bothered to make them illegal. I think they got around to it after the bubble burst. (cough Phoenix, cough cough)

    There was one really egregious scheme that the FBI investigated and got convictions, not sure under what jurisdiction but maybe the bank was based in another state? They were paying homeless people $3000 to put their SSN on a NINJA loan on a property they would “buy”, thus earning commissions all around, but never pay the mortgage.

  73. 73
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Any differences from standard house cats other than size?

    Personality. They’re all pirates.

    Seriously — the “new, improved” purebred pedigreed Maine Coons are enormous, but the “MC strain” is widespread among strays all over New England (and, I’m told, the upper left-hand Cascadian states), not to mention Norway and Russia. Cold, damp, arboreal climates, basically. The true breed “markers” are a lion-like ruff, tufts at the tips of the ears, large extra-furry feet — and their outsized personalities. They like people, they like being at the center of things, they’re more willing than than your average cat to negotiate with dogs/birds/rabbits in their households. Of course, the flip side is that they’re not as easy to, um, intimidate as your average cat… all cats will try to steal the bacon off your plate, but after they’ve been pushed off the table six or twelve times, they’ll decide you’re just too greedy & possessive to make it worth the bother. A Maine Coon will go for your breakfast every single time, for a dozen years, because it is not his problem that you have issues. That same Maine Coon will also greet everyone that comes to the door — like a good butler, they don’t scramble gracelessly, but sometimes they glide pretty darn fast to get there at just the right time. I’ve had several friends who lived with both sighthounds and Maine Coons, and basically said that just as sighthounds can act very “catlike” (climbing, leaping, being excessively picky), the MCs are “almost like dogs” (for certain highly discriminating values of dog).

  74. 74
    PurpleGirl says:

    In the last thread before this one, Poopyman posted a link to a kitten live cam… I’ve been watching it for a while. For people who need visuals of kittens sleeping/playing and their momma cat. These critters are being fostered through a no-kill shelter.

  75. 75
    eemom says:

    My condolences to Flip on his kitty, and my best wishes to Gex and her GF for a speedy recovery.


    Also too, my big fat Fuck You to the various people who have been gratuitous assholes on this thread — especially, but not limited, to anyone who has flamed Mnem for pushing back against the slander of pit bulls.

    Not in the ballpark of a lost kitty or seriously ill SO, but I’ve had a hard day. Came here looking for a bit of late night comfort — and, while I have my differences with John Cole, his Lily-loving posts are about as innocently sweet as it gets. Why anybody would want to fuck that up with gratuitous assholery, is beyond me.

    And I have zero tolerance for anyone who beats on animals of any kind, including pit bulls. “Breeding” is fucked up from the get go, and any tragic results thereof are at the door of the human perpetrators, not the animal “products.”

    Night all.

  76. 76
    WaterGirl says:

    @Gex: Holy shit, that’s a lot to go through. GF is lucky to have you. Do I understand correctly that your employer specifically changed their benefits plan so your GF would be covered? Wow, that’s a gift that can never be repaid.

    I imagine you will plow through, being the strong one, until she is out of the woods. Don’t be surprised if it all hits you like a ton of bricks after that. Good thoughts and prayers coming your way.

  77. 77
    Anne Laurie says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Condolences. Amazing how such small lives can leave behind such a big hole, isn’t it?

  78. 78
    WaterGirl says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I am so sorry. Even when you know what’s coming, you can only be so prepared. It still hits you like a ton of bricks.

    I was suddenly dog-less last September for the first time in decades. It was very strange; my house the world felt very wrong without a dog, and I only lasted a month before I brought home a new pup, which is kind of out of character for me.

    So sorry.

  79. 79

    Is whining a skill that must be learned, or are some people naturally talented at it?

  80. 80

    @FlipYrWhig: Agh, I’m sorry to hear that, it really sucks to have to do that.

  81. 81
    Alison says:

    @Gex: Jiminy crickets…many many good thoughts your way, and hers as well. That is a hell of a lot to cope with, on both sides.

    Got my own health crap going on, and am nervous about tomorrow. I have an appointment with one of my doctors, and we haven’t met for about a month, and I’m worried I won’t have made as much progress in that time as she was hoping/expecting. And I’m not sure what the response will be to that. I know it’s not worth it to dwell and stew and worry beforehand, but that’s me. Sigh.

    Life should be easier for everyone.

  82. 82
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @PurpleGirl: aww

    u put crack on this thread


  83. 83
    Gex says:

    @Another Halocene Human: There are a few strange ways where being overweight sort of helps during all this. Certainly not to the extent she is, but the doc suggested that having some extra helps you withstand the treatments. And, given how drastic this turn was for her, they’ve already discussed an intermediate care facility for PT to get her strength back. Always a silver lining I guess.

    As for organized, was that a response to my hospital lodgings? Or did you go back and read the early post on the cancer saga?

  84. 84
    andy says:

    Give and take up here. This video of a puppy learning to walk down stairs showed up on my FB newsfeed.

    Then the scanner started in with police sent to a house out in the country (central Minnesota) where the complainant called in about a nut with a gun in their front yard. Later the complainant called again, this time saying the nut was tapping on their window with the barrel of an assault rifle, telling the complainant that they didn’t have a second story to run to. Scary stuff. I guess I’ll have to see what the paper says tomorrow…

  85. 85
    Gex says:

    @WaterGirl: You hit the nail on the head with that scenario. After the first round of treatments we had a six week wait for the follow up exam. An unwinding had to happen.

    This is going to both be easier and tougher. Easier, because we just have chemo and not radiation. Harder, because they are three weeks apart instead of weekly. So we’re in this probably through April, if not may.

    And yes, my employer is amazing in that respect. That’s the nicest part of working for a small business. The culture of this place is more family business than Fortune 500 wannabees.

    ETA: @Alison: Hugs and well wishes to you too. This isn’t a competition. We are all here to help each other.

  86. 86
    PeakVT says:

    The London Underground is doing a few steam locomotive runs to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the system.

  87. 87
    WaterGirl says:

    That’s a long road. I call that “one foot in front of the other” time. I hope you have family to help support you through this.

  88. 88
    cckids says:

    @Gex: I know I’m very late to the thread here, but I’ve been in your shoes (not w/cancer, other stuff) with my son. Days upon days upon weeks in the hospital. Hang in there, keep on doing what you’re doing, it makes both you & the GF feel better. And it certainly never hurts to be on the good side of the hospital staff. Peace to both of you, and good luck.

  89. 89
    Gex says:

    @cckids: Late, but not too late. Thanks!

  90. 90
    Platonicspoof says:

    Complete url:

    Found at top of this page
    (are you really looking for critiques of this ‘study’?):

    And that’s WP’s three link per comment limit, back in a bit.

  91. 91
    Platonicspoof says:

    From the same google search terms, a response by DanTex at DU says the paperarticle is not peer-reviewed and has mistakes such as saying Luxembourg has a homicide rate of nine per 100,000 when it was actually
    zero point nine/100k.

    The part of the DU thread I read after that wasn’t useful.

    DanTex, and John Cole, have referred to the Harvard School of Public Health pages on guns and violence, e.g.,

    And of course single victim homicides by any kind of gun is
    a different problem from mass murder with assault weapons.

  92. 92
    Platonicspoof says:

    One more link for comment 35 and off to sleep:

    These are summaries, not my field, disclaimer, disclaimer, disclaimer.

  93. 93
    nota bene says:

    “Why do guys like you and me know what a duvet is?”–Fight Club

  94. 94
    Emma says:

    @MikeJ: Because mostly they have to be trained to do it — or they have to be put in conditions that cause developmental problems. And yes, I know I sound like a dog whisperer or something, and no, I’m not one.

    In my family we’ve always had small dogs because we’ve lived in small houses with small yards. A large dog, especially one that has been bred to be a guard dog, ESPECIALLY for farms and other large open spaces, has to be managed well by someone with the right kind of personality. Pit bulls are often purchased by people who don’t have it.

  95. 95
    Emma says:

    @Gex: Gex, for a lot of bad news, you’ve had some good news.

    I’m going in for my second biopsy this month. This is the second lump, and it was cancerous and it was removed, but they want to check the lymph nodes to determine follow up treatment, which might indeed include chemo. Like GF, I’ll make it. I have good insurance and lots of sick and vacation time accumulated, so I’m all good.

    I often worry about those who have to handle this with none of the advantages I have.

  96. 96
    Rich2506 says:

    @Platonicspoof: Ahhh! MUCH appreciated Platoniscspoof!!! That’s precisely the sort of study I knew had to be out there, one that directly counters the assertions in the Kates-Mauser study. The Google search you presented in comment #90 gave me a good piece, but it didn’t directly counter the idea that we need no regulations. Your link in #92 is much better in that regard.

  97. 97
    wonkie says:


    Oh for crying out loud. Do you know how many people there are in America? Around four hundred million. And how many of them got hit by trees in a fifteen year period? What kind of trees were they? Oh my god, trees are dangerous and we sould find out immediately which tree species killed a microscopic perecnage of the population and ban the species!

    And do you know how many pitbull type dogs there are? I don’t know either but it is in the multiple millions. And yet you expect us to draw a conclusion aboutseveral million dogs on a small number of incidents over a fifteen year period.

    Exactly the kind of “thinking” that used to be appled to black men.

    They are scary, unpredictable, dangerous! WIllie Horton! WIllie Horton!

    Pitbulls are a type, not a breed. the commonality is physical appearance–smooth coat, floppy ears, rat tail.Any number of breeds mixed can produce a pitbull type dog–boxer mixes, American bull dog mixes, even dalmation crosses No genralizations whatsoever can be drawn about mixed breed dogs.To make generalizations based on physical appearance is prejudice. To concocted psuedo scientific arguments to support the prejudice is what bigots always do.

    Only an idiot draws conclusions about millions of dogs based on the kiind of data you presented: a proportion of a small number of incidents over a fifteen year period–that’s your basis for drawing a conclusion about several million dogs. I though that sort of paranoid irrationality was a characteristic of wingnuts.

    There are actually two breeds, the American Pitbull terrier and the America Staffordshire Terrier, that are smooth coated floppy eared rat tailed dogs, but prue bred Ampits and Staffies are not particularly common. Pitbull type dogs, ie dogs that are of mixed ancestry, possibly part Ampit or Staffie, are one of the most common dogs in America.

    There is actual scientific data about American Pitbull Terriers, not that anyone with a prejudice is going to care about facts.

    But for those of you who do care about facts, the AKC commissions professionl temperment testing for a wide variety of breeds annually to guide consumers in the purchase of pure bred dogs. American Pit Bull Terriers consistantly test in teh catgory of sociobility with people about the same as golden retreivers.

    BTW, according to the Humane Society there is a type of dog that reoccurs frequently in biting incidents: a chained up outdoor backyard dog, usually male and unneutered. The breed or breed mix doesn’t matter.

  98. 98
    daize says:

    @PurpleGirl: Thanks for sharing the link! I’ve missed the Spice Kitties since they went to their new homes.

  99. 99
    furklempt says:


    This is totally asinine..

    1. Lifestyle matters far more to a dog than living quarters, so the absolute that people in apartments should never own Aussies is ridiculous, assuming the person is giving the dog the lifestyle it needs–i.e. the appropriate mental and physical exercise. Anecdotally, if you wish to explore this further, I can put you in touch with my excessively energetic and intelligent collie mix, who spent the first 3 years of her life with me in a 700ft^2 urban apartment, and could not be a happier, more content pup because I am sensitive to her exercise requirements. This belief is along the same lines that “all dogs need a fenced-in yard!” What dogs *need* is appropriate exercise, and running a fence for 6 hours a day does not count. It is perfectly easy, for a committed steward, to house any sort of dog in any sort of human habitat so long as they are educated and responsible.

    2. False equivalency city. Pit Bulls were NEVER BRED TO EAT PEOPLE, therefore we cannot say that it’s a function of their breedS (there is not one Pit Bull–it’s not a breed) in the same way that herding is a function of shepherds, or hunting is a function of hounds. In addition to fighting, Bully breeds *were* bred as family guardians, but that bit gets conveniently overlooked because, I suppose, it doesn’t fit the current narrative. Bright side: at least Rotties, GSDs, and Dobies are out of the hot seat for the time being.

    And seriously, this while stupid tsk-taking of bully breeds started because one person mentioned in passing that they had one? That’s some kind of collective choot-spa.

  100. 100
    Suzanne says:

    Wow, I come back in the morning and find I actually agree with eemom. WEIRD.

    We adopted my Luna from the shelter two and a half years ago as a puppy. She and her brothers were labeled as Pit Bull/Lab mixes. She has been very responsive to training, gets lots of attention, has never shown any aggression to anyone else, animal or human, including the aforementioned Chihuahua, who is known to jump up, grab Luna’s lips in her teeth, and hang on. My older daughter was actually bit by a dog last week—the neighbor’s miniature Poodle. My dog is gentle and loving and gets lots of kind attention from her people.

    Breed isn’t destiny and never has been.

    I lost my Maine Coon/Persian mix, Nico, a few years back to kidney failure. Best cat EVER. I don’t really believe in anything, but I believe that cat was my soulmate.

    Hugs to Gex and Flip.

  101. 101
    Pluky says:

    @Ted & Hellen: IIRC, Maine Coons are often polydactyl.

  102. 102
    Barbara says:

    @Mnemosyne: My dog was attacked by a pit bull. I was walking up the street with him on a leash and the dog jumped a five foot fence to fight. He was NOT provoked. I wasn’t even walking on the same side of the street because I found his behavior so scary. I know that Rotweilers, weimareiners, malamutes, chows, and various other breeds have been implicated in similar behaviors (although most do not have the same jaw force as pit bulls).

    But I resist the statement that it’s always a dog owner problem — these dog owners were horrified. Their dog wanted to fight even though they never rewarded him for fighting. My little corgi was also an alpha — but I could pick him up and move him out of the way (which is what I was able to do).

    Likewise, my brother in law’s oh so gentle pit bull fought another dog to the death after it came onto his property.

  103. 103
    furklempt says:


    Those are both awful situations, and I’m glad your pup (it seems) came through it ok.

    I would argue that the dog that jumped the fence *was* “operator error,” so to speak, and gets to the heart of a huge problem that I have with my previous mini-tangent on dogs and fenced-in yards. A yard is never a safe babysitter for an unsupervised dog–yet many (possibly a majority?) of people treat them as such. Many individuals, regardless of breed and especially those inclined toward higher status, will become extremely agitated in a fence situation where they can watch people and other dogs pass on what they regard to be their property. This is not a difficult situation to discern, in most cases, as you can typically hear an agitated dog barking frantically at anything that walks past, pacing, lunging, and jumping at the fence, and/or wearing a path around the perimeter. Those are all signs of agitation, and suggest that the dog should not be left, bored and unsupervised, in the yard.

    I find it nearly impossible to believe that that dog’s owners hadn’t heard or seen the signs, though I have no problem accepting that they probably didn’t understand them, since “dogs belong in yards” seems to be a prevailing philosophy, and many people think that a dog in a yard is getting exercise. It isn’t, unless you’re providing it.

    Likewise with the second scenario: the drive to protect property isn’t necessarily inappropriate, nor is it limited to one specific breed.

    To me, both situations highlight NOT that a particular breed is awful or evil, but that the consequences of not understanding dog behavior and accomodating the energy level and temperament *of the individual* are greater as the size and jaw strength increase. Nobody bitches about chihuahuas because, even when they are obnoxious, they’re six pounds of weak-jawed stubby legs and, unless you’re a hamster, probably can’t inflict all that much mortal damage.

  104. 104
    Barbara says:

    @furklempt: You are right that people screw up with small dogs but because the dogs are small the potential for damage is far less. But that kind of is the point — “operator error” is supposed to be factored into thinking about things like product liability — you assume that people won’t read the directions, will misuse a product within limits, etc. It just is not reasonable to expect that a really high standard of dog awareness will be necessary among owners as a predicate for avoiding serious injury. My neighbors were watching football and had let the dog out for just a few minutes and had probably been waiting for the commercial break to let him in or something like that. They didn’t leave him out all the time. Yes, my dog did survive but only because I put myself at some risk (my neighbor swore up and down the pit bull would never have harmed me, and he didn’t, even if he might have).

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