Cat Blogging: Rest in Peace, Dirk (August 2000 – Sept. 14, 2017)


Spare a thought for commentor Tissue-Thin Pseudonym (JMN) tonight…

I’ll never see him again; all I have is memories.

I remember finding him huddled under the tire of our car on a February morning when it was 0 degrees. He wasn’t moving anywhere, so our only choices were to take him in or run him over. He had worms and a horrible case of ear mites, so we didn’t bother trying to find the owner who had let him get into such rough shape.

I remember the cat who loved to pester Monster until she completely lost it and would repeatedly smack him in the head. He absorbed his punishment without complaint: that’s the price you pay if you pester the top cat. Dirk had no problem being at the bottom, but he wasn’t going to let Monster shirk her responsibilities.

I remember that he picked up more nicknames than any other cat I’ve had. One of them was Bus Person, from his habit of wandering around the house muttering to himself, like that guy who gets on the bus and you hope doesn’t sit next to you. He was loud enough to be heard from three rooms away.

I remember the way that he and Eddie would wrestle. The goal was to pin the other so that you could groom him. It was very sweet.

I also remember how quickly he grasped that Eddie didn’t want to wrestle anymore during the last year of his life. He treated sick, three-legged Eddie with great gentleness.

I remember how annoyed he got when three month old Harry followed him everywhere around the house. Harry worshipped him, and Dirk learned first to tolerate it, and then to enjoy it. And Dirk’s gentleness with Eddie was repaid by Harry seeking him out and snuggling with him when Dirk was declining. Harry still worships him, and I’m not looking forward to tonight, when Harry starts to realize that Dirk isn’t coming back.

I remember Dirk losing weight and kidney function over the last two years. My plan was to let him decide when to check out, when he stopped eating, but he defeated that. He kept eating, even as his kidneys and heart and brain failed him. He kept trying to move around even when he struggled to keep his paws underneath him. The last few weeks, he adopted a sprawled out eating stance as his hind legs, especially the left one, slid to the sides.

And I remember his exquisitely soft fur, the last thing I got to experience of him, even after he had stopped breathing. I’ll be cleaning that fur off of everything I own for years still.

I miss him so much, and it’s only been an hour.

Late Night Open Thread

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I need to back off from the intense stories. My Twitter feed just now has been full of nuclear deterrence theory and why we don’t need the smaller nuclear weapons that the Trump administration seems to want. And Irma and José. There is a new model out that suggests that José will smack into New York in ten days, just when many national leaders converge for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly session.

Today was laundry day, as most Saturdays are in my house, and the cats love it. They don’t have the internet. They also had their first venture outdoors with leashes and vests. It went reasonably well.


Open thread! Doesn’t have to be good news – that’s not how things are going now.

No Politics Open Thread

Ric and Zooey have more or less recovered from the humiliating vest sessions.  Here they are looking at SOMETHING outside last night. But there will be more vest sessions.



In answer to someone’s question on a previous thread (things were coming pretty thick and fast), yes, we’ll be here Sunday. I had a great lunch with friends flying their own plane through from Seattle. I’m planning a trip to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge with friends. You?

NO POLITICS! Betty Cracker is crafting some threads for that.

Cat Rescuer Bleg: Bella in NOLA

Remember Bella, and her rescuer Dalai Rasta (Scott)? They could use some help right now….

Unfortunately, everything hasn’t been well. Bella had her first phenobarbital level taken on July 27. Her vet slightly reduced her dose because Bella was close to a toxic level; unfortunately, she had a seizure the following Saturday morning, so she had to go back to the original dosage. Bella’s behaving normally now and hasn’t had another seizure, but I’m still very concerned about her health going forward.

In other news, my father had to go to the hospital on July 28; his white blood cell count was very low, and he contracted a respiratory infection. He was diagnosed with streptococcal bronchitis and congestive heart failure. The hospital treated him for almost a week, then sent him home on August 3 and, to me, it all felt a bit precipitous. He’s been improving, but he’s still got a bad cough…


Here is the link for my father’s GoFundMe campaign:

He was able to resume chemotherapy, and his time in the hospital has proved to be something of a positive, since his medications have been adjusted for his current condition. It’s also just nice to spend a bit of time out of the house with him on the days I can accompany him for his treatments.

Bella is doing fairly well, though I am rather troubled that we weren’t able to reduce her dosage. The cats have been introduced to laser pointers, and our two torties are big fans of the red dot. I’m adding a few pictures of Bella and Dobby playing with my father on the night he came home from the hospital.

I’m not on any social media other than this blog, so even if you can’t donate, it would be a mitzvah for you to post the GoFundMe link on Facebook et al. Positive pings also encouraged!

By Request: Ric and Zooey’s New Vests (Open Thread)

Ric and Zooey have been wearing their new vests for two days now – ten minutes yesterday and twenty today. They are not fond of them. The vests seem to unbalance them, and they walk kind of drunkenly. Sometimes they just fall over on their sides and lie there. But there are periods in between when they act almost normal. They are also trying to figure out how to get them off, but a thick velcro band under the stomach and another around the neck are hard to get out of if I fasten them tightly enough.

Sunday Evening Open Thread: Happy Reunions

Mom’s here! Mom’s here! Mom’s here! Mom’s here. Maria you’re mauling her, if you eat her face she won’t come and visit again…

Hat tip to the The Jester:

Friday Afternoon Break Between the Breaking News Open Thread

Knock yourselves out!