Sunday Morning Open Thread: It’s A Gift

Okay, it’s a box. But all boxes belong to cats, by divine right.

Betty had a wonderful thread earlier this week asking for gift ideas and highlighting the artists among us, but Sunday morning tends to be a quiet time for those of us who’re still contemplating our options.

There are a bunch of Balloon Juice jackals who have books to sell, among them Dorothy A. Winsor, who taught me something I didn’t know:

…If you read something and enjoy it, you give the author a big gift by reviewing the book on Amazon and/or Goodreads. The review can be very short (I enjoyed this book). It doesn’t have to 5 star. The issue is that Amazon uses the sheer number of reviews as part of its algorithm for which books to promote. Also some sites ( Book Bub, frex) require that a book have a certain number of reviews before you can promote on there.

So… Who’s got works to promote (yours or others?)

What other great gift ideas should we know about? (Out-of-the-ordinary good causes to support, for instance… )

Iron Lion Brookline

I live with Nancy Smash’s spirit animal:

Trust me.  You don’t want to mess with this:

And if you were wondering…

No, this is not the laundry you were looking for:

And last, as we knew…

This is not your internet. It is my internet:

Tikka and Nancy agree: there’s more manhood in a fixed feline than in the entire bloated carcass of Dear Hairpiece.

And with that — an alternative to politics open thread.

PS: The original of the title character:


Afternoon Open Thread

There have been requests for Ric and Zooey in their outdoor outfits. This afternoon a crow harassed a red-tailed hawk across the yard while I was out with Ric.

It was pleasant today by midday. The cats are not fond of going out in snow and cold.

The photos are from a while back, as you can see from the green.

Evening Open Thread

I just love this video, have been watching it all afternoon.

Early Morning Open Thread

Good Morning. The usual crew is nowhere to be seen.

This is how Ric greets me in the dining room as I make breakfast.

Trump is not yet tweeting.

The rightwing gets some of its jollies from what we might call EMP porn. EMP is electromagnetic pulse, a concomitant of nuclear weapons explosions. Nuclear weapons can be engineered to produce more of it. The rightwing fantasy is that a country like Iran or North Korea, with not many nukes, would magically, maybe by floating it by balloon, sneak such a nuke or nukes over the US, detonate it, and END ELECTRICITY IN THE US FOREVER!!!!! This is nonsense – developing such a bomb would require tests, and it’s not like the US wouldn’t notice the nuke part and fry the perpetrators. Plus if you have only a few bombs, the smart way to use them is to take out a city. There was another such article in a national publication this week. Here’s one reaction.

The EMP (DRINK!) thing is sort of an in-group joke.

How’s your day going so far?

Open Thread: Now For Something Completely Different

Okay, Facebook gave me my laugh of the day. I posted this link and the preview to it on my FB page and FB removed it:

I Think Gabe Misses Bixby

I have moved the actual photo below the fold, because, you know, it’s clearly sensitive.

Read more

Cat Acclimation Advice Bleg

Update at 7:25 PM EST

Cliosfanboy sent a picture of Mom Cat across while I was at the gym, so here she is in all her glory!


Commenter Cliosfanboy has sent in a request for cat acclimation advice. Here’s the details:

Hi all. My wife and I have been taking care of a feral cat colony since 2010 with help from Alley Cat Allies. It started with a batch of kittens born to a single feral in a collapsed shed in my neighbor’s back yard. (the neighbor, and the shed, are long gone now) By coincidence my wife knew the President of Alley Cat Allies. She lived nearby so she gave us advice and help. AC Allies recommends Trap/Neuter/Release (TNR). You catch the cat via a humane trap. You have it neutered, tested, and vaccinated by a vet. They notch one ear so animal control and vets know it’s been fixed and vaccinated. Then you release it back to its home. Many ferals are not adoptable because they’re too wild, and more ferals will move in to take their spot if you just remove them. Once they are fixed they tend to be calmer, so there is much less fighting between cats. So far its worked for us.

In the past eight years we’ve had numerous cats living on our property. We bought specially made insulated cat houses so they have shelter during cold and wet weather, and we feed them every day. Some have moved in and then moved on (or passed away). One neighbor had problems with cats using their garden as a toilet, so I gave them some cat repellant which seems to have worked. Two of the original kittens survived to adulthood. One moved to a nearby house and was adopted. Another was killed by a wild animal. That one really saddened me as he was my favorite.

Why this post? Well, we have two cats now and my wife and I are thinking of moving. We’ve outgrown our little post-WWII Cape Cod and are looking for a larger place. But we took responsibility for the cats so we’re not going to just abandon them.

One of the two cats, Mom Cat, we think is adoptable. She comes out to greet us when we get home and keeps me company when I work outside. She lets us pet her, will sit next to me when I am sitting outside, and has even climbed into my lap. In the past we’ve not let her inside for a couple reasons.

  1. My wife is (probably) allergic
  2. We had three dogs and they are not all cat friendly.

Now, however, things have changed. My wife thinks that her allergy may be to only longhaired cats (long story) and Mom Cat is shorthaired. (you can see her photo on BJ calendars). Also, we are down to two dogs. Our eldest, Rocco, passed away in August. (God, I miss him). We actually thought the other two would be a bigger problem, but Mom Cat was recently in our house briefly and our Sonia did not bother her at all. (Mom Cat snuck in while I was carrying in groceries) That leaves our dachshund Spud.   If he can be trained to leave Mom Cat alone we think we can try to start to acclimate her to inside life a bit. That means when we move we could bring her along (hopefully) or she could be adopted by a cat person.

OK, here is what I want to ask of the Balloon Juicers.

  1. We need suggestions/advice on how to introduce Spud the Weiner Dog to Mom Cat. Neither Spud nor Sonia bark at the cats and they’ve sat and simply watched when I’ve gone out the door with Mom Cat waiting for me outside.
  2. How do I best slowly acclimate Mom Cat to the indoors. She will likely not want to live indoors all the time.
  3. Are there any other BJers in the northern Va/DC area who is a cat person willing to try to see if they can work with Cat #2, AKA Gray Mom? Gray Mom does not let anyone pet her, nor can we get close to her. She may be permanently feral, but if there is a cat whisperer around here we’d love for their help. . My wife would prefer that we find a home for Mom Cat too.

I should note that neither my wife nor I had cats growing up, so I am not sure how to even pick one up! I can’t find the handle anywhere!!! But we’d appreciate help. Thanks.

You all know what to do!

Open thread!