Friday Evening Respite Open Thread

It’s been One of Those Weeks, my sleep schedule is gehfuckten, and there are still mail-order tomatoes that need to be tranplanted. How’s your day been?

Weekly Chemo and Menagerie Update

Lily had her fifth chemo treatment today, and while we were there I saw the most curious looking dog:

From some angles, it looks like he has NO legs whatsoever, but I thought he looked kinda like a Jawa Landcrawler. He shuffled when he walked.

At any rate, the only note from my doctor this week was “Lily continues to be amazing.” Which is true! All her bloodwork was fine, her platelet count dropped, and everything seems to be ok, so we are just gonna keep on keeping on. She got showered with attention by all the nurses and vet techs, and got a pretty new bow:

After we walked out of the hospital I tried to get her to go on the grass and potty, but she headed straight toward the car and was ready to get on the road.

Got home, and the peeps are doing well:

And just because I love you, here are pictures of Rosie and Lardass. Rosie is too stiff (like all JRT’s) to curl up, so she just makes the bed work:

And Steve just sleeps wherever the hell he wants:

Remember, that recliner is a chair and a half oversized job.

I have no idea what happened in politics today and plan to keep it that way until tomorrow.

Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Keep Fighting (It’s Worth It)

The first planks of the “A Better Deal” platform, released last year, focused on the party’s economic agenda. Now, with questions about pay-to-play politics swirling around President Trump and his current and former aides, Democrats introduced new anti-corruption proposals Monday billed as “A Better Deal for Our Democracy.”

“Instead of delivering on his promise to drain the swamp, President Trump has become the swamp,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) during a rollout event on the Capitol steps.

While the new agenda was only sketched out in broad terms Monday, it includes proposals that would eliminate loopholes that allow lobbyists and lawmakers to buy and sell influence without the public’s knowledge, allow big donors to influence the political process through unreported donations and to improve elections by eliminating partisan gerrymandering and implementing automatic voter registration.

The message, the Democrats said: Elect us in November to “clean up the chaos and corruption in Washington.”…

Several of the Democrats who spoke Monday attempted to connect the corruption allegations to a Republican governing agenda that has delivered outsize tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans and dismantled financial and environmental regulations that aimed to protect average taxpayers.

Democrats are also preparing to highlight an apparent atmosphere of rule-bending, if not rule-breaking, in the Trump administration. Several Trump Cabinet members — including Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, as well as former Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price and former Veterans Affairs secretary David Shulkin — have been subject to official investigations of questionable spending on travel and other expenses….

Cat “Semi-Bleg” — Houston Area

From commentor Kirk S:

The background:
I live in an apartment complex in Houston – been here for three years now. There’s a cat colony in our section that has an extremely prolific mother. Unfortunately she’s also very smart about traps and completely opposed to a hand or other human body part within a couple of feet. At the same time she knows – and teaches her kittens – that people are where the food is. (We are not the only ones. We put out water as do a few other apartments. Sometimes we put out dry cat food.) As a consequence the descendants range from skittish to pet-like in behavior.

The cat you see in the picture was one of Mama’s litter from a few months ago. She’s one of the ‘wants to be a pet’ cats – though cautious of new people, she wanted to be petted and held, and would try to come inside. The kittens were her first litter at what is way too early an age.

How much too early? Wednesday afternoon she dropped 8 kittens in a circling line, crying in pain, and once the last was out she ran. A neighbor and my wife saw the later end of this and gathered the living kittens – the four survivors – brought them into the apartment in a small box, and gave them a little water.

Soon after this cat came to the Mrs. wanting to be held and comforted. So Mrs. brought her in and put them all together. The cat was panicky and kept pushing the kittens away till Mrs. found a larger box (a microwave box headed for the trash), put a towel in the bottom, put kittens and cat inside, and lowered two flaps to form a cave. A few minutes later the four kittens were nursing.

The plea:
My apartment allows me to have two pets. I have two dogs. Now I’ve got a cat and kittens and they can’t stay.
Read more

Sunday Night Open Thread- There’s a Feral Bobcat On My Chest

I lay down to take a nap this afternoon and had my phone with me by the bedside table (normally I turn the damned thing off or have it on a charger somewhere), so when Steve jumped up on my chest and started demanding food, I took the opportunity to take some pictures so you will know how my day starts EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING.

First, he walks into the room and announces his presence. That sometimes wakes me up, and I try to be very still and pretend I am still asleep and don’t hear him. Then I lie there hoping that playing possum works, but usually it does not, and since Steve is plus size, the next thing I hear is him defying all the laws of physics and and gravity projecting himself onto my bed. From there, he slowly climbs on top of my chest, and gets his face really close to mine, sometimes so close I can feel his whiskers. Like this:

The key to possum is not making eye contact and just not moving. So he’ll sit there and stare at me until his gaze penetrates my eyelids. Other times he will knead, start out slowly, increasing the pace and force and the amount of claw every few seconds until it feels like a bantamweight boxer is working out on the heavy bag. Sometimes even more aggressive measures are employed, like a swift “THWAP” to the face:

Notice the serious look on his face as he delivers a deft right hook. When I finally wake up, he stands on me triumphantly, declaring victory, letting me know what I have to do:

“Rise and shine, fatty. Home team needs breakfast.”

John and Steve’s Excellent Adventure

So today was the day of the annual summer shaving for Steve, and it did not come a moment too soon. He was miserable with all that hair, and I was miserable every time he sat on me because he was just so hot. At any rate, the obligatory “Steve has to go to the vet/groomer” shenanigans started at 6 am this morning, when Steve started bitching for food and I ignored him. FOR THE NEXT SEVEN FUCKING HOURS.

The reason for this is twofold. First off, if I feed him, there is a solid chance I will not see him again until 5 or six pm (unless it is a serious blizzard or an epic rainstorm), so I need to have him hungry so I can grab the whip and stool and lure him into the downstairs bathroom by pretending to feed him, shut the door with us both inside, and then wrangle him into a crate. Second, our ferocious beast has a delicate stomach (see also, the Legend of Shitmas), and every time he goes in the car anywhere he shits himself, and he also poops on the groomers once or twice for good measure and they are pretty much traumatized by his antics.

All went according to plan, I corralled the vicious sabretooth, got him to the groomers, they called back a couple hours later, and I picked him up. They reported happily that he “only pooped on us once this time,” and I grabbed him, put his crate in the car, and headed home.

All went well (I mean he was bitching and moaning and cussing and caterwauling but the hissing was at a minimum) until we hit the big curves halfway home, and a wall of stench slowing seeped forward and then hit me full force. All the windows went down, and I drove about 10 mph because if the crate slides, I know what he is sliding in, and I will be opening a crate full of the equivalent of Satan’s Anus and a pissed off polydactyl cat to boot.

Got home, made sure all the other animals were locked outside, and opened the crate with the delicacy of a neurosurgeon making his/her first cut. Steve was having none of it, and went berserk when the water hit him, but after a little bit of blood and tears with a smattering of atheist prayers, I got him cleaned up and dried off enough to let him free. He bolted outside, and still refuses to come within ten feet of me:

He also refuses to make eye contact:

I tried to lure him inside with a can of cat food, but he was not having any of it. You know the old saying- “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

For now, the circle of trust has been broken.

No-Politics Open Thread

As you might guess, after the second picture, the licking turned to biting, and then there were squeaks, and now the kittehs are off the desk. But they can be sweet about grooming each other.

By request, a pet and no-politics open thread!