Interlude with Cat: The Assistant

I’m working on something which won’t have tremendous substance, but will have links to substance, and yummy photos. But it’s taking forever due to a few technical difficulties. Don’t talk to me about getting cats to pose with rocks, or getting enough light out of one bloody bulb, or trying to figure out why the computer won’t load the photos, or photo editing, or…

Anyway, here’s a cat. Helping me write. Enjoy that while you wait. Send it to PZ and tell him you’d like to see a cephalopod do that without suffocating in the open air or getting the paper wet.

Caturday Sunbeams

And I’m spent. Also very, very behind in this week’s blog reading, so if you lot want a nice, fat Los Links come Monday, I’m going to have to pawn you off with a little light (ah-ha-ha) entertainment.

The sun has forsaken us now, but last week, Seattle attempted to apologize for not giving us an actual summer. Lovely 80+ degree days with wonderfully cool nights, my favorite. I usually don’t open the curtains in the bedroom, because keeping the place a dark cave prevents it from getting warm, but over the last several sunny days, I took to letting the sunshine is for the poor kitteh, who wasn’t getting enough quality porch time.

This met with some approval.



About the second or third day (I know, consecutive sunny days in Seattle, unheard of!), she figured out the routine. She appeared at the window before I’d even gone to it and stood there, little nose poked out and eyes half-closed, awaiting that magical moment when Mommy would let Mr. Sunbeam in. And this continued to be her routine most days thereafter. I wish I’d had the camera handy, but the one time I did, she broke her streak. On purpose, I’m sure.

But she did allow me to catch this moment of bliss:



Doesn’t she just look smugly self-satisfied? You’d think she was responsible for the fine weather.

You may be wondering about the blue thingy. That’s her hair tie. She won’t play with cat toys, but for some reason, adores chasing hair ties. She’ll even play fetch with them sometimes. And when she’s not chewing on Mommy, she likes chewing on them:



Funniest moment ever was when she started dry-coughing due to a developing hairball, but wouldn’t let the hair tie go, so it was dangling from a tooth as she wheezed. She’s ridiculously cute sometimes. I try to explain this to friends who wonder why I’ve kept an animal with homicidal tendencies. They just do not understand the power of her Massive Cute.

During the day, her sunbeam would move, but she’d sleep through it. So when I was home, I’d go back to the bedroom every hour or so and drag her a few inches over. I probably shouldn’t have done – this just taught her she didn’t have to do a damned thing for herself. No matter. Once the sunbeams had well and truly moved on, she’d amble out through the living room and onto the porch for a nice lie-down in the sunshine with her favorite rocks. So she did get exercise. Of a sort.

I’m looking forward to the winter writing season, but I’ll miss these times.

Caturday Geocat: Hand Sample Analysis

My poor beautiful hand samples from our Oregon trip are just sitting forlorn on the porch, waiting for me to come up with a permanent home for them. I’m afraid I may never get to properly house them, however. My cat has taken a definite interest.



We have this little ritual when I come home for lunch. She usually spends the time outside on the porch, hanging out on her carpet square whilst I scarf some food and catch up on Twitter. Then she greets me at the door as I head outside for a smoke. She follows me over to the lounge chair, where I sit and enjoy the last moments of freedom before heading back for another four hours of soul-sucking drudgery agonizing boredom work. She consents to a scratch behind the ears, and then ambles over and starts inspecting the rocks.



Here she’s analyzing one of the platy volcanic bits (which may or may not be basalt or basaltic andesite, but that’s a story for another day). It’s one of the ones with dendrites on it. Once she gets done with those, she’ll establish ownership over the rhyolite by rubbing her cheeks all over every piece she can reach. I have to watch her on that – they’ve got some glassy textures and sharp edges.

She’ll look up occasionally, stare off into the distance like she’s considering what she’s just learned from her latest inspection.



Then she’ll go back to her favorite sample, a frothy bit of basalt or basaltic andesite with quartz in.



She loves that rock the best. She curls up with it every time we’re out there together. I’m surprised it’s not coated in cat hair, considering how much she snuggles with it.



It’ll be winter soon, and both rocks and kitteh will have to come in from the cold and rain. But for now, I think I’ll leave her hand samples just as they are. This time we have together, me and her and the rocks, is precious.

I’m lucky to live with a cat who shares my love of geology and Doctor Who. I can forgive the occasional homicidal rages. We all have our little quirks, after all.

You’ve had your Caturday dose of cute. Time for something of substance. Both Lockwood and Cujo have written up bits of our recent trip. Cujo explains why geology is important, and Lockwood’s done a more in-depth look at his teaser tweeting, a sexy take on the Pinnacles, and a dedication to the teacher who introduced him to many of the wonders we saw. Enjoy!

GeoKitteh Contemplates Hand Samples

All of my lovely rocks from our El Norte adventure are still on a towel in the living room, awaiting their final home. This is normally where teh kitteh’s paper and cardboard are. I thought she might be angry, but she found Mommy washing rocks to be fascinating. Then she decided they’d been placed there for her own entertainment.



Looks like a queen with her court, doesn’t she just?

She’s been busy inspecting the bounty.



And then she thinks about them for a moment.



If she makes some sort of profound discovery no one’s ever made before with your basic subduction zone rocks, I hope she learns English and shares her wisdom.

Serpentinite and Cat

Sorry, folks.  The week got away from me, and I haven’t got a Dojo post ready. Besides, Karen wants pics of that delightful chunk of probable serpentinite.

Alas, I missed my chance Sunday. It was baking hot on the porch, I had Aunty Flow’s typical “hi, I’m here!” agony going on, and the weather folks assured me that all would be sweetness and light aside from scattered thunderstorms on Monday. “No problem,” thought I. “Scattered t-storms we can live with. Plenty o’ sunbreaks, I’m sure!”

What the weather folks apparently meant but didn’t state explicitly was, “Thunderstorms scattered through solid gray clouds that will not allow so much as a single stray sunbeam to alight upon your porch. No, not even for a second.”

Argh.

So we’re going to have to go on with two pics I shot that include the cat, and that do not in any way do justice to the glory that is my chunk of serpentinite, but can be seen as a teaser.



There she is, lying on top of the bits of the glacial erratic I picked off the ground so that I could take them home and break them open and attempt to identify what it’s made of. The rocks from Carkeek are laid out neatly drying. I suppose she believes she’s helping. The serpentinite is that chunk o’ yum right behind her head.



Here she is lying beside my great and glorious chunk of serpentinite, out on the porch. Could’ve gotten a much better shot if I’d been in any condition to crouch, but at this time of the month, movement is severely restricted. Still, you can tell it is beautiful.

The light today is so severely filtered by clouds that the truly magnificent greens and blues of this thing aren’t properly displayed, but I can’t just leave you with mere glimpses. Here’s one taken near the window, with what little light we’ve got:



How amazing is that? Just imagine what actual sunlight does to it!

A macro:



Really, as much as I love my schist, I almost think I love this more. Once the sun comes back at a time when I can take full advantage, we’ll have some truly good pics and a proper write-up on what serpentinite’s all about. As long as this is serpentinite. If anybody suspects it’s not, now would be an excellent time to say so.

And, because I can’t resist:



How happy does she look, eh? Shot that with the zoom from inside the house, so as not to wake her up. In the summer, she spends a fair amount of her time out on the porch, basking in the sun. At least she’s lazy and doesn’t try to climb up on the roof like the neighbor’s cat. I can leave the door open and leave her to do whatever without worrying I’ll have to call in a ladder truck later. True, we get flies, but it’s a small price to pay for such a happy kitteh.

No Lounge Chair Shall Prevail

We’ve had occasional moments of summer, which means I’m forced to leave the sliding glass door open so that my felid can play Queen o’ the Porch.  So last weekend, there I was, trying to concentrate on me work, and I hears this clunk.

I looked outside in alarm, and in the next moment dove for the camera, because hilarity was about to ensue.



The important thing about leverage is, when you’re on one end of a very long lounge chair, and there’s nothing anchoring the other end, the end you’re on goes clunk.

I waited for the freakout.



Wobbly moment there, but back on terra firma, with all legs back where they belong.  However, this end of the lounge chair appears not to have met her strict standards.



For a while, there, it seemed she meant to tip it the other way.  But, on second thought….



It is apparently no fun courting disaster when mommy has the camera ready.  Note the “Do you really think I’m going to do anything humiliating with you watching?” expression.



Aaand success.  Humiliation averted, sunbeam acquired, smug expression firmly plastered. 

Now if only summer would come back…

My Cat the Geology Fan

A few of us on Twitter were recently discussing the feasibility of sticking cats in washes in order to create some geology lolcats.  This is the closest my cat will ever come to a dry wash.  She’s not what you might call a fan of the great outdoors.  But, apparently, she likes pop geo books just fine:



If you’re inspired to caption, knock yourselves out.  I’d love to see the result!

I wish I could believe she really was interested in geology, but I think she was just trying to impress the neighbor, who was visiting us for the first time.  She’s more of a Doctor Who fan at heart.  Here’s yet another bit of evidence:



Note how she’s shifted them so they form a nice, comfy arc along her back.  And she’s dragged her green tissue paper closer so she can have all of her great loves in one place.  This is why I will never be able to clear my living room floor of Doctor Who DVDs, a tattered old piece of cardboard from an Amazon shipment, and that stupid piece of tissue paper: she’d kill me if I tried.  All right, granted, she attempts to kill me anyway, but only as an afterthought.  She’d be motivated to murder if I ever put things away.

If blogging ever suddenly ceases, at least you’ll know what happened to me.

Overdose of Cute, Plus Snow!

Some of you like cute kitteh photos.  Well, this post is for you.

My cat, who is spawn of Satan at the best of times and something Satan would flee from at the worst, has been overplaying the cute card over the past few weeks.  I believe she’s plotting something.  Or perhaps she’s just saying thanks for giving her a big ol’ sheet o’ paper for Xmas:



Nah.  Plot.

More disgusting cute after the fold, plus a rare glimpse of Seattle snow.

When I was busy researching ice caves, she decided to “help.”



Yes, that is me trying to take notes on a notepad held vertically against my chest.  It was that or get my hand chewed off.

You know, it was tough doing this with the old computer.  With the new one, it’s impossible to get anything done when she wishes to snuggle.  I’m going to have to invest in one of those extra-wide recliners someday, preferably one with a laptop desk attached to the side.

Usually, though, she’s sacked out on the couch.  She’s got her preferred spot, and she finds a myriad of ever-more-adorable positions to lie in, trying to tempt me away from my work.  And she succeeds.  I end up spending too much time fiddling with the camera, trying to determine if I can get supreme cute results from handheld twilight mode:



Or mebbe the flash:



More experiments will have to be conducted.

And, finally, snow!  When it snowed overnight, I decided to see if handheld twilight could capture the dark, snowbound scene:



Yup.  Although I should’ve fiddled with the white balance more.  It’s hard to do, since the stupid outdoor lights always choose to either go on or off right after I’ve set up the shot and then pressed the shutter.  Argh.  Still.  Snow.  In the dead of night.  Pretty awesome, that was, especially since it started raining early that morning and all went away before I had to worry about venturing out.  That’s how I like snow!

Wish I’d caught the Little Hell Beast when she was doing her “What’s this white shit all over my porch?” routine, but she lost interest before I could aim.

So there you are.  Your overdose of cute for the week.  If I suddenly stop blogging, you’ll know that there was a plot, and it involved grievous bodily harm.  But I doubt she’ll do anything to me before summer.  She knows other people will feed her, but only mommy risks death and dismemberment to cuddle her on cold nights.