Vacation Report: The Kitteh Has an Adventure

Posting will be light for several days yet, I’m afraid. Not much time for catching up on doings around the intertoobz when travel involves long stretches stuck in a car without internet access. But I can at least let you guys share the adventure to some extent.

We passed Mt. Shasta today. It made a brief appearance from behind its morning clouds:

Gorgeous, isn’t it? That stretch of I5 is absolutely spectacular. Lots of fun with plate tectonics and mountain building, and plenty of curves where you can persuade your car to let you play with g-forces.

At the end, you can drop by the dam at Lake Shasta and get yourself a nice view:

We took the cat on a brief hike. I promised you amusing photos of a cat in harness, and amusing photos of a cat in harness you shall have:

As you can see, she made a beeline for the treeline. She planned to play hidey-cat as much as possible. Fortunately, the leash and harness foiled her schemes.

We finally managed to extract her from beneath the trees, and she briefly settled in to admire the view:

On the way back, she once again made a break for the trees, which in this case required a little mountain climbing:

If you wonder what she’s looking down at, it’s me. And yes, she’s considering if she has enough altitude to leap down and rip my face off. She’s not what you’d call an outdoor cat.

We’re settled in to an apartment-turned-hotel at the moment, where she’s taking over the place. If you’re ever in Monterey, CA, the Deer Haven Inn & Suites is an excellent place to stay. Total home-away-from-home, including a full kitchen. And it’s pretty cheap for what you get.

That’s all I can stay awake for at the moment. Hopefully, we’ll once again have internet access tomorrow night, and I can entertain you with further pictures of my cat despising the great outdoors.

Hasta, amigos!

Adios, Socks


He made it through the Clinton era, the Bush years, and caught a glimpse of the age of Obama, but that’s as far as he goes. Cancer just caught up with Socks, the former First Cat.

It’s not many cats who’ve had such long, rich lives, or got to have their say in the White House press room. Appropriate that a superstar feline ended up in Hollywood, eh? Even if it was Hollywood, MD, not CA. He spent his final years in quiet, happy retirement, getting fed chicken dinners by Bill Clinton’s former secretary, Betty Currie, and putting in the occasional celebrity appearance to help less fortunate felines. He was an awesome cat, and he’ll be missed.

Hasta luego, muchacho. Salud.

Somehow, This Does Not Come as a Surprise


The only surprising thing is that her score was this low. I blame her age – she sleeps more, which leaves less time to plot.

Well. Forewarned is forearmed, I suppose.

And this goes a long way towards explaining those strange observing-owner-from-the-bookcase spy moments we’ve experienced of late.

How many of you have felines plotting your imminent demise?

(Tip o’ the shot glass to Phil Plait.)

Please Stand By… We Are Experiencing Technicatal Difficulties


The sound you hear like a thousand boulders rhythmically being ground together: a cat’s contented purr.

The whisky-whispering sound: the cat’s paw being repeatedly ushered off the touchpad by the cat’s personal servant.

The sudden scream: the cat registering displeasure at having said paw removed from said touchpad by trying to bite off the servant’s hand.

Yup. It’s getting cold outside, so every time I sit down, I end up with a feline draped across both arms. I reserve the right to blame any late posts, bizarre typos, or inexplicable non-sequitars on this fact.

I Come Bearing Cats

One of the things I looked forward to most going home was seeing my siblings again. My parents have three delightful cats. So, of course, I had to whip out the camera and catch them in moments of catastrophic cute.

The biggest shock was seeing Jimmy, who’s become the Famous Shrinking Cat. When I left Arizona in 2007, Jimmy was not just Garfield’s color, but roughly his size. He looked like he’d swallowed a big round watermelon. My wicked stepmother had told me Jimmy had lost weight due to the new kitten keeping him busy, but she hadn’t let on that Jimmy’s about 1/3 the cat he used to be. That lean, mean playing machine you see in the photo above batting at Spook bears little resemblance to the enormous sleeping machine of yore.

I even saw him running through the house. Jimmy. Running. And leaping. And acting like he’d lost five years. Note to people with obese felines: try the Hyperactive Kitten Diet, and watch the pounds just melt away!


Max and I are old buds. When she was a little girl, I allowed her to spend a night in the Forbidden Room with me, and she’s adored me ever since. This time, the Forbidden Room was filled with model airplanes, so she and I sacked out on the couch. She seemed to think that having the sheets from the Forbidden Room was sinful pleasure enough.

Me baby brudder is growing up, but he’s still a wee little thing, and seriously is the cutest kitten I’ve ever seen in my life. Even Misha never attained this pinnacle of unadulterated adorable. He fetches mice, but instead of bringing them back and dropping them at your feet, he takes an extra moment to hide them in your shoes. He makes a great game out of getting scared. And he likes to climb my knees at night as if they’re Everest. He woke me up Sunday morning by licking my eyebrows. I almost sneaked him into my luggage. He makes me wish Misha were more amenable to the idea of having a sibling, but she’s already made her views on that crystal clear.


And, really, what more do I need? Just my little girl, snoring like a bulldog in the bed behind me. Yes, snoring. Something about the humidity up here, I think, because she never snored in Arizona. We’ve had a good time lazing around together as I catch up on the gargantuan amount of sleep I missed. Now that she’s managed to get her scent back all over my stuff, sticking it to those other three who had the termity to believe they could establish ownership, she’s a happy cat indeed.

And, with so many cats in my life, I’m a happy human. Awwww….

Chin Trout Palin Welcomes You to Spackle Camshaft Palin

This is entirely too much fun.


dana hunter, if you were born to Sarah Palin, your name would be:

Chin Trout Palin

Heh. Lessee… what about the cantina?


en tequila es verdad, if you were born to Sarah Palin, your name would be:

Spackle Camshaft Palin

I could be here all night. What else, what else… I know! The cat!

Misha, sweetie: how would you feel if Mommy renamed you Duct Idaho?

Not too happy about that. Okay. How’s about Clamp Noodle?


Well. If that’s the kind of reaction Sarah Palin elicits from cats, no wonder she fears them.

Just remember, Sarah, they hate you more than you hate them.

So, my darlings. It’s your turn for some fun. What name would you have got saddled with?


(Tip o’ the shot glass to Engine Nighthawk Palin over at – how odd – Spackle Camshaft as well. Whoops. Methinks I broked it…)

Update: No, I couldn’t leave it alone. And you’ll be glad I didn’t:

cantina, if you were born to Sarah Palin, your name would be:

Loin Falcon Palin

Excuse me while I go herniate myself laughing….

Cat-hater, Too? That Clinches It

Sarah Palin fears cats:

When asked to reveal something about Palin that no one knows, one woman offered, “She doesn’t care for cats very much,” and another chimed in, “Oh, yes, she’s afraid of my cat.”

As if the ten tons of lying, corrupt fuckery wasn’t enough, she’s afraid of a fucking housecat.

She’s afraid of this:


She doesn’t care for this:


‘Nuff said.

(Tip o’ the catnip to Paul Krugman, by way of Kevin Drum)