I lost a dear friend on Wednesday, November 5. We lived under the same roof for over two decades, and the fact that he wore fur and occasionally killed and ate rodents in his youth did nothing to detract from our bond. I’m talking about my cat, Tuxedo.
I first met Tuxedo when he was six months old, and I was thirty. Irene and I had been living on our acreage East of Sherwood Park for a couple of years, and decided it was time to add to our furry family. We went to the SPCA in Edmonton, and Irene had already picked out a funny-looking, emaciated female cat who had recently given birth (Sasha). I was still wandering about, and walked past several cat kennels when I felt a tug on my arm. A small grey and white paw was reaching out between the bars and had caught my shirt: I looked in this child-cat’s eyes and couldn’t walk away. I unlocked the bars of the cage and took him in my arms, and that was that. Tuxedo, née Sylvester, was mine, and I was his.
There is some debate in our household regarding whether we adopted Tuxedo in the October of 1994, or April of 1995. Either way, he was born in 1994, and to say we met 20 years ago is sufficiently accurate at this point.
Today we started on the first dose of immunotherapy injections for our cat, Elcee. She’s had problems with strange acne-like skin eruptions on her face and chin for years, but the last three years (Elcee is ten years old) they’ve gotten progressively worse.
During her last episode, the rash got into her ears and around her neck and shoulders: she licked her hair completely off in those areas, and ended up with secondary (bacterial) skin and ear infections. It took weeks of treatment to get that cleared up, and the vet advised that we consider allergy tests. As it turns out, Elcee is allergic to a lot of things…
I’ve been really enjoying my motorcycle riding this year. So much so that I started planning for my “ultimate” touring motorcycle. I was weighing different features, reading dozens of forums and reviews, and lamenting the several years which I’d likely have to wait in order to save up the cash. As you might imagine, this non-stop motorcycle this, Harley that, whining and complaining started to get on the nerves of my lovely wife Irene. Finally, after hearing one too many “<sigh>I wish I didn’t have to wait another two years” noises from me, she snapped:
“Kelly, if I can have two kittens, you can go buy your Harley on terms”
Obviously, my lovely wife doesn’t snap in a mean way. And that’s how we ended up adding two more kittens to our already cat-crowded home… and it marks the beginning of a stressful period of uncertainty that is still not over.
I have added a cat banner which will appear periodically at the top of this page, along with my various tree and flower images. Here is a teeny tiny version for your enjoyment:
A couple of notes about these “rotating” images
the banner images are 1920 x 150, and the cats are spread out across almost the entire width in their image. That means that most people won’t see all seven of our cats. Sorry: all I can suggest is that you get a larger/higher pixel count monitor 😉
All of the photos in the banner are taken by either Irene or myself. Thus they are not professional- that’s what you get on an amateur blog. All of the pictures are “photoshopped” to varying degrees to adjust lighting, size and (in the case of the cat banner) to frankenstein several images into one
in order, from left to right, the cats in the image are: Nimbus, Elcee, Coco, Bilbo, Iris, Tuxedo, and Willow. Bilbo is the oldest at 17 years, and Coco is the youngest at about a year and a half I believe. Scale is not accurate: but if you pretend the cats are at varying distances from you, it sort of works…
I will eventually add a “computer stuff” banner, with photos of all of my various computers and computer-related gadgets. No promise on exactly when, though. Creating a photoshopped image like the cat banner takes me a couple of hours, and although it is sort of fun, it isn’t something I want to do regularly.
It was 38 degrees Celsius here on Wednesday. It was about 32 today, and about the same on Monday and Tuesday. I like warm weather, but “warm” to me is 25 degrees.
We’d probably have central air conditioning in our house if this kind of weather was common. Instead, we make do. Our house has “top opening” windows, so in-window air conditioning isn’t an option for us either. I bought a portable AC unit a couple of years ago, the type with the big hoses you are supposed to route through the window…but guess what? There isn’t any real way to mount the hoses / vents in top opening windows either. I can jury rig something with tin foil and cardboard (I’m serious), but it is generally more hassle than it’s worth.