Puck, the amazing Avid-repairing cat

For the past six months, I’ve had a problem plaguing my Avid video editing system: direct output from my other PC was a no-go. Running that same PC out to a DVD recorder, and then playing the resulting DVD-R back into the Avid, was okay. But direct recording, which is much more desirable? Nope. For some reason, the video signal was arriving weak and out-of-phase – the color was nearly 180 degrees out of phase, and there seemed to be nothing I could do to resolve the issue, even after re-seating/swapping cables, swapping out distribution amps at the source, and basically rewiring everything. This is a big item for me to do without, because I record a lot of video for the site this way (including Phosphor Dot Fossils video pieces).

Lo and behold, the first time Puck gets behind the Avid and starts playing with the wiring, the problem is fixed. Seriously. The video quality is just beautiful. He wouldn’t even have gotten back there except that I had removed some obstacles so that I could get behind the machine. Maybe if I let him get back there again, I’ll wind up with HD.


The sad thing about this whole story is that the only reward I have for the little guy is taking him to the vet in a few hours so they can snip his boy bits and, after much delibration, his front claws. He’s literally torn apart some of our furniture, just doing routine scratching. This was a tough decision, because that aside, he’s actually very judicious in his claw use: as much as Evan has been getting a bit rough with his feline friends of late, he’s accumulated all of two or three scratches. Puck normally just looks at me as the boy is trying to drag him away by one leg, as if to say “Help! I’d rather not shred your kid here.” For an ex-stray, Puck is a very gentle cat, with both Evan and the other cats. I think he knows he’s got a better gig here than in the big field behind the TV station. Unlike Obi, our other adopted stray, Puck shows zero interest in returning to the outdoors; obviously he’s not feeling any nostalgia for checking transmitter tower lights. If he keeps embarking on successful rewiring projects around here, though, I may start bringing Puck to work with me. Not to drop him off where I found him, but to lend his expertise to the engineering department.

The standard instructions for a cat who has surgery in the morning is to cut him off from food and water at 10pm the previous night. The key words here again being “ex-stray,” this has proven amazingly difficult. That little cat can get into just about anything. He’ll also eat just about anything. Dirty dishwater? Check. Fig newtons left out on the counter? Check. Who knows, by 7 o’ clock this morning, we may have to postpone the snipping of his outboard gear on account of not being able to enforce the food/water embargo.

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