I miss my dog

Last Sunday night, Xena and Gabby went off on another one of their infamous adventures. You know, the kind that cause me to lose sleep and what little hair I have left. They didn’t show up when I poured food in their food bowls Sunday night; only Gabby had come home by Monday night. Her behavior was very unusual – she was very depressed and wasn’t eating. That’s when the sinking feeling set in that something was terribly wrong. I’ve attempted to get Gabby to lead me to where she last saw Xena, but she either can’t go or just doesn’t know where she is.


It’s been five days now since we’ve seen her. The weather has been getting progressively worse – colder and rainier with a decent chance for sleet tonight – and there’s no sign of her. I think my old dog is gone. Read More

A family portrait.

The recent photo organization project inspired me to finally get around to doing something I’ve been threatening to do for year – create a family portrait out of pictures where no two animals were in the same place at the same time. Here are the results:

Earl's family portrait of critters - Xena, Chloe, Iago, Sultry, Othello, Olivia
Wallpaper (without names): 1200 x 900 | 1024 x 768 | 800 x 600 | 640 x 480
Wallpaper (with names): 1200 x 900 | 1024 x 768 | 800 x 600 | 640 x 480

Earl's family portrait of critters - Xena, Chloe, Iago, Sultry, Othello, Olivia, Sampson, Gabby Cat
Wallpaper (without names): 1200 x 900 | 1024 x 768 | 800 x 600 | 640 x 480
Wallpaper (with names): 1200 x 900 | 1024 x 768 | 800 x 600 | 640 x 480

I don’t know who in the heck would want wallpaper of my pets, but I sure do, so I’m leaving it here, more or less for myself. Read More

Coping with a fuzzball-shaped hole in my heart.

Chloe at the farm - 1999 or early 2000Chloe, our beautiful little mostly-grey dilute calico cat, died earlier tonight at home. My wife had left an hour or so before that for some work-related function, and still isn’t home yet, and I still haven’t been able to reach her. Chloe has been having what we thought were allergy-related breathing problems for about a year now, and we had been treating her regularly, which usually involved force-feeding her some really icky-tasting medicine with an eyedropper. Here recently, however, her breathing problems intensified, and our veterinarian stepped her up to some stronger medicine in pill form. She was due to go back in for a checkup next Tuesday. Read More

Cat Wars.

So I got a bunch of e-mails tonight that I needed to moderate some new comments in my work blog. I still haven’t gone back and closed comment on a lot of the earlier entries I made there, so as expected, what I found were a bunch of comments attached to early entries which were some random user with a Russian e-mail address trying to spam me. Trying to spam me a lot – I think I had to “moderate” 35 of these comments into oblivion. Again, I have to ask…does anyone still feel that spam “comments” with random links to places where you can supposedly get phentermine and sex online somehow falls under the heading of fair commerce or free speech? Nope. This is like someone trying to deliberately attach a live tick to the back of your leg – a live tick waving a huge neon sign. In case anyone wonders why you have to register here, and then wait until I let a comment through for your first comment to appear, that’s why. Argh.

ChloeA Chloe update for you…our sick kitty is getting a little bit better, but she’s also driving us nuts. Her appetite has returned, slowly but surely, and she’s starting to gain her weight back. We’ve also discovered the secret to slipping her pills into a tasty treat – apparently vets can get little chicken or fish flavored “pockets” that you slip a pill into, and the cat eats it up and gets her medicine without scratching the crap out of you. Don’t let that innocent little face fool you. Chloe’s got some claws, man.

Now, as for driving us nuts: she’s decided that she doesn’t eat food or drink water in her own bedroom anymore. She goes to the spare bedroom, where Othello snoozes (and where his litterbox, food and water area), and eats and drinks all of his food and water. She’s got a healthy appetite for cat food…so long as it’s his cat food. She’s even taken to sleeping on his bed. I tend to crash out there sometimes, so here lately, I’ve been waking up to find a catfight in progress on my stomach. I’m not quite sure what the message is here, or how this particular problem gets fixed. Or if it gets fixed. Othello has been very kind to Chloe while she’s been sick, but it appears that she’s now feeling frisky enough to take advantage of the situation and drive her big brother out of his room!

All paws on deck.

Xena and ChloeXena and Chloe spend a little bit of time outside; Chloe seems to be finding it a little easier to breathe outdoors these days than indoors. Chloe had a recent visit to the vet where we learned that she has the kitty equivalent of asthma, and so we’re having to give her pills twice a day for the next two weeks. Hopefully she’ll not only find it easier to breathe, but her appetite will return as well – she barely eats, and as fluffy and soft as her coat looks, when you pick her up, you find that she’s skin and bones underneath that fur. 🙁 I’m really worried about her. Read More

Needle on “E”

I’m pretty much drained after a weekend of waiting for more little horse hooves to hit the ground and other work on the farm, and just not getting a whole lot of sleep in general. I don’t mind helping out on the farm, but I’m not 21 years old anymore and I can’t just change my sleep schedule on a dime. Invariably, I wind up more exhausted and unhappy at the end of a weekend than I do going into the weekend. I almost dread Fridays. But I don’t suppose this’ll matter to anyone until I fall asleep at the wheel, roll my car, and everyone suddenly has to find just the right trained chimpanzees to take up the various chores I have at home, at the farm and at work. Then someday they’ll look back and say, “Wow, y’know, that Earl was a cranky bastard…but at least he didn’t fling his own poop all over the place.”

Bah, they just never found where I was flinging mine.

Anyway, here’s something to cheer us all up: cute Easter critter pictures!

Chloe perches herself on the railing of the deck…

Xena chows down
…so she can watch Xena lay down and chow down.

She’s probably also keeping a wary eye on Othello, who is also out and about and on the deck railing…
Read More


Chloe and OthelloNow here’s a pet pairing that I don’t think I’ve had a chance to photograph in years. In the upper left hand corner is Chloe, snoozing on our antique Duncan Phyfe sofa, while Othello, snoozing on a comforter on our other sofa, is awakened by me taking pictures. (Ignore the clutter in the rest of the room if you can.) I’m surprised Othello is in as good a mood as he’s in – he’s got every right to hate my guts tonight. Read More