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.

Jam-packed pre-Christmas update

The Daddy & Evan ShowSorry I’ve been neglecting you, blawg (and any readers still left out there). I’m still getting used to the whole rhythm of having a steady job. You’d think (and I would’ve thought) I would’ve gotten used to it by now, but it still hasn’t happened for whatever reason. Evan has lots of overnight outbursts, and sometimes I think they’re all about making up for lost daddy-and-Evan time. He just wants me to hold him until he falls back asleep. Daddy can do that… but it robs me of sleep on the flipside, and I have to try to get some nap time in after Evan goes to day care, and the end result is that it often seems like I do two things: work and sleep. My hours have normalized a bit – no more radical changes in my in/out times from day to day – but the sad part is, the hours have normalized to where I’m only home to tuck Evan into bed two nights a week. At this point I think I’m having more trouble with that than he is. I miss my Evan time.

I do make the most of it while I’ve got it though – he’s been wanting to sing along with the ABC song and Jingle Bells a lot lately, and I’ve been trying to accommodate him, especially since his musical tastes aren’t developed enough to know that daddy can’t really sing worth two craps. He also listens to every word I say on the drive to day care in the morning. Case in point: one day I had some choice words for the driver ahead of me. Evan then repeated those choice words all day at day care. Thank God the words were only “NICE TURN SIGNAL, BUDDY!” (In case you can’t tell, some vital portions of my trash-talking-other-drivers education took place during one of my visits with my grandfather; the classroom was the maze-like street grid of New York City.)

Three Amigos

Evan’s been getting along just fine with the other new addition to the family too. Actually, everyone’s getting along with Puck, the new black cat (code names: Puckalufagus, Puckbill Cat-a-puss). Puck also got some of his education on the mean streets, and it shows: now that he’s in our house, he has absolutely zero interest in going outside (unlike Oberon). We’re still experiencing a bit of a learning curve with convincing him to stay off the kitchen counter, out of the trash cans, etc. etc.; I gather he’s had to dig through a few trash cans to find dinner in the past, and it’s a habit he’s having some trouble breaking. But he’s not being destructive or terribly messy – on the contrary, he doesn’t leave a single crumb when he eats – and he’s emerging as a very benevolent alpha male, keeping the peace when the other two cats fight. Puck has been allowed to keep his claws intact because he’s very choosy about using them, and that give his enforcement of household feline peace a little bit of authority too. It’s not uncommon to see all three cats curled up together, which may be a new ground speed record for universal adoption-to-acceptance in our house. He sleeps with me at night; as yet, I don’t know if he picked me or if I picked him. Considering that he showed up at my workplace on the first night of my new job, I’m leaning more and more toward the former.

Speaking of Oberon, today marks three years since we adopted him. December 19th being the life-changing day that it is in our family history, that also means three years since I saw Sultry drown right in front of me, three years since I gave my notice at the station where, ironically, I’m now working again (though in a very different capacity), and all of those events directly or indirectly are tied in with Evan… happening. Looking at where I am now is kind of eerie: I’m back to working at the same TV station, where a black cat showed up to replace my sorely-missed black cat… more than once I’ve looked around, worried, to make sure that I get to keep my kid out of this deal. It’s nice to have the job (and even nicer to have the cat), but there are some parts of the status quo that I don’t want restored.

Oh, and by the way…NICE TURN SIGNAL, BUDDY!

I’ll try to blawg a bit more often. In fact, there’s some really startlingly inconsequential blogging just around the corner…


Evan hasn’t been feeling great lately; on Monday, he was running a fever at day care, and there was a bit of a scramble because that’s one of the days that I go to work fairly early. The doctor said he had the flu, and of course even a solitary sneeze is treated as H1N1 these days, so it was Tamiflu time…and Evan had to stay home the whole week, which made my work schedule interesting. Fortunately, he’s got a new friend to help keep him company while he gets to feeling better.

Evan and.... what's his face Read More