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On New Year’s Eve, I went out to hear a band. I was sitting at the bar, nursing my beer, when the young woman with whom I’d struck up a conversation asked if that was a picture of my cat on my phone. No, I said, it was my sister’s cat. However, I explained that a couple of years ago, when I first left New York City, I was down on my luck and I lived with my sister for a year.  Her cat and I became strangely close. I went back to school, and, late at night when everyone else was asleep and I was doing homework, he’d lie on my desk. Every night, he’d sleep on my suitcase on the floor next to my bed. The woman, who told me that she had just gotten a little gray kitten from a vet that she hadn’t even brought home yet, listened patiently to my little stories about the boy. He was clumsy, which is how he got the name Crash, though he responded to the name Boo Boo.

On New Year’s Day my sister found him lying on the floor, not breathing. She rushed him to the vet, who said that he had probably had a sudden heart attack or an aneurism and probably had already been dead for a while when my sister found him. My sister must have been in pretty big denial to go to the vet with him. My brother-in-law is devastated. He started his own business a few years ago and Crash would sit at his side while he did the accounts.

Sis says Mama Cat is wandering around the rooms in the house as if she’s looking for her baby.

a cat

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted photos of the boy. The other day I saw him lying on his back in the sun and I grabbed my camera to take a picture. As I approached, he woke up.

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Cat rolling over.

Cat cuddling a toy.

A few months ago, I put up a couple of posts about Blackie, a stray cat. So far, we’ve failed to find a home for him. Yesterday evening, he came around with the skin of a significant part of the right side of his face torn off. We can’t imagine what happened. It looks just awful. We tried to coax him into a carrying case to take him to a vet without success. Tonight we’re going to try to use a live animal box trap, sometimes called a Havahart trap. He’s walking around, eating, marking his territory, so as bad as he looks, he’s not near death. However, the wound is very close to his good eye and if he loses that his future is not bright.

An old, beat-up cat with scars on his nose and a torn ear sitting on a flagstone path.

Keep your fingers cross that we can catch him and that his injuries can be treated. He’s at least eight years old and he’s a polydactyl.

(Update) I’m sorry to say that Blackie had to be put to sleep. I wasn’t exaggerating when I wrote that a large portion of the right side of his face was gone. It was quite a shocking sight. My sister took him to the Animal Hospital where the vet said that he was suffering from necrosis. He needed multiple surgeries and she thought his prospects of survival were very low. She said that there wasn’t enough skin left to repair the wound. We’re all just very sad right now. We so much wanted to help him.

A stone staircase rising alongside a hill in a park in Philadelphia.

Fun stuff from around the internet:

As we know, man domesticated dog, but cat civilized man. The history of civilization is nothing more than man’s search to serve his (and her, let’s not be sexist) feline masters (and mistresses). When we read articles about how the tablet will replace the desktop, this is clearly what they have in mind. So, here are some tips on how to improve programs for cats. (Of course it’s cute! It’s about cats!)

Hummingbirds snore.

If you’ve ever worn a bra, you will probably laugh at this: Bras We Have Known.

Neither cute, nor funny, just stupid trivia: Famous People Who Were Adopted.

As usual, if you’ve found something interesting on the internet, please share it below.

Cat on a bathroom countertop drinking from a water fountain.

Crash loves water. Unfortunately, he developed a habit of jumping in the tub and crying at the top of his lungs so we would turn on the faucet. So I bought him a water fountain. Yes. I know it’s a little over the top to buy a cat a water fountain, but he does love it.

The cat and the water fountain.

I published a post a while ago about a stray cat that comes around my sister’s place. Several people noted his bum left eye. He was around again yesterday. With Boy and Mama hissing madly through the window, I went outside to give him some treats. He really loves treats. Watching him, I was wondering how well he could see out of his right eye. I suspect the boy might be close to blind.

An old stray cat sitting on the path looking up hoping for some food.

I got my camera. The last time, he ran a few feet away when he heard the shutter click. This time he flinched the at the first shot, but then after a couple of clicks he didn’t seem to mind at all. I think it was a new sound and one that alarmed him. Now that he understands it doesn’t hurt him, he’s relaxed about it.

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He had a cut on his ear. I wish I knew better what to do for him. He’s a sweet boy.

The same old cat resting under a bush.

Before I give you the kittylicious pictures, I’m going to pose a question for the great big world out there. I am having technical difficulties. My main machine has given up the ghost and I will be looking into acquiring a new desktop computer. This always brings up loads of questions. I tend to do a lot of graphics work. Most basic computers are not good enough and I’ve been very disappointed in the past. People think they’re helping you save money, but it’s ultimately an expensive mistake. If anyone is a heavy user of graphics programs and has any advice – do I get a separate video card (I’m inclined to think yes) and if so, which, etc. The higher priced ones are out of my price range. I’m not a big hardware geek, so any advice or opinions would be appreciated.

A small cat with soft fur waking up from a nap on a chair.

More kitty pictures below the fold →

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A cat's head.

I’m visiting my mother this weekend, so I’ve taken some photos of her cat. I’ve already put up pictures of her two red cats, Lady Love and Scarlette. This is her boy, Leo. He’s a handsome cat in person, but I’ve found that I have a hard time getting a good photo of him. He’s extraordinarily friendly and just loves, loves people, which means that if you come near him with a camera, he wants to nuzzle up to you and keep his distance long enough to get a decent shot. Finally, he started settling down for a nap.

A tabby cat with his eyes closed on an arm chair.

Today is Friday and therefore the day I can indulge my silliness. I’ve posted a picture of baby Crash before. Right now, I have some pots of catnip growing on my windowsill. They were getting a bit raggedy, so I clipped some sprigs and brought it over to the boy.

A cat chewing on a sprig of catnip. DSC_0002

The boy sure does love his catnip. Clicking on the “cats” tag will take you to a list of all my cat photo posts.

 

The face of a soft, fluffy, long-haired cat.This absolutely gorgeous boy is probably the most vicious killer in the neighborhood, but you would never know it from his appearance. The first time I saw him he gave a soft meow and rolled over on his back looking for affection. He’s obviously a well-cared for family pet. Someone is brushing all that long, beautiful fur on a regular basis. However, it didn’t take long to discover that he spends much of his time outdoors lurking under our bird feeders. A fluffy cat, the same as pictured above, rolling on its side looking for affection.As someone who likes all sorts of animals, it’s not always simple to figure out how to respond to predators. Should I feed birds at all? We keep our own cats inside. We don’t know who owns this boy and we call him Red to distinguish him from Blackie, the feral cat. Despite his incredible effectiveness as a killer, it’s hard to not admire this boy’s beauty.

We have too many animals around here called Red. We also use that name for a Red Bellied Woodpecker and a pair of Red Tailed Hawks. We need to get more inventive.