Wild Life Of A Little Monster

Others are scared of me because of all the fun I have. Considered a vigilante by my Eponine.

At Your Service

Stan's toeOn a recent visit to Wayside Waifs I got to meet this super great guy named Stan. I discovered he's a polydactyl. He was totally fascinating. Watching him stroll was a joy as that extra little digit softly made contact with the floor. He almost looked like Charlie Chaplin.

I had visions of him learning to use a BlackBerry, dialing up other kitties on the phone, opening the door to run around outside, playing video games, and any number of other things. One could just hope he'd also learn to run the vacuum to sweep up extra kitty litter that his toe may have pulled from the box, or possibly even scrub the tub. Oh, and if he'd have pancakes ready in the morning and dinner ready at night. That would be saaaweeeeet!

He's still there at Wayside last time I checked. For whatever reason, I'm still him-hawing around trying to find the just-right companion for me. I haven't been writing about my visits there just to not create any false hope. However, I sure am enjoying taking the time to stop by and love on many little monsters.

Trying to see if Stan's toe could make a form like a Cowboy's gun

I Didn't Say That

Crazie Queen wrote in a post once how an "added bonus of feline blogging is it is an opportunity to stop being me for a while, and to be a crazy kitten dude, or a feisty old bagcat :-)." She went on to say that her Charlie was "morphing into a little surfdude :-)." I loved reading that post.

Now, for me at least, it was totally Eponine writing. I never penned a word. She was prolific and had tons of stories to tell. And she loved discovering a great, big, wide, wonderful world out there. After losing Ep, I wondered how or if to keep her blog going. Compared to her, I felt boring. Not to mention sad. Now I worry any new little monster won't be interested in blogging. There's so many uncertainties but I can worry about that later.

In her Feb. 12, 2006 column in "The Kansas City Star," Diane Stafford wrote about how no web site is "personal," and that someone can actually be fired for something posted on their blog. My Epster even wrote about that fact in a post last August. Ms. Stafford wrote that "personal background checks" of the future likely will even include a search for these "personal sites." Oh my!

Lucky for the felines, canines, rats, bunnies and others, you don't have to worry about background checks and job searches. You're not even (as far as I know) trying to hook up romantically with others. You might be sharing drunken, catnip addiction stories or picking up some babe while walking through the park, but oh well. Surely, no one would ever hold those stories against you for any reason.

As for Crazie Queen and the likes, they can just say "Hey, that wasn't me. That's my (creature living with a human) writing that crazy (liberal/conservative/personal/whatever word(s) you want to substitute) stuff." I have a dilemma because I have no monster that's doing any musing or that can be my excuse. At least for now, that is.

What I liked best about cq's post back then was her revealing that these bloggers ... "be they owners or carers or whatever, reach somewhere in me that I hadn't experienced before. They made me look outside myself and view life from a feline perspective."

What a great perspective that is! Maybe some of those background checkers will gain some of that too someday. Peace out, dudes.

Lincoln Schmicoln
Coulda Woulda

A single ticket was sold that matched the numbers to win the Power Ball this past Saturday. The news reports say the ticket was sold about 1:30 Friday afternoon at a convenience store in Lincoln, Nebraska -- just about a four-hour drive from Kansas City. It was the largest prize winning ever. I think that's what I heard.

Why couldn't those news reporters be hanging outside the Shell station off Parvin Road and I-29? Why, I ask? Why?!

Generally, I never even think about playing. But it is hard to pass up the possibility of giving someone a dollar and potentially getting $365 million in return. I just dreamed of all I could do. I bet I would have given each cat blogger and cat lovers/appreciators I know 10 cans of stinky goodness and a hundred dollar bill. Maybe even two! Oh, maybe next time.

Identified By The Tracks You Leave

Didn't get around to entering the paw contest. Here's the pic I would have entered. Can you guess which set belongs to me? Hint: Most of the sets belong to young'uns.

Finnegan and Buddy of 2Carolina Cats thought of this contest (along with their mama, I'm sure) and are hosting it. If you haven't already, you need to take a moment to look at all these paws. I have dial-up, so the flickr pages took forever to download. But it sure was worth it! I bet later Cowboy's Pawswe'll learn whose paws belong to whom. I'll post something when the results are revealed.

Oh, and my picture is a modern version of a Schramwich. Or should I say, a different type of Schramwich.

I Write The Songs

Did you see the Feb. 14 episode of "Boston Legal"? I saw it while in my D.C. hotel room. Here I was within blocks of the U.S. Capitol, watching television, reviewing documents, and thinking about how much our pets love us.

The comments made by Denny's future wife about her Barry Manilow were classic. I paraphrase: "Spouses may come and go and along with them the various friends, but not Barry Manilow. He's there for me no matter what." By the way, Barry Manilow is her cat.

It was 62 degrees when I left D.C. After a short hop to Charlotte, the three-hour flight to KC felt like days. We landed close to 10 p.m. I was cranky and tired, and was greeted with a temperature of 12 degrees. My car was even covered in ice.

While sitting there warming the car and melting the ice, my thoughts wandered to the time Ep and I endured an ice storm back in January 2002. We had no power in our home for four nights. It was brutal cold. The first night we just piled about 10 blankets on the bed and cuddled. We soon wimped out and luckily were able to board at pet friendly Motel 6. I wonder how many Cowboys show up at a motel with a cat, coffee pot and litter box.

My monster spent the next few nights smelling the hotel door, listening to the sounds of people walking outside, and jumping up as she heard dogs barking in nearby rooms. We were comfortable lying on the bed, watching tv, and turning up the heater so that our room was extra toasty.

My window was frozen and wouldn't roll down as I attempted to pay the parking cashier. The windshield was clear of ice, though, for the 13-mile trek home. I shivered most of the way. Missed her welcoming as I walked in the door. I admit that I cried. Then quickly warmed my soul with thoughts of how she loved my arrivals, getting a treat or moist food and then helping me unpack. Our routine was to immediately throw the bags on the bed and unpack everything. Every receipt, coin, postcard, dirty sock, paper and all else would be lying on the bed. She'd nose through it all and help me tons.

I am glad for the song she wrote on my heart.

Private Dancer

Received a Blockbuster gift card as a Christmas gift and decided to treat myself with a Tina Turner dvd. Thought it would be the perfect traveling companion on a 2-plus-hour flight to Washington Reagan.

Picture it: We reach the cruising altitude, get the A-OK for electronic portable devices, and next thing you know Tina is coming out of the brief case, into the laptop and rolling down the river. A tiny bag of peanuts, a small cup of Diet Coke and Tina Turner - what more does a guy need for Valentine's Day?

It wasn't until "Private Dancer" that the flight attendant tapped me on my shoulder to ask me to turn down the volume. Ooops. Evidently, the ear phone thinga-ma-bob was not inserted all the way into the laptop. With the volume of course to the max level, it meant all within the next few rows on the small U.S. Airways flight also were enjoying them some Tina. I've always been known as a sharer.

Hope you are surrounded by much love and took an opportunity today to let someone know you care.

And The Beat Goes On

Turtle, Moose and Nala of Les Trois Chats tagged me. The details are below.

Here are the rules:

1. Go into your archives.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Post the fifth sentence (or closest to it).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five others to do the same thing.

Here is the fifth sentence from Eponine's 23rd post:
Slightly aggressive as he gets those four cylinders turning.
Here is the fourth sentence (there was only four) from my (Cowboy's) 23rd post: We'll see.

Not certain if these have been tagged by others, but I checked their sites and as of Sunday night they had not posted anything about being tagged. That's how I decided to tag them. Check out their blogs when you can. Each is very unique and good. Those I'm tagging are as follows: Tyler at Eau De Pug, Mind of Mog, Ullrick at A Cat's Life, Mad Moses Kitty, and Meg with George and Stanley.


Just discovered Les Trois Chat tagged me. I'll go through to find the indicated post and select others to tag. I've been looking at blogs today and it looks like I might have to tag myself or start doubling up on few. I'll have the post up later.

Sting Operation

Photo by Seth Wening for The New York TimesIn this New York Times picture you see Carol Moran, Fred and Burt. They recently helped to bring down a fake veterinarian. Here's a link to The New York Time's article. However, I think I remember you are required to register to view stories. With the magic of "cookies," I can't remember.

Brief summary: Burt's human had a "vet." But then after an incident and a hefty bill, that human grew suspicious. He called Brooklyn's district attorney. That's when Carol, an assistant district attorney, and Fred, a handsome, tiger cat, came into the picture. Evidently Ms. Moran had adopted him some time in the past.

In his article, Michael Brick notes Fred hadn't expressed a desire for heroism. Mr. Brick describes Fred as "the strong, silent type ... an alley cat from the streets of Brooklyn, long and lean with thick black stripes." Because he still had his "parts," Fred agreed to go undercover to help his mama take down this villian.

The bad guy was caught, the good cat (Fred) is still intact and is the hero, his human likely is awesome, and the rest is history. But The Times did indicate an "alteration" still is in Fred's future. With a real vet.

Location, Location, Location

click map for moreAnyone who has ever been to Washington, D.C. knows that the Metro system is an easy, economical and fast way to get essentially anywhere in the area. Visitors become tied to the various colored lines and know where to eat, drink, sleep based on which Metro stop it's closest to.

Back in 1985 when I interned in the U.S. capital city only a few of the lines were operational and they pretty much did not extend too much beyond the District's boundaries. Now there's talk the Metro eventually will extend to Dulles Airport and beyond. That's great. It's almost worth a trip to D.C. just to ride the Metro. You also can hop out at a few stops to check out a monument or historical site, people watch, and maybe even visit with a blogger.

Came across this cool Metro map that shows various blog sites according to their Metro stop. Click on the map here and then mouse over some of the stops. There's a whole slew of various blogs to visit. Haven't checked them all, but bet there's likely a D.C. cat bloggin'. Let me know if you discover one.

p.s. recently got hammered with about 60 housecleaning spam messages. Word verification is back on for now.

What's In A Name?

In a comment to "Homeward Bound," David E. Francis describes five monsters he loves - Sheba, Eeyore, Tigger, Pooh_B and Morkie. Amy includes Bat and Bandit in her signature line on that same post. And recently, George and Stanley spent time with me.

These are all such good names. It got me thinking about what I might name a potential future little monster in my life. There are so many good names. For instance, just to name a few, there's Kukka-Maria, Fergus, WMD, Sanjee, Derby, Pandora, Susan, Sharyn, David and even Eponine and Cowboy. All very awesome names.

A few weeks ago I was at a baby shower for a co-worker. The future parents said Aidan is likely the name they've selected. Being knowledge-savvy, I hopped to the computer and within minutes printed a list of popular baby names, according to babycenter.com. The girl name in 2004 was Emma, while Emily was second. The two names switched places in 2003. Most popular boy names for both those years were Jacob and Aidan, respectively.

Interestingly, Aidan's future parents are Chinese. They both were born in China. However, he lived north of the border for many years and says he's Canadian and is working toward naturalization. His name is Wei-Wu. Her name is Wei-Wei. They did not know each other until they met here. My suggestion was that they name their soon-to-arrive son Wei Two or Wei Tu. They laughed. It was more at me than with me.

Just the other day I heard the Click and Clack brothers of Car Talk say something about popular baby names that also are car names. I thought for sure the list would include Edsel. No go, though! The top car/baby names were Lincoln (boy) and Mercedes (girl). Can you believe that Ford was No. 3 and that there are boys out there named "Beemer"? I wonder if Beemer will be an elected official some day.

Politics aside, Tyler's folks played what sounds like a fun game while watching the "State of the Union" speech the other night. Crazy, fun times, I'm sure!

Picture Pefect Houseguests

Like many children, George and Stanley easily and quickly identify a McDonald's drive through. A plain hamburger is preferred.
2 absolutely plain hamburgers, please, and a diet coke for the driver
Although they enjoyed the back yard, they always were ready to come back in. They prefer being wherever the action is. Generally, that means being close to the human providing treats and belly rubs.
Enough already. Open the damn door!
Good times were had by all, but the time came to exchange hugs and to say so long for now.
See you later!

Smelling The Difference

George and Stanley left today to go home. They really did a good job hanging out with me. I think they felt like they were at their vacation home. Several times I wondered what they might be thinking. Only once did I find proof of an attempt to "mark" in the home. It was very minor. Their company the last few days was well worth this small accident.

Speaking of peeing ... happened to check out the blog belonging to Hank the Dog. He provides a very comprehensive analysis of pee-mail and e-mail. Hank even mentions something about cats. I think you'll find results of his study very interesting.

Time Of Discovery

It's a house party starring "The Boyz!" George and Stanley are hanging out at Cowboy's. Their momma is in Houston until Friday on a work trip. This evening's agenda included treats, dinner, treats, running outside, treats, sniffing throughout the house, treats, running outside, sleeping on the sofa, wrestling, treats, licking my ears, running outside, treats. Somehow, I think I'm missing at least one treat time.
It truly is interesting as well as thrilling having these lives in my home. I welcome these two boys. We'll have a good time. Since losing my Eponine, nothing has seemed right. But having Bear, Daphne, George, Stanley, Max, Casper and others stop by has been little bursts of fresh air. I am learning what they like, what they might be tempted to destroy or play with, if they slobber or sleep in crates, eat plants or smell them, and what kind of attention they desire, want and need.

Went to the Wayside site Wednesday and got sad when Carry's picture was gone. I worried something bad happened. I sent Wayside an e-mail and very quickly received a response saying she happily picked a home and was adopted. Those kind folks seem right on top of it.

One thing for sure, Wayside does incredible work for fantastic little monsters. The six I felt drawn to over the last few weeks all have been adopted! That's without a doubt good news.