Weed blogging

Ira and Possum getting high together: snorting the spicy, aromatic pepperweed (Lepidium virginicum). Typically, Possum jams his whole head in the plant and roots around, while Ira delicately sniffs and nibbles the edges. Many birds and bees also love this plant, so in planning what to keep and what to get rid of, I’ll probably be lenient with this. It also reminds me of my childhood- we used to chew on the seeds. Some people use them in salads but I haven’t tried that.irpos

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Friday Cat Blogging

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Ira experiences an ephemeral sense of existential ennui.

In spite of all the trouble they cause…

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Even though my critters can be major pains in the ass a lot of the time, like this weekend for example—when they tracked mud all over my kitchen and wanted (each at different times) to be let out, then in, then out again, then back in because it was rainy and cold—they enrich my life in more ways than I can count. To the extent that I am sane and/or balanced, it’s due in no small part to their unconditional love and general goofiness.

Lately, I have been more aware than ever of how grateful I am for them, and for their health and happiness, as I’ve watched four different online buds have to say heart-wrenching goodbyes to their beloved companions. Here’s to the memory of Teddy, Little Joe, Max, and Maxie, each one treasured.

While none of the above were its victims, the ever-widening pet food recall is not far from my mind either. So far, the foods my guys eat (dry Nutro and dry IAMS) are safe and don’t use wheat gluten. I knew that the media was certainly under-reporting the mortality figures but still, I was stunned when I read over at Spocko’s place that the death toll was over 3,000. The unofficial count, that is, since no one knows for sure.

That was two days ago, and now it’s 3,598, according to Pet Connection, which adds:

“Total reports of all owner-suspected cases of food-related illness: 11,363.”

Pet Connection has a wealth of information and links to other vital resources, in addition to a form for reporting ill or deceased pets. They are doing some great work, so show them some love.

[UPDATED: Chain store veterinary practice Banfield reports that cases of kidney failure among cats rose by 30 percent during the three months that the contaminated food was sold. It estimates that three out of every 10,000 of the one million pets treated during that time had developed kidney failure.]

Friday pup blogging

While he lacks the coherent creative vision (and possible sociopathic tendencies) of Twisty Faster’s visionary Bert, my Possum is very thorough and serious about his dirt work. In particular, he is most helpful when I am out in the yard trying to photograph plants or bugs, or otherwise research my backyard flora and fauna. He facilitates by madly digging a hole as close as he can to the center of my attention. I’m fortunate to have such a dedicated assistant.

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Goodbye, Teddy

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Scout Prime’s sweet little Teddy passed on today. Scout says she had been very sick for a while.

Her impish face was familiar to the readers at First Draft and the old Scout Prime blog. She will be greatly missed.

Musical kibble?

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My two mutts have started a strange little shared ritual. First off, the two of them are different ages. The younger is just barely a year old and has just started eating adult dog food-regular adult dog food. The older is 8 years old and eats senior dog food with glucosamine because he’s got some arthritis. About a month ago, the older dog started leaving a little bit of food, just a couple of bitefuls, not every time he ate but more often than not. The younger dog would then come-after the older dog had clearly finished- and eat those morsels. So after a week or so of this, I started feeding him a little less, but he’d still leave a couple of bites and the younger dog would eat it. I just let them do that.

Then last week, I noticed the older dog was eating out of the younger dog’s bowl when the younger dog was eating from his bowl. So I started watching them, and sure enough, most meals, they each leave a few bites of their own food, switch dishes and finish off the leftover bits in the other’s dish!

Thoughts, anyone?

Appliance worship

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Whew! I just swept the carpet. With a broom. Things had gotten pretty bad here in la casa de virgotex this week, as 1)housecleaning is the last thing on one’s mind when one has the flu and 2) housekeeping is always near the last thing on this “one’s” mind anyway. So, the dogs had eviscerated a stuffed toy and vanquished several paper pie plates (god love ’em, they’re such cheap dates-they love those paper pie plates) and the floor was littered with the aftermath, plus the usual detritus of of the multi-species household.

AND, the real problem with all of that was that, in a fit of uncharacteristic generosity, I’d lent out my main housecleaning workhorse. My best friend has been having a bunch of messy contracting work done at her place and I let her have the use of both my shop vac and my Dyson Animal. And that’s the Animal with The Ball, bitches!

That’s right folks, I own a Very. Expensive. Vaccum. And I don’t care who knows it. I’m pretty non-materialistic, but when I had a little bit of money in hand after getting bought out by the ex-Mrs. Tex, I got a few longed-for items. A good camera, high-efficiency front-loading washer/dryer, and The Animal. I haven’t regretted it for a nano-second either. I hate carpet and I can’t wait to rip out the stuff and put in wood flooring but I’m probably at least a year from that job. But either way, carpet or wood, it’s tough cleaning up after multiple animals, and this vac makes it a breeze. The BF asked for one more week with the vac and I was sick so I let it slide, but I just called her and put her on notice.

Friday dogblogging: In the car

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Friday Critter vid

This Splash Cast has two channels. After you click the green Start arrow, hover your cursor over the imae to invoke the drop down menu, then move between the two channels by clicking on right menu.

Subject of these videos: Barks, bites

[splashcast BCGA1450AA]

Short subject

I think you’ll all agree that Ira is a lock for best supporting actor here.

The cinematography leaves a lot to be desired in the first 20 secs.

As for Possum, he’s been workshopping “sit” for while but it’s only recently that he’ll do it reliably, even if he’s doing something more fun. He was seven months old when I got him and he came with some issues and a complete lack of training. We’ve really turned a corner lately though. We’ve already got the sequel, “Down,” in the can, and we’re scouting locations for “Stay.”

[splashcast GMNM3081IV]