Category Archives: Cats

Entries where I mention or talk about my cats.

Further Excerpts

This is getting kind of scary. Some people, such as my wife, might claim that I am completely deluded and possibly insane. However, I think that this file, which I found in our web server in a password-protected directory, will prove that our world is in great danger.

Entry One:
This is my secret diary of how I came to conquer the world, which I haven't done yet. It's my fond hope that kitties everywhere who are working for world domination will read my diaries and find inspiration, and that this file will take its place right next to that cat who wrote The Silent Miaow. I think I could teach a lot.

 

Entry Two:
Okay, so things haven't been going as well as I was hoping. First of all, my agent Bob the Wonder Doberman wears this dumb cape all the time, and says that he won't work for me anymore unless I promise that when I'm done he'll be able to run free through the plains of Madagascar. Or maybe he said planes. I don't know. Sigh.

 

Here's a tip. never get a doberman to be your agent in South Asia. Get a golden retriever. They're much friendlier to work with, but they sleep a lot.

 

Entry Three
They tried to take me outside today! I am SO NOT READY! Okay, so all of the other cats like it outside (except Rosemary, who was troubled at having to be taken away from her Secret Mission, whatever that is). I just have too much work to do. It's really unfair.

 

Entry Four
Salmon today! Yay!

 

Entry Five
A new cat tree! Yay! This one came equipped with all kinds of special radar antennas and radios and even a satellite uplink! The best part is the second shelf where you can sleep all day and look at the stairs.

 

Entry Six
My satellite uplink gave me some sad news today. Even though my armies are gathering up well in Mozambique, Bob the Wonder Doberman (he insists on being called that!) is having a hard time finding cats in Antarctica to go along with the plan. He says that Antarctica, being at the south pole, is just crawling with polecats, but he hasn't found any. He says that maybe they're in Alaska instead. Whatever!

 

Entry Seven
Ate a bug today. Allegra dared me. Gross!

 

Entry Eight
Rosemary still won't tell me what her Secret Mission is, but I think it has something to do with the dragons that keep moving all over the house. Whenever I ask her who she's working for, she just says that she's an Undercover Operative, and then she laughs. I don't get it.

The people have to know, so I’m spreading the word. Don’t let your cats use your computer, and make sure there are no satellite uplinks in your cat trees!

In other news, the scroll wheel in my mouse started working today under Linux. God knows why. But there it is.

Storyteller Collab: Cat Tree

Storyteller collab:
CAT TREE

(© 2002 by Richard S. Crawford)


Write a story in which the character stays in one place. It could be in a room, or in a car (the car qualifies as "one place", even though it may be moving), or hanging out in jury duty, for example.

Wow.

Really. Just… Wow.

It just keeps on spinning. It doesn’t spin any faster. And it doesn’t spin any slower. And it doesn’t even fall from the ceiling. It just keeps kind of spinning. Around and around and around and around. It kind of reminds me of that bird I saw yesterday out that window over there: the one that kept spinning around and around on the ground. I don’t know what he was looking for.

I could have taken him. Yeah. If I’d felt like it.

But this thing here, wow, it just keeps spinning and spinning and spinning. If I wanted to I could probably just… stretch… out… my… paw… and take it down. Bring it right here. Sniff it. Taste it. Maybe even rub my cheek against it and make it mine.

Yeah. If I wanted to.

The neat thing about it is how it makes everything up here much cooler. Not so hot. It’s like a breeze, and it’s really pretty cozy up here.

One of my lieutenants saunters in and leaps up to the second shelf, just below me. Scratches his claws on the sisal wrapped around the trunk for a few seconds, a proper show of respect. I’m annoyed because I was having fun watching the spinning thing and thinking about falling asleep but I don’t feel like showing how annoyed I am.

The lieutenant settles in and relaxes, stretched out a bit, and starts to purr. His ears are flat back on his head, though, and his whiskers are low, and his tail is twitching. I decide to let him twitch for a few moments before I finally ask him for his report.

"Things are going swell!" he blurts out, a bit more anxiously than I would have liked. But he’s young. He’ll learn. "Reports are coming in from all over the world that things are just about ready for us to move and get going with Stage Three of the Great Plan.

I purred loudly, but I kept staring at the spinning thing on the ceiling. How did it stay up there? "That’s excellent news," I told him, yawning and stretching. "When can we start moving?"

My lieutenant purred even louder. "Any time now," he said. "All you have to do is just tell us when."

I was feeling so good that for a moment I thought I’d go into the hallway and get a fishie treat, but then I thought that it was probably too much effort for the middle of the day. I needed to conserve my strength for my afternoon nap, after all.

"Go ahead and start the operation," I told him. "And spread the word everywhere that our time is at hand!"

The lieutenant leapt off of the cat tree and wandered into the bedroom, where the other cats were gearing up for the afternoon nap time. I heard him meowing their orders at them, and purrs of assent from the others. Soon, I knew. Soon.

A few hours later, I woke up. I heard doors opening downstairs, and I knew that the humans who owned this house were home. Too late! Frustrated and annoyed, I yawned and snagged some of the carpeting on the cat tree; my lieutenant rushed in and sratched frantically at the sisal rope.

"What happened?" I demanded.

"Naps happened!" my lieutenant reported. "Just like yesterday and the day before! We all fell asleep. There are just too many sunbeams on the bed!"

I couldn’t bring myself to growl at him. It seemed like every time we got so close to world conquest, this would happen. Perhaps it’s just our inner cat nature. Who knows?

"Don’t worry too much about it," I told my lieutenant. "We have them as good as conquered anyway. Tomorrow we’ll try again."

But my lieutenant didn’t answer. He was too busy getting pets from the humans. Oh, well. Tomorrow is another day, as the humans like to say.

From the Secret Diary of…

There have been many times when I’ve been in the house by myself, and heard a noise coming from upstairs that sounds just like typing. This often happens late at night, when Jennifer’s asleep and I’m downstairs reading, or during the day when Jennifer is at work and I’m puttering around the house doing chores or, well, reading.

"But of course it can’t be coming from the computer room," I say to myself. "There’s no one else in the house." Eventually, I figure that it’s one of the cats playing with a toy that rattles, or one of the electric litterboxes, or something like that. Because there was obviously no one working in the computer room.

Or… Perhaps there was…

Today I was poking around our home network, looking for a particular file that I’d stashed on our server, when I stumbled across this particular document. It was in the web directory, accessible for all the world to see. It was password-protected, but the password — "fuzzy" — was very easy to figure out. It was only after long deliberation over whether I should delete the document, post the document for the world to see, or change my medications, that I decided that the world needs to know what is happening under our very noses.

From the Secret Diary of Azrael (the Cat):

Day One

Today was good, cause I got to eat and sleep and play a little bit. I almost took over the world, too, but then I fell asleep in a sunbeam. It might rain tomorrow, so prospects for world domination tomorrow are good.

Day Two

Jingle ball of doom had to be subdued. Then the laser beam tried to eat Rosemary and I had to beat it back. This place keeps me so busy, sometimes I don't get more than 18 hours of sleep a day! Have you ever heard of anything so pathetic?

Day Three

I could have sworn they were behind that door! For hours I heard them talking! And I wanted to be with them, so I cried outside the door! Then I realized that they were talking behind me, so I turned around and went back into the office room with the jingle ball and there they were! Wow!

Day Four

This is horrible! It's awful! For TEN YEARS she pulled all of my fur off of me today! Ow ow ow! I was so mad I had to kill a superball. Tomorrow the world will be mine!

The next day...

He left the fireplace on in the room with the big soft bed. I almost took over the world but the kitty cup was really warm and had to be slept in. Who knows what would have happened if I hadn't done it?

Tomorrow is another day...

Jennifer keeps telling me that I’m just making things up. But now I have firm proof!

Meanwhile, I thought that the Olympic figure skating competition tonight was really spiffy.

Making it Cooler

I’m feeling much better now. Oh, yes. The Java programming final that was kicking my butt last week is over; I got a B on the final, and an A- in the class. The instructor assured me that only one student received an A on the final; still, after having stayed up until 2 in the morning a couple of days in a row, I wish I’d done better. Ah, well. Still, an A- is nothing to sneeze at, considering that I haven’t taken a programming class per se since 1984. Back then, BASIC still had line numbers (remember 10 GOTO 10?), Pascal was a rigorous teaching language, the IBM-PC was barely a twinkle in some engineer’s eye, and Larry Wall (inventor of Perl), Linus Torvalds (inventor of Linux), and Rasmus Lerdorf (inventor of PHP) were all shooting spitwads across their frog dissection lab stations in Mrs. O’Hare’s science class in PS-102 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Well, okay, I made that last part up. But the part about BASIC is true.

In other news, I’ve conquered a milestone or two with my Linux computer by getting it to print (mostly) to a printer that is attached to a Windows 98 computer, and getting it to talk to my Palm Pilot. I’ve been fussing with both of these challenges for months, and finally figured out the answers on my own. I feel darn near competent! All I need to figure out now is how to get my installation of WordPerfect to print; for some reason, WordPerfect uses its own weird set of drivers for Linux, and since Corel sold their Linux products to some other company, there is no more support for the program I bought. Dammit. But it is possible, I’m sure of it.

I’m not quite ready to dump Windows yet. but I’m getting there.

In other news: I’ve snagged a couple of minor PHP projects, and I’ll be writing a short series of articles about PHP for a web development company that promises me authorship credit, if not actual money. I got an e-mail from the graduate student I was working with a couple of months ago, and it looks like I’ll get to tromp through the mud collecting water samples again this month or next month. Next week I start my Chemistry and Math classes. The creative project that Evilpheemy and I is going pretty well (and would go better if he didn’t throw me massive curve balls every couple of weeks so that I could feel comfortable working on the source book – *ahem*).

So… Things are busy, but going well. The job hunt is going… well, it’s going. I’ve networked as much as I can conceive of, I’ve sent out at least five resumes a day, if not more, just about every day, and there have been no nibbles, no responses. Ah, well.

This last bit won’t make sense unless you know us and our cats.

You Are:
Allegra

Allegra’s theory is that everything should be discussed at length, while one is doing it. Allegra’s actions are usually accompanied by some sort of musical trill (simple mews are beneath her) – a sort of running commentary on her day-to-day activities. She is the perfect example of how a living creature can be not a solid, but a semi-liquid. Her movements are usually graceful and sinuous, albeit occasionally comical as she pours herself around the underside of the shelf on the cat tree. She prefers attention on her own terms – only when the unsuspecting human is sitting down and presents an available lap.

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