Lydster: Midnight and Stormy

Aaron Copland

We have two cats. While they are both about seven years old, Midnight, the male black feline, is a few months older than Stormy, the female grayish one. And he is clearly the alpha beast.

This has created a problem of Midnight being overweight, and seeing them at mealtime explained why. Each of them receives a quarter can of wet food. Midnight devours this as though he had never been fed ever before. Left to his own devices, he’d bump Stormy out of the way and eat her food as well. Yes, one could stop him from stealing her food. But how do we slow him down?

Our daughter found this rolly-polly little feeder with a hole near the bottom. It sort of looks likes a tiny version of Arthur’s pet composting device, actually. Midnight’s job is to knock the device around and the kibble would come out of the hole. Meanwhile, someone would take Stormy’s half-eaten bowl of wet food and place it in a location where she could get it but he would not find it.

This is a twice-daily ritual at 7:30 Daylight Saving Time, 6:30 during Standard Time. I feed them in the morning because my wife is off to work. Our daughter feeds them at night, although she sometimes has to be reminded to leave the cave that is her bedroom.

Don’t mess with Midnightus

Midnight is quite hostile to most other human beings. He actually gets along with our contractor. He is civil enough to my daughter’s friend Kay that she can feed them while we’ve been away. But don’t take his tolerance of you as acceptance. My friend Uthaclena made the mistake of petting him, and Midnight’s claws came out. My MIL is terrified of him, as are others.

When we had inspectors visit our home for a loan, our daughter put them both in her room. Stormy wouldn’t hurt anyone, but she is terrified of strangers. One catsitter a few years back was afraid that she somehow escaped the house. Nah, she was just hiding, and she does it well.

Midnight can be quite affectionate to us. He’ll even let me put him up if I scratch under his chin before bolting. Stormy comes to people on her own terms, rubbing her body against my leg. She’ll sit on her laps if SHE feels like it.

We initially got the cats because our daughter wanted them. But my wife and I have grown rather attached to them, in spite of ourselves.

Here’s William Warfield, performing Aaron Copland’s song I Bought Me A Cat, with the composer conducting.

Movie review -Kedi (Nine Lives: Cats in Istanbul)

“I grew up in Istanbul and I believe my childhood was infinitely less lonesome than it would have been if it weren’t for cats.”

For the Daughter’s birthday recently, her mother and I took her and her friend to the Spectrum Theatre to see the documentary Kedi. From the description:

“Hundreds of thousands of cats roam the streets of Istanbul, free, without a human master, as they have for thousands of years. They wander in and out of people’s lives, affecting them in ways only an animal who lives between the worlds of the wild and the tamed can… Cats are such an important part of the city’s personality that everyone who grows up in Istanbul or lives there has a story about a cat—stories that are memorable, sometimes scary, sometimes spiritual, but always very personal. Istanbul-born director Ceyda Torun, in her debut, has created a heartfelt love letter to both cats and the beautiful city of Istanbul…”

Watching this movie, one can gets all philosophical about life. Should cats be owned? (And as someone with two cats, one doubts that they CAN be.)

What is abundantly clear is that taking care of the cats and their kittens bring joy and even healing to those people of Istanbul who are in their lives. These humans more aware of life and their place in it than the average American. “Cats are the mirrors to ourselves.”

The citizens fret that with greater number of sterile highways and high-rises, the very nature of the city will be irreparably altered for the worse, not just for the felines but for the people as well. An apartment-dwelling cats using a litter box are nothing like the street cats.

The director wrote: “I grew up in Istanbul and I believe my childhood was infinitely less lonesome than it would have been if it weren’t for cats – and I wouldn’t be the person I am today. They were my friends and confidants and I missed their presence in all the other cities I ever lived in. This film is, in many ways, a love letter to those cats and the city, both of which are changing in ways that are unpredictable.”

Kedi works in achieving its modest goals. Here’s the trailer.

Cat food

I have to feed Midnight in the back of the kitchen first.

catsI suppose I should use the fact that I have cats for greater blogging opportunities.

For the first year together, Midnight and Stormy used to fight all of the time, so this picture of them together represents a sea change. Not that they don’t fight occasionally, or, truthfully, nearly daily, but they have learned to tolerate each other.

We’re convinced that they spend a good deal of time on the dining room table, based on their insistence on trying to climb up there when we’re home. This bothers The Wife more than me, but I feign my outrage.

The cats’ mealtime is a ritual. In the morning, one of them would come up to my room, scratch on the door, or come in and talk to us. Or more correctly, me. I have to feed Midnight in the back of the kitchen first, then Stormy in the front. Invariably, after a few minutes, Midnight, though his bowl was not empty, would start eating from Stormy’s bowl, and she would walk away.

When they go down to the basement, or up to the attic, we used to be able to wrangle the felines by shaking a bag of cat treats. This still works on Midnight, but Stormy is no longer lured by them. OK, so she stays up there/down there until she gets bored, or, more likely, hungry.

LISTEN to Cat Food – King Crimson.

Midnight and Stormy

Midnight is my cat. This is not MY determination; it is his.

Midnight
The Wife has an iPad she got from work. But it is the Daughter who has really taken to it, playing music, making short videos, and taking pictures. All the photos in this post are hers.

Since I have the pics and I haven’t written about the beasts recently, here’s the update.

Midnight is my cat. This is not MY determination; it is his. He sleeps in our bed quite often, on my side. If I’m sitting, reading a book or watching TV, he’ll sit next to me, with one paw on my lap. I wonder if it’s the fact that we’re the two males in the household.

He tolerates the others in the family, and a few others, but he is wary of strangers. They certainly ought not to try to pick him up, as he’s clawed

Midnight.eye.

 a couple of people already.

His chief bad habit, though, is resting in inconvenient places: in doorways, on steps. We make sure the stairs are illuminated, lest we step on him in the middle of the night.

We still play this pas de deux, whereby I get up, take a movement towards the stairs, and he runs down. I then go to the office and turn on the computer. He comes in, glares at me, I pick him up, scratch him under his chin, put him down. He mews, and I go downstairs to feed him breakfast.

Stormy comes running too from wherever she’s sleeping, It’s probably somewhere high: on top of my armoire or on top of the office secretary. She has slept in our bed, but usually when Midnight is not.

Even if I don’t see her, she comes running when she hears the can opening. I feed them about six feet apart, always the exact same thing. He goes to it right away, but she has to be prodded. I want her to eat because Midnight would eat hers too if given the opportunity.
Stormy
She does not like it when I hold her, and becomes like a fussy baby, whereas the human females in the house have more success. Indeed, I make her skittish, and I don’t know why.

Midnight and Stormy get along reasonably well. They mix it up a bit, chase each other the length of the house. Midnight was starting to get too heavy, but since they’ve been together, he’s much fitter, And they are both fast.

When they have to go to the vet. HE needs to be tranquilized – really, he does – but she’s fine.

They both like eating the shades – what IS that? We’ve provided them with scratching posts, but carpeting, furniture, and especially cardboard boxes are much more entertaining to them.
Stormy.below

November Rambling: Eddie, the Renaissance Geek, turns 50; Jaquandor’s book now available for purchase

The official video for Cuts Like a Winter by Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact

christmas savings

John Oliver’s Complicated Fun Connects for HBO. Perhaps John Oliver Is Outdoing The Daily Show and Colbert. In any case, Yet Another Study Shows US Satire Programs Do A Better Job Informing Viewers Than Actual News Outlets.

The Motion Picture Academy chose to bestow a special award to Harry Belafonte, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. “Belafonte’s remarks offer both a pointed and powerful rebuke of Hollywood’s past and a stirring inducement to continue the industry’s more recent progress on human rights issues.”

Re the Ferguson protests, which I saw described as “mind-bogglingly incomprehensible”: It’s Incredibly Rare For A Grand Jury To Do What Ferguson’s Just Did, as even Antonin Scalia could tell you. So Mark Evanier’s thoughts largely echo mine. Related: video showing the moments leading up to the fatal shooting by police of a 22-year-old Saratoga Springs, Utah man, Darrien Hunt.

6 Things You Might Not Think Are Harassment But Definitely Are (BECAUSE APPARENTLY WE NEED TO CLEAR A FEW THINGS UP).

Eddie, the Renaissance Geek turns 50 this month and deals with melanoma on his birthday AND a disappointing Election Day with amazing good humor. No brain cancer, but there is cancer in the liver. Here’s a piece about the Purple Power Port. Insight into how Eddie’s brain works.

Why your brain loves rewards and how playing an instrument benefits your brain.

Jaquandor’s book STARDANCER is available for purchase. Now he’s off working on the next one. Please note, the book will NOT be available in all of these formats!

The Unbelievable Skepticism of the Amazing Randi, Uri Geller’s archrival.

I thought the Grimm fairy tales I own were rather grim, but the Grimm brothers’ fairytales have blood and horror restored in new translation. Also, fairy tale truths revealed.

Rise of the “Dones” at church.

Dustbury notes Kickstarter duds and password rules.

8 things you should never feed to cats and dogs. Such as chocolate, which we’re running out of, anyway.

Stamping Out Danger and a spy needed a perfect passport — down to the staples.

On Veterans Day, Marvel Comics saluted Jack Kirby… for his military service.

New Bill Watterson comic because we can’t have enough Bill Watterson.

Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins

Someone was doing a search for sources of vinyl records and discovered this image. “Damn, if Sonny Rollins doesn’t have a doppelganger right here at Corporate Woods.”

The Science Behind Why Some People Can Sing And Others Can’t.

Nice piece about Grace, who sings in my church choir.

The song Boy in the Bubble irritates me. More correctly, the fact that the 12″ version [LISTEN] hasn’t appeared on any Paul Simon album that I’m aware of bugs me. The only version I have I copied onto a cassette from a friend’s 12″.

The official video for Cuts Like a Winter by Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact. Also, Bang Bang (Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj) cover by Siren’s Crush, featuring Rebecca Jade (the first niece).

Music by Jayne Mansfield, backed by Jimi Hendrix.

When some network news program comes back from the break playing some old song, there’s a good chance the artist has died. Such was the case for Jimmy Ruffin.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Dolly Parton has long been an icon to the gay community.

You know it’s All About That Baste and All About That Base (No Acid). This has become a cottage industry!

Elvis Costello goes grocery shopping, 1978.

Elvis Presley is dead, but how did he die?

Fans of music who like to flatly say U2 is no longer relevant need to define what they mean by that.

The Crosby, Stills and Nash cover photo. As opposed to Famous Album Cover Photos Uncropped to Reveal ‘The Bigger Picture’.

Remembering the pugilistic power of Rod Serling on the Twilight Zone.

A story about Welcome Back, Kotter’s John Sylvester-White who played the cranky school principal, Mr. Woodman.

Noel Neill is 95. Here are pictures from an earlier time.

It’s a floor wax AND a credit card.

Muppet galore: Quongo and Roosevelt Franklin (who I LOVED) and Frazzle and Gonzo’s enlightenment and Cookie Monster and John Oliver and clap, clap, clap. Also, “Sesame Street has a series online called Welcome to the Furchester Hotel, which is British but also features Elmo and Cookie Monster. It’s cute, and there’s a new 11-minute episode each Friday.”

Unlock the Secrets of your Poop.

GOOGLE ALERT (me)

A whale of a tale. Hat tip to Mr. Frog.

GOOGLE ALERT (not me)

Hanceville to seek a $160K grant for firefighter equipment. “Fire Chief Roger Green asked the council to approve applying for $159,547.76 through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. The Cullman County Economic Development agency will write the grant for the fire department, Green said.” This is in Alabama, BTW.