Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Secret Life of Cats

I'm paraphrasing when I say: what our pets do when we're not around does not concern us. This is not quite true, of course. All pet owners have stories about the small (and large) liberties taken by their four-legged friends when The Man ain't around to keep them down.

In our house, we have the curious case of Mika the cat - who, incidently, is now responsible for the majority of Google-hits on this humble site. Mika is smart enough to know what she's not allowed to do, and cocky enough to prove it from time to time by taking short cuts across the kitchen table or soaking in the therapeutic waters of a convenient sink. Her secret life - those hours when the house is empty of Human Overlords - is a subject of significant speculation around our dinner table. We've invented a fantastic mythology about this Secret Life, spanning everything from her choice in music to the ingenious means by which she scratches those itches she cannot reach through traditional means.

This week we set out to use science to provide facts and evidence as to Mika's Secret Life. Using a battered laptop, a cheap webcam, and some free software, we rigged up some spy technology to follow her movements in the kitchen and family room parts of our home while we Human Overlords were away for the day. The results answered some questions and raised many more.

Through the 9 hours she was on her own, she spent all of 40 morning-minutes in the kitchen. First was a leisurely nap in a sunpatch on the kitchen table. This was followed by a patrol of the kitchen counter and quick lie-down in the kitchen sink. Then - nothing. She spent the rest of the day elsewhere in the house, away from the cat tree where we typically find her.

So while we've confirmed that young Mika is queen of the kitchen when we're not around, we have a new mystery on our hands. Where is she spending her days? What is she doing? We'll be expanding our surveillance program, but I wonder if we'll be ready for the Truth.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Oh, That I Had Such Talent

These are funny because they are true.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Time To Be Upbeat

I've decided that I've been too much down-in-the-dumps lately. Being a worrier and a cynic by nature, I'm given the occasional 'correction' by various Loved Ones that I need to bring the plane's nose up just a tad. So I decided to spend the past few days deliberately noticing all those little things that give me even the most fleeting joy, and here I shall share them with you all:

  • Tropical-scented sunscreen - I don't know why she was wearing it, but I passed a lady in the park the other day wearing sunscreen that smelled of Vague Tropical Fruit. Memory being closely linked to sense of smell, my mind immediately went to thoughts of wandering through DisneyWorld. I cannot describe the joy this gives me, but Eau De Sunscreen gets me every time.
  • A Rainy Saturday Morning - This the perfect opportunity to 'cocoon' inside the house with a book, the Internet, the paper - anything that goes with coffee. Bonus points for having a comatose cat warming my lap.
  • A New Issue of Make - The new issue is out and my mailbox awaits. The theme this time is something to do with spying - and this means there could be some cool projects to contemplate.
  • Local Bloggers - I've come to appreciate the value in having a thriving local network of bloggers. A sense of community is always a happy place to live.
  • Geeky Projects - For every useless project I complete, there are 5 ideas I never do. While this is a source of frustration sometimes, I revel (just a bit) in the fact that maybe I'll finish some of these, someday.
  • Movie Coupons - We regularly cash in our Airmiles for movie passes because, well, we like movies. I hate movie theaters these days (at least some of the people in them), but that's another story. Anyways, I like the thought of using those coupons. Maybe tonight!
  • Travel Thoughts - Anyone who knows me knows I like to travel. Everytime we finish one trip we're planning the next - even when we know it might not happen. Some say that half the fun is 'getting there', but I think some of that fun is doing the planning and daydreaming.
There, my catharsis is complete. Anyone care to share?