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Tales of a Veterinary Spouse, #10: What the Cat (and Dogs) Dragged In.

“The trouble with a kitten is that it eventually becomes a cat.”–Ogden Nash

Pet doors are a wonderful thing.  They allow your pets the joy of repeatedly going in and out without having to constantly bug you to accommodate them.

Pet doors are an awful thing.  They allow all manner of unwanted vermin to come in (mostly) and out along with your pets.  Or in many cases, to be dragged in by your pets.  Here are some examples.

Awful thing example #1: While you expect cats and dogs to freely use the pet door, you don’t really think a pet chicken would use the pet door.   Think again.  We had one that did, and it not only came in the house quite unexpectedly, but it joined Cheryl in the shower.  That’s a horror story even Alfred Hitchcock couldn’t have imagined.  Eat your heart out, Norman Bates.

Awful thing example #2: While our cats have frequently brought dead mice or chipmunks into the house and disemboweled them in the dining room (ick!), that is not the worst of it.  They bring live ones in and let them go.  The most notable example?  We had a living room full of guests for a tea for a local political candidate.  Just as the proceedings were about to begin, our cat, Velcro, dropped a live mouse by the side of a rather full couch.  The critter ran across the feet of about three people and hid under the coffee table as everyone scattered.  Cheryl caught it as the cat looked on with amusement.  The dogs were worthless.

Awful thing example #3:  While we are on the subject of the cat sitting back and watching in amusement as we and the dogs chased a live rodent, I present you with the case of the chipmunk in the laundry room.  Did you ever watch one of those Donald Duck cartoons where he tries to catch Chip and Dale?  Where he winds up destroying his house, his R.V., his camp site, or whatever?  It felt like we were in a Donald Duck cartoon.  The chipmunk was behind the washing machine.  The dogs went nuts;  but the chip was gone by the time we pulled the washing machine out from the wall.  By then, the chip was behind a pile of laundry.  Then it was in the pile of laundry.  Then it was behind the drier. Then it was under the washing machine.  The dogs were always one hiding place behind it.  Cheryl finally caught the thing–I swear she must have been a cat in a previous lifetime.   And our laundry room?  It looked like Donald Duck’s living room after a few minutes of chasing Chip and Dale.

Awful thing example #4:  This one takes the cake.  Cheryl and I were sitting in our home office late one evening, clicking away at our computers.  Why, it was the very room I am sitting in as I write this tale.   I glanced in back of me.  Our three dogs were all lying there contented to be in the same room with us.  And sitting right in the middle of them was what I, for a split second, took to be a rather large stuffed animal doggy toy.  For a split second.  But it wasn’t a toy. Good grief, it was a live possum, apparently playing possum!  We have no idea how it could have gotten in there without the dogs going nuts.  We can only guess that the one dog large enough to drag it in, must have done so.  Cheryl picked it up by the tail, dropped it outside the front door, and it sprung to life and dashed off.

Which finally brings us to Awful thing example #5: There is a rodent in this office, right now, as I write this post.  I saw it dash off the top of my desk and hide behind the file cabinet just as I walked in.  The fleeting glance I got of it was too brief to tell if it was a mouse or a chipmunk. But it has eluded me.  Don’t worry though, Cheryl will be home from the clinic with the dogs (they go to work with her every day.)  The dogs will, of course be useless, and the cat will sit back and watch in amusement as  Cheryl, as always, catches the thing.

Oh, and this one didn’t happen to us,  but Awful thing example#6, below, illustrates the further dangers of pet doors in the wild.  Stay safe, my friends.

 

Be sure to check out my new (second) blog, Seeking Delphi.

 

 

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Cosmic Quote #66: Happy Towel Day!

“Time is an illusion.  Lunchtime doubly so.”–Douglas Adams

Today's the day...

Today’s the day…

May 25.  Towel day.  It’s a tribute to one of the wittiest writers in recent history.  My lunchtime, though, is never an illusion.  I’d  sooner miss Game of Thrones than miss my lunch.  Maybe I’ll even  eat something messy at lunch today and bring a towel to clean up the mess.  Ah, if only that towel could clean up the mess of my life. 😉

Be sure to check out my (new) second blog–Seeking Delphi.™

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New Feature, New Life: Seeking Delphi

“Never predict anything, especially the future.”–Casey Stengel

The one and only

The one and only

The Ol’ Perfessor knew what he was talking about.   Well, maybe he didn’t, but the advice is sage nonetheless.  It is notoriously difficult to predict anything in the future with consistent accuracy.  So why in the world would anyone want to become a futurist?  Why bother?  Well, to be blunt, that is exactly why!  Ignoring the opportunities and dangers of the future is what I like to call The Ostrich Syndrome.  Go ahead, hide your head in the sand.  The future is not going to go away.  And if we can’t predict it, there are certainly ways to prepare for it.  To prevent bad outcomes, or at least make them less likely.  To create good outcomes, or at least make them more likely.  And to be  better prepared to deal with whatever does come.

The sad fact is, we live in a short-term oriented society with a short attention span.  So what is the antidote to this malady?  It is more thoughtful foresight.  We have everything to gain and nothing to lose.  Kurt  Vonnegut compared science fiction writers like himself to the proverbial canary in the mine shaft, warning of weak danger signals before others perceive them.  That’s what futurists do, though those weak signals can signal opportunities as well as dangers as the world changes.  That’s what I aim to do with the rest of my life.  I’ve enrolled in the  University of Houston’s Masters in Foresight program.  I’m adding a foresight element to a friend’s existing market research business.  I’m becoming an advocate for taking a longer view of everything.  Economics. Education. Environment. Government. You name it.  And I’m starting a second blog, aptly named Seeking Delphi™ after the famed Oracle of Delphi.  We can’t predict the future, but we can anticipate the possibilities, avoid the catastrophes (or some of them) and create the opportunities.   So here goes something.   See you tomorrow and beyond.

The first post on Seeking Delphi is linked here.  Keep an eye out for the addition of a podcast in the coming weeks.

 

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Cosmic Quote(s) #65

“Predictions are preposterous.”–Jackie Mason

“The Best way to predict the future is to invent it.”–Alan Kay

“I don’t try to describe the future; I try to prevent it.”–Ray Bradbury

 

Most predictions are indeed preposterous.  So why would I become a futurist in my old age?  The object is not to predict the future, but it could be to invent it (per Alan Kay) or prevent it (per Ray Bradbury).  At any rate, as futile as it may seem, I predict that the next stage of my life will be highly focused on the future (as I said in a previous post, 65 is the new 45 and I need a renewed direction in life.).  I also predict that my next post will create a new feature–called Seeking Delphi–and with it a second blog.  And a very plausible scenario also includes a podcast.  You can predict some things, though what I ultimately will do is not usually one of them.  Stay tuned….

 

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Cosmic Quote #64

“Everyone should have their mind blown at least once a day.”–Neil deGrasse Tyson

Kaboom!

Kaboom!

I have to say this.  Neil deGrasse Tyson is my hero. He is voice of reason in a world of un-reason–full of people whose minds should not be blown. They should be blown up. Oh, did i say:  NDT is my hero?

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Mark’s Neologisms #4: Collective Nouns

‘Longshoremen walked off the docks today.  Rescue operations are continuing around the clock.”–George Carlin

A gaggle of geese…a pod of walruses….a murmuration of starlings…a pride of lions.  It seem that interest in collective nouns,  the colorful, if mostly archaic ones that define a specific group of the animal kingdom, is on a comeback.  One article I read suggested some tongue in cheek, punny new monikers for specific groups of us humanoids.   These included “an absence of waiters,” “an attitude of teenagers,” and “a brace of orthodontists.”   So of course, the light bulb in my brain, dull as it is, flashed on.  There are any number of people packs that deserve their own special sobriquet.  Here are a few suggestions.

  • A prevarication of politicians–pretty obvious
  • A Trump of narcissists–also obvious
  • A Cruz of theocrats–sadly obvious
  • A neuter of veterinarians–considering I’ve been living with one for 40 years, it’s a miracle I’m still in tact.
  • An enhancement of athletes–but this works only for those that don’t live with veterinarians
  • A babble of talk show hosts–and it certainly seems there are a babble of them.
  • An angst of existentialists–I resemble that
  • A Xerox® of Copycats–Note the ®, no I.P. issues, please.
  • A largess of lawyers–NOT!! (just wanted to see if you were paying attention)
  • A regurgitation of acid reflux sufferers–Ewwww!
  • A rash of dermatologists–It is, after all, allergy season
  • A drowning of longshoremen–You should have seen that one coming.

Any suggestions for more?  Join the vituperation of posters in the comments below.

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