A 99 Purrcenter I can agree with.


Exercises in situational awareness

Required equipment: One (1) kitten. One (1) kitchen.

Exercise 1: While kitten is between roughly 8 and 12 weeks old, cook dinner. Awareness of the kitten’s position and expected movements must be maintained at all times. Stepping on the kitten indicates a failure to maintain proper situational awareness. If you are using the oven, additional care must be taken to ensure that the kitten does not jump or reach up to hot parts of the oven that are within its range (the open door, etc.).

Exercise 2: Around approximately 12 weeks old, the kitten will be able to jump onto the countertops unassisted. Cook again. In addition to the precautions from Exercise 1, note that the stovetop is at counter height, and that the burners are close enough to the edge that a leap from floor to stovetop will result in the kitten landing on a hot burner. Also note that most cooking involves using dangerously sharp implements such as kitchen knives while handling kitten bait (i.e., most types of food, especially anything involving dairy or meat). As in Exercise 1, any injury to the kitten indicates a failure to maintain proper situational awareness.

Apply the lessons learned in these exercises to your daily life, and to firearms safety.

(Guess what D’Artagnan started being able to do over the weekend.)


More kitten blogging

Despite what I said earlier, I have managed to get a couple of good shots of the new kitten while he was awake. (His name is D’Artagnan, btw. ) Enjoy!



(Rest assured, dear reader(s), this is not going to turn into a cat blog. But really, can you blame me?)

Kitten again

That’s about the only time I can get a decent picture of him.

Cat blogging

The newest addition to my household came home yesterday evening.

He seems to be settling right in. The first introduction to my older cat seems to have gone fairly well, but I’m still keeping them separated when I’m not free to supervise. I’ll probably do that for a few days, until they get comfortable with each other.

Also, a purring kitten brings a smile to almost anyone’s face.


Cat blogging

Because I can. And because there’s kittens!


Sorry about the picture quality. I took it with my phone, the light wasn’t that great, and Mama Cat moved as I took the picture.

The attorney that was helping me earlier today will be picking them up in the morning before I go on duty, and we’ll be looking for either a no-kill shelter that can take them, or some good people to adopt them. The kittens are still to young to be separated from Mama, I think, so adopting them would mean keeping them for at least another few weeks.

The heart is warring with the mind, right now. I may end up with one, even if I shouldn’t.

But….  ZOMG, the CUTE!

Interesting evening

So, I come home from work and check the mail, and there’s one of those fancy tear-the-edges-off printed privacy-protection envelopes from the power company in the box. There’s also a power bill to someone else but at my address. So I open the fancy tear-the-edges-off printed privacy-protection envelope, and find a “refund check” from the power company. Now, this is a check for quite a sizable amount (for me), and it’s more than could be accounted for by an accidental double payment. So I go online to check my account, and see there’s a “Final Bill” showing.


I still live here, I haven’t told them to close my account, and I haven’t been contacted to confirm that it’s okay to close my account.  But I have a strong suspicion based on that bill to someone I don’t know. So I call AEP’s customer service line (surprisingly with no wait at all), and the customer service rep confirms my suspicion – someone activated a new account at my address, so they automatically closed mine.

Fine. I’m a bit peeved that they didn’t bother calling to confirm that it was okay, but it’s fixable, there’s been no interruption of my service, and apparently they’re not required to (which doesn’t mean that they can’t, or that they shouldn’t, but whatever). Then he tells me that Virginia charges a $12 connection fee for “new accounts.” At that point I put my foot down, and told him (politely) “Hell, no.” It was their screw-up, not mine, and I’m not paying any extra costs to fix it. After we go back and forth with a couple of variations of “We have to,” and “Hell, no,” I ask for a supervisor – I’ve done this kind of work myself, and I know the first-line people can’t waive diddly-squat. The supervisor comes on, and she’s already waived the fee. I ask a couple of questions, and that’s it – everything should be taken care of.

I will give AEP this much: when I called customer service, there was no wait, and the rep and supervisor were helpful and polite. They should, however, give their CSRs the power to waive this fee in these circumstances. Of course, if they had just bothered calling me, they could have avoided the situation entirely.

But that’s not all that happened this evening.

First, a little background. A couple of days ago, I got a single cabinet with countertop at Goodwill, to give me room to actually prepare food – until that, my only counter space was taken up by my microwave. The cabinet is ugly, and doesn’t match anything else in the kitchen, but it was also only $10. Well, it turns out that it wouldn’t actually fit in my car for me to take home. That’s okay, because they’ll hold things like that for 2 days. So yesterday one of the attorneys I work with came out with his SUV to help me move it. When we pull up, there’s a cat sitting in my driveway. He stays there, perfectly calm, as we back in, and is still sitting there when we get out. Then he comes up to us. This is a very friendly cat, and obviously used to humans. He’s also rail thin, and you can feel every rib as you pet him.

I already have a cat. I’ve had two cats before, but it was a real stretch on my resources, and would be now as well. But the temptation was strong, and it didn’t help that when the attorney offered to help with the initial vet costs, including getting him fixed. I decided to see if he would come back when I came home from work, because I thought that maybe he did belong to someone. Well, after work there was no cat.

Today, I come home and the same cat comes wandering up and rubs against my legs. So I let him into the porch were he and my cat can smell each other through the gap under the door and start getting used to one another, and I get some food and water out on the porch as well. Then I go and take care of the power issue. After that was done, I went back on the porch, opened the door, and gave him the option of staying or going. After a few minutes, he wanders out and around the corner. I follow, but he’s out of sight already. Then I see a little orange fur on the other side of one of the bushes next to the house, so I go look.

Boy, am I glad I didn’t decide to keep him on the porch overnight. Because when I got around the bush, I saw this:

Sweet, crispy walnuts!

“He” is a she, and is nursing kittens! (Actually, this picture was taken later, but it was the same thing without the box.) There’s five of them, and they are heart-rendingly cute.

Later, the neighbors come out and confirm that she’s a stray that was probably abandoned, and that people in the neighborhood have been feeding her and some other strays that were also abandoned (they could, in fact, tell me exactly which house some of the local strays came from and when they were abandoned).

So, that lawyer I work with is coming over tomorrow so we can get these guys to proper shelter and eventually to good homes. I’m very likely to end up with a second cat, despite what my brain says I should do. I’m already calling the little orange and white one “Dreamsicle.”

For more “Awwww”, I took video!


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