Tag Archive | cats

20 quarantine questions meme (with lots of spoons) (and not the metaphorical kind)

1. Are you an essential worker?

…I mean, I’d say Yes for society as a whole. But No for immediate survival needs in the midst of a pandemic.

2. How many drinks have you had since the quarantine started?

Alcohol, none. Don’t enjoy it. Energy drinks and sodas are a different story. In theory I could give up drinking them now that I never need to be awake at any specific time, but I…have not.

3. If you have kids… Are they driving you nuts?

No kids, but my cat keeps coming up to pester me, and then I have to stop whatever I’m doing and brush him for five minutes. (He literally did it while I was typing that sentence.)

And he seems to be experimenting with a strategy of “pat the human lightly with one paw for more attention,” but hasn’t totally worked out how to do that with his claws in.

A cuddly cat

4. What new hobby have you taken up during this?

Polyphasic sleep!

(Not totally new, I did it for a while once…all the way back when I was in high school, during summer vacation. Couldn’t keep it up for long because RL schedules intruded, but I remember being pretty happy with it.)

Started on April 8th with the regular 30-minute naps every 4 hours. Some of them end up being “30 minutes of lying very still in a dark room and not falling sleep before the timer goes off,” and so far one of them has always turned into “spend this whole 4-hour period asleep,” but it’s still closer to 6 hours of sleep per day than 8-9. We’ll see if I can condition myself to get it down to 3.
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Some pick-me-ups on this, the day of my cat’s adoptionversary

Marshmallow Fluff on April 6, 2019:

Hiding fluff, 2019

And on April 6, 2020:

Relaxed fluff, 2020

From “hiding in panic under the furniture” to “stretching his paws and having a nap on my leg.” At least one (1) thing has gotten better in the world since last year.

Fancomic of Spider-Man’s social-distancing, grocery-delivering adventures in quarantined NYC.

From the creator of “Cabin Pressure” comes “Cabin Fever”, a series of short videos by Arthur Shappey documenting his time in self-isolation. Now at 8 episodes, still going strong.

And if you want some completely-unrelated low-key fluff, have a playlist of my favorite adorable animal videos. (Knew I bookmarked those for a reason…)

May I offer you some non-awful links in this trying time

First, a quick Fluffdate: As you may remember, back in February my cat had a Vet Ordeal, and came home with, among other things, a therapeutic shave.

After he got back I rearranged some things around the apartment…which opened up The Warm Spot.

It’s a part of the floor that’s right over a hot-water pipe. Unsurprisingly, this is Marshmallow Fluff’s new favorite place to sleep. Even before I put a blanket there.

Well, as of last night, the fluff’s fur has grown back enough that he’s officially resumed a position I’ve only seen from longhair cats: Sleeping On Your Back To Air Out Your Tummy.

Look at that conked-out little face. Look at those cozy little paws.

Some links to other uplifting things to look at:

Scribd, a service for digital books/audiobooks/etc, is offering free 30-day trials with no credit card information necessary. I’m listening to books that my library doesn’t have on Overdrive, starting with Gideon the Ninth. (It’s extremely good, you guys.)

ComiXology Unlimited has gone up to free 60-day trials. (Check out the PDF downloads of But I’m A Cat Person, let’s find out what kind of royalties I get from Unlimited readership.)

Streaming platforms during quarantine (video)

Arthur Shappey, of Cabin Pressure, doing a series of “Cabin Fever” check-ins from OJS Airlines self-isolation (also video)

Twin toddlers having a solemn discussion of quarantine (adorable video)

People with recent construction or remodeling projects are advised to check your leftover supplies — some are finding unused masks. (Call hospitals before bringing anything in, to make sure you have the kind they need.)

Someone kindly masked up the Make Way For Ducklings statues in the Boston Public Garden. (Tiny fake masks, not human-sized real masks, don’t worry.)

Vintage photo of a family masked-up against the 1918 flu epidemic. That’s the archival entry on Calisphere — I saw it on Tumblr but wanted to be sure it was legit. (The Tumblr version was inset with a close-up on the cat.)

Happy birthday, Marshmallow Fluff

A post with mixed news. But leaning towards the good side, I think.

Previously, on Blogging About My Cat:

The local Humane Society retrieved this little guy from some kind of neglect situation — he was malnourished, dehydrated, terribly thin, and petrified — on February 8, 2019. They decided he was about 2 years old, so they marked that day down as his birthday.

Once he was out of serious medical danger, he was transferred to a local shelter. After a couple months there without being adopted,  they transferred him to the local cat cafe. He was only there for about 3 days (huddled on a shelf, and so inactive that in retrospect I’m not sure he was eating much from the cats’ communal bowls) when I came in.

We were warned to only approach him 1-at-a-time. I did. He seemed to respond happily to gentle skritches. I took him home!

That was in April.

I managed to get this photo in May, which is how long it took Marshmallow Fluff to come out from under the bed.

Fluff in May 2019

(At first he was too scared to come out if I was in the room, even if I was asleep on top of the bed. So I spent a while sleeping on an air mattress, on the other side of a closed door, which let him feel safer to start exploring the space.)

Compare that with January 2020:

Fluff in January 2020

He’s bulked up! Fluffed out! And roaming the entire apartment! If any other humans show up, he goes back into hiding — but if it’s just me, and I stay in the same place for long enough, he’ll appear.

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Post-Yule retrospective on the past few months

First, a PSA:

8tracks is shutting down. In 3 days. They did install an automatic “save playlist to Spotify” button to back up everything before they go…so I guess I’m finally getting a Spotify account, huh.

* * *

I got a delightful Yuletide fic!

It looks like this:

curiosity and candy (makes the world go round) (3481 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Pet Shop of Horrors
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Count D/Leon Orcot
Characters: Count D (Pet Shop of Horrors), Leon Orcot
Additional Tags: Swearing, Canon Era, Canon-Typical Behavior, Canon-Typical Levels Of BDSM References, yes this is a tag now, Yuletide, Supernatural Elements
Summary:

Word has gotten out that Leon is D’s new chosen mate, and the supernatural is pretty eager to test out his worthiness for the role.

Shame that Leon hasn’t been informed of any of this.

I also gave one, in a niche-enough fandom that it’s barely gotten any attention — but, listen, the recipient liked it, so it’s a win.

Slowly working my way through the rest of the archive, but I have a bunch of pre-Yuletide fic recs that I haven’t even queued yet…so the rec posts of not-for-me Yulefics may take a while in coming.

* * *

I subscribed to Hulu With Live TV for the month, purely so I can watch the new Steven Universe episodes before the internet has a chance to spoil them.

Seriously, the speed at which people can draw fanart of totally-new character designs is unreal.

And during the rest of the eek, I’m trying to make the most of the subscription by bingeing as much other Hulu-exclusive content as possible. Caught up on Archer and a smorgasbord of superhero movies, still working through Family Guy and The Resident, got an apprehensive eye on Stargate Universe.

Surprisingly entertained by Gary And His Demons. (Satirical commentary on Chosen One narratives, Rick-and-Morty-type dysfunction-based humor, our hero has a magical-girl-style transformation sequence for which he sings his own theme song…it’s a lot.)

…they have over 300 episodes of ER. And it’s excellent background-watching-while-making-comics TV. I may or may not end up going another month with this.

* * *

Speaking of avoiding spoilers: I saw Frozen 2!

It was enjoyable, don’t get me wrong, but also awfully weird. Go watch Jenny Nicholson’s review for a good, thoughtful, funny breakdown of a lot of the reasons why.

Haven’t been any other movies since Endgame that I was really determined to see in theaters. Considered it for Star Wars: The Final Movie For Real This Time Really, but at this point I’ve been spoiled for enough of the reveals that, eh. Might as well wait until it’s out on streaming, and pick that time to do a free Disney+ trial period.

* * *

Decided to bake cookies for Christmas at the last minute, which had me trawling the internet for “recipes that can be made using the ingredients currently in my cupboards” on Christmas Eve.

Sidenote: I have seen so many retail outlets this year advertising “our stores are open on Christmas Eve! and will even have limited hours on Christmas Day!”, and, guys, that is not something to brag about. Go watch one of the thousands of adaptations of A Christmas Carol, then swallow your profit motive for a couple days and give your people the time off, already.

So I wasn’t going to go buy late-night groceries, because I am not a monster, and here’s the recipe I was able to make. It’s just flour, butter/margarine, brown sugar, and vanilla. Plus a bag of butterscotch chips, because I do what I want.

They were a hit at the family dinner! Then a hit again when I brought the leftovers to work. Go make ’em some time. Mix up the base with your own (premeditated or improvised) favorite add-ins.

* * *

WordPress was offering a deal on paid blogging plans, and it was cheap enough that I sprung for it.

…only to find out it doesn’t include any customization that wasn’t already in the free version. You have to pay twice as much to control your own CSS.

Oh well. I’ve gotten enough value out of WP over the years that they’ve probably earned the donation.

Prompted me to finally look for a new theme, too. Took way too long to find something that was (a) 2 columns, (b) didn’t collapse to 1 column when you weren’t practically fullscreen on desktop, (c) had spaces to keep all my widgets and menus, and (d) didn’t have clashing colors in places that non-paying users weren’t allowed to customize.

Came out pretty nice, I think.

The theme is Bouquet. The header image and the purple background are customizable. All the pink is one of two pre-set options (the others are blue and orange), which thankfully coordinates with the header pretty well.

Apparently it’s also infinite-scroll and I don’t know how to turn that off, but oh well, you can’t have everything.

* * *

Bumped up to the next-higher dose of Wellbutrin a couple months ago, and it’s been a smashing success.

Before the switch, it had gotten to the point where I was sleeping 10+ hours a day, and could feel the not-getting-anything-done. (Doesn’t help that I have a longer Day Job workweek these days — it’s great in most ways, but having it eat up all my awake time was a bit of a drawback.)

First week on the new dose, I felt refreshed, could focus way better, and was able to draw more than I got to do in probably the whole month before.

Turns out taking the higher dose too many days in a row leaves me not sleeping enough…but by now I’ve got the hang of swapping in the lower dose before I start to feel too wired, and it’s balancing out really well.

* * *

The last Leif & Thorn Kickstarter alternately feels like it happened forever ago, and like it just ended last week.

The first unbound proof arrived a whole month ago, in November:

I ended up tweaking both files, and asking for a new proof of just-the-cover. (There was some tricky color correction involved — you don’t know exactly how it’ll come out in CMYK until you see it in person.)

So the new one arrived…and somewhere between the file I sent and the paper coming out of the printer, the colors got changed in ways I didn’t do. Not in a way they would notice when quality-checking, either — it looked perfectly-balanced, which is the problem, it’s supposed to have a purple tint.

(Volume 1 was pink-tinted. Volume 3 — the one with the magic vine attack — will be green. Volume 4 is shaping up to be red.)

The company blamed an equipment failure, apologized, and sent a free replacement. I now have 3 separate copies of this cover, and the books themselves are gonna be in production…any day now. Depends on when people come back from vacation.

* * *

I drew 2 full pages ahead in BICP!

Then decided the events of those pages should be bumped back to happen after other events. Which leaves me in the fascinating position of “two pages of scanned and fully-polished lineart, still hasn’t gotten me ahead re: the page I’m supposed to post on Monday.”

…One of my New Year’s resolutions is to actually finish the series in 2020. Fingers crossed.

* * *

Marshmallow Fluff continues fluffin’ along.

I did a family visit that left him alone for the weekend, and he seems to have coped just fine:

No special Christmas dinner for Fluff, because he started turning up his nose at canned food a while back. I figure it’s a good thing — he’s no longer afraid of imminent starvation, so he feels secure enough to be picky — but it really cuts down on my “treats to provide for special occasions” options.

He also sometimes sits on one end of the couch while I’m sitting on the other! And almost relaxes. I get the joy of having a judgmental mop staring at me.