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September 09, 2005

Friday Cat Blogging

Update: Welcome, food bloggers! This is the first time most food bloggers have found my blog. I recommend after reading this post that you check out my Food and Drink category. Thank you for visiting my blog.

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Apparently, food bloggers are into cat blogging. I read about it at eat stuff. I'm posting this old picture of Beowulf for the food bloggers for this week's Friday Cat Blogging. I'll send Clare an e-mail so she can link to this post for the food blogger's cat blogging.

Beowulf is truly the Ruler Of His Domain. You can't resist this cat. He's also a hedonist with excellent taste in food. He loves swordfish and lobster. This is a cat who relishes La Dolce Vita.

beowulf.jpg

Posted on September 9, 2005 at 09:49 AM | Permalink

Comments

I'm so glad you're both food-blogging and cat-blogging! I think you should combine the two and send the result to Stuff on my Cat.

Posted by: Elayne Riggs at Sep 9, 2005 10:40:45 AM

I only recently started food blogging, and I like it a lot. I found a page where food bloggers show off pictures of their cats, and I'm submitting this post to that carnival.

I don't have any pictures of stuff on my cats, and since the camera has been broken for months, I can't take any pictures. If I ever get that camera fixed, I'm taking a shot of Lucky in his favorite box. It's a pizzelle box full of holes so you can smell the cookies. He's always running head-first into that box. I have to replace it about every two weeks because he demolishes it.

Posted by: The Countess at Sep 9, 2005 12:19:17 PM

Hi Countess
I am so glad you are joining in!
The more the merrier I say :)
I am putting my post up right now!

Posted by: clare eats at Sep 9, 2005 9:10:19 PM

Thanks so much, Clare. Beowulf loves the limelight. I'll post pictures of Lucky, one of our other cats, next week. I also post pix of digitalized cats from the game World Of Warcraft. They're the Count's pets in the game. I've had someone tell me that is the geekiest cat blogging they've ever seen. ;)

Posted by: The Countess at Sep 9, 2005 9:58:36 PM

What a cutie! Can't wait to see your other kitties.

Posted by: boo_licious at Sep 10, 2005 12:59:47 AM

Yes, this is very maudlin of me, but as an FYI, Lucky's full name is "Lucky To Be Alive". He's the only survivor of his litter of five, and only because the Countess rushed him to the vet and we both bottle fed him starting at three weeks old. There was something wrong with that litter and/or Oreo's milk just wasn't doing the right thing. The vet said he, and likely his siblings, had anemia and were dehydrated, which their little newborn bodies just could not cope with. Oddly, the neighbor's cat was also knocked up by the same daddy cat and her kittens died as well.

We also call him "The Cat Who Can Do No Wrong", because he's already been punished enough by life and he'll never be punished or yelled at in the future. What's nice is that, from a human perspective, he does indeed behave well anyway without correction needed. What's even better is that he's grown up to be big, strong, energetic, intelligent (for a cat,) communicative, and very playful when we all expected him to have retarded physical, and possibly even mental, development. I suspect he was the pick of the litter in the first place, which is why he survived long enough to get help.

From the bottle feeeding and handling at that early of an age, it appears he's also very attached to us and desires a lot of attention and touching from us. When he lays down it's usually somewhere a few feet away from one of us whereas the other cats are scattered throughout the house. We'll be sitting down watching TV and all of a sudden one of us will feel a tapping on an arm or leg... Luckticious wants some petting.

What's also interesting is that while I'm on the computer, in the middle of the night while everyone else is asleep, I'll feel him tapping me. Were I to ignore him he'll persist. However, once I stop and sit on the floor with him, he'll walk off after a few minutes and lay down. Not to anthropomorphise, but it would seem as if he's just looking for reassurance.

Yes, I am very attached to him, and as The Countess once said, she won't want to be around me the inevitable day he dies.

Posted by: The Count at Sep 10, 2005 6:19:47 AM

Lucky may be "The Cat Who Can Do No Wrong", but he is Super-Spaz-Cat this morning. He's already zoomed around the house a couple of times, and he's walking around talking to himself. He wants constant petting, and of course I'm petting him. I'm just waiting for one of the other cats to show up. He'll jump on their heads, and a fight will start. This is going to be an interesting morning...

Posted by: The Countess at Sep 10, 2005 8:28:51 AM

"What's even better is that he's grown up to be big, strong, energetic, intelligent (for a cat,) communicative, and very playful when we all expected him to have retarded physical, and possibly even mental, development. I suspect he was the pick of the litter in the first place, which is why he survived long enough to get help.

From the bottle feeeding and handling at that early of an age, it appears he's also very attached to us and desires a lot of attention and touching from us."

I have heard this about human babies when they are preemies as well. That they frequently grow up to be much larger and stronger then regular full-term babies, not what you would expect either.

I'm thinking it's because people pay MORE attention to an infant in crisis (even a kitten). Maybe feed it more, hold it more, etc., so it mitigates the early effects...

But I've also often wondered how can we even tell if an animal has some developmental problems later. I mean for a human being it would become obvious if they couldn't perform some higher levels tasks like test taking, working, etc., but for a domestic animal how can we judge as they are not expected to perform around the house as they would in the wild????

Posted by: NYMOM at Sep 10, 2005 8:46:29 AM

Good point NYMOM. Since he and his living half-brother and half-sisters have only lived in this one house from birth, and have never gone out, I'm not sure what effect it has had on their little minds.

They can certainly go feral, but I'm not sure it's the same thing. Many years ago The Countess adopted a two or three year old cat, Mulder, from a shelter... the day before she was going to be put to sleep, since apparently no one else wanted her. It appears she was a pet that was later abandoned. It took a good number years for her to come to trust us, she could not stand to be held, she'd hiss at anyone else but me and The Countess... even The Royal Spawn was afraid of her. She was surly (!) at best and kept to herself and rejected all the other cats (although one of the then newborn kittens, Scully of all names, decided to adopt her and no amount Mulder's bluster would keep Scully from being near her.). But over time, she became The Countess' lap fungus. When outside she would follow The Countess all over the garden. When The Countess was upstairs in the office, Mulder would be right next to her, or better yet, on her keyboard. Sadly, she died earlier this year of kidney failure.

Posted by: The Count at Sep 10, 2005 9:14:10 AM

Yes I remember the Countess posting about her when she got sick.

It's interesting though to return to the other issue, I read somewhere that the dogs that adjust best to living with people (maybe cats too) are those that keep the personality of puppies. In other words, they never reach sexual maturity and act as they would in nature, ie., as a 2 year old adult wolf would act probably. Which would make them too dangerous to be around most people or even other animals.

So maybe Lucky is just a kitten who has never grown up, for whatever reason, and this makes her a special cat.

I know it's the same with chimps. They are fine pets until they reach the age of about 20 I think which is when they reach sexual maturity and then they become so dangerous that they have to be sent to live outside of the homes where they were raised. There are actually reserves all over the US where these chimps are made to live in cages, although they were hand fed and raised in people's homes, sometimes with their children.

Actually there are thousands of these chimps around the US.

I saw a rather sad story on National Geographic Channel about this.

This one family took in a chimp as a baby, raised him with their own son, he was like a member of the family. They had a little photo book of him when he was a baby along with their son's book. He even had favorite tv programs or so they claimed. Suddenly he started attacking visitors to their home and since chimps are so strong they had to do something before he seriously injured or killed somebody. They finally had to send him to live in a reserve where they visit him every now and then while he lives in a cage with other chimps.

I guess my point is we have so much still to learn about the animal mind and how they are really adjusting to living amongst us.

For cats, perhaps the more 'normal' of the cat species acts closer to what Mulder did (as she probably became feral after being abandoned and reverted to that state) and Lucky is an aberration.

Although don't mention to Lucky that I said this about her, of course. This is just between you, me and the millions of others on the internet who are now aware I think this about Lucky.

LOL.

Posted by: NYMOM at Sep 10, 2005 9:48:59 AM

Lucky won't mind. Oh, he's male, by the way. Mulder was female. Lucky knows he special. He acts like he rules the house. He's our kitchen cat, too. Whenever we are cooking in the kitchen, Lucky always joins us. He likes to sniff everything, but he won't eat people food, unless we have shrimp. He loves shrimp.

Posted by: The Countess at Sep 10, 2005 10:05:29 AM

NYMOM, your observations I think point to a natural behavior in all of us, humans included. In my simple-minded opinion (I'm not a trained biologist,) we all have a desire (instinct? drive?) for independece. Note how an animal mother cares and nurtures her young, then at weaning time it looks to us as if they are abandoning her young. Well, she is, because she has to go into heat to procreate and although an animal does not know it, the young have to start fending for themselves because a dependent animal is a dead animal. Nature isn't grand or elegant or noble or anything else... it just is and deals her cards dispassionately. If you get dealt a bad hand, she's not going to pity you.

Now, in humans, we have developed many traits and conventions to mitigate a dispassionate nature. However, you still see remnants of that even in the simple rebellion of today's teenagers. Only 100+ years ago, an 18 year old was most likely already raising a family, had one or more children, and was working on a plot of land. This independece (rebellion) is a survival mechanism which we have built-in to us, but runs counter to what some of us parents and guardians feel should happen since we are still parenting and guarding till 18.

It's interesting that you mention sexual maturity in chimps, because in my simple-mindedness that's what I think is the trigger for or is triggered by the desire to be independent and start taking care of one's self.

As a really side note, God was invented as the first convention to make sense of Nature and to humanise (yes, God is human) her.

Posted by: The Count at Sep 10, 2005 10:40:34 AM

"As a really side note, God was invented as the first convention to make sense of Nature and to humanise (yes, God is human) her."

Yes, I do believe God is a human invention. But a very good one, so I do try to stay in touch with the various mutations that God takes onto himself through human intervention.

I think it tells us a lot about a people what sort of God they worship.

Which is why I was so aggravated recently when Mary (Jesus's mother) appeared to be suddenly getting short shifted by the Christian churches; since I thought it might be signaling that now even the CHURCH was being taken over by a hostile to mothers mens rights' movement.

I, myself, am a lapsed Catholic, who left the church many years ago, but still enjoy all the humanistic aspects of Catholism that came to be during the medieval period. I liked the music, the art forms, I liked many of the ceremonies (which they don't even do anymore). I often said when I left the Church the mass was this beautifull medieval ceremony complete with Latin and chant. Then when I tried to go back, it had turned into a hootenanny where someone was playing a guitar at the front and you were supposed to be shaking hands with the person in the pew next to you.

So everything I loved about it was GONE...

"Now, in humans, we have developed many traits and conventions to mitigate a dispassionate nature."

This is true as well.

But I think many people feel that since God is seen as a myth, maybe nature (and by extension certain inalienable traits that we inherit by virtue of being a part of this natural world) are nothing but a myth as well. This is where I would disagree. An unknowable, mysterious God might not exist, that doesn't mean that an unknowable, mysterious nature does not exist. As I find a dangerous trend in intellectuals who deny God's existence also tend to deny the existence of any natural instincts or differences in men and women. This is dangerous I believe. As I think men and women have natural instincts just like every other species on the planet that can not be denied just because we are the lords and masters of the realm here.

I recognize that 'man is the measure of all things' in this world, yet I also believe we have some common inherent behaviors and instincts that will persist in us until man is no more. Denial of these instincts is linked I believe to the current attacks on mothers, especially single mothers.

Posted by: NYMOM at Sep 10, 2005 11:51:49 AM

NYMOM: " I often said when I left the Church the mass was this beautifull medieval ceremony complete with Latin and chant. Then when I tried to go back, it had turned into a hootenanny where someone was playing a guitar at the front and you were supposed to be shaking hands with the person in the pew next to you."

I remember when the masses changed, but I think Latin masses were gone before I was born. The "hootenanny" stuff started in the 1970s. I was in one of those music groups. One of the singers was my Sunday school teacher. I liked it, but I also liked the old-fashioned masses. I remember shaking hands with people in the pews. That was definitely a '70s thing. I haven't been to mass in years, so I don't know if masses are still like that.

I always liked the May Procession because it harkened back to that old way of doing things I hadn't experienced because I was too young. I and my best friend portrayed Mary different years when we were in Catholic school. That was always a fond memory for me.

Posted by: The Countess at Sep 10, 2005 12:23:41 PM

Actually, I have no problems per se with the worship of a diety... life's tough and if that helps someone get through the day, then by all means do it. On the other hand, I've got a bone to pick with organized religon, but we'll save that for another discussion.

As far as an unknowable, mysterious nature goes, I can't say I personally subscribe to that. That we are creatures driven by instinct and leavened by the veneer of civilization I wholeheartedly agree. Look at Katrina and the instinctual behaviors that come out when civility is stripped away. And by that, I don't just mean the unfortunate people who were in the path of the storm, but also the behaviors of the people in charge, the people who serve and protect, the people who report these occurances, and the folks who comment on these occurances. By the way, that instinctual behavior can be both good and bad... helping, which may be a species survival instinct, or hurting, which may be a self preservation instinct.

If you mean "we are here for a mysterious purpose"... yes I agree, but probably disagree on what that purpose is. I think our sole purpose is to make more of ourselves. However, since we have the ability for intellignet thought, we can and have created our own purposes to keep us going... which includes the purpose of arguing about our purpose in life! :)

Sadly, and to bring ourselves back to your point, some folks have decided that their purpose is to amass power, and since they believe it is a zero-sum game, the only way to have power is by removing power from someone else. The real truth is that power does not have to be a zero-sum game and that with very little effort everyone can be empowered, and happy to boot.

Unfortunately that does not take care of the folks whose self-designated purpose is to be superior... that one is a zero-sum game. I think that the "intellectuals who deny God's existence also tend to deny the existence of any natural instincts or differences in men and women." are not even intellectuals at all, since it would be mutually exclusive otherwise. They're simply manipulators with some amount of intelligence, and God or not, Nature or not, are always going to be around.

Posted by: The Count at Sep 10, 2005 12:42:11 PM

"I think that the "intellectuals who deny God's existence also tend to deny the existence of any natural instincts or differences in men and women." are not even intellectuals at all, since it would be mutually exclusive otherwise. They're simply manipulators with some amount of intelligence, and God or not, Nature or not, are always going to be around."

The problem is that these people are in many high places and we can't just ignore them as they are making public polices and laws that impact all the rest of us.

Not to mention the hold they have over the media...

So that's the main issue.

Posted by: NYMOM at Sep 10, 2005 12:56:44 PM

Of like mind.

Posted by: The Count at Sep 10, 2005 1:01:56 PM