Monthly Archives: July 2016

Our Cat of the Day

Just a brief, belated shout-out to our rescue tabby, Walter. Last week he was Cat of the Day, and you can read all about him at the link. The story also led to more hits on this video of Walter and I going out for a walk:

I keep saying one day I will write a blog post, or a book about walking him on a leash, not about teaching him, since you can’t “teach” a cat anything, but about what I’ve learned from walking with him.

A Modest Border Proposal

pot picSo I’m reading  The New York Times — because that’s the kind of elitist New York Jewy-Jew “cosmopolitan” that I am.There’s an article about Arizona ranchers whose land is regularly used as a border crossing by both immigrants and drug cartels. By “drugs” they mean marijuana by the way. The ranchers think the wall idea is stupid, but they’d like intensive patrols. The issue for them is that immigrants wind up dying on their land, and drug cartels are scary and murderous. They don’t seem to believe, contrary to what we granola crunching Kumbayah types might suspect they believe based on watching the RNC,  that Mexico is sending over its rapists and murderers.  They just don’t like people trespassing on their way to a better life plus littering and/or dying of thirst or starvation, but their big beef is with the cartels — who have actually murdered and kidnapped people on their property. Despite thinking that Trump’s wall is “silly”, they also hate Hillary on account of she’s going to take their guns away and/or is in league with Satan, and will surely just open up the borders for everyone because commies don’t respect private property rights as proven by the War of Northern Agression. Actually, the article isn’t that clear on exactly what their issue is with Hillary, but they do quote a rancher as saying  if she wins he’s moving to Australia — which he might want to do a little research on first seeing as how they took away their citizens’ guns years ago. Then again, Australia is an island continent so people can’t get there by cutting through your fence.

Anyway, since the Democratic platform is NOT proposing taking away everyone’s guns (despite the right wing press having quite a good time quoting that one lady on the platform committee saying she thinks that’s a swell idea) or opening up the border for all,  it does seem that the dems are missing an opportunity. They could actually address the concerns of the ranchers and take them seriously — which would be a big deal to these guys since they don’t feel anyone has listened to them. But they go further and cut into the appeal of libertarians like Gary Johnson, and help not just those ranchers, but small farmers and would be entrepreneurs in these United States by  proposing legalizing marijuana,  with an emphasis on promoting (with policy) homegrown by small farmers in the US of A. Oh wait a second, the DEMS are already supporting legalization!  Well, they  need to go further, and link it to the border security and economic enhancement issue, and maybe, you know, tell people about it.

(Thus endeth today’s rant. If you enjoyed this please check out more stuff on this blog, or help me out by checking out my cheap books.)


This Week’s Neologism

belchschmerz (noun) /belCH SHmerts/ — A particularly  annoying symptom of gastric reflux, wherein one continually emits gas from the stomach through the mouth, while experiencing a sense of unwellness and slight but persistent feelings of nausea (which may or may not be existential in origin). Belchschmerz can be brought on by food or as a result of stress and angst.


I’m cancelling our lunch due to a flare up of belchschmerz.

I can’t read anymore news about the US elections. It’s giving me belchschmerz.

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Toilet Training Your Cat is a Terrible Idea

20160711_134602 (1)This brilliant video originally posted on Facebook by the  Cat Adoption Foundation has gone viral. Why? How shall I put this? If you see only one cat video this year, this is the one you must watch! Seriously, I don’t want to spoil it. I’ll wait till you come back.

It proves that cats are bright enough to learn to use the toilet, and it shows why we shouldn’t teach them to use it. Some people claim their cats copied this behavior with no pressure from their humans. Live and let live if that’s the case. It’s between them and their cat, but in my (informed) opinion they should keep the litter pan handy in case things go wrong.

After viewing the video, I wondered how often cats wind up stuffing the bowl with paper and or whatever else is handy in a desperate attempt to bury the evidence? I never got a clear answer but in my web travels I came across a video of Jackson Galaxy ranting (or waffling) about the evils of toilet training. I like Galaxy, but he wasn’t very specific as to the reasons why toilet training is just wrong. He talked about the beauty of the “raw” cat and how we must respect it, but was vague on the details, and given all we do to our kitties — like neuter them for starters, keep them indoors, force them to live with other cats they may not like and even dogs, etc. — it’s hard to make the case that toilets is where should draw the line. Here’s that video:

As you can see, he also rants (or waffles) about non-consensual cat cosplay. I wonder what he’d think of Walking Walter’s super cute hoody?

Would he grant me an exception because I only make him wear it on our leash walks because it’s also a harness? Oh yeah, Galaxy is totally okay with walking your cat on a leash and doesn’t think that takes away from your kitty’s wildness.

So in answer to those who aren’t convinced yet, I’m providing some solid reasons (no pun intended) why training your cat to use a toilet is all kinds of wrong:

(1) Domestic cats have evolved as both hunters and pray. Therefore hiding their crap by burying it is a very specific survival strategy that evolved over time. Leaving smelly piss and crap in a toilet feels wrong to a cat, and will never feel right. Watch any video of a cat on a toilet. They will try to bury it. Therefore, every trip to the toilet involves stress and frustration. Stressing out a cat is likely to result in various physical and behavioral issues; plus it’s not nice. And no they aren’t bright enough to also learn to flush.  And no an automatic flusher wouldn’t help because if you get fell he/she would be traumatized if not injured.(2) Toilet seats are not made for cats — especially very young cats or older ones that might have mobility issues. A cat can fall in and given cats’ aversion to both water and filth, that would be very traumatic for a cat. This could also lead to real problems if a cat has gotten the message that the toilet is the only acceptable place to go. (3) Half the time human males don’t remember to put the seat down making it even harder. (4) Sooner or later someone in the cat’s designated bathroom will close the seat, which may lead to a nasty surprise left in your sink or bathtub. (5) Your cat might not want to “wait” while you or someone else is using their spot. (6) Sometimes your cat may need to go to the vet or some other places where the toilet thing isn’t going to happen. He/she may be confused about what he or she is supposed to do. If they go back to doing what comes naturally, they’ll need to retrained again. (7) Given that cats won’t flush, do you really want smelly cat crap in your toilet until you get around to flushing it. (8) Getting multiple cats to use the same toilet could be an issue. (9) Is this a toilet that a human will sometimes be using? Do you really want to share it with a cat? (10) If it is a toilet that humans will use, chances are there’s going to be toilet paper. See the video linked at the beginning of this post. From a cat’s point of view, stuffing the toilet with paper is a very logical thing to do. Do you really want to clean up a dirty toilet bowl stuffed with toilet paper by your cat?

I could probably think up a few more reasons, but what it comes down to is that training your cat to use the toilet is dumb. Feel free to comment and discuss amongst yourselves.

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