Saturday, April 28, 2007

Computer Is Dying!!!

My computer is dying! It doesn't recognize that there are 2 CD readers (one that writes), and the virus protection won't scan the thing anymore. I've done what I can to protect myself. It's the IDE controller - it died.

So, I may go offline for a bit. I'm asking for a loan at the bank (I hadn't planned on a new computer till at LEAST December!), and I'll just "go for it" and get a Mac Mini. I'll have a learning curve, a new computer operating system and CSS/XHTML at the same time. Not what I wanted at this moment, but I guess it's what I need.

In any case, I'm not doing ANY surfing, only tending to the barest essentials and trusting the process on the website. Most of the time, the internet is unplugged, and I'm doing the work I need to do offline.

So, don't concern yourself. I'm working on the newsletter issue right now.

The kitties are good. Queenie was spayed on Thursday and she's still upset about it all. She's doing better and the hissing has stopped. At least she came out from under the couch last night. I should probably dedicate some space to that issue - what to do for her after she's been spayed... that kind of thing.

Anyway, getting offline before my "static IP address" attracts attention.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

New Messages!

OH Boy! I got 2 letters today!

I'd had a problem at the post office (a lot of that going on lately - maybe some planet in transit????) and got it fixed today. They handed me 2 letters from readers. I contacted the senders to see if I got the email addresses correct and asked that if they'd sent payment if they would please put a stop payment on the checks - both letters had been opened and resealed.

The guy who had access to my box was taking a lot of liberties! I hope he gets what he deserves!

Anyway, there are 2 new topics to discuss, so I feel better. It gives me something to do besides the re-coding that I'm learning for next year.

Keep 'em coming!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Telling Tales...

Well, now for some kitty tales...

I got sick with a sinus infection and had a lot of trouble breathing at night. I started keeping the kids out at night and they didn't like it any better than I did. As I got better, I would allow one or 2 in the bedroom with me at night - the kitty had to let me sleep and not sleep too close to my face.

So, the first night was Pretty Girl (Fluffy) because when I was chasing everyone out, she hid. She snuggled until I got fitful and then slept in her hidey-hole box. She was pretty cool about it the next day, but everyone was upset with her anyway.

The next night, it was Beasley and Bugs. Bugsy likes to sleep at my knees, and she is very clingy otherwise. She was easy. Beasley was really cute! He had to be in front of my face (with enough space so I could breathe) and getting strokes and cuddles every time I turned over. He was head butting me, purring loudly and very snuggly. I hadn't realized how much he missed cuddling in bed. He's had trouble since Princess came - the first few months we lived here. He's SO jealous! He hates to share!

All the while that night, Princess was out in the living room crying and jumping against the door trying to get it open. She'd been locked out of the bedroom for 3 nights at this point and was really in a cuddle withdrawals!

The next day, she came right up to me and rubbed my legs (first time ever!) and the next evening, I was working on the computer and she actually jumped up on the desk between me and the keyboard!!! She really loves cuddles! So, she's come through it all just fine. AND, she's more cuddly and trusting than ever before.

The exclusion started because Queenie went into heat again along with my trouble breathing. She chirped and yowled quite a bit this time. I finally have an appointment for her to be spayed, but not where Bugs went. THAT vet is another story for another time. I'm waiting to hear from her....

Anyway, Queenie will finally get spayed this Thursday. We are going to the HSUS Fix-a-Pet in Seymour. She'll get her shots and be spayed.

A friend of mine told me about something for ear mites, and I got it yesterday in Sevierville at Tractor Supply Co., but haven't used it yet. She said one drop of "Ivermectin 1%" in each ear would stop them, and I could use it again in a week to get RID of the ear mites for GOOD. I've tried several "Pyrethrin" preparations and don't like them. The Ivermectin is for cattle, and I got something that can be used as a pour-on for cattle. I got some droppers, but I just haven't used the preparation yet. I guess I'm waiting for Queenie to get back from her adventure before I do. I'll let you know how that goes.

Meanwhile, we ran out of Innova EVO and went to Natural Balance - DOG food of all things! I guess I didn't pay attention when I got it. Since the food doesn't provide the taurine they need, I'm adding that to their water and they seem to be OK.

More next time......

Updates - oh boy!

I updated my browser (mozilla Firefox) and it's causing a lot of trouble right now. I added a bunch of "add-on" features and I'm training the program to work the way I want it to. It might take a few days, with the amount of browsing I like to do and the little time I have available to do it!!

I want you to know that I'm "dealing with" the employment situation, too. Life is too short to be angry, lonely and tired all the time because of a job I don't really enjoy doing that much. The money doesn't pay for happiness, only bills and to keep the internet working. But with no time for internet, cats, and friends, what good is money?

A group of us are getting ready for a weekend in Akron, OH in June for "Founders Day" celebrations. If you are a friend of Bill W., you know what I'm talking about.

The efforts I've put in so far to get a college signed up for SBI-University have just about died. I need to get moving on that, but I feel so drained, that I haven't been pursuing it. I have the name/number of a lady at my next attempt, but no time to call her when she might be there. I'm tired of phone-tag and leaving messages - it just shoots down all my efforts. I need f2f meetings with these folks.

Well, pray for me that I get a new position with less hours, doesn't rub my morals the wrong way, allows me to feel that my efforts count for something, and pays enough to stay there. Something that gives me enough free time and energy outside of work to be able to re-design the website the way I want it to look, to be able to go forward instead of stagnating, (or dying?) like I am now.

"All organisims are in motion - they are either growing or dying. If they appear stagnant, they are decaying."

It would be nice to begin taking requests for help from my website visitors again, too. That whole set-up is changing again. Not to confuse you or charge very much ($5-$7 - haven't decided exactly - post a comment if you have a preference), and it will be interesting to see how things go.

BTW - I'm re-designing the website and I started doing it the "old" way and have to re-do my work. Not a real big deal, because I didn't have that much coded yet, but it is really revolutionary for me. The new concept L&F should be easier on the eyes, and I hope that you can find your way around quickly, too. I have to go back to paper & pencil, though, to get it laid out correctly.

There will be a newsletter issue in May, and some of the changes will be talked about there. I might even put up a few pages in the new format and allow folks to get a peek at what things will look like. I don't expect to put out a newsletter in June at the moment, as I plan to convert the entire site to the new format that month instead - but that's still up in the air. I might just put out a notice email instead of a newsletter issue. At least this is my HOPE - there's a LOT of work to be done and my time is extremely limited, as you know.

Anyway, the cats are good, and I have some stories to share, but I'll get that next time. I have things to do at the moment that are pressing on me, so I have to leave the computer......

Back later with more...

Saturday, April 14, 2007


I've been trying to "make it" with a job since the end of February. I'm VERY unhappy! I've realized that I know what it takes to run a business. I have a business but I had to step back from it because there weren't enough hours in the day and my head couldn't handle both. So, my business is suffering.

One main component had to be dropped (email counseling) so my income got slashed. I've been able to do the ezine, but it wasn't as good as I'd like it to be. It could be longer, more in-depth and link into a page about the topic - but instead I tried to squish it all into the ezine.

There just aren't enough hours in the day! My head can't go from A to B and back to A then onto D without touching C and all over the place all day and then come home and do my favorite thing - email counseling & putting up pages and articles on CATS!

So, I'm in a dilemma. I've contacted some trusted friends to talk to & get some ideas about how to survive the switch back to my web business. Also, I've been completely taken off a project to teach classes here on web business building. That's a complete heart-breaker! I've been certified as a teacher, but I can't do anything about it because of my difficulties with "W-O-R-K" and yes, it's becoming a 4-letter word.

So, if you read this blog regularly, any comments on this topic would be appreciated. I'm really struggling right now. I know there are a few of you out there, so make yourselves known, OK? I could use the support.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Smart Kitties!

Wow! Beasley is so smart! I got home from work yesterday, changed into jeans and put on socks - then my sneakers - and he figured out that I was going out. He made sure that for the hour I watched TV, he was getting his cuddles....

Cats are so smart! Do you notice how that your cat moves the water bowl around the kitchen floor???? I bet you think it's because your cat is "strange" too.. Well, not really.

Your cat can't see the clear water and tell the level in the bowl. So, your cat will jiggle the bowl to get a reflection from ambient light on the surface of the water, thus not getting a wet nose (he can drown) and getting a drink for his trouble. A nice thing to do for your cat might be to put a drop of food coloring in the water. Some color that contrasts with the bowl would be nice. Just something so your cat can tell the water level in the bowl. Try a water fountain, too. There are a couple of good ones on the market. The sparkling water helps the cat "see" it.

Another example of how cats are smart:
Cats figure out what we are about, even if we don't tell them. I tend to start packing for a trip several days in advance. There's nothing worse than getting to my destination and find that I've left a crucial item at home - several hours or states away. I either have to buy a new one or do without. Some things, like medication, you have trouble replacing and if you don't you could be in very serious trouble. And the expense of replacing things really cuts into the enjoyment of your trip! So, I begin packing several days in advance. I make a list of things that I need to bring with me. I start putting the clean clothes in the suitcase, the "extra makeup bag" and so on. My cats figure out right away - as soon as they see the suitcase - that I'm leaving them. They begin to act out right away.

Now, after all these years, and several trips a year, you would think my cats have it figured out that only when the suitcase is full, zipped up and by the front door, am I really leaving, but NO! They never seem to get that part.....

They act out - get clingy and aloof at the same time. Some get really clingy because they know I'm leaving, They ask for extra food, cuddles, time. Then, the others who are really attached to me but don't like the others to know it, they begin to act aloof and like it doesn't hurt that mom is going away for a few days. They want no pets, no cuddles, no attention at all. I become invisible to them.....

Then, the day comes when I actually leave. They all ignore me as I leave. It's like I'm heading off to work or something. They don't make a big deal about it.

While I'm gone, they sleep, play and eat just fine. I always have someone come in to care for them, (too many for a kennel) so they always have the front door opening and closing. Maybe this is why they ignore me for a few minutes when I come home. They are used to someone coming in.

When I come home from work, I have 5 kitties at the door to greet me, nearly every day. But when I've been gone for a few days, they ignore me completely. I catch them asleep & yawning when the door opens, or picking on each other, or playing - if one is fully asleep when I return or my neighbors have been particularly active while I was gone, going up & down the stairs a lot, all of my cats just ignore all the stair sounds until the front door opens. I catch them doing all kinds of things. But within about 5 minutes, when they realize it's me, they all come for cuddles & food.

I start with my usual, scoop-n-smooch for Beasley, then food. I work my way through them all for a cuddle while I begin to unpack and sort out my suitcases. By the time that's all done, they are comfortable, fed, loving and sleepy. We snuggle down for a few hours and the trip is forgotten - until next time.

May your cats always love you when you come home. Give them snuggles for me.....

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I had another Foster Cat --

I had another foster cat last week. He was a persian, but he had the coloring of a himalyan cat. His whiskers were curled up and threatened his eyes, but he didn't seem to mind it. He was SO cute! He was on his way to his furrever home in SC. His name is Otis. He did very well with the resident cats. I'd tried to keep him isolated, but they would have none of it! They broke the barriers and invaded his space. He apparently didn't fight them, but was equally curious. By the time he left, they were almost friendly to each other...

The network transportation chair called me out of the blue on Monday night, 3/26. The person who was supposed to connect in Knoxville and take the cat to Johnson City had been involved in a car accident. She was at the hospital. Could I take the cat? What can you say to a plea like that? The person who brought the cat from Indiana was a student on her way to her dorm and there was no way for her to keep the cat. So, I said yes.

My friend, Cat (really - her name!) and I worked it out to meet somewhere in the middle and she took Otis down to a meet with the new owner on her way to Myrtle Beach for easter break with the kids.

It's funny how this stuff works out. I didn't want to have another cat anywhere near me. I sometimes hate that I have 5 cats and can't even move unless I buy a house. But, I got to see Cat, and that was nice. Even if only for a few minutes.


I did my semi-annual stint at the local public-radio station last night. I go in and answer phones -taking my pledge with me so I don't forget to mail it in later. Afterwards, some of the folks asked me to go out with them for beverages. I did! It was fun! I haven't had a "social" evening in quite a while and it was nice to do that.

I left early - about 10pm. I'm not comfortable driving at night and I don't go out much, so being out at night it's hard for me to stay late. But, I DID have a good time!

While doing my "fund raising," I again talked about the website and what I do. I was able to help a radio staffer with a cat and I networked to several really nice people. I even got myself involved in costuming again! That will be a LOT of fun, but I'm not sure how it will all fit in my busy life. There just aren't enough hours in the day!

I tell folks I'm a cat whisperer - that I can help you with your cats. And I can - but I don't have time for all the emails right now. I ask that you mail your question and I will answer it by email - but I can't take all the "frivolous" questions that take time. There aren't really any "frivolous" questions to the cat owner, but I had to figure out a way to slow the email. I need to be able to sleep as well as work and do email. I was getting really tired and grumpy, and that doesn't make for coherent or friendly interactions with people. I end up getting short and terse. Not a good way to deal with a cat owner in need! So, I had to slow it down. Working full-time is not conducive to an online business of this type. But until the website can pay me enough to not work for others, this is what I have to do.

I plan on adding more content and PLEASE, if you can't find your answer, do mail me!

If it works out, I'll try to get another book put together or something. Meanwhile, I plan on an article about BEHAVIOR issues, not fleas or other stuff this month. That's what I'm good at, after all.