New Foreigner Book!


a few hardcovers and pbs available from Closed Circle, signed. Latest: Moonlover and the Fountain of Blood, Jane Fancher short story. Chernevog, part 2 of the Rusalka trilogy co-written by CJ and Jane; and Orion's Children, a tetralogy from Lynn.

We seem to have weathered it…and good news on the diet…

It’s working. Those pounds we put on during the binge of pie, cookies, potatoes, chips, pasta, and other sins we committed between Jane’s birthday in October and sanity returning after New Year’s…? I’ve lost ’em all but 2. We’re not starving, either. Stirfries involving chicken, shrimp; porkchops—we dump dry Ranch Dressing powder on those before cooking, use the whole packet, both sides: pan-fry, covered, to be sure they’re done. Yum. That’s dinner for tonight, with broccoli, squash, brussel sprouts, whatever I’ve got in the bins. I just troll the veggie aisle and get what looks best. We tried Daikon Radish the other evening and decided a whole one is probably quite a lot of radish. Breakfast is homemade bread toasted with real butter and sugarfree jam—and we drop weight. Life is good. The book is making sense, Jane is working and happy, and the only thing driving me crazy is Sei, who has learned he can get attention by headbutting the corner of my laptop screen again and again and again when he wants food. If we fed these cats all they want they’d be blimps! πŸ˜‰


29 comments to We seem to have weathered it…and good news on the diet…

  • ready4more

    Hooray for 80%!!!!!

  • Aja Jin

    Good on you both, sounds like life is going great. Daikon Radish makes me think of the original Japanese Iron Chef. What a strange and wonderful show.

  • Dragonrider Gal

    I am sure all those recent ups and downs makes this current stretch of life just that much more enjoyable, eh?

    Sometimes I wonder if that isn’t why we end up with all that hooha in our lives—you know—sorta like how good it feels when you stop hitting your head against the wall?? *lol*

    And a diet of veggies would leave me starving. In the ancient East Indian ayurvedic medicine, I’m a pitta.. we need FOOD, not rabbit munchies. Give me some el dente pasta so my stomach has something to do! I can just burn thru veggies and fruit like they were some form of liquid and I am still starving, even after a big plateful of ’em.

    My sweetie is a kapha though, so he can’t handle the heavier foods I need… Broccoli and such are just delightful in his opinion. *ack*

    Which makes the ‘blood type’ diet absolutely and completely wrong for us. I’m an A+ blood type, the supposed quintessential vegetarian, and he is an O+, the quintessential carnivore. I hate veggies, but love meat. He loves veggies but his system can’t handle any kind of meat but fish, and sometimes chicken… most meats are too hard for him to digest and they often just sit in his stomach like a lump. So that method for diet management just blows, as far as I am concerned! πŸ™‚

    And cats. I love them dearly but usually it isn’t clear who really is in charge… most of the little dears are pretty darn good at training us humans to do what they want! *lol* As they say—dogs have owners, cats have staff!

  • Hanneke

    Does Sei get bored with being petted? Mine does, after a short time, so if she starts this kind of ‘I want something from you now’ behaviour I just stroke her a bit and she walks off, in a ‘I wasn’t asking to be petted, you dumb human’ sort of way. She doesn’t get mad at me, she likes being petted, but only when she decides it’s time for petting – I get the impression she just thinks I’m rather dense at times. πŸ˜‰ Especially at times when she wants something she’s not going to get!

    Regarding the site: it mostly looks just like it did before, except the new green flower at the top (I can’t even remember what symbol was there before), and most noticeably, the Recent Comments which are now only visible on the main blog page, and not while I’m reading the comments. I tend to land in a blog+comment page from the RSSfeed, and have to click on the big blog banner to get to the overview page with the comments. Then when I click on a comment and land on that page, the Recent Comments part of the left sidebar goes away again.
    If it depends on the browser: I’m using Internet Explorer 8 at the moment.

    • tulrose

      I’ll second Hanneke on the Recent Comments. They only appear on the main blog page. I’m using FireFox 10.

    • CJ

      Sei is a bit like that, Hanneke—as you know, I got him this summer as a year-old adult, and coming from a cattery, and being an unsold adult—he had spent his entire life, poor fellow, in a relatively small cage, being fed on a schedule—he ‘looks forward’ to food obsessively, and if it weren’t that Shu would eat anything available, all of it, I’d just keep it available for him constantly to break that obsession. He had weak back legs (too little exercise: keeping up with Shu has certainly cured that—he can now climb the 7′ cat tree main pole in two efforts) — and while he is a passionate headbutter and inclined to do ecstasy-rolls when petted, he is also very spooky. This is, I think, because attention was something he badly wanted and didn’t get often enough. He wants to be petted…but he spooks at behind held onto. He will come up on my chair—he’s here at the moment, kneading my shoulder and purring; but if I made a move like holding him, he’d jump free and run. He’s terrified of things popping out of open doors—he passes them like a horse passing a suspicious mailbox. I tell you, I did run a small cattery myself once, I visited larger ones, and I don’t approve—he’s a wonderful cat; but I saw things when I first met him that worried me, and made me sure that I was going to be thinking about him forever if I declined to buy him and left him there. He was well-cared for, don’t mistake—but he wasn’t carrying enough weight for his size, and he was spooky and stressed, and I just wanted to take him home and make him *somebody’s* cat. He’s such a lover, and Shu—omg, the two of them—we have pix and pix of them sleeping wrapped in each others’ arms, yin and yang in their round cushion. We got him to calm Shu down before he hurt Ysabel—and calm Shu down he did: in all the time we’ve had him, he’s never scratched or bitten or even hissed, not even at the vet’s. Just a total pacifist. Shu will bite, and scratch, and can be a little pill if crossed, but Sei just wrestles with him, holds onto him, until Shu stars washing Sei’s face, and his ears, and Sei reciprocates, and then it’s naptime together—all afternoon. Shu’s into absolutely everything. He can’t be still for two minutes running when naptime is over. Sei’s far, far more laid back, and usually sits and watches Shu’s constant prowling and investigating. We certainly have two very different kitties—Shu’s breed, as a half-Bengal, goes back probably less than 10 generations to a spotted Asian cat. Sei’s goes back to a barn cat in Scotland, a British Shorthair that turned out to have crinkly ears and look really cute and doll-faced. Because he’s Scottish Fold but straight-eared, he is for all practical purposes a British Shorthair, which is a breed that has most of the characteristics of a Persian except that the nose is moderate and the hair is short. I’ve never watched a British Shorthair move, but what I know about the Scottish Folds is that if you breed two folded-ears, you risk stiffness in the hindquarters—Sei does have ‘shallow’ kneecaps on the rear, and his one vet visit was caused by Shu tackling him hard. He walked away with one rear leg wobbling quite scarily—this when we’d first gotten him, and we immediately took him to the vet at our clinic who is a bone-and-joint specialist. He told us what the deal was and that he was fine, just a little slippage that, since the cage trip, already gone back in line ok.
      Well, it really was fine—and that’s when I decided he needed more muscle, which wrestling with Shu and good feeding was going to fix. So now he’s bulked up, and his gait when he’s in a hurry is quite different from any cat I’ve ever had, sort of like a pacer, if he were a horse. He can of course charge like any cat, full tilt. But he doesn’t have the jog-trot of most cats—he has a really fast traveling gait, which is most like a pacing horse, a smooth odd walk. If he was a horse, we’d say his cannon bones were uncommonly long and his feet are very oversized: huge paws, particularly when he spreads them out. The long cannon is a characteristic of the hackney pony breed, that gives their gait its peculiarity…and it may be where he gets that brisk smooth gait of his. It is certainly odd, and I don’t know if the Folds have a peculiar bone and ligament structure in the hindquarters that is not present in the British Shorthairs without the Fold gene, causing that hindquarters stiffness if folded-ear is bred to folded-ear—it is a question. What seems to be going on in the misbreeding is that the folded-gene expresses ok if it is paired with the normal unfolded-gene, but if both genes are folded-ear, the expression not only crimps the ears, a cartilage structure, the hindquarters peculiarity is accentuated. If you ever buy a Fold, do be very sure about the parentage, that there was no folded-ear to folded-ear breeding. They are incredibly wonderful cats—Maru has made them famous and popular via his internet antics, and Sei is such a sweetheart—but I do see why the British cat shows do not recognize them as a breed: a breed that cannot be allowed to mate with just any cat of its type without producing a medical problem—is not a breed in the ordinary sense of the word, and I would go further—that folded-ears should not be sold to anybody but another breeder unless they are neutered, which is pretty much what the breeders in the US are doing.

      • chondrite

        The Tennessee Walking Horse of the feline set?

        • CJ

          Pretty much so. When Sei runs happily, that raccoon tail goes straight up, curls over at the top, and he hits a highspeed gait that I’ve never seen a cat do. If he’s spooked, he digs in and runs like any other cat does.
          Then there’s Shu, whose happy-you’re-going-to-feed-me gait involves becoming a nearly immoveable lead weight crossing the path of whatever foot the human needs to move next to avoid falling: his rhythm for that is amazing! πŸ˜‰

  • Levanah10

    I’ll third Hanneke and Tulrose on recent comments only appearing on the main blog page. Using OSX Safari 5.1.2.

  • WOL

    I see the green flower at the top too. I like it. You should keep it.

    When I read comments like yours, CJ, on the personalities of Shu and Sei, and when I look at my three being their inimitable selves, I feel so sorry for the “It’s just a cat.” people. Which is important, because that’s the only thing that keeps me from punching their lights out.

  • CJ

    πŸ™‚ I kinda rate people’s character by how they speak of and treat their critters, and how they act toward critters they don’t choose as pets, but other people do. It’s not an infallible guide to character—but it’s pretty good. A house with no books, no pets, and no potted plants or keepsakes is something I can’t grok.

    When we had the monster house in OKC, at one point we had, collectively, 3 cats, 2 marine tanks, 3 freshwater tanks, 8 Australian finches, 6 koi, 2 ducks (we were on a lake), a gecko loose in the office, and a tank of breeding skinks (small grey lizards of a type traced to the Cretaceous.) We used to joke that we didn’t have pets, we had a food chain—and that was serious business when we had a lizard or a bird get loose. We had wild geese deadheading the portulaca (making it bloom like mad), snakes turning up in the living room and the little drainage beside the house—even the snakes, I’d just herd back to the lake. Except the one the cats ate.

  • bob

    Use to have a pet Mongoose when a kid living in the Malaya in the 50s. She was a thumb biter – absolutely useless with snakes. We use to get King Cobras or Pythons (big ones) sunbathing on the concrete footpaths leading to the front door steps – the houses were raised up about 5 feet on concrete pillars. To get rid of the snakes you rang a bell for the Amah who would appear, see the problem, and scurry off returning with our Siamese cat held by the scruff of the neck. She would draw her hand back and with an almighty heave fling the cat the window – an amazing sight watching the cat flying out over the front lawn which was in two tiers of about 7 ft each. Add to that the height of raised house and this cat is sailing out about 20 ft above the lawn. Never turned a hair and took care to the snakes too.

  • Oh good, “recent comments” reported and fixed before I got on again.

    My two cats are so different in personality. I wouldn’t take for either of them. As much a joy as my previous two, who were brothers.

    Sei’s reticence sounds much like Goober’s, and Shu is much like Smokey, except that Smokey was a rescued street kitten, where Shu had a home.

    I’d agree on people’s attitudes towards animals or pets. If a person is afraid of animals (cats, dogs, etc.) that’s one thing. But if an animal dislikes or is scared of a person beyond initial shyness, I think it says something about that person.

    Sometimes an animal’s prior experiences play into that though. Smokey was a rescued street kitten, given to me. He recovered from that so that you’d usually never know it. But if he gets scared or scolded badly, he can return to that terrified-of-everything mode: “I hides!” It’s been a few weeks ago now, that I accidentally stepped on a paw at mealtime; he gets right underfoot, obsessively interested in having enough to eat. (I keep dry food out all the time, just enough to cover to the next meal.) Well! I stepped on his paw, it startled us both, it was apparently hard. He took off to hide. After some coaxing, he showed up again to eat. But for about a week after, despite reassurances, he kept back (in the hallway to the kitchen) when I put out food. (Goober appreciated this. Smokey always tries to steal Goober’s food, and Goober has, until then, always let him.) Finally, I think it reached Smokey that I hadn’t meant to hurt him and he could be right there for food again. He’s more cautious about it now, so I suppose it was a needed lesson. Goober still usually lets Smokey take his food, but sometimes now, he (Goober) sticks by his guns, very rare for Goober. I’m hoping Goober will develop the moxie to insist it’s his food. Smokey has plenty for himself, greedy little guy. This is a very alpha / non-alpha relationship. But they mostly get along, even like each other and both will initiate play or wrestling… or tag-teaming the hewmon when they want something. πŸ˜‰ I wish I knew some way to get across to them both that Goober’s bowl is his, not Smokey’s, and that neither will ever lack for food or affection. I think most of the running jealousy (“You love him more than me, you’re paying attention to him now instead of me!”) has settled down. I think it finally did get through to them that I love them both and that’s permanent. πŸ™‚ …Two male cats, one male human…how much that plays into it, I don’t know. πŸ™‚

  • Silverglass

    Animal people vs. non-animal people–Here’s an easy test: If they refer to their (or your) animal as “he” or “she,” it’s good. If they use the term “it”–not so good. To me, a pet is a “who”, not a “what”.

  • paul

    Oh, now this is getting spooky! I was reading this, without avatars, then logged-in to post a reply above, still no avatars. Then backed out to getting this page again from when I wasn’t logged in and half the avatars appeared. Blue Cat Ship’s is one that seems to appear if any of them do.

  • paul

    And now they’re all gone again.

  • bob

    Using Firefox 10.0.2 – no problem with avatars. But do get β€œPlease update the database of NextGEN Gallery. Click here to proceed.” when I log-in – at the top of both the Dashboard and Profile pages. If I ‘click’ I get and new page with only “you don’t have sufficient permissions to access this page” on it.

  • CJ

    I just upgraded it, from my end. We’ll see if that fixes the annoyance.

  • I don’t know why it’d give any preference to my avatar. (Gee, somebody likes me!)

    My avatar’s of my own making, uploaded to for my personal use, as well as hosted at my site. But my understanding is, those are separate instances, an upload of a physical file, not a link pointing from gravatar to my site.

    So…I’m special? I’ve been told I’m special before, but I think they meant it another way…. πŸ˜‰

    Kidding and techno-babble aside, I’m sure the upgrades will continue apace. Maybe even binary paces. Quadrupedal paces? …Would sextupedal paces imply innuendo? Any more than that and it gets difficult to do the bunny hop.

    Shu and Sei would doubtlessly help for a small consideration. You could always offer them fish from Pell Station or seafood from Llyene. Ce je ne sais quoi, un certain cachet, très chic et à la mode courrant.

    Yeah, and that Γ  la mode ice cream is extra. (And with fish? Strange folk, these furpersons….)

    I’d better not suggest it to my cats, they’ll start expecting it!

  • Hawke

    Cats are such odd critters! It’s nice that yours get along. Wish mine would…Well, they don’t fight but they treat each other very oddly at times. Never, ever, do they cuddle. Tiger: the bigger, the hunter, and the “big mean tomcat” at least in his own head (he’s fixed). Ivan “the Terrible”: a gifted cat, once belonged to my brother-in-law who moved away; a rescued cat, who had been nearly killed at six weeks of age. Lots of strangeness in their histories, as with many cats. I think it’s a requirement that one’s cat have at least one “weird” story attached to him, like his tail.

    But Ivan is the ‘bratty little brother’ and Tiger is the ‘mean older brother.’ Ivan is constantly in Tiger’s space, in his food dish, in his business, with big eyes: “Whatcha doin’?” Unless one of us humans is available for his pettin’s, at which time Tiger ceases to exist for Ivan. Ivan rarely gets into much trouble, except with Tiger. His only “bad habit” is something his prior owner trained him to do, and that’s to nip – to get attention, usually. He’s mostly past said habit, now, thankfully. He never nips hard enough to break the skin, but he can inflict a pretty fierce pinch!

    Tiger is the quintessential barn cat – he wants to hunt, and frequently vanishes for hours into the woodlot across the street from our place. We’re in an urban setting, and Tiger grew up out in the country…I am very thankful we’re in a place where he has the opportunity and the safety to go prowling. We had to keep him inside for two weeks (he’d gotten a bad scratch and I wanted him inside where I could monitor his healing)…and he was *so bored*!! He and Ivan got into the only fight they’ve ever had, during that time, because Tiger just couldn’t stand it anymore and chased Ivan down and slapped him about a bit (triggered by Ivan’s disrespectful treatment of Tiger’s tail – after all, how dare he try to play mouse with someone’s **tail**? The nerve!)

    We are entertained by them a lot though. The only time it gets sticky is morning feeding – I feed them twice a day and don’t keep the food bowls topped up. But in the mornings, if Ivan gets his face into Tiger’s space while he’s trying to eat…Tiger will gorge himself to being sick πŸ™ So I have to feed them in entirely separate rooms, and sometimes I have to hang onto Ivan to keep him out of Tiger’s area. Such drama!

    • Shu would so love to be an outdoor kitteh. He was for the first six weeks of his life. And energy! He’d be impossible if it weren’t for the basement and the cat trees…and yours truly. He positively flies around the house.

      Just now, I was standing on a step stool getting some program disks from the closet shelf and suddenly *phoomph* there he was, on my shoulders. Never had a shoulder cat, but he’s definitely one…and lands, well, not as lightly as he did a few months ago, but still without any of the claws I would expect.

      As for cuddling…these two are positively obscene at times! Shu was definitely the aggressive instigator in the early days, but Seishi is now fully committed to their odd little relationship. We got a nice doggie-bed to travel with so when we sleep in a hotel, they’ve got a known “cuddle-spot” right there.

      Something else I need to get a slideshow up for. ARGH! Time…I need time…

  • Dragonrider Gal

    I’ve had a number of kittehs along the way because I do love kittehs and puppies and most any kind of animal very much. I’m choosing currently to have none though, because it’s always so hard to find people to take care of them when we go on vacation.

    Plus my sweetie is still pretty heart sick about losing his three kitteh over a 5 month period; one died of cancer, one just disappeared, and the other one, his favorite, Leafy, got shot by some $%#^% in the neighborhood. He just can’t bring himself to allow that kind of attachment for the time being, which I completely understand. πŸ™

    So I get my kitteh fix by feeding a couple of the local cats who wander by. One is a spangle tabby and the other is just your average black and white. The spangle humors me to pet him as long as I also feed him, and the black and white, rather beat up and missing half an ear, loves to get his kitty scritches along with his food. Sometimes he just wanders by for a scritch, so I’m not feeling too deprived. πŸ™‚

    And to note, thus far, I’ve not experienced any problem with stuff loading on this site. I use google chrome and my own uploaded avatar, even as bluecatship. Perhaps that makes a difference?

  • smartcat

    No problems with the site here….and I use my weird assigned gravitar.

    Aloysius is sitting on my shoulder nibbling on my right ear (always the right) as i write this These kittehs are the only three I have had who will eat themselves sick and go back for more. If they had their ways they would be balloons with legs and tails.

  • paul

    Re: my particular problem with avatars:

    This morning I was seeing all the avatars in the current threads, so I thought to come back to a thread that had been a problem and see what I got. They’re all here. So it doesn’t seem to be a problem with what’s ON the page, but what some server is doing at the moment. No idea WHY, except that this is a home-made Linux system and if it’s WP or its ilk doing something quixotically, it’s a good bet they’re never testing with anything but Windows or REALLY strict firewalls. Still, without avatars I can still read the text! πŸ˜‰

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