Friday, August 24

Sunny the Cat, 1989-2007

Sunny, today, just before heading for the big litter box in the sky

Sunny was there from the beginning. When I moved in with the future mr. squarepeg, who was deprived of furry friends throughout his childhood, he brought Sunny on board too.

Sunny survived thoughout this stormy marriage (it's our 17th anniversary today, and miraculously keeps on ticking), and the birth and growing pains of now-15-yr-old ms. squarepeg.

I spoke cat to him and he was always a good friend to me, obligingly getting up from wherever he was sitting whenever I meowed for him to come for a cuddle; forgiving me for ignoring him when the infant ms.squarepeg needed all my attention; chasing down unwelcome mice when we lived in an old house in Toronto.

In the past few months, he became very weak, mostly sitting in his basket all day, getting up only to eat a little, drink a little, go to the litter box. Babycat Smokey stopped grooming him a couple of months ago, and that was sad; up to then, she'd been a devoted caretaker but now she was ignoring him. He wasn't exactly incontinent, but his butt was always coated with remnants of shit that he left mementos of, everywhere he sat. He didn't smell good at all for some time. I started to think his time was coming.

He was dehydrated, and was obviously no longer eating. Today when I took him to the vet with ms. squarepeg, he was little more than a limp bag of fur and bones. She gave him a general anaesthetic to put him to sleep first, and we said good-bye. I was surprised to see that his eyes stayed open, though it was clear that he had relaxed completely and seemed otherwise asleep; the vet informed me that this is what happens with a general anaesthetic: the eye-closing reflex or muscle or whatever it is doesn't work the same way as in sleep. So that was a bit weird -- as if he'd died with his eyes open, and we couldn't close them.

We decided to leave the room before she gave him the final injection to his heart that would finish him off. Instead, we went into the next room and played with a very lively ginger kitten someone had brought in from the street, sitting in a cage just as Pinky had, nearly two years ago, when we adopted her. We'll be taking another one home soon, but for now we'll just have our two girls:

Sunny is survived by: Smokey, in one of her favorite spots, and Pinky (check out the nose), pretending to be a fat rabbit.

Wednesday, November 22

bushies just can't hack it like they used to

Scoop: Clear Evidence 2006 Congressional Elections Hacked

Not so shocking, but still those Republicans manage to keep on reliably disgusting us.

"We see evidence of pervasive fraud, but apparently calibrated to political conditions existing before recent developments shifted the political landscape," said attorney Jonathan Simon, co-founder of Election Defense Alliance, "so 'the fix' turned out not to be sufficient for the actual circumstances." Explained Simon, "When you set out to rig an election, you want to do just enough to win. The greater the shift from expectations, (from exit polling, pre-election polling, demographics) the greater the risk of exposure--of provoking investigation. What was plenty to win on October 1 fell short on November 7."

Tough break, eh, W?

this headline cracks me up

This might be the funniest headline of the day if it didn't concern one of the planet's most famously obnoxious individuals.

Friday, November 17

send a real woman to do a woman's job

The great womenfolk over at Salon, my favorite daily read, have done the dirty job someone's gotta do and picked the REAL sexiest men living.

Ripping "that big bland celebrity flip book" (you know which one they mean -- even I get their daily gossip in my InBox) a new one and telling them to get some guts already, they demand of that camel-committee to come up with someone more "mentally stimulating [than] Matthew McConaughey," for godssake.

Yeah yeah I adore George as much as the next woman, but as the fed-up Salon staff quite rightly says, "Quit selecting George Clooney already. He's the zenith of sex appeal -- picking him is cheating."

So they've given us a dozen of their choices, topped by the marvelously manly Stephen Colbert -- whom I bet even George Clooney has the hots for -- plus 11 more that include three of my all time favorites: the very very spongeworthy Alan Rickman, Mark Ruffalo and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

And of course, they couldn't resist cheating just a tiny bit, offering us a list that culminated with Jon Stewart. Hey girls: he IS the George Clooney of our parallel comedy-lust universe.

Can't say I blame them a bit.

Tuesday, November 14

islam vs christianity: the Daily Show version

"Steve, this debate is about religion; let's discuss it rationally."

This brilliant clip of Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert arguing which religion is better is already a couple of months old, but I hadn't seen it yet, being unable to catch Jon Stewart regularly.

The pray-off proves nothing, but they do find agreement on one fundamental point: their common "enemy".

Mordant comedy just doesn't get any better than this.

Saturday, November 11

welcome to Smokey

The squarepeg family is now managing a fine balance between the human and feline populations. We have brought a pedigree 5-month-old Russian Blue into the mishpocha, and she is every bit as sweet-natured as our 1-yr-old Pinky is witchy.

It only took a couple of days for 17-yr-old Sunny to grumblingly let her share his basket, but Pinky hissed and whacked her for the first two weeks. (Nearly every day, I give thanks that she has no front claws.) Sweet Smokey is already turning nursemaid to old-man Sunny, licking his head and neck for long minutes while Sunny luxuriates in her TLC.

Smokey has been with us three weeks now, and mr. and ms. squarepeg fight like two children in kindergarten over her, just as they used to over Pinky. What's more, Smokey is now getting the coveted kitten food, and fattened-up Pinky's had to move on to the less rich adult food. Is it any wonder Pinky resents her presence?

Three cats is really quite a lot, but I don't know how much longer Sunny will last, which is why we adopted Smokey ... the thought of being alone with Pinky is a bit chilling. Sunny's been declining for the past year, and he's clearly quite ill today, just lying around, with signs of diarrhea and loss of appetite. It's back to the vet for him tomorrow, poor guy.

[Update: Nov 12 - Sunny's hospitalized on IV at the vet for the night, diagnosed with progressing pancreatic disease. We'll probably take him home tomorrow and see if this treatment helps him feel better for a while longer, but no one can say if this will be a week or six months. I'm resigned to saying good-bye slowly.]