World Cat Day 2011 Disappointment

Hello to my faithful readers. You may or may not know that my humans went on holiday for a week to someplace in the mountains. I have no idea why they would do that when they could go to one of those beach places and enjoy playing in a huge kitty toilet. But they never ask my opinion. Silly humans.

Speaking about silly humans. August 8th should be a day burned into the little brains of every human. It is World Cat Day! Don’t shake your head and say you didn’t know, of course you know, it is the most important day there is! I really didn’t find it humourous that none of my humans acknowledged this fantastic day. I mean, it is like birthday and Christmas all wrapped up in one. How could they forget? No, being on holiday is no exception. Oh well, they will soon find that lovely little surprise I left under their bed. Maybe next year they will work harder to make it a special day for me. 

I wanted to write to you earlier, but as I was staying at my holiday home I couldn’t seem to figure out the mouse on Opa’s computer. I’ve always considered my paws to be superior to human hands, but I guess not having thumbs holds me back while doing people things. Also I’m not as young as I used to be, so I just don’t have patience for these matters. In the end I had to wait until my main humans got back so I could use human B’s laptop, the ironically named mouse pad is easier for my superior paws.

Oma and Opa were very excited for me to visit, so I graced them with my presence, allowing them to cater to my every whim since it seems to make them so happy.

I especially enjoy what I call the balcony game. This is where I stand expectantly in front of the balcony door as though I wish to go outside, you know, for the fresh air. If no one gets up to assist me immediately I let out one of my best frustrated meows which usually gets one of them jumping.

Then of course I need to let them know I am not happy about the delay, so once the door is open, I hesitate, looking up at whoever opened the door as if to say “about time”. Usually I wait until they get annoyed and act like they are closing the door before I signal my intention that NOW I’m ready to go outside.

I get fresh moist food twice a day with dry food always available, thankfully Opa is not skimpy with that dry food. I really hate it the way human B lets that bowl get wayyyy too empty if you know what I mean. But Opa is great, I never see the bottom of the bowl when he’s around. It’s how I know that he loves me.

It is nice to know that they take their jobs seriously. Opa is always watching as I exit the cat box so he can immediately clean it. This is a service I wish I could get at home, but after 15 years of trying to train my human, I’ve given up.

Oma also knows exactly what makes me happy. She often slips me special goodies because she says I’m getting too thin. Before I come for my visit she stocks up with lots of fish and liverwurst. I’ve gotten to know lots of great German fishies, wursts and cheeses through her.

She even feeds me what she calls “German sushi”. This must be great stuff because years ago I heard Opa being upset that Oma was feeding me what he called herring rolls and that they were too expensive to feed a cat. I was mad at him for a while after that, let me tell you. So the next time I went to the toilet I let a little bit go outside of the box. It is one of the best kitty revenge possibilities.

If they do complain I never have to hear it, in fact I never have to hear anything again, especially that really annoying neighbor dog with his incessant barking. I mean, didn’t his bitch teach him anything?

It’s really convenient to be deaf. In the old days when I wanted to ignore the humans as they screamed that I shouldn’t be on the table, I had to work hard to control my ear movement so it wouldn’t betray me. Now I don’t worry about it at all.

Being deaf isn’t too bad, as you can see it has its advantages. In 2005, not long after I moved to Germany I got a kitty cold with a high fever. Eventually I got better, although my hearing didn’t.

Oma and Opa’s apartment is in the roof area of their building, so between the slightly warmer temperatures and the actual day of sun or two while my main humans were gone, my normally sleek coat decided to finally do the summer shedding. I couldn’t keep up with it and the fur flew! When human A came to pick me up after their holiday I proved my LOVE for her by sharing my beautiful beige fur with her dark blue shirt. I always think it looks so nice to have a bit of me on everything, and shedding season can really bring out the best.

The bad thing about shedding season is the brushing. They act like I can’t take control of the situation or something. Also they seem to have a problem with the regurgitated hair balls I leave throughout the apartment, so they do their best to keep me distracted while they brush me. On top of that, after five minutes of brushing they pull the vacuum cleaner out and go after me with that! Now don’t get me wrong, when I was younger – and could hear – I would have been under the nearest chair when that noisy thing came around. But without all of that racket to bother me, it isn’t a wholly uncomfortable experience to get a little fur sucking action.

The humans took a long time to adapt, longer than me even. At first I caught them a few times as they were testing me. Once they were shaking a key ring over my head when I wasn’t supposed to be looking. The silly humans didn’t even think about shadows, geeze, I knew they were doing something over my head when the outline of my lovely, velvety ears was overshadowed by that silly IQ fish on human A’s key ring. It took two whole years for them to figure out that vacuum thing for Sphynx’s sake.

After a while I didn’t really like to go outside for walks in my kitty harness and line the way I did when I was younger. The pretty blue harness that compliments my eyes so well has been hidden in the cabinet that smells like cat nip for at least three summers now.

These days my humans seem to be surprised that I know when they come home. Silly humans forget that they stink. Every morning they gross me out as they remove their furs to stand under the really fast special water dropping thing. After that they smell like soap, but by the time they get home after work, they stink. Especially human B who must run home or something, she always comes with special shoes that have metal on the bottom and sets her hard hat down in the hallway at my level. Let me tell you, I made the mistake of closer nose inspection of these things just once.

Otherwise I know they are home simply because I keep one kitty eyelid looking at the door at all times. I always lie down facing the door so I don’t get any nasty surprises. The only time I can really relax and sleep heavily is at night when human A provides her arm for my head. I know that if any danger should come, she would wake me up.

I’m a little tired now.
It’s time to paws and reflect.

When I’m not at my holiday home, I spend most of my time on the bed of my main human. It’s nice and warm there and it smells like the human I like to sleep with. I wish they would get a bed warmer thingie before winter. Surely I could figure out how to keep it turned on throughout the day to help keep these old bones warm.

Now I will wait for next year’s World Cat Day with great anticipation. Maybe some of you can help me figure out how to punish my humans for missing it this year? Ideas?

“You can keep a dog; but it is the cat who keeps people, because cats find humans useful domestic animals.”
– George Mikes from “How to be Decadent”

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They’re BAAACK!

My main human slaves finally came back to worship me on Saturday night. They were gone entirely too long, I had no sleeping heater for three weeks, and you know that it is turning into winter!

Now it is Sunday morning and the slaves are otherwise occupied in the other room. It’s the perfect time to tell you good people I am OK and will of course have trouble once again getting out regular updates.

Right now they are working on one of the big carrier thingies (you know, what they put all of their flimsy furs in when they will be away from home for a while). I overheard someone say that the combination lock on the Samsonite got twisted somehow. So I guess that NOW is a silly time to try to figure out what that combination is, huh? I think I’m safe right here for a long time.

Before they got here to restart their worshiping duties there were phone calls about delayed flights though some place named London (must be a hell hole, I’ve heard LOTS of calls about delays and cancellations in that place). Right after that call my substitute slaves discussed putting me in the car to take me to the airport to go pick up the main human slaves. Let me just tell you I made my way into my newest and unknown hiding spot when I heard that! The last time I went to the airport I was stuck in a box under a seat the whole way from Kansas to Berlin!

As soon as the replacement slaves took off to go get the real slaves I started to think about how best to “welcome” them back. The last time I just ignored them both for at least an hour. If they picked me up, I just turned my head away and did my best to make them put me back down. This really worked and let them know EXACTLY how I felt about them leaving me.

This time I came up with something even more ingenious. The plan was to piss off at least one of my main human slaves while making the other love me even more, but how to achieve this? After a little cat nap it came to me. When they come back, I would ignore the short, round one and show much love and attention to the tall one only. This would make the tall one overly happy and the short one upset. It worked like a dream! The tall one acted smug about it and the short one steamed. Genius I tell you!

Whoops, I just heard the Samsonwhatever thing open up. My time with you is limited.
Since I’m sure that many of you have decided to now worship me from afar, I thought I should tell you as soon as possible what I want for the upcoming holiday season… Just get me one of these and I will be happy for HOURS. That’s what we all want, isn’t it?
Make Frank Happy
Make Frank Happy
Make Frank Happy

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Random Tuesday – Halloween Edition

How about another spin on the RTT?

Don’t know what I am talking about? Visit Keely over at the Un-Mom for all the info. She has all the answers… except how to live Drama Free.

Would someone please tell the FDP Berlin that the election is over and that we are all aware that they won more votes this time than ever before? SO maybe now is a good time to take your signs down from all over Berlin. They are detracting from the graffiti. (sorry to the non-German residents… we had an election weekend before last)

Does anyone else read the license plates of the cars around them and make words out of the letters? (crickets) OK, I must be alone here. Oh well, it’s not the first time.

Berlin plates start with a B then have a space and then two more letters and a few numbers. I can usually find something in this grouping such as B OY or B ed or B IG… sometimes BIG is even seen on correspondingly funny vehicles such as BIG ASS Trucks or itty bitty cars.

It really gets fun with some of the other German cities… Frankfurt is a “F”, so I’ve seen a couple “FU” plates. Potsdam is a “P” which can be interesting, but “LDS” for an area around Berlin just has me thinking about the Latter Day Saints, hmm. Maybe I’ll start taking pictures of the more funny versions… hmmm. Could be a blog post.

Recently I’ve been asked by a family member if the Germans celebrate Halloween. As I told her, we really haven’t seen much, although it seems to be growing. Last year we had a few Trick or Treaters but they don’t seem to “get it”. They just ring the bell and then hold out their bags when you open the door. Not even so much as a “Trick or Treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat”. Oh, and no thank you or anything. (I remember this behavior from the four year olds… but here it is the twelve year olds too.)

I keep wondering what the sweet old German Omas (grandmas) are thinking when this happens at their doors…

Are there kiddie costumes in the stores? Not that I’ve seen. Do adults have parties? Not that I’ve been invited to. Will I have a party? No, I’ll be scuba diving in the crystal clear, blue waters of Tahiti for Halloween this year. (not that I’m excited or anything)

BUT I did get the grins as I walked into my local grocery store a few days ago. Storck products, maker of Nimms and Lach Gummies (fruity, chewy candies) had a display of bags with individually wrapped items inside! WOW! This is an improvement.

OK, I should start my work day. Today among other more boring things I will get to go shopping for gifts for clients. For a pregnant woman I’ve decided on some lovely foot and leg revival from LUSH, and another recipient will get a bottle of Veuve Cliquot Champagne. Fun job, eh?

Have a fantastic Tuesday!

Just because:
Uniting American Families Act – I really wish they would pass this bit of legislation. If so, Sweet No and I (as well as hundreds of thousands of other couples world wide) would once again have some rights.

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Random Tuesday – Cool Weekend Edition

Hey There! Thanks for dropping in. It’s another Random Tuesday Thoughts complete with semi-scary graphic. If you want to know what that thing is all about… head on over to Keely the UnMom, she started it all. Ham? HAM? Dinosaur head? Pink star? Oh, and WHAT is that grey blob on the left side?

Let’s take a ride on the bullet point express, shall we?

  • I learned a few things in Kansas folks, never dally while passing a semi truck hauling pigs or especially cattle. Perhaps you can imagine what might happen. Those holes on the sides do more than let fresh air in and teh stank out.
  • You should always live to the east of your work. This way as you drive into the office, the sun is at your back… same with coming home. Much more convenient this way, don’t you think?
  • This past weekend was a lovely one for me. Jul (of This non-American life) and hubby popped into Berlin for some museum hopping and general sucking up of the Berliner vibe. Although I’ve been reading her blog for years, meeting her in person was still a surprise. She is very much as I would have assumed, but still there are many aspects I would never have dreamed of – leading to pleasant surprise after pleasant surprise.
  • This weekend we also got the keys to our new apartment! Tee hee hee… Let the work begin! Gosh, I could write an entire blog series on what it is like to change apartments in Germany. Let’s just say that it is not so easy.
  • OK… and to top off THAT wonderful news… I finally got my dream camera!!!! The Nikon D90 has been calling to me since it came out, complete with video capabilities and live action view. Tee hee hee!
  • Sweet No and I are headed to Munich this weekend for We-Bum 2009, which is a yearly get together of expatriate bloggers. Interested in attending? It’s never too late to join. Drop a line in the comments and let’s talk! Watch out Munich, lots of crazy folks are on their way… and I’m not talking about Oktoberfest!
  • My Parents-in-Law are great. They love our cat Frank so much that in order for him to be more comfortable while we are gone, they have offered to move into our apartment (amongst the boxes – I don’t envy them) during the weekend. Sweet, eh? I wonder if I could ask them to box up the kitchen while they’re there? Too much? OK, I won’t do it. No, I won’t… ahem… NO.
  • Our hotel in Munich has Wi-Fi… but it costs 8EUR an hour. WHEN are hotels going to realize that this is a MAJOR selling point for geeks and just give it to us for free? If I had gotten up off my ass and booked sooner, I would have had my first choice in hotels which had FREE Wi-Fi. But ahem, alas… I didn’t get a round tuit until this last weekend. We had airline tix months ago, but only because that part fell under Sweet No’s job description.
  • The teachers union in Kent, WA are on strike. I was a Kentridge Charger for all of about four months in 1984. Seeing this in the news reminds me of my culture shock at this school. I was side by side with Asians and Philipinos for the first time in my life. They had a school-sanctioned smoking area, and covered walking paths between buildings. This is the school where I was first “outed” as a lesbian. Until I moved to the Midwest about two months later (unrelated) I was pointed and laughed at by the students and teachers alike. Nice school, eh? It was a different world. Today I would probably have more friends just because it is now so COOL to be a lesbian. (sarcasm intact)

Been reading:
Taxpayer Funded Religious Bias – Father Geoff is at it again, explaining the truths of the bias of the church and how they get away with being bullies while using your tax dollars.

Been surfing:
Following The Trail Of Toxic E-Waste – 60 Minutes is still doing hard-hitting, in your face news reporting I see. But I guess it is better if they do that OUT of the country. Nonetheless the story has me thinking about how many computer monitors I’ve been through in the past 10 years. Yes, feeling guilty now.

Alright ladies and gentlemen, that’s enough for today. Thanks for reading my rambling.

OK, and because I just think it is sooo cute…
I offer you the Durex Bunnies.
Quite possibly NSFW. Oh, and you should have sound.

Random Tuesday – Need More Discoball!

Let’s have another round on the Random Tuesday Wheel… where she stops, nobody knows!

I’m kinda digging the Random Tuesday thing, big thanks goes to the UnMom for starting me on it. Now go over there and see how it’s SUPPOSED to be done.

Does anybody have a Facebook friend that seems to have endless time on their hands and continuously does those inane online tests? Come on… hold it down to one a day or something… maybe you can choose to not have the results published for EVERY ONE! Folks, we don’t care that you got a 88% on a questionnaire which wanted to know: “How well do you know Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”!??!!!!

Christopher Street Day 2009 in Berlin was FAAAAABUULOUS!! There is just something about 50 thumping floats, 500,000 extroverts, enough color to last 10 lifetimes and being around people very much like you, to make a girl smile.

Somewhere in my brain is a post about my feelings on the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots… um, it is rattling, but not rolling yet. Soon as my fingers find their way, I’ll post what’s been going on in my head (well, not everything that is going on in my head… that would simply be tooooo much I’m afraid… someone would have me arrested I’m sure).

The “Grandfather of the MP3 player“, the Walkman turns 30 this week… I’m feeling rather old at this moment. How about it folks? Is there anyone else out there who carried one of these clunky things the whole way through Junior/Senior High School?

Do you enjoy night photography? Don’t miss these night shots of London from above… in the sky… like in an airplane. I simply must figure out how the photog did that. Normally to get that much light the camera must remain “open” for minutes at a time. HOW on earth do you do that while hovering in a helicopter or airplane?

Speaking of airplanes, is it just me or does it seem that Airbus planes are dropping out of the sky at an alarming rate?

OK, so I admit that this flew under my radar for a while… but they closed Broadway to traffic on Times Square? Whoa!

Have you ever noticed that the P.S. has been out-moded?
(Is out-moded even an English term? Damn German!)
I used to love putting an addendum at the end of a letter… it was my way of expressing my scatter-brained train of thought.

It’s been a while since Frank has appeared on the blog, let’s remedy that.

Obama is trying to do good things for the gay community. These things take time people!

Best Billy Mays joke I’ve heard yet: “They say celebrities always die in threes (Ed McMahon, Farrah, Jacko)…Leave it to Billy Mays to throw in one extra COMPLETELY FREE!” R.I.P. Billy

Hooters is coming to Berlin! Before you start thinking me a misogynistic cad, you should know that I am addicted to their wings and would just as happily take my order of 10 hot/10 super hot to go!

Michael Jackson’s death was foretold by the National Enquirer. Reminds me of the movie “Men in Black” where they say that the tabloids are the ones with the “real news”. Perhaps if you cry wolf enough, eventually the story will coincide with an actual event. I’m not sure what is more scary, that the N.E. did this or that someone is actually archiving old issues of the rag.

OK, that’s enough of this merry-go-round.
Have a lovely time checking out the other Random posters.

OH, and P.S. … We need more Discoball!

My DIY Fisheye

I really love spring, the new buds on all the trees and bushes, the “Mother Nature” green coming out, and most of all the warmer temperatures that come with more frequent sun.

It also means that I’ve been spending even more time with my camera. This has lead to experimentation with different home made lenses. The picture you see here was taken with a DIY (do it yourself) Fisheye lens.

Start at a building supply house with a “peephole”, like you might find in your front door. This is the thing that allows you to see into the outside world from the comfort and safety of home. I’ve always found the effect of the peephole kinda cool. Yes, I’m the type of annoying person who will wait until I think you are going to be looking out this hole and I will put my face up close to it… so you get a better view, you know.

Today I was doing some spring cleaning and having a “car wash” in my kitchen sink. (cue the song “Car Wash” here – depending on your age, you might go for the Rose Royce version… or maybe the Christina Aguilera N. Missy Elliot) Maybe it would be cool to take a picture of this strange moment. As I was loading it onto Flickr, I thought I might change lenses and see what the fisheye would do. (you know that all of this was MUCH more interesting than doing any actual CLEANING, right?)

Well, it isn’t a perfect way to show off the fisheye, but it was cute for the experiment. You can see the first, non fisheye version here.

For my lens experiment I picked up a peephole at the previously discussed building supply house, a plastic container (in this case an Extra “Professional” gum box – aw, come on… PROFESSIONAL gum?), a 52mm UV lens filter and packing tape. Attach the peephole to one end of the gum box, attach the other end of the gum box to the lens filter, screw your new fisheye onto the camera. Voila!

Just for the heck of it, how about a picture of Fisheye Frank? To be fair, Sweet No was kinda holding his ears back… You know what? He really doesn’t like that… can you believe it? I mean, not only is he one of the most photographed cats I know, but he also must suffer so much inhumane treatment at the hands of these so-called humans. Things like doing the chicken dance on two legs are just beneath him.
Fisheye Frank
And because I know you’re all going to run right out to the store and buy yourself the equipment for one of these cool things, I thought I would include a picture of what it all looks like.

Oh yeah also in this picture is a second lens I made very much the same way, except instead of the peephole lens, I put a child’s kaleidoscope toy on it. This thing makes some freaky pictures… in fact I’m a little afraid to post them just in case someone thinks innocent Snooker has been tripping on acid or something. I took a picture of my neighbor’s TV (nothing too bad about taking pictures of neighbor’s windows at night is there?) and it looks trippy. Come on! His TV is HUGE. I’ve seen walls smaller than this guy’s set. When I wanted to take a picture of a lit object at night… his TV was the first thing I thought of. See what I mean about people thinking I’m on drugs? OK, I’ll go to bed now. (note to self, no more posting after midnight)

Pretty geeky, eh?