Friday, January 5, 2007

Bad cats and authors

I took a day off from updating to let poor Sasha acclimate; I understand that at her age, getting used to change is much more difficult (ahem). I don't know what got me in the mood for updating more regularly. Partly it's because work has been slower the past few months, so I actually have time to sit here in the mornings with my coffee and think about what to write. The bigger reason is, I think, that time seems to be slipping by faster and faster--sometimes careening out of control--and writing an entry is a way to grab time and force it to slow down a little. Also, if all the crossword and logic puzzles I do to ward off The Alzheimer's don't work, maybe I can print out and read old entries to remember the past.


Maybe you cat people can tell me what the hell has gotten into my cat Picard. I have a houseful of spoiled or neurotic pets, but he's always been my good boy--sweet, laidback, undemanding. Several months ago, Kevin bought one of those water jugs for animals; you know, it looks like a miniature version of an office water cooler? He was tired of refilling the old water dish several times a day, and this water jug can last for a few days, even with four pets drinking from it. I knew Picard was fascinated by water; he loves to watch me run water in the bathtub, and sometimes he runs into the bathroom when he hears me brushing my teeth, hops into the tub, and looks at me expectantly, like I'm going to run a nice bubble bath for him.

Lately, however, he's gotten downright freakish about water--specifically the water in the water jug. When you fill the jug up and turn it upside down into the tray, the water bubbles loudly a few times until it settles down and starts flowing. Over the past few weeks, I'd heard some strange thumping noises occasionally and noticed the kitchen floor around the water jug was damp. I thought Holly was getting impatient with how fast the water came out and was nudging it with her nose, knocking some water out into the floor. The other night, I decide to catch her in the act, so when I heard the thumping, I ran into the kitchen--and saw Picard attacking the bubbling water jug! That damn cat is convinced an evil water creature is causing the bubbling, I think, and he's going to make damn sure he kills it. He glares at the jug for a minute, slinking up to it slowly, and then pounces, thwacking the jug with both front paws like Rocky Balboa working over a side of beef. He's whapped the jug so hard sometimes that he's knocked it over, and then all that water spills onto the floor. I hate to scold him every time he goes near the water jug because I don't want to make him afraid of drinking from it normally. I can't have a constant puddle of water on my kitchen floor, though. Any ideas?

Speaking of my very bad pets, I added a few pictures of them on Flickr. There's a link over there to the left; I'm not awake enough yet to link to them here. It's 6:30, people, and I've had only cup of coffee. Not fully functional yet.


I have a conference call this afternoon with Kid Manager and the authors of the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Late book (my apologies to Judith Viorst). I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to that! Kid Manager has been nagging the authors via e-mail all week, trying to get them to commit to a time this afternoon. They all live near Seattle, and finding a compromise between EST and PST hours isn't always easy. Finally, KM settled on 3 p.m. EST, but she still hadn't heard from one author as of yesterday. This guy is, in general, a pain in the ass. He won't return phone calls or respond to e-mails, he ignores instructions on submission criteria, and he turns in sloppy and incomplete work. He also writes the most cryptic e-mails I've ever read in my life. Half the time, I can't figure out what the hell he's talking about. In response to Kid Manager's notice of the meeting time and call-in number, he wrote the following:

by the time I get home from work it is usually after 7pm PST.... M-F

We just fired an investigator for a conflict of interest issue... I'll have to read the updates via email

OK, so I assume that means he can't make the meeting at noon his time, but why didn't he say so earlier this week?? And what does that investigator have to do with ANYTHING? Is attending this meeting a conflict of interest for him?? What updates is he going to read? Updates about the investigator? From whom?

Arrrrggghhhhh. Wish me luck, yes?