Posts Tagged ‘companion animals’


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

As I was walking home from the bisto this evening, a couple of women were walking a leashed pig into the local Petco store.

A tiny but courageous or foolhardy dog wanted to investigate, but was held in check by the person at the other end of its tether.[1] One of the employees initially seemed distressed, but was in fact just greatly moved to see a pig.

I had some desire to enter and pet the pig, but I figured that the owners — and perhaps also the pig — got too much of that as it were.

[1] Were my own dog still around, and confronted with a pig, then his reäction to it, as to so much, would have been the canine equivalent of What in the name of G_d?!?

But Baby Made Three

Monday, 31 December 2012

Various unhappy things have occurred in my life since my last entry here. The worst of these was the death of the beloved cat of the Woman of Interest.

Some years before she and I had ever had any contact, the Woman of Interest was passing by a dumpster, and heard a cry as if from a tomcat trapped in it. So she went to free the creature. What she found, to her surprise, was not an adult, but a truly tiny little black kitten, with preternaturally beautiful green eyes. He had been closed in a box with a toy, put in the dumpster, and left for death. (We can only speculate about this combination of apparent affection and ruthlessness.)

He was far too young to be properly weened and separated from his mother — the Woman of Interest was horrified when a veterinarian estimated his age — but she became the best possible substitute for that mother. He grew to be a cat with an rather large frame (though she took care not to let him become obese, and put him on a diet when he became a bit pudgy).

Actually, though, he really never ceased to be a kitten, and a pretty rambunctious one at that. And, as far as he was concerned, she was always his Best Mommy. When he and I would be alone in her apartment, he would spend a fair amount of time laying where he could watch the door, waiting for her return; I'd not before seen an adult cat do that. (My family had a cat, and I had a cat of my own, so I'm not without prior experience.)

He was a talkative cat, who usually made something more like the sound of a duck quack than a typical meow; and, if he were awake and she were at home, then he'd usually be vocalizing at her — I think that usually what he was saying could be translated as Mom! — though sometimes he'd just roam-about, engaged in apparent commentary to himself. I'd be especially amused when I'd hear him trying to tell her something after she'd fallen asleep while on the phone with me.

He and I got along quite well. I was looking forward to spending years hanging-out with him. Without conscious categorization, I thought of us as buddies.

I won't here rehash the details of how he was lost. Not long before he died, tests established that he had developed diabetes; this was caught much sooner than is typical in house cats (because the Woman of Interest was very mindful of his health), and she began treating it as per the veterinarian's instructions. But what was also discovered at the same time was that he had a common heart condition. Neither, by itself, would have proved fatal. But, jointly, they were too much. She found him dead on the morning of the fourth.

I'm not writing here to grieve (though I sometimes still cry about him), but because I observe something qua social scientist.

My relationship with the Woman of Interest wasn't well-bounded by just the two of us. Her cat played a significant rôle in our relationship, and it was the relationship more of another person than of an impersonal thing. A relationship that I would have categorized as between two persons was actually somewhat rather like one amongst three persons. With his death, the relationship of the three of us took a terrible hit, and the relationship of the two of us is henceforth informed by that injury. He did not mean — and could not have meant — the same thing to each of us individually, but he meant something shared in the relationship as such; and, even if the loss to the relationship could be fully decomposed into our losses as individuals (an issue that I don't propose here to labor), still it is important to recognize it as a sort of loss to the relationship, albeït not one to cause us to love each other less or to become more distant.

(Many years ago, I lost my dog while I was in a relationship, but the nature of that relationship was different. For my part, I knew that, without radical and unlikely change, I needed to be freed of that wretched woman; and, for her part, she had already been preparing to discard as much of her responsibilities as she might, including any that were had for the dog. He died before she left us, but she was going to leave him too. So I didn't observe then anything analogous to what I observe now.)

Bleh, Pt II

Monday, 12 January 2009

I am still fighting the flu that I reported here on the 7th. The symptoms have varied somewhat, and have generally been less during my waking hours than when I sleep. Most days have seemed to represent gradual improvement, but this morning was very wretched. My throat was especially sore and it hurt quite a lot to swallow. I had other symptoms, typical of a flu: headache, fever, sinus and nasal congestion, and body aches.

Last night, I got some saline solution with which to flush my sinuses. Because I wanted to do that, instead of just to moisturize my nasal passages, I needed an ærosol. At the Hillcrest CVS/pharmacy, the only ærosol saline with the right sort of nozzle for spraying the stuff into one's nose was mentholated. I cannot say that I enjoyed the experience of a mentholated solution in my sinuses.

Also, the can had some blatting on it about homeopathic principles. I was especially amused by the note that, since the ostensible curatives were only present in homeopathic amounts, there would be no side effects. Indeed. I figure that, because of the hydrological cycle, if homeopathic principles were correct, then we'd all be in perfect health.

As I was buying one thing of saline to spray in my nose, it occurred to me to buy some saline for my mouse first-aid kit. Fortunately, I didn't need a special nozzle for that.

Empty House

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

I went to the La Jolla PetSmart to-day, planning to buy yet another habitat module to include in my mouse complex, and hoping to find the mouse for that complex.

In the event, there were no mice at that PetSmart, and the cashier said that she didn't expect them to get any in the near future, as they have many other rodents in stock. (I'd not bothered to call ahead, as I was expecting to buy a module in any case, and also wanted to stop at the World Market in the same shopping center.)

I did buy a module. I'd originally been thinking of getting another CritterTrail Mini 2, but ultimately decided on a CritterTrail 3, which just provides a lot more space.

Mice and Cups and Rubber Ducks

Friday, 21 November 2008

I'm planning to visit my parents in Tucson, for Thanksgiving, and that argues against getting a mouse until I have returned, since it would be best if the mouse and I had a well-established relationship before I take it on trips of any length. None-the-less, I went to La Jolla yester-day evening, to take a look at a mouse. He wasn't, in any case, what I really want, in part because he looks fully adult, and I'd like to get a juvenile.

The trip wasn't a loss, as I stopped at the World Market site in La Jolla Village Square, and found red stacking coffee cups and stacking large mugs that match the stacking espresso cups of the Woman of Interest. (Some of the sets of large mugs were still in their shipping boxes, and a young woman at the store was kind enough to find for me a set of the coffee cups likewise still packed.)

I also found various seasonal rubber ducks, the best of which had a kippah and Chanukah vestments. I got one for a neighbor who has an extensive collection of rubber ducks.


Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Critter-Cages sent e.mail to me last night, announcing that the Habitrail Mini and accessories that I had ordered from them on 20 October have shipped. UPS reports that the package was given to them earlier in the evening. Given that it's coming from the Los Angeles area, I would expect to receive it to-day.

I am very glad that I'm apparently going to be able to include Habitrail parts in the home that I will give my mouse, mostly because of the Mini Loft — I remember how Bob and Ray used to sleep in their loft (which was hamster-sized, because Hagen wasn't making mouse-sized Habitrail things back then), which was apparently where they felt most secure. It may prove that the Crittertrail is where the new mouse will want to spend its time sleeping, but I wanted it to have the option of the loft.

Up-Date: The package indeed arrived this after-noon, and seems to be quite in order.

Sexual Discrimination

Monday, 27 October 2008

I learned yester-day that PetSmart, at least in this area, does not sell mice of both sexes at any of its stores. The store on Murphy Canyon Road sells only female mice; that in La Jolla sells only male mice; and so forth.

I guess that this practice is to avoid any accidental pregnancies. Certainly, some customers would be very unhappy to find Minnie producing an unexpected litter.

Not My Cat

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

[image of cat eating at night from can] This picture was taken in low light, and thus with a long exposure; the cat is a bit blurred because it was in motion, eating.

Failure in the Housing Market

Monday, 20 October 2008

The vendor from whom I originally ordered a Habitrail Mini and some accessories has failed to deliver.

I'd placed an order on 08 October with Fresh Marine, I was provided with a URL for checking on the status of my order. When, after ten days, the Mini and accessories had not arrived, I went to the page and discovered that the order status was simply blank, so I sent an e.mail query. To-day I received e.mail stating

Unfortuantely your order is cancelled as we do not have an eta when hagen will have the items.
All-in-all, this is markèdly poor performance from Fresh Marine. The order status page could have reported that they were waiting on word from Hagen, were that the case. It appears that Fresh Marine were completely inert until my query.

I have found another vendor, Critter-Cages, offering the same products, and at lower prices. And, fortunately, I do have the Crittertrail Mini Two, and I even recently acquired Expansion Kit 3; so there will be much for the mouse when I get one, even if I don't have a Habitrail.

For what it's worth, my orders from Better Homes & Gardens (Crittertrail Mini Two), UPCO (water bottles), and PetCo (expansion kit) have all gone well.

Like a real reptile

Saturday, 11 October 2008

I went to various PetCo and PetSmart locations to-day, to get more things for taking care of a mouse. I have or am awaiting receipt of almost everything that I want except for the mouse itself.

While I was at a PetSmart, a girl came over to the area where rodents and birds were kept. Shortly thereäfter, a couple of employees appeared, and told her that they would not sell a rat to her, because they feared that she was going to give the rat to a snake. Apparently she was known to own a snake, and had bought a rat not many days ago. The girl responded with a dubious tale of having given away the snake. She was politely told that no rat would be sold to her. As she was leaving, I thanked the employees.

There was also an older man working there who kept pulling out a picture of his dog to show to people. This behavior was both amusing and charming.