Shortly after my wife and I were married, Pest, my first cat, died. My wife mentioned to one of her coworkers that our (my?) cat had died and another coworker mentioned that they had been seeing a small black kitten in the bushes around their apartment. The coworker said she had asked around about that cat and no one wanted, nor claimed it.

My wife told me about this and said if I wanted another cat, I should go get it. I went to the apartment and the kitten walked right up to me. I brought him home and a couple of days later, I took him to the vet for a health check and to be neutered.

The person who told my wife about the cat had called him “Poo”, but I decided to change the spelling to Pooh because I felt it was slightly more dignified.

I went from having a large cat to a tiny cat. At his heaviest, he was only 4 pounds (just under 2 kilos).

In the picture, Pooh is sitting atop the toilet in the bathroom. He would lay there whenever the shower was being used and as soon as the shower was empty, he would jump down into the shower so he could play with the water that was still dripping from the showerhead.

Besides playing in the water, he would lay in my lap and wait for me to print something out on a dot matrix printer. When the printer started buzzing, he would jump up on the printer and his head would snap back and forth to follow the printhead. I was then working on the thesis for my master’s degree, and he had a lot of opportunity to lay in my lap and to watch the printhead. These antics always made me laugh.


This is the cat that adopted me just after I started at university. I found the picture while I was packing up stuff in preparation of moving.

I ended up calling her Pest. She slipped into the house while I was bringing in groceries and made herself at home. I gave her some food and I was suddenly a slave to an 18 pound/8kg cat that loved laying in laps.

Pest was an indoor-outdoor cat…after all, she had been taking care of herself without human assistance. I tried to convert her into an indoor only cat, but she was so miserable being stuck inside that I relented and let her go back to being an indoor-outdoor cat.

Her name came about when I discovered she loved to make a lot of noise at 2, 3 or sometimes 4am. If she was inside, she wanted out. If she was outside, she wanted in. Sometimes it just seemed like she wanted to make noise. People thought the name was “horrible” until the reason for the name was experienced first hand.

The first time she met my then girlfriend, she (the cat) went “crazy”; loud excited meowing, running around throughout the house, running between ankles, zooming over the top of the couch and then more running between ankles. It was difficult for my girlfriend to make it to a chair without tripping over or stepping on Pest. When my girlfriend finally was able to sit down, Pest jumped up into her lap, sat for a moment and then repeated the entire “show” before coming back and again laying down in her lap.

I would joke that it was as if my girlfriend was a bale of catnip as Pest was SUPER excited each time she came to the house. If Pest was outside and she saw my girlfriend show up, she would come running up to her as fast as she could run. After awhile, Pest would lay atop the roof of the house and look down the street in the direction that my (by then) fiancee would ride up on the bicycle.

Pest absolutely loved my fiancee and hers was the preferred lap to lay on, but even then, Pest would want out to go patrol the yard. This changed after surgery and during the cancer treatments. Suddenly, Pest was like “Velcro Cat”. She would lay beside where ever my fiancee was laying/sitting and only get down to eat, drink or use the litter box. Whatever it was, she would immediately jump back up beside my fiancee.

When I brought the blanket home from hospice, Pest started running around and after a few minutes of this, she jumped up on the blanket, looked around, meowed a bit and then settled onto the blanket. It took a month or so before she would leave the blanket for more than a few minutes at a time and after that, she returned to being an indoor-outdoor cat. I would see her laying on the roof…looking down the street….

Cat. Update.

He did not have an identification chip.

But, I looked online and found a listing for a missing cat that belonged to a family living about 1/4 mile (400 meters) from where we found him and had gone missing 3 days ago. The picture in the listing looked just like the cat I had on my lap, so I contacted the family and he is now back home.

The woman that came by to get him was thrilled to have him home again. Her sister had given the cat, a stray, to her 7 year old daughter about 10 days ago and it had escaped before the appointment for the ID chip and neutering.

She went on to say that her daughter had been “beside herself” for the past few days and that her daughter, when she gets home from school, would be soooooooooo happy to see her kitty again.

It’s been a not-so-great-year for happiness and it made us feel good to be able to bring some happiness into someone else’s life…even if we didn’t get to keep the cat. 🙂


My wife and I were out for a walk in a “wild” city park (a park left in its natural state) and a cat followed us for about 30 minutes as we walked back to our car. The cat got into the car, laid down in the back seat and came home with us.

Based on how he acts, I’m certain he has lived in a human home and I’m also certain that he has not been out there in the park for very long. He is not “skin and bones” and he’s alive despite the large number of coyotes living in this “park”. He’s also extremely clean and well groomed, very friendly towards people and while not delighted about our dogs, he is not “I’m going to die!!!!” terrified of them. On the way home from the park, we stopped at a convenience store to get a couple of cans of cat food and even before we opened one of the cans, he seemed to know that cans contain good things.

Tomorrow we will go to the vet with him and hopefully he has an identification chip so we can get him back home to his likely very worried family.

If he is not chipped, then we’ll keep him but be on the lookout for “missing cat” posters at the nearby park and along the walking path where he found us. And, after a couple of weeks if his is still with us, get him a vet checkup and get him neutered.

Secretly, I hope we can keep him. 🙂

My first cat was also a stray that I adopted…or maybe she adopted me…or maybe we adopted each other.


I’m still scanning photographic negatives and transparencies (slides). 7,564 very high resolution images, that are using 12.3TB (12,300 gigabytes) of disk space.

I just scanned this image, from an Ektachrome slide made in in early March, 1993.

In this picture Pooh was 4 years old. Anytime my wife would get her banjo out out to play, he would curl up in the case and “listen” to the music.

Jessiecat 1999 – 2019

I did the very hard, but very kind thing tonight.  My wife, our daughter and our yellow lab said goodbye to our more than 20 year old cat.

He and our yellow lab were best buddies; playing with each other, grooming each other and sleeping with each other.

After the vet had finished, we put Jessiecat on the floor.  Yellow lab sniffed him, nudged him a couple of times and then sat down to wait for us to finish our final goodbyes


The cat that owns us has an appointment with the veterinarian tomorrow.  It may be his last trip to the vet…I don’t know.  He’s around 20 years old.  He’s not eating. He’s not moving around well.  He’s  more quiet than usual. He’s no longer wanting to be a lap cat.  He just stands and stares out the window.

He came into our lives when we visited the animal shelter.  He stuck out his paw from his cage and tapped my hand to get my attention.  We arranged a meeting in the “meet and greet” room.  Once in there, he promptly climbed up into our then 7 year old daughter’s lap and purred his way into our hearts.

That was it.  We were cat parents.

When we said we wanted to adopt him, the shelter workers told us that because of his age (5 or 6 years old), the length of stay (4 months) and because he had only a few days left before he would be euthanized to make room for more cats, the adoption fee would be waived.

Our now almost 22 year old daughter is coming home from university for one last visit.

Cold or Flu?

For the past few days I’ve had no energy, a dry cough, sore throat, muscle aches, a headache, but no fever.  And, it’s going away as quickly as it showed up.  The only remaining symptoms is a sore set of ribs from my coughing and some fatigue

One year I broke my foot, leg and ankle in multiple places and I had to make my way 1/2 mile (800 meters) to my car (I spent 3 days in hospital, plus had a several hour surgery for that little “stunt”), so I know I can keep moving when it’s not comfortable.  This makes it even more difficult for me to accept the idea that I need to build up my energy to walk from the bed to the sofa or back.

The 19 year old cat and the 9 year old dog laid tight against me when I was in bed.  The other dog is 13 years old and she isn’t able to climb up into the bed.  So, she laid on the floor where I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed without stepping on her.



As I was sitting on the couch, taking my shoes off after a run, Jessiecat came over and started pulling on my shoelaces. He does that when I’m not moving fast enough to suit him.  Anyway, after I got my shoes off, I laid back on the couch and in an instant, he was on my lap.

He was 5 years old when we brought him home from the humane society and he is now 17. jessie

Sweet Pea, the Cat.

My mother in law has a cat, Sweet Pea, that is in the end stages of congestive heart failure.  There is one last trip to be made to the vet and a flurry of good byes.   It will be soon.

Sweet Pea was an older cat that had been in the shelter for several months, and even with the waived adoption fee, apparently no one seemed to notice the small gray and white cat waiting patiently for someone to love.  Her fate was grim until my mother in law noticed her and brought her home.

My mother in law saved Sweet Pea’s life and Sweet Pea returned the favor by helping to lead my mother in law out of the darkness of the recent loss of her husband of 60 years.

She is upset about this turn of events, but she understands it is the kindest act left in a long list of kind acts between the two of them.