• 13Jun

    [Update: Pekny is now missing. He ran her off, apparently. Then, Marble went missing for a couple days. Late one night as we were headed to bed, I heard him warbling on our front porch asking to come in. This emotional roller coaster has to stop. He needs a home different than the one we have.]

    [Update 2: we have a maybe/trial home, but I’m not expecting it work. He has claws and she has a leather couch. Marble really needs a barn and mice to chase. For those of you with friends who have a farm/ranch, please ask around to see if someone needs a good barn kitty.]

    Marble is a 4yo Bombay cat (black with bright yellow/golden eyes). He’s super affectionate and will demand attention when he needs it.

    long tail

    Likes to be around people, will lay on floor stretching and showing belly for petting.

    Likes to sleep with people when napping or at night.

    Will talk to outside critters through window, laser pointers, and people.

    Been an indoor cat since adoption.

    Uses a litter box (though a cat door to a controlled area) well.

    Eats both dry and wet food, not picky about brand, has been fed chicken and turkey, mostly.

    The few times Marble has been around a dog, he was quite curious and wanted to meet them; did not hiss, just smelled and attempted to rub on their legs.

    We adopted him from the Austin Animal Shelter when he was 5 months old.

    Marble has grown to be an assertive cat towards our other two cat. He picks on them her and tries to dominate on a regular basis. This has kept the other two cats from having a good home; one cowers in hiding 100% of the time.

    Marble is fixed and current on all his shots and tests.

    ...because everything should be just As You Wish ...because everything should be just As You Wish ...because everything should be just As You Wish

    ...because everything should be just As You Wish ...because everything should be just As You Wish

    Favorite non-toy: straws.

    Favorite Movie: How To Train Your Dragon. He likes to emulate Toothless.

    Favorite thing to do while prepping for taxes: help.

    Favorite way to sleep: “on” the next warmest critter

    Favorite element: fire.

    Favorite weather: sunbeams.

  • 05Dec
    Birthday Bacchanal 2012

    Emil and several of our #childfree friends have late-November through early-December birthdays: Kelly, Jeff, Emil, Judy, and Ryan. So, we made a huge weekend out of it for all of them.

    Friday, Jeff, Judy, Emil, and I went for Thai lunch in Cedar Park on our way to Flat Creek Estate winery. We had the most amazing wine tour ever and nice grounds for gentle “hike”. I definitely recommend the place as well as taking the day off from work to go on a weekday. (Look for it soon on AsYouWishAustin.com, too since they have wonderful wedding pakckages.) On the way back into town, we stopped off for Italian and then played What Were You Thinking? Saturday, a whole mess of people (Pam & Ryan, Kelly, Tim & Sallie, Marvin & Keisha) joined us at Independence Brewing‘s monthly beer party. After a siesta, Pam and I threw a Dr. Who themed party for the birthday kids. Sunday morning, Jeff/Judy/us went to brunch at the new Jack Allen’s kitchen in Round Rock.

    Anyway, here are a few of my favorite shots from the weekend.

    this one will become a water color quite soon!

    I don’t think I’d ever been to a vineyard in the fall. It’s a totally different look!

    It was so nice to enjoy the fall colors in Hill Country!


    This glass (with a category five HURRICANE) is from Independence Brewing’s fifth anniversary party.

    The elusive Maya made a grand appearance at the party.

    And Kitten Pickles did her best to steal the show!


    I’m already looking forward to next year’s Birthday Bacchanal™

    ™ trademarked by the lovely Judy

  • 09Nov

  • 16Sep

    Turtleor’s favorite color/flavor is RED. Watch his determination and him absconding.

  • 14Aug

    Every cat [1] who has ever adopted me has, at one point or another, made an escape.

    Sosta: in 1997. Our first night in College Station. She scared me to death. I cried all night. She came back in the morning.

    Mitad: in ~2001. She got out, got into a fight, and had a huge bite out of her skin. She had to go on antibiotics and “outdoor kitty” shots and stuff.

    Purrrrrl: in 2002. Twice. She would nap on the half wall of our balcony. Two times right after we moved in, we came home to find her lying in the Jasmine below. Months later, I was watching her nap and realized how she did it. She was sleeping when a bug buzzed her head and she reached to swat at it. She almost fell that time, too.

    I guess it was Marble‘s turn. He can walk on the outside of the rail of our balcony. I’ve worried about him doing it, but it’s not like there is anything I can do to stop/prevent it. During the little storm last night (and while Emil and I were at dinner), he got down from the 3rd floor balcony. I was at knitting and Emil was watching The Outlaws. He knew something was very wrong at their 9pm dinner time. He walked the perimiter of our place with the red laser light. When I got home, we did it again. No luck. Sadness.

    I made flyers with my phone number and email address and we hung them on the doors in this breezeway. I figured I’d hit the rest of the building today. Today, at 5:09am, we got a text–which I of course didn’t see until hours later–that he was with downstairs neighbors. They found him warbling in a corner of the breezeway, took him in, and put a flyer in the mailbox area. I didn’t even think to look in there or put a flyer in there. He had been playing with their dog and smelled of her sweet Indian perfume.

    He’s exhausted. Being homeless is hard, even when you have a nice place to stay. He’s slept harder and far more today than usual. I think he also might be a little sore, but he doesn’t have any scrapes or bumps.

    I hope, like the others, that he learned his lesson and will quit with the “Catcrobatics”


    [1] Come to think of it, every dog I can remember has a story, too. I’ll have to blog those one of these days.


  • 11Jul

    I’ve been wanting fresh vine-ripened tomatoes all year. But, even if we grew “patio tomatoes” (hat tip to our friend Pam who told me these exist!), Marble would get into them and make a mess. le sigh.

    Emil, or Genius from this point forward, had the perfect idea. We have a Romeo & Juliet balcony off our dining room. French doors open to a railing with no landing. It will be lovely in the fall when we want to open the windows. While I was at CroKnit on Monday evening, Emil bought a planter made for railings, three pots, three plants, and soil.

    With any luck, I’ll have some fresh tomatoes and cayenne peppers (one plant already has one!). Yum!

    Cat Proof Gardening

    Cat Proof Gardening (My apologies for the weak photo quality. My iPhone has a pretty good camera, but not for background sky or depth of field.)


  • 08Dec

    Diet is a Four Letter Word

    For the last ~2 years, we’ve been working on getting @Purrrrrl‘s weight down.

    Boring How We Got Here Story

    While we used to free-feed them dry food, we switched to canned for a while. Her sensitive tummy, means days of mixing food and lots of accidents. Canned food was a pain if we wanted to go away for more than just the day, but we made it work. At the next “Kitty Weight Watchers” “weigh in”, we learned she’d only lost a few ounces. She’s a cat, so that’s good progress, but she needs to lose several pounds, so when the next “weigh in” showed she’d gained, we went food shopping again. Another pet store owner told us about this grain-free dry stuff. Well, it makes her sick. We kept trying it because she kept showing signs she was getting more accustomed to it. However, she has proven to me that, given the right circumstances, she can poop faster than I can clean. After trying for too long, we went back to the canned.

    New Game and Some Kitty Conversation

    Because we are feeding them limited amounts and on a schedule, I have an alarm in my phone for 9:00 each 12 hours. They can’t eat until my phone meows. Still, anywhere from 2 minutes to 2 hours before 9 o’clock, they beg. Today, Purrrrl sat next to me at the computer at 8:50am and the conversation went like this:

    Purrrrrl: Meow

    me: Not yet. Ten more minutes

    Purrrrrl: Meow

    me: No. Ten minutes.

    Purrrrrl: Meow

    me: Eleven minutes?

    Purrrrrl: Meow

    me: Twleve minutes?

    Purrrrrl: [scoffed like a teenager and walked away.]

    I knew cats could show angst and be flippant, but who knew they could count???

  • 28Nov

    This is not exactly what Purrrrrl or Marble look like in the car. I mean, after all, they travel in a box/carrier.

  • 11Apr

    After losing BB to the accident, we learned that we were one of those rare cases where a totaled car was in our favor. We bought BB with a ~$3000 trade in of my truck. Insurance paid off our loan and gave us $6,000+ to put toward a replacement.

    Emil’s car, Little Blue, is 11 years old, and is showing her 106,000+ elderly miles. The engine or transmission is starting act funny and she’s been in for ~3 mid-sized repairs. Our plan was to replace her this spring/summer. Emil’s new job was perfect timing for us to find a way to make that happen. We just wouldn’t change anything else about our lifestyle and his new pay would cover a reasonable payment for a new car for him.

    So, here were are again, just like we were in 2000:

    • Emil’s truck died and needed more repairs than the value of the vehicle.
    • A gasoline supplier filled the unleaded tanks at the station with diesel instead, and caused severe damage to my truck…and just 3 months shy of the warranty expiration. Luckily, the company covered the cost of the repairs. (No, filling your unleaded vehicle with diesel is not covered under warranty.) The dealership told us we’d likely have long-term problems from this, so we traded my truck while it still had good resale and while the engine still sounded good to the used car inspectors.

    So, on our way to Paris to visit Grandaddy, we stopped at Honda (We liked one car for me, found nothing for Emil, and hated the dealership …which is strange since it’s the same owner as the Scion dealer where we got BB), had lunch, and then shopped at Mazda.

    At Mazda, we both liked the Mazda 3. Emil preferred the sedan style (he thinks 5-door models look like station wagons. phsaw!) and I liked the hatch back (it’s much easier for managing photo gear and other stuff, too. After driving the hatchback, our salesman, Mark, suggested we drive the sedan, too. On one of the test-drives, we saw a Mazda 2…which made us notice them in the parking lot when we came back. The 2 is smaller, but has almost as much storage and gets a little bit better gas mileage.

    Mark’s face sank just a little when we asked he we could drive a 2. I was afraid he was thinking we were going to drive a bunch, but not buy anything. Then I was afraid he was sad about the loss in commission on the cheaper car. Turns out, they work on volume bonuses, not commission, at that dealership-

    So, we asked Mark to crunch numbers. He said, “If you are looking at the 3, it’s [this], and if you are looking at the 2, it’s [that].” That’s when Emil dropped the surprise bomb on him and said, “we’d be getting them both.” Cha-ching! He said he can come off the price more AND wrangle us a loyalty discount, too. Nice!

    What are the odds that we’d both like the same brand? I feel a little guilty for liking anything other than another Scion since BB sacrificed her life to keep me safe, but again, I get a little to attached to my cars.

    I spent part of our ride to Paris putting the numbers he gave us into a spreadsheet so we could estimate as closely as possible what we’d end up paying each month and then looking at the color options in the brochure.

    Lime green (Go ‘Canes!) or bright turquoise (“ZTA blue”)?
    decisions. decisions. decisions.

  • 11Apr

    BB the silver 2010 Scion xD 2009-2011

    In the fall of 2009, after we sold the house in Bryan, we had to trade in my truck before it left me/us stranded. We got a cute little “hippie”/Austin car that more than 2x the gas mileage Baby Truck did. We named her BB…inspired by our favorite downtown hangout, Betsy’s Bar.

    Earlier That Day

    After being the official photographer at a baby shower [1], I met Beth for dinner/beer at North by Northwest restaurant/brewery. We were there for 4.5 hours catching up [2] and left at ~10:15. Being only a few blocks from our apartment, I never got on the highway.


    I was on the feeder/service road, toodling along, when I felt/heard an impact. I was instantly knocked over to the driver’s side and slid for–at my best estimation–about 160 feet. I rolled the passenger window down, and some guys–including a cop–were already there to help me out of the car. They reminded me to turn off the engine–one of those things you forget when you’ve just been in an accident; I couldn’t even hear it running–and asked me if I was ok, could I stand up, etc.. I unbuckled my seat belt and stood on the driver’s door. I noticed that the air bags didn’t deploy. I stood on the headrest, hopped up onto the edge of the door frame, swung my legs over, and used the guys’ shoulders to hop down. I turned to look at the other car; it was black.


    As soon as I stepped onto the curb, I was greeted by the other driver and his girlfriend-of-10-days. They were quite grateful that I was ok and kept saying things like, “I’m so glad you’re not dead,” and “I’m so glad you aren’t hurt.” I called Emil to tell him that I was ok, but that BB wasn’t and told him where I was. The driver’s name is Larry. He’s a sweet guy and hugged on me like I was long lost family. I cried at the mention of his name and explained that my dad was “Larry”. If you are ever going to be in an accident, you want it to be with a guy like this. He was genuinely concerned.

    After the firemen/EMTs and EMS/paramedics checked me out–all I had “wrong” was a burn on my wrist from where my arm must have hit the gear shift–Larry and I traded info and talked about how we both have good insurance and that they will take good care of us and make everything right.


    After a few days of dealing with the towing company, storage yard, adjuster, and other “admin” stuff, we learned that the car was declared “totaled”. We went to the body shop and got the rest of our (few) belongings out of BB. I’ve always had a pretty emotional attachment to the cars I drive, so I said good-bye and thanked BB for absorbing all impact, sacrificing herself, and keeping her carriage strong to protect me.

    Even days later–as I write this–I’m quite sad she’s gone….

    Thank you, BB, for giving your all to save me from any injury. I appreciate your dedication and devotion. I’ll always think fondly of you!

    So, now, among the other stresses in our life, we are seeking a replacement for BB. “She” won’t be the same, but we will love her just as much.


    [1] Trust me, that’s not nearly as much fun as it sounds, but it was both for money and for a friend. And, some of the images are really cute. I can’t wait to see the book my friend makes for the mom-to-be.
    [2] She lives close by, but has an insane schedule, so we only see each other every ~3 months.