December 12, 2008

Friday Catbloggin'

So it's Friday; I'm back in Chicago. It's cold outside. I think I'll spend the evening inside, bloggin' with my cat Silver.

That cat sure does love to snuggle on cold winter nights!

November 14, 2008

Cats -- gotta love 'em!

October 03, 2008

Friday cat (and doggie) blogging

Here's Big Frank taking a little nap, high above it all.

And here's Little Pele hanging out on the deck in Colorado.

September 05, 2008

It's Friday, and cats are on the blog

I know it's late on Friday, but there's still time for some catblogging -- so I'm going for it.

Big Silver has found a nice place to sleep. One that's blessedly free of puppy distractions.

I suppose one of the reasons Silvs has been getting along so well with the little puppy is that, for now, the biggie cat can always turn the puppy knob to "off" by going somewhere in the apartment where the puppy can't follow. Pele can't jump up on high things, and he can't go over the gate we've installed to block off my office. These places have become sanctuaries for a tired (or just not interested) cat.

Btw, despite rumors to the contrary, the little puppy's name is not Rodriguez.

August 15, 2008

Friday catblogging

It's Friday, which means it's time for catblogging!

Today we have my big cat Silver. Alias: Mr. Snuggles.

As a bonus, here we have the Big Silv with my new little puppy. Twice the fun!

About the cuteness of that little puppy: no comment.

April 24, 2007

Now that's one useless cat!

Via the Volokh Conspiracy, this sure is one useless cat.

October 29, 2006

In the ICU, and thinking about Huckleberry

I'm in the ICU this month. It's a great place (the only place?) to learn what I need to be a competent ER physician -- but it's no less draining for knowing that.

The medical ICU is a joyless place. It's a place where very sick people stay, usually at the end of their lives, to absorb all the high-tech medicine that we can possibly throw at them, in order to live a few more weeks than they would have otherwise. Yes, there are important exceptions, where we save a patient's life in the ICU and he or she leaves to spend time with their families and go for walks on sunny days in their favorite park -- but this is still an exception.

Add to this the horrendous hours, which makes it impossible or at least very difficult for residents to get to know each other as anything other than tired, overworked, cogs in a machine. Throw in the intern's inevitable lack of knowledge and gross inefficiency, and it shouldn't be surprising that there's not much joy for them in the ICU. Speaking for myself at least, there isn't.

My brother just lost his cat, Huckleberry. He was the greatest cat. Friendly, intelligent, and always hungry! He had some klnd of cancer that deformed his jaw, and he had to have it taken off. For a cat who loved to eat, that must have been a particularly large loss. My brother, because he loved this cat, did the best thing for him in the end, and had him "put down" by the vet. Huck, RIP.

If Huckleberry had been a person, he would almost surely have been laid up in the ICU for the last few weeks of his life. He'd have been unconscious, with a feeding tube down his throat to substitute for the eating he'd loved before the cancer. The people "caring" for him would have been overworked and unfamiliar with him as anything other than a reason for more chores. They'd have been more concerned with writing down all the numbers that the machines hooked to his body were spewing out 24 hours a day than with "caring" for him in any sense that could have mattered.

I'm not saying that we should euthanize people. I'm saying that the end of Huckleberry's long life was probably better, being my brother's cat, than it would have been as a human being.


Here's a poem I've posted before that means more to me now that I'm spending so many hours in the ICU.

Three Elegaic Poems
Wendell Berry

Let him escape hospital and doctor
the manners and odors of strange places
the dispassionate skill of experts

Let him go free of tubes and needles
public corridors, the surgical white
of life dwindled to poor pain

Foreseeing the possibility of life without
possibility of joy, let him give it up.

Let him die in one of the old rooms
of his living, no stranger near him.

Let him go in peace out of the bodies
of his life --
flesh and marriage and household.

From the wide vision of his own windows
Let him go out of sight; and the final

time and light of his life's place be
last seen before his eyes' slow
opening in the earth.

Let him go like one familiar with the way
into the wooded and tracked and
furrowed hill, his body.

I stand at the cistern in front of the old barn
in the darkness, in the dead of winter,
the night strangely warm, the wind blowing,
rattling an unlatched door.
I draw the cold water up out of the ground, and drink.

At the house the light is still waiting.
An old man I've loved all my life is dying
In his bed there. He is going
slowly down from himself.
In final obedience to his life, he follows
his body out of our knowing.
Only his hands, quiet on the sheet, keep
a painful resemblance to what they no longer are.

He goes free of the earth.
The sun of his last day sets
clear in the sweetness of his liberty.

The earth recovers from his dying,
the hallow of his life remaining
in all his death leaves.

Radiances know him. Grown lighter
than breath, he is set free
in our remembering. Grown brighter

than vision, he grows dark
into the life of the hill
that holds his peace.

He's hidden among all that is,
and cannot be lost.

August 05, 2005

News Flash

Julie Saltman has catblogged.

December 31, 2004

No breaks from cat blogging!

Over the past week I've taken a much-needed break, and not just from blogging. I haven't read many blogs, and I haven't kept up with the newspapers. Instead, I've been reading some good books and going to church.

But today is Friday, and that means it's time for some good cat-blogging.

Here's Allie relaxing.

Here's Allie and me, last summer. We were probably reading blogs.

December 24, 2004

Friday cat blogging

This big cat's name is Chuck. Short for Charlene, 'cause she's a girl.

Chuck is as friendly and cooperative as Allie is feisty. Her paws are huge and her claws are sharp, but she's never scratched me or anyone else I know of even once. Which is a good thing, because she's big enough to tear your hand and arm to ribbons if she wanted to.

December 03, 2004

It's Cat Time!

You might remember the little cat on the right; that's Gus. You met him last week.

The big cat on the left is Merlyn. He reminded me of a black panther. When we were introduced, I was told to "watch out for the big one; he's mean." Well, he was a formidable cat, and he wouldn't put up with any shit. But he wasn't mean at all! He loved to cuddle! It just took a while for him to get to know you, but after that, he'd be in your lap purring every chance he got.

June 07, 2004


I work my 1L summer job all day
So after work I want to play!

This is why my heart is smitten
(and also why my toes are bitten)

For I have found a little kitten!

Hey you little cat! My toes!