Tag Archives: Patches


People who have never had pets don’t understand. Pets are your children who never really grow up. They never stop loving you or needing you. They don’t move away to live their own lives. They don’t judge. You never become “lame” or old in their eyes.

Patches would wait in the window every day for me to come home. She would meet me at the door and often race me to the bedroom and jump up on the bed wanting me to toss crinkle balls to her that she would swat back to me out of mid air. I kept thinking I need take a video of her playing swat the crinkle ball, there would always be time. Our time ran out. I really wish I had made that video. Oh course she didn’t care, playing with me was all that mattered to her. She would play for just a few minutes then flop down on bed all tuckered out.

Patches lived with us for almost a decade. She had her faults, but was always very sweet and gentle. She had a good life with us and a calm painless end. Logic suggests that I should be happy that she is no longer suffering and happy for the time she was with us. And I am. Yet here I am at work sitting in front of the computer monitor with tears streaming down my face.

Maybe it’s because they are so dependent on us. We love our pets and want them to have good lives. But eventually there is nothing we can do for them except ease their suffering.

Patches is the third pet I have outlived. It doesn’t ever get easier.

The Mrs sent me this image a week ago.

Patches 2004? – 2019

Patches took her last trip to the vet today. She had stopped eating or drinking for the past few days. She went to the vet Monday of this week and I thought that might be her last visit, she had lost a lot of weight over the past year and was suffering from reduced kidney function and irritable bowl syndrome. I picked up some meds for her on Wednesday, but by then she had stopped eating and drinking. She was telling me it was time to go even if I didn’t want to hear it. I will miss her.

Click link below for articles about Patches


Sunday – Lap Day

I haven’t been posting much lately. Too much “life” going on … in a good way.

I have been working in my profession since April after a difficult two years. So, yeah things are going OK. Turned the big 65 last Sunday. The “pride” is still going strong.

Bottom left clockwise: Sir Edmund Hillary, Pickles, and the grant old lady … Patches. Not a very photogenic picture, but you get the point.

Patches and her “ball”

Over the last few weeks (months?) Patches has discovered independent play. She is amazingly cute to watch. She is old and either half-blind or cross-eyed but for all of that she really enjoys play.

One of her favorite play times involves my throwing a small crinkle ball to her while she is on our bed. She is quite amazing – either catching it outright with her (badly?) declawed front paws or batting it back to me. If she misses it she then hunts it and bats it about until I pick it up and throw it again. I need to set up a tripod and record one of these sessions, but …

Lately Patches has gotten tired of waiting for me to play with her and has started batting the crinkle balls about on her own.  This past Christmas the Mrs bought an assortment of small plastic ornaments for attaching to packages. Patches discovered them and started batting them around in the kitchen. The ornaments roll well and with the attachment nubbin they roll with just the right amount of randomness.

Patches is not a kitten. She must easily be in her tweens or teens. I wonder if this return to kittendom is a sign of senility setting in? It doesn’t matter. We love her anyway. She is a sweet gentle soul. I am just happy to see her having fun.

Weggieboy Update

I spoke to Doug twice this weekend. He is battling a nasty cold that is going around. Rumor has it that he might get to go home next week. Keep your fingers and paws crossed.


Care Package

Doug loves his citrus   http://phainopepla95.com/2015/10/25/post-924-loving-my-citrus/

I have a mutant orange-tangerine tree    https://contrafactual.com/2015/10/26/oranges-pickles-tangerines/

Doug needs a care package

Doesn’t look like much in the basket, but I individually wrapped most of the oranges and tangerines and left space for additional padding to be added at the shipping facility.

 With padding … felt, bubble wrap, paper … it filled out a good sized box.

It is supposed to arrive Monday by 10 AM.

“Touching” Videos of Patches

Patches does a very gentle and sweet thing when she wants attention. She walks up and gently touches you with her paw … almost like a dog giving you its paw, yet different. Maybe it’s her way of showing affection. You be the judge.

Like most things in life, I never seem to have the camera ready when I want it. I had to shoot a lot of video and then edit it down for the above two scenes. To see them again just refresh the webpage.


Although most Westerners mistakenly think it is ¡Bonzai!, the actual cry of the Kamikaze pilot was ¡Hissatsu! (“Certain Kill“).


Via iMessage from Mrs:

Good morning, I was walking into the kitchen and almost broke my neck ( the preceding drama brought to you by that fabled star of “trip me why don’t ya” … Patches) as I was turning into the kitchen.



Unlike our other cats who usually have the good sense to avoid being directly under foot, Patches seems to magically teleport directly in front of – or behind – you at the time most conducive to trip you up. She is worse than the proverbial puppy dog. 

HISSATSU … she hisses as you stumble across the room while trying to avoid crushing her.

The view from my lap

Foreground to background: Patches, Hillary, Pickles

… minutes later

Foreground to background: Pickles, Hillary

Note the toy mouse in front. It is a poor substitute for the real mouse that Pickles caught hiding under the refrigerator earlier this week. With the colder weather it must have snuck in to get warm. Hillary and Pickles doubled-teamed that poor mouse until it died most likely of cardiac arrest. Sometime later Pickles and Hillary presented their lifeless treasure to the Mrs. as she sat on the potty. They were soooo proud of themselves!

I am a cat condo

First day back to work. Third night home after being gone for two weeks.

The minute I get home from work and sit down Hillary wants to jump up on my lap to smurgle.

Then after dinner Hillary, Pickles, and Patches take turns jumping up on me. Thigh, lap, chest, shoulder. One-, two-, three-at-time. I am a cat condo, a cat toy.




Fortunately, my need to luv on them is as strong as their need to be luv’d on by me.

Nap Time

Photos can’t do this justice. I tried to take some, but from my vantage point the cats are just furry blobs.

I am sitting on the recliner sofa with Patches asleep on my right thigh.

Ahead of me Pickles is asleep on the top of the cat condo.


To my right Mrs is dozing on her half of the reclining sofa with Hillary snuggled down on the space between her knees and feet.


Life is good.


Apologies for those waiting for the next day of the Day 42 series. The Mrs spent another week in the hospital. “Winter” has arrived here, with temperatures in the 40s and rain and gloom. She got out Friday.

I have mostly been reading and spent yesterday (Sunday) sleeping.

I’ll leave you with some recent cat photos. They need no explanation.








Cat Tales – Pickles and Hillary

Today’s Cat Tale is about how Pickles and Hillary came to live with us.

In the 70s we had a cat named Everest but this story isn’t about her. She will have her own story.

In the 90s and the 00s we had a cat named Kitaska. She was an extremely sweet cat who chose me. But again this story is not about her except to say that she died several years ago at the age of 17.


About a year after the death of Kitashka the Mrs and I began thinking we wanted another cat. After weeks of deliberating I learned from a coworker that there was a cat in need of a home because it’s owner was going to be leaving the country. I never got that cat. While backing out of the driveway to go look at that cat, my neighbor waved, I rolled down the window, and he asked “are you still looking for a cat”. He was temporarily watching a cat that belonged to his wife’s daughter, but they did not want it anymore. I walked into their house, walked back to the guest bedroom and saw Patches lying there on the bed. She was very gentle and very friendly and came to see me immediately. I took her home to see if the Mrs wanted to keep her and she never left. Patches is a sweet old girl. She’s either cross-eyed or blind in one eye and when she goes from the carpet to a hard surface she feels around with her right front paw as if she’s walking out onto glass.


This story isn’t about her either, except to say that Patches has always been my cat and the Mrs wanted a cat of her own. You see, Kitashka, even though she chose me, was always a lap cat for the Mrs when I wasn’t home. The Mrs is a shut in and having a lap cat was very important to her.

Then I learned about four orphaned kittens who were living in the backyard of a coworker of a coworker of a coworker.


I showed the above picture to the Mrs and she decided that she wanted the one who is now called Pickles (far left) and any other one. (We already had Patches and #2 son had a cat named Luna. I did not think we could handle six cats.)

So we went to the house of the person with the kittens in the backyard. The kittens were living under the patio deck and were so hungry that they would come out and eat food scraps but would not let you touch them. They could barely squeeze through the crack between the concrete and the wooden deck. The fellow had a couple of raccoon traps which we put some food in and we managed to capture Pickles and capture the kitten that we would soon name Hillary. We then transferred them each to a cat carrier and brought them home.

Once home I put the cat carrier in the bathroom by the laundry room to allow them to acclimate to the colder house temperature. When I brought them kitten food and water they hissed and backed as far to the back of the cat carrier as they could. When they realized it was food though they came forward and ate like they hadn’t eaten in days. The next day we bought a playpen and kitten toys and put them in the playpen with a sheet over the top.

In the playpen

If you listen to the audio you’ll hear a reference to a name of Freckles. This was to be Pickles original name but for some reason we forgot it and we kept calling him Pickles. The name stuck. You may also notice we called them she. This was before we took them to the vet and found out they were both boys. Notice the pyramid-shaped cat tent. Sir Edmund Hillary got his name by being the first to climb to the top of it.

We worked hard to socialize the kittens immediately. Everyone in the family took turns holding them and loving them on a continuous basis. Yet somehow I continue to be the cat whisperer. As with Patches and Kitashka before her, both Pickles and Hillary love to be with me. Both he and Patches follow me around the house like puppy dogs always wanted to be with me. But Hillary is my boy.


A comment on the snowflake blanket in the picture above: Hillary still likes to nurse on that blanket. It must remind him him of his mommy. Even tonight as I was dictating this, Hillary was lying on my chest and nursing feverishly on that blanket.

Sir Edmund Hillary


Pickles and Hillary

Pickles is on top.
Sir Edmund Hillary is on the bottom.

One Year Ago


No one wants to get inside the boxes on the cat condo these days.

You can see the whole clan as the are now @ https://contrafactual.com/2013/11/03/food/

Footnote: The person that I got the kittens from wanted the black one and the other one that we did not take. But we learned later that he did not want them as pets. He wanted them as outdoor cats to keep the rodent population outside down. They disappeared. 😦