Monday, October 31, 2005 


I was sitting here on the computer this afternoon and I heard a sound like a tiny Jacob Marley's chain dragging the floor behind me. Julius, who I thought would sleep through the day after discovering the most original, most exciting and most entrancing game (chasing his tail in the bathtub), was marching though the room trailing the drain stopper in his mouth. Kee-yute.

Sunday, October 09, 2005 

I am reading Temple Grandin's newest book, Animals in Translation. Grandin is an expert in the management of large animal behavior, and she also has autism. She is the author of several books about her experience of autism, all of which are fascinating.

Animals in Translation is equally fascinating and its one of those books that make you see things in a new light. Reading it, I have several times gotten that little mental frisson that happens when your view of the world gets shifted a bit.

One of the statements she makes that is relevant to the old Cattie's Blog is that marmalade cats are more fearful, but also more loving, than other colors of cats. I don't know if this is a valid observation overall, but it certainly matches with my personal experience of them. One of the most freakishly stressed-out cats I ever met was an orange stripe who would fall off of the window sill in anxiety anytime there was the slightest noise or movement in the room she was in.

With my boys, Julius and Kelty, this also is true. They are very close in age, currently roughly the same in size, and both are from a shelter environment. The similarities stop there, though. From the very instant I brought each of them home, they exhibited quite different personalities. Kelty, a grey tabby, is a rock star. Nothing fazes him--not noise, new people, sudden movement, nothing. He is sleek and long, and will be a very large, tall animal when full-grown. He is laid-back and confident, and clever. I often feel that he is way too cool for me, like he's the high school jock born to the nerds that high school jocks beat up. (And the downside to his confident personality is his tendency to bully, described in previous posts.)

Meanwhile, Julius, an orange tabby, is scared much of the time. When I got him home, he went immediately under the bed and might still be there had we not finally forced him out. Walking rapidly in his direction leads to an equally rapid disappearance, as do loud noises, new people, and new objects. But he is also the one who follows me around and mews for attention. He is a kneader and a drooler. (Yum!) He is roly-poly and clumsy. He won't get too much bigger, I don't believe, at least in the vertical dimension. He's really quite out-manned (out-kittened?) by Kelty, who is smarter, faster and more agile. They get along great, though, which proves to me that cats are better than people. If the guys were human siblings, Kelty wouldn't give Jules the time of day, at least in public.

Grandin talks about juvenile animal play, as well, stating that in an unbalanced relationship such as J and K's, the stronger animal will "throw" the game to allow the other to win at times. I have seen this in their play and this does seem to help their relationship. As Grandin says, no one will keep playing an opponent who always wins.

I strongly recommend Grandin's books for folks that are interested in a unique take on animal behavior, autism, and normal brain function.

Thursday, October 06, 2005 

Here's a man who understands the term "priorities." On the Welcome to Blog:

On August 26th 2005 a lighter given to me as a gift was confiscated by authorities at the Portland International Airport. Unlike your typical throw-away Bic, this lighter was special. It was nearly one of a kind. It was covered in photos of adorable kittens.

The lighter wound up in a locker at a storage office near baggage claim. When I returned to town on Labor Day it was closed. I vowed to return but couldn't decide if it was worth the trek back. I left it up to "Welcome to Blog"'s readers to make the decision and they overwhelmingly voted "yes."

I didn't make it back to the airport until the 27th, over 24 hours after my receipt clearly stated the office would fling the lighter in the trash. Was it still there?

Did they toss it?

Is the kitten lighter now sitting in a landfill somewhere?

Have the gods of ridiculous Parisian souvenirs been forsaken?

The answer to most of these questions is...







I would have done the same. Wouldn't you?

Scroll through the rest of this Portland-based blog for more details on the kitty lighter and life in the great Northwest, including a very funny post about Hooters.

Sunday, October 02, 2005 

The boys did something exceedingly cute today. Julius and Kelty took turns dipping their paws in their water bowl and ever-so-slowly popping the other on the head with the wetted paw. Awwww!

Friday, September 30, 2005 

Here are a few catty links to get the blog rolling. I will try to avoid those pages with pink/purple backgrounds and little animated pawprints, and I will NEVER print cat poetry. I have some standards.

Hallmarks of Felinity So true, so true.

USM has a feral cat program that catches and spays/neuters and lets the cats back out to roam campus. There are certainly detractors of this idea, but I enjoyed hanging out with those critters when I was in school there. In fact, the new peacemaker in the family, Julius (was Harvey), is a cat that a local doctor paid to have neutered and vaccinated to give to a deserving family. He does this frequently, and will take the cats back to live outside his office if a family is not found. And Ally Cat Allies is a very nice, comprehensive site about feral cats. is an advocacy site with some horror stories which I did not read due to my insane soft-heartedness.

Animal Emergency Response Network
Lots of info about pets in the Katrina-ravaged area.
can help you find the pet of your dreams.

There are a lot of people out there with more cats and money than sense, I'm afraid, and the following links are for them.
Cat's Play
Cat Ceramics. You know you want 'em.

Kitty City
Auuugh! Why would someone do this to a cat?

I went to the mall this weekend (early for a movie, the very good Serenity. Oh, good, a cat lover and big nerd!), and among the many things I said "What the hell?!?" about was this. (!) People be crazy.

Lastly, does anyone know the link to the "screen cleaner" cat?

Thursday, September 29, 2005 

I'm still working on site design, but I simply can't wait to start blogging about cats! (Insert excited little squeal here.)

I now have three cats, may I remind the few suckers who are masochistic enough to be following this blog. I have the old, depressed broken-down Alex, who is quite a talker; then came Kelty, who is the high school football team captain of the bunch--charming, handsome, brave, and a bit of a bully--and who almost never utters a word; and the new baby, the shy Julius/Harvey, who is somewhere between the others in vocalizations. This leads me to a theory: as cats do not speak to one another, except kittens and mothers, and cats seems to have some sort of kitten/mother relationship with their owners in which they do speak to us, perhaps the more immature/un-self-confident of them vocalize more often. Granted, this is based on an N of 3, but it's a cat blog! No need for rigorous science.


By popular demand (Hey, you! Quit posting about your damn cats on the Hattie's Blog!), I have begun this little blog. Hopefully, this will be updated only rarely and I will not sink ever further into the sickness that is cat blogging.

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About me

  • I'm TC Byrd, of the Hattie's Blog
  • From Hattiesburg, MS
  • I am a Southerner who doesn't care for cornbread; I am a Feminist who is ok with porn; I am a Democrat who is torn about gun control. I've lived in Hattiesburg 13 years and I run a fairly popular website for Hattiesburg live music,
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