Categories
open thread

Open Thread for Personal Stuff, 5/16 Bearcat Edition

catbear
Best Friends 4 Ever

A long overdue Open Thread for Personal Stuff. (There’s also one for non-personal stuff.)

As always, no trolls or MRAs. Let me know if any show up.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

291 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

She sounds like she had a great time, opposablethumbs, and a loving home. All my best to you for the hard days ahead.

What follows is something that I found comfort in. Your mileage may vary.

My cat Taz died a few years back; she was 15 and had been through a few adventures in that time so it wasn’t surprising. I found it extremely comforting to reassure myself using physics. To a physicist, time is just another dimension: just as I can travel from London to Edinburgh, I can also travel from 1998 to 2013. This doesn’t make Edinburgh go away, it just means that I’m no longer there and so can’t see it. Edinburgh is still happening.

This means that 2000 is still happening and she’s still the abused rescue cat we took in and gave a loving home to. I’m not there to watch any more, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t still there, exploring ceiling beams and leaping nimbly along the tops of bookcases.

2006 is still happening too. At this moment, back in 2006, she’s become a terrifying killer of any animal smaller than herself, fond of leaving them behind furniture or in front of the oven, or anywhere else that they can be inconvenient to her humans.

2010 is still happening, too, in which she had settled down and – after recovering from an incident with a car – become fond of sunbeams, warm windowsills and dew-covered grass.

She’s still all of those cats, at once, back there in those years that I’ve left behind. I can’t go and visit her but that doesn’t mean she isn’t there, and doesn’t mean that she isn’t happy.

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
5 years ago

Thank you Kat, and thank you Alan and EJ! That’s much appreciated.

I find time is a very bewildering dimension. It just keeps … doing whatever it is that it does, no matter how much I wish I could hang onto it, and of course I wish that I could visit some of those worlds I can’t get to :-/

The one good thing is that dogs generally don’t worry about tomorrow, and are happy with the dogfood of today 🙂

Viscaria
Viscaria
5 years ago

Re: psychiatric medication

I don’t think I’ve shared this already, at least not in so much detail, but my apologies if I have.

The doctor that I was with up until 6 weeks ago had inherited me from my previous GP. She was at that practice for about a minute before moving to the ass end of the city, somewhere 45 minutes away from me by car. Of course, I don’t drive, and the transit time was almost twice that, so when my therapist suggested I seek out medication for ADD, I ended up recruiting my retired parents (who live quite close to us) to drive me.

The first visit was 5 minutes long. I told her that my therapist had sent her a fax with a release of information, her own notes, and the notes from her psychiatrist consultant. “Nope, she never sent it.” “Oh, how strange. Well she gave me her number to share with you if there was any problem with the fax.” “I can’t call her without a release of information. She can call me, but that’s it.” That didn’t even make any sense, but I went with it. “Well, would you be able to check the fax machine? Maybe it’s still sitting there.” “Nope all the faxes go straight into the computer. You probably gave her the wrong fax number. Thanks for coming, bye.” Great. Sure glad to have wasted an hour and a half, not only of my time, but of my parents’ time too.

After verifying that the fax number was correct, and that the fax had been received (before my first appointment BTW), I went back in about a week later. I explained that I’d been struggling with depression and anxiety for years and that my therapist thought ADD was the root cause. “Did you ever take SSRIs?” “No, I have been treating it just with talk therapy.” “Well… why?” “Uh… I don’t know… I’ve been given the option, but it just never felt right for me. It’s been my decision not to take them.” “Hmph. Well I don’t think you have ADD. I think you have untreated anxiety and it’s ruining your life. But if it’ll make you feel better, we’ll try you on Adderall for a couple of weeks. And when that fails, we can put you on SSRIs.”

Other highlights included me telling her that I was worried about the side-effects of anti-depressants, to which she responded “stimulants for ADHD have side-effects too,” which, of course, but it’s a whole other league. She also scolded me for not continuing my first trial of Adderall at the initial dose I was given after I told her that it caused me to have a panic attack at work.

I’m very glad to be with a much more knowledgeable, supportive, and accessible GP now.

sunnysombrera
sunnysombrera
5 years ago

So, I’ve just discovered Gravity Falls and I love it. I have money to spare and I want to purchase every episode of both seasons but Disney hasn’t released a DVD and it doesn’t look like they’re going to, and Amazon UK only sells ten episodes of each season instead of all 20. So far I’ve made do with YouTube but to avoid copyright strike both the video and audio are distorted – not too badly, I can make do with it, but I’d rather watch the show in its full glory.

I’d rather not use illegal streaming sites either. Is there anyone that can tell me how to find all the episodes in reasonable quality? Is there maybe some sort of official site where they can be watched for free, like South Park? Again, even if I have to cough up I little I don’t mind.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ EJ

I like your time thing; just need to overcome that arrow of time aspect.

Was going to post to you anyway. Just found out that CBeebies has a programme called Stargazers. Basically it’s The Sky at Night; but for kids, so they ask the important questions. I now know for instance that on the ISS they use baby wipes rather than toilet paper.

It’s even got Maggie Pocock, but her co presenter is a crocheted mouse rather than that blond bloke. (He probably knows more about Mercury but the mouse did go in a centrifuge, so I’m still undecided who’s best)

It also had Tim Peake. He’s put an ISS mission patch on the website to download and colour in.

Skiriki
Skiriki
5 years ago

>_<

I crafted a very cunning barrier around the litterbox from a cardboard box, in order to stop the sand-spillage because our two are very enthusiastic litterbox archaeologists/reincarnations of bucket-wheel excavators.

What do I get? Cats trying to kick sand even harder to make it fly over the protective wall. It’s a clean box and fresh sand, kitties! You don’t need to try and find clean sand by digging down! It is right there!

kupo
kupo
5 years ago

@Skiriki
Even the enclosed boxes don’t solve that problem. There are some mats that trap the flung litter but they’re hard to clean. Eventually you just accept that there will always be litter everywhere, especially in your bed.

Skiriki
Skiriki
5 years ago

kupo:

And apparently, poop. Carisma had kicked one big nugget like a champion footballer.

(Fortunately I spotted it before accidents happened, and disposed it.)

Ah, cats. So lovely, yet so gross as well.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ skiriki

You don’t need to try and find clean sand by digging down! It is right there!

That’s presumably the same cat logic that leads to “Yeah I know there’s a full clean bowl of water but I’d prefer to wait for the tap to drip”

kupo
kupo
5 years ago

@Alan
Mine love licking the shower after we’ve used it. I have no idea why, but it’s one of their favorite things. Of course, one of them gets excited when I get out the treats, then remembers that she doesn’t like treats and sulks, so she’s not the most logical creature.

FlawedVictori
FlawedVictori
5 years ago

While we’re on the subject of kitties, does anyone have any advice for a first-time kitty owner?

Particularly anything about how to keep her from attacking my keyboard? She doesn’t understand that mommy’s writing buys her food, I think…

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

Cat litter & cat poop outside the box?

Here’s what works reasonably well for us: butcher paper. That’s the white paper that delicatessens wrap sandwiches in, so it’s good at absorbing any wetness in the poop.

We spread about 6 or 7 sheets of it under and around the box. It seems to catch most stuff.

One of our cats has only three legs, so she is prone to “thinking outside the box.” Sometimes her thinking is wide-ranging, so her “thoughts” end up on the rug.

When we change the litter, we change the paper.

I can’t find butcher paper locally, so I order it online. The shipping costs about as much as the (heavy) paper! We spend around $100 (including shipping) and the paper lasts around 3 years.

Bonus: When we put a piece of butcher paper down on the rug (not near the box), it becomes a defined space for kitties. It’s cool in the summer. And it krinkles!

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

I’ll try and tie this in with cats somehow.

A self defence instructor I admire was once asked what the single best piece of advice he could give to anyone wanting to learn how to fight. He replied “Just watch cats”

On that subject, I came across this article about the dilemma between teaching self defence but avoiding victim blaming and/or shifting responsibility for women’s safety. It addresses those points well but also introduces another factor I hadn’t considered.

If any of you good people could spare the time to read it and especially give me any comments you may have, that would be really helpful for a project we’ve got on at the moment. Ta.

http://lionskravmaga.com/2015/02/feministsvsselfdefensers/

kupo
kupo
5 years ago

@Alan
I’m not sure what to think about that article. First, the idea of self-defense trainers using an incident like this to convince frightened women to sign up seems exploitative to me. If men were robbed at gunpoint and it were the men who were afraid of going to and from work, would they be told to sign up for self-defense classes?

Second, while I do like the perspective the author brings and it’s a good thing that they see this change in assumptions about women’s strength during this training, something feels off to me about the way they make their argument. It feels like they’re trying to tell women that we need to sign up for these classes because men will never believe in our strength if we don’t demonstrate it to them.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ kupo

Thanks for your input;it is really appreciated and helpful.

Yeah, there can be a bit of a trend to ‘cash in’ on news stories in self defence marketing. I suppose in this case though she was reacting to a specific question; and it’s marginally better than some of the very specific sexual assault stuff you see aimed at women. Ironically a big problem with self defence stuff is it’s often aimed mainly at men, which is a problem were trying to address, without going down the obvious routes. Funnily enough, although when we ask women about why they sign up the ‘public’ answer is usually along the lines of either having been attacked or wanting to prevent a future attack but when you get to know them they’ll often ‘admit’ that really they just like the idea of being badass. We think that’s a perfectly sound motive in itself and we don’t judge people for that.

And whilst we do address the issues beyond the mere use of force, we’re very keen to stay away from the usual advice to women which pretty much amounts to “try not to exist”. The whole point as we see it is that you shouldn’t have to compromise on your life choices to be safe. The only reference we make to tight clothing, short skirts and high heels is making sure people can still fight in them if that’s what they like to wear.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ kupo

I sent an email to the author of the article just saying how much I liked it. She’s just responded.

She’s called Katie!

So that’s what your leader gets up to. Teaching women to kick men in the balls. It’s misandry all the way down. 🙂

kupo
kupo
5 years ago

@Alan
I occasionally want to take martial arts classes to become a badass, but then I remember my arthritis. 🙁

You weren’t supposed to know about Katie’s plan, though. We’ll have to decide what to do about that.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ kupo

I wouldn’t let arthritis stop you doing self defence classes. Good instructors will work round that. Self defence isn’t (and shouldn’t be) for people with the physique of Bruce Lee (who ironically had an arthritis type condition).

As for martial arts (which is technically a different thing from self defence) some of them are supposedly very good for arthritis. A lot of people I know swear by Tai Chi for example. Its a bit of a stereotype but Chinese parks are full of 90-odd real olds doing the more gentle martial arts to fend off or alleviate conditions like that.

As for Katie, getting kicked (and kneed and elbowed and punched) in the nads is pretty much a by-product of teaching women’s self defence so I’m used to it. My female doctor thinks it’s hilarious (do get a bit more sympathy when her male locum stands in)

kupo
kupo
5 years ago

@Alan
I was in so much pain this weekend I could barely walk 30 minutes at a time and could not do several yoga moves at all. Pain is a big demotivator for me. :/

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ kupo

Ouch, you have my sympathies. Mind you, yoga can be pretty hardcore. I know it has that hippy reputation but some of the moves wouldn’t be out of place in Guantanamo.

Freemage
Freemage
5 years ago

kupo
May 30, 2016 at 7:59 pm
@Alan
Mine love licking the shower after we’ve used it. I have no idea why, but it’s one of their favorite things. Of course, one of them gets excited when I get out the treats, then remembers that she doesn’t like treats and sulks, so she’s not the most logical creature.

Scotty likes to wait for me to turn the bathroom sink faucet on to a trickle so he can drink from it while I’m on the throne. It’s the only time he makes that attempt, too.

And yes, he does the bit of getting excited about treats and wanting one until it’s been put in front of him. I chalk that up to him having decided that if ShiShi gets something, so should he–desire doesn’t actually come into it.

dlouwe
dlouwe
5 years ago

One of my roommates (cat) is particularly fussy about water, and has now taken to climbing into the bathtub and meowing (well in his case, it’s more of a chirp/squeak) until someone runs the tap so he can lick up the drops. He will drink from the dish if that’s his only option, but if there are humans around he settles for nothing less than bathtub water. Or the water you’re currently drinking.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

A friend’s cat enjoys promenading up and down the side of the bath. Of course inevitably one day she fell in.

And if there’s one time you don’t want an embarrassed panicky cat in your lap, it’s when you’re in the bath.

(I’m guessing everyone here is familiar with Simon’s Cat?)

https://youtu.be/HDzkaJOT_KI

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
5 years ago

@kupo

#ArthritisSolidarity

Viscaria
Viscaria
5 years ago

One of my cats sometimes gets really curious when I’m in the bath. I don’t mind him coming by, meowing, and getting some pats, but the moment those front paws go up on the edge I tell him to get lost. I do not want to be clawed half to death by a panicked, half-drowned ball of angry fur, thank you very much.

weirwoodtreehugger: communist bonobo
weirwoodtreehugger: communist bonobo
5 years ago

So many cats are weird about water, but I’ve only ever had cats who are just fine with the water dish for some reason.

Dalillama
5 years ago

@Alan

“Yeah I know there’s a full clean bowl of water but I’d prefer to wait for the tap to drip”

That’s because running water > still water; still water can be stagnant, host leeches, mosquitos and biting flies, and generally isn’t as good.

kupo
kupo
5 years ago

@IP
Thanks, I’m just glad I live in a state where I can easily get one of the few treatments that works well for my chronic pain. 🙂

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
5 years ago

@kupo

May I ask what kind of treatment? You’re talking about medical marijuana, right? :p I’ve been getting Remicade through IV and it’s worked amazingly well.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ dalillama

Oh, that makes sense. I feel I should apologise to cats now.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
5 years ago

@kupo

Assuming you’re talking about marijuana, I definitely feel the same way. Since I’ve had these issues, I’ve only ever been completely free of pain when floating in a pool or high on weed.

pitshade
pitshade
5 years ago

I had a friend that had some sort of circulating water fountain for her cat.

kupo
kupo
5 years ago

@IP
You are correct. I sometimes use naproxen sodium (aleve) but it only takes the edge off. I’ve found high CBD works best for me because it doesn’t give me as much of a buzz, but makes my legs feel floaty. 🙂

@pitshade
I had one and they loved it for a short time then ignored it. Not sure if I wasn’t changing the filter often enough or something?

Skiriki
Skiriki
5 years ago

Speaking of cats and baths, nowdays both Didi and Carisma want to pack themselves into sauna. Carisma is slightly more hardcore than Didi, preferring middle shelf, whereas Didi decides that the wooden chair/shelf combo under the middle shelf is the best.

In other news, Carisma’s nipples are starting to protrude and are pinking up. Fingers crossed.

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

My cat has taken to coming into the bathroom when I’m brushing my teeth or washing my hands or — especially — when I’m running a bath. He seems to think of it as his special Mom-and-me time. He’ll put his paws on the side of the tub and stare at the water. Or he’ll jump up on the edge of the tub and pad around to the back. If the tub is empty, he’ll jump in. He likes to stare at the faucet. Sometimes he gets in the tub and starts to claw at the shower curtain. That’s where I draw the line. He’s actually put holes in it.

He’s really brave to do this because the first thing we did when we got him was to bathe him.

dlouwe
dlouwe
5 years ago

@pitshade

I have one of those too (well, my partner does). The picky cat will sometimes deign to drink from it if the entire thing has been recently washed, but it does work great for the other one; he’s an ex-stray so he’ll take what he can get when he can get it.

PaganReader
5 years ago

Speaking of cats, I might be getting one, It depends on whether my landlord lets me pay the pet deposit in two payments. I hope so, since they also require cats to be declawed (boo) and it is hard to find declawed cats at my local humane society.

Skiriki
Skiriki
5 years ago

PaganReader, check with your landlord if they would be amenable to SoftPaws claw caps instead. Declawed cats have a host of problems, and I’m sure you know the litany already. Effectively no more scratching, and your kitty would be FABULOUS.

Skiriki
Skiriki
5 years ago
Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
5 years ago

@Skiriki

That is also the melting temperature of a ridiculously pale Swedish humanoid. 🙁

This day has been terrible.

Skiriki
Skiriki
5 years ago

Imaginary Petal:

I know, a bit after both cats gave up doing something useful today, I did as well.

Fortunately taking a scalding hot shower helped a lot. (Try it, it works better than a cold shower. Especially when water evaporates faster off your skin to surrounding air which is cooler than hot tap water.)

Skiriki
Skiriki
5 years ago

Please send some cold, Nordics are roasting like chestnuts. 🙁

EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

Shall we swap? It’s freezing cold here today. I’m wearing my outdoor coat at my desk.

The triple point of South Africans appears to be 20 C.

Axecalibur
Axecalibur
5 years ago

The triple point of South Africans appears to be 20 C

http://www.relatably.com/m/img/memes-cold-weather/VIBE-Vixen-Cold-Weather-Meme-7.png
20? Furealz? Not even 10? I mean, even if it were 10, but 20!? And it’s like your December, down there! 65 in December!? I’m, like, irrationally mad about this shit, which actually makes it pretty funny. But still tho

*Fumes in a corner*

Fuckin December, man!?

EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@Axecalibur
I live in the lands of exile, in the far off and mysterious land of England. It’s supposed to be summer today and nobody told the climate.

(The bit of South Africa I’m from is bitterly, bitterly cold and dry in the winter, if it’s any consolation.)

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

Scorching in Cornwall. I’m only wearing pants because I’ve got a client meeting.

kupo
kupo
5 years ago

@Alan
Now I’m confused. I was told the word pants refers to undergarments in Britain.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ kupo

Pants can refer to both underwear and trousers over here. We talk about underpants but I’m not sure if that’s from “things under your outside pants” or just pants that happen to be under (possibly a distinction without a difference). Pants is just one of those inherently funny words though.

Anyway, you (and my client) will be relieved to know I’m wearing both. 🙂

(Well, shorts anyway)

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

And Paris is flooding. Fuckin’ climate change. Fuckin’ unknown percentage of the 1 percent, bringing misery of all kinds upon us, including this.

I’m lucky to be living in San Francisco, where it is often mild, including today. Clearly, Katie favors us.

Katie, please surprise the Dementors of Doom with a sudden burst of empathy that leaves them reeling and more than ready to meet our demand for a livable planet. May it be so.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ kat

I’m lucky to be living in San Francisco

Are you being sure to wear flowers in your hair?