Mad Cat Disease

This just in from Bathtub Safety Officer Rafferty:

At ease, civillians!

And when I say “at ease”, I mean you should assume a state of awareness in the moderate-bordering-on-high alert range. That, to me, is the most relaxed anyone should ever be. If things get tense and alarming, we will quickly move into and through the several stages of panic. I know this much – the heat of these summer months has dulled everyone’s senses and has made us inattentive. How many of you have taken more naps recently? I know I have. That’s a good strategy for dealing with extremes.

But often when a person takes a nap, a family pet will come and nap nearby. In some cases that animal even gets into the bed with you!

I find this alarming, especially in light of recent studies about certain cat parasites that appear to slightly increase the risk of suicide in Danish women. That’s right – your cat may carry a parasite that could lead you to make a foolish decision about ending your life!

Especially if you are a Danish Woman!

Who knew? Puff could be a hazard to your mental health!

Is Puff Possessed?

Of course, some canine lovers will say it’s the other way around – that a person’s willingness to live with cats is a clear sign of a pre-existing tendency toward self-destruction. But I don’t want to get into that toxic argument. Here’s my point –

The parasite is transmitted through feces, so changing the cat litter is something that should be done every day, and by the most expendable member of the family. This is key. I realize it may be a difficult decision for any family – to choose the one member we could most easily do without – but it’s crucial that any exposure to toxoplasma gondii be limited limited.

In rats, the parasite creates lesions on the brain in the areas affecting behavior. Infected lab rats have been observed losing their fear of cats all together and even feeling an attraction to the odor of cat urine.

One theory about this clearly suicidal change in rat judgment is earth shaking!

Some researchers suppose that the parasite, which can sexually reproduce ONLY IN THE INTESTINES OF A CAT, changes the behavior of an infected animal in order to promote that animal getting eaten by kitty! If this is true it means nature is even more underhanded and nefarious than I imagined!

And it also means we must keep a careful watch on whoever in our family is responsible for feeding the cat. The repeated begging and pleading for Puff to “just take a little taste” of whatever smelly abomination has just been dumped into the bowl could quickly lead to a crazed person chopping up much more than mere fish heads at dinner time. Gruesome, I know, but it’s absolutely essential that we count their fingers before and after each meal. They won’t know why they’re doing it, so it’s up to us to remember that the fingertip is connected to the elbow, and the elbow is connected to the torso.

Yes, Puff looks hungry, but we must set limits. And although it will hurt family morale, we must make certain whoever cleans the boxes is closely watched and completely expendable. You might consider hiring someone else to do the job. But please, no Danish women!

Yours in Paranoia,

BSOR

Who does the most dangerous jobs at your house?

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154 thoughts on “Mad Cat Disease”

  1. Rise and Panic Baboons!

    Watch out PJ. As a once Danish, now Danish-American woman, you are doomed!

    And of course, since I do ALL the work around here, and Lou just sits with his feet up eating bon-bons and watching soap operas, it is reasonable to assume that I also do all the dangerous jobs here, too.

    ‘Boons did some dangerous or difficult work at Steve’s this weekend. You guys rock.

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  2. painting the one side of the house where the 40′ ladder is needed is pretty sacry. the ladder bounces pretty good on the way up and the prospect of reaching out that little extra foot to get the spot as far out as you can reach loses its appeal when the shifting ladder has such dire consequences. the rooftop treatment of things is a spine tingling adventure also. steep roof and that old story about the guy who has the rope tied to the bumper of his car as his wife drives away. gets my heart started every time. there are two small paint tasks rooftop and they have so far avoided being eliminated from the job jar. most dangerous? i dont know but these are the ones that come to mind. throwing the bills in the air and choosing which to pay can be dangerous too some months.

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    1. I have a few places on my house that are hard to reach by ladder similar to the ones on your house, tim. I do my best to paint those spots with a painting pad on a long handle, but it isn’t possible to do a good job of painting with that long handled thing.

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    2. I don’t have a 40′ extension ladder; I have a 24′ extension ladder. But if you raise the tractor loader as high as it will go and put the extension ladder in the loader bucket and then lean it against the peak end of the barn, and CAREFULLY climb up the ladder holding the paint sprayer wand (with the paint sprayer and 5 gallon bucket of paint carefully balanced down in the loader bucket) and dragging the hose behind and set to ‘stream’, you can squirt paint onto the tip of the barn peak.
      …but I wouldn’t recommend it. And don’t let your wife see you.

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  3. so i am wondering if the dogs eating the cat poop as any consequences. should i try giving some to the great dane up the street to see if he questions the true meaning of life? its kind of fun to watch those regal critters get knocked down a peg or two. he must stand 4 1/2 feet tall and looks pretty interesting next to the fireplug bald headed potbellied owner who walks him. its a real mutt and jeff show. i think its a male dog. that should make it alright huh?

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    1. My dog got her “treats” from the litter box when the cat arrived here and the vet said it wouldn’t hurt her. Still I can’t think that it did her any good, either. Now the litter box is fixed so the dog can’t get at it.

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      1. We refer to these as “kitty tootsie rolls” at our house. My vet also said it probably wouldn’t hurt the dogs, but the thought is just icky to me, so we try hard to never leave the basement door wide open.

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        1. Oh, thanks, VS! Up until half a minute ago, I enjoyed Tootsie Rolls. I suppose I should take some joy in the fact cats haven’t learned to poop imitations of the foods I most enjoy.

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        2. Be careful what you say Steve, it could happen. People pay big money for coffee beans that have been pooped out my some critter (maybe it was a civet).

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  4. i had a guy who was creeped out by cats and whenever he would come over he would flinch and try to get away form the cats til we put them in the other room. i asked him what the hell that was all about and he said they just bothered him so much, like they were looking right through him. he turned out to be a creepy guy and maybe the cats xray vision to his soul was more telling than it appeared on the surface. he was a business partner i tried to help when he was down and he screwed me shortly after he screwed his wife as he walked out the door on her. maybe cats are possessed. mine do know the soul of people pretty well come to think of it. suicide??? may be appropriate for some. survival of the highest integrity wouldnt be bad would it?

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  5. Hmm, this is always a tricky one for me, as the s&h is the more springy of us and likes to climb. On the other hand, he is my sole ticket in Darwin’s lottery, so I kind of feel like I have to protect my investment there.

    When it comes to dangerous tasks involving the cat (like trying to clean out the eyelid that must have gotten clawed a couple of days ago), I am usually the resident vet. Told the s&h I wanted her royal Twixieness to stay inside for the duration while that heals. Couple of hours later, she is demanding service from the doorman, and he, on autopilot, opened the door. She has him well trained. Kitty-1, Humans-0. (I did manage to drag her back in, and at that point, she decided to just sit in front of the fan and watch tv like the rest of us.

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  6. Good morning. I do some of the things that might be considered dangerous at our house such as getting up on the roof to make repairs and using power tools that could cut off your fingers. Probably the most dangerous thing I do is drive a car. That’s dangerous because I have trouble staying awake. Usually i only drive on trips if I am going some place by myself. I’m not allowed to drive if some one else can drive. I know that I am in danger of falling asleep when I am driving and I make a big effort to stay alert. I have tricks I use to keep alert including munching on snacks and listening to interesting recorded stories or stopping to get a cup of coffee.

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      1. Yes, that’s a problem and then when I want to get back to sleeping it keeps me awake. That guy inside me doesn’t want to cooperate.

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  7. Generally if it involves tools, especially something that could result in loss of fingers or limbs, it’s my job. If an extension ladder is involved, I make Husband do it – I hate extension ladders, they give me the willies (tim, just reading about your high-up job on a bouncy ladder makes me a little woozy). Husband also deals with the cat box (he’s a Finn and male, so probably should be okay), I get the outside duties cleaning up after the pooch. And any electrical work that could result in a strong jolt or me burning the house down gets done by someone who knows what they’re doing (and hopefully takes Visa).

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    1. my friend who taught me to do electrical repairs said always to handle the wires with your right hand so when the shock goes through you it goes throught the right side instead of straight through the heart. hes right too. it doesnt hurt near so bad. that shiock through the left side has after affects that last longer.

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      1. And wear gloves. Just plain leather gloves will help. Mind you; you still need to know what you’re doing in the first place. Electricity is no place for guessing!

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        1. I allow myself to do easy stuff like replacing an aging dimmer switch with a standard switch (on or off is fine by me, I don’t need “mood lighting”). Have also put new ends on cords and that sort of light-duty work. Replacing the horrid hanging globe fixture (complete with 70s vintage chain swag to hang it with) with a ceiling fan/light fixture – I hired someone to do that. Mostly because then I wouldn’t have to climb into the attic and deal with insulation as well as geriatric wiring.

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        2. My Dad was an electrical engineer. He told me a bout a very dangerous job he did replacing a part in a big power plant without shutting down the plant. He wanted them to shut down the plant, but it wasn’t allowed. He had to use a lot of very good and thick insulation to protect himself and managed to get the job done.

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        3. I’ll re-wire a lamp and think nothing of it, but I am chewing and chewing on installing the exhaust fan in the bathroom. The electrical aspect isn’t so much giving me cause for pause, but cutting a hole in the wall of my house?

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      2. This strikes me as an extremely dubious sort of how-to advice: choosing which direction a potentially lethal shock will travel your body. Bleah! My sort of electrical how-to would skip that and instead talk about the ways you can fix electricity without frying your nervous system and stopping your heart. But I know. I’m a wimp.

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        1. I got a good shock (or a bad one, depending on your perspective) when I was repairing theatrical lighting cords back in college (which did not run on your wimpy home 120v system)…one of the chords that I had been told had a good plug did not – not grounded, gave me a firm zot to let me know it was not a happy cord. I have been somewhat wary of electricity since then.

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        2. I once had a lamp with a stupidly over-long extension chord. I shortened the chord, but before doing the job I thought it out carefully. Since it was dark and this lamp provided the only loight in the room, of course I had the lamp on. I doubled up the excess chord to precisely measure how much I didn’t need and then I snipped off the excess with scissors. Something said “WHOP!” real loud, there was a big flare of blue light around the scissors, the room filled with a weird ozone smell and the lights went out all through the house. We had no electricity for three days until I finally found the fuse box.

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  8. I’ll be back later to take on today’s question, but I want to say here how deeply grateful I am for the chainsaw party some of you threw at my house Saturday. I was slow to encourage you because I thought the job was so dangerous only professionals could do it. Seeing how a dozen cheerful baboons could nibble down such a huge problem was both a joy and a stunning surprise. There was a second joy for me when my neighbor Jeff came home and phoned me in shock. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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        1. I’m not sure Jeff will be able to post, so I’ll copy here his note to me last night:

          Steve, First and foremost, thank you and your friends for taking care of this onerous task. Like you, I was truly dreading the task of deconstructing the beast of the 2 trees. The work of your friends just reinforces my personal belief that there are far, far more good people in the world than the converse. Thank you too for the wonderful photo of these kind folks. Like I tell my kids often, “choose happiness”. The people in the photo personify this I believe. Jeff

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  9. Like Anna, if it involves tools, I do it. We take turns with the cat litter-since my ancestors originated very close to Denmark, I think I’ll tel husband that he is in charge of it from now on. I recently started using an electric pressure cooker, and i think that constitutes a dangerous activity. It cooks dried bean like a charm, though.

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    1. I’m told new pressure cookers are much safer than the oldies with which my mom would have nothing to do (hmmm, managed to end the sentence without the preposition, but I’m not sure it really works that way either).

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    2. I love my electric pressure cooker, and don’t think of it as anywhere near as dangerous as my sharp knives.

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  10. Morning all. I’m tempted to say that as sole parent of the Teenager and sole owner of the almost-century-old residence, I do ALL the jobs, dangerous or not. That would be unfair; Teenager does a lot around the house. She rarely goes out of her way on her own, but when prompted usually does chores willingly. Still the dangerous stuff is still mine… like MiG I feel a little stingy about putting Teenager in harm’s way. Anything involving the chainsaw, the power mower, electrical work – all mine! Teenager does have a push mower of her own; in fact, mowing the back 40 is on her list of chores for today.

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  11. At this house, the dog does the most dangerous jobs. She has to warn us of any intruders, possible intruders, and any other real or possible danger. This is a huge job because these dangers include anybody walking by on the sidewalk, delivering mail, getting out of a car on our side of the street or across the street – as well as squirrels and other nuisances. This did backfire once when she warned us of a dangerous CAT who was hiding by the compost barrel – and now that cat is here to stay. But, on the whole, she does a fine job of keeping danger away. In fact, once when I came home late at night, I found the front door had been broken, but nobody had entered to steal stuff. I’m pretty sure that the dog barking like crazy kept the thieves away. Ever since then I’ve been loath to try to get her to stop her incessant barking.

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    1. We also have a dog that barks at everything. This dog barks a lot and we really don’t want that. We have tried a few things to stop the barking, but nothing works. I guess we should just be glad for the warnings we are getting and not try to stop the barking.

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    2. I didn’t even think of this dangerous job, Edith. Thorin, my big fluffy dog, thinks it is heaven to lay on the front porch, right at the screen door, watching the world go by. He agrees with your dog about the various dangers in the neighborhood!

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    3. My dog tells me that the creatures she barks at are fiends in human form. Some of them are invisible to bipeds, and only she can see them. Our dog’s vigilence is nothing compared to that of the two pair of wrens who have rented the duplex wren house in the neighbor’s yard. We and the dog and cats are scolded incessantly if we go out in our back yard, Sometimes the wrens even perch in the grape vines growing on our deck and yammer at us from their. Our cat is very upset by this.

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      1. Yeah, the invisible fiends are the ones that puzzle me…the Dog will bark her head off and obviously want me to come look at this huge impending danger and when I look out the window or door…nothing.

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  12. What isn’t dangerous these days? When I think of all the perils I’ve survived so far, it’s mind numbing. I have lived my entire life pushing my luck it seems. I’ve survived my childhood and youth riding my bike everywhere without a helmet, and swimming in the ocean without adult supervision. I’ve spent hours in dentists’ waiting rooms as a kid playing with mercury, not to mention the numerous times I stuck my feet into the X-ray machines in shoe stores. I’ve eaten tons of raw vegetables, rare hamburgers and even the occasional steak tartare with a raw egg yolk on top, and now you tell me I should worry about cleaning the kitty litter box! I think I’ll just go back to bed to be on the safe side before my luck runs out.

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  13. Morning-

    I believe there are degrees of danger.
    Son has a summer job as one of about 20 staff members at the Park and Rec Adaptive Summer Camp program. He’s sure learning a lot about taking care of kids and I’m not sure how this will influence his decision to someday have children. One day his client for the day chased “…every. single. goose. into the lake. Boy, it’s a good think I’ve been working out.” he says. Why, he could slip in goose poop! Depending on the clients abilities he might be in charge of 4 kids. Sounds dangerous to me!

    My power tools and chainsaws are nothing compared to keeping an eye on four kids all afternoon from the playground to the pool and back…

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    1. Your son’s job is a dangerous one. I was a substitute and that was dangerous, but I liked doing it. At the school I was backed up by the other teachers and the administrators. Your son is on his own with those kids and that won’t be easy. Good luck to him.

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  14. Married to a crazy cat lady. Her mother is a crazy cat lady. If there were any doubt, I’m the expendable one.

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        1. According to BSOR, the person cleaning the litter box should be the most expendable member of the household.

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  15. Picked up a cell phone in gutter this a.m. Last text messages make clear bill was not paid. Other messages are a little scary. My question is: where do I recycle this? Any place easy, free, especially free?

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    1. Someone tossed a damaged phone out a car window on my boulevard once. It was a T-Mobile phone, so I took it to a T-Mobile store. They took it back, no charge.

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    2. Best Buy takes cell phones for recycling – a cell phone could be brought to either one of the big/regular stores or one of the smaller mobile phone stores (Mankato has both a “big box” store and a smaller store at River Hills Mall – either would take the phone). Some local solid waste/recyclers will also pick up with your regular recycling, but not sure if that’s true at your building.

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  16. Husband does the dangerous power tool type stuff… has been known to do things like Ben and tim were doing on Saturday. When it get’s too scary looking, I hold the ladder and make sure I”m looking the other way.

    I have been known, however, to use the table saw, the power mower, and install a dimmer switch in the dining room. Will think on this, seems like there’s something else.

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      1. I”m not sure a chain saw job is one of the instances where “the more the merrier” applies, Ben, but we can ask BSOR…

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      2. Actually, I wasn’t sad to leave my chainsaw sitting on the ground. It was amazing how many people it took to move all the stuff that Ben and tim and Linda were buzzing through!

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  17. It’s just me and Pippin at my house. I had a cat many years ago. I won’t have another one, thank you. I keep trying to get Pippin to do some of these dangerous tasks but he just wags his tail at me in a friendly, helpful manner. He does bark at cats and squirrels, but he’d be overjoyed if someone broke in the house. He’d delightedly jump all over them and happily show them all his toys and bones.

    So yesterday I had to fix the water softener myself. I dreaded the job, but it wasn’t too bad. I think I had the salt level setting too low. The ceiling fan in the kitchen is something else. The light fixture is hanging down from the fan by the wires. The light fixture sways and the glass globes clink together as the fan turns. I don’t have electrical skills. Sometimes the garage door doesn’t open. I’ve changed the batteries in the remotes, increased the opening/closing force and changed the light bulb. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. I think it’s the wiring. Maybe I need an electrician.

    I’m not Danish, but I’m glad I don’t have a cat.

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  18. I would have thought that BSOR would have recommended a natty hazmat suit complete with mask and oxygen tank as a solution to the problem. Think of all the hard feelings that would avoid as famlies determine who is the expendable one.

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  19. Heck, a sewing machine can be dangerous – wasn’t paying good attention one summer when I did a lot of sewing, and managed to run the needle through index finger, just to the right of the nail. Yow!

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    1. My Mom did that once. She sewed a lot and one day she came pounding on my bedroom door; had the needle stuck in her finger; can’t remember which finger or even thumb maybe. I used my pliers and pulled it out and she says ‘Well, that hurt’…

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    2. I think that’s something you only do once. I did it too, but through the nail. I’m not even sure now how I got my finger under the foot. I also once had a paper cutter mishap, where I was doing something repetitive with a large paper cutter and someone came up behind me. I turned to see who it was and my arms kept repetitively chopping, though somehow my thumb got in the way. You don’t do that twice either.

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      1. Husband cut off the tip of his middle finger with a router once when he was in the furniture making business. That’s the sort of thing you don’t do twice either, but he wanted to be sure, so he taped the severed tip of the finger to a board above the router as a reminder.

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        1. Well, Krista, you can’t argue with success. It worked! He only cut off that one tip! It was gross to look at, I have to agree, but it certainly made a lasting impression.

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        1. Fortunately, I didn’t cut it all the way off. It was like when you slam your finger in a car door. You realize that you’ve set something in motion that you are going to regret soon but it’s too late to stop it. I was able to slow it down a little, though.

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      2. My thumb incident involved a table saw (no blade guard installed) – took out part of the pad of my thumb. I had built up a callous on that thumb (weird place I know), so mostly I just lost the callous, but still hurt like a sonofa…I pay very close attention to my fingers now when saw blades are spinning.

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    3. My home ec teacher (bet they don’t have THOSE anymore) painted a picture of someone dragging a sewing machine across the floor with a needle through the finger in order to get to a phone and HELP. Sceered me.

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  20. I should have waited to post. I’ve come to the conclusion that the two most dangerous tasks are the ones we must do for ourselves: deal with the mortgage finance company (bank) and the insurance company. Other, somewhat lesser, dangers include credit card and telephone companies. I’m refinancing and dealing with a mega huge bank. I hear different amounts every time I receive something from them. I was only supposed to have to bring $381 prior to closing, so I did that. Last week I received a letter telling me that I’d be responsible for bringing $1385 to closing. Today it’s up to $1950.26. Why don’t they explain this in English?

    The insurance company hasn’t been too bad to work with but my contractor’s bid was much less than their estimate so they were happy.

    My phone company is from hell. I have no other descriptor for them. They are double-tongued thieves who put it in writing that they will screw me and that I can’t do anything about it. They have a kind of service monopoly in Waterville. They are the only phone company and the only internet service provider. When you check with other companies, they say they can’t provide phone or internet service to Waterville. Everyone here who has a phone also has a Frontier bill. I’ve had Frontier for 13 years and I just signed up for another three, kicking and screaming.

    There is no greater danger than a signed contract.

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    1. Oh Krista, I feel your pain. Banks and insurance companies are a pain to deal with. I keep any contact with either to a minimum. Good luck on your refinancing.

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    2. Some will rob you with a sixgun; some with a fountain pen…as Woody Guthrie used to say.

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  21. I just may be the only genuine cat lady on this forum? Over the last 20 years, I’ve been owned by no less than 15 cats (never all at one time!), often sharing space with 4-5 at a time. I never went looking for them; they always found me. I think it’s some kind of Universal law of attraction which really spiritual fur persons possess. I’m now at an age in which bringing in a new kitten has to be measured against who might outlive whom. It’s heart-breaking to think that a feline thoroughly bonded to me might be stranded a few years from now, so I guess I’m done with opening my door to yet another furry friend.

    My very first email address was “Catlady”. After not receiving responses to my emails to several acquaintances, it was brought to my attention that seeing “Catlady”, they thought this was porn spam!

    Dogs are OK, but they seem so needy. If you pet a dog, he’ll remain at your feet for 24 hours just in case you pet him again. Then, there are those “eyes”! Dogs eyes are way, way too human and pleading. Maybe that’s why I’ve ended two marriages? I’m likely not constituted in a way where anything or anyone being solely dependent upon me is attractive. After the first cat death, then the second (and so on), I learned that to have loved then lost was endurable and well worth the pain of my loss. I think sometimes that pets are little spirits whose role in our lives is to rehearse the loss of beloved humans along the way. I have a rather full pet cemetery out by the garage, complete with small headstones. And, no, none of them has returned from the grave to haunt me!

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    1. We miss our Ginger cat. And Cinnamon our dog as well. Yeah, Cinnamon was needy. She was a nutcase. Same as husband and me. :-)
      When Ginger was getting ready to die, he spent a lot of time on my lap, but I kind of felt that he was trying to love me as much as he could before he left…. not that he needed me for anything. He was a good cat.

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    2. You may be onto something, CB, with this: “I think sometimes that pets are little spirits whose role in our lives is to rehearse the loss of beloved humans along the way.”

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    3. We, too, have had numerous pets over the years, of both the feline and canine persuasion. I could no more tell you which one was my favorite than you can tell me which one of your kids you like best.

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    1. This is beautiful in an eerie sort of way – you kind of have to wonder what prompted it.

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    1. Makes me feel better — that Dale is just human like the rest of us. If anyone were counting on anything from me today, they’d be out of luck! Too tired and too much on the “to-do” list!

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    2. The discussions early this week bring to mind a post from the past – I’m (not) a Lumberjack. This was from about a year ago – we should have gone to Dale’s with the chainsaws. Feel free to revisit while we wait for a fresh post!

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      1. I remember that the tree in Dale’s photos looked huge to me at the time. Now after dealing with Steve’s Hackberry, it looks smaller!

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    3. We should have a plan in place for the day that Dale decides that he’s done pushing the button. A revolving responsibility for whipping together a post or, at the very least, a question with which we can run.
      It still amazes me that he does the post every (well, almost every) day for no real personal gain. It’s not clear whether or not he reads the cleaverness that results.

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  22. A farmer I knew lost part of one hand in an accident and later lost a foot in a grain auger. He was a member of our sustainable farming group. Someone said that he was reaching the point of not being sustainable due his loss of personal resources. He had a good sense of humor and wasn’t offended by this joke.

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    1. My grandpa lost part of his left forefinger in the corn sheller. We kids were fascinated by this particular physical characteristic. We relentlessly asked to see it and touch it. Because he had 39 grandchildren, I am sure a day never went by when he was allowed to forget this accident.

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    2. If I remember correctly, Ben had an accident involving an auger that injured one of his legs. I that right, Ben?

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      1. Morning-
        Yep, when I was 14 I got my leg in a silage auger- a part of the feed bunk for the cows. On the feed bunk, there are two vertical boards, two 2″x12”s with this large 12″ auger between them to move the feed out in the bunk.
        (Image here:

        http://www.hansonsilo.com/bunk-feeder.php

        The wood one, without a cover)
        Dad was up working on something in the silo and I was waiting at the bottom. Dad fixed whatever was wrong and I turned everything on so we could check things. I thought that spinning auger would be a good way to clean the mud off the bottom of my boots if I just sort of let it ‘skim’ the bottom of my boot.
        Well. *That* didn’t work.
        Pulled my leg right down in there.
        I remember yelling a few times and realizing nobody could hear me. I was able to reach back to the switch and turn off the auger, then role it back enough I could get my leg out then move enough to reach the switch for the silo unloader at which point I could call up to Dad and tell him I had hurt myself.
        Well, he came down real quick like and ran up to the house to get Mom.
        I remember waiting down there and thinking ‘I’ll never get to see the inside of my leg again, I wonder what this looks like?’ and sort of carefully poking the edge of the skin.
        It didn’t hit the bone at all, which really saved me, but took out a good chunk of nerve and muscle in my right calf.
        I was in the hospital for 3 weeks– the first two I don’t remember because the wound was so dirty with hay, dirt and silage I was in the OR every other day for cleaning. But also, because I needed a private room and the hospital was full, I was down on the geriatric floor so I got special attention from the nurses: Deirdre Rahn in particular. Funny how we remember those things isn’t it?
        A few months later, I went back in for some corrective surgery, got a staff infection and was there for 3 weeks again. But this time, on the children’s ward and I was ‘just another kid’ and it wasn’t nearly so much fun.

        I wouldn’t recommend it.

        My wife and I think we may have been there at the same time. She was in for back surgery about the same time I was there for the second time. We may have crossed paths!
        Another interesting thing, Dad said when he tried to reach the power switch from where I was he couldn’t do it; it was too far away. Huh. Isn’t that interesting?

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        1. Wow, Ben. That’s really traumatic. I’m glad it wasn’t worse than it was, and that you are as whole as can be, even if a little gimpy.

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        2. Oh boy, Ben, that was a close call. I wonder how many of us have had such near misses caused by youthful cluelessness? I can remember at age 13 jumping head first off a dock into shallow water. Scraped the skin off my nose, chin and the front of my chest but could have broken my neck. Had there been a big rock or other solid barrier, it could have been curtains for me. As it was, I walked away embarrassed and a little wiser. No matter how good a diver you are, never, ever jump head first into water your not familiar with.

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        3. The old fisherman in the church I served in Castle Danger all had misshapen hands and absent fingers or parts of fingers from handling the ropes. Two brothers had tales about the ropes pulling them under and barely making it back into the boat. None of them could really swim because what we would be the point in the fall, when they did most of their fishing, on Superior.

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        4. At Linda’s suggestion, I went back to last year’s post and read about Dale’s tree sawing adventure and found that tim has his share of gimpitude (shoulder and ankle). Quite the crew we have, just soldiering on, regardless.

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  23. Here’s a suggestion: Dale said he gets an e-mail whenever someone “Like”s his post. Maybe if we all click “Like” and he gets e-mails he’ll figure out the new post isn’t there. It could be a distress signal of sorts. Could work, if he checks his personal e-mail when he’s at work.

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  24. Regarding my son’s dangerous job of working with kids, his client yesterday wears a diaper and had a ‘major accident’ at the pool. Not IN the water, just on the edge, but there was leakage. I can’t help but wonder of the impact this summer will have on his future.
    And to brag a bit, he is SO GOOD working with these kids! Other than calling for help from the team leader, he handled it like a pro.

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    1. Ben, One of the physicians I admire used to say that her time spent as a camp counselor was one of the best introductions to approaches to medical leadership. I think this will be a summer well spent for your son.

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  25. If you want something new to read, you can click on my post name or gravatar and see a post I put up, the content of which is not really Trail material, much too dark and heavy.

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        1. I did, and that worked. Nice post, Clyde. Will have to check our the book. I might not object to the writing, i LOVE Faulkner.

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        2. Hasn’t everybody read “The Bear”? I have read just about about everything Faulkner has written. In a college, quarter-long honors seminar with only a handful of students, we were lucky enough to have Malcolm Cowley come talk to us about Faulkner and his relationship to him.

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        3. Barb, I had been told that “The Bear” and “A Rose for Emily” were both pretty much required reading in high school, but apparently no everywhere. Both short stories are wonderful introductions to Faulkner. Highly recommend them.

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    1. VS thanks to you and all the baboons who’ve been faithfully voting down to the last lick of Mini Donut Ice Cream. I appreciate the sweet support and will let you know as soon as the returns are in.

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        1. WE find out at the end, but because this is Minnesota the election was just made longer. The website has been balky lately so they extended the voting through Friday. I am starting to feel like Al Franken and am afraid I will need a team of lawyers for the recount.

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  26. What’s this? Sorry about the unfortunate delay, baboons, but I do like all the supposing about what might have happened to me. I’m glad to say it was nothing scary (like Ben’s auger incident), but simply a missed task in a well practiced routine.
    Today’s planned post will be re-routed to tomorrow.
    Mea culpa to follow!

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    1. We’re glad you are well and we have now called back the chain saw-toting rescue party of baboons that was headed your way.

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