Author Archives: Charles Huss

Photo Friday: Safe From Capture

Frankie escaped a couple of weeks ago and ended up under a car in front of my next door neighbor’s house. Frankie learned from Chris that under cars are like safe zones where humans can’t go. Once under the car he felt safe to ignore me.

He was so confident that I couldn’t catch him that he decided to rub that fact in my face by rolling over onto his back.

I sat outside on my door stoop and waited for him to come out. Soon it started raining. A little at first but then a torrential downpour.

Do you see Frankie under the car on the left?

I think once the water started getting under the car, Frankie decided he had enough and raced home. I opened the door when he got close and he raced inside. Maybe that will teach him that inside is better. Or not.

Our Cats are Full of Surprises

Here is a cute post from January of 2015 for Throwback Thursday. It features Puck and a surprise . . .

Bad Cat Chris

I walked into the kitchen on Sunday and noticed Chris lying on the chair with his arm around Puck’s neck.

cats Frankie and PuckThis was cute but it was no surprise because Chris is a very affectionate cat. He is always lying with someone, either human or feline. Puck and Frankie, however, will accept another cat’s attention but they don’t seek it out.

Don’t get me wrong. They like to play with each other, especially Frankie and Puck, but the close napping always involves Chris in one way or another. That is why I was shocked when Chris turned his head to look at me. I had to look twice. It was not Chris, but Frankie, lying there with his arm around Puck.

cats Frankie and Puck

Our cats are just full of surprises.

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The Many Problems of Moving Cats Today

The time is almost here for us to return to our home in West Virginia. We are planning to leave at the end of next month. We had thought that our second trip there would be much easier than the first but we were wrong. The first time we rented a truck and towed my wife’s car. That meant the trip up there had the cats stacked in the front seat between Rose and I. There was barely enough room for them and they not only impeded visibilty, they also encroached on my space which was a bit uncomfortable.

On the way back it was almost as bad. The cats’ crates barely fit into the back seat of my wife’s car and we had to put the top down to get them in and out. That created a dangerous situation if there was an emergency or an accident. Plus, Floki cried for hours back there, worse than he did in the truck.

Rose’s plan for this year was for me to trade in my car for a mini van or SUV. Then we would have plenty of room and also be able to tow a small trailer for all the stuff Rose has accumulated for the other house. I hated that idea because I love my car. The main problem with my car is it is electric and I get less than 100 miles on a charge. I figured I would wait until July to sell it.

When I started looking for a vehicle I discovered that a used vehicle that would be trustworthy enough to get us to West Virginia and back was a minimum of $20,000. Many were only slightly cheaper than a new vehicle. I thought about a new vehicle but I just didn’t want to spend that much for a new, or used, vehicle that we really only needed about four days a year.

I also considered renting a van that would be capable of towing a car but nobody will rent a van like that for anything but local travel. The only vehicles capable of towing a car or anything else are moving trucks and no moving truck has a back seat so we would have the same problem as we did before trying to fit the cats in the front seat.

We then considered putting a hitch on Rose’s car and pulling a small trailer. That would still leave us the problem of having to squeeze the cats in the backseat but at least she would be able to bring the stuff that she wanted to bring. Unfortunately, BMW says we can’t put a hitch on her car. We also can’t put a car top carrier on it because it’s a convertible. Even though it’s a hardtop convertible, that doesn’t matter.

Next we decided that we would just rent a large vehicle like a minivan or SUV. Rose would drive her car and I would follow with the cats in the rental car. Unfortunately, that was not an option either because of the problem that the rental car companies are having right now. Apparently, during the Covid lockdown, the rental car companies sold off a large portion of their inventory in order to pay the bills. Now that there is demand again for rental cars there isn’t enough cars. To make matters worse there are worldwide supply issues which are hampering the car maker’s ability to produce new cars. Because of that, rental car companies will not let you drop off a rental car in another state. It also explains why used car prices are so high.

So now we are putting most of the stuff that needs to go north into boxes for shipping. The larger items will have to wait until next year. I am looking forward to being at our other home but I am not looking forward to this trip.

Trading Spaces

It seems our cats’ favorite napping spots are forever evolving and changing. What is popular in June may be forgotten about in July.

Recently, Chris has been mostly interested in sleeping in either of his two cat beds.

Frankie likes to spend time on my workout bench. At least someone uses it.

He also likes napping on the Jackson Galaxy bed.

Floki hangs out on one of the bookcase shelves.

Lately things have been changing. For one thing, Floki has been getting into Chris’s bed.

Floki even started spending time on Frankie’s bed.

And he discovered the workout bench, which Frankie wasn’t happy about.

A couple of weeks ago Chris started spending much of his time in the cat tree cubby.

He was there so often that we worried that he might be sick. Fortunately, he stopped going in there and started hanging out on Floki’s shelf, much to Floki’s displeasure.

Do your pets have a favorite spot and if so does it change periodically?

Photo Friday: My Little Helper

For my birthday I got an 8 mm film scanner so I could scan my Dad’s old films. I have a box of about 25 to thirty reels dated from 1964 to 1967 and 1974 to 1976. For some reason the dates in between are missing and nobody has seen them.

As soon as I started scanning the films Floki was right there to help.

I guess he was fascinated by the project because he spent a lot of time supervising my work.

Here is example of one of one of the scans. It is my mother, sister and I in 1966 with our dog, Bruno.

Work and Cats Don’t Mix

Here is a post from January 2015 for Throwback Thursday. Chris does not bite legs as much these days but he has found other ways to annoy. I work from home more now and while I am working he will scratch my legs to let me know he wants to be picked up and put on my lap. He will then sometimes nap but usually he starts digging his claws into my face and chest. The problem is, if I put him down he then retaliates by biting my legs.

Bad Cat Chris

My wife has been sick the last couple of days and has not slept well due to difficulty breathing through her nose. In spite of her need for rest, she brought several hours of work to do at home. After we ate dinner she was too tired to work and went to bed early. At 2:30 this morning she was again having trouble sleeping so she got up to do her work. I woke up briefly when she got up but quickly fell back asleep until 4:30 when I heard Rose yell, “Chris! Stop that!” I think I may have heard swearing as well but I might have been dreaming.

I knew what was going on. Chris was biting her legs. He does that sometimes when he is not getting the required amount of attention. I decided I needed to drag myself out of bed to distract Chris so Rose…

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Would You Scoop Twice a Week?

I was at the store buying cat litter the other day and saw a bag called Ultra Clumping Litter that said “Easy Twice-a-Week Scooping.” My first thought, and pretty much only thought, was that’s nuts.

I don’t care if this is super litter from Krypton, scooping twice a week, at least in my opinion, borders on animal abuse. I am sure it probably controls odors for that long but no cat wants to maneuver around a minefield of poop looking for a place to do their business.

I have three large boxes for three cats. Each box holds about fifteen to twenty pounds of litter. I scoop the boxes a minimum of twice a day but usually three or more times. The bag shown contains five pounds of litter. Imagine three and a half days of poop and pee in five pounds of litter.

Personally, I think this is designed for lazy people who probably should not have cats in the first place and this just encourages bad behavior. Maybe I’m wrong. What do you think?

Photo Friday: The Takeover

Lately Frankie has taken to lying by my feet while I am sitting in my recliner and watching television with my wife. When I get up to do something I don’t retract the foot of the chair so as not to disturb Frankie. On this particular evening I came back to see my seat had been completely taken over so I had to sit on the part of the sofa that does not reline.

A former coworker used to call situations like this “First World problems.”

Our Brush with Hurricane Elsa

Before I even knew there was a storm brewing, one of my coworkers told me, very concerned, that we were going to get hit by a hurricane. I had not seen the news and had no idea what he was talking about but since he just recently moved to Florida I told him not to worry, we don’t get hit by hurricanes here. I told him of a local Indian legend that says there is something under the ground here in Pinellas County that repels hurricanes.

Indeed, I believe there is no record of Pinellas County Florida ever getting a direct hit by a hurricane, although a few have come close. Several years ago Hurricane Charley was predicted to slam right into Tampa Bay but suddenly, and unexpectedly, veered east and hit the Ft. Meyer’s area. Maybe the legend is true.

Yesterday that same employee asked our boss about the company’s inclement weather policy. I couldn’t help but laugh. Since we are a small business, I pictured that written down in a big manual somewhere.

My wife was concerned too but not about our safety. Her concern was that we might lose power and thus the ability to cool ourselves. She wanted me to make sure I had the batteries charged on our alternative power supplies.

The worst of the storm was supposed to pass by, just offshore, between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. We watched the weather that evening but there was barely a breeze.

We went to bed around 10 p.m. but left the bedroom door open incase the storm got bad and the cats wanted to be with us. Chris showed up around 2 a.m. and proceeded to bother the hell out me by scratching my neck and face. After a while I put him on the floor and lured them all out of the bedroom buy getting out the Stella and Chewy’s. I then went back to bed but realized I forgot to look out the window so I went back out to the kitchen and looked out the window. None of the trees were moving from the wind except a lone palm tree. Not sure what happened to the hurricane. Perhaps it was repelled.

This morning everything looks fine. There is no flooding and no debris that I can see from my house. Now I have to go to work. No excuses today.