Author Archives: Charles Huss

Scratch One Catnip Plant


When my wife asked what I wanted for Christmas, I didn’t know. I eventually gave her two choices: a plant stand with a grow light or a vintage medium-format film camera. She bought the camera. But the story doesn’t end here. My stepson, who is quite the amature horticulturist, discovered I was interested in growing plants inside and sent me a top-of-the-line grow light for Christmas.

After Christmas, I ordered the plant stand because I couldn’t let that light just sit there in the box. It arrived a few days ago and I assemble it on Saturday. The day before, I picked up three planters and three plants at Home Depot. I wanted to get more but they only had three planters in stock that were the size I wanted and that did not cost an arm and a leg. A also purchased potting soil as well as three plants: basil, mint, and catnip.

After assembling the plant stand and connecting the light, I put my herbs on the top shelf. As soon as I did that I sat in the living room and texted my stepson, Nick. I asked him how long I should leave the light on and at what intensity.

When I finished typing I looked through the door and saw Chris stretched as far as he could reach. He had one paw on the catnip plant and it was starting to tip over. “Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!” I yelled, as I quickly made my way out to the Florida room. Chris let go but now Frankie and Floki were interested in what was going on.

I decided to put the catnip on the ground so they wouldn’t knock it over.

After a little while, I put the catnip plant outside. I also put a bungee cord around the other plants.

Sunday I found more planters and I bought more plants to put in them. So far I have sweet basil, sweet mint, speramint, thyme, rosemary, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, and no catnip.

I can only hope now that the remaining plants are not so interesting. I also hope that the feral cat I see sometimes doesn’t destroy the catnip that I put outside.

Our Uncontainable Cat


Here is a post from February 2016 for Throwback Thursday. Frankie has not changed much in seven years.

Bad Cat Chris

These days, Frankie has proved to be more of a pain-in-the-butt than Chris. Both of the cats are very eager to get outside so coming and going can be a daunting task. What makes Frankie a bigger pain is he will run away while Chris stays close to home.

I had the day off from work on Thursday and needed to get something out of the car for Rose that morning when Chris came out of nowhere and ran out the door. While I was distracted with trying to stop Chris, Frankie ran out the door behind him. Chris usually just rolls around on the driveway or walks to the edge to eat grass so I wasn’t worried about him, but I was worried about chasing Frankie around the neighborhood with my bare feet so I had to run back inside to get shoes.

Bad Cat Chris outside Chris is content eating grass.

When…

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Tolerating the Child


Happy New Year everyone. We hope you all enjoyed your holidays and wish you the best for 2023.

I hurt my back the day after Christmas and am still in pain six days later, although, I am getting better. Before I hurt my back, on Christmas Day, we enjoyed a visit from my son, his girlfriend, and the always entertaining grandson. Apparently, a few days earlier, his mother trusted someone to cut his hair that obviously didn’t know what she was doing.

Brayden is an active young man who turned three in October. Floki does not like the disturbance caused by the presence of a child and spent most of the time hiding. Frankie kept his distance and hung out on the bed. He gave Brayden a hiss or two when he got too close. Chris, on the other hand, gracefully put up with him.

I removed the audio but he was being instructed to stop almost the entire time. You can see where he was made to turn over his instrument of torment, only to go find another one.

Later, my wife showed him our slot machine, probably to distract him. I spent time with him while he fed quarters into the machine.

He would put two or three-quarters in before pulling the handle. I tried to explain that he was wasting his money to no avail. He did win the second-highest jackpot twice so I probably should have just shut my mouth. At one point, he had a hand full of quarters that he dropped into the machine, one at a time. While he was feeding them into the machine, he was counting. He made it all the way to fifteen before running out of quarters.

It has been a while since I raised a child but is it normal for a kid that age to be able to count to fifteen? I assume he could have gone higher if he had more quarters.

Another Trip to the Vet


When I took Floki to the vet last month, I discussed with the vet options to help Chris with his perpetual ear infection. He has a problem with ear polyps, which allow bacteria to fester. The problem is they go too deep into the ear canal for the vet to remove them all unless I wanted them to remove the ear canals and make Chris deaf, which I don’t want to do. So we discussed surgery to remove as much as they could, and then pack the ear with a specific treatment of antibiotics that would require just two treatments.

We had to schedule the surgery a month in advance, presumably because they were so busy. A week before the appointment, my wife said she didn’t want to do it because she feared that Chris’s age and health would put him at a higher risk of death from the surgery. I spoke with the vet looking for reassurance but she did say he was at an increased risk. Instead, we decided to try the antibiotic treatment without the surgery.

This morning I brought him to the vet with much crying in the car on the way there. When we arrived we were put in an exam room and the vet tech, remembering his last visit, decided to leave him in his carrier until the vet came in.

While we were waiting, I opened his carrier and, as expected, he had no desire to get out. This is very different that young Chris who loved to explore the vet’s office.

When the vet arrived, she asked a few questions and then took Chris into another room. After a few minutes, I could hear Chris howling. He was not happy but it didn’t take long. Soon he was back and we were ready to check out.

When they opened the door, their office cat came in. I bent down to pet him and the vet said, “You’re aware he is a biter, aren’t you?” “Yes,” I said. “He’s fine,” and proceeded to pet him. He didn’t bite me but he was interested in Chris. He smelled him for a few seconds and then put both paws on top of the carrier. Nobody hissed. That is when he was called off and we left to check out.

On a related note, I purchased a new carrier for Chris because I did not like carrying him around in a crate that was not meant for that. You can see what I bought here. Note that is an affiliate link. My wife put Chris in the new carrier while I was out moving the cars around. She said it was very easy to get him. He fit well, too, for a twenty-pound cat.

The Dominant One


Chris has always tried to maintain his dominance over the other cats in the house. That is probably why he fights with Frankie sometimes because Frankie does not accept him as the boss. Puck did, but Chris still needed to prove he was the boss by holding Puck down by the neck. Sometimes, he would even straddle Puck and drag him across the floor by the back of the neck.

After Puck died, he started doing the same thing to Floki. I notice it perhaps once or twice a month. Often he does it while standing but not always. Here is the latest example.

I could be wrong about the reason for this. If anyone knows what this behavior means, please let me know.