Scout And The Shark

I found a deal on a Shark Robotic vacuum and spent part of yesterday watching Scout stalk it through the house.

He seems to think I have been bewitched by this crazy monster that has invaded his home, bumping into things and crawling under all the furniture. He periodically comes to get me to make sure I know that it’s still around and terrorizing the dust bunnies.

He actually took it better than I expected but he literally got no rest yesterday, even keeping an eye on it while charging on its dock. My little house panther will adjust but, for right now, it has been great fun watching him stalk and explore this newcomer!

A Trip To The Vet

Scout went to the vet this week. Neither of us were especially thrilled but it was necessary.

He’s mostly fine but we came home with drops for his ears, pills to crush up in his food and a probiotic to squirt in his mouth. To put it mildly, it’s going to be a long twelve days for us both.


It’s hard when our pets are sick because they can’t tell us what’s wrong. In fact, we don’t always know there’s a problem until their symptoms worsen. He did find ways to communicate his dissatisfaction at being stuffed in a carrier, forced to ride in a car and then carted into a strange place to be prodded by strangers.

Guys, he sang the song of his people the entire way and lost a whisker through this ordeal.

On the way home, I stopped by a neighborhood drive-thru for a milkshake. He had calmed down by then but you should have seen the look he gave me when I ordered that shake. People think animals don’t understand what’s going on but he gave me a look of disgust as though to say “you stopped for ice cream? Take me home!”

So we went home to the tuna I promised him. It was laced with medicine and I managed to get the other stuff in him too.

It wasn’t good but I guess it could have been worse. We are currently in an uncomfortable place where he sniffs his food carefully in case I tried to poison him with that nasty medicine. He also keeps a wide berth when we are near each other.

Oh, and in case you ever need to know, cats can indeed close their ears. Wish me luck with those ear drops.

In Plain Sight

Scout disappeared yesterday. I searched for him for several minutes, making a few passes through the living room.

Turns out, he was lying on the arm of the couch staring at me with confusion. “What’s your problem?” his eyes gently asked.

When I stopped to chat with him about his preference for hiding in plain sight, he yawned big as though to say he hadn’t the energy to trifle with my incompetencies.

That’s the thing about having a black pet in the home. They are and will always be the hide and go seek champs of the household. Don’t bother trying. You will not win but you’ll have a great time trying!

Adopt a black pet if you have a chance. Animal shelters are full of them as people, for reasons beyond my comprehension, don’t like them. They’re passed over time and again as people choose litter mates of other colors. Plus, they’re at risk of abuse and the evil acts of superstitious people who will hurt and torture them.

Scout found me in the street and adopted me on the spot. He clearly knew that I lacked a great hide and go seek partner and could benefit from his sweet kindnesses.

That was a lucky day!


Look at that judgmental little face. His name is Cinder and he’s one of the little strays my parents took in a couple of years ago. He and his two brothers are spoiled little boys who have trained my parents well.

Oh, if only cats could talk. It would be nice to know what he was thinking!

No Spend Challenge Update

This No Spend Challenge is going pretty well. I haven’t really been tempted to break the rules and I’m proud that practicing gratitude has kept me satisfied.

I have chosen to spend some weekends sleeping in, doing some purging and organizing, and using the things I already own. Nothing makes you want to stop shopping like dumping a carload of donations at the thrift store.

That said, there has been some spending outside of bills, groceries and gasoline. Work lunches on travel days have added up more than anything else. Then there was the heat pump repair last week.

Cat food supply issues have posed a challenge. Scout only eats one brand and he doesn’t like anything that involves seafood or the the word pate. The three little boys who live with my folks eat a different brand and only want seafood flavors. They also don’t approve of pate. There are lots of rules.

It is rare to find more then a few cans of what they will eat so I am making frequent trips to the store to keep all these picky little mouths fed.

I tell you that to tell you this.

For most people, every trip into a grocery or big box store will cost a set amount of money more than intended. In other words, it’s more expensive to make frequent small trips than to make one big trip unless you are highly disciplined and willing to pass on your impulses.

Pre-pandemic that amount was about twenty bucks for me but it’s higher now.

This ties in nicely with the other issue I’ve had this month. Grocery shopping is one area that I’m not great at controlling. So when I pop to the store for cat food, it’s tempting to pick up snacks and things I probably don’t need.

After all, food is a necessity. Right? Never mind the freezer at home packed with supplies.

The other night, I finally found fully stocked shelves of kitty food that the little boys will eat so I bought a ton. Then I went to Kroger to grab some produce and bottled water. I got to the checkout and and realized I had somehow forgotten that there were only six things on the list – not the usual cartload of stuff.

I spent about $40 more than intended. Is this terrible? No. Could I afford it? Yes but I didn’t need those extras – especially during a No Spend Challenge.

I’ll have an opportunity to redeem myself this week as I really do just need some produce, water and yogurt. Luckily, I won’t need to buy eggs because my aunt’s chickens are laying again! They’re pictured above – aren’t they pretty?

As much as I hate to, I think I’ll order Scout’s cat food online to save myself some hassle this time. Here’s hoping I don’t develop temporary amnesia at the store again!

I’ll keep you posted.

Under The Weather

Scout has been under the weather for the last couple of days. He’s much better now but still a little quiet.

Pets are like small toddlers. They are expressive but can’t talk so you know they’re sick, stressed or generally upset but they can’t articulate the problems.

When he’s sick, Scout is short tempered and disagreeable. He wants held but he doesn’t want held. All he really wants is for me to sit in our comfy chair so he can sleep next to me.

I’m grateful that he’s improved but will continue to sit in the comfy chair as much as I can. If that’s where he rests best, what better medicine can there be?