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!

Tiny House Obsession

The concept of tiny house living is intriguing to me. The idea of keeping a small footprint and being mobile is appealing. I also like the idea of having less stuff. It all sounds great.

After all, the more house you have, the more there is to pay for, insure, heat, clean, pay taxes on and furnish. That means more money and more time spent on the house instead of on other things that may be important to you.

There’s a show called Tiny House Nation that follows homeowners as they design and downsize into tiny homes of under 500 square feet. Sometimes they’re very small and mobile. Sometimes they’re a little bigger and the owners have no plan to move.

I’m always amazed at the people who want to do this and how unrealistic they tend to be. A family of seven moving into 350 square feet in Montana from an enormous home with an attic, basement and garage? That one was painful to watch, partly because the wife was clearly struggling to let go of the family dining table. Plus, where do you store food for seven people and how do you handle the laundry?

The average 3 star hotel in the US offers rooms of about 300 square feet. I wouldn’t want to spend a night much less a lifetime with six other people in a space like that.

It seems like it’s always the clothes horse or the shoe collector, the entertainer, or the person with a room full of scrapbooking supplies. These folks seem genuinely surprised that they can’t keep all 96 pairs of shoes and that there won’t be space for a dozen friends to sleepover after a party. Really? What party? Where will everyone stand?

I always feel bad for the kids who have to leave behind favorite toys, teenagers with no privacy and the pets who will be cramped.

It makes so much sense for many people but I can’t help but wonder what some are thinking. At the end of the show they do a big reveal and it always looks so nice. But they come back for a follow-up interview in a couple of months and it’s always cluttered or the homeowners have had to retrofit something to make it livable.

I have some friends who downsized to tiny homes and they seem quite happy. All of them seem to have done it to save money to travel and were realistic about letting go of the extras.

I am not a materialistic person. I could walk away from most of my possessions. At the same time, I like to be surrounded by things that I associate with happy memories like family heirlooms and travel souvenirs. Decorating for the holidays is something I enjoy but there would be no room to store seasonal decor.

Houses have gotten too big and mass produced goods have created too much clutter. Prewar homes were about a thousand square feet. Closets were tiny, bedrooms were small and kitchens weren’t equipped with elaborate cabinetry. People did quite well in these homes for many years.

There has to be a happy medium for some of us wishing to occupy less space and to consume less stuff. Meanwhile, I guess I’ll stick with the bigger house – after all, it provides plenty of room for Scout to run around!

Back To The Vet

Scout went back to the vet yesterday. He’s fine. I evidently was paranoid and impatient and spend too much time obsessing over his potty habits.

Who knew I would ever have to write that line?

The vet was terrific though, working us in on a two hour notice. She did a thorough exam and was patient as I explained all the reasons why he’s had a stressful week and listed all the symptoms I have observed in the last few days.

When she announced that he’s perfectly healthy and doing great, he looked at me like he wondered what was wrong with me.

You dragged me here for this?

His eyes were absolute daggers. But the vet and I agreed that it was worth everyone’s time to confirm that he’s ok.

The worst part of this story is that after a week of me force feeding him medicine, putting very cold drops in his ears and dragging him to the vet twice, he still comes to me for comfort. In his misery, he either senses that it’s all because I care or simply has no one else to turn to and keeps coming back.

Either way, this little house panther is worth the stress and trouble. I just hope he still thinks I’m worth the trouble too!

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!

Winged Friends

Still no measurable snowfall here in southern Ohio but we did receive just enough Monday night to make the roads messy.

I scurried out before work yesterday to feed Scout’s hungry birdies so he would be entertained while I was busy. He spent most of the day luxuriating in the window like it was prime time television. We had dozens of birds on the yard and I did grab a few pictures with the camera. You’ll have to settle for a phone snap today.

The birds were thrilled for the meal and Scout was pleased to have so much commotion outside his window. It’s the small things that make a huge difference in quality of life for me, Scout and for those hungry little creatures outside our window.

What small things make a difference in your life?