Supper time for the #yatcats is pretty regular
Nala heard the car about the same time I did.
Arwen on duty
One thing Mrs. YatPundit’s done with the #yatcats is to keep them on a tight schedule for feeding. Since they’re inside cats, they don’t forage on insects, birds and lizards like Amber did. The #YatCats lunge at the kitchen and bedroom windows when lizards climb the screens. Not sure if Hill’s Science Diet’s “Indoor Kitten” food is better than lizard or bird, but that’s what they eat.
Nala certainly has bulked up since gotcha day. She was a tiny thing, and now she’s over nine pounds. Arwen eats less than Nala. At first, we worried that Arwen muscled Nala out. No problem! Arwen isn’t gaining weight like her buddy, though. While her weight isn’t a problem, we’ve noticed that’s she’s just not keeping up. It’s hard to tell if Arwen dislikes the food, or just isn’t as hungry. No crisis, mind you, just something to monitor.
The kittehs know when it’s supper time. They know who feeds them, too. When Mrs. YatPundit left town for a work trip for a few days, the kittens didn’t stalk me as supper time approached. I sat on the couch or worked at my desk undisturbed. They heard the food bag, but didn’t see the regular feeder! On the next day, still no reaction. I wasn’t in charge of the food, and that was that.
They know the drill. I heard the door to wife’s car close and the beep indicating she locked it. Nala zoomed to the front door. She joined Arwen in the front. Tux kitty continued what I call her “NextDoor” shift. Arwen is a ginny-woman. Not sure if she’d use the app, but she sees a lot.
Other than a love for the milk left in my cereal bowl, these two eat just the Science Diet food. They sniff table food and move on. We’ll see if that changes!
String, bags, kittehs!
If Nala fitz…
String, bags, kittehs
The #YatCats don’t miss me being up in Columbus, Ohio, teaching for Hitachi Vantara this week. Arwen (tux) took down the Christmas tree over last weekend, so it didn’t survive until Twelfth Night. Both of them were upset when it went out to the side of the house, to await pick-up for wetlands restoration.
The string on top of Arwen is over ten years old. I can’t remember where it came from, but Amber took to it at the time and played with it. LT Firstborn discovered she liked it and would play string with her. They were such a great pair.
When we brought home the kittens, the string remained hidden. It returned when LT Firstborn came home. He played with both kittens and the string so much over the holidays. While Nala (ginger) took to LT Firstborn, Arwen was a bit skeptical of him. Then the string came out and the three of them became fast friends. The boy would dangle both ends at the same time, and the kittens would go for it.
Amber’s string is a now part of the regular cat toy inventory. Kiddo’s girlfriend, who loves to entertain them so much, took up where LT Firstborn left off. Now, Arwen ends up with the string in various positions, just like her predecessor. Circle of Life. Or String, as it were.
Nala, Destroyer of Bags
Nala likes the string, but nowhere near as much as Arwen does. The ginger kitty is a Destroyer of Cardboard. She also destroys bags. We firmly believe this is some sort of Jungian-collective-conscious thing among ginger kittehs, since Amber did the same thing. Arwen likes to crawl in boxes and bags that are on their sides, but Nala rips them apart. Whenever there’s a box nearby, there is likely a corner with small pieces of cardboard around it. Total mess! This bag is easily the third or fourth she’s wrecked since coming to her forever home in August.
Iran background reading includes The Shia Revival by Vali Nasr
The Shia Revival by Vali Nasr
Iran background reading
Remember when The Daily Show with Jon Stewart was the go-to for folks looking to keep up with current events? Thirteen years later, the dynamics have changed. While the sources expanded, the process of learning about interesting nonfiction has not.
I watched Stewart interview scholar Vali Nasr in 2006. Nasr appeared on the show as part of his book tour for The Shia Revival, his book about Shia Islam, Iran, and Iraq. It was fascinating! I learned a lot about Shia Islam, and even more about how Persians think.
Nasr’s stories of how Iranians think kept my interest. Since 1979, way too many Americans view Iran as some evil monolith. That’s changed over the years. The Iran-Iraq war killed so many on both sides. Watching in horror from the US wasn’t a spectator sport, it was a nightmare. Both countries reeled from that war for a decade. Still, there was no real need for Iran background reading.
I didn’t think much about Iran in the 80s-90s. That changed, post 9/11, when the focus on radical Islamists grew. In the early aughts, we heard and read more about Iraq, naturally. As we did, the differences between Sunni and Shia Islam entered our discourse. Nasr’s book offered excellent Iran background reading. The author opened a door into the monolith.
That bit of Iran background reading sparked ideas in my head. When I wrote a story about dragon eggs, the notion of an “ancient Persian trading concern” popped into the thought stream. I discovered that legends hidden cities in the desert extend to Iran. I learned, like on so many other subjects, monoliths are not black-and-white. There’s the government, there’s culture and religion, and there are the people who walk the tightrope through these.
Keep up with Vali Nasr
I plan to re-read The Shia Revival next week. Additionally, I followed Nasr on Twitter. So, while following him, I also added a couple of people recommended by Da Twittah who connect to him. Check him out. I’ll share some excerpts from the book in your new Zuckerd00d group, YatPundit’s Pub.
YatPundit’s Pub is now a Facebook Group
Visit YatPundit’s Pub
I’ve been “YatPundit” on the Internet since the 1990s. @YatPundit is my primary account on Da Twittah. When I joined the Book of Zucker, YatPundit became my political presence, as a “page” under my main account, which is my name. While this works for my writing, it didn’t work for interaction.
The original page concept wasn’t bad, but the d00ds went public and needed to provide a return to shareholders. That’s when they started extorting page owners. Post something on your page, and you got “notifications” suggesting you “boost” the post for a fee. Then came the notifications that sounded like a protection racket in New York. “That’s a nice page you got there. Pity nobody’s going to read your posts.” The d00ds limited the reach of page posts. Even if thousands of users “like” the page, it may only be visible to hundreds. Unless you “boost.”
Page owners pushed back. They asked their friends to set “get notifications” for the page. Page visibility increased. Still, it wasn’t a good situation.
The last US election cycle exposed Zuckerbook as a bad actor in the process. One of the steps taken by the d00ds to rehab the image was to shift focus from pages to groups. They clam to have tightened up pages, so Petrograd bot farms can’t just create them and spread misinformation. The effectiveness of this move remains to be seen.
To improve user interaction on the platform, “groups” now have a bigger role. The d00ds want users to stay on the platform as long as possible. With pages taking a back seat, groups offer users gathering places. Post visibility increased. Group owners set their own rules. While they’re not quite “safe” spaces, it’s an improvement.
YatPundit’s Pub – come on in
The Pub welcomes you! Be warned, the politics are left-leaning and the beer is strong. If you’re a Trump supporter, or you hate Mitch Landrieu, this probably isn’t a good place for you to be. Otherwise, speak up, lurk, do whatcha wanna.
YatCats start off the New Year at YatPundit
Nala (ginger) and Arwen (tux), the #YatCats
We lost Amber, are eighteen-year old familiar, over last summer. It was devastating to lose the most important member of the family! We go on, of course, and at the end of August, I convinced Mrs. YatPundit that it was time for a kitten. So, we went to the Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter to add to the family.
Amber was an outside cat. She eschewed her litter box and did her business outside. We regularly received presents of birds and mice. Remind me to tell y’all about the time she caught a bat and brought it home! As she got older, 15ish, though, Amber still wasn’t interested in the litter box, and needed to go out more often throughout the night. That disrupted our sleep patterns a bit. Mrs. YatPundit decided that, next cat would be an inside kitty. I agreed, with the condition that we would bring home two kittens. Amber had friends and foes in the neighborhood. I didn’t like the idea of an inside cat who didn’t have cat companionship. It wasn’t a hard sell.
Orange and Black
Mrs. YatPundit loves ginger kitties. Her cat growing up was an orange tabby. Then we got Brandy when we moved out to #themetrys. Brandy was with us for ten years. Pippin, her cairn terrier partner in crime, was with us another six years, then we got Amber. So long as one of the kittens was a ginger! So, off to the shelter we went to get YatCats.
The Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter is a no-kill shelter. We checked in and they took us to the “intake” room. That’s where they have the itty-bitty kittens. We looked at each orange tabby in there, but they were all males. Girl ginger kitty was one of the requirements. After striking out with the littles, the volunteer showing us around took us to the “older cat” room. It’s a room with chicken-wire walls and lots of shelves and things for Cats To Sleep On.
The kittens in this room were all 12-16 weeks. Some of the smaller ones huddled around us, but the volunteer had one in particular in mind. There was a ginger female sleeping on one of the shelves. She was the target.
Since we were planning to bring home two YatCats, I got to pick the second. I wanted a black kitten. You know all the stories about how black cats are the least adopted. So, to get to the ginger kitty, the volunteer had to pull a black kitten off of her. Both were asleep on the shelf, two peas in a pod. That made up my mind as to which black cat was coming home! I figured, if these two got along enough to sleep that closely, this was a pair. They’re not litter mates, so I call them “pound mates.” I picked up the black kitten, and it turned out she was a tux/socks cat rather than a midnight. No problem.
By the time I put down the tux, I turned to see wife with the ginger. It was all good! We did the paperwork, and they were scheduled to be fixed the following Monday morning. We picked them up that afternoon.
Nala the ginger kitty!
Nala cat is the ginger. I learned something new about cats. All-orange gingers are overwhelmingly male, but this little bit is a girl. Brandy and Amber were orange-and-white, and Amber actually had more white than orange. Nala is all-orange and a cutie. She’s a short-haired ball of floof. Nala looked like the runt of the littler when we picked her up. The backstory is she was dropped at the shelter with two siblings. They were fostered by volunteers and returned to the shelter at six-ish weeks. Nala’s put on a lot of weight since becoming one of the YatCats.
Arwen the Tux Cat!
Arwen is the Evenstar. The paperwork listed her as “medium-hair.” There’s definitely more hair on her than Nala. Arwen is more a people-kitty than Nala. Arwen likes being in the same room with us, where Nala will go sit on the bed, or in a window sill by herself. Since I teach a lot from home now, Arwen comes into my office and hang out while I’m teaching. Her meow is like a bird-chirp. It’s cute. She will pace around my feet while I’m on WebEx, delivering a class. Then she’ll start chirping and I’ll have to pick her up. I wonder if the students can hear her purring?
Arwen is walking around the house with a fabric mouse in her mouth, and just settled under the Christmas tree. She’s chirping at it. Nala is napping at wife’s feet. Life is good.
#YatCats will be a weekly event here!
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