life abides, death awaits

lulu abides
Tomorrow marks the tenth week since my personal cat Lucy passed, along with Max. I really don’t constantly dwell on the loss, but Lulu and Ellipse are constant reminders of Lucy, as are Ruby and Annie of Max. The weeks are busy enough and the weekends equally busy with house projects. But in the evening, usually the Sunday evening after a short but intense weekend, the memories all come back and line up in my mind’s eye.

Family Extant

I was born in Atlanta and moved to Orlando 30 some years ago. Most of my family still lives up there, such as my mom and dad. Mom was in the hospital late last week having about one-and-a-half liters of fluid drained from around her heart. Several weeks before she’d been stung by a hornet and had reacted badly to the sting. A doctor proscribed steroids to bring down the swelling. My mother, being 83, had her immune system suppressed and caught a bad case of pneumonia, which led to the trip to the hospital and the massive draining. She went home today to be looked after by the rest of my family.

Mom, as they say, managed to dodge the bullet this time. I think a trip up to Atlanta is called for in the not too distant future.


I’m in a much more retrospective frame of mind these days, far more so than I’ve ever been. Perhaps that’s the product of getting old, like the fear of death. It’s not just my death I think about but death all around touching all I love and care about, leaving its shadow over everything.

Posted in Atlanta, Cats, Lulu | 1 Comment

a doodle milestone

doodle in blue

Annie is now between five and six months. We took her to the vet to get her fixed. As much as I love having a Doodle, I’m not the kind of person who should be breeding them. So we had Annie fixed. Annie has a sister from the litter who will be bred, but not until the sister is two years old.

On Annie’s first day she was wearing the typically stiff plastic cone to keep her from licking the incision. On day two of recovery we got her the more fashionable, and far more comfortable, inflatable blue collar you see her in. I photographed her on Thursday wearing it. By Friday it was fully deflated because Annie twisted the collar around and chewed off the inflation valve. By that time the incision was pretty much healed anyway. Annie was leaping and running around the back yard with Ruby in hot pursuit. I attribute Annie’s quick healing to the use of surgical adhesive rather than stitches. Unless you look very closely you can barely see the incision, and this is less than a week after the operation.

She looks better now anyway. Friday morning I gave her a bath with Furry Couture dog bubble bath, then gave her a good drying with a big, thick towel. She loved it.

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vicarious living with cats

another of mickeyThis is Mickey, a Ragdoll cat. Mickey is one of two Ragdoll cats that were rescued by a good friend of my wife and I. A second Ragdoll named Charlie also lives there, but Charlie was heavily traumatized by a man (we all think) and runs when I approach. Mickey was just ignored by his former owner.

It’s been nearly six weeks since loosing Lucy and Max. Lucy’s cat tree is now up with my oldest daughter’s two cats in Gainesville and both cats are happily playing on it. They also have Lucy’s beds. All that’s left of Lucy are my photos and my emotions. The loss is still as sharp as ever, but the moments of feeling that loss grow farther apart. Of course, every time I see any other cat (like our own Ellipse and Lulu) I’m reminded. Mickey reminds me of Lucy as well because he’s laid back and very curious, like Lucy was.

mikeyLucy’s loss is so much sharper because it was so unexpected. But the world is filled with little ones like Lucy and Mickey who need help and care from an increasing cruel humanity. For example, the killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe, which has triggered considerable outrage (and it should) and has prompted Zimbabwe’s environment minister to call on the US to extradite the Minnesota dentist who killed Cecil, Dr, Walter J. Palmer, back to Zimbabwe.

what is that fascinating object?Right now my best path forward is to get involved with other little critters like Lucy and Charlie. I may not be ready for a Lucy replacement (we still have two cats in this household) but if there’s anything positive Lucy left with me, it’s a better understanding of cats and a lot more compassion for them before she arrived.

Posted in Cats | 1 Comment


There is something magical about the word “fraudster” especially when it shows up in the latest Nigerian email scams landing in my junk folder. Maybe the authors [sic] of these Nigerian email scams just love the sound of the word, or it’s all they know hearing themselves called a fraudster so often.

The word itself seems to be of recent origin; based on where you research via Google, it was coined between the years 1960 to 1975. Earlier versions were plain old fraud (1850), fraudsman (1610s) and frauditor (1550s), all according to the Online Etymology Dictionary. I personally prefer frauditor (based on some less-than-pleasant dealings with auditors, but I digress…).

Here is the complete email I received with no corrections whatsoever.


Attn: Beneficiary

We hereby inform you that the Scotland Yard Police, Interpol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, (FBI) United States of America, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of Nigeria and all the African Crime fighter leaders have come together to stop scam/internet fraud in Nigeria and all round Africa. We have recovered over US$2.6 Billion Dollars from the people we have behind bars.

Our duty is to make sure we stop internet scam and money laundering. As for today we have put a lot of fraudsters in jail. We go all over Africa to pick this internet rats,We have over 8,273 of them in our jail around Africa and we are still looking for more. We are aware that a lot of foreigners out there have been deceived and lost their hard earn money to these fraudsters after promising them percentages in their letters/e-mails for their impending help to move funds out Africa including fake lottery winning notification and at the end of the day, they will collect thousands of dollars from you without a successful end. It was agreed that to retain the good image of our country and the rest of African countries, all the victims who lost his/her hard earn money to these faceless thieves will be compensated with just US$500,000,00 (five hundred thousand Dollars).

This we assume will help you to start a new life. Please, we apologies that you take our offer as little as it is due to the fact that (victims) in our pay list are too numerous. We en-back on this pay back from the money we recovered from these fraudsters, So you are advise to contact Mr Phillip John in the United State.

let him know if you are still interested to get your Master Card to you today as he have been waiting to hear from you to help him complete this delivery to you. contact him with your personal information bellow for your Master Card clearance and delivery.

Provide your details and forward it to Mr Phillip John to is contact details below or you call his number .+2348065322902


Agent Name: Mr Phillip John
Address Email:
Cell: +2348065322902

Thank and remain Bless

Mr. Michael J. Burn.
Supervising Manage

It’s so interesting to come across an email such as this one, so┬áthoroughly peppered with misspelled words and grammatical land mines. And yet there are people out there in the world who’ll get one of these and accept it as perfectly proper English, and just enough to actually bite. After all, there must be some sort of success rate, otherwise I wouldn’t get this crap in my spam folder.

Normally I would redact details such as phone numbers and so-called legitimate email addresses, but not this time.

I give this one a fraudster ranking of ‘4’ because of the number of times the word is used in the email, plus one for the fact it was sent by a fraudster. I may come up with some more elaborate ranking in the future, but for now I think this suffices.

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