Friday, January 21, 2011

Cowpox in a Dog

Oh noes!! What is that crazy Doctor Robison writing about NOW that has nothing to do with cats??

Well, patience has its virtue. Do read on at this link, because cowpox has more relevance to cats and their owners than it does dogs, as Scott Weese over at Worms and Germs explains.

I don't think we have endemic cowpox in our local rat population, but it is always possible. So it's one MORE reason to keep your cats indoors to minimize their contact with wild rodents.

I don't spend time worrying about this one, perhaps because I am fond of our friend cowpox, which gave us the smallpox vaccine (smallpox being the only deadly human virus mankind has ever completely wiped out in nature, a huge public health victory). Read more about that here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Another Phone Call

So Alison was fielding phone calls this afternoon and got one from our friends at the boiler room in India, who grace us with their solicitations for all manner of scams at least once a day.

Caller: Hello, may I speak to Gayle Robertson (sic)?
Alison: May I ask who's calling?
Caller: My name is Roger.
Alison (who can hear the boilerroom operation humming in the background and notes that Roger sounds Indian): What company are you with, Roger?
Caller: name is Roger.
Alison: I heard that part, Roger. What company are you with?
Caller: don't know.
Alison: Wait. What? You don't know? Who do you work for that you are calling on behalf of, Roger??
Caller: Um...I think I'm gonna go now. (click)

I swear. You can't make this stuff up.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

How To Make Your Own Cat Litter

Yes, sportsfans, if you have the time, energy, and motivation, you too can manufacture your own homemade paper-based cat litter. Instructions are found over at The

Why would you want to? Well, it sounds like a great way to reuse waste paper, which is a very environmentally friendly thing to do (and preferable to shipping it to China for recycling over there, or even some faraway place in the US), and it's oh so artsy/craftsy/do-it-yourself-ish.

I must confess - I have not tried this myself. But I am tempted, if only for an experiment to see if it's really that easy. Besides, I think it might be a good way to give my brand new immersion blender a trial run (though my sister, who gave it to me this Christmas for KITCHEN use might not approve).

If any of you do decide to try this, let me know how it works.