The NSFW Library of Brian J.

My current employer has a forum for posting pictures of pets, and I frequently contribute as we have kittens who are still in the doing cute stuff phase.

I have to be very careful about posting photos of the cats on my bookshelves, though, since my library has some titles which are, erm, a little spicy.

For example, I have a photo of Nico looking at either the swords or the Summa Theologiae which I was going to post, but I did not as I looked closer and found The Clitoral Truth on the top shelf. I bought it from a book club probably twenty years ago and tried reading it; the number of paper markers in it indicates I disagreed with a lot of it. Although it bills itself thusly:

The clitoris has been dismissed, undervalued, unexplored, and misunderstood for hundreds of years, but the truth is out there, and internationally celebrated sex educator Rebecca Chalker has found it. In The Clitoral Truth, Chalker offers the only mainstream, in-depth exploration devoted solely to women’s genital anatomy and sexual response. Women readers everywhere–be they straight, gay, or bisexual–will learn about the countless sexual sensations and discover how to enhance their sexual responses in a more concrete way than ever before. Enhanced with personal accounts, comprehensive illustrations, and a thorough appendix of female sexuality resources, this book helps women and their partners understand and expand their sexual potential and work toward becoming independent sexual beings.

It read, from what I recall, more like a feminism or woman’s studies textbook. Given that it now has a marked 2nd Edition, it probably is a textbook at some universities.

So I took a picture yesterday of Nico looking at the games on the wall, cropped it, and posted it without looking too closely at it because The Clitoral Truth is on the end of the other bookshelves, and as we’re finishing up some work at Nogglestead, most of the To-Read shelves are in my office currently. Not only are the books double stacked on the bookshelves, but the bookshelves are currently double-stacked–I have the bookshelves from the hallway outside my office in my office, standing in front of the office bookshelves. So The Clitoral Truth is behind another bookshelf on the other end of the bookshelves.

But I should have looked closer.

If you click it to see it larger, which I hope nobody at the office does, you can see on the top shelf Sexual Revolution which looks to be another textbook from the Modern University which I bought in 2010 but has languished, probably in the back rank, on the bookshelves in the hall for that long.

It’s not that I’ve put the more spicy titles on the top shelves to keep them away from the children. When they first could read and started looking at my bookshelves, I took some of the more, erm, concrete titles off of the bookshelves entirely, but I left the textbookish titles, including Philosophy and Sex (mentioned by name in The Courtship of Barbara Holt) on the shelves.

When we moved the books and bookshelves into my office, the disorder of the books got rearranged, and Sexual Revolution apparently got put on the top shelf. And inadvertently into official corporate communications.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be explaining this to HR and using the words “Sociology textbook.” A lot.

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And Then There Were Five

The Big Bopper’s time came yesterday at about 4 in the morning.

About three in the morning, when I came back to bed, I discovered that he was having trouble standing, and that’s when we generally make the decision.

So we gathered him up and took him across town to the all-night veterinarian hospital, and it was done.

He had been in decline for some time. The photo from last May shows him fairly healthy. When it comes to the end like this, I wonder how selfish I am to let them live so long while ailing. I like to think that I value life in them as I value life in humans, but I do make the call for euthanasia when they cannot stand.

This recent picture is from a couple of weeks ago. Roark was quite the sun worshipper, and he would start out mornings in the parlor or in my son’s room on the east side of the house and would move to our bedroom or the living room on the other side of the house in the afternoons.

What will I remember of Roark?

  • When we went to the crime scene to find the cats, he was the one who did not hide and came out to greet us amidst the wreckage of the police search.
  • He would nap beside me during my siestas and would sleep beside me at night. During the naps in the afternoons, he would announce himself when he jumped on the bed, and I would have to prepare a place for him by turning down the blankets or bedspread so he could snuggle in beside me.
  • For a time (a couple of winters), he wanted me to make a cave for him. I would crawl under the bedspread to nap, and he wanted me to prop the thick bedspread so that there was a gap between my body and the bedspread to make a space for him to crawl into.
  • I trained him to put his paw on my hands when napping. He would sometimes also nestle his cheek on my hand.
  • When he was younger, he would help me change the bed linens by jumping onto the bed under each layer and would wait for me to turn the layer down so he could pounce out of it and scamper about on it until I would cover him with the next layer, and repeat. I have a video somewhere of how he turned a five minute chore into a ten minute romp.

He was a people cat more than a cat cat, although he tolerated that Chimera wanted to be his buddy and the new kitten Maud’Dib wanted to play with his tail.

So we have lost three of the old guard in the last year and a couple months, but we have gained three new kittens in that time. So the continuity of cattiness continues.

(A couple of additional posts/photos of Roark here, here, and here.)

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I Have To Footnote The Humor

So I took a photo of Nico lying in a bathroom basin and, erm, augmented it:

Geez, that’s a meme from almost a quarter century ago.

You know, some people think that memes started with the rise of social media, but those of us who’ve been on the Internet since before the Web (well, I had access to Internet email on BBSes in the 1980s and newsgroups via Prodigy and AOL in the 1990s) know otherwise.

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We Know The Feeling

Cedar Sanderson is relearning the joys of kitten:

Gets dressed… extricates kitten from closet.
Feeds cats… extricates kitten from pantry.
Opens dishwasher… extricates kitten…
This is giving me fond memories of having toddlers.

Toast is not a bad kitten. She’s just curious, and energetic, and that’s fun to watch.

I mentioned that we found some kittens on our property last October, and I don’t know if I’ve updated you much since, but we know how Ms. S. feels.

Continue reading “We Know The Feeling”

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Great Minds And All That

An aside in Stephen Green’s column You Don’t Need a Study to Know That Pets Are Good for Your Kids’ Health:

“Besides,” I added, “my cat Dingo thinks he’s a dog. He drools and fetches. Seriously.”

Apparently that was a good enough answer, because we’ve been together ever since that night.

ASIDE: Dingo was short for Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastián d’Anconia Green, named after the Atlas Shrugged character because they both had black hair and an attitude problem. I had to shorten his name to Dingo instead of Frisco because I didn’t want to correct countless assumptions that I’d given him the same horrible nickname as the city I used to live in.

I never did announce the names of the kittens we rustled in October. We did name one Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli, shortened to Nico.

The other?

Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastián d’Anconia. Although we have shortened it to Cisco instead of Frisco. And, yes, I have memorized the whole name, although I am pretty sure his official records and microchip all say Cisco (I joked that it would have taken a second chip to get the whole name between his shoulder blades).

Currently, Cisco is wearing the collar as he was neutered but last week. He had an undescended testicle, and the vet hoped waiting would let it descend on its own (it did not). So he has had his share of other nicknames, including Solo, Paint Can (if you shake him, you can hear a marble inside), and other things. Now that he’s in a cone, though, the only nickname we’ve given him is Starlink (unlike Roark back in the day.

And, yes, that does bring us to four cats named for Rand characters (the other two were Galt and Dominique). Far and away the best represented mythos among many and many opportunities to name cats over the years.

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And Then, Again, There Were Five

On Monday, two weeks after I buried Athena, I heard a meow from my open office window. I stood up and looked out to see if it was Peirce, the black cat that hung around and helped himself to some of Athena’s food. And I looked down, and it was a black kitten. Who hopped up onto the sill of my window and meowed at me.

I went out the back door to look to see the kitten, and I heard her meowing from the wind break, which would have meant a pretty quick flight for a small kitten while I walked thirty feet out the back door.
Continue reading “And Then, Again, There Were Five”

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They Saw Me Coming

Facebook has barraged me with ads for companies that can take a photo of your pet (or other loved one, as some of the ads indicate) and put it on a shirt.

Needless to say, they saw me coming.

That’s my black cat Isis and what she thinks she looks like.

Actually, I clicked through on another ad and bought t-shirts for the family as Christmas gifts, and I was so enamored with the designs, I bought one for myself (July is not too early for the “One-for-you, One-for-me” Christmas gift buying protocol). Also, I am comfortable announcing the Christmas gifts because the designs, which are not black cats, will delight them, and nobody in my family reads my blog anyway.

When I got shipment notification, I was a little concerned that the items originated in China; however, I used PayPal for real (I hope) this time, and I hopefully won’t need to cancel my credit card and get a new one, unlike last year.

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Nogglestead Offers Its Own Experts

The story at the New York Post is Your cat does actually love you, it just doesn’t want to be petted. Comma splice aside, our experts on being cats at Nogglestead do want to be petted.

Roark jumped up and demanded attention while I was reading the story, and Chimera got pushy for attention as I wrote this blog post. No photo of Chimera in front of the story, though, as he is more of a roll-around-on-the-desk attention seeker, not a sit-between-you-and-the-keyboard-and-meow attention seeker.

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The Texting Cats of Nogglestead

So I got a text message from my mother-in-law yesterday. Apparently responding to a cryptic text that I sent her:

90,,,,,,,,,nmhj\op? I did not send it. I don’t know where it came from. It’s not a password, don’t try, script kiddies.

Then I remember that Isis, the black cat, climbed into the window about that time.

As you might know, I have a number of computers in my office as it’s a testing lab, sort of. One of the computers is a Macintosh, and its wireless keyboard is atop the letter file on my desk. The one that Isis used to step into the window since the desk that serves as the cats’ highway is currently stacked with Christmas presents.

The Macintosh had not put itself to sleep or gone to the login screen since the last time I used it. And I used it not for testing, but to use the messaging application to send longer texts to my mother-in-law that I could compose with a real keyboard instead of a phone.

So Isis managed to type and send a text message before getting to the window sill.

Maybe I should give the cat her own phone.

That way, she won’t keep borrowing mine.

Actually, she has not borrowed my new one, but the old ones in that black Otterbox case, she liked. She would pick it up when she found it and carry it somewhere else. I discovered this during one of my beautiful wife’s business trips a few years ago. We had used my wife’s phone for the alarm up until that time, but since she was gone, I set mine because I could put it on the nightstand next to me and turn it off before it awakened the boys–unlike the klaxon of the alarm clock on the bureau, which might have done so. But in the middle of the night, I awakened, and the phone was gone. The cat had taken it into one of the boys’ rooms; I found it in the darkness, and my phone has gone into the nightstand drawer at night ever since.

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The Maury Poviched Feline Patrimony At Nogglestead

Way back when we first moved to Nogglestead, a couple of our cats got into some inappropriate urination. Although one of the tabbies had, from time to time, used the bathroom in a dark closet, he started doing things like urinating on my desk. Instead of getting rid of the cats, we put them into our back yard which is sheltered enough from predators that they would be safe, if not comfortable. We had food and water out for them all day and night, which brought all manner of fauna by for a snack.

Including two neighboring cats. One, we nicknamed Valjean because he was stealing the other cats’ food.

Another cat, more skittish and standoffish came by. We named him Jigsaw because of the coloring on his face resembling a Jigsaw puzzle. Also, because Jigsaw sounds mean.

Our cats and Valjean did not like Jigsaw; I once saw Jigsaw and Valjean tussle where Jigsaw ran the length of our deck and launch himself over our fence to get away, and Valjean went running after him, flying several yards out and ten or twelve feet down, to get that cat.

So, in the mythos of Nogglestead, Valjean was a good cat, and Jigsaw was not.

From time to time, we saw (and continue to see) similar-looking cats in the fields around us, and we say they’re Valjean’s line.

Over the years, we let in a couple cats that showed up around Nogglestead.

The first was about six years ago. It was spring time, and the windows and doors were open. For a couple of evenings, this cat showed up and whined at the open windows and doors of whatever room I was in. I put out some food for him, so he hung around. After a couple of weeks, my beautiful wife decided he should be neutered; she used to volunteer and support a trap/spay/release organization in St. Louis. Since the beast was going to have to stay in the house for a couple of weeks from the neutering, we decided just to have him declawed and a housecat. We were down to four cats at the time, and we have six bowls for moist cat food, so we were hiring.

A couple of years later, a similar-looking cat appeared, and he came when my wife called it. A skinny little thing, he was already front declawed and neutered. Because he seemed nice, my family wanted to, and did, take him in pretty quickly. He’s a bit of a biter, though–nipping at your feet and ankles when you’re walking. One constantly finds him at your feet as well, so we postulate that another family threw him out for it.

So we have these two cats we brought in, which undoubtedly has given us the neighborhood reputation of being cat rustlers. The cats look the same, and they look like the other cats we’ve seen around the neighborhood. So we’ve posited that they’re progeny of Valjean.

However, I’ve recently been using our cat pictures as test data, and I’ve got photos rotating on another monitor again, which led me to a shocking discovery that has proven that everything I believed to be true was a lie.

Continue reading “The Maury Poviched Feline Patrimony At Nogglestead”

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You Have Been Warned!

If you ever see a kitty looking all cute and friendly, stretched out like it wants a belly rub:

Do not pet the kitty belly! It is a hand trap!

You will be bitten and back-raked!

House cats, being predators who unfortunately are very small, must use their very cuteness to lure their prey to its doom!

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The Book Accumulation Points of Brian J., Explained

I explained book accumulation points last year (almost two years ago, actually).

But I failed to explain one of the reasons why the stack of books has gotten so tall by my reading chair.

It’s because my current black cat Isis defends them.

I try to reach for the books, and she bites me.

Actually, she bites me for so many reasons. Such as doing the laundry (she is no longer satisfied with The Arena of Isis; now, she insists upon jumping on the bed whilst I’m folding laundry and batting and trying to bite me).

I don’t know what it is. The black cats are all so sweet and friendly until they come to me, and then they become mean.

Actually, she does not defend the side table that much. I was just trying to use it as an excuse to justify my own habit of laying aside books to finish later, when later might be years.

Isis actually prefers to jump on my lap when I am reading and inspect books by rubbing her cheek against them. Clearly, she favors heavy hardback books which scratch her better than Executioner paperbacks or saddle-stitched self-published works. But she prefers those to nothing at all.

And then she hops off and runs away, only to return minutes later to hop up and inspect the book again.

Sometimes, though, she will settle into my lap for a long-Isis-time of a couple minutes. But I am not to pet her. Otherwise, she will bite me. Ibit.

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I’m Not That Gone Already

So I work a lot on the phone, sometimes leading calls where my microphone is open most of the call.

And this chonker makes himself comfortable on a chair beside my desk and proceeds to nap and snore.

I mean, I might be a short timer, but I am not sleeping through these calls.

This affectionate fellow likes to nestle up with me when I nap or sleep at night, and he snores as loud as a human might. I mean, maybe louder than I do. I can’t tell, because I’m generally sleeping when I snore, but I certainly hope I don’t snore any louder than that.

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Internet Cattin’

I don’t know why I thought of this joke whilst sitting on the pool deck watching my youngest jumping off the diving board.

But I did.

I know, it requires knowledge of Roman history as well as understanding that large cats are called chonkers on the Internet for some reason. To be honest, I could explain the former to you better than the latter.

I know, I could have used Vittles instead of Victuals, but for some reason the slang variant did not come to mind immediately come to mind even though Tender Vittles was a cat food brand back in the day. But I am a snob.

At any rate, I hope you chuckled. Or, as the kids of the Internet say, LOLed.

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Homeschooling Update: A Ink-Licking Good Poem

Last night’s poem was Anniversary by Marjorie Maddox, a poem that my beautiful wife clipped from First Things magazine and deployed this week to remind me we have a wedding anniversary coming up.

Roark, a.k.a. the Big Bopper, a.k.a. Radar Love, kept interrupting my writing to lick the part of the poem I’d already written:

Not a bad poem; a villanelle, of which I might have written one or more once upon a time. Certainly better than the poem on the other side of the page, although the boys liked it better because it was shorter, mostly.

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The Game Where I Became A Lefty

I have previously mentioned that Isis liked to get into the laundry basket to play her game after I emptied it of laundry to fold.

Somewhere in the last couple of years, I’ve altered my habit; instead of putting the basket on its base on the bench after emptying the laundry to fold, I’ve started setting it on the floor on its side instead.

So now, to play, Isis jumps onto the bed amidst the laundry to fold and pretends like she wants to be petted. Or that she can be petted. But once the hand comes out, she rolls on her back and it’s on.

Well, I have a black belt in a martial art. I should have no problem with this game. I even established some ground rules.

The main point of the game is for me to try to touch her, and she tries to prevent it.

I am pretty good at this game, although I use the two-handed “Look at this hand–whilst the other pokes you!” method which does not earn me double points.

Not that I get too much of a high score going. That kitty is fast!

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