Sunday, March 30, 2014


Day 1
Arrived at new residence. It lacks a certain level of majesty appropriate to our status, but will be satisfactory at least for the duration this short term placement. Appears to suffer from a complete and total dearth of cat hair - we have already made great strides in rectifying this deplorable situation.

We have settled in marvelously and with great dignity, and most of the humans have already grown accustomed to - and even seem pleased with - the honour of servitude. The large male human, however, retreated into a corner and commenced making deep growling noises immediately following our arrival. We are to understand that he is simply slow to acclimate to new situations and will settle down with time. In the interim, we have been warned to treat him gently and to give him space and time to adjust.

Day 2
I must commend the large female on her mastery of our preferred cuisine - the salmon tin juice was most excellent. It seems the humans even managed to craft a meal for themselves out of the remainder of the tins' contents. What could have been left after the magical elixir of salmonid was drained off is a mystery to us both, but it is pleasing nonetheless that they are so mindful of waste. They were rewarded with several head-butts and three coy tail swishes. I am certain they are suitably honoured.

We were plied today with treats, toys and extended grooming sessions with a splendid bristled implement of some sort. Overall, a delightful day! The large male was plied with a six pack each of beer and lint rollers, and seems somewhat less agitated than previously, although still less than friendly.

Day 3
A bit of a frustrating day. The large male seems to be doing his utmost to undo all of our hard work of coating each surface with a uniform layer of hair - he is almost maniacal in his use of lint rollers, and this afternoon drove madly around the abode towing a mechanical, roaring dervish. Sadly, the dervish succeeded where mere lint rolling had not and we must now redouble our efforts to mark these furnishings as our own. Otherwise, how will these poor humans remember us following our departure? A tragic circumstance. We must persevere, for their own good.

Day 7
The large male's will has finally been broken! He has abandoned his six pack of lint rollers and now simply reaches for his beers. He even petted my head briefly yesterday, for which I rewarded him with a most pleasing view of my anus. I am certain he could be fully domestiCATed (ha ha, a favourite little joke of mine there) if only we had more time to work with him, but alas, our temporary placement here is coming to an end. We are conspiring to bring the bristled instrument of grooming and pleasure with us when we depart, but are finding our lack of both opposable thumbs and pockets of detriment in this endeavour.

Farewell, human servants! I trust you have enjoyed our stay with you. May our copious shedding confound your mechanical dervish such that it eternally fails to remove all traces of our presence, and may you forever be reminded of us by occasional, inexplicable, tufts of cat hair floating gently through the air.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mercury in Retrograde

I'm sorry to hear that you don't like the maps we've provided. May I ask what it is specifically that you would like to see changed?




Excuse me a moment, I'm not entirely sure I understand. Are you are suggesting we put a symbol representing each feature on top of the actual feature?

Why, that's just poor cartography.

Because that would make them easier to see in the field?

I'm afraid I have to disagree... I think -

Okay, I'll curtsy while I think, but I can't see how it will save any time. So as I was saying, we have high quality orthoimagery presented at 1:10,000 scale, and the features are denoted directly above the alignment, so it's just a matter of drawing a straight line down from the note...

But putting a symbol on top of the imagery at the location will obscure the feature...

It is the visual cue. It's the only visual cue. It allows the person in the field to compare what is on their map against what they're seeing on the ground. That's why we use imagery in the first place.

Okay, let's try a little thought experiment: you are standing in the field. You look at your map and you see a big purple triangle that is labeled 'wetland.' Now you look at the ground. Do you see a purple triangle or a wetland?

Right. And did the the purple triangle help you see the wetland, or would a picture of the wetland have helped you more?

No, and there's no use trying. One can't believe impossible things. 

Well, it's after breakfast now so let's try to be sensible for a while, shall we?


Well, I'm not sure what good it would do you to chop off my head at this point. You'd just have to have this same conversation with someone else tomorrow.

Yes, yes, you're the client, all ways are your ways, I get it, but...


Oh, of course: yes, Your Majesty!



Wednesday, March 5, 2014


A good friend of mine was appalled that no one had told her her feet would be a size bigger after she had a baby. It seems she had been fully prepared to grow out of her pants (or as fully prepared as one can ever be for one's youth and hotness to evaporate into thin air on short notice), but to lose her prized shoe collection? Ouch. "You knew about this! Why didn't you warn me?!" she cried. I hung my head in shame - I didn't really get into the compulsive shoe purchasing thing until after I had Small Fry so it hadn't occurred to me it could be such a problem. Now every time I have a parenting revelation, I feel obligated to share it with the world lest I let someone down again.

This week's parenting revelation is the Six-Year-Old Growth Spurt. Maybe it happens at five-and-nine-twelfths, maybe it happens at six-and-a-quarter, but happen it will. And it has caught me unprepared twice over:

One evening way back when Medium Fry was in grade one, she burst into tears and accused me of not packing her any lunch, all week. This was clearly not the case, as I sent her to school each day with a lunch so resplendent with food groups and healthful choices that teachers and classroom aides alike routinely complimented me on them - in short, not only did I send a lunch every day, I sent a Grade A Parenting lunch. Setting my wounded Grade A Parent pride aside, I delved deeper into the problem: as it turned out, after eating First Breakfast at home, followed by Second Breakfast at her sitter's house before school, Medium Fry would eat her entire lunch for Third Breakfast at recess time in the morning, leaving only her intended recess snack - usually an apple - for actual lunch, and nothing at all for the afternoon. By the 3 o'clock bell, she was beyond hangry at her terribly thoughtless mother who had "neglected" to pack enough food. Uh, who knew? For about three months following, I packed that wee six-year-old girl a lunch fit for a lumberjack with a bad case of tapeworms, which was just about enough to get her through the day most days. Our measuring wall documents the associated growth spurt that occurred at this time.

All these years later, we're coming up to Small Fry's sixth birthday on Saturday. Yesterday, he came downstairs in the morning weeping hysterically, with a disturbing combination of snot, tears and blood pouring down his face. For a few moments I believed it was his cracked lip that was the issue. "It's not my lip that's the pwoblem, Mommy!" he bawled. Well, what the heck was the problem? "I don't want to turn siiiiiix! I don't want to get old and diiiieeee! Bwaaaaa!"

Ah. I see. I had foolishly tried to apply chapstick, when what he really needed to appease his wounded little soul was... breakfast. You fooled me twice, six-year-old growth spurt - shame on me.

After destroying a turkey sandwich, two kiwis and a bowl of yogurt - a volume of food that I'm not convinced I could ingest in one sitting - Small Fry was back to his usual chipper and unconcerned self. He even wore a silver Mardi Gras necklace and a paper crown to school. (If only breakfast made us all so awesome.)

So, parents of the preschool set, let my experiences be a warning to you: the six-year-old growth spurt is a hungry beast. Signs and symptoms may be misleading. Keep your eyes peeled.

But don't fret about your grocery bills just yet - it'll be over soon, and your little one will go back to violating the laws of thermodynamics with their typical diet of crackers and air.