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My Sunday As An Addict March 18, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Cats, Writing.
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Since I lost my cat last June, I often have cat withdrawal and start jonesin’ big time for some cat petting and general must-pamper-kitty urges.

Get another cat, you say? Well, maybe, right before my long Summer vacation, perhaps. But part of me also enjoys not having the responsibility of taking care of the cat, having to be back home for wet food feeding at certain times, or a repeat of taking care of a sick cat, constantly. It was a lot of stress.

So, instead of remarrying, I found a local brothel.

A nearby pet supply place, where I used to buy cat litter, has a big fluffy black cat living in the store. You can usually find him sleeping on various cat trees, or just wandering around.

A branch of my bank and a Goodwill occupy other spots in the same shopping center, so whenever I have the slightest reason to go there, I make a point of going into the pet supply place and spending some quality time petting the black cat.

Today he was sleeping. Woke up for a second, I petted him, and he just went back to sleep. I never want to disturb a cat’s sleep, so I wandered around the store to see if he’d wake up in a few, but no dice.

Sigh. I left.

Then since it finally stopped raining, I went for a nice long walk to think about/work out some ideas kicking around in my head & notebooks for Wagstaff 3. I get my best ideas on these multi-mile walks through the neighborhood, and it’s a no-shit-sherlock that the exercise is good for me. Get them triglycerides down AND figure out how to make my usual layer upon layer of idiotic pop culture plot actually turn out to make sense.

And as I walked by a house, I saw a little brown tiger cat!

Perhaps this was my KARMIC MAKEUP for not being able to pet the black one.

After all, I usually never see cats outside in my neighborhood. I actually don’t WANT to, since I live in an area where coyotes freely roam after-hours, and any cat left outdoors most often winds up listed as missing on Nextdoor or on posted flyers, and it’s more than obvious that Wile E. Cat-eating-fucker had a big dinner.

I called to the brown tiger cat. He took notice, but was skittish.

I knelt down to make myself less threatening, and called him over.

He trotted right over to me. Started to lean forward to smell my hand, and then suddenly changed his mind. Ran back towards the SUV in the driveway, then turned back to check on me.

I called him over again and made purring sounds.

He thought about it a moment, and then trotted back to his original spot, watching me.

Calling him over again didn’t work. He got bored and went into his backyard.

Nobody loves me.

I think I’ll jot down some after-walk notes about the book and drown my sorrows in some pasta & wine for dinner.

Pasta ALWAYS loves me.


Home Decor Ideas Dep’t March 15, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Cats, General.


Thinking of removing those canned LED lights in my kitchen ceiling and replacing with these.

Interesting engineering behind them – evidently, they run on tuna.

If I replace the solar on the roof with an aquarium, I might be all set.

Turns Out I AM A Cat March 12, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Cats.
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Although I’m not too bad at making decisions…. except for that time I thought I could jump to the top of a ledge on a shower window, and wound up falling into a bathtub filled with water and…. oh wait, that was the cat. Sorry.

A Sunday Cooking Post, March 11, 2018 March 11, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Cats, Cooking, Food.
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I’ve been thinking of getting myself yet another kitchen gadget, this time one of those Instant Pots, that combine a pressure cooker, slow cooker & sauteé-r into one countertop electronic thigamajig that’ll make my cooking of stews, chilis and the like much easier….

… and then I came across this guy’s version of a pressure cooker mac and cheese that intrigues me greatly.

Check it out:

Tonight, however, it’ll be a simple chicken dish, since I just restocked on boneless breasts & thighs. I’m thinking I’ll cut the breast into cutlets, pound ’em flat, dredge in some seasoned flour, brown in olive oil on both sides, remove from the pan, throw in some minced garlic, chopped tomato and white wine, return the chicken to the pan and let simmer in the sauce for 20 minutes or so before adding a little basil & pepper and serving.

Get all that?

Told you it was easy.

I’ll probably grab the 3 qt version of the Instapot and cut the portions of the mac & cheese recipe down from the family-size serving in the vid to the I’ll just sit here alone in the dark with my meager dinner before I end it all proportions. I’d hate for the cops busting down my door in the hazmat suits to take my rotting corpse away think that I wasted food.

When Claws Aren’t Enough March 9, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Cats.
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I hope I don’t owe him money.

I Needed That Drink March 6, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Cats, General, Movies.
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One of those days.

Although I decided to add “Wag The Dog” and “The Big Short” to an economics/government class next year while I mapped it out. I might throw “Margin Call” in as well, and there also might be room for “A Face In The Crowd,” but we’ll see.

In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out why I had a weird dream last night that I had to attend a Halloween costume party, and was wearing only a gray turtleneck/blue blazer combo, and had to write down who I was supposed to be on a piece of paper. For some reason, I wrote “Napoleon,” and then tore it up since I didn’t have the hat or French army uniform. I asked people what Hollywood star wore the turtleneck/blazer get-up since I didn’t want to run home and change, and everyone came up empty.

And then I woke up and for the life of me, I STILL can’t think of anyone I could claim to be dressing as in that getup.  I should have chucked it, and gone as this guy instead:


All made to mix, baby! He’s young and single & ready to mingle.

Either that, or he’s been cloned 4 times and given a scary wardrobe indicating that his leisure army will soon ACHIEVE WORLD DOMINATION.

Seig heil! Ich bein ein airline seat upholstery!

Meh. Hopefully I’ll have better dreams tonight.

Movies Worth Seeing: Kedi (2016) March 3, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Cats, Movies.
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Kedi is a wonderfully photographed documentary on the street cats of Istanbul, directed by Ceyda Torun. It’s available on several online platforms after a short theatrical run, and gets a big thumbs up from yours truly.

Well, come on, you KNOW I’m gonna love a movie all about cats. That’s a no-brainer, or more likely, a toxoplasmosis brainer.

Torun’s film depicts the realities of what must be the thousands of street cats living all over Istanbul, and how they are basically a mainstay of the life of the city. The cats of particular neighborhoods are well known by the people and merchants. Many of the people who take care of the cats are shown & interviewed, as well as other people who merely live alongside them.

Torun filmed stories about dozens of cats and their respective people, and offers up close up profiles of seven. The cats differ in personality, from a mother cat who knows how to cajole & steal food for her and her kittens, to a “psycho” female who patrols her territory like a turf boss, dominating her “husband” cat (and fighting off a rival for his attention at one point) as well as commanding specific types of affection on her terms only from the people around. All of this serves as wonderful entertainment for those of us fascinated by watching cat behavior.

A territory fight (source of the pic above) is particularly interesting. We first see the black & white cat make her rounds, from the streets and people who she must consider her property, up a specific tree and patio route to a second story apartment where she’s worked out a specific body language to get allowed in, to let the owner’s house cat know the boss has arrived, and then to leave. When Ginger the orange cat arrives in the ‘hood to assert himself, he clearly follows scents to trace the exact same tree-patio-apartment route to claim ALL of the first cat’s kingdom, before they square off in a hiss and swat match that the apartment cat watches from a distance, wondering who she’ll belong to next.

The people’s reflections on their relationships with the cats makes up most of the interviews. Most of them discuss the healing power of cats in their lives, on how the cats absorb negative energy and reflect back positive. One man who we see feeding dozens of them, something he does daily, tells a story of how he had a nervous breakdown years ago and withdrew from life, until he found that caring for the cats and what he got back from them restored his energies and interest in the world.

These small encounters and glimpses into everyday cat and human behavior open windows towards the entire history of the interesting relationship between humans and this fascinating animal, who seems to have domesticated us in a way, becoming a pet while maintaining a level of independence. More than one of Torun’s human subjects state that the cat is aware of God, and understands that humans are the middlemen in fulfilling God’s will in caring for them.

The setting, obviously, is an added bonus – Torun’s camera, from cat-eye level to flying overhead, gives us wonderful views of Istanbul. The rich history of the city connotes the long history of human/cat interaction. Both cat and Istanbul are deeply intertwined with the history of people and both are fascinatingly beautiful.

Yeah, my knee-jerk reaction to stray cats is to take every God damn one of ’em home and basically turn into this eharmony vid from some time back, and there were times during this film where I felt terrible for the cats living in the wild of the city. But they all seem so happy, and happy to be wild and independent as one interviewee puts it. I guess there’s a case to be made that if those cats wanted to live inside someone’s house, they’d just demand to come in and never leave. They do everything else they want, don’t they? They’re CATS!

Well worth seeing, a must for cat lovers.

And if you don’t like cats, GET THE FUCK OFF MY BLOG NOW.

Morning Mood, March 1, 2018 March 1, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Cats, General.
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This Is How I Usually Feel February 19, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Cats, Food.
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