My cats are overweight, a problem common to aging pets and pet owners who spend too much time indoors at the computer or on the sofa watching television. My cats are on a diet, which causes Milo some serious problems. Milo is a large, lumbering cat of Siamese mix. He’s muscle, fat, size, and stealth. He’s all love, and all hunger, and like your typical Siamese cat, he’s a complete bully. The other cat, the lonesome Hank Williams, was a pariah in another life. He stands his ground, but only for so long. So Milo, whose full name should be Milosevic, muscles him out ofRead More →

On June 10, 2011 I put my beautiful cat “down.” I have spent the week reflecting on this experience, revisiting my grief, marking the year and its tumult. I associate her with a part of my life that is now gone; she is the bearer of much meaning, and she is so much more than just that. If I cordon off all that she represents in the narrative of my life, our shared history, which I couldn’t possibly do, and if I focus only on our relationship in its purest simplicity, I see a different picture. I am reminded of Haraway’s When Species Meet. IRead More →

I am trying to hack my related post plugin to work only on my blog and not all the other pages. It requires learning about WordPress hooks and conditional tags. This means learning about the is_home tag. The idea of is_home as conditional is quite worrisome in our current political and economic landscape, and in the context of my new mortgage, my intended renovations,  my newly adopted rescue cats.  I provide their “Forever Home” in animal rescue lingo. That’s a weighty responsibility. I consider it positive that I still have toothpaste in the tube I hacked open.

Let me introduce you to this cat. Her name is Monkey, which is short for Alien Monkey Cat. Some people call her AMC for short, but only on Facebook. She is visiting from another planet and she is residing with me for a time while she spies on us. I am using this as an opportunity to spread the word widely, and perhaps save the planet from takeover by her species. Be forewarned. They have dripping, venomous spikes in their tails. Now, just to be clear, the purpose of today’s post is to discuss the equinox broom phenomenon. A meme has been going around onRead More →

The Latest Threes: (Semi-gratitudish) The intartubes: 1. My latest bookmarks are all WordPress related. 2. I’m on Google wave. Are you? 3. I’m still confused about the new Facebook. The meat world: 1. We are shifting to online teacher evals at school (wait, does that count as meat world? Or on the internet?) 2. I haven’t been to a movie in ages, but I did buy Madonna’s Celebration. 3. The kid and I eat out too much. She’s an expensive date, going for three courses and two drinks. But we do have such excellent conversations. My cat: 1. …is very fat. 2. …is on aRead More →

The viral video of Christian the Lion made me sniffle and almost cry. It is about a lion cub who was domesticated and then re-released in the wild. The story reminded me of Born Free, a movie from the 1960s (and it’s quintessential 60s, too). It turns out that the guy who “Born Free” was about helped re-release Christian to the wild. The viral video is a touching reunion between Christian and his caretakers. It made me think of Haraway’s notion of “companion species” and “respecere.” Clearly this animal and his caretakers were in a relationship of respect, communion, and face. There are a coupleRead More →

I don’t really have much commentary on Chapter 4. I saw it as a case study in science studies and caring for animals situated within breeding pedigree dogs. Maybe I’m missing something. As for Chapter 3, I struggled with this chapter more than with other chapters. So first I’m gonna spin out what I got from the chapter (without the nuances, which would add years to this process). Chapter 3 The chapter is about how we deal ethically with other non-human species, specifically lab animals. “Instrumental action with animals is not the enemy” – sometimes we have to have lab animals. This puts her onRead More →

Here are some ofmy thoughts on Chapters 1 and 2: 1. Her writing – accessibility: I guess the first thing I want to reflect on is the quality of her writing. I was all prepared for a mind-busting read and I was surprised to find it quite accessible, almost beach reading. I don’t know why she chose to make it so “entry-level.” One thing people have griped about for years is her lack of accessibility, which is a big issue for me, since I always wonder (like many people) what’s the point of doing feminist work if no one can read it. For instance, IRead More →

I’m reading Donna Haraway’s When Species Meet with a friend. We had a great discussion of the first chapter over breakfast this morning. The book is a solid choice for us to read because she’s a science-y person, and a dog person and I’m a Haraway person, so it’s a nice “collision” of our interests. I’m enjoying the book. The first chapter (and it appears to be true for the rest of the book) is almost light reading compared to Haraway’s other work. It’s still her typical methodology of hauling in everything and the kitchen sink into a cat’s cradle analysis of some interesting pointRead More →