Thursday, June 20, 2013

You Cannot Legislate Morality

Saw on Twitter this morning, thanks to Larry, that there's some hullabaloo about someone's Kickstarter campaign. CNN article here.

Ok, caught up? Good.

Stop trying to wish offensive shit out of existence. 

It doesn't work and it just makes everyone more miserable.

Yes, it certainly sounds like this guy is a douchenozzle. Yes, I would pretty much like to kick him in the jimmy. But my desire does not mean that the book should be banned. Sure, there's possibly some bad advice in there. I'm not taking the quotes as all the information though, because out of context is a major factor.

But, ya know? He's got the right to give bad advice. And people have the right to take bad advice. Maybe he's advocating being more aggressive than is polite, which some men might take to an extreme.

However, in my opinion, a far more effective way to discourage such behavior is for women to stop acting like startled sheep when something they don't like happens and take steps to learn to defend themselves.

Society cannot protect you from being offended. The most effective defense against assault of any kind is self defense. Because, face it folks, you don't have a cop in your pocket. Your ability to defend yourself is always with you.

I don't give a rat's ass if you carry a gun, learn jujitsu, get a protection dog that is with you every second of every day, or invent a damn force field. Just take a pro active interest in your own bodily safety.

The fact that you're offended by something some jackass says in a book does not give you the right to silence them. The fact that he's advocating aggressive tactics with women would not be an issue if every single woman stepped down off the pedestal long enough to figure out that they have the power to defend themselves.

Because you know what? The guys who might take that advice a little too far because someone told them women like that kind of thing will stop if it is made absolutely clear to them that it is not acceptable right then when it happens.

The guys who wouldn't stop are called rapists and aren't raping because of a book, they're doing it because they're rapists. And it's even more important with them that as a woman you know how to defend yourself.

The facts of life are that you may not stop him. You might still get raped or otherwise assaulted. But you're going to make it very expensive for him. It might make him change his mind, if you can manage to rip off his ear or gouge out his eye, but at absolute rock bottom worst you're marking him to make him easy to identify after the fact.

That is the answer to guys like this dick. The world cannot be made perfectly safe, that's not how life works. Anyone who tells you differently is probably looking for votes. So quit crying, and do something about it with the only thing in this world that you can actually control: yourself.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


The kittens are doing well, gradually getting more liking for people (even if only as a combination of Mount Everest and the worlds greatest jungle gym) and eating well.

They're starting to play a bit with each other and will chase things, but have absolutely no idea what to do with them once they catch up. They just sort of look at whatever it was like "well, now what?" and then wander off in a different direction.

I figure these guys are at about three weeks, more or less. They're a little stunted, size wise. For one, feral cats don't get the loving care and nutrition that pets do, and that can make a huge difference when momma is nursing. So they don't grow as fast, but they're more likely to have a bigger growth spurt around the time they start being able to hunt for themselves, instead of a fairly steady upward trend. 

These babies had been on their own a day or two, and they were pretty dehydrated. We're getting them brought back from that but it's a slow building rather than an immediate fix. They're not in any danger, just building back up from where they were will take some time.

And lots of patience. For now, they're mostly living in a small kennel, where they can feel like it's a den, it's easier to clean up after them, and we don't have to play "oh shit where's the kitten" for most of the day. Also, it helps keep the interactions with the dogs to supervised levels. None of the dogs are too likely at this stage to just kill them out of hand, though that was a concern for a bit since most of them are terrier types and the kittens look more like big skinny rats right now than anything. But, a couple of controlled introductions have been made, me holding a kitten on my lap and letting everyone check it out where it was clear that it was ours. The kittens seem to be taking most of the new stuff with the attitude of if I don't like it I can't change it, but I don't have to be happy about it, so they did ok other than looking for a way down to the floor so they could find a place to hide.

Jezebelle seems to go into this weird super-mom on speed mode around them. She knows they're babies, and wants to mother them, but isn't sure why her licking them doesn't make them stop crying, so her solution is to lick faster damnit. Which, many of you might guess, does not exactly make the kittens stop crying.

Caring for three week old kittens isn't as difficult as it is with younger babies. At this age they can manage to eat from a dish, though they're not very good at it, but will eventually fill their bellies without having to resort to a bottle. They can also manage soft food, especially if you mix it with a little milk to soften it further. It's not a matter of their teeth at this stage really, most of them have a decent enough set, but they're still tender and they really don't know what to do with them yet. They're in that weird half stage between nursing and eating grown up kitty food, which momma generally handles by kicking them the hell off the teat when they bite too hard, and making sure to bring them some grown up stuff to gnaw on instead of her. Unfortunately it's not that easy when momma isn't about, though it's not hard either, just time consuming and messy. 

For now they're getting soft food mixed to mush with milk. Couple reasons, one, it doesn't hurt their teefies so they can eat more quickly and two, they need as much nutrition as fast as we can manage right now. They wouldn't die if I started easing them towards more solid foods by a long shot, but I will feel much better when they get some decent weight on themselves and start muscling up some more. I'll probably start alternating plain soft food and the milk mush in the next couple of days.

Partly because of this:

At this stage, and especially since they went hungry for a while, they're really territorial about food, and still pretty well equating all food to momma's teat, in terms of how to get it or get more of it. So, they push, and shove, and wallow in the food dish. And get absolutely covered in it. Don't worry, I gave that one (which happens to be the one named after Stingray) a wipedown right after I took the picture. They're starting to try to clean themselves, they'll lick at their paws and make an attempt at cleaning their faces, but they just haven't gotten it down yet. Which is why every couple days we absolutely have to do this:

First bath ever yesterday, they were not impressed. But they smelled better afterwards. 

Not so incidentally, these pictures are being shown in reverse chronological order. Baths yesterday, the ridiculous level of mess above at breakfast today. Patience, which, though I seem to lack it in a lot of other areas in my life somehow I manage to have just enough of when it comes to animals, is a very important part of hand raising any young critter, but seemingly especially cats. Kittens will make more fuss than puppies, sleep lighter, make bigger messes for their numbers and can cause way more inadvertent minor injuries with those claws than puppies manage with their teeth. And it's really easy to forget that they have to learn to be neat and clean and not wallow in their food dish, when they're covering themselves in a sticky glop at least three times a day.

But, mostly they nap, with the aid of a youtube video I found where someone looped up nine hours of cat purr. And that's ok, at this age, that's what they should be doing. Eat, play, sleep, repeat. The purr helps them sleep better, with it going they don't startle awake crying at every single sound. Though, it isn't quite so beneficial to me since it makes me sleepy as hell too. Small price to pay, though, for well rested, non-crying kittens.

More updates as events warrant, or when I manage to get decent pictures of them looking cute. So far, that hasn't really happened, lol.

Friday, June 14, 2013

More Orphans

Last night Farmmom came in when she got home from Eldest Nephew's baseball game and said "Come help me find these crying kittens."

Turns out, momma cat had apparently moved them into the shed and then headed out on her own, and promptly got squished on the highway in front of the house.

So we now have four kittens just old enough to start getting teeth. They're not super feral, though they're not all that sure they like people, they have already made the association that we have food.

As I type this they're in one of the smaller kennels next to my chair, telling me that they would like to be somewhere else now thank you very much. However, I have no intention of searching every tiny nook in the house for kittens every ten minutes for fear they've gotten stuck somewhere. They get out and get attention and play time (supervised) but until they're a little more used to us and a little bigger (which won't take long) so that they can't fit somewhere I couldn't get my hand to get em out, they'll spend most of their downtime in the kennel.

So far, their personalities are only showing in noise level and appreciation of petting. The runt is a tiny little black thing with an itty bitty mew and has been one of the first to rub back against a petting hand. Two more black ones about the same size, one quieter who isn't sure about this whole petting thing and one that seems to think that every sound out of it's mouth is a dreadful curse word that must be said at the top of his lungs (I think I'll name that one after Stingray. )

And last, a little dove grey fluffball that is most likely to stay in the kennel when the door is opened (meanwhile it's siblings are hanging on the kennel door and ride it open, after which I have to peel them off to set them on the floor or they'll try to climb over the top) and not really sure about this petting thing but the warm of a lap is pretty ok.

No photos, yet. They're dirty and covered in milk and soft food, and haven't quite mastered the art of cleaning themselves well enough yet, and I want them to get settled in and let their stress levels go down quite a bit before I subject them to a bath, so the most they've gotten is a quick wipe with a wet washcloth. So they're pretty raggedy looking, at the moment. More pathetic than cute. Rest assured though, photos will follow.

This time, at least, it's not my fault that we have orphans. I'm sort of enjoying that part.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Fun and Excitement

Has... not been here. I've been trying to be better about blogging, honestly, but things just aren't all that exciting here.

The last week or so has been a round of a game that I've come to know far better than I wanted to... had a bone spur in my jaw that I figured was more of the same... little splinters of bone come with the territory at this point.

This was somewhat larger than I usually deal with, a little larger than a bb. I believe originally it was a piece of root that got broken off during the admittedly difficult extraction process, and finally managed to work it's way out and get to where I COULD get it out.

Granted it was big enough it's possible it would have been smarter to have the dentist do it, but I didn't know that at the time. Anyway it's out now, leaving yet another unwanted hole in my head but oral wound care has become (unfortunately) something I can do in my sleep.

The pain pills had a poor interaction with my stomach, though, so the last several days have been a bit miserable.

So, there you have it. My exciting life. I'll stop whining now and let you get back to whatever it was you were doing... I'm reasonably certain it's more interesting in any case!