Play Date With Frog

It’s been raining a lot lately, so look who turned up on the Catio.

Did you invite him, ma?

I wonder what would happen if I do this.

Whereupon Mr. Frog gave a mighty leap to the chair.

Bugs ponders his next move.

The only possible response:

Mr. Frog’s response was to flatten himself down into a micron-thin puddle. I’ve never seen such a flattened frog.

You just never know about the frogs around here. Some of them are poisonous.* So I ushered Mr. Frog outside the Catio into the great outdoors. Where Mr. Frog could carry on being a frog without further interference from this quarter.

*I could have misidentified the frog in the previous post as a Fowler’s toad. Orange legs . . .

Photo by Patrick Coin

. . . suggest it might have been a Cope’s gray tree frog.

Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor

No frogs were harmed in the making of this post.


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Better You Shouldn’t Hear

I was just watching a clip from Trevor Noah on the Daily Show where, at the White House Easter Egg Roll, Melania had to poke #45 to get him to “put his hand where the human heart should be” as the Star Spangled Banner was playing.

Bugs and Barney had curled up for a snooze.

So I went into the other room to scoop the litter box and I could not stop myself. I burst into song.

Me doing the Star Spangled Banner is something you just don’t want to hear under any circumstances.

But for the record, I’m adamantly opposed to any criticism of this “aggressive, unsingable, relatively recently adopted, ill-constructed descendant of a raunchy bar ballad turned celebration of obscure military stalemate.”

That would be un-American.

When I came out, both Bugs and Barney had come to their feet and were staring at me with utter alarm on their little faces.

Here they are, after they had recovered somewhat.

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Shed a Little Light

In these dark days of world-wide fear and uncertainty, a little light is especially appreciated. Please enjoy this fabulous cover of James Taylor’s great song “Shed a Little Light,” brought to you by the Maccabeats, Naturally 7, Martin Luther King, and Abraham Lincoln. I read somewhere that James himself thought this was the best cover of his work ever.

On the home front in related news, we are having an argument about a lamp.

I read in John Bradshaw’s The Trainable Cat – well of course I did, I’m one of those “obsessive cat owners who would read its 300-some pages beginning to end.” Although we all know I “own” nothing. If anybody owns anyone, it’s the cats own me.

Anyway, my point. I read in Bradshaw that some cats nibble and pick at and chew stuff because they needed this behavior, as predators, to pluck the feathers from their bird prey.

I have this lovely lamp I inherited from my grandmother. It came with a lovely raw-silk shade.

Here is what has happened to the lovely raw-silk shade. Not done by Barney.

By Bugs, who else.

For the week leading up to this post, I kept the camera next to the lamp, hoping I could catch Bugs in the act. No such luck – although my simply reaching for the camera was enough to get him to stop, naturally, so there was at least some utility there.

You don’t think I’d let you snap me in the act, do you?

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Learning From Outrage

This Sunday didn’t start off well – with an e-mail from Tom Cotton, the alleged person who is supposed to be representing me in the U.S. Senate. He was very proud to tell me “great news.” Thanks to his direct intervention with U.S. Health Secretary Tom Price, the peace of mind of the good citizens of Royal, Arkansas (west of Hot Springs) will no longer be disturbed by the specter of unaccompanied “illegal-immigrant” children – that’s right, unaccompanied children – being housed at a nearby defunct Job Corps center. Cotton praises the good citizens of Royal for their “vigilance” in driving out this terrible threat. This, Cotton says, “will help keep Arkansas families safe.”

I circulated this outrage to my political colleagues. In response, one of them has offered to find out where those poor children have been shunted off to, to send them care packages.

This person responds to outrage with generosity. I myself tend to stay seething in outrage. Maybe I can learn something here.

In other news, spring started about a month early this year, thanks to the summery February we’ve been having. On Saturday, February 11th, it was 81 degrees F. here. And it’s not just here. This has been the hottest February on record in hundreds of years — all over the U.S.A, in Britain, and 90.5 degrees F. in New Delhi.

So of course this had to happen.

Here’s Bugs wanting to go back inside, after colliding with the shock of sub-30 degree weather.

He does ask nicely, though, when I take his picture instead.

And here’s Barney.

Our latest clicker-training gambit is jumping up on top of Nelson’s Column and then spinning around in a tight circle.

Anything to stop brooding about the political situation.

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This Year . . .

. . . it’s hard to find words for what’s going on over here. In the U.S.A. I’ve been devoting so much time to the political situation that this blog has unfortunately taken a back seat. But I can’t let a year pass without a post dated March 4th, my birthday.


Barney says hi to you all.

Bugsy isn’t saying much today. Over the past few months he has had a resurgence of his allergy and health issues (skin, vomiting). We have embarked on a truly strange program with a vet in California, whom we found through Dr. Jean Hofve. It seems to be helping. I took this picture around a month ago, and since then his ears have much improved.


Here he is looking better.


And here is a snap of some ducks I’ve been feeding lately.


With kind regards to all.


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Family of Us

May the paw of light shed happiness on us all in this New Year.


I hope you enjoy the gentle vibe of this lovely song and video, “Famille Feat,” from Lokua Kanza of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Reminding us to find those whom we feel to be family — of origin and the greater Family of us all — and to tell them, while we are all still here, that we love them.


Lokua Kanza


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New Year’s Miracle

I want a miracle for everybody in the New Year like the one that has just happened for me. Here’s the story:

Last Wednesday December 28, I underwent oral surgery under IV anesthetic to extract a left-lower molar and to place a bone graft. The surgeon told me I would probably experience the worst pain on the third day.

Yesterday morning, Friday, I woke up at 4:00 a.m. with pain at 6 of 10. The pain felt like a seething molten pit where the tooth had been and it spread up the left side of my face to my ear, down through my neck, and into my left shoulder.

Although you could feel better just looking at this face . . . .

miracle1-002That was not quite enough this time. I spent around 1.5 hours doing Les Fehmi’s meditations: General Open Focus Training, Dissolving Pain, and Long Form.

The pain persisted steadily through the first two meditations, intensifying with the narrow-focus bits of Dissolving Pain. But by Long Form, I noticed that the pain seemed to be coming and going. I fell asleep at the end of Long Form.

I woke at 7:45 with pain at 0.

I was afraid to eat, but as I wrote this at 9:45 after oatmeal, the pain was around 0.5. I could certainly feel swelling and stiffness, and I needed to be careful with sudden movements, but, still, the pain was around 0.5.

The only other pain remedy I’m taking is homeopathic arnica.

In the past I have tried the Fehmi meditations less successfully with amorphous back pain. With this current pain, which I feel as more concrete than the back pain, the results appear to be nothing short of unambiguously fabulous.

The cats are not so sure. They seem to prefer straddling the fence.

Pick a chair, Bugs!


Pick a chair, Barney!

And by the way, Bugs wants you to know that Barney is not the only one who knows how to load up.


May everybody get at least one miracle in the New Year.


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