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My Cats, Lost Cats, Rescued Cats and Schrodinger's Cat

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Bloviating Zeppelin: My Cats, Lost Cats, Rescued Cats and Schrodinger's Cat

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

My Cats, Lost Cats, Rescued Cats and Schrodinger's Cat

It's late Sunday afternoon on the Left Coast and, sitting on the second floor of my Sierra Nevada aerie, I'm watching the sun shoot through the branches of the conifers and onto the last remaining deciduous trees, their yellow leaves slowly settling to the rich, needle-covered earth below. I moved wood this weekend, from my big woodpile to the secondary wood source on my deck, and then stocked the pile inside the house next to the stove. Winter is coming and I need to be ready.

I know that winter is here when I remove all the chairs from the deck, the umbrella, the tables, and take them below to the shed. I did that this weekend too. I could use a propane fill; I'm at 65% and it's time to get on the list for a topping-up -- I wonder what I'll pay?

I'm rambling and I know it. It just feels this way. I originally was going to post about the Republicans, about President Bush, and perhaps post my Moonbat of the Week award. That just went out the window. For today, for right now, I'm over politics. Don't want to go there. I'm just going to go where the muse takes me and, for now, it takes me to cats.

I've had cats all my life. I have to admit I'm a cat guy and not a dog guy. Dogs are too loud, too needy, too over-the-top. Sure, I've had dogs but only when I left home. We always had cats at home -- that's probably why I am why I am. I didn't have a dog as a kid. I've had a few dogs but they just didn't satisfy like a good cat. How weird is that? You thought chicks only dug cats? Well, I'm guessing it's my personality getting in the way.

Here I go with the admission: I'm pretty much the iconoclast. I am not by nature a People Person. I dislike big cities, noise, bustle, loud people, too many people, people in general. I would not do well in New York. I lived in San Francisco for a time when I was very young but couldn't do that now. I work in Sacramento, Fornicalia. But if I stay there too long I become anxious. At the end of my work week I cannot wait to flee. I drive over the speed limit up I-80 to reach my offramp, 70+ miles away.

I get up here, amidst the pines and blue skies and clouds and wandering roads and railroad tracks and I know I am home. The weight comes off my shoulders. The second I open the door to my house I feel totally unfettered. Make no mistake; when you get home I wish you the same feeling. If you can find that feeling in a housing tract or an apartment, more power to you. I know people who could not survive if they were more than 40' from a Starbucks or a bus line, or a mall, a theatre, a museum, a Thai restaurant, a freeway, a Pier 1 Imports.

That's them. It sure ain't me.

So this weekend I went looking for another cat. I found a small cat rescue facility in lower Placer County, in Auburn. I found this great place where rescued and adoptable cats are kept in little apartments where actual people could enter the actual apartments and actually touch the cats. What a concept!

That's how old I am. Animal shelters now keep the adoptees from the potential adopters. They cite reasons like cat viruses and diseases and the like. And they're probably right, I must admit. But you can't touch the animals. You can maybe stick a finger into a cage but, if caught, you have to swab gross stuff over your hands and atone. Say three Hail Marys and turn around a couple times. And then they kick you out.

Because you had the actual TEMERITY to want to touch the animal you're thinking of saving.

Yeah yeah yeah, go ahead, rag on my ass: you don't understand, you don't get it, they're keeping the cats disease free, blah blah blah blah. And then they put all those cats to death and they burn them and brush their ashes into bins and they go out with the rest of that day's trash into the green dumpster. No big deal.

Turns out this out-of-the-way shelter has a higher placement rate than all other regular shelters. I wonder why this would be?

In any event, turns out I put in my chit to be a volunteer at the shelter. Because I felt I could actually make a difference in that place. Because it is different. And it's not smack dab in the middle of a Massive Population -- so they can afford to act and be and present themselves as they are. In ancient Egypt, for example, the cat had a special place in its culture. They were highly valued, not least for the practical reason that mice and rats could destroy a town's food supply. Cats were often given golden jewelry and allowed to eat at the human table. Killing a cat was a capital offence and when a cat died the household would go into mourning. The Egyptian god Bast was a cat-god.

Which brings me to this weekend: I got my pneumonia shot and I got whacked in the eye. Both were painful.

I found, by sheer whimsy, a place that was delivering flu and pneumonia shots. I opted for the pneumonia shot for one very solid reason: the avian flu is coming. One does not die from the flu; oh no. One dies from pneumonia contracted via the flu. Hence my shot. I'll be receiving an additional flu shot later this week. I would recommend your doing the same. A day later the injection site pulsed with a dull throb. But I'd do it all over again.

Later, whilst at the shelter I described above, a cat tagged me in the right eye with her paw. I think her claw might have been out for a moment. In any event, my eye swelled shut, teared up and is still somewhat painful. It's sensitive to light and, 24 hours later, is red and uncomfortable. It feels precisely as my eye felt when I once contracted conjunctivitis.

So sorry. No amazing political post. Just a stream-of-consciousness post that doesn't mean much of anything to anyone. Except to me.

I've always had cats and I want another cat. I'll work for a rescue cat shelter. And what of Schrodinger's Cat?


Here's Schrödinger's (theoretical) experiment: We place a living cat into a steel chamber, along with a device containing a vial of hydrocyanic acid. There is, in the chamber, a very small amount of a radioactive substance. If even a single atom of the substance decays during the test period, a relay mechanism will trip a hammer, which will, in turn, break the vial and kill the cat. The observer cannot know whether or not an atom of the substance has decayed, and consequently, cannot know whether the vial has been broken, the hydrocyanic acid released, and the cat killed. Since we cannot know, the cat is both dead and alive according to quantum law, in a superposition of states. It is only when we break open the box and learn the condition of the cat that the superposition is lost, and the cat becomes one or the other (dead or alive). This situation is sometimes called quantum indeterminacy or the observer's paradox: the observation or measurement itself affects an outcome, so that it can never be known what the outcome would have been if it were not observed.


I posit: was it worth killing the cat?


Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

11 13 05

Haha ha! Good post Blo Zep. I hope your eye feels better, maybe you shd get that checked out:( Thx for sharing about the cats and a little bit of cat history. I knew the ancients revered cats, but never knew there was an actual cat god! How interesting. It is so nice when people share about animals. And you know I LOVED the Schrodinger cat statement! Almost every explanation I have seen approaches it from a slightly different perspective when discussing the dead or alive or dead-alive state. When I talk about abortion, I focus on what happens AFTER the measurement is taken when we disturbed it to see what it is doing. And when we check the cat's vital signs it is dead or alive and nothing inbetween. So goes the fetus. This was a cool post. I like heart posts because they relax the mind. It is your blog and you always can speak of whatever you wish! Sometimes it is hard not to get in a rut when you keep talking about the same thing. Trust me; and that is why I have gotten a little personal lately:) I have really been delving into the CATO institute lately and I think I will post a bit on economics tmw. Have a good day:)

Sun Nov 13, 07:09:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Mahndisa: it was from your profile that I acquired the wherewhithal to write about SC. Howzabout that?!?

I have to confirm for you: my mind was most definitely relaxed when I wrote this. It was almost a total de-encumbranation of soul. I felt free and clear.

Gosh. Maybe I should write more posts in this fashion!

I get, maybe, in a political rut; I feel like I should go in one direction and let the prairie winds be ignored.

Maybe I should go with the flow?

Sun Nov 13, 07:20:00 PM PST  
Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

Enjoyed your post even though I am allergic to cats. (you wouldn't know it by looking at my back yard, I run the buffet for most of the feral cats in the neighborhood. I try to pretend that keeping them close to the yard helps keep the squirrels out of my pecan tree, but the buffet is because I am a natural born sucker. They eat at my buffet and even climb up on the screen door and yell if breakfast is late, but if I try to pet one, it swats me and runs like hell. We have a patch of month old kittens that I am trying to convince that I am kind etc. If I reach for them, their MOM swats me and they all run. I feel a little guilty because none of them are "fixed" and if the Bloviating Z come to our yard he can touch any cat he can catch.

Sun Nov 13, 07:54:00 PM PST  
Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

11 13 05

You guys are so funny! Yes Blo Zep, I think that writing from the heart and going with the flow is the best. Ironically, my first posts were more physics centered and now it is moving towards a bit of everything! The break is needed from politics every now and then I think...cuz this is your creative space!

Sun Nov 13, 08:05:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...


Then perhaps I should write from my own so-called Creative Space.

On previous posts I have solicited comments from everywhere. This is my own so-called epiphany.

Maybe it's time to let go of my structured political framings and let it All Go?

3SC10: Well, gosh, yes, I would actually like to choose between your cats.

Maybe it's time to make my posts more personal than they've been?

My eye still feels screwed. And it's still watering. But I'm listening to Phil Manzanera's 6PM album and i feel better.

Sun Nov 13, 08:16:00 PM PST  
Blogger bigwhitehat said...

I'm a dog lover. I like some cats and the rest don't bother me. But I'm a dog lover.

Both of my dogs are sweet. But they have a problem with squirrels and cats. When either braves my back yard they quickly meet their doom.

There is an exception: the next door neighbor’s 20lb cat. The pups love this cat. They snuggle up and sleep with him. So the instantaneous death of all other cats in the yard perplexes me.

To add to this, the beloved 20 pounder chases other cats into my yard to meet an untimely end. Between our terrible trio and the bobcats around here, the smart money is on keeping the pets in the house.

Mon Nov 14, 07:09:00 AM PST  
Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

11 14 05

Hey: I am praying for your eyes to recover. Ihope you are feeling better and have a good day:)

Mon Nov 14, 03:43:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Thanks guys. I still can't see too well so I'm going to take a day or two off from computer work, I believe -- I can't see up close real well yet but I still, of course, have to go to work. It's looking like maybe the cat snagged my cornea.

BWH: that's the problem with outdoor cats where I live: if they stay outdoors too long, they become someone's snack. I've got tons of raccoons, coyotes, bobcat and the occasional mountain lion and bear. The 20-pound cat sounds pretty cool. A friend of mine once had a tabby running around 20/22 pounds. We called him Locomotive.

Tue Nov 15, 06:08:00 AM PST  
Blogger bigwhitehat said...

You know a cat won't get between you and one of those panthers. Sorry, I'm a dog lover.

Tue Nov 15, 11:46:00 AM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Hey, a new study came out and said people heal better just by petting a dog. No mention of cats.

Wed Nov 16, 12:33:00 PM PST  

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