Friday, December 28, 2007

Identity Shift

The shiny black cat pictured with me on this blog, and who I have known for most of my life, got a new name when the Typist sprung us from jail in Seattle more than two human years ago. We both did.
At that time I had been called 'Harley'. I had been identified as having feline ADD/AHD but no one mentioned that to the Typist. Once she changed my name to PD ( sounds like Peetee) I was able to start focusing and stop running all over her apartment including the tables, up the walls with bamboo coverings (good gripping material), across all objects as if they weren't there, and bouncing off the windows which finally stopped my running.
The importance of a correct sounding name for anyone whether a cat, a human, a bird, or even a dog is vital for harmony in nature. Look at the operating instructions God gave to Adam at the dawn of time... name everything.
Anyway, she really understood the need for this identity stipulation. Of course, I was no trouble for her. She just said a few different sounds to me and when she got to my own sound, Peee-Deee, my ears perked up and, to tell the truth, I simply melted. She can get me to do anything by just saying my name to me.

The naming work did not go so well with my big black companion who was adopted at the same time. We could only be released from our double-wide cell in the Humane Society Prison System if we were taken together. As much as the wild running around, scratching wooden surfaces, and breaking things that I did when moving into our really nice, fully carpeted condo, the boy she called Buddy Budd never responded to that name. He was depressed for a long time and would not talk to her. He talked to me, as usual. We have a system of chirps that we developed in prison. After a couple of days in the new home I had taught the translation to the Typist ( I did not know she would come to be called 'Typist' them) and she could chirp with us. This still did not get Buddy to melt at the sound of his name. She just called him that because he refused to respond to any sound. He was angry for a long time about being abandoned into prison with out committing a crime. Angry to know that he was no longer wanted.
But, not long ago she caught him unaware and found his new name. Ready? Horatio, with a long holding of the "o."

Of course, he 's no longer mad about what happened to him, although being a smart cat, he has memories. Yet once he and I accepted the woman who would become Typist into our family we all have settled down a lot. Finding Horatio's true sounding name came by accident. The typist had spent several days watching all of the Horatio Hornblower DVD films. Somehow she said the name out loud and the cat, formerly known as Buddy, just melted next her. And now she only needs to croon "Horatio" to him and he lies down waiting for a total body massage. That's another form of perking up the ears for a cat.

Moral of the story: get your proper and correctly sounding name. True sounds bring about happiness, harmony and cooperation between people and species. As an example: the name of that tiger in the prison at the San Francisco Zoo was Tatania (Too many T's for my nervous system, but that's me). After her first break out or attack on her feeding human (Talk about biting the hand and arm that feeds you!) in 2005 someone should have checked on her response to that name as well as her feelings about being dragged from her other prison home to become a breeder in San Francisco-- talk about slavery!). She was a very angry and unhappy cat, obviously, and with justified cause. Perhaps something as elemental as a properly sounding name, confirming her true identity could have spared her life and the lives of those she hurt.

Just a thought...

Happy New Year

May your life in 2008 be even better than 2007.
This could be good news for everybody no matter how you remember last year.
Personally, I liked it. I grew up a lot... I guess we call that, "matured."
I am less overly reactive and paranoid. I sleep through most nights rather than waking in the dark and worrying that all the toy mice have still not been whipped into silence.
And I have mostly stopped beating any loose throw rugs into piles.

Well, enough about me, how about you? Any signs of maturity?

I have decided, beginning this year, to share a favorite quote on my blog whenever I get the Typist to write for me. I guess I could call it a "resolution." And I want the Typist to resolve to enter my stuff into this space when I want her to. The reason you are not reading more about me and my "trans-species life" is that the Typist keeps writing her own stuff onto the laptop even though I am sitting curled right next to it on her lap ready to transmit.

So, here is a good quote for beginning the New Year. Also, here is my 2008 glorious sunshine portrait for you to enjoy.
Wishing Us all Peace and Wisdom in the coming year.
Your friend, PD Budd

Trust & Commitment:

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back...
the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred...
raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance,
which no man [sic] could have dreamed would have come his [sic] way.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."

-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Of health and a New Hobby

Did I mention that the Typist got Cancer a couple of months ago? Her treatment was not a great inconvenience for me and my housemate, Buddy.
She went away for six days to live in a small room all alone, with her new iPod, laptop all the while connected to free, high speed Duke University internet, cable TV, and wretched food. She lost ten pounds but got them back not long after she came home. For us, it was like one of her vacations when we are locked in the house with two big litter pans and all the food the cat-sitter can dish out.
We mostly slept and wrestled, leaving clumps of fur for her to find when she returned home. Not bad for me, but October is one of Buddy’s favorite times to roam the forests. I didn’t mind, but I missed her and our conversations. And there was no one to write for me.
She has-- and at some point may tell me “had”-- an uncommon type of cancer on and under the iris of her right eye. Too advanced to cut out, she opted for a tiny radiation shield to be sewn on for 5 days. It emitted 100% stronger radiation than is shot onto soft tissue tumors. Then, after the days of incredible pain that they do NOT emphasize in the pre-op, they wheeled her back to the surgery bed where the marvelous and personally charming surgeon, P. Mruthenjaya popped the shield off, gave her a variety of eye drops, and sent her home for 4 months before she has a follow-up exam. If she keeps it dust-free and without infection, then after two years the cancer should be mostly gone never to return in her lifetime.
Otherwise, they will pop her eyeball out as a failed attempt.

(Oh, did I mention that I have a congenitally leaky right eye? None of us is perfect...)

According to my Typist as a convenient Cancer this one rates on the level of a bad cold, but not yet gone to pneumonia. There is some vague possibility it could appear somewhere in her lower regions in the future. Not likely.
For myself, my health is good. I have never seen a Vet since moving up here to the mountains. We expect to leave next year, maybe by plane again, ugh! Then we will need all those shots again and a health certificate. I do not look forward to that, but, at least it is not Cancer. I would not want to spend 6 days in the hospital. I cannot run the laptop by myself and the iPod is too small for my paws.

New Hobby!

Just before the Typist went away for her Cancer Holiday she began sewing 9-inch Japanese quilt blocks. They require precision cutting and straight-line sewing. I had no idea I was talented in this area. But, I began to love several parts of the process. Strange that the Typist would pick such a visually challenging hobby to begin when she was going to return home either visually “challenged” during recovery or actually blind. But, that’s her all over….
Since returning home with one good eye and the burned one dark red, seeing in blurred, and in fragmented parts, she has been sewing a lot and swearing a lot in English, too. I have been helping with the sewing as much as possible, and enjoying her new Quilters’ Chair [Product review later] every time she stands up.
Stay tuned for a new PD Budd Block Blog featuring all her creations. So far photos of only 30-plus blocks for her friend’s (Ted, my cat sitter) new bed quilt will appear on the blog, as well as a few, highly attractive, eco-friendly, soft shopping bags. She gives these to her friends so they will stop using plastic or paper bags. The small quilt patches personalize the bags besides making them pretty.
As usual I will continue doing all I can to lay out (on) the fabric, chase the scraps and threads, and sleep on the Chair whenever I can. When my new webpage comes online with the pix you will be the first to read about it here.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Tapping Into the Day Light Savings Bank

So, its 4:55 a.m. and the black furry alarm clock goes off. Jumps out of his basket directly thumping his 14 and a half pounds onto the bed. Pounces on me, PD Budd, who sleeps curled warm next to the Typist's buns, and then paces around us, waiting...
There is no way to set this living clock for Standard Time, he is still ticking to DST and wants to go outside because his bladder is ready at 6 a.m. EDT
So, I get a little fishy snack while the Typist makes her coffee, then we return to our nice warm bed while the Clock prowls the out in woods on a chilly dark Appalachan morning. He's such an animal!

Good Morning to all of us! Welcome Back to a Standard Time, a Time We Barely Remember.

This year when someone thought we needed to save even more day light than in the past we went into November on DST. Has there been a report? Has anyone actually been able to measure how much day light is saved per year on this time-turning method? Is there a Daylight Savings Bank and Trust we can call for a balance? Are we living in a period of such increased scarcity that there is not enough day light during Standard or Ordinary Time to go around? How "Day Light Poor" is the U.S. really? Will this contribute to the predicted, upcoming Recession? Does anyone actually own the day light time?
If anyone has answers to these questions, please let everyone else know! So far, the guy who does the "Numbers" column in the Wall Street Journal hasn't a clue.
I guess you can tell I did not appreciate being jumped on before 5 am. in the name of confused Daylight Savings.


We have news of Pakistan's most unpopular leader assuming his full role as dictator again. Something he does best-- especially when he is afraid. This leopard did not change his spots by acting as if he would accept a democratic vote.
Will the Pakistani people demand their Constitutional Rights? Ms. Bhutto might be tucked into the country to be a thorn in Mushariff's spotted paw. Personally, I never trust wild cats since they are larger and meaner than my breed. They prowl and mate with noisey gusto on this mountain at night when me and Budd are safe in our beds.

And let us consider our own, most unpopular leader--what a distincton! George Bush, with a little over a year left in office, is still available to do whatever further damage he can to the U.S. Constitution as well as to the people and cats of Iraq, and the families and friends of our own troops in the war and, of course, the world in general. Anything is possible with President Bush who slips further into decline.
Personally, as a wise and educated Feline, I think all this talk of war with or against Iran is just blown up media talk. Would the Bush Regime actually attack the Iran Regime now that a "friend" Pakistan is blowing up in its face? Crazy idea, but so was invading Iraq.
Where does this bombing Iran come from? Media delusions and fear.
Editors and News Managers of the media (MSM) need to get better Typist/Controllers. Mine is very good and I would not let her go to help. Get your own. Get an army of Editorial Overseers who have some good sense and judgement of what is News and what is something else. Get a Mom to help.They are good at instant sorting of delusional thinking from truth as are most high school teachers. Hire some of those people as advisors to sort out news from rumors and gossip.
What I mean is that those media people responsible for deciding what is a NEWS story need to keep foremost in mind the distinction between NEWS and Rumor and speculation/opinion. I like the New York Daily News (not the entire paper, please!) for making this clear for its readers. The section boldly entitled, GOSSIP, is just that. Reading gossip about celebrities is a kind of mental relaxation and gives one a rest from the increasingly horrible reports of violence and rumors of war on the other side of the world.
If other newspapers sorted their stories in accurate piles, say, News and Breaking News (which means fish news not smelling after 12 hours, for heaven's sake), Sports and Sports Gossip, Living Arts and Entertainment and the Gossip connected to that growing section, Opinion and Editorials, possibly the largest pile set before an editor, etc. Then, what is known as the MSM which does not stand for "Mackerel Sardine Menu," might regain some respect it once had.
Anyway, what with interruptions and taking time for a good wash up, I seem to have used up 46 and a half minutes of saved daylight writing to you today.
I wonder if people ought to start measuring their day light savings account use as well as their carbon footprint/pawprint size?
And now it's time for some real work on a cool November day.

Good News: The Bush Reign is Ending

The world is counting the days...
Will the next regime be an improvement? Stay tuned....

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Early Autumn Reflections

It is still dark at almost 7 a.m. in the beginning of October in the mountains of North Carolina. Finally summer is gone. Way too much sunshine for me, especially since there is a big dry spell going on here. No real measureable rain since February. But early morning darkness is a pleasure when the sky is the color of my gray clothes. I really prefer darker skies...

Since being forced awake at 5:30, I am returning to sleep on the end of the bed, but dictating this post to the Typist first. Buddy Budd is out checking on the neighboring forest life. I always resent the fact that Buddy wants to get up early to eat and go out to start his day. He wakes us up because he is unable to open the door or feed himself.

I am not a "morning person." But out of curiosity and innate politeness I reluctantly get up with the rest of the family, go out to visit the world as my litter pan, then I return to sleep a few more hours.

The Typist has a new hobby: sewing Japanese Ouilt Blocks.(Future photo, watch this blog). She plans to sew today so I expect we will struggle over who will sit in which of the two sewing chairs. My latest act is to crawl behind her back when she is talking on the phone or sewing from one of the chairs I want. Warm chairs are really scrumtious! The Typist/Quilter thinks that I act as a pushy backrest until I get her to move. Of course, I want ALL the chairs!
Perhaps sewing will become a new hobby for me, too, once I learn to get the needle to go up and down in the machine while sitting on a chair. More practice! More sleep!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

On My Own Now

A little more about me, PD Budd:

I used to write this Blog for the Budd Family, both P.D. and my older housemate, Buddy Budd. (See photo) But Buddy has proved to be totally illiterate and uncultured. I am just writing entirely by myself from now on. Bigger and older than me, he took over my favorite sleeping basket last week, so he's off the Blog... for good!

Product Endorsement: Extra Large Heating Pads

This is much more than a product review. I want to encourage all of you to go to someplace like Wal-Mart... oops, wait. I do not want to encourage shopping at Wal-Mart unless, like our family, the only other choice within a two hour drive is Lowe’s and Big Lots. We are shopping-deprived up in the rural Southern Appalachians... in exchange for ravishing natural beauty we have given up Malls. Go figure....

Anyway, I am what might be called a maturing male cat, entering middle age who still has kept many of his kittenish hallucinatory ways. The world mostly continues shimmering like a living Van Gogh painting for me. All dangling things move and must be pounced upon, gotten under control. But I am growing up/older. I notice I am now able to stroll past a rug with a fringe at the ends without attacking it most of the time. Even as recently as a few months ago, I admit that I spent hours beating up the bathroom rug, day and night, because the two-inch strings on the ends of the rug would not stop moving. When company comes over and wants to use the bathroom they can rest assured that they are safe because the rug is bound into a heap in the middle of the floor with no wiggling fringes peeking out to get them. Just one of my several household tasks, piling all the loose rugs up into a ball. Homeland Security, I call it.

I am in love with strings, ribbons, long waving cords, thick or thin, whether on rugs, the furniture or some of the Typist-Writer’s drawstring pants. Leaping up for these was stopped abruptly when she whacked me on the nose and yelped because my fingernails got stuck in the fabric and the legs under it. Doesn't she know I am trying to protect her from writhing ribbons?

All my mice, of many colors and material types come with tails. They drive me crazy! And they are the first body parts to go as I toss and catch them relentlessly day and night. Wiggling mice tails flying through the air to seduce me like nothing else. I admit, I am addicted to strings and anything that looks like them. I have no control over them in my life. My Higher Power, the One who types this blog for me, has no control over me either. Is there a Strings Anonymous meeting? Personally, I feel that she actually enables me by buying and making more and more house mice. Her friends send wrapped gifts of mice for me. I probably ought to write a ‘Mice Review’ in the future, and one for ‘Organic Catnip’ too, ooooh, yum, my favorite, especially when poured, not sprinkled or shaken, onto a flat floor rug with fringes needing a beating. I get excited just thinking about it.

But back to the Extra large Auto-Shut Off Heating pad...

I discovered this remarkable cat appliance night before last when the Typist-Writer was lolling around on her bed with it on her recently laser-zapped kidney stone. At first I discovered how nice and warm she was and got on top. Then she seemed to be done, rolled over, and left this long, warm, light blue (one of my favorite colors) thing with a string, like a long white tail attached to it. How perfect can one toy be? A giant, warm mouse for me. I carefully pulled the string out away from her body. It seemed docile. After poking it for a while, it lay dead on the duvet. Then I curled up on the warm blue cover to sleep all night. With auto-shut off it is no danger to sensitive felines or humans who fall asleep with it on. The “extra-large”, extra-long size is also just right for stretching out and still keeping me uniformly warm. No unpleasant cold spots to shock a sleeping cat awake. And a very long cord/string is attached. How beautiful.
My only problem with taking the appliance over for myself is the dominating nature of the Writer who continues to believe it is for herself, and the fact that I cannot yet push the slider up on the switch to turn it on. But I am working on that.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Happy Birthday, Alan Rickman/ Severus Snape

Today we celebrated Alan Rickman's 61st birthday at our house in NC with this nice cake. That is, the Typist ate the cake after I helped her make it by sitting on her feet as she stirred the batter.
She prefers that I do not sit on her feet while she is cooking, but they are warm and she may move toward the cat food shelf at any time, and I wouldn't want to miss that.

We like Alan Rickman and watch his movies often. My personal favorite is "Truly, Madly, Deeply" because Juliet Stevenson is brilliant with Alan... strange human/non-feline romance.

The Typist likes Harry least, the first three films are her favorites. The fact that Alan Rickman keeps this Severus Snape character so nastily alive and with such swishing style makes the films enjoyable.
The typist also likes his creative work with the Rachel Corrie story. For that alone, Alan should get a cake...with frosting, but no frosting for the nasty, Severus Snape's cake.


Severus Snape’s Birthday Cake (no frosting for you Snape!)

recipe created for -- Alan Rickman’s Birthday 2/25/07

One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs or substitute
1/4 cup water or orange juice
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup orange marmalade

Beat cream cheese, butter, and brown sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer with paddle attachment (if you have one) until smooth and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, then the orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla, beating it until smooth.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; add to cream cheese mixture, beating at low speed until well blended. Spread the batter into greased and floured 9 x 9-inch baking pan. Dollop with marmalade and swirl with a knife.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until the cake is browned . Cool slightly on a rack and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into squares. Skip the frosting for Snape, but Alan might like a whipped cream dollop or two.

Variations: Blueberry preserves and lemon zest, or whole-berry cranberry sauce and lime zest, or raspberry or blackberry preserves with lemon zest. Or skip the zest altogether

Yield: 6 to 8 human servings

1,000,000 Blogs for Peace

After a brief discussion followed by free food--we prefer Deep Sea Delight at my house-- we unanimously voted to support the blog-o-sphere (is there such a place?) push for peace by US Withdrawl in Iraq. We signed up for the One Million Bloggers for Peace.
You can join by going to:

I don't know if it will help, but anything to get the attention of those asleep at the wheel may do some good.
Also, I worry about all those cats, my distant relatives, in Iraq who are not being properly fed and housed.
This war must stop!

Note: I have not gotten more messages out recently because the Typist had right hand surgery. On her second hard cast now...comes off in a week. At first she refused to type at all and just slept and watched DVDs. And they say cats are lazy.
But, I have just now gotten her to do one-handed hunt and peck. She is so slow! I get bored and forget what I wanted to say. No, I can't fire her. She's the one who leads the discussions and open the packs of Deep Sea Delight for me and Buddy Budd. Try some...

Fond regards,
PD Budd

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Get ready for the BIG party

It's less than 800 days until George leaves office. We're in a hurry
around here with so little time to plan the sending off party...
to Paraguay, the News says, where he bought
93,673 acres of grazing land right next to a "secret"
military airstrip, Well, so much for secrets.
Seems right, somehow, running off to historical Paraguay where other national criminals have retired, with no extradition, lots of cattle farming under sunny skies & unlimited brush to whack.
But, before he goes, let's plan the retirement party for the completion of a job finally done, grueling on us all. Give him the worthless medals and cheer him out.
What I envision on that day of departure,
if he is not impeached and in jail first... or even if he is,
are the cells and, Michael Moore, TV cameras capturing hundreds of thousands,
maybe millions of people and cats, throughout the world, rushing out
of their homes, baskets, offices and factories, and children waving small flags
streaming from their schools and parading into the streets,
into city centers, football fields, malls, for one spontaneous celebration of the democratic freedom George fears and loves so much. Riotous, with all the noisy passion of real democracies shouting their happiness to the skies.
And, I hope to be holding one part of the huge banner we are making in our basement right now:
"Heckuva Job, Georgie!"

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The World is My Litter Pan

PD Budd

This morning while working on my autobiography (yes, cat's have them, too) I learned something. I will never write “incandescent prose” as one book reviewer described the writing in the Sunday Times (NY). But should that lack stop me from dictating my memories, fictional and otherwise, to the Typist?
Before we begin, a disclaimer: all errors, spelling and otherwise, are not my fault.
Blame the Typist/Editor/Publisher as all successful writers do.
We spend a lot of our days propped on the big bed reading and writing... interpersed with long periods of napping. Or, I should say, the Typist is propped on her pillows and I lie propped on her, next to the warm laptop pillow on her fluffy lap. In this way I send my thoughts directly into the machine in her hands. And every once in a while, as she strokes my head, I reach out for the space bar and even more of my own thoughts appear on the screen. Ah, technology!
You need to know this so you can understand how a mere, non-Harvard educated, non-MBA, nor MFA, even non-GED, American shorthair cat born in the Pacific Northwest can write anything, much less literature.
I trace my mother’s side of the family back to a famous literary ancestress, Mehitibel. Well, she didn’t actually write because she was occupied with producing successive litters of my relatives. But her companion of the alleyways, Archie, a cockroach, (now, now don't be prejudiced) was her typist and documented their lives and her wisdom. Were we to trace the DNA of most of the American shorthairs alive today we would probably return to Mehitbel's mitochronidrial DNA. She was the Mother of us all, our Feline Eve, so to speak. But I digress.

My Own (Free) Tip on Life

The secret of contentment lies in ignoring many things completely. Or better yet, letting others do them for you.
And, of course, uncompromising Patience. Sitting with your tail curled around your feet at the empty food bowl, looking beseechingly as the human does things on high at stove or sink, works much better than curling up on her feet for a nap while the ignoring human tries to move around the stove. I learned this important lesson the hard way after benefitting from a few prods and kicks. Even though the Cook/Typist stood on MY small carpet stirring something that smelled delicious, and I had every right to nap there on her feet waiting for food, I was summarily shoved aside. Patience works better than pleading in a loud yeowl, which also gets you another hard kick and no extra food.

The Other Typist

Did I mention that Archie, my great, great grandmother’s typist, was a cockroach? He used one of those ancient machines, before laptops, by throwing his body onto one key at a time. Somehow writing was much harder in the old days but the product seems better for the effort. Nowadays writing output has increased but the words don’t mean as much. Hard to find good stories even though there are many more books, literary journals, blogs...
I hope to do better, but at heart, I am unsure of myself.

On Writing

Of course, I cannot write all the time. Or even very much of the time. No, not blocked, but I have other interests. When I am really stuck on a concept or how to express it, I slip off the bed and pace around, prowling, I think it is called. Scratch the end of the new sofa a few times until the Typist shouts from the other room and startles me. I go over to the ever-filling bowl of dry food and nibble a bit, thinking all the while of my next topic.

Writers are a slow and dreary lot for the most part. Except J.K. Rowling who reports herself as always happy, writing all the time, working hard and still captivated by Harry and his friends struggles against the forces of evil. That could account for her incredible output. I cannot picture her prowling, skulking in the shrubs, or scratching for words in her furniture. But, she has declared herself a disliker of cats, (claims to be allergic!) so what can we expect from such a writer?
Maybe I need to find a larger topic than my brief memoir... certainly I have lived enough feline years to justify autobiography, I think. 21, that means three in the Typist’s years. And everyone still treats me like a baby... talking that baby language I find so irrestible. Just because when all the lights go out at night I chase around tossing my toy mice and skidding on the loose carpets across the polished floors until they lie in a heaps with mice buried in the folds. Then I stalk and kill each one individually again. I am not immature. I have hobbies/responsibilites. And making sure everything is properly dead for the night is one of mine.

Another Free Tip On Life

The Typist believes that there's a reason for everything happening in the world. And all we can do is go along with those things, bad as they sometimes are. Take them as they come and then survive. We cats know different.
First feline law of nature: Things move all by Themselves, all the Time for no apparent reason. We must keep constant vigilance, place them under control before chaos overwhelms us. Pounce and Smother is my advice. This technique works best on butterflies, moths, shadows, suddenly falling and flitting things. Don’t just sit back and let things happen to you, thinking you will “survive” by acceptance and then, somehow become deep and wise. Pounce, jump, laugh, look foolish. Life works better that way.

[End of Chapter One. how do you like it so far?]