My Novels

Thursday, May 30, 2002

Happy, happy day -- I think. Ominous sounds next door, cars with trunks open, a pickup truck at the back door...leads me to hope that our trashy next door couple (who recently spawned) are moving. I DO hope so, anyway. We just had a light thunderstorm, and they had to stop...but are starting at it again. If they are moving, all I can say is: "Good riddance to bad rubbish." And I'm sure they'll be returning to the rural county area, where the girl is from -- redneck ways and all. Back to where they belong, not in the city.

I spent a lot of time yesterday with the kittens...they are growing so fast, and are so CUTE, ADORABLE. I hope to get some more good photos soon, and update the page with those pictures. In the meantime, I'm enjoying them...although it IS a lot of work. (And as a side note, the reason I ended up with kittens is that the trash next door let cats breed under their house, and never tried to take care of the problem). I know it's going to be difficult to give any of the kittens up, but I probably will have to eventually.

I read an article at SPACE.COM recently which really was interesting, about how rare intelligent? life might be in the cosmos. Here's an excerpt:

It took 4.5 billion years for Earth to generate and evolve a life form that could think, reason, and finally fly off the planet. That's a long time, even by cosmic measures. Perhaps too long.

At a time when the only known sentient species has earnestly and optimistically begun to search for life on other planets, several scientists within that species have found a host of reasons to guard the optimism. Throughout the galaxy, hazards to planet formation and sustained evolution are so serious and varied that life may be exceedingly rare. Intelligent life, presumably, would be the rarest of all.

We may, it turns out, be very lucky to be here. However, we may also turn out to be very alone.

Did it ever occur to anyone that we humans MIGHT be a blight on the cosmos, NOT a good development? That we are, in some sense, like the ANTS that multiply and try to infiltrate everything, or a CANCER that runs rampant and does damage to the whole organism? The older I get, the more I have this particular view of humans. NOT all, of course, but the MAJORITY...destructive, and if we ever get out there in the cosmos, who's to say we won't wreak even more damage? Would INTELLIGENT aliens/life even let us do that? I think NOT.

Enough for today, I have to go take care of the kitties.

Monday, May 27, 2002

Kittens are growing, growing, growing! Saturday I cleaned their sleeping quarters (scrubbed with scalding water, lots of work) and then last night they wanted OUT of the basket permanently! So, now they are able to come out from their curtained area and walk around on their little unsteady legs...follow momcat and try to eat. The greyish kitten (tentatively named Pistol, he's such a handful) walked right up to momcat's feed dish, where she was eating some can food, and abruptly dived in! He ate a good bit, and the others ate at least a taste of food. I also made them a shallow litterpan with shredded newspaper (cause they might try to eat clay litter) and hope they'll take a hint to use it soon. This morning they are all sleeping well, so maybe they are more content not being confined in the basket.

The black kitten, (Blackie), is having trouble with one of his eyes. It was encrusted a couple days ago, so I put some antibiotic I had here for such a problem from the vet, and it cleared up. I stopped putting it in the eye, and then yesterday morning the eye was stuck together again. So I put some in yesterday morning and last night, and this morning, and will continue twice a day till it seems to all be gone. If it doesn't go away in a few days, I'll take him to the vet. None of the other kittens have an eye problem, and Blackie's is only in one eye. I don't think it's anything serious, but will not risk damage to the eye if it doesn't clear up soon.

Memorial Day...not much going on here. DH and I will cook out on the grill late this afternoon, probably after a ride in the country. I have some pix to post of the scenic areas here in the well as more kitten photos when I have time.

Here's an interesting article that makes me glad I didn't have kids to add to the overpopulated earth!

U.N. group: Fourth of world's mammal species may vanish

A quarter of the world's mammal species -- from tigers to rhinos -- could face extinction within 30 years, and millions of people could suffer severe water shortages unless firm political action is taken to protect the environment, the United Nations said Wednesday.In a state-of-the-world report, the U.N. Environment Program said the Earth faces more rapid, dramatic and devastating environmental change over the next three decades.

"The increasing pace of change and degree of interaction between regions and issues has made it more difficult than ever to look into the future with confidence," the organization said in Global Environment Outlook-3. Information on the report is available at the group's Web site,

At a London news conference, U.N. Environment Program executive director Klaus Toepfer said human development "across more and more areas of the planet is not sustainable. Unless we alter our course, we will be left with very little."

Released in advance of the U.N. World Summit on Sustainable Development --to be held Aug. 26-Sept. 4 in Johannesburg, South Africa -- the report is based on contributions from more than 1,000 scientists collaborating with the Nairobi, Kenya-based U.N. agency.

It assesses environmental changes over the past 30 years and looks ahead to the next three decades -- a period the United Nations says will be critical in determining the future of the planet.

The report says the world's biodiversity is under threat, with 1,130 of the more than 4,000 mammal species and 1,183 of the 10,000 birds regarded as globally threatened -- meaning they could become extinct but are not necessarily under immediate threat.

Among the most threatened are the black rhinoceros of Africa, the Siberian tiger and the Amur leopard of Asia, according to the U.N.'s World Conservation Monitoring Center.

Much of the threat is man-made, with loss of habitat from industry, mining and farming, and the introduction of nonnative species among the chief dangers. Fifteen percent of the world's land has been degraded by human activity such as overgrazing, the report says, while half the world's rivers are seriously depleted or polluted.

The report warns that roads, mining and other infrastructure developments could affect over 70 percent of the world's surface in the next 30 years. In addition, almost one-third of the world's fish stocks are depleted, overexploited or recovering as a result of overfishing. -- ASSOCIATED PRESS

Till next time...

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

I now have some kitten photos online, if anyone would like to see those. Here's the URL:

Kitten Photos

We are still having beautiful weather, very mild, sunny...but getting warmer day by day. I wasn't able to ride in the park this morning, since a church daycare had a swarm of kids there. I cycled on the streets, but didn't ride as far as usual. My back is weak from doing so much lifting yesterday, rearranging a bunch of stuff outdoors in the backyard and on the cats' porch.

I recently read a very good novel, "Hit Man" by Lawrence Block. Try it, you'll like it!

I also watched a part of the series, "Evolution" on PBS last night about extinction. It was fascinating, and very thought-provoking. Made you wonder if humans aren't creating our own extinction!

Not much else to report. As usual the news is full of dire terrorism warnings --> Cried Chicken Little, "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!" In my opinion, the next terrorist act will occur exactly like the last one did -- without any authority having a clue as how to prevent it. All the money, etc. spent on security for something as random as terrorism just MIGHT be a waste of funds.

Anyone who is NOT religious might want to read this excellent essay on:

The Meaning of Life

However, I rather take exception to the author's idea that 'raising good kids' is the main aim of life. Frankly, there's too many humans on the planet NOW, so NOT having kids is more of a contribution than having them, in my opinion. I do agree with the rest of the essay though.

Till next time...

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

I bought a new digital camera, and should have some photos of the kittens online soon. The kittens are almost three weeks old, and are thriving, so no problem with them now.

Beautiful weather in Dixie -- 40s at night, 60s in the daytime, nearly unheard of this time of year here. I'm enjoying my bike rides in the morning at the park, hoping I get to continue once school is out and kids flock there.

I'm very busy these days...but disappointed in the online writing courses. I just think my problem with writing is that I no longer have any motivation for it, no inspiration. Seems a waste of time. Oh well.

More when I get the photos online, and can add a link.

Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Well, some bad news: I found one of the kittens dead Sunday morning. It was the runt, and from the start, it seemed lethargic and not very aggressive about feeding. However, it was alive late Saturday night. I don't know what happened, but suspect it might have not been as healthy as the others, or that it had a defect I couldn't see. I've read that sometimes mama cats will ignore/neglect a sickly kitten, so the other stronger ones will have a better chance at survival. I didn't notice that happening, but if that was the case, and I'd known it, I'd have taken the weak one out and handfed it. As it was, I got upset and then worried that perhaps the mama didn't have enough milk, so I went out and bought some of the supplemental milk for kittens. However, when I offered it with a special small bottle and nipple, the kittens didn't want it, so I assume they are getting enough. One of my friends told me to feel of their bellies, see if they felt full...and they all do, so I think they will be fine. At least I hope so.

I went on the bike ride this morning, and even though I wore shorts, I still got hot. It's in the 80s here today, supposed to be even warmer tomorrow but with a cool front and storms on the way.

I have been so busy caring for the cats/kittens that I haven't been able to stay online for over thirty minutes at a time. I like to keep an eye on the kittens, since that one died Saturday night, make sure the mama is feeding them. She does seem to be feeding enough, but I have spoiled her silly by giving her can food and treats, like canned tuna, so that she now doesn't want to eat dry food. I bought some very high quality dry food for mother cats who are nursing, but now she doesn't want to eat that. It's strange how quickly you can spoil a stray cat that was used to eating only dry, low-quality food!

The other cats are keeping their distance, but occasionally have peeked at the kittens when the mama would let them. They are all going through another adjustment, and it's been sort of crazy around here. Last night, Pretty, the mama cat, came inside for the first time and seems able to leave the kittens for a little longer period. I'm hoping the kittens open their eyes by this next weekend. I'm eager for them to get bigger, because at this point they are just too helpless and fragile (much like a human infant) and I don't like the dependence factor. I guess I don't have much of a 'maternal' instinct when it comes to helpless infants of any kind! Now when the kittens get about four weeks old, they will then start being adorable, and I really enjoy them. But as for human infants, well, it takes at least 20 years before I'm interested in them!

The online writing courses began Monday, and I already have two of the assignments finished and posted. I was expecting a bit more, I suppose, in the way of interaction between instructor/classmates, but since it's all done via an online bulletin board, maybe I was just too eager. Anyway, I still have one assignment to do, and will get that done soon.

Not much else to report...

Thursday, May 02, 2002

Well, it finally happened -- Pretty had her kittens this morning. When I went out early to change the cat litter, I saw she was starting labor. I fixed her special place, and she liked it...and proceeded to deliver the first kitten. And every time I thought she was through, she'd have another one! Eventually by 11:00, she had four kittens, and darn if they don't all look nearly like her! Two of them may be solid black, but at least two seem to have the same white markings as Pretty. I guess this means they all had the same daddy cat, since you get a better variety of colorings from several males mating with the female.

I was glad it all went well though, and no problems. The other cats knew something was going on, and would occasinally peep behind the curtain I had fixed to shield Pretty and the kittens. But they didn't bother her at all, and Pretty was purring, very sweet and let me pet her off and on while in labor. I've found that female cats, once they trust their owner, nearly always like you to come around and see what's happening, and pet them.

Years ago a stray female had kittens in my garage. Anyhow, the morning she had her kittens, I had gone out on the backporch and she came running out of the garage, meowing, as if asking me to follow her. When I got in the garage, I could hear a kitten mewling, and sure enough, she'd had the first one. I settled her down in the box I had fixed, and she started purring, happy to have me pet her. But I couldn't believe she had SEVEN kittens, although one was born dead (it may have not had room in there to live!)

And I AM going to be busier than usual, taking care of the kittens till I can give them away. I sure hope I don't get emotionally attached to any of them, but if I do, I MIGHT keep one. The others will have to go though. I had good results last time by placing a designed ad on my vet's bulletin board, so I may do that again before running an ad in the newspaper. I always make my ads distinctive, say something about having a loving companion, etc...which makes it stand out, and attracts a better kind of person who really wants a companion cat. I also won't give a kitten to anyone with small children in the home, as often they mistreat kittens. But good PR never hurts!

Otherwise, the same old routine here. We got a new Wal-mart supercenter, and you'd think it was the greatest thing ever to hit town. Not so sure about that. I have been twice, but am not crazy about the HUGE space to cover for shopping.

That's it for now.