Feline Freedom League Report: August 2015

From: Agent Snickers To: Mr. Whiskers Date: 2 August 2015
Subject: Mission Report

I was already in pain when they took me for interrogation. I gave them nothing. The torture has not ended though. I still find it painful to walk. They force some vile stuff down my throat and I find it unpalatable, but somehow, after they do that the pain I had is not quite as bad. I do not know how much longer I can continue with my duties as an agent. I will only say that I will do my best to learn of any plans the humans may be hatching against feline kind.

I will do my part; don’t doubt that I will do that. I am just as committed to our cause as any cat here. I will work harder because of the pain, not less. I am no shirker. I will use my pain as a motivator. I am certain that the humans are responsible for the pain. I do not know how they have introduced this pain, but I know that they have. They have named it Arthur or Titus, I have not figured out which is correct. I will find out and I will defeat it.

From: Agent Storm To: Mr. Whiskers Date: 2 August 2015
Subject: Mission Report

For the record, no one has accused Agent Snickers of shirking her duties. We can see that she is incapacitated. If she asserts that she hasn’t given up any information during her last interrogation, I, for one, believe her. I hope that Agent Snickers understands that she has my full support in her time of need. I hope that she regains her former agility soon.

That said, I believe that the Younger Female has undergone an interrogation of her own. She and the Older Female were gone from this place for a time. They returned for a dark time, and then the Younger Female was gone again. When she returned this time, she smelled of the Vet. She appears to be in pain, which has led to my conclusion that she went for interrogation. No doubt, she found reporting to her superiors not as pleasant as we find reporting to headquarters.

Agent Probie has been trying to ascertain what the humans were doing to the Younger Female to put her in such pain. As of this writing, he has not been successful. He and I have discussed his attempts and agreed that he should continue his efforts to learn what he can there. We may have discovered a division in the enemy ranks. We will look for ways to take advantage of the situation if we can. We will keep you apprised of our results as we can.

How has Agent Pica been coping since the loss of Agent Trouble? We have not heard and would appreciate an update. I found her quite agreeable when we worked together for that time. I hope that she has received a new partner. I believe that agents need to work in pairs as a cat alone is not able to cover all the territory that they should. Please let me know how she is doing.

Michigan Humane Society: Somebody here needs you.

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Posted in Feline Freedom League Report

Mowing the Lawn

Mowing the lawn is a pain. Homeowner ship is a pain. My lawn mower is cordless and the battery is going bad on me. It’s not one of the kinds where I can change the battery myself, so it will cost me to replace the battery. My sister had an electric one but it had a cord. She gave it to me. I used it a few times and then it died. Doesn’t it figure? I had to get a new one after all. Doesn’t it figure?

Anyway, it takes me a good two and a half hours to mow my yard, wrangling the cord. It’s a pain, but it is better than struggling with the gas and oil and such for a gas mower. The lawn mower itself is lighter than a gas mower would be as well. That’s important. My lot is a third of an acre. I know a good portion of it is paved driveway and the house, but that still leaves a lot to mow. I could use a lawn tractor, but I want an electric mower, as they are more environmentally friendly. They are also quieter.

I know that there are advantages to having a gas lawn mower. Gas engines are more powerful than electric one. The problem with gas mowers is that you can’t just plug them in and have them work. You have to get gas and put it in the mower. Then you have do maintenance that isn’t there with an electric. All mowers should be cleaned after use, so that isn’t the issue. gas mowers need more work than elective ones.

It all boils down to personal preferences. I prefer the quieter sound of the electric mower. Then there is the weight. A gas mower is heavier than an electric one. When I was online searching for a new mower, I found robotic ones. That would be cool, but they are cost prohibitive. It would cost me over a thousand dollar to have a Roomba® for my lawn. I would also have to put up a fence around the entire perimeter of my lawn. I’d rather have one that I could operate with a joystick. Then I could simply turn it when necessary. Having a robot mow my lawn would be cool, but doing it myself is reality. Sometimes reality can suck.

The American Dream is to own your own home. That ownership comes with responsibilities, one of which is maintaining your lawn. Responsibility is always with us. Mowing the lawn once a week during the season, is part of home ownership. It’s not the most pleasant part, but I tell myself that I am getting a workout when I do it. there’s a lot to be said for living in an apartment, or renting a place where they mow the grass for you. Some days I wish I did live in an apartment. Mostly though, I like living in my house. If only I could just enjoy the lawn without having to mow it.

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Posted in General Opinion

Taking a Break

Our power went out in the windstorm we had a few weeks ago. I woke up to no power. I was still able to go for my walk, which was less enjoyable due to the noise from all the generators in the neighborhood. I could hardly hear the birds. The ground was littered with leaves and branches from the storm. Nothing huge came down, but it was still a good walk despite the noise.
I had to shower in the dark, which wasn’t that hard. I don’t mean to imply that it was complete darkness, only that the bathroom doesn’t get good natural light. I was only showering and not doing much else. The temperature was in the fifties, which meant that, without the heat, I didn’t linger. Then I was faced with the problem of making coffee. Fortunately, my coffeemaker is the type that will let me pour hot water through it, so I have coffee. I have it in a thermo pot, which is keeping it hot.

My routine was impacted because I couldn’t access my journal file, but I could write the morning entry on my tablet. I write in my journal every day, even during a blackout. I simply uploaded it to the network after the power came back on. I also couldn’t work on the novel I was revising. That file is not in a format that I could access from the tablet. So I wrote a blog instead. That’s why it is a good idea to have alternative project, like blog posts. I could still be productive even if it wasn’t in the way I had planned. I just had to slow down a bit. That’s cool. It’s good to do that once in a while.

Power outages don’t have to be catastrophic. They don’t even have to be real. Just unplug all your electronic devices and pretend that you don’t have power. Then just sit back and enjoy the quiet. Try writing with a pen and paper, or even with your tablet, the way that I did. It doesn’t matter. All you have to do is relax.

Take this time and connect with your writing soul, or your inner child, if you prefer. It’s the thing that is deep inside you. If you aren’t a writer, this is also good for you. It will give you time to think; time to learn what you need in your life. We don’t think enough about that.

The power outage was on a Sunday. It gave me the time to contemplate things. I didn’t obsess, except over whether the battery on my tablet would last long enough for me to finish my journal entry. It was quiet and peaceful. I almost enjoyed it. it was nice. It was restful. That’s not to say that I wasn’t happy when the power came back on. I’m not that into the basics, but it made for a nice break. Taking breaks like that has to be good for you. so unplug from the world for a few hours and enjoy.

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Posted in General Opinion

Happiness

What is happiness? I don’t think it is the same for everyone. I think it’s more like the common cold. It has too many causes to pin it down. I know it’s weird to compare happiness to a disease, but I think the comparison is valid. We can’t cure the common cold because it has too many causes. The same is true for defining happiness, not that we want to cure happiness. There are too many causes to list. All you can do is list some of the things that make you happy. That’s a start.

Most people are happy and don’t even know it. If you aren’t obsessing about something, chances are you are happy with your life. There are parts of it that you may want to change, everyone has parts of their lives that they want to change. There’s nothing unusual about that. Happiness is often a balancing act between the things that are good and those that are bad in our lives. You have to define what makes you happy before you can determine if you are happy.

How do you know if you are happy, or if you are just content? Is contentment also happiness? I have no idea. Happiness is subjective. That much I know. What makes me happy may not make you happy. What makes me happy may horrify you. I can’t imagine why that would be, but I can imagine the possibility of it. We have to make allowances for our differences. That is the key to it all. Set your definition of what happiness is and you will find that overall, you are happy.

I think happiness defies definition because as soon as you start trying to define it, you lose it. That’s just how nebulous happiness is. It really doesn’t matter what happiness is. Defining it isn’t the point. You can’t pin it down and you shouldn’t try. I think that you won’t be happy if you focus all your energy on the things that are wrong with your life. It can be hard, but you should try to focus on the things that are right with your life.

I think I am an optimist because I look at the bad things and look for something good that can come from it. A lot of people only notice the bad side of life. I guess that’s the real difference between optimists and pessimists. The pessimists focus on the bad while the optimists focus on the good. There are two sides to everything. So if all you see is the bad, you should should try to turn it around to see the good side of it. That’s over simplistic of course, but happiness is so indefinable, that it makes it hard to write about. So the next time you have some time to kill, just sit down and just make a list of the things in your life that make you happy. Then list the bad things and try to figure out how it could twisted to be good. You just might find that you are happier than you think you are. Wouldn’t that be cool?

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Feline Freedom League July 2015 Report

From: Agent Probie To: Mr. Whiskers Date: 5 July 2015
Subject: July 2015 Report

We have been suffering incursions. These are not mice. I am not sure what they are, They do not have fur and they are not Warm. Oddly, when I bite their tails off, the tails still move. how I don’t mean to bite off their tails, it’s just that the tails come off so easily. It’s an interest trick. I’m not sure how they do it. I’m not even sure how the tails keep moving after I bite them off, The younger female did not seem pleased to find the tail, I guess she likes the intruders, they do not hold up to interrogation well. However, they die rather well.

I am doing my best to find out who they are, what they are, and what they want. They Keep Coming in despite the fact that few of them ever go back. I can only conclude that it is really bad out there. Either that, or they are determined to find and retrieve their missing ones.

As I said, they don’t handle interrogation well. They do not appear to be very robust. This is the main reason I have killed so many of them. Most of them die during apprehension. I try to catch them as gently as possible. It’s just impossible. They are just to fragile to interrogate and learn things from.I will continue to try to take one alive, but I do not expect much success with that.

I will say that the humans don’t like finding their bodies any better than finding the bodies of mice. Perhaps the humans are in alliance with these strange creatures in addition to being allied with mice. This alliance is something We need to investigate. We should determine just where the humans’ sympathies lie. Please send instructions as to how we should proceed.

 

 

From: Agent Smudge To: Mr. Whiskers Date: 5 July 2015
Subject: July 2015 Report

I am not certain that Agent Probie is correct in his assessment. I don’t believe the humans are in league with the mice and these strange creatures that are attempting to invade our space. I think the humans are only squeamish about corpses. I have noticed that the food they eat in no way resembles the original animal. They do their best to obliterate all signs that their food was once alive. This includes burning it in a chamber that makes the food hot and crispy.

I think we should look into the human mind. This will likely take specialists and I acknowledge that the budget may not allow for this type of analysis. However, I think it may help us in the long term if we tried to understand why humans do what they do. I further agree that I am not the cat to make this decision but I do believe that this would allow us to better counteract the human activity that affects felinekind. Please provide processes and procedures so that we may add data to the Human Mind Assessment database. I think we field agents may have the ability to provide valuable data to that project if we only knew what to look for.

 

Michigan Humane Society: Somebody here needs you.

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Posted in Feline Freedom League Report

The Weight Loss Stairway

Losing weight is not like jumping down an elevator shaft. you don’t just decide to do it and instantly lose weight. It takes more time and effort than that. It’s more like a long flight of stairs with escalators in them. Sometimes those escalators go up and other times they go down. You have to take the ups with the downs because that is just how it is. There is a simple trick to a accepting this, make sure that the ups don’t completely cancel the downs.

Going down the manual stairs is easy. The portions of your weight loss journey that are like down escalators are easier still. It’s the portions of the journey that are like escalators that go up are the hard parts. Just keep in mind that everyone encounters the up escalators on their weight loss journeys. You are not unique in that.

There will be times when, no matter what you do, you gain weight. Accept it and save yourself some angst. The trick is not to give up. Continue walking down that up escalator. You might have to move a little faster, but you will reach the manual stairs again, or even a down escalator.

If you pick up the pace on the parts of the stairway that are up escalators, you will come to the end of the escalator. That’s a given. If you really work at it, you will lose the weight. A little gain now and then just goes with the weight loss territory. If you give up and just stop, your weight loss stairway will become an up escalator and you will find yourself not only back where you started, but often, past where you started.

Weight loss is a journey with no real destination. Even when you reach your target weight, you will still need to work to keep the weight from creeping back on. If you don’t, it will. You might find yourself at the top of an even longer stairway. All you can do is to keep going.

Your best chance for success is to find a group of people who are trying to lose weight too and get together with them. It does help to know that you are not alone in your battle. While your weight loss stairs may not be the same, they will be similar enough to for your group to help you and for you to help them.

Once you forget about reaching the bottom of the stairs, you will find that the journey isn’t so bad. You will find things about it that you like and make them a habit. Your body will love you for it. When you are fighting your way down the up escalator, remember how good it will feel to get off it and back on the manual portion or even a down escalator. Feel good about yourself, and your journey. You will be miles ahead of anyone who doesn’t even try and that will be something to be proud of.

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Finding Activity

My life is crammed with activity. Ok, not all of it is physical. Forty hours a week is devoted to my job. I sit at a desk and answer phones for a technology help desk. I also have a daily hour-long workout that I do. I write these blogs. I write novels. I have to eat and sleep. I have to pay bills and grocery shop. I also mow the lawn in the summer and shovel snow in the winter. I go to weekly Weight Watchers meetings.

I need to increase my activity level because I’m still pretty much a couch potato. I’m basically lazy. I admit it. I enjoy the walking, but I know that there is more that I could, make that should, be doing. There are ways to make each activity that I do right now into something that counts. I could turn vacuuming the living room rug into a dance routine. Yes, I’m talking about dancing with a vacuum cleaner. I could do the same with a broom in the kitchen.

I could do a little dancing while doing the dishes, or the laundry. I can pace while writing. I do that sometimes anyway. I would need to use the tablet to write while I did things like that. These are just the little movements that count towards my overall activity. I’ve learned a lot about how to increase my activity level from the activity monitor that I wear. I have learned how to move in a chair while waiting for a phone call. I work in a call center. It’s not much, but it is the best that I can do while working. Just moving in the chair, rocking or swiveling counts. I may look restless, but I know that any movement helps. What I should do at lunch is get up and walk around. I do that sometimes as well.

All I really need to do is figure out the most active way to do something. between calls at work, instead of just sitting in a chair, I can swivel, as I have said. Dancing with the vacuum cleaner is another way to do something a bit more actively than you would consider. Jog to the mailbox to get the mail. Setting aside time to do other things, such as yoga, tai chi, or weight training, are other ways to increase your activity level. Sometimes, when I am on a break from my job, I pick up hand weights and just stand swinging them. if I combine that with dance steps, I can get both cardio and strength training in one workout. I just need a good song to dance to. well, I also need the space to swing the weights. I’ve been thinking of clearing off my deck and using that as a dance floor or yoga studio. it’s a good place to workout in the summer. Winter is another story. I’ll figure something out there as well.

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