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Interesting, in a creepy sort of way

Cat predicts deaths of nursing home residents

I thought he had kind of weird eyes, but maybe that’s due to being creeped out by the article combined with a bad red-eye remover touch up in the photo?

Update: The CNEWS article with the creepy-eyes picture was pulled off the site for some reason so I’ve updated the link to the CNN version. There is also an article in the New England Journal of Medicine but it’s not available online.

Update 2: The original link I tried to post on CNEWS is back up.

“You’re in good hands” until you have a claim — and then you get the finger

I got my insurance policy renewal. I knew that it was going to go up because of the claim but had hoped that being a long term customer and having a perfect driving record (not even a parking ticket, in over 20 years of driving) would count for something… well, my rate doubled. I am going to shop around for a new insurance policy. We had already dropped our renters insurance with them after the mold disaster in Hendersonville, when we were told that the mold damage wasn’t covered, and I think its time to just move on to a different company after this.

Cricket’s latest vet visit


Well, after many years of the animals trying to give us ulcers, one of them has apparently given herself an ulcer instead… Cricket has not been doing well at all the past few months and we’ve had a struggle to get her to eat much of anything at all, so Saturday we took her in to the vet. The news was not great. Besides the suspected ulcer, (we think our neighbors shooting off fireworks nearly every day this month was a contributing factor) she now has a grade 4/6 heart murmer and elevated creatinine level. So her heart is getting worse and her kidneys may be going as well. We were sent home with additional medication to help soothe her stomach in addition to the Pepcid and heart medication she is on. She’s been on the meds for four days now and still has no appetite… with the other things going on with her besides the stomach issue, it’s not looking real hopeful.

Curse of the ‘Ouch’-lander

My Mitsubishi Outlander, whose mishaps I’d written about previously, has had yet another set of injuries. Actually, it’s an ongoing thing, there are little paint scrapes of assorted colors all over it from various cars and trucks whose owners decided to bump, hit, or swipe my car and then hightail it before I got there. And of course the rocks… at least three of which have impacted like damned little meteorites since the windshield was replaced. But these latest are more on the major side.

Last week on my way home from work — within a mile of my Interstate exit, actually — I saw out of the corner of my eye a walnut-sized object arcing out of the sky towards me, so fast I barely had time to flinch as it cracked hard into the windshield in front of my face and bounced off. Unlike most of the rock hits the new windshield has taken, which make tiny little chips that you can barely see, this one left a starred crater about the size of a bullet hole. thankfully, it didn’t go all the way through and the cracks haven’t spread… but I nearly cried. I dared not report it to the insurance company because I am already going to take a 2.5 point hit on my insurance (from the above mentioned Canton fiasco) when the policy renews next month.

So, as if the rock impact wasn’t bad enough, yesterday when I left work I was greeted by the site of a white scrape on the lower part of my rear bumper. Some sort of plastic panel underneath had also sprung loose from the impact and was hanging cockeyed. Whoever hit me (probably as they were backing out of a parking spot) had to have hit hard enough that there’s no way they were not aware they had done it. If I nailed someone’s car, I would be mortified, and would want to take responsibility for what I had done. Shame on these jerks who keep thoughtlessly trashing my car and leaving! Do they look at all the other scrapes on it and figure that makes it OK, because one more won’t matter? I can’t afford to keep fixing them, and still have over three years to pay on a car that is now going to be pretty much worthless as a trade-in…

I feel like taping a sign in the back window of it saying “please don’t hit my car and run; just because everyone else already has, doesn’t make it right.”

Mystery solved.

The ‘mystery critter’ that has been digging under our fence every day has been identified:


I don’t think this is the same groundhog we saw last year that we had named “Gilbert”, that one was a lot bigger. Now that we know who/what the intruder is, we’ve arrived at a compromise; we only fill in the hole when we are going to have the cats out in the yard, and we’re careful to look first before we let the dogs out. I don’t think groundhogs eat tomato plants (this one seems to be content to graze on grass and other plants in the back yard) so I think we can all happily coexist.