What to Do When Your Cat Leaves You


Photo by Johnny Cat

One year ago I had to move out of a house due to the recession. I had two cats I had to consider as I transitioned from 1600 square feet to a tiny room in a shared duplex unit. One of them, Scooter (who graces the top of The Litter Box) found a home with my friend. I kept Jasmine because I knew she just wouldn’t fit in with anyone else; she’s unadoptable. Having raised her from her earliest days, I knew she’d only be happy with me.

Within a week of the move, Jasmine disappeared. To this day, I have no idea how she got out, but she was missing for a week. I checked the Humane Society twice – a heartbreaking act that knows no parallel. I put up Lost flyers. I even listened to neighborhood rumors about a crazy cat lady who kidnaps cats (catnaps?) and pounded on her unanswered door a few times. Around the time I had given up hope, and prepared to accept the fact that she was gone, she slinked back into the yard, into my arms, and back into our room, where I snapped that picture above as we reunited.

As awesome as that moment was, I realize now, a year later… she was mentally changed by that move. She now views every move made by anyone who comes into this place as suspect, all of her habits have been thrown into whack because of my work schedule, and she discovered the one thing I was hoping she’d never discover. See, my yard has a chain link fence that I thoroughly fortified so she couldn’t sneak out, and for a while it worked fine. I could leave her outside, unattended, for as long as she wanted to get her porch time on.

The problem? Strays. The neighborhood is thick with them, and they appeal to her cat-sense of adventure. So, after maybe 10 or 20 observations of these feline Fagins deftly hopping over the four foot tall fence, Jazz caught on. And now that she’s found her freedom here, she refuses to come back inside; she’ll only come to the back door for food and water once a day. She also wants love and pets, but if I physically bring her into the room we shared for a year, she becomes visibly uncomfortable, and bolts back to the exit, untrimmed claws a-blazing.

I feel like she’s left me, but I did let it happen. And I think that’s the key; letting my cat be what she wants to be is sometimes liberating, and very difficult at the same time. I know she’s still going to be around, but I think her life decisions may end up shortening her life. I can’t afford to take her to the vet anymore, but I know she’s going to need some meds for the fleas alone come November. But these problems all vanish when I take her into my lap, and she climbs my chest and wraps her tiny arms around my neck, giving me the best hug I’ve ever gotten.

Love you Jasmine.


Through the past four months, Jasmine and I have gone through some major changes. Long story short — she’s now an indoor only cat, living with me in New Orleans, and as healthy as can be! Thanks everyone who offered words of encouragement.

Beck’s Hilarious Recordings


Beck is still cool, but in the 1990s, when he was fresh, he was the hipster before it was cool to be a hipster. His experimental album, the one before Mellow Gold, was frequently played at my household, but these three tracks got the most play, because they are HILARIOUS.



Of course, Beck had them on the album in random order, but I present them in chronological order, because I do.

For adding to the weirdness that is Beck’s strange voice recordings, try playing them simultaneously.



Photo: Sylvain Weiller

As this week’s full moon rose in a clear Portland night sky, I happened to be reading Robert M. Hazen’s The Story of Earth, chapter two: The Big Thwack. Hazen’s experience in the subject of Earth’s 4.5 billion year history is impressive, and I never knew basic things about our solar system before reading it; such as Jupiter was vying to be a sun, as were Uranus and Neptune, but due to a variance in stellar “winds,” cooled too fast, and they became gas giant planets, instead.

The Big Thwack is also known as the giant impact hypothesis, that Hazen believes to be the only scientifically plausible origin of our moon. Take a look at this video to see what most likely happened a long time ago, in this galaxy.

What’s not fascinating about that? Especially the name Theia. The goddess child of Earth and Sky, who gave birth to the Moon. I used to lament that the moons of other planets all got names, but ours is just called the moon. Since it was clearly a planet before thwacking into this larger sphere, I will forever refer to her by the true name she deserves.

LOST Meets The Exorcist


I’m watching LOST again, just because I want to sort things out, and I think I got everything straight, and of course all those ostensibly unanswered questions have been answered, but what’s this I noticed? And this just happens to be on YouTube. (Spoilers?)

At 0:56 it sounds like a dubbed voice, not Naveen Andrews’ (Sayid’s) voice. It sounds a lot like the voice of the demon from The Exorcist. “Do you want to know who I am?” the voice asks. Very similar in theme and I just bet the sound people played with it a bit there to make it sound like that.

Mind you, Sayid has been through a lot, and will continue down a dark path, one that is intertwined with the hapless demonesque Linus, only to be overshadowed by a larger demon.

Maybe I’m just too into it at this late hour, but that sounded like the Exorcist demon to me.

Lashing Back at the Backlash


I’m so saddened by the actions of a man who found an end to his rope of the American Dream, an end which prompted an American Nightmare. The victims of this tragedy continue to reveal their sad truths, but some ugly lies are also cropping up across this nation.

I won’t stain my own blog with links to these accusations, but already the blame is being cast on the movie. It’s obvious everyone wants to equate the suspect to The Joker, and indict the franchise as complicit. That would make as much sense as prosecuting Santa Claus for the many shooting sprees he’s been responsible for.

WB has efficiently addressed the situation in an appropriate manner, but I have to think there’s a way to convince the world there’s still hope in the moviegoing experience. And there is. Go to the movies. There’s not going to be any copycat; this was an isolated event. And furthermore, check out this video, which includes the Joker briefly, and I consider one of the best edited pieces ever. Don’t Stop Beleivin’ in the movies, cause they make us believe, when done right.

Crazy Lyrics


Sensucht by Rammstein is a a hard pounding, truly metal moshy song. But, um… what the hell is he actually singing about? Sensucht means longing, but the rest of the song is translated here. WTF?


Let me ride your tear
over clouds without happiness
the big bird pushes his head
gently back into his hideout
Between your long legs
I search for last year’s sand
but there is no more sand there

So here’s a link to the song. It still rocks the world.

20 TV Show Intros (Awesome Enough to Watch Over and Over)


via fanpop

In a time when consumption of television shows is gravitating to instant gratification, when you can just marathon through an entire series on Netflix or YouTube, less time between episode watching ensues. So every time a new episode starts, you have to choose: zip through the opening title sequence, or watch it again because it’s actually quite enjoyable? Even though you just saw it like 50 minutes ago? What is it about this feature that is basically a title card with What This Is, Who’s In It, and Who Made It? The well-crafted ones use a distinctive piece of music, and an original, engaging visual narrative.

The following twenty are by no means an authoritative list, just another opinion by Johnny Cat, some guy on the Internet.

20. The Outer Limits

This was clever for its time, because in the 60s, TV sets would always be “going on the fritz” or otherwise losing picture quality. So when people first saw the intro to the show, they were creepily informed that the horizontal and vertical controls of their prized living room television were in the hands of some weird television show.

19. M*A*S*H

Photo: Wikipedia

Filmed in the mountains of California, the famous intro to M*A*S*H describes a typical day for our friends at the 4077th. The helicopters glide over the “Korean” landscape, seeming to dance gently to the sweet music… um, yeah the song’s titled “Suicide is Painless” and had lyrics in the original movie version. But anyway, then the doctors run and whisk the injured away to go to work on them. Always fun to watch, never a chore.

18. 30 Rock

One aspect of an awesome intro is getting the information out to the viewer efficiently; entertainingly, as well. There are a few very short entries on this list, and third shortest is the zippy punch that is the intro to 30 Rock.

17. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

Although I watched every episode of this dreadful show, and have previously named Dr. Theopolis as the most worthless droid, the best part of those otherwise wasted viewings was the opening sequence.

16. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Go on, sing along to the original, extended version and see how you do on that middle part.

15. The Simpsons

The show hit the airwaves running, and never looked back. Throughout the hundreds of episodes, the iconic opening sequence remains generally the same, of course with a different blackboard phrase, and a different couch scene. Here’s one with an oddly serious ending, and here’s every couch scene in a row.

14. LOST

The shortest one on the list, and included for its sheer simplicity. The show’s structure was one with an opening scene, which would usually end with some WTF moment or discovery, then – cut to this intro. It’s interactive, because the audience is simultaneous feeling what the word is saying. It’s effective.

13. Weeds

The Malvina Reynolds song “Little Boxes” is one of the best choices for a show like Weeds. Nancy Botwin and her family feel so out of place in a gated community, and its ticky-tacky people. As the series went on, the theme song would be covered by various artists. This is the original.

12. The Twilight Zone

Rod Serling was a fan of anthology pulp fiction stories as a little boy. As an adult, he wished to write on social commentary themes such as racism, government, war, society  and human nature in general. He decided to combine the two so he could not only indulge both of these passions, but also to get away with talking about these on television at a time when television wasn’t allowed to address such things.

Perfectly sums up one of the most loved TV shows, with one of the most unforgettable intros.

11. The Sopranos

In this intro, we simply sit shotgun and look around as Tony Soprano makes a drive from the city to Jersey, and finally to his nice home in the hills. With an edgy song as backdrop, the journey is a beautiful one of neighborhoods, people, and T smoking a cigar.

10. The Walking Dead

Riveting music, broken picture frames, the modern wasteland. It’s explanatory and beautiful in its depiction of the show’s premise. And I love how it always blends in with the opening scene.

9. Breaking Bad

Short, sweet, and to the point. Yo! Bounce!

8. Star Trek

Have you seen this? I mean, have you seen it? The ship flies from one end of the universe to the other, right in your face! Epic narrator, sweeping sci-fi-ish music, and The Enterprise swishing speedily across your face. It’s so… fascinating.

7. Rescue Me

Ostensibly filmed using actual FDNY guys. The song fits the mood of the show, and the cinematography is brilliant.

6. The Six Million Dollar Man

My friends and I were such geeks about this show, and would be upset if we somehow accidentally missed the intro. I love the high tech stuff, and the music, and the drama. Shucks, embedding disabled. Check out the HD version.

5. The Dukes of Hazzard

Sure, most of the beauty of this one comes from the car, but there’s also the kooky song, Daisy kicking some dude with her high heels, explosive arrows, breakfast… But yeah, it’s mostly about the General. Odd footnote: to my knowledge, Waylon Jennings never did appear in character as The Balladeer, he just sung the same damn song every week.

4. The Muppet Show

Gonzo’s finale was always different, so you pretty much had to watch each intro just to see that, and whatever else they sometimes threw in there.

3. Freaks and Geeks

This masterpiece of an intro never gets old. The setting of the thing takes place during school pictures, and we meet our characters as they attempt to pose for the camera while Joan Jett hammers out the angst musically. The song alone is probably the best on this list, but the editing is what really makes this one rock.

2. Dexter

I know if you’re a fan of good modern TV shows, you knew this one would be on this list, probably near number 1.  The tableau of our title character waking up and getting ready for work has all the right elements to describe the mood of the show, as well as the creepy undertones to everything Dexter does, no matter how mundane. The song is also perfect in those regards, and I’ll never have ham for breakfast again.

1. The Prisoner

If you were a fan of  British scifi/spy shows from the 60s, you no doubt knew this one would be here, by hook or by crook, and especially had to live in the number one spot. Its epic scale exceeds all expectations of what a watchable (over and over) intro should be. It’s the Anti-LOST intro, in that it’s three and a half minutes long, but it’s sooo watchable (over and over).

There are many more good, re-watchable intros out there, old and new. I know it; it’s why I pinned a still from the Gilligan’s Island intro up top. So remind me, what’d I leave off this list?