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Bitu's Diary

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A Limerick To a Literary Friend

March 8th 2014 5:32 pm
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Chadwick Wanzenreid was the founder and president of Tall Cat Tales at Catster. He used to like the limericks I worked on when I stopped by. At one point we toyed with the idea of putting a limerick collection together. When we heard that he might be pulling away from Earth pretty soon (much like when Minnie climbed to the highest point in my younger human's room just weeks before she died), a limerick started forming itself in my head. I thought I might put it down here:

Chadwick Wanzenreid was a literary cat.
He knew that Catster was where it was at.
When they heard he might fly,
His friends raised a cry.
And in their great grief they fell flat.


A Confession of Separatism

March 5th 2014 3:23 am
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I've accused - or suspected - others of separatism (wanting to keep dogs and cats on their own side of the line), and not just the enemy. I'm just as guilty of it in my own right. The Mac Kitties Club was the first Catster group I ever belonged to before taking the plunge to make my own groups or trying to reach out to the other side. Some weeks after joining, they proposed expanding it to include dogs and had a vote concerning it. I abstained from voting because of my narrow mindset at the time and was shocked (at least a little) that the proposal went through. And wouldn't you know it, I was the first to invite a dog to join - ironic, isn't it? Some weeks after forming KittyWhiskas For Catsters (formed after I found out that the original group on Yahoo had no Catster branch), I was toying with the idea of including dogs. Naturally, there was some resistance to the idea because of wanting to keep things separate. I got the push I needed when the canine family member of one of our members "snuck under the fence" to play one of the games set up at the time. So I made The KittyWhiskas For Catsters Canine Auxiliary which was set up as a mixed group. Not too long after that, I started adding pictures of departed members to the group photo section at KittyWhiskas For Catsters as a way to remember them. Somebody who was concerned about running out of space helped set up The KittyWhiskas For Catsters Memorial Wall on condition of anonymity to protect their sense of generosity. That was the only place I could mark Minnie's existence at the time with a candle in the group photo section, though others were eventually given a candle on request. Even here I engaged in separatism until persuaded by one of the first group to include their canine family member, at which point The KittyWhiskas For Catsters Memorial Wall also became open to dogs. But I still drew the line at adding living family members, even for the sake of wanting to mourn the departed. Some weeks after that, I was approached by Alfie Chinacat asking advice on how to create a similar memorial wall for one of his groups. I wasn't exactly forthcoming with the advice he sought because I felt a sense of competition. I wasn't thinking broadly enough to consider the thousands when I had maybe several dozen on the memorial page that was a branch of my own groups. But the whole place had a sense of separatism about it, insofar as dogs could only officially befriend dogs and cats could only officially befriend cats except for when a stray friendship request managed to slip through the cracks. That was the top item listed in the article I wrote concerning how to revive interest in Dogster and Catster during the failed 2012 rescue campaign. But none of the things in the article were acted on the way Minister Misty had hoped, leading to the further degeneration of the whole place until they decided to reverse the decision to shut down in 2014 at least temporarily. But several months before the cleaning people we had finished cleaning out my older human's bank account by charging 140 a week even when there was no real extra work to be had, my older human bought my younger human a Windows laptop at the recommendation of the Wound Care Clinic because they thought it would allow my younger human access to a regular computer while putting her sore left leg up, besides which it was one-third the price of a Mac laptop. With my people being strict Mac users up to that point, I felt myself a traitor to The Mac Kitties and Doggies Club and put up a group message to that effect. But the whole group had essentially died by then and there was nobody to answer me one way or the other, though I wouldn't have blamed them if they'd kicked me out for treason toward fellow Mac users, though we bought a mouse for it of the same brand as we have on the Mac Mini, though it has three buttons like any Windows mouse and not just one like the traditional Mac mouse. We've boughten a Mini I-Pad since then, though my younger human uses the Windows laptop as much now as she used the Mac Mini then. But no way have we given up the first I-Pad as long as it works. I guess I'll always be guilty of some sense of separatism no matter how hard I try to reach out to the other side now.


An Enemy In the Midst

March 4th 2014 5:14 am
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I thought only the corporate entity wanted to see Dogster and Catster go down, but it's not the only one. Somebody who used to belong to Catster and went off to make her own site wants them to go down too. She'd been invited to Catster Buddies on Facebook because of her previous connection, but she thinks Dogster and Catster are worthless and that everybody who participated in any of the failed rescue campaigns are clueless. Her site is only geared to cats without a thought for dogs or mixed-pet households. She doesn't think too much of the alternate sites either, especially since several of them are works in progress. It's true that I flirted with her page and even spent a little money there, but an upset by somebody who stops by The New Friday Quiz Game occasionally caused me to leave. I've reconciled with that cat since then, but there's no reconciliation with somebody pretending to be a friend of Catster who actually wants to see it go down. Dogster and Catster might go down eventually, but the rest of us are entitled to mourn their loss, even if Catster Buddies on Facebook eventually becomes a nostalgia group. I hope our enemy's legs fall off when she finishes dancing with the corporate entity over Dogster and Catster's graves. Minister Misty will prove a truer prophetess than we ever gave her credit for. If we ever find Minister Misty again, we'll owe her a big apology.


A Page For Minnie

February 18th 2014 11:56 am
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I feel somewhat better today. We've finally been able to put up a page for Minnie without being begrudged for not having pictures of her from life just because our people never took any, but not from not wanting to. Pets4Pals was more than happy to give her a space where her story could be told. We even have a rainbow paw in the logo space to symbolize her place in Heaven while acknowledging her impact on our people during almost one and a half years with them before dying of a bad case of fleas at about four and a half. Maybe now everybody will believe that she existed like WE know she did.


I Think I've Figured Out What They're Up To

February 16th 2014 9:13 am
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The corporate entity is trying to pull another trick. They're advertising a new pet forum called I suspect that's what they want to do with Dogster and Catster - turn it into just one big forum so they can justify taking down everything everybody's been trying to save. And yet some people still want to believe Dogster and Catster are being "saved". They're going to be badly fooled. Everybody knows the corporate entity has no interest in restoring Dogster and Catster to something everybody knows and loves, so why do they believe their lies?


Dogster and Catster Saved?

February 13th 2014 7:37 am
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Everybody's going crazy over the news that Dogster and Catster are being saved after all the turmoil we were put through with the announcement of their closure by the corporate entity. They've done everything they can to drive us away already by not keeping things running like they should - no group messages in the e-mail so you can keep up with groups, no access beyond the first page of the Dogster and Catster Plus Photo Books, not having the servers respond for those who've been scrambling the last several weeks to save pages and stuff (or to even just get in here) - the list could go on if I allowed my dog and cat friends to add their two cents. The corporate entity wants us to believe that their new format will make everybody happy again - as if they finally realized how valuable we are. But it will most likely NOT be the Dogster and Catster we've come to know and love, though my own experience has been more of a love-hate relationship with them. They're pulling the same kind of marketing ploy as the grocery stores - they buy a limited amount of "loss leaders" that they know will sell out within the first couple days of the sale, then when somebody else wants to take advantage of the advertised bargain, the store makes money by making them buy something other than what they really wanted. It's rather like when one of our local camera stores had a closing sale and then reopened under new management. None of this would have happened if Dogster and Catster hadn't sold out to the corporate entity in the first place. Somebody at Facebook said we've been given the 23rd-hour reprieve. That's all well and good on the face of it, but what if they decide to set up the execution apparatus again at some other time?


Bitu Goes Out

February 10th 2014 10:40 am
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Bitu wrote busily on the computer as usual, her paws tapping the computer keys. She let out an occasional hiss under her breath as she caught herself making spelling errors and having to correct them as she went along. Jason Hopper came up behind her and said, "Hey, Bitu! What are you doing?" "Writing one of my last Catster Diary entries," Bitu replied as she continued typing away. "I'm going out soon." This alarmed Jason Hopper, as he knew what that sometimes meant. "You're not going to the Rainbow Bridge, are you?" He tried to keep calm as he thought of other friends who said similar things before making that final journey. "No, no!" Bitu tried to reassure him. "I'm not the one 'going out' that way. But Dogster and Catster are. Have you forgotten that we've all been given eviction notices?" "Don't remind me!" Jason Hopper replied mournfully as a wave of sadness came over him at the thought of losing all the friends he'd made through his dad's computer. "It makes me want to cry!" he added as he tried hard not to burst into tears. As Bitu continued tapping away on the computer, other cat friends of hers came in and joined Jason Hopper in watching her compose her diary entry. Even some dogs came in whom Bitu had only recently been able to become official friends with through other pages. When the entry was perfected to her satisfaction, Bitu punched the Save button, then saved it with the rest of the entries she'd made. As she got up and turned to leave, Jason Hopper clutched her desperately and cried, "No, Bitu, don't go! You 're one of my best friends in the whole world!" Then he let out a long "Waaaaaiiiiilllll!" as he could no longer restrain himself. Bitu turned and gave Jason Hopper a hug. "Don't worry, Jason," she tried to reassure him. "You know where to look for me." Then Bitu noticed the dogs and cats who'd followed Jason Hopper in, lining up on both sides all the way to the door. She embraced a number of them and shook paws with others. Then another cat grasped her desperately to get her attention. It was Pumpkin, whose person had died and left her silent. Pumpkin was accompanied by other dogs and cats who had also gone silent through losing their people. Bitu gazed at Pumpkin a bit, then said, "I miss beating you at the quizzes." Pumpkin nodded silently in agreement. Then Smiley Cassanova came up to Bitu and cried desperately, "You can't give up without a fight!" Bitu turned to Smiley Cassanova and replied, "They think they've won the battle, but we will win the war, even if it doesn't happen here." Then as she turned toward the door again, she heard a determined chant. "WE...ARE...THE 99 PERCENT! WE...ARE...THE 99 PERCENT!" Everybody soon saw dozens of angel dogs and cats materialize, led by Playful who held up a clenched paw in protest. Bitu's adopted sister Minnie was by Playful's side, determined to the last to prove her existence to her detractors. Bitu made her way to the door as everybody watched. Then just after she got outside, she turned back again, flipped onto her back and stretched out one of her back legs as far as it would go, defiantly displaying her back foot claws. As the dogs and cats caught onto Bitu's meaning, they shouted encouragingly, "You go, girl!" "Yeah!" "Show them what we think of what they're doing to us!" Then she got up on her feet again and raised a clenched paw in salute to
Playful and Minnie. Then the angel pets flew out to give Bitu love and protection along the way, still chanting, "WE...ARE...THE 99 PERCENT! WE...ARE...THE 99 PERCENT!" The living cats and dogs joined in the chant as they raised their clenched paws in protest and followed Bitu out. "WE...ARE...THE 99 PERCENT! WE...ARE...THE 99 PERCENT!" Even the silent pets raised their clenched paws in protest as they melted into the crowd and followed Bitu out.


I've Not Jumped Ship Yet, But...

January 21st 2014 11:15 am
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It's looking doubtful for the last-ditch effort to save Dogster and Catster. I was there during the failed 2012 rescue campaign, though Minister Misty meant well. It looks like the article which I'd originally proposed for The C & D Monthly Press was a failure too. But one thing provides is friendships across party lines which the article proposed. And in any case it will provide an alternative to those who aren't inclined to join Facebook. I hope enough of my dog and cat friends get the word and sign up there. I hope never sells out to a corporate entity like Dogster and Catster did. Either the original owners were lured by money or they just got tired of us and wanted out. If they felt the need to sell, why didn't they ask around to those who could have kept the place up the way people liked without them? Somebody who signed the petition was right - they'll have to answer to God for it at the end. They'll have to tell the truth then.


A Birthday Away From Home

November 15th 2013 9:42 pm
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November 15th is my older human's mother's birthday. She would have been 101 if she'd lived, but she only made it to 83 and a half. This is the first year my younger human has been away from home for a birthday. My older human's mother has been missing birthdays since 1996, but my people like to remember her anyway. My younger human almost missed my older human's birthday the year he turned 78, but she made it home just on the afternoon of the very day. I hope she never has to be away from home for her own birthday one of these days.


An Unexpected Payoff

October 14th 2013 12:00 am
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My younger human has used a walker since 2010 when she was between wheelchairs and needed a way to get around her room until she could get another wheelchair to go out in and do things inside where she needed her hands free, such as cooking and doing dishes. She has mostly used it several times a day in her room for going from the bed to the bathroom and back, or from her wheelchair to the bathroom and back, or from the bed to the wheelchair and back. My older human has lost weight by walking since he doesn't drive, though he uses the bus and train for destinations outside walking distance. He's been insisting that it's done my younger human good to use the walker in her room as a way to at least keep active. The care facility she goes to says it has made her stronger, since she used the walker to go to the bathroom and back instead of using the bedpan like she did part of the first time she stayed there. The biggest surprise is that she's down to 261 (according to the hospital bed scale), though at one point she was 289.1 owing to the distress caused by gaining fifteen pounds in six months due to a manager with no sense of people (I was distressed too by not being able to scratch boxes for seven months). So it seems that using the walker has given an unexpected payoff, despite only being used indoors. Now if the payoff could translate into a monetary type, we could get out of the bank and go to the credit union. My people can hardly wait for that. Would my younger human be worth her weight in gold then?

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