Acid Heroes

January 1, 2018

Happy Moo Year!!

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 12:15 am
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Communicating with your cat

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Cats are funny. They have a subtle way of communicating with their humans.

Moo Cat has been banished from my campsite by the other cats. But none of them were around last night. So Moo Cat worked up the courage to sneak up to my campsite in the middle of the night and wake me up from a sound sleep. She jumped up on top of my chest. But when I went to pet her — like I usually do — she immediately stepped off of me.

Then she climbed on top of me again. But when I went to pet her? Same thing. She stepped off of me. She repeated this pattern for about a minute, pacing back and forth from one side of me to the other. Until I finally figured out what she was trying to communicate to me:

“The hell with this petting stuff. I’M HUNGRY!!!”

I opened up a can of tuna fish and plopped it into the cat food dish. Which she quickly gobbled down.

Then she sauntered back over and climbed back on top of my chest. And STAYED there this time. And gave me a look that said:

“NOW you may pet me.”

Ha ha. Cats.

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December 16, 2017

A surprise guest at my campsite

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 1:25 am
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Had a surprise guest at my campsite, Tuffy the brown-colored feral cat. Out of the dozens of feral cats that have come through my campsite over the years — all of whom have been variations of black, white and gray — Tuffy is the only brown one. She’s from Moo Cat’s one-and-only litter back around 2011. A homeless friend of mine who camps on the other side of the hill from me, adopted Tuffy. But every couple of years or so she’ll drop by to say hello to me.

My two feral cats — Scaredy Cat and Mini Scaredy — were immediately on red alert. The both immediately stiffened and stared off intently into the distance, growling under their breath (they always spot an on-coming intruder long before I do). Tuffy approached them and nonchalantly sat there about 10 feet away from them, staring blankly at them, It was a major invasion of my cats’ territory (world wars have broken out over less). So my cats kept making that noise — that gutteral, high-pitched whining/howling sound that cats makes that translates into English as: “If you come one step closer to me, I’ll slice you to ribbons, bitch!!”

My cats finished their breakfast in a state of agitation, and then laid down next to me for back-up. Tuffy casually trotted over to the food dish, ate up some of the food, lingered for a little while more, and then headed off up the hill.

When my homeless friend was out of town for 6 months, Tuffy started coming down to my campsite every morning for her breakfast. She immediately established herself as the dominant cat of the tribe, settling herself into the center of my campsite.. That’s just how it works in the cat world.

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December 11, 2017

Moo Cat is one tough feral cat

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Moo Cat the feral cat almost died last winter. It was a rough winter. Rainy and cold. 37 inches of rain and the weather often near or below freezing. Which is tough to deal with if you’re a feral cat living outside with no home.

For several months Moo Cat had this weird hooping cough. When she breathed — every time she inhaled she had this loud rattling sound coming from her diseased lungs. I could tell Moo Cat was really sick. When your lungs are rattling and wheezing with every breath you take, you know it’s trouble.

All I could do was hug her and pet her and make sure she had plenty of good food and water. I’m not a doctor or a vet. All I knew was that Moo Cat’s lungs were rattling and wheezing with every breath she took for 2 months straight during the brutal winter weather. And plenty of feral cats wouldn’t survive the brutal wet cold winter of 2017.

But Moo Cat survived it. Moo Cat is 9 years old. Which is pretty ancient for a feral cat.

She’s a tough bitch.

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December 9, 2017

The raccoons almost get me again

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 10:21 pm
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A look of complete innocence.

Last night I woke up in the middle of the night at my campsite to the sound of “dragging” sounds. I figured it was nothing and rolled over on my side to go back to sleep.

But then I thought: “HEY WAIT A SECOND. WHERE THE HELL IS MY BACKPACK??” I realized a bastard raccoon had stolen my backpack and was dragging it down the hill.

I quickly put on my shoes and chased after the bastard raccoon in the pitch darkness of night. Cursing loudly as I staggered onwards.

I followed the trail of my stuff that the bastard raccoon had pulled out of my backpack. My transistor radio. My battery charger. My tooth brush. Marveling at the raccoon’s deft little fingers, that he could unzip my backpack and pull the individual items out of my pack.

The trail led me to my backpack. And there was the raccoon. Cowering up a tree on a tree branch about 10 feet above me.

I momentarily considering picking up a branch or a rock and hurling it at the raccoon. Knocking him out of the tree.

But then I realized. That was just the raccoon’s nature. Their instinctual animal nature. To be desperately scrounging for food. The theivin’ bastards. Plus. My throwing arm, my aim, is so lousy. I probably would have missed the raccoon anyways. Even from point blank range.

So instead I just lectured the raccoon at the top of my lungs.

“DON’T DO THAT!! DON’T DO THAT!!”

I doubt my lecture made much of an impression on the raccoon. But at least I got my backpack back before he did any real damage.

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November 13, 2017

The great Mini Scaredy vs. Moo Cat feud

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Still Moo Cat after all these years.

 

I think the great Mini Scaredy vs. Moo Cat feud is finally beginning to thaw out.

The other night there were no feral cats at my campsite. Usually Mini Scaredy and Scaredy Cat sleep with me all night long. But it had rained during the day. So they were probably holed up somewhere getting shelter from the storm.

So around 4AM Moo Cat dares to show up at my campsite. Usually she’s afraid to get near me when her arch nemesis Mini Scaredy is around. But tonight she’s got the place to herself. So she climbs up on top of my chest and starts meowing repeatedly in my face to wake me up.

“You!” I said.

“Meow!” she said.

I give her a couple of pets and she starts purring loudly. Then she jumps on top of my backpack where I keep the food (hint hint).

I happened to have a leftover rotisserie chicken that I had ground-scored earlier in my backpack. So Moo Cat really scored. “Meat on the bone!!” Her favorite. She immediately started devouring the chicken with gusto.

But then about 5 minutes later, who shows up? Mini Scaredy. The evil one. Moo Cat immediately starts growling fiercely at Mini Scaredy (what a tough guy she is!). But for once Moo Cat holds her ground. She doesn’t run. She continues feasting on the chicken. And for once Mini Scaredy doesn’t run Moo Cat down the hill and up a tree. Instead she trots over and sits on my chest, purring loudly while I pet her.

After Moo Cat is done eating and makes her exit, Mini Scaredy trots over to the chicken and starts chowing down. About 5 minutes later Scaredy Cat shows up (the gangs all here) and takes her turn at the chicken. And pretty soon there’s nothing left of that carcass but bones and gristle.

The fat cats all go to sleep, with smiles on their mugs. Everyone is coexisting. And there’s peace in the valley (“Can’t we all get along?”) And everyone lives happily ever after (except for the chicken). The End.

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November 6, 2017

Cats are so smart

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 9:36 pm
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Scaredy Cat

 

Cats are so smart.

The last couple nights I’ve been camping in a different part of the Berkeley hills. Last night, one of my feral cats, Scaredy Cat (one of the smartest of the bunch) managed to track me down. She wakes me up in the middle of the night meowing over and over. She’s calling out to me. She’s pretty sure it’s me. But she’s not completely sure. Because I’m some lump sleeping in the darkness in an unfamiliar spot. So she’s afraid to approach me. And her meowing is sort of saying “IS THAT YOU? IS THAT YOU?”

I call out to her with some of my usual catch phrases. “You big fat cat!” and “Come and get your food!”

She finally realizes it is me. Comes over. Climbs on top of my chest. Purring loudly. It’s a surreal scene. Her face is sillouetted in the moonlight as she presses her face up to mine.

I get out my backpack and feed her a leftover turkey and cheese sandwich and a slice of sausage pizza. And she sleeps along side me all night long.

Cats study us, and our behavior. And figure out ways to adapt along side us. They’re pretty smart.

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First rain of the season

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 9:23 pm
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Mini Scaredy

 

First real rain of the season last night and I got totally soaked. My impression was that the rain wasn’t gonna start until later in the morning. My impression was wrong. It started raining at 4am. The worst possible time for me. I’m sleeping at my campsite, still drunk, with no raincoat or rain gear. Basically oblivious.

Mini Scaredy wakes me up with her incessant meowing. Possibly as a heroic Lassie-like gesture to awaken me from my drunken stupor and alert me about the impending rain. Or, more likely she just wants to wake me up so I’ll get off of my ass and get up and feed her her breakfast before she gets soaked. At any rate, she woke me up in the nick of time.

I stagger out of my blankets — which are already getting soaked from the ever-increasing rain. Dump some catfood in a dish for Mini Scaredy. Then struggle in the darkness to pack up my blankets.

Then the real bummer. The long march back to civilization with no respite from the downpour. By the time I make it to an awning I’m completely soaked. And will remain in that state for the next 8 hours until the sun finally comes up and I can dry myself out.

Here we go. . .

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October 11, 2017

“Hey! How’d that cat get so flat?”

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October 8, 2017

Do cats get lonely?

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I wonder how much cats feel loneliness.

The reason I’m wondering about that is because: For the first 2 years of Fatty’s life, Fatty was an accepted member of the tribe of feral cats at my campsite. Was best friends with Scaredy Cat. Related well with all the other cats. And slept with me every night and got a lot of petting and attention from me. So Fatty had a pretty active social life.

But about 6 months ago she got run out of my campsite by one of the other cats in some kind of territorial turf war dispute.

So now she’s by herself all the time. She’s like an exiled princess, wandering alone in the wilderness.

Four or five days a week she’ll show up at the outskirts of my campsite. And I’ll take some cat food down to the creek to feed her. But it won’t be long before the other feral cats chase after her and run her up a tree.

But this morning all the other cats were gone. So I was able to feed Fatty in peace for once. And after she finished eating she climbed up on my chest (I was lying on my back) and I was able to pet her for a bit. Like we used to do in the old days. And she purred and purred.

But it made me wonder if Fatty was lonely. Living by herself most of the time. Or if loneliness is mostly just a human emotion.

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Later, I packed up my campsite and walked down the trail to the road.  Fatty followed me all the way down the trail.  And sat there, watching, sort of forlornly, as I walked off down the road.  Like she was wondering where I was going.  And wanted to go with me.  Which was cute.  But I don’t want her getting anywhere the road. Those cars can seriously mess up a cat.
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