If it can be worn by a cat, it can be worn by a Shiba!

Sony makes device that livetweets for cats

Currently, only fixed phrases can be used as comments for Twitter, and there are 11 phrases available. But Sony CSL is planning to increase the number of phrases and add a function to change comments in accordance with the preceding action. For example, if a cat eats something after taking a walk, a comment like “Meals taste better after a walk” is posted on Twitter, the company said.

Oh, I want this.  Want, want, want.  Tierce’s life will be Tweeted to all and sundry.

TierceTheShiba is sleeping
8:23 AM June 3, 2010 via that thing i wear

TierceTheShiba First pee of the day!
9:03 AM June 3, 2010 via that thing i wear

TierceTheShiba just got his allergy pill. 
11:59 AM June 3, 2010 via that thing i wear

TierceTheShiba is going for a walk!  Awesome!
12:24 PM June 3, 2010 via that thing i wear

TierceTheShiba is loose and keeping away from Mischa.  Haha, catch me now, fucker!
12:53 PM June 3, 2010 via that thing i wear

TierceTheShiba is back on the leash.
1:03 PM June 3, 2010 via that thing i wear

TierceTheShiba is barking at that weird kid next door.  IT’S RIDING A TRICYCLE.
2:47 PM June 3, 2010 via that thing i wear

TierceTheShiba Julie’s home!  Awesome! 
4:32 PM June 3, 2010 via that thing i wear

TierceTheShiba She isn’t taking to me to the dog park right away.  She sucks.
4:36 PM June 3, 2010 via that thing i wear

TierceTheShiba is napping
5:09 PM June 3, 2010 via that thing i wear

TierceTheShiba Walk!  Awesome!
5:38 PM June 3, 2010 via that thing i wear

TierceTheShiba DOG PARK!
6:01 PM June 3, 2010 via that thing i wear

TierceTheShiba is eating that crappy hypoallergenic dog food. 
8:27 PM June 3, 2010 via that thing i wear

TierceTheShiba is sleeping
10:43 PM June 3, 2010 via that thing i wear

TierceTheShiba Last pee.
12:13 AM June 4, 2010 via that thing i wear

The curious incident of the Shiba in the night time.

Me:  Are we there yet?

Mischa:  Yup, get out.

Me:  I love our new car, but that paint the former owner used to spruce up the interior is making me ill.

Mischa:  It’s just a few more minutes.  We’ll stop off at my sister’s and then go to the hospital to visit Mom.

Tierce:  Hey, this place sounds familiar.

Me:  Sounds good.  Hey are we going to have dinner together tonight or should I pick up something at the hospital restaurant?

Mischa:  I think we’re fending for ourselves tonight.   I’m saving my Scotch egg for a snack if we end up staying with Mom for a while.

Tierce:  Don’t forget the dog.  I haven’t had anything to eat today!  I could be starving!

Me:  What’s a Scotch egg?  Was that one of those dumpling-looking things at MacLean’s Specialty Foods?

Mischa:  Yeah, it’s a hardboiled egg wrapped in sausage and rolled in breadcrumbs.  It’s really good.

Tierce:  I’ll say; it smells awesome!

Mischa:  Well, here we are.

Tierce:  Yay!

Me:  There ya go.

Tierce:  That smell… I remember being here.  I remember that smell!  I MUST HAVE IT!

Me:  Okay, and the computer can go here for now… and let’s see… I should take Tierce for a walk.

Mischa:  Well how about you do that and I’ll drive my niece to her job.

Me:  Great, see ya…  Tierce?

Me:  Tierce?

Me:  TIERCE!

Tierce:  CHASECHASECHASEKILLKILLKILL

Hamster that has been forgotten up until 3 seconds ago:  PANICPANICPANIC

Me:  OH MY GOD.

Tierce:  CHASEKILLCHASEKILLCHASEKILL

Me:  HOW DID YOU GET THAT CAGE OFF THE DESK?!

Tierce:  Kinda busy now.

Me:  NO!  NO!  NO!  LEAVE IT!  NEVER TOUCH IT AGAIN!

Tierce:  Well if you wanted first dibs, you totally should have let me know before.  I’m sorry; you can kill and eat it if you want…. Bitch.

Me:  Never touch this hamster!  Never look at it!  Never think of it!  LEST YOU DIE!

Tierce:  Okay, okay… look, I’m being submissive.  I won’t muscle in on your territory… it’s cool…

Me:  LOOK WHAT YOU DID TO THE FLOOR!

Tierce:  Dude, seriously, you’re getting way too freaked out.  I TOLD you it was okay.  Go ahead… kill and eat it; I’m cool with it being yours okay?  I mean, it would be awesome if you gave me a piece, but-

Me:  NO ONE IS KILLING OR EATING THIS HAMSTER.

Hamster:  Can I just go back into my cage and we can pretend this never happened?

Tierce:  I don’t know, you’re rather *unforgettable*.

Hamster:  AAAAAHHH!

Me:  YOU ARE NOT KILLING OR EATING THIS HAMSTER!

Tierce:  Killjoy.  Are you people, like, squirrels or something?  Do you save these things for the winter?

Me:  I am cleaning this up and putting the hamster back in the cage.  You are going to lie there and think over your bad behaviour.

Tierce:  Not getting the cage open in time before you came downstairs?

Mischa:  Hi, what happened here?

Me:  Tierce tried to kill the hamster.

Mischa:  Tierce!  BAD DOG!

Tierce:  Everyone’s making a fuss.

Mischa:  Is it okay?

Hamster:  Would you be?

Me:  It seems okay; I can only hope it won’t die in the next week or so or we’ll be in for it.

Mischa:  Here’s the vacuum.

Tierce:  My ancient enemy!

Me:  You stay right there!

Tierce:  You know what?  I don’t even care anymore if it tries to take over the world.  You’re both completely insane.

Me:  Okay, we’re done.

Mischa:  You know, I think we should bring him with us.  He can stay in the car while we visit Mom; it’s evening and it won’t be hot or anything.

Me:  Yeah, I agree.

Tierce:  Damn.  Heyyy, how are ya doing.

Hamster:  Suddenly less well.

Me:  TIERCE!  GET AWAY FROM THE HAMSTER!

Mischa:  BAD DOG!

Tierce:  Jeez, fine… although I bet you spoilsports aren’t even going to eat the damn thing.  The least you could do is feed me.  I’m starving.

Me:  Definitely bringing the dog with us.

Tierce:  Dammit, I wanted to stay there!  I bet the kitchen is full of good stuff I can find in the corners.  And I’m sure I could learn to open the door to the downstairs if I try hard enough.

Mischa:  Fucking dog.

Me:  I know.  What a little shit.

Mischa:  I guess that’s what they’re bred for, though.

Me:  Yeah.  What gets me, though, is the fact that we’ve never let him chase things or kill things and the second he sees a rabbit or a hamster, he’s like a great white shark homing in on a chum slick.

Mischa:  No kidding.  Well, here we are.  Tierce, you be a good boy!  Well, as much as you’re able to.

Me:  You be a good puppy!

Tierce:  Yeah, yeah, yeah.

***

Me:  Well, we’re back.  Tierce!  Get in the back seat!

Tierce:  Fine.

Mischa:  What’s this paper bag on the front seat?

Me:  What paper bag?

Mischa:  Oh you fucking little shit.

Tierce:  What?

Me:  What?

Mischa:  That little bastard ate my Scotch egg!

Shiba 500?

What? I was here the whole time, I swear.

I’m used to noises in other parts of the building because our landlord has several teenagers who regularly slam in and out of the house and play LOUD games on their X-Box… or at least I hope that’s  the origin of the groans and the screams…

Tonight, though, I heard something different.

KA-THUMPETY-THUMPETYTHUMPETYTHUMP!  KA-THUMPETY-THUMPETY!  THUMP! THUMP! WHAM!

What the hell?

Now, I’m conversant enough with the pitter-patter of four little feet, but this sounded like four little feet in army boots.  So I start up the stairs, just to see if I can catch him in the act.  Not to punish him, you understand, but just to see what was going on.

THUMPETY-THUMPETY-WHAM-WHAM!

WOOF!

And then I brushed against the wall.  Sssshhhh…

Silence.

The stairs in our home are built with six steps going up to a landing, then seven steps going up to the bedroom.  I cautiously poked my head around the wall.  Nothing.

I started up the stairs.  As I ascended, the tips of two pointed ears, then a foxy looking face came into view.  Looking at me.

Mischa is away, so I’m alone in the house, it’s dark in the stairway and in the bedroom, but the ghostly light from the bathroom silhouetted Tierce’s head and body.

It really looked like he was playing with someone or something that disappeared as soon as I stuck my head around the wall.  There was this air of, “What are YOU doing here?” that was somewhat disconcerting.  And, of course, now that he was being observed, he did not deign to pick up his little game to show me just what kind of craziness he was engaging in.

Creepy… he doesn’t do this when Mischa is here.  I think he’s just fucking with me.  Or maybe he is playing with a hellhound that he inadvertantly summoned by dropping his hydrolized soy protein dog food into a pentagram.  I would not be surprised.

Dog Park Pinball

Dog park pinball is a game usually played with two or three dogs and four or five humans, other dogs and natural features.  The object of the game is to strike as many point-bearing goal posts (the humans) with penalties incurred for striking other dogs and more or less unforgiving features of the dog park, including, but not limited to the fence, the picnic table, the shelter, trees, buckets, the water spigot, the garbage cans and the pick-up bag dispenser.

No human knows what purpose this game serves in the greater scheme of things, or the exact nature of the rules.  However, the rules (insofar as I can make them out) are as follows:

The game can begin as early as when a dog is released into the dog park.

If a dog shows an inclination for wrestling, the game can begin as soon as the preliminaries are completed (sniffing, milling around the entrance/exit gates, etc.)

The dogs engaging in the game are to run a course that will most efficiently hit as many knees as possible.

Extra points are given if the person loses their balance.

More points are given on a sliding scale, based on the inverse proportions of the dog and human.  Therefore, a small dog gets more points for staggering a larger human, while a larger dog gets less points for throwing a smaller human off balance.

Colliding with three or more people in quick succession gets triple bonus points.

While wrestling or chasing one another around a specific human can result in hitting the knees, the act of circling the human is not in itself point-worthy.

Running into a dog that doesn’t appreciate the sport of Dog Park Pinball results in the loss of points.

Running into something solid, like the fence, results in the loss of points.

Running into something wet, like a water dish or mud, results in the loss of points only if a bath is threatened by the dog’s owner.

The game can end at any time, whether because one is removed from the dog park or because one loses interest.

NaNoWriMo

I’ve been working on NaNoWriMo for the past couple of weeks… here’s an excerpt:

Tierce:  You know, if there are aliens watching us right now, they would figure that we ran things and you just follow us around with bags, saving our poop for some unknown purpose.

Me:  It could be construed that way, but I think that in the general scheme of things, I’m betting that the aliens’ eyes will be elsewhere.

Tierce:  I see aliens *every day*.

Me:  No kidding.

Tierce:  Like our neighbour.

Me:  Which one?

Tierce:  The one that has that sign out on the lawn.

Me:  Oh, that one with the plumber’s business or something?

Tierce:  Yeah.

Me:  Why is he an alien?

Tierce: I can’t believe this… you were there!  I tried to warn you!

Me:  *sigh*  Kindly elaborate?

Tierce:  Well, when we were walking a few months back, he had *put a sign out*.   You can’t tell me that’s not seriously weird.

Me:  Yep, that’s the sign of the Beast all right.  Anything else?

Tierce:  I’m getting to the good part.  You know when we were walking last week?

Me:  Uh, sure.

Tierce:  Well I was just minding all the other dogs’ business when I looked over and he had moved it to a different place.

Me:  Oh, I remember that time.  When you started barking at the sign and wouldn’t stop until I dragged you into the house?

Tierce:  Yeah, it was freaky.

Me:  I would say ‘embarrassing’ is a more accurate term.  Yes, ‘embarrassing’ covers it.

Tierce:  I’m sure you’ll be embarrassed when the truth comes out!

Me:  Well, so we have an alien on our block.  Thanks for the info.

Tierce:  Any time.  It’s about time that you realized that I’m not making noise just for the hell of it.

Me:  Why don’t you bark at the sign any more?

Tierce:  Two reasons:  you get annoyed and the sign isn’t alien anymore.  I fixed it.

Me:  How did you fix the sign?

Tierce:  By peeing on it.

Me:  You have magical piss?  Hey, could you pee on this new truck over here?

Tierce:  That’s not how it works!  Once I pee on it, it’s mine.

Me:  Oh, okay.

Tierce:  Besides, I can’t drive.

Me:  Duly noted.  Well, thanks for the warning that wasn’t.

Tierce:  I wasn’t finished!  There are more.

Me:  More what?

Tierce:  Aliens.

Me:  More aliens?  Do tell.

Tierce:  For instance, those small people.

Me:  Small people.

Tierce:  Yeah, small people.  They’re weird and I’m sure they’re from another planet.

Me:  Wait, “small people”; you mean children?

Tierce:  Yeah.

Me:  Children aren’t aliens… well, all children aren’t aliens.  I’ve seen some pretty freaky kids, so you could be right about some of that.

Tierce:  No, they’re all aliens.

Me:  Is that why you bark at a lot of them?

Tierce:  Someone has to take a stand.

Me:  And yet when they come up to you, you like them.

Tierce:  Well, I’m so awesome that when they come up to pet me, my aura changes them into humans.

Me:  You don’t bark at Logan or Kim anymore.

Tierce:  Who?

Me:  My friends’ grandkids.

Tierce:  Oh, they stopped being aliens a long time ago.  They’re real people now.

Me:  Because of… you.

Tierce:  Of course because of me.  If it weren’t for me, those poor kids would have been aliens all their lives.

Me:  Uh, sure.  You know what?

Tierce:  What?

Me:  I think you have it backwards.

Tierce:  How so?

Me:  Well, every time *you* get used to something or someone, they’re not an alien anymore.  It’s you who is changing; not them.

Tierce:  Now who’s talking crazy?  I’m the same as I ever was.

Baby Talk

babyMischa:  Bedtime for puppies.  Come on, Tierce.  Bedtime!

Me:  You are just ga-ga over that dog.

Mischa: *scoops Tierce up and cradles him like a baby*  No.

Me:  Ahuh.

Mischa:  Awww… look at da wittow puppy.  *Carries Tierce over so that his nose pokes my ear*

Me:  Yes, he’s a good little puppy.

Tierce:  *martyred expression*

Mischa:  It’s time to take da wittow puppy upstairs.

Me:  Seriously.  It’s kind of weird having a guy who looks like a Hell’s Angel, murmuring to their dog in baby talk.

Mischa:  Ohhhhhh look, Mommy’s mad.  We’d better go upstairs.

Me:  I’m not the dog’s mother.

Mischa:  Practically.

Tierce:  It would still make me a son of a bitch.

Me:  No, he’s my dog.  Not my kid.

Mischa:  Don’t listen to her.

Tierce:  Oh, believe me, I try not to.

Mischa:  Listen to Daddy, instead.

Me:  Oh, please.  Goo-goo, ga-ga, it’s enough to make you sick.

Mischa:  You baby-talk him too!

Me:  Yeah, right.  Tierce, do I baby talk da wittow puppy?

Tierce:  Yes.

Mischa:  See!  That’s baby-talk!

Me:  I’m merely communicating with Tierce on an emotional level.  You, on the other hand, are just being weird.

Mischa:  C’mon Tierce, let’s go upstairs and put da puppy to bed.

Me:  Yeah, Tierce, go upstairs with Daddy and put him to bed.

Mischa:  HAH!

Me:  What?

Mischa:  You said ‘Daddy’!

Me:  I was being facetious.

Mischa:  That rolled off your tongue too well.

Tierce:  Yeah, you’ve said it to me lots of times.

Me:  You know what, just go upstairs.  Okay?

Mischa:  Fine.  Let’s go, Tierce.

Tierce:  Um, yeah.  Let’s go.  Great.

Me:  Yes, Tierce, Mommy’ll be up there soon.

Mischa:  HAH!

Me:  Shut up!