Monday, May 06, 2013

Of Cat Fountains and Killer Snails

Patty here...

Here are a few things I’m fretting about:

Killer Snails: 
You can imagine my panic when I opened the Saturday Los Angeles Times and found this disturbing article:  

Florida fights stucco-eating snails
"The state is struggling to contain an invasion of the giant African land snail, a species that thrives in hot and wet tropical climates. These gooey and destructive mollusks grow up to 8.5 inches long, feast on 500 different types of plants and nibble on calcium-rich stucco, which they use to construct their cone-shaped shells. The snails are originally from East Africa but can now be found throughout the world. Aside from destroying plants and buildings, they can also be carriers of a type of meningitis."

STUCCO???!!!! Florida has hurricanes, palmetto bugs, alligators, Burmese pythons, and voter suppression and now this. Makes L.A.’s wildfires, mudslides and earthquakes pale by comparison. Urgent message to Paulie and James O: Get out while you can!

Cat Fountains:
I’m a neophyte cat owner, so when I got my precious Siberian Forest kitties Scooter and Riley I learned that "inside" cats who eat mostly dry food need a running fountain in order to get adequate water. Kidney failure. Ack! I rushed out to buy the most expensive fountain I could find. It was esthetically pleasing. My cat Riley loved it. Her sister Scooter didn’t actually drink out of it but she loved to float her toys in the bowl's swirling water.

When I first plugged in the contraption, the motor hummed quietly but the filter leached charcoal particles into the water. I rinsed out the filter but more particles materialized, so I removed the filter and opted to clean the motor each day. However, each time I unplugged the unit, the motor wouldn’t start again without Herculean cajoling. Within weeks the motor got louder and Louder and LOUDER, so loud, my girls wouldn’t go near the fountain. I unplugged it and kicked it into the back of a closet.

I bought a second cheaper and less esthetic fountain. Within three weeks the motor became louder and Louder and LOUDER. And then it started S-C-R-E-A-C-H-I-N-G! This time I took it back to the pet store. I’m no engineer but I have convinced myself that I can make a better one myself. Stay tuned for the "patent pending" notice.

As some of you may remember, I have resisted Facebook for eons. However, a few days ago I finally bit the bullet and created a page. Facebook wanted access to my address book to find me some “friends” but I declined their offer. A few of my buddies in the writing community took pity and “friended” me. After that, Facebook presented me with a scrolling list of people who were friends of  friends. I knew most of them, so I began ambushing people with friend requests. Only two people I didn’t know asked for my friendship. I thought: What the heck? Bad move.

Within minutes, I got a frantic message from one of my actual friends, asking me to call him immediately. Apparently, one of those two unknown people I’d friended was a “spam bot.” She/it had already sent a message to Actual Friend, asking for his cell phone number so they could sext. The perils of being a Facebook virgin.

Funny Pet Video: 
After all that fretting, I needed something to cheer me up. If you are one of the few people on the planet who hasn’t seen this, check it out because it's Monday and who doesn't need a good laugh?



  1. Do put me on the list for the cat fountain when it makes it to market. I mean, it's such an uncomplicated application as far as fountains go.


  2. You'll be the first to know. I tried stripping all the unnecessary hardware off the old one and adding a tube from the hardware store so the water didn't have to flow through all that claptrap, but—alas—the motor completely stopped working. Back to the drawing board.

  3. from Jacqueline

    Patty, I bought one of those water fountains for our cat (she has now left us for cat heaven) and within a short time that thing was keeping everyone awake! We had already invented a much quieter drinking fountain for the dog (after she had mouth cancer and could not lap any more) and only bought the cat fountain when the dog passed away. To make the drinking fountain that worked, we bought a bowl, a small pump - the sort you put in a garden pond - and a short piece of plastic tubing. We had to use stones to hold the pump in place, so the water was directed upwards and the animals could drink. Worked a charm, though took a bit of fiddling to get the trajectory of the water just right.

    And those snails .... oh, yuk!!!

  4. I'm trying to find a pump that will fit in the housing of the old cat fountain, which Riley loves. I also thought about getting a fish aquarium pump but now I'm thinking about one of those small zen fountains. The search goes on...

  5. I learned about the snails while visiting Paul's house in Miami. I have yet to see one in person.

    I did narrowly miss (15 minutes) an alligator attack at a park near my house. Luckily the little boy's father acted fast and saved him from serious injury.

  6. That last comment was from Jim Born. I was signed in as Naked Authors to post my own blog.

  7. Alligator attacks sound much more ominous than mountain lion attacks, which we occasionally have around here.'s full of strange stuff.

    Thanks for stopping by J.