Saturday, April 11, 2009

Chrome Dome!

the logo of the CCSImage via Wikipedia

On June 19th, I am participating in the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life. I did it last year and had a great time raising money for an awesome cause.

Although I set my personal goal at $600, I want more.

So, here's the deal. If I can raise $1,000 or more, I'll shave my head bald. Ok, I generally keep my hair pretty short to begin with, but I have never been bald.

And I'll take it one step further.

If my personal total meets or exceeds $2,000, I will also shave off my goatee and my moustache. My kids have never seen me without facial hair. At the very least, they have always seen me with a moustache.

I am pretty attached to my moustache (no pun intended), which is why I set the goal pretty high for it. But, I promise that if my personal total matches or exceeds $2,000, my head will be as nekkid as nekkid can be.

There will be photos and maybe even video proof, when and if it happens.

I challenge you all to make it happen. You can donate here http://convio.cancer.ca/goto/spaterson

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Do-It-Yourself Litter Box

Our cat, Sam, is about 15 years old. While she's still in good health, and fairly active, she does have one flaw; bad aim when it comes to using her litter box.

It doesn't happen every time, but it happens enough that her corner in the basement requires a garbage bag on the floor, with newspaper spread on top of it, and the litter box centered in the middle. And even then, sometimes she goes enough that it has time to flow off the newspaper and onto the floor.

One time while I was in the basement, I was fortunate enough to see exactly why it happens. She stepped into her litter box and began her business. Everything was fine, until she was about half-way done. Her behind started to rise and the stream of urine started shooting over the side of the litter box, onto the newspaper.

She used to have a covered litter box at one time, but it was rather small and difficult to maintain on regular basis. About a year ago, we switched to a standard size litter box. That's pretty much when she started overshooting.

I searched the web for alternative litter boxes. I found that there's even a top-entrance litter box. I can't see my cat going for that.

In my search, I discovered that my cat is not unique with her habit of raising her behind while urinating. It actually seems fairly common, mostly in older cats. As they age, their joints ache and they can't squat in the same position for any length of time, therefore, they straighten their legs as they urinate.

With that, came the obvious suggestion of using a litter box with high sides. My thoughts turned to the covered box, again. But the article also suggested using a large Rubbermaid tote, and cutting an entrance in the side. It has higher sides than most high-sided litter boxes, and doesn't cost any more than a litter box. I did a search just not to try and find the article, and there are many others just like it, all showing how to create your own high-side litter box. :)

My wife picked up a large Rubbermaid tote today. I made some markings on the side where I planned to cut the entrance, and then finished the job with a hacksaw and an exacto knife. After a little sanding of the rough edges, it was done. I almost made the entrance on the short end, but thought that it might not be a good idea since it would be easy to pee out of. This article reaffirms my decision.

I put it in the same location in the basement, but I did add some newspaper underneath it to help me catch any mishaps. There's no way she'll pee over the side, but there is a chance she might accidentally aim out the entrance.

I really hope this solves the problem. After finding all of the other articles from people who did the same, I'm pretty confident that it will.
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(Update 03-15-2010: FYI… this did solve the problem. Zero accidents since.)