By popular (or at least frequent) demand I’m posting pictures from my back yard to show off the flowers. These are all since I got back from Florida, but most if not all are from before I got Dash shaved.

First, a picture of Dash interfering with the natural processes of nature (there was a bee):
Dash interfering

I’m not certain what those yellow flowers are, but they seem to open in the late evening. I’m not sure if it’s because they don’t like the heat of the middle of the day or if they’re just nocturnal. Here’s another picture of them from back in June:
Big Yellow flowers

My hollyhocks have grown big enough that they were blocking the hummingbird feeder (which was never particularly popular based on how little of the food was consumed), so that’s taken down until I decide if I’m going to move the post now that the plants are in the way or just tie the plants back.

The climbing rose also is finally in bloom:
Climbing Rose

I have no idea what these are, but they look pretty interesting when they’re blooming (the rest of the time they’re just green and grow like weeds):
Odd Yellow flowers

These did really well last year, but I didn’t see many blooms and now the plant isn’t doing so well.
Yellow and Red flowers

Thankfully these survived me pulling up a bunch of lilac sprouts (which were coming up all around this plant):
Purple bell flowers

Shaved Dash

I took Dash in to the vet today for a dental cleaning and to get a lion cut for summer.

The teeth cleaning apparently went well, though Dash hasn’t been much inclined to let me see into his mouth. They had to pull an incisor that he’d fractured, but the only follow-up instruction for that was to dampen the dry cat food to soften it for him and even that was qualified by a warning that cats don’t really chew with their front teeth so he might not be interested. I tried that, but he apparently wasn’t hurting enough to care – he ate a few pieces of damp food then went right on to the dry food in the other bowl. Talore on the other hand seems to prefer the damp food. The general follow-up task I got is to give him twice-daily doses of an oral antibacterial solution. So far I’ve managed to give him a little over half of one dose and I have no idea how I’m going to pin him down to give him more. I suspect I’ll be wrapping him in a towel to hold him still.

The lion cut seems to be helping immensely in terms of him not being overheated. When I first brought him in he walked over to the air vent to lay down on it like usual, then decided that wasn’t comfortable any more. He’s been rather more active than he was before the hair cut, so I’m deeming it a success in terms of making him more comfortable for summer.

The issue now is that Talore is convinced I brought home a completely different cat and that he doesn’t belong here.
Lion Cut
This is the closest Talore has willingly gone to Dash, and that’s only because he was distracted by food so she could sneak up on him to sniff at him. I suspect he still smells like the vet, and I’m really hoping that once that smell wears off she’ll accept him again. For now she’s just growling when he gets close and swatting him if he ignores that, but since he’s comfortable around her (despite the opposite not currently being true) he’s walked right up and tried to rub on her several times. This picture was taken before Talore decided she liked the dampened cat food and started defending it…

Before and after pictures:
Before 1After 1

Before 2After 2

They also trimmed his claws, which isn’t something I’m at all used to. Now when I pick him up he can’t latch onto the carpet, and I can even hold him for more than a few seconds without him clawing his way free because his claws are so dull now I can ignore them (helpful when trying to medicate him). Since she’s being so hostile I trimmed Talore’s front claws too, though she didn’t want to sit still so I didn’t get them nearly as well blunted as the vet did for Dash.

Cleaning Tools

I knew Dash didn’t at all appreciate my vacuum cleaner, but I didn’t expect him to kill it.

To be fair, it’s just the brush assembly that gave out, and it’s because Dash is a medium-haired cat and sheds, not because he actually did anything to it.

Apparently cat hair was getting into one end of the brush assembly and collecting between the bearing and the cap on the end. I’d noticed a faint burning smell, but I couldn’t tell where it was coming from so I ignored it. Then the weekend before last I had the vacuum on and I was cleaning up around the litter boxes with the hose when suddenly it started rattling and shaking horribly. I took it apart and discovered the brush wasn’t fixed on its axle, but I didn’t disassemble the brush assembly until the replacement arrived today.

Here’s the mass of cat hair that was between the bearing and the cap on the end of the axle:

Here’s the bearing (if you look closely you can see part of the gap between the edge of the bearing and the wall of plastic that’s supposed to hold it in place):

The friction of turning against the cat hair caused it to heat up and eventually melted the plastic around the bearing so the bearing became loose and was no longer holding the brush steady. At that point the brush was wobbling far enough to rub on its surroundings, which is why I found flakes of burnt plastic on the carpet when the bearing finally went.

I ordered a new brush assembly from Bissel last weekend to repair it. While I was ordering I went ahead and ordered a spotbot too since I’d been considering it for a while (I have white carpet) and it was on sale and even got me free shipping for my entire order.

The spotbot came in on Wednesday (it was shipped from a different place than the brush assembly), so I immediately tried it on a spot that Talore threw up a hairball on a couple weeks ago and I hadn’t managed to clean it as well as I wanted:

Apparently it’s important that the carpet actually be clean around the spot that you’re cleaning. I knew that section of carpet was darker, but I thought it was a stain and it’s been like that since I got the house. Now I’m thinking the carpet just wasn’t cleaned thoroughly before they sold the house to me, so I’ve got a clean spot that’s obvious in the middle of a big dirty patch.

It also looks to me like the spotbot doesn’t do a great job of cleaning around the edges of the spot it’s placed on, so with the dirty carpet it collects a bit of dirt around the edges where it was already dirty and cleans the middle. I’m inclined to accept it, since the spotbot wasn’t made for cleaning large sections of carpet. Despite that, I started just using the spotbot to clean the large section of carpet, but I’m not sure it’s worth the time and trouble.