1. The World's Greatest Cat (Sam)

From about 1999-2012, I had the greatest cat of my life: Sam.  Huge, gentle to humans, feared by all other animals (including racoons), he was lord of the woods for over a decade.
He even won my wife over from a cat hater to a cat woman.


Bored with surfing the channels.

 Still going strong at 11 years old.

More Evidence for the tilte "The world's greatest cat"

In the spring of 2012 I was woken up by a sudden commotion at 3AM. It turned out a coyote had attacked Sam underneath the bedroom window. It took me about 10 seconds to realize
the noise was coming from outside, and at first I thought some other cat had made the mistake of entering our yard. By this time Sam had fled off the deck and  tried to make it to some trees about 30 yards away. Before he got there the coyote was on him. Sam turned and caught the coyote with both claws on the side of his face. The coyote was able to clamp down on Sam's head, but wasn't able
to get to his neck. They screamed at each other for what seemed a long time, but my yelling finally got the coyote to let go and take off. I called, but no response came and I assumed the worst. I had to wait for the sun to rise, but search as I could, I could not find Sam. Giving up, I headed back to the house and on passing his little house ... there he was!  He was badly beaten, dislocated jaw, missing a canine tooth, but still alive. A $1000 later he had his jaw put back in place, and a neck tube for feeding. Amazingly, within 10 days he was fine, within 4 weeks he was back to normal. He was a little upset that he never got to finish the coyote off. Let's just say he has not returned! 

Unfortunately, the tube feeding was hard on his kidney, and poor Sam developed failing kidney's about 3 months after the attack. He slowly lost weight, and true to his character, he just wandered off after saying goodbye, and died in the forest he dominated for so long.

"Frodo" aka Poose.

About a year after the death of Sam, we got another cat: Frodo.  He looks a lot like Sam, is also an enormous cat, but there the similarity stops.  Whereas Sam loved to be handled, mauled, and manipulated by people. Frodo
is a "momma's cat".  Whereas Sam spent every night out hunting, and only returned home if he had a kill to show off, Frodo only goes out if the weather suits him, and seldom off the deck.  At the age of 2, Frodo still has
caught nothing.  Still, he is quite affectionate, and enjoys watching TV and reading ... for about 2 min. before, out of exhaustion, he falls asleep.  There are several things to note about this photo: i) at 56 I still have to do homework
at night; ii) we never have a proper pen around and so I'm using a kiddie "owl" pen to make notes; iii) I can never find a pair of reading glasses and have to use my wife's; and iv) Frodo found Posner boring after the first page.

2. The World's Stupidest (but cute) Dog (Ty)


Ty was my youngest daughter's dog.  Hardly a man's dog. He joined the household when all the kids lived there, Sam was around, and Jack the jerk (below) ruled the roost.  He is a happy go lucky
guy who likes company. Unfortunately, the kids left home, Jack died, Same died, and for awhile he was all alone. He kept looking at me like, "I know you're responsible for all these disappearances!", and
I don't think he trusts me.  Once Frodo came along, and they started sleeping together, he relaxed a little.

3. And...
The World's Worst Dog (Jack the Jerk)

Why it is so hard to get a clean shirt in my house

One day my married daughter calls and says "You're going to be a grandpa!" I was, naturally, elated. And looked forward to my future days babysitting. It didn't take long. Here I am, you can see how happy I look.

Plus, he kept chewing the stick I was carving!

Bauer continues to show me great signs of respect: