Answer: they’re all things that have kept me from blog­ging. Sorry I’ve been so M.I.A. lately; my sin­cer­est apolo­gies to the two or three of you out there who actu­ally read here.

Here’s what’s been keep­ing me so busy (besides the usual mountain of work and side projects):

A Sad Goodbye

A few months ago, after 17 years of faithful, furry affection, my beloved cat, Moo Kitty/Teedi/Oreo (she was known by many names), passed away. Up until around late January, she seemed to be in good health despite her age; ate well, still playful, all that sort of thing. So I was taken by surprise when her illness came on quite suddenly (I suspect she had a bad stroke while I wasn’t at home) and rapidly grew worse. I watched her closely for over a month, but she wasn’t making any improvement. Toward the end she completely stopped eating, could barely walk, acted confused, and would disappear for long stretches of time. (They say that animals who know they’re going to die often go off alone to hide.) And so, I had to make the extremely difficult decision to have her put down. She had been a family pet since I was in 8th grade, out-lived several dogs, and eventually came to live with me when I bought my first home; my little four-legged roommate. She was good company and I miss her dearly.

Hello, Kitty

It seems as soon as the word gets around that you’ve lost a pet, people start coming out of the woodwork trying to pawn a new one off on you. Still in a bit of a mourning phase (and warming up to the idea of not having to clean litter boxes anymore), I wasn’t at all excited when I heard that my mom’s friend had rescued a litter of kittens and was trying to find homes for them. I buried myself in work and other projects for a while, and politely let it be known I wasn’t interested. That is, until Mom forwarded me an email with kitty pictures…and one of them just so happened to look a lot like Moo Kitty. Ugh!

All right, so I caved. His name is Simon Belmont. At first it was just a funny, geeky reference, but now his name is entirely fitting. At three months old, he’s capable of jumping impossibly high, regularly performs leaps of faith, and whips his tail around like a weapon. I haven’t seen him stake any vampires yet, but he takes on houseflies as if they were flying Medusa heads. As you can see from the photo above, he has a fondness for sitting on my laptop. For the first few weeks, getting any work done was nearly impossible unless I kept him confined to a different room.

Super Secret Video Game Project

So, a friend of mine is developing a video game for Google Chrome and has tapped me to design the game’s website. I can’t say much about it yet, but I’m really excited to be involved in the project. Expect to see more info about the game soon!

This Old Townhouse

I’ve become something of a DIY weekend warrior lately, having a bit of extra money from working so much lately. In the past few months I’ve installed hardwood floors, closed off an entryway for more wall space and division, put up crown molding, hung window treatments, painted, primed… Of course, I didn’t do all these wonderful things all by myself. I have my amazing father to thank, who, among other things, is a very talented builder and a generous soul (*cough* free labor *cough*).