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  • Cat vs. Laptop– cat wins

    Home Forums Outside the box Rants Cat vs. Laptop– cat wins

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      • #2364060
        Ascaris
        AskWoody MVP

        Well, you know that brand new Dell XPS 13 I bought? Had it a bit more than a month now.

        This morning my cat knocked it off the table and badly damaged the screen. A little over a month old.

        That’s two laptop panels she’s wrecked. She did the same with the G3 several months ago.

        New lesson: NEVER leave the lid open while you have a crazy kitty. Children may also be subject to the rule.

        I usually left the lid open to save wear and tear on the hinges. My first laptop, a Compaq Presario 1216us, had its hinges wear out, and the screen flopped around with no resistance, and I guess that did something to the backlight, ’cause it stopped working too. The unit still works with an external display, and it’s not worth replacing the screen on a unit that slow and old, but it sticks in my mind as to what is possible with hinges.

        I bought the accidental damage plan on the XPS, but I did not think I would be using it so soon. The G3 was my first laptop to sustain any real damage, then the Swift, and now the XPS… the Swift was me, the other two the cat. I made it through decades of laptop use (while having cats the whole time) with no accidental damage, and now… well, that is why I got the damage coverage.

        Still love the cat though. She’s young and playful, and I didn’t take adequate measures to protect my stuff. I didn’t get the message after the G3… well, I did now.

        Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.22.1 User Edition)

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2364078
        Kirsty
        Manager

        Could you invest in a slightly more robust, kitty-proof system?!
        😉

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2364133
          Ascaris
          AskWoody MVP

          The LCD screen is a vulnerable point on any PC, even a desktop, if the cat knocks it down (depending on how you have it set up. If the desk is against a wall, it’s probably not going anywhere, but if there is space behind it, it could fall off).

          I am considering (aka “trying to find”) a tempered glass screen protector for the XPS, as in this case I am pretty sure that it would have saved the LCD (by sacrificing itself). The XPS 13 uses an unusual screen size, so I have not found a glass one as yet. The plastic film ones are available, and they may have worked too in this case, so that may be an option too. The glass ones should have better visual quality, and are much harder and scratch resistant.

           

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.22.1 User Edition)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2364083
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        A cat will do what a cat will do. The real important question here is how to secure regular laptops, not cat-resistant ones, so they are more cat-resistant while keeping them open, but not watched for a while that is not likely to be long enough to be worth closing them. A good solution should not require having to remember closing them just to take care of the cat situation, because this is something likely to be forgotten. Looking for more effective alternatives, for example leaving them on trays suspended on open tubs full of sulfuric acid might work, but would be inconvenient and would also mean a high cat turnover. So some more practical ideas are needed here.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      • #2364128
        EricB
        AskWoody Plus

        Kitties rule.

        Ditch the laptop. 🙂

        Maybe a desktop system or a tablet.

        • #2364135
          Ascaris
          AskWoody MVP

          I have a desktop system! Definitely don’t want to get rid of the laptops, though. The desktop is still the “main” computer, but the XPS is the go-to for when it would be inconvenient to lug around the 30 inch tall, very heavy tower case, along with the full size monitor and keyboard, and of course the 20 pound UPS. It doesn’t really need to be open while at home, since I have the desktop, but sometimes I like to sit in my recliner and do my computing (like I am right now), which the laptops enable.

          The G3 is a gaming laptop, and it can sustain relatively heavy loads for extended periods of time with minimal throttling, so it’s my desktop replacement if I have a place to “set up camp,” so to speak, like in a hotel room or a friend or family member’s house. It can last a good while on battery with the GPU off, but that’s not what it was built (or bought) for! I’ve run Folding@Home on it and it can do respectable work even though it’s a laptop. Not that I foresee needing to do that when not at home, but I may want to perform some other heavy workload, in addition to its stated purpose as a gaming laptop.

          I use all three of these on a typical day. I don’t have multiple screens for my desktop, which a lot of people find useful, but having laptops kind of fills that role. The G3 (15.6 inch display) is on my computer desk to the left of my desktop’s 23 inch monitor, and I use KDE Connect to zap workloads over to it if I want to use the big PC for something else. The XPS is mostly used when I am not at the desk, though sometimes I do put it on the desk if I am already doing something on it and I want to have a better typing position than in my lap.

          I think keeping the laptops closed when not in “right now” active use (meaning I close them even when I am, for example, taking a trip to the bathroom) is the best short term solution. I don’t think they would be knocked down without the leverage of the screen, with the catnado going over them rather than crashing into them.

          Longer term, a new desk design that discourages kitty from parkouring on the desk and knocking things down might be in order.

          Getting rid of the cat is not even a consideration.. she is family, and you don’t get rid of family members because they are inconvenient. When I picked her up from the shelter, I told her (not that she understands, of course) that she has a forever home now, and she does. I’d move mountains for my cats (cumulative; she is the only cat now, but I have had others).

          Part of the reason I bought the XPS was to celebrate paying off the veterinary bills from this girl and her predecessor, who passed on in January 2020 despite the very expensive treatment. It replaces the Swift in my main lineup, since the Swift was actually really slow. Great portability and battery life, but performance is on par with my 2008 Asus.

          As for my current feline family member… She’s a sweetheart, just having had her second birthday, but is very mischievous and playful, and when she gets going, she runs around the house at high speed, crashing into things, leaping into the air, parkouring off various surfaces, and it’s very entertaining to watch. But things do get knocked down in the process.

          She will calm down and become more deliberate about her movements, I am sure, as she ages. All my other cats have. They undergo a progression from “must play at all times,” can’t sit still (except when sleeping) mode as a youngster to lap cats as they get older.

           

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.22.1 User Edition)

          • #2364145
            EricB
            AskWoody Plus

            Sorry to hear about your January 2020 loss.  Yes, cats (and dogs) become family when we take them into our lives.  We are the stewards of their lives and that stewardship is very serious business indeed.

            A new feline family member is a joy, but does not replace those that have passed on.  Each life is unique and brings its own personality into our worlds.

            Perhaps one day we will be reunited with them at the Rainbow Bridge.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2364364
            owburp
            AskWoody Plus

            when she gets going, she runs around the house at high speed, crashing into things, leaping into the air, parkouring off various surfaces,

            One of my cats was the exact same way when we first got him as a kitten, tear-assing through the house, running vertically up the drapes to sit up near the ceiling and earning himself the name Sneakers. Being an all white cat added to that. And yes, as he matured, he calmed down and became quite comfortable with his three furry siblings. He developed hyperthyroidism, becoming skinny as a rail before we brought him to a specialized vet who treated him with radioactive iodine, curing him. Diabetes following a few years later and then renal failure. But we nursed him through all of it and he lived to just past 21 years. For most of those two decades, I suffered with asthma. I guess adding the fourth cat pushed me over the edge and it was pretty tough going for the first couple years until some new medication was introduced and it came under very good control. One year, the lung doctor told me to get rid of the cats. I got rid of the lung doctor.

            One solution for your laptop once you get the screen fixed. Go to Costco or your local supermarket and get two boxes. Cut the flaps off one box and add a few vent holes on the bottom (more if you intend to keep the laptop powered on when you use the box) and use it as a cover over the laptop when it is unattended. The second box is for kitty; just put it nearby so kitty can follow the usual rule of “If I fits, I sits!”

            And finally, House Rules …

             

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            • #2364383
              Ascaris
              AskWoody MVP

              Yes, my boy who died in January 2020 had hyperthyroidism too, and it was treated with radio-iodine. His thyroid values went to normal and remained, but he only gained weight for a short time before it started coming off again. The vet had him on Mirataz (ointment that gets rubbed into the ear flap) to stop that, but it only sort of worked, and eventually he was diagnosed with intestinal lymphoma (on New Year’s eve and day, 2019 and 2020. It was the emergency vet, and I got the bad news right as the year turned).

              It was not my first time around the block with that terrible disease, so when he first started losing weight (which led to the hyperthyroid diagnosis), that was my horrible suspicion. I was relieved that it was something treatable and non-fatal… but the fears of lymphoma came true about a year after the iodine treatment.

              Unfortunately, this time around the lymphoma resisted treatment, and he went into renal failure, and I had to make the hard decision I hoped I would never have to. They offered to put him on lots of IV fluid to maybe get the kidney values back to where he would be stable for surgery, then implant a feeding tube, since he would not eat on his own, but then what? If he survived the strain of the surgery, I would still have a kitty with refractive cancer and damaged kidneys, and a lot of the drugs used to treat cancer are dependent on strong kidneys. There was no point in putting him through all that just to have the cancer do him in anyway, and it looked like it was going to be soon, not some time down the road.

              I felt a lot of guilt over how fast I made the decision, and how I didn’t spend all day saying goodbye in the vet’s office before the final procedure. I spent a few minutes with him, said goodbye, and held him as he slipped away, with the last words he heard being me telling him I loved him.

              My thinking was that I had been making the most of my time with him for his whole life (I adopted him right after the other lymphoma kitty passed, so it was always on my mind that he would leave me someday, and I made a point out of it every day to treasure the time we had together), and no amount of time spent in the exam room would ever make it okay, or make me more able to handle what was about to come. It served no purpose, for me or him.

              I had decided years ago that my criteria were that once all reasonable hope of a happy, generally pain-free life for the furbaby was gone, that was when it was time to let go. When I knew the moment was here, I acted accordingly. There was no need to make my kitty suffer any more to delay my own grief, and there wasn’t any benefit in delaying it anyway. I was going to have to complete that process, no matter when it started.

              I managed to logic myself out of the guilt. Guilt, I reasoned, is the price one pays for wronging another. Whom had I wronged? Not my cat. He was ready to go… he had been trying to give up, and I kept telling him, “No, not yet… we don’t know there’s no more hope yet.” But now that wasn’t true anymore, so we were in agreement that it was his time. So if I had not wronged my cat, and not myself (guilt is for wronging another, not myself), then what was the point of it?

              It ended after that. The sadness continued, but at least the guilt was gone.

              I fixed the laptop screen by swapping it with the other one that I am still waiting to send back to Dell (if they ever get around to sending the return label they promised!). They agreed that I could send the one with the damaged screen back and they would count that as the damage repair for 2021. They may or may not have expected it to be on the other laptop, but this one has a better feeling touchpad and the micro SD card slot works more smoothly, so I swapped the display.

              They’re waiting to see which one comes back, and the warranty for both of them is kind of on hold (valid, but no claims can be processed) until they get one of them checked in. The newer one (that does not have a month’s worth of wear and tear) is the one they are getting back.

              The box is a good idea! I will have to try that.

              My brother loves saying that “if I fits, I sits” thing, and sending pictures of cats trying to fit into boxes (even big cats do that in the sanctuary near where he lives). He’s a cat guy too. He will love the cat rules (and so do I)!

              Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.22.1 User Edition)

              1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2364394
                EricB
                AskWoody Plus

                Your mention of hyperthyroidism and renal failure struck a familiar chord.  For some of my cats, radioactive iodine, medication and intravenous fluid only served to delay the inevitable.

                My reluctance to say goodbye to my loved ones through the years has always been tempered by my responsibility to ensure that a life well-lived does not ended in suffering.  Although with each passing the sadness eventually moves to the background it is always a part of me.

                But the void that would exist without those relationships would be far sadder.

                1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2364413
                owburp
                AskWoody Plus

                We had struggled with the alternative treatments for Sneakers’ hyperthyroidism and in the end chose the very expensive radioIodine treatment over the ad infinitum daily injections of thyroid medication. It made a big difference too that the vet administering the radioIodine was one of the doctors who originally pioneered the treatment. He, by the way, said he had never seen test results so out of whack as what Sneakers presented with and felt it might require two treatments. In the end, only one treatment was needed and Sneakers was cured.

                When Sneakers developed renal failure, our vet taught us how to administer the IV fluid therapy and every few days, we would get him comfortable and use this humungous needle (it seemed huge to me anyway) to get the warmed saline solution into him. By then, I had been giving him insulin injections twice a day for a few years so he didn’t seem to mind yet another needle.

                But the void that would exist without those relationships would be far sadder.

                True that. So true.

                 

              • #2364412
                owburp
                AskWoody Plus

                I had decided years ago that my criteria were that once all reasonable hope of a happy, generally pain-free life for the furbaby was gone, that was when it was time to let go.

                The six cats I’ve had prior to my current two, each passed onto the Rainbow Bridge in different individual ways, no two the same way. I learned fairly quickly something very similar to what you had decided, that the cat’s quality of life was the clue to the question of when to hang on and when to let go, when the bad days outnumbered the good. It also helped immeasurably that for most of them I had a vet that I had complete trust in. I learned too that what was more important than the moment of passing was the life that came before it, the comfort and the security I was able to provide the furbaby.

                Allow me to share something I wrote a long time ago, just one lesson out of many that I’ve learned from my cats over the years.

                He wasn’t an especially sociable little boy. Not usually, anyway. This one Saturday many years ago, he didn’t seem to mind me sitting next to him, so I took a chance and stroked his cheek. Right behind his whiskers. Purring, he leaned into my finger and rubbed the side of his head against my hand. His black and white fur was soft and warm, and we were both content to spend the few minutes communing together. It was one of the happiest moments I had ever shared with him in the dozen years that preceded. A couple of days later, my little boy quietly passed away in his sleep.

                After burying him in the back yard, I thought back to that Saturday and wondered “What if I hadn’t taken the time to sit with him?” “What if I had assumed, as I normally might have, that he would still be there next time or next week or next month?”

                Give your cat, your dog, your parents, your friends, your spouse a hug. Hug them as though it might be the last time you will ever have the chance to do it. If you have any issues, any arguments, any problems between you and them, talk to them. Get it resolved. Ask yourself how you would feel if, all of a sudden, they are gone and you didn’t get the chance to fix things between you and them.

                Don’t wait. Don’t assume. Life is just too too fragile.

                 

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      • #2364138
        Microfix
        AskWoody MVP

        Ascaris, perhaps the cat was trying to paws updates whilst looking for the mouse?
        After all, the ms-defcon setting was changed yesterday…
        The cat doesn’t know which OS you use or even care.

        | Quality over Quantity |
        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2364174
        Lars220
        AskWoody Plus

        Oh Ascaris, thanks for sharing this post, there are many of us cat and dog owners who fully sympathize with your situation. I wonder if Patch Lady was also considering pets along with other people back at this topic in March 2020?

        Patch Lady – protecting your loved ones

        After my cat saw the picture there, she decided to do something about that pesky dog:

        Cat-Sold-Dog

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2364336
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Ascaris: “Getting rid of the cat is not even a consideration.. she is family, and you don’t get rid of family members because they are inconvenient. When I picked her up from the shelter …

        Well … as I understand this, at least, not really.

        As I understand it, cats are one-person, not family, cats.

        Cats, occasionally, might partner long-term with another cat. Occasionally, because cats are lone hunters and not social ones, like dogs. Dogs, on the other hand, being social animals, like to be “in the family” or, rather “in the pack.” So, when one gets a cat, if the cat likes you, then she (or he) is *your* cat, period. Other people, same as with other cats, they tolerate, mostly.

        Dogs, on the other hand, and their owners, have a mirror-symmetry of a relationship: you and yours consider the dogs as being part of the family; the dogs, you and yours as being part of the pack. And, usually, the person acknowledged by the others in the pack as the owner, is also the alpha dog of the pack.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      • #2364340
        Ascaris
        AskWoody MVP

        Cats have social structures too. They’re not pack animals like dogs or (normal) people, but feral cats tend to form colonies where they all sleep close to one another. Cats are very capable of forming a bond with a person or another cat, or even a dog. They’re just more selective in their choices. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to be the one a cat picked to be “my human,” you know what I mean. They don’t have a psychological need to be one of a group, so if you’re chosen anyway, it’s not just some survival instinct coming to the fore. The cat has a genuine affection for you even though it is not needy for one.

        Consider this famous video. I know which one I consider the “good guy!” (though in this case, a good girl, actually). That’s not pack instinct guiding those actions, since cats don’t have those. It’s something else.

        For some reason, so-called scientists have been trying to prove that cats don’t really love you, or cats don’t care, or whatever else thing they think makes cats inferior, but all their “studies” show is that they’re doing the same that a lot of dog people do: They judge cats on the basis of “pack behavior good, independent behavior bad.” If you get to know a cat on the cat’s terms, it’s a whole other ballgame. Kind of like how I flipped the whole “dogs really love us because they are pack animals” thing on its head in the first paragraph… it’s all in the way you look at it.

         

        Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.22.1 User Edition)

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2364375
        RetiredGeek
        AskWoody MVP

        We’ve found that for some reason our cats (sisters from shelter as kittens) detest Oranges!

        So when we want to keep the cats away we’ll leave orange peels around or even a whole orange. Orange scented sprays also work. In our new apt. the one cat likes to hop up on the 2 CPUs and then down behind the filing cabinet, a nice cat hidey hole. I placed an orange on top of  the CPUs and problem solved.

        HTH 😎

        May the Forces of good computing be with you!

        RG

        PowerShell & VBA Rule!
        Computer Specs

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2364727
          Microfix
          AskWoody MVP

          I placed an orange on top of the CPUs and problem solved.

          I usually use thermal paste and a heatsing/fan combo 🙂
          Although you’re right on the money there, ours detested lemon peel, another citric acid skinned fruit that worked well. Or another, kinder to the cat method, get some ‘catnip’ and strategically place around the house.

          | Quality over Quantity |
      • #2364389
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Ascaris: “If you’ve ever been lucky enough to be the one a cat picked to be “my human,” you know what I mean.

        Indeed I have been so chosen, and the cat was not just being with me to get his meals and a place to keep off the rain: when I went away and left him somewhere else, when I came back and went to get him, he would run straight at me meowing like crazy, climber up to my neck and wrap itself around it like a feline scarf, really tight and purring.

        And yes, cats leaving outdoors may sleep and also go to get food in groups, together, the latter, for example, when someone keen on cats comes to feed them. But they generally keep to themselves and just tolerate other cats. If one keeps two or more cats at home, they’ll tolerate each other out of necessity, at first. Whether they also get to like each other, eventually, well, maybe. Cats and dogs brought up together may get along depending on their temperament.

        Dogs, while pups, are also a holy terror, chewing up everything and running around knocking things along the way. But usually do not clamber up desks as much as kittens. Fortunately, both kinds mature quickly and become calmer and gain mature gravitas. In my own experience, most dogs calm considerably after their first year and become serious adults when they are about two years old.

        I used to have cats and dogs, but I have not had either for quite a while now, as I’ve explained elsewhere, so my laptop is not a risk of having its screen cracked by any other than myself, or by someone human visiting or staying with me. No cracked screens, so far.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      • #2364416
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Here is something that is true but not often mentioned: mutts (dogs) and strays (cats) are quite likely to either live long lives in robust good health, or else go down quickly and have to be put out of their misery when still quite young. Either way, they are unlikely to end up requiring a lot of very expensive veterinary care, something more likely with cats and dogs of pure breeds.

        My heartfelt advice: to get a good cat, pick up some little stray kitten and, after deworming and taking care of its fleas, give it some nutritious food (mostly milk, if they are very young), then some ground meat, milk and whatnot. And plenty of love, without being aggressive about it.

        To pick up a pup or a kitten at a shelter, also a very good way to get them, or a kitten when one finds a motherless litter, one should select one based on vivacity, interest in this strange bipedal creature looking at them and shaking a string in front of their noses, as well as good condition as shown by pelt, ears and nose. Then, if one goes ahead and takes them into one’s life, pet maintenance is likely to be low, painful illness not too likely, and satisfaction high on both sides of the deal. And a long-lasting one too. All my dogs and cats were like that, and all lived long lives without more than an annual visit to a vet for their shots, or more rarely, to dress a minor injury and prevent it from getting infected (and the bandage from being removed by the patient).

        Of course, none of this will prevent the usual breakage, so safeguarding one’s laptops by taking some basic, common sense precautions is always necessary.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      • #2364741
        Chris Greaves
        AskWoody Plus

        This morning my cat knocked it off the table and badly damaged the screen.”
        A cheaper solution is a second-hand amplifier tuned in to a Soft Jazz station.
        Cheers
        Chris

        Unless you're in a hurry, just wait.

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