About My Gravatar
My gravatar features a photo of TazMan sitting in a Blue Hippo pool float. Peter Watts had asked if it was a blue banana slug but I think the tusks pretty much point to a hippo. However, it occurs to me that Taz deserves some explanation.
Taz appeared in my personal narrative in December of 1986. I was away at college and had called home to see how things were going. My Mom told me that they had a new kitten. What was odd was that it was my Dad who had brought the kitten home rather than my mom. Dad had been delivering propane somewhere in the countryside (recall December in Iowa) and the temperature was around -10F. He had heard a faint mewing coming from a nearby tractor. Upon looking, there was a small bundle of white fur sitting tucked by the engine manifold. The fur was matted and somewhat scorched. Dad decided that a rescue was in order and brought the kitten home. After a bit of food and water, Mom decided that a bath and combing were in order. The kitten didn’t particularly appreciate this part of the rescue–that’s where the name Taz (from Tasmanian Devil) comes from. This may have also had something to do with his lifelong aversion to water. Or, maybe it was that he considered himself a desert cat. One of his quirks was that before drinking he had to clear the (invisible) sand away from the
watering hole water dish. His extreme dislike of water for purposes other than drinking adds a touch of amusement to his sitting in the pool float.
Going forward a few years to 1990, I had gotten a house in Rochester and Mom decided that I needed some company. So, Taz and his sidekick cat Rum moved in with me. In 1992 I married Susan and we moved to a larger house. Taz decided that he would raise Josh as a proper cat.
When Josh went off to college in 2002, Taz didn’t entirely approve. He was somehow, however, able to tell when Josh would be coming home and go and sit by the door about 10 minutes before Josh would pull into the driveway. This would happen whether or not we knew Josh was coming home. I’ve never quite figured out a rational explanation for that, so we’ll just have to chalk it up to mystic cat powers.