Sadness And History

It’s been a month and a bit since I left Twitter. I’ve got to be honest and say I don’t miss it that much. The Twita bird and I had gone in different directions.

But before I left I made a point of collecting a list of blogs I’d come across thanks to the blue bird and, tonight, I visited them all. And I became so sad. Sad because so many are not being maintained any more.

It seems I’m not the only one who has moved on. Even the Pawcircle blog (sorry Miss D) hadn’t been updated with news of pals going to The Bridge since January and there were links to fundraisers that ended aaaaages ago. Even my pal Newt’s blog is inaccessible.

I’ve shed a fair few tears as I’ve deleted blog after blog from my list of blogs to visit. I doubt that they’ve ended just because I didn’t visit them for a month; they’ve ended because…….

But I can still read the Anipal Times thanks to @shaynacat. And Dana’s web site is full of news of TSK and Daffy, even if my delicate eyes had to get past a piccything of Jim poking his butt up in the air in his underpants. And Seville is keeping Nerissa’s memory going over at Nerissa’s Life (and doing a mighty fine job if I may say so). I even got staff to beat the blockade that’s been stopping me from commenting on Seville’s blog. I got a Google account and a few tweaks and we’ve beaten Google getting in the way of peeps commenting on Google blogs from Google browsers. It’s all down to biscuits or something like that.

But there we go. I’m gonna have to update my bloggywog list. I’m still going to be checking in occasionally on a few blogs though. And maybe you’d like to as well:

  • The Anipal Times – for news about all sorts of things happening on Twitter, if you’re still on Twitter. If it ain’t in Anipal Times it ain’t happening. Update: The day after I wrote this blog post, The Anipal Times ceased publication. Thanks to Phi (see her comment) for letting me know. Another sad casualty of changing times.
  • Meandering Moodys – Miss Dana has given so much to the anipal community over a long time (I initially wrote “over so many, many years” but staff wouldn’t type that out in case Dana slapped me! He said something about ladies being eternally 21 or something like that). This is her blog and it’s fun (even if you have to see Mr Dana poking his bum up in the air wearing nothing but his underwear!). And you get news about TSK (that stands for “Time Share Kitty” – an odd name for a cat) and Daffy (the canine internet sensation).
  • Nerissa’s Life – nuff said. Nerissa was a fella cat. I think Seville is too. He’s a good storyteller. Keep up with his mewsings on the erratic behaviour of the humans he’s allowed into his house. Phew! I’m glad mine is comparatively normal!
  • Bionic Basil – there’s so much here you could get lost for aaaages.

That’s all that’s left from a long list. But such is life.

Quality, not quantity.

Which reminds me! Must check on my nip plants. See ya soon.

And, hey, if any of my readers have blogs, please post a link in the comments. I’ve got gaps in my list to fill.


Staff has a new tactic! He’s trying to overwhelm me!

He likes to keep me happy and he knows I like The Nip. So he plants nip plants. Well he grows a lot of nip plants and then he plants the ones I don’t destroy out in the garden. The merest whiff of The Nip escaping through the greenhouse vents and I’m scratching at the glass. If he leaves the door open I’m in there and what I don’t nibble I curl up on. Time and again I’ve destroyed plants before they get big enough to survive my tender clutches out in the open.

I can lift the lid on the cold frame and get in there for a nap on The Nip.

So this year staff’s final attempt to grow The Nip (which he calls “Nepeta”) involves no less than 50 plants. And these are growing in four different locations. There are 10 in the cold frame. The lid of the cold frame has sprouted a few bricks! Another 10 are growing in a “plant house”. I can’t get into the plant house; I can only sit outside and peer in.

The final 30 plants are in staff’s new greenhouse. This is bigger and stronger than his old one and has locks on the self-closing doors so I can’t paw them open and staff can’t leave them open. And the vents have grilles on them so I can’t squeeze in.

But I can smell The Nip.

It’s driving me crazy.

But I know that, one day soon, those plants will have to be planted out in the garden. And then all The Nip will be mine.

Though I’d like to know what those plant cage things staff bought are for.

Time to Say Goodbye

Well I tried.

And I failed.

Twitter is untameable.

As fast as I can tame it, the people at Twitter HQ change it.

So this is goodbye.

It was fun while it lasted.

But it’s not fun any more.

So this is goodbye.

I’ll still be blogging now and then. Subscribe if you want via the link on the side.

And I’ll still be maintaining the #vanalikes web site.

But I won’t be darkening the doors of Twitter any more.

My account will magically disappear from the Twitterverse on 16 April.


At least I’m being honest about it.

87% of those I asked told me that however many tweeps they follow, they only ever read their notifications.

What’s the point of following 3,000 tweeps if you only ever bother to read 15 of them?




Time to Chop Twitter

For aaaaages now I’ve been trying to tame Twitter but things aren’t going my way. I don’t know about you but here I’ve noticed that only so many tweets load in my timeline. If I don’t check it every day, I find that I miss a lot of stuff. And with all the stories about Twitter changes – rumours about the 140 character tweet limit becoming 10,000, changes to the way timelines operate, promoted tweets, ads and other junk, things don’t seem to be about to get better any time soon.

Of the 700 or so tweeps I follow, I only chat regularly with about 30. And trying to just read what the rest tweet about is becoming impossible. I filtered out all retweets (you can do that in Tweetdeck) which helped a bit; I also discovered that 57 accounts I follow haven’t actually tweeted anything for at least six months, only retweeted others’ tweets! I went a stage further and filtered out words and hashtags that try to get anipals in shelters in the US adopted (I’m in the UK so am not going to adopt a pal from America). Then I filtered out tweets that are fundraising (there are a fair number of accounts that seem to exist only to try to get our money, often not actually for a worthy cause). I’ve withdrawn from all bar one of the Twitter clubs I used to get involved in (as I have no time to get involved any more). But I still cannot keep up with my timeline.

I just had a look at the last 100 incomings with all my filters disabled. Of those 100:

  • 10 are retweets of nothing more than a collection of twitter accounts. Lots of @s but otherwise absolutely nothing. What’s the point of that?
  • 27 are retweets (including retweets of retweets!) of US shelter pets needing adoption
  • 6 are “quotes of the day”
  • 38 are retweets that have absolutely nothing to do with anipals. The retweets came from an account I do not follow so how did they get into my timeline? Twitter promoted crap? Sender blocked anyway.
  • 4 are automated tweets sent out by those things that track new followers and unfollowers
  • 1 is about a service offering curated tweets – I don’t want curated tweets written for you by some faceless computer program

Do the sums. Fourteen, yes FOURTEEN out of 100 tweets are potentially worth reading. But they’re all the latest tweets in a sequence of a few who I follow having a chat amongst themselves. I got to tweet 164 before I actually found something I wanted to read. This may not be typical, I don’t know as I’m not going to spend time analysing my timeline. I just reapplied my filters and 83 of the first hundred tweets disappeared. Yay! (Three that didn’t were quotes of the day that didn’t include the character sequence “quote”.)

There are only so many hours in a day. And I’m spending too many of those reading tweets from those I follow but who, I suspect, don’t return the favour! I have lots of other things to do and I don’t have enough time to do them. This blog is an example. I sit down with my secretary to compose a post but, by the time I’ve ploughed through my timeline, my secretary says that time’s run out. And even then, I miss important things. And, from now on, I’ll only be visiting Twitter once or twice a week, rather than a few times a day. So this means I HAVE to reduce my timeline drastically.

I’ve been using lists to concentrate on a much smaller number of pals with whom I chat regularly. I have been wondering whether I might as well leave Twitter altogether. I decided using Twitter’s “mute” feature would be dishonest; letting someone think I’m reading their tweets when, in fact, I never see anything they write isn’t fair on them and, indeed, it would mean that even if they addressed a tweet or DM to me using an “@”, I wouldn’t know. Far better to be open and honest.

So I thought I’d try an experiment. I tweeted:

Dear followers. This is an experiment. If you see this tweet, please click that heart to like it. Don’t reply, don’t retweet, just like. Ta.

Easy – all that was needed was a simple mouse click on the heart thingy. But out of nearly 730 followers, 700 didn’t respond. On the plus side, I got to chat with a lot of those that did and with whom I’d lost touch because they, like me, were overwhelmed by their timelines. And I was surprised at how many usually only read their mentions and only picked up my tweet because they happened to be online when I sent it.

So I’m going to cull and at the end of the process aim to be following no more than about 50 others. Some who I stop following will be added to lists so I can still follow their tweets in an organised way (Twitter tries to message someone to let them know they’ve been added to a list, if they have that notification turned on). Of course, I’ll understand if those who I no longer follow decide to stop following me. There is a way, did you know, to actually stop someone else following me – they would then need to refollow if they wanted to. I’ve decided not to go that far on a blanket basis but will be using the technique for some accounts.

So there we are. If you’re one of those I unfollow, it’s not because I’ve got anything against you; far from it. It’s simply that I can only practically keep up with so many accounts and I’m being honest about it.

Of Feline Bondage

A few weeks ago I paid a visit to my favourite vet, who for the day, had been renamed Dennis. This particular Dennis was going to have a look at my toofy-pegs which, staff had decided, needed cleaning. Seems he’d noticed a little bit of inflammation on my gummythings. I could only sit there and gulp as he signed the consent form for the knockout drops and another form which said if Dennis found any bad teeth, they could be pulled. Hang on a minute, did that mean that staff was saying that any naughty teeth could be given to a dating agency?

Still, it wasn’t long before a nice nursey person was shaving a little circle of fur off one of my legs. Then a little prick and I don’t remember anything until late in the day when staff came to pick me up. Dennis told him that he’d extracted three toofy-pegs, not because of any decay but because they were working loose. This is, it seems, something to do with age!

Aaaaaaaagggggggggeeeeeee? (You gotta read that with a voice whose pitch raises steadily but quickly until it passes beyond the upper capabilities of human hearing.)

I’m not that old but, it seems (there’s lots of “seems” involved when I visit my favourite vet), I’m now classed as an “approaching old age cat”. Oh, the indignity! I suppose I’ll have to become incontinent now just to keep staff happy!

But there’s more!

Staff and Dennis had a chat and decided that it was now time to help the dental mix food that I get in addition to my normal wet food. And that help involved BRUSHING MY TOOFS every few days! Now I submit to grooming every day (my regular readers will know that I actually love a session with my Furminator). And I tolerate the quarterly worming tablet being shot down my throat by staff using a little device that stops me biting him. And I succumb to the monthly sticky squirty yucky flea treatment on the back of my neck.

But toofy-peg cleaning is a step too far! I was planning my resistance tactics faster than I can rip open a pack of Dreamies.

But staff was also planning ahead.

I discovered he’s getting into bondage! Well, he got a harness to stop me squirming about.

I discovered he’s getting into bondage! Well, he got a harness to stop me squirming about.

Then some arm-guards appeared to stop me clawing the skin of his arms.

Then some arm-guards appeared to stop me clawing the skin of his arms.

These were soon followed by finger protectors so I couldn’t bite his fingers off.

These were soon followed by finger protectors so I couldn’t bite his fingers off.

And if that wasn’t enough, he got a remote-controlled brush too!

And if that wasn’t enough, he got a remote-controlled brush too!

And that, dear readers, is how I got my toofs cleaned.