Y Marks the Spot: Turd Ferguson

My new neighborhood is very cat friendly, to the point where gangs of the mild mannered beasts roam its narrow streets with impunity.  They sit around on the sidewalks, gazing at human pedestrians, and if you walk up to one of these furry loiterers, it won’t mind a gentle scratch on the neck.

So I wasn’t surprised when, a few weeks back, I noticed a cat slinking into my secluded backyard, making its way into my moss-covered and dilapidated shed where it made camp and stared at me through my back room window.  The unusual part happened when the cat stuck around.

It was a bit too easy to befriend this animal, even for our neighborhood.  The first time my girlfriend went outside and held out her hand, the cat ran right over and they were instantly friends.  Seconds later, I made my first formal acquaintance with the creature, and we were all pals.

We named the cat Ferguson, because it was, while a handsome creature, also a matted-fur longhair with turds hanging off its ass.  This led to a lot of awkward dodgings when the cat did what normal cats do and obsessively tried to rub itself against our legs.

But the desperation in the animal was radioactive.  From the point of introduction, Ferguson slept in our backyard under a far off tree at the corner of our fence, and it didn’t leave.  Any time he saw motion in our back room and any time we went outside, he would rush out from the shadows and rasp at us for attention until his voice grew hoarse.  Ferguson sounded like a cross between a chain-smoker and the annoying fairy from Ocarina of Time.  Hey!  Hey!  Listen!

Ferguson wanted in our house because it was obviously a housecat that had been abandoned.  The facts that he was declawed and extremely comfortable with humans as well as his refusal to leave our backyard once he set up base were strong proof that Ferguson once had an owner who didn’t deserve him, and he wanted us to fill that space.

If my girlfriend and I didn’t already have two spoiled, absurdist kittens, we’d have taken Ferguson in following the quickest of groomings.  But that wouldn’t have been fair to the beasts we were already responsible for.  After we brought them to our new sanctuary they were just as shell-shocked over the new solitude as we were.  A new cat would have wrecked them, so that wasn’t going to happen.

We did what we could to help him out: scooping food out onto the grass, filling up a can with drinking water, coming out to be around this sweet, neglected creature.  But we couldn’t give him what he wanted, and there was a lot of guilt that followed each time we went back inside and shut the door on him, leaving him to stare through our blinds at an impossible safety.

We wouldn’t have let this situation stand under normal circumstances, but being that the weather was getting colder we decided that we had to find Ferguson a home as soon as possible.  I put up a few feeble posts on Facebook to little avail, but my girlfriend had better luck.  A coworker of hers was an established adopter and rehabilitator of strays, and she was looking for a second cat.  After a few text conversations, the coworker walked into our backyard with her family and was immediately love-mugged by our feline hobo.

And that was that.  The family returned the next day and took Ferguson off to the vet, after which he was taken to a home where I’m told he’s very comfortable and happy.

Once all the turds were snipped away, Ferguson ended up being a girl.

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The Designer’s Drugs: Glorious Nintendo 3DS First-Year Plan

EPIC!

 

Medium: Game – Portable

Stimulus: The Nintendo 3DS First-Year Rorschach

Anno: 2011

 

Last Friday, I picked up a brand new fire red Nintendo 3DS.  I’m pretty pumped about my new acquisition.  I can take or leave the 3D screen option, as it’s pretty hard to maintain a steady gaze and fight off the eye strain.  But I love the improved touchscreen, which is so much more responsive and usable than the old clunky Nintendo DS screen.  The inclusion of motion sensor controls on the system, in which you get to aim the screen instead of simply aiming a controller, also works wonders.

I’m pretty skeptical about game systems in their first year.  The hardware can get pretty buggy, and a solid collection of titles doesn’t develop until at least the second year of a system’s life.  Yet I found four games for the 3DS that looked good enough to merit picking up this new piece of technology, and I obtained them all.  Three of these games are remakes, and one is an established minigame set loose on its own.  Yet each one is a blast; even the worst of the bunch is above average.

Submitted for your approval: the best of the Nintendo 3DS, thus far.

 

Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition:  I remember getting written up at work for Protestant-bashing on a St. Patrick’s Day years ago, ditching out to take an extended break at Best Buy, playing the original version of this game there, and feeling okay with the world.  This is the better version of that game.  It plays as great as I remember, but the real star in this edition is the touchscreen, which is an absolute godsend.  No more fighting like a thumbless, black eyed chimp trying to enter convoluted commands to execute one’s special moves; the four touchscreen buttons can be programmed to bust out any command with a simple tap.  The simplicity is breathtaking.

 

Resident Evil – The Mercenaries 3D:  The weakest of my four purchases is still a fine game.  The premise of this minigame turned full release is simple: choose a character, choose a mission, and shoot as many zombies as possible before time runs out.

The Mercenaries does have a few issues, though.  It suffers from a weird form of slowdown when there are many baddies onscreen, in that the zeds furthest away seem to run around in a stilted slow-motion.  Also, this is not a game to go in for the long haul; missions get pretty monotonous quickly.  This one seems built for multiplayer.

Is it worth new game price?  Probably not, but The Mercenaries is everything good about Resident Evil ultraviolence distilled into a quick little injection.

 

 

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D:  This is the flagship, the standard-bearer of the 3DS.  There is no question.  In what seems to be a trend with this system thus far, Nintendo took a decade-old game for the Nintendo 64, made it beautiful, and added some neat tricks to the gameplay.  The result is not only an epic, sprawling quest that doesn’t feel old, but also a game that is far superior to most new releases.  Vital and magnificent.

 

Starfox 64 3D: Nintendo’s other big rerelease from the Nintendo 64 days is a pretty slick update on Starfox 64’s classic of space combat.  The big selling point of this version is the ability to steer one’s spaceship with the 3DS’ motion controls, which is a cool feature but also one I think works best in combination with the traditional and more stable analog stick steering.  Again, this is an old game that has much more life in it than a lot of new games have.

 

The verdict?  The 3DS is worth the purchase.  It doesn’t hurt that the system’s price just dropped a hundred bucks, either.