It is the time of year that we celebrate the Finding of the Cat That Lived, our glorious little Birman mix, Jaina.
For those that missed out on the first six installments, we found baby Jaina wondering around in the parking lot and scooped her up. Later, when we took her to the vet, we were told she had FIP, which is fatal, and that she had weeks to live. Well, here we are seven years later, and she’s entering middle age without showing any sign of keeling over. And so today we celebrate.
We also have some new-ish denizens of the local scene, namely Ghost, a stray cat that we’re watching after, Goblin (same), and their child, Sparta, seen here with Butterscotch. We’re trying to lure at least the mom and Sparty here inside so we can get them fixed. The jury’s out as to whether they become permanent fixtures. Jaina, of course, does not approve.
There’s another stray, who the kid named Plisskin, that is a black Maine Coon and very, very hungry and very, very friendly. We’re trying to get her used to coming inside too, but she’s so afraid of other cats.
Jaina’s antics with her favorite toy in the whole world continue to be adorable as hell. As you may know, her favorite toy is a shoestring that she’s had all her life. When she wants attention, she will pick it up, drag it around, and sing while she does so.
I have finally captured this and I share it here with you. You can also see clearly why we call her a bearcat, or Little Bear – the bear shape is pretty clear in this vid.
She’s also developed a knack for taking it with her when she climbs on top of things. This is the best pic I have, but there you have it. She is wicked smart, and I have found her with it on top of even the high top table in the dining room. “Clever Girl.”
The string, by the way, is reaching End of Life – it’s really starting to fray after several years of being dragged around and washed. We’re working on smuggling in a new one, but you parents know how it is when replacing a cherished teddy bear, so we’ll see.
Her favorite spot to sleep at night continues to be on the corner of the bed closest to the door, which in this pic happens to be at the end of my pillow (me and Mrs Grimm have swapped since then, and the Bear continues to favor the corner, not the person).
Overall, it’s been another great year with the little bearcat. She continues to flourish, continues to be the boss of everything, and we intend to continue to keep our promise of chin skritches and laps whenever she wants them.
So, if fortune is kind, we’ll see you this time next year for her Eighth.
My mage has been, but for a brief time in Vanilla, Frost through and through. But when Legion came around, Frost took a big hit in effectiveness. Reluctantly, I gave fire a try … and over the course of the expansion, got to like it – a lot.
When BfA came out the sims were showing Fire had declined and Frost was once again ascendant. Not entirely happy with the rotation, but I took it up and got into the swing of it again, and it was reasonably serviceable, and my numbers were not hideous.
But looking at the charts, I found that the sims seemed to be not entirely accurate – fire was, in the raid charts, far higher up on average than Frost.
So here I am again. The old rotation is gone (that rather required that famous sword and its attendant abilities) but the current one doesn’t feel as broken now as it did at the start of the expansion.
And when those crits pop … so satisfying, I can’t really put into words how amazing it is when they string out one after another.
The downside is that this is a short-lived crit train … once the party’s over, I have to build up some procs again, and that’s usually boring old fireball after fireball.
The charts also show that Arcane is king of the Mage specs right now. I tried Arcane once.
Never could get the hang of it.
But setting things on fire … that never gets old.
To wit: do I suck as a healer?
Let me lay the background on you. On my first three LFD Heroics, everything seemed to be okay. Keeping people alive wasn’t a big deal, and the 2nd one was especially awesome. The tank was so good, I could have stuck to DPS.
And then I got a string of bad ones. All of them sucked. Everybody died. In some case the baddies were easy to spot – the assholes that stood in the bad and then yelled at me for not dispelling them, that sort of thing.
But as a whole, it was a trend, and I started to have real doubts. Maybe … it was me. Maybe I was just that bad in this expansion. I mean, I didn’t feel any different, but maybe the rest of the game picked up and moved on, and I didn’t Get The Memo.
I was sad.
I had been avoiding running more, to be honest. Any excuse not to, I was taking it. I thought, maybe I’ll skip over Heroics and go right into LFR. Safety in numbers, that sort of thing. Nobody will notice a really sucky Disco priest in among a crowd of 25 or so, right? I mean, I was low.
So tonight’s run was a real conundrum. See, I had that quest that requires you to go into Tol Dagor and get that fourth key, in the Jaina Is Trapped quest line.
I could have wimped, and run it in Normal difficulty, but I felt dirty in that scenario. So in I went.
The first bit was pretty good. The tank was a Brewmaster Monk, very aggressive yet rarely below 50% even when he ran off into the boonies. But then we got to the last boss and toons started dropping like flies.
I don’t know if they were just standing in bad and expecting me to protect them, but both hunters and the ret Palli went down. Now it was just me, the tank, and the Boss. And for the next few minutes I shielded, healed, ducked, covered, and dodged like never before.
And we prevailed.
Everybody in the team was like, “Wow, that was awesome” and stuff like that. I was humbled and stoked all at the same time. We rezzed our fallen, no harm no foul, and all was good.
It reminded me of that time when the Bunnies were raiding Naxx and it was me and the Palli we called Spartacus doing the Safety Dance with Heigen. We took it almost all the way to the enrage timer as we danced our way to fame and fortune. It was an epic win, and this one felt the same.
So after tonight’s adventures, I’m willing to try a few more to see if maybe I just had some bad luck.
Amazing what one good night will do for one’s attitude.