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You asked me questions on Twitter. I shall answer them.

May 2, 2013, 1:32 PM EDT

Luke Leia

The more basebally ones will be saved for tomorrow’s HBT Daily. Here are the ones that don’t lend themselves as well to video:

Q: Better BlueJays manager? John Gibbons #1 or John Gibbons #2?

Which one was played by Dick York? I liked that one better.

Q: Why do you hate kittens?

This is inspired by the fact that I got my new cat declawed earlier this week. Yes, I know people have very strong feelings about this. One person on Twitter the other day basically said that I can’t judge people who get DUIs because I got my cat declawed. I guess it makes sense to him, but if that’s the moral equivalence at play here you can have it.  Anyway: I’ve had cats my entire life, often multiple cats at once. All rescued from shelters and things. And the fact is that I would not be willing to rescue cats like I have if every time I did so it meant half my stuff got destroyed. My vet did not have reservations about this. My cat, three days later, is her usual rambunctious self, exhibiting no ill effects. She doesn’t go outside so defense is not an issue. If this makes me a monster, well, rowr.

Q: Thoughts on “Death of a Family.”

Because a high percentage of my Twitter questions are about Batman, I presume this means the Batman-Joker comic series from last year, “Death of the Family.” Answer: I haven’t read it. I mean to. I love Batman, but like most things in life, technology and comics, I tend to be a late-adopter. I’ll be one of those old jerks who find the handsome bound edition later and then talk about it like it’s brand new.

Q: How much longer can the Braves stick with Uggla. Do we have no choice based on his contract?

It’s not like they have alternatives. At this point you just gotta hope he has his occasional hot streaks at times when the team needs them the most. He isn’t going anywhere.

Q: Game show you’d most like to be on, game show you’d be best at?

I’d most like to be on “Match Game” back in the Richard Dawson/Charles Nelson Reilly era, because everyone on there was loaded and looked like they were having the time of their freaking lives. Or possibly paired up with Markie Post on “Pyramid” because she was a stone-cold assassin on that show and, well, I was in love with her for most of the 1980s. And 90s. And some days still today. I’d probably be best at “Jeopardy,” however.

Q: If you could create a baseball player using body parts of different active players, who do you choose? Can’t go all-Trout.

Arm of Rick Ankiel, legs of Billy Hamilton, eye of Joey Votto, upper body strength of Giancarlo Stanton, swag of Harper and at some point Andrelton Simmons has to enter the equation.

Q: Who finishes with the worst record: Marlins, Astros, or Aquaman?

Marlins: 56-106, Astros: 60-102, Aquaman: 0-162, because he has zero useful on-land skills.

Q: Why won’t you come clean about Benghazi?

Because I’m busy trying to mount multiple false-flag operations, as one does.

Q: Did Stevie nicks die?

Q: And what’s with the Stevie Nicks nonsense?

Last year there was a headline about “The Cocaine Queen” dying. My kneejerk joke on Twitter was “RIP Stevie Nicks.” Which I thought was kinda clever in an “I’m old and I remember the 70s” kind of way. Apparently there are a lot of young women — painfully young — who are a bit more into Stevie Nicks than anyone should be into another person, and none of them have a sense of humor. A few thought I was breaking news and when they figured it out, these would-be witchy women decided that I was the worst person in the world. Please don’t tell any of them about my cat. I may get death threats.

Q: Ever get into cricket? It’s like baseball’s weird older cousin.

So cricket has to register with the sheriff’s department wherever it lives too? Or … did I just reveal too much?

Q: “Gattitude” is some top notch trolling of Nats fans. What’s the greatest troll in baseball history?

Basically every player quoted after a victory over a crappy team who talks about how “you gotta be careful with these guys, they have a lot of players who can hurt you, so no lead ever feels safe.” Either that or the entire existence of the Chicago Cubs.

Q: Should teams with aging, overweight veterans revive pullover jerseys/beltless pants to look more softball league?

Only if they can rock at sexy as The Bull did.

Q: In his podcast last month, Joe Sheehan compared recent Bill James to recent Gary Busey. Fair or foul, or just funny?

I didn’t hear it, but I’m gonna assume that it was in the “someone who was taken seriously once back when they were at the top of their game and now is, well, a bit on the eccentric side.” Can’t say that I read enough modern Bill James to say. But I think it’s also fair to say that anyone who ever does anything at the highest level has an inevitable fallow/unfortunate period. Lou Reed and Metallica: two of the best ever. Lou Reed + Metallica: maybe the worst thing ever recorded. But they got nothin’ to prove to anyone, so haters can hate all they want.

Q: Who wins in a snarkoff: you or Keith Law?

Law. One of the best pure snarkers in the game. I’m more of a utility snarker.

Q: There’s a new video game called Injustice with DC heroes. In it, Aquaman is considered the best character. Thoughts?

Is the object of the game to have all of the innocent citizens killed by super villains? If so, I could see why Aquaman would be the best character. Otherwise I’m confused.

Q: Favorite c-list actor? I have to go with Clint Howard who obviously only gets work on his brothers films.

I think we all have to admit that Nicolas Cage is now a C-list actor at best. But I have an irrational love for Nicholas Cage. Yes I know he has made scores of nearly-unwatchable movies, but I don’t care. He’s usually interesting. Not good, mind you, but interesting. One of the things I’m most looking forward to this summer is seeing if he gets a flashback or, better yet, voice-from-beyond-the-grave cameo in “Kick-Ass 2.” It’s not listed on his IMDb page, but I’m still holding out hope.

Q: You’re a Braves fan, right? Can you take Jeff Francoeur back now, please?

Sorry. We said “no backsies” when he left town. I figure the likelihood of him ending his career in Atlanta is dangerously high, however.

Q: What’s the standard of proof in replay review?

I would like it to be “arbitrary and capricious,” mostly so I could hear Jerry Remy say “arbitrary and capricious.”

Q: Geddy Lee and his baseball fandom?

Good for him! Whenever I slag on Rush, people remind me that Lee is a huge baseball fan who follows the Jays closely and donated a lot of memorabilia to the Negro Leagues Museum and all of that. And that’s wonderful But it doesn’t change the fact that he sang this once:

I lie awake, staring out at the bleakness of Megadon. City and sky become one, merging
Into a single plane, a vast sea of unbroken grey. The Twin Moons, just two pale orbs as
They trace their way across the steely sky. I used to think I had a pretty good life here,
Just plugging into my machine for the day, then watching Templevision or reading a Temple
Paper in the evening.

Rock and roll is about getting girls and having fun and stuff, first and foremost. You can obviously stray pretty far from that if you want, or else I wouldn’t have a love for guys like Dylan and Neil Young. But even guys like that know that you gotta get back to basics often in order to not lose your way.  I feel like once you’ve strayed to Megadon, you’ve strayed too far.

Q: As a fellow central Ohioan I’d love your take on the urban legend about Fred Ricart and his wife’s curling iron.

I choose to believe it in its entirety, even if Snopes said it’s an old, made up tale.

Q: How’s the diet going? Saw the grilled zucchini, that’s a good place to be.

For those unaware, back in February I went on a pretty restricted low/no-carb diet after getting a cholesterol count that could only be described as “assy.” It was kind of hard at first as lower serotonin levels brought on by less sugar/carbs can lead to temporary depression, but that seems to be under control. I’ve mostly gotten past cravings and will power issues and now veggies, fruits, lean meats and as few carbohydrates as possible are just part of the routine. I’ve lost 18 pounds with zero exercise since mid-February and weigh less than I did in high school, so that’s something. I should probably get back on the treadmill, though, as I’m way behind on TV watching.

Q: Have you ever replaced your regular coffee with Folgers crystals?

No, because I’m not clinically insane. My mother tried to give me Folgers crystals once. Once.

Q: Jarvis or Alfred?

Everyone knows who Alfred is. His “Iron Man” counterpart is Jarvis (replaced in the movies with J.A.R.V.I.S.). Lot of discussion the past two days on whether Batman or Iron Man is better. You know where my sympathies lie. And really, there would be no contest if the two of them had to fight. All of Iron Man’s power comes from a single little machine in his chest that, oh, by the way, is also keeping him from DYING. I’m guessing Batman has created and used so many EMP devices in his life that he’s lost count. One pulse from one of those + a couple minutes to chuckle + a few kicks to head and Iron Man is as dead as vaudeville. Except Bats is too cool to let him die, so he’d have Alfred improvise some quickie battlefield medical fix to keep that shrapnel from entering Tony Stark’s heart in such a way that his Iron Man suit couldn’t simultaneously be re-powered.  Which probably means Alfred is better, naturally.

Q: Is Ricketts “threat” that the Cubs may leave Wrigley the most empty threat ever?

Nah. That would be Obi-Wan Kenobi telling Darth Vader that if he was struck down he’d become more powerful than Vader could ever imagine. Sure, he went all immortal on him, but what did he really do? He told Luke to run, which Luke probably would have anyway. He told him to turn off his targeting computer which, sure, worked out fine, but was highly irresponsible. Told him to go to Dagobah, yes, I’ll grant that was a big one and Luke wouldn’t have otherwise. But Luke did all the hard work. And let’s be honest: Luke could have died on Hoth and it wouldn’t have made a lick of difference. He helped no one in “Empire” and actually put people at risk.

I suppose Han doesn’t get freed from Jaba without Luke and the second Death Star doesn’t get destroyed without Han on the ground on Endor, but that just leads to another problem: why all the cloak and dagger crap to free Han from Jabba? I know it’s a scrappy band of Rebels and all, but they have an army and a fleet and crap. Why could they not have just dispatched a platoon of soldiers to Jabba’s palace, marched right in and taken Han by force? Those pig guards wouldn’t last ten seconds.  That always bugged me.

Not as much as the fact that he never told Luke to, you know, not make out with HIS OWN SISTER. That woulda been kinda helpful, all-powerful Obi-Wan. Sheesh.

Anyway. That’s all I got this week.

  1. allisonhagen - May 2, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    “Witchy Woman” is an Eagles song, dude.

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 2, 2013 at 1:47 PM

      Written about Stevie Nicks, dude.

      • allisonhagen - May 2, 2013 at 1:50 PM

        Jesus, man, can you change the station? I had a rough night, and I hate the f****** Eagles, man.

      • Craig Calcaterra - May 2, 2013 at 1:57 PM

        F**k you man! You don’t like my f**king music, get your own f**king cab!

      • historiophiliac - May 2, 2013 at 2:03 PM

        I feel like I just saw something that no human being was meant to see.

      • Ralph - May 2, 2013 at 2:03 PM

        Lovers spat!

      • cur68 - May 2, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        Ok. Everybody commenting on Craig & Allison’s conversation has to watch The Big Lebowski, like right now, because this is embarrassing. Sheesh.

      • drpaisley - May 2, 2013 at 2:24 PM

        Really? “Witchy Woman” came out in 1972. Nicks and Buckingham didn’t join Fleetwood Mac until 1975, and were not exactly well-known prior to that.

      • Craig Calcaterra - May 2, 2013 at 2:28 PM

        Dammit. That’s what I get for passing along stuff I heard without thinking about it. But this reflects worse on you: you know more about the Eagles and that’s kinda embarrassing.

      • number42is1 - May 2, 2013 at 2:34 PM

      • historiophiliac - May 2, 2013 at 2:44 PM

        First of all, I find it very annoying when some people try to tell others how they should enjoy internet comments and that they can’t riff on them any damn way they please. Secondly, just because some people are comfortable watching a couple-y reenactment of Lebowski doesn’t mean everyone has to be. If I was in the room when a couple did that, I would roll my eyes and make gagging noises, and I won’t not do it just because this is the internet and Canada is uptight. Enjoy your thread.

      • thinman61 - May 2, 2013 at 2:47 PM

        Written about Zelda Fitzgerald, dude.

      • kopy - May 2, 2013 at 3:16 PM

        Forget it, Donny, you’re out of your element.

      • indaburg - May 2, 2013 at 4:29 PM


        With all due respect to Miss HBT and my husband but anyone trolling Stevie Nicks fans gets my undying love.

      • sirrealrainman - May 2, 2013 at 6:46 PM

        That’s what I was thinking drpaisley.
        I had never heard the Nicks reference before so I looked it up and Henley himself in his liner notes said he had Zelda Fitzgerald particularly in mind for the song after reading her biography.

  2. mclovinhockey - May 2, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    What’s with the photo? I saw Mark Hamil and it made me think of his character Crow in Sushi Girl. awesome movie, I had the pleasure of driving him for a film festival for that film. He is pretty scary when you hear the joker in his voice.

  3. jarathen - May 2, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    I never realized how much of a big old lie that was. If “more powerful than you could possibly imagine” means psychic whispering beyond theg rave, well, I GUESS, but come on, anyone could imagine that.

    Well spotted, Craig. And congrats on the successful diet.

  4. mattintoledo - May 2, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Good job, but all I really took from this is somebody besides me saw, liked and quotes “Johnny Dangerously”.

  5. rmcd13 - May 2, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Nerd warning: The Emperor assists his fleet using a force technique called Battle Meditation. It makes the imperial fleet basically invincible. If the Emperor lives, the Rebels won’t be able to blow up the Death Star in ROTJ. Luke convinces Vader to turn against the Emperor, which allows the Rebels to win. So Luke isn’t completely useless.

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 2, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      That’s retconned stuff. Probably designed to justify anything Luke did on the Death Star as meaningful.

      • Craig Calcaterra - May 2, 2013 at 1:59 PM

        And why didn’t he do that in New Hope? Or Empire? That fleet fucked up an awful lot if it could become invincible that way.

      • rmcd13 - May 2, 2013 at 2:16 PM

        The Emperor wasn’t in New Hope or Empire, so no Battle Meditation. Also, Vader is a complete idiot when it comes to military strategy. I’m sure you’ve seen the analysis of his failure on Hoth:

      • mybrunoblog - May 2, 2013 at 2:41 PM

        Shouldn’t this conversation be taking place in your parents basement after your done discussing what it would be like to see a real woman naked?

      • rmcd13 - May 2, 2013 at 3:10 PM

        I did give you a nerd warning.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 2, 2013 at 3:41 PM

        Damn it C.C.! Quit posting that link of Simmons’ junk.

  6. cur68 - May 2, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Your Destruction of Iron Man by Batman Scenario is a failure. The Iron Man suit is a well-thought-out Faraday Cage. The EMP is useless against it.

    Ultimately the answer in that battle is who wins in an unsuited Tony Stark v Bruce Wayne fight. Last seen, Bruce Wayne was looking pretty decrepit. I got Stark in this one.

    • zzalapski - May 2, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      Hey, let’s see Iron Man defeat an actual martial arts master, then we can debate whether he can take on Batman.

  7. zzalapski - May 2, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    My roommate had her two cats declawed, but only in the front paws. Which does cut down on the destruction, but if they learn kitty kung fu, we’re fucked.

  8. Ralph - May 2, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    I suppose Han doesn’t get freed from Jaba without Luke and the second Death Star doesn’t get destroyed without Han on the ground on Endor, but that just leads to another problem: why all the cloak and dagger crap to free Han from Jabba? I know it’s a scrappy band of Rebels and all, but they have an army and a fleet and crap. Why could they not have just dispatched a platoon of soldiers to Jabba’s palace, marched right in and taken Han by force? Those pig guards wouldn’t last ten seconds. That always bugged me.

    The geek is strong in this one.

    • jarathen - May 2, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      You’re assuming that the rebellion does the bidding of Luke/Leia/Lando when needed. They have their own agenda, and while they’re probably better off with Han, they’re not about to divert their cause into war with the Space Mafia because of one guy.

      It’s personal, not political. That’s why.

      • Craig Calcaterra - May 2, 2013 at 2:30 PM

        HE’S A GENERAL. Or at the very least a captain at the time, and is viewed as essential, lest he wouldn’t have his position of command.

        And if the Rebels weren’t cool with a rescue plan they’d never let their political leader — Leia — their most important pilot/fighter — Luke — the co-pilot of the ship that blew up the Death Star — Chewbacca — two very important droids and whatever rank Lando had at the time just take off on their own to do it.

      • jarathen - May 2, 2013 at 2:46 PM

        Solo left the rebellion during the battle of Hoth. He talks about it at length with his superior, who has no apparent interest in helping him out. So yeah, he’s a General, but he was on leave (or whatever you want to cal it) when he was turned into garish decoration.

        There’s a serious lack of paperwork involved, though. Just kind of signs off, guy in charge says okay, that’s it.

        Aside from the Imperial assault.

  9. Old Gator - May 2, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Kittens are a form of children. Children are horrible.

    • jarathen - May 2, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      Children eventually flush their own damn toilet.

      I have one of each, and that’s enough.

      • Old Gator - May 2, 2013 at 2:53 PM

        Ah yes, the myth of the clean cat.

      • jarathen - May 2, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        And that doesn’t even go into the nasty little parasite most cats have that may be able to alter human behavior.

        Be very careful with that litter, friends.

      • indaburg - May 2, 2013 at 4:33 PM

        So true. Google toxoplasmosis and brain. Cats were sent on this planet to destroy us.

      • anxovies - May 2, 2013 at 6:30 PM

        I looked up toxoplasmosis. My ex-wife had 2 cats and I had to put up with them for for years. Explains a lot.

  10. slartibartfast4242 - May 2, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    I was going to say that you have too much time on your hands, but realizing I read every last word and thoroughly enjoyed it, I will confine myself to just say that… Aquaman rulez… dude.

    By the way has anyone read the book “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline? If not, try it… highly recommended. It is like a nerd’s holy grail.

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 2, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      I own it but haven’t read it. I probably should.

    • jarathen - May 2, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      Ready Player One is an interesting book but it’s more of a nudge, nudge, wink, wink, remember that?-fest than a solid tale of its own.

    • raysfan1 - May 2, 2013 at 2:24 PM

      “Aquaman sucks.”
      –Rajesh Koothrappali

      • indaburg - May 2, 2013 at 4:44 PM

        “Peace to all earth’s creatures, but Aquamam sucks.” –Mother Teresa

      • indaburg - May 2, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        Aquama’am is Aquaman’s transgender alter ego.

  11. The Common Man - May 2, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    “Aquaman: 0-162, because he has zero useful on-land skills.”

    You unbelievable son of a bitch. I’m going to remember this.

  12. goskinsvt - May 2, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Hey they managed to make Aquaman not look completely awful…although he is riding a giant squid..thing. Whatever, Aquaman sucks.

  13. sdelmonte - May 2, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    Alfred and Jarvis would never fight each other, anyway. They get together once a month and compare notes what it’s like to butler – or it is buttle? – for brilliant billionaire playboy superheroes.

    Jarvis usually feels better about himself because no matter how many times the Avengers ruin the mansion, he doesn’t have to clean up after any teenaged boys. Alfred usually feels better about himself because he takes pride in having raised those teenaged boys.

    And when the two get really drunk, they talk about dating Leslie Thompkins and Aunt May.

  14. drex1 - May 2, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    1st time I ever read one of your articles, it cracked me up. Not really a baseball fan but i’ll have to look out for your articles and follow on twitter if I ever get round to logging back in

  15. benyamen - May 2, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Sweet sassy molassy, it’s been too long since I read one of these threads. Well worth my company’s time.

  16. raysfan1 - May 2, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    My cat when I was a kid was also declawed. He occasionally got out of the house and once proved he was still quite capable of climbing trees, which (along with speed) is a cat’s best defense. In terms of offense, well, he also had no trouble catching mice either. He never ate them though, just batted them around until they expired, then he would lose interest.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 2, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      Yep…that’s what most inside cats do. They just play with them until they are dead.
      Outside cats eat them and in a lot of cases…eat them after they drop them outside your door to show you what they caught. As for declawing…the only thing it limits is their ability to defend themselves. Which is precisely why you never declaw an outside cat.

      • indaburg - May 2, 2013 at 4:48 PM

        My vet once said, “If you love your animal, you keep it indoors.” But Sting says, “If you love someone, set them free.” Who to trust?

    • indaburg - May 2, 2013 at 4:52 PM

      People who are anti-declawing cats need to volunteer in a kill shelter. If they can survive a day without crying blood, they will realize that declawing and life in a great home beats getting put down. They can stick that pole up their asses and spin on it. Sorry for the rant, but I feel very strongly about this. There are too many good critters without homes and that makes me angry and sad. Spay and neuter, folks. I mean, spay and neuter your pets (although I wouldn’t mind doing it to some folks too).

      • stlouis1baseball - May 2, 2013 at 5:14 PM

        Sometimes I forget that people who live in large cities don’t realize there people who actually live in the Country and have animals. You know…big animals.
        For instance…what if you have horses? Or goats? What about sheep? Chickens? What if you have Chickens? Chickens are incredibly nasty. Not keeping Chickens in the house.

        Ahhh forget it. These animals don’t apply to me anyway. I just wanted to challenge your vet.

      • indaburg - May 2, 2013 at 5:41 PM

        He was a city vet. The BIG city. NYC. The kind of vet who saw dogs, cats, and the occasional hamster. It was no place to let a pet roam free. I wasn’t referring to farm animals but I get what you’re saying. You know me and my east coast bias.

  17. randygnyc - May 2, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Craig, my cholesterol was over 400. I had a heart attack in 2004 at age 37. I was put on 80 mg of Lipitor (highest allowable dose). My cholesterol now sits steady at about 110. I was never overweight, just bad genetics.

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 2, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      My traditional count was normal <180 or so. But my LDL-P particle count, which is something they've just started testing for in recent years, was like 1980, with 2000 being extraordinarily high risk. And I wasn't overweight either. Just, damn, bad count.

      Had some uncles and stuff drop dead of heart attacks in their 40s and 50s. Really don't want to be that guy.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 2, 2013 at 3:49 PM

        Dude…live your life. Don’t sweat it. I have had cats there weren’ declawed. I have had cats that were declawed. Our current cat happens to be the coolest, most loved pet I have had (or had the pleasure of being around). And he is declawed.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 2, 2013 at 5:27 PM

        Jeesh! Why did you mention the cat getting declawed? Now you have someone telling you how to live your life and (potentially worse)…imploring you to feel a certain way about it.
        Shit like this kills me. Dude is probably wearing a pair of $125.00 leather tennis shoes.

  18. rms5555 - May 2, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    I can deal with your affinity for mutilating your cats.
    I can even deal with you being from Ohio.
    But you just ripped on Rush.
    Officially un-followed.

  19. brewcrewfan54 - May 2, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    I drank a lot of beer last night and intend to do the same tonight.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 2, 2013 at 3:46 PM

      I also drank a lot of beer last night. Strangely…I also intend to do the same tonight.

      • brewcrewfan54 - May 2, 2013 at 4:20 PM

        I like your style!

    • moogro - May 2, 2013 at 4:21 PM

      I’m going to drink beer and play along to these amazingly fun Geddy Lee bass lines.

  20. Stiller43 - May 2, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    For what its worth, wikipedia says witchy woman was written about a variety of (nameless) women, but the main woman was Zelda Fitzgerald.

  21. El Bravo - May 2, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    You should replace your kitties’ skeletons and claws with adamantium. That’s what I did. Of course, my lil homies each have a mutant healing factor that is stronger than Wolverine’s, so they could withstand the painful procedure without succumbing.

  22. onbucky96 - May 2, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Wouldn’t u want the pilot that blew up Death Star 1.0 to fly against Death Star 2.0. That always bothered me.

    • jarathen - May 2, 2013 at 2:58 PM

      The gang kind of just does what it wants and the rebellion has to facilitate it. That’s the price you pay for having the only living Jedi on your side.

    • jtpercell - May 2, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      Wedge Antilles was good enough.

  23. Reflex - May 2, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    You should not have a cat if you have to rip their fingers off in order to tolerate them. Cats are fairly easy to train, I recommend a can of compressed air, just the sound freaks them out. My cat has never shredded anything, but I spent the time when she was a kitten training her with a can of air.

    But I know, its easier to just mutilate the animal than spend the time required to train them.

    I do have strong opinions on this. Pets do not exist merely for owner convenience. They are a responsibility.

    • jarathen - May 2, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      If a cat has to either die or undergo a procedure that, while painful, doesn’t seem to have any long-lasting effects (aside form a lessened ability to climb, jump, and tear up carpet while running through the house), I’m gonna guess the cat would choose life.

      I’m not a fan of declawing myself, and I understand that it’s basically giving your cat the Davos Seaworth treatment, but it’s a compromise that many cats are made to make in exchange for a safe and happy living environment.

      It’s not ideal, but compared to the alternative….

      • Reflex - May 2, 2013 at 3:06 PM

        False equivalence. The cat does not necessarily have to die, there are no-kill shelters. If Craig cared that much about the cat living he would simply donate to the shelter or help the cat find a new home. But the real point is that cats are completely trainable. It is not a ‘adopt and declaw vs permit it to be put down’ equation. Its “adopt and train the animal vs adopt and cut its fingers off so I don’t have to train it”.

        My significant other is a zoologist with a focus on cats. She can run a person through the mental changes that occur to a cat from various things, ranging from feral to domesticated, and including declawing. It is not good. We would not suggest doing these things to a human, or cut off an unruly child’s fingers to prevent problems.

        A pet owner has a responsibility for training their animals. If they are unwilling to do so, then they should not have pets in the first place. Other living things do not exist only at human beings convenience.

      • Craig Calcaterra - May 2, 2013 at 3:24 PM

        I have had cats with claws and made efforts to train them. It was unsuccessful. They were too old to declaw by then so we left it as is.

        Look, I appreciate your view on all of this. But we dont’ neuter humans either. It is not a level playing field nor will it ever be or should it ever be.

        If my vet or the shelter I got the cat from thought it was problematic it would give me pause. If more people come around to your view and declawing is eventually outlawed, I will certainly abide by the law. But as it is, I’m sitting here right now with a very happy cat on my lap, purring like crazy and being her usual self. And she’ll be here for the rest of her life.

      • Reflex - May 2, 2013 at 3:48 PM

        Most vets do not perform this operation in the US anymore. Yes you found one of the remaining unethical ones. No one who understands animal biology will claim that the cat is unaffected.

        You are correct, we do not neuter humans and it is not a level playing field. But that does not give us license to continue such procedures of convenience. Do you also feel it is harmless to debark a dog? And I’m sorry you have had difficulty training cats, but honestly it is not that difficult. There are also other alternatives for the truly lazy like SoftPaws that will simply cover the claws so they cannot do scratching damage but remain useful for the usual gripping tasks.

      • dluxxx - May 2, 2013 at 4:18 PM

        Kudos on the SOIAF reference.

      • Craig Calcaterra - May 2, 2013 at 4:28 PM

        You are absolutely wrong to say “most vets do not perform this procedure” stuff. Many do, I realize. But sites that keep track of such things like:

        List five in the state of Ohio who don’t.

        I did not shop around for a vet who would do the procedure. It is the same vet I’ve been using for years and years.

      • Reflex - May 2, 2013 at 5:14 PM

        I do not know the organization in question, but their records are incomplete and poorly defined. There are legitimate medical reasons for declawing, and a vet who refuses to declaw in those cases would be doing a disservice to the animal. Both of the vets I’ve used in Washington state do not declaw unless medical circumstances justify it. Neither are on that list under either classification.

        You are correct, I am probably asserting too much when I say ‘most’. But it is certainly the direction things are going. And that is a good thing.

        BTW, will you ever acknowledge that surgery of convenience is probably not a good thing in general? Or that you had alternatives to declawing that you declined to take?

  24. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 2, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    Replace Uggla with Pastornicky and you at least get some good defense with no bat. Uggla is a no-glove/no-bat kinda guy right now, so really he is just there to scuff up the infield dirt a little.

  25. stlouis1baseball - May 2, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    “Most vets do not perform this operation in the US anymore. Yes you found one of the remaining unethical ones.”

    Bullshit alert! Bullshit alert! Bullshit alert! Bullshit alert! Bullshirt alert!

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