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Kicka has died

Our 20-plus years old, tiny Russian cat, Kicka, died on this first day of Christmas at 2:43 am. Her fearless little heart kept on beating for another two days while her fat-free body was shutting down. Kicka died on Joanna's lap, with Julie and me petting her. Kicka died at home, surrounded by her loving family. I wish I could have the same death when my time comes. It seems unlikely, however.

A search of Google, yesterday at 11 pm, provided the following results: "Cat" generated 745 million hits, only behind "Technology," 3,620 million hits; "Die" 1,210 million hits; "Car," 1,160 million hits; "History," 1,150 million hits; "Law," 912 million hits; and "Science," 825 million hits. "Cat" has virtually tied with "Baby," 764 million hits. "Cat" beat handily "Sex,", 702 million hits; "Energy," 550 million hits; "Dog," 371 million hits; and "Enginee…

A wish list for 2011

Our little cat, Kicka, all bundled up, is lying semi-conscious and half-paralyzed on top of Joanna, who in turn fell asleep on a sofa. So I have time to reflect on this year and dream about the next one. Recently, I was asked to predict the most important events in 2011, and found it impossible. Instead, I have attempted to be wildly optimistic and skip the usual "peak-everything" stuff. Here is the result:

The Happy New Year 2011 will see a thorough public discussion of what needs to be done to make the U.S. a more resilient society and economy. Federal government, Congress and Senate will start working together on the development of a massive national electrified railroad system to transport goods and people. We will come off the high horse and stop hallucinating about building bullet train tracks in a railroad system that is decidedly mid-twentieth century or older. Many cities across the U.S., will embark on the crash investment in light rail and other alternative…

Kicka is dying...

My 21-year old cat, Kicka (Kitty in Polish) is dying. Life is leaving her in tiny puffs, and there is nothing we can do. Joanna, Julie and I are trying to feed Kicka warm broth. She no longer eats solid food and is barely able to lift her head to look at us with these bright, knowing eyes of hers that now shine less and less. Do you know that today one cannot buy chicken broth with fat? We obsess too much about obesity to be eating normal whole food.

We adopted Kicka in Berkeley in early 1991. She was a tiny, visibly abused Russian cat. All these years she could not completely warm up to anyone, perhaps with the exception of Sophie, my middle daughter. In human years, Kicka is over 90 years of age. She survived in a pretty rough neighborhood in Oakland Hills, hiding from the coyotes, raccoons, hawks and owls, and fighting other cats. All of the cats were bigger than Kicka, so she lost her front teeth and almost died of infected wounds.

The move to Austin brought Kicka back to life.…
I have just migrated much of my old U.C. Berkeley website to the new UT Austin one. Sifting through my old posts on biofuels, agriculture, ecology and energy, I have observed with sadness that these posts remain as true today as they were five or six years ago. The more things change the more they stay the same.