Attention Star Wars Nerds, I am Naming the 4 Kittens with Jedi Flava

They definitely deserve Star Wars names, as pointed out by Tina in the FB comments. The thing is, I’m kind of a Star Wars purist — there were three movies, and that’s it. Fuck Ani. Fuck Qui-Gon Neeson. Fuck double-bladed lightsabers.

The Internet isn’t much help as far as names that people have already thought of – Darth Claw, Jabba the Cat, and the like. I’m not really a cat person, and I need to feel like I tried a little bit harder.

So here’s a list of what I have so far:

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1. Lando Meowrissian (well, I did say a little bit, right?): Lando for short. What can I say? I’m a big believer in Billy Dee.

 

Note: As a group, I am tempted to go with Rogue Squadron or simply, the Rogues. They are little wild things, after all.

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2. Commander Wedge Antilles: Because he was Rogue Leader and the only pilot to survive both Death Star runs. He was also a pilot on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back, the best Star Wars movie ever made.

 

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3. Admiral Hackbar: Because hairball.

 

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4. Akira Kurosawa: With Star Wars, George Lucas basically made a Murican version of The Hidden Fortress, but don’t take my word for it (side-by-side YouTube comparison).

 

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5. Wickat: yub yub

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I just remembered that the last kitten I had, in Japan, was named Yoda. Yoda, the one-eyed kitten who my sister hand-carried to America and was possibly eaten by a coyote in his later years. In Yoda’s honor, I will put all of these new kitten posts in his category: Yoda the Kitten.

Any suggestions?

Boba Fett Birthing Station

So my wife left for Japan for two weeks yesterday, and shit got immediately real. On top of single parenting, working,  and doing homework for Masters class, I was somewhat unhappy to find that a feral cat had given birth behind our outside AC unit.

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It looked like a litter of 3, but I’ve now confirmed 4. I guess the only thing that made me really happy about this (besides inherent kitty cuteness, which does not work on me so much right now because cuteness implies children, and I have my own brood to take care of right now, thank you) was that mommy cat moved them into a box of old stuff, and they slept in a Boba Fett mask last night.

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Yoda Revisited

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Looking through some photos I took last year brought back memories of the one-eyed kitten we rescued and eventually named Yoda. His was a happy ending.
My sister took him as carry-on when she went back home to the states last summer. He now lives at my family’s house and apparently weighs more than our Shih Tzu.
I have missed having pets here in Japan.

The Missing Kitten Epilogue, or, How a Ferret Stole My Thunder

So I suddenly got to thinking about the little black kitty I rescued a few months back, because, well, I miss him (BTW, the name Yoda stuck). I realize that I perhaps never related his ultimate fate here (a true catblogger I shall never be – hurray!). He was accepted as carry-on luggage when my sister went back home, and he now lives with Adam’s cat, Boo, and my dad’s little anklebiter dog, Jak, at our home in Fountain Valley, CA (AKA Pleasantville – a city so nondescript it’s often chosen as a relocation site for the FBI’S witness protection program).
I still haven’t posted my pics from my trip down to Kyushu (upon review I found them to be a bit -ahem! – disappointing) in July, but the trip was memorable as I went for the sole purpose of passing Yoda off to my little sis, and basically carried him in my arms everywhere I went. Girlfriend did not accompany me on this trip, so it was kind of nice basking in the glory of cute cuddly one-eyed glory afforded by the little rascal (A message from Justin’s auto-disclaimer circuit: It was nice in the sense that I could appreciate how a single, unattached man would have enjoyed such attention), especially since I discovered there’s not a whole lot of places that will kick you out for holding a cute ball of fuzz to your chest, even if they have “No Pet” signs. It’s kind of embarassing, but at the Japanese pseudo-mall, I would walk into a store and feel like a cool guy for Having the Coolest Toy, the kind Not for Sale in most stores.
Anyway, cut to the Kikuchi gorge, which is a beautiful, well, gorge – with a river running through it where people go to hike and take in nature in its purest (in Japan, anyway) form. The majority of people who visit this place – at most – take a daypack with drinks and snacks, except for the occasional nerd photographer that takes a huge camera bag, tripod, and other geekcessories w/obligatory yellow NIKON tags on everything (don’t even say it – I only took my consumer-grade Coolpix and a lens cloth). I took great pride in only packing in a kitten (had my little bro carry the backpack). So I’m in “Got a Kitten for the World to See” mode, hiking the trails and making people happy when they see me, when I come to a narrow part of the trail and stop to let people coming down pass. The last person in the gaggle is a withered old lady in a sunhat and Chanel shades, holding a ferret in her arms.
Suddenly aware that the cool factor of my kitten has dropped several degrees, I awkwardly try to start up a conversation with the stupidest opening line I can think of: “Is that a ferret?”
She answers, “yes.” (I can just picture those ancient eyes rolling up behind those Chanels.)
I try another angle; for some unconscious reason I need somehow to steal this venerable pair’s thunder, but am apparently ill-equipped in the wit department on this particular day: “Nice weather today, isn’t it?”
This does not even elicit a response and I can picture the words “jesus hurryupandgetthe FUCK OUTTA MY WAY!” written all over her face.
Yoda, who had been asleep during the hike, wakes up and starts wriggling around in my arms. He wakes to find an extremely interested predator staring straight at him from two feet away. There is a moment frozen in eternity when I can see the ferret is about to pounce – which I use as a chance to escape up the trail, away from the demonic obachan and her pet hellhound. To be quite honest, I don’t know who was more upset, me or the cat, but I pet his head as we retreat, mumbling “must stay away from eeevil ferretses, gollum – they only wants tasty kitten gutses!”
In retrospect, that kitten was a blast to carry around. I have a feeling I could stop using underarm deodorant, if I only had a puppy. Hell, with a baby I could stop wearing socks…
Hmm…

Land of Packaging

So I checked the kitten in and I’m sitting next to some smelly foreigners at the gate. They are big and hairy – the gorillaest one actually has hairs sticking out through the back of his knit polo shirt. Gross.
Anyway, I brought the kitten in a red picnic basket thingy we bought somewhere for like 500 yen. Nam found this free coupon on the web for a rental cat carrier so I figured we’d transfer him over to it at check-in. The staff, however, had another idea. They took the top off the rental carrier, placed the entire picnic basket (with sleeping Yoda inside) into it, padded all four sides of the basket with cardboard and bubble wrap, then taped the whole contraption together and screwed the carrier back together. I am beyond asking why at this point, but it was reminiscent of a high-end department store where they use bags on boxes on wrappings on inner boxes wth partitions, ribbon, and a cherry on top.

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Found out we can sent the kitten by ANA to Fukuoka from Itami (Osaka airport) for 2,000 yen (20 bucks). The debauchery I cancelled in Nara/Wakayama this weekend is back on track!
I wonder if the one cat per plane rule is for domestic flights as well?
I’m sure gonna miss the little carpet-shitter.

Hand Carry It Is

I’m planning to carry the little booger all the way to Kyushu this weekend. I’ll pass him off to my sister, drink some Kyushuvians under the table again, eat some Aso beef-on-a-stick, and come back on a return flight for work and a new chapter of Talking with Myself. That’s my temporary plan, anyway.
Yoda will be a good American, I just know it. He fucking hates the Taliban.
Oh, in case you haven’t noticed: I’m on a blogging binge today.

My Little American

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MIRACLE OF MIRACLES!
If all goes according to my master plan, by this time next week Yoda the kitten will be on US soil, forever! We (as in, “Nam”) are working hard to have my sister hand carry him back home next week. Today, the vet announced that Yoda’s eye has completely healed (as in, “sealed totally shut” – he’ll never see out of the eye, but it won’t kill him, either) due to our daily eye washing regimen and, I suspect, also the fish oil capsules I’ve been splitting with him. (He loves the fish oil. I merely tolerate it. But we both have disgusting breath for a few hours after. Bonding at its root levels.)
The vet estimates his age at almost exactly two months old, and gave him a rabies shot today (poor baby!). I am sad because Yoda has been keeping me company during the times when I usually talk to myself – I’ve been teaching him about Life, instead. I’m very proud to be raising a bilingual kitten. He can “nyan” in Japanese and “meow” in English… Been training him for the interview at Immigration, you see. Nobody’s gonna call my kitten an FOB.
Did you know that there is an actual aviation regulation that permits only one feline per aircraft? Cool. My little sis is calling to reserve the slot now. Apparently, you can carry on pets or check them in as luggage, although carry-on is sometimes frowned upon (I guess if it wasn’t, the terrorists would be using pit bulls instead of nail clippers).
Much more to research. Will report later. The best thing to come out of this may be the addition of the line “Cat Exporter” to my resume. Aside from my kitty being safe, healthy, and American, that is. Woooooooooooooooooooot!