On Saturday, my nephew won an award (I won’t say exactly what it was to forestall you STALKERS) and I am SO proud of him. Also, I’d like to know how the holy hell he got old enough to get an award like that, since this was him just yesterday:
Yesterday or 11 years ago, same difference.
Congratulations, Brian! You make your old Auntie Rah-Bah proud!
It’s been five years since we humiliated ourselves on national television!
Seems like just yesterday.
I tell you what, Friday was a total shithole of a day. It was ugly and gray and just kind of blah out, and I would like to see some sunshine at SOME POINT IN MY LIFE IF THAT’S A POSSIBILITY, and I knew I had ten thousand errands to run, so I got out of bed a little after 6:00, already feeling like I was running behind.
I did all my usual morning stuff – litter boxes, kitten snack, clean up the kitchen, make the bed, shower and dress, posted an entry – and was just checking my email before I walked out the door to get my errand-running under way when Fred called.
“The [local charitable organization] will be there between 10 and 2!” he announced.
We’d needed to find a new home for the old couches as well as a bunch of other stuff (a 27″ TV, a TV stand, a chair, some baskets – stuff that couldn’t easily be given away on the giveaway page) and Fred had joined the local Freecycle group the night before and tried to send out a message. But the Freecycle group is moderated and we waited and waited and waited, and when it had been more than 12 hours and the message hadn’t gone through, we shrugged and decided “Fuck it” and that we’d see if a local charity could come get everything.
I hadn’t expected they’d be able to come so soon, though, which threw a wrench into my shopping plans. Also, I’d wanted to go get a few groceries to make a cake I’d found in Cooking Light magazine, but I couldn’t leave because it was after 9:00 when Fred called to tell me they would be here between 10 and 2, and I didn’t want to run the risk of being gone when they showed up.
And also, I couldn’t – didn’t want to – bake the cake after they left, because the casserole we were having for dinner had to cook for three hours, so I couldn’t make the cake until after 5, and by that point in the day I don’t like to bake.
Yes, they’re lame excuses but you know what? SHUT UP.
So I went from a dreading-the-shopping mood to a OH-GREAT-NOW-I-CAN’T-GO-SHOPPING-AS-I’D-PLANNED-THE-MAN-IS-ALWAYS-HOLDING-ME-BACK mood, and after I hung up the phone (Fred: “Are you in a bad mood now?” Me: “NO. SHUT UP. I HATE YOU.”) I slammed around the house and tried to decide what to do, and what I decided to do was spend some time with the foster kittens (yes, kittenS, more on that in a later section) and HG rubbed up against me and purred and rolled around on his back and told me he loved me and butted his head against mine, and that put me in a better mood. At least until I left the guest bedroom, when I was immediately back in my bad mood.
I did some cleaning, which did not involve vacuuming up the furball dust bunnies floating around the house (I love Spring; I hate the Spring shedding of the winter coat because with 9 cats that adds up to a lot of goddamn fur) and sat in front of my computer surfing the web and sat and glared out at the ugly, rainy day. Finally, I decided I needed to go out and check on the little chickens and check to see if there were any eggs waiting to be gathered in the chicken coop and I needed to take the compost bucket out to the compost heap, so I put on my boots (I finally got my new ones from LL Bean. They’re comfortable but tight around my calves THANKS FOR MAKING ME FEEL FAT, LL BEAN.) and my rain coat and headed out to the compost heap.
The pigs had been in their shelter, but they heard me sloshing across the ditch so came running out to see if I was bringing them food. I had a white chocolate candy bar for them – rumor has it they really like chocolate – so after I dumped the compost, I took the candy bar to them. The little one was a big fan of the white chocolate, he ran around in circles with melted white chocolate drooling from his mouth as he begged for more. The big one was kind of “Eh” on the white chocolate front.
I went from the pig yard to the garage, where the little chickens are still being kept in the brooder, and I stood and talked to them, and they walked around and looked curiously up at me. I’ll have to get another movie of them – they’re no longer scared by “Hellooooooo, little chickies!”, just curious. I left the garage and headed for the chicken yard and realized I didn’t have anything for the chickens. I almost always bring them a cup of cracked corn, but this time around I’d forgotten. Fred keeps chicken scratch in his workshop though, so I went in there to grab a cupful.
I looked carefully into the bag of scratch before I put my hand in there, because there are mice living in Fred’s workshop and they like to eat the scratch and I didn’t particularly want one of them climbing up my arm because I didn’t have the energy to dance around screaming. There were no mice, so I dipped the glass jar he keeps out there into the bag, filled it halfway with scratch and headed for the door.
I took one step out the workshop door, and the next thing I knew, I was half-laying on the ground.
“What the fuck?” I asked the chickens, who were standing and staring hopefully at me. There was a patch of mud right outside the door I hadn’t noticed – washed there by the rain – and I’d stepped directly into it and hadn’t even had time to think “Are you fucking kidding me, I’m FALLING?!” the way I usually do on the way down. Just, ZOOP!, down I went. Into the mud. And I hurt my knee and pulled a little muscle in my back and got mud all over everything I was wearing.
“Jesus goddamn motherfucking christ on a jumped up motherfucking sidebar I do not believe this fucking SHIT!” I informed Frick as I tossed chicken scratch into the chicken yard. I had actually managed to hold the jar of chicken scratch aloft as I fell, and I’m sure that when I’m an 80 year-old woman hobbling around with a bad back, I will greatly appreciate the unbroken jar, of which we have ten thousand or so.
Frick gave me a sympathetic look and then was all “Oh, food!” and ran off to peck at the ground with her sisters and McLovin.
I checked for eggs, then went inside, threw everything I was wearing into the washer, and put on clean clothes.
I talked to Fred briefly (and when I told him I’d fallen, he LAUGHED and THEN asked if I was okay, because he’s a bastard. It matters not that I would have done the same damn thing, he’s still a bastard.) and decided to put dinner in the oven so it could cook, and then it would be done by 2:00, and I could go get the ingredients for my cake and bake it, and we could just warm up the casserole for dinner and we would have yummy, yummy cake.
The guys from the local charity showed up a few minutes after 1:00. They loaded the small stuff first, and then when they lifted the first couch to carry it out the door, Joe Bob – who had inexplicably decided that it was time to take a nap up inside the couch – FLEW out of the bottom of the couch and somehow levitated across the room, bounced off one wall, bounced off another wall, and flew down the hallway, without ever once touching the floor.
“He seemed a little scared,” commented one of the men.
“Yeah, he’s not fond of people,” I said.
They got the couches loaded onto the truck with no issues, handed me a receipt, and left.
I called Fred to tell him they’d come and gone and Fred said “Have you done a cat count?” and so I spent the next ten minutes walking around the house and locating cats. I couldn’t find Miss Stank anywhere, and I started to worry that she’d been up inside one of the couches and when she’s really scared she tends to freeze, and I walked around the house and said to Fred “I don’t really want to pull out the big gun, but I will!” and Fred knew that “The big gun” equals bellowing “WHO READY FOR A SNACKIN’?” and if I bellowed that, I was going to have to come through with snackin’ time and I didn’t want to mess with that in the middle of the day.
I turned to go down the hallway to go upstairs and check under Fred’s bed for the third time, and Miss Stank was sauntering down the hallway from wherever she’d been hiding. She turned and glared her “FUCK YOU” glare at me, and went along her way.
All the cats having been located, I grabbed my purse and headed out to the grocery store for the cake ingredients I needed, which were as follows: chunky applesauce, almonds, light whipped cream.
I drove to the grocery store and I got my almonds. And I got my whipped cream. But do you suppose – DO YOU SUPPOSE – they’d have chunky applesauce? Would they, huh? OF COURSE NOT. So I put my goddamn almonds back and I put my goddamn whipped cream back and I said in a conversational voice “Why would they ever fucking have what I ever fucking need at this fucking piece of shit store?” (relax – there was no one around), and I left.
It was lunch time and I was hungry and all I wanted on this entire earth was a grilled chicken sandwich from Burger King, and so I did NOT go to the Burger King that’s always busy because if I have to wait longer than two or three minutes in a fast food drive-thru, I will start thinking to myself “Why should I pay this money for a crappy grilled chicken sandwich when I can go home and have a salad and grilled cheese sandwich?”, and I will pull out of line and I will drive home and eat a salad and grilled cheese sandwich and I will wish that I’d had that crappy grilled chicken sandwich. I drove, instead, to the Burger King that is always less busy, and I pulled up in the drive-thru and then I realized that there were at least 15 cars in line, and I said “OH FUCK YOU” and I pulled out of the parking lot and drove home.
I called Fred on the way home and I said “I am done with this goddamn shitty rainy piece of shit day. I AM THROUGH WITH IT. I AM FILING FOR DIVORCE FROM IT,” and I told Fred about my day and he told me about his day and then I said “Oh, and Crackhead Bob was walking by when the guys were loading up the couches, and he could barely take his eyes off of them, all loading couches on the truck, so I am SURE that in the time that I’ve been gone he’s broken into the house, killed all the cats, eaten all the cheese I’m going to make my grilled cheese sandwich out of, peed on my bed, and if I’m LUCKY he stole that big goddamn monstrosity of a TV while he was at it.”
I hung up and went home and I did not make the cake and I DO NOT CARE that it probably could have been made with regular applesauce, THAT IS NOT THE POINT. And I spent some time with the foster kittens, and I snuggled with Sugarbutt and I read some, and cleaned some, and I don’t remember what the hell else I did, but I’m sure it pissed me off.
After dinner (which was not, in fact, the casserole I’d made, but was instead a sub Fred brought home – someone at work gave it to him – and it was pretty good) we settled down to watch TV, and I threw all the pillows off the couch we don’t usually use and I laid down on the couch and covered up with some blankets, and Fred put Sweeney Todd in the DVD player.
“Did you see his hand twitch?” Fred said at some point, and I shifted around and tried to pretend like I hadn’t been sleeping.
“Um, no,” I said. A few minutes later I looked at the clock and realized I’d been dozing for at least half an hour. “I think I might have dozed off for a minute,” I said. “Who’s in the box?”
Fred wasn’t fooled, and he gave me a hard time about falling asleep, but I just really wasn’t that into the movie. I apparently am not a fan of Stephen Sondheim’s music, although there were one or two songs I kind of liked.
We stayed up a little later than usual, played with the foster kittens, and then Robyn And3rson’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day came to an end.
I had Big Planz for Saturday, but it was dismal and crappy and rainy out, so after Fred and I moved the hell out of some very heavy furniture – more about that later in the week, when I have pictures to share – I spent a lot of time with the foster kittens, read some, cleaned some (very little cleaning, though), and we sat down in front of the TV mid-afternoon and whiled away the afternoon watching things we’d recorded.
Sunday morning I got up, got my morning stuff done, went and got groceries, and then was thwarted in doing what I’d planned to spend the rest of the day doing, because I didn’t have a crucial piece of equipment (more on that later in the week, too), so I cleaned the house. I finally got all those damn cat hair dust bunnies vacuumed up – and when I was done with that, I was walking down the hall to put the vacuum cleaner away, and there were already two new huge tufts of cat hair in the hallway. Bastards.
I puttered around the house for the remainder of the day, and when the sun FINALLY showed up, Fred did a little dance of happiness, and we took a turn around the back forty (after stopping to feed the pigs some chocolate) to celebrate.
I love weekends, but this one certainly could have started off a lot better – or maybe the weekend was so nice BECAUSE it started off so crappily?
So, about a week and a half ago, right after we’d gotten Smudgie and HG, I got an email from the shelter manager. One of her other foster parents had two semi-feral cats in her house, they’d been there for a while, had been spayed and had all their shots, but she wasn’t having any luck taming them. The shelter manager asked if I wanted to give it a try. I said yes, and talked to the woman who had them, and we decided that she’d capture the kittens (who were about 6 months old) and bring them over when she could. That was last Saturday, and she wasn’t able to get her hands on them (she said they’d follow her from room to room, but if she tried to touch them, they’d run away) and said she’d keep trying and would let me know when she had them.
Meanwhile, Smudgie went to the pet store on Tuesday (she was adopted on Saturday, by the way) and HG was by himself and he was getting marginally friendlier, just a tiny bit more each day. This past Thursday, the woman called and said she’d gotten one of the kittens, and was it okay if she brought it over? I said yes, of course, and she showed up with this little black and white kitten and we put the carrier in the room with HG (who was very curious and like “Oh, did you bring me a friend?!” – he really likes other cats a lot) and opened the carrier and just left them alone.
Ten or fifteen minutes after the woman left, I went upstairs and the kitten – whose name is Splash – had come out of the carrier and moved into a padded pyramid, burrowed under the cushion on the bottom, and wanted me to leave her alone, which she communicated by looking at me in terror if I lifted the cushion to look at her.
I was worried that HG would take on her unfriendly manner, so I moved him into the guest bedroom Thursday evening, and mid-day Friday, he broke and gave up his scaredy-cat ways. He’s turned into a total lovebug – a little wary at first, then once you pet him once or twice he paces back and forth and demands to be petted and “talks” and flops against my leg and kneads and lets me pick him up.
When I went into the foster kitten room (where Splash was) Friday morning, she was hiding behind the closet door. I touched her on the head once or twice, and she stared at me and shook. I put a little plate of soft cat food on the floor and left her alone. I went back later in the morning, and she had moved to hide in the litter box. I’ll let the scared kitties do just about anything they want to do except hide in the litter box. There are plenty of other places to hide, so I lifted her out, and she ran under the dresser and hid there. I spent a couple of hours in the foster kitten room talking to her, looking at her, and reading aloud to her so she’d get used to the sound of my voice. The entire time, she stayed under the dresser. Later that day she was hiding in the litter box again, so again I took her out. I tried holding her and she allowed it, but she shook the entire time.
Pretty much since Friday afternoon, she’s been hiding under the dresser. I finally put a cat bed under there for her, because I didn’t like the idea of her lying on the cold floor. After ignoring it for a day, she climbed in, so maybe that’s progress. I know she’s been out of the bed, because she used the litter box and finally ate some of the soft food I left for her (there’s dry food available all the time) and at one point I heard the sound of a cat toy jingling. Any time I go in there, though, she’s under the dresser.
HG continued being perfectly friendly toward me (a little less friendly toward Fred, but I suspect that’s because Fred hasn’t spent as much time with him) and mid-day Saturday I thought that maybe if I put him back in the foster kitten room with Splash, he’d kind of lead by example. I did that, and she continues to hide under the dresser. I got her to eat a kitty treat, and she hissed at me, which I consider a step forward, because at least she’s not just sitting there looking terrified.
At this point, all I can do is spend lots of time in there and try to get her used to being around me and hope she comes around.
2007: No entry.
2006: You WISH you were me.
2005: Off to Gatlinburg.
2004: Our palates are too immature, I suppose.
2003: Now I know why, when the camera and sound guy were setting up and I chirped “Oh, is this the camera that’s going to make me look like Ashley Judd?”, everyone laughed so hard.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Then he and the spud went swimming yesterday, since the pool’s up to a sultry 66.