Wednesday, June 29, 2011

For a Few Dollars More

It was only a year and a half ago that we got rid of our fourth vehicle, "The Green Monster". Green Monster was a Ford Aerostar XL which had served us long and nobly while we renovated the house; transporting stone and brick and all manner of timbers and tile. Not to mention paint, toilets, and mortar. But the renovation was finished. We had 4 vehicles for 3 people and the insurance was expensive...

This last weekend we bought a "new" used vehicle. We had need for a fourth vehicle is a dark green 2000 Volvo S80. Once a really high end car, it is now a plucky oldster soldiering on amidst the ravages of time and little people: Its 4 disc CD player jammed with WAY TOO MANY CD's and the back side window shades missing their trim. It is a well travelled vehicle, having begun service in Washington State, then moving to the San Francisco Bay area, then on to Hawaii and finally, back to California, but in the south of the state this time.

The engine and drive train are in really good shape, we were told. It was sold "As Is" we were told. We knew what that meant.

We wrote our check for a ridiculously small amount and drove directly to Discount Tire to replace all four tires, none of which were street legal. Then the work began: The owners manual was downloaded, printed, punched and 'notebooked". Goo Gone and a razor blade took care of the leftover glue from the decals that had been pasted over the headlights. Saddle soap reconditioned the worn leather seats. Burned out tail light bulbs were replaced. Floor mats were purchased to replace the non-existant ones. The windshield washer reservoir was refilled (only to find that there was a missing connector to the hose feeding the washer nozzles - the engine compartment has now been thoroughly washed). A battery in the second remote was replaced - now we have two working remotes. Other parts are on order (new headlight wiper assemblies, washer nozzle, rearview mirror...).

Thank goodness we (The Bearded One) have/(has) the ability to take care of all of the little things...

Thank goodness we have the funds to take care of all of the little things that will allow the "new" vehicle to serve long and well for many more miles.


Thursday, June 23, 2011


It happened the night before last...
Rufus the Unhinged tried to make  leap onto the bookcase (5.5 feet) from a standing start.  He almost made it - getting his front paws on top of the case and scrambling valiantly with his hind claws.  He was undone by the placemat under the metal alligator sculpture which crashed down on top of him in all of it's purple, pink, and lime green glory.  The alligator (an inheritance from my cousin who collected modern art) survived undamaged.  Not so Rufus who seems to be sporting a bruised hip and tail, and the floor which now has a quarter inch deep gouge where the sculpture ultmately landed.  Rufus will probably heal if he is allowed to live, we'll repair the floor eventually.
What will not recover is our collective nerves as this event happened at 10 PM when we had all gone to sleep early and which was heard by the entire household all of whom came running to find out what had happened.

Dang Cat!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

If Looks Could Kill

Katsu sat by the litter box, shoulders hunched, head slightly down, a glare on her little kitty face. I  was the one who put her cone back on last night!  If she had her way, I would be a dead mouse lying stiff on the laundry room floor.  And then she would eat my carcas.  And leave what little was left for The Bearded One to find - just as a warning.

Katsu is NOT happy about her post-surgical cone.  The Bearded One and Stubble are also upset about the cone but for different reasons.  Stubble's bath mat has been marked two or three times.  She fits into the litter box cone and all, but that isn't REVENGE.  And Stubble is the one who drove her to the Vet on that fateful day.

The Bearded One cares more about the livingroom accent rug than the bathmat and she is systematically destroying the corners.  She started doing this (chewing on the rust colorred accent rug) as a small kitten but since last week's surgery she seems to feel that if she can't run around with her brother and sister, she may as well lay there and chew.

Stubble and  The Bearded One  have tried everything imaginable to get her out of the cone.  They started with an ace bandage wrapped around her torso  - which just slid off over her "hips" as she walked.  We finally ended up with the old standby  - the newborn "onesie" - which is fine until she sits down and slouches and her belly (and stitches) hang out below the t-shirt hem.

 Last night I bought a slightly largter onesie (0-3 month size), removed her cone and put her in the t-shirt with the "through the legs snapping exentsion" over her tail... and that worked out fine as long as she was right with us where we could see if she tried to disembowl herself by pulling out stitches.   She very happily groomed every inch of herself that was not covered by  onesie, ate, used the litter box, and then fell asleep in her donut bed for the rest of the evening.  Getting her back into the cone when I went to bed at 11 PM required assistance from Stubble (who apologised up and down to a very indignant Katsu).

"Why not just leave her in the t-shirt all night?" he asked.

Because I'm not willing to take her to the vet tomorrow and explain why the stitches are gone and her guts and hanging out,  that's why.

Which brings us to this morning's evil stare.  I did not just come downstairs and remove the cone.....I am a very bad person and deserve everything that she dishes out to me.  Duly noted.

Monday, June 13, 2011

and What Shall Be His Name-O

We have a very "bad" habit in our house.  We name our vehicles.  My former (as of yesterday) car was "The Purple Bullet" named for the feeling that one got while riding at (very - for me) high speeds on the highways of Arizona.  On Ice.

The Purple Bullet was a wonderful car, just a bit small for us now that we no longer have the HUGE mini-van that we named "The Green Monster".  Why they call an extended body mini-van "mini" is beyond me, but Green Monster carried us and all of our renovation supplies without complaint for many years.  It carried 12x12 travertine for the kitchen and dining room, it carried .75 yards of dirt for fill around the pond, it carried timbers and bricks and pavers and rocks...and we sadly let it go to charity a year ago because 4 vehicles for 3 people is really an extravagance.

The last few family trips, however, pointed up the Purple Bullet's limitations.  Full of passengers, there was little space for luggage.  Trips to the boat required two cars because equipment/supplies/people could not all fit into one vehicle.  Sadly, the need for a larger carrying capacity was obvious.  If we were to get a decent trade in for Purple Bullet it had to happen now.

We now own something with carrying capacity (well, the bank and us).  But it needs a name.  One will come to us in time but for now, "He Who Shall Be Nameless" is just too evil to contemplate and with all due respect to Bob Seger, "The Silver Bullet" doesn't show proper respect for my former intrepid vehicle...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cat in Heat

The problem is that she has been spayed.  I understand from reliable internet sources that these things happen sometimes.  A little left over ovarian tissue is all it takes.

At first we thought that she was just being more cuddly than usual.  Then Stubble noticed the "butt up, tail in the air" pose.  Then we all noticed the "vocalization".  Last night she marked Stubble's bathroom by the open window to let the neighborhood Toms know that she is both available and willing...

Tomorrow she has an appointment at Prod-Your-Pet Veterinary Hospital for evaluation and (probably) additional surgery.

Poor little Katsu!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Food O'Clock (credit for title to Darby Conley of "Get Fuzzy")

As the kitties have gotten larger they have, as most kitties will, begun to take issue with the manufacturer's recommendations for daily food allowance.  Unfortunately for us, they begin to take issue at 3 AM.  Their usual time for expressing their displeasure used to be 4 AM which is the time that we get up anyway so it wasn't a problem, but now that their rumbling little tummies wake them earlier, the game is on.

First they began to play "attack that toe".  A game that I taught them when they were cute little monsters and I was suitably armored in layers of blankets.  Now that Summer approaches, that game has quickly lost it's appeal for me as the layers of protection have diminished.  When they attacked HIS feet, my husband unceremoniously dumped them off of the bed.  Then they began to race across the bed playing the "thundering herd of elephants" game of Psychokitty fame.  After a few mighty slams into the bedroom wall, The Bearded One ejected them from the bedroom.  Unfortunately for us, Kimiko is aware that our doors do not fit the doorjams tightly and has learned how to "knock" on the door by throwing her furry little 9 pound body into it...
I think that we're going to lose this battle.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Always the Mommy

Do people ever just flipping LOOK?  One trip to "where something ought to be/used to be" - not finding it right there and the result is:  "Where is it?  I know we have it!"
As if I came in the night like the fairies and moved things around - just to play with their minds...
Box of light bulbs found.  In plain sight.  In the middle of a table.  In a lighted room.  With LABELS on the box identifying what it was.
Just plain laziness.