Monthly Archives: October 2011

Kitten update

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I felt I should include an update on the kitten I rescued yesterday. He was pretty good until about 3am, then the mewing started. I have earplugs in my nightstand, and was not slow to use them. Hubby either didn’t know I had another pair, or was too scared of waking me up to ask for them. So, he got NO sleep – up at least 4 times, culminating in him sleeping on the couch with a huge, heavy pillow over his head. He said at one point, he went into the spare room and lay on the floor with his pillow for 15 mins trying to make kitty feel better. Aw.

Neither of our cats or the dog got any sleep either, they were too excited by the odd noises from behind the closed door.

I started getting up for kitten around 6. Got him more food and water, as he’d spilled the water. It didn’t help, he spilled it again. I got him a new clean, dry towel next – a good idea as he finally had peed on the one in the cage. The next time, I gave him a little stuffed toy for comfort; one I didn’t mind having to throw away if it turned out the little guy had something contagious. The last time I went in, I poked a dowel rod through the bars and gently stroked his head and back, and that did the trick. He was lonely. Not so very feral, then. Good.

He also looked better. He’d taken the time to clean his little face of the dirt that had accumulated. His nose and paws were still stained a bit brown from being outside so long, but the pink now showed through. A cat that cleans itself is a healthy cat, another good sign. No snot or eye-boogers, either. Yay!

Hubby was nearly late to work from sleeping through the alarm on his phone and being exhausted. I said he could have the car to make it on time, and I’d walk up later and get it, as I wasn’t awake enough to drive yet. I got the car around 10:15, came home and packed up kitten for the trip to the vet, about 30 mins away.

Got there no problem; kitten was silent, staring at my face the whole trip. The Dr said he was a he (I knew it, from the screaming & neediness – not a judgement on men, just male cats), and he didn’t have the nasty fatal disease they were worried about. Ears eyes nose & mouth looked good too, but he had a sore hip from an unknown altercation. A little painkiller shot, and now what do I do with him, sir? Well, they had no room to store him for pick up, so I could take him back home and schedule a pick up, or take him to Ballyhaunis myself. I said I’d be glad to take him, if I knew where it was. They were too stupid to offer to tell me, so I didn’t bother to ask – the directions would have been suspect. No answer at the MSPCA cattery, either, but I left my mobile no.

I started back home, and realised I was to pass our vet’s office. I stopped in to ask if they knew where the cattery was, nearly gave him away to another customer, and got a call back from the SPCA. Whew. Got my directions, on my way!

Had one panic and had to call the hubby for help – Ballyhaunis wasn’t signposted at a dead end T-junction. After one bad turn from iDJ’s also highly suspect directions, I found the place, and as per their request, rang to say I was there.

A lovely lady cradling a tiny terrier of some sort inside her fleece jacket greeted me and took me into the cat area, where I deposited the little guy into a much bigger cage containing three other kittens of his age. He did go and hide, but no hissing or growling. I gave some love to the two kittens that were asking for some, and then it was time to go.

I had been given some kitten food last night, so I donated that to the shelter along with a big box of unopened dog biscuits that our girl can’t have due to her allergies. I was never made to feel bad or guilty for bringing them another cat – and they have a lot, this is a no-kill shelter – and I was given some gently hinted ideas for helping them raise donations. Everything was clean: there was no odor or mess, and it was obvious the animals are loved, even in their dozens. How hard, so very hard, to do that job. I would fall in love every day, over and over.

The way I fell in love yesterday with a blue eyed white kitten with grey streaks on his head, back and tail. Yes, I’m crying now. Please don’t tell anyone.

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Aside

Semisonic, Closing Time.

Aaaaaaa! That is a replay of me screaming a few days ago, when I heard 3 seconds of this song before iDJ skipped over it. This song sucks.

Earworm OTD

What have I done…

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I caught a mostly feral kitten this eve. He was screaming non stop, and when I talked back, he started following me. So I got him to follow me home, into the house, and trapped the wee thing in a towel. I only got bitten once but it sounded like I was killing him. He’s in a cage, in a closed room my indoor, pampered boys aren’t allowed into. Called the SPCA as I cannot keep him. To a vet in the late morning to see if he is sick, if he’s fine then the SPCA will take him. If not, goodbye, little guy. Why can’t I be hard enough to turn away? I’m very sad for him already.

Stupid shit that makes me smile

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I was just looking through one of two clothing ‘junk drawers’ for Halloween costume accessories. I’m really excited about what I’m making iDJ go as this year, and I had to sort through the drawer full of scarves, bandannas, flowery hair clips, shawls, old undies I might fit into again, and weird and/or winter socks. I found some suitable gear for him, but I also found these:

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Aren’t they just the stupidest things you’ve ever seen? How can you be in a bad mood with ridiculous stuffed lions or alligators on your feet? How great is it that the lions have bellybuttons?They are warm, too. I’ll have to protect them from Lokii the fabric-eater, but I think they need to come out of the drawer and smile smarmily up at me this winter.

Aaa! I forgot an important part! My superduper hubby got me these; he does all the shopping. You gotta love a man that knows his wife is a goofball and proud of it. X

Why is my dog purple?

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I took the Queen for walkies today, go me! The weather was good (not pissing rain or looking like it was about to, not windy) and I was up, washed, motivated, and looking out the window at 3pm. The timing is important, because the local school lets out at 3:30 or thereabouts and I detest walking Herself through hordes of tweens. She doesn’t like them, they hog the pavement (sidewalk), and sometimes they try to pet her, which really freaks her the fuck out. I’m not thrilled to deal with them either, though I do like it when one says ‘that dog is savage!’ when we pass, because ‘savage’ means ‘awesomely cool’ and not ‘vicious throat-ripping beast.’

We had a good little walk, with no excitement. She did get to go into the post office with me, a rarity. I won’t take her inside if there’s a queue (unless it is people we know). She’s a big dog, I don’t want to scare anyone, and our post office is usually chock-full of old ladies. The Queen loves old ladies. When she loves you and wants to say hi, she does this funny front-legs bounce which can be intimidating. She’s under control, but just looks a bit excitable.

Today she got to put her feet up in the service window and say hi to the clerk; that was good.

We also went in the Paper Shop, to see if my mother in law was working. She wasn’t, but I had a little chat with one of her co-workers on issues of little importance. I do like my town.

We also had a short visit with Chris. Chris is… not all there. I believe the story is that he lives in a home for the handicapped, but by his own admittance. He always wears a suit, no tie. He perches his bony butt on the windowsills of various businesses up and down the main street and chain-smokes. Some days are bad days for him; when you say hello he doesn’t answer and his upper lip is caught on a snaggled lower tooth, making him look a bit deranged. Other days, like today, are good ones, and he’ll actually talk a moment and ask about the dog. He never remembers that he always asks the same things.

On the way home, Dogzilla likes to walk on the church wall as it gives her a nice perspective to survey every.last.moving.thing. I lean and wait while she checks out the ‘hood. Today, I noticed a purple spot on her lovely white fur. And another, smaller one, near it:

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I know the pic sucks. It’s just for funsies.

It took me a moment to puzzle out why my dog had purple spots. Then I remembered: she was on the couch with iDJ last night after dinner. He was drinking wine. Red wine. He spilled wine on the dog!

I think he could officially have a drinking problem… at the very least, getting it into his mouth!

Opinions on my blog appearance, please?

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Hiya. I’ve been thinking about my font, it is a bit serif-y for my taste. Any ideas? I’ve just left it the bog-standard it came with, but I’m sure it can be changed. I also want to ask if the font is too small. I pinch-zoom on my iPad, and don’t use a desktop anything, so I don’t know how it looks to y’all. Help?

If anyone says comic sans, you’ll be barred 🙂

I am emotionally attached to my plants.

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Pre-script, written after but edited to go before the post: I’ve made myself snort a laugh about this post: I just told a friend it was hard to write because I hate to get ‘sappy.’ Get it? Its a plant-pun. Oh, leaf me alone, I like puns.

I took and posted a picture on FB today that got me thinking about plants:

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The pic is of one of my lantana bushes that I grew from seed this year. I am very much in love with the four that grew and thrived for me, and I don’t want them to die. I’m so worried that I brought them inside last month so the hurricane winds and rain wouldn’t kill them. I’m also afraid our winter this year will be harsh again, and I know these are semi-tropical plants. I also think they aren’t too pleased to be indoors, and I keep a close eye on them.

I love my lantanas for two reasons. Firstly is because the house I grew up in, in NW Florida, had an empty lot next door that was full of native plants and scrub-brush. Prickly-pear cactus, strange fungi and mosses, wild rosemary, palmetto, pine trees, and lantana bushes. In retrospect, I actually did pay a lot of attention to the flora around me, but that’s probably because I was a very lonely and outdoorsy kind of kid. Anyhoo, the lantana were very close to our property, maybe even on it, as I was never sure where the boundary actually was. I never gave them much thought – they aren’t that pretty and the foliage has a strong smell – until fall arrived. In the autumn the Monarch butterflies would come through on their trek down to Mexico – not the great hordes you see in pictures, but enough that catching them with a butterfly net (ok, it was actually a little fishing net) was great fun and entertainment for hours. I’ve always loved the fall, and always will associate it with lantana: the unique smell it has, the pink and yellow flowers, and the delicate sipping tongues of the Monarchs.

When I moved to Ireland I was shocked to see tiny lantana plants for sale in our local posh (expensive) garden store. I tried not to shout, but what came out of my mouth was, “That’s a weed! How can they sell it for €20? It’s a stinky, huge weeeeeeed!”

But I secretly wanted one.

Last October, I got to go to visit my sister in South Carolina, to meet my only niece for the first time. I won’t go into great detail about the visit – it was a year ago and I was there for two weeks! I’d be here all day. Wish I had a blog then, though. Anyhow, one fine day we went to the beach, my little niece’s first ever visit. On the way back to the car I spotted a scraggly lantana, in seed, at the edge of the parking lot. So I gathered a few berries to bring home, not having any idea if, or how, they were meant to germinate.

Double-special, these little plants! A reminder of one of the few good memories of childhood. A bit of home, when I am so very far away from all the places my memories were formed, and a physical memento of a great visit and a ‘baby’s first’. Hopefully, I will have these little green friends forever.

Here’s another plant, a houseplant, that I have an emotional connection to:

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Doesn’t look like much, does it? It’s a common Christmas cactus. But it is special, because it comes from my grandmother’s cactus, originally. Grammy died in… oh hell…I’m guessing 1976, 1977 at the latest. I was really young, so I don’t have a reference point to pin it down more accurately. Grammy was our mom’s mom, and Mom inherited the cactus when her mother died. The cactus lived outside (Florida, remember?) and it bloomed around Thanksgiving (end of November) rather than Christmas, so we called it the Thanksgiving Cactus. Although, as you can see, it blooms for Halloween in Ireland – and also in late April or May – an Easter-ween cactus?

Fast forward to 1998, the last time I lived in Florida. When my mother died, I took a cutting from the Thanksgiving Cactus and started my own plant.

Fast forward again to 2005, when I moved to Ireland. I wasn’t allowed to bring my plants! I took cuttings from nearly everything I had growing. I couldn’t use soil, to prevent any potential disease being brought in. I put them in water, in glass jars, inside double zipper bags and then boxed them up in my shipping container in the dark for 5 weeks…

Some cuttings survived and grew again, but very few. The one I was really worried about was the Thanksgiving cactus – and you can see, it is fine, happy and healthy.

I have known this one plant for over 30 years. To me, this bit of beauty is more than a plant, it is a living gift from two beautiful women. I don’t have them anymore, but I do have a cactus that has grown and flowered for three generations of my family. Of course I love it.