Monday, March 3, 2014

Long Time Coming…But The Cats Still Rule!

So, this blog entry has been a long time coming.  Things have been happening, including the passing of one of our Golden Oldies, DT, who reached the grand old age of 20 yrs before she passed away.  Thanks to Steve from Chapman Animal Hospital for being there for us when it happened, and thanks to everyone at the vet hospital for being there for us during this time.  We have wonderful, fond memories of our little old lady, and she is missed, but I know we’ll meet her again one day, and meanwhile she is running free in Heaven, with her Mum & Dad & sister and all those other furries that went home before her.

Meanwhile, life goes on, does it not?  We’re still laughing, still moving forward….still trying to survive the antics of the furry horde that rule our home.

Evie…oh geez…Evie Evie Evie.  So I’ve been fighting with Evie (I know, what a shock).  The latest thing is this sitting on the FREAKIN' FISH TANKS!  Okay, Evie might only have a lean little a**e, but the lids are made of plastic and NOT meant to be sat on.  She knows this.  I’ve told her a HUNDRED TIMES NOT TO SIT ON THE FISH TANK LIDS!  Does she listen?

Seriously?  You’re actually waiting to hear?  You really don’t know?    Oh, you do know…I can see the smirk on your faces now….

So, this is the typical scenario…

Me: (spotting Evie sitting/lying on fish tank):  Evie, get off.
Evie:  What?
Me: Get off the fish tanks.
Evie: What?
Me: Get OFF the fish tanks!
Evie: What?
Evie: What?
Evie: What?
Evie: What?

Evie on the FREAKIN' FISH TANK!!!

So I try to push her off.
So she slaps back at me.

Me: Stop that!
Evie: You pushed me!
Me: I told you to get off the fish tanks!
Evie: What?

So by now my blood pressure is starting to spike.

Me: Get off the fish tanks RIGHT NOW!
Evie: What?
Me: Get off. Get OFF GET OFF GET OFF!
Evie: What?

Just when I think my head will explode, she decides to get off, stretch leisurely and look around.

Evie: By the way…did you know the lids are sagging in the middle?

Is it any wonder black dots are dancing before my eyes?  

So you think this would be the worse, but no, not only does this happen at any time, it also happens at fish feeding time.  I try to do it while Evil Evie is asleep, but somehow she knows…she just knows.  I open the lid, quietly take out a couple of light flakes, drop them silently into the water, ease back, but before I can draw a sigh of relief -


Evie: Whoo hooooo!!!!  I’m here!  Feedin’ the fish, huh?  Wow!

Now she’s all goggle-eyed and her paw is dangling in the water…through the plastic bit she broke off the fish tank lid awhile ago.

It’s a wonder I’m not living on Valium with this cat in the house.

So, Evie aside, Polly has acquired a new place to sleep.  Remember how she has fads on where to sleep?  For awhile there, she started to sleep on the backroom floor, right between the laundry door, the backroom door, and right in front of one of the litter trays.  This ensured that-

1.  Lily, Lacy and Evie would not use that particular litter tray
2.  Polly could see whichever cat was coming in and out of both doors, and could alternately ignore them or give them the evil eye, depending on:
                        a) her mood
                        b) her relationship with said cat
3.  Her Grandma (aka Sucker) and Aunty Ang (aka Dumb A**e) had to step over her…all the time…every time…

Best Spot Ever! She assured me.

So we kind of got used to stepping over and around her, but then she decided to change spots and found a new Best Spot Ever.

The new Best Spot Ever is under my bed, right at the edge, behind the frill that hangs down from the mattress to the floor.  Here she can-

1.  Lurk for unsuspecting Lily, Evie or Lacy to come under and get the living crap scared out of them.
2.  Hide from her medicine.
3.  Pretend she doesn’t hear us when we’re calling her, because after all, she’s in a dim, dark cave well away from civilization, just as a fat, black sabre-tooth tiger would be.
4.  She can come running out looking all indignant when Dumb A**e sweeps/mops under the bed and hits her by accident.
5.  It’s just a really cool place to hang out - Best Spot Ever!

I’m not sure how long this Best Spot Ever is going to last, but we’ll see.  I’m wondering what places she could possibly have left…

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Evie, Growing Older, Book Covers, Summer Heat and…Merry Christmas!

So, as usual lately, this blog entry has been a long time happening.   Why, you may ask?  You may ask all you like.  Here is what I can remember… (Memory not being what it used to be).

EVIE - no, this entry isn’t all about Evie, this time it isn’t her fault.  I know, what a shock, right???

Anyway, Evie…she won Pet of the Month (Oct) at Chapman Animal Hospital.  Their theme was Halloween, and they were looking for pets with anything to do with possession, spooks, etc.  So I had this photo of Evie which I entered.  It’s the one in the previous blog where she’s half hanging out of her scratchy post and her eyes are glowing.  Really, it was the perfect photo for possession, because her eyes are glowing and really, generally, she does everything but have her head spin on her shoulders.  Right?  So I entered that pic and she won!  So proud of the evil little toad!!!  LOL

So the next thing to happen to me was a shock (no, not Evie!  Geez!  Has she got a reputation or what?!  <g>).  This time, a worker came to check our roof and give us some quotes, and I’m looking at him.  He’s got this cute boy-next-door look which I like, and I’m thinking, “Wow, you’re a bit of all right.  Yeah, you’re really cute”, and I’m smiling at him and not really listening to what he’s saying because, you know, he’s cute and all and I have my priorities straight, and then it hits me as I look at his YOUNG face.

Oh my God, I’m old enough to be his mother.  I’m freakin’ OLD ENOUGH TO BE HIS MOTHER!  ME!  Oh my God, when did THAT happen?  When did I grow old enough to be this cute BOY’S MOTHER?????   Now I wasn’t only shocked, I felt like a PERV.  OMG!  I was in shock!  I smiled, listened to what he was saying through the ringing in my ears, wondered if his smile was now one of pity for the old stick who’d been ogling him (I wasn’t even wearing my glasses), and managed to stay upright until he left.

Then I dragged my creaking bones through the doorway and fortified myself with a Diet Coke.  Or two.  Or three.  Who’s counting, anyway?  I was totally shattered.  When had I grown old enough to be a grown man’s mother?

I don’t even have kids!  It’s not fair!  *kick*kick*kick*  You’d think if it was going to hit me in the face like that, that I’d have at least suffered through having kids, right?  Kind of prepared me, right?  *kick*tantrum*kick*  No!!!!!!  I had to come to terms with it by myself!

Myself, right?  You know why?  Because my mother laughed when I told her!  Yes, laughed!  Oh, the agony of it all!  No support there, I can tell you!  Even my friends laughed!  Not to mention my work mates!  No support!!!!

So, anyway…*sigh*

So, on the bright side (you know, one of my OLD age has to do that…look at the bright side while it’s still there, apparently…), I got my rights to my Heart & Soul science fiction romance books back, re-edited them, got some snazzy new covers and have self-pubbed them.  I learned how to do my own covers thanks to Joleene Naylor’s ebook “How to Get a Cheap Book Covers, available at Smashwords , and had a great time creating them.  If you want a peek at the new covers, just click here.  I really like them.  The photos are from istock and Dreamstime. 

The hardest thing about doing my own covers, was trying to find photos that reflected the heroine and the storyline, while trying to maintain the description of the heroine.  Not easy to find exactly what you think, but I love the results of what I did find.

Mind you, I burned the candle at both ends as well as the midnight oil doing them.  Once I start something, I go like the clappers until it’s finished, and I wanted these books uploaded and available ASAP.  So I slaved away after work and into the night, going to bed at midnight, reading to 1am, then getting up early to either continue the covers and formatting if I was on a day off, or to go to work if it was a work day.  All I can say is it’s a good thing I wasn’t going by air, as the bags under my eyes were so big the airport would have charged triple for the extra luggage.

Maybe if I wasn’t so OLD it wouldn’t have happened!  I would have been fine!  But apparently being OLD ENOUGH to be a young bloke’s mother MAKES ME TIRE EASIER THAN I USED TO!  YES!  That’s right!  *kick*kick*kick*  I don’t bounce back like I used to!!!  *kick*whine*tantrum*

So anyway…anywaaaaaaaaaaaaay…

So work has been busy, home has been busy, and Evie must be maturing, as she’s only been in Time Out about twice a week lately, which is a record for her.  Mind you, just the other day I said to Mum, “I think the baby is maturing’, and within half an hour Mum was going crook at her and putting her in the Sin Bin (aka bathroom, aka Time Out) with Evie yelling right back.  Really, back- answering?  I think we’ll withhold the maturity card a little longer!

I drove down to the video shop today to return some DVDs, and it’s hot, right?  December, nearly Christmas, and freakin’ hot.  Supposed to be 40C today (104F), and I’m driving in my air-conditioned little Ute, and I see these cyclists speeding along the road, and I’m thinking….’Okay, it’s hot, but they’re creating a breeze…even though some of them are red in the face and look like they’re going to have a stroke any second’…and then, on the way back, I notice a lot of people walking and jogging in the sun along the beach front.

Now look, I agree with a little exercise.  A nice walk (jog if you want, bike, run, etc), but seriously?  In the sun, in the heat…YOU’RE FREAKIN’ WALKING AND JOGGING?  Really?  See, this doesn’t compute to me.  The hot sun comes out, I head for the shade, a cool drink, and a relax with a good book (or this here computer!).  Toasting myself to a crisp in the sun, overheating, my heart burning as much as my skin…man, so not for me.  When I go for a walk, the sun is warm, not hot enough to fry eggs on the footpath. 

Maybe it’s just me.  Obviously the truly dedicated (or nutty, let’s go there), have a different opinion.  That’s fine.  Rock on.  Walk, jog, sweat, burn, get heat stroke.  I drove home, parked the car in the car port, went inside, turned on the fan, shut the door, got out a cold Diet Coke, cracked the tab, and now I’m sitting here in the cool.  Happy as a little piggie in mud.

Which, you know, on a hot day, isn’t such a bad thing…

Also, before I stop whining - I mean sharing my OLD ENOUGH TO BE HIS MOTHER experience - I want to wish you all a  very MERRY CHRISTMAS.  Be safe, be happy, and remember the true reason for this wonderful season.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Evie 'Boss Cocky', Evie's Vaccination & Polly's New Spot

So first things first, an update on Evie, aka Eve of Destruction.  Remember my last blog, all about Evie lording it over Freya, my friend’s cat?  Well, wonders of wonders, they turned into good friends!  I kid you not!  Feeling sorry for Freya, I let her out again and kept watch, and Evie followed her and Freya eye-balled her, and because Freya wouldn’t back down, they became good friends and were often found playing and chasing each other.

Then Freya went home.

Thinking that maybe Evie was turning over a new leaf (I am SUCH a fool), when Bella, my brother’s cat, came to stay while they were away, I thought that surely now Evie would nice.  I mean, she was okay with Freya in the end, right?  And they were good friends, right?  And Bella is such a sweet cat, right?

See, there’s the thing.  Bella is sweet, Bella isn’t confrontational, Bella can be a little shy….place this kind of temperament in front of Evie, and what have you got?  A keg waiting to explode.  Which Evie almost did.


Bella was happy to be friends, but when she backed off after Evie strutted into the room, Evie saw the shyness, the sweetness, the retreat - and it was on!  She was going to stalk Bella until she drove her mad, was going to hound her and jump on her when she least expected it, arch her back and look menacing and watch in glee as Bella shrunk away and hid on top of the cupboard, while Evie watched her from below with a maniacal gleam in her eyes.

So there went the theory that Evie might accept visiting cats.  You’d think I’d know by now, but I have this eternal hope and…geez.

So Lacey decided that here was a cat who was actually scared of her, too, and she was going to boss her around and torment her if Bella dared to show her face outside her room!  Tail bushed, eyes huge, whiskers quivering in threat, Lacey will sit in front of the security screen and stare at Bella, totally unnerving Bella, who watches her nervously from the safety of the desk - at the other end of the room.

So the only way I can let Bella out of the front room for a change of scenery, I have to lock Evie and Lacey up in different rooms (putting those two together would be a disaster, I’m not THAT stupid).  Only then can Bella venture forth and walk around.

Theo, as usual, couldn’t give a flying fig, he just walks right past her, hoovers up her biscuits and gets in the armchair for a snooze.  The other cats are pretty much ‘don’t come near me, and I’ll ignore you, and all is right with the world’.

So when people come and Evie disappears, they all think what a sweet, shy little thing she must be.

One of our vets, Sarah, and one of the vet nurses, Shayna, came out to vaccinate the furry horde.  It didn’t go too badly.  Big eyes, a bit of scrambling from a couple, and lots of hair flying around ‘cause the furries are all losing their winter coat (I’m sure I’m going to hack a fur ball any day now, there’s so much hair around). 
But I kept the best - or worst - to last.  Can you guess who?  Come on, give it a try! 
Evie!  I know, you’re shocked!

"It's all a lie.  Everyone picks on me!"

So, having a bit of forethought, I cunningly left Evie until last.  Mostly because I had this feeling that if we tried to drag her out in front of STRANGERS, one of three things would happen:

1. None of us would survive the episode to vaccinate the rest.
2. Evie would totally unnerve all the other cats and it’d be a disaster for all concerned.
3.  We'd all be too shattered to continue.
So when all the furries were done, I went to Mum’s room…and Mum and I had to hunt her down, unable to find her, but there was this tiny little nose peeking out from behind Mum’s pillow.
Awwwwww…I hear you all sigh, and I can just imagine your smile.  BUT wait a minute….

So I get hold of her, and I position her in front of me, her back to my front because I just knew something bad would happen when she saw Sarah and Shayna, and I didn’t want Evie’s claws in my skin.

With every steps I took down the passage (and it’s a small passage), Evie grew stiffer and stiffer, and then we came out into the little dining room, Evie took one look at the vet and vet nurse, and…EXPLODED!

People, it was like trying to hold a feral cat.  Front paws, back paws, tail, head - everything tried to go in every which direction at once.  Whiskers bristled, head flung back, back legs attempting to find purchase on my arms, body wriggling like a belly dancer gone wild, and it was on.

I managed to get her onto the kitchen bench and tried to pin her down.  I couldn’t get a grip on her scruff, she’s a willowy cat and there really isn’t any spare skin to grab, and I was trying to hold her down, pin her down, hand on her back to PUSH her *&%@! down, and she was going in all directions at once.

I couldn’t see her face but I think her eyeballs were rolling wildly around in her head.

I know mine were.

Nobody could get a grip on Evie.  She exploded out of my hold and off the kitchen bench, leaving everyone gaping and a pile of torti and white hair in the air and over the bench.
It was an experience.  I don’t think it’s one Sarah and Shayna want to repeat.  Mum and I, unfortunately, don’t have a choice.  Evie lives with us…there are a lot more explosions waiting in the future.

Needless to say, she eventually got her vaccination, but it wasn’t without a fight.  That cat does nothing the easy way.

So Polly.  Last time I blogged, her Best Spot Ever was on Mum’s bed, and preferably in Evie’s spot and on Evie’s blankie (another sure-fire way to get an explosion from Evie).  But Polly’s New Best Spot Ever is on the dining room chairs.

It’d be okay if she stayed on one chair, but every time you lift your bum, she shifts to your chair.  You go to sit back down and there’s these two bright, yellow eyes staring up at you from a furry little black face.  So you sit in the chair vacated by her, and she shifts when you get up again.

‘Best Spot Ever’ she assures me, squidging her eyes shut and purring.  “Gonna Stay Here Forever.’
So far, she’s still playing musical chairs, trying to decide which chair is best (usually the one you’ve just vacated).  We’ve pretty much figured out not to ruffle her too much or try to shift her, because she then gets on the table and sits on whatever you’re reading, staring at you out of those big, gold eyes, or head butts you and makes you spill whatever drink you had just raised to your mouth.

It was quite hilarious watching Mum and Polly one night.  No sooner had Mum pushed Polly onto a chair and off the table so Mum could wash the table before she served up tea, than Polly popped up on another chair and up onto the table, and Mum pushed her down, and up Polly popped from the chair on the other side and up onto the table, and…it kept going.

As you can imagine, Mum was getting annoyed, Polly was getting annoyed, and I was laughing, so then Polly and I were both in trouble with Mum.  But seriously, it was funny!  Mum and Polly, both so determined to win!

So anyway, as you can see, life is as normal at our little house!

Friday, August 23, 2013


Before I start this entry, I have to tell you all this.  I was at the RWA Riding the Waves Conference in Fremantle this weekend just gone, and while at a book signing, I’m sitting there (trying not to look self-conscious), when this lovely lady, Linda, saw my name and went - “Evie!”.  LOL.  I kid you not!  Evie is getting famous thanks to her antics.  Somehow, I doubt I’d get the same reaction if I jumped all over someone ROTFL.

Hello also to Sarah.  Not sure if you visit my blog at all, but it was lovely to meet you.  You have no idea how much you made my day at the book signing.

To everyone who came, thank you.  It was wonderful to meet people and talk books!

Now for the serious stuff. 

I don’t know if Evie can get any naughtier.  OMG, that cat is making me grey faster than a mozzie sucks blood.  She just looks SO cute, SO lovable, SO innocent, that it’s just unbelievable to anyone who doesn’t know her.  Seriously.  REALLY seriously.

 Evie aka Eve of Destruction

Lately, she’s been in the middle of a power struggle with, it seems, every cat in the household that doesn’t bow down to her.  Which, according to her, they should, because she’s BOSS COCKY and EVERYONE must treat her as such.

That thought never occurs to me when I’m taking BOSS COCKY to the Sin Bin (aka the bathroom) for time out.   Evie’s whole thing is throwing a tantrum until we’re almost there, then she kind of flops and has this look on her face like…”Oh, geez.”

Yeah, missy, oh geez!  Oh geez when I find the tissue box on the floor and it looks like it’s raining tissues in the bathroom.  And there you are, perched on the bathroom sink looking all SWEET AND INNOCENT!

And then I let you loose…

Anyway, the power struggle.  It’s Evie and Polly, Evie and Theo, Evie and she tried Lily, Evie and Lacy.

Poor Lacy cringes and runs, spitting and yelling threats.  Evie just does her usual *strut strut strut*I’m BOSS COCKY!

She tried it with Lily and let’s just say Evie hasn’t tried it again with her. 

Now Theo - big Theo, the tabby male who is built like a tank.  She had him so distraught one day that he was running past her, giving her this big wide birth and looking scared.  Really, Theo?  REALLY?  You’re twice her size!  That’s embarrassing!

My Little Man, Theo

Size doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.  Its attitude that counts, and Evie has lots of attitude.  She is THE attitude personified.

So she tried it with Polly.  Now Polly is a big, *cuddly* black cat who is also twice Evie’s size.  To see this scrawny torti trying to be Boss Cocky over Polly was mind-boggling, but there you go.  Evie likes to scale mountains.

Anyway, back and forth the power struggle between these two goes, sort of like a ping-pong ball.  Evie lurks behind the sofa in the back room, right near the cat flap.  Polly comes through and Evie JUMPS HER!  Polly shrieks, spits, swears and runs, and right when Evie thinks she’s got her going, Polly flings around and spits and Evie puts the brakes on - scccrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  And then proceeds to sit and sulk.

Polly’s current place of snoozing is on Granny’s bed.  Loves Granny’s bed, Best Place Ever, she assured me when I was surprised to see her there.  BEST place ever…especially in Evie’s spot, on Evie’s blankie near Granny’s pillow.

Now What Can I Do Next?

I wasn’t the only one goggle-eyed when I saw Polly happily curled up asleep on Evie’s blankie.  Evie’s eyes almost popped out of her head.  Mum tried to shift Evie before Evie saw, but nu-uh!  Evie saw!  And it was on for young and old.

Mum is trying to push Polly further down the bed, Evie is hanging in Mum’s arms yelling threats to Polly, Polly’s swearing back at Evie and Hissing at Mum for daring to push her down the bed, Mum’s yelling for me to help and I’m…well, laughing.  I’m trying not to, and Mum’s getting angry, and Polly’s furious, and Evie’s beside herself and I’m trying to help but basically useless with laughter.

So anyway, there’s an uneasy truce now on Mum’s bed when Polly refused to get off.  Not that Mum wanted her off the bed, but Evie sure as heck wasn’t impressed.  HER Granny, she informed Polly, strutting around the top part of the bed.  HER blankie.  HER pillow.  It is all about HER!

Polly just kind of lifted the corner of her lip and hissed.  And she still tries to get higher up the bed.

So every night it’s the same thing.  There I am, reading in bed, and you hear it start.

Mum: “Polly, move down.”
Evie: *growls death threats*
Polly: *spits insults*
Mum: Stop it, you two!  Polly, no!  Evie, shut up!
Evie:  *LOUDER death threats*
Polly: *swearing* and trying to get higher up the bed.
Mum: “Look, cut it out!
Evie: MY Granny, MY blankie, MY pillow, MY bed - I’m BOSS COCKY!
Polly: I’m gonna sit on you and rub my bum on you and everything!
Evie:  Oh yeah?  Oh yeah?  Come here and say that!
Polly:  Right!  I will!
Mum: Polly, no!  Evie, get here!  Under here!  Now shut up and go to sleep!

"Seriously, Aunty Angie lies, I'm a good girl!"

Polly settles with a toss of her head, Evie sulks and peers over the edge of the doona, and Mum finally settles with a magazine.

But it’s not finished, because right as Evie settles, she has to give Mum a love bite, which makes Mum yell.  Only THEN will she settle down.

Now a friend’s kitty is staying with us for a while, her name is Freya and she’s a beautiful tortoiseshell (calico for my US friends).  Evie has been fronting up to the fly wire door that closes the passage off to the room Freya is staying in, of course.  Evie struts up and down in front of the door.  “I’m BOSS here.  I’m Evie!  This is MY house, MY Granny, MY front room, and yes, that chair you dare to sleep on is MY chair!  You’re just lucky you’re not out here, ‘cause if you were-” And this is accompanied by her rushing at the door to stand up against it, tail quivering, whiskers stuck right out, and eyes gleaming manically.
So after about a week of all this, Freya was going stir crazy, so I thought I’d let her out into the house for a run while I was standing guard.  Evie walked into the room as Freya watched.

Well, every time Evie moved, so did Freya.  Freya poked her, sniffed her tail, and TOUCHED her!  (horrors!) and followed her around, completely unnerving Evie.  Boss Cocky huddled in a little ball and watched Freya out of huge eyes, not game to move, while Freya eyed her off.  So I rescued Evie, picking up the poor little darling and hugging her close.

And what happens?

As soon as she clears the ground and is safe in my arms, she proceeds to throw her head over my arm and starts yelling at Freya.  YOU'RE JUST LUCKY AUNTY ANG RESCUED YOU!  Growling dire threats.  I COULD HAVE BEATEN YOU UP!  Snarling.  I WAS THIS CLOSE TO LAYING YOU OUT!  As I got out the door with the indignant Evie, she had to have the last word.  I’M BOSS COCKY AROUND HERE!  IT’S ALL ABOUT ME!  And then, when I put her down, she proceeded to *strut*strut*strut* back and forth in front of the door, while Freya looked on with interest.


So I thought, seeing as how Evie wasn’t doing anything wrong, that today I’d let Freya out for another walk.  I thought it would be fine.  I am such a drongo.

Evie watched, sniffed, investigated Freya’s food and followed Freya around.

Theo didn’t give a rat’s a**e, he walked right by Freya, hoovered up her biscuits and went for a nap in the armchair.

Just when I was relaxing and starting to do some chores, the death threats sounded!  I hooned around to find Evie thrusting her little white chest out, eyes huge, whiskers bristling, and she was going to have Freya on.  Freya was a little freaked.

I was a little freaked.  Trying to explain to my friend why my shy little torti that she rarely saw when she came, could possibly have beaten up her cat, was something I didn’t want.  So I swooped Evie up while Freya made her escape to the front room and I shut the door. 

Yep, from now on, Freya only goes walkies in the house when Evie is shut into the bedroom.

Little Boss Cocky is now lying on my desk while I type this, looking like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.

Good grief!  I tell you, life with Evie is never dull.  Challenging, however, now that’s a whole other ball game…

One last thing, so you know what I'm getting at.  Evie has developed a new 'thing'.  Her latest?  Let's just say I walked out into the backroom to find her hanging over the scratching post, head and paws down one side, back legs the other, belly over the top.  WTHell?  "Mum!"  I yelled.  "What's this about?"  Mum took one look and said, quite casually, "Oh, she's been doing that for awhile now.  It's her latest thing..."  I managed to get a photo, not as good as it should be, because she just has to see what I'm doing with the camera.  Spoilt the shot, but you get the idea LOL!

Oh, Evie, Evie...