Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Great Food Debate & Furry Visitors



Good grief, where does the time go?  Seriously, it’s been that long since I wrote a blog post?  I am so bad!  Someone send a handsome bloke in uniform to spank me!

Oops, did I say that out loud?  *red-faced*

Anyway, I thought it was about time I did an update on the furry horde.

The furry horde are driving me nuts in the food department.  Seriously.  SERIOUSLY!

You know people who have cats because you can spot them hovering in the pet food aisles, anxiously surveying the vast assortment of tins and packets, trying to decide what Their Majesties will fancy.  Liver in sauce?  Fish in prawn juice?  Beef in gravy?  Prawn in crab jelly?  It all sounds fantastic, but we all know how it ends.  With the juice/gravy/jelly all sucked up and bits of fish left over while Their Majesties look at you and say, “Got any more gravy?  ‘Cause this is, you know, bland now I’ve sucked it all off.”



If you’ve never had this reaction from a cat, you either:

a) don’t own one
b) feed it lots of gravy with only a bit of meat or fish
c) are a miracle maker.

I thought I’d be smart and bought a carton of gravy, which I proceeded to pour liberally over their bowls when they’d licked all the gravy away.  I’ll never forget the looks I got.  I still shrivel in shame at the memory.  I’d thought I’d gotten one over on the furry horde.  Boy, was I mistaken.  I can still remember all those furry bums stalking away…

While we’re on the subject, have you ever tried to give your cats fish or meat out of the tin that has been in the 'fridge for longer than five minutes?  Or, God forbid, a couple of hours?  The way those cats look at you in disbelief?  You know the looks, there are a couple depending on the cats’ feelings at the time.  There’s:

a) the scornful ‘are you kidding’ look
b) the shocked ‘are you kidding’ look?
c) the blatantly abusive ‘ are you *&%$@! kidding?!’ look.

Sure to make any owner start grovelling and begging forgiveness for being such a thoughtless Mum or Dad.


We recently went through a food issue.  Lily and Fleur were at the centre of it (I know, you thought I was going to say Evie, didn’t you?  Ha ha - surprise!).

Lily doesn’t like cold fish from the tin, because it’s been, you know, in the ‘fridge since MORNING (oh grief, the horror of it!) and it’s cold and nasty and she sits on the spot and tried anxiously to tell us how it’s COLD and NASTY and she couldn’t possibly eat it.  Ever.  Not even if she was STARVING.  Apparently it’s that yucky when it’s cold.  And no, she won’t eat the ‘roo meat Granny has put down, either, because she wants warm fish, not ‘roo.  Okay?  Cripes, the things she has to put up with!  And Fleur decides she’s in full agreement, because if Granny breaks open a new tin to give Lily warm fish, then Fleur wants it too, because she does!

Mum always has some sachets of assorted fish for the two little strays who visit us every night for ‘roo and fish, and apparently Lily LOVES this fish, and so does Fleur, so in all my wisdom I detour in to the supermarket on a busy pay day after work, manage to find a parking bay after ten minutes of circling the parking areas and swearing, sweat my way into the narrow spot, fight my way through the shoppers, and buy a basket full of all these yummy sachets of fish in sauces and gravy and prawn jelly and everything.  Teeny tins with yummy stuff swimming in juices.  I then battle my way to the checkout, pay a heap of bucks, manage to pop out of the people-swelled supermarket and find my car, sweat my way backing out of the narrow parking bay (which seems to have got narrower thanks to someone who parked partially over MY LINE!), wait for a million years while traffic holds us up, and finally I get home.  Feeling rather like a cave woman bearing hard-fought-for food, I bring the grocery bags in and the cats ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ as they investigate the bags and give me their purrs of approval.



I’m floating on a cloud of heaven.  I have done it!  I have won the furries' approval!

With avid attention I watch as Mum breaks open the sachets and the cats gorge themselves, burp, thank me and waddle off to find a nice warm place to snooze.  I did it!  I am a God to my cats!

Two nights later it all came crashing down.  Lily is sitting down screaming anxiously that she wants her fish!  Fleur yells she wants what Lily wants!

Me: Didn’t you give them the sachets?
Mum: Yes.
Me: So what’s wrong?
Mum: They don’t want it.
Me: What?  (I’m dumb like that.  You’d think I’d know, right?)
Mum: We’ll just leave it out for them.

I go back inside after awhile and find all of them eating peacefully.

Me: So, they’re enjoying the sachet fish from the cupboard, huh?
Mum: No.  They’re enjoying cold fish from the ‘fridge.
Me: WTHell?
Mum: Don’t look at me.  They yelled until they got the fish from the ‘fridge.
Me: But it’s cold!
Mum: I know.

So now the furries swing between wanting cold fish from the ‘fridge and warm fish from the cupboard, depending on their mood.  I can’t tell their mood.  Mum can’t tell their mood.  NO ONE CAN TELL THEIR FREAKIN’ MOOD!  So we try to mix it up, cold some nights and warm some nights.

Then Lily looks at me: What’s Evie having?
Me: She only eats little tins of meat and fish, not the big tins.
Lily: I want what she’s having.
Fleur: I want what Lily wants!
Lily anxiously: I want! I want! I want!
Fleur: Me too!
Me: OMG!  Okay!  Okay!

And I break open several small tins and the rest of the horde comes in all demanding to have what Lily and Fleur and Evie are having and I give it to them, and some eat it, some look at it in disdain, and all of them lick the gravy and walk off leaving bits of forlorn meat in the dish.

Lily:  So the gravy was great.  Can I have my fish now?
Fleur: I’ll have what she’s having!

…and I call up in a fetal position and start rocking  



As if this wasn’t enough, Evie is such a drama queen with her food. She has her’s on the end of the kitchen bench because she picks and we have to keep her food out but also out of reach of Polly who is allergic to some of it.

Sounds easy, but sometimes your attention is caught by a tiny ‘meow’ and you look over to find Evie dancing on tip-toes as she anxiously looks at you out of HUGE eyes.  I mean huge.  Like saucer-sized.  Accompanying this prancing (I kid you not.  She prances - frantically) - is a lot of verbal anxiety.  “I’ve got nuffin’!  Nuffin’!  Nuffin’ at all or anyfing!”  Prance Prance Prance.  So her biscuit bowl is overflowing but Evie wants one of her tiny tins of food and if she doesn’t get it right now, she is in danger of fading away from hunger, collapsing from starvation, and jittery from anxiety.

So I dig in the pantry for her little tin and she comes over and stares over my head, jumps on my back, lands in the pantry and does some investigating of her own.  Eyes are huge and little feet prance-prance-prance while I dish it out and she hurriedly runs along the bench and meets me.  I put it down - thank God we made it before she perished - she takes five licks, gets gravy up the wall and walks away.  Leaving almost a whole saucer of food.

Lily appears by magic.  ‘I want!  I want!”
Fleur bursts out from the bedroom.  “I want what Lily wants!

I find my foetal position again and start rocking….

 
                                                    Furry Visitors

So one of my friends and her husband went on a holiday and we babysat her two cats, Skitty & Jeffrey.  They are gorgeous cats, very well-behaved.  Skitty is sweet, loving, and Jeffrey, well, he’s a big, loveable doofus. But they’re both soooo cute!

As expected, their arrival made Evie all goggle-eyed.  I had half a large cupboard piece across the bottom of the security screen door so the cats could smell each other but no one could look through and put the two visitors off using their litter tray.  So what does Evie do?  She freakin' climbs the security screen until she can see through to Skitty and Jeffrey and YELLS at them!  Honest to goodness, that cat has no finesse!  AT ALL!

So we'd block some areas of the house off when the cats were asleep and let the two visitors out for a run and to stretch their legs, and of course, as soon as we did this, Evie would magically wake up and DEMAND TO BE LET IN!  RIGHT NOW! 



When finally we allowed the cats to all mix - and they did so wonderfully - Evie decided she was Boss Cocky and strutted around.  Or tried to.  However, the visitors just eyed her off, so she sulked and started to hover behind doors, peeking over the top of cupboards, pretty much anything she could do to try and unnerve Skitty and Jeffrey.  Now I'm telling you, Jeffrey is huge - paws like saucers, legs like tree trunks, long and tall, like a big, squishy bear, really.  Evie, in all her wisdom, spent his last few days here trying to lord it over him, trying to make him run from her.  If Jeffrey had sat on her, he'd have squashed her flat.   Luckily, he just ambled past her and left her sulking in his fluff (which, because its summer and he's shedding like nobody's business, was everywhere).

I don't know how Evie has managed to remain unscathed through all the visiting cats she's tried to lord it over.  Cripes, she even gets it into her head now and again to try our own cats.  Usually it ends up with her running in the opposite direction, yelling, or scrunched into a ball screaming for Grandma or Aunty Ang or SOMEONE! to rescue her.  That cat never learns… 


Christmas is coming fast, and I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas during this Blessed season.  Have a safe and happy one!!  Don't forget your furry little mates - give them lots of cuddles and kisses, be grateful for their paw prints in your life, for they will always be there for you regardless of what you look like or how rich or poor you are.  They love you for you - love them back unconditionally.

Remember, blessings aren't about what you want, but about having what you have received.  Look for the blessings in the small things in life - family, friends, pen pals, the sound of laughter, the bird outside the window, the flowers.  You can find beauty wherever you look, and nature is priceless and free to look at and enjoy.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!



 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Drama Queens



I have come to the realisation that I live in a house of furry Drama Queens.  You’d think it would have dawned on me sooner, but I’m one of those who doesn’t actually notice things, I just go with the flow - it’s either that or curl up in a foetal position under the desk and whimper.

Let me give you a few examples of the Drama Queens in our house and what caused it (which really is just one example of the many, many dramas afflicting us at any given time).


Drama Queen No 1.  Abby.

Abby has quite thick, longish fur.  Unfortunately, that also resulted in some rather unattractive and malodorous dags forming near her bum.  Now, Mum and I could have cut them off her in about twenty seconds.  One dag each side (and I’m not talking about us).  But did this happen?  I think you know the answer.

Picture it - Mum holding Abby, me with a tiny pair of scissors and Abby glaring at me.  I did a tentative snip, cooing “Who’s a good girl, den, huh?  Who’s a sweet widdle pumpkin?  Now hold still….hold still…stop…Don’t… DON’T… HOLD STILL.  HOLD THE FREAKIN’ &%$@! STILL!”

Meanwhile, Mum’s gone from, “There’s a good girl.  Abby’s a good girl isn’t she?  Don’t struggle, dear.  Don’t struggle   Hold still.  Hold STILL!  DON’T - OUCH!  SHE’S BITING!”

Within seconds the calm, controlled situation has deteriorated very rapidly into a knock-down, drag-out fight between Mum, me and Abby.

Abby wins.

While she’s stalking away, tail lashing, dags blowing in the breezing, I’m yelling after her, “Right.  RIGHT!  You want it that way?  RIGHT!  You’re off to the vet for a sedation and a fanny shave! What do you think of that, huh?”

The cat practically tossed her head.

So next day, off we go, Abby sitting upright in her cage casting me side-long looks and me trying not to feel like a heel for taking the baby to the vet.  We’re almost there when she starts crying and now I feel like a total turd.  “I’m sorry, baby, but you wouldn’t let us help you.  You can’t go around with those dags hanging off your a**e, it’s both unattractive and attracts flies, making it only attractive to flies ha-ha.”  But my feeble attempt at humour isn’t working - for either of us.

When I got home, Mum had already picked her up from the vet and now Abby is avoiding me.  I try to win her affections back but she’s not having any of it.  Plonking herself in the middle of the floor, she shoots one back leg into the air and screams “My bum is bare!”

Me: Well, yes.  Yes, it is.
Abby: How could you do this to me?
Me: You gave me no choice.
Abby: My bum is bare!
Me: I can see that.  In fact, everyone can see it with your leg up in the air like that.
Abby: My bare bum has to sit on the floor and it is now a cold bum as well as bare!
Me: I can see that would be uncomfortable for you.  Why don’t you park your bare behind on the sofa instead?
Abby: My bum is bare!
Evie (looking over the edge of the table): Holy crap!  Her a**e is naked!
Me: You’re not helping matters.
Evie: Yeah, but did you see her a**e?  My eyes hurt!
Me: Well stop looking at it then.
Evie: I can’t help it - the sunshine is bouncing off it!

Don’t ever count on Evie to calm things down.

Eventually Abby flopped her leg down and sulked off to the sofa.  It took her two days to forgive me.



Drama Queen No 2.  Theo

Theo is normally the quiet, controlled one of the family.  He cruises around, jumping a couple of the furry lovelies he fancies and generally being quite agreeable.

Until it’s time for his tablet.

Theo hates his tablet, he thinks it takes away his manhood to which he’s entitled.  He was sterilised at 6 months of age, but when he hit 4 yrs old he changed and became rather aggressive to the other cats, decided he was Casanova even without his family jewels, and also started spraying like his doodle was a fire hose out of control.  Actually, it was out of control.  It took a long time to get it back under control and his daily tablet helps keep him calm and in control.

Apparently the tablet tastes like crap.  If I don’t get it down him first pop, the drama starts.  In fact, it starts as soon as he sees me coming.  He commences Operation Stealth which involves hiding under anything he can find, but when you’re a big, strapping, silver tabby, it’s kind of hard to avoid being seen.

So I trap him, prise his mouth open and put the tablet in.  Now the drama starts.  It starts quite small - a shake of the head, a grimace, and then it appears…a little drool.

This little drool starts to accumulate at an alarming rate, gushing out of his mouth in no time.  He starts running around from one end of the house to another with this long rope of drool hanging from his mouth and growing longer by the second.  It’s like watching a miniature St Bernard going nuts.

I’m following behind with a rag, wiping up the swamps he leaves behind.  I follow him through the house.

Theo: Argh!  I’m poisoned!
Me: Don’t be silly, it’s just your medicine.
Theo:  Help me!  Help me!  *drooldrooldrool*
Me: Don’t go on the sofa!
Theo: I’m dying!  *gag*
Me: Just stop it. *wipe wipe wipe*
Theo: It’s following me!  OMG - the taste is in my mouth!  It’s saturating me!
Me: No, that’s the floor being saturated by YOUR drool.

Theo decides to sit down and start grinding his teeth, whiskers and cheeks screwed up like a rabid squirrel, teeth showing, practically all gums, nose screwed up and eyes squinted shut.   “Yuckyuckyuckyuckyuck.”

By the time he’s finished I’ve practically mopped the whole house.



Drama Queen No. 3 Fleur

Fleur is a tortoiseshell with a typical torti nature.  You never know which way she’s going to go.  During the day I can’t touch her.  She’s horrified, backing away and darting out the door to scurry down the tunnel away from the Big Witch Who Will Eat Me.

Yet practically every day at lunchtime she comes mincing around the corner of the kitchen bench and looks coyly up at me.  “I’m hungry.”

Me: Oh, aren’t you sweet.  Does diddums want some yummies?
Fleur: eyeballs me a little nervously.
Me: Here, would you like some fish?
Fleur: No.
Me: Some chicken?
Fleur: Out of a can?  Really?  OUT OF A CAN?
Me: I’m sorry, Your Majesty.  What would you like to tickle your palate?
Fleur - slides a sideways look at Evie:  I’ll have what she’s having.

So I get it out and give it to her.
Now the fun starts.

Fleur is horrified I’m near her: Good grief!  You nearly touched me!
Me: I’m sorry.  I didn’t-
Fleur: What is your intention?  Are you going to hit me?  *prances away, prances back, eyes huge*
Me: Look, I was just trying to pat you-
Fleur:  Don’t touch me!  DON’T TOUCH ME!

By now she’s nearly hysterical and hoons off down the tunnel.

Now, it’s a whole different ball game come night-time.  Fleur parades up and down the back of the sofa looking anxiously at me and crying.  “I want a pat.”
Me: But you didn’t want one earlier.
Fleur: But I want one now.
Me: What, you think I’m a different person?
Fleur: Pat me.  Stroke me.  LOVE ME!

I kid you not, by now she’s demanding it, head butting my arm, trying to wriggle her head beneath my hand.  The panic-stricken cat of just a couple of hours ago is now sticking to me like a burr.  You just can’t win.

This is the same cat that sleeps on the end of my bed every night.



Drama Queen No. 4.  Evie

Yeah, that’s a bit of a shock, isn’t it?

Evie gets over-excited about pretty much everything.  The other night a huge moth appeared on the wall.  I thought Evie’s eyes were going to fall out of her head when she saw it.

Evie: OMG!  OMG!  A CAT-EATING BAT!
Me: It’s a moth, genius.
Evie: It’s going to eat us all!  I have to CATCH IT!  NOW!

I woke up in the morning to find moth streaked all over my bedroom wall.

Evie sleeps with her beloved Granny, but if I have a day off, as soon as Mum goes to work at the school crossing, Evie jumps up on my bed and perches on my hip.  She surveys the world, looks quite smug, and then I want to shift.

The drama starts.

Evie: Oh for - what are you doing?
Me: I have cramp.
Evie: So?
Me: I have to move.

I do the tiniest shuffle to try and ease my hip.

Immediately Evie grabs onto the doona like her life depends on it, eyes huge.  “OMG!  Are you trying to tip me off?
Me: Look, I just shifted less than an inch-
Evie: You think you own this bed or something?
Me: Well, actually-
Evie: Do you not want me on it?

By now she’s gripping the doona and is pressed flat on it.

Me: No, of course not, you’re very welcome-
Evie: WHAT DID YOU JUST DO?
Me: My hand-
She springs upwards to sit and glare at me through narrowed eyes: Do you have to keep moving?
Me: I’m sorry, I’ll be really still-
Evie:  Too late.  TOO LATE!  You’ve already UPSET ME!

And then I see her backside disappearing around the door to go and wait in the lounge so that she can tell her beloved Granny how mean I am to her when Granny isn’t there.



Drama Queens, the lot of them.

Today topped it.  I had to worm them all.  I’m no fool - I got the spot-on for the strugglers, and tablets for those I knew I could handle.  Now Polly spits at me every time I go near her just in case I give her a second dose of POISON, Lacy is eyeing me warily, and Evie is jitter-bugging around the house like she’s on a pogo stick because SOMEONE PUT POISON ON MY NECK AND I CAN FEEL IT SLITHERING ALL OVER ME!

But the best of all is Fleur.  She’s still lying on my bed with her eyes screwed shut.

Fleur: I can’t see now.
Me: I put it on your neck, not on your face.
Fleur: I can’t see now.
Me: Just open your eyes.
Fleur squints them open a fraction then slams them shut again:  I can’t see now.

Then Mum pulls the car into the driveway and cats scatter.  Fleur is down the tunnel and gone, Evie is waiting anxiously on the table to tell her all about what I did to them (and to nose through the shopping bags), Theo has collapsed in his basket quite exhausted by the whole ordeal, Abby is sitting on the kitchen floor with one leg up in the air saying not only is her bum cold and bare, but there’s something nasty on her neck, too, Polly won’t come in from the back veranda, Lacy is hunkered down on the back table trying to decide whether to spew the tablet up or not, and Lily…well…Lily is the calmest of the lot.  The last I saw of her, she was lying on the little hammock on her back, furry belly up to the sunshine, getting a tan.

Wait, I actually have a cat who isn’t a drama queen.  Break out the trumpets! 
IT’S A MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





Friday, July 4, 2014

Today, I’m a Rantin’ Fool



“What the heck…?” I hear you thinking.  “Now what’s she whinging about?”

Well, in a nutshell, the since my last blog, a lot of things have happened.  Some are noteworthy, some aren’t.  But almost everything has had me shaking my head.

Take the new vacuum cleaner.  It looked okay in the shop, it looked innocent as I paced up and down eyeing it off while contemplating the other vacuum cleaners.  It looked fine.  So I bought it and duly carted it home.


Now let me tell you something.  Since when does a vacuum cleaner have more parts than the Starship Enterprise?  There were three different kinds of brushes, a flat thingy-um-a-bobby, a narrow doo-hickey, and something I still can’t figure out what it is.

But what really got up my nose?  Do you really want to know?  REALLY?  Well, you asked for it!

Since when does a vacuum cleaner have a container that freakin’ sorts out the dust from the dirt?  What vacuum cleaner does that, I ask you?  I kid you not, this freakin’ vacuum cleaner sorts the dirt from the fluff and puts it in two separate containers.  Maybe it thinks I want to know  how much dust vs. how much fluff I vacuum up?  Maybe it doesn’t like to mix it?  Maybe it thinks mixing dirt and fluff is tacky or something?  I don’t know!  But what makes me boil my brain until my rocker is ready to fly off, is that the freakin’ containers are tiny.  TINY!  To add insult to injury, I have to keep turning off the vacuum cleaner to empty these two dinky containers!  ARGH!!!!!

And then there’s this cooker thingy I saw on TV and everyone was gushing about.  I don’t know what it’s called, I don’t want to know.  I could care less.  You know why?  Because in my experience, the more it ‘supposedly’ does, the more work it is.  

  
Want a fancy machine to chop, dice, and shred?  Set the machine up, peel your veggies, you might even (horrors) have to cut the veggies or meat to size, then you put it in and press some buttons and hey boy!  It’s all done.  Then you can take it out, scrape the crap off the sides and now guess what?  Now you can spend three hours taking the useless thing apart and cleaning it, drying it and packing it away. 

By the time you’ve done that, I’ve got my cutting board, shredder, veggie peeler and knife out, and have peeled, cut, diced, shredded, cooked, cleaned up and have a fifty course meal on the table.  What, you think I’m exaggerating?  Let me explain a bit more.

There was this handy clear box thing with all these parts that slid in at the top where, apparently, you could cut, shred, dice, etc.  All kinds of veggies, too.  Want chips?  Just pop a whole spud in the top, press down lightly with your hand and presto!  Chips!  Want tomatoes diced?  Put it in the top, change the plate, press lightly down and presto!  Diced tomatoes.  This demonstration went on and on.

People, really.  REALLY?  Have you ever tried to pop a whole spud into anything and ‘lightly’ pressed something down by hand?  Any normal person would be white knuckled and sore-heeled just trying.  The tomatoes would squish all over the place and come on!  You have to change all those tops and then what?  WASH THEM ALL!!!!

Give me a veggie board, hand shredder, veggie peeler and knife and I’ll cut, chop, chip, dice and shred until your eyes bleed.



Don’t even get me started on the juicers with their fancy fifty parts to apparently make life easier.  What’s easier than a knife and a hand juicer you just twirl your half a lemon/orange on?  Ye gods, people!

And what is it with DVD players these days?  My DVD player tells me what to do, and if I try to hurry it up, it chucks a paddy.  I turn on the power, press the button, and it tells me to wait.  TELLS me to wait!  Then it thinks about life in general, mulls over the options.  While it deliberates, you can go have a shower, make a cuppa and then, if you’re lucky, it is ready to go.

My old DVD player - you just flicked the power button on, loaded up the disc and pressed play.  Instant picture!


This desktop I have, with the touch screen I don’t use (but Evie likes to nose and lean against so it does things to me.  I once found a program I didn't even know I had thanks to Evie and her nose touching screen trick), it drives me nuts.  My old computers - just press the on button and within no time it was there, like a faithful old dog, just waiting to obey you.  Do the new ones do that?  No!  No, this is what they do…and I’m speaking from freakin’ personal experience AGAIN.

The friggin’ computer thinks about it, ponders, slowly cranks up its million and one parts.  If you’re really lucky, it’ll decide an automatic update is due which takes days.  (You think I’m exaggerating, don’t you?  Have you met my desktop?)  It gives me this little round turning gizmo on the screen that tells me to WAIT.  Friggin’ waiting again!  By the time it finally comes on, I’ve gone to work and back, mopped the house, done a load of laundry and watered the pot plants.

I’m telling you, the more tech savvy everything gets, the more time consuming and frustrating it gets.  Forget road rage, tech rage is what I have.


Getting off technology (before I stroke out), let me tell you a short story about my few minutes in the car park the other day.  I think birds are out to get me, too.

I was going to the bank and saw this little bird (I think it might have been a baby mud lark), sitting under a car staring around.  It didn’t move as I went past it, so, of course, this rang alarm bells.  So, crouched over, arms forward, I started to try and catch this bird.  Ever done a kind of duck waddle, knees bent and arms outstretched, going round and round a freakin’ car?  I did this.  After it disappeared under a car where I couldn’t reach it, I gave up and went to the bank.  On the way back, there it was, standing at the back of a car staring around.  So what did I do?  You guessed it.  The duck walk again.  Stalking this feathered fiend from car to car.  It kept just out of arms reach.  To make it worse, it then decided to walk ACROSS the car park to the next one, and there I am, duck walking behind it, knees bent, big derriere sticking out behind me, arms outstretched, waddling along the car park into a new section.  Did I catch it after that humiliating experience?  No.  It disappeared under a car, and there was no way I could get it.  I had to finally concede defeat and give up.  I did, however notice that a lot of people were giving me strange looks and a wide berth.

Geez, what’s wrong with them?  Haven’t they seen a hefty sheila doing the duck walk after a baby bird?!





Monday, May 5, 2014

The New Cat Climber, Scratchy, Platform Thingies Caper



The furries are driving me nuts.  I know, the very thought of those sweet, innocent little furries driving anyone nuts is just incomprehensible, but it happens.  Every day.  All the time.

But before I tell you my tale of woe (expensive woe!),  there’s a little sad news.

Tori, our last Golden Oldie, passed away last week.  She was 18 yrs and 11 months old, so was quite the grand old lady.  We’ll miss her heaps, but I know we’ll see her again one day, and she’s at peace, happy in Heaven with her beloved mum, dad and sister.


It’s the end of an era, as she was the last little cat from back in the day when I used to breed Balinese and Siamese cats, and she was also the last cat in the household who knew my Dad.  So yes, a closing of another time.

Many thanks to Steve from Chapman Animal Hospital, and all the nurses, vets and reception staff.  They all do such a wonderful job.

But life goes on, as they say, and the remaining furries are out to drive me freakin’ nuts.

Evie’s little scratching post with the round thingy she likes to lie in, has become quite old.  Given to us by good friend Theresa when Evie was a sweet little baby (and we didn’t know any different…poor fools that we were), it has been her sleeping and playing toy for over 3 years, not to mention the other cats have loved to have a good scratch on it.  But time and wear and tear made it all wobbly and the rope start to come off, so I decided to buy a new one to go in the lounge, and another new one to go in the enclosure (off the veranda that the cats can run into and play or snooze if they want).

So I bought this really cool, ultra fluffy, tiger-print, whoopee-do big scratching and climbing post, which had a high shelf with an ultra fluffy top and a cool igloo on the other end. I put it in the lounge in front of the big window and stood back to survey it, suitably impressed, and called Mum in to have a look.

“Magnificent!” I cried.
“Gorgeous!” Mum echoed.
“Looks great!” I beamed.
“Absolutely lovely!” Mum gushed.

Evie took one look at it and went, “What the hell?”  And, as we watched with condescending smiles on our faces while she investigated it, waiting for the little darling to be as impressed as we, our hearts fell a little when she stalked out of the lounge, sulking with every step.

Assuring ourselves she just had to get used to it, it was new after all, I took the ratty old scratching post and round thingy out and put it on the back veranda.  There, not long after, I found Evie sitting beside it, little face sad.  Just her and her scratchy, she told me, looking even sadder.  Had it since she was a BABY, it was all HERS, and I had NO RIGHT to take it away, or, heaven forbid (I swear her bottom lip trembled…I know mine did), THROW IT AWAY!

Still trying to reassure ourselves that little Evie just needed a little time, we sat in the lounge that evening and watched her.

Evie stalked up to the new, ultra fluffy, high-shelved climbing cat thingy with the tiger print and jumped up to sniff disdainfully at the igloo before jumping onto the top fluffy shelf.  Then, as we smiled in relief, she proceeded to grab tufts of the fluffy stuff AND TRY TO YANK IT OUT!  I kid you not!  She was sitting there, freakin’ trying to yank out the fluff!!!!!!

Evie - Not Impressed!


That girl is going to be the death of me.

I had to eventually take the uber-cool igloo off and place it on the floor, whereby Fleur slept in it for several hours before getting bored with it and walking away, only to have Abby declare it was the Greatest Thing and squash her fat bum into it, lying down with her back legs stuck out the hole like a demented furry chicken.

I’m still not sure how she gets in there, but I know not everything fits at once.  Yesterday her tail was sticking out.  Something ALWAYS sticks out!

So I finally caved in, managed to fix the old scratcher and round thingy and placed it back in the lounge beside the endangered uber-cool, new cat play thing.  (See, I’m so emotional I can’t even settle on one word for the new cat equipment).

So Evie is happy, lying back in her old round thingy, hanging out the sides, fighting everyone, and then she does her gymnastics whereby she flings herself from one cat play equipment to the other, hanging upside down, hanging between the two, jumping up and down and basically being Evie.  Playing the fool.

Oh, wait, I was the one played for a fool.

But there’s more!

The new red cat climber, scratchy, platform thingy I bought to go out in the enclosure, I had placed in the backroom until Mum could help me get it in the enclosure.  Abby was delighted and spent two days and nights with her fat bum on the plush bottom platform, while Polly commandeered the top and informed me that it was the BEST PLACE EVER and she was GOING TO STAY HERE FOREVER!

Polly's new Best Place Ever!


She loved it so much she even deserted Evie’s basket, which she’d commandeered a few days earlier (to Evie’s disgust, but that’s another story).

Even Lacy loved it, swanning back on the platform like a graceful furry swan with a blue furry face.

So, after serious consultation with each other, Mum and I decided that the new red cat climber, scratchy, platform thingy could stay in the backroom and I’d just have to save up and get ANOTHER cat climber, scratchy, platform thingy for the enclosure.

Not long after, I scored a bargain at the pet store.  A lovely new creamy-coloured cat climber, scratchy, platform thingy that I got half price because it was missing one part, and not even an important part!

So I got it home and placed it on the back veranda to put out in the enclosure when the rain stopped.  Before I knew it, Polly was firmly ensconced in the top platform, assuring me happily that this was the BEST PLACE EVER and she was GOING TO STAY HERE FOREVER!

Polly's other Best Place Ever!

I kind of staggered back.  But wasn’t the new red cat climber, scratchy, platform thingy the BEST PLACE EVER?  No, Polly said firmly, THIS was the BEST PLACE EVER!

Then Evie proceeded to rub the salt right into the wound by playing madly on it whenever Polly got off, because this one was SO MUCH BETTER!  And she LOVED it!!!!

I reeled back into the house, rather shocked, which is quite a stupid emotion for me when around the cats because, really, I’ve lived with them for years and you’d think I’d be used to it by now.

So Mum and I consulted and we agreed that it would go into the enclosure when the cats were tired of it.

Within two days, Polly was once again in the back room, fat bum ensconced in the red cat climber, scratchy, platform thingy, informing me she’d changed her mind and THIS was DEFINITELY the BEST PLACE EVER!  The only time she wasn’t going to sit in it was when she was annoying Evie by sitting in Evie’s basket instead, but most times, she said while batting her eyelashes at me, the red cat climber, scratchy, platform thingy was the BEST PLACE EVER.

Like Polly, I was getting quite emotional, but I’m pretty sure our emotions were actually at opposite ends of the scale.  Polly was ecstatic, and I was, well…what can I say?

No sooner did I think it was safe to take the creamy coloured cat climber, scratchy, platform thingy out to the enclosure, than Evie jumped all over it, looking coy (and damned naughty) and played merrily with the balls on it.  For twenty minutes.  And she keeps doing it.

Evie - playplayplay!

So now I don’t know what to freakin’ do.  New cat climber, scratchy, platform thingy in the backroom (there’s an older one there already),  new cat climber, scratchy, platform thingy in the lounge (beside the ratty old one with the rope unwinding), new cat climber, scratchy, platform thingy out on the back veranda which we have to bring in every time it rains, and out in the enclosure - NO  cat climber, scratchy, platform thingy.

So this means one day I have to get another, or try to sneak the cream coloured one out to the enclosure when Evie is asleep…which means I get the doleful looks and the lost expression and the YOU TOOK MY CAT CLIMBER, SCRATCHY, PLATFORM THINGY and I LOVED IT!

I can’t think about this anymore, I need another Diet Coke…


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?
Me: Get off THE FISH TANKS!
Evie: What?
Me: I SAID GET OFF THE FISH TANKS!
Evie: What?
Me: GET OFF THE FREAKIN’ FISH TANKS!
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 -

 VRROOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMM!  SCRRREEEEEEEECHHHHHHH!

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.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!