Thursday, June 30, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Right there in my garage, on top of the washer. What you can't see in this pic is Little Girl on the floor, staring up in admiration at her paramour.
And getting a closer look, not only does he have the regrettable Hitler 'stache, he's also got a soul patch goin' on there.
Now, I detest soul patches on men, but on a cat? It's pretty cute.
And I'm sure Little Girl agrees.
Oh, shit, I thought. I wonder what Little Girl's caught now. I should go shut the pet door before she brings it ...
WHAM! goes the pet door, as Little Girl comes barreling into the kitchen with a baby rabbit in her mouth.
Now, I know I said in an earlier post that while Little Girl will chase the rabbits, she doesn't actually try to catch them, and that is true - for the adult rabbits, who are as big as she is. But the baby rabbits?
Oh, she loves her a baby rabbit.
And by "love", I mean she wants to love them and pet them and name them George. She catches the baby rabbits and carries them around and plays and plays and PLAYS with them, until the rabbit gets away or she loses interest.
So! It's ten o'clock at night, which, let's face it, is the middle of the damn night for us old folks, and Little Girl's now in the living room with a rabbit, which she promptly drops on the floor.
And chaos ensues. The rabbit's tearing around the living room, Little Girl's tearing around after the rabbit, and I'm scrambling for my small-animal-catching equipment, i.e., a dollar-store butterfly net, an empty Cool Whip container, and a piece of cardboard.
The first order of business was to grab Little Girl and shut her in the spare bedroom, taking her out of the equation. Next up was catching the rabbit, which wasn't that tough, because frankly, rabbits aren't all that smart. They'll just huddle up in a corner, figuring that if they can't see YOU, you can't see THEM. Dipshits.
(I'm beginning to realize that I have absolutely no idea how to tell a story without turning it into a novel. I need to learn how to do the abridged versions, or something.)
But! So! Okay! I have the baby rabbit, who is frightened but uninjured, in the Cool Whip container, with the cardboard on top. I'm off to the park to set him free. Except it's pitch dark over there, and I can't really see where I'm going, but I know I need to get far enough away from the house so that Little Girl can't run right over and catch the rabbit again.
And then, I'm in the park, walking toward the creek, when out of the corner of my eye, I see ... something. A vague, shadowy, large figure over by the brush line. And I'm thinking, okay, what is THAT? when I hear a snort.
SNORT. SNORT. STAMP. STAMP. STAMP.
Oh, f*ck. It's a damn deer. A damn deer who is NOT HAPPY that I am in HER PARK, and is now snorting and stamping her disapproval.
And moving closer.
"SHIT, BAMBI!" I yell. "I'M TRYING TO SAVE THUMPER OVER HERE, ALL RIGHT? CHRIST!"
And the deer gave one final snort and faded into the brush line, and I let the rabbit go and it went frolicking off into the high grass, and I went back to the house and let a highly indignant Little Girl out of the spare room, making sure to give her great praise for her marvelous catch, and then I brushed my teeth and went to bed.
Just another evening here in RockyCat land. C'mon over!
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
First off, it helps to think of my family as being like middle school all over again. There is a bully (my sister TIB), and people who try to stay on her good side so they don't get bullied (my sister Alabama, my brother A.) There are people who just try to stay out of the bully's range (my sister Ditzy), and then there is the target of the bully, i.e., ME.
Except I don't play along. I ignore the bully when she picks on me. I call her out on her bullshit, which infuriates her. I refuse to be intimidated. Oh, I am polite enough to her at family gatherings. I give her nothing to feed her rage, nor do I back down when she starts with her crap. I agree with her when necessary to keep the peace, and then do just exactly what I was planning to do in the first place, anyway.
What none of them know is, I've got a mole on the other side. An informant, so to speak. And this little birdie told me that there's a big party being planned up at the family cottage this weekend. Relatives are flying in from all over the country to attend.
And I have not been invited.
Because who wants to spend the weekend in a snakepit? Surrounded by people who smile and chit-chat with you, and then cut you dead as soon as you leave the room?
They'll spend the weekend congratulating themselves about cutting me out. About "hurting" me. Just like middle school, when ONE KID was excluded from the birthday party of the popular kid, and all the other kids laughed about it.
Except I'm the kid being excluded, and I just think it's funny how grown adults can still act like they're ten.
I may spend a few minutes this weekend wondering how people I actually used to care about, people to whom I am related, turned into a nest of assholes, but mostly?
I'll be working in the garden, and going for walks, and hopefully getting some damn SUN already if it'll stop raining for ten minutes, and just enjoying myself. And probably calling my sister Texas, the one family member who is still my friend, so that the two of us can laugh about how silly this all is. Because the two of us graduated from middle school a long, long time ago, even if the rest of the family didn't.
And I will be very, very thankful that I'm not up at the lake this weekend.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Except when they do.
I was in shock, and then mourning, and the next few weeks after that were a horrifying scramble of tests and test results and road trips to specialists and bad bad news, when Little Girl was diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy and we had to learn a New Normal, she and I.
We got the pill routine down and had more tests and she went back to hunting birds and I went back to the daily stuff of life, except that we are both missing The Runt. Very much so.
And I was thinking the other day, of how hard I am grieving the loss of The Runt. Frankly, I am grieving his loss just as much as I did for Rocky, which hardly seems possible. I mean, I had Rocky for fifteen years. The Runt was still practically a kitten; how could I possibly miss him as much as I had missed Rocky? How could the grief be this strong?
And then, over the past weekend, I read this:
"Sometimes love is for a moment
Sometimes love is for a lifetime
Sometimes a moment is a lifetime."
Yeah. That's it.
Friday, June 24, 2011
This honeysuckle is growing next to the shed out back:
Honeysuckle smells so good. I had a giant honeysuckle at the old place, but a couple of years before I moved it developed some kind of blight. It would still leaf out, but the flower buds would turn black and wither up before they blossomed. I took some small shoots off of a part of the bush that didn't seem to be affected and started them in another part of the yard. They came with me when I moved, and now that plant's a good five feet high! Now if I could just get the trumpet vine to bloom ... *sigh*
Blooming soon: Stargazer lilies. Oh, and a local garden center's having their big end-of-season, half-off-everything sale this weekend, so who knows what I'll end up with. (It's just ALL KINDS of excitement around here.) Maybe a bee balm to replace the one that didn't make it through the winter. Maybe some daylilies to plant by the ditch. I'll let you know what I pick up ...
But FIRST, I thought I'd check to see if somebody had already invented little baby suspenders. And, well, in the market I'd be going for, they'd probably be all blinged out, right?
And then I see a sidebar for "pimp cups".
*My boss loves it when I waste time like this. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna get a raise any day now.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
I went up to the grocery store on my lunch break from work the other day to pick up a couple of things. And there was a kid, well, not a KID, I'm guessing mid-twenties, at the can return.
And he had his jeans belted around his thighs.
I mean, I'm used to the guys with the low-rider look, with their pants hanging low on their hips. WAY low, in some instances.
And just as an aside, young men: Do you know where that particular fashion trend started? In prison, that's where. You see, in prison you do not get BELTS, and so the prison-issued pants tend to SAG, and so when you wear your pants the same way? You are emulating felons.
What's that? "That's the point, white lady"?
But! Back to the dude at the can return! He was wearing plaid boxers, which was obvious because his jeans were belted around his THIGHS. And no, I am NOT talking mid-butt level, I am talking all the way BELOW his butt.
Now, I only take a half-hour for lunch, and he had many, many cans to return, so I couldn't wait around to watch him (try to) walk. And people tend to shoot each other over silly stuff in the neighborhood in which this store, and my office, is located, so I wasn't going to walk up and ASK him how he walked. Lest I get shot. And I am pretty sure that googling "pants around thighs" would take this computer to some places that my boss would prefer it didn't go.
So! How on EARTH do you walk with your pants belted around your thighs? I can only visualize two possible outcomes: (a) You take one step and fall over; (b) You take one step and your pants fall to the ground.
And even standing still, how do you keep pants which are belted around your THIGHS from just falling right off? Gravity is a law, not an option, last time I checked.
Oh man, I've gotta figure this out. Does anybody know how this dude keeps his pants up?
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
and now it's her favorite chair.
Sweet dreams, Little Girl.
That's Little Girl, all crouched down, stalking the wily rabbit who is in the neighbor's ditch.
Now, this is all a big show, because Little Girl knows that the rabbit, which is approximately the same size as she is, could kick her butt if she actually caught it.
So she stalks the rabbit, and makes her final mad dash, but then pulls up short as the rabbit bunny-hops away with no particular urgency.
And they do this with great frequency. It is, evidently, a favorite game of both of them.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
"You've gotta CATCH those fly balls, Kevin! Come on! You're not even trying! CATCH! THE! BALL!"
Very relaxing. They usually don't even PLAY on Sundays, but thanks to this spring's monsoons, they're way behind and making up games.
So, I got up and got showered and dressed and decided to do some gardening, i.e., dig around in the flowerbeds like I know what I'm doing.
First on the agenda was moving some tiger lilies to the side yard. Two successfully made the trip; the third, well ... sorry, tiger lily. See you next year? I mean, your roots are still in the ground, amiright?
The ferns I had
I'm generous like that.
So anyway, I'm headed through the park, and there is yet another Little League game in full swing, or maybe it's the same one from earlier, I have no idea, they all kind of blend into each other when the games start at 9 a.m. and don't wrap up until after 7:30 at night. And I'm feeling kind of self-conscious, passing by the game, except for, shit, the ball field is at least a hundred yards away, and everybody's watching the game and hooting and yelling, not paying attention to little ol' me with my bucket and trowel.
I dig up the ferns, which is a SNOT, because those things have big old tap roots which are hard to break through, especially since I refuse to bring my shovel, because: Walking through the park with a bucket and hand trowel? Semi-normal. Walking through the park with a bucket and a shovel? You're about to bury a corpse.
ANYWAY, I get the ferns, walk back PAST the ball game, and get them lovingly planted in the ground. Except, maybe not so lovingly, since one of them promptly kicked the bucket. That's the weird thing about ferns: Five out of six will take to their new home just FINE, but that sixth one? Will die, like, instantly. Sorry, fern number six. The bamboo would've got ya, anyway. (Me: Queen of Justification.)
And then, I decided to take a walk. (I know: THRILLING! I am getting to the point, here. Finally.) I head out of my yard and start walking past the cars parked at the ball field, when this random baseball dad, who was headed for his car, says, "What were you getting from the woods?"
And I'm, like, "excuse me?"
And he says, "Was it strawberries? I saw you with the bucket - were you picking strawberries?"
Dude was watching me.
I explained how I was digging up ferns. Ferns that were about to be consumed by the bamboo. Ferns that were not going to make it thanks to the pervasive bamboo and NO OF COURSE I AM NOT STEALING hahahahahaha
and he said OK well nice talking to you and got into his car.
I was being watched.
Now that I've got an audience, does this mean I need to put on a show? I sure hope not. I never was any good at that talent-show kind of crap.
... waaaaaait a minute .... I DID get that Dancing with Cats book at the booksale ...
I'm already the neighborhood crazy lady, thankyouverymuch.
Plus, Little League is almost over for the year, anyway.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
There were crafty items, and candles, and butterflies, and note cards, and pictures. Just look at this picture of her garden:
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Now! Carrying on!
On Saturday I was up in Ithaca, doing a little nosing around. I found a parking access spot for the Six Mile Creek Natural Area and did a little walking, although not ENOUGH walking to get to the notorious gay-nude-sunbathing area. There are some things that can remain unseen, as far as I'm concerned.
And! I went to the Ithaca Antiques Mall, the best store in the world, where I snagged a wicker rocking chair for ten bucks. Who CARES if one of the armrests is duct-taped? Ten! Dollars! They even used white duct tape, to match the white-painted wicker, so you can't even TELL, really. Ha. And I went to the Ithaca Sal, and got a pair of Timberland hikers for seven bucks. This is the BEST time of year to hit the Ithaca thrift store, because all of the college students have gone home and left all their unwanted stuff behind in the dorms for the RAs to box up and haul to the Sal. And we are talking Cornell college students, who are all rich as lords and leave behind insanely cool stuff, like practically brand-new Timberlands. I love you, rich college students!
Where else? I went to the Dollar Store, because I cannot pass up a Dollar Store. And I went to Found, another cool antiques store. There is an exhibitor there who does wacked-out stuff with animal bones and skulls.
I wanted to go to the Johnson Museum (FREE!), but I was running close on time and I still had to hit the Commons. I had to go to Blue Bird Antiques, where I bought the stuffed porcupine. They still have the stuffed duck; he may be mine someday. Blue Bird Antiques is right on The Commons, and there is something you should know about the Commons: It is chock-full of
And I will tell you right now, if you want to be a dirty hippie that is just FINE with me. To each his own, and blahblahblah. But here is what dirty hippies and unwashed dogs have in common: They don't really smell until you get 'em wet. You know how, if you haven't given your dog a bath for a while, it doesn't really hit home how damn dirty the pooch is until the bathwater hits him and that first wave of smell rises up?
It's the same with hippies. I shit you not. Oh, sure, they look CUTE, and YOUNG, and FULL OF LIFE, but jeezus christ, it starts to rain and Katie bar the door they STINK.
So I'm on the Commons and the clouds roll in and it starts to thunder and the rain droplets start hitting the ground and I skeedaddled out of there, because I don't need to smell no stinkin' hippies.
Don't worry, Ithaca! I'll be back on another day. A non-rainy day. No offense.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
And then, this other blogger, who blogs ALL THE TIME about how batshit insane her family is, is talking about getting a nanny, except the nanny can never be alone with the baby, because, as she writes, "The baby can only be alone with family members."
and OHMYGOD I SO wanted to comment in, "Family members? You mean, YOUR family?"
this is why blogworld hates me.
Monday, June 13, 2011
"What is it, L.?", I asked.
"Rocky, there's a dead cat in my front yard!", she wailed.
No, it wasn't Little Girl. Thank goodness. It was a big ol' tabby cat, with white paws and a white nose, and it was lying in L.'s yard, a few feet from the road. I don't know what happened - it didn't look like it had been hit by a car, and traffic goes so slowly through there, thanks to the ninety-degree-turn, that it's unlikely that it was hit by a car, but it was dead, nonetheless.
And it wasn't wearing a collar.
People, please, please collar your cats. If they don't like the kind with ID tags, just write your phone number on the collar and put it on your cat. Always use a breakaway collar, so they can't get snagged on something. Even if you have indoor cats, it's still possible that they could get outside, so collar your indoor cats as well.
Oh, we took care of the cat. At first, L. just wanted me to move it closer to the road, so that if someone was looking for it, they would be sure to see it, so I did that. I told her to call the town highway department in the morning, and they would take care of the body, but last night I saw her husband heading toward the park with a wheelbarrow, so I guess he decided to bury it. I'll check Craigslist, to see if anybody lists it as missing. But if it had just had a collar, I could have let the owners know what had happened. It would have been a sad phone call, to be sure, but at least they would have known.
Please, please - collar your cats.
*Not my real name. Ha.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Okay, so the Little League games are every night during the week, and all day on weekends. They usually don't play on Sundays, but they lost so many games to rain last month that they've been playing on Sundays, too.
And the coaches drive me NUTS. They're so LOUD. There is this one coach, in particular, who will yell to a kid, and if he doesn't get the desired response (which is, I guess, any response AT ALL), he'll just keep yelling.
So it goes like this:
"Kevin! Stay on first! KEVIN! KEVIN! KEVIN! KEVIN! KEVIN!"
And then, a minute later,
"Stevie! Look at me! STEVIE! STEVIE! STEVIE! STEVIE!"
Oh. my. GOD. It gets old. And keep in mind that I can be all the way out in my back-backyard, FAR AWAY from the ballfield, and I can STILL hear that douchecanoe bellowing.
But! Last night there was a twist.
The coach is all, "KEVIN! KEVIN! KEVIN! STEVIE! STEVIE! STEVIE!"
and then -
"POMPAY! POMPAY! FURNITURE! FURNITURE!"
and I'm, all, whaaaaaaaa?
At first, I thought he was using a code. You know, like, "Pompay" means stay on first, and "Furniture" means steal second.
It became clear, as the game wore on (and ON) that these were the names of kids. The coach would yell, "PomPAY! Move out to center!" or "Furniture! Stay on second!"
I am assuming that when the coach was yelling what sounded like "PomPAY", that he was actually saying "Pompeii." Which means that somebody named their kid after an ancient city that got buried by an erupting volcano. That's ... unusual.
But ... "Furniture"? WHO THE F*CK WOULD NAME THEIR KID "FURNITURE?"
I kept listening, thinking I MUST be hearing him wrong. Maybe the kid was named ... Bernasure? Perniture? But I swear, he was yelling "Furniture".
Shit. I shoulda had a kid. I coulda named it "Armoire".
Thursday, June 09, 2011
They sell it as an annual here, but I've found it'll come back every year if you put it in the right spot, i.e., ANY spot.
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Oh, this is going to make a world of difference. I mean, Little Girl has been as good as a cat can be about getting pilled, but it was hard on both of us. And this time of year, when she spends so much time outside, the pressure was on to even get ahold of her twice a day.
Oh! And did you know that Walmart (and other pharmacies, for that matter) will fill pet prescriptions? They will! Which means that Little Girl's enalapril will be only ten bucks for a three-month supply!
Whew. Things are looking up.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Some of you may remember last summer, when it was basically a poison ivy free-for-all in the brush around my land. I swear I got poison ivy on TOP of poision ivy, and it sucked. Big time. So I bought some heavy duty poison ivy killer (better living through chemicals, dammit) and sprayed the SHIT out of anything with three leaves.
So imagine my surprise when I was absent-mindedly scratching at a bug bite the other night and realized, hey, that doesn't look like a bug bite. That looks like ... like...
... that looks like I'm screwed again this summer.
pass the calamine lotion, please.
Monday, June 06, 2011
There is a local restaurant whose slogan is "Some People Guess ... the Well-Informed Know!" What does that even mean? Know WHAT? And what does it have to do with a restaurant? Oh, and they charge seventeen bucks for "Beaver Cut" pot roast. What the hell is a "Beaver Cut"?
If your veterinarian's office does not use e-mail - not even to send test results to consulting vets - is that a deal-breaker? I mean, I can't figure it out - they've got a computer system, for Christ's sake - but they don't use e-mail? I'm thinking I need to find another vet. Again. Because this whole "we'll fax the cardiologist the blood work-up (and hope she gets it)" is not working for me.
My boss said something so incredibly rude to me the other morning that I had to give him a pass on it. Because it was so far out of character, I can only conclude that he had temporarily been taken over by an alien or something.
I haven't cooked myself a decent dinner in over a month. Pizza and rotisserie chicken will only take you so far. I need to get cooking again.
Found, at the local library book sale, for twenty-five cents:
Friday, June 03, 2011
See that cat? The one right in the middle of the photo? That is the elusive Cow Kitty. The object of Little Girl's affections.
He lives somewhere in the neighborhood, I'm not sure where, and cuts through my yard to get into the back brush and hunt. Him and every other cat in the neighborhood.
The other morning, early, I heard cat hijinks of the yowling variety going on in the backyard. I got up, and went into the backyard, where I saw ...
... TWO cow kitties! One was white and gray, and one was white and black. They trotted off into the brush when they saw me coming. Holy crap! I thought. There's TWO of them!
Still half asleep, I turned around and went into the garage, and there, on top of the washer, was A THIRD COW KITTY! Who promptly scampered out to join his compatriots.
Now, I'd thought for a while that there may be two cow kitties, one gray and one black. But this third cow kitty was a complete surprise. Who knows? Maybe there's more! I'm pretty sure they're littermates, because they look so much alike. I'm also pretty sure that they belong to someone in the neighborhood, because that's where I see them coming from, and they're not ratty looking or skinny like strays are. And while at least one of them has figured out the pet door and is sometimes spotted INSIDE MY HOUSE, Little Girl's food is not being eaten (other than by her), so obviously, they're not hungry.
Whew! Three cow kitties! I'm outnumbered, here.
And it looks like Little Girl will not be lacking for friends this summer.
Thursday, June 02, 2011
Here is an overhead shot of some Siberian iris(es). I bought one little clump of these from a roadside stand a couple of years ago, and they're going nuts:
Weird, no? That was NOT taken in my garden. Ladyslippers are very, very particular about where they deign to grow. In all of the places I walk, covering hundreds of acres, I know of only three places where ladyslippers grow. And they are only in bloom for a short period in the spring; then they're gone again until the next year.
So! Yesterday was the tale of the toe.
And then last night I get home to discover that Little Girl had killed and eviscerated a mouse in the garage. A large mouse. A large, pregnant mouse.
Jesus. It was like high school biology class all over again.
And I feel really, really sorry for all the things she kills. It's awful. But then I got thinking, you know what? If you are a snake, or a bird, or a mouse, and a well-fed house cat WITH A HEART CONDITION can catch and kill you, your odds of making it in the wild are ZERO. Zip. Nada. You might as well give it up for the cat, because something else is gonna come along thirty seconds later and get you anyway.
Oh! And in other news, I unloaded my old piece-of-shit, won't-start lawnmower on a co-worker. I think he looks at it as a challenge. Good luck with that, E! And remember, no give-backs.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
My sister TIB called last night.
"I just wanted to let you know," she said, "The doctor is going to amputate Mom's hammertoe tomorrow."
A little backstory: My mother is an 86-year-old widow. She was diagnosed with dementia (Alzheimer's) eleven years ago. She lives with my sister TIB.
Mom has had the hammertoe for many years. She said it didn't hurt, and the doctor said that at her age, it was probably best to just leave it alone, as long as it wasn't causing problems. But in the last year, she started to develop sores on that foot where the hammertoe (and ohmyGOD do NOT google hammertoe it is DISGUSTING) was rubbing against her other toes. The doc was worried about infection. As it turns out, that toe is dislocated and she is not using it for balance anyway, so the doc says it has to go. Just like that. CHOP.
Oh my flippin' GOD what's NEXT? And you know what? They're not even going to KNOCK HER OUT. The doc says it's too risky, so they are going to do something called "twilight sleep" and CUT HER F*CKING BIG TOE OFF. And she's not even gonna get crutches or a wheelchair or ANYTHING, they're just gonna put one of those boot things on it. "There you go! Minus one toe! Have a good day!"
And you know what? Thanks to the Alzheimer's, she doesn't understand. I'm sure she was all, like, "Oh, if you think that's best, doctor, go right ahead!"
Whereas I would be out of that doctor's office so fast it would make your HEAD spin. Nobody's touching MY toes, areyououtofyourMIND?!
They are going to cut her toe off. Today. This is gross, you guys.