Posts Tagged ‘cats’


July 23, 2010

It would seem we have a mouse problem at our house. This shouldn’t shock me since a) we live on the river and b) we encourage the wildlife (birds, squirrels, etc) to frequent our backyard by putting out seed and nuts and stuff. The only thing that might deter the rodents from entering our abode would be this …

or this ….

or maybe this …

or, god forbid, this …

There are four, count them 4!, of them. I checked, they are indeed cats! And all of them, at one time or another, have run into mice and come out victorious. But now, nothing.

Every morning, we pull out the drawers and clean out more droppings. We’ve moved all the treats (human & feline) to other places, including many to the garbage because the bags have been breached. Not even the loss of their beloved Whiska’s Treats can goad them into action.

The cats claim they are on strike. I counter with “this isn’t a union job – step up or go home!” To which they explain that they are home and I might want to get some sleep since I’m obviously befuddled. So, we went to the store and got mouse traps.

After a Laurel & Hardy routine in which I almost lost a finger trying to get the traps set, we put them in the drawers and tried very hard NOT to think about them. It goes against everything I believe to kill any animal, however certain animals are indoor pets and others are flea & disease infested creatures that belong outside. We looked at humane traps but neither of us could face trying to empty the trap should it catch something. I’m sorry, I just can’t. Mice are right up there with snakes for me.

Yesterday, we checked the traps and the top drawer had caught one. The mouse was huge! Helen tried to stand up for the cats saying she wouldn’t want to face that thing alone either. I called them worthless reprobates. Then I held the bag as Helen used our special “Mouse Trap” tongs (ones that will never go near food EVER AGAIN!) and dropped the mess, trap and all, into the bag. Then we both had an attack of the shakes and the cats sneered and called us wusses.

Their newest excuse is that since we brought these two hell beasts

into the house, the kitchen is now off limits to them and therefore, they should not be responsible for anything that happens or infiltrates said room. I would just like to point out that these overly sensitive feelings get tossed to the curb when dinner is being prepared or when their food is being dished out. Then, there are no picket lines to cross.


How to Weed Whack Your Lawn

May 22, 2010

Yesterday we set out to mow the lawn. There may, I stress MAY, have been some areas where the tall grass was over two feet in height. We figured it was time when we couldn’t see the dogs in the back corner anymore. Never a good sign. So Helen got out the mower and I attacked some of the, shall we say denser areas of growth with the weed whacker. I learned some valuable lessons which I feel the need to share with you. Lucky you!

  • DO NOT wear open toed shoes. The whirling plastic string will hurt – alot – when it hits bare toes. After the third time, I had to give up the sandals and put on sneakers. NO! NOT REALLY! Even I know to wear closed toed shoes. Who cares if they were my slippers – at least my toes were protected!
  • DO make sure your weed whacker has an easily adjustable plastic string dispenser because you will have to pull out additional lengths several times before you are finished, and really, who wants to spend lots of time trying to find the little booklet that came with the appliance. You know you’ve probably thrown it away. And for those of you who know exactly where your instruction manual is, I highly doubt you ever let your grass get this high!
  • DO use short back & forth strokes in a controlled area in front of you as you maneuver your way through the undergrowth. As much fun as it seems to wildly swing the weed whacker back and forth, cutting swaths of grass like a scythe, unless you have the upper arm strength of say DEATH!, your arm is going to get tired very quickly.
  • TRY not to listen to the whining of the field mice as they complain that you are taking the only cover they have to protect them from the osprey and hawks that pass overhead. You would think we wouldn’t have any rodents living in our yards, what with two very active hell-hounds running loose all the time. However, Spike & Drusilla are not the most observant of canines. They have been known to actually trip over ducks before noticing that the birds were in the yard. I swear sometimes they ignore everything around them until one sees that we’re watching them and then they feel they have to start acting like dogs again.
  • DO be careful of what might be lurking in the weeds. Toys you thought you’d never see again. Or, in our case, toys I’d swear I just put in the toy basket two seconds ago, that magically “walked” across the yard and into my path.
  • Whatever you do, DO NOT compare your area to that of the mowed lawn. Remember, you are not going for the perfectly manicured look. If you wanted that, you’d be hiring someone to do the work for you. No, you’re just trying to get it to the point where you don’t get lost between the fence and the house!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to explain to the line of field mice waiting to come into the house that the cats are not only more alert than the dogs, they’re downright evil. They’ve been know to leave their kill hanging around as a warning to others intent on breaching the perimeter.

PS, I LOVE YOU by Cecelia Ahern

March 6, 2010

I just finished reading PS I Love You by Cecelia Ahern and I’m torn. I liked the story and, while I didn’t always like the characters, they were well thought out and very realistic. But the writing was … the only description that comes to mind is immature. The book would have benefited from some judicious editing because, among other things, there were a lot of repetitions. Ahern described the girls’ favorite eatery several times, using almost identical language each time. Really, I don’t need it more than once.¬†Sloppy writing frustrates me to no end.

I thought about trying another of Cecelia Ahern’s novels, to see if the writing had matured at all. As with many books, this volume included several chapters from one of her upcoming books. Again, the premise was interesting, but it took her five chapters to get to the point and I found myself mumbling “edit, edit, edit!” to myself.

I wonder, am I being too bitchy? Am I just in a foul mood and taking it out on the book I’m reading at the time? Or, more realistically, am I just too tired to appreciate it? And then I started reading this book

The Thirteenth Tale

and I can physically feel the words wrapping themselves around me as I fall in love with good writing all over again!



March 5, 2010

The Girl Who Played with Fire is not an easy book to read. There were parts that made me cringe. Not as much as the first book in the series, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but enough to make me realize that there are some seriously sick people out there. There is cursing, there is violence, there is brutality. Despite that, I really liked the book … a lot. Amongst all this inhumanity, there are good people. They’re not perfect but they stand up for those in need, even if indirectly. I like that Lisbeth Salander has a clear sense of right & wrong. ¬†She doesn’t believe in grey areas and she’s not about to back down on her beliefs just because society tells her hers is a simplistic way of looking at life.

I got confused with the names a few times. What I thought were surnames turned out to be places and it would throw me for a second. However, my biggest problem with the book was the ending. SPOILER ALERT – IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON READING THE BOOK, SKIP THE NEXT PARAGRAPH ….

Salander makes a great protagonist – she’s intelligent and rebellious, getting away with things I only wish I had the guts to attempt. But she’s not superwoman. I was really upset when she was shot and buried but I was okay with that ending. To have her come back, dig her way out of the grave with only one arm and a bullet in the brain was a little unbelievable.


Stieg Larsson died in 2004 just after handing in the manuscripts for his three novels. I’m interested to read the third one, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest and see how it all ends.


March 3, 2010

Several of the felines have pointed out to me that nowhere in the name of the blog does the word dog appear and that it might be a good idea to start showing some of them again, since they haven’t been featured for quite a while. So throughout the month of March, expect gratuitous shots of cats scattered through my posts.

Just in case you’ve forgotten who they are(hah!), the reigning quartet in our house are as follows:

Gentleman George

male, orange, knows just what buttons to push!


the only female in a sea of males – the grey diva.

Andrew Eugene

truly one of the greatest cats that ever was!

And the baby of the bunch – Dudley

whom we worried would not make it through the night, let alone 1.5 years later. As you can see, he usually is where he doesn’t belong … but then he’s a cat.


January 10, 2010

Yesterday, we headed off to LBI to get hair cuts, check on oustide cats, and introduce the pups to their home-away-from-home during the summer months. First stop – local post office to drop off our packages, then on our way! We carefully arranged everything we were bringing down to the beach house (a bookcase, a large picture, and two lamps) on the back seat, put the un-deadly duo in the way back of Helen’s SUV, and were off. By the time we made it to the post office, Dru had climbed over the barrier to the back seat and was sitting on top of the book case. Okay, slight change of plans – we’re nothing if not flexible. So the bookcase and the two lamps were moved into the way back, the dogs were ensconced on the back seat, and the picture was propped behind the front seats in hopes of keeping the two on the back seat where they belonged.

We made if half a block before Dru figured out how to worm her way onto the floor and behind the picture, and wiggle her way into the front seat with me. Spike may be a little dim, but he’s not stupid and he was hot on her heels. So, before we made it two miles out, we had to turn around and come back home to get their carrier. They are not happy traveling in a “container” but riding with both of them in my lap is not an option. We’re looking into the grating that keeps them in their portion of the car.

However, once we got them in the carrier, the rest of the journey was pretty uneventful, except for a lot of crying and a little vomiting, and not all from me either. Once we got to Rick’s, there was much oohing and aahing, which is as it should be! It’s a pet friendly place so Dru and Spike were allowed to stay with us inside where it was warm. They did so well there, allowing all the little old ladies to pet them and adore them, and we got through with only one minor incident.

Helen was getting her hair cut as I was getting my legs waxed. Dru & Spike were in the back with me, with Spike on my lap. The technician had just applied a layer of wax when Spike started wagging his tail. I say started because it only got half-way around before it was securely stuck to my leg. He didn’t know what was happening and J & I were no help what-so-ever, since we were doubled up laughing. And the wax is hardening. We finally got the tail unstuck, but we had to trim some wax off the end, and then try to explain to Helen why his tail was a little less fluffy on one side.

Then, a quick jaunt down to the house to unload. The outside cats are strays my mother started feeding during the summer. We’re sure that Adelaide is Dudley’s sister

and her kittens are his extended family.

My parents have gotten some feeders from PetCo that release dry food three times a day. Our house is becoming known as the “easy mark”* house, with lots of strays stopping by. There was even a long opossum one night during the summer. We’re hoping that was a one time thing!

*Hobos used symbols to let others know whether a town was friendly or not. A symbol of a cat meant that a “kind lady” lived in that house and would be willing to feed you.


December 1, 2009

We often talk about how Andrew is the kind of cat that you get once in a lifetime, if you’re lucky.

It’s not that he’s so patient with the demon Dudley or that he puts up with all our foibles.

It’s not even that he’s one of the most RELAXED creatures I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.

It’s that he is such a comfort. I was holding him this morning, in his preferred pose – draped over my shoulder and relaxing into my arm – that I realized he was calming me down just with his purring. As he burrowed into my neck, I noticed that subconsciously, my breathing was matching his. This is why I cannot hold him for any extended period of time – I would be comatose, I’d be so relaxed.

That or my arm would fall off. That’s 20 pounds of pure muscle right there. Nothing fluffy about this one!

There’s a reason he earned the title of “Greatest Cat That Ever Lived!”