Monday, October 23, 2006

It's For Science

[Once again my other blog at is down. ]

I love my husband.

Occasionally he asks me "why are people nervous around me?" or "why is admin so uncomfortable with me?" After all, he is incredibly dependable, honest, extremely hard-working. He's loved by his coworkers. He's almost always the first to arrive on the scene when there's a call for back up, even if he's at the opposite end of the extensive complex where he works. He keeps the work environment as safe as possible. He has such a way with mentally disturbed people, that he's routinely called to handle someone, because if anyone else tried to deal with that person, chances are there would be a big fight, and injuries.

The other day he told me that one of the road officers confided in him during one of their training sessions. He let Rory know that if he ever 'went bad' they were just going to shoot him on sight.

So this morning he asked me if, after he retires, he ought to spend about ten years being a bad guy. "It would be for science," he said, batting his eyes at me. "I'd be like the Joker, only more subtle. It would be funny."

He and I had discovered over our many years together, the Universe primarily exists to be funny. He'd be helping it out.

He fails to point out that it would be bad guys who would have things happen to them, not innocents, which makes him more like Batman, only creepier. Batman and Joker's love child? But that would be wrong. Sort of.

Anyway, he still wonders why he makes people nervous.

I sure do love him.

By the way, I forbid him to go bad. He has to be a good guy until the end. Then he can be bad for maybe a little bit, just locally before he heads off into realms unknown.

This is my primary purpose in the Universe; to forbid badness in the Rory. It's a lonely job, but someone has to do it.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Beautiful Faith

Rory and I pulled up to the LJC Feed store at 5:15. Amid the nursery selections and shelves of bagged feed, a double glass door peered darkly from under deep eaves, marred by the ugly, orange "CLOSED" sign.
"Gah! I thought they were open until 6!" I gripped the Bruiser's steering wheel, the Bruiser that was running on a half tank of gas (actually, two quarter tanks) and whose loud purr proclaimed how happily it devoured heaps of gas and how it would gladly return back up the hill, devouring even more. "Can you see the hours on the door?" I asked Rory, morbidly curious.
Meanwhile a red pickup truck was pulling out. It drew up alongside and the driver's window rolled down. The driver made motions, a tall, dark, lean man. I rolled my window down after a blank moment of 'is he going to ask me a question I can't answer or does he want something or am I doing something wrong?' taking up valuable response time. I'm sure I gaped at him, open-mouthed the entire time.
"You need something in the store?"
I admit my hearing is bad enough that I had to simultaneously reparse the sounds he made, interpreting a sentence, while trying to figure out what was going on. Rory was way ahead of me. He leaned over, which would normally put him in my lap, but in the Bruiser he was still several miles away. "No, that's all right."
Comprehension struck me and I gave the driver my best grateful grin. "I guess we'll just have to come back tomorrow."
"Because if it's something important I can get it real quick. It's no trouble."
"Well, we're out of rabbit food," I admitted.
"But we can just give them some greens to get them by until tomorrow," Rory assured him.
"It's no trouble," the driver assured us, and he parked his truck again.
I maneuvered the Bruiser into a parking spot, hopefully not looking too much more idiotic than a four year old trying to steer a shopping cart, and we followed him into the garage. He chit chatted cheerfully as we looked for the rabbit feed, to no avail. They had the small bags in there, but the big bags were inside the building.
"Sometimes they leave this door unlocked," he said, trying the door into the main building. It wasn't.
"That's all right," Rory said. "We'll just come back tomorrow."
"I have a key to the main building," he said. "It's no trouble."
Warm with guilt, we followed him to the glass doors and he let us in. We located the bag in short order, and the man hefted it. Rory got out some cash, reading the price. $6.99. "How about ten dollars," I offered. "That should cover the tax and everything."
"Naw," the man said, carrying the feed out. "You just come in tomorrow and pay."
Rory made small Irish hospitality protesty noises (they're very cute.)
"We do have to come back for alfalfa hay," I said. "We'll definitely do that."
"But--" Rory continued to make incomplete prostesting noises, waving the $10 bill.
"This is why I wanted to own a feed store," the man said.

Loyal customers for life. I didn't even have to drive in the next day--I didn't want to pick up hay in the rain so I called in, hoping I could say or do something and save starting up the Bruiser. It turned out they could take my credit card info over the phone, after I explained the circumstances. "And could you write a thank you note for me for the guy? I think he said he was the owner."
"What did he look like? Tall? Dark hair?"
"Lean?" I added.
"That's Gordon."
Thank you, Gordon. You'll be seeing us at the store often.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Escape from Blackberry Manor

I searched the entire house, top to bottom, looking in all the best cat spots and some of the less likely ones: inside cupboards, on top of narrow shelves, in the pantry though the door had been closed the entire time since the last time I'd seen Wizard. I searched when I first got up about 6am, and again after the kids had left about 7:30, and again, and again … About 12:30 I was starting to really wonder what had gotten into him. His food hadn't been touched since I filled it at 6am, he was overdue for his meds, and I had looked *everywhere* a dozen times, including making Rory climb up into my office closet and, using a mirror and a flashlight, checking in the space between ceiling and floor where Claire can squeeze in and hunt for mice. Still no Wizard.
So Rory goes and checks to see what the dogs are barking at now, and Beast is acting more goofy than usual, bounding about, tongue lolling. And then Rory saw him, Wizard, tucked into a tidy cat package near the juniper bushes looking very put upon. I don't know how Rory noticed him, the sandy tabby settled in a spot between the pale grass and the dark shrubs, camoflaging himself exquisitely.
The entire time I think Beast was thinking my gawd, how does Lassie do it? I've been acting like an idiot all morning trying to tell them the cat is out here and do they pay attention? No, they wander around the house, calling the cat's name. Grrr!
And of course Rory, not Beast, is dubbed the hero as Rory puts on his shoes and scoops the cat up. After a thorough examination, Wizard is dubbed sound (though now he has dirty paws from his adventure,) is given his antibiotics and deposited in front of his food, which he proceeds to devour.
It's likely that Wizard did what no one would expect him to do--leap through a hole in the once-screened screen door while Rory was taking out the trash, landing himself in dog territory. And he'd been there all night. I don't know if Beast's constant circling and inquiries as to whether kitty wants to play or if kitty wants a bath or if kitty would like to play chase kept Wizard inside the yard. It might have as easily been the fact that Wiz is not in any shape to climb a 5' chainlink fence and Beast always runs to the gates when there's even the slightest activity there, and those are the only spots where there's enough space for a cat to slip through.
I shiver to think of what might have happened if Rory hadn't seen Wizard there. His wounds are healing but they're still easily openable, with just thin scabs and lots of red. He also needs to finish his course of antibiotics.
He has another appointment in a month to have his second immunization shot, and at that time he'll get microchipped. It can't be soon enough for me. We have had two calls about the ad in the paper, but one was for a large, older cat and one was for a female. Maybe his owner is looking for him, but so far, looks like he's found home.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Doomed I say, doomed!

It seems that Jestablog on is toast for now. Hopefully it'll be back online soon--I haven't finished capturing all my old entries and I really don't want to lose them all. Not that they're all that, just that I put a lot of time and thought and effort and I'm sure it will be published in its entirety when I'm fabulously famous. Thesis students will pour over the entries for insight into my creative life and secretly write sexual stories about me.


Wizard follows me around the house, mewing. About the only time he isn't mewing now is when he's asleep or being petted. I'm not entirely sure what he wants. His original owners? He doesn't seem to want outside, surprisingly, though I imagine if I opened the door for him he'd go out. The good news is (besides the fact that he has a soft voice--what a blessing! We have another winner in the peace and quiet contest!) that his leg is healing really well. His foot is almost normal-sized now and although he's delicate with it, he can put his full weight on it. He even made a few short jumps today. Blogeois sent me some pics in email (I still haven't found my camera's battery recharger, grr!) I'll be sharing pics here if I can get photobucket to be nice to me.

My pretty boy, Wizard aka Wiz aka Great Wizard aka G. Wiz aka Pinball Wizard

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
I am Ramen King, here me roar!

I also would like to repost (since right after I posted it, the original Jestablog started giving everyone connection failures) The Positional Vote. Please vote for your favorite orientation. I'm hoping I won't have to change the hanging wire orientation, but I suspect I'm doomed.

Orientation One:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Orientation Two:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Orientation Three:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Yes, there is one more orientation but you won't sell me on that one.

So, cast yer votes me hearties! The final decision has to be made by Nov. 10, 2006 so no more voting after that, I mean it! (Does anyone want a peanut?)

And please let me know if my attempts to add images to this site are an appalling failure. I'll try something else if they are.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Vet, G. Wiz, and the seduction of a padawan owner

I know, I know, I only ever come here when my regular blog isn't working. I'm such a bad blogger.

So, to update those of you who read this blog and not the other, we recently captured a stray cat that's been wandering about the area, thinking it might be a Bengal that someone had lost and posted a notice about at our local vet's. He's not a Bengal, but he is gorgeous, and today, just 'cause, I did a very, very naughty thing.

Well, only slightly naughty.

I took him to the vet for an exam as he had a very swollen hind foot, and to test for HIV/Leukemia because that would be a problem for our other cats. The clinic was a bit of a madhouse because two people had called in sick (probably with the same thing I'm keeping my son home for--come on, people, germ theory has been around a long time. Keep it to yourselves, for pity's sake like our good local vets and my (admittedly glad to stay home) child.) I had a longer wait than usual, and so Wizard, aka Great Wizard aka G. Wiz (the cat isn't even ours technically and he already has three names) and I had some quality time in which he expressed his appreciation for being let out of the Cat Carrier of Ultimate Evil (TM) (aka C.C.U.E.) by purring loudly and butting his head against my arm.

Finally the vet comes in and we talk while he examines Wiz. No, he's not even 'lightly' altered. No, he's not Bengal, or pureblood anything. He hasn't been well kept in the past. He has a broken tooth. No, the leg is not broken--he's been bitten repeatedly on the foot, leg and flank by something cat-sized, probably a fight. He may have been hit by a car, though obviously not hard enough to cripple him, or he may have been thrown out of a car at some point. He'll need antibiotics, and probably will need to be wormed--really no use in spending the money for a fecal when it's likely he picked up all kinds of things from living wild, though there aren't tapeworm fragments in obvious evidence in his feces. (There was a tiny bone, though, which was kinda kewl.) The vet took him away to shave the hair off the inside of his leg for a clean blood draw for the test. When he returned, the vet began luring me to the Dark Side.

"It would be very simple for you to just leave him here, and we can alter him today," the vet said.
"Well, we don't know if someone might not claim him," I said. "I'm planning on asking whoever might claim him to pay for any services you provide today, as it's to the cat's general welfare and it's not really out of bounds to have a worming done and all that, and the tests are necessary for us to have him at home with our cats."
"Let's have a look at those results," he said.
Five minutes later ...
"He's negative for both Feline Leukemia and Feline HIV," the vet said cheerfully, flashing me a brilliant Dark Side smile. "You know, I don't think anyone is going to claim this cat. It's a typical tabby, and no one did the responsible thing for him and altered him. I doubt anyone is going to come looking for this cat."
"And," I noted aloud, feeling guilty, "if I did have him altered and someone came to claim him, they might be angry, but it is for the cat's welfare and best interest, and if they still wanted him, at least he'd have that going for him."
"He wouldn't be getting into as many fights," the vet added. "I highly recommend the procedure. And while he's under anesthetic, we can irrigate his wounds."
Oh yeah, I think. And if I wait until later, when it's obvious no one wants him, to have this done, then he'll need a second course of antibiotics for the neutering--this way the antibiotics will cover both the neutering *and* the bite wounds.
And the bite wounds, the more I look at the cat, need to be dealt with. He has a sore on one of his pads, and hair coming off his swollen foot, and the more we run our hands over him, the more scabs and bumps we feel. He would *probably* get better on his own, but the swelling ... the swelling on his poor foot worries me. It's like a sausage, and he doesn't like putting weight on it. Even with gentle compression, the cat growls a brief warning at the vet.
It's a big step, but oh the temptation. Wizard isn't helping, gazing at me with big gold-green eyes, purring deep in his throat.
"I have to think about this," I said, wishing I could call Rory at work, but I know he's training today and he'll be out of easy reach. The only way I could justify pulling him out of the class is with an emergency. This is not an emergency, not something I could justify putting a halt to an entire class of law enforcement and corrections professionals on hold at a rate of a gillion dollars an hour so that I could agonize over the welfare of a tabby cat with my husband.
"I'll go put some paperwork together," the vet said.
The vet left me alone with Wizard for three minutes (bastard!) and all the while Wizard purred and preened the air and gazed at me lovingly. When the vet returned, I caved, caved like a Ding Dong that had all the cream filling licked out of it, licked out by this damned beautiful, loving, adorable cat.
"Let's do it," I said.
The vet nodded knowingly.

I'll be bringing Wizard home today at 4:30 if all goes well. Here I am, biting my nails with worry over this cat that came from who knows where for whatever reason--and I feel good. He's going to be all right.

I did the right thing.

Even though it's probably terribly wrong, it's right.