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Posts Tagged ‘cats’

Some of you may remember that we’ve been having some ongoing issues with keeping our cat Bug in the house when it’s summer and the sliding glass doors are open.

When we moved in to Spacious Green Acres, we made sure that we had a screen door that latched very securely, so that the cat could not get out or slide it open.

The saga continues

I’m happy to report that the door totally works. The cat can not, in fact, slide the door open.

Yep.

That went well.

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It all started a few weeks ago, during the Twain Harte fair, when Lovebug, Fifth Viscount Naughtypants, the Earl of Angelfluff, Mr. Tinklebritches Esq. III figured out how to get around the patented Grip Security Measures we’d installed on the back screen door. He took several extended romps through the lion and bear infested forest (y’all, there was a black bear just hanging out next to the wood pile two weeks ago), and discovered a lovely system of culverts and pipes under our road. Pipes that a resourceful fellow could duck into in a pinch, say, if a human being were pelting after him trying to forcibly return him to his Indoor Cat state. Done properly, a fellow could then pop up on the other side of the road and make his escape, while the hapless human was still peering fruitlessly into the culvert pipe, calling, “Heeeere kitty kitty….” and shaking a bag of salmon treats.

lonefreeranger

He is the Lone Free Ranger. Who has only ever had Inside Cat shots, because we erroneously believed that he was on board with the Inside Cat idea.

My bad.

Last week the Lone Free Ranger won an all expenses paid overnight stay in a luxury suite at the cat hospital, where he was diagnosed with asthma. So now he is on steroids. Our rambunctious, bear wrasslin, outside lovin’, take a walk on the wild side, little cat was initially thrilled at the idea of steroids. Visions of bodybuilding stardom danced in his little pea brain, perhaps a walk-on role in an updated barbarian movie was in his future!

hastalavista2bug

No no. Those are the wrong kind of steroids. You aren’t going to be pumping it up with Hans and Franz any time soon, I’m afraid. These will just puff you up, my little Viennese sausage.

A few days later, he had to go back to the hospital. Indoor Cat meets Outside Virus. We added two more medicines to the regime. This is when I realized that every penny I made in San Jose was going to wind up in my vet’s bank account.

Reality:
1. We are now dosing the cat with meds five times a day.
2.My vet is probably planning an extended trip to Hawaii.
3.I will never be able to afford Hawaii because cats are assholes.

Hawaii Sunset
This is Hawaii. WHERE I WILL NEVER GO. (and this is the flickr feed of the person who took this awesome picture)

So I’m curious. Do I look like a rodeo clown? Because wrangling this cat feels kind of like what I imagine I would feel like if I were a rodeo clown.

When he hears me open the fridge to get his meds out, he quickly leaps up to the top shelf of the cat tree and turns on the Death Ray Glare. Our cat tree is +6’ and I am only 5’7”. You may be starting to see a problem here.

little black raincloudbug

As I go look for a stepladder, he sinks his claws into the living room curtains and hangs on for dear life. Once the cat has successfully been extricated from curtains and cat tree, it takes three of us to actually get the meds into him.  Last night the cat figured out how to spit his medicine across the living room. This morning he one upped that feat, made an alarming noise, spit his meds out in my face, clawed his way free and leapt to the top of the cat tree in a matter of seconds. There he sat, daring us to wrangle him down for a second time. There’s a point in every battle where someone says, “fuck it. You win.” Well I didn’t actually say, “Fuck it, you win.” No. I was trying to get prednisone out of my eye. But I thought it.

The cat has since informed me that I am violating his human rights. I will be hearing from his attorney and that also, he called the UN. I told him that the UN is busy and to get off the damn cat tree, it’s time for his dewormer. I haven’t had the guts to tell him that after his antibiotics run out, the vet will be jabbing him in the arse with Outside Cat shots. I’ll let her explain that one. She just got back from Hawaii after all. She’s nicely tanned and not covered in scratches and prednisone. Fresh. Yeah. That’s it.

cattreebug

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Spacious Nuthouse Estates is currently chock full of nuts! And, er, cats. The Youngest and her cat have come home for an extended summer visit, before heading up to the Pacific Northwest. They’ll be making the permanent move later this fall but we get to enjoy them for a couple of months before they continue their journey to parts farther North.

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Er. MOST of us are enjoying the visit. Except for Mr. MacGreedypants here, who won’t share the catnip mice.

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I’ll be honest, financial challenges are for the birds. There is all sorts of stuff I need for the studio, we have a huge show coming up, and the extra money to prepare for it just isn’t there.

But here’s the thing.

It’s ok.

hairstickteaser

The situation is forcing me to work outside the box because I’ve had to work without the comfortable safety zone of certain supplies. In terms of creative growth, that’s not really such a bad thing at all. And sure, maybe a few weeks before a show isn’t when you want to be all “growth!” and “experiment!” because your brain is focused on “production!” and time can feel a little bit short, but… it is what is.

So I am finding that it’s quite simple, really. Do the best you can with what you’ve got.
If you haven’t got what you wanted, try to find something you can use to replace it. Make it yourself, or work around it.

healeyclasp

Use your tools.

Use what you have.

bebrave3

Make do.

Make it work.

Make it up.

My grandfather was all about making stuff up with what he had. It isn’t like he wasn’t able to easily go out and buy the easy fix, but the store wasn’t where he mentally started.  He had a lot of fun figuring stuff out. If something was broken, he’d go down to the shop, putter for a bit, and come back with a little something he’d whipped up to do the job. Sometimes it was pretty – like when he carved Grandma a little wooden fish out of scrap wood, and put a hook on the end so she wouldn’t burn her hands on the toaster oven rack in the mornings. Sure, he could’ve gotten her something at the store. Or handed her a potholder. But the little wooden fish was way better. The wood was there, and he had two hands and the time so that’s what he did. My dad is the same way. He fixes stuff. He engineers clever solutions to life. Captain Sexypants is very much cast from the same mold.

Lucky me!

duoforthebirds

And then there’s me. If someone carves me a clever wooden fish, I’m thrilled to use it, but my first thought was probably to buy one. My most notable life hacks have been Spanx and refried beans. Imagine my chagrin when I remembered that both of those inventions were already available at Target. I keep trying, though.

bebrave2

I’ve been thinking to myself that this isn’t such a bad attitude to take towards life. Better late than never. Living in the mountains is making this whole transition to a new mindset a lot easier.  It can be a bit more challenging to develop those “make it work” chops when there is Thai takeaway just a phone call away. Living up here, I have to plan ahead and make my own damn curry.

So. In the studio. Making it work with what I’ve got.

birds

duoeggfocal

 

So for the next few weeks, I’ll be in my studio. Making it work. Making do. Making it fantastic. If you need me, you can find me rooting through all the forgotten corners of my stash for things to play with while the cats shake their little pom poms and act encouragingly.

bonniesunbeam

Well.

ollienapping

It’s a form of encouragement, anyway.

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ice.oakleaf
This week in mountain weather I have learned that sometimes, rain freezes when it falls.

ice.chair

The tiny frozen raindrops fell gently, like rain, but looked like hail when they hit the ground. I’ve never seen anything like it. They covered the ground and everything outside in a light, sparkly crust. The world looked like someone had taken a sifter and gently sprinkled powdered sugar on top. Sugar which melted a little bit when the sun came out, then refroze into something harder.

 

ice.leafpile

Now I totally understand why people panic and run to the stores for bread and milk when weather is on the way. Though in our case, it was bacon, honey and sweet potatoes. And a wreath of evergreen for the door. And perhaps some maple syrup and goat cheese as well. It’s important to make sure you don’t starve during a snowstorm. The essentials are key.

ice.rail

It froze even harder in the night, the ice locking us into the cabin as effectively as a foot of snow might have. I’ll be grateful when we get that four wheel drive we are buying, as the little Honda wants to slide everywhere on the slick mountain roads and we just can’t drive it when they are like this.

All this means, of course, that I will not be at Uptown Village Market in Long Beach this weekend. I have thrown in the towel as far as any travel goes. I will be sorry to miss it. They have some good artists on tap!

We will be raising a cup of paleo cocoa to them this weekend.

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The weather has most definitely turned up here on the mountain. Nights are cold, cold cold, and mornings are crisp like the best apple you ever ate. Clear blue skies and autumn sunlight filtering through the pines. After 18 years in LA, all my visual cues are set for “warm” and it is always a shock to step outside and feel the air – colder than I expect.

But really, that’s not the most exciting thing. Ollie and I made a Discovery the other day… I’d heard rumors before I moved here, of course, of a mysterious tribe that lived in the park. But it was all myth and legend until the other day.

 

Could it be… kittens? It IS kittens. Three kittens, to be precise.

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It is a confirmed kitten sighting.

Meanwhile, inside OUR place, it is All Cats All the Time. There is Exploration going on.

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Looks like vertical space is in hot demand here at the Fortress of Solitude. It would appear that the Gleaming Cat Towers of Gondor are not sufficient variety for our arboreal dwellers.

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Princess Bonbon Fluffypants Von Schnitzeltoes has not got many deep thoughts, but she does like exploring.

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The Nuthouse is finally beginning to resemble a place where someone lives. The weather has started to turn from hot hot summer to crisp autumn. Days are still warm, but the nights and mornings… oh they aren’t so warm. The Nuthouse is very snug though, when it is cold outside. We have a great little woodstove. The cats really approve of that. Ollie, in particular, has a great affection for the stove.

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While they’ve all been exploring the pleasures of radiant wood heat over the last few days, Ollie was the first of our crew to really commit himself to the experience. Because he is brave and intrepid like that. Two points to Team Tuxedo.

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We had a hell of a rainstorm yesterday. Thunder and lightning, several bouts of hail… you know you’re a jewelry maker when you are looking at the hail stones and offhandedly think to yourself that they look like 10-12mm quartz beads. It was over by dawn and we had bright blue skies when I woke up today. The cats and I were beautifully toasty inside, with the fire crackling in the stove providing a counterpoint to the drumming water on the roof and the BOOM! flashes of light and sound going on outside.

It was all kinds of beautiful when we got up this morning.

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Steam was rising off of every surface as the sun hit it. Moss, the deck, the chairs, our neighbor’s cabin. I’ve really never seen anything like it. All shades of wood and brown and green with sparkling water drops and cottony white puffs of mist. I looked at all that and thought to myself, you know, how do you even do something like that justice? How do you share that? I don’t think you really can. You can try. But some things really just have to live in your experience. Then again, a camera helps.

post3.nextdoorsteam

 

It is breathtaking and beautiful and the world is somehow all washed clean, just like after a rain in LA, but in a totally different way. The thin layer of ash that was clinging to this part of the world seems to have been washed off, and all the colors are more vibrant today. I know they say that the Rim fire won’t be fully out till the first snow, but I hope the rain helped the firemen a little bit at least.

I have an Autumn Morning After Rain necklace in my mind. All crystal drops and leafy peridot against a darker framework of woody browns and golden yellows. There’s a story that wants told.

I love it here.

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