cat fight

Oct. 13th, 2017 10:03 pm
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I heard the most godawful noises coming from outside my window around 9:30pm, whereupon I went outside and discovered Wilson (my diagonal neighbors' cat) in a standoff on the porch railing with an unfamiliar tailless, all-black cat.

Wilson then dived off the railing and under Upstairs Neighbor E's bicycle, where he proceded to make continuous upset noises while the stranger prowled silently along the railing and scented my windowframe.

I attempted to see if Wilson wanted rescue, but he swiped at me. Then I attempted to shoo the stranger cat away, but it swiped at me in turn.

Wilson was very polite about the swiping -- soft paws, no claws. The stranger made me bleed in seven places.

I went inside to clean and disinfect my wounds, after which I returned to see if Wilson was feeling any better/safer. The stranger cat was gone, but Wilson was still on edge, and swiped at me even though I approached very slowly and never got within two feet of him. So I went back inside again and applied a bandaid to the one cut that hadn't stopped bleeding.

When I returned to the porch a third time, Wilson was once again feeling relaxed. He came into the foyer as I opened the door, meowed in greeting, and asked for petting. So I scratched behind his ears for a couple minutes, before he decided it was time to head upstairs and find his people.

I've heard similar noises from the porch occasionally over the past month, and now I wonder if this is an ongoing conflict between Wilson and the stranger...
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1. Tomorrow is annual employee evaluation day at the rental company. I escaped this circus last year since I'd only just been hired and there was no point in evaluating me after less than two weeks of work, but now I have to go downtown and have a fifteen-minute meeting/interview with our local manager, whom I have met all of... uh... twice, maybe? Possibly three times. Anyway, he is making us all fill out evaluation sheets about the other people we work with, and I am really bad at this kind of feedback, okay? Tell me how to do my actual job, and I will do it. But do not ask me to pretend I am in management and do management evaluations for you! *twitches, bites nails*

2. Tonight while we were out for the evening walk, Dottie surprised and attempted to chase not one but TWO skunks. Both times I was able to yank her away before the skunk in question sprayed more than a tiny warning trickle of stink, but seriously, what the hell dog, skunks are the LAST animal you want to tangle with. (...Unless the other animal is a porcupine. In which case, go with the skunk. But generally speaking, back the hell off and leave the skunk alone.)
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1. Called Vicky Saturday evening and talked about various things for a hour or two.

2. Changed linens.

3. Bought Susan's birthday present. I started by going to the Farmer's Market down at Steamboat Landing, but they didn't have anything that really jumped out at me. So I drove up the west shore of the lake to American Winery and bought her three types of specialty fudge. I am mostly neutral on Americana's wines -- a few each year are pretty good, most are okay, a few are emphatically not to my taste -- but I have never yet disliked any of their fudge varieties, so. I got her Maple Bacon Chocolate, Amaretto Chocolate Swirl, and Dark Chocolate Covered Cherry. :)

more items under the cut )

21. Susan's birthday celebration! We met at the G family house around 7pm, where Cat and I admired Susan's kitten (Abbie, a gray tabby with white socks and a bit of tan around her ankles) and Susan opened our gifts.

Then we went to Yuki Hana, a local sushi place, for dinner. We got three items to share: unagi don, orange dragon rolls, and ume-shiso rolls; before the main course, Susan and I each had miso soup and Cat had the complimentary salad that came with the unagi don. We declined desert, but received a plate with three watermelon slices apparently just because, which was unexpected but tasty. I had to preemptively take a Benadryl because of raw avocado and cucumber, but it was totally worth it. :)

After dinner, we returned to the G family house and chatted for a while before Susan suggested we try some of the fudge I'd gotten her. Rev. and Mrs. G were invited to join in, and the general consensus was that fudge is good. (This is not a terribly controversial conclusion, I feel. *wry*) We enlisted Rev. G to take pictures of the three of us before Cat had to bail (since she needed to get some sleep before driving to Pennsic on Monday), and I am very glad we were able to get together like that. :D

22. Finished the beta draft of "Intervention" (my WIP Big Bang fic) and sent it to beta. \o/

23. Drove back to Ithaca. I should mention at this point that on both the drive down and the drive up, I was listening to a lecture series on tape: The Barbarian Empires of the Steppes, by Prof. Kenneth W. Harl of Tulane, which is part of the Great Courses series. There are 36 lectures in total, two per CD, and I have gotten through 17 of them. (I started on lecture 3, since Mom and I listened to some of them on a previous car trip and while I couldn't remember exactly where we left off, I knew it was past the first CD.)

I don't know why I never tried listening to nonfiction audiobooks or audio lectures on car trips before. (I specify nonfiction because I find fiction audiobooks intensely distracting; the voices never quite match what's in my head, and also the pacing tends to be indefinably wrong.) But listening to lectures while driving uses one problem to solve another in the most beautiful way. First, the lectures help me stay alert and focused on the road in a way that I otherwise find difficult -- caffeine is not infallible, and music gets samey after a while -- because I have to be paying attention to what the lecturer is saying, and relating it to previous lectures and my own general understanding of world history. Second, driving is a visual/kinesthetic task that eats up enough of my concentration that I actually CAN pay attention to the audio input, which is something I otherwise find nearly impossible and have had to resort to sewing projects or coloring books in order to listen to occasional podcasts that I decided were important enough to make the effort.

Anyway, I think I can get at least one more round trip to NJ and back out of this lecture series -- and then probably down to NJ again -- but after that I need to look into my local library's audio offerings, because I didn't get drifty even once on this trip, and I promise you it's not because I'd gotten any more sleep than usual. *wry*

...

And that is that, and I really have to remember to make these posts more often because covering ten days at once is ridiculous.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Last-minute apartment cleanup before my parents' visit, i.e., I cleared and organized the piles of stuff that had collected on my coffee table, living room table, and kitchen counters over the past few months, and temporarily stashed some other stuff in my bedroom to free up my armchair for people to sit on. Also I dusted a few shelves, because reasons.

2. Collected trash from wastebaskets and took the combined bag to the trashcan outdoors. I think one more bag and the can will be ready for curbside pickup -- so, maybe early June?

3. Paid my monthly internet bill.

4. Welcomed my parents and Dottie! ♥

more items under the cut )

14. Peeled the moldy layers off my sprouting onion and sprayed the thing with diluted anti-fungal solution. Hopefully this will help more than it hurts. (It did not seem to cause any harm to my pepper seedlings when I sprayed their little peat cylinders back in March, since they'd acquired fungal spores while they sat in storage for a year.)

15. Dumped the resulting gunk and some other compost into the communal bin.

16. Baked brownies for church coffee hour tomorrow morning.

And I think that's about it! It was a very full two days. :)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Failed to get a haircut on Saturday morning, because my barber was out of town on vacation. *sigh* I will try again this week.

2. Walked to Agway on Sunday morning in search of trellises for my squash, but did not find any of the type I wanted. Ah well. Perhaps I can train them up the posts of my porch railing?

3. Returned a library book I'd been meaning to return for over a month now.

4. Caught a mouse under a bathroom plunger.

...Uh, okay, context. context )

And that is how I know my work-related dead mouse karma is still going strong. *sigh*

5. Bought four plastic storage tubs for planting squash.

6. Changed linens.

7. Acquired a new back screen door and door frame, yay! (Thank you, Landlord Dude. Thanks are also due to Landlady, who came by and did a whole bunch of yardwork.)

8. Took kitchen compost to the communal bin in the back yard.

9. Photographed my vegetables.

10. Repotted Damocles, one of my big hanging spider plants.

11. Made my weekly Facebook update post.

12. Got some writing done over the weekend and Monday, even if it wasn't always the writing I intended to do, nor was it as many words as I'd hoped for.
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1. Went to bed early on Wednesday, in an attempt to shake the not-quite-cold that I still haven't been able to get rid of.

2. Was still semi-sniffly when I woke up Thursday morning, and reluctantly rescheduled my blood donation appointment YET AGAIN, argh.

3. Rescued a spider from my shower and let it go in my front room. I am happy to coexist with house spiders, provided they stay OUT of my bedroom and bathroom, and never touch me unexpectedly. Startling me in the shower is not good for their life expectancy.

4. Wrote a bit more of my Enchanted Forest prompt ficlet, and also figured out (I think) a way to better tie the opening into the later action, so there's some groundwork for what the unexpected ambassadors have come to discuss. I have not yet attempted to implement that, because I continue to be constantly tired and kind of brain-fried. *sigh*

5. Wrote and mailed my birthday thank-you notes, which involved finally getting rid of the last of some tiny butterfly stickers I acquired over a decade ago (I have no memory of either why or how) and almost getting rid of some free bee-and-flower stickers I got from... probably the Nature Conservancy, in one of their periodic 'donate to us again!' mailings. (I get mailings of that nature from several charities, since I used to give money yearly to, uh, the ACLU, Amnesty International, the Nature Conservancy, Planned Parenthood, and the International Eye Foundation. I also get mailings from the US Methodists' charitable arm, since I donated to them once some years ago as Susan's Christmas gift, but they didn't have a 'donation in the name of' option so now UMCOR thinks I'm their good target instead of her. *deeper sigh*)

6. Took kitchen compost to backyard bin.

7. And, of course, the reason I'm so tired all the time is that I am working stupid hours at my two jobs. This week will end up being ~53 hours all told, and then I will probably be working both Sunday the 26th and Sunday the 5th so starting from Monday the 20th that's like... three weeks in a row with no days off, yikes. (Well, I may ask for Saturday the 4th off at the rental company, but that would be so I could chaperone a youth group thing at church so I wouldn't exactly call it a day of rest.)

...

The money is worth it. I think.
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One month exactly (...okay, minus two hours) after my last dead mouse, I had another one. This one was in the cupboard under my kitchen sink.

Coincidentally, I had just reset that trap this afternoon, since I'd accidentally set it off while getting a rag and some steel wool out from the cupboard in order to do some serious cleaning of my stove. The piece of Snickers bar fell apart as it fell off, so when I reset the trap I only used about half of what had previously been there. I think smaller candy pieces make more effective bait, honestly.

cut for description of animal death )

...

I am so tired of mice.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
About twenty minutes ago I heard a funny clattery noise from the direction of my kitchen, and got up to see what had fallen over.

Not any of the dishes in the drying rack. Nothing on any of the counters. Not my poor pepper pots on the back porch.

And then I remembered that I do keep two mousetraps perpetually armed and baited (I use chunks of Snickers bars, because they don't rot) and they do sound a bit like falling dishes when they snap.

The one in the kitchen cupboard was untouched. The one under the bathroom sink, on the other hand... Bingo.

if animal injury and death bother you, stop reading here )

Tomorrow I'll buy a Snickers bar and bait two more traps.
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Quick post to say several things!

1. I retrieved Dottie from NJ and will be taking care of her until next Wednesday, the 28th. Yay dog! She's on a different diet yet again, but at least this one is slightly simpler than some of the previous variations. However, I now have to give her her twice-daily medicine tablet as a separate thing, daubed in peanut butter, since she won't eat them if they're mixed into her breakfast and dinner (and then may not eat the meals either, because ewww, contamination).

2. On my drive back to Ithaca, there was a dead bear on the side of I-380. A BEAR. I have seen roadkill opossums, raccoons, and deer -- to say nothing of innumerable squirrels and birds -- but never a freaking black bear. It may have been a juvenile; it looked a bit scrawny for a full-grown bear.

3. While walking Dottie last night, I spotted a toad hopping between her feet (she missed it completely; her eyesight and hearing have gone fuzzy in her old age) and briefly picked it up to say hello. Then I let it go, of course, because I'm not a monster.

4. My laptop completely died last night. :( Not only is the battery nonfunctional, the power cord is no longer working so I can't even just plug it in and use it as a de facto desktop. I am looking into repair/replacement options, but this is a little tricky because of my work schedule (Tues and Weds 9am-7pm, plus the hours immediately before and after that for dog care) so I may not even be able to take it in to a repair shop until Thursday. *headdesk*

5. Because of the computer woes, I will probably not be online much for the next week. This means I will be even slower about commenting and/or responding to comments than usual, because I only get an hour of free internet at the public library (and that only on non-work days) and it's really hard to type anything long and coherent on my phone. (I am typing this at the rental office, but I'm not supposed to use our internet for personal stuff, so I will be signing out of Dreamwidth as soon as I'm done.)

6. While in NJ, I dropped by Susan's place of work (a pottery) for an hour and a half, and got to shape two pinch-pots as part of a monthly gimmick they're doing for October: a 1000 bowl sale for charity. Susan will pick and apply the glazes, obviously, since I am now back in Ithaca. I may be down in NJ again over the sale weekend (for yet another dogsitting pickup), in which case I might try to buy one of my bowls if they haven't sold yet. :)
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I have a dog until August 10th, while my parents are in Europe. They are starting in Prague, taking a river cruise on the Elbe, and ending at the Meteoritical Society's annual conference, which is in Berlin this year. (In late September, they will go back to Prague because Dad is presenting a paper at a completely different conference. They had already made the cruise reservations when he learned about that conference and decided to submit an abstract, which is why the logistics make no sense.)

Dottie is going to turn 14 this fall, and her age has definitely started to catch up with her. When I had her this spring, she was already on some anti-arthritis medication, and now she's also been switched to a new diet because she's showing early signs of kidney problems. (Drinking a lot of water, basically, which is extra weird because she's never drunk much; we used to slip her water by turning her meals into soup.) She's walking very slowly and often doesn't want to go outside at all... which is, of course, a problem because of all the water she's now drinking. :(

I did some online research and talked to some people at my church about which local vets they use, and Mom and I jointly decided which one to use in case of emergencies. Hopefully it will not come to that, but it's good to have a plan in place.

This afternoon, Dottie and I sat out on my back porch for a while because when I tried to walk her, she just flopped down on a sunny patch of grass a block from my apartment and refused to move. I had to carry her back home, after which I figured if she wanted to lie in the sun, we could at least do it where I could read a book. *wry* I also brushed her because she's been shedding like crazy, and I could probably do so again tomorrow and remove just as much hair. Hopefully that's a side-effect of the heat and not a sign of a more serious health issue.

This time Dad remembered to add a squishy pillow as part of her paraphernalia, so she has a comfortable resting place near my computer desk. On previous visits, Dottie made do with my one and only couch cushion, which is stiff and overstuffed and also just a little too small for her to easily curl up on. She is snoozing on her pillow beside me now, and I have to say, my apartment feels about ten times friendlier with her in it than when I'm on my own. :)

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Elizabeth Culmer

October 2017

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