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Good morning, and brrrrrrrrrrr.

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Okay, technically, I suppose, it's no longer morning, but since I don't seem to really get functional before about seven in the evening, it is for me.

*pauses to mediate between screaming cats*

It actually warmed up today to about 50 degrees at 11 a.m., which allowed me to pick out the paddock--four days of frozen-to-the-ground horse manure adds up, but at least it doesn't smell--just in time for the next arctic blast to roll through. We have a wind chill warning starting at six pm and going through noon tomorrow. The low WITHOUT calculating in the wind chill is supposed to be ten degrees (it keeps creeping up, which is FINE BY ME THANK YOU VERY MUCH). I'll be locking the barn cat(s) into the tack room again tonight, and putting hay into the stalls instead of under the overhang. Or maybe in addition to under the overhang; if it's all in the stalls it gets befouled that much faster. Ah, country life.

I signed up yesterday for Writers Police Academy. Registration opened at noon; I was registered by seven minutes after; by twelve minutes after they were half full; and in less than 13 hours registration closed. I think they're limited to 250 people. A lot of them are repeat offenders, er, attendees. At some point they're really going to have to tell us, "look, if you've been to four or five of these, give someone else a chance, already." (But until they make that announcement I plan to continue attending, because I get something new out of it every time.)

Note to self: Schedule a propane delivery in a couple of weeks. I'm down to 40% in the tank, which means I'm using it faster than normal (quelle surprise? Non!). Unfortunately deliveries have to be scheduled not just around how fast I'm using the stuff, but also around how high the creek is, and right now it's too high for the truck to get through.

Oh! Gretl report! She's back, and actually permitted me to stroke her a couple of times (she was half asleep), but by and large still behaves like I'm a monster planning to eat her. Maybe I should have named her Greta, for Garbo ("I vant to be left alone"), instead. I found that scattering orange peel around one of her inappropriate pee spots seems to have stopped the behavior, at least for now; I've ordered some orange essential oils that I'll mix with spray-bottle water to spritz such places. Orange essence smells better than cat pee any day.

Time to go feed, and lock up cats. Brrrrr.

Gretl update

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So a few minutes ago, the vet called (which is amazing all by itself) to let me know that Gretl had her surgery today, and they removed three stones from her bladder. They'll be keeping her a few more days to make sure she gets her antibiotics, and I get to call tomorrow to find out how much the bill is.

But it's a great relief to know that no, it wasn't cancer, and she seems to be doing very well.

There are worse ways to spend money than on one's dependents, furry or otherwise.

Arise, Lazarus! and other good things

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Oliver is not dead! I was out very (for me) early this morning, and there he was at the barn, looking bedraggled and missing his collar, but definitely alive and even in one piece. I'm glad the collar is gone, actually; I worry about cats and collars, how easily they can be caught and twisted. He came over and stropped himself on the muck bucket and then had Cat Things to do, but at least he is alive.

As to why I was up at a godforsaken hour--the local farmers' co-op called to let me know that the wind was expected to be not windy for a little while this morning, and they were planning to show up and spray my pasture for weeds. In half an hour. Since I was dead to the world when the phone rang, I begged an extra half-hour's grace, hauled myself out of bed and ran to the barn, where I

fixed some beet pulp (basically, poured it into feed pans and added lots of water)
mucked stalls
greeted Lazarus, above
dumped the bucket
found the tarp and covered the water tank
drained excess water from the beet pulp
put the pans in the stalls
talked the horses into their stalls
shut them into the stalls
closed down the barn
opened the barn paddock gate
went back to the house, got the car, drove to the road gate
opened the road gate
realized the gate between the small paddock and the pasture was shut, and went to open that
drove back to the road gate
and greeted the co-op guy, who was just coming up the hill.

I explained what I wanted and told him he was on his own, because I was going to go buy feed.

So he went on his merry way, and so did I, stopping off at my local lottery place on the way to check my tickets.

And lo, I won three free tickets and $104! That's the biggest win I think I've ever had, and it means I'm only down 50% for the year on that particular game.

And nearly all of it, of course, went on horse feed.

So home again, to unload 190 pounds of various kinds of horse feed, wave goodbye to the co-op guy, let the horses out, muck the stalls again, go back to the house, wash, and go back to bed.

All in all, a good day's work before noon. I plan to remain in my blissful glow of Good Fortune and Things Accomplished by not checking my email today.

Oh, and yesterday I got the insane dryer ducting in the crawl space replaced (I had someone else do it; I won't go down there for love nor money), thereby preventing the looming probability of a house fire. The ductwork is twice as long as it needs to be, and was as cheap as possible, and disintegrating. It's still twice as long, but it's not cheap and not disintegrating any more, so that's very good too.

Go me!

Gretl wars, and other

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Gretl is now at the vet's and will stay there until a full regime of antibiotics has been implemented and her urinary tract infection has been cured.

She is not happy about this.

Neither am I, because it's costing me money for which I had other plans. Nonetheless.

In other news, it looks very likely that Oliver, aka O-cat, aka Othercat, the neighbor's kitty who insisted that my barn was a better place to hang out than his barn, met with a sudden and awful end early Sunday morning, right underneath my bathroom window. I looked for signs later on but couldn't find any, for which I'm grateful, but the screaming woke me and my indoor cats and none of us got back to sleep (and haven't slept well since). I'm very sorry about this and very angry too, because this was a cat who had no business being an outdoor kitty. He had no survival instincts. Anyone (or thing) could approach him. When a human picked him up, he went completely limp, the way Ragdolls are supposed to and mostly don't. I would be delighted beyond words to find him back in my barn, but I don't think it's going to happen.

Doofus remains well.

And today we have...

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Too Many Things.

So far I have mucked out a barn, gotten the horses trimmed, resolved a crisis involving potential disaster, provided water to the Good Ol' Boys Fixin' the Durn Bridge, raced down to get an essential letter in the mail (see Crisis, above), and picked up the mail (verifying that said letter actually did go out today). I have not, however, managed to find Gretl to dose her yet, nor have I managed to get to the gym (and probably won't, see Durn Bridge, above). Of course, it's only just past two o'clock, so who knows what the rest of the day may bring?

I'm still worried about Gretl. Last night I thought I had her; she'd gone into the hallway, so I crept up to block her way and herd her into the bathroom. Instead she hissed, snarled, and ducked *behind* the washing machine. I know when I'm beaten, so I retreated. Later on she came out to glare at me, and lay down, and I just walked over and picked her up (which is alarming all by itself). I haven't found her randomly peeing anywhere, but I don't know if she's feeling better or not. I hate having to harass her like this. She's such a self-sufficient kitty.

I've also checked out the partially-repaired Durn Bridge. The Good Ol' Boys took out about six feet of rotten side-rails, but didn't replace them, so now we have six feet of bolts between us and the eight-foot drop to the creek. They also decided not to put in the guide boards this time, so if you have any loose fillings, a trip across will take care of that for you.

S'welp me, if I won the lottery, one of the things on my List is replacing that damned bridge with a federally-approved concrete bridge. Aaaargh.

Agents of Acronym, and Gretl

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I can hear msdori chortling from here.

Series has potential, I'll give'm that, and I'm not even twenty minutes into it. Does this guy ALWAYS smirk? (Silly question, I know.)

Reminds me a bit of ALPHAS.

Meanwhile, on the battlefront, I have been severely chastised by the vet's assistant. "It's VERY IMPORTANT to make sure she gets her meds TWICE A DAY, EVERY DAY."

"Yes. I know that. You know that. The VET knows that. The CAT, however, DISAGREES."

"Well, you could keep her in a crate."

Riiiiiiiiiiight. 24/7? I'm not running a vet's office. The only crates *I* have are transport crates. Not exactly room for a litterbox, much less for a large cat to move around easily.

"And you know she needs her shots..."

All this, because I called the vet's office to tell them I'd be in tomorrow for the additional bottle of amoxicillin WHICH THE VET SPECIFICALLY DIRECTED ME TO GET BEFORE THE SECOND BOTTLE RAN OUT. But no. She has to go back to the vet to verify--okay, I don't really have a problem with that--and then inform me that if I need any more I'll have to bring the cat back in, and then lecture me about the need to give medications properly as if I've never heard of such a thing before--and then the crate suggestion, and finally remind me that the cat needs shots. As if I didn't ask about that when I brought her in originally.

I hate it when twerps half my age lecture me about stuff I already know.

Meanwhile, I have successfully dosed Gretl twice today, and she relaxed enough to eat a whole can of Gooshiefood tonight before asking, very politely, to be let out. And now she's lying on the living room rug grooming herself, so perhaps she's not so traumatized after all.

...though I still have to trick her into grabbing range.

The continuing saga continues

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Gretl appeared for approximately three microseconds yesterday, and thus avoided medications altogether. She showed up for six microseconds this morning, and likewise won. However, this engendered a false sense of security, and I was doing something on the computer this evening when I looked over and saw her snoozing peacefully on the arm of the sofa, well within arm's reach.

So I reached, and by gawd got'er.

Poor baby. She gets so scared she trembles, and she hates the Pink Stuff and fights it. But I did manage to coax her to eat a little bit of Gooshiefood before she decided that no, she really wanted out a lot more than food. So I picked her up and cuddled for a few seconds, just to show her that I wasn't ALWAYS a monster, and let her down and let her out. When I opened the door, she had to fight her way past an incoming horde of cats homing in on the food dish, but she's back in the bedroom now feeling betrayed again. I'm so sorry this is so hard on her, but I don't want her to be sick, either. I think if this ever happens again--Bast forbid--I'll ask the vet to just give her a shot of heavy-duty antibiotics to begin with, and skip all this endless trauma.

Gretl Wars, Battle the Latest

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So Gretl won this morning, by dint of vanishment. But by this evening she was a Hungry Kitty, which meant I was able to snatch her up while she went after Treatses scattered around my feet.

So off to the for'ard bath I toted her, along with the little bottle of Pink Stuff, promising her solemnly that she would have Gooshiefood all to herself once this was over with.

Unfortunately, I failed to wrap her securely, and in the process the little bottle of Pink Stuff went flying.

Fortunately, I had another bottle (and the first one was *almost* finished anyway).

Unfortunately, I am unable to learn from experience, and again failed to wrap the cat securely. Bloodletting ensued.

Fortunately, she damn well got Pink Stuff shoved down her throat anyway.

Gretl continues to be unimpressed by this process. However, she has deigned to come out this evening and take possession of the back of the small sofa.

Little does she suspect that if I get my hands on her again this evening, she is going to have MORE Pink Stuff shoved down her throat.

But so far, today's been a draw.

Small victories

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Okay, for some time I've been making unpleasant discoveries related to Somebody peeing where they oughtn't. More alarming, recently, is finding blood in it. One of the problems with having a few too many cats (shaddup, you who know who you are) is determining just who Somebody is.

Sunday evening, I got it nailed down; it was Gretl. The good news was that now I knew; the bad news was that Gretl is a very shy cat at the best of times and doesn't like to be touched. But I called the vet Monday morning, got an appointment for the next day (that would be yesterday), and with some help from msdori and a bit of luck, managed to catch her and take her in.

Preliminary diagnosis is a urinary tract infection, so the vet gave me amoxicillin, "to be administered twice a day, at mealtimes." Er. With nine cats indoors, I do free feeding; guess that's gonna change.... The vet graciously acknowledged that sometimes I might miss giving the meds, but if I forgot, I should just give them right away (because, yeah, the cat is going to be RIGHT THERE WAITING TO HAVE PINK STUFF SHOVED DOWN HER THROAT). Because if she doesn't get ALL of the two bottles of pink stuff, plus a third, we'll have to go to "the more expensive option." Oh. Right.

So I took her home, opened the carrier, and the cat promptly vanished. Yesterday evening, I tried to catch her; this was not very successful (it was a choice between twisting the cat's leg off and letting her go, and I let her go, whereupon, very understandably, she vanished again). Then I picked up all the food again and went to bed and worried myself to sleep.

And this morning, woke up at 6:30, to see Gretl standing on the bedroom chair, looking intently at Something. Since I wasn't wearing my glasses, I ignored whatever Something was and grabbed her by the scruff, wrapped her in a towel, got the pink stuff out of the refrigerator along with some gooshie cat food, and hied us into the for'ard bathroom. She got her dose, and then some gooshie food and some pettins, and then I let her go. POOF gone.

Amazingly, this evening I located her in one of the cat trees and was able to catch her again. Repeat from towel onward, but this time when I let her go she wasn't quite as POOF gone.

And a little later she ACTUALLY LET ME TOUCH HER.

Of course, she was probably gloating over the fact that I was going to go back into the bedroom and find where she'd thrown up all over the bedspread, but hey. Win some...

But she's also much more active and interacting with the other cats, so obviously she's feeling better, too. And that's not such a small victory at all.

Dear Author Whose Work I Love a Lot....

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I just finished listening to the first book in the series on audio, and I'm very disappointed that the others aren't available. I have all three in print AND electronically, and I can't say that about any other series.

However.

There are some things I pick up from listening that I missed on reading, probably because I was devouring the books wholesale, and I will never be able to read or listen to one small section of the first book again without giggling hysterically.

Dear Author, I will always love your work. But PLEASE.

please. Trust me on this: One does NOT muck out stalls while dressed in an elegant, floor-length, formal gown, and then turn around and celebrate a formal occasion while still dressed in that same formal gown. You just DON'T.

Signed, Fellow Author Who Mucks Out Stalls Every Day

Gorgeous day

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Absolutely lovely day today--I wouldn't mind if the rest of the summer was like today, sunny, temperature not above 80, (relatively) low humidity, a few clouds just to provide interest. I went out today and saw a great blue heron standing in the middle of the road--I've seen him in the creek several times, but this is the first time standing on land (if you can call asphalt "land"). He turned to look at me, clacked his beak and took off. Fabulous to watch.

And the car is ready (again) so I should be able to pick it up on Wednesday, which is the next day I'll be going up north. I have a whole quarter of a tank of gas in the loaner, and that only because I put in most of the gas I'd bought for the Brave Little Toaster, so I should have enough to get me up there. I can't spend any money until Thursday when the check arrives, so it had *better* be enough. (It will, because I won't have to turn around and come home in it. I had *better not* have to turn around and come home in the loaner!)

So, two good things to put against a minor squabble with someone who has Visions of a Paperless Future, to which I object on a number of fronts. I will have to put up with this through next year. After that they can foist their Visions on someone else. I wish them luck finding a replacement.

Plan B, and a bridge

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So far (based on two consecutive days) Plan B is working. It goes like this:

Go out to barn. Feed Doofus. Put out hay. Muck out Mae's stall. Prepare horse feed. Grab halter, go to overhang where horses are chowing down, halter Mae, put her in stall, close door, grab loaded muck bucket, open paddock gate, call Dare, dump muck bucket, shove Dare out of the way of the gate, close gate, return to barn, let Mae out of stall, re-clean stall (when she's pissed, it's literal), clean Dare's stall (aka Augean Stables, jr), spread shavings, put soaked feed in stalls, call Mae, shut her in stall with feed, grab muck bucket, open paddock gate, dump bucket, return to barn closing gate behind me (Dare having cleverly dodged me and returned to his stall/feed/girlfriend), open Mae's stall, take her feed bin and rinse it, wait for Dare to finish eating.

So far so good. Fingers crossed.

Getting ready to go down to bridge with a flat of water bottles. We have been Summoned to work on the bridge. Summoner is the new neighbor downhill, who has not spoken or even looked at me in a year and a half plus. Should be interesting. The bridge is in bad shape--needs at least 15 boards replaced. I cannot kneel down to pound nails, so water is my contribution. Probably six other people have the same idea.
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Not only have I made a dumpster run, getting rid of accumulated kitty litter and other household trash, but also I've mowed, verily, not just the back yard but the front yard and the damned front alley. (That's about an acre and a half total.) The Brave Little Toaster (aka my 15+ -year-old Sears riding mower) and I done good.

And, of course, mucked out the barn and fed the horses and Doofus.

That may not be much for some people, but for me, it's a lot. So there.

And I got some new supplements for Dare, so with luck he'll put on some more weight.

I'm watching My Cat From Hell, and seriously want to slap the owners in the current episode. The guy has Crohn's disease, and he's blaming his flareups on the cat. The cat wants SOMEONE TO PAT HIM. What he *needs* is a new owner who's less self-absorbed.

Dear idiots in the corner

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Since you moved in two months ago, you have:

1) yelled at Maria the Rescue Lady about her cutting brush ON HER OWN PROPERTY;
2) driven up the hill--in a part of the development where you DON'T live--so fast that you went off the road and almost INTO the pasture (off a hill) (they had to be pulled out)
3) played music so loudly that we could hear it three multi-acre lots away
and NOW you're setting off fireworks, right next to two pastures full of horses--not just sparklers, but screamers, M-80s, and big noisy ones. If we don't have someone go through a fence or colic from this it's going to be a miracle.

YOU DON'T MOVE OUT INTO THE COUNTRY TO MAKE NOISE, DAMMIT. SHUT THE FUCK UP. BETTER YET, GO AWAY.

Uphill Neighbor has gone over to talk to them. And now his wife has gone over to find out what's taking so long. If I were the Idiots, I would be Very Afraid right now--Wife is *not* someone you want to mess with.

Oh, crap.

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Last Sunday evening a bunch of stuff I had perched on the arm of the sofa slid into the wastebasket. I pulled the book and the box of fly predators out, but overlooked the small detail that my wallet had been in the stack, too. So Monday morning when I gathered up the trash, the wallet went along for the ride, and wound up in the Dumpster, never to be seen again.

Because I had been in the process of transferring things to a new wallet, I *didn't* lose my driver's license, debit card, or most of my credit cards (and the one that remained in the wallet had been cancelled anyway). But I just realized that all my stamps were in the wallet (along with my retiree ID; the wallet itself had been a retirement gift, so losing it irked me just on general principles). So now I have to buy more stamps. Pfui.

In other news, Doofus has volunteered to assist in the cat-feeding part of the exercise--or maybe he's making it clear that the menu is far too limited. I went out to the barn a couple of days ago to find a large, fat, and very dead mole lying on the haybale next to the cat feeder. Found another dead mole today, this one along the fenceline. Considering that my back yard is ridged to a fare-thee-well with mole tunnels, I am well pleased by this, and Doof gets many kitty treats in consideration thereof.

Also, a new Hay Guy came by today to look at my pastures (well, pasture and paddock, really), and we made a deal for him to cut it for square bales. We're not sure how much we're going to get, but a low estimate at this point is about 200 bales, of which I'll keep 100. Since I have no room for more hay and no storage, this will go to my Uphill Neighbor, who very kindly cut my yard for me today. I'm thinking if I rearranged my fence lines, I could probably get another 100 bales without a vast amount of trouble. Of course "rearrange my fence lines" sounds a hell of a lot easier than it actually is... .

And Rumor Hath It that I might even get my car back on Monday. Since this is the three-month anniversary of the "basic geriatric checkup" I originally asked for, this is something of a relief. They've only rebuilt the engine five times that I know of!

And I'm watching with great interest to see what the Texas Legislature will come up with next. Governor Perry is very concerned that they protect "women and the unborn." Uh-huh. By closing down all the clinics in the state? How does this work again?

Ima KEEEEEL me a cat

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So about four o'clock I decide to do laundry, which begins with stripping the bed and loading up the sheets.

Sheets go into dryer, next load into washer.

Sheets come out of dryer, next load into dryer, third load into washer, take sheets into bedroom, and....

Find a big puddle of cat pee on the mattress cover.

Much swearing, much manipulating of laundry loads later, mattress cover is now in the dryer. The sheets, of course, are still not on the bed.

And I have a Very Very Strong Suspicion that Someone has *also* elected to pee on top of the kitchen cabinets. Which I cannot reach, so it's going to continue to soak in until I can borrow somebody's Very Tall Son to help me out.

I'm pretty sure I know who the guilty party is, and I am going to be Watching Her.

In my next life? NO cats. NONE.

Doofus

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So, about a month ago, my Uphill Neighbor, who was at his barn doing critterstuff while I was at my barn doing critterstuff (the two barns are about 50 feet apart--his is too close to the property line, but that's not his fault) asked me if "that cat" was mine.

What??? I said with some alarm. What cat?

That one over in your pasture.

Where, what--oh. No (thank heaven), not one of mine... here kitty kitty.

I guess, having now paid the vet bill for all manner of inoculations and worming and etc., that kitty kitty, whose name at least for the time being is Doofus, is now mine, even though I swore I would never have an outdoor cat. I can't bring him indoors because I'm already arbitrating wars over territory, and ten cats in the house is not feasible.

Doofus is a brown tabby Maine Coon, a neutered male, and like most Maine Coons is a real sweetheart (although if you offer him a finger to sniff, he'll WHAP you one. It's rude to point, he says). He was glad to be home, although he does want to come in... aaaaargh. But he's a healthy adult boy (age not determined), and he knows that there is good food and shelter from the wind in my barn.*

So now I have ten cats. sigh





*evidently someone else has figured out the same deal, because the dry cat food is disappearing at a rate greater than one adult Maine Coon can account for. Again with the aaaargh.

RIP Smidget

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Two--maybe three--years ago, I went out to the barn to feed the horses and found a very small, very scruffy, very skinny grey tabby cat crouched, terrified, in one of the stalls. She looked up, saw me, and got this absolutely horrified, apologetic look and scurried away, out of the barn.

The next day, I just happened to have a can of cat food in my pocket. Same cat, same stall, same reaction--and then I popped the can, and she wheeled around like there was a hook in her nose. She was so desperately hungry; it was as if she hadn't eaten anything in days. She had raw oozing patches all over her where she'd pulled out her fur.

I named her Smidget, a portmanteau for Smudgy Midget, because she was SO small, and her face looked like it started out plain grey, but thought about being tortie, but then again maybe calico--no, grey, really, but...

It turned out that she used to be a house cat belonging to the neighbors uphill, but when they moved here they decided that she would be much happier being an outside cat. Shortly after deciding this for her, they found her caught by a couple of their dogs, who tried to rip her guts out. They wound up spending a couple of thousand dollars in vet bills--and then they put her outside again. And she developed an acute sensitivity to flea bites, hence the oozing patches. They decided to rescue German Shorthaired Pointers, and she decided to relocate to calmer climes, even though she had absolutely no idea in the world how to hunt anything. Grasshoppers could pop up in front of her. Mice ran past six inches from her nose, and she never reacted. What she wanted more than anything in the world was a warm place to stay and someone to love on her. The neighbors figured she'd wandered off and died, oh well, and were surprised to find out that I was feeding her every day. I would have brought her inside, but I wasn't sure about her health and couldn't afford to expose the nine indoor cats to whatever she might have.

When I found out about the flea allergy I started making sure she had Advantage II every month. In the summer, she'd eat on the back porch, until the possum came to run her off; at one point she disappeared for almost two weeks. I was worried about her; then my neighbor told me that the people who lived in the cabin at the end of the lane had found her and, not having cat food, were feeding her salmon. Smidget was no fool. She stuck around until they left, and then came back to me, resigned to mere cat food again. She was fussy--seafood only, please! If I offered her turkey or chicken or heaven forfend, beef, she'd sniff at it, puzzled, and walk away. So I learned to stick to fish.

When winter came, I put a litter box and her food and water in the tack room, and while I picked the paddock and fixed the horses' feed I'd run the space heater so she wouldn't freeze. I shamed the neighbors into making sure she had her rabies shots. Last year wasn't a bad winter, but that also meant it was great for fleas, and she pulled most of her fur out.

This year has been colder, and she's been much more willing to stay in the tack room. A few weeks ago she decided she would stay in there all the time, with a rare venture out for a few minutes, perhaps.

About a week ago she decided she wanted to sleep in her litter box. She still ate--three cans of wet food a day, plus the best-quality dry food I could afford--and drank.

A few days ago she started staggering, visibly weakening, but was still eating. A couple of times she climbed up into the shelves to sleep, which I took as a good sign.

Yesterday she ate only a little of her breakfast, and this morning I found that she never touched her dinner. I was putting together the horses' feed when I heard what I thought was the donkey next door.

It wasn't the donkey. It was Smidget. She was too weak to lift her head, but she was obviously in pain. I lifted her litterbox and all into my lap and scratched her head and rubbed her ears, and cried, and called the vet.

She was a good kitty, who wanted a place to be warm and someone to love her. She deserved so much better than she got from people.

Rest in peace, Smudgy Midget. I am so so sorry.

Happy Holidays

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It's a delightful coincidence that so many traditions have celebrations around this time of year, isn't it? I spent today the same way I've spent the holidays for oh, at least 25 of the last 35 years, curled up with a good book. (Well, to be fair, for a lot of those years I also went to a movie, but was feeling a bit too blah this year, even for Hugh Jackman. Sometimes I will travel 60 miles for a movie. Sometimes not.) I made a beef stew in the slow cooker, and overdid the merlot, alas, but it's still pretty good. Any suggestions for fixing this?

Elf is happily snarling at every other cat in the house--but does not seem to have noticed a) that WhoDat is snoozing on the back of the couch above her, and b) one of the Golddust Twins is curled up in the box right next to her. Or maybe she's okay with that--Shadow walked right past her, and she snarled, and Shadow ignored her. So Elf snarled LOUDER. "Pay ATTENTION. I will RIP YOUR FACE OFF. Don't you DARE ignore me!" Shadow didn't care. Poor Elf, all that fierce and nobody to take it out on.

The horses are happy. Smidget actually came out of the tack room for a couple of hours this afternoon. The weatherman said our high today was 51, but I think that was a severe underestimate. We're supposed to have a huge ice storm tonight--I'm hoping he's equally wrong about that.

It's funny--for 31 years, the time between Christmas and New Years was the long holiday. It still feels like a long holiday, even though all the rest of the year is, too.

Waiting now for Doctor Who and the finale of Leverage, which, alas, overlap, so one of them will be time-delayed.

Every little bit helps

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If you're one of those rare folks who has a spare dollar, please look into this:

http://helpmissmousie.blogspot.com/p/get-involved.html

Rescue cat, needs surgery.

Feel free to repost, if the spirit moves you.

Damn cats.

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So. I think I posted earlier about my attempt to get "the ferals," i.e. Gretl and WhoDat?, vaccinated this year. Since they were having none of the catch-and-put-in-crate, Tippit got lucky instead and went to the vet for vaccination. She freaked out completely--literally taking pictures off the walls--and had to be netted to get her shots.

Enough of this crap, sez I. So I asked my horse vet, who will also do dog and cat vaccinations, to do my still-unneedled beasts when she came to float Dare's aging teeth.

Gretl and WhoDat? were still having none of it. I did, much to my own amazement, managed to trap the Maine Coons, who evidenced an interest in the crates--SNAP. The one I was particularly pleased to catch was Shadow, who is even shyer than Gretl. Robin is a lug, and Nimue is turning into a sweetheart, but Shadow? Not so much. But she was first to explore a crate, and so got herself stuck.

Ha.

Dare got his teeth floated--what was predicted to take an hour took less than twenty minutes, mostly because he's so old his teeth are crumbling. So we finished up, and then went to the house, where three unhappy Maine Coons awaited their fate.

First up was Shadow. Remember that "Ha" up above? Yeah. I opened the crate door, the vet said something, and a black blur shot past my hands and vanished. So much for shots for *that* kitty.

Robin and Nimmy submitted more or less gracefully, but I still have three cats who really need shots. And as soon as the vet was gone, out comes WhoDat? to find out what's going on. Followed by... Shadow.

I swear, there are days when kids would be easier.

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