Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Drifting On

On I drift, morning coffee, chores, that take three hours if I hurry, breakfast on the break from morning chores.   I feed the birds too, first thing.  Miss D still does the wake up job here.  No need to set my battery alarm clock anymore.

If I don't get up, I can't push snooze, because Miss D breaks out "the claw" if it takes her more than walking across my face twice, tapping my cheek a few times, than whopping it at least once.   I don't want "the claw" to come out.  So I get up after the first warning whop.

Miss D took over running my life a long time ago.

I'm at peace with it.

After the chores are done, and the shower and the laundry put away, it's almost lunch.  I decide which project needs done and arrange things for that, for the afternoon.

Yesterday I recovered The Aerie.

The Aerie is the cat hang out atop the exclusion room.  The exclusion room is my box, where I alone rule.  The cats are not allowed.  Well, not technically.  Sometimes, Miss D slips in and I just can't kick get her out, you know.  She is the boss.  But that is rare because I am careful. This is my place. But the roof of the exclusion room is The Aerie and theirs, not mine.

The Aerie needed some work.  I'd patiently waited for some sort of covering to go on sale or show up at Habitat or in the remnants bin at Home Depot.

Juno with Sam atop the Aerie
I got a nice piece of vinyl floor remnant finally, along with another length of floor protective runner, for the sides.   Nothing was quite large enough for a one piece redo, but that was all right.  I make shifted some top brackets to hold the sides in place.  I did not want to pay out for vinyl floor tack down metal strips, as suddenly those things are very expensive, even for a ten foot piece.

The top of the exclusion room is very solid.  I had to be up on it for over an hour, to finish the job.  It's under two feet from the ceiling so it's a bit tight and I have to lay out flat on it, for space constrictions but also to distribute my weight to be sure of no collapse onto my own computer below.
Sam, with some of his faithful flunkies last night.  He was worked up over the changes and acting out and summoned his gang.  

Everyone needs a gang of faithful flunkies to call on.

While atop the room, I looked out the window and saw a woman outside my neighbors house.  At first I thought it was the neighbor and was jealous thinking how much weight she'd lost.  I was inadequate!

Then I realized it was not her, but what was a stranger doing coming out from between two neighbor's houses?  Then she went back behind one of the houses.  I began a frantic scramble off the Aerie.  I'm old and not so small but nimble I can be if need be.

 Burglar alert and defense of neighbor mode had set in.  Just as I was almost down, through the window, I saw the dog.

A husky, running.

The woman was nowhere in sight and I forgot her.  At the same moment I heard a commotion in my garage and barking.  I rushed into my open garage to find the dog there, barking and lunging at my cats, although they were confined to the runs and garage room cage, so he could not get them.  I chased the dog out but did not see where he went from there.  The woman was right there by my house now.

I asked if that dog was hers.  She said it was.  I asked why it was not on a leash.  She said it escaped her yard.  She wasn't holding a leash however and I had not heard her call to the dog or anything.

 The dog seemed young and exuberant and huskies are full of energy that's for sure, and escape artists.  I owned a husky shepherd mix for a lot of years in my younger life.   Her name was Denali and I got her as a pup for company in Alaska.  I took her to obedience school when she was six months old and what she and I learned there, lasted her entire life.  I loved Denali.
Denali as a pup in front of my Alaska shack

I got The Aerie recovered and it's fabulous if you ask me.  This triggered, first, anger and outrage, from the cats.  They did not approve of the changes.   Then later they did, but first before they admitted to it, I had to be punished severely for crimes against cats.  Shunned too.

So I shunned them in response and headed over to a friends house in Corvallis for supper and she had Portlandia DVD's and we watched those and laughed our heads off and I petted their cats and we chatted.  Her husband was having a man cave man night out in their shop with his friends.

When I headed home finally, loaded with four books she found for me at thrift shops, the fog was dense as Chinese air pollution.   I slowed to 30 mph and hoped no idiots were out there speeding in it, who might slam into my rear end at high speed, being unable to see my tail lights until they were 20 feet behind me.  But no problems at all.

We both like to read, so that's one thing we do when we get together, talk what books we've read or go to thrift stores and look for books in their book sections.  We like best the  St. Vincent De Paul thrift store in Albany for their nicely organized book section.
The Play Room with Cat Wheel and The Pirate's Lair

The Pirate's Lair is a conglom of old things put together into a cat's dream house.  They love it.  Part of it was once an old table.

Blueberry will be off for a dental soon, as she began the occasional tongue stick out a month ago.  Tongue out in a cat is often a sign of tooth issues.  There's been no drainage.  The appointment is made.   Raindrop is going along too.  No surprise with her as she is one of the Albany business cats whom have all had tooth issues.  Cougie and Rogue, of that tribe, had to have all theirs pulled.  Misty, also one of them, just had seven pulled.

Fantasia has re-allocated my thrift store stair climber for herself, as a perch.
There's nothing I can do.
Now for the Arachnid Incident!   A couple days ago, my project was to clean out old outside cat houses and then set them back out.  Well, this arachnid was on the side of one carrier bed after I dumped out old straw.  I took a couple of photos then came inside to look up spiders for ID.  When I went back out, she had vanished.  

The quest to ID this spider, whose body, minus legs, was an inch long, led me down interesting paths and to new online friends on spider sites.  I learned so much in just two days, so far, about arachnids.  This is either a Giant House Spider or a Hobo.  But, never fear, Hobo's, I am assured, are not aggressive as is rumored.  Their bites however, if a person is sensitive, can lead to tissue death.  I've known two people bitten by Hobos, although they claimed Brown Recluse, but I don't think we have those around here.   One of those people lost a part of her thumb to necrotic tissue near the bite.  Allegedly also Hobo's don't grow as large as Giants.  However, someone was bitten by a massive Hobo up in the Gorge once, a Hobo worthy of being called a Giant Hobo.  Hobo's and Giant House spiders have similar markings and both are funnel web builders.  I wondered what those tornado or hurricane eye like webs were about I have been seeing.  Giant House spiders will kill and eat Hobo spiders so you do not want to lose your Giant House spiders.
I was driving to Portland with cats a few months ago, was on the freeway in the Salem area when something large with legs runs across my lap.  I FREAKED out!  It was a GIANT spider, like two inches across, I'm not lying.

Then my mind flashed on accidents caused by bugs in cars freaking people out, usually bees, and I forced myself to breath deep and forget the spider, until I could pull over at an exit.  Then I leapt out of the car and found the spider hiding under my seat, between folds in a folded newspaper.  I pulled out the folded paper and threw it in the bushes in one motion.  I looked around then, hoping no one had seen this display of cowardice and panic.  Brushed myself off and resumed my journey north.

This has now happened to me twice in the last year so one of my projects this week will be a thorough cleaning of my car.  Even though my new spidee friends may object, my car is not going to become a Giant House Spider over winter cozy.  No way!


  1. We can live in harmony with spiders, until they drop on your face or crawl across you in the middle of the night, then it is kill, kill, kill.

  2. Oh, don't say that, Andrew. I can feel it on my face when you do and want to swat it away!

  3. I usually very carefully escort spiders outside.
    The one that had the audacity to drop on me in the shower and fang me died.
    With no intervention from me. I am obviously poisonous to spiders. Which isn't a bad thing.
    I am far too familiar with the cat alarm. Mine went off a little after one this morning. And continued going off until I got up for a while.

  4. Bit you in the shower? Death sentence! It would freak me out royal to have one drop on me in the shower. I'm a spider wimp. I"m trying to get over it, but that's what I am.