I may chat about my books, what I'm writing or reading, or just general thoughts. You may read posts about my cats or just my crazy life in general. Comments are welcome, if anyone wants to interact with me. Maybe we can share war stories, whether it's writing related or just about life in general.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Merry-Go-Round and Childhood Games – Part One

Courtesy of Wikipedia
Attribution to Jayhawksonsean

How many of you are old enough to remember these?

I go to the thinking about this today. As an adult, I’m so busy it seems like I’m on this thing a lot of the time and can’t get off just to take a breather. That makes me wish for the childhood days and recess when we could play and forget all of our cares.

Of course, we had these things on our playground in elementary school as well as the monkey bars and swings. Back then, people weren’t so worried about their kids falling off and breaking arms and legs or cracking their heads open. However, today there are so many regulations in place for every stage of life and playground equipment is no exception.

Today these open merry-go-rounds are possibly a hazard, so how did we manage it “way back when” and live to tell about it.

We had all sorts of destructive entertainment at home too, when I was a kid, and amazingly, we all grew to adulthood without too much wear and tear.

Here’s a brief synopsis of how we spent moments on the farm when it was time for fun and games. To go into this too much would be excessively long for this post. The whole works will be in the family book I’m writing, along with some favorite recipes, etc.

My little sister, Thea, thought that picking cotton was a form of entertainment for us. That’s because she was so small and would get tired out in the field, so she would sit down on the end of Mamaw’s long, white cotton sack, pulled down the row while Mamaw kept picking. Of course, Thea had a little burlap sack that oranges came in that she would fill first. The rest of us were too big to do that, but I can see how that would be entertainment for a child and maybe as much fun as riding in a wagon or maybe riding the handlebars of a bicycle.

It was downright hot in the field and picking cotton was a sweaty drudgery. Remember, this is southern Texas and the humidity is around 95%. Mama said we only had to pick the ends of most of the rows, but I don’t remember this at all. It seems to me the rows stretched out straight and long in front of us as sweat trickled down your neck, back, and places you didn’t even know could sweat.

My sister Scherri and I picked cotton for the spending money, so we could buy records at the Five Star Market on the edge of town. Of course, at three cents a pound we had to save our money all summer, while we were busting our butts in the heat, but the records were cheap too. They had the old 78’s and 45’s back then and they were five for a dollar. We made about eighteen cents a day in the field, so we could get a few records at the end of the summer. This was such a treat.

When I was about nine, Mama would let us three older girls go on a picnic. Of course, the picnic was walking down the dirt road to the tin building beside the cotton picker shed, eating our sandwiches, and coming home. She could still see us from the house while she watched the younger kids. Mama would make sandwiches for us and pack them into the round, empty one/half gallon Blue Bell ice cream cartons with the gold rims on the lids. She would take twine or string and tie it on each side so we could put them over our heads and off we would go with our “picnic baskets.” We would laugh and chatter all the way there and back. This was truly a high point of the day.

As kids, we made up games to play all the time using our imaginations. The old junk cars were no exception. Several of them sat among the weeds and grass that had grownup around them over the years. This was not far from the house. We would spend hours playing on those old cars, crawling along the top of them on our hands and knees, pretending we were the cars on the imaginary divided highway.

A cottonwood tree grew near the cow fence close to the house. There was an old tire swing hanging from it that we would play on.

Two chinaberry trees were in front of the house. From the bench at their base, we would pick all the chinaberries we could reach, gathering them in tin cans. Sometimes we climbed the trees if we didn’t have enough ammo because these hard green berries were for our chinaberry fights. These round berries were about the size of a cranberry and would really sting if one hit you. It would usually leave a welt. Sometimes our cousins, who lived across the field, would join in the fight as well. You had to duck for cover, while you were gathering ammo, because the berries would be flying from all directions.

On some afternoons, we would sit on the porch at Mamaw and Papaw’s house and have a contest to see who could kill the most flies. Papaw would make big fly swatters out of old rubber inner tubes.

“Oh look! I got two flies that time!” Someone would yell out. We would sit there swatting flies, drinking ice tea from mason jars, and fanning the knats away until it was our turn to use the mower. This was also grass-cutting day, so we all got a turn using the old rotary mower.

Of course, all of us girls had dolls to play with. Besides the regular dolls, I made paper doll families out of cardboard for all of my sisters. I colored them with crayons and they all had names and a complete wardrobe. When we played with those, they covered the entire long hallway in our house. Our brothers used to hate that because they had no place to walk. There were times we spread them out in the living room because the boys would be playing darts in the hallway. That could be a dangerous place with darts flying through the air, as we found out it was best to announce yourself before just sticking your head out there unexpectedly.

We kept the paper dolls in a big cardboard box Daddy got from one of the grocery stores in town. I really wish I had that box now. Sadly, I only have one paper doll from back then and I have to laugh every time I look at it because the head is a so much bigger than the body. As kids, we never noticed that.

We played hide and seek in the corn patch just before harvest season. The rows were so tall and thick and the field so vast that it was an excellent place to hide. We could hear the caw from the dozens of crows that hung around the corn patch prompting Mamaw to make scarecrows, which she placed around in various positions throughout the field. Some of Papaw’s old shirts and pants became their outfits, stuffed with hay from the barn. An old broom handle or stick would serve as a stake. This made hide and seek even better with these decoys.

Naturally, we played in the cotton patch too, jumping over the rows and chasing each other. I’m sure our squeals rang out to the neighboring farms.

All of us played with hoola hoops, jump ropes, and paddleballs. Everything was a competition when playing these kinds of games to see who could do it the longest without messing up. We varied this all the time, sometimes we had to juggle four or five hoola hoops at the same time. It was easy to be so excited and carried away with enthusiasm when playing paddleball; if you weren’t careful, it would bounce back and smack you hard.

To be continued with part two next week.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My Cat Kept Me Up All Night

Originally posted Feb 16, 2012

The following is part of the Old-Post Resurrection Hop at

This little creature kept me up all night.  This is my baby Koki.  She scrambled around the bedroom all night and too occasional breaks by sleeping on my legs.  I finally just got up before dawn and then discovered she had been playing with a tiny wad of crumpled paper all night.  It doesn’t take much to keep them amused.

I looked all over for it later today when I was cleaning so the same thing doesn’t happen tonight.  Of course wouldn’t you know the little thing has carted it off somewhere.

She is an absolute little dear though and I don’t know what I’d do without her.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Max – the Well-Travelled Cat


This cat is the only one of my cats to live in four different states during his lifetime of twelve and a half years.  He is not across the top of my blog because I had to scrounge around for a picture I could scan in to the computer.  Even then, I have so many old pictures to go through, so for now I got this one off the net, which is a very close resemblance.  His lifetime was back in the 70’s before digital cameras.  How did we get along without those?  There are also three other cats that aren’t across the top of my blog for the same reason, but we’ll get to that another time.  This is Max’s story.

One of my sisters gave me Max years ago when I lived in the country.  I was married to my first husband then, it was so long ago and so far removed from my life today that it seems like a different lifetime.  Anyway, she knew I loved cats.  We grew up with them.  She thought I needed company because I didn’t work at that time, unless you consider sewing and crafting working.  I would leave handmade jewelry, clothing, etc. on consignment in a specific little shop in town.  Max was great company and just the beginning of my adult life with cats.

He became my constant companion, following me everywhere and doing all the cute things that a cat will do.  I hid this little yellow fur ball from my husband at first, not sure what he would say, but as you know a cat will not be quiet, especially a kitten who is always into mischief.  Everything turned out okay and we ended up getting a tiny dog too.  Corky and Max would play together, so we made up stories about dressing them up as cowboys and Indians.  Max would always jump upon the couch and attack the dog by landing on his back and then the wrestling match was on entertaining us for hours.

When we ended up moving to Alaska a few years later, Max was about the only thing I could take along, except my clothes and a small box of dishes.  It was only supposed to be a summer-long vacation, but it turned into five long years with many changes in store.  Max was the only stable thing in my life I could count on as I soon found out.  We both endured a lot in those days.

To make a long story short, my husband went off to live in the woods alone, so Max and I found ourselves together, not that we couldn’t have gone along, but who wants to hike into a remote area, once a weekly train drops you off at a crossing.  I had no desire to become a pioneer woman, fetching water from the creek, cooking outside over a hand-built fire, using lanterns for light, etc.  Max and I declined and eventually found our way to a new place where I moved in with two girlfriends.  Life was crazy for a while.

Later I moved again and my grandmother decided to visit me, from California, at one point.  She was a traveling woman and wanted to see Nome and Kotzebue and cross the Arctic Circle.  Of course it was great to see her, but it wasn’t long that Max got out of the house.  We lived in a rather remote location although there were other houses around and we were on the main highway that ran from Anchorage along the Kenai Peninsula.
Kotzebue, Alaska 
Courtesy of beverleepettit.org

Map of Alaska showing Kotzebue

We went out and searched for that cat.  It was fall and not that warm.  Does it ever really get warm in Alaska?  We had coats to keep the chill at bay as we called and called for that cat, finally going house to house in our search, my grandmother apologizing profusely for letting him get by her feet when she opened the door.  We had about given up and thought he’d be spending a cold night outside.  A little while later, here comes Max strolling from the bushes.  I figure he was sitting in there snickering at us humans as we frantically searched for him.  You know how cats are.

I eventually couldn’t take anymore of those Alaska winters, even though I had a nice job working in a crazy place owned by three guys who were old friends.  I loved my job in spite of the fact I had to take two different buses to get there from my house, but I liked the warm weather more.

In the meantime, I had met the guy who would eventually become my second husband.  We packed up all personal items and household stuff and sold everything else.  Eventually moving day arrived.  Our destination was Oregon where his family lived.

A friend encouraged me to seek out advice from the vet concerning plane travel with cats.  I consulted the vet about Max and he gave me tranquilizers for the plane trip.  We decided it would be best to calm his nerves, as cats are creatures of habit, and we didn’t know what to expect.  It was also a long plane trip.

I gave the tranquilizers to Max and friends took us to the airport.  Max was about to become a new resident of his third state, but this was a trip not any of us would forget anytime soon.  Instead of calming Max down, the tranquilizers had the opposite affect and he got wild.  Not just a little wild either.  Looking back, I’m not sure this is the best way to go, unless the vet has something better now.  This was back in the 70’s, so drugs have improved I hope.  I would still use tranquilizers with caution.

Once we arrived at the airport, the cat was so wild that our friends were afraid to get back in the car until we got the cat out.  The first mistake I made here was not being prepared with a cat carrier that was airline approved.  While I attempted to get the cat out of the car, my husband went in to get an airline approved cat carrier.  This was taking forever for him to return with the carrier, and in the meantime, the line of cars was forming for departing flights.  I felt rushed, as my friends wanted to move the car out of the way since our luggage was already out, and people were staring at us.

My second mistake was, once I had the cat, taking him into the crowded airport.  I can’t even begin to describe what it’s like to hang onto a wild cat in an environment like that, but I knew if I let him go, I would never catch him, and I was fearful for his safety.  The only thing to do was hang on as tight as I could while he sank his claws into my back.  I thought it was better to endure that than to have him escaping into the parking lot with all that traffic.

Finally, I saw my husband coming with the carrier.  When he saw Max and me, he started running through the crowd.  Once we got the cat in the cage, the rest of the journey went okay, except for the panic-stricken cat waiting for us when we landed.

Our move to southern California two years later was by car, and uneventful compared to this.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Meet Hermes and Nutella, and OMG - What?

Here are a couple more cat stories
I hope you guys aren’t tired of them

First, a fellow writer just got two kittens last Tuesday.  We correspond through the internet since he lives near Geneva.  He was kind enough to send me some lovely pics.  The kittens are 2 months old and adorable.  I’m posting the pictures here.  Meet Hermes and Nutella.

I hope that these furry little darlings will help to ease the pain from the loss of his old cat in May.  Doesn’t this just make you want to go out and get a kitten?  I had better watch myself, or I’ll be doing just that.

Somehow, I don’t think Koki would be too happy with me if I did.  She likes to sleep on my legs and wake me up for cuddles in the middle of the night.

Now for one of the craziest stories I’ve heard in a good while.

I have four sisters, for those of you who don’t know that.  Well sister number one and three love cats as much as I do, where number two and four prefer dogs.

About two months ago sister number three (we call her Tedo) got a kitten about three months old that her boyfriend brought home from his job.  Her old cat, Bentley, had cancer and passed away soon thereafter.  The kitten, Taffy, was lively, as kittens are, and very vocal being part Siamese.  Bentley never made much noise at all.  That took some getting used to, but I think she was glad to have the kitten around because she had Bentley for years.

Of course sister number one, Scherri, decided that Taffy needed a playmate because Tedo is always working, so she brings over another kitten to keep Taffy company.  The new kitten’s name is China and she is about two months younger than her new playmate.  Tedo thought, okay, the girls can be friends with each other, and after the usual two to three days of hissing and growling things settled down and all was well.

Last Thursday, the day came to have Taffy spayed and declawed.  My sister had Thursday off, took the cat to the vet first thing, and dropped her off.  A short while later she gets a call from the vet’s office.

“Well we cut “her” open and the cat is a he, not a she.”

Of course, Tedo is shocked that no one noticed this cat was a boy – not even the vet!  Frankly, she didn’t know what to say, so “I guess he wasn’t well endowed,” tumbled out of her mouth.

After everyone had a hearty laugh, the vet sewed the cat up and got on with the other two surgeries – neutering and declawing.  The poor cat had stitches all over the place when she went to pick him up that afternoon.  However, she says Taffy is just fine and acting as if he never had surgery at all.

This is a very good thing because Tedo is one of the unluckiest people I know.  I’m just thankful that the cat is fine and doesn’t need another vet visit anytime soon because her car broke down on the way to the vet and she had to get the car towed to a garage and borrow another car.  To make matters worse, this is after she just had a new engine put in the car a month ago.

It amazes me she can keep a smile on her face.

I wish I had pics of Taffy and China to post, but I don’t have any yet.

So tell me, how often do you think cat gender is mistaken?

Monday, August 13, 2012

In Reponse to my Blog Awards

I hope it is not a no-no to combine my posts here, but because I’m behind in posting this and my thanks, I will do so this time.  Thank you to Sharla Shults for these awards from her blog sites http://catnipoflife.wordpress.com/ and http://awakenings.wordpress.com/  Please stop by to check out Sharla’s blogs everyone.

What is the Lovely Blog Award?
Rules for the Lovely Blog award are to thank the blogger who nominated you, give seven facts about yourself, post the blog award badge on your site, and nominate 11 noteworthy blogs, notifying them you did so.  Therefore, here goes:

1.  I LOVE cats!!!!  As if you guys didn’t know that already.

2.  I grew up on a cotton farm in south TX.

3.  I’ve lived in five states, so far, counting Alaska in which I spent the five coldest winters of my life.

4.  I HATE, HATE, HATE cold weather!

5.  I’m a free spirit and a night owl, much to my husband’s disgust.

6.  I hate negativity and the word “I can’t” because I persevere in everything I do and I will always find a way, even if it means teaching me something new.  I am not a quitter and being tenacious, I usually figure stuff out, even if it is frustrating at times.

7.  I love peace, quiet and chocolate.

The awards go to:

Just follow the rules above when you’re ready and don’t forget to grab the Lovely Blogger Award button from my blog.

What is the Liebster Blog Award?
The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  Liebster is German for pleasant, valued, and many other synonyms.  The rules for this one state that you answer the 11 questions asked of you by the Blogger who gave you this award.  In my case that would be Sharla Shults.  Thank you Sharla.

I’m then supposed to nominate some blogs for this one and leave my list of questions for the bloggers.  I could name all the ones above because there are so many good writers that you can learn something from everyone’s blog.  However, I want to name different blogs than the ones above.  Of course, there is no way of knowing if all of these have less than 200 followers because you can’t tell on the Word Press blogs, so I’ve done my best.

First, here are my answered questions:

1. Who do you admire most and why?
 This is a hard one because I don’t think there is anyone alive right now that is famous (meaning all of you would know) and that I would admire all that much.  If this pertains to present day, I would probably say Christopher Reeve or Terry Fox and folks like that because they didn’t/don’t let handicaps stand in the way of their dreams.  If we’re talking ancient times, it would have to be King Arthur without a doubt.  He was brave and chivalrous.  (Now, don’t look at me like that.  I happen to believe he was a real person.)  Honestly, we need leaders like this today.

2. What is the best book you have read this year and why would you recommend it to others?
I have read a few books this year, but nothing as splendid as a set of books I read last year.  Those I could wholeheartedly recommend to anyone because they are extremely well written historical novels about Scotland in the 1700’s.  I found the first in this set of books by chance in the local library basement sale.  Being the lover of fantasy that I am, the subject of time travel and historical Scotland attracted me as this kind of thing always fascinates me, so naturally I snatched up this book.  I am talking about the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldan.  These books are full of adventures, battles, some romance, but nothing over-the-top.  I highly recommend them, but I must warn you there are seven in the series and they are each about 1000 pages long.

3. Where do you get your inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere, just looking out over the gorgeous view from my office window is inspiring.  My house backs up to the desert where many forms of wildlife roam free and carved red rocks and old black lava flows rise up out of the sagebrush and various arid plants growing back there.  Sometimes reading, listening to music, or watching movies can be inspiring as well.  It rather depends what mood I’m in, but I have a great imagination.  It usually isn’t hard to get me off onto something I can write about and expand upon.  Sometimes ideas even come to me through dreams.

4. What is your favorite part of nature?
Oh my, this is a hard one because I think all areas of nature have something great to offer.  I’ve been fortunate to live in places where I’ve had plains, the desert, mountains, and the ocean, all right at my fingertips.  I probably would miss the mountains more than anything, but I like the bare mountains with all their grooves and crevices and rocks, not the tree covered ones.

5. Would you rather be a bumble bee or a butterfly?
I would definitely be a butterfly.  I love to watch them fluttering from flower to flower in their graceful way.  It seems they try to enjoy nature and life as much as they can everyday.  That’s a good lesson to all of us.

6. When did you first begin to write?
This would have to be in school when we had to read books for class and do essays on them.  Because I’m the oldest of a big family, I also would tell stories to my siblings.  I did get away from this for a time, going back to my first love of drawing.  Then I got interested in art class in high school.  I took up oil painting in a big way, but still kept up the sketching I’ve done all my life and still do when I have time.  I went back to writing big time in the 90’s and joined some writing groups, etc.  Things escalated from there.

7. What is your favorite sport?
I’ll have to disappoint everyone here because I’m not into sports and never have been.  This may sound shocking, but I hated PE class, although I did play a bit of tennis in those days.  I didn’t want o waste my time there, but to be in art class, which I considered the only reason I even got up to go to school in the first place.  If hiking in the hills around here can be a sport then I guess that would have to be it.

8. If you had a choice for a pet, would you rather have a gerbil or an iguana?
If I couldn’t have a cat and these are the only choices, it would be a gerbil.  I think I can relate easier to a gerbil running around, frantically, on his wheel as fast as he can.  Sometimes I feel much like that myself, moving at a frenzied pace because there are never enough hours in a day.

9. If you could be reincarnated, who would you like to be?
Well, unbelievably, I have thought about this because I do believe in reincarnation.  However, this is still something to ponder.  Possibly Emily Bronte, Louisa May Alcott, Margaret Mitchell, or perhaps someone like Princess Diana so there would be no worries about money the next time around.  This would definitely take more thought than I have to give it right now.  Don’t get me wrong because I know rich people have their own share of problems and I don’t think we get to choose anyway.  I’m sure we are born into roles where we’ll learn what we need to know in that lifetime.

10. Which would best describe you, a cool cucumber salad, or a hot tamale?
I’m definitely the cool cucumber.  I take everything in stride and very little rattles me, which is something many people can’t understand.  If there is some disaster, I deal with it in a calm, organized way instead of screaming and running around like the sky is falling.

11. What is the best food you ever ate and where?
This is a hard one because I’m not a big eater and when I am hungry everything taste good.  The only thing that comes to mind right now, besides a fresh fruit salad or big dish of ice cream in the summer, is when my husband and I went to Hawaii for the first time and we sat outside for breakfast.  I had grilled catfish, sliced potatoes, and eggs.  There was an orchid on my plate.  That was a wonderful meal sitting there with all the hibiscus and plumeria’s blooming all around us.  A few palm trees waved in a brilliant blue sky, the breeze carrying along the fragrant smell of flowers.  Of course it could have been the ambience too because we had flown in from Alaska in February when it’s gray, snowy and the temperature never rises above 20 degrees.

Sorry for getting long-winded everyone, but that’s the writer in me.  I can never shut up.  I hope I didn’t bore everyone to death.

The award goes to:

Here are your questions:

1.  What is your greatest achievement so far and why?

2.  How do you spend your free time?

3.  What is your favorite season and why?

4.  If you could live anywhere besides where you do now, places today or times back in history, where would it be and why?

5.  To date, what has been your worst disappointment in life?

6.  How did you get interested in writing?

7.  What advice would you give a new writer?

8.  If you could start all over in life, would you change anything?

9. What is the most exciting thing you’ve ever done?

10.  Are you scared of anything, or do you conquer all your fears and do it anyway?

11.  What are the best five words that would describe you?

Don’t forget to grab the Liebster Award button for your blog.

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Soggy Desert Summer

My Back Yard

To say we aren’t experiencing crazy weather all over the country would be an understatement.  This is the wettest summer ever since moving to the desert eight years ago.  Today we have very dark skies again, but at least maybe we’ll save on the A/C bill this month.  Desert living is very dry and even in winter we get little rain, but we expect it in January and February.

The first winter we were here, we had floods because there was so much rain, not our house, but the street turned into a red river and you almost needed a boat to get around.  About 25 homes fell into the Santa Clara River that January.  That was terrible.  After the water receded, people lined up on the sides of the nearest street to look over the situation.

 The Floods of January 2005

Usually it is hard to keep any plants alive in the desert except cactus and sagebrush.  Through trial and error, we finally have some plants in the yard that are still alive.  This isn’t the best climate with its extremes.  There is almost a 100-degree difference between summer and winter temperatures.  Actually, when you think about this, it is a wonder that anything at all will grow because of the extreme hot and cold, most things grow very slow.  It was a shock after living in southern California where you can grow anything.

My Front Yard in Summer

This year the neighbor’s garden is like a mini jungle, enjoying all this rain and rare humidity.  We have a break from the triple digits, at least for now, although I’m sure we haven’t come out totally unscathed.  I’m confident we’ll see that yet as we still have a month and a half of summer coming to us.

My Neighbor's Garden

I haven’t been to the farmer’s market this year at all, but usually there isn’t much there.  Unless you have a greenhouse where you can control the atmosphere, it is very tough.  I’m enjoying tomatoes, beets, squash, and onions from the neighbor’s garden though.  She was afraid of planting too much because she had no idea how it would go and this is her first garden.  She planted some sweet peas too and those were great but didn’t last long.  I guess it’s still a bit hot for them.

Veggies from the Garden

Weather conditions all over are crazy this year with the draught in the Midwest.  Dallas and places in Oklahoma have been in the low 100’s, some days even hotter than Las Vegas or Phoenix, which is a bit of a shocker.  I even talked to a gal in northern California the other day and she said it was 110 there.  Now that was hard to believe!

I imagine we had all better get ready for rising prices in the grocery stores again.  Wheat and corn, which is a product in so many foods, is burning up in the draught.

This is a sign of global warming according to an article I read the other day.  Of course, that is only the opinion of some folks.  Personally, I don’t believe in that nonsense and think this is only a normal cycle.  I think the Earth has gone through periodic cycles since the beginning of time.  You can research this back through history.  What are your thoughts on this?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

This and That

This post will be short and probably not as funny, but my little sister wanted me to tell everyone about the annual event going in her small village this weekend.  Living in a small place like this, it is the last event of the summer before the streets roll up in preparation for many months of winter.

So for any of you who live in upstate NY, near the Canadian border, and want to take a drive, tomorrow is the last day of this event.  She has posted the schedule on her blog here:
There may be some fall colors as well that would make it an enjoyable trip.  I hear the fall colors in New England are great!

This little village, founded in 1839, is home to 1000 people.  It sits right on the St. Lawrence River and she is always telling me about looking across to Ontario, Canada.  Personally, this is way to cold for me, especially after my five years in Alaska, but her husband’s family settled there many years ago.  After her 25+ years there she is looking forward to moving south eventually.

As for me, I’m talking care of the cat in my last post and expecting the owner home sometime tomorrow.  The cat is wild as always, has gotten the underwear strewn about twice so far and bounces off the walls.  Tonight she launched herself off a cutout to the kitchen and landed on my back.  It reminded me again she needs her nails trimmed.

Tonight we have thunderstorms again and rain is pattering on my window.  Of course, this would naturally happen after I watered her garden a few hours ago.  However, she’ll be pleased that it’s grown into a jungle while she’s been gone.  We have had a very unusual wet summer.  It never rains in the summer.  The desert can go months without a drop of water.  The humidity is up and not at the usual 10-15 percent, so that is troublesome, but I think my skin is happier.

Last weekend we had so much rain some of the streets turned to red rivers.  Yes, we have red sand here, not white sand.  You have to be careful about that tracking that in the house, so everyone gets used to leaving shoes at the door.

The best thing is to be in the 90’s instead of our usual triple digits, but I’m sure that’s coming.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Does Koki have Competition in the Daredevil Department?


That is a question I ask myself when I sit for the neighbors cat, Snuggles, from time to time.  This cat is a two-year-old so of course I expected it to be quite playful.

My neighbor is an avid hiker so is often away on hiking/backpacking trips.  I’ve watched this cat many times, because I live across the street, I’m always around usually with no commitments except my own writing, and freelance work, other than my cats and husband.  Who has the money to travel?

Getting back to the cat, not being forewarned about its antics, it came as a bit of a surprise when I went over one day to find drawers opened all over the house.  My first thought was my neighbor forgot to close them, being in a hurry to get started on her trip, yet I had to wonder about that many drawers.

I just closed them and got about feeding Snuggles, putting out fresh water, scooping her litter box and playing a bit with her.  She’ll go and jump in the sink trying to engage me by twirling around to show how cute she is.

When I went over the next day, there were more drawers open and I began to wonder if anyone else was also checking on the cat, or had keys to the house.  When I talked to Sherry later, she assured me, the cat does this all the time.  I wonder if it’s just because she can or if she does it out of boredom.  Sherry told me she has locked her out of the house a few times by opening drawers in the laundry room, thus blocking the door to the garage.

The cat acted normal, bouncing off the walls, grabbing my ankles, and engaging me to play with her.  Of course, I felt guilty because I had a couple of assignments I was working on and could only stay about 45minutes per trip, so on my next trip I decided to take Koki over.

 This didn’t go over too well, as Koki was on another gal’s turf.  The cats ended up sneaking about to check each other out and never did get to the point of playing.  Of course, given time I’m sure they would have.  As mentioned above, time was not a great option right then, so I decided to bring her something I knew she would really enjoy.  This is what I took over to keep her occupied for hours.

This is actually a kid’s play tunnel that I got at Target years ago.  Our cats love it, spending many hours in it over the years; I knew this cat would have a blast.  My thought wasn’t wrong.  She about tore it up, but I had patched it anyway in the past so that wasn’t a big deal.  I ended up leaving this over there for a week.

However, that did not stop the other antics in the house.  When I went over on one occasion I found the lights and ceiling fan on, so not only did I have a cat that could open drawers but also flip light switches.  I wish I had pictures of all these things but I’ve never caught her in the act.  She does run and bounce off the walls all the time, so I’m sure her foot hit the light switch to turn it on.  She loves being chased and will wear you out running after her.

We’ve had a few funny moments over there.  My neighbor keeps the cat box in the shower of one bathroom, which works out fine because she has two bathrooms and lives there alone.  One time, as I went to scoop the box, I discovered the spray showerhead had fallen into the cat litter, another cat antic I’m sure, when Snuggles was climbing the walls and saw a cord to play with.  I put the showerhead back in place, but in the process, a few drops of water fell out and into the littler box.  Now this cat watches every move I make, so as soon as she discovered the water there, she jumped in the box to do her housekeeping.  I’m sure she thought she forgot to.  I had to lean back against the counter and laugh while I said, “Good girl.” as I praised her.

The only thing to top that was when I went over to find Sherry’s underwear strewn about the bedroom.  Her dresser drawers were open and an Indian-painted pot she had on top of the dresser had slid off and luckily didn’t break.  I was shocked and of course was glad she didn’t have a guy watching the cat who would have to walk in to see all the “unmentionables” all over the place.  I think Sherry was too when I told her about it.

That is my cat story for today.  It came to mind because I’m watching this cat again until Aug 5.