Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Day in the Life of a Mean Widdle Kid

I know there are some of you out there who remember Red Skelton's Mean Widdle Kid. "If I dood it, I get in trouble....I dood it!"

This has become Dixie's philosophy of life.

Dixie's day begins at 5am - if she has been sequestered in the bathroom for fighting with Scout at midnight, she begins meowing to remind Mom that she was unjustly accused and incarcerated. If she has spent the night freely roaming the house, she pounces on Mom's nose to let her know that the alarm will be going off in a few minutes.

5:15 am, 5:30 am, 5:45 am and 6:00 am - she picks herself up from where Mom has flung her off the bed and marches out of the room in a huff, muttering under her breath.

6:05 am - she walks Mom to the pantry to show her where the cat food is kept. This is not just a walk, but her opportunity to help Mom wake up by creating an obstacle course, weaving into and out of Mom's path as as the aged parent blearily stumbles to the kitchen.

6:30 am - she launches her first attack of the morning on Boo or Scout, whichever one happens to be visiting the litter box. Nothing like freaking out a housemate by springing on them while their attention is otherwise occupied. She has assisted in greatly improving Boo's standing broad jump since she arrived.

6:35 am - she uses the litter box herself and complains about the way that Boo or Scout flung litter all over the room when they departed in haste.

7:00 am - she helps Mom with the ironing of the day's outfit by grabbing the iron cord and biting Mom's toes.

7:01 am - she nimbly dodges Mom's swat at her little hiney.

7:05 am thru approximately 10:30 am - she hounds Scout, chasing and biting and running upstairs and downstairs

10:30 am - nap time, which may last 5 minutes or may last 5 hours. Naps are interspersed with trips to the litter box and assaults on Boo and Scout. Unless Mom is working at home, in which case, she repeatedly lands on the desk and is repeatedly ejected, lands on the work table and watches tv for awhile, and then starts again with landing on the desk and flying through the air away from the desk - until

approx 5:00 pm - Mom gets home from work and it's time to see how many times she can get the poor woman to say "Stop it!" before

7:00 pm - supper time, when it is time to remind Mom repeatedly that it is supper time in a loud and strident voice until Mom gives up and opens a new package of expensive cat food, after being shown again where we keep it, with the weaving in and out of her path, and then sniffing the food and declaring that she's not hungry just yet and will eat later.

8:00 pm until about 10:00 pm - nap time until Mom begins to shut down the house and prepare for bed and trying to time it just right so that at

10:30 pm - when Mom finally gets into bed and settles down with her crossword for the evening, Dixie begins to prowl around the room, getting into the trash, chewing on important papers, jumping up on the bed so that Mojo will chase her off, and finally settling down like she intends to sleep for awhile.

11:00 pm - when Mom turns off the light, gets up and picks a fight with Scout, the object being to see how long it will take Mom to give up and get out of bed and catch one of them.

11:15 pm - settles down in the bathroom to sleep.

It's not easy being a Mean Widdle Kid.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pluses and Minuses

To anyone who has wondered at my absence, I'm okay. Mostly.

I'm enjoying the shift in temperature from HOT OVEN to WARMING OVEN, and the accompanying rain we've recently received. That's on the plus side of the slate. With the slight cooling effect, I've begun sleeping again. That's really a major mark on the plus side.

Still on the plus side, a couple of weeks ago I located the antique oak bedstead that I've searched for over the last year or so. I was on one of my noon-time rambles through the Antique Mall in Round Rock and there it sat, giving me a come-hither look and then when I got close to it seducing me with its beveled panels and curved oak side rails. Little brother was on vacation in the hinterlands of Big Bend at the time, so I cajoled a willing co-worker into transporting the bedstead to my office to await such time as little brother and his pickup would be available to haul it home for me.

It is still sitting in my office at work, thanks to the spotty rains that are continuing. I'm not complaining. If that's what it takes to get some rain in the area, I can live with a piece of antique furniture propped against the wall in my office for awhile. I get looks from the folks that pass by wondering why I have a bed in my office, but I live to confuse others and that makes it another mark on the plus side. (However, I am hoping for a break in the clouds at some point. I would really like to see this little beauty take its place with my other oak antique bedroom pieces.)

Another positive is the latest audiobook I've been listening to for several days now. In a weak moment, I purchased some classics to listen to "some day" and I decided it was time to get my money's worth from at least one of them. So I started La Morte d'Arthur and, while entertaining, decided it just took too much attention that I didn't have at the moment, so I shifted to Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I really did not have great expectations that I would enjoy the book; I expected dry, stilted prose and a boring story. I surprisingly was caught up in Pip's story from the first and have just begun the 11th out of 14 discs and thoroughly enjoying the experience. I may just have to try Oliver Twist and David Copperfield.

Not everything has been hunky dory, however. First there are the terrible cat wars that are in full swing at home. Dixie, Boo and Scout have come to an understanding amongst themselves and I believe it is to drive Mom completely insane. Midnight is the witching hour and my little witch's familiars can convince you the house is coming down around your ears as they chase each other upstairs and downstairs, literally bouncing off walls and spitting and hissing in a most unpleasant manner until Mom gets up and snags Dixie and pitches her into the bathroom to spend the remainder of the night. The cats and dogs are learning a lot of new words as Mom does some pretty eloquent hissing of her own when she dives for a cat and falls over the bench at the end of the bed.

Then there is the return of the dreaded eye issue. I suffer from the recurring malady of chalazions and they are back. Simply put, the condition is the same as styes, but internal rather than external. It leads to puffy lumps in the eyelids that hurt, put pressure on your eyes that messes with your vision, and generally refuse to go away peacefully. Over the course of the last week, they have developed in both eyes and my mood has soured in direct proportion to their progress. I am dealing with antibiotics, eyedrops that apparently contain unicorn tears they are so expensive, and will see the eye surgeon later in the week to evalute the necessity of her intervention. Big black marks on the negative side, but then again it could be so much worse that I'm trying to be stoic.

So that's the report from the home front. I have hopes that the more pleasant weather will lead to more frequent bouts of writing. I have hopes that a trip to the vet for a certain little cat will sweeten her disposition (only 4 weeks to go). I have hopes that the rain will break long enough to get the bed out of my office and home where it belongs. I have hopes that Pip's story will have a happy ending, but I'm bracing myself on that one. I have hopes that the antibiotics are zipping through my bloodstream and battling the chalazion intruders. I have hope. And lots of amaretto, if that fails.


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Conspiracy Theory

I'm beginning to think the cats are out to gaslight me. Scout and Dixie spend a lot of time battling throughout the house - Dixie chasing Scout and Scout hissing and yowling loud enough to wake the dead. On the occasions when they don't respond to my own yowling of "Stop that, I've had enough of that, quit it, NOW!" Dixie ends up shut in the utility room or bathroom for awhile to give Scout a chance to locate a good hiding place.

But then a few days ago I noticed that there were times when they would sit quietly in the same proximity. I even caught them lying placidly next to the water station, nose to nose, in some kind of silent communication. As soon as they saw me watching, they began slapping and hissing.

Scout & Dixie discussing how to drive Mom crazy


So I am trying to be sneaky, too, and spy on my little heathen cats to see if they are really getting along and just acting up when I'm around. I suspect they are bored and have started a game to see just how fast they can get me out of my chair and chasing after them.

I wasn't born yesterday. I've been playing cat games for 50 plus years. They've only been at it for 4 years (Boo and Scout) and 4 months (Dixie). We'll just see who wins.