Flannel Cat

Mischief Update: Let’s Revisit Hel Week, Shall We? Part 2: Non-Condestruction-related Items

It wasn’t all home improvement here last week, no indeed. At any given time, I have many, many plans afoot, irons in the fire, and nasty twinkles in my eye. In non-condestruction news:

We were treated to a truly Ragnarok-adjacent thunderstorm here. No hail this time, but it lightninged (Look at that! The spell-checker likes that word!) non-stop for about two hours, with torrential rain and strong, gusty winds. Flannel Cat, of course, retreated behind the sofa. The human female stayed up to watch the show—and to make sure the roof stayed on.

The next morning, the yard was full of yard salad.

Pleas note that most of that is not from the humans’ own trees! When Sigyn and I went for a walk in the neighborhood, we noticed even bigger casualties.

That juniper looks positively bloody inside!

Great Frigga’s Corset! Look how close that water oak came to falling on that house! Bet that made a terrific noise, too! Makes me wish I hadn’t let the humans cut down the big dead one in their backyard. I bet it would be on the roof by now and they’d be negotiating for a new one from under a tarp instead of just some hail-pocked shingles and warpy gutters!

Gravity remains in effect in the bathroom

I am pleased to report that Flannel Cat’s trip to the vet went quite well. She was home and in fine fettle by the end of the day. The loss of a tooth did not seem to bother her much at all. She was most enthusiastic about the temporary substitution of gooshy food for kibble on her daily menu. Taffy Cat took about six days to stop hissing at her for smelling Wrong. In the end, the humans purchased some of the bottled-kitty-happy-pheromones and put it in a diffuser, which seemed to help. It also helped that Flannel Cat will go miles out of her way to sleep on anything that is even a fraction of a millimeter fluffier or softer than its surroundings, so her camping out on a worn T-shirt belonging to the human female, thus:

made her smell enough like Eau de Human Female (ugh!) to be acceptable. The Terror Twins can now be in adjacent zip codes without further contretemps.

I have no doubt that they will soon be back to their ridiculous lounging configurations.

Behold the two-headed beast
Can’t make the bed if it’s occupied

The canvas shopping bags are more coveted even than the cushion, so they must share if both are to recline upon Nirvana. Never mind that 4/10 of Taffy is hanging off.

You’ll recall that the initial trip to the vet with both cats–AKA the Feline Rodeo–resulted in the human female being on the receiving end of a bloody but shallow scratch from Taffy Cat.

Initially it didn’t hurt at all. After a few days, it had begun to twinge. It didn’t look infected, but being who she is, the human female opened a Google search for “cat scratch fever” and started taking notes. Soon, her whole wrist was quite painful and eventually she decided retaining the function of her extremities was more important than the embarrassment of seeking medical attention for something as trivial as the above. Since her primary care doctor was unavailable until the middle of July, she saw someone else, which was was a bit less mortifying. (She was relieved; I was not. I had been looking forward to watching her usual doctor struggle to suppress the epic eye-roll the human female surely deserved.)

And how did that turn out?

Sometimes she’s not as stupid as she looks.

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The Week From Hel, Day 5: Finished…For Now

The whole household was up early today, to get ready to take Flannel Cat to the vet. She can’t have breakfast, and she’s not a fan of the carrier, so she’s not terribly happy. The humans have donned long sleeves to try to get her in the carrier (more Feline Rodeo!), since she left some super scratches on the human male the other day, when he was trying to gather her up and keep her out of the condestruction-fu on Tuesday.

Two and three quarters of a mile of piteous mewing later, and toothache kitty has been dropped off. Next stop–the Super Special Lighbulb and Battery Store. Can they order a replacement bulb that will fit the stitching lamp? They say they can. But we’ll see a) if they can actually get it, b) whether it will fit in the lamp, and c) it actually works. My money is on the silly thing continuing to strobe.

Now to return the Unhappy Bulb. The humans have tried putting in in and taking it out several times, to no avail. Bad bulb! No biscuit!

Well, rats! I was hoping the crap crafts store clerk would tell her she couldn’t return it, not even with the receipt, because she had opened the package. But there was a new person manning the till and she called for instructions on how to do the return, and they gave it to her. No fair.

Now we’re headed for the library. For reasons passing understanding, the human female’s urge to collect small, brightly colored bits of paper again. Foolish woman, you do not need another hobby! She went online and discovered that the local library has all the stamp catalogs that she’s too cheap to buy. You’d think reference books like that would not circulate, wouldn’t you? But no, there they are on the shelf. Took her a while to locate them, though, since they’re not on the shelf marked “Stamps, Photography, and Coins.” The human male is asking her if she really wants to check out ALL of them. Well, yes, she says, she does. That has earned her a monumental eye roll, but the checkout clerk seems to be happy enough to let her have them, so it looks like we’re losing a dining room chair for the duration.

Clara B. Mounce is rolling in her grave.

(later) It’s time to go collect Flannel Cat. Sigyn is extra glad to learn that she only needed one tooth out and came through the extraction $urgery ju$t fine. The vet says that she (the cat, not Sigyn) will need pain med$ and a antibiotic$. Please, oh, please, oh, please let the vet send the humans home with a bottle of that nasty, banana- or bubblegum-flavored amoxicillin liquid that they make for toddlers! I really, really want to see the humans trying to get a ml or two of that into the cat! Banana goop everywhere!

Curses! Foiled! The vet has offered a long-lasting antibiotic $hot instead and the humans leapt at the chance. But they do have the pain meds, and ehehehehe! The bottle is leaking all over the human female! Good show. I was afraid this wouldn’t be fun.

Two and three quarters of a mile of scratchy-throated meowing and we are home again. I’ve told Taffy Cat that Flannel is an impostor and not to be trusted, so there is a great deal of suspicious hissing going on, which is annoying and alarming to the humans, bewildering to Flannel, and vastly amusing to me.

(later) I have relented a bit. The AC repairman has sent the humans the missing paperwork. Nothing from the roofer, however.

(later) Time to give Flannel her pain medication. Does she want to come out and be fussed over?

She does not! Okay human male, get your long sleeves on while the human female draws the medicine up in the syringe.

Or tries to. The humans have found my last bit of mischief for today. The pain medication was dispensed in a teeny little bottle, with a supplied (needle-less) syringe for measuring doses. And the syringe doesn’t fit in he bottle! Not only that, it splattered out a good portion of its contents when the human female opened it to try! The human male is rummaging through his ink sample bottles to find a wide-mouthed one to transfer the liquid into.

And so we conclude with a smaller, shorter, less frantic version of the Feline Rodeo until the patient is safely corralled and hugged and the medicine administered. A few more hisses from Taffy and we are ready to put this week to bed. I’m sure it’s one none of us will ever forget.

No, wait. The porch light just blew out. Now I’m done.

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Close, But No Cigar…

Sigh. I’m really going to have to have a word with Flannel Cat. She’s earning full marks for puking from high places, as well as for chewing on the corners of the human female’s stitchery pattern. She’s even doing well at hopping up on the stove to try to reach the African violet victims that have been moved from their doomed perch in the window to the (relative) safety of the pass-through.

But A) She was not stealthy enough to jump up on the stove quietly, and the human male was able to catch her in the act and…

B) She didn’t quite get the plastic chicken-broth-carton-cap down inside the burner pan where it would catch fire and reek next time someone started cooking.

Flannel’s cute, but she’s not the sharpest crayon in the box.

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Mischief Update–Naughtiness Old and New

(Checks notes) Apparently I’ve been so busy doing photographable mischief that I haven’t had the time to write about all the other mischief I’ve been doing.

Firstly, the roof. You will recall the Hellishly Horrible Hailstorm that Happened Here. Suspecting that the roof had been damaged, the humans had three different roofing companies out to give their opinion. The consensus opinion was that the human female looks awful in shorts. And that the roof is, indeed damaged. Not only that, the gutters and leaf guards on the gutters have taken a big hit, and my army of trained squirrels have eaten all the vent caps. True!

All it takes is a little bit of this.

The humans contacted their insurance agency, who sent someone out to have a look. Days passed, and the insurance company sent a very detailed run-down on what they were willing to pay for all the various steps of roof replacement, gutter replacement, vent caps, etc. So then the humans had to decide which roofing company to go with, and they had to get the gutter company out to offer an opinion as to whether they really need replacing. I had a chat with the roofing company they selected, and made sure that the estimate, when the humans received it, exceeded what the insurance is willing to pay. I had a second chat with the gutter company, which is of the opinion that the gutters don’t need replacing, exactly, but that maybe they need to come off before the new roof goes on. And then go back up or get replaced. Ping-ping back to the roofing company, which says they don’t need to take the gutters off to replace the roof. Return serve to the insurance company, with the humans providing the roofer’s bit and asking what happens if they spend more on the roof and less on the gutters. And that is where the ball lies, with everything on hold as the humans wait to see if the insurance company will increase what they’ll pay for the roof. The first check from them has arrived, and I made sure the bank’s lobby was closed due to lack of staff when he went to deposit it. However this all turns out, you can be sure I will hide some important piece of paperwork that the humans need to submit to prove that they actually did the repairs, so that they can get the remaining settlement money. Assuming we can ever get the repairs to take place. There’s a two-week waiting period for repairs once you even get on the schedule—and who knows how long the repairs will take, or what the roofer will find when the old shingles come off? (He’ll find that plywood has tripled in price in the last few months, that’s what he’ll find…)

I continue to train the felines to add “spice” to the humans’ life. I’ll have to work with Flannel Cat some more, though, and teach her how to harf up her supper more quietly. Unfortunately, last time she did it, she telegraphed her intent with a prodigious gagging noise and some extreme facial contortions, such that the human male was able to leap up from his seat on the sofa so that he was unscathed when the rain of soggy kibble fell from the topmost perch of the cat tree, which stands directly behind the sofa. Flannel spectacularly decorated that perch, the next two levels down, the sofa, and the floor, but she missed the human male. Pity. Both felines routinely hurl upon the bed quilt, though, which necessitates a lot of laundry. Good kitties!

The gold “balloons” on the fence around the Large Ugly Apartments (LUAs) continue to irk me. They put them up, I deflate them,

they put them back up. I deflate the whole row.

So far, I am winning.

As you can see, NO option is Loki-proof, and at at least $7.00 a pop, it all adds up.

Breakfast continues to be fruitful ground for mischief-making. The human female and I had a long conversation the other morning about whether it was useful and saves time if the eggs come pre-cracked.

I say it is. She says it isn’t. Agree to disagree.

The gravity in the bathroom is still functioning.

If I grease the towel rod, I think I can get this to happen on a daily basis…

The lone surviving hollyhock has bloomed. It has frilly, pale pink petals.

Don’t get too attached to it, human female. I’ve inoculated it with some sort of orange rust and invited some spider mites over as well. They’ll go nicely with the runaway mint and the dollarweed I’ve let loose in the lawn.

The humans continue to try new recipes. I like to suggest ingredients to them.

Somehow they did not go for that one.

I meddled with the human female’s iPad tablet so that it would not charge. At all. It was actually losing power while plugged in and eventually shut itself completely off. The human male took it to see if it could be repaired. The repairman plugged it in and it worked perfectly, making everyone look like an idiot. I love it when that happens. Meanwhile, I’ve arranged that the human female’s laptop will, once or twice a day, just decide to stop charging unless she wiggles and waggles the cord around just so to find the sweet spot.

Hmm. What else is new? The next door neighbor mowed down the elm seedling between the houses that the human female had put a big, red, DON’T MOW flag on. So much for a free, conveniently-situated shade tree.

Oh, and my new hobby is putting little pinhead sized holes in all the human female’s favorite shirts. Right in front where they can’t be invisibly mended. And I made sure the only jeans that fit her have been discontinued.

All in all, I’m keeping busy. It’s true that I don’t get to wreak sweet havoc with vendors and office coworkers these days, but it’s still a good life. I mean, I can still arrange for cryptic and confusing email offers like this one.

And it’s time to feed the cats again.

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I Have Trained My Minions Well: Mischief by the Numbers

1 pot broken beyond repair

2 violets on the floor and needing repotting

3 violets knocked over (one is still in the window)

29 leaves broken off

1 cat

3 seconds

30 minute clean-up.

1 hacked-off human female

Flannel Cat, you have outdone yourself, and I salute you.

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What They’ve All Been Up To, Part IV: Choose Your Enemies Wisely

No one has heard from Hawkeye (Clint Barton) is a while. If I know him, he’s probably off just practicing his archery. I hope he put some thought into his target and isn’t just shooting randomly.

Odin’s eyepatch! You’d better not be contemplating shooting my furry minion, birdbrain! I know your practice arrows are blunt, but they still sting. Norns’ nighties! People say *I’m* a villain!

Here’s everyone’s favorite green giant, the Hulk, to try to make nice with the other feline.

“Hulk hug!”

Uh, oh. That tail is a swishin’! Looks like Furry Minion #2 has had enough hugging!

Swat!

Not so much fun when you’re on the receiving end, huh, tough guy?”

Watching other people get into trouble gives me an appetite. I wonder if there’s anything good in the kitchen?

Looks like Marty the Mynah had the same idea. Bug-eyed birdie want a cracker?

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What They’ve All Been Up To, Part I: Fisi, No!

Looking back over this journal, I realize that it has been quite some time since I have written about anyone other than the humans (ugh), the felines (furry minions), Sigyn, and myself. Nary a word about the other people beings in my circle of acquaintances. Blame that on 1) Social distancing, and 2) the fact that I don’t actually like any of them.

Be that as it may, I suppose it might be mildly amusing to fill you in on what they have all been doing. Let’s start here.

This is the beautiful wedding quilt the human female’s mother made about twenty-seven years ago. It has been treasured and well-loved, but it is now showing some wear and some popped seams.

Great Frigga’s hairpins! It’s as I suspected, that thrice-damned hyena has been contributing to the decay by using it as a chew toy. I thought I smelled a whiff of Hyaenidae.

Fisi! Bad hyena! Spit that out RIGHT NOW!

Unfortunately, this is not the only area of damage. Luckily, my beloved is quite handy with a needle and thread.

A few darns in a few holes, some tiny whipstitches to re-close the open seams, and everything will be snuggly cuddles once again.

Every job needs a Snoopervisor.

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Thank-the-Turkey Day Aftermath, Part II: Gravity is Still Working

The human male wants to make “spud soup” with the leftover mashed potatoes. Fair enough. The human female doesn’t know how to make them for anything less than an army, so there is plenty to work with.

Step one: Locate the baggie of potatoes in the overcrowded cold box.

Step two: Realize that step zero was making sure I hadn’t unzipped the baggie when no one was looking.

Huh. That worked rather better than I thought it would…

Fenrir’s whiskers! What was that stripey streak?!

Oh.

The felines are never fed “people food,” but Taffy Cat’s hearing is very good, and apparently mashed potatoes hitting vinyl makes an irresistible noise indeed.

“Here, Flannel! Don’t you want in on the excitement?”

I’d like to go on record saying that if either of them barfs, I’m not cleaning it up…

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I Have Trained Them Well

The felines enjoyed having the humans home all day, every day.   They got lots of extra cuddles and “ear-scritches.”

Now that the humans are on campus again, the Terror Twins are on their own recognizance a good portion of the day, and I have lots of time to teach them new bad habits and reinforce old ones.  Likewise, I encourage them to act out, so as to guilt-trip the humans into feeling like bad cat-parents.

Taffy Cat has to try every box that enters the house, both for taste and sitability.

kitty-box

Two paws are in.  Surely the other two will fit?

I have been working with them, honing their skills as cordless paper-shredders.

Looks like someone has been taking the lessons to heart.

shreddy paper1

No piece of paper left unattended is safe!  (That math is the human female figuring out she has something like 35 weeks of sick leave built up.  I could help her with that…)

While Taffy has been known to bite paper every now and then, it is Flannel Cat who is the real professional.

flannelshred1

She always observes the proper protocol:  Knock papers off table or chair, bite the edges, scatter the resulting shreddy bits of wet confetti,

and look very, very innocent when caught in the act.

flannelshred2

For some reason known only to herself, she also has a real fondness for biting holes in the ridiculous footgear that Midgardians call Crocs.

bitten crocs

This perforated pair belongs to the human female.  The human male’s are similarly scarred.

I am working on a spell that would give both cats opposable thumbs.  With those and a few purloined credit cards, I think we could have some real fun…

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