I was laughing the other day, listening to the humans grumble while cleaning up simultaneous barfage from both cats at once. Then I had the notion that it would be even more amusing–and an actual kindness to the humans– to turn the felines into something useful, if only for a little bit. If the furry minions weren’t cats, what could they be?
Flannel Cat, obviously, would make an excellent sofa cushion. Warm, soft, squishy. Not very bright.
Or maybe packing peanuts, because you can always get more into a box than you thought.
“If I fits, I sits.”
Taffy Cat, on the other hand, has done so well with the training I’ve been giving her that there’s really only one option.
Given the presence of an Asian market within a ten mile radius, the likelihood of the humans checking it out approaches 87%. Therefore, it is no surprise that there is more than one in the game plan for today’s visit to the Big City to the West.
Our first stop is a Japanese grocery and gift shop we have visited before. Sigyn loves this place. It’s where we got the moon-faced bun man last year. They have them again today, but Sigyn is thinking that today she wants to try one of the kitty-faced ones.
That’s almost as vacant an expression as Flannel’s.
While Sigyn is looking at sweets, I am examining their selection of home-made rice packets wrapped in leaves.
Slap some numbers on one of these and you’ll have yourself an oversized, edible, four-sided die.
Great Frigga’s Hairpins! Sigyn, come look!
It’s a veritable rainbow of delicious, delicious ice cream mochi! I’d ask which kind you want, but since I have my own little pocket dimension in which to sequester things, I say we just take a box of each and figure out which one is the best later.
Yikes! Look at the size of this gobo root!
The human female is always moaning about having to weed the yards. New goal: track down the seeds of this plant and put some all around the property, preferably alongside something with shallow, delicate roots that cannot be disturbed. I want to watch her try to get one of these out in one piece!
What have you found now, Sigyn?
Ah. I know what that is, even without looking at the sign. It’s a set of figures representing the twelve animals of the Asian zodiac. This year is the year of the Tiger. I haven’t checked, but I feel sure I must be a Tiger or Dragon–or after that Svadilfari business, perhaps Horse is more fitting. Sigyn is undoubtedly a Rabbit, she’s so tiny and cute and mild-mannered. Having seen the human female when cake is involved, I think it’s safe to mark her down for “Pig.”
The human male has bought some apple mochi (Just mochi, sadly. Not ice cream ones) and some instant noodly things. While he’s checking out, Sigyn is having one last look around.
She has the happy ability to make friends wherever she goes. We haven’t been here twenty minutes and she’s already been invited to join the yoga class!
Next stop, the game store in the Asian strip mall. It’s not necessarily oriental, just conveniently located.
Well, this looks like a fun one.
I have been the only person at a party with an axe before, and it was indeed a very good time.
Human female, where did you go? Come over here and look at this:
Someone put your face on a game without your permission.
Loose ends that remain unraveled: The human female’s little coin purse is still soaking and still discharing blue dye. Roofer number five still has not come with the insurance check for the humans to countersign so, technically, we are all sleeping under a roof that has not been paid for. The human female superglued the magnet that is tall enough to mash down the door-closed sensor to the inside of her car door, and now the car does actually acknowledge that the driver’s door is shut. BUT. The rear passenger side door still refuses to lock and is still wedged locked with a wad of paper. Meanwhile, I’ve had the Tire-Pressure-Monitoring-System-is Kaput light go out. Does that mean the sensor is working again, or that it is so broken that it can’t even say how broken it is. Supposedly the dealership has the part is on order; it was supposed to be in last Tuesday but no word has announced its arrival. The dealership did call, however, unrolling a whole spiel about how they got distracted by a last minute oil change and they were sorry they didn’t get to her car about the thingummy that is not a sensor and…wait. This is not Mrs. Harrison? Um, no. Cue frantic search for the human female’s paperwork. Cluelessness abounds!
The humans and Sigyn were very occupied over the last week with various churchy activities. I was distinctly NOT invited to participate in any of the liturgies, but I did want them to know that the Norse God of Mischief was still thinking of them…
While running a bit late to one of the services, the human male discovered that, at my urging, Flannel Cat had helpfully, harf-fully decorated not only the outside of the shoes he needed to wear, but the insides as well. I have tried to teach the felines the importance of being thorough, and I think it’s paying off!
I nudged the weather, and it was a glorious combination of possible dangerous storms, roaring winds and flying pollen, and good-gravy-if-this-is-April-what-will-August-be-like? heat and mugginess. The human female toted a sweater and an umbrella to church and needed neither. Or when she did need the sweater, she very frantically unneeded it a short time later, red-faced and sweating, because that is How Things Are around here.
The human female did not sing in the choir this year on account of feeling a bit punk. She did turn up to help clean the church beforehand, however. I approve of her having to do manual labor, so I was kind and only made sure she got the nearly-empty can of spray cleaner. Oh, and I guess shoving her off the small platform that houses the organ she was dusting counts too. You should see the big, red, bruisy scuff mark on her knee. It’s a thing of beauty.
There were plenty of opportunities for non-harmful, merely playful mischief during the solemn vigil liturgy on Saturday night. I was banned, of course, but I saw to it that the big candle the male was tasked with processing in went out twice between the bonfire and the church door. I made sure the wireless mic’s batteries went out on the pastor, I made the choir miss a cue and start singing before a lector could repeat a reading in Spanish, I turned the page so the prayer intentions got read out of order, and if you guessed it was me who saw that the male, who was carrying the bowl of holy water for the priest, got a faceful of back-swing droplets for every wave of sprig-sprinkled water aimed at the congregation, you would be right. I also saw to it that there was a large fellow with a boomy, not-quite-on-pitch voice singing with great gusto right behind the human female in two out of the three liturgies. (Different fellow each time. No one should have to sit near her twice.) Oh, and most of the good stuff was already eaten by the time the human female got a break from kitchen duties and could get to the reception. The closest she got to the chicken was what she got on her white shirt carrying away the empty pan.
I also had some fun with a little gift the humans were given by one of the families at the basket blessing. Just like last year, someone gave them a butter sheep. I gave it a good shove on the drive home, which “rearranged” its physiognomy somewhat.
Don’t be sad, Sigyn. I’m sure it will be just as delicious happy with a smooshy face as not. Anyway, I have left some of your favorite parts of the season completely unmeddled-with.
And before you call me a monster, I’ll have you know that the human female got unexpected rewards vouchers both from the place she has bought her silly postage stamps and the store where she recently purchased a staggering amount of embroidery thread. Essentially, she was able to get some free stamps and some free thread. It put her in a good mood for days, but I whispered to her that the universe can’t be that friendly, and it surely means that mischief of some sort is surely headed her way. (And if the universe won’t oblige, yours truly can certainly make it happen…)
I feel as if I’ve not been posting often enough lately about making the human female miserable. Too many posts about strange Midgardian shops and food and nature and flowers. (Love you, Sigyn, but face it. Posies are not what I’m here for.)
But I have been far from idle. Let me fill you in about all my various naughtinesses.
The house: Repairs from last year’s hailstorm damage are at last complete with the installation of a new skylight. However, the final chapter of the long saga of condestruction has yet to be written, because Roofer Number 5 has yet to a) ask the humans to sign the conditional check that Usually Sounds Amiable, Although… mailed to them and/or b) write a check for the difference between the payout and the actual costs. There’s also the fact that the human female hasn’t yet found all of the little goodies from the installation of roof and gutters. Why, just last Saturday, when she was weeding around the house, she came up with these.
There are plenty more for her to find when she mows for the first time. Can you say, “Whannnnnnnggg!!!”? The lawn mower is going to!
Oh, and speaking of weeding, I’ve set up a battle for the ages in the side yard. It’s Mint vs. Bermudagrass vs. the human female and her St. Augustine grass army. Right now it’s each faction for itself, but I predict the Bermudagrass and the Mint are going to make common cause and form a botanical Axis of Evil which will be all but invincible.
So, yes, the house repairs are essentially done. It has all left the human female twitchy quite leery of bad weather. Which means that I’ve arranged for a line or two of really nasty weather to go over the house each week. Don’t worry about me, though. I can teleport myself and Sigyn to someplace safe every time the radar looks like this:
and I refuse to join in the exciting-but-not-at-all-fun activity of sitting in the closet with the cats and everything precious when there’s an honest-to-Thor tornado in the vicinity. Actually getting the cats in there is a three person job and there are only two humans. It’s like an insane hybrid between Twister (ha!) and Sardines. Yeah, no thanks. The mortals can cower amidst the hangers and mismatched shoes. I’ll go relax on a beach somewhere.
It is definitely Spring, and that means not just scary storms–it also means pollen. Every day, the human female’s car gets yellower and yellower. I wish she’d park it in the garage and put the male’s car in the driveway, because it is blue. Blue and yellow make green, which I’m sure would be particularly aesthetically pleasing.
Ah. The human female’s car. I get so much mileage (snort!) out of it. She got the flat tire fixed, but yesterday the Tire Pressure Monitoring System light came on. She thought that meant she had another leak, but she eventually smarted up and consulted the owner’s manual. It’s wor$ethan an impending flat, because if it’s just the TPMS light without the little flat-tire-and-! icon, it means the TMPS system itself is malfunctioning and will not warn her of any problems with the tires. Fixing it is sure to involve computer chip$ and diagno$tic te$t$. Meanwhile, the passenger side rear door lock is still non-operational. The handle is wedged in the lock position with a big wad of paper. There is a huge bag of plastic wrap from the Food Bank in the cargo area–plus some in the front seat—that all needs to go to the recycling center. I tell you, the vehicle is super-classy from bumper to yellow bumper.
I have been finding the Food Bank to be a very fertile ground for mischief. I’m not allowed to take photos in there, but let me tell you, it’s a big metal building full of fun. The human female comes home each week filthy, sweaty, tired, and reeking of various effluvia. If there’s something that stains, you can be assured that I’m shoving it in her path. One week it was slimy cucumbers and furry peppers that needed to be culled from among good produce. Another week, it was a can of Alfredo sauce that had somehow been breached. The contents were unbelievably stenchsome and gray and crawling with…things. This past week, it was leaky bags of flour and sugar, sticky containers of applesauce, and some broken glass that led to a bandage and some bloodshed. And yes, I was responsible for the fact that, during the sorting of donations, there was nearly a whole pallet full of canned corn and almost nothing to vary it up with. Scale that wasn’t weighing properly? Also me. Ripped bag of jelly beans turning the floor into a rainbow colored minefield? Me again! It’s a rare week she doesn’t break a nail or three or throw her back out, but she keeps doing it. So far, she’s not signed up for any warehouse shifts, and I really, really want her to, because if watching her try to steer a pallet jack is funny, just think of what I could do if they let her drive a forklift…
I continue to wreak havoc with the mail. Last week, not one, not two, but THREE packages that were logged as “delivered”, weren’t. The human male had to go down to the post office twice, chasing after them with the postmaster herself. They had been delivered, all right, to a differently-numbered box in a different multi-box unit, on a different street entirely. But I’m not completely heartless. some of the mail is getting through!
She probably doesn’t have to worry about getting selected to sit on a jury, though. This part of Midgard has trial-by-a-jury of one’s peers. The chances that the defendant is going to be a lumpy, aging, klutzy plant nerd with the reasoning powers and emotional control of a backward toddler are vanishingly small.
I also made sure she got the invitation to a luncheon honoring a friend of hers for various charitable efforts. Yes indeed, the human female and her $75.00 per plate were specifically requested to attend.
Other tidbits: I have fixed it so that the human female’s mouse won’t work when she works plays on the laptop whilst sitting on the sofa unless she moves it to the opposite side of the laptop, forcing her to mouse with the arm that gets tendinitis if she mouses with it. I have also seen to it that the new operating system on the laptop provides a very, very annoying plonky sound effect whenever she downloads anything. No amount of following directions on how to get it to stop doing that has worked so far. If she figures it out, I’ll just make something else start making noise.
Oh, and then there’s the labels. The human female identified a number of plants for a colleague and typed up the labels for mounting. She used a template she’s used for years, one that perfectly sets the labels up eight to a sheet, complete with Texas county maps where she can color in the county in question. This is what they looked like when I got through with them:
I continue to work with the Terror Twins. The other morning, I had both of them harfing up breakfast at the same time! I had a very kibbly obstacle course there for a while, and it was such fun I think I’ll do it again next week. Flannel Cat, especially, is very prone to submitting her meals for review if she’s kept waiting for them. And I’ve trained her to eat just a little at a time so that her leftovers have to be picked up and rendered inaccessible by Taffy Cat (because Taffy is a Hoover and rivals Volstagg for sheer capacity.) Of course, Flannel will then ask for the rest of her meal later in the day, requiring that the other furry minion be distracted or sequestered behind a locked door so that Flannel can dine in peace. But Flannel finds Distracting Entertainment—such as The String!!—distracting and will frequently abandon food dish in favor of pouncing. Given that and the fact that Taffy will start clamoring and climbing on the humans a full two hours ahead of mealtime, the feeding nonsense can occupy a good portion of the day.
I do try to see to it that the humans have to spend a further good portion of the day on the telephone, trying to mitigate one or another of my nefarious schemes. The human male has gone multiple rounds with SuddenDrop, their internet provider recently. The humans, angered by an unannounced 20% rate hike on their bundled cable TV and internet, ditched their cable entirely and promised the company they’d cancel the internet the minute that fiber internet becomes available. The current provider responded by capping their download allowance without telling them. That was right about the time the human female’s computer decided it didn’t want to recognize its charging cable unless the moon was in the right phase and she held her face a certain way. Downloading all the software on the new laptop put them well over the cap on data, and they got billed for all of the extra bytes. All of them. Surprise!
The human female spent a good deal of time on her phone. Something that should have been a one-phone-call finagle—getting a nursery in her mother’s home town to plant a tree in her mother’s yard—turned into a multi-day, multi-call, multi-text operation. Every time she called, she got a different person and had to explain what she wanted all over again, and the person who knew about pricing didn’t have the schedule, while the person who could schedule the job didn’t know if they had the tree she wanted in stock, and the person familiar with the stock is not the one who could handle the billing. Despite asking the nursery to call the mother to arrange a good time for planting the tree, the nursery merely showed up with it, ready to plop it in the ground. It’s in now, and since I actually like the human female’s mother, I’ll probably let it live.
Whew! See what I mean? Busy, busy Loki. That’s all for now. I’ve got to go convince one cat that she’s starving and the other that there is some paper that desperately needs shredding.
I write a lot about my furry minions and the mischief they perpetrate at my request. They have some delightfully devilish natural inclinations, but I also like to encourage them to try new things. What kind of a boss would I be if I didn’t foster the development of new skills?
I’m especially pleased with how Taffy Cat is progressing. With her long, lithe build, she is just the right shape for conducting archaeological investigations.
Exploring the middens left behind by primitive civilizations is important and rewarding work—especially if they microwave turkey bacon and dispose of the paper towels.
She is also turning into a very enthusiastic and creative Document Security Specialist. She learned from Flannel Cat but has far surpassed her instructor in a very short time. No paper is safe from her! Leave something lying about, and there is a near 100% chance that it will come under her scrutiny and be reduced to very finely cross-cut shreds. Everything is fair game for chewing and spitting out. Grocery lists, calendars, memos-to-self, edges of papers peeking the littlest bit out of books. On the chairs, on the floor, on the dining room table; it doesn’t matter. Have teeth, will travel.
Observe the start she has made on the envelope containing the human female’s latest botanical manuscript.
The envelope is certainly now unsalvageable, and she is just one or two good mouthfuls from embarking upon the document itself.
All preparations from Yule aside, I have been very, very busy lately! Grab a cup of cocoa or your beverage of choice and prepare to be impressed by my exploits.
Remember the humans’ retirement checks that were mailed at the end of November and which didn’t come? The female was finally able to get hold of They’re Really Swamped (TRS), but they told her she’d have to wait for ten days after the checks failed to show. So she called again on the 9th of this month, and the Helpful Person told her that yes, they could stop payment on the checks and, yes, they could directly deposit the amount into the humans’ accounts, since they had all the direct deposit information now. After several days, the human female checked the bank account. No money! (Have I mentioned that everyone at TRS works for me?) She called TRS and asked when they might expect their funds, since the direct deposit info was “all ready to go.” “Seven to ten days from the 9th,” was the answer. Finally, on the 16th of this month, the money appeared in the humans’ account–with a hold on it, so it was Schroedinger’s money–both there and not there. It’s finally available, and they’re going to need it…
In other news, I’m still working on training the felines, and I’m happy to report there’s progress. Flannel Cat, as you can see, can unerringly pick out the softest surface upon which to sit/lie/sleep. She does especially good work with towels fresh out of the dryer.
There is still no resolution to the roof issue. The roof is on, but the new guttering is merely a rumor. Calls to the roofer (who has still not been PAID because they have not presented the check from the insurance company for the humans to sign) are of no avail. The humans learned last Friday that Usually Sounds Amiable, Although… gave a green light to replacing the cracked bathroom skylight way back on the 10th. Has anyone from the roofing company conveyed this to the humans yet? No, they have not! The human male only learned of it when he had to call USAA because of the surprise I left for him in the garage.
Cracked sheetrock coming down! So there’s a third claim for this year. The human female went up in the attic (very gingerly, because how safe are those pull-down stairs now, eh?) to see if she could suss out the problem. Turns out that all the tubs of old books and Yule lights and such are on plywood boards laid across the rafters, so that part of things is all right. The sheetrock, though is a lost cause. I know what happened, and so the human female thinks she can guess. Years ago, a few shingles of the old green roof came off in a storm and the humans had to have them replaced. The roofer (different roofer) brought out a whole bundle of green shingles and left the extras with the humans in case they were ever needed again. Those shingles lived for a time on the back patio, but eventually the human female put them in the attic, where they were either placed or nudged to lie largely on the sheetrock rather than the rafters. Ehehehehe! She can’t even provably blame this on me. We’ll see whether she’s honest enough to say as much to the insurance adjuster. I bet they deny the claim (you’ll recall that everyone at USAA works for me as well.) In the meantime, some heavy things have been removed from the attic, the bicycles have been taken down from their hooks, the car is now living in the driveway, and there is on the garage floor a minefield of dust, sawdust, wood splinters, and insulation dislodged by the hammering-on of the new roof and deposited on the contents of the attic, the attic stairs, and the human female.
The dryer is turning itself on and making funny bleeple noises again.
The credit card people sent an Important Notice about the terms of their card, and now the human female will get to wade through no-doubt-deplorable music on a twenty-minute hold and then navigate some Byzantine phone tree to opt-out of having her information sold or given to “affiliates” to “serve her better.”
The human female, in trying to access her archived University email to dig out some addresses for sending Yule greetings, found she could not access it, despite knowing the password. She then tried her active University mail and found a little something from the library.
Apparently the moron had not been checking the mail with any sort of regularity. She’d missed multiple notices about overdue books and believed herself to still be well within the staff-can-check-things-out-for-a-year safe zone. The library had proceeded to bill her for the replacement cost of eight books, plus the late fine. Of course, this made her feel horrifically guilty, so she immediately sent an impassioned appeal for clemency and rounded up the books so she could return them. One of the books, a large pictorial tome about ecclestiastical edifices in Hungary, had become lodged 2/3 of the way down a stack of equally coffee-table-sized books. The human female unstacked the stack all right, but everything that was leaning against the stack (DVD’s, a few cassettes, quite a lot of paper, etc.) succumbed noisily to the laws of physics.
Let’s have a better look, perhaps from an aerial vantage point.
The next day (after been having directed by TAMU IT services to a new and unannounced interface for accessing old emails) she and the human male loaded up the books and drove up to campus (avoiding Commencement Ceremony crowds!) to drop off the books and do some more begging. They got to the end of the driveway before they realized they didn’t have the new, recently-issued parking permit hang-tag, so they had to go back inside and hunt for that. They eventually did make it up to campus, navigating the labyrinthine parking garage and hauling the box of books up the ramp to the library. The clerk at the circulation desk (unfortunately) declined to publicly humiliate the human female via loudspeaker and checked the books back in. She said that since the books were returned, all the replacement fees would be waived and only the $16.00 in late fees would apply. The human female thanked her profusely and tried to pay. “No, no!” Was the answer. “You can’t pay here.” Instead, she was directed to TAMU Marketplace, some hitherto unseen website that handles all sorts of payments. This is a tiny sliver of the interface:
It goes on and on and on, scrolls and scrolls in the same vein. It’s all very cryptic. Iron spikes? Launch? Launch what? Searching as directed on “my library” returned fifty-three different options, none of them the actual library record. She found the library fee and fine portal eventually and where to pay, but before she hit the button, she had another look at her record. All $286.05 was still showing owed. Ehehehe! I always like it when I can get two heart attacks from the same bit of mischief two days running. Reading that the library does not like partial payments, she fired off another message to Fines Appeals in order to point out that all the books were returned and asking when her record would reflect the return of the books. And of course this was a Friday, so she got to stew all weekend.
And come to the realization that she had failed to get a receipt for the returned books.
The ugly couches continue to shed bits of fake leather, the human female needs new shoes and a new drop-proof phone case, the human male needs a new belt, and there are still Yule gifts to buy and the taxes to pay in January. Between those and the dryer and the garage ceiling, the humans are hoping and praying that TRS doesn’t see the Dec. 16 deposit of checks and say, “You were paid in December and you can’t be paid twice in the same month, so no checks for you on December 30.”
All in all, the humans are regarding the piggy bank with a calculating eye. Can’t wait for them to smash the porcelain porker and discover I’ve raided the stash of cash and replaced it all with expired coupons for thirty cents off the cat food the Terror Twins won’t eat.
Suffice it to say, I am not on any fat man’s “nice” list!
Perhaps you recall that the my efforts to train the felines to barf in such a way that soggy bits of half-chewed kibble actually land *in* the humans’ shoes have been less than entirely successful. Thus, I have made it a point to have weekly practice sessions with the aim of improving their aim. Behold the results of a recent attempt:
Tsk, tsk, tsk. Very sloppy. Taffy Cat, this has all the hallmarks of your work, and I can see that you were trying, but this is not your best effort.
You didn’t manage to get the kibble into the human female’s shoe, and what you did get on the shoe was only a few drops of hork-juice.
How are we to know whether her hikers really are waterproof unless you get them thoroughly soaked?
Flannel Cat, I notice that you have eschewed shoes* entirely this week, but I can give you partial credit for tagging the quilt on the humans’ bed. Any pukeage that results in a wash load is good in my book.
So, continue to practice, both of you, and for now I want you to run some laps. No, not right now. Wait until about 11:30 tonight, when the house is quiet, so that the galloppy thud of eight little feet and the scrabbling squeal of sharp turns on laminate flooring are louder and more disruptive. Bonus points if you take the laps across the bed with sleeping people in it. Got that? Good!
Now go sit in some clean laundry and rest up for tonight.
*But she HAS chewed shoes, because Crocs are just that delicious and make funny squeaky noises when you bite them.
If this were a meeting run according to Rules of Order rather than a Manifesto of Mischief, we would start with Old Business. Ongoing projects, as it were.
The humans still do not have the new gutters that Roofer Number Five promised. Nor have they received word whether Usually Sounds Amiable, Although… is going to pay for the hail-cracked skylight. You’d think the roofing company would want to finish this job, seeing as how they haven’t been paid yet. I think I can stretch this situation to January if I try, so there’s my first New Year’s Resolution right there.
I may have overdone the mischief with the bedroom ceiling fan and the constantly-breaking chain. It broke one too many times and humans got rid of it, bringing home a nice, more powerful, quieter model with a sturdy chain. Just so you know, Sigyn is wrong–my pout is adorable, thank you.
Over the weekend, I got my hands on the humans’ light-up magnifying glass.
A corroded battery weakened the plastic bit you see in my hand. It won’t hold battery #3 in place anymore. The human female tried superglue, putty, and wedging things with little bits of cut-up rubber band. All failures. I could magic it back together, but that would defeat the whole purpose of breaking it in the first place.
I continue to not go anywhere near housework. The felines, however, have been quite helpful recently. Here they are folding clean laundry.
That’s one load that’s going to get to go for a second ride…
The cats are pleasant enough to look at as they are, but I’ve been experimenting a bit with some shape-shifting spells. What do you think, one head apiece or…
Is the two-headed model better?
They do like to conduct mischief in tandem. Covering laptop bags and backpacks with Specialty Fibers is a favorite activity.
I have been working a bit on the canine front as well. At my behest, the neighbor’s off-leash mutt charged and barked and growled at the human female when she was three feet from her own front door. I’ve also chipped away at a different neighbor’s fence boards so that at any given moment, one or both of their barkers may be running loose in the alley, to the detriment of hygiene and vehicular safety.
Pervasive Number Confusion (AKA PNC), the humans’ new bank, continues to set low expectations and fail to meet them. The other day, the humans received an Important Paper Letter in the mail letting them know that they could choose paperless statements. The humans are already paperless.
Balancing the checkbook is going to be easier this month. There will be fewer deposits to add in, since the humans’ monthly retirement checks from TRS failed to show up in either paper or electronically-deposited form. (You will recall that they were receiving actual checks while waiting for the Direct Deposit paperwork to kick in.) The human female contacted TRS, which lived up to its full name of They’re Really Swamped by sending back an e-mail that said that, due to high query volume, someone would probably be able to get back to them in five business days. Or perhaps it’s PNC’s fault? Or Usually Smashes Parcels Significantly? I might know…but I’m not telling! USPS, meantime, has been cheerfully delivering the humans’ mail to other addresses. It’s such fun when things arrive that are correctly addressed but which have been marked “redeliver” by whomever they ended up with first. Funny how the unwanted catalogs and junk mail seem to find the house on the first go….
Ugh. That’s enough for now. It’s October weather out there, and this poor Frost Giant is going to go sit in the freezer for a while. (So don’t be surprised later if the ice cream’s gone.)
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.
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.)
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.