taffy 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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No. Yes. No. Maybe…


…You’re not imagining things.


…You did pick up the piece of broccoli you dropped and put it in up on the counter in the bowl of things destined for the compost heap.


…No one took the compost out.


…My minion has clever little paws.

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Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?

The improved weather is giving us a chance to explore the neighborhood a bit more. There’s a new subdivision south of us that we haven’t visited yet. It’s a nice evening, Sigyn. Let’s go for a walk.

Uh, oh. I don’t have a good feeling about this..

I’ve heard of “going for the rustic look,” but this seems a bit much.

And the new neighbors don’t look too friendly.

Odin’s eyepatch! Definitely NOT friendly!


Augh! The ugly dog is armed!

Great Frigga’s corset! What a misunderstanding! Apparently, they’re not from around here, and are unused to Midgardian customs. Where they come from, a good bum-licking is how they say “hello.” The exchange of saliva is regarded as a sign of trust and friendship. I don’t see the appeal, but I’m glad not to have to slaughter all of them–my mischief schedule for today is already packed.

Ah, and I guess here comes the Missus.

Greetings, Madam. What a lovely… home you have. I like what you’ve done with the…foundation.

Sigyn is making friends with Auntie Sk’rrbx.

While I have the “pleasure” of introducing myself to Uncle Raaarbaghk.

We should get together and talk weapons over a tankard of ale someday soon.

It’s a growing family. The triplets seem… nice.

Well, it has been “lovely” meeting all of you.

Sigyn, darling, we need to be going. You can come back tomorrow to swap recipes and whatnot.

Well, that was interesting. I can do without the licking, but I think Uncle and I could become very good friends…

Time to get home, though. I’m teaching Taffy Cat how to mangle the blinds.

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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!


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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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?!


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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Done With One Thing and Looking Ahead

The human female and her band of do-gooders have just about finished the food-baskets-for-Turkeythanks-Day project.

Of course, I couldn’t let them finish un-meddled. The food for each family fit into two shopping bags, with the “B” or green bag having a gift card for fresh food purchases stapled to the side. The volunteers made a few extra bags, but theoretically, there should have been an equal number of “A” and “B” bags left over.

It was up to the human female to count the remains. The result? eleven “A” and 9″B” bags remain. Someone has double gift cards but is missing all of their rice and canned vegetables… Ooopsie!

I also arranged for her to have to make the last delivery, to the one person no one could get hold of. She called two or three times and even drove by the house, but nope, she’s got to sit on an “A” and a “B” bag until she can make contact. They’re in the guest room where the felines can’t shed on them. Naturally, Taffy Cat has made it her life’s goal to get in there and see what’s what. She can be found pawing at the door at all hours of the day and night. (Actually, I taught her that before the food bags showed up. It annoys the human female greatly!)

With one drive nearly in the rear-view mirror, it is time to look ahead to the Yule gifts for the same families. There is a huuuuuuuge spreadsheet, listing all the recipients and the gifts. Each child should be receiving one gift of clothing and one of a toy or something else they’d like. Let’s see what’s on the list…

Jeans, polo shirt, art supplies… Art supplies?! How boring! I think I can liven up this list a little.

(Mal)Adjusting, Part II: It’s Nearly Fall, and I Think She’s Nesting

Sometimes people ask me if the human female is good for anything. “You talk her down a lot, Loki,” they say. “Surely she must have some talent.” To which I invariably reply, “Of course! She is is an absolute champ at deluding herself.

She had the crazy idea that if she worked hard at it during the year before she retired, getting everything clean and sorted and repaired in the house and all her occupational and spiritual waterfowl linearly configured, she could retire into pleasant, organized calm, with nothing to do except enjoy her leisure.

Snort! It’s like she doesn’t even know me.

I filled the past year with so much other mischief that she never had time, and all the projects she wanted to tackle are facing her now. Nothing for it but to tackle them all one by one.

Must. Accomplish. All. The. Things!

Ah. It appears that today she is sorting paper. Yes, more paper. You see, she has a very magpie brain, always seizing on shiny bits of wisdom or inspiring quotes. She hears about a book she wants to read. She writes it down. She sees two words in juxtaposition that make a funny band name. She writes it down. She hears a piece of music she wants to remember. She writes it down. She finds a new sort of thread with pretty colors and decides which are her favorites. She writes it down. And despite the fact that she owns her weight in cunning little notebooks, she always writes things down on scraps of paper or sticky notes or napkins or the backs of important documents. Every desk she’s ever had looks like an autumn landscape, but with bits of paper instead of drifts of leaves.

A giant stack of such flotsam came home from the campus with her. Dealing with it is her self-appointed Functional Adult Task today. And, yes, she is using her usual method:

Select scrap of paper. Decipher scrawl. Transcribe to cunning notebook. Drop on floor. Select scrap of paper. Wonder why the scrawl was important. Drop on floor. Select scrap of paper. Recall that she has already read the book. Drop on floor. Etc., etc., ad locavit effultum foliis seorsum iacuit super terram.

I agree with you, Taffy. Dealing with one mess by making another is hardly productive.


She has spent a good portion of the day out at the herbarium, carving out for herself a little office where she can keep the botany books she brought from her office (nobody wanted them), her dissecting tools, her giant bean pod–mustn’t forget the giant bean pod!–and her favorite of the cloth posters she drew back when she was teaching botany a million years ago.

Much sorting and shelving and sweeping up of old mouse poo later:

Maybe it’s progress after all.

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