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april 1, 1999 Well, it's quiet here. And it's raining. Ciara hasn't had much to say since she came home, but boy, is she sleeping a lot. Real tired little kitty. Hopefully, now she can start growing, since her body won't be so busy trying to do other things. Like finding a mate. Yesterday, she went out back and was laying in some grass by the fence, but when it started to sprinkle, I brought her in. And today it's just cold. brrr.....

I was a little worried about Cleo and Blue, I hadn't seen them since last weekend. I saw both of them yesterday. Cleo in the afternoon and Blue last night, sleeping on her blanket. This morning, there was a catfight in the house a little after four am and I got out of bed to find out who it was. It was over by the time I got there, but I looked out front and Blackie was laying on top of the cathouse, fast asleep. He was still there when I got up. He actually let me lay some smooches on his head. He's also a leg rubber. He's gonna be such a good kitty. I keep telling him "just hang on a couple more weeks, a week and a half and you'll be taken care of, one way or the other". He's a great looking boy, now, without care. He's going to be a beautiful boy, with care. I just know he'll blossom. When I first saw him, years ago, heck, it was around the time we got Maggie, back in 94, I thought there's a nice looking kitty, looks part Maine Coon. It's awful to think he's been alone that long.

Spit, my ISP just went out. I haven't been able to access my email all morning. I've called support a couple of times this morning, but just get stuck on hold. *sigh* What a hassle. I did get some of my email. I got the from the first year I was online and, instead of *renting* it by the year, I bought it for life. One of the good things about it is I can have it forwarded to any valid email address of my choosing. So, now, when my regular email isn't working, I can send it through the cathouse or through lvdesigns. But that doesn't do me a lick of good when my ISP is down. I used the portable phone, found an old phone headset that I have and hooked it up. So, now, I don't have to hold a phone to my ear or have the speaker phone on.
If this is an April fool's joke, it isn't very funny.
Well, I finally got through and talked to technical support. My account ran out yesterday. Said I only had paid for a year. Say what? Great. I paid for three. So, here I sit, waiting for sales, with my credit card statement in hand, looking at the charge for 297.00. *sigh* She comes back on the phone, tells me she's awfully sorry about this, that they will have be back on within twenty minutes and that they will give me a free month for the inconvenience. Well, that's cool, I guess.

While I was waiting for tech to come online, I took the portable phone and went into the kitchen and did the few dishes that were there and made a pot of coffee. Coffee ready, I poured a nice hot cup and walked back into the office, still on hold, phone to my ear. I start to set the coffee down and Benny jumps right in front of me, knocking the coffee cup. Of course it spilled and I had to wipe him off and the desk off and wouldn't you know? Right when Benny jumped up, tech answered. What is it with timing?

I did a search of some java sites last night for new java programs, keeping the postcards in mind. I found a couple of nice ones. I should have them up by the end of the day. I have one for fog, but when I was modifying it I noticed that a copyright notice comes up at the beginning of the card, kind of ruining the effect of the fog and the feel of the picture. Forget that. Maybe there's a registration fee that can be paid to get rid of it.

Yes!! I'm back online!!


april 3, 1999 Darn it. I found out that my counter has an upgrade, so I got it. Now, it isn't working at all and I'm getting broken icons, too. Arrgh. I'm getting an error message telling me that I have an unauthorized copy. Great. Hopefully, the author will get back with me soon.

Ciara is a totally different kitty. Yesterday was the first time she went outside and played since she's been fixed. And she was playing, not looking for a way out. It was nice. And it's nice to have her not crying all of the time. She's looking much better.

I was worrying about Blackie, how will he handle being stuck in a carrier for an hour before he goes to the vet on Friday. Needless worry, because of the time change. I hope it will only be a matter of minutes. I tell him he's going to have a good home soon. This morning, he reluctantly let me wipe out the corners of his eyes. He's a good cat. Stinky, but a good cat. Blue spent the night in the entry way. I hope she doesn't have her kittens in there, but I think it's good, because it will be much easier to trap her after she's had the kits and they are old enough to be left alone for a night. Then, I can get her fixed. She sleeps on the trap now. I wonder how she'll do in the trap.

I'm dog sitting and one of the dogs gets two pills, one gets one. Well, this morning I went over to feed them and there was a note to put a little peanut butter on a little piece of bread and put the pill in the bread. So, I did this. After both dogs ate their pills a thought hit me which hasn't left. What if I gave the dogs the wrong pills? I don't think I did. I'll just have to watch them and make sure they act okay. I hate this feeling.

Well, the weather is still crummy. Nothing in my garden is coming up yet because it's been so cool.

It's really been kind of boring for the past couple of days. It's really kind of nice. Brian has a sore throat. And that's about it.


april 5, 1999 Brian made me get up this morning and exercise. It was six am. I'm very tired. He rode the Cardio Glide and I rode the bike. We did it for twenty minutes. What's good about it is he will be very good at doing this, so that will give me incentive to keep at it. Yawn.

Boy, Saturday night it was really windy and rainy. The local strays pretty much stayed in the entry way for most of the evening. It wasn't so windy in there. Listening to the wind, we could just imagine what was happening to our roof. Morning comes, there is tar paper all over the lawn and pieces of wood shake roof. Brian climbed up on a ladder to check it out yesterday and he ended coming down and getting his clipboard, paper, pencil and a tape measure. Looks like we're gonna need a new roof, soon. He said that there was quite a bit of damage over my bathroom. And a new storm is supposed to be here tomorrow. Probably as strong as the one we had early last week. The first storm dropped an inch of rain. The one Saturday didn't even leave a third of an inch.

Ciara is much more energetic. It's sure nice to see her play again. When we first got her, she played, but as her heat got worse, she had only one thing on her mind. Now that the hormones are leaving her system, she's starting to be kittenish again. Which is good. It's been a week today. And she starts back on her interferon today. I did catch her on the doghouse, looking at the fence. I talked to her and she came over to me and I carried her inside. She's playing with mousie right now. Geez, my mom just came by, wanted to see Ciara. I took her outside and where do you think Ciara was? On the other side of the fence. Mom went out front and I climbed the bank. We had a little excitement, my mom telling me she was going home when I tried to get Ciara through a hole in the fencing (it was one of the big holes and she would easily fit through it). She said "you're going to kill her". Nuh uh. Anyway, I told mom to let Ciara walk down a little farther and she could grab her. It worked. Mom was just worried about Ciara's stitches. Catdoor is once again locked. I said to mom "let's see where she got out". Walked along the fence and there was a puff of white fur at the top the wire. I pointed it out. *sigh*

Brian has been fighting a cold/sore throat and we stayed home Saturday, which is always fine by me. Sunday, he's getting cabin fever. So, we went for a ride. Bet you can't guess where. Come on, give it your best shot....... Yeah, the Sticks, how did you know? Are you psychic? LOL!! I took along a bunch of CDs, brought some old ones (Dire Straits, was one, Brothers in Arms, which I hadn't listened to in a long time, I forgot how good it is) and some Alan Parsons Project CDs, cranked them up and watched the scrub roll by. We drove up the road to the top of the Sticks hill, then back down, up the road where Brian wrote down another couple of phone numbers with property for sale. We went up some more really bumpy roads, then back to a good road. I asked if we were done yet and he said yes. Then we started home. At one point, there is a turnout on the other side and there were some ambulances and there was a helicopter. We had no idea what had happened, but Brian mentioned that on the adjacent road, there had been some motorhomes parked and that maybe someone had a heart attack. The motorhomes were no longer there. A few miles down the next road, a television camera crew passed us going in the opposite direction. This morning, I found out what had happened. It was a plane crash, four people died. According to the preliminary report, Saturday night's weather was a factor. How awful. Prayers to their family.

I dogsat this weekend and the neighbor called this morning. Now, I don't know if I've mentioned the fact that she hates the mess our trees leave in her yard. We have some forty to fifty foot pine trees and they are messy. But she hates them. Really and truly hates them because of the mess. Lots of pine needles. Everywhere. Well, I've been after Brian for years to do something about them. But, other than nag, which doesn't do anything, except make him more stubborn, there's nothing I can do. A couple of weeks ago, when Brian was outside talking to Chuck (who lives acrosss the street), Chuck and I both started in on Brian about doing something about the trees. Brian just stood there with his arms folded across his chest. He likes these trees. He doesn't want to remove them. He doesn't want to thin them out. But he isn't the one who has to listen to the neighbor bitch about them, either. He doesn't have to sit here and listen to her run the blower, blowing dust and dirt, as well as pine needles into our yard and into our front windows. Well, anyway, the neighbor called this morning. We talked for a while, then the conversation came around to the trees. She actually started getting upset. She was getting angry and I told her that I didn't want to fight about it, I talked to Brian about the trees every chance I get and where I know that nagging won't get me anywhere, the trees are the closest I come to nagging. And I told her that I'm not going to hold a gun to his head to do something about it. She's to the point where she's talking about hiring somebody to come in and just cut them down. But she's afraid that Brian will sue them. Now, see, she realizes the problem is Brian, not me. So why try to get me upset? I told her that Brian doesn't want to have to look at her husband's work van and if the trees are gone, he would have to. She said they would be willing to help pay for the work. I told her that Brian has been thinking about renting a lift to do the job himself and then she said, but he might be killed. And I said, well, at least the trees would be gone. I would be a widow and she wouldn't have a mess to clean up any longer. Anyway, she got off the subject, we talked some more and then she apologized. Then my mom showed up and I got off of the phone. Of course, as soon as mom was gone, I paged Brian. Told him what had happened with Ciara and the neighbor. I wasn't a happy camper and I told him that I didn't want those trees affecting my relationship with my neighbor (like my mom said, "that's the only neighbor you like, isn't it?").

I hope this day gets better.


april 7, 1999 When Brian got home Monday, the first thing he asked was what exactly had the neighbor said? I told him. We've discussed it and Brian and I both agree that it should have been between he and her husband. About the only thing she ever said about her husband, in our conversation, is that he would be very angry when he came down to talk to Brian. This makes no sense, why would he have to be angry? Why not just be able to rationally discuss it? I think what really bothered me about the whole conversation was that I told her at the beginning to talk to Brian about it, not me. And she kept it going. Anyway, Brian has a lift being delivered Saturday morning and he'll have all weekend to work on trimming the trees. That should make her happy. I'm not feeling very neighborly towards her right now, to be honest. If she only would have backed off when I asked. I didn't see her when I went out to get the mail yesterday, and she was outside. She yelled down "hi" to me and I grumbled back at her. I know it's childish of me, but it's something I have to work through on my own and I know that. Probably after the trees are trimmed. I just hate confrontation.

I've been getting nervous about Blackie. How am I going to get him into the carrier? I don't want to get hurt and I certainly don't want to spook him from coming over here. So, last night, Brian and I went to Home Town Buffet (I really wanted a lot of salad) and on the way there I explained my plan to Brian. He figured it was worth a try. So, last night, when I fed the outfront cats, I brought the big carrier out (the one with the wide door), opened the door and put one of the three food bowls inside. When the cats came to eat, Blackie was one of the first inside the carrier. Yay!! I did the same thing this morning with his breakfast and he went all the way in. So, I have three more times of feeding to get him use to being in the carrier. Friday, I'll shut the door behind him. Please, please, say little prayers for us. I really want him to be okay, he's been around so long and I want this transistion to go smoothly. I would love for him to have a nice comfortable home for the remainder of his life.

We're going to the Sticks again today, my idea. It's been snowing and the little corner grocery store by restaurant we will never again eat at has the most beautiful greeting cards. I want to stop in and buy a few. I've found that having extra cards around comes in handy when you've forgotten that somebody's birthday has arrived. One of the junk foods I've always loved are those mini chocolate donuts, we call them waxy donuts, cause the chocolate is like wax. Well, they have the mini donuts, but a different brand and they remind me of Entemann's Poppers. Yum. I want some of those, too!! I just think after all the crap we've been through (me and the neighbor, Brian and his mom--more on that later) we need to get away.

Brian worked on the gate barrier yesterday, the one Ciara went over Monday. Guess what? She can still get out. I did a bunch of laundry yesterday and I still check on her every ten or fifteen minutes. I loaded up the machine, got it going, then went to see my little sweetie girl. Nowhere in sight. And Maggie was sitting there, looking up at the gate. I went out the gate, no Ciara, around the front of the house, no Ciara, up to the entry way, hey, there she is. Little monkey. I called her and she started to dart this way and that, but I wasn't moving quickly. I didn't want to startle her and I was able to get her and bring her back into the house. When Brian got home, I was outside with the doors open, to get a breeze through the house (I vacuumed and dusted) to air it out. And, of course, little Ciara was out with me. Well, he came walking out, we talked a little and I started looking around for her. There she was, on the top of the gate. I got her and we all walked into the house, shutting doors behind us. Brian's going to have to do the same thing to that side of the house as he did the other. He has to take down all of the existing barrier and redo it. He used to care what it looked like from the front, but not anymore.

Hey!! Guess what!! Some plants are coming up in the garden. Iceburg lettuce. That's neat. They just started popping through yesterday.

Okay. Brian's mom. I wrote about the check we had made out for $36,462.00 on the house. Brian took it to her, pleased that we are doing so much to get everybody paid off. You know what she said? "Where's the rest?" Not "thank you". Not "I'm glad you are doing what you can." But, "where's the rest?". Brian explained that he wanted to finish paying her off in lump sums of $5000. "Can you start making payments?" was her response to that. Looking in his face, when he told me this, I came very close to hating this woman for what she's doing to my husband when it comes to money. He tries so very hard to please her and to get her acceptance and love. "See, mom? See how good I'm doing?" and it's never enough for her. Never. She seems to expect so much more from Brian and Mark than she does any of the other kids. When Brian told me about her reaction I started rummaging through my piles of stuff on my desk, looking for the home equity checkbook. I was ready to write a check right then for the balance and just worry about paying the bank back. At least Brian isn't looking for love and acceptance from them. They won't lay a guilt trip on him. That's what's wrong with doing business with family. And my mother in law is really weird about money. Really weird. Well, he didn't want to do that because he didn't want her to know that we borrowed money to pay her back. My feelings? So what? So what if she knows? I don't care, at least she won't have anything to bug you about any longer. You know, Monday wasn't really a great day in our home. His mom, our neighbor...... Anyway, a check had come in the mail for the balance of the Phoenix job, that was $12,000 and we had some other small checks, so we didn't need all that much from home equity to pay her off. I printed out another check for her, hand wrote in big capital letters on the bottom "PAID IN FULL". Now, we need the quitclaim deed from her and our home is our own. Well, except for what we owe the bank. We're done with her. At least with borrowing money. Brian is applying for another home equity line of credit and wants to close out the other account. Since our home is now paid for, it should be pretty easy to get.


april 9, 1999 7:26 am...I am so nervous right now. Blackie is outside sleeping on top of the cathouse. I have to call my mom and take a shower. When Brian left, I watched him pet Blackie and heard him tell Blackie "I'll see you tonight". I hope so. I hope I catch him okay. I hope he doesn't test positive for any type of incurable life threatening disease. I hope that smell isn't cancer. We've made it this long. I hope we make it longer.

Today's entry will be a little different. I'm going to update as I am able.

I also made an appointment for Lola. Her butt hurts. I noticed earlier this week that she growled when she was touched below the base of her tail at the back of her legs. I tried prednisone, which seemed to help, but I'm taking her in at 4:45. And hopefully, bring Blackie home at the same time.

I looked out last night to see the kitties and there was one I didn't recognize with the backside sticking out of the carrier. Hey, that was no cat, that was a possom. *sigh*

7:43 Well, gonna go take a shower, get dressed then try to get Blackie. Hopefully, it will be after 8.

9:00 Getting Blackie to the vet was pretty easy. I put the food out, he went into the carrier, I gently pushed him all the way in and shut the door and latched it. He wasn't happy. He didn't cry or anything, but he did try to get out. Once at the vet's, he hissed at the resident cat, but I warned them not to remove him from the carrier, because I'm not sure how he will be with other people. So, I signed the authorization for surgery and went over what was being done with him. If there are any problems, they will call. If everything goes smoothly, I won't hear from them. I'll be able to bring him home after Lola gets her checkup.

9:35 The phone just rang. My heart stopped. I've already talked to my mom, so I know it wouldn't be her. Whew, it was a wrong number. Thank God.

1:49 Cleaning the litter boxes. No word yet. No news is good news. They usually do surgery and stuff like that until about two, two-thirty. Fingers crossed the phone doesn't ring.

4:03 I called the vet about 45 minutes ago. Blackie did just fine. He has diarrhea, pretty bad, might be diet. His mats were really bad, too, so he's shaved almost to the skin, but Jennifer says he looks kinda cute. He didn't give them any trouble, when they opened the carrier, he wouldn't let them reach in, but Jennifer was able to pick him up when he walked out. He tested negative for all diseases, he's been neutered and bathed. His teeth look okay, so they didn't do much there, but a little finger scraping of the tartar. He has a polyp in one ear, the ear that has the scratch by it. He got a shot of antibiotics for that and the vet will discuss the polyp situation with me when I go in later with Lola. So, it looks like we have twenty cats. Yay!! Blackie won't get kicked around anymore.

5:49 Well, we're home. Blackie is pretty much out of it right now. He's out of the carrier and over at the sliding door, looking out. Junior came over and it's obvious that Blackie does not care for dogs. He stood (as well as he could) and hissed. He's been shaved from about halfway down his back and onto his belly. I guess his butt was shaved, too, Jennifer says he looks like a baboon, but I haven't seen that yet. He's starting to sniff around the office, but hasn't gotten to this side yet. He keeps going back to the sliding door and looking out. I wonder if he remembers glass from when he was younger. The vet put his age at between eight and ten years old. He told me that Blackie's ear was really bad, has a polyp and he has a middle ear infection. The vet cleaned it out well, and hopefully that will do it, but he said that if Blackie seems to be favoring that side of his head, that Blackie should probably be put on antibiotics. Or, we can have surgery performed. Which we will do if that's what it takes. I'm just looking at the bill and the vet didn't charge for anything but the castration and the test and the vaccinations. He didn't charge for the bath and the ear cleaning. Wow. That was really nice of him. Anyway, the vet said how nice of it was for us to take care of this old tom. I just wish we could have done it sooner, but the time wasn't right.

Now, about Lola. Lola has problems. They asked if she's eating, drinking and all of that other stuff that cats do, and I said as far as I know, she is. Heck, she's out there for dinner every night. The doctor poked and prodded her skin, and Lola got really angry. Not just at the base of her tail, but her entire body. The vet feels she may have (he wrote this down for me) feline hyperesthesia syndrome, cause unknown, possibly an epileptic syndrome. Great, first Bobby, now Lola. It can be brought on by a number of things, one being a change in the environment. Ciara, maybe? I mean, she did howl for 24 hours a day for over two months, that's enough to make anybody lose it. But what is happening with Lola is that her skin is supersensitive to touch. He put her on prednisone (which I had done earlier, but got scared and decided to take her in), and he said she should be doing better in just a few days.

So, now it's just wait and see time. I really, really hope everything works out okay. I kept telling myself, if it isn't meant to be, he won't show up. But he did. And now, it is. For life.


april 10, 1999 Well, Blackie has been sleeping alot. He hasn't really had much of a reaction to the other cats. Blackie found a spot under the desk, on some boxes (I have the catcam aimed at him right now). The other kitties came up to sniff him and he didn't do anything. A little later, he got up and walked around. I shooed all of the cats out of the office, except for Blackie and I gave him some Fancy Feast. He ate with a good appetite and then he started looking for a place to potty. I have a rug on the floor, rolled up behind the catcam chair to catch the pee from the cats that think that's a great place to spray. Blackie got on it and started to scratch. I picked him up and put him in the litter box. He's a big cat. He sniffed around then got out. Walked around the office a little more, then back into the box. He dug, then he pooped. And it is really runny. Poor guy. I hope the better diet helps him. He's been sleeping alot. I like this because it means that he's comfortable here. Unlike OC.

I haven't seen Blue in a couple of days. Probably had her kittens. OC and Angus were over last night for dinner. I didn't see Cleo at all yesterday.

The seeds that I planted came with a warning to plant after the last frost. Guess what was all over everything this morning? Yep. Frost. Darn it. I guess I'm glad that only the lettuce has come up.

Ciara slept with me last night. She's such a cutie. Brian redid the fence yesterday afternoon. We'll have to see if it does the job. It's just as well that I let them out right now, because I don't want Blackie getting out.

Brian ordered the lift to trim the trees. It's here.


april 11, 1999 Well, Blackie doesn't have the runs anymore. I came into the office this morning and was hit by the smell of fresh poop. It wasn't in the litter box, but on the towel from the carrier that the vet had put in it. There was a lot and it was well formed. I flushed it down the toilet and the towel is in the laundry room.

He didn't seem to want to eat this morning, turned his nose up at Nutro senior soft food. He did eat some 9 Lives soft food. Good. I let the other cats in the office and he got up and walked around a little bit. He's still sore from his surgery, I think and went back to his spot under the desk. I didn't like the way he was breathing, but before too long, he was snoozing and breathing regularly.

He doesn't show much interest in getting out of this room. He seems to like just sleeping. I kind of thought that's how he would be. Ciara slept for three days after her surgery. Well, this guy had a lot done and don't forget his inner ear infection. That's gotta kind of bother him, too. I turned on the radio to a light jazz station. I'll probably leave it on for him.

He definitely doesn't like the dogs. And they seem to sense this, standing at the door, looking in at him. I wonder what he thinks when he sees the cats go up to the dogs.

Well, I'm sick. I have a really bad cold. I hate coughing. I really, really hate it. I have the headache and the sore throat, too, but I really hate the coughing. Nothing I take seems to get rid of it, either.

Brian has been working since the lift got here, trimming trees. The neighbor is really happy. Good. Now, I would like to say a few words about her husband's tailgating problem. One of these days I'm gonna slam on the brakes when he comes up so damn quick behind me. See if he wants to buy a piece of my truck. I bet he yells at me. I'm ready.

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lisaviolet is fifty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

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