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Saturday, February 03, 2001 Brian and I had a long talk this morning when some stuff became apparent, things I've referenced in recent months. Let me take this opportunity to tell you all how much I love this man and what a wonderful human being he is. If anything were to ever happen to him and he was no longer in my life, I would never have another relationship with another man because no one could live up to how great a person Brian is. He's my lover, he's my best friend, I can tell him anything. He doesn't sit in judgement of me, of who I am. He knows I'm not perfect, far from it. I'm opinionated, I'm sarcastic and I'm a bitch. I'm not a social butterfly, I'm happiest when it's just the two of us. I was like that when he met me, I'm like that now. I make no excuses. He loves me in spite of it. I found out that he's been hurt by what I've said in my ravings and rantings in this diary and I'm very, very sorry that I've done so. That was never my intent, it was just ranting, letting off steam. I'm sure every single one of you reading this diary has done the same thing, saying things, not even thinking about "what if they got back". Unfortunately, real life intersected with my internet life and my words have been shared and much of what I've said has hurt others. I have no one to blame but myself. I have my reasons for my feelings towards certain people in my life, not without foundation, believe me, but now is not the time for me to express them. That doesn't excuse what I've done. I have the very human urge to blame the messenger, I admit I resent like hell the fact that the word was spread, I was very, very angry about it, but I wrote the message, no one else. Ultimately, the fault is mine. I take full responsibility. Brian, honey, please accept my apologies. I wouldn't deliberately hurt you for the world.

I'm not a social person. Maybe it comes from being an only child and moving so often and having both parents work. Maybe it has something to do with my last job, where I spent all day talking with nameless people on the phone, people who were often irate and often stupid. Looking back in my life, I've always been more comfortable by myself than with anyone else. Until I met Brian. I'm very comfortable with him. He asked this morning why we have such a good time when it's just the two of us, but not when we're with others. I don't know. I didn't know there was a problem, I thought things go fine in social situations, which I found out this morning was not the case, because of this diary.

I would now like to apologize to anyone who may have been hurt because of my words. As I said, they were just my rantings (which I'm in the process of either editing or removing), but that's no excuse to hurt other people, just because I have a problem sorting things out doesn't mean I have the right to hurt others in the process. So, please accept my apologies and believe that you will no longer read things here that will hurt you.

Now, will somebody (and you know who you are) please let Brian know we need Catsip? Thanks. *grin* Couldn't resist.

We have had a great day so far. Yesterday I washed the covers on the sofas and chairs in the living room and washed the floors in the bathroom, entryway and hallway. I also got the speaker attached in the television room. One of the previous owners ran speaker wire throughout the house under the carpet and they are finally starting to die. I know that one of these days we'll be getting rid of this carpet and I don't know what we'll do with the wires then. I'm looking forward to getting rid of the carpet, but I'm not looking forward to the mess. I vacuumed the hallways before I washed the floors and found myself in the television room, turning off the fan and vacuuming the ceiling. The first time I did that was last October and now I'm obsessed with stuff hanging from the ceiling. I sit there at night, watching the cobwebs float in the fan breeze. Drives me nuts. Didn't even bother before, I never even knew they were there. Ignorance *is* bliss.

There is only one fish left alive in the big tank. The plecostamous finally died a couple of days ago. I'm looking forward to the demise of the pictus cat that's in there. I've tried to give them away a couple of times, but nobody wanted them. Brian said after the last fish dies, he wants to take the tank apart and just not have one. We were kicking back in the tv room, the television was off and he had nodded off. I was right on the verge and started thinking about the tank. "Brian" I said. "Brian." I woke him up. "Brian, I don't want to get rid of the tank, I want to get a lot of little fish that won't get big." He said "okay", but to be honest, I think he probably would have agreed to anything I said at that point. LOL!!

One of the things I really wanted to do was to clean the office. I was disgusted with the mess next to my desk and told hubby that I wanted to get some little shelves for the speaker, and the stuff that's hooked up to the computer, like the digital camera, USB hub, and new zip drive. We had to get a new extension for the patio cam because the other one didn't reach. When we got home, I read the instructions. "Equipment may not work if extension is longer than ten feet" to paraphrase. Great. I've now got twenty feet, but the camera still works. Whew. But my work station is much neater now. I washed the desktop glass and the equipment covers are now in the drier. I moved boxes and now there is more room in here. I vacuumed and dusted the television screen (it was very dusty). It's nicer in here now, more open. Moving those boxes really helped.

We went to Home Depot this morning and Brian remembered that I needed a new toilet seat (I do?). Well, yeah, the current one is kind of cracked (I like the padded kind). We saw this really cool one, with a 3D aquarium picture on the seat. Well, we always keep the seat down and Brian asked "do you want it?" I said "are you serious? Yes!!" So, I got a new cool toilet seat. Hopefully, we'll be able to save the top part when the bottom cracks. Then we went to breakfast at this really nice little restaurant by the local airport. We ate outside, the seat was cold, but the sun was warm. It was really a pleasant experience. From there we went to WalMart. We hit the garden area first. That was almost a mistake. They had these wonderful, beautiful deer statues. A buck with antlers. A couple of doe statues in different poses. Baby deer. We drooled. They were so nice. I asked how much they were and drooled some more. They weren't cheap. The buck was almost four hundred dollars. But they were so beautiful. They were very heavy, Brian would have needed help. We had no idea where to put them. And it was more money than we needed to be spending at this point. Sure, I got a thirty five dollar check from Amazon today, but that wouldn't have even bought a baby. We left the store without the deer, but I got my shelves. Actually shoe shelves, but it was only nine dollars. I'm just as happy with it as I would have been with the deer. But they were nice. I bet the cats would have just loved them. *chuckle*

I talked to my mom today and told her about us going to Walmart. She said she wished we had let her know, she wanted to go. "Not today, you wouldn't have, be glad you didn't", knowing full well she would have bought those deer for us without a second thought. We're talking over seven hundred dollars for the full set. I told her about the deer and she said "I would have bought them for you". I said "I know, that's why I'm glad you didn't go with us." She just laughed. She said that last week she had smelled a terrible, terrible sewer smell and figured it was just one of the neighbor's sewers. Well, today, she found it wasn't. She saw a bunch of flies buzzing around the base of her home and she went to investigate. She found a possom in an advanced state of decay. Yuk. She was tough, though, she didn't puke or anything, she went inside, got gloves and a plastic bag and picked it up. She said she couldn't bury it because there wasn't that much left. She threw it away. I asked if she said any words over it and she said "yes, 'sorry about that'". She's so funny.

We've had some gorgeous weather here the past couple of days. You know, I like the rain, but I like the sun, too. It got over 85 degrees here today. Warmer than yesterday. Both days, though, I had all the doors and windows opened. The kittens are having a blast. Mystie is much bolder than Katie. She's into everything outside. If I can't find her on the bank or in the plants on the patio, she's usually in the nip garden. She loves that nip. Last week, Pete was up in one of the trees, one that Brian had added additional fencing to. There's not a whole lot we can do about it now. Pete had a hard time getting down because of the fence, I'm sure it was even harder getting up. He hasn't shown any interest since, but we don't let him out if we're going to be leaving. We just can't trust him.

Columbia House wanted me back. They said "you can have fifteen CDs for a penny" or whatever it is (the offer was for fifteen, because I was a previous member). I said "okay!!" I'll buy my obligatory membership amount, then cancel. I've done it before, I'll do it again. I got some oldies, Three Dog Night, the Band, Judy Collins, War, Al DeMeola, Copland's Rodeo (beef, it's what's for dinner) and some others. That's cool.

We were going to have a roast tonight, but I got it in too late. Have it tomorrow, I guess.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2001 I would sure like to know why I have so many problems with the camera drivers for the patiocam. Darn system couldn't find the drivers again late yesterday afternoon. I removed and reinstalled the software with no success. I don't have those problems with the other cameras. I finally just gave up for the night and defragged all of my hard drives instead. My main drive took the longest, a couple of hours. The others went pretty smoothly. Brian's brother who is Colorado called and talked with Brian for quite a while. I was watching the defrag work (really boring, but I like to watch it) when Brian came back and told me that his brother's fiance (they're getting married on Valentine's day!!) wanted to talk with me.

She had gotten more information about the heat press she has the opportunity to buy. I am so jealous!! It's 20 x 14 HIX model (I have a HIX, but only 13 x 13) and they're only asking a hundred dollars. I told her if she didn't want it, I'd take it in a minute. Man. We talked about her upcoming wedding and it sounds so romantic. They're going to take their vows on a train. *sigh* She told me about picking out the flowers and having her veil made (symbolic). She described the cake and the little bride and groom figurines that will be placed on it. You know, it sounds so nice. I don't have a romantic bone in my body, I would have never thought of the neat things she's doing. She said she wished we could be there and you know something? I wish we could, too. I really like her and I do like Brian's older brother. She's really thinking about making a website and I told her I would give her any help that I could. She and Brian's brother visited the Ranchita page this past weekend and they were surprised at how beautiful it is in Ranchita. They didn't know to click on the hands to go to the next or previous page, though and found out by accident. I'm glad because there's lots of neat pictures they wouldn't have seen. I'm thinking I'll have to do a little addition to the graphics, maybe put 'next' and 'previous' under them so that people will know to click on them. We had a really nice conversation. I don't think I bored her. I didn't hear her eyes glaze over, like happens so often with people in person. I like to talk about the internet and cats and not too many people I talk with face to face are interested. *lol* I'm sure many of you know what I mean.

I spent about three hours this morning trying to get the patiocam back online. And my USB hub lights kept going out, I was getting a message on the scanner, "scanner can't be found". I hadn't realized it with the extensions I have for the patiocam, but they're not supposed to be longer than sixteen feet. Could mess up the hardware. So, I'm thinking that's what the problem is. I completely removed the patiocam software from my system, downloaded the latest driver, unplugged all USB devices, rebooted the computer. I plugged the patiocam back in (still using the too long extension) and the system saw a "new device" and I pointed it in the direction of the new drivers. Then I plugged in the zip drive and the scanner. Everything is working properly now. But I did order a new USB cable that has a built in power source. With this one you can actually have 80 feet of extension. Not that I need all of that, but maybe in a couple of years I will. I'll just keep my fingers crossed that everything runs smoothly until it arrives.

Yesterday, I had to get more meds for Lola. When I called I said "by the way, am I supposed to be bringing her in for checkups or anything?" Well, guess what? I am. She's supposed to be going in once a month. I'm sure glad I asked. I'm taking her in this morning. I just checked on her and she was scratching at one of the posts, then ran off into the garage. Pretty darned frisky.

Some of the cats are getting fat. Bart, Lisa, Mickey and just this morning, I noticed how hefty Benny has gotten. I told Brian last night I am seriously considering no longer free feeding the cats. He doesn't think it will work. I have to do something. Watching them, I see that they don't eat much during the day, but mostly sleep. I'm going to take up the food at night before I go to bed and see if that helps at all. We only have the one container out now, I can just put it in my shower and close the shower door. I don't think it will hurt to try.

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Friday, February 09, 2001 Well, darn, I never finished Tuesday's entry. I haven't had a really good week. We got that extension for the patiocam and now, I can't get the hub to work when the cam is attached to it. Damn. Spent hours trying to fix it with no luck. So, I just wait for the new USB extension cable to arrive. For now, the patiocam is "down for maintenance".

The vet visit with Lola was interesting. She had gained two ounces. And the vet wanted to do a CBC on her. Lola wasn't having any part of any needle. She gave him hell and seriously fought and screamed. He didn't take the blood. If anyone was in the waiting room, I bet her carrying on made them very nervous. I think next month, I'll see if it would be okay to just drop her off and pick her up later. I'm sure my presence had something to do with his reluctance to get her blood. And I know she should really have the blood tests done. As a precaution.

We got our gas and electric bill yesterday. I was pretty surprised at how high it was. I just thought that maybe I hadn't gotten last month's payment in yet. Then I sat down and thought about it. Yes, I had made last month's payment. I looked at the bill again and the gas portion was well over three hundred dollars. Man. That's a ton of money. We're turning down the setting on the heater and we're going to be wearing more sweatshirts and I'll probably be wearing shoes and socks. One good thing is the windows we have retain the heat and the office, with the way the sun hits it, is one of the warmest rooms in the home. My poor mom, her utility bill was well over a hundred dollars. Not something people plan on for retirement. And I know damn well the utility companies are making money hand over fist, don't give me any of this happy crappy that "oh, we're so broke, we need relief, we need to raise your rates..."

I looked at one of my charges for pet food the other day, the stuff I order online. Man, I couldn't believe how expensive it's gotten. Shipping, for sixty pounds of dogfood, was twenty dollars. When the price difference between going to the store and ordering on line was minimal, it wasn't a big deal. But it's a big deal now. Looks like we'll start going to the petstore again. I went through and changed all of my bottomless bowl orders to the minimum. Luckily, there is only one shipment left on two of them and two left on the other.

And, these guys have been eating catfood like I eat chocolate. They just really like it. That's well and good, but they're also getting chubby. So, the feeder is now empty. I have to figure out exactly what I'll be doing, how much to leave out, so that everyone gets a chance to eat, without cats having the opportunity to overeat. Yesterday was the first morning and I put out ten bowls, half full of dry. There was still quite a bit last night, so this morning, I halved that. Now, there are five bowls, a little more in each bowl than yesterday morning. I've had to show Lisa and Annie where the food is now, they sit in the spot where the feeder used to be. Hopefully, they'll catch on before too long. I've also got my fingers crossed that some of the chubbier cats start to take a little of the extra weight off.

Boy, have I got the biggest headache.

Oh, the Valentine cards are finally up.

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Monday, February 12, 2001 Saturday, Brian went to get stuff for the Sticks, stuff he would need to get the water moved. I had the cameras on, the monitor off and covered and was on the couch watching tv. When he got home, he said that our car was covered with ash and one of the neighbors said the fire was close, but he wasn't sure where. Brian went out back and guess where he saw firemen? On the roof of the house behind us. It was a breezy day and I thanked God we had gotten the roof redone. The house behind us has the old shake roof, like we used to have. The owners were on the roof later in the afternoon, putting blue tarp down for cover. What a horrible thing to happen. Luckily, the heavy rain that had been predicted never appeared. And we're supposed to have rain this week, too.

We went to lunch at the Hometown Buffet. I had salads and dessert. Brian had meals, no salad. Then we went to CostCo. It's good that we eat before we go to CostCo because then we don't buy so much junk. I did buy the movie Ever After. I really like that movie. That's where I heard the line "remember, no matter how bad it seems, it could always be worse". Reminds me of "when life hands you lemons, make lemonade". We got the things we get once a week. Milk, eggs, cheese, I needed more chicken for the cats and we got food for the outfront cats.

When we got home and unpacked, we sat in front of the tv and ordered the movie U-571. Brian liked it. It was a pretty uneventful day.

Sunday, Brian went to the Sticks to start digging the trench for the water pipe over to the clubhouse. He also got the water tank for the animals up there. While he was getting stuff ready, a couple of the neighbors dropped by to talk with him and he found out the fire didn't start at the house behind us, but the house across the street from it.

I'm looking forward to a fire in the fireplace at night.

I haven't seen a few of the outfront cats. Possom face hasn't been seen in a couple of weeks. Just because we don't see her, doesn't mean she isn't around, she could be coming by later. Little Guy is still around. Cleo is looking well. Meezer has been hanging around longer than just at night. He was here yesterday morning and sometime this month, he was here during the day. Beautiful blue eyes. It's going to be a cold and wet week. I hope the cats are all okay.

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Sunday, February 18, 2001 Brian's gone again today. I'm bored. Really bored. It's kind of cloudy and cool. I have the doors and windows opened because I like the fresh air. And I like the kittens to have the opportunity to go outside if they want.

Got the patiocam back up. Remember, it crapped out when I added the second extension so that the cords weren't pulled tight. *sigh* It worked for a little while, then I just couldn't get it to run again. Everytime I did, the USB hub quit working. And I'm running the scanner and ZIP drive on it. I had ordered a powered USB extension, but it was supposed to take two to four weeks before delivery. I knew they probably had USB hubs in stock so I ordered one of those, just to see if that would do the trick. It did. I was going to cancel the other order the next day when I got an email letting me know it had been shipped. Oh, well, I'm sure I'll eventually find a use for it.

Because it was taking so long for the images to upload, I got rid of the archives for the catcam. I had a few complaints. "Bring back the archives." The archives are back. And instead of the picture changing every minute and a half on the chair, it now changes every three minutes. And I finally figured a workaround for the problem of so many connections to my IP at the same time (remember, I only had four connections allowed, then they changed that to three, I found out last week). The patiocam is loading to catler.org (where benny's forums are) and the weathercam is uploading to lvdesigns.com (where my shop is located). Now, just the weather information and the catcam are loading to lisaviolet.com. Which leaves me a connection for working on my site. It's much less irritating now.

When I'm not in front of the monitor, I turn it off and cover it. Saves energy. Well, last week I came back and turned it on and the thing had wigged out on me. I used the controls to reset the options, but it just wasn't right. I reinstalled the drivers with no luck. I let a couple of days go by, thinking I could live with it, but the thing isn't even two months old. I called Sylvania and explained the problem. He said to try a different monitor and if the problem wasn't reproduced to take the Sylvania back to where I got it and exchange it for a new one. We'll probably be doing that this week.

And the television started cracking and popping again. Then the color went strange. The red bleeds. They're coming out Tuesday. Brian wants a new television since this one has been doing the same thing since we got it, back in 1992. We pay for the warranty service and if they can't fix it right, they're supposed to give us a new television. We paid over two thousand dollars for our television. You can get a much better model now for less than half the price.

Early this week, I was sifting the litter boxes when it hit me. For a while now, the office has really smelled when the door was first opened. It wasn't the office at all. It was the litter box outside the door. So, I dumped all the litter in it and put fresh litter in. Since, I've been cleaning the litter boxes twice a day, in the morning and at night. I cover the bucket with the used litter in it to help keep down on the smell. It seems to have helped the household odor. I also have noticed that the cats prefer the covered boxes to poop, the open boxes in the garage to urinate. That's interesting.

Wednesday, I was cleaning house and Rusty was bugging the heck out of me, following me wherever I was. When I was dusting an end table, he climbed up on the cat tree next to me. My back was to him when I heard him fall. I turned around and he was just laying there on the floor, barely moving, looking at me. I picked him up and set him upright, got him to walk a little and he was limping very badly. Needless to say, I was scared. But he was putting a little weight on the injured paw. I got out my cat health book and did what it said, I iced what would be the top of the wrist. When the cold sunk in, he didn't like it. The book said if the cat doesn't show improvement within four days, to seek medical attention. Rusty was putting weight on it, so I didn't think there was a great chance that it was broken, but I still watched him closely. He's old now and I take extra precautions with him. Today, he's almost back to normal. That's a big relief.

Remember Brian and I said we wanted to try to do Disney once a month when we renewed/updated our yearly passes last Christmas? Well, we missed last month. Thursday he said "how about we get up early Saturday morning, real early, and go up to the California Adventure?" Okay, sounds good to me. I took a shower late Friday so I wouldn't have to worry about it yesterday morning, not go out with wet hair. I fed the cats and cleaned their litterboxes, made the bed and got dressed. Georgie happened to pee in front of me and he was pretty uncomfortable. And his urine was bloody. Damnit. From the amount he peed, he obviously wasn't blocking, so I wasn't really worried. I started him on antibiotics. If he's not doing any better by Monday, I'll call the vet.

We were out of here shortly after six am. The first ride we went on was California Screamin', the new rollercoaster. I thought the bad part would be the upside down, but it wasn't. The bad part started at the very beginning. The car is loaded and runs around a curve, then stops and waits. You sit there for a couple of seconds, and if it's your first time and nobody has warned you and you don't read the Disney Magazine when it's delivered, you're clueless as to what's going to happen next. It takes off. Warp speed. Zero to sixty in an eighth of a mile, I swear. I cussed. I screamed. I prayed. I held onto Brian's hand. He thought it was funny. I thought I was gonna die. Much of the ride felt like I was hanging in the air, then I'd be pushed back into my seat by gravity. The loop was a piece of cake compared to the starting gun. Because of this ride, I devised a new ride rating system. I think it's a great system for a first time ride. I call it the PYP system. The Piss Your Pants rating system, with ten being the greatest chance of wetting your drawers. I give California Screamin' a fifteen. It's a "Depends" kind of ride. Then we went on the Sun Wheel, a ferris wheel ride. It has cars that not only rock back and forth, but slide as well. It was a nice ride, I don't think it will take to many trips to get used to it. Doesn't rate on the PYP. I laugh now when I think of how frightened I used to be of Space Mountain.

Then we went on the Maliboomer. There were a couple of teenaged girls in front of us in line, trying to talk their mother into riding. She repeatedly declined. The Maliboomer is supposed to be like the carnival game where strength is tested by hitting a button with a hammer and seeing if you can ring the bell at the top of the column. Except it's people that go up. There are baskets in front of each seat on the ground where you can put your belongings. There is a shoulder harness that comes down and locks into place and a strap that you bring up between your legs that hooks onto the harness. The front of the shoulder harness, the part over the face, is covered with a thick plate of plexiglass, reminds me of a windshield on a motorcycle. I knew immediately what it was. A barf guard. No question in my mind about why they have it there. The cast member said that it was to prevent the screams from reaching the hotel, but discussing it with Brian on the ride home, he agreed with me. As he said "if it's to prevent the screaming from reaching the hotel, then why is the guard on all sides?" Nope, it's to prevent projectile vomiting. The puke would run down the shield into your lap. The kids who had been in front of us were in the same section we were. I saw their mother on the ground. I envied her. I wished I was on the ground. Then the ride started. Oh, Lord. I won't do this again. You're shot straight up in the air. Then you bounce halfway down. Then you bounce up. After the initial shot, it's not too bad, but that was plenty for me. My hands were clammy, I was lightheaded. I wanted off. Once down, with shaking fingers I undid the buckle and got out of the seat. I was weak kneed. This wasn't a good ride. Brian and I walked off together and I walked immediately up to the mother who had been watching her daughters. I looked at her and said, with the utmost sincerity, "You're a wise woman". Then I walked off, the sound of her laughter following me. PYP rating? Ten.

The Orange Stinger was pretty fun. If I was any wider, I wouldn't have been able to ride it. It was a close fit. The Orange Stinger are basically swings. You're lifted up and the ride goes around and around. The air is fragrant with the scent of oranges. I liked this ride. PYP rating? One. If that much.

One of the rides that we were told that the buzz says will be "the" ride, is Soarin' Over California. We waited longer here than any of the other rides we had tried and it was well worth it. The ride had a little problem at the end (we couldn't unbuckle our belts) and the supervisor said they'd have it fixed in a little bit. I blurted out "I thought we got to go again!" He asked if we wanted to and both Brian and I said in unison "Yes!" He said he'd see what he could do. When they had the glitch taken care of, a cast member said over the intercom, if anybody wanted to leave, they could do so now. If they wanted to ride again, please unfasten your belt and refasten it. We rode again. The premise is you're hang gliding. When the ride starts, the seats are gently lifted off the ground and you start soaring. There is a large movie screen. You descend through the clouds and you're over the Golden Gate Bridge. From there, you go through wine country, then soaring through mountains, over Palm Springs, through the Anza Borrego desert (close to the Sticks!!), down to San Diego bay, back up the coast over the ocean over Malibu and up to Disneyland, where you see fireworks. A spectacular ride. To make the experience more realistic, they even have scents at various times. Like when you go over the river rafters, with pine trees on either side, you can smell the pine. Other smells come from orange groves and the ocean. I wish it had been a longer ride.

We did find out something interesting. They are no longer selling season passports. At all. You can renew, but that's it. And, you can't get a season pass for California Adventure at all!! If you already have a Disneyland passport, you can no longer upgrade and add California Adventure. Boy, am I glad we got ours when we did, otherwise, we'd be out of luck. We overheard someone talking about a couple they knew, husband and wife, who both had season passes, but renewed at different times. The wife had already renewed/upgraded when it was time for her husband to renew his Disney passport. He couldn't upgrade. So, if he wants to go to California Adventure, he has to pay full price for admission. They must have had a ton of people get new passports. I was reluctant at first to renew ours after only two months (remember, we used to get ours in October), but boy am I glad we decided to go for it now.

We spent the rest of the time just cruising around the park, checking stuff out. We had planned on leaving around one, but didn't get out of there until almost two. It was a good day.

And to make it even better, when we got home and walked into the house, even though it had been shut up since the day before, it didn't stink to high heaven. You could barely even smell cat.

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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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