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Tuesday, February 05, 2002 Well, I think it's finally happening. I knew it most likely would eventually. And it seems it was pretty gradual. After almost six years online, I'm getting bored with the internet. I'm finding it increasingly hard to sit here and surf. I used to really enjoy looking for new stuff to put on my website and working with graphics and images. But it's a chore to do now. I don't know if it's because I've started doing housework on a more regular basis and, even though I don't like the actual housework, I do enjoy having a clean house. It's nice not having a home that reeks of cat piss. Oh, sure, I still have the pee problems, but I'm doing much better at keeping on top of it. And I like having the windows clean. I've been washing the ones in the dining room and tv room every day, because some cat pees on them during the evening. I just don't know. The weather is nice, but I don't really feel like I have spring fever. I don't feel the burning urge to go outside. I just don't want to be here in front of the monitor.

Brian and I started exercising yesterday. Except this time, we aren't using the machines in the exercise room, but we started walking. Yesterday, we went about a half a mile. This morning, we went a mile. And the last part of the walk was killer. It shouldn't be, but that's how out of shape I am. Luckily, after that hill, it's downhill to the house. My butt is killing me. The only muscles that have been worked there in the past year are the sit on muscles. Those walking uphill muscles have been napping.

I'm starting to look forward to the summer, laying by the pool. I'll make my own CDs and play them on the stereo in the shop to listen to while I'm by the pool. A couple of weeks ago, I got a Terk Leapfrog transmitter/receiver system so that I could listen to the music stations on the satellite receiver back in the office. What's nice about those, is there are no commercials and if you want to see the name of the song and the artist, all you have to do is turn on the television. I like light jazz. I prefer instrumentals. And I like guitar. And I especially like guitar with a Spanish flavor. Well, a song came on the stereo and I liked it. I turned on the television here in the office and wrote down who it was and the name of the song. The next day, I went over to Amazon.com and ordered it. La Esperanza is the name of the group and the title of the album. I bought it. I really like it. I liked it so much that this weekend I ordered Esperanza II. I found their first album very easy to listen to and excellent to clean to. *grin* Right now, I'm listening to Clouds in My Coffee 1965-1995 from Carly Simon. A couple of weeks ago, I realized I had no Carly Simon CDs at all. Now, since I belong to the Columbia House CD club, I got it for much less. Including shipping and tax, I got it for less that $26.00. I really like the CD clubs for old music. Stuff that I have on vinyl that I loved back in the 70s and 80s. That I never got around to getting on CD. Anyway, I'll be making a list of songs and start burning CDs again. I used to love making tapes. Back before the internet grabbed me. I love music. And I think I'm missing music, too. I'm missing it a lot. I'd love to start going for rides in my car with the top down, the music blaring. Maybe I'm ready to relive some of the funner parts of my exuberant youth.

Speaking of my youth, I really enjoyed the movie Willy Wonka. I never saw it in the theater, but I watched it many times on television. Well, a couple of weeks ago, I saw that it had a special anniversary edition out. I saw it at WalMart, figured I'd see if they had it at CostCo for less. Well, they didn't even have it at CostCo! So, last weekend, we went back to WalMart and they only had one DVD left, formatted to fit the television. We really prefer the widescreen versions of movies now. I can't even believe how upset I was! I almost started to cry. Weird. Must be something hormonal. So, I went back to Amazon when we got home and when I ordered the La Esperanza II, I also ordered Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory... (30th Anniversary Edition - Widescreen). Brian said he doesn't care much for the movie, but I think it's a classic.

DeeJay is back to normal. He has a couple of more days worth of antibiotics to take. I'm glad he's not a butt when it comes to being pilled. Unlike Kirby. Yesterday morning, I saw some pretty nasty looking urine on the kitchen counter. Definitely had blood in it. I had seen Kirby spending an inordinate amount of time cleaning himself, so I thought he may be the one with the infection. I started him on amoxi. Well, this morning, on the coffee maker, I found more of this nasty urine. Now, I don't recall any cat but Lucky on the stove, which is next to the coffee maker. But I'm not in the kitchen 24/7, so it could be Kirby.

Georgie has something wrong with one of his eyes. The dark eye, the eye with a lot of pigment in it. I started putting Terramycin in it, but if it's not better tomorrow, I'll make an appointment at the vet. It has a gunk coming out of it, which isn't as bad since I started him on the ointment, but he's still squinting a lot. It is looking much better this afternoon.

We found another snack that Junior really likes. Dried beef liver treats. Since he's been getting those in the morning, giving him his shot isn't so awful. And I go out during the day and playfully pinch his back. I don't think the pinching hurts him, it's the shot. I have to admit, it's sure easier giving him a shot when he doesn't roll over.

Autumn did well during her spay. She's started sleeping on the bed again. This past weekend, I found her outside and the only way she could have gotten there was via the catdoor. So, she's obviously mastered going out, but I don't know if she's mastered going in, yet. I finally put up her page. Three and a half months later. Like I said, it's getting harder for me to work on the website.

Hmm...anything I've forgotten? I haven't mentioned the outfronts. They're still all here, knock on wood and thank God. There's also a tortoiseshell coming by. I get worried if I don't see each and every one every night. Meezer is usually the first one here. The others don't really have a set order they show up. Angus and Mr Fluff don't come by at the same time. I think because they're both intact (I assume Mr Fluff is intact) they have a little domination issue. And there's a young opossum who comes by every night. I haven't seen the raccoons for a few weeks. The dishes are usually empty in the mornings, but every once in a while, there is quite a bit of food left. I wonder if those are the nights the raccoons come by. The raccoons don't eat the soft food, they like the hard stuff.

Well, I guess that's it for now. Oh, we did watch the Super Bowl. I asked Brian beforehand who he wanted to win. He hemmed and hawed, said he like the Patriots, but he thought the Rams were the better team. I said "I hope the Patriots win, I'm going to root for them". And I did. And they did win. That's cool. I really liked it when they came onto the field as a team and weren't introduced individually. I really, really thought that was wonderful. Team spirit.

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Saturday, February 09, 2002 I was pretty worried earlier this week, because I'd not seen Angus since Monday night. I talked with my mom about it and she asked if he was intact. Unfortunatley, he is. He never went into the traps. Well, she said he may be out "catting". Looking for love. And I suppose he was, because last night, he was back. I was doing a happy dance in the hallway.

And I'm seeing that what they say about feral colonies is true. More cats move in to replace those that are no longer around. I've seen a short haired tortie and two nights ago, saw a long haired tortie/calico. She's really pretty. I talked to her last night and she rubbed up against things in the entryway. I'm wondering if she's tame and someone dumped her. She's skittish, though, so it's hard to tell. She did respond to my voice. And it's obvious when the raccoons come around. The food in the bowls isn't eaten. The cats take off and the raccoons eat the dry food in the feeders. Wednesday night, the actually pulled one over and made a big mess.

We've been discussing what to do for new flooring. Earlier this week, Brian said "carpeting". There's no way we can do carpeting. Not with how the cats pee on it. It would be a waste of money and a nightmare to keep pee free. As it is, I've talked him into at least taking up the carpet where we can see it, starting in the bedroom. I just can't keep it clean. It's old and it's falling apart and it reeks of cat pee. So, tomorrow, he'll be starting in the bedroom. We've discussed tile and we'd like tile, but he's worried about the grout. I said it could be sealed and he said it would have to be sealed twice a year. He said that the new hardwood flooring has polyurethane on it, a heavy plastic coating. If that's so, I'm sure it would be okay. I just know the damage that cats can do to just plain wood. This weekend is supposed to be warm and windy, so this afternoon, I'll shampoo Brian's chair. One thing we definitely want to do this weekend is get new chairs for the dining room table. The ones we have are padded and they used to have a knobby material on the. Well, they still do, but the cats have scratched at them (not much since Maggie, Maggie was the worst on these chairs) and, of course, the ever present cat pee on the seats. So, if we get wooden chairs, we can just buy those pillows that fit on the seat and buy new ones as the old ones get gross. When we originally got our furniture, we went cheap thinking that when we got tired of it, we'd just throw it out and get new. Fifteen years later, we've not replaced anything. I think this is the year we'll redo the house. Of course, it will be slow going, because Brian will have to work on it at night. We can't imagine having strange workmen in with all of the cats. There's the "freak out" possibility as well as the "look the front door is open escape" possibility.

The new satellite receiver finally got here Monday and Wednesday, it was installed. There were some problems with it, but that's why I'm glad we paid someone to set it up. Wednesday night, when the Pay Per View wasn't accepting our phone number, I took the wood down to look at the back of the unit to make sure the phone was plugged in properly. I used Brian's drill. Rusty was sleeping on the sofa. I didn't even think about him. Well, the drill kept slipping on the philips head screws and one of the pieces of wood fell. I stopped the drill and heard an odd noise coming from the sofa. I look over and Rusty was having a seizure. It was my fault, the noise made when the drill slipped was that staccato rat-a-tat-tat that I've found brings on his seizures. I was able to get him off of the sofa onto the floor. He had started peeing on the sofa (good thing I have them covered) and continued on the floor and all over himself. When I started taking the wood down, Brian had gone to bed. When he heard the board fall, he came back out. This was the first time he saw Rusty having a seizure. He just stood there, staring. He was kind of wringing his hands together. I kept telling him to just go back to bed, that there was nothing he could do. He did go back to bed when Rusty stopped, after I'd asked him to please get me a towel so I could wipe Rusty off (he had lots of saliva on his face and chest and pee on his tail and back legs). It took Rusty a few minutes to regroup. At first, he wasn't putting any weight on his back legs. I tried standing him up, to see how he was and his back paws were limp. Luckily, that didn't last long and he slowly tried walking. He was meowing like he wanted to throw up and from reading posts of humans who've had seizures, I understood that he most likely felt like he had to puke. He didn't, though. He was fine Thursday morning, back to normal.

The cats have discovered the paper towels in the kitchen. The joys of using the roll as a scratching post. It's absolutely wonderful to find the towels shredded and little pieces of paper towel on the counter and the floors. It's better than having the roll used as a spraying post, I guess. *sigh* Cats. Gotta love 'em.

Yesterday, I had a little running around to do. I needed to go to the bank and Autumn needed her stitches out. I planned on doing Autumn first. I noticed that the truck was leaking what looked like antifreeze, so I didn't take the truck, I uncovered the car and drove that. First was Autumn to the vet. That didn't take too long. Poor little Autumn, she just started shaking when I put her in the carrier. She was absolutely terrified. Luckily, it didn't take too long and she was more than happy to be home and out of the carrier. Then I took a shower and got the checks ready for the bank. I grabbed my La Esperanza CD and off I went. I popped in the CD and the player didn't recognize it. And it wouldn't pop it back out. Since I was driving, there wasn't too much I could do. While waiting in the drive through at the back, I did find in the instructions where the reset button was. I was able to get the CD out that way. When I got home, I tried a different CD. Same problem. I knew that we had it warrantied, I just didn't know where the receipt was. With electronics, I've taken to attaching the receipts to the manuals, but I hadn't done this with this player. So, I came back to the office and called Good Guys, where we originally got the system. While they were checking their files, I found the receipt. I was told to call another number and get authorization. That done, I called the local Good Guys to see about getting an appointment to have the player removed from the car. He said that he had about an hour of free time, to bring it in. So, I did. He took it out and then I had to go into the store and they took care of all of the paperwork. It should be back by the end of the month. Good thing we don't drive the car often. I'd be a basket case without tunes. *lol*

Well, I guess that's all for now.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2002 So. I've been trying to figure out why I'm having such a hard time doing the diary. And I think I've got it figured out. I started making entries less often when Brian and I started exercising on a regular basis last year. See, what I'd done before is make entries for the previous day first thing in the morning. But now, we walk. And then I have to feed the dog. And then we have breakfast. And then we have to give Junior his insulin shot. Then Brian leaves for work and I call my mom. By that time, I've started a load of laundry, checked the various bulletin boards and I'm done on the internet for a while. I go watch repeats of shows that I didn't see when they were on prime time, like L.A. Law and Magnum P.I. And while I'm watching them, I usually do a little housework. By that time, I don't feel like making an entry. Something has happened. My life is seeming more and more boring. *grin*

Last Monday (the 11th, it's been a while, hasn't it?) I took my mom and mother-in-law to see "A Beautiful Mind". I really enjoyed it. We hit the matinee and it was pretty relaxing. And I really enjoyed the movie. So much, that we might make it a monthly thing. Of course, I know there are some movies I'd like to see that they most likely won't, so I'm seriously considering going by myself. Brian doesn't show much interest in going out for movies, at least not like he used to. We used to go out every Thursday evening, hit the bargain hour movie. But then, we started feeding the ferals and I didn't want to be driving into the driveway in the dark and spook the cats. But there's nothing stopping me from going in the afternoon.

The felines have been pretty quiet. Everybody seems to be healthy (knock on wood). Junior gave me a scare Monday morning, when he squirmed at the wrong time when I was giving him his shot. The needle came back bent at a ninety degree angle. I called the vet's office and as long as he got a little insulin, he should be okay. He really likes the liver treats and he didn't get any Monday. They're supposed to be a reward for good behavior and he wasn't good. I told my mom and you'd think we'd abused him by not giving him the treats. *sigh*

Oh, the cats got into one of the bookcase closets and got the pipe cleaners out. Katie was dragging one all over the house. I twisted it into a circle and now, she won't leave Brian alone. The kittens have gotten it a couple of times and they thoroughly wash it in the water bowl in the bathroom. Real fun. Katie will get it and bring it to me. I toss it, wet, over onto Brian.

So Sunday, we went to Home Depot, where we checked out different flooring alternatives. The carpeting we currently have, I believe was installed when the house was built, close to thirty years ago. Old, crappy, holey stinking carpeting. We can't even have a decent carpet cleaning because we'd end up with less carpeting that we've got. We definitely do NOT want any more carpeting, no matter how "pet resistant" it claims to be. No way, huh uh. (Thanks for the link, Stacy, I did read up on it, even printed it out for Brian, but I just don't want more carpet as long as we have cats.) We know that when we pull up what we've got (I'm sure we'll be needing gas masks and oxygen tanks) I'll have to wash the cement (not really a big deal, compared to pulling it up). But what floor covering to use? Brian is adamantly against the laminate flooring (like Pergo). He just doesn't like it. He wanted to go hardwood, which made me nervous. Because of the cats. So, we check the hardwood options. We find out that you can't do the hardwood Brian wants on cement, because it has to be nailed down ('whew', she breathed). The floating hardwood floors are not an option. Brian doesn't like the way they creak and how noisy they are when you walk on them (his business is in construction and he's experienced enough in other people's homes to know what he doesn't want in ours). So, wood flooring is out. (Which does make me happy, because I don't want to spend all that money on something that I fear the cats would ruin; and getting rid of the cats for new flooring is obviously not an option in this house; we modify the house for the cats, not vice versa.) Scratch carpeting, laminate and now, hardwood. So, that leaves us tile. We checked out the tile. I notice an absorption rate. This interests me. Certain tiles had an absorption rate of less than .5%. Woohoo! I think cats. I think absorption. I think "easy to clean with a smaller odor retention". We talk with one of the employees and he explains the difference. He said that we'll want to stay away from the natural products, but that the porcelain tile will be our best bet (it's also indoor/outdoor...*lol*...this stuff can get rained on!). So, now we have our flooring choice. All we need is a color. And since this flooring is special order, they didn't have tiles for sale. You have to buy a box. Arrgh!! We don't need no stinking boxes! All we wanted was one tile of each color. So, now I'll look to see if I can find the manufacturer or distributor, in hopes of being able to purchase one tile of each color. Wish me luck.

I hope our cats appreciate the sacrifices we make for them.

We also went and looked at furniture. And even bought some. Now that we've had cats for so long, we know some of our limitations. And one of those is cloth and upholstered. And that we don't need a pullout sofa and a huge dining room set. We got a new dining set, one that has room for only four chairs. Take the leaf out and the table is a 48 inch circle. We brought it home and Brian took the other table out (solid oak *sigh*) and also the chairs. Maggie had ruined the backs of the chairs with her scratching (she'd stand on them and claw). And the other cats had urinated on them over the years. They really needed to be thrown out. Brian took the ones out of the bedroom first and I guess they really stunk. Probably one of the major sources of smell in our home. The new dining set has no upholstery, but the chairs have rungs on the back, so we went to WalMart and got some of those padded cushions. Since we also got new barstools for the kitchen counter, we got six cushions. Four solid green and two with fruit on white, with the green in these cushions matching the cushions on the dining set. The cats haven't gotten used to the new chairs yet. They aren't sleeping on them as much as they did the others. But I'm sure it won't be long until they are.

We also picked out a new entertainment center. This one is really nice. And I think it will be much easier to keep clean. Part of it has a glass door, so I'll be able to stack my components. The one we have now came with the house and it's nasty. Unifinished wood and really rough on the hands. Whenever I've had to move stuff I've ended up with quite a few splinters, some under the fingernails. Ouch.

I got the bill for my newspaper subscription. It's $172.00 a year now. That's a lot of money. It would be different if I read it, but I don't. Not every day, all the way through. So, I called and cancelled. The money saved will go towards our satellite service. I've had a newspaper subscription since I first was on my own, thirty years ago. But I just can't justify the cost, not for something I don't read every day. There have been times when four or five days went by before I opened one. That's a waste of money. And besides, if there's something I'm really interested in, I can search for it online.

Brian's been talking about going back up to Disneyland. I think we'll check out non Disney hotels or motels. They're much cheaper. So, we'll see if they're worth it. Since Brian said they're supposed to be taking Mondays off, we can go up on Sunday, spend the night and come home early Monday, in time to give Junior his shot. Maybe this year we'll get our money's worth on our passports.

I'm beginning to think that a lot of my website is just a waste of time for me to work on. Like the cards. I've designed a lot of new backgrounds, but judging from the stats, nobody is even looking at the backgrounds at all. I add a cat picture or two each week. And I don't even get 100 hits a day for the cards. They're great cards and highly customizable. I don't know why more people aren't using them. Sure, it takes a little time to catch on to how to use them, but once you do, they're great. And it's the same with Ben's den. I've put so many games up and nobody is playing. Games that I think are really fun. I guess I'm the only one who does. Sometimes I feel like saying to hell with it, why bother. Poor me, somebody call the WAHmbulance.

Well, it's getting late and I'm tired. The CD player in the Mustang came back from the shop and I got it reinstalled today. I've been pretty tired of my hair lately, the top being flat, so I permed just the top this afternoon. So, it's has been a long day for me. Time to get the cats in and curl up on the sofa with a blanket and watch the Olympics.

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Thursday, February 28, 2002 Life has still been pretty quiet. Knocking on wood, everybody has seemed pretty healthy. Well, Tuesday night, Lola was making odd sounds with her mouth. She kept clicking her tongue, like you do when you have to swallow, but can't. I figured out that maybe she had a sore throat. Yesterday, she was back to normal. And she's once again running to the bathroom in the morning for her private food. Private between Boney, Rusty, and DeeJay, too.

The house really needs to be cleaned. Brian and I got new comforters to cover the sofas and I started washing them earlier this week. They're really stiff and took forever to dry. I'm going to throw out the ones I'm using now, because they're old and falling apart. That's part of my plan for today. Clean house. Catch up on laundry. Yesterday, I didn't do much because I had to pay company bills. Forgot all about those. *grin* And it looks like they've split the mail route up, because our mail has been getting here around noon, instead of three. So, I had to apply myself to get it done. I kept either the television or the radio on, hoping to hear what documents the judge would allow to be unsealed in the arrest of David Westerfield. Finally, about two-thirty, I figured there would be no news and I turned off the radio and sat here in silence. My mom called after three and told me that a body had been found. Only about fifteen miles from us. I spent the rest of the day watching the news. Such a sad situation.

Brian had come home early and while I watched the news, he went in search of more tile options. When he came home, he said he didn't like what he'd found and the prices were the same as Home Depot. So, we'll probably be ordering the tile this weekend. Sunday, we'll start work in the tv room. The carpet has to be pulled up, Brian has to pull out quite a bit of the drywall and put new stuff in (the old is ruined because of the cats). And then we'll have to paint. I told Brian that I'd like to get a sand colored paint. Not off white, Navajo or eggshell, but a sandy color. That would bring out the light colors in the tile and the fireplace. We want to get this finished before the new entertainment center is delivered. I have to admit, I'm not looking forward to setting up the stereo and vcrs again. We have one tv, one receiver. We have the satellite receiver, two vcrs and a DVD player. The sound on all of those also is hooked up to switch boxes which go to the receiver. On the audio side, we have two CD burners, a 111 disk CD player, a dual cassette player/recorder, and a turntable. I have a switchbox for the speakers in the house. There are four speakers in the living room and seven in the tv room. Three of those are for surround sound. Like I said, I'm not looking forward to setting this all up again. But it's going to look so much better. I do know that for sure. And it's going to be so much more cat proof. We've already discussed the area between the entertainment center and the wall. We'll still need some sort of barrier. And Brian will put plexiglass on top of the entertainment center, butting up against the wall. And we'll have to get new furniture, too. Man. This makes me nervous. The first time we've done any sort of renovation since we've been here. The cats are going to freak.

Last Sunday, we went to Disneyland. Stayed at the Carousel Inn. The room was nice and clean, but the sheets didn't fit the bed. The bottom sheets weren't fitted and kept riding up. I ended up sleeping directly on the mattress. And we ate at this place called "Mom's". I've read before to not eat at any place named "Mom's". I should have heeded that advice. I had chicken fettucine alfredo and I didn't even eat a quarter of my meal (yay me). And I got sick. We went back to the hotel room to get something with long sleeves and my stomach was really upset. So, we ended up staying in the room and watching the closing ceremonies of the Olympics. We went to DCA first and I got a couple of pictures of Brian. We went on two rides we'd not been on before. Jumping Jellyfish (which is like a Maliboomer for woosees, I really liked it) and King Triton's Carousel. I got a couple of pictures of Brian on his critter.



I guess I should get busy here in the house. So, I'll leave you with some recent pictures of the furkids.


Kirby


Richie


Sammy


Pete


Autumn

Later Well, darn. I spoke too soon. I caught Annie straining to pee on the towel Brian uses to cover his paperwork. Then I found bloody urine in the bathroom sink. So, I called the vet and took her in. The vet found blood and struvite in her pee, so now she's on amoxicillan and ammonil for a week. I also asked about Lola, told the doc that I thought maybe she has an upper respiratory infection. She's supposed to have a blood test done Monday. He said to start Lola on amoxi twice a day, since her immune system is depressed because of the leukeran (her chemo drug).

And Margaret in the UK mentioned the grout in the new tile being liquid absorbent. Brian had already thought about that and he's going to make the grout out of pool cement. That oughta work. *grin*

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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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