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Tuesday, July 02, 2002 We have an aquarium in the bedroom. There is an electrical strip next to it, where all of the fish stuff is plugged in, you know, the heater, filters, light... Anyway, the cats like to chase the fish and they occasionally step on the strip's on/off button. No big deal, right? As long as all they're doing is turning off the electrical. But this morning, Autumn was at the aquarium and I asked the little girl if she was having fun. She turned to look at me and there was an electrical cord in her mouth. Ack! I yelled at her and she ran off. Brian said he noticed them pulling at the cords before. I found the bitter apple and got some papertowels to coat the cords in them. And one of the cords had been chewed cleared through. It was to one of the air filters. So, I took it out and threw it away. Then I coated the other cords with the bitter apple. Scary, really scary.

And the past month, I've been finding a few wasps in the garage. And there was always a little red boy, Richie, close by. The wasps are usually at the screen and only one at a time. Well, yesterday, Richie brought one into the house. He dropped it on the floor in the family room. I started yelling (of course), grabbed a newspaper, put it on top of the live wasp and slapped the paper until the wasp was dead. And I looked at little Richie. That little guy has been catching them and bringing them inside. I looked at his face this morning, paying special attention to his mouth. His bottom lip looked like it had a little stinger hole. I wonder if he's got some sort of immunity to wasp stings. I sure hope so. I've never had a cat who kept bringing in wasps. Richie is the little guy who got stung last year when he was a kitten. I bought Children's Benedryl for him, but didn't have to use it.

Brian is really happy with the way my truck is looking. It's still at the body shop, since we decided to have the entire thing painted. And his truck is still broken. He had to return the loaner, since we weren't going to pay $40 a day for a rental. As it was, they tried to charge him the difference between the car he'd originally been issued and the truck he ended up with. So, right now, he's driving his dump truck back and forth to work, which I wasn't really happy about, since Meezer had been spending the day sleeping on the tanks. But yesterday, Meezer and OC discovered that it's just as nice in front of the neighbors who have Munchkin.

I kind of wish that Meezer was up here more, because I got some medicine for his teeth yesterday, the same stuff we'd gotten for Pepper, before we were sure she had cancer. Becky said I could dose him once a day (in food) for two weeks, then give it to him for five days at the beginning of each month.

One of the problems with having the nice truck is we won't want to drive it anywhere. So, this weekend, we started looking at used vehicles. We're looking for a small Bronco or Explorer, for cheap. We figure it would be nice for hauling animals to the vet's office and shopping, since stuff won't fly all over in the back like it does in the truck. We checked out one Bronco II up in Escondido. You'd think if people wanted to get the most money they could for their vehicle, they would clean it up a little. The ashtray was full of cigarette butts, the plastic console had obvious soda spills. I can't even believe no one had taken a damp cloth and wiped the inside down. Anyway, the price was right ($800) but after Brian got back from his trip around the block, he politely handed back the seller his keys and said it wasn't quite what we were looking for. Coming to find out, Brian said the transmission is ready to go out. No way do we want to spend another $1000 and down time for a junk vehicle. We looked at another one, later on that afternoon. It wasn't running at all, but Brian said the problem could be easy as a $19.00 part. We looked at it and Brian really didn't like the paint job. The passenger side's clear coat was badly peeling. And the truck had a 3 inch lift (I think Brian called it a body lift) and the front of the truck was higher than the back. Brian didn't like that at all. So, we passed.

I had taken my keys when we went to look at the first vehicle and put them in the glove compartment. And promptly forgot I'd put them there. Well, yesterday, Lola had to go in for her eight week blood test and I couldn't find my keys. It dawned on me where they were, so I looked for Brian's on the key rack. Not there. I paged him and he called me back right away. He'd taken his keys with him. I told him what I'd done. He said they were just leaving for a job, so he'd come by and open up the car. He showed up an hour later, but that was okay. I grabbed the shopping list and off I went to CostCo.

Now, we've been eating a lot of salad at night. We've been eating a lot of fruit. We're getting healthy. Last week wasn't a good week. We went out to dinner a couple of times, for instance. And the salad we got went bad. Now, we had none. We needed cheese, salad, avocados, and a couple of other things. It seemed to take forever to get to CostCo because a new shopping mall is being built on the main street of Santee. I got there, got what I needed and came home. After the groceries were put away, I had a salad for lunch, then called the vet's office to see if Becky was there (Lola doesn't object to her so strenuously). She said to bring her down. Lola weighed the same as she had her last trip (seven pounds, three and a half ounces) and her tests came out great. The vet was very pleased. I bought more leukeran, prednisone and asked about the antibiotic for Meezer, telling her that it was for his teeth, telling her that he'd had many pulled when he was neutered two years ago. I paid for the medicine and her tests and came home.

Once home, I kicked back. The phone rang and it was my mom. She had a doctor's appointment at eight last night, needed someone to take her. I'm not going into it right now, but suffice it to say, nobody left the hospital happy. It was a wasted trip, something she could have done during the day. We were gone for three and a half hours. Brian had to stop me from letting my anger get the best of me last night.

Well, gonna get some laundry done. I also have to take pictures of the shirts. They be done!


Wednesday, July 03, 2002 Well, I found out yesterday that not all of the cats who have gone missing were caught by coyotes. Early yesterday afternoon, the neighbor called me. The guy with the diabetic dog. He asked if I would move the cathouse we'd put over by the fence. It seems for the past couple of weeks, OC and Meezer have been hanging out at his house. OC has ruined his screens and yesterday, he caught Meezer pooping on a ledge in front of his living room window (Meezer had also been snoozing there during the day). Well, obviously this guy had been thinking about it all day long and had really built up a bunch of steam, which he directed towards me. He yelled, he swore and I ended up hanging up on him. But during the conversation, he let it slip that he didn't want to do what the other neighbors had been doing. He didn't want to have to trap these guys. I was really, really upset. I thought about it and realized that it wouldn't be good to have him angry with me, because he seems the type of person to take his anger out on the cats. And it's not their fault. So, I searched for our can of Boundary and went over to talk to him. He came to the door, and I could see that he was still in attack mode (if you want to discuss something rationally, don't put the other party immediately in the defense mode; it doesn't help solve conflicts). He came outside, still in his work clothes, a dress shirt and tie. I handed him the Boundary, told him to try it out and hopefully it would work. If it did, just let us know when it ran out and we'd keep him supplied. I also told him that Brian would fix the screens that OC has ruined. He finally calmed down. I told him if there was anyway we could keep these guys in our yard, in our backyard, we'd do it (he also made a subtle comment letting me know he didn't like our fence modification; too bad), and I told him about OC ripping a hole in the office screen to get out. He said that he really didn't want to trap the cats and told me that there were four homes from here to here (pointing out areas on the street) that had trapped eleven cats. But he wouldn't tell me who. I know of two for sure, well, one of those I know wouldn't have the balls to take the cats in, this moron wouldn't even take his own sick cats in, he had to call his daughter to do it (yeah, that's the Heartless Bastard; I wouldn't urinate on that man if he were dying of thirst). But I bet he put in some money to rent the traps. And there are some people on the corner that have lots of recreational toys that have been complaining about the cats. Well, I sure hope they stop working on their recreational toys after the noise ordinance goes into effect. Because you can be damned sure I'll be reporting them each and every time they do.

Brian is just as upset as I am. One the one hand, at least we know the cats would have a humane death, not being killed by a coyote. And we wonder how many of these cats were actually feral cats. For the very reason that some of them would have been trap shy. Look at how long we tried to get Little Guy and Little White Guy with no success. We can't help but feel some of these trapped cats were pets. *sigh* Sometimes I really, really hate people.

I took this picture this morning after our morning walk.

That's Richie, Opie and Sammy on Brian. They've been here a year now. It seems longer than that. I am so thankful that we were able to catch them and bring them in. Especially with the recent events. They would have been gone for sure.

Brian is doing some work done in Coronado and he saw a vehicle with a for sale sign on it, a little Bronco II. He called and left his work number and our home number. The seller called our home number and we had a pleasant little chat. I gave him Brian's pager number and when Brian came home last night, he said he bought the Bronco. He said it's very clean, a couple of little dents and that it needs tires. The owner was a little concerned about the transmission, so he's having that checked out before we take possession. He's already paid the license fees and he's offered to have AAA do all of the registration stuff. Way cool. He also told Brian that I could be his wife's sister, with our outlook on life. Heh heh... After all, I did tell the man I was the Queen.

Well, I guess that's all for now. Everybody have a happy 4th!

Oh, yay us! We haven't had ice cream for over a month now. The last time was when we went to Disneyland. And today was the easiest ever walk up Icky Hill! I'm so proud. I'm not losing much weight (yet) but my clothes are fitting lots better. My quality of sleep is good, I'm not nearly so crabby and on edge. It's really nice.


Friday, July 05, 2002 We had a very productive fourth of July. Brian worked on his truck, he and his brother worked on the trencher, I cleaned the house, stripped the bed and changed all of the bedding, washed all of the floors (I really like my Floormate!), and cleaned out all of the litter boxes. When Brian was done with the vehicles, he came home and trimmed the plum tree way back because it was so heavy with fruit the branches were snapping in two. Then he edged and mowed the lawn. We finally ate last night at about eight o'clock, had filet mignon cooked on the grill. It was really good. Then, we watched Silence of the Lambs. It was a good day for both of us.

Nothing new from the neighbors. I saw the Heartless Bastard talking to his next door neighbor and they kept looking up at our house. I sent some bad vibrations towards both of them. Yesterday, as I was cleaning, I went over stuff in my mind. I used to be good friends with the woman next door, the one who's husband called me up cussing earlier this week. At one point, we walked together every morning, as a matter of fact, that's how they got their dog. She followed us on our walk. A little background on them as animal lovers. When they had their garage built and the retaining wall put in (which is actually on our property, we were being nice when they asked if they could do that, because otherwise, there would have been location problems) we kept their dog for them. She was here for over six weeks and I think they gave us a small box of biscuits and a small bag of food. That was it. And they not once came over to visit her or take her for a walk. They never even asked how she was doing. It was almost as if they didn't have a dog. I thought that was pretty sad. Anyway, I remembered why I started distancing myself from the wife. When we would go to Disneyland, I'd ask her to come over and feed the cats. I never realized there was an issue with this, because she never said she couldn't do it. I would have understood. Anyway, we got back one morning and the food hadn't been opened (thank goodness we free fed). And there were other indications that she'd not come over. So, when I saw her later that day, I asked "how were all of the cats last night". She nonchalantly said "Oh, I didn't make it over, you aren't mad are you?" Me? Mad? That was putting it gently. I said "No, I just wish you'd let me know so I could have made other arrangements." After that, I quit talking to her so much, got our house keys back and have rarely spoken with her since. I've never cared for her husband. He's always been loud and vulgar. I don't do loud and I only do vulgar with people I know and love. And that's not him. He's one of my examples for bad neighbors as far as letting cats roam go. When our cats were free range, I guess Boney would go into their garage. Well, one day, he told me in his loud and crude voice "I catch that Goddamned cat in my garage again, I'll kill the motherf*cker". And I do believe he meant it.

The fireworks didn't bother the animals last night, but the local morons shooting off firecrackers at their homes really bothered the furry ones. Junior ended up in the house and Georgie was the only cat outside. I looked all over for him and he finally came out of hiding and was sneaking up to the house, all crouched down and ears low. Just about then, someone set off one of those whistling rockets and that really scared him. I was able to pick him up, I brought him in and set him down. He made no move to go outside again. So unGeorgelike.

Last Sunday, I realized the form on my declaw page wasn't properly formatted and I wasn't getting all of the stories. Then yesterday, I found that the mail was still in the directory. That's cool. I started going through the file and there are over fifty stories for me to put up. Oh, my. That's going to take a while. I read through some of them and I was in tears. I think I'll wait until I can better concentrate to put them up.

Well, that's all for now.


Monday, July 08, 2002 Do you ever have your heart set on something, then find out it's not quite what you want? Talk about disappointment. At the Disneyland Resort, they have bricks for sale. There is a choice of images for the top, then you can add your message. Or so we thought. Now, these bricks aren't cheap. They're $150 each and Brian wanted to get two of them. One with our names and when we were married, the other with our names and when we got our passports. That one would have looked like this:

Brian & Dianne S
Since 10-16-89

And the other one would have "married on 12-31-85" and would have our last name. I called to see if they could be together and they said yes. So, I started the order. "Oh, you can't say "'married on' you would have to use the wedding bells to indicate the wedding date." Huh? Well, I guess we can't say "passholders since" either? "No, just names, a location and a date." So, after hours of figuring out the message, Brian gave up on the married on brick. I still wanted the passholder since brick, I figured maybe just our names, the location of "Disneyland" and the date. But maybe Disneyland isn't a location. I call again. Nope, you can't use "Disneyland" but you can say Anaheim, California. I said "forget it". They lost a good sale Saturday. Brian wanted to send a message to everyone and the guy on the phone said "it will be a special memory for you because you know what it means". Well, we don't have to spend $300 for a special memory, we've got those for free.

And Brian found a little Bronco for us last week. The owner is taking it in to get the transmission checked out before he sells it to us, he's a little worried. But Brian is happy with it. I reminded him, though, that this isn't going to be a money pit vehicle when he started talking about buying flares for over the wheels. And he started talking about buying special wheels. It doesn't have a radio, but we've got the brand new Blaupunkt CD player that we got years ago at CostCo (I think I wrote about buying two of them; well one never got installed, that's when I got the good one in the Mustang).

Autumn is making leaps and bounds being socialized. She even came up to us in the family room yesterday, going from one of us to the other, letting us lightly pet her. This is really nice. And Red, geez, Red has come so far. He will actually go into the kitchen now and beg for food. He'll cry with the rest of the kitties. And he rarely runs when he's stretched if you approach him just right. He'll lay there and let you give him a rub and a scratch behind the ears. It's so nice!

Just back from our walk. All hot and sweaty. But it feels good. And this eating light at night is doing something. I've lost at least 13 pounds (since I got back on the scale, I probably weighed more at one point). We have ice cream once a month (at Disney's California Adventure on June 2 and Baskin Robbins last Friday) and we won't bring any into the house. The only fast food we've had in the past couple of months is Del Taco. Last week I got a combo, classic chicken burrito with fries and a Dr. Pepper. The burrito was great, the fries and soda were a waste of money. They just didn't taste as good as I remember. I can't see me getting an urge for either of them. We have cereal for breakfast. Raisin Bran, Smart Start or Cheerios. On Sundays, we go out for an early breakfast, where we have anything we want. I find I'm not as hungry as I used to think I was. Friday night, I couldn't even finish my nightly salad. The salads aren't bad, I was just full. I'm back into the pants I haven't been able to wear since last October. One of the things that we've discussed is that this is going to have to be a way of life for us. We can't just lose X amount of weight, then go back to our old eating habits. I must say we're both in better moods and handling the everyday annoyances much better. Our fuses are getting longer.

And Aunt Flo showed up yesterday morning. First time since March, I think. I didn't miss her and I still hate her. I was very disappointed when she checked in. She's worse than Jason or whatever his name is in the Halloween movies. She's for real. On our way home from breakfast, I thought to myself "it sure feels like I'm going to start" but didn't think about it much, because I've had those little feelings before. Come on, menopause! I'm ready. (I will admit, though, I wonder if I'll lose any more weight because of this.)

Hey, I'm getting a Dell! I'll have two computers. The Gateway will be for the internet (the webcams, the weather station and internet surfing). The Dell will be for all the other stuff. My graphics programs, QuickBooks, digital cameras, all the other things that I run. And I'll be able to play games again. Right now, I have to turn off the cameras to play some of the old games I got years ago. A couple of the games I've never played. They were followups to previous games. "Under a Killing Moon", "The Pandora Directive", "The Seventh Guest" and "The 11th Hour". I passed on the monitor and I found that I can share the monitor, keyboard and mouse that I'm using with a switchbox (which has been ordered), and I can move files between computers using a special USB cable (also ordered). And I found an old parallel switchbox, so hopefully, that will work the printers. I'm pretty excited about it. It has twice as much space as my current system (which isn't even half full) and quite a big more SDRAM, so my programs should run much faster. Graphics uses up a lot of memory. I'll also be able to hook up my camcorder to the computer. I couldn't do that with the Gateway. Like I said, I'm pretty excited. It should ship out Thursday, so I'll have it next week. I am excited about it. I'll move my zip disk, I've got another webcam I can move over there (but I don't think that one will be on the internet). Hopefully, the software I got for making QuickTime videos will work more efficiently with a new system. And I can burn computer CDs, too. Not that I know what I'd burn on them. Maybe store my photos on them or something. Yesterday at CostCo, I bought a couple of USB hubs and a twenty pack of CD-RW disk, so I think I'm all set.

I think Meetoo and Meezer are living on our bank now, under the Juniper bushes. This is good. I haven't seen them in the yard next door since the guy went ballistic. I have to admit something I'm not proud of, something that I know isn't healthy. I've been having horrible thoughts about the neighbors. Not about me doing anything to them, nothing like that. But like when the Heartless Bastard was on his roof, painting part of his house this weekend. I had thoughts about him falling. And one of the other neighbors, one I'm absolutely positive was involved in the trapping is a smoker. I had thoughts of cancer and emphysema. Good think I'm not like Stephen King's "Carrie". But I finally came up with the perfect Karmic ass biting. Mice. Rats. Which we used to have in abundance in this neighborhood. So abundant, they even did some major damage to one home's pool electrical. Wouldn't it be nice if the mice and rats came back and got into the toys of these trappers? All of them have toys. Either old cars or boats or toys for the desert. Yep, that would sure be nice if Ma Nature would give the rats and mice a little procreational push.

Last night, when I was feeding the cats, I was reflecting on our day shopping and how much I miss having a truck around. (Mine should be back this week.) I know that some people don't like SUVs or trucks because they aren't fuel efficient. Well, yesterday, we had to use the car, that gets quite a few miles per gallon, for shopping. And we had to make more than one trip because the car isn't big, it's not made to carry a lot of stuff. First, we went to Sears. Brian bought some new tool, a drill or something, and a stand that had to be put together. Well, we needed bagged cat food, we needed to go to CostCo because we were out of toilet paper and some other stuff. There was no way that all of that would fit in the car. So, we went by his shop, dropped off the stuff we got at Sears, then went to CostCo. Then we went home, unpacked and he had to go back to the shop to pick up the Sears' merchandise. With my truck, we wouldn't have had to do all of that. One trip would have been it. I mentioned this to Brian and he thought about it and asked how many vehicles could hold a bunch of kids and equipment (think soccer moms)? Not many. They'd have to make multiple trips or take multiple cars. Where's the savings? Now, my mom has a fuel efficient little car, which we took on Mother's Day when we went up to the property. But I felt so claustrophobic in the back seat. I was very uncomfortable. I don't think I could sit there on long rides. I want my truck back.

As you might know, during the remodel we got rid of the old entertainment center and bought a new one. Well, the last week of June, I finally got all of the equipment hooked up. It took me all day. There isn't much room to move around the shelves like in the old entertainment center. I thought I had everything hooked up properly and had Brian put the receiver back in (it's really heavy). Then I hooked up the cords I had marked to the various pieces of equipment. Guess what? I had them hooked up at the back of the receiver the wrong way. So, I had to get on a stool (Brian was gone, working on his truck) and get out the manual and change all of the cords at the back of the receiver by feel alone. It was no fun. Like I said, it took hours, but I finally got everything up and running. But one of my concerns, something that's been a big concern with me, is the heat generated by the system. The new entertainment has a door in front of the components and it's wood and glass. Not a whole lot of ventilation, just a long thin opening at the back where the cords go. And there is no room for a fan inside. I asked Brian if he could take the glass out and put in a screen. At first, he didn't want to do it, said that the cats would be able to spray. I reminded him that the glass doesn't go all the way to the bottom of the door, it only goes level with the shelf where the tv sits. And if the cats can't pee on the DVD player, which is below the tv, there's absolutely no way they'd be able to get the components wet. He looked at it himself, just in case I was wrong, and said he'd do it. Saturday, I called the dimensions into him at the shop, where he was working on his truck. And he had it done by Saturday night. It looks pretty good and I'm not concerned about the heat buildup any more.

Well, I guess that's it for now. I have to go clean the cat pee off of the windows and on my bathroom counter and mirror. Nice kitties. Good kitties. *sigh*


Wednesday, July 10, 2002 Gah! Bad morning. Earlier, I found OC and Meezer in the Bully's yard. I chased them out. OC ran across the street and Meezer ran up into our yard. Then I noticed poops in his yard. So, I had to wait to go over there and clean it up. A little after eight, I thought it would be safe, had papertowels and a plastic bag and it wasn't safe. The Heartless Bastard was talking to the Bully. I went back inside the house and it was safe about fifteen minutes later. I cleaned up the poops. One was pretty soft.

Then Brian yelled out from the bathroom that the sewer was backed up. Great. His toilet and shower and my tub have standing water. I called the plumbing company and they're supposed to be out here between eight (about an hour ago) and ten. They'll call before they come out.

And I called the clinic where I got the ferals fixed last year and they no longer do it. Well, if I bring in a pregnant feral and pay for her, will he fix her? No, he won't abort. *sigh* Meetoo is pregnant. So, I called Mercy Crusade and they don't take messages any longer. You have to send snail mail. Great. I called the Feral Cat Coalition and left a message. I called Pet Assistance and they don't take calls until after 9:00 am. I called my vet's office to make arrangements to have Becky stay at our house in October, when we go to Disneyland. I asked her if there was any place she knew of that would spay a pregnant feral (remember, last year, my vet said he didn't want to do ferals). She didn't know, but she asked around and Charlene said maybe they could talk the vet into doing it. She's going to call me back. We have to get this little girl fixed.

Speaking of the Bully neighbor, Brian went over there yesterday to find out about fixing the screens. The Bully came out and told Brian that he'd already gotten the screens fixed and I could hear him yammering about what the cats had done. I walked back into the house instead of waiting for Brian. When Brian came back, he told me that the Bully had said to him that he'd just been having a bad day that day and he shouldn't have called me. So, why didn't he say that to me? I think that there are a couple of men in this neighborhood who don't respect women. Men, yes, women, no. Case in point. The Heartless Bastard would never have spoken to Brian like he's spoken to me. And I don't think the Bully would have either. Women are the weaker sex and should be treated accordingly. Assholes. Sorry, I just had to say it.

Oh, and my mom called yesterday, she's going back to Kaiser this afternoon, would I please go with her? I hate Kaiser. I hate waiting around. I said "yes". She wants me to go because I'll understand what the doctor says. Our phones were screwed up yesterday, I never the personal phone ring at all (found the problem, turns out it was a phone cord that was no longer hooked up to a phone and it was corroded (guess from what?) and was shorting out the company and the personal lines). She left three messages before I even knew she'd called. The doctor called her, found white blood cells in the urine. She was freaking out. When I talked with her, I told her it wasn't a big deal, it just meant she had an infection somewhere in her system, which would make sense, seeing as she's still got a bladder or kidney infection. She said she was so scared that she was getting ready to sign everything over to me. The woman worries too much.

Hey, remember the bad time I spoke of having at Disneyland last October? Well, I wrote a letter to Disneyland letting them know how disappointing it was. I got a very nice response, telling me if I sent in the passports that they would issue replacement tickets. Well, I let the folks who were there know about what I was told and I got six passports back, but one wasn't for Disneyland, but for Disney's California Adventure. On June 28, I finally got around to sending the passports back, along with Brian and my expired annual passes. Saturday, I got a response. It was a certificate for seven park hopper passports. They had to be redeemed by me (with a photo id) and used the same day. I thought this was pretty cool. But upon closer inspection, the certificate is good for seven FOUR DAY park hopper passes. Kewl! $137.00 value per pass. I was happy. I contacted the people who were out there and it looks like we've got a group going in October. I think this time, though, Brian and I aren't going to do the group thing everyday. It just takes too much out of us.

Well, that's it for now. Going to wait for the plumber.


Friday, July 12, 2002 Harvesting catnip is hard work. I just spent about an hour cutting off the tops of the stalks. And my skin is apparently getting old, because I started bleeding when I was barely scraped by one. Sheesh. My back is sure tired and it's not even 9:30.

Remember, I called around on Wednesday looking for places that would spay/abort Meetoo? I got two places from Pet Assistance and I had left a message at the Feral Cat Coalition. Well, the FCC called me back yesterday. The woman I spoke with is a local woman, lives a couple of miles from our house. She's done trapping on a connecting street. Anyway, she takes about thirty ferals a month to the monthly clinic put on by the FCC and she said she'll pick the cats up if I have them ready, take them down, get them taken care of, and bring them back. Only thing is the clinic is Sunday. She told me to start trapping tonight. I'm so worried about the cats in the traps, but she said they'll be fine. She'll even come over and put water in the traps for me (I don't want to stick my hand in). She said the thing about the clinics is that they do everything for free. A health check, ears checked, teeth checked, Advantage applied and vaccinations as well as the surgery. She said it's much better for the cat than taking it to a regular vet's office, where the extra stuff isn't included. So, I'll set the traps tonight. With any luck, maybe I'll get more than just Meetoo. I start shaking just thinking about it. I don't know why I have such a problem with the actual trapping. Anyway, I took down her name and phone number and hopefully, I'll have a cat or two for her to take Sunday. I told her about what the neighbors have been doing and she got just as angry as I was. A kindred spirit.

Speaking of the neighbors, Wednesday night Brian and I went to Applebee's for dinner because we just didn't feel like salad (I had cereal for breakfast and before I went with my mom, I had a nonfat yogurt; when I got home, I was shaking so I had a rice cake with peanut butter, but I was hungry at dinner). On the way, I talked about the neighbors. And the third man, the smoker, has a name now. The "Little Man". So, we have the Heartless Bastard, the Bully and the Little Man. I was telling Brian about the "girls" standing at the street, gossiping. "What girls?" You know, Heartless Bastard, Bully and Little Man. He just started laughing. "The girls? They've all got names now?" Yep, they surely do. Bunch of old cat killing hens. My contempt for them is bottomless.

There is a bird that has been driving the cats nuts for the past two days. Me, too. Its incessant chirping, like a steady drip from a faucet that you can't turn all the way off. Add to that, this bird keeps hanging out on the fence. The cats, of course, can't get to it (thankfully).

As an added insult, when the younger cats had caught a huge grasshopper yesterday afternoon, I saw this bird in the yard. Actually in the yard, on the grass. Daniece and Opie just glanced in its direction and kept playing with their grasshopper. That bird is awfully brave or very stupid. I'm sure that our yard has a plethora of worms and nice tasty eats for birds, because the lawn is well kept and the ground is moist, unlike the other yards immediately around our house. But still...

Here's a picture I took of Richie yesterday. Isn't he just adorable?

He'd been napping.

Speaking of pictures, I added twenty two new family album pages. Many of the pictures have already been posted in the diary. It took quite a while, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I also removed all the music from the previous pages. I may put the jukebox link up, so that the music continues to play when the pages are changed. Then again, maybe I won't.

I received a message about the declawing section of this website. It's". I haven't gotten started on adding the new stories yet. I think I'll get the store running first.

My mom is okay. There was a question about her dark stool, but they found no blood in it. The doctor said that maybe she'd had an ulcer that was healing itself. Mom was put on medicine for an ulcer and she has to go back in today for followup blood tests. I don't have to go with her today.

Ya wanna hear something that really sucks? We got a letter yesterday from the FDIC that the credit card Brian uses for the business was no longer a valid credit card. Seems the company went bankrupt and was taken over by the gummint. So, I checked out the credit card's website and some people still have use of their card, because some of the accounts were bought out. The only reason I can figure ours wasn't purchased was because we pay off the balance every month, if possible (we don't purchase big ticket items on the credit card unless we know the money is coming in). Dang. And it was one of those rewards accounts, where you could turn your points in for stuff. We had close to 20,000 points. All gone. Doodoo.

I put some fresh catnip in the dehydrator. Haven't used that in a while. The exercise room is going to stink.

The weather had been miserable the past few days. Very hot and very, very humid. Muggy. Blech. We got our electric bill this past week and our usage was down from last month over 20%. But the bill was $30 higher. Go figure.

We don't have the new (old) Bronco yet. This weekend, hopefully. And my truck is supposed to be finished today. One of the reasons I've held off trying to do any trapping, because I don't want to transport in the Mustang.

Time to go clean litter boxes.


Sunday, July 14, 2002 Brian left Friday night for Ranchita, with his brother and the repaired trencher. They were supposed to come home this morning, before ten am. Imagine my surprise yesterday mid-afternoon, when on the computer, I heard a truck that sounded a lot (did you know that there's no such word as "alot"? It's two words; surprised the heck out of me) like his brother's truck. And then Kirby came running back to the office, from the front window, always a sure sign that someone is out front. I went to the front window to check it out and lo and behold, there's my husband, home already. I guess something went wrong with the trencher. But Mark said this part would be much more easily fixed than the other thing that went wrong with it. So, Brian got home early, which was really nice. I like having him around.

Fortunately, Junior didn't give me too hard of a time with his shot yesterday morning. He actually laid down on the patio and didn't squirm. First time he's done that when I've had to give him the shot by myself. But it's still much easier with hubby helping.

Well, I put food in the traps Friday night, hoping to get some cats in there, just to eat. I had the doors locked open. But no kitty touched the food inside. And Meetoo never showed up at all. I haven't seen her since Friday morning. She was here for breakfast, then we saw her when we went for our walk. She was laying under the truck at Little Man's house. I'm thinking that maybe she had her kittens. But she wasn't really that big, so I really wonder. I can't imagine her going into a trap over there. I can't imagine trying to trap during the day, for one thing. That's why I'm thinking she had kittens. If she did have kittens, I hope she's as smart as Little Guy was (at least with the kits) and brings them over here, where I can catch them and bring them in. (Bringing them in doesn't even need discussion.) I sure hope Little Man didn't trap her. If so, she's dead for sure.

My new computer got here yesterday. Ack! I'm not ready! And I can't set it up yet, because I don't have the splitter switch for the monitor, keyboard and mouse. It's funny. I sit here thinking "okay, what's my plan of action?" I really want to redo all of the cables, so that they aren't so messy, for one thing. And I'll have to figure out where to put the new speakers (I'll have two sets). Just so much to do and I don't want to do any of it until I have all of the equipment I ordered. And the one piece that I really, really need is scheduled for delivery tomorrow. So, the cameras and weather station will most likely be down tomorrow afternoon. I'm truly hoping that some of the software that I bought last year, which doesn't run real well on the Gateway, will run much better on the Dell, since it's got a much larger SRAM memory. I'm sure it will. For one thing, the software that runs the camera is a memory hog. If the upload to my website host drops, the thread just hangs there and another is rebuilt. These hanging threads use memory. To clear it, I have to reboot. Supposedly, the software manufacturer is working on the problem, but they declared bankruptcy last year and laid a bunch of people off. So, I don't know what the status of that is. But I'm thinking about all the stuff I have to move, wondering what programs I'll be able to delete off of the old system and clean up the hard drives (I have 4 hard drives, each saved from a previous computer). My total space on the Gateway is about 20G. The space on the Dell is 40G! As it is, I've got half of the Gateway free. I'll have even more once I clean out the old files that I no longer have any use for. The new system has a rewritable CD in it, so I think, just in case, I can save the old files to disk. I bought some at CostCo, 650MB a couple of weeks ago. That way, I'll have them, just in case. I'm wondering, do I keep the ZIP drive with the Gateway, since the Dell has the CD? All of these questions with no answers until I'm actually set up. Woohoo! I'm excited.

Meezer was in the cathouse on the bank Friday. That was pretty cool, to see him in there. I hadn't seen Angus in a couple of nights and I was worried about him. He showed up fairly early last night. I think that may have something to do with the fact that there wasn't as much food available (remember, two bowls, untouched, were in the traps; we only put out five a night). I saw all five of the cats, Meezer, OC, Angus, SpotTee and Repete. Just no Meetoo. I've got pictures of Meezer and OC, but I'm afraid to post them. See, I posted the pictures last year of Blue and Little Guy and they went missing. Oh, this morning when I put out the Fancy Feast, Meezer didn't back off like usual. He just sat there. I put out my hand, slowly, and brought it to in front of his face. It was about a half inch from his nose, he sniffed and that was it. I took my hand away. I don't want to go too fast with him. But it was pretty neat, the closest I've ever gotten.

Those dumb birds are still annoying the cats and me. This morning, one was two feet from the cats. Brian said that bird almost got it. I said "I sure hope they don't catch it, then I'll have to grab the cat and free the bird." He said "why? Just let the cats kill the bird." I said "no way, then I'd be just as bad as the cat killers". He said it was different, because we weren't killing the bird deliberately, by trapping it. I don't care. I don't want the cats catching birds. Bottom line. Birds aren't hurting anything. He could tell that pursuing this line of conversation would go nowhere.

Dang, it's been hot. Wasn't so bad yesterday, the humidity wasn't so extreme like it was last week. I laid out by the pool yesterday afternoon for about an hour and a half. I like to get into the water, then talk a cat over. Opie came over to the edge, sniffed my fingers, then took off.

You may or may not know of the Kitty of the Month contest, run by Dorissimo. Well, the contest is actually run on my website because of rampant cheating in the past. I don't always vote in the contest, but this month, there is a cat by the name of Truman who I'm voting for every day. The reason? Truman's right ear is clipped, which leads me to believe that Truman is a former feral. A winner in my book. The contest is obviously a popularity contest, with many of the contestants posting on many internet bulletin boards. The campaigning is part of the fun, I guess. This month, I just have to ask people to vote for Truman. Just because he's a great looking cat and that clipped ear tells me so much about his life. Tell your friends, too. Thanks.

Well, that's it for now. Didn't do anything yesterday and I have a ton of laundry to fold. It's not going to fold itself, that's for sure. Stay cool.

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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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