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july 15, 1998 (Darnit, I had this all done and didn't save it right)

Well, we are back from our trip to Disneyland and back online. Nope, nothing was wrong with the computer, just took a little time away from home. I did turn the catcam back on last night, because while I was checking my email (63 messages--40 were spam--25 of those were trying to tell me that bulk email works and that they would sell me 57 millions addresses...yeah, right, like I really need 57 million people angry with my for being a bonehead) lisa climbed up into the chair and fell asleep.

The cats are all doing fine, seems like they really missed us. Some still have diahrrea, I have to figure out which ones, though, and I porbably need to get more medicine. Red was a little confused about us, it was if he *knew* it was us, but wasn't quite *sure*, so he's holding back a little. He did let me pet him a little last night. Lonee was no problem at all. Bobby seems like he lost even more weight while we were gone, he's just skin and bones. So, I gave him some Nutri-Cal right off and put a dish of junk food in front of him, which he nibbled on for at least a half hour. I had picked him up and cuddled with him right off and he was so excited, he bit my lip (he does that, always has). It sure hurts this morning. We got home early enough to let the cats out for a couple of hours, but there was no problem getting them in for dinner. The dogs were happy to see us, too. And Buddy didn't have to sleep in the garage. We had the sitter put him in there at night so his barking wouldn't bother anyone.

We went to Disneyland with five of my Irish cousins. Two are the parents, the other three the kids. The children are 17, 16 and 6. Ciara (Kira), just turned sixteen last Wednesday. I drove the Mustang (top down of course), had Ciara and Mark with me and Brian drove the Ranger, had Mick, Mary and Sean, the youngest, with him. Mark and Ciara were having so much fun on the way up. Waving at people, saying how *cool* we are...that we were *better* than the others because we had such a *cool* They made me laugh. I'm not fond of having my picture taken and I would drive up next to the truck and Mick had the video camera going. Of course, I had to do something to hide my face, so I stuck my finger up my nose. Every time. *grins* Brian said later that all of the family back in Ireland was going to think that all I did was pick my nose and I said, I wasn't picking it I just had my finger up there and so what anyway?

We stopped at San Clemente for a pee break and Sean decided that he was going to ride with us the rest of the way. I found some music tapes in the trunk, picked out a few and we all got back into the vehicles and off we went, the last leg of the trip to Disneyland.

So, here I am, bopping to the tunes and I happen to glance in the rearview mirrow. What do I see but this tiny little bird being held up into the air. "SEAN!!! Hey!! Stop that!!!" He was flipping off his parents in the Ranger. I realized that here is one of the differences in our two cultures. "Sean, we don't do that here. Especially not in a car with the top down on a freeway in Southern California," I explained. "People in other cars don't know who you are doing that to, and some people are crazy and some people have guns and they may just shoot us." He got this big "I'm sorry" grin on his face (the cutest little face in the world, I just wanted to kiss it all over) and didn't do it again. At least not that I saw.

We checked into the hotel, but didn't get our keys as the room wasn't yet ready. So, we caught the tram to the front of Disneyland and bought the passes for the next three days. And the adventure began.

Brian planned to begin the tour on the left. Now, Brian, a normally quiet guy, was in his element. He is a wonderful tour guide at Disneyland, not only to our group, but to those around us as well. His plan was to start at Adventureland and work our way round the park. The first ride was the Jungle Cruise. Now, not having children of my own, I tend to forget that they *are* still children, with children's imaginations, no matter how grown up they may seem (the little bird, for instance). And they will believe most anything a trusted adult tells them. Like little Sean believed his mother and myself when we said the animals were real. Big mistake. He hated the Jungle Cruise, wouldn't get back on. And we didn't help the situation much by going immediately to Indiana Jones. Mick, his father, spent the entire ride with his arms around Sean, trying to comfort him. At this point, the Pirates of the Carribbean and the Haunted Mansion, were definitely not on the list. So, we went over to ToonTown. We caught Roger Rabbit and went on the Go Coaster, which Sean really liked. Then we went back to the Disneyland Hotel, got the room keys, settled into our rooms, then went over to the Monorail Cafe for dinner, back to the hotel for something warmer to wear, grabbed the sheet that I had packed for the Fantasmic show and back over we went. Ciara and I went over to New Orleans Square to grab a spot for the next show and the others went on more rides. We found a great spot and got ourselves situated. It was at least an hour til the next show and Ciara and I talked for a little while. She wants to be a vet. She owns a horse and she said that the stray horse problem in Ireland is like the stray cat/dog population here. She said that horses are really cheap to buy, people decide that they don't want one anymore and just dump it. When she was nine years old, she turned her father in to their version of the ASPCA for kicking the cat. Her father, who is in law enforcement, was shocked to say the least when the investigators showed up at the door to investigate. She also is a vegetarian. When we had ordered dinner earlied, she was going to see if she could get mashed potatoes and gravy. She didn't realize that gravy was meat based. She looked at her mother, as if betrayed. Her mom didn't realize that gravy was meat, either. She just used a packet, never bothered to read the ingredients. I kind of felt like a grinch. Then I took my shoes off, my feet were a little tired. The guy behind me said "good idea" and he took his off. I turned around and we started to talk.

His name was Mike (HI MIKE!!!) and he was down from San Francisco, came down to Disneyland nine or ten times a year. Sometimes he flew down, other times he would drive down. This time he drove down and shared the driving with his friend Josh. We talked about Disneyland and shared stories. And the discussion came around to that fiasco, Light Magic. He said that he had heard that one of the cast members, on the stage as *Goofy* fell from the top and landed on his/her back on the ground. He/she refused to let the costume head be taken off when the medics took him/her from the area on a stretcher. Somebody else behind the scenes had the presence of mind to put a bandage around the head of a replacement Goofy before he/she went back onto the stage. Just so that the kids wouldn't be worried about Goofy's health and the Disney mystique lives on. Right about then, Brian and the rest of the group showed up and took their positions. I gave my card to Mike, said check out the cathouse. He said he would. Then we waited for the show to begin.

As usual, it was a big hit. Our company sat there open mouthed during the performance. As we left, they said, now we know why you say you don't have a favorite ride here, because there are so many different things happening. Then we went over to Tomorrowland, caught a couple of rides and and around 12:15, went back to the hotel. Because of how the construction is going, the monorail schedule is strange and we didn't arrive back at the hotel until after 12:30. Brian went out and moved the vehicles to right in front of our rooms and I set the alarm clock for 5:30 am. We were fast asleep by one.

The alarm went off about ten minutes later. Oh, I'm sorry, it *was* five thirty. I dragged myself out of bed, took my shower, got dressed then started the rounds of waking the kids in our room. Then I called the neighboring room and woke up the rest of the family. Sean refused to get out of bed. What a little crab. Everybody up and dressed, we ate cold cereal to start the day. We finally made it out of the room by 6:40. We got into the park a little after 7. And the day began. Its hard to remember what was happening by now. My feet were killing me. My shins were killing me. I was very tired. I liked the rides where we got to sit down and enjoy the show. And I was looking forward to Honey, I Shrunk the Audience.

And that was some show. I really liked it. It is a 3D show and the special effects were great. At one point, one mouse was replicated 999 times and the mice got loose in the theater. No joke, you actually heard the screams work their way up the room as the mice were running. And then they got to us. I was sitting next to Sean and I was the one with my arms around him this time. I told him over and over--it isn't real, it isn't real, it isn't real..... he was glad when the show was over. The rest of us thought it was great, though. Day number two was not as rushed as day number one. Our feet were hurting and we were tired. And for some odd reason, there were more people at Disneyland than the day before. We went on a couple of rides then went back to the room around noon. Brian and I took a nap and the rest went swimming.

A couple of hours later, we were ready to take on the park again. (Yeah, right.) We caught the monorail back to the park, went on a couple of rides, checked out Bill Hill and the Hillbillies (I love that show) then went over to wait in line at Splash Mountain. It was after seven and the line was forty minutes long. We waited and we rode. Brian told everybody to smile for the camera. I duck. He poked me in the back and told me to sit up. I did and my sunglasses fell off of my head. I grabbed them before they fell, but, alas, my lovely visage didn't make it into the photo, once again. *lol*

Brian is at the top, tipping his hat and saying howdy, I'm next, looking for my glasses, then is my cousin Mick, trying to smile, my blood cousin, Mary, letting us know exactly how much fun she is really having, then little Sean (notice no little finger in the air), Mark and Ciara. We ate dinner after this, then tried to make the fireworks, but were too late. We went on Its A Small World, then back to the hotel. I had a blister on the tip of my little toe and my feet still hurt. This pain wasn't one that was walked out.

Five thirty comes awful early some mornings, have you ever noticed that? Brian tapped me on the shoulder said it was time to get up. I stumbled into the bathroom and got the shower going, as well as the coffeemaker. I thought it would be good to get over to park and have the early morning character breakfast for Sean. And Sean thought it would be good to pull the covers over his head and sleep. But this time he was in his mom and dad's room and they were able to get him up. Little cranky boy that he was being. We got over to the park, Brian and Mick waited in line for our food. Mick needed help carrying it back and called to Mark to come up to the line with them. Ciara and I were in deep conversation, about something extremely important, which I don't have any idea about right now. I looked up and saw Sean staring at his mother, who's feet and legs were in the air, and she was sitting on her butt on the ground. Laughing really hard. Seems they had gone over to see one of the characters, Timon I think, and when they came back, Sean moved her chair, she didn't realize and went down. I, of course, couldn't stop laughing, Ciara was laughing, Sean was laughing, and the best laughter came from Mary as she attempted to get up. People at other tables were trying hard to show their concern, one even saying it wasn't funny. I said, "Yes, it is". Sean reverted to his grouchy, tired self and I started to call him whineybutt, like DeeJay. Then Mick called Mark to help with the meal and he left. We told Sean that Max was part of the whineybutt police and he was going to take him if his mood didn't get better. Then the food arrived and we all began to eat.

From there we went onto the cars and over to the Matterhorn for the big kids and Mary took Sean back to Fantasyland. Then we went to Fantasyland, Mick, Mark, Brian and Ciara went onto the teacups and I watched. We split up for a while, I was to meet somebody in real life that I met online. Brian and I walked over to the Castle to wait for Fran. A little after ten, she showed up and we met up with my relatives. We talked for awhile, then we split up again, to meet up at 2:30. We took Fran (one of the smallest, tiniest people I have ever met, my fingers had no problem circling her wrist) and went over to Indiana Jones, then Brian wanted to get something to eat. We had Bengal Barbeque, sat and talked for a long time. We met back up with the relatives, who were hungry (the plan had been to get something to eat) and went over to a restaurant to eat. We watched the Hercules parade from where we were sitting. Then Fran said that she had to leave and the rest of us thought that maybe we would, too. It was a little after three and we were beat. We said goodbye to Fran outside of the park and we went to catch the tram back to the hotel.

On the way back, Mary and I stopped at the photo machines and had our pictures taken. They turned out nicely. I might even put them up.

The ride back sucked. I drove the truck. The rush hour traffic was beginning. Ciara and Mark fell asleep. I don't drive more than 20-30 miles a week. On side streets. And here I was, in the middle of LA rush hour traffic. I was beat. Those cars seemed awfully close to me on either side. The speedometer on the truck was off, it shows me going faster than I am. I hate it. I'm terrified. I can't see Brian in front of the traffic. The big trucks hide him. I want to be home. I leave loads of room between myself and the car in front of me. I don't care. If I have to stop suddenly, I want plenty of room. Then I lost complete sight of Brian, right before our turnoff. I was afraid I would miss the turnoff. I yelled. I swore. I woke Ciara and Mark up when I did. But, fortunately, we made it home in one piece.

I started writing this before seven this morning. Its now 10:21. Sean is here. I'm watching him while the adults are in Vegas. He is such a cutie and he wants to go swimming. He doesn't know how. So, I'll be out with him today. I'm very tired and my legs are killing me. But it was worth it, every minute of it.


july 17, 1998 Things are starting to get back to normal. We've had Sean here since 9:30 am Wednesday, because the adults went to Las Vegas. And either Ciara or Mark has been here, because Sean gets a little lonely without one of his siblings.

The cats are doing better. They don't like it when we are gone and they don't like company, so they haven't had much to be happy about. At least these kids don't chase the cats and make a big deal over them. Last night, Kirby came into the house for the first time since they've been here.

Wednesday evening, when I got the cats in, Benny showed great distress over one of his ears. He actually sat there crying because it bothered him so much. I don't know what happened, I was ready to take him to the vet, but Brian said to wait and see if it got better on its own, and it has. He slept in the bedroom quite a bit yesterday. It was in the 100s. The hottest day of the year, so far.

Sean says that Bobby is his favorite cat. Sean is very gentle with the cats, which is nice to see in a child so young. Lola has been sleeping with him on the couch.


july 20, 1998 Well, the relatives leave today and life will get back to normal. We had them all over yesterday for a barbeque and it was really nice. The weather co-operated, not being scorching hot, but pleasant. (Saturday we had thunder and a few sprinkles during the day, but by the time we were out of CostCo it was unbearably hot and humid - pant, pant.) What I like about these visitors is that they don't bother the cats. We got out the toss-across game and Sandy tried to eat the bean bags and Buddy had to be put up because he nipped at Ciara. She was making eye contact with him, close to his face, and he most likely took that as a challenge. Bad dog, scary situation, but Ciara was okay, no broken skin. Just a little frightening for her. After they had gone, we got the cats in and Lonee wasn't in the ranks. So, we left the catdoor open so that she could come in (and Benny can pull it open and go out, but he didn't). I think she got scared when the company showed up and wasn't able to get back to the garage, so she went into the shop. Within the hour, she was back inside.

Kirby and Red want lots of attention this morning. I had one on either side of me talking to me. I think they know that its back to life as usual here at home. Good.

Also, the runny poops seem to have almost cleared up. I don't even find soft stool. Good news for all of us.

Pepper got into the catcam chair yesterday for the first time since we had brought OC home. Lucky got in it, too. Lisa sleeps there most, now.

On our trip to the store Saturday, we got a new copier (the old one was 10 years old and finding supplies for it was getting a little harder to do) and Brian got his mom a fax/copier machine. And I batted my eyes and whined and pleaded and I got a new color printer. He said what will you do with the old one, and I said keep it hooked up. The new one is an Epson 800 and when I read the book on it, they had an insert that there was now a super microweave setting for even better resolution. I printed out the picture that Mark's friend in Ireland had sent (he added a few things to the Splash Mountain picture - one caption was something like I wish this cowboy would quit hitting me on the head) and it turned out so good. Just like a photograph. I printed it out on the special paper, too.

I have many emails to answer and so many of them are sad ones. So many cats are going to the bridge. Its not something I'm looking forward to. One of the reasons is because our cats are getting on and I know they won't be with us forever. And each mail I get saying that a kitty died reminds me that sooner or later, its going to happen to me. And I dread it. So, I'll just love them all I can right now.

Well, Boney is sitting in my bathroom right now, yowling for me to come turn on the bathtub faucet so he can get a drink. Guess I will.


july 22, 1998 Looks like Rusty got locked in the office last night. Oh, well, there is water, food and a litterbox in here, and wonderfully, he didn't do anything he shouldn't have. If he did, I haven't found it yet.

I cleaned the office a little yesterday, re-arranging equipment. Where I had the new printer is where my typewriter was and I had a bunch of invoices to send out yesterday. The typewriter was on a tv tray. I didn't care for that at all. The way I moved stuff, now there is more light coming in from the window and the room seems more open. I washed the equipment covers, even washed the cushion on the catcam chair. Boy, that was fun. I put it in the tub with laundry detergent, swished it around a bunch, then let it drain, then took it outside and put it on a reclining lawn chair and hosed it to rinse. After it dripped for an hour, I put it in the drier. I also washed all of the covers on it. At one point, yesterday, Maggie was in the chair. That was without any cushion, only a sheet on the chair for softness.

Speaking of Maggie, I can't believe how matted she is and she hates being brushed or combed. So, I have started trimming off the mats. One at a time. She has all the little bald spots on her, but the mats are so gross. All sorts of things can hide in them. Once in a while, I comb them out, but she hates that. It hurts her, no matter how gently I do it and she grabs at me. Fortunately, I'm in no big hurry to get them all out and can do a couple at a time. I should be finished in a month. *grins*

I noticed last night that the catcam was taking eleven minutes to bring up a new picture. That wasn't right, so I went to the website where I got the program and read the instructions. I did the *debugging* per instructions and found that about ten pictures were lost and the system wasn't changing the names of the ones in the directory, because it couldn't find some. So, I downloaded some of the close pics and renamed them with the missing names and it started working better. Then I did a little exploring on the site and found out how to lower the JPEG resolution so the pictures don't use as much space and don't take as long to ftp and don't take as long to load for the view. YAY!! I am going to expand the page with the times on it today. Maybe go to eight hours instead of four hours since the webcam pictures are a third of what they were.


july 23, 1998 Brian said he saw OC Tuesday. And Sabrina (the daughter of the woman who was feeding him) said she saw him the other day, crossing the street. She yelled to him and he ran. Oh, boy. This might be kind of hard. Right now, I'm leaning toward trying to catch him when the sun goes down a little earlier.

The cats are boycotting the catcam chair this morning. Brats. Yesterday, I tried to up the saved images to 160, so I could post the last eight hours worth. Well, darnit, pictures kept dropping out. I contacted the maker of the program I use and he was flabbergasted that I was doing that. Said not to, that it was putting too big of a drain on the server. *sigh* So, back to a four hour max save. But the pictures are now uploading every three minutes.

I did something to my shoulder last night and it hurts to type. This is not good. Good thing we just stocked up on Exedrin. Ouch. It hurtsithurtsithurts (whining here).

The heat has broken. It only got up to 85 yesterday. I slept like a rock last night. Didn't get up until Benny started crying, while sitting in Brian's bathroom sink. He does that before he makes the leap onto the screen. I got out of bed, shut the bathroom window, and on the way back to bed, kicked the five gallon water bottle that Brian has begun putting his change in. Not having much in it, it moved quite easily, made a lot of noise and the cats scattered. Out of the bedroom. I crawled back into bed and guess what? I got to sleep past 6:00!!! Yay!!!


july 25, 1998 Something wonderful happened this morning!! I picked Lonee up. I try this every once in a while. In the mornings, when I let the cats out, since the diarrhea has passed, I am once again giving them a little junk food. Lonee, who sleeps in the rafters, comes running down when she hears me, over to where I am opening the door and setting up the gate. She stands on the counter next to me, purring and meowing at me. I pet her, scratch her behind her ears, nuzzle her face with mine, then (not every time), I make my move and try to hold her. Well, she usually squirms a lot and I let her go. This morning she only squirmed a little, then started purring really loudly. She put her head into my neck and let me scratch her head and her back. She looked outside at the pigeon on the roof next door, still purring. I didn't push my luck, I put her down after a couple of minutes of this. But what a breakthrough!!! Its only been two years this month since we got her. YAY!! What a way to start the day.

Yesterday, at 3:23 am, a loud yowling woke me up. For some reason, Bobby went into the hallway. He had to climb over a barrier to get there. It isn't a big barrier, just a piece of fencing lumber laid on its side. Anyway, I got out of bed, took him back into the tv room, laid down on the couch and snuggled with him for about a half hour and he hopped back to his perch on the condo at the end of the couch.

Pepper still won't lay in the catcam chair. I don't understand this. Lucky is in it right now.

I haven't seen OC in weeks. I guess he's still laying low after his last encounter with me. There was a dead branch knocked off of one of the pine trees yesterday morning, and I wishful think to myself, it would be nice if OC did that trying to get back in. Of course, I know he didn't.

Thursday night, Brian came into the house from the back yard and he said "that white kitten is soooo cute". He mentioned the blue, blue eyes. I asked if he talked to them and he said, sheepishly, looking down, "yes" and I asked what he said. "Don't be afraid of me, I won't hurt you."


july 26, 1998

<Rant>We had to go petfood shopping yesterday and when we got to the store, there were babies in need of homes in cages in front of the store. There must have been a dozen puppies, a dozen bunnies and two dozen kittens. Of course, I couldn't just walk by without looking, I can't just ignore them. And one of the kittens came running up to the front of the cage, crying, saying "take me, take me" and trying to grab me. It was one of the saddest things I have encountered in quite a while. Why, why, why don't people spay and neuter their pets? I just can't understand it. Do they not have compassion? Are they that uncaring that they can let puppies and kittens and bunnies be born into a world where they aren't already wanted? Are they just lazy? Irresponsible? Stupid? Just too damn cheap to get the pet fixed? Just let little Rovers or Muffins be born and dump them off on organizations that are already innundated with too many pets to find homes for? There's no excuse for this, none at all. Especially now that there is early spay/neuter for kittens, it can be done as early as eight or nine weeks of age now.
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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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