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march 2, 1999 Let's see, it's March, Ciara is still in heat, it's a pretty day outside, I feel pretty good. I got the house cleaned yesterday, did a bunch of laundry and that's good. Things are pretty slow.

Okay, Brian hates our bank (Union Bank of California). He's hated it for a while now. Been talking about going to another local bank. Well, the final straw was the ten dollar fee for the wire transfer of funds on the Phoenix job. He told me not to order any more checks. Okay, I won't. So this morning, he said "I need an $85 for so and so". I went to write one, had to change out the February journal for March. Oops. No more checks. So, I had to write a personal check. Oh, well. I'll get some more at our bank and that should tide us over for a little while, until we get checks from the new bank. We're going over there this afternoon to set up the accounts.

I added a couple of java postcards this morning and found out that now I can do the code myself, I won't have to depend on the card provider. That's real good news. Now, all I have to do is get ambitious. (Yeah, right.) Haven't seen Angus in a couple of nights. Blackie was here bright and early this morning. I took out a can of Fancy Feast and said hello. I squatted to dish up the food and he walked between my legs. I like this cat. And OC showed up after I went into the house. He must have been in one of the trees out front. He likes trees. Blue was over last night, really hungry. I can't believe how long she was out there chowing down. When I've been feeding the outback cats, I noticed that the dog hasn't been around. I wonder if they got rid of it.


march 4, 1999 Well, the dog still lives behind us. They didn't get rid of it. Most likely just started letting her back in the house, where she spent most of her childhood. They did quite a bit of yard work, even trimmed back one of the trees. They do yard work once or twice a year and that's it. Amazing.

Today is a cloudy day. I was kind of surprised. There is also a small amount of drizzle. The cats are in and the dogs are in the doghouses. It's a little on the cool side.

I did a little surfing this morning. I went to the page of my camera manufacturer and noticed that there were software upgrades available for downloading. So I did, and when I tried to install, kept coming up with a file not found message for invi32.dll. I called the company (not a toll free number, of course), spend over a half hour on the phone only to find out that the version I had was the most current version available. *sigh*

And, for some reason, my system wasn't remembering my password for the network dialup. So, I went over to the microsoft site, tried to find anything on it and ended up posting on a MS newsgroup. And this morning, my question was answered. And I fixed it. Cool.

Yesterday, I went to the bank to get some temporary checks (they only gave me ten). I also ordered some computer checks from the quick books site. They should be in next Wednesday. I mentioned to the teller that I hated driving to the bank, because it is so out of the way. She mentioned "confidentially" that the bank will be moving to a more accessable location later this year. Okay. I also mentioned that my husband wanted to cancel all of our accounts with the bank. She also mentioned "confidentially" that if we told this to a bank manager, then most likely all bank charges would be waived, because they don't want to lose commercial customers. When Brian came home yesterday afternoon, ready to go open the new accounts, I told him what I was told. We're going to hold off until I can see exactly what kind of concessions the bank will make.

I cooked some halibut steaks in my new crockpot last night. I'm not a fish eater and they were okay. I'm giving the leftovers to the cats. Brian didn't care for it because the fish had bones. Nothing I could help. Oh, well.

Kirby is doing much better. He sprayed the wood below the tv last night and both of us just watched him. After he walked off, I got up and checked. A nice strong flow. And no crying. Guess it's time to start getting him to go where he's supposed to go, now that we know he's going.

Growling woke us up this morning. Brian finally got out of bed to stop it. Came back cussing. Some kitty had knocked all of the stuffed animals down, two were laying in the hallway, and peed on them. I asked if he cleaned it up. "No." I got out of bed, investigated, picked up the animals, put them where they belonged and cleaned up the mess. I didn't go back to bed. It was just a little after five. I'm getting tired.


march 6, 1999 Oh, my, so much has happened and I haven't even left the house. Both Brian and I had bad days, Thursday.

Brian called on his truck. He was originally told it would take two weeks, most likely on five days to fix. Thursday was business day nine that it was in the shop. He called to talk to his mechanic and guess what? The mechanic wasn't in. Wouldn't be in for two days. Oh, lovely. And the new motor wasn't in for his truck, so that means at least another week downtime. He was not a happy camper. He's supposed to be going to Phoenix on Sunday (to hopefully finish up the job) and he's going to have to take his personal truck and pull the trailer. Not exactly what he wants to do. That's why he has a work truck.

So, yesterday, I'm sitting here at my desk, looking out the window often, checking on Ciara (she got out of the yard again, more later), when the phone rings.
"Hi, honey. What are you doing?"
It was Brian and he sounded strange. I couldn't figure out good or bad.
"What do you want?" I say. Because when he's sweet on the phone, he wants a favor.
"Nothing. I found out something very interesting today."
"What? What?" I ask, impatiently.
"Well, you know the new motor that Ford put into my truck last May?"
"It was the wrong one."
"Yep, that's why my truck has never worked right."
Great. His truck has had probably a month's worth of down time being worked on by the Ford dealership that installed the wrong motor. It took taking it to another Ford dealership to find out exactly why he kept having problems with it. I hope there's something that can be done about this. I think that El Cajon Ford owes him a BIG apology, maybe even a little monetary remuneration. What gets me is they kept treating Brian like he was an idiot or a whiner because the truck wasn't running the way it should have and he kept taking it back. Grrr.......

Now, about my Thursday. I started entering the personal checks that I had used to pay for the business on my software. I couldn't figure out what one of the checks was for, so I called teleservices. They give you your balance first thing. Now, keep in mind, I had transferred $7,800 from the business to our personal to cover any checks I would have to write for the company until our new checks came in. The computer said "Balance is seventy one cents". Oh, no, this couldn't be right. Hey, I just deposited $7,800 the day before. At the bank. With a teller. With a temporary check that the teller made for me. You know, where they put in the account number? I hung up, took a few deep breaths. I called and punched in the number zero, to talk to a real live person. A man came on the line and he looked at the account. Yes, the deposit had been made, but then there was an eight thousand dollar correction. (Eight thousand was the amount of the temporary check I wrote, getting back some cash for hubby.) No checks bounced and there was a two dollar charge for something. He said, you had better call your bank and talk to a manager. Now, I was pretty damn close to hyperventilating. I hung up, sat back and took a few deep breaths. I rub my face in my hands. This is no good, no good at all.

I pick up the phone, call my bank. Ask for a manager. I have my deposit slips in front of me. She's at lunch, can she call me back. Yes. I explain that I am extremely upset. I call my mom, tell her what's happened. She gets excited with me. I told her I couldn't talk long, that I was waiting for a call back. Within ten minutes, the phone rings. It's the bank manager. I explain what's happened, trying not to talk too fast like I have a tendency to do when I'm excited. She looked at my accounts. Said that the $8000.00 check was written on a non-existant account. How could that be? I asked, your teller made the check up for me yesterday afternoon. I pull out the checks. I compare the numbers with our account number. They are wrong. Oh, God. She asked who the teller was. I described her. I faxed her a copy of one of the temp checks and she said she would have to call me back. When I hung up, I ran out to the mailbox and got the payments I had made with the bad checks. I made out personal checks in their place. The phone rings, it's the bank manager. The two dollar charge was because they pulled funds out of our check guarantee to cover the checks. They had deducted over $400. I'm disgusted. I'm ready to quit this bank, this minute. I tell her as much. "How can I make this right?" she asks. I say move your bank so I can get to it more easily. She kind of laughs at that. I tell her to not charge us anymore service charges. "Well, you will have to ask each time you want the charges waived." Like when we have documents notarized and the wire transfer charge. Just ask and they'll go away. Then she goes down the list of things she has to do for us. Get the money where it belongs, waive the charges, put the money back into our check okay fund, take the money out of the company, put the money back into our personal account. And I destroyed the temporary checks. Now that the money is where it belongs, I'm doing a little better. And the new company checks should be here Monday. And this bank is on thin ice as far as I'm concerned. Brian was ready to go set up another account elsewhere, but I said to just hold off for now.

Okay, about Ciara. Yesterday morning, I was in the kitchen cutting meat for dinner. Crockpot, pepper steak. It was yummy. While I was cutting, Mickey was looking out the dining room bay window and he got my curiousity up. I went over to see what he was looking at. Oh, my, there's Ciara walking up on the fence. On the *other* side of the barrier. And it's at least a fifteen foot drop from there. Spit. I put the sliced meat in the frig (I know my cats) and ran outside. She wouldn't come to me. I ran back into the house, grabbed the wand with feathers on it, back outside. *That* she responded to. She chased the feathers and I got her close enough to me to grab. Now, Brian's gonna have to put up more fencing. I kept the cats in for most of the afternoon, but decided to let them out and watch Ciara, to see how she was getting out. She didn't try again, but I'm pretty sure I know how she did it (it was hard) from all of the little strands of her fur. Even though she hasn't tried again, I check on her about every ten to fifteen minutes. And if I leave the house, I bring her in and lock the cat door. I'll be glad when she's fixed and bigger. And she's still breathing through her mouth.

Buddy has been so playful lately. Like he's a new dog. I wonder what the deal is. I like it. And he's actually initiating play with Junior.

Red has been spending more time outside, too. And, all of a sudden, is becoming more sociable. Like his fear of us is leaving more quickly than ever. It's great. Same for Lonee.

It's supposed to rain today and tomorrow. And standing outside, I can actually feel it getting cooler. I wonder if we'll get much precipitation.


march 8, 1999 I caught Ciara trying to get over to the top of the fence this morning. The same fence she was on Friday. Ha. She was stopped cold. Brian attached more fencing Friday when he got home from work. She's breathing through her mouth again. I wish she was showing some signs of getting better.

Well, the local NBC affiliate denied our waiver. They said we can get a grade B signal via rooftop antenna. The way they figure is the antenna is supposed to stick up twenty feet on the top of our roof. Ain't gonna happen. And it really irritates me that this local affiliate has the power to dictate what comes into my home. There's some law about licensing copyrights that protects network affiliates. I think it's a stupid law. And they tried to say that by giving us a waiver, they were breaking the law. Now, come on. Let's get real here. What's the federal government gonna do? Arrest them because they let us watch a different affiliate? Charge them with a crime? What a crock of spit. I did a little research on the internet regarding this and it looks like millions of satellite viewers will be losing network access via satellite. Because they can get a "passable signal" via a rooftop antenna, twenty feet up into the air, 90% of the time. Well, I'm not happy about it. If the technology is there and I want to pay for it, I should be able to use it. This is a nationwide problem, though, not just local. Do me a favor? Go to Tv Access Now and write a letter to your Washington Representatives. I did Saturday and today I'm snail mailing both the local affiliate and my reps. I'm sending them the copy of the letter I'm sending to the affiliate. Boy, this really stinks.

Brian is back in Phoenix. He's hoping that this is his last time. He has a feeling that the owner isn't happy with his last billing. And the job isn't finished. So, he may come home earlier than planned. He said if the owner won't pay him, they'll be leaving for home today. If they don't leave today, then the portion of the job he was originally contracted to do will be finished this week. The other stuff was over and above and will be very time consuming. Brian said it won't get done this year.

I'm going to try to catch Cleo today. I have to put out the trap. I hope I'm successful. I'm just sick about it. I hate trapping. I just went into the garage to get the trap and took it out front. Cleo was there. Oh, boy. So, I set it up. Cross your fingers.

So, the trap is out. I see Cleo sniffing it. I call the vet to warn them I might be bringing her in. I have to take a shower, so I start looking for Ciara. No way will I leave her outside if I can't watch her. Oh, man, there she was on the fence between the beagle yard and ours. I'm in my bathrobe since I had planned on jumping into the shower. I quickly dressed in old sweats that I left on the floor yesterday, pew, somebody peed on them, oh, well, can't stop now. I threw on a sweatshirt, ran out the front door, chasing Cleo, who was now eating the dry food, ignoring the trap, and we both went out the front gate. I ran up to the neighbor's, quietly opened the side gate, quiet, quiet, don't let the dogs know I'm here, hopefully they are sleeping in the house, I walk down by the fence, looking along the top for my Ciara. Don't see her, oh, there she is, behind the cypress. I walk up to her, she hasn't seen me yet, so intent is she on what she is doing. I snag her, grab her by her scruff and hold her to me. I leave the yard, making sure the gate is latched. I walk her home, holding her close to me, telling her what a naughty girl she is. She doesn't try to get lose or squirm out of my grip. We walk into the house, I set her down, and go into the garage to lock the cat door. I went back outside, grabbed the dry food, bring it in, put it in the exercise room away from our other cats. Now, Cleo, get into that trap and Ciara, stay in our yard. After my shower, I'll let her out and follow her around to see where the little stinker got out this time. *sigh* I have a headache.


march 10, 1999 Remember that headache? Well, if finally went away, but this morning, I woke up with his brother. I'm coughing, too. I took some Exedrin, which usually helps.

Yesterday wasn't a very good day. I let the cats out at six am, did some other morning stuff, then looked out the backdoor fifteen minutes later. Panic set in. Ciara was on the roof of the people next door's garage. I start calling her, she ignores me. She's running back and forth, I can tell she's scared. I ran into the house, got the wand with the red feathers, take it back by the pool and start running it along the top of the fence. Since the barrier here is folded over, not reaching up into the air, I can grab her if I can get her to jump onto the top board. She sees the feathers, wants to get them, she loves this game, but is cautious about the jump. It's only about three feet, I know she can do it. And she does. I grab her by her scruff and hold her to me. We walk into the house, I'm telling her what a little spit she is and that she isn't my favorite kitty right now. I shut all of the doors, re-lock the catdoor. I called my mom, over an hour early. There's no one here to talk to and I really needed to talk to someone. She commiserates with me. I hang up, feeling a little better. I'm stumped as to how she got over there. I think about it a while, check out the fence, can't see a darn thing. So, I let Ciara out. She made a beeline for the doghouse. She jumped onto the backside fence of the dogrun, and started climbing the wire. I took her back inside. I knew now that this is where she was doing it. But how was she doing it? The stuff Brian put up last weekend is up into the air a good three feet. I go over to the fence, look up. What's this? Strands of the little spit's fur caught on the wire at the top? Oh, man. She's climbing this fence and going over it. I'm near tears of frustration. If. If she had an ordinary URI. If she wasn't in heat. If she wasn't so small. If she wasn't so fearless. If, if, if...... I went inside the house and did a couple more things around the house, opening the doors for the cats as they wanted out. I realize that we can't let Ciara out unless someone is with her. And they have to be *watching* her.

I started reading, laying on the couch. It's a little after 11:30 and I nod off. A catfight somewhere in the house woke me up. And it came to me. Open the gate!!!! Open the back dog run gate. The one that she's walking on to get over to the fence. If I remove the bridge, she won't be able to get to the other side. It's worth a try, anyway. So, I go outside and check it out. The latch won't budge. I got a can of WD40 and liberally spray it. Still no luck. Then I try pulling the gate towards me as I work the latch. Success!!! Now, I had to get rid of the fencing on top of the gate. I closely look at how Brian has it attached and I'll need the wire cutters to undo it. I get them, then start snipping. It came off without a problem and I opened the gate wide. Yes!! If she can't get up that fence from the doghouse, she won't be able to get to it from here. I'm quite pleased with my work and I start putting the tools away. Just then, Kirby investigates the open gate. He walks on it. He stands at the edge, looking at the top of the fence. Oh, spit. I realize that they will be able to jump from the edge of the open gate to the fence if they go at an angle. And Kirby has that ability. He's great at jumping long distances. Spit, spit, spit, spit. I just can't win, it seems. I just want Ciara to get well, so she can get fixed. Then I know this won't happen anymore, but that hormonal call is just too strong for her. A pox on the people that let her get into this mess. I don't know anything about these viruses (or would it be viri?). Was she born with it? Were the owner's of her mother irresponsible, by letting an infected queen become pregnant? Did they even realize they had a sick cat, if she did indeed get it from her mother? Or did she catch it after she had been dumped? Questions that will never be answered. I feel the need to force feed Ciara all the food in the house. Just so that she will be too heavy for fence climbing. Or put weights on her ankles, better yet, little pawcuffs that prevent her from jumping. *sigh*

After seeing Kirby, I knew that my work wasn't finished, but that I wouldn't be able to do it by myself. I looked in the shop, saw that there was plenty of fencing left. I called my mom, asked her if she could come over and help me. She said sure, she'd be right over. I rolled out the fencing, not sure how much I needed. I walked over to the area where I was planning to add it and stepped it out. Then I stepped out the same amount of the fencing and cut it. I carried it over to where I was going to use it. Just then, my mom shows up. We went into the yard and I explained what we needed to do. It took about twenty minutes and we had it finished. There was now another panel of fencing, sticking up into the air. Mom mentioned that maybe Ciara was an omen that we had enough cats. She said that we had never had problems with any of the other cats like this. I think we got Ciara because we will take care of her the way she's meant to be taken care of. That we have the time, patience and money to do so. In her own way, she's a special needs kitty.

This morning, when I let the cats out, I watched them very carefully. Ciara seems to think she's gonna jump over to that fence. So, not trusting her, I'm still not going to let her out without supervision. For the time being, the cats are going to have to get use to not having a cat door to go out. They'll have to wait at the door until we let them out. I just don't trust Ciara to stay in our yard and I'm afraid she'll get hurt trying to escape. I gave her a little Rescue Remedy this morning. Maybe it will help calm her down.

I set up the trap yesterday morning for Cleo. I figure I'll leave it set until noon. Cleo usually comes by in the morning. Yesterday, I didn't see her until two in the afternoon. The people in the house that she has to walk by were outside, so that probably held her back. The trap's set right now. I hope she comes by this morning and we can get this over and done with. She will be back out the next day.

Blackie waits patiently every morning now. Lays down by the gate on the mat. Always says hello when the front door opens and rubs me and gives me headbutts. I noticed that he smells. Another good cat that had bad owners. Why do people get cats, or any animal for that matter, if they don't want them? Puppies and kittens are nothing like that battery operated car. They are alive and need nurturing. You don't just dump them outside when you get tired of them. They aren't disposable. I think many, many people could really use some attitude adjusting.

Well, I thought that Brian might be coming home today or tomorrow, but the electrician at the Phoenix job told the owner that some wiring couldn't be done. The owner asked Brian about it and Brian said that it could. So, instead of doing *his* job yesterday, he and Mark did the electrician's job. Of course, the owner knows that Brian's going to charge him for it. Brian did talk to the owner and the owner knows that for any additional work, Brian won't be back until summer is over. Brian says it's just too hot to work. The owner said it was nice outside. Brian said, sure, in the shade, but you try working in the sun, on the roof. It isn't so nice. Brian told the owner that he could save a lot of money by having someone local do the rest of the work, like the shelves, but the owner likes Brian's work and said that if they decided to do it, he wanted Brian to do it.

The new company checks showed up yesterday, so I guess I'll pay bills today. I also got a bunch of stuff from our bank, where the bank manager had made all of the corrections to our accounts, even giving us a credit for the wire transfer. Yay. I found a mistake, though. She only deducted $7,800.00 from the company account and it should have been $8,000.00. Since it wasn't written down anywhere, she didn't remember the two hundred dollars cash back I got. I called to tell her, but she's off for a couple of days. I'll call again tomorrow.

I gave the cats a little bit of that leftover fish yesterday. Last night, Lisa had the runs. So, no more fish. When I said something to Brian last week about the fish, I told him that I made it for him. He said "I don't like fish". I said "well, I don't either. Why did you let me buy it?" Guess we're a tuna fish family. It's hard to cook healthy if no one is gonna eat it.


march 12, 1999 Well, it's week two of the interferon for Ciara. She already received her daily dose. Wednesday night, when Brian called, I told him that I wanted to put the fencing up along the gate and the doghouse, so that it would be extremely difficult to jump over to the fencing on the wood fence. Just until Ciara is fixed and gains weight. He thought it was a good idea, so that's what I did yesterday morning. About a half hour after I finished, it started to rain. So, I didn't have much of a chance to see how the cats reacted to it. Ciara did look it over and went back down to the back fence. I let her out for a little bit this morning, but I still won't let her out for long periods unsupervised. I just don't trust her.

Cleo never showed up at all yesterday. And Blackie wasn't here this morning. This makes me nervous. I hope somebody else isn't trapping them and getting rid of them. I would hate that. I put Advantage on Blackie yesterday and he even let me pick him up. He was here last night. And it's cold outside so maybe he's sleeping someplace warm. I sure hope so.

The other day, I was talking to my neighbor and Ciara started chasing Junior. It was so cute. Then she just laid flat on the ground and he kept barking at her to play again. I did find out that escaping isn't the only thing she has in common with Benny. She also likes to sniff and roll around in the underwear I have taken off and dropped on the floor before I step in the shower. I wonder why they do that? Yesterday, I had to get out of the shower and take them off of her. Sigh.

All in all, it's been slow the last couple of days. Not much to write about.

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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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