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Thursday, October 14, 1999 Boy, I'm tired this morning. Yesterday, I washed the sliding glass doors, outside on both of them, I only got to the inside of the living room door. I still have to do the office door, but to do that one, I have to move a file cabinet. Not a big one, but a hassle. And I have to vacuum the floor, because there's a litterbox against the window. I'll probably do that today. Right now, I'm washing the sofa covers. Last night, I brought the ladder in from the garage and washed the ceiling fans in the tv room and the kitchen. My plan for today is to get the floors washed, the couch covers all put back on and get all of the litter boxes cleaned. Also, to finish the rest of the laundry. Then, tomorrow, I'll vacuum and dust and pack tomorrow night. Hopefully, I'll be able to lay in the sun for a little bit.

We went to Costco last night. I was doing laundry and realized that I was out of fabric softener. We got some snacks for the petsitter and more catfood for the outside cats. We also got a case of Fancy Feast. I gave little Jackie Blackieson his amoxi yesterday and he gave me a matching scratch on my left arm (it matches the one from Tuesday that he gave me at the vet's office). Knowing that he *has* to have his medicine and knowing that I don't want to get scratched, I tried putting last night's amoxi dose in a little bit of Fancy Feast, mixed it up really good. He ate it. Oh, yay!! This is good news. It's going to make it so much easier. This morning, I rubbed him (he wouldn't let me near him yesterday, after his first dose of amoxi) and I noticed that he actually has a tummy. Before his worming, he was always slim, no little tummy bulge like you expect of young cats. He's still pissed at me for the medicine. I wonder how long it's going to take for him to get over it. I tried explaining to him that it was for his own good, to make him feel better and to be healthier. And if he felt better, he could play more. Now, I have to work on winning back his trust. We were almost to the point that I could pet him just about anytime I went up to him.

Brian was talking to his little friend Chucky yesterday and he mentioned the kitten. Chuck said that he's seen the kitten running up the road. This bothered Brian, that the kitten goes so far and is so little. And there's still no sign of a mama cat. He comes over with the other cats and where they first hissed at him, they don't seem to mind him much now. I was thinking that he was spending time under the car during the day. We rarely drive the car and it would be a logical place to make a home. It's quiet and dark (there's a car cover on it) and there is close access to food and water. I think the thing that really bugs hubby is that the kitten is so little. If the kitten were a little bigger, he wouldn't worry so. And if the kitten had an obvious mother, he wouldn't worry so. But I can tell, he's worried about the kitten. I mean, he did say to catch the kitten, but that would be our limit. I never asked if we could have another. I'm still trying to make friends with Jackie, for heaven's sake.

We got home right after sunset from our shopping trip. Put the groceries away and get our cats in and feed them. I come back and get frustrated because stuff isn't working correctly on my internet connection and I go out to see if our cats were done eating enough so that I could feed the outfront cats. I talked to the outfront cats, taking a headcount. I saw all of them. Finally, our cats have done eating and I get dinner ready for our outfront furlines. They started to eat. I'm watching them, talking to kitten. Brian says "are you going to get him tonight?" Tonight? I was planning on waiting until next week, but obviously Brian is nervous about the kitten. I get the stick that use to have a wonderful bunch of feathers on the end, only now there's just a bunch of fuzz at the end. I sit on the floor, resident kitties hanging around. I drag it under the door, thankful that Brian hasn't yet taken care of that gap between the door bottom and the sill. Big Opie comes running. Spit, I wasn't trying for him, but I play with him anyway. Here comes kitten, slowly walking up, watching the fuzzstick. He's to my left, where the door hinges. It won't work with him over there, I need him on my right. I play with both kitties for a couple of more minutes. I held my hand to the screen and Big Opie sniffed my fingers, not the reaction I would expect from a feral. They sniff, then run. He stayed. We played. I thought that I needed something to sidetrack Big Opie from our game. I got some treats that my mom had given me a couple of months ago. I pushed the treats under the door. Oh, look, thinks Big Opie. Something yummy. I tried to get one over to Kitten. Kitten found his treat and ate, purring the entire time. I play with the stick some more, Kitten ends up to my left. Good. I open the door. I have my leg blocking the access to the open door from the cats surrounding me. Mickey climbs up on my back. "Mickey, get down." I say. Ciara is trying to climb over my knee. "You guys aren't making this any easier," I tell her. "Ciara, NO!" I have Kitten playing, chasing the stick. I put my fingers out. He sniffs, turns and runs. I play with Big Opie. Kitten sneaks back up. Still on the left. Hmmm....what to do, what to do. I get up and go into the garage, grab the catnip out of the freezer. Sprinkle a little on the mat in front of the door. Big Opie rolls around in it, rubbing his face on the mat. Kitten ran off when I opened the door. The cathouse cats are circling me, "me mom, me mom, I want some of that stuff, pleeezzzz....me mom, me mom!!!" Brian, supervising from his spot on the sofa, said "the cats want what you have in that bag." *sigh* I get up, feeling like the pied piper of hamlin, cats following. I sprinkle catnip on the floor. I put the small remaining amount of homegrown catnip in the freezer. Back to my spot in front of the door. The cats outside scatter. I sit and start playing again. Big Opie was still here. I open the door, get Kitten's attention. He runs up and starts playing again. I put my hand out. He sniffs, runs again, but not so far. He comes back up. I try to get the fuzzstick so that he's facing away from me. He's not falling for it. Big Opie is also catching the stick. I put my hand out and let Big Opie sniff. I tentatively put a finger on his head, between his ears. I gave him a little scratch. He bows his head. "More." I scratch him more. Kitten starts to purr. I'm surprised by this turn of events. Big Opie? Tame? Hm... I tell him I bet he would make a great barn cat. I wish we had a barn. I hope he's still around when we do.

I turn my attention back to Kitten. I try hiding the fuzzstick under the bark. Kitten gives chase. I position the fuzzstick to behind the fountain, within my reach. Kitten goes for it. I reach out. I touch Kitten lightly on his back. I grab Kitten. I have Kitten in my hands. I have Kitten in the house. Kitten has been caught. It's ten pm.

I took Kitten into the tv room, said look what I got. So far, Kitten hasn't fought or struggled. Now, he starts. I put him down. He runs. Mickey, curious, follows. Kitten runs into the kitchen, into the laundry room. Behind the laundry baskets. Behind the washer. I let him be. I walked out into the other room and Brian is on the floor, sitting, in front of the door. He's playing with Big Opie, talking gently to him. God, how I love this man.

We decide that it's late, and for the other outfront cats, it would be considerate to shut the door and let them eat. They weren't too gung ho while the door was opened and I was sitting there. He lays down on the couch, I check on Kitten. I figure I'll wash the fans now, since I know I won't be going to bed. Kitten started walking around the house, sniffing here and there. He headbutted and rubs up against the other cats, letting them sniff his butt if they want to. He's not defensive at all. He's only not happy with a human nearby. The only time I heard him cry during the night (I slept, not well, on the couch), I smelled poop soon after. He had been looking for a place to potty. He found one, in front of the fireplace. I cleaned it up. It looks like he'll do okay. The other cats aren't bothering him at all. This morning, he's resting on one of the dining room chairs. He runs when he sees me, but I'm not going to push it. Like the other cats, I'll let him take it at his own pace. But I think he'll come around a little sooner, due to his youth.

I'm cooking up some chicken breasts for the cats. I figure that this will make it easier for the sitter to befriend them. They are suckers for chicken.

I put some mite killer in Kirby's ears this morning. I sure hope this helps him out. I need to buy more Advantage and I need to get Kitten to the vet. I wonder if Kitten is a boy or a girl.

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Saturday, October 16, 1999 Well, I guess there was a pretty big earthquake out in the desert early this morning. I was so tired that I slept right through it. You can find information on California quakes at http://quake.wr.usgs.gov/recenteqs/. They give up to the date information on quakes as they happen.

The cats were acting strangely last night, all wound up, hissing and spitting with each other. Ciara went after Jackie, I mean went after him. Brian stopped her and I gave her some Rescue Remedy and she laid down in my lap and went to sleep. Bart, Maggie and Lonee really wanted to go outside. It was after ten thirty and they were crying at the door. Like I said, acting really odd. It would almost seem as if they knew something was going on in the earth. I think I've explained before that we're on a granite base, so we won't get shaken too much, shouldn't get too much damage in the event of a big one. I understand it's the shaking that causes the damage. The earth ripples like a stone thrown in a calm pond. Almost inconceivable for me to imagine.

Well, I think we have a little boy. We had decided if we had a boy, that we would name him Peter, a girl, Tinkerbelle. I was able to grab him yesterday and I looked at his genital area. I couldn't tell. So, I ran my finger along him. He had a little bump. I wonder, do females have little bumps? I got Ciara, felt her. No bump. So, for the time being, we're calling him Peter. Yesterday, I couldn't find him for a couple of hours, he wasn't anywhere I thought he would be. I ended up shaking the chicken bag and he finally came out from his hiding spot. He in the garage, behind some built out wood, against the wall. I held him and boy, can this little guy purr. I scratched his back, gave him a piece of chicken and off he ran. This morning I enticed him with chicken once again, held him, the set him on the floor with the chicken. He started eating the chicken and I kept petting him. He purred the entire time. Then he ran off. He's so cute.

Jackie isn't any happier about the situation.

My youngest cousin from Ireland just called to wish me a happy birthday. What a cutie.

Lonee has been staying in the shop during the day and when it's time for kitties in, she's nowhere to be found. I let the cats out this morning and ran out there and shut the shop door. Now, when we get the cats in before we leave, we won't have to worry about her.

Well, I'm sure there's more I could write, but I've only got two hours to shower, shave, clean the shower, change the sheets, curl my hair, put on makeup and pack. So, I'd best get moving.

See you all Monday or Tuesday. Have a great weekend and don't fight over baseball.

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Tuesday, October 19, 1999 Well, we got back yesterday a little before noon. We had a great time and the cats are all doing fine. I guess somebody was able to push the door guard on the screen to the backyard and push out part of the screen (it's really old) yesterday morning. A couple of cats escaped to the backyard, but Jennifer was able to get all but Bart back in. The cats were kind of nervous at first when we got home, but are back to normal this morning. They missed us.

I'm slowly catching up on the work around here, doing loads of laundry (I changed the sheets again last night, I still hadn't washed the ones that I changed for Jennifer's stay), and cleaning cat pee off of the windows. Doing a little litterbox cleanup, too. It looks as if Peter is using the box now. That's good.

We got a late start Saturday. We had planned on being out of here by ten, hopefully earlier. We didn't leave until eleven. The drive up was uneventful and we pulled into the Pacific parking lot, Brian clipped on his pager and the cellphone, then we caught the tram over to Disneyland. We paid for the season passes then went inside to get our passes. There was a line. I've never seen a line that long for season passes. We got our pictures taken (they made Brian take off his hat, which didn't exactly thrill him) and went back to the hotel to check in. Then we unloaded the car. Before too long, Brian's pager went off. Fran, AJ and CM were on their way from the airport. We finished with our unpacking and went down into the lobby to wait for them. Brian thought that maybe they had gone directly to the parking structure, so he went that way and I went out the front door. I saw them first. AJ and CM were wearing masks, made with the meacat image I had done earlier, just for fun. They also were wearing cat tails. I can just imagine them walking at the airport like that. Crazy cat people.

We got them checked in and we went up to their room. They settled in and I went back down to ours. They said they would be right down, which they weren't. I called, they put a fire under it and were down shortly. Then we went to the park.

There was a line for tickets and we waited patiently. We then went into the park. The first ride we went on was Space Mountain. We've never had a bad Disneyland day when that was our first ride. We went on quite a few rides and closed the park, something Brian and I don't often do. After we got back to the hotel, we all walked Fran to her car. We told her to page us when she was on her way back to the park so that we could meet her and get her ticket (that $29 deal was too good to pass up). We watched as she pulled out and went the wrong way (up the parking structure), waited for her to come back down (she didn't see us still watching) and we watched her leave the structure and AJ was chanting "Go left, go left, go left" and when Fran went left we all cheered. We got back to our rooms after midnight. We got to sleep after one. Fortunately, the park didn't open real early Sunday and there was no Magic Morning. Fran was to page us when she was on her way back. CM, AJ, Brian and I almost opened the park, but not quite. We were in before ten, it would have been sooner, but we had to put on our sparkles and adjust our pinwheel headbands. It was actually good not to be there right at opening, because the better rides had already been ridden by the larger groups. We walked right onto Space Mountain. Then we went on the Orbitron, finishing out the rides in Tomorrowland. Then we had breakfast. During breakfast, Brian's pager went off. Fran was on her way. Brian and I went back to the hotel and waited for her. Once she arrived, we went to the room where she put on sparkles and chose a headband. Then we got on the tram and back to Disneyland where we had to wait in line again (I can't believe how many people were there) to buy Frannie's entrance ticket. Then we were back on track.

We hit Fantasyland and went to the teacups. AJ sat this one out. Fran and I rode in one cup and Brian and CM rode in the only yellow one. Boy, was that one moving. Fran and I could barely get ours to turn so we sat there like a couple of old ladies on a Sunday drive. We went on a couple of other rides and had lunch at the Golden Horseshoe and watched one of my favorite shows, Billy Hill and the Hillbillies. They put on such a great shoe. We wuz a rompin an a stompin. We kind of took it easy after that and went on a couple of other rides. Never did make it to Small World. At one point, we went to Toontown and went on Roger Rabbit. CM said, in all seriousness, when we were almost at the head of the line, that we should each get our own car. After all, how would anybody know we were together? We all just looked at her. It was a group "DUH". We were the only people in the park with pinwheels on our heads. Had been all day. This type of comment is now referred to as a "pinwheel moment".

After Roger Rabbit, we went back to the hotel, and on the way back, the guy at the back had his own groupies. It was so funny. A bunch of young teenage girls going on about how cute he was and screaming whenever he made a comment in their direction. Ah, to be young again. Not.

I changed my shirt into a sweatshirt and Brian grabbed the blanket. We called up to the other room, "are you ready" and away we went, down to the tram to go back to Disneyland. An aside here: we were so used to following Brian that when he went to the last car, we followed. And as he spoke to the emcee or whatever you want to call him, all four of us women stood there patiently behind him. Then it dawned on me what we were doing. Another pinwheel moment. We got onto the tram and sat down. *grins* Unfortunately, other people had the same idea as we did, only a couple of hours earlier. There was no room to watch Fantasmic front and center. We did find a place to watch from, it was fairly decent. We stood for over an hour, waiting for the show to begin. During the wait, AJ and CM said that they wanted to go on more rides. Brian said that Peter Pan was no match for Fantasmic. He strongly advised they be back for the show. They left, then came back within minutes. They were glad they did. Fantasmic, as always was wonderful.

This closed the park and we went back to the hotel. Brian went up to the room and I stayed with the "girls" and met Peggy, who lives in the area. We chatted for quite a while and I was beat. I finally said goodnight and got up. Everybody else also said they were tired and they got up. We hugged at the elevators and I went up to my room and AJ and CM walked Fran and Peggy out to their cars. Brian was already in bed when I got into the room. He had taken a bath, drank a wine cooler and kicked back. I was beat. I got my jammies on and climbed into bed. I was asleep almost immediately.

Monday morning, we decided to just go home and not go back to the park. We got home by noon. The cats were happy to have the doors open. They missed going out. Bart was still outside, scared spitless. It took him a while to remember us. Then he was okay. Windows were open in the house when we got home, but the air conditioner was on. :-( And it read 68. Much lower than we have it set. The house was really cold. Brian turned it off and I went around opening doors and windows that had been shut. Jennifer brought us up to speed on the cats. I paid her and told her to not forget that junk food in the kitchen. She said "oh, yeah" and grabbed it. A couple of minutes after she left the house, she came back, wanting to know what kind of coffee we used, since it was the best she ever had. I told her it was a mixture. I showed her the bag we get at CostCo, then Brian explained the other type of bean. It's from the grocery store and it smells really bad. It smells like old, smoked cigarettes, a really dark bean. Then I mix the two together, blend and voila!

It was nice getting home. We're still pretty tired today.

Somebody posted on Ciara's messageboard that the name Ciara means "Dark one". :-0!!

I still haven't gotten the heat press, so this morning I called Hanes. After some checking on their part, I was told a supervisor would call me back. Five hours later, no call. I call them again. I was given an UPS tracking number. Vaguely recalling that someone had mentioned the number not being any good the first time I called, the first week I had ordered it, I asked what should I do if the number is no good? I was given another number to call. The tracking number was no good. I called the other phone number I had been given. They couldn't help me. I called UPS and explained the situation. She looked it up. As far as she could tell, the product has never shipped. This camper wasn't happy. I'm tired and I'm cranky. My credit card was charged $566 on October 4th and I want to know where the damn press is. I call back the phone number on the Hanes website. She refers me to the Hanes Customer Service number, the same one I've called twice today. I'm an even unhappier camper. She tells me to ask for a supervisor. I call. I ask. *sigh* Well, the guy who took my call says, "tell me what's going on first, then I'll see if I can get you to a supervisor." My patience, what little I have, is wearing thin. I feel I'm grinding my teeth, but I'm trying not to let my voice get squeaky. I'm keeping it low. Once again, after taking the time to explain the whole problem over again, I'm told "someone will call you." Well, someone did. About ten minutes ago. I'm told that for the inconvenience, they are sending me a couple of ten packs of transfer paper. I ask "when did the press ship?" Well, actually, tomorrow. TOMORROW? Someone dropped the ball. The order never got sent to the company that supplies the heat presses back east. What was strange is the third time I called, the guy was reading parts of the order out loud, like he was talking to himself. He said "do not ship, walk in". Right after that is when he put me on hold. I'm thinking somebody coded something incorrectly. The press has probably been sitting on the floor back east, waiting for us to go in and pick it up. *sigh* Brian isn't pleased. He doesn't think the majority of people are too bright. I think they are just lazy thinkers. Anyway, I'm to email later this week to get a proper shipping number. And then I can tell where the press is. Brian thinks they should ship it next day at their own expense. I'd rather have the press than the transfers.

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Wednesday, October 20, 1999 Remember my mammogram? Well, my mom hadn't had hers done in four years. Her last one had a problem, but it turned out to be nothing. After mine, she made an appointment for hers. It was done last month. She got a call telling her there was a problem and they wanted her back in. She made the appointment and went in last Thursday. They took about six x-rays and a sonogram. Monday afternoon, she called me. There was a problem. They wanted her back in for a biopsy. She went in last night at 6:15. She has three lumps. The doctor was only able to get to one of them. The other two, mom will have to be lightly sedated and he has to go in deeper. He told her that he wasn't going to lie to her, that judging from his experience, in situations like hers, she most likely has cancer. Her chance of not having it is probably one percent. He said that they would most likely do a lumpectomy and not give her chemotherapy because of her age (68).

She's taking it well. She's going to fight it, of course, that's to be expected. My mom is a fighter. She said this morning that she's kind of had a premonition something was going to happen. Earlier this year, she got my name added to all of her bank accounts and ownership papers as co-owner, so there won't be a problem when she's gone. She's making me more than just a beneficiary. It's just an awful, awful feeling. But, I have been told that post-menopause breast cancer is easier to treat than pre-menopause. So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed and saying little prayers for my mom.

So, I'm gonna ask you once again, like I did earlier this year when I got mine, if you're putting off that mammogram, call right now and make the appointment. If my mom had gone for her yearlys, I'm sure they would have caught this sooner. Maybe when there was only one lump. Now there are three. It's so important to have this done. If there's any sort of problem, putting off the test won't make the problem go away. Please, do it. Your life may depend on it.

Brian came in from getting the newspaper this morning and asked me if I'd seen the hole in the sidewalk. "No," I say. "Where is it?" I ask him, walking out the front door. I see it. Oh, man. It wasn't there yesterday. And looking into it, it's as if someone had chiseled it. There are straight lines and another odd thing. There is no cement dust around it. Nothing. Everything that came out of that hole is gone. Just really weird. The main part of the hole is an inch square. Then the stuff around it is kind of broken out. Nothing remains.

Jackie and Peter play so well together. I think Jackie is feeling better. He threw up a couple of times yesterday, I wish this heat would go away. I know that it's interfering with him. Cats eat less when it's hot. He sure did eat a lot last night, though. Not the food with his medicine in it, but the regular cat food that I serve for dinner. They were so funny last night. Petey was running down the hallway and Jackie was running over him, but keeping pace. It was so cute. They sleep curled up on a dining room chair together. And Jackie seems to be mellowing out. He was pretty cranky yesterday morning, but last night, after he ate so much and played so much, he was easier to pet. And this morning, he was very gentle with me.

Petey and Ciara also play. This is good. I like having the cats playing together. One of these day, I'm sure that we'll have much chasing through the house as Ciara, Jackie and Petey all play. Kittens.

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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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