I think that yesterday, the forces of the universe detected that I was not currently in Maine as I was expected to be (my flight was canceled due to the weather), and was punishing me accordingly.
Thursday night after Fred went to bed, I settled down to read for a little while, and then I got up and peed and wandered around the house to make sure I’d repacked everything I needed in the suitcase, and I read a little while longer, and then I sat up to turn off the light, and noticed something I hadn’t noticed at all in the previous hour.
I don’t know how he got up there or how long he’d been up there, but apparently at some point he’d decided it was time to get away and find some peace and quiet and space from the other cats and got up there (I assume he climbed on top of my dresser and jumped up from there). I tried to convince him to come down, but he just looked at me and yawned and went back to sleep, so I shrugged figuring he’d either stay there ’til morning or find his way down in the middle of the night. As I saw it, he had three choices: jump from the top of the bookcase to the top of the dresser, the top of the desk I use as a vanity, or to the bed (a big leap, but I don’t think he’d have too much of a problem making it). I turned off the light and went to sleep.
At some point in the middle of the night I heard a loud crash that seemed to last forever, but I only woke up momentarily, turned over, and went back to sleep.
When I was awakened at 4:40 by the sound of a loud, very aggressive cat fight that started somewhere upstairs and continued down the stairs, into the living room, and then back down the hallway to the kitchen, cats screaming and running the entire time, I found that everything had been knocked off the top of the desk/ vanity and was scattered all over the bedroom floor. So apparently Newt opted for the desk/ vanity option of the three choices.
I noticed this, I should say, as I went running by to see just what was going on with the cats. I didn’t see a cat anywhere except for Newt, who was sitting under the dining room table looking completely unperturbed at the goings-on. From upstairs, Fred called down to me, and we decided that most likely Mister Boogers was involved in the fracas, and either Miz Poo or Maxi. Booger’d had a bug up his butt at bedtime the night before (Sugarbutt, laying asleep in his usual cat bed near my bed when I was reading before I turned the light out, was awakened by Mister Boogers’ war cry and a smack up the head. Apparently Mister Boogers did not like the looks of that thar sleepin’ Suggs and needed to make his opinion known).
The only cat we knew for sure hadn’t been involved was Tommy, who was snuggled up next to Fred at the onset of the screaming and hissing and elephantine running. Miss Stank was hiding under Fred’s bed when he got up, so probably she wasn’t involved.
Spot and Spanky don’t get involved in fights unless they are directly attacked (they spend 99% of their time asleep on the guest bed), so that leaves Mister Boogers, Miz Poo, Sugarbutt (he’s a hater not a fighter, usually), and Punki and Felicia.
(In the library, with the butcher knife.)
Fred got up – he’d been awake anyway – and I checked my email, then we talked until it was time for Fred to shower and get ready for work.
I had hoped I’d be able to go back to sleep, but it became apparent pretty quickly that that wasn’t going to happen, so I got up and got started on my day.
After showering and dressing, I decided to do what I hadn’t done Wednesday (even though I’d intended to): dump out the litter boxes, scrub them down, and refill them with clean litter.
I did the Litter Robot first, removed the round part where the litter goes, emptied it, cleaned it out, and filled it with litter. Then I put it back on the base and hit the button so it’d cycle through so I could make sure it was working okay. It started cycling, kind of wobbled a bit, and then I realized that it had come apart at the seam. A wide gap, and though I worked on it for a while, I couldn’t get the thing to go back together. I imagine it might be able to be superglued together, but when one owns a $300 litter box and has only owned it for about eight months, one expects that one should not have to superglue that STUPID THING back together.
On a side note, Fred recently spoke to our next door neighbor. He was worried that McLovin and his “LOOK AT ME! I’M THE MAN! I’M A STUD! I’M GOING TO BALANCE ON TOP OF THE GATE AND WHEN THAT WOMAN COMES OUTSIDE TO TELL ME I’M A COMPLETE AND UTTER DUMMY, I’LL STRUT AWAY LIKE I MEANT TO GO IN THIS DIRECTION! CHEECHAW! CHEECHAW!” crowing all the time was annoying them.
The neighbor said that they never even noticed the crowing and besides, even if they did, he just figured it was part of living in the country. The rooster crowing might be part of living in the country, but hearing the chick next door scream obscenities at the Litter Robot at 6:30 in the morning might not be. Note to self: shut the door before the next temper tantrum.
So I put the Litter Robot on the side stoop to take it out to the garage. Yes, I’m going to email them about it, and I’m going to expect them to send me a new round part (note to self: come up with better descriptor than “round part”) free of charge. But in the meantime, there needs to be a litter box in the laundry room, and if the Litter Robot’s sitting in there, it’ll just be taking up space and confusing the cats.
Once the Litter Robot was out of the way, I set up the new litter box, and then I went to get the Dyson to vacuum up the litter the Litter Robot had spit all over the floor.
The Dyson wouldn’t suck anything up. Well, actually if I used the hose part, it sucked up just fine, but there was no way on earth I was going to vacuum the entire house with one of those little attachments at the end of the hose. I needed it to work like it was supposed to, because there was litter and cat hair all over the house and it needed to be vacuumed up, GRRR. I took off and replaced every piece of the vacuum that comes off easily, and I ran the vacuum to see if something just hadn’t been in place, and still it wouldn’t suck.
I was beyond the point where screaming horribly nasty words at the offending object would do anything but enrage me more. The cats, not stupid, scattered. I stomped through the house bellowing wordless sounds of heartbreak and angst. I considered putting my fist through the wall. I thought about setting the house on fire.
I was incandescent with rage.
In the end, I opted for laying down on the bed and calling Fred to swear a blue streak at him, and that always eventually calms me down. I decided to go through the removal, replaceable pieces on the vacuum one more time before giving up, and I don’t know how it happened, but something worked to make the Dyson suck like it was supposed to again, and I spent the next hour vacuuming the house.
So then I had to run to the grocery store to buy a few things, and when I walked out the side door, I found that McLovin had flown over the gate and was now strutting about outside the back yard. Since I was concerned that he’d wander either out toward the road or over into the neighbor’s back yard and annoy them, I opted to try to lure him back into the yard.
McLovin is, I suspect, the stupidest animal who has ever stepped on to Crooked Acres. Surprising, I know, since chickens are usually known for their keen intelligence, and yet when I held the gate open and tossed food into the back yard to entice McLovin back into the yard amongst his wimminfolk, his response was to run back and forth along the outside of the fence and cluck in an alarmed manner. When I went back inside to get more food, he responded by jumping up onto the side stoop and crowing excitedly. When I went back outside, he clucked and ran away from me, around the back of the fence, over to the other side, where he sat and stared sadly at his ladies and said something that I am certain translated into “I would give you some McLovin lovin’, but I am stuck over here in Purgatory, o woe.”
Eventually I had to prop the gate open and circle around behind McLovin. He clucked and ran from me, directly into the back yard.
I went off to do my errands and when I got back, his stupid butt was back outside the yard eating nuts and seeds that had fallen from the bird feeders.
I threw my hands in the air and said “You are such a stoopnagle, you just stay out of the yard you jerk, and SEE IF I CARE!”, and I went in the house. He stayed out of the yard for another hour or so, always walking and kicking leaves along the periphery of the fence, never wandering off our property, and then eventually he figured out how to get back into the yard. For the rest of the day he went in the yard, out of the yard, in the yard, out of the yard, in, out, in, out. Whatever floats his boat, I suppose.
The rest of the day, thankfully, was a pretty calm one.
I thought about repacking my stuff into a smaller suitcase, but it appears that the only other suitcase inside was pretty much the same size as the one I’d packed for Thursday, so I stuck with the same suitcase. I packed four days’ worth of clothes, since I figure I can do laundry when I need to, so there’s no need to pack a different outfit (ha, I say “outfit” like it’s all dressy and coordinated instead of cotton pants and a t-shirt every day!) for each day I’m in Maine.
Okay. Enough babble. I’m off to Maine!
Keep your fingers crossed for good weather.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.