So – fingers crossed! – it appears that we really have sold the house (though of course it’s never REALLY sold ‘til all the papers are signed). They did the home inspection last week and came up with a pretty reasonable list of stuff that needed to be fixed. We’d been worried, because we were afraid there might be something big – nothing that we were aware of, but you just never know what a home inspector will find – but luckily the roof isn’t about to fall in or anything.

The only problem was that there’s a cracked tile in the kitchen that they wanted fixed, and we can’t do it. We actually had the tile guy come to the house and look at it before we even put the house up for sale, hoping that he could take a tile from the back of the kitchen closet (we don’t have extra tiles for the Madison house – the sellers didn’t leave us any, and we can’t match the tiles either, god knows we’ve tried) and replace the cracked tile, but he told us that taking up a tile would break it, so that was a no-go. We discussed pulling up the tile and replacing it with linoleum, but didn’t want to spend the money on that, and replacing all the tile in the kitchen was prohibitively expensive, as you can imagine. Finally, we asked the realtor what we should do, and he said just to leave it, that the sale price on the house was low enough that we should consider the cracked tile a bargaining point.

So Fred told our realtor (or rather, his assistant) that we’d do everything except replace the tile, and apparently that’s what the buyers expected, so there was no “Forget it!” or anything, thank god. Most of what needs to be done will be done by an electrician, maybe next week.

And then the spud and Fred will be moving to Crooked Acres, and we’ll have cable and internet and phone in Crooked Acres and life can settle down.

It can’t happen soon enough, if you ask me.

* * *

The chickens are now officially out in the coop 24/7, and it seems to be going well. I let them out in the morning and they come out immediately and run around and do a little flying, and then spend the rest of the day going in and out of the coop, pecking at the ground, hanging out with each other, occasionally getting under the coop and cheeping sadly until they realize how to get back out (chickens aren’t known for their intelligence, it would appear). During the day Newt and Maxi mosey on by to check them out or lay on the ground and watch them wander around their little yard.

Those of you concerned that Maxi and Newt will try to get themselves a chicken snack, don’t you know that Fred would never allow that to happen? The chicken yard is completely fenced in with not one but TWO layers of fencing, there’s a locked gate the cats can’t get through, and the top of the yard is covered in koi netting so that cats can’t do something like climb the fence and drop into the chicken yard AND it’s also a protection against hawks and other birds of prey.

We’re a few days in, and so far all the chickens have made it through unscathed. I hope that continues, because I don’t want to hear the blubbering if Fred’s beloved Frick* (Fricassee’s nickname) buys the farm.

*Every time Fred or I call him “Frick”, we immediately think of Elliot on Scrubs, who always says “Frick!” when thwarted or caught in some bit of stupidity.

* * *

One issue I have with this house is that there are no screens. The weather today is so lovely and sunny and warm(ish) that I’d love to open a few windows and air out the house, but since I don’t want any of the cats to escape, I can’t. I did open the door from the laundry room to the back yard (and latched it so the cats couldn’t push it open) and the cats periodically cluster around the door to peer out at Newt or Maxi or the chickens or Robins hopping around in the back yard. At one point all the cats except Spanky were sitting in front of the screen looking out at Maxi, who was rolling around on her back in the grass, and I’m pretty sure I heard her jeer “I get to go outside and you don’t, ha ha ha!”

I had to run some errands, so I closed the back door. I was gathering the recyclables together when I heard a weird noise from the door. I opened the door back up to find that somehow, Mister Boogers had slipped in between the door and screen door while I was closing it. Good thing I heard the noise and investigated, or he would have been stuck there for an hour or so. No doubt he would have figured out how to bust out the screen, and then god knows where he’d be now.

* * *

The Litter Robot report: It seems to be doing okay, but it’s not a hit. I left the regular litter box out because I didn’t want to traumatize the cats, but I hadn’t been cleaning the regular litter box as often (that is, I clean it once a day instead of twice, because to go longer than that would gross me out). The Litter Robot is being used, though not as often as the regular litter box. So far, I’ve found the Litter Robot stopped mid-cycle for no apparent reason, so I turned it off and then back on, and both times it finished cycling and was fine. I don’t know if the cats kept going back to look at it, causing it to stop cycling or what, but that’s what I suspect.

Thus far, the regular litter box is getting more use than the Litter Robot, though that might be because I have the Robot set to cycle automatically rather than doing it manually. Earlier, Tommy kept going and looking in the Robot while it was cycling, then he made a noise of annoyance and used the regular litter box, so I’m guessing that if the Robot hadn’t been cycling, he would have used it instead. Maybe I need to go to doing it manually three or four times a day instead of leaving it automatic? I’ll have to think about it.

In another day or so if usage of the Robot doesn’t pick up, I’m going to switch the regular litter box to a small one in hopes that using a clean litter box (the Robot) will be more enticing to the cats than using an unclean one.

I wouldn’t say that the Robot is a big hit with me just yet, but I’m going to give it time – I’ve only had it set up since Friday, after all.

* * *

Over the weekend, Fred stopped on his way out to Crooked Acres to pick a few stalks of wheat growing in one of the many fields on the way. All the cats were interested, but Sugarbutt was absolutely fascinated to the point that Fred buried the stalks of wheat in the bottom of the trash can so Sugarbutt wouldn’t eat them.

Sugarbutt was up on the counter when Fred leaned down and held the wheat out to the other kitties. Sugarbutt jumped down from the counter, and I snapped him in mid-jump/fall.


2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.

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