July 23, 2007

Okay, you asked for it!

Or at least didn't violently object.

SO, here's the wrap-up, one so weak and thin and worthless that I would be embarrassed to publish it were it not so much more robust and hearty than all the other crap I've ever posted.


Time again for the cat's annual checkup. Given his behavior last year, in which he sliced open the vet tech's arms like some sort of crazed vivisectionist, we were much more cautious this year and didn't let him out of his carrier to roam around the exam room and get all agitated.

Got to the office, and there was some doofus guy there with two morbidly obese, yet intensely hyperactive golden retrievers who were all over the place panting and wheezing and whining and slobbering. I turned the door of the cat carrier around toward the wall to keep Lightning from getting too freaked out. Not that he was--he seemed calm for the most part.

Got to a room, sat for a moment and then the young lady came in to start the exam. After a lengthy warning about how last year he'd sliced open the vet tech's arms like some sort of crazed vivisectionist, she cautiously drew him out and petted him and he was as docile as possible under the circumstances. She took him out to another room to get a fecal sample, and brought him right back a minute or two later. Aside from his wide-eyed humiliation, he had remained calm. She placed him on the scale and he sat nice and still--10 pounds, 2 ounces.

The doctor came in and introduced himself to us (it was Middle Girl and I making the trip) and after a lengthy warning about how last year he'd sliced open the vet tech's arms like some sort of crazed vivisectionist, he started feeling of Lightning's head and ears and body and stuff, then gave him two quick needle stabs. Aside from a slight mrAWL!, there was no more drama. Thank goodness.

Took Rebecca on up to PetSmart for her day of animal shelter volunteerism (she's been doing this for several weeks now and had enjoyed it--I think), then dropped by the bank to get monies to pay the vet, then went back toward town.

Up until then, Lightning had been very quiet, but about halfway back, he started a near continous cat-yammering. Not sure why. I kept telling him we'd be home soon enough, but it's like he doesn't understand English or something.

Drove on, listening to the catcophany, parked at the vet, ran in and paid, and came right back out to a silent kitty.

"Hmm, that's odd, Cat. I..."

I wonder.

"I hope you weren't having to go to the litter box!"

He didn't say anything, but when I got in and closed the door, he let me know in his own odiferous way that he had indeed decided to use the carrier as a makeshift toilet. Rolled all the windows down and headed up the hill to the house.

Got home, let him loose, and retrieved the towel we'd put in there at the very last minute before we'd left home. Didn't seem like much of anything, until I figured out he'd buried everything inside the towel. ::sigh::

Time for kitty cleanup. Washed out his carrier, washed down his pen, emptied his litter box, gave him clean food and water, and then spent the next half-hour trying to coax him back out of various neighbor's fenced-in back yards so I could get on with my next task...


Finally decided it was time to cut back the wisteria, since it was about to strangle anything within 20 feet of the plants, including the giant sweet gum it stands closest to. Stuff is scary--there were two big tendrils of the junk growing across the ground toward the neighbor's fence, and long dangly arms reaching out nearly 10 feet to grab onto Rebecca's sycamore tree. It grows up and out and down and across worse than anything I've ever seen, and that includes kudzu.

Pulled and yanked and cut and ripped and finally got most of the long stuff pulled free, and it's still wooly and snaky-looking enough to be almost decorative. Also pulled down some poison oak and poison ivy, which is almost as pernicious, and with the added drama of, well, poison. That done (and again, interspersed with trying to get the cat to come close enough to catch) also got some produce out of the garden--three gigantically round, but oddly short cucumbers. They look almost like baseballs. Also got four green beans, and a pepper and a tomato. We seem to have discovered the secret for cucumbers--nothing else has come close in productivity. Except for maybe Jonathan's pear tree, which has managed to endure both a late freeze AND a drought this year. Not as many this year, but what grew look very fine and plump.

AND NOW, the main event! Mowing the pasture. My next-door neighbor with the barking dog had gotten out early and cut his, and neglected to set his wheels up higher, leaving big piles of grass and scalped places everywhere. Well, not me, not this time. I set mine up a couple of inches, not really enough to cut it as close as it needs, but enough to make it nice and even and still green. Even with that, it still took twice as long to cut the front as it usually does. There were patches that were close to a foot high.

Amazing what a little water can do.

And that was it for the outdoor work. I had really, REALLY wanted to try to work on the Volvo's still-cockeyed rear bumper, but I was too hot and tired to lie on hot concrete and play with that. For Larry "Free Mercedes" Anderson's benefit, the insurance stuff is still up in the air. If I accept their money, I'm responsible for reporting it to the state and go through that whole salvage title thing. I just can't do that. It's too much hassle, and even if there's really no way the state could ever track me down and enforce its own silly law if I decided NOT to report it, I'd still have it on my conscience. We really need the money, but I'd rather not be on the wrong side of the law. So, looks like unless they're willing to work with me on some way to pay me LESS than they think it's worth, I'm going to have to wind up just dropping the claim and being out the money. ::sigh::

They say having a clear conscience like that makes it easier to sleep, but don't believe 'em. Either that, or I've got something else making me have a guilty conscience

Two different nights, two different sets of bizarro dreams, no details of which I wish to recite here, aside from the fact that in both I hanging around with a bunch of college kids (even though in the dream I was the age I am now) and most shockingly bizarre of all, I seemed to attract an inordinate amount of attention from the co-eds, despite my exceedingly advanced years.

I blame global warming, or possibly those cucumbers, which are definitely not the burpless kind.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at July 23, 2007 10:32 AM

"... wide-eyed humiliation" - is there any other kind? Looks like Lightning had something in common with the President (colon "exam").

We're still droughty here in the NC Piedmont. We get the occasional thunderstorm passing over, but nothing good and soaking. While the fortnight mowing is not so demanding, it would be nice to see green yardage when looking out the window.

Any Harry Potter activity for the Oglesby clan?

Posted by: Marc V at July 23, 2007 11:34 AM

Well, there is the wincing humiliation, but I missed that part.

And as for Pottermania, we'll be allowing that to die down a bit before trying to indulge in seeing the movie or such like.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 23, 2007 11:39 AM

Sorry about the situation with the Volvo. As one whose accidents have always been with uninsured motorists or (nearly as bad) self-insured governmental bodies, I feel your pain. For all practical purposes as far as this accident goes YOU were self-insured, I guess.

Posted by: Stan at July 23, 2007 11:55 AM

I only wish I had the power to raise taxes to cover the cost of self-insurance...

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 23, 2007 12:11 PM