Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Kitty Girls

I'm always impressed by my cats abilities to sleep in amazing places, especially the Girls, which is what we call Luna and Niobe.  They are a happy pair of sibs, found by Gene when he went for his regular haircut.  At first he was going to bring home just one but how could you separate such cute sisters.  My old cat, Minerva, had just gotten used to being an "only" cat. (Uther,my 18 year old Manx having died about 6 months before.) So she was not happy about the wild Kitty Girls who ran  crazily in the house, playing and generally getting into mischief.  She has reluctantly allowed them to live with her but there are rules.  Luna may lick her head but Niobe never can. We will still have the week-long -"we are not amused" hissing for some unknown (to us non felines) rule breakage or behaviorial issue but generally some sort of truce is maintained.

Oh the Kitty Girls are a wild bunch.  They managed to break out of every screen in the house and then hated the outside world hiding under the ancient and decrepit house, until we managed to lure them out with a cat of cat food.  They are extremely picky about what they eat (not a bit like Minerva who will happily eat anything including cobwebs).  They wake up us almost everyday and Luna, in particular, nags us about time.  She's a very linear thinking cat.  Niobe is much more polite but has the need to make everything a toy and absolutely loves to be stroked with the broom.  Luna just runs and hides for a bit. Still they enliven the house alot and are sweet and loving and I wouldn't trade the Girls for anything.  Niobe tends to like being with us for her naps and doesn't mind sharing the space with work or clutter.  It's more fun that way to her. 
Minerva, as befits her more elderly and hefty size, tends to find more comfortable places though she prefers spots that are sometimes hard for us to understand.  A week was spent napping in the middle of the path to the kitchen and occasionally she will take to sleeping under the table, glowering at anyone who comes near.  Her recent favorite is to come between us and sleep on the sofa.  She manages to drive one or both of us away as she has a terrible snore.  Some nights I can hear her from the bedroom.  I was just informed she has found a box to sleep in - it's about a quarter of her size but she seems to have squeezed herself into it..

Update:  The kitty girls managed to push out another screen (we now have a nice hole) and made the Great Escape.  Niobe tired quickly but Luna went under the house and wouldn't come back.  She ignored food, the food clicker, and the laser mouse.  She finally decided Under the House was boring and came out after a frustrating (for us) wait of 2 hours. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

The sun in hiding.

Hide and Go Seek

The Departure of Trees

Monday night when the storm hit our area one of our trees came crashing down at 4:00 in the morning. It wasn't our first tree to have fallen or to be removed.  We had two taken down because of disease but they were bordering a neighbors yard and we knew they would have damaged property.  The ones in the back yard were old ash trees and slowly were dying, becoming  home to families of woodpeckers, squirrels and we think a small owl.  So when some random large branch fell we would try to leave them to decay naturally and give a home or favorite play area to something. 
   The neighbor behind us told me how he and his wife liked to watch the squirrels playing on the one enormous dead branch now totally devoid of bark. It arches over the far back part where we don't water.  It has been taken over by the bindweed and the wild grape that manages to hold on between Kay's yard and ours (Kay is our wonderful next-door neighbor).  I secretly call it the "Arch" and think about encouraging the grape vine as well as the weedy little bindweed growing wild every year into covering it  a bit more.  In reality I know it will have to go away soon as the remaining part of it looks more and more like it will fall on our storage shed of dubious quality.  I check on it regularly and had checked on both trees early Sunday morning, when I became fearful of the quality of the root system of the now fallen ash. 
 On Thursday night we had snow so Friday the University was closed, allowing me an extra day off to do something - ideally work on sleeves for a costume, work on art or generally straighten the house.  Instead I prowled out in the back yard and looked at my fallen friend.  I hadn't realized how hollow it was.  From the ground up to slightly below where it broke was a tunnel.  I'm curious if it got used by anyone - the random squirrel, the wayward opossum, a group of trooping fairies going through the neighborhood  When I was young I would have been sure and left offerings to the tiny spirits that lived in it.   I will miss it - not for the shade but for the inhabitants and visitors that would use its branches to share the back area of our house.  I will miss my friend, he greatly enriched my life.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Kindle!

I admit I'm a luddite or at the very least I should be a Luddite.  I find technology is first somewhat daunting and second sometimes unnecessary. I have a cell phone but rarely use it and often let it get discharged.  I use my computer but honestly still don't know what RAM means, what the difference between a worm and a virus (and don't care).  Still I'm not such a complete Luddite that I don't recognize the value of modern technology... rather I think people over use it.

So I'm not certain why I became enamored with Amazon's Kindle.  The idea of being able to take a book in my already over weighted bag that serves as book bag, lunch box and purse, without adding extra poundage is very appealing.  So after considerable thought and encouragement from my Significant Other, I bought one.

I have to say I'm enjoying it very much.  Currently I'm plowing through the free books you can find.  I'm reading (for the first time) The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling and plan on several other books I seemed to have missed.  Who knows where it will lead to (not that I don't read alot anyway.)