Anybody Know a Good Cat Exorcist? (And Knitting Content)
I know, I know. I’ve been bad. I’ll try to do better.
DS is moved! Sorta. Mostly. There still seems to be an incredible amount of his stuff still here at the house. We told him we’d be happy to store some boxes of things, but these are not in boxes. They’re all over the floor of his bedroom, bathroom, and the living room. He will be nagged to work on this. He whines when I do that, though, as he needs to unpack and set up at the new place.
The grandbabies were absolutely sure that the whole idea of moving was a terrible idea. They had hysterics after being put in the cat carrier – a carrier, I might add, that they’d been *playing* in earlier in the week. They tried to knock it apart or something! When let out at the new place, they immediately went into hiding. Temperance went into the fireplace, which fortunately was completely empty and clean. I joked that she was becoming a fire elemental. She felt pretty safe behind the mesh screen! Ray couldn’t figure out how to get in there (not the sharpest knife in the drawer, our Ray), but spent a lot of time behind the vertical blinds that reach all the way to the floor.
Sunday they were still in hiding. DH had determined that DS’s waterbed mattress needed replacing, so we went and bought one and went to the apartment to set it up. There were no kittens in that apartment. Nope, no cats at all. We were wrong when we thought we heard dinglebells. I had taken their favorite treats with me and left them liberally around the place, but no takers.
By Wednesday, when I went back to the apartment to get DS, they were willing to be seen, as soon as they figured out that I was Grandma. They were all over DS, wanting attention and reassurance, but I did get to touch both of them. So I was encouraged.
This weekend DS was in Dallas for a convention – the same convention that he was at last year when he was accosted by Temperance looking for help, in fact. So DH and I have been on cat sitting duty. Because of their condition, they get canned food once or twice a day and get daily medication. We took care of them on Friday night and last night, and were allowed to give them treats (Temperance will take them out of my hand!), put down the good food, and pet if we moved slowly and carefully. They’re still a bit skittish, but definitely better.
And they like being in the apartment, where the litterbox and food and water bowls are constantly available. And they seem to have figured out how to open cabinets and doors that don’t latch, like the door to the closet. This may become a problem for DS, but it’s one I think I’ll let him handle!
On Wednesday DS and I took our three adult cats to the vet. It was an … interesting … experience. The good news is that all three cats tested negative for FeLV! So our precautions worked. The bad news, other than more fleas, is that our sweet, gentle giant Simba seemed to have picked up a demon somewhere.
Really. This is a cat that never growls or hisses or anything, even when Wilma makes those noises at him. We packed Angel and Wilma into the new cat carrier and didn’t even look for the other one; Simba’s always good and likes riding in the car. Sure enough, he was fine on the way over, and Wilma complained bitterly and Angel also said he was unhappy. When we got into the examination room, though, Simba become demon-possessed. He jumped up on the counter and got under this chart thing they have (the kittens find it a good hiding place, too) and proceeded to begin growling and hissing, before anyone had even touched him. He then didn’t appreciate being weighed and made that clear.
When the vet came in, he and the technician attacked Angel first. (Wilma was being comforted and DS was trying to calm Simba.) Angel was pretty good, though not happy about the blood draw. When that was over, we put the cat carrier on the floor and Angel happily went into it. By this time Simba was sounding really pissed. Wilma was next. She didn’t appreciate it, either, but was pretty good. But she complained the whole time.
I really think part of Simba’s problem was listening to Wilma and Angel complain. We tried to keep Wilma quiet – putting a hand over her eyes cut down a lot of the noise – but making her happy was not possible.
Anyway, Simba was next. They didn’t even suggest taking his temperature – a procedure he considers adding insult to injury – but when the vet was just feeling him as part of the exam, Simba threatened to remove his hand. The serious spitting, hissing, and snapping of teeth began. Then they went for the blood draw. They were doing the draw from the back right leg of all three cats, and Simba was not OK with that. He actually became so threatening that the technician was scared into letting go of his scruff – and that’s very unusual! They barely got any blood from him, but it was enough. Then they let him go and DS and I attempted to calm him down. That was not happening. And let me tell you, when a 14-pound, healthy, big cat says he’s going to hurt you, you believe him!
We ended up letting Angel ride loose in the car on the way home. Wilma was held in DS’s lap. Simba was in the cat carrier, still threatening to hurt everyone in the general vicinity. It was very, very odd. He was still doing it when we got to the house and I took him inside. DH called right as we got in the house, so I held the phone close to the cat carrier – and he could hear the fireworks. He just didn’t believe it was Simba. Simba just doesn’t do that! Ten minutes after I let him out of the carrier I walked past him in the living room and he growled at me! By that evening when DH got home, he was all smiles and hi, Uncle DH! But it took me a couple of days to get over being afraid of him.
In the meantime, on the knitting front, I’m still doing dishcloths. DS used one of the cloths I made him (he’s actually washing dishes! and clothes! I’m so proud!), which is a bright red, and said it ran a lot. I’m gathering that at least some of the Sugar ‘N Cream yarn (henceforth known as S&C) runs. Which is a problem. I’ll have to begin washing them myself and see if I can make them a bit better.
I’ve joined several Yahoo Groups that do dishcloths. One of them does two Knit-Alongs a month. I’ve not done Knit-Alongs (known as KALs) before, though they’re all the rage in the knitting blogosphere. They just weren’t doing anything I was interested in, plus I’m such a slow knitter! I doubt I could keep up. But I’m moving along with the dishcloths.
The way it works is that a few rows of the pattern is emailed every day, till the pattern is finished. You don’t know what the pattern makes until you’ve finished it. They do two of these every month; the first one makes a picture of something and the second features texture or technique. Today being the third, I took out some yellow yarn (one of the recommended colors) and did the first 21 rows. I have no idea what the picture is yet!
Some of the time I wasn’t blogging in the past couple of weeks, I was fairly obsessively searching the net for dishcloth patterns. (Cause a few just wasn’t good enough.) I found some neat patterns, too, including a place that has patterns for every state in the US, some Canadian provinces, and other geographic things, plus all 26 letters and most of the numbers. This in addition to other interesting objects and animals. And it’s not charted! I’m not good with charts – my eyesight doesn’t work well with them. These are already written on, which is a big help to me.
I ended up taking the patterns and putting them into a Word file. I’ve standardized the type, made sure there is a picture (when one is available), and standardized the look. And I’m adding the KAL pattern there, too. So far I’ve printed about 85 pages of patterns and will be buying dividers today to put them into a notebook. That way, whenever I think of something that would make a good dishcloth for someone, it’ll be easy to find.
As an example, I’m making a handtowel for DS’s bathroom. His decorating scheme is – blue. That’s it. If he can, he wants everything in blue. His shower curtain is various shades of blue. So I’ve got some Tahki Cotton Classic in a dusty navy blue. Not crazy about the yarn – it’s awfully splitty. But it’s the right color and will be a good weight. I’ve combined two of the patterns I found – a cat shape and a paw print. I’m nearly finished with the knitting, then I need to do the finishing and get it washed and blocked. Then I’ll take a picture. I think it’s pretty cool!
Also, there’s a couple of couples in my church planning weddings in November – I’m figuring matching washcloths and towels, with maybe their initials, would be a nice wedding present. I’ve also got started a cloth that’s boxes within boxes. I think making several squares of that, in maybe solid and variegated colors, could be sewn together to make a towel or a bathmat. (DS needs a bathmat, so the one I’ve got started is an experiment in that direction.)
I spent a bit of time last week really being depressed about the whole empty nest bit. It started when I thought, My baby is done raised and doesn’t need me any more. Now, I know better. I talked to him more on Sunday than I had probably in the two weeks before that! But I still felt old and useless. When depression hits, there’s no arguing someone out of it. So I did what I normally do. I talked to my counselor/friend, took my antidepressants, and wanted it out. It’s definitely better now.