Sunday, 28 March 2010

It's tough to be a cat on Saturdays

Note: this post is written by Miss Boots.

My hu-mom has Gone To Work on Saturdays since I came to live here, but yesterday, she didn't. She stayed home all day. We did not have a good day. First, my hu-mom SLEPT IN ...
...until AFTER 6:00 am! I tried and tried to tell her The Dark was over and it was time for her to get up and get my breakfast, but she put the pillow over her head and IGNORED ME! The nerve! When she finally did get moving and I had finished my usual breakfast, she put some yummy BACON on to cook ... ... and WOULDN'T SHARE IT WITH ME! I could really have gone for a few morsels of bacon for "afters"! She even had the nerve to give me a bowl of dried kibble instead ...... when I pointed out how the unfairness (it is rather good kibble -- chicken, turkey, and duck flavoured -- but that's not the point!) . I should have known my day was only going to go downhill after that! I left her in the dining room enjoying her bacon and retired to the bedroom for my usual after breakfast nap under her quilt. I had just nicely fallen asleep when my hu-mom ripped the quilt and blanket and sheets off the bed. That's right ... she stripped the bed right down to the mattress! I thought to myself "oh dear, now where will I nap?" Fortunately, I found the pile of sheets and blankets in the rocking chair out in the living room, I thought she was just doing me a favour -- a change of scenery so to speak -- so I climbed into that lovely cozy nest for my morning nap. I guess I should have known better ...... she shooed me out of there and took the sheets and blankets down the hall to the Washing Machine! Well! I totally gave up on my nap and went into the litter box room to play in the tub. My hu-mom has little bottles of Smelly Bubbles on the edge of the tub and they roll really well when I swat them. It's quite entertaining, really. But wouldn't you know it, I just got started with that game, and my hu-mom shooed me out of the litter box room ...... and wiped everything in sight down with icky smelly BLEACH! Honestly! I had to let the room air out for HOURS before I could use my own litter box again! My hu-mom seemed determined to keep my up from my nap and make my life miserable after that. She got out The Noisy Machine ...... and ran it back and forth over all the floors. I truly don't understand the point of that annoying exercise! I hid under the dining room table, and almost fell asleep there. Yes, you guessed correctly ... ... my hu-mom shooed me out of my hiding place and used The Noisy Machine on all four of the dining room chair pads. She even said a nasty word when she used The Noisy Machine on my favourite chair pad! She was SERIOUSLY getting on my nerves, but I'm basically your fun-loving helpful kitty, so I decided to put the sofa cushions down on the floor so my hu-mom could use The Noisy Machine on them. I guess she didn't want my help ...... because she said another bad word and then gave me heck! I suppose I'm a little bit too forgiving in the hu-mom department because then I tried to help her by chewing off those pesky dangling straps on her Gone To Work shoes ...... and she gave me heck again! Before my hu-mom put The Noisy Machine away, she decided to brush me. By that time, I. WAS. NOT. IN. THE. MOOD. I warned her! I warned her that it was way past my nap time, and that this pretty kitty needs her beauty rest, and without adequate beauty rest this pretty kitty can be ever so slightly irritable, but she insisted on brushing me anyhow. She brushed out a lot of hot itchy fur, and it felt really good -- but that's not the point! My hu-mom is SUPPOSED TO brush me when I DEMAND brushing, not when she feels like it ... especially after she's been such a miserable hu-mom all morning! So I bit the brush to point out who is The Queen around here and who schedules my brushings and who determines when enough brushing is enough. I might have bit my hu-mom a little bit too. BUT IT WAS ACCIDENTAL! HONEST! I don't think she believed me when I told her it was an accident and that really hurt my feelings ...... so I sat under the rocking chair and glared at her for a long time. I wanted to make it VERY CLEAR that I was finally PUSSED! RIGHT! OFF! She put The Noisy Machine away and made herself one of those nasty Boiling Hot Beverages and sat down to do some stitching.I was so Pussed Off that I didn't even offer to help! It didn't take very long before my hu-mom made a big old knot in her thread and had to put it aside. Serves her right! I thought she might apologize to me then. Instead, she put on a movie ...... with a NOISY DAWG in it! You would think she'd choose a movie we could both enjoy! I told the Noisy Dawg on the screen that it wasn't welcome in our apartment, and my hu-mom TOLD ME TO MOVE OUT OF THE WAY! But I can't help myself, I'm basically your fun-loving helpful kitty, and I was willing to let bygones be bygones and to help my hu-mom ...
...with the new pair of socks she started knitting. Oh, I just don't know why I bother to be helpful, really I don't! She complained because the wool got tangled and ACCIDENTALLY BROKE while I was helping!
Let me tell you, it's darned tough to be a cat on Saturdays when one's hu-mom stays at home!

No hu-moms or dawgs were injured in the making of this post.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

mrs slocombe's pussy

Yes, ANOTHER post this week from me! I'm trying to post more frequently. We'll see how long it lasts ...

So a friend who also works in a small downtown office suggested we both stop at a local pub for a drink or two after work yesterday, but I was concerned about Miss Boots waiting for her dinner. After the digestive problems she exhibited the first couple of weeks with me, I've been pretty careful about serving her meals on schedule. So without a great deal of thought, I replied ...

... well, I'm not going to tell you what unexpectedly came out of my mouth!

Let's just say I might have watched that great British comedy Are You Being Served a few too many times in my past! My friend obviously had not. The look on his face was priceless! (If YOU didn't watch Are You Being Served either ... look up mrs slocombe's pussy on google or youtube!)

Since this is a bit of a naughty post this morning, I feel it only appropriate to share that spring is slowly springing here and I'm experiencing urges. Almost unbearable URGES! So instead of stopping at the pub on the way home yesterday, I visited a different kind of outlet. Then I could hardly wait to get home and enjoy ...
... a tall cold glass of milk! I don't crave milk very often ... actually, I normally despise the stuff ... and cow's milk gives me a nasty tummy ache. Fortunately, goat milk is okay ... and quite palatable with added chocolate. Maybe I need to take an extra calcium tablet a day at times like this?

Miss Boots was feeling a bit naughty yesterday too:
"I sampulz hu-mom lip balm, kay?"

I looked back two minutes later, and she had the lip balm tube down on the dining room chair AND OPENED!

It's zero degrees and very foggy outside this morning. Yuck. It's also 7:35 am, so I'd better finish my tea and get ready for work. Have a good day, y'all!

cats, quilts, and catkins

Life with Miss Boots continues to be a daily (and occasionally nightly) adventure.

"Hu-mom wantz to brush my belly? Go ahead ... I won't bite ... much!" (I should have made a video of this ... major tail switching happening here.)

"Why you stare at me, hu-mom? I iz on my tower! Hu-mom should genuflect in my prezenze ... not point flash box!" (Again with the tail switching.)

She doesn't have Attitude ... not much ...

I don't think I've updated y'all on my quilting adventures recently, have I? Here's the completed Christmas vacation table runner ...

I'm quite happy with it, although I can see faults. Every stitch was done by hand! I could have completed it much faster by machine, but found I really enjoyed relaxing with hand-stitching. Here's the wall-hanging I also started last December ...

... with the three heart blocks finally together and ready for the applique bits ...

... which are now being stitched in place. I only manage a few minutes at this in the evenings, so it's a SLOW work in progress. Yes, I'm getting impatient! I just received the latest issue of the IRISH QUILTING magazine and it's chock full of great ideas for new projects. (I'm exercising restraint ... in case you wonder what that low threatening rumble in the distance is ...)

Guess what I noticed by my bus stop yesterday morning!

Perfect discovery for the first official day of spring! Yes, we still have bits of snow on the ground ... mostly in shady areas ... but catkins can't be wrong! Can they???

Sunday, 21 March 2010

cats and onions

Life with Miss Boots is not turning out to be the quiet and gentle "love me, pet me, feed me" routine I originally expected! Bootsy was very traumatized when she first arrived here ...... and was pretty much a silent observer. She has gradually unfolded and revealed her true self ... and that self is a Character with a Capital C, robust, rough and ready! No shrinking violet is our Boots ... although she sometimes still runs and hides when there are unexpected noises in the hall outside our apartment. She really likes to get her claws into things ... including me. She very much enjoys boxing (claws in), and stalking/hunting (claws out). I bought her numerous mouse-like cat toys. She gave each a few swats then ignored them, but kept stealing socks out of the laundry basket, so I knotted a lone wool sock and gave it to her. This quickly turned out to be her favourite toy (bottom right in picture below) ...... she stalks it and attacks it with Great Gusto and carries it all over the apartment! It's quite amusing to watch. Although she has never actually drawn blood boxing and stalking me, she did make me realize she needed something other than ME to get those sharp claws into. So Friday night after work, I made the long bus trek across the city to a chain pet store and bought her a scratching post (side note ... did you know there are fancy models that cost over $500? I nearly fell over!). Boots demonstrated its correct use the instant I brought it into our apartment ...... although she wasn't too impressed when I put her toys (including her sock) along with some catnip on its top platform in order to lure her up on it.Miss Boots feels she is beneath The Herb! She stares at catnip suspiciously, and gives me the most incredulous looks ("What the hell are you THINKING, hu-mom?!?!?") but won't touch it. I need not have bothered. As soon as I moved her scratching post over in front of the patio door, she climbed onto the tower to survey her Queendom ...... and has quickly leaped to that post to keep scurilous outdoor dogs, birds and humans in line ever since! I've also learned that Miss Boots is extremely Curious and feels seriously obligated to check out everything I do. As a result, I can't leave ANYTHING unattended for two seconds ...On her part, Boots has learned she does not like Tea, Chai, Wine or black pepper ... which makes her sneeze. Never a dull moment around here!

It's 6 degrees outside at the moment, and has pretty much been around that temperature each day this past week. Our snow is rapidly disappearing. I'm quite happy to see the snow go ... NO MORE WINTER BOOTS!!! However, all our dirty little winter secrets certainly begin to appear. Do you realize humans are extremely messy critters? We drop garbage ALL OVER THE PLACE! You can't see it when it's covered with snow, but come spring ... yecchhh!

Occasionally, disappearing snow reveals sights that make a person go "hmmm" ... and I came across one such sight on the way to work last Friday morning.I had a similar experience once in New Westminster, BC. when I spotted something quite unexpected on the sidewalk outside a corner convenience store.There were no "real" food outlets or homes nearby to explain the presence of a turnip on the sidewalk that day in New Westminster, and ...... no homes or food outlets nearby to explain the presence of this lone red onion on a city street here!Once again, the saying "just fell off the turnip truck" crossed my mind! I wonder what makes the occasional lone vegetable run amok in city streets? Any ideas??? Have a great week, y'all!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Across Canada

So the conference in Toronto was extremely interesting and informative. I really enjoyed face-to-face meeting the people I've been teleconferencing with for several months now, as well as learning what each of them did with their pilot projects. The travelling, however, did not thrill me quite so much! I know people who travel for their work all the time, and spend many many nights in hotel rooms. While my accomodations in Toronto were quite satisfactory ...... two nights was more than enough and I was longing for my own comfy bed at home! I haven't sat down and calculated exactly how many hours I spent either in an airport waiting for an airplane, or sitting in an airplane, but I'm pretty sure the total is about double the amount of hours actually spent in the conference. I saw a lot of this ...... and a lot of this ...On the way to Toronto, the weather was sunny and bright all the way across Canada, so the window view was quite clear and nice. Naturally, my camera was stowed in my bag, so no photos of the good views ... only the cloudy views from the return trip.

When I arrived at the Toronto airport on Saturday morning, I learned my flight had been cancelled due to a bad snowstorm in the Maritimes. There was NO WAY I was going to spend another night in Toronto, so I spent the better part of the day in the airport waiting for a connection to Vancouver. That did happen eventually ... but when I got to Vancouver, I couldn't get on a flight for the trip north and home! "Darn! I'll just have to phone a friend and bum a meal and a bed for the night!" she thought ... and promptly did so. Then I flew from Vancouver to home Sunday.
This picture was taken on the Vancouver to PG lag of the trip, and we encountered clouds and a snow storm shortly after that, and I arrived home to this ...From Vancouver blossoms and bare legs to PG snow in the space of an hour. My oh my how aerotechnology can boggle the mind! Thankfully, the snow is gone again. However, I'm still not a firm believer that spring has arrived. I don't even want to say the word out loud yet!

Now the time has come to introduce Boots!She's a four year old brown tabby with white paws, and a spayed female. Miss Boots came to live with me on Sunday as soon as I got back from my trip across Canada. Her human had a serious stroke a couple of months ago, was hospitalized long-term, and Bootsy was left alone in an empty house with just a brief visit from a neighbour who put out food and water every day. Very difficult for a sociable missy! (And she is a very sociable and vocal missy!)Subsequently, her human was sent to residential care and Boots was sent to a foster home. Unfortunately, that foster home also housed three rambunctious little boys, another (territorial) cat, and an aggressive little terrier, and Boots spent all her time hiding from her various tormentors. She even refused to eat.Her appetite is returning now (in fact, all that loose skin on her suggests she is prone to being a bit of a piggy). She's still investigating everything and is quite nervous, especially at strange sounds in the hallway outside our apartment. When I get my keys out, she hides fast. I guess that's her way of saying "nuh uh, you're NOT moving me AGAIN!" She is all over me when I come home from work, and so far it has taken me nearly 45 minutes to pet her and brush her and reassure her when I come in and before I can stand up to do anything else.She is also starting to play, pouncing on her toys and even pouncing on my toes a time or two! It certainly is nice to have a critter in the place again. I used to have fish (they're at work in our front office now). Fish just aren't as cuddly as furry critters. Now I just have to convince Bootsy that cuddling is not a human requirement at 5:00 am! So I have a good excuse to NOT travel now ... I have to stay home with Miss Boots!

Have a great week, y'all!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Busy busy busy

I've been a bad blogger lately! I have no excuse, except to say my work life has been intruding into my private life and there are only so many hours in the day to fit it all in ... except it hasn't all fit! One of the work things that's been adding to my busy-ness lately is a rather interesting pilot project to introduce a tool for analyzing how well programs and services address the needs of seniors.Yup, that's me ... mid-workshop. And having a very bad hair day (different hairdresser + different cut = sticking up "wings" around my face ... I tried desperately to gel it down and secure it in a ponytail, but even that wasn't totally successful.) Here's the "do" without the ponytail ...There are currently a half dozen similar pilot projects (the analytical tool, not the bad hair!) happening across Canada, and I am flying to Toronto tomorrow for a conference to compare projects. The conference itself should be interesting, but I'm really NOT excited about the flight there and back.

It's been very warm here the last few days ... so warm that I took my jacket off and walked home without it yesterday afternoon! Today I noticed bare (neon white) legs all over the place. What a difference a week makes in the North ... from winter boots and this ...

... to shoes and this ...Both of the above pictures were taken at the exact same location. I'm not, however, totally convinced it's spring yet (I don't even want to whisper the word for fear of jinxing it). I'm totally expecting another blizzard ... let's just hope it doesn't happen in the morning when my plane is trying to take off!

I'm not sure WHAT season my Christmas cactus thinks it is ...... but it's blooming enthusiastically! I transplanted it last fall into a slightly bigger pot, so had expected it would pout for a year before it bloomed again. Apparently it approved of the move. You can't see the buds on the other side of it in this picture, but there are a lot more blooms to come shortly.

I did manage to almost complete one small crafty project last weekend. It was kind of spur of the moment. I noticed a (rather ugly) "wall art" thing in a downtown bargain store window and thought to myself "hmmm, love the SHAPE, hate the content". After I thought on it for a couple of days, I decided I could CHANGE the content, so I went back downtown, bought the thing, and bought a small can of chalk board paint at the local Hardware store ... which I used to paint over the ugly bits. Here's the result:

I'm not quite done. I'm going to glue real wine bottle labels to the fake wine bottles. I mean seriously ... who wants nonsense "scribble" labels? Then I will have a menu chalk board in my dining room. I may not post a different menu every day, but I'll have fun doodling with chalk!

Guess what!?! I'm about to gain a new family member (as soon as I get back from Toronto)! Her name is "Boots", and she's four years old. Yes, she is a kitty. Her human had a serious stroke and is going into residential care where he can't have a cat. She has been in a temporary foster home (with three kids, another cat and a dog) and has not functioned there at all. And yes, I'm a sucker for a kitty-in-distress story! In my own defense, I've been thinking about getting a kitty since I moved into this apartment last July. I guess I just had to wait for the right kitty to find me!

Have a good week y'all!