Spider

Aug. 30th, 2017 01:57 pm
sareini: richard goes fwoom! (lfg)
There is a spider in my bath.

It's one of those giant house spiders, or as they're usually known around me, "Holy fuck look at the size of that thing keep it the fuck away from me". It's about 2 inches in diameter (including legs) and I can clearly see its mandibles (they have little ball-thing on the ends). Apparently this is the time of year that the male spiders usually enter houses looking for females, and this one has ended up in my bath, where it's been for three days now.

Normally I'd be trying to come up with ways to get it the hell out of my bathroom and indeed the house in general... but since the other week when Callie caught and devoured a Daddy Long-Legs, I've found myself feeling a little sorry for it. Whenever I go to the bathroom, Callie inevitably follows me, because cat, and she usually perches on the rim of the bath or hops in to see if there's anything to bat around (sometimes we play Bath Hockey). And I've realised that I don't want Callie to eat this poor love-lorn spider, at least not unless it leaps onto me while I'm having a wee.

So I've put a book into the bath so the spider can hide under it. Which it does during the day, only emerging at night. I was hoping it would have figured out that the bath isn't the place to meet lady spiders by now, but it's showing no signs of wanting to move on for the moment. If it stays much longer, I might end up naming it. Which would then be even more awkward if Callie found it and ate it.

Edit: I named the spider Barney.

About an hour ago Callie noticed him in the bath and dived in. I rescued him with an old ice cream tub and a letter and let him go outside, where he'll hopefully find a girlfriend. Although he put up a hell of a fight, making Callie back off twice (possibly normal, or maybe he was rearing up to try to startle Callie away? I wasn't watching too closely at the time as I was looking for something to put him in.)
sareini: The Mountains of Madness have many little plateaus of sanity - Discworld (Mountains of Madness)
Tomorrow I'm heading up to spend the weekend with my niece (my brother having managed to plan a week in Wales at the same time so he and the dog won't be there), where we will be going to the Popup Wool Show. I did this last year and everything was fine; we had a great time, I spent far too much on yarn, and my neighbours checked in on the cats. This year Ross is doing the catsitting, which is even better as Lily loves Ross (she sits on his lap, which she won't even do for me), and even though Callie still mostly flees from the sight of him, she does that for everyone and last time she actually came out and sniffed him, and so everything should be fine.

So of course yesterday I had two massive panic attacks over leaving Lily which left me physically sick and nearly fainting, and all because Lily meowed at me once, which to my broken brain apparently translated into, "Lily is going to die this weekend". I'm at least calmer today because I've managed to cram some sense into myself, but I've still got a headache from making myself so worked up yesterday.

I hate the utter randomness that my panic attacks follow, because I can't do anything to counter or prepare for them. Ideas and intrusive thoughts just enter my head out of nowhere and make themselves at home, and the next thing I know I'm lying in bed thinking that the floor is going to collapse under me, or that someone is preparing to break into the house right this very moment - or that the cats will drop dead if I leave the house for more than an hour. And with the current state of my local authority's mental health services, the chances of me getting any sort of treatment (CBT or otherwise) before 2018 at the earliest are slim to none. So I mainly have to figure out coping methods on my own.

One method (technically two) is to distract myself with knitting or crochet. Right now I have a 10-stitch blanket on hand for random panic attacks (I'm making it with a ball of Sirdar Colorwheel because I think the long colour changes of the yarn will work well with the pattern, and it feels really soft), and last night I finally found with a pattern for a skein of yarn I got at last year's Popup Wool Show that's 55% Bluefaced Leicester Superwash and 45% silk - Persephone. I'm probably going to take this one with me this weekend as the pattern is incredibly easy to memorise (and the ball is smaller than the Colorwheel).
sareini: "Little one, I would like to see anyone - prophet, king or god - persuade 1000 cats to do anything at the same time." (1000 cats)
Callie caught and ate a spider the other night.

It was about 2am and I was trying to sleep, but Callie was bouncing all over the place, squeak chirp meow, crash bang wallop. So I got up and turned the light on to see what was making her so hyper, and found her fixated on a corner of the room. I looked there and there was a spider - looking quite a bit like a Daddy Longlegs (so I suppose that's what it was) hanging from a web halfway down the wall. Callie was chirping excitedly at it in the way that cats do when they're trying to hunt something and haven't got the stealth tactic down. I wished her luck and got back into bed; two minutes later she leaps up onto the bed with half a thorax and a couple of legs sticking out of her mouth.

I feel slightly guilty for not trying to stop her, but at the same time I'm pretty sure that wouldn't have been possible anyway, for she is a cat and hunting is something they do. Even 100% indoor cats like Callie. She once brought me a fly she'd caught - as in, carried it up the stairs in her mouth and dropped it gently on my foot while I was in bed. It was not only still intact, it was still alive. That's pretty impressive (if also gross).

Lily doesn't bother much with hunting now, although in the past she and Cracker used to double-team spiders in the living room - one on each side of wherever one hid so they had all escapes covered. And the first time Marley killed a pigeon in my back yard, Lily raced to the back door in hopes of being let out to join in the fun. It's interesting to see that the instinct is still there and so strong, even with cats who've never had to hunt their own food even once in their lives.
sareini: Organising gods is like herding cats into straight lines. They don't take naturally to it - American Gods (Organising Cats)
I've spent the past few days really focusing on the A-Z of rock cross stitch for my brother's birthday, and I'm now halfway through J (for Judas Priest). The biggest problem I'm coming up against at the moment is using the special gold and silver threads I bought for accents, because they're thicker than regular cross stitch threads and so I also have to use a bigger needle when working with them just to thread them through the eye. Which also makes it frustrating when I mess up and need to unpick a few stitches. Still, the end result looks good so it'll be worth it.

The burstitis/mystery hip injury continues to be a pain in the... well, hip. The Deep Freeze gel helps to an extent so I can move about without too much pain, but if I go too long without reapplying it I end up hobbling round the house emitting little cries of pain while Callie dances around my feet, working on her Underfoot skills. I'm aiming to get a doctor's appointment on Monday (I couldn't Thursday or Friday as I had deliveries due and it would be just my luck that they'd arrive while I was out).

I got a letter this morning from E.on - I thought it would be about the complaint I made on Monday and it was related... but no, it was actually a letter from them gently telling me off (but still telling me off) for not letting the engineer in the house when I was trying to catch my cat to go to the vet. So I ended up on hold for 40 minutes with them before getting through to a very nice CSR called Paula to complain again (because even if I wasn't so anxious as to not want to let people in like that, if someone is about to leave the house when you call you don't get to throw a strop at them and storm off). A formal complaint has now been filed, mainly just to put this on record as it's not like I was ever expecting to get anything more than a general apology, and we're going to make the arrangements to get a Smart Meter fitted so that no meter reader ever has to darken my door again. I just have to speak to the landlord and then clear the front room (possibly easier said than done). That'll lead to me calling the Greenfields Centre again on Monday to see if I can speak to one of the people who are covering for my social worker while she's recovering from whatever terrible lurgy has afflicted her, because they're always offering me help with organising and cleaning the house.

Movie reviews for the week:

Martin (1978) - George A Romero's personal favourite of all his films.
Without Warning (1980) - Martin Landau stars in the film that inspired Predator
Without Warning (1994) - War of the Worlds-inspired TV movie that I think is pretty underrated.

Also, three times this week I've gone to the corner shop to buy milk for my cereal, then forgotten to buy it. Where is my helper monkey?

Needles

Jul. 15th, 2017 04:42 pm
sareini: "Yes, bugger all that. Let's curse somebody." - Discworld (Curse)
Well, today has certainly been an interesting day.

The Tour-de-Sock started today, and so I excitedly went to see what the first pattern would be. Looks great... except it's a toe-up pattern and I've never done that before. But that's one of the reasons I signed up for this; so that I could learn some new techniques. So, toe-up cast-ons.

Except after 20 minutes of trying, I realised I was not going to be able to do the cast-on with the double-pointed needles I had. And unfortunately, my one pair of circular sock needles was brutally murdered by Callie a few months ago (also the last time I buy bamboo needles). So I figured that my only remaining option was to go to the knitting shop in the next town over and buy some metal circular sock needles. And to save money and challenge myself a bit, I was going to go by bus.

It should have been easy enough. Use the local bus service's journey planner, get on buses, everything's fine. But between the first and second leg of the journey, I forgot what bus to get, and so re-input the details on my phone. Except it turns out that if you type in "59 High Street, Newcastle-under-Lyme" it takes you to a different place than if you type in "59 High Street, Wolstanton, Newcastly-under-Lyme", which is where I actually wanted to go. So that was an interesting - albeit slightly terrifying - detour.

I finally get to the store, and I decide that after all the trials of getting there, I deserve a reward, and so I bought some yarn as well. I made sure at least to get sock yarn so it'll at least get used up.

Getting back was a little bit easier, since I had a better idea of what I was doing by then... but I missed my final connecting bus by one minute (more like 20 seconds, in fact, as I watched him pull out of the stop as I came within range). That left me with a 30-minute wait for the next bus, so I decided to go buy a drink.

I'm just walking out of the bus station when a middle-aged man holding his phone walks up to me and stops me. He looks a little lost so I'm prepared to give badly-described directions to him.

"Hello," he says. "I'm new here... and I was wondering where... I could fuck you."

Stoke-on-Trent, ladies and gentlemen! Shortlisted for City of Culture 2021!

I just stared for a second while my brain assured me that yes, that's exactly what I just heard, before I managed to respond, "You don't. Go away." and I started to walk in a radically different direction from him. He then called after me, "Is that a no then?"

Yes. Yes it is a definite no, you creepy stranger accosting people outside of bus stations. I was worried he was going to start following me but the homeless woman who begs for spare change nearby started yelling at him for being a creeper as well, so I was saved. Next time I see her I'm going to give her money for a coffee.

Now I'm home, where the cats have greeted me with great joy because it means they get lunch, and I'm making plans to not leave the house again except for essentials for at least a week (Ross's birthday and Lily's vet visit aside). Next time someone asks why I get so anxious about going out I'm going to point them to this tale.
sareini: "Little one, I would like to see anyone - prophet, king or god - persuade 1000 cats to do anything at the same time." (1000 cats)
Last night, Callie had a Mad Half-Hour (which turned into a Mad Two Hours - Lily climbed into her cardboard box, pulled the lid over herself and stayed there for the duration) and during her extended Zoomies she decided that the Suicide Squad poster in the front room had to go.

To be fair, it's partially my fault. I put the cat tree right next to it, within easy reach of over-excited kittens.

She shredded Slipknot and took half of the Joker's face off (ironic, really), before grabbing the piece of poster that she'd removed, squeaking excitedly, and running out of the room with it. I found her later crouched over it like a fresh kill, utterly pleased with herself. I suppose when you're a 100% indoor kitty you have to hunt what you can.

But the event did remind me that I've wanted to put more posters and pictures up in the house for some time - I've just been delayed by forgetting repeatedly and by the cost of a lot of posters. When I finally finish things like the Horror Movie Maniacs cross stitch and do other stuff for myself I'll be putting them up, of course, but that could take some time with the way I work on things and the randomness of my depressive apathy attacks. So that leaves posters in the interim, but they're (a) difficult to find the ones I'd like; and (b) usually very expensive.

I got lucky today though, and found an internet place with a "Today only!" 40% sale going on, and so bought myself a couple of posters. If I had infinite money, I'd have gotten this or this, but the cost to get a decent-sized one, even unframed, was too much for me right now. So I got a couple of more qaffordable posters, and when they arrive I shall stick them to the wall with BluTac or whatever else I can find, and hopefully they'll be in places where certain cats can't reach them.

(Callie appears to have decided just now that tonight Captain Boomerang must fall, while she finishes off the Joker. Maybe I should get her a Catwoman poster.)
sareini: Image of the Bursar from the Discworld universe (Bursar)
Callie coughed up her first hairball this morning. She was quite disturbed by it - it's the first time she's ever ejected anything from her mouth that way (other than the time I found her swallowing 6 inches of yarn like a sword swallower or really extreme snake charmer) and she cowered a bit until I reassured her that it was okay. Frankly I'm surprised it's taken a whole year for her to have a hairball, considering how she grooms sometimes. Also, she helpfully did so on a piece of cardboard so it was easy to clean up (ie. I didn't have to touch it).

As for the planned weekend of playing Secret World Legends... Well, we got set up on Friday, eventually, ending up as an all-Templar group wandering around a New England town beset by zombies, giant lobster people and baby Cthulhus among other interesting landmarks. I ended up playing a version of Talia who's gone Sword/Elementalism, which basically means I have a katana and can set people on fire. I also swear a lot, so I'm having a lot of fun bringing out some of my more... interesting phrases, such as "Jesus fucking Christ on a gas-powered novelty unicycle!" and "Hay, LobsterFace! your mother sleeps with seagulls!" - the latter being used as a taunt for the afore-mentioned giant lobster people.

We were all set to play on Saturday and Sunday too... but play didn't get very far on Saturday before the chat server started hyperventilating and crashing all over the place, meaning there was no way to communicate in the team. I'd like to note at this point that, when the original Secret World game launched in 2013, the chat server had the exact same problem, leaving me to conclude that in four years they never had the idea to actually fix or upgrade the chat servers. So the game announced there was going to be a couple of hours downtime to fix this and some other problems on Sunday.

On Sunday, two hours became three. Then five. Then eight. Which was about the point we all went, "You know what, we'd be better trying this again tomorrow." Eventually this morning, the devs posted about the "extended downtime", explaining that there had been a bug allowing people to duplicate money and so that needed to be fixed pronto before people started dupin rares and the game would be gone to the Americans (that's some vintage CoX humour for you there). There was also a brief mention of the chat/community server being fixed as well... but when I was creating an alt and getting him through the tutorial, I saw the community server crash again. Ah well, at least it reconnected this time. We'll just have to see what the evening holds...
sareini: "Things I am not allowed to do at Hogwarts, No.61" (Cats and Dragons)
Callie weighs a very solid 3.42 kg. Ideally she should be closer to 3kg, but it's not a big problem as I've just switched up their feeding pattern from one big portion once a day to smaller and more frequent portions which should help with that. She's also got a mystery issue of dry coat and skin and dandruff/bald patches which we originally thought was flea allergy-related but as she's not had fleas for months obviously isn't the case. So she's got a supplement of oil stuff (evening primrose, salmon, omega 3 et al) to go in her food every day for a while. Lily will probably end up getting some too with the way they swap bowls, but it might well do her some good as well all things considered. Other than that, Callie is perfectly healthy and was very good at the vet, although I suspect a lot of that was do do with being slightly overawed and in shock from being outside of her comfort zone (ie. the house).

We also got to see a cat on a leash at the vets, although he had to go back into his carrier when a German Shepherd puppy came in. Apparently he was a Bengal cross so he'd been pretty easy to leash-train. When Callie was small I bought a kitten harness in the hopes of training her in the same way, but she just attacked it and tried to eat it whenever I brought it out.

The rest of the day was uneventful. Right now I'm just downloading Secret World Legends in preparations for the headstart in an hour or two and drinking milk. It's a rocking Friday night.
sareini: "Little one, I would like to see anyone - prophet, king or god - persuade 1000 cats to do anything at the same time." (1000 cats)
Tomorrow is going to be a busy day.

Firstly, and probably most importantly, Callie will be going to the vets for her yearly vaccinations. Even though both she and Lily are 100% indoor cats (aside from the .5% when she pokes her nose past the front door for a fleeting second) it's important to get the vaccinations because (a) you can never be too careful; and (b) because Lily is on long-term steroids now she can't get her vaccinations, so Callie needs to step up to provide the herd (clowder?) immunity. Callie is significantly easier to get into the carrier than Lily, what with being small enough still to be picked up and held with one arm and her not psychically knowing when it's time to get into the carrier like Lily can somehow sense. Once that part is done it's relatively easy and so routine that even I and my anxiety can't come up with anything to panic about.

Then, later on in the day I will be joining several friends and friends of friends in the headstart for Secret World Legends, the new f2p version of Funcom's The Secret World. It's a new game, so new characters for everyone... and that's been causing me some deep thought and anxiety over the last few days.

You see, I've had a small pool of characters that I play/write about for a very, very long time now - some of them have been around for nearly 30 years at this point. And so with maybe one or two exceptions, I don't like to create new characters; not when I've got these perfectly good characters that I can tweak to that purpose! Over the years I've become aware that these characters are also facets of myself in one way or another - Talia (who over the decades has also been known as Tiffany, Kimberley, Abigail and Rebecca) is how I wish I was; while James is the part of me that identifies as male and (poor thing) gets saddled with my mental illnesses and anxieties (and angst). There's a couple of others, but these are the two that have been with me the longest. When I write, they're the characters who'll turn up in just about everything, carefully shaped to fit the situation. And over the years they've helped me through a lot of things as well - they're not real, of course, but working out what they'd do or say to me in situations when I've had no-one else around to turn to has probably saved my life on at least one occasion.

So it's difficult for me to just create new characters, because to make the cut as a character they really have to have something that makes me attached to them, otherwise I lose interest very quickly. And I feel awkward about this, because in my past I've had people tell me how wrong this is or mock me for it, to the point where now I expect it from people automatically. Even explaining this here is making me feel weird because I never actually talk about this stuff.

On a related note I should probably get back on with the character backgrounds I've been working on for the versions of them in my current original universe brainworm...
sareini: "Did I mention that my nose was on fire? That I have fifteen wild badgers living in my trousers?" - Babylon 5 (Nose on fire)
28 degrees C! I swear, we British are not equipped to deal with temperatures like this. Well, at the very least *I'm* not.

Lily has come up with the best way to beat the heat - she just climbs into the big cardboard box and goes to sleep in it. It's shady and cool and I wish I could fit in there with her. Callie just lies flat on the upstairs landing, where there are no windows and so it's a little cooler than the rest of the house. Meanwhile I sit and seriously debate the merits of just taking all my clothes off and pulling the blind down in the living room before I remember that still leaves me uncomfortably sticky and I can't go into the kitchen then.

I might have to put ice cubes in the cats' water soon, although whenever I did last year they just looked at me as if to say, "Mummy, why have you made the water lumpy?" Then Callie started trying to play with the floating ice cubes.

I know that others are enjoying the hot weather, and that's great. I just wish air conditioning was a thing in the UK for those of us who don't do well in the heat. If nothing else, it's sapping my concentration for doing stuff as well...

Box Wars

May. 28th, 2017 01:39 pm
sareini: "Little one, I would like to see anyone - prophet, king or god - persuade 1000 cats to do anything at the same time." (1000 cats)
There are two large cardboard boxes in the office. One is what the cat tree came in; I can't remember what the other one once contained, but it doesn't matter. The boxes now belong to the cats.

When it gets too hot, I often find Lily snoozing in one of them. Callie likes to chew on them (for reasons known only to her; she's a devil for cardboard) or practice shredding things with her claws on them. And today I just got to witness a half-hour game of Box Wars.

The rules of Box Wars seem to be quite simple: there is a box, and both cats want to be in the box. But there is only room for one cat in the box, and so they must fight, beguile, chase and/or trick the cat in the box into coming out of the box. Then they can get into the box, and everything starts again.

Of course, just being a human there's probably a lot of stuff I'm missing (is there a points system? Fouls? Do the rules change depending on the number of cats?), but at the same time there is endless amusement in watching Lily and Callie chasing each other, batting each other, pouncing and rolling and generally having immense fun just so they can sit in a box for a minute or so.
sareini: (cat)
I woke up this morning to find Callie licking my closed eyes. Apparently my role in life now is to be a salt lick for a kitten. It's the hay fever, of course; now that it's May and the weather is grudgingly admitting that it's springtime the pollens are really getting started, and of course I was already allergic to all of them even before the news of "super pollens" (pollens that have mixed with diesel fuels to be extra sticky in the mucous membranes) hit last week. Already my nose is getting runnier, my eyes more sore and prone to sticking closed in the morning (cat licks aside) and most annoyingly, the roof of my mouth itches more and more of the time. At least my life as it currently is minimises my contact with random free-floating pollen in the outside world.

In other news, I managed to be relatively productive around the house today. Did some small amount of tidying, typed up and published a review for the movie blog (The Void, in case you were wondering) and got as far as I currently can with the Shawl of Secrets. I'm now at the point where I have to buy the missing ball of yarn before I can continue, and depending on how things go on Thursday (another vet visit for Lily) will determine whether I can get that this week or at the end of the month. Still, it's a good thing it's not able to distract me right now, as I still have to finish that cardigan for my niece.

Possible Criminal Minds spoilers if you've not seen Season 11 yet )

Knitted shawl in browns, reds, oranges, yellows and greens

On Anxiety

Apr. 25th, 2017 03:40 pm
sareini: "I'm sorry, I'm having a bad century" quote from Neil Gaiman's Sandman (Bad Century)
My weekend actually turned out pretty crappy. I ended up spending most of it in the throws of a major anxiety attack, one which left me alternatively just sitting in bed shaking, being physically sick or suffering problems at the other end. Oh, and we can't forget the sleeplessness either. Things didn't really get any better until Monday noontime, when I received something in the mail - but we'll get to that later.

I often find that trying to explain to people what anxiety and/or panic attacks are like is a lot like trying to explain what yellow smells like. The first thing people usually ask is, "Do you know what caused it?" which, on the surface, is a perfectly reasonable thing to ask. If you know the cause, you can maybe do something about it. Unfortunately for me, my anxiety attacks are often completely random and with no obvious cause - sometimes I actually wonder if they're triggered by something in my subconscious going, "What? We have nothing to panic about? Let's fix that!" and just panicking for the sake of panicking.

The physical symptoms don't help matters either. Much as with any stressful situation, when you have an anxiety or panic attack your body produces more adrenaline than you really need, to prepare for a "fight or flight" response. And one of the other things adrenaline does is slows down or even stops your digestive system as part of this. But of course, it can't stop forever, which is why I end up backing and forthing to the bathroom with disturbing frequency. And if you're being sick, you can't really get your mind off the anxiety, can you? It's a particularly vicious circle.

So I spent the weekend a panicking mess. I could barely even talk to people, which then started a whole new anxiety loop - "What if they get mad at me? I can't face them after this!" - and on and on it went. Because I can't really explain how bad my anxiety makes me feel, I worry that my friends don't or can't really understand the way I am sometimes; why I disappear randomly, stop replying to them, run away from conversations online - I just randomly reach a level of my ability to cope with things, and the moment things go over that level I'm gone.

But like I said, things got better on Monday. I received a package of yarn for a shawl I've had the pattern for for a while now - the Shawl of Secrets made with Scheepjes Secret Garden yarn. I originally got the pattern several months ago when I was "helping" my niece get free shipping on an order of her own (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it) and last week I decided that I had the excess money to actually buy the yarn - well, most of it anyway, as one colour was out of stock. So I was able to start work on that and finally I had something I could focus on to bring my anxiety down. And it works up really quickly as well - I'm already on the second colour, which makes me slightly bothered that I'll have to stop rather quickly when I reach the part of the shawl that needs the one colour I couldn't get at the time, as I'll have to wait a week and a half before I can get that last colour (I have to put limits on my yarn buying, or the house would be full and we'd be resorting to eating the stuff). But it's very pretty, and it feels very nice - it's 20% cotton, 20% silk, and 60% polyester, which I realised perhaps too late translates to "Bugger to clean, best not get this dirty". But that's something to deal with when it's finished.

***

In other news, I've temporarily renamed Callie to "Bitey McMoglet" after she's spent the last few days on a renewed assault on my feet while I'm in bed. Perhaps the most amusing thing is that she actually responds to it (although to be fair, she also responds to, "Leave your sister alone," and "What are you doing in that bag?").
sareini: A Procrastinator's work is never done! (Procrastination)
Today I have been mostly crocheting. Well, apart from the past hour or so, when I took a break to transfer some inactive icons from lj to here, because after four hours of crochet the little finger on my right hand had seized up rather painfully. My evening will be filled with more of the same.

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking with my niece and my brother and the topic of her upcoming birthday came up. And, long story short, I volunteered to make her a cardigan.

Let me be clear, it's not that I don't want to make her a cardigan. It's that, at the best of time, my ability to focus on one task for a protracted period of time is somewhat limited, because the depression/anhedonia makes me lose interest because I either get sad, or something else catches my eye and I want to start that instead, thinking at the time that surely this will cheer me up. At the time, I was about three-quarters of the way through a cardigan for myself, with just the sleeves left to do, and the fact that I'd gotten that far was impressive in itself. But of course I've now put that on hold to make my niece's cardigan for her birthday in mid-May. And the focus problem is starting to raise its head. There's a couple of scarves I was working on I'd like to go back to. There's a cross-stitch piece I'd like to go back to. There's a whole bunch of other projects lying about the house that I should get finished at some point that suddenly all want attention. But I have to finish this cardigan before I can touch anything else. I have to.

It helps to watch stuff while I'm working on it. I had planned to watch an episode of the new MST3K this afternoon as I crocheted, but instead I got drawn into a True Crime Lists channel on YouTube that - for the most part - manages to stay away from all the usual cases that nearly every other channel ends up covering, often in inaccurate detail. No doubt I'll end up creeping myself out by the end of the night (possibly ending up watching old Crimewatch episodes as well for added unease) but for now it's okay. Mainly because it's daylight out.

Oh, and Callie is helping with the crochet as well. By "helping" I mean she keeps trying to eat the cotton yarn, then curls up on my legs and goes to sleep, leaving me unable to properly move my legs for hours until the cramping gets too much and I have to tip her off. Then she bites the yarn again in protest and we start all over again.


Cat Talk

Apr. 16th, 2017 02:41 pm
sareini: following my fish (delirium)
When I came back from the local shop a few minutes ago (highlight of the trip: three young boys giggling as I passed and then one of them being dared to shout, "Hi Beard Lady!" at me as I reached my front door; I thought about waving back but I didn't want to give them heart attacks) the cats were waiting for me at the door.

Since the last time I posted about the cats - last year - things have changed somewhat. Lily is still here, minus several teeth and recovering from a bout of cholangiohepatitis that's lasted for about six months now, but sadly Cracker had to be put to sleep last year after suffering a major stroke that left her blind and unable to walk properly. A couple of months after that, my niece called me up and said, basically, "Hey, do you still want a new cat? Because I've found a free one." And that's where Callie - short for Calliope Tulip Shodan - came in.

When Callie arrived here in the first week of June she was a tiny tuxedo kitten who was equal parts fascinated by and terrified of everything. Lily took one look at her and, despite being at least four times bigger than her, immediately developed a case of bottlebrush tail and started growling at her. Callie barely seemed aware of her though, because new smells! and things to climb on! and oh hey, what's this food doing lying unattended on the floor? So after that initial introduction Callie got to spend a few days in a room of her own, where she terrified the life out of me by climbing up onto high objects and leaping about like a mountain goat.

Lily is actually a very easy-going cat, and once she was assured that she wasn't going anywhere she started taking an interest in Callie; sitting outside the door to Callie's room and sniffing; occasionally calling to her through the door. Their first few supervised visits still ended in growls, hissing and at least one cat puffing themselves up, but it actually only took a couple of weeks before the two of them could be trusted to wander the house freely without the risk of fur flying everywhere. There were still spats - while Lily still likes to play despite her senior years (she was always a bit sad that Cracker would always flee rather than play with her), she didn't have the energy or tolerance for the sheer amount of time Callie wanted to play, so there were still growls and paw smackdowns. And while she was at her illest with the cholangiohepatitis, she wanted to play even less, and my feet suffered during that time as Callie would take out her frustrations by biting anything that moved. But now?

Well, yesterday Callie spent over a minute trying to scruff Lily, who was lying on her back in the traditional "cat belly trap" pose", so she could drag her across the room for reasons known only to her. Callie's still not nearly as big as Lily, nor will she ever be, of course, so she was getting absolutely nowhere. Lily put up with this for a while, then reached out and gave a single whap to Callie with a paw, got up and ambled away. Two minutes later they were rolling across the floor together like a furry tumbleweed.

I'd say they're getting on.


A small black and white cat sitting in a slow cooker. (not plugged in)


A large ginger cat lying on a platform of a cat tree after ingesting catnip

September 2017

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