moiread: (CAT • eyes in the dark)
Despite my putting signs up, nobody claimed the adorable stray little black girlcat I found sitting outside my garden door meowing to come in. When the claim period expired, the HS spayed her, chipped her, gave her shots, and finally handed her over to [livejournal.com profile] theweaselking today.

He has dubbed her Lucy, short for Lucifer, because she is all black with orange eyes and made of destructive kitten mischief and was found at Hallowe'en time. Also I suspect the funny tufts that curl up out of each ear like little horns are not helping anything, even though she is disarmingly cute.

Now she gets a big house with two monkeys (one of whom she is currently trying to scale) and two other cats and a dogmonster and lots of toys and adventures to have. I am SO STOKED about this, you wouldn't believe. [livejournal.com profile] theweaselking has been all, "GIVE ME KITTY! GIVE! GIVE!" since he first saw her, and she's gonna be sooooo happy now.

PS: Lucy!
moiread: (CAT  • sleeping.)
Kitty kept me up all night with the really loud MEOW MEOW MEOW complaints from the bathroom, but this morning I went knocking on doors around the building. Nobody who answered claimed her. One lady two doors down said she thinks the neighbour between us owns her, but I find that idea either dubious or tragic. They throw crazy rowdy parties every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with their doors and windows wide open, no screens. They've caused property damage and I've had to file complaints about them littering my garden with bottles and beer cans. If they'd owned a cat they were letting out regularly, I suspect I would have seen her before now. I mean, I've seen other recurring indoor/outdoor cats who belong to tenants far further away than next door.

Anyway, I tried knocking on their door all morning, and despite hearing somebody flush their toilet, they didn't answer. Too hung over after last night, I'm guessing? Feh.

With nothing concrete to go on and not wanting to keep the cat locked in my bathroom forever, I brought her to the Humane Society this afternoon thanks to [livejournal.com profile] theweaselking and his car. My age guess was spot on, and she had no chip. No collar, no chip, no spaying also probably means no shots (because anybody who gives a shit enough to take the cat to the vet for shots doesn't ignore the rest) and a young intact female cat just hitting puberty with no immunizations has absolutely NO BUSINESS being outside. So I'll do my due legal diligence of trying to alert the owner by putting up a sign in the lobby as soon as I can get access to a printer (probably my parents' printer on Sunday, signs up Monday), but if nobody comes forward after a few days, the cat will start getting processed for adoption, which will include all her shots and getting spayed. Fingers crossed that this happens.

And if she hits the adoption pool, I know somebody who wants pretty badly to take her and absolutely has the knowledge and means, which would be the awesome icing on a cake made of win.
moiread: (Default)
There is a very young black girlcat (not a kitten, but not quite adult build yet either, so probably six months or so?) trapped in my bathroom right now, making a terrible MEW MEW MEW racket in protest of being shut in. She was wandering around outside all evening, narrowly avoiding being run over by cars in the parking lot (she's completely black and it's dark), until she heard me talking to my brother on the phone through my back screen door and came running. Then she spent another hour sitting outside that screen door making pitiful noises and trying to headbutt her way in. I sat outside with her to keep her company and kept hoping somebody would come past calling for an escaped cat, but nobody did.

She was in good enough shape and affectionate enough to have clearly been a pet but kind of grody and skinny, so likely lost. No collar. I had $3 in my bank account so I poked my folks, who told me I was crazy and to ignore the cat, who would "be fine because cats live outside just fine all the time". I decided not to try to beg money from people who don't understand feral cat populations and the issues thereof, so I poked my friends instead and lo, money happened, and then cat litter happened, and now there is the cat in my bathroom.

She likes catnip toys, attacking my toes, climbing shower curtains, and knocking things off shelves. Fortunately my shower curtain was $5 at Walmart and everything on my bathroom shelves can survive a tumble, so that's okay.

Tomorrow afternoon my friends are going to help me take her to a vet to check for a chip, but I figure in the morning before that I'll go knock on doors around the first floor of my building and see if anyone lost a cat. Then I'll go bug the main offices of the other two buildings next to us and see if they'll let me do the same there.

PS: Kitty also likes rolling around in the sink when the tap is on, shoving your soapy hands out of her way, getting soaking wet, and then flicking water at you. Noted. :P

PPS: Kitty! Very blurry, wriggly, hyperactive kitty. Ignore the gender mixup; I defaulted to male until I could get her to put up with being flipped on her back and letting me poke around long enough to figure out if she had balls or not. Damn that cat is fluffy. And also not fixed, as it turns out, so leaving her outside would have been stupid.
moiread: (CAT  • sleeping.)
Allow me to introduce Angus, who belongs to good friends:






He is SUPER EAGER about EVERYTHING. You are his BESTEST FRIEND EVER. So is your foot, and the chair, and the TV stand, and the lamp...

So far he's managed to render a stack of insurance papers (which I had already made photocopies of, thank goodness) into an impressive blast radius of hacked-and-chewed chunky confetti and has knocked everything off half my shelves. He also gave himself a bath in the watering can I keep in my bathtub (so that I can easily empty my air conditioner's water runoff tank into it) and got stuck until I came to extricate him. But he's happy and affectionate and cute, and I know he's just on curiosity/play overdrive thanks to suddenly being bereft of his two monkeys, dogmonster, Older Cat, and big house to run around in. Also he's young and hasn't settled yet. Poor guy is bored out of his skull with just me and my quiet little apartment, so he's getting into absolutely everything. Fortunately, he doesn't seem to be interested in demolishing my shelves a second time, since now he's explored them already.

I have to say, though, I have really missed cats that sleep on you. That made me so happy last night, I can't even tell you. Angus SNUGGLES.

The constant yowling, though, I am not so much a fan of. This dude is VOCAL. Like, REALLY vocal. All the time. About everything. If I didn't know better, I'd think he was a) female, and b) in heat, as opposed to being very male and very fixed. So far the only off button I've found involves getting him stoned on catnip, which is why you see a hastily-made blue catnip kicker in those photos. At least with one of those, he'll entertain himself for a few hours... ;)
moiread: (CAT  • sleeping.)
I have just finished packing up the cat and handing her back to her owner. This is not because the owner is ready to take her back, but rather because I have quit.

When I agreed to take the cat, I asked for $100 per month, plus food and litter would have to be provided. I know that sounds expensive at first glance, but it actually only works out to $3/day. By contrast, any of the professional boarding options within city limits cost between $15 and $25 per day. I was also walking the cat every night (anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the cat's interest level), and pet-walking services alone cost more than I was charging per day.

The owner agreed to my terms and paid me $100. Unfortunately, it turns out that was all she intended to pay me and she let me know that, as well as that the stay would be extended to three months for sure (when her original estimate was "one month, two at the most"), last week. I replied that unless she was willing to stick to our agreement, she had until the 4th (exactly one month from starting date, since she paid for that much) to find other accomodations for her cat.

The owner has apparently found a friend who is willing to take the cat for free, indefinitely, but I don't see it going well. The new person is a single mom with three kids, living in a space that's not that much bigger than mine. Meanwhile, Sheba is terrified of children, loud noises, and any kind of bustling or ruckus, even if the disturbance is obviously outside the home. (When my nieces tried to introduce themselves to her, she hid under my bed, hissed, swiped, and refused to come out for an entire day. And my nieces are used to cats, so it's not like they were rough with her.) These kids have also never owned a pet of any kind, and are REALLY SUPER EAGER to have a cat, so they're probably going to be all over her. And I sincerely doubt that a single mom to three kids is going to have the time or the patience to walk the cat and play with her and do all the things her owner wants.

I am not particularly concerned about any of these things because Sheba is not my cat -- and therefore this is not my problem! -- but it does lead me to suspect that I'll probably get a very apolgetic phone call before too long. If so, I'd have to decide if I want to take the cat back. If it was only the cat, I'd say yes, but unfortunately it comes with managing the owner too. I could use the money, though, so I'd probably say okay. And she did get better about harassing me after I made myself "unreachable" most of the time, which helps.

So that's that, I guess. I must admit that I'll miss having a fuzzybutt around the house. Maybe I should start advertising cat boarding as a regular thing? All of the benefits with none of the cost...!
moiread: (facepalm • lisa e.)
How do you tell a really neurotic, obsessive, my-cat-is-my-substitute-for-a-child pet owner for whom you are pet-sitting that calling and e-mailing you every day to demand updates is not okay with you? Not only is it really obnoxious, but it's stressing me out. She keeps demanding that I do certain things, like play certain games with the cat in a certain way, and then the next day she wants to hear how it went. And of course I haven't done it, because what she wants is ridiculous. I feel like I'm being graded, and the level of expectation involved is making me dread every communication, which in turn is pushing buttons with my phone phobia/social anxieties.

She keeps making comments like, "Well, if you maybe wanted to interact with her more, and really engage with her..." I don't understand how much more one can be expected to engage with an animal that mostly wants to sleep in the sunny spot on your carpet all day. I play with her when she seems interested, pet her whenever I walk past her during her endless naps, take her for a 30-40 minute walk every day or two, and enjoy her company every time she comes to flop on my desk while I'm on the computer. I talk to her, give her treats, get her stoned on catnip, and load her up on scritches. This is a lot more attention than most people's cats get, and I genuinely do not know what more I can be expected to do without focusing on the cat every waking moment.

Besides, there just aren't that many new things to report. What does she expect me to say? "Today Sheba napped on the armchair instead of the coffee table and it was soooo dramatic! DUN DUN DUN!"

I am trying to find the line between letting her run roughshod over me (bad!) and respecting that she is paying me for a service (good!). I am currently trying to be polite but firm, to only answer phone calls from her every two days instead of every day, to delay by 24 hours in responding to her e-mails, and to cheerfully pretend I don't notice any passive-aggressive attacks. At the same time, I'm making it very clear that Sheba is happy and content. I'm hoping this will eventually wean her off the stranglehold she is trying to establish.

I get that this is all just because she has so much invested in her cat emotionally and is going through a really hard time (the personal details of which I will omit here for obvious reasons), and not having a main source of comfort/routine around is probably really hard for her, but she is actively making my life more difficult as a result, and it's not okay.

PS: Lady, please stop sending me photos of your cat. I seriously do not care that much. She's very lovely, but she's not my cat, and even if she was, I would not be that obsessed with her. Besides, she is right here. If I wish to gaze adoringly at her striking beauty, I can just turn around. (I know, I know, I took a few photos when she first arrived, but that was because she was pretty and everyone would have demanded pictures anyway. It's not the same thing as wanting to be sent photos of her every day.)

Kitty!

Aug. 3rd, 2011 11:35 pm
moiread: (CAT • eyes in the dark)


Her name is Sheba. Despite being absurdly spoiled, she's very dainty and polite. She's also really affectionate and mellow for a cat who has been suddenly dumped with a stranger out of the blue. We have somewhere between three weeks and two months to hang out and get comfortable with one another before she goes back to her (slightly crazy) owner. I have been informed that she is used to being given middle-of-the-night snacks whenever she "asks" (by which I mean bothering the nearest available monkey until they wake up), and to running around outside whenever she likes, neither of which she will be getting with me. But I do intend to give her supervised leash time in my yard and a great deal of treats and scritches, which will just have to do. Her pampered kitty life, it is soooo haaaaard.

EDIT: From "I don't know you!" to shoving her head between my breasts and purring like a dork in 3 hours! Yay!

PS: I think this counts as successful acclimation:
"I can see why you like this desk. It IS rather comfortable." )
moiread: (CAT  • sleeping.)
#1: My mother's hairdresser is moving and has been shopping around for somebody to cat-sit for a few weeks in case her temporary in-between accommodations cannot also accommodate her cat. When my mother originally told me about this possibility awhile back, I tentatively said I could be the person the cat goes to during that time, if the cat is friendly and well-behaved, and I was being paid to do it, and all the food/litter was provided in advance. You know. Reasonable requirements.

Only my mom is my mom, which means she didn't think to tell me that it was definitely happening, and I was definitely the person the cat was going to, and it would start tomorrow. Until today, that is, when she said, "Oh, and tomorrow night we have to go pick up the cat."

She thought it was weird when I looked confused and asked, "What cat?"

Yeah.

I don't even know the cat's name.

So alright then. Guess I have to spend tonight cleaning and go buy a shelf tomorrow? (The shelf is to go about an inch above Eve's tank, so that there can still be air flow but the cat can't sit on top of the tank and terrorize the snake inside.)

#2: I have been helping my dad renovate my parents' basement. Again. This time we're just focusing on the main big room, which we sectioned off and built last time. The room is being converted into a rec room slash bedroom for my brother, who will live in it for the next year. (Or two, I suspect, but don't tell him that.) After that it'll become a rec room slash guest bedroom.

It's been nice to spend more quality time with my dad, and to work on a project that I can see actual physical progress on from hour to hour. I have needed a concrete project for some time now. (I had picked one up in the form of redoing [livejournal.com profile] soirenoir's web stuff, but then my dad was all, "BASEMENT. HELP. NOW. PLEASE. I ONLY HAVE A WEEK IN WHICH TO GET THIS DONE." But I'm glad to know that once my parents leave on Wednesday for their upcoming trip, I will have another concrete project to turn to.)

It's mostly done, but finishing it requires that my brother make decisions about what he wants his future apartment to look like, at least in basic terms, because he wants to start buying and decorating with the future space in mind, and yet he also wants it to look coordinated with the basement room for however long he lives down there. My brother is allergic to decisions, so I'm glad that he has the next three weeks of my parents' cross-country road trip in which to ruminate over the ones in front of him.

Apparently picking between three neutral paint colours is, like, super hard. Or something.

#3: Still no word back yet about the results of the second EEG. Tomorrow I start calling.

#4: I AM GOING TO FARTHING PARTY IN SEPTEMBER. I am so excited! I have made some arrangements with Tim and Mris, and negotiated with my budget, and made arrangements for somebody to cover me on the two days of work I'll be missing. Universe willing, nothing will implode between then and now. I sorely need a week in Montreal with gentle people. You have no idea.

#5: LJ seems so quiet lately, and not just because of the DDoS downtime. I feel as though everyone is migrating to other places, and I... don't much like it. I miss having my friends all in one place. I don't want to have to follow Dreamwidth blogs and Twitter and personal domain name blogs and Wordpress and Google Plus and Facebook and Tumblr. Some of those I just refuse to follow at all on the principle that I have only so much attention span to go around. And Facebook, at least, is fucking scary and does not deserve my patronage.

If you have moved somewhere, I suppose you're not likely to see this, but if you do see it, could you tell me where you have gone so I can decide if I have it in me to add that place to the list of things I have to go check or not? For some of you, I know where you've gone, but for others I have no clue.

Bonus thing: Speaking of paint! I have chosen paint colours for my own bedroom and bathroom. The former is going to be a bright apple green, and the latter is going to be either a rich magenta or a soft purple, depending on what fabric I can find for the shower curtain. I AM EXCITED! Alas, getting it done has to wait until sometime in September, when both cash and volunteer manpower will be more available. ;)
moiread: (eyebrow • julia s.)
Is it International Offer-A-Cat Day or something? I've had no less than three people offer me cats on behalf of someone else they know today, including one offer of THREE cats who could be driven up from the US. OY.

(Though really, what it makes me feel is guilty and horrible that there are so many lovely animals in need of homes, and it makes me wish I did have room. Sigh.)

Edit: Now four!
moiread: (CAT • eyes in the dark)
How often do you take your cat to the vet? Do you do annual check-ups and shots? If your cat has ever had an injury or medical condition that needed veterinary care, how expensive was it? Were there other costs related to medical issues without being directly associated with veterinary care, such as special dietary requirements? And can you specify whether your cat is indoor, or outdoor, or mostly indoor with supervised outdoor time, etc? If you have pet insurance, can you give me the low-down on that too? And would you recommend the company you get it from?

For context: I'm trying to determine what a reasonable pet insurance plan would be. I know some of you do annual visits and some of you don't, and some of you have had cats with serious medical crises and some of you have had cats who never even got so much as a weepy eye, so you're a great group of folks to poll. ;)

Thanks so much, guys. :D

(If you'd prefer not to discuss this publicly for any reason, know that anonymous comments are automatically screened on my journal, so you can just hit the comment anonymously radio button and sign your name instead. I won't unscreen it. Alternately, feel free to use IMs or e-mail or message me through LJ.)
moiread: (cat • eyes in the dark)
I am now The Chellemonster That Lives In The Basement. Also there is a lovely dog keeping my feet warm here at the computer and two cats asleep on my bed. And I had crepes for dinner. I'm a wreck, but I'm pretty happy. :)

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