Howdy, interwebs… I guess I should pop in with an obligatory storm update, lest people equate my blog silence with my house having floated away or something. I am happy to report that we were very lucky here in inland Pennsylvania to have been spared much devastation. A couple nasty days, some debris around the neighborhood, but praise all deities everywhere that our power stayed on and our basement didn’t flood.
If it makes you feel better, I wasn’t so lucky back when that ridiculous “derecho” storm hit back over the summer… remember that? I was stranded powerless and car-less by myself in VA, trying to take care of one hot beagle and one energy-sucking fetus (fetuses are so demanding, aren’t they?), so had to resort to fun activities like huffing it to the half-functional grocery store to buy myself grape juice and sun chips. On the way stepping over things like this…
Kinda untimely/off topic but realizing I had never put those pictures up and they’re pretty cray-cray not to share. But as Katy Perry says, that was then and this is now. And Sandy was pretty merciful to us, just not to anyone else closer to the Atlantic apparently. Which just shows there is no justice in the world because why would a storm with the same name as a beloved Springsteen song wreak such havoc on New Jersey and New York!? So very uncool. Hoping everyone out there is snuggled warm in your neck of the woods and on your way to power recovery.
Anyone following my thrilling life updates on Facebook knows that my biggest concern was our neighborhood’s stray cat. It must be the hormones because I worry myself sick over that mangy beast. I feed it, I think about it when the weather gets cold or wet, and every time I see it I call out to it like a 3 year old, “Kitty! Kitty! Kiitteeeeeeyyyy!!!!” It always runs away in terror. I JUST WANT TO HUG YOU AND MAKE YOU FEEL LOVED, CAT.
I called the Humane Society many weeks ago when I first discovered its existence to see if I could borrow a trap and get him in there for adoption. “Is it friendly?” they ask me. Umm, (see above), not exactly. They said this makes it more of a wild/feral cat, which 1) renders him a poor adoption candidate and 2) they are forbidden by township law from accepting. No help there. The very nice woman on the phone assured me this meant it was probably a very adaptive animal and would find a way to make it through the winter, as wild cats and dogs have been doing for thousands of years. This was comforting.
But of course my heart broke thinking of this poor baby during this miserable storm. So while the hurricane was off the coast of North Carolina and barreling in our direction, I took the time to construct– yes– a cat hurricane shelter. You can blame my mother, fellow psycho and experienced cat-shelter-builder, for schooling me on how to do this.
I am going to show you this just so you have a guide in case you ever have a need. If you want to save this on Pinterest, DO NOT STOP YOURSELF. If you work for Williams Sonoma and want to buy the rights from me to manufacture this, also do not stop yourself. Cause it’s a very attractive home accessory.
As you can see, all one needs is a Rubbermaid tub, duct tape, newspaper, and a towel you are willing to part with. Then just slice a little kitty door in the tub (there is no graceful way to do this… don’t chop your fingers off) and then construct a Feline Warmth Retaining Door Flap System© with the duct tape. IMPORTANT NOTE: take special care to ensure there are no exposed areas of the sticky side of the tape. Can you imagine how much that would hurt to get your fur stuck on duct tape?! I know, right!?
NOW. Here’s where the fun begins. Did you think the story was over? PSSHHHH. I placed this little contraption down outside our basement where stray cat usually collects his meals, except I put it like 10 feet away from his food dish so it could be under the deck and dry. Except then I worried he wouldn’t find his little home because it wasn’t right next to his food, and let’s face it, stray cats are deprived of the educational opportunities afforded to affluent, house-dwelling cats (feathers on strings, laser pointers, etc), so there is a good chance I was working with a cat of questionable intelligence. So I sort of made a trail of cat food leading from his dish to the shelter, placing a few chunks inside the shelter as the end point.
Maybe an hour or so after shelter deployment I just happened to walk by the back door to our deck and heard a noise coming from outside. I opened the door to investigate and there was indeed a horrible noise coming from below– a noise that was unmistakably, unquestionably, the exact noise one would associate with… A CAT FIGHT CONTAINED IN A RUBBERMAID TUB. Take a moment to conjure up that audio experience.
Remember with the tub being under the deck I couldn’t see anything, I just stood there for a few seconds aghast at what could possibly be going on down there to produce such noises. A few seconds later, I see TWO cats bolt from under the deck and disappear into the woods behind us. TWO! IDENTICAL! CATS! What I thought was one gray stray kitty was apparently TWO gray stray kitties appearing individually! I’d been duped just like Lindsey Lohan duped Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson! DEVIOUS SIBLING CREATURES!
Umm, and there you have… the time twin gray stray cats got into a fight over a chunk of food in a Rubbermaid hurricane shelter under my deck. LE FIN.
OK, off to put on a happy face for the trick-or-treaters. Sorry kids that we’re “that house” giving away Laffy Taffy and Bottle Caps. When I was a kid I swore I’d never peddle that crap when I grew up. (See also: Almond Joy, Mounds, Dumb Dumbs, bags of pretzels.) Yea that’s right, neighbors two doors down from my childhood home years 1992-1999: I KNOW YOU WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PRETZELS IN MY PLASTIC JACK-O-LANTERN AND I’M NOT OVER IT.
Now I get it. All those houses giving away that filth were probably just owned my women like myself who can’t be trusted in the same geographic location as a 3 pound bag of the Mars/Hershey’s good stuff. Because make me share a house with 3 pounds of Twix/Kit Kats/Peanut Butter Cups and they WILL be halfway through my small intestine by the time the first Hannah Montana shows up at my doorstep. LAFFY TAFFY IT IS.