Thursday, May. 28, 2009
Dear Diary:

Her cat door fu is strong.

There's been a hilarious and totally unexpected bonus to my cat Enid's mastery of the cat door. She has inadvertently learned to use it not only as a wormhole to freedom, but also as a weapon.

This has totally changed her life and her personality.

When we adopted our tiny gray cat Binky (aka Mr. Evil), we did it out of pity because he was so terribly bullied at the shelter. To say I was steamed when he, in turn, started to bully our Eeny is a gross understatement.

Ninety nine per cent of the time in the house Mr. Evil leaves her alone, mostly because he knows that I will spritz the stuffing out of him with a water bottle if he pulls any stunts when I am around. But if they're outside he feels she's fair game.

He constantly charges her and puts beatdowns on her. (As an aside, he is the typical bully. If you stand up to him, he totally backs down. Last week I saw an enraged chipmunk charge Bink and send him bolting for the safety of the house. A chipmunk.)

But I digress.

Enid's mastery of the cat door, which has confounded Bink, has given her an instant route to freedom. If she's moseying around the property and he starts to chase her to administer a beatdown, she just rockets to the porch and whips through the cat door.

Nyah nyah nee nyah nyah.

It's a semi clear frosted plastic so Eeny can peer through it at Mr. Evil, and he at her. They have engaged in many a Mexican standoff. You have no idea how much this enrages Mr. Evil. You have no idea how much this cracks me up.

The other day he made a tentative move as if to try the cat door, which swings both ways on its upper hinge. Eeny hissed and whipped out a paw as if to smack him. The paw hit the cat door, which swung up, and smacked Mr. Evil square on the nose.

You would have thought he'd been hit with 50,000 volts of pure electricity, the way he jumped.

Now, if Mr. Evil chases her through the cat door, all Eeny has to do to make him back down is to tap the cat door with her paw and start it rocking slightly. Neither of them has forgotten the nose smack.

There is, of course downsides to this.

For one thing, I think we can pretty much write off Mr. Evil ever using a cat door during any of his nine lives, which means I will be his personal footman for the rest of his life.

The other thing is that Eeny is insanely territorial about the porch and now feels she needs to defend the cat door against all comers. This may not always be a good thing. Two days ago I was doing dishes in the kitchen and could hear her growling at the catdoor.

I opened the door to the deck that's on the other side of the cat door, fully expecting to have to yell at Mr. Evil. It wasn't Bink. It was a big ass porcupine trying to figure out the mechanics of the cat door. Eeny was right there fully ready to defend her turf.

Oh man.

Fortunately Porky was as startled by me as I was by him. He turned and lumbered off slowly in that odd, rocking, flatfooted way porcupines have. PleasePleasePlease let this be the end of it.

One of our other cats once tangled with a porcupine and frankly I never, ever want to see that much suffering (not to mention the vet bill) again. Fingers crossed on that one.

All is forgiven as spoken in treeLast weekend was my 58th birthday. I got the best present ever, when the tree I planted three years ago to mark my 55th birthday (the tree that was smushed when the spousal unit and his brother dropped a massive ash tree on it) burst into full and dazzling bloom.

I didn't think that tree would live. To see it so beautiful gives me ridiculous amounts of happiness.

The spousal unit and I spent last weekend working on this year's Insane Gardening Project, which is my small pond. This weekend will begin the official placement of the Big Ass Rocks that will make up my waterfall.

How big ass are these rocks?

Well, let me put it this way. They are so heavy that the tractor hydraulics are only strong enough to get the rocks about 18" off the ground. More than once I have suggested that perhaps it would be wise for us to hire a neighbour who has a more powerful tractor than ours to come in and set these rocks.

The spousal unit has greeted this suggestion with incredulity, as if I've made some sort of challenge to his manhood. Crap.

If you have a moment, send good thoughts towards two middle aged people who are about to mess around with stupidly heavy and somewhat dangerous things this weekend.

I think we may need them.

--Marn

Mileage on the Marnometer: 138 miles.

Going Nowhere Collaboration

Goal for 2008: 500 miles


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This template is a riff on a design by the truly talented Quinn. Because I'm a html 'tard, I got alot of pity coding to modify it from Ms. Kittay, a woman who can make html roll over, beg, and bring her her slippers. The logo goodness comes from the God of Graphics, the Fuhrer of Fonts, the one, the only El Presidente. I smooch you all. The background image is part of a painting called Higher Calling by Carter Goodrich which graced the cover of the Aug. 3, 1998 issue of The New Yorker Magazine.

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