Thursday, January 28, 2010


Honey, it’s cold outside (also, one of my favorite songs). Some days are mind-numbingly cold. You step outside and despite all the layers – you feel chilled. The cold permeates and bites your eyeballs; it burns the inside of your nose or mouth when you breathe. I wonder why I reside in a northern locale, why, why, why??? The optimist in me states, “It could be worse.” True but I still curse the tilt of the planet when under 0 degrees Fahrenheit occurs.

20 to 80 is the temperature range that I prefer (Fahrenheit scale). Snow is beautiful to view. It changes the landscape without devastation. The city where I reside requires the residents to shovel their sidewalk within 24 hours of the end of a snowfall. An inch or two of fluffy stuff is fine and good exercise. That is not a problem unless I have to travel to work the next morning. It is horrid to get up an hour early just to shovel, come in the house to change into work clothes (I really should take another shower) and zip to work. After a snowfall the roads are iffy so I have to take extra time driving. Ugh.

I love my garden so I tolerate winter. I would prefer a briefer chilly season with less cold and snow. It would be more tolerable if the cats would shovel. I have a small profoundly expensive snow-blower. It sounds like a hair-dryer on wheels but it is helpful. Perchance to dream of a huge Toro someday… I’d love to have an electric lawnmower, too.

Shovel, shovel, shovel that blasted snow!
© 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Mo had been Princess for about a year. She always played aggressively but it started to be a problem when she would bite me through heavy leather garden gloves. CAT-HINT: Never play with your cat when your hands are bare – the cat cannot differentiate between playtime and petting when they are energetic. Gloves will save your hands and patience. Remember, cats have a brain the size of a walnut; they don’t understand the abstract. Their teeth are sharp daggers intent on puncturing weak human skin. Use this hint with dogs, too.

I decided that she needed a pet, another cat. I searched a couple shelters when a co-worker mentioned that his cousin had some kittens to give away. I was happy. Eliza dropped off the wee kitten that was known as Dani, the day before Labor Day. Little did I know that I had just brought two pounds of dynamite into the house. Mo was beyond anger. I had to place Dani on the front porch for her own safety. I was afraid that Mo would kill the six week old ginger & white bandy-tailed kitten.

A few days earlier, a hurricane named Katrina caused utter devastation. I’ll fume about that at another time.

Thankfully, Dani loved the screened-in porch. She had furniture to crawl under, toys, litter box, food and water. She was content to be out there while I was at work. I would come home and visit her. We made a trip to the veterinarian and she was pronounced healthy. The weather was very mild so she was able to stay on the porch for a whole month and double in size.

I still provided affection to Mo but she would hiss every time I brought Dani into the house. The weather was turning towards autumn so Dani (who never responded to the name) was spending time in the house when I was home. Mo wasn’t happy but was learning that when she hissed at the kitten, water would come rushing her direction. Mo hates being sprayed with water more than she hated the kitten.

I procured a baby names book and started reading the list out loud. Dani didn’t respond until I said Zoë. I kept reading names and said Zoë again; she came running over. That is how she chose her name. The story of Zo – to be continued.

Gotta chase the cats.
(c) 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010


Two felines share my house, or more accurately, I have the privilege of serving as the personal assistant in their home. Maureen (Mo) arrived angry, frightened, and wet (she peed upon herself) on a cold rainy night. She belonged to the brother of my best friend. He had been playing roughly with her, the Jack Russell terrier and three year old son. She was cornered and went for the weakest link – she bit the boy on the arm. His wife ordered him to remove the cat and that is how she ended up at my house on a proverbial dark and stormy night. The boy was fine and still loves cats.

Mo was a 7-year-old tortoise-shell calico mix. Piercing green eyes and an attitude. Cotter, the previous owner of the cat obtained her as a kitten from a shelter. She probably was the offspring of feral animals. He obviously loved her but his girlfriend, who became a spouse, did not. Once they gained a dog and child, Mo was sequestered to the basement. The only attention she received was when Cotter would venture down to play with her on occasion. The result of neglect was a withdrawn, angry and human-wary critter.

I never planned to have an indoor cat. Outdoor farm-cats were the only felines that I interacted with on a regular basis. My grandmother had extensive gardens and maintained about 100 cats to ensure that her crop was protected from small beasts. I wanted a dog but Mo arrived instead. I was only going to house her temporarily. She bit me three times, unprovoked, and I warned her that one more drop of blood and she would go to the shelter. A regular shelter would have exterminated her immediately due to the biting. It would have cost a lot of money to place her in a no-kill shelter. She must have understood because during the ensuing six years – she has never bit me.

Mo prefers to curl up next to me when I sit on the couch. She will grab my hand and purr while I rub her soft belly. She loves to sleep with her head in my hand. Her warm moist breath tickles my palm. I guess that I am now her person. I don’t consider myself a “parent” I am a personal assistant, catering to her every whim… (well, maybe not every desire or she’d weigh 40 lbs).

Time to get Mo a saucer of milk (a couple tablespoons only).
(c) 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Filled with excitement, anticipation and a bit of fear. The first time you kiss someone, it is thrilling and frightening. Hopefully, the result is positive and the negative emotions dispel in the warmth of the moment. Greetings! This is my first smooch-blog via “social media.” Let’s hope for a long and enjoyable relationship.

The weather is abysmal outside but it forces me to remain indoors to tackle projects, sleep, chat on the phone, spend hours in front of the computer, eat, or become numbed by the television. I obviously have made a choice. After I moved, my computer died – I think someone dropped it. A dear friend took pity upon my plight and gave me an old unit. I located a reasonably priced server and connect to the internet. Alas, I could only afford dial-up and am subjected to long wait times (which were the norm 10 years ago but seem like an eternity now). I will concentrate on composing word-smooches to the world (aka blog entries) while I grow old waiting for the next page or document to load. Heavy sigh… I will have a lot of time to write.

Smooches (kiss sounds),
Ima B. Musing