Thursday, August 4, 2011


So. About those kittens.

We've brought them inside for now, with the intent of giving them up for adoption later. Unfortunately there are only seven of them now, as sweet Morris Minor was killed, probably by a coyote. I hadn't thought they were in that kind of danger, but I was wrong. He was a real sweetie, and so very friendly. Poor guy.

Not that any of this is much to do with the hoarding situation here, though I suppose the whole junk car thing and the open shed means the local feral cats can find plenty of shelter here.

But I thought y'all might like to see some pictures of them. Because, I mean, really: kittens!!

First of course is good old Aleister Meowley, who is at a very handsome thirteen weeks old:

It's that built-in eyeliner. It's irresistible.

Then there is Splotch's batch, the three that are left. They are around nine weeks old. These are the ones who were born in the back seat of an MG Midget and are named after cars. There is Austin (pardon the blurriness of that image; he simply would not sit still):

And Healey (what a face!):

And her sister Spridget, with her little Girl Hitler moustache:

The lady at the shelter marked them all down as long-haired when I took them in last week to get them de-wormed and de-fleaed. I can never tell when they are little, but I'll take her word for it.

Then there is Smudge's set, who are just six weeks old today, which in my fairly extensive experience with kittens is when they hit the absolute pinnacle of adorability. This first one has been dubbed Dennis the Third, as we have in the past had two solid yellow cats named Dennis (the Menace, of course). But while he certainly fits the pattern I'm thinking maybe his name is really Danny Lion. My mother, just last night, announced that she had fallen in love with him and didn't want to give him up. So he may be staying too.

Then there's his brother. Poor thing; when he was a few weeks younger he had a terrible raging eye infection, enough so that his eyes were glued shut and rather swollen. I got them open, but (and I recommend you avert your eyes NOW if you don't want to be grossed out), they were filled with either pus or mucus which just oozed and oozed. But I got them clean, and kept them clean, and he's since had antibiotics. He's still a bit sniffly, but is much much better (and not blind, which can happen when the infections are that bad, so I hear). His name is probably officially Maurice, in memory of Morris Minor, but the nickname he's ended up with is of course Snotty.

And then there's the last one, the little grey one who had the nasty cuterebra parasites. The one I bottle-fed for a week and a half or so. The one I thought was a girl. It's still remarkably enough a little hard to tell; I think that's a little knob of something under its butt-hole, but I could be wrong. I would not be surprised if it's a little delayed compared to its brothers. It is an odd one, that's for sure. Not, mind you that it's, well, slow, or anything, as it's healthy and running around and playing and all just like everyone else, but, well. It just has this way of looking at you all wobbly. Maybe the wounds on its neck have made the muscles there a little weak for the time being, I don't know.

It still doesn't have a name. It's gone through some nicknames, sure, mostly to do with its oddness. Stuff like Sticky, Icky, Stinky, when it was completely covered in formula; but even since I gave it a good bath with baby shampoo it just doesn't look quite right. We've also been calling it Twitchy and Tweaky, as well as Sméagol, but the current name it's got is Ratty. I mean, look:

It's better than it was, certainly. At least it looks kind of like a kitten now.

Which isn't to say it isn't a sweetie, of course. When you pick it up it instantly purrs like crazy and then starts rolling around in pure delight, all while looking at you adoringly. Or, well, at least it does that for me, but then I bottle fed it.

And not like it isn't here to stay, rattiness or not. I do hope it's just an Ugly Duckling phase, though. Cause, man. Look at that thing!

Leap of Faith

Despite the fact that the two of us are leaving on a road trip tomorrow and still have like a gazillion things to do, Tara felt we could squeeze another iron run in today. I do sometimes wonder just how much her world view is colored by the energy drinks she apparently mainlines; but despite the tight schedule there we were filling up the bus again with rusty hunks of rusty rust, which this time included an actual rusty bucket of bolts. As well as some aluminum, brass, copper and a good old double-biscuited catalytic converter, which was most excellent.

All told it was a smallish load, as far as the iron part of it went anyway. Still, when we add on the 560 pounds of iron, from our thirty-seventh trip to the scrapyard, it brings our total up to 32,380 pounds, or 16.19 tons. And yeah, there's still more.

Back view:

And side view:

To top it all off, by which I mean, literally, piled on all the other stuff in the bus like a cherry on a rust fudge sundae, we also got rid of the dryer.

Now, that may not seem like a big deal. So let me explain.

In the old days under my father's, well, regime, as in, the way things are run by a totalitarian dictator, if the belt broke on the dryer, which is what it did a couple of weeks ago, not only would there be no chance of fixing it, there would also be no chance of throwing it away. Now in the case of this dryer, true, it's pretty much unfixable, or, really, way too much of a pain in the ass to bother with, as the broken belt is in this crazy impossible place. Which Tara knows because she looked.

My father, on the other hand, would have just assumed it could not be fixed. Or, well, not quite: he would have assumed it was a huge impossible deal to fix, but he would also have assumed he was capable of doing it nonetheless. Not, of course, that he would actually fix it, oh no of course not. And not that he would let anyone else fix it either, as that would involve spending money on something that he could do, and as I believe I have said more than a few times already he was a miserly bastard. So it would have sat there.

And because it was 'fixable', even if, realistically, it was never ever going to be fixed, no one would be allowed to get a new one, either, since we had what my father considered a perfectly good dryer. Yes, that's right: in his eyes it was of course still perfectly good. Even though it didn't work. Even though pretty much it was never going to work again. And of course if anyone had the temerity to remind him that he had said he was going to fix the dryer and when do you think you might want to do that? he would freak right out and go straight to ranting about how he didn't have time now, or he had all these other things to do, or he couldn't do it because he had to do this this and that first, and anyway everyone always nags him and didn't he have any rights and you couldn't make him! Yes, seriously. That sounds an awful lot like a badly behaved five year old to me now, though of course we didn't see it then. And yet he had so much power over us.

So in the end we would have been dryerless for years, most likely. And since he didn't do laundry, he didn't exactly care, did he. It would only make our lives miserable, and we didn't count.

But anyway. Back to the way things are now.

So the both of us are going on this road trip, and won't be back for a couple weeks; so the plan is (since we have a lot on our plates already) to find a working one via Craigslist after we get back. My mother has said she can wait and doesn't mind hanging clothes out for a little while. Me, I find it a huge pain, and am frankly sick of towels that feel like sandpaper and underwear that feels like cardboard, but hey, it's her butt, right?

But even though we didn't have a replacement lined up, there we were hauling the old one to the scrapyard. That kind of thinking, the thinking that allows there to be a gap, a space in time between one step and the next, would have been completely impossible for my father. Because what it comes down to is a leap of faith. Faith that the universe moves, and faith that it will, that we will, actually follow through.