A Different Drummer Drumming

Not my cat.  Not my drawers.  My drawers fit, thank you very much, but I can appreciate the frustrating of trying hard to fit in and not being able to no matter how hard you try.. .

Considering that large parts of the world are on fire or have been run over by hurricanes, and there’s a global pandemic still going on that’s still killing thousands, the fact that nothing much is happening chez nous is actually a good thing.

I was watching this Chinese cooking show video the other day because it had Joe Cheng in it (for whom I have a thang), and I watched in bemused amazement as he used a corkscrew to open a bottle of wine (at 0:59).  He’s the only person I’ve ever seen besides me who turns the bottle and not the corkscrew. . .  When I’m screwing a lid on a jar or bottle, about half the time I’m holding the lid in one hand and turning the bottle with the other hand.

In the knitting news, progress is being made on the Malabrigo shawl.  That’s one skein’s worth, with the new ball just knotted on.  I think I’ll try for three skeins and see where that gets me.  I am pleased with the way it’s going.   I still have it on my computer desk to work on at odd moments.

Even though I have cordless headphones, I decided to try a sound bar for my TV, and I got this one.  The box was damaged in shipping  — as in a big gaping hole torn in the cardboard — and the wall-mounting brackets and the product setup instructions were missing.  But I intended to relocate my cable box and DVD player to the bottom shelf of the sideboard I’m using as an entertainment stand and slide that dude right under the TV so it sits at head level to seated me.  Good value for money, and it was intuitive enough that I managed to get it to work without set-up instructions.  The sound quality is good and the price is right.  Money well spent.  I think it might be time to rewatch “Я дракон” again, or re-binge-watch The Witcher . . .

 

 

Can’t Leave Well Enough Alone.

Yes, I’m having another “ooooh, shiny!” moment, but what a way to start a bittersweet, socially-distanced Tuesday . . .

There is a reason why the music of camel cultures is rhythmically different than the music of horse cultures.  (The music of Spain is a blend of the two cultures.)  Horses walk by moving the hind foot that is diagonal to the front foot that just stepped — left front, right hind, right front, left hind.  This gait produces a steady 1-2-3-4 beat = 4/4 time.  It meshes seamlessly with the 1-2-1-2 = 2/4 time of a person walking.  You hear this rhythmic pattern all through the music of Western culture.  But there are three animals that have a unique walking gait — they walk to the beat of a different drum, if you will.  The front and back legs on the same side move instead of on the diagonal — right rear, right front, left rear, left front.  Those three animals are the giraffe, the cat*, and — the camel.

Compare the rhythm of the horse:

with the rhythm of the camel:

Horses rock with a front to back motion as they walk (just like a rocking horse); camels sway with a side to side motion as they walk — riding a camel for the first time actually makes some people seasick!  But listen to the sway in the deep drum beat.

Compare it to that good-ol’ Human two-step:

*Remember that Henry Mancini Pink Panther theme?  That da-dum da-dum figure that keeps repeating throughout --  It's the rhythm  that a cat's feet would make if you could hear their silent tread.

Hanging Mom, and Delighting Mrs. Crocombe

Saturday was the Chinese Lunar New Year, and we are now in the Year of the Rat.  One of the Chinese traditions is to start the new year with a clean house, as this increases one’s chance of good luck in the coming year.   Contrary to popular belief, I do clean house occasionally, last week being one such occasion, with a big push on Friday, with pizza as a reward (and a rather effective one!).  I dusted, vacuumed, emptied waste baskets and schlepped the trash out to the dumpster, had both vacuums (upright and cannister) out, was up and down on the step stool to reach the high shelves and the top of the refrigerator, and washed everything I could get into the washer, including the “guest” towels in the main bathroom, all the lap robes, all the bath mats, and all my bedding. (I even rotated the mattress!)   I bet I washed at least six big loads, the last load including the clothes I stood in. Then I had my bath, and sat down to my reward about 10 p.m., and crashed and burned (in a clean bed!) at about 12:30 a.m.  Sunday I took it easy and played games on my tablet and read.

While I was doing my general cleaning and sorting out of the household, I hung mom in the bedroom — her picture, that is!  Her church membership directory also includes family pictures of those members who wish to spring for it, and the photographers offer the option of additional copies of the photo in larger sizes (for a rather stiff additional fee!), and my mom opted for a couple of  5″ x 7″‘s, one of which she framed and gave me for Xmas.  I put it on my dresser intending to hang it shortly thereafter and . . . oh, look! a squirrel. . .  And there it sat until Friday.  Hanging it under several pictures of her and my dad stirred sad memories, seeing her solo in a picture which would have included my dad, only he passed in 2014 at the age of 92.

You knew it would happen.  Another shawl pattern.  This time it’s a rectangular one in bulky yarn, on US13(9.00 mm) needles, which I’m calling “Mrs. Crocombe‘s Braided Delight” since a shawl worn by Kate Hipperson who plays Mrs. Crocombe for English Heritage inspired it. I’m pretty sure I don’t have enough of the blue yarn to do the whole shawl, so I will stripe it with white.  A yarn with a nice drape would be good for this, like something blended with alpaca or merino, and now that I look at it, US15’s (10.0 mm) would probably be a better choice, but I don’t have any 15’s. The yarn I’m using is acrylic, so I’ll “kill” it when I block it so it will drape better.  There will be a pattern published.

Both this blue and the white are  old, old yarn that came out of what Angela of Must Love Yarn podcast fame refers to as “deep stash.” Both yarns have been knitted and frogged out at least once.  (I’m picking out cat hair from cats more than 10 years gone  — and still much missed! — not to mention my own hair!)

The shawl has a nice big braided cable detail, and cables are always fun.  The cable is positioned asymmetrically, closer to one edge than to the center.  I started the shawl on some Knitters Pride Dreamz circular needles that I had.  I had forgotten they had a nylon connecting cord.  I had also forgotten how dealing with a sproing-y nylon cable, especially one of any size (47 inches), was like wrestling a python.  I bit the bullet and ordered some ChiaoGoo 13’s with a 60-inch cable.  That should cover all the bases.  In the first place, the ChiaoGoo’s are stainless steel, not wood, and are slicker; in the second place, their connecting cable is metal cable rope chain coated in plastic that has no memory whatsoever, unlike nylon, which has a memory like an elephant.

Anyway, since the shawl is on 13’s, it will go relatively fast.  It’s been a while since I’ve knitted anything on needles this big, and it’s a real workout for my hand muscles. So far I can only go for about four or five rows before my hands get tired and start to hurt.

I really, really need to Marie Kondo my WIPs, frog those that do not spark joy, and finish those that still do.  And organize my stash. . . . And if wishes were horses, we’d be knee deep in it.

What else?  Oh, remember these? This is the newly minted daughter of the assistant pastor at mom’s church (with her newly minted mom) wearing her knitted goodies (She’s wearing a different hat, though.).  Is she as cute as the proverbial bug, or what?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instant WOL

Well, I’ve bit the bullet and joined Instagram as (what else?) the_owl_underground.   Still figuring out how to use it.

I’ve started a hat — have to do something with all that red yarn I have from Xmas balls.  It’s going to be one of my hemmed toboggans, so I can have messy floats and it won’t matter.  120 stitches on a 2.5 (3.0 mm) circular needle.  The classic 8-petaled rose for the design, done in white, which is 24 x 24, whence the tiny needles.   Our Aha! moment for today is that if you use the Turkish cast on instead of provisional cast on to do this hat, you need to use at least a 24-inch needle for the second needle so the cable will be long enough to dangle the needles out of your way while you knit the first inch or so.  but after that, no problem.

Spent yesterday evening sitting on the couch, knitting on my Malguri Morning shawl, drinking hot vanilla chai latte, and binge-watching season 11 of Dr. Who, learning to penetrate Jody Whittaker’s thick Yorkshire accent.   Brilliant!  Yes, that is an empty jar of Talenti gelato you see.  Having some serious me time.

Just finished three Pedro’s Tamales with a slathering of refried beans on top, plus some chopped onions and sliced olives and a big heap of shredded Sargento Mexican Four Cheeses, hotted in the microwave.  ¡Numos grandes!  They had a fire at the factory a while back and for the longest, horriblest, time, there were no Pedro’s Tamales to be had.  But they’ve been back into production for a while now, and we can enjoy their great tamale goodness again.   They use all American-grown products:  corn, beef, pork and chicken.  You can get them in all sorts of varieties from el wimpo mild to ¡ay, Chihuahua! melt your fillings hot.  They ship, BTW.  So if you have a freezer . . . .

Like the man says, “Ain’t but one fence between us and Canada, and it’s down.” Bracing for Diego. Going to be having a little cool spell, looks like.  I remind you, here in the flatlands, I’m at the same latitude as Casablanca, Morocco (as in North Africa), so this is a big deal for us.  Anytime there is the slightest hint of ice or snow here, it’s Demolition Derby Day on the city streets, and I make a point of staying home if at all possible.

Tomorrow, my friend LB goes to have corneal transplant surgery.  She has Fuch’s dystrophy and having three rounds of chemotherapy for breast cancer (stage IV) did nothing to help it.  Holding her in my thoughts prayerfully and hoping she’ll get her sharp vision back and be able to get back into color work with her knitting.

I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t watch live TV anymore.  I work out what I want to watch and record it all.  Then when I watch it, I can fast forward through all the %&^*#@! commercials.  I’ve got some of that “artisanal” bread from Market Street, which is my delight (and my downfall!), and I’m thinking seriously about doing some with butter in the broiler.  I’ve already got a pot of tea going.  Hmmm. . . .

A little aside about life on the spectrum, I have a toast rack because toast from the toaster is supposed to be crisp.  You pull a piece of toast out of the toaster and lay it on a plate, and the steam from the toast makes the down-side mushy.  If I want mushy toast, I do it in the broiler.  Butter the bread lavishly, and put the broiler on high — crisp crust, mushy middle.  Crunchy, buttery goodness.  Nuts.  Now I’ve got to get up and go make some.  Got some videos to watch on the YouTube channels I follow.   I’m thinking sofa, knitting, lap robe, big screen TV.   Having a kitty to curl up with me would make it perfect.  It’s times like these when I really miss my kitties.

 

 

Tricks, Treats, and Tributes

According to ancient Celtic traditions, Samhain, which we had yesterday, marks the time when the veil between this world and the next becomes thinnest and it is easiest to communicate with those who have gone on before us.  I think my dream about the white cat was his spirit telling me that he is OK with how it went down and that I need to stop beating myself up about it.

Sometimes wearing earbuds while knitting with circular needles can be tricky.  Oh, what a tangled web I wove — but just until the end of the row! I was doing a proof of concept piece for this shawl pattern I’m trying to work out for the Mandala “Spirit” yarn I got, but it’s fighting me.   That tells me I need to put it aside and finish some of the (many!) things ahead of it in the queue.

I tried again on the Najidama Bay  shawl pattern and I’m still not 100% happy with it.  It’s on the back burner for now, too.   Grumble.  Grumble.  One bright light in this tunnel is the fact that I did finish the semicircular shawl

I was working on that was going to be a September gift, and now is going to be a Thanksgiving gift . . .  It’s a lovely shawl, but it just doesn’t shawl the way I like to be shawled.  I have modified the pattern to have five “rays” instead of four, but it’s a WIP* that’s on the back burner with a bunch of others right now.

What I need to do ASAP is finish the three hats and four cowls that go with the above shawl and several other pieces.

I’ve been watching some knitting vlogs, and I have come to several conclusions.  One is that my yarn stash which I think is so huge is nothing compared to the walls of yarn I see in these vlogs.  They do a show and tell, and whip out these especially made fabric project bags that people make and sell and buy, and it’s OK.  Whatever floats their boat.  I prefer zip-seal freezer baggies (the kind without the little slider thing, please).  They’re dust proof, waterproof, and you can see what’s in them without having to open them up.  They natter on about yarn made from this breed of wool and that breed of wool, and all these little independent yarn company yarns that feature this alpaca blend and that cashmere blend.  And it’s fine.  I’m allergic to wool, so that cuts out about 99% of what I call “snob yarn” (i.e., anything that costs more than $10 a skein!)   Compared to some of these ladies (and gentlemen) I’m just a dabbler.  But that’s all right.  Like the man says, “different strokes for different folks.”

My Halloween treat was this sunshiny little salad made with cottage cheese and mandarin orange sections.   Snarf city!  Mandarin oranges are the same thing as Satsuma oranges, BTW.  I’m having chai tea with vanilla cream in.

Absent Friends

Gobi Gobatiputtitatti
11 July, 1999 to 17 April, 2015

He had a variety of nicknames, but the one that stuck was “Pu” (short for Emperor Pu An Yu).  His father was a Godknows out for a night on the town.  His mother was a long haired lilac-point Siamese belonging to the then daughter-in-law of my then landlord and his wife.  They owned the apartment building where I lived for over 21 years, longer than I have lived anywhere else.  That building is no more, pulled down to make way for the building of the Marsha Sharp Freeway.  Where it was is now the deli section of a Market Street supermarket.

When I had Stormy put down in March of 2015, it was because she was dying of kidney failure.  That left me with two cats, Jaks and Pu, who was 15 going on 16, but was still healthy and active.  The reality of that situation was it cost $20 a day per cat to board cats at Petsmart’s pet hotel and my then 91-year-old mom wanted me to drive her places, to visit relatives and friends.  She would pay to board one cat, but not two.  I had Pu, my wingman, put down a month after I had to say goodby to my baby girl, Stormy.  That left me with Jaks, the black one I lost in January of 2018.  He was 11 when I had him put down also, right at the start of this horrible year.  He was badly overweight, had been getting clingy and very stressed by having to be boarded, and it was as if I somehow knew I was going to have a heart attack less than a month later, and be hospitalized four times over the next five months and be one sick puppy for most of the first half of the year. It was time for him to go and it was the first time in 21 years that I had been without a cat.  Yeah, I miss all of them, including my first two, Shadow whom I lost to osteosarcoma in 2004 and Jett whom I lost to diabetes in 2009, but Pu is the one I regret.  I could have kept Pu.

What brought all this on was I dreamed about him last night, ol’ Pu.  My wingman.  The one that followed me from room to room, content to be where ever I was, gruff, crotchety, opinionated ol’ curmudgeon that he was.   I dreamed he was living with my former landlord and his wife, and that I got to visit him there.  I was so glad to see him again.  I picked him up and held him in my lap and petted him and loved on him.  It was a dream of sensory memories, of having him to hold again.  The feel of his fur, the weight of his body, that one whisker (his wild hair) that grew in a quirky direction.  I started crying about the second sentence of this post, looking through my pictures of him, remembering his taste for paper, his thing about boxes, his puffy-fluffy, eloquent plume of a tail, the tufts of fur between his pink paw pads and his splendidly long whiskers. Remembering that time it rained on his house.   He was a part of my life for almost 16 years.  I had him longer than I had any of the other ones.   He’s the one I regret.  I could have kept him.

Third Time Is Charmed

I had to stop working on my Cobblestone Lace shawl because I had been working on it so much  that I was so familiar with the pattern I wouldn’t pay attention to it, would get ahead of myself and make mistakes.  Ribbit!

Also, I don’t like the way the decreases look and I revamped the pattern.  (The pattern on my knitting blog is the latest, revamped version.) so the blue shawl is going to be a giveaway to someone who won’t be bothered by the way the decreases look.  I’m making another one for myself in a very light greyish blue.  I will finish both shawls, and the light blue one will eventually be the picture for the pattern in my knitting blog.  But, like I say, I’ve put them aside for a while to work on the Cable Edged shawl.

I had liked the Cable Edged Shawl pattern as written, but the scalloped edges of the lace curl and won’t lie flat, and acrylic yarn is tricky to block.  (Yes, you can too block acrylic yarn.)  I futzed around with the original pattern and modified it slightly, and the modified version is the one I’m making.  As I was working on it, and growing more and more displeased by the way the scalloped edging curls under, it occurred to me that maybe I could find a garter stitch lace pattern with edges that would lie flat and wouldn’t have to be blocked.  I looked through the collection I have on my computer, but none of them were suitable.  I went to the website where I got most of them and had another poke through the treasure chest and found one that would fill the bill.  It’s called Hilton Lace (which is why I’m calling it “My Own Private Hilton Shawl.”

Now here’s the thing:  the basic pattern for a braided cable has an 8-row repeat.  It has two different types of cable crosses (cable front and cable back) and 3 rows of stockinette between each cable cross.  I needed a lace pattern that had either an 8-row repeat or some multiple of 8 (i.e., 16, 24, 32, etc).  The Hilton Lace has a 16-row repeat, just like the lace pattern that was used in the Cable Edged Shawl pattern.  Simple.  I’ll just copy the Cable Edge Lace pattern to a blank page.  Since I’m familiar with the pattern and know what part of each line is the cable and what part is the lace, it should be a simple matter to cut and replace one lace pattern with the other.

Guess again.  The first time I tried it, I got the wrong edge of the lace against the cable — in effect, I put the lace on upside down.  The second time, I got the  lace right side up, but wrong side out:

 

 

 

When the cable was right side up, the lace was wrong side up.  Oop!  Ribbit! (Just to complicate matters, the Thompson seedless grapes I was snacking on weren’t always, so expletives and pejoratives were infrequently punctuated with grape pips.  Pa-ding!)

Finally, after much finagling and skoojuling, I got them both right side up and with the right edges together.  In order to get everything to come out right, I had to switch the cable crosses around, too, but I got it sorted. TaDa!

I also had to work out the little 6-row edging starting bit and ending bit as well, so I did the test swatch with the starting bit, two lace edge pattern repeats in between, then the ending bit to make sure everything came out right.

The edge on this lace readily lies flat and I’m very happy with the way it looks.  It’s also a wider border.  (The original border was 22-stitches wide.   This border is 33 stitches wide.)  It makes the shawl longer from top to bottom, which I like.  So, win there, too.   The best part is that the pattern repeat for this edging is interchangeable with the edging pattern on the original Cable Edged Shawl pattern.  I can use the pattern for the body of the shawl as written, and put whichever edging I want on it.  Total win.  And it only took me about 10 hours to sort it out.

Not much else is happening.  It’s too dang hot out to go outside except in the early morning.  Since I don’t start rustling up breakfast until 10 o’clock, I don’t go out then either.  Besides, it’s been wet enough that there’s skeeters, and that’s when they’re out, too.  Another reason to stay in.

It’s been almost 6 months since I lost the fat(cat)boy.  I still miss the little schnook, although time has worn the hard, sharp ache down to the odd twinge that catches me by surprise now and again.  I’ll see the Petsmart  “Petperks” tag on my keychain and realize why I haven’t been there in a long time.  The cabinet where I used to keep his food and the corner of the office closet where his poop box was now have other things there.  There is an empty corner in the kitchen, and silence, where his pet fountain used to sit gurgling.

About four months ago, I rearranged my furniture so that one of my comfortable arm chairs and its footstool that used to be in the living room is now in my rather large (master) bedroom, and I’ve set up my knitting nook around it with a pole lamp, a little night stand and my reader’s table.  If the book I’m reading is a dead tree edition, I often sit there to read.  One evening about three months ago, I started reading what turned out to be a particularly good book and, as not infrequently happens, I opened the front page and kept turning pages until there weren’t any more — which broke the spell.  I looked up at the clock, which said 4 o’clock (a.m.), and something in the hallway caught the corner of my eye.  I would have sworn it was a certain fat(cat)boy with his golden eyes aglow, sidling down the hall and into my bedroom . . . but of course it wasn’t.   I had a little cry, washed my face, brushed my teeth and went to bed.

The other evening I was walking down the hall toward the kitchen, and something on the floor up against one of the office bookcases caught my eye.  I went over to pick it up and it was a Greenie lying there like a little booby trap waiting to ambush me with a gut-punch in the memories.  Whenever I had to go out for more than an hour or two, I’d pour some Greenies in my hand and toss some in the office floor and the rest in the bedroom floor for him to hunt.  What are the odds that half a year later I would find one that he had missed (highly unlikely — he adored them), and that the cleaning lady (who is a very thorough vacuumer) had missed on three separate occasions?  I miss them all, every one.   This is the first time in 21 years I haven’t had at least one cat companion.   There’s many good reasons why it’s better not to have one right now.  Unfortunately, there one very good reason why it isn’t better not to have one right now; I haven’t lived alone in 21 years.

In Memoriam

Sad news from Shoreacres

In Memoriam

On silent feet, the furry folk arrive,
Leave paw prints all across my days,
Scatter catnaps in my sunshine places.
Oh, how their presence graces me.
Quicker than a winking eye, as agile as a smile,
they stalk the pathways of my heart
And what great emptiness they leave behind
When it is time for them to go.

Poem "In Memoriam" ©2010 The Owl Underground

Watch Out For Those Traps, Booby

My dad used to say that when my brother or I blundered into one of life’s little booby traps.  — like this one.

Where I have this hung, the minute I walk in the door, I see it.  I got it because it’s a good motto, but also it reminded me of a certain four footed housemate. Only, a week ago, where it was hung didn’t matter.  Now it hits a raw place every time I walk in the door and see it.   In case you can’t read the writing, it says “Happy is the house that shelters a friend.”

Then there’s the clock . I painted the tip of the pendulum tail white because it was totally appropriate.

Then, I was FINALLY getting around to putting the lawn chair that has been leaning against the wall in my bedroom for months, into the garage (the back door is conveniently located in my bedroom — !) and when I picked it up, I found this behind it. It’s the second kitty toy I have chanced upon this week, but this one is in much better shape than the other one, which I threw away.  This one I’m keeping.

Monday and yesterday I gathered up the just opened bag of cat food, the two unopened packets of treats, and the one just opened, dishes, brushes, a cat bed, a cat mat, and his Littermaid and schlepped it all out to the car and donated it to a kitty shelter on the way to the pet cemetery and crematorium, which is way the heck out in the country halfway to Slide, to pick up his little cremains, which are slightly too fat for the little container I got for them, but I taped the lid down. . . .

It’s the black one with the gold leopard spots.  If you are familiar with the Peanuts newspaper comic strip, then you know about the rich fantasy life the dog Snoopy had.  I always thought the fat(cat)boy fantasized about being a “jagular” or a leopard.

They’re all there, all five of them.  Yeah, it’s kind of shrine-like, but they were my dear companions for all of 21 years — Shadow for 7 years, Jett for 12 years, Gobi for nearly 16 years, Stormie for 11 years, and Jaks for 10.  There will not be any more for a while.

My mom will be 94 this year, and while she is in full possession of significantly more of her marbles than a lot of people half her age, and is active, with no health problems except that she’s almost 94, that could change in an instant.   Once her situation is inevitably resolved, I hope there will be two more kitties.  That’s what I want to happen anyway.  Heaven knows, there unfortunately is not likely to be any shortage of kitties in need of good homes any time soon.

So I’ve been coping with my loss the way women have traditionally coped since time immemorial. I’ve been cleaning house. I washed bathmats and “guest” towels, and the leopard print beach towels that are covering where my leather furniture is worn on the chair seat edges or scratched on the sofa back.  I neatened my charity men’s hats yarn stash.  (there’s a whole plastic storage tub full of yarn in the closet, too, but that is for ladies’ hats.  That yarn is way too “gay-ly” colored for the men in this part of the country. )

About 9:30 this morning, my other side neighbor plonged on the doorbell and told me there was a leak in the alley by our water meter.  I went to look and it’s like a small spring is flowing forth from one “track” of the tire tracks down the alley and is making a small river.  I called the utility company and they knew about it — It had been going since yesterday, they’d marked it with little flags, and since water is only flowing, not gushing, they will deal with it when they get a “roundtoit.” If not tomorrow or the next day, then some time next week.  In the meantime, we have this river we have to jump to get to the dumpsters.  The important thing is, though, that the leak is before the water meter, not after, so it’s their nickle, not my landlady’s that is flowing down the alley.

I found this and it was too great not to share.  You may not be familiar with the kinetic sculptures of Theo Jensen.  If not follow the link. They are fascinating to watch.    This one is powered not by wind, but by hamster.  The look on the cat’s face is priceless.  The sphere is perforated so the hamster won’t suffocate.  Must be a real trip for the hamster, in both senses of the word. . . .

I started a “sectioned hat” and put a ribbed hem on it.  I want to do another version with a simple ribbed brim, and a smaller purl stripe, but — new rule — I can’t start anything new until I finish all the hats I’ve got started (about 5!). I also need to finish my cousin’s man cowl.

Tomorrow, I need to pay bills, go through my files and shred a bunch of stuff, ford the stream and take the shreddings out to the dumpster, and hang some pictures.  It’s late and I should go to bed so I can get up tomorrow and do that. so I will.  позже*.

*позже = later.

Hats and Cowls and Booby Traps

There is no kitty in the house any more.  I’m having a hard time getting my mind around that.  It’s the first time in 21 years that there hasn’t been at least one kitty in my house.   Until now, after I lost one, there were others.  When I lost Sister, I had Jett and Gobi for comfort.  When I lost Jett, I had Gobi, Stormie, and Jaks for comfort.  When I lost Gobi, I had Stormie and Jaks for comfort.  When I lost my baby girl, I still had Jaks for comfort, but this time I had to come home to an empty house.  A house full of booby traps.  The first thing that hit me when I came in the door was the sound of the pet fountain.

I knew yesterday that today would be the fat(cat)boy’s last day, but I let everything be perfectly normal until I got the cat carrier out.  I didn’t take up his dish, or turn off the pet fountain.  So of course the first sound I heard when I walked in the door was that pet fountain. The kitties loved it.  It’s ceramic, it can be put in the dish washer, it has charcoal and foam filters and runs off an aquarium pump.  I think I’m going to put it up on the counter and let it run for a while; otherwise I think the silence would be unbearable.

I went into the back bedroom to change, saw the bed, and saw his towel, which was his sleeping place.  I would have stripped the bed and done laundry today anyway, and I’ll do it in a while only not just now.  There were kitty toys on the floor.  I had to sit down for a moment.  At some point I’m going to have to go around with a flashlight and a getter-outerer of some kind and fish all the kitty toys out from under the furniture.  Only just not today.  I’m going to have to clean up and dispose of his poop box, but that can wait until tomorrow.  I need to gather up the container of unused litter, and the bag of food and treats I bought him just this Monday and take them to the Humane Society.  I’ve got some other errands to run Monday, and that will be one more errand on the list.

I went to get a glass of tea, and there was the bag of treats in the refrigerator.  I’d given him some last night.  I always kept the opened bags in the refrigerator.  He did love his treats.  When I went anywhere that I had to be gone a while, I would pour about 15 into my hand and toss them up in the air in my bedroom for them to scatter all over the carpet for him to hunt.

He evidently had a hard time being in the pet hotel this last time, and even bit the little girl trying to get him out of his room and into the carrier, which he had never done before.  I had to go stand on a stool and get him down from the highest perch and put him in the carrier.   He was more clingy than he had ever been once I brought him home.  He followed me about from room to room.  He would walk me to the front door when I left to go out and he would hear the garage door, and me opening the front door and be waiting for me in the living room when I came back.  It’s almost as if he knew his days with me were numbered.

It’s going to hurt like hell for a while, but life will go on.  Already is going on.  I started a baby hat yesterday afternoon and sat knitting it in the living room with the fat(cat)boy on the footstool beside my feet.  Finished it late last night. Just finished making a pompom for it and weaving in the ends.  I’m going to cast on for a man cowl for my cousin and knit a little bit on it, then get up and round up all the Humane Society donatables and put them in the car.  Then I’ll shower and wash my hair, strip the bed and start a load of washing.  I need to finish a baby bonnet that goes with a baby dress and I need to get it done before Monday.   I have to follow a pattern line by line for that, and that will keep my mind occupied.   When I’ve finished the bonnet, I’ve got chemo hats to work on.

I’ll survive.  I’ll take it one step at a time, one task at a time, one day at a time.