Monday, April 23, 2007

That damn cat

Like Buster and I, Boo-cat is still settling into the new abode. We kept her inside for the first week and then started leaving the patio door open for her to go out into the garden if she wanted. She hasn't really shown much interest in exploring and seems to prefer spending her days lying on top of the kitchen cupboards peering down at us.

But come nightfall, she is very gung-ho about going outside and meows and scratches at the door all night. It was turning into a battle of wills and I wasn't sure if I was going to win but now circumstances have changed.

See that diamond patterned screened security door? Yeah, not really cat-sized is it? The other night she finally succeeded in scratching away the fly screen in the bottom corner and decided to try to make her break for freedom by squeezing through the aluminum security door. Obviously one cat is much bigger than one small diamond shape and she got herself wedged with her head through the door. Oh, and it was one o'clock in the morning.

I rang the emergency vet to see what they suggested because if she got her head through the door, she must be able to get it out and they recommended a multi-step procedure. Firstly, wrap her body up securely in a towel. Secondly, pour olive oil over her head. Thirdly, fold her ears back flat on her head. Then try to gently manipulate her head back through the door while holding her body off the ground. It took about twenty minutes but we managed to get her head free. It was like being a antique furniture removalist trying to get a particularly awkward and squirmy grand piano up a spiral staircase in the dark. Apparently they get stuck because of the way the ears fold flat when the push forward but when they try to pull their heads back the ears don't fold flat the other way.

Maybe it was something in the collective psyche of all animals because if you have a look at Nothing to do with Arbroath and scroll down about 11 or 12 articles there is a fox with his head stuck and then (another couple down) a husky with his head stuck.

On the bright side, she seems to have learned her lesson and has given up scratching at the door.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Casa Laziest - a work in progress

We have finally moved into our new house and now I'm too tired to enjoy it! So much cleaning and unpacking is exhausting especially when I am lugging around Squirmy McBaby as well (who is now about 40cm long, weighs about 2kg and is looking forward to joining us in person in about 8 weeks - eek!).

We've had the old carpet and the old lino pulled up and laid pvc planks through the entire house. These planks are very cool. They are strips of pvc cut into pieces the size of wooden planks and laid straight onto the concrete slab. It looks like a floating wood floor but you don't have any problems with the slab shifting or it being damaged by water. Which is handy considering the dishwasher had a breakdown and flooded the kitchen.

Hopefully the painting will be done in the next three weeks and we will be rid of the terrible curse of the feature walls. Don't forget to have a peek at Flickr if you're interested. I'll put up some new pics of the finished flooring soon.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The nasty orange cat

This is the lovely Miss Boo (or Boo-cat to her friends).

While we were in Japan, my mum looked after Boo and when we move into our new house, Boo-cat will move in with us. She's a lovely girl - not a huggy, lap cat (although she will put up with being hugged if you stand in front of the budgie cage) - but a naughty cat with a big personality.

Anyway, on to the point of the story. My mum has gotten into the habit of leaving the back door open a bit (because Boo hasn't figured out how to use the cat door) so that Boo can come and go at night as she pleases. This arrangement was working fine for all concerned until the nasty orange cat moved into the neighbourhood.

I'm not sure where exactly the nasty orange cat lives but I've seen him lurking in the neighbours gardens so I suspect he might live in the house on the corner. The nasty orange cat is nasty because his owners haven't had him de-sexed. He spends his night wandering around the neighbour causing trouble - that's right - he's a teenage delinquent in a fur coat. But the nasty orange cat hasn't confined his energy to mooching around and hasselling old ladies and school kids at the bus stop. He's moved on to breaking and entering, well entering anyway.

I've been keeping Boo inside at night lately to get her used to it for when we move to the new house. Because she can't use the cat door, I close the security screen and snip the cat door at the bottom (it locks so a cat can come in but it can't get out again). And this is the crux of the problem. The nasty orange cat has figured out that he can come in to my mum's house at night when we are all asleep. I don't know why he wants to come inside - but Boo is terrified of him.

About two weeks ago I was woken up by this huge banging noise in the lounge room. You guessed it, the nasty orange cat came in through the cat door for a midnight raid and then couldn't get out the cat door. I got up and turned on the light to find the nasty orange cat rocketing around the lounge room in a panic. I stood there looking stunned and then Mark came out to see what was going on. "That's not Boo," he says while standing next to me watching the nasty orange cat go up the curtains, over the tv cabinet, up the curtains again, behind the couch and around the table. I swear we stood there for several minutes just staring. Finally I woke up enough to open the back door and we just waited until the nasty orange cat ricocheted out the door.

I suspect that the nasty orange cat has been making a habit of coming in at night through the open door and leaving quietly afterwards for sometime. Nasty thing.

Baking - again

I made these jam drops the other day because I felt like eating jam drops. They were fabulous - I used fig jam because that was all we had in the fridge. If you feel like having a go - try this recipe. Now, however, I've been banned from making them because we couldn't stop eating them.