semperfiona: Picture of a gas cloud in space that looks like an upraised middle finger (fuck you universe)
I seem to be getting more and more sense-sensitive over the years. By which I mean that smells and sounds that didn't use to annoy me are doing so more and more. Some of it also appears to be a heightened startle reflex.

I am not actually allergic to fragrances, as far as I can tell, but I do seem to have a sensitivity. I have to hold my nose and dash if I need something from the laundry detergent aisle at the supermarket, and I hate going into the ladies' room at work after someone has put perfume on. Enough fragrance at one time will set off a headache. But I don't mind scented lotions or soaps, and I occasionally use BPAL or light sprays of eau de toilette. Back in the day (probably more than 20 years ago now) I used to wear Poison. There's no way I could do that now, and while Tammie sprays about six or eight times when she uses her eau de toilette, I might do three...and I stay out of the bathroom right after she uses it. It dissipates quickly, thank gods.

And sounds, oh my god. I spend all summer in a mild state of irritation because my house does not have central air, so we run room air conditioners and fans instead. I hate the noise. Hate it. If I'm alone, I'll turn them off and be hot to avoid having to listen to it. Sometimes I go to another room and do that even when people are home.

Whining dogs. Both of our dogs have the horrible habit of whining constantly. The bigger one will also burst out of complete silence with a loud sharp bark that nearly always startles the hell out of me. I end up twitchy for quite a while afterward.

Dog chewing and licking and slurping. Both of the dogs lick themselves ALL THE RUDDY TIME.

Leafblower man. Our neighbor across the street runs his leafblower for nearly all the hours of daylight from February to November.

Styrofoam. I've posted about that before, long ago, but the very thought of styrofoam makes the hairs on my arms stand up.

Most of my sound issues are with mechanical noises, but there's a whole set associated with the dogs. I think those may be less sound issues than dog issues, but I'm not sure. The noises irritate the everloving shit out of me, but I don't mind the dogs when they are not making those noises.
semperfiona: (Default)

Chris's birthday present, somewhat belated in coming home due to our vacation. Which was lovely, by the way, although it involved a lot more driving and less lazing about than one might prefer. On the other hand, the lazing about had a lot of cuddling in it. :-)

We learned, from their previous keeper, that their birthday is April 23. Same as Shakespeare.
semperfiona: (rain leaves)
Tammie found her this morning very listless and struggling to breathe.
She's at the vet with her right now and they're going to put kitty to
sleep. I'm at work with a big case of the sniffles. Think I'll be going to
hide in the bathroom for a while.
semperfiona: (name cats)
This morning I was reminded of something I'd forgotten about Cat!Fiona.
I went into the office to check my work email in case I needed to do
something regarding last night's updates, taking two slices of raisin
bread for sustenance. I put them down on the desk, and within moments,
there were kitty teeth nibbling at my bread. I broke off a piece for
her; she gobbled it up. I think she ate half a slice. It was years ago I
discovered her predilection for bread: a cinnamon-raisin bagel that
time. So if you ever need to make friends with Kitty, take her some
raisiny bready goodness.
semperfiona: (name cats)
Chris got a call this morning from the landlord's wife. She thought one of our cats had been hit by a car on our road. At noon, he went to the house to check, and after half-an-hour's search, he found him. The young king has passed.

He'd been abandoned in Cabool outside Polly's Diner, so he was first named Polly after the diner outside which they had found him. His maleness became obvious quickly, however, and he had to have a new name. "Paulie" was vetoed, so being the sixth cat in the household, he became Henry the VI.

As a youngster he had a terrible habit of molesting mooses. )

He grew up to be an imposing young silver tabby, cuddly on his terms but somewhat aloof, and like his namesake, lord of all he surveyed. This summer, he acquired a cauliflower ear. It gave him a rakish look that suited him well.

He was bound and determined to be an outside cat despite all our best efforts. It was a pissing contest, literally: he peed on the bed even while people were in it. Eventually we gave in, and let him go out; by preference he spent most of his time outside. Unlike the Washington house, though, this one is on a deceptively busy street, and we knew even then that this might be the result. It doesn't make it any easier to take, though.

He was a good cat. I will miss him.
semperfiona: (rain leaves)
18" x 24" x 36"

45cm x 60cm x 90cm = 243000 cm3 = 243 ltr

243 ltr = 64 gal
semperfiona: (rain leaves)
I was afraid that would happen. I cleaned the fish house on my desk last
night, and this morning the fish is dead.
semperfiona: (tigger)
Scene: Our house, a week or two ago.

It's about 10:30 in the evening. We're lounging around the living room
in varying states of undress, when there comes a knock on the front
door. Chris gets up to answer it, wondering aloud whether it's another
cop: some time ago we had a cop ring the doorbell at about 4:45 am
because the dog was outside barking. The dog was indoors, however, so we
didn't know what it might be.

It's a small Asian man in a parka with a miner-style headlamp on,
carrying Beethoven the outdoor cat tucked into his jacket. He is not the
least fazed by a large half-naked hairy man answering the door. "Is this
your cat? I'm Irving, I live across the street. He's been spending a lot
of time in our yard. We were worried about him being outside in the

Beethoven isn't even his original name; it was given him by the
neighbors at the Washington house. His original name, creatively enough
for a big tabby, is Stripey. Another set of our current neighbors have
unaccountably started calling him Whitey; he has no white fur anywhere
on his body.

Stripey/Beethoven/Whitey used to be Joanie's cat, but she left him with
us when she moved to Alabama. Now he's ours, although Chris is peeved
with him for allowing Irving to carry him inside his coat, when usually
he won't even let Chris pick him up.
semperfiona: (castle)
I forgot to mention, in my update post, that just before leaving Roger and Hunter's house, they offered us the four gouramis that had been in their bedroom. "Do you want these fish?" Why not, I guess; we have plenty of tank space since we hadn't yet gotten around to populating them. So a ginormous pickle jar was found and filled with water for them to ride home in. Four hours later, after retrieving Rosa from daddy's, we finally released them into the hexquarium. That's been just about a week ago.

Sometime earlier this week, Tammie mentions that it looked like the orange gouramis had been mating. Today, I am looking at the fish, and one of them does have a distinct bulge about her midsection. Of course, last night I introduced three angelfish into the same tank, so if we actually want to keep the babies we'll have to go get an isolation tank for the momma fish. Angelfish are notorious for eating fry.

Also, in other fish news, anonymous commenter appears to have been correct. After seeing the comment, I googled about tank-sharing with bettas, and it seems that any fish with long or fancy tails is not a good companion for a betta. Then I took a hard look at the fishes in my desktop tanklet. Sure enough, the fantail's fins had a number of ragged spots. Considering that they were perfect when I bought it three days ago, I determined that the betta had been nibbling on them. So I scrounged up a baggie and brought goldie home. Had to catch it with my bare hands, as I was sadly lacking in the net department, but that wasn't actually difficult. I put the goldfish into the upstairs fishquarium with the last remaining guppy--a black one. Black guppy is very aggressive, though; he was attacking all the other weaker guppies, and he's already seeming to go after goldie (who is at least three times his size). So goldie may end up going outside to live with the koi.
semperfiona: (work motto)
I couldn't make up my mind between a goldfish and a betta for my desktop
minifishquarium, so today I finally decided. I bought one of each: one
red betta and one small fantail. It's not a very big space, but neither
type of fish really requires much room and I think they'll be just fine
semperfiona: (castle)
We have fishes! Monday evening the three of us and Rosa went to Petsmart
across Manchester and bought five medium koi (about five inches long),
one solid yellow-orange, one black and white with an orange face, one
white and orange, one black and white with just a couple orange dots,
and oh-I-forget. We introduced them to the pond and tried feeding them
some pellets. No interest. Well, maybe they're tired and stressed out by
being moved. We also noticed that the waterfall was flowing much more
slowly than usual, so we took the filter pads out and cleaned them of a
thick layer of mud. The last rainfall had washed quite a bit of loose
dirt into the pond.

Tuesday evening we cleaned the filter yet again and tried to find the
fishies. They're all there, but they still haven't been seen to eat
anything, and they're spending all of their time lying in the rocks at
the bottom of the pond. I don't know whether that's because the water is
still chilly--it's been about 63 degrees in the morning, up to 75 in the
afternoon--or whether they're still stressed out, or there's too much
sun and they're seeking all the shade they can find, or there's a lot of
edible material in the layer of stuff at the bottom of the pond. But all
our resources say you can't starve them to death, so we're trying not to
worry. I do hope they come out soon and start exploring their new home.

If I remember, I should buy a couple oranges. Koi are said to like fresh
food, especially citrus and squash; the Petsmart near the City House had
a quarter orange and a slice of zucchini in each koi tank. The fish were
going nuts over it.

In other news, Tuesday morning we had *three* ducks. Not two parents and
a duckling, but three adult ducks (two drakes and a hen). Most of the
time there are still only two; the third might have been an interloper
trying to steal Madame l'Orange away from Monsieur. There's at least one
set of ducklings over on the loch but apparently *our* ducks have none.

We have a batch of goslings at the loch as well. Not at our house, but
down by the corner at Manchester, I saw a pair of Canada geese and
at least five fuzzy yellowish goslings. Tammie has counted seven, but I
was driving past on my way to work and did not see them long enough to
get a good count.

Timmy paws

Feb. 10th, 2005 11:38 am
semperfiona: (name cats)
I can't believe I forgot to mention the most interesting thing about Fiona-kitty. I've never seen another other cat do this. (No doubt half a dozen of you will pipe up to say your cat does it.) When she is very happy and relaxed and comfortable, she sits up on her hind legs and holds her front paws together as if holding an acorn, rubbing them together a little bit. To some people this looks like a praying pose (and it does rather resemble Prayer Pose in yoga); I've always seen it as typical squirrel behavior. Fi-cat has done it all her life.

Squirrels--for reasons I will leave to Chris to explain since I'm not sure I know them myself; he's told me, but I keep forgetting--are called "Timmies" around our house. Therefore, this behavior has now acquired the monicker of "Timmy paws".
semperfiona: (name cats)
Context is extremely important in feline.

Meow (insistent, repeated, while crawling all over the bed at
oh-god-o'clock in the morning after the alarm has gone off): I can see
you're awake, so how come you're not paying any attention to me me me?

Meow (insistent, repeated, while pushing at the food bowl): Feed me
already, dammit!

Meow (whimpery, while slinking away): I donwannahafta take my medicine,

Meow (angry, when captured for the taking of the aforementioned
medicine): I *told* you! Leave me alone! I don't want any medicine!

Cat!Fiona is doing quite well with us. She has gotten more attention and
love in the last two weeks than I think she'd had for several months at
Ray's. She certainly has gotten more doses of her medicine on a more
regular schedule. She's got hyperthyroid and she's supposed to have her
medicine twice a day. When he returned her to me he gave me five doses;
upon calling the pharmacist I discovered that the prescription hadn't
been filled since September, and it's supposed to be filled monthly.

Cat!Fiona ended up with Ray after the separation. I had had two cats,
Fiona and Flora, and then when Ray and I got married we immediately
moved to England. Cats would have had to spend six months in quarantine,
so we had to find another home for them. Eventually my father agreed to
keep them. He would have volunteered immediately but my mother didn't
want pets. She's a perfectionist housekeeper, and the pet hair and
cleanup was a big problem for her. But in the end, when I could find no
one locally who would adopt them together, they went to Wisconsin on the
condition they be declawed. I was unhappy about that, but decided
declawing was better than sending them to the Humane Society where
they'd be euthanized.

On our return, we reclaimed the cats and they lived with us for a number
of years. Meanwhile, my dad got really lonely for cats around the house.
My mother bought him a litterbox for his birthday; Cat!Katze came a few
days later from the shelter. And everyone lived happily with their cats
until my parents decided to go to Peru and, again, there was no taking
the cat with them. So in return for his rescue of my cats, I took in
Katze. That was at about the same time as Rosie was born.

When, about a year later, I moved out, the apartment I moved into had a
hard limit of two cats. The logical division would have seemed to be for
me to take my original cats and Ray to keep Katze. She'd never really
gotten along with the other two. But because of my perceived obligation
to Dad, I kept Katze and Flora, and Ray got Fiona. Flora died in 2002;
Katze's been my sole cat from then until now. However, last year
sometime Ray said that he was getting frustrated with taking car of
Fiona; he's not really a cat person and she's kind of needy at this
stage in her life. He said something about giving her away. I said he'd
better not, that she was my cat and if he didn't want her anymore he
should give her back. So later he said he'd give her to me this (coming)
summer. When we-three decided to move, it seemed the kindest way to
introduce her to the new family of cats would be to do it at the same
time that they as well were moving into a new environment. And this was
done. Even so, she's been kept mostly separated; she's too frail to
fight the big young boys for food or even to play the kind of roughhouse
games that they like. So she lives in our (temporary) bedroom and
functions as an additional alarm clock.

It's strange for me to have a namesake about the house. When I named
her, fourteen years ago and change, it had not yet crossed my mind to
become Fiona on a permanent basis. The last few years that she's been
living with Ray, it's been a little weird for me already--"Fiona lives
at Ray's" gave me a cognitive dissonance. Now, at least, I don't have
that one. But I do have the issue of "Who's being addressed, anyway?"
Mostly we call her Kitty or Fiona-kitty to alleviate that.

(Wow, this post is about as appropriate for the "name cats" icon as it's
possible to get!)
semperfiona: (kiss)
On the way between Rosa's daddy's house and Petsmart, we stopped for gas at a Conoco station on Kingshighway. Tammie volunteered to pump the gas, and while she was out, the gas station attendant called her attention to a bird on the parking lot. It was a blue parakeet, sitting and shivering on the tarmac. Tammie approached it slowly on hands and knees, and eventually captured it. She talked to the attendant, and he agreed to keep the bird. As we have a house-over-ful of cats, it seemed a bad idea to bring the bird home with us. So we continued on our trip to Petsmart and bought a parakeet starter kit for Gas Station Man along with all our purchases for our own house (cat food, cat litter, dog tie-outs, etc etc).

He seemed delighted when we came back with all that stuff for him, and hopefully the bird will do well with him.
semperfiona: (Default)
A question on the showme list has reminded me of how cute it is to watch Rosa with my cat Katze. Rosa will suddenly declare that "Katze wants a hug" and go over and hug the cat. Sometimes she says Mommy must also hug the cat, and we have a sweet little three-way hug. The cat is surprisingly tolerant, never scratches or hisses, just gets up and walks away after a few minutes.


semperfiona: (Default)

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