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30 May 2017 @ 11:51 pm
Battle In The Breezeway  
I keep intending to post, but all of my time is spent on work, writing Idol stories (this week's is here), reading Idol entries, and watching the house and yard fall farther into decay. Then, by the time I post, it's a long entry o'doom, and it becomes this thing. As does the lack of posting...

We're hoping to have a graduation party for our son, so I did a lot of yard work last weekend as prep-- as did our son. The graduation announcements are ordered (but not mailed), and I have to work out a party date and time. The week after that, I'll be driving down to San Diego to pick up our daughter from college, for the brief period of time before she flies off to D.C. for her summer internship. (*cries*)

As to the subject line... it's an ongoing struggle these days to get our cat to go out at night. Usually, she heads right for her bed in the laundry room and sometimes meows her comments about how she wants that and not to go outside (it's oddly explanatory-sounding meowing). Sometimes, we can persuade her to go out. Night is the time for her to chase bugs, smell her smells, and ideally catch some mice (and maybe intimidate the squirrels who have taken up residence on the roof and are intermittently chewing things).

In her mind, that usually translates instead to slipping off to the garage to sleep in the little red wagon.

Last Thursday night, she was finally willing to go out. I turned the light on outside and opened the door to the breezeway. She stepped out, turned her head and hissed at something, and trotted off down the stairs and into the garage. So I looked over the side of the stairs to see what she was bothered about.

Gah. A possum. As big as she was, getting into the spilled food from one of her bags (because our son does not learn). Yeek.

It growled at me, so I beaned it with the plastic soda bottle I was holding. It growled some more, so I dropped the container of liquid laundry detergent on it. It still wouldn't leave, so I shut the door but left the breezeway light on.

This is probably where you disown me. Normally, I like to leave nature alone (except for spiders, which must be eradicated). But I didn't want that thing in our yard, and also, ugh. Unless you live in North America, you probably aren't familiar with our possums, which look like giant, rabid rats. Nasty. *shudders*

I felt bad about all the drama, and didn't try to encourage the kitty to go outside the next night. So, she spent her time pooping on both bathroom rugs and the doormat, and then barfing on the floor. HalfshellHusband was NOT pleased. Plus, the poop was back to being dry husks, so we're fiddling with her kibbles again. She got epically constipated about six months ago and did not seem well, so we took her to the vet where she got lots of antibiotics and soon was having serious diarrhea. She was put on special kidney-friendly kibbles (which are expensive), and pretty much had chronic diarrhea afterward. So, we weaned her back to Science Diet, and things were getting better until she ran out and HSH bought more food. It's a different type of kibble, so now the constipation is back. I think HSH isn't clear on Science Diet lite vs. regular, so he doesn't always buy the same kind. BUT... the upshot is that she's uncomfortable and periodically afraid of the litter box. And we haven't paid this much attention to poop quality since the kids were babies, which was enough for a lifetime. Argh.

Hoping to get caught up on the last two weeks of reading what all of you have been up to. I do a lot of lurking, but I'm definitely behind again. Binge-reading ahoy!

Kizzyxo_kizzy_xo on May 31st, 2017 10:43 am (UTC)
We had a possum attempting to set up shop under our porch a couple of years ago. Never knew it was there until I smelled its urine marking one night :yuuuuck: That was my cue to finally clean up all the overgrown brush in our front yard,LOL. Now that I think of it, I haven't seen a possum yet this spring...

Poor kitty! Way back when my kitty loved going out at night. Have no idea what she did or where she went, but we always found her asleep on the back deck in the morning. Nowadays it's rare to see free range kitties because of our coyota issue.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 31st, 2017 04:50 pm (UTC)
Sometimes, I'm afraid that possums (and the occasional skunk) are living under the deck by the swimming pool. When I moved to this neighborhood, I suddenly understood why people had lattice siding nailed up against open spaces like that.

But the reality is, they can creep around via trees, and we have a LOT of those in our neighborhood. Huge trees that let them go from one yard to another, and a creek close enough by that raccoons are everywhere too. I'd be tempted to put out a "Have a heart" trap to rehome them, but there are SO many of them, and the chances of trapping a skunk are greater than any other kinds of critter.

One of our male cats wanted to go out periodically to make the rounds and smell his smells. Less sure of that with this cat, who is perpetually congested! Her predecessor also took care of a mouse problem that got out of hand at one point (they were in the walls, gnawing on the plaster), whereas this little beast seems pretty useless on that front!
bleodsweanbleodswean on May 31st, 2017 02:16 pm (UTC)
You sound like you've got a ton on your plate right now, K. I do hope you can pull off a successful party! I didn't realize he was finished - where will he be this fall? And another long drive for you. What a great momma! It will be your first long year with her on the east coast, but what a great opportunity!

Possums and raccoons and skunks...not fans of any of those night animals.

Good luck to your kitty.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 31st, 2017 04:54 pm (UTC)
It gets worse! Yesterday, I discovered that with all of the requests to work Saturdays and not take any time off, I had reached my vacation cap a couple of months ago and was _losing_ vacation days. Grrrrrr. So, I'm off today and tomorrow (in lieu of yesterday), but that was what was making me grumbly yesterday.

The Boy is going to UCLA. We'd hoped he might get into Cal (apparently NOBODY can get into Cal anymore), but he'll be off in SoCal too. He's more of a homebody than his sister, so it will be harder on him being so far away. And the cat? She will be bereft. He's her special person. I foresee months of marauding and howling around the house ahead.

All of those night critters are much worse where you live, as I don't think you even have fences to keep them out. Though it does not seem to make a difference here either, even for the skunks!
Direst Ryl: Song Sparrowryl on June 1st, 2017 12:11 am (UTC)
When I went to Governor's School over the summer twenty (!?!?!?) years ago my cat Peter stood outside my bedroom door and cried every morning. When I came home for break he gave me the snubbing of his life for one day until he forgave me for leaving him! This was the pattern for the next five years until I moved out of my parents house and took him with me.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 1st, 2017 02:19 am (UTC)
:( That's what we're anticipating.

We told our son he could take the cat with him when he's living in a place that allows pets (so, not the Freshman dorm), because he feels really bad about leaving her and we know it will be very hard on her.

That's the saddest thing-- you can't explain why their beloved person has disappeared. With human beings, at least you can tell them what happened!
cindytsuki_no_bara on June 1st, 2017 02:02 am (UTC)
your son's about to graduate high school? what the hell. i thought he was, like, thirteen.

i love that your response to seeing a possum was to throw a plastic bottle at it. i don't know why anyone would disown you for not wanting it in your yard, tho. they're giant wild rats! and who wants a wild rat on their property?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 1st, 2017 02:21 am (UTC)
Yes, he's graduating. It has all happened too soon!

I can see people disowning me for hurting wildlife. Though THIS kind of wildlife is not loved by anyone. Did you know that in Australia, the possums are actually cute? But they're a different species.

Ours are just vile. :(
riverotter1951riverotter1951 on June 4th, 2017 09:02 pm (UTC)
You will have a major adjustment with both kids gone. We went to couples counseling to help develop our communication skills since we were used to talking about the kids and our lives revolved around them.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 4th, 2017 09:59 pm (UTC)
I can understand that. It seems like so much less of a thing before you have kids-- you imagine that you'll just step into that new life temporarily, and then go back to being a couple. But once you've had them and they've become such an enormous part of your life and focus... there's just this gaping hole when they leave.

I'll keep that in mind, thanks for mentioning it.