Yes, my dad said that. My dad, the very person whose genes I blame for the majority of my misguided adventures. The man who recently delighted in spending only $12 on Chinese takeout for three people (never thinking that he had ordered combo sized portions and no rice), the man who once thought he could pull off inviting his mistress to Thanksgiving dinner, the man whose own son thinks he is sucker enough to fall for a recently submitted investment proposal (asking for $100,000 to build houses during this buyer's market) that had been handwritten on an aborted grocery list. (Seriously - it starts out
This is the man who says I don't have the sense I was born with. On the contrary, I think the very problem is I that I have exactly the sense I was born with. And that sense told me to poke a frightened cat with a stick and then to poke it again after it peed. That sense told me it was more important to clean the mess up quickly than efficiently. That sense told me I could reach the dark corner of the bed well enough, though I clearly could not.
Thank goodness I married Erik. He soon woke up, having only barely slept through the hours long ordeal due to sheer exhaustion. He promptly moved the bed and attempted to help me relocate the cat. We were not without our own complications, mind you. We immediately lost visual contact with Ratty as he hid under the couch. Our efforts to find him inspired more fear based urine. Thinking he was surely now in, no longer under the couch, Erik lifted the sofa, smearing the urine along the floor with the couch. It was not long before we realized Ratty had retreated back under the bed. But by then the whole situation was just deliriously funny. Long story short, I ultimated grabbed Ratty's urine soaked body and smeared him across the entire living room in to the safety of the office turned prison cell.
Understandably, Ratty and I avoided each other the next day. We made up a little bit, just in time for me to take him back to the vet to be vaccinated and microchipped. He earned his freedom the next morning (Erik released him while I attended my meeting out of town). Ratty showed us his gratitude later that evening. He snuck in during the night to pee on the carpet one last time - choosing a spot just outside the bathroom door so we'd be sure to step in it. He also stole his favorite cat toy, hiding it under the deck, as has now become his habit.
Since then Ratty has actually been around quite a bit. The other night I startled him when I discovered he was sleeping behind the cat chair (his previous most progressive hidey hole) and this morning I found him courting Monkey in the bed (repeatedly, despite being scared away by a sleeping shifting Erik). This evening he staged a major coup and stole his beloved cat toy for the last time. I caught just a glimpse of its glimmering mylar as he disappeared with it under the house. Lucky him, I found a website that sells them for only $3. So I've ordered a dozen. As I did so I wondered if having three cats really does make me a crazy cat lady. Certainly ordering toys by the dozen is some sort of threshold.
But Ratty, though he is growing on me, is not the source of my purest joy. Not only did I get to leave town and sleep in a hotel room with no cat pee or poop in sight, but I got to attend a party, followed by my meeting, and then back again for my friend's Open Studio. I nearly ditched the party (that whole social phobia thing I have going on - Erik and I call it "driving around the block with brownies, crying" - can you guess why?) but I ended up having a great time and even stayed quite late - possibly too late, but whatever. Anyhow, I returned to town with my usual annual purchases - another fruit bowl or two (the pears are so happy to have a home away from the apples) plus an assorted item from the other artist (my friend's very own mom). This year I scored a major bonus - five imperfect (over glazed) bowls and six "ruined" saki cups. They are now adorning my garden as birdbaths and trinkets, respectively.
Not only did I have a fabulous time connecting and reconnecting with my Sausalito seal loving cohorts, but I came home in time to enjoy the only two seal rescues we'd had in two weeks. On Mother's Day, I had the pleasure of rescuing Tackle Box, a skinny sea lion yearling who was hanging out on a dock with his four to six adult male buddies. He wasn't on just any old dock, he was on the well-known "Scary Dock" - so named because of its popularity with the big boys and its easy access by the public. As it turns out, our rescue may have been less successful if not for the insistence of one big boy. His attempts to porpoise out of the water and on to the dock disturbed the slumber of Tackle Box's living pillows. As they woke they saw two women approaching with nets and promptly bailed. Surprised to have awakened with a thud (and trampled by one sea lion making a break for it), Tackle Box didn't realize he too should run away. Before I knew it he was in my net. It was glorious. And what made it all the better was that Tackle Box really needed a rescue. You can barely see it in this photo (though I got some gory close ups for vet staff), but he's got a fishhook stuck in his eyeball and another stuck in between his teeth. I know some of my loyal readers (all both of them) don't like the gruesome details, so please forgive me. At least I am happy to report that the hooks came out easily and the eye, stuck in a relatively fortuitous fashion, still functions. So now he just has to get over being super skinny (13.8 kg) without becoming habituated to humans. Still an uphill battle, but so much better than how we found him.
After rushing Tackle Box off for a same day transport, we responded to a second call in the South County, this time for an elephant seal we named Mountain. Mountain had been bitten by something (I say shark, but could just be other ellies) and he had a swollen hind end and a possibly broken back. (Thus the name, Mountain, as in BrokeBack...) To make matters worse, our caller had thwarted Mountain's attempts to escape by dragging the poor thing out of the tide line - using his injured rear flippers. This is never something we advise (it is illegal and dangerous and often unnecessary) but in this case it seemed especially cruel. We were still pretty nice to the well-meaning doof, though, especially as he had taken the time to call us, had waited on the beach for most of an hour, and he ultimately helped us carry the animal up the very long and steep trail. Anyway, we kept Mountain very comfortable all night - injecting the maximum amount of drugs every four or five hours, dismantling his carrier so he never had to move, foregoing tube feedings so we didn't jostle him, arranging for a very early transport the next day - only to discover his back was intact all along. He was just so skinny that the slope of his spine seemed unnaturally flat to all of us veteran rescuers. Embarrassing, I know. He did, however, have a broken leg bone, though, so I don't feel so bad about the pain protocol. I do feel bad that he didn't make it, but I can't say I am surprised.
And then tonight I had the pleasure of working with Smudge, another skinny elephant seal from the South County area. I didn't rescue him so I didn't bother photographing him (my night shots are all crap anyhow), but I did get to restrain him and prepare his yummy fishy breakfast. He seemed squirrelly enough that I am sure he'll do fine.
On the home front, I've just about wrapped up a couple of administrative projects that have been eating me. They reminded me that I still have a few law school essays to write, but I think at this point I am more inspired to attend to the chores I've been ignoring (dirty bathroom, skanky hummingbird food...). I've been seeing more of Erik, theoretically. He got himself assigned to jury duty, which he doesn't mind since he gets paid his full salary from work and it is way safer to watch a trial than to watch a crazy person. Still, he's been working nights (as now his regular shifts count as overtime) and in court all day, so he'll be sleeping most of Saturday. Perhaps then I will get my cleaning done. Quietly, of course.
Oh, and things are progressing on my Spanish soap. Mama Delores did not yet tell Alberto deLimon that Maria Elena is his real mother (and therefore that would make his girlfriend his cousin, which is actually okay, but no one knows, cuz she was secretly adopted...). This is a tragedy because now Maria Elena's ex has lied and told her that his no good son Oswaldo is her long lost child. Sigh. Best of all, I have been working on my verbs lately and I am increasingly able to recognize the use of conditional tenses. So I am making progress, even if I am rotting my brain. And now I have two episodes of Que Dice la Gente? which is the Spanish Family Feud. That's a whole other ballgame - exhausting to watch because of the preponderance of nouns and synonyms. My dictionary gets a workout then.
Ah, and it is apparently moth season. Monkey has taken up hunting them mercilessly. I have been able to spare a few their fates, but for the most part they are on their own. I try to avoid turning on lights at night but Monkey has figured out how to trigger the motion detectors on the deck. Clever, though a bit cruel.
Okay, well, lest this blog begin to feel like my third administrative obligation, I guess I shall sign off. Until next time...