Saturday, July 12

The Kitty Whisperer

Oh my God!!! I have become the Kitty Whisperer!!

A neighbor brought me a poor starving little kitten because she knew I took care of cats. Ugh!! Now there are 7 cats in my house. Trala told me that since I am not working at the moment that I should find out the requirements for being considered an animal rescue and maybe get money from the government. At first I laughed but now I am starting to think about it!

The feeding and the litter box maintenance alone are getting to be a full time job. I only have to feed the older cats 2X a day but the kittens need to be fed every 3-4 hours because of their caloric needs. Also, because Cheese is a chow hound I have to watch and make sure he doesn’t shove the kittens out of the way and eat their food.

The 2 kittens I have been fostering for a while are coming along great. In fact, in a week Solo is going to his new home in Rhode Island. I have some dear friends who are looking for a kitten for their son, Ethan, and I happen to have a great kitten for a little boy. I really think this is going to be a good match since Solo is a really active and sweet kitten. I think they will have fun with him.

Wynter is going to a friend here in Maryland and he will be ready to go in 3 more weeks. Wynter is eating and using the litter box well, but he is only 5 weeks old and isn’t ready to go developmentally. He is learning at the normal rate and is a good size for a 5 week old, but he is still a baby and therefore has to grow a little more before he can go to his Forever home.

That leads us to the new kitten. He is a grey and white tabby and is as cute as a button. He was a stray/feral but every time you touch him he purrs. He doesn’t mind being picked up and carried around and loves having his chin scratched. I have never had a feral react this way. I know he was a feral because I know who his mom is and I have been trying to catch him for weeks. In fact, he is Tank’s brother!

He disappeared a few days ago and we just thought that a fox from the woods across the street got him. We were keeping an eye out for a body or any clue that he was killed. Then Kim called and when she described him to me I knew instantly who it was.

He still has some feral tendencies such as the skittishness and the desire to run anytime there is a quick movement or noise. But if you talk soothingly to him and approach slowly he stays put and you can pet him and pick him up. The touching and holding are the biggest hurdles. If you can get a feral cat to trust you enough to hold him, that is about 80% of the socialization process. I think in a month he will be a normal housecat and will be ready to go to a Forever Home.

But still, 7 cats in one house? I have a big house, but sheesh! I have become the Crazy Cat Lady!!

Wednesday, July 2

Mum and the Air Conditioner

Well, Mum made it in okay and we have been running since she got here. I think today we are actually going to rest.

Mum’s flight got in about an hour and a half late but that actually worked out fine since it gave Michael and I a chance to grab some supper. We snatched her from the airport and then came back to the house. Since it was about 11:30 when we finally got home we just chatted for a while and went to bed. The next day there was shopping to do!! And then everyone wanted to catch up with her so we went out to supper with some friends. She is going to be here until the middle of November so there is plenty of time to get crap done.

A few years ago my parents sold almost everything they had and used the money to move to California. Now that they are ‘unencumbered’ they travel more and do more fun things. They bounce between my sister in San Diego and me in Maryland, spending roughly 6 months at each place. The plan at first was to spend spring and fall with me and winter and summer in CA but for some reason that isn’t what happened. Mum just visits when she wants to and weather be damned. Lol.

On a different note:

We were having supper the other night and were discussing the problem of the temperature control. Our house has a problem with the consistency of the cooling. In the summer the upstairs is definitely hotter than the downstairs. . I like it cold when I sleep. I enjoy snuggling under the blankets (even in the summer) and with it warm upstairs I have a hard time sleeping. Also, the room we use as an office is noticeably warmer in the day than the rest of the upstairs. We have closed all the vents in the basement and most of them on the first floor but that doesn’t really help much. We have installed additional insulation in the attic and have put weather stripping around the attic stairs and that helped a little. Michael built housings and supports and installed 2 HUGE attic fans that push the air out of the roof vent when the attic reaches 125 degrees, that helped a little. We replaced every window in the house and the Heating/Cooling system as well. That helped a lot! But there is still about a 5-degree difference between the two levels. We installed ceiling fans in all 4 of the upstairs bedrooms as well as a huge one in the stairwell and that helped somewhat.

With all of these measures, there is still a difference in temperature between the 2 floors. I now view this as a challenge. There must be some way to remedy this without taking out a second mortgage to do so. Well, Michael suggested a window unit to make up the difference. I balked because there is no way I am going to have a metal tumorous protrusion on my house. I mean it makes perfect sense, but no. I would rather be too hot. We once again headed to the attic. Well, it turns out that almost an entire third of the attic covering the office is not insulated well. It has a scant covering of the popcorn insulation but that is it. So off to Home Depot it was.

We picked up more insulation to lay in the attic but we also picked up one of these:

We used it yesterday in the office (we hid it behind a piece of furniture) and within 30 minutes I had to increase the temperature because it was getting too cold in the room. Imagine – me, too cold! We left the central air at 72 degrees overnight and just wheeled the unit into the bedroom. It was nice and chilled in there. I actually slept under the down comforter! I am loving this thing! I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a portable unit.

Well, it is time for me to go feed the little crack heads so I am outta here.