Sheltering in Place – Day 74

Happiness. So Let’s talk kitty litter. I’ve been nervous about going to the pet store. Sheltering in place, doncha know. So lately, I have been buying my litter online. Much more expensive, especially the green tea litter I like. Let me be clear about this. Ellie doesn’t seem to care. Just keep it coming and keep it clean. But I like the scentless, lightweight, and easy to get rid of litter. It makes me happy. So a couple of times I paid the exorbitant price to get what I wanted. However, when hubby and I were at Target early one morning I lost my mind and decided to try another litter, The brand will remain nameless. Terrible stuff. It doesn’t get rid of the smell. It weighed so much, we practically needed a Uhaul to get it home. Sand and clay weigh even more when you add – ahem – tinkle.  Also when wet, it adheres to the bottom of the litter pan like glue. It is rendered an immovable object. I know this because a couple of days ago I strained a muscle in my arm trying to remove it. So bad, in fact, I couldn’t lift anything heavier than the olive for my martini. My only excuse is, it was early morning, I hadn’t had my coffee yet, and I was used to the other litter. But then I had a wounded wing on top of a smelly, disgusting litter pan. Hubby to the rescue. Mask in place and gloves on hands, he went to the pet store, bought my wonderful litter, removed the ghastly sand and clay, and brought it to the trash. Even wounded, I was able to put in the green tea litter in the pan. I am happy, hubby is happy, Ellie is happy.…

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Sheltering in Place – Day 67

I have a lot of time on my hands these days. I was struck by the idea of potty training my cat, Ellie, to use the facilities instead of the litter pan.  I trip over her litter pan every time I go into the laundry room, so this seemed like a good idea. It can’t be so hard, I reasoned. After all, Ellie is the cat and I am the mastress. And Ellie is a very intelligent, obedient cat. Okay, she’s very intelligent. That’s a start. After reading a particularly entrancing ad on the internet, I acted. Several days later, I received a pair of steel, reinforced gloves in the mail, and a set of instructions that went like this: Remember, it’s essential to take the upper hand when laying down the law to your cat. You can achieve your goal if your commands are clear and concise. You will be rewarded by an animal who loves you even more for your discipline. Below are three foolproof steps to employ: 1 – Discuss the overall goal with self. You must be in total agreement with self on objective and how to achieve it. Keep cat out of room during this discussion. There is no sense in alerting cat ahead of time. They have their ways. 2 – Now relay overall goal to cat before you begin the training process. You will find that sitting cat down in a quiet place, void of distractions, and outlining the situation is the way to go. They will usually pay rapt attention to you, especially if you are waving catnip about. They may not remember all you’ve said, but it is a bonding experience.   3 –When you see cat doing business in litter pan, carefully lift animal out of pan while wearing aforementioned,…

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Sheltering in Place – Day 63

I have come to the conclusion that I hermit well. Especially as I like cats. I may have trouble with the beard, though. I think most writers hermit well. That may be an overgeneralization. But I am the queen of that, so I will continue. Writers spend so much time living in the mind, traveling in the mind, creating in the mind, feeling in the mind, that the outside world becomes a secondary place for us. Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the world. Really, I do. But what I am is a person who can live very well in a teeny-tiny world of my own making. Essentially, this self-quarantining hasn’t made much of a difference to me. Other than the fact I am hysterical every waking moment about catching COVID 19 and tend to decontaminate anything that doesn’t move, nothing has changed much for me. I get up in the morning and stagger to my computer. Hubby makes me a cup of coffee. The heart starts beating again. I begin putting words into the computer while looking at a screen. And I continue doing that until my back screams out for mercy. Or until Ellie wakes up and decides it’s time for her breakfast. You can set your clock by a cat wanting her breakfast. Hubby is very good at making his own breakfast. This morning he made some for me, as well. Scrambled eggs and turkey bacon on toast. He’s a keeper. So then I go back to the computer for more writing. Lunch rolls around. I make something easy. Often I feed my man, too, but only if it’s easy. Then once more to the computer. I continue to write. I answer a bajillion emails. I interact with…

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Sheltering in Place – Day 58

Home confinement. Time to smell the flowers. Time to clean out the medicine cabinet. Time to assess my life. Well, never mind that. That’ sounds way too grand. Time to assess my pajamas.  Hmmm. Maybe I need to face a few things. Just how long are you going to keep those puppies, anyway, no matter how attached to them you are? The nineties are gone. Face it. Also, Isn’t a good indication of too much-expected longevity when the label becomes so frayed it can no longer be read? Besides, before they faded to an off-yellow, weren’t they red and green checked? Do you really want to continue pinning them at the waist now that the elastic band is gone? In short, should you get hit by a bus wearing those pajamas, just how embarrassed would your cat be? Ellie does have her standards. So biting the bullet, I have decided it’s time for them to go. Maybe a few other things, as well. No, not hubby. I am really used to him. Besides, if I ever need a new one, I can send away for one. I do have Amazon Prime. A new hubby delivered in less than thirty-six hours and no shipping cost. But I like the one I have. For the moment. But back to my jammies. Maybe it would be a good idea to send away for a new pair. That pin keeps jabbing into me in the middle of the night.  

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Sheltering in Place – Day 43

Today was Ellie, my cat’s,10th  birthday. I looked on the internet to see what else happened 10 years ago on April 28th. Absolutely nothing else of significance. Apparently, the highlight of April 28, 2010, was Ellie’s birth. I’ve always suspected this. No wonder she thinks of herself as a queen (note the crown). I know her date of birth because her mother, a seal-point Siamese, was in the animal shelter where she gave birth to a litter of kittens. Ellie was one. Yes, for all her regalness, Ellie is a rescue cat. But she has requested we keep it on the down-low. She doesn’t want word of this to get around the neighborhood. She has her reputation, doncha know. I thought it would be nice to show a typical day in the life of the monarch, she who graces us with her presence: First, there is breakfast. I think it should be noted that after a long night of sleeping, a hungry cat can be the most insistent alarm clock in the world. And breakfast seems to be sacrosanct to most cats. Breakfast is from 9 to 9:15 am. There is no deviation. After breakfast, we have nap time. True, she just woke up, but there is a certain amount of stress in moving from the bed to her cereal bowl. Besides, her philosophy is nap time should take up the bulk of the day. This is different than sleeping, which she does at night. In the daytime, she naps. All-day long. It’s written in her contract. She has many separate nap times and they are delineated by food and snacks.  After breaking her fast, the rest of the morning is devoted to her mid-morning nap. Then a light snack from 12 noon to 12:15. For the record, there are…

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Sheltering in Place, Day 42

The governor of California has extended the shelter-in-place mandate until the end of May! Good grief! I have committed myself to nattering on about my thoughts and feelings until the shelter-in-place days are over. But what am I going to drivel on about? Because, let’s face it, drivel I do. Let me marshal my options on possible subjects: 1 -Hubby. The man I married is an endless source of material. Love him though I do, he is responsible for much amusement around the house. And aggravation.  Usually, he’s endearing and thoughtful. He has been known to clean up the kitchen, load the dishwasher, and do a load of laundry, all before I get up in the morning. But just when I think he is the most thoughtful man in the world he goes and does something thoughtless, like leaving one of the stove burners on after he’s cooked something for himself. No matter how many times I tell him to turn the burners off BEFORE he lifts the pot from the stove, he keeps forgetting. We even have little signs – “The fire marshall is watching YOU.” Someday I just might pull the stove out and put in one that turns itself off when there’s no more weight on the burner. That stove is right around the corner, should the house not burn down beforehand. 2 – Ellie, my cat. My darling, adorable, tubby Ellie is a spoiled brat, indulged beyond belief. I not only acknowledge the fact but stand firm that it is totally my doing. I say with no small amount of pride that I can take any ordinary alley cat and turn it into a neurotic French Poodle in less than three months. I like to think of it as a gift. 3 – My hair, my…

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Sheltering in Place – Day 40

In a few days’ time, it will be my cat, Ellie’s, birthday. On April 28th she will be 10 years old.  I never thought I would see her live that long, what with her asthma and all. I thought I would be lucky to have her reach her 6th birthday. But there you are. You never know. Life.   A few days after that, it will be my birthday. I am only acknowledging 45 years old, you understand. Along with the idea to keep on moving as I stand under nothing stronger than a 3-watt bulb, my real age is my secret and mine alone. The same with my weight. I don’t even think the FBI has this information and if they do, I hope they are gentlemanly enough to keep it to themselves. Even if they’re ladies. Besides, age is a mental thing, anyway, right? And I am absolutely mental. Anyone will tell you. And I am as young as I feel. Unless I am trying to use senior day to get into a movie for 6 bucks a throw. Then the number is very real. I will proudly show my driver’s license to anybody behind the ticket counter on that day. Of course, the kid looking at it is probably 18 years old at most. They feel the pyramids and I have much in common. Only the pyramids look a lot better. In any event, Happy Birthday to Ellie and me.  

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