Caturday: OMG! I actually have a Caturday post

Yes, it’s really a Caturday post…on Caturday, no less. 🙂 Maybe things will start to calm down now. As you know, mom fell and broke her hip. She wound up with ICU psychosis which caused a few problems. Then she finally got home from rehab only to wind up right back in the hospital with an evil case of enteritis. She is back home again and doing better. Lastech’s face is much better now, but in the middle of all that we came down with the dreaded mocos (flu). We survived that and Pepi is fully back to normal after her spay.

In the midst of all this excitement, we ran out of Feliway. That meant that Miss Jenny went into hiding. It has been replaced and we managed pics of everyone except Titanescu. His pic is slightly older and may be a repeat, but there’s not much to be done about it. 🙂

Tito posed nicely today

Tito posed nicely today

Miss Jenny in mid yawn

Miss Jenny in mid yawn

Titanescu: Why Dimmy? Why?

Titanescu: Why Dimmy? Why?

Lastech made a little video of the places we’ve been to in our area. The various places are Lime Ridge, The canal walks, the arboretum, and Redwood Regional Park. The cemetary, wetlands, and shoreline are in Martinez.

Pardon the mess of Pepi’s blankets and toys, but here is a cute vid of her and Tito

It’s beginning to look like spring already

a flowers


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Holy crudmosis! At least no one died

Holy crudmosis is the word. Seriously. CRUDMOSIS! dangit! We’ve missed several Caturdays because of the holidays and then life went really goofy on us. Lastech was putting in bunches of overtime and Pepi and I went off to house sit, and then…

In the midst of all that, the crudmosis kicked in. My mom fell and broke her hip. She had gone outside to the porch when she fell down the steps. She landed on the bricks under the roof valley. It was night and it was pouring rain, which meant she was in the path of the heaviest flow off of the roof. It was also very cold and rain was just short of icy. Daddy and a friend rushed to find an umbrella to shelter her until the paramedics showed up. Since they live in the desert and normally get little rain, umbrellas are not a normal household item. While in the hospital, she had surgery, after which she developed a case of delirium. It was more commonly called ICU psychosis in the past, but delirium is the more proper term for it. She finally got past all that and is in rehab. She’s sounding a lot more like her old self.

Just before I went house sitting, Lastech developed a rash on his face. It was getting better by the time I got home again. Then it got worse. A LOT worse. He got home from work on Sunday morning and his face was swelling, so we called the doc. He was in the doc’s office for less than 5 minutes. They walked us straight over to the ER. They kept him until noon on Monday, pushing meds through IV and orally. Between the dermatologist and Lastech, they were able to figure out the cause and treat it, so it’s healing nicely now. Oh and they also put him on meds for diabetes. Holy crudmosis all over again.

Last, but not least. Pepita went in for her spay yesterday. She did fine and will not have to cope with being in heat ever again. Our sanity (and hers) are saved for the moment. Sanity is subject to change at any moment.

While I don’t have any good pics of our beasties at the moment, I did take pics of my friend’s fur babies. 🙂

This is Zsu Zsu. She is modeling her new raincoat. She absolutely hates the rain. What a sweetie.

This is Zsu Zsu. She is modeling her new raincoat. She absolutely hates the rain. What a sweetie.

This is Ranger. Once he got used to me, he turned into a purring, head bonking lover.

This is Ranger. Once he got used to me, he turned into a purring, head bonking lover.

This is Sparkie. She's also a sweetie. She's got long fluffy hair.

This is Sparkie. She’s also a sweetie. She’s got long fluffy hair.

This is Booda. Supposedly, he hates everyone. He and I had quite a discussion about that, as you can see. He was so funny. He would hiss at me and change it to a meow in mid-hiss. He's got magnificent whiskers.

This is Booda. Supposedly, he hates everyone. He and I had quite a discussion about that, as you can see. He was so funny. He would hiss at me and change it to a meow in mid-hiss. He’s got magnificent whiskers.

This song sort of sums up the last couple of weeks.


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Winter rolls on with another birthday

To Julie.

Often enough, we wander into each other’s head, without knocking. One will say out loud something the other is thinking, which, after 15 years is natural.
We do have many references in common, despite our completely different backgrounds,which makes us laugh at the same things and then there’s our “shorthand”, those terms we both adopted after one came up with it, seemingly at random, terms which would have other people scratching their head if we used them in their presence. Our terms.
Rude terms, like “foufoune” (don’t ask)…

But as comfortable as we are walking in and out of each other’s consciousness in slippers, we don’t tend to finish each other’s sentences. In the exact same way that when the world’s stress fractures begin to appear, the other doesn’t try to fix it, it’s the bonding that mends the frayed spots on the fabric of life.


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Mount Diablo: rock of Doom

They say Mount Diablo got its name from a WTF moment in local lore, dating back from the early 19th century. In 1805, a small contingent of Spanish troops encircled a group of Native Americans, who managed to disappear without a trace using their evidently superior knowledge of the land. It’s only natural that the people who brought us the Inquisition decided the Devil was at play, and so they named the place Monte del Diablo, which some translate as Thicket of the Devil. Later, monte was mistakenly translated as mount and thus the mountain gained its current name.

As the crow flies, we now live about five miles or so from Mount Diablo, which makes it a semi-regular destination for us. On weekdays, when most folks are at work, the drive to the top is fairly relaxed and fun. I say fairly relaxed because you still have to pay close attention to other traffic, bicyclists in particular, especially near blind curves. As well, along some stretches, the road drops off abruptly, which causes fearful drivers to wander across the median dangerously.

The fun comes from spotting wildlife and the play of light on distant hills, which offers quite a spectacle on overcast and stormy days. On the drive to the top, there are many spots where to pull over and take in the sights, some with tables, benches and grills, even. From there, it is easy to see how much concealment the terrain offers wildlife or the unfortunate injured hiker at times. As close to “civilization” as Mount Diablo is, and as unimposing its elevation may appear at 3849 feet, the park’s 20.000 acres is deceptively smooth and tranquil. But just as Mount Tamalpais and its potentially treacherous Cascade Falls trail has risks, so does Diablo. And this is due in large part to both traffic and complacency.

Some of the photos in this blog post were taken as a storm system was moving through the area, giving you a sense of the textures the park offers and why it has become one of our favorites. It never fails to remind me of “Picnic at Hanging Rock”…


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Rainy days are here again and Pepi gets her licks in

Rudha-an here: Yes, rainy days are back! We had a doozy on Sunday with heavy rain and wind. It didn’t last long, but it was good. Thanks to the rain, we’re having to take Pepi for her walks along the canal instead of on Lime Ridge (too muddy). We don’t mind and she doesn’t either. These rainy days are turning the ridge green again.

The canal trail runs parallel to Lime Ridge. With all the rain, it has been to muddy to walk there. The canal trail is paved.

The canal trail runs parallel to Lime Ridge and is paved.

And now, back to Lastech

As we learned during our semi-annual “move out”, the feline crew of the Endurance doesn’t cotton to being in a moving vehicle. Titanescu is disturbed the least, while Jenny will remain in hiding, or crap on the bed. Tito is somewhere in between, but doesn’t like it either. Some catonauts…

On the plus side, they’re all doing rather well in our collective cramped quarters, with Tito continuing to socialize Pepita, Titanescu lazing his days away in bed, and Jenny occasionally romping with Tito for some needed exercise. Pepi is still too rambunctious and puppy-rough to be completely let loose just yet.

Tough though he is, Titanescu’s getting frail in his old age, and Jenny is still a bit freaked out by the yipping yodeler. Two things will help in the near future: getting Pepi spayed and following that with more training and gradual socialization with other dogs, which we can’t really allow for the time being. Pepi is shedding her puppy fat, what with her being about four months older than when we found her, and getting some outdoor exercise. The parks and open spaces are so exciting! So many scents to read! She has no issues riding in the car, although she gets squirmy when she needs to go take care of business, or if there’s a lot of movement outside, from pedestrians to birds and anything in between.

Jenny’s fur is now soft as Tito’s, which feels like silk. Looking at photos of her as a kitten, it’s amazing how her colors changed. From almost completely white to mottled gray/brown, sable and black. Poor old Titanescu’s fur clumps, so he just pulls at them and spits them out…

Tito being calm, as usual

Tito being calm, as usual

Miss Jenny posing with a new refrigerator magnet that we got from our friend Nofuratu The Naked Cat.

Miss Jenny posing with a new refrigerator magnet that we got from our friend Nofuratu The Naked Cat.

Titanescu catching some zzzzzzzs

Titanescu catching some zzzzzzzs

Pepi playing tug of war with the strap we used to extend her leash. She spends time outside with us when we're grilling. It's long enough for her to explore the porch.

Pepi playing tug of war with the strap we used to extend her leash. She spends time outside with us when we’re grilling. It’s long enough for her to explore the porch.

Here’s a little vid that Google+ made from pics of the nearby arboretum

As for Pepita,she welcomes me from work every morning with a frantic tongue bath which sounds, well, really NOT SAFE FOR WORK. Be warned. But laugh…

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Happy critters, or We haz heat!

Yes, the critters are much more happy. Last week we got a small oil-filled radiator. It helped a lot, but we needed a second one. It arrived on Friday. It’s a bigger one and we moved the small one to the bathroom. Happy happy joy joy!

Titanescu: I lubs you heater and you shall be mine!

Titanescu: I lubs you heater and you shall be mine!

I would yell bah humbug! but we made a wee nod to the season.

a wreath

Now for the happy critters.

Tito: Who me? I didn't make that mess

Tito: Who me? I didn’t make that mess

Miss Jenny is warm and happy

Miss Jenny is warm and happy

Titanescu basking in warmer days

Titanescu basking in warmer days

As for Pepi, she’s happy to have more heat too. That’s much better than being IN heat, which is over, thankfully. I should add that the wiley little rascal figured out how to do a Houdini and escape the harness. Oh joy. I don’t like it, but we’re using a Martingale collar now, when we walk. If she escapes while at Lime Ridge, it’s not so bad. However, we live right next to a very busy street. We’re being very careful as being part Dachshund, she could suffer damage to the trachea.

Who can resist Pepita's smile?

Who can resist Pepita’s smile?

I’ve heard of catfish, but a fishcat?

Hooray for Canada! We need to do this everywhere!


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Caturday: Frosty days

Yep, we’re having frosty days. Living in San Francisco, it rarely got that cold. Now that we’re thirty miles away, we get frosty days. It’s nowhere near as bad as other places, but it’s going to take getting used to. It doesn’t help that the furnace crapped out on us in the middle of it. We’re getting a portable oil-filled radiator and it should arrive on Tuesday. Lucky for us, the trailer warms up nicely as soon as the sun comes up. In the meantime, the kitties spend their time pretending to be moles and hiding under the blankets. At night, Pepita’s crate is covered with a double layer of blankets and a couple of hot water bottles.

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Lastech had to work, so we didn’t do anything special. We’ll make up for it later.

Tito imitating a mole

Tito imitating a mole

Miss Jenny

Miss Jenny

Titanescu and Lastech

Titanescu and Lastech

Ask you can see from the next two pics, Pepita and Tito are getting along rather well. Pepi remains on a leash indoors as I don’t want her chasing the cats.

Nom Nom Nom

Nom Nom Nom

Evidently, Pepita has a flavor

Evidently, Pepita has a flavor

And now, for a bit of the Trololo dog herself. Here is Pepi singing to another dog that she spotted.


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Caturday: The batty edition

I’m going batty. Pepita is in heat, as you know. She’s past the icky stage and into the “gimme boys” stage. In her frustration, she managed to completely destroy her dog bed. It was NOT an expensive dog bed, thank goodness. Now she’s reduced to a few throw blankets. 🙂 Taking her for walks is an endeavor. We need to keep her away from other dogs as much as possible. We found a spot where we can see other dogs from a good distance and manage to avoid them. We won’t go back until Monday though as the weekend means far too many dogs. In the meantime, she constantly begs to go out. I’ll be batty, but I’ll live.

The kitties aren’t suffering all that much. Titanescu is being his normal cantankerous self. Tito has decided that he really likes Pepi. They aren’t quite snuggling yet, but that’s only because Pepi is a tad excitable. She’s learning. Miss Jenny hasn’t pooped on the bed recently, thank goodness.

Tito watching over everything

Tito watching over everything

Miss Jenny and her beautiful blue peepers

Miss Jenny and her beautiful blue peepers

This is an older photo of Titanescu. That's because he's burrowed under the blankets, making picture-taking difficult.

This is an older photo of Titanescu. That’s because he’s burrowed under the blankets, making picture-taking difficult.

Goofy Pepita on her walk yesterday.

Goofy Pepita on her walk yesterday.

I got to watch this live the other day. It was this same camera view too. This is part of the old span of the Bay Bridge that has been replaced. They created a water cushion that you can see surrounding the pier. It just looks like a donut of foamy water. It was there to prevent debris from going all over the bay. You can see at the very end, that it worked very well. 🙂

Thank to our friend Dani showing us this vid, I’ve decided it’s now our theme song. 🙂

When the feral turns fecal and the PITA grows major…

A riddle in a crap-doodle. Miss Jenny, our feral, decided to take a dump on our bed twice about three weeks ago. Technically, she left it there, but the point is we were scratching our head while pinching our nose.

Miss Jenny looking quite innocent

Miss Jenny looking quite innocent

Cats dislike change and recently, we had been moving the trailer, moving the dog crate and litter box, so these were things to consider.

Right about the same time, Pepita went into heat, so it is entirely possible Jenny decided to mask the dog smells with her own. We’ve been giving Jenny as much attention as we have been able to, in order to reassure her feral little soul. Naturally, Pepita’s timing meant we have to reschedule her trip to the vet to get her spayed. We’ve also purchased dog diapers to alleviate the need for constant laundry washing.

Tired doggie. It was also Pepita's first day in heat and she wasn't liking it at all.

Tired doggie. It was also Pepita’s first day in heat and she wasn’t liking it at all.

They both gave new meaning to the expression ” I wouldn’t kick her out of bed for eating crackers”. Challenges seldom come in onesies, however, as the Endurance life support systems also went haywire. Water pressure went down to little more than a trickle,  just as the furnace plain stopped working. As a temporary measure, the chief engineer cut cardboard inserts to mask the ceiling vents. This netted about ten degrees at night. Further research showed how inefficient and wasteful RV furnaces are, and we’ll be looking at alternatives shortly, before rain storms begin in earnest.

The water pressure issue was easier to identify and resolve. It was due to a clogged filter which was faulty from the factory. We switched to a spare filter which resolved the problem.

Elsewhere, progress: Tito continues to cozy up to Pepita, who herself is deciding that cats aren’t a bad sort after all. Their encounters now involve more gentle slapping, sniffing, licking, biting on the dog’s throat (but gently) and decidedly non-aggressive staring. Pepita is becoming calmer, even as she yearns for “boys”. Ever so slowly, she is finding her place, even as the catonauts themselves are getting accustomed to life aboard the Endurance.

Tito being his normal sweet self.

Tito being his normal sweet self.

Titanescu remains the curmudgeon from hell and continues to direct his stinkeye and ire at Pepi.

Titanescu and his resting stinkeye

Titanescu and his resting stinkeye

Oh, but those diapers? That lasted about four minutes tops, before she Tasmanian-deviled her way out of that…

diaper

Rudha-an here: Given the horrible events of the last week, I thought some joy was in order.

We've had some rain. There's a lovely green haze starting up on our hills

We’ve had some rain. There’s a lovely green haze starting up on our hills

This is how close Lime Ridge is to us. The arrow points at Costco. We live across the street from it (to the right, in the photo). You can't see our park because of the trees. It's less than a mile away, but with a large rail yard in the way, we have to drive  a longer distance to get there.

This is how close Lime Ridge is to us. The arrow points at Costco. We live across the street from it (to the right, in the photo). You can’t see our park because of the trees. It’s less than a mile away, but with a large rail yard in the way, we have to drive a longer distance to get there.

<Someone needs to quit chopping onions already>

And now for the other end of the age spectrum.


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Caturday: Endurance’s 1st orbital mission

This week the crew of the Endurance spent 36 hours under “flight conditions”: restricted space (trailer slide in) and environmental controls at minimum (running on battery power and partial water tank). The catonauts handled stress fairly well, thanks in large part to Feliway.

All three sought to spend time under covers since their favored “fort”, under the couch was greatly reduced by the trailer slide being pulled in. Traffic noise was also much greater and put them on edge a bit. Pepita required more exercise than usual to take the “edge” off, but the entire crew did very well otherwise. As usual for Tito, he would defer to Titanescu and Jenny, letting them eat first and claim humans’ laps before he would.

Tito also checked regularly on Pepita on his rounds. As for Jenny, unless she went straight for a spot under a tented cover between our knees, she would pace slowly back and forth between the pillows and the wall, purring and rubbing against us. Titan mostly slept through it all…

As time goes on, it seems clearer that they are happier here in the more confined space of the trailer than at the old apartment. And much of that I think has to do with the environment, which is quieter and allows them to enjoy more air moving through, and even more direct sunlight, through the screen door or skylight. They raise their head up to sniff at the breeze and go right back to their nap, apparently very contentedly.

The addition of Pepita to the crew may even have helped in some way. Jenny, in particular, is seen more than she was at the old apartment, where she tended to hide in a cupboard. While she still has some spots where she could hide if she wanted to, she chooses instead to come visit and spent more time with us on the bed.

Rudha-an here: The little move was harder on Pepita than it was on the cats. She was confined to her crate a lot more than usual. We’ve been trying to make up for that. Oh, and a miracle update. Titanescu still likes to go smack poor Pepi for no reason other than she exists. However, Pepi and Tito touched noses yesterday. They’re coming along nicely. Pepita is a tad too exuberant, so I have to keep her on a leash indoors, so that I can control where she goes. She could injure a cat without intending to do so.

Tito was glad to have the trailer back to normal

Tito was glad to have the trailer back to normal

Miss Jenny still hides under the blankets a bit.

Miss Jenny still hides under the blankets a bit.

Titanescu sleeping with dad. Note Miss Jenny watching from under the blanket

Titanescu sleeping with dad. Note Miss Jenny watching from under the blanket

Pepita is a happy puppy

Pepita is a happy puppy

Yesterday, they trimmed all the mulberry trees. Today we found this.

Mr or Mrs Crow singing the song of their people

Mr or Mrs Crow singing the song of their people

Now for a bit of Halloween fun

This is just funny. It’s also a brilliant way to get pets adopted. 🙂


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