Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Yeah, that blew it.

Obviously I've given up on NaBloPoMo. Too much going on, too tired to do more than get home, throw some sort of dinner together (or chuck it all and eat popcorn for dinner again), and read until I can't keep my eyes open, which isn't very long.

Saturday I took Shanti to the Humane Society. I hate it but the situation was becoming untenable. Not the peeing -- that got handled once I locked the other children out of the bedroom once and for all. No, the problem was that a small bedroom just isn't enough space for a cat like Shanti who's used to having most of the Great Outdoors to herself.

I tried letting her out on her own but after the maintenance guy told me she almost got hit by a car in the parking lot, and another lady told me about a cat she'd lost to the foxes, I couldn't bear to. I did walk her a lot and she loved it, but when she got back inside...well, you know how you go to the zoo, and you go to see the big cats, and they're beautiful but you can tell they haven't got enough space because of the way they pace? Pace pace pace pace. One side of the cage. Pace pace pace pace back to the other. And back. And back again. They've worn a rut into the ground and their eyes don't focus any more and it's just an obsessive thing for them because they don't have the room. Well, she was starting to do that, too.

I brushed her real well and took her for a long walk, then drove her over so Tim and Ray could say goodbye. They brushed her some more and petted her a lot and then I took her over to the Humane Society. I was crying so hard I had to hand over my driver's license because I couldn't tell them my address. They gave me tissues and told me that they'd try to take her for walks, and that since she'll walk on a leash they expect to find a home for her very soon. They're a no-kill -- I visited the same quiet, unassuming, older cat something like five times there over nearly a year. They don't give up on cats easily.

It's odd here, now. Chocolate loves it -- he's got his momma back to himself. Samson and Taltos are clearly less stressed as well. I've gotten to pet Taltos more in the last few days than in the last several months combined. Not having to keep them out of the bedroom is lovely and having my little cat with me every night, all night, is heavenly. I've done the thing that was best for everyone involved, even myself. But oh, I miss my pretty, pretty girl.

Once the lady at the humane society heard my tale of woe (and had got an eyeful of Shanti trotting inside, perfectly calm, on her leash) she said I'd done the right thing. That helps some though I wonder if she'd say that to anyone bringing in a cat. I don't know. But I didn't see another way to deal with things.

I also gave in that night and turned the heat on for a bit. I'd left the windows open when I went to work, since it was lovely warm -- up in the 70s. I figured I wouldn't be in the mood for company and would head straight home in plenty of time to close them. Well, Tim (bless him!) called me with fifteen minutes to go at work to basically blackmail me over to his place with food he knew I'd love -- because he knew I shouldn't be alone after giving away Shanti. He was right and I cried all over both of them again and it helped a lot but it was below freezing outside (and not far off inside) when I got home and I just wussed out. Ten minutes of the heat running had the place bearable, though, and I turned it back off and it hasn't been on since.

Today I turned the water heater down to 'vacation'. I'd turn it off but I am a bit concerned about the pipes. If I want a shower longer than 'not much' I can turn it back up a half hour or so before I want to bathe, and then turn it back down afterwards. No need to have the water kept that hot all the time.

I'm starting to collect those small plastic bags you put your produce in, too, so I can reuse them. Even remembered to bring my cloth bag into the grocery store last time -- go me!

Bought beef bones for stock, and, instead of skinless boneless chicken breast, chicken thighs. The meat's just as good (to my surprise), though I learned a lot about chicken anatomy in the process of cutting it off the bone, and the bone and skin and stuff went into the crockpot for chicken stock. It's so, so much better than anything you can get at the store, it's ridiculous, and all that simmering keeps the place nice and warm, too.

The beef stock got turned into lentil soup (thanks Jadwiga!) and the chicken stock is in the freezer, in a perfectly reusable plastic popcorn container, until I figure out what to do with it. I'm contemplating a solar cooker of some kind, eventually, since there's sure no shortage of sun here.

My mint plant has been failing and I wasn't sure what to do. Tim recommended feeding it and I had ugly thoughts of Miracle-Gro or something awful like that until I remembered a thing I'd read recently. Wonderful fertilizer for plants and sustainable otherwise as well -- dilute your own pee in ten parts water and use it to water your plants. Gross? Yeah, I was a little squicked by it. But it's high in nitrogen and concentrated urea is something you can buy at any garden store. Why buy it when you can make it? And it makes so much more sense than peeing into your drinking water, which is effectively what most of do when we use the toilet.

Did that ever strike you as odd? It never did me until I got thinking about it. We clean water -- treatment plants, desalinization even, get it to the point where it's (hypothetically) safe to drink through much effort and expense, and then proceed to pee and poop in some of it. Buh?

Still working on ways to change that. I don't need that much fertilizer and I'm pretty sure a composting toilet is against my lease somehow.

In other news, if it's politics you're interested in, I highly recommend my Tim's blog, Bread and Circuses (okay, he hasn't actually changed the name to that yet, but he ought to). Warning: May cause apoplexy and plans to move to Canadia.


Jarred said...

Based on my conversations with the people who work at my local animal shelter, I'd be inclined to think that being told you're doing the right thing is a pretty major rarity. So I'd take the fact that the woman said to you as not only sincere, but high praise of you.

Kass McGann said...

Oh darling. I'm sorry you had to get rid of Shanti. But I'm convinced you did the right thing. She will be happier (and safer) with someone who can let her outside. And you can see the positive effect it's had on Chocolate, Taltos, and Sampson already. They didn't need a sister in their pack. And Shanti will be a happy girl with someone who can give her the home she needs.

Sorry if that sounds like meaningless bullshit. It *is* the truth. Sometimes animals are not destined for us, as much as we fall in love with them. Sometimes we're just steps on the road to their Forever Home.

Anonymous said...

I have to second Jarred -- being told you're doing the right thing at an animal shelter is a MAJOR rarity.

And you are. You'll miss her, but think of what you've done. You took her off the street, you cared for her, you loved her, and you loved her enough to do what was right for HER, not what was right for you.

Really, no cat can ask for anything more than that.


Mother Laura said...

What they said, hon. (((Kate))).

LittleMary said...

ohhhh, you let your baby go. sounds like it was very much the right thing but sooooo hard. i hear ya.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Kate, I know that was hard. You tried. You really tried. I pray Shanti finds a good home, maybe one where she can be outside a lot.

Nina said...

Kate, it's been awhile since you posted--I hope you are ok and we will hear your voice again soon.

Jenne said...

* hugs *
hope everything is ok.

Link for you:

Eileen said...


What they all said.

I had to give up a dog was the hardest thing I ever did. (And I was the one who insisted it had to be done). We found the doggie a new home, and I cried, and cried, and cried.