Tuesday, October 07, 2008


I just opened and fell in love with a book that begins with casual banter between a ghost and a dog, a dog who was named for a woman's favorite poem. I'll tell you about it later.

Bud's Retirement party was this noon (although it'll continue with his 60th birthday party at Kate's Friday night). I helped him write his letter of resignation two weeks ago today. He had butterflies, but he was determined. None of us could talk any sense into him, and it doesn't matter. He's ready. Things will mosey on at the plant under Jeff's steady navigation, but now I have his health to worry about. I'm afraid he'll harrow up more stress than the plant is worth. It's life and death to some extent, yes. But it's also pretty easy to run.

The kitten, who is, yes, still here, is teaching me to appreciate the older cats more and more. I admire his energy, the way he rifles through the basket of toys my ten-year-olds haven't touched in years and plays with everything in its turn, pouncing and galloping and finally crashing into sleep wherever he falls. He drives me nuts. I can't believe how much he's grown in a week and a half. He eats like a horse and drinks like a fish, but what he excretes smells horrible. Also I suspect he has chronic gas, and I'm wondering if the Purina Indoor Cat Formula is a little rough on him or if that's just kittens. Baby poop smells horrid, after all. He's affectionate and cuddly and curious and constant. It's fun.

But it makes me think of the days before his arrival and the quiet and beautiful way the older cats and I cohabitate. They're unobtrusive and it's always a delicious surprise and so much more gratifying when they decide they need a little attention, Kitty creeping up alongside me when I'm reading in bed, B.C. curling up by my shoulder at night or settling heavily on my lap when I'm surfing. They know what surfaces to stay off and when it's time to sleep (they wake me up before I'm ready maybe twice a year, and it's usually because B.C. fears I'm late for work on a Friday morning). They stay out from underfoot and pretty much sleep all the time.

Illness and travel have prevented me from finding him a home, but I'll get down to it now and make posters and send e-mails. He's making life hard on the older cats -- Kitty has lost her voice completely from snarling at him, and he deserves it -- and being a serial renter, I just can't have three. I promised Brent I wouldn't, too, even though I suspect he'd let me if it were going to break my heart to be parted from him, which... no. We want to travel and be spontaneous when we get situated, and B.C. and K won't be around that much longer, another 5-8 years at most. I don't want to start over now. Cheri's SSE auction is coming up and I'm thinking about taking him as an auction item. Put a big bow around his neck, assure people he's potty trained, and viola! Deb couldn't resist him. He would love the ferrets.

Puck has sustained his first real cosmetic injury, a one-inch place on the right-hand vertical rim of the driver's side door that's ground neatly down through clearcoat, paint, and fiberglass to bright metal. The location suggests the door must have been open, so I can only conclude that it happened on my watch, possibly when I was vacuuming him out a while ago, only I can't imagine that I would only just notice it. In fact, I'm almost certain it wasn't there when I got in after work today, and I did stop at the grocery store. It's in a discreet enough spot, though, that I can just dab it with Rustoleum and some matching Chrysler automotive paint to keep it from showing and spreading.

I ordered him about this time a year ago, and I've never regretted it for an instant. Last Thursday after our trip we went driving down HWY 150, into the Uinta Mountains, which are glowing in their autumn best, rippling, twinkling sheets of reds and golds and flaming orange between the pines. I had the sunroof open and Sirius blasting Broadway's Best (what's more singable than Oklahoma!?), and I was thinking, this car is so worth it. And it's almost 1/3 paid off.

The weekend hike we planned with Mom is being threatened by snow. Rose is getting her second knee replacement at the age of 88. If she recovers as quickly from this one as she did from the last one, she'll be running marathons by Thanksgiving. I won't be around to carry water, though; I'll be in Kansas City eating frozen custard with a whole slice of wedding cake mixed into it. If I had known about Sheridan's years ago, I'd already be living there.

M and K bought a ten-year-old 32-foot camp trailer (yes it has an equalizer hitch, jeez, stop asking me) and I look forward to many years of camping in utter luxury with hot running water and a king-sized bed, although I don't know where we're going to camp because where can you take the monster? And Cordale shot his second deer, a very lovely three-point I had to creep up to where it was hanging from its hind limbs in the garage and pet it while trying not to look at the gaping hole where its organs once were. As long as the head is there I always feel like there's a possibility it might look up at me and say, "A little help getting down from here, please, there's a good girl."

I'm exhausted just from remembering to tell you all this. Good night.


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