In many ways this week was a bust. Dark days of overcast, fog and rain, with only brief breaks into sunshine a few minutes long and some slightly longer pauses in the steady rain. I could not work on the yard or get things out of the storage. I did get more work done on the kitchen but it is going very slowly. I generally have low energy after a couple of dark days and I got really wet bringing things into and out of the shop Saturday. I brought back the ladder we borrowed to change out the fluorescent lights and got even wetter. Then a customer wanted a kerosene heater donation we couldn’t put in the store as it still had fuel in it. I had put it on the truck so we wouldn’t lose it. Sunday I had to bring it back to the store for her. So I got wet again. No wonder I got one of my attacks where my core temperature drops and I have trouble getting warm again. So for three days I felt lousy. I was so out of it I totally missed taking Mi Sun to her appointment Monday and had to reschedule. That has never happened in ten years with the cats.
Around dinnertime on Thursday the sun began coming out more frequently. This was deceptive. All week long all I’ve heard about is Florence. Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC all declared emergencies early in the week. People were buying bread, milk and eggs at the store when I went for kitten food for Hansel. This brought back a memory. I remembered the prelude to a big storm when I was living in New Jersey. I was listening to a male and female DJ team on the radio. The woman wondered why was it that people stocked up on bread, milk and eggs for bad weather. The man came back with the remark, “Yeah, are they going to live on French toast for a week or what?” It still makes me laugh. I have a lot more on hand for a storm than that. I also make sure to have food which doesn’t need cooking. Without the use of the fireplace as a backup until I get it fixed it’s just easier.
As to Florence, outer bands were already causing some flooding in North Carolina when that seductive sun began coming out. Things were still wet from on and off rain all day and while I was tempted to try and run over to the storage for some things I did not give in. I’d already made one trip over Wednesday to get the replacement power cord for the laptop which finally came in to the shop. It was raining too hard that day to even think about it. At least it wasn’t totally pouring when they delivered the dishwasher Thursday midday. It won’t get installed until the plumbers replace all the lines but I was really happy to see it will fit perfectly where I want it. I had to do a lot of rearranging to make a space for it in the living room and the rooms got a good cleaning in the process so I didn’t feel like it was a totally wasted day. And now, if the weather deteriorates I will have everything in the house already.
Florence apparently made official landfall Friday morning. It is going to be disastrous for a lot of people. We are just getting rain and when I checked the river stage at the gauge near the thrift store we were a long way from flooding yet. Still, we don’t know how much rain there will be for sure. It was such a soggy, gloomy day I was not motivated for much, but I was determined to get out that cabinet in the kitchen. It took all day, sawing, prying, shimming, yanking and pulling out rotten bits until I finally was able to pull it free and still have the sink propped up. My sympathy for the hurricane victims quadrupled when I saw the wet, black soggy floor and moldy walls. That’s what they’ll be facing, only it will be whole houses, not just a corner in a kitchen. And I don’t have to shovel out sand or haul out random flood debris. Completely disgusted, I got a jug of bleach and just splashed it full strength over everything. It’s going to take forever to dry in this weather. Yuck!!
At least I can clear it out now. I thought it was tiredness from doing too much but that situation can’t be healthy for either myself or the cats. At least it wasn’t stachybotrys, that is especially nasty, but also easily identifiable. While it was all covered up it might have not been troublesome, but it had to be exposed. Obviously the plumbing issues would just have continued. Mold is nothing to dismiss lightly but neither is having your floor cave in from rot.
finally finished my course this week. It was an awesome course in advanced animal training. Most of my fellow students were horse or dog trainers, although several had cats, but I think I was the only one mostly focused on cats. I learned a lot but the most important thing I already knew. Cats can be trained. This is important because so many cats are surrendered for their behavior. There is absolutely no need for declawing cats. If you think declawing is a solution you have already made the determination that an inanimate object, ie. the sofa, is more important than a living being, the cat. Cats can be taught what is for scratching and what is not. Cats can be taught a lot of things and if you are doubtful, watch the videos at this link and this link.
Contrary to the image of the lion tamer, coercive methods don’t work well with cats. You have to make them collaborators. Of course they will avoid adversives but they also respond to positives like treats and scratches and petting. It does take some work and you have to be patient but you can convince the cat that behavior A gets rewarded whereas behavior B does not. Learning routines where your cat gets to do what it would do naturally, like run, jump and climb, plus get your attention, praise and treats will be fun for your cat. It provides exercise and environmental enrichment your cat needs and it can be fun for you, too.
My cats more or less trained themselves to hide when someone knocks on the door, a legacy from the days when we we over the occupancy limit for felines. Dolly and Mi Sun are still hiders, but Cloud slept right through the freezer delivery. He was on the dining table in front of the open window and too comfortable to move. He loves his sunbathing. Charlie doesn’t hide either. She’s fine as long as strangers don’t approach. Only Rose, my cleaner who retired, was OK. But Rose had a cat and knew the proper etiquette. Since most of my cats are seniors I am not going to expect them to do complicated routines. I have trained them to come when I call and to jump up to a surface where I can examine them. Mi Sun no longer is required to jump up because of her arthritis.
It would be nice if you could train people. The lawn man showed up a week ago Wednesday and said he would come the next day. This was after over two week and the grass was very high. The next day was off and on rainy by mid-day and Friday was the same so of course, no lawn man. All this week and no lawn man. No lawn man and no word.
Yesterday mid-afternoon, the weedwackers started up next door to Merv’s. That racket gets on my nerves. As I started to get annoyed, especially as they parked in front of my house and blocked me in, that little voice said, “Wait a minute, don’t grouch over this. It might be the answer to your lawn problem.” So I went and asked one of them if they were relatives or a business. They were actually friends of a relative and had just started a business, their cards were on order with Vistaprint. But he wrote down all their info for me and next week I will be calling them.