Wednesday, October 21, 2015

More Packing

Packing has been slow going. When I was younger I could stay up late doing repetitive tasks like packing but now I haven’t the enthusiasm for it. I kept waiting for it to happen, that burst of get-it-done energy, but it never came. I planned for mornings when I could sleep in an hour or two, but no, it’s been the same slow pace all along: a few boxes a day, for weeks.

There was an almost-running–out-of-tape emergency, but I handled it with the plodding efficiency of the middle-aged, taking the opportunity to count how many more boxes I’d need, and taking the opportunity to get more packing paper.  I returned, repacked a few boxes in the basement, and got showered with mouse droppings when I pulled down the topmost box from a tall stack, but the reward was an old dish-pack full of paper. We won’t be running out of paper.

Over the summer and early fall, the dog Cherry has gotten old. It used to be that she’d stay close and always come when called, and then there were a few days where she seemed not to hear me unless I was pretty loud and making eye contact, but now she’s not hearing anything said by anyone. You can walk into a room where she is napping and offer dinner or treats or a walk and she doesn’t even wake up. You can open the door of her kennel and she may not come out. You can call her name from fifteen feet away, or five feet away and she doesn’t turn to you. She no longer seems to hear anything at all.

It must be strangely isolating to wake up in a silent world, and she seems hungrier and more shivery and worried than before, but also, she putters on our walks and is kind of disobedient. She eats weird stuff (I think it’s all poo of one kind and another) and takes her time about catching up with Captain and me, and takes shortcuts back to the house to sit and wait for us, rather than go the long way around.

It’s sad, because she now seems old and dried up and suddenly thin, and at 13 she is almost as old as any Vizsla we’ve had. She now barks more often with her gruffest, angriest loud bark, the one she used to save for very important things like strange kids playing in our front yard or an especially impudent squirrel.

Moving may be hard on her, and it will certainly be tough on the cat; he will have to be confined to a small bathroom while the movers are here loading. I have put yellow sticky notes on the empty cabinets (so I stop checking inside) and anything that belongs to the landlord.

I’ve had to go through the house and mark everything that belongs to the landlord with a pale yellow sticky notes that say “STAY” or “STAYS” depending on the grammar of my imagination as I scribble it. Sticky notes do not want to stick to dusty basement boxes. I will have to supervise the movers down there.

I got three estimates from local movers, the first and last came out similar in price and logistical considerations; both felt it needs to be a two-day affair. One offered one truck over two days, making two trips. The other suggested two trucks, loaded the first day and delivered the second.

The mover with the most expensive estimate showed up late and had more trouble rebooting his tablet (all three had Windows tablet problems of various kinds). He didn’t seem to count the boxes as carefully as the first or last one did, and he told me, “I’m not trying to sell you anything!” when he tried to sell me an insurance policy. He also commented on how many books we have; sure, we have a lot of books. I also have a lot of boots, but women are supposed to have a lot of boots, so he didn’t comment about the boots.

So I’m trying to figure out how to pack a musical saw and a fragile model of a human skull fashioned from flexible wire and the residents of TheFaraway Planet and about 40 bottles of cleaning liquids that the car nuts want to keep while the movers all insisted, “We don’t take liquids.”

We are all mostly water, movers. We are all mostly water.

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Visit to the Vet (by Schwartz)

Typist is busy with packing this week, so I thought I'd tell you about my day. Me? I’m Schwartz. I am the cat. I learned to type using Twitter, where I have more followers than my owner. I call her Typist because in the beginning, she did all my typing.

Typist gets these ideas that I should have vaccine boosters even though I'm an indoors-only cat and only sometimes on rare occasions shoot through people's legs to escape to the outdoors to eat grass, be creepy, and hide under the porch. Ok, once, recently, I did get a tick. Typist had to pull it out, and everything about it was really itchy from my perspective. But this shot thing was her idea, and once she gets one of these ideas I just get to go along with it like I don't think it's the worst thing ever, which I do.

People should keep more empty boxes around for me.

So Typist bought me a new crate for riding in the car, and started putting my food bowl next to it, and then just inside, moving it a little bit more every day until boring boring boring I had to go all the way in the crate just to eat my kibble. I was more interested in the box the crate came in than the crate itself. Typist thinks that the food-dish-moving-plan is a good system for getting me used to the thing. Sigh. Really all it meant was when I stuck my head in the crate this morning thinking I was getting breakfast, I got rudely shoved and then locked inside which was a bad mean trick and not as good as breakfast for sure.

I peed and pooped and barfed a little in the car on the incredibly long seven minute drive to the vet, but then I got bored with doing dramatic yowls about halfway there. I restarted the dramatic yowls in the waiting room just to scare the dogs generally and get the visit over with as quickly as I could.

There was a big bully dog all covered in hives having the jolliest time dragging his woman all over the room. He stuck his big stupid face right up to the bars of my crate and I hissed at him. He doesn't even know about the big bulging belly on his woman, and won't he be a sorry bully dog when that horrible human baby comes in a few months. No more sleeping on the sofa for Mr. Hives then! Ha, ha, ha.

There was a long-haired dachshund as well, and I get along fine with dachshunds, especially my home-dog Reggie, but this owner person wouldn't let him off her lap what with the bully dog and the woman stumbling along behind him.

Typist tried to amuse me during the long wait by turning my crate so I could see this poor little runt of a kitten, living out his pitiful life in the adoption cage at the vet. Out here in rural Dutchess County, the local vets do a lot of the work that animal shelters do in more densely populated areas. They keep the unwanted dogs and cats right there in the lobby, where the suckers who already own pets will see them and take another one home, with any luck.

Typist wanted me to like the kitten as much as she liked the kitten, and made a huge boring fuss about the fact that he looked like a tiny version of me. Boring! 

The kitten climbed the bars and then jumped down and Typist said she wanted to name him “Gorilla.” 

Another silly woman came up and talked to Typist about the kitten and this woman asked at the front desk if she could take the kitten home. The kitten was already spoken for, so both Typist and that other woman had to be satisfied with the pictures Typist took.  The woman even asked Typist to send her the pictures. What is it with y’all and your pictures of cats? Haven’t you seen the Internet? Plenty of pictures of me there already.

When it was finally my turn to see the vet and get my shot, I didn’t want to come out of the crate. They charge Typist $2.50 “hazardous waste disposal” fees for cleaning the poop I do in the crate. The vet always comments about how big and strong I am. It’s like they’ve never seen a cat before, really.

Shots make me very tired.