So long, Robbin Rabbit

November 9, 2013

Robbin was less than a year old, but this is still the best photo ever.

Robbin was less than a year old, but this is still the best photo ever. Quintessential Robbin—friendly, curious, outgoing.

Robbin Rabbit exceeded all expectations. I’ve had rabbits with bigger personalities, but no one was king of the house like Robbin. This is his story.

Perhaps you wonder about his name. There used to be this place, the Robbinsdale Farm & Garden. It’s where I had been going to purchase my fifty-pound bags of Purina Rabbit Chow and I knew they sold animals. I was in the market for a new bun.* I chose the adorable little squirt with great grey splodges on white with a faintly orange stripe down his spine. In the car on the way home I wracked my brain about what to call him. I wasn’t feeling too creative, apparently, because Robbin after Robbinsdale is what I came up with.

Robbin's ears would wilt in the heat during his first summer.
Robbin’s ears would wilt in the heat during his first summer.
Yul, Dhia, and Robbin
Yul, Dhia, and Robbin
Dhia naps on Robbin
This photo made it onto cuteoverload.com 
Dhia naps on Robbin
Contentment

I had two cats, Dhia and Yul, and the three of them fell in together pretty quickly. Both cats had lived since kittenhood with my previous rabbits so having a hoppity brother was nothing untoward. They welcomed him into the family.

The rabbit cage had a front door. When I was around to supervise, my bun could come and go as he or she pleased and have the run of the place, all the while being able to return to the cage for refreshments or bathroom breaks. Every rabbit was reliable, and once he or she discovered the location of the cats’ litterbox were very good about using it as well. However, I never felt like I could completely let down my guard because they were, after all, chewing machines.

The family that poops together…
The family that poops together…

That changed with Robbin. He had impeccable toilet habits and, strangely enough for a rabbit, seemed to have no interest in chewing on anything except cardboard. As a good rabbit mom, I always provided hay but Robbin couldn’t be bothered. I always joked that he would rather starve than eat hay (and he would—I tested him a couple times) or that he’d rather eat cardboard than eat hay. That was borne out by the evidence.

I grew bolder and bolder with leaving him out overnight while I was sleeping (no problem), with leaving him out during the day while I was at work (no problem), with leaving him out all the time (few problems). He had earned it. He was a free-range rabbit!

bunny date
I took Robbin to the Humane Society where he chose Bibi.
Robbin and Bibi
Hanging out
Robbin and Bibi
Matching buns

I had learned that rabbits are social creatures within their own rabbitdom and so I took Robbin on some bunny dates. He picked out Bibi and they quickly became best friends. Dhia and Yul welcomed Bibi and it was one big, happy, furry family. It didn’t take long before Bibi, too, earned her free-range stripes. But the joy was not to last.

The happiest family
The happiest family. Believe it or not, they lined up like this all on their own! Best photo ever! Dhia, Yul, Robbin, Bibi.

We said goodbye first to Yul and then to Dhia. Soon, CJ Cat came into our lives. She is a sweetheart but she was already about two years old. She hadn’t had the advantage of growing up with a rabbit like the other cats had. She just didn’t know what to do about Robbin and Bibi.

CJ would nip their ears or swat their tails, tactics cats use successfully to provoke each other into playing. As a prey animal, Robbin would become very defensive and chase CJ, comically so. They’d run back and forth until finally the rabbit treed the cat on the bed or the windowsill or any place where the rabbit wouldn’t immediately go. He was very protective of Bibi, too.

Dasie and CJ were never sure what to make of the rabbits.
Dasie and CJ were never sure what to make of the rabbits.

So Dasie the cat was added to our family for CJ’s benefit. Dasie a friendly goofball who also had no idea what to make of rabbits. After being chased around enough times both cats developed the technique of giving Robbin, and to a lesser extent Bibi, a very wide berth when they needed to pass by.

Unfortunately, Bibi was soon departed. Her malady was gut stasis, a common ailment of rabbits, but I still wonder if it wasn’t brought on by the stress of dealing with two new, semi-hostile cats. She came from a multi-species household when I adopted her, so I’m probably making that up, and yet the timing was so coincidental. Robbin reverted to being an only rabbit.

Robbin the mountain goat
Robbin the mountain goat
Is it suppertime yet?
Is it suppertime yet?

Robbin was a very athletic rabbit as opposed to Bibi, who was an utter landlubber. There was no bed or sofa that was too tall for him. It warmed the cockles of my heart to walk in the door after a tough day at work to find him folded up on the end of the couch in the front room. When we moved to my current place, all the stacked boxes waiting to be unpacked provided a nice climbing range for my mountain goat rabbit. Sometimes I believed that he thought he was a cat. He had, after all, grown up with two. He loved jumping up onto things, including the tin in which I kept his food, a not-so-subtle hint that I should feed him now.

Robbin camps out on my dad's bed
Robbin camps out on my dad’s bed
Getting a banana fix from his dealer
Getting a banana fix from his dealer
relaxing in the sheepskin basket
Relaxing in the sheepskin basket 

Robbin also always enjoyed my parents’ visits. Not only would he follow my mom around because she was his banana dealer, but he also would spend most of the day lounging on the poofy surface provided by my dad’s improvised bed of my big sleeping bag laid out on a futon. Robbin did enjoy luxury. While we had it, he could often be found in the sheepskin cat bed that I had put in a wicker basket.

A few years ago, Robbin had a health incident which I think was a seizure of some sort, and one hind side was temporarily weakened as a result. He seemed to recover fully but in the last months it was his back end that failed, particularly on the side that had been affected by whatever that episode had been all about. As he aged his flexibility declined, which inhibited his ability to do everyday rabbity necessities, and his quality of life gradually diminished.

Finally I could no longer deny that it was time to say good-bye. February 2003–October 2013.

Robbin, CJ, and Dasie
Robbin, CJ, and Dasie, the uneasy detente. Note the ear that remains cocked toward the cats.

*Disclaimer: Don’t worry, I long ago learned about [insert cute baby animal] mills. Robbin was my last pet not acquired from a rescue/foster organization.

My rabbit ate my bag

July 30, 2013

Photo of Robbin Rabbit feigning innocence.

“Who, me?”

This is a tale about how you don’t notice gradual changes when every day you’re around what’s changing. So I realized it was with my well-loved leather backpack.

I live with a rabbit named Robbin. Robbin turned ten a few months ago, and though his body is experiencing typical old-age infirmities, he’s as spunky as ever and maintains his routines. One of the things he likes to do is sit amidst my shoes by the front door. I call this Shoe Bunny. He doesn’t really do anything with them; I suspect that because shoes are somewhat his own shape and size, maybe they provide him some social comfort.

photo of Robbin Rabbit as Shoe Bunny.

My backpack lives at the end of my kitchen island. Since I started working out again, I often set my gym shoes beside my backpack to air out. Robbin likes those shoes, too. A fairly new morning routine for Robbin is to sit and groom those shoes while I’m in the shower and he (and the cats) are waiting for me to serve their breakfast. By “grooming,” I mean he slobbers all over them. Sometimes, he just moves on over to my backpack.

Two Mondays mornings ago, I went to pack up my backpack for the day. I discovered that one of the straps was broken. My first thought was that it had finally worn out. I mean, look at the thing. I replaced the leather drawstring with a shoelace long ago. More recently, I lined the top with fluorescent orange Duct tap when one of the holes tore through. And I swear it used to be black, not brown. But still, just as recently as a month ago, I received a compliment on its “shabby chic” look.

Photo of the old backpack.

The old backpack in its well-worn glory.

But then I remembered that the strap had been intact on Friday when last I used it. I looked at my sweet, innocent rabbit sitting nearby and realized he must have gone for a little leather breakfast appetizer. There would be no way to repair the strap.

I’ve been trying to remember when I got this backpack. I think it was about fifteen years ago, maybe only thirteen. Fifteen, thirteen, it doesn’t really matter. I’ve beat the crap out of it and it doesn’t owe me anything.

So the time had finally come to stress out about finding a new, large, non-nylon backpack. I paid US$50 for the old backpack all those years ago. I wasn’t holding out much hope for finding a leather bag that I could afford but I fired up the internet and went shopping. I search for “large leather backpack.” To my astonishment, one of the first images that came up was of my exact backpack! It’s been so long, I wouldn’t have expected it to still exist, but there it was. But how much would it cost in modern dollars? I figured it would be at least $200. I tentatively clicked the link. SAY WHAT?! Only $100! Was I seeing things? No. A few different sites had the bag and the price ranged from $94 to $115. I chose eBags.com because they had the lowest price as well as good customer reviews.

The bag arrived Thursday at the office. I was so excited that I forgot to thank Chris the UPS guy when he handed the box off to me. I chased him down in the hall and corrected that oversight. I opened the box and unpacked a pristine, black, stiff, leather backpack. Everyone in the office duly oohed and ahed.

But the real fun began when I got home and set the old and the new side by side for the photo op. Nobody who has seen the picture believes that it’s exactly the same bag! Do you?

Photo of old and new backpacks.

These are exactly the same bag.

Photo of old and new backpacks.

Really, I swear!

Brockleyflat_blog

I’m not sure I’d exactly call it progress on the moving-to-London dream, but I did do something useful last night. I looked at rents over there for the first time. I can’t believe I never did that before.

I was pleased to learn that it’s not as outrageously expensive as I had been psyching myself up for all this time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not exactly cheap, and I don’t imagine home ownership will really be an option. But in the area where I stayed during my last visit in summer 2010, I could find a 1-bedroom place comparable to the apartment I lived in for eleven years before I bought my condo for maybe twenty percent more than I’d pay here. And anyway, London’s a big town. There will be something somewhere that’s within my budget.

So that part of the plan is going well.

Action taken: checked out rent prices.

Then I looked around my place. The stuff. Then I checked in on another unit in my building that has been for sale for well over a year, probably closer to two. The mortgage. The diminished selling price.

Depression. 

Action taken: I engaged in one of my known coping mechanisms for restlessness and “depression.” I just cut off all of my hair.

The other unit is currently listed for eighty percent of what I paid for mine. And she’s got it looking a whole lot better than mine not least because she has about ten percent of the possessions that I have. My decision to purchase was rash. If I had shown interest but not acted, I probably could have waited out a reduction in price, because I think the guy had been trying to sell for a while before I showed up. But me being me, I forged right ahead. This was right at the end of the housing boom. Double whammy to me.

It was right at the end of the housing boom. Within six months the bottom had fallen out of housing prices. The market, like me, is still depressed. So part of my procrastination about London has necessarily been a waiting game for selling prices to climb a little. They haven’t. I had currently been figuring that if I put it on the market today, I’d be able to get around what my neighbor has dropped her price to. I’m not thinking that any more. Like I said, hers is nicer. The only disadvantage it has over mine is that the main water shut-off for the entire building is in that unit. Maybe that’s a deal-breaker.

Action taken: I just emailed a different neighbor who also put his place up for sale. Difference is, his sold in weeks. I want to consult with his agent.

Regardless of any issues about price, I know that I need to do a lot of spiffing up in here. The first thing to do would be to replace the carpet that I have hated since Day One. Sure, it was brand new but it wasn’t very good quality, I don’t think, and in the intervening years, the animals have kind of had their way with it, not that most of that couldn’t be cleaned, but I hate the carpet. I’ve always thought that installing that fake hardwood stuff would be the way to go. But I wonder how that would work with my ground floor floor that is always sinking and cracking because things are always shifting and settling. I’ll probably end up just putting in new carpet again.

Getridof_blog

Actually the first thing to do will be to get rid of most of my worldly possessions, because I never even glance at most of them. I mean, look at all these books. When was the last time I touched one of them? It’s been a lo-o-o-ong time. I suppose I’d keep the ones I’ve written and some of the ones I’ve designed. But all the others? I’ll get a Kindle, motherfuckers.

Actions required: 1) Figure out where to eco-dispose of books. There probably aren’t that many that would interest the used book store. 2) Re-rip all of my music CDs at a higher bitrate, then jettison their asses, too. 3) Be realistic. Even if I could fit into all those clothes again some day in the distant future, I’m not going to want to wear them. And if it’s the distant future, I’ll be in London and it will have been cheaper to buy new stuff than move old stuff overseas. Donate, donate, donate.

Bigthingstotake_blog

There are a few large items I would take with me—my cuckoo clock, Grandma Doudna’s embroidered map of my grandparents’ travels, Grandma Hetzel’s platform rocking chair, and my rabbit lamp. All other bets are off.

Robbin_blog

In addition to things, there are two cats and a rabbit. The cats are young, they’ll be fine getting their pet passports stamped. But my rabbit is almost nine, which is up there for a bun. The unofficial influence on my London timeline has been waiting out my rabbit’s life. At first blush that sounds cold, I know, but I’m only thinking of him. Rabbits are not as sturdy as cats or dogs and though I would take him along in a heartbeat if he were young, he is not and at this point I’d never subject him to the stress of air travel. He’s still going strong, bless him (though his diminished litterbox habits are part of the new carpet equation). 

Eventually we must address the legal aspect to all of this. The general information that I have learned is that I must have a job lined up in advance so that my employer can get my work visa, or something like that. But artistic types such as musicians and authors seem to have plenty of wiggle room. Authors, you say? Why, I do have many author credits in the U.S. Library of Congress! It would just be too much to hope for that my kind of authoring would be the sort that would allow my to circumvent the usual employment requirements. I haven’t investigated in a number of years.

Action required: look at immigration rules again. See if I can take my US work self in a direction that allows me to take advantage of any UK immigration “other” options.

Then there’s the whole money part. I’m certain I would have enough cash to finance the move once I sold my place, even with a crummy selling price because a couple of years ago there was a significant pay-down on my principal. But before that, I’d have to pay for the improvements. To that end, I’m thinking that I ought not to spend my next tax refund on another visit to London like I would like to do. Rather, I ought to mostly put it toward the improvements. In addition to the carpet, I’m quite sure I’d be advised to get new appliances. And that’s something that would benefit me anyway. So even if I didn’t end up selling for a while, I’d be happy about that.

In addition, I was already thinking about not returning to bowling next year. That is, until I recently got a lesson and am more interested in it again. But if I didn’t bowl, I could instead put at least some of that $2700 for a year’s worth into the London Fund.

The same could be said for the money I’d save if I cancelled my cable television subscription. The added benefit would be that I wouldn’t be watching TV all the time and could concentrate on more useful activities, such as throwing out stuff or doing extra work to steer myself in the right immigration direction.

 

I think that about sums it up. The one thing I have the power to start doing now is getting rid of stuff. And that would be a good idea regardless.

 

———————–

To read my previous bemoaning on this topic, please refer to Inertia, part 1 (history of the dream in which I compare myself to a large, brick building), Inertia, part 2 (I am lazy like a potato sitting on the couch), and Inertia, part 3 (nothing’s changed for me but the large, brick building is making progress).

The large, brick building is now open for business as the Cowles Center for Dance and Performing Arts. It got off its ass and did something.

Monsters under my bed

September 13, 2011

Underbed_tweak

I still psych myself out about there being some ghouly under my bed that will surely grab my ankle when I get back into bed after a mid-night trip to the bathroom. I don’t know where this comes from. My parents didn’t terrorize me as a child and I’ve never been any kind of consumer of the horror genre. A few “X Files” episodes maybe qualified, and I did watch all of those. These days it doesn’t occur to me very often, now that I think about it. Though now that I’ve thought about it I’ll probably do a number on myself tonight.

A while back, when Bibi the rabbit was living with us, things really did go bump in the night. I’m certain that she started the destruction you see above. Robbin is so well-behaved—he doesn’t chew and he doesn’t dig. But Bibi was a master digger. She scratched up most of the carpet, backing, and padding under the head of my bed. 

She would have reached up and scratched at the soft and saggy stuff over her head. She probably created a starter hole, and then Robbin and CJ joined in. CJ, being a proper cat, would have noticed a hole to somewhere and gone in. Though she would have stayed on the slats, it wouldn’t have taken long for the hole in the wispy, flimsy material to become enlarged—enlarged enough to look tempting even to an athletic and adventurous rabbit. More than once, after being awakened by the sensation of scuffling down below, I looked under the bed to see a big sag between the slats and had to shoosh Robbin out of there.

I don’t particularly care. What purpose other than cosmetic does that covering over the box spring serve? None, really.

Bibi was a landlubber so she never went up.

Underbedculprits_blog

Front, Bibi. Back, Robbin. Top, bed in more intact times.

Litterbox_blog
I’m trying to give everybody a little less food because you’re right, they don’t miss any meals!

If you want to come in the morning and in the evening, that’s great, but they’ll also be just fine if you only come once a day, and that’s all I expect.

CATS

A scant scoop of food per 12 hours. As you might guess, I give them one kind in the morning and the other kind in the evening. If you just come once a day, give them a little of both.

RABBIT

I’ve really cut him back on pellets because I want him to eat more hay. But it seems Robbin would rather starve than eat hay. His new thing in the last 36 hours is to go after the beer cartons that I have by the recycling. It’s true. He’d rather eat cardboard than hay. I’ve known this about him for a long time, but I keep hopefully trying different kinds of hay. No luck.

So he gets a half or so scoop of pellets per 12 hours, one generous full scoop if you only come once a day. In the unlikely event that he should eat all the hay in the crock, the bag is on the other side of the cookbook shelf thing.

WATER

I’ve dug out the pitcher. In lieu of pellets, hay or cardboard, Robbin is drinking more water. The bowl lasts half a day.

LITTERBOX

Oh, the litterbox.

Bags are on the end of the top of the bookcase. There’s a dustpan and whisk broom on the floor by the litterbox.

The exciting news is that I got a super-dooper industrial-strength scoop. It’s on the bottom shelf of the bookcase.

The bad news is that Robbin still just gets to the area to pee rather than all the way into the box. The puppy pads help somewhat; I change them every couple days. He leaves turds wherever he happens to be. Pooping isn’t an intentional activity with rabbits. They don’t take magazines to the litterbox.

The cat???s the thing

June 4, 2011

Dasietvbox_blog

Do you live with a cat? Then you know that if you put something down on the floor, they will come. A good box is hard to resist. Maru knows it, my cats know it. This, then, is the story behind the photo above, which I think ranks second of my all-time favorite my-cats stories.

A few months ago I finally joined the 2000s and got a large, flat-screen TV. I had been lumbering along with my old 21-inch CRT television that I think was close to twenty years old. I unpacked the new beauty and set it up, and put the box in front of some bookshelves in my middle room while I decided if I was going to keep the TV and then, having decided yes to that, whether I thought I needed to keep the box. During the time in which I was ignoring that monumental decision, my parents came to visit and I moved the box to the front room because I needed to get it out of the way. 

(Even if you just started reading my blog a week ago, you can picture this, can’t you?, since I helpfully shared my floorplan on May 26. If you read that post—in which I semi-whined about the cool temperatures we’ve had so far this spring—please know that the forecast for the next week doesn’t show highs below 80F/28C. That’s how it goes in Minnesota. You can’t quite bring yourself to stash your winter coat, and then all of a sudden you’re screaming for air conditioning. But I digress.)

In the evening as we all were lounging in the front room where the large, flat TV box now was, none of us humans were really paying attention to what the cats (and rabbits, mine and my parents’) were doing until Dasie perched on the arm of the chair next to the box with obvious intent. She’s very athletic, generally, but somehow she managed to be in some weirdo position so that when she finally did vault herself into the box, she ended up doing a backflop into it. Not a bellyflop, but a backflop.

I grabbed for the iPhone because I knew there would be a photo opp. According to my mother, during the three seconds that I had my back turned, the cat came leaping right back out of the box, only it wasn’t Dasie. Unbeknownst to anyone (Dasie included judging by the look on her face), CJ was already in the box. My mom started howling with laughter at the sight of a black and white cat going in, and an all-black cat coming out. I just managed to snap this photo as Dasie surfaced, confused by any or all of the above.

This might be my favorite photo that I’ve ever taken of any of my four cats (two past, two present). It’s the gift that keeps on giving partly, I suppose, because I know that it fits right in with the rest of her personality. It makes a wonderful lock screen on my iPhone.

Clock_tweak

It’s not my favorite cat story though, because I didn’t actually see the cause and effect. Favorite story of all time goes to my original cat Dhia, pictured below also in a box. When she was just a squirt (read, young and spastic) she was lounging on the back of my bed, not asleep but not paying attention. I snuck up on her and smacked my hand down on the bed very close to her. She launched straight up into the air. Well, apparently not quite straight up, because when she came back down, she slid right down into the six-inch gap between my bed and the wall like a piece of bread in a toaster. The look of utter surprise on her face was priceless. Priceless. Mind you, I don’t make a habit of laughing at others’ misfortune but right now, twenty years later, it still makes me giggle out loud.

Just like I chuckle every time I look at this photo of Dasie.

Dhiabox_blog

 

May 21, 2011

In 2003, when Robbin was just a bun, I captured ten minutes of still photos of him just going about his important rabbit business. I had printed out the photos and bound them together in a little book. I wanted to take a movie of me flipping the pages—because it sort of makes a little movie like a flipbook—but I moved five and a half years ago and I couldn’t find it. So I did the next best thing, made a quick video of the photos. That’s my former cat Dhia hanging out with Robbin.

No name (2)

April 6, 2011

Nameinanimateobject_tweak

I am not a person who goes around naming my objects. I have several friends who name their cars, and I just don’t get it. It’s a car. I suppose I can understand naming ships and trains and planes. They’re big. They have routes. They go places—across the country, across the ocean, to another continent. A car goes to the grocery store. 

And if I were a guy, I certainly wouldn’t name my, you know.

What I do name are my computer hard drives. When I first started thinking about this this evening, I assumed it was because “Macintosh HD” is so non-descriptive that you’d get confused if you didn’t name it something else. But that’s really not true, at least for home use, even if you have more than one computer, such as I do. I’m not going to be too confused by seeing two “Macintosh HD”s on the network. One is the computer I’m using, the other isn’t.

So it turns out that I give in to a little bit of frivolity on this front after all. It is, I must admit, a little more entertaining to see the name of your hippity hoppity bunny rabbit. I name my hard drives after my pets.

My rabbits have gotten the hard drives, the cats have gotten the peripherals. The “turnover,” if you will, in both departments has been compatible. So, let’s see if I can remember what they’ve all been.

Nameinanimateobject_blog

Macintosh Performa 631CD: Hazel (rabbit)

UMAX Macintosh clone: This was probably also Hazel, as he lived for 10 years. This was a great machine.

40 gig external hard-drive: Hilda (rabbit #2)

Sony Memory Sticks for digital camera: Dhia, Yul (1st, 2nd cats)

iPod 3rd gen: Daisy (shortlived 3rd rabbit). This is still a hard-drive iPod, not one of the newer flash drives, so it counted for getting a name.

Apple G4 dual 867MHz: Robbin (5th and current rabbit). This computer is a tank, and if the Mac OS hadn’t left it in the dust, I’d still be using it.

Extra internal HD in the G4: Belle (shortlived 4th rabbit, posthumously named, because this was the one case where sweeties and hard drives got out of sync), used for music storage

(Wow, did I go from the UMAX to the G4? Holy crap, I did. It seems so long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away.)

G4 iBook (2004, still in use, I’m writing on it AS WE SPEAK): ROBBINBOOK. iBook 2004, Robbin Rabbit 2003.

Mac Mini dual Intel whatever: ROBBINmini.  Mini 2010, Robbin Rabbit 2003.

External hard drives used with ROBBINmini: Dasie (1), CJ (3rd and 4th, current, cats). Dasie gets the music, because she’s crazy and fun-loving and crazy. CJ gets the one that’s for back-up, because she’s more no-nonsense.

 

Endnotes 

1. Yes, there have been two Daisys. Daisy the rabbit only lived for half a year due to defective genetics, probably due to purebred inbreeding issues. When Dasie the cat came to me, I knew I couldn’t keep her shelter name of Sadie. I thought Daisy was a fun name, so when I realized that I could anagram Sadie into Dasie, it was a no-brainer. It still sounded the same, but was a different spelling as well as a non-traditional spelling. And it totally fits her personality, just as Daisy had fit the rabbit’s. She was a devoted, little ray of sunshine.

2. When I was in high school, I had an English teacher who love Kurt Vonnegut. He also said that he, in his own youth, had had a friend with an unusual name, Noname. When he wondered to her about its origin, she said that when her birth certificate was being filled out, her parents had not yet decided on a name, so the certificate was filled in with “No name.” It apparently stuck and she went through life known as Noname (no-NAH-mee). Weirdly, that story has always stuck with me (obviously) and every time I hear about “no name,” even if it’s just the box of steaks, I think of this woman to whom I have zero connection.

March 27, 2011

Out of the poop loop

January 15, 2011

Worstchorelitterbox_tweak

It’s a dirty job, and it doesn’t get done often enough. That’s right, folks, I’m talking about the price of living with your furred or feathered sweeties. And scaled, I suppose. I guess fish and snakes poop, too.

Everybody has their least favorite household chore. Mine is laundry. I hate doing laundry. It’s not even the washing and the drying. It’s the sorting and folding and putting away. Socks and underwear have gone whole seasons without getting back to their drawer, as I pluck them clean from the laundry basket on top of the dryer. There is a two-foot stack of clean, folded shirts on a chair which, for some reason, I simply can’t bear to take fifteen feet back to my dressers to put away. What the heck?

So scooping the litterboxes should be simple by comparison. Sure, ideally, it would happen more frequently than laundry—as in daily, when it would be a smaller, faster task—but for some reason I tend to put it off until it seems monumental, and then I put it off some more. And so on.

I give props to all four of my cats (the two current and the two previous) for being very forgiving and reliable, even when the boxes are a mess. My rabbit, Robbin, well, he gets himself to the litterbox corner but …

I know that out in the rest of the house, Robbin doesn’t like current cats CJ and Dasie very much, and I think this extends to sharing the litterbox with them. He didn’t seem to have any beef with my previous cats, Dhia and Yul. In fact, his reliable litterbox use (along with not being a chewer) is what earned him the free-range lifestyle. But then the cat individuals changed, and so did his toilet habits. But maybe it’s also a function of his increasing age (he’ll be eight next month). I know he’s still physically able to get into the box; he still frequently jumps up onto my couch and various chairs. All I’m left with is that he doesn’t like CJ and Dasie’s, um, smell.

Anyway, what I do know is that he is more likely to get into the litterbox if it is fresh, clean litter or if it’s not, if the box freshly scooped. So why the heck don’t I just scoop already?

Worstchorelitterboxsweeties_bl

Bibi (no longer with us), CJ, and Robbin, takin’ care of business.

Dasie and the Birds

January 2, 2011

One of the by-products of all the snow we had in December is that the lilac bush next to my front window is half-buried. So the little birdies that like to hang out in it have been forced to make use of the snowbank. The cats, naturally, are fascinated. A few times I have exacerbated the situation by tossing birdseed around.

Dasie in particular—my crazy Dasie—loves the birdies. On sunny afternoons, the birds’ shadows on the mini-blinds drive her nuts, probably because they seem closer and attainable. In fact, more than once I’ve seen Dasie leaping for a shadow. After Christmas weekend, I had to repair significant tears and slashes in the plastic covering the window. That kind of bummed me out, because that front window was the smoothest, tightest installation I’ve done in the 15 windows I’ve covered over the years. Oh well. If you look closely in the movie, you can see the clear packing tape I used for the patch job.

Anyway, today was not sunny, so the bird watching was a much calmer affair.

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