All This, Plus House Remodeling Too

Apparently, “contractor” is a magic word. Okay, here’s the long and tedious version of what’s going on.

The carpet in this house is over 20 years old. Counting Mingo, that’s three generations of cats, one husband, and me. It’s tired, it’s worn, stained, and it smells of cat pee no matter how much Nature’s Miracle I pour on it. I really wanted hardwood flooring but since Squeaky has emotional issues and poor aim, that’s out. And I’m always going to have cats no matter what. But they make tile that looks like hardwood…

BK (Before Kitten) I found a friend of a friend who’s a general contractor and had him replace the rotten french doors in my spare bedroom/office with a window. That went well (he showed up when he said he would, and did a nice job, he’s a fucking miracle without a webpage, sorry) so we walked through the house and lined up a list of large projects.  Some of the best advice I’ve every received courtesy of my friend Chan Moore: Do the work that gives you the most emotional satisfaction first. That will carry you through the mess and inconvenience and catastrophes.

So we started with the carpet. In the gap between window project and flooring project, Mingo arrived. Mercifully, I’d stopped bottle-feeding him before all hell broke loose. I’m living in the house while all this goes on, so the contractor is working room by room. The two bedrooms are done and they start on the living room tomorrow. Today I shift boxes from the front of the house to the back and clear the living room.

As an aside, I packed fifteen boxes of books from ONE ROOM, and stacked them in the garage. This doesn’t count the books in the bedroom or the living room.

The flooring project started on Nov. 6, and since none of the floors are actually level, may not finish until the end of the month. After it’s done, assuming I have any money left, the next project is the kitchen. The current chaos is such the kitchen looks simple to me, that should give you an idea of my life right now.

Of the three cats, Rainy the Siamese thinks the contractors are minions to serve her, no change there, Mingo thinks everything is normal because he doesn’t know any better, and Squeaky…has been forced to accept a lot of noise, strangers, and constantly shifting furniture. He’s doing much better than I thought; he’s actually sleeping through the banging. Anyway, here’s some pictures from the bedrooms, taken in great haste on my way to the vet:


Injury, Crate Rest, and Cat Drugs

Mingo is now on enforced crate rest and yummy pain meds, having injured his left shoulder/leg in either a fall (his leap alway exceeds his grasp) or armed combat with Squeaky.

Two days ago the contractor (that’s another looong post) said, “That kitten is limping.” Not only was he limping, he wasn’t putting any weight on his left front leg at all, but scampering around at top speed on three legs. This was late Tuesday and the vet’s office was closed, so I reacted in a mature and considered manner. I took half a Xanax and a glass of wine.

After two hours and multiple x-rays at the vet’s the next day, (have I mentioned that Boulder Creek Veterinary Clinic is wonderful? They are.) the best guess is an injury to the elbow or the shoulder soft tissue and a probable infection. Especially since he was running a fever.

So he’s spending Thanksgiving resting in a crate and hating it and letting the world know all about it. You would think, since Squeaky weighs around 13 lbs. and Mingo weighs not quite 4, that Squeaky would be the aggressor in their little encounters. Nope. Squeaky plays defense. Mingo loves nothing better than to fling himself on Squeaky’s neck or back or butt and bite. Squeaky backs up and starts swinging; Mingo swings back. And when, inevitably, he ends up smacked down, he gets up and attacks again. And again. I have noticed that cats have rules: Squeaky only uses his front paws and never throws his full weight on the kitten, but still…he’s a big cat.

I suppose this problem was inevitable, and part of them working out who’s on first, but it’s a bit hard on the human. And the human’s checking account. I actually have pet insurance on Mingo, which is turning out to be a good thing. Mingo does not mess with Rainy the Siamese. He walks cautiously around her. Probably due to the Laser Glare of Death she shoots at him when he appears in front of her. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!