Sunday, July 15, 2018

Scaring the Scruffy Cat

The stray cat has eaten the food I've put out every day for the past week. I try to get a dish of food and water set out around 7pm every night. (Approaching twilight, when she usually appears.)

Tonight, Sunday, at around 7pm I inadvertently jerked open my sliding-glass door to go out and dump the old food/water and put out re-fills --- well, turns out the cat, unseen by me, was sitting off to the side in my yard, and I freaked her out! She RAN when I opened the door! After she leapt over my fence, I had to call after her, "Hey, hey, it's OK. Look, I'm just giving you food..." She ran to the sidewalk of the apartments facing my backyard and just sat there. I put the food/water out and went back in, then snuck some looks through the blinds to see what she was doing. She stayed in the same sidewalk place across from my apartment for forever, then mosied on down the sidewalk and lay on a low wall for a while. I gave up watching, then after an hour checked again: There she was, eating the food. After eating for awhile, she lay on my patio for a bit, then took off.

It's not a home without a cat. I hope she decides to stay.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Joan Crawford: 1930 (name of film doesn't matter)


An e-mail written tonight to "i24" --- an Israeli cable news station:

I've been watching i24 for the past 6 months or so after it became available in Austin, Texas, via my Spectrum cable. I initially appreciated its seemingly more intellectual and more historical take on the news. Tonight (7/13/18) though, the David Shuster sign-off about Trump being a "white nationalist" made me realize that apparently no news organization, even from the more sturdily realistic Israel, is free from globalist/communist bias. (Or is it something as simple as "virtue signalling" --- Shuster wants a job in the US again with left-wing outlets CNN or MSNBC?)

Any serious journalist can do a tiny bit of research and learn that Trump's border policy with Mexico is exactly the same as that of Obama's and Bush's --- except that Trump is finally ENFORCING said US policy. (A little bit of further digging would reveal that Mexico itself has a harsher border policy with Guatemala to its south.)

RE Europe: Trump has spoken exactly the truth. The massive influx of refugees from the Middle East and north Africa into northern Europe (the southern European countries won't take them) is indeed changing the very fiber of those countries. Most immediate effect? Crime stats are WAY up in every single country that has allowed in immigrants from Syria (and other Moslem countries from northern Africa over the past few years).

You might not LIKE these stats, but they're the truth. And Trump is speaking the truth. As when he says RE the US: "We're not going to be a migrant camp." --- No other country should allow itself to be, either.

SOVEREIGNTY. It's a pretty basic and simple concept. Why is anyone arguing about it?

p.s. How does Trump deal with all of this? The guy's a fucking bull.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Trump in Europe Questions NATO

Why exactly is Germany getting the majority of its energy from Russia --- while the US is paying for the majority of Germany's defense against Russia?

Soul-feeding lunch

A scientist author at work invited several of us staff (editing and graphics) out for lunch today as thanks upon the publication of his latest.

Mild worry ahead of time: Would it be awkward? (The author and I had talked often in the past whenever he stopped by my office, so I wasn't extremely nervous; but sometimes who knows how the vibe will be with a group...)

As it turns out, the lunch lasted a whopping 3 hours! All five of us talked constantly the whole time: old Austin, old "Twilight Zone" episodes, old classic movies (including Joan), odd behavior around the office, the elections of 1824 and 1976, "The Midnight Special," "In Cold Blood," The Carpenters, "The Handmaid's Tale" (1985 original and recent TV version --- i.e. "Oh my god, this is Reagan's America!" and the current "OMG, this is Trump's America!" -- I mocked both). Plus a hundred other things. My mind was completely turned on! And so cool that five different people (two of whom I rarely talked to at work) were all getting into it!

All of that interesting interaction without any alcohol! I miss going out!

Wednesday Scruffy Cat Update

Sunday: She ate the salmon.
Monday: She ate all of the Friskies.
Tuesday: She ate all of the Friskies.
Wednesday: She ate all of the Friskies (plus some leftover salmon that I'd initially cooked for myself)---and this time I saw her! Bite-bite, and then a look over her shoulder, etc.

I think if she'd eaten half of the daily offerings, or just nibbled at them, I might not have been so keen on putting out more the next day. But it was clear that she was constantly hungry, eating every single thing set out.

Who knows what happens with a stray cat. But feeding her something (at the right time -- I get home around 6pm, but she doesn't show up until the sun starts to go down) has made me look forward to coming home each day. If she's going to be a stray, I at least want her to be fed and feeling stronger in her wanderings.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Trying to make friends with a little scruffy cat

I have a backyard area (maybe 20 x 4 ft) that comes with my apartment that I rarely sit in because it's not private; there's a 2-story row of other apartments only about 15 feet away with people constantly passing by and/or hanging out smoking on the walkways. Up until last April, I used to have the slats of my sliding-glass door turned toward where light could enter the apartment and I could see out, but back then, a neighbor above and her group of "dudes" were constantly hanging out on their landing and looking right down into my apartment, so... I changed the direction of the slats --- still a little bit of light, and The Hanger-Outers can't see in; but... I also haven't been able to see out since then. Occasionally I'll peer out and maybe twice a week go out and water the three plants (two of them succulents) that I have sitting out there.

That's the back-story of my "backyard."

This past weekend, though... I was up early on Saturday and did my usual first-thing peering out of the sliding-glass-door slats to check the weather, just before 8am. A little scruffy cat was there, lying on the patio, grooming herself. Small and skinny and fur sticking out everywhere. Clearly a stray. She looked a mess with her scrappy fur. But, still, she was taking care of herself. Her paws were tiny, so I knew she was a girl kitty. After a few minutes, I stopped looking, and when I looked again later, she was gone.

I went off and did whatever on a Saturday. Later that day, around 8pm at twilight, I was home again, and again I peered out back, just out of habit. There was the little cat again. Again lying on my patio grooming herself.

What could I do for her?

The only thing I had in my fridge was a $12 slab of salmon that I'd bought and frozen 3 weeks ago. I cut off a sliver of it and put it in my fridge to de-thaw, just in case.

Sunday morning, I was up and not right then thinking of the cat. But... there came the same skinny cat, this time at the front of my apartment window, checking out the row of air-conditioners. Thanks to reading Truman Capote recently, I understood what she was doing: Looking for bugs to eat! (In Capote's "In Cold Blood," he mentions stray cats on the street going from grill to grill of the cars in front of the courtroom --- he didn't know what they were doing until someone told him about the bugs caught in the grills being a treat.)

I immediately went and got the sliver of expensive salmon and put it out on my back patio --- hoping the cat would soon complete her tour with a visit to the back of my apartment. Nope, didn't see her.

I went to the grocery store Sunday and bought a bag of Friskies cat food, just in case. The first cat food I'd bought in 9 years.

I kept checking throughout the day Sunday, and the sliver of salmon sat there --- starting out half-frozen, ending up covered with ants as the day wore on. Then it rained. And then there was basically a yucky piece of flesh sitting out there on a plate. I felt stupid. I wondered about the future of the food on the plate: If I was attracting roaches. If I should clean the nasty plate or just toss it.

Woke up Monday: The salmon was entirely gone. Not gnawed on, but entirely gone. I felt very happy. Did I help the little cat?

When I got home from work today, Monday, around 6pm, the rain had stopped and I put out a bowl of the Friskies on the patio. I peered out about 20 minutes later, and saw only flies buzzing around the dish. Again I thought: Yuck. I'm just putting out bait for roaches...

Well, when I checked again a half-hour later, the entire bowl of Friskies was completely gone.

I very much miss having a cat around. Even the scruffiest of cats is beautiful to watch eating and grooming.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Stressful Holiday

For some, the 4th of July is a happy time. For others, like me, sitting home by myself, it's awful: A 52-year-old woman living in an apartment complex with mainly 20-somethings who like to set off firecrackers all over the complex. Tonight, it started around 7:25pm, with firecrackers pretty close to my door. It's now near midnight, and the firecrackers go on. (For years, July 4 and New Year's Eve have been times of stress. I feel like one of those dogs who's afraid of thunder and gets special care --- only I don't get special care.)

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

5 Days Off, cont.

I was planning on yet another day of lying around on my couch Monday (recuperating from beers the night before), but the maintenance room next door started getting loud with "dudes" hanging out, so I got my lazy ass up and showered and dressed just to avoid further annoyance.

Did my bank stuff first. (Going in to figure out which of the two debit cards mailed to me was the correct one, and then dumping my plastic container of loose change into the magical machine that deposits the random coins into your bank account; one mishap --- the lid on my change container popped off and I spilled hundreds of coins all over the floor and had to get on hands and knees to re-gather them all. Extremely embarrassing. Luckily, the spillage happened in an out-of-the-way nook of the bank, so not too many got to witness. $4.13 was the take!)

Also did my returns: the pants to Old Navy, and the Amazon-ordered purse to the UPS drop-off store. I got lost on my way to the Old Navy. According to Google maps, it should have been maybe 8 minutes from my apt. And I've been to this particular store before... But... in northwest Austin, there's a huge, entangled knot of highway shit going on: "Research/183" + Capital of Texas Hwy + MoPac. I got off on at least three wrong exits and several more side roads. (At one point ending up in the "Balcones Woods" neighborhood, which had numerous dead ends; took me 10 minutes just to get back to Research/183.) So, that was my "adventure" for the afternoon. I finally found the Old Navy, and then knew exactly where the UPS store was. Rewarded myself with Whataburger and beer.

No offense to Austin, but I really don't like most of Austin. Central, yes (downtown, campus, Hyde Park, East Central, Mueller, a small part of South Congress, North Loop, Enfield). But the rest of it is a big bag of highway blah.