Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Are cats really worth it?

Don't rush to judgment here and send me flaming bags of cat poop.  There's a process I'm about to go through.  Read it before preparing the bags of cat poop.  Your UPS man will thank you.

I have two cats.  I fondly call them Basterd Cat and Crazy Pants.  Both are rather accurate descriptions of the cats.  On Saturday morning, Basterd Cat made his way out the door into the great wild outdoors.  He likes to do this.  I don't like when he does this.  He'll usually be back around dinner time, waiting to be let in impatiently.

Today is Tuesday.  He's not back.

Let me tell you a bit about Basterd cat.  We have two dogs in addition to the two cats.  Basterd cat hisses and swats at both dogs and the other cat (although, when he thinks we're not looking, he's been found curled up with Crazy Pants).  His file at the vet is flagged red and when he goes in, they pretty much suit up to deal with him.  He's taken a chunk out of at least one vet.  If we don't let him outside when he wants, he follows us around meowing over and over and over again until you want to snap his tiny little furry neck.  He vomits daily.  I'm pretty sure he sheds at will.

The good?  I've had him for 10 years.  He's helped my survive my divorce as well as the death of both of my grandparents recently.  He's been cried on and cuddled and he's slept on me when I'm sick.  If my husband and I are around when he's sleeping, he'll reach out a single paw and rest it on us as if he likes knowing we're there.

And now he's missing and it makes me sad.  He's 12 years old (at least) and he's turned into a grumpy old man, but he's my grumpy old man.

He may be at the pound.  They have a picture of a cat on their website that could very well be him.  I called and was told he'd been euthanized, but that he was a she and instead of a brown tabby, a tortiseshell.  Well, I'm pretty sure that's an identity that couldn't (and shouldn't) be confused.  So they told me to go to the pound to see if he was there.

My husband works closer than I do so he went.  And he was turned away at the door.  Why?  Because they're euthanizing cats today.  Gee.  Thanks for making me feel all warm and fuzzy.  Really.  They did reassure him that the 3 day holding period does not include weekends so it's likely they are NOT euthanizing him.  I hope.

After this, I ask myself if it's really worth having a cat I've nicknamed basterd cat. 

It is.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Money and calories and yummy food.

Mr. Moose and I are trying to do a couple of things.  First up is save a little money.  Or, just stop spending so much.  It isn't like we're deep in debt.  We've got the line of credit and that's it.  Only we put the car on the line of credit back in May and that brought it back up slightly.  So Mr. Moose is wanting to pay it back down ASAP.  Not a bad idea at all.

We did a quick budget and the amount we were spending on eating out was shocking.  You want a shock and awe campaign?  That'll do it.  Seriously.  If you ever wonder where all of your paycheck is going, add up your restaurant bills - including coffee, and lunches.  Sweet mother of all that is holy, that is a terrifying number. 

No.  I won't tell you what it was.

Second on the list is lose weight.  We're both looking more moosish than we really want to.  Yes.  I just made up the word "moosish."  Just now.  It's ok.  Funny thing about eating out.  It is hard on your pocket book AND your health.  So, this week we've made a concerted effort to cook at home.  We've done well.  We even ate leftovers which is quite an accomplishment for us.  We love cooking, but apparently we don't love reheating things in a microwave quite so much.

End result?  We've decided to cut down our restaurant meals to 2x a week.  One night and one breakfast on weekends.  Mr. Moose looooooooooooves his breakfasts out.  I'm ok with that.

We had delivery Chinese on Tuesday night and it was SUCH a waste of our one meal "out" that I'm still sad and disappointed about it.  (Yes.  I realize that it's ridiculous to still be sad and disappointed about food 3 days later.  There's a reason I'm moosish.)  Because of that, I'm still craving Chinese food.  So tonight, we're making our own.  Yup.  Making our own.  And it isn't going to be deep fried.

We're having Chilled sesame Green Beans, Asian coleslaw and Pork and Pineapple stir fry.  Yum.

Leftovers will be made into a fantastic picnic lunch for tomorrow.

Want to know something awesome?  I've lost 1.5 lbs this week. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Please forgive me while I geek out for a moment

If you prefer, you may want to look away.  Perhaps skip this post altogether, because I'm about to get nerdy.

This weekend, I geo-cached.  If you don't know what that is, I'll give you a brief explanation and send you on your way.  It's basically a giant scavenger hunt.  A huge, world-wide game of hide and seek.  First, someone sets out a "cache" somewhere.  A cache could be anything from a tiny pillbottle container with sheets of paper for signing to larger waterproof containers with small things to trade and a logbook to sign to virtual caches and earth caches that are simply things to see and a list of things to do to prove you were at the cache.

Once a person sets out the cache, they go to a website (www.geocaching.com) and record the cache with its GPS co-ordinates, a few details and maybe even an encrypted hint to help you out if you get stuck finding the cache's hiding spot.

Then people like me who have time on their hands, download these co-ordinates to a handheld GPS and we set off in hopes of treasure and glory.

J and I did this before a few years ago and then pretty much forgot about it because our GPS was kinda sucky.  It's ok, but not great.  And we found that geo-caching in the city was doomed to fail because so many of the caches get found and removed by people.  Or you get tired of people giving you odd looks as you lead your dogs off on a hunt through heavy brush and weeds.

The things I learned on the weekend are that geo-caching requires certain things.

  1. Daylight.  Yup, those little boxes and bottles are MUCH easier to find in daylight.
  2. Mosquito repellent. Weeds.  Underbrush.  Long grass.  I think the ones out at the Battle River Trestle were trying to carry me off and offer me as a sacrifice to the mosquito gods.
  3. Long pants.  In addition to weeds, underbrush and long grass, I met thistles, rose bushes, poison ivy and stinging nettles.  Fun.
  4. Proper shoes.  Not sandals.  Do NOT try geocaching wearing sandals.  My ankles and feet do not thank me today.
  5. Stuff to trade.  And good stuff, because really, it sucks to open a cache to find a cat toy and some business cards...
  6. No fear.  It helps if, as you're digging through heavy grass and underbrush, your mother isn't behind you mentioning snakes, spiders and other things that might jump out at you and cause you a heart attack. 
  7. Water and snacks because sometimes you get hungry and thirsty and you're in the middle of freakin' nowhere digging through grass, weeds and underbrush while trying to avoid snakes, spiders, critters and prickly things.
And I'm going to tell you something since you made it this far.  I liked geo-caching.  I liked all of the above, well, with the exception of the mention of snakes and spiders thank you very much. I had fun and even better, we introduced my parents to it and they liked it too.

We did our thing in Saskatchewan on the weekend, out around my hometown.  This week we're going to poke around the city in the evenings with our geo-dogs.  (It's a culture people.  A CULTURE!) and see what we can find.

Geo-dogs.  I can't believe I called them that.