Monday, August 25, 2014

This and that

It appears that matters between Finn and myself have settled somewhat.  I am not sure what the final (let's hope) deterrent was/is. Of course I have not let up my guard, and when I see Finn outside in the front of my house I glare at him and he sneaks away! Suffice to say we are no longer on speaking terms.
Very soon I depart the USA for my homeland! I am off to South Africa to attend a high school reunion, see friends and family, and travel around a bit. The last time I was there was eight years ago. Who knows whether I shall blog from there or not, probably not as you may have noticed that I do not maintain a steady pace of entries.
Everyone I know felt the quake the other night. Now there are rivers of wine in Napa and I can't help thinking, with apologies to Marie Antoinette, "if there is no water let them drink wine."
Horrible 'event' and my heart is indeed with everyone as they clean up and count their losses and repair the structures until the next quake.

Monday, August 4, 2014


The cat came back, the very next day .............

What did I expect. I cannot maintain a 24 hour vigil, stick in hand. I do have to go out from time to time. So, this morning, I have fortified my command post - the enemy is not in sight at present. I KNOW he will be back despite my strengthening my stakeout. He is stealthy and is not deterred at all. He thinks this is his territory, I think it is mine.

Does all this sound frighteningly and depressingly familiar?


Saturday, August 2, 2014

My Own Private War

It is with great sadness that I wish to declare that sides have been established and boundaries declared in my own private war.

For those avid readers of my blog you will recall that earlier this year I rhapsodized about my lovely space in the back of the house. The joy I take in my curly willow tree, my succulents, and the tomatoes I am now eating. I also planted a lovely Japanese lace leaf maple.  Not two days later I noticed that some critter was using the fresh earth as their litter box. I did not want to think that this could be my neighbors' tabby striped cat, Fin. It is only recently that Fin has been allowed out of his apartment. When I drive home he bounds across the road to my car, exactly like a dog would do, to greet me. Soon his forays moved from across the road to parts unknown. He even tried to insinuate himself into my house, but unfortunately I am allergic to cats and Fin could not come in. A territorial war then began between Fin, Hot Toddy, and a feral cat named Bella.  All suspect for using my maple leaf tree as a litter box.
In the meantime, unsure of who the offender was, I went back to the nursery and spent $30 on something the man there assured me was infallible for deterring critters. "Critter Ridder." I followed the directions sprinkling it around - the instructions assured me it would be good for at least 30 days.  Maybe two hours later I noticed that the area was again being used as a toilet.
I then went online, and then sprinkled coffee grounds around, along with the critter ridder. I put down strips of aluminum foil, I placed gravel in the spot,  along with mulch. Nothing worked. After careful observations of the habits of the surrounding cats, I determined that Fin is the culprit. Impartial observers confirmed my suspicion. The other morning I stood in my kitchen and saw Fin sneaking around the house. I grabbed a spray bottle and confronted him. All he did was stare at the bottle, he did not budge. In fact the look he gave me was like, "bring it on, I love this."
And so, Fin uses the space and I clean it out. I built up what I thought to be an impermeable fortress. It wasn't. The other morning I was outside watering my plants and caught Fin, mid act. I picked up a branch of the fuchsia and brandished it in his direction, scaring both myself, and, at last, Fin, who scampered off. Then I saw him crouching beside the house, waiting. I brandished it again.. Off went Fin - for the time being.
Does anyone have any helpful ideas, I would welcome. This war is wearisome!