Archive for the ‘Cats’ Category

Finishing the Floor – Day Three

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

The second coat of finish really evened out and started to build on the floor.  The original formula tung oil certainly had a glassy smooth finish to it:

We moved some of the appliances around and changed the supports of the remaining cabinet so we could get a coat of tung oil on the areas under the cabinet that hadn’t been coated yet.  Then we got started spreading the third coat of tung oil.  For the third and fourth coat, we are using a satin-finish tung oil to cut down on the sheen.

One thing we noticed when we got upstairs after finishing the third coat was that the flattening agent in the satin finish tung oil added more power to the smell of of the drying floor.  There was definitely more of the odor getting upstairs.  I added more plastic and tape to the areas that seemed to be leaking air from downstairs.  We cracked the windows in the bedroom and spent a couple of hours relaxing.

Since most of our friends and colleagues in the area were still traveling for the holidays, there were no big New Years Eve parties to go to and we certainly weren’t in a position to hold one.  We were also pretty exhausted from all of the work we’ve been doing so we decided that we would grab some take out and have a relaxing evening in the confines of the second floor.  Tina called our local Chinese take out restaurant and asked how much of a lead they needed to get an order ready.  The woman said 20 minutes would be sufficient.  Knowing that they would probably be busier than they let on, Tina called at 5:30 to place the order for pickup at 6:30.  When the time came, we headed out to make the pickup.  The parking lot was packed!  I let Tina out and waited for a spot to open up.  After about half an hour of waiting, a spot opened up.  I headed inside to check on Tina.

Inside, I was greeted by an angry, or at least disgruntled, mob.  There were at least 30 people crammed into the lobby and bar area waiting for their takeout.  People were comparing their order times and tracking who was coming and going.  We heard that there were people still waiting that had ordered an hour before us!!!  We sat down at a table near the bar and grumbled with the rest of them.  Occasionally, a staff member appeared from the kitchen holding a bag and a hush would fall over the restaurant.  A name was called, and some lucky person would cheer and step up to take their food.  At some point, the outflow of happy customers started to exceed the inflow of unsuspecting revelers.  Nearly two-and-a-half hours passed before our name was finally called!  We got home a little after nine, crossed the bridge, and enjoyed a lovely dinner in our makeshift kitchen.

After dinner was over, we headed back outside and around to the side door to make our way upstairs.  We brought some beverages up and settled in to watch the coverage of the festivities at Times Square.  We thought it would be fun to play cribbage while we were waiting for the ball to drop.  We made it about halfway through the first game before the cats became extremely interested in what we were doing.  Noche, uncharacteristically, was trying to play with the pegs.  Baboi also started pulling pegs out of the board.  When Noche managed to stealthily grab a peg and slink off the bed, we decided to give up on the game.  Just as we settled in to watch the countdown, Noche decided it was time to throw up all over the bathroom.  2009 was ending on an interesting note.


One Step Forward, One Step Back

Monday, October 12th, 2009

After a restful night hanging out with our cats for the first time in four-and-a-half months, we were ready to get going again.  We started the day by putting a second coat of paint on the walls in the office.  After we were done with that, we returned to the master bedroom to remove the painters tape.  That’s where we ran in to this problem:


As we were removing the tape, some of the paint was coming with it.  Needless to say, this was rather discouraging to both of us.  We have a long list of things we need to do to get the house in the shape that we want it in, and we have little time for new problems.  As you can see, these are good size chunks of paint coming off:



We headed in to the office to get the tape off of those walls while the second coat of paint was still drying, hoping that it would help.  It did not.  Well, add a couple of additional things to our TO DO list…

Trying not to get hung up on the wall paint problems, we decided to tackle some touchups of the floor paint in the office and hallway.  Since it didn’t look like we’d be able to get another gallon of the paint any time soon (that’s what we get for going with el-cheapo paint from walmart), we thought it would be best to make sure we recovered the thin areas and ensure that all of the nail holes had good paint coverage.  That task took us into the evening and we decided to spend the rest of the night doing cat-related maintenance tasks, including cleaning up the blankets and carriers from each cat getting carsick on the ride down yesterday.  Some progress was made, but more work was created…  What a day!

The Cats Come Home

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

I woke up bright and early and decided to get started with the floor in the master bedroom. I wanted to get the first coat of Polyurethane on the floor as early as possible so I might be able to get a second coat done before bed. I quickly realized that spreading the finish over the picky subfloor was not as easy as it is on finished wood. The uplifted jagged edges of the strands in the OSB were constantly grabbing the lambswool applicator and made it difficult to move smoothly over the floor. The floor was also absorbing quite a bit of the finish. Still, I was able to get through the room in a reasonable amount of time without making too much of a mess. Once I had cleaned up the messy applicator and paint tray, I headed back upstairs without my respirator to see how bad the smell was. It was quite powerful and I decided that I needed to seal off the room. I headed out to purchase some plastic sheeting, which I used to seal off the hot air return in the bedroom and to completely seal the doorway. That actually worked better than I expected. The smell never made it downstairs.

Shortly after I finished sealing off the room, Tina and her parents arrived with our cats. We got them set up in our temporary bedroom and left them to settle in to their new space while we got started with the many other things we had planned for the day. It seems that Noche made himself right at home.
Noche Home
Tina’s dad got started with the paint in the office.
Mr C
Her mom headed outside to take care of some of the fall trimming that needed to be done in the gardens and to meet the neighbors. Tina got started patching holes in the walls on the first floor. We are hoping to get the downstairs painted as soon as we decide on a color. I headed for the basement, where I spent some time cleaning up the washer and dryer before moving them back to their corner and hooking them up. I also finished sorting through the random piles of stuff that I had been moving around down there and got it a little bit organized.

Tina’s dad finished up the first coat in the office early in the afternoon and we all took a break to have a bite to eat. We are really happy with the way the color is coming out in the office too. Here it is with one coat of paint on the walls and one coat of paint on the floor (no finish yet).
Office Walls and Floor
Tina’s parents left shortly after we ate to make the drive back home. Tina and I let the cats out to explore the house while we unwound. We decided to take the evening off so that we would still have energy to make a big push tomorrow. We’re really grateful for all of the help we’ve been getting from our families!
Jesse and Mrs C

Sigh. . .

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Background: we are house sitting for one of our colleagues this week – they have 2 dogs (only one of which is home right now), 2 cats (one indoor, one mostly outdoor), and a saltwater aquarium.

So there I was, soundly sleeping during the nice, cool, non-humid, 6:00am hour when I was suddenly awakened by a disgusting farting noise. I jumped out of bed, not really knowing what was going on, but figuring one of the animals was getting sick. To my dismay, Tonks (indoor girl kitty), was just finishing a nice poop on the hallway carpet, after which she jumped about 4 feet straight into the air and tore off down the stairs (for those of you who have cats, this requires no explanation – but some cats, after they finish “going,” will just take off on a romp through the house, clearly feeling lighter and faster).

Great start to the morning indeed. As my sleepy haze was clearing (much more quickly and rudely than I would have liked, I might add), it dawned on me that, for the past two days, the litterbox has been clean. Up until that moment, I didn’t see a problem – hooray for not scooping poop; however, now, as I’m groggily wiping poop off the carpet before the dog can eat it, I realize the empty box is definitely NOT a good thing. She must be going somewhere?!?! On a trek through the house I go, looking for the kitty toilet. Nope, not in the office, nowhere in the bedroom, living room looks clean. Hmm. Bathroom. Bingo. A pile of poop on one rug, and a bunch of little pee spots on the other (WHITE) rug. Awesome.

He who must not be named. . .

Monday, August 24th, 2009

A couple of weeks ago, on a Thursday, Jesse and I travelled to downtown Falmouth in order to sign our purchase and sale agreement for the house we are buying (our lawyer’s office is downtown). On the way back to the car, we wandered through the local farmer’s market to see if anything peaked our interest. We were still vagabonds at that time, so we didn’t really want to buy any food – mostly we just wanted to see what was down there. Jesse, in a rare and wonderful display of romance, asked if I would like some potted flowers for my desk at work, since it’s quite bare still (all of our stuff is STILL in storage, remember). I thought that was really sweet, so off we went in search of a small, shade-tolerant plant.

I found a nice little stand with a very amiable woman working at it. She had some suggestions, and this little guy seemed to be perfect:


We drove back to work, and as I was getting out of the truck, I was thanking Jesse and telling him what a cute basket it was. I brushed one of the leaves back from the handle of the basket and was astonished and horrified at what I saw. A swastika was carved into the handle, plain as day. What the heck was I going to do with that??? I couldn’t keep that at work (nor would I want to keep it at all); I’d surely get fired if anyone saw that. That said, of course I had to show it to a few select people, just for the shock value. With each explanation of the story, none of us could bring ourselves to say what was on the basket, so we decided to name it Voldermort. Well anyway, it was near the end of the day, and we didn’t have time to bring it back to the farmer’s market, so I decided to hold onto it until the following week when I would return it. Until then, it would have to travel with us for the weekend – certainly couldn’t leave it at work and risk it falling into the wrong hands.

Well, in the meantime, a whole string of bad things happened. We had to go get the cats at Jesse’s parents’ house in CT and drive them to NH to stay with my sister – a crappy weekend of driving and vomiting cats was surely in store for us! Well, once we got to CT got all settled in with our bags and various other “stuff,” I sunk down onto the couch to hang out with my pal Noche (one our cats, for those that don’t know). He immediately curled up on my lap. Sadie (better known as Satan), Jesse’s parents’ dog, decided it was play time, and kept coming over and nipping at Noche. In an effort to distract her, Mr. B. called her up on the recliner with him. They were wrestling and playing in the chair, when Sadie decided she had had enough. She scrambled to jump down off the chair, but her right paw slipped down between the footrest and the recliner. Momentum was not on her side. With her paw stuck in the chair, her body went end over end and she flipped on her back onto the floor. Sadie’s pained screeches evoked a panic in all of us as she thrashed around on the floor trying to get free. Despite his best efforts, every time Mr. B. tried to get up off the recliner to help her, the footrest started to close, causing more pain to the dog. Sadie, in a crazed effort to try to get free, flipped over onto her stomach, which meant her leg was upside down and twisted backwards, her shoulder bulging at the joint. At this point, she lost all control of herself and peed on the floor. Jesse decided to take action, and he ran over and picked her up (she’s a black lab/ german shepherd cross that weight about 75 lbs.), at which point she sunk her teeth into the fleshy part of his palm and bit down hard. Rather than follow his instincts and let her go, Jesse continued to lift her to an angle where she could get her leg free. Once freed, everyone was just still for what seemed like and eternity, waiting to see if she was ok, or if something was broken. Amazingly, she was fine – nothing broken, nothing dislocated. Jesse, on the other hand, had a gaping hole in his palm, and blood was pouring from it. That was day 1 with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Coincidence? Let’s move on to day 2 and see.

The next day started like any other: wake up, eat breakfast, etc. We packed our bags and put the cats in the truck as we prepared for the 3 hour drive to NH. As predicted, about 30 minutes into the drive, Baboi lost his breakfast (and from the sheer quantity, his previous 6 meals). We pulled into the breakdown lane, cleaned him up, consoled him (he was very upset), and got back on the road. About an hour later, the warning sounds were coming from the back again! We pulled over again. A Massachusetts state cop pulled up beside us to see if we were broken down. Jesse said, “Thanks officer, but we are fine – out cat is getting sick in the back.” Well, this induced a rage in the cop. He went on a tirade about how it’s unsafe to pull over on the highway, so we shouldn’t do it unless it’s a real emergency. Some careless driver could swerve over and hit us. We don’t want to get killed over a cat. If we want to stop, get off at an exit. OK OK, buddy, we get the point. No one was arguing, and I think he might have been on speed…it took me until 5 minutes after the confrontation to figure out everything he said! Let me just say that we were pulled over in a HUGE breakdown lane, and we even pulled off the road into the grass. Even so, we understood his point and went on our way. We made our way back onto the highway, and not even a half-mile down the road, the SAME COP puts his blues on and pulls us over. . . what?! This time, we are in a skinny little breakdown lane up against a guardrail – way safer situation than we were in before. With traffic flying by us so close it was shaking the car, he comes back up to the window, and asks for Jesse’s license and registration. He goes back to his car, checks the info, and comes back and yells at us again for pulling over in a non-emergent situation. . .really buddy? Maybe he forgot that he already told us that not 2 minutes before? We surmise that he saw the Nevada plates and got nosey.

So, in two days, we had a dog bite, cat vomit, and two incidents with the law. Mind you, neither one of us has been pulled over since we’ve known each other – so to be pulled over twice in two minutes by the same cop is NOT normal. Needless to say, we returned the plant to the very mortified woman at the farmer’s market – she had no idea that was there. She gave us another one, and our Karma has been all good since then!