Thursday, July 04, 2013

Meanwhile, During the Heat Wave...

We're smiling. But we're trying not to melt.

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Last Friday we attended a wedding for my cousin, Megan. Outdoors. On one of the seven days in the last seven days that it's been over a billion and a half degrees here (respect to my homies in the desert, I know this is childish whining about nothing and it really is three billion degrees where you are... I can't pretend I could handle that for a minute).

BUT. It was hot. The ceremony was quick and lovely and in a beautiful place. And we were whisked away into the air conditioning. A good time was had by all.

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Cousins at the wedding

The weather has been more awful than normal. Sacramento is hot in the summer. That's no strange thing for us. But we've crossed a line. I began to worry about our old-as-dirt outdoor cat, Stanley, so I nabbed him one day and brought him inside.

He's too mean to be around the other cats. Or the dog. Or the humans. So he gets locked in the bathroom. But at least I know he's safe, and fed, and not dead.

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My greatest worry about Stan right now is that I'm going to find him in a dusty pile of bones and fur on the sidewalk. And I couldn't bear for that to be during this awful heat wave. So he came inside, and after a good 24 hours of hissing and spitting at me (and one attempted murder--he almost got me), he finally ate something, got some sleep, and looked a little better.

We got Stan the first year of our marriage, 13 years ago, when we were living in a small apartment. I brought my childhood cat, Marmalade, with me, but we knew we wanted another one to keep her company. We ended up with Stanley because we stopped at the local vet to ask if they'd heard of anyone with kittens to adopt. A vet tech brought him out and said she'd smuggled him out of the pound in her jacket because they were due to euthanize him the next day. She asked if we wanted to take him. One look at his mustache and curly whiskers and we were smitten.

And for a long time, Stan was a part of our house even though he roamed the neighborhood like any good Tom. He lived inside with us until I was pregnant with Addie and he wouldn't stop peeing on the carpet. But since he was a kitten he's been convincing neighbors to feed him and let him come inside for long periods of time. More than once he's ended up trapped somewhere because of it. For a long time he always came back to us. At least until we moved here. Our neighbors here--neighbors without their own cats--have taken it upon themselves to let ours in their house and to feed them and let them stay in for the night. Even after we asked them to stop. Even when Marms was old and dying. Stan was confused by this, and didn't remember that we were his family. And as the years pass he also seems to revert more and more into a feral state. The cat-stealing doesn't help him remember where he lives.

So now he's this weird combination of neighbor cat and wild cat. He will occasionally let me pet him and pick him up on the street but it's our neighbor's driveway he runs toward when he hears a car. He's scared of our dog and both our inside cats. He's kind of a mess, but I love him. The best I can do is take care of him for his final years when I can catch him. I still remember that little kitten who climbed our Christmas tree even if he doesn't remember me.

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The kids and I are definitely in the full swing of our summertime routine, which means strict limits on how much time they can spend in front of a screen each day, forced daily reading time (gasp!) and mandatory time outside. They're allowed to choose how they spend that outside time, though, so I found them deep into a competitive game of Nintendo Monopoly on the back porch the other day. Adorbs.

I sure lucked out when I got two that liked to play together.

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And get this!--I found another homemakery skill to add to my repertoire, another way to use up all those peaches I took off my tree. Fruit leather. Stand in awe, Internet. I made a big batch of peach with the last of the peaches yesterday, and today I made strawberry. Yum and yum.

Tonight is all about sitting under my brand new ceiling fans out back, enjoying my newly finished back porch. E just finished installation on fans, lights, and speakers. I'm in heaven.

Well, if heaven is about 95 degrees at 9:30 PM.

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