Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ramblin' Thursday

Rambling seems to be my Thursday theme. As I was preparing my ramble, it occurred to me that I have yet to give you the full pet low-down. This is Smudge, our 10 1/2 year old Maine Coon cat. (She wasn't completely cooperative for the photo or I would have gotten the big green eyes.) Smudge was a park dump. She was following visitors back and forth to the visitor center, meowing and just wanting someone to take her home. After a few visitors reported having seen a hawk scoop her up and drop her back down, Hubs decided that she needed to come live with us.

She was a mess. The front of her face was ripped off. She had ulcers in her mouth. Her one eye was swollen shut. She had fleas, ticks and burrs in her fur. She was a wee widget of a thing. (Hence the name.) We think that she was a park dump because she couldn't be sold. She wasn't of show quality (it's a theory, anyhow since Maine Coon cats are kind of expensive.) She has a curled end tail (a malformation of the tail bones), so she doesn't have a long wiggly cat tail. She wags it more like a dog. Her eyes aren't clear green. They are mottled with some hazel, and I'm sure that wouldn't run well on the show circuit. She was probably the runt. At any rate, she came to live with us. After I'm sure what amount to as thousands in vet bills, she is well and a happy, pissy cat. She does have a urinary bit that requires us to purchase prescription cat food (Royal Canin Urinary SO) at the whopping price of $45.00/bag every few months. It did stop the bladder infections and the peeing around the house. That is a good thing.

Girlfriend is a big cat. She's about 12 pounds or so. She's not fat, she's just a beefy cat. That's her build.
Then there is Spike, our Green Iguana. He is probably 8 or 9 years old. He was able to spend some quality time outside on Sunday. He was a happy camper. Oh, he has longed for the outside air and sun. Just look at him with his lunch plastered on his face. (The girls were feeding him cherry tomatoes.) He just couldn't be happier. In fact, if you look closely, I'm sure that there is an iguana smile in there somewhere.

Spike was part of a rainforest exhibit that was at Hubs' previous park district. After the exhibit, Spike needed to find a new home. Hubs went to take him to an iguana rescue, and he said that it was absolutely disgusting. He said that iguanas were piled into cages, the house had paths to walk through and he wouldn't leave him behind. So, now he is with us. We ditched his original name of "Iggy." "Spike" was what Hubs would agree to. Believe me, I tried something more exotic.

Spike has his own interesting stories. We thought that Spike was a girl. That is, until he hit maturity. He gets so snippy sometimes. I used to handle him, but I don't anymore. (They can lay into a woman that is in the throes of PMS and whatnot.) We did have him on tranquilizer injections, but it took two of us to give them to him. We just let him work his frustrations out now.

When Spike came to us, he had a bump on his tail. We thought nothing of it. Later, we found out that it was an infection. It takes a very long time for a reptile to develop an infection and a very long time to rid the infection. We had to have part of his tail amputated. In fact, why do I think we had to do that twice? At any rate, we finally got rid of the infection, but it took one sweet forever. Then a few years ago, right before vacation, a neighborhood cat left to run free outside (a major pet peeve as I keep my critters in my own yard and this cat acts like it lives here, peeing in my gravel driveway, pooping in my flower beds and basically living under the butterfly bush all summer long), had a stare down contest with the iguana, freaked him out and he dropped his tail. It wasn't a clean drop and Hubs had to help the shedding process along. He said it was disgusting. Thankfully, Hubs was able to handle that the night before we left, but ewwww! On other rambling news, Hubs decided to try to make his Tercel look like a Jeep on Sunday. Kidding, of course! Seriously, the hinge in the door was begging to differ. I could no longer open and close the door, so my driving it wasn't an option. Climbing over the passenger seat and the stick shift was just not comfy-- if you know what I mean. You would have to lift the door to open or close it. It was tricky enough on the outside, but on the inside you had to lift on the metal. That hurt my girlie handies! Hubs uses my truck to haul our little aluminum row boat to go fishing. I told him that I refused to drive the Tercel until it was fixed, which meant no boating. I had to issue the same refusal last year this time when the Tercel was convulsing the first 15 minutes or so you drove it. All it needed was some type of relay replaced. Hubs was being lazy. He got over that quickly when he knew laziness meant no boat.

It's been sunny. He fixed it. But look how klassy we were on Sunday afternoon:
The door is back on, the door interior is reattached and Hubs' car no longer looks like the dump mobile. You can actually close the door with an interior handle! Now, I will be fine with driving it on boating days. Jamie, the borough would have been called. Rachael and Janeen, the housing community enforcer people would have probably been called. Again, klassy, but it is fixed!

He decided to go on Monday to get new tires for the Tercel because you could see the steel belts popping out of his tires. WHAT?! He really needs to take better care of that car. We cannot buy another one for at least a few years.

Then, Hubs called me Tuesday morning to tell me that he went "smoking into work." "What?" Apparently, one of his brake calipers stuck and the brake pad locked in place. He ended up having to beat on the caliper with a hammer to get it to let loose and left work early so that he could take his wheel off and clean the brakes and caliper all off. Apparently, rust had built up (gee, how could that have happened with our incredibly crappy winter?!) Thankfully, he was able to fix it.

Then there is my RAV. I think it likes looking like this. I think that it just thinks that it gets better gas mileage without that pesky extra tire hanging off the back. And yes, if you missed it, I picked up ANOTHER screw and a bonus shard of metal. (My brother accidentally found it when repairing the screw hole.) The screw was in there for a while. The head was worn down to the tread. I think that I've been picking this crap up in the parking lot at work. They had us switch parking lots-- both of which are gravel-- but the new lot is adjacent to a lot for a restaurant which is basically a bar and patrons are littering the parking lot with a variety of things. (I've officially switched back to parking in our old employee lot.) Beautiful. Just beautiful. But, now I have a tire with two patches. It will serve as a spare only. I nervously drove around for several days -- very carefully -- while my tire was sitting for my brother to fix at the good ole Goodyear Tire Center. A shout out to Goodyear-- thanks for the family discount! :)

We've opted not to put the tire cover back on, because apparently the elastic has lost elasticity already and the cover wants to come off. Oh don't worry. Toyota will be replacing it. (We have an extended warranty, but they would have anyhow.) I'll deal with that when I have the oil changed here soon.

We went last night to the local park to watch the reptile and amphibian migration. Though it was far too cold for the salamanders to cruise across (we checked the vernal pool and didn't see them there, either) but, we did get to hear and see Spring Peepers and Wood Frogs. Apparently, Wood Frogs only sing for about a week a year, so my husband said that it was quite a treat to hear. K- got to bed late tonight, but she can go to school tomorrow and tell Mrs. K- that she saw a frog with the letter of the week on it's back-- there was an X on the Spring Peeper!

So, that shall end my rambiliciousness. Anything rambly in your life?


ChupieandJ'smama said...

Love the spring peepers!! They are in the swamp (wetlands) behind our house and we get to hear them for a long time. I can't wait until the weather gets warmer and we can open the windows and listen to them all evening.
At least your husband was able to fix his car. I'm glad for you that he's "handy". Mine is not and would have opted to buy a new car over all of that (and I'm only slightly kidding on that one).

Love the pets! One of my favorite Christmas cards was Spike in the Santa hat :)

Rach said...

Oh yeah, you would have been hearing from the clipboard lady for sure, lol!

I LOVE Smudge and Spike. What cool pets! :o) My understanding is that both can be quite large so it seems that Smudge may actually be a small-ish girlie, huh? :o)

GERBEN said...

Well sorry to hear about the tire. I REALLY need to buy tires for Lil Green. It is WAAAAAY past time. *blush*

Love the pets! And how wonderful of you and your family to offer a loving home to two little guy/gal that really needed it! *twothumbswayup*