This One Has Always Been a Challenge with the Nuggets

May 31st, 2006

Over the past week I’ve been working on a little project. I put together a large cabinet in the garage, stuffed it full of junk that had been residing in the little basement, and tried to make the basement a bit nicer of a space. This involved a reorganization of the litter box situation. Now Mia and I are having a battle. At stake: Where the poop goes. Apparently, she doesn’t like the new location of her box, because she has twice pooped on the floor in front of it. The first time, I chalked it up to her need for self-expression and disposed of the nuggets. The SECOND time—last night—I collected the nugs and put them in the box, as in “See? Poop goes HERE.” But this morning, I was astonished to discover that she had not only pooped again on the floor, this time near the stairs, but had actually REMOVED from the litter box last night’s round, which I had placed there, and scattered it around the room. How. I do not know. I don’t want to think about the possible methods for poop transport available to a creature without thumbs. All I know is, if I lose this—and I may—I am her bitch forever.

Alarm Clock, Thy Name is Linus

May 29th, 2006

Yes, it is 8 a.m. on a holiday, and I am awake. Why? His orange-and-white highness decreed it be so. It is common for Linus to rudely awaken me, because Dear God it has been eight hours since anyone pet him. He has been known to plop his 20 pounds right on my face, to endlessly knead the pillow right in front of my face, and to walk back and forth across my stomach. Once, he dug around in my hair for a few seconds and then bit me on the top of the head. All in the name of gaining attention, because he is insatiable. Literally the part of his brain that says, “OK, I’m good now” has been lobotomized, theoretically to make room for storage of more water so he can optimize his laying-down-at-the-water-bowl drink sessions and turn them into five-pound pee-cakes in the litter box. But I digress. This particular morning, we had actually been asleep for many hours, thanks to a suitcase I left out after last weekend’s Portland trip. Linus loves bags. He cuddles with tote bags. He makes out with purses and then puts his front paws inside and goes to sleep in a state of apparent bliss. And he has spent at least 80 percent of the last week sleeping on top of my un-put-away suitcase, which Steve has termed “The Decoy.” The suitcase is slightly misshapen now, but we are too giddy with sleep to care. Linus has not woken us up in the middle of the night all week. This morning, though, he hauled himself off The Decoy to knee me in the eye and lick my nose. I rolled over, but he trudged across my body to the new location of my nose and recommenced licking. I rolled over again. This continued until I was quite awake. Sometimes I can focus his attention on Steve, instead, but not today. Today, I must type one-handed.


May 17th, 2006

Today I played in the dirt. The city folk call this “container gardening.” My primary agenda was to move the lime tree to the Magic Spot. The Magic Spot is the sunshiney corner on the back patio where the lemon tree originally stood. There, the lemon tree quadrupled its size in just one year. It went from a $9.99 Home Depot sproutling with about 15 leaves to the bona fide tree it is today. The lime tree has not earned the same pride from us here at No. 6. The lime tree, also in a sunshiney spot but on the front patio, looks much the same as it did when purchased.




When I took the little lime tree out of its giant pot on the front patio today, I found that it had not put out any more roots than it had originally. What gives, Lime Tree, this is a big pot. DO IT. But if the lime tree wants to stay junior forever, it’s going to have a tough time of it in the Magic Spot. The Magic Spot is where I took the the weird succulent thing Russ and Sarah gave us and, since it had no roots attached to it, simply plunged it into some dirt, and BEHOLD! it is now the size of a Great Dane’s head.





City Life

May 4th, 2006

When I was growing up, I imagined what it must be like to live in a city: Apartment, dirt, noise, odors, crime, crowdedness. But here I am, living in a city. (Does Santa Monica count as a real, big city? Of course it does, especially since I can easily walk across the invisible line that separates it from L.A. Proper, L.A. being the second largest city in the U.S.) And life in a city is not at all what I thought it would be. There’s some noise, sure, and some dirt … lots of apartments. But a large part of my time here is spent in No. 6, where we have the beginnings of ten lemons on our patio lemon tree, and where I can get drunk on the scent of lemon blossoms. Not too bad.