Friday, July 18, 2008

My day started at 4:30 this morning

which is when DH leaves for work. I got up as usual to say good-bye and put the dogs out. Then I went down to the basement to get the clothes I had left hanging down there to finish drying. Momma cat followed me downstairs as usual. As I was retrieving my jeans I heard a little "meow" which I thought was momma. Then I heard another. Lo and behold, either sometime in the night or early this morning she had carried all four kittens down to the unlighted basement. Thankfully they are so familiar with me they came right to me and I gathered all four up in my arms along with my laundry and carried them back upstairs to the blue crate.

Then the contest of wills started. Momma wanted them downstairs and I wanted them upstairs. The basement is damp (at least humid) and dark and who knows what lives in the corners and around all those boxes that are still not unpacked from when we moved here. The kittens would be able to go anywhere and everywhere down there. The blue crate is clean and dry and the kittens still cannot get out of it on their own. I put the kittens in the crate. Momma took a kitten and headed for the basement. I put the kitten back in the crate. Momma took a kitten and headed for the basement. After about 3 times I blocked Momma in the crate with the kits while I considered my options.

I had already planned on stopping at a yard sale on the way to work as the ad in the local paper included dog crates in the items available. I hoped to get one cheaply that would work until the NIC grids I intend to build a cage from arrive (Monday delivery anticipated according to UPS). But until I had a dog crate or the grids I needed a temporary solution. So the kits got moved to the red crate that houses the cats' food dishes to keep the dogs from eating it. A grating over the entry hole kept them inside (Smoke was crated in the red crate as a kitten). I got out my Dremel and drilled holes around the entry holes in the side and lid of the blue crate and attached baking racks with zip ties to those holes. Then I cut another hole in the other side of the crate and duct-taped a large heavy cardboard box to that side of the crate after putting a small litter pan inside. (Duct tape is wonderful. I am so glad I picked up a new roll recently.) The new configuration doubled the size of the habitat and allowed me to put Momma and food and water in with the kittens.

Finally, I was able to take my shower and get ready for work. But Momma wasn't happy. There are handholds in the sides of the cardboard box I used and I thought they would be nice for ventilation. Momma thought they were starter escape holes. I did what I could and headed for the yard sale early in hopes of getting a metal dog crate.

I was there before the official starting time and the crates were already gone. So I went on to work to check on what was on my desk that needed done today. I am already off Monday for DH's doctor appt and wanted to be certain there was nothing that had to be done. When my co-worker arrived before starting time I told her what was going on and what was on my desk (nothing) and put a vacation request slip in the boss's mailbox and headed for home. Ours is a relaxed sort of office and I have plenty of vacation time and if something comes up they can always call me at home.

On the way home I stopped at the Dollar General store and found a pet carrier crate on clearance for only $10. It is not the sturdiest crate but it will do for now and $10 wasn't a bad price for what I got. Home again and Momma is still inside the new habitat but she has worked on those escape holes. She calms down when she knows I am back. I let her out and check on the kits then I put the new carrier together and put the kits inside and went over to Mom and Dad's.

It is only a little after 9 a.m. then and I am exhausted. But the kittens come out of the carrier crate and explore the room and the people in it and play for what seems a long time before wearing out again.

Spot chewed on the cuff of my jeans. Sylvester played with the wrist strap of Dad's cane (note the wet neck on Tigger, they all looked like that from Momma's efforts to move them), they stalked and attacked each other (and us), and finally got tired and started crying for Momma.

So home we went and I decided it was time to rearrange things in the living room to make space for the blue crate and box combination and still leave room for me to sit in my chair. Several hours later I sat down and ate lunch. There are still a few things in DH's chair for him to look at when he gets home but otherwise things aren't in too bad of a condition. In fact, there is a little more floor space for the dogs to spread out in. I don't know if I will be able to stay up for Dr. Who tonight on Sci-Fi.

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