Friday, July 29, 2005

The Cat Issue

I have a problem. A big ethical dilemma. We moved into Grandma's house on the basis that we'd do the basic upkeep, pay the mortgage and utility bills, and inherit her cat. So a female cat, who we’ll call b&w because she’s black and white, joined our troops. Now I feel bad for b&w. She had a friend, Grandma's labrador, who passed away about a year to a year and a half before Grandma did. So first she loses her buddy, then Grandma dies a year later, then she's all alone except for someone coming in once a week to fill multiple food and water bowls and do her litter. She's alone in this predicament for six months. Then, lo and behold, we take her in with two cats and a Chow Chow. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, March brought a 110 lb. German Shepherd.

Some of the problems existed before anything bad happened to b&w’s world. Back when grandma was healthy and the lab was there, b&w was sort of a mean cat. She'd bite Grandma periodically. I also know that she didn't always use her litter box because I'd see cat turds three or four feet away from the box in the basement, and also I saw a couple behind Grandma's couch. (Which I cleaned up when she wasn't looking.) So although the cat has been through hell, and I feel bad for her, she's proven she's no angel.

Here's the deal now. She's meaner than hell to the other animals. We have a big animal family. Everyone has to be nice. She attacks my other cats. I've seen this. She also likes to go to the bathroom anywhere she feels the need to go. Laundry baskets full of clothes. Hampers. Pile of towels on the bathroom floor. I've NEVER tolerated that sort of behavior from an animal before. So we ran a bit of a test to make sure we weren't crazy. We put b&w in the basement with her own litterbox and supplies. Our cats were upstairs on the second floor. This remained for three months. There were no cat fights. No surprise bouts of smelly cat pee. No dried up turds cropping up behind the couch. Life was beautiful. However, any time I left baskets or piles of laundry in the basement, they'd magically be peed on. Hmm. I guess b&w, without a doubt, is the culprit of all evil, right?

So we talked about getting rid of her and how to go about it. We felt guilty. It was Grandma's cat and all. So we decided that maybe she was just angry being all alone. We let her upstairs. She peed on my faux fur blanket. The upstairs suddenly smelled faintly of cat piss. (I have moved ALL furniture and shampooed carpets up there no less than six times since we've lived there. All because of this cat.) Peeing on the faux fur blanket was a problem for b&w. I happen to be queen of the house, and I was very displeased. B&w was banished once again to the basement, and I emailed Sweetie's dad to ask for advice. His advice was not welcomed. He simply said to kill it or put it to sleep and then tell the family it just died. Well, I can't bring myself to do that. Or at least I couldn't. Now things are a little different. We came home last night, and I flopped down on the bed. My two fingers ended up in a small pile of cat crap. Yes. Right there on my BED. No lie. I screamed and jumped up, then realized what the deal was and cleaned it. Sweetie went hunting and found b&w, and took her to the basement by her scruff. That kind of behavior is pure acting out on the part of an intelligent animal. She's pissed off, and she's letting us know.

That was the last straw. But I don't know what to do. Do I leave this cat permanently in the basement, say nothing, and then just inform Sweetie’s aunt that we're not taking her when we go? Or do I give her away? Or do I have her put down?

I refuse to live with this ongoing filth. Gross. She doesn't bother me in the basement, because she either goes in the litter box or on the concrete floor, which is not hard to clean up once a week. (Although I can say I would never do it for a cat that wasn't Grandma's and I didn't feel horribly guilty about.)

What would you do? In my shoes, I mean. Honestly people, it shit on my bed. What should I do?

How do you slow down time?

I'm so serious. The past five years have blown by like they didn't really happen.

Life shouldn't go so fast that you become nearly automated and don't even remember much.


And with that, I'm going to make some fun plans for tonight.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

happy tuesday....

Cramps aren't much better today. Advil has become candy of sorts.

Ever seen a Southern Living catalog? Pretty nice stuff. Slightly pricey. But nice.

I have to take my sister tulips tonight. Her favorite flower. She's so sad. I wish I could take all her hurt away and keep it for myself.

On the bright side, my man may have a new job opportunity coming up. Fingers are crossed! He's still working at the other place for now, but not only is he not satisfied with the job, but he also knows that the company is preparing to ship all remaining "stuff" over to their Chinese location in six months to a year. So it's definitely a temporary position.

Monday, July 25, 2005

everything hurts

Dear God my cramps will soon kill me. Plus, my kneecap is all smacked out of whack and it hurts every time the knee bends, which is an essential motion for walking, standing up, or sitting down.

And I just found out my sister didn't get the job she wanted. So my insides ache all over. She's had enough disappointment for a whole dozen people. Enough already. Leave the poor girl alone. I wish someone would cut her a break.

Back to work I go. :-( sniff sniff.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Magenta - Isn't that a character from Blues Clues?

Your Power Color Is Magenta

At Your Highest:

You energize yourself and push others to suceed.

At Your Lowest:

You feel frustrated and totally overwhelmed.

In Love:

You are suprised by who you attract. You're a love magnet.

How You're Attractive:

Open and free spirited, people want to explore the world with you.

Your Eternal Question:

"What is my next source of inspiration?"

Sunday, July 10, 2005

I should have bought them when I saw them...

I saw the most darling little bridesmaid cards waaay back a year or so ago, and do you think I can find them? I can't. I've been to every stationary shop in three states. I'm gonna have to make them. Ugh. I can't just forego them. They were too cool, and the best part is that they were the kind of neat cards that you could put in a frame afterwards. So I was going to give the cards inside picture frames. Great idea right? Not if you don't buy the damn cards when you see them. Shoot.

I have only asked Sweet Tea to stand up because she's so far away that I had to do it whilst I saw her. That may actually be the only time I'll see her between the time I got engaged and the time I'd need to have asked her by. But everyone else has not been asked because I'm so determined to have these dang cards.


Someone is going to WORK on Monday morning. Whew. What a load off my mind. He's got some mixed feelings about it, but I guess that's understandable. This same job had made him a great offer two years ago and then retracted it. It was a hard situation. His pride was hurt, and after all was said and done and it was sorted out, there was no reason for it.

I do soooo wish he'd never taken his last job. He is soooo spoiled. He used to roll out of bed at 9:45 every morning, throw on shoes, shorts, and a wrinkled shirt, and head in to the office. He still beat everyone else there, who would show up between noon and one with similarly wrinkled clothing, if not the clothing from the night before, and plastic flip flops. It was a "real" design house, not a single department in the engineering headquarters of an automotive supplier. Big difference.

Thoughts have been fleeting on the propsect of leaving Michigan. Yeah, I know how crazy that is... But it's not the first time. Every time I've visted the south, I've thought in very generic terms, "hey - it would be so cool to live in a place like this." I've been down there for full weeks, several times, and it was just this very last trip that made me wonder, why not move there specifically?

So I'm thinking it over. Hard. Contemplating every reason I've ever had to stay in Michigan for my entire life. The biggest was because my family is here. The whole entire family except for one aunt, uncle, and cousin who live in Florida. Each time I'd ever wondered about moving somewhere warm or just somewhere "different" I was also concerned about the difficulties of transferring credits between schools so far away. And last but not least, is my career. I've been part of the automotive industry for over eight years. My masters degree is very specifically an automotive degree. Not only would it be difficult to jump into a new industry, but there is a deep rooted belief that it wouldn't pay the same either. Last of all, there was always the difficulty of having to sell property in one state while purchasing property in another state. That never sounded like a fun thing to contend with.

However, things are looking a little different now. I truly don't see my family much at all, and I'm within a ten mile radius of almost everyone. I see my parents once every two to three weeks, if that, and it's for a couple hours at a time. I see my grandparents once every two months or so. Everyone else I see on major holidays. How much different would it be if I had to hop a plane to come see them? Not much different at all. Except that we would probably plan things to do together and have more quality time together. Not a bad deal. School is not really an issue anymore because I'm finished. My home is soon to be on the market to sell whether I buy another one in Michigan or elsewhere, so the property issue isn't a big deal either. So the only big issue left is the job thing. That tells me that if an offer comes about that I can't refuse, I'm so outta here.

The south is just a whole different world. You can walk through the downtown area and not feel like you are being sized up to get mugged. Sure, there are places that you don't go alone after dark. Every city has that. But Detroit seems to have a really bad ratio of downtown places you'd go and feel safe compared to downtown places where you just wouldn't. We've got Greektown, the adjacent area with Comerica Park and Ford Field, and possibly Mexican town if you park really close to the door and don't dawdle in the parking lot. That's it. These are very small areas. Atlanta has huge full neighborhoods with separate shopping and activities that are just gorgeous. You just park and walk wherever you want to go. And a huuuuge house there is half the cost of up here. Our friends just bought an incredible house with acreage, on a major lake, with a boathouse, walkout basement, the whole works for just over 400K. Up here, firstoff that house wouldn't exist as it is, but if it did, it would be about 1.5 million. Pretty big difference if you ask me. And the suburbs are the same story. Our other friends paid just over 200K for a home that would be at least 600K up here.

Most importantly is the lifestyle difference. People have more energy down there. Seasonal depression doesn't rain on everyone's parade. We sent a thank you gift to a friend last March, a fleece jacket, and we were really confused when she called to tell us she'd received it and would enjoy using it next year. Next year? She had flowers blooming in her yard. We were still busting ice off the windshields and shoveling endless snow. It was dark, cold, and miserable. It's dark when you drive to work, and dark when you drive home at night. Life gets so sad and monotonous.

Then there is the subject of children. We're gonna have some. We've talked in the past about sending them to parochial schools. The truth is though, with what our house payment will be, and what our lifestyle will be in the next 1 to 3 years, I doubt that will be realistic. We won't be able to afford it. The public school system up here has gone down the toilet. I've watched a lifetime of the districts closing down and bulldozing schools and bussing kids to other neighboring schools to save money. Then when there are 34+ kids in every classroom and 98% of them are from either single parent or dual working households, the teachers have quite a job. (I'm not saying that being from a single parent or dual working household makes a child *bad* in any way - but they are more of a challenge according to the friends I have that teach school.) When I was in high school, the idea of having security guards roaming the halls was fairly new. Now they have actual police. Some have metal detectors at the doorways. All I can say is - no f-ing way will I willingly send my children into that environment. If I had no choice, I'd deal with it. But I've been careful not to have children before the planned time for a reason - to be able to raise them right. Be sure that they'll have a decent father in their life who will make them feel secure and teach them how to be good citizens. Be sure that they'll have a college fund and a head start in life. Not having that head start is what has made my life so difficult. I don't want my kids to have to work three jobs and have NO social life at all. It's not fair. So since I may be stuck with public schools, I better get on top of things and make sure they are born in a place where the public schools are decent. We have a friend who just moved from Florida to Georgia, and says that the differences in the children themselves, the enforced rules, and the parental involvement are just huge.

If I did get a job offer, it would have to be in the city. Once you get too far away from the city, liberal yankee chicks aren't quite so welcomed. :-)

Friday, July 08, 2005

Praying praying praying

The mister may be starting a new job on Monday. First and foremost, it would be a blessing. But it's a mixed blessing. He would be returning to the same job he left about two years ago to take his dream job, which he got laid off from in April. So he's still upset about losing his dream job, returning to a job with a really crappy environment, and taking a pay cut on top of it.

So I'm just leaving it up to the man upstairs. If it's meant to be, it will happen. If it doesn't work out, it wasn't meant to be.

But it sure would be nice to have normal paychecks flowing again.