Oh how I wish this were a post about Phoebe and her guitar.
It's not, though. How do I explain my situation without sounding like a total bitch? OK. So, we have these neighbors...they're colorful. I used to think that I hated them. Now, I think I pity them more than anything. That sounds awful, right?
Originally, there was a mom and like 4 kids living there and they had a dog.AI smaller, annoying dog that kept digging into our yard and knocking my dog up. Twice. That's when I hated them. The kids would let themselves into the back yard, letting our dogs out in the process. When we finally managed to put a stop to that... I seriously felt like CruellaDeVille. I had to get ugly and since then I've tried to keep a low profile and be a little more friendly. That was, until the oldest daughter (I think) moved in with her kids and her 5 cats.
So, I think (by now) you've guessed I'm not a cat person. I never had cats as a kid, I've always thought cats were kind of stuck up and the biggest reason is.. I'm terribly allergic. It's no small allergy either. My eyes bug out like something out of Mad Magazine, they water and turn red, my throat gets scratchy and the sneezing never stops. It's not fun. So, when the cats moved in, I was mostly indifferent. I like animals in general, and it wasn't like they were going to be here at our house to bother my allergies, and we have dogs to keep them away for crying out loud! Well.... for a while, it was really no big deal. We saw them once in a while, but they never came into the yard. About 8 weeks ago, two of the females had kittens. Large litters, I guess. About 2 weeks ago they started using my flower beds as a litter box. (SO GROSS!) So, I put out a mixture of dish washing liquid, red pepper and water. It worked, but it wasn't like I covered my entire yard in this mixture so the cats just peed and pooped a few feet away. We've thrown water on them and tried every other (humane) thing we can think of or has been found on Bing or Google to keep cats away. Nothing is really working. As of Sunday, there were 14 cats (plus the original 5?) living next door.
So, of course we were super relieved on Monday when we came home and the dogs had finally killed one and drug it's limp, lifeless body onto the back porch as though it were on display in the Museum of Natural History. ..... No, of course we weren't. We were sad. And we felt super guilty. That cat must've had a death wish though. Seriously. These cats have been hanging out on the top of the fence that separates our yard from theirs (picture their tails swishing and my dogs going out of their freakin' minds below; barking, pacing scratching, whining, crying... it's not pretty.) So one finally decides to risk it?!?!?!? Insane.
Anyhow, we have to take this cat (luckily it wasn't a kitten because I might have actually shed tears.) over to the neighbors house. Of course it's the little girl's favorite cat. They are trying to hide it from her. They don't even have a shovel to bury the damn thing. So we wrap the cat up, loan them a shovel and the chick tells us they will be out soon to bury it. So after the cat sits in the sun for a few hours...(no really) they finally bury it.
So now we have 13 feral cats living next door. What is feral? I looked it up, just to be sure. Wikipediadefines it as" A feral organism is one that has escaped from domestication and returned, partly or wholly, to a wild state." Sounds about right. You can't touch these cats. We've tried. Maybe after some time they could be cool again, but for now, they are just crazy. They fight and scratch all night long. And they have death wishes. You'd think from watching the birds they would have figured it out. The birds know there is a 6 foot no fly zone in our back yard. I have seen Bruiser jump 5 feet into the air and catch a bird, no joke. I'm guessing cats are smarter than birds. How can they not see this??
I'm thinking of going ahead and calling the humane society. The smell is getting BAD. If the outside smells that bad, I can only imagine what the inside smells like. I'd be doing them a favor, really. Right?
What is it about not showering for three days (no really. I was RIPE.), sleeping outside, cooking over a fire and spending time with mother nature that makes me feel so good? Perhaps I'm a naturalist at heart. Wait, no. That can't be! I would have never survived without the toilet paper, my toothbrush and some deodorant. And baby wipes. OK. No, not a naturalist. I just feel so in tune now. With my mind and soul, that is. Although, my body seems to be a little upset with me... I ate S'mores for breakfast and hamburgers at midnight. I swear, I'm getting back on track.
The odd part is, when we left, I was sad. I'm already ready to go again. The weather was so perfect. Hot, breezy days and cool nights. (It was in the 60's! Perfect nighttime camping weather!) There weren't a ton of people and it was restful. I guess that's it. I feel rested. On my way to work yesterday I was thinking... 'Where is that sinking feeling I get every morning when I get on the interstate?' It never appeared. I had a great day. Today was much the same.
The best thing I can figure is that nature loves me. And I love her back.
The 4th of July was as close to perfect this year as I think we can get. Mark and I, along with some great friends, spent the weekend in the woods. We set out Friday night to set up camp. We got our tents, the tiki torches, the EZ up (which wasn't so easy) and the fire pit ready. Saturday morning, we headed back down and spent two and a half days reminiscing with mother nature....
Mark and I went canoe-ing late Sunday afternoon, I think. Courtney was gracious enough to snap a picture for us. I caught one fish and his grand total for the weekend was 4. He even got "sprayed" by a catfish. What a lucky guy! Andrew brought his Kayak down and Bill brought the puddler, so while Mark was gone, Courtney and I crashed into Jeremy and Andrew up and down the lake. Ha. Good times. JT, Vanessa and Cody joined us Sunday night for fireworks.
As usual, Mark outdid himself. He had lots of help, of course, but he has really gotten pretty good at pyrotechnics. (And check out my camera skillz!) The fireworks out at his parents house may not go on as long as the ones at Kingston, however, we don't have to fight traffic, we have access to indoor plumbing, and plenty of booze. It's always a great time. After the fireworks, we headed back into the wilderness to make some 'hillbilly hamburgers' and enjoy what was left of the night. The morning after the fourth always sucks, because you have to pack up and then clean all of the fireworks out of the street- all while smelling like you haven't showered for days... Oh wait...I didn't.
It's totally worth it though. I hope your fourth of July was as great as ours.