Friday, January 22, 2016

Repelling Boarders

Shortly after midnight, last night, Autolycus woke me from a sound sleep to indicate that he was hungry and would I please provide him with a midnight snack. This by way of kneading my hair with intent to harm. I rolled out of bed and got the boy a plate of food, which, of course, I had to take *back* to the bed because, what? You expected him to get up?? He tucked in.

I took the opportunity to check on the girls. Cuillean snoozing in her heated bed atop the fridge. Check. Hatshepsut - uh oh - Hatshepsut is stationed at the door to the cockpit. Standing at attention. Her gaze riveted in that clear "Mom, something's out there" gaze I'm finally coming to recognize.

I grab the flashlight. Oh, look. The canvas door has been pulled open. The 2 gallon water jug I put in front of that door (to keep Hatshepsut from letting herself out) has been shoved to one side. Great. We had a visit from the local masked bandit. Except. The compost bag is still inside. Huh. He must not have gotten in past the water jug. Flick off the light and start to turn away.

Hatshepsut does not abandon her post. In fact, she repositions. It isn't quite a shout of 'you idiot, it's still out there' but it's close. So I scan the cockpit. Looks clear. And I open the door. That's when I hear it - this odd, metallic scraping sound. Thinking I'm walking into an enclosed space that contains a raccoon, I hesitate, my heart going from 'wish I were asleep' to 'oh shit' in a flash. But no. The noise is coming from outside the boat. I flip on the overhead light with the intent of scaring away anything or anyone lingering outside my boat. Doesn't work. Just blinds me. Flip the light back off, suck up my courage and unzip the door to outside.

There's the raccoon. On the finger pier, just aft of my boat, staring at me over the corpse of a brand new 2lb bag of cat kibble.

No longer merely human, I hiss at the little bastard and climb out onto the transom. He grabs that bag of kibble in his teeth and bolts. I pursue, still hissing. It's raining. It's almost 1AM. I am dressed in a tee shirt and a pair of fuzzy slippers. But I chase that damned raccoon up the dock for several yards - to that light post Autolycus is looking at in this photo - until the raccoon decides discretion is the better part of supper.

He drops the bag of kibble and makes his break.

I only wanted the kibble. That's Autolycus's favorite. Stuff is $12 a 2lb bag. That raccoon can just pay for his own damned bag of noms.

I only hope none of my neighbors were up at that hour of the night. . .

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Lost Kitten

Had a dream last night. I'll spare you the details. Suffice it to say there were two kittens. One plump and happy and outgoing. The other was smaller and shy. The two were sisters from the same litter (and thus, ostensibly, ought to have been the same size.) Insert all the random weirdness that is dreaming here. Until. Somewhere in all of that nonsense, I realized I hadn't seen shy kitten in a very long time. She hadn't come out to eat or anything. Uh oh. Cue the dramatic and heart-wrenching John Williams score. I HAD TO FIND HER. And I was scared to find her all at the same time for fear that I'd come across only her dry, shriveled up corpse. I did find her, curled up in a clothes drawer (even my subconscious gets cats) with her sister. She was tiny. Pitifully thin and wasted. But not dead. The dream ended with all of the emergency measures and plans to nurse her back to health.

Why tell you this? Because that kitten is writing.

I haven't written a single sentence on any story since the middle of November. (The kitten I haven't seen in a long time.) Sure, there are excuses and moderately good reasons for it. But the fact remains, I've been looking for that particular kitten for the past two weeks and with this dream, it's clear I'm holding a limp body in my hands - a body that's just about ready to give up unless I initiate some drastic intervention.

For the curious, the fat, outgoing kitten is day to day life - the things that suck up all of your attention when given the chance.

Funny. I know what to try for a sick kitten. Droppers of water and kitten formula. Warmth. Physical contact close to the heart (kittens cue off of mom's heart beat, so tucking a sick kitten against your skin close to your heart helps.) I don't know what to do for sick writing. Except maybe to approach it gently with the intention of dribbling in a few words at a time many times a day. I'm told it's a sign of a healthy mind if you begin taking positive action to solve problems in your dreams. Don't recall where I saw that, but I'll take it. And trust that it will spill over to actually solving the not writing problem. I hope.