Tag Archives: Wisp

Wisp on the steps

As the weather cools, Wisp is starting to spend a little more time indoors again. But in the meantime, I’m happy to pet her outside when I have the time and opportunity.#SFWApro.

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Cat on the couch

So Wisp slept in one night last week for the first time in a while. Then she snoozed on the couch next to me. So naturally I took a photo.I’m hoping that in winter she’ll come in more often. Not too far off now. And who knows, maybe Snowdrop will too.


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I thought Wisp was a bush cat?

“Bush cat” meaning that she prefers ground level to climbing. Outside of settling on the back of the couch she doesn’t climb onto anything indoors, and not much outside. However …

Saturday morning we went out to walk the dogs. We heard a persistent, worried meowing but we couldn’t find the cat. We saw Snowdrop in the area but it clearly wasn’t him making the noise. Finally TYG looked up and realized we couldn’t track the sound because it was coming from overhead. Wisp had climbed up 20-30 feet and she was now sitting in the crook of a tree branch, asking for help getting down. Snowdrop stuck around for moral support I guess.

I called the Durham Fire Department but it turns out that contrary to TV, they don’t get cats out of trees. TYG figured Wisp could probably do it herself if we offered an incentive so I went inside and brought out a bowl of kibble. Right after that she started climbing down, the cat way — backwards.She made it down but did not eat the food or seem to want us close. Within a day, however, she was back to being her usual affectionate self.

We have no idea what drove her up there. Coyote would be the obvious choice. I suppose it could have been some human cat hater, too. Either way, it’s a relief she’s safe at ground level again.


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Wisp had a sleepover

Last Saturday night, I was able to lure Wisp into the house in the evening and closed the door on her. I wasn’t sure how she’d take it since it’s been several months since she was sleeping inside regularly. Happily, she reacted quite comfortably, going up to the guest bedroom and making her nest on the blanket there. In the morning, she left quickly, but then came back in and snuggled in my lap for a while (the photo below is an older one, but the position hasn’t changed much).

I feel much encouraged by this. Since she started staying out with Snowdrop, I’ve been wondering if we’d lost all the gains we’d made toward making her an indoor cat. Looks like the instincts are still there once she comes inside. I’m happy with this; I usually spend part of the night in the guest bedroom anyway (the dogs sometimes make it hard to sleep in the main bed) and I miss having her there.

It didn’t convert her back to coming in every night, but I’m still pleased.#SFWApro.

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A remake of Lady In A Cage (1964) starring Wisp!

So last Saturday it was that day we worry about every year: time for Wisp to get her annual checkup.

Not that she shows any signs of ill-health, but she’s an indoor/outdoor cat who doesn’t always show up in the mornings. Even if she does, we have to find some way to get her into a pet carrier or cage. We made the appointment a month before her annual checkup was due precisely to give us time if we had to make a backup appointment.

As it turned out, it was easy. She came in that morning. I scattered a few kibbles in the cage, she stretched to reach them, I picked her up and dropped her inside, closing the door before she could bolt. She tried clinging to the bars with her rear foot, but she lost.

Then it was just sitting for two hours, listening to her pitiful meows for mercy and freedom.I tried putting the sheet over her cage to calm her. It didn’t work and she kept clawing at the sheet until most of it was inside the cage with her.

In the past they’ve doped her up at the vet before examining her. This year, their new vet asked if she’d be okay to handle without anesthetic. I said they could try it. I also agreed to come in so Wisp could have some moral support from her human. To my surprise, once they bundled her in a towel she was pretty compliant.Maybe having me there helped.

The results? Bloodwork good, vaccines all injected and she’s only 9.5 pounds or so. TYG had worried Wisp was getting heavy but it must have been winter fluff on her coat.

This threw my Saturday schedule way off. With anesthetic it usually takes a couple of hours before we pick her up. I’d figured on using the time to get some shopping done, but instead I wound up sitting at the vet for 45 minutes or so, then taking Wisp home, then feeding her. But she’s my cat, so she comes first. And not being anesthetized means we can let her outside without having to worry she’s too zonked to defend herself. Instead, she sat and waited for the rest of her breakfast, which I provided.

Snowdrop’s turn comes in about three months. I hope it’s as easy.


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Filed under Miscellanea, Personal

Cats in a tree

Wisp is what my more experienced cat-loving friends refer to as a ground cat. She doesn’t climb much, preferring to stay on the ground. But once in a while we see her climb a tree.

In this photo she’s defending her position from Snowdrop. We can’t quite figure out their relationship: they hang out a lot but Wisp often bops him on the head. At feeding time, however, Snowdrop shoves her out of the way; if I put down two bowls, he’ll switch from bowl to bowl, depending which one she’s eating it. It’s a blatant dominance move.

Annoyingly, having Snowdrop around to play with or defend her turf from has convinced Wisp to stay outside at night again. Up until March when the weather here began to warm, she’d been coming in most nights for more than a year, sleeping in the spare bedroom. If I woke up in the middle of the night, I’d relocate and join her. Now, though, she’s regressed. I know, she’s cat, but I still miss seeing her on the bed.



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A busy week, a lazy day

Not much to blog about because it was one of my all-Leaf weeks. I’m pleased I got the work done but writing about civil engineering technician job descriptions or how to launch a medical coding business doesn’t make for interesting tales. I did get two more Atomic Junkshop posts in, on bad comic-book takes and how young Captain America is.

My insomnia seems to be fading (yay) and my vertigo is so much better (yay again!). And my birthday today has been nice and lazy. I haven’t taken a day off in a while. It feels good.

So that’s my week-in-review post. Here are photos of cats to wrap up. Snowdrop coming and sitting on the couch by himself is a big step forward for him.#SFWApro.

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Filed under Nonfiction, Personal, Writing

I defied the dizziness!

Despite the unpleasant vertigo I endured this week, it was, once again, enjoyably productive. I finished the rewrite of Questionable Minds — it turns out I did a really thorough job last go round. Now it’s a matter of a)spellcheck, b)getting a cover and c)setting a release date so I can do some promotion. I really liked the cover artist I was working with but I think she may be overloaded with work and stress. We shall see.

I did a rewrite of Oh the Places You’ll Go! and it’s 95 percent solid. The 5 percent is that the ending still feels like it needs something and I’m not sure what. I rewrote it so it pays off what I set up the beginning but it still feels like it needs more. Only I’m not sure what. I may recruit an extra beta reader to give it a look-see. I also submitted a couple more short stories and wrote a few Leaf articles.

I rewrote the first chapter of Southern Discomfort to put it in Maria’s first-tense. It does add to her personal tension and maybe makes her a little more likable. I don’t think it ramps up the tension as much as my first feedback suggested, but we’ll see how I feel after a couple more chapters.

Snowdrop is now routinely exploring the house when he comes in, as in this shot where he’s descending from snooping around the second floor.TYG successfully put a collar with a bell on him early this week. He protested a lot and tried to bite it off, but it’s still on him several days later. It’s a little harder to hear him than Wisp as his floof mutes it some. Below, he and Wisp debate control of the couch. Never mind where I get to sit.Next week will probably not be so smooth. I have our car’s annual inspection (assuming I’m not too vertiginous to drive), the housekeepers come in for their monthly gig and we’re getting a new dishwasher installed (can’t wait!). But I’ve accomplished so much this month already, I won’t feel too bad if things slow down to a crawl.


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Filed under Nonfiction, Southern Discomfort, The Dog Ate My Homework, Time management and goals

Cats and food

Snowdrop has decided to hang out in the planter sometimes.Wisp, meanwhile, has suddenly decided to sleep on the couch next to me or in my lap rather than on her pillow.It’s almost like they’re living creatures who change their preferences rather than wind-up toys.

And here’s the raw apple pie I mentioned planning to make. A mix of nuts, dates, apples and dried apples, it’s quite tasty. Especially with some cheddar on top.#SFWApro

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The scheme is sound, the execution less so

When I started this month I sat down and calculated how many hours I had for writing, not counting email and blogging. Then I broke it down. 40 hours of Leaf articles would cover my bills next month. I could divide the remaining time between Oh the Places You’ll Go!, Impossible Takes a Little Longer and nonfiction stuff (article pitches, last bits of work on Undead Sexist Cliches). That way if it was a couple of weeks before any Leaf articles came available I could spend that time putting in extra work on other projects, then put in more time on Leaf stuff when things changed.

That premise proved sound. I spent the first couple of weeks doing fiction, then plunged into Leaf. At the end of today I’d made my quota for the month, enough after taxes to cover January’s bills (assuming I don’t have a massive unplanned expenditure) and maybe have a little left over. A month ahead is good, but in freelancing two months makes me happier.

But as I mentioned last week, I wound up losing quite a few hours earlier this month. As a result I’m not anywhere near where I want to be on any of my other writing goals. While part of that is due to TYG’s unusually heavy end-of-the-year workload, a lot of it is baked into the way the dogs, Wisp and Snowdrop eat up increasing amounts of time. A half-hour less each morning is 2.5 hours less during a work week. There are other time drains, both temporary (we’re walking a neighbor’s dogs at lunch this week) and permanent (it’s hard to focus in the evenings when Plushie’s doing his Cats On The Deck! Danger! bark every few minutes).

This will have to be solved because there’s a lot I want to write next year. I will find a way to maintain my full creative work week without stiffing the puppies of TYG of what they need. And I will do it by New Year’s because I want a productive January, dammit!

For the moment, I will take satisfaction in having paid the bills for January (so to speak). That’s a good feeling. And in it being Christmas Eve, which is also a good feeling. TYG’s workload has made this a rough Christmas season but having her and our various animals around is so much better than spending it alone.

#SFWApro, merry Christmas and happy holidays. Cover by Gil Kane, all rights to image remain with current holders.

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Filed under Impossible Takes a Little Longer, Nonfiction, Short Stories, The Dog Ate My Homework, Time management and goals, Undead Sexist Cliches: The Book