Merlin was finally paroled from the laundry room where he's been incarcerated since we brought him back with us from Phoenix OR on May 11. My sister just went ahead and treated him this week for worms, though we never saw any, as it was cheaper to treat than to take him to the vet again to get tested which would have cost close to a hundred bucks. This way we can be sure he is safe to mingle with and share a litterbox with Bradley, the family cat here at Mom's.
Merlin had actually made a jailbreak tonight. I had been in the laundry room with him to make sure he had food and water and his litterbox was clean and to love on him. Then when I ducked out the door, shutting it behind me, lo there he was already on the stairs heading up. Yep, that's our Merlin. Our Mr. Wizard the escape artist.
It is no accident he was named for a wizard. For when we first got him, while living in Sunnyvale CA in November of 2000, we had to keep him isolated from our cat Grimlyn for a week and several days into that week he disappeared out of a closed room. It was hours before we figured out that he had pulled the cover off the heat vent under the bed in our trailer house and crawled down into the ducts. We worried he would get stuck somewhere in there under the floors. We called and called but heard no answer back. We saw nor heard nothing from him until the next morning when he casually walked up and rubbed against Ed's leg when he was out on our front porch having his morning cigarette.
We had been testing out half a dozen names for him before that incident but that morning Ed said it had to be between Merlin and Houdini. Because we were both huge Arthurian Legend fans that was an easy choice.
Yesterday, when I brought Merlin back in from his walk, he got off his leash while I was distracted by going around a chair leg to get tension on it and then stripping out of his harness much like Houdini would out of the straight jackets. Then he led me on a wild chase around the upstairs. The kitchen, dining room and living room are connected in a big circle and he ran me around the circle at least ten times before he stopped at the stairway door and waited for me to open it and then led me back to the laundry room downstairs where his food was.
I was afraid he was about to repeat that performance but when I reached the top of the stairs my sister said to let him stay. So instead of chasing him down to return him to jail I followed him around with the camera for an hour.
After their fairly energetic greeting, Merlin and Bradley settled down with Merlin on the floor studiously ignoring Bradley who had gone up on the back of the couch just above him to gaze down upon him like a parole officer.
Bradley had wanted to groom Merlin but Merlin wouldn't sit still for it so Bradley bit the back of his neck to hold him still and Merlin struggled and the two ended in a standoff with paws raised and ears laid back. But Merlin showed deference by lowering his head below Bradley's. He was willing to allow Bradley dominance but he was also willing to defend himself.
Here Bradley is looking past me to watch Merlin drink from his water dish in the dining room. See that narrow path around the end of the couch? That was part of the circle Merlin led me around last night. The kitchen is to my left as I stand there.
Here is the other side of the circle where the kitchen meets the hallway. The door to the stairs is straight across from that doorway there and the living room to the right. Mom's room, the office and the room I'm using as my office and closet is down the hall to the left.
Carri wanted Merlin's food dishes set up in a separate place from Bradley's so I chose this spot as there is a light above it and Merlin like's caves. What he is standing under is a wrought iron produce stand that is nearly shoulder high on me with three swinging baskets for holding fruits and vegetables.
The laundry chute through which I would chat with him during the day over the last weeks is to my left where I'm standing.
Here Mers has followed me down the hall and into my 'office'. For the first hour and a half that he was roaming free, he didn't let me get too far away. The box he is strolling past is one of the more than a dozen boxes that I sorted today. Well that one isn't done yet. Never got back to it after Merlin's getaway and now I won't before tomorrow.
Now he is exploring the cushions on the mini-tramp which are there because I'd planned to set there to sort that box after I got back from tending to Merlin. Change of plan. Instead I settled there to work on this post so that Merlin could sit beside me. I haven't used the tramp for working on the netbook since I finally got my desk area working nearly two weeks ago. But besides wanting Merlin to be able to stick close, my desk over in the cubby has a sorting station set up and I didn't want to dismantle it.
I had planned to take the netbook into the bedroom tonight since Mom is spending the weekend at my brother's. But the only place to sit in there now is the bed and before I can do that I need a shower as I got rather scummy during my six hour box-a-thon. I was up and down the stairs and in and out of the garage and opened at least twenty boxes, unpacking, repacking, emptying, lifting, stacking....
Below Merlin checks out one of the boxes I unpacked today. My magazines, which I decided to store under my desk like this in the box's lid so I could access them. The other half of the box is now part of the sorting station, holding household items for including in boxes going back soonest.
I had two main goals for this project today. One was to identify the content of all of the boxes from my house in the garage and in the rec room downstairs and to shuffle them until the garage stacks were all boxes containing household items for going back on the first trip after Ed is into a place again. Which could be much sooner than we anticipated.
This involves many trips up and down the stairs and some unpacking and repacking to make sure that things I need to keep with me here were not in the boxes going back. That project is still in progress. But all of the boxes in the garage now have been gone through and are ready to go back when the time comes. And downstairs I've set aside all of the boxes containing household stuff--bedding, towels, dishes, appliances--for bringing up to the garage.
The other goal was to locate all of the elements of my sorting station that I'd had set up in my office at home before the move. I needed all of the boxes containing stuff still to be sorted and all of the shallow boxes that served as trays or drawers for sorting into. Many of these are just the right size for holding 8x11 paper and I have a HUGE paper sort to start working on as over the last week I've been consolidating all of the loose unsorted paper into a single large box as it came out of the boxes I'd unpacked. Today that box overflowed and I had to start a second one. There wasn't room for one such box in here let alone two.