Wednesday, July 22, 2009


funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

I was having a pretty good day right up until a quarter to nine when Merlin slipped his harness while hanging out with Ed and I on the front porch. Ed was on his laptop and I was on my mini-tramp. I'd been stepping lightly for about ten minutes and was starting to sweat when Ed sounded the alert. Merlin was still in the yard at the bottom of the steps not a foot from the leash he'd just freed himself from. He was hunched down all big-tailed and staring down a big dog that was walking by with his mistress on a leash--umm the dog was on the leash not the woman but it was hard to tell which of them was actually controlling the leash. The dog had lowered its head in an aggressive stance. Ed had noticed all of this not me, I'd had eyes only for Merlin and since I was the one standing and not penned in by a laptop on a TV tray I'd started down the steps toward Merlin when Ed told me to stand still.

I still think I could have grabbed Merlin before he took off while he was occupied by the stare-down with the dog. But Ed had been afraid if either of us and rushed off the porch it could have startled the dog into lunging free and then who knows what would have happened next.

What did happen was that the woman got control long enough to head her dog on down the lane. At which point Ed hit the steps. But before he got to the bottom Merlin was at the end of the driveway and by the time Ed got to the end of the driveway Merlin was in the neighbor's yard on the opposite side of the house from the porch. Ed sauntered after him and I followed even slower because I was bare foot and there was a lot of gravel in the path from the steps to the driveway as well as on the driveway and the lane running past the house. By the time I got around the front of the house Ed had Merlin cornered under one of the two vehicles in the neighbor's driveway.

For the next half hour as daylight turned to dusk and then dark, Merlin played hide and seek and dodge and dart with the two of us and the neighbor lady from the porch side of the house. He hid under bushes, vehicles and porches of four different houses not his own. Except for Ed's Dad's car parked in front of our house (or Ed's folk's house actually). That was the closest he got to home during his little game. We had him cornered under that car three different times and each time he darted past us and across the lane into one of the driveway's or hedges over there. Then just as it was getting too dark for even Ed to keep track of him, he found a way through the gate into the neighbor's back yard where we couldn't follow him.

Our Merlin. How more aptly named than after a vanishing wizard?

Ed gave up and headed for the porch for a smoke and ten minutes after that he headed for the store for a beer leaving me home alone sitting on the porch waiting and hoping Merlin would show up before Ed had to go to bed. I've never come closer to wishing that I smoked and/or drank. My anxiety was bordering on panic-attack levels.


I really need to start meditation practice again. I had a nearly daily practice all last year and was finding it more powerful as an anxiety reducer than the anti-anxiety drugs I was on eight years ago. I let the practice slide shortly after arriving in Longview last January and it should have been the last thing I let go of.

Actually I'd gotten a bid shoddy about it as early as mid November. It is quite possible that if I'd kept it up, my shin-bruising encounter with Mom's dishwasher door New Year's Eve and the resultant ER visit six days later would never have happened because I wouldn't have been so startled and flummoxed by the simultaneous sounds of Mom's voice calling me and the door bell. I wouldn't have started walking away from the dishwasher leaving the door down and then seconds later ran back across the room having forgotten I'd just been loading it and thus it was down in the path to the door. Of course this is just speculation. But based on the memories of the calmer mind I had for much of last year.

Anyway. Back to the missing Merlin saga. A few minutes after Ed left, I went in the house to grab my slippers in case I needed to walk back down into all that gravel. My feet were stinging pretty fierce. No sooner did I get back to the porch I heard cats yowling. It was coming from behind the house. It could have been the back yard or the neighbor's back yard or the swimming pool and playground of the park's common area just over the back fence. There were two distinctive yowls and I recognized one as Merlin's. So I made my way off the front porch and across the side yard only to discover that my FIL had locked the gate to the back yard. I had to go back around through the house and out the back door. The side yard is dark but the back yard is lit up by the big sodium vapor lamp presiding over the common area. That light is so bright that even I can read by it.

I walked around to the very back of the house where I could peer into the neighbor's yard--the same yard Merlin and disappeared into not fifteen minutes before. Most of that yard is missed by the big lamp and there is a lot of stuff stored back there. It was a jumble of shadows so I could make out little and spotted nor heard no cats. The yowling had stopped before I'd got to the back door. After calling Merlin a few times, I gave up and returned to the front porch to wait for Ed.

Seconds after I got sat back down on the front porch the yowling commenced again. And this time it was much closer and I would have bet money it was in the yard itself. I stood where I could peer at the back porch which is in shadow since the big lamp's light is blocked by the shed next to the steps. But I thought I saw motion and I knew I heard Merlin. I rushed back through the house to open the back door and the first thing I saw was Merlin's tail floating back down the steps. I followed and as soon as he cleared the edge of the shed he was lit up like a camera flash that doesn't quit.

This time he was merely meandering. He reached a rose bush and stopped to sniff at it. I caught up and grabbed his scruff and carried him into the house by it and as I passed our room I dropped him inside the door and pulled it shut. Then returned to the porch to wait for Ed. It was nine-thirty. Merlin had slipped his leash only 45 minutes earlier and had been out of our sight only 20 tops but I felt like the whole episode had been hours.

As much as I wanted to cuddle and hug him with relief, I resisted because I did not want him to get the idea I was at all amused. Plus I was beyond annoyed that the pleasant mood I'd cultivated throughout the day as I sewed and read in the living room in front of the cooler was gone. Vanished in the mental mists.

A few minutes spent at LOLcats helped though. And the following video found there surprised a giggle from me:

With my in-laws home again now, I don't have the option of spending the day in front of the cooler tomorrow and the thought of spending it in this room as it heats up again is just too much. So my plan is to leave here before 11AM to make the walk to the library before the worst of the heat settles in. And stay there until Ed can pick me up after work. Even if he doesn't get off before the library closes at 4, I'll wait there for him. I'd have to even if the heat wasn't an issue because I may have as many as 17 requests waiting for me and Ed has a few of his own. I can't pull two wheeled bags while using a white cane and I really don't want to carry a backpack in this heat.

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