Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's not mean, it's survival

When George came to be in this house, he quickly established himself as the alpha cat even though Lucy had been with me for several years and even Aspen had a few years of seniority on him.
He was aggressive. He chased them. He kept them from the food bowl.

Consequently they became scared of pretty much everything.
Lucy spent most of her time on top of the fridge since that was about the only place fat Georgie could not get at her.

After about a year of that, things came to a head.
I talked to the vet and she asked if there was any way to separate them, to keep Lucy and Aspen separate from George.

I thought about it and decided the best course would be to keep George in the third bedroom as much as possible. It had been set up as sort of a storage room anyway. With linoleum floors and no furniture he could damage, I thought it would work.

And it would have. Except George really, really, REALLY hates to be alone. Especially if he knows someone is in the other room without him.

He meows. MEOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWS. And then meows some more. And loudly.

So that arrangement did not last long.
I switched it. Lucy and Aspen got the room. Surprisingly, they took to it quickly.
I think they liked the quiet, liked being away from him.
They had free access to the food and water without fear for their lives.

And so it has been for several years now.

George spends his day in the living room and kitchen, with access to the front bathroom where the box is. Lucy and Aspen are in their room, safe.

And when I am home, I try to give them all turns being out in the living area with me.
To do this, I lock George in the bathroom from time to time and Lucy and Aspen get their time.

Lucy likes to roam and play. Aspen likes to sleep on the loveseat.

And then, at the end of the day, they all get locked up again.

Before I go to bed most nights I lock George in the bathroom.
Why? Isn't that mean?

Well, the why is easy. Because he is bad.
Remember that whole thing about him not wanting to be alone?
Well that applies even when I am trying to sleep.

He cries and cries and cries. He tries to get into the bedroom.
The door has a handle instead of a knob and he figured out long ago that he can stand up and pull that handle down and the door will open.
If I don't lock him up, I still at least have to lock him out. If I don't, he lets himself in and climbs on the headboard until I get up.

Even if I do lock the door, he will hang out and mess with the handle, which itself is quite noisy.

So mean or not, he goes in the bathroom at night. Oh he still cries. But with the second bedroom as a buffer and my door closed, it is muffled enough so that I can sleep.

Last night I let him stay out in the living room. I knew he would start crying early. Sometimes it is at 5 a.m. Today it was at 7:30. Once he heard my alarm.

I decided to capture the symphony that is George. Not to mention the glorious sounds of him working that door handle. I eventually unlocked the door so he could open it.

This is just a snippet. Imagine hearing that for an hour. Or more.

Then you will understand why he goes in the bathroom at night.


video

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Sunday diver

Nope, I did not make it into the water Sunday.

Manfriend had a horrible ear ache all week and even though it was feeling better by Sunday, it was still not a good idea for him to get in the water.
So I stayed dry, too.

Instead, we went to the old Marineland site, Long Point. There were some other people out there and after they came in, there was going to be a barbecue.

Some of the divers have interesting nicknames. There was Psycho Solo Diver (Psycho for short), Reverend Al, Max Bottomtime, Angelshark (a spearfishing chick. Awesome).
Maybe I need a nickname. I will have to think about this for a while and come up with something good.

Mary and Max Bottomtime making their way into the water.


The cove also is very rocky. It is not like making a beach entry from the sand. You have to pick your way out over all the rocks, get in the water, get your fins on and get out past the surfline quickly.


Then coming back in, you do it all in reverse.


I was actually thinking I might try to snorkel here first, to get practice picking my way over the rocks without all the gear before I try it with all that stuff on. This place does not look like it is for beginners.

While the divers were under, manfriend and I scrambled over a rocky outcrop into a smaller cove area. It was pretty obvious this was a hangout place for someone.



The evidence of a bonfire, an empty 12-pack of beer and the graffiti were a dead giveaway.


The cove itself was pretty. The tide was out, so there was a bit of sand visible.



There also was some debris. It looked like a metal door of some type and it looked like it had been there for ages.



At one side, the rocks stretch out into the water and make a nice perch for some pelicans.


This is what they call "birdshit rock."

Gee, I can't imagine why.


After a few minutes of trying to get some good pictures of that and the door in the surf, the tide looked like it was starting to come back in so we scrambled back over the rocks to the dry side.


We sat and watched a sea lion play and a small pod of dolphins dip in and out of the water as they made their way down the coast.



Soon we saw divers popping up at the surface. The first in was a lone guy who had been spearfishing.

These all are of Psycho coming back in over those rocks.

Then we saw more people coming back. One of them was Psycho, manfriend's buddy.

I have to give him props for making his exit. That does not look like fun. The walk back up the hill did not look like fun.
But that is the price you pay to be able to dive at Long Point. Manfriend said there are times when the visibility is great and the diving is excellent. Sadly, that was not the case on this day.

Psycho said the visibility was about 5 feet. His blog post on that is here.


I guess the week before it was much better. Psycho wrote about that here.
He posts a lot of pictures from above and below the surface.


After getting back to the top of the hill, there was what is called "debriefing." Debriefing includes some adult beverages and, on this day, a barbecue.

Psycho set up his little charcoal grill and got the coals fired up.



My contribution was a 12-pack of Corona in cans and a pork tenderloin that I marinated overnight. It came out great and it was not long before the plate was empty.



Psycho brought some cross-cut beef ribs that he marinated. They were Korean style, very thin and tasty and grilled perfectly.

More people had made their way up the hill. Psycho's friend, Ed, did not dive but was kind enough to stop by and bring sticky rice and kimchi to go with the Korean ribs that Psycho brought.

I want to learn how to make kimchi. or at least find someplace to buy it. This was an awesome lunch.


After a couple hours of chatting and eating, it was time to go.


All that before noon. It was a really fun morning.


Too bad I didn't actually dive.
But we are going to try to get out to Redondo this weekend so I can practice and he can get a refresher.
There is not much to see off of Veteran's Park, but it will be good exercise.


I have been trying to get gear together. So far I have the stuff you know about: mask, fins, gloves and boots, wetsuit, snorkel.

I also got my hands on a couple of tanks. Thanks Phil and Cerise for making me a good deal.

The tanks are in great shape, but the tests on them are out of date. Manfriend took one to get it tested. I am not sure why he did not take them both. But I think I will take the other sometime this week.


I only need one at a time anyway.


So I still need to find a good, used BCD (the vest) and a good second stage (the regulator/hose apparatus) and some weights.

Then I am about done. And, and maybe a dive computer if I can find a good used one.


For now I will rent what I do not own. I really want to get in the water.