The Fly in the Ointment…the Monkey in the Wrench

The trip to the city – well, the preparations for the trip – were not exactly snagless.

I went to check the car fluids, and on propping the hood open on a stick in the usual way, discovered that the oil cap was missing. A look around Miss Scarlett’s interior revealed nothing. Since I only ever check the oil and fluids in the driveway, I must have dropped it there at some point. Maybe it blew away or the kitties played with it into oblivion in the way cats do. Who knows?

I called my brother, who was getting ready for work, and he told me to come over. He took the oil cap off his non-operational (for now) car and tried it on mine, and voila! It fitted. While I’m in the city I will get a replacement part. I hope.

Rescued by the rescuer, I went home and washed the dishes. In the process, I managed to drop and break the last of the hand-made Mexican glasses I bought many years ago from the artist who made it. Brooming and vacuuming ensued, and some grumpiness, too. I began to feel that this trip was not meant to be.

Arriving at the motel, I leaned over to pick up something from the back seat of the car and the contents of my bag spilled to the garage floor. I could find everything but my phone, a cause for panic. I called Megan, who said she’d call my phone and I’d see if I could hear it. I didn’t hear it, but I did see it flashing. It was caught in the door handle of the back seat. Even when I’m more than a hundred miles away, my sister still came to my rescue, just as my brother did earlier. What would I do without them?

I am staying at a different modest motel this time, ironically because the internet works so poorly at the old place, a real problem when your database is online only and your chief communication with your boss is by email. Ironically because it’s even worse here and I was on the phone for half an hour with tech support, who admitted it was an issue at their end and said they’d call me back when it was resolved, which hasn’t happened.

Happy birthday to me?

Birthday Eve

It’s my birthday eve and I am off to San Francisco to celebrate.

The city seems to be my celebration theme this year, since I also kicked off the new year by going there. This time, I’m attending a seminar on my actual birthday, and then the seminar hosts are grandly taking us all to see the Giants play the Toronto Blue Jays – from a luxury box. How’s that for a birthday party?

I’m hoping that the cats have used up their naughtiness quotas for the week, though this seems unlikely.

Yesterday Clyde went over to Megan’s house to cat burgle – or attempt to cat burgle – Harriet’s and Ramona’s food. The weather has been beautiful lately, so Megan’s doors, like mine, were open. Clyde took this as an invitation to check out what the neighbor cats were eating. Megan’s dogs, however, had a different opinion.

Small, stripy Schatzi, who is the most polite dog ever to all cats, has been chased away from my house by the small, stripy Audrey, who has done the same thing with the much bigger Luna. But let one of my cats turn up on Schatzi’s home turf, and it’s a different story. Megan was drinking coffee on the couch and said it was all over before she realized it was happening.

There was a scuffle in the kitchen, a water bowl went flying, and Star joined Schatzi in the feline eviction with such enthusiasm that they almost knocked Rob over in the driveway. Megan said it was like “Scuffle! Sploosh! %@#@$%^#%$^!” and then all that was left was the dust in the air (and the water on the kitchen floor).

Not to be outdone, Roscoe decided that my last night at home for most of the week and the one right before a four hour drive the next day was the perfect time for him to stay out all night. I saw him slink under the house, so I was pretty sure he was nearby, and tried to vanquish thoughts of how the beautiful June disappeared on my birthday three years ago.

Needless to say, sleep was sporadic, and I kept getting up and calling him. All the outside lights were on to try and keep the marauding monsters at bay, but you know that I am a Worrier. At last, around 4:00 am, Roscoe came calmly out of the darkness and into the house, where he had a snack and then curled up next to me in bed, so I couldn’t be mad at him.

Let’s hope they behave better for Megan!