This has been a reasonably shitty week, I have to say. I am missing Merlin's fuzzy little face and the way he would quietly curl up on my lap on chilly evenings. Granted, the weather this past week hasn't been of the curl-up-in-the-lap type, but the last couple of nights were. And, yes, I still have Kethri, but she doesn't curl up quietly. She is noisy and demanding and fidgety. She doesn't just want a lap, she wants to be actively held. It's the opposite of restful.
I have just finished dousing the Spare Oom (formerly the attic room) with enzymatic cleaner to try to get the smell out. The black light didn't reveal as many stains -- or in as many places -- as I had expected. I will have to keep the door closed for a while. Probably until tomorrow morning, really. I don't think Kethri will really mind, since she has found herself a nest in the shelving where I store the blankies and pillows. I need to do something about that, too -- maybe put a box in there or something. Or cover it all with puppy pads, though she seems to be less accident-prone than she was, and maybe that was all Merlin, after all. Maybe covering it all with clean rags will suffice. I did put a litter box in that room though it rankles. I have never wanted a litter box upstairs, but if she's refusing to go into the basement at all, then the fact that there are five litterboxen down there doesn't make any difference.
And it's not like I'm using that room for anything other than storage given that there's a bathtub sitting in it. (Thanks, Mom!) I have considered opening up the bathroom and putting a litter box in there; that would also give me somewhere to store kitty litter upstairs (right now, all the cat supplies are still in the basement because I'm still hanging onto hope that she'll deign to go down there again. Vain hope, I realize...). I could put something over the toilet pipe, and there's already something blocking the gaping hole where the tub used to be (thanks, Mom!). Heck, I could turn the space into a whole kitty spa...since it's not being used as anything at all right now, other than a way to raise my blood pressure.
Going from the upstairs to the downstairs, there have been mice in the basement this week. Actually, there have probably been mice for a few weeks; I think having the cats down there kept them scarce -- or Merlin was catching more mice than I was ever aware of. In any case, I had suspected for a little bit that I might be feeding mice rather than cats down there since the kibble I put out was disappearing, but the cats didn't seem to be going down there -- and Merlin was barely eating wet food, let alone kibble. Wednesday morning, it was confirmed; I went down there to get food for Jack and Kethri and Merlin's bowl was empty of food and full of mouse turds.
(I had left it, hoping that Kethri was eating it. It wasn't Kethri, unless she's a shapechanger.)
That evening, I deployed the Tin Cat down there right in front of Merlin's bowl, and Thursday morning I had two fat little grey mice in there. They were transported to the field near my office building and tipped out near the border between the mown lawn and the unmowed weeds. I have since caught and transported three more mice, including one last evening while I was trying to watch Labyrinth -- and that little one did not want to leave the trap, let me tell you. S/he was hiding out in the entrance chutes and no matter what I tried (including poking a bit of straw in there) s/he would not come out. I must look demented on the security tapes. I was there so long that the deer that frequent that field actually came over (for certain values of "came over") to see what the heck I was up to. "Oh, hi, deer," quoth I when I looked up nervously to see what the noise was.
Speaking of security tapes, I keep waiting to have a deputy come to my cubicle and ask me what I've been doing the last few days. I make sure that my van is parked so that they can clearly read the license plate, but it has to look pretty suspicious when I get out with a flat oblong object, walk over to the weeds, then get back in the van and drive away. Of course, it's not like I leave the flat oblong object behind.... I don't think there's anyone in the building after closing, though, so maybe they just monitor it from the county seat and don't pay any attention to what's going on unless there's an actual alarm.
Given the mouse problem, I have decided that it's time to finally clear HTWIWM's left behind crap out of the basement. I am going to see about renting a dumpster in a few weeks. I put out a call on FB for volunteers to come help load it. All the girls and one of my guy friends said they'd come. I was hoping for another local guy friend (so I could make them do all the heavy lifting), but we'll manage. Maybe once it's cleared out I can get Kethri to go back down there. Then I can decide whether I want to keep HTWIWM's little office/cave or tear down that wall (which is really nothing more than reinforced cardboard or possibly particle board, anyway) to allow easier access to the furnace. There's a lot down there because HTWIWM was a hoarder in training, and I'm not certain it will all fit in one dumpster. Well, I'll find out when I talk to the company; I have two to choose from, both of which have suscriber trash pick up in my neighborhood. I'm told I should use the company the other company (not the one I'm already a subscribe to) because they're cheaper. They're also, apparently, local(ish). Well, we'll see.
I am hoping to spend the rest of the day Doing Nothing. There does not appear to be a mouse in the trap this morning (could five really be it?). I mowed three-quarters of the yard yesterday. I should probably do a small load of laundry, but I did a major load on Thursday to take advantage of the Last 80° Day Of The Year (Probably), so there's nothing much left. I don't really count laundry as a terrible chore, though, as you can go and do other things while the load is washing. So....
And this morning, I discovered that refrigerator locks are totally a thing, so I will probably be ordering a couple from Amazon (one for the freezer and one for the fridge).