Thursday, August 29, 2013

Failure of imagination.

I started to clean the bathroom, it was not particularly dirty nor entirely spotless.  This is a form of academic procrastination, doing something that you normally put off because the thing you should be doing is worse, kitchens get clean when papers need written.  Now that the bright days of summer are over, and the trip to Nakusp is a week in the past, it is time for me to get serious about hunting for work.  Admittedly I would have liked to write more of the book, but more on that later. 

It is likely that I have harped on this problem before, but, it remains as true now as it did 4, 6, or even 10 years ago.  I don't know what a job that can keep me engaged without burning out looks like.  Test have shown that my overall well being declines quickly if the job and or the conditions it is done in are crap.

However, I have narrowed things down some more.  Of the things I have done, the limited customization and app development appealed to me far more than tinkering at making maps.  The thought process and logic keeps me engaged.  It is most like writing, requiring imagination and reason, and therefore the thing that will keep me happy, if not a little obsessed.

This post started bitchy, I then left the house, had coffee, thought about past projects and remembered the handful of things I liked buried in the mess of things that tired me out.  It's the tougher sell but it is the better play. As said, this type of work is the smallest part of what I have done.  

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The troubles with the Lady.

I count 13 days.
You are too cute, come home
Two weeks ago Tuesday, my cat, The Lady Baroness von Softpaws of Gallifrey went for a wonder.  The nights had been too warm, and I knew I would not function properly in the morning if I could not cool my bedroom.  So I opened the window some more than usual.  More than a cat's head wide.  I had shored up the bug screen hoping it would resist her probing.  I underestimated her, which turns out the be the theme of this post. 

So at just after 6am on July 30th I heard a thump and a mildly startled cat.  I went back to sleep the event did not register.  An hour or 45 minutes later I got up.  It was apparent that the screen had been pushed aside.  A gap large enough for a semi-liquid cat to squeeze through was present.  A few paw sized dents were later found in the dry soil of the planter box below the window.  Because of how the screen was forced open, she did not have a direct way back in, it was easy for her to fall out but hard for her to climb back in. 

So I was devastated.  Or I would be once I concluded she was not hiding in the house somewhere.  Over the course of the following ten days I passed through the majority of the stages of grief, only some of which I recognized as I was in them.  Frustratingly I was regularly woken by my duvet, which I had kept folded double over my feet to keep them warm.  The weight of the heavy silk bedding passed for a cat in half a sleep state.  

My fur baby running off is depressing in its own right , but her time was awful.  She popped out for a stroll in the middle of a depressingly hot and sunny spell of weather.  Most people praise the long spells of sunny weather, brought to us by a too warm arctic ocean, I find time exhausting.  The bright sun hurts my eyes, I overheat if I am not on the shady side of the street walking in an old man's shuffle.  So the timing was bad.  On the second day of her absence I had early heat stroke symptoms from walking around at midday.  

I took the advice of the internet, friends, pet shops, and others to try to get her found.  Posters have been put out, facebook spammed, Craigslist listed, dog walkers accosted, and more.  At first I was shy about looking for her, I was ashamed of having lost her, felt I was a bad person for it.  Now after a couple weeks of looking, a few false reports and walking through more back alleys than I care to I can conclude, if she is in the mood to hide she will stay hidden.  As the human I have done my part to try to bring her home. 

Ai can has home!
Looking back I feel I should  not have been ashamed for creating the conditions for her escape but for confining her.  Not too much is known about the cat I adopted.  She had the name Poppy, not right at all, she was dropped off at the 100 Mile house Spca, originally from Horsefly, with kittens and was barely a year old at the time.  I knew from living with her that she is clever, playful, shy, cuddly, and wants to hunt.  Slowly she got used to my home, and with that discovered the windowsill in the bedroom, with its built in observation deck.  As spring rolled around and birds came out she spent hours at the patio doors watching and chattering, often standing up and pawing at the glass.

April came to a close and I got myself a layoff.  The surplus time let me use the balcony and with that I started letting the Lady have supervised outside time.  As a cautious beast she stayed close at first, standing guard on the concrete post at the corners, eating the oat grass I planted for her.  Slowly she wandered onto the yard in front.  

The Lady Baroness
von Softpaws of Gallifrey,
Defender of the Realm. 
Ultimately she graduated to breaking and entering, or at least entering. She has had a long interest in Pixie, the dog next door. They would watch each other through my bedroom window.  A drama lost to me because my draps always closed.  And so on more than one occasion I had seen her hop the railing to unit next door.  She got schooled when the dog chased her out.  All in all she was becoming increasingly adventurous.  My response, was to cut her outside time and hope that she got used to being an inside cat.   Her discontent sighs from on top of the dresser should have told me this was not working. 

Too much of the sad face
Seriously I did not listen.  In the mornings in the days preceding her wander she would be as likely to direct me to the patio door as to the food bowl.  Her mornings and evenings were spent aggressively pawing at the patio door.  In the evenings when I needed the air she would regularly climb the bug screen looking for a weakness.  All in all I have a cat that has a sense of adventure.  With all of this in mind, or rather as this came to mind it became clear that I could not blame myself.  Though I still want to apologies to the SPCA for losing their cat.  After I had only had her a year and a few days at that point.

I lied earlier.  I said I did all the things I could do to bring her in.  I ignored one option that was put forward, a bloodhound service.  Somehow, I just could not make that happen.  Perhaps its the idea of chasing her down with dogs, but I think its something different.  I would not want to scare her that way but I also have accepted the fact that she has her own agenda.  

So I am far from happy that my kitty has gone for a walk, and I am not certain if she is all right.  There are coyotes in the area and plenty of other dangers, and she could have adopted another human.  If the Lady wanted to adopt a new human all she would need is a few seconds of eye contact.  I know you are your own cat person but I want you to come home so I can tickle your fluffyness.

Adding these photos makes my eyes water.