Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Here I am back. We had a good time. No apples – the tree has come down. Wind? Deer? It’s not dead, but all of this year’s apples are gone and many of the lower branches stripped bare. I think the problem may essentially have been a shallow soil. It might be worth our nice gardener’s time to move it into a better place.

I dug all the potatoes, and they are delicious. I was taken aback at how much effort I needed to expend on the job, and how tired I was thereafter.

I got up and watched the debate last night, as planned. I think it leaves us much where we were before, with the balance tipped slightly towards Hillary. Neither candidate disgraced him/herself.

My big problem was that the television picture was stuck in the upper right-hand corner of the screen and no amount of button-pushing could enlarge it. That didn't really matter for the debate, but the problem persisted this morning. I tried googling, and the only suggestion was to push the keys I was already pushing. I tried changing the batteries in the zapper, since that technique had recently worked so well with the mouse. In despair, I applied the ultimate sanction – I switched the whole kit-and-caboodle off at the wall, and on again. That did the trick.

No knitting to speak of – none, in Strathardle. I got my five rows of Uncia done on Saturday. I think Chart E is perhaps slightly easier than its predecessors. I’ll return to the fray today. The Whiskey Barrel sock is slightly advanced – the gusset decreases are finished, and I am steaming down the foot of the second sock. Now that I have got my television back, I can look forward to some "Victoria" and some hap-edging this evening. I’m keenly looking forward to Prince Albert.


You’re all of you right. I must have her spayed. My reasons for holding back are these:

a)       We believe, on slight but not negligible evidence, that a cat who has had kittens remains more engaged with the world thereafter.
b)      Perdita never purrs, except when she is nuzzling into my neck and pretending to be my kitten, kneading and sucking. I think, with kittens of her own, she might purr, and they would purr, their little bodies vibrating with the experience. And maybe the lesson would last, for her.

c)       That time she fell off a high shelf, and I took her to the vet several days later because she was still limping, and she was anaesthetised and x-rayed, and I tried to comfort her in the evening when I brought her home -- she hissed and spat at me. It was dreadful. Can I face it again?


  1. Two cat points.
    Spaying will be accompanied by pain killers - and she will have had experience of the post anaesthesia state - so she should be a bit more equable.
    My cat Buttons nuzzled and kneaded to the point of making my jumper wet. He also purred at all sorts of times I believe some cats are more purry than others. He was a neutered male.

    1. Anonymous5:12 PM

      Definitely, some cats purr more than others do. I've had cats who would purr even when they were lying alone, not cuddling anyone. Others were quite cuddly and sociable, yet never purred at all.

      -- Gretchen (aka stashdragon)

  2. Good for you to even manage potato digging. We were on our allotment just this morning, my husband engaged on that task. The combination of digging and bending to recover the tubers is only too likely to strain the back.

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  4. That is a normal reaction for a cat who has had surgery but going through it just one more time is better than poor Perdita going through her heat every few weeks and being miserable. It will pass as all things do. Please don't let this put you off spaying her.

  5. I'm younger and able to walk long distances, ride etc., but digging out the potatoes with the bending and hauling leaves my back really sore and tired. You haven't been able to put your normal garden work in, so I'm sure it feels like the first hard gardening session of the spring! Glad you got potatoes. Freshly dug are so wonderful.

  6. Anonymous5:13 PM

    My extended family and I have had many cats over the decades, all of them spayed or neutered, and all remained engaged with the world, as you so nicely put it, so that shouldn't be a worry. True, some cats become aloof and solitary as they leave youth behind, but reproductive status has nothing to do with it - they're just naturally curmudgeons.

    -- Gretchen (aka stashdragon)

  7. One of my (neutered, male) cats doesn't purr. I can feel his throat vibrate but no noise comes out. Maybe some cats are simply quieter than others? Ollie is chatty enough but no purrs. We love him just as much as the other two.
    All of my cats have been grumpy after surgery, the latest being when Max ate 24" of nylon ribbon and had to get it removed surgically from his gut. Best just to leave them alone to sleep it off in the bottom of the wardrobe. Would you like someone fussing over you and stroking you after surgery? I'd find it bloomin' annoying and might be tempted to hiss a little too.

  8. Nice to know we weren't the only people having technical issues with the debate. Our cable went out, and both of us ended up watching/listening via internet (Mom watched via Fox News, I listened via NPR).
    My heart goes out to you about Perdita. It is very hard to cause pain to a loved one, especially when they're the fuzzy variety who don't understand that the pain now saves much more pain later. You can be strong enough for her sake! She'll be a happier kitty in the long run, just hold on to that.

  9. I, against my will, watched the highlights of the debate on the CBC news channel. It was the only channel I could get all evening!! Something was haywire with the whole damn cable. I especially enjoyed the part where The Donald tried to explain why Hillary would not make a good President with her poor stamina. And I loved her red power suit!!
    Perdita will be Okay in the end. My last cat, who lived to be 19, was a crotchety thing so fat she couldn't clean herself & had to be shaved a couple times a year when I got her. She did not purr, she squawked. And with exercise, detangling & backside washing for a bit, became a different cat.

  10. As was suggested to me, I watched some of the debate with the sound off. That may sound very odd but I have found it can tell me a great deal about the people speaking.
    It was interesting but I don't think it dealt any knock out blows - two more to go!

  11. I'm glad you got such delicious potatoes. I'm impressed at your strength.

    Cats can sometimes learn to purr. You might look it up for some ideas. I've taught a couple myself, and have seen and heard of others having success. Probably not a sure thing. Try lots of her favorite petting and trying new things. Scratches intermixed with stroking, or new spots she might like. Definitely takes time.
    My cat's spaying resulted in only one evening of noticeable recovery. Next day she was fine. Perhaps a relative could take her until she's recovered? It does sound sad and scary to be spat at.