It is that time of year again. Time for merry making, gift giving, and good cheer. Oh, and stress. Can't forget the stress. Getting everything accomplished in a timely, cost-efficient manner is something of a small miracle.
Living across the country from most of my friends and family also means I have to double and triple check addresses. I can't just walk down the street and hand a gift to my BFF anymore. I have to wrap it in a box and entrust the postal service to get it there in one piece. I also have to hope no one has moved, is out of town, or gave me the wrong digits when giving me their address in a holiday hurry. Because lets face it, everyone is in a holiday hurry and when rushed -- we make mistakes.
The first mistake I made was trusting the internet. A particular gift I was getting for someone was sold at Macy's "nation wide." So when I got to the nearest Macy's only to discover it was in fact, not available there, I was vexed. That meant not only did I waste gas and time, but I would have to hop back online in the middle of the night so no one would see and buy it with rush delivery to have it under the tree in time. Why tell me it's available at all Macy's if it's actually only sold at a select few? It isn't as if the item was simply sold out. They didn't carry it in the first place. I BITE MY THUMB AT YOU, Macy's.
Yeah, I'm calling out a mega corporation on my blog. What of it?
But wait, it gets worse from there! As most of you know, I moved last summer and then again this autumn, so there was some confusion as to where to send things to begin with. On top of that, I left town for two weeks and won't be home until next year, so anyone who wanted to send anything to me in a timely manner, would need to forward their packages to an address they were completely unfamiliar with.
In my own holiday hurry, I left off part of that unfamiliar address. Yeah...
So I had to contact everyone last-minute I had given the wrong address to and give them the right one. Then, they would need to call whatever parcel service they'd used and forward that information on to them. It wasn't just an inconvenience for others though. Even gifts I had ordered myself, for others, had to be changed day-of-delivery! Otherwise there would be no Christmas here at all.
Only problem? I'm staying with the people the gifts are for and had no way of getting online or calling to correct the misinformation without them knowing! However, with a lot of deep breaths, covert texting, and the saint-like patience of my mother (across the country) we managed to get everything corrected in time. Thank goodness!
Kudos to Fedex for being particularly helpful, and the USPS as well. The only tricky situation I was left with was getting to and from UPS, who after changing the address for me refused to deliver the package. Forcing me have to go pick it up. With the person it was for. Forcing me to also lie about it.
Now I can relax, feast, and be merry with the rest of the world. Happy holidays!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
So in our new place, as with our old place, there are cats a-plenty outside, most of which have nearby homes. Since the first week we've been here however, there has been this fluffy black cat camped out on our door step. Every time I step out to shop or get the mail he tries to force his way into our place. This has earned him the name, "Intruder Cat." His fur is matted and he's kind of dirty, but I wasn't sure as to whether or not he was actually homeless... So I avoided letting him in.
Some people just don't take very good care of their pets, or don't know how to. So it was entirely possible they just forget to let him back inside sometimes and do not bathe or brush him. Not that I could blame them on the bathing part. Bathing cats is usually both an exercise in futility and an excuse to buy a whole new box of bandaids.
After a few months and his constant appearances at my door step, I began to truly consider the fact that he may have no place else to go. As the days started getting shorter, the nights colder, and at all times considerably more rainy, I started letting him inside. Just for short whiles. Long enough to make sure he had a warm nap and a full tummy. We had a bag of kitten chow from a year or so back just going to waste on the shelf, so I figured why not? He didn't seem to get regular meals. He could use the extra calories and vitamins kitten chow provided.
Then the other day a neighbor of mine confirmed my suspicions: Intruder Cat was indeed homeless and had been for a year or more. The neighbor was, strangely enough, about to put out a little plate of food for Intruder himself. He said he often pitied him as well, but with his own cat, could not adopt him since he couldn't be sure as to whether or not Intruder had any of his shots. He did not want to put his current pets at any health risk which is understandable.
That's when I decided I'd start a fund for him, to get him to a Vet and make sure he's got all his vaccinations up-to-date and a clean bill of health. Thus far several friends and family members have made pledges to his cause. So even if we do not end up keeping him, he'll at least be healthy.
He's well mannered enough, so it's unlikely that he is feral (born wild). So the sad fact of the matter was, someone had bought him as a kitten and then when they moved out, simply left him outside to fend for himself.
This has all been going on for some time now. Recently there has been a second stray hanging around. Not on our door step specifically, but under our neighbor's window. So when there was a big commotion out there earlier today while Aaron was at class, I assumed it was just an altercation between my neighbor and the unwelcome feline. To my surprise when I looked outside I saw the commotion was actually animal control putting the new stray into a cage and going for Intruder next! The neighbors had called animal control to come solve the stray problem.
It's fairly common knowledge that if you bring a pet you can no longer care for into the pound, they give it two weeks to be adopted and then euthanize it. What most people don't know is that animals that are picked up after a complaint call are usually only held for twenty-four to forty-eight hours before they are euthanized. Just enough time for anyone who realizes their pet is missing to call and reclaim them. They are considered troublesome animals. They don't get a chance at adoption.
Upon seeing this my first thought was, "I need to put pants on," followed immediately by, "I don't have time to put my pants on!" Instead I ran outside in my bath robe. To save a cat. When Intruder saw me he ran towards me (imagine any cheesy beach scene where the man and woman run at each other from opposite sides of the screen) and I scooped him into my arms. I then gave both my neighbor and animal control a cross look, proclaimed Intruder as mine, and went inside.Probably looking more than a little like some crazy cat-woman.
So now he's sitting here in my armchair snoozing while I consider what to do with him. We go out of town for two weeks tomorrow. He can't stay inside by himself (just yet). I know I'll have to put him back out when we go, but I just want to be sure he isn't taken by animal control while I'm away. The other neighbors put some food out for their own pets, so I know he won't go hungry and I live in a place where it never drops below freezing so he won't be too cold. I guess I'll head over to the market and buy him a collar... Just in case.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
I can't promise anything, as I typically write elsewhere. However, that elsewhere is undergoing change for the worse, so perhaps this will be my new venue? We'll see. Either way, I'm here because of her. She's far more interesting than I am, she has a dog.