Monday, October 13, 2014


After my last blog post several people wrote to ask about Neil.  He is back, safe and unruffled.  Phew, it was touch and go there after Brownie-gate.

I am still wrapping my head around caring for a cat.  This is the beast who was left behind by his owner, daughter #2 when she decided to move to Colorado.  Did the state outlaw cat ownership?  Neil is not a cuddler and our encounters from day one, maybe day two have been a lesson in tolerance.  Neil is an outside cat and clearly always has been.  He is still here because he is one kick butt mouser and vole killer.  Crickets in the stonewalls can keep him entertained for hours, he's a killer.  He reminds me of this quite often, bringing chipmunks on the porch, leaving a pile of mushy voles on my path to the chicken coop just after knee surgery.  Devious! 
The day after Abby left I found myself drinking two fingers of bourbon at 11 am in the morning.  Why?  I raced in Abby's room to close windows during a rainstorm.  Looked down and saw jumping poppy seeds on my legs.  Ran to the shower screaming, hair on fire and hosed myself down.  Flea infestation!  Chased the yawning cat off the bed and out the door!  I slammed the door as the jumping poppy seeds had not made their way to the hall yet.  Duct taped a towel to the bottom of the door and ran to get flea spray and steam cleaner.  Moved the cat bed and all cat stuff outside, scanning each and every single cat thing with laser vision!  Moved furniture out after washing, bed napalmed.  
Wait!  Call the vet to scream into the phone I have a cat with fleas, what do I do?  And the voice on the end of the phone say without laughing….. Oh, I'm sorry, put him in a cat carrier and get him up here.  
Well I had just carried a cat, someone tossed out of a moving car in the cemetery, (and that's a whole other blogpost!) to our very kind neighbor up the road…. in Neils cat carrier.  The neighbor still had it and she was at work.  No options, I tossed Neil into the truck and told him to buckle up!  I opened the door to jump in and Neil jumped out, and so it went.  About an hour later Neil sauntered into the studio.  I took my clay towel and never looking at him, tossed the towel over him.  GOT'CHA!   Tossed him back in the truck and off we went.  The vet is 1.2 miles away.  It was like driving with the Tasmanian Devil.  He never went to the floor as I had been warned, he went for the windows and ceiling.  With windows sealed tight, the air conditioner blasted and I found myself in a tornado of cat hair.  Did I mention I am super allergic to cats?  As I sat at the stop light, my lunges closing, eyes swelling, turning red and blotchy,  Neil calmed down and seemed to be enjoying the ride.  Hind feet on the seat, front paws on the dash, surveying the driver next to us.  The driver next to us, a large woman in Marilyn Monroe sunglasses, big pink print blouse, driving a 4 door sedan with a bumper sticker that said: My Cat Walks All Over Me, little kitty paw prints were pasted all over her car. She waved at Neil and blew him kisses.  I yelled, it's cat!  She laughed and drove away……. we made her day, I guess. 

Arriving at the vets, I wrapped him in a towel and dashed in the door for a pill guaranteed to kill all the fleas on Neil in 24 hours.  The gal at the desk was well…….. cute.  Maybe 18 years old, blonde hair with pink and blue ends.  She jumped up and ran around the desk cooing baby talk …… and Neil almost took her bottom lip off when his claw hooked her lip ring.  She backed off and said Oooooo, let me give you the pill and you can give Neil Weil the little pill.  I looked at her like she was nuts!  Nope, I don't care what it costs I would like you to give Neil the pill, seriously, I don't care what it costs.   Then she said: "I'll go get help".  She brought back another young girl who reminded me of Mortica Adams.  Wearing black garb head to toe, hair dyed, suck the life out of the universe black, and goth eye make up….. but she had tattoos of cats so I thought great!  She never said a word during my entire time in the room with her.   Mortica loaded a small white pill in the end of the syringe, I held Neil in the towel with a death grip and pink blue and blonde girl grabbed Neil behind the neck to open his jaws of death.  Mortica shot that little white pill down his throat so fast I never saw it.  Had another syringe filled with water and shot that down his throat.  Neil tried to eat the syringe and Mortica.  I paid the vets office handsomely and we drove home, not sure who was traumatized more.  I pulled in the driveway, rolled my window down a crack, an orange fur streak crossed my line of vision and out the crack.  He ran back to the chicken coop and launched himself onto the woodpile.  He stayed there the rest of the day preening and I was tossing back two fingers of bourbon at 11 am in the morning.  As the sun set, I put him on the porch for the night.  24 hours later he let me touch him, I picked him up and looked him over, nothing crawling and he was allowed in the back room.  So Neil is flea free, the house is flea free for now but the life cycle of a flea is three months!  My relationship with Neil had begun.  I vacuum  daily…… first time in my life!  My eyes stay puffy if I watch TV in the back room and bourbon helps everything. 

I'm back in the studio.  Fall has set in and it's time to carve porcelain.

Got my tools out and now preparing to tear the DaVinci kiln apart. 
but then Mercury is retrograde……. what could possibly go wrong? 


  1. Those carved pieces are gorgeous. Don't know what to say about the cat. I just spent nearly $300. at the vet on mine and I don't think that's the end of it. I was a much calmer experience than yours, however.

  2. Sandy, Sandy, Sandy........ :-)
    Thank God you still write on your blog!

  3. Hi Melissa! Thanks!! Yeah, we don't know what to say about the cat either……. he seems pretty content though :)

    Argh….. vet bills! I know I kept looking at the bill thinking and how many pots is this?

  4. Morning Tracey :) !
    my therapy………

  5. Beautiful... missing the wheel, and really REALLY miss our monday morning lessons!

    Use Borax in the carpet, around his bedding, and in corners and around cushions to desiccate fleas/eggs - BEST natural remedy. Lime in the yard to kill any there.

  6. You are one high-octane potter! I always have to go take a little rest after reading your posts.

  7. Morning Nona! Borax! Have a 10 pound bag in the studio!! Limed the yard when I got the chickens but honestly I need a GoPro on the cat to figure out where he goes some days. Last night he was out until 10:30 pm, this morning I can't get him out of his bed! Similar traits to my children…….. hmmmm…. much to consider :)

  8. Diana……. I keep thinking it's time to downsize but then……. I am the Crow with the shiny penny :)

  9. Hopefully you found the fleas quickly and will avoid a full blown infestation. We once had an indoor cat escape and spend a few days outside. When we finally got her back in the house she brought the fleas with her. Of course they quickly found the other indoor cat. Thank heavens for the new flea killers that are out there. Treated both cats with a Revolution drop and that was the end of it.