Friday, July 14, 2006

Doing it by Halves

This morning we awoke, not the the chirping of birds and the chattering of cats, but the high nasal whirrRRRRRrr!ing of an electric saw. Punctuating the din were a distinctly Scottish accent asking, "Do we cut the stuff on that side of the fence?" and a womans' voice replying, "mrirmpph...". There was a brief moment of jubillance in which I murmured,

"Babe! babe! heeey...are they trimming that bloody tree finally?," and Scott said, "Mmmrmmphh....maybe. Tickle my back." Regarding said tree; I hate it - my loathing for this individual tree and oak trees as suburban landscaping can be seen here (towards the bottom) and also here- (thankfully I've completely torn out the gazebo since the first photo. I was all set to rejoice in the bonus holiday that today was going to bring, (First Day Ever that Tree Doesn't Shed on My House Day) - until Scott went out and discovered that oh, no, Mean Finnish Landlady will not be troubling herself to have her cursed tree cut back on our side of the fence. M.F.L. brusquely barked at him, "Is that your truck?" the minute he poked his head out the door (Answer: No...we have a parking area on our property where we park our vehicles, should ye be troubled to open your eyes, M.F.L.) and sharply dismissed his polite inquiry as to wether she'd be trimming our side of it with the following nicety: "No - anything over *your property line* is your issue. I have to get this tree off my roof."

*Entire tree arcs gracefully over our property line.

Right at that moment, Scott went from Nice Mellow Neighbor guy to General Patton of the Oak Tree. He excused himself, went inside, walked to the bathroom and commented to me through the shower curtain, "$!&#%!...... Well, all that's going to be left after the tree-trimmer comes are two Mongoloid stumps. Hopefully she'll hate them so much that she'll just take the whole dammed thing out." After I finished wiping the tears of laughter out of my eyes, I said,

"Make sure you have the tree guy bill her for it."

So....nice morning, right? It only gets better - I'm writing this from my "other office" at the Daily Grind. Just before we walked out the door to go check our email, one of my favorite neighbors (Nice Cat Lady Neighbor, as opposed to the Crazy Cat Lady Neighbor) knocked on our door with The Look on her face. The Dead Cat Look that pet owners all dread. "Hiiiiiii....Do you still have two cats?"

Me: "Hi- yeah, they're in here all the time now...why?"

Nice Cat Lady Neighbor: "Ummmm...can you double-check and make sure one of them didn't get out?" My heart stopped. Surely, surely we shut all the windows last night, and I'd just seen him.

Me: "Suuure...Fynn? Fynnjamin?" (he poked his head out from behind the couch) "Edie? Edie-bug? Little Miss Tiny?"

"BrrrrrrRRRRoww?" blink, blink. My heart started beating again, in both relief and dread. "Who is it?" I asked, "what happened?"

"I think it was a coyote...I'm not sure who's it is, and it looks a lot like your old cat...and I didn't remember if you had two that were almost the same or not, I just remembered you had two orange cats. It's in my yard."

"It" was, in fact, the remains of Sophie, who did indeed look exactly like a smaller version of our dearly departed Moss. To be precise, it was just poor Sophie's head, front legs, and shoulders - everything below that line was gone, no blood, no guts, just gone. Sophie belonged my nice neighbors, "The Jose-Marias" (they are all named Jose and Maria. The entire family). Since we live a scant half-block from a riverbed, hungry coyotes often prowl the streets in the just-dusk to pre-dawn hours - cats are easy prey for them. Since I know the Jose-Marias, I had the awkward task of explaining that "Sofie? Sofie es....muerto....Si, coyote...Lo siento mucho...muy malo...lo siento" because only the Senior Jose, who does not speak a single word of English, was home.

Oh? and the bit about me having to check my email and blog from here? The inestimable Southern California Edison left us a post-it sized note saying, "You're ..... outta luck. We're cutting your power until five pm. Today. You needed to clean out your fridge anyway. Love ya! Byeeeeee!" We are the only house on the street with this distinction.

Waiting for the (good) half of the day, I remain your faithful reporter of the irritating, the macabre, and the just plain strange.


Chiada said...

Awwww, poor Sofie. Well, to add insult to injury, did you see the MSN video today of the two-faced cat? I almost cried. I'm having a bad I-hope-I'm-PMSing-and-it's-not-something-else day. I drove around town on my lunchbreak, trying to console myself, feeling slightly nauseous, with a feeling of despair and anxiety washing over me. I finally settled for a peanut butter soy smoothie from a health food store. Anyways, the two-faced cat story is so sad. :( The poor little thing. *sniff* I need to go wipe a tear.

Mrs. Kennedy said...

Man, I was always worried about coyotes and what got my cat? A fucking car driving up Valerio.

Meepers said...


Damn traffic. That's why I'm always yelling at the bloody doctors and nurses that go 55 around my little corner. One of the perks about living near the hospital. One of them got our other cat, Moss (defiantly outdoors) earlier this year. Sigh.

Lynn said...

Well, I'm no Mrs. Kennedy, but I do have one of her shirts that I look rather good in (or should I say that my boobs look rather good in).

I also enjoy her taste in poetry. Yet she's never commented on my blog. How'd you manage to swing that? Bribes? Your irresistible cuteness? Do tell.

The kitty story is very sad. Breaks my heart.

desiree said...

I got all excited at the beginning of the post too because I thought maybe the tree of gloom was going to be cut down but nooooo. Too bad. I say hack it down in the night, scruff the stump up a bit and say the coyotes got to it. Your neighbor should love that.

Meepers said...

Lynn, you should know that I get equally excited to see a comment from you and Desiree as well. I just love that she's local to me.

Desiree - if only it were that simple. This thing is going to require ropes, ladders, trained professionals.....sigh. If only one could train coyotes to eat wood.