Oatesy Come Home

Last week we were enjoying the warm Caribbean sunshine with our daughter’s family (more on that later on.) Meanwhile, Mr. Oates’ little world was coming apart at the seams.

We haven’t left him for any length of time since he arrived from the shelter last June, so he’s gotten pretty used to us and his way of life here. Cats – being the habitual creatures they are – always do.

He went over to our friend Shari’s house for foster care for a week. She’s well experienced in animal welfare and has a cat herself – the formidable Lady Onyx.

So we bundled Oates into his carrier and took him howling and moaning on a short car ride to Shari’s place. When we let him out of his cell he immediately streaked into a bedroom and hid out under the bed. No amount of treat bribery could coax him out. We know him well enough that we weren’t worried about him spending the week there.

Sure enough, he did emerge after we left and made the best of it. He even got along with Onyx – a minimum of hissing on her part. He snuggled up with Shari on her comfy chair. Cats are nothing if not adaptable.

So last night it was back into the carrier – more howls and moans as we drove him home. But as soon as we opened the carrier and he got a look around – instant Nirvana. He was home.

It was like turning on a switch. Suddenly all was right in Oates’ world again. He gobbled down a few cat treats, had a look round the basement, chased his favorite mouse toy – settled down on the couch beside me. He spent last night sleeping right between us – all night long. The above photo was taken earlier this morning.

Sometimes I wish it was as easy to fix the problems of humanity as it is to fix the world of a cat.

Mr. Murphy

Well so much for El Nino – Part Duh. After a green Christmas, we had a 30 cm snowfall on Dec 29. Yesterday we had – wait for it- a 50 cm snowfall.  This broke all records for a one day snow dump in the Valley.

Of course I was prepared. This is why I get the snowblower serviced every year, right? Right. Mr. Murphy paid me a visit.

I had no sooner started on the snow clearing task last evening when something went wrong. The blower must have hit a heavy piece of ice, the shear pin on one side of the first stage auger broke, and left me with half a snowblower. I had to shovel my way out through the massive snowbank left by the town plough just to get the blower ready to do anything. Then it took more than twice as long to clear the driveway.

Fortunately I had extra shear pins so after freezing outside I went to work in the dark garage, located the broken pin and knocked it out with a hammer and punch. Then I had to install a new pin and tighten it, working around a bunch of sharp metal auger pieces. Great job for July but not February.

After this the plough came by again and dumped an even larger pile of snow in the driveway – but this time the blower was up to full strength and made short work of it early this morning.

After this I am thinking fondly about a week in the Caribbean – El Nino or not.


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