Friday, March 4, 2011

Clustered Coincidences

In the journey across America by river book I'm reading, bad situations are resolved by a series of good luck encounters.  "Clustered coincidences" is the term for the narrow escapes from disaster.  I can't remember a cluster of coincidences here to remind me of the "opening ahead".

The cat pesters me to let him out.  He passes by a breakfast of cooked ground beef and the bottom of the raw chicken liver barrel.  When I glance out the window at the foot of the stairs toward a flooded backyard, I see him up at the neighbor's horse corral.  "Can't be him."  I know he's fast, but...  I watch the animal walk around a muddy access road which my neighbor uses to haul big rolls of hay from a field behind his barn. This animal looks bigger than the Pooch.  "Could it be one of their dogs?"  Not possible.  I grab the field glasses from the living room.  Darn, he's moved off to the brush on the south fence line.  Then, I spot the Pooch walking toward a woodpile near our flooded white steel lawn-shed.

I call to Mandy while I race to the back door for my muck boots and jacket.  I need to intervene if the animal is another feral cat.  I cannot afford a vet bill to sew up my runty kitty, although he's held his ground in previous encounters with wild cats.  Once he treed a raccoon.

Mandy races toward the woodpile where my cat is perched.  She doesn't stop to harass the Pooch, but continues into the brush toward the spot I first viewed the "varmint".  Her hackles are raised.  Hot on a trail she rushes toward the horse corral and barks once, scattering the horses to the end of the corral. She's seriously tracking a wild animal scent.

I work my way back to the wood pile.  My cat doesn't budge.  I let Mandy work the area and see her flush a hen pheasant from the scotch pines on the west edge of our property.  Given that the animal I saw is bigger than a cat and stalking that pheasant, I quickly decide the thing must be a bobcat or something similar.

I call to Mandy, whistle once or twice. She comes running at warp speed throwing up wet snow all around her.  She races by me, nipping at my hand in greeting.  "Good girl."  The three of us walk into the back entrance of the house. The cat decides to eat the crud I put out for him.  He promptly throws it up.  I make a note to have more faith in my cat's ability to decide if food is fit to eat when I'm scraping the bottom of the chicken liver tub.

I rub Mandy down with a terry cloth towel before she can jump up on the newly laundered cover on the couch and chew on a rawhide stick.

Today I'll be looking for those coincidences instead of complaining when the dryer vent gets plugged, pissing and moaning when I knock over a water bowl on the carpet in the entryway,  grousing when I discover a live flea on the cat prompting me to spend my morning washing all furniture covers, assorted throws and blankets.

In Dawn's studio, I activate a flea bomb purchased from the vet a month earlier, unused because I'm hesitant about poisoning the air in the rear addition and thank my lucky stars that I have to leave the house for 3 hours to work at the library. I've already doused both animals with Frontline at $13 a pop, try a vet alternative called Revolution at $21 per dose, sprayed the perimeter of the first floor and all furniture cushions with an expensive prescribed flea spray that makes me allergic.  Of course, I forgot about a chair in Dawn's studio the cat loves to snuggle on in the evenings which is probably loaded with latent flea eggs.

At the end of the day Dawn and I discuss our dealing with members of the Geritol generation.  She tells me of a resident that requires written notes to remind her to go back to her room to put her feet up.  The resident loses the note Dawn writes and comes back to ask what she should be doing.  On a visit to the clinic, the doctor asks the resident, " How are ya feelin' today Maude?"  "Oh just fine Dr. Smith," she replies.  Dawn intervenes with, "Maude tell the doctor about the dizzy spells you've been having."  The most frustrating part of Dawn's job is having resident's children complain that their parents aren't receiving proper care. "Mother said she hasn't been fed for three days."  Dawn will remind the son or daughter that the parent suffers from advanced dementia and forgets what she's eaten almost immediately.

Head Butting
The process of culling old books from the library is an easy task with clear guidelines.  The library director complicates the procedure by requiring that she personally handle each and every book.  At 17,000 books in the library, I blanch at the prospect.  I ask to the director in training to suggest that the 80+ year old director work on two carts piled high with books that need a label replaced, a bar code removed or worst case scenario, a wiping with some spray goop that makes a clouded book jacket look "almost new" despite a thirty year snooze on the shelf.. Instead, I watch her examine a new book, one recently purchased with a brand new jacket, nice label and in fine condition, going on a long tangential discourse, "Oh I remember buying that one..." extolling the virtues of this and that, causing me to look upward to the white bearded guy in the sky and ask "why me" Lord?  I surreptitiously slip another book I'd already examined back on the shelf while she's off in the nether lands humming and prattling on.  In two and a half hours we sort through two measly bookshelves.  Twenty two effing shelves in fiction alone remain. Arggh.  If Crazy Frank gets elected as Village President the task is moot.  Quoting the stuttering old fart, "What dye' we need all those dusty books for, anyway?"

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