Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Feeling sentimental.

What can I say. The holidays get to me. In a good way. Usually. So here are a couple cute tales of... cuteness that I've been thinking of the last couple days. They don't really have anything to do with the holiday, but, uh, they're cute. Details on the knitting project from hell, and other stuff, at the bottom.

First, a tale of Sekhmet, that fucker. She was curled up all cute and innocent on the back of the couch the other night:

And I looked at the husbeast and said something about "Not bad for a burglar alarm." and he said something about "At least it runs on cat food and isn't disabled in power outages." Then I started wondering if I'd ever told that tale here on the blog, and I don't think I have, and hell, there's nothing else to report, so here you go.

When we lived in Hawaii, we spent the last four or five years there living in base housing. We have always - before and since - lived 'out in town', but wound up in housing after my accident because of financial issues. For the housing allowance you give up to live on base, you also don't have to pay power, water, sewage, or garbage. Basically you pay phone and cable and internet and that's it. So it's a good deal. Except for the fact that you're surrounded by the same people you work with, 24-7. And, forgive me, most military people are insane. (I once had a July 4 party, and the neighbor next door went into some tailspin with guns and hostages and they closed off the road and my guests and I had to evacuate to the local park while the SWAT team raided the house next door, but that's another story.)

Anyway. We were living on base, and there was a rash of break-ins that later turned out to be a couple teenagers fencing people's stuff for drug money. They got really bold and the city cops had to be called in because the base police sucked so bad. Once, going into housing, we got stopped by base police to check our ID, and they said they were doing it because there'd been another break-in. The husbeast said rudely, "Maybe this time, you could catch them."

One night, at about three AM, Sekhmet went berserk. Stood at the foot of the stairs, screeching. The most unholy racket you've ever heard. She's never made those noises before or since. After a few minutes of "what in hell is WITH her?", I got up and went downstairs to make sure no one had shut the door to the laundry room, where her litter box was. It was the only thing I could think of that would make her go insane like that.

As soon as I got downstairs, Sekhmet chilled out. I said something like "You fucker." and had a glass of water and went back to bed.

In the morning, I went downstairs again. The screen of the dining room window - the one closest to the laptop sitting on the table - had been pried up, and the gate to the back yard was hanging open. (We never left it open.) Hello. Sekhmet had foiled a break-in. When the kids saw me, they must have taken off. Me standing at the sink drinking water, right next to a knife block full of knives may have helped.

So, Sekhmet got tuna for brunch, and the police were called in. (As I recall, I made the husbeast come home from work to talk to the cops, because I had to be in algebra class and I knew if I missed a day I'd be lost forever.)

She may be a fucker, but she's OUR fucker. Sekhmet also used to come and get me when the Goober cried. And I don't doubt that if someone tried to break in here, I'd hear the same unholy screech.

Good kitty.

The other tale is a bit shorter and probably - at least to me - a lot funnier. Our local cable provider has finally gotten with the program and put the PBS (Public Broadcasting System, for those of you overseas - think Discover channel before there was one) channels on their provided stations list. Which to me, means one thing. SESAME STREET.

I grew up on Sesame Street, so the instant I knew PBS was on, the Goob was subjected to it every morning. It's how I learned to read, and judging from what I've seen, it'll be how she learns, too. (And I wonder of Gordon and Maria and the rest of the cast realized they were on a forty-year gig when they originally signed on. And I wonder what they think of the whole thing now. But there are certainly worse ways to spend a life.)

This morning, the Goob was sitting on the couch, watching Sesame Street, and I had a flashback to my own childhood, sitting on the couch watching Sesame Street. I think I was sick, because my mother was bringing me Cream of Wheat (like a wheat version of oatmeal), and eating in the living room was strictly a when-you're-sick sort of thing. (And being a mom now, myself, I think she must have loved me a lot to allow Cream of Wheat on the couch. I wouldn't. Funny how your view shifts as you age.)

We had hardwood floors back then, and walking into the living room, Mom slipped on an area rug, went down, and the bowl of Cream of Wheat in her hand went STRAIGHT UP. It must have slammed into the ceiling with some force, because when it was over, there was a big schlop of Cream of Wheat on the ceiling, hanging there like a stalactite. (Oh, and Mom went down like something Chevy Chase would do on a good day.) I remember laughing and laughing and laughing while Mom got a chair and wiped the Cream of Wheat off the ceiling. (Again, with my new view, I hope she wasn't hurt too badly, but she was able to climb up on the chair, so...)

So there you go. I still get sentimental over Cream of Wheat, thinking of it stuck to the ceiling.

Otherwise, I am almost done with the 576 repetitions of "ssk, k3, 2yo, k3, k2tog" that begin the edge of the shawl. Sometimes it sucks to be decent at math and have a calculator ready. (It comes out to four rounds of that. I'm about halfway through the fourth round.) I've got about ten rounds, total, to go on this damn thing. Then comes the slip-stitch crochet bind off from hell, which will probably take two days.

The Goober's baby pool bit the dust this summer, but we salvaged the inflatable toys. The Goob's been playing with them. So's the husbeast. The other night he got bored and decided to 'make her a Ubange'. I assume that's the tribe in Africa with the women who wear rings around their necks. Or else he made it up. You never know with the husbeast.


Galad said...

Brave Sekhmet. I think our cats would just purr an intruder to death.

Arianne said...

Wow! What a good cat! I wasn't home when our house was broken into so I don't know how Bella reacted but I'm guessing she was terrified and hid because now whenever blokes are in the house (plumbing, construction, movers, whatever...)she FREAKS out and runs and hides and doesn't come out until they're gone. :)

Your stories are funny. But you do realise you now have to tell us about this hostage thing. :)

Donna Lee said...

I think the husbeast is right. Ubangi women are the ones who put on all the rings and elongate their necks. It always looks painful to me. There was an article about body mutilations....not a good thought first thing before lunch. When my husband was in the navy and we got married, the first thing I said was NO BASE HOUSING. Not unless it was the only thing left on the planet.

Gordon and Maria are still on Sesame St? I watched it in 1968 when my brother came along and then in the 80's when my girls were small. I loved it, still do, actually.

MLJ1954 said...

My cat leaves whenever a stranger shows up, or a strange car, or just about anything, she just departs.

My nephew and his wife lived on base in Pensecola. Hated it. Hated their neighbors. Hated the house. Hated the black mold. Hated the fact that she and the kids were sick. He wasn't but he was also mostly on ship. They have now moved, again, and have a house. It is a lovely house. With trees and a park and normal people. It is good.

Amy Lane said...

Good Kitty!!!

And what an adorable Ubange!!! (I've got mixed feelings about that Cream of Wheat one too... from a kid's perspective it's HILARIOUS!!! As an adult we're like, shitshitshitshitbuggerfuck!!!)

Rose Red said...

Is Gordon still on Sesame Street? Wow!

And yeah, you totally have to share the hostage story.

NeedleTart said...

Good Kitty! When Jake was a baby our cat at the time used to come and get me if he cried. Maybe babies hit a decibel that hurts their ears?
As for the Cream of Wheat? Yup, I'm five. My first thought was, "Cool! I wonder how high her ceilings were and if it would work here?" Sigh

Roxie said...

Yeah, she may be a fucker, but she's YOUR fucker and she will fight to the death to keep you!

Cute little Goobangi you got there! With the real thing, the weight of the rings slowly dislocates the collarbones, while the neck muscles atrophy so they women can barely hold their heads up without the jewelry.