she who keeps this diary

30 October 2003 - 12:21 PM

Random Observations

Last October, my Viking and I adopted a 10-week-old kitten. We named her Artemis, for she was fierce and fearless for all that she was so tiny that she could (and did) curl up and fall asleep in the Viking's cupped hands. When she tried to play with Faust, my 20-lb. tom, she would hurl herself at him and bounce off. Sometimes Faust wouldn't even notice she hit him, if she tackled him from behind.

Obviously she has grown in the last year; time is what turns kittens into cats. Yesterday, when I got home from work, Faust and Artemis followed me into the kitchen complaining about something and I got a good chance to look at the two of them standing together. Artemis is actually taller at the shoulders now than Faust is. She's not as massive as he is overall, and while I haven't weighed her recently I doubt she weighs as much as he does. Nevertheless, good grief! What happened to my itty bitty kitty? I asked Artemis about this and she looked smug, as though to say, 'I ate her.'

Two of my saffron crocuses have poked their heads above the earth, and I am hoping the rest will come along in the next couple of days. If saffron crocuses are as easy to grow as the spring-blooming kinds I am going to be greatly pleased and mightily amused. The bulbs are not expensive, and my dozen bulbs should in theory yield as much saffron as one of the tiny tubes you can buy in supermarkets, and be fresher and more potent to boot.

We are finally started to see foliage colours around the area; the year has been so cool and wet that autumn seems to have been delayed almost until the beginning of winter. (I have an idiosyncratic notion of when seasons begin and end shaped in part by my years in St Andrews. Tomorrow is the beginning of winter. Don't argue with me about this). Curiously, and perhaps in part because it has been a cool, wet year, many of the oaks in the neighbourhood are actually turning a deep russet, rather than just going brown.

The Viking and I both love Halloween, and each year the Viking plans more elaborate decorations for the yard. Last year, it was a scheme to 'float' jack o'lanterns around the yard (think Halloween dinner at Hogwarts). The key ingredients were carvable foam pumpkins from a local craft store, glow sticks, and fishing weights and line. It went over brilliantly -- the neighbourhood kidlets were greatly impressed. This year, the Viking spent much time pondering how to add to the display. A few weeks ago, he asked me which I liked better, bats or spiders. 'Bats,' I told him.

Tuesday he came home with several battery-powered bats on strings; yesterday, after the rain ended he proceeded to hang them from the lower limbs of one of the oak trees in the front yard, and switched them on to test the effect.

The dog went berserk. Absolutely berserk. Somewhere down deep in his genetic memory, there was a record of hunting flying things, and he wanted those demmed bats. He got very frustrated after a while and went back inside, where he retrieved a plush toy penguin to me. Must ... carry ... winged ... things ... in ... mouth ...

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