Friday, August 29, 2014

Where Many Paths and Errands Meet

Long time no post. Shall I catch you up?

There has been feline chaos in our house. My Skittles and Zephyr are not getting used to my son's cat, Hunter (who is visiting while my son is on course until November).

They show their displeasure frequently.

With their bladders.

Hunter is a very sweet and loving cat with the human population. But with the other kitties in this house, he most definitely lives up to his name. He sees a moving cat as a challenge and will often ambush them on their way to or from the litter boxes. For this reason (and because cats are vindictive creatures by nature), they are frequently finding other areas to pee. I know it's a sign of their distress. They have never had a problem with inappropriate peeing before. My cats are old (fifteen) and they can not hold their own with this large, strong, young (three) male. When Hunter attacks, he really hurts my guys. He'll jump them, bite the back of the neck and kick hard with his hind claws. There is a lot of screaming (from the victim and from me!) during these sessions - which happen at least once every couple of days. A spray bottle helps break it up but there's not always one at hand. If we're lucky, it can be averted altogether if we happen to notice Hunter's tail just before an attack. It gets all bushy. Hunter is an otherwise sweet cat, and he seems genuinely perplexed when he is removed from the situation for a time out in the laundry room. He is always isolated at night which bothers me more than him. But my guys need some peace. Come morning, he's full of purrs, piss and vinegar.

We've gone to considerable expense trying to eliminate the problem and the odour. We've invested in this (far too expensive for the area we need to cover) and this which was 100% useless at $125 for the diffuser and spray. Next up we're going to try this much less expensive solution. From what I'm reading, it sounds promising.

Despite the unpleasant atmosphere, we've still had a few guests come to visit. My cousin Marcy, Frank's friend Peter and my son, Jeffrey have all spent some time here over the last few weeks. We're hoping to have more company through the months of September and October. And less cat pee.

Our family is mourning the loss of our dear Auntie Gertie, earlier this month. She was my late Dad's youngest sister, and the last one standing from his generation. She was a wonderful lady with a quick sense of humour and I will miss her dearly. Some of you might remember my post when Frank and Jeffrey demolished her sofa. And some of you might also be familiar with my cousin Phyllis who blogged over at Prompt Prose and eFoodAlert. My aunt was mom to her and her sister, Barbra. Phyllis' blogging is on hold while she is writing a book and moving house.

Our renovations are still incomplete and untouched for several weeks at a time. Someone is supposed to be coming out again next week. We'll see.

I finally bought myself a television - one that doesn't have any sports on it whatsoever! Along with it, I purchased a Roku and am now enjoying Netflix. Unfortunately, the Canadian version doesn't offer nearly as much as the U.S. network but there are still a few things of interest, and I'm already hooked on Orange is the New Black. But does it ever cut into blogging time...

And with that update, I'll move right along with a few photos.

country road
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
~ J.R.R. Tolkien
This is the view from one of the many side roads which surround our place. The numerous hills and valleys are less fun in the winter but every bit as beautiful.

I was so naive as a kid I used to sneak behind the barn and do nothing.
~ Johnny Carson
One of the many rickety barns which charmingly dot the countryside.

hay you 2
There is no reason to fear the wind if your stack of hay is well tied.
~ Irish Saying
Of course, if there are country roads and barns, there's going to be hay. This truck was spotted rounding a corner and the photo was snapped from my seat inside a Bancroft, Ontario restaurant.

station street bancroft
The nice part about living in a small town is that when you don't know what you're doing, someone else does.
~ Immanuel Kant
If you're at all curious about Bancroft, here's a small look at one of its side streets. It could just as easily be Mayberry, with that bench outside of Floyd's Tony's Barber Shop.

Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality.
~ Emily Dickinson
This sad memorial stands by the highway a few kilometres from our house. I tried Googling the name, location, dates.. etc but came up empty. He died heartbreakingly young at 19.

a fishing spot
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
~ Henry David Thoreau
As the quote indicates, we were out fishing not too far from this pretty little point. We didn't catch anything that day but...

If you work on a lobster boat, sneaking up behind someone and pinching him is probably a joke that gets old real fast.
~ Jack Handey
... we were able to catch some lobster at the local grocery store. Dipped in garlic butter... yum!

awakening ferns
What a joy it is to feel the soft, springy earth under my feet once more, to follow grassy roads that lead to ferny brooks.
~ Helen Keller
Also yummy with garlic and butter are fiddleheads. I don't think these are the right ferns for fiddleheads, and if they are, they've already passed the stage at which they're prime for picking, but if you ever get the chance to eat some, don't pass it up. They're delicious.

pink and iris2
It is at the edge of a petal that love waits.
~ William Carlos Williams
Growing amid the ferns are the fruits of the previous owner's labours. She planted lovely flower gardens in both the front and the back, and we're enjoying it all immensely. Thanks, Josie.

We learned to be patient observers like the owl. We learned cleverness from the crow, and courage from the jay, who will attack an owl ten times its size to drive it off its territory. But above all of them ranked the chickadee because of its indomitable spirit.
~ Tom Brown, Jr.
The chickadees are also enjoying our space, along with the seeds and occasional fruit left out for their dining pleasure. Don't you just love their ever-watchful little black button eyes?

That's it for this post. More photos coming up next time.


TexWisGirl said...

ooh, sorry about the cat wars! i'd be worried for my older ones, too!

Anvilcloud said...

Sorry about the feline problems.

You sure have some beautiful photo ops around you. I like the road and the barn.

I recognize that street in Bancroft and have been inside the real estate agent and they took us to a few places.

ellen abbott said...

right about the time they get used to each other (maybe) it will be time for Hunter to go home. I have my sister's two little dogs for a week and my cat is always annoyed when they are here. They don't bother her having two cats of their own, but she just doesn't care for other animals in her house.

love the pic of the ferns.

Leah J. Utas said...

Sorry about the kitty disagreements.
Love those pics. I always feel I am right in the photo.

Lisa Gordon said...

I am so sorry about your aunt's passing, Hilary.

And I do hope that things resolve themselves with your furry friends.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Rita said...

I'd be very concerned about my older cats, too! I'm glad you lock up the youngun at night to give them some rest and peace. Sometimes the simple home remedies work the best. I hope that recipe does the trick.

As usual, I love your quotes and photos!! What a great little town. Quite Mayberryish. ;)

L. D. said...

The invader does need to be isolated to keep them from doing what comes naturally. I really enjoyed the various sights along your paths. They are wonderful shots.

Anonymous said...

We must visit Bancroft soon, haven't been up this year. As a young girl we used to rent a cottage on Baptiste Lake, some really good fishing memories from there. Your part of Ontario is gorgeous.

joeh said...

Holy Hanna, a TV without sports...What is the point?

By the color I'd say that is a Canadian Lobster, a little tougher than the Maine variety, but still quite sweet and tasty.

stephen Hayes said...

We once decided our older cat was lonely so we acquired a younger cat to keep her company. The older cat hated being picked on and began peeing everywhere, so I can sympathize with what you're going through. Great pictures as always. So enjoyable.

Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful Lobster, alive not dead. The beauty of the bird, treasure. All the photos are excellent.

DJan said...

Now that you have Netflix, I hope you watch and enjoy "Last Tango in Halifax." I loved it! And sorry to hear about the cat wars, but it does seem it was inevitable. Looking forward along with you to November. Thanks for the great pictures, as usual. :-)

Red said...

You've had a very crazy mixed up summer. You've also got some great photos to show us. I hope things settle down after this because I want to see super posts again.

Hilary said...

There is just nothing worse than cat pee.......and trying to neutralize it.
Maybe another foster home for Hunter???
Your poor kitties.

messymimi said...

My condolences for the loss of Aunt Gertie and for the kitty wars. It can be very difficult to introduce a new cat in a house.

yaya said...

Our cat Squeak won't let another cat near her territory! We had my Granddaughter's cat for a bit but Sammy had to stay outside all the time. He and Squeak had a truce..he stayed in the front yard, she in back..worked good for them! Love your quaint little town and beautiful scenery. I don't think I'd like to drive those roads in Winter, but it sure is pretty!

Unknown said...

Hilary: I was very sorry to hear about your Aunt. I also hope the Cat situation resolves soon. Quite a lot to deal with, for sure.

Catherine said...

Cat wars! Very tricky and tough for all concerned. We have a bit of animal apartheid in our home too, as the dog wasn't brought up with cats and still thinks they are there to be chased. Leave a door open, and she is at their food too. They aren't too keen on her either but have learned to get along with each other most of the time.

At least you know it's not for too long. And commiserations about your aunt.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

It is all so pretty, but those fiddleheads!!!!!

Birdie said...

Cats. Never a dull moment, right? I could easily make my blog a cat blog but that would likely be the no turning back point of being a crazy old cat lady.

That sofa! It was so unique. A shame it needed to be destroyed. I am sorry for your loss. Remember when we were young and it was baptisms and weddings? Now it is funerals.

Orange is the New Black. I won't give away a think but I stood up and cheered during the last episode!

Tabor said...

So sorry for your loss as she seems to have touched all of your lives with love. I am concerned about your cat issues because you may have a serious problem getting rid of ALL the odor. Others may always smell it in your house. Not yet a netflix fan, but used to be a member decades ago when they mailed DVDS.

Laura said...

May your Aunts memory be for blessing. May the cats fighting, frighting and peeing be a memory. Your photos as always ARE a blessing for our eyes. So sad that young boy dying at 19.


Laura said...

May your Aunts memory be for blessing. May the cats fighting, frighting and peeing be a memory. Your photos as always ARE a blessing for our eyes. So sad that young boy dying at 19.


Laura said...

May your Aunts memory be for blessing. May the cats fighting, frighting and peeing be a memory. Your photos as always ARE a blessing for our eyes. So sad that young boy dying at 19.


Brian Miller said...

sorry on the passing of your aunt...

and for the kitty wars...cause that can get nasty....

how is it you get a tv without sports...wait...i dont want to know...haha

Scott Law said...

Your photography inspires me to try to get more "enjoy the place and the time" type photos. I love these.

Daryl said...

i wish you'd asked about the Feliaway or whatever its called its useless .. what a scram they run .. i would want to meet anyone who has had success with it .. i can't believe anyone is telling the truth in the endorsements ... it claims it also helps calm and stop scratching on furniture also not true ...

i love all the photos ... the greenmarket sells a mesculan salad with fiddleheads in it .. also little nasterum flowers

sage said...

Sorry about your aunt and the cats, but thanks for the beautiful photos!

Karen said...

We have a doggie visiting this weekend. My old lady cat doesn't take too kindly to strange animals visiting. Sure hope we don't find any surprises in the morning.
I LOVE Bancroft. My sister has a summer place near there. We always talk about moving there now that we are all in retirement but whether that happens I don't know.
My greatgrandfather was born in Maynooth! Some people I know moved there not long ago to open the tea shop. Ann keeps telling me we should move THERE.

Barb said...

Your son is going to owe you - big time! Thanks for the tour of your area. That shot of the water is idyllic.

Indrani said...

Bushy tail of Hunter, may be you can take a pic and then control him. :)
Sorry about your aunt!
Great pics.

Anonymous said...

What beautiful countryside! So sorry for your loss.

christopher said...

Sorry to hear about your Aunt.

Hopefully the cats begin to chill out a bit.

Great pics and quotes.

Maggie May said...

I think Hunter would have to be in separate quarters somewhere if it was me. I couldn't have my established elderly cats upset like that.

Your photos are excellent and I loved the unfurling ferns and the cheeky little bird.
Maggie x

Nuts in May

Shammickite said...

Poor you, having to deal with cat pee and cat mayhem at the same time! Your pictures in this post are really nice. I love the memorial post... Best Man in Town.... now that's a real compliment, what a great way to be remembered. But so sad that it is there at all.

photowannabe said...

So sorry about your cat predicament. I do hope things will get better.
Such gorgeous photos Hilary. You definitely live in God's Country.
I just love "Mayberry". It would be so much fun to scope out.
Rickety barns are some of my favorite things to see.
Seeing your picture of the road really gives me Wanderlust. We haven't been much of anyplace this summer. I desperately need a get away...soon!!

Friko said...

Thanks for the update and the pics.

But the cats are a whole different kettle of fish. I hope things will settle down. Mind you, we lived with a pair who fought a lot, one always lying in wait to swipe the other. Until one of them died (of old age).

Chicken said...

Aw. look at that cute little guy. I do love a good chickadee photo. I'm sorry to hear your cats are not getting along. Hope you can find a way to work it out.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry about your Aunt Gertie, and also the cat pee. We've had an old dog in the house quite a bit and the bladder that goes with one, which isn't very reliable. I hope Hunter settles down and minds his manners! I love seeing your little town...and I've never heard of fiddleheads!

Jenn Jilks said...

My condolences about your Aunt.
Yes, cats can be terrible. Males are the worst. I've had them liek this.
When my mom was ill and we were travelling to Muskoka my male cat started this. He wanted attention or something. What a pain. Good luck with this.
I'd board the little bugger myself! :-)

Anonymous said...

Loved seeing a bit of your area and the little town. It's so cute!

Mandy Southgate said...

Oh dear, sorry to hear about your aunt and of course the cat wars. It is not fun when one has to contend with a bully cat, no matter how adorable he or she is! I had a girl cat that dominated the whole neighbourhood! I made sure never to spoil a kitten like that again, that's for sure.

Tabor said...

The above is my nomination for a POTW. I am too lazy to log into my other email with your address!!

Unknown said...

Your photos are amazing. Such a pleasure to look at.

Kat said...

Oh that sassy cat! I hope he learns to mind his manners soon so that your poor dears don't have to suffer his wrath anymore.

So very sorry to hear about your Aunt. My condolences to you and your family.

What gorgeous pictures. They just make me smile.

Wendy said...

Yup, good old vinegar and baking soda - should work this time!

So sorry to hear of your aunt's passing. I don't there there are any of that generation in my family alive - maybe some distant relatives in Holland (mom's side), but none over here. Makes us feel old, doesn't it?

Love your pics, especially the water one. And the sweet chickadee. I have so many of those at my feeders.

JOHN said...

This is my first time stopping by,Sorry to hear your Aunt passed,Love the pics expecially the old barn,Please stop by and leave a comment

Andy said...

Life is slower where you now live but still manage to spy interesting things to photograph.

Andy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CiCi said...

Glad to hear you have your own TV and are checking out Netflix. This past week I have been watching Criminal Minds on Netflix. In between the moving of course.

Mage said...

Thank you. This is one of the best catch-up's ever. Illustrated too. :)

Dan said...

OH oh... hissy and pissy.

Enjoy seeing your slice of life!

So sorry for your loss, Hilary. We're on that side of life where those around us are hanging up their shoes.

I just returned from spending time with my father in Gatineau. He's looking frail now... but it is to be expected.

La sonrisa de Hiperion said...

Encantador blog el tuyo, un placer haberme pasado por tu espacio.


Linda said...

Hilary, my condolences on the passing of your dear aunt. It's always difficult losing someone special to us.

It is sad, too, that your cats are being tormented that way. I don't blame them from retaliating, but phew.

I love all the photos, most especially the chickadee. So cute.