Posts Tagged ‘Wiley’

In Brief

So….where were we?

We did tell you that Wiley is back, right? The people who moved into our old apartment called one freezing morning in early January to tell us that Wiley was mewling outside their front door. Apparently, he’d been living underneath the apartment building. When we picked him up he was skin and bones, with a gaping wound on his haunches to boot. We took him to the vet for a checkup and were told he was fine. We were so relieved to find him all in one piece, especially after the cold snap he’d lived through, but already he is disturbing the fragile peace that Ting-Tong and Thumbs were finally establishing with each other. Our animal kingdom had finally found some order, but Wiley has a tendency to rule with an iron-fisted my-way-or-the-highway kind of demeanor when it comes to the other pets. As you can see here, he already has Ting-Tong on a short leash.

We’re hoping he calms down soon.

In the dining area, we finally put up the curtains we bought at IKEA back at Christmastime. They look great, though you can’t see much of them in this photo. I need to hem them a bit, which scares me because they’re really nice linen fabric with a nice lining, and I’ve never hemmed anything with so many layers and really don’t want to screw it up, but I’ll get around to it one of these days.

Our contractor, Ben is back from his two-week trip to India, which means 1) we owe him a lot of money, but 2) he will be coming over soon to tile our bathtub surround! This is very exciting, since we’ve been taking “shubs” (showers while sitting in the tub) for almost a month now. (Before that it was just baths, because we didn’t have our removable shower head yet. It’s amazing what one can get used to, isn’t it? No real shower for 3 months. Sounds pretty awful, but I don’t even notice the lack of it anymore.)

We’re also hoping to bang out some painting next weekend when my cousin Emily comes up for a home improvement visit. She’s got the energy to make up for our lackadaisical ways times three, AND she loves Sadie, to boot. So it should be a relaxing but productive weekend. Now, to get through the workweek first…

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We’re still straggling along here at Two Cats. Last Sunday, while Nick was working, my mom came over and forced me to helped me straighten up the living room. This took all of about 15 minutes while Sadie was napping. We put all her toys away in bins, vacuumed the rug and upholstery, and moved various dribs and drabs to their proper places, most of which were not in the living room. As my mom said, we needed one sanctuary, a room that was “done” and where we could sit down and just really relax. When Nick came home that night, he was visibly relieved at seeing that one place of calm in our little house, and I felt it, too.

Well, that calm sanctuary lasted all of about 3 days. On Nick’s next day off a few days later, he emptied a bunch of boxes, the contents of which ended up strewn all over the living room. He also installed more door knobs, light switches, caulked the trim under the front door, and sprayed some expanding foam in the gaps around our basement windows. Somehow, setting up house isn’t that easy when you are also still fixing the house. And finishing the house.

As for finishing, we decided we couldn’t wait until every wall and piece of trim was painted to fully unpack and set things up. So two nights ago, we assembled our Ikea bookcase in the office, and last night we emptied out the boxes that had been sitting in piles for the last 7 weeks and finally filled up the shelves. It’s nice to feel some breathing room in that part of the house again, but the room is a long way from being finished. At some point we’ll have to take all those books down again so that we can move the bookshelf and paint the wall and trim behind it. But we’ll get to that…

We are hosting Christmas dinner at our house on Friday, which just means that my mom will be coming over to spend the day with our little family. I think it’ s a perfect way to christen the house. We bought a little tabletop tree that we’ll put out on the deck when the season is over, and we’re putting some lights up in the window, and that’s about all the decorating I can muster this year. Here’s to hoping that by next year I’ll be a lot more organized and it will begin to look a lot more like Christmas in Casa dos Gatos.*

*A note on Two Cats:  A few weeks ago Wiley ran out of the house when the door was open. We haven’t seen him since. We miss him terribly, but we’re comforted knowing that he lives up to his name and truly has the ability to get by on his wits and wile. We have faith that he has found a home somewhere that better suits his wandering spirit and his wiley ways. His spirit will always live on at Two Cats, and in Sadie, who calls every cat she sees Wiley (including Thumbs).

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2 Cats!


Why was everyone so worried?

I was finishing the IKEA bathroom sink tonight and Reeve was prepping the kitchen floor for a second coat of OSMO when we received a call from a neighbor at our old apartment building saying that he was pretty sure he had spotted Wiley there at the old place. It was dusk so he wasn’t sure, but there was a striped cat waiting patiently on the steps to our old apartment. Reeve raced over and it was indeed Wiley! She scooped him up and brought him to the new house to be reunited with Thumbelina.

Apparently Thumbs either had forgotten Wiley altogether or had become used to the idea that he was gone because she attacked him relentlessly for a good hour! Wiley has long been the aggressor in the relationship and he seemed stunned by the turning of the tables. Hopefully they have calmed down over there tonight and can reconcile going into the future together.

Thanks for all the well-wishes and crossed fingers– Wiley is home! I know it was only 3-4 blocks, but wow. How did he find his way? He could have gone that distance or more in any direction, yet he landed precisely on our old doorstep. Reeve told me all along that would happen, but I still can’t believe that homing instinct.

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The big move was on Saturday. It was a long, stressful painful, process, and I’m so traumatized by it that I don’t yet feel excited by the fact that we have done it.

When the movers arrived at 8am, they didn’t inspire much confidence. There were only two of them, not three as promised. One was a scrawny teenager, the other an elderly man whom I thought at first was just the teenager’s dad or chauffeur. A third mover showed up an hour into the job, another scrawny teenager who wore an iPod the whole time and sang out loud while carrying things up and down our steps. About 45 minutes later he mysteriously disappeared, and we were told he had left for a “doctor’s appointment.” On a Saturday.

Actually, the other two turned out to be really nice, respectful, efficient guys, despite their odd couple appearance.

Nick had to be at work at 1pm, which meant he had to leave the house at about 12:30. Even though the movers were doing the heavy lifting, we were doing a lot of packing/organizing/tossing at the same time, which made it feel like we were in some sort of race. (This despite the fact that we’d been packing at night throughout the week, including the entire day before, and that we’d been up since 5am that morning.) By the time noon rolled around, there appeared to be just a few dribs and drabs of stuff left scattered about the house. We both thought I’d get it all together with a few more trips to my car and be done by 1:00. At the latest.

Not so fast. By the time I rounded up the last of the moving detritus–brooms, dust pan, packing tape guns, some pretty ceramic wall hooks I had to unscrew from the wall, but first had to borrow a screwdriver from the neighbor downstairs, who was also moving in that day, and oh, shit, did we forget about all the food in the fridge? and that we needed to clean the fridge?–by the time all of this was under control, it was 4pm.

To compound the amount of stress and angst I was feeling, the new tenants started moving their stuff in much earlier than we had anticipated, like at 1:30, not 4 or so. When I got back to the apartment after supervising the first round of unloading at the new house, the new tenant was standing there with a box in her hand while giving me dagger eyes, for what I did not know, seeing as how we’d met the day before and seemed to hit it off–we’d both lived in Brooklyn before moving to Portland, etc. I guess she and her husband did not expect to find some of our stuff still there, or our two cats, so with Thumbs mewling in her carrying case and Wiley hiding somewhere upstairs, I frantically scrubbed the fridge and tossed leftovers left and right into a garbage bag.

At this point I was feeling completely agitated, overwhelmed, and filled with despair that I would EVER get out of this apartment and be able to find anything again in the new house. Miraculously, midway through all of this my mom showed up with Sadie. I have never been so glad to see my mom in all my life. She took charge, vacuumed, cleaned stuff, and basically gave me hope that the move would be complete in my lifetime. I was also glad to see Sadie, who’d slept at my mom’s the night before in her first overnight away from me and Nick, ever!

When I was finally, officially done with my part, there was only one thing left to do: find and move Wiley. Thumbs was already contained in the cat carrier, so I brought her out to my car. My plan was to drop her off at the new house then come back for Wiley, but with the new tenants coming in and out and leaving the door open, I decided against leaving Wiley there by himself. So I picked him up and we walked outside. Unfortunately, two other sets of couples were also moving into our building that day, and there was mass confusion in our driveway, with lots of people milling about, and, of course, a dog.

Wiley saw the dog, freaked out, and jumped off of me so hard that he actually left bruises under bloody claw marks on my neck, shoulder, and torso. It looked like I had a vampire bite on my neck, which was fitting, since it was Halloween, after all.

He ran around the building but I caught him on the other side, getting him into my car along with randomly strewn coats, pots, shoes and brooms, as well as Thumbelina and Ting-Tong. But when we got to the new house, he escaped out the hatchback as soon as I opened it. I caught him, then wrangled him into the house for a brief moment before he darted out the door again, over towards neighbor Ben’s house, and then into the neighborhood. We haven’t seen him since. It’s been three days. Two people now have claimed to have seen him (Tony, the painter, and George, the excavator) but we haven’t yet caught sight of him.

Overall, the move was a trying, stressful ordeal, and right now I sort of feel like a mother who has given birth and then rejected her child. The house lacks running water, it’s a mess, it has wet primer paint in some rooms, and I don’t know where anything is. Luckily, we’re able to stay at my mom’s condo for now, because getting this house in livable condition is going to take all our extra time and energy, of which we don’t have a lot right now.


One Cat

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