Friday, August 03, 2007

Weekends & cat sitting

Somehow, even when I'm in the midst of a relaxing summer, I don't update any more often than when I'm in the throes of the quarter system.

This past weekend was... eventful. It had its ups and downs.

Saturday morning we met up with the person we're cat sitting for, went over the routine, and had lunch together. Andrew had reading to do, but in the evening we ended up going to a nearby drive-in movie theater. Which was so *incredibly* unlike the Wisconsin Delles drive-in. It was terribly crowded, with six different out-door screens, incredibly sketchy (read: drugs, patrolling cops), and incredibly dirty (flooded women's bathroom, dirty concessions area serving remarkably few snacks). It reinforced my conviction that overpopulation is a problem, particularly in the Bay area. On the upside: Many, many cool old cars ('50's and earlier), one of which was playing oldies before the shows started. Andrew & I agreed that the new Adam Sandler film was surprisingly funny (I was initially worried it was going to become overly reliant on homophobic jokes), and better than Evan Almighty (although this might also have been a function of our watching Evan Almighty VERY late at night). The latter seemed to lose its humor at some point, since the premise (Noah in our modern day) IS the absurd joke. It was fun to spot Biblical references. Both wrapped up in tidy easy take-home morals.

Sunday we got a late start to the beach... got stuck in traffic (due in large part to both a Garlic Fest and an Antique Market), had lunch at a cute mainly vegetarian restaurant, explored rocky beaches, walked along the very fine sand at Carmel, and discovered where the wealthiest 10% have vacation homes and shop (where, if you wear beach combing clothes, you WILL be scrutinized up and down by the young woman working at Anthropologie). Then we shared a decadent piece of chocolate cake and prepared for the ride home.

Cat sitting, we've discovered, would be easier if said cats were not on medication. The friendly, tiger-striped Harpo has two doses daily -- I initially mixed it in his food, but he wouldn't finish it. So now I hunt him down, corner his butt so he can't wriggle away (he's like a fish), gently raise his head, and coax his mouth open/ position the dropper. The irony of all this? He *likes* how his medicine tastes. One time I actually got him to lap it directly out of the dropper. So you can imagine how much fun it is to feed 1/4 a prozac pill every other day to the cat that hates us (he's hissed at us coming in, TWICE; he's a one-person cat). I've tried every combination: burying the pill in wet food, pulverizing the pill and mixing with wet food, inserting in a cat treat and covering with wet/dry food... NOTHING WORKS! I tried chasing him down, which takes FOREVER, results in my getting mad, and him getting *further* freaked... only to be unsuccessful at using the pill popper. And then I feel bad for lunging after him. Finally, with Andrew's help, I got him immobilized, tilted his head back, coaxed open his mouth, and massaged his throat after Andrew popped the pill. Jesus, it would be easier if you could explain to the cat what you''re doing.

Oh, the *other* highlight of cat sitting. Harpo (who is the speaker for the two) has decided that breakfast must be served at 5:40 in the morning. Which, for the record, is *long* before the sun is up. He meows at our door (we shut it after realized he *will* crawl all over us) until one of us responds. Every morning it sounds as though we have a baby. "Are you going to feed him?" "I'm tired." "I did it yesterday." "Maybe I should." "I'll do it." And we discuss the evening before whose "turn" it is (though I decided I'd do it again today, as Andrew had a sore throat last night and gets only 6 hours of sleep as it is). Then they seem to want a tad more around 6:30 am. And then they're angels until about 5 pm. It's inexplicable.

Luckily for Harpo, he is both hilarious (as in, chasing own tail) and adorable (always wants his face scratched, cute stripes).

This week has flown by... Monday I explored Steven's Creek Trail (which in so convenient for getting to the train and Google), and then we made dinner at Stanford. Tuesday I hurriedly walked to the train station (still missed the train I wanted), quickly walked to my apt. and changed, biked onto campus, and found that the quals meeting I was rushing to wouldn't start for another 15 minutes. Thank goodness Steve got the time wrong when he emailed me. I wish people would regularly do this for me, because it's so nice to realize you're early when you worried that you were late. Anyways, I *loved* sitting in, as I missed out on most of my cohort's meetings last summer, and I hadn't seen everyone in one place for ages. We grabbed lunch, and then talked from noon till after 3.

Strange to spend time in my apartment while "living" somewhere else. I visited Henrietta for the final time before Meredith's return. And then headed back "home" only to discover that someone (ie, one of the cats) had vomited all over the carpet. Yuck. Luckily it seems to have been a fluke. (Not an actual, living fluke, but a one-time-only fluke.)

Wednesday I got quite a bit of reading done... finished The Red and the Black, a bit more Williams, and started Ivanhoe. I walked to Google in the evening to meet up with Andrew for dinner at the "Five" cafe (five ingredients or less in each dish). Lovely. Squash w/ pepper, pecan-crusted cod, beets, and fig salad w/ balsamic dressing for dinner, creamy chocolate cake for dessert.

Yesterday I mainly hung out around the apartment, with one quick walk along the trail for a little exercise. Andrew brought me dinner: more figs!

Today I visited Google for the final time: I walked the trail and met up with Andrew for lunch. We went to the cafe nearest the trail, which Andrew had never gone to before. Salmon & halibut cakes, salad with heirloom tomato dressing, barley salad with pecans, fruit salad, pineapple upside down cheesecake, and eggless custard w/ thyme and topped with raspberry syrup and flowers. Somehow I really need to work at Google.

On the walk back, I saw one of the white herons in the stream, & another hummingbird. After all that walking in the sun, it's nice to sit in doors and read...


karuna said...

Wow, cat sitting ....sounds interesting, beck.

mum said...

I'm wondering where was the drive in movie. Steve & I went to the drive in, in Redwood City, in Feb. 1976 on our trip down there with Jim and Patti.