January 1, 2021
August 26, 2016 was the last time I made an entry. I suppose it is about time I made another.
Last time we had to put down one of our cats, I was depressed for two months and then we had to put down our remaining cat. Flash forward a few years and we were ready to adopt a kitty and the landlord said no. He didn’t like pets and his new wife thought all animals should be kept outside.
Now earlier the landlord evicted our downstairs neighbor, a 90-year-old woman who was blind and nearly deaf. The two didn’t get along and admittedly she was an ill-tempered sourpuss, but still she didn’t have too many years left in her. He went through with the eviction and she moved into an apartment in the building next door. She died less than two years later.
The landlord started to get flaky. We knew he was coming into the apartment when we were gone, rearranging our doormat, flipping our toilet paper and other petty stuff. When he said no to the cat that was it. We started looking for a house.
We hired a real estate agent and he showed us a couple of houses, but they didn’t fit our needs. We mentioned a house that was around the corner, about 250 feet from the apartment. It had been on the market the past few years, but the owners took it off in the winter. It wasn’t on the market again, so the agent contacted them and less than two months later we had a deal, obtained the financing, and closed on the property. While we were waiting, we packed up all our stuff and had it ready to go. Once we closed, we shuttled most of our stuff in the car and stored it in the basement of the house. We had a few things we wanted to do to the living space before we moved everything in. We then gave the landlord a 45-day notice (we only had to give 30 days). The stunned look on his face was priceless. Some of the people who volunteer at the cat shelter came over and helped us move the few large heavy things we couldn’t do ourselves. We had been in the apartment for 19 years.
So, for the want of a cat, we bought a house. The only downside is having to pay a mortgage until I’m ninety. If it gets to a place where we can’t afford to keep the house or be able to take care of it, we will sell it and pocket the equity, by then we would be eligible for subsidized elderly housing.
The shelter offered us a permanent foster of one of the older cats. They pay the vet bills, food, litter, and other costs. The day before we were supposed to bring her home, she had a stroke. It was touch and go but were eventually were able to bring her home. At that point we didn’t think she would last a week. Over a year later Zola is still going. She has some minor lasting effects of the stroke but is otherwise thriving.
When COVID-19 hit they shut down the cat shelter, the remaining cats were parceled out to foster homes and they gave us two more cats for permanent foster. Zola has the run of the main floor. Mickey and Suzy Q live in the finished basement. Zola doesn’t like other cats, nor does Suzy Q. Mickey and Suzy Q came into the shelter after their owner passed away. They were shy at first and acted like someone had abused them. They're a lot more social now.
Last month we were given a temporary foster, an older cat named Finnegan. He is underweight and has a few health problems, so we are trying to get him to put on some weight and stabilized. I guess we have a reputation of making sickly cats thrive. Finnegan’s last checkup, he had gained some weight and lost a heart murmur. At some point we will conduct Zoom meetings with any potential adopters. Christine is the primary caregiver, and she does an amazing job with the cats. Glad we didn’t get a bigger house, or we’d end up with a shelter’s worth of cats.
Due to the pandemic, I’ve been working from home since March. Frankly, I love it. I get more done and work a natural schedule. The boss told us we could continue to work this way after the pandemic thing is over. Right now, I’m set up in the living room, next to the fireplace. I have a space in the basement, a heated storage room, that I’ll convert into an office. I’m holding off until the spring as we plan on replacing the 40-year-old heating system.
We had one major bit of damage happen this past summer. One of the large waste hauling companies had been using our driveway as a turnaround, we don’t get service from them. The driver of the garbage truck backed into our retaining wall and pretty much totaled the wall. I was working from home, so I saw it happen. I ran out, but the driver drove off. I contacted the waste hauling company and couldn’t get anyone to return a call. I filed a police report and contacted our insurance company. I guess when the police contacted the waste hauling company, they got in touch with us, they apologized and said they would pay for all the repairs. We found the contractor who had originally built the wall. The estimate was over $22,000. The waste company dragged their feet and eventually told us in late fall, they would only pay $11,000. We ended up making the claim on our insurance and let them sue the waste company. The insurance company cut a check for the depreciated value of $19,000. We are saving up the difference. We received the check to start the replacement. We have the contractor booked for the spring. We have our fingers crossed that the wall doesn’t fail before then, otherwise we could lose one whole side of the house.
In some ways the accident was a blessing, we knew the wall would have to be replaced in the next five years. I knew it would have been expensive, I just didn’t realize how expensive.
Healthwise we’ve been relatively good. However, I have lost some vision due to glaucoma. I can still drive and work, so it hasn’t been too much of a problem. The most problems have been using the computer.
I’ve rambled on long enough, so I’ll wrap it up.