Friday, August 20, 2010

Falling Cats and Re-Homed Fish.

Gee, remember when this started out as a knitting blog? Me neither.

Boris is still with us, though I'm starting to think his mind is leaving ahead of him.

I have had these little cheap shelves in the Room-Formerly-Known-as-the-Office. At various times they've been in half the rooms in the house, but I put them in the RFKO a few weeks ago, as part of my ineffectual rearranging of everything in the house in lieu of actually getting rid of it. (More on that later.) The cats adopted them as cat storage, despite the cat parts that stuck out/hung over the edges.

Higgins gave up on this after the novelty wore off, because there are many more comfortable places to nap. He fit much better than Boris, who is much longer and taller. Boris continued to squeeze himself onto a shelf when he wasn't comatose in the garage. Yesterday I celebrated his return to the shelf as a sign of his return to the living. Now I'm thinking it's a sign of diminished brain function.

Last night he fell off the shelf THREE times - each time with much dramatic crashing and flailing - a crazy amount of crashing, when I think about it, because these shelves aren't high, and there wasn't much to hit on the way down. But somehow, he managed to do it with much noise and commotion.

The first time was around midnight. The dogs jumped up and barked, I startled awake, then figured out that it wasn't someone breaking in, just Boris falling. We all settled down to go back to sleep. An hour or so later, crash! again. Dogs sat up, barked once. The third time, somewhere around 4 a.m., Murphy sat up halfway and growled, Sophie made a disgusted noise, and I swore.

Today I moved the few items I'd been keeping on the bookcases (after cleaning them, because they were coated in cat hair and eww) and moved the bookcases to the garage. Boris is sleeping in the garage again. We'll see what happens around midnight.

As part of getting out of this house and turning it over to my daughter, I am tearing out the backyard pond. It's a maintenance nightmare and Layla tries to paddle in it whenever she's here. I put an ad on Craigslist offering free pond fish, had a response right away, and today a nice young woman came to round them up and take them to a new home where they will not be so horribly neglected.

Somehow, the simple step of giving away the pond fish gave me a boost - the process of getting out of this house has raised some issues with how I think of things. I am my parents' child after all - I'm having to retrain myself from the attitude that "someone will want that." There are maybe 5 substantial things in this house that I could sell or donate. There are MANY small, random odds and ends that "someone" might want, maybe, but probably not. Empty picture frames - not special, expensive frames, but "bought on sale at K-Mart in 1992"-type picture frames. Oddball coffee cups. Random old plasticware. Crap like that. Stuff that even Goodwill really can't use, because nobody really goes to a secondhand store thinking, "Wow, I hope they have some cheap crappy 20 year old K-Mart picture frames! I've ALWAYS wanted some!" (If you do, I think I still have about 20.)

I've been working on this attitude. I really, truly want to move only the things I use, and/or truly love and treasure. I do not want to pay movers to move stuff that is just shit, because I feel obligated to hold onto it for some vague reason. (St. George Carlin: "Did you ever notice that other people's stuff is shit, while your shit is stuff?") I'm working very hard to learn to distinguish my stuff from my shit. It's exhausting.


Linda said...

I remember that Cariln skit! I've moved 7 times in 15 years. It's still hard to part with some of my crap:)

Anonymous said...

OH goodness! I have just gone through the SAME THING. Even down to the wire I was picking up something like an elastic band and thinking- I might need this to....

Put the stuff in an opaque plastic bag. Ruthlessly. Leave it tied up in a room for a week. If you don't go back looking for it in that week, haul it to the trash. If it is an odd cup or ANYTHING cracked or dented, take a hammer to it so you wont think of it again. THROW IT AWAY. I also went shopping at some thrift stores, and realized that they have perfectly good stuff for sale there (I'm betting Florida is a thrifters paradise right now) and they sure would not be wanting my mismatched chipped china from a 1970 Sears set.

The only thing I think we were even the tiniest bit aggressive on was bakeware. I apparently gave away most of my cake pans, muffin tins and casserole dishes. But so what- the muffins ended up making a nice coffee cake baked in a pie plate.

But you are right- it is darned hard to turn off that switch.

Catherine said...

Many of these things have been sitting untouched in a kitchen cabinet for five years, so the opaque plastic bag is an extra step. I just need to get myself to take the surviving cruet from the oil and vinegar set I bought for a buck at Whole Market in 2004 and drop the sucker in the recycling bin. I think I will work on that project later today. And am I the only one sentimental about coffee mugs?

k said...

Shall we talk about the 15 or so mugs that I have left after my purge?
To be honest, I gave up.
And, about those picture frames - any black ones?
(I was looking at frames at Goodwill and found a pretty little gold one with pressed flowers on black paper,and a signature on the back that somebody took the time to seal up with pretty wrapping paper! I brought it home. Other people's shit becomes my stuff.)

Catherine said...

My picture frames are all anonymous and mass-produced, and I'll keep six I really like. The rest are going to the dump. As for mugs - same rule - the six that hang on the stand on the counter, plus six I really am fond of. Done.