Sunday, February 07, 2016

AC Off. Heat On. - Porch Cat Update

Chilly and windy again, and a weekend of grownup responsibilities. I'm cleaning out the garage. I can't do it in summer because I am not much for heavy labor in an airless, humid oven, and I've managed to overlook the issues for four years now. Something woke me in the night last week: "This is your best chance to clean out the garage!" I wish I dreamed of exotic vacations with handsome men, but no.

The main issue: the previous owners, a/k/a the original owners, were, in addition to never, ever updating anything in the condo itself, living in the 50s in the garage. Not the 1950s, the 1850s. Before electricity. The back wall of my one car garage is taken up by a very quaint, old school "workbench" that is entirely not useful, and stinks like mildew in hot weather. It consists of a few lovingly constructed small cabinets and a few feet of plywood "workspace," with no power, no lighting, no nothing. It's useless for storage because the cabinets are small and cramped. It's useless for anything else, because no power, no lighting, no nothing. I marked it as "it must go" four years ago, and somehow never got around to getting it out of here.

This weekend I started the process. I cleaned it out (except for the truly epic piles of roach shit in the corners of the bottom cabinets because OMG). Tomorrow I will get up bright and early and drag a lot of crap to the curb. That's just the contents I was left with, and stuff I'm getting rid of myself. Next, the demo itself will begin. I've taken out the interior shelving, that'll go out tomorrow. Next, I'll take the entirely too narrow and useless cabinet doors off, and put those out for pickup. Then the real fun will begin! I realized today that this monstrosity is screwed into the concrete block wall with big, fat screws.. It's smelly old mildewed wood, loaded with roach crap and God only knows what other disgusting stuff, and the wood part would probably come apart easily, but the part screwed into the wall? I'm not sure I can deal with that. I'll see if it's something I can take apart myself, but I may have to hire a local handyman guy to finish the job. I don't own power tools to get the screws out of the concrete block wall. I can prep it and make it a quick and easy job, but I'm not buying power tools to do it.

But as Gawd is mah Witnuss, before the hot weather returns for keeps again, I will have that stinking, useless palmetto bug litterbox out of the garage, and nice, clean, open steel shelving in its place. So help me Bob Vila.

The cat disappeared for three days, but last night she came back. I'm just calling her Porch Cat for now; we don't really need a name. She's made some progress. She lets me get within a foot of her, but if I reach out a hand to touch her, she hisses. I can get within a foot of her without causing alarm, as long as I don't touch. Yet I'm still caring for Porch Cat as if there is hope that we will someday have a relationship. It's like a pathetic dating relationship, and it's a very good thing that I don't act like this with men.

P.S.: I looked outside after I wrote the above, and Porch Cat was snuggled in her bed. I offered her some of Sophie's chicken, and she didn't back away this time. I got close to her and held out my hand, and she ever-so-briefly touched her nose to my fingertip! Contact! I extended a finger to touch her, and she backed away about six inches - nope, no head scritches yet - but she didn't hiss or run. I took Sophie for her walk while the cat was in her bed, and she didn't leap up in a panic, she just watched Sophie calmly, like they are old acquaintances. Sophie walked past her, politely ignoring her. Every time I think I should give up on civilizing this cat she makes another small step, and I keep trying.


wednesday said...

I have a similar set up in the back corner of my garage. It's packed with leftover bits of plastic, metal, small hand tools, and nearly empty containers of spackle, wood glue and God knows what else from the original owners. If Home Depot was a sofa, this would be the crap under the cushions.

I have the added bonus of a husband who roots around down there about once a year and finds something useful. That means we are not allowed to throw any of it away.

Catherine said...

"If Home Depot was a sofa, this would be the crap under the cushions."
PERFECT! Standing ovation! My eyesore was mostly cleaned out, but a random assortment of hooks and old paint and 30 year old tile samples remained. I picked away at that at random over the years. Now we are down to the nitty-gritty. This isn't just the crap under the cushions. The bench itself is the kind of sofa you see abandoned on the side of the road in the country, sad, sagging, and soggy with rain. Or in this case, palmetto bug poop. I seriously need to invest in hazmat gear before the next stage, and I'm thinking about a broom and dustpan that will be thrown out with the wood itself when it's all broken down.

besshaile said...

I'd love a picture of porch cat