7 May 2007

Scherzo in the sun

(More photos in this set available at Flickr.)

On Saturday, C. and I went to a great 5 de Mayo party hosted by the former president of the board of the school he works at. Horticulture is just one of her many talents, and her garden is absolutely amazing. It includes 80 varieties of roses (!), a huge array of succulents, native California plants, and more.

I found myself lamenting the fact that my apartment only has north-facing windows, and so I get no direct sunlight in the winter and only about an hour’s worth per day in the spring and summer, which isn’t enough to really grow anything – except happy cats, it seems! I love that Scherzo has figured out how to take full advantage of whatever morning sun he can get these days.



Vespers, our lovely, fluffy, soft, cuddly, and incredibly LOUD black cat, has an unfortunate habit of sitting outside our closed bedroom door and yowling her fool head off at about a quarter of too early most mornings. She is not begging for food or water, since we feed the cats at night, nor is she clamoring to be let into the bedroom or to be petted — if we open the door and invite her in she’ll sit there and look at us like we’re space aliens, and if we try to play with her she’ll scamper away. She just wants us to be on the same side of the door as she is, which at 5 a.m. is asking a little too much of two night owls who often have work days running from 9 in the morning until 9 or 10 at night.

Keeping the bedroom door open at night is not really a workable solution, since Scherzo, our part-Russian-Blue who is still kittenish at five years old and into absolutely everything, will spend much of the night knocking things off the dresser and generally making a racket. What we really needed to do was to fit Vespers with a snooze button.

Enter our trusty friend and the cats’ worst enemy: the vacuum cleaner. C. hit upon the idea of stationing the vacuum outside the door, running the cord under the bedroom door and plugging it into an extension cord equipped with an on/off switch. When Vespers starts yowling in the morning, he flips the switch on and then quickly off again, causing the vacuum to make just enough noise to startle the cat and get her to abandon her post outside the door. This morning she started sounding reveille again a little while after we “hit snooze,” but it was from somewhere else in the apartment so it wasn’t nearly as difficult to doze through.

Now all we need to do is muffle the bathroom cabinet doors she has figured out how to repeatedly open and (loudly) shut, and Operation Reclaim Sleep will be well underway!