Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's Always Something ...

I have a confession to make. It takes us forever to get out of the house to shoot a distant cat show. There is always something unexpected that throws a wrench into our exquisitely planned-to-the-minute (and unrealistically optomistic) schedule of things to do before we can leave home. And since we essentially BUILD our shooting table and studio at the cat show, there is a lot to do.

Once, it was our Black British Shorthair, Nox, whom we could not find (counting kitty noses, you know) before we set the alarm and closed the front door. We looked all over the house. With a flashlight -- he was nowhere. Finally, I resorted to opening all the doors in the house ... cabinet doors, linen closet doors, you name it. We found him .. asleep in one of the kitchen cabinets which had a spring hinge that closed the cabinet door after him. Nox was a happy camper but we were over an hour behind schedule.

Another incident was my notebook computer. Two days we worked on it, right before leaving to drive cross country to a show, to get it to burn a CD, but it refused. Finally, we bought another after putting the recalcitrant offender into the shop for repair.

Today was another example of events conspiring to set us behind. One event was a new Lenovo notebook computer we got as a show computer to be able to handle the load of images from the new Canon EOS 5D Mark II at the show. Ken spent two days downloading applications, checking to see they worked, and trying out all peripherals. Then he couldn't burn a CD. Spent more time talking to Tech Support. Nada. End result: Shipped back to Lenovo for repair. The first Tech Support person told us to get a CD from Fry's and reload the operating system. Ha!

The second event has nothing to do with electronics. Winter is the time of year that squirrels in our part of the country are looking to find a nice warm place to sleep or have babies. Our attic must be a 5-star hotel in that respect, as we've had squirrels in our attic before. If they didn't chew the electrical wiring, conduct Santa Anita races above our heads, and urinate in the insulation, I wouldn't mind sharing the space. But they do. And they have. Our cats are the "tell" -- when they start looking up at the ceiling, I know we have a problem.

We have 2 "Have a Heart" traps which are set in our attic. This morning, all feline heads were pointed toward the ceiling in our bedroom. Ken and I looked at each other, knowing what that meant. Two hours out of our schedule, down the drain -- not even creating something new like a display of our photos for cat shows -- but rescuing a frightened squirrel who only wanted a warm place to sleep ... ur, and race around and possibly raise a family. Sigh. So we began.

Move the photo table in the studio which obstructs the stairs to the attic. Get gloves to handle the cage. Clear out the car for the re-homing squirrel trip and line it with newspaper just in case Mr. Squirrel was kind enough not to empty his bladder in our insulation. Move the cats to the front of the house just in case they decided to try to climb a ladder to the attic in their old age. (The Maine Coons are very adventurous.) Did I mention that going into the attic makes Ken's skin crawl? It freaks him out. He's so tall that the roofing nails scrape his head and with no floor, he has to pick his way carefully. Not a pleasant experience even without a squirrel trapped. But we didn't have a choice. You can't leave a squirrel trapped in a cage. So Ken bit the bullet. The squirrel was pretty quiet during the physical transportation process from the attic to the studio but once he and Ken were out the front door, he smelled "freedom." This made him kind of crazy until he was put in the car. A new experience, scary but not painful. We drove him to a large park with lots of squirrels, trees, and a large duck pond about three miles from home.

I should have brought my camera for the "release" but I was too worried about Mr. Squirrel and his feelings to even think about it. Once Ken opened the trap, the squirrel ran straight for a stand of trees about half a football field away.

Happy Squirrel. Happy Flicks. Now, late Flicks.


  1. LOL! I guess there are lots of us who find "something happens" just as we're trying to leave. Lucky squirrel -- to be trapped by folks who "catch and release". Love your writing as well as your cat photography.

  2. Oh my! This was a wonderful tale. I'm a few months late finding it, but am sure glad I did. You tell Ken that attics freak me out, too, and I think he is a true hero for going into the dark, spooky, dangerous regions to rescue Mr. Squirrel. This has the makings of a great child's tale. Love your photographic work. It is pure genius.