beth_bernobich: red mushroom (sparkle kitties)
As you know, I have a cat named Fig. (See icon with her and her brother Boris.) Now, Fig is a very prim cat—a short-haired, dark gray tabby with neat white paws and a disapproving expression. One very un-cat-like thing about her is that she has almost no interest in treats. Unlike Octavia, she doesn't beg for chicken or fish, and if presented with a bit of steak, will gaze at it curiously before she wanders off.

But this past week, we've discovered that she loves Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream. No, not just loves, she goes wild when she smells it, honking and purring and batting at Rob's hand until he relents and lets her lick out the cup after he's done.

Rob's comment was that if he had to guess her favorite flavor, he would have guessed Hood brand plain vanilla. That got me thinking: was it this particular flavor? The B&J brand? Or had Fig suddenly decided she likes ice cream? (She never wanted any before.)

So, the experiment. I think we need to buy a couple different flavors of B&J. No chocolate, of course, but say, vanilla and coffee. If she likes either of those, we can try her with a different name brand, then maybe a store brand variety.

I'll report back with the results.

dear fig

Nov. 28th, 2011 12:46 pm
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (facepalm)
Thank you for the 2AM wake-up call. I don't know how you managed to 1) activate my iTouch, 2) switch the app from youtube to music, 3) change the current playlist from quiet piano concertos to rock music, and 4) turn up the volume WAY LOUD, but I suppose such skills are part of being a cat.

Yrs,
She Who Tends All Your Needs

P.S. And don't think I missed the mess you made, drinking from my water glass.
P.P.S. Locking you in the basement at night is *always* an option.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (Default)
In no particular order...

  • We sold our house in Bethany, and so far, everything is on track for a closing on November 18th.

  • Unfortunately, the house we wanted to buy had too many problems, including rotted siding, a substandard electrical system, and mold in the basement. That's just for starters.

  • However, we have found a rental house that allows pets. It's not cheap, but it's close to our jobs. We can spend the winter there, then resume our house search in the spring.

  • The job is going reasonably well, considering.

  • Matt continues to love college, and has snagged his first set of part-time jobs.

  • In the book world, Fox & Phoenix is in the bookstores, I'm all done with Queen's Hunt until it launches, and I'm about 2/3 through the first draft for Allegiance, which is currently on hold until we move. Nadine is annoyed with me, because she wants her BIG SMOOCHY scene set into words. Ilse is annoyed with me, because she wants the same for her *MAJOR SPOILER* scene.

  • The cats are annoyed with us. I suspect they will be even more annoyed when they realize we are moving twice in one year.

  • And as some of you know, I'm stressed over various things, but I am hoping to find solutions to some problems, and maybe that will make the other problems easier to deal with.

beth_bernobich: red mushroom (cat on a wire)
...are filled with a never-ending list of things I simply must accomplish. This time around, the list includes:

  • Review at least 100 pages from the galleys. My goal is to finish reading by next Friday so I have the weekend to figure out which changes are real ones, and which are me tweaking the text for the sake of tweaking the text.

  • Prep the next installment of my low-key promo posts.

  • Get a haircut.

  • Figure out what else we need to do before we list our house for sale.

  • Pack a quantity of small items to ship to M at college

  • Plus lots and lots of housework chores, including cleaning the carpet where Fig has been demonstrating her displeasure with Octavia with a series of wet, smelly presents.
beth_bernobich: Beak Bird (Beak Bird)
We got our power back late Wednesday afternoon and celebrated by turning on the lights and running the dishwasher. And just in time, because I have my Locus interview to go over, a guest blog post to polish up, and there's the small matter of finishing this current novel.

my cats...

Jun. 17th, 2011 03:18 pm
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (cat on a wire)
Octavia: less trouble than a monkey

Fig: tolerant, except when she's not
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (cat on a wire)
O: MROW!MROW!MROW! WANT VISIT! STOP COMPUTER! VISIT NOW IN BEDROOM! MROW!MROW!MROW!

Me: Okay, fine. Let me pick you up.

O: YAY! I LOVE THIS. OOOOOO. YOU'RE...rubbing my chestomgiloveit... *purrs*

*I carry a purring cat downstairs and into the bedroom where I attempt to set her carefully on the bed*

O: HEY! BEDROOM!!! YAY! WAIT!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING???? OMG! YOU'RE PUTTING ME ON THE BED! HELP! HELP! I'M BEING OPPRESSED! LET ME GO SO I CAN STAND ON THE BED!

Me: Hey, stop fighting....

*Octavia hooks a few claws through my flesh, howls, and escapes under the bed*

Me: YOU STUPID CAT THAT HURT! Fine. Be that way.

*binds wounds, takes up book and reads, grumbling all the while*

Two minutes later...

O: HI! I'M BACK. DID YOU MISS ME? OMG! BED! VISIT! THIS IS GREAT! PET ME!!!!!

*she curls up into a cute fluffy ball*

*I sigh and scratch her behind the ears*

Me: Did you ever consider we could skip the panic, clawing, and yelling part?

O: *purr*
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (facepalm)
Octavia hates the snow. She wants to go outside and explore, but that icky cold white stuff has blocked off all her favorite haunts. Recently she's ventured onto the porch for a couple minutes and sniffed around before bolting back inside. Today...

Today was different.

The yard is still two and three feet deep in frozen snow, but today Octavia ventured beyond the porch. Way beyond. Like, around the back of the house and onto the roof. Normally she can't get up there. However, after Rob and Matt cleared off vast sections of the roof, we had enormous piles snow outside our two back doors. She climbed up the frozen mass, hopped into the roof, then couldn't figure out how to get down.

There were several different ways this adventure could have ended, most of them bad. (Falling off the roof, getting stuck between the patio door and the snow, refusing to come down until dark, etc.)

Eventually she made her way over to the front of the house and my office window. And she did that without slipping down the frozen snow. She is inside again, complaining bitterly about the weather.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (cat on a wire)
I'm glad to hear that NYC and NJ escaped the worst of the snow. Here in Connecticut?

My second floor office window has an 18-inch drift resting against the glass. Our sunroom has snow up to the windows, with drifts a foot higher. The front door drift measures over three feet. Fig has resigned herself to another nap, but Octavia *really* wanted outside. Luckily the kitchen porch was almost clear, so we laid a couple floor tiles for her to sit on. She played with the snow a couple minutes, then decides, "Okay, that was fun, but I want back inside now."

Kits asleep. Time for writing.

Sekrit Project is going well. I'm fleshing out the outline and fixing various plot points. The middle section, as usual, consists of five chapters labeled "yay! adventure! plus more stuff!" but I hope to change that by the end of the week. Then it's back to writing real prose.
beth_bernobich: petal twigs (petal twigs)
...of writing and life...

Copyedits for Queen's Hunt have arrived. This time around, I'm not going through the same massive anxiety attack that Passion Play visited upon me. Yay!

Job hunting. Because it's great to have five more books under contract, but there are college bills looming on the horizon.

Taking my car to the garage. Again. Because someone (not me) is still learning how to *safely* back out of our garage.

Refereeing the cats. Octavia has decided she ought to be alpha cat. Instead of the dance of the Ferocious Kitten, she's initiated a few showdowns, which for a cat means lots of hissing and posturing and making threatening noises. Unfortunately for her, she doesn't sound very threatening. As Rob phrased it, she sounds as though she has an air leak. So far, Fig just whacks her once or twice, but I foresee a real battle fairly soon.

Fretting over a few key plot points in ALLEGIANCE. I need to find someone with time and patience to help me brainstorm and poke at the plot to make sure it holds up.

And some promo items coming up:

On December 8th, I'll be participating in a Q&A about Passion Play on Dirty Sexy Books.

On December 15th, I'll be reading at the KGB Fantastic Fiction series. (Details here.)

And some point in the next week or two I will be guest blogger on Stephanie Dray's blog, as well as participating in the The Page 69 Test. There's also an interview with The Hathor Legacy, but I don't know when that goes live.

ETA: The Page 69 Test for Passion Play went live this morning.

ETA: And my post about The Magic of History is up.

today...

Sep. 30th, 2010 08:42 am
beth_bernobich: obsessing (obsessing)
...will be a case study in managing two cats who are stuck inside because of heavy rains. I predict open warfare within the next hour. (Either that, or Fig will decide the rain is better than dealing with a bouncing Octavia.)
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (Black Cat)
My life revolves around writing ALLEGIANCE and petting the cats . Also, watching this video (nicked from [livejournal.com profile] haddayr):



Anyone have some splendid news to share? Something cool or funny or weird they came across?
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (cat on a wire)
This week in Octavia's world, she:

Stood up to the evil orange cat from next door. Much noise. No contact. Orange cat was last spotted slinking away in shame.

Killed an enormous mouse and gave it to us. I appreciate that she didn't disembowel this one.

Yelled at the rain to stop. Of course she blamed me when that didn't work.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (siamese)
...discovered the pool cover can't hold her weight. She's okay, but she came *scrambling* inside this morning, soaking wet and completely panicked. I finally caught her and rubbed her down with a towel. The poor thing was shivering. She didn't go completely under—her head was dry—but that water is icy cold.

We think we know what happened. See, in the winter, the cover sits on the frozen water, so maybe she got used to crossing the pool when she liked. With the rain we've had, the pool water melted, and more rain water pulled the cover beneath the surface. However, a couple days ago, Rob drained off the excess water and refastened the cover so that it was dry and stretched smooth.

I imagine she won't make that mistake again.
beth_bernobich: balloon heart (balloon heart)
...though greatly distracted by christmas shopping and finishing up edits for queen's hunt. (the last i *will* finish up this weekend even if it means i get no sleep.)

another absolutely fabulous quote came in for passion play, this one from l.a. banks. *falls over ded*

octavia went to the vet this morning for her neutering. the vet called me at noon to exclaim over octavia's pink toes and fluffy tail. after that she gave me the medical low-down. octavia came through just fine. in our vet's opinion, she was bouncing back like a tiny lightning ball.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (cat on a wire)
Octavia went for her third set of distemper booster shots. In two months, she goes back for neutering, but she's done with shots until next year.

Her weight is 3lb. 3oz., up 10oz. from three weeks ago. According to the vet, most kittens her age weigh around 4lb., so though she's got Maine Coon blood, she will be a tiny picture of one.

Small does not mean slow. Or unable to leap high surfaces at a single bound.

Nor does it mean that Fig can intimidate her. Octavia pounces. Fig swats her away, but Octavia merely backs up a step or two and crouches, ready to pounce again.

Speaking of Fig, she will now tolerate the kit at closer range. They often will sleep on the same couch, and we now shut them into the sun room together at night. Which means they are actually sharing the litter box.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (siamese)
The past two days have been frustrating, annoying, and expensive. Short version: the shower control broke and basement flooded. (One did not cause the other, but they were distantly related.) Luckily I avoided being electrocuted by the standing water/extension cord combination.

Anyway, tedious and frustrating. Also, no writing.

But!

At some point, after a long bout using the shop vac in the basement, I sat down with a cold beer, a good book (Dawn, by Octavia Butler), and the kitten, who needed attention. And I realized that kittens do make things better.

Pictures of Octavia )
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (cat on a wire)
The positive events: Fig has consented to sniff Octavia's nose a couple times. She will even stay in the same room, as long as Octavia doesn't get too close. Once or twice, she's tolerated the kitten on the same chair.

The not-so-positive events: Fig hisses and growls. Once, she swatted Octavia (but with no claws). And many times when she won't come inside if Octavia is in sight. What probably annoys her the most is that Octavia isn't bothered by the hissing. She doesn't approach Fig, but she doesn't go away.

The funny events: Both of them are playing silly dominance games. Fig eats Octavia's food. Octavia drinks from Fig's water bowl. Both of them take turns coveting the pillow in the bedroom. No one is fooled by their innocent airs.

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