March 2, 2006 – From watching cable TV stations and deleting spam offers on our computer, I thought I had heard of every far-out product offer there was. Then Jo Ann came in from a visit to the vet with our 18-year-old longhaired domestic house cat P.K., with a device to correct a bad habit she has developed in recent months. To put it bluntly she has been pooping on the carpet in the unused bedroom wing of the house.
The designated spot for her litter box has long been the unused front foyer. The front door is not often accessible, due to the red wood slat fence that surrounds the swimming pool in the front el of the house. The carport door opens into the den and kitchen and dining area, so it works out to use that entry.
She shares her facility with a Mexican chest used to store Christmas decorations and such, two black metal baker’s racks filled mostly with books and several hanging and sitting houseplants under a skylight, which also serves as a passage way from the main part of the house and the master bedroom at the front.
We realized that she was probably in the early stages of senior dementia or such, but we couldn’t confine her to one area because closing all the doors interfered with the heating and cooling. That wouldn’t matter except that the bathroom Jo Ann calls hers and the laundry room are also affected.
The device that is supposed to help this misbehavior on P.K.’s part is a little diffuser with a small tank that plugs into an electrical outlet. It is supposed to emit the aroma of the cat’s mother and thereby, reassure her and remove any anxieties that may be causing her aberrant behavior.
Jo Ann said it was supposed to be placed where the cat spends most of her time, so it went in our bedroom. I confessed to Jo Ann that I didn’t notice any new smell. She agreed, but pointed out that P.K. had not “misbehaved” since she installed the device.
I admit to still suffering from the sticker price of $42 for the device, with monthly refills pegged at $22. But that is probably much less than a nursing home would charge, if we were to go that route.
•Those of us who made it to dialysis on Saturday of the winter storm weekend seemed to be getting a big break. They were cutting running time on the machines to three hours rather than the usual four or five hours, so everyone could get home before the storm really hit.
Many failed to get off the accumulated fluid in that time and were being advised to come in on Monday for an extra session. I had formulated my response should I not get enough off; I was scheduled for surgery on the cataract in my left eye on Monday. But I didn’t get to give my response. My dry weight in kilos is 88, and I had come in at 89.9. When I weighed out, the scales hit 87.5 kilos, which translates to 192.5 pounds, a translation I can now usually make in my mind, if I can remember that there are 2.2 kilos in a pound.
•The only problem we had with the winter storm on Saturday was that Jo Ann’s wipers on her black Four-Runner seemed to have frozen on the way home. Both were only making contact in two small strips.
We drove in snow flurries, which turned into rain, as we got further south. That was when the wipers froze. I turned the air control dial to defrost and by the time we pulled into the Sonic in Bruce for a vanilla milk shake I had been craving for weeks, the wipers thawed out and completely cleared the windshield.
When we got home we decided it was time for the gas logs in the den, no matter how much gas we used, and settled in for a long evening watching the Olympics.
•We finally got to make our donation to the Mississippi Democrat Party. Back in December Jo Ann had mailed a check in a preprinted envelope to an address in Washington. It came back marked “unclaimed.”
I was telling Tupelo attorney Jim Hugh Ray at a dinner party about the letter, and he reminded me of what Will Rogers had said, “I am not a member of an organized political party. I am a Democrat.”
“I believe it,” I agreed. In January I called Sam Hall, new communications director for the state party, and he gave me a Jackson address.
We received a package from the party with membership cards signed by Wayne Dowdy and Yellow Dog Democrat buttons and bumper stickers. It’s better to do business with homefolks.