Asides Home Ownership Rocks/Sucks Parenting

A Gate That Will Work for Us!

LittleBrother is a mover and a shaker already. I’ve been hunting a gate for our strange, top-of-stair (half-wall at an angle) installation for awhile. I found this gate a few weeks ago but wasn’t 100% certain. Until today. I found this review at GearheadMom (a blog to which I just subscribed!) and went ahead and ordered. More great things about Retract-a-Gate? Their site has the pay with PayPal option and they have a survey at the end to better help you and future customers. Look for a detailed post of installation, complete with pictures and horror stories of gates-gone-by, in a week or two. I’m sure FireDad is already THRILLED!

Home Ownership Rocks/Sucks

Time to Ask The Internetz: Stray Cats

I’m frustrated. And grumpy. And nearing the level where cussing is a possibility. You see, I love being outdoors in our yard. I love the fact that there’s room for the boys play things. I love the flowering apple tree. I love the space for BigBrother to run up and down the side yard and, thus, wear himself out before bedtime. I love to grill out all spring, summer, fall and sometimes in the winter. And I love, love, love growing and admiring my flowers.

In our front yard, next to the front porch, I have a flower bed. This is where I try my hand at roses that never quite turn out like my own mother’s beautiful rosebushes. Underneath these roses you will find a layer of mulch. And in this mulch you will find…


NO STRAY CATSFor some reason, our neighborhood is full of stray cats. And of course, by some reason, I mean that our neighbors don’t seem to understand that outdoor cats are really only for barns. Not for your yard in a suburban neighborhood. What originally started out as two stray cats has now jumped to the number five. FIVE stray cats. FIVE. One recently had kittens but I believe they were given to people who would actually, you know, care for their pets.

This is what I don’t get. Why bother with pets if you’re not going to care for them? Sticking a bowl of water and food (which is also eaten by skunks, rabbits and deer round these parts) isn’t “caring” for them in the way that pets are meant be cared for; they deserve more. They deserve to be played with but you and I both know that petting a stinky, scraggly, outdoor cat is not exactly fun or sanitary. So, they don’t get their daily pet. They get in fights with one another. They get knocked up and create more stray cats. It’s great. It’s the never-ending circle of life in my flipping flower bed.

It was awful last summer. We couldn’t go too far in our one side yard because it became a hot spot for cat poop. As I was pregnant, I couldn’t touch the stuff for fear of toxoplasmosis. Yum, right. While pruning back my rosebushes just the other day, I pulled up some of last summer’s, uh, fertilizer. And if you know anything about cat urine or feces, it smells awful. And imagine the hot summer sun on it to boot. Awful. Even better? The cat(s) have sprayed just about everything in our yard including our air conditioner. Mm, lovely.

I’m tired of it. We worked hard to get the yard that we have. We have fought with neighbor children to stop knocking over our table and chairs and, I believe, knock on wood, we may have won that battle. But how do I get people to take care of their cats. The dog pound doesn’t do anything for stray cats. So what is a family to do? It’s not safe. It’s not sanitary. And, OMG, STOP EATING MY FLOWERS, YOU NASTY CATS!

For the record, we did have that pet-safe repellent in our yard for one month last summer. Doesn’t work very well.

What would you do? Because while I am/was a cat lover, I am angry. This is my yard. MY YARD. GET OUT! (And yes, we’re buying new mulch as soon as possible. Ew. Ew. Ew.)