Monday, September 12, 2005

Fila Relays & Westlake Raccoons

I swear I didn't do much this weekend except nap on Frank's new couch and go to the Fila Relay at Zilker Park. I cheered for the Hang's Angels team: Hang, Frank, Mark Felger and Charles Sampson. Well, except Charles got called in so Jason, Hang's boyfriend, was tagged as a last minute substitute. Each member ran 2 laps totalling 2.5 miles each. The team did an awesome job! Hang averaged a 7:75 minute per mile pace. Frank ran a 7:92 minute per mile pace. Mark held an 8:22 min per mile run and Jason cleaned up with a 7:19 minute per mile! Hang and Frank, you can easily join the Green group of Austin Fit or, if you don't want to push yourselves so hard, go with the Yellow group. As for me, I was lonely on my 3 mile walk (with a tiny bit of running) on Saturday morning, so I've decided to hang with Austin Fit for the pep talk, stretching and lectures and then either go 3 miles with the walking group or strike out on my own on the trail. And I need a new shoe tag. Mine is so worn out that it keeps unsnapping and coming off my running shoe. It doesn't do any good in my purse, where it currently is living.

I'm petsitting in Westlake for two dogs and two cats. The pooches are terribly cute: a miniature pinscher that was debarked by the drug dealer she was rescued from and a chihuahua. Cupcake (the minpin) is a total sweetheart and Ellie gets so excited to see me that she almost jumps in circles. The two cats are pretty cool, too. Francis is still mostly ignoring me but Kitty meows at me and follows me around in the hopes I'll be generous with the petting (I am).

The most interesting thing about this petsitting job is the raccoons. Not that they are more fun than Cuppie, Ellie, Francis & Kitty, but these are some smart raccoons. Of course they are Westlake coons and have the advantage of a better funded school system, so I shouldn't be surprised. They have higher I.Q.'s than your average Central Texas raccoon. The cats have a new kitty door that gets locked at night when they come in. The lock is a sliding one at the bottom of the door and is does not slide easily. You really have to use a bit of force. The first time the raccoons got in, I rationalized it by saying maybe I just thought I'd locked it but didn't. the second time I made sure I had locked it and they still managed to undo it and come on in. The second time they even opened the drawer and got out the bag of cat food that I'd stowed in the small plastic cabinet after they'd chewed through it on the first visit. This morning I discovered the raccoons have now learned how to open the top of the plastic bin holding the cat food instead of messing around trying to find which drawer I'd hidden the bag in. So...tonight after I lock the cat door, I am going to booby trap the cat food. The owners have an ornamental metal set of bells, that look like an upside down candlelabra on the table by the cat food. I'm going to place the bells on top of the cat food bin and if nothing else, it may scare the bejeezus out of the raccoons when they knock it over getting into the grub. Hah! I'll admit to kind of feeling like Bill Murray chasing the elusive dancing gopher in Caddyshack.

Frank and I did take in a movie this weekend. We saw "The Transporter 2" with Jason Stratham, that yummy man. You have to love a man with a cool accent who looks awesome in a suit and likes to drive fast cars. Wait a sec, that's a description of James Bond. Ah well, love that type. The movie was entertaining. I'm waiting for the premiere of Brokeback Mountain, the story of two cowboys whose love affair spans a lifetime, with moments together stolen whenever possible. I read the novella by E. Annie Proulx, whose "The Shipping News" was turned into a pretty terrible movie (but the accents were spot on, according to my Newfie friend, Michelle). The novella was one that caught me in the first few pages and didn't let me go 'til I was on the last paragraph. Hopefully the hype for the movie will prove true and the film will do the book justice.

And how was your weekend??


Juliabohemian said...

raccoons are very very smart and capable of many complex motor skills- like opening buttons, jars, doorknobs, etc.

these are someone's pets or they are wild?

Kaya said...

These are wild raccoons. They're very experience in B&E, as evidenced again when they figured out how to get the tape off the kitty door & lock. I'd taped it hoping to keep them out of the garage/workroom so there wouldn't be a mess to clean up this morning. The bells didn't work, either. Oh well! I'm simply going to remove the food container tonight. This way, they'll only have the cats' leftovers in the bowl to get into, and wash away in the water bowl, and drip on the table, and drop on the floor....

Kaya said...

Please excuse my grammatical errors. I really do know what verb tense to use, at least most of the time. The raccoons are actually "experienced". A raccoon experience is what I've been going through!