I had a day, yesterday. I could easily have use any of these alternative titles: I Wonder Why the Kodak and Bob the Wonder Computer Aren't On Speaking Terms; Mommy, Why Is There Black Tar Heroin On the Oven Floor?; and Me, a Kitty, and the Burrowing Alien Critter of Doom.
Yes, I had a day.
It started well enough - Little Bit, one of the yard cats, brought her babies up to the front door for inspection. She sat a little distance away while I played with them, and they gave me kisses and wrestled with my hand and were generally so freakin' cute I nearly fell over and died on the spot.
Paralyzing cuteness effective up to fifty paces.
You are getting sleepy...sleeeepy....
I shot ninety-nine photos of the kittens, the yard cats, the cool spider web and beautiful spider on the porch rail. Eventually, I had to come inside - sweet little furlings or no, I had things to do with the day.
Tell the Gods your plans and listen to them laugh.
The camera would not load photos onto Bob the Wonder Computer. I kept getting error messages. Error messages full of words like "cannot read" and "corrupt file". I had a problem. It was one of two things - hardware or software. Duh. If software, I can reload after saving everything in the program. Bummer, but not too difficult. If hardware, it was either the camera, the dock, or the computer. I have, somewhere in all this mess, a spare dock. Replacing one of the other two? Would make me cry. A lot.
I didn't have time to figure it out just then - the day was calling, and I'd already spent too much time on it.
Later, after a grocery run, I thought I'd clean the oven. It's one of those self-cleaning deals. It wanted cleaning because the night before I'd tried to make blueberry bread and had an epic fail. I'm sure it was baker's error - the recipe is clear, concise, easy. The pan overflowed and spilled batter and crumb-topping stuff on the oven floor. It looked a little messy, but not too bad - certainly not as bad as it's been in there. I figured I'd crank it up and let 'er rip. Um...yeah...about that...
See...sugar and butter? Turns out they're flammable. Yep. Smoke poured out of the oven through the vent pipe and the door, quickly filling the house, acrid, burning our eyes, making us cough. Off went the oven, up went windows, on went the one oscillating fan we own. T and me wet towels and wrapped them around our faces after we sent Bird downstairs so his asthma wouldn't be triggered. We looked like weird, drippy bandits with pink eye.
After a while, the smoke stopped flowing from the oven, but we couldn't open it to see what was going on - safety feature, it locks and stays locked until it's cooled down.
Meanwhile, I noticed one of the yard kittens on the back steps. I alerted T, who'd been worrying about one that went missing, he paid her a visit...and she didn't run away. Odd. She was one of the batch that are particularly shy. He came back inside to report something was wrong with her. Huh. He thought I should go look because I'm better at these things...diagnosing feral kitty ailments is a hobby of mine...or, you know, not...but I went on out to check on the beastie.
Reader, skip the next few paragraphs if you're squeamish. No, really. Ok, you were warned. The little furball let me pick her up, seeming relieved to have someone in charge. I checked her over. Chest and neck were bald...the hair had been rubbed away, probably from incessant licking. There was crusty crud in the fur to the sides of her chest and neck. There was...WHAT THE HELL IS THAT???...ahem...there was what could have been a large infected spot on her neck...only it was wriggling and pulsing in a manner very unlike an infection and much more like a parasite. Oh. Joy. With a couple of paper towels and a stomach of caste iron, I managed to remove the WHAT THE HELL IS THAT??...ahem...alien grub looking thing, which T put into a baggie at my request. I decided the wee beastie needed a vet trip.
The only problem? I have no money...can't even roll quarters to pay the vet. I have pocket lint. But...I went anyway. Said a prayer to any Gods or Saints who care for animals that I'd be taking her to people with compassion who would help for the animal's sake. I put her in a box, grabbed the WHAT THE HELL IS THAT???...ahem...wriggling blob of "oh, ick", and sped off to the vet's, leaving T to finish herding the smoke out of the house and keep an eye on Bird.
The vet's office didn't look the furball over, but they did tell me what the WHAT THE HELL IS THAT??...ahem...alien implant gone wrong...really was - A Wolf Worm.
Only our was much bigger, the size of my thumb. I totally stole the photo, because I didn't think to photograph ours before the vet-tech claimed it as some kind f horrible prize...or maybe they just figured I wouldn't want it back, not being bloggers who like to gross out their readers whenever they can. Whatever.
I was advised to keep the kitten in a clean, dry place (hello? It lives in my yard...and the Georgia outdoors isn't notorious for being either clean or dry), keep the wound clean, and it'd be fine.
No one there wanted a kitten, but they did offer to list her on their website to see if anyone was interested. Sigh. I brought her home and crated her until I could find her a home or she's healed enough to put back outside. Want a cat?
He had a blast, I chatted about some story ideas and hashed out some potential plot lines with my friends, and we cam home...where I knew I had to face the music.
I opened it, removed the racks, and suddenly knew how black tar heroin is made.
I have started cleaning the oven. It will take a while - I don't have a chisel or Dremmel tool or hydrochloric acid, and my sponge is seriously considering a change in venue - it thinks toilet duty sounds good right about now. I may never get the oven clean, and if I do get it clean, it may not work properly. Pray for me.
So...tired of cleaning the poor oven, covered in soot and little flecks of black, sticky, greasy, dear Goddess will this come off or do I have a strange new tattoo on my hand...I decided it was time to see if Bob the Wonder Computer and the Kodak had made up.
Lo and behold...they had! Huzzah!! The pictures I took earlier today are forever gone, alas (and there were some really good ones, too), but the ones I took this afternoon and evening loaded fine - they're what you see above (except the icky alien worm thing from Hell, which photo I found on the Interwebz but can't remember where).
On the positive side - computer, camera, and dock are all fine and functioning happily together again (software hiccups can be forgiven, I think, as long as they don't happen too often), the little furball is playing merrily in the crate, wrestling with the towel I put down for bedding - she's eaten dry cat food and drunk fresh water and seems no worse for the wear, and good grief, how dang cute can a critter be??
The negative side - I still have a lot of oven cleaning to do, and it may be all for naught because the oven may be dead...and that means there will be no baking at Casa de Crazy for a very long time because I have no way to replace it and I don't think Bread Baking Incidents are covered on the homeowner's policy. Also, the house smells just like you'd think the scorched innards of an oven covered in burnt sugar/butter/possibly Jimmy Hoffa's remains would smell.
Oh, well...life goes on...and it was just one day. Right? Right?? Hey, where's everybody going???