Wednesday, May 28 2014
For the past eight months or so, Eleanor has gradually been developing a tumor on her left flank. Gretchen had been content to consider a wart for a long time, but in the last month or so it had started growing more rapidly and assumed an angry red hue. I'd been treating it with Chelidonium sap, but this afternoon she had an appointment to have the tumor examined by a professional: the Hurley vet. He looked at it and said that he couldn't be certain whether or not it was malignant, but that it should probably be removed. During a more general examination of Eleanor, one of the techs had noticed that one of Eleanor's nails was broken off and hanging by a string, so the vet sprayed some local anæsthetic on the toe and jerked the nail off with a pair of forceps, having first put Eleanor in a cute little blue muzzle.
Our next destination was the ugly commercial zone north of Kingston along Route 9W. Gretchen and I have been in the market for at least one cat since losing Nigel last summer. And since losing Marie (aka "the Baby") several months ago, we've been in the market for two cats. Not that we haven't tried to get replacements, but they've all decided they hate it here and escaped. In the process of trying to get those cats, we've managed to alienate the most respectable local providers of rescue cats. So today we went cat shopping at PetSmart out on 9W. There's a rescue cat section in the back supplied by cats from a shelter way out in Delhi (if I remember correctly). The idea today was to look for two cats that already had some sort of relationship with each other so that they could keep each other company during the acclimation phase and provide an instant coalition for interacting with and countering the vested feline interests in our house (which, to some extent at least, jealously guard their exclusivity in our household).
The woman in charge of the PetSmart cat room was very helpful and very round. We took an immediate interest in a white-and-tabby male named Habañero and his cage-companion Truffles (a black female). Habañero was one of those cats with a lot of extra claws on each paw; in his case he had what looked like a whole other additional paw comprised of three toes, each complete with claws (some of which were somehow webbed). The body-horror kind of skeeved me out a bit, though I figured it was something I could grow to love. Both cats were kittens, the oldest being Habañero, who was about a year old. They were let out of their cage to run around the cat room (which delighted them) while Gretchen filled out the application forms.
While in the 9W area, we went shopping at a number of stores in hopes of finding replacements for our increasingly cracked & chipped collection of cereal bowls (out of which we eat a good fraction of our food). We started in Home Goods (which I'd never been in before), got some tofu at Mother Fucking Earth, checked out the selection at Marshalls, and finally endured the potpourri-saturated smellscape of Bed, Bath & Beyond. None of these stores had suitable bowls, though we found some intriguing pastas in Home Goods and a replacement measuring cup in Marshall's.
Our next destination was the Wednesday Farmers' Market in Woodstock, where Aba's Falafel would be making its first Woodstock appearance of the year. Since I was driving and I'd ventured out to Route 209 via Enterprise (past the relics of the old cold war IBM campus), I decided to try to find my way to Woodstock using backroads, starting with Neighborhood Road on the north side of US 209. After getting stuck briefly in the vicinity of the previously-unknown M. Clifford Miller Middle School, I somehow made it to Sawkill Road, which is a fairly direct route to Woodstock (though the route seemed unusually long and wildernessy today).
It had been cloudy and cool (with temperatures in the 50s or lows 60s) all day, yet for some reason (optimism? warm weather inertia?) I'd gone set tpday in a teeshirt, shorts, and flip flops. For some reason, though, this didn't make me too miserable as Gretchen and I ate our delicious falafel pitas in that small park near downtown Woodstock. We had the dogs on leashes and had gone off to eat beneath a massive tree far from all the people (and the not-so-good live folk music). This allowed us to turn our dogs loose so we could eat without also having to somehow secure leashes. Far worse than the unseasonal chill was, in this order: my full bladder, the occasionally spasms of pain from a molar in the right top of my mouth that no dentist has successfully diagnosed (and which twangs me increasingly whenever I am eating), and concerns that the dogs (who had wandered off to the southeast corner of the park) might be getting into trouble. There were a couple porta-potties and not much cover for those who didn't want to use them, but I found a perfect spot in a clump of tree trunks for me to successfully pull off a public urination.
On our way out of the park, the falafel woman gave Gretchen a big bag of strips of pita bread that had been removed from pitas in order to easily open them and make sandwiches. Part of the thing that makes Aba's Falafel so great is the genuine Isræli pita, which it otherwise impossible to find in the United States.
Later, while Gretchen was chatting with some other vegan food vendors in a different part of the market, Eleanor seemed to want to get friendly with a Husky puppy. So I indulged her. But I was wrong; Eleanor had apparently wanted to attack the puppy instead. Given how uncalled for Eleanor's behavior had been, I was surprised how unfazed the Husky's human mother was. Eleanor is usually a sweet dog, but every now and then she pulls a stunt like that. She's very loyal and has the security obsessions of Doomsday Prepper, and perhaps she can smell malevolence in others far more easily than anyone else can.
It was so cool this evening that Gretchen actually added a stick of real wood to the cardboard fire in the woodstove.
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