Squirl Overheat 2: HEY STELLA

I knew the squirrel was out there in the blinding heat. The dogs were mostly oblivious, since DINNER eclipses most if not all of their brainspace whenever it rolls around. I did not relish the thought of taking them outside, but I relished the thought of their eventual bowel-emptying on carpet even less. Besides, I reasoned, it was too damn hot for the squirrel to make mischief.

A little voice in the back of my head did pipe up to tell me those little fuckers could cause mischief on the surface of the sun, for Christ’s sake, and who did I think I was kidding? So I checked and rechecked my footwear, said a small prayer to whatever gods protect one from arboreal rodents, and thought long and hard about going outside armed. The Sekrit Weapon was downstairs, but I am never more than arm’s length away from anything that can be used to wallop an intruder. I fretted over whether to grab a broom, a bokken, a shinai, one of the katanas…well, there were shovels out in the shed, maybe…you get the idea.

Miss B pushed at the back of my knees, insistently, and Odd Trundles did not understand why I wasn’t opening the door so he could prance outside and Do His Business. He began making a noise somewhere between a whine and a groan, his very own I-gotta-go cry. So I cautiously opened the door, stepped out into heat that smelled (and felt) like the inside of a feverish hobo’s mouth, and followed the dogs as they scrambled for the stairs. I tried to look everywhere at once, and though I had just about talked myself out of the need to be armed I still grabbed the (empty) watering can from the table. A fuzzy idea of splashing a squirrel to dissuade it drifted through my head and away, because that was when the noise started.


I can only surmise the damn squirrel was heat-crazed. Because it darted down from the tree near the deck, yelling for Stella, and boomed across the yard, straight for B and Odd, who had begun snuffling just downhill of the shade-garden boxes. Miss B froze, perplexed for a few split seconds. While she is perfectly comfortable attempting to herd a whole battalion of tree-rats, having one attempt to herd her is Not Quite The Thing, as we used to say. Especially since she had been looking forward to a nice leisurely evacuation of her lower intestine. Dogs are creatures of habit, and first comes the dinner, then comes the clearing of space for said dinner to digest, world without end, amen. So, Miss B stood, head cocked, looking down the barrel of a one-squirrel banzai charge.

Odd, for once, was quicker on the uptake. Or maybe he just wasn’t troubled by any thoughts of role reversal or manners. All he knew was that there was a NEW FRIEND coming to greet him, and the pressure in his abdomen could be ignored for a bit while he attended to this marvelous, wonderful development.

I love that dog, but he does not make good decisions.

Miss B: *still staring, mildly perplexed*
Odd Trundles: NEWFRIEND! *snortwhistle* NEWFRIEND NEWFRIEND! *snortwhistleshart*

Yes, friends and neighbors, Odd was so excited his wriggle turned into a scamper directly for the NEWFRIEND, a scamper that squeezed his peristalsis into overdrive, a scamper that had a brown streak at one end. It exploded forth, impelled by Odd’s sheer glee.

The problem, alas, was that Miss B was right behind him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a leap quite like the one she performed to avoid the, erm, blowback. Straight up, her limbs splaying, almost catlike in its fluid authority. Unfortunately, her landing was a bit less than graceful, and she yelped.

Kowalski!Squirl: STELLAAAAA!
Odd Trundles: NEWFRIEND! *shartwhistlesnortbark*

And what, you may ask, was I doing during this? Simple: I was on the deck, staring, with my mouth slightly agape, an empty, green, plastic watering can dangling from my hand. I hadn’t even made it to the stairs.

This takes much longer to tell than the event needed to transpire. So, just to set the scene: there was an airborne squirrel, airborne poo, and an airborne Australian shepherd all at once. I was inhaling, about to yell something stupid (like “OH MY GOD *Odd Trundles’s full name* YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING…”) when time sped up with a snap. Miss B staggered sideways. Kowalski!Squirl hung in the air over Odd’s back for slightly longer, but when he touched down, well, that was when the real fun began.


Canine Cocoanut Chew

chew crow

I generally put a mat down for my office door, more as a threshold reminder that here is where the work is than to clean off anyone’s shoes. Odd Trundles has this…habit, I suppose you’d call it?–of chewing them up. He tore my old skull-and-crossbones mat right in half, then tried to consume its replacement as well. I thought a cocoanut-fibre mat would dissuade him, but he just thinks it’s a colon cleanse, when he’s not using it to scratch his paws. (Read: tearing at it with all four feet as if it’s personally offended him.)

Miss B will watch him attempting to disassemble and consume the mat with the air of a woman watching a man too old for a skateboard attempt a steep hill. I scold when I catch him at it, and pick the saliva-dripping bits of none-edible cocoanut parts from his slavering jaws. He, of course, thinks it’s petting time and a great game. Much happy, many slobber.

All things considered, the mat is holding up well. But I’m thinking I should pick it up and put it somewhere out of Odd’s reach when I leave the house. He might run out of paper bags.


Lammas, At Speed

gambit2 WELL HELLO EVERYONE. Was your weekend good? Mine involved Miss B taking out my left knee on my way up the stairs after a hard morning’s run, enough laundry to fill my bedroom, and assorted chores that made sure I now need a few days to recover from the damn weekend.

But it’s Lammas, and I have work to do. Including getting more kibble for the canines, so they don’t get any ideas about the meat I’m made of. I know they would refrain from eating me until I started to stink, but the cats wouldn’t even wait for me to stop breathing to eat my face.

Yeah. These are the things I think about. So it’s probably for the best I go gather something tasty to fill their bowls.

I did take Miss B running this morning, too. I used speed to distract her, because if she’s keeping up she doesn’t agility-test me nearly as much. Consequently my knee is twinging, and I am not looking forward to schlepping gigantic bags of kibble around. I never ask the people at the pet store to carry things out for me, but I just might today.

Other than that, there’s The Marked revisions to do, and serious thinking about my next project, and a couple of short stories to polish before I send them out. I suppose I’ll have to move so fast the rest of the day can’t throw pain at me disguised as training, right? Right?

*cracks knuckles* May your Lammas be happy, and may you out-think any ghosts trying to trick you.

The Chewing Tree

Gnaw gnaw gnaw.
Gnaw gnaw gnaw.

Something is masticating this very large fir tree. Miss B has to investigate the marks thoroughly each time we pass. It’s set alongside an elementary school, but the marks reach way higher than even the most steroidal sixth-grader. The tree itself seems to still be healthy, so I’m hopeful.

Try to be kind to yourself this weekend, dear Readers, so you can be kind to others. We all need it a little more than usual.

Over and out.

Juno, Grant Me Coffee

Dear Zeus, Hera’s home, and she will find out ALL YOUR SECRETS.

Personally, I’ve thought all the Zeus and Jupiter stories were comprised of misogyny and a record of a patriarchal war taking over various goddess shrines. It pleases me to see the classical world in today’s world, but it also irritates me because the misogyny hasn’t gone away, though we’ve fought it tooth and nail. Chop off its head, another one grows.

I could also be slightly cranky this morning because there was little to no sleep last night. If it wasn’t the random bursts of fireworks after 1am (seriously, people, REALLY?) it was the Mad Tortie trying to sleep on my head or demanding pets from whatever hand was uncovered, then yowling at the bedroom door to be let out. She normally sleeps in the Princess’s room, but the Princess is not home and there were big noises. The Tortie found this UNACCEPTABLE. Of course, once I let her out into the hall and settled back into bed, she began rattling my door from the other side, because clearly no closed door can be left unmolested. When I have the porch door open, she settles across the threshold, in true cat fashion, and would no doubt be pleased to do so in the doorway to my room, if I’d let her.

The dogs? Oh, they were fine. Miss B has a two-stage deal: first, anti-anxiety pill, then sedative, both liberally smeared with peanut butter. She slept all damn night, and is full of FUN and EXCITEMENT and LET’S DO THINGS, MUM today. Odd, once he was in his crate, could not have cared less what was happening outside, and snored from both ends all night. (Yes, I gave both canines half a chopped-up hot dog yesterday. I paid for that sin, and am still paying.) Fragrant and unconcerned, both dogs got their full complement of beauty rest.

On the bright side, both dogs went outside this morning without fear, and I have coffee. The former means there will be no fear-spurred accidents requiring carpet cleanup, and the latter is the bare minimum for functioning with anything like normal capacity today. I ache all over and just want to go back to bed, but there’s revisions to be done and sneak peeks to send out. Not to mention the dishwasher to unload and laundry to unfold…

Well, maybe not the last bit. I’ve nearly nodded off twice while writing this.

It’s gonna be a long day.

Boom Boom Cower

EXPECTOPATRONUMsmall Happy “Let’s Have Drunk People Blow Shit Up and Terrorize All Our Pets” Day, everyone! In the grand tradition of anyone with half a functioning eardrum left, I will be closing up the house early and drugging my canines so they don’t freak out. Odd is mostly sanguine, though he mistakes some of the bigger booms for gigantic canine motherships trying to call him home. It’s B who has most of the trouble, and when she starts to wig out, Trundles thinks perhaps he should too, seeing as how she’s older and wiser and reminds him to breathe all the time and all.

So, yeah. Pharmaceutical help for Miss B is definitely in the works. We have meds squirreled away for just this occasion, thank heaven and the veterinarians who work there.

The cats, of course, just hide downstairs. Except the Mad Tortie, who we bring in and keep in well before late afternoon, even though she haaaates it, so that when the cannonade starts she can hightail it for–of all places–my closet.

I don’t know, man, I just work here.

And yes, I am working today. Holidays are only for the salaried in publishing. So after wordcount, it’s cleaning the cavy cage and clipping Bandit’s nails. No doubt he’ll enjoy that; he actually doesn’t seem to care about the fireworks but OH GOD BIG PINK THING IN CAGE WITH ARM ATTACHED MUST BE SNAKE PREY ANIMAL POWERS ACTIVATE! I feel bad for stressing the little rodent out, which must be a first. (And yes, I ALWAYS make sure I’m wearing shoes when approaching his cage. You just never know.) Then there’s the hoovering to do, too, and and and.

So it’s time to go back to work, now that I’ve told you all about the wonder and glory that is Life with the Chez Saintcrow Menagerie. Miss B is nervously licking my ankle while I type this, wanting to be sure I’m still here and ready to protect her from the Big Noises.

Either that, or she thinks the cocoanut oil I’ve slathered on is delicious. I am now marinated, apparently.

Over and out.

Ramblin’ B


Since B is no longer capable of long runs, we ramble a lot. A ramble is at least an hour long, and we have several routes about and around. One of B’s favorites is this park that has a Little Free Library. I want very badly to put one in my front yard, but each time I mention it, someone tells me it’s a bad idea. (Sometimes I even tell myself that.) So I get my little free library fix during the rambles.

Today is the last day to get in on THE MARKED Indiegogo campaign! Remember, even if it doesn’t fully fund, you still get your perks, and the book will still be published. It will just take a little longer for the latter, and I built that time into the schedule for the book. If you like the idea, please spread the word.

And that’s it for this week, my dears. I’ll be huddling in my office for most of the weekend, ignoring the artillery fire outside. Some idiots have already started blowing up bits of native soil. My nerves are already raw, and Miss B’s are almost gone. It will be a relief when the Fourth is over.