Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cat Saga Part 2

Riselle spent Tuesday night stuck in the tree. Several times during the day on Wednesday I went out and talked to her. All of our neighbors were so concerned and helpful! One idea that came up was to hoist up a basket with tuna in it and try to coax her into the basket and then lower her down.

We finally got the rope over the branch and the basket up in the tree. Look how far the cat has gotten herself!

Here's a view of the whole scene. You can see where food and water were put out for her.

Here's the neighbor cat that hung around and seemed to try to help.

The "elevator" we constructed wasn't enticing enough, however. Riselle would not budge. By this time she'd been in the tree for 24 hours. Someone recommended a tree service to us, so we called Tom's Tree Service for help. (Tom actually lives farther down our street!) Tom had his son John come out and climb the tree to try to get the cat. Look how easily John just walks up that tree! From now on, if the FD can't rescue a cat, I'm calling a tree service next. (I remembered after I started filming that it's not as easy to rotate video as it is pictures)

The branch Riselle was sitting on is dead, so John couldn't go out on it very far. He tried to grab her, but she kept out of his reach. The voices you hear on this video are Tom and his wife (notice they keep referring to the cat as "he.")

Since grabbing the cat wasn't working, Tom sent up a net for John to try to catch her with it. Watch the video to see the result (notice Tom now refers to the cat as "she" I don't know why he switched!)

The camera went all funny at the end because I was on my way to see if she was okay. We quickly found that she had a soft landing on some rotten wood and plastic containers (better than hard ground and rocks!) But the cat was nowhere to be seen. Tom assured us that she'd be home soon (if not already) especially since she'd gone so long without food.

We spent a few more hours looking for her that night and left porch lights on and food and water out, but she didn't come home and we had to go to bed. So she spent Wednesday night who knows where. The next morning Curtis had to go to work. The food we left out was gone (but there are other animals in the area.) When Zachary went down for his morning nap I went through the bushes near the tree again, but no sign. I walked back home and thought maybe I'd try the woods at the end of the street (opposite end of the street from the tree that she was stuck in.)

Beau came with me, and you can't imagine how my heart leaped when I heard a cat meow! I hurried into the woods and called for her and held my breath. After a few minutes of this I finally saw her coming very slowly towards us. Beau growled and even hissed, and Riselle refused to come any closer. I was so afraid she'd run off! But she stood still while we got closer. When Beau was able to sniff her he recognized her and stopped growling. I finally got close enough to touch and pet her, then pick her up and carry her back to the house.

So the silly cat was stuck in a tree for 24 hours and it was another 14 before we got her home. (I can only call her silly and laugh about the whole thing because she's home. I was just sick with grief and worry earlier this morning.) But she's safe now and perhaps a little wiser!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Silly Cat

Our silly cat got herself stuck in a tree. I don't know if she was chasing a bird, got chased by a dog, or was just exploring, but now she's stuck.

Can you see the cat butt?

This picture is taken from the same place as the previous one, but obviously I used the zoom.

Did you know the fire department WILL come to help? It's called "animal rescue" (original, huh?) Here's Curtis talking to the firemen. You can see the cat butt in the background.

Unfortunately, they didn't have a ladder tall enough to get to the cat. So, at this moment, she's still up there. We've tried coaxing her down, and she's attempted it twice, but both times she panicked and climbed back up to her perch in the fork. We brought out food and she's definitely hungry, but no success. Now we're just waiting. Her hunger or something else has to get strong enough to overcome her fear of slipping.

Does anybody have any suggestions? As you can see from the pictures, no ladder is going to get us close enough.

While I was typing the above, Curtis called me to come outside. A neighbor cat is very concerned that Riselle is stuck and has actually climbed halfway up the tree twice and backed down again, apparently in an attempt to show Riselle how to do it. However, she's too scared to try it.

Here's the neighbor cat trying to help.

She's now backed herself higher in the tree by about 6 feet. Great. It's just about dark. Well, I have to put Zachary to bed. I'll post again if there are any improvements in the situation.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

One of THOSE evenings

We had one of THOSE evenings earlier this week. I thought I should document it. The menu was fish fillets and artichokes. Curtis got the fish fillets started (they were to bake in the oven) and I got the water on for the artichokes. Curtis continued in the kitchen making baby food for Zachary while I got out of his way. Curtis had finished pureéing squash for Zachary and was ready to pureé some mango when I realized he had not cut the skin away. So he started pureéing pears while I salvaged the mango. The water started boiling as a timer went off. I put the artichokes in the boiling water and reset the timer, noting how convenient it was that the timer went off just as I needed it.

Curtis continuing pureéing food while I continued working with the mango. 10 minutes went by and the timer went off. “Oh good,” said Curtis, “the fish are done.” “The fish?” I said, “No, that’s the timer for the artichokes.” That was the first oops: why I didn’t think about that first timer going off I’ll never know.

As Curtis was getting the burnt fish out of the oven, he lost a bit of control (because the hot pad wasn’t thick enough and he was getting burned) and some of the burning hot juice dripped onto my leg. That was the second oops: why didn’t I get out of his way when he was getting stuff out of the oven?

Okay, dinner gets on the table (after running water on my leg to prevent a burn), and we start eating our artichokes (which are big, huge, giants, by the way.) It doesn’t take long to realize that they’re not fully cooked. There’s the third oops: why did I think big, huge, giant artichokes wouldn’t take longer to cook?

Sigh. The artichokes went back in the water and we ate our burned fish.

The rest of the evening passed relatively uneventfully, and we consoled ourselves by playing videogames until bed time.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Swim Lessons

Zachary had his first swim lesson on Saturday! There are only three in the class, so it's nice and small. The other two are 2 and 3 years old. We started out just getting them used to the water and using a toy to get them comfortable reaching out into the water (1st video). Then we used a noodle for floating and getting them used to not having to cling to Mommy or Daddy (video won't upload). Then we put the noodles up and walked backwards to help them learn to kick (3rd video). The whole time we were teaching them to blow bubbles in the water (again, in the video that won't upload) and how to spit the water back out if they got it in their mouths. Zachary didn't really blow bubbles, but he got water in his mouth a couple times and only tried to choke on it once. We'll have 5 more lessons over the next 5 weeks.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Rockin' Baby

He knows exactly what he's doing! He likes watching the effect he has on the table, lol.

Video taken 5/14/2008


I love watching Zachary explore his world. His favorite thing to do recently is to pull stuff off tables and books out of the shelves. We were at Blockbuster the other day and I let him crawl a little bit while Curtis and I debated what we wanted to watch. Zachary pulled himself up to a shelf and (predictably) started pulling the DVD's off the shelf. He was able to grip three of them at once! Anyway, this is a fun video that gives a little peek at Zachary's busy-ness at home.

Video taken 5/13/2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Real Crawling

Zachary's crawling on hands and knees now. I like how he keeps his elbows straight :)

Video taken 5/12/2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Yummy Cheerios

I thought this was funny. Curtis? Not so much.

Video taken 5/12/2008

Congested Baby = Unhappy Baby

Zachary has a cold :( I think he caught it at Dave & Busters on Friday night. He woke up at 5:00 this morning because he couldn't breathe through his nose. I used the bulb syringe thing, and it really works! Next time I have a congested nose I'm using that thing! So after clearing his nose he was able to suck on his pacifier and eventually calmed down enough to sleep a little longer.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Anna and Zachary

Meaghan is participating in the Vanderbilt graduation ceremonies, so she and Ben, her brother Josh and his 3-year old daughter Annabelle (Anna), parents Leslie and Larry, and grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Patten are in Nashville this weekend. We joined them for dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory and thoroughly enjoyed watching Anna and Zachary interact. Anna kept "taking" Zachary's nose and ears (and putting them back, of course) while her Aunt Meaghan had her show us where Zachary's femur (thigh bone) is.

Video taken last night. Sorry it's so dark!


Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa Harper sent us some avocados after learning that they're a very good "first food", being high in nutrients and having a creamy texture. Here is Zachary's first taste of California home-grown avocados.

Video taken 5/2/08

Funny Noises

Funniest thing, ever.

Video taken 4/30/08

Feeding Himself

Auntie Beth helping Zachary learn how to feed himself.

Video taken 4/28/08

Opening Cupboards

Zachary surprised us when he learned how to open cupboards. We realized we were hearing noises from the kitchen that couldn't be the cats. Sure enough, the noises were from Zachary playing with the stuff he found. It didn't take long for him to try to explore all the cupboards in the kitchen. The next day we installed child locks. He can still pull the cupboard open, but it doesn't open more than a couple inches.

Video taken 4/25/08

Thursday, May 1, 2008


The second tooth made its appearance today! I was showing Zachary's tooth to Elizabeth and she noticed the second one had poked through.