Dumb and Dumber

We arrived in Hemet, California, yesterday. It was about a 3-hour drive from Blythe, and uneventful while it lasted. Sadie rode all the way in her little quilted nest.

This being the first day of the month, there was a rather long line of other RVers checking in for the month of March. It's our first time staying at this park as "monthlies." Prior to this, we've felt like youngsters mingling with old people because they, after all, were retired. We were still young people with jobs (at least one of us had a job) and responsibilities. (Does being a mom to cats count?)

So anyway...we get here, and everyone seems downright ancient. Only, it suddenly dawns on us that we fit right in. Now, how did that happen? As I mentioned, there are activities...most of the "low impact" type. Also a couple of sewing groups. They have names that aren't very descriptive, and so I have to figure out exactly what goes on there before I'll know if I want to participate. And, man...I never thought I'd get so old. Next time I write, I might be a shuffleboard shark. From what I understand, that's kind of how it happens. You check into an RV park as a "monthly" and the next thing you know, you've got one foot in the grave and another on a slippery shuffleboard surface.

Also, I mentioned that I had some other things to say about Hemet. Mainly, I just wanted to say that my paternal grandparents were "snowbirds" before anyone started calling it that. They lived in Nampa, Idaho, and they were doing it before big fancy RV's existed. They did their snowbirding in a little slide in truck camper...smaller than the one we sold because we thought it was too small. Originally, they wintered over in Yuma, Arizona. When my military family moved to Oceanside, California, for the duration of my dad's career, they started wintering over right here in Hemet. And they really were shuffleboard sharks. So, even though we didn't plan it that way, it still feels as if we're continuing a family tradition to be snowbirding to Hemet. Hopefully, we'll live long lives like they did, and we'll be able to return here for many winters to come.

My guess is that you're wondering where the "dumb and dumber" fits into all this. Well, here's what happened. We get backed in, leveled out, and unhitched, and then we noticed there's a little cat tethered to a storage shed a couple of spaces over from us. In between are vacant spaces. And this little cat is probably a female because she's a calico, and she appears to be in that stage between kitten and fully grown. She's very friendly and vocal. So we pet her, and we're thoroughly smitten with her. As we walk away, I wonder about someone who leaves their cat tethered outside and unattended. I'd worry about her slipping out of her harness or being attacked by some other animal. Oh well...not really my problem, right?

So then, I think it's a good idea to get Smitty out of the RV. As a first trip out, I don't expect he'll stay out long because there are cars, and people walking dogs, and generally more activity than he's accustomed to. And the other cat is still outside, but I tell myself we won't walk past the boundary to our space. They can glare at one another from a distance, right? So that was the dumb part of this story.

When we get outside, they do glare at one another, and Smitty starts trembling, which isn't unusual for him when he's in a strange place. Only then, the yowling starts up, and I realize I need to get him back inside the trailer. I'm worried about him slipping his own harness and attacking this poor little cat across the way. So, I do the dumber thing which is to reach down to pick him up, and man...he bit my left hand with an astonishing viciousness. And wow. That hurt...it really hurt! Fortunately, Mike was right there, and we managed to get Shitty Smitty back inside the trailer, but my hand was already turning 50 shades of purple and bleeding like all get-out. It actually made me nauseous momentarily.

So we got it wiped off and covered up and headed off to an urgent care clinic. There, they took a look at my hand and closed the bite marks with steri-strips. Also, I've started a round of antibiotics. If you've ever seen what happens to an untreated animal bite, then you know antibiotics are an absolute must. The bite was deep, and so there was lots of bacteria deposited within the flesh. Fortunately both Smitty and I are up to date on our vaccines, and so I didn't need a tetanus shot. I was just glad it was Smitty who bit me and not the other cat. At least I know Smitty is healthy. This morning my hand is sore, but it's not looking any worse than it did yesterday. Hopefully, the antibiotics will ward off any infection and we'll all be as good as new in short order.

Wanna see what a bad cat looks like? That's right, Buster. Hang your head in shame. We'll just start calling you "Fang" from now on.

Purlease accept my apurrologies for my furocious behavior. I purromise it won't happen again. It must have been the full moon that caused me to go tempurrarily insane.

And the thing of it is, I do think he's sorry about what happened. He's always a snuggle bug, but last night, he got under the covers with me and was unusually affectionate...laying his paw on my cheek and nuzzling me with his nose. It's hard to be mad at him, and honestly, he did just what I should have expected him to do. And since the cat next door seems to be here permanently, I guess that means Mr. Smithers (aka the Incredible Hulk Cat) won't be going out again until we head for home in April.

Today we'll be getting caught up on life for our stay here in southern California. We'll be getting groceries and running a few other errands. As always, there's plenty of laundry. We might have a leak in one of our propane tanks, and so we need to get that taken care of right away. We already have a few meet-ups scheduled with some friends from high school. Mike and I both graduated from Vista High School, just a couple of hours south of here, and so we have many friends in the area.

You might recall that we were losing weight on the Cooking Light Diet before we left home. We haven't been keeping up with it during our travels, and both of us have gained back a little of the weight we lost...not bad, however. It could have been much worse. But all of that to say that party time is over, and we're as determined as ever to get to our respective weight loss goals. With that in mind, our grocery shopping today will be with the diet in mind, and I've spent some time on the computer this morning working out our menu on the website. If you're new to this blog, I'll just say that we've had very good luck with the diet. It's inexpensive to join at $33 for six months (I think), and the website is easy to use. Anyway... I'm not really shilling for the Cooking Light Diet, but it does work. 

Also in the next few days, I simply must get some sewing done. I joined in a fabric postcard exchange, and the deadline to mail our fabric postcards to our swap partner is March 16th. I have everything I need to make mine, and I know exactly what I'm going to do (which is half the battle, in my mind). When we signed up with our information, we were also to provide a one word prompt for our partner to use in designing our postcard. My own partner gave the prompt "Irish," which is an easy one...thank you. As for me, anyone care to guess what my one word prompt was? You'll never guess in a hundred million years.

Yesterday morning I traced out the next block for the Snow Globes quilt. I'm on Block 5 now: "Holly Jolly." And if you're like me, you're now infected with an ear worm. My apologies.

It's hooped up and ready to go.

And now seems like a great time to get started on it.

17 comments from clever and witty friends:


Oh first I love this snow globe and may have to order this pattern--
and poor Smitty--and I hope you hand heals quickly--and maybe you will be lucky and that other cat will leave soon--hate to not see kitty go for walks--then again--he maynot want to go again!!!! Have fun settling it--
I am on adventure myself for a few days and am on the West coast of Fl with my lil brother and my sil--
enjoy, di

CJ Smith said...

I was telling a friend about a group of "older ladies" I quilt with once a month. Then I thought "Oh, shit! I'm one of them!". Amazing how that happens. I always tell people the brain is 30 years younger than the body it's trapped in.

Vicki Price said...

So, two surprises for you - your oh-so-domestic cat shows his wild side, and you suddenly graduated into an oldster. Yep, been there on both counts.

Hope you heal up soon. My dad was once hospitalized for 4 days after getting blood poisoning from a cat bite. This was a cat he just fed! No gratitude whatsoever.

Quilting Babcia said...

Wow, not a good day for sure. Take care of that hand. I had a cat bite long ago that the scar has only completely disappeared in the last couple years. Or maybe it's just hidden in the wrinkles now. It will be interesting to see the kitties reaction when you turn them loose in the house next month.

liniecat said...

omg! Ive done that very thing and had an eye tooth impaled in my hand too ooooh
Yes those bites can poison up very quickly, wise move to get the antibiotics.
I did laugh out loud at his name change - and at least he came and gave you a fuss in the end.
In the early days of cat rescue I was often scratched and bitten but I developed a feign with the right hand and grab at the scruff of the neck with the left hand.... and I still use it with my own cats now if they are likely to object!
They haven't learnt and are suckered each time but their huffs don't last too long once food is delivered!

QuiltShopGal said...

So sorry Smitty got so stressed, because of the other cat, that he bit you. But glad you went to get it treated and are on antibiotics. I'm with you 100% as to why anyone would leave a cat outside, unchapperoned, on a leash? Maybe Smitty sensed it was a cat-dog breed.

Enjoy your month in Hemet. BTW - The quilt run in San Diego officially kicks off this Saturday, with shops in Fallbrook & Valley enter participating (10 shops all over the county total).

Anne Kirby said...

Oh yeah, we've all been there. I had 2 kitty brothers that were the sweetest things until they grew up and started fighting each other. Tried to grab Mulder by the collar and he twisted around and sunk his fangs into the space between my thumb and forefinger. Ouch. And a cool snakebite-looking scar. That taught me to never wade in on a catfight. But I know Smitty was sorry, he looks sorry. And yes, more sewing and less hiking and ER visits!! The fans have spoken!

mogsinc said...

Hi Barbara
Thank you for your amazing blog. I look forward to reading it everyday. I have enjoyed following you, hubby and your Moggies on your travelling adventures.
We did a month long journey through the USA in 2014. Had a wonderful time and enjoyed some of your amazing National parks
We met some fabulous people and we often got talkin about Rvers-hope that’s right.
In Australia we call them caravans. The people who live in caravans and travel to follow the sun are called “Grey Nomads”
Now if you didn’t feel old enough already I bet you do now!
Looking forward to your ongoing adventures

Alice said...

I so can't wait to be old, retired and RV-ing!! Make that older! I hope you heal soon. Poor Smitty must feel awful. Hope it doesn't hinder your stitching too much. The snow globe is going to gorgeous.

Nancy said...

I had a kitty that would get crazy at times and bite. Usually, I was just able to wash it out and put Neosporin on it. But, one time she bite the back of my hand pretty badly. I attempted the usual treatment but my hand became very swollen. I eventually called the doctor and got antibiotics. I would also soak my hand in hot water with Epson Salt. That helped a lot.

My grandparents were snowbirds they sold the farm in Scappose in 1962 and would winter in Yuma every winter. They had a little travel trailer. Eventually they bought a house in Yuma and did not travel back and forth every spring and fall. We often had Christmas in Yuma when I was in my teens and later I took my own kids there to visit them.

WoolenSails said...

I hope your hand heals quickly, poor Smitty must be feeling guilty from his bad reaction in a moment of panic.


Dorothy Finley said...

Whew ! Snowbirds=Gray Nomads !!! Gray Nomads=Snowbirds !!!! I think I'll just stay here in WA all year round Although your trip has been fascinating to tag along on.

suzanprincess said...

I'd bet that staked out kitty is an unneutered male who sprayed indoors, so has been banished--that could definitely disturb other cats, including the usually gentlemanly Smitty.

Brown Family said...

Smitty was probably scared by the other kitties yeowling. We all do dumb things trying to protect our kids! It is a shame he will not get to go out and enjoy a walk!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

OUCH!!! Hope that hand heals quickly. I always reminded my boys that our pets were still animals, and all that entails. Even Smitty showed that. I'm sure he is very sorry (and wished he'd bitten that other cat instead).

Judy1522 said...

So glad your hand will be okay and it does sound like Smitty was sorry and I think he will be doubly sorry when he can't go out again until you leave the park. The time sure has gone by fast. We have had that same experience with thinking everyone around us was so much older than us and then realizing they were not. I find myself saying a lot lately that I never thought I would ever be as old as I am.

quiltzyx said...

My Dad & stepmom moved to Colorado Springs from SoCal after she retired. Why, I don't know, as she hated the cold! But then they thought they would snowbird in AZ, went down there one winter, sold the condo in Colorado Springs & never went back!
Can't wait to hear of your shuffleboard exploits!