October is Ray Bradbury’s month

San Andreas Fault, Hayward Fault, and three others whose names I forget, are poised to scrape and give us above a good shaking. October was Ray Bradbury’s thematic month for ghosts and heart-clutching events, and he was ever so right.

<br>California’s third year drought has brought this state so low that every weather forecast of “possibility” of rain brings hope and then, seems to me, disappointment. Whatever moisture does arrive always graces the northern part of the state. The dryness has the tectonic plates shrinking and stressed, and that is what we are all trying to prepare for.

The 25th anniversary of our last big shake was commemorated on October 17, a day that remains vivid in memory. And yet, we in the East Bay Hills caught the mildest edge of it, though drama was high. So what am I doing to prepare? I packed a tote bag with legal documents with a note attached to it: GRAB AND RUN. I have bottled water in the car.

The conundrum is whether I can also grab Loaner and Mojo, our kitten. The little one is roaming freely in the house now, though it will be a while before he will be going out to the backyard. Loaner could be anywhere. This makes me think of my sister Maria, who when our country home in Shanghai was caught in the shelling between the Japanese and Chinese armies in 1937, threw away the clothing our mother filled a bag with and piled her cat in there instead. They then, my parents, three brothers and sister and me in arms, trudged 30 miles to town, unable to drive because the roads were blocked with trees cut down by who knows which side to prevent travel. My mother had bound feet. I cannot imagine her ordeal.


Cat elevator

In Shanghai we put up our mosquito nets at the start of summer, and also tried, fruitlessly, to keep our cat from our bedrooms at night. But Shmooky was too clever; he could never be found when it came time to move him into a room with doors. And so we lay in bed wondering which one of us was going to—

There he was! Happy sappy cat running up and down and up my net, tearing holes everywhere until finally ending stranded on top. One got a chair and tried to grab Shmooky, who while wailing that he needed rescue would still dodge attempts to achieve same. Taken down at last, he was content to go to sleep in my bed, while I slapped at mosquitos that swarmed through the holes. In time, there were more patches than net and what we had was almost solid curtain and very little net.

How is Mojo doing? The little guy is up to two lbs and can now climb up my bedskirts. Between Loaner at my left hip and Mojo asleep under my chin, I am effectively immobilized long past my rising hour. And I am afraid Loaner is putting on weight because I cannot keep her from pirating Mojo’s high-fat kitty kibble. He goes back to the vet Tuesday for a further check for worms. I think he can still travel in my tote bag instead of the carrier–I hope.

Beguiling fish name: oblique-banded sweetlips, Komodo Reef, Indonesia.


10/03–A neighbor rescued three kittens he found at his place of work. He bathed the very dirty mites and plucked fleas for two hours. Finally, he posted a message on our neighborhood network offering them out for adoption.

Can this little thing exploring and hiding in every crevice my home has to offer, be real? No larger than the space bar on my keyboard, Squirt shows enterprise and a frightening appetite. I must remove the bowl or Squirt’s little belly might burst, so much like a hard round tennis ball it is. Being so hungry, without a mother to care for him/her will do that.

So far s/he has spent one night here and I find myself operating on two hours’ sleep. Loaner at first was only curious; now she is outraged at the little one’s encroachment. But my girl, true to character, does not attempt to hurt Squirt. I hope they will eventually bond; Squirt needs to cuddle.

This morning at 6:17 I arose to serve breakfast to Loaner and her brother whom I call Au Au for his tiny squeaks. Whenever he drops up from his home I must serve them separately. Today I had to run three positions. But I have good news from the neighbor: they will be keeping¬†both of the Squirt’s siblings.

l0/07–Friends tell me Squirt must be examined by the vet for worms and I will do that.

10/11– It’s a boy! I have named him Mojo for Power and already he is bigger by 25%. At about six weeks he looks about right. The painfully bony spine and ribs are nicely covered and his galloping around the house is so comical he is a source of amusement I didn’t expect to find. And I looked over the edge of my bed at Loaner in her bed as I often do — and saw Mojo in there with her. ¬†Nooow we’re talking!