Saturday, May 28, 2005

Kayaking on Provo River

Dave and Julie drove down this morning to garage sale with me. We both found some good bargains. Drove back with Dave to his house to help him put together his shed. Worked for a couple hours and then loaded my kayaks into his truck and headed up Provo Canyon. (FYI: These are the sit-on-top style of kayaks)

Because of all the snow and rain we got this year, the river is higher and faster than I've ever seen it. It would have been suicide to try running the lower section. Above the damn near Nunn's Park it was much calmer. We left my car there and drove up to just below Deer Creek Reservoir where others were launching rafts and kayaks.

I gave Dave a quick lesson on steering and we were off. The flow was pretty fast and there was nice spacing of rapids along the whole way. Dave flipped over twice, but managed to hold onto his kayak and paddle until he could climb back in. With the snow melt, the water was quite cold.

The scenery was beautiful along the way. It was a great time to go because the river will probably never get this high again for a long time. As it was we had to lay flat against our kayaks to slide under one bridge. Exited the river at the damn and made the mistake of getting out on the wrong side of the river. Had to hike a ways down a trail with the boats before crossing to the other side at a bridge.

I foolishly locked my keys in Dave's truck back at the top, but we managed to hitch a ride with some guys. We rode in the back of their truck with a friendly black lab. Drove back down, loaded up the gear, then hit Carl's Jr. for some dinner. Love their criss-cut fries. Drove home after--sunburned, sore, and tired. Great day though.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Cat Tales

It was a rough day at work yesterday. I had a friend at lunch tell me the cat might start screaming out, drawing attention to it. What if it died in the cage? What if it pooped all over itself?

Then my uncle, who is a true animal lover, offered me $200 to release the cat and never do this again. While it was a very generous and tempting offer, I decided I'd rather not drive around in a dirty car for years to come. Besides, it put me in the worst mood every morning right before driving to work. Since I'm already prone to severe road rage, the last thing I need is an additional catalyst before I even get behind the wheel.

I called Animal Control to schedule a pickup after work, but they told me they don't schedule. They just come when they can. Plus, they aren't allowed to go into a garage or shed. They said I'd have to bring it in myself or keep it another day. Great! The last thing I wanted to do is move the cat around again or worse, put the fur shedding machine inside my car.

Pulling into the driveway, I was dismayed to see the old lady next door pulling weeds in her front yard... within perfect view of the shed and my car. I went inside to think. Decided to get the cat some water asap. Brought a bowl out and opened the door. Thankfully the cat was ok and there was no poo in sight. Cracked the cage door open enough to slide the water bowl in, but the car went crazy again and knocked it over. Fine.

My window of opportunity arrived when my neighbor hobbled inside for a drink or something. Placed a towel down in my trunk and grabbed the cage. I wore leather gloves this time so I could hold the cage better without fear of being clawed. I have to admit, I did feel guilty when I shut the trunk on the poor kitty. Reminded me of a scene from Goodfellas.

I was just in time, as the old lady was making her way back out. Quickly started up the engine and turned on the stereo to cover up any potential cat noises. Drove across town to Animal Control. Thoughts that went through my head on the way there:

1. What if I get pulled over and the cop says: "Pop the trunk"
2. What if the cat pukes all over my interior?
3. What if I get rear ended?
4. What if the cat passes out from the heat? I'm not giving it mouth to mouth.
5. What if the owners are there looking for their cat when I arrive?

None of that stuff happened.

The cat was calm when I brought it out of my trunk, probably because of the blinding sunlight. Carried it inside and got my $50 deposit back. Not that it will make cat lovers feel any better, but the cat wasn't wearing a collar, nor was it groomed in any way. It was a huge ball of fur that hadn't been brushed in ages and looked to be a wild cat from all appearances.

And so ends my cat story. At least I hope it ends here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Caged Lion

Last night I moved the trap to a new location behind the shed in the grass. I wanted to make the cat think I was trying to hide the tuna from him. (It's all about getting into the mind of the cat) This time I slid the tempting tuna as far back as it could go in the cage, ensuring maximum exposure to the pressure plate. I also set the latch so that it was barely holding the door open. Everything was perfect.

Once again, I dreamed of cats. I was running late for work this morning, so I didn't check the trap until I was ready to leave. As I turned the corner behind the shed, I came face to face with a gigantic lion colored cat staring right at me. He looked cute and friendly, and I started to feel a little bad about the whole thing.

Realizing I couldn't leave him out there until I got home from work, I decided to lock him up in the shed. Don't want his delinquent owners finding him before the city picks him up. I did my best interpretation of The Cat Whisperer as I approached the cage. No dice. The cat went ballistic--hissing, baring its fangs, clawing at me, and banging its head against the door to get out.

My heart was pounding as I nimbly grabbed the handle and carried the caged cat into the shed. The beast must have weighed 30 pounds. Set the cage in the middle and latched the door behind me. I'll have them come by this afternoon to pick him up. Hopefully the neighbors won't see what's going on and seek retribution. Hopefully nobody will claim him and I won't have a pissed off, cage-wise cat sharpening its claws on my canvas top in a few nights.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Cat 1 -- Shane 0

Forced myself to shower and dress before heading outside to view my handiwork. Would there be a cat waiting inside my cage? Would it be alive? Dead? Would the trap be sprung but no prey? Might a neighbor have come by and stolen the cage in protest?

Alas, none of these were the case. Instead, the cage lay there untouched, trap door ready to spring shut at any moment. What wasn't untouched was the pile of tuna I left for the pussy. No trace of it anywhere. Somehow, the cat entered the cage and scarfed down my treats without applying enough force on the pressure plate to spring the door shut behind it.

Even though he escaped this time, it's still good news. The tuna missing and abundant new f-ing paw prints all over my car are sure signs the cat was here last night, and will be returning tonight for more fish and vandalism. I'll be ready this time. I'll have that trap primed so that the slightest touch will send it snapping closed. Looks like I'll be having a tuna sandwich for dinner again tonight.

Monday, May 16, 2005

The Trap is Set

Spoke with the nice folks over at the Animal Shelter today on the phone and they informed me I could pick up a cat trap today with a $50 deposit. After stopping for cash on my way home from work, I paid them a visit. I couldn't believe the racket coming from the back room. Sounded like an Alaskan dog sled race going on back there.

Slid my $50 bucks across the counter and in no time at all I was on my way home with a metal cage and high hopes. Arrived home, opened tuna can, put a nice pile on the lid, set the trap, baited it, and am now using all my willpower not to check the trap every 5 minutes.

If/when I catch the cat, I can call to have it picked up. My only fear is that the owners will claim it and then I'll have a trap savvy cat on my hands. I'll cross that bridge when I have to.