#150–Change of plans . . .


Even the best laid plans have to be changed sometimes. Last week I mentioned Sir Groucho’s dead of night scooting across the floor dragging his bottom. Well, his problem continued through the weekend with lots of floor and bottom cleanups. So on Monday, I called the vet and took him in and they kept him overnight.

With his health problems, I couldn’t head to Astoria on Wednesday and be gone until Sunday as I had planned. On this trip, I would’ve delivered books to venues that wanted some between Tillamook and Astoria on the trip up on Wednesday or coming back home Sunday. In between, I would’ve attended the Clatsop County Fair Thursday through Saturday selling books at a booth that I would be sharing. I had paid my booth fee and received a fair pass and arranged a place to stay. All for naught! I got on the phone Monday night and cancelled everything.

On Tuesday, instead of making calls for my trip to venues to see if anyone wanted any books, I did laundry and cleaned house. In the afternoon, I picked up Sir Groucho and learned the probable cause of his problems. The short answer is fleas! They were causing him to itch, which caused more grooming, which caused more hairballs, which were tearing up his intestinal tract. This is why he was vomiting so much two weeks ago and caused the problem at his other end this last weekend. The solution would be to treat him and the entire house for fleas and change his canned cat food to help his intestinal tract.

Sir Groucho was glad to be home.

Sir Groucho was glad to be home.

Sir Groucho was sure glad to be home. He tried out the new food and liked it. Thank goodness! I spent Wednesday doing Florence Festival of Book stuff—sending follow-up letters to the latest applicants and updating my tally sheet. We have 59 tables signed up, and our limit is 60. Almost there! And I wrote a press release for Oregon Coast magazine about the event and sent it along with some photos from last year. One of the editors had asked me to send something.

Before I left the vet’s on Tuesday, I got some flea control stuff that you apply to the cat’s skin and a canister of spray to treat the house. Thursday would be flea eradication day.

It was a strange day. I treated Sir Groucho and then took care of the house. I had everything in the kitchen that could come into contact with food either covered by sheets or put in the oven or fridge or a cabinet. Then I put Sir Groucho’s toys out of sight and put all plants out on the deck. This canister is not as toxic or as potent as the bombs that you set off and leave for a day or two, but I wasn’t taking any chances.

The directions were to spray the areas where fleas could be, especially any bedding, carpets, and upholstered furniture. And the gal at the vet’s said to also do the wooden floors. So I got the car and me ready as well as the house before I did any spraying. I packed a lunch, water, and audiobook for me and the carrier, litter box, water container and water, and dry food for Sir Groucho. I had put a second set of clothes in the garage. For the spraying, I had a long-sleeved shirt, old pants, old socks, old shoes, and a mask over my nose, goggles over my eyes, and a hat on my head. I changed everything before getting in the car. So it was noon before we left.

The directions said to be gone until it dried and then to ventilate well.

This was our view, while we spent time at Neptune State Park.

This was our view, while we spent time at Neptune State Park.

We headed up the coast and stopped at Neptune State Park, where I turned on my audiobook and ate my lunch. Sir Groucho went from window to window watching the activity of the tourists that were everywhere. Duh! It’s August on the Oregon Coast.

It got too warm when we were no longer in the shade. So I moved down the highway to Muriel Ponsler Wayside and by then it was blowing fiercely and the clouds blocked the sun. So I watched some kite wave boarders while I continued to listen to my story. Then I napped a bit and Sir Groucho crawled under the passenger seat and took a nap too. Whenever I wasn’t driving, I let him roam free in the car.

About 4 p.m., I put him back in the carrier, and we headed home. I left him in the car when I went inside. Not sure what I expected, but it was awful! I felt like I was being asphyxiated; it was so toxic smelling and I made footprints everywhere I stepped on the hardwood floors after stepping on the area rugs. So it wasn’t dry yet. I went around and opened both sliding glass doors and all windows and got two fans going in record time while trying to hold my breath.

Back in the car, we headed for town. Instead of getting sick from the toxic fumes, I got hungry. So we stopped at A&W, and I got a cheeseburger, root beer, and fries. A treat, I hadn’t enjoyed in ages! I took it “to go,” and we went down to the river and watched the choppy water and a few boats. Sir Groucho drank some water and ate some of his dry food too. I continued listening to my story.

About 6 p.m., we headed home. Groucho stayed in the car. It was still not dry, but the smell was almost gone. I didn’t like it being all over the wood, so I mopped all of the hardwood floors and dried them. We left again. This time, we went down to the cove below my house on Mercer Lake. It belongs to my homeowner’s group. So we sat there and watched the clouds turn pink over the lake and listened to my story while Sir Groucho sat in my lap.

We returned this time about 9 p.m. At last, it was dry and no trace of smell. So I brought Sir Groucho inside and unloaded the car. Then I  put stuff in the house back where it belonged. What a strange day. Certainly glad I had the audiobook.

A great place to find books, and it's in the middle of historic Nye Beach in Newport.

A great place to find books, and it’s in the middle of historic Nye Beach in Newport.

On Friday, I had an appointment at my dermatologist and sold her a copy of Around Florence. I wasn’t surprised, she also bought Crossings.

I got on the phone when I returned home and checked with some venues up the coast. I will deliver books to the Interp Center in Waldport and to Nye Beach Book House in Newport on Sunday after I get through at the Yachats Farmer’s Market. And I may make a trip up to Tillamook later next week.

Last week at the Farmers Market, I sold two of each book. Those plus the copies of Around Florence I sold at the presentation at the library and individual ones to friends added up to a sizable deposit on Tuesday. And I’ve continued to sell a few more of the new book this week and wrapped up two today to mail on Monday.  I’m really pleased, so far, with the sales of the Florence book.

Even though, this past week wasn’t at all what I planned, it wasn’t wasted. We may have solved Sir Groucho’s problems, and I made progress in other areas . . . and still sold some books.

I’ll be at the Yachats Farmers Market again tomorrow, although I hadn’t planned to. . . .

About crossingsauthor

Judy Fleagle spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.Since 2009, she has written five books: "Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges," "The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans," "Around Florence," "Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known," and "The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED!!!."
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