09 November 2007

Working on the cattery

I (Timo) took 3 days off on November 7th 8th and 9th while Nancy went camping related to her work. I inteneded doing nothing but working in the house and garden. Didn't do much. Time passes so quickly here too.

Biggest project was to improve and reinforce the cattery to keep Misu locked in and relatively happy. Misu is our 3-year-old desexed male, the one we found on Woodstock dump.

He was a tiny kitten at the time, and he loved to play with Bluey dog and hang around with Bluey and Maxi. (You can look for him on Catster, Youtube ... if you want). Lately, when we moved away from the countryside to live in the city, he has became a problem child. He grew up with dogs and never got along with other cats. He's been bullying them, especially our Lolitha cat and all the other cats in the neighbourhood. So, we keep getting complaints about him and are afraid that some day somebody will poison him. So we don't have much more options than keep him locked inside.

Initially that's what we have wanted to do with our cats, keep them inside to quarantee their safety and on the other hand safety of the native birds and other animals. With all the other cats that would be quite easy, and even letting them wander free in the neighbourhood hasn't caused any problems (except a dead bird sometimes). But with Misu it's different. He has got used to freedom. He needs a huge territory. He wants to wander around and be the king of the neighbourhood. In the morning he gets up together with me and knows it's time to go for a walk. Sometimes he walks with use one whole round around the lake, about an hour. He keeps meowing pathetically to make us slow down and wait for him. When he hasn't followed us he keeps hanging around in people's gardens keeping an eye on the road. When we come he runs toward us his tail sttraing upwards , coming and rubbing himself against dogs and my legs, rolling on the ground looking at us and meowing for attention.

So it's a tough decision to take all this away from him (and myself). I'd rather move somewhere where we all could be free... but work, money ... We can't at the moment. Even though me too rather would prefer living in the countryside. I don't need anything from town, anything except my salary. I don't go to pubs, I don't go to movies, no concert, no theatre, no church, no social events. Just a big garden and animals is quite enough for me. Well, the reality is to live in town and in this house for a while (even though I don't like the neighbourhood). So, I have started working on to
make this a cat house. That's an ambitious project, not just buying a little CatMax fencing for the backyard but altering the whole house. What makes it very ambitious is that my renovating skills don't match the ambition and on the other hand many reasons, not only lack of money, stop me paying and architect and builder to fullfill my dream. Well, I have started building climbing shelves on the walls, some hiding places and i even have made a big opening in the ceiling to allow the cats go in. Especially Lolitha likes that arrangement. When it was done she stopped hiding in drains and moved in to the house. Again Misu sometimes follows her there and bashes her up making here scream.

Well. I have lots of ideas on what to do, and my skills will improve a little bit with this long-term, possibly life-long project. Inside of the house has been quite much done to a decent level. Now I'm working with outside. We paid someone to build the cattery seen in the first picture. It's been build behind the office room window. There is a cat door in the window allowing the cats to go in and out as they desire. The cattery itself needed some improvements. It didn't have enough holes, and on the other hand there were wrong kind of wholes allowing Misu to escape. The door opened to wrong direction, there where no climbing shelves, no cat hammock. So there's a job for me to do. And I want to make a little cat walk around the house wall for Misu to explore more.

03 November 2007

New Australian citizen

August 31st I officially became an australian citizen. For that I needed to attend a ceremony and publicly read the citizenship pledge. They gave us a tree to plant and a small Australian flag (made in Taiwan).

Here is a link to my Google video of the event

I wanted to become a citizen because I have the feeling that I am going to stay in Australia permanently, or at least long time. Also I wanted to officially finalize the migration process. Yes, and I do want to vote. I knew there is a parliamentary election to become soon. I have got some political opinions, I know what this country needs, so I just don't stand aside and whinge but will do miny tiny part and have a say on what's happening.

Before the citizenship ceremony I needed to attend an interview (and pay, of course). That was in July in the local Immigration Department office. That wasn't too difficult, a bit exciting though.

New car

In August we crushed our dear old Toyota. Luckily speeds before the accident were slow on a rather small street, so nobody got hurt. Our insurance covered the damages. The company refused to mend our car but rather paid money for it, and asked us to go and buy a new car. That meant some extra spendings, and before all we needed to find a new car. In order to find one we contacted our mechanic on Machans beach and asked whether he has anything. He did. Without much thinking we got one of the two cars he was helping to sell at the moment.

For those interested: it's 1996 model of Subaru Liberty GX Enduro (automatic). The engine is 2.2 as the Toyota had only 1.3 litres. We just hope that this is not going to eat double the petrol. At least there's enough space for the dogs in the back, and all the shoppings from Bunnings. Tow bar and roof rack will allow me to get a bicycle carrier so that I could do part of my daily commuting by bike. Will I actually do it, remains to be seen. I would love to but it's a question of time. My morning walk and working in the garden takes so much time in the morning that I don't like sacrify it to cycling. If I would cycle, I would need to leave home about 20 minutes earlier than I do when travelling in Nancy's car.