The Amazing Adventures of Josie and Seb

July 31, 2009

Ugh…I am so weak.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Cate @ 11:18 am


July 30, 2009


Filed under: googly eyes, sadface, work — Cate @ 4:58 pm

I am drunk on this fragrance.

(miss you.)

July 29, 2009

Kitties and plants strain towards the sunlight…

Filed under: googly eyes, pictures, work — Cate @ 12:06 pm

Sometimes at work I have to cover the front desk – field calls, handle appointments, direct deliveries to their destinations, etc. I consider it one of the most stressful elements of my job, because there’s so many opportunities to screw up and so much to juggle.

Anyway. Yesterday I was covering the front and one of the delivery guys showed up with a big dolly of boxes. Some for my office, some for other offices in the building. One was a 1800Flowers box and he asked me if the person was in my office or another.

The name on the box? Mine.

Apparently my darling Joe felt guilty for not being in town to help me move – which is unnecessary but sweet – and sent me flowers to make up for it. Roses, to be precise. 27 of them (my boss counted). They are lovely. And smell wonderful. And I’ve been getting lots of compliments, both on the flowers and how sweet my boyfriend is (as if I didn’t know!).

hello lovely :)

hello lovely :)

hello! hello!

hello! hello!

The crappy pictures don’t do the colors justice. And they’ve opened up a bit more since I took those. Really, just gorgeous. Oh, boyfriend. You done good.

When I got home there was another nice surprise waiting for me – a box of goodies for the fundraiser I’m organizing (which is THIS SATURDAY already). It was like Christmas in July. I dug through it and got very excited and Josie came over to help/supervise.

not amused.

not amused.

As anticipated, she loves the kitchen window. It looks out over the backyard and a bunch of trees where birds gather. She can see all the goings-on. Last night some people were grilling and she watched them for a long time.

the great, great outdoors

the great, great outdoors

what's that over there?

what's that over there?

josie is disturbed by the lack of petting

josie is disturbed by the lack of petting

She’s settling in, I think. Still absolutely obnoxious in the morning, but it’s understandable. She must be bored out of her mind, alone all day and ignored all night. Poor Josie. Pooooooooor Josie.

July 28, 2009

We’re moved!

Filed under: apartment, girls in the world, moving, pittsburghing — Cate @ 10:33 am

The move on Saturday went pretty well – my wonderful dad came out to help. Funny how everything moves faster and more smoothly when there’s a dad helping out. :) It took us three trips with the van, hours of sweating, up and down and up and down the stairs, a few crushed fingers and toes, but we did it.

Josie had a rough day, though. She snuck out of the house while we were moving and I had to shut her in the basement until I had time to give her a bath. Last time she screamed and screamed but didn’t really fight – this time…oh gosh. I was a bloody mess when she was finished with me. My arms are covered in scratches and one very impressive bruise. I’m not sure how she managed to bruise me with her claws, but I tip my hat to her. Luckily for me, she forgave me pretty fast and we spent most of the post-move Saturday snuggled up together, relaxing.

lovvvvvve meeeeeeee

lovvvvvve meeeeeeee

Saturday night I brought her to the apartment and she was pretty freaked out. She didn’t want to come out of the kitty carrier for a while and when she did, she pretty much just found things to hide behind.

Sunday she was still acting funny. A bit more relaxed, more like her usual exploratory self, but she kept making this weird grumbly-growly noise. I’ve never heard her do that before. She would growl and then she would hiss. Haunted apartment? Maybe. There was also some kind of concert going on down the road, so maybe all that noise was freaking her out.

Sunday I spent most of the day unpacking. I’ve got my bedroom, bathroom and kitchen squared away – pictures coming on those. The living room is slower, though I did arrange all my books and DVDs on the shelf and it looks great. The office still needs a bit of work, so I haven’t even started on that.

Josie is still extremely clingy and annoying – which I still hope is only temporary. She wakes me up every morning around 6, mraring her head off, demanding my attention. Follows me around, tries to trip me, demand demand demand. She’s also not eating as well as I would like. I hope as we settle in and she feels more confident in the new place she’ll calm down.



Of course, just as she’s calming down the boys will show up and disrupt her routine again. Poor kitty girl. Can’t catch a break.

In non-apartment news, I met up with some friends last night for happy hour and dinner and hanging out at the too-cool-for-school Harris Grill. A friend who moved away was back in town, so we all had a good time seeing her again. Our final bill was enormous and it took forever to split it up – but what do you expect? We’re writers, not mathematicians! (Nevermind that I work in finance…)



Nothing planned for today after work. Looking forward to going home, spending some time with miss Josephine, and relaxing in my new digs.

July 24, 2009

Let your hair down, girl!

Filed under: girls in the world, pittsburghing — Cate @ 11:39 am

Last night I gave myself a vacation from moving and packing and cleaning and thinking about the apartment and went down to the new Hofbrauhaus to drink and carouse with friends. It’s sort of funny (and sad) that we’ve all barely seen one another this summer and now that one of us is moving away we suddenly hang out again. Better late than never, I suppose. Time goes so fast!

The draw of the Hof (it needs a hip, irreverent nickname…also, I’m lazy) is obviously the beer, but the beer hall atmosphere and German food was fun, too. We sat outside on the back porch, but just walking through the main hall was an experience in and of itself. I hear sitting inside is too loud to talk (and I believe it) and the porch had a roof and a nice view of downtown. Very pretty.

But anyway…the beer.

We are hardcore women, so we each got 2-3 liters (!!!), served in a heavy glass beer stien. I got the July special, Bohemian Pilsner. Pretty delicious. For an extra $8 you can buy a stien, so of course I did. It’s a huge hulking beast and I hope it doesn’t rip the kitchen cabinets out of the walls…

Anyway, hung out for about four hours, ate, laughed, talked, laughed some more, made plans to meet up again Sunday (we really just can’t say goodbye). It was a good night. Definitely worth feeling a little sleepy at work today.

July 23, 2009

Some freaking results!

Filed under: apartment, human training, pictures, triumph! — Cate @ 2:17 pm

I am very pleased to report that I’ve finished the carpet project in two out of three rooms. (And it would have been three of three, but I ran out of the papers towels I was using to scrub up padding. It seemed like the universe saying, “Cate, go home,” so I did.) For those of you keeping score at home, that means the bedroom and living room/entry hall are both finished, free of carpet and stuck-on, centuries-old padding. There’s still tack strips to contend with, but whatever. Victory is victory.

The bad news is that the wood floors underneath are in far worse condition than I’d hoped. The wood itself doesn’t seem rotted or weak (thank goodness), but it’s pretty stained. Very disgusting. Years and years and years of crap sinking through the carpets and sitting on those lovely floors. There’s an especially nasty circle of filth in the living room.



stupid nasty stains :(

stupid nasty stains :(

ughhhh death stain

ughhhh death stain

This is going to sound silly (it is silly), but tearing up all those carpets and putting in all that work just to find those nasty floors underneath feels a little like a personal failure. Oh, sure, I know I didn’t damage the floors and their grossness isn’t a result of anything I did, but I was hoping this whole adventure would end in beautiful flooring. And it didn’t. And that stinks.

Since we don’t own this apartment and there’s no reason to put our money and effort into the place as though we did own it, Joe and I obviously won’t be paying to truly fix up the floors. But we’re not without options. Area rugs can be nice. Or we could paint. Or stain – Joe suggested maybe an ebony stain, which I think sounds nice. Something different. So we’ll see.

When I got back to the house, Josie gave me a stern talking-to. I tried to explain that even though I’m not with her I really am doing all of this for her, but she didn’t want to hear it.

less talking, more petting

less talking, more petting

So instead I let her lecture me and then she settled on my lap and kneaded me with her claws until she felt I was properly chastised. Then we watched another True Blood episode (I really am addicted to that goofy show) and then we called Joe to tell him about our days and she drowned me out with all her mrrrrarrrring. Oh, Josie.

seriously. shut up.

seriously. shut up.

July 22, 2009

Progress, part 2

Filed under: apartment, pictures — Cate @ 10:25 am

Ahhh, the joy of a decarpeted apartment! It really does the place a world of good, and I feel better knowing it’s gone. There’s no telling what kind of nastiness was brewing under those carpets (though I suppose I could guess, since I’ve seen what they look like underneath – disgusting). Joe and I (and Jos and Seb) will literally breathe better with them gone, I’m sure of it.

Last night a very gracious friend of mine helped me wrestle the ex-carpets into the basement (where they will stay until I figure out what the heck to do about them, ie, can afford to have them taken away). It was nasty and awful and terrible to have to touch them, but nice that they’re out of my kitchen!

I went to the apartment intending to scrub up the last of the carpet padding and feeling very cocky after my success ripping up carpets. In an unfortunate but not unpredictable turn of events, the padding is proving to be much more stubborn than I thought it would. It’s going to take some serious elbow grease to get it all off and I’m hoping I’ll be able to finish it tonight. Yesterday, though…I was sweaty and annoyed and I just wanted instant gratification.

Gross stuck-on padding - ugh!

Gross stuck-on padding - ugh!

The living room and entry hallway are the worst in terms of stuck-on padding. The office only has a bit and I don’t think it will give me much trouble. The padding in the bedroom turned almost completely to dust, so it was just a matter of sweeping up the crap. There’s still staples in the floor (and the damn tack strips that I couldn’t pry up) and the whole surface needs a good wash, but in terms of post-carpet cleanliness it’s my new favorite room.

One side of the bedroom

One side of the bedroom

Another side of the bedroom

Another side of the bedroom

The tiling I uncovered

The tiling I uncovered

In that last picture, you can see one of three tiled hearths (presumably). It’s pretty ugly – pink and turquoise blotches on a dirty white background – but I was excited to find some original artistic touches in the place. There’s that one in the bedroom, plus one each in the office and living room. I don’t know how old the building is, but I don’t think it’s impossible that at one point there really were three fireplaces on one floor.

I didn’t get back to the house until after 10pm and Josie was beside herself. My third and final roommate seemed to have move most of her things out while I was gone, so miss kitty was probably a little frantic over even more disruption and no sign of me. And then all I wanted to do was go to bed, which she wasn’t happy about.

She woke me up at 6:30 this morning, mewing and crying and wanting attention. I told her to be quiet and pushed her off the bed and, to my absolute shock, she didn’t come back for a second round. When I did finally get up a hour later, she was sitting next to my bed, staring.

I said, “Josie, are you mad at me?”

She narrowed her eyes and said, “Mrrrrrrrrraaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.”

I think that’s a yes.

It's dark, but you can see she has her claws in my leg

You can see she has her claws in my leg...

July 20, 2009

Progress! And sad kitties…

Filed under: apartment, girls in the world, pictures, sadface, triumph! — Cate @ 10:24 am

Saturday was a long and exhausting day. I volunteer at my school’s organic garden on (some) Saturday mornings and this week had agreed to drive the van up there, so despite being hungover and tired couldn’t just stay in bed like I wanted to. It was a gorgeous day for gardening and I brought home a bounty of veggies, including zucchinis, beans, a pepper, squashes, basil, thyme, broccoli and rhubarb. I also had two beets but I knew I was never going to eat them, so I gave them to someone else.

When we got back to the city, I figured I would head over to the new place and do some work ripping up carpets. The carpets were a nasty shade of orange-brown in the living room and office and a very dirty off-white in the bedroom. And they were hiding beautiful hardwood floors, so I knew as soon as I looked at the apartment that they would all be coming out.

Unfortunately I didn’t bring my camera, so the only “before” shots I have were taken with my phone’s dinky camera:

the living room – blech

the office – blech blech!

the bedroom – blech blech blech!

Pretty gross, right? It all came up surprisingly easy. There were a few spots where the carpet went under a door jamb, so that will have to be torn up more carefully, but for the most part all I had to do was tug and it popped right up. It took me an hour to get all of the carpets pulled up in all three rooms. Not bad!! I spent another hour rolling up the carpet and picking up what I could of the padding underneath. The rest will have to be swept up or scrubbed loose, but it’s a start.

I had three “after” images, but apparently two of them got swallowed between my phone and the online album.

the living room – dirty and dusty, but a floor emerges!

I’ll still have to go back and pull out the tack strips and clean and polish the floors. Another couple hours, I think, and the whole project will be done. Then I can start moving! Very exciting!

Afterwards, I went out to grab some lunch/dinner with a friend who lives nearby and then I fell into bed and didn’t move until 7am Sunday morning. I watched a few episodes of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares, moved some things around, and then went next door to work on Thesis for a few hours.

When I came back, my (now former) roommate had stopped by the collect Cosby, leaving Josie all alone in the house. I think that was the first time she’d been totally alone since she came to live with us last April. She was absolutely crazed.

I’m not sure if it was an insecurity thing (“oh my god the house is empty! They took Cosby away! I’m next! What’s happening to my life?!?!?!?!”) or a joyful celebration thing (“finally! Alone with my human! All of the attention is mine! ME ME ME ME ME!”), but she followed me everywhere all night long. If I stopped, she stopped. If I went into the kitchen to make dinner, she sat in the kitchen watching me. If I sat down to watch some True Blood, she sat on my lap.

Poor little Josie. Her whole world is upside-down! I’ve heard reports that Cosby is the same way – he cried all night, apparently. At least Josie let me get some sleep.

On the plus side, though, I don’t think we’ve ever snuggled as much as we have in the past twenty four hours.

If I explore this side of the room, you won’t disappear, right?

July 16, 2009

Such sweet sorrow…

Filed under: apartment, girls in the world, sadface — Cate @ 1:39 pm

Yesterday one of my roommates moved out. There’s still traces of his stuff around the house, but for the most part he (and his Puggle) are gone. We’ve been friends for ages, so I know I’ll still see him, but it’s sad just the same. It took me a long, long time to warm up to his puppy and I even miss the little pooper.

Also yesterday…I signed a lease! And got keys to the new place!!!!!!!!

Afterwards I went to say hello to the new apartment. It needs some serious work, but I’m excited to get started. I think this weekend I’ll put in some time ripping up carpets and spiffing up the wood floors underneath. I’ll take pictures. Exciting stuff.

This morning, my other roommate’s cat woke me up bright and early. Cosby is funny in the mornings, very loud and obnoxious until I get up and put food in his bowl. Today I just wasn’t having it. He started in on me before 6am (how uncivilized!), crying and whining, crawling all over me, rubbing on my face. Now I have a funny knot in my back that I’m sure is a result of twisting and squirming and trying to get away from him.

When I did finally get up, I was pleased to see Miss Josie was not taking part in Cos’s antics, though clearly she was not pleased to see me. She was stretched out on the floor, looking stern and disappointed, weak with hunger I’m sure. Poor darling.

I wonder – when we live alone, will Josie take over Cosby’s role?

July 14, 2009

One unhappy cat…

Filed under: girls in the world, human training, sadface — Cate @ 12:36 pm

Poor Josie had to get dunked last night. She slipped out the back door when my roommate took the puppy out to do his business and wandered around for a few hours. Josie’s a former stray and loves to be outside, but I try to keep her in due to the massive amounts of poison ivy in our backyard (and because it looks like a jungle out of Jurassic Park the backyard is where all the kitties want to play) and my severe allergy to it. This is second time recently that she’s sprinted for the door. (Darling, I get it: you want to be an inside-outside cat. Just cool your jets for a couple more weeks!)

So she got a bath the second she allowed me to catch her. Poor little girl. She screamed like I was killing her (possibly the most upsetting sound in the world) but only clawed me a couple times. I know it sucks to be forcibly bathed but I just can’t have her spreading poisons all over my house.

She was pretty pissed off (understandably). But this morning she came right up to me and let me pet her and purred like usually, so I guess she’s decided to let me live.

I’m hoping in the new place I’ll be able to let her outside like a real cat. We’ll be living on the second floor but maybe we can make it work. She was content for a long time to just sit in the window and watch, but I think she’s telling me loud and clear now that she’s unsatisfied.

Josie says “jump,” I say, “yes ma’am!”

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