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Hopefully A Cat Rescue

I noticed this morning that there was a small black-and-white cat in the window of the ground-floor apartment opposite our house; that apartment's tenants moved out at least a month ago and the owner of the property has been doing extensive renovations in it (as in taking out all the flooring, redoing the plumbing, pretty much everything you can think of). Nobody has moved in as yet, but the workers have been going in and out, and not always keeping doors closed while doing so. Obviously, the cat wandered in without the workers noticing; I'm assuming that happened yesterday because she sure wasn't there before today!

Well, yeah, what a horrible situation - no food or water, and it's been a sweltering day here so no doubt it feels like 95F or higher in that place today! So I had the bright idea of checking with the second floor tenants, who I know exist (I think the third floor is also vacant at the moment) and who obviously would have the owner's contact info so they could call and get someone to let the cat out. Chris went to check after dinner - the cat was still there and he could see the place was vacant, but he got no reply at the other apartments he buzzed. So he went to the next apartment building (this with 4 units) and a young woman was home; went to look and saw not only that the cat was actually there, but it was a cat she knew, called Domino. So she and Chris tried various other doorbells to get more information, but mostly got no replies and the one they did get was someone who didn't know anything, but the woman knows the owner of Domino and will let her know what's going on.

So I sort of feel that it's out of my hands now, but when I went to close the curtains awhile ago, I could see the cat was still there. I think if they haven't found a way to get her out by tomorrow, I'll call the SPCA and ask their advice. I'm sure all that's needed is a phone call to the building's owner, but how long that might take is a worry, especially given how extremely hot it is at the moment.

So I'm just going to keep on biting my nails and worrying, I guess....

Addendum: Domino was still there yesterday morning, but when Chris went to check on her, he spoke to another person living in the adjacent building, who told him that they had contacted the building's owner and that person was coming later to let the cat out. We went about our day and when we got back, Domino was safe and sound in the window of her own apartment once again. Yay!

Proud of My Adopted Country

You may have seen the news about Fort MacMurray, Alberta, Canada, which was hit very hard by wildfires in recent days - extremely dry conditions and extreme (for May) heat in the 90s Fahrenheit, resulted in a massive firestorm that engulfed the whole small city in a very short period of time. Here's the thing: Upwards of 88,000 people were under mandatory evacuation in a 24-hour period of time, and those 88,000 people ALL were evacuated, with NO reported deaths.

Think of that. 88,000 people all fleeing one place, mostly in one direction, all at the same time, and nobody died. Wow.

Now, Fort Mac is the centre of the tar sands, and of course it's both ironic and some would say appropriate that the excessive destruction of Mother Nature there ends up being almost utterly destroyed by Mother Nature. But that's not what makes me proud to be Canadian today.

Instead, think of this: the CBC quickly mobilized to set up a national phone-in radio show for 2 hours today, so that Albertans could get their stories out and so that Canadians in the rest of the country could voice their concerns, support or what-have-yous. I heard some of it, including people calling in to say a loved one had been evacuated, had been in contact and then there'd been no word for 12 hours, could anyone help them find their loved one? to people calling to say we in (city/town/village) (province) are raising funds right now for you, hang in there; to one guy calling to say he's not far from the disaster (but far enough away), has house-space for a family and has enough land to house four or five tents full of fleeing people - and then he gives out his personal telephone number, not once but three times! On a national broadcast!

Reports can't be clear yet, but it seems likely that most, if not all, of that community of 88,000 people has been utterly destroyed. And yet here's a country just... well, just caring enough to respond in big ways (Quebec, for example, is sending 4 Bombardier fire-bombing planes - and they've got the best such planes in the world) and in small (a woman from Ontario said her Rotary club would be sending clothes post-haste).

Sorry, America, land of my birth: You believe yourselves to be big-hearted, and you are, but you'd never be able to safely, quickly and efficiently evacuate a town of 88,000 with no deaths, and you'd never ever give out a personal telephone number on national radio (well, you don't have national radio) in order to help some disaster-stricken strangers. Can't hold a patch to Canada, and I can't be more proud of my adopted home.

(If you see the situation and want to help, go to the Canadian Red Cross, donate there.)

Thinking About Safety

Today a young man in Montreal was charged with first degree murder, representing the *second* murder in Montreal in 2016. The first one occurred about March 25th, around two weeks ago or so.

Yeah. Three million people living here; two murders in 3 1/2 months. I kinda think that's a record in North America, that is the fewest murders in a major North American city in that length of time.

Think maybe the lack of easy gun ownership here has something to do with it? Heh. (I should point out that I don't remember for the first murder but this second one was committed by knife, not gun.)

If I was on Twitter, I'd be ending this with #nevergoingbacktoUSA for sure!

CNN Needs a Proof-Reader!

For example,

"A U.S. geologist discovered that the San Andreas and the San Jacinto faults may have ruptured together about 200 years ago in the past..."

Ya know, 'cause 200 years ago isn't descriptive enough of being in the past.


Books in February

I spent the first 8 days of February traveling and visiting family in California, as a result of which I got little reading done during that period. It turns out that in Richmond, California, the public library holds a book sale on the first Wednesday of every month, each book available for 30 cents apiece; naturally, I ended up with 6 books for a whole $1.80! Several books this month are from that haul - and given that we’re having the coldest days of the winter right now (-25C for a *high* temperature, anybody?), these books come in handy for cozying up to!

English Country House Murders: Classic Crime Fiction of Britain’s Upper Crust, edited by Thomas Godfrey.Collapse )

Mr. Mercedes, by Stephen King.Collapse )

Past Reason Hated, by Peter Robinson.Collapse )

Wycliffe and the School Bullies, by W.J. Burley.Collapse )

So, a short list of reading for a short month, but then again I really only had three weeks of reading time. Happy Leap Day, everyone!

Books in January

2016 is starting off snowy and very cold here in Montreal; temperatures are so low that the only thing to do is to stay inside and read!

Bryant and May and the Burning Man, by Christopher Fowler.Collapse )

The Edge of Nowhere, by Elizabeth George.Collapse )

The Edge of the Water, by Elizabeth George.Collapse )

The Edge of the Shadows, by Elizabeth George.Collapse )

Hide Me Among the Graves, by Tim Powers.Collapse )

The Hanging Valley, by Peter Robinson.Collapse )

The Brewer of Preston, by Andrea Camilleri.Collapse )

Wycliffe and the Pea Green Boat, by W. J. Burley.Collapse )

January ends with extremely mild temps and easy minds; we're off to San Francisco tomorrow to visit my family, back in a flash as they say!

David Bowie

Best comment/tribute I've seen on this sad day:

"David Bowie didn't die. Ziggy Stardust just went home."

RIP, Starman.

Most to me is "Rock'n'Roll Suicide," from the Ziggy period - "you're NOT alone!" kinda sorta actually kept me alive at certain times in my life.

And for that, thank you, Mr. Bowie.