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cat and home

A couple weeks ago, Nimiel got to have a little supervised time outdoors in the front yard. It didn't last too long, as it was clear I couldn't keep her from running into the neighbor's garden or underneath parked cars with the danger of darting under a moving one. But she clearly enjoyed being outdoors enough that I decided for certain to try putting her on a leash with a kitty harness. I bought the harness last weekend, and as the package recommended, I simply left it out where she could sniff it and get used to it. Well, that seems to have worked too well: she's decided it's a great new toy to wrestle with and chew on the buckles. When it's finally time to put it on her, I don't know how I'm going to manage, because she's clearly going to be too interested in wrestling it. (The instructions helpfully say, "to fit: stand your cat up straight, adjust and buckle the collar and girth straps..." as if it were going to be that easy.) If I can get it on her then get her outdoors, she may learn to tolerate it, the idea being to get her to associate it with being allowed outside. I'm suspecting she'll prove to be too independent to tolerate it, but it's either this or no outdoor time for her, so I might as well try.

Tomorrow I'm also getting her microchipped. It's a good idea in general, it's a better idea if I plan to give her some outdoor time even if accompanied, but most importantly the work on the building is supposed to start soon. Our established practice is that when I leave the apartment, she gets to spend some time out in the hallway first, before I chase or carry her back into the apartment. This practice became established in part because it seemed much easier than trying to keep her inside while I got out the door, and in fact I rarely have trouble getting her back in the apartment once she's had a little free time. I'm worried though that when construction begins she may get a chance to run out the back of the building, so I want to make sure she's traceable back to me.



I went to a home buyer's seminar last night at the branch of my bank near work. There were only about ten of us, though supposedly they were expecting around 30 people, and I'm pretty sure I was the only first-time buyer, everyone else was selling. The main things I learned were that:

  • There are big scary numbers I'm not at all sure I can handle.
  • Putting it off to next year only makes that worse.
  • I need to get a buyer agent first thing and a pre-approved mortgage loan second thing before I panic about the big scary numbers.
  • Apparently it's sometimes possible to "borrow" the closing cost amount by adding it in with the agreed-upon purchase price.

The biggest problems I have at the moment are that I have nothing whatsoever available for a down payment, thanks to the ongoing braces and car repair payments, and those payments I've been making have demonstrated that I can't afford much of an increase in my monthly payments without simply going broke each month. I know these can be dealt with and I have to push forward, but I'm concerned. As it is, it already looks like I have no choice but to cut back on my braces payments (again, I already paid for the whole thing with a credit card, so it's my choice what I'm paying the card company) because I am indeed simply going broke at the end of each month. It'll work out, it's just not working out as I'd have liked.

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Comments

( 4 have written — Write )
zannah
May. 7th, 2005 09:19 am (UTC)
We haven't harness trained Fufuberry, but I looked into it. Here's a method you might try:

Right before you go to feed her (assuming you put food down at certain times and don't just always leave her bowl full) put the harness on her, and then feed her right away. Pet her/praise her afterward. Let her keep the harness on, distracting her with favourite playtoys if neccessary, until she seems to be comfortable with it.

Repeat for about a week.

Eventually, attach a leash to the harness, and let her go around dragging it behind her (making sure she doesn't get caught).

After a time (maybe another week?), pick up the leash and try walking with her. (it helps if you praise or give treats if she's walking with you.)

Supposedly you can get any cat to walk on a harness with enough time and patience....
philaros
May. 7th, 2005 08:00 pm (UTC)
The only thing I don't like about this suggestion is building an association between wearing the harness and getting a normal bowl of food. I don't want her thinking she's going to get dinner every time I put the harness on. However, I should be able to substitute "give treats" for "feed her".
parkbenchzine
May. 7th, 2005 01:41 pm (UTC)
401K?
another thing to check into.... if you have a 401k some let you borrow that money for things like down payments on homes... sure you have to pay it back, but its like you're paying yourself back.. check into that if you have any 401ks to speak of. you may have more of a down payment than you thought, if they do allow it to be used.
(Anonymous)
May. 7th, 2005 03:40 pm (UTC)
almost off-topic-- something to cheer you up momentarily
http://bunnyherolabs.com/adopt/finish.php?clr=0xebebeb&cn=nimiel&an=phil&mc=cat%2Eswf

--A the G
( 4 have written — Write )

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