May 6th, 2005

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.