The installer informed me that there was no way they could install the doors without redoing the frames, and that unless we moved both of the lights over the doors, they would have to go with low-profile doors on both sides, which would cause problems with the shelving that the estimator had also neglected to take into account. Since it was their fault for screwing up the estimate and measurements, he said that they would not charge for redoing the frames, but there was no way they could install the doors with the equipment and supplies they had brought. They made a follow-up appointment to come out this Thursday to install the doors, with the tacit understanding that I would arrange to move the two lights before they returned (which I did this afternoon).
With the lights moved, they can put full profile doors on both sides. The doors cost less than the low-profile one they were originally supposed to install, so I imagine that difference will partly cover the cost of framing (the price difference was not huge).
On Saturday we ran a few old monitors out to the curb and made a trip back up to Oak Hammock marsh. The marsh was almost completely thawed on this trip, and was sporting a much broader selection of migratory birds. We decided to be ambitious and tackled one of the more ambitious, 10km paths around the marsh. The first 3/4 of the hike was very nice, with lots of interesting things to see, and just enough rest spots along the way, but the last 2-3km of the hike was a gruelling death-march.
It was also, we discovered later, full of ticks. They had not been a concern on earlier visits to the marsh, but we got about a mile from the marsh when atara caught one crawling up the side of her face. We pulled off the highway, and I found a couple more in the creases of my clothes, and another on her shirt. We checked the back of the car, and did a quick visual inspection of each other, but those were the only ones we found.
Until we got home.
We hung up our jackets and camera gear out in the back porch, then stripped down in the kitchen and gave each other thorough tick inspections. atara found one crawling up my back, but otherwise we and our clothes seemed to be tick-free. When went for dinner later in the evening, she pulled her phone out of her purse and found a tick clinging to it. She caught another tick crawling up her shoulder when we got into the car this afternoon. Hopefully that will be the last of them.
We were kicking ourselves, because we had even talked about inspecting our clothes for ticks before we got in the car.
We were sitting at our computers this morning when it occurred to me that I had not seen Belladonna yet today. I asked atara when she had last seen the cat, and she was remembered seeing the cat. She answered tentatively that she was pretty sure she had seen her at dinner, but was less certain when I pointed out that she had not shown her muzzle in here once during last night's raid - and Belladonna likes to make her presence known when we are by our computers.
We swept through the house, checking all of her usual hiding spots, but she was nowhere to be found. We finally concluded that she must have sneaked out the back door while we were carrying monitors to the curb yesterday morning. I went outside to see if she was skulking about in the yard, and I ran into the neighbour loading up his truck. I asked him if he had seen one of our cats outside, and he said that his daughter had recognized one of them wandering around in our yard yesterday morning. Great.
atara spoke to the neighbours on the other side, and they also mentioned that they had seen one of our cats wandering down the sidewalk yesterday evening.
We did a quick sweep of the yard and neighbourhood, calling her and looking in and under things as we went, before returning home to file a lost cat report, and printing off a couple of dozen flyers. Originally we started going door to door, ringing the bell and asking the neighbours if they had seen the cat. A couple had mentioned seeing her this morning, each time further from our house. We split up so that I could continue scouring the streets and alleys for our cat while atara stuffed our flyers into mailboxes around the neighbourhood.
In the meantime, we moved her litter box and food dish outside in case she was near enough to smell them and come back. I gathered up tools and wandered out to the garage to move those lights, and atara decided that she would up the ante outside and put a bit of tuna on a place, since Belladonna loves tuna. She cracked a can of it and put a bit on a plate as cat bait. When she opened the back door to throw the can in the recycling, there on the steps was a rather dishevelled Belladonna, covered in cobwebs and looking rather frightened and miserable.
If she gets out again, we will skip all of the other steps and go straight to the can of tuna.
STOP: if you are following MLP:FIM and have not seen the season finale, this is a huge spoiler.
Earlier generations of this cartoon had conflicts involving topics like who would host the tea party, or how many friends they should invite to their cupcake party. The conventional wisdom at the time was that little girls did not like shows with action or fighting. FIM has given that paradigm a shake and turned it on its ear. Consider this an object lesson in why you should never anger a pony princess unless you have demigod-like powers. This is a surprisingly epic battle scene from a cartoon show about pastel-coloured magical ponies. According to Meghan McCarthy, Hasbro drew the line at Twilight Sparkle punching the villain in the face. Apparently that is still verboten.