riddler 0919Here’s a riddle for you (I don’t know the answer): What initially runs from a dog but then turns to fight, snarling all the while?

Two nights ago Oz and I went out the front door around 11:30. He took about two steps, turned toward the northeast corner of the house, and took off at a full run. By the time he got to the southeast corner (where I couldn’t see him), whatever he was chasing decided “fight” was better than “flight,” and it started snarling and it sounded like they were mixing it up.

At this point I remembered I had a flashlight in my hand, but all I ever saw was Oz coming back toward me, turning every so often toward the spot where his adversary had been.

Kara’s vote is for a racoon. Whatever it was, I find it rather unnerving to keep going outside at night only to have Oz bolt off in the darkness after creatures unknown. At least none of them seem to have been skunks, and he is current on his rabies vaccination.

In other unnerving animal news, Marrakesh was AWOL for about 20 hours. As used to happen a lot at the Irwin house, we played the In-Out game so much yesterday morning that I lost track of whether he was in or out. I really thought he was inside, but it must have been his “fake out” move of looking like he wanted to come in and then changing his mind when the door was open that threw me.

I didn’t see him when I left for work, and I didn’t see him when I came home for a later-than-usual lunch. Lynn was also late, and she hadn’t seen him either. I went back to work just before Lynn’s brother Kent and his wife Laura arrived, and although the three of them sat on the deck (our first deck guests!), no cat materialized.

I came home early to meet with the electrician; still no cat. Lynn took our guests and Oz on a walk: still no cat. I had brought some work home with me (translation: boxes of shirts needing to be folded), and I took some of it back to work. On the way, I took my first drive past our old house to see if perhaps Marrakesh had gone there. Gilly, leaving work late, did the same thing, twice, but none of the drive-bys turned up a cat.

No cat all evening, nor when Oz and I (and flashlight) went out around 1. I was starting to recall that we lost Khonsu on a rainy pre-dawn in September, and it was striking me as the cruelest month.

And then Lynn got up at 4 to start her day, and there was Marrakesh, outside the patio door, wanting in like nothing was different. He was hungry and in need of attention, and after Lynn woke me to tell me the news, he crawled up next to me and didn’t move for three hours. So there’s another unanswered riddle: where did he spend all that time, and why?

I’m hoping he’ll be good on the going-out thing for awhile; I don’t know what to do when he decides it’s time to go back out. I don’t need another evening like that, but at some point his yowls may supersede my common sense. I’ll have to remember that other riddle: why do I keep letting cats outside?

In the middle of that, Shawn the electrician did show up with an armful of electrical products, prepared to fix anything gone wrong with our new house. All of it went back into his truck, because Lynn had already gone to the hardware store to get dimmable bulbs for her pendant lights, and we decided the hall light that had been slow to turn on once was now working fine.

He checked all the detectors — I learned the ones in the bedrooms are the smoke detectors and the two in the hallways are for carbon monoxide. He and I spent a lot of time staring up at the ceiling, counting seconds between blinks of red light. It turns out, when we read the directions, that the detector company thinks a good way to communicate is through the number of seconds between red blinks. I have my doubts about that. Every 10 seconds means a re-set is needed; 40 (which we never got to; the best we managed was 28) means everything is copacetic.

He also checked the amps the steam shower is producing, and although he put in a breaker that the shower company said was adequate, it is under-powered. He will be back in a couple of days to replace that breaker.

So everything seemed fine, and then this morning we had another power outage. Just long enough to shut off clocks and leave me hanging while CBS was reporting on the Saudi response to the drone strike.

Riddle me this: how many micro-outages a month do you suppose GCEA customers should expect? We’re at two so far, but we’re new here.

Also on yesterday’s agenda: a trip to True Value. In theory — theory, you understand — Lynn’s super microwave might arrive today. It might even be undented, but odds seem to be against that. The wood samples for my vanity also finally arrived, and I brought an armful of them home to check against the bathroom counter. This company definitely skews orange, but there might be a stain darker than I initially wanted that matches the stain on our doors.

There’s another riddle without an answer from me. When do you suppose the True Value pieces all come together? I guess there is an answer to that one: Some Day . . .

In the meantime I am being neglectful of our guests. I believe we are shopping this morning, then meeting Lynn in Almont for the Great Post Office Tour (starts every day at noon, only $10 per head), followed by lunch and a so-far-unplanned afternoon. Maybe a nap to make up for all this puzzling I am having to do.

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