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An Extra Day Off
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I'm relieved that we have a day off today to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I've spent the greater part of Saturday and Sunday at the VA (don't ask) and I need today to do all those errands and household tasks which have to be done to prepare for the work week.

I was 86 degrees yesterday -- in January! -- making it necessary to dig out shorts and tee shirt for the day's activities. My neighbor is still scheduling Sundays for his hired workmen to jackhammer up the concrete in his back yard. I most earnestly hope they finish it soon.

The Manx was in the rafters of the garage this morning. He's not a jumper or a climber and I can't for the life of me figure out how he got up there. The other two cats came blasting in the cat door around 9 p.m., fur standing on end, "as though the Devil was after them and the Lord was waitin'" as my southern friends say. This morning they are still hunkered down, indoors, summery weather or not.

Coyotes in the neighborhood (they live in a nearby park) have terrorized the cats before, so my guess is the nice weather gave the coyotes the urge to hunt. They can have all the rats they like, but leave the cats and small dogs alone. We've lost a few small animals to their predations.

Yes, there are rats. There are rats everywhere, just as there are mice everywhere, in abundance. In southern California the rats like to live in the tops of the palm trees, so the next time you see a palm tree (or a picture of one), imagine a nice cozy nest of roof rats in its heart.

Just another of the creatures of the universe, like the rest of us, surviving as best it can.

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