Today the day started out slow, as our days usually do on weekends. Shannon went downtown to spend a gift card at Comic Relief and take himself out to lunch at McDonald's (which was his habit back when he used to buy comics downtown every week) while I had leftover Christmas Chinese food for lunch (sweet and sour prawns), then washed my hair while listening to the first disk of Midnight's Children. I thought it was very interesting that Rushdie said that people from the West generally approach this book as a fairy tale, while people in India generally consider it a history. I love that.
In the afternoon, Shannon and I biked down to the Barnes & Noble in Emeryville to spend the gift cards his mom and step-dad gave us yesterday. I chose to spend mine on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies on audio. I really wanted to get Catch-22 on audio, but it was hella expensive and I probably wouldn't listen to it more than once, so I decided to borrow it from the library instead.
While we were down there, we went to the Old Navy, because I had seen a commercial saying that they would have jeans on very good sale today, and both Shannon and I were in need of new jeans. I don't think I've ever gone to an after-Christmas sale before, so I was a bit overwhelmed by how many people were there. Tons! But Shannon and I each found two pairs of jeans for $15 each, so we were happy.
There's a pastry shop between the Old Navy and the Barnes & Noble, but I've never been there. Someday I want to. I love pastries.
When we were done shopping, we hopped on our bikes and rode north toward Ilah's house. We took a different route, and ended up biking an off-road path along the Aquatic Park, which was much nicer than our usual street route.
We got to Ilah's house to discover that the ant invasion had shifted into overdrive. Ants had gotten into the glass container in which she kept the cat food ... and had also gotten into the unopened extra bag of emergency cat food. Gross! Ilah had told me that Caruso gets diarrhea if you feed him anything different, so I didn't want to change his food, but there were ants everywhere! Shannon started sifting through the food, picking up an individual piece of kibble, brushing off all the ants, then putting it into Caruso's bowl. I sat down and helped him for a while, but that didn't last long. I realized that it was going to take forever to fill Caruso's food bowl by inspecting each tiny piece of kibble. But all the cat food in the house was completely overrun. We thought about calling Ilah's cell phone to ask her what she would like us to do, but Shannon didn't have his iPhone ... and apparently Ilah doesn't have a landline.
It was absolutely pouring rain by this time, and Shannon and I only had one umbrella between us, but we knew there was a Pet Food Express only a couple blocks away, so I wrote down the name of Caruso's cat food, Shannon and I huddled together under the umbrella, and we headed out into the rain.
At Pet Food Express, two employees helped us tirelessly, trying to find where we could buy this food. At length, by researching online, they discovered that it is a food that isn't sold in stores, so there was no way we could buy any. Hoping for the best, we decided to buy Caruso a different -- but similar -- holistic, natural cat food. The guy at Pet Food Express wanted to give us the food for free -- after putting so much effort into helping us! -- but we insisted on paying. Shannon told them that it was the best customer service he'd ever experienced, and I agree. Pet Food Express rocks!
We headed back out and discovered that it was raining even harder. Shannon tried to hold the umbrella over both of us, but my left arm got drenched. Shannon suggested that we try to wait out the storm at Ilah's house, so instead of biking home for dinner we grabbed something to take back to Ilah's, where we could keep Caruso company. He quite happily settled on Shannon's backpack (which he also did yesterday), which later (when we got home) sent Munchkin into a mania of territorial hissing.
We ate and talked with Caruso, petted him, filled up his food bowl with the new-and-hopefully-digestible cat food, and then Shannon read some Harry Dresden aloud. By about 6:30, the rain had stopped. Hurray! We said goodbye to Caruso, unlocked our soggy bikes, dried off the seats as best we could, and headed home.
Now we're home, and I'm happy to be warm and dry. I was silly today and went out wearing only a 3/4-length sleeve t-shirt. No sweater, no coat, no raincoat, nothing. At first I was okay, but after a while, I was freezing! But on the way home Shannon loaned me his flannel shirt, and then I was fine.
Tomorrow I'm going to call Ilah and let her know about the ants and the cat food. But I'll first let her know that Caruso seems healthy and happy and friendly. If she wants us to try to get Caruso his other kind of food, I'm happy to do it if she tells me where.
Tomorrow I'll be visiting Caruso without Shannon, because S is planning to take a day to just lay around. I'm fine with going alone, since I just listen to my audiobooks instead of chatting with Shannon. But spending today with him was lots of fun.