23 June 2016

Cat on a Hot Skateboard

Cat on a Hot Skateboard
By Myra Vanderpool Gormley (c) 2016

Sometimes I become so involved in researching and writing about the past that I forget to record what’s going on in the present. That may just be a personality quirk of mine. It also might be an indicator of a brain disorder from which I have suffered for decades.

Living in a small gated condominium community consisting of 38 owners — mostly much over 55 year olds — it is not exactly party city. In fact, except for a few strange ones who stay up until 10 p.m. or gasp, later; it is pretty quiet around here most of the time.

However, once in a while exciting things happen. The other day, we had a sprinkler head burst and spurt forth enough water to flood a driveway. It needed washing anyway. Just as the landscapers were trying to fix that problem, down at the other end of the community a flooded water meter erupted and the city was called to fix it (their meter, not ours).

The landscape crew also discovered some standing water outside one of the homes and when they dug down they found a broken water pipe, which had to be replaced quickly. It was water, water, everywhere. Of course, in the Pacific Northwest in April, one doesn’t get too excited over wet things.

Our landscape committee has been busy lately getting rid of some sickly plants and replacing them with 170 new ones. Actually the count is 169, because one of the azaleas has disappeared. It was last seen the other day in front of Unit 13-A, awaiting to be planted in a lovely location. I was drafted to be on azalea watch all week, but so far, no sighting of the fleeing flowery shrub. We may have to get Marcie’s toy poodle to do some sniffing around to find it.

Like many communities, we have a few rules pertaining to pets and owners. One of the rules is that all pets must be on a leash or carried in your arms (and owners must, of course,  clean up the poop and are responsible for their pet’s behavior). Imagine the surprise to see an unleashed cat on a skateboard sailing down toward the RV parking lot last Saturday. Close behind was a girl chasing it. Neither the girl nor the cat was wearing a helmet (another transgression of our laws). The Neighborhood Watch patrolman got a workout writing tickets for those violations — and tracking down the grandparents who had allowed such outrageous behavior.

Just when things began to settle down, a drone flew over the community, making lazy circles in the sky and frightening some of us who were enjoying the sun on our patios. Immediately, or so it seemed, a distraught woman appeared at our entrance gate, crying for help and begging to be let in. One of the community’s board members happened to be doing some work near the gate and heard her cries. He learned that she and her husband had been in Cirque Park (which abuts our community on the west) flying his new drone when he lost control of it and it flew down into our community.

Eventually the errant drone was found on the roof of Unit 17-B and returned to the tearful lady, along with some words of advice about what will happen next time their drone wanders into our air space. Something about “finders keepers; losers weepers” I think.

Obviously our governing board is going to be writing some new laws about unleased cats on skateboards and wayward drones that invade our privacy and disrupt our dull, drab lives.

Meanwhile, just got a tip about an azalea that’s hiding out in back of Unit 19-A, pretending to be a rhododendron.  Gotta run.