Friday, April 20, 2007

Tales of Apartment Hunting (very scary, indeed)

Earlier this week I sent Matt out to find us an apartment to live in during our many 4 to 5 day breaks from driving. You see, I've grown so weary of watching Matt have to move so much junk out of the truck every time we take time off at a hotel, that I've decided to allow Matt to spend some money on a permanent type of residence for both of us. Unfortunately I sent him to the Harrisburg, PA area to do this. Little did I know the horrific stories he would tell upon his return.

Apparently, apartment living has changed somewhat in the past twelve years, according to Matt, who lived in apartments from '82 to '95.

"It's a lower class of riff-raff than ever before," Matt says. "The housing boom has taken most of the good renters out of the market and made them owners. The landlords, in turn, have to lower their standards and fill empty residences with ho's, drug dealers, and trash of a general nature. This results in dangerous apartment living conditions and at the very best, trashy looking domiciles." After going out for 3 days and viewing several dwellings he has returned with nothing but a broken spirit.

MATT: They're nothing but a bunch of animals, Buster! Oh, offense.

BUSTER: (shakes head) I can't believe you just said that. Apologize!!!

MATT: I just did.

BUSTER: Oh....uh....your apology is not good enough. I will suspend you for 2 weeks, but after 4 days of it I will fire you instead. I will declare your career over, but you will probably resurface in a few months on the radio somewhere.

MATT: Sounds like a nice gig. What station?

BUSTER: (smiling) Very funny. So what happened out there. You find us a place to flop?

MATT: Yeah, plenty of places to flop!...which is why I didn't grab any of them. It was very disappointing to say the least. Lots of beat up cars in their lots, noisy teenage kids with skateboards, and other eyesores. Plus, some of the landlords like playing games with prospective renters.


MATT: I had one tell me on the phone they accept cats. But when I filled out the application I noticed it said "no pets" at the bottom. When I asked her about this she said "no pets" is also written on the lease, but that it only applies to dogs. I told her that cats are considered pets, too. And I'd like her to include an addendum to the lease allowing one cat. She said they have a few residents with cats but they don't include it in the lease. I answered by saying "if it isn't in writing then I can't sign the lease." So after talking to her manager on the phone she said "sorry, guess you gotta keep looking."

BUSTER: She's a crook!!!

MATT: Yup! Big one.

BUSTER: She could change her mind at any time and boot us out for violating the lease!

MATT: Yup. I stomped outa there.

BUSTER: Good! Did yah throw your saucer of milk at her?

MATT: don't drink it that way.

BUSTER: Oh...yeah. You've got those great, long thumbs....hmmm...yes. Well, don't take any crap from those two-legged rat-bags. My litterbox biscuits have more character.

MATT: Well, another one told me on the phone "no monthly cat fee" and "yes, you can view the apartment before you put down the deposit," but that changed when I showed up. Still another one told me I'd have to sign the lease before I could view the apartment. It's crazy! But then I discovered, which would've saved me several trips. Problem is there aren't more than a couple of good ones to rent from in the whole area. Good thing we aren't desperate.

BUSTER: I dunno. I was kinda looking forward to that big jungle-gym scratch post you promised to buy me. Remember that 5'x7' Picasso-like carpeted thing you said I'd get?

MATT: Yeah yeah.... Sorry, it won't fit in the truck.

BUSTER: *Sigh*

Postings from old blog Sept. '06 to Feb. '07


For those of you who have just tuned in, name is Buster and I am Matt's cat. The thoughts and ideas put forth on this blog are my own, but Matt does the typing (except for one time he left his computer running and I did it myself! Of course I was soundly reprimanded for my actions, it was well worth it. Shh. See below at 12-12-06 posting)

On 2-21-07 I ventured with Matt into a foreign country for the first time: CANADA!!! It was extremely uneventful and well, downright boring to say the least. We entered at a place called Sarnia which is north of Detroit/Windsor as it would be less congested. It was. The border guard asked Matt if he knew he was coming to Canada when he left the house. Later he admitted it was a clumsy way of asking Matt if he had any guns in the truck. Without checking Matt's birth certificate or my own immunization record, the bills were stamped and we were approved. Matt said it was far different than his previous attempt to cross the border.
Two years ago, before Matt adopted me from the SPCA in Easton, PA where the feline squalor numbered around 499 as I was carried away, Matt attempted to cross into Canada at Windsor, east of Detroit. Since he had not been sent by his previous company to Canada in over 7 years, the border guard asked for Matt's birth certificate, which he foolishly left at home. The guard (at the toll booth) then told Matt where to pull his truck for "verification of citizenship," a euphemism for "bend over and say 'aaaaahhh.'" Know what I mean? Anyway, according to Matt, these two morons in uniform, one male and one female, came over with guns and police dogs (German Sheppard dogs, which make my fur stand on end!) and were very nasty indeed. They told Matt they were going to search his truck and that he should stand over by the curb located 60 feet away. The two were rude and condescending from the get-go, and no less while inside the truck making insulting comments about truckers in general. When they exited the truck they said they couldn't search it because of "the garbage all over the place." When Matt asked "what garbage?" they referred to the garbage bags (filled with wrapped Christmas gifts for relatives) on the bunk bed and one on the floor. When Matt explained what they contained, he was rebuffed. "I can't let my dog in there. There might be hypodermic needles on the floor he could step on. (pointing at Matt) You're going back to the States!" And so he did.

So this was the first time in two years he returned and was a little tense about it. But it all worked out. Everyone we dealt with was very nice. The whole Toronto area near Brampton looked clean and new. The air was crisp and fresh...until Matt threw my p**p and pee biscuits out the window for the sake of a clean litter box (he said). Matt, who made sure we didn't spend any money or spend the night in Canada, was never so happy to drive to Buffalo. Hey, no one likes being shamed by people in uniform with guns and dogs, especially when no criminal acts were committed. You'd think commercial jets had been flown by rednecks into the "Needle" in Toronto, the way they acted.


Well, here we are back in Bethlehem, PA taking time off. I'm playing with my toys, running around the room, throwing up on occasion, scratching up the furniture, and mooching off Matt's plate at dinner time. His food looks and smells so much better than my boring dry cereal.

Matt has been in this room for two days straight, with only one shower. He hardly dried himself off but sat on a towel and air-dried, sitting at his computer thingy. He looks different with no clothes on. And that's the way he's been the whole time. No clothes, no fur, no nothin'. Kinda takes some getting used to. Smells a little different, too. But I don't mind much. I can jump up on the window ledge and look out. Wish he'd open it back up for me. I love the bracing cold air.

Threw up a toy yesterday. I ate this delicious, little furry white catnip mouse. Or I should say I chewed on it for quite a while...and then it was gone. I looked around me as if I dropped it but found nothing. So I must've eaten it. When it came back up it was smooth, green and rubbery. And empty! No catnip in there. Threw up a few more times. Matt was pretty upset, grabbing my smaller toys and throwing them in the garbage.

It's 4am and time to put Matt to bed. I think he's lost track of time and biorhythm.


First of all, Matt wants all of you to know that Forgiven-NotPerfect has NOT been torn in half from extreme anguish, nor has it been possessed by Satan. Those of you who have the new Explorer 7 from Microsoft have seen the screen split in two when visiting the site. But Carl, our webservant, is busily and tirelessly working 24/7 to manhandle this problem (though cat-handling would work better, I think) and make it look normal again. StBlogustine doesn't suffer from this issue due to the PHP nature of its set-up.

Today I'm sitting in the plastic carrier in Toledo, OH dictating my thoughts to Matt while waiting for the truck to be fixed. There were some strange noises coming from the engine thingy yesterday that other drivers blamed on the "turbo."

"Hey!" they'd shout, "yer turbo is going out! Yeah, dat's what dey sound like, uh-huh."
But is was not to be. Still, we are waiting for a new fan hub because they don't have the part at Detroit Diesel and are too lazy and slack-jawed to drive their lardy butts to the Freightliner dealer downtown to pick it up until this afternoon. Matt offered to walk all the way to get it and walk back, reasoning sarcastically that he could have it here sooner than they would. That didn't go over well with the idiot man-child behind the counter, so no telling at this point how long I'll have to spend in this carrier. But at least I'm indoors where it's much warmer.

On another note...
Winter is a very trying time for me, living in a truck and all. There's always a draft coming from somewhere and I sneeze a lot. Matt warns me about escaping to my frozen freedom, claiming I'd enjoy it for only a few minutes before either being frozen solid or run over by a monster semi skating out of control on the ice/snow. Plus there is the possibility that some whack-job weirdo would capture me and offer me as a blood sacrifice on a make-shift alter in the woods by Wicca freaks, getting their pagan jollies at my expense. Matt has told me such occurrences happen all the time.

So I will sit here in this carrier trying to feel lucky and "holding it" for several hours lest I cause quite a commotion and source of embarrassment for Matt.



Happy New Year! My left eye is much better and no longer tearing up. Thanks for the prayers! Matt and I are up at 3am watching M*A*S*H's grand finale episode and wondering why the show lasted so long. I'm so glad to be out of the truck after a month and a half I can't settle down. I'm jumping all over the place and causing a ruckus.



Today is Christmas, the day baby kitty Jesus Claws was born, along with several other wet and slimy kittens of various color combinations, as told to me by my mother, Fluffy. Not too sure who told her, but I have no reason to think she got it wrong. Matt has informed me that the day honors his savior with a similar name and not mine, but me thinks he has an ax to grind.
Anyway, long ago during a very cold winter Jesus Claws, an orange tabby, wandered about the snowy ground prowling for mice, squirrels, and other crunchy, furry critters when his paws began to ice up. Fearing frostbite, he sauntered up to the nearest human abode and howled and meowed loudly. The owner of the home, one Kris Kringle, heard the sounds and let the freezing feline enter. The door then slammed shut. A large hand grabbed poor Jesus Claws by the scruff of the neck and dropped him in a boiling pot of water to cook. Kris Kringle, thinking he had a free dinner drop in his lap, forgot where he set the lid. Not wasting even a millisecond, Jesus Claws leapt from the boiling cauldron, dashed about the room with no direction in mind, feeling somewhat grateful for thawed paws, in spite of Mr. Kringle's dubious intentions. Kris Kringle, seeing his dinner plans dashed and his gift to his wife (home crafted, orange fur mittens) running around the room, slammed the lid of the pot against the floor causing such a commotion that the confused cat ran into the flaming fireplace and up the chimney....where he remains today, stuck. Fluffy was never too good at telling stories.
On a serious note, back on 12-10 Buster's left eye started tearing up a bit, getting worse each day. On the 14th we saw a vet in Ohio that had truck parking. He diagnosed Buster as having conjunctivitis and gave him medicine to drink twice daily along with antibiotic ointment for both his eyes. Today there is only one day's worth of ointment left and he still squints that eye, though it has improved somewhat. Think we need to get back to Pennsylvania to see Dr. Schnolis. He's very thorough.

Seriously, even though Buster enjoys this California weather he needs your prayers for his eye to get better. Thanks.



matt iz verry bizy so i im tiping thas mysfl i havv no thummms but ican tri reel hard in doo it i hav a kold and im sneezign alott matt neehds too get me tu a vet suun i du hav thumms but thay ar reel littel i m smrt forra kittikat i wahnt treets for krismis lotts and lotts of treets giv me them untl i thro upp thenn i want mor let matt git his oan treets i wil eet themall mysfl my fir haz bitts of kitylitr awl ovr it cuz airr is kold in drii it klings too me and i git shok frum spark win matt pets me win its kold owt uh oh heer he kums i beddr go hyd

Sorry for yet another delay, but there has been much work done on StBlogustine lately. As you can see the RSS thingy is up. Don't ask me what it is. I'm just a cat. But Matt's blog page is up and running and we hope you enjoy it. Feel free to leave a caustic comment or two. My own blog page here will be undergoing a dramatic change one of these days with lots of pictures of me, not just goldfish, birds, squirrels, or mice.

Matt left the passenger side window open after he found parking last night near a General Mills factory (that smells like Coco Puffs) along the side of the road. I was half way out the window when he suddenly became alert, grabbed my leash, and pulled me back. I suppose he saved me from getting lost and starving to death or something. Yeah, like I don't know how to hunt. There were so many places to hide: tall weeds and grass, a forest of thick brush and trees really close together, a large drain to fall into. Hey, it looked like paradise to me. But Matt says there are lots of snakes and scorpions in Georgia, and that if I run away he'll take away my blog page, throw my litter box out the window after me, put two sided tape on my scratch post (really annoying for us cats), and pee in my water dish. I reminded him that since I've been micro-chipped I wouldn't be gone forever, and that he might wish to hold onto my litter box for the reunion. But he answered me with a few things I cannot repeat on the blog, and threw a pillow at me. Hmmm. You'd think he'd just buy me more treats or something if he really wanted me to stay put. Or maybe keep the window shut.


Okay, now 8 days is an improvement but not what's in the contract. Actually I'm being punished for telling the pee-bottle story below in the 11-13-06 log. I have to sleep during the day and march guard duty on the dashboard at night, with NO SINGING. Otherwise things are going okay, considering the weather and all. Sorry for such a short entry but we gotta make time!!


Okay nine days from the last entry is not once per week, but Matt's been under the gun so to speak and running hard. But now he's off for a few days and has agreed to type some rather personal and revealing stories.

First, I gotta tell you what Matt did last week. You're not gonna believe this. Or maybe you will. I dunno.

Anyway, about 6 days ago....or nights. Okay, it was 6 nights ago.... Oh, I just can't tell a story anymore. Matt got up in the middle of the night, half asleep...oh, I should tell you at this point something about truck drivers. They sleep in their trucks in these big parking lots with the other trucks and it's usually far from the building where their litter-box is and.... I dunno if I can tell this or not.

Most of these guys have bottles or containers or things they do their business in, like I do in my litter-box here in the truck. But only liquids go in there. If they gotta do the other, then they have to get dressed, move stuff out of the way, leave the truck and walk across the parking lot trying not to get run over late at night by other sleepy drivers. So for simple business, they use bottles. Matt uses my old cat food containers. He says they hold a lot and the opening is large enough not to accidentally touch the lip of the container know, himself.

Well, 6 nights ago Matt was half asleep and picked up the wrong container---THE ONE WITH MY FOOD IN IT! He realized half way through that he was "going" all over my otherwise dry cat food, but shook his head, swore, and just kept going. The nerve of that guy. He just kept going all over it, getting it all wet and putrid. What a disgusting pig he can be!

Fortunately there was another container of old cat food full of stale but edible substance that I munched on for the last 5 days. And now, of course, I have fresh stuff to eat. But the image just won't go away, even while I'm eating fresh food. I have to stop myself and double check to see if Matt putrefied it in a sleepy stupor.

Other than that I can only say I'm glad to be off the road for a few days with a large room to run around in and a king sized bed to bounce up and down on.



Okay, is there some reason why I only get to write in this thing once per week? If you want more, please email me at and say so. Thanks.

It finally happened. I GOT TO GO OUTSIDE!!!

I was on a leash at a rest area in Pennsylvania for only 15 minutes and it was raining....but I got to go outside!!! Oh, to feel the spongy grass and leaves beneath my little paws, even though it was cold and wet, was a pleasure I rarely get to experience. I ran and ran pulling the tall, fat guy behind me along as best I could. I nearly made it to the tall reeds, where I could get lost and sneak around hunting small furry things and bugs. But Matt stopped and held the leash tight, even though I pulled hard against the harness, putting all 13.5 lbs. of fur, bones, and guts (cat guts at that) in an energetic lurch forward. I could not compete with 295 lbs. of Matt. Good thing, too. I'd forgotten to pack my toys and cat food when he let me out. I think he planned it that way. Hmmm.



For the past few days this blog has looked rather strange. Matt tells me it's because Carl is trying to put together a real blog with a comments option and everything. Not like this pseudo blog we've got here. It may take a while, but until then I'll keep dictating to Matt here (as I have no opposable thumbs or typing skills suitable for such an undertaking) my diary of life on the road in a semi truck for a 13 lbs cat with mild reflux and abandonment issues.

We went to Minnesota and then back to Maine, where it was sunny yesterday. Today we're in Connecticut waiting for our hours to catch up so we can cruise the Ohio and Indiana turnpikes again on our way to Illinois. The scenery has been beautiful with the fall leaves turned several colors. Of course I can only look at them from the windows as Matt won't allow me to go out and explore, which really sucks big time you know. Of course I'd be out for several hours, ignoring his calls to return and romping about the woods carefree not caring how far I stray. Don't know why he has a problem with that.



What a week it's been! After surviving the trip to the Confederacy, Matt drove us to Indiana, then Pennsylvania. From there we got to go way up north east to Maine.

Rain...rain, nothing but rain. And Matt with his digestive problems (post gall bladder removal adjustments). I noticed him eating nothing but dry Total cereal and granola bars most of the time. But two nights ago we stopped at this dive of a truck stop in Turner, ME where they have this pizza place next door. Matt went and got himself a 16" pepperoni and green pepper AND a pint of Ben & Jerry's Apple Pie something-or-other. When he set the pizza down to move stuff and get situated I had to check it out. I didn't much like his choice of toppings, so I didn't eat any of it. But it sure was fun to play with! Pushing things off the ledge is fun when you get to watch them fall. He got pretty mad at me, I can tell you. He hasn't yelled at me like that in a while.

After Matt went to bed I stayed up on the dashboard watching and listening to the rain come down. Drip drip, etc... After it started getting musical I began to make up words to music. The rain in Maine is lain mainly to disdain. Hmmm. So I began to sing it.

The raaaain in Maine is lain maaaaainly to disdaaain, I think I've got it! I think I've got it!

Of course what Matt heard was:
Meow meeooow me meoww weeooooo meeooeooow meeow meow!

To which he sharply responded:
So I did just that. I didn't much care to spend the night in the plastic kennel.



Today marks the 2nd day back out on the road. Not too bad so far, if I ignore the horrible state of I-20 in Texas east of Dallas. I could feel the wheels leaving the ground at times; the road was so wavy and bumpy.

No barfing incidents to report. The food tastes good and I'm keepin' it down. Sitting on the dashboard gives a cat a unique perspective on other drivers. Some look at me and wave, some giggle and point. Others are oblivious to me and the truck and cut in front of us as if we are not there. One guy almost "lost it" in Louisiana, forcing us to drive on the shoulder to get around him. Actually it was a her. Two hers, in fact. The one on the right had grabbed a purse she set between her and the driver, allowing the strap to get caught on the emergency brake handle, pulling it up with the grabbed purse, and causing the brakes to lock. Fortunately they didn't roll over. They just stopped in the middle of the interstate (I-49).

Matt's getting ready to play with me (catnip mice, furry snake, etc...) as soon as he stops taking dictation....


Things have been nice and calm for 4 days now. Matt's been moving slowly, groaning occasionally, but still playing with me every chance he gets. He seems to be getting stronger every day, which means we'll be climbing back into that semi and bouncing down the highway soon. Ughhh.

I almost escaped once a couple days ago. Matt opened up the window (it slides left to right), exposing a vulnerable screen which I dashed quickly towards (from the other side of the room), making a flying leap and barely brushing my head against, before Matt's surprisingly quick reflexes caused him to catch me just in time. Then he insisted on showing me the long drop to the parking lot and where I'd bang my little head when I fell. Doesn't he know we land on our feet? I mean, I love the guy,...but ohhh FREEDOM is so sweet!


No kennel. Instead I got to romp around Matt's nephew's bedroom with a really high bookshelf that gave me lots of fun places to hide. Though I had a little trouble jumping up to the window ledge at first, this was solved by using the part of Matt's bed near his pillow as a springboard. Once I got a running start I'd pounce on the mattress, which would send me flying in the window's direction. I am so talented. Of course Matt didn't like it when I did this at 3am only inches from his head. Once he even tossed a pillow toward the window, narrowly missing me! So I hid under the couch until he fell asleep, then "boinnnggg" again.
Matt made some comments about feeding me a treat from his abdomen when he got back from the doctor's, but all I got was dry cat food. Guess he was joking.

I got to meet several new people, most of whom kinda sorta almost look like Matt (on a bad day). There was this tiny little human who screamed when she first saw me, then couldn't leave me alone. I hid under the couch when I heard her coming. As if she never saw a cat before...

We're back in the hotel...resting.


Tomorrow my meal ticket, I mean Matt, will get his operation and be off for a whole week in a hotel where I can play and play and play some more. Although I've heard murmurings of putting me in a kennel while he recovers, I've no doubt that I'll get to stay at the hotel and do whatever I want when I want. Just hope he's not too out of it to get out the catnip toys and furry snake with the feathers on the end to play with me.
Hey, a cat's got to think of himself in these situations!


Oh, what a week. Only threw up a couple of times, but am much better now. Just takes some getting used to with the moving around. Could be worse, after all. I could be one of those stuffed animals tied to the back pouches of motorcycles we see flying down the highway. Now we're parked for a couple of days waiting for Matt to meet with his surgeon on Monday morning regarding the gall bladder removal. He seems a little preoccupied. Maybe I'll get lucky and a fly will buzz its way into the truck.

Love them little flies
Buzzing little things
Crunch their little eyes
Chew their tiny wings


On the road again...
I've got acid reflux on the road again...
I'm just barfin' up a storm, and that seems to be the norm on the road again...

Actually it's not that bad. But the way Matt drives sometimes, and those rotten, bumpy roads makes me wonder how the other pets fare. Of course most of them are dogs, so who gives a mouse's behind? I'm just lookin' forward to when Matt goes under the knife so I can play in a hotel room again. He'll be off on medical leave for a while if things go badly with his gall bladder operation. So there's always hope.

Sorry for the attitude, but I never get quite used to this being shaken like a paint mixer.


Finally I get to vent! Few cats have the privilege to do so, but I will.

First of all, I’m really glad to be in a hotel after weeks of being out on the road, bouncing up and down, left and right in a big rig. I felt like a soda can ready to explode. But now things are peaceful. I’ve got my own chair, a window ledge to sit on, my toys spread out all over the floor, and a king sized bed to run around on.

Still feeling a little goofy from being cooped up in a truck. Got a little excited and a little loud last night, so Matt had to stick me back into my portable kennel (plastic prison cell), until I clammed up. I hate it when he does that. Why can’t he take 30 naps each day like me instead of lying like a noisy sack of flour in bed for 8 hours?

I wonder if Col. Klink will let me outa this cell and outside to chase birds and mice? Not likely. All I get are long furry snakes on a stick with feathers on the end, or little fake mice stuffed with catnip. Not that I have anything against catnip (kitty cannabis), but I really need to sink my fangs into some plump, juicy, and LIVELY creatures. Hey, I can dream…