I really hadn’t planned to get another cat (this makes six), but this feisty little girl was too hard to resist.
Fi was almost born in the parkinglot where I work. I trapped her malnourished mom and dad the day before she was born.
One of my coworkers lives out in a rural area where she takes care of a group of outdoor cats (some originally feral, many others abandoned), and she was kind enough to let me relocate George and Gracie to her house.
I had George fixed and vaccinated the day I caught him, but Gracie had to wait until her kitten confinement was over (she and her babies had the run of a guest room).
Now mom and dad are fixed, vaccinated, and exploring a much less traffic-laden area where they have a place to call home and don’t have to scrounge for food.
Gracie’s five healthy kittens were all fixed and vaccinated yesterday (along with mom), and three of them (including my Fi) already had good homes waiting for them.
We’re trying to keep Fi separated from the others, but she’s so curious, and Thumper and Bobbin can’t stay away from their new baby sister. I think she’s going to fit in just fine, and, if I wasn’t able to give her mom and dad a good home, I’m happy I could give their daughter one.
Here are some pics from the absolutely amazing 50th anniversary convention in Las Vegas last month. Star Trek fans really are the best: I was seriously way more excited about having my picture taken with random fans in the hallways than with the celebrity guests. And the cosplay skills on show were seriously epic (check out the Tholian! And the IDIC!).
So happy 50th anniversary to Star Trek! And here’s to another 50 years of boldly going.
(PS - As some of you know, the hard drive containing my Star Trek files was stolen on my travels last month. Fail. But this is getting sorted and science snark will resume soon…)
Are Doc and his wife like honorary grandparents to Grace?
Hi anon! Thanks so much for writing to me!
Yes, Doc and Dot are, essentially, Grace’s paternal grandparents (on the maternal side is, of course, Carlist Rieekan). They’ve become surrogate parents to Han before Grace is even thought of– as much as anyone can truly “parent” Han Solo, who has raised himself and will forever get a little prickly at sudden emotional movements– so they fit quite naturally into that role. They always wanted children themselves but it never happened; while they don’t make a habit of adopting people because of this, and they’re very happy together as their own unit, both Doc and Dot feel an organic early affection for Han that of course extends to Leia (who wouldn’t love Leia?!) and to their eventual daughter too.
Dot is an accomplished knitter, a winner of fair blue ribbons, and over the years she knits for Grace incredible blankets, boots, hats, mittens, cardigans with ducks and bumblebees. These are not embarrassing creations– Dot has taste, masterful skill and keeps up with fashion. For Grace’s first grade picture, she chooses a soft yellow sweater set Dot knitted for her; Dot keeps that picture in a frame on her bureau.
Well into her eighties Dot is still at it and knits Grace a mauve silk-yarn wrap dress that she sends to her via Han at Juilliard (Grace also has better leg-warmers than anyone in school, in endless colors, and fingerless gloves, too). Grace wears the dress when she and Poe and his arty friends go out dancing (teasingly she tells her Dad that she and Poe go out to church and only church and Han grins as they walk down the city street together eating vendor hot dogs, says that tonight they can take a break from worshippin’ to hit a real pool hall with her old man and kick some wallets in the ass. Wallets have asses? muses Poe.). The dress is airy and flares out when Grace moves on the dance floor, catches the lights, and people try to buy it off her back. Grace smiles as she refuses, polite as her mother even in a grubby East Village club bathroom; Dot always sews in an embroidered tag with Grace’s initials on it, and a tiny heart. You can’t possibly sell things like that.
Doc spoils Grace terribly. When she is a toddler Han brings her along to meetings with his boss at Chewie’s diner while Leia is at work, and she sits in a booster seat next to her Daddy and daintily sips her tiny strawberry milkshake while Han and Doc plan shipping routes. Actually, as Han frowns happily down at his maps and works with one of his ruthless pencils, Doc passes Grace nickels for the miniature jukebox affixed to the wall of their
booth–play me a little George Jones, Gracie–and then clutches his heart when, Grace punching buttons at random, “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” boils out instead. Whose barn what barn my barn Han mutters absently, ruler between his teeth, as Doc lifts Grace out to the aisle of the diner, where she uncontrollably bounces around the tile floor to everyone’s laughter.
Doc always has a little gift for Grace from his sales trips– a paddle-ball on a string, a red yo-yo embedded with sparkles (Han loves this gadget so much that he gets one too, and the long-fingered, co-ordinated pair get absurdly good with them, especially after Leia sends away for a pamphlet of tricks from the back of a box of Cheerios), Matchbox cars and trucks that she rolls across the floor and chases when she is learning to walk. When she is a newborn Doc buys a mobile of glinting aluminum planes that Grace hangs from a plant-hook in her first city apartment. Doc loves when Han brings Grace to the hangar, carries her around proudly to show her all the big planes. One day Han surfaces from a thorny engine problem to discover the pair have been sitting by the long window facing the runway for two hours, watching landings and take offs and sharing a vending machine bag of potato chips.
The only problem Han and Leia ever have with Dottie and Doc arises when Grace is a toddler; the older couple cannot believe that Grace can ever be anything other than a perfect angel, and rise to the child’s indignant– almost panicked– defense whenever she faces consequences for her own behavior. Once, at an Endor Park barbecue after far too much sugar, the nearly three-year-old Grace slaps her mother’s hand, hard. Doc and Dottie are almost in tears; they relax when Leia explains, calmly, that no one hits Grace, ever. No switching (Doc was switched as a child), no spanking, and Han as a result of his upbringing is outraged at the popular measure of depriving a child of supper for misbehavior. All Grace faces is being taken home and put to bed with a stern lecture. And Leia also points out how charmed Dottie and Doc are by Grace’s good manners, and that this is a direct result of consistent discipline, so to please support them. Leia, in her Leia way, manages to set limits so gracefully that it actually brings people closer.
So, yeah. Hope all this answers your question, anon. Thanks a million for your interest!
plz to explain how one accidentally kills sparrows T___T
Well, THE STORY I WAS TOLD was that –
Okay, let me set the scene: the sparrows were originally part of a play that my college theatre was putting on; they were set dressing. MY NEMESIS in the department was the bird wrangler and was to inherit the birds after the run of the show was over, because she had experience with birds. So did I, but I didn’t trumpet it. ANYWAY, she decided that transferring the sparrows from their cage to the fancier, more period prop cage should not be done in the small, enclosed, quiet prop closet, as I advised, but instead in the middle of the stage during a light call.
Sam: Maybe you should take them in the prop closet? NEMESIS: I think I know how to handle birds, Sam.
Gracie (Gracie the first) promptly escaped from the cage, flew into a light, and dropped dead at the feet of my mentor (also her mentor; that was…interesting for him, I’m sure).
That’s how Sam became the show’s bird wrangler.
George and Gracie the Second got to come home with me instead of THE NEMESIS, and for about a year we were all very happy (except THE NEMESIS but whatever).
I had to go home for spring break my senior year, and I asked my mentor to look after George and Gracie, so we put them in his truck and he took them home and set them up in his living room, and then decided his living room needed a hoovering. The story I am told is that the birds were alive when he started vacuuming, and when he stopped they were both feet-up in the cage.
His thesis is that he terrified them to death (I didn’t own a vacuum, I had a carpet sweeper).