Why are you so loud!?


ACTUAL CONVERSATION this morning, before the first pot of coffee. The bride alleges that I am “clomping around” in my boots during sleeping hours. And using a circular saw. And a power driver.

Why am I so loud? Because I have defeated a cat. I have defeated a creature with a brain the size of a walnut. First thing in the morning, too. All days are good days, this one’s shaping up even better.


My brainstorm for preventing D3’s troublesome and aggressive cat from leaping the child-safety gate: a scrap of birch plywood screwed to the top of the gate. Somebody alert Architectural Digest.



We’d like to keep Wally upstairs, given that he’s so eager to get downstairs to assert roaming rights and mix it up with Big Bully Boy Felix. In which case they’ll both be getting patched up at the vet’s.

With the plywood in place, Wally would have to jump 6 feet straight up to get over the gate!

Well, he immediately does. Jumps 6 feet straight up and I don’t know how many feet down. Depends on which step he landed on. I didn’t see the jump, just heard it from my office. So anyway, I go cut another foot of plywood, screw it to the first piece, now the opening’s blocked altogether.


Wally’s here at the humble manse because Daughter #3 is between apartments. Her new place isn’t available until May. She brought her two cats with her, Wally and Rue, and we have two ourselves, Big Bully Boy Felix and Zuzu.

Girl cats Zuzu and Rue don’t bother anybody—a little hissing, running, hiding. But the alpha males are programmed to venture afield and figure out who’s redder in tooth and claw. History of the world, in a nutshell (so to speak).



Three days ago it was 60F, warm enough to spray latex. These are the gates I built for the stairway, top and bottom; 16 mortise & tenon joints in the 6-baluster gate, 20 in the 8-baluster. The idea is to avoid tumbles by little D1D1 when she visits.



Here she is on a recent visit to the Providence Children’s Museum, hall of mirrors. The bride and I will see the little sweetie next week, in Jersey City.



This snowy weekend finds the piglet and the iron piggy snoozing under a tarp. Meanwhile, from sunny Houston comes word that the motor on CCjon’s South America 650 has started making noise, one that defies diagnosis. Maybe when it gets louder, if & when it gets louder. We’re taking this as yet another sign we made the right call when we put off our winter journey to the bottom of the world. We’d have been in Tierra del Fuego by now, or broken down along the way.

CCjon’s going to run the bike as-is and see what happens, but his machinist says pull the motor, tear it down, rebuild it, mystery solved.



Painting outdoors one day, shoveling the next.


I close with an actual conversation, via text. On the ride to Providence Friday, the bride tells me to keep my phone handy, I might be fetching her home early because of the snow rolling in. The bank often closes early on such days. Around 3, her prediction comes true.

Incoming: “Pick me up at 4:00.”

Outgoing: “Can’t today, my wife gets out at 5.”


Tony DePaul, February 7, 2016, Cranston, Rhode Island, USA






About Tony

The occasional scribblings of Tony DePaul, 63, father, grandfather, husband, freelance writer in many forms, ex-journalist, long-distance motorcycle rider, motorcycle wrecker, motorcycle rebuilder, collector of surgical hardware, blue routes wanderer, outdoorsman, topo map bushwhacker, handy with a wrench, hammer, chainsaw, rifle, former photographer, printer, logger, truck driver, truck mechanic, jet fueler… blah blah...
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5 Responses to Why are you so loud!?

  1. Tony says:

    “I have defeated a creature with a brain the size of a walnut.” I just realized that can be read two different ways.

  2. Joy Baker says:

    So, if I’m reading right the $10 Walmart variety of child safe gate that was supposed to keep my cat and toddling grandson apart when he visits nin a week or so is likely best used as kindling. Wayne may have to copy the prototype you’ve got going on there.

    P.S. Snow by the ton here. Your Piglet would be outta sight until April if it was parked next to our door!

    • Tony says:

      We’ve had that type of gate, Joy. They work in spots where you don’t have to set them up and take them down all the time. On stairs, I’d be concerned that someone in the house would eventually take a header while climbing over. But if the gate happens to trip up a polar bear that’s coming for you, that would be a good thing.

  3. Duane Collie says:

    They have this new thing you can install in lieu of the gate/plywood option called a door, Tony. It’s a marvelous piece of engineering that allows you to open and close, and yes – even latch a piece of wood into an opening. It runs on hinges, meaning you can swing it open when not in use and it parks right next to the adjacent wall. It’s even aesthetically pleasing and operated with a brass turning device that latches to keep it in place. I happen to know there are ones available in your area, they’re quite popular.

    • Tony says:

      Just went to Lowe’s and you’re right, D, they had a whole aisle full. It’s snowing pretty hard, and the ’49 truck’s no good in the snow, not enough weight to get traction to the rear wheels in this stripped-down flatbed setup. So anyway, my fingers & toes are numb and there’s a six-panel pre-hung pine door sitting out there in the snow on the roof of the spare car, the old Saab 9000. Making coffee now… Oh, and damn, while running after the door I witnessed some kind of domestic thing going on in the driveway to an apartment complex, a woman hanging on to a car and getting dragged along. Left my car running at a stop sign and walked over to see what was going on. Talked to her, talked to him, called the cops. Maybe will scribble something about it later on.

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