Something else that reeks is the fact that the power company intends to shut off our electricity tomorrow night at 11:45. They're doing some sort of equipment repairs in the local substation, and they expect that the work will be completed by four o'clock Sunday morning. I'm not counting on its timely completion, though. I'm familiar with the company's record for timely completion of work. It would have been nice if they could have done this in summer. It doesn't take long for the house to get cold this time of year.
I have a (very inefficient) gas heater in the den, so I'll be able to heat that room for a few hours for little more than it would have cost to heat the rest of the house for the same length of time, but I still hope the outage ends by the scheduled time. I'm going to be without Internets! (The battery in my laptop is decrepit, and doesn't hold a charge for more than half an hour.) I have batteries for my two portable lamps, so I'll be able to read for a few hours, and there's also a portable CD player so I'll have some noise if I want it. As long as the power is back on before the few things I've still got in the freezer get thawed, there's no major problem. It's a pain in the arse, though.
I still haven't seen big black cat. He was annoying at times, but I miss him. The feral cats probably don't miss him, and neither does Portia. She is still hanging out in the garage most of the time, though. As black cat was visiting the garage frequently, and the feral kittens are still poking around in it from time to time, I think she might be staying there to guard her territory. She has accepted that the feral cats live in the back yard, though she still hisses and growls at them through the windows when she sees them there, but she won't tolerate any cats coming into her garage. I wonder what she's hiding out there? Maybe she has some gold coins or bearer bonds stashed away.