When Gretchen came into my world, she brightened it all up. However, she also brought a certain amount of INSANE MISCHIEF that I wasn't used to. King was too old to cause too many problems. Webster is skittish, so he's careful about making anyone upset. Gretchen? She was found in a ditch. She'll eat ANYTHING, scavenge for any bug that comes inside when I open the door (which I'm grateful for), and stare down a full-grown raccoon with only a thin window screen separating her from impeding death. She also likes to get into EVERYTHING. Especially dollhouses. This is NOT good.
This photo was taken on my camera phone, so it's crappy, but it's the only shot I have of Gretchen with the Cattery. After this, the Cattery moved to my parents' house, where it's still sitting in storage until I can figure out how to keep it safe from Gretchen. I had the Observatory in my home office, but she got in it and stole a few things, so it's now sitting high up on a shelf in my entryway where no one can see it. It's a shame because I'd like to lovingly display both of these builds prominently. The Spring Fling build hasn't been pieced together yet, but it will no doubt also be quite fascinating to a certain furbaby:
When the Beacon Hill finally came to Farmhouse Villa, this immediately happened:
She loves to jump up there at all times to get a good view of the rest of her abode:
Webster has only ventured inside of the Beacon Hill a few times. He walks around it, but he rarely walks in it. He also doesn't have the balls to try to jump on top of it. This makes me happy:
Webster and Gretchen love to be located exactly where I need to be. On a daily basis, I go to the restroom or to get a soda or something and come back into the home office to find this:
And then there are the minis themselves. If I take anything out to photograph it, Gretchen is ON it:
When I went to put the siding on the front of the Beacon the other day, I noticed a ridiculous amount of yellow fur trapped in all of the little cracks. REALLY? This is how it gets everywhere. She lurves the Beacon:
This was the view from the couch until the bay windows got installed:
And this is the regular view from the couch when she wants to see what's going on in the yard:
Like I said, they are everywhere. They both get upset if I try to go to the bathroom or shower with the door closed. The bathroom door doesn't stay latched shut, so Webster has busted in on both of my parents from time to time. Whoopsie. And I realized at some point that making my bed each day was rather pointless:
Oh, those darn bay windows. If only she could tear down the walls and have her precious Bar & Library back:
They have even taken over my dollhousing chair. I put this rocker in front of the dollhouse for ME to sit in, not them. But there they are, bathing each other:
She likes the Bar & Library the best. Too bad she can't fit in the Crime Museum:
Speaking of the Crime Museum... Remember this dog for the Son of Sam?
He got chomped, but there were no marks. Thank GAWD:
She sneaks up on me when I'm taking pictures. She moves lightning fast:
This little gas can almost didn't make it when she appeared out of nowhere:
But whenever I get mad at her, she cuddles up on me like this and purrs and purrs and rubs her face on my glasses and my forehead and is so snuggly and adorable and cute that I can't take it:
You don't even want to know what has happened to some of my embroidery thread. Luckily, I haven't started this kit yet:
Here she is sneaking into a picture of laser cut place mats:
All of these pictures of Gretchen? They are a reminder to myself of why The Beacon Hill Is in Danger. Currently, all of my minis are wrapped up and stored in boxes in the guest room or drawers or wherever I can hide them because Miss Gretchen can't keep her freaking paws off of anything! Recently, I opened the leaves of my dining room table to make room for the Spring Fling build. Her newest trick is standing on the very edge of that table and knocking all of the magnets off the fridge. I found one in the water bowl. This, quite appropriately, was the magnet:
I can't make this stuff up, people.
So now I come to the sad part of the story. You may recall this lovely plant I made at my mini guild meeting:
And this stunning orchid from April that she sent me for my birthday:
A few weeks ago, I noticed something odd on the floor by the Beacon Hill. Upon further inspection, I noticed that it was the plant I had made. I ran to where I'd been storing both of these plants, which was on top of a bookshelf that was covered in clutter to keep Gretchen from jumping up there. The orchid? It was GONE. I ran around the house searching for it, cried a little bit, called my parents, and had an overall FREAKOUT. I screamed at Gretchen, who hid under the table from me for the rest of the day. I was SO P*SSED.
I thought about all of my beautiful things. Are they ALL going to get ruined? Is she going to eat them all? CAN'T I HAVE ANYTHING NICE EVER???
The next day, I went to gather up the dirty laundry off of my bedroom floor. CLUNK. The orchid fell out. She had taken it from the kitchen area of the house, carried it into the bedroom, and played hide-and-seek with it in the dirty laundry.
Both plants now:
I didn't want to tell April about this event, so I sat here with guilt building up in my chest for weeks. Today, I confessed to April. I apologized and felt horrible and sent her the picture of her mangled orchid. Like a champ, she reminded me that it's just a thing and that it's OK. She also noted that it looked like a Real Life plant that has been mangled by a cat, and suddenly, we were chatting about making a scene with a mini cat showing the disaster in action.
April is such a good friend. Bless your heart, April. I think I was so worried because Gran once told me if I wasn't going to take good care of my presents that she wouldn't give them to me anymore. I was like 6. Gran was a tough lady. She created a life-long paranoia of accidentally breaking something someone else gave me and then having them hate me. April = The Anti-Gran. YAY.
So how to keep Gretchen out of the Beacon Hill? Windows and doors will keep her out of one side, but what about this open end:
I've decided to implement Operation Plexi Cover. The Beacon Hill is a huge house. She's 32" wide and 40" tall. How to cover her? I've been hemming and hawing over this for quite some time. Then Brae made a really fantastic window wall for her Artist's Studio. I studied Brae's construction, but there was too much maths in there for me. My head hurt. So I drew up this little drawing and consulted with Pa and my mini girls:
Brae told me that Manchester Woodworks sells 1:12 scale 1/8 inch channel molding. SCORE! My plan is to put channel molding on the tops and bottoms of the existing floor-separating trim and cut three big sliding pieces of plexi or another acrylic sheet the right size to slide in and out of each floor (with stoppers on either end, of course -- Gretchen IS smart enough to open things). So these separating pieces will have channel molding pointing up and down on each level. There's another one that goes along the top, but I haven't put it on there yet:
My sketch shows the tower piece lifting straight up, but I forgot about that whole roof thing, so it will either go up and down or side to side, depending on how it looks. The Cattery also got a sketch going the wrong direction, so I corrected it. But both structures will have the same general plan to KEEP THAT KITTEN OUT OF THERE!
And the ______ I'm making for the Spring Fling contest? It won't need a plexi wall, but I can't tell you why. That's still a secret. Heh heh.
Now Gretchen will be saved from being "taken to the farm" or "going for a walk in the back 40" as we say here out here in the boonies. I suppose I will keep her. For now.