Good news first: Aaron, our artist/contractor friend, has done a spectacular job on our little front patio. He removed the "bark your shins" wall of the raised bed, moved it back three feet, and poured a little concrete patio with enough room for two chairs and little table.
The dull red concrete of the new patio blends extraordinarily well with the existing weathered brick, and the new section of the concrete wall for the raised bed is colored with a bit of lamp black so it blends beautifully. Aaron put a compass rose pattern in the patio, using a contrasting mortar. (Now no one will get lost trekking through our front yard!) The cats added some nice paw prints, as well. It was delightful having Aaron around—he helped me with a few other remodel projects, as well.
Now, the bad news: The neighbors' elderly cat, which moved in with us when their little girl became severely allergic to it, is dying. We worked with the vet on Saturday to get Kit Kat a few more days, but things aren't looking good. Zorg spent much of the evening with the cat, the neighbor came over to visit, and now I'm about to take pillows and blankets down to the TV room where the cat is on a little heated cat bed, and keep her company. If she's still with us in the morning, the neighbor and I will take her to the vet, and most likely she will be put down. One of our cats, Sheba, is clearly unnerved by seeing the other cat in so much pain. She has been yowling piteously all day.
A week from today I'll be heading to Florida to visit my mom in Naples for a week. I think by that time I'll really need a vacation.