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Semi-quick, worn-out post before bed, in an attempt to alleviate some insomnia...

After receiving advice from several people that I trust that it would be better to just get the damn temporary pass from DMV than risk getting pulled over and having my car impounded, I've decided that tomorrow morning, I'll be making a trip to the DMV and going in to work late and staying late. This is teaching me that there is no such thing as "a little, minor fender-bender." I'm not mad at the person who caused the accident, because, accidents happen. Instead, I'm frustrated at all the bureaucratic bullshit that has accompanied it. The insurance companies have been okay this time around, but... The DMV, shops refusing to work on it because of its age (they don't see it as a classic), manufacturers not updating their inventory to show discontinued parts... All for a stupid lens! For a side marker light that actually works.

I'm also rapidly approaching burnout from all the stuff with the cats. Not that I begrudge them at all. But the multiple vet trips and rechecks on sutures and so on... For example, Rocky needs to go back Tuesday morning for suture removal. They didn't take them out today because his scabs keep getting into the area. So, I need to keep giving him drops and maybe cleaning his face daily. Thing is, he knows how to get the cone off. He uses his hind foot to move the bow knot to the front, then steps on it with his front paws and pulls to undo the knot. However, he hasn't removed or attempted to remove his cone for over a day now. Despite being frustrated with it. Tonight, the cone got caught on the edge of his dinner dish and he flipped the dish. We all take this in stride, get him cleaned up and such. He really is a good kitty, despite the rough patches we had when we first got him. No one can replace TomTom, but TomTom taught Rocky well, and Rocky is doing what he can to fill the role of "hoomin helper."

Riffy is doing okay, though, he's definitely lonely without YoYo. I'm hoping this will help him to decide to rejoin the World Beyond the Door.

Minerva managed to unbuckle her new collar, but was ever so happy when I put it back on her tonight.

The one positive thing about all these trips to the vet for checks and such is that I'm pretty much over associating the drive and the trip with TomTom's and YoYo's final trips. It reaffirms my focus on the living furkids which, I think, is what both TomTom and YoYo would want. TomTom didn't have many issues at all after we got him cleaned up after adopting him, and YoYo would probably remember everything we did for him when he started having urinary tract problems, and both would want the same care given to their siblings and successors.

Mom is still recovering. Moving around a little better today, but...yeah.

The stepgoggies came over early this weekend to make it easier for Rich to stay here with Mom. It's all good. According to Rich, they love coming over here. As he's driving them over, they recognize the way and get really excited the closer they get to here.

Rocky's all happy now. I just cleaned his cone a little from leftover food and such sticking to it.

Anyway, I'm finally feeling a little tired, finally, instead of all wound up. Time for some sleep...

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [profile] jaddziadax AND [profile] lundarbluekandi!!



With the shit storm that is the Paterno/Sandusky/Penn State debacle, there was at least one person who stood up to Paterno and, by extension, the status quo of sports worship... To clarify... I'm not against the enjoyment of sports, the playing of sports, and so on. I'm against people getting a pass on being Decent Human Beings simply because they can throw a ball, run, or whatever, or because they are integrally associated with those people. I am against the idea that if you don't care for commercial sports, that there's something wring with you, especially if you're a male, and that bullying for this is a part of life. I'm against the hypocrisy of commercial sports fans who do all sorts of painting and fanatical behavior, then mock sci-fi, fantasy, anime, and Renaissance cosplayers. especially when those cosplayers often participate in charity work. I'm against the commercial forces of these sports that cover up and deny wrongdoing, let alone illegal and harmful activities and, when they get caught, try to sell a sob story of a hard childhood or portray the activity as an exception and not the norm that is usually covered up. And then those commercial forces saying someone is redeemed when they're not and having the power to alter history, make people forget, and make a problem go away. I'm against sheeple being so entrenched in the cultural norm of sports worship that they go along with it and throw their money at these people for jerseys, tickets, and so on, rather than to stand up and say, "Enough is enough! I have standards!"

*Ahem*

Moving along...

One of the things I watched this weekend was the first Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movie. Overall, it was well done. Cut for potential spoilerage. )

I think I'm coming down with some sort of summer cold. I'm feeling slightly congested, and right in my throat, too. It's making me snore, which I hardly ever do anymore since I had my tonsils out. Consequently, snoring is making my throat even more sore. Meh.

Rocky... Rocky is a bit stressed and is still pulling his fur out. He can handle one of the stepgogs at a time, but, when they gang up on him, as they've done twice this weekend, that's too much for him. When he has the high ground at the top of the steps, he can keep both of them at bay. But in the kitchen, say? One will circle behind him, and then it's all he can do to get away from the jumping, slobbering, barking monsters. Of course, Brandon and Bridgett are sent to their room when this happens, and I try to help Rocky escape as best I can. But ultimately? He needs a buddy. Riffy or Minerva. Or both. They can cover each other's backs. Must think on this some more.

Have to share this because waaaaay too many of my Discworld friends have left Facebook but, thankfully, are still here in blog land...



Comics )
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It's been a busy day... I've gotten lots done, including cutting the grass, whacking down some little trees, getting cat boxes and such taken care of, making my sandwiches for the coming work week, getting some computer stuff done, and so on. I still need to vacuum the house and do my laundry, but, that'll be done soon enough.

Mom and Rich went to the monthly "dinner and a movie" at Church. I was debating grilling up a burger or a chicken breast when my sister showed up with surplus eggplant parmigiana. In some ways, I feel like a louse for depending on free food. Then I look at all the stuff around the house and yard that I got done today, and decide that it's all good and it all works out.

And...it was really good eggplant parmigiana! Plenty for tomorrow night's dinner, too.

Yoda really liked Mandie's visit, asking if we were okay about every other minute. Though if we didn't answer quickly enough, he'd ask again, louder and more insistent. I think he likes asking the question because he gets a response/interaction. Then Rocky sat on Mandie's lap and didn't make it easy for her to leave. When she took out her keys, he reached for them like a hyperactive 2-year-old.

Then there's Bridget... She started to follow me up the stairs, and then Rocky was following me, but behind her, and when she turned around, Rocky puffed himself up, which, of course, freaked out Bridget. So, she came the rest of the way up the stairs, and Rocky started to come up a few more steps, and then Yoda started calling and whistling for her. Which just confused Bridget even more and put her in even more of a confused/stuck state.

So, it's been a productive and interesting day thus far.

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Posting in the clear for a TomTom update...

He seems to be doing better. He's eating more, which, right now, means he's got more leakage and diarrhea. He...seems a little embarrassed by his butt problems, and has been staying off the bed, even though I have a layer of towels on the bed to absorb things. Now, I took the lid off the litter box I dragged in my room so he'd have more room with his SuperKitty Cone Cape (TM) and used the top of it as a step up/step down for him to get up onto the bed. Well, he's taken to using it like a little hut instead, and I put some clean towels in there for him. I'm accepting that I'll be doing a daily load of towels until this is all resolved.

Oh, as for the eating... Last night, I put a little bit of the gravy from the regular wet food onto his low-bulk stuff, and that seemed to make it a little more appetizing for him.

This morning, as expected, I was a little late because I had to take care of his meds. I saved the one pill he only takes in the AM for last, and I finally had a successful morning medicating with him. Meaning, I got everything in him and got him to swallow and such. Size matters, but so does taste, apparently... Anyway, thanks to those who have suggested pill pockets, which we use for YoYo for his Clomicalm, but, the one's TomTom is having problems with are larger than pill pockets and have already been cut in half, and I worry that trying to cut them smaller will cause them to shatter and leave me with a mess and even more difficulties getting them into TomTom. TomTom doesn't like them, but he's not actively trying to bite me, which makes it a little easier for me to shove them most of the way to the back of his throat, and then I muzzle him until he swallows. The one AM pill causing problems is probably bitter, because he salivates like crazy, and that affects everything else. Saving it for last, like I did today, eliminated most of the problem.

But he's alert, purring, and, though a little put off by his butt problems and the fact he's confined to just one room, he still seems happy to just be home. Even better: no vomiting.

Rocky is still hissing at him, but with less vigor and vehemence. TomTom probably still smells funny because of his butt problems and such. But Rocky has calmed down considerably since we set up a space for him in the office.

Bonnie seems a bit lonely. She sings, but not nearly as much. But she's still singing, which is a plus. Yoda seems normal. If anything... He's always talked to Bonnie and greeted her by name. He never much cared for Clyde, and I wonder if there wasn't some sort of jealousy there. But Yoda hasn't showed any changed in behavior, which is good. However, he's started messing with the dogs. Well, with Bridgett, anyway. The other night, Rich was calling the dogs to bed, and Brandon went right up. So, he called for Bridgett, and Bridgett would head for the stairs, and then Yoda, in Rich's voice (African Greys have no gravelly, parrot voice of their own; when they learn to talk, they mimic the voice that taught them a particular word or phrase) would whistle for and call Bridgett. That dog ran between Yoda's cage and the steps for a few minutes before an annoyed Rich came down to physically get her. At which point, I told him to go easy on Bridgett, because she was a bit confused.

Yes, my life is interesting sometimes...

Comics )
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Yay! Friday! And a three-day weekend ahead!

And maybe a shortened day, if TomTom gets discharged from the vet today.

So... I visited him last night. I was hoping to sit with him for awhile, maybe read with him on my lap or next to me. Instead, it was a rather short visit. They brought us in to a room and put him up on the table, and he was hooked up to an IV machine. It looked pretty much like the ones for us humans, except it was a little smaller. I told TomTom that the machines for humans had a button we could press for pain meds. He asked me where the button was to make me shut up and get him out of there. I pet him a bit, trying to be careful of his still-sore tummy, but he kept pushing his head and bib against my hand. And he kept trying to pull out his IV (it was secured to him pretty well). Then all of a sudden, there was this...smell...and he'd had an accident. So, I then did my airplane impression by using one hand to keep him from jumping off the table and the other hand to wave out the door for help. Fortunately, the nurse/tech came back in and helped me clean him up. Okay, she actually did the cleaning while I held him. He stuck his head in the crook of my arm and, though he was alert, seemed a little groggy, and I think he thought I was there to take him home and was pissed he (1) still had an IV and (2) didn't see the carrier. The nurse/tech told me that yeah, he'd been rammy most of the afternoon, and since I didn't want TomTom to hurt himself trying to jump down from the table and walk out the room and the whole facility, I decided that it was time for him to go back to his kennel.

Still, I'm glad I went to go see him, even if it was a short trip. What sucks is knowing that if I'm in the hospital, he can't come see me. Which doubly sucks because I'm sure I'd recover faster if I had my little purring furmonster with me. Though, he'd probably swat away those nurses that come for blood at 3 or 4 in the morning...

Both the ramminess and the accident, though, kind of show that he's doing well. The accident in that food/nutrients are moving through his system. The ramminess in that he feels strong enough to put up a fight, or at least assert his orneriness.

Rocky and Yoda have both shown some...concern...over TomTom's absence. Yoda, I think, understands the concept of going away for a few days and the reassurance of, "He'll be home tomorrow." Rocky simply hugged my TomTom-orange-fur-covered-shirt when I took it off and tossed it on the bed last night. He's...been hyper. Not wandering the house crying for TomTom hyper, but still running through the house like he's got to secure all that territory. He purrs loudly at bedtime and is trying to fill in for TomTom. Though this morning, he woke me up and then promptly trapped my arm with his 25 or so pounds so that I could pet him but not get up.

Now, as for today... TomTom is doing well, except he's not eating, at least not voluntarily. It could be he doesn't have an appetite, what with everything going on in his guts, or he could just be pissed that he has to wear a collar/cone of shame. Other than the eating bit, though, he's doing well, no temperature, but a little vomiting. He's hesitant to give him anything for the intestinal swelling until the biopsy comes back, because with some forms of IBS, the cortisone could make things worse. However, they've had him on fluids, so, it's not like he's in anything critical. But they don't want to send him home until he eats, so, I have to call them later this afternoon to see how he's doing and if he gets to come home or if he has to wait another day. They're going to try taking off the cone and see if he'll eat then, except once the cone comes off, he gets really ornery and either tries to clean himself or run away, and he'll just sulk if the techs hold him or hover over him to keep him in front of the food bowl. They may try feeding him with a syringe, too. Again, not sure if he's avoiding food or just being a brat. In any event, the fact that he's being rammy is a good sign.

Also? I may follow Mom's suggestion and go up there and see if he'll eat for me. Stop at the house first and maybe get one of his bowls, and maybe grab one of his kooshes, a shirt from the hamper (has my scent on it) and maybe one of the toys around the house. Like one of the ones Mandie made for Christmas.

And in somewhat related news... If TomTom needs some significant care for a few weeks, I may skip out on Ryan's (cousin) wedding in two weeks. As is, with all of us going, my sister needs to get someone to feed her cats and we still don't know who we can ask to come feed our cats and birds. I'd be perfectly okay with staying home, since I don't like most of those people anyway...

Mom and I were talking last night... Even if the worst happens, the fact that TomTom lived an amazing 15 years with us, coming as a dumped kitten, getting cleaned up, cared for, loved... I can't have any regrets. But...in this day and age, we have better technology, better nutrition, and a much better understanding of our feline (and canine, avian, amphibian, etc) companions that we can extend their lives and their quality of life. More than that...TomTom, as evidenced by his orneriness, has a will to live. He's not just giving up, and so, I'm not giving up on him. He knows he's got a pretty sweet home with hoomin servants. He also has a sense of purpose. I mean, he has helped me with my sleep disorder to the point where I am functional with it. He helps keep the other cats in line. He's absolutely wonderful with helping keep the stepgoggies in line. He was really patient with Rocky, which I think helped Rocky settle down after we got him. He and YoYo broke into my room after I rescued Riffy to welcome Riffy while I was in class. He and the other furkids are not just ornamental; they all have a purpose, even if it's just to offer comfort and understanding.

The other thing that has floated through my mind is that, once again, I see a higher standard of care given to my pets than what was given to Dad. I mean, even when we lost Lucky, we were still better informed by Dr. Lon than we were from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Likewise with TomTom, there's been a higher level of communication and a higher professionalism and thoroughness in figuring out what's wrong with TomTom than there was in arresting the infection Dad had and eliminating it before it blew up into sepsis.

This is not to say that TomTom, Lucky, or any of my other pets are less deserving of the care they get. It's not even saying that it's "wrong" to have such a high value on our companionable critters. But, to me, it seems wrong that we value other humans so little. We shouldn't downgrade how we treat our pets; we should upgrade how we treat each other.

On a final (for now) note... Mom said something about renegotiating my monthly "rent" payment to help out with the vet bill and such. Might take her up on that, but, that's all secondary at the moment to getting TomTom healthy again first.

Tall Stack o' Comics )
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So...it's been a semi-relaxing, semi-productive weekend thus far. I still have some stuff I want to take care of, like finishing my laundry, but otherwise, it's going okay. I spent the better part of the day yesterday cleaning out my linen closet so Rich can get to the pipes to fix my shower. I didn't think it would take all that much time, but, there was more crap there to go through than I thought. On the bright side, I threw out some broken stuff and a ton of things that were past expiration or not used or whatever. Old contact lens stuff and weird shampoos and stuff like that. I'm hoping that when the shower is fixed and I can put all this crap away that that will take a little less time and things will be a little better organized.

Last night, I went over to Jess' place because she wanted to have a Big Bang Theory marathon. She had a drinking game set up, but, since I can't drink, she made popcorn for me to use instead. Anyway, we watched the first four or five episodes of the third season. It was fun.

Since she lives in Wilmington in an area I'm not familiar with at all, I finally tried out the GPS "tomtom" unit my co-worker gave me when she got a new GPS a year ago... Anyway, the device worked out really well! Got there, got home, no problems, easy peazy... Woot!

This weekend, I also went to Concord Pet and got some rawhide bones and chew bones for Bridgett and Brandon. There seems to be happiness on their end and less destruction of cat toys. Hoomin wins! I also got a laser pointer that has a diffuser to make shapes of a butterfly, a smiley face, a star, and a mousie in addition to the Red Dot. I tried it out with TomTom and Rocky. Hilarity ensued. For a 15-year-old, TomTom is still quite spry! Then there was when I projected a laser butterfly on TomTom's hind leg, and Rocky did that little bunny hop thing to tackle it. As if that wasn't funny enough, TomTom just looked at him and said, "Really? Are you really that fucking stupid?" Anyway, I need to try it on Riffy and Minerva. I'm hoping to engage them in cooperative dot hunting with Rocky to see if that will help them all bond a little better.

To give another little peak into my supposed brain... I stopped at Path Mark last night to get another big bag of cat crunchies, since I had just emptied the last one. On the way to the cat aisle, I passed the produce section and got excited when I saw they had peaches. Because they haven't had peaches the last time I went there and needed fruit for the parrot. So, I think all the pets got something from me this weekend. I guess I should be too surprised - or put off - that I can't move around here without some critter hugging or licking me.

Eh, it is what it is.

Weekend Comics )
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HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] awallens!!!



Feeling a little drained at the moment. Today was my appointment at the blood bank. Alas, I wasn't able to do the ALYX donation, since my hemoglobin was too low. It was great for whole blood donation, but not for them taking twice as many RBCs away. It could be allergies, or it could be asthma. In any event, I may try ALYX later. Maybe even over winter. In the meantime, whole blood donation is still pretty damn good, and I'll be donating again in July.

Since then, I've been getting some weekend chore stuff done and napping. Really feeling drained this time around. Probably still a little out of it from the severe GERD bout the other night. On the bright side, this is a lite chore weekend, so, hopefully, it'll be a nice, relaxing, recharging, restful weekend for me. Then again, the stepgoggies are here.

On a semi-related note... I'm reading Jackson Galaxy's book Cat Daddy. I've tried the "I Love You" blink with TomTom, but, so far, there's no reaction. Then again, he's pretty secure anyway, so... Yeah. Last night, he was sleeping on my head, as usual, and I touched his paw. In response, the purring went from "idling lawnmower" to "Saturn V rocket" and he insisted on licking my face. Not really a problem, except for the really bad fishy cat food breath. Oh well. Both Rocky and TomTom like that contact thing... Many times, I wake up and one of them has a paw resting lightly on my face or my hand.

My sister's cat, MiMi, used to crawl under the covers so she could snuggle under my chin. I still miss her, but, at least she opened a place in my sister's life for Lily.

You know... I really think the side project memoir of all the furkids I've had might stand a good chance for publication, all things considered. Gods know I have enough amusing stories of all the cats, dogs, and parrots, not to mention stories of their interactions together, from Yoda liking to ride on Boomer's head, to Nemo making Sugar psychotic with respect to squeaky toys, and back to Yoda for trying to teach the cats to say his name. Then I think about the times I lay on the couch and Yoda asks, "You okay there, bud?" Like he's going to do anything if I'm not okay. And the time TomTom and Rocky got me when Mom couldn't get up after her hip replacement. Or Rocky waking me up earlier this week when the house had no power, I had no alarm clock, and I needed to get to work.

When I hear stories of other peoples' pets performing similar intelligent acts of helpfulness and loyalty, I have to wonder if Human arrogance isn't actually a hindrance in our evaluation of these creatures' intelligence and awareness. One popular test they do on animals in general to disprove their self-awareness is to put them in front of a mirror and watch the animal either react to the image as a threat or whatever, but to not give any evidence that they recognize the image as themselves. And yet...four weeks ago, Bridgett and Brandon were on the steps, which have a mirror at the bottom, and they were at eye level of the mirror. They saw me coming in the mirror, then looked at me. Then they saw other movement and turned around to see TomTom at the top of the steps. In short, they were reacting to the reflection and understood that they saw the reflections of other actions and looked at the appropriate areas. I'm not sure if this has been replicated in a laboratory setting. Now, this doesn't quite go with the whole "mark them with lipstick and see if they try to wipe it off" thing, though (1) I see humans at Rocky Horror who don't remove the lipstick... Maybe these animals think that they're being marked in some sort of initiation like the kids going to RHPS. Maybe (2), given their lesser acuity, they don't really see the lipstick or they aren't familiar enough with their own reflection to know that something's different. I mean, honestly, we tend not to see certain zits right away or notice the formation of certain scars. In conclusion, I think the animals are fucking with us. Intentionally. So that they get spoiled with toys, food, and have the supposedly superior race fetch food for them, clean up their poop, pay for their food and health care, and show them off to their friends. A bit of an oversimplification? Perhaps. But the intelligence of cooperation, adaptability, routine, and so on is still there and higher than what people in general are aware of. Then again, I'm still convinced that the average person is an idiot.

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