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HAPPY BIRFDAY [profile] disgruntledgrrl!!



So, the big news for today is (dun dun DUNNNN...) the annual vet trip!

First off, mucho thankies to all who donated funds! There was enough money from that and Mom's direct donation that they all are current on their shots and such, that Minerva has enough insulin to get her to about Christmas, and I have just over $10 left over to apply to Minerva's glucose checks. Because of everything going on with Rocky's and then Minerva's diabetes, there was just...nothing left financially. And now? Now, I was able to afford the latest ampule of insulin and get them to the vet in a timely manner (meaning, about the same time as last year) for them to remain current on shots, which means this year, they finally got a 3-year rabies vaccination instead of just a one-year shot.

If I ever get out of debt and have this thing called "disposable income," I shall pay it forward...

Anyway, back to the vet visit... Rocky is doing well. He's at 22.2 pounds, which, for his size, is a little overweight, but not by as much as it sounds, as he is a Big Cat. And they're okay with him having a little extra weight; if his diabetes flares up and he doesn't eat for a day or two, he'll still be okay, instead of, say, shutting down his liver. Heart, lungs, eyes, teeth, ears... Everything else is excellent! Perfect for a cat in remission. He does have allergies and dry skin, which they can't give him anything for, as he's steroid-allergic, meaning, a steroid would send him into a diabetic spike. But otherwise, he's a big, healthy, happy kitty in diabetic remission, which we'll ride for as long as we can.

Riffy is also doing well for an 11-year-old cat. His ear crusties were gone this morning, but I still mentioned it to Doc McHarg, who had done the original partial ear removal and biopsy. She said that if it went away, resolved on its own, then yeah, it's an inflammation issue and not a skin cancer issue. (For the new people: Riffy is all-white, and two years ago, there were crusty scabs on one ear that looked like the skin cancer which eventually led to the demise of another all-white cat we'd had, GiGi. Doc McHarg (nee' Boone) had just started working up there, and indeed, that was the same day I had to bring YoYo up to help him cross the Rainbow Bridge. After assisting with that, she removed part of Riffy's ear, in case it was cancer, to try to halt its spread. Fortunately, it wasn't any squamous carcinoma; just irritation. And she did a good enough job on the surgery that, for the most part, you can't really tell he'd had part of his ear removed. So anyway, yeah, that issue is resolved. He was at 16.2 pounds, which is what he was at last year, so, he's maintaining his weight, which is another sign of good health. Riffy, overall, is almost as big as Rocky, and a little leaner. Dr. Shlusseil once commented that I tend to have big cats, and said it in a way indicating this was a good thing for the cats. His heart murmur was the same - no better, no worse; just stable. As he's asymptomatic - no panting or rapid breathing - this is relegated to, "Be aware of this, but most likely, it's nothing to worry about." Otherwise, he, too, is in excellent health, especially for an 11-year-old.

So, I have three wonderful, healthy cats, despite diabetes and heart murmurs. I am glad to have all three of them in my life, and I am proud to be their "daddy" and their "hoomin." And I look forward to getting them all to enjoy each others' company when we move.

See, both Rocky and Riffy were out of their carriers at the vet. And yeah, they hissed at each other, and Rocky grumbled. But Riffy was out first, and he stuck his head into Rocky's carrier when I was trying to get Rocky out. They would periodically check each other out, then hiss, then sit next to each other and pointedly ignore each other. But no attacking. No swatting or other dominance issues. They kind of acted how I'd expect "normal" new cats to act during an introduction.



Of course, when I got home, I opened the carriers, they came out, hissed at each other, and Rocky went to get a drink of water while Riffy slinked up the stairs. Rocky then went up, hissed at Riffy, then went down the hallway and sat outside my room while I let Riffy back into Mom and Rich's room.

Right now, the hope is that in the new house, with no established territories, they will all get over themselves, stake out new territories and shared territories, and finally get along. Mom has also said that she and Rich, in addition to getting a new, bigger cage for Yoda, are also planning to get a few cat trees for the cats, including a BIG one for the basement, and maybe a few window perches.

At the vet, they recommended getting some Feliway for when we actually move to help calm them all down a bit.

On an aside... One of the things that is so frustrating is how similar Rocky and Riffy are. In temperament, in helpfulness, in intelligence, in caring, in curiosity... Rocky is a little louder, but Riffy's a "talker," too. As is Minerva, once she warms up to someone. They're all very sweet cats, and I'd love to see them all get along and express that sweetness towards each other by cuddling when it's cold out or tag-teaming caring for one of us when we're sick, and so on. I want them all to not be confined or restricted from each other's part of the house and to instead enjoy the big house we're going to, enjoy each other's company, and have full lives.

Anyway, shortly after I got back from the vet, I had lunch, puttered around for awhile, watched some TV, then ended up taking a nap. Things like this take an emotional toll on me. I napped for a good three and a half hours. But now? Time for dinner, then going dancing for a bit. I kind of need it tonight...

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This is Halloween


My awesome niece will be going around as Supergirl. Since she's too young for candy, she will be collecting for UNICEF, thus still working the whole superhero angle...



That's a Superman itty-bitty in the can. Incidentally, for a couple years there, I dressed up in a Starfleet uniform and took my sister trick-or-treating while I collected for UNICEF.

But yes, my niece is awesome. Expect more pictures on November 1.

Now, a staple of Halloween is ZOMBIES! Learn how to deal with Zombies by watching this educational video about Zombie University.


Followed by a seasonal message from Zombie!


Then we have the quintessential Halloween video, with some dancing and music that is part of our cultural history.


Last, and hopefully not least, is the annual, seasonal, re-release of my short story, based on actual events...

Zombies at Dunkin' Donuts (pdf)

And if you liked that story, feel free to leave a tip by way of a donation to help Rocky, Riffy, and Minerva get their annual shots and diabetic care and so on.

On a related note... HAPPY BIRFDAY ROCKY AND MINERVA!!! And though it's not Riffy's birfday, it was late October, 11 years ago, that I almost hit him with the car on my way to class, was a sucker for hard luck cases, tossed him in the car, skipped class, and thus adopted him. So, all three furkids have some sort of Halloween attachment.

I hope you all enjoyed this seasonal post. Happy Halloween!

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] dydan, [personal profile] lydy, [personal profile] greygirlbeast, [profile] cookie_chef, [profile] evilest_kitten, and [personal profile] devils_sidekick!!!



Yes, some of those are belated. Yes, things have been a bit busy around here.

So. Saturday. Mom and Mandie convinced me to exhume the body of the poor kitty I hit and take it to the VCA Emergency vet on Marrow's Road in Newark. They did a microchip scan for free, and declared with certainty, since they checked twice, that the poor thing did not have a microchip. The vet seemed to think that, despite the fact he looked sufficiently nourished, he could still be a feral, and some strays and ferals take very good care of themselves.

Mom told them that I found the body in street and moved it and so on, but in retrospect, I'm sure the vet knew I was the one that hit the poor kitty. The whole thing sounded analogous to, "What could anal leakage be a symptom of? I'm asking for a friend..." Nevertheless, the veterinarian kept thanking us for being so humane and thorough and such. For not just leaving the body in the road to get hit by every other car that came down, for making an effort to see if he had owners, and so on. I found a bit of closure there. Or at least, I got a step closer to closure. I still have a ways to go.

The veterinarian also recommended wrapping the box in aluminum foil to keep the decay scent in the box and keep scavengers from digging up the body and so on. Granted, I never had a problem with Yoda's grave, or Lucky's or BamBam's. Still, I made what Mom called a "spaceship grave" for him. It's all good.

Something else that helped me a lot: Riffy. Given that I first "met" him when I almost hit him with the car on my way to class, and saw him almost get hit by another car... He had been living in a storm sewer, and would go up to the college kids living in the dorm there looking for food and getting handouts, so, to him, cars meant the possibility of food. And he was hungry, so, he was going up to cars looking for food. Sucker for hard-luck cases that I am, I skipped class, tossed him in the car, and brought him home and fed him and so on. Eleven years later, here he is, doting on my niece and so on. Now if he would just come out and play with Rocky...

Riffy reminded me that if I could have stopped, I would have. That if I'd known the kitty was there... But, I never saw him. Hell, at first, I thought I'd hit a branch, and was wondering where the branch came from, since there was nothing in the street beforehand...

Anyway, I am...slowly getting over the accident. The unnamed kitty is re-interred in the back yard, and he will hopefully rest in peace. If he did belong to someone, then hopefully he will at least have been shown the same consideration had he lived a full life with them. If he was a stray or feral, then hopefully his death will suck a little less than what most get.

Yesterday, I played the part of the social butterfly. I went over to my sister's house for a bit, where Mom and Rich were, and my cousin was visiting. 'Twas a good visit. The I headed over to Doke's at [profile] thumpermarni's insistence for his annual Memorial Day party. Again, it was all good. Got to watch some Harry Potter and part of Blade Runner. There was some ultra-conservative, religious, conspiracy-theory, Illuminati-touting asswipe that was spouting off, and that's when I left the room. Though, small tidbit: when you start talking about Christianity as the one true religion, maybe you shouldn't be dropping f-bombs in front of your toddler as you rail against the liberal government controlling you through the media and claiming that in 50 years, there will be no more religion, first amendment, or marriage in America...

Instead, I went into another room, where Darryl was playing music through his phone and subjected us to Ace of Base. My 90s dancing seemed to go over well...

[profile] thumpermarni also gave me this book she saw way back when and got for me... The Star Wars Vault. Rocky and I looked at a little of it last night, and it's got some interesting trivia and ephemera...

Today, just trying to get some stuff done around the house. Mom's cleaning Yoda's cage, finally. Mandie and Danielle are over, helping and such, though, Danielle's been really fussy the past hour or so. It might be the different house and all the activity. Mandie's helping a little with some cleaning and packing. We're going to BBQ some 'burgers and 'dogs later, and Mandie, Scott, and Danielle will be joining us.

I...am feeling a little wiped out. That whole shyness thing, then going to a big party... Those who are a bit introverted know how parties and socializing can really wipe you out. Then again, it's been a busy weekend, and the whole bit with the tragic unnamed kitty has taken a lot out of me.

Oh, at least I cleaned the bathroom yesterday, and I also got some stuff done on the car. In addition to getting the windshield replaced, I found my tube of goop and fixed the trim on the rear bumper that was peeling off. I also used the last of my brass paper fasteners to tack up a section of falling headliner, and wrapped the sun visor in duct tape to take care of the split in the upholstery on it that was leaking cardboard. Yeah, it all sounds kind of pathetic, but, temporary repairs until I can get the body and interior restored. At least it runs well.

And with the new fuel pump and spark plugs, my gas mileage has gone up quite significantly. Even though spark plugs are good for three years, I'm thinking I should go back to replacing them every other year. Decent double platinum plugs aren't that expensive and the cost of replacing them every other year is more than made up in gas savings.

Back to the grind tomorrow. Work and chiro afterwards. Grocery shopping and comics stop on Wednesday, and Rocky for his weekly glucose check on Thursday. My life is so exciting... /sarcasm

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I haven't gotten much done today, certainly not as much as yesterday, but then, I didn't have as much to do...

I finished the laundry. Yaay! I also spent some time outside, masking off certain parts of the car, and trying out that rust-inhibiting, black-drying primer on some of the rust areas. So far, I'm not all that impressed, but then, it's still drying, and the real test will be if the rust growth is at least slowed significantly.

Mom is finishing up painting the exterior of the upstairs window with painting her bedroom window. So, her window was open, and she's getting ready to come out on the "first floor roof," and Riffy's right there at the window, all curious. And he sees me, and is ready to come out.

Now, I figured he hated me, or had at least lost interest in me, because of Rocky, even though I had originally gotten Rocky as a playmate and companion to him after Loki, my sister's cat, moved out when she moved out.

Anyway, to prevent any tragic problems, Mom put Riffy in Minerva's room.

Just checked on them... Minerva hasn't run under her bed yet, and Riffy is just hanging out on the windowsill. This is progress, since before, Riffy hid in a corner and Minerva growled from under her bed. Now, she is at least affording Riffy the same courtesy (?) she gives Rocky... She's Not Happy about Rocky being in there, but, she'll stay on her bed until Rocky hops on the bed with her. As soon as he looks away, she darts under the bed. If he's lucky, he'll get close enough to where he is obviously sniffing her, at which point, she'll smack him across the face and then run under the bed, whether he's watching or not.

But, yeah, this is the first time Riffy and Minerva have "interacted" since the annual trip to the vet a little over a year ago. At that point, they just didn't give a shit about each other.

Anyway, whilst painting, Mom managed to let the window close, and couldn't get it back open from the outside. She started banging on it. I...had just laid down since my hip was killing me from working on the car, so, I wasn't paying much attention. Fortunately, Rocky pulled his "Lassie: Timmy's in the well!" routine, and I finally heard the noise and went to open the window to let Mom back in.

Life around here is... Yeah.

On a final note... Rich is much more ambulatory these days. But when he sits down in the rec room and props his foot up, Yoda asks him if he's okay and if he'd like some water. Not like Yoda will get up and get Rich some water, but, it's still nice to know he asks. I dunno. Maybe he thinks Rocky will get the water.

Hard to believe it's just about October now. But what's worse is remembering that tomorrow is Monday.

*sigh*

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [profile] dr_nebula AND [profile] libradragonmom!!!



As it is also my brother-in-law, Scott's, birthday, this will be a bit high-speed, low-budget, since I'm heading over there after this entry for dinners and festivities, after making a detour to the drug store for vitamins and a card.

Not much to report, though. It's been productive here. I got the grass cut and took care of the cat boxes and such. I didn't get to the vacuuming, but, oh well. There's still tomorrow. And I might be able to toss a load of laundry into the machines before I head out.

Rocky is still pretty much back to normal, save for the fact that I now have to microwave his dinners - he's back to regular Purina food - and serve them up in my room (so the goggies don't bother him). And then there's Riffy, who seems to like camping out in the doggie sleeping tent when the dogs are downstairs.

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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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First, an acknowledgment of the passing of Neil Armstrong: the first human to set foot on the lunar surface. If the rest of humanity had just half the balls he had, trips to the moon would be commonplace now.

Housework wise... I managed to get the grass cut. It can now rain. Slowly whacking away at other things.

But the biggest point of today was the vet trip. On the bright side, no one had to be euthanized or anything, which is always a plus.

Today's trip consisted of Rocky and Minerva. Rocky, who had managed to get his cone off yesterday while I was at work, was there for a re-check and for suture removal. Minerva was there for annual check-up and shots.

Now, even though I had them secured, both front...


...and back...


...Minerva managed to break out of her carrier. Thing is, she pissed in her carrier. I think she got scared, terrified, and just...let go. And managed to get enough flex around the door to pop it out of its posts and get it open. Fortunately, she ran to the passenger side, where the window motor is dead and the window is thus up, to make her announcement that she was out of her carrier. At which point I put up the driver side window and double checked the sunroof, which was popped open. Fortunately, not enough clearance for her to be able to get through.

Yeah, nothing like traveling at 50mph in Hockessin with soccer moms and spoiled brats trying to run me off the road because I have an older car, and then having an in-flight emergency like that. Thankfully, Cammie was up for it.

So, I got to Lantana, parked the car, shut off the engine, and managed to grab Minerva before opening the door. I took her straight in to the vet, explained why she was not in a carrier and such, and they weighed her and put her in a room while I went to get Rocky. First, though, I dumped the pee out of the carrier and took that and Rocky in to the vet. I asked one of the techs if they had a deep sink or something I could use to clean out the carrier, and the tech just smiled and took the carrier and washed it out for me.

So, Dr. Lon came in and checked Rocky. Basically, his being cone-less wasn't anything to worry about, and all he had managed to do was scratch off some of the scabbing. So, Dr. Lon removed the sutures and, well, Rocky hadn't healed all the way. Dr. Lon removed a small bit of matter that was either inflammation or a small bit of tumor he may have missed, then re-sutured Rocky with a different type of suture, since it seems Rocky may have reacted to the nylon sutures, which are one of the most un-reactive sutures, but, yeah. Rocky, meanwhile, got another cone. Just to be on the safe side. Also, with the cone, and given his size, Dr. Lon lent me a larger carrier for him.

Minerva, meanwhile, got all her shots and is a little overweight, but otherwise healthy. One of the techs (nurses?) took her back and cleaned her up from her mess in the car. They also trimmed her claws and toenails, which Minerva loved. She started kneading, acting like she was at the spa. And purring up a storm.

Obviously, unspoiled and neglected...


Dr. Boon took care of Minerva. She also told me she'd gotten Riffy's biopsy results... Not cancer! Yup, he isn't suffering from the curse of white cats to be prone to skin cancer. At least, not yet. Dr. Boon's supposed to get back to me next week as to whether he should have some sort of sunscreen. But anyway, he's got some sort of aggressive irritation there that could be allergies or could be some sort of auto-immune thing. I was a bit ambivalent at the news, grateful that it wasn't cancer, but feeling like I'd had his ear mutilated for no reason. However, Dr. Boon said that the irritation was such that they would have had to take that part of his ear anyway to (1) figure out what was going on via biopsy and (2) treat that area of irritation. So, I feel less bad about it. Also, since she did a good job with the shaping, he just looks like he has one ear smaller than the other, and once the fur grows back, it should be even less noticeable.

Anyway, other than face drops, ear drops, and recheck appointments, this is the first time in a long while that I haven't been so worried about my furkids.

Oh, and the trip home was uneventful. But Minerva has been hiding, probably exhausted from her shots and from her adventure. Rocky's been a little on the groggy side, what with being anesthetized and such for his sutures. Riffy just doesn't like the coldness of his ear drops, but, he's still pretty good about taking them. I sat with him for a little bit after medicating him tonight and he was rubbing against me. I think that was his way of saying that he knows I still care about him and am trying to be a good kitty father and that he appreciates it.

As far as Riffy, Rocky, and Minerva are concerned, the next thing is getting Riffy and Rocky all treated and suture-free and such. Then maybe try to figure out what they're allergic to. I doubt it's food. Might be a plant or seasonal or maybe we need to change the HVAC filters more often. Once a month even though the filters are rated for three months. Lastly, I want to redouble my efforts to get these guys together, despite the fact that such interaction may be as dangerous as crossing the streams. I...may need to purchase some baby gates as a start to all that. These guys...need to get over themselves and such and allow themselves the company of each other and the resultant full lives like what TomTom and YoYo had that they deserve.

Also... Talked with Dr. Boon a bit about Rocky's aggressive past, and she said that it's sometimes hard to retrain cats that had been through what he'd been through. But given how relaxed and non-bitey he is nowadays, I must have done something right somewhere. He may hiss and growl and complain while I'm putting him in the carrier or taking him off a table or away from somewhere he's not supposed to be, but he doesn't bite. At most, he will nip lightly, but even that is going away.

Watched a little bit of Jackson Galaxy's My Cat From Hell on Animal Planet tonight... I have to say, whenever I feel like I'm not such a good kitty parent, I just have to watch that show, and I see where I'm certainly not the worst one out there.

Eh, it is what it is, I suppose.

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I made today's birfday post a separate entry in an attempt to keep my maudlin self from inflicting itself on someone who is hopefully having a good day.



At approximately 1100 hours EST today, YoYo crossed the Rainbow Bridge to be with TomTom. Over the last week or so, he'd been eating less and less, had become uncooperative with taking his pills, grew increasingly lethargic, and stopped using the box. When I took him to the vet today, his temperature was on the low side for a human, let alone for a feline. He had lost nearly two pounds since his last visit back at the beginning of the year, and his eyes were sluggish to respond to light. He...didn't seem all that cognizant of where he was. Medical intervention would, at most, have provided him a few more days. Thus, I made the final decision to help him cross the Rainbow Bridge, and I stayed with him, petting him, until he was gone.

YoYo came to us sixteen and a half years ago via Concord Pet. Dad and Mandie had gone up there for some bird food supplement for Nemo (d. 1999), and there was a box of kittens, with two kittens left. Someone had dropped the box off that morning before the store opened, and as this particular store was not equipped nor licensed to sell pets, they were all free to a good home, and whatever was left at the end of the day would be taken to the Stanton SPCA. One of the two remaining kittens was polydactyl, and another family ended up adopting him, leaving YoYo, a handsome black and white tuxedo, coming home with Dad and Mandie.

Though YoYo had been the eldest around here for quite some time, he never had any desire to be the alpha. He and TomTom were very good buddies. YoYo was a definite lover, not a fighter. He was initially very shy, but for a long time was by TomTom's side to greet people (and provide security by going through all their belongings). He was very soft-spoken, earning him a nickname of "mime kitty."

His passing, though, marks the end of several eras. Yoda is the only remaining pet who would remember Dad. YoYo is the last pet from before Dad was transplanted. He's also the last pet with a double name, and also the last cat here for whom I was not directly responsible for adopting. This leaves me with Riffy, Rocky, and Minerva.

Speaking of...

Riffy also went to the vet today. He had a crust on his right ear that was either scabbing from scratching, or possibly some squamous cell carcinoma, or skin cancer. He's an all-white cat, and as such, is prone to that. They also found some sort of ear mite infestation in his left ear. So, he has ear drops, and he also had the affected part of his right outer ear removed and sent off for biopsy. Hopefully, no cancer, but, if it is, hopefully, we caught it early enough to do something about it.

Rocky continues to heal.

Minerva will be going to the vet with Rocky on Saturday when he gets his stitches taken out. Minerva will get her annual shots and examination. Then they will all be current on shots and such.

To afford YoYo's end-of-life care and Riffy's surgery, I had to use that damned Care Credit card. But...my furkids' well-being is more important than my dislike of Care Credit and such.

There's more, but, I can only handle so much at the moment.

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Okay, so, doctor appointment went okay yesterday. Bee sting is healing ok, weight isn't up as much as I thought it would be, and I'm otherwise healthy. There's some bloodwork and tests to get done... Annual cholesterol and basic physiology tests, plus, a 5-year echocardiogram and stress test. Nothing is urgent, so, I'm probably going to get it all done in December, the week between Christmas and New Years, since the library is closed that week and I will have the time and such.

I have the car back... Seems to be running a little more smoothly. The ignition lock cylinder...was replaced, though, there still seems to be some issues. Jack mentioned that there are some problems with the steering column and I need to talk to Gary on Monday. Otherwise, things are looking good.

Today had a bit of a rough start. I was supposed to go donate a pint of blood, but, they had to defer me this time. My hemoglobin was a little low. Now, I've backed off some of the leafy green veggies because of the kidney stone issue and trying to cut back on some of the meats and such just for general health purposes. But, those things are dropping my iron levels and thus my hemoglobin levels. So, need me some moo meat and need to maybe pick up some V8 from the store. Anyway, I rescheduled for October, a week before Halloween. They said I could dress as a vampire when I go.

On a cheerier note... Funds are being transfered, clearing banks and so on. On Monday, in addition to calling Gary, I'm also calling Lantana to schedule Rocky's surgery for the end of next week. Mucho thanks to Mom. Because the tumor seems a little larger than it was a week ago. And Rocky is acting like that side of his face is tender. I don't care that it's non-life-threatening; my little buddy's in discomfort and it's getting worse. A week from now, the surgery should be done and he'll be recovering here with me. I am very happy and thankful that this will be resolved quite soon.

And being able to pay off that Care Credit card... Very happy about that.

Anyway, not too much left to take care of this weekend. And I've been watching Jackson Galaxy's My Cat From Hell marathon on Animal Planet. You know...for the frustrations of the Rocky-Riffy-Minerva issue, they are nothing near what some of these other cat issues are. That means that, with some patience and such, I can get them all to get along. But, I need toys and cat trees and some other stuff I can't afford right at the moment.

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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 )
Posted at LiveJournal and Dreamwidth
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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 )
Posted at LiveJournal and Dreamwidth.
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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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Quick post...

I like thunderstorms. I think they're beautiful. And mayhaps my fascination of them comes from Back to the Future...

However... Poor Minerva is scared of them. She's hiding under the bed in her room. Poor kid. Gods know if and how many she was caught in when she was on her own. Given her worm situation when I adopted her, Dr. Lon is pretty sure she was on her own for quite some time. As in, months.

TomTom was on his own for a few months before we adopted him or, more appropriately, before he chose us and moved in about 14 years ago. I honestly don't remember if he was ever scared of thunderstorms. I know Riffy was for awhile, given that I adopted him roughly two weeks after a "mild" hurricane came around here. Though he doesn't seem much phased by them these days. Boomer was scared of thunderstorms and, though he got better over time, when we first got him, he tried to hide under the coffee table in the rec room. He was a 70-pound Australian Cattle Dog, and the table in question only had about a foot's worth of clearance on the bottom. You can imagine the amusing aspects of him barely getting his head and front paws under the table to hide from the storm.

Yoda's firth thunderstorm resulted in his getting scared and dropping all his tail feathers. It was close to his first spring molt, so, it wasn't too bad.

Behind me are two cats on my bed. TomTom, asleep on his kooshes, without a care in the world. Rocky at the foot of my bed, snoring quietly. That's security.

And the funny that went through my mind? Thunder, THUNDER, THUNDERCATS! HO!

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