dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
I think I said I was going to talk more about Weight Watchers, so I will, a bit. So far, it's really working well for me. I've lost a little over 11 pounds in five weeks (\0/), and it hasn't been impossibly difficult, just a bit of a paradigm shift.

It's mostly been a matter of substituting things I really like to eat that have fewer calories and fat for the other things I really like to eat that have tons of calories and fat, and keeping track of how much I eat of everything. I mean, yeah, I love french fries, but I really will be just as happy with a baked potato with a dab of sour cream and butter. Not to mention that on Weight Watchers I can have the fries every now and then, because WW treats me like a grown-up and gives me extra points to use for occasional treats and snacks.

In other news, we have, at last, released Tom into the house. It seems like forever, but I think the slow introduction with letting Tom live in the spare room a couple of days to let his scent in and then letting them "visit" through a cracked door has paid off. There have been isolated incidents of hissing and growling, but it's kind of hard to take it seriously when both cats are sprawled a couple of feet apart looking so relaxed it's hard to tell which one's making the noise.

Greebo has been doing most of the growling, but so far they seem to be fighting for who's going to be the submissive cat, since mostly they hiss, growl and then run away. There was one point when Greebo was working up a really intimidating growl and then had to stop to cough up a hairball. Not his most dignified moment.

In short, they're getting along as well as could possibly be expected at this point. I'm sure that there will be actual contact fighting at some point, but two days in it hasn't happened. They might not end up as buddy-buddy as Greebo and Sylvester were (see below), but that's okay, too.

dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
First things first:

As I previously mentioned, my family was relatively unaffected by the flooding in Nashville. But I know someone who lost her home and possessions and every day I learn about new groups of people who are having difficulties getting back on their feet. As always, it seems that those who can least afford it have lost the most. [ profile] elizah_jane has a very good post with resources and links for making donations (thanks to [ profile] coreopsis for the link). There is also a follow-up post with more information. Tomorrow I plan to take my O-neg self down to the Red Cross. It's been so long since I've had the energy to even come close to qualify for donating, and now seems like an excellent time to go back.

In more benign news:

This morning, Boo asked what "If your cat likes Cat Chow they might like this" meant (it was written on our bag of cat food). Since we had been discussing proprietary formulas the day before (don't ask), this led to a talk about brand names, which led to patents, which led to trademarks, which led to copyright. That took up the first half hour of the forty-five minute drive to school, after which we switched to the Kuiper Belt.

The problem? I meant to review the words for her weekly spelling test today.

So, yeah, she'll be fine if the teacher asks her about trademark law, but won't be able to spell "butterfly" or whatever the hell it is I was actually supposed to help her with. Crap.

In other news, the cats are well )
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
It's that time of year again, when feline hormones are thick in the air and Tom gets the crap beat out of him. Since this is the second year this has happened, I've come to the conclusion that if he's going to come inside, it should be before anything more serious than a post-fight ear infection happens to him.

FIV, Why Tom Is a Big Marshmallow and So Am I )
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)

Greebo tried to assist in my word count yesterday. When I'm using the computer in bed he thinks it a prime opportunity for snuggle time. He may be right about this, but he also tends to want to snuggle right on top of where I'm using the mouse. This means that sometimes the mouse does things I hadn't necessarily planned, especially when I give up trying to move it around under seventeen pounds of cat and just leave it there. Yesterday, he managed to select all the text in my Nanowrimo file, and when I pasted it all in later my stats returned a miraculous 22K+ word count, almost exactly twice what the count should have been. One of us (and I have my suspicions) had duplicated the entire novel in the file.

Good kitty.
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
I am pin-less, cast-less and have the ability to be splint-less at will. I still have a couple of stitches in (literally, like, two stitches), but those will be coming out next week. I'm cleared to do pretty much anything I want so long as it doesn't hurt beyond certain parameters. At the moment, those parameters are very small, but it's nice to be able to eat a meal without worrying about breaking my pins lifting a soup spoon.

Medical Details )

Personal Details )

The timing of all this good-feeling is fortuitous, as it turns out. Boo's school is going to be closed today and Monday because more than 30 kids (about a quarter of the student body) and half the teachers are sick with the flu. They haven't specified if it's H1N1 or suspected H1N1, which irritates me greatly because, hello, I'd like to know, but the school is advising everyone to avoid other people for a few days. The Jewish Community Center will be taking kids from Metro schools in the daycare-aftercare program, but kids from Akiva need to stay home. That means it'll be just me and Boo. As much as it's inconvenient, and as much as I don't want Boo or me or Al or anyone else to get sick, it's also kind of nice to be able to take care of my own kid for the first time in weeks. :)

We have also released Tom back into the wild. Or tried. We opened up the garage door for him, but as of a few minutes ago he was still hiding under his favorite shelf. He seems to be very well healed up, no sign of his injuries apart from a slight bald patch on his foot. Boo has been taking care of his medication for the last few days, and has proved a very able assistant.

In other words, the household is on the mend. :)

ETA: I should really learn not to tempt fate by posting things like the previous sentence. Right after posting the above I realized that I didn't actually feel that well. Current condition: sore throat, aches, fever 100 degrees.

I would headdesk, except that would hurt. I'll headpillow instead.
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
I had my final cast removed yesterday, and am sporting a highly fashionable black Velcro splint. All I have to do is refrain from breaking my pins until Monday.

Surgery details )

In other cat news, I took Greebo in for his checkup on Tuesday. While I had Tom there, I realized that I might as well get Greebo his (overdue) shots and have him looked at. Greebo is nine years old, so I wasn't surprised that he needed his teeth cleaned. Apparently they have a nifty anesthetic that the cats can breathe that doesn't stay in their systems, so they can put older cats under for non-critical procedures like teeth cleaning. This was something we were never able to do with Sylvester. As seems to happen, he didn't need his teeth cleaned until he was too old to have his teeth cleaned. But Greebo is going to have his done in three weeks.

I also found out why, despite the fact that he was obviously huge, my other vet never mentioned Greebo's weight.

Pictures of my big-boned cat )
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
I suppose you may remember my not-cat. You know, the cat who I took to have neutered, who I've been feeding for two years, who hangs out on my deck and who is emphatically not mine. That cat. (His name is Tom, by the way.)

Today, when I put out food for the cats, Tom was limping and had blood on his paw. Since he's not my cat, I of course took him straight to the vet. (Being the lawless feral stray that he is, it took me about a minute to get him in the carrier one-handed, and that was only because it took thirty seconds to chase him down. At a walk.)

Fortunately, he's not badly hurt. )

Tom, of course, acted like the aforementioned lawless stray at the vet's office. He protested really, really loudly the whole time he was in the carrier, and on the (two-mile) drive to the vet, and for about the first three minutes in the exam room. By the end of it, he was lying sprawled on the exam table, purring up a storm while the vet poked at the cut on his paw, and not even flinching when he got his shot. He's a big sweetheart. :)
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
Just to let you all know, Sylvester died early this morning.

He hadn't been showing any signs of his numerous illnesses getting worse, and he was still eating and drinking and prowling around as per usual. Albert reports that Sylvester jumped on his head and knocked some stuff off the nightstand in the wee hours--again, normal behavior--but around 7 or 8 this morning Albert found him lying outside the bedroom.

Although I had expected him to be around a bit longer than this, I think in the balance I'm glad that he didn't have to repeat the obvious misery he was in when his kidneys first started to fail. We'll sure miss him, though.

And just because, the full view of my favorite Sylvester picture )
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
Took Sylvester to the vet this morning, and the news is quite good. )

The best news is that Sylvester seems to be feeling very much better. He's active and curious and even playful, and has returned to being the pain in my ass that I know and love. And the vet is now talking in terms of maybe a year or more instead of months. So, all in all, it's been a good morning.
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
I took Sylvester to the vet today to get a read on how he's doing and what needs to be done. Although he's still doing better, eating and drinking and purring and sleeping and complaining, the kidney failure is still an issue, and isn't going to go away. The vet is putting him on a variety of medications to mimic various kidney functions, and to help him put on some weight. So, he'll be taking:

  • Tapazole, his thyroid medication
  • Potassium to replace the potassium lost because of the kidney failure
  • Pepcid AC to control the excess tummy acid caused by same
  • Epakitin (crushed shrimp and crab shells) mixed in his food to absorb phosphorus
  • Anti-nausea medication for a week or two, so he'll keep in all down and hopefully gain weight

    Everything except the Pepcid has to be given twice a day. Apparently, the kidneys are a complex organ.

    The bottom line, though, is that even if all the medications do what they're supposed to, the kidney failure is going to catch up with him, probably within the next few months. Again, not unexpected, and it's certainly a lot longer than I (or the vet) thought he was going to have when I took him in last week. He'll also, hopefully, have a relatively comfortable and happy life until that happens. Well, as happy as any cat can be when its owner is pushing five kinds of meds down its throat twice a day. So, as always, we'll wait and see what happens.
  • dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    First of all, thanks so much for all the hugs and support about The Big Guy. I was pretty down about it, and the sympathy, both on-line and in real life, is very, very much appreciated. Thank you all very much.

    Naturally, Sylvester has now made a semi-miraculous recovery. )

    So. If he drinks a lot, and if that gets his kidneys going again, and if he starts gaining weight again, and if he can get back on his thyroid medication without throwing it up, then we might get him on some prescription kitty food that will, hopefully, be of more long-term help. The kidney failure is still a serious problem, and we might be right where we started tomorrow, or next week, or next month, but I can't deny that right now, things are looking a bit better. We'll see what happens.
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    Yes, hello, it's me, popping up from my gopher hole again. I've had modem issues. I actually still have them, but finally realized that I couldn't afford a new one anytime in the near future (or distant past, either) and had best tackle the old one and make it work again. So, I whipped out the Scotch tape, the Q-tips, and the old jiggle-it-until-it-works-again technique, and finally the hellish shrieking noise was replaced by silence interspersed with the occasional dial tone. So long as I don't move, laugh, cough, or breathe too much, it only disconnects me about every 15 minutes. :)

    In other news....

    We're all fine here, now, thank you.... How are you? )

    A witch, a rabbi, and a former Episcopalean walk into a synogague.... )

    The knitting tally )

    You've paid for it and insured it, but do you know what color it is? )

    Well, those appear to be the highlights. I hope everyone has been well, and maybe now I can catch up on what you all have been doing. Skip=100000000 ought to do it. :)

    Seven Days

    Feb. 17th, 2005 06:05 pm
    dmarley: Jack O'Neill in front of the Stargate with the caption "I feel...groovy" (Jack)
    Behind the cut tags is a huge long post containing gory details about my week. If you wish to skip that, reading the tag text provides much the same information in a more succinct form. :)

    Thursday, February 10--Visited sick friend and baby. )

    Friday, February 11--Boo sick. Greebo sick. Car died. )

    Saturday, February 12--Threw up from 7am to 4pm. Went to ER. )

    Sunday, February 13--Still sick. Mother took Boo. )

    Monday, February 14--Still sick. )

    Tuesday, February 15--Still sick. Mother sick. )

    Wednesday, February 16--Still sick. Father brings Boo back. )

    Thursday, February 17--Still sick. Mother well. )

    (I'm almost afraid to send this, for fear that the virus will infect the electrons through my keyboard and infest my friends-list. *Sprays f-list with disinfectant*)
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Do Not Disturb)
    And while I'm up at 2 am, I might as well continue to spam about my life.

    Me, My Cat, and I )
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    As I previously noted, my older kitty, Sylvester (14), has been suffering from a hyperthyroid problem. We've been giving him medication for it, and last week took him in to have blood tests done. This was partly to check if his thyroid levels were down, but also to see if he was suffering from any of the numerous nasty side-effects of the medication. His blood work showed no side effects, and his thyroid level had dropped dramatically. Normal range for a cat is lower than 4.0, and when he started the medication his was 5.3. Now it's 2.5, which means that the medication is working spiffily. He lost a bit more weight, unfortunately, but hopefully he'll begin to gain it back soon.

    In other cat news, I was finally able to catch Mimi, our recently-aquired outdoor cat, by the subtle means of walking up to her and seizing her by the scruff of the neck. She's now been spayed, tested for feline HIV and leukemia, and given all her shots. There's no way we can bring Mimi inside right now, not with Sylvester being old and ill and Greebo spraying in the kitchen already because she hangs out on the deck, but I feel much better knowing that she's protected against disease and won't be having ten thousand kittens.
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    Er, hi.

    Yep, it's been quite a while. I should really just resign myself to the fact that I am a sporadic surfer. Three months on, two months off, two months on, three months off....

    The biggest reason I haven't updated is that for quite a while the only notable news I had was of the "argh!" or "this sucks" variety. And, well, that's just no fun to write about over and over. Plus, my modem became tempermental (somewhat fixed now that I've figured out exactly where to wedge the Q-Tip). Then I started knitting. And knitting. And knitting.

    Eventually, of course, the growing horror of the un-downloaded e-mail became a phobia in and of itself, and it took several weeks to nerve myself to log on. I did it for a good cause, though, of which I will speak more about in a separate post. And it only turned out to be around 250 messages, which is a lesson in the fear being greater than the reality.

    Now, to summarize the last few months, which, I will warn, we've been calling, "The Summer From Hell." I've split the cuts into sections, for ease of skipping the bits that might not be interesting to all.

    Boo: She's Plump, She's Agile, She's Stealthy )

    In other news, I didn't have emergency surgery )

    Cats Are Like People, Only More Expensive )

    But, you know, it wasn't all bad )

    So, there you have it. My summer in a nutshell. Which is where it likely belongs.
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    Just wanted to mention that we are all back home now, and our household is (temporarily) the larger for a mommy cat and two black kittens. Er, anyone want to adopt a cat?

    A few more details about Al's week )

    In the interests of not making it seem as though my life has been nothing but gloom (as I fear the majority of my recent journal posts have possibly indicated), here are some good things that have happened of late:

    Boo's shoe size is now 5 1/2, a size and a half larger than it was six months ago. She also appears to have grown about a half-inch, and some of her clothes are noticably shorter on her. Go Cheetos!

    I have written approximately two pages of fan fiction, which is two pages more than I have written in months.

    I have incriminating pictures of Boo wearing a potty seat around her neck, which I intend to hoard for her teenage years.

    Because I stayed with my mother all week, I was able to skive off Mommy duties and go see Prisoner of Azkaban on opening night. I should probably devote an entire post to it, and I might do so in future, but suffice it to say that once I wrapped my brain around the changes from both book and from the previous movie-verse, I liked them very much. After all, someone finally remembered that Harry has perpetually messy hair.

    Read a pretty good series of vampire books by Charlaine Harris, recommended by Erin Lasgalen. I'm not particularly fond of vampire fiction, but these were quite readable. It might be considered a flaw that they bear some plot and theme similarities to Laurell Hamilton's Anita Blake books, but while it nagged me a bit, I still enjoyed them for what they were.

    Well, I think that'll do for now. If nothing else, it made me feel better. :)


    Sep. 13th, 2003 10:41 am
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    Sylvester just put a big crack in my free-with-baby 32oz water cup by knocking it off the nightstand. *Shakes finger at icon* Bad kitty! Even worse, I crushed my Predators sports jug under the car seat last week trying to put the seat down. Dammit, now I have to go and part with actual cash for a drinking vessel. Grr.
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    Have encountered yet another situation not covered in baby literature: What to do when the cat falls in the tub while the baby is taking a bath.
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    Just got back from taking Sylvester (and, of course, Greebo) to the vet again.

    Worried sentimental ramblings about my cat )
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    For the last two or three days, my older cat, Sylvester, hasn't been acting himself. He's been listless and clingy, wanting to be near me even if it means being within range of The Boo Unit. He's also been allowing Boo to pet him (aka "yanking his fur"), but it's more because he doesn't seem motivated to move away than because of a sudden desire to get friendly with the baby after nine months. He's 13 and no longer a spring chicken, so I decided to take him to the vet.

    Now, this simple decision is no longer the relatively easy undertaking it was before the arrival of No. 2 Cat Greebo and the baby. Gone are the days when I can just pop Sylvester in his cage, or not even bother with the cage and use his leash, and zip over to the vet's. Oh, no.

    For one thing, the last time I took Sylvester to the vet without also taking Greebo, he freaked out, growled, hissed, spat, and took a swipe at the vet. They had to sedate him before they could examine him. So, it's two cats, two cages, etc. Plus baby.

    Loading went fine. I put the kitties in their cages, took them downstairs to the car, then came back up, put Boo in her car seat, took her down, and we were loaded up and ready to go. Piece of cake. Okay, so the temperature's in the mid-90s, but hey, what's a little heat stroke.

    At the vet's, I had it all planned. I parked the car, got Boo out of her car seat, put her in the backpack carrier, got a kitty cage in each hand, and voila.

    Of course, the vet could find nothing physically wrong with Sylvester. But he's been Sylvester's vet for 13 years, ever since Sylvester was 8 months old, and while Greebo and Boo chased each other around and under the table, Greebo jumping up and down to check on his buddy and Boo trying her best to yank the tassels off the vet's shoes, the vet agreed with me that Sylvester's behavior wasn't normal. So I forked over $100 for blood tests, which luckily I had because I'd been saving money for a trip to my sister's. Don't know what I'm going to do about the trip now, but hey.

    Back home, I did the loading in reverse. I took Boo up first, got her settled in her play area, then zoomed back down for the cats. But when I put Greebo down to the open the front door, the sophisticated mechanism of old wire and knitting needles holding the cage door closed gave way, and he squirmed for freedom.

    I wasn't too worried at first. I just scooped him up and shoveled him quickly inside the building. But when I opened the door again to get Sylvester and the empty cage inside, Greebo made his break.

    I set off after him, leaving Sylvester in the hall and my baby unattended upstairs, remembering frantically all the baby book admonitions about never leaving babies alone even in rooms that have been locked down like Fort Knox (leaving aside the question of how any of these women get their groceries upstairs, but never mind). Greebo had apparently forgotten all of the previous three years of comfort and pampering, because he ran away from me like I was Cruella DeVille looking for a new tabby coat. I finally cornered him under a van and persuaded him that I wasn't some bizarre space alien after his brain, and tucked him under my arm while I hauled Sylvester's cage upstairs. Then it was back down for Greebo's cage, a last trip up two flights in about 100 degrees of humidity, and I was free to collapse on the floor and wheeze.

    I'm supposed to find out about Sylvester's blood tests today, and I can't say I'm not nervous. A lot of my friends' cats have died at 12 or 13, and Sylvester has definitely been slowing down the last couple of years.

    And now I'm hearing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" over the baby monitor, which means Boo is awake and standing in her crib to push the button on her Sesame Street Edu-tainment Center. And, yes, now she's accompanying the music with "Ba ba ba" and raspberries. So, time to get up. :)

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