Aug. 18th, 2008 09:54 am
mountain_laurel: (Default)
Iceberg Slim's vet checkup went well -- there's absolutely nothing wrong with him. the numbers on all his tests were perfect, so that's one fewer thing for me to worry about. he did manage to scratch the hell out of both the vet and the vet tech. he did NOT appreciate getting his vaccinations. i fear he will not be as popular at that office as Daddy-O was.

in other news, it looks like i'm finally getting some real work to do, albeit for another department. they've got a 700-page manual they need updated. i won't be doing the writing, just plugging it into Frame and formatting it properly. their schedule is ridiculous, however -- three weeks for them to write all the changes and me to plug them in. it's just not going to happen. i couldn't make all those revisions in three weeks, and the guys who are writing them aren't even tech writers.

depression continues very bad, but it's hard to say how much of that is medication and how much is my complete lack of any kind of life outside of work. socializing just seems like such a *chore*, though. i wish i hadn't moved to south austin; it makes it so much more difficult to hang out with people. i'm more avoidant than ever -- i'm still going to bed way too early because all i really want to do is sleep. getting netflix has helped me stay up at least somewhat later, but i'm still in bed by 9 almost every night.

and since all the kids are doing it, here's my manga avatar:

mountain_laurel: (Default)
today i had to have daddy-o put to sleep. his kidneys had failed and there was nothing more to be done for him. he was suffering and i couldn't in good conscience let him suffer any longer.

i miss him desperately.


Oct. 5th, 2007 02:14 pm
mountain_laurel: (daddy-o)
this fucking KILLS me. too perfect. and the kitty looks just like daddy-o... at least, his soft white underbelly does.
mountain_laurel: (Default)
so i seem to be doing OK overall, though i'm having a terrible time concentrating on work still. i need to kick myself harder in the ass, i guess.

meanwhile, one of the three feral kittens my neighbor stephanie and i have been keeping an eye on is at the vet. he got caught in a fan belt this morning; she said he looked like he was mostly ok, but he needed stitches and got a pretty serious whack on the head, so the vet is keeping him for observation. we're hoping we can talk him into trying to find him a home; meanwhile i must offer devout thanks to [ profile] chakaal, who kindly offered a contribution toward the vet bill. stephanie has been spending a lot of money caring for the ferals and strays on the property, and i'm trying to help out, but i can't really afford it either. *sigh*

anyway, hopefully the little stripey guy (i think we should name him Pontiac) will be all right and the vet will find him a nice home; we'd like to place the other two kittens before they're too feral to be socialized, but catching them is a real trick. we're also trying to trap a couple of the adult ferals; the humane society will neuter/spay them for free, and then we can let them go again and not have to worry about them making more kittens. unfortunately we think there may already be more -- the one stephanie caught last night appeared to be nursing, so she let her go again.

it's the goddamned Wild Kingdom, right there in our parking lot.


May. 28th, 2007 08:36 pm
mountain_laurel: (Default)
it's just so goddamn wonderful to have Daddy-O back! it's amazing how the absence of ~10 lbs. of cat can make an entire apartment feel so empty.

he's gotten more petting than is probably good for me, claimed the top of the new Victrola as his personal Cat Pedestal, and enjoyed the leftovers of an improvised, vaguely middle eastern dinner )

as a final note, Daddy-O approved strongly of the meager leftovers. for dessert i recommend a glass of bourbon and a clove cigarette, to be enjoyed in the fresh evening air with suitable background music.
mountain_laurel: (cherchez le poisson)
i picked Daddy-O up from the vet today. he'd been charming everyone as usual -- everyone was calling him "big guy" and telling me how great he was. the receptionist cooed over his big feet, and even the guy covered with blood said he was handsome. (i was afraid to ask whose blood.)

Dr. Tyson said he's doing great, and that they've "never had such a good eater." heh heh heh. if they only knew. anyway, he apparently started purring like mad the moment he saw me, and he purred all the way home, trying to sit in my lap and look out the window at the same time. he knew when we pulled into the parking lot and got all excited, and once inside the house, he did exactly what i expected him to: made a beeline for the bathroom sink and demanded that i run the tap for him.

ah, cats.

anyway, he seems, if anything, better than before. he's very happy to be home. right now he's reclining in the bathtub for reasons unknown to me. perhaps it will serve as a good radiation dispersal device?

according to the paper they gave me, he received 4.48 mCuries of radioactive iodine. i have a variety of aftercare instructions, the most inconvenient of which is that i'm to wash my hands immediately after touching him. which means i'm not going to have any skin left on my hands. i'm also told that for two weeks my apartment must be off limits to children and nursing or pregnant mothers (not a difficult challenge). for some reason, though, they don't consider there to be any real danger to Iceberg. go figure.

i wish i had a geiger counter.

anyway, my beautiful boy is home, and now i just hope i'm able to maintain a little contact with him as they decreed while the radiation dissipates. not that i'm even clear on what the results might be if i'm exposed to too much radiation. i mean, it'd be handy if i could just let him sit in my lap and have him sterilize me, but i'm pretty sure it doesn't work that way... i really don't know anything about radiation, so it's all a mystery to me.

fortunately, i found this incredibly helpful website about how to handle a radioactive cat (see, you really can find anything on the internet), so i'm doing my best to take the necessary precautions. this means, among other things, that i will need to assemble a group of hapless scientists, adventurers, and/or drunks, thrown together by random chance, in case of the unlikely event that Daddy-O mutates, grows to gigantic size, and runs rampant through downtown Tokyo.

um... margaritas tonight at Chuy's, anyone?

i also found this charming song about Mamba, the Radioactive Cat.

in other news, it's raining like a sonofabitch, and the ultra-friendly little gray stray who hangs around the complex has been sitting right outside my door, wailing piteously, for half an hour now. it's breaking my heart. i went outside and tried to explain to her that there are other dry places she could go, like someone's patio or back under the trees, but evidently she wants into my apartment. which makes me wonder if she wasn't abandoned here by the previous tenant or something.

she's a sweetie and all, but she's still not coming in, goddammit. although if i get really desperate i may end up wrapping a box in plastic and putting it out in the parking lot for her.

sigh. i'm such a cat lady.

a radioactive cat lady!


May. 26th, 2007 12:06 pm
mountain_laurel: (girl with cats)
yesterday morning, the vet who called to update me on Daddy-O interrupted his own report to say "GREAT cat!" the report itself was excellent: Daddy-O was doing absolutely fine.

this morning, he said Daddy-O is a sweet cat, and that his appetite is great -- "In fact, he was ready to beat me up if I didn't fill his dish in time."

yeah, that's my Daddy-O, all right. apparently that's a good sign, though -- some cats don't feel well after the treatment and don't want to eat. Daddy-O continues to charm, as well as irradiate, all who come in contact with him.

in other news, most of my plants are doing very poorly and i'm not sure why. my lavender is drooping, my curry plant is dying, my rosemary and holy basil are all mottled and yellowy, my sage is just plain dead, and my sweet basil is dropping leaves. both varieties of thyme are still flourishing, though.

i have a bunch of tiny sorrel sproutlets now, and two of my beans sprouted yesterday -- one of them is already six inches tall today! i'm beginning to understand where the story about Jack and the Beanstalk came from, because damn, those things grow fast! i'm looking forward to lots of fresh lima beans this summer.

i've actually made it as far as bathing and getting dressed, so perhaps i'll manage to make it out to Home Depot for some more pots and soil; i need to transplant the sorrel sprouts, and i'm going to have to replace my sage. things seem to sprout quickly enough here that i'm going to just pick up seeds for oregano and marjoram, and i think i'm going to buy a new rosemary as well -- the one i have isn't my preferred variety anyway. it's the upright sort, and i find it's better to use the trailing kind if you're going to be cutting from it randomly. the upright kind gets woody stems very quickly; rosemary only grows new branches if you cut from green stems.

i wish i could figure out what's going wrong with the rest of the herbs. maybe i need to water them more often, maybe they need more direct sun... i tried giving them some Miracle Gro last weekend and it didn't help at all.

i know some plants like tea leaves and coffee grounds, maybe i'll try that next.

in completely unrelated news, today i got the most awesome spam subject ever: 'righteous necromancer'. is that a kickass name for a heavy metal band, or what?
mountain_laurel: (daddy-o)
this morning i dropped Daddy-O off at the vet for his radioactive iodine treatment. while i waited for them to be ready for me, he managed to charm the entire waiting room. about half the people waiting commented on how handsome and well-behaved he was. two of the vet techs came over to pet him. the receptionist pulled out her phone and took pictures of him as he reclined in the middle of the floor like a king surveying his domain.

what can i say? he's a charismatic cat. chicks dig my Daddy-O.

the specialty vet who comes in to do the radiation treatments was very impressed with him as well. he commented on how obviously healthy, alert, and curious he was, and said he was certain Daddy-O would do well post-treatment. i mentioned that several of my friends had implied i was nuts to spend $1200 on such a treatment for a 16-year-old cat, and he said that might have been true ten years ago, but with the advances in veterinary tech and the quality of foods available now, 16 just isn't that old for a well cared for indoor cat. he said he's done the same treatment on a 22 year old cat.

then Daddy-O took a flying four-foot leap from a chair to the exam table, and he said, "are you sure this cat is 16?"

"wait till you see the other one," i said. Mr. Slim can still make a six foot vertical leap at the venerable age of 15.

he also said he wanted to name his next cat Daddy-O because it was such an excellent name.

the vet tech who took him back to get his injection said she was going to have a hard time resisting the urge to go into the isolation room to "huggle" him because he was so awesome.

that's my beautiful boy.

anyway, Daddy-O will have to stay in isolation for three or four days till the radiation dies down to a safe level. they can only go in a couple of times a day to give him food and water and change his litter. frankly, i'm more concerned about the "light jazz" they say they'll play for him. i told them he prefers female vocals and jazz trumpet, but who knows if they'll listen? either way, at the latest i'll be able to pick him up on Monday morning. after that, for the next two weeks, i must:
  • use flushable litter, because his piss will set off the radiation detectors at the dump
  • not let him sleep with me
  • not hold him for more than 15 minutes at a time, more than twice a day

it's the sleep thing i'm worried about, since most nights i sleep with one cat on either side of my head. i asked the specialty vet about it, and he said "let common sense rule. if you can't keep him out of the bedroom, just try to keep him from sleeping next to your head."

i liked the specialty vet very much.

when i came home today, Iceberg Slim seemed quite distressed until i gave him the liquid i drained from a can of tuna, followed by the empty can and the bowl i used to mix the tuna salad. that's the great thing about cats: tuna cures all ills.

myself, i'm not doing as well. i've been too wound up to do any work worth mentioning all week. yes, i'm totally overreacting. this treatment is 98% effective and has very few side effects, and the vet assures me that Daddy-O is in exceptionally good health for his age and should come through it just fine.

but... but... he's my baby. and how do you explain to a cat that you're not abandoning him, he just has to stay in a room alone at the vet's office for three or four days? he'll think i've given him away! and poor Iceberg has no idea what's going on, he's stuck to me like glue and when i first got home this evening he just followed me around mewing piteously.

the apartment really does seem awfully empty without Daddy-O in it.

on the up side, [ profile] matrushkaka visited last night and took a bunch of pictures of the kitties, both on their own and with me. she promised to send me a CD with copies when she gets home from Burning Man Flipside. in turn, i promise to post the pix for your viewing pleasure. because honestly, who can resist pictures of kitties? i ask you.

she also tried to take pictures of the world famous Congress Avenue Bridge bats (about 10 minutes north of my apartment), but this time of year they only come out after dark and they're so small and fast they're pretty much impossible to photograph. apparently August and September are prime bat season; she is, of course, required to come visit me then.

anyway. kitties. the vet promised to call every morning to give me an update on how Daddy-O is doing. meanwhile, Iceberg Slim seems to be pretty happy, given that he gets to lick out entire tuna salad prep bowls on his own, so he's doing all right so far.

in completely unrelated news, apparently it's traditional for Austin to have severe weather, including floods and tornadoes, on Memorial Day weekend. on the other hand, Burning Man Flipside also happens here every Memorial Day weekend. so we'll see how that all works out in the end.
mountain_laurel: (girl with cats)
kitten vs. firefly.

enough said.

p.s., [ profile] gooley, i could ftp you some kittens. there are at least three that i've spotted so far -- two brown and black tabbies with lots of white, and one that's all brown and black, with markings that are almost spotted. they're all very suspicious of humans, but still young enough to be socialized, i think.
mountain_laurel: (daddy-o)
...and Daddy-O is a go for the radioactive iodine treatment. the vet feels strongly that this is the treatment that will be best for him, and that i should do it now. so she's sending his records over to the clinic, and i'll call tomorrow and set up an appointment.

well, that's assuming they'll let me do some kind of payment plan. because it's going to cost $1200. and he'll have to stay there for three or four days. and he's going to hate it so much.

my poor little guy. it's a small price to pay for the best cat IN THE WORLD. i was hoping it could wait until i had a permanent job, but... *sigh*

mountain_laurel: (daddy-o)
this morning i took Daddy-O to the vet for some routine bloodwork to check his thyroid levels. the assistant who took the blood used the wrong kind of tube, so they had to re-take the test from his other leg. the vet did that one, but the blood clotted up too much and was unusable. (she said it's actually a good sign that it did that, but she'd never seen it happen to that degree before.)

so they had to take yet another sample from his jugular. when they brought him back to me (they had to take him in the back and restrain him for it because he had Had Enough by that point and was fighting like crazy), he was so exhausted he just slunk into his carrier and curled up in the back.

my poor baby. and he was so good for the first test, and even when they insulted his dignity by taking his temperature... tonight i'll have to give him something extra special. yogurt, maybe. he goes absolutely nuts for yogurt.
mountain_laurel: (Default)
this morning i finally met my complex's resident crazy cat lady, Stephanie. several times a day i see her out in the parking lot, filling food dishes and fussing with a humane trap. it turns out she started feeding one feral cat over Thanksgiving and has ended up with a small colony, including some domesticated strays and a nursing mother. she's already taken in a couple of strays, but there are more than she (or anyone else in the complex) has capacity for indoors. the Austin Humane Society has a spay/neuter/vaccination program for ferals but they can't accept strays, and the Town Lake Animal Center, while it does not turn away any animal, is not a no-kill shelter.

the cats needing homes that i remember from our conversation:
  • Isaac, an all-gray adult male (neutered, i'm pretty sure) who's very well-adjusted and friendly, and obviously desperately wants his own humans (when i said "oh, hello, kittycat!" he came trotting right over to me, and he keeps coming over to my windows to look in, much to the dismay of my boys). Isaac is currently living outside because nobody in the complex has capacity for an extra cat, but i think Stephanie's taken him to the vet for a checkup, shots, etc. -- i'll verify that with her.
  • a young female (Christina, i think) who was rescued from a tree after having been doused with water by a human and dive-bombed by bluejays; she's obviously accustomed to humans and was very relieved to see one. she's been to the vet (where i assume she got shots etc., but i'll verify), who thought she might have a paralyzed colon because her tail hangs in an odd position, but she seems to have normal bowel movements and Stephanie thinks the tail was just injured at some point. she's currently living in a cage on Stephanie's balcony because the feral toms were giving her trouble and she'd been scratched up a bit.
  • there are nursing kittens who will need homes soon; i'm not sure how many or of what colors, etc., but i can find out... maybe. the mother is feral and extremely skittish, so it may be difficult to find and retrieve the kittens. i believe they're only about 2 weeks old right now, so it'll be another six or so before they're ready for adoption.

i can get more details for anyone who's interested. it'd be helpful if you could put the word out to other cat people as well.

yeah, it looks like i'm going to be helping Stephanie out with the feral colony. i always knew i was going to end up a cat lady.

scary news

Nov. 29th, 2006 04:23 pm
mountain_laurel: (daddy-o)
Daddy-O has been losing weight the last few months, and when i realized last week that he actually weighed less than Iceberg Slim, i got really worried. he saw the vet yesterday, and this morning we got back the results of his blood tests.

he's got a severe case of hyperthyroidism, which is probably the cause of the heart murmur and definitely the reason he's lost weight. this would ordinarily be best treated with radioactive iodine, but he also has some minor kidney dysfunction. that rules out radiation treatment, so he'll be needing surgery to remove the enlarged thyroid. before we can do that, however, he needs to get thyroid and heart medication for a couple of weeks to see how things stabilize.

it turns out that the hyperthyroidism minimizes the effects of the kidney dysfunction, because the increased metabolic rate makes his blood pump through his kidneys more often -- meaning that there are more waste products in his blood and less in his urine. when he takes the thyroid medicine, his heart rate will slow down. that won't make the kidney disease worse, per se -- but it will cause its full effects to hit him. so we need to wait and see what happens before we do anything.

he doesn't seem sick, mind you. other than being more anxious than he used to be -- which is also a symptom of the hyperthyroidism, apparently -- he behaves exactly as usual. but i can feel his ribs, and his little heart thumping away in doubletime, and it's scaring the crap out of me. i've been afraid to ask how this will impact his lifespan, but at 15 he's already 76 in cat years, which is pretty damn old.

i'm trying really hard not to think about it.

cat tax

Jul. 19th, 2006 04:59 pm
mountain_laurel: (cherchez le poisson)
by the way, i wanted to take this opportunity to point out a distinct unfairness in the pricing of collars and leashes. as it turns out, the same brand of collar and leash in exactly the same color and size (the only difference being whether it's labeled for "small dogs" or "large cats or small dogs") costs nearly twice as much if you buy it from the cat section of the pet store as if you buy it from the dog section. (let's not even talk about the obscene markup if you buy them from the human section.)

cannot something be done about this horrific injustice?
mountain_laurel: (girl with cats)
they're having to get used to harnesses again, so i don't have to worry about them getting lost on the road.

they seem to be adjusting better than last time. or at least, they're not lying on the floor pretending the harness is SOOOOO HEAVY that they can't possibly get up. so that's something.
mountain_laurel: (daddy-o)

alas, i have no pix of my cats in sinks online, although [ profile] wisn has personally witnessed the phenomenon. Daddy-O neatly fills a standard bathroom sink -- just to the brim without overflowing.

instead, as [ profile] accommodatingly is reportedly short of cat pictures, i offer once again the redoubtable Daddy-O eating the chiles from a plate of red Thai curry:

that's my boy, all right.
mountain_laurel: (girl with cat)
okay, look. we all love our pets. and everybody knows it's a bad sign if your pet doesn't like your date. but this is taking it just a little too far.
mountain_laurel: (daddy-o)
Daddy-O's little TOES are just fine after a little pruning from the vet; there's a little blood but no infection, and he's expected to heal up within a couple of days.

since we were there, i had them give him a checkup and a fresh distemper shot. he's down to a positively svelte 12.35 lbs., two pounds less than he weighed last time! the vet heard that mysterious vanishing heart murmur for a second time, which means he really does have one, but he doesn't think it's a big deal; he said just to keep an eye on Daddy-O and call them if he seems to be having trouble breathing or getting disproportionately tired.

Daddy-O did not appreciate the trip. he pissed in my car -- fortunately on some trash on the floor. see? there is a good reason not to clean my car! and now he's sulking under the kitchen table, despite my attempt to atone with a dish of wet cat food.
mountain_laurel: (girl with cat)
if you're not already reading [ profile] kittenbreak, you should be.

p.s. the entire "music" entry should read:

Garth Hudson/NRBQ/Betty Carter/The Replacements/Bill Frisell/Wayne Horvitz - Medley Four: Feed The Birds/Whistle While You Work/I'm Wishing/Cruella De Ville/Dumbo And Timothy


mountain_laurel: (Default)

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