Cat Update

May. 20th, 2015 11:51 pm
bloodyrosemccoy: (Simon's Cat)
Hey, today is a good day! It's the first time in four days that I haven't had to clean up cat piss!

Yeah, so, Fern's still not feeling great, and part of that not feeling great seems to be expressed by peeing everywhere. But at least she's peeing on easily-cleaned surfaces.*

She went to the vet again on Monday (she was sure thrilled about that), where it was revealed that now she has a bladder infection, which could, possibly, maybe, explain the peeing. The good news is, the vet had some antibiotics for her, along with some other stuff to fix up her kidneys. She's not thrilled with me, though, because that stuff includes administering three days of subcutaneous fluids and then stuffing pills into her once a day. And I think she's blaming me for feeling bad in the first place.

This also means that the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee is staying with the neighbors for a little longer, since we don't want Fern getting bugged by tiny obnoxious kittens while she stabilizes again--and also, they've just learned to use the litter box, and we don't want them getting confused about that.

She does seem to be feeling better after a few days of such things. And she didn't pee anywhere untoward today, so things are looking up. Hopefully, this means she'll be around for a while longer. Luck to her.


*And she tells me whenever she does. Comes to find me and reports it every time.

PNEUMONIA

Apr. 30th, 2015 06:52 pm
bloodyrosemccoy: (Not So Lucky)
SO ANYWAY THIS ONE TIME I GOT PNEUMONIA

Probably I'd Better Call A Doctor

OFFICE MANAGER: Thank you for calling this doctor's office! How can I help you?
ME: Well, I've got a bunch of pneumonia symptoms, and an image of Jim Henson just scrolled past my Facebook feed. I think I'd better see a doctor.
OFFICE MANAGER: Okay. The next appointments I have are either 7:30 tomorrow morning or two weeks from today.
ME: Probably I'd better take the seven-thirty one. I'm not sure I'll be alive two weeks from today.

Seven-Fucking-Thirty A.M. the Next Day

ME: Right, I got this. Drive down to the hospital, get an assessment, stop by the grocery store, back home for some rest.
MEDICAL ASSISTANT: Okay, I'm going to get your blood oxygen and your blood pressure ...
ME: Okay, that's great, but I just ... I think I need to lie down on the exam table ...
MEDICAL ASSISTANT: Wait, what?
ME: I'l just ... yeah. Down I go.
MEDICAL ASSISTANT: ... I guess you can stay there. Let me just take your temperature.
ME: *zzz*
MEDICAL ASSISTANT: in the hall HOLY SHIT IT'S 104.2°!
DOCTOR: also in the hall And you said she DROVE HERE HERSELF?

Gettin' A Chest X-Ray

INTAKE NURSE: Have you had any contact with anyone who might have had ebola recently?
ME: What, any of the four of them? NO.

One Chest X-Ray And Some Tylenol Later

DOCTOR: So it's totally pneumonia.
ME: You don't say.
DOCTOR: Go home. DO NOT DRIVE YOURSELF. Sleep. Push fluids. Take these antibiotics. Call if you get worse.
ME: I guess I'm not going to the grocery store today.

Sickness Behavior





one hour later

ASPEN: Hey, I am at your door! I've brought you some cassoulet!
ME: Is ... is this an entire chicken?
ASPEN: And here is some grapefruit juice!
ME: ... I really did not expect that to work as well as it did.

Everyone Is A Helper

CAT: Hey, I'm feeling better! But I think I want to hang close to you. Like, really close. Like, I will accept nothing except sitting on your belabored chest.
ME: This is a ploy so that if you die you can take your food human to the afterlife with you, isn't it.

ME: *cough*
BIRD: *cough*
ME: *cough cough*
BIRD: *cough cough*
ME: Are you making fun of me?
BIRD: *cough snort cough*

ME: Hello, Aunt! I think I am dying. Can you come up and heat up this cassoulet for me? And feed the cat her prescription food? And maybe do some laundry for me?
AUNT: You bet!
ME: So far, you are the best helper.
AUNT: I like to think it's the RN training.

And now I'm feeling better, which means I went to get the car and I am watching David Attenborough's Life of Birds. I"m still planning to talk about the awesome Space Place Gala, but till then, let's hope I survive.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Not So Lucky)
You ever go around for two full days putting up with chills, headaches, body aches, fatigue, and a slight cough and only THEN realize you might be sick?

... What? Yeah, uh, me either.

Okay, I do have an excuse--I've been sick so often this past year that I apparently assumed that I couldn't POSSIBLY be sick again. Ha ha! I was so wrong.

At least I wasn't this clueless about the cat. Fern hasn't been eating lately, and the vet diagnosed her with early kidney failure, a complication of being an old-ass cat. He graciously came in yesterday to pump some fluids into her--and to teach me how to do the same. Fern is a little put out with me at the moment, what with two vet visits and a load of needles, but she's also hanging close.

So we're feeling lousy together, and letting the bird fend for herself, with NPR for company.* The good news is that Fern's already getting sparkier after some fluids, so there's hope for this grandma cat yet.

At least we have a day off. It's been an adventurous week. When I feel less dead, I'll tell y'all about the Space Place Gala. For now, though, the cat is curled up on the bed; I think I will do likewise.


*She's going to be a very erudite bird. She didn't like Pledge Drive Week, though. She'd scream whenever they started in.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Old Spice Onna Horse)
Dang, my hands are getting a bit ripped up lately. It's a sign of a lot of entertaining myself, though.

Causes of hand-rip-uppery:

-CAUSE #1: This here bird. Lucy's friendly and cheerful and loves hanging out with me, but sometimes she does take bites out of my fingers. I've managed to convince her not to do it as much, but she still does in certain situations.

The annoying thing is that the best way to break them of the habit is to not snatch your fingers away, because that's what the bird wants. Instead you're supposed to hold your finger there or even push into it, which will throw the bird off-balance both physically and mentally. And that takes some damn willpower when that hooked bill is pinching with nutcracking force.

But we're having a good time other than that. I have also taught her not to be afraid of cardboard paper towel rolls because they contain treats. And she had a nice bath in a dish last weekend, but since then she's been less interested in the bath dish but keeps bathing in her water dish. So she's keeping clean.

She likes NPR. She will be an erudite bird.


-CAUSE #2: Been cooking a lot. I'm eating quite well (Lucy likes lasagna, too), and most of the dishes I've made are pretty good. However, we will not speak of the attempt to make corn dogs ever again. Turns out hot oil is hot.


-CAUSE #3: Kittens who still don't know how to retract their claws. I probably won't even feel completely at ease having a bird and I'm going to bring a pair of tiny kitties into my life. I am an idiot.

But we did have a nice day where the neighbors took the kittens out so they could romp on the lawn. Which was rather hilarious when our party attracted a whole bunch of neighbor kids. The poor kittens had started out exploring the concept of grass, but ended up exploring the concept of getting constantly picked up and juggled by six kids aged 4-11.


-CAUSE #4: Trimming grapevines. We shoulda done this months ago, but there was this whole MOVING thing going on. So I had to do it myself, though one of Dad's former patients, who works at a vineyard, came to show me how. (He got a pretty alarmed look on his face when he saw the 45-degree angle at which the vines are set up. Life on a mountainside has its disadvantages. But I enjoyed the trimming--it's kind of meditative.

Also, it turns out I am a wizard. I trimmed half of them, and then later that day it suddenly got cold and snowed. A few days later, it was springy again! So I trimmed the rest, and then THREE FUCKING FEET of snow promptly crashed into my house.

So apparently I have the power to summon snowstorms by trimming grapevines. Sure, it's very specific, but still. I AM ELSA. BOW DOWN BEFORE ME!


-CAUSE #5: Eczema.

No, seriously, that's it. Eczema is a plague upon me. Such is my life.


In conclusion, yes, I am having a good time, except for the eczema. All I have to do is buy some Band-Aids.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Bouncing Kitty)
Hey, everyone! Musical Houses has also caused something else to happen, too!

LOOK AT THESE LITTLE GUYS.

 photo 20150404_190115_zpsaa36py1n.jpg

These are my neighbor's surprise kittens. Neighbor Dude is a fisherman, and during Wild Sea Monkey* season out at the Great Salt Lake he and his fellow sailors kept feeding this one stray cat. At the end of the season he decided dangit, the cat deserved a home, so Valentine lives with his family now and seems incredibly happy with the arrangement.

Also, Valentine, as it turns out, was pregnant.

And now these two needed a home. And somehow or other, I wound up agreeing to taking them in. HOW COULD YOU RESIST?

So! Meet Starbuck!

 photo 20150404_183853_zpsu8ybxdgr.jpg
I suppose named after Starbuck from Moby Dick but honestly I just think the name "Starbuck" is fantastic. I considered calling her something piratical, like Jolly Roger. I think that might wind up being her nickname.

And Midna Merope!**

 photo 20150401_192057_zpsh6v5d6uj.jpg

(Sadly, there was a third white kitty in the litter who looked like she never fully developed. The neighbors' four-year-old daughter loved her, but she Failed To Thrive. So now there is a tiny grave in their yard for Purrscilla Willow White Snowy Mountain.)

Right now they're living with their mother for a few more weeks till they're weaned.*** I get to visit them when I can, though, and play with them (and the neighbor kids!). And I've already been taking towels with their scent home for the resident Grumpy Old Lady Cat, Fern, to investigate. She is suspicious, but this is cosmic payback for the fact that when she was a baby, she and her little sister tormented the then-Grumpy Old Lady Cat. The circle is complete. Though god only knows what'll happen if my brother's ridiculous kitty Harley also winds up living with us.

Anyway! I've got a lot to do to get ready for my little charges. And did I say a menagerie? Well, about that ... yeah. Stay tuned. I've been having a busy month!


*Okay, brine shrimp.

**Rejected names: Anna and Elsa; Anne Bonny and Mary Read; Pyanfar and Rhiow. The pirate ones are my runners-up, but the other names just fit better. I also considered Bouba and Kiki, but I couldn't decide which would be which. HAHAHA I crack myself up.

***Dad says Valentine projects the air of a teen mom. I see his point.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Flamingo With A Yo-Yo)
So the science demos I did yesterday included a Van de Graaff generator, which I let the other presenter handle because, frankly, I prefer not to zap myself. But I did help with some of the explanation.

FELLOW PRESENTER: So this will demonstrate some of the principles of static electricity! You know how in the winter you can put on some wool socks and shuffle them on the carpet and zap your brother or sister with a spark? Or even your parents! Or someone else you like to annoy!

ME: *cheerfully* Or your cat!

AUDIENCE: *gasp, shock, how cruel, etc.*

ME: Oh, don't look at me like that. My poor cat becomes a ball of static in the wintertime regardless of my interference. Every time you pet her she crackles.

AUDIENCE: *grudging acceptance*

ME: The cat doesn't understand what's going on, but soon you will!


Yeah, I'm a natural at this presenting stuff. You're welcome, Space Place.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Fairy Lights!)
My siblings' apartment is a nice setup , with an open kitchen/living area and an airy hallway. They've been gathering furniture for it, and it's getting pretty comfy. The one strange thing, though, was the drifted piles of plasticky and papery and feathery little ditzels and greebles in odd corners.

MY SISTER: Oh, those. Yeah, just be glad there aren't any Starbursts or grapes. All will become clear in time. Anyway, here's the air mattress. Tomorrow we'll go pick up Harley.

Meeting the Kitty

It's been a while since I've had a tiny kitty around. My cat is old and tired, and outdoorsy, able to gallivant around outside if she's bored. I'd been assured by my siblings that little Harley* is in no way an old lady cat. And when we went to pick her up from the friend's house where she was staying, I quickly saw it for myself.

FRIEND: It was great to have Harley back with the other cats! Back when we were fostering her, before you adopted her, the other cats were a little annoyed with her. She's settled down a lot since then!
HARLEY: *streaks by chasing one of the other cats*
MY BROTHER: Thanks again for taking her in again. And for dinner! You guys are great.
HARLEY: LOOKIT ME EVERYONE! THE FLOOR IS LAVA!
FRIEND: No problem! We love you guys! And it's nice to see your sister again.
ME: I am glad to see you, as well!
HARLEY: HI, NEW PERSON! WANNA SEE MY STICK? HERE IT IS! MAKE IT GO! MAKE IT GO!
FRIEND: Indeed! Let's enjoy some dinner!
HARLEY: *zooms by again* MEEP MEEP!

She didn't even slow down after we'd left their excellent dinner and went home. The moment we arrived at the apartment, she launched herself into the nearest pile of the debris drifted in the corners of the house. The ditzels and thingies were her toys. And by god, she liked them. She selected one and brought it to me.

ME: Well, hey, little buddy!
HARLEY: Look! This is my favorite toy! That plastic seal-and-ring thing that seals an orange juice carton! It is the best thing ever! MAKE IT GO!
ME: ... Uh, okay. *toss*
HARLEY: VIEW HALLOO AND TALLY HO! *charges off*

First cat I've ever met who plays fetch.

More things! Not ALL of them are cat-related! )
bloodyrosemccoy: (DEEP HURTING)
The Insurance Part

ME: Hi, billing lady! I've been working out every single possible angle of this whole "paying for surgery" business. I think I've worked out how to pay for it all, but I just need reassurance. Does this payment plan work?
BILLING LADY: Oh, totally! All set! We've got your deductible all worked out!
ME: Great! And this won't turn out to be all fucked up later, right?
BILLING LADY: Of course not!
ME: ... Against my better judgment, I am going to believe you.

Pre-Op

NURSE: Okay, just a few more things to go through. First, please put all your stuff into this bag
ME: Right!
NURSE: Then put on this paper bag and matching booties!
ME: You got it!
NURSE: Then pee into this container.
ME: Sure th--wait, what the hell is this?
NURSE: We need a sample of your urine.
ME: In a toothpaste cap?
NURSE: Now, now. It's at least thimble-sized.
ME: What, you need, like, half a cubic centimeter, tops?
NURSE: Well, you haven't drunk anything since last night, have you? How much are you expecting to have to pee now?

So I went into the bathroom to change into my paper bag and Pee In The Cup. And, in order to make this as inconvenient as possible, the tiny bathroom contained exactly two things: a toilet and a roll of toilet paper. Which means that once you've whizzed all over yourself and into the cup, you 1) have no where to set the cup, and 2) have to exit the bathroom to wash your hands. Which is also awkward when trying to adjust your paper bag.

ME: This is a hazing, isn't it.
NURSE: You have to prove your devotion to the surgery!
ME: The thousands of dollars didn't do that already?

Op Op

One of the things about getting surgery in the hospital where your dad works is that all the staff know your dad. It's weird to have the anesthesiologist laughing that "she even rolls her eyes just like her dad!"

It also means that I know a little bit of doctor-dynamics backstory.

ANESTHESIOLOGIST: Well, hi there! Lie on this table. We'll get you all straightened out.
ME: Is that the Rolling Stones playing?
ANESTHESIOLOGIST: Nope, it's the Who.
ME: Don't get to play that when you do surgeries with Dad, do you?
ANESTHESIOLOGIST: Well ... he likes classic rock ...
ME: I know. But not for surgery.
ANESTHESIOLOGIST: He prefers ... well ...
ME: Smooth jazz.
ANESTHESIOLOGIST: *wistful sigh* Yes. Yes, he does.
ME: I feel ya, buddy.

Anesthesia Is WHACK

ANESTHESIOLOGIST: Anyway! Let's get started. Here, I'll just put some local anesthetic in your hand here ...
ME: DAMN! That is a big old bump on my hand!
ANESTHESIOLOGIST: And then I'm going to put in the general anesthesia itself ...
ME: Sounds good!
RECOVERY NURSE: I see you're waking up!
ME: ... wharrgarbl?
RECOVERY NURSE: Yup. Surgery's over. We'll have you on your way home in a little while!
ME: ... did I ... miss ... something?
RECOVERY NURSE: Just your gallbladder!

Seriously, y'all. Anesthesia doesn't give you the same sense as when you're asleep. When you sleep, you have at least some sense that you have been asleep. Anesthesia is more like those couple of times I've passed out--it's less like feeling you've been unconscious and more a sense that you just hit one of those time skips the Harlem Globetrotters kept running into in Futurama--you're in one place, and then suddenly BAMF and you're struggling to comprehend how the hell you wound up in the recovery room.*

I also became aware, before I really was paying attention to anything else, that I was hooting with every exhale.

I'm not sure why, but when I am feeling under the weather, I have this tendency to hoot. Or hum, or moan--I'm not sure what you'd call it. I just make these little soft moany noises. For some reason, it makes me feel better. Here, though, I couldn't seem to not hoot. Every time I let out a breath, it was with a little noise. Mom informs me that I was constantly commenting on it ("oh, I just did it again"), but all I remember is trying not to just to see if I could stop. I couldn't.

Home To Sock Jail

The other thing I hadn't thought about was that I was going to be taking compression socks home with me--little leg wraps that puff up to help with circulation, so's to prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Mom got me set up with them that first day. Pain in the ass, they are. Every time I had to pee I'd either have to take them off or unplug their little motor and carry it with me to the bathroom.

It also presented another issue.

CAT: Oh, you've just had surgery? So what? In case you haven't noticed, I am stuck outside, and am at your window demanding that you make the long trip around to the back door to let my fuzzy ass inside.
ME: You're lucky I'm so goddamn nice, cat. All right, I'm going back to Sock Jail.
CAT: I'll probably want to go out again in a few minutes. First I'll come check out your room and OH SHIT WHAT THE HELL IS THAT
ME: It's my sock motor.
CAT: HOLY FUCKING FUCK IT IS MAKING NOISE
ME: Yeah, it does that.
CAT: IT WILL GET US ALL
ME: Don't worry. It's a rental. It'll be gone soon.
CAT: I AM ON TO YOU, BUZZING THING. YOU'RE IN LEAGUE WITH THE TRAIN, AREN'T YOU
ME: At least you have good survival instincts.

Insurance Strikes Back

INSURANCE COMPANY: Guess what! Your insurance payment plan is all fucked up!
ME: I wish you jerks wouldn't deliver these letters on Friday afternoons. Now I gotta wait all weekend before I can call you and yell about this.

And So

So that was what happened a couple of weeks ago. And then I loafed around for two weeks having mood swings and feeling like stomped shit, and the only thing that made it really bearable was that lineup of audiobooks I got.** But now, it's been enough time that I think I'm starting to feel normal! It's kind of a nice feeling. My sleep schedule is still Even More Fucked than it was before this whole gallbladdery disaster, but hopefully that will get fixed soon.

The other weird thing is feeling the very obvious absence of a gallbladder that has been very much PRESENT for a couple of years. It doesn't feel like an empty space; I'm just not getting the sense of some large, bilious*** alien sitting just under my boob.

And it wasn't just a subjective feeling. I went in for my post-op the other day and my doctor just about burst into the room.

DOCTOR: YOUR GALLBLADDER WAS THE BIGGEST, INFLAMEDEST GALLBLADDER I HAVE EVER SEEN! IT'S A GOOD THING WE GOT IT OUT!
ME: So peeing in the toothpaste cap was justified after all!

It's always a validation to realize that you felt rotten for a reason. Hopefully I will now feel less rotten. Every day seems to be getting better about that!


*Or, that one memorable time when I passed out, why the hell you're lying in a wet bathtub with your Dad throwing a towel over the shower door at you so you'll be decent when he opens it up to see if you're still alive.

**For the record, Bruce Coville's Full-Cast Audio Unicorn Chronicles are pretty excellent. A few of the voice actors' choices were Not How I Imagined Them (the attempt to Ed Wynn-ize Medafil was weird, and the first book's voice for Lightfoot was kind of ridiculous), but overall they are audiobooks as they should be.

***"Bilious" is a rather startlingly apt description. Before all this nonsense I hadn't realized it, but there is a very specific feeling associated with it. The closest other description I have is "sour"--as in, it felt like there was a big sour THING just sitting in there--but really, even that doesn't work.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Old Spice Onna Horse)
Got my squash all planted today! It feels really late, but the packets did say "one week after last frost," and that means I'm right on the nose there. Now if I can only keep them planted, what with all the garden pests going around digging them back up. And by "garden pests," I mean Mom'n'Dad. They're worse than gophers. And like gophers, their own goals are totally reasonable to them. They are fixing up the staircase down to my garden, which is really nice of them, but it seems to necessitate digging up all the seeds I had just so carefully planted.

But at least the corn and the sunflowers both seem to be on their way up! And I didn't actually kill my tomato starts, so that's always good.

Also, apparently there is catnip in the garden. Either that or my cat is really interested in botany.

I can only imagine what it must be like to be mobbed by scrub jays when you're stoned. The cat reports that it is not a lot of fun, though.

---

Meanwhile, my sister sent me an author! Or, at least, there was an author doing a debut book tour at my sister's book shop, and they struck up a conversation, and somehow I came up. And when my sister found out the nice author lady would be doing an appearance at one of our local bookshops, she told me to go find her.

I'm not sure how this will work out--nice author lady writes thrillers and I do not--but it's nice to have someone cheering for you. And I returned the favor of cheering, all like "Dude, you got published! High five!"

---

I may actually be almost maybe going to start my museum job this week! Possibly. I still have no idea what it entails--in fact, since the orientation, I have LESS of an idea. I will let y'all know on Tuesday what is up there.

---

And in "The Arbitrary Rules Of Life Still Hold" news, the month of May has not at all relaxed its Ahab-like vendetta against my family. It's been piling stressful and uncool things all over us this month. I'm just hoping the barrage ends before, say, we discover the cat's been running a meth lab in the basement when it suddenly explodes or something. That would fit right in with my May, dammit. Let's just skip right along to June, shall we?
bloodyrosemccoy: (Not So Lucky)
Good news, everyone! After six months in the hospital and recovery, Neighbor Cat's owner is coming home on Thursday! And just in time, too, because I was seriously considering just adopting that darn cat to make things more convenient for me and also so that she wouldn't go entirely crazy.* I may get a little wistful about the times I'd just go hang out with my puffy little pal, but it'll be REALLY nice not to have to get up and walk down the street every morning.

Of course, it's not as easy as all that. It never is. After the regimen of steroids, which I had to administer four times a day for a week and thus made me consider just moving into the house, failed to fix the cat's eye, I checked with the vet and told Neighbor Lady's Son that she needed to go back for another appointment. He assured me he would get right on that. Back in January.

Guess who wound up finally taking the cat to the vet in March?

So I got a sound scolding from the vet. Being the honorable sort, I manned up and pinned all the blame on Neighbor Lady's Son. Apparently Neighbor Cat's lower eyelid has managed to curl in on itself like a jelly roll, and it's swollen. She gave me more eyedrops and some gunk that's supposed to boost the cat's immune system--I put it on the cat's paw and she licks it off, I guess. Apparently it is fucking delicious for cats, so at least there's that.

ME: And how many times a day do I have to do THAT?
VET: Two.
ME: TWO? Oh my god, THANK YOU. I can just do it when I feed her. Oh, Vet Lady, you have made me the happiest fur-clogged caretaker in the world.
CAT: Fuck you all, this carrier is small and somebody's been prodding me and I can't feel my eyeball now and I hate car rides and IS THAT A DOG?
DOG: Saaaaay.
ME: Whoops, let's just move this carrier out of the eyeline of curious dogs.
DOG'S OWNER: *greatly offended* Well! He just wanted to LOOK.
ME: Look, the cat has had a really rough day, but she has yet to piss herself with terror. I would like to keep it that way.
CAT: I just want to go back to my nice quiet house and hide under the bed!

Except when we got back to her house Neighbor Lady's Son was there installing railings and a gate around the staircase. It's supposed to keep Neighbor Lady from falling down the stairs, but it's only about two-and-a-half feet high, so really it seems like its only contribution if she loses her balance will be to act like a fulcrum and flip her over so she lands on her head. But whatever. The point is, in order to install it, her son had every power tool in existence blasting away.

CAT: EVERYTHING IS AWFUL
ME: Let's get this carrier open ...
CAT: *BAMF*
ME: ... Did she just straight up TELEPORT into the bedroom?
SOMEWHERE UNDER THE BED: There is definitely not a cat under here. Go away.
ME: Very well, cat. I shall return later to get your food and medicine. I apologize in advance for the eyedrops.
BED: I can't hear you.
ME: Is there an industrial-strength pet-roller around here? Believe it or not, I am not actually wearing a furry grey jumpsuit.

So it's been a hell of a weekend for the poor thing. And, of course, now she gets to look forward to being tackled twice a day to get drops in her eyes. This is all a plot to make her really happy when Neighbor Lady gets back, isn't it?


*Actually, I had been considering it for about four months now, but there were things to consider: for one, they kept assuring me that Neighbor Lady would probably only be away another couple of weeks, and I didn't want it to look like I was stealing her cat. Also, as noted, Neighbor Cat is declawed, and our own cat is ... well, not.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Simon's Cat)
This is pretty much what it's like to go feed Neighbor Cat.

And my own cat, come to think of it.

bloodyrosemccoy: (Hogfather)
Ah, memories.

FinalTrain_zpsf950a48d
I had to take this picture while standing between Dad and an HD football game. It was pretty difficult, actually.

Mom and The Neighbor Kid got out our old Playmobil electric train to put around the tree. We have a lot of old Playmobil stuff.* Aside from the usual playin' in the basement, where I'd spend hours making up stupid stories with which to entertain my siblings,** we'd also set out a lot of the playsets on the summer solstice for the fairies to use during their Midsummer parties. Because they were the perfect size, you know.

Anyway, so the train brought back memories.

Unfortunately, it also had the unforeseen consequence of completely shattering the mental health of the cat. One look at the little thing trundling around on its track and that was it.

CAT: JESUS FUCKING CHRIST! IT'S THE IRON HORSEMAN OF THE APOCALYPSE

US: Look, cat, it's okay! It just goes in circles. And it can't move unless we turn it on.

CAT: DON'T BLINK

US: Uh, perhaps she'll get used to it.

*four hours later*

CAT: I HAVE NOT MOVED FROM MY VIGIL. THE TRAIN COULD CHARGE AT ANY MOMENT

ME: Jesus, cat. Here, I'll even CARRY you upstairs.

CAT: WHAT IF IT FOLLOWS US

ME: Here, sit on your teddy bear.

CAT: OH GOD DON'T LEAVE ME

We keep thinking she'll get used to it. So far, no good. Even upstairs, she keeps glancing toward the basement, as though it'll come roaring up at her any minute. Which is also bringing back memories--specifically, memories of being a very small child full of primal terror that there was a SKELETON in the basement and it would get me if I went down alone. And that experience tells me: even if she could understand my words, any explanation that the train was not about to get her would fail.

She did give it a nose poke last night, though, before fleeing. That might be a good sign. It's such a darn cute train, it'd be a shame to take it down on account of a panicking cat.


*Although not the circus stuff. I always really wanted the circus stuff. There were colors and feathers and elephants, for God's sake.

**A constant form of play for us--I'd get hold of Playmobil or LEGOs or miscellaneous Ninja Turtles and Barbies and run them through all sorts of dumb shit while my siblings giggled helplessly. Although I never really built with the LEGOs. I have a magic force field that causes LEGOs to fall apart.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Simon's Cat)
In a surprising turn of events, I now belong to the neighbor's cat.

Or at least my left shoe does. The way she was grinding her face against it, it must be the olfactory equivalent of a MySpace page from the early 2000's by now.

Neighbor lady, you see, had a bit of a disaster and has been in the hospital for some weeks. While she's recovering, there's the matter of her 15-year-old cross-eyed* rescue cat who, because of a declawing back before neighbor lady got to her, is a strictly Indoor Cat. SOMEBODY'S got to feed the fuzzball and muck out the litterbox, and it might as well be me.

And, as the weeks go on and we adapt the Hierarchy of Needs to cat standards, it turns out that SOMEBODY has also got to keep the cat from going out of her damn mind, and as I am the Food Human, that job also seems to have fallen to me. In just a few weeks she has gone from spending my short visits hiding under a blanket LIKE A NINJA to waiting for me at the door. A lot of days I'm her only visitor. And dang, that must be boring and lonely as shit.

So now that she's used to me, I've started playing with her--turns out my sling makes a STELLAR cat toy, and anyway I needed a new one.** And then we have petting time, and most recently I've started sitting on the couch reading while she sits in my lap and purrs like a goddamn bulldozer.

I think I'll be a bit sorry when the neighbor lady comes back. I'm starting to enjoy hanging out with that cat. And if my left shoe is anything to go by, the feeling is mutual.


*People always automatically ask "Is she Siamese?" when I say that. The answer is she is part-Siamese--the cross-eyed part. But I have yet to see a full Siamese with a luxurious grey, blue, and fawn mackerel coat.

**It's interesting and a little sad to watch her whap and grab at it without her claws--you can tell her nervous system is still behaving like they're there, and trying to grip things with them.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Simon's Cat)
Good news, everyone! The cat is almost entirely de-skunked. She got another bath* today in the magic H2O2 + baking soda solution and then a shampooing, which she endured with stoic resolve. And she was downright thrilled when, once dry, she got brushed (to get some of the contaminated fur off her) and given head scrumbles.** Given that she's been exiled to The Outsides since Saturday, I think she's missed cuddlings.

She still gets to stay in her spacious garage accommodations for a while longer, since when you get up close she still stinks and that's not the kind of thing you want on the furniture. But she smells almost clean and looks a lot happier. Understandably, since her own nose probably feels a lot clearer now that it doesn't have quite so strong a skunk stink in it.

Skunks, man. Don't mess with those guys.


*Yes, another. The last time she got skunked (there was a last time), one bath was enough to neutralize the stink. I don’t know what the hell she was doing this time to get what appears to have been a point-blank magnum blast right between the eyes, but it was exponentially worse. It was like a goddamn FORCE FIELD of stink. You'd get within fifteen feet of her and your body would be like WHAM into a wall of acrid thiols. Took some real bravery, mostly from Mom, to get close enough to wash her that first time around.

**Though she has clearly hostile feelings toward the blow dryer.

Unholy

Jun. 9th, 2012 02:13 am
bloodyrosemccoy: (Movie Sign)
The cat would like to rescind her earlier assertion that carpet cleaning is the worst thing in the world. She now realizes that the worst thing in the world is skunks.

Honestly, I can see her point on the matter.

On a related note, THANK GOD for the internet hive mind. I can't remember the de-skunking recipe offhand. Thanks, internet!
bloodyrosemccoy: (Simon's Cat)
The cat hereby wishes to declare that the professional cleaning of the carpets is by far the worst thing that has ever happened.

She would tell you this herself, except that she is hiding in my closet and plans to never come out again.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Decemberween)
I hereby submit this as an alternative lyric for “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,”* where the players are no longer Wolf and Mouse,** but rather Human and Cat.

I really can’t stay.
But Fluffy, it’s cold outside.
I’ve got to go ‘way.
Oh, fuzzball, it’s cold outside.
I’ve already slept
This blanket is wrecked
Sixteen straight hours
All during which we had snow showers

There’s birds huddled up in the trees now
You’d better just let them tease now
I could spread around some feathery gore
Tonight it’s supposed to snow more
Just turn the knob for me please now
You know that you’re gonna freeze now
Being inside is such a terrible bore
No way I’m gonna open this door

It’s only a storm
That's like three feet of snow
My fur keeps me warm
It’s, what, 20 below?
I could kill me some mice
They’re all solid ice
And I gotta poop
Just use the box; I’ll get a scoop

I plan to sit and stare at you, hopin’
You seriously want this door open?
Looking sadder than if somebody died
I warned you, cat. I totally tried.
I’m going out now—
Hey wut it’s COLD OUTSIDE!
JESUS IT’S COLD! OUT! SIDE!



*A song I almost categorically hate. When James Taylor and Natalie Cole sing it, it’s a nice jazzy bit of banter between two longtime on again-off again friends. Every other version sounds like it’s going to end with a sleazy defense attorney trying to convince a jury that his client was under the perfectly understandable mistaken impression that Rohypnol was an integral part of a martini.

**No, really. That song gets creepier the more you learn about it.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Wassail ... In CANS)
I got me some blogger’s block. Know what that means? A bullet entry!

---

Went to Ed the Hairbender today so’s he could silly up my hair again! I’ll post pictures at some point, unless I don’t, but I’ll tell you now it’s my usual tortoiseshell swirls with a warmer twist—I look a bit tigerish. It was that or Xmas colors.

While I was waiting for the dye to set another lady saw my book—a juvie fantasy novel—and we started to talk about how awesome fantasy is. After a bit of book comparing (she liked The Name Of The Wind), Ed came back. “Oh,” I said. “Looks like it’s time go get this foil out of my hair and let the aliens hear my thoughts again.”

There was a pause.

“Okay,” the lady said, “maybe you read too much fantasy. “

---

She wasn’t quite correct, though. It’s not so much the fantasy as the way I’ve been on a serious Fringe binge. Goddamn, y’all, THIS SHOW. I love every single character and am a total fangirl of Astrid. And as I said earlier, I get a huge kick out of the fact that the pale bald mystery dudes are called Observers. I really hope that’s a sign that some writer was an MST fan.

---

So! My Thanksgiving weekend this year still had a few small adventures. First came an abortive trip to the mall on Black Friday (“Are you crazy, Mom?” “Oh, it can’t be that bad!” “I’d better come along. Let me get my old sparring pads and some safety goggles.”) After fifteen minutes we decided that it was too damn much trouble to find a parking space, so we came home and did our shopping online as I had suggested.

That was still a bit of a treasure hunt, though. I even had to go to the internet UK to track some stuff down, and enlist the aid of good buddy and great sport [livejournal.com profile] acrossthelake in the actual UK to finish the job.*

---

But the good times did not last! That evening Dad came to find me.

DAD: Can you help me? It’s your mom. I was talking to her, and I went to the bathroom, and when I came back she had stopped making sense.

ME: Is she asking herself, “How did I get here?”

DAD: Just get over here. *to Mom* Hey, do you recognize this person?

MOM: … Yeah, I know who that is.

DAD: …


Who is she?

MOM: That's Amelia. ... I don’t feel good.

ME: What’s the matter?

MOM: Well, my clothes are all sticks and there’s a wax cat on my chest. Also my feet are tennis balls.

ME: Ah. Dad, I see what you mean.

DAD: You’re lucky I’m a doctor.

MOM: Why? Who needs a doctor?


So I spent the evening helping Dad do neurological tests. After some science and detectivery we ruled out “stroke,” “aneurysm,” “flu,” “space rays,” and “Pazuzu,” and decided it was a bad reaction to her new sleep medication. So after we escorted her to the bathroom for the old-fashioned DIY stomach pump, we figured we could let her sleep it off. Though we did keep checking to make sure she was breathing.

And the next day we teased her mercilessly about it. After all, she ddn’t remember, so we certainly had to remind her.

---

Ocarina Xmas carols are happening! Which is great, except I am still indirectly allergic to my ocarina, in the sense that every time I play it I suddenly get facehugged by the cat. Either that, or I lock her out of my room—and she tries her damndedst to either batter down the door or crawl under it.

But it’s worth it to be able to play through “Jingle Bells.”

---

I also owe y’all the story of Thanksgiving Weekend In Mombasa. I thought I’d written more about it before, but I suppose I hadn’t. It may take me a while to put it together, but I’m working on it!


*Also I got her address, so I can send her the awesome thing I found for her!

Minis!

Jun. 5th, 2011 10:05 pm
bloodyrosemccoy: (Relaxin')
The vegetable garden has met with the approval of Fern, the official Supervisor of the Outsides. She was suspicious at first, as she always is when she catches me in the Outsides, but after keeping a close eye on me for a while she demonstrated her acceptance of the new patch of dirt by rolling around in it, then sitting herself down firmly next to the starter plants waiting to be transferred. I think that’s a good thing.

It would seem that the demon that possesses me in art supply stores has a twin in the garden store. I planted the bought-in-a-fit-of-madness seeds today, and if autumn tarries I will have more pretty vegetables than I know what to do with. I mean, for god’s sake—RAINBOW CORN. How can you turn down goddamn RAINBOW CORN?

Answer: you can’t. I planted some today. Let’s hope this year’s autumn lasts as long as its winter did.

---

I have started using junior readers as conlang translation exercises. I have extremely strong opinions about junior reader books, namely that most of them stink. (A plague upon you, Dick and Jane! Plague, plague, plague. And don’t get me started on the madness that is Dr. Seuss.)

However, you can still find some good ones that actually tell a story, instead of just talking down to kids in the name of reading. Jane O’Connor’s Fancy Nancy is damn cute but is a bit difficult to translate to an alien language, since she likes to toss in French words, and it's not easy to get across that French = fancy. Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie books are excellent, though, and honest-to-god make me laugh. And right now I’m loving Dav Pilkey’s Dragon books. I still need to translate a few concepts, but they do help solidify some of the core grammar and vocabulary.

---

Speaking of dragons, I have begun fleshing out dragons for the OGYAFE. There are many approaches to dragonbuilding, but I have decided on one that surprises no one: realism. My mantra shall be WWDAD?—What Would David Attenborough Do? It seems to be working.

---

Book Club has assigned another brick to read: Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings. I hadn’t read Sanderson before, but I was already sick of him: he’s a Utah author, and therefore every self-important Utah fantasy nerd feels compelled to share stories proving that Brandon Sanderson is their Close Personal Super Best Friend.*

So imagine my chagrin when I started this book and discovered that it is AWESOME. God damn you, Brandon Sanderson! God damn you and your excellent, toady-attracting writing skills! You are making it very difficult for me to dislike you for something that is out of your hands!

---

Mom’s friend has been our houseguest for a few weeks, on account of her home life suddenly becoming extremely awkward. I haven't mentioned it because I never know how much of it is my story to tell, nor whether it will turn legally awkward if I blurt stuff out, but I must say it has been an interesting experience. It is a little unsettling to hear her talk about how awesome we all are. As Mom says, we seem to be the ones people turn to in times of crisis, like we project steadiness. We find this absolutely hilarious.


*No, I’m not exaggerating: One club meeting consisted entirely of a pissing contest between two members about who had exchanged more emails with him.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Simon's Cat)
So the only problem with practicing the ocarina is that it continues to agitate the hell out of the cat. Every time I start noodling when Fern’s inside, she appears, climbing into my lap, yawping and turning around and jamming her head into my face, giving off the same confounded air as those dumb bastards did when they were trying to understand Lassie: “What? What do you want? What is the meaning of these noises you’re making? WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT FROM ME?”

The other day I figured if I didn’t have a lap it might help, so I stood up and continued, working on “Sweet Baby James” and “Beware the Forest’s Mushrooms” and “Saria’s Song” and hoping she'd just do the leg-twining thing she does when I'm trying to do tae kwon do forms.

Instead, with a frustrated howl, my big fat old cat wrapped herself around my thigh like a fluffy facehugger.

I am not sure what it is about my playing that upsets her so much. Maybe I sound like a kitten in distress. Maybe those frequencies hurt her ears. Or I’m just that bad, and she’s as much a music critic as my late budgie.*

No matter what, though, it’s a good thing it’s allegedly almost summer, since from now on when I want to practice I’m throwing her ass outside.


*Piners really hated Fats Domino.

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