Yes, It’s about my cats, dangit!

The little guy has a long way to go, but if he keeps eating both his and Max’s food, he’ll get there before too much longer. He only needs about 9.5 more pounds…


Yay! Thumper Shares Email!

How can you be so glib about being so lazy? Bragging about watching 5 hours of TV is horrible. Instead of sitting there like a lump you could be cleaning your house, doing laundry, and getting meals ready for your family.

Jealousy, thy color is green, and thy method of communication is gmail…

If the guys need clean clothes, they know where the washer and dryer are. I don’t wear those clothes, I don’t wash those clothes. They’re adults; they can handle it. No one is going hungry here, as it obvious from our collective weight. And clean is subjective. Nothing growing on my kitchen floor is actually moving, and that’s good enough for me.

I don’t get the bit about chocolate pudding, grape juice, and jello. Or what your surgery was.

In an attempt to see if Thumper really does have a brain (and to remove a thingy growing on the bottom part of it) a really spiffy neurosurgeon used a scalpel to cut under my upper lip, and then drilled through my sinuses to get to my pituitary gland. Afterwards, I didn’t want food, but I had to eat, so the Spouse Thingy kept going down to the cafeteria to get me chocolate pudding, which I would eat, and grape juice, which for some odd reason I was craving. And the jello…it was hospital jello. Bouncy bouncy bouncy.

Please tell me you didn’t bake a cake for your cat’s birthday!

Um. Ok. I didn’t bake a cake for Max’s birthday. Really. Cause that would have been weird. Right? Yep…weird.

Is Max all better?

He’s 99% better, thanks for asking. He still has a residual cough that pops up every now and then, but he’s gained back the weight he lost, he has all his energy back, and he’s pretty snarky again.

Are you done talking about your cats?

Never! Other people talk about their kids; I talk about my cats.

Just wait until I’m 60 and have 20 of them…


It’s Not Easy Being Me

Nope. It’s not.

Take today. I had a long list of things I wanted to get done today. I have a couple of writing projects simmering, and needed to write a long email to a promising writer, trying to convince her that what she’s pouring onto virtual paper is, in fact, so good that it’s too good for me to publish. She could be an Oprah find. She's so good I want to steal her idea and make it my own.

While I pondered exactly how to word this encouraging missive, I turned the TV on, just in time for the first episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine. And having watched the last one yesterday, I felt obligated to watch this one and see how Nog was going to come to grips with having lost a leg in a battle with the Gem Hadar. And then, well, the 2nd episode came on, and while I vaguely recalled seeing it—Gul Ducat being an emissary for the Palwraiths—I wasn’t sure I’d seen it all, so of course I had to watch.

By then I was pinned down by a sleeping kitten, and waking a kitten is as mean as waking a baby for no good reason. Work isn’t a really Good Reason…is it? So I let him sleep while I watched an episode of Star Trek Next Generation. After that he wanted to play so I sat on the bed and entertained him—because playing with a kitten is very important to a kitten’s growing self awareness and ability to bond—while I watched a second episode of STNG.

Well after that, there’s no point to doing anything other than watch the last STNG episode of the day. Right?

Watching that much quality TV is exhausting. Really. It is.

I should at least fire off that email.

:::checks Spike TV for more Star Trek:::

Yep, I’ve got time…


…and while I’m at it…

Almost 2 weeks ago I thought I’d give giving up aspartame a try. Other than a little bit here and there, it was easier than I thought, thanks to Splenda.

Funny thing…within a day or so my cravings for sugary things dropped off considerably. I had a raging sweet tooth that was hell to deal with—I always wanted candy in the evenings. Jelly Belly Jelly Beans . Skittles. Chocolate. It took great restraint to not eat tons and tons of the stuff.

I haven’t wanted any candy or other really sweet stuff in a week and a half.


I lost two pounds, too…

So maybe there is something to it, after all.

You’ve seen the infomercials.
Space age Swedish Memory Foam.
Probably wondered if the bed is as good as they claim.
As comfy.
Worth the money.

I’ve been sleeping on one for almost a month; the first 2 weeks were sheer torture, though I have allowed for the possibility that the stress from dealing with a sick kitty made it worse. I got one good night of sleep on it before it felt horrible again, and seriously contemplated sending it back.

Then I recalled the salesman mentioning that he found his was much more comfortable when he took the factory-provided mattress cover off. It didn’t make sense to me, but I read a similar comment in an online review, and figured it couldn’t hurt. So we took the cover off.

Lo and behold, the bed was more comfortable.

Instead of waking a dozen times every night, I’m only waking a few. Once in a while, I get up and my back is not in screaming pain.

But other times it is. And it’s not the specific pain I felt before; my entire back feels like it’s on fire. I suspect that’s because I don’t move during the night; if I wake up in the same position I was when I fell asleep, I will surely be in pain.

Is the bed worth it?
Not really. In the end, after it’s broken in, it’s just another bed.

You can get a bed just as comfortable (or uncomfortable) that probably doesn’t require the lengthy break in period for a whole lot less. I also suspect that people who are not overweight will find it more comfy than people like myself, who are carrying just enough extra weight to make their butts sink into the foam…

I still have a couple of months to decide if I want to keep it or not. Right now, sending it back and getting another bed seems like more work than anything...but if the burning pain keeps up, I just might. I keep hoping it will suddenly be the most wonderful thing in the world. It might be, if I drop 70 pounds in 2 months.

I'm not holding my breath.



It’s been three years
Three years today
Happy anniversary to me
I think I shall have cake and celebrate.

Two years ago today I pondered it
I don’t recall doing much to mark the day
Just kinda grateful to be here, really
I surely had chocolate. Or pizza. Or booze.

One year ago today I went to a birthday party
For a beautiful young girl
She celebrated her first birthday
I celebrated life.

But today is a 3 year milestone of memories
I remember the fear
Asking the surgeon to not sneeze with his fingers in my brain
The Versed taking effect, making me feel far away.

I remember confidence
Because the Spouse Thingy hand picked the best:
The surgeon who didn’t sneeze
And the CRNA who kept me asleep.

I remember waking up
Whining because my head hurt so badly
Terror that I would stop breathing
And determination that I would inhale deeply.

I remember a blue shirt
My son standing at the end of the bed
I loved that blue shirt on him
And I think he knew that.

I remember chocolate pudding
And grape juice
And hospital jello
Telling my father in law that it sucked.

I don’t remember much of the pain
Other than that first headache
I remember my mother in law
Looking warm and wonderful there.

I remember the Spouse Thingy
Staying until late at night
Making sure I could drink enough
Because I wasn’t being medicated.

I remember not caring
When the surgeon told me I might never feel my front teeth again
Thinking, quite clearly, that numb teeth were a small price to pay
For getting through it.

It was benign.
It was just a mass of white cells
It might have gone away on its own
Or maybe not.

It left me with a few problems
But nothing that really mattered
And the surgery was a small price to pay
To know for sure.

I remember fuzzy details in sharp clarity.

But what I remember most
About this day three years ago
Was feeling loved.
Really, truly loved.

That ain’t half bad, folks.
A lot of people walk away from surgery
Feeling a whole lot less.
I am one lucky, lucky Wabbit.

I do have a brain.


Sibling Rivalry 101

It started with this.

A little gray mouse.

A little gray mouse that squeaks anytime it’s jostled, even just a little.

squeak, squeak, squeaksqueaksqueak

We brought the little gray mouse home yesterday, because Buddah, being a kitten, needs lots of toys to distract him and to dispel some of his massive reserves of explosive energy. If he’s playing with a toy, he’s not chewing on Max’s butt.

What we didn’t count on, though, was jealousy of the feline kind. It never occurred to us that Max—who views toys as things to be pawed at once in a blue moon—would be upset that Buddah had something he did not. He spotted that mouse, and Buddah in all his squeaky toy glory, and he wanted it.

He coveted it.

He never once tried t take it away from Buddah, but the message was clear: that should have been mine.

Late last night, as soon as he was sure that Buddah was safely locked behind the Boy’s bedroom door, Max snuck out into the living room, grabbed that mouse, and took it back to the bedroom. He batted it around for about 5 seconds, then dropped it into a laundry basket, hidden—in his mind—from the little black monster.

This morning, after Buddah had gone on his daily ass-on-fire tear around the apartment, he climbed onto me to take a nap. Max immediately jumped onto the footstool; Buddah jumped down, thinking it was Play-With-The-Big-Kitty’s-Tail time; Max shrugged him off and curled up in my lap.

So of course, Buddah climbed onto my shoulder to take his nap.

Buddah was surely thinking “Yay! We’re sleeping on Mommy!” Max was surely thinking, “She’s MINE, you little freak.”

Once or twice, while Buddah snoozed contentedly, Max reached a paw up and poked at him. Whether he was trying to poke an eye out or checking with hope held high that Buddah had died in his sleep, I can’t be sure.

They let me get up a little over an hour later—but when Buddah crawled onto my lap later, Max was right there to claim his space.

Since we only had The Boy, I didn’t have to go through the stages of sibling rivalry, but I’m pretty sure this is one of the first stages. New kid comes, older kid is pissed off and decides he’s going to do everything possible to claim ownership of the adults and all the toys. Although, I’m fairly sure that new babies don’t stalk the older kids and sink teeth into their butt cheeks at every opportunity.

This evening we were out buying massive amounts of cat food (Buddah is, it seems, hollow) and the Spouse Thingy picked up another mouse. It seemed fair; Max wanted that mouse last night, and he deserved to have one of his own. He has been awfully good about having his world turned upside down, after all.

So Buddah was playing with the little mouse from yesterday, and we gave Max the new one. He sniffed it, and practically shrugged his little cat shoulders, the message quite clear: I don’t want the damned mouse. I just didn’t want him to have it.

He wandered off, content that while Buddah might have the toy, we’re still totally his bitches.

At 3 a.m., that’s when he’ll want the mouse.
I’ll wake up to the squeaking, and I won’t take it away from him.
Because deep down inside, Max is right.



Sing, Sing A Song…

When I was a kid, I used to sit on the bed in my room with my guitar, and sing my little fool head off. And I loved it. But somewhere along the way I realized that people in other rooms could hear me, and I grew so self-conscious that I stopped. I don’t think my voice was like nails on a chalkboard, but unless I was auditioning for the school talent show or actually performing it in (and yes, I squeaked by with just enough talent to do that a few times) I didn’t want anyone to hear.

No, it doesn’t have to make any sense. That’s just the way I was. Am. I haven’t really opened my lungs and let it fly for about 25 years.

Tonight I sat here uploading CDs to my computer to then upload to my iPod, with the new Backstreet Boys CD blaring in my ears (hey! No laughing! I actually like them and this is probably their best CD! I am a grownup, I am!) when it occurred to me…Most of the time there’s no one here to hear me.

I can sing if I want to.
No one will mind.
So I did.

I switched the playlist I was listening to to something I knew the words to, and sang. Not very loud, just enough.

Buddah jumped up into my lap, stood upright on my lap, sniffed my mouth, and then put a paw over my lips.

I think Max was behind me, applauding him.

And then I remembered: the last time I sat at my desk and sang, Max did the same thing. Up on my lap, paw over my mouth. How bad do you have to be to upset cats? Not just one, but two of the little furballs.

So I’m going to sing just for them.
A song just for them.
To the tune of Little Bunny Foo Foo.

Great big bunny Thumpa
Hoppin’ down the hallway
Scoopin’ up the meaniehead cats
And boppin’ ‘em on the head…

That’ll teach them to make fun of me.


Hey, peoples... Go here and if you can help, please do. Even just a few bucks, any amount will help this family out.

For those not inclined to click the link without knowing what's going on: you've probably seen it in the news once or twice this week. Susan Torres collapsed 17 weeks into her pregnancy; she will not survive, but her baby just might, if they can keep her going until July 11. The family is incurring $1500/day in uncovered ICU charges.

If you frequent her brother is a regular there, and it's where I found the link.

I know there are a million please-help-out websites, and all have stories to melt your heart, and a lot of them are just scum suckers, but this is legit. And heart breaking.

So if you can, even $5, please help...


It's my freaking birthday!
I want shrimp!

Yeah, I'm nuts. Happy 4th birthday to the little psycho...


I went shopping this morning, all by my lonesome.

At WalMart.

Shoot me. Shoot me now. My ears are still ringing with the squalls of kids who haven’t been taught how to behave in public.

Every brat—and I don’t usually call kids brats, because most of them aren’t, even when they’re misbehaving—that resides in a 25 mile radius was there today. Or maybe it was just one, exuding enough of The Kid Who Gets Beat Up Every Day After School to seem like they were all there, running around, screaming, whining, handing out headaches like candy.

I spent considerable effort trying to avoid just one of them. One 8-10 year old little girl, who seemed to be everywhere I went. She did not ask for things, she whined for them. She did not speak calmly, she whined at high volume. She did not laugh lightly, she whined dramatically.

She. Just. Whined.

When she wasn’t whining, she was running. Up and down aisles, darting between those obnoxious center-aisle displays, around people. When she finally took a step that seemed as if it might land on top of one of my feet, I glared and seethed, “Where is your mother?”

Wide-eyed, she turned and ran in the other direction. Two minutes later I heard her whining to someone—I presume it was the missing mother—I want to get this for Daddy. I want to get this for Daddy. IwantotgetthisfordaddyIwanttogetthisfordaddy,Iwant…

In my head I was thinking, “I want to put duct tape over your mouth.” What I heard from Mom, “Daddy doesn’t want a Nemo tape.”


Mom, I think, is so used to the kid whining that she doesn’t hear it. And I don’t think Mom knows the long term effects that allowing a kid to chronically whine might have. It’s not just annoying; you let a kid whine enough and it becomes habit. They whine in social situations, and they become targets.

My friend Murf said it pretty well in an article he wrote for Martial Artists Wired back in 1997:

… if our children are allowed to fall into that trap they will be unliked and possibly friendless as they enter school. Whining is an open invitation for trouble. Whining signals to the untoward that herein lies a victim. Whiners are often easy marks, more dependent on others to do simple things they could do for themselves, less willing to take responsibility for things they find unpleasant--it's easier to whine and complain long enough and loud enough until someone else gives in. When one lacks the skills of independence, however, one becomes open for someone more cunning, cruel, and untoward to take advantage of.

I found the kid to be incredibly annoying. If I could have images of duct taping her mouth shut flash through my head, what do kids who have to deal with her at school want to do? What have they done?

I’m not proud of the fact that I thought of the duct tape, but then, too, I wonder what in the heck her mother was thinking. Letting her run amok through a very big store? Letting her tick off other shoppers? Not trying to exercise some modicum of control over her daughter? We’re not talking about an exhausted Mom simply tired of dealing with kids all day; this woman never even tried.

And in the end, it’s her kid that will pay for it. Maybe not today, but someday.


For Stacey, because she asked…

…and beware of jocks dressed in geek’s clothing…

I’ll tell you a secret, one we should have all learned in high school, or even before, when we were young enough to absorb it and make it a part of ourselves. While you might lean towards going with your heart, you have to know what it is your heart wants. And what it needs. What’s popular shouldn’t be part of the equation.

That Jock? The guy who fits the stereotype so well it’s as if it were based on him? Graduation for him means the end of his glory days. It means the end of always being Mr. Perfect. Getting what he wants when he wants. He’ll spend the rest of his life looking back on how great high school was. He’ll dwell on when he was the hero. That last second in-the-end-zone catch that won the state championship. High school for him was as good as it’s ever going to get, but he’ll spend the rest of his life alternating between swimming in those memories and trying to recreate them. Life will be work and sports, filling in all his free time with a pickup game here, watching the playoffs there, with a few odd days here and there when he’ll give in and spend some time with you.

That Geek? The guy who fits the stereotype so well it’s as if it were based on him? Graduation for him means looking forward; college is on the horizon, and he’s determined to make the most of it. It also means the end of torment, of being the odd man out, the guy who managed to get a date to the prom, but she’s a fellow geek and they’re really just friends. High school for him was horrible; he had his group of fellow geeks and nerds, but he never quite fit in. But he knows it was just a temporary thing, and he has forever in front of him. Life for him—after college—will be work and family; he’ll risk being a workaholic, but he can look right through those coke-bottle thick glasses and see where he’s needed most.

When life has broken your heart, the jock, the stereotype, will be out with the boys, cheering for his team.

When life has broken your heart, the geek, the stereotype, will hold you through the night and you’ll feel safe enough to cry until you can’t cry anymore.

No, all the jocks aren’t like that. All the geeks aren’t like that. But take a good hard look: when you’re ready to make that commitment, who will be out with the boys, and who will be there to hold you?

So maybe you don’t date the geek right now. But some day he just might be your Knight in Shining Armor, and at the very least, you want him as a True Friend.

And maybe you don’t date the jock right now. Because never, not ever, in your life should you be with someone because Other People think he’s hot. Never, not ever, should you be with someone who doesn’t respect you. And Never, not ever, should you be with someone who says “You would if you loved me.” Because if he loved you, he wouldn’t press the issue. He wouldn’t threaten to break up with you.

It doesn’t matter what your friends think.
It doesn’t matter how popular the jock is.
It doesn’t matter how unpopular the geek is.

What matters is what your heart whispers to you.
What matters is who will treat you respectfully.
What matters is whether or not you like the person you are.

And when it comes down to that, remember: you only get one first time. It should count for something. It should mean something, not just to you, but to him as well.

Like it or not, life will break your heart from time to time. Get to know the people you surround yourself with very well, and you’ll know which one will be at the bar with the boys, and which one will be there handing you Kleenex, not at all grossed out by your red splotchy eyes and snot covered upper lip.


June in Northern CA.
Should be 90 degress.
Should be dry.

It's 60.
And raining.
It's nice.

Yeah, I had nothing remotely worthwhile to say today...other than maybe Spike TV seems to have added a 3rd STNG episode to the daily lineup, just to make me even more worthless each day...


Letter To A Lurker

Dear Dack,

About 8 years ago (maybe 10, who’s counting?) we had a conversation about—of all things—diet soda. While you didn’t subscribe to the Oh My God Aspartame Is Causing 16 Million Different Diseases theory of diet soda consumption, you did have theories about its effect on some people. Theories based on “stuff you read.” Since you are known to read everything from phone numbers on the bathroom wall to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, that’s not something to be taken lightly.

One of the things you had swimming around in your head: while diet sodas contain no calories, the aspartame may, in some people, cause the same insulin release as does sugar, thereby starting a metabolic tide of adding body fat onto the bodies of those who choose to consume aspartame. You figured that if someone drank 5-7 diet sodas a day, they might as well be drinking 5-7 regular sodas, because the effect could be the same.

Not in all people, you said. Just some people. Perhaps those who are otherwise insulin resistant. You shrugged it off (a neat trick in an IM conversation) pointing out that you’re not a doctor or biologist, just someone with an idea. But you drove the point home with, “Think back to when you started gaining weight. Right about the time aspartame hit the market, right?”

As news-hungry a person as you are, I’m sure you saw or read a news piece about diet sodas this week. Researchers went back over 26 years of data and found a correlation between the consumption of diet sodas and obesity. They don’t have a causative factor yet, just statistical data.

I saw that on the news yesterday, and immediately went back to that conversation we had. And I wondered, “could Dack have been onto something?”

Could you have?

Here’s the thing: I am a diet soda addict. I kill off at least a six pack a day, and if my DDAVP wears off early and I don’t want to re-medicate, I can easily triple that. I’ve tried drinking just water when that happens, but I am so violently thirsty that I drink too much too quickly, and a stomach can only hold so much. I either have to throw up, and wait until there’s room in my stomach, during which time I suffer. And I don’t use the word suffer lightly. There is no thirst like that brought on by diabetes insipidus.

If I drink soda, the carbonation slows me down. I can’t guzzle a soft drink the way I can water.


I wonder now if I can do it. If I can kick the diet soda habit and drink water and de-caff tea. If it will make a difference if I do. If my sanity can survive giving up my main vice.

I’ve decided to try. I’ll finish off the Diet Sierra Mist I have in the fridge, stock up on bottled water, make a pitcher of de-caff tea, and see how long I can go without a diet soda.

Your job, Dacius Hunter, is to not point and say “Well, I freaking told you so,” if your theory does bear some truth for me. Your job is to say, “Way to go!” Your job is also to get a new email address, because your old one bounces.

Until then, I will post correspondence for all the world to see.

Your former so-called student and really thirsty Wabbit,


To Summertime Idiots (probably not you…but if it is…)

See these little guys?
All cute and cuddly and adorable?

Yes, if you’re taking your dog or cat or any animal along with you and leaving it in the car, your errands are worthless and stupid, and you don’t deserve to have that pet.

It’s summer.
It’s hot.
The inside of your car is even hotter.
Not sure? We’ll lock you inside for 30 minutes and see how you like it.

And you, yeah you, the one I’m pointing at. Wonder where your dog went while you were shopping? Some little kid saw it and had security call the fire department. Your dog is gone because they came—you were gone that long—and took it. This kid had more sense than you did.

The petulant part of me hopes you never get that dog back. You may love him, but you’re too stupid to care for him.

Yeah, tons of people take their pets with them when they go places. But you know what? They don’t leave them in the freaking car! They only take them places like Petco and Petsmart, where they can go inside with their People. Or they leave a responsible adult in the car with them with the A/C running. And windows blocked from the sun.

Does it hurt to have your dog taken away from you?
Too bad.
That hurts a lot less than what your dog was going through.

And sadly, you’ll not only never read this, you won’t even recognize yourself if you do.


I am not ready for this.

I am going to pay for all the “Ha! We’re having a MILD winter!” remarks.

Five years ago, 95 wasn’t too bad; heck, even 3 years ago 95 wasn’t too bad. When we rented the Sebring for a couple of days just to toot around topless, it didn’t feel too hot until it hit 105. Today…I put the top up when it hit 90 and put the A/C on.

I am a warm weather weenie.
I am a cold weather weenie.
Thusly, I am only not a weenie between the temperatures of 50-85 degrees.

Yep. Only then.


They came all the way from Topeka, Kansas, to protest at a high school graduation in Tracy, California. They call themselves Christian, yet they stand there, screaming until the veins in their necks pop out, holding signs that say “God Hates You.”

I was watching the news, and there they were, spouting their hateful venom at a group of high school students on what should be one of the happiest days of their lives. They waved the signs with righteous indignation, as if anointed by God Himself. They didn’t care that these are kids, kids who just want to celebrate the end of high school and the beginning of their journey into adulthood.

And really now, “God Hates You”?

Their signs were aimed at the gay youth of the school, who formed a vocal group to protect the interests of gay students, and they were there in some warped support of a teacher who resigned rather than be sanctioned for sharing his views on homosexuality with his students, insinuating that if they even hung out with gays, they were sinners.

Not that they’ll listen to me, but I’ve got news for this group of traveling bigots: God doesn’t hate anyone. He might hate the things that we do, but he doesn’t hate anyone. And who are you to speak for God? How presumptuous and arrogant are you to think that you know the mind and the heart of the Almighty? How Christian do you think that really is?

I feel really bad for the kids whose graduation you ruined. But I feel a whole lot more sorry for you. I feel bad that you can’t recognize the complete hypocrisy of what you’re doing in the name of Whom you supposedly love and worship.

Are gays sinners? Of course they are. Everyone is a sinner. Everyone. I’m a sinner, you’re a sinner, Mother Theresa probably dropped a few in her lifetime. Think Christ would be walking a picket line, screaming “My Dad HATES you!”?

I highly doubt it. And I’m sure you can’t fathom it. Because, after all, Christ protected a prostitute. “Let he who is without sin…” and all that. You know he wouldn’t be screaming at these kids, who are only there to say goodbye to their youth and hello to their future.

It’s a shame you couldn’t be there to congratulate them for making it that far instead of showing them the ugliness that they may be facing when they take those first steps in Real Life.


Can you just feel the love?

...and yes, I know I need to clean that floor...


Today’s Score: Productivity 0, TV 4

A while back I discovered a work avoidance tool: SpikeTV playing two episodes of Star Trek Next Generation back to back. From 1-3 p.m. I was getting next to nothing accomplished.

It got worse.

I discovered that from 11-1 they play Star Trek Deep Space Nine. So instead of getting anything practical accomplished, I plastered myself in front of the TV for nearly 4 straight hours today, getting up only to pee, and to see if I could get the cats to be in the same space without any biting (nope…the one time I looked away, by the time I looked back Max was trying to walk away with Buddah’s mouth firmly attached to his ass. Not sure what to do about that…)

My excuse for today was that I could be much quieter sitting there watching TV than I would be if I were trying to get any housework done, and I need to be quiet because the Spouse Thingy is working nights and needs to sleep during the day. I wouldn’t want the sound of dishes being put away to wake him. That would be rude.

No, don’t ask me what my excuse is the days he’s awake.

And no, don’t ask me why I don’t just watch them on DVD. Yes, we own every freaking episode of both. And of ST Voyager. And as Enterprise is released, I’m sure we’ll own those too. Oddly, we only own season 1 of Star Trek itself…

There’s no point to any of this.
Well, no point other than I’m still avoiding work.
And I appear to be getting very good at it.


Sort Of About The Psycho One…Mostly About Me

Last night, I crawled into bed and watched TV for a little bit, and when I turned it off I was asleep in less than 10 seconds, I think. I slept deeply—and comfortably—until 4:45 when I woke to the feel of whiskers against my face.

I didn’t mind being woken up; Max’s meower seems to be broken and he can only get tiny mews and squeaks out, and he wanted me to know he was there and wanted to be touched. He was quite the VelcroKitty yesterday, taking long naps on my lap, making sure I was where he could see me, so when he woke me I just reached out a hand and petted him until he curled up beside my head. He stayed there until a little after 7 this morning, my hand resting on his back, when he heard the Spouse Thingy come in.

Screw me, there was a chance for food with the Spouse Thingy. (His appetite is back in full force; he’ll eat all the wet food he can stomach. Dry food, not so much, but I think his throat is sore.)

But the thing is—I slept soundly. I’ve been blaming the new bed for my tossing and turning and aching back when I get up, but after Max made a quick turn for the better, it was like my body just went “Ok. You can relax now.”

I have Mommy Ears. When the Boy was little, I slept with one ear open and could be instantly awake if he made so much as a squeak that was out of place. I suspect that for this last week, that ear has been listening all night for the sounds of kitty choking and vomiting.

And like when the Boy became old enough to come get me if he needed me at night, last night I was able to relax because my snarky little furball is well enough to let me know if he needs something at night, even if it’s just a reassuring hand on his back.

So, instead of obsessing about the cat—he’s at about 75-80% I think—I can start a new obsession. Like, is the bed any good or not?

We shall see.


Yes, It’s Still About The Cat…

The long and short of it: Max ate today. And he ate well. He’s still coughing, but it doesn’t sound like he’s trying to turn inside out. He’s grooming himself. And he not only talked me out of my chair this morning so that he could have it, but got me to make a lap this afternoon where he stretched out for a nice long two hour nap.

Yes, I let him hold me hostage for 2 hours. When he was awake, he sat up, stretched, turned to look at me, and sneezed right into my face.

I needed to clean my glasses anyway.

I did take him back to the vet for all of 10 minutes this morning for more fluids, and some of his lab work leans towards him having pancreatitis, but for right now, he looks so much better. He has to start a new antibiotic and that worries me a little—what if it makes him nauseous again—but for today, he obviously feels much better and looks pretty spiffy.

I need to thank you all for all the good thoughts and prayers and mojo—I know it works, and I know it helped him quite a bit. I have only seen a kitty that sick once, and the end was not good. Max seems to have turned the corner, and I’m hoping that in a few days he’ll feel well enough that he can be re-introduced to Buddah, who misses him even though they haven’t interacted all that much.

I don’t want to get too hopeful…but I can’t help it. The change just from yesterday is so major that I can’t help it.


Obsession 1.5.2

In a nutshell:

We took Max back to the vet this morning.
The vet kept him there all day.
Blood was drawn, but only after Max fought like hell.
Fluids were given.
A shot was given (antibiotic.)
They tried to feed him; he barfed.
He got to come home around 3:30.
He is super pissed, but drank a tiny amount of tuna water.
He ate a tiny amount of canned chicken.
He wants to eat more, but can’t make himself.
His throat is filled with phlegm upon which food gets stuck, hence the barfing.

We get the blood results in the morning; what they say may or may not indicate the need for a chest x-ray. So he may or may not be going back tomorrow. Either way, the big guy just can’t eat enough and he’s losing weight, and he can’t seem to shake this thing. Buddah got over it in just a few days; for Max it’s like this curse that can’t be lifted.


Yes, It’s A Freaking Obsession…Sue Me

Max moves about the house like an old man with hemorroids; each step is practically taken in slow motion, and when he gets where he’s going, he’s exhausted. Then he sits very carefully and deliberately, setting his butt on the floor as if it were battered and bruised. Then he lays down with a heavy, phlegm filled sigh. He dozes, but doesn’t seem rested or even comfortable.

He’s stressed out, pissed off, and still feels like crap. While he ate the proffered tuna yesterday following his dose of appetite stimulant, he didn’t want anything after that. We tried the meds again, but just giving it to him caused him so much stress that he threw up (all over my slacks, no less…and the pill did not stay down) and was even further resolved that no food was passing his tired little lips.

We tried again later; the pill stayed down but it didn’t work. So around 9 o’clock last night, we tormented and tortured him again (he does seem to feel like he’s being tortured), this time shoving NutriCal Gross And Disgusting Smelling Paste into his mouth.

This stuff, BTW, seems to stain fur. We got it on his nose and chin, which now has a nice brown tinge to it; we’re not going to tick him off even more by washing his face at this point.

Ten o’clock the thought occured to me that while we’re stressing out over the cat not eating, we had not had dinner. The Spouse Thingy decided on Bagel Bites for himself, and I figured I’d deal with the can of chicken I’d opened the previous day in an attempt to get Max to at least drink the water from it.

I plopped the contents into a bowl and started to mush it up with a fork, when I felt a little body run up against my leg. Max looked up hopefully…well hell, yes he could have some. I hadn’t put anything in it yet, so I dropped a small piece onto the floor in front of him. He sniffed. And sniffed. And sniffed some more. Then he started nibbling, carefully, as if he wasn’t sure this was the best idea he’d ever had. Before he could finish it, I put more in front of him, and he slowly ate it.

Lest he disturb the nibbling kitty, I quietly (yes, let’s be quiet, we don’t want to upset the cat!) told the Spouse Thingy to stay out of the kitchen until he was done. And good man that he is, the Spouse Thingy agreed. At that moment there was nothing more important than getting some food into Max.

I finally just sat on the floor, bowl in hand, and fed him bite by tiny bite, until he let me know he was done. All in all I think he got a good tablespoon’s worth in him. It was enough that we were satisfied that between the NutriCal paste, tuna, and chicken, he’d had enough calories for the day.

This morning I was asleep when the Spouse Thingy fed him; he reported later that Max initially only sniffed his food and walked away, but after having a blob of the paste shoved into his mouth he went back into the kitchen and nibbled at it. A couple hours later I opened another can of chicken, and while he didn’t eat any, he was very interested and licked at it.

Baby steps. I can live with baby steps for right now, as long as he gets something in him.

And yes, I’m a one-subject wonder these days, but right now our lives are wrapped around getting this cat to feel better. Until he does, I suspect I won’t have a whole hell of a lot else on my mind.


The cat is Amish, and I’m being shunned.

Seriously, every time I go into the same room as Max, he turns his back on me. Apparently I am to blame for the appearance of that little black monster Buddah, the sneezing, the coughing, the choking on phlegm, the diarrhea, the lack of appetite, the heartbreak of psoriasis, and the rotation of the earth on its axis.

My little PsychoKitty hates me.

He’ll get over it, I’m sure. He’s now drinking, but he still won’t eat. He wants to eat; we open a can and he comes to see what it is. We put his favorites in front of him and he sniffs as if he wants it all, but then gets this “I just can’t” look on his face.

We’ve tried everything: baby food, tuna water, canned chicken and the water from that, forbidden kitten chow, his favorite overwhelmingly stinky canned food, and we pulled out the Big Guns—Cocktail Shrimp.

He wants it, but he can’t make himself eat.

So we called the vet again and we’re waiting for call back. Since he was drinking yesterday afternoon the doc thought his appetite might also kick in, but it hasn’t. And since they’re closed at 1 p.m. today and not open again until Monday, we need to do something… he hasn’t eaten since Wednesday.

To top it all off, we’ve been keeping Max and Buddah separate until Max is feeling better; it didn’t seem like a good idea to make him deal with a 2 pound hyperactive ball of fur that wants to ride him through the house. So once he feels better, he has to get used to that all over again.

This poor cat is going to need therapy.

edit to add a couple hours later:

Vet got back to us, saw him, sent us home with an appetite stimulant, and 20 minutes later he scarfed down a few bites of tuna the Spouse Thingy offered him. We'll wait a little while and offer him part of a can of food...but he ate. So, yay!


It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane…

Max still won't eat.

The vet called us this morning to see how he was and suggested baby food. Organic turkey baby food. So I rushed to Safeway in my SuperMom mode, lacking only the cape flapping behind me as I drove at 30 mph with the top down on my car. I marched purposefully into the store and to the baby food aisle, where I was then stumped by all the tiny jars and the even tinier print on them.

Someone who needs bifocals should not be trying to read the fine print.

It took some serious squinting and bending over to get to the jars on the bottom shelf, but I finally found one that was just turkey and water and a little corn starch, instead of the others loaded with carrots and onion powder (do babies need onion powder???) I then stood in line to pay, hands on hips, still feeling that I Am Mommy Hear Me Roar feeling.

My kitty needs food!
I will procure it!
He will become well again, and shower me with hugs and purrs and nibbles on the tip of my chin!

Yeah, that’s not Max at all.

And Max would not eat it. He sniffed at it without hurling—which is a step up from last night when I offered him his favorite canned food; one whiff and he was heaving—but he did not try it. The Spouse Thingy touched a glob to the tip of his nose, thinking that if he got a taste he would be overwhelmed with the urge to dive his little kitty face into the plate, but he wasn’t interested.


The fact that he was up and walking around, that he wasn’t hiding in the closet, tells me he’s feeling a little better. And if he’s still not eating and drinking by this afternoon, we’ll take him back to the vet (luckily the office is literally right across the street) and the doc will get some fluids into him. His skin turgor is still good, but he’s mildly dehydrated it could kill his appetite, and the fluids might help.

And I’ll ask about an appetite stimulant. When Dusty (the cat who came before him) was first ill, she went almost a week without eating; the specialist she saw gave us an appetite stimulant for her, and 5 hours later it was like “Feed me now or I will claw you open and eat your ovaries.”

So we’ll see. He obviously feels a tiny bit better, but I’ll feel better when he’s eating, drinking, and being snarky again.


I did not realize how attached I have become to the little black furball until I sat there in the vet's office, waiting to get the results of his bloodwork today. I sat there and watched him play in his carrier, listened to him talk to me, and realized if Dr. Stoner came out and said it was positive, especially for feline AIDS, I would have been crushed. I realized, too, that Buddah already identifies me as his mother-figure; the vet took him from me and he reached those little paws out, let out a tiny "mew", and looked at me like a little boy saying "Mommy." I damn near melted.

It was negative for both leukemia and AIDS. Buddah can stay. Max might not like that, but after he feels better he'll get used to it.

We wound up taking Max in this morning; he started out the day at 6 a.m. with the runs, and by 7:15 he was barfing. Mike was sure--and the vet agreed--that it's the antibiotics upsetting his system. So he's off them for now, and will most likely stay off them.

Once we got home he slinked into my closet, where he's been curled up ever since. I mentioned that to the doc when I took Buddah in, and he thinks it's a good thing. When you feel like total crap, sometimes you just want to be alone and sleep it off. Kind of like me.

So. We get Max healthy, and they can get used to each other and learn to co-exist. With the exception of how crappy Max feels right now, all is well in our little world. And sooner or later I’ll stop inundating the world with cat updates. But anyone who’s been lurking on my blog for any length of time knows how preoccupied I can get when my pets are ill.

I appreciate all the well wishes and mojo. Max still needs them. I’m sure he’ll be fine, but just in case…


Jumbled Thoughts

There’s really nothing special about what I do (work-wise, I mean; obviously, most of what I do is so special you should all squeal once a day in my honor…) Think about it: I sit here and make stuff up. I get a germ of an idea, let it ferment, and sooner or later it spills out onto paper (or the laptop screen as it were.) Sometimes it’s decent, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s so bad I have to save it just to be able to laugh at it later. But when it comes right down to it, I sit at my desk and spend a part of the day lying. That’s all fiction is: a lie created to entertain people.

So it kind of surprises me how people react to me upon introductions sometimes. If they’ve been made aware of my existence and chosen trade, I invariably get, along with the handshake, “You’re a writer!”

I have never overheard someone squeal “You’re a Proctologist!” or “You’re the one who sells shoes at Payless!” or “You’re the guy who asks ‘Ya want fries with that?’!”

I still find it a little odd, probably because I don’t find what I do to be remarkable in any way. Now the proctologist, I find that remarkable. Most people couldn’t and wouldn’t do that for a living. Just about anyone can write if they really want to. Being able to work the counter at any food establishment is harder than writing. They have to deal with rude people all day; I don’t.

I look forward to the day when I’m introduced to that person, the one who squeals “You’re the writer!” and I can squeal back, “You’re the town whore!”

It’ll happen…

Max went to the vet yesterday; he survived but made it clear to Dr. Stoner that certain things are completely off limits. Things like having his temperature taken. As sick as he was (and still is) he had enough oomph to make that certain.

He’s on antibiotics; they worked for Buddah, hopefully they’ll do the trick and make Max feel better in a day or so. He’s a bit more sick than Buddah was, though, so it may take longer. And before the meds are all gone, he my kill one of us in our sleep out of revenge. It takes 2 people to give it to him, and even then he fights so hard we’re afraid of hurting him.

Tomorrow Buddah goes to the vet to be tested for feline leukemia and feline AIDS. We’re pretty certain that what the cats have is a garden variety URI, but the vet thinks it would be good idea.

Fun times.