Yappy Hew Near

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Well, the evening is winding down to its end and a bunch of other clichés and hackneyed phrases. I’m working on next year’s blog. I haven’t had to do much, since I decided to just sign up on WordPress.com for one of their free blogs. I feel like letting someone else tend to the back end of things for a while.

I have some nosh for my private party for one waiting in the fridge: cheese, fancy olives, stuff like that. I don’t have champagne, but some sparkly rosé from Italy that I hope won’t suck.

Squeaky has been feistier each time I try to give her her fluids — I had her on my little typing table because I didn’t feel like squatting on the floor, and before I could stop her she jumped off the table, pulling out the needle. I’ve perfected closing the line in time so only a few drops sprayed out, but I’m like all right, bee-yatch, you just wait. After her acrobatic performance she sat on her pillow looking all pleased with herself, and then she got up and ate some illegal kibbles. I’m going to check online to see if I can get the dry version of the prescription cat food cheaper than it costs at the vet’s office; I didn’t buy a bag because their price is thirty-five bucks or something like that. Youch. I’m hoping she doesn’t turn up her nose at it like she does the canned, which I still have to spoon-feed her. I think she just likes me to spoon-feed her.

They are already setting off fireworks all over the neighborhood. Around midnight I’ll ceremonially turn the new wall calendar I bought at Books-A-Million (Japanese Gardens, half-price) to January, and post the link to the new site. Until then.


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Egg, that is.

I used to love eggnog, and I’d drink gallons of it, usually without the booze, during the holidays. But lately every time I eat something with eggs in it (like — scrambled eggs) my innards bitch and complain, so I’ve gotten off the eggnog bandwagon. Gosh, I hope I’m not getting one of those gallbladder thingies. Stupid aging process.

Cat brief: last night she actually walked into the kitchen and nibbled some of the (bad, non-prescription) dry kibble. Today she went all the way out into the patio, explored around (ignoring Xena who stood their all offended, growling her best I’m Menacing! growl), squatted and peed in the mulch, and then went back indoors to recline like a princess on her pillow.

Your cat of the day

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Miss Squeaky started fussing halfway through getting her fluids today, so I gave her a reprieve until tonight. She also growled when I spooned some of the hated prescription food into her mouth. She doesn’t know it but I’m planning to get the rest of that can down her today if I can. Then she got up and went all the way out onto the patio. (It’s sunny and in the 70s, very nice.) She sat a bit on the damp mulch, then got up and came back inside. She’s still weak but walking much better — last week she would not have been able to make it up the rise from the patio into the living room. Now she is sitting by the sliding glass door in a patch of sun.

Cat report – Sunday, December 28

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Well, Squeaky is doing a bit better, I think. Today she actually got up and went over to the sliding glass door and looked out at the patio for a while before going back to her pillow to sleep off the exersion. Then a couple of hours later she went into the kitchen, though she did not eat from the provided bowls (one with the commercial “bad” cat food that I have down for Xena, and one with a dab of the canned prescription foods that I’m trying to get Xena to eat as well). She seems a little bit more alert, and though I’m still having to spoon-feed her she now swallows more of the food than she spits out. I gave her a vacation from being poked with the needle today, so tomorrow some time in the morning I’m going to give her her next fluid dosage. She’s only had a little drink from her water bowl today so I think she’s still doing well.

Xena is her usual self, though she’s been very “needy,” rubbing, her face on me and jumping up on my lap, the bed, etc. I think she is worried that I’m going to take her to the vet — she sees Squeaky and the bag and doesn’t want any of that! So she’s making nice.

Fooling about

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Via the Anchoress I found out this neat confection of a website, Wordle, where you can make “text clouds.” Here is the text cloud for this blog:

(Click for the huge.) It being my site, can you see the naughty word or two hidden therein? Hee hee.

Photographs of my week

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Haven’t got much to say right now. The end of the year looms, and next year will be the last year of the ‘Oughts, or maybe the second-to-the-last-year — I can’t remember what the pedants say. Anyway, ’08 has been quite a rollercoaster of a year for me. I hate rollercoasters, by the way. Let’s hope next year is a ride more my speed (which would be the very slow merry-go-round that’s for little kids).

I plan to get out of this apartment for a few hours, so in the meantime here are some pics from the past week. First, here is my pathetic Christmas display:

I couldn’t be bothered to get any lights this year. The cute little tree was a gift from a coworker back when I still had a job. The candle is one of those with a flat wick that makes a “crackling” noise supposedly like a fireplace. Well it’s like a real tiny fireplace. Still, it smells nice. In the background you can see my lame booze collection. Well there’s only one of me and I can’t drink that much. The orange bottle is some overly-sweet “pumpkin spice” liqueur, the tasting of which confirms that I am no longer the sweet-drink drinker I used to be. Maybe I can use it to flavor a cake.

Squeaky resteses on her pillow. Which used to be my pillow until I looked over one day and there she was on my bed in the very center of it (the pillow). It was an extra pillow anyway but what makes it extra special to a cat is that it’s one of those anti-allergen pillows with the plasticene covering and it makes a crackling noise when it’s lain down on. Cats love to lie on things that make crackling noises when they move about — paper, plastic, dried leaves. I have no idea why. Anyway, Squeaky has been too weak to get up on the bed so I just put the pillow down on the floor for her.

Here is the fluid bag of doom:

Nothing much to say about that. Last night she wiggled and squirmed and pulled the needle out so she only got a little fluid. I’ve got a second bag — tonight she’s getting the rest of this bag whether she likes it or not. I’m still having to spoon food into her mouth, by the way, but she’s gotten strong enough that she puts her paw up to try to push me away and growls. I even tried some of her old store-bought food, but she did the same thing, so her appetite just hasn’t come back. But she’s getting a little stronger.

And last but not least — remember my delicate little tomato plants, which were smaller than the herb plants I put in the pot with them? (The tomato plants are at the back.) Well look at the monster now:

As you can see, the only herbs left are the thyme and the rosemary, and it looks like the thyme is on its way out. There are tons of tomatoes developing now, including that first one, which is now about two and a half inches in diameter.

Anyway, that’s all for now.

Merry Christmas Everyone

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I woke up to gray skies and evidence of rain, but it’s warm outside. That’s Christmas in Florida for you. Here’s a picture of our family Christmas tree from when I was about five years old:

(Click for larger.) See all the cool toys? Most of which I don’t remember, except for the cowboy boots and hat. Those were mine, baby. There’s probably also a cap gun in all the boxes there. This is our house in Miami, which was built in 1925. See the hardwood floors? I still miss those, even though they had to be tediously cleaned and waxed to keep that shine. Someday I will have real hardwood floors, oh yes. I remember those curtains, but I can’t recall exactly the pattern on them; some midcentury modern abstract design that we’d all call retro now. My father built those bookcases himself, and he carved those tiki masks out of chunks of palm tree trunk. The net and glass balls are from an old fishing boat that he got somewhere.

Update: the British do Christmas right — Flea, in Canada, provides us with the Queen’s Christmas speech as well as a bit on the Queen’s gift of Christmas trees. Warning: singing children alert. Still, the British seem to also do singing children right as well.

Red red wine

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Is simmering on my stovetop as I type this.

Those things floating in the picture are lemon rind, a cardamom pod, and somewhere in there are the cinnamon stick and cloves. After the preparation has simmered for another forty minutes or so, it will be ready for the brandy and the cup.

Merry Christmas!

Your daily cat report

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I managed to get Squeaky’s allotment of fluid into her without spilling too much of it and only had to reposition the needle once. This time I didn’t lift her up onto the typing table I’d set up as a cat-care platform, I let her stay on her pillow on the floor. I think that’s why she didn’t fuss as much. Of course I did end up putting the needle in sort of to her side — her skin has gotten very loose since she’s lost so much weight, and I didn’t realise I hadn’t grabbed her center scruff. So she’s got a bit of a lopsided look until the fluid is absorbed. I also made her swallow a spoonful of food and got most of it down. Last night she went to the litter box several times with little success — I think she’s a bit constipated. Well I got that way when they put me on a fluid diet when I had a kidney stone, and I got flaming piles too. Hopefully I can get her to eat more of the food and maybe that will set her right.

Thanks again to everyone who has donated to help me offset the costs of all this.

On me news: I am seriously thinking of getting my CSR 440 license and going back into insurance. I can’t seem to find a clerical position. At least I can carry insurance quoting to another state, though I assume I’ll have to pay for a new license when I move to St. Louis (the Florida 440 license is only for Florida). Insurance isn’t that difficult, and I’m not going for the full agent license, just the customer service rep one, which is just quoting. I didn’t like it when I was doing it, but that was mostly because I was doing it part time and mainly on nights and weekends, so it cramped my style and ultimately didn’t pay enough. It’s boring, but people always need insurance. I’m sure I can get a full-time position doing it. Anyway, that’s what I’m thinking about. The only problem is the test and the license, which aren’t free. I’ll have to look into what these things cost these days.

Sick cat report, and other news

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Sorry, can’t think of an interesting post title. I made the mistake of going to the store today. Well, it wasn’t a mistake, I absolutely had to go because all I had left in the fridge was bread, one slice of cheese, and half an onion. Since I live next to a large mall and everywhere I have to go means I have to go near or past this mall I encountered this ridiculous traffic. I managed to get all my shopping done without killing anyone, but by the time I got home I was beat.

Anyway, I think Squeaky is getting better because she sure has been cranky and feisty all day. She is still very weak but when she went to the litter box today she didn’t have to rest three times. And this time she didn’t hang her butt outside the box and pee on the floor, though she did step in the pee so I had to clean the wet litter off her feet while she growled and wriggled. She was pissed at me after this morning’s fluid session, and in fact she fussed so much I could only give her half her fluid. I called the vet and he said to try to give her fluid every day but if she fusses so much then every other day is fine. Well I’d be mad if someone shoved a long needle (it’s like two inches long and it isn’t very thin) under their skin every day. Anyway, I hope this feistiness means she’s getting stronger.

I want to thank everyone for their donations. They are really helping. If I can’t find a cheaper source for my cat’s fluid bags I’m going to be paying almost thirty dollars a pop every one or two weeks, and I don’t know how I’m going to manage that. Well I can eat less.

One more thing. Xena turned up her nose at her portion of the prescription food (I figured that to keep Squeaky from eating food she wasn’t supposed to I’d just feed them both the prescription food), so I’m not going to give her anymore. Squeaky won’t eat it on her own yet, and it’s too expensive to let dry up on a plate on the floor. Xena can go back to just eating dry food, the way she used to.