Needles and Pins

Blargle 6 Comments »

Well, I just completed my first successful feline subcutaneous fluid administration. I only managed to spill a little of the solution all over the place, and didn’t have to poke more than five holes in the poor cat. I felt weird setting up the rig, like I was performing illicit scientific experiments on my cat, but she didn’t even flinch when I poked her, and she lay mostly still while it was dripping. However, once the dose was done and the needle removed, Squeaky retired to sit under the table where I have my cable box. She’s curled up on the cable wires right now. Attempts to make her more “comfortable” (that is, get her off my coaxials) met with growls. I don’t think she liked being a pincushion. Well, the vet advised me to give her some every day for a week, so she’d better get used to it. I screwed a cup hook into the wall above where she likes to sleep and hung the solution bag from it.

Another weekend success story

Blargle, Seeds of Our Demise 4 Comments »

Well the shops are crowded and traffic is crazy! That’s my excuse, anyway.

Oh, snap. Jeremy Irons is my new celebrity hero. He’s tired of the “smutty, shower room nonsense” on British radio and tv. I want to quote everything but I’ll restrict myself to this:

“It doesn’t mean it all has to be middle-class, shire-orientated behaviour. But good manners and kindness are what hold our society together. And I would think that broadcasting would try and convey that. If we don’t have respect for each other then everything breaks down.”

I keep saying. You all know we have the same problem over here and I’ve been complaining off and on about it for years. But people keep going to movies like Limbs Ripped Off Nubile Models In Slo-Mo XIV and watching “reality tv” shows like Drug Addicts Rolling Around In Their Own Vomit. I don’t get it. (By the way, the fact that they still have plays and things on the radio in the UK is just hilarious to me. Don’t they know that radio is for nasty deejays talking about doing jello shots out of Britney Spears’ ass crack? Not Shakespeare and all that sort of thing. Well, we do have National Public Radio, but nobody listens to that but old hippies.)

Okay, cat update: she got tired of lying on the damp mulch and went back inside to sleep for hours under the table where I have my cable box. I woke her up to poke a little food in her mouth, which irritated her so much she moved back to her pillow, which is now next to the utility closet. Xena is a nervous wreck about the whole thing — I think Squeaky must smell different from being sick and all, because Xena is acting like I’ve brought a whole new cat home. She’s been smelling the places where Squeaky has been, and then going up to Squeaky and hissing at her. And Xena has also been barfing all over the rug. And the one time she doesn’t barf on the rug, she barfs on my Ikea catalogue. Think she’s trying to tell me something? (Yeah, like don’t keep anything you don’t want the cat to barf on on the floor.)

Tomorrow morning I go to pick up the fluids and stuff for the cat. I’m still having the fundraiser — thanks to all who have donated so far. Every little bit helps.

Sunday cat update

Blargle No Comments »

Good morning, yawl. Squeaky is a tiny bit stronger — I fed her her thyroid pill and spooned some food into her mouth, and after she recovered from that shock she got up from her pillow and made her way slowly out to the patio. Xena was not pleased that her turf was invaded by the evil other cat, so she stood there hissing until I made her go inside. Play nice or pay the penalty! Squeaky is now sitting outside on the damp mulch in my mulch bed (which I would prefer to replace with sand or rocks like some other people in the complex have done with theirs — the mulch just gets wet and grows mushrooms) — I guess it makes her think of her days when she lived outside. I think she’s walking so slowly because her kidney area is sore; hopefully when I start her on fluids she’ll start to feel better. But at least she’s taking an interest in things.

Every picture tells a story

Blargle 3 Comments »

And now you know why I threw out all my high school yearbooks, which were from the years 1977 through 1980. But in the interests of making sure everyone knows how horrible the Seventies were, here’s a photo of me and my sister at the beach in April 1974.

Our parents decided to throw us a joint birthday party at Crandon Park Beach (my birthday is in May, my sister’s in March), which meant they could sit around and drink beer and highballs with all the other parents while we kids played on the beach. So they rented a bus and trucked us all over to Key Biscayne. My friends and I tried to swim to the sandbar and I almost drowned, and I developed a terrible sunburn. (As you can see, I was as pale as the sand. I’ve always been like that.)

Oh, and that polka-dotted green-and-white horror I’m wearing? I loved that thing. It was made of some sort of towel material, and zipped up the front. My sister is the Indian-looking girl (because she’s an American Indian) standing next to me in the more-tasteful black bikini. This was before I got my top set of braces.

And if you want to know if I developed a better fashion sense in the 80s…

The answer to that question would be “no.”

Holiday fun times ahead

Blargle No Comments »

This being the weekend before Christmas, a lot of people are having their Christmas parties around here. This means I get to hear all the crap taste in music people have in this area. There are a lot of Hispanic families in this apartment complex, and most of the Hispanics in the Central Florida area are Puerto Rican and Colombian (which is why I can’t seem to find a place that serves decent Cuban coffee within a few miles — there are a couple of restaurants, not at the low budget end, and some far away cafés, but nothing like the abundance of little places I was used to in Miami). And their taste in music sucks.

Actually, Hispanic music in general is just crappy. Salsa, merengue, all that jazz. Well, it’s not even jazz — it’s shrill-voiced guys hollering to be heard over screechy horn sections. And then for the younger folk there is the Latin-ized disco which is like disco only unimaginably worse.

Note: this is not Spanish music. Spain has an entirely different musical culture, very little of which seems to remain in its former colonies here in the Western hemisphere. I love flamenco, Spanish guitar, etc. Except for some stray guitar in some songs, most of the stuff over here is all horns and drums. I read a mystery novel once where some of the characters were Hispanic (the story was set in Los Angeles), and one thing I remember was the non-Hispanic heroine complaining that Hispanic music was too emotionally overwrought and frenetic for her tastes. It makes opera seem calm. It’s music for bipolar people. (And it’s funny, but most of the Cubans and so on that I knew were very calm and relaxed — if they were over forty. Before that they’re like mental patients who won’t take their meds — everything is a big drama, OYE MIJO NO ME JODAS MAS “Let’s go slash my ex-boyfriend’s tires” constant screeching fights about everything. But then they get married and settle down and once middle age hits it’s like they calm down and mellow out. But they still listen to that awful music!)

Anyway, I had let Xena out on the patio but she freaks out if I close the door so I made her come inside because there was no way I was leaving the door open and listening to that noise. So now she is mad at me.

The cat came back

Blargle No Comments »

Well, she’s home. And she’s under the bed, with a very firm “leave me alone” demeanor. I don’t have to give her her medicine until this evening, so I’ll leave her alone until it’s time for that ordeal. That and getting her to eat some food. She does look better, but she’s obviously very tired and pissed off about the whole thing. Wait until the first time I get to give her fluids…

I just woke up. I had a couple of other places to go after I dropped her off home, and by the time I got home I was staggering. I felt like someone hit me between the eyes. I’m still sleepy, but I can’t stay in bed all day. Xena, my other cat, is in shock — she was sure the evil old cat who growls at her was gone for good and she was back in charge of the roost. She’s been sitting across the apartment staring at the bed, like she’s afraid that any minutes Squeaky is going to come charging out from under it at her, breathing flames.

Thanks so much to everyone for your contributions. They are really helping me with all this unexpected expense — first the car going blotto the other night and now this.

Fundraiser for the cat, and, well, me

Blargle 4 Comments »

Cat news: she’s staying one more day at the vet’s because he wants to put more fluids in her. He says she is showing some improvement — the problem was her kidneys shut down and she was dehydrated, but he seems to think she can do fine if I give her fluids subcutaneously twice a week. He didn’t mention the possibility that this might be more than she can bear and thus bring up the “put her to sleep” scenario, but I’m going to talk to him when I go over there tomorrow morning. It’s not that I can’t see myself giving her an IV (I already force a pill down her throat twice a day and clip her nails — which she hates and struggles against — so what’s one more thing), and not even so much the expense — me doing it will be less expensive than the alternative of bringing her to the vet twice a week. It’s that I don’t want her to be as miserable as she’s been. It’s not that she was lively and active before, but she showed an interest in things and seemed content; this past week was different, she was still basically a fur paperweight but you could tell she was feeling really bad, as opposed to momentarily pissed off because I bothered her to make her take her pill. And the lack of interest in food was the real alarm; food was her main interest in life. (That and growling at my other cat.)

Anyway, I’m going to talk seriously to the vet about this tomorrow. If she continues not to eat that will be a clear signal to me at least that she’s not interested in living anymore. I don’t want to prolong her suffering just because I’m squeamish. In the meantime… I just took a look at my bank account and oh boy I’m in the red again! I’d like to thank all of you who have already donated to my Paypal account. This sort of thing couldn’t have come at a worse time (which is why it occurred now — I never have these emergencies when I’m flush with cash). As for finding a job, it looks like the rest of the year is a washout — this is such a bad time to find a job. I could get a temporary holiday job at some store but those positions pay little over minimum wage — and with all the things they make you go through here (drug tests, background checks, weeks of waiting while they sift through seventy thousand other candidates applying for the same position) it’s probably too late to get one of those jobs anyway. I’m better off staying on unemployment, which will carry me through January and then that’s it.

Gah, what a week.

Sick cat update

Blargle 6 Comments »

Well, she’s at the vet. He’s giving her fluids and blood tests, so I guess it’s not quite time to write her off. I’ll know more this afternoon — he asked me to call her around 3pm.

Oh, and in the ongoing farce that is my life, on the way to the vet I got pulled over and given a ticket because I didn’t come to a complete stop at a red light when I turned off on a side street. It wasn’t even a complete turn, this street just divides at an angle off the main road, but it leads straight to my vet’s office. It also leads past a private school where apparently the parents complained that all those turning cars made it difficult to stop and pick up their pweciouses, so the city of Casselberry gave them their very own traffic cop. Now including the $235 I paid the vet, I will be out another $140 for the ticket, and if I don’t want three (count ’em, three) points on my license (you know, for endangering the kiddles with my huge beastmobile — even though they were in the classroom at this time, not out playing around, and it was not school pickup time, so no parents’ BMWs were being inconvenienced by my giant SUV which is currently disguised as a battered Japanese econobox, but never mind) I have to go to traffic school. Whatever, it’s not like I’m working and have better things to do. Anyway, that’s the output so far. And if I end up having to have the cat put to sleep I have no idea what that’s going to cost. So I’m having a fundraiser.

I’m so sick of Florida.

Update on the update: well, she’s still hanging in there. The vet says he needs to get her thyroid levels down, and that she’s having some kidney problems, so he wants to keep her overnight. They’re giving her fluids. The one problem is he says she just can’t live on the regular cat food (Fancy Feast, etc.) that she likes — she has to eat the special cat food that is prescription only. Which happens to be the food she hates. I don’t know what her problem is, but she won’t eat it. She’ll gnaw on old chicken bones from the garbage (which I caught her trying to do one day until I stopped her) but try to give her the vet’s food and suddenly she’s a connoisseur. Well, I’m going to try again.

Update: I changed the sidebar photo. That’s Squeaky back in June when she was feeling better.

The fun season

Blargle 2 Comments »

Well, it looks more and more like I’ll be taking the old cat to the vet tomorrow. Since I don’t stand over her to check I’m not sure how long she’s not been eating — for at least two days now she just looks at the food and then maybe drinks a little water. She spends most of her time sleeping on her pillow, and when I go to pet her she gives me that “leave me alone, I’ve given up” look. Great. My father died four days before Christmas so this sort of thing is somewhat of a family tradition.

As for the other cat, she just finished doing her “I’ve peed and I feel great!” mad run up and down the apartment. She’s like a Baby Boomer with her bodily functions — you know, like no one has ever gone there before. “Look! Look what I did just there! I horked up a huuuuge mess of hair and cat food on the carpet! Go me!”

I should never complain about being bored

Blargle 12 Comments »

Well that was fun. I drove over to the grocery store earlier this evening. When I got through shopping I went to start the car, and it was completely dead. It was as if I was trying to start a rock, or a bookcase. I hadn’t noticed the way the inside light didn’t go on until then… When I opened the hood I discovered that corrosion had eaten through one of the battery cables where it connected to the terminal.

Fortunately all turned out well. The auto parts store was only a block away, so I bought a new battery terminal connector thing. Then things got complicated. I couldn’t get a grip with the pliers on the screw on the worn-out terminal connector. Then a mechanic who came to do some food shopping saw my distress and helped me out. I took his card — the other terminal connector wasn’t looking so good, so I want to get that replaced ASAP. It will have to make it for a couple of weeks, though — I spent all my money on this one.