Friday, July 28, 2006

Here I am at Silver Bay, a.k.a. "summer camp for grown-ups" (though not so grown up as to allow alcohol). I've gone sailing three times, kayaking once. I threw a pot (a bowl), read some blogs, read "Nickeled and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America" in its entirety. Have gone swimming every day (it's raining currently, but will probably stop later). Spent a lot of time making my niece laugh. Have eaten an ice cream cone every evening. Kicked some ass in shuffleboard. Stuff like that.

Today I am wearing my "Everybody dance like there's ass in your pants" tank top. At breakfast I sat with a couple in their 50s and a couple in their 60s, and the younger woman asked me if my shirt had any special meaning. Hard to explain briefly... so I said that it was from an online comic for adults, where the main characters are cats, and one cat is kind of a loser but he managed to write a hit song that made him millions, and this was the chorus of the song. Then we talked about our various jobs: The younger guy is in the Navy, and his wife is active in Quaker causes. The older guy was a courier for the Manhattan project. He told us that his first assignment was to watch the two young women directly across the street from the project's office, to make sure they weren't spies. So he was a peeping Tom for the government. They had a secret entrance from the subway station into their office, and were only allowed to have lunch out once a week, and only with an armed guard.

So many people here do amazing things, I often feel a little jerky about my "normal" career, working for a huge corporation. One friend is a midwife, one just spent a year volunteering in Nicaragua, one is an emergency room doctor, a couple are professors... When someone sheepishly tells me they work in finance, I am relieved. Not that my job is boring, it's just not saving the world, or actively trying to improve it. But I can help the world in other, smaller ways. (Like, say, foster some kittens .... still thinking about doing that, and cuteoverload keeps encouraging me...)

Gonna go surf the web until it's time to pick up the kid from a.m. childcare. Bye, my peeps.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

In the comments, my sis mentioned a page about my cat Wedge that was in a zine my friend Avi and I made in her senior year of college (and my just-graduated year). I found the zine, scanned in the page, and you can read it here. My cat was really kittenish back then! I forgot how playful (i.e. semi-psycho) she was.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

While I'm at work it's easy to forget I've just lost a pet I've had for 13 years, so I'm feeling pretty good right now. Thanks to everyone for their kind words. I know it's just a cat, but the bonds we make with animals are often intense. I haven't cried about it since the night it happened, I've just been feeling a little depressed and quiet. At the same time, now that I am pet-less, I am thinking that I might try fostering kittens, or helping the Dakin shelter by fostering a quarantined cat named Bo (who got a bite wound of unknown origin; in MA, even if the animal is vaccinated against rabies, that means 6 months with no contact with any other animal). I don't feel like I'd get too attached to any cat right now, but at the same time I would love to help out. Plus, hello, kittens! I'd feel selfish adopting a kitten, when adult cats are not as wanted, and Wedge was an adult when I got her, so I'm extra-biased towards the grown-up cats. But having super-young kittens around for just eight weeks could be awesome. It would be pretty much non-stop "aawwwww!!"-ing. I told a cat-loving co-worker about my idea and she's already planning lunchtime visits to my apartment.

Just FYI, I'm going on vacation again, next week, the third in a series of three family vacations for the year. My laptop is coming with me.

Monday, July 17, 2006

RIP Wedge. She went very quietly.
I'm probably going to have my cat Wedge killed today. Though she started eating on her own while boarding at the vet's this weekend, she also started having seizures and acting weird and altered. We got the seizures to get milder by giving her some meds, and they let me take her home yesterday afternoon to observe her. She stumbles around and wants to go into weird places like inside the plant stand and in between the bookcase and the closet. She can see me, and still eats, and once while I was cuddling with her she was actually purring, but later on she peed on me when I put her on my lap (which means she had a small seizure) and she had some other minor seizure-like activities, like chomping on the side of her bed, and shaking her head while drooling. The prognosis is either brain infection or a tumor, which are usually treatable, but only after an MRI and a spinal tap, which are expensive ($1,100 plus) and invasive and can only be done at Tufts, and people, my cat is 16 years old. I know, some cats live to be 20, or 24. That's what is making this decision so agonizing. I had always hoped Wedge would just die suddenly, so I wouldn't have to be the one going thumbs up or down. Am I doing the wrong thing? If I don't do anything but keep her on anti-seizure meds, her quality of life, as it is now, is extremely shitty. Wedge has always been a fighter, very healthy and tough. Should I spend the dough and keep her alive longer? Would you?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The vet did call back yesterday. It turns out there is something I can do for my cat: Force-feed her. They gave me some plastic syringes and told me to water some canned food down a bit, then force her mouth open and squirt a little at a time into her throat. She's not been enjoying it much, and with her squirming, the wet food ends up all over my hands, her face and chin and neck... But she is swallowing a large portion of it. She is still not getting enough food, but at least it's not NO food. Sonogram is Thursday, hopefully I'll find out what is up then.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Looks like I'm sick again, with the same post-nasal-drip sore throat thing I keep on getting. Last night I was wide awake, due to a combination of it being hot and humid in my bedroom, my emaciated cat coming and going, and the pseudoephedrine (yes, I get the real, hard stuff at the counter). So today I am all floating and throat-scratchy and dependant on Ibuprofren to get through the day. I had to come in to work, you see, because a teen star was calling me for an interview, for which she is currently half-an-hour late. I am also waiting to hear back from my vet about my anorexic cat. She sniffs at her food, then turns and walks (haltingly, ungracefully) away. After doing that routine this morning, she looked up at me and twittered her tail, her "look how cute I am now feed me" behavior, which is confusing and sad. The stuff I'm trying to get her to eat is expensive cat food formulated especially for extra-tastiness. My cat has a sonogram scheduled for Thursday, for which she is to be sedated, though I'm guessing they won't dare if she's this skinny and empty of flesh. Maybe my cat wants to die. She's had it, 16 years is enough, thanks and goodbye. I wouldn't begrudge her that, except she still responds happily to petting and attention. I still want to know what exactly is wrong, even if it's unfixable.

My sickness is an extra bummer this week because I'm going to the reunion of the Quaker youth group place I went to about one weekend a month when I was in grades 10-12. The place has never had a reunion, so it's going to be for everyone who's ever gone to the youth program -- most people are camping because there'll be too many to fit inside the buildings. I was looking forward to a lot of goofy fun, like capture the flag games and nighttime walks to the cornfield and swimming in the pond. Now I might have to be lying down a lot instead.

Update: The teen star just left a message while I was on the phone, and now I have her cell phone number. Heh ...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I took my cat to the vet today. Turns out my old cat just has a fever, which is why she's not eating. Of course, they put a can of special AX (short for Anorexia; for those self-conscious cats who were sexually molested as kittens and now have self esteem issues) cat food in front of her and she gobbled it up hungrily. They also did a blood test, and she does NOT have leukemia, or kitty AIDS. Aw yeah, I always knew my cat did the safe bangin'.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A week and a half ago, at the big rest-stop mini-mart on the Hutch Parkway, I overheard a beefy guy say to the clerk, "Can I get a pack of Parliament Lights, and this guy [holds up a half-eaten donut]."

For some reason I found that hilarious enough to write down on a scrap of paper.

I had a very nice Fourth, did you? I didn't see any real fireworks, but there was a lot of barbecuing and some Jarts-playing and some guitar out on the deck and such. It was lovely. Today I am enjoying the discombobulated feeling of being back at work after a mid-week holiday. I was glad to have such a good day off from everything, since I was just told that one of my favorite work-friends is leaving the office for greener pastures (good for her, but bad for me, selfishly), and god knows who will replace her, plus my cat's health has been declining alarmingly and it turns out I don't want to let her go, ever. I'm doing the best I can for her, I think. I hope so, at any rate.