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      Monday, February 03, 2003

12:14 PM - 02/03/2003

The topic: Busy, that’s what I am…

Monday, February 3, 2003  Well, as you can see below, I started this yesterday, but never finished. I’m so goldarned tired.  I have no idea what’s going on.  I was okay Saturday, up late working on adding the new card.  I guess I didn’t get to bed until after 11:30.  DeeJay didn’t get his fluids until after 10:30PM.  That’s not a problem, though, since the later he gets them on Saturday, the better, since he’s got three days until his next scheduled infusion of fluids.  The crappy thing is about installing the new card, I was worse off at the end of the day than I was at the beginning.  :(  I have no access on the Dell to the internet at all now.  I wonder how long it will take before my new modem arrives.  Anyway, it dawned on me late Saturday that I never installed any software or drivers for the new Ethernet card and I’m sure that’s 99.9% of the reason I can’t get the home networking thing to work.  The card isn’t working.  *grin*  I may do that this week, but I’m not in any big hurry.  Actually, it’s better for me to work on it during the weekend.  I figure it this way.  I may have to work with the Gateway, rebooting and all, to get the home network set up properly.  Well, during the week, there are more visitors to the cameras and I don’t want to disrupt traffic.  And if Brian goes to the Sticks, like he’s talking about, there’s less of a chance of us leaving during the day to go get something to eat or go shopping.  I got the modem from J&R computing, they’re really good about shipping stuff out quickly, so hopefully, I’ll have the Dell hooked back up to the internet before too long.

Saturday night, I did delete a few programs off of the Gateway. I took off Ad/Subtract (I may put that on the other computer when I get it set up to access the internet) and changed some of the start up options.  I don’t need Spam Eater Pro any longer, since I’ve set up the filtering.  That’s really cut back on the amount of junk mail I get.  It’s really nice.  Then I did a defrag of the hard drive.  I checked on the computer when I’d wake up and at three in the morning, it had been finished, so I shut down the system and turned off the computer. 

About this being tired thing, I’m getting a little concerned.  I shouldn’t be so tired.  I’m wondering if it’s diet.  There’s a book or two out about certain body types needing certain types of food. I’ve always done better on a high protein/low carb diet, had more energy and just felt all around better.  Cereal in the morning isn’t really low carb.  There’s no junk in the house to eat any more and I’m spacing my meals apart, stopped much of the nibbling I was doing during the day.  You’d think my tummy would feel better, but it’s been upset a lot lately.  Well, it was yesterday.  Maybe it was all the coffee I had yesterday morning, but you’d think that would have been gone by the evening.  And I’ve not been taking my vitamins on a regular basis, so that may be a factor.  Add to that, I haven’t been drinking much water, which I need to do to keep my body flushed.

Brian worked on the closet this weekend and guess what?  It’s done!  I did a bunch of laundry yesterday and hung it up as the clean clothes came out of the dryer.  I’ve got more going right now, probably will all week long.  Then my exercise room will once again be usable and I think I’m going to get hot on designing more shirts and stuff since I’ll be able to get to the heat press.  This morning, I was taking clothes from the hanger to take to the laundry room and I’m looking at all of these cute little outfits I used to wear.  :cry I hope to be wearing some of them in October.  I hope even more that I’ll be done washing and hanging up by the end of the week.  *lol*

I’m really happy with the closets.  I took comforters and blankets from the hall closet and put them in the shelf on my side.  This will free up room for towels, which right now are just shoved into the closet.  More space will make it easier for me to keep them neat and under control.  Saturday, we went to Home Depot and Brian found some heavy duty industrial Velcro strips and he put those on the sliding wardrobe doors and the door jambs.  And it works!  The cats can’t open the closet doors!  We’re going to have to be very diligent about cleaning the tracks, though. Brian can’t replace the hardware for these doors because they’re so old.  When he was cutting them down for size, one of the tracks had a hole in it where the cat urine had eaten through.  We can’t have that happening.  Mystie was very interested in the doors.  And so was Georgie.  This morning, Brian found they’d been peed on in three different places.  *sigh*  I hope keeping the doors and tracks clean will eventually change the bad habits of these cats.

I tried to be Jackson’s new best friend yesterday and he slapped my fingers with his claws extended.  My right index finger is sporting an inch long scratch now and it kind of hurts.  Nice kitty.

I think OC is staying here during the day on a regular basis now.  I see him in the morning on the bank with KittyMeeze and they both go under the juniper up there.  Yesterday,  I saw Little Bit up there, too.  It would be nice if he stuck around.  This morning, I saw five cats out front.  SpotTee, KittyMeeze, OC, Little Bit and Repete.  Angus shows up at night, although I did see him early this weekend.  No sign of that tortie, though. 

Saturday night, something got into Georgie.  He ripped through the house.  It was late, Brian had gone to bed and Georgie ran into the office, back down the hallway into the bedroom, did a U turn and went down the entryway and into the living room, behind my old dresser, where he just sat and wagged his tail (I could tell because the blinds kept moving). Then he ran up the kitty bed center and into the family room.  The other cats were all watching him wide eyed.  “What’s up with Georgie?”  Thankfully, he calmed down before too long.

I’m gonna go move more stuff out of the exercise room now.  I can get to the other side at this point, I have a path!  Now that I have room on my closet floor, I can store things there that I’ve been storing in the exercise room. But it’s not going to finish itself.  Oh, joy!  I’ve got pictures, but I don’t have time to put them up right now.  One of these days, I will.  Maybe after next weekend when I can get back online with the Dell. 

One more thing, I’ve got a new forum up (me and my forums).  Cat Fights II; drop by sometime.

Sunday, February 2, 2003  We went to breakfast yesterday morning and the radio was on an AM station.  We heard the news around 8:00 on the west coast.  It took a while for it to make any sense of what they were saying.  All day long, the thing that bothered me the most, the thing that brought me to tears everytime I thought of it, was that they were fifteen minutes from touchdown.  For some reason, that just really upsets me.

My new Ethernet cards and routing hub got here the day after I ordered them.  I put the kit in the closet thinking I’d set it up yesterday, since the weekends aren’t so busy for my website.  Well, I screwed everything up again.  I had an unpleasant surprise to find the Dell only has two expansion slots, both in use.  :(  So, I pulled out the modem card and put in the Ethernet card.  I did a search and found an external USB 56K modem and ordered that, since I really do need a dial up connection, if only for faxes.  And I couldn’t get the Ethernet card to work.  I set everything up with the router and my cable modem started acting up.  I called Cox and was told they don’t support home networking.  Well, according to their site they do, but you have to use their equipment and have their people do the install and set up.  And you have to pay for the equipment as well as an additional $9.95 per month.  *choke*  I reconnected the cable modem directly to the Gateway.

      Wednesday, February 05, 2003

09:05 AM - 02/05/2003

The topic: It’s humpday

Wednesday, February 5, 2003  It’s the middle of the week.  A long time ago, that used to mean something.  I was almost on the down side of the work week.

Well, the tortie was back last night!  I don’t know where she’s been and she was pretty skittish last night, ran off when I opened the door.  But she was here.  It was a really pleasant surprise.  All the other cats have been showing up, too.  Little Bit isn’t quite so nervous.  This morning, when Brian and I left for our walk, he ran from under the Bronco (which is parked behind the car) towards the house, KittyMeeze right behind him.  SpotTee, on the other hand, ran across the street.  I think I like Little Bit going to the house for safety. 

I’m a little concerned about Boney.  I think he might be breathing a little heavier than he had been, but it’s hard to tell.  It’s a little faster than the other cats, but he’s acting okay.  Eating, drinking, peeing and pooping.  He look relaxed when he’s laying down, he doesn’t look to be in any discomfort.  I started him on amoxi this morning, just in case he has some sort of system infection.  If he gets worse, I’ll take him to the vet.  I have to keep in mind that he’s an old cat.  He’s the oldest cat I’ve ever had.  I know that he won’t be here forever. 

Annie had been off a little the past few days, too.  Yesterday was really bad, I was pretty concerned.  I don’t know exactly what it was that bothered me, she ate and drank.  But she just didn’t look right.  She’s doing better today.  And DeeJay seemed a little under the weather this past weekend.  I think it was Saturday that I found a bunch of puke on the loveseat in the family room.  I couldn’t tell for sure who did it, but because of it’s consistency, I figured it was probably DeeJay.  Whatever it was, it’s gone.  He was actually playing with Richie last night.  They were on one of the cat trees and DeeJay was on the top level, slapping Richie below him.  We knew they were playing because DeeJay wasn’t growling or hissing.  And his appetite is back.  So, that’s good.

I’ve got a zit between my eyes.  Ack!  Three eyes!  It hurts.  I’m almost fifty years old, for Pete’s sake, I shouldn’t be getting pimples.  I hope this doesn’t mean Aunt Flo is going to show up soon.  She hasn’t been here since last July and I don’t miss the old hag one bit.

I didn’t do laundry yesterday because I had to go shopping.  I did clean the windows in the dining room and family room and damnit, doncha know, there was cat piss on them again this morning?  Because they open, I have to go outside to wash the inside. And I have to wash the screens, too.  :hair

I’ve already got a load of jeans in the washer.  Today I’ll wash regular laundry.  And I’m going to straighten up the linen closet now that I’ve moved the bedspreads and comforters to my closet.  Hopefully, with more room it can stay neater.  I won’t get in a hurry and just shove the folded towels in there and they’ll be easier to access as sets. 

I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but I use pipe cleaners to latch cupboard and closet doors.  Of course, I can only use these on doors that have handles next to each other.  Well, when we went to Home Depot last Saturday, I found some velcro strips made for gathering things up together.  I got a set (there are five in a set, each a different color) and put one up on the closet handles in the hallway, the cabinet where I keep the sheets.  It works nicely and I’m sure will last longer than a pipe cleaner.  It’s also easier to unhook.

Speaking of opening closet doors, Ciara can open my new drawers.  This is not a good thing.  An open drawer collects cat urine much more easily.  So, I think we’re going to have to invest in some childproof latches for the bottom drawers.  *sigh*

My new router is supposed to be here today.  The other one wasn’t meant for internet sharing.  Great, huh?  It came in a kit, though and I’m using the rest of the stuff that came in the kit.  You know, I’m finding more and more stuff in this house that is in good working condition, but that I’ve never used.  I should really set up an auction section on my website.  I found software to do that a while back, just never sat my butt down and did it.  But I’ve been getting more organized, little by little and hopefully, but the end of the year, I’ll have done everything I’d like to get done, then just do maintenance.  I wish the thought of eBay didn’t scare me so.

Laundry is calling.  I have much work ahead of me today.  Best get started.

Update 11:38 AM  I’m back from the vet’s.  I took Boney in because he started coughing.  I just didn’t feel right not taking him in today.  And Boney is still there. 

Boney purred almost the entire time.  He was alert, sat up, looked around, the only time he showed any irritation was when they took a full body x-ray. And the results weren’t good.  Boney has a heart problem.  The vet couldn’t see the heart because of all of the fluid in his chest.  He ran an EKG and he said Boney probably has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, for which there is no cure.  He wanted to keep Boney there and draw the fluid off of his lungs, which, he said, would make Boney a whole lot more comfortable.  And he’d take another picture of his heart and be able to better tell if it’s HCM or congestive heart failure.  He said that congestive heart failure is a little easier to treat.  He said one of the problems in treating Boney is the fact that Boney also has CRF.  He’s also going to run a mini-blood panel, to see how Boney’s BUN and creatinine are doing.  All of this will affect how we decide to treat Boney. *sigh*

Boney’s heartrate was 270.  Normal for a cat is 180.  He said that Boney’s kidneys are probably really happy to be getting all of that blood right now, but treating the heart problem with diuretics and beta blockers would slow the heart rate down and the kidneys wouldn’t get so much blood.  Hopefully, giving Boney fluids can offset some of the damage.  He also said that there was the possibility of Boney throwing a blood clot which could go back to his legs and he said he’s never been able to save a cat who had that happen.  I’m going to ask if maybe baby aspirin would help keep the blood from clotting.

Anyway, he said that if Boney hadn’t been acting as well as he had, he wouldn’t even have brought up treatment because of how bad the lungs looked.  He said that this must have been coming on for a while and very slowly because Boney has obviously adjusted to it so well.  He said most cats who’s chest is as fluid filled as Boney’s wouldn’t even be moving, to conserve air.  So, I leave the vet’s office with an empty carrier and instructions to call back at 3:00 this afternoon.  Thank God I’ve got physical stuff I can do to keep me busy.

Say a prayer for Boney, please? And hope that Brian gets some work soon, too. This happened at a very bad financial time for us.  Well, at least we’ve got plastic.  *bigger sigh* 

Another update 3:13 PM  The vet called about ten minutes ago.  The problem isn’t as bad as it could be.  Boney’s heart problem is caused by his thyroid.  He’s hyperthyroid and it’s really throwing his body off.  So, he’s going to be on tapazol, altenol and lasix for less than a month (hopefully).  I’m to take him back in next Monday for a recheck and then in two weeks for an additional recheck.  If the meds work, we can cut some of them out.  He told me to give them about twenty five to thirty minutes to get the medication ready and I can pick Boney up.  None of the medications would cause him to throw a blood clot.  *whew*  Oh, and his kidney values haven’t changed since they were last tested. 





      Thursday, February 06, 2003

01:28 PM - 02/06/2003

The topic: The vet called

Thursday, February 6, 2003  The vet called about a half hour ago.  When I saw the number on caller ID, I wondered why.  He asked me how Boney was doing (he’s fine, slept a lot last night), was he eating (yes).  Then he tells me he sent a sample of the fluid for testing, to make sure it wasn’t cancer.  Right then, my heart dropped.  We’re talking milliseconds here, but I just knew he had bad news.  But he didn’t.  He said that the fluid tested as being related to the heart problem (which is due to the thyroid problem).  Whew.  Don’t scare me like that. :B-no

Boney does seem more relaxed.  But he’s hardly purring at all.  I wonder if purring helped his breathing yesterday or lessened the pain.  Oh, wait, he’s purring again. Hmm…

Annie is doing lots better.  I saw her do a poop this morning and it looked pretty good.  Smelled like :poop, though.

I had all the doors and windows opened, but it’s gotten breezy and it’s kind of cool, too.  Cooler than I’m comfortable with right now.  I just shut the office up, that’s more better.

Well, not really much going on right now.  Cats are snoozing (DeeJay is on the office cam; Lisa is on the chair cam),  Annie is on the scanner, there are a few on the bed (Boney is one of them, I took a picture of where he was shaved yesterday before the vet drew out all of the fluid from his chest; I’ll start posting pictures again after this weekend when I get the other computer online), many on the sofa and loveseat in the living room.  I’m sure there would be more outside if it weren’t so breezy.

See ya round like a donut hole, square if you’re a Lawrence Welk fan.  (A guy I used to work with said that all the time.)

      Saturday, February 08, 2003

11:08 AM - 02/08/2003

The topic: Yeah, no news is good news…

Saturday, February 8, 2003 And I’ve got news.  Not really bad, but it wasn’t good.  It was Kirby’s scary adventure news.

If any of you watch the webcams (that’s them, at the top of the page, clicking on a picture will take you to that camera’s page) you may have noticed they haven’t been working correctly the past week or so.  And for quite a while the catcam chair archives aren’t three minutes apart, as they are supposed to be.  Thursday and Friday this week, I got the new cable router working with the help of D-Link support, lots of help from them.  I even had to call Microsoft because the Network Neighborhood icon wasn’t on my desktop; fortunately, you get two calls for support at no charge and this was my first on the Gateway. (I was on the phone over an hour with Microsoft and after all the deleting and rebooting, come to find out the icon was there the entire time, I had just renamed it….I laughed out loud when I realized that.  But it was okay because there was a conflict somewhere on my system that what we did fixed.)  Now, Thursday night, all of the cats but Benny were already in the house when I decided it was time for ‘kitties in’.  That made it very easy for me.  But last night, it wasn’t to be.

Last night I was once again in the office working on the new setup.  For some reason, the 3Com cameras (which are once again being offered under a new manufacturer’s name) weren’t uploading correctly.  The backyard cam and the officecam are both 3Com cameras and they were taking forever to load, if they loaded at all.  I uninstalled their drivers, reinstalled them, with no luck.  I tried one of the cameras on the Dell and there wasn’t a problem with it, so I knew it was something going on with the Gateway.  I finally deleted all of the 3Com drivers.  I did a search for 3com on my system and deleted anything that looked to be connected with the 3Com cameras (just uninstalling a program using add/remove doesn’t delete all traces of it).  Of course, every time I did something, I’d have to reboot and it takes forever on the Gateway (one of the reasons I’m seriously considering reformatting the C drive, which I’ve never done on that computer).  During these breaks, I’d look for the cats. 

Brian mowed the lawns yesterday, leaving the shop door (you can see the shop using the remote control on the backyard cam) so cats came and went.  Well, when he closed it, he also closed in Opie and Richie.  I finally had all cats in and as I usually do, I went through the house doing a visual headcheck.  I couldn’t find Kirby.

I figured maybe he was still in the shop so I went out to the backyard and opened the big shop door hoping he’d run out.  No Kirby.  Brian and I looked all over the house.  I looked all over the backyard, several times with a flashlight.  I checked the pool.  I checked all of the grass around the pool.  I checked the bank.  I checked the doghouse.  I checked under the pool pump.  I checked the tube where Georgie likes to hide out.  No Kirby.

I was also working on the computer and finally got one of the cameras to work the way it should.  So, I uninstalled the driver for that and reinstalled the multicam driver (with the 3Com cameras, you can run up to nine 3Com cameras on the same computer; for those who don’t know about this kind of stuff, a driver is what runs a program.  In windows, you can’t have one driver run two cameras.  If you have an Intel camera, you can’t run two at a time.  But with 3Com, you can when you use the special multicam driver).  I got the second camera installed and they uploaded quickly and smoothly.

Another thing I did was to remove a bunch of programs I no longer use.  It took until almost ten last night until I got everything running the way it’s supposed to.  Even better than it was before getting the Ethernet router.  I left it running for testing and looked more for Kirby.  I checked under the sofa and loveseat in the family room.  I checked behind the sofa in the living room.  I checked every single cat condo.  I checked closets he might have gotten into.

Keep in mind, I was going on the assumption that Brian had seen him when he fed the out fronts.  That would have put him in the house at seven last night.  Brian said he’d seen him, why wouldn’t I believe that?  And I did believe him.  I knew that Kirby must be somewhere on the premises, since Kirby isn’t a climber and doesn’t try to escape from the yard. 

It was around 11:00, I think, that I heard a cat.  I looked out one of the entry way windows and KittyMeeze was looking towards the bedroom side of the house.  I put on slippers and grabbed a flashlight.  I walked out quietly, calling to Kirby.  I walked around the side of the house and saw nothing.  I went back inside.  I laid down on the loveseat (sofa was taken by cats) and fell asleep for about an hour.  Then I looked around again, Kirby still wasn’t in.  I went to bed.  This morning, I woke up at a quarter to four, got dressed and went looking for Kirby again.  I opened the sliding door and let cats out.  I walked back to the shop and shut the door that I’d left open in case Kirby had been hiding in there.  I had the flashlight and I noticed at the side of the house where the bedroom and office are, that Jackie was watching something towards the gate.  I walked over and there was a cat on the top of the fencing.  “Kirby?” I said.  He meowed back.  Oh, crap!  Kirby was out of the yard!  I placed the flashlight on the ground, making sure not to make any sudden moves.  I walked towards the gate, talking gently to Kirby.  He walked down to the wood on the top of the gate, behind the barrier.  I slowly opened the gate and he jumped to the ground.  Now, the mind works really fast, it thinks without thinking, you know?  And mine was thinking “come in the gate, Kirby, don’t go the other way” and Kirby came in the gate and ran into the house. 

I was so happy to see him!  I called him into the kitchen and fed him some of the tuna I’d opened last night.  I petted him and kissed him and he was a happy cat.  He even let me hold him for almost thirty seconds before wanting down.  I got the other cats in (except Opie, who went out the ‘in only’ catdoor and I didn’t see Benny), shut the door and at 4:30 this morning, I went back to bed.  Brian was awake and we talked about how Kirby got out.  Now, I find out that he thought it was Kirby when he fed the cats.  He wasn’t aware that Mickey also goes out there for a little taste of the out front food.  He was pretty surprised, as a matter of fact.  As near as we can figure, Kirby had snuck out when Brian was doing the yardwork.  Brian was done before six last night.  So, Kirby was out the whole time.  Brian said he’ll have to be more careful in the future.  He thought he was being careful last night.  But I’ve seen him when he’s doing stuff and honestly, he doesn’t always pay attention to what the cats are doing (remember the time Kirby was on the roof after Brian, during yard work, had moved the swing too close to the house?).

Then as I was trying to get to sleep, I started thinking “did I give Boney his Lasix yesterday?”  I got out of bed and counted pills and damnit, no, I hadn’t.  I gave him one right then.  Speaking of Boney, he was really good when I gave him the fluids.  Those stupid needles, though, some of them are garbage. I probably couldn’t draw my blood with one, let alone push it into a cat’s skin.  His breathing is a little heavy this morning and I’m sure that’s because of the fluids building up.  Hopefully, forgetting his pill yesterday won’t do too much damage.  He has gotten his other pills when he should (two in the morning, two at night).

I got up for good at 5:30 and let the cats out (I let Benny out of the shop, he apparantly ran in before I’d shut the door this morning at 4:00), fed them chicken, gave the out fronts their morning snack (thanking KittyMeeze for the great job he did last night of taking care of Kirby) and came back to the office and got the cameras and weather station working.  Brian got up at six and took a shower, then I took one.  We went to breakfast and were home at a little before 7:30.  Junior got his shot and Brian left for the day with his brother to do some work up at Ranchita.  So, the rest of the day is mine.  What should I do with it? 

I had originally planned to get the Ethernet router working today, but that’s done.  Tonight, I’m going to defrag the C drive of the Gateway again.  The router has an awesome firewall, so I was able to remove ZoneAlarm. I could always do laundry.  I’m still haven’t done all the stuff in the exercise room.  But I sure don’t feel like it.  Right now, I’d love to lay on the sofa and read a book and maybe take a nap.  I am pretty tired…..

I like days when there’s no news….

      Monday, February 10, 2003

02:16 PM - 02/10/2003

The topic: And then there were 23

Monday, February 10, 2003  We’re down to twenty three cats now.  Boney died at the vet’s office this afternoon.  When the vet called he said that Boney had at least 10x the amount of fluid in his chest that he had last Wednesday.  Because of the amount, the doctor didn’t want to use a needle and syringe to remove it, but to put a tube in.  And to do this, Boney had to be masked down.  Boney’s heart was so weak, even though the medications he’d been on had helped it somewhat, that it couldn’t take it.  And it stopped. 

The fluid also looked much different than it did last week.  He said it had a pinkish tinge to it.  He stands by his diagnosis of last week, but said that it looked like Boney now had chylothorax.  That it was probably a blessing that Boney was gone because treatment would have been difficult for all of us.  He said that it would have been painful for Boney because he’d have to have a tube in him to drain the fluid.

The saddest part is I was so sure I’d get Boney back, that I didn’t say goodbye.  Oh, sure, I loved on him a whole bunch before I took him in, but I didn’t say goodbye at the vet’s. 

Now, Lucky is the oldest.

I went over to the vet’s office to make arrangements for Boney’s cremation and to pick up the carrier.  On the way home I had a little talk with God.  I told him ‘okay, you’ve taken three from me now without giving me one in return.  Is that going to happen soon?’  Then I started crying.

And ob-la-de ob-la-da life goes on. La.

Annie still has her clumpy urine problem.  It isn’t all the time, only once every couple of weeks, but it’s not a good thing.  So, I’ll be taking her in Friday for a recheck.

DeeJay puked all over the loveseat sometime last night.  I should have known something had happened because he ended up sleeping with me on my pillow.  He only does that when he doesn’t feel good.  He ate a ton of food last night, obviously way too much.  *sigh*

Everybody else seems to be doing alright.  Knock on wood.

We’re supposed to be getting some rain this week.  I surely hope we do.  I’m in the mood for rain.  I would like to see some external rain in my life.  Yesterday, I worked on fixing the rain gauge connection. I thought it had been fixed last year when I redid the connector and Brian plugged it in, but it never did work properly.  I had emailed Oregon Scientific about getting a replacement gauge, but never heard back.  I figured I’d give it another shot.  I moved everything out of the way and climbed a ladder to sit on the file cabinet where it would be much easier to do what I wanted to do.  It took me a couple of hours to finally get it done the way it should have been done in the first place (and if I’d done it correctly to begin with, it would have taken less than fifteen minutes), but it finally started sending data to the weather station when I’d shoot water into the container on the roof.  I made a huge mess of the office windows, which I cleaned this morning.  I’m ready for some rain.

      Wednesday, February 12, 2003

09:56 AM - 02/12/2003

The topic: Things are better today

Wednesday, February 12, 2003  Things feel better today.  Looking back on the past few years with Boney, I realize that he is better off.  His arthritis had gotten so bad it was hard for him to properly use a litterbox, he couldn’t climb in and out and you could tell it was uncomfortable for him to squat to do any kind of elimination.  I do miss his incessant yowwing for food when he decided it was time to eat.  I don’t miss stepping barefoot in his urine puddles, left during the night next to the toilet.  According to one of the cat newsletters I get, the one from Tufts or Cornell, the first two years of a cat’s life are equivalent to sixteen human years (eight each).  Each year thereafter is equal to four of our years.  That would put Boney at about eighty eight in human years.  That’s a good long life.  I am curious how long our younger cats will live, knowing what I know now about caring for them properly.  Sure, there’s not much I can do about diseases like cancer, but hopefully the part of their longevity that’s determined by a healthy diet will.

This past weekend I think the younger cats knew something was going on with Bones.  They were all over him in bed, headbutting, cleaning and snuggling against him.  Sammy would bump Boney so hard, Boney would tip over.  Now, Kirby has taken Boney’s place on the spot between the pillows.  I told Lucky, who was laying in her normal place, on the stove head resting against the tea kettle, this morning “The king is dead, long live the queen”.  She just purred.

I’d like to thank everyone for their outpouring of sympathy.  I think what helped me most was Marjorie’s email.  She told me that it was okay that I didn’t say goodbye, because I had hope that Boney would be coming home.  That Boney knew how I felt.  Thank you all.

I looked out the front door this morning, after it was light outside and saw KittyMeeze laying on the lawn, sniffing something.  Then I saw OC on the lawn.  Hmm….odd.  I looked out the bedroom window and KittyMeeze and OC were playing with Little Bit.  Playing tag in the yard.  It was so sweet. 

The rain has officially begun.  We got rain yesterday, which was a surprise.  The weather people didn’t think that the clouds that were coming in had much potential for precipitation.  They were wrong.  The weather today had been calling for rain since last week.  Possibly inches by the time it’s done.  I’m glad it rained yesterday because I was able to make sure the rain gauge data was getting sent to the weather station.  And it was!  I was pretty happy.  Like I said, we’re supposed to be getting inches today.  If you’d like to check out the precip (no big deal for folks who live where they get rain, but here in San Diego, we’re in a drought situation - San Diego’s normal rainfall for a year is about twelve inches, last year we had about three)  go to the “daily data” portion of my weather page.  You can also get there by clicking on the camera picture at the top of this page.  The daily data is uploaded every ten minutes, but it’s kept in five minute increments.  We need this rain.

Monday night, we went to our favorite pet store to get food for Junior and the cats.  Mother Hubbard is closing out a line of food and the cans were buy one, get one free.  We bought four of each flavor, for the out front cats.  And DeeJay and Lucky, too.  They really like it.

You know how they say (who’s they?) that never go to bed angry?  I slept on the sofa last night.  We had to go to the bank to sign some papers yesterday and I said “let’s go to Baskin-Robbins for ice cream”. We went and when Brian saw the prices of a double scoop, we walked out.  No big deal, right?  We’re not supposed to be eating ice cream anyway, unless we’re up at Disneyland.  Well, Brian starts ranting.  I mean full on yelling/ranting.  I kept saying “shut up shut up shut up” in a voice I had hoped was louder than his.  He said some stuff that I considered really mean and I told him I wasn’t going to talk to him any longer.  I didn’t talk to him last night and I slept on the couch.  I was afraid if I went to bed, I’d start to pinch him really hard when he was asleep.  This morning I asked him “you know why I’m not talking to you, don’t you?”  (Now, doesn’t that make a whole lot of sense?)  And he said “I’m not really sure, but I’m really sorry if I hurt your feelings”.  And I proceeded to tell him why I’d gotten so upset and he tried to interrupt and I held up my hand and said “Nope”.  I told him that it was because he let the price of the ice cream get out of hand.  We didn’t get the damned cones, so why keep going on about it?  He clarified something he’d said during the ranting, which I’d completely misunderstood last night.  But it’s hard to not get defensive when someone is yelling, you know?  I mean he was full on yelling.  Reviewing it, I realize he was just yelling at the state of things.  But you don’t have to yell in a closed vehicle, I hear you just fine.

And I think there’s some weird hormonal thing going on with me.  I’m feeling a little more sensitive in an area of my body that’s not normally sensitive.  I sure hope it doesn’t mean that raghag Aunt Flo is coming back.  I hate her.

I really nailed my left little toe on a cat condo Monday night.  Brian thought I’d run into it with my leg because it made such a racket.  Nope, just my little toe. And that toe hurts really bad.  It hurt back to the middle of my foot Monday night, but now, it’s just my toe.  Damn.

I guess it’s time to start clearing out last year’s files and setting up this years Oh, joy.

      Saturday, February 15, 2003

12:23 PM - 02/15/2003

The topic: Man, I can’t drink anymore.

Saturday, February 15, 2003  I just can’t drink any more.  We went out to dinner last night, the Claim Jumper in La Mesa.  It was our first Valentine dinner out, ever.  I usually make something, like spagetti, because it’s red.  Anyway, we used the gift card that Brian got for petsitting Chuck’s dogs last year (had to add to it) and dinner was very good.  We’d decide before we went that we weren’t going to have any alcoholic beverages, which got shot to hell when we found there could be a forty-five minutes to an hour wait.  We hit the saloon and each had two margaritas.  And an appetizer.  Fried zucchini.  Brian was like “oh, come on, we don’t go out that often….”

I could feel the first drink from the second sip.  Fortunately, the wait was only a half hour.  We’re also happy we went early (we got there at four pm) because the later it got, the longer the wait, for those without reservations.  When we left, I think the wait was three hours for dinner.  No way!  Anyway, when we were seated for dinner, we started drinking coffee.  All of those diuretics. I must have had to pee at least five different times before we left the restaurant.  Brian had filet mignon and I had prime rib.  And I got horseradish.  Holy smokes, I like the way that feels when it hits my nose.  It’s not often that there is a distinct physical reaction to a sauce, but that horseradish does it.  There was so much food that we decided next time we go, we’ll split a meal.  I’m really tired today and I think I can attribute some of that to the margaritas.

I got this cool new little chat thingy.  You can chat with others surfing the cathouse, if they have it enabled.  Just click on the little “live chat” button at the bottom of the page.  I initially put it up for the camera pages (although I don’t have it installed on all website pages just yet) and I figured I’d put it on all pages, just because I can.  I think it might be fun.  No registration, just type in a nickname and your message.

Annie had a most excellent checkup yesterday.  She’s put on a pound, nine ounces in weeks short of a year (she had gone from 11.01 to 8.12, yesterday she weighed 10.03).  The vet checked her teeth and said he was amazed at how healthy she is for her age (fifteen years).  As for the problem I brought her in for, the clumping pee, he said she’ll most likely just have to stay on the amitriptyline for life because she’s stressed so easily.  Although he couldn’t get any urine out of her (she peed on the towel on the way over, so there was nothing to get) he said we’ll try a round of antibiotics, just in case she has an infection, although most of these types of problems are sterile.

The vet was also very apologetic for Boney.  I could tell he’s gone over it quite a bit in his mind.  He said that he just couldn’t understand how Boney could look so good the Wednesday I first brought him in and gone downhill so quickly.  He said that Boney was obviously much worse off than he acted.  More damage to the heart than the vet could tell, just from Boney’s attitude.  I told the vet it was okay, that Boney was an old cat.  And he said “yes, but he was such a nice cat, you hate to see them go”.  I find myself missing Boney the most in the morning when I’m splitting up the chicken.  I’m fresh out of bed, it’s dark and I keep expecting him to walk around the counter into the kitchen.  I’ve even asked the other cats “where’s Boney?” when it dawns on me that he’s gone.

DeeJay had a bad week which scared me, coming so close on the heels of Boney’s demise.  I was off a day on giving him his fluids.  Remember my mentioning him puking so much on the loveseat?  Well, he puked again on Thursday morning.  I’d given him fluids Wednesday night and thought he was okay.  But all day Thursday, he walked around, not being comfortable at all.  Thursday night, he was all hunched up on one of the big pillows and I reached down and did the hydration test on the back of his neck.  The pinch stayed up, a sign that he’s dehydrated.  So, I gave him fluids again Thursday night.  He was feeling better yesterday morning.  I’m thinking about investing in one of those electric pet heating pads for him, since I don’t think he generates much heat of his own, which the self-heating pads need.  There are electric pads that only come on when pressure is applied to them instead of being on all the time.  I think that would be a good thing for DeeJay to have. 

One of the things I think may have upset his system was the rain we had.  I found him more than once on the patio, lapping at the concrete.  *sigh*  That can’t be good for him. And he isn’t drinking his probiotics like he had been, either.  I know those were a big help. 

Brian put the new lamp fixtures on the fans and they look so nice.  Today, he wants to pull up the carpet here in the office.  I’m going to need to move boxes and other storage media.  It’s sure going to be nice not having this stinky carpet in here anymore.

      Wednesday, February 19, 2003

10:34 AM - 02/19/2003

The topic: It hasn’t been good

Wednesday, February 19, 2003 It hasn’t been good, but it hasn’t been bad, either.  Just lots of little things.  Like getting a fax this morning saying the company’s application for liability had been turned down.  After being told last week that we were insured, that it was in effect on the 7th.  One of the guys who has a shop by Brian’s mentioned Fireman’s Fund.  Well, I’d called on of their agents in January and he never called me back, so we went through an contractor’s agent we found online.  Now this.  Crap.  I page Brian, tell him the bad news.  He calls me back, says to try Fireman’s Fund again.  I go to their website (of course, they do have a website with agent listings, but they aren’t up to date at all) and it was no help, I call the number and was referred to another number.  Who referred me to another number.  Who referred me to a couple of other numbers, actual agents.  The first one I called wasn’t answering the phone yet.  They start answering at 8:30.  I look at my system clock.  8:30.  On to the next one.  I got my long sad story out, one I’d been polishing since the first call I made this morning, and the woman was a quiet when I’d finished.  “We only do lawyers’ liability.”  I just started laughing.  What else could I do?  I’d been on the phone for over a half hour at this point, writing down numbers and calling them.  I called a second referral number and was sent to voice mail.  I didn’t want to leave a message, I wanted to speak to a real live person right now.  I called the third number I was given.  The woman who answered the phone listened to my tail of woe and when I asked “do you carry liability for small companies like ours?” she said “I’m checking on it” and put me on hold.  She came back shortly and transferred me to a real live person, who helped me out immensely.  I told him everything and he asked me some questions, I answered to the best of my ability and he’s checking stuff out right now.  If he’s able to help, I sure hope we can get our $550 back from the online broker.

I haven’t seen Little Bit since Monday morning. I’m worried.  Because Monday night, late Monday night, we had two new cats in front of the house.  A short haired tuxedo and a medium haired tuxedo.  And I also realized that Repete is in all likelihood, a female.  As long as she’s been around, I’ve never seen her pregnant (she’s been around a few years now).  But these two boys were after her.  And SpotTee took exception to it.  He kept chasing them off.  Monday night, Brian couldn’t get back to sleep with all of the caterwauling.  Last night, it was my turn.  At one point I got out of bed and pushed the “manual” button on the front sprinklers.  I figured that might slow them down a bit.  And it did.  This morning when we left for our walk, we saw the two new cats as well as little Repete.  At this time, the newcomers are gone and it’s just Repete, OC, KittyMeeze and SpotTee out front.  Angus was here early this morning.  It’s really kind of sweet, the mating dance between Repete and SpotTee.  She keeps him in her sight, will roll over and trill at him from a distance.  Yesterday, he just laid on the rock in the front yard, sunning himself, looking regal.  And she was in the neighbor’s yard (the yeller), stretched out, looking up at him, keeping him in her sight. 

And today, I have to start making phone calls, looking for low cost spay/neuter.  I threw away all of the information I got last year after we found MeeToo’s remains.

Speaking of coyotes (have I ever mentioned how much I loathe/hate them?  I do, you know, I really do; I haven’t heard them calling in months and I don’t miss it at all), the one in the park where my mom lives was trapped last week.  They used leghold traps, but these were coated in rubber, they supposedly don’t do damage like the ones with teeth do (Animal Control set them).  The coyote was seriously ill and was euthanized on the spot.  I think if he’d been healthy, they’d have relocated him.

The vet’s office called last night. Boney’s remains are in. *sigh*  There are certain times of the day I really miss him.  I miss hearing him yowwing at me to come feed him in the bathroom.  I miss hearing him yowwing at me through the closed bathroom door that he’s done eating, thank you very much, now let me out.  I miss him in the morning when I feed the cats their chicken.  I’ve even found myself going in search of him to see if he’s okay.  *deeper sigh*  A close relationship of twenty years isn’t that easily dismissed, it would seem.  I miss him like crazy.  I miss carrying him around and holding him close and feeling his purr against my chest.  He had an awesome purr.  *tearing up*

I found out that I can’t access the internet using my dial-up connection if I’m using my cable modem. :cussing So, I cancelled my dial-up and went legit with my two computer connection on the cable modem.  Having two computers is about $7.00 more a month.  My dial-up was $10.00, so I’m saving money.  Brian didn’t understand why I went legit, but I kind of figured if I had any problems, it would go more smoothly if I was already paying for what I’m getting, you know?

Annie is happy, I think.  She dribbled yesterday while she was sleeping, which kind of surprised me, but she’s not straining to pee now.  She’s such a sweetheart.  I took this last night while Brian was finishing up some paperwork.


Doesn’t she look so relaxed?

I got an email yesterday from a fella who was saying that for about two weeks now, he’s not been able to access the live feeds on the cameras, that it never loads up.  I did some research and found that the address that was being uploaded to my websites was my private internet settings.  So, I changed the code since I have a static IP address and now they’re working.  I would have never known. 

That’s all for now, I guess. 

Update: 4:12  Well, waddya know?  Repete is a boy.  And how do I know this?  Because Little Bit is back!  And Little Bit is the female.  And Little Bit has all the boys hanging around her.  I saw her earlier on the steps by the mailbox.  I saw KittyMeeze and he was trying to do the deed.  That’s okay, because he was neutered last year (or was it the year before?  whenever, I know he’s fixed).  I also saw SpotTee.  For the past three hours, Repete, SpotTee and Little Bit have been hanging out under the Mustang.  I called the vet’s office to see if I trapped her could I bring her in.  I can.  I hosed off the trap and I’ll set it tonight. 

I’m really surprised that she’s in heat.  She’s so tiny!  I would have put her age at three months, max.  She’s smaller than Ciara was.  Wish me luck in getting her into the trap tonight.

Oh, I ordered my bedspreads today.  I got two from Sears.  Full price.  But I figured I’d get two now and the others at Blair, later.  This afternoon, I checked on the spreads at Blair, just to see how nice they were.  They didn’t have them anymore!  Argh!  :hair How could they not have them?  The had them a couple of weeks ago!  So, I checked their clearance page and there they were.  Half price, even.  I clicked through the link on my affiliates page (I’ll get a small commission) and ordered three of the spreads.  No shipping.  No tax.  The one we have now is similar and I’ve had it for at least twenty years.  I can’t see where we’ll ever need to buy another spread.  I got sage, light blue, navy blue, burgandy and rose.  I’m so excited!  Now, I have to tell hubby about it.  That’s gonna be fun.

      Monday, February 24, 2003

10:23 PM - 02/24/2003

The topic: I’m worried sick right now.

Monday, February 24, 2003: 10:16pm I’m worried sick right now.  When I started to get the cats in, around 7:30 tonight, I couldn’t find Kirby.  Brian thought he’d seen him on the bed, but it turned out to be Georgie curled up. From the back, you don’t see any white on George.  I think he’s out of the yard again. Around 8:30 I went over to the neighbor’s house and they let me go into their backyard.  I couldn’t see anything in the yard behind them because of some vines on the fence.  I also scratched my eye on one of the twigs.

Brian asked when I saw him last and it was this afternoon, climbing into the lime tree from the cathouse underneath it.

It’s starting to rain.  It’s supposed to be heavy at times tonight.  I guess that’s good to keep dogs away from Kirby, but it will also keep Kirby from trying to get home.  I’m really worried.

Please say a prayer for my Kirbs.  Thanks.  I’m going back outside now, to see if I can hear him or see him.

Update: Tuesday, February 25, 2003: 12:43 AM  He came through the cat door at about 12:22 AM. I was dozing on the sofa, had a window open so I could hear the cat door. At first, I thought it was a cat up in the window, but when I checked, no cat. So I went into the garage and Kirby had just come in.

One of the things I did earlier to see if he was in the house was shake the catnip bag and sprinkled some over the garage floor. Kirby is a real niphead. I even took the bag outside and shook it with no luck. Anyway, the first thing Kirby does is lay down and roll around in the nip. Then he let me pet him. He’s happy. He’s really happy. He’s purring and he ate. I did see a patch on one of his back legs that looks like the fur was pulled out, like maybe it got caught when he was crawling under something, but there’s no wound.

I’m thinking he was in the yard kitty corner to ours because their dog had been barking a bunch. I went to our immediate neighbors to see if I could go into their backyard and on my way over, I talked to the woman who lives on the other side of them, who was out walking her dog. She said that Oreo (the dog in the yard kitty corner to us) has a very distinctive “I see a cat” bark and s/he’d been barking that bark since about 4:30, a time when I was gone to the bank. Anyway, I think that’s where Kirby was. They finally brought the dog in because it wouldn’t shut up (maybe it stays in at night). That was about three hours ago.

We’re supposed to be getting this humongous rain storm tonight, calls for “heavy at times” but so far, thank Bast, there’s only been a few sprinkles. Kirby was bone dry.

He sure seems pleased with himself. I wish I was.

I did wake Brian up to let him know Kirby was home.

I just took an antacid because my stomach is so upset and I’m going to go take some Excedrin PM now so that I can sleep. I’m just so relieved that Kirby is home safe and sound. I kept having these horrible visions of him hurt in a yard with a dog (think Hollywood) and there was nothing I could do to help him. He’s really lucky he didn’t go into the yard behind us.

Now, the fun thing will be to see where and how he’s getting out. This is going to be really hard because Kirby has never tried to escape before. Now twice within a month. The first time, we thought he got out through Brian’s carelessness. Now, I’m not so sure. Kirby is nine years old. It seems kind of late to start getting that wunderlust.


Thanks for all of your support. I’m sure the prayers helped get him home. I was sure saying quite a few.  I’m going to go take a couple of pills, then head off to bed.  And Kirby?  Kirby is grounded.  For life.

      Thursday, February 27, 2003

03:33 PM - 02/27/2003

The topic: Yay!  I love the rain!

Thursday, February 27, 2003 Woohoo!  Woohoo!  Boy, oh, boy, have we had lots of rain in the past couple of days.  It started when Kirby came in the house late Monday and has been coming down off and on since.  We even had a fire in the fireplace Tuesday night!  I be loving it!

If you wonder where I’ve been, I’ve been spending WAY too much time at my cat fights II forum.  Feel free to drop by and join in.

Kirby has shown absolutely no interest in going back outside.  None.  Last night Brian and I were talking about how he could have gotten out and I said “I wonder if he wasn’t out at all, but hiding somewhere in the yard? After all, when he doesn’t feel good, he’s an expert at being invisible and if he got into a fight with Jackie, it could be very well that he was hiding.”  Brian replied that he was wondering that very same thing.  I guess it’s because the other cats have tried so very hard to get out of the yard and have been unsuccessful.  How would Kirby, who’s never shown any interest in escaping at all, get out?  It made no sense.  I’ll still be keeping an eye on him.

Monday I took Junior in for his fructosamine test.  He’s so funny.  I had to pick him up to put him in the back of the Bronco and at first he tried jumping over the seat to get to me, but he realized he couldn’t do it, so he just enjoyed looking out the back window and the cars behind us.  Once at the vet’s office, he was real willing to jump down, but wouldn’t walk after that.  I had to kind of carry/drag him inside.  I also bought more fluids for DeeJay, but they only had one bag in the back and the vet needed that one.  Liz told me they’d have more in later in the week and to just come down and get them Wednesday or Thursday.  When we got home, Junior jumped out of the Bronco by himself and had no problem making it back to the gate.  He was happy to be home and I gave him a biscuit because he’d been so brave.

Then it was Monday night.  And we know what happened Monday night.

I was taking a nap when the vet called Tuesday morning to let me know that Junior’s fructosamine was good. Whew.  Tuesday was pretty quiet, except for the thunder.  Junior hung out in the house until it had passed.  He kept finding pieces of kitty kibble, which he really shouldn’t be eating.  Brian came home early because of the wonderful rain and he got the fire going.  It was really nice.

Sunday, we didn’t know what to have for dinner and I remembered some fish filets I’d gotten at CostCo.  They’ve got garlic butter on them (not breaded) and I cooked those along with some packaged noodles and frozen mixed vegetables.  Dinner was really good.  Well, Brian had said “what’s for dinner, more fish?” because he liked it so much and I jumped on that.  ‘No, we’re not going to start planning dinners for every night because it will start getting lighter at night, you’ll start coming home later and before you know it, we’ll be eating at eight or eight thirty again and I’m not going to do it.’ I’ve gotten away from cooking because that’s what got us so fat in the first place.  As it is now, we eat light at dinner.  I got to thinking about it and thought I’d like to cook one good dinner a week, just to keep in practice.  Sunday would be good because we can eat early.  So, I mentioned this to hubby and he thought it was a good idea.  Except he said “what about when I go to the property on Saturdays?”  Well, I’ll be cooking Sunday so it doesn’t matter.  “But what about when I’m up there on Sunday?”  I guess you’ll just lose out.  After all, if he goes up there with his brother and they come home after dark, it’s not unknown for them to stop and eat on the way home.  Last time they came back, they stopped and Brian had pot roast for dinner.  I think I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  No, I’m not going to feel badly if he’s not here for dinner.  Huh-uh. :no Anyway, we went to CostCo last night and I got some meat!  Round steak and a couple of roasts.  I’m thinking about the good things I can make and since I’ll only be doing one meal a week, I’m sure I won’t get burned out on anything.  This coming Sunday, Swiss steak with mashed potatoes and green beans.  The next week, beef stroganoff.  And there will be pot roast, beef stew, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, meat loaf, lemon chicken…..I’m really looking forward to this. 

What else…there must be something.  Oh, yeah, I took Annie off of all medications.  She started leaking.  Not much, but when she gets up sometimes I see a few drops of urine on her pillow.  She’s peed a couple of times on the towel blocking Brian’s files and it really smells bad.  I’m hoping that will clear up when the stuff gets out of her system.  She seems to be feeling better, she was acting awfully dopey there for a while.  I know the doc said that there’s no problem with the long term usage of the elavil, but I just don’t feel right giving it to her long term.  It’s been about five days now and she’s peeing okay, no clumps.  Still stinky, though not as bad.

I called the vet this morning to make sure the fluids had come in.  They had (and good thing, because I didn’t have enough for his next round, which is today).  I went drove down, parked the Bronco, went to the donut shop, got their special (14 for $4.50) and took them to the vet’s office.  Then I got the fluids and came home.

Brian came home early today and we talked about the outfronts for a while.  I got spay/neuter certificates and I’m going to start calling the offices that were referred.  Because the cats I’ll be trapping will be feral and I can’t make appointments, it will have to be walk in.  We’ve been seriously rethinking bringing the cats into the house.  We don’t know how well they’ll adjust.  I asked Brian who will take care of them when we move and he said that we’ll trap them again and move them up to the property since we’ll have plenty of room.  I’m sure we’ll have to engage the neighbors at that point.  We’ll cross that bridge, though, when we come to it.  I’m sure it will be nicer for the cats.  They’ll be in a contained area, with heated housing (figure I don’t think they’ll want to come in the house; they can if they want, but I doubt if they will) and lots of room, no predators, plenty of food and water.  They can live out their lives in peace.

I guess that’s all for now.

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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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