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      Monday, February 11, 2019

10:03 AM - 02/11/2019

The topic: I have a bad feeling about Rocky

We took him in last Friday because he's still not pooping. Vet said keep giving him the hairball meds and give him fluids to help push the stool out.

He also has a snotty nose and is having a hard time swallowing. Could this be affecting his appetite? He's not eating. Nothing I put in front of him piques his interest. He's always been finicky and it's worse now. Because we can't medicate him, they were able to meds ordered from a compounding pharmacy for transdermal. All I'll have to do is rub it on the ear.

They called, we should have them in three to five days. I hope he's still with us when it gets here.

He also got x-rays, which didn't show anything bad inside. No masses or anything, just that little turd.

I'm giving him fluids, but it's obvious the process of urination is painful to him.

He's reminding me of Sagwa.

I did get some doxycycline into him this morning and he kept it down.

I'm afraid the crypto is at fault for this, I'm afraid it's gotten into his brain.

Could you keep a good thought for him? I'm really worried.

rocky    cryptococcus    catstuff   

10:12 AM - 02/11/2019

The topic: So, keeping busy

And I do have some good news. My surgery is scheduled for next month! They called on Wednesday. I finally figured out how to do the call forwarding from my cell phone so the calls ring here at home, even if I have the cell phone on. If I don't get to the cell quickly enough, it rings on the home line.

Which helps with the vet phone calls as well. For some reason, their calls to our home number don't come through, because of some conflict with the MagicJack. But when they call my cell and the calls are forwarded, the home line rings and the reception is perfect. Now I don't have to sit here with the cell on.

Anyway, Friday I went in for labwork and an EKG, this needs to be done a month before surgery. I don't know what they were thinking when they scheduled this. We had to go to two different clinics, across town from one another. I was told it would be 9:15 at one clinic, 10:30 at the other. Plenty of time. But then, on the email with the scheduling they sent, the time was 9:15 at one clinic, 9:40 at the other. Great. Not even thirty minutes between appointments.

We got to the first one early and I was done by 9:00. Nasal swab, checking for staph. Did you know that almost 85% of surgical staph infections come from the patient? Yowza! Then we left the clinic, got into the car (takes me longer than I like to lift that right leg in; even though the car isn't high, it's still work and painful) and instead of gettting on the freeway, I said "can't we just go down this street?" And we did. Drove down the main street of El Cajon, California. Brian pointing out landmarks that were no longer there from his childhood. It was a really nice little drive.

When we got to the second clinic, we got me checked in ($35 each for the tests) and we waited for a bit. (Because of how lab scheduling had been changed this past month, there was a wait time of an hour for people who were sent there from visits with their on premises doctors! I had appointments, so the wait was less than fifteen minutes.) Then they called me back, got the blood drawn (five or six vials), I got the EKG and home we came. When my blood was being drawn, it was explained why the visits to the two different clinics was necessary. They only test for staph at the othopedics clinic. The other clinic does the EKGs.

The results started to come in late afternoon Friday and they all seem pretty good. My pre-diabetic status is still pre-diabetic, but that will change when I'm finally able to start walking again and lose some weight.

But I'm hoping by the time the final season of Game of Thrones start, I'll be almost back to normal.


11:17 AM - 02/11/2019

The topic: Another project complete

So, last June, I tried my hand at etching metal, using the Cameo. I posted about it here.

I got some stuff that was okay, but I was never completely happy with it. But, it was always there, rolling around in my head.

Well, keeping on top of paperwork so far this year, the balloons, cards and boxes done and sent out last December, there's really not a lot on my plate. I'm working on crocheting small blankets to take the vet for clients' pets, I read a book last week, and really don't have much to do at this point. Not checking on a sick cat every thirty minutes, a cat who took up a lot of my work table so I was unable to work (his comfort was more important), nothing's on television, I started researching etching with a Silhouette machine.

And I found some interesting and informative videos on YouTube for etching with the Silhouette Curio.  Hmmm......

Still trying with the metal I had, I went with an anodized aluminum piece. I used the Chomas tool instead of the Curio tool. The video I watched pointed out that the Chomas did a smoother job (don't forget, blades/pens/etc made for the Cameo, also work with the Curio).

This is what I ended up with. I was pretty happy.  These are anodized aluminum blanks. The etching cuts into the anodizing, for the aluminum substrate.

The depth wasn't set very deep on this one

Setting the depth deeper.

But still, how do the trophies that are gold with black text plaques work? Like on my Meh scapegoat trophy? Painting gold on silver, then etching, but how do I get the silver black? I tried acrylic paint, the paint sticks that are used for bowling balls, Sharpies, many different types of coloring systems and nothing looked right. A couple of times, I just ended up with a big mess.

I took my Meh trophy into Brian and pointed out the plaque on it and asked him how it worked.

He glanced at it and said "because that's plastic, not metal".

Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit. This changes everything.

I went in search of gold on black plastic for etching. I found some sheets on Amazon, way to big for what I needed, but he could cut them down and I'd most likely never need to buy them again.

They're about 12" x 24", much too big for the Curio mat and he cut some to around 3" x 1", just for me to play with. And I finally had something I was happy with.

The best (and easiest, least labor intensive) instructions can be found at The Silhouette Tutor, Silhouette Curio Engraving. You need four things.

  • Contact paper
  • Curio
  • Engraving blank
  • Cutting tool

I bought a roll of transparent Contact paper from Amazon last year. This way, I can see the measured lines below. My blanks came as a sample kit from Johnson Plastics. I used the Chomas tool I got from Amazon last year.

Now, my reason for doing this was simple. I'm a Scapegoat Emeritus over in the forums on Meh.com.  Every month, a new goat is voted in. The scapegoat's job is to take the blame for things large and small  that go wrong in peoples' daily lives. My reign was December 2014. And the following year, all of the goats received a certificate of goathood and a goat trophy with our names and date of service engraved at the bottom. The engraving was done by hand.

It was so labor intensive, the guy who did it said he didn't want to do it any longer. So, my quest has been to find an easy way to do it. And I believe I've been successful. And to prove it, I made a trophy for him. I will be sending it to him this week.

For the moose, after many tests, I used five copies of the moose and on each one, I had used a different style of fill. I grouped them together. along with the text, and moved them to the spot on the mat where I had the media. (I used painter's tape to make sure the media would not move on the Contact paper.) I ungrouped them and sent them to etch, using two passes. So, the moose got ten passes with the tool (five moose graphics x two) and the text got two passes. It took about twenty-five minutes, most of that on the moose graphic. I was really, really happy with how it turned out.

etching    curio    craftstuff   

      Thursday, February 14, 2019

06:16 AM - 02/14/2019

The topic: So….Rocky…

So, on Monday I wasn't very optimistic. Because he wasn't feeling good, he didn't fight me much when I gave him his fluids (amazingly, there's very little push back on this) and I was able to get the doxy into his mouth, if I was quick about it. I only got bit once and that was more of a scrape.

He would visit the litter box (fluids will do that) and peed, but it never looked like he was pushing out any solids. Until Tuesday afternoon. A very small diameter, very short, very hard stool was found in the litter box after he'd left (I'd found one the day before, I thought it was his, but it wasn't, it was warm because he'd peed on the spot were it was). And he was showing more interest in food. He nibbled on his kibble. He ate some Temptations cat treats.

Alrighty then. Yesterday, he was actually eating. Not just nibbling. Yesterday night, I found a turd outside of the litter box, the one he uses. It was about two inches long and as big as my finger. And it was as hard as a rock. It was his.

And good news, the transdermal meds showed up yesterday, only two days after being ordered. He only gets one dose a day and this will be much easier for the both of us.

When we went to bed last night, I stopped to speak to Rocky and I asked him why didn't he come get in bed? Lay on daddy since it had been so long.

Within ten minutes, Rocky was in bed. On Brian. Brian told me later that it had been at least three weeks since Rocky had come in at night. He left and Brian saw him at the water bowl, so that's good.

And right now, Rocky is on the bed, back on Brian. As was his routine.

So, yay Rocky!


rocky    catstuff   

      Wednesday, February 20, 2019

05:59 AM - 02/20/2019

The topic: We said goodbye to Rocky

The past few weeks with him have been one step forward, two steps back. Yesterday morning, he made it to the litter box, peed, then came back into the living room. He hissed at the cats along the way, as if he didn't know who they were.

He stumbled. He walked like he was drunk. His eyes weren't focusing. His pupils were slow to respond to light. He wouldn't purr.

I had called the vet earlier to see if we could get him in today, and we had a three o'clock appointment. "If he gets any worse, call us."  I did.

He cried on the way to the vet's office, but ignored my fingers in the carrier. He just "wasn't there", if you know what I mean.

I have believed for a few weeks now that the crypto had finally traveled to his brain. The vet who originally diagnosed him warned us of this. My mind keeps running back to the "if he'd only taken his meds". But he didn't. We stopped pushing them on him, making him fear us, knowing full well the most likely outcome.

We were taken to a room and he was sedated. This is where it got rough. Unlike past cats, who relaxed almost immediately, Rocky did not. He didn't understand, he just knew that this wasn't normal. He kept trying to get up. Brian had been holding him on the table, then I took over. I put my arm under his head and let him rest his face on it. He kept opening his mouth, his tongue coming out, trying to swallow. His paws, front and back, kept moving like he was trying to push himself up. I stood with him, stroking his soft fur, rubbing his head, reminding him of all the good things he'd been to us, the fun times we'd had together. I told him what a beautiful and strong cat he was. And that all this scary stuff would soon be over.

He slowly relaxed and his paws were still. The second time the tech knocked on the door to see if we (Rocky) were ready, I said "yes".  She took him into the back, put the catheter in his leg, and brought him back in and gently laid him back on the table. Then the vet came in and asked if we needed any more time with him. No. She euthanized him. It took him a little longer than the other cats, but his heart finally stopped.

If there is a rainbow bridge, I wonder who he'll visit first. His first owner? His second owner? Will he come to us at the end?

I don't know. I do know that we will miss the hell out of him. Every time I see one of the cats go out at night, I'll think of Rocky. I'll remember him pulling away a forty pound container of litter, in front of a baby gate and somehow pulling the cat door out of the door to go out at night. He was a big cat. A mighty cat.

Goodbye, Rocky.

rocky    goodbye    cryptococcus    catstuff   

      Sunday, February 24, 2019

06:22 AM - 02/24/2019

The topic: The day after we said goodbye to Rocky

There was a new kitty in the yard.

I've seen him around out front a few times and he always ran. I suspect he liked to hang out under the bird feeder. We do find feathers on occasion.

I don't believe he has a home. He's not fixed, at least that's what the shape of his face indicates (huge jowls). He's not a very big cat, a tabby with white paws.

We've been leaving food out for him and it's getting eaten. We don't know where he hides, but it's a good hiding place. My money is on the overgrown weeds by the pool. But there are the cathouses and a doghouse on the bank, with big pillows.

The rain the past week was a concern, but there are plenty of places to stay dry.

Along with this, a possum has decided he/she likes the garage. It comes in through the cat door and spends the day sleeping in one of the condos by a vent to outside, It knows we know it's there, but we don't bother it, the cats aren't bothered by it, so it's okay with us. As long as it stays in the garage.

So, the food that's being put out is getting eaten. But who's eating it? Kitty or possum? For a few days, we hadn't seen the kitty, so kind of figured maybe it got out the same way it got in. Okay. But, just in case, the food bowl is getting filled.

But we really wanted to tame him down and keep him here, because it's safer here. Soon it will be coyote pupping season and coyotes want to eat and feed their young. A small cat would fit the bill.  Our intentions are to get him fixed and vetted and keep him here. But if he made it out of the yard, that's not going to happen.

In the evenings, we've heard a cat crying outside but have never been able to figure out if it's one of ours. Last night, I ended up sleeping on the sofa because Mario makes sleeping in bed miserable. (He sleeps between me and the edge of the bed, snuggled close to my legs...I can't move my legs and my hip and leg just start screaming.)  I kept hearing a cat cry. I'd get up and look out the window. Where's Lorelei, is it her? Or Charlie? Who is out there crying? Spotty?

After getting up every hour on the hour last night and early today, I finally saw who was crying this morning at five. A kitty on the patio. I turned on the light. It was the visitor. So, he's still here.

I'm thinking his situation is a cat who had a home, then his owners moved or he was just dumped. The crying indicates he's been acclimated to humans at some point. Ferals cry when they're fighting or looking for love. But I think he's been on his own for a while now.

Wish us luck.


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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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