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      Monday, February 01, 2010

11:48 AM - 02/01/2010

The topic: The worst, hardest, suckiest part of pet ownership

is what I call “death watch”.

When you’ve got a pet with a terminal disease and it’s taking its toll.  Sometimes it can take years before the signs get bad, sometimes just weeks.

Bart was diagnosed with renal failure in December.  He’s just gone downhill since then.  The powder the vet sold me is doing a great job, but Saturday, Bart was really bad.  Very winded.  He was worse yesterday.  And I watched him walk in the yard, looking for a place to poop, when he found one, I investigated.  Four dry, hard nuggets.  He’s constipated. Normal with CRF cats.  But it was hitting him hard.

Now, I’m fluent at sub-q fluids.  And I really thought he’d do well to get some, but his heart murmur had me reluctant. I remember giving Lisa fluids and how badly she reacted. But then, she was in heart failure, it wasn’t a murmur.  She had a fluid build up which isn’t the problem with a murmur.  I posted about it online, I did some research and the general consensus was that it was safe. And I had told my vet back in December how much Bart perked up after fluids and there was no admonishment of “you don’t give a cat with a heart murmur fluids”. 

Additionally, I was given advice about a very safe human stool softener.  Very low dose. I took this advice and bought some yesterday afternoon.  Bart got both the stool softener and fluids last night.

He was very uncomfortable all night long.  He woke me up this morning throwing up. He was in my bathroom and had had quite a bit to drink and it came back up.  He looked horrible (who doesn’t after puking, though, right?).  I cleaned up the floor and he drank some more.  This time it stayed down.  

He had a little kibble this morning and he also had a little A/D.  I cooked him a chicken breast, which I’ll let him have a small amount of later.  I got out the humidifier and set it up in the bedroom, where he’s been sleeping better today than he has the past few days.  Unfortunately, it leaked, somewhere along the line it had fallen and the vibration of it running sets off a small stream.  I went to Walmart and got a new one, this one puts out a cool mist, so the room won’t be like a sauna, but there will still be moisture in the air.

But Brian and I both agree, barring a miracle, he’ll be at the bridge by the end of the month.  His quality of life is almost non-existant right now. 

And I hate this.  The death watch.

      Tuesday, February 02, 2010

08:31 AM - 02/02/2010

The topic: Death watch is over….

We said our final goodbyes last night.

He just wasn’t getting better. He was getting worse. Yesterday afternoon, he went into the bathroom and got a drink. Then he went into the shower and peed. When he came out, he had to lay down on the floor to rest. It was that much of an effort for him.

I boiled a chicken breast for him in the morning. He ate some of that, then wanted no more. Last night, I got him to eat a little tuna. But it was minimal. He drank some tuna juice. He had a little water out of a glass bowl I held for him tonight. He just looked bad. He was obviously very uncomfortable, he kept licking his lips.

And his breathing was horrible.

I thought maybe he needed to pee and I picked him up and took him out to the litterbox, set in gently in it. He just sat there, looking dazed. And his sides were just rising and falling. It wasn’t good, it wasn’t good at all. I called Brian in to look, I told him it was time.

There was a little discussion, Brian wished we could wait until tomorrow and take him to our regular vet, but I just kept thinking how very badly Bart must feel. Looking back, I think Bart was already gone, it was just his shell. I think he’s been saying goodbye to us this past week. And the other cats knew. I took this last night, before we made the decision.

Richie is to the left of Bart, at one point, his back was to Bart, keeping Bart warm. Ronnie is on the pillow to the right of Bart. And Marco is in front. Oliver is on the other pillow in the background.  The rest of the bed was empty.

I’ve never seen the cats snugged up to Bart like that when we weren’t in bed. I think they were watching over him.

Then there was Bart. I’m sure you can see how vacant he is in this picture.

We got him in the carrier and took him down to emergency. I gave the immediate background. He was taken into the back where a doctor checked him over. She came in and discussed the situation with us and we told her that we didn’t want to have testing done, we didn’t want hospital stays, he was old, he couldn’t walk, that he was just tired.

And she looked at us and said “well, he would require hospitalization to get him through this, IV fluids and drugs, and with that you don’t know how long he’ll live; you’re doing the right thing”.

So, I guess it was his kidneys that finally failed. She felt the breathing problem was something unrelated to the kidneys (that was all she said).

She left the room, I was brought in some forms, filled them out, settled the bill. Bart was brought in to us, laid on a thick towel. There was a catheter in his leg. We were told we could take all the time we wanted, we said we didn’t need time, we’d said our goodbyes, we just wanted to be there for him when he passed away.

Shortly the doctor came back in and sedated him, took effect almost immediately.  Brian and I were both stroking him, Brian’s face to Bart’s face, I had my head on his side. Brian was crying hard, telling Bart over and over what a great cat he was.  Then the doctor euthanized Bart.  She listened to his heart with the stethoscope and I asked if he was gone and she nodded.  We both gave Bart last goodbye kisses and the doctor gently picked up Bart, wrapped in the towel.
Goodbye sweet Bart. You were one of the best ever.

We’ll miss you and Godspeed.


I took a sleep aid, and slept deeply last night.

I’ll no longer be worried about how he’s walking or eating or how are his kidneys, is he dehydrated, is he in pain from the arthitis….

He’s at peace.

One of the hardest things for me was seeing how thin he was and remembering what happened to my mom when she quit eating and her body started taking nutrition where it could get it. I didn’t want that happening to Bart.

Now I won’t be thinking about it.

      Wednesday, February 03, 2010

09:34 AM - 02/03/2010

The topic: Life goes on….

Well, so far the only thing I’ve noticed is that the bed is empty during the day.  I washed all the bed clothes yesterday, along with the pillows.  I washed the futon covers, too, since Bart would make his way over there after using the litterbox.  Most recently, his back paws would be soaking wet (he peed on the stool he was standing on), he’d jump in the litterbox (getting the wet leg nice and litter coated), then onto the end table, over to the futon.  Lots of litter on the futon cover. 

I seem to be calling every cat “Bart”.  I find this strange.  I don’t think I’ve ever done it before.  Cats that look or act nothing like Bart are being called Bart.  I’m sure this will resolve quickly. 

And we’ve still got the other special needs cats.  Ollie and Miss Elizabeth still get Calcitriol (and I’m going to be much better and giving them their daily doses).  Miss Elizabeth still gets fluids twice a week. Which brings me to this point.

She’s not easy to give fluids to. It’s not anything that she does, she doesn’t fight me or anything, but I guess I’m just so out of practice, that I’m having a difficult time with it.  She got them last Saturday and it hurt. The needles were sliding out and I had to keep resticking her.  I drew blood.  I didn’t give her all of the fluids she was supposed to get because I was just so shaken up.  I was worried about Bart (Saturday was the day he started the slide downhill) and then had problems with Miss.  When I decided I wasn’t going to finish, I put the caps on the needles and took her out and put her on Brian’s chest.  She loves Brian.

And today was the next day she was supposed to get fluids.  I guess it’s like getting on a horse after you’ve been bucked off. You’re nervous.  You’re afraid.  You’re reluctant to do it. But with Miss, she needs the fluids to help her kidneys, so they don’t have to work so hard.  I had to do it. Her life depends on it.  I know that sounds dramatic,  but it’s true.

So, with shaking hands, I got the bag of lactated ringers from the cupboard, got two syringes and two needles.  I heated up the fluids (I think one of the problems Saturday was that I didn’t warm them long enough) and got the syringes ready.  I was wishing I had some tranquilizers.  For me.  I didn’t want to upset her, so I just took my stuff into the family room, where she was laying on the end of the sofa.  I started petting her, put on my glasses, checked the orientation of the needle (point on the bottom so it would slide in) and did my first stick.  It went smoothly, but I didn’t have it in far enough and it slid out. I had to restick.  This time, when I pulled the needle out, there was a little pink.  I hate that pink.  My vet told me with DeeJay what a great job I’d been doing since he couldn’t feel any scar tissue under the skin where I’d been giving him fluids for years.  I don’t see that same luck with Miss.  The second syringe went the way it was supposed to.  A little slower that I’m used to, maybe because of the needle orientation. But she did get her full 120CC this morning and didn’t seem to be very upset with me.  I had her purring in a matter of minutes.

Other than that drama, things are getting back to normal.  I have to laugh that a couple of the cats are going out of their way to entertain me.  Skip is being the mighty mousie hunter. And Ross is climbing the walls, looking over his shoulder and smiling at me.  He only does it when I’m nearby so I can see him (he’s noisy when he does it, so I know he’s not doing it when I’m not right there). 

Even Lorelei is being more affectionate towards me (she has an issue with me because I was always yelling at her for getting in my water; now I don’t bring my water back here, I drink it in the other room).

Just sigh.

      Thursday, February 04, 2010

06:23 PM - 02/04/2010

The topic: Movie Review:  Air Bud: Golden Receiver

We never watched any of the Air Bud movies, but I was given a chance to view it and then review it. 

We started watching it Monday night, then ended up taking Bart to the vet. (I has a sad…)  We finished watching it Tuesday night.

I liked it, I thought it was really cute.  I actually liked this dog and found myself thinking “quick, I’d better watch Marley and Me until the feeling passed…”

It was sweet and funny and a little silly (the entire Russian circus storyline although the trained animals are worth a shout out, the chimp drove better than many southern Californians).  An entertaining movie, a lot of fluff, but I did enjoy it. 

It would be a nice family night movie, for sure.  Younger kids would get a kick out of it.

The Special Edition came with a whistle, but I’m afraid to use it, the cats might hate me forever.  *lol*

One of the cutest things was the "Buddy Sports Channel". Bud's children give a play by play of the on field action.

      Saturday, February 06, 2010

08:50 AM - 02/06/2010

The topic: What a great cat morning it’s been.


Since Bart isn’t with us any longer, I’m back to opening up the door when I wake up around four to let the cats out and burn off the night steam. 

Last night, a series of storms started passing over, and it was wet outside.  I don’t know if it was raining or not, it was too early to care.  I went back to bed.  I got up for the day around 6:30, opened the cat door in the garage, giving out the morning nibbles of Kirkland (CostCo) kibbles.  I glanced outside and saw the cats looking over towards the shop, looked over there myself, but saw nothing of interest. 

I fed Miss E, then I got a can of food opened and put it in a bowl, mixed in a little water and heated it up to take out front. 

KittyMeeze was a no show yesterday, I was concerned for him all day.  Last night, we saw Gilligan on the steps by the street.  Brian put some food out, but he wouldn’t come any closer. I’d been out with the flashlight, looking around for Kitty with no luck.  I walked into the entry, closed the gate and followed Brian into the house.  When we looked out, Gilly was gone, never came up for food.  When we went to bed at 10:30, the food remained untouched.  I was really concerned about Kitty at this point.

During the night, when my bladder let me know I had to get out of bed, I’d check outside to see the food situation.  At 2:30, there was a lot gone. When I let the cats out this morning, it was all gone. And when I was up for the morning, KittyMeeze was sitting in the entry way.  I fixed him a can of Friskies, figuring Gilligan wouldn’t be too far behind.

Then I checked on Miss, she didn’t like the food I served.  I let her out of the bathroom and shortly after that, she made her way to the litterbox in the laundry room, did an eensy tiny poop and went ripping through the kitchen into the family room. Then she came back in and waited, expectantly.  She wanted to eat.  I got her food and we went back into the bathroom and she started to eat this time.

There were a lot of cats in the house by now and I was wondering what was up.  The only one out, actually, was Pancho, he was eating kibble on the patio.  But no other cat was outside. Strange.  I went out to see why this would be.  Over at the side of the yard, on the wood at the fence by the shop, I saw an orange cat.  Hmmm….. Looks familiar, but not a resident.

I went out to get a closer look.  No wonder Gilly wasn’t at breakfast this morning. He was in our yard.  I skooshed Pancho in, shut the doors, blocked the cat door and told Brian that Gilligan was in the yard.  Brian got out of bed and put on his sweat clothes.  He went outside and started opening gates. Then he asked if I’d seen Gilligan.  Someone’s mind wasn’t hitting all the pistons, apparently, too early to think.  “No, I dreamed he was back here.”  Of course I’d seen him, this question struck me as silly.  He got annoyed with my tone and said “Okay, okay…”

Anyway, Brian did see him and Gilly ended up under the pool pump.  Brian told me to stand by the steps to the pool area so when Gilly came out, I could herd him towards the front of the yard.  Poor kitty was so upset, he tried getting out of the yard at the corner and there was no where to go.  I was within four feet of him and his poor little heart was just beating a million beats a minute.  He ended up going under the Sago palm by the pool.  Brian and I went back in, hoping he’d relax and look for another way out.  But he didn’t, he just cowered under the palm. I brought him out some food and he repositioned himself, but didn’t leave.   About forty-five minutes after he’d gone under the palm and during a break in the rain, I went back out and spoke with him.  Then I went to the other side of the palm tree and started moving the fronds.  I heard some rustling from under the tree.  Gilly had gotten out from under it and was standing in the pond (it’s empty, it’s part of the filtering system for the pool and it’s shut off because there’s some major water leakage).  I told him he could leave.  I watched as he made a beeline for the front gate and he was gone.


I shut that gate behind him, went to office door, knocked on it and Brian turned around and looked at me (he was on his computer) and I gave him a thumb’s up. He came out and closed the other gate (it’s too heavy for me) and locked the wire at the top and I opened the door for the cats to go out.

Pete was the first one out, I think he wanted to find the introoder kitteh but the IK was long gone. 

That’s a big relief to both Brian and me.  I was so afraid he’d still be in the yard when the next round of rain came down and even though he was in a dry spot, it wasn’t his safe spot, you know?  The ferals have their comfort zones and our back yard is not one of them.

Miss goes in for a renal recheck at 11:30 this morning.  I was surprised to hear the vet was going to be open half days on Saturdays this month. Seems he’s going on vacation next month and doesn’t want a backlog of patients.  And I would think the additional income wouldn’t hurt, either.. wink

02:05 PM - 02/06/2010

The topic: Good news for Miss E!

At least, it’s looking like good news.  She’s not lost any weight since her last checkup, so that’s good.  And even though I haven’t given her fluids since Wednesday, her hydration was excellent.

I brought up my concern about her mouth, once again saying she still does the thing that she was doing when I thought her problem was her teeth (and the pre-surgical blood testing showed the renal problem).  That it was the right side of her mouth, she’d paw at it and couldn’t eat dry food and had a problem with the flaked or grilled type of soft food, that it was like it was caught in her teeth.  And how she did this weird chewing thing, almost like she was chewing on a rubberband.  He looked in her mouth and said “yep, there it is” and she’s got a very bad molar and behind it is some tissue, he explained what it was, I just don’t know how to repeat what he told me. But end result was she’s got a polyp growing behind the bad tooth.  It’s very red and very angry looking.  And that’s what she’s probably chewing on. He said it’s definitely causing problems.  He’s still concerned about her kidney values but said one way or the other, we’ll get the tooth problem taken care of.  If her creatinine is below three (it was 3.3 last test and he remarked about how much better she’s looking now than she was then), she’ll get a dental. If it’s not, they’ll do a thing where he’ll just extract that one tooth, masking her down for the time it takes to remove it. 

She’s very laid back and after taking the blood sample for the renal value recheck, when he brought her back in to the examining room, he said “she’d have taken her own blood if we’d let her”. 

She was very glad to be home.

      Sunday, February 07, 2010

11:02 AM - 02/07/2010

The topic: Laughing…

I took my coffee cup back into the kitchen and saw a trail of liquid on the floor.  Brian was walking around holding Miss Elizabeth, who got her fluids this morning. 

I wondered outloud about the trail.  I asked Brian if he’d brought something that dripped through the house.  Nope.

I said “it’s on your shoes” and he looked down and sure enough, there were drips of whatever on his shoes.

Then he says, with some alarm, “it must be from Miss!”  He puts her on the coffee table “I’m sorry, Miss E., I’m sorry!”  This has never happened before.  I’m not sure it’s happened now. Because cat skin closes quickly (that’s why so many cats get absesses after a bite) and how would it drip this much?

I clean up the trail. I walked into the laundry room and saw the blanket that we put on top of the food cover.  I touched it. It was wet!  I said “you brought the blanket in” and Brian said “yes, it was soaking wet.” 

I just look at him.  You can see it as it sinks in. 

It was the blanket that was dripping, not Miss Elizabeth.  *lol*

He just shook his head.  “I already forgot I’d brought it in.”  I said “you owe Miss an apology” and he picked her up and smooched her.


      Tuesday, February 09, 2010

08:12 AM - 02/09/2010

The topic: I’ve gotta say it…

Carl’s Jr has some of the stupidest (?...most stupid?) commercials I’ve ever seen. 

The one a few years back where the idiot guy put an unripe avocado in a blender, skin and all, to make his own guacamole.  Every time I saw it, I yelled at the television.  Then, there was the hot chick on the beach in a bikini eating a drippy burger.   Yeah, just where you want to eat a messy cheeseburger is on the beach, with sand.  Let’s have a nice big gust of wind come along, see how yummy that cheeseburger is then.  And let’s not forget the drippy sauce on the hot bod.  Now it’s covered in sand, too.  Shudder….

Now, it’s the guy ordering a grilled cheese sandwich and Carl’s fix for ordering off the child’s menu is ordering a grilled cheese “for adults”.  It’s got a huge burger patty on it!  If I’m in the mood for a grilled cheese sandwich, please….hold the beef!

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

08:18 AM - 02/09/2010

The topic: Vet called with results

Of Miss Elizabeth’s renal panel.  Her creatinine value dropped from 3.3 to 3! This is most excellent news!  He said I was doing a “good job”.  What?  Giving her fluids?  Because that’s all I’m doing, people do it all the time. 

Well, I guess some people can’t do it, when we were there Saturday, they told us about Miss lookalike, 18 years old, mean, that has to be brought to the vet on a daily basis for fluids and it takes three of them to do it.  Two people hold the cat still, one person administers the fluids. 

So, Miss has an appointment on Thursday to get that tooth removed.  No food after midnight, I’m to give her fluids before I bring her in.  And it will be the gas mask on, tooth out, gas mask off. No major cleaning, just the one tooth removal.

Even though it sounds safe enough, I’m scared.

      Wednesday, February 10, 2010

12:17 PM - 02/10/2010

The topic: Our Disneyland annual passports expire on 12-25

If you renew online, before the expiration date, you save $20.00 on each pass, provided it’s one of the higher end passports. 

We get the premium.  The most expensive you can get (here in Southern California). We get entry into either park 365 days of the year and we get free parking.  Doesn’t matter what we’re driving, we get free parking.  If we drove a big ass motorhome into the lot, we’d get free parking.  As it is, parking for just a regular vehicle is $14.00.

Well, a couple of years ago, it started that we could also use the rewards from our Disney Chase Rewards card.  I did this back in 2008, it offset a good portion of the cost of the passes. And I intended on doing it last year.  I waited until the very last minute to order my rewards card so I would get as many rewards dollars as possible.

The card didn’t get here before the 25th.  It got here the week after.  Imagine my surprise to find out I could no longer renew online.  I’d have to pay for brand new passports.  No twenty buck discount.  I had a sad.

I went over to one of the many Disney forums and asked about a grace period for passport renewal. There is a thirty day period, but you have to renew at the park.  You have to do it in person.  We’d made plans to go up one of the first weeks of January.  I really wanted to go when it was raining.  On our walk the morning of January 11th, Brian said “let’s go to Disneyland today”.  I said no, let’s go next week when it’s raining. But when I got home, I found out one of my friends was going to be there for her birthday, so at the last minute, we decided to go up.

I gathered all of my Disney related stuff.  We were going to try to get the cost of the passes down as much as we could. We still had our birthday rewards cards (being annual passholders and going on our birthdays, we got merchandise cards for the amount of a day pass, good for a year).  I had my Chase Rewards card.  I went armed with the renewal forms.

We had to pay to park, which we would try to get refunded.  Since the passports would be backdated, we really shouldn’t have to spring for parking.

I looked at the ticket prices.  Premium passes were now $439.00 each.  It had gone up $10.00 since the beginning of the year. So, to get new ones would cost $878.00.  A nice chunk of change.  I’d tried to get Brian to get one of the cheaper passes, but he didn’t want to.  He liked being able to go whenever he wanted, even though we don’t go during the summer.

We got up to the window and I explained the situation. I handed over the forms.  I asked about the $20.00 discount per pass.

Here’s what happened. 

We were charged what was on the form.

$429.00 x 2 (the cost of the passes) - $40.00 (discount per pass for paying *koff* early) = $818.00

$818.00 - $274.00 (Disney Chase rewards) = $544.00

$544.00 - $72.00 (my bd rewards) - $69.00 (Brian’s bd rewards) = $403.00

We ended up paying $403.00 for two premium annual passports.  An $878.00 value!

And we got our $14.00 cash for the parking.

It was a great day!


      Thursday, February 11, 2010

07:00 AM - 02/11/2010

The topic: I hate right now….

Because poor little Miss Elizabeth is sitting on my bathroom counter waiting for her breakfast, which isn’t going to be there today.

The only thing she’s getting this morning is fluids, then a trip to TED, where this afternoon, she’ll have that bad tooth pulled.

Well, at least she won’t have to be there late to come out of the anesthesia, like the other cats are, since they’re not putting her way under, just enough to do what they’ve gotta do.

My poor Miss E.

07:03 AM - 02/11/2010

The topic: Got a call yesterday

from the place where Bart was put to sleep.  His remains are back.  Something else I need to do.

03:45 PM - 02/11/2010

The topic: Miss E is home

She was sent home with some pain meds, three times a day, there are six treatments.  She gets her first one tonight.

But she seems to be doing fine.  Alert, which is good.  And she’s worrying her mouth, but don’t we all after a dental?  It will be interesting to see how long it is before she’s back to eating dry food. Even though she should stay on moist.

      Friday, February 12, 2010

10:55 AM - 02/12/2010

The topic: It’s a beautiful day

and a high pressure zone is building over southern California which will make for some really nice weather.  According to the report I heard this morning, temps might get into the 80s this weekend. Woohoo!

I liked the rain, but it’s nice to have a drying out period, especially since we’ve gotten so MUCH rain in the past month and a half.

Even though it’s under 60° right now, I’ve got all of the doors and windows open.  I like airing out the house on a daily basis, if I can. Even though I keep the litterboxes clean and the other inappropriate urine areas cleaned up, airing out the house always helps.  (There’s the cat furniture that doesn’t clean as easily as tile and cement, for one thing…when we get a warmer spell, I’ll most likely get the little green clean machine out and spend hours just sitting and going over the bad areas…thanks, Katie Boogins…)

So, Miss E isn’t eating tons just yet, she ate a half a can of Fancy Feast this morning, but I do believe that her mouth is feeling a lot better.  Why? Because this morning she was laying on a little area rug and rubbing and rubbing the side of her face where the tooth was removed on the nap.  Like “oh, this feels fine….”  She was so happy. It’s been a while since she could do anything on that side of her face without pain. 

And as soon as she saw the sun shining on her favorite little cat chair outside (she was watching…I watched her watch, the chair was in shadow most of the morning when the sun was behind the trees), she was out the door and right now, she’s curled up in that chair, enjoying the day.

I love these guys.

      Saturday, February 13, 2010

03:46 PM - 02/13/2010

The topic: Feeders were empty

So, I had to go get food.  I mentioned this to Brian this morning and he reminded me that I needed to get Bart, too.


I went to Santee for food (the light gods were in a bad mood today, they let me stop at just about every light there was to stop at), tried to buy seven bags of Felidae, but they only had three.  Boo!  Went over to Michael’s craft store, I had a 50% off coupon, but the item I purchased was on sale already, so the coupon didn’t work.  Boo!

From there I headed over to CostCo, got frozen fish, potatoes and avocados.  Then I went into El Cajon to pick up Bart’s remains.  Luckily the place wasn’t busy.  When she handed me the bag, she said to be careful, there’s a loose part and it might break.  I thanked her and walked out thinking “WTF, they gave me something that’s almost broken?”  I wasn’t happy.

Then I headed over to Del Taco, then came home.  I was drinking diet soda and munching on some fries when I decided to open the bag and see what was so delicate that I’d break it if I wasn’t careful.  I know it’s a wooden box with his remains and his name carved on the top and I’ve never had the admonishment to be careful before.  

At this point I’m wanting the red lights and the light gods were still against me (which was working to my advantage).  I opened the bubble wrap and saw what was so delicate. It was a cast of Bart’s paw.  Okay, I’ve been pretty good about not breaking down since we had him euthanized.  No  sobs or teary eyed conversations.  But I started to cry when I saw this.  They should have warned me what was in the box.

When I got home, I opened the card that came with it. There was some of his fur in a little baggy. 

Gee whiz…..


      Monday, February 15, 2010

07:41 AM - 02/15/2010

The topic: Why do people have to be so unpleasant?

I post on a forum.  There are people on that forum who’ve been around the internet as long as me.  I’ve posted with these people for close to fifteen years now.

Recently, the admin banned fundraising for the community.  Because there were complaints about it.  I’m sure the majority of us on the board had no idea who was complaining.  As far as I remember, we were just surprised that someone objected to it so much that it got stopped.  After all these years, it was a forbidden topic. 

There was no on the board openly complaining, it was all to the administrator and the administrator apparently got tired of it and banned fundraising from that forum.  The current admin does not like to be bothered with complaints and this was her way of dealing with it.  I picked up the slack and made a forum especially for fundraising over at Benny’s, it wasn’t a big deal.  The fundraising has helped many people over the years.  Helped with vet bills, helped uplift spirits, even helped one person from losing her home.

Recently, it was to help a woman with a seriously ill cat.  Her heart cat.  Her special cat.  There was a strong chance that the cat would never get better, but many of us thought she should at least know for sure and not spend the rest of her life wondering if there would have been a different outcome if she’d only had the finances to pay for the tests her cat needed.

We raised the money. She got her cat tested.  It was bad news.  But she knew.  She knew it was out of her hands.  There are some things that money won’t make go away.  I think we’ve all had that happen to us.  It was little consolation, but she at least had some peace of mind.

It’s over and done, the cat has long since gone to the bridge.

Now, some of us are familiar with sub-q fluids and how they can be a lifesaver.  A cat was in distress, the owner took the cat to the vet, the vet said there’s a problem with the liver (quite possibly due to an adverse reaction to flea treatment) and to give the cat sub-q fluids to help keep her hydrated and the system flushed out.  In time, it would most likely help the cat overcome the liver problem. Well, the cat is semi-feral, the woman has health issues herself.  And giving the fluids is an ordeal, but she’s doing it because she wants to give her cat a chance to survive the liver problem. 

One of the long-time posters, one who isn’t really well received, because many of her posts are thoughtless and uncaring in their wording, she’s not the most tactful being on earth, to put it lightly, said “I will probably incur the wrath of many for saying this, but I wouldn’t give subQs to a cat who was this resistant. I don’t think the benefit is all that great and why ruin everyone’s quality of life in the meantime? This board is frequented by people who will go to the end of the earth to get one more hour of life for their cat. I am not one of them. I’m not suggesting withholding antibiotics—just that it isn’t necessary to do absolutely everything that might possibly help. If the cat has liver disease, the prognosis is not good anyway—find it hard to believe that the fluids are going to make the difference.”

Someone called her on her bullshit and she replied:

“Don’t you think you’re overreacting here? I don’t mean ____ is going to the ends of the earth, but you know as well as I do that we see it fairly often on this board. I won’t name names. But there’s a group think mentality that says unless you spend your very last dollar and your last ounce of energy trying to keep that cat alive, there’s something wrong. We’ve taken up COLLECTIONS for cats who were clearly close to the end. That’s what I’m talking about. And I’ll stick by my statement. As to who has gone too far as far as what they wrote, look in the mirror. And back off.”

Aha!  “We’ve taken up COLLECTIONS for…”

She goes on with her belief that fluids aren’t all that helpful for a cat.  I know differently.  I know how much better a dehydrated cat feels twenty-four hours after getting fluids. My guess is she sucks at giving them, therefore they’re a waste of time.

But, the telling comment was about the collections. And I think we’ve found our complainer.  I think we’ve found the root of the banned topic.  This poster.

I don’t like her. I’ve not cared for her for a very, very long time.  She had a private board and I posted there for a while.  Around that time, my nephew was called to the middle east.  I posted a picture and asked for prayers for his wellbeing and safety. She hijacked my thread and turned it into a tirade against the Bush administration.  I wasn’t making a political statement, I just wanted some support for my nephew. I asked her to remove my post. She refused.  I switched out his picture to a very rude graphic, aimed at her (the picture was on my website so it was easy to do, it was just a linked picture).  I left her forum to never return.

She’s posted that she’ll leave for days on end, leaving out bowls of dry food and water, not having anyone come by to check on the wellbeing of her cats. And I know at least once there was a housekeeping problem (apartment living).

As for taking up collections, what business is it of hers?  If I want to spend my money here or there, or give it to this person or that, for whatever reason, what business is it of hers?  I don’t like people discussing how we spend our money.  It’s one of the reasons I told Brian that we would not borrow money from his mom, ever again (he did, to get his newest tractor, I wasn’t happy about it at all).  I understand when we had borrowed money, our lifestyle was fodder for discussion around the table.  How could we waste money going to Disneyland when we owed them money?  Hey, it’s not like we weren’t making the monthly payments, you know?  Nope, we need money, we’ll get it from the bank. They won’t make our lifestyle their business as long as they’re paid back on time.

And unless I tell you about my horrid financial position, I certainly don’t expect it to be a topic of conversation, you know?  If I discuss it with you, then I’m inviting comment.  But if I don’t, then stay the hell out of my business.

I just wish this woman would find a new place to hang.  Someone asked her if she had any idea how she appeared to others.  I don’t think she really cares.  Because she certainly does little to change.

06:36 PM - 02/15/2010

The topic: Back to the vet tomorrow

And tomorrow I’m taking Oliver in. Poor guy has been having a harder and harder time jumping up and this afternoon, he’s hardly jumping up at all and his back is very tender to the touch.

In case you don’t remember, Ollie was the cat we took in from our ex-pet sitter.  He belonged to her father-in-law, and had been hit by a car. Her FIL wouldn’t keep him in and she said she didn’t see leaving him there after having him taken care of. But he didn’t like her husband or her son (he didn’t like men), so she asked if we’d take him.  We said yes, his first night here was spent on Brian’s lap (so much for not liking men). 

His leg hadn’t been broken, but dislocated.  He was still pretty sore when he came to live here and I was able to get him in to an acupuncturist who did wonders for him.

But now, he’s not doing so good and tomorrow I’ll take him in to see if there’s any reason for his pain. Hopefully, it’s just temporary.

      Tuesday, February 16, 2010

09:36 AM - 02/16/2010

The topic: Some Miss E news…

She ate some Greenies yesterday with no problem.


12:49 PM - 02/16/2010

The topic: Today’s vet visit

The one I almost cancelled. I’m glad we went, me and Ollie.

He was a very good boy. He hasn’t been in since summer of 08, so, it’s good that we went.  He got a nice checkup (he’s nineteen, that always surprises me). His teeth have a little bit of tartar on them, but other than that, they look good.

Back in 08, he had bloodwork done and he had bloodwork done today.  His creatinine values dropped over a point!  They were 3.5, today they were 2.3! Yay!

He’s also gained weight, the vet said he has no problem with a CRF cat gaining weight.  He’s gained close to two pounds in a year’s time.

The x-rays weren’t so wonderful.  The disk where his tail bone connects to his backbone is compressed. Almost no room between the two bones.  Not good. The vet said it’s been like this for a while and something must have happened to aggravate it so that Ollie is in pain (I heard him screaming when they took the x-ray).  Ollie also has some arthritis in his front knees, but it’s not bad.

So, Ollie is on prednisilone, which isn’t bad for the kidneys like prednisone for two weeks. If that doesn’t work, there’s another med that Ollie can get.

Basically, a good news day. 

When I paid the bill I said I might as well just sign the bank account over to the vet clinic, with as much as I’ve spent there the past month.  *laughing*

But I’ll take good news.

      Thursday, February 18, 2010

10:18 AM - 02/18/2010

The topic: Internet forums

I've had one for years that is at my website http://www.catler.org. Besides the forums, I’ve also got a live chat set up.

I’m in the process of trying to get Benny’s CatFight forums busy again.  Once upon a time, it was a fairly busy set of forums, but has gone by the wayside as time goes by.

But I think now is the time to try to get Benny’s busy again.

It’s mostly for cat owners, but even if you don’t have a cat, but there are other forums available.  Like health matters, pet rescue transport help, posting photos, a recipe board… 

If you’re interested, please stop by.  And maybe stay a while.


      Friday, February 19, 2010

05:52 PM - 02/19/2010

The topic: Just spent $166 on cat food.

I bought three fifteen pound bags of Felidae last Saturday.  I wanted seven, so they put in an order for additional. It was delivered to the store today. 

Michelle called me and said “I have an offer for you.  I bought this Felidae Cat and Kitten Grain free and it’s not selling. I want to get rid of it.  I’ll sell it to you for less than you pay for the regular Felidae, do you want it?”  Never one to pass up cat food, I said “sure”.

We got nine four pound bags.  She sold the food to us at $1.35 a pound.  We got four fifteen pound bags of the regular.  With tax it was $165.91.

The cats like it.  We shouldn’t need to buy dry food until April.  I hope.

      Saturday, February 20, 2010

02:15 PM - 02/20/2010

The topic: If you complain about

how very, very broke you are, how you just can’t afford anything, don’t be surprised when people start scrutinizing your spending habits.

Just thinking out loud.

tales from the parkside
02:18 PM - 02/20/2010

The topic: My mom

passed away two years ago today.

Has it been that long?

      Sunday, February 21, 2010

12:42 PM - 02/21/2010

The topic: Next week at this time

I’ll either be on my way or actually be at the Disneyland Resort in beautiful Anaheim, California.

Yes, boys and girls, it’s time for the third annual ACIGNO* trip.  Three days and two nights with my home girl, Naf. 

Disneyland will be open until midnight on Sunday, DCA open until ten. Sunday will be the “whatever” day. Monday will be our “extreme Disney” day, as Naf likes to call it.  On last year’s extreme day, we did twenty three rides and we didn’t get there early and we didn’t stay until closing. We also stopped and had a nice sit down lunch at Cafe Orleans.  Rain has a way of emptying the park.

This year, our best meal will be early afternoon at the Blue Bayou (reservations have been made).  We’ve got a hankering for a Blue Bayou Monte Cristo sandwich.  This coming week, I need to roll coins to pay for it.  *laughing*

Brian will stay home and feed the kitteh cats. And clean the litterboxes.  And give them all lots of love.

*ACIGNO: “Ai, chihuahua, it’s girls night out!” 

      Monday, February 22, 2010

09:09 AM - 02/22/2010

The topic: I just called animal control

When we go walking in the mornings, on Mondays and Fridays, we pass a certain house.  The people there moved out, we used to love their dog, a big black fuzzy thing, maybe a chow?  I don’t know dog breeds at all.  We used to talk to the dog, this had to be one of the happiest dogs we’d see on our walks, we called him “Happy Dog”.  As in “hello, there, Happy Dog, how are you today?”

Anyway, they moved out, there’s a “for rent” sign on the fence.  Earlier this month we talked about an aquarium they had left behind, how nasty the water was.  This is a concern because we’ve got West Nile virus in the neighborhood and stagnant water is a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes. 

Well, last week Brian says “there’s a turtle swimming around in the water”.  I thought he was joking.  This morning, I saw it. It was swimming to the top, looking for food or air, I don’t know, but there’s nothing for it to sit on to be out of the water.  Was it always this full or was it the rains? Doesn’t really matter, nobody is feeding the thing, the water is nasty and it’s just not a good thing.

So, we took down the address and I called animal control just a few minutes ago. The recording said they were closed for the day, but if it was an emergency to press 1.  I did.

She asked my name, my phone number, got some information about the residence, did they have a dog (she was using this to look up owner’s name, I suppose), what kind?  Big black fuzzy thing, maybe a chow?  I have zero knowledge of dog breeds.  So, someone will be going out today to pick up this poor abandoned turtle. I hope it finds a good home.

11:56 AM - 02/22/2010

The topic: Turtle update

Animal control called from the house and asked where was the animal and I told her.  I explained the situation, talked about how dirty the water was. She wasn’t sure if she could just take it at this point or they’d have to contact the owner. 

A little while later, she called me again and here’s the situation. The people who moved out are having the people next door take care of it until the people who moved out move into their new home (they’re buying a home). With all of the rain we’ve been getting, that’s put them behind.  But the new place has a pond where the turtle will live, instead of in an aquarium. The turtle should be gone by the end of the weekend. 

The AC officer told me to feel free to call next week if the turtle is still there.  She expressed her concern over the condition of the water to the woman who is feeding the turtle, pretty much telling her that that amount of algae doesn’t happen in a short period of time.

So, we’ll see what happens next week.

I’m happy the turtle might have a new home, but I loathe his living conditions right now

      Tuesday, February 23, 2010

10:00 AM - 02/23/2010

The topic: I try so hard to get rid of the smell

I even have a stack of those white shop towels I use for cleaning the floors and counters where the cats have peed.  I use a couple every day or so, more if the situation calls for it.  I use Nature’s Miracle.  I keep on top of the litterboxes.

Yet, sometimes when we walk into the house, the smell is overpowering (to me, anyway) and I just get so discouraged. 

Yesterday I cleaned. Washed the sofa and futon covers and the towels I have draped over the front of the armrests.  I cleaned the floors of urine, pulled out the cedar chest and washed under that (seems I’m doing that a couple of times a day now, since I realized that the pee was going under it).  I thought I’d done a good job.

We went to dinner with Brian’s family last night and when we got home and walked into the house, I almost wanted to cry.  It smelled. All the work I’d done and it smelled.  I walked into the laundry room and it hit my like a ton of bricks.

You know those white shop towels I use for cleaning the cat urine? When I’m done with them, I put them in a laundry basket in the laundry room.  And sometimes, they’re still damp. 

Guess where the smell was coming from?  Yep.  My cleaning towels.  Damn. I just don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m not going to wash them until I’ve got enough to make it worth running the washing machine.  I’m thinking about a different storage idea.  I put them in the wash last night (there were only about eight of them).  Before we went on our walk this morning, I put those clean towels in the dryer and put the micro-fiber wash towels in the washer and got those started.

And when we walked in the door from our walk?  No smell.  None.


      Thursday, February 25, 2010

07:41 AM - 02/25/2010

The topic: So, I’m sitting at my computer the other night

And Spot jumps up on the desk.  I give him a few chin scratches and he goes over to Brian’s side of the desk and pees on Brian’s computer.  Right in front of me. I yelled at him, told him to get down and cleaned the mess up.

Last night, I was in the bathroom (weak bladder, when we’re at Disney in a group, the tease me about calling the restroom “the Dianne ride”) and he came in and sprayed the cupboard doors.  Right in front of me. And guess what?

The urine wasn’t yellow, the urine was pink.  *sigh*  He has a bladder infection. 

I showed Brian the papertowels I used to clean it up. This isn’t a good time since I’ll be gone for a few days.  Poor Brian will be stuck pilling him.  I tested him this morning with a pill pocket and he ate the pill down.  Good.

Later that night, I picked up the crock with water, since it was dirty (there are a couple of cats who put their paws in the water, don’t ask me why).  It needed to be washed. Anyway, next to that was a spray mark on the side of the tub and bright red urine on the floor.

Probably Spot.  At least he has a strong flow, that’s good, he’s not in danger of blocking.  He should be feeling a little better by the time I leave, the antibiotics usually take three days before there’s any improvement.

I was wondering why he was fighting with the other cats.  That’s just not like him. Now, I know.

      Sunday, February 28, 2010

06:09 PM - 02/28/2010

The topic: Short trip to Disneyland…

I pulled out of the driveway this afternoon. The time on the clock was 1:08.  At 1:27, less than twenty minutes after I left the house, I called home. Brian answered.  I said, repeatedly, “the car is totalled”. 

By this time I was obviously out of the car.  There were three or four CHPs around.  They were taking statements from me and the guy who caused this to happen.   I was shaking like a leaf.

click for a larger pic

You can see the skidmarks on the road. I can't thank God enough that there was little traffic this afternoon and the freeway wasn't busy at all.

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You can see from the skidmarks that my car was going sideways when it hit the side of the road. Then I went for a couple of rollovers.  Very interesting, rollovers.  Both front passenger windows were blown out.  Brian said both tires on the passenger side popped loose on the rim.  It landed with the driver’s side up.  All the side airbags deployed, the steering wheel airbag did not.  My head was never near the front of the car.  I remember reaching to turn the key in the ignition when I realized the car was still running.  I think the CD player might have been working, too.  It was a stretch, but I turned the key.  I couldn’t get it out.   I couldn’t get the seatbelt undone.  I was yelling “hey!  hey!  Help!  Get me out of here!” and I remember reaching up with my hand and waving it. A man came down and was yelling “are you okay? are you okay!” and I said “yes, get me out of here!”

He said “I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you”.  I wasn’t really paying all that much attention to what he was saying at that point, I was hanging from the seat by my seatbelt.  He had to climb on top of the car and reach in and unbuckle me, then I had to maneuver out the driver’s side window.  I was actually a little worried about stepping on the seats.  But when I got out of the car and on land, I didn’t have any glass or anything on me.  I seemed to be unscathed.  Shaken, but in one piece. 

When the police were asking me what happened, I told them that I was just driving and I noticed the truck in the lane to my left (the fast lane) pulling into my lane.  I turned the wheel to the right and I guess I went just a little too hard because I lost control of the car.  The CHP officer asked me if the other driver turned on his signal.  I told him I didn’t know, I couldn’t see it.  He said “oh, he was right next to you?” and I said “yes”.  I was in his blind spot (a good reason to not rely 100% on mirrors).  He asked me how fast I was going and I said “I had it on cruise control, 68 MPH”.  (Three miles over the speed limit.)

The police had taken both of our statements and the driver of the truck left after giving his insurance information to the CHP.   Then Brian showed up and he surveyed the damage.  The tow truck showed up and it took a couple of hours to get the car out.  Brian had emptied it of everything and that was in his truck.  

Sadly, the donuts that we got for Jolene ended up inedible.  Brian just tossed them for the animals. 

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You can see the turned up dirt in this picture, where the car was in a sideways roll. I know I went over a couple of times, but I have no idea how I ended up facing the opposite direction.

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I also took out some of the U.S. Navy's fence.

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I'm lucky. I know that. This ain't the purtiest picture I've ever taken, but it's one of the best. Because I'm alive!

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Brian’s looking up stuff on new cars now. He’s bummed because of the value of my car.  It was low mileage and it excellent condition, yet it’s not worth much on blue book, I guess. It’s totalled, we need to get a new car.

I told him to not get real upset just yet, not until we’ve spoken to the insurance company. After all, the other driver was also insured and he’s the one who caused the accident.

I just thank God I’m okay. I thank God it was a light traffic day.  This could have turned out so much worse than it did. 

I’m alive.  I’m starting to get sore, though. And tomorrow I’ll be visiting the chiropractor.  But I’m pretty sure there’s no extra damage done.  Not 100% sure, but pretty sure.

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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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