bunchofgrapes: (Cirque - Rainbow)
My special kitty boy, Harry, passed away yesterday. I had hoped he would make it to his 12th birthday but as it was, he barely made it to mine. He was ready; I wasn't. But when I finally realized it wasn't about me, I made the decision on March 20th at 2pm. I wrote the following when I first found out that he had cancer. It was a Friday and I was at work. Thankfully, it was a slow day because I cried for a full hour as I typed most this up. I'm adding to it now because I want to remember his last days.

My Baby Boy )
bunchofgrapes: (Paul G - teh hawtness)
Not sure what has gotten into me but I've now finished two fics over the last six months. First there was She Sells Sanctuary in the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea fandom and just last week I posted to final chapter to a Brass/CSI fic called Shelter from the Storm. This one is a sequel to Forgiveness and features the return of Annie Kramer. I haven't finished two fics this close together since 2007. As painful as it was, changing jobs really was a good thing.

In other news first it was the right elbow, now it's the left. I have a surgery date of April 8th. I guess my left elbow was jealous and wanted a matching scar. I'm just a tad paranoid of getting another frozen shoulder so I'm glad I'm not waiting too terribly long but the freaking elbow hurts so much that I may take a kitchen knife and cut it off between now and April.

And lastly, my kitty-boy, Harry, the oldest of the trio, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in early January. He's on prednisone now and that's helping him eat. My goal is to get him to his 12th birthday on April 28th. He's lost some weight but other than that and the spit ups he does if he eats to fast, he's doing okay at the moment. I was pretty gutted when I found out and I'll be gutted when I lose him - he's been such an awesome cat - but at least I can enjoy the time he has left. And if he's still around after my surgery, I'll have four weeks to spend at home with him.

Cat Tales

Aug. 12th, 2013 05:46 pm
bunchofgrapes: (kitty - focused)
I have three cats: Harry and Sophie, both 10 years old, and Tucker, who's 6. Tucker has always kind of been the odd cat out only because there's one of me and Harry and Sophie are so clingy. I am never, ever alone and the minute I settle onto the couch or chair for any length of time, I have Sophie curled up next to me and Harry on me like I'm a recliner. Tucker usually lays on the floor by my feet but I've often caught him watching the other two. That's what he does: watches and learns. Tucker is a Maine Coon so he's a big boy. And he's probably the smartest cat I've ever had.

From Harry Tucker learned how to put his paw on my arm while I'm at the computer to get my attention and to pet him. He also learned to fetch, although not as well as Harry, and to head-butt doors to open them. I wish he'd have learned hygiene from Harry because Harry is Mr. Fastidious.

Sophie has always been my snuggle kitty. When I sit in the big chair in the living room, no matter where she is, she knows and is at my side. Lately, I've seen Tucker watching how I interact with her when she snuggles up next to me in the chair so last night, as I was getting ready to watch "Breaking Bad" (holy crap!) and before Sophie could stake her claim, Tucker jumped onto the chair and snuggled up next to me. That's the first time he's ever done it so it really was a surprise to me. Not sure what I'm going to do though when Sophie figures out he's taken her spot in the chair. She tolerates Tucker but he's never been high on her list so if he's up there, she'll keep her distance. I guess this means I need to get a bigger chair.
bunchofgrapes: (Brassness w/tongue)
Kathryn Joosten died and that makes me very sad. She was easily the best reason for watching Dssperate Housewives.

Click here for the rest of the randomness )
bunchofgrapes: (Adm Nelson - sparklers)
I am officially on vacation! The next four days I can completely ignore the Blackberry. On Monday I can mostly ignore it. We're in the middle of a re-org so I'm sure I'll get an email or four that I'll need to answer.

My vacation will be full of fun things like take two cats to the vet, touch up the wall where the stupid cleaning people scuffed it up (just had the place painted too), run errands like drop off and pick up dry cleaning, rake leaves, and gather up stuff to take to charity thrift store. Envious, aren't you? On the plus side there are five Caps games over the next eight days. I do love hockey.

Every year for Thanksgiving I make sweet potato casserole. It's got a topping that's full of brown sugar and pecans and it really is good. However, given that I've cut back on the sugar, I wanted to change it up and make the topping without the brown sugar. A quick search on the internet and I found an awesome recipe that calls for grinding up pecans until they're very fine, adding in a little natural sweetener and a little butter. I roasted the sweet potatoes and put them into the food processor with cinnamon, nutmeg and some egg whites and honestly, if I didn't have to make this casserole, I'd have made sweet potato pie. This looks to be really, really delicious. I'll bake it up tomorrow and see how it goes.

I will now regale you with tales of cat idiosyncrasies )
bunchofgrapes: (cat and mouse)
Two weeks ago one of my co-workers, Kris, had to put her cat to sleep. He had cancer and they tried for as long as they could to treat him but he was just too sick so they made the decision to end his suffering. Kris was pretty upset by it and it got me to thinking about my guys, how much they mean to me and how devastated I'd be if anything happened to them.

When you're single you get very wrapped up in your pets, dog or cat. Ok, maybe it's just me but from what I've seen, it's mostly true. They are your companions, your furkids, your best friends. Tucker and Harry meet me at the front door every night. If I don't give them a scratch and say hello first thing after I walk in the door, they follow me around the house until I stop and pay attention to them. If I'm upset (crying, not yelling - that freaks them out), I will either have a kitty extending a paw at me (Harry likes to touch my arm or my face if he's on my lap) or a kitty will get up from wherever they are and come and sit by me (Sophie and Tucker). We have TV night where one lies across my lap, one lies at my side, and one is at my feet. They make sure I am never, ever a lone in any room in the house. Ever. They alert me to someone at the door and strange noises. Harry once alerted me that the security peg on the sliding glass door had popped up. Scared the crap out of me. They protect me from evil critters like insects and that mouse who likes to hang out under the dishwasher (he's never made an appearance but I know he's there because Harry camps out in the kitchen).

I truly am blessed to have these guys in my life and every time I think about how they came to be with me, I just have to wonder if the big guy upstairs had a hand in it. When I lost my kitty, Basil, I thought I'd never be able to find another kitty like him, who would love and adore me as much as he did. I was wrong. I have three.
bunchofgrapes: (Lights)
Today my aunt turned 7. Okay, she's really 63 and her birthday is in February but it's been seven years since her heart transplant so today is her heart birthday. Needless to say, I am an organ donor. If you're not already, please consider it. You'll be doing a great thing for someone one day and they will thank you every day of their new life.

What's more fun than a cat in the hat? )
bunchofgrapes: (Lights)
This is going to be a long post with a lot of randomness. A lot has been going on in the month since I last posted and most of it is good.

First I'll start with the semi-scary )
bunchofgrapes: (Moon)
Ever had your cat find a spot in the carpet and then freak out over that spot? Roll around over it, paw at it, jump in a circle around it? Apparently, there is a place on the carpet near me that's got something special going on because two of the three have been rolling around on the spot all day. It's freaky but oh, so cat like.

I was all set to watch the OU-OSU game tonight. The channel guide says it's supposed to be on but the stupid ABC affiliate is showing Notre Dame-USC. I have compensated by watching "Midsomer Murders". As soon as I finish typing this, I'm going to watch "The Vice" and be in love with Ken Stott's Scottish accent.

Spent most of today trying to write. I'm having a tough time with this fic, mostly because I have no idea how it's going to end. If I don't know how it's going to end and have the ending written, I can't finish it. Not only that but I've kind of lost interest in it. So yeah, I need to figure out how it's going to end.

I still need goat cheese. Today my adventures outside the house took me as far as the recycling center. Probably won't make it to Wegman's or Whole Foods until Monday so my goat cheese need will have to wait. Recycling center was a bustling place today. Apparently the Thanksgiving holiday makes people want to recycle. I was there to get rid of one of my potential hoarding issues: boxes. For some reason I have a hard time getting rid of them but today I got a wild hair and tossed a ton of them. Well, recycle tossed. I feel like I actually accomplished something.

I really don't have much to say tonight. This is mostly just a "tick the box" entry because I really want to go watch "The Vice". Did I mention I'm in love with Ken Stott's voice.
bunchofgrapes: (Cirque - Rainbow)
Tucker came home yesterday. He's got a chicken butt from where they shaved him and a two inch scar on his belly where they had to insert a catheter into his bladder but he's beyond happy to be home. He's following me around the house and giving me his happy, chirpy meow. And this is before he's had his pain medicine. One thing I had to give enormous thanks for is that the only medicine he has to take is the pain stick. The doctor sent him home with two bottles of liquid Clavamox but Tucker and oral antibiotics (pill or liquid) don't go together. When Tucker had his first surgery, his regular vet suggested a two week antibiotic shot. It's a little more expensive than the liquid or pill but to not have to put your already traumatized pet through the misery of taking oral medication is worth any cost. So on the way home from the vet hospital, I called the regular vet and asked about the shot (vet hospital didn't have it). Vet had it and they were on my way home. Quick stop in, Tucker got the shot, boom that was done and I have to say, I was feeling very pleased that it all worked out so well. Yesterday, it was easy to tell he was in some pain, especially around the time he was due for the next pain stick. But after the shot he slept most of the day and night. Unfortunately, it meant he was restless most of the night. The other good thing for him is that he's got a soft e-collar instead of that awful hard collar. With the soft one, I can fold it down instead of up so it's not in his way so much but he still can't get to his sutures. So, little lion man is doing well and I'm happy he's home and hopefully, on his way to no more problems.

John gets to go home today. I called my mom's cell and John actually answered. He sounds a lot better than he did when I spoke to him a couple of weeks ago. We spoke for just a few seconds before he handed off the phone to my mom and when she got on, she sounded surprisingly upbeat. Apparently, he was scheduled for a biopsy tomorrow but they can't do it because he's on aspirin and plavix. So he gets to go home for about a week. Then they will do a biopsy and once they know what kind of cancer it is, they'll know how to go from there. If it's one kind, they feel confident they can treat it with cancer so as weird as it sounds, we're all hoping it's that kind of cancer. He's on steroids right now and that's reducing the swelling on his brain, which was causing his inability to talk and eat. Also, the doctor took John's youngest son, also an alcoholic, and told him that under no circumstances should he give his father alcohol. Apparently, that has been an issue with John trying to stop. I hope whatever the doctor said to Matt put the fear of God into him too because he's heading down the same path as his dad.

So, today I have a lot to be thankful for. I have some pretty great, supportive friends. Tucker is on the mend, the other two are safe and healthy, and I am loved by all of them. John gets to spend Thanksgiving at home with my mom and seems to be doing better, despite what lies ahead for him. My aunt is healthy and as always, there for my mom and the family. I have a wonderful next door neighbor who brought me a container of her excellent potato salad. We (my dad, stepmother and I) are going to the Inn at Kelly's Ford for Thanksgiving so it's over the river and through the woods and somebody else cooks (this one makes my stepmother happy).

To all of you out there, Happy Thanksgiving! Or Happy Thursday if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving!
bunchofgrapes: (kitty - focused)
Well today went a way I never planned. Tucker had an appointment this morning with the surgeon who did his Perineal Urethrostomy. His regular vet wanted me to take him to the surgeon because of all the issues he continues to have. He has such a narrow urethra that she was concerned he had some scar tissue that was causing more blockage. So we went. And he stayed. I had already kept food and water from him because they were going to have to put him under to insert a catheter but about 15 minutes later the surgeon came to tell me that he had a lot of difficulty getting the catheter in. He confirmed what Dr. W feared. He said the concern is that his urethra is so narrow that any amount of debris in his urine could cause a blockage, something he thinks is already happening and that's why Tuck is straining so much. He said that it's going to progressively get worse however, there is a new procedure they can do. He explained and all I heard was trimming the tip of a bone to give the urethra more room. He says cats who've had this surgery have very good results and given Tuck's age, it's something we should consider sooner rather than later.

I didn't hesitate. Tucker was already there. He was ready for surgery now and I'm home the next four days so I can keep an eye on him. It was a no-brainer. I asked if he could do the surgery today. He could so that's how Tucker spent his day. The surgeon called me around 3:30 to say that Tucker was out of surgery and in recovery. He said the surgery was a little more difficult than he expected but everything went very well and he didn't foresee any complications. I pick him up tomorrow around 1pm.

On the way home from the vet I started to think. When I first saw Tucker he was in a cage with his brother. His brother was very laid back. Tucker was squalling his head off. His brother was called Pauly Walnuts, after the Sopranos character. Tucker's name was Benjamin. I don't know why I picked "Benjamin" but I did. Another couple came in to adopt Pauly Walnuts but they really wanted to keep the brothers together. Thankfully, the women running the rescue really liked me (as a pet owner) so they didn't go back on their agreement with me. What made me wonder today is if Pauly has this same condition? And then I was thinking what if I hadn't adopted Tucker? How would someone else have handled this? The surgeries he's had have not been cheap and I know not everyone has the resources or the inclination to spend this kind of money on surgery for a pet. Would they have put Tucker down? If Pauly had this same condition, is he still alive or did they have to put him down?

So with Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, I'd like to say that I'm thankful for the day I walked into the Pet Store and for whatever reason, picked "Benjamin". And I'm thankful I have the means to give him what is hopefully a better quality of life.
bunchofgrapes: (Paul G - zzz)
I have been very cranky lately (no surprise if you read my previous post). And judging by the general attitude around here, I think most people who live in this area right now are also very cranky. Why? Because of this freaking heat! It's now the 25th of September and for the past 4 - 5 days it's been well over 90 degrees. In September. We should have the windows open. We should be enjoying cool temps at night. Instead my AC is still cranking away and the mosquitoes are still biting. Summer is my least favorite season so I hate this more than I can say. It just stirs up an inner rage that makes me want to punch things. And I know that's not good. Also, I need rain. Where some people have seasonal depression because of rain, I get it due to the lack of rain. Only I don't get depressed. I get angry. Like now. I think I actually feel a little better writing all that out. At least I did until I just heard on the weather that we could have more 90 degree days in October. I wanted to punch the stupid weatherman.

Now on to kitty TMI, hockey happiness, and a guy named Bill )

Oh, almost forgot, Happy Belated Birthday to [livejournal.com profile] smacky30! Hope you had a great day!
bunchofgrapes: (Brass/Catherine - searching)
Wow, I haven't done an LJ update since May 23rd? Say what?! This is definitely going to be a lot of catching up. It's funny because the other day I was thinking how many on my f'list seem to have disappeared (they aren't really gone; they just don't post any more) and here I'm guilty of the same thing. That made me wonder what changed? Were we all a lot less busy in previous years? Did we have more to say? Has the popularity of blogging declined? Has Twitter changed the way we communicate? No one has to tell me that priorities change but I do miss the days when LJ was popular and posting was prolific.

Since I haven't done an update in a while, this is going to be long but I'm going to do some fic pimping above the cut so even people who don't read behind the cut will see it. There aren't a lot of Brass fics out there and some of them quite frankly are dreadful. There are a couple though that I have to put in a good word for because they are excellent:

By Design by Sorsha711. I've pimped this one before and I'm at it again. It's an all hands on board casefile (serial killer) that is incredibly detailed and it's Brass and a very well-written OFC who stays nicely in the background and lets Jim be the heroic man. If you're looking for something to read over what's left of the long, hot summer, give it a shot. And if you're so inclined, leave her a review. It's pretty sad when fics not written nearly as well garner a lot more reviews. Oh, and while this hasn't been updated in a couple of months, I do know that she has every intention of updating. She had a little computer set back but once that's resolved, she'll be back at it.

Next up for fic rec's is an awesome Brass ficlet by [livejournal.com profile] scullyseviltwin. A while back she was looking for prompts, I tossed out Brass and hockey and she came up with this gem The Blue Line. It's short but packed full of amazing Brass goodness. Check it out.

Now on to all the other stuff.

Click here )
bunchofgrapes: (Annie Kramer - Uh huh)
I survived the trip to Oklahoma with little to no mom incidents.

I actually wish I'd stayed a little longer )
bunchofgrapes: (Paul G - zzz)
I think I'm really stretching for something to post now.

Just two more days... )
bunchofgrapes: (Paul G - profile)
It's too bad Russia never showed up for the game with Canada. I had high hopes for a good game but that was pathetic. I blame the whole team but the Russian coach gave the game away.

Hockey talk and other random thoughts )
bunchofgrapes: (Paul G - zzz)
Russia plays Latvia in hockey at midnight tonight. I might have to record the game. Watching China and Finland women's hockey. Now this is good stuff! Who knew China could play such exciting hockey? There's definitely more action between these two teams than I've seen before.

Tonight I am too boring to be of interest )
bunchofgrapes: (The Avengers - it's a gas)
Wow, it’s been forever since I did a regular post.

There will be much randomness within )
bunchofgrapes: (Cirque - Rainbow)
Dr. W called at 8:20am to say that Harry ate all his food and I cannot tell you all how relieved I was to hear that! He didn't eat anything all day yesterday but when she came in this morning, he had eaten all the RD (bland dry food) and all of the canned food. Boy got his appetite back! And (TMI alert) the squirts are gone! Whew!

He's still going to stay with Dr. W while I'm gone. He's taking about 4 different meds and she wants to make sure he is completely over it, but this went from a medical boarding to a spa getaway. She said they had him out and playing with a toy this morning and set him up so he can tunnel into the blankets in his little room. I know he'll love that.

Thanks so much to all of you. Maybe it was just a 'nature taking its course' thing but I really think all the good thoughts helped him. It sure as heck helped me!

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