flexagon: (racing-turtle)
Nala is home again! She has an Elizabethan collar (Cone of Shame), and is bumbling around the bedroom bumping it on stuff. Well, right now she's purring on sleeping [livejournal.com profile] heisenbug; she's alternating between angsty bumbling and very aggressive snuggling. To my unspeakable relief, her surgery went well on Monday, and pre-surgical scans did not show any masses or growths in her body besides the one we had removed (still being analyzed). So we get some time together, still. <3

It's a surreal evening here; we had a power outage more than an hour ago, and I've been working in the dark thanks to laptop battery, phone battery + tethering. The batteries and my own energy level are running out, though. Time to set the phone alarm clock, turn off the light switch in here and succumb gracefully.
flexagon: (catnip)
It's surgery time for my Nala, as she again has an enlarged anal gland and this time flushing didn't help. It feels to the vet like there's a mass. An irregular mass -- that word is always, always bad in a health context. So we're being referred to a specialist, who will see her for a surgical consultation on Monday at 9AM. That's about as soon as we could possibly hope for. Under the knife she will go, my 18.5-year-old kitty, at some point after that, and probably only then will I find out if the gland contained an abscess, a benign growth or a cancerous tumor.

Watching her jump around between the giant bean bag and the cat condo we recently sprung for, it sure doesn't seem like she's very close to checking out. Surgery is scary though. General anesthesia is bad enough, and surgery can so easily lead to "we didn't get it all" or "we found something else while we were in there".
flexagon: (putt putt putt)
I'm worried about Nala, my 18-year-old tabby cat. A week ago Wednesday they told me she'd lost a lot of weight and they found a bump on her rear... it seemed to be an infected anal gland, and they flushed it out somehow and shot her up with antibiotic and told me to feed her a kidney-care diet. (Her kidney numbers, which had been holding steady, were also worse).

A week later the bump, still there but smaller, drained only what seemed to be clear cystic fluid. We decided to just let it be, if it wasn't seeming to bother her -- come back in two months and we'll check on the kidney values, they said. But today the bump is bigger than ever, and she doesn't want to sit on it, and she might even be walking a little funny. The vet, of course, is closed until Monday, and maybe even then since it's a holiday, so I guess we'll watch it for a while.

Even before today's bump expansion, I was realizing a few things: that she's always going to be skinny from now on, and it will never again be a year or even six months between vet visits. My kitty, who was with me pretty much all through my 20s and 30s, is not going to be there for my 40s. The vet's not talking about decline, death or even fluids, but I feel like I do in an airplane when it starts to go downward and the pilot hasn't announced the descent yet.
flexagon: (racing-turtle)
My beautiful ocicat turned one year old yesterday.


Kittenhood may be over, but she doesn't seem quite full-grown yet. So I guess she is a teenager cat. Still the baby of the household though. :-)

She celebrated by sleeping and sprawling in front of the fireplace all day, while I worked from home due to snowstorm. Later on my co-worker came over to play with her, and we got fries from the local falafel place, and she got the lid of the tiny mayonnaise container to lick and move all over the floor.
flexagon: (catnip)
I took Nala to the vet this morning because I thought she had something in her eye; it was watery and she was squinting. The vet didn't see anything in the eye, and we JUST got done treating Hypercube for conjunctivitis, so it's another week of putting goop in kitty-eyes for us.

All of that is okay. I'm less happy with her weight dropping; she's less than 8 pounds now. I think they might have said 7.4 -- I didn't get the itemized receipt that would have reminded me, so I'll have to call them if I want to obsess about this. At any rate, it's about a pound of weight loss in the last few months, which is maybe not good if you're a smallish 16-year-old cat with mild kidney troubles.

All her life I've been telling her "Live to be 20, kitty!", but damn... maybe she won't. Mentally preparing.
flexagon: (racing-turtle)
Once upon a time when the world was young, I got two little black kittens for [livejournal.com profile] heisenbug's birthday. They were like furry little cat larvae, so we called them grubs. It helped that they looked kind of grubby sometimes, and they also went grubbing around in things when they weren't asleep in a pile.

They lived inscrutably but perhaps happily with us for eight years... and then one of them died... and then the other one got sick... and then on Tuesday he died too. Goodbye grubs. End of grub story. No more grubbing, no more grubs. :_(

As you probably remember, Hobbes left us earlier this year, in March. We are now officially down from three cats to one. It's quiet. The litterbox is disturbingly easy to clean. When I snuggle with Nala and [livejournal.com profile] heisenbug in bed, it gives me flashbacks to 1999, when I first did the very same thing and was sure that was all I ever wanted in a family. Really, they still are a kickass family and I love them to pieces, it's just that I was used to needing more cats on the bed before I could smile and say "wow, that's everyone"...

For a long time we were a DITCH -- that's Dual-Income, Three (or Two) Cat Household -- and now we're having a little identity crisis. But we want to keep it simple for a while. Nala likes being the only cat, anyway, her supremacy in the household undisputed. She is easy to maintain, solid and noisy and very alive.

Here's a nice peaceful video [livejournal.com profile] heisenbug made of Rafe and Hobbes together a couple of years ago, doing what they did best: not much of anything.

flexagon: (emily)
It's official -- we're not having a good cat year. We already lost Hobbes; now we've learned that Rafe has lymphoma on or around his stomach, the same thing his brother Frankenstein died from in 2008. Well, we knew something was wrong and now we know what. :-( [livejournal.com profile] heisenbug has decided not to go with chemo or surgery this time, but just to treat with Prednisone -- basically palliative care to make Rafe feel better for the couple of months he has left. I tried really hard not to influence that decision, which wasn't mine to make, but I do support it, and I'm proud of the bug for evolving his stance on pet end-of-life.

Work's also been pretty brutal (a story there in itself, if I were allowed to tell it), and I've been physically low-energy thanks to a cold that hit me last Friday. Better now, though.

With so much going on very close to my heart, in my body, in my home, all events further away are blurred; I haven't followed the Snowden thing, and I only know about today's SCOTUS rulings on Prop 8 and DOMA because of LJ alerting me to keep an ear open. I didn't even vote in yesterday's special election even though I had a preference between candidates... [livejournal.com profile] apfelsingail was visiting and I had acro to do, and the radius of my attention is small. The world will have to take care of itself for a while.
flexagon: (Default)
Tonight we welcome a newcomer to our family:

Out of the corner

This collection of orange stripes comes to us from a household well accustomed to my habit of making LJ names for everyone, so we actually talked about names for a while (twice). Anyway, his name is Hobbes -- he seems to have the same dim view of human nature that the philosopher took, and the tiger stripes and sometimes mercurial temperament of the comic strip character, while his real name is also the name of a comic strip character. Good enough for me. :)

It's going to be interesting, integrating Hobbes. We haven't really done cat-to-cat introductions yet, so we don't know how that will go, and we know that our "parenting" style is going to be different than what he's been used to. One thing we do have is square footage, though, almost twice what he had in his last apartment, and I think that will help him relax.

We're a dual-income, three-cat household again!


flexagon: (Default)

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