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Tuesday, April 18, 2000 It started raining late yesterday afternoon. It's kind of nice.

I'm almost feeling human again. That's nice, too. I'm getting feeling back in my leg and my foot and my butt doesn't hurt so much any longer. I was able to shave my leg yesterday and it didn't feel weird. And the doc is able to get my blood pressure down my manipulating my neck. Boy, you should hear it pop. It's loud. It dropped thirteen points Friday when he did that.

It's so cold out today that even Benny is staying in. It's also windy, I'm sure that has something to do with it.

Little by little I'm starting to do more around the house. Laundry isn't too tough. I have to fold all of my stuff that Brian washed when I wasn't able to move. Good thing it's just teeshirts and things like that. Else, I'd have a ton of ironing to do. (Which I don't ever.) I may dust today and I would love to vacuum. I'm washing the throw rugs now. I really want to clean the house.

This morning I let the dogs out of the shop and Buddy was laying up by the house shivering. *sigh* The door to the shop was wide open, but he didn't go in there. I took him back and Junior followed. I shut the door for him. I wish he would go in there on his own. His little cave is so nice and warm and cozy.

Mickey took out after Annie last night, chased her out of bed. At one point, I fell asleep with Rusty up against me, laying on my arm and I had my arm around him. He liked that. He likes being special. Of course, he gets jealous when any of the other cats gets on me and gets all pissy and huffs off. Especially Peter. He tries to hit Pete. Then we still have the Jackie/Lisa stalking. And it seems they stalk each other. Then there is the arched back, the fur standing on end, the growling and the hissing. And that's just me. *grin* I wonder if they are just posturing with one another. I don't really want to find out, though, I just want it to stop.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2000 Well, I didn't get too far yesterday, writing in here. Got sidetracked again.

I felt almost normal yesterday, then this morning in bed, my butt started to hurt again. Dammit. Didn't get much cleaning done, but did clean the covers on the living room furniture.

Sunday night, we finally watched the Sixth Sense. Great movie. Surprise ending. DVD picture was great. Only problem was, for some reason, I couldn't get the sound to play through the stereo, so Monday I took everything apart and had to move the audio receiver out, which is a major hassle. Oddly, the stereo connection to the television wasn't hooked up. I don't know how it could have come loose, unless it was back when Kirby used to be able to get back there. Anyway, it's working fine now.

The weather is once again sunny, the doors are all open for the cats to go outside. I just busted Jackie chasing Lonee. Everytime I see him, I slowly put out an index finger for him to sniff. The running off vs sniffing ratio is changing. It's probably fifty percent now.

I've noticed since I've been taking the calcium, my nails are getting much stronger. I used to have great fingernails, but as I've been getting older, they've been getting thin and weak. Hard to get any length on them at all. I noticed this past weekend that they're looking better than they have in years. Wow, a bonus!! If you get calcium, though, make sure not to get the kind made from oyster shells. The body doesn't use it, it goes right through you, like sand would.

I hope it doesn't take me too long to get back into the rhythm of everyday life. It's been so hard to get motivated to do anything. *sigh*

Monday, I took another roll of film of the cats. Got some great ones (I hope) of the cats rolling in the catnip. More of Jackie and Peter, too. I still have the ones from our last trip to Ranchita to get developed. Maybe I'll take them with us when I go to my chiropractor appointment this afternoon and we can drop them off on the way back. Hey, did I tell you I got another domain for Ranchita stuff? Ranchita.com was taken so I got something pretty close to it. I can't post it, though, until I get started on the Ranchita page. I put it into motion the week before my sciatica gave out. I have so much website stuff to catch up on. I'm also working on a trivia quiz for Benny's den. I've had the applet for a while, now, but never got around to working on it. I still have to get the trademark stuff back in the mail, too. Now that the taxes are done, I don't have anything real pressing right now. Just company and personal bills, which shouldn't take that long. Yay!!!

Well, I can't think of much else to say. It's nice not having anything to bitch about. LOL!!

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Sunday, April 23, 2000 Well, I have something to talk about today, that's for sure.

Thursday, I entered and paid business bills for Brian, did a little laundry. Friday, I paid personal bills, which seemed to take forever. Right now, all our bills are paid which is nice. Friday afternoon, made the trip to the chiropractor and my blood pressure was at one of the lowest points it's ever been for the first time he took it. Amazingly, Brian was running late, too, to pick me up and I didn't even care. This is so cool. Friday night, we watched "For the Love of the Game" with Kelly Preston and Kevin Costner. What a great movie it was. It wasn't just about baseball, it was also a love story. I cried for the last fifteen minutes of it. I give this movie two thumbs up.

Last week, Brian spent seventeen hundred dollars on two trailers. Not travel trailers, but the kind that eighteen wheelers pull. Brian figured they would be great for storage at the property. He has no intention of using them on the road, they will be moved and parked. Mark has the truck that will do it. Now, these trailers don't have current registration. Their previous owner used them for storage. According to Brian, it's a big hassle to get them okayed for road usage, even though they will only be on the road for a couple of hours. From here to Ranchita. Brian didn't want to bother with this. So, he and Mark decided the best thing to do was to move them at four in the morning. Less police on the road at that time of the morning. The plan was to move one early Saturday and the other one today. Yesterday morning, Brian got up at three and took his shower. He put on his sweats and went outside. It was drizzling. They couldn't do it. The windshield wipers on Mark's truck needed to be replaced and Mark didn't want to take a chance. Brian came back to bed.

It's a good thing they didn't go, because when I called the cats for chicken, Kirby wasn't among the feasters. I went and looked for him and he was in the rafters. My heart sank. I hoped he wasn't blocking again. He hadn't shown any of the symptoms, such as repeatedly licking his penis and straining to pee. Maybe, though, it came on too sudden and he was too far along. I was able to coax him down and I got him on the sofa. I tried giving him some chicken and he just ignored it. His eyes were glassy and his ears were very hot. I was able to get an amoxicillan into him with no problem. He was really ill. At about a quarter to eight, I called the vet, knowing I would get the answering service. I asked if they would be working. Yes, they would, from eight until noon. At eight, I called. The doctor wouldn't be in until nine, could we come in then? I didn't think another hour would be that bad. Boy, that's a long wait, I'll tell you. It's amazing how long an hour can seem. But we got him in and when the vet checked his temperature, it was 104.5. Normal for a cat is 101 to 102. The vet took him into the back and gave him sub q fluids and gave him a shot of a mega antibiotic. The vet remarked that this was the fourth time in four years that Kirby has had a fever of unknown origin. He suspects that Kirby has a virus that lays dormant until something switches it on, then this happens. He said that having such a high fever, that Kirby *would* feel pretty crappy, but that he should be feeling better by last night. Which he was. I wasn't able to pill him at all because of the fight he put up.

I asked the vet about that new product "Revolution" for fleas. His response was quite negative. He said that in the clinical trials, some cats died. And talking with other vets who have used it, there are complaints that five days later, the animals still have fleas and that it doesn't do anything for mites, as it claimed. And it was extremely expensive. For my vet to purchase one of each size, his cost would be over seven thousand dollars. Of course, he would have to mark that up when sold. So, he said he doubts he will be selling Revolution. I bought some Advantage.

While we were there, I asked where Mew/Pew/Hugh was. He was in confinement. Why? He bit an old man who was petting him and the man ended up in the hospital. So, Pew was in a cage in the back. They want to get rid of him. The vet seriously said something about putting him down. Oh, my God. I love this cat. I would have taken him home right then, but Brian, always the voice of reason where the cats are concerned, said no. We have enough problems right now, with Kirby and Jackie needing to be neutered and all the little spats that we're having, that bringing a new cat into the equation wouldn't be good. He's right, I know, but I kept thinking about Pew. I was told that he also doesn't use the litter box. Another strike against a new good home for him. *sigh* They already have a new kitten, about five months old and already declawed. *sigh* In with the new, out with the old. Okay, here's my take on Pew's behavior problem. Rememeber years ago when they first got Pew? They hadn't planned on declawing him, but he wrecked some woman's hose and they were afraid of liability problems. So, he was declawed. Well, right there would explain all of his behavior problems to me. Being in such a busy office, I'm sure he gets lots of people trying to touch him. He gets overstimulated. He strikes out with his paws, which he's come to realize is a waste of time. So, he turns to biting. Many declawed cats do. And cat bites are so much worse than a cat scratch. Now, the litter problem can also be attributed to his lack of claws. The surgery itself is ten amputations. Ten amputations that are walked on. This has to hurt. Cats do feel pain, they just mask it to keep from being eaten by predators. It's instinct. How many times have we said "I didn't know he was that sick?" about one of our own? Cats hide pain. That's what they do. Well, a newly declawed cat will associate the pain in the paws to the litterbox, causing litterbox aversion. Duh, that's well known. So, deep in my heart, I know that Pew's problems all stem from that awful surgery. I just know it.

I wrote about him at my Cat Fight board and within an hour, I had an email from Cecilia. "I'll take him." I write back "are you serious?" Yesterday was spent making plans. Cecilia lives in the San Francisco area. Provided the vet will let me have Pew, which I don't see why he wouldn't, next Saturday Brian and I will take Pew up to San Luis Obispo and meet with Pew's new parents. Pew will spend his life as a "shop cat" with two other kitties. Dudley, a beautiful boy, kind of dumb, according to his Mahm and Annie, another cat who was declawed as a kitten. Her story is a little different though. She was an orphan kitten, hand raised. The heating pad they had her on malfunctioned and caught on fire. Her paws and face were badly burned. They had to amputate her claws to help her heal. Since he will be living in a warehouse, the toilet behavior won't be a major issue. There won't be the barking dogs, the children and the noise of a busy vet clinic, so he'll be in a much more peaceful and relaxing atmosphere, sure to help calm him down. Cecilia will be a great Mahm for this little guy. I'll be calling the vet tomorrow. I hope there's not a problem. They're moving the clinic next weekend to the space next door, for more room. Keep your fingers and paws crossed that this happens for this little guy. I've always loved him and he's always been so darned affectionate. It would be a shame to see him have to die for doing something that comes naturally.

Brian's gone this morning, left at four to move one of the trailers. It's about five hours later and I haven't heard from him yet. They'll probably move the other trailer later this week.

I want to get a food dehydrator for the catnip. The catnip is doing so well.

Benny likes it.

Last night, I let two cats out through the office sliding door and when I closed it, Pete's head was in the way. I didn't close it hard or fast, which was good, but man, I was scared. After he let me catch him, I put ointment in one of his eyes. It was red and watering really badly. He seems to be okay this morning, but I'm watching him carefully. I wish he didn't do that. I'm going to have to be extremely careful whenever I close these doors, to make sure that he's not in the way. Last night, I had pushed him out of the way before I closed it, but he quickly ran back. I felt so bad for him.

Here's my latest picture of Jackie. Isn't he handsome?

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Tuesday, April 25, 2000 Well, it's been quite a roller coaster ride since Sunday. Cecilia and I had made all the arrangements for transporting Pew up to her home. She booked a room for Saturday night in San Luis Obispo. Brian had been checking out new tires for the car, because the ones on there are cracked from weather, not from use. And he didn't trust them with our lives. Everything seemed to be going smoothly. Except for one thing. The vet hadn't said yes, yet. Well, I called yesterday morning and left a message. When he hadn't called back by 5:30 last night, I called again. How hard would it to be to say "no"? He was in an emergency, would call me back. Well, knowing that he's really busy, I typed up a letter this morning and faxed it to him. He called within five minutes. He was obviously very irritated with me. "Pew isn't moving. He's going to stay here. He wouldn't be a good candidate for another home. He bites and he has bad knees. Don't worry about it." Then he hung up. :-0 Okay. Have I ever mentioned that my vet is great with animals, but not so good with people? That he has this tendency to be a little short and curt at times? He's okay in the office, but when he's on the phone, he's not Mr. Personality. That's okay, because he's good with my animals and that's what matters. But he really could have been a little more considerate. *sigh* I was only trying to help Pew. Oh, well. I won't worry about it. I just hope he's not real mad at me. He shouldn't be. I didn't do anything wrong or hateful. Just jumped the gun a little. I guess we really should have waited before making plans. Oh, well. The worst that could happen is he hates my guts now and we have to find a new vet. If I do, I'll try to find one who doesn't declaw, unless it's directly necessary for the cat's health. But I don't think that's gonna be necessary.

I dusted and vacummed. Oh, it's much nicer in the house. I got the dust bunnies in the hallway, too. They were taking over the place. I also washed the throw rugs in the tv room. The ones that cover up most of the holes in the carpet. Looks better, smells better.

I dumped one of those bottles of foaming liquid plumber down the bathroom sink drain about a half hour ago. I shut the door so that it could "work" for an hour. Both Rusty and Mickey have sat outside the bathroom door, crying to get in. I bet they think there is food in there. Well, the time is up and I went in. Rusty ran in with my, I grabbed him and put him back out and shut the door. I ran the hot water as per instructions and, boy, it works good. That drain drains.

Last night, Brian bought me a food dehydrator. To dry catnip. It works. Takes forty five minutes a batch. I think in about a month, I'll trim the catnip so that it doesn't get leggy and dry it. I bet I get a bunch. The cats liked it. I ripped the leaves off of the stems and tossed the stems on the floor. The cats like the stems more than the leaves. Nice and juicy. Usually, they get dried out stems.

I started recording CDs yesterday. I'm working on full albums now, so that I don't have to take the ones from here and put them in vehicles. Ones I know I'll always like, ones that I won't get tired of, like the Eagles Desperado. When I started, the sound wasn't coming from the right speakers. I thought maybe it had something to do with the surround sound, so I played around with that. That wasn't it. Then I tried some of the other equipment and it worked fine. So, it was the connection to the CD player. I had to pull everything off of the shelf so that I could get to the back of the equipment. That's no fun at all. The shelves are made of wood and it isn't finished wood (it was here when we moved in). It's real easy to get splinters. And no matter how careful I am, I usually get one or two. I got a nice sized one. Anyway, it turned out that the connector was bad. I got another one and got it hooked up. That did it. I only got one album recorded, but now that everything is working the way it should, it shouldn't be too hard to do the rest, fairly quickly.

I'm almost pain free. I still don't have all of the feeling back in my foot. I had to drive yesterday, to take the payroll deposit to the bank and it wasn't too bad. Braking at stoplights was still hard to do. Holding that pedal down. And of course, I hit all lights red. I'm thinking now, that it's just a matter of using the muscle because it's been so long. My butt hardly hurts at all anymore. And it's sure nice to be doing housework again. I never thought I'd be saying that. *grin*

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Wednesday, April 26, 2000 Oh, it's a beautiful morning. The windows and doors are all opened wide and the kittens are outside playing. It's definitely warming up. In the 90s yesterday. I'm seriously considering blowing up my raft and starting on my summer tan, about four months earlier than usual. It seems for the last couple of years, I don't get started until August. I think my internet connection seems to have a lot to do with that, but the pull isn't so strong any more. Most of my stuff is working on its own. Ah, floating on a raft in the pool with the sun warming me. That sounds so relaxing.

Did I mention before that Petey likes to bring in dead stuff? Not newly dead, but been dead for awhile? He's brought in two things in the past week. A bird, which I think died in a tree and the wind blew it down on the ground. It was mostly the skeleton and feathers, but it was in one piece. Then, he brought in a lizard tail that had been detached for at least a couple of days. He was so proud of himself. I got rid of the bird carcass, but I have no idea where the lizard tail is.

My leg is a little sore this morning. Probably from using it yesterday. But it's worth it. I also crunched all of the cans. My elbow hurts from that.

This morning was the first morning that Jackie was outside when the pool filter came on. He was so curious about the pond filling up. Then, he followed the water as it started down the streambed. Of course, he was up on the grass looking down on it. Didn't want to get wet. They sure like being outside. Until it warms up.

Kirby is doing really well. He's back to playing stick. He gets me and I follow him and he takes me to stick and cries for me to play. He's so cute. I'm glad he's feeling better.

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Friday, April 28, 2000 Well, the chiropractor was real happy this morning. My pulse was down to 78. My blood pressure was 104, then dropped to 100. I'm really tired this morning, Aunt Flo stopped by again. I hate that woman.

The dogs behind us killed a possom. I think it may be the same one that our dogs bark at. I saw it in their yard Wednesday and the dogs had been put up. The possom looked badly injured, but got up and walked very painfully to side of their yard. S/he didn't look like s/he would be strong enough to climb the fence. There is a bunch of old tree trimmings and stuff there and I think that's where the possom went. Under all of that. Then, Thursday night, our dogs were going nuts. Brian said yesterday it was at the corner by the pool. And on the other side of that, was where I thought the possom was. And yesterdy morning, the possom was dead in those people's yard. *sigh* I wondered if that was the same possom I took pictures of last year. Well, maybe there won't be so much barking from our dogs now. The possom on the fence was the reason for most of the barking.

I am so tired this morning. I just let the cats out, but they may not be out for long. I didn't sleep well Wednesday night and got to bed late last night. I had to cook more chicken for the cats. The cats are tired today, too. They got to stay out until almost eleven last night.

I think our refrigerator is dying. It's not keeping things as cold. I'm going to clean out the freezer portion this weekend and see if anything is blocked inside. But we've had the refrigerator for almost fifteen years now. I wouldn't doubt it was on it's last legs. A new one would probably be much more energy efficient.

Brian is moving the trailer up to Ranchita this weekend. I started calling it his "clubhouse". He thinks that's funny.

Well, not too much going on here. That's so nice. The weather cooled down. I went swimming Wednesday. The water temp was 78. I'm looking forward to summer.

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Sunday, April 30, 2000 Welp, Brian's gone. He hooked up his clubhouse and took it up to the Sticks this morning. And his brother took the other storage trailer. He said he wouldn't be home until this afternoon because there's an awful lot that needs to be done up there today. They left before four this morning. After he left, I noticed the coyotes were very vocal. It gave me chills to hear them. They would get close, then far away. I didn't see any cats outside hanging around. Maybe they know what that yipping is, too and keep hidden and out of sight, behind the fences in the neighborhood. At one point, dogs started barking somewhere close, but not too close. And Rusty came up and lay next to me on my pillow, purring loudly, overpowering the sound of the coyotes. I look around at the cats on the bed, little Pete in my face and thank God that we have been able to take in so many. I worry about the cats who live out front and say a silent prayer that they won't end up a meal for a coyote. I even consider getting a lawn chair and my bat and laying out front. Just in case.

Earlier this week, I noticed the milk wasn't as cold as usual. I noticed that the cold on the refrigerator was set to three. Coldest is nine. I turned it up to five and asked Brian when he got home why he had done that. He didn't remember doing it at all. He checked the frig and it still wasn't getting colder so he turned up the dial to nine. Hours later, still not really cold. He said something about the freezer being to full, at least that's what I thought he said, so I cleaned out the freezer Friday. That wasn't it. The refrigerator was on it's last legs. It was old and tired. I did an online search for friges at Sears and found a couple. We went yesterday and bought a new one, which is getting delivered today. It's black and, of course, it has a water and ice dispenser in the door. It's not as big as our first one. The first one was too big for that spot and we couldn't open the freezer door when it was pushed all the way back. The new one should fit better.

Yesterday, tired of Rusty's spiky look (which happens to geriatric cats; they don't groom as much as younger cats) I decided to comb him. I got a bunch of loose hair off of him. He liked it. And he looked much better. I think he knows this. This morning when I opened the doors and was walking around in the yard, he was out, too. At one point, he came running across the yard and up a tree. Then he ran down and over to me. I told him what a good boy he was and scratched his head. Keep in mind, Rusty is seventeen. It was good to see him running like this. It means he feels good.

Jackie and Lisa got into it last night. It didn't last long, they were done before I had a chance to stop it. There was a lot of fur, though.

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lisaviolet is fifty 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.








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