Saturday, August 19, 2000 It's after eleven in the morning and I do have much to enter, but I just don't feel like doing it right now. I'm restless and I'm bored. I want to go lay in the sun with a book and ice cold water. Brian left for the sticks this morning at four AM and Ciara peed twice on the bed, once at my feet, once at my side. Our mattress pad is the best. Nothing gets through to the mattress. That pad was an impulse buy, probably one of the best we've ever made. The pad and the sheets are getting laundered right now, and then I'll do the bedspread. I have a shirt with about a dozen test images I have to wash and then I have two shirts that people bought I must get made and out. I just don't want to send out a shirt that won't last through at least ten washings without having the image crack. I did find that the new paper I'm using has a much better image than the original paper. That's nice. And I like my new printer. I also found out that I don't have to use the best resolution for printing the images onto the transfer paper, because the transfer paper doesn't absorb the ink like normal paper does.
I found out Thursday when I took both Lola and Rusty in to the vet, that Lola was due for another dose of Oncovin. I apparently misunderstood. There are three drugs total and every other treatment will be Oncovin. But so far, she seems to be doing well. The last time she was throwing up within two days and she hasn't yet. Fingers crossed, knocking on wood. She had gained over an ounce since her visit two weeks previous. It's gotten to the point where I pretty much just set the food in front of her. For a while I would put it on a spoon and keep putting it under her nose and as long as she would eat, I would fill the spoon. But she's been eating plenty on her own now, so I only occasionally help her. And she let's me know when she's hungry, she comes and finds me wherever I am and I follow her back to the bedroom where she patiently waits for me to open the bowl.
Rusty, well, Rusty is healthy for a seventeen year old. The vet said you don't often find cats that age who weigh eleven pounds. Russ does have a little arthritis in his front knees, which explains his occasional limping. The vet could find nothing wrong with his ears. No tumors and the vet doubts it's any kind of epilepsy. His money is on hearing. The fact that it only happens with certain types of sounds and that the sound has to be within three feet adds credibility to that thought. The doc went to say that it's possible because of the way the bones are in his ear that these certain sounds may be magnified and startle him when he hears them. I did compare Rusty's reaction to me kicking back on the couch, relaxed and then I hear a gunshot or a car backfire nearby. When I picked Lola up later in the day, I noticed that the charge for the Oncovin was much more ($47.77 from $29.00) and I also noticed that I no longer got a "preferred discount". I called about that yesterday and I should still be getting the discount. The last time I got one was before Lola's surgery in June. Oh, well, I've gotten lots of extras at no charge since, so I'm not complaining. I was just curious about it. As for the charge for the Oncovin, most likely he gave me a special rate to begin with and it wasn't marked on the chart. I'll see what happens next.
Aunt Flo still hasn't come by. I called the doctor yesterday and talked with the nurse. She said I should have had company by now. It would be nice if I'm done having company, but I don't imagine that's gonna happen. My breasts feel as if they've been used at a local gym for punching bags. I asked if it was too soon to have a goodbye party and she said let her talk with the doctor. She came back on and said to give it two more weeks, then call to let them know what's going on. Maybe then I can have the party. I've sure had a better attitude, though. I haven't been nearly so snippy as *normal*.
We got a registered letter in the mail from the new landlord of Brian's previous shop demanding $1251.25 for the last month's rent. Seems that there was supposed to be a thirty day notice. They specified a paragraph in the old contract. Well, I pulled the old contract and in that same paragraph, it specifies an amount of $27.50 per day. It doesn't say "pro-rated on the monthly rate". Since Brian doesn't want to bother with it, he said go ahead and pay the bastards. I'll send a check for $825.00 (27.50 x 30) along with a copy of the old contract, with that part highlighted. It couldn't hurt. They'll just want more money, which we'll pay when they ask for it. This will just be a little more work for them. Greedy SOBs.
My mom's "friend" is visiting from Minnesota. Mom says she told her flat out when she mentioned coming out that there was to be no smoking inside. Guess what? Yup, that "friend" is smoking in the house. Mom found out that this woman had asked her brother-in-law if she could stay with him and he said sure, just no smoking inside. She didn't like that so she called mom. Mom heard this from him. And mom's friend's son-in-law has said that when she gets back to Minnesota, there are a couple of new rules. No smoking in the house. Mom's friend says "BS, that's my house". Great. Her daughter asks mom to pay for the house and they are paying her back. But, as long as mom officially paid for it, it's her house. Not a good situation to be in. Mom said there won't be a next time when I said "well, what are you going to say when she wants to come out again?" Mom is totally and completely disgusted. I guess she forgot how argumentative this woman can be and it's driving mom nuts. Mom says "black" the other woman starts to argue, saying "no, no, white, never black". I think mom thought she was lonely and rose colored the relationship with her "friend". Now, she's been shaken back to reality. It wasn't a great friendship at all. Poor mom. She's really looking forward to Tuesday, when her "friend" is leaving.
I ordered the glass globe for the backyard camera this week. I was told it would take two to three weeks to be delivered. Brian will pick it up at the store where I ordered it from. I'm pretty excited about it. This means the backyard camera will have more area to view, since it will be on the roof and not against a wall. And there will be no seams in the picture. I'm looking forward to some great sunsets as the year progresses. And I'll be able to point it at my neighbor when she's using the blower to blow dirt into our yard. *snicker* On the remote seller's homepage, they have a webbased viewer where the viewer can change the direction of the camera. I've tried to get that to work with mine, but I am not having any luck. Maybe once it's up on the roof, I'll try harder to get that to work. If you want to know what I mean, check out this link.
I realized my link to KIFM was incorrect in my last entry. It should be right here. They are one of the stations available to be heard through the internet. Their playlist is mostly light jazz.
Tuesday, August 22, 2000 I could have sworn I made an entry on Sunday, but it looks like I had my days mixed up. Gosh, I'm just so busy right now.
Lola seems to be doing better every day. She was perky yesterday morning, but a little down yesterday afternoon and last night. She wasn't real gung ho on eating. But I kept after her with the food and the spoon and she finally started eating more than a couple of bites. Her appetite was a little better this morning. I've seen her poop only once, which concerns me a little. But at least the poop I saw was better than what she eliminated back when she was constipated. At least this was full sized. I gave her some catsip and a little of my ice cream sandwich, mostly vanilla ice cream, hoping to loosen her up. She's sleeping very comfortably right now, and I don't want to bother her. Every couple of hours, I will take her either to the garage or by the doghouse outdoors, hoping that she'll do something. She did pee outside this morning, she peed a lot. I'm glad her bladder equipment is working properly.
Ciara peed on my feet again this morning. Since I haven't taken a shower right before bed since I washed the sheets, I haven't slept under the covers. Last night I had a blanket over me and that's what got peed on. I called the vet's this morning and made an appointment for her on Thursday when I take Lola in. I sure hope it's physical and not behavioral. That will be a nightmare. She started this when we found out Lola was sick. I'm thinking, though, that since she cleans herself after she pees, it may be physical. That's the only time they seem to bother about cleaning immediately after voiding.
Aunt Flo finally showed up yesterday, but so far is pretty mellow. I'm surprised, to be honest.
Little Petepeterpetepetiepetepete (I call him that sometimes; I say it really fast) was in the tv room, under the coffee table, growling yesterday. I get down to see what the problem is and he had something. He had something icky. So, I ask him what he has, he runs. Except he leaves his icky thing. I check it out. A dead rodent of some kind. The face is too long to be a mouse. It must be a young rat. Bleh. It was all wet and of course, it was dead. I took it out back and tossed it onto the lawn. Haven't seen it since.
I washed Brian's recliner yesterday. It was very, very dirty. The first solution I dumped from the machine was thick and very dark brown. I washed it and then rinsed it til the water ran clear. It looked and smelled much nicer. For some reason, the cats have been peeing on it. I've been spraying it with Feliway since I washed it. I hope that helps keep it pee free.
What's the deal with today's kids? I have a couple of chatrooms and one is for kids. And kids have started using it. One girl was using a nickname that had some form of sex in it. Like "sexy" or "sexiest". Well, call me a prude. These girls can't be older than thirteen. No, I don't watch MTV, it's much too racy for me and I don't really care for much of the playlist. So, I'm looking at this. Shaking my head, not believing it and decided, with my power as the host of this chat, I'll just do a couple of more word substitutions. I had to think about what I'd use, but now, whenever anybody posts "sexy" it prints out "sluglike". And "sex" is "that bag of ruffles". Right now, "sexiest" is "biggest airhead". I'm discussing this with a mother who is in the know, trying to get me a word that means the worst to a teenager. Oh, that girl did relog in. And the word substitution worked. And she wasn't happy about it at all. And, she logged in again with her birthday. April, 1990. *sigh* Ten years old and sexy? *bigger sigh* When do they take the time to be kids nowadays?
Brian and I got into a small argument yesterday about the teeshirts. I'm having a heck of a time getting the settings right. He asked something about "haven't any of the tests come out?" Duh!! You think I'd be sweltering over that heat press and washing the same shirt over and over if they'd come out? So, today, I call the manufacturer of the press to ask about settings. He explains how to know if I have the correct pressure (with a dollar bill) for what I'm working with. Then, he asks about the instructions on the paper. I tell him. He digests the information. He asks me to repeat it, thinking I must have mistated the information. I read it to him again off of the paper manufacturer's instructions. He says "that's an awfully low temperature, most are 375." And the time was longer than the other papers, too. He said he'll work with me to get this going. I thanked him and hung up. I went in and did a couple of more images at the higher heat setting. Now, I have to wait twenty four hours to launder. I sure hope this is it. I'm running two weeks later than I had wanted.
Friday, August 25, 2000 I'm in shock. I got up this morning to split up the chicken breast between the cats. On the way I opened the door so that they could go outside. After splitting most of the chicken in the kitchen, I took a piece to Gracie in the garage. On the way out, I saw Maggie Xuxa laying on the floor. I told her it was time to go outside (she loves it outside). She didn't move. I reached down to wake her up. She didn't wake up. Maggie had died. She looked like she went peacefully. She hadn't been acting sick or losing weight or any of the signs of an ongoing illness.
Maggie was one of the more quiet members of the family. She did like to run in the house on a rare occasion, making little motor sounds. She liked to swing. She would jump up into the cedar swing in the backyard and she loved to have it gentle pushed while she lay stretched out. She never ate with the other cats and spent most of her time outdoors. She was a loner. She never came into the kitchen for chicken and never begged for food from our plates. Once in a while, she liked to be petted, but it wasn't often and she didn't stay long. She didn't have a special spot she liked to sleep. I won't be walking into a room looking for her. Maybe outside I will miss seeing her, laying down by the pool in the evening or stretched out on the wood by the fence during the day. She wasn't a cat who asked for much.
She was stretched out on the floor by my sandals. A place she liked to lay. It looks like she went peacefully in her sleep. I think this day will be hard.
When I was feeding Lola, Brian asked if the boxes we have with cremated remains are marked and I said yes. Then I got to thinking about who is in those boxes. Sandy. Bobby. Blackie. All black or black and white pets. But they were all fairly old. With the exception of Blackie and he had a really hard life. Maggie was only six and a half. I've read that Maine Coons, as a breed, may have a pre-disposition for heart problems. Personally, I don't think that purebred animals are as healthy as mutts, something about bloodlines. I don't think we'll ever get another.
Lola got her chemo treatment yesterday and did well. And Ciara got a visit to the vet. He checked her out, looked into her ears. He said that her ears are clear, a good sign because of the polyp he removed last year. Then he stuck a needle in her bladder and pulled out urine. He took it into the back to test it. When he came back, he told me that her urine was fine. Except it has an awful lot of aggression pheromones in it. The techs bring their cats in and Charlene's cat, Willem, hissed when he smelled Ciara's pee. The vet asked if there was any cat that Ciara was more aggressive to than the others and thinking about it, I said "Maggie". Because Ciara would chase Maggie and she wasn't playing. But we finally figured out it was because of Lola. Ciara has been peeing on the places on the bed where Lola lays. And that happens to be by me. So, Ciara is now on Buspar to help her over her anxiety. And hopefully, when her prescription is up, the problem will have resolved itself.
I guess that's all for right now. I'll be taking her to the vet shortly.
Saturday, August 26, 2000 I miss her. Early yesterday evening, I opened the doors and windows, turned of the air conditioner. Brian and I went out back and I saw Ciara in the swing. I pointed her out to Brian. He looked amazed. I went over and stood behind the swing, gently pushing on it. Ciara loved it. She stretched out and would change position. She looked at me and said some silent words. We did this for a good fifteen minutes before she jumped down to play with Pete. The only cat who liked to swing was Maggie.
Okay, now this is going to be a little off the wall, but I'm not crazy. Really. I think Georgie saw her spirit leave her body. When I found her, she was still warm. I wouldn't think she had been gone for longer than fifteen minutes. I picked her up and carried her on my shoulder, like I did each night when I would bring her in, cuddling her to me and telling her what a special girl she was. I didn't believe she was gone. She couldn't be gone. I laid her on a condo and Brian checked her out. He told me that I couldn't carry her all day, that I had to put her down. I didn't want to. She was warm and soft and no, she wasn't gone. She was too young to go, she wasn't even seven years old. She wasn't done here, I just know it. But he told me that I had to let her go and we went into the hallway, Maggie still in my arms and found a towel. We took her into the exercise room and put her down on the towel. Brian positioned her so that she was curled up. And he covered her. It wasn't even 6:30. A little later, I started looking around for Georgie. I couldn't find him anywhere. Brian started looking for him outside. We must have looked for ten minutes, calling him with no result when Brian found him under the pool pump. Not a place that Georgie goes, but Maggie hung out there all the time. I talked him over to me, picked him up and brought him into the house. He wasn't in for five minutes when he ran out back and under the pool pump. He refused to come inside. Later during the day, I saw him up on the bank. I tried to get him to come to me. He was obviously upset and bothered by something. I ended up climbing over the fence and going up to him and started scratching his back and softly talking to him, asking him what was wrong. He started to purr and chirped back to me. At one point, he jumped onto my back, something he hasn't done in years. Once he knew that I was there for him, I left and came back inside. I had to call the transfer paper manufacturer to get more hints on how to make the transfers not crack. This entire time, Georgie was still outside, not wanting to be in the house. And he usually likes it indoors when the A/C is running. Late in the afternoon, he came in. And he went and stood by the exercise room door, crying. I opened the door and let him in. He ran in and started sniffing the area where Maggie had lain before I took her to the vet to have her remains cremated. He started talking to me and sniffing. He cried. It was so very, very strange. I told him it was alright, that Maggie was gone, but she was okay. I told him I understood, because he was telling me something very important. He came over and headbutted me a couple of times, then went to investigate the bags of prescription cat food we keep in there. It was really spooky. He was fine the rest of the evening. Well, except when it was time for us to get all the cats in for the night. Benny came running to me and Brian was looking for Georgie. He was down by the pool, the same area where Maggie always was at night. This morning, he's back laying on his condo in the living room, where he usually is in the morning hours.
Of course, I've mentioned what happened in a few forums and on the newsgroups and I'm finding that more than a few Maine Coon owners have had this same thing happen to them. One came home from work to find his seven year old kitty in pretty much the same position as I found Maggie. It's easing my mind to hear that I'm not alone in this. It was explained to me in one of the forums, which helped somewhat.
"The heart condition maine coons are prone to is cardiomyopathy, the same condition that took my Tatsu, and more recently lead to the thromboembolism that took Specter. Ru has it as well. It can sometimes be detected by the presence of a heart murmur, but most cases are asymptomatic unless you have bloodwork done, in which case elevated creatine levels are sometimes an indication of advanced disease. If it was cardiomyopathy, I can assure you that it was fast and painless for her. She wouldn't have suffered anything worse than feeling tired a little beforehand. If that is what it was, she probably hid any symptoms she had, so don't worry that you overlooked anything. I never knew with Tatsu, and I only knew with Specter because I had bloodwork done for her thyroid. It's not a lot of comfort, but it's at least some information."I knew that Maggie hadn't died in pain. But it was nice to have that reaffirmed.
I miss my Mags. No more calling for "Maggie, Maggie, Pretty Maggie". It still seems unreal.
Ciara is being a little darling. She's following me around, talking to me, wanting up to be held. She's giving me little Ciara kisses on my arms. She's rolling over for belly rubs. I wonder who she will chase now that Maggie is gone.
Tuesday, August 29, 2000 Well, I still miss Maggie like crazy. I noticed that of all the picture frames I have on the big aquarium, only one has a picture of our cats. And that picture is of Maggie Xuxa. I also have a picture on the back of the toilet seat with Lisa and Mags on a rock, so I see that whenever I got into the bathroom. She was such a mellow cat. I'd love to smell her again.
There was a followup to the previous posting regarding cardiomyapathy. I thought I would share it.
"Do you remember a few years back a rising young basketball star, I don't remember his name, died very suddenly during a practice game? Folks said at first it was drugs or something like that. Turns out he had cardiomyopathy. This kid was an athelete in good condition who saw doctors on a regular basis because of sports injuries, and no one knew. No one knew his heart was bad until he died, not even him. It probably never bothered him until his heart actually failed. From what I've read on the human websites for the disease (since cats can't easily tell us how they feel), there's usually no particular warning sign that the cardiomyopathy has gotten to a life-threatening stage, or even that the patient has it at all. Many cases remain stable and no one knows why some progress to life threatening and others don't.
"When Tatsu died I was devestated, I really tore myself up for not having know, but my folks said there probably wasn't anything to see (My mom, the pathologist, did the necropsy herself. I wouldn't trust Tatsu to anyone else). They both said that in more than half the cases of cardiomyopathy, the only indication that there's something wrong with the patient is that they've died (heck of a clue), there's nothing betraying the state of the heart until the autopsy is done. Even with cases that are symptomatic, it's usually something really subtle, like increased panting or a heart murmur, and cats are great at compensating for illness. The only *definite* symptom of cariomyopathy is a thromboembolism, like what happened to Specter, and I am glad that you Maggie didn't suffer that, that her heart failed quickly and her passing was peaceful, and that you didn't have to make the decision yourself. There's no real comfort in any of this, the loss is as great no matter how they leave you, but at least there's a little less sorrow over how she left. "Here's the website where I learned a lot about the disease in cats, and it does say that both Persians and Maine Coons are predisposed. It's *extremely* technical:
"In the less technical forum, here's a website on the human form of the disease, which presents things in easier terms but isn't entirely applicable to the feline form of the disease.:
This morning, I was sent a link from Tikky at the Space Station: For Maggie. It's absolutely beautiful.
I miss her so much.
I miss the way she would cry at the garage door to come in at night.
I miss the way she would hop over the barrier onto the trash can lid to come inside.
I miss seeing her stretched out in the one story cathouse on the bank.
I miss seeing her laying in her spot on the wood at the fence.
I miss her laying over my body and kneading next to me.
I miss seeing her out by the pool.
I miss hearing her cry to go back out at night.
I miss her talking to me outside.
I miss her playing motorboat in the hallway.
I miss her jumping in to play with stick.
I miss seeing her in the condo next to the couch, with her head stretched out.
I miss seeing her in one of the baskets behind the sofa.
I miss the way she felt when I held her against me.
I miss the way her fur was so soft when I nuzzled her neck.
I miss the way her claw always caught the back of my shirt when I carried her in at night.
I miss trying to comb the mats out of her fur and her arguing with me about it.
I miss her so much.
Life goes on. Lola is doing so much better, I think. She's not spending as much time in the bedroom. She likes the catnip bowl. Oh, the other night, I had the bowl out and Rusty got into it. He fell asleep with the bowl tipped halfway over, he covered in catnip. Fast asleep. Very relaxed. Lola is eating more and she is almost a regular in the garage when I feed the cats at night. She patiently waits off to the side for the food to be dished up, then she's right there eating. And she's getting more affectionate outside of the bedroom. Spends the evenings rubbing Brian's feet, just like old times.
Kirby seemed a little off this afternoon. I hope he's peeing. I'll have to watch him more closely. He's been wanting to play stick a lot, but when it's time for his evening pill, he disappears. I hate that because he *needs* to be taking that pill.
Yesterday morning, I was in the office typing out invoices when one of the cats started crying. I couldn't tell if it was Gracie or Lonee. Both have high pitched voices. I got up to check it out. I checked all closets and the one closed door, to make sure nobody was stuck someplace they shouldn't be. No luck. Gracie was out back and Jack was following her, his little nose up her butt. I figured she was telling him to get away. I came back inside and started working again. I hear the crying again. Nervous after what happened Monday, I get up to investigate. Still can't find a thing. My mom came over and we talked for a while, I heard the cat crying and went in search. Gracie was on top of the entertainment center and she talked to my mom and I. She jumped down to see us. After my mom left, I heard the crying again. I check it out and Lonee was fast asleep in one of the cathouses in the backyard. Gracie was fast asleep on top of the entertainment center. I'm worried about my mental state. Well, maybe Gracie was talking in her sleep. Just in case, I turned off the water fountain out front so if it started again, I would have a better chance of hearing where it came from. Within an hour, I hear it again. I quietly walk up to the front of the house. The crying sounds like it's coming from the garage or tv room. I check. Nothing. Then I hear it again. It's coming from outside. I go out the front door, thinking maybe one of the ferals was crying at the birds in the birdfeeder. I check all of the bushes around the birdfeeder and in front of the house. As I start to walk back in, I check on the other side of the walkway, against the house. Behind the bushes where Brian keeps his car washing stuff. I look behind the buckets. And I saw a kitten. A little tiny, white kitten. I reach down and pick it up. It's white, gonna have blue eyes, I think. And looks like it has faint flamepoint markings. Hmmm... Maggie worked quickly, I think to myself.
I brought the little one into the house and called the vet. It was about noon and he had started surgery, did I want to bring it in and just drop it off? See, I can't bring a cat into the house without a vet check first. Testing for those dread diseases and I'd like to find out the sex. It looked like a little boy, so I called him Magnum for Maggie. I called the vet's office shortly after three to find out if the doctor had a chance to look at it. Yes, he did. He came on the line. We have a little girl!! And she has a upper respiratory infection and a problem with one of her eyes. She tested disease free. She's to be kept separate from the other kitties for a week, until she's done with her medications. I went down to get her and found out she's about six weeks old. She weighed a pound and an ounce. I brought her home and got her settled in the exercise room. Yesterday and this morning, she was afraid of me, but she's getting used to me. When she got up from her afternoon nap, she tentatively came out from behind some boxes, until she was sure I wasn't a threat. Then she ate. I found a little poop pile this morning and put it in the litter box. And this morning, I caught her starting to pee, so I put her in the litter box. This evening, she got in the litter box by herself to both poop and pee. Good girl. A quick learner. She was shivering yesterday when she ate, but she's not doing that tonight. She's such a little cutie. I'm naming her Mystie Maggie.
Brian wasn't really thrilled, to say the least. I told him when he was on the carphone. When he got home, I explained what happened in more detail. I remarked "you wouldn't have left her out there". He said something about finding her a home. Excuse me? "Where? How?" I asked. There's no way I'll look for one. I won't do it. He was a little pissy. I ask him why he was upset. "Because I thought we'd be looking for a home for her, I guess I misunderstood the conversation the other night." Conversation? I don't remember any conversation about finding homes for cats. I don't remember a conversation about bringing more cats in. I do remember a conversation wondering what Maggie would send our way, what was around the corner. I asked him what was really bothering him and it came out. "We're back to twenty cats." I didn't say anything, but I thought "so what?" I told him that if this kitty had been the young of one of the ferals, it wouldn't have been here. I mean, think about it. All the years we've been feeding ferals, this is only the second time we've had a kitten around in the daylight. The first was Peter. It's not like I'm going out looking for kittens. To my way of thinking, it was meant to be. Anyway, once he gets to know her, it will be okay. It's just something that had to be digested. Back to twenty cats. Mystie Maggie is here to stay. And she's a little doll. She really likes to play. Her eye is looking much better and I've only heard her sneeze once. She's great at purring and I think she's going to be a head butter. That's good. We like head butters.
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