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february 14, 1999 Well. Mickey still hasn't set foot out of the house. I'm still trying learning about my new stereo. I'm tired. I'm beat. Kirby isn't home.

Before I tell you about Kirby, let me tell you about a little excitement we had this morning. It's 8:30 right now. I let the cats out a little after six and went back to bed. I finally got up at 7:30. I came back here, turned on the computer, started writing in you, dear diary. There's the normal (?) barking going on in the back, I silently curse Benny for teasing the neighbor dogs. See, Benny likes to lay on top of the wood casing that Brian put up around the polycarbonate. And the neighbor dogs get a great view of him and he will lay there for hours. I got the cat bowl for the outback cats, went into the garage and filled it, walked outside to dump the food over it. I look over, our two dogs were all over one of the cats. I look at the cat, don't recognize it. It wasn't a cat at all, it was a beagle from next door. Oh, spit. "BRIAN!!! BRIAN!!!" I started shouting. "COME OUT HERE!!! ALEX IS IN OUR YARD!!!!" Brian quickly came out and found out how she had come in. She had dug a hole by the avocado tree. Now, Alex isn't familiar with our yard at all, doesn't know to go to the end of the retaining wall and back up onto the bank. And from there, back into her own yard. Buddy and Junior were all over her, sniffing. Up close and personal. Brian picked her up and helped her back under the fence. I made sure that none of our cats had gotten out, checking for Benny first. He was huddled up on the pool stairs. I'm sure if it hadn't been for our dogs, that Benny would have been in the house. I looked him over to see if he was okay. Keep in mind, he's use to our dogs and may not have felt very threatened when Alex went after him. Which I'm sure was her purpose in our yard. He seems to be okay. Then I checked Alex out, while she was standing in her yard. She's seems to be okay, no scratches and it doesn't look like the crawl under the fence hurt her any. Unfortunately, the neighbors are gone today, so I called their daughter and son-in-law. I told Cory what had happened and to please try blocking the hole out from their side of the fence. Brian piled a bunch of wood up along our side, so that will slow any digging down. I hope.

About Kirby. His appointment Friday was at 3:30. By 1:30, I knew he wouldn't last that long. He was definitely blocked. I called and explained how he was acting and said waiting another two hours wasn't going to be good for him. The vet was in surgery and Jennifer asked if I could just bring him in and they would get to him as soon as they could. I did. At 4:30, still not having heard from them, I called. He had been blocked and was now under sedation, and catheterized. Tests had been run to assure there was no kidney damage and he would be kept there overnight. I was to call around 10 the next morning. Which I did. Jennifer answered the phone and let me know that Kirby had been peeing, but that the doctor wanted to watch him a little more and to call in 45 minutes to see if he was ready to come home. I wait another forty=five minutes and call. No one answers the phone. Then the answering service picks up. She tried calling them and she got no answer. She came back on the line and told me that they must be taking a long weekend. I explained to her that I talked to one of the employees not longer than an hour ago and was told to call back in 45 minutes. And that I was supposed to be picking my cat up. She put me on hold again and I said to my husband that if they didn't answer, I'm going down there. He agreed that I should. But Elena answered, said to come on down that Kirby was ready to come home.

I got down there, parked the truck, grabbed the carrier from behind the seat. I walk in, hand the carrier over. They get Kirby and bring him back to me. The doctor comes out and talks to me about Kirby. He said that Kirby's pH was 7, which is high and that he had quite a few struvite crystals in his urine. He mentioned that if this happens to Kirby again within the next two-three months that we might think about the surgery that removes his penis. He said the drawback with this is that since the urethra is opened, there's more a chance of bacteria, which can lead to bladder stones. Or, that we could try diet only, like we are with Georgie. He sent me home with 120cc of SubQ fluids.

Kirby was glad to be home. He curled up in his favorite spot and went to sleep. It was about noon. He slept all day and in the evening, didn't come into the garage for dinner. I brought some food out to him and he tried eating a little. Then he came into the tv room. He tried to pee. It was 7:30. He was blocked. Again. I called my vet and he wasn't home. I left a message. Brian asked if I had felt Kirby's bladder, which I then did. It was full. I finally understood the *golfball* description. He was blocked, and badly. I called emergency and they asked how his breathing was. If it was labored. Yes, he's very uncomfortable. "Bring him in, immediately." I went and got the carrier and when Kirby saw that, he was gone. Up into the rafters. With the ladder and a squirt bottle and much effort on both my and Brian's parts, I was able to grab one of Kirby's legs and when he turned around, I was able to get the back of his neck and I pulled him towards me. I climbed down from the ladder and took him to the carrier. Bless Brian, he had the sense to open the carrier and Kirby went right in.

The ride to the clinic was uneventful, except for hitting every light red. Once there, I handed the carrier over. We waited for over an hour and a half. While waiting, a man brought a cat in that was in a towel. He told the receptionist that the cat had been hit by a car and he wanted it put to sleep. I started to softly cry. Brian dropped his head. I told Brian that that is one thing we don't have to worry about. It was the man's daughter's cat and I think that he wasn't going to tell her what happened. She wasn't home when it happened so he would just let her believe the cat never came home. I felt sick.

Finally, the doctor was able to talk to us about Kirby. Kirby is blocked, she said. At this point, they weren't sure if it was because of crystals or inflammation. (I had mentioned the previous 24 hours.) I told her that his BUN had been 28 the previous day and she was glad to hear that. I also told her about his pH and struvite. She asked about any medications he was on. And then I told her about the additional stress we've had in the house for the last couple of months. Brian's work schedule, the addition of a female in heat, the up and down weather, all of which are stressful to a cat. She agreed about the stress. She said that they would do their best to find out the cause of the blockage, if he was blocking because he was inflammed, they could give him some medication to reduce the inflammation. I think this is what's wrong. The time after he had bladder surgery, he was on elavil to calm him down and to give his body a chance to heal. She said that they wanted to keep him for two nights before they would send him home. Then the guy came in with the estimate. $550 to $750. We had to pay the $550 before we left and will pay the balance when I pick him up. I called the vet's this morning to see how he was doing. He's urinating, but not eating. She said he's just sitting at the back of the cage, depressed. I told her that he's a one person cat and I'm his person. I'm sure he's lonely and scared. The doctor would be calling me later with more information on his condition. I hate waiting.

And Brian is leaving again today. We stopped on the way home last night and filled the truck's tank. I might be doing a bit of traveling while he's gone.

If you get at chance, say a little prayer for my Kirby. He needs them right now. Thanks.

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february 16, 1999 Sunday morning, I called to see how Kirby was doing. He had been catheterized and was passing fluid. The doctor told me that when she put the catheter in, there was a holdup in the urethra, about two thirds of the way up, but with flushing she was able to get it all the way in. She said it wasn't gritty, which would mean there were no crystals. He wasn't eating. Sunday afternoon, another doctor called, giving me an update on Kirby's situation. His fluid output was almost equal to his intake. He still wasn't eating.

Saturday night, after we got home from emergency, I got to thinking about the food they were eating. A year or so ago, we switched them to Nature's Recipe, after having fed them NutroMax for years. And we didn't have these problems with Nutro. I mentioned this to Brian and he agreed that we should go back to Nutro. Early Sunday afternoon, I went to the petstore and bought two twenty pound bags of Nutro Adult. And, lookie here, something new (to me) on the label. It's now formulated for urinary tract health. Keeps the pH down and it's also low magnesium. And best of all, they like it.

So when the doctor mentioned diet, I told her about NutroMax, reading to her off of the label. What good is a perfectly formulated food, like Hill's S/D or C/D, when the cat refuses to eat it? Starving to death isn't very healthy, either. She was surprised to hear about the Nutro. She said that Hill's was the *gold standard* for food, but they've been so for years. Really, when you think about it, it only makes sense that food manufacturer's would start addressing some of the health problems that cats are having. Remember when there was only the stuff you could get at the grocery store? Now they have premium kitten, adult, senior, and diet food. They are catering to us, the cat owning population, the ones that want the best for their furry faced friend. She said that as far as catheterization is concerned, there are those that feel 24 hours is enough, some will wait 48 hours and others even think it should be in for 72 hours. She's one of the 48 hour people. I cringed at this because I didn't want Kirby to be gone any longer than necessary, especially since he wasn't eating. She said that Kirby's doctor would be in the evening and that I could call back and talk to her, around eight would be a good time.

Not really feeling like surfing, I watched tv. I watched the east coast feed of Cinderella from five to seven. At seven, I watched the east coast feed of X-Files. From seven to nine, I watched the Denver feed of Stephen King's the Storm of the Century. And from nine to eleven, I watched (well, taped, because I thought I might doze off) the west coast feed of To Protect and Serve. At eight, I called the vet. She wasn't really thrilled with the idea of NutroMax, and I did say out loud, well, if he won't eat anything else..... And as a matter of fact, he still hadn't eaten for them. Figure that the last time I KNOW that he ate was Thursday evening. Now, it's Sunday night. I mentioned tuna (which is extremely bad for urinary tract health) and she wasn't too gung ho on that. She told me that she would be pulling the catheter after midnight and they would see how he did without it. That Kirby would be put on a drug that would relax his urinary tract and he may dribble because of it. Seeing as Rusty has been behaving like a puppy that isn't house broken, you know, peeing where they stand when they feel the urge, I said dribbling won't be a problem.

Yesterday morning, the phone woke me. It was about 6:30. I thought it was the shop line, but it wasn't, it was our personal line. It was Kirby's doctor. She told me that Kirby was doing fine, he was peeing on his own. And his output was equal to his input. She said that for her own satisfaction, she had done an ultrasound on his bladder, to make sure there were no stones. And that she had even tried giving him tuna, but he still wouldn't eat. She told me that I could come get him around 8 am. And I did. I paid the remainder of the bill (only $31, I thought they had made a mistake and, of course, questioned the amount), they gave me all of the paperwork and Kirby's medication. Then they got Kirby. The ride home was uneventful, Kirby did keep rubbing his head on my fingers. Once home, he cautiously got out of the carrier and looked around. I let him settle in and opened a can of Fancy Feast. He ate a third of it. He got a drink in the bathroom, used the hallway litter box and slept most of the day. Last night, I brought him in a dish of food, which he wasn't interested in, but on my way to bed, he was eating. He's on top of the entertainment center, this morning, curled up and warm. The worst thing so far is pilling him, but it has to be done. At least he's not blocked.

Mickey still hasn't gone outside since last week.

Sunday night, Blackie let me pet him. Not a little pat, but a full on pet. I ran my hand down his back and the mats are unbelievable. That poor guy. And I've seen all of the regulars eating. I haven't seen Blue for awhile. I hope s/he's okay.

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february 19, 1999 Mickey went outside yesterday. He walked about fifteen feet from one open sliding door to the other. Then back in the house. I wonder how much longer this is going to go on.

*sigh* About Kirby. He finally is looking and acting like he's feeling better. Tuesday, I called the vet about the interferon for Ciara and was told that it should be in by the end of the week (today, still no interferon). I was also told that I should wait at least an hour for the vet to call me back when I leave emergency calls. Well, Saturday night, I called him at 7:30 and on his message he left on our machine, he said it was a little after 9. That's an hour and a half. And I told Sheri that I was scared that Kirby was having really immediate problems, not something that could wait. I told her that his bladder was extremely full and he was extremely uncomfortable and that I didn't feel it would be in his best interest to wait for the vet to call back. So, we took him to emergency. Just what I needed, a lecture about taking my very sick cat to the vet. Needless to say, I was more than a little annoyed when I hung up. Kirby wasn't very active, but he seemed to be peeing okay. I pilled him with the medication that emergency sent home, I hate pilling him. He hates being pilled. He has started running when he sees me coming.

On Wednesday, I watched him pee outside. He peed, but he cried. This told me that he wasn't blocking, but it was hurting him very much to go. So, I called my vet. He said to put him on prednisone for the inflammation, that should help. Oh, by the way, was I aware that the medicine that emergency sent home was carcinogenic? What?!!? This I didn't need to hear. But the dosage was 1/4 of a table for 3 days. Not even a full pill. He had received two, and I forewent the third and final dose. He's now on amoxicillan and prednisone for a couple of more days. He's doing *much* better. He isn't running from me as quickly. I always talk to him when I see him, sometimes I try to pet him, other times I just walk on by. I don't want him to be afraid of me. Last night, we ordered pizza and I gave him some of the pepperoni from Brian's side of the pizza (my half had green pepper and black olive). He liked it and I figured it would make him thirsty. This morning, he was in the bathroom, waiting for me to turn on the tub faucet. Right now, he's sleeping on the satellite receiver. My baby boy.

Wednesday, I finally got the new CD recorder set up. There's just enough room for it on the stack. I can't fit any more components on that shelf and the back of the amplifier is full up. No more places to attach equipment. Now, I want to redo the speaker wires to the splitter boxes. Put attachment hooks instead of bare wires. I redid the cable antenna to the tuner, now it shouldn't keep falling out.

Ciara is out of heat. And still beating up on any kitty she can.

Brian got home late Wednesday night, around 11:30. Just in time for the wild feed of Thursday's episode of ER. (I just love those wild feeds, most are commercial free.)

Blackie is getting more use to both of us. Brian went to the store to pick up a Trader magazine and Blackie was in the entry way, didn't even move. I hope that Brian warms up to him. When the weather warms up, I would like to get Blackie to the vet, get him tested, get him neutered, and get him shaved (there is no other way possible to get rid of the massive amount of mats on him). And have him move in. I haven't mentioned this to hubby yet. In time. I've seen all of the kitties this week, I even saw Blue last night.

Remember when I said that Brian had this great idea about mopping the garage floor every day? And I said I wasn't going to do it? Well, I haven't been. Haven't even thought about doing it. Well, last night, I was cleaning the litter boxes and he comes in to the garage. He says, accusingly, "You haven't been cleaning the floor!!" My reply was "I told you I wouldn't do it." He was actually getting pissy about it, going on about how it only took a couple of minutes, it's so easy, yadda yadda yadda and I said "I told you I wasn't going to do it". In a no nonsense voice. Hey, don't give me a bunch of crap for not doing something I said, in no uncertain terms, that I wasn't going to do. You're wasting your time and energy. I don't feel bad and trying to guilt me isn't going to work. He got over it while he washed the floor and I continued cleaning the litter boxes. Men.

My internet connection has been hanging up every so often for the past couple of weeks. Well, last weekend I started keeping a log of just when it happened. It was happening every two hours, fifty-nine minutes and fifty-six seconds. Then I had to reconnect. This really isn't problem, except for the catcam image, which is uploaded every three minutes. But that program has a setting for dialup. I figured out how to use it and it will dial, upload, then hangup on schedule. I figured that it would work when my internet connection had been dropped, as long as the modem was on. Well, it didn't. I emailed the author of the program and he needed me to run a debug trace and send it to him. I did and when I next heard from him, it looks like it is a bug in the program, that he obviously didn't know about. He's fixing it. I also emailed my ISP, asking if there was anyway to work around the disconnect. They didn't even know it was happening. They fixed it. So, now, I don't have to worry about the catcam image not getting uploaded like it should. Yay.

I haven't done the dishes since Wednesday morning. I was just so tired. Guess I have a little to do today. Sick kitties just wear me out.

Brian is still having problems with his truck. On their way to Phoenix, they had to add water all of the time. He said yesterday morning that the new motor is ready to blow up. He's very frustrated and disgusted. So yesterday, he went to a different Ford dealership (Drew Ford) than the one he's been dealing with and told them all that he has been through with El Cajon Ford since the new motor was installed. They told him to bring in as much stuff as he could (invoices) of problems related to the new motor. He went through the Ford file and made copies of the invoices and I put them in date order. He took all of this to Drew Ford and they said that they should be able to fix the problems for him. And that he'll probably end up with another new motor. We weren't able to find the warranty for the motor that was installed on May 8, 1998. I called El Cajon Ford and asked if we could have a copy sent. They're supposed to get back with us, but haven't yet. I bet they don't. Last December, Brian actually called to make a complaint about El Cajon Ford and they sent him paperwork to fill out and send back. He hasn't sent it in yet, I don't think he has too much faith in bureaucracy.

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february 21, 1999 Now, let me start off by letting you know how much I love my husband. Anybody that reads my diary on a regular basis knows this. I wouldn't trade him for anybody in the world and if something were to happen to him, I would most likely spend the rest of my life alone. I can't imagine life without him. Now, having said that, let me now say.....
MEN!!!!! ARGGGHHHHHH......!!!!! THEY MAKE ME CRAZY!!!!!!!!
Here's what happened. Remember when I mentioned Friday that Brian's truck was once again ready to die? Well, to put him in an even worse mood, he had lost his personal truck keys. He knew they weren't here at home, because he used them to get to the shop, where he swapped trucks. His truck for the near death truck. I asked if he had checked under the seats or anything and he said yes, but he went out and looked again (he had the work truck here at home). No luck. He was extremely annoyed because now he didn't have a shop key or house key and he would have to have replacements made and he said that you couldn't get that done. Which we all know is a bunch of hooey, and I told him so. He said "well, where can you get them made?" and I said "Longs Drug Stores, Home Depot, Payton's (hardware store)......"

"Well, they don't work."
"What do you mean, they don't work?"
"Well, they only work for a little while, because they do such a bad job of making them."

I just look at him. Sometimes he can be so darn contrary. I told him "well, use my shop key, then, I have one that I never use" and he said "well, what will *you* use then?". I said "honey, how many times have I used my shop key? Once?". Then he left to go to the shop to look for his keys there, even though he already had and he didn't find them. He came home, we got the stuff ready for Ford and he left again.

While he was gone, his brother called. I told him that Brian was gone and he said "well, we were supposed to be taking the truck to Ford" and I told him that Brian had said it was too late to do today. And I said, "by the way, he lost his keys" thinking that maybe he had seen them somewhere. He said okay, then hung up.

Now, we're at Friday. Friday, early afternoon. Brian dropped Mark off at home, then Brian came home and he microwaved a couple of hotdogs. I asked him if he had by any chance found his keys. He said yes, that Mark had them.

Remember, just a little bit ago, I said that I told Mark that Brian had lost his keys? I just looked at my husband. What came next, could have been a skit for Abbot and Costello.

Me: "Mark had them?"
He: "Yeah."
"Well, why didn't he say anything yesterday?"
"He didn't know he had them."
"He didn't know he had your keys?"
"Nope."
"How could he have not known that he had your keys?"
"He didn't know it."
"How did he get your keys?"
"He didn't have them."

Okay, dear readers, I was totally lost at this point. But like a trooper, I pursued this train of questioning.

"He didn't have the keys to your truck."
Silence.
"Brian, did he have the keys to your truck? The keys that you couldn't find?"
"You don't understand."

I slump against the kitchen counter. "No duh," I think to myself. He's on the other side, standing facing me. I'm lost.
"How did he get the keys that he had?"

Now, please keep in mind, that Brian kept interrupting me. He kept repeating that Mark didn't know that he had the keys.

"If he didn't know he had your keys, then how did he give them back to you?"
Silence. Again.
I try again. "How did he get the keys?"
"I gave them to him."
"And he didn't know he had them?"
"He didn't have my keys."
"Didn't you just tell me that you gave him your keys?"
"Yes, but he didn't know he had them."
"What, did you put them in his pocket for him? And he didn't notice you doing this?"

He looks at me, exasperated. Like it should be so easy to understand. We went back and forth for a couple of more minutes.  Finally, I think of something that might help me to understand what he means. I reach behind me, into my utility draw. I pull out a pair of blue handled needlenosed pliers. I'm smiling now, fighting down a bad case of the giggles.  This conversation is just too insane.  I hand them to my husband, who is now grinning uncertainly.

"Now, I just handed you a pair of pliers. Do you know that you have them?"
"Yes."
"And you gave Mark your keys."
"Mark didn't have my keys."
"But, you have the pliers."
"No. These pliers only work on that job over there."

I'm standing there, looking at the pliers in his hand. I really want to understand, I really do. I open up the drawer behind me, pulling out a pair of red handled pliers. His eyes light up. Now he can better explain.

"Okay, those pliers work on this job, the other ones only work on the other job."
"But you know that you have them?"
"No, I don't have them."

At this point, I had to sit down on the stepstool.  The giggles had gotten the best of me.  I was ready to give up, but not quite.  Anyway, it turns out that Brian's line of thought was that he *had* given Mark the keys, but Mark forgot that he had them. And the keys that Brian had given Mark were *supposed* to have been for the work truck. Therefore, he didn't have Brian's keys. I asked Brian why Mark hadn't said anything about having Brian's keys when I mentioned that Brian's keys were lost. Brian said "I didn't tell him, he didn't know" then he looked at me and said "Oh, yeah, that's right, you told him yesterday afternoon." Then Brian said "Well, has somebody ever given you something you didn't remember?" Well, not within a five hour time period, that's for sure. And if someone said to me "Hey, I'm missing my such and such" and they had given me such and such within the last five hours, I'd sure as heck remember and I'd mention it. I think Brian thought I was picking on his brother (and he's so pickable, believe me) and was getting defensive. I ended up going over to the bookcase and gently banging my head on it. What was so frustrating was that I kept trying to say that Mark didn't know he had the personal truck keys, but he knew that he had keys. And Brian said this wasn't the case. I still can't completely figure it out. I don't even think I'm going to try anymore.

Brian went on one of his drives yesterday. He knew I wouldn't go with him because I am still worried about Kirby. And poor Kirby, I don't give him any peace. Following him around, watching how he lays, watching how he pees, grabbing him and shoving pills down his throat. I try petting him and playing with him, but he's still leary of me. Last night, I couldn't find him. I looked in every room, then finally in the bedroom. He was on the bed. I just couldn't bring myself to pill him. I wanted him to have at least one safe place from this awful thing. He doesn't really trust me. I started gently petting him and talking softly to him and I finally heard a purr. It's been a while. But I don't have to give him pills too much longer, just today. After I got the pred and the amoxi down (he spit out the ammonil) him this morning, I gave him a couple of pieces of cooked chicken. He likes that. I saw him outside a little bit ago, squatting and I walked up to where he squatted and victory!! there was urine and there was no cry from him.

And all of the cats really like the new Nutro food we got them, so that's good. A big relief to me. Hopefully, there won't be anymore struvite crystals in our cats. Bobby will actually sit at the feeder and eat, something he never did with Nature's Recipe. And he's putting on a little weight, which certainly can't hurt him.

When the cats came to eat last night, Cleo looked a little heavy through the stomach. Looks like I'm going to have to trap her and get her fixed. I should do the other guys, too. I hate this so much. I wish I had someone here to help me. I'd really like to hold off on Blackie until I can get him more use to me. Speaking of Blackie, he's been coming by early in the day as well as evening. I'm taking advantage of this by giving him a little food mixed with a Clavamox pill. I noticed the other day, when I could see him better, that his eyes have all sorts of crud on them. URI, I think. The Clavamox should help. I hope he doesn't have the thing that Ciara has, but her eyes were never messed up.

Lonee Gail let me hold her this morning, she was laying on the condo we use to block the child's gate that blocks the locked cat door (Benny is quite determined). I picked her up and moved her, then picked her up again and loved her and petted her and she purred and headbutted me and wiped my face with hers. She was being exceptionally affectionate this morning. I love that little girl. Yesterday, I was opening the windows in the dining room, saw her outside trying to pee, she saw me and cried. I sure hope she's okay. I can't even imagine trying to get her into a carrier. Not after the time she bit me and the other time when she bit Brian.

Yesterday, after Brian mowed the lawn, I saw him sitting in the swing and I went out and sat beside him. Mickey actually came out of the house, onto the lawn. But he was only out as long as I was. He came in when I did. And he's just sitting at the door, looking out again this morning. He's always been a little afraid of the dogs and I wonder if Junior chased him the night he was left out. And that's why he won't go out now. It's really a shame, because he use to like it so much outside.

Oh, I almost forgot!! We had an earthquake Thursday night. I heard it coming then BOOM!! The cats all sat up, wide eyed and the dogs started barking. I ran back to the office and did a quick search and found this great site with almost immediate earthquake information. I'm talking minutes. Recent Earthquakes In California it has quake information for the entire state. The one we felt was that big one down at the US/Mexico border. I think that site is so much fun, I bookmarked it. Earthquakes kind of make me feel like an elevator in motion does. It's weird.

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february 23, 1999 Boy, I feel like crap. Late Sunday afternoon, we went grocery shopping. Well, before we shopped, we ate dinner at the little Mexican restaurant next to the grocery store. I ordered a bean and cheese burrito, with sour cream and guacamole. The burrito was delicious, but huge. A lot of beans. A lot of fiber. And I think I shocked my system, big time. I get this pain in my lower left side, right under the pelvic bone. The last time this happened was when I had a big bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. I guess I should start eating more fiber on a regular basis. This is no fun. The first time it ever happened, about three years ago, I thought I was dying. I was so scared, Brian took me to emergency, where they could find nothing wrong with me. I was there for hours, they ran all sorts of tests. Couldn't find anything wrong with me. *sigh* The joys of aging. What I found helped were laxatives. So, yesterday, where there was a sharp pain, today is only a dull ache. And tomorrow, I'll be back to normal.

Sunday, Brian got rid of most of the woodpile. And yesterday he finished. Yay!! There was only one mouse, not at all like the time he got rid of the wood that was against the house (there were over four dozen). Poor Benny. There goes his fun spot. I took Mickey out yesterday to see it and he looked at it, then wanted to go back in the house. Bad memories.

I called the vet yesterday about Cleo. They said just to bring her in as soon as I catch her. She was here for breakfast yesterday, but haven't seen her today. Just as well since I don't feel good. But we have to get her done.

Ciara is back in heat and I haven't heard anything about the interferon yet. I sure wish it would come in. I want her well.

I guess Kirby is doing better. He's spraying all over the house. *sigh*

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february 26, 1999 Well, I'm feeling much better. I had a relapse Wednesday, I guess I did too much. Brian ended up having to do the dishes. It's amazing. The first time this ever happened, I was scared. After the trip to the doctor, I was sent home with some pain killers (didn't take them). Brian left me alone and went over to his brother's to play with his tractor. He was pretty much gone all weekend. Really good for my spirits. Not. I was miserable and we all know that misery loves company. Well, this time, after Brian had to do the dishes and get the cats in and feed the cats, things I usually do, he said "maybe you should go to the doctor". Gee, how come he never said that before? One of the things that didn't help is when he went to CostCo on Monday, he brought home the large bags of catfood for the outdoor cats. And he just left them sitting where our cats could get to them. I didn't know he had done this. Later on, I went out into the garage and both bags had holes chewed in them. Great. So, I had to put them in the container. Brian said "can you wait a minute?" Geez, Brian, it's been hours, the cats finally realized there was some yummy food here, they are all wanting to get at it, ripped holes in the bags and are eating it right now, which is extremely bad for their diets. No, it can't wait. The cats are more important than some dumb show on tv, I'm sorry, but that's just how I feel. You know, I don't think he realizes just how much I do here at home. Not until it doesn't get done. But, hopefully, I'm better now, I don't feel so sore today at all.

Well, I'll be on pins and needles for the next couple of days. Little Ciara, our sweet, little, hot stuff kitten was out of the yard yesterday. I had called the vet again yesterday on the status of the interferon, and they were going to check on it. Well, at "kitties in" time, I didn't see Ciara. I had seen her not too long before and I was wondering where she could have gotten to. I walked over to the side of the shop that has the fencing to the roof and I saw her. On the wooden fence. On the other side of the fencing that goes to the roof. Nonchalantly walking along. Oh. My. God. I called her and she said "hey" and kept on doing what she was doing. She certainly was in no big hurry to get back into the yard. So, I runrunrun into the house, out the front door, up to the neighbor's, sore feet and side be damned. (please be home, please be home, please be home!!) I get to the front door, oh, yay, lights are on, I hear the tv. I ring the doorbell, Alex and Maddie start barking, I hear Diana saying "shh shhhhh shhhh you guys" and she opens the door. "Diana," I pant, "Ciara is in your backyard."
"Well, that's okay."
"Could you please keep the dogs in and I'll go get her?"
She was trying to keep it quiet, because her hubby had fallen asleep on the couch. He woke up. I ran out the sliding door to the backyard, calling Ciara. I found her. I reach up and grab her by the scruff of the neck. She smiles at me. "Hi, mom!!" "Ciara, you little spit!!" I hold her to me, walk back into the house. "Thank you, thank you, thank you, I'm so glad you were home." "No problem" she told me. "You know, the gate is always open." (Yeah, but when you're here, you can restrain the dogs)

Anyway, I didn't let the cats out so early this morning, and then I wouldn't let Ciara out. I wanted to wait until it was lighter and I could see where she had gotten out. And, gee, what do you think she did the first thing? She went over to her escape route. At least it was quick. I picked her up, walked her back into the house and told hubby, who was still in bed, that I knew how she had escaped. After he had gotten up and showered, he fixed it. See, she's so small and lightweight, that she can get places on the fencing where the other cats can't. And she did. Hopefully, she wasn't nailed while in the other yard. I don't actually think she got into the yard, I think she was just walking along the top of the fence. Plus, there was no howl, the one that the queens let out after sex (maybe because the male cat has a barbed penis and it hurts when taken out), which if there would have been, our dogs would have gone nuts barking, her little backside wasn't wet, she didn't spend anytime grooming herself, the neighbor's dog wasn't there (the one that chases the cats in the morning) and she's still showing all of the signs of heat. I called the vet this morning and the interferon is in.

She's trying her darnedest to push her face through the new barrier, but isn't having any luck. We watch her from the house, trying this and trying that. Fingers crossed that she realizes she won't get over there and she'll just quit trying. But I'll be keeping her in, when I have to leave or take a shower, until I'm absolutely sure she can't get out. Brian says it would be nearly impossible for her to do so. I'm worried about the *nearly*.

So, I check on her, right? She was at the side of the shop. Where the fence to the roof was blocked off. No problem. I check again, a few minutes later. Oh, man, I just can't stand this. She was on top of the original barrier, trying to get through the fence to roof barrier. This little girl is very determined. Right now, Brian is outside, pulling up the original and attaching it to the new. It's only a problem over the polycarbonate. He said you know you'll still have to keep an eye on her. (*sigh* no duh)

Kirby seems to be doing okay, knock on wood. Last night, I saw him pee, then walk funny, like he was sore, then lick himself. I didn't care for that, but he was okay this morning.

Latest Ciara check....she's laying in the grass by the pool. Regaining momentum? Taking a break? Or throwing in the towel. Only time will tell.

Letting Georgie out at night sure makes it easier on us all. No crying and whining, and he's not nearly so aggressive towards the other cats.

I got a phone call from Netlink the other day telling me that since we are within a twenty mile radius of the local NBC, CBS and ABC affiliates, that to continue to receive the east coast, Denver and west coast feeds of these stations, we will need a waiver from each station. I sure hope we get it. We live in a geological *hole* and even with the rooftop antenna, don't get good reception. And I won't have cable again.

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february 28, 1999 Captain's log, stardate.....blah, blah, blah....

Guess what? I'm helping Brian paint the shop. And then we're gonna paint the house. Notice the blue? Brian didn't realize it was gonna be this bright. We have a lighter blue for the stucco on the house and the trim will all be white. I'm painting the gaps.

I have a plastic cup from a fast food place and my paint brush and my stool. It's really time consuming because the wood in between is like a sponge on either side of the flat part. And if I don't get it all, you can see the original coat of paint. I was only able to do half a side of the shop, while Brian got almost all of the rest done.

While I was painting, I was listening to all of the neighborhood sounds. Some people a couple of houses up were doing yard work. And for some reason I got this weird urge to have a garden this year. I mentioned it to Brian. He said okay.

I said where would I put it and he said right where the woodpile use to be. Yay. It's about 8 x 12. I told him not to dump dogpoop there. (When we scoop the poop, we dump it behind the shop and Brian rototills it into the dirt. But there is very little where the garden will be because the woodpile has only been gone for a little less than a week.) I don't want dogpoop fertilizer. I think I'll grow corn, tomatoes, peppers (bell and jalapeno), and lettuce for starters. The best corn I've ever had was corn I grew when I lived by myself in Spring Valley. That corn was so sweet you could pick an ear and eat it without any preparation. I tried corn here one year, but the damn ants got to it. They nested in the stalks. I'll do everything I can to keep them away from my corn this time.

We ran out of paint and he had to get more. I finished up what I had, cleaned my cup and brush and came inside to work on the laundry.

Since I made the decision to get Cleo during the day, she hasn't been around during the day. I don't want to catch her at night and have her spend the time in the cage. Darn it.

Blackie is getting more affectionate each time I see him. He was outside this morning, laying on the mat by the gate. I opened the door and talked to him, he got up and came towards the food dish. I went into the garage and got a can of Fancy Feast, took it outside and dished it up. I walked towards him, he was talking to me. He let me pet him and scratch behind his ears and he rubbed against my legs. Those mats on him are awful. I want him. This poor guy. I started in with Brian. Brian says "when are you gonna start work?" I looked at him, said "next week". He said the food for these guys is more than for us. And I said "Brian, Blackie wants a home." Brian said "he has a home, even if they don't take care of him." Besides, he said, "I don't think he could handle living in one place, he's a wanderer". Oh, come on, he's not neutered and if he didn't want to live somewhere and be loved, why would he spend so much time at our house? Heck he's here at night and in the morning, sometimes even during the day. Besides, he's a tame cat. He's just so ratty looking, he's scary. He needs to be taken to the vet, tested, and if that's okay, he needs to be bathed, neutered, and shaved (I don't believe there's any other way to get rid of his mats). He most likely has a URI, he most likely has earmites, fleas and the worms that go with them. He needs attention. Both medical and emotional. I think he would be a great cat with the proper care. So, hubby, looking disgusted, says "well, keep working with him until you can pick him up." Yay!!

Every once in a while, the subject of the keys comes up. He tried explaining to me again this morning, even after I said I didn't want to hear it, and I covered my ears, started singing loudly and off-key "LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA". He just looked at me in amazement and started laughing. Hey, it worked!!

Ciara's interferon showed up Friday. I had called on it Thursday and Elena didn't know anything about it, would check on it and get back with me. Never called. I'm a nervous wreck with Ciara and I called again Friday morning, before nine. Yep, it's in. I went over about a quarter to one to pick it up. It wasn't ready. Come back at three. Scream.

When I left, Brian was home, prepping the shop to be painted. I told him to watch Ciara, or should I put her up and lock the catdoor? She'll be okay, he assured me. I was gone for almost a half hour and when I got home, he wasn't out working on the shop, but inside. This didn't give me a good feeling. He couldn't find Ciara. He actually looked a little panicked. He said he could hear her, but not find her. She came running when she heard me calling, I think she was under the pool pump outside. She's such a cutie it's hard to be angry with her.

Buddy has seemed pretty mellow lately. And I noticed last night, that his back has cleared up and he's no longer spending hours trying to scratch himself. The only thing I can think of is that Sandy is gone. I don't know why that would make him stop itching, though. Could he have been allergic to her? I gave him and Junior kisses last night. Then Junior gets so wound up and ruins a nice, quiet time.

Mickey goes out a little more now. He seems to be slowly getting over his fear of the great outdoors.

I don't know how many of you have noticed, but the great midi sites are gone. Seems that last December, they got notice that if they had copyright material on their sites, that they had to get licenses for the songs or to remove them. I guess this is an extremely time consuming process and many of them just quit. I was trying to remember if they all had advertising on them, the kind they made money off of, but I just can't seem to recall. Some of the smaller sites are still there, but I took mine down because I don't want any problems. What a bummer. The midi files were so much fun. Well, one thing, I'm glad I didn't take the time to find the albums at CD Now, like I had planned on. What a waste of time that would have been.

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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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