wordweaverlynn: (Default)
The good news; she is amazingly healthy for a cat who is 15 and a half years old. She is a bit hyperthyroid, and she has been on meds for that for a few years. We'll be raising the dose a little and monitoring her progress.

The bad news is that her fur -- which can be as long as four inches -- got matted and tangled over the winter. She is not the sort of cat who permits anyone to brush her -- not without shoulder-length leather gauntlets and tranquilizers for two. Ordinarily she keeps it in good shape herself, but dry winters encourage matting. (Maybe I need to find a kitty-fur conditioner. Olive oil might work.) Once it starts to mat, that's it -- she'll need a shave.

So for the second time in her life, Gabriel is shaved down to the skin. She had to be tranquilized into sleep before the vet could do it. My poor sweet fuzzcat. Under the luxurious coat of black fur, she's a skinny pale-gray appaloosa spotted with black. And she is seriously embarrassed by her furless condition.

Last time this happened, about 10 years ago, her whole coat seized up at once into a solid piece of felt. The visiting groomer was able to cut it off like a blanket. The other cats sniffed the pelt with interest. Looked like poor Gabriel was gone, leaving only her fur behind. Then she appeared. Little Bit took one look and bolted. A ghost! Gabriel was a ghost!

So I have a question for other cat people and/or scientists. I know that Gabriel's long black fur is "smoke" -- black on the ends, pale next to the skin. What I don't understand is how that can be. Does the fur grow from the tip?

Any explanations? Thoughts? Similar experiences? Cat stories?
wordweaverlynn: (Gabriel)
When I went to the bathroom a few minutes ago, I was surprised to see that a couple of the vanity drawers were partly open. I tried to close them, but they bounced back. Something stuck inside?

Then an unearthly yowl of despair and misery echoed through the bathroom. I looked around and saw no cats. I spun in a circle, searching for unhappy felines in the shower, behind the toilet, in the greenhouse window. Nothing.

Then I realized the sound was coming from inside the bathroom vanity.

Yes, Ivan the Scarable had opened the drawers, climbed in, slipped or jumped behind the drawers, and got stuck there.

No matter how I tugged or lifted, the drawers wouldn't come out of the vanity. Nor would he come out.

Finally I had to go wake the Kitty Mommy herself, [personal profile] housepet, who coaxed him out. He trusts her. She told me Bear had been waking her at half-hour intervals since 1:30 this morning. I bet he knew Ivan was trapped and was trying his best Lassie imitation.

What bizarre interspecies encounters have you had lately?
wordweaverlynn: (Gabriel)
“Confront a child, a puppy, and a kitten with a sudden danger; the child will turn instinctively for assistance, the puppy will grovel in abject submission, the kitten will brace its tiny body for a frantic resistance.”


wordweaverlynn: (rilke)
About a year ago, external forces suddenly hurled me onto the rollercoaster of one of those huge, unexpected events that effectively ends the life you have been living and starts a new one. I knew then that the next few years would be rough. Boy, was I right. But we've made it through the first year, always the worst, and signs look promising for surviving the next few.

So. Hanging in there. Healing from betrayals. Building healthier relationships.

***

Somewhere along the way, for whatever reason or complex of reasons, I feel like I've come alive again -- in a way I haven't felt alive in years. The result is a flood of new ideas, some for new projects, some for old ones, and energy and will enough to actually do something about those ideas. Watch this space.

***

My temp job is coming to an end in 3 weeks or so. It has been good, but I am about ready to move on. Since July I've been celebrating Discardia at work: sorting, clearing, and consolidating old files for a publishing company. It's been a tour of my own past (the files date back to the early 1980s, when I was working in publishing) and the recent history of communications media: I've tossed out carbon copies, cassette tapes, CDs and DVDs, pink phone message slips, printouts of emails, faxes, and typescript on half a dozen grades of paper. Documents produced by pencil, ink, typewriter (using black, red, even blue ribbons) dot-matrix printer, daisy-wheel printer (distinguishable from typescript by microperforations for the tractor-feed paper), inkjet, laser. I've updated my editorial vocabulary and run across a few old friends in the files: copyeditors I used to use, an author I worked with in my first editorial job 30 years ago.

What a pleasure to be in the warm, intelligent, congenial atmosphere of a publishing company. I started out as an editor, and it's still my first love (after writing). And everyone has been grateful to me, because nobody there has time to handle the mammoth task of sorting the files while also doing their regular jobs plus doing other preparation for the move.

And I owe much gratitude to [personal profile] wild_irises, who hired me. The old boys network is powerful, but the friends of [personal profile] wild_irises are blessed.

This job ends 10/28, and then I'll probably be taking a week off to spend time with [profile] abostick59. The usual pattern: he plays poker, I stay locked in the hotel, writing. Works for us.

***

An insight from work: old rubber bands get disgusting before they finally turn brittle. Also, there are some weirdly shaped paper clips out there.


***

Do cats get new personalities for each of their nine lives? After mostly avoiding me for the past 8 years or so, Ivan the Scarable has recently decided that my chair is where he wants to nap, and he's quite happy to sit on my lap (and even be petted!). Meanwhile, Gabriel has suddenly noticed that the hall bathroom has a greenhouse window, and she spends a lot of time sleeping there or in [personal profile] housepet's room.

***

We're celebrating Discardia at home, too. [personal profile] gramina has a great new job whose only flaw is a brutal commute. So we're preparing for a possible move by trimming down, sorting old stuff, selling unwanted or duplicate books, donating excess clothes and dishes and so on, and tossing out detritus. Discardia!

***

I am looking for work again. As editor, writer (copywriter, social media, customer-facing materials), researcher, whatever. If you have any openings (freelance, full-time, or part-time), do let me know.

***

How are you? What have you been up to lately?

Max

Feb. 5th, 2011 10:33 pm
wordweaverlynn: (ireaper)
Last summer Max came to us, a bouncy 3-month-old kitten with a purr like a Harley-Davidson. (That's why we called him Mad Max, Beyond Thunderpurr.) He was our amusement and consolation during the hellish days of fall when the household was going through painful upheavals. Max loved everybody, and everybody loved him. He even got Gabriel, our 12-year-old Madame Dignity, playing again.

A couple of weeks ago he grew lethargic -- maybe a virus. Nothing the vet could do helped, and we kept going back for more tests, newer medicines. The daily subcutaneous fluids and vitamins perked him up a little, and we hoped desperately that his innate vigor would overcome whatever was making him so sick.

An ultrasound yesterday showed that his kidneys were blocked by either lymphoma or FIP. Either way, untreatable.

Today we let him go.

Farewell, dearest Max. I am sure he is at play somewhere, chasing a spring across a polished floor or crouching on Death's foot (assuming Death has a recliner) before rushing at 90mph to kiss his face.

Also, Death? I know you like cats, But so do we. Leave us a few, OK?
wordweaverlynn: (catbook)
Dear Bunnicat,

You do not live here.

I say this to you every time I see you—usually at least once a day, when you’re inside my kitchen eating Gabriel’s food. The other night when you came strolling into the bedroom was the outside of enough. Gabriel thought so too. At least you took the hint when she started hissing.

You’re a big, soft, furry lump of feline. You don’t seem neglected or hungry. You smell like an intact Tom or a slightly diluted skunk. With your Himalayan markings and deep, plush fur, you’re probably someone’s pampered pet, just out to snag a little extra kibble. Your bobtail looks astonishingly like a rabbit’s tail; I can’t tell if you lost some of it in an accident or were born with a fluffy three-inch stub.

If you insist on using the cat door to visit my apartment, I expect you to follow protocol.

1. Leave Gabriel alone.
2. Do not spray in here or use the litterbox. Do your business outside.
3. Don’t eat more than half the food. Yes, I’m putting out extra. I’m a big old softy.
4. Remember that my lease is restrictive: I am not allowed to have more than one cat.
5. If you show up late for dinner, do not stand in the kitchen and howl in agony. Learn to shake the dry-food dispenser as Gabriel does or show up early enough to get canned food.
6. No fleas. I mean it.
7. Stay in the kitchen. Venturing into the carpeted areas is tacky, especially since (A) you shed like a snowstorm, and (B) you won’t let me touch you.
8. Go home occasionally. As I have said, you do not live here.

Oh, and you might stay still long enough for me to get a picture.

Thank you,
The Management



PS to Humans: Is it possible to have a cat door for my cat and still keep out bold neighborhood felines? How?

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