Friday, July 31, 2009

Mother's Little Helpers

We have a lovely stone bench that Keith's grandfather made. He was a tile and terrazo man here in Atlanta, and he did a lot of beautiful work for some large companies, like Coca Cola.
This stone bench is where I take almost all of my yarn and craft pictures since it is so lovely.

This stone bench is also a very favored snoozing spot for kitties.
This morning I wanted to take a picture of the newest sample sock for Gale, and Mr. Chubbers was napping on the bench. I put the sock behind him, and he instantly was awake and curious. Grey, a.k.a. Princess Plumeria, was up there almost instantly also.

I tried to get them to both look at the camera or at least look up at the same time.
As you can see, that took several tries. I have the pictures here on my blog in the order they were taken.
I finally got down on kitty level to get some yarn pics. If you look closely in the first and more blurry of the two, you see some thin, blurred areas on the right to middle. These are Mr. Chubbers's whiskers.
He had to rub my hand and try to chew on my fingers as I took pictures.
The final shot was taken quite quickly. Grey and Chubbs were still helping me. I just got between the two of them and shot the yarn quickly.
Let's talk about the sock and yarn briefly. The color is Grapevine. It's one of the colorways Gale uses for her rovings. Since I needed something I knew I could knit quickly, I'm doing yet again a garter rib. The sock is worked toe up. I used Judy's Magic cast on, then used my variation of the information Ann Budd published in Interweave Knits Summer 2007 for working toe up socks. I actually cast on a lot more stitches that she did since I don't like my toes quite so pointy. I am a big Magic Loop fan, so these are worked on Addi Turbo's size 1 (which are actually 1.5 when you check a needle gauge). I'll use the Priscilla Gibson Roberts heel, which I've memorized and rather like.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Finished Stormy Sea Sock

This is a sample knitted for Gale to take on the road when she goes to fiber festivals. I've got another one to get started on later today.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Grief is sneaky

I've been doing pretty well the past few days with Scooter being gone. He was so old and fragile, as well as cranky, that I know he's comfortable and at peace now.

However, I do miss him more than I can express.

Today was the first time I've been to the grocery store since he died last Thursday, and I nearly started crying while I was there. This was the first time in months that I didn't have to buy baby food for him. Grief sneaks up when you least expect it, leaving you with tears leaking from your eyes when you are trying to choose tomatoes.

I told Keith when I got home that I sort of just felt like climbing into bed and curling up in a fetal position. I didn't do that, but I did get in bed for a short nap. Grey came and snuggled up next to me, her side against my ear, purring and comforting me. Both Keith and I have been kind of down today. We both miss Scooter, and while we need rain, the gloomy day didn't help either of us any.

In other news, I have finished the first sample sock for Gale's Art. I'll wash it tonight, get it blocked and finally get a picture of it tomorrow.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Thinking again.

I've been told I think too much. I'm one of those who overanalyzes stuff. Can't help it, I just do.

I've found myself thinking the past few days of how Scooter had consumed my thoughts these past few months. I worried about him, checked on him, fed him on demand, catered to increasingly messy litterbox habits and had gotten to the point where I wanted to make sure we weren't gone for long hours at the same time. That was easy enough to do most days as I've not been working.

However, hubby wants me to do something to earn money, and I feel like that's a possibility again. Now that Scooter is gone, I find myself with some freedom that I haven't had in awhile. I had been primary caregiver to the old kitty, and I don't regret or grudge a minute of it. I don't think I can express how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to do that for him. What I knew to expect, but still don't know quite how to handle, are the mixed feelings of grief and relief. I'll work through them. I've been there before when my mother in law passed away from cancer. By the time she died, she was so riddled with cancer that her passing was a blessing. The relief we feel when we no longer have to watch a loved one suffer is huge. And I've found that we tend to feel a little guilty about that relief.

Part of me wants to withdraw and regroup. Sure, I've been at home since January, but it's different now. My focus can shift to other things, such as what do I want to do when I grow up. Puzzling out some of those odd sewing patterns in my head. I still have yarn colors in my head for which I need to develop recipes. Life does go on, constantly changing with new opportunities.

I've been a bit remiss with Week 2 of the Artist's Way. A new week starts tomorrow, and I'll get back on track. She suggests we may have resistance to some of the exercises, but I'm thinking my lack of adherence this past week has been due to extenuating circumstances. Maybe I'm just fooling myself, and it was an excuse to not deal with recovering a sense of identity. Thankfully, the Artist's Way is not something to do one time and never look at again. If I'm not ready for week 2 now, I can always tackle it later. (Or even this week.)

I hear brunch coming to the table, so I'm out of here.

Stormy Sea Sample Sock

The knitting continues of the first sample sock for Gale's Art. I've actually turned the heel and will be doing the gusset today.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Now that we're back from the vet and the pet crematory, I'm aware of a strange emptiness in the house. Keith is sitting in the dark, playing his guitar. I was here in my office, making a couple of phone calls, and noticing the emptiness.

Yes, we have other pets, whom I love dearly, but Scooter had been with us for 19 years. That's almost our entire married life.

He's not in here, sleeping on his mat on the floor. I don't hear him breathing or purring or yowling. I won't have to check under desks or dressers to make sure he's only sleeping and hasn't quietly hidden himself to die.

I've been thinking too about things I've learned from Scooter. He, Pixel and Brownie were the first cats I ever had. As Scooter aged drastically this past year, he became increasingly difficult to handle. He had ear problems and wouldn't let me near his ears. He could be extremely elusive and as wriggly as an eel when we cleaned and dressed his neck. He wasn't very used to me handling his paws, so clipping his thickened and grimy claws was an ordeal for all involved. What has this translated into? Well, much to their chagrin, I've been cleaning everyone elses' ears on a very regular basis. I'm wrestling them and trimming claws. I've wiped a kitty butt or two. I don't want to have another elderly cat that I'm scared to handle. Scooter wasn't used to being handled in such a manner, and I was very afraid that I would hurt him. By the time the next one reaches 18, he or she is going to be used to being handled in such a way. This way there won't be any hyperventilating that I'm daring to trim a claw. I won't get attacked for looking into an ear or even using a tissue to clean out some wax. Knowledge and wisdom are cumulative, but sometimes I really wish I could use a Vulcan mind meld and just learn it all the easy way.

I really want to thank everyone for their support through this long, drawn out process. Your support has been very helpful to me. Cancer is a horrible death for all involved, both patients and their families. It doesn't matter if the cancer patient is a relative or a pet, either way it's still tough. We've been through both types - family members with cancer and pets with cancer. Some are in remission while others passed away. All of it is painful.

One thing to take away from this is that every experience enriches our lives. Right now the pain is fresh, but what I'll remember are the good times. The times I was sick with fever, and Scooter slept on top of me for days. (Yes, I know. Cats love a feverish human being. It's their own personal heater.) Scooter who would come look at me with a glint in his eye before hopping beside me on the sofa, doing the "flop and roll" where he would end up with his belly in the air, waiting for me to rub it so he could wrestle with me. Scooter running wild eyed to the waterbed we once had with the upholstery platform. He would get on his back, pulling himself with his claws all around the bed. He and Keith would play for hours. Scooter attacking Brownie when he was young. Scooter attacking Grey because she followed him for too long. Taking Scooter to the vet, and having Dr. Hyatt ask me if I was feeding him hamburgers (Scoots liked to eat, and it showed). As the memories of today fade, those are what I'll remember.

It's finally here.

I'm talking about Scooter's final vet visit. Yesterday he was hiding under furniture and behind things where we couldn't get him. He ate a little bit last night and some this morning for breakfast, but not with his usual gusto. His breathing is increasingly labored, and he was starting to stagger some last night.

Right now I just feel numb. Just from his age we knew this day was coming. Today he is 19 years, 1 month and 2 days old. He's pretty ancient for a cat. However, the cancer is causing anemia, and that cancer is too far gone.

Anyway, we're off to the vet in just a few minutes. The gal I spoke to there said they had plenty of Rescue Remedy on hand. I said I'd take a few drops in my whisky. Just kidding. I won't be drinking on an empty stomach at the vet's office. I may be grieving, but I have more sense than that.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Larval skirts

I've got larva on the brain right now. The day before yesterday we found a gigantic, ready to be even more supersized in a 1950's style nuclear test, tomato hornworm. If it gets much bigger, it would be ready to take over the world. Keith wanted to take a picture of it, so I left it where it was, leaving it for him to photograph. Darn thing disappeared. I checked online for the life cycle stages, thinking I could perhaps determine where it may be preparing to pupate, and they drop to the ground, dig a burrow and overwinter.
So no such luck in finding the hornworm. I've checked again this morning, and I know they've been there as I've found caterpillar poop. I'll have to go big larva hunting later today.
Anyway, for my birthday, I got the book Sew What! Skirts. It is such a great book. There are no patterns in it. Instead, it takes you step by step through drafting your own patterns. It has some really wonderful skirts and fabulous ideas.
Like this very fun layered skirt. I actually love the fabrics they used for it, but I wasn't sure I'd wear them. Instead I found the one with the blue birds and pompom dahlias on it, thought it would be fun, and got a coordinating fabric in the same collection for the underskirt. I love those wide stripes. I hope it looks as good as I'm picturing it.
Next, I've always been an owl fan. I had a dress I loved with an owl print on it, and I wore it until it was really way too short for me. I think I was still wearing it in the 7th grade, at which point it was probably a micro mini. So when I saw these owls at Intown Quilters, I had to have them. I was looking for something to make into the easy A-line skirt from the book, and I think the owls are it. The skirt in the book has 3/4" rick rack around the bottom for an edging detail. How perfect and retro is that? I'll have to take a sample with me to Hancock Fabrics to see what color rick rack they have.

The skulls and roses fabric I found in the seasonal fabrics at Magical Threads in Dahlonega. I'd never seen it before, although now I've seen it all over and knocked off in the big box stores. However, when I found it back in November of 2005, I took one look at it, thought of the Grateful Dead, and purchased the remainder of the bolt.

It turns out the owner of Magical Threads has a son who's a Deadhead, so she had ordered the fabric as backing fabric for a quilt she made for him, and put the rest of the bolt out. I think she was relieved to sell the rest of it to me. This fabric has sat in my stash while I pondered how to use it. Quite honestly, as soon as I found the Barcelona Skirt pattern, I figured that's what it would be. I have struggled slightly with the thought of a 45+ year old woman wearing it. Was it age appropriate? As some of my friends have said, who cares if it is? Actually, I do, as I think there's nothing sadder than older women dressing as if they were 20 somethings. It can be a somewhat grotesque attempt at youth that makes the onlookers wince in pain or convulse with laughter.

However, a skull and roses skirt would be very appropriate apparel, regardless of age, when attending the Silver Scream Spook Show. In fact, we looked a little out of place last time as not a one of us was wearing black or chains. No, we represented suburbia quite well.

And finally, I think I've mentioned catching poison ivy via a feline vector. I found said vector outside recharging her fur with urushiol today. If you enlarge the picture, you can more easily see the poison ivy just by what would be her left shoulder. I do hate to disappoint my fuzzy princess, but we are not sharing my pillow today, nor do I want her leaning against my ear and shoulder for napping. Maybe later, much later, after it's worn off.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ok, it's about the weather

I just have to say the weather today is incredibly wonderful. Down here in the Deep South summer is usually muggy and hot. The cats go outside and languish all day in a heat induced stupor. I keep Sassy inside as much as possible because of her allergies aren't helped one bit by the steamy heat.

This morning a rare summer cool front has moved through. Lows down in the low 60's for the next few nights. Such a treat when just a few weeks ago the lows went barely below 80, with highs up near 100.

Chubby and Lily have gotten what I call the fall skitters. The cooler weather has the two of them running like insane kitties outside, chasing each other or leaves waving gently in the breeze.

All of us, humans, animals, plants, trees and even the earth seem to be breathing a collective sigh of relief from the baking, convection oven like heat.

It's only July. We'll all be roasting again before you know it, but we're enjoying today while we can.

PS. I started menu planning for next week, and I've just now realized there's no Mexican on the menu, yet. I've got a couple of nights not filled in yet, so there's still time to get a molcajete and make something delicious.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Making curry

I thought I'd mention here that making curry is truly like any other type of cooking. You've got to get the right blend of spices for your taste. We're lucky that here in the Atlanta metro area there is a very large Indian population, so I have a lot of choices when it comes to eating Indian out or making it at home.

While the slow cooker curry is very easy since I used a preblended masala paste, one of my other favorite recipes is from The New Moosewood Cookbook. You have to measure all of your spices for the curry, and this gives you the option to leave something out if you don't like it or have it on hand.

Years ago I found a cookbook called The Yogi Cookbook at the library. There is a quote in there that I found very funny at the time, and it's stuck with me. I do wish I could be official and reference the page, but here it is. "What delights the Indian surprises the westerner". He was talking about the fact that Indians will use the whole spices in their food and happily crunch them up. Westerners aren't always prepared to eat whole spices. However, I have remembered that quote, and I use whole spices when I make Indian food here at home. Keith and I have both laughed while enjoying the flavor blast from a cardamom seed.

By the way, The Yogi Cookbook has been a real challenge to find. I saw those prices on Amazon and couldn't believe it! What I've found though is that if you keep looking, sometimes the prices will come down, as was the case with Diana Kennedy's The Art of Mexican Cooking. When I first started looking for it, I couldn't find it anywhere for less that $125! I wanted it, but not that badly. I even wrote the publisher and suggested that they reissue it since it was commanding such high prices online. In the meantime, I would occasionally search for it, and one day I found it listed for $20. I think mine is missing its dustjacket, but I was buying it for the recipes.

Some other authors whose books I own are Yamuna Devi and Anna Thomas. I'll admit that I'm willing to try to cook just about anything at home, and sometimes I'm just not successful. Thank goodness for the compost bin! And perhaps surprisingly, it's the Mexican food I've not tackled yet. I'm not sure why we've not tried it yet. Is it the abundance of Mexican restaurants that serve delicious Americanized Mexican food? Probably. Yet I go through the Diana Kennedy or Rick Bayless books and drool, so maybe it's time I give it a go.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Slap my wrist and

call me bad!

Yes, I know I haven't blogged enough this week. I've been doing other things.

I started taking yoga again. My doctor told me at my last visit to check my thyroid levels that it would be great if I went to yoga 2-3 times a week.

Then, last week, Keith asked me if I was ever going to go back to the gym. I said, yeah, when I had my van back! (His car is getting to that age/mileage where things slowly start to go. When that happens, he takes my car. I end up stranded at home or at work. I'm soooo glad to have my own wheels again!)

So, I started yoga, actually did some housework and got to observe the futility of mopping when Sassy came racing in with muddy paws all over the freshly mopped floor.

But I haven't been very crafty this week. I've done no sewing, very little knitting and just tons of thinking. See why I've not blogged? No wonderful pictures or amusing tales to share. What I will share is my very very easy crockpot curried chicken.
First a quick word. We all have those recipes that we turn to when we don't know what we're having for dinner. There are so many times I'll grab my Vindaloo paste and a packet of chicken to pop into the oven. It's been too hot to run the oven, so I decided to give it a go in the crock pot and see if I could make a dent in the giant jar of grated ginger that I bought. (What was I thinking?)
It's super easy. Take your crock pot and add all the following ingredients:
1 chopped onion
4 chopped potatoes
1 packet of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts, whatever you have on hand)
1 heaping soupspoon full of grated ginger
2 sort of heaping soupspoons full of whatever curry paste you have on hand. I happened to have Kashmiri Masala open.
Add water to cover. The times I've had vindaloo in restaurants, I was surprised at how soupy it was. I kept that in mind when I tossed all this together. You can probably use less water if you'd like. You can also add some more cayenne if your curry paste isn't hot enough. Put the crockpot on high and cook for about 4 hours.
When it was closer to dinner, I made some rice similar to some I've had in a local restaurant. Once again, no recipe, just working from memory. Before I brought the water to a boil, I added some whole cumin (that's what the restaurant used) and whole cardamom seeds since I just really like cardamom. I usually add a little extra water because I won't leave my rice alone. I like to look at it and check it, so I've found a little extra water helps. As the rice neared doneness, I added some frozen petite peas. The rice was bland since I've been trying to avoid extra salt, so remember to add a pinch to yours.
And remember, a quiche is also a surprisingly fast dinner when you don't what to make. It does require you to have a deep dish pie shell in the freezer, but most of us have all the other ingredients on hand. The Enchanted Broccoli Forest has a quiche formula which is what I use, so I'll recommend the book. And yes, I've learned to keep frozen pie shells on hand for those nights I'm too lazy to really cook.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday, so there must be pictures!

Ah, origami. It's one of those things that I haven't tried yet, other than those fortune teller things we used to do in elementary school. Do you remember those?

At the first meeting of our Artist's Way group, our ringleader showed us how to make flowers. It was to get our artistic juices flowing.

Yesterday, one of the other women will be making boxes for a corporate event, and looking at all the cuteness, I thought I'd give it a go.

An important part of the Artist's Way is taking yourself on an Artist's Date once a week. I didn't quite follow the rules this time as Gale went with me, but we parted ways once we got to Pearl Art Supply. She does Artist's Dates too, so she understands that we needed to go browse alone. One thing that Pearl carries is origami paper, and origami is something Keith also has an interest in. I purchased 2 packs of paper, and last night I made my first box.
Origami is like so many crafts. It's actually pretty easy to understand and do, but mastering it is quite another thing altogether. I'm happy with my box as a first try, but my lid doesn't quite fit the box properly, so I can see where I need to improve. I also understand that I'll build from the baby steps, and that's as it should be.

Next, you will see a flock of owls in process. I did enlarge the pattern to see if it would work the same, and it does. I've been getting better about where to place the fold, sewing down the beak, etc. The tiny one on the far left has safety eyes. While I like the way the eyes look, the posts and washers are really too big for a project this small. That's pretty disappointing as I think the eyes look great. Keith likes the little red button eyes better than the white buttons. You may need to embiggen the picture to get a better look at the red eyes. (Yes, if you're not a Simpsons fan, you may think that embiggen isn't a word, which is why I've linked it.)

And mainly because I loved this blissful look on her face, here is Grey, aka Princess Plumeria, groggy in the monkey grass where she has a nest. She can sleep in the warm sun on the cool leaves and be quite content.
And Scooter, you may ask. He's fading. I hate to say the end is imminent as he has come back from the brink too many times to mention this past year, but it does get closer each day. He seems to be sleeping even more, if that's possible, and eating less. He still has quite the appetite, but he's getting into the kitchen fewer times in the past few days. I'll keep you posted, and I do want to thank you all for your kind notes. He has lived a very long time for a cat, and honestly, we've done what we can to spoil him all of it.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hints for men

These are things that I actually heard this morning (well, I may have paraphrased some of them). Guys, these are things not to say to your wife on her birthday.

"Wow! There's a lot of pee there!" (when looking at the pee pad that's down on the floor for the old kitty when you have no intention of changing it yourself)

"I thought you did laundry. What got washed?"

"If you do any sweeping today, get the bedroom."

However, there are some things I heard that I liked. I think I won't list those out here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

It's an owl!

And it's stuffed with lavender buds. Mmmmm.

Skirt pictures

Here are the 3 skirts I made over the past few days. This time I've taken pictures of the linings too so you can see that they're much more fun that just plain muslin.

The brown floral skirt is made from an Amy Butler fabric that was on sale at Knitch. Would that I could buy all the wonderful Amy Butler fabrics to my heart's content, but alas, they're a little expensive, and those living off their hubbies need to not go too crazy.

The pink butterfly batik lining is from Wal-Mart. Yes, I never thought I would shop for fabric there, but it's not too bad for some inexpensive, 100% cottons for lining.

Next is a really fun floral on a very pale aqua background. This fabric came from Hobby Lobby, as did the solid pink lining fabric. This floral was just too lively to pass by.

I'm getting better with the installation of the invisible zippers too!

This green, which is reading more blue on my monitor, is really a bright, Chrismasy green. I got this at Gail K Fabrics last month. The wild, yellowy-green lining came from Wal-Mart. Yes, I should always take a tiny piece with me as the lining is ultra bright, but hey! It's on the inside, and it'll be our secret that I went so crazy.

I stopped by Hancock Fabrics today to purchase some cotton canvas for a bag pattern I have, and they were having a 50% off sale on some fabrics. I didn't see any I had to have for skirts, but I did pick up a lavender and bright red for skirt linings. I think I may break down and make a skirt from the skulls and roses fabric I got a couple of years ago.

I might sew some owls up today. Blame Kay of Mason Dixon Knitting. I've linked it to Kay's owl.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Regularly scheduled Sunday pictures

will return. I started working on my 3 Barcelona skirts yesterday. In between bouts of computer games I installed 3 zippers, sewed up 1 exterior and 2 linings. Today I've finished 1 skirt just a little while ago. Well, I still have to tack the zipper into the lining, but if all goes as planned, I'll have another one to do also. For one skirt I don't have quite the right colored thread, and I've been trying to make do, but I just can't. Must have the matchy-matchy sewing thread for the top stitching.

Scooter is still hanging in there. I've been worried about him since we saw the vet. (I think I'm being redundant, so I apologize.) His appetite seemed a little off, but today he's eating everything in sight again. Maybe he just felt a bit bad after the fluids. He has been sleeping on the floor in my office. I moved one of his cat beds in here. I think he's been in here because it's the room that's on the end of the ductwork, so it never seems to be cool enough in the summer or warm enough in the winter. He's in a draft free spot, sleeping peacefully. The sewing machine doesn't bother him at all. (There are benefits to being mostly deaf. The fireworks and vacuum cleaner don't scare him anymore either.)

So, look for skirt pictures later this week. No knitting right now, just sewing. I really needed a few more skirts.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Cats, knitting and random thoughts

I took this picture of Scooter sleeping one day last week. He looks so tiny and frail. The color is a bit odd as the room was dim, and I didn't want to turn on the lights and wake him.

For some reason in this picture he makes me think of fossils of dinosaurs.

I've been watching him sleep, eat and breathe quite closely since we went to the vet the other day. I really hope we don't have to put him to sleep on my birthday this week. I'd rather he decide to pass before or after, but not on it.

On to happier things. I had decided to participate in Summer of Socks 2009, but I find I've got other projects and things on my mind, so I may only do the one pair as official SOS2009 socks.

I have completed the first sock and made good progress on the second. Mr. Chubbers has been in need of petting, not to mention that I think he likes modelling with handknits as much as Grey, the Plumy Princess, does. It's not the best picture of the socks, but he's so cute I decided to focus on him. I can get better sock pictures later, but a good cat shot is not always possible. Don't you just want to snuggle him? He's a great cat, and I'm so glad that he decided that being a pet was ever so much better than being a stray. Just this past week he's started kneading on me while we're sitting on the bed at night. Luckily he's been using my knees instead of my bare arms or shoulders as Grey prefers.

As for the Jitterbug, I'm having to use size 2 needles to get the gauge, and it just seems too loose compared to the gauge I prefer. I'm starting to think these will be bed socks as I think the heel will wear out way too quickly. I have 2 other skeins of Jitterbug. I think I'll split them into two, use smaller needles and do toe up next time. I think I'd prefer a US 1.5 needle to this size 2. It seems much too large.

This is one of my other socks in progress, the pink and green Yummy from Miss Babs. I turned the heel on the first sock on Thursday night. This yarn has a nice feel to it. I enjoy knitting this sock, especially since it's the basic one that I've adapted and memorized, so it's so easy for me to do.

Today is the 4th of July. The day the colonies signed the Declaration of Independence. And I bet Americans have celebrated this day in much the same way since the holiday started. Drinking, cooking food over an open flame, and explosives (fireworks) with the occasional use of firearms! In fact, I'm amused that we celebrate several of our national holidays with booze and grilling. In all the centuries, we haven't changed that much at all. According to The Timetables of History, beer and wrestling were created during the same time period. Have a great 4th and stay safe!

As for me, I'll enjoy the results of the grilling, but I might actually take a minute or two and think about just how darn amazing our founding fathers were. Intelligent, enlightened men who had an opportunity to start a new country and try out ideas learned from classical history instead of just creating a new kingdom. We may not always like our elected leaders, and I know I don't, but at least we have some choices instead of having a king or dictator foisted upon us. Once again, have a happy 4th!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Waiting and watching

I've been keeping an eye on Scooter today. Perhaps the fluids yesterday weren't the best idea, but at this point it's hard to know what we should and shouldn't do.

When you are looking for something specific, I've noticed that I usually think I've found it. Does this make sense? I've been carefully looking to see if his breathing looks labored, and it does to me. It is really, or am I seeing what I dread/expect to see? Is he really eating less, or did I just give him a flavor he doesn't like as much? I'm reading too much into every detail while fearing that I'll miss something important.

I appreciate all the support from everyone. Last night Keith said that the last one of our first set of cats would be passing soon. It is amazing to me that we've had Scooter in our lives for so long. He was born very shortly after our second wedding anniversary, and he's been just the best cat ever. In just a little while I'll get my knitting and let him sleep on my lap until my leg goes numb. After all, it's the very least I can do for him.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Full of thought

Today Keith and I took Scooter in to see the vet who just a month ago thought Scooter was ready to go. She said his wound (tumor) care looked good. We discussed how much he eats, what he does during the day, all while she watched him walk around the examining room. He was ready to leave, trying to get back into the cat carrier.

We are very aware, as she reminded us, that he is anemic, and the tumor is what is causing the anemia. His breathing is a little difficult, but not too bad, so we all decided that to give him fluids. They would also shave the area around the tumor so that it's easier to keep clean.

He is pretty darn spry for a 19 year old kitty with a wasting tumor. However, he got stressed out when they had him in the back to give him the fluids. When the vet came back in, she said they have given him oxygen for a couple of minutes. She said that he had also looked wobbly, and that is due to the anemia. She said to keep a close eye on him for the next 24 hours. If he looks even more wobbly, then it's his time.

She said that it seemed like it was pure determination on his part that he was still with us. Apparently when he was in the examining room with us, he was putting on a good show of being in better shape that he really is.

So we left there, knowing that this may be the end. I tell you, it is so difficult to watch a loved one, whether human or animal, go through cancer. As you know if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, I've been struggling with Scooter's slow decline. If I'd been blogging 10 years ago, you would have probably read entries very much like this as we went through my mother-in-law's long, slow death from cancer.

And I know that I've thought we were nearing Scooter's death more than one time over the past year. I've been fortunate that he's liked living so much that he's kept fighting to stay with us. Each passing day brings us closer to the day he has to leave. For all I know, he's going to be bright eyed and perky again tomorrow. Or we may be calling the vet for his final visit. I really don't know. I know what I wish for.

I also know I spoke about suffering and detachment to material things several months ago. I was on my high horse about material goods. I may not give a rat's ass about a fancy car, but I do suffer from attachment to my loved ones, once again both human and animal. The pain and grief I suffer is of my own choosing since I want to experience love and life. No amount of pre-grieving really helps when the finality of death comes upon you.

I apologize as I do want to keep my blog a happy, fun place, and I'm sure I'll have funny anecdotes to share again. Life goes on, both the sad and the funny. Even in grief we can find things to make us smile. It's just that I'm quite sad right now. I may have to go look at to cheer up some before heading to bed. Sleeping with cats in the bed with you isn't always restful, and we had Lily in with us last night. Ooh! I do have something funny to share. At some point after we had fallen asleep she decided that between our pillows was a great place to snooze. Keith said he rolled over in my direction and got a mouthful of cat fur. Since she had her head in my direction, he got the tail end. LOL! ;)