sharpchick_2011: (Cat with lime)
Haven't updated in several months.

Since my last post, I have...

Survived the December 25 snow storm that paralyzed Arkansas, and from which all storm debris has still not been cleared away;
Got the flu, had a rare reaction to tamiflu, and learned that it just takes 7 to 10 days for the flu to go away, and you may as well veg on the couch; and
Endured more of this weird Arkansas weather this past week. Yesterday, we had a combination of sleet, freezing rain, hail, plain rain and thunderstorms.

All within the space of about 14 hours.
Animals and babies have taken center stage in my life. My niece had a beautiful baby boy on February 8, and my nephew and his wife are due to have their daughter on April 5.

Knit, knit, knit...
And I have gotten back into fish tanks.

In a major way.

MTS - big time. (For those unfamiliar, MTS = Multi Tank Syndrome. It also means Malaysian Trumpet Snails, but I don't have any of those.)

For those who find fish tanks interesting, I have some photos.
Image intensive under the cut... )

Just wait until I get my DIY bog filter for my pond done this spring.
The journey is good.

Namaste.
sharpchick_2011: (Default)
Woke this morning feeling stuffy.

While friends and acquaintances were sniffling, sneezing and snorting their way through the yellow haze of tree pollen weeks ago - we had a mild winter and an early spring this year - I was fine.

Must be the grasses...
No real chance of rain in our immediate forecast. Drought, anyone? Unless we have a really topsy-turvy summer, I feel we will have an early drought (and no, folks...it's not summer yet, it's late spring - check your calendar for the summer solstice. Or better yet. get in tune with nature's cycles...).

I just filled the birdbaths again. I have one on a pedestal for the wee titmice, chickadees and the like, and one on the ground for the doves.

Because doves look so awkward and ill at ease perching on a pedestal bath. They need to drink and bathe, too.

The viburnum is loaded with small berries left from its blooms.

Photobucket


The birds probably do not care. For the most part, birds live in the moment, taking food and drink where they can find it. If they cannot find it in their own range, they will look farther out.

Seems there are lessons in that...
My four day weekend has been lovely. Productive where it needed to be, and restful where it did not.

It has given me time to look inward, in a season where I customarily am too busy to do much of that.

I've mused about how RSD has changed my life - in large ways and small.

Last night, I dreamed I curled my left hand into a fist. When I woke, my fingers were trying, but no dice...

This morning, pain and burning are about a 5. I just made multiple trips from garden hose with a one gallon pitcher to the bird baths - pedestal bath takes 3 pitchers, ground bath takes five.

Because the effort of unreeling, stretching and re-reeling the hose was just too much energy.

And during those trips back and forth, I realized ~again ~ that RSD has taught me a valuable lesson.

It - whatever it might be at the moment - is going to take as long as it takes.

And in those extra moments, I have time to observe. See and experience things I might otherwise overlook in favor of just getting a thing done.

As one might expect, some of those observations are about me...
The journey is good.

As is looking within...

Namaste.
sharpchick_2011: (Default)
On Monday, I took Tigger to the vet.

Friday afternoon when I came home, he was wandering around the cottage with his left eye closed. I picked him up to check, and it looked like he was crying - clear tears.

It also looked to my unscientific eye like he had a case of pink eye - but just in the left eye.

I got a warm wet washcloth and sat him on my lap to gently clean his closed eye. He leaned into me and started purring.

Cats purr when they are in heaven or in hell. A cat in serious pain will purr quite loudly.

So I watched him after I put him down on the floor and gave the little pride their afternoon treats.

He seemed fine - just had a pink teary eye.

And the other two did not have any signs of it.
Over the weekend, I continued to bathe his eye and watch him. He was eating well enough, and still went about his usual activities.

But the eye wasn't getting any better. So Monday morning, I called as soon as I knew the vet techs were in and got an appointment.
Generally speaking, all the animals who have been my companions, and whose care was my responsibility, have been healthy.

Ana was on daily medication all her life, but for us, it was just a fact of her life. I knew she would not live as long as the other cats, but I was not at all prepared for the way she died, because it was not related to her auto-immune disorder, and was actually a fairly rare occurrence.

Tigger was the one who tried to claw my door down to get my attention in the wee small hours after the saddle thrombosis hit Ana.

As far as he was concerned, all he had to do was get Mom, and everything would be all right.
Some people would say that what I just wrote above was anthropomorphizing my animals - attributing human feelings to them.

And virtually every single one of those folks would be people who do not have animals as companions in their lives.

So they don't get it.

Every animal who has ever shared its life with me loved and trusted me.

And I loved and trusted them. I take the responsibility of caring for an animal seriously, and I consider everything about their care to be a serious decision.

That's why I've made the decision tonight - and notified my vet by email - to start tapering Tig off the combination steriod/antihistamine she prescribed on Monday sooner than she directed.
In addition to the antibiotic drops I'm putting in his ears once a day (he had a slight and early diagnosed left ear infection), I'm giving Tig a 100 mg tablet of Temaril-P tablets. (That's the combo steriod and antihistamine.)

The vet's theory, with which I agree, is that as Tig has aged, he's picked up some allergies - he's had left ear and eye problems before - twice in the last two years. I asked her about giving him some 10 mg hydroxyzine, which I've used with two of the other cats, in similar situations. It's very safe and has few side effects.

She felt the steriod would help to clear the eye more quickly and reduce the inflammation.

However, Tig is having side effects. Within 15 minutes after I give him one (the first 5 days are w tablet every 12 hours), he's in the litter box with loose stools.

That distresses him greatly. Tig has always been the potty monitor, and is fastidious about covering not only his, but everyone's mess to his satisfaction - he sits outside an occupied box at a respectful distance, and then that cat leaves, he enters and re-covers everything. Sometimes I could swear I hear him mumbling under his breath...

On top of that, he has become sluggish, and is drinking lots more water than usual. His eye looks much better and has quit tearing.

I did a Google search on Temaril and found that it's FDA approved for dogs. All of the side effects Tig is experiencing are reported in dogs.

And the dose he's on is the dose prescribed for a 12 to 17 pound dog.

Cats aren't dogs.
Not a lot of people know it,but you can starve a cat to death feeding it dog food.

Cats are carnivores - dogs are omnivores. Dog food doesn't have enough protein in it to sustain a cat's life. (For those of you who have both, go look at the order of ingredients on the side of the bag or box, and the percentage of protein in each.)
I'm pretty sure the vet will agree with my decision.

Whether she does or not, I'm not letting Tig down on this.
The journey is good.

Sometimes, we get to share parts of it with some delightful, non-human companions.

Namaste.
sharpchick_2011: (Troll)
Since I live alone, I don't cook much any more. The bagged frozen entrees Stouffers, P F Chang and others make that you can throw in the skillet and heat up are great, and since they make at least two servings, I eat a good meal for about three bucks. And have left-overs for next time.

To be sure, nothing says Arkansas summer like a bacon sandwich with homegrown Arkansas tomato sliced on it. I leave the "L" outta that combo, because I am just not into L on any sandwich.

And it's gotta be Petit Jean bacon. If they are out of Petit Jean, after I give the meat guy a stern talking-to, I'll grudgingly settle for Wright, but it has to be think sliced smoked bacon - none of that sugar cured stuff.
Every once in a while, I do cook - usually something that will guarantee left-overs, which I can take to work for lunch, or freeze to reheat later.

My cats always like it when I cook. I have lots of feline company in the kitchen when I'm cooking.

Of course, they'd love it if it was a pure meat, all protein affair.

Except maybe Tigger, who still - after 9 years of living indoors - hounds me for his little dab of yogurt when I eat a carton before bed.

I'll admit it's my fault. The first time he watched me eat yogurt and got all curious about what was in there, I scraped down the very last bit clinging to the side of the cartion, and let him lick the spoon.

He was hooked. He knows the *sound* of me taking the top off a carton of yogurt and comes running from where ever he may be at the time.

And sits, vulture like, as close to me as he can get.

And stares.

He doesn't move a muscle until he can hear the spoon scraping on the side of the carton. He knows it's about empty then, and there is no way in hell he's gonna let me forget his bite.

Yes, I created a little orange tabby monster.
Speaking of left-overs, I still have 4 Dreamwidth invite codes if there are any LiveJournal escapees who need them...I understand things got hairy over there last week.

Just say the word.

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sharpchick_2011

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