Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The band-aid is ripped off

I sat all antsy at my computer at work this morning, waiting until I felt it was a good time to check in with my husband.

He finally appeared on IM and said he'd just gotten back.

Turns out he took FOUR cats this morning.

I asked which ones and found out that one of my favorites is gone now.

Wow. Four. Just like that.

In which I take a cat for a drive

Well this morning sucked. I caught the brother of the sick girl, crated him and drove him to the vet at 8:30. I mainly wanted to first find out their rates and what the difference was between how they euthanized and how the Humane Society would do it.

The vet charges about 75.00 freaking dollars. I think they look at it more as a funeral parlor/bereavement services thing. I can't do that.

The vet told me that the animal shelter did the same IV treatment. I said I'd go there.
So I drive all the way to Sutherland only to find out that they don't open until 11:00.
I have to be at work at 10:30, so no go. I drive the poor little guy all the way back home (he didn't make a peep the whole trip) and now he's waiting in the crate on the front porch with a blanket over the cage to keep the chill out.

Three hours in the crate.

Doesn't the animal shelter understand that the best time to catch a stray is at breakfast, which is usually around 7:30-8:30? And that most people have to go to work early in the morning?

They should have at least two days a week at which they open at 8:00.

My husband is going to drive him over at 11:00.

And that will be one down.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Really sad turn of events

I got up early yesterday morning because I had to get two of the outdoor cats to the vet for their respective surgeries.
As I said, one has been living on the screened-in porch and one in the outdoor enclosure.
Catching the little feral girl was hard, but I was finally able to scare her into the crate without having to actually wrestle with her.
She is the cat who's been recovering from herpes and was now due for a spay.
The other cat was going in to have his teeth cleaned.

My husband and went back to the vet that evening to pick them up and pay. Usually they bring the cages out to you, hand you the meds and send you home.
This time they invited my husband and I to wait in an exam room for a doctor.

The tech brings in Biscuit (the dental) in his cage and leaves. Then the doctor comes in and tells us that the other cat just now died while they were getting her ready to go home. He says he's going to do a post-op exam and find out the problem and will we wait.

So we wait a bit and his assistant comes in and tells us that her intestines had been filled with fluid and that she had FIP. It's a hard to detect, untreatable and unvaccinatable viral infection.

So, here's where I am now. I have a colony of ten cats who I have to assume, all have this virus. Some are showing the sniffly signs, some aren't (apparently there's a wet and dry version of the virus to complicate things).

We have to have all of them destroyed.

I've been taking care of them for two years now and have to admit I've grown somewhat attached. They're so sweet. And animals are my super soft spot. This is making me really sad and I can't think about it too long without tearing up.

My husband was raised on a farm and has a more practical attitude. He says sedate them and then shoot them between the eyes. I tell him I equate guns with violence and can't do violence to something I love.

I ideally want them put down with drugs and sedatives. The way I see it; I have to live with the memory of their demise for the rest of my life and $300.00 is a small price to pay for some peace of mind.

He says I'm being too emotional and that shooting would be just as quick and painless if done right.
I told him that if he goes and decides to do anything like that, then do it when I'm not around and don't ever tell me anything about it.

I just absolutely could not do that.

I will admit though, that both of us are experiencing some relief over the situation. We've agonized over what to do about the cats when it comes time to sell the house.
You can't sell a house that comes with a built-in colony of cats. And we didn't want to take them all with us, even if we had a lot of acreage.
At least with this scenario, we know there was no option. We get a clean slate.
But the erasing is going to be so painful.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Just when you think you know someone

My husband called me tonight from Florida. He had meant to take the day off and go fishing, but the weather turned bad and forced him off the pier.

He asked me where I thought he was. I heard kids yelling in the background and guessed Chuck E. Cheese.
No, it wasn't Chuck E. Cheese, but it was just as unlikely.

He was sitting at a table painting a ceramic turtle.

He had stumbled into one of those "do-it-yourself" pottery places and decided to give it a go.

I don't know what to say. It's so out of character, but at the same time, so adorable.

He's having my turtle next-dayed once it's fired so that it will arrive while he's home.
I can't stop smiling.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Nutritionally lazy

I've been terribly unmotivated with regard to cooking since my husband has been out of town. Part of it is getting home at 7:30 and being tired. Part of it is not wanting to create dirty dishes that need washing. Part of it is just not planning ahead.

I've been mainly eating chicken fingers and fries for dinner off of paper plates. Either that or loading up on lunch and skipping dinner.

So I made myself cook a pan of cornbread tonight in an attempt to break the spell. I intended to eat it with some chili, but that hasn't happened yet. At least I got it made. It looks really good.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


So the little stray kitty was diagnosed with herpes. It took me a month to catch her to have her checked out. I kept her at the vet a week (and thank you Asheville Hwy. Animal Clinic for only charging me for two days), and have now moved her into our outdoor "recovery" cage. She should be ok in a week, but then she'll be scheduled for a spay and more recovery time.

In the meantime, my oldest outdoor cat has a chronic mouth infection. The vet said that a dental cleaning would make the medicine I give him more effective. I took him in for the dental, but since his mouth is again raging, he has to be confined and medicated for a week.

So I can't house them together because the girl takes her medicine in her food and I wouldn't be able to know who ate what.
I came up with the idea of making the screened in front porch a temporary home for the older cat.

Thank god my husband is out of town, because this kind of stuff would drive him nuts.
It kind of drives me nuts too, but just a few weeks and everyone should be ready to go 'til the next affliction.

I've noticed that about half of the feral cats have disappeared lately. The last two nights I've only had four of ten show up. I wonder what's up.

Monday, January 22, 2007


I don't think I mentioned the outcome of condemning the house next door. Well, we had it condemned with the idea that when the homeowners couldn't get it up to code by the appointed date, we could make a low offer on the property.
Well, some redneck rennovator came along and bought the whole dang thing for 3,000. Aargh! I could've doubled my property for freaking 3,000.
Anyway, he and his posse have been over there for a few months now banging away night and day trying to get the house up to code by February.
They intend to sell it for between 30-50,000.
I'm nervous about who might move in.
I'm looking at tall foliage to plant between the properties.
I've considered trying to buy the house at the low end; maybe using it to store my kid's books and what not.
But I already own one bad house, I don't really need to own two when it comes time to move on.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The hidden costs of home ownership...if you're a sap like me

I've been managing a cat feral colony of about 10-12 cats for the last couple of years. Today I finally, after a month of trying, caught one of the youngest girls, who has a really nasty respiratory bug. She's been sneezy and her eyes practically swollen shut for weeks now.

It's been hard leaving for work each morning, not being able to catch her and do something for her. Especially with the weather about to turn. So yay!

But boo for the big bucks this will cost; tests, sedation, treatment and finally spaying if she doesn't have something fatal.

This is the last girl to be fixed, so at least I've stablized the birth-givers.
I think there's going to be a free spay/neuter clinic in February, so I'm hoping to take a bunch of the boys in and save some money.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Now that my husband has finished up with the local stores, his job is taking him on the road each week. So far in January, he's been home exactly 3 days. This week he's been in Atlanta, busting ass, so that he might get to come home a day earlier than planned. Then three days here, then off to Alabama.

It's been sad not having him here. The house is so quiet.
I think it's hitting him harder though. At least I have my familiar surroundings and all of our animals when I come home. He spends all day fighting unfamiliar traffic, dealing with cocky managers and faulty wiring and then has to come home to a sterile hotel room.

Later in the year, when he travels to places like Texas, it'll be even worse. A two-day drive away and gone for much longer at a stretch.

For the first time in my life, I'm really fully appreciating modern technology. We're keeping in touch with cell phones and instant messaging. I've been sending him pictures from home, so that he can kind of feel like he's here.

I'll be really glad when this eight months is over though.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

And the prize for eeriest flawlessness goes to....


In trying to draw some kind of shaky line between children's beauty pageants and the current trend toward skank high school fiction, I came across this photo.
It's for a "most beautiful face" contest for liddle un's.
And it's creeping me the hell out.
I mean come on, that can't be real can it?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

This is a worrisome trend

As a seller of second-hand children's books, I like to stock my shelves with books from my childhood as well as highly-regarded books from all decades. The heroines of most books I carry and remember reading are generally normal teen-aged girls. There's Harriet the Spy, Nancy Drew, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Lenore from Girl of the Limberlost, Ramona, Trixie Belden. These girls all had plucky personalities, and a sense of adventure. The girls from Judy Blume novels fretted over getting their first period or finding their first romantic relationship.
And sure, there's always been fluff along the lines of Sweet Valley High, but those stories were harmless enough accounts of proms, dates and summer vacations.

According to Naomi Wolf, however, normal teen-aged heroines are quickly becoming a thing of the past.