"Captivity enters year two. Gay line-dancing is Ren's only solace."

Now the water-heater broke. I'm beginning to sympathise with Ren's plight.
robling_t: (Default)
( Dec. 14th, 2015 05:00 pm)
And then there was the part where Mum bumped the lightswitch that's been on notice for Suspicious Behaviour for a couple of years and it made sizzly noises and smelled like melting plastic; we've declared that circuit off-limits for realsies until we can get an electrician in to assess the situation, because clearly that is not normal or reasonable by any stretch, but now we're sitting here mostly in the dark because it's one of the 3-way switches for the hallway and god only knows what it might be cross-connected to given that nothing in this place seems to have been wired up correctly in the first place. More money we do not have, more resentments we did not need.

(My suspicion, for what it might be worth, is that since this particular switch sits roughly across the line where the two halves of the building are settling unevenly, "somebody" never left enough slack in the wires for this eventuality and something's pulled loose. We shall see.)

Here, have a picture of Festive Ren to compensate. I note that he's just about stopped speaking to me at all at this point, but I'm sure that this has nothing to do with that...
robling_t: (Default)
( Nov. 16th, 2015 07:37 pm)
Following on from other recent expenses and disasters, last week was bookended by serious DNW:

First, on Monday I was woken up by a call saying that Mum had had a fall at work. Fortunately she remembered to grab her phone as the Nice People were helping to sort her out and get her to hospital. Nine hours later she turned up home with a spectacular black eye but otherwise surprisingly little damage for a 75YO, IE no broken bones or serious trauma besides being kind of pissed off about the general situation. Apparently while she was checking into a building for a delivery the drone behind her in line set down his box and when she turned around she tripped straight over it and went down flat on a marble floor. Supposedly, someone, somewhere within this chain of events in insured for something, so. She still looks impressively horrible.

And then, the week's other episode of "What Fresh Hell: Medical" started when I woke up Wednesday to discover that Snip had pooped on the bathmat. She's done a lot of questionable things, but that's never been one of them. And she hadn't eaten her breakfast, which was even more suspicious for this cat. Over the course of the day it became apparent that she wasn't feeling so great, horking up blobs of spit and depositing looser and looser poops in the box. So I kept her under observation, fingers crossed that the episode would pass once she'd emptied herself out, because hey, cats do get the occasional attack of Angry!Colon like anybody.

But it didn't seem to be clearing up.

By Friday the "fuck you I'm busy" face had devolved into the "I don't have the energy to tell you to fuck off" face, which is the point where it seemed like a really really good idea to say we'll figure out how to pay for it later we are calling the vet now. And, nearly $900 later, that turned out to have been the right call: Snip was so dehydrated that she'd lost three pounds -- 1/4 of her body-weight, for those keeping score -- and in addition to various stop-oozing-out-both-ends meds had to be re-inflated with subdermal fluid like a camel's hump.

If we'd waited even until Saturday morning to bring her in she might not have made it.

Snip's on the mend now after a worrying weekend of further refusal to eat; she started begging for food again by Sunday morning, although for the first few hours she only stared at her plate like gooshyfood was some sort of cruel joke, and now she's back to something like her old patterns of demanding to be fed again every time the monkeys go even vaguely in the direction of the kitchen. And she pissed on Mum's chair, which is annoying but since it means she's back to her usual self we just cleaned it up... again... and wrote it off as a good-enough sign.

This is the second time I've been in the position with this cat, and the second time with a cat this year, that I've had to look at them suffering and try to figure out "how bad" it is, is it time to say hang the expense yet, how compassionate can I "afford" to be. And it really, really, sucks.

So that was my week. You guys?
robling_t: (Default)
( Jul. 13th, 2015 12:27 am)
Note that they are not on the same bed. Snip, alas, has made such a bad first impression of herself that a traumatized little Renfield is still living in protective custody in Mum's bedroom most of the time, only venturing out when we shut the Kraken Snip up in the bathroom for a while. We can only hope that time and getting a little more mass on currently-9lb Ren will help to resolve this impasse eventually...
Day 44. I have fallen in amongst mad persons. They attempt to purchase my allegiance with trinkets and soothing herbs. The monster sniffs round outside the door to my fragile sanctuary, hungering, hungering.

It is approaching again. I do not know how much longer I can hold out.
Things the kitten will not eat:
  • Bacon
  • Tuna
  • Chicken shwarma
  • Gooshyfood

Things the kitten will eat:
  • Gyros
  • The acini de pepe in my chicken soup
  • Cottage cheese
  • Bugs

On the strength of that last entry we have decided that his really-seriously-we-mean-it-this-time-even-though-we-have-to-buy-a-new-tag name shall be Renfield, Ren for short.

These things occasionally take time to work out.

Snip is still camping his spawn sites and generally being a griefer about the entire thing. Given that she's a 12lb tuxedo-cat and he's an 8lb silvery-grey type, if you're picturing an orca cruising a beach waiting to take out a seal right about here then you have the general idea.
Having gone through just about every name we could think of besides No Alcohol Lager and not had anything stick, the Kitten Formerly Known As Jasper has been formally dubbed the Gray Mouser, Mouse for everyday. It's a bit cliche and obvious, yes, but after two weeks the situation was getting a bit silly.

Snip has just about given up trying to wish him into the cornfield. Just about.
So, this happened.

His shelter-name was Jasper, which we obviously need to change ASAP for the sake of his dignity and ours, before it starts to stick. He is also, as the pronoun suggests, a dude-cat, which in near-forty years of welcoming feline overlords is a brand-new thing for our household; fingers crossed that they're telling the truth about early neutering taking care of the spraying thing, we've already got one cat with enough issues around here.

So far Snip is... unresolved about having a new flatmate; fortunately this time we have the luxury of having another room to shut the new introduction into, so we can take it as slowly as we can this time (unlike the Incident in which Snip ended up taking over a studio apartment from established-tenant Weasel, which may have had more than a bit to do with the subsequent 12-year standoff). We have two weeks' no-fault fostering-period to get her to come around...
Weasel is no longer with us.

She'd been looking increasingly frail over the winter, as cats who are somewhere around eighteen years old do, but her decline had accelerated in the past month. She was walking more and more shakily and curling up to sleep in random places. About last Wednesday we realised that neither of us had seen her eat anything since one tiny scrap of bacon on Monday; we made her as comfortable as we could, but by the weekend it was plain that she was so done with this BS. So, we did the kindest thing and took her for the last ride on Tuesday, which was the earliest we could arrange at that point and I think half of what feels so bad about the overall experience is that the timing had to put her through about two extra days of I Am Really Not Having Any Fun At This Point. I've never had a cat actually up and die of natural causes -- though for about the last two weeks we kept expecting that we'd walk in one night and find her gone -- but this is about the closest it's come, so I suppose the only regret should be that it's such a hard call to make regarding someone else's quality of life, and I can only hope that somebody would pay so much consideration to me when and if a time like this comes.

Weasel is survived by her utterly indifferent roommate, Snip.
robling_t: (Default)
( Feb. 19th, 2015 11:39 pm)
The blanket project is ticking right along, and at the end of week seven we had another Executive Decision, in that that narrow two-colour part of the needlewards swatch here took longer to knit than did the entirety of the single-colour variation that I switched to after looking up at the clock and saying "screw this". If I should run into this stitch again as a plain one-colour stitch later I'll knit one of the unused stitches from Feb. 29 or Dec. 31 as a penalty-lap instead.

Also, Snip would like everyone to know that it is very cold out and the Management should be baking more for the sake of her comfort. That is all.
It is Being a Day. To distract myself from my ongoing Cranky about a certain plot-point in Blackout, I shall run a photo-post instead:

I was right, I'm dangerous )
I note in passing that I have been living with Snip and her strange quirks for eight years today. And blogging about her shortcomings for very nearly as long. I think, BTW, that this means Weasel is 14, since she was about five when we got her the summer before Snip. It's going to be hard to tell when Weasel's actually declining from age, given that she's always been a bit nearsighted and dumber than the box the rocks came in...
...And one terrifying detour through Disk Utility to repair the permissions later, George is still alive and well and now talking to the printer, which needed a new driver (trying to restart to see why it wasn't installing is where the cascade of Heart-Pounding Failure To Start Up Terror began...). And I have all of Gareth-that-was-Gaius's stuff, transferred over via a computer-to-computer Airport connection by virtue of remembering that GtwG had one even if he'd never been in a position to exploit a wireless connection. It took four hours, and there was probably an Easier Way, but the sheer relief that A) the stuff's in here and accessible from the main admin login, and B) I did not actually manage to brick this damn thing in record time like I was thinking for about half an hour here, is making me feel like, well, probably the world's gayest ninja, but so there. The one fly in the ointment is that I may need to pony up $30 to upgrade my word processor of choice to meet George's standards, unless the WTF WHO THE HELL ARE YOU behaviour it was giving me was also related to the transfer process having borked said permissions...

In other news, Weasel the Wonder Cat spent about five hours under the back deck outside this evening. She'd slipped out whilst I was weeding, and Snip, naturally, didn't mention this when I came back in; I only missed her when I went to clip Snip's claws and got to thinking that it had been unusually peaceful all night. Fortunately, Weasel is too dumb even to wander far, and got stuck in a dark corner near our back stairs, so once we twigged that she was not, in fact, anywhere inside the house it only took about five minutes to find her and fetch her back in, thoroughly traumatized and filthy, but unmolested by raccoons or Snip's boyfriends. (Some of whom may also be raccoons.) She seems already to have forgotten that anything happened. Snip has been stalking around muttering that it would have worked if it weren't for those darn kids...

Okay, let's see how long this lasts: Snip had another of her little "accidents" last night, so in an act of petty revenge, I've uploaded a photo of her in her (metaphorical) underwear onto Wikipedia's "bicolor cat" page. This will probably not seem as funny when I've had a little more sleep, but right now it amuses me greatly.

Snip has decided that it's time for me to feed her and go to bed:

just make yourself to home, why don't you... )

This can't be comfortable.

  • New Thing Learned for 16 May: Pius IX was the last Pope to hold temporal power, and the first to be photographed. We shall leave it to the Reader to imagine an occult connection between these two items. [Source: something on PBS I wasn't entirely listening to from the next room.]

  • New Thing Learned for 17 May: There have been more than a thousand books written on the Kennedy assasination. [Source: Countdown with Keith Olbermann.]

  • New Thing Learned for 18 May: The Evanston Public Library's online service now includes a column for "# of times renewed", which would be more useful if I could ever remember how many times one gets to renew what categories of books... [Source: www.epl.org.]
robling_t: (weasel)
( Apr. 16th, 2007 01:11 am)
  • New Thing Learned for 13 April: To plotz, as [livejournal.com profile] ashnistrike describes it, is "to collapse, from exhaustion or shock or delight". The interesting thing here is that I know exactly the gesture she's describing, I just never knew that that was what was connected to the idiom, and if I'd had to guess from the context I would have said "to puke". [Source: [livejournal.com profile] ashnistrike.]

  • New Thing Learned for 14 April: Canadian Ministers of Finance are expected to wear new shoes when presenting the budget. This is quite possibly the silliest thing i've ever heard. [Source: Wikipedia.]

  • New Thing Learned for 15 April: The garden gnome was not made of solid resin. [Source: an unfortunate accident that left him a double amputee.]

Weasel turned out to be hiding in plain sight on top of the bookcases in the living room, uninjured but for her fragile psyche. Snip was still so riled up that I had to carry her into another room and ply her with drugs until she was too goofy to care that Weasel was conveniently on her own side of the glass; all told, it took the rest of the day for Snip, Defender of the Faith, to turn back into Snip, mere Eater of the Food. I hope both those cats were sufficiently off-put by the appearance of the strange human not to come back, or Weasel may be in for a rough summer.
robling_t: (Default)
( Apr. 13th, 2007 08:44 am)
...Sweet Zombie Jeebus, there's another one out there! Snip appears to have disposed of Weasel -- all I found of her was a small tuft of fur in the bathroom -- and is now patroling from window to window, ready to break more stuff in her defense of the premises. Time for that coyote urine, I guess...

In late-breaking news, we have a suspect for the Polterfunk! This glorious specimen of mangled-eared felinity was in the yard just now, watching Weasel through the (closed) window from a distance of not even a yard, and bold enough that it just sat there while I ran to get the camera. It only left when I opened the window to yell at it; hopefully, that'll have given it a good enough fright that it won't come around again, but I'm still planting lavender around the windows when it gets warm enough. (I've started some from seed, and there's been some Sprouting Action going on these last couple of days, yay!)

...Err, spoke too soon on the "scared it off" front, as it's just come round to this window and scared the crap out of Snip (who then ran off to murder Weasel for reasons known only to her.) Off to pick up the pieces, literally in the case of the decorative glass that Snip knocked off the windowsill in her pursuit of the stranger...
Project I'm Sure I had A Point I Was Trying To Make With This has been carried out, and the following visual materials have generously been declassified:

you know how coral snakes are brightly colored as a warning? kind of like that... )

"Very well, then, if you're all going to ignore me, I'll just sit in this bag."