Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Didn't See This One Coming.

Well, no wonder I hardly have any followers--my little blog has been downrigt depressing lately! After that last post, I was sure Priscilla would be the next cat of our crossing the rainbow bridge, but I was wrong. We had to say goodbye to Peet this week, rather unexpectedly. And Peet, being one of our "original" (pre-crazy-cat-lady) cats, this one hit me hard. To make a long story short, he'd been looking like he had been losing weight, but otherwise seemed pretty fine, and I took him in for an exam on Monday. Within 24 hours he was diagnosed with renal failure and a kidney infection. An ultrasound and biopsies also revealed lymphoma in his kidneys and liver. The decision to let him go did not take a lot of thinking.

Peet was one of our first rescues way back in 1998, which meant he was 13. We had volunteered to be available to foster kittens at our local shelter and that Father's Day I got a call, went up to the shelter, and was handed 2 litters of kittens, 15 in all, and a surrogate-mother cat who had just weaned her own kittens and might possibly still keep lactating and feed some of these kittens. That whole thing was a pretty rough introduction to bottle-baby-fostering, but we ended up with one kitten from each of those litters, Peet, and our dear sweet Starbuck, who is also gone now. We were told to bring the Momma cat back to the shelter to be adopted or more probably to end up "euthanized" after all her heroic work, and there was no way that was going to happen! We still have her, and she is hands-down the most affectionate cat we've ever had.

I'm surprised we haven't received condolences from the construction industry. Peet was the most prolific behavioral urinator I've ever come accross. Peet peed on everything! Sometimes even us. He was responsible for the building of our first cat-patio at our old house, as well as our old bedroom being tiled. Our cats are 100% indoors, and we did what we had to do. This also led to the construction of the whole cattery in the new house. Peet allowed many contractors to feed their families and I'm sure he will be missed. In heaven, Peet can pee on anything he wants.

So, I've been having myself a pretty good pitty party this week and basically checked out of life. But the upside is that even during a pitty party, I'm pretty productive.
We finally found the bedroom furniture I wanted in June--I LOVE IT! But I hadn't been able to find a duvet cover I liked anywhere. So, I had bought two sheets I was going to stitch together, but could NOT find time to do it, until this week.

This is the fabric closer up.

And this is the giant armoire that goes with it. The nightstands match too. And my new little bedside lamps are from Target. This is pretty exciting because we slept on our mattress on the floor like starving college students for 2 years after moving into this house. I feel like a grown up again!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cats, Crafts, Quilts and Swimming...My Cup Runneth Over

The animal travails continue here, as can probably be expected with a largely geriatric population. This is Priscilla Birdbreath. She showed up at one of the locations where I was feeding cats during the time I was unable to drive with my broken leg and the Mister was the primary dinner server to all my feral cats. I went along with him one night and there was Priscilla, sitting in a planter box near our feeding station (in a somewhat rough neighborhood), waiting for him. I said, "Who is
that?" and he said, "I don't know, I just feed 'em. I thought she was part of the group." Poor Priscilla had been abandoned and managed to find our food and water and had been showing up every day for weeks. Shortly thereafter we moved, and I trapped up all the cats and we brought them with us. Priscilla is a very social friendly girl, and adjusted to living with our indoor cats just fine. She was by no means a spring chicken, the vet guessed at over ten years, and shortly after we rescued her she developed skin cancer on her eyelid and had her eye and that lid removed and all has been well. Last week she was drooling and the minute I looked in her mouth I knew I was looking at mouth cancer. The vet confirmed it. Unfortunately, mouth cancers are almost always a lost cause to treat, and always extremely painful when messed with. She is still eating well and not in pain so we will give her these last few weeks as best we can. I'm so glad we found her when we did. Who dumps these animals?? is my eternal "big question". The day I figure it out will probably be the same day my family has to come bail me out of jail.
On a brighter note:

Even though 2011 has been a fairly low-quantity craft year, I decided to sign up for some classes at one of my favorite art stores, Castles In The Air on 4th Street in Berkeley. I took the first one this past week, a quick Monday night class on making crepe paper flowers! It was fun and I will have to spend some more time practicing at it. These are my initial attempts, a rose, a daffodil and a carnation. The carnation was last and made past my bedtime and it shows.

Training has just been weird. Schedules have been messed up with unanticipated emergencies and I'm still nursing the mental wounds of a very disappointing triathlon season. My goals for these last few months of this year are really thinly disguised attempts at starting my 2012 base training a little early.

Yesterday was the Folsom Lake 2.4 mile swim. It was a beautiful day and I actually had a friend to go with! My swimmin' veterinarian friend, Joy Hollenback came over and we had a Friday night slumber party, got up at 5am Saturday and headed out. This race was put on by a high school swim team and so the crowd was heavily weighted on the very young and the very fast. Most of them were actually swimming a 5K/3.1 mi race. About 25 of us were doing the 2.4 mi. My goal was under 1.30. Not lightening pace in the swimming world, but I've only made that time once before, 9 years ago. I came in DFL--but I did not cry, which was a HUGE growth step for me! And I was only about 4 minutes over my goal. I went non-wetsuit, so it's actually not that bad!

Rare is the Saturday when I don't have to spend all day training, so even with the two hour drive each way, we got home from the swim around noon! I scurried through animal chores, grabbed the kid, got in the Miata and high tailed it for a quilt show I've wanted to go to for years! The Alden Lane Quilting In the Garden Quilt Show is held every fall. They hang the quilts, clothesline-style, all through the Alden Lane Nursery. It was so beautiful, and they had started to put out some Halloween decor. Very festive. Both Sporty Spice and I enjoyed it. And THEN we were lucky enough to just hit the right show time to see Lion King 3-D at the I-Max on the way home! That was the best day I'd had in a while!