vr_trakowski: (artichoke)
Anyone in the DC metro area in need of a fine young marmalade tomcat?  He's gone from a few weeks of shrub-lurking to deciding he wants to be domestic, if it involves scritches.  He'd need neutering/shots/checkup etc., as well as time to adjust, but if someone wants to come and meet him I'll catch him for you.

No photos available at this time, but he's a dark orange with white bits, and is probably not quite two years old.  Loud voice when he chooses to use it, seems to like other cats fine, and is very skinny but seems otherwise healthy (I suspect he's got the usual tomcat attitude of GURLZ-before-food).

Come to that, there's a female marmalade coming up on two years herself, and a marmalade ex-kitten whose gender is not yet determined, also relatively friendly.  The female is very much I'm-in-charge-here and uses her paws enough that she probably shouldn't be around small kids.

[Disclaimer: I'd take 'em all in if I could, but I have two already and NO MORE ROOM, and no car to get to the cheap spay/neuter.]  
vr_trakowski: (artichoke)
I have spent most of the day passed out in bed with either a cold or the flu; at least one of my kittens is a mouser, but would rather play with her food; and both my kitchen sink and the ceiling over my toilet seem to be leaking slowly.

It's not so much that I want a do-over as I'd like a little moderation.
vr_trakowski: (Default)
Henrietta is departed not long after my last entry; one of the receptionists at the vet fell in love with her, and since she was still making me sneeze I passed her on.  I haven't heard anything though I offered to take her back if there were problems, so I assume all is well; I will call at some point. 

She went into a sort of apologetic heat five days before, well-behaved but rather pathetically asking me to make it better, which of course I couldn't.  She was so uncomfortable, poor thing.  But that does answer the question of whether she'd been spayed or not. 

I've been off most social media for weeks, haven't touched Twitter really and spent a month not looking at LJ.  Pain absorbs my energy even when I'm on analgesics, and I've had to switch to the prescription ibuprofen.  My ovarian cyst has returned and it rather rivets my attention. 

I'm to make an appointment for surgery this week.  *sigh*  I don't want to go through it all again, but there's not much choice; the thing's at three inches and growing and I have days where I can't concentrate for hours at a time.  At least I don't have the nausea yet. 

The surgeon keeps urging me to have the whole thing removed, but common wisdom is that a hysterectomy can cause major health problems down the line, and the recovery time is more than I can afford.  I'll settle for losing the one ovary... 
vr_trakowski: (Happy New Year)
Thanks for all the good wishes cat-wards; Henrietta's doing quite well!

She still has to wear the cone for now, at least when I'm not around, so that is most of the time; but she's greeted me at the door the last two days and she's eating steadily.  She already looks larger, somehow.

She goes back to the vet on Friday to have the drain removed.  I'm guessing she'll have to wear the cone longer, since the wound on her right hip is still wide open, but it'll be nice to have the drain gone, it's really gross.  :P


Click for photos (none yucky) )
vr_trakowski: (Default)
I seem to have ended up with a badass.  Lemme 'splain. 

We spent the night with my new friend close by if not snuggled next to me, and today I called around to find a vet that 1. I trusted, 2. was open, and 3. had an available slot.  It wasn't my first pick given a choice, but beggars, etc. 

So, okay.  Henrietta is not half-grown; according to the doc and her own teeth, she's about two years old.  She has three wounded areas--several infected gashes on each hip and an abscess that stretches across half her neck.  And her tail's broken halfway up. 

And they're old injuries.  A few weeks.  The doc doesn't think she was attacked; she thinks Henrietta got caught in a fan belt, probably while trying to get warm in an engine. 

To reiterate: she's lost and/or cast out, starving, cold, and carrying four separate serious injuries, and she explored my apartment and cuddled with me like they were nothing.  She weighs about five pounds, and they had to sedate her twice--not because she was being aggressive, she wasn't, but because she simply wouldn't stay under.  When I saw her this afternoon, she was stoned to the proverbial gills and wearing an e-collar, and was still trying very hard to get out of her cage despite the holes in various parts of her body.  '

They're keeping her overnight since her current condition is a bit much for a civilian to handle, and they want the surgeon to have a look at her in the morning.  I'm relieved; I'm not sure I could deal with her as she is just now.  I'll spare the details but they are not pretty. 

It's a good thing I had a bit of money saved up, because treating her isn't going to be cheap.  I suppose I could have taken her to the Humane Society, but I didn't think of it in time (for some reason, ha) and they most likely would have just put her down despite her charm. 

I really don't know what to make of this, but if anyone out there needs a sweet little tabby with a constitution made of starsteel, let me know... 

Gracious

Feb. 16th, 2013 08:17 pm
vr_trakowski: (Default)
As some of you know, I feed feral cats. 

Recently, I've been coaxing the boldest of the kittens (a lovely calico) to come close.  We've got to the finger-sniffing stage; I can touch her when she's eating if she's not looking, but she'll dash off and then come back to the food.  Progress with this kind is always slow. 

A few nights ago, in the dark and rain, I saw a half-grown cat that I thought was one of the four regular kittens; it took me several minutes to realize it was tabby-striped instead of black-and-white, and I was absolutely startled to be able to touch it.  It was literally starving; fur stretched over bone. 

Last night, it appeared out of the night and screamed frantically at me until I put food down, even stropping my legs a few times--hardly feral behavior.  It growled vaguely as it ate, but I figured it was just protecting the food.  I stroked a hand down its back; it had some kind of injury on one flank. 

Tonight, on impulse, I brought out the carrier, figuring that I could possibly put the first can in there and so lure it in.  It didn't quite work that way, but in the end I bundled it in and brought it inside. 

It--she, I got a look at the back end finally--is indeed starving.  Half-grown, long tail, a handsome tabby coat, and fortunately not nursing.  She's got wounds on both flanks and it looks like something tried to rip her throat out. 

And she's not only merely cautious--I let her out of the bathroom within the first ten minutes--and talkative, she's definitely domesticated, as she was just trying to imitate a purring fur tippet around my neck and chest. 

She's shedding in clumps, she's got itchy ears and open sores, she may be running a fever, and she smells bad.  And she's curled up next to me on the couch giving herself a bath after fifteen minutes of as close a cuddle as I would allow, and purring some more.  I'll see if there's an open vet tomorrow and pray she's microchipped, though in this neighborhood she was more likely dumped or simply lost. 

We're going with "Henrietta" for the moment. 

vr_trakowski: (Default)
I have been dreaming recently of loss and restoration.  I am not puzzled; I have lost a family member this year in a non-lethal but very definitive fashion, and part of me is still staring in bewilderment at the gap and whimpering.  But I could do without the loss part of the dreams, especially when it leaves blood all over the back seat of my dream-car. 

On the other hand, it is always good to dream of a loved one come back to life, even if it's sad to wake up.  I would close my eyes eagerly every night for that.  Ah, Moosie, I miss you still--it's only been sixteen years. 

Memeage

Apr. 3rd, 2012 08:15 pm
vr_trakowski: (Default)
Comment to this post, and I will list seven things I want you to talk about. They might make sense or they might be totally random. Then post that list, with your commentary, to your journal. Other people can get lists from you, and the meme merrily perpetuates itself.

[personal profile] phdelicious kindly provided the following:

Dreams--I enjoy them, as long as they're reasonably pleasant.  I have recurring landscapes in my head, including an entire mall that I revisit from time to time, and my sleeping brain also has an obsession with elevators (they rarely move in just one dimension) and, of all things, parking garages (no idea).  I have obsessive dreams about trying to get to a store to buy scones and clotted cream.  And nearly all my dreams have crowds of people I don't know.  

Writing--What I do for fun, as anyone who's reading this should know.  :P  One of my two-point-five talents.†  Actually, it's not writing in the strictest sense most of the time; it's typing.  My handwriting is awful; I deliberately cultivated sloppy writing as a child, in a reaction to my peers dotting all their "i"s with hearts, but even now writing clearly requires effort and my mother theorizes that I have a learning disability.☎  

Pets--The stuff of life.  I can't imagine growing up without them!  Five cats, two dogs, three rats, five guinea pigs, a gerbil, a turtle, and countless fish.  Never let your father name the gerbil--Alphonse, really?  And sometimes the nicknames are more fun than the formal ones--there was Squippy, Jack the Nipper☂, the Fluffbomb, the Calorie Pointer, Rupert, the dog we named after my great-aunt--and mustn't forget Mom's previous cat, whose given name was Saufie.  It stood for Smart Ass Under Foot.  Which she most definitely was. 

Fairytales--Practically infinite resources for the imaginative.  Even the most familiar and worn-out of tales can be refreshed into something new--take the concept and run with it, invert it, flip it inside out and dance with it.  Check out those from other cultures, and see what's the same and what's different.  Confound expectations.  Play.☛ 

Monuments--I am rarely impressed by them.  I saw Mount Rushmore and wondered why anyone had spent time on that. 

Vacation--I keep thinking about taking a week off to get stuff done, and then realising✈ that I'd probably just sit around and amuse myself on the computer, and get nothing accomplished... 

Laughter--To be expected, when my family gets together.  We love to laugh.  Sit us down to eat, and the puns start flying; leave us there long enough, and we begin uniting efforts to make my mother crack up (by no means an easy task).  This can be somewhat daunting to guests.  As [personal profile] jeanniemac stated long ago, "Dinner at the [name redacted] cannot be described; it can only be experienced."§ 


†Reading, and I throw a decent pot with some practice. 

☎I really predate the focus on learning disabilities.  I'm not at all convinced she's right, and if I do it's quite minor, but it's true that I can't do much of anything that requires fine motor control in the fingers. 

☂Almost.  

☛The recent upsurge in fairytale TV amuses me, and I admit to being a fan of OUAT, but that ain't exactly quality stuff.  Try
Castle Waiting (thank you [personal profile] cincoflex!) and Robin McKinley if you want the good crack.  Or even Charles deLint, though his quality wobbles all over the place. 

✈Still stuck between American English and British English.  Sigh. 

§We hand out magnets if they don't run screaming.
 

Argh

Feb. 20th, 2012 01:46 am
vr_trakowski: (Default)
The imp of the perverse is out for me tonight. 

Silver died in December, and I decided that after all these years of feeding ferals I could at last catch one for, at the very least, spaying/neutering and release.  The only current candidate is the little tortoiseshell I sometimes call Little My, because she's the only one I can touch.  I think she was once owned, because the first time I saw her she ran up and headbutted me, though it took a while after that to get her to let me touch her.  But she remembers being petted, I'm sure of it, and it took only weeks instead of the months I needed for Hal or any of the others.  

So I set up the bathroom for housing...and she didn't show up Friday night or Saturday.  Eh, it happens, though rarely two days in a row. 

Last night she was there, happy to see me and demanding pets as usual.  I managed to get her into the carrier on the second grab; she was not happy about it, she basically panicked, but I had her.  

The first thing she did in my bathroom was climb up to the window ledge and howl.  I had the window open because that room gets hot very quickly with the door closed, and she is used to winter weather; I didn't want to stress her too much.  She hissed at me when I tried to touch her, but eventually ate a dish of wet food.  

She cried when I was out of the room, and sometimes when I was in it; judging from the way she acted, I think one or more of the other cats was below the window for a while, though I couldn't hear any answers.  I kept coming in to sit with her for a while, but I couldn't stay the whole time. 

The last time I went back in, she'd torn a hole in the screen and jumped down two stories. 

I could hardly believe it.  I grabbed a towel and started out, with visions of her with a broken leg or tail or worse.  The lurky Siamese was waiting outside the front door--on the porch steps, even, despite the time--so I backtracked for food, and when I came out and called two of the others showed up as well. 

And then she came too, scooting up like nothing had happened.  Gah.  

She even let me pet her, though I expect she bruised herself good, because she flinched when I got to her hindquarters.  But she's using all four legs and her tail seems fine; I can only conclude that her slight weight worked in her favor. 

No, I didn't try to catch her again.  For one thing, I still have a hole in the screen.  I may try again next week, but I think we're both traumatized enough for one night...  

vr_trakowski: (Default)
Just woke from a nap that was mostly preparation for an upcoming zombie outbreak, à la Feed, but with mix-ins like ancient Egyptian figurines, a garbage truck, Jayne from Firefly (briefly), an iPad, and several of the cast from Criminal Intent.  I don't know if an old Victorian house was really the best pick as a refuge, but it seemed like a good idea at the time (serious modifications were being planned) and there were going to be a lot of people staying there, including my mother. 

And Hotch would make an excellent leader for that kind of thing, as well as the sideline he was doing of rescuing a young woman from a pretty nasty situation.  Reid was in charge of finding the secret passages in the walls, which are something that crop up every so often in my dreams, but I don't know how he would feel about the kids following him around.  

Having the dream then shift to seeing Silver decide not to take on the rat in my apartment was therefore somewhat of an anticlimax, even if the rat was as big as she was and looked more like a white Rex than anything else. 

vr_trakowski: (Default)
The spot where I feed ferals is just outside one of my bedroom windows.  In an effort to amuse my indoor felines, I set up a birdfeeder--currently a long shallow dish--on the window ledge so the (mostly) sparrows will come and be interesting just on the other side of the panes. 

Below the window is a bricked-in opening at ground level, with a cement sill where I put the ferals' water dish.  It has one of those sheet-metal protectors sunk into the ground, a half-circle that's actually below the sill.  Within the protector, not much grows; a few blades of grass, some low weeds maybe, a twisted root that's probably left over from something else. 

I admit I'm not tidy in filling the feeder--it's above my head--and the birds certainly aren't tidy in their eating.  Which could explain why I'm suddenly growing sunflowers.  What astonishes me is not only their rapid and considerable growth in a period in which there has been almost no rain, but the almost simultaneous arrival of bugs to eat the plants, judging from the holes in the leaves, and a strangling ivy of some kind to wind up the sunflower stems. 

None of this appears to have slowed the sunflowers down any. 

They're nice to look at, and they make a good screen in front of the water dish.  And it's easy to toss the old water their way when I rinse out the bowl.  I suppose the maintenance people will take 'em out with a weedwhacker eventually, but in the meantime-- 

--Sunflowers! 

Um.

Mar. 10th, 2011 09:58 pm
vr_trakowski: (Default)
My cat has gas.  This has enlivened my life...

Um.

Mar. 10th, 2011 09:58 pm
vr_trakowski: (Default)
My cat has gas.  This has enlivened my life...
vr_trakowski: (time)
Friends having rough times, work trying to make me cry, parental units refusing to recognize a legitimate "no".  *sigh*  I hate being stressed, and I hate worse that other people are more stressed.  I want a backrub and a day's worth of naps, and maybe a swim in a nice empty pool while I'm at it. 

On the other hand, Silver seems to have recovered from her respiratory infection, which frankly I didn't think was going to happen.  So that's something. 
vr_trakowski: (time)
Friends having rough times, work trying to make me cry, parental units refusing to recognize a legitimate "no".  *sigh*  I hate being stressed, and I hate worse that other people are more stressed.  I want a backrub and a day's worth of naps, and maybe a swim in a nice empty pool while I'm at it. 

On the other hand, Silver seems to have recovered from her respiratory infection, which frankly I didn't think was going to happen.  So that's something. 

*yawn*

Jan. 8th, 2011 10:33 pm
vr_trakowski: (inner balance)
I slept about fifteen hours today.  Which wastes the day, but I needed it.  And oh, the dreams...some more pleasant than others, but I loved the swimming pool, even if it did flood the basement.  And I again dreamed that my living space had more room.  It's intriguing, how often I dream that my apartment has an extra room to it, that I am astonished (in the dream) that I have not noticed/made use of.  Certainly I could use one! 

On another note, I've given the cat the heating pad again.  Much bliss is ensuing.  *grin* 

*yawn*

Jan. 8th, 2011 10:33 pm
vr_trakowski: (inner balance)
I slept about fifteen hours today.  Which wastes the day, but I needed it.  And oh, the dreams...some more pleasant than others, but I loved the swimming pool, even if it did flood the basement.  And I again dreamed that my living space had more room.  It's intriguing, how often I dream that my apartment has an extra room to it, that I am astonished (in the dream) that I have not noticed/made use of.  Certainly I could use one! 

On another note, I've given the cat the heating pad again.  Much bliss is ensuing.  *grin* 
vr_trakowski: (time)
I dreamed that Sneakers had come back this morning, almost as thin as she was when she died; standing with her mother on my bed and purring loudly as I stroked her.  In the dream I knew she had been dead, and was baffled but thrilled to have her back, though I was a little worried because she wasn't healthy again.  

Waking from that sort of dream is always doubly sad, because I remember that it's not true after all. 
vr_trakowski: (time)
I dreamed that Sneakers had come back this morning, almost as thin as she was when she died; standing with her mother on my bed and purring loudly as I stroked her.  In the dream I knew she had been dead, and was baffled but thrilled to have her back, though I was a little worried because she wasn't healthy again.  

Waking from that sort of dream is always doubly sad, because I remember that it's not true after all. 

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