Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Bonkers the pirate catThe end of my thumb is bloody gash after Bonkers slashed it open the other night, so I have to type very gingerly right now. Just FYI, in case I suddenly run out of the room to apply a bandage or something.

The old boy is crazy about a cat treat called Pounce. He’s already learned where we keep it, so whenever we go anywhere near that cabinet he trots over right quick and sits looking up at us with great big eyes. Well, one eye is always big, but we can still tell when he gets great big eyes by the way he uses the other one.

So I was making him dance for his treats by dangling them over his head. When his targeting computer came on, which I could tell from the way the pupil dilated all the way open in his good eye, I’d drop the treat and he’d bat it out of the air as it fell, then chase it across the room. Fun!

The last one I gave him, though, I waited a little too long before deciding to drop it. He didn’t want to wait, so he jumped up and tried to bat it out of my hand. He usually pulls his punches, but he also gets a little crazy where food’s involved so he didn’t bother to retract his claws. One of them was sharp as a flensing knife, and he was about as careful with it as any other teenager would have been.

I spent the next ten minutes trying to get the bleeding to stop, and the ten minutes after that trying to find a Band-Aid but, as usual, the only ones we had were big enough to cover a cannonball wound. Cutting one of those in half worked.

gashed | 5:32 am CDT
Category: Bonkers, daily drivel | Tags: ,
Comments Off on gashed

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Bonkers is still plugging along in spite of whatever’s wrong inside his head, but the going’s starting to get a little rough. The poor guy has been having trouble swallowing for a while, occasionally leaving little puddles of drool around the water bowl and food dishes, but the problem, whatever it is, has been getting worse in the past week or so. He seems to be losing muscle control and can choke down solid food only with a lot of effort.

I’ve stopped leaving kibble for him because he makes such a mess of it. He has to scoop up the kibble with his jaw, then lift his head and snap at it, getting most of the kibble down his throat but throwing quite a lot of it around the room. Most of it stays in the corner of the dining room where the cat dishes are, but I’ve found bits of spittle-soaked kibble as far away as the bedroom floor beside Bonk’s cat bed.

He has a much easier time with soft canned food, so we’ve made the switch. That’s all he gets now, unless he decides to raid Boo’s dish after he’s done with his own food and still feels a bit peckish, which is just about all the time.

This morning, for instance, Boo followed me to the kitchen and tangled herself up in my feet while I was trying to wash out the coffee carafe and grind the beans, so I measured out a little kibble for her to get her out of my hair. After ten minutes or so, Bonkers came out to be fed, too. He doesn’t do the feet-tangly-up thing, he just sits in his corner and glowers at me. Food. Now.

I spooned out some soft food for him after putting the kettle on to boil, set it down in his spot, then switched on the radio and stood by the sink to listen to the morning news. Gradually, I became aware that Boo was staring at me. It’s a little unnerving to have a cat stare at me, so I stared back at her to make her look away. It turned out she wasn’t staring, really. She was giving me the most quizzical look. Then, when the question had clearly been posed, she glanced down at her dry kibble, then back at me. What the hell? So I gave her a little dab of wet food, too, just so she wouldn’t feel cheated. She was happy with that.

After she was done, Bonkers came over to see if she left any in her dish but, finding none, he gamely tried to snatch up what little kibble was left. Most of it ended up on the floor.

spittle | 6:39 am CDT
Category: Bonkers, Boo, daily drivel | Tags: , ,
1 Comment | Add a comment

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Bonkers sucked all the heat out of his cat bed heater. I’m not sure how he did that. From what little I know about electricity and stuff, the juice is supposed to keep coming out of the wall socket for as long as I have the thing plugged in, but Bonkers seems to have violated the laws of physics, or overdrawn his electron account. The thing was nice and warm for a month or two, then it went stone cold.

Twice. He sucked the life out of the first one we got him and I wasn’t happy that he went back to sleeping on my head, so we got him another one and in just a couple months he killed that, too. Two heating pads were enough to get him almost all the way through the winter, though, with just a few weeks of chilly evenings when he would sneak into the bedroom early and curl up on Boo’s bed, which went on being warm. Sometimes she’d let him sleep on it all night but sometimes she wouldn’t. She probably knew he’d steal all heat from hers, too, if she didn’t chase him out of it.

When winter weather returned and Our Humble O’Bode began to get a little frosty around the edges at night, Bonk climbed right back into bed with us, having no warm bed of his own, and could not be persuaded to sleep anywhere else, not with a polite nudging, not by not-so-politely shoving him, not by picking him up and dropping him at the foot of the bed. He’d wait until we were settled and starting to drift off to sleep again, then tiptoe his way back up to his favorite spot between our shoulders and wedge himself there, stealing all the goddamn covers.

Until Tuesday when the new cat bed heater that I ordered after spending too many sleepless nights was waiting under the mailbox when we pulled into the driveway after work. I got a tingly feeling all over from opening that box. It was just like early Christmas. Couldn’t even wait until after dinner to unpack it and stuff it into Bonk’s cat bed. I wanted that thing toasty warm before the house started to cool off.

Worked like a charm. He was a little upset at first when I picked him up and plopped him in his cat bed. I suppose he assumed that, because it was not Boo’s bed, it was not going to be as warm as he expected it to be, but he caught on almost right away that things were different and was curled up like a big rollie-pollie soon enough. I made sure I got the king-sized bed warmer this time, big enough for a dog, really, so it should take him at least six months of round-the-clock cat naps to suck the life out of this one.

OMFG more drivel about cats? | 1:04 pm CDT
Category: Bonkers, daily drivel | Tags: , , , ,
Comments Off on OMFG more drivel about cats?

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

Okay, I’m up too early on a Saturday, but how else am I going to experience the maximum wonderfulness that is the weekend? A guy’s got to start early or he’s going to miss something.

And I owe my early rising once again to the cats, of course. The oldest one parked his fat blob of a butt right between my shoulder blades. Took him about ten minutes to do it, not because he’s a fat blob but because he’s always taken that long to find just the right position that will satisfy his feline needs, one of which must be to make sure I’m awake by the time he finally settles in and goes to sleep. Maybe there’s some kind of somnambulistic transfer going on there. I should contact the AMA and ask them to do a study.

He starts by slowly making his way to the upper end of the cleft in the bed covers between My Darling B’s shoulders and mine. I emphasize slowly. He moves like he’s stalking something. It’s very unnerving. Sometimes he’ll wait until I’m fast asleep and don’t even realize he’s there, but sometimes he can’t wait and begins his creepy crawl as I’m just beginning to doze. When I’m in between the land of the living and the near-death of sleep, nothing’s more unnerving than the realization that something is softly creeping toward my head. No matter how many times he’s done it already, I’ll still jerk awake the next time. He seems to take no small amount of pride in that. The little bastard’s probably keeping track on a scoreboard in his secret lair. “Scared the Human Awake for 1,736 days straight!”

When he finally arrives at the end of his slow-motion journey he picks his spot with great care, turning round and round, trying it with his nose in B’s face, then in mine. Or maybe he wants to park himself butt-first in my face tonight. It’s all relative, and every angle has to be evaluated. Sometimes he gets distracted by the need to noisily wash his face for way too long. That goes especially well for him when he can slop some drool on my forehead. I’ll bet the squishy old fur ball’s got a scoreboard for that, too. This stage of the process is done when he dumps all fourteen pounds of himself very suddenly on me. Ever been on a plane when the overhead compartment popped open and a carry-on bag fell into your lap? Me neither, but I imagine it’s kind of like that.

His collapse against my shoulders accomplishes two things: Wakes me up one more time with a firm punch, and steals even more of the bed covers than he already has up to then, exposing me to the chill of the night. This part’s actually not so bad, because it gives me a chance to give back a little of what I’ve been getting by grabbing the edge of the quilt and, with a quick jerk, launching him in B’s general direction. If he’s good with that, I can get back to sleep right away. If he’s not, he starts circling again, kneading his spot back into compliance, slobbering on his paws some more and, with a final flourish, punching me between the shoulders.

Sometimes this goes on all night, and then sometimes, like this morning, I just chuck it, get out of bed and spend way too much time wondering why we even have cats.

cat bed | 7:45 am CDT
Category: Bonkers, daily drivel | Tags: , ,
Comments Off on cat bed

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

Slept in until seven this morning, in spite of the best efforts of a woodpecker, two cats and a passing thunderstorm to keep us awake all night long.

The woodpecker keeps pecking on the bird house I put up for him even though he seems to be able to get in and out just fine. I suppose the hole might be a tight fit and he’s just fine-tuning it, or maybe he just needs to peck. Or he likes waking me up.

Beginning in the wee small hours of the morning the cats started jumping in and out of bed, never satisfied with where they were or happy with knowing what the other one was doing. I know they got down several times to eat because Bonkers came back with water dripping from his muzzle and shook, sending me scurrying to the bathroom to wash his splatter off my face.

The storm squall was a riot in the sky, with lightning flashing almost as much as the flash bulbs on the cameras of a squadron of paparazzi when they catch sight of Kate Middleton. The thunder never quit, and the raindrops were so big they sounded like bricks hitting the roof of the house.

But I stuck it out. I promised myself I wouldn’t get out of bed until seven on Saturday and I meant it.

promise | 7:25 am CDT
Category: daily drivel | Tags: , , , ,
2 Comments | Add a comment

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Apparently I missed all the fun last night. I hit the hay at about half past nine, but B stayed up late and not only got to see everything, she was right in the middle of it! That’ll teach me to go to bed just because I’m exhausted.

While B was sitting up late, working on a project, she slowly became aware that Bonkers the Cat was making mouse-hunting noises. When she finally went to investigate, sure enough, she found him playing cat-and-mouse with a real live mouse. She went away for a couple minutes to find a jar or plastic take-out box to catch the mouse in so she could release it later, but when she came back she found only Bonkers sitting in the middle of the living room floor with the tail of a mouse hanging from his muzzle.

“Did you eat it?” she squeaked at him. “Aghhh! Spit it out! Spit it out! Yuck!” And so on.

Bonkers was not only completely oblivious to her squeamish reaction, he also appeared to be trying to swallow the mouse, and eventually succeeded, prompting a lot more yelling and squealing from the aforementioned squeamish B, who not only continued to make a lot of noise about it, she said she even jumped around in circles a little bit. I, somehow, managed to sleep through the whole thing.

la-la-lah | 9:28 pm CDT
Category: Bonkers, daily drivel | Tags: , ,
Comments Off on la-la-lah

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Bonker’s medical condition has deteriorated to the point that he has a lot of trouble swallowing. He’s not as miserably sick as he was when the symptoms first began to manifest themselves. He still likes to sit in my lap. he still has his purr. But there’s a big knot of something bulging from the roof of his mouth and it’s big enough that it interferes with swallowing. To drink water, he has to dunk his snout in it and snorkle it up, instead of lapping daintily the way cats usually do. I think it’s also paralyzing the right side of his face so that he can’t close his lips all the way. He leaves trails of dribbled water all over the floor as he walks away from the dish. We keep a mop handy to clean up after him.

dribble | 6:04 am CDT
Category: Bonkers, daily drivel | Tags:
2 Comments | Add a comment

Monday, May 7th, 2012

image of Bonkers the catBonkers got his purr back this morning. Actually, he did more than just purr, he went full-goose bozo on me, rubbing his ears against the edge of the table and sticking his hinder up in the air, begging me to pat it, so I did. Even so, I had to pick him up and put him in my lap after he tried to jump up but lost his nerve and just sat there beside me, crying pathetically. Still, it was good to see him more like his old self again.

Bonk’s got something wrong in his head, but we don’t know what. The veterinarians we took him to didn’t know, either. “This is probably something neurological,“ more than one of them said, looking at his blown eye and the way he walked in circles and wobbled when he stood still. Thank you, Captain Obvious. We kept taking him back until finally they did what we in layman’s terms would describe as “tests” where, instead of merely frowning at him and throwing out several opinions, they took his blood and examined it for signs of infection, such as the very scarily-named feline leukemia, or dysfunction, such as diabetes.

Finding none of that, the last vet we took him to said we could shlep him down to the UW vet clinic, where a couple dozen student vets would take turns scanning his brain with the million-dollar equipment they have, then poking and prodding him for a while before showing us the pretty color print-outs that might or might not give some clue as to what’s going on in there. The pretty color print-outs would tell us that a) we would have to fork over several thousand dollars to a cat surgeon, who might or might not be able to cut his head open and fix what had gone wrong, or that b) the problem in Bonker’s head was not fixable. There was also the not at all slim possibility that c) they would find nothing wrong in his head and suggest another round of tests to look for something else.

We were not at all receptive to the idea of turning Bonk into a lab experiment for the benefit of student vets, and paying them for the privilege to boot. He’s sixteen or seventeen years old, which has got to be something like ninety-nine in cat years, a time in his life when our prime concern ought to be maintaining a modicum of dignity for the venerable old guy. I know it’s what I’d want, and I figure he’s earned it. So we said no thank you to a), the brain scan and the cutting his head open.

When we told the vet that there would be no brain scanning, she prescribed some steroids we could shove down his throat to reduce the swelling that was presumably taking place in his head, making him act like he feels loggy all the time. He slept all the time, even more than usual for a cat, and when he got up he could hardly cross the room without stopping to rest for a while. He didn’t meet us at the door when we came home, and he stopped purring. He still wanted to sit in a lap, he just didn’t have the will or the strength to do it.

We were really afraid the steroid they’d prescribed, Prednisolone, had triggered the symptoms in the first place. A little googling turns up all kinds of scary side effects, and a cat we had before had died when the vet prescribed a related steroid, Prednisone, at a stupidly high concentration for way too long. But at this point, Bonk needs relief and the steroid seems to be helping. He’s curled up in my lap as I type these words, happily chasing mice in his dreams, something he was too zonked out to do a week ago.

wonky-bonky | 8:30 am CDT
Category: Bonkers, daily drivel, O'Folks | Tags: ,
Comments Off on wonky-bonky

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

image of the BonkNobody’s really sure what’s wrong with the Bonk. His right eyeball has a pupil blow open so wide you could literally drive a Mack truck through it, if it were a smallish Mack truck and you used “literally” to mean “figuratively.”

Nobody knows why his pupil’s blown like that. The vet through it was neurological and recommended that we take him to an ophthalmologist for a thorough examination. Not an ophthalmologist that works on people, one that works on cats. A cat ophthalmologist. These really exist. My Darling B spoke to her and everything. Not that she could say what was wrong, but now we can say Bonk’s had his head examined by two specialists.

The ophthalmologist suggested Bonk could have anything from old age to a sinus infection to cancer. They always throw cancer in there, just so you don’t get your hopes up, I guess. The don’t want to say, “I couldn’t find anything wrong with him, so don’t worry,” and then get sued when your pet dies of cancer three weeks later. So he’s either just getting old, or has an ordinary infection that could be cured by a round of antibiotics, or he has a brain tumor that’s crushing his optic nerve and will soon grow so large as to turn him into a dribbling vegetable. Thanks, medical science.

But, and I cannot too hastily add this, he seems to be just fine, other than that freakily wide-open eye. He has a hearty appetite, he keeps himself groomed, he’s as lappy as ever, and he jumps up into the window to watch the dog walkers pass by the house. Still the Bonk, but with one weird old shitty eye that nobody can explain. Yeah.

blown | 9:45 pm CDT
Category: Bonkers, daily drivel | Tags: ,
Comments Off on blown

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

About two weeks ago, I was chatting with a coworker about going to the doctor when she told me about the pain she had in her upper arm. It sounded just like the pain I had in my upper arm, I said. It’s probably a rotator cuff injury like mine, she said.

A couple days later I visited a physical therapist who made me stretch and bend and reach, and after poking and prodding me for a while and asking lots of questions he announced that I had a rotator cuff injury.

Well, thanks a lot, I told Judy the next time I saw her.

And then last week Bonkers, one of our cats, started squinting because the pupil of his eye was blown open. He also couldn’t stop drooling and he drank a lot, so we made an appointment with the vet who suggested that he might have diabetes. She suggested a few other things that might be wrong with him, like radiation poisoning and cancer of the toenails, because she was getting paid a lot of money to point out all the possibilities, but diabetes seemed like the most likely diagnosis, considering the symptoms.

That’s when I remembered that a week or two ago Judy told me she’d be in to work an hour late because she had to drop her cat off at the vet’s. The cat had recently been diagnosed with diabetes and was going back for follow-up testing.

After I got the news about Bonkers, I cornered Judy in her cubicle. “Don’t tell me anything that’s wrong with you any more,” I ordered. “From now on, everything’s fine. Everyone in your family is healthy. You couldn’t possibly feel better. Got that?”

correlation | 9:39 pm CDT
Category: daily drivel | Tags: , ,
Comments Off on correlation

Monday, March 5th, 2012

The old Bonkity-bonk-bonk ain’t doing so well these days. A couple weeks ago he came down with what seemed to be an ordinary head cold, but when he couldn’t shake it, we took him to the vet. She gave him some low-grade antibiotics that seemed to help him shake the cold at first, but then it returned with a vengeance, so back to the vet he went. She doubled down on the antibiotics the second time and threw in some steroids for good measure, and, once again, the old Bonk rallied and seemed to be his old self again, until his eye blew open. Specifically, his right eye. The pupil won’t open and close the way it’s supposed to. A lot of the time it just won’t close at all. He washes off the right side of his face a lot, as if he’s trying to clear his vision, and every so often he’ll be walking across the floor as normal as can be until he stops suddenly and shies away from nothing at all, ducks his head, turns, and then keeps going as if he hadn’t done anything disturbingly weird. And just lately he’s been drooling a lot. A whole lot. “I think he had a stroke,” My Darling B said, and watching him slobber all over himself tonight I couldn’t find any reason to disagree with her. She’s taking him to a specialist in the morning who’s suppose to have the kind o’ learnin’ that enables vets like him to gaze into a Bonk’s very soul through his eyeball and tell us what’s wrong with him. My guess is, he’ll look deep down in there and see that he’ll want to run a lot of tests that will not incidentally cost a butt-ton of moola. That’s what the last specialist did, anyway. I’m thinking we could buy a couple dozen cans of Tiki Cat and make him a lot happier.

bonk | 10:52 pm CDT
Category: Bonkers, daily drivel | Tags: ,
3 Comments | Add a comment

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

image of Bonkers the cat

My Darling B has been in the kitchen all morning stewing a batch of chicken thighs in saffron and a bunch of other yummy-smelling stuff, in preparation for turning them into meat pies.

After stewing them, she piled them on a platter, placed the platter on the dining room table, then went to work on the broth. I happened to pass through the dining room while she was working and the first thing I saw was Bonkers the cat sitting on the windowsill not two feet from the pile of chicken. He has no scruples at all about pouncing on food left unattended so I can only guess that the spices B used when stewing the chicken must have masked the smell, else he would have been all over it as soon as she turned her back.

So Close | 11:54 am CDT
Category: daily drivel, food & drink | Tags: , ,
Comments Off on So Close

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

image of Bonkers the cat

And again: Kitty!

Because I wanted to make it up to you for all the political crap coming out of Wisconsin lately. We can do the interwebs the way it’s supposed to be done.

Bonk! | 6:28 am CDT
Category: daily drivel | Tags: ,
Comments Off on Bonk!

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Bluh! Bluh! Bluh! Blearrrrgh!

That’s how our oldest cat said “Good morning!” to me at four o’clock in the morning today. I’m in bed at four o’clock in the morning. I had been sleeping, up until the cat began singing his gastric antilullabye. That kind of thing tends to wake me right up, though, and then I start thinking that I’ll have to go clean that up because, if I don’t, I won’t be able to find it and wonder where it is until I’m doing some light house cleaning and find myself suddenly staring at it when I least expect it, or I’ll find it almost immediately after getting out of bed by stepping in it with my bare feet.

I don’t want to do either, so I get out of bed. At four o’clock in the morning. Did I mention how early that is? There are many things I don’t like to do, and very, very low on that list is getting out of bed at four o’clock in the morning, particularly in winter. I get chilled. It sucks.

Also, I have to turn on the lights to find the puke, which hurts my eyes. The lights, not the puke. I didn’t get any puke in my eyes. That sounded needlessly icky, didn’t it? Sorry. But you weren’t the one cleaning up cat puke this morning. I already mentioned how early, didn’t I?

I found it almost immediately because Bonkers was sitting right next to it. He looked as tired as I felt, and hadn’t moved an inch since horking it up. Cats aren’t as thoughtful as dogs are and won’t lift a finger to clean up after themselves. Next time, we’re getting a dog so I won’t have to do this at oh-dark-thirty, all I’ll have to do is stick my fingers in my ears to block the sound of the dog lapping up his mess.

So I got the paper towels and the spray bottle and cleaned it up, washed my hands in lye and then crawled back under the covers, which had cooled off so I had to curl up tightly in a ball and try to generate some warmth on my side of the bed again while B and Boo snored gently over on the other side. The only time B wakes up for these things is when Boo, sleeping in the crook of her knees, wakes up and tries to hork on the bed. That makes for some exciting midnight theater, I can tell you.

Blearrrgh! | 6:19 am CDT
Category: daily drivel | Tags: ,
Comments Off on Blearrrgh!

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Trying to think of suitable drivel to release upon the world is never an easy task; trying to do it while Bonkers the cat is squatting beside the grand exalted throne deep in the heart of drivel HQ going “Ehhh! Ehhh!” makes it even harder.

Bonkers doesn’t go “Meow” like other cats. Bonkers goes “Ehhh!” It’s an improvement. He used to bark like a dog. Well, not exactly like a dog, but so close that you had to wonder if he wasn’t raised by a German shepherd. But the “Ehhh!” can still be kind of unnerving, especially when he does it over and over. Sometimes it’s like he’s about to speak.

For many people drivel comes easy, so easy that they rake in stunning piles of money in exchange for their mental drool. I can’t understand it, but they’re all over television and radio every single day. How do they do it? If I could figure out the answer to that riddle, I’d have the tiger by the tail, the jinni in the lamp, a goose that laid the golden egg, and all my readers by the short hairs. But, as you see, I have no discretion when it comes to self-control. I know lots of metaphors and I’m not afraid to use them, even though I should be.

Still, it bugs me. After dinner, My Darling B and I were trying to remember the last good television show we saw and couldn’t come up with anything we thought was worth paying the four to six hundred dollars a year we’d fork over if we succumbed to the herd mentality and subscribed to cable television. I think the last program we all watched together was either Lost or Heroes, two shows that were mildly interesting when they started but lost me so fast I felt like Wile E. Coyote chasing the Road Runner.

And I don’t mean they lost me intellectually; I mean they started to suck. I stayed with Lost for two seasons because nearly every series has quite a few hiccups in the first two seasons while it tries to find its feet. There was plenty of time for Lost to live up to its promise, but it never did. It just kept sinking lower and lower. After the bug-eyed guy showed up I couldn’t even figure out what it was about any more, and walked away.

And Heroes, what a waste. I would’ve given it a chance by sticking with it through the second season if it didn’t make me feel like such an obvious schmuck for doing so. I haven’t watched any television series since.

B stuck with both Lost and Heroes to the bitter end, like a marathon runner obviously in great pain but determined to cross the finish line. And like those psychos she wept in pain and wondered why she was doing it, but she crossed the line, she got the t-shirt, she can say she did it. I still don’t know why, and to this day she’s not sure she can explain it, either. Poor thing.

I burp this up after succumbing to curiosity and searching out several episodes of the old Star Trek series. I’d turned up several blogs that celebrated the can-do spirit of the original show and, in a fit of nostalgia, caved in and let myself waste an hour or two with whatever was available on YouTube, and you know what? That show sucked. Like a victim of an emotionally traumatic experience, I had no clear memory of how bad it was: The hammy acting, the clunky dialog, the piss-poor production values. It was such a bad show in almost every way, and I spent just about every afternoon of my teenaged life watching every episode, most of them three or four times.

Drivel. It’s what’s for dinner.

Ehhh! Ehhh! | 9:38 pm CDT
Category: entertainment | Tags: ,
Comments Off on Ehhh! Ehhh!

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

image of sleeping sick guy

I’m still trying to sleep off the effects of this head cold I caught, so this will necessarily be brief before I have to go medicate myself with my hourly fistful of over-the-counter drugs, drink a pint of water and stretch out on the recliner for my early-mid-late-afternoon nap.

My symptoms today are a lot worse than they were the day before, and they were plenty bad yesterday. “You look like shit,” My Darling B observed, gazing across the dinner table at me. “I hope you don’t take that the wrong way.” I was too burned out to take it any way at all.

This morning I had a clear head for about an hour, long enough to make the ceremonial pot of coffee and eat a bowl of granola before I wrapped myself up in quilts and retreated to the recliner with a hot cuppa joe and the Sunday paper. I barely touched either of them before I was drifting in and out of consciousness.

I’d forgotten how much I hate being this sick. For an hour or more I struggled to keep my eyes open as waves of congestion swelled my face up and filled my eyes with tears. I could read three or four paragraphs before I had to put the newspaper down, reel off a yard and a half of toilet paper from the roll I kept at my side, and explosively blow a quart or two of snot from my sinuses. Finally I just gave up, popped a couple decongestants, stretched out with my eyes closed and prayed for death.

When I finally came to again, round about two in the afternoon, I was feeling well enough to make myself a cup of tea, and passed a few hours by reading a few chapters of the book I’m chipping away at, The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes. It even made some sense, unlike the news stories I was trying to figure out this morning. But I can tell a relapse is coming on quickly and I’ll have to go pop a couple more decongestant capsules before becoming an inert lump on the recliner once again.

The photo’s from yesterday; B snapped it while I was out like a light. She’s been babying me as much as she dares, but mostly she’s trying to keep her distance, and I don’t blame her one bit. The cats, on the other hand, aren’t squeamish at all about my condition. The great thing about cats is they’ll curl up with you whether you’re healthy or sick. All they’re looking for is a warm lap, and once they’ve claimed it they’ll stubbornly stay there no matter how wetly you sneeze on them. They can’t catch your bug, so they don’t care.

Out Go The Lights! | 3:25 pm CDT
Category: daily drivel | Tags: , , , , ,
1 Comment | Add a comment

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

image of Boo the cat

Bonkers is feeling much better today, thanks for asking. The vet gave him some meds for arthritis and some painkillers because the meds don’t kick in for two to three days. He’s up and around this morning, almost as active as his old self. Hesitates a bit before jumping up in my lap, as if he’s thinking about the twinge he’s going to feel as he pushes off, but he jumps up nonetheless, happy to be home.

Boo is not happy at all about Bonkers coming back from the vet. She skulks along the far side of the room when she wants to get past him, growling at him the whole time. She’s like that every time he goes to the vet without her, I guess because he smells funny when he gets back. She usually gets over it fairly quickly, but she was still hissing and spitting at him this morning while I was trying to get some meds into him.

The odor of the wet food I was sprinkling the medicine on pulled her in like a crappie on the end of a well-baited line so we gave her some, too, but she was very upset she had to be in the same room with Bonkers and wouldn’t stop spitting at him until My Darling B turned on her and cut loose with a barrage of hissing and spitting that sent Boo reeling back on her haunches. If communication is the proof of intelligence, then Boo confirmed hers, because her face said, “What the hell, woman?”

Even though I put her in a bedroom and closed the door for a well-deserved time out that lasted several hours, she managed to keep her sour mood going through the rest of the day. The first thing she did when I finally opened the door to let her out was hiss at Bonkers, who was standing in the hallway to see if she wanted to be friends again. The poor guy couldn’t figure out what her problem was and followed her from room to room as if to ask, “What’s wrong?”

If the funky smell of been-to-the-vet Bonkers drove Boo to hissy fits, being stalked by him made her even crazier. She skulked across the far side of the room, as far away from him as possible, growling as she made her way behind sofas and under chairs, to get a bite to eat and a drink of water. When she found Bonkers standing in the doorway of the dining room on her way back, she not only had another hissy fit, she gave him a couple swats on the nose, too, earning a good drenching from the squirt bottle.

Backing off with a genuinely hurt expression on his face, Bonkers tried once again to figure out what was wrong by following her across the living room, but Boo very pointedly answered that she did not want to talk about it, and eventually he gave up and curled up on the pile of dirty clothes I had sorted to wash and took a day-long nap.

You Know What They’re Thinking | 9:20 am CDT
Category: daily drivel | Tags: , ,
Comments Off on You Know What They’re Thinking

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

The cats let me sleep until around three in the morning, when Bonk let out a tentative wail, then ran into the bathroom to hide. He hasn’t done that in months, not since we bought robot cat feeders. After he woke me up, Boo walked across my face, the same thing she used to do when she was hungry and wanted me to get up and feed her. What the hell?

Sometimes it takes me a while to figure these things out. When enough of my nerve endings were fired up, it came back to me that one of the things I tried to remember to do before bed, and utterly failed at, was reload the robot cat feeders. They hadn’t even seen kitty kibble since the dish spun it all away at nine-thirty the night before. Since they weren’t about to let me go back to sleep, I got out of bed, trudged through the murk to the kitchen and reset the feeders so they could have a little after-dark snack.

After that, a passing storm kept me from getting back to sleep right away, and when it finally let up I think the change in pressure made B roll over and start sawing lumber. I spent the rest of the early-morning hours alternating between dozing off and whispering, “Turn over, dear.”

kibble? | 7:47 pm CDT
Category: daily drivel | Tags: , ,
Comments Off on kibble?