Thursday, December 31, 2009

I don't really have much to say...

...I just need to get that picture from off of the top of my blog. It makes my heart hurt to look at it right now.

I keep expecting to hear her come trotting down the stairs or howl at her water fountain. I also find myself turning to talk to her, and I start the silly nonsense songs I used to sing at her only to cut myself off immediately. If I'm not careful, I'm going to turn into the Crazy Lady at Number 10, the one who holds conversations with nobody anyone else can see.

I miss her a lot at bedtime. She used to walk all over me, then settle onto my chest and purr in my face.

I've already had one friend offer me a puppy from a litter she's expecting in February. It's a good thing this was done through email, so I didn't hurt her feelings (or her face) with the vehemence of my initial reaction. I haven't officially answered her yet. I hope she's taking my silence as a great big "No."

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


July 1991-December 29, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Traveling today

Two days before Christmas. I'm wrapping presents while listening to the dryer. Parents should be calling eightish to let me know they're leaving the mountains and headed my way. Here's hoping I'm ready to go by the time they get here around ten.

Delilah's coming with me to my sister's this year. She far too sick to be left alone. It's hard to believe that this time last month it didn't look like there was anything wrong. Her poor little face is so misshapen on the left side. She has a huge lump under her jaw, and her mouth on that side looks swollen.

She doesn't eat much, but she's still interested in food. I don't think she's in pain yet. It's hard to tell. She definitely doesn't feel well though. She wobbles a little bit if she turns her head too fast. She's finding strange places to sleep--in the closet on top of the hamper, or wedged between the side of the nightstand and the wall. She was sleeping in the craft room for a while, in the middle of a pile of polyfil stuffing she'd pulled out of its bag. She was sleeping on and under it. Made sense to me--soft and warm, but not too heavy. She looked like she was sleeping in a cloud. I would have taken a picture, but I really don't want any visual record of this illness. Going back and reading the blogs entries about it is going to be hard enough.

Sorry for the tone of this post. I'll try to be more cheerful next time.

Off to get some coffee and wrap more presents.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Another good holiday song from Straight No Chaser

From the same group that brought you the 12 Days of Christmas song mash-up that was everywhere last year (at least I think it was last year. Time is telescoping on me right now).

Found this through Acapodcast -- a podcast devoted to a capella music.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Feeling less mopey and sorry for myself today

...and it's a damn good thing, too. It's not like this is happening to me, after all.

The following, which reduced me to giggles, was found by way of robyn, who managed to post two things today even though she's had a killer migraine for 4 days running.

Never to young to learn the ukulele.

And isn't the itchy-nose bit adorable?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bad news

Well, the vet finally called. The labs came back today. It's cancer in the mouth and in the lymph gland. Squamous cell carcinoma, which he said is a fast-moving one. He said to enjoy her while I can, and to call him when it looks like she's starting to suffer.

My poor little girl.

I may not be around for a while, as I don't think I have it in me to be entertaining right now.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Still no word

I've been checking my voicemail all day, expecting and dreading news from my vet. It's quarter after 8 now. The office closed at 7:30, so I guess I'm not getting an answer today. One more day to fuss over the cat.

She's having a little trouble with the stairs. Down? No problem going down. Up is a different story. She takes them very slowly. Once in a while she comes downstairs and sits on my lap, but generally she hangs out in a box of blankets and afghans in the lilac room upstairs, the room where her litter box is. I moved her food up into that room too, and placed it so that all she has to do is move to the other end of the box to eat. I've even opened the bathroom door so she can drink from the tub, which is her favorite way of getting water anyway.

She's been very quiet. She purrs like a jet engine whenever I touch her or talk to her, but she hasn't meowed in almost a week. She's usually very vocal, so this is worth noting.

She is still eating, though. I've been mixing tuna with her wet food, and she's eating most of it. That's something. And she's still bathing. And using the litter box.

So now I wait another day to hear from the vet. Not his fault, I'm sure. It was only his estimate of when the labs would send the results back.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Not good news

So we went to the vet's yesterday. The man we normally see was doing a surgery, so we saw someone else. He'd read the notes, and his assistant was the same woman who'd been there last Friday, so it didn't take long to get him up to speed.

He felt around for a bit, looked her over, and then said that perhaps before they do a biopsy or an X-ray they should aspirate the gland and try to get some cells from the growth on her mouth. There's definitely a tumor there. I saw it for the first time yesterday. I guess I missed it because her lip's been covering it. Unlike dogs, cat's won't let you play around with their mouths. He started to tell me how much pathology would cost, and I cut him off.

"I don't care what it costs..." and then I burst into tears.

So they took her away to get some samples. When he brought her back, the vet told me it looks like there are two things going on: infected lymph gland and mouth tumor. I suggested the rotten tooth was caused by the tumor trapping food up there, and that's what infected the lymph gland, and he said that sounded logical.

They can remove the gland. She has plenty of others, she can live without this one. Problem is, we don't know whether the tumor is cancerous or benign. And even if it's benign, knocking her out to get rid of all that's wrong could wind up killing her anyway. She's 18 and a half ("she'd definitely be one of the oldest cats we've tried this with..."), with iffy kidneys and now a very slight heart murmur--he heard that when he was checking her over.

"But," he said, "that could have been fear."

The slides went out yesterday. I heard him in the back telling someone to send them "priority." He thinks we'll have results by Tuesday.

I don't know what to do. Even if the diagnosis comes back as not cancer, how much damage will surgery do? Am I considering keeping her alive out of sheer selfishness, just because I'm not ready to say goodbye?

I'm still giving her the antibiotics, for whatever good they're doing. The lump looks bigger now, and I'm wondering if just imagined that it was shrinking.

I'll know more Tuesday. All I can do until then is fuss over her and pamper her, which she takes as her due, bless 'er.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Hallelujah Chorus by silent monks

Having a rotten day. More on that when I can write about it (or even think about it) without sobbing. Yes, it has to do with the cat. No, she isn't dead. Not yet, anyway.

This, however, cheered me up some:

That set of cards they hold up at the end says (I think) "Have a Merry Christ mas and a Happy New Year"

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Of wind, warmth, and utility bills

Good lord, is it windy! It sounds like there's a wild thing trying to take off my siding out there. The wind is making these horrible sobbing noises as it whips round the corner of my house and rattles my windows.

This time last year I would have been wrapped in layers, listening to the heater cycle on/cycle off, and shivering. But now I have thermal drapes, so I'm all toasty.

Thermal drapes, of thee I sing! I have you in the living room, in the kitchen (where there used to be vertical blinds. No good those are! All they do is sway back and forth in the breeze) and upstairs in my bedroom. You are wonderful things. So what if you also block out most of the daylight? I have summer drapes for when I want light. You? You make it so that I won't be paying huge electric bills this year.

I hope.

We'll see. I haven't gotten a bill in a while that didn't have a zero balance on it.

Lemme explain that. I don't know how billing works where you live, gentle readers, but here they only check the meter every other month. On the months they don't come read it, they estimate. They base this on usage from the previous year. Or, if you're not comfortable with them guessing how much you used, you can read the meter yourself and report it to their computer--either over the phone or online.

That's what I'd been doing, reading the meter myself. 'Cause the one time I didn't I got a nasty surprise. Holy power bill, Batman! I'd forgotten that the year before there had been four people in this house, and apparently they would turn on every light and appliance in the place then go stand outside, join hands, and watch the meter go 'round and 'round, just for fun. I didn't want another bill like that one, so I've been taking down numbers and calling the power company computer.

Except for last June. I thought I was clear for last June, since that's when I moved in. I was wrong. The bill for June was estimated from the previous year, and was close to $300. Gulp. But then my own usage kicked in the next month, and I had such a large credit on my account that I didn't owe them anything. I've been riding that same wave ever since. This bill coming up will be the first one in a while where I expect to send them a payment. I'm interested to see how much it is.

I'm also thinking of paying them a large chunk next June and riding the wave through the summer again. That was kind of nice.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Little monster on the mend

The cat's feeling better. So far today she's eaten some shredded turkey, a third of a small can of tuna, and when I went to check on the little saucer that had her wet food on it, it was practically licked clean. Right now I'm listening to her eat from the bowl of dry food that I keep upstairs near where she sleeps.

She's also tried to eat a dead maple leaf, a blade of dried grass, and a long fiber from the edge of the carpet. I've had to chase her down three times in 20 minutes to take those things away from her. 'Cause she'll just throw them up, along with anything else she ate. The brat. I think she thinks we're playing a game. Only problem is, if she wins she loses her dinner.

The lump is decidedly smaller, it isn't just me being hopeful. Though I really do think they're going to have to take that tooth out. It's rotten, after all. Her mouth must hurt.