Wednesday, December 31, 2008

0/365 New Year's Dump-off

0/365 New Year's Dump-off
Originally uploaded by tallasiandude.

[20090102.10:07] An explanation forthcoming; right now, gotta get to the office.

[yes, this has been backdated]

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Will be missed for a long while

Originally uploaded by tallasiandude.

We said goodbye to Stimpy a week ago today. We miss him. I keep noticing the moments when I expect something* and then realize that the something won't be there.

The Ex and I got him from the MSPCA in the fall of 1992. I think they said they found him in Downtown Crossing, back when I didn't know where Downtown Crossing was. We couldn't imagine why anybody would have abandoned such an awesome kitty cat, but he was so friendly and socialable that it seemed improbable for him to have been a feral stray. They didn't know how old he was, but he seemed about the same as our other cat, Pix, who was adopted from neighbors, whose birthday was supposedly March 17th, so we just pretended they had the same birthday. The Ex was a big fan of the Ren and Stimpy show by John Kricfalusi and thus bequeathed him with the name of the lead kitty character.

[Baloo arrived the following year, adopted from an intern at work. When the Ex and I split up, I kept "the kids." Pix passed away in 2003. We had to say goodbye to Baloo in January 2007.]

Stimpy was the first and only cat I've ever had who would get under the covers in bed with you. He would also suck on your shirt when he did the kneading paws thing, which was cute, but kind of gross what with the waking up in the morning with a bunch of wet cat-spit spots all over your shirt. He outgrew the kneading and sucking, but not the under-cover snuggling. And over-cover snuggling.

He also liked to climb up onto your shoulder, and in recent years, to lick your head. He came down to meet you when you got home from work or from a trip. ("Mreow!" = "Where WERE you guys?! I missed you, and hey, FEED ME!") The SOOTTAD would tell me that she knew when I was almost home because he'd perk up just before she'd hear the car pull up. He'd cry if you didn't let him into the bathroom when you were in the shower. He was kind of an affection slut, which we found endearing.

Early on, Stimpy was diagnosed with a heart condition which required daily medication which came in pill form: 1/4 pill, 3 times a day and a low dosage aspirin every other day. Annual echocardiograms. Several years later, the vet told me that the condition had stablized and I could stop pilling him, which was much appreciated by both the piller and pillee. He had told us he'd probably have a shortened lifespan, but he ended up out-living the other two kitties.

He didn't take the loss of his buddy well. It seemed like he'd wander around the house crying, trying to figure out where he was. Moving didn't help. He learned the new space alright, but sometimes he'd cry and it seemed like he couldn't remember where people were. And in the last year or so, he'd actually started to show his age. A big belly turned out to be a cystic liver (but still getting the job done), kidney function starting to deteriorate, lost agility, strength. But always affectionate, happy to see you, happy for attention. And for treats -- we kind of spoiled him after we moved.

The SOOTTAD and I said goodbye to our little buddy last Tuesday morning, December 23, 2008, two days before Christmas. He was almost 17, and he was a good kitty.

* the something isn't him, but something ... about him, associated with him. It's the parts that the subconscious mind hasn't adjusted to.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

the little things

Originally uploaded by tallasiandude.

First real snowstorm last night, not counting the appetizer of light snow and freezing rain on Wednesday.

We had hunkered down in the attic watching movies on TV when our doorbell rang. We couldn't figure out who would be at the door at 10PM during a winter storm; turned out to be two kids offering to shovel our walkway for 10 bucks. First time that's happened. Anyway, happy to pay it, but you'd hardly know there'd been any such youthful entrepreneurs working the neighborhood as it hasn't stopped snowing since. I ended up spending about 2 hours myself this afternoon going over the walks again as well as hitting the driveway, cleaning off the cars, and digging out the side path.

Shoveling isn't so bad though. Good to get outside. Had some tunes. And was treated to near perfect snowflakes landing on my jacket and gloves when I took breaks to catch my breath and let my fingers thaw out a little.

Still, December has been a rough month. I've actually been meaning to write up a November update, but I've been busy with various projects (work and personal) and twitter and Facebook have provided sufficient outlet for me to dump what's been on my mind that I haven't found the need to carve out some time to write here.

Anyway, December. First weekend of the month: a new client... that I don't think I'll be seeing again. Not a good fit, and frankly, a little creepy.

Went to a frisbee tournament in Vegas and badly sprained my ankle only a few points into the first game. (reconstructing events, apparently another player stepped on my foot as I was going up for a D) Sidelined me for the whole weekend. (and then some -- got X-rays yesterday to confirm no broken bones, but it's actually more sore now that I'm wrapping it as advised by the nurse practitioner, and still a bit swollen and purpley.) Vegas is not a good place for a leg injury; everything is convoluted, as well as huge and far apart. I also lost more money than I care to admit to the internet, and I lost my voice. (which seems to be the manifestation of some kind of cold, although I don't have any other symptoms besides the voice and some throat/sinus congestion.)

Back home, the cat seemed to manifest more old and low energy. Plus, cat pee all over the basement. The SOOTTAD thought that he just missed me while I was away, and I'm sure forgetting to remind her about scooping the litterbox didn't help. All peeing aside, his condition has seemed to take a noticeable turn for the worse in recent weeks. And much worse after my weekend away. We had conveniently already scheduled a vet appointment Thursday for his annual checkup, but it only confirmed the worst: renal failure as well as anemia. the vet doesn't expect him to last past next week. Not sure what else to say about that. IV treatments are an option, but not expected to help much. Plus we don't want to add any more trauma to the kitty seeing as how badly he was doing after the vet visit.

We're spoiling him rotten at the moment. Carrying him to the litterbox. Treats when he's up. Lots of snuggles if we can do it without disturbing him too much. [I swear that's the only reason why we got out of bed at noon today.]

It actually seems like a good thing that we dropped the ball on getting tickets out to CA since it means we can spend more time with him and doesn't make us have to rush any ... decisions ... that we don't want to go rushing into. He actually seems to be doing a bit better than he was doing the day after the vet visit, but he's still clearly not doing well.

So anyway, it's been a rough December so far. Ups and downs, but mostly downs. It's the volatility that is the indicator of problems, or at least that's how I understand it. And there are things that will probably make it that much worse, but hopeful the little things will help us get through it. At least the SOOTTAD and I are together this time around. As much as it'll suck, we'll get through it together.

And for the record, it's still snowing. We'll just try to think about the snowflakes.