Posts Tagged ‘Perl’

Mitsy and Pablo

I have a hard time admitting to reality sometimes.  But eventually, it catches up with us all.  So here is the story of what has happened over the last week.

On Tuesday of last week, I took Mitsy and Pablo to the vets.  They have been losing weight, which they desperately needed to do, but they got too skinny, as if that were possible.  I could feel their spine.  They weren’t eating.  I knew things weren’t right.  Mitsy also has a large, marble-sized growth between her nose and her left eye.  We’ve been afraid to test it because doing so might damage her eye, but now it was so big that wasn’t a concern.  On Wednesday, the vet called with the results of all the expensive blood work.  Mitsy’s growth was not a tumor—always said in an Arnold voice.  So in addition to her hyperthyroid medication, she was issued a steroid to break it down.

Pablo has diabetes in addition to his arthritis.

On Thursday morning, I took my two fifteen-year-old cats back to the vets.  Mitsy got an antibiotic shot for her growth, and I brought Pablo to learn how to give him twice-daily insulin injections.

Pablo is awesome with his insulin injections.  He almost even likes them.  I’ve only pricked myself once so far.

Mitsy, who used to love Pill Pockets, quit her pills and food a month ago.  So getting her to take her medication is a chore.  I have to invent new things all the time.  I first figured out that she likes Salmon Pill Pockets but not Chicken Pill Pockets.  But after a day or so of that, she wasn’t interested in them either. Luckily, Perl still likes them with her allergy medication.

On Saturday, Mitsy was breathing really heavy.  I could see her chest rise and fall at a rapid rate.  She and I and Perl went outside to sit in the back yard.  I called the vet.  They said to bring her in.  I let her sit in the back yard for a little while longer, knowing it might be the last time.  And I started crying.  I didn’t stop crying until Sunday.

At the vet, they took X-rays.  I paid extra to have a radiologist stop his golf game long enough to respond to the photos.  The vet could have told me the same thing as it was obvious from the photos.  Mitsy’s heart is enlarged, she had fluid in her lungs, and her kidneys are shrinking.  She is dying.  Congestive heart failure.

It was mentioned briefly that we could do an ultrasound, but really, she has been on hyperthyroid medication for six years, she has a large growth next to her eye, and she is fifteen.  It is her time.  But I still wasn’t ready.

I was there until an hour past closing, using up all their tissues.  We talked about where I could take her on Sunday when my vets is closed if I needed to euthanize her.  The vet gave her an injection of something and sent me home with heart medication and a diuretic to get rid of the fluid in her lungs.

I was certain this was the end.  I would have to call it sometime on Sunday or Monday morning.

The vet called Monday night.  She was timid about what to ask about Mitsy, not knowing what happened.

“The drugs are a miracle,” I exclaimed.

“That’s great!” she said, relieved that she hadn’t just called someone who’s cat had died over the the last day and a half. Then she said, “Just remember, your cat is having congestive heart failure.  That means her heart could stop working at any time.”

“I know,” I said.  The thing was, the drugs had given me another day.  I spent all day Sunday pampering Mitsy.  We went outside again.  I moved her food bowls to the bedroom so she doesn’t have to walk as far.  I put the child gate up so that she can walk between the bedroom and the bathroom without the dog bothering her.

The dog.  The poor dog.  She stepped on something Saturday and started limping, holding up her right, front paw.  I couldn’t see anything wrong besides her ego not getting enough attention.  Her ego has miraculously healed.

Pablo is taking his insulin shots like a champ.  He probably loves me more now than he ever has.

Mitsy doesn’t like to take her pills.  My latest trick has been to crush them up and mix them with water from a can of tuna.  I’m going to be eating a lot of tuna.  But she looks great.  She is eating again, she seems happy.  Her breathing still isn’t great, but it is a lot better than it was on Saturday.

Every day, at this point, is a new challenge.  Will she be alive when I wake up.  Will she be alive when I get home from work.  I pet her and give her a kiss on the forehead and tell her I love her every chance I get, not knowing if it will be the last.  Mitsy and Pablo have been with me for the last fourteen years, through three different states, three cross-country trips, and nine different housing arrangements.  I’m writing their memoirs because they have been the only constant in my life over the last fourteen years.  Everything else has changed, except for them.

And now that is about to change.

I’m trying to be ready.

But I’m not.

Grey is the new green

Christmas eve, Perl and I went to Santa Cruz. We walked a couple miles along the sea shore, did sprints on the beach, and drove with the top down. A perfect way to spend the day before Christmas.

It was all fun and games until I couldn’t get the top back up. The weather was warm enough for driving around the boardwalk, but not for the highway. I did manage to get it to close, but not without being very nervous for a while.

I really used Perl’s trip to the beach as an excuse to drive forty miles to get zero VOC paint from Green Space, and to look for ideas of how to remodel my bathroom. I know. I haven’t even shown you finished pictures of the kitchen yet. I will. Eventually.

Perl didn’t want the green color of my bedroom to go, so she had a sit-in in the closet. I finally convinced her that we had lived with this color for three years and it is time for a change. But she begged and asked, Why grey?

Well the rest of the house is grey.

But it is so boring.

Yes, but I want to print out some of my photos and display them and I don’t want the wall color to be the main focus of the room.

Grey? Really? Couldn’t you do something else?

I didn’t want beige.

But why grey?

Because it goes with everything. I’m sick of having to pick new bedspreads by bringing paint chips to the store. Nothing went with that green.

It took a couple coats to get rid of the green. But now my bedroom is grey with white trim. I’ll do the electrical outlets during the daylight.

And then I have to fill my closet again. I had a lot of stuff in that closet. Hopefully I’ll have less soon.

I do kind of miss the green.

New hiding spot

In an effort to quell any need I have to move after being in the same spot for nearing four years, I have been redecorating. Out with the old, in with the new. Including a new pet bed. I’d call it a dog bed except Perl has yet to be allowed to use it. Mitsy and Pablo love this new spot behind the couch. They can watch the door and run in either direction from the dog. I didn’t realize they would like it so much!

Strange dreams

The other day, a friend quoted Shakespeare, “To sleep, perchance to dream.” I said, I’d rather not because I have crazy vivid dreams. Here is the one from this morning. I bet dream interpreters would have a field day with this!

The first thing I remember in this nightmare was my siblings and I on the side of the divided road (like El Camino) and something happened. I think it was a bad driver, but I don’t remember exactly what rules were broken and who was breaking them. But this woman was pissed, and she was going to do something about it. I think she was a real estate agent, and she looked like someone on tv, but I don’t remember what show. I don’t know why, but she drove her sub-sub compact to a turn lane in the median, but to do so, she had to drive a few feet the wrong way down the road. As she did, she honked at some guy passing her, and I couldn’t get over how what she was doing was so much worse than what the other person did.

My siblings and I walked down the road. It got smaller and smaller until it was just dirt, and we came to the shack that we lived in with our mom. I was about to take Perl out for a walk when my sister’s friend came running up and regaled us with a story of this serial killer going around town. He had chased down a car and beaten two people to death with a tire iron. And no one could find him. I tried to convince someone to go with me to walk Perl, but I couldn’t.

Then, a man wearing a gorilla mask started pounding on the door. It took me two times, but I pressed 911 on my phone and showed him. That was when he pounded so hard on the glass next to the door that it shattered and he walked in. He took off his mask and it was a friend of my brother, so I hung up the phone and started yelling at him. How was I supposed to fix that glass? How were we going to keep the serial killer out now? Gorilla man had a friend behind him, and they went to find Brother K in the one story house.

At this point, I was talking with Meme in the living room. She was in a chair, I was sitting on the floor in front of her. My dog really needed to go out to pee. And in walks Meme’s best friend, thin and frail, and covered in dirt from head to toe. I couldn’t imagine she had outrun the serial killer. I gave her a hug and didn’t want to let go. She explained how she had gotten dirty, and even though it had been an accident, and on any other day, I would have been shocked, I just laughed because it wasn’t the serial killer.

So I left Meme and her friend in the living room and went to the bedroom where Mom was wrapping gifts for me to give my Indian friend at her wedding. Something long and rectangular, something the same length, but cylindrical, and something smaller and square. I was impressed with Mom’s wrapping skills. My siblings all came into the room, as well as my dog who still had to pee. We decided then and there to take a vacation somewhere until they caught the guy.

And I couldn’t take the stress anymore and woke up.

I can place some of it. On Heroes recently, Skylar beat a man with a tire iron. I was watching my friend wrap gifts last night for her wedding. I do have an Indian friend getting married, but this isn’t her wedding. I saw someone try to make a left turn through a space in a divided highway through a turn lane for the oncoming traffic. And I think the realtor was someone from a tv show I was half watching last night while painting my nails. Brother K was prominent because I was talking to him on the phone before bed. And yesterday, I was talking about seeing Meme and her friend this summer when I went to Maine. So it isn’t like my dreams are random, they just seem it.

And sometimes they are good dreams. This just wasn’t one.

Update on the kill

It seems that what Mitsy killed was indeed a gopher. I wasn’t really sure since I haven’t seen one up close before, but now that I’ve had a chance to check out some images online, I can confirm that this one will not be digging any more holes.

Okay, that is a lie, I’ve seen a gopher up close before but it was even bigger. It was a couple years ago and I wasn’t sure at that point if Mitsy or Perl had killed it. Both had been stalking it for weeks. Today’s gopher was about half cat sized. I didn’t think Mitsy still had it in her since she has a hard time jumping onto the couch or my bed. Guess she isn’t ready to kick the bucket without taking a few other living creatures with her.

Quiet time

I needed a day to myself. So this morning, after donning spandex—yes, I have learned to love spandex, even though maybe I’m one of those people who shouldn’t, but it is so comfortable—, filling my water bottle, and pumping air into the tires, I took my bicycle out for a spin.

I thought it would be just a short ride, but many wrong turns later (how can I have a wrong turn if I don’t know where I’m going?), I found my way back home.

The trip started with me going in the opposite direction from normal. I wanted to try a new trail. The map said the bridges would be open by early 2009, and since it is late 2009, I thought I’d give it a try. Turns out while the bridges might be done, the trail is not. FAIL.

So I went back the couple miles and started over, this time going towards the Stevens Creek Trail. Just minutes after getting on the trail, I almost hit a squirrel. I might have clipped its tail with my tire. That would not have been pleasant to run over a squirrel with my bike. But all is good with the world. It narrowly escaped to live another day.

As I was passing NASA Ames, I saw two fighter jets take off and buzz a commercial airliner. I’m sure in the air they were a lot further away from the airliner than it seemed, but I sure as hell would have been scared to see these fighter jets coming my way!

I found my way into Shoreline park. Got a little too close to the salt marshes, which were a little too smelly. This flock of pelicans didn’t seem to care. These might have been the outcasts though. There were a lot more later in my trip and they were hanging out in cleaner water.

Next thing I knew, I had gone through Shoreline and was on a trail next to 101 and could see the exit for Embarcadero/Oregon Expressway. I’d ridden into Palo Alto! I dead ended at the golf course and made a u-turn. I took a moment to find how far I was from home, but didn’t look at the time. But I started to think I might hurt a lot when I got to my couch.

At one point I was riding on the road when I stopped at a green light because there was a guy driving on the wrong side of the divided road. I decided I did not need to be part of that accident when it happens. Luckily everyone went around him and he switched sides at the stop light. He didn’t seem to care at all and was annoyed that he had been unable to take a left from where he came.

When I passed the farmers market and saw that everyone was tearing down, I began to think that it was much later than I thought.

I arrived home 3 1/2 hours after I had left. I’d only stopped at lights and to check directions twice. Other than that, I was cycling the whole time. Not fast, but continuous. I’m sure you can imagine how much I hurt right now. But I stayed standing long enough to shower and then walk Perl two miles so I could get some lunch. Probably was good for me.

Home again

I managed to get into San Francisco. The flight was delayed by an hour because of bad weather in Boston, but I didn’t care because I’m already late getting home and I ran into my friend, Ken (thanks for getting that stupid Barbie song stuck in my head), who also happened to be on my flight (or I was on his flight), so I had plenty of entertainment.

He had a rental car—or better yet, a maroon grandpa boat—waiting for him, so I caught a ride, but only as far as Menlo Park. He couldn’t get me to the train or else he’d miss his meeting, so he ditched me with the attendants at the Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel & Spa. They were fabulous. They called a cab for me. They offered me water. They were worried about what time my train was. And they probably enjoyed wondering why Ken and I drove up but I needed to go to the train station while he was staying for a meeting. Always good to make people at 5 star hotels curious.

So a $20 cab ride later, I successfully bought a Caltrain ticket. Only waited a few minutes for a train. I even looked it up to make sure I didn’t accidentally get on an express train.

I walked a lovely mile home to drop off my bag. Pablo, the one with the unexplained fever, not to be mistaken with Mitsy, the one with the brain fungus, was under the bed and not coming out. However, he did blink slowly at me, indicating everything would be okay.

I put the top down on Myrtle and drive to the specialty vet. The highway was at a standstill, so I took back roads and hoped I’d find my way to Campbell. I did, but arrived 10 minutes after they closed. However, they took pity on me and let me in to pay my ginormous bill.

I then broke Perl out of doggy daycare jail after paying their ransom. Now we are all home and all is in order. Perl is licking her paws, Mitsy left the room because she wasn’t getting enough attention, and Pablo, King of the Castle, is hogging all my time.

And it may only be 8 pm, but i am off to sleep.


Perl’s mom

Say hello to Hope. She got here, wandered around and when she found me, went crazy. This is why Perl thinks she is a lap dog. She gets it from her mom.

Girls in Trucks

I hid this weekend, as much as I am capable of doing. After running my errands on Friday, I settled—yes, settled—into a weekend of reading. Yes, there were a number of parties I was supposed to attend, and I managed to go to two, but I really needed a weekend to myself. So Perl and I laid out a blanket in the backyard and I began my adventures reading Katie Crouch’s “Girls in Trucks” while Perl stalked unsuspecting squirrels.

I’m not sure how I heard about the book. I assumed it was mentioned on NPR, but I can’t seem to find a…no, I thought I knew where, but I can’t seem to find the reference. Well, when I saw it in the bookstore Friday, I used some of my store credit to get it. And it was worth every sold book.

It is about relationships. The sexual relationships between women and men, and the societal relationships between southern women. Katie introduced me to Sarah Walters as a child in Cotillion class and follows her until she is 35 and still single.

I won’t tell you how the story goes, you should read it for yourself, but I will tell you how familiar the storyline seemed to me. It wasn’t my exact life, but I could relate to Sarah’s trials and tribulations of dating. The flings. The love of her life that she just can’t release, no matter how bad he is for her. Trying to settle. It is all there.

But it is the settling part that is most interesting to me. The other day, a friend sent me a link to an article in The Atlantic by Lori Gottlieb titled “Marry Him!” and it is subtitled, “The case for settling for Mr. Good Enough.” My friend has been anticipating my reaction, and I think it is because he believes that I will start ranting and raving about how this woman is a lunatic for writing this article.

I can’t.

Because she is right.

And I started to believe her with this paragraph.

To the outside world, of course, we still call ourselves feminists and insist—vehemently, even—that we’re independent and self-sufficient and don’t believe in any of that damsel-in-distress stuff, but in reality, we aren’t fish who can do without a bicycle, we’re women who want a traditional family. And despite growing up in an era when the centuries-old mantra to get married young was finally (and, it seemed, refreshingly) replaced by encouragement to postpone that milestone in pursuit of high ideals (education! career! but also true love!), every woman I know—no matter how successful and ambitious, how financially and emotionally secure—feels panic, occasionally coupled with desperation, if she hits 30 and finds herself unmarried.

She goes on to say that yes, there are exceptions but if you are the exception at 30, then by the time you are 35, you will understand.

I understand.

As much as I love my life, as much as any number of people are jealous of all the crazy things I do, I would give it up in a moment for kids and a husband. For someone to help me make the day to day decisions and endure the monotony, and for kids who would make that monotony all worth while.

I’d do anything that is, but settle.

She continues on to recommend settling when you are younger. Before you have kids. Before you lose your looks. Before the pool of eligible bachelors dwindles to just kindling. If having a family is important to you, then knock it out of the way before it is too late.

And I can’t disagree. She makes some fabulous points. One of which is that she and her friend went to a sperm bank to have their children. So now, they are single moms. At least if they had settled, even if they had gotten divorced, then they could ship the kid to Dad’s once in a while and have a night off. Not so when you decide to do it all on your own.

So why won’t I settle if I agree with her view? Because it is too late for me. I’m past the settling years. I’ve resigned myself to knowing that I probably will never have children of my own. I might get to share parenting of someone else’s children, and I will always adore my kids from school, but I probably won’t ever pass down my own genes. My brother, Sparkles, has admitted that this has been his plan all along to keep me single and childless so that I will spoil his children as if they are my own and pay for their college education.

I’m also working against a stereotype. As I read once in Maureen Dezell’s Irish America: Coming Into Clover, being the oldest female in an Irish family, we are known to be headstrong and independent. And this often leaves us unmarried. I’m difficult, and I know it. And I need someone who can deal with that. As much as many guys would like to try, very few have succeeded. Some think that I’m broken and they need to fix me, which just pisses me off. Others let me get away with shit because they can’t tell me no. I can’t tell you exactly what I need, but I know it when I see it. There have been a couple guys that I’ve truly loved. These are the guys that make me soft. Expose my feelings. And it isn’t because they treat me like a girl instead of one of the guys. It is because there is something about them that makes me want to expose my vulnerabilities. That is rare.

And I know you all think I’m too picky, but I’m really not. I don’t let my brain make the decision when it comes to love. One of the last guys that I fell for is nothing like what my brain thinks I should find. But my heart says yes. That is why it is so hard to explain who I’m looking for—my brain doesn’t know.

One last quote from the article. Who can argue with this?

But then my married friends say things like, “Oh, you’re so lucky, you don’t have to negotiate with your husband about the cost of piano lessons” or “You’re so lucky, you don’t have anyone putting the kid in front of the TV and you can raise your son the way you want.” I’ll even hear things like, “You’re so lucky, you don’t have to have sex with someone you don’t want to.”

The lists go on, and each time, I say, “OK, if you’re so unhappy, and if I’m so lucky, leave your husband! In fact, send him over here!”

Not one person has taken me up on this offer.

Pink afternoon

Perl and I are hanging in the backyard. She is napping and squirrel watching. I am reading and sipping pink lemonaid.

The sun is warm and I want to sleep.