Post 540: bored

The day started off well for the boys. Andy and I played long and hard with the wand toy. Dougy and I played a little less long, but he played with his usual enthusiasm. I thought I’d worn them out for the morning, at least, but little did I know, Dougy…well, Dougy is bored!

Andy disappeared, most likely to take a morning nap someplace. Dougy, however, plopped himself down under my computer desk.

Dougy just sat there and let out a kitty whine for attention. Dougy is a whiner.

Dougy just sat there and let out a little kittenish whine for attention. Dougy is a whiner.

He had my attention, alright. I reached under the desk to pat him on the head or rub his face, something to let him know I was paying attention.

"Too little too late!"

“Too little too late!”

Oops! Dougy’s upset with me because he wants more than token acknowledgement. I have no clue, though. Whatever he wants, I have yet to discover it. He turns his back to me to let his discouragement and general upset with me sink in. He not only whines, he pouts!

Dougy checks back with me to see if I got his message.

Dougy checks back with me to see if I got his message.

I’m still clueless, but Dougy knows he has my attention, for whatever that’s worth. I think we’re making progress, and stretch my hand out toward him to give him a nice ear scratch or something.

"Never mind!"

“Never mind!”

Dougy extracted maximum pity from me, then ran off before I picked him up for some serious “wuv”. He prefers not to be picked up, thank you! As best I can tell, this whole performance was more about distraction than getting attention.

=(^+^)=

Dougy ran off to the food bowls for a little morning pick-me-up snack, then disappeared for a few minutes. Next thing I knew, he was whining at my feet again.

“OK, Buster! I’m picking you up!” Which I did, and Dougy quickly decided he wasn’t bored any longer. I, however, decided I wasn’t through petting my kitty. Dougy grew more and more stressed. What do you do with a stressed kitty? I give him a shoulder massage until I feel the tension subside! Of course, with Dougy, that didn’t happen, so I let him down.

=(^+^)=

I just about wrote, “…and he was through whining for the rest of the day,” but he just came back over to whine once before he went over to the back door cat lounger to scratch, then take a rest. I still don’t know what his issue is!

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Post 539: when it rains…

There is a soft rain today, with occasional bombastic thunder. I like it. Andy and Dougy associate it with “wet”, which they don’t like in practice.

I held the door open. Dougy came out long enough to feel one or two raindrops on his head, then he scampered back inside.

I held the door open. Dougy came out long enough to feel one or two raindrops on his head, then he scampered back inside.

I wasn’t surprised Dougy came outside until he got a little wet. He’s the more curious about the outside of the brothers. Andy stands in the doorway, but never steps outside. Andy’s mind’s made up when it comes to water: It’s not good!

The Memorial Day geraniums welcomed the rain. This time of year, it couldf be snow, eh!? And we had some of that in early September.

The Memorial Day geraniums welcomed the rain. This time of year, it could be snow, eh!? And we had some of that in early September.

One thing about geraniums, they are tough little mothers and they bloom forever! Oh. That’s two things about geraniums, but that just makes them that much more welcome at the front entry. The recent hot weather beat them up, but the rain and cooler weather suit them fine.

The sedums appreciate the extra moisture, too.

The sedums appreciate the extra moisture, too.

When I planted the Sedum in the Cretan pot, I didn’t realize what a good choice that was. It looks great in this rustic piece of pottery. I’m glad I lugged the two of these pots down from the house in 2004. Some years, when I am not up to a garden of any consequence, the pots, at least, have something perennial in them, and it looks good.

The bird bath didn't get much attention from me this year. Thanks to the rain today, it has water in it. You can see where some raindrops landed in the photo.

The bird bath didn’t get much attention from me this year. Thanks to the rain today, it has water in it. You can see where some raindrops landed in the photo.

I suppose I should confess to a dirty bird bath. What appears to be pebbles on the bottom actually is dried, cracked pond crud (algae, filth…!) that the rain covered.

As soon as I give up on a garden because the yard vandals keep weed whacking plantings I want, they stop coming around! This is a messy little area in the back that I neglected all summer.

As soon as I gave up on a garden because the yard vandals kept weed whacking plantings I wanted, they stopped coming around! This is a messy little area in the back that I neglected all summer. In the rain, it has some small charm.

Yeah, that’s an elm sapling in the upper left hand corner, and that’s the  invasive bird-planted vine, Virginia creeper, with the palmate leaves, below it. The Virginia creeper sets berries that the birds love to eat, and they “plant” the seeds wrapped in a lovely load of poop, just the ticket for successful germination!

Though Andy and Dougy don’t approve, we are supposed to get more rain today and through the week. It’s a nice change from the hot weather, and a gentle transition into the coming cold.

 

 

 

Post 538: a slow Caturday morning…

Nobody’s moving much or very fast this morning. In fact, there is a distinct sense of a nap coming on.

Andy didn’t get his medicine until a bit after 9:00 AM. Not because he hid from me, but because I just wasn’t moving very fast. Then, when I realized I’d forgotten to take care of Andy’s medicine, I located him by the front door, lazing. He looked up at me, I reached down and picked him up. No drama, no resistance, even when I wrapped him in the towel. Oh, he put up token resistance when I put the syringe of medicine up to his lips, but even that was a lazy resistance, just enough to assert his disagreement with the act of being dosed.

He got his praise and treats, then went under the computer desk to that spot he likes to go when he wants to avoid capture, can see but not been seen easily.

Andy's hidey-hole under the computer desk.

Andy’s hidey-hole under the computer desk.

Dougy didn’t have much energy going either today, this slow Caturday morning. Oh, he tried to put on a show by scratching on the settee he knows he’s not supposed to rip apart but does, but it was just enough to show he’d been by, a show for Andy’s sake a few feet away under the computer desk.

Dougy looked back toward Andy to make sure Andy saw the show at the settee.

Dougy looked back toward Andy to make sure Andy saw the show at the settee.

But it turned out Dougy put on a show for a kitty that wouldn’t let himself be worried by some silly territorial business today. Dougy ran off to take a nap in the bathroom.

 I think Andy moved a little bit. Mmmm. That tail switched, right?!

I think Andy moved a bit. Mmmm. That tail switched, right?! Yes? No?

A slow Caturday morning…. Maybe I’ll take a nap, too.

 

Post 537: the webcam cable is no toy

Andy has a long time fascination with the cable to my webcam. After this video was taken, I had top disconnect the webcam or risk Andy chewing it.

Yesterday, I thought it might be long enough after the cable incident above that I could reconnect the webcam, a computer toy I actually would use a lot if the kitty left it alone.

Oops! What you don’t see in the video is Dougy chewing on the cable moments before. Dougy thinks it’s a toy, too. Once again, the webcam had to be disconnected to protect a cat and the cable.

Post 536: Where’s Andy?

Things are quiet around the house, unlike earlier when the boys were chasing each other north and south. Too quiet. I see Dougy on the back door cat lounger.

“Any idea where your brother is, Dougy?” No response. Dougy’s dozing, I guess. His eyes are closed anyway.

cdoug

“Seriously, have you seen Andy?” I ask Dougy. Well, eyes a bit more open, but Dougy’s taking his time shaking off that spell the sun has on him.

ddoug

I piqued his curiosity. He’s a cat, you know, and that’s his kryptonite. Curiosity. Now he wonders where Andy is, and trots off to try to find him!

edoug

Clearly not at the fountain. Hmm.

DSCN1883

A quick look into the guest bedroom, Dougy’s favorite “hidey spot”.

fdoug

Nope. No Andy. Give him a second or two, and there will be no Dougy, either, and both boys will be asleep under one or the other beds.  So much for a dramatic kitty story for today’s post, unless you get excited watching cats under beds snoozing. Keep on moving. Nothing to see here! (Of course, Andy sometimes snores in his sleep. Or purrs.)

Post 535: odd priorities

When I took Andy and Dougy in for their appointment at the groomers the 9th, Vic, the woman who cuts my hair, arrived at the same time I did. Her Yorkie had an appointment that morning, too.

We showed off our pets to each other, and I noted I took Andy and Dougy in for grooming every other month, the irony of which wasn’t lost on Vic: If she sees me once ever six months for an appointment, it’s a small miracle. In case she didn’t catch the irony (which of course she had!), I mentioned this odd priority that guides me to Murphy’s Grooming Salon for the boys, but not hers for my haircut.

“Yes, I ought to make an appointment,” I said, and she agreed we needed to do something about that Zeke the Trapper aura I projected with my wild hair.

...because tomorrow the bogeyman's catching you and taking you to see Dr. David!

Sometimes these accidental snapshots offer a clue to my appearance, which, honestly, I seem oblivious to when I look at myself in a mirror.

Appointment made, I got the bush cut short yesterday. Why I wait so long I don’t know. My hair always feels good (oddly) after a haircut by a good hairdresser, which Vic definitely is. I let her decide how to cut it, how short, then leave a nice tip because she always gives me more than my money’s worth. Besides, by now, after all these years, I count her as a friend.

I pointed out all the Sasquatch sightings in the Nebraska Panhandle would slow down again now that she trimmed me up and made me as pretty as I can be made. It’s an on-going joke, though the Sasquatch sightings in Western Nebraska always do slow down after I get a haircut. Go figure.

Another aspect of my odd priority popped up in conversation. I spend $100 every other month on the boys’ grooming plus a nice tip since I am very pleased with their groomers and their consistently great job trimming up the boys in the now standard teddy bear cut. I spend $30 every six months (or so) on my own grooming, which includes the cost of cutting my hair plus a nice tip. That is to say, I spend $600 a year getting haircuts for cats, but exactly one-tenth that, $60, on my own haircuts!

An odd priority.

Picture 317

Now I should do something about that patriarch beard!

Post 534: Andy defends his turf

Dougy, Dougy, Dougy! You know Andy regards the blue carrier as his personal territory, so why did you try to take it over? (Oh, because it is Andy’s territory! I see!) In this little confrontation, Dougy appears as himself on the left side of the photos, and Andy appears as himself on the right. All the action is deadly serious. Andy will not suffer a usurper lightly, even if that usurper is his own brother!

=(^+^)=

a923

Andy hopped onto the carrier and just perched there. Dougy senses something’s up.

b923

Andy holds his place while Dougy contemplates what Andy will do next. There could be a confrontation: There isn’t enough room on this carrier for two kitties! (I know, I know! There are two kitties on the carrier, but we’re talking kitty logic here.)

c923

Andy makes his move. Dougy is shocked by the “Kitty Stare of Death” his beloved brother’s giving him! How can he!? Scary and threatening!

d923

Dougy gives as much as he is given. His whiskers are taut with intent. Andy seems to back down.

e923

Yeah! So he can build up a major blow on his brother Dougy! Dougy strikes back, but is caught mostly off guard. “I’m your brother, brother!” “Yeah, but it’s my carrier, brother!” >POW!<

f923

A startled Dougy holds his brother back.

g923

Andy makes his point, and Dougy scats.

h923

Andy isn’t about to leave things where they are: Dougy must die…or, at least, respect Andy’s right to the top of the blue carrier! He pursues his brother to finish the encounter in kitty style.

i923

He beats his brother up on the old computer chair, of course! That’ll teach him. For good measure, Andy chases his brother into the kitchen, then onto the cat lounger by the back door, where he gives him a little kitty claw action, a tooth or two.

=(^+^)=

For the record, no cats were harmed photographing this encounter, though Dougy’s a little wiser than he was first thing this morning.

Post 533: Spoon theory and chronic illness

As a weggie – one of those people fated to live with Wegener’s granulomatosis (AKA GPA) for the rest of my life – I’ve had well-meaning people try to offer strategies and advice on how to deal with chronic illness. Yesterday, I came across this item posted on Facebook by a fellow weggie, Anne Wellings.

Spoon theory is something new to me. I understand it on some organic level, having experienced an illness that sometimes left me exhausted but not visibly sick, of being at an age where everyone else in my cohort can name an ache or pain for every one I experience, though theirs more likely than not aren’t signs of a body rejecting itself…. The “Chronic Illness BINGO” chart below covers a lot of the things others either said to me or implied in their effort to “deal” with my illness.
spoon theory

My all-time favorite, though, was by a co-worker, who sold organic vitamins for extra money. (“One-A-Day vitamins don’t break down in your system, so you just poop them out whole” is a paraphrase of one line she used.) Shortly after I returned to work in March 2004, after three months off for the fight of my life, for my life, then a few weeks to build up my strength, she told me I should stop taking the medications my doctor prescribed because they were poison, which is technically true of medicines — and, well, vitamins! Instead, I should take such-and-such vitamins because she, vitamin seller, read a study that characterized natural vitamins of the specific sort she sold as a panacea…for everything, including this disease I had that she’d never heard about before I came down with it.

I told her I could take her vitamins, a therapy not recognized by any credible WG specialists and die or continue with the “poison” prescribed by my doctor and live. Was she willing to take responsibility if I died on her vitamins? It shut her up.

She also tried to convince another co-worker with MS of the efficacy of her vitamins. The person with MS told her off, too.

Though I am in remission, and have been since May 2005, I remember well-meaning people trying to help me deal with something they couldn’t possibly grasp, a rare illness that has no cure, and, that used to be a sure death sentence. My own doctor, when he identified my illness and told me what I had, said I had Wegener’s granulomatosis, and would be dead within two years.

That was in December 2003. In December 2006, on the third anniversary of the “dead in two years” prognosis, I reminded him about what he said that cold day in 2003. “That’s the blunt kind of thing I’d say,” he said. And how! But I appreciated his candor at each stage of my treatment. He is a compassionate fellow under that hard veneer, something I came to realize.

What do you say to someone dealing with a chronic illness? That depends on the person. I personally have no issues with death. I kissed it on the lips in December 2003-January 2004, and it was cold. Just don’t try to out-guess my doctors unless you have credentials that establish you as a bonafide WG/GPA specialist.

Then I got better, achieved a new normal, but I am aware of the dangers I face. Keep your germy little children away from me when they are sick, for example…! And don’t visit me with a cold. I am susceptible to respiratory illnesses.  Your cold that is over for you in a week becomes something I might fight over two months, sometimes through bed rest. I know to wash my hands, a lot!

http://vasculitisfoundation.org/

Post 532: Andy mocks authority update

Post 531 includes this photo. Maybe you noticed the message that showed up in the newspaper in the foreground:

"Cheese it! The cops!" Andy realizes I'm watching. Am I just taking photos or am I plotting to get close enough to catch him? Andy takes a hike under the table, a good strategy!

“Cheese it! The cops!” Andy realizes I’m watching. Am I just taking photos or am I plotting to get close enough to catch him? Andy takes a hike under the table, a good strategy!

"Sinister"

“Sinister”

Not to worry, though. After the mayhem, Andy settled down. I think he may have been looking for the treats he did not get today because he wasn’t a good boy when it came to taking his medicine. No medicine, no kitty treats! He came over to the box by the computer to watch me. After patting me on the arm several times, I think he finally got the hint: No treats for bad kitties!

Andy makes another use of the box by the computer wastepaper basket. One of these days, I hope to toss it out, too. Cats and boxes...!

Andy makes another use of the box by the computer wastepaper basket. One of these days, I hope to toss it out, too. Cats and boxes…!

Everything but the tail (note the blur) at rest.

Everything but the tail at rest. (Note the blur.)

Andy, Andy, Andy! What am I to do with you?

Post 531: Andy mocks authority

Andy’s been a pill today, in a sweet kittenish way. First of all, he avoided his medicine. I think he realizes I won’t give it to him after a certain time because I try to give it to him at the same time for best results. I don’t think I’d over dose him if there were too few hours between doses, but, for such a small creature, it just isn’t worth the risk. No dose for today.

After that magic time, the time beyond which I won’t dose him, he showed up again, and took his place on top of the blue carrier on the settee. “See me? I’m right in front of you, human, and you can’t do anything about it!” Andy is a rascal.

Well rested, Andy hopped down on the settee to contemplate his next moves.

Well rested, Andy hopped down on the settee to contemplate his next moves.

"Woohoo! I think I'll tip the wastepaper basket by the computer...while the human watches!"

“Woohoo! I think I’ll tip the wastepaper basket by the computer…while the human watches!”  

"What next? Hmm. I'll tip the wastepaper basket in the kitchen!"

“What next? Hmm. I’ll tip the wastepaper basket in the kitchen!” 

Andy contemplates the next move.

Andy contemplates the next move.  

"Cheese it! The cops!" Andy realizes I'm watching. Am I just taking photos or am I plotting to get close enough to catch him? Andy takes a hike under the table, a good strategy!

“Cheese it! The cops!” Andy realizes I’m watching. Am I just taking photos or am I plotting to get close enough to catch him? Andy takes a hike under the table, a good strategy!  

Dougy decides this isn't a good place to be. "If I'm not careful, the human will credit me with the mayhem!"

Dougy decides this isn’t a good place to be. “If I’m not careful, the human will credit me with the mayhem!” He scurries out of view.