blooms and such

November 11, 2018 | View Comments

The older couple who lived here before us really put a ton of effort into their yard. There’s always stuff blooming, from April until August. I took pictures of most everything as they popped up this year. I was waiting to post the link to the photo album until after the berries appeared on our holly bushes. But this year, for some reason, I am berry-less. Bummer. I especially love them the most too, as they are very Christmasy. Anyway, if you’re into finding out what’s in our yard, click here

from rags to riches

November 6, 2018 | View Comments

I know I talk a lot of shit about Mark, so sometimes I should say nice things to balance it out, right? I think it’s funny and cute when he sings our babies a song I sing or calls them by a nickname I use. Sunday night he sent me a text that he couldn’t bring me something right then because Fluffinz was cuddling with him, and that’s one of my nicknames for Oliver. Also, last night he was drying Lulu’s feet after her bath and called them her feetsies as I do.

Yes, we gave Lulu a little bath. She was pretty greasy from my lotion overuse. I am constantly putting it on my hands, so it can’t help but get all over her. In the past few days, Mark’s full service pet salon has been open for business. He’s done nails, shampoos, brushing, and blow-drying! He can be quite a good daddy.

And he’s also worried that he will run over Nabi, the neighbor kitty. She has twice now darted out right in front of his car as he’s been pulling in the driveway. He drives at a snail’s pace, but still. We’ve tried cautioning her about her daredevil acts, but we aren’t getting through to her. We’re not really sure what to do.

And, speaking of kitties, Oliver was sleeping so sweetly on Eva’s favorite bed that it warmed my heart like crazy. It’s the yellow one with the woodland creatures all over it. It’s like she’s helping him heal. Of course, my morbid, twisted brain can’t just focus on a positive. I end up thinking about how I failed her on her last day with us. I do that with all of my pets, but I do it with her the most, for obvious reasons. Instead of remembering only the good things, I think about what I should have done differently.

my only reason why

November 5, 2018 | View Comments

We’ve had some majorly annoying internet issues lately. Things started with it going in and out like a flash. Then it started staying out longer and longer. We’ve had the router replaced twice, indoor wires replaced and tightened, and the outdoor connection redone. Forgive my misuse of the lingo. Anyway, we have been texting a supervisor who seems sort of committed to getting this resolved, so that’s hopeful. The last thing I heard was that they’re tracking interference but aren’t sure where it’s coming from. So they need to figure that out somehow. That’s all irritating in and of itself, but then there’s the miscommunication that happens with these appointments. Saturday was when they were coming to redo the wires to the house, but they showed up with a third router. Ugh. I wish we’d have a higher priority or some such because Mark works there, but no such luck.

Speaking of Mark, he’s been talking about putting the house back together after Oliver’s next vet visit in two weeks. This inorganization is getting to him now too! Yay! As long as the cat tower stays in the kitchen, Oliver should be ready at that point to handle the height of the rest of the sunroom’s furniture. So if he still is making such good progress and they still agree with what they said he can and cannot do, we will probably start getting everything put back the way it was. And that will certainly help out my mindset some.

As for Oliver, yesterday was his best day since he came home from his hospital stay. Mark says he really turned a corner, and I totally agree! He was moving around more and was so, so playful. Even his little kitty face looked like he felt so much better. Seeing him like this and knowing he will have more days like this is such a huge relief!

Mark has always talked about growing a moustache for Movember. This year he’s committed to actually doing it since it’s about raising awareness of men’s health and he has cancer. It’s just a moustache, but I think he looks ridiculous. The beard look is fine on him, but this just makes him look like a creepy bastard, like he owns a white van and sits outside of schoolyards. I understand and support its significance, of course. Maybe I should grow mine out too?

What I am definitely going to do, though, is get my eyebrows microbladed again. You can’t even tell I got it done the first time because it’s so faded. I’d really like to get them done before his parents come so I don’t look so washed out. Even with all that’s going on, I’m still ridiculously self-absorbed and vain. At least something is staying the same during all this upheaval, I guess.

Mark saw a urology oncologist on Wednesday. His kidney tumor is most likely a low-grade, localized renal cell carcinoma. They have very low metastatic potential when they are under three centimeters, which his is. The doctor said it could be monitored for a bit with regular scans to see if it changes. He also said it could be removed right away, even though it currently isn’t imperative to do so. That always seemed like the best bet to us to begin with. Mark asked him what he’d do if it were him, and he said that he would take it out. His general advice is that younger patients should treat it aggressively. So, yeah, his surgery should be curative, unless something pops up during surgery itself or after surgery with regards to the results.

Oliver had a vet visit. They took his staples out, and he had his first physical therapy (one of three) session. They had difficulty getting one of the staples out, and Oliver even growled a little bit as they worked on removing it. My poor boy! They fussed over how gorgeous he is, so I’m sure that helped the situation some. They also said he’s doing well and looks good. So his healing is right on track, and that was a relief to hear. They gave us a few more physical therapy exercises to do with him here at home. I’m both excited and nervous; I’m happy that he’s ready to do more activities, but I’m worried that he will be in pain or uncomfortable afterwards. After that session in their office, he seems to be kind of sluggish and not all that interested in walking around much. I mean, it’s only been a little over a day, but still. It’s hard to see him not feeling well. Thankfully he has plenty of pain medication for all of this!

Here’s a video of Oliver getting laser therapy at his appointment:

They also said they couldn’t believe how cooperative he was being during his treatments. Yay! That’s my sweet baby!

a cute hello

November 2, 2018 | View Comments

Mark told me to check the kitchen’s security camera because he had a surprise for me.


halloween 2018

November 2, 2018 | View Comments

It looks like the last time I linked to any Halloween photo albums was back in 2014. Even though I wasn’t writing here, we still celebrated the holiday!

That being said, here are the links to those albums:

Halloween 2015
Halloween 2016
Halloween 2017

Since Oliver just had major surgery, we obviously decided against wrangling him into a costume, so we got these super cute bat & jewel collar type things instead!

Sam, Lulu, Oliver

And click here to see the rest of this year’s pictures!

a tale as old as time

October 29, 2018 | Comments Off

We’ve certainly had our fair share of major life events happening around here recently, but a bunch of other little stuff has gone on too.

Let’s see.

My right pinky toe has been beyond painful for the past four or five weeks now. I am convinced it is/was broken. I couldn’t put any pressure on it at all for a bit. Last week it only was painful in the mornings, and now it’s hardly bothering me at all. I was all set to go to the doctor when it started improving. I sure hope it stays that way because now is not the time to have to deal with something else for me. I also caught a cold off of Mark. At least I didn’t catch the cancer. At least not yet.

The tenant at our last house has fucking finally gotten all caught up with the back rent and current rent. It’s a miracle! I hope this bitch stays on track.

Sam was having another allergy issue like he did about this time last year. Zyrtec didn’t help, so we tried him on some prednisolone. That really was what worked, but he’s now off of it entirely. I have noticed just a couple spells since he tapered off of it, but they haven’t been as intense, thankfully. The vet wants us to try Yucca Intensive, so I’ll get some online when I order Lulu more azodyl for her tiny kidneys.

I’m not sure I ever mentioned Oliver has times where herpes comes out to play, and it affects his poor little eyes. It was lying dormant for his first year and was triggered last year by his anemia. We have tried so many different things in many different strengths, but nothing is knocking it out for good. Sometimes they’re leaky, sometimes they’re crusty, and sometimes it looks like he has two black eyes! It now comes and goes, just in varying degrees of intensity. He definitely doesn’t like when I say that mama is going to get his eye boogies. Also, he gets his stitches out this week and has his first physical therapy session with the vet then too (he has three sessions outside of the house with them, along with the daily exercises he does around here)! We’ve been giving him regular “field trips” around the house; he carefully walks around and makes sure it all looks the same as it did before his accident. He’s sort of wobbly, of course, and I find it incredibly cute to watch his naked legs walking around.

I’ve mentioned before that Mark wants to eventually get another beagle. We recently had a local hoarding story hit the news, and it pulled at both of our heartstrings, for sure. He donated, but I know he would like to adopt like fifteen of them. In a perfect world, I would too.

Nabi, the neighbor kitty, lost her collar again. That one had a solid run, and we can’t help but wonder where all her missing collars end up. Anyway, we saw it was gone, and Mark went right out the same night to get a new one for her (well, the same exact one). He put it on her the next afternoon by himself; last time it was a group effort. So whew! She’s also getting very, very fat. He is trying to play with her some to get her moving around more, but she isn’t interested in wand toys and such. I mean, why would she be when she chases the real deal on a regular basis?

I have a cute Lulu story! When Lulu, Sam, and I nap together in the afternoon (not happening all that much right now because I currently sleep in the sunroom with Ollie), she likes to give Sam a hard time. She knows she can be brazen without fear of retribution because I’m by her side; he won’t be mean to her if I’m right there. She just gives him cranky meows and smacks at him, and I know she’s only getting back at him for all the times he chases and tackles her when I’m not around. I get it, girl. Anyway, this time she just walked up to him to smack him, and I told her she was being a bad little girl because he wasn’t bothering her. It’s our routine. Now, I also have been trying to get her to kiss me. Sam will occasionally put his lips to mine if I make a kissy face, while Lulu has smacked at and bit at my lips. Anyway, after this particular incident, she walks up to me and kisses my lips! She knew just what to do so I wouldn’t be “mad” at her anymore. Hahaha. What a cute, smart girl!

Anyway, I’ve been trying to set up a link to my amazon associates program because I’m so sure you’re all dying to see what fucking eye cream and shit I use and recommend. But my desire to finish it up has waned considerably. I also have some additional stat stuff I’d like to get up and running, but I honestly just don’t know when that’ll all get done either. Motivation can be a real bitch.

So, yes, my house is a mess, and it’s fucking up my anxiety. We had to empty out the sunroom, so I have big pieces of furniture now all over my house. I have a cat tower and two pieces of furniture in my kitchen. Other pieces are in the living room. Also, there are two spots that need touch-up paint, but that is unfortunately going to wait until we put the house back together. Not to mention we have one broken shelf, and now all the memory boxes are sitting on our dining room table. It’s super annoying and frustrating. I think we have another three months where things need to stay like this, and that’s a huge omg for me. I am a big believer in that every little thing belongs somewhere, and I am so super anti-clutter. Even when I was younger, my friends would move stuff (jewelry boxes, hairbrush, etc…) slightly around in my bedroom to fuck with me, and I always instantly saw the move and had to immediately slide it back into its spot. And I was really looking forward to decorating the house with all my Christmas stuff, not just a tree. It’s been a few years since I decked the halls, and I was excited that this year we’d put everything out! But that’s not going to happen now, is it? Even if Oliver is mostly healed so I can put things back, I’m not sure decorating is the way to go. He has never seen all the holiday madness, and I don’t want him trying to investigate things when he should be resting. We did just buy matching family pajamas for all of us, and I think the cats will look super cute in their candy cane jammies! So there’s that.

As for Mark, he broke even with his Steelers season tickets, so I guess that’s something. He made an appointment for this week with a urologist who specializes in tumor removal. His ultrasound report states, “1.2 cm solid enhancing left renal lesion which most likely represent renal cell carcinoma,” but he has a really long, solid life line (I did a little foray into palm reading when I was younger). He’s freaking out a bit, of course. Today he told people at work because he has his fingers in tons of various projects. Is that the right analogy? Anyway, I think his mom is going to come here for a few days to help after surgery. This sucks in one sense because the house is messy and I don’t like people, but I will appreciate the help with him and the cats, for sure. And, if shit does hit the fan, I think I’d probably move to a condo back in New Jersey to be closer to my pain management doctor and to my friend who can help me out a bit. But I don’t know if that’s best for me in the long run. Doctors leave. Friends move. I just don’t know. That being said, I’d really miss my raccoons.

Speaking of raccoons, the one who prefers for me to drop food directly into his wide open mouth stopped by the other night. He never uses his teeth (I don’t even see them!) and I think he’s the sweetest little guy in the world. Also, sometimes the timing is such that I will look out the kitchen door to see that there is no food left, just as one or two are passing by to see if we have any. I’ll open the door, tell them to wait a second, and hold up my pointer finger to signify that. And they actually wait! They’re such sweet, smart creatures, and I hate that so many people are misinformed (and, thus, scared) about them!

Okay, now I think I’m basically all caught up with the randomness. I’m going to forget the details of our anniversary trip (thanks, drugs!) if I don’t write about it soon…

gorgeous gams

October 25, 2018 | Comments Off

We are obsessed with Oliver’s naked leggies!

This pose is actually one of the latest things we have to do for his physical therapy. We hold him like this so his little legs dangle and stretch, and we think he looks so adorable!

gorgeous gams

more fraying

October 24, 2018 | Comments Off

Mark had his second ultrasound, this one with contrast, yesterday. The radiologist told him that due to its shape and such that it was a small, solid, malignant mass. So he has renal cancer. His doctor wants him to see a urologist to see it’s going to be monitored (?) or removed, so he’s working on scheduling that.

Well, isn’t this some fucked-up bullshit? And because I’m a selfish monster, I’m worried about how I’m going to hold down the fort here while he recovers from surgery. His mom was here to help after his back surgery, but I have no clue if we will have any kind of assistance this time around. Part of me doesn’t even want anyone here because the house is a huge mess after we had to empty out the sunroom. There’s a broken shelf, and things need painted. It is chaotic for me and heightens my anxiety because I’m a big believer that every little thing has its own spot where it belongs. Anyway, I already have a cat with two broken hips who needs therapy. My back pain is worse than ever, of course. I can’t even imagine the amount of work that’s about to be dumped on my shoulders. IIRC, this type of cancer has an 81% survival rate, so I’ll put off looking for a condo for the time being.

hips don’t lie

October 23, 2018 | Comments Off

Oliver has had yet another medical issue, and this is like his sixth one this year. My baby boy has sure had one hell of a time. He needs to be bubble wrapped.

The latest (and hopefully the last)? My poor kitten broke his hip a little over a week ago. When they did the X-rays, it showed that he had broken his other hip not long ago, and it wasn’t healing how they thought it should. Recently, and I think I wrote about this, he had been limping a little. I think our vet said his back was tweaked, and he did seem to be walking better – until he started limping yet again. Even though that X-ray didn’t show anything, we were all set to have him looked at one more time when he fell and broke the other side. See, we have shelves up that our memory boxes sit on. He likes to jump up there to have a little nap. Mark had just told him he needed to get down and walked out of the room. Then, there was a crash. I thought he had knocked a box over. Turns out that the whole shelf gave out. When I had them mounted, I asked specifically if they’d be able to handle a big cat’s weight. He put in extra anchors, more than had come with them in the package in the first place. We didn’t factor in whether or not those shelves could handle both weight and movement because we just didn’t know we had to do such a thing. After his fall, Oliver ran under the bed in the master bedroom. We weren’t sure if he had been injured or if he was just scared and startled. When he got up to move, he couldn’t get his leg lifted up over one of the planks (or whatever they’re called) that is under the bed supporting it. He also was growling periodically. This happened at 11pm, and Mark took him right to the emergency room and wasn’t back until 5am. Actually, he had to be transferred after the formal diagnosis, so yeah. We never dreamed they were going to tell us any of this.

Now, we’ve been told that this was a condition he was predisposed to. In other words, it was just a matter of time until he broke his hips. And it could have been from a simple jump off the counter or bedside table. The first thing we were told by one specialist was that he was predisposed to this due to a growth plate problem. We were also told that there is a syndrome in big cats where their femur heads fall off. So I’m thinking we got two different scenarios: one involving the femur and the other involving the ball of the socket which connects via a growth plate, if my notes are accurate and even make any sense. My vet was going to look at their X-rays and reports and tell me which it definitively was, but she’s away for two or so weeks. I don’t know how similar or different those two things even are, but I don’t think it matters anymore really. It was agreed upon that it was going to happen at some point, it happened, and it now shouldn’t happen again. Also, he had just started taking dasaquin to fend off any issues with arthritis that his future hip dysplasia could cause, but now he’s not going to have that issue anymore!

Initially there was talk of bringing him home the next day, but that didn’t happen. He ended up having to stay there for a total of four nights, with him there for three nights longer than anticipated. They couldn’t get a handle on his pain management, and that is the last thing this mama wanted to hear, for sure. If I could take on any/all of their pain, discomfort, and sadness so that they were free of any of that kind of stuff, I would do it an instant. While waiting for him to come back home, we emptied out the sunroom of all furniture and filled it with blankets and various cat beds. We put the guest room’s mattress on the floor in there; Mark sleeps in there overnight with him, and I spend all day in there with him. There is supposed to be absolutely no running, jumping, pouncing, or playing for three months minimum! He’s been home for one week now, and he’s getting better and stronger each day. When he was at the emergency vet, he’d lay there and pee himself because he couldn’t/wouldn’t stand yet. He also wasn’t eating all that much either. When we brought him home, he immediately started to move by dragging around his lower half. He used the litter box right away, and he ate like a little piggy! Two days later he actually stood up to poo. That’s the only time he stood up that day, but each day after he has been up more and more. Now he walks around the sunroom somewhat and also sits on his haunches. We had two things to do for him for his first week home: massage his hip, leg, and bum area and put ice on him. In this new week, we are to stretch his legs and hold him so his back legs hang down. A website recommends getting a harness and walking him up and down stairs, so we will eventually do that in the basement. He also has three physical therapy sessions outside of the house to attend, the first one happening right after he gets his stitches out! He’s already getting bored in the empty sunroom, so I honestly cannot even imagine what is going to happen when we are a month into this. Haha. OMG. Yesterday Sam went in to visit him, and they were about to wrestle before Mark intervened. Poor Oliver! He really wanted to play. When he first started attempting to walk, he’d topple right over. It was like watching a baby deer try to take its first steps – very cute but a little heartbreaking that he has to stumble. The one weird thing is that his adorable pink nose and lips aren’t so pink anymore! I was told that they’ll return to their original shade as soon as he gets more active. I finally did see that happen with my own eyes the other day. I forget exactly what had happened, but something did and I saw the pretty, pretty pink I had been missing! Maybe it was when he was batting around an empty treat bag? Hmmm.

Poor Oliver has had such a rough year. He’s had such a tough start to life, and I feel so sad for him. No animal should ever have to feel pain or suffer, let alone so much of it at such a young age. He’s already aloof, and I wonder how this will affect his future personality. Physically he is supposed to rebound 100%, but what about his little spirit? If he were a human child, dyfs would have taken him away from us by now. All his bad luck this past year – anemia, 2 blood transfusions, needing blood drawn every 2-4 weeks for months, 2 surgeries, 2 broken hips, herpes emergence, hairball issues revealed, swollen and injured foot – just sounds too crazy to all be bad luck, bad timing, and shit like that. I hope that he continues to heal well, that he eventually forgets that this ever happened, that he eventually forgets this entire year from hell, and that he eventually can truly enjoy his sweet little life!

So, lastly, here are some photos of Oliver in his recovery room:

Oliver in his recovery room
Oliver in his recovery room
Oliver in his recovery room
Oliver in his recovery room
Oliver in his recovery room

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