thejunipertree: (Default)
sleeping Howard

This photo is his best sleeping pose ever. Ferret yoga.

I've been waiting for this for the past week and a half, with dread in my throat. He hadn't been doing well and I've been keeping myself to myself about it, other than periodic updates to the Engineer. I'd made the decision when all of this started to not bring him to the vet and subject him once again to a battery of tests and stress and bullshit that would serve no purpose but to prolong the inevitable.

I knew it was coming. I knew he was declining from age. And yet? I still feel like I should have done something. Anything. He was only about five or six years old, not ancient for a ferret like my Midnight was when I finally had her put down, but his health had never been what you would call robust (despite the occasional size of his ass).

Even now, I'm sitting here feeling guilty because I didn't even try.

Can't win for losing. I either do nothing and feel like shit about it, or I take an animal in and make the decision for them to get the Big Sleep needle and then feel like shit about it.

I'm throwing the cage out tomorrow night, which has seen so many creatures over the past thirteen years. No more small mammals. Not for a long time, at least.

My heart just can't take it.

I didn't cry when I made the decision to let him go peacefully at home. I didn't cry earlier, after I'd found him, two hours after I'd last checked on him when he was still breathing. And I didn't cry when I was wrapping him up. It surprised me and, I think, the Engineer as well when he came downstairs with a bag for me and found me stony-faced and doing my best stoic impersonation of an android.

But now?

Fucking crying.



Feb. 21st, 2007 05:52 pm
thejunipertree: (Default)
I've finally begun taken the steps to find Howard a new home.

This phone number has been in my cellphone's directory for quite some time now, but I've been ignoring its existence out of sheer indecision. I copied it down the night I took him to the vet because he's stopped eating and lost a lot of weight; since then, it's remained uncalled.

The notice the woman had posted on the announcements board said that she takes in "unwanted ferrets". It bothers me to call her about this because he's not an unwanted ferret. I just can't take care of him anylonger without severely impacting my health. My allergies have become so bad that I can't even play with him or give him any kind of attention other than talking to him through the bars. But, he's not unwanted.

Beyond my feelings on what feels like a shirking of responsibility (to me, at any rate), I also just don't want to give him up. I love the creature terribly, as I love all my animals. Giving him to a new home feels wrong to me.

But, I've wembled over this decision for long enough. It's not fair to him. He needs a home where he'll be loved on and have cagemates (he's never been quite the same since Edgar died).

I can't give him that. Not any longer.

I spoke briefly to the woman. She wanted to know what the problem was, his age, his demeanor, what he eats, if he's up to date with his shots, etc. I filled her in on all of that. She told me that she has to check with her partner because they currently have four ferrets, one of whom can't be caged with the other three, and that she would get back to me. In the event that they decide to not take him, she says that one of her co-workers had a pair of ferrets, but recently lost one, and that she may be interested in taking him.

I'm just not happy about this situation, but hands are firmly tied. hoom.
thejunipertree: (Default)
I've been so behind on so many things; it's really not even funny anymore. Work has been kicking my ass, keeping up with school has been kicking my ass. This time of the year is really kicking my ass. I rarely have the gumption to do anything I need to do other than study my fool head off and occasionally change the litter boxes.

On top of all this, I have a house full of sick animals. One of the cats, Tinker, came down with a cold. Trip to the vet visit and $150 later, I've got a prescription for orange antibiotic liquid that I have to shoot directly down his throat. He doesn't like this very much and I usually wind up with more of it on me and the floor than actually in the cat. Any attempts to mask the medication in some form of food has been snubbed. Further, he appears to have given his cold to Baby. Hooray.

Misty, the cat with the hyperthyroid condition, gets worse by the day. His medication just doesn't appear to be doing anything for him anymore and there isn't anything else that can be done for him, other than prohibitively expensive radiation therapy. On top of that, he's 17 years old. He's gotten even more clingy, if that can be believed, and seems to have set his affections on the Engineer. Who is not exactly pleased to have a cat climbing up and trying to stand on his head every five minutes. Thankfully, he has at least stopped the tap dance recitals on my face in the middle of the night. He still wants to be close to me, but is content to just wrap his body around the top of my head. We give him as much attention as possible, to the point of excluding the other cats (much to Tinker's disgruntlement), but he still can't stop trying to constantly get into your face. I don't know what he wants, I don't think he even knows what he wants. It's distressing because there isn't anything else I can do for him. It's all a matter of just waiting until his poor body can't deal with the thyroid issue any longer and begins to shut down. He's currently not in any pain, which is good. It's just a waiting game, at this point. And not the kind of game I look forward to.

Howard, the ferret, decided he was going to stop eating and no amount of coaxing would change his mind. That got him a trip to the vet and got me a very large bill for various medications. I've got an antibiotic and some sort of stomach medication. I've been force-feeding him baby food and Pedialyte in an effort to get some nutrition and hydration into him. He seems to be feeling a bit better and after a few days of force-feeding, has started to eat some solid food on his own.

I've come to the decision that if I can get him through this bleak period alive, I'm going to find him a new home. I just can't do it anymore. It's not that he's any trouble, he's not a difficult animal. Very sweet, not bitey, loves to play. But, I'm so freaking allergic to him that I can't properly take of him. And that's just not fair to the creature. At all. It's rather upsetting because I do love him tremendously, but I can't do it anymore. At the vet's office, there was a posting on a bulletin board for a woman who takes in ferrets. I asked the ladies at the desk if they of her and one of them did. The woman is apparently great, her animals are all well-cared for and much loved. I'm going to give her a call if I can some weight back on Howard and get him back up to healthy. Hell, I'll even give her the cage too.

The rats are both getting old. Simon is quite elderly now and is really starting to show it. His fur is thinning, his gait is uneven, and he doesn't do much other than sleep. Renfield doesn't seem to be that much better and he's only about a year old! Once the two of them are gone, I may hold off on getting more rats for a little while. Like maybe until after I've finished college. It would remove a financial responsibility, not to mention give me one less thing to constantly worry about.

Despite the ass-kicking, school is going rather well. I'm in the top of my algebra class, much to my astonishment. English composition is going great. Business is also quite peachy (except for being monumentally boring). The only class I have issue with is Psychology. I'm not flunking it, not by a long stretch, but I really detest the online course set-up that this particular professor does. No structure, no assignments. Just read the chapters and take the tests. I can't handle that little input. I need structure. I need discipline. I need homework, goddamnit. Otherwise, I do not learn. Due to this, I've been fucking off and not taking the exams (there's no deadline for any of them, other than 'just take them all by the end of the semester'). The semester will be over in a few weeks. As of two weeks ago, I hadn't taken any of the exams. Hooray for me! So, I have six weeks to take six exams. I've done two so far (one was a high B, the other was a high C-grr). I blow through the chapters during the week, take the test on Friday or Saturday. The most frustrating thing about it is that I only have fifty minutes to take the test and there are usually sixty questions. Not enough time, I think. I always wind up coming very close to the limit and if you go over the time limit, you get an automatic zero for your troubles. Balls.

I also need to look into next semester's registration and what's going on with my financial aid. I've got loans, but I'm unclear if they cover next semester in addition to the classes I'm taking now. I need to get on that as soon as I can.

And now, I go to my English class and get back my last two essays. I'm a bit worried about these ones. I had a hard time writing them both (one is a compare/contrast essay on Maya Deren and Wade Davis, the other is a division/classification essay on the different stages of my relationship with my mother and how it effected me). blergh.

Remind me to write about the classmate I drove home two weeks ago? That's a good story for the campfire. I've just remembered about it and I've no time to get into it now.
thejunipertree: (Default)
Animal updates.

Nympho seems to be doing ok. He's home, with a partially shaved leg and instructions to lower his insulin to one unit twice a day (it used to be two units) and to carefully monitor his eating. He'll be going back to the vet's office on the 7th for a glucose curve, to see how well he's taking the change.

Aleister is still hanging in there, to my amazement. Today, I decided to give her a bath because she was getting soaked in her own urine, so I took her out of the little travel cage I put her in to keep her away from her sister, who was pulling all her hair out in a fantastic feat of over-grooming. She laid in my hand and didn't protest the water, but she did lick droplets of it off my fingers and bruxed at me as I dried her off. She eats the food I bring her and drinks from the bottle when it's close enough to her face (I try to keep it as close as possible and even hold the bottle for her when I think she's not strong enough to drink from it). If she doesn't go this week, I think I may drive her to the vet's to be put down, despite how it hurts me to think of it. She still doesn't seem to be in any pain, but this is just going on for too long.

I came downstairs today to feed all the animals and check on everyone (I'd been up in the Engineer's apartment). When I went to feed the boy rats, I noticed Major Tom lying in the bottom of the cage and breathing very shallowly. It didn't look as if much of the food I'd given him and Simon the night before had been touched, maybe a Simon-portion was gone. When I took Tom out of the cage to look him over, he'd quietly in my hands and didn't struggle to get to my shoulder, as he always did. He gasped for breath and just laid there. At first, I thought he may have been choking because he can be a glutton and shovels too much food into his mouth at too quick a rate. It's happened before. I took the appropriate measures for a choking rat, but nothing seemed to help. I held him for a while, scratching behind his ears and talking softly to him. Decided that I wanted to sit on the couch with him for a while, maybe see if he'd feel better in a little bit, so I put him back in the cage and went to get a towel to hold him in, for warmth. When I came back to the cage, Simon was dancing around him frantically and as I opened the cage to take Tom back out, he took his last breath.

I'm still kind of shock over the whole thing, I really wasn't expecting this. Last week, I'd brought home a new rat for the boy's cage because I knew that Major Tom was getting old and wasn't going to be around forever and Simon was going to need a new cagemate. I thought that now was as good of time as any to introduce a new boy, so I brought home a little hooded boy that was born in August. Named him Renfield and set him up in the little cage until he got big enough to swing with the fat rats. I knew Tom was probably not going to last too many months next year because some of his littermates had already died, his father died this year, and his mother was on her way out. I just didn't think that it would happen so soon.

I suspect that whatever killed him was the same thing that killed Senor Diablo. It came quick and painless, without this horrible wasting away like their mother, Aleister, is going through.

The Engineer and I took him (and Edgar, who still had not been buried) to my father's house today for burying. We stood outside the fence in the sun and the Engineer struggled to dig around several enormous roots deep in the ground. I kneeled down in the loose soil, took off my gloves and placed him gently in the ground with Edgar right after him.

It hurts, but I haven't quite reacted yet.

Renfield, the new rat, is a joy to behold. He's just a tiny little man right now, but has enormous feet and a personality that shines. He frog hops all over his cage and climbs the bars when he knows it's time to eat. Hopefully, he'll being Simon out of his sadness that Tom is gone. Currently, Simon is buried underneath the dishtowel I have tied to the upper level of the cage and refuses to come out. He sticks his nose out from under the edge of it and glares at me for a few moments, then retreats. My poor boy, he looks so sad.
thejunipertree: (Default)
This has probably been one of the crappest days weeks I've had in a long, long time.

work blather )

All I wanted to do today is come home and get some ferret nose kisses, but as I was leaving work, the realization of Edgar's death finally fell around me. I knew it had happened, after all, I found his body. But, I hadn't really had any time to actually process it.

Ferret and rat blather )

Depression is seeping in from every angle. The one year anniversary of my mother's death just passed, which feels very weird to me. I'm still not used to it and I suspect I never will be. My car is currently sick beyond belief, though hopefully that will be straightened out soon. The holidays are creeping up, which is never a good time for me. And money is unbelievably tight, which it always is.

Money blather )

Hoarding blather )

If you've read this entire entry, I'll be mighty surprised. For those of you who decided to skip to the end, you didn't really miss anything. Just a lot of me working some stuff out in my head that needed to come out.
thejunipertree: (Default)
I woke up this morning and found him curled in the bottom of the cage, with the other ferret, Howard, dancing all over the upper level trying to get my attention. I don't know what went wrong, but he was doing ok last night. Still had some issues, but was eating well and playing with Howard whenever he felt friendly enough.

My poor boy is gone. :/
thejunipertree: (Default)

And irritated at the world, doped up heavily on NyQuil, and semi-depressed.

I laid about on the couch today, with my Hello Kitty comforter and my sixteen-year old marmelade cat, Baby. Baby was in the highest of heavens. Every day should be a sick day! He purred ceaselessly and gave me big eyes and wallowed in warmth. I picked clumps of orange fur from my pajama pants and wondered who slipped my cat a hit of E.

Edgar, one of the ferrets, is currently on high doses of medication. Apparently, it was not a prolapsed rectum that was bothering him. The vet thinks it's a hernia. All I know is that I have to jam multiple types of medication down his throat twice a day for the next three weeks. Despite the fruit punch flavouring, Edgar does not like this turn of events.

Additionally, another of my rats seems to have developed a tumour. Aleister, one of my little old lady rats and the mother of Major Tom, has a small lump on the lower part of her belly. Taking her to the vet will be an exercise in patience, as she is not one for being held for long amounts of time. Or any amount of time, for that matter.

Work has been work, for the most part, with episodes of hilarity injected here and there. My side of the building has been extremely quiet and dull since Angel fucked off for higher ground. The doctor keeps knocking on my door and asking how I'm holding up. Strangely enough, I'm handling things just fine. I plan, however, on beating feet the fuck out of there the first chance I get.

Which may be sooner then originally planned. I've been interviewing for a job in the city (ugh!) that, without jinxing myself, looks to be a good chance. I've had two interviews, they've called my references, and on Friday, I found out that they were doing a criminal background check on me. I would reckon that they don't do these sorts of things on applicants they're not planning on offering jobs to. I can hope, anyway.

It would be a tremendous switch from where I am now. It's not in the abortion industry, for starters. Not even in healthcare, for that matter. But, it is a very large company that offers enormously shiny benefit packages. Dress code is business casual, which appeared to be more business than casual during my tour of the premises. I would be sitting outside the human resources VP's office and next to my immediate supervisor (who seemed pretty keen, not Angel-keen, but cool nonetheless).

I've been saying that I won't accept this position unless they offer me a certain amount of money, which is considerably higher than the amount I am currently making. Sitting here just now, I've been pondering accepting the position (if offered) for slightly less, because that would almost definitely still be more than what I'm making now, if you take into consideration that I have to work fifty hours a week to make my listed salary. I don't know. I still have to think some more on that.

More NyQuil, then bed.
thejunipertree: (Default)
Twenty dollars away from paying off Major Tom's very expensive rattie tumour surgery and I discovered that one of the ferrets, Edgar, has what looks to be a prolapsed rectum.

If it wasn't so late at night, I would scream.

At any rate, it doesn't seem to be effecting him badly. I let him and Howard out for a run while I cleaned their cage and he acted his normal, cracked-out self. I wouldn't even have noticed it, except that he rolled over onto his back to present his stomach for scratches. However, he will be going to the vet tomorrow morning, which means more money being siphoned out of my bank account and more missed hours from work.

Since he's not a young weasel, this could mean very bad things that I don't wish to think about at the moment.
thejunipertree: (RAWR!)
Some days, I swear to God and all that is holy, I feel like I'm going to wind up on a rooftop. Dressed in a pink ballgown. Holding a semi-automatic rifle.

Today happens to be one of those days.
And if I knew where the office was for Amerihealth, I'd go a-visiting. Sonsofbitches.

Why on earth does one approve a feeding tube surgery, but only give approval for TEN DAYS of use for said feeding tube?

Also of shit, receiving a phone call this morning at half past eight whose sole purpose is to inform me that TODAY is the last day Amerihealth will cover my mother being in the nursing facility.

Brrrt. Wha-what?!

Now I've managed to spend most of my day making phone calls and attempting to wrangle some form of continual nursing/housing for her. In between bouts of furious sobbing at my desk.

I just don't know what to do any more. She can't come home. Not in the condition she is in (remember the other day when I thought things were getting a little better, I thought wrong, silly fucking optimistic me). We don't have the room in our apartment for any kind of aparatus. She's unable to take care of even the most basic of her own needs. I am unable to be there twenty four hours a day for her. Hell, I'm unable to be there for her even 12 hours a day. (Not only that, but I would most likely attempt matricide if it was solely my responsibility to care for her, things are bad enough as it is and it's not even completely on me.)

She needs to be in some sort of twenty four hour a day nursing facility. A nurse friend of mine recommended this inpatient hospice place, which I swiftly called, but I was informed that they only accept people who are diagnosed with TEN DAYS OR LESS to live.

I'm not even going to comment on that.

Then I spoke to the nursing home, who told me that for her to stay there, she needs to apply for (and receive) Medicaid. That swept me into another round of phone calls and message leaving, NONE OF WHOM called me back. Pigfuckers.

Say it with me: PIGFUCKERS!

I don't know what to do and precious few people understand. A long time ago, I joined a cancer patient caregivers support e-list. Posted an introductory message and nothing else. I can't post to it. Shit, I can barely even read it half the time. It's far too depressing. And as I am already heartily depressed 95% of my waking day, I don't need any more.

The only things which keep me sane these days are my friends and The Engineer. And maybe the ferrets. They're like cheap therapy, the weasels are.

This can't keep going on. It just can't.
thejunipertree: (Default)
* worked on Saturday for almost ten hours, much to my complete amazement and disgust.

* got into a verbal altercation with a co-worker during that almost ten hours, because she is ghetto-fucking-tastic and side-swiped me with "Do you have a problem?!" in the middle of a conversation about how to order dinner. No, really. A conversation about how when one is ordering dinner with your office mates, one must write their order down. Not just to avoid mistakes, but because it is entirely possible that the unlucky person calling the food order in does not possess a photographic memory.

* WALKED AWAY from said verbal altercation because I am in Human Resources and it wouldn't be seemly for the HR department to get into trouble for fighting with employees. (How's that for getting a handle on my temper? What I really wanted to do was plant my foot squarely in her fucking ass. However, I do not brawl in the workplace. My family may be trashy, but we're not quite THAT trashy. Although I did later tell my boss that Miss Thing is really lucky that I have manners.)

* talked to Miss Janette on the phone for three and a half hours. Big love.

* received a box mix for making BAT SHAPED BROWNIES from Miss Jennie.

* ordered a goddamn new sacred heart Zippo, since mine still doesn't appear to be appearing any time soon.

* played "Kill the vacumn! Kill the vacumn! Bad! Bad!" with Howard Phillip (one of the ferrets).

* yawned. A lot.

* fell in love with the Horrorpops.


Feb. 18th, 2004 08:45 am
thejunipertree: (Default)
In bed by midnight-thirty, up by eight am. I feel like a little old lady, keeping these hours.

However, I am feeling remarkably rested. Which is probably due to the fact that my sleep pattern wasn't broken up with having to wake up and give the cat his insulin shot and then going back to bed. Interesting.

Now I just have to wake up enough to get dressed for my eleven o'clock interview.

My mom and I bought a new ferret cage last night for Edgar and HP. Well actually, we bought two. I came home with one around five o'clock, after agonizing over it in the store. Set it up, put everybody in it, then realised it was MUCH too small for the two of them to be comfortable. When the Engineer got home from work, I enlisted him to take me back to the petstore and returned the cage (I was absolutely not even going to attempt getting it back into my car, once was bad enough).

I then came home with a much, much bigger cage. The one I've been crying over for many months now. It took us a while to set that one up, as it had to be put together. It's enormous. Four levels, ramps all over the place, big places for them to sleep and play in. However, there's a bit of a problem with the ramps.

See, they're plastic and slick. And set at not very good angles for the ferrets to climb up. Which means they have a hard time going up and down them. And HP barely fits through the holes to which the ramps lead.

After my interview, I'm going to stop at Target on the way home and pick up some carpet and double sided tape in an attempt to make this cage work. I can't return this one. Not only because they don't sell any other cage there that's big enough, but because I am NOT disassembling this bastard and putting it back in the box. No. Fucking. Way.

If it comes to the worse, I'll just put all the boy rats in this cage (they should have no problem with the ramps or getting through the holes) and the ferrets in the rats' cage.
thejunipertree: (Default)
Well, he's home at any rate. And I've completely disassembled his cage for a very thorough cleaning which left me gasping, wheezing, and coughing for two hours due to my allergies.

The doctor showed me the x-rays and barium studies, which proved to be inconclusive. There were no obstruction present in the intestines or anywhere else. And he believes that ECE is still not the underlying factor of all of this. After speaking on the phone this afternoon with the woman that I bought Edgar (and the new ferret, HP) from, I'm leaning further towards believing that as well.

I had thought HP to be an asymptomatic carrier of the virus, but Penny says none of her other ferrets appear to be sick. She kept HP's littermate, so it's fairly safe to assume that if HP carried the virus then someone else would be getting sick right now.

The doctor suggested that it might have been stress, which I can kind of see. I brought HP home not that long ago and the introductions between the two of them went fairly swift before I housed them in the same cage. They weren't blood fighting, so I figured there would be no problem. Because they were both in the same cage, it took me a little while to realise that Edgar wasn't eating and due to this, HP was eating ALL of the food from both of the bowls (the little glutton). He's such a pig.

Edgar has been hydrated and fed intravenously, he's been given antibiotics (with a bottle of it for me to take home). The vet informed me that he'd begun eating on his own, regular crunchy food, and that his bowels seemed to be working just fine now. He also managed to charm the pants off of everyone he came into contact with at the vet's office. They all told me how much of a little gentleman he is, how very sweet and lovable. He bounded out of the tech's arms when he saw me, wriggling until he was free and licking my face and neck. At least he's not mad at me.

And to make up for his little overnight adventure to the vet's office, I took him to the pet store and bought him a new bed, as well as some interlocking mats to line the wire floor of his cage (the carpet the Engineer and I installed so painstakingly a few weeks back has been removed) and some new toys. He rode in the little kid seat of the shopping cart I pushed, attracting the attention of everyone who passed by.

So now I have the enjoyment of feeding him pink stuff twice a day until the bottle is empty. I can hardly wait for this, despite the vet tech's promises that he readily drinks it from the dropper.

Also this evening, I played a round of "You're going to learn to not bite me when we play" with HP. Which involved me breaking out the bottle of Bitter Apple that had been used when I taught Edgar the same thing. However, and this is a big however, the taste of the Bitter Apple does not seem to dissuade the little fucker in any manner. So, either the stuff has gone off and doesn't work anymore, or HP likes the taste of it. It must have lost its potency, because I've tasted that shit myself and it is in no way something I would ever care to repeat.

One of my ex-roommates and I decided one night that we wanted to know what it tasted like, just to see what the animals which came into contact with it were experiencing. We each put a small drop on our index fingers and then licked it off.

I can't even put into words the vile explosion that settled around my poor taste buds after that. And the goddamn stuff takes a LONG time to go away. I had my head stuck in the sink, with my mouth over the faucet for about fifteen minutes and I could still taste it.

Never fucking again.

HP is either a masochistic freak or it just doesn't taste bad anymore, because of how old the bottle is. And I'm not willing to test it on myself to figure it out, either.


Sep. 23rd, 2003 03:13 am
thejunipertree: (Default)
All the windows in the apartment are open, the lights have all been turned off.

I can feel the air trickling through the screens every now and again, briefly. And whenever the wind blows, there's a rustle behind it all. Leaves? I don't know. But, to me that is the precise sound of Autumn.

This time of the year has an uncanny hold on me. I am at my happiest and my most melancholy, a contradiction painted in muted jewel tones. Sometimes, I don't understand how my head works.

Today has been a drifting under the water sort of day. I haven't slept in about 36 hours, except for a brief Benadryl powered nap midday. Strange shapes flicker across my eyes, I blink them away.

This evening, at the vet's office, I bent down and whispered to Edgar in his travel cage that I would be back soon and that he was to behave himself. He nuzzled my outstretched fingers, an action wholly unlike his usual bouyant self. And my heart twisted painfully in my chest.

I walked out of the office, down a stone path to my car. Dropping my bag to the ground, I leaned against the car and cried. The doctor says he's not entirely sure what is wrong, but he thinks it's most possibly an obstruction in the intestines. He's not totally ruling out my ECE idea, but before we embark down that road, he wants to do some X-rays and such like to see if anything is clogging up the works.

It's going to be disgustingly expensive for all of this. Seventy-three dollars a day, so far, for everything involved and not including the x-rays. I told him, with the strongest voice I could muster, that as long as I could install some form of payment plan with the practice, I didn't care what the cost was.

And I don't. Despite the fact that I am unemployed and barely covering my expenses (who am I kidding, I'm not covering my expenses at all), there are some things which need to be taken care of properly, with no corners cut. This is one of those things.

It's close to the same time of the year as last when I lost my ruby eyed lady, Midnight. The thought of her death still hurts me. I had raised her from a bare handful of snow white fur to the lithe and graceful streak she was, even up until the day she died. Losing her was...bad.

Earlier this evening, after the vet's office, I was sitting in the overstuffed chair and pretending to knit the grey scarf I promised to my brother for when snowboarding season comes around again. Mostly what I was actually doing was staring blankly at the ball of yarn and clicking the metal needles together, just to hear the slight sound they make. Thinking about what Edgar must be feeling, as he curled alone in a cage that wasn't his.

I'm a sap, I know this. But, it hurts. It hurt over the past few days when I had to force feed him and slide fluids down his throat. A few times, I came close to losing my temper whenever he struggled too violently. And I continually had to remind myself of the pain he was actually in, the pain that was causing him to squirm in my hands and spit food out at me. That then inspired a round of heavy guilt that would make any Catholic grandmother proud.

please please please let him be okay.


Sep. 21st, 2003 03:04 am
thejunipertree: (Default)
Something is wrong with Edgar, one of my ferrets.

He hasn't been eating very much, if at all. He's lethargic, has a bit of weight loss (but it isn't terribly bad just yet). Earlier in the week, I noticed green stools in the cage and when I cleaned the cage out the other day, some of it was mucousy. I wasn't sure, at the time, which ferret it was coming from. But as HP has shown absolutely no signs of illness and Edgar is, I'm going to assume that it wasn't HP's.

From everything that I've been reading, it appears to be ECE. However, a lot of the symptoms he's exhibiting resemble how he acted a while back when he ate the head off one of his toys and it lodged in his intestine.

I can get him to drink a little water, some of it from a dish and some of it from my finger. But, it's not enough to satisfy me. Especially since his skin isn't snapping back the way it should be. That's dehydration.

I also can't get him to eat anything. I tried the graham cracker treats that I give to the rats, which he loves. Nothing. I tried one of the chicken flavoured cat treats, nothing. I tried moistening his regular food to get it all soft and stinky, nothing. The only thing I've gotten him to ingest his his Nutrical (vitamins in a gel form) and that even has to be forced by scruffing him and rubbing it on his teeth so he'll lick it off.

Just a couple of minutes ago, I had The Engineer tear out the bit of carpet I had installed in the cage. Both ferrets had been ripping at it tremendously and I wanted it gone in case that was the problem, if he had eaten some of it.

He and HP have been in the same cage for about a week, but he just hasn't been the same. At first, I thought he was just sulking because he's used to being the singular ferret of the household. One of the things we always said when watching them interact was I've got a friend now and I don't want him.

I put HP back into the smaller cage, earlier this evening, in the hopes that maybe this is all just stress induced and their introductions would have to move slower. But, I really don't believe that to be the problem.

Tomorrow, I'm going to buy some Gerber baby food (which was recommended to force feed him with) and see if my vet is open. Despite the fact that I don't really have the money for anything major, maybe I can borrow it from my father or see if the vet's office will let me pay on a payment plan or something.

Some things I forget the first time I wrote this.

He also has a scabby bump on his left front paw.
I just moved his cage around a little bit. Adjusted the bed he sleeps in so it's closer to the wall of the cage, moved the water bottle to right next to that, and screwed his food dish in so it sits right near the bed, too. I also put 20 pieces of moistened food in the dish, so in the morning I can count them and see if any were eaten.

Also, he just pooped as I was writing this. Not in the litter box, which is a rarity for him. And it was all mucousy and sick looking. Not bright green, however.
thejunipertree: (Default)
Why is that I always get animals that I can't quite figure out what they're supposed to be called?

The new ferret, Howard Phillip, stumps me. He's got chocolate guard hairs, a cream undercoat, white spots on his back knees, lighter chocolate spots under each eye instead of a mask, and a cream coloured chin/bid.. Edgar is definitely a chocolate, through and through. But, HP makes my brain boggle.

I took them out this evening, in yet another attempt at getting them to like each other. This time I blocked off the kitchen and let them run around in there. After about an hour of ignoring each other interspersed with wrestling, I put in the added attraction of a cookie sheet filled with water.

Edgar is a little priss, who hates to get wet. So, the only thing he'd do is stand there and sniff at it. HP, however, dove right in and padded around in the paw deep water. Then he decided it was time to lie down. In the water. Much hilarity, especially when it came time for him to practice another round of "let's jump on the other guy!" much to Edgar's utter disgust.
thejunipertree: (Default)
For the first time in the entire duration of my and The Engineer's relationship, we made it to a First Friday in Philadelphia. Despite the fact that I wasn't much thrilled with going and despite the fact that I stupidly wore my five inch platforms for an evening of travelling by feet in an area of the city that does not believe in modern cement sidewalks; they're all cobblestones. And hilly as fuck. Sheesh.

Miss Robin joined us and we threw ourselves into an evening of our usual obnoxiousness.

Will you calm down? They're not going to run out of art!
Asslicker. Cocksocket, five dollars. Asslicker. Cocksocket, five dollars.
I am no longer having this conversation with you.

After stopping at Olde City pizza and being served by the world's most surly waitress, we trudged our way back to South Street to the TLA for the stellastarr* show. It was like old school night, up in that piece. I saw a number of people I haven't seen in ages, which is the norm whenever I show my face in the city (which is rarely). I even had the displeasure of spotting my very first roommate, known as Fuck-You-Todd, and smirking at him from across the bar.

Before the show, I ran into Commander Jurin and gave him a birthday present I had scared up for him, a stuffed bat which squeaks shrilly when you press its stomach. Though I suppose I would also squeak shrilly if you squeezed the fuck out of me, it was a good present and he seemed happy with it. Great! Now we've got a new mascot!

Standing in the bar, I run into Big Sam. Who I haven't seen in about three years or so? He lifted me from the floor in a giant bar hug, exclaiming over how good it was to see me and then introduced me to two girls who were standing there with them. One of them, Jill, said she had heard a lot about me. This drew a raised eyebrow and a step away, as whenever I hear something like that it usually means that someone has been talking a lot of shit on me. However, Jill is friends with Muridae (on my friends list) and she had told her about me. I told Jill the story of how Muridae and I originally started talking online, which started out with, "I know you! I've been in your house!" hee! I also ran into Miss Beth, which was unexpected and most pleasing.

A group of us lined ourselves across the front of the stage, in an effort to heckle the Commander as his mother and a few other relatives had come to town for the show. The crowd was semi-decent, though far too many of those bizarre neo-mods that seem to be following this band around. It did give us the chance, however, for Robin and I play to play "PunchMod", which is enormously fun.

The band was great, despite the fact that standing so close to the stage kind of warped the sound quality for me. The following band, the Raveonettes or whatever the fuck they're called, left me dry. I am wholly unimpressed with them, their sound, and even the way they look. Big fucking yawn, so we left a quarter of the way into their set and made our way to Zipperhead's with BlueMoonBaby.

The next day brought a road trip to my father's neighbourhood for me to pick up my new baby ferret, Howard Phillip (you can call him HP) and to pick up my smaller ferret cage from my dad's house. However, this wound up with me setting off my father's burglar alarm and the police showing up. oops.

Later that evening was Mister Kyle's (the same Kyle who directed the zombie movie we were in) party in the town I grew up in. Food was consumed, strange Asian drinks were drunk (one of mine had a marble in it and a warning list the size of your fucking arm, not to mention the instructions on how to open the goddamn bottle), and I hid on the deck as to avoid conversation with people I don't really know. Which didn't work all that well, as I was forced to make small talk a few times with absolute strangers, something that I despise doing. Not too bad, though it could have been better for me to not be such an unsocial fuck.

Today was my lecture on Lucifer for the MWC, which went sort of okay. I suppose if I wasn't forced to read by candlelight because we had our meeting outside and it got dark quicker then I thought it would, then it would have been better. I'd also like to note that I am an absolutely ASSY public speaker, regardless of whether or not I can see the words clearly. Anyone who says any different is seriously deluded, I'm just no damn good at it.

A long weekend, but an okay one. I'm currently sniffling like a fool because I had the ferrets out a little while ago, rough housing with them, and it made my allergies get all pissy with me. I think I may go take a long bath and read "Memoirs of a Swordswallower" before it gets too late.
thejunipertree: (Default)
Someone's been quite jealous of all the attention the ratties lately, so I decided to give him some quality alone time with me.

However, he doesn't exactly sit still. )
thejunipertree: (Default)
Photos of the rats' condo housing would have been forthcoming, but I discovered that I never re-downloaded my digital camera software after the bad crash a few months back. Yes, I have my stinky little webcam. But, I can't take good photos with it from this distance. So, that is going to have to wait.

However, I can describe the living quarters:

It's a big cage, one of those three story ferret models. My lady of the pink eyes, the dearly departed Midnight, had lived in it at one time. There's the bottom steel floor, which I have full of CareFree bedding, with a wheel and a tarp like hammock that no one seems to like. A grating ramp that leads up to the second floor, a carpeted ledge where all the food goes. Then another grating ramp to the third floor, another ledge where I have a small bed and one of those hay balls or whatever they are inside the bed. It's clamped to the outer wall of the cage because all three rats try to push it off the ledge. That just will not do.

Last week, I had gone out to buy them a new bed because their old one (once again, a hand me down from the ferret, was falling apart and full of holes. I bought one of those huge hanging numbers, with an ugly print because that's all they had. It's vaguely cube shaped, with a hole on either end. Fleece on the inside bottom. I hung this in the big empty area in between the second and third floors.

Leading up to the hanging bed are two wooden ledges screwed into the wire walls of the cage. I can't remember the brand name of them, but they are fucking keen. About the length of my hand, with rounded edges, plain and unfinished wood. I've got them staggered so the two smaller rats can also access them without having to make big and possibly impossible jumps.

Big, impossible jumps?
Silly fucking me. I should have known better about the jumping skills of rats.
On Tuesday, I was sitting in our big overstuffed chair with Speck on my right shoulder. I've been attempting to bond with the two younger rats like I already had with Aardie. We're sitting there for a short amount of time, he's inspecting the shiny things stuck through my ear. That's when one of the cats (Baby) jumped up on the arm of the chair, on the same side as Speck.

Speck ran across my shoulders and LEAPT from my left side. And when I say leapt, I mean fucking Olympic athlete long jump shit. He cleared about four feet away from me, into the wooden cradle of stuffed animals that belong to my mother. I had a split second of "OMFGOMFGOMFG" before I saw his tail disappear.

The next twenty minutes were spent ushering the cats into my mom's room, moving the couch out from the wall, taking apart the baseboard heater, and attempting to coax Speck out from his hiding place.

In retrospect, it was funny as hell. But, my heart pounding crazily in my chest and all I could think about was the possibility of not finding him.

Sweet Jesus.

So now, the only rat who gets sit in the chair time is Aardie because he is relatively calm and stays put. Not only that, but if he attempted to run away I don't think he'd fit inside the baseboard heater because of the size of his ass (which is rather large, the spoiled brat).

It's going to take more time then I previously thought to acclimate the two babies into the out of the cage world. They still get it, in bits and pieces. But, only from a standing position.

Other rat hijinks include Aleister's discovery of the wheel.

The wheel is old and is left over from my first rat, Nicodemus, who has been dead for quite some time. Many years, even. I had put it in the cage when I first housed Aardie in there by himself, but he largely ignored it. Some rats are runners and others, like my rather rotund hairless, are not.

Aleister apparently is a runner, much to my delight.
I love to watch rats run in a wheel, especially because of the look of intense concentration they get while doing so. So, when Aleister took to running I was immensely happy.

I had, however, forgotten about how the wheel needs to be regularly oiled because it has a bad squeak. Wednesday night I went to bed early (for me) because I had to be up at six am to take my mother in for her port surgery (she's now on tap, hee!). I was having trouble sleeping anyway because I'm not used to being inactive at that hour, but when I heard the shrill "eeeek eeek eeeek" of the wheel, it became even worse.

At first I thought I'd be able to perservere. My room is down the hall, my door was half way shut, my fan was on. Nope. eeek eeeek eeeek.

At two am, I couldn't take it anymore and I groggily roused myself. Walked to the bathroom, grabbed a cotton swab, went to the kitchen, got the canola oil. Oiled the fucking wheel into submission.

Only on my walk back to my room did I realise that my brother was sitting at the computer, esconced in downloading smut, and completely ignoring the eeek eeeek eeek coming from the rat cage.

Jerk ass.


I've never had this many rats at once before. Hell, I never had multiple rats at ALL. So, it's interesting to observe the formulation of personalities and their pecking order. Aardie, being the oldest and the *cough* largest, is the bully of the bunch. He holds the other two down and forces grooming. He pushes them out of the way at the water bottle. He sits on them. Aleister, the albino, is fairly laid back. But, he's also the most inquisitive. He pokes his head into anything with a hole big enough (and sometimes not even big enough). He's also sneaky and steals food from Aardie when he's not paying attention. Speck is the smallest and the most nervous. He stays in the hanging bed most of the time and jumps at the smallest strange sound.

I've started enforcing the idea among the three of them that I am the alpha and will brook no disagreement from their number. Periodically during play, I will suddenly hold one of them down for a few seconds. Aardie I've even taken to flipping onto his back, since he's the one who most thinks he's the boss. They seem to be taking to this idea, just as long as I continually assert my dominance.

Time to check on the washing machines again, I still haven't been able to do my laundry.


thejunipertree: (Default)

January 2011

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