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01 - Introduction
02 – Your first love
03 – Your parents (this is long as HELL
04 - What you ate today
05 - Your definition of love
06 - Your day
07 - Your best friend
08 - A moment
09 - Your beliefs (photo insensive)
10 – What you wore today )

11 – Your siblings
12 – What’s in your bag
13 – This week
14 – What you wore today
15 – Your dreams
16 – Your first kiss
17 – Your favorite memory
18 – Your favorite birthday
19 – Something you regret
20 – This month
21 – Another moment
22 – Something that upsets you
23 – Something that makes you feel better
24 – Something that makes you cry
25 – A first
26 – Your fears
27 – Your favorite place
28 – Something that you miss
29 – Your aspirations
30 – One last moment
thejunipertree: (Default)
Also, after Timothy's vet visit this week, I was given the cremated remains of Baby and Tinker, which the vet's office had been holding for me since April. I hadn't been able to bring myself to pick them up, but I couldn't ignore it any longer.

Their loss screams at me every day whenever I see Timothy or Henry Lee. Every time I wake up without Baby's warm, purring bulk smashed against the side of my head; every time I take a bath without Tinker hunting for imaginary fish in the water.


It's amusing that Tinker's box is so much larger than Baby's. I put his teeth in there with his cremains.
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Today has been an absolute shit-tastic day that has largely resulted in me wanting to burn down banks near and far, but after moping on the couch for most of the night and eating some 85% Green and Black's organic dark chocolate, I'm beginning to feel a bit more human.

The fact that all four snakes are currently cruising around their tanks and making ribbon shapes in the air during their explorations and the fact that Timothy has been draped over my right thigh and straight licking my arm for the past twenty minutes has down many great things to elevate my mood.
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Timothy, obviously getting the gold medal in the OMG FUCKING ADORABLE Olympics.

Henry Lee, one suave motherfucker.

They kind of never stop being absolutely hilarious. Henry Lee is the smart one and Timothy is the instigator of shenanigans. Being that they've only been here since Wednesday, they're not much in the way of lying in laps or sleeping in the bed just yet, but I have to keep reminding myself that these things take time.

They have, however, almost completed acclimated themselves to the apartment and have free run (generally, they're not allowed in the snake room unsupervised). Still a bit jumpy at sudden noises, but basically ok. Henry Lee likes to eat my hair in the middle of the night and Timothy rolls around the carpet, baking biscuits in the air.

I spoke to the rescue lady today about Stewart, the third cat we are thinking of adopting. He's apparently polydacytl on all four feet. At some point next week, we're going to drive over to her place and meet him.
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Also, thank you one and all for all of your kind thoughts and support over the past two heartbreaking decisions I had to make. It means a lot to me.

The apartment was so weird Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I don't even remember the last time in my life that I didn't have at least one free roaming mammal. I kept seeing them out of the corner of my eye, a dark blur that ghosted across my vision and then was disappointingly gone when I swung full around. I would forget for a time and then something small, something stupid, would bring reality crashing back to me and it would feel like my heart was twisting in my chest all over again.

Wednesday night, the Engineer and I picked up the two kittens we decided to adopt: Timothy and Henry Lee. They are a complete and total joy. So far. It doesn't entirely replace this huge and gaping hole left in the absence of the others, but it blunts the edges down so they are not as sharp.

I was so scared that they would hate me or that one of them would get nervous and bat me hard in the face, like what happened with the incident I mentioned before at a different shelter. But, they are warm and purr like wee crisis engines, twining around my legs this morning in the bathroom and trying to eat my hair when I lie on the floor. I wouldn't even begin to put forth the notion that the level of trust I had with my other cats is even remotely there, but the beginnings of it are poking their way through.

my world

Jan. 12th, 2009 03:27 pm
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I found this photo of Aristotle in my phone. It's a few months old and doesn't show his color very well. Imagine that the lighter spots of brown are actually a brilliant yellow.

I stole that spoon from my friend, Amanda, at her wedding. Actually, I stole it from the catering company. The Engineer has been simply scandalized by this ever since.

Tinker (the black one) and Baby (the orange one), enjoying an extremely rare moment of peace. Normally, Tinker does his damned best to constantly eat Baby's head. Occasionally, he forgets he's an utter prick and will sit nicely.
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Holiday dinner went as well as to be expected. The turkey fell apart when I tried to hoist it out of the pan when it was done, dinner was an hour and a half late because I'm not so good with time management, and [ profile] wemble narc'ed my brother out over a piece of pie.

I got strangely and vaguely surly mid-way through the day, which I am attributing to a case of the holiday-ick. I was surprisingly un-hungry and just pushed food around on my plate for twenty minutes, which isn't unusual when I've got a good surly brewing. The pendulum swung back after a bit and I started feeling like more like my normal, slightly chirpy self.

I did, however, at one point inform my father that after he dies and I receive my inheritance from him, I am going to be knee-deep in strippers and blow. He was not nearly as amused by this as I was. But that's ok, because shortly after, he rolled out his annual "Why don't you and Middle Brother talk to Eldest Brother? That's not right; you're family." speech we seem to have the pleasure of hearing every holiday function. Only there were no semi-colons involved because I'm fairly certain my father has no earthly idea of what a semi-colon even is, let alone- how to use one. Not to mention the fact he said it to me and didn't actually type it anywhere.

There is now a boatload of leftovers at my apartment (including two and a half pies!) and I am sitting at work about to eat my boots because I haven't been able to have lunch today and I am starving.

All in all, not to worst of holiday experiences. Despite the brief surly attitude and the bout of weepiness mid-afternoon because I was missing my mom pretty hardcore. Oh, and the cat deciding to run over my face when I was lying on the couch. I am now sporting a rather fetching scratch on my right eyelid which hurts and is swollen. The cat received no leftovers for his trangressions. Little bastard.
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I decided to change my email address today. The old one had been grating on my nerves for a while now, so you may now find me at crowsofmurder AT gmail DOT com. I've kept the littleflappybat one, so if you really get your panties in an uproar or if it's entirely TOO much work for you to change it in your address book, feel free to continue using it. However, don't be surprised if it takes me longer to respond.

The animals have been making me insane lately. For the past few months, Tinker has taken to wandering the apartment hall in the middle of the night, howling for cash and prizes. It almost seems like he's on a set schedule for when he does it, too. Last week, he woke my brother up, so I made the decision to take him (the cat, not my brother) to the vet to get checked out.

First things first: he's not nearly as overweight as I thought he was. Before, I thought he was pushing 23 pounds. I'm not sure where I came up with this number, but it was always the one I had in my head. In actuality, he is 16.9 pounds. Still fat, but not THAT'S NO MOON, IT'S A SPACE STATION.

Blood tests were run and the vet left a message regarding them today. No on the diabetes front, no on the hyperthyroid front. Yes, on having slightly raised thyroid levels. Cats should be inbetween 1.0 and 4.0 apparently and he sits at 2.5, which is enough to raise an eyebrow at. The vet would like further tests run on his blood, to check for occult hyperthyroidism or somesuch.

All of that being said, since the vet visit, he hasn't been nearly as obnoxious about howling in the middle of the night. And today, he's been so low-key in general that I'm a bit concerned. He's been a sleeping pile of cat all night and didn't freak out over my cereal bowl. Ears and eyes and gums are all the colors they should be (and I've got three scratches on my hand to show for it), but he's still acting bummed.

On top of that, I had SNAKE DRAMA last night. It was time for Aristotle's weekly feeding and I've been gradually increasing his mice size. Last night's mouse was a healthy little bugger and the snake went right for it. However, he could not figure out how to get it in his mouth. He kept trying for the back end, but couldn't work it out because the size is a bit larger than he's used to. He kept just gnawing on the tail and dragging the damn thing all over the tank.

Twice, he dragged it into the wood chips and I had to distract him and get the mouse out of the bedding and pick aspen off it. The third time, it was seeming to be a battle between his throat and the mouse's tail. Like it was stuck. I tried to manuver it out with the tongs, but that just made him mad. And when I got scared and tried to take it from him, he clamped his body around it (and one of his plants) and squoze the shit out of it to the point where I thought it was going to blow. I picked him up at one point, by the plant he was now strangling, and he started whistling like a frigging tea kettle at me. I reckon this means snakes can't hiss when something is lodged in their throat.

Finally, I stuck a pencil inbetween his body and the mouse's tail and got it out that way. And that mouse was seriously trashed. Covered in snake spit, blood from his teeth puncturing, and every bone in its body broken. Trashed. Thank God the wee beast was already dead when all of this started. I do not, for the life of me, understand how people can live feed. I have problems with buying pre-killed mice as it is.

I decided to chance my luck after all of this and toss another mouse in the tank. Lo and behold, the little fool went right for it and (this time) just dragged it under his rock.

Of all the fucking snakes to pick, I wind up with the stupid one. All beauty and no brains. What snake can't figure out how to get the food in its mouth? Oh, yeah. MINE.
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I have not one, but TWO boxes of Count Chocula.

It is my absolute favorite and I have hearts for it.

I may or may not be currently coasting out a sugar high from the aforementioned cereal. That decision has not yet been reached. Combine the cereal with the milkshake the Amazing Larry brought over for me earlier this evening when we were getting ready to watch True Blood and I'm a bit twitchy. I'm not used to this much sugar.

During the hanging out part of the evening, TAL and I got into a big conversation/debate regarding politics and racism and all manner of things. It was spirited and I got loud quite a few times. Once he left for the night, and the Engineer had also gone to bed, I remembered one of my old roommates and how she would always react whenever a group of us would start to have any sort of semi-intellectual/world observation conversation while sitting around in a diner or Denny's or high in the living room or whathaveyou.

She never liked it and would always throw the brakes every time it started. Because it made her feel like an episode of MTV's The Real World or some such nonsense.

That should have been a sign.

If this entry is a bit disjointed, blame the sugar high. I think I need to try to sleep.

IfI ever get another cat, I think I'm going to name him "John".
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cruise control for awesome )
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It has been suggested on more than one occasion in the past few months that I may have some difficulty with "letting things go".

Confused? Probably not, if'n you know me, but I'll explain further anyway.

I'm more than a touch morbid in that I seem to have an undeniable attraction to dead things. Wee animals in jars, animal skulls, human cremains. It all holds a strange fascination to me, to the point where I actively collect these things.

I've also started talking about preservation methods for my pets. Out of the animals from my household who have died in the past four years, I have more of them in my freezer (and the Engineer's freezer) than I do in the ground or cremation boxes. I've talked about preserving some of them in fluid, in clear jars, for display (and I still think this isn't a bad idea). I've made semi-serious jokes about having my marmelade cat, Baby, taxidermied when he finally dies. But, instead of having him frozen into an unnatural pose, I want him filled with those tiny styrofoam balls they put in squishy pillows. And a heating pad. So I can still sit on the couch and rub his belly into oblivion.

When discussing these things a couple of weeks ago, it mentioned to me that perhaps all of this is the reason why I am so drawn to funeral service and am so determinedly (is that a word?) pursuing my education in it.

And honestly? I am not sure sometimes.

I have an incredibly strong fear of death, which has gotten much worse since my mother died and I have grown older. I obsess over it. I lie in bed in the little hours of night, unable to sleep because my head is full of "what if...?"s. I paralyze myself with thoughts of car accidents, gun attacks, and malignant cancers. A terror grips me when I think of what comes next after this life; my religion has been shaken to its core and barely provides shelter to me any longer.

All of this is so bizarre to me. I used to be perpetually suicidal; I've attempted it three times in my life when I was younger. Everything hurt so fucking much, I just wanted it all to stop. And as I grew older, I recognized I couldn't ever put those I loved through the particular kind of hellish pain the survivors are left holding, but the thought of self-annhilation was never very far from my mind.

Now? The very idea makes me sick to my stomach. Suicide is now an abomination to me. Mine, or anyone else's.

I don't understand any of it, personally. My brain has become such a whirlwind over the past few years that I'm not sure how I even get my boots on, half of the time. I'm so tightly wound, if one were to flick me, I'd probably *ping!* like a fine crystal wine goblet. Which is hilarious when I think about it, because I'm always hollaring at the Engineer for being uptight and how he needs to be more laid-back.

I think I need to go smoke a cigarette and shake this off my back. Who writes this shit on a Saturday afternoon, anyway?

My biggest fear is if I let you go,
You'll come and get me in my sleep.

Dr. P

Dec. 1st, 2007 03:18 am
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The vet visit went well, I would reckon.

This is the regular vet's office I go to, but I've never dealt with their reptile vet before. He's new. He used to work there, as a tech, then went away to college and came back a shiny new DVM.

And he's fairly awesome. I only wish that he had been available when Charlie was sick, maybe she'd still be alive and I wouldn't be so grumpy about the subject.

At any rate, Dr. Pickles is doing ok, other than the not-eating-for-four-months thing. He tried to get a fecal sample, but there was none to be had. He checked his mouth for any weirdness, found none. Probed him (he's definitely a he and apparently, quite an impressive he at that). Gave him a small shot of appetite stimulant and told us to try feeding him in a week. He believes that this may just be a seasonal thing, especially because it's not like the little guy is emaciated or withering away or anything.

Dr. Pickles, of course, was heartily unimpressed with this state of affairs and tried to act the badass the entire time. Not very scary when you're only a wee snake who's all talk, which I kept telling him. He struck at the Engineer at one point, making him jump about four feet to the left and causing me to laugh my ass off.

If he starts to lose weight, we may have to start trying to change his prey. This will possibly involve scenting a mouse with a live frog (western hognose's natural prey), the prospect of which does not thrill the Engineer. hee.

They had kittens at the vet office. For adoption. Three of them the tiny buggers. I had a mad episode of OMG KITTEN FEVER when I saw them. They also had an adult black cat with a white stripe down its nose, which gave me a case of OMG BADGER CAT FEVER.

Also, both kitten and snake unrelated, I think the other tenants in my apartment building are attempting to drive me insane.
When I left for work this morning, I caught something waist-high and bipedal-shaped out of the corner of my eye. I had only been awake for twenty minutes when I was leaving the apartment, so my brain wasn't fully functioning and my first thought was what the fuck is that?! When I managed to finally focus on it, I saw that down the hall there was a three foot high snowman figure thing dressed in little kid clothes, standing outside one of the other apartments.

What the hell? I thought. That thing is going to make me crazy by the end of next week because I'm going to constantly think that it's some attack killer midget lying in wait for me at the other end of the hall.

Then, when I was coming home from work, I saw that one of the other tenants, this one closer to my apartment, has also stationed one of these creepy fucks outside their door. So, now there's TWO of them. One on each side of the hall, like sentries. Bastard things. I hate stuff like that because my slightly already unhinged brain always processes them as waiting to come alive and get me. Dolls also fall into this category.

A few years ago, I was spending the night at my friend's mother's house. Said mother was a collector of dolls. And by collector, I actually mean: spent all her freaking money on a billion creepy dolls that were arranged all over the goddamn house. One of the dolls even had a doll-sized shopping cart. I spent the night in the guest room, lying on my side with my back to the wall and staring at the closed door. Waiting.

Did I mention I was stoned out of my mind? No? Well. I was. I don't know how I ever fell asleep that night, but I managed to.

I kept having visions of the moment I closed my eyes, the dolls were going to be in the doorway. Evil.

My friend and her husband spent the entire night giggling their asses off at the idea of taking one of the dolls and setting it up at the foot of my bed after I fell asleep. Thankfully, they were too high to act on this notion because if I woke up and saw that, I would have voided my bowels, screamed like a little girl, and then shredded the curtains in an attempt to get away. Ha-fucking-ha.


When I leave for work tomorrow morning, if those fuckers have moved any closer to my door, I'm sitting them on fire. I'm half-tempted to look out my door right now.
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I'll start with yesterday.

I went to my Introduction to Counseling class. We had our first test to take and were allowed to leave as soon as we were finished. Being that Counseling is a butt-easy class, I was done the test in fifteen minutes. I was in my car and cruising home, with visions of glorious fucking-around-and-doing-nothing-at-home dancing in my head. Maybe I'd study Human Biology for a bit, maybe I'd play some video games. I hadn't really decided at that point; I was more focused on enjoying my drive home.

I get home and immediately go into my room to check my answering machine. On my bed are three of my four cats. Nympho, Mittens, and Lunchbox Tinker. I laid down on the bed and talked to Nympho for a bit because it's so rare to catch him napping in my room. Tinker moseyed up and acted like a douchebag because he hates it when someone else is getting all the attention. Mittens walked up and started to weasel around me for some petting. I reached over and rested my hand on the back of Mittens' neck, in the usual spot where I scratch him, and my fingers touched what I thought felt like a scab.

"What did you do to yourself now, buddy?" I twiddled my fingers gently around his neck, feeling for the dimensions of the scab and trying to figure out if it was Tinker-caused. When I pulled my hand away, it was covered in blood.

I'll repeat that part: covered in blood.

I picked him up to look at his scruff, but his fur is so thick and the lights in my room are rather dim. So, I brought him into the bathroom, where the lighting is much better, and put him on the counter for a better look.

When I parted the fur on the back of his neck, I almost fainted. I seriously got wobbly for a second.

He had a two-inch gash and I could see straight down to what looked like muscle.

I flailed around for a couple of moments, trying to figure out what to do. Should I try to clean it myself? With what? Would he even hold still for something like this? Does he need stitches? Should I take him to the vet? I spun my tires for a bit before decided that yes, I needed to call the vet. Phone calls are placed, the cat is unceremoniously shoved into his carrier, and I get back into my car.

The vet is just as confused as I am about the cut. Mittens hasn't gone outdoors for probably ten or more years. There was no blood anywhere that I could find in the apartment. No one had bloody paws or whiskers. Stumped.

He got his ruff shaved and surgical-glued, I got handed yet another bottle of antibiotics and wrote out even more post-dated checks to be put in my file. At this point, I have checks stretching to July. I shit you not.

Now, with his half-shaven neck and wounded area, he kind of looks like a zombie took a big old bite out of the back of his head. It's semi-disturbing to look at. The Engineer keeps calling him "Zombie Cat".


The lady at the vet's office who I'm friendly with started laughing as soon as she saw me. "You were just here two weeks ago!" Tell me something I don't know, honey. Tell it to my bank account.

Today started out fairly decent. I actually got up early this morning and even had time to wear more make-up than just eyebrows, something which hasn't been happening all that much lately. The decentness doesn't last long. We're in the middle of a document-collecting drive for a new benefits package and the offices are driving me insane with their unwillingness to do what is required of them. Today, however, is payday. Yay! I get my check and it's for roughly sixty-eight hours and is under seven hundred dollars. Boo. And I don't even get the chance to leave the office to cash said check and get some lunch until about two-thirty.

This is where it gets good.

I drive to the bank, which is located in the Devil's Parking Lot. It's in a little shopping center and is surrounded by a handful of stores that are highly visited. It is also made of evil.

I was driving down a row, heading to the teller lane of the drive-through, and marvelling to myself that the drive-through lane was completely empty. It's never empty like that! I'm going to make it back to the office in record time! Hooray!



A car I was passing suddenly backs out as I am almost half-way done going behind it. My passenger side door crunches and my vision is replaced by a red haze. You know the scenes in Kill Bill when the Bride sees someone that is on her list to kill and she gets those alarm bells sounding off? Yeah, like that.

I get out and see that I was broad-sided by a goddamn Mercedes driving by a goddamn teenage girl. The Eldorado doesn't look all that bad, but the door is mighty scratched up and there appears to be a small dent or three. The bumper of the Mercedes is scratched all to fuck and my hands start shaking. The girl immediately starts apologizing and telling me that this was all her fault and that she didn't check her mirrors and that she'd really rather handle this without contacting any insurance companies. Being that the Eldorado is actually my father's call, I ring him up and ask him what he would like me to do. Which was a fun conversation in itself. My father really hates getting phone calls from me that start out with, "Hi! I have a problem." especially because they almost always wind up having something to do with the damn car.

He tells me to just get all of her information because he doesn't want to involve the insurance companies, either. I remain unconvinced by the wisdom of this, but it's his car and what he says goes. We exchange information (I even write down her license plate number because I just don't trust this shit) and go about our ways.

As I write this, I am still ticked off by the entire affair. But, wait! It all gets better!

Around five-thirty, my cell phone rings and it's Middle Brother calling me.

"Can you leave work? Like right now?"

As it turns out, he was also involved in a car accident. In a bank parking lot. Backed into by some dippy teenage girl who wasn't looking where she was going. Same bank chain, different branch. Different branch parking lot. Same area damaged on his car.

His issue, however, is that the girl who hit him really nailed him. She gassed the shit out of her car and his passenger side back door is dented and scraped all to fuck. And on top of that, the girl is insisting it wasn't her fault. Despite the fact that she backed into him. And despite the fact that even the cop who was called to the scene explained to her several times and in intricate detaill how my brother couldn't have done a single thing to cause the accident.

Shit. Day.

Personally, I'm still kind of baffled over how my brother and I both were involved in almost identical car accidents in the same goddamn day and in the same general environment, sustaining similar damage to our cars.

I have since spent the rest of the night lying on my couch with Baby and watching movies with the Engineer.
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I am, at turns, a caged animal baring its teeth at everyone who happens past and a dancing, spinning top.

The past month has been so incredibly fucked up and insane that I can't comprehend the smallest details. I teeter between soul-crushing lows and OMG EVERYTHING IS AWESOME! highs; odd, even for me and my bizarre cycles.

At a glance:

I'm still very sad over the death of Charlie. I didn't take her body in for a necropsy because I plain just don't have the money. I've put out my feelers for another snake, but I'm taking that slow. I want another scaley friend, but I'm not in a rush. Money, as always, is a factor in this.

One of the cats has fallen ill, Mittens. He used to be as fat as Lunchbox Tinker, but ever since my mother left for the hospital and never came home, he has not been the same. He's a different feline now, which is distressing. The weight got so alarming and his behavior changed so dramatically, that I took him to the vet the other day and received a diagnosis of insufficient kidney function, which in less fancier words basically means that he is in the early stages of kidney failure. Being fifteen years old, he's at great risk of this. Along with diabetes (which Nympho has) and hyperthyroidism (which Misty had). I didn't relish the idea of dealing with another diabetic or hyperthyroid kitty, but I'd take either of those over this. He needs to be on a completely opposite diet of what he had been on and now must be fed in the bathroom to keep the other cats from eating his food and vice versa. He's been on this diet for about a week and I haven't noticed any weight gain, although he's stopped acting so blessed weird all the time. Now it's only part of the time.

My car remains, as ever, an anxiety. The hose was re-soldered back on to the radiator and I was sent on my way to the tune of over five hundred dollars (about $175 of this was for the tow from Trenton). It's still leaking transmission fluid and Lord knows what else. And because of my father's behavior over this (I'm not going to get into it because I'll just get riled up again; needless to say, I don't enjoy people telling me what to do with my own goddamn money), I've been contemplating getting my own car on the road. My own car, with my own car insurance. However, there's a reason why my father pays for everything with the Eldorado: because I can't afford it on my own. There's no way possible I could afford a car payment and an insurance payment. This idea has been backburnered, but I constantly pick it up and hold it to the light.

Work is still work and it still makes me crazy. It's gotten to the point that whenever I'm paged by a certain person who I'll call the Skeksis, I cringe. Or show my teeth to the phone. Or flail around, making obscene hand gestures. I. Hate. That. Woman. I hate her like I have hated no one else before in my entire life. Beyond her simpering buffoonry, there's also the omnipresent specter of layoffs looming over all of our heads. Yes, I've been whoring my resume all over God's green earth.

I've been sick for the past few days. I've had an itchiness all over my face, accompianied by red blotches, and have been suffering through a general all-around ickiness of feeling. At first, I thought it was something I ate on Sunday night because we ordered from a Chinese take-out that we'd never ordered from before. But, the more I examine my symptoms and the more I think about things, I think it's largely stress-related and thusly, largely work-related. I left early on Monday, stayed home on Tuesday, and dragged myself back into the office today. The past few days, I've rarely been vertical and instead, spent a large portion of my time on my couch with any number of cats grouped around me and generally, just felt shitty.

I think I need to start seeing some kind of mental health professional. Problem being, I can not afford the health insurance my work offers. Our lowest, shittiest plan is roughly a hundred dollars. Out of every paycheck. And that wouldn't be the plan I'd pick because it is, after all, shitty. I largely don't qualify for reduced-cost care because, get this, you'll love it: I make too much money. Hah! And I can't even find much information about reduced-cost care on top of that. Lovely, isn't it? I'm still looking; I haven't given up on it and am still open to ideas.

Tomorrow would have been my mother's 63rd birthday. It's gotten to the point where I kind of forget what life was like with her in it, if that makes any sense. I forget and it hurts that I forget. And at the same time, my life is so much easier without dealing with her medical problems that I'm halfway happier without her. And if you think that doesn't affect me in thirty different ways to Sunday, you're sorely fucking mistaken. Guilt for days, I tell you.

So that things aren't all doom and gloom, I went camping this weekend with the Engineer and Miss Ella and Tony, which was quite lovely. Even if the skies opened up on us Saturday afternoon and drenched us to the skin. I laughed my way through the entire spectacle. At one point, we had just finished moving the tents out of The River Runs Fucking Through It and Tony and I glanced at each other. Proceded to crack the fuck up for about ten minutes straight, barely able to breathe from laughing so hard. Later, I got to burn things and talk shit. Two things I am excellent at doing.

Class tonight. Stress Management. Irony does not escape me.
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I've been wobbly since Emperor Nympho's vet appointment on Thursday (and even moreso since the follow-up vet phone call on Saturday, with test results).

The vet was enormously concerned as soon as she saw and felt the lump on his back. Thought it was a tumor, and a deeply embedded one at that. They aspirated it and sent the core sample out to be tested. She wasn't sure what it was attached to and we discussed several options, like surgery and the like, which all depended on the test results. She thought the lump could be attached to one of his kidneys, due to placement, but wasn't ruling out the idea that it was just skin-related. I left the vet's office that evening with a slightly irritated cat who talked to me the entire drive home about how MUCH he was peeved at me for sticking him in a box and bringing him to the Place of Bad Smells and Pointy Things (tm).

The next day, Joanna and I sat outside of work and talked about how awesome it would be if I got the call from the vet and found out that the tests showed either a. the lump was actually a cupcake, b. the lump was full of Brie (my vote), or c. that Nympho was actually immortal. We went on to discuss at great length how wonderful cupcakes and immortal cats are.

Satuday morning, as I was lying in bed and trying to convince myself to get up, get dressed, and go outside to sit on the apartment steps and wait for my copy of the Harry Potter book (deliveries don't always make it to my apartment, so I wanted to be proactive), I received a call on my cell from the doctor with the results.

Suffice to say, things are not good.

She said the lump is indeed a tumor. Sarcoma. Malignant. Cancer.

She said that in cases like this, surgery is not recommended.

She said that treatment would be taking him for an MRI or a CT scan to see what it's attached to.

She said that treatment would include radiation therapy.

She said that this is incredibly expensive and must be done by a specialist.

She said that without treatment, he only has a a bare handful of months left to live.

She said that with treatment, it would probably only tack another couple of months onto the end of that sentence.


I was silent for the majority of this phone call because if I spoke, I would start to cry and the only thing I hate more than crying in front of my friends is crying in front of (basic) strangers. She talked a lot, in a slow and halting voice. The voice of one who knows exactly how badly the news they are breaking is being taken.

I do not have much of a choice in this situation. I can shell out exorbitant amounts of money (even by my standards of pet care, we're talking multiple thousands of dollars) that I don't actually have and put him through extreme stress and discomfort with zero guarantee that this is actually going to accomplish anything. Or I can watch him slowly decline over the next few months until he dies on his own or it gets so bad that I euthanize him. The end result for both options is exactly the same: my cat is going to die. And a lot sooner than I had always thought.

My cat, my thirteen-year old Russian Blue with the rusty old-man meow and the enormous tail, is going to die. My cat, who I have had for almost his entire thirteen years, is going to die. My cat, who has been with me through the best and worst times of my life, is going to die. My cat, who has lived with me in eight apartments and with twenty-some roommates, is going to die.

In a few months.

And I can't do a single thing about it, when it gets down to it. Not a goddamn thing.

This sucks so bad, I can't put it into words.

Since my mother died, there has been one thing I have been absolutely terrified of. One single thing that continually creeps into my brain and keeps me awake at night: the idea of having to once again watch someone I love die slowly as some black and insidious disease eats them away from the inside.

Some people may think I'm overeacting. That I shouldn't be so upset over a pet and shouldn't ever compare it to the death of my mother. If anyone I know believes that, I say this now: you are cordially invited to fuck right off. This is my friend who is going to die before my eyes.

At this point, I'm at a loss. I feel helpless in the face of this. Despite the fact that I know pursuing treatment isn't the best idea, I still feel guilty over making the decision to not do so. Any other time one of my animals has been sick, I have gone to great lengths and spent a lot of money to make them well again. But, putting him throught treatment is just going to make him miserable for no reason. With no cure outcome on the horizon, there's no sense in doing all that. But, I can't help it. I still feel guilt.

On Tuesday, I'll be calling the vet and letting her know my decision. After that, it'll be a lot of little steps and deep breaths.

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thejunipertree: (Default)
I'm taking the cat (Nympho) to the vet tonight. This is after cleaning his rather funky ears and giving him a bath last night. He thinks he's unhappy with me now? That feline doesn't even know.

Unfortunately, he has to go and get checked out. He's been losing bits of weight here and there and his back end looks kind of bony. On top of that, he doesn't clean himself anymore and I'm really not digging on that. There's also a bump on his back, like near his hip, and I don't know when that showed up. His fur used to be so thick that it very well could have been underneath this whole time and I would never have known. So, to the vet he goes. Hopefully, everything is minor.

I've begun the process of job-hunting, for myriad reasons. Suffice to say, and without breaking any non-disclosure agreements, it is just time. I've gotten two callbacks already, one of which we keep playing phone tag and the other is a recruiter who apparently loves me and thinks I'm perfect for a specific position.

Problem with that? The position is in Philadelphia and I'd have to take the train to get there. And it's uber-business professional. I have issues with that. And they're not issues like: Oh waaaah, I don't want to take out my piercings! Stop oppressing me!

The issues are moreso because I feel that I am not really a professional. I don't look the part. I don't act the part. I can take the piercings out and cover all the tattoos and wear business-y clothes like the best of them. But somehow, I still wind up looking like I'm a little kid playing dress-up or like I'm some kind of street urchin who raided the suit section at a department store. I also look...scruffy. It's like a talent of mine or something. I'm not polished and every step I take in the effort to look polished just winds up looking false.

I don't know. Despite being a step down in responsibility, the position is a boat-load of money. Free benefits (medical and dental). Three weeks of vacation. Paid holidays. Prestigious non-profit organization that apparently everyone on the planet (except for me, I'd never heard of it, but everybody else flipped the hell out when I mentioned the name) has heard of.

I'm definitely going to interview for it. I just doubt I'm of the caliber they're looking for.

On top of all of this, the Eldorado is in the shop because her catalytic converter is slowly shitting the bed. They're trying to repair the piece, instead of replace it, because it's so freaking expensive to replace them. So, I'm currently driving one of the company cars that hasn't been assigned to anyone.

The car sucks, it's a new-ish Elantra. But, yo. It's got a awesome sound system. hee.


thejunipertree: (Default)

January 2011

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