logisticslad: (nermal)
I took my big orange cat Chester to the vet this week and we discovered a cyst on his right hindleg during his check up. Light microscopy of the biopsy revealed oddly shaped cells with prominent nucleoli (indicative of cell division). Cysts are usually benign, but the odd biopsy result prompted the vet to recommend surgery to remove it. So we're scheduled for Tuesday, Oct 12th. I'm surprised that I hadn't noticed it on my own, but on the other hand, I rarely pet his hindleg. He has no other symptoms, and is in very good health for a 10 year old cat. He has lost a pound since his last year's check up, but at 15.2 pounds, the vet says that's nothing to worry about. I'm going to have his teeth cleaned while he's under as preventative maintenance as well. I was feeling like a bad cat daddy because I scheduled his surgery in two weeks to better fit my schedule, rather than right away, but the vet said that it was not an emergency, so I am becoming ok with that. Of course, now I will be hypervigilant about everything he does before the surgery, but I will also give both him and Sawyer lots of love.

Sad news

Oct. 22nd, 2008 10:07 am
logisticslad: (Default)
Jan's cat Loki continued to have difficulty breathing and was not helped by the various treatments. He developed some neurological signs and stopped giving the impression that he was all there. So Jan made the hardest decision a pet owner has to make this morning. Loki was a beautiful but weird little cat with boundless energy. He was a force of destruction and definitely lived up to his name. Loki had been lovingly selected by Jan and his partner, before his partner passed away. I'm afraid that Jan is going to take this extra hard because of that connection. Jan is exhausted and taking today off from work. I will be happy to send him your hugs.
logisticslad: (Default)
I just spoke with Jan and he says that Loki's systems are finally stabilizing and that Loki seems to recognize Jan and is behaving somewhat like his old self. This greatly reduces the worry of possible neurological damage from all the edema. Sonogram ruled out him having swallowed something he shouldn't, and there were no detectable perforations in his intestines, reducing the possibility of sepsis. So the current diagnosis is congestive heart failure, and if he remains stable, then recovery enough to return home is possible, with the potential for reasonable health for the next 6-12 months. He's not out of the woods, yet, but hope is alive. Jan has returned home to collapse and I plan to check in on him later. Thanks to everyone for their kind thoughts. I've passed them on to Jan and he deeply appreciates the positive energy and good wishes
logisticslad: (Default)
I spent much of the evening at the Gwynned Veterinary Hospital with my good friend Jan and his cat Loki. Loki is a three year old Bengal male and had been feeling poorly over the weekend. He was having trouble peeing and had greatly reduced energy. His vet treated him for a UTI and he did not improve. He stopped eating last night and became listless. Jan took him back in today, and they noticed additional problems and referred him to the Vet Hospital for 24 hr monitoring and care. They think that he either has congestive heart failure, major GI blockage, or sepsis. They don't know yet and until his heart and lungs stabilize they can't do too many tests. He's in an oxygen tent and resting while he receives various meds through IV drips. Prognosis is not good, but they decided to wait and see how he's doing in the morning before making any major (and potentially expensive decisions. Jan's a wreck. He's had a lot of loss over the last two years (his partner, his longtime cat, and his other cat is in failing health). Loki is young and had not shown any signs of having such serious problems before this. Jan left his shirt for Loki to rest on and brought him his favorite toy, Mr Bunny. I'm hoping to hear more encouraging news in the morning.

Meanwhile, I've come home and showered my cats with love.

Vacation!

Jul. 29th, 2008 11:46 am
logisticslad: (Default)
Now that my summer course is done, I've decided to take a vacation. Actually, it will be mostly a "staycation," since I plan to spend much of it working on house projects and catching up on reading for fun and watching Dr Who, as well as visiting with family and friends. So far, I've gone to a birthday pool party, helped my brother take the kids to two kid birthday parties, seen Dark Knight (it was wonderful, but it did give me nightmares), played bridge, bought light sconces for the bathroom, mowed the lawn, noodled around on facebook, and played with the cats. I received a clean bill of health at my dental check up, and I got myself a haircut. My major house project will be finishing all the fine detail touch up painting in the upstairs bathroom. I do have a bit of work to do during my time off (final grades, getting pieces of a new grant together, writing some recommendation letters), but I can fit it in at my leisure. After lunch, I plan to do battle with the strangling clematis vine that is clinging to my lilac and butterfly bush. In the meantime, I am trying to remember what relaxing feels like.
logisticslad: (nermal)
I met the new Vet today when I took Sawyer for his annual checkup. My Vet of 18 years had passed away recently and I did not get on well with his partner. Fortunately, his partner has left and has been replaced with a nice knowledgeable Vet, who I got along well with (One of the staff confided that they hadn't gotten along well with the partner either and were glad she was gone). So, Sawyer had a good checkup, and it turns out that he will need his teeth cleaned. I had been feeding him Oral Care Science Diet cruchies along with his third of a can of wet food, but that hasn't helped any. The other option is to try brushing his teeth. I have a cat toothbrush and catfood flavored paste, but I am a bit leary of trying it. Has anyone ever brushed a cat's teeth? Can it be done alone? Any helpful hints?

Furnace

Oct. 12th, 2007 12:16 pm
logisticslad: (Default)
I'm home today while the service guys install my new furnace and A/C. They promised that if they don't finish it today, then they would arrange it so that I have heat from my old furnace over the weekend. The cats have been very mellow about the disruption and have been keeping out of the way, so I haven't had to confine them. Here's hoping that it all goes well.
logisticslad: (super)
I feel like I am in the midst of many long term projects this year, both at work and at home. Taking [livejournal.com profile] yesthattom's advice about time management to heart, I have been trying to break them down into manageable portions that I can accomplish each week. That way, I can always feel like I am making progress.

So today I returned to the task of painting my bathroom. Some of you may recall my story about how hideous the original bathroom had been with three different kinds of wallpaper, a sponge painted ceiling, and wooden molding. Over the last three years, I have removed the wallpaper, covered the plaster with drywall, sanded everything down, primed and painted the ceiling white and the walls a light blue color that Benjamin Moore calls "sapphireberry." I liked it, but I didn't like the contrast that it made with the wooden molding. So I decided to paint the molding a darker blue. Actually, since I had left the painter's tape up for so long, I realized that I had grown attached to that color, so that's the color I've chosen to paint the molding! Today I primed an painted the bottom molding, and I think it looks great! I've also painted the rims of the hideous metallic green light fixtures the same color and may even get around to reinstalling them some day. The next steps are to remove the tape from the upper molding and paint that, and then take a tiny brush and work on smoothing out the transitions between the dark and light blue paint.

It felt good to accomplish this today and the cats helped by staying out of the way while the paint was drying.

My next house task is to decide whether or not I'm actually going to replace the gas forced air heater this year, and possibly get a central humidifier and air conditioning. I've obtained several quotes and I feel like I'm close to making a decision. The hardest part will be planning out how to afford it. Since I don't truly know when my potential salary increase will take effect (that will come whenever my promotion happens and the earliest would be end of January), I am trying not to count on that in my plans.

Another long term task that has been going pretty well has been my weight management program. I've been eating more mindfully, keeping a food journal and documenting my increased exercise in order to figure out how to reverse my creeping weight gain. Success! I have lost 5 pounds over the last three weeks, and I am very glad to feel like I am finally getting a handle on managing this.

I've been working from home one day a week starting this summer and that has allowed me to make progress on a number of backlogged work projects. Because of that I have been able to submit three manuscripts, get four others to the point of being submitted soon, and submit four abstracts for conference poster presentations. That's excellent productivity for the summer!

So by focusing on what I can accomplish on a daily or weekly basis, I am avoiding feeling overwhelmed with all of these long term projects. I'm proud of myself for making it happen and look forward to keeping it up through the upcoming rollercoaster ride that the Fall often is for me. Stress reduction through progress is a wonderful thing!
logisticslad: (nermal)
Last night, I was sitting with the cats when we all heard a loud cat-like yowl from outside. Both cats turned toward the sound, looked at each other, and then Sawyer went to look out the window and appeared to be reporting what was going on to Chester, who took up guard position at the door. How cute is that?

Ouch!

Jul. 21st, 2007 06:12 pm
logisticslad: (wolvie)
I did battle with the jungle growing in the backyard this afternoon. After mowing it into submission, I went to work on the strangling vines and in the process of removing them was stung by a wasp. Ouch! Fortunately, I am not allergic to them, but my wrist did swell up where I was stung. I took an antihistamine and decided that that was enough for today.

I had accidentally broken the cool tumbler with Japanese characters on it that I use as my cats' upstairs water dish, so I stopped by BloodBath&Beyond in order to see if I could find a replacement. Alas, the one they had in the equivalent style was much too small to serve as a water dish. Next stop is Linens&Things. The cats seem to be wondering why I've taken their beloved water away...

Did half an hour on the elliptical at the gym and felt tired but good about it. Then ran some errands with my gym buddy including stopping by Benjamin Moore paints to select a nice royal blue color for the trim in the bathroom (Note that I've been working on this bathroom since I moved in almost 4 years ago, so there is obviously no rush in my mind to complete it - however each step I take toward finishing it feels good to accomplish). I found several possibilities, so I took some paint chips home to see what it will look like under the actual lighting conditions of the bathroom. This may motivate me to finally remove the painter's tape that's been up for over 6 months :-)

On our way through Chestnut Hill, we noticed lots of kids and adults dressed up as wizards and a number of outdoor displays. It looked like everyone was having a lot of fun, so we smiled and waved as we drove by.

My dear friends P&L have loaned me their newly arrived copy of Harry Potter (since they are each in the midst of rereading the series and don't expect to be done htis week). Woo-hoo! I know what I'll be doing tonight!!!
logisticslad: (nermal)
I was wiped out today from the changes in the weather affecting my sinuses. I couldn't concentrate on much at work and so spent most of my day meeting with my staff and students about their work. Then I came home and crashed in front of the TV. I vegged with the latest episodes of SYTYCD and Top Chef and I finished rereading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (I had wanted to see how things had been changed to make the movie, and I must say, I agree with every single departure from the book). My cats have been very snuggly with me tonight (I think that they found an old catnip toy that still had some oomph left in it).

In their honor, I found a new icon. I've named it "Nermal" :-)
logisticslad: (Default)
Yesterday, I noticed that Sawyer's ear was very swollen. The skin on the inner surface bulged out unnaturally. He seemed otherwise fine and was behaving normally, eating, drinking, and purring. I called Penn Vet Emergency and they said that it was likely to be either an infection, a bug bite, or an abcess. In any case, it was not an emergency, so I waited until this morning an took him to my Vet for a look. The Vet diagnosed it as an aural hematoma (broken blood vessel draining into the space bewteen the ear cartilage and the skin), probably due to a wrestling match between Sawyer and Chester. No big deal. After draining it, though, Sawyer's ear became all floppy. Prognosis is uncertain - ear could recover completely or remain floppy permanently. Fluid could return or maybe not. It's possible to have surgery, but the Vet recommends against it as it is purely cosmetic. I would tend to agree. So I am to watch it for the next week and see what happens. Plus, I will give him antibiotics, because there is a risk for an infection that could affect his hearing. Other than protesting during the car ride, Sawyer seemed unconcerned by the whole thing. I had never heard of this particular problem before, and am quite relieved that it wasn't worse.
logisticslad: (Default)
The good news is that despite the surgery being delayed until after 6:00pm (when they told him to be there at 11:00am), Dad came through the procedure okay and is doing well. They replaced his pacemaker and added a defibrillator. The doctor said that everything went smoothly and that he can go home tomorrow!

Whew!

Thanks to everyone for their kind words of support. It helped me get through the day.

PS: There were no unpleasant surprises from Chester when I came home today. We'll see what happens at 3:00 in the morning...

Worried

Apr. 24th, 2007 11:08 am
logisticslad: (Default)
Today my Dad goes to the hospital to have his pacemaker replaced and he will be staying overnight. He says that he is approaching it like going to the dentist and Mom says that she is not particularly concerned and does not need me to wait with her. I often overreact to medical concerns, but I am trying to keep calm about this one. Mom has my cell phone number and will call me if she needs me. I decided that I personally didn't need to be there so I am going to work in hopes of distracting myself.

In order to distract me further, my cat Chester has been throwing up for the last three days. He eats and drinks and seems otherwise fine, so I'm treating it as though it's a hairball and giving him Petromalt (which he seems to enjoy). Hopefully he will pass what ails him, one way or another.
logisticslad: (Default)
I actually took two days off work this week and enjoyed a quick visit from [personal profile] moonpuppy61 (who I blame for bringing the snow on Wednesday on his way down from Boston :-) We went to the Flower Show and enjoyed it immensely. The theme this year was Ireland and my favorite display was the enormous entrance archway and wall covered with flowers. There was a recreation of an Irish cottage. There was a wishing tree and a faerie ring. There was a display of plants arranged to look like celtic knots. There was a cool display about the Alphabet of the Trees used by Druids featuring each symbol and the plant or tree that it represented. I didn't like the "When dinosaurs ruled Ireland" exhibit nor did I like the one with the lawn gnome leprechauns, not the one where everything was pink. We saw some lovely orchids and flower arrangements. I loved the intricate jewelry made from plants. Even though we went in the afternoon during the snowstorm, it was quite crowded and overstimulating. We could not get close enough to see the live Irish dance troupe and that was ok. We took a break and went to Chinatown for dinner and then returned to shop for a hanging plant for my bathroom. I settled on a hybrid fuschia called "Swingtime" that doesn't need much sun or water (so I have a small chance of keeping it alive).

I introduced [personal profile] moonpuppy61 to one of my favorite computer games, Heroes of Might and Magic III, which we played well into the night. Then on Thursday, [profile] puzzld1 brought new baby Eliza over to meet [personal profile] moonpuppy61 and my cats. She has grown even more cute over the last week! Baby Squeee!!! So this delightful break in my routine has finally succeeded in snapping me out of my funk from last week. I was able to go back to work on Friday to be very productive and to arrange the farewell party for my departing employee. I'm now actually looking forward to the start of teaching my class next week.
logisticslad: (Default)
This is the first anniversary of my cat Duncan's passing. I had adopted him from the Morris animal shelter soon after I moved back to Philly in 1996. They told me that he was about a year and a half old and had been left there by former owners who could no longer have cats for some reason. He was a gorgeous grey shorthair with white undermarkings and a grey spot under his chin that gave him a rakish appearance. He was a delicately shaped cat and loved me dearly. He and I were together for 9 years. He liked to keep cool by laying on bathtub tiles and he loved to drink from the faucet in the sink. He enjoyed pointing out bugs for me to deal with. The only human food he liked was boysenberry yogurt. He had a number of odd health issues and survived two operations for skin cancer before ultimately succumbing to kidney failure. I cried a lot that day. I had him cremated and buried his ashes under the lilac in my backyard on Midsummer's Day. He had no particular affinity for the lilac or the outdoors, but it made me feel good. The day that I picked up his remains was the day that I met my new cat Sawyer and 6 monthe later, my cat Chester. Circle of life. I miss my Duncan kitty and honor his memory.
logisticslad: (Default)
My friends P. & L.'s cat Charlie had gone missing three weeks ago and they have just found him in the neighborhood this morning!!! He vanished after having seen that P. was all right after she had come home from her recent surgery. He had recently begun a daily course of insulin injections to treat his diabetes and had been doing well with them, but after he had vanished it was feared that he had gone off in protest or to pass on. But this morning they saw him near the house and he actually ran from them when they went to retrieve him. He holed up in a neighbors garage and they were able to coax him out with crunchy treats. They said that he looked okay and was a bit thinner and very hungry. I could hear him purring over the phone when they called me to share the good news! They said that they had considered my finding a similar looking cat last week to have given them hope that he was still out there. I am so happy for them that their kittybaby is back home!

Almost...

Jan. 13th, 2007 04:26 pm
logisticslad: (Default)
My friends P&L have been looking for their lost cat for a week. On my way to Weaver's Way, I saw a large white and orange cat hiding under a car to stay out of the rain. I stopped and called them and then stayed with the cat until they got to the street that I was on. Unfortunately, it turned out not to be their lost cat :-( but it looked amazingly like him. They both swore that he could have been a sibling, he looked so similar. I was so sad for them. The cat eventually decided that it had better things to do and vanished before we could decide what to do for him. I apologized for having gotten their hopes up, and they assured me that it was ok. I so wish it had been their lost cat.

Productive

Dec. 31st, 2006 05:43 pm
logisticslad: (Default)
I spent today unpacking many of the boxes of books and papers that have been sitting in my library since I moved in. I put up some shelves and tried to sort all my books by category: Texts, F&SF, D&D, Humor, To Be Read, and Erotica (most of these I moved to the bedroom). I went through several boxes of old papers and threw out a lot of old receipts and class notes that I no longer need. I made places for the things that I still want to keep. Then I broke down the empty boxes and moved them downstairs so that I will remember to put them out for recycling. The cats were very interested in all the changes to the room and kept trying to be helpful by sitting on things or investigating boxes to see if I missed anything :-) It felt very liberating to make this a more useable room by making places for the things I still wanted and getting rid of the things I don't.

Tonight I'm having dinner with my foodie friends at Zocalo, a yummy Northern Mexican place in University City. Happy New Year to those who count this day as their new year and to those who simply enjoy the night of revelry!
logisticslad: (Default)
Spent Wed morning at the conference and had to lug my bag to my student's poster since the line to the baggage check was way long. After seeing the state of my luggage, my students offered to take up a collection for me to get a new one. Since I don't travel all that much, it hasn't been a big priority, but I'll put it on the list of things to do once I get promoted. The high point of my morning session was finding my grad school closetmate D at her poster. She and I shared an attic office with a sloped ceiling and just enough room for two desks side by side. We both have many fond memories of that space (each of us having been caught by Security doing things there that we oughtn't :-) It was great to catch up with her a bit. The rest of the day was spent traveling. My plane was delayed in its arrival and then after we were on the plane it was delayed again while they overcame a technical problem about refueling the left tank. We finally arrived in Philly at 6:30 and after rescuing my luggage from baggage claim and my car from longterm parking I arrived home at 8:00. My cats were thrilled to see me! PURRS galore! They both cheek marked my suitcase and then spent hours laying on top of me or beside me and purring their little hearts out. This was a much different reception than when I was away camping last month, although they were still working on integrating with each other then. They seem much more bonded now and that's wonderful! I am filled with Kitty Love!

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