Friday, August 31, 2007

Phoebes update

Cats are so smart. In maybe 1995 Sonny was outside my (then) apartment building and I have no idea what happened but I called him and called him one night and he came dragging himself out of the woods by his front legs. The next morning I took him to a vet who told me he would need about $1500 worth of surgery or I should put him to sleep because he would live in great pain the rest of his life. Unfortuntely at that time my only option was to put him to sleep because I could never afford the other option. Luckily my across the hall neighbor was a vet and I tearfully told her and she grabbed my shoulder and said "Cats have been around for millions of years. Do you really believe this is true? Do you really think any cat thousands of years ago who had this injury would just die?" Thank you Dr. Louise Drane for this bit of wisdom. I allowed Sonny to live under my bed while he healed. I brought him food and water and carried him to a litter box several times a day and now, 11 years later (or maybe 12 or 13) he is 18 years old and not crippled and he has had the best life!

I was worried about bringing Phoebe home. I can and do work from home as much as possible and was prepared to have to carry her around and confine her to a small bathroom to discourage her from jumping and running but Phoebe is much smarter than I am. Phoebe has spent most of her time sleeping in the bedroom. Yes she limps to the litterbox once or twice a day but it's close. I take her a small plate of wet food a few times a day and make sure water is close but she knows what she needs.

Have you ever watched a cat give birth? I have never given birth but have seen videos and heard the descriptions and every woman I know says it is the ultimate most painful experience even though it is worth it. Human women yell, scream, beg for drugs and use foul language at the male who made them pregnant. I have had the honor of watching a cat give birth. Cats purr when they give birth. They have incredible focus and they breathe and they purr to sooth themselves.

Phoebe knows what she needs now and while I was ready to be the ultimate nursemaid 24/7 she only needs me to find her and love on her a few times during the day to remind her how much she is loved.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Phoebe Is Home!!!

I went this afternoon to pick up my little girl and she is now home and sleeping on the living room rug. Her right leg and part of her tummy are shaved so I'm calling her "Gi-Gi" because with her still hairy right foot she looks liked a POODLE! She is not amused by my humor.

With all the chewing off of the splint while she was in the hospital I was worried that maybe Her Majesty's temperament would be lacking but she has been nothing but a sweet loving girl. She has had some (canned) food, and some water. She has hobbled around a bit but seems to know that what she needs to do is be still and sleep. Every time I reach over to stroke her she wakes up long enough to rub her head against my hand and purr for a moment. She is as happy to be home as we are to have her back.

Family once again complete and life is good.

Funny side note - this was not inexpensive surgery. I knew I could handle it but also knew it would have to go on plastic and then an aggressive payoff plan instituted. So I put it on the Discover (low APR now and cash back), got in the truck, and drove home. When I arrived home there was a message blinking on my landline. It was Discover security urgently wanting me to call because there was a fraud alert on my account. I did call and since in the past 4 years I have made only small charges which have been promptly paid off they questioned the vet bill. I assured them it was legitimate. I really hate those calls that try to sign me up for services that I have to pay for but I am really impressed this time. LIttle shout out to Discover.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

We're Missing Our Girl

Sonny hasn't asked to go out. He usually does this 10-20 times per day. Dylan isn't asking for loving. Camille is very quiet when usually she parades around meowing at decible levels that are difficult to deal with. I think we all miss our little girl.

When I called at noon I was told she chewed her splint off overnight. She is not happy and is not cooperating. Still I didn't drive out. Maybe I should have. Tomorrow she will be home and I will kick her furry grey ass if she gets out of line!

I miss my little girl y'all! My little fuzzy grey alarm clock isn't here being a princess and I miss her so much!

I Love Google Earth

I'm not an addict I swear. But when I have 10 or 15 minutes to kill or when I wake up solidly at 3:30 AM it is there for me.

So I guess I have to admit I woke up at 3:30 this morning and 30 minutes of tossing and turning didn't turn it around - miss my little girl so much - so I checked work email and then got on google earth and recaptured my travels. I went to Tokyo and Nikko and London and France and St. Martin Orient Beach, where it is possible to see individual beach lounges set out by the clear blue water. I traveled to Easter Island where you can see everything and Machu Picchu where you can see nothing but trees. I ventured on to County Wexford Ireland where my ancestors originated and marvelled at the sizes of the homes there since I figured they were all moss-covered cottages at least 200 years old. I even ventured to the Google complex and toured it wishing I could be emplyed there.

Sometimes I travel for a minute to China or Pakistan or Glasglow. Always it is an adventure and always I have another location I must add to my "must see before I die" list. I might read a novel set in Guernsey and I can go there on line.

This world is so huge and such an education y'all! Go see it while you can! If I had learned this lesson at 23 and not 42 I would have been an eternal vagabond. If you are younger than me please choose the world before marriage and children. Please. You will be so much more prepared for it when you return and will be able to teach your children so well. If you are older than me chances are you are retired. You have no job and a retirement that is waiting for SOMETHING. GO SEE IT! It is very scary to leave your life - I am scared shitless right now about spending a year in South America - but it's worth every scared part of your being. Just GO! I know I will love it and will probably spend days in bed being depressed and crying missing the house and cats but I swear to you it is worth every emotion to experience it.

JUST DO IT! (You pussy)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Phoebe Out of Surgery

Hey y'all!

This morning I took little Miss Phoebe in for her big knee surgery. I spent the weekend dreading it. I corresponded with sister Page (number 1 vet in the world except for her husband Paul who is a tie for #1). If you live in or near Cleveland Ohio and have a pet look up Burton Vet Clinic. Page suggested a second opinion mainly based on the fact that the Dr. who did the surgery today was not an accredited orthopedic specialist and yet gave me an estimate that was more in line with a specialist. But I really trust these people and frankly I just don't have the time before I leave the country and want to make sure I am here for the majority of her rehab, if not all of it. A second opinion would have meant calls and trips and exams and time so I decided to go with my gut.

I dropped Phoebe off at about 7:45. This morning when the alarm went off I kept pretending to go back to sleep 3 times just so she would feel she had a really important job. She was up for the challenge and got more and more insistent. She was proud and happy. Until I put her in the carrier.

Hard to drop her off. She is strong and independant and scary smart but in the end she's just a little helpless animal who depends on me as much as I depend on her. Dr. Brown called at 1:45 to tell me she was breathing on her own and beginning to wake up. They mended the cruciate ligament (ACL) and removed some torn cartiledge but didn't have to deepen the groove for her kneecap. She's in a splint but he told me I would be amazed at how quickly she is able to get around. I have no doubt.

I will call Wednesday morning to check and make arrangements to pick her up and bring her back home. The 3 older cats are acting very weird - Camille is strangely silent, Dylan seems slightly depressed and Sonny hasn't asked to go out in the backyard even once. Dr. Brown told me I could come visit Phoebe tomorrow if I want but I don't think I will even though I want to. I know if I see her she will expect to go home with me and while I believe animals have souls and feelings I also believe they don't have a frame of reference for the passage of time and so 24 hours recovering from anesthesia will pass like nothing for her.

Once Phoebes is adept at getting around on her crutches I will post photos.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Cat Saga Continues

I never intended this to be a cat blog and I swear it isn't but that seems to be my life lately. If you must know I will be traveling again in September - details not yet worked out - and it is my priority to make sure the cats all have all their shots and thorough checkups before I leave which has put a dent in my pocketbook and frankly been a real pain since none of them cares for vet visits.

So anyway, I told you before about little Phoebe, the 15 month old baby of the family. I love them all so much but Phoebe really has stolen my heart. I've also told you about her waking me up in the middle of the night by tapping my mouth/nose so I will pet her/talk to her/let her under the covers. In the past couple of weeks she has a new trick. I've even tested it to make sure she is really doing it. When my alarm goes off in the morning I usually hit the snooze. Now, when the alarm goes off if I don't get up right away she is on the bed within a minute of the alarm patting my nose to wake me up! It isn't because she wants to be fed because they have a food dispenser and can eat anytime they want. She also doesn't do it on the weekends when the alarm doesn't go off. This is now her job and she takes it very seriously.

I also posted about 3 weeks ago that Phoebe has this strange thing called patellar luxation, which means her right kneecap slides out of the groove it is supposed to ride in. It also slips back in and my hope was that she would grow out of it/learn to adjust. 3 weeks ago Dr. A sent us home with prednisone for the inflammation and told me I would see great improvement in 2 weeks. Wednesday it was 3 weeks and she was still limping and my instinct was there was something in addition to the patellar luxation. I did know that was a true problem because my vet put my hand on her knee and then manipulated it so I could feel it happening. But my baby girl was still gimpy and so I took her back yesterday.

I didn't know if Phoebe had eaten so they had to induce vomiting, which was so hard to deal with as a mommy. Then they gave her anesthesia so they could get an x-ray and while it was developing they brought her back into the exam room where I was waiting. She was totally sedated but awake so her eyes were open and her mouth was slightly open but she was limp. It was so hard. At one point I thought she wasn't breathing and I was about to yell for the doctor when she just barely flicked the end of her tail!

So the thing is, in addition to the knee thing she also has a ruptured cruciate ligament. In humans this is a torn ACL. See I just KNEW there was something else. Always go with your gut instinct.

Phoebe will go in for surgery first thing Monday morning. They will have to drill a hole in her femur or tibia or one of those bones and insert an artificial ligament and tie it to all the other stuff and probably deepen the groove so her kneecap won't pop out. She will have to be in the hospital for 2 nights and I can pick her up Wednesday. So I expect I will oversleep Tuesday and Wednesday since my feline waker-upper won't be around. When she comes home she will have a splint on the leg and will need round the clock care. So lucky I can work from home. Splint off in a week, then gradual rehab. I know I won't fly until at least Sept 15 and my hope is it might be slightly after this so I can make sure she is literally back on all four feet.

This is not going to be cheap but it will be worth every penny to insure she has a good quality of life - and she is very young so she has a long life ahead of her. In fact, I could round-trip all four cats to South America for what this is going to cost. But this is why I keep my credit cards at a minimum of a balance. I once (about 16 years ago) had to have a pet put to sleep because I could not afford a surgery that would keep him alive and I still live with the guilt. Now I take very seriously this responsibility and won't go into it casually. I would love to live in a house where I stumble over cats but it's more important to me to adopt from shelters as I am able to provide a good home and the care that an 18 to 20 year relationship might require.

Vets are highly educated and trained and it ain't cheap. I can walk into a human doctor and describe my symptoms with big graduate school words in detail but vets have to understand a different language or no language at all and when you find one who can and does you have found a true gem. Never ever assume because a doctor administers to animals they should be cheap. When I see an hear about kittens left by dumpsters (2 of my 4 were found this way as 4 and 6 weeks old kittens - barely weaned and one other was just abandoned and found wandering on a highway - my Sonny who has been a joy to me for 16 years)) I get so angry that there are people who allow their pets to procreate. Guess it's mucjh cheaper to dump a litter of kittens than to spay or neuter. I know for every one of my four there are untold thousands and millions of pets who have as much potential as my Phoebe to be smart, funny, beautiful companions. Mine are all unwanted throwaways and I swear you wouldn't find more wonderful loving gorgeous cats anywhere. Love is the secret. Love makes beauty from trash.

Y'all send out good thoughts for my sweet smart little girl. I love her so much. I'll keep you posted!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Another Vet Visit

Late this afternoon it was time to take the final of the four felines in for the annual checkup. This time it was Camille's turn and it was so awful for her she asked me to make sure I wrote about it as terror like that is worth at least a small blog post.

Camille is a very assertive girl. At 5 years old she is the alpha cat in our home and always keeps me apprised of situations that require my intervention. She does this with very loud, drawn-out meows designed to get my full attention. But put her in a carrier and put that carrier in the car and she turns into the biggest sissy wuss there ever was. By the time we drove the mile and a half to Dr. Aponte's office she was being such a drama queen I was in tears because of laughter. Camille was not amused by my amusement.

And then Dr. A quickly got me into hysterics. A routine exam includes taking the animal's temperature which, of course, is done anally. Dr. A likes to talk to the animals and humans while she is examining them (the animals that is) and this is one of the things I like most about her. So she has this thermometer inserted in Camille's asshole and Camille isn't happy about it and Dr. A starts telling Camille that she understands - that "that place" is supposed to be an exit and not an entrance and she will finish as soon as she can so Camille will be happy again. Then Dr. A told me she rarely says this kind of thing in the exam room anymore after one experience. A man has his dog in - a very good dog and a very big, burly masculine man. The dog - um - squeezed up and Dr. A had a hard time getting the thermometer in so she tried to lighten the situation by saying "Yeah, well, this is understandable - it's an exit not an entrance isn't it Rover?" At that point the owner kind of flipped his hair and crossed his arms and did 3 snaps in a "z" formation and said "not always." And Dr. A since then has been very careful about what she says!

I laughed my ass off.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

If You Don't Believe Animals Have Emotions

I saw this one last week and now three people have sent it to me so I need to post it. I am not sure of the story but I think a couple of men rescued an abandoned lion cub and then when he was old enough released him into the wild, where he prospered. One year later they went back to check on him. This is the reunion video. You can see the exact second when the lion recognizes his old friends. Grab a kleenex and never doubt that an animal is capable of every emotion we are capable of. Animals love regardless of color, religion, politics . . . they truly are unconditional love. My cats show it every day - sometimes actively when I scratch and pet them and they lick my hand in thanks and sometimes passively when I nap and they gather around and nest beside me. In the middle of the night many times Phoebe will wake me up by "patting" my nose or mouth because she wants a bit of lovin'. Always I am pissed when this happens but in the end I give in and know it's only because she loves me and insists on me loving her back. Maybe I'm just a total softie - I remember seeing "Born Free" when I was a little girl and it always made me cry. Maybe this is where my love for cats began. I think I want a lion cub.

The Motherload

My on-line guilt shopping of last week began arriving today. I hate those carpeted cat condo things but felt my felines deserved a distraction and so I broke and ordered one from Drs. Foster and Smith - a great company with just the best and friendliest customer service ever! If you have pets you should check them out.

Anyway, the gigantuan house-eating damnable thing came today and I put it together and then rubbed catnip all over it so the little jerks would get the idea and stop playing with THE BOX IT CAME IN for godsakes! I think they like it.
Phoebe and Dylan do an initial inspection:
Dylan takes up residence in the penthouse while Camille grooms on a lower floor and Phoebe watches from the basement:

Phoebers checks out the toy. She likes it.

Phoebe tries to talk Sonny into playing but at 18 Sonny can't be bothered!
Pretty Phoebe in the penthouse! What a sweet girl. Yes she is! I have no earthly idea what she's looking at but think this is a total Cat Fancy magazine pose!

Monday, August 13, 2007

16.5 months to go (give or take but who is counting? ME!)

Rumsfeld? Check!

Rove? Check!

Can I get a RICE?!?!?!

If I can't get a BUSH I NEED A RICE!

If I do indeed end up in South America at least I can say I didn't live in the US for 2 of the final 4 Bush years. When I went to Japan in 2005 he was 1 month elected. I missed the inugural. I missed the pomp and circumstance. And y'all? I didn't understand a WORD of Japanese so any coverage I heard on local radio/TV was just idiotic blither which, in hindsight, prepared me well for coming back to the country where Bush is the decider. Or is it deciderator? Or maybe decideramator? I think during that year my blood pressure was lower than since I was maybe 13. If I could leave now and come back just in time to vote it would suit me fine. This administration has made me want to be as ignorant as it is. Self preservation maybe.

I think W and Paris would have been the perfect match. When I hear news of either it produces the same reaction for me, except that Paris is just a stupid dipshit and W is leader of the free world which is just scary. W needs a little chihuahua and a boob job. I think that's the only thing that stands between "idiot" and "dipshit" at this point.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Miracles Happen - People Are Essentially Good

Today I met Ingrid D. Ingrid is one of those people you hope you will someday meet.

So anyway Miss Jessie has no AC and never ever opens her windows. In Atlanta we have had an almost unprecented wave of heat - 3 days in a row above 100. Today was 107.

I lived in this house 4 years with no AC and it wasn't pleasant but wasn't this bad. Since Wednesday have made a point to get Miss J down here to cool off for an hour or so. Last night I begged her to come stay the night but she is stubborn and refused even after 90 minutes of me strong-arming her. I worried. She is too proud.

This afternoon I was going to call and get her down here for a couple of hours of relief again and I looked out the window and there was a car in front of her house indicating a visitor. I delayed my call. After about 2 hours the car was still there and then my phone rang. It was Miss J asking me to come over because "some people" were "putting fans in."

Ingrid D. had bought two window units from her own pocket and arranged for a fine young man to install them nongratis! These units won't make Miss Jessie's house cool but they will do a great deal to take the edge off the unbearable heat. God will take care of Paul and Ingrid for their kindness. No doubt in my mind. No dount at all.

Ingrid is now my sister and after one meeting I can confirm that we share a common pseudo-mother. I saw Ingrid's boob-sweat on her shirt and she saw mine (although her shirt was far more fashionable). Honestly I haven't felt such heat ever - it was hotter inside than it was outside! Ingrid is the best, most caring person and I love her for her concern - she loves Miss Jessie as much as I do. Tonight we spoke and I told her I insisted on paying for one of those window units. I could never afford to make a difference but two of us together as a team can absorb it and so this for me is a no brainer. I can't do it by myself and Ingrid probably can't but maybe if we combine resources Miss Jessie won't have to worry. My retirement can be damned. This is a good human being we're talking about and she worked hard all her life and she deserves to be taken care of as much as we can.

Y'all please look in on your elderly neighbors and make sure they aren't suffering. If they are please call out to this weird internet world. We can make things happen!

Tonight my love goes to Ingrid and Paul who made this happen for my surrogate momma. I see Miss Jessie's lights are off now so she is sleeping in comfort.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Blew the monthly net worth thing and other things in my feeble overheated brain tonight

As if the recent stock market crap wasn't doing enough of a number on my 401(k) today I felt the need to order almost $200 worth of cat things on the internet. I think this is justifiable in terms of an expense and I plan to fully justify it for all of you in another week or so. Everything was on solid sale plus I did a google for drs foster and smith coupons and got an additional $36 off my order. Not that this is a good reason for spending money. I laugh at ads that prompt one to spend money one wouldn't otherwise spend simply because an item is on sale. If something is half off and I didn't need it in the first place I've wasted money because I was drawn into the sale thing. But I think this expense was entirely justified. Everything I ordered were items that I have felt would be a good investment for more than 2 years and so this wasn't a crazy impulsive thing. More will be revealed as I am able to do so. Also I purchased an electronic Spanish/English English/Spanish translator. Hint effing hint.

It's HOT in Atlanta. Effing HOT y'all. Tuesday I was driving home from the office and got to a stop light on Memorial Drive where there's a Walgreen's on one side and a Re-Max on the other. Both have electronic marquee signs which display specials, sales, and time/temp. Walgreen's told me at 4:15 pm it was 103F. Re-Max told me it was 118F. My home thermometer read 100 by the time I got home. For those of you who are metric this is around 39C. But 118F is 47C. So y'all in Australia and New Zealand and South America who are in your winter and suffering from rain and cold - want to trade places mate/amigo? I think I might actually be getting used to being shut in the AC.

95 year old Miss Jessie next door does not have AC. She also doesn't open her windows, even at night - not ever. I've never seen a window open at her house. She also doesn't close her curtains when the sun pours in. Yesterday I got militant and put on a pot of constant comment tea and put it on ice and cut a lemon and called her and told her to get her skinny old ass down to my house for an hour or so. I didn't have to twist her arm. She took time before she came down to put on her "good" dress with a costume jewelry brooch and earrings. I managed to put on a bra under my slept-in t-shirt. She stayed for an hour. I wish I could convince her to just pack a bag and take my bed and let me stay on the sofa but she won't do it. Miss Jessie laughs a lot although she has little reason to do so. Social Security didn't kick in until she was practically retired. She spent her life raising the children of white people while she was forced to sit at the back of the bus and drink from "colored" water fountains. But she is the happiest, most loving person and she has two favorite sayings. First is "I'm still a-kickin- and I ain't dead yet!" and the second is "Everybody is somebody - don't matter their color." She adores my Mom and Dad and when they visit she has been known to actually put on a wig and a hat along with her good dress and brooch so she can sit and listen to my Dad bullshit for a while. I suspect she has a secret crush on which most women over 75 do. Dad you are a player! Dad and Miss Jessie are made of the same material which I think is why I love her so much. In the past 5 years or so lots of people have started to really try to help her out in a lot of ways and she always tells me she can't understand why people are so good to her and I tell her I don't understand it either since she's always been so damned MEAN to everyone. And then she tells me I should watch out because she'll cut a switch and beat me. At Christmas and her birthday I give her a Kroger gift card because this is what she needs and most appreciates.

Sometimes spending time with Miss Jessie is trying. Over the past couple of years she has gotten stuck on a few things and always has to tell me from the beginning as if I have never heard it before. I am sure in her mind she must believe it is the first time. But Miss Jessie deserves to be heard with attention and patience - no matter what it is she has to tell, and no matter how many times she's told it. My Grandaddy was kind of the same but not really. He was a storyteller and I believe he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he had told the story before at leat 100 times - he just "improved" it every time and every time I heard one of his stories it was new and fresh and the product of a really creative bullshitter who was also really funny. Towards the end, when I would drive through and visit him he would, despite my protests, hand me a $20 bill and a can of pork and beans when I left. He told me it was to ensure I was able to get closer to my Daddy than him when I broke down and I would have something to eat. I would protest the money and finally break down to shut him the hell up. My instructions were to make sure I opened the hood, placed the pork and beans on the chassis and let it cook a few minutes for a nutritious meal.

I miss Grandaddy so much, and I will miss Miss Jessie when she gets tired of it all and gets "called home to glory." I've promised her I will dance on her grave to send her off in style. And then I will try to be at least a part of the fine person she is.

Monday, August 06, 2007


Things happening here but don't want to spill until it's all 100%. Wife Swap is on y'all! Go watch something disgusting that makes you happy for your Hamburger Helper life and I'll get back to you later . . .

Sunday, August 05, 2007


I ended up with yet ANOTHER bad sinus headache last night. My personal policy is that I run the air conditioning only when the temps become intolerable. If I know the outside temp will get to 85 I turn on the AC when it gets to 80 and turn it back off when it gets back down to 80. Most of the summer AC season I can get away with running it for 3-5 hours per day and then opening my windows for fresh air at night but for about the past week here in the ATL that has not been wise or possible. It's HOT y'all! So the AC has run around the clock and my sinuses and psyche have taken a beating. I despise being closed up and shut off from the world and constant AC gives me sinus headaches. I have started using a Netti pot on a daily basis and this helps a lot but still at night I tend to get very headachy and stuffy and when that happens the only cure is to go to bed and sleep it off. Which I did last night, far too early.

As a result of going to bed at about 8 last night I woke up at 4:00 this morning and after fighting my awakeness for about an hour I got up and started doing laundry. I had scrubbed both bathrooms by 6 am. Then I had a totally bitchin' idea!

For a while now I've wanted to get into a small home based crafty kind of side-business to make some extra money so I can afford to stay at my current job and still save as much as possible for retirement and a new bed and some wall paint. Being crafty relaxes me and the idea of using the internet to generate extra income interests me - but only if it's above board and serves a purpose and provides something useful. I think my idea might work. I'm not going to spill more about it until I do a prototype and test it but suffice it to say it will require about $20 - $40 of materials, a sewing machine, a hot glue gun (?), and my guinea pigs (aka the cats) to test but I'm excited about the idea and if I have the energy later I will go out and begin the process of pulling together some test materials.

It's only just now 9 am and I need a nap!

Saturday, August 04, 2007


There hasn't been too much going on around here this week that I felt was post-worthy so I put it off until today. Hmmmm. What to report . . .

Phoebe (baby girl kitten) evidently has a birth defect. She started limping around last Friday night and seemed to be in pain although I couldn't see an injury. Saturday morning I took her to the vet, a sub for my regular vet who was still on maternity leave for 3 more days). He thought she had sprained or strained something and gave her an anti-inflammatory shot and sent us home with pain pills (for her, not me). By Wednesday there had been no improvement so I took her back to see my regular vet. Turns out she has this weird knee defect that Dr. A has never seen in a feline - only in toy dog breeds. The groove in her leg bone that the kneecap slides back and forth in is too shallow to hold the kneecap where it's supposed to stay and so the cap slides out and strains the ligament it's attached to if she moves a certain way. The only way to fix it is via surgery where they go in and literally carve out a deeper groove and then I pay $2500 - $3000. Editorial comment added a few hours later - want to clarify that the previous surgery cost is not a problem. Not that I have this much floating around my checking account but I do have plenty of available credit because I keep my credit debt down for exactly these kinds of situations. Phoebe is only one year old, and I know the personal and spiritual value of a companion animal so $3000 is a very small investment in another 15 or 20 years of unconditional love and at least a few laughs every day and a warm, purring, happy body beside me while I sleep. Good God. It cost me about $28,000 to get rid of a husband after 2 years of emotional abuse! Husband = not worth it. Cat = very much worth it. I love my vet because she is fairly conservative when it comes to surgery on animals. Her philosophy, which matches mine, is that these species survived thousands and millions of years in the wild with no medicine and learned to adapt to physical challenges. She suggested that we let Phoebe heal and watch her and if it gets to the point where I'm in once a month for injections and pain meds it will be time to take the next step. Sister Page and her husband Paul (Super Vets) are on vacation but I'll get their take on this when they get back. In the meantime Phoebe is still limping but she seems to be taking it in stride:
Working Out
The other thing is that I've managed to get on the treadmill every day this week and according to my Polar Heartrate Monitor I've burned about 400 calories per session. What happened was I sat down and figured that if I can lose an average of 2 pounds per week by January 1 2008 I will have hit my goal. So I went at it. My goal is to work up to burning at least 3500 calories per week (=1 pound) and really watch my food portions. The result, with 2 days on the week to go, is that I've lost 3 pounds!!! On the one hand it's such a tiny drop in the bucket it's hardly worth mentioning but on the other hand I think it's a fairly awesome beginning.

Clothing, or Lack Thereof
I think I did let the 3 pounds go to my head a bit and so I decided to go out today and shop for clothing. I have a clothing problem. I don't have any. In fact, in the past year I have spent $30 on clothing. I bought a pair of men's cargo shorts at Target for $15 and I bought a pair of cheap $15 work boots at Target for the sole purpose of working in the jungle that is my backyard. Everything else I wear I've had for at least 3-7 years and that isn't much because as things become unwearable I toss them and don't replace. So I went to Macy's today and let me tell you I wasn't ready to shop. Everything I tried on was simply fabric covering my body. I need to wait at least a couple of months and keep up the working out before I think things looks halfway decent on me. And at this point I'm just not going to spend money on anything I don't at least feel some fondness for.

I suppose that's it for now although I'm sure I'll have more before the weekend is up. It's almost 100 today y'all! Hope wherever you are you are cool (or warm for my friends in the southern hemisphere).