Update on Methos

I’m just going to copy and paste the update I put on FB.  This weekend has been exhausting and I am going to give the cat his meds and go to bed.

Yesterday was a long and exhausting day, and the outcome was not as positive as I was hoping. My beloved boycat Methos has an enlarged heart and fluid in his chest; essentially he is in early congestive heart failure, resulting froma  condition called HCM. They put him in an oxygen tent to help him breathe better and wanted to keep him overnight, but ( I will be completely frank because I know no other way) we could not afford the $1000 deposit, so they gave him more oxygen and because his distress is only mild right now, they gave him lasix to help get rid of the fluid on his chest and they allowed us to take him home. I asked the vet repeatedly because I wanted to be perfectly clear, if there is a chance that medication could manage the condition but to find out we need the echo of his heart to find out what kinds of meds would benefit him most. I want to give him this chance. IMG_4304.JPG I will call first thing tomorrow morning to set up a echo before we make a final decision. Thanks to everyone who has commented, contributed or shared our GoFundMe. If you can help, even a tiny bit, we appreciate it more than you know; if you can’t, do me a small favor and share this post. Right now I’m beyond pride; I just want to save my daughter’s best furry friend.

The Dog and I Tackle “Big” Issues

Dog, we need to talk…

I know what you’re thinking.  We talk all the time.  I talk, you talk, mostly neither of us listen.

But this is serious.

I know, we talk about serious stuff all the time… politics, religion, sexuality, human rights,  and refugees…well, I talk, and you lick yourself, or whatever.

…which in this case lends itself quite nicely to our discussion.  The little struggles in life.  They are little, but they are important.

We don’t talk about this stuff.  It’s not always pretty, but these things need to be talked about, dragged out in the light, kicking and screaming, if necessary, so people understand they don’t need to feel ashamed.


Not nice?  Like... no walkies??  Or belly scratchin's?

Um. . . I have no idea what…

Well, for example, the struggle of finding just the right position to sleep in when all of a sudden the hair between your buttcheeks starts poking you…  What do you do?  You want to scratch the itch, but you don’t want to touch your buttcrack…

Marriage licenses-es?  What's that?  It sounds tasty.

Oh, ha!, that’s easy! I have tons of hair on my butt. I just lick it until it’s flat.

Buddy, even if I wanted to do that I couldn’t.  Us humans aren’t as flexible as you dogs are.  But if we were able to reach our heads down there, I still wouldn’t because… ugh, no.  Just, no.

Geez...fiiiine. You don't have to be all testy about it.

Prude… Fine, what’s next?

Well, like this morning, I was trying to sleep and the cat had worked his way under the covers…


Oh! Well, there’s your problem right ther-

No, I’m not finished.  He sleeps under there a lot…


Yeeeah…we need to talk about that. You never let me on the bed, let alone under the covers.

Stay on topic, dog, we’re not talking about you.  Anyway, for some reason the cat kept wanting to groom me.  He’d lick my hand and I’d kinda push him away.


Well, that doesn't sound good.  No walkies...

Go on…

Geez, this is sort of weird…


. . .um

Hey, you started this…

Well, I rolled over on my side and was just falling asleep when he started licking my nipple…


Aw! What?! That’s gross! You let the cat-

I didn’t let him! It woke me right back up and I tossed his furry little butt out of bed!

Geez...fiiiine. You don't have to be all testy about it.

Serves you right. *I’d* never lick your nipple…

Uggh…  You know what?  I think we’ve talked enough for today.  Too much reality and truth can be… too much.

Happy Thanksgiving, Dog.  I love you.

Sugar Skull Salt and Pepper Shaker

Sugar Skull designs have actually become somewhat popular in American culture, often as clothing designs, artistic renderings, or even tattoo designs.  I am drawn to them personally for their juxtoposition of beauty with the seemingly macabre.  But sugar skulls are more than just a pretty knick-knacks to culturally reappropriate for cool tattoos and t-shirt. They are part of the traditional Mexican holiday celebration for Dia de [los] Muerta, (many cultures around the world have similar holidays to remember and honor the dead) and are part of a longstanding and wide spread celebration and remebrance of the dead.  Far from being a sad or somber day, Dia de Muerta is a festive occasion, and sugar skulls are created with specific deceased relatives or friends in mind, often even inscribed with their names, and then placed on the gravestone in the hopes that it might encourage the deceased to appear.

The other day a friend of my posted a picture on FB of some pretty sugar skull cat figurines and I thought, I must have those.  So I followed a link and found them on Etsy. And then I saw how much they cost, presumably because they were hand-painted, and I thought, well, shit, I can do that.  So I rehabbed my gramma’s old siamese cat salt and pepper shakers.  Additionally, I decided to make one of them specifically in honor of my departed Neeners.  (Neeners has been a bit of a hot topic around here this week.  My daughter saw a photo of Neeners on the refrigerator the other day and told me she “wanted Neeners,” and I had to explain to her that Neeners had already died quite a while ago, when Darling Daughter was still a baby.  The news did not go over well, and to tell you the truth, by the time I was done trying to comfort her, I was practically ready to cry myself…)

Anyway, the original shakers had a bit of gloss to them, so the acrylic paint I used kept wanting to peel off if I touched it the wrong way, but hopefully the coats of spray finish I put on it help with that. They aren’t quite as detailed as the ones I saw on my friend’s post, but I’m pretty proud of them for my first go around.  I think I’ll be on the lookout for all sorts of flea market cast-off to rehab now!






Please Don’t Declaw!

I came across a comment on a friend’s post today from a girl who “wished her cat was declawed.”  I tried to nicely explain why she should not wish that.  I figured maybe she honestly didn’t know.

I have a neighbor who insists on declawing her beautiful white kitten.  I tried to reason with her, inform her.  She still insists.  Now I just want to smack her.  The argument “They are fine once they heal” holds NO water.

I know there are some people who swear that declawing doesn’t hurt the cat, but a human can have limbs amputated and be “fine,” too. It doesn’t mean they would want to! And that’s basically what declawing is to a cat.



My cats tore up my couch too, but that was partly my fault for not providing them with their own vertical scratching surfaces. Besides, I guess it is a sacrifice we make when we decide to share our homes with an animal.


As I learn more about my chosen trade, which is dog training, I have become even more aware of just how selfish some humans have become about their pets.  We sometimes treat them more like accessories than the animals they are.  We expect them to adjust to our lifestyles withe little or no training.  We anthropomorphise them, pushing our ideas and values onto them.  We neglect their basic drives and needs (usually more out of ignorance than malice.)  Scratching is normal cat behavior.

One of my cats came to me already declawed and I am still angry sometimes about what her previous owners did to her.  Her paws are sensitive.  She has litterbox issues, (which has been correlated to declawing.)  Declawing is illegal in a lot of places, but I have been heard before that some vets still perform the procedure simply to pacify the owner and (hopefully) keep another cat out of the shelter for what is essentially a non-reason.

So for anyone who is considering declawing their cat, I beg of you , please do some research and reconsider.  Especially now, there are other, more humane options (nail caps, for one.) If your furniture is more valuable to you than your pet, maybe you should reconsider whether sharing your home with an animal is what you really want.

Below (and within the article) are some links to more information about declawing.






As promised…

Okay, I gotta be quick; my friend is graciously allowing me to use her phone as a hotspot. As promised, I saved up some blog posts for you on my hard drive and am uploading them now. Here is the first, and it is about none other than my dopey boy cat Methos. No time to link. If you’re curious, just type his name into the search bar on my blog. He is featured regularly.

Orig date:11/10/14
Clearly, my mother was right, and I have no fucking common sense. (Don’t tell her I said that.)
The cats have fleas– big, ugly, brown, hoppy bastards! We got some of that Hartz stuff and put it on their necks. (One of my vet tech friends told me I might as well have spit on them.) Maybe it’s worked some…maybe…but not fast enough. The cats (especially Methos–) have been driving me batshit with their scratching and biting and flaking bits of scabs and flea junk all over the place. Hubby and I are getting bitten. Darling Daughter prob is too, but she’s too happy being four to notice or care.
So yesterday my friend told me to salt the carpets and vacuum after 12-24 hours and she also gave me the [dubious] advice to bathe the cats in Original Dawn. Now, some of my more regular readers may already be shaking their heads and chuckling. They are no doubt recalling what I myself managed to forget (it was probably a defense mechanism,) and that is the traumatic event that was the last time I attempted to bathe Methos.
Don’t get me wrong; I knew it would be brutal. I even bought a pair of rubber dish gloves in preparation, a lame attempt to protect mine or my husband’s hands, (whoever was unlucky enough to have to hold him in the water,) until the fleas try to jump ship, so to speak.
Supposedly animals have three responses to fear; flight, fight, or freeze. With Methos, it’s fight and flight, and fuck up anyone in the way. He seemed to believe, despite our having taken loving care of him for almost eight years, that we intended to drown him– either that, or the water was lava.
Hubby had the gloves, (Methos still bit the shit out of him) and I ended up bleeding. DD wasn’t hurt at all but she still ended up screaming, in sympathy I guess, (sympathy with us or the cats, I don’t know.) I don’t think anything but his legs and tail even got wet. We chucked him in the cat room and shut the door, leaving him to recover emotionally.
Chloe was easier. She chose freeze (and cry.) Still, her undercoat never got wet. There was not a single flea in the water from either cat, but both were wet and upset, and we decided to just take the flea comb to them to see what we’d come up with.
As you may have guessed, the cats still have fleas.

Puppy…er, Kitty Pile

My best friend’s cat got pregnant before she could get her altered.

Er, her cat(s), I should say…

The big, mainly white Calico is the mama of the kittens.  She also happens to be the mama of the other Calico, who, in case you can’t tell, is majorly pregnant.  Tonight, while Mama was nursing her kittens, her pregnant daughter also seemed to want to be as close as possible.   At one time, it even looked like she tried to nurse too!   She also seemed to be very concerned whenever the kittens (her half siblings?) cried.  I can’t say I have a HUGE amount of experience with pregnant kitties, but I have seen my share of young kittens nursing.  Yet I have never seen anything like this.  The younger Calico is normally very shy of people, but tonight, she not only stuck close to her mother and the kittens (even allowing them to attempt to nurse from her) but she also allowed us to pet and handle her.

photo: Cynthia Gemmill

photo: Cynthia Gemmill

Insomnia: The Middle of the Night

Believe it or not, my fellow insomniacs, there is actually an established form of insomnia specifically where you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t return to sleep (as opposed to those that have trouble initially falling asleep.)  It even has it’s own acronym; MOTN.  And that’s kind of what I’ve been dealing with for the past few weeks.  I have written before about my sleep troubles, but it seems as if they’ve morphed a bit from sleep latency issues, to this troublesome middle-of-the-night shit.  This problem is made even more difficult due to my family’s current sleeping arrangements–

Hubby has back issues and has been finding the bed increasingly uncomfortable, so he sleeps on the couch most night.  Three and a half year old J has been taking to invading my bed at least half of every night.  Even if she falls asleep in her bed, when she wakes up in the middle of the night, she calls for me, and I am too tired to argue when she climbs in my bed.  I often spend half the night nudging her back to “her” side as she encroaches on my space with an elbow or tries to steal my pillow.  When I do wake too early, I hesitate to just get up and go out in the living room because hubby is asleep out there, so I just toss and turn in bed until I either fall back asleep, or get pissed and take a hot bath.

But I can’t blame it all on the family. No, not at all.  I have sinus problems; spend a lot of time forcefully blowing my nose.  I have IC (what I half-jokingly refer to as “hamster bladder,” although it’s not really that funny.)  I have OCD and anxiety issues.  Often now, when I wake up, if I am awake too long I become hungry.  If I eat, the next time I wake up I am ravenous.  Basically my sleep is shit, and I have developed some pretty questionable methods for trying to capture the elusive dragon’s tail of sleep– Namely drugging myself with anti-histamines (I tell myself it’s for my allergies and sinus issues) and the occasion Ambien prescription (which sometimes ends poorly.)

Lately, I decided to give melatonin another go, and I can almost believe the dissolvable kind I got helps me fall asleep a little faster.  But at least three nights a week I am still waking in the middle of the night, sometimes for as long as two or three hours.

So 5 am this morning, I finally just got up and asked hubby to relocate, and I did some yoga and dicked around on the computer, which brings me to now.  I looked up a bit about MOTN insomnia and read up on few ideas to try and help myself out.  Now I share them with you, faithful reader, in the hopes that you may benefit from them as well.

Some science shows that cognitive behavioral therapy may help with sleep issues.

Some of the main tenants of CBT for insomnia involve such things as:

1) Sleep Restriction–  In my case, this may involve not going to bed so early, but can also include cutting any daytime naps (which I am no longer ever lucky enough to get anyhow.)

2) Stimulus Control– This encompasses things like not staying in bed to toss and turn when you can’t sleep, since this can build unpleasant and sleep-hindering associations with your bedroom.  Basically, you want to restrict your bedroom activities to only relaxing thing.  Avoid watching TV or working in the bedroom, and use your bed for only sleep and sex.

3) Sleep Hygiene— You may have heard this term and not really understood what it means.  Basically, it means just establishing good habits in relation to sleep, to promote better sleep.  This includes things like restricting caffeine and alcohol consumption before bed.  (Although alcohol may seem to help you fall asleep, it has been shown to disrupt the sleep cycle.)  Also, avoiding clock-watching and sleeping in a cool, dark room can help.


Lastly, I thought it might still be helpful to figure out some techniques to help people like myself relax enough to sleep, as anxiety or an overactive brain is often a big portion of my problem.

There are two main reasons why relaxation techniques are useful for inducing sleep. First, a relaxed body is prepared for sleep; and second, when you focus your attention inward on a specific routine, you are less likely to think about outside stimuli or thoughts that would hinder the sleeping process. (source)

One such technique is called Progressive relaxation, and involves following a series of steps encouraging active body awareness and relaxation (which you can pretape and then play back to yourself, if so desired.)  *see detailed example

A second, simpler technique involves simply alternately tensing and relaxing your toes, allowing them to draw tension from your body.

A few other tips for promoting a better night’s sleep are as follows:

1) Keep a regular sleep schedule– set a regular bedtime and wake up the same time every day.

2) Increase your light exposure during the day, especially natural sunlight, or a light therapy box, if necessary.

3) Likewise, boost your melatonin production at night by avoiding bright light sources, even such as a computer or backlit device like an Ipod, too close to bedtime.

4) Create a relaxing bedtime routine for yourself.

5) Eat right and get regular exercise



Well, that’s it for today, folks.  Follow the source links for more detailed info and additional ideas, and also feel free to comment telling us your techniques and experiences.

I would tell you all that I hope you sleep like a baby, but babies often toss and turn and cry and pee themselves, so…

I hope you sleep like a cat.

CAT1s (5) CAT2 CAT3 cat4(5) cat5 sleep06


The Methos Chronicles: Episode [Nonoxynol] 9

I think I may have stumbled upon something here, folks.  An idea with real potential here:

A method of birth control more natural than pills, more reliable than “natural family planning…”   And the only thing you have to do is remember to feed it and scoop its litter.  Yes, I’m talking about my cat of course.  But seriously, for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, let me introduce Methos:


He’s lovable, he’s large, he’s dopey…he likes to wear shoes (sometimes on his face)

And he has no qualms whatsoever about making himself comfortable in the bed (or on the couch) while hubby and I have sex.  The other night, I practically used him as a pillow, since he didn’t feel inclined to move.  But at least he wasn’t staring right at us this time.   That can get pretty damn awkward.  It’s like I can hear him thinking (perhaps in a British accent), Ugh, they’re at it again.  They’re worse than animals… that’s fucking disgusting…   Except, as I said, he can’t be bothered to get up and leave.  But we’ve adjusted to it.  Mostly we ignore him, and sometimes we kick him off the bed if we find him too distracting.

But there was this one time he happened to on the bed and there was a contraception… mishap.

Women who have experimented with different types of contraception may be familiar with a spermicide foam sold in a pressurized can with applicators.  So, for those needing it spelled out, the applicator can be filled quickly and with little preparation, by applying it to the top of the pressurized can and release it when you see the applicator is full.  Voila!  You’re ready for safe* sex.

*this foam is for prevention of pregnancy only, and does not protect against HIV or sexually transmitted diseases*

*this foam is for prevention of pregnancy only, and does not protect against HIV or sexually transmitted diseases*

I don’t know where on the bed the cat was; I wasn’t really paying much attention to him.  Hubby and I were getting busy, and one of us was attempting to fill the applicator.   It wasn’t anything new, except this time, we held the applicator to the nozzle a bit too long.  Suddenly, the pressure from the can became too much.  The plunger rocketed out of the top of the tube in a plume of contraceptive foam and bounced off the ceiling.

It was a mess.  There was foam on us, foam on the bed, foam on the ceiling…   But we’re all adults here.  We know sex in real life is often not as sexy and graceful as Hollywood makes it look.  I don’t think that alone would have derailed us for long.  When I really lost it was when I looked over to see Methos, still sitting placidly on the comforter, a look of calm confusion on his face, and contraceptive foam dripping off his head.
Needless to say, it took a little work to get back in the mood after that, but the comedic value was priceless.