Wednesday, August 01, 2007

What a Week...

and it's only Wednesday.
No pics - there's nothing to show unless you're a vet and into dog vomit and poo. But it's been a wild, wild few days.
The grumpy old lady cat had been declining for a long time and late last week we'd decided to make The Big Choice. While we were in debate, the dog got sick - this is not uncommon - he tends to eat non-food items and then become ill for a few days. Meanwhile, the cat was getting worse. So I was dividing my time between dog poo and cat pee from Thursday evening on. No biggie - it's part and parcel of the pet thing, and we were on the fence about the cat at that point so cleaning up after her, while frustrating, was not horrible. Until it got to be 2-3 times a day. And on the second floor, and spilling over onto the first floor. Onto furniture. And my kitchen floor. And bucket-loads. All while the dog stood by regularly asking to go out so he could poo amazing and uncomfortable looking things, and I threw Kaopectate at him by the bucketload. Friday night I began to get restless. By Saturday the smell of bleach was embedded in my nostrils. By Sunday afternoon I was on the edge of sanity. Monday was not a pleasant day. Monday afternoon had me twitching.
By Monday evening we'd decided that 18 people-years old and diabetic and kidney failure is not compatible with humane existance for a cat, and the right decision would be to assist her to a comfortable end. Before I could make The Call, the dog - who'd been looking much improved - decided that we were paying entirely too much attention to the cat. So late Monday night he developed all the symptoms of bloat. Anyone out there with a big dog has probably heard of this malady. It's not pretty, and it's fast and it's dangerous - gastric tortion is the second leading killer of dogs in general. Owen is a great candidate for it because he wolfs his food and is a deep-chested breed, and tends to be a bit fearful and stressed out in general. We've worried about it on and off forever. So when he started throwing up and whining and pacing and whining more and panting excessively, well, I assumed I'd be having a double funeral. We raced to the local vet emergency clinic at 10pm - and by the way, I now love these people beyond measure. We left Tuesday at about 12:05am, with one non-bloated attention-seeker with neatly trimmed nails - thank you nice techs!! - and a credit card slip. We came home to more cat puddles. By 1:30am we were finally in bed, and at 2am I heard...chickens. Loud, loud chickens. Screaming, freaking, blood-curdling "I AM DYING!!!" chickens. I grabbed the first garment I could, chucked on the first footwear I found, and grabbed Mr. Wonderful's trusty flashlight.
So here's the image - it's 2am. There's a big, bright full moon (so really, this all makes sense), and I am heading toward the chicken house at top speed in a non-existant fifteen year old cotton nightie that barely clears bits I'd rather were kept under cover, heavy winter boots, brandishing a flashlight and yelling at the top of my lungs "YOU BETTER BE GONE BY THE TIME I GET UP THERE YOU (explitive deleted to protect the innocent)" I hear rustling and point the flashlight in the direction of the sound. There escaping under the aviary netting of my hen yard is a ring-tailed (another explitive deleted...). RACCOON. IN MY HEN YARD! And IN the hen HOUSE. Miserable stinking animal. Last week it was a coyote, bold as brass, standing in the yarn calmly munching a hen he'd just bagged, in broad daylight. Now it's sneaky theifs in the night, miserable ring-tailed monster with dastardly agile hands. The chickens were all well, and those he'd managed to chase out of the house were returned to safety - none deceased. One was missing about every feather she ever had. The rooster was afraid of his own shadow, and one little bantam hen, who's about 8 years old, just sat and stared straight ahead and twitched from time to time. The door was blocked with concrete blocks and I returned to bed.
After 4 hours of sleep, I got up, made Mr. Wonderful's lunch, called the vet, and took the cat for her last ride.

I could really use a nap. And some knitting. I am done the heck in!

But - fun news! - Girl won tickets for Mr Wonderful to see Toby Keith in Connecticut, and feeling flush from the joy of winning, Mr. Wonderful decided to take me to see Brad Paisley in Maine. And Girl's grades came. Her GPA for last semester is...well, maybe she'd be upset if I said the actual. But I have to say something, I am a MOTHER. Her GPA is..."above average". threeVERYpointCOOLsevenfour. So things are looking up around here, as long as you're not a cat over the age of 17, a dog who eats too fast, or covered in feathers.


Elaine T. said...

So sorry to hear about your cat. I had to have my male cat put down a couple of weeks ago and it was so hard. I didn't know he was even sick, but he got a blood clot that cut off his circulation to his legs. The vet said he had a heart murmur and heart disease and there was really nothing they could do. I took him to the emergency vet hospital in So. Deerfield. Is that where you went also? At least your dog will be around to torture you some more!

MelissaKnits said...

Yes! The new clinic in South Deerfield, across from Channing Bete. I am really really glad that there's something closer than Boston Road. And they were SO good with him and with us.

I am sorry about your cat. It's always hard, no matter the circumstances!

Yarnhog said...

As soon as I stop laughing hysterically I will express my grave sympathy for your ongoing animal disasters. I am sorry about your cat, but you made the right choice. As for Girl, please pass on my congratulations!

Gammy aka Peggy said...

HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love it!!!!! Sorry for all your stresses but it certainly makes for interesting and humorous reading!!!! Thanks, I needed that.

Melissa said...

So sorry about the animal circumstances, but girl's grades are super awesome! Hurray!

ecoknitter said...

Very sorry about your cat; I had to make that decision about two elderly cats (my "babies"!) over the past couple of years. Best of luck with the dog and the chickens....

I do have a knitting question, however off topic: Did your Sweetpea Socks require an entire skein of Anne? I'm planning on substituting Shepherd, although there's somewhat less yardage. Any thoughts? Thanks.

Katy said...

Ack! I thought I was having a bad week. Sorry to hear about your beastie. Lucy and Lily send their sympathies.

MelissaKnits said...

ecoknitter - the socks I made would fit a woman who wears a US 6 shoe. I have a ton left over. I could make kid socks, I'd bet. I'd assume yardage amounts similar to any typical pair of women's socks - if you've got smaller or larger feet, assume accordingly!

OK, truthfully, I laughed myself, but not till Wednesday morning.

I also cannot believe that Mr. Wonderful and I are sharing such intimate discussions about dog poo.

MelissaKnits said...

And knitting questions? Around here, NEVER off topic! Well, unless I am like standing over the deth-bed of a relative, and even then - when my mother had her heart attack, I was discussing knitting over her with her nurse, who's a knitter.

Persnickety Knitter said...

Wow. Big bummer about your cat & dog. I had been thinking of changing my mind and getting a dog, but that story just changed my mind back.

Congrats to Girl.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about Killer Kitty. I liked her. And I'm glad Stupid is okay and doing well.
As for Girl, woot woot! Wish I could do that good.

Miss Tray-Tray

MelissaKnits said...

Ok, Tray, here's the big secret to Meg's success - if you think you're ready - and I believe you too could climb to such heights if you applied this philosophy:

1.) study.
2.) work.
3.) um. party a bit less, perhaps...

Kathy said...

What a week! Sorry about the cat and Boo. Hope he's feeling better.

I am not much of a chicken person, but I do feel for them - they sound so traumatized!

ecoknitter said...

Thanks for the sock input! I agree, knitting is never really off topic ... but then, where I work, poo is never off topic (really!).

MelissaKnits said...

Oh, I believe it! Before I did this (whatever this is) I was a nurse. Poo formed a major part of my day, every day.

sophanne said...

Found your blog through yarnhog- what a post to read as my first- made the two baby bunnies (one alive and one dead) that Cat brought in and this morning's hummingbird (that stayed outside) seem like a walk in the park!

sorry about Cat. I just lost Sophie-cat to a respiratory illness-husband said his deceased brother must have wanted a cat.

MelissaKnits said...

Anyone who wants a cat should go get a used model. Hannah was 9 when we got her, adopted from a local shelter, the "victim of a broken home", and unlikely to be adopted due to her age. Intended to be Girl's cat, she made her preference for Mr Wonderful known about 24 hours into her life with us. 8 years of unconditional bitchiness followed, and I loved her for that. I am not a cat fan, but she was cool. Killer Kitty, as Tracy said, an attack cat with more attitude than allowed by law. Mel, Girl's cat, was also a used model - 3 years old, and found outside. I highly recommend used cats. They're nothing but grateful.

mary alice said...

So, I didn't say more important, I said crochet!

Blogging? Knitting? Free time?? Huum. I was going to post this on Katy's blog but it occurred to me you'd never see it! So I puruse blogs and lurke at work thereby creating free time- haha ;~>!!!

Breaks over- bye!

Traci said...

I'd like to just comment that Melissa Morgan Oakes is the best person in the world, a champion knitter, and very lovely indeed.

In other news, my modified-for-weird-yarn Sahara sleeve is Perfect! thanks so much!!!

MelissaKnits said...

all I did was some math, i swear. No big deal.

But flattery will get you everywhere....

Ferdinand The Morbid and Poetic Stalker Bat said...

Ah the trials of pet ownership. Many were the times I would hover amongst the beams of your docile domicile and watch the sprightly figure of your feline friend disfigure the hand of your spouse. Indeed it was difficult to maintain my perch (for keeping inconspicuous whilst chuckling to oneself is quite a challenge). But alas, all good things must end. But perhaps, this could induce you to make way for another homeless animal?
And now, if you’ll allow me, a brief tribute to that excellent cat:

There’s an absence on the table
By my pillow
On my chair
There’s a definite lack of energy
Which used to curl up there

The friendly little purr
The not so friendly claw
There was a time not long ago
When both of these were law

We brought her home
From behind bars
She was full of scars

She had an understanding
Far deeper than our own
About what it’s like
To be left behind
Her only crime
Was being grown

Her cool yellow eyes grew warmer
And she let us know only as she could
That even through her trials
This old cat was still good
She was a true companion
An ever lasting friend
A kitten and a cuddler
Thanks to God she was happy
When she reached her end

There’s an absence on the table
By my pillow
In my chair
But this house is all the brighter
With the knowledge it once was there