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.