Friday, October 28, 2005

More Stuff Jimmy Doohan Didn't Live to See

Sulu is gay.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

As Previously Promised ...

... pictures of Emma's playhouse, Mark II. The spiral staircase is now a non-functioning, Winchester Mystery House sort of feature; a window has been opened out into a door, and she has a deck.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Magic Should Be Shared

And so our Twig is off for other faires. And they seem to appreciate her there too. This makes me happy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Truly Sad ...

... that James Doohan didn't live to see this.

Monday, October 17, 2005


Last Wednesday, on the day Rambis died, my in-laws arrived for a visit from California. They drove; I think Shirley prefers to fly, but I also think John prefers being able to drive home whenever the mood strikes him.

Kristi apparently thinks so too, since every time John visits, Kristi encourages him to undertake a project so he won't pick up and leave immediately. One year he leveled our kitchen floor. Last year, he and Kristi's brother-in-law Augie both came, and the result was Emma's playhouse -- seen here before it was painted white and gray to match our house.

This year, John's project was a remodel of the playhouse: covering over the spiral-stairway entrance in the floor, adding a door and a deck and an outside staircase. Since Augie wisely didn't come this time, I spent the weekend being John's crew.

There are a number of downsides to working with/for John. For one thing, he shares Kristi's misconception that I can read minds. Example: we discussed the appropriate size of the door, and settled on 62"x23". I repeated these dimensions to him several times to make sure we both knew what I was doing; then I went off to the garage to build the door. When I returned, he'd opened up a hole for a 64" door. Somewhere along the line he'd changed his mind, and assumed that I would somehow sense it and adjust accordingly.

Another issue with working for John is that he's basically tireless. The womenfolk all went out for a day-long shopping trip on Saturday, and John had no desire to stop for lunch. At about 4:00 he let me make a beer run, but three beers each was our total nutritional intake until it got too dark to work. We'd have probably done the same on Sunday, had Kristi not insisted that we had to do something as a family (a trip to Stillwater to visit a pumpkin patch, which might get blogged later, or might not).

A third downside is that after a couple of days, my hands start looking like his hands. I've got various scrapes and a couple of really attractive blood blisters; on a couple of occasions I was afraid I'd broken a finger, but I lucked out.

On the upside, however, I was kept so busy that I couldn't dwell on Rambis. It didn't stop me thinking about her, but it did keep me from wallowing. Non-wallowing is good. Remodeled playhouse pictures will be posted in a day or two.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Rambis: 1989-2005

She had a purr you could hear two rooms away. She never, ever met a person she didn't like. Through thick and thin, she was, by any standard, the best of cats.

I spoke with Ram's vet today, after she had consulted with their radiologist. Basically, they felt her cancer was inoperable, in the sense that any surgery that left her with any bladder and ureter would be almost certain to miss some of it. It wouldn't have mattered; both Kristi and I agreed today that there was no way she could have survived anesthesia, chemo or radiation. She was unable to walk and had pretty much given up trying; nor was she eating or drinking. So I made the decision for both of us.

The vet came to the house at 4:00 this afternoon. Everyone had time to say their goodbyes. I held Ram in my arms as the vet put her to sleep, and long after. Kristi dug a grave for her, in a favorite sunny spot along the south (back) foundation, between a peony and a young lilac. The lilac will someday shade the spot, but by then she'll be one with it, and it won't matter. In the meantime, I'm certain there's no place she'd have preferred to rest.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Bladder Cancer

The vet recommended taking her to the U of M veterinary school. But she also said (and everything I've read online confirms) that surgery often doesn't get it all. It's a particularly aggressive cancer. There's chemo or radiation, but at her age, I suspect it would just be increasing her misery, not mitigating it.

Meanwhile, she's increasingly unsteady on her feet, still not eating, barely touching water.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Sorry For The Non-Posting

Like you care.

Between work, Worth, my mom's visit, a busy week for Kristi (worked 8 of the last 10 days), an impending visit from Kristi's folks, and a very ill cat, blogging hasn't seemed all that terribly important.

We have managed to have a little fun, though. Kristi and I saw "Serenity" Saturday night. As much fun as I've had at a movie since, gosh, when? I don't know. Intelligent, funny, action-packed, exciting -- couldn't really ask for much more for my money. (Kristi liked it too.) And best of all, it took my mind completely off of my other troubles -- which is quite a feat.

Rambis is failing on us. We're not sure why, despite several hundreds of dollars of vet bills. She's more or less stopped eating and defecating, drinks very little, has limited bladder control, and is moving even worse than she has been (which hasn't been good). Tumors? General organ failure? We don't know. I'm spending as much time with her as I can, but with Kristi working so much, Emma has been demanding a lot of my time this last week.

Ram is 16. That's getting up there for a cat, and she's been overweight for so long that it's probably taken a year or two off of her life. But she's been happy, and up until now, healthy, for all of those years. She's had a full life for any cat: pedigreed island kitten, apartment cat, outdoor bunny-killing mouser, urban backyard queen. Scourge of vicious guard dogs, defender against peacocks and geese and, when she could be bothered with it, opossoms. Friend and benefactor of visiting toms (but not that way; get your mind out of the gutter). Incredibly patient (if not loving) companion to Emma and to Smudge, and in these last months, companion to Izzy as well. And as loyal a companion to me, all these years, as a cat could be. Heck, as loyal a companion as a dog could be, though she flat-out refused to learn to fetch, damn her.

I have friends who have much bigger problems to deal with right now, and many reasons for joy in my life. But for all that, it's hard to face losing her.