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Update on Nezumi

Recently I wrote an article on Katzenworld about how to tempt older cats to eat.  I was inspired to do this because I’m going through my own struggles with a 13 year old cat who has recently stopped acting kittenish, turned her calico nose up at food, and decided to open account at the local veterinary clinic.

Her blood test just acme back and the good news is that her kidneys, liver and thyroid are operating just fine.  According to the last visit she is also not feverish or dehydrated.  Eyes, ears, teeth and elimination habits fine.  But she’s also just under 7 pounds when she should be at least 10.

Anyway, the vet found a mass in her intestinal area, they think it’s likely lymphoma.  I think it’s likely a slow growing form of lymphoma, quite pragmatically because she’s still here, and though her decline has taken a few months, she’s still bright eyed and with us.  They started her on metoclopramide to help with her digestion and tomorrow I’ll fill her first prescription of prednisolone topical, something to rub on her ear flap, to help shrink the mass.  I’m glad about that one, she hates taking anything by mouth.

The pharmacist was amusing, by the way, when I went to pick up her medicine.  It’s a liquid, vanilla flavored if Nezumi cares about that, and I had to tell them I didn’t know her birth date because she’s a cat!  They understood but there was a slightly awkward pause when the older, white coated gentleman would have normally started to launch into a litany of possible side effects.

“Well, I suppose there could be drowsiness,” he said.

“It’s okay, I’ll be checking the usual veterinary databases,” I said, and wished him a good day.

It’s easier to think of it as a mass… rather than cancer, which is what it really is, even if it’s a slow growing one… and I hope it doesn’t grow in a direction that would block anything important.  There’s lots of hope here, partly because I need to stay functional, but also because she picks up on my every mood.  So does my spouse, and I don’t want to add to her already great burden of worry.  She has her own health issues, after all, the wages of doing hard and toxic jobs when she was younger.  Non-alcoholic liver cirrhosis isn’t fun, and neither is rheumatoid arthritis.  She and our slightly arthritic little feline understand each other quite well.

So I talk to Nezumi and I pet her and I protect her waifish nibbling self from the sturdy scoffer who is a proud 17 years of age and is used to eating very rapidly.  And I tell her she’s going to feel better soon, and I brush her and tell her she’s beautiful.  One way or another, it’s all absolutely true.

 

 

Quotes… by me?

So, occasionally I Google myself.  It’s a little easier to do since I have a rather unique name.  (Don’t be ashamed of Googling yourself, everybody does it at least once.)

Anyway, I found out that some people had been collecting quotes by me.  A while back, there were two, made all pretty like a real person who people listen to had said them.  Now there are four.  I found them on Google Image Search and also this page.

I really did say these things – so nobody’s misrepresenting anything – but it’s really funny to see!

 

“One challenge at a time, I try to turn into the face of fear and tell it “you are not my master, you are the product of my self and I am your master.” I look into the monster’s eyes until it disappears. Then I am free.”

 

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This cracked me up – there was a blog entry about an artist who dealt with depression, and the author said “All of his pictures are accompanied by a famous quote that can also help you cope with depression or anxiety.”

Among those quotes was the one placed directly above.  I think it’s really sweet that person thinks I’m famous!  But I also think it’s funny.

Next, we have the quotes found on Quotation Explorer… which I’ve screencapped so you know I’m not crazy… (at least not in that way!)

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And finally… this one made FamouseWiseQuotes.com.  I think it’s really sweet because dandelions are one of my favorite flowers.

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Don’t worry, I won’t have to be measured for a bigger hat.  I don’t think I’m famous, or wise, but I think it’s cool that some liked a few things I said!

 

(Update on Nezumi:  She’s going in for blood work today.  Hopefully we can find something fixable.)

Horse Isle 3 – my new obsession

Ever since I was little, I’ve dreamed of exploring a brand new world, untouched by bipeds, a place I could journey across and marvel at every new sight.  I have also thought it could be nice if there were people there too, yet not so many that I couldn’t have my alone-time.  Horse Isle 3: Infinite Wilds helps scratch that itch and gives me as much to explore as I could want!

Infinite Wilds is designed to be appealing to all ages and unlike my other great love (Star Wars: The Old Republic) has absolutely no violence.  The really interesting part is that nearly all content is player created.  Towns, ranches, horse breeding farms, crafted items, and competitions are all dreamed up by the players, who start with a fresh new world to do with as they please.

Example Horse
A recently caught Wild

Want tack for your horse?  Well, you can buy it from other players or you can make it yourself – and then dye it with colors made from things you pick out in the wild.  Want to ride?  Buy one from a player – or catch one yourself.  The system of genetics is fascinating.  You can stake a claim on land in the game and build a huge ranch, or own a club and help contribute the prosperity of your own small town.  You can join clubs to have your own stores, set up shop as a merchant, a horse breeder, a craftsman, or what have you.  You can also choose to train your horses really well and compete with them in various competitions.  Did I mention each horse is unique with various stats and personality traits, and almost infinite color combinations?

 

So, what about people like me, who might like to spend time with people sometimes, but

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A Club Village

crave exploration?  Well, there will always be room for exploration because the world is one MILLION kilometers across!  That’s 621,371.192 miles, enough distance that to cross the map, you’d have to walk around the circumference of the Earth almost 25 times.  Big enough for you?  Well, it’s big enough for me!  So even if thousands of people were exploring all at the same time we’d all have room to build, or harvest, or roam as we saw fit.  A certain amount of instantaneous travel keeps the world from being too large.

 

There are multiple ways to explore too.  You can walk, ride, use a kayak, swim, and there are plans for sailboats and hang gliders.  There is so much to see, too.  Everything from mesa studded deserts to vast dunes to sunny beaches to alpine forests to a mushroom and flower festooned Wonderland.   The horses found in each area, or Biome, will tend to be adapted to that area as well.

Beach Biome
I love those sunny beaches.

Because the map is so huge, the game installs onto your PC but doesn’t take up an inordinate amount of space.  Right now the game is in Beta and only Windows players with 64 bit systems are being accepted, though there will be more systems supported later.

Because I love the game THAT much, I’m going to post various hints and tips for other people like me who want to get a good start.  They can all be found here and I’ll be cross-linking my posts when I make a new one.  I’ll be exploring the different Biomes and posting various tips on how to do well.

Come on!  Join the adventure!

(Note:  I make no money out of this.  I write about this game out of love, and though I am a Beta tester, I didn’t make the game.)

Aloof Cats

“Cats are aloof.”

“Cats are anti-social.”

“Your cat doesn’t really love you, they just want food.”

“Cats are spiteful.”

“Cats are merciless.”

——-

Balogna.

Utter, sheer, unmitigated, balogna.

Hogwash.

Poppycock.

Rubbish.

Nonsense!

 

As I write this, the primary cat who owns me, keeps patting my arm to remind me she’s there.  She likes to just hang out near by when I’m doing things, rather than going off and sleeping by herself.  She’s not a lap cat, but rather a sit near you cat.  She’s very loving and the feeling has always been mutual for us.

Do cats love?  They do  – very deeply at times – and if you learn to look and listen and observe, you’ll see that.  For example – when a cat is gazing at you and giving you that slow blink, that means “I trust you.”  And sometimes “I love you.”  You can see their love with body language and facial expression, and by how much time they want to spend hear you.  They also grieve very deeply and they remember their lost friends quite well at times.

Some are going to say “cats are just animals, they don’t have feelings.”  Lately, though, it’s been discovered that though smaller than a human’s brain, a cat’s brain matches about 90 percent of the structures we have, especially in the emotional centers.  What’s more, a cat’s face has many muscles that exist for the purpose of making expressions.  So when your cat seems to be smiling at you, they really are, and when they look sad, they probably are.  It’s not anthropomorphism to say this, those behaviors have been observed and confirmed.

Cats get a bad reputation though because they aren’t groveling sycophants.  They are deemed untrainable because you have to motivate them properly for them to decide to do what you are asking.  I’ve gotten my cat to sit, even lie down on command, but it’s plain that she’s deciding to agree to my request, not giving me a rote response.

They can be incredibly intelligent – I knew a cat who would use bottle caps as containers to carry things in, and would eat his dry food only after picking it up with his paw.  I knew another who ran away from her mother, crossing two yards with big dogs in them, so she could be with the only house who would offer her help – that is, us.  How did she know that?  We’d never met her before.  And yet, she knew just where to go at a bare few months of age.  I have played long games of “boop the nose” with Nezumi, where we’ll take turns booping each other’s noses.  She can tell time to some extend.  I’ll say “not yet, in an hour Nezumi,” and sure enough she’ll come back for whatever she wanted… in an hour.  I and many others could go on and on.

A cat will choose if they want to be part of a relationship and they’re pretty hard to bribe.  However, once a cat has decided your’e pretty okay as people go, it can be a beautiful experience.  They will be loyal with you and the experience will be incredibly special.

 

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The Lizard Lord

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Behold!  I am the Lizard Lord!  Watch as I do pushups to impress all the ladies!  I am Lord of all I survey, which is pretty much… this wall, um, and some trees, and oh, some brick planters… and doves!  I totally survey the doves too!

Did I mention I’m related to giant dinosaurs?  And so what if I’m only a foot long?

Laugh not at my blue belly, for I rule this backyard!

…Signed, the Spiny Desert Lizard.

To all the Mothers – and Kitty Mothers – out there

Today’s your day!

It takes a tremendous amount of grit to be any kind of a parent.  To those who have stuck by their kids, through thick and thin, protecting them from harm, putting up with illnesses and whining, and trying to teach them the good things in life, I salute you.  Similarly, to those cat parents who support their furry kids through smooth times and rough, I salute you too.  It also takes determination, love, and often some heartache.

It means that like a wildflower’s roots, you must sometimes search for scarce resources and nevertheless make something bloom.

It means deciding that that tiny child – or kitten – is more important than your own comfort.  That your child’s happiness is your happiness.

It can be a huge struggle, especially with a human child, but every mother I know has told me it’s worth it.

To everyone who takes on that challenge, Happy Mother’s Day!

Here’s a picture of our sweet calico when she was tiny, shortly after she rescued herself and came to us, and a bouquet of wildflowers for all the Moms out there.  And yes… that includes my own!

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Farewell, Dear Knight

I remember when I first saw him, a tall, lanky figure with flowing white hair flowing beard, wearing a leather duster, striding across the parking lot at work.  Somehow he wore it like a medieval surcoat and I could easily imagine him as a knight of old, or at least as a noble gunslinger of the American West.

As it turns out, he was both.

We spoke occasionally until I was put on the same team of experts with him, answering agent questions and solving problems.  I learned more about this person, who became my friend.  He had indeed used a sword, having been a heavy fighter in the Society for Creative Anachronism.  He had been a weight lifter, had practiced Kenpo, and he liked to go out to the range with his friends on the weekends.  At one point he’d also ridden Harleys, so I guess you could say he’d had a mighty steed, too.  As is common with people skilled in the use of force, he had impeccable manners and treated everyone with respect.

He also had a sharp and active mind with a deep knowledge of history, the type of guy who could tell you the difference between lorica segmentata and lorica squamata and which one he liked best.  He knew why “Decimation” means only to remove ten percent, and the content of the rations the rest of the decime would eat during the rest of their punishment.  (Barley, by the way.)  He liked anime and got all my references to old movies.  Along with his courtly ways he had a very dry wit.  I lived for conversations with him.

One day he didn’t show up to work, he was missing for weeks.  He came back with a leg missing and an account of how he’d been laid up in the hospital with a terrible case of sepsis, which he had only survived through the loss of his leg.  It had turned out that the cause was a small cut on his foot.  His slightly curmudgeonly attitude had changed for the better, his blue eyes now sparkled with the joy of life and he smiled more.  He got a tricked out wheelchair and was upbeat about his loss of a leg, calling himself “gimpy” and “pogo,” but refusing to let anyone feel sorry for him.  He never surrendered to self pity.  He took pleasure in the smallest things, like having an apple.

Time passed and my friend got an injury on his head.  This didn’t get better, even though he took care of it, and eventually it became clear that it was a nasty MRSA infection.  Back he went into the hospital, this time for four months, in total isolation, on a constant antibiotic IV drip.  I caught every scrap of news and was sure he wasn’t going to make it.  Yet, one day I saw him wheeling back in.  I yelped for joy, charged him and gave him a great big hug.   I was so happy to see that my knight had returned.  I happily had many more great conversations and when I left that job I tried my best to get him to come with me.  But no, he was used to where he was, and he didn’t want to leave.  So he stayed.

I found out today that he died sometime yesterday, of congestive heart failure that was likely brought on by damage from those systemic infections.  He was only 52.  I can do nothing but think of his life, his great smile, the fact that he never let his various ailments get him down.  In fact, even when wheelchair bound, he and his friends still went out shooting at the local gravel pit, having a good time together.  He still insisted on doing everything for himself and he never gave up.  I’m sure he fought to the end.

In his memory I am going to do two things.  Every time I have an apple I’m going to take an extra bit of time to notice its crispness, its sweetness, and enjoy it that extra bit.  And I’m going to make sure and remind anyone who has an injury that isn’t healing to get it looked at, because it really can turn into something nasty, even if you are taking care of it and are otherwise living a healthy lifestyle.  So clean that cut when you get one!  You don’t want the bugglies getting inside.

My friend was a wonderful, courtly person with vast knowledge about a lot of things.  He also treated everyone with respect and didn’t believe in running other people’s lives, or having them run his. n my head I always thought of him as “my knight” because that’s the way he was, and I told him so, too.  He got all embarrassed.  But at least he know how I saw him.  My only regret is that I won’t get a chance to spend more time with him.

I’ll miss you, my gentle knight.  The world is a darker place without you.