Tuesday, May 29, 2007

R.I.P. Captain Jack

I wish I had written that title to talk about the final Pirates of the Carribean movie coming out. On Friday night, Anthony and I had to rush my rabbit, Captain Jack to the emergency vet clinic to be put to sleep. He's been sick on and off for months now with some sort of weird digestive issue. But it looked like he was finally cured. We switched brands of hay, and about a week and a half ago he stopped eating much of it. He lost quite a bit of weight in a short time, and so I switched back to the normal hay, and he seemed to be doing better. He was still really thin, and a little weak, but he was eating tons of hay and seemed happy. Friday morning we debated if we should take him to the vet anyway, just to make sure he was doing alright, but I decided to wait a few days. We left for the day and when we got back late Friday evening, he was passed out on his side nearly unconscious and he had lost all control of his digestive track.

We called our vet's office and got the number for an emergency clinic and rushed him there with me sobbing and clutching his carrier the whole way. The guy working there was a complete ASS, and had absolutely no sympathy. While I'm sure our vet would have told us basically the same thing, that it would be prohibitively expensive to find out what was wrong with him, and that it might still be incurable, and that in the meantime he would be suffering. But he would have told us politely, and been very sympathetic and caring. The guy we went to was horrible, he never said he was sorry, and he was very brusque about everything.

We decided that Jack needed to be put to sleep so we spent a little while saying goodbye to him. He was at least alert enough to respond to us, so I know he heard what we were saying and could feel us petting him. Because Jack was so sick they had to use a gas anesthetic, so we couldn't go in with him. I hated the thought of him having to die alone in a room with that horrible man, but there was nothing I could do.

We took him home, and let Squirrel see him, and say goodbye. We also let the cats say goodbye. We buried him in the backyard at the base of the lilac tree that we just planted. Anthony had to explain to the neighbors what we were doing, since they were out and looking somewhat suspicious about him digging a grave while I held a tiny bundle wrapped in a towel while I cried.

I've spent the past few days a complete mess. I'm trying not to feel guilty, and it isn't really working at all. He was only 3 and he should have lived for at least another 5-8 years. I feel like there is so much more that I could have done for him. If nothing else I wish we had taken him in Friday morning, because at least that way our vet could have put him to sleep, which would have been much much better. I've been through every stage of grief in no particular order, and currently I'm stuck at bargaining, "I'll go through the hell of last year just to have him back." And wishing that it was Squirrel instead of Jack that was gone. I love her, and she is a very sweet bunny. But Jack had so much personality. He was my baby bunny and while he was a complete pain in the ass, he was also a never ending source of amusement.

Goodbye Jack. I will miss you and your whiskery little bunny nose. I love you buddy.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Pissed Off

Well, my very good weekend took a turn for the worse. Anthony's dad is giving him a small rowboat with an outboard motor. Anthony looked in the area for a hitch to put on the Civic to haul it on a trailer when we were visiting them last weekend. Of course there were none to be had, so he ordered one from an auto parts store and it was supposed to be delivered to our house. He got a call the other day saying that there was a mistake and it had been delivered to the store. Very annoying. He's out of town for a work trip, so I went to get it today.

A guy there carried it out to the car for me, and gouged a chunk out of the bumper. It's a three year old car with almost zero scratches, so I was really annoyed. I went back in and talked to the manager about it. She wrote up a statement about what happened, and gave me a card for a body shop to get an estimate. Then she tried to tell me that they couldn't guarantee that they'd pay for it all but they'd pay for at least part of it. If it had been my car, I would have brought down my wrath and told her that they WOULD be paying for all of it, and that if they didn't we would get a lawyer involved and we certainly wouldn't be shopping at the store again. But since it's Anthony's car, I figured I would let him take care of it.

He's ferocious about negotiating and I've never seen a manager or anyone he's had to deal with not back down and do exactly what he asked for, so I'm not too concerned that it won't get taken care of. It's just ridiculously frustrating that we have to deal with it. If they had shipped it like they were supposed to, none of this would have happened.

Invisible Friends

For a few years I've been a member of an online forum. It's an unbelievably wonderful group of people. Most forums I've checked out are a complete mess. People are snarky and immature and feel the need to lash out at random people for no apparent reason. Not to mention the complete and utter lack of organization by the moderators with duplicate posting and no coherence to the threads. Obviously, I haven't checked out every forum on the internet, I am sure there thousands out there, and some of those are probably wonderful. But from what I've seen, the average one isn't really my thing.

I was completely blown away when I ran across this one. It's well moderated, everyone is expected to be polite, and if they aren't, they're nicely asked to rephrase what they said, or to find another site to join. But they're welcome to express differing opinions, and there are a lot of interesting debates. They just don't spiral into bitchy personal attacks and pointless name calling. Plus, everyone is very intelligent and interesting and manages to write in complete sentences and use proper grammar. Imagine that. You'll notice I'm not mentioning the name of the community. It's because I am a selfish bitch and want to keep it to myself. It's really wonderful to have something I can have as my very own. Well, me and a thousand other people who are members...But it's something totally separate from all of the other people in my life. There is a core group of people who are on pretty much all the time and very involved with the site. In two and a half years of being a member, I'm one of those. After real life friends like Erin, they're the first people I go to with a question, or a problem or to tell about my day. They were there for my during the hell of last summer, and sent me an amazing care package with chocolate, and bath stuff, and gift cards, and a zester and a teapot. There were wonderful cards and letters and so much support and love. It seems impossible that people who have never met in person could become so close. But despite the odds, they've become some of my closest friends.

Yesterday afternoon I got together with four of them to meet, and have lunch. They're all in the Michigan area, and we spent a whole afternoon relaxing on a deck talking. I got there at 3:30 and left at 2am. It was an instant success and they were people it seemed like I had known for years. Which I suppose is technically true that I have, but I never expected it to translate so easily from internet life, to real life. We clicked immediately and it was such an amazing feeling to be a part of it. I am just so incredibly glad I found the group and that I had the opportunity to join it. It isn't always easy to meet people in the area who are smart, and interesting and into a lot of the same things I am. I know I'm being all mushy and sappy, but I can't say enough about how wonderful all of these people are, and hope thrilled I am to be part of the community.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Because when someone asked me what I did tonight I wanted to be able to say "balanced on a deck railing while trying to unhook a 200 pound flower pot at 11:30 at night."

That or because Michigan and Mother Nature are having a bit of an argument and she decided we needed frost. In May. Bitch.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Reason Number 4,692...

I spent last week babysitting two little guys. My cousin and her husband had to go out of town for work. Amy was in Detroit, and Michael was in Mexico. I got to their house Sunday evening. We had dinner and then Amy left. Michael left at the ungodly hour of 2:30 AM. My job for the week was to get up at 7 and get the boys ready for the day. Benjamin is 6, so he goes off to school. And Jonathon is 2, so I spent the day taking care of him. And then when Benjamin is home from school, make dinner, and get them ready for bed. They're really well behaved but it was still exhausting.

If I'd ever questioned it before, I'm even more sure I'm not cut out to be a Mother. I'm just not willing to give up that much of my time. Along with 4,691 other reasons of course.

But we did have a fun week. They're smart and funny kids and I didn't really have any discipline problems. I had to come up with a few creative ideas for sharing Legos, but once that was figured out, it went really well. They both made me laugh quite a few times. I was pushing the two year old on his swingset and he said "push me up into the sky!" I think that's the best thing I've ever heard. I remember thinking that when I was little. That if someone just pushed me high enough I'd be able to fly.

Also, when he was eating lunch one day he was so tired he kept nodding off. He'd eat a bite and chew very slowly and his head would droop and he'd jerk himself awake long enough to take another bite. He looked like a little tiny drunk the way he was weaving around. After he finished lunch he slowly walked to the ottoman and passed out draped over the ottoman with his feet still on the floor. So cute. I laid him down on the couch and he slept for two full hours.

We spent a lot of time playing with Legos, and trains and plastic food. The two boys "cooked" me dinner over and over with their plastic food sets. All in all it was a good week, but I was glad to get home. If I never watch "Bob the Builder" again, I will be intensely grateful.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Public Service Announcements

I hate to be a pain, but I have two subjects I'm feeling very passionate about right now. Cats and string, and rental insurance.

Mercury has been sick for almost a month and a half. It started with her repeatedly throwing up a clear foamy liquid. We made many trips to the vet, and blood tests and x-rays couldn't prove what was wrong. We brought her home and she seemed to be doing much better. All of a sudden she stopped eating, lost a lot of weight and was very lethargic. This weekend we tried feeding her moist food in a syringe, and she kept down the first amount we gave her, but threw up the second. She also threw up several feet of thread. So on Monday we took her to the vet, and they kept her overnight. She had lost over 1/3 of her body weight. She went in for surgery Tuesday morning. It was very very bad. The vet ending up finding another 5-6 feet of thread. He said if she had been a dog, or an old cat, she wouldn't have survived. She woke up slowly from the surgery because it was a very long surgery. But she started to respond really well. We visited her for an hour or so every night this week. Every time we saw her we were amazed by how much better she was doing. I brought her home this morning and she's eating and mewing a lot and enjoying the sunshine on the porch. So, please, check out your house. Find any sort of string or thread or anything of that sort that you cat could get into. Do NOT let them play with it. Even if they've never acted interested in anything string-like at all...it's not worth the possibility of losing them, or the 2,000 dollars we spent to get her well.

My other rant involves money too. I picked Mercury up at the vet clinic this morning. I was almost home when I noticed a police car blocking off the street, and smoke. From where I was at, it could EASILY have been our house. Of course I am freaked out and starting to have a panic attack. It's several weeks shy of when the apartment burned down last year, so of course I was terrified that it's ours. I tried to stay as calm as I could and drove a street over and pulled over to the side. From there I could see that it was the house across the street and two over. But the entire block was taped off. I talked to two nice policemen who said there was no problem with me walking through and that I was welcome to stay parked in the no parking zone. That they most certainly wouldn't give me a ticket.

So I hurried Mercury through, cause I know the noise and smoke are extra stress she didn't need. I went to put my key in the door and broke down sobbing. But I got her in, and situated her in the bedroom with food and water and her bed, and clean litter. And then proceeded to have a panic attack. I am alright now though. One of my best friends, Katie, brought me lunch (including a giant chocolate chip cookie which I totally needed) and we hung out for a while. It was a huge help.

The fire was caused by faulty (meaning old) wiring. Everyone got out okay, but the critters they had didn't make it :( So sad. The neighbor's house has some melted siding and broken windows, but other than that it's ok. The house that burned down had two families in it (it was a duplex) and they lost EVERYTHING. Neither of them had any insurance though. The house is torn down already because it was so damaged, and such a safety concern. If we hadn't just had to spend so much to get Mercury well, we would help out, but there's no way we can afford it. I'd really like to, but it just isn't possible right now.

Here's my public announcement... GET RENTAL INSURANCE!!!!!!! It is NOT worth risking losing everything. It is worth giving up 10-15 dollars of your spending money to get insured. It literally doesn't cost any more than that. Anthony paid 10 dollars for 40,000 dollars worth of coverage in conjunction with his auto insurance. Give up coffeehouse lattes or a magazine subscription. It's worth it to know you're covered. I am a total pain in the ass about this, but there is absolutely zero reason for anyone to go without rental insurance. Even if you're on an incredibly tight budget already.

So, keep your cats away from string and make sure you're fully insured. They're both way more important than hopefully you'll ever realize. If you never have to use the insurance, or get surgery for your cat, then you are a lucky person. But if you don't have it, or your cat eats the string, you'll realize how important it was.