Hello, my lovelies.
In the fall of 2016, I took Jake to the vet, likely for something completely benign, like a booster shot (his daycare had draconian requirements for booster shots). It was a couple years after John died, and the vet asked how he was doing. I said that he had adjusted pretty well, but that I was thinking about getting him a kitten. We had lost both of our geriatric cats in 2015 and 2016, and the house was pretty quiet.
And yes, that means that I lost my husband, two of my three pets and my career in an 18 month span. It was not my best work.
But, back to the vet. She asked if I would be interested in adopting a special needs cat that they were fostering, and I declined. I didn’t want to take on the emotional or financial burden of a special needs animal.
So, in an effort to move the conversation away from me adopting an admittedly adorable special-needs foster, I rattled off a small list of cat wants, all of which excluded the cat they were trying to get me to take. I want two female kittens, I said. A bonded pair. Preferably young.
The vet looked at me and smiled. I have your kittens, she said. I just did their wellness check. They are being fostered in Bowie, just down the road from your office.
Sigh. Great. Now I am going to have to get kittens.
Dammit. At least they will be healthy kittens, so I would have that going for me. Right?
Before I go much further, let me say that I am watching both of my girls—Calliope and Samantha— snooze as I write this. There are issues, but this isn’t a tragic post. You may proceed without caution.
So, we had had the cats for about a month, when TLR said “I think that Callie is having trouble breathing.” Sure enough, she was a little wheezy. We took her to the vet—the same vet that gave us a clean bill of health—and they agreed that something was up, and referred us to a specialist. Turned out that she had an almost complete nasal blockage—called a stenosis—which was going to require surgery to correct.
So, a month and $3000 later, she was breathing like a champ through her new nose, and we had a laugh about how she was awfully expensive for a non-special -needs cat.
Things were good for 8 or 9 months. And then, we noticed additional weird behavior from Callie. She had spells where she would sort of snort, and shake her head. We wondered if it was allergies, or if it was more problems with her nasal passages. We took her back to the vet, and while they were examining her, she had a grand mal seizure in the vets office.
This led us down a path of kitty tests, including a little kitty MRI. We ruled out a lot of things, but were left with the largely unsatisfying diagnosis of idiopathic feline epilepsy. And another vet bill in the mid-four figures.
For the next year or so, we fiddled with her meds, trying to find the right combo to keep her seizure-free. She is super-sensitive to phenobarbital, and shows signs of toxicity after just a couple doses, so that was out. We settled on Keppra, which at the time we could not find for less than about $150/month.
My healthy, non-special needs cat has now cost me in the low-five figure range.
Her seizures are *pretty well* controlled for about 8 months out of the year. She usually gets a couple seizure-free months at a time, followed by a breakthrough cluster of seizures that lasts between 3 and 6 weeks. During the clusters, she has grand mal seizures typically three or four times a day, and can have as many as ten a day on a crappy day. We give her her Keppra twice a day by mouth, and we have injectable versed on hand for the bad days. It doesn’t seem to reduce the overall length of the cluster, but it gives her some relief from the seizures on the worst days. Luckily TLR is a nurse, so she is good at giving the shots.
When she is having seizures, she typically loses control of her bladder, and then she runs around and rolls around in her own urine. Also, when she is in the middle of a cluster, we can’t *really* bathe her, because the stress of that can set off another seizure.
So this entire story is just background of why I am sitting here at 11 pm writing a blog post next to a cat who smells POWERFULLY of pee.
I wish that I were the one with the nasal stenosis tonight.
But she’s a happy, sweet cat who doesn’t seem to know that she’s sick, and we are doing our very best to manage her condition in a way that gives her as much quality of life as possible. I am so glad that we got her, because I have nightmares that someone else would have adopted her, and euthanized her when they didn’t want to deal with what it means to care for her.
My friend Stacey this week gave me a hard sell on signing up for Rakuten. I might be the last person in the world to do so…I didn’t quite understand why I wanted to. They are a referral website, so you go to their page and click through to the site that you actually want to buy from, they get a referral bonus from the site that you click through to, and they give you between 1% and 12% cash back on your purchase.
I don’t know. It always seemed a little sus to me. Plus, I didn’t really think that I would remember to go to their site first, and without doing that, you get nothing.
But then Stacey told me that they were doing 6% back on Lenovo, and she got $150 cash back on her computer purchase and I thought…eh, maybe I should look into it. And I was stunned to discover that they are giving $30 referral bonuses right now.
That’s right. You get referred, you get $30. You refer, you get $30.
That seems insane to me, but I clicked Stacey’s link, and sure enough, they gave me $30. (They pay quarterly, so technically I don’t have it yet, but…I can see it!)
And then today, I got $14 back on a freezer that I bought from Lowes.
So, if you are not signed up, and you would like to get the $30 sign-up bonus, here’s a referral link for you—
Also, this happened.
Good Lord how I love Harry Styles. It’s…well, a little unseemly, really. 😂
I read six books this week, all rom coms. This brings me to 62 on the year, 18 books ahead of whatever pace I would need to get me to my goal of 175.
I reviewed Homecoming King last week, so nothing to add there. The Bromance Zone, Scapegoat and Football Sundae were pretty standard offerings, all steamy m/m fare. The Bromance Zone was a ‘best friends to lovers’ story set in a snowstorm, Football Sundae featured a small town football star who falls in love with a dessert chef at a local restaurant, and Scapegoat was a steamy thriller with a K-9 Agent looking for his ex-boyfriend’s missing daughter. All fine ways to spend a day.
The other two were special.
Here’s your pitch for An Unexpected Kind of Love: Notting Hill, but gay.
Bookstore owner Aubrey Barnes likes his quiet, orderly London life, thank you very much. His shop may be struggling, his only employee is a menace, and his plumbing is one creaky pipe away from disaster, but he can handle it. Maybe. He cannot, however, handle the film company that’s thrown his Soho street into chaos.
And he definitely can’t handle the charismatic American actor Blake Sinclair.
Which is why he’s extremely reluctant to lease out his shop as a set for Blake's film, but it’s his one opportunity to save his business. Now he can’t get away from the distractingly hot actor.
Then Aubrey finds himself alone with Blake in a trailer, and what happens next turns London’s heat wave into an inferno that leaves him breathless.
Aubrey is not cut out for the high-profile life of dating a celebrity, especially an American actor who’s not even out yet. Good thing their tryst is absolutely not going anywhere.
Of course, when you expect nothing, that’s exactly when it starts to mean everything.
Finally, Borrowing Blue was a fake dater that just made me grin for about 306 pages. I kept giggling, and saying—out loud—“these two are ADORABLE.” It was everything I love about the “fake relationship” trope. All. The. Feels.
OK, that’s all from the 52 Veterinary Clinic, where we are hoping for a reasonably calm night.
Till next week, stay safe, think about getting a booster shot, and snuggle an animal. They really are worth it.
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