Tibby

Sep. 14th, 2016 11:44 am
ceebeegee: (Default)
 So not long after Tatia died I started thinking about fostering kittens. Tibby had always done well enough with other cats in the household—Tatia hated him, but he always wanted to be friends with her, and he and Edna Mo more or less got along, so I didn’t think he’d mind. A week or so later Ryan forwarded a text to me from a friend begging for foster homes for a litter of feral kittens. I responded to this and ended up with two wee ones, a black one and a white/orange tabby mix, both boys. I named them Apple and Jack. They were tiny and terrified (I kept them in the shower at first) but gradually grew to trust me and eventually try to take over the apartment. They were PRECIOUS and tiny and very, very sweet.

 

HOWEVER. Tibby did NOT appreciate their presence. In fact he was utterly miserable. At first, when they were more timid, he hissed at them to keep them in their place but as they got bolder (and realized there were two of them and one of him) they weren’t so intimidated by him. In fact (adorably) they tried making friends with him—they would try to nudge him and reach out. He wasn’t having any of it, though, And then when they started trying to gobble his food (at one point I literally lunged for the both of them and held them in my lap—they immediately started purring--so he could eat) he went on full strike and basically just hid in the closet the entire time. And he went off his food.

 

After a few days of this I started freaking out. I told the woman who’d set up the whole fostering arrangement that she needed to find a home as quickly as possible for the babies. As adorable as they were Tibby couldn’t handle it and he was and is my priority. Alex (the woman) was kind of difficult about this. We had talked before about how to get them adopted out—we agreed it would be ideal for them go together as they had bonded, but she seemed to have left it up to me. Then in later conversations, she started digging in her heels—we had to find them a home TOGETHER. And she didn’t seem to “hear” me—at one point she suggested I put up fliers in my building advertising them and I responded “According to the bylaws of the building, I’m only allowed to have one pet, not 3” so she replied that I should advertise that I have one kitten for adoption, and then when someone comes to look at it, show them both. Uh, no, that’s really not an option. Don’t suggest things that are going to get me in trouble.

 

The weirdest thing was when she told me “there is a reason adoption places only adopt out in pairs.” Uh, what? That isn’t true at all. Both Tibby and Tatia were adopted singly. Nobody in NYC would ever have cats if that were the case! One organization (interestingly, the one from which I adopted Tibby) only lets you take home pets if they’re in pairs OR if you already have another pet (so, I could take Tibby because I already had a cat) but every other place I researched allows single adoptions. She seemed really committed to “we must have the PERFECT situation,” both of them adopted together, and I was like 1) this could mean they NEVER get adopted, and 2) I, not you, am paying the price for your insistence on the perfect instead of pragmatism. Because the babies are here with me, and it’s my cat who is miserable. It was starting to get kind of tense until a cat-parent-ex-machina fell down from the sky (a friend-of-a-friend of hers) came in to take Apple and Jack. Problem solved!

 

Or so I thought. He was certainly happier after they’d left but he still wasn’t eating. So Labor Day Saturday I took him to the vet and they immediately diagnosed the problem. Tibby had severe dental issues—his mouth looked horribleand he was mewling piteously during the examination. It was very upsetting. So they pumped him full of antibiotics and pain meds and I took him home (they couldn’t operate until a few days later). He ate a little bit during those days—the pain meds helped. When I took him back for surgery—he was terrified. They put him into a kennel and he was absolutely shaking and hyperventilating. I think he honestly thought I was going to abandon him. Oh Tibby, my sweet earnest Tibby. Never. You are my precious baby boy, my Tiberius Hotspur Spots Green, Lord Stompalot, Sir Sassafras, my precious big-pawed ‘normous boycat. I love you to pieces—always have, always will. And I’m so, so sorry—after losing Tatia, I never should’ve put you through that stress with the kittens. I’m glad I was able to help them but it was just too much for my boy. He comes first. Always.

 

He was in the hospital for a few days, and then I got to bring him home Friday evening. He was ECSTATIC. He could not stop suzzing up to me, purring, demanding headskritches, curling next to me. And yes, he was eating. Even with hardly any teeth, he was eating. He seems more energetic and even a little social with the people I’ve had over. All I can say is Thank God. I could not handle losing another cat so soon.

 

ceebeegee: (Tatiana the Sausage Kitty)
So--last week was bad. Tatia has been declining ever since last December, although she was doing so well for awhile that both my mom and Ryan were thoroughly confused. "Sick cats don't eat like that." Months ago I concluded that Tatia had found some way to fake the whole thing, including the bloodwork, for treats and cuddles. That would be just like her :) 

She has been getting noticeably weaker the last couple of weeks--her hind legs in particular. And her appetite has been getting worse--weirdly, she seemed to want to eat but wouldn't eat anything I have her (and I offered her everything). So last week was difficult--she still had some energy and was giving me "feed me!" looks but wouldn't eat and, heartbreakingly, couldn't climb onto my bed without help.  And there was a horrifying episode when I heard her howling, looked behind me, and saw that Tibby had literally LANDED on her (she was splayed out flat on the floor, EXTREMELY upset). So Friday (10 days ago) I called the vet and they told me to bring her in. Thankfully my Friday boss at L***** was cool with letting me go home early so I was able to bring her in.

So I did and the vet examined her--the initial exam was inconclusive but then then she asked for an X-ray and then discussed the results with me. Apparently my precious Tatia had fairly severe anemia, and fluid on the lungs and heart, as well as the beginning stages of some kind of cancer,

And the vet said at this point we need to discuss euthanasia. And I was DEVASTATED. I could not stop crying.

We talked about it at length. And to be honest, I've been prepared for it for awhile.  Certainly since she was diagnosed with the kidney disease in December. But I knew even before then my lamb's days were numbered--I mean, she was certainly not a young kitty, I've had her for 18.5 years. I was so upset, the vet said that if I wanted to take her home for the night to prepare myself, that she could give Tatia some kind of injection/transfusion to help her, but I would have to bring her back first thing in the morning.

At that, I made the extremely difficult decision that it was probably best to let her go now. If she was so sick she needed a transfusion just to go home, she was obviously in very bad shape. And I couldn't risk another incident where Tibby jumped on her--what if he broke a bone? My precious one would've been in agony. So we went into a side room while the vet examined another patient and I just petted her and hugged her and told her how good she was, what a sweet kitty she was, how pretty she was.

How much I love her.

I told her she would be seeing Bunny (my mother's cat--the only other cat Tatia ever really bonded with) and Edno Mo (my brother's cat who lived with us for 5 months) when she crossed over. And I told her "feel free to visit us when you get settled..."--because I am pretty sure Edna Mo visited Anya and me a few times afterward. (I remember one night after I'd gone to bed, Tatia was sleeping on my head, and Tibby was next to me. And I KNOW something jumped onto the foot of the bed and lay at my feet.) The vet and the assistant came in and were very kind and loving. And my Tatia went to sleep in my arms, surrounded by love and loving words and softness and good smells (I'd brought my pillowcase to help comfort her in her cat carrier).

Rest in peace, my sweet Tatia--I miss you so very, very much.

Update

Dec. 25th, 2015 09:46 pm
ceebeegee: (Default)
 So, Tatia seeeeems to be doing much better. She is active (relatively), she is eating and drinking, she hisses at her brother (she’s gotten quite feisty actually) and she cuddles on Mommy’s lap like it’s her day job. The vets are still reserved about her long-term chances—they say her kidney numbers aren’t that good (or at least as high as they’d like) and they want to run some more blood work on her next week. But they did say how she does at home is a stronger indicator of her health than the numbers...so we shall see. I am optimistic that my fuzzy precious one will be with us for a little while longer.
 
Also—saw the new Star Wars movie! It was EPIC. I absolutely loved it! I think the new characters are great and I loved the grandeur and, well, pictures. It was wonderful to see all the old favorites again--I (along with the audience) cheered whenever Han and Chewie, or C-3PO, or Leia came into view. The Falcon! So great to see everyone again. And I loved the new characters as well--Rey and Ren were great, loved Finn and BB-8.  Love it, love it, love it.
 
Also—money. The vet bills are pretty big, almost $3,000 (it’s worth it to have Tatia but still—ouch). But the good news is that my parents gave me a decent amount of cash for my birthday and for Christmas, and then I also got decent bonuses from the bankers for whom I work. Plus charging so much on my card does at least generate 1% cash back. So all of this adds up to a nice chunk of change and in fact nearly half the bill so far. Which is obviously incredibly relieving. I doubt I’ll be able to go to Oslo this spring as I’d planned but it’s not because of the money, it’s because Tatia needs nightly medication and fluids. I just don’t feel right about having someone else do that right now (although it’s possible I could change my mind if she remains stable). I certainly don’t want to miss out on Oslo but my precious Lady Stompalot is more important.
ceebeegee: (Default)
 Have had an utterly shit weekend, all things considered—and the gift just keeps on giving today.
 
It started with my corporate game Friday night. None of the guys on the team responded or came so I had to dig up a bunch of subs just so we could have a game. One of my friends, who monitors a soccer email group, sent out an email for me saying I needed subs and a goalie. Several guys responded, including one guy who was the first to get to the field house. He was an older player and I could tell right off the bat he wasn’t very good (just generally not very coordinated, kind of awkward and flail-y). Angela (my friend) was also asking guys at the field house if they wanted to play and quite a few said yes. So we had a team and lots of subs, which was obviously good. Older Guy asks me “do you actually need subs?” I thought he was asking if I needed HIM, like if we didn’t really need him, he could leave or do something else or whatever. I shrugged and said “well, we did—we are pretty full right now though” and he starts yelling at me, saying “why did you send out that email then? I thought you needed players, I came a long way for this!” Like, back the fuck UP. I don’t care how far away you came, that’s on you.  I said “Angela sent out the email and a lot of people responded but they didn’t show up until just before the game and she knew I was still worried, so she recruited even more players.” He’s like “well, do you need me or not?” I said “what do YOU want to do? Do you want to play? THEN PLAY. No one’s kicking you out! And get off my case!” I really wanted to say “you are not good enough to cop this kind of attitude and the pickup community is small—you <b>will</b> be remembered if you act obnoxiously.” It really upset me at the beginning of the game—dude, I don’t even know you, calm down. I absolutely detest it when older men act like that. After the game (he wasn’t terrible but he was far and away the weakest and slowest player out there) he tried to make nice with me but man, never again. If he responds to another mass email seeking subs, I’m ignoring it.
 
So then Saturday after my classes, I was walking through Harlem on my way back to my apartment, and going up Frederick Douglass Boulevard. FDB was really blossomed in the past 5 years or so—tons of great new restaurants and lounges, all different types. I text Ryan “hey, it’s a gorgeous day—wanna meet for lunch?” So we decide to meet at 116 and FDB. I get there and Ryan comes up to me—he says he was waiting for me and a guy came up to him, coming on to him, and was asking him to get a drink. Ryan said he was waiting for a friend and the guy said bring your friend, I’ll buy them a drink as well. Said he was in town for a wedding and he hated to drink alone. Ryan said to me we don’t have to if you’d rather not but I thought, why not? We all sit down together and the guy was staring at me, absolutely hung on my every word. But he said he was gay and I thought he was trying to impress Ryan and pick him up. The guy orders another round of drinks and then Ryan and I decide why not, we’ll eat here. It seemed like a good conversation. Then the guy goes over to the waitress and when he comes back, he’s slipping a receipt into his pocket—trying to look like he was being discreet but I sensed he wanted me to notice. Then the food arrives and a few minutes later he wants to go out front for a cigarette and asks Ryan to join him.
 
I wait FOREVER for them to come back—at least 15-20 minutes. Finally Ryan comes back—alone. He says the guy told him he had paid for the bill with his “corporate card” but he had to meet his “weed dealer” and asked Ryan to pay for our portions, in cash. He asked for $70 and Ryan immediately balked. Ryan said oh no, you ordered those rounds of drinks, not us. We’ll pay for our food and that’s it. Ryan said he would give him $40 but he didn’t have cash—the guy said there’s an ATM machine a few blocks away. (This, I think, is when I might have figured it out [I say might because someone tried to scam me like this once and as soon as they mentioned the phrase ”ATM machine” something clicked and it felt wrong somehow. Like, you should not be directing me to an ATM]. But Ryan had a lot of information to process, I don’t blame him for not picking up on this.) The guy was talkingtalkingtalking the entire way, Ryan gets him $40 and the guy says he’ll be right back.
 
I sat there, processing this, and said “What do we do now?” Ryan said he’ll be back and I thought about it. I said “Ryan, I don’t think he’s going to come back—that’s a pretty egregious etiquette breach, asking for cash like that, even if he did foot the bill. I think he might be embarrassed.” Then it occurred to me if he doesn’t come back, he might’ve stiffed the waitress so I call her over and ask if he tipped her. She looks startled and says: he didn’t pay the bill at all.
 
Ryan and I sit there, stunned. The waitress is very concerned and asks us what’s the deal, and we explain to her what happened. She goes to get the manager and I tell Ryan the fairest thing would be for them to take off his portion and we just pay for our meals, but we shouldn’t count on that. Manager comes, we tell her everything and she decides to take off one round of drinks and his meal. The bill comes to $70-something and I put on a whopping tip (on the original amount, not the adjusted total) which the waitress had to clarify “are you sure?” I said you’ve been so helpful and I’m not going to stiff you on the service you provided to him, even if he is a thief, that’s not your fault. We went to police to file a report but the guy to whom we spoke was utterly unhelpful (if polite) and was very discouraging, saying the guy hadn’t used force, it wasn’t a crime, a judge wouldn’t do anything. I said who cares about a judge? We know we’re not going to see Ryan’s money again—but what about informing the community that a scammer is running around? The cop was saying to Ryan, well you gave him that money, he didn’t actually rob you. I said--then why did you go after the squeegee guys in the '90s? Why do you go after the costumed people in Times Square? It’s not a crime to ask for a tip—why would you come down hard on them but you don’t care about scammers who actually lie? It's a quality of life issue, which is exactly what the broken windows theory is designed to address--that little crimes turn into bigger ones. In the end the cop refused to do anything so as we walked out I loudly remarked about how he didn’t want to do his job, even though crime is so low they have nothing else to do except escort 12 year old boys in handcuffs (which we saw when we first entered). Hey, I might as well use white privilege (I knew the cop wouldn’t come down on me for that remark) for good.
 
Then yesterday. Here’s the context: I went away for Thanksgiving and as usual, Michael fed the babies. When I came back I noticed Tatia was hardly moving—for two days (Monday and Tuesday) she literally barely stirred from my pillow. I had to shove food under her nose to get her to eat anything. Very concerned, I made an appointment at the vet for her. My current vet is on Lex and 94th—they’re great but they’re expensive, $97 per visit. I first took the babies there in fall of ’13 and it was obviously a bit of a hit, especially because they were recommending blood tests for Tatia ($200+) and tooth extraction (much more $$$). At that time I flat-out could not afford that, whatsoever. (I'm doing better now but this is still ending up to be quite a lot for me.)

So since then I haven’t taken them back for a checkup, thinking hey, they’re indoor cats, it’s not like they’ll get hit by a car.  So anyway, as this past week progressed, Tatia was doing better—moving around, climbing into my lap. But I kept the appointment, which was yesterday.  They did a regular checkup and then recommended blood work and a fluid injection (she was dehydrated). I nixed the fluid injection (the least important thing—she wasn't terribly dehydrated) but okayed the blood work, so the bill was $327 (checkup, bloodwork, plus 2 cans of AD, a special super-fattening and irresistible wet food for cats who have gone off their food).
 
The vet called today. Lambkin has kidney disease and a bladder infection, so I have to bring her in tomorrow for an antibiotic. Plus they wanted to “do a culture” on her to make sure they were getting her the right antibiotic (the one tomorrow is a general one—she needs one pretty badly). The culture is $160, plus $50 for the first antibiotic. I thought about it and decided to go ahead and get the culture (that was optional--the doctor was very respectful of my financial concerns--but recommended). In for a penny, in for a metric fuckton, right?
 
The kicker is—I have insurance for them. But it’s contingent upon their receiving a yearly checkup, so they have a baseline of health for the animal. Which I skipped last year, because I couldn’t afford it. (And I’d forgotten about that insurance requirement.) My options are not good—I can either ask the vet to back me up if I say I took Tatia for her annual exam which they might refuse (and which they would be entirely in the right to do so.  That’s a lot to ask). Or I throw myself on the mercy of my insurance company, and I don’t expect them to give in. (Although if they do I’ll just go ahead and cancel her policy—not out of spite but I might as well save myself that monthly expense.)  $500+ in one week for Tatia. Plus the restaurant thing. Jesus.
 
WHAT YE FUCK, UNIVERSE?!

But at least Lambkin is doing better. She's eating, she's moving around, she's cuddling, and she's doing one of my favorite stunts--when I'm in bed but awake (like when I first wake up, or first lie down), she loves to walk over to the pillow and stand with front and back paws on opposite sides of my face, essentially straddling my face. What kills me is how she pulls this off--she kind of looks around, like she's considering something, like hmm, what to do, what to do, decisions, decisions. Meanwhile her BELLY FULL OF FUR is hanging right in my face, smothering me. And Tatia just pretends she doesn't even notice.  This sadistic game of hers is how I know she's doing a little better. When your elderly cat stops trying to kill you, that's when you know they're in trouble.
ceebeegee: (Magical Dance)
I was going to order curtains online but couldn't wait--I went to Bed Bath and Beyond on Tuesday. The lined curtains I'd picked out didn't really work--they were lined but not officially "room darkening" curtains. So I went again yesterday and found some better ones and FINALLY this morning for the first time in weeks I did not wake up as the sun rose. I've been exhausted for weeks now because of this--yay! I can sleep! Kelly, I still would love to order curtains from you though--I can just buy one of those "room darkening" liners and attach them to the back to make them suitable for the room. Can I email you?

Man, this weather is pretty monotonous--if it's not raining every day, it's this oppressive PERSONAL heat. I have a soccer game tonight--it won't be too bad after 5, but I'm glad it's not in the afternoon.

Have been QUITE sick ever since Friday--today's the first day I haven't been coughing up a lung. I had a game Sunday and flat out told my team I am no good and should only go in for someone who's exhausted. I went in once or twice and it was terrible--I coud barely breathe, was gasping for air, there was so much congestion in my lungs. Monday I was especially miserable and probably should've stayed home but since I don't get sick days...it was also terrible because I had a weird incident in the morning. I have a *very* high gag reflex and certain things will trigger it--most notably bodily fluids from someone else. Vomit, urine, blood, phlegm, etc. Tatia had an incident with the litter box that morning and when I went to clean it up, I couldn't help it and vomited. What was even worse was throughout the day, every time I thought of it, I started to gag again. AWFUL. Between that and the exhausting coughing fits, Monday was pretty stressful. I've had this problem (gag reflex) since I was a kid but it's only gotten worse as I've grown older. It is mostly a mental thing--I try to fight it by thinking of something very different (lemons or citrus fruits, or ginger--just thinking of it--seems to help short-circuit the problem sometimes).

Re: the Martin verdict. I'm obviously very, very upset. I cannot stop thinking about it, this is a terrible tragedy. I think the jury really let Trayvon down, and that interview with the one who talked to Anderson Cooper--she sounds like a completely oblivious idiot. Who makes a fetish of how much they don't follow the media (uh, I haven't had TV for six years but I strongly doubt that the Today show didn't have ANYTHING about this case)--and then TWO DAYS LATER has a book deal????? This woman's husband is an ATTORNEY and she didn't know anything about the case? Really???? I call bullshit. I am wondering if she wanted to get on the jury.

Jesus wept. It's so depressing. How can you possibly justify not holding Zimmerman responsible at ALL? Not even manslaughter, really?
ceebeegee: (Tatiana the Sausage Kitty)
I'm so excited!

Excitedgif

The Games open tonight!  YAAAAYYYYY!!!!  Rooool Britannia!  The motherland!

In other news, I have started pet health insurance for the babies and have started taking them to the vet again.  Tibby is the picture of rude health as they say, but Tatia is getting a little skinny and has lost some hair.  They did blood work and everything seems normal ("boringly" normal, they said) but we started her on a steroid regimen and I got some special prescription food for her, very fatty.  She has gained a little weight and is even sassier toward her brother so it seems to be working.  His appointment is next week--can't *wait* for that exercise in complete embarrassment.  "What is that NOISE?"
ceebeegee: (Tatiana the Sausage Kitty)

Yesterday was a looong day.  I went to work for a few hours, and left early to go to JFK airport to meet my parents and sister-in-law.  Karine (SIL) and my niece and nephew were flying in as Phase I of my brother's family's move back stateside.  The kids were going with my parents off to New Hampshire, and Edna Mo, my brother's cat, was packed off with me.  Poor Karine then had to turn around and go right back to Italy.  Apparently it was a traumatic trip--traffic to Rome was terrible and they very nearly missed the flight.  My niece started running a fever, and then on their approach to JFK, they had a missed approach and people were freaking out.  But the kids seemed quite calm.  Karine handed over the carrier which had a curled up bebbeh in it, lashed shut with one of those plastic locked ties and I hopped in a taxi.  This was perhaps the single most miserable taxi ride I've ever had--90-degree heat + NO A/C + slow-moving traffic + incomprehensible, argumentative cabbie (he tried to tell me Inwood wasn't in Manhattan) + inexplicable nausea.  I have no idea where the latter came from--I kept thinking of anything to not throw up.  Inching up the Harlem River Drive was brutal--the sun was right on me, I was extremely overheated and worried about Edna because she'd been in the cart for something like 14 hours at that point.  And we actually dodged a bullet, it seems we barely missed a severe hailstorm.  We finally got home and I hurried her into the apartment which was blessedly cool and then sawed open her carrier.  Naturally Tatia and Tibby flipped out--the symphony of tabby hisses and growls reached quite a crescendo.  I was surprised at their respective reactions--Tatia actually flipped out less, and just retreated to her eyrie in the kitchen atop the ice cream maker box, but Tibby seemed horrified.  Poor Edna Mo, 14 hours in transit and she enters to this hostile reception!  I put out water and a box for her and then, figuring the best thing I could was just to be there for all three of them, crashed for several hours.

When I woke up in blessed air conditioned darkness, Edna Mo seemed a little more comfortable and had curled up in Anya's easy chair.  She allowed me to skritch her several times and ventured out from Anya's room whenever I beckoned her.  T-squared are of course still extremely resistant to this interloper.  When Anya came home she was thrilled that Edna wants to hang out in her room--Tatia and Tibby enter there from time to time but they're still pretty shy with her.  Adorably, when I entered the building with Edna in her carrier, a girl about 10 or 12 years old was also entering.  She asked if I'd adopted a cat--I said no, she was just staying with me for a little while.  She said she loved cats but her mother was allergic.  I said if you ever want to play with my cats, just knock on my door.

Just another example of how slack our landlord is--I've been trying and trying to get him to do something about the tabby infestation and he ignored it and now it's worse!  Doodness!

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