Busy Busy Busy …

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So, a couple weeks ago, CJ and I went to Vegas (as in Las Vegas, sin city, etc.) for a weekend with our friends Don and BJ. They have been there often enough and stayed at certain hotels enough they got free rooms, and so on …

We flew in Saturday, got settled into the hotel (the Rio), and then drove to Hoover Dam. That was fun. I recall seeing it as a kid, but it looks really different now. We walked around, the only thing we didn’t do was go into the museum (it was packed). Anyway … went back to the hotel, relaxed a bit, and eventually cleaned up and went to The Mirage(?) which has the Cirque du Soleil show “Love” — based on Beetles music. We had dinner at the buffet (slightly expensive but some good food), and then saw the show. That was a lot of fun. Much better than I expected (was sort of expecting something cheesy, but it wasn’t).

Sunday we spent wandering to a few different casinos and areas, looking at shops, and throwing some money away (slot machines). I actually got fairly lucky on a penny slot machine and hit a weird set of bonuses that brought me $290. Woah. I decided to be smart and cached that in. Over the rest of the weekend I think I spent another $100 of that, but I had expected to not win anything. Overall I came out slightly positive from Vegas, which is unusual. I figure any time you leave there with more money than you started with you won. Heck, coming out even would have been a win, IMO.

Anyway … that evening we saw Penn & Teller (their show was at the Rio, where we stayed). About what you expect from P&T — funny, smart, good effects … worth it. The seats were pretty good, close to center.

Monday we packed up, but weren’t leaving until the afternoon, so wandered off to New York New York, and threw a bit of money away at the slots there. I took 14 one-dollar bills and put them into one machine, and played several different slots (they use paper tickets with bar codes on them now). Started losing, went to another machine, etc. Brought it up to about $38, and then eventually lost it. But spent an hour or more doing so, so that was fun.

Anyway, weird and fun little trip. Don’t really need to go back to Vegas for awhile.

Spent the rest of the week getting ready for the new quarter at school, which started Monday. It’s been a bit odd. I have two classes I’ve never taught, so am picking up some new stuff as I go (a good teacher is always learning, right?). Wednesday CJ had a really bad day for work, so I took her out to dinner at Zio Fraedo’s which was … fantastic.

Last night we went out to El Morocco to celebrate a friend’s birthday (actually it’s next week, but …). That was pleasant, and we got surprised, her husband picked up the tab for six of us. He told me he’d been scrimping and saving to surprise her like that.

Today is mellow. Overall: The cat is doing better. Zootie is nearly himself, although his weight is down, he is eating. I am having to mix his medication for the diabetes (apparently his body is producing insulin now, but not enough, so this is a lower-dosage, in tablet form) with his Fancy Feast. This is tricky because his brother sees Zootie eating and wants some. But I can’t give him any of that. Sheesh. It’s always something. But he’s getting the meds, his brother is as loud and obnoxious as ever … 15 years old and going.

Not a lot else to say at this time. Oh, Sandra is dropping by (just showed up) to have a bodice fit/re-fit … but other than that a mellow weekend. Um, History site — I finished a major project during the break in quarters, scanning older issues of The Page and getting the copy up on the site. At this point any event that had event copy in The Page has been put up on the site. That was a big project (48 years worth of newsletters).

I got convinced to start watching some Dr. Who. The original series was so bad that I couldn’t watch it. I tried. But the new version isn’t horrible. I watched five episodes yesterday afternoon (via Amazon Prime — free, since I am a Prime member …). I’ll probably watch some more. I may watch some today. We’ll see. Suppose I’ve rambled enough …

State of the Cat …

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Yep. A post about my cat, just to get it out of my system.

This weekend we took poor Zootie in to the pet hospital (our local vet was closed). Left him there for over 24 hours, because … well, he’s diabetic, and his blood sugar level was as close to zero as possible, and he was having seizures. ACK!

We went in with the thought we might have to put him down. That’s been in the back of my head for a bit, since last weekend we took him in. I mean, my goodness, he’s 15 years old, a tabby, not pure-bred, etc. Sweetest cat I’ve ever known, but still, 15 is old for a tabby.

We figured out what caused the seizures after we talked to the vet. He hadn’t been eating much, and he got his regular insulin shot. Low blood sugar, insulin which reduces blood sugar levels … and …

Anyway, they hooked him up to an IV, and monitored him heavily (this wasn’t cheap, but …), x-rayed him, etc. Brought him home Sunday, and he was a little better, but far from stable. At least the seizures stopped. We had set up an appointment to have his blood sugar levels checked yesterday (Tuesday), but I was now getting concerned again. CJ had noticed one of his eyes was dilating funny, and I noticed his left front paw was HUGE (swollen, but either not sore, or he just wasn’t complaining about it). And then Monday he started to exhibit pre-seizure behavior. His head was bobbing and he was starting to drool, etc. Then … it stopped, he lay down, I wiped the drool off his chin (literally), and all seemed to be okay. Weird.

Anyway, took him in yesterday. With all the symptoms and concerns again I was worried I was going to have to request euthanasia. The vet checked his blood levels. They were at a better point — high, but not insulin high. The vet also showed me x-rays. He has arthritis in his lower spine (at least a couple of joints, one looks pretty swollen to me). So we have an anti-inflammatory med to give him. Since the blood-sugar is above normal for a cat, but not high enough for insulin (he’s somewhere in the middle there), the vet prescribed something else. AND we have him on a high protein diet. It appears that the kibble he’s been eating all these years may have caused the diabetes in the first place. Figures. (Recommendation to all cat people — stop feeding your cat standard kibble — if you want to give them kibble get the “No grains” types …)

Lots of support from friends who pointed me at a variety of high-protein cat foods. I settled on Evo for the moment, which both cats appear to like better than what I was feeding them. And I am giving them a can of Fancy Feast each day (split between them).

This has been a helluva roller-coaster emotionally. Luckily I am not actually in front of the classroom right now — it’s the break between quarters. He’s a good cat. He seems to be coming back closer to normal. He actually visited me in the middle of the night on the bed to get some pets, which he hasn’t done a lot of recently. He tends to hang out near one of us (when herself is home, or me — prefers me, but … as long as he can see one of his people, he’s good).

It looks like we still have two cats for the time-being. I do think he’s going to slowly fail on us to the point that within a year or less we’ll have to ask for euthanasia, but until then, I will enjoy his company and his sweetness, and make sure he has a good life. Our concern is extending his life past a certain point where he can’t possibly have any quality at all. That’s not good for the cat. Well, now I have that off my chest, I suppose I can go back to class prep for next quarter …

Well, shoot …

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I kind of thought that if I started using WordPress for this, I’d do more posts, but no. Nothing more than previously.

Quarter is over. And the end of the quarter has been weird.

Last weekend, Zootie got sick. Seriously sick. We took him to the vet. He spent four hours, they gave him sub-cutaneous fluids and glucose, and we brought him home with some anti-biotics, because the vet thought he might have a Urinary Tract Infection (which he may have). During the week (finals week at work), he started getting better, but wasn’t eating a lot.

Saturday morning we were getting ready for Crown (SCA event), mostly dressed, when he had a seizure. He may have had more during the night, we don’t know. Changed clothes, went to the pet hospital because the usual vet wasn’t open on Saturday. Ended up leaving him there for well over 24 hours. His blood sugar levels were so close to zero … and that’s why he had the seizures. He’s diabetic, hasn’t been eating a lot, and Friday night CJ gave him his insulin. She was in a pattern, and didn’t ask how much he’d eaten. They brought his blood sugar levels up, and we brought him home. He’s not 100% himself, but he’s a little better. Went and got him some new food that is VERY high protein, no carbs … with luck this will help. Sigh. It means that we missed the SCA event.

That’s three weekends in a row. Mists Bardic I was sick. Mists Coronet Tournament Zootie was sick AND CJ was coming down with a minor bug (which she got over quickly). And Crown this last weekend we didn’t go to. Can’t blame the poor cat.

Since then he’s been following me around the house, I don’t think he wants to be alone. But he does like the new food (Evo, in case you’re interested). That’s a plus.

On other fronts — since we didn’t do the SCA event, and we couldn’t do much else (we had planned on dinner Saturday evening with CJ’s brother and sister, since he was in town, but we couldn’t, because we might have needed to go get the cat …), I finished a HUGE long-term project (also SCA) — scanning old newsletters and putting event copy on the History site …Now getting folk to add jobs they’ve done for the “resume” part of it …

We’re in the break between quarters, and I need the time (two weeks). I have two classes I’ve never taught before. Waiting for books for both of them. Sigh. I need those to do some of my planning. I did some “training” for one, which is required but was mostly a waste of time. Have asked for advice from some other instructors who have taught the course in the past (Success). Next quarter’s going to be exciting because we have too many holidays in there. Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, and the break for Christmas/New Year’s. That really screws things up, and this year we lose a week in the process. Oy. Well, that’s how it goes sometimes. We’ll work it out, all will be well, but sheesh!

We have a small vacation trip planned (and paid for) for this coming weekend. CJ’s stressed about money, because the cat’s bills have cost quite a bit. But I think we’ll be okay. She always stresses about a bit outlay of money (and it wasn’t cheap, no details but …). More details about the trip when we get back, maybe even some photos. CJ’s big concern now is if Zootie gets sick again — she doesn’t want to abandon the trip, since we have not paid for trip insurance or anything. We’re doing what we can. Take him back to the vet tomorrow to check his blood sugar levels, and see if he needs to go back on the insulin (until then, no insulin).

This has been wearing. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t expect Zootie to last even another year. He’s 15, and for a tabby that’s pretty good. Of course I want him to live a long life, but quality of said life is vital. If the quality is not good, it’s not worth the money trying to keep him on life-support. It’s not good for him or us. We’ll just have to let go. We have some friends who just made that decision for one of their cats today. Our sympathies go out to them. Going through all the foo with Zootie this last week has made me very aware we could lose him at any time.