Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More on Elvis, and Knitting for Dummies

The good news is that Elvis actually drank some water on his own yesterday, so maybe the IV fluids are making him feel a bit better. The bad news is that he slept very soundly in bed with me last night, and I woke up, shall we say, a bit soaked. Apparently all those fluids were moving right on through, whether Elvis was with it enough to get up and visit the litterbox or not. Oh well, the bed needed changing anyway.

Today he actually sniffed at some canned food. Yes, that's cause for celebration since up till now he hasn't even wanted to look at it. So we're muddling along. I can tell you that sitting in the bathroom for 45+ minutes is boring and uncomfortable, but unlike with subQ fluids, you just can't run IV fluids in all that fast. The upside to Elvis' illness is that he's willing to lie there quietly while we drip, drip, drip. The downside? The fact that he's willing to just lie there quietly, which means he's not feeling well enough to protest the indignity of it all.

I imagine tonight I'll just pile some towels between him and me. His temp is low so I have to keep him warm somehow, and in bed with me is the easiest way--I considered a heating pad, but that's probably not a good idea for a cat who's leaking, and he won't stay put under a heated towel or a blanket (well, unless I am also under said blanket, which is why he's sleeping in bed with me right now, leakiness and all). Did you know that you can put the average towel in the microwave for a minute (longer risks scorching it) and heat it very nicely for things like holding cats to keep them warm while chilly fluids drip in? An interesting observation I've made, though, is that towels heated in the microwave always seem slightly moist when removed. I wonder if that means that the towels that seem dry really aren't? Well, my brain isn't up for that exercise today, so as long as I don't scorch towels or burn the house down, I don't think I'll worry about hidden moisture....

On other medical updates, Lark seems all better. I worked her Sunday for a long time and the injury didn't reopen and start bleeding, so I think we're in the clear there. Willow is still on strict rest, and is using her leg formerly known as "the good back leg" some, but not enough to make me really happy. But since she is getting around and her injury isn't life threatening, she's just got to wait in line till we can get Elvis straightened out (I hope). She's not happy not being allowed to go on walks with us, but that's just the way it has to be.

Jen, on the other hand, is indeed a cute little dog, but it turns out that she's also Chupacabra, Jr. (for those of you familiar with that nickname and the story behind it for Mary's Roxy). Yep, Jen likes to chase chickens. And Jen also ignores any yelling coming from the house when the chase is on. I had some vague suspicions, but things were confirmed yesterday when I got back from walking the dogs and left everyone outside while I went into the computer room. First Jen tried the gate she had crawled under once before in order to harass the ram and his wether buddy (another fun Jen adventure at Willow's Rest), but my knocking on the window made her think better of it. Then she spied a couple of chickens and the chase was on. No amount of yelling worked, so I ran to pull on some shoes (now you know why I prefer pull ons to lace ups) and I tore outside screaming like a good fishwife would. The first thing I see is Jen proudly trotting toward me with a Dominique hen in her mouth, but she quickly realized that in my book a hen in the mouth was no cause for doggy pride. She dropped the hen, who ran off, and then started Julie evasion tactics, while also trying to spit out a mouthful of feathers. No dummy she! She had quickly figured out that I was NOT A HAPPY HUMAN, and one that she should probably stay away from at all costs. By the time I managed to catch her I couldn't really do anything about the chicken incident, so instead I put her on a leash and walked her out in the barnyard amongst the chickens and dared her to even look at one. Jen's smart and she wasn't about to look at a chicken even if one had landed on her head! I checked the stall that night and all four Dominiques were there, one with a slightly disheveled look. Jen for now is allowed freedom outside only after dark when the chickens are already roosting for the night. If she were a permanent resident here, I'd work on a "don't even think about the chickens" boot camp program, but since she's going back home tomorrow, it makes more sense to just limit her access (because I seem to already have enough on my plate when it comes to the animals).

So much for a relaxing holiday, huh?

Knitting--How Hard Can It Be?
Oh, and I promised an update on the knitting. Well, not an update really, since this is a new craft I'm taking up, but last night I went over to Tony and Mary's for dinner and afterward Mary grabbed some needles and yarn and got me started on the simplest thing possible, a scarf. Yep, knitting a scarf is pretty easy, but give me a few glasses of wine while I'm knitting and see just how creative I can get. We cast on something like 25 stitches. A little later, Mary noticed that my scarf seemed to be getting wider, so she counted stitches. I don't remember the exact number, but it was in the low or mid 30s. Yep, I was just adding stitches as I went. Pretty creative, huh? And you know how I'm generally pretty anal about stuff, but I told Mary that this was part of the charm of something handmade--the imperfections (I thought it was a good excuse anyway). I think I figured out what I was doing wrong, and once we add tassles to the ends, no one will notice that one end is just a bit narrower than the other anyway. I think Mary got a kick out of me and my knitting, but hey, you gotta start somewhere! All the other craft type stuff I have requires complete concentration, which means I don't have as much time for it. If I can become proficient at knitting, everyone assures me that I can knit and do something else, say, watch dog trial or a TV program. I like the idea of projects I can work on while also doing something else. So as soon as I finish my scarf, I'm going go try my hand at making a hat, one that's long enough to keep my ears covered, and who knows, I may even decide to try felting it when I'm done knitting it. Anyway, that's the story of my beginner's knitting. After all, Laura has already knitted two scarves, not to mention all the lanyards she's made, so I really do need to get on the stick if I don't want to be left in the dust of everyone else's craftiness!

Reading Corner
I realized I haven't updated anyone on what I've been reading lately. Right now I'm plowing through two books, one nonfiction and one fiction. The nonfiction is Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, by Vicki Myron. If you watch any of the morning news programs then you've probably seen something about this story. So far it's sweet and entertaining, about as expected.

The other book I'm reading is A Lion Among Men, by Gregory Maguire. This is the third in his series based on the Wizard of Oz story, as told from the POV of the other characters, with the whole Dorothy thing being only secondary at best to the rest of the story. So we've had a volume (Wicked) about Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, and a second book, Son of a Witch about her son Liir, and now this third volume which is the story of the Cowardly Lion. Maguire is a clever writer and his stories are a fun read, and I'm enjoying this one as much as I did the first two. In fact, I liked most of his books, perhaps with the exception of Lost, and if you don't read any others, I'd recommend that you at least try Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, which as you may have guessed is the Cinderella story told from the stepsister's point of view.

After starting Dewey and before starting Lion I took some time out to read Stephenie Meyers' "Twilight Saga." Such books are not normally on my reading list, but after talking with a couple of folks who had seen the movie or had teenagers who read the books, I decided to give them a try. After all Harry Potter was written for the teen set, and who didn't love Harry and friends! And while I'm confessing, I'll admit that I read the entire Redwall series after getting the various books therein for my nephew (pre- and early teen years). In fact, that same nephew is also the reason I read Christopher Paolini's "Inheritance" series (the books are great; skip Eragon the movie--bleh!). The series of four "Twilight" books are what I refer to as "brain candy"--easy to read and enjoyable, but not requiring a whole lot of effort from the reader. That's fine, though, sometimes we all need a little brain candy type reading! After reading the whole series I went to see the movie, which I also liked. This is one case where I was glad to have read the book first, though, because an awful lot was left out in the movie version, largely of necessity I'm sure, but since I had read the book I was able to fill in the blanks (and overlook some of the obvious differences). I'll probably go see the others as they come out too. If you want to read a really interesting book of fiction based on vampires and vampire lore, I'd recommend The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova. It's the first book about vampires that I ever picked up (off a sale rack at the book store), that not being a genre I normally read, but the historical background, the travelogue type details, and a riveting story all made the book one I would readily recommend to others.

And I think that's about it for now.

No comments: