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Sunday 26 October 2014

Kitty update

Bast seems to be a bit of a talker. Hathor still hides under my bed, and comes out to stare at me when she thinks I'm sleeping, and makes little chirping noises like a hairy four-legged canary. She also hides food, which I'll get to in a bit.

They got taken for their shots last week. Bast dealt okay.
Hathor went bat-shit insane when the vet took her out of the cage and drew blood from the poor man. As he pointed out, it was an OhgodsIneedtogetaway moment, rather than I'mgoingtoclawyourfaceoffbecauseIcan. It was some small consolation with the vet dripping blood on the floor, but this is also what happens when you have traumatised kittens. It's what happened next that really stunned me.
After getting her shots and weighed, Hathor got put back in the cage. She scooted to the back and Bast stood in front of her, making sure nobody was going to touch her again. She'd been watching the whole process anxiously. I've seen the protective instinct in mother cats and dogs, yes. I've never seen anything like this in litter-mates.

Bast is about three pounds heavier (because she eats every bit of food she can find, including Hathor's) and a bit longer in the legs. When I come in from work she waits in the doorway of my room. She only watched me getting ready for work once; there is something incredibly disconcerting about a kitten looking horrified when you put on make-up. And she likes to talk. Usually this is to tell the world that nobody is paying attention; unfortunately she's not at ease with being touched yet. So at two in the morning, you get this:

Bast, on the staircase: OOOOH, NOOOBODY LOVES ME!!!
Me, stumbling out of my room: WTF?
Me, standing on mouse toy and hopping to stair case: Oh, kitty. Hush. (Put hand out to kitten.)
Bast: UNCLEAN!! UNCLEEEAAAN!!! (rockets back up the stairs.)
At this point I remove the mouse toy from between my toes and lurch back to bed.
Some twenty minutes later, the delicate thunder of Bast attempting a landing on the hall cupboard and missing completely will fill the house, and I'll pull the duvet over my head and pretend I didn't hear it.

Hathor, on the other hand, appears to hide her food as well as herself, probably because Bast has the table manners of a starving piranha and will take her food if she isn't fast enough.
Heading off to the shop today, I realised halfway down the road that there was something cold and sticky wedged under my toe. When I sat down on a bench and upended my Ugg, a small piece of chicken fell out. I did the rest of my shop with my toe stuck to my boot from kitty spit.

Sunday 19 October 2014

Bruises and Emergency Room Visits and Kitties - weekly roundup

Monday I got off the tube, and some little man rammed me on his way past. I didn't think much of it apart from saying a rude word; in London, the Good Manners Fairy got gagged and duct-taped and thrown to the Gods of Public Transport some time ago, and I've been knocked harder than that. But by the time I got to the office my ribs on the left side where he'd knocked me were throbbing and tender, and it got worse as the day went on.
Just after lunch I checked my side in the bathroom mirror. What I saw was a tracery of broken blood vessels extending from just below my armpit to just above my navel, and a raised lump of tender flesh over a couple of ribs.
I left work late to avoid rush hour. By this time I was sore enough that anyone shoving me would have been punched and I'd like to avoid an assault charge. Since I couldn't face the stairs at the tube I got the bus to the main train terminal, and by the time I home I was struggling to walk and not cry from pain.

Tuesday I worked from home, hoping things would improve. By Wednesday morning it hurt to breath, speak or move at all, so I headed off to the emergency centre. I was anticipating a diagnosis of bruised ribs, but wanted to make sure nothing was fractured. Instead, I had a doctor telling me I might have a ruptured spleen and bruised kidney. This was not a fun moment.

On to the first scan, which was ultrasound, followed by oral morphine (gag) and a CT scan, which was strangely pleasant apart from the 10 seconds where I thought my toes were going to catch fire and a taste in my mouth like I'd just downed a very strong shooter. The final diagnosis came back as massive bruising around the liver, kidney and ribs. Sheer relief, and the immediate desire to go home, right up until they took my blood pressure and all that jazz and discovered my temperature was high and my heartbeat was 118. It didn't help that when they told me I had to stay over night the damn heart rate shot up to 122. I've never seen an emergency doc look so horrified while trying not to laugh.

Anyway, I learnt that the emergency room has their own overnight ward for cases like me (apparently sending you home to have a possible heart attack is considered bad) and I was promptly deposited into it, given food that looked horrifying on every possible level, and dosed up with both codeine and oral morphine again, which tasted worse the second time around. As a result, by the time Stace got there with my p.j.'s, I was cataclysmically stoned. Morphine has a time distorting effect on me, and I tend to hallucinate on it. I also don't remember much of what happens, but apparently having a conversation with me is interesting.

Breakfast was edible - cornflakes and coffee. They offered me more morphine (no thanks. If I'm in excruciating pain I'll take it, but given a choice, I'll take anything else rather than that stuff.) Several hours later, I was allowed to leave, on condition that I take it easy for a few days and come back if the pain gets worse. Since I really, really don't want to go back, taking it easy is the way to go.

My cousin came and met me to make sure I got home alright. We were on the bus when we saw the sign outside a charity shop advertising abandoned kittens for adoption. I've wanted a cat again for a long time; I've missed having an animal in my life, and so has Stace. She looked at the sign and said wistfully, "Oh! I want a kitty."
And I thought 'Life is short.' and I told her to push the buzzer to stop the bus. We both needed to eat, anyway, and there was a coffee shop right next to the charity place.

So we met Maria, who runs Little Darlings and rescues animals and places them, and she showed us a picture of two starving kittens that had been stuffed into a filthy carrier, tied up in a black plastic bag, and dumped outside her shop. I would give a great deal to have 5 minutes alone with the person who did this to them, I truly would.

That night, Maria brought them over, and my life is now filled with miaows and chirps and the delicate thunder of kitten paws stampeding across the floor at 2 a.m.

We have Hathor Freya, who seems to be training to be a ninja and hides in the most amazing places, and Bast Sekhmet, who likes to be able to see at least one human and know where her sister is, and will now eat out of my hand. They're still twitchy, and a bit nervous, but they're playing and eating and getting used to the fact that they are now in a safe place.

So yeah, although I'd prefer a non-painful way off the universe giving me directions, if I hadn't spent the night in the hospital I wouldn't have these cats in my life, and I'd be the poorer for it. But I'd really like a hospital-free life from now onwards; this is getting a bit annoying.

Sunday 12 October 2014

Body Parts (minor rant alert)

Something that confuses me a bit - okay, a LOT, is why women seem hell-bent on letting other people decide things about their bodies for them. As females, it's become completely acceptable to have Fat Days, Bad Hair Days, Dull Skin Days, and every single one of those can result in depression, irritability, and a feeling of worthlessness. We panic over wrinkles. We freak out over grey hair. An extra five pounds can lead to sobbing under the duvet. (Yes, there may be a male out there that does this, but I haven't met one yet.)

Then you get the random bitchiness of strangers. There's a certain person out there who thinks they are completely justified in commenting on your appearance, food, and hair colour. These are people who've drunk the kool-aid of advertising to the point that looking like a normal human is beyond their comprehension. Or maybe they're just sad, angry little balls of misery that need to share that with the world. Hell, some of them have made a career out of appearing on t.v. to make nasty remarks to an audience of millions.
There are websites dedicated to body shaming, and nobody seems to find the idea behind them repulsive. Let's put it this way: unless you're not quite human, you are just as flawed as the people you are giggling over. You have no damn room to point.

Some of them go into politics, and this is where it gets scary. These people think that women shouldn't decide what happens to their bodies. They'd rather let you die than make that choice. Or end up in jail. They don't have that right, because slavery has been illegal for centuries, and deciding you own somebody else's body is pretty much the definition of slavery.

See, here's the thing. My body. I live in it, not anyone else. I dress it the way I choose. I decorate it the way I want, because I have to live in it. If I feel a bit overweight, I can choose to go on diet. Or not. Nobody has the right to tell me otherwise. If I am underweight, the same goes. My. Body.

I change my hair colour a lot, because (a) I can, and (b) I like it. Sometimes I don't like the colour, and it gets changed fast. But it's my choice.

I have tattoos. I like my tattoos. If you have a problem with them, don't look at the bloody things. They have nothing to do with my sexual inclinations, promiscuity or whether I like swinging from chandeliers on a Saturday night. I have yet to see someone walk up to a large, muscular tattooed man and accuse him of having a tramp stamp.

As for sex… It's really nobody else's business who you sleep with, as long as it's consenting and there are no kids or small furry animals involved. Or large furry animals. No animals, okay? It's something that's as fundamental to the human experience as eating and sleeping, and nobody has the right to tell me whether or not I should be doing it. I don't particularly care whether various religious figures approve or not, because they have no business in my bed.

Advertising tells me I should do everything in my power to stop ageing. You know what stops you ageing? Death. That's pretty much it. I don't really want to shuffle off this mortal coil just yet, and when I do I sure as hell have no intention of clutching a tube of anti-wrinkle cream in one clawed hand.

I have a number of scars, and the ones on my leg are pretty big. Society and advertising tells me I should cover them up. Never wear dresses or shorts, camouflage them so other people don't have to see them and flinch. Well, that's not going to happen. My scars show the world I survived something pretty damn painful, and if you have an issue with that, don't look at them.

Then you get "age-appropriate" clothes. You know what's age-appropriate? Not wearing diapers past the potty-training stage. If you like it, wear it. This life is too short to listen to some idiot tell you that you shouldn't enjoy it.

My body. I choose what I do with it. I choose whether or not to have kids, to carry a pregnancy to term or not, to paint it, pierce it, decorate it in any way I want. It does not belong to society, advertising, my family or my friends. It never belonged to past or future lovers, because I'm not a piece of meat. It doesn't belong to any government, either. It doesn't belong to hackers, or advertising, or society as a whole, and I am unbelievably tired of all of these entities trying to tell me it does.

Do me favour, will you? If you are female, the next time someone tries to make a bitchy comment on your appearance, tell them it's none of their business.  If you're male and you witness it, tell the commentator it's none of their business.
And if you are the commentator, think about why you are doing this. Why you find women so horrifying (even if you are one) that you have to make them feel just a little bit worse, a little bit smaller. And stop drinking the bloody kool-aid.