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Things to do today

– Get M to church early since the youth group is baking pies to be distributed to congregation shut-ins for Thanksgiving.
— It’s also pledge Sunday, and I will be tallying up the annual pledges.
— E will go grocery shopping in the quest to find a Thanksgiving turkey that’s not full of artificial crap, not sold by a company with questionable politics, and not enormous since only 6 of us will be eating it, none of whom get too excited about turkey leftovers.
— Go to E’s mom’s house to clear leaves out of her yard.
— Repaint edges of bedroom ceiling with mold-resistant paint, after having cleaned mold off yesterday; warm breath condenses in a section that seems impossible to insulate.
— Write recommendation for M for the University of Rochester, since they want a recommendation from a family or community member, and he doesn’t feel like asking the same people who already wrote recommendations for his summer job or his Eagle application.

No wonder I’m just sitting here in my bathrobe, putzing on the internet, finding it a bit hard to get enthusiastic about the day ahead…..

Montana! South Carolina!

Woohoo for Montana! A federal court judge ruled that, “The time has come for Montana to follow all the other states within the Ninth Circuit and recognize laws that ban same-sex marriage violate the constitutional right of same-sex couples to equal protection of the laws.”

Woohoo for South Carolina! A federal judge also ruled in favor of marriage equality on the grounds of “the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.” The Supreme Court then refused to issue a stay on that ruling while the state continues to squander taxpayer money in an appeal that equal protection isn’t really equal for everyone. Or whatever their logic is.

And so gay and lesbian couples have already been getting married in those states. I bet I know what those couples will be giving thanks for next week!

And now:

68.4% of people live in places where same-sex married couples have all the same state and federal rights as opposite-sex married couples.

31.6% of people live in places where same-sex marriages are not recognized by the state.

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The cat is back to his usual perky self — it is truly amazing and wonderful how well he has recovered. But he still has a lot of bare patches on his body, so he’s only allowed out when wearing his hoodie, since the weather is now very cold. He reacts to the hoodie roughly the way a toddler reacts to mittens — if you leave him inside for more than 30 seconds with the hoodie on, he wriggles around and rubs up against corners until he gets it off. But if you get him outside right away, he’s so focused on exploring and enjoying the outdoors that he doesn’t really mind it.

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(For the record, if anyone is considering buying a similar hoodie for their cat, this is a size large and the cat weighs around 11 pounds. It’s slightly loose around the leg holes, but anything smaller would probably be too snug in the belly.)

What I left out of my previous post is that, in addition to the ointment, the cat was also getting prednisone each evening to help reduce the itching. As last week progressed, he continued to be an itchy uncomfortable mess. Wednesday evening, after I dosed him, he was dopey from the prednisone but also so miserable that he was skulking around the house with his head hanging down. We initially thought that it was because when he lifted his head up, his neck folds meant the fur from his shaved area was starting to grow in and irritate his raw skin. E arranged to take Thursday off from work so she could take him back to the vet.

Thursday morning he was beyond miserable, just lying on the floor and crying. When E got him to the vet, their initial thought was that he was in kidney failure; evidently cats walking around with their heads hanging down is an incredibly bad sign. And he’d lost an entire pound since his last visit 5 days earlier. At that point, I left work to meet E at the vet, and arrived just after test results showed it wasn’t kidney failure (hallelujah!), but his potassium levels were dangerously low, probably from the prednisone, and he needed to go to the animal hospital to be admitted.

So we headed over the to animal hospital. By now the cat was such a miserable little lump of fur in his carrier that when the receptionist peered into the carrier, she asked if he was a bunny.

They took him back and got an IV going while we gave the vet his complete medical history. (Comic relief moment: the vet saying, “So aside from the asthma, the constipation, and the heart murmur, he’s healthy?”) We discussed tests they would run and treatment plan. And then we got to see him before we left. He was absolutely pathetic, clearly wanted to come home with us, and yet so weak that all he could do was sort of flop forward in the cage and sag over the edge of the litter tray.

My son had been born prematurely enough that he spent the first 19 days of his life in the NICU. So I’m not a stranger to how heart-breaking it is to love someone who is tiny and completely helpless, and have to walk out and leave him behind overnight in the care of medical staff. And yet, in some ways it was harder to walk out and leave the cat than it had been to leave my son each night, because the cat had been abandoned and seriously abused before E adopted him, so he’s already got mental trauma from that, and we really didn’t want him thinking we were abandoning him too.

Thursday night, late, we got the call that he was doing well enough after IV supplementation they were going to try him on solid food. By Friday morning, the report was that he was eating very well and that a whole array of tests hadn’t shown any new reason for his problems. Friday evening he was able to come home, and we were all so glad of it!

Saturday he was maybe 75% of his usual self, and did a lot of sleeping. We have a potassium supplement that we need to give him for a month; it’s basically a goo that smells of maple, and he’s not all that fond of it, so trying to get it into him now means that our whole house smells a bit like maple. Whatever. We have him home, and although he’s used up another of his 9 lives, our beloved squawky little bugger is now squawking at the door, trying to convince me to take him out despite the fact it’s freezing weather and he has multiple shaved patches on his body, due to his initial neck problem and being shaved for tests. Sorry bud, you have to stay inside and take it easy a little longer. At least until the fleece hoodie we ordered for you arrives.

The cat recently developed his annual case of autumn itch, scratching raw a fairly good-sized chunk of the back of his neck. We’ve taken him to the vet for this twice, since it progressed to a bacterial infection. He’s now got a shaved area about the size of the palm of my hand, and it looks so raw and uncomfortable — don’t worry, I’m not actually going to inflict a picture of this on you. He also has an ointment that we are supposed to apply twice a day, and the vet gave us finger cots to use to rub it into him.

The first time E went to use a finger cot, she put it over the tip of her finger, and was struggling to get it on, before realizing she needed to put it on with the rolled ring facing up, and then could just roll it down her finger.

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Yeah. They look just like mini-condoms and this would have been obvious to most adults — but we’re lesbians, we don’t do condoms. :-)

Once the cat’s sore patch heals, he’s going to have another trip to the vet to get his teeth worked on. Because this is not a normal way for a cat to sound while he’s eating.

Autumn in New England

The trees turn beautiful colors.

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Even the poison ivy turns beautiful colors.

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And the local alpaca grows his warm winter do.

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Stress relief

Guess what? Even a stressed-out high school senior working on college apps finds it funny when his mom is vacuuming under the computer desk, and tries to suck up his big toe with the vacuum hose.

Well, maybe not wildly funny. But at least it got a smile.

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