Thursday, December 31, 2015


As you may recall from my last post, Rusty the Cat's bilateral FHO surgery was scheduled for this past Monday. This was to fix his two fractured femoral necks to hopefully relieve the constant hip pain he surely must be suffering.

We dropped our little trooper off bright and early Monday morning with instructions to return Tuesday to pick him up. On the way out of the office I stopped at the desk to pay a sum I'm too embarrassed to share. Suffice it to say I won't be going on vacation anytime soon.

At 10am I received a call from the doctor; there had been a complication. My heart sank into my stomach. While putting Rusty under, he had a reaction to the anesthesia. Rusty was going to be okay but the doctor decided to postpone the procedure a week.

So after all that trauma, Rusty's still no closer to getting better. And he now has two shaved bands where they had his IVs hooked up. Now that I know how white he is under his black fur, I'm kind of afraid what he's gonna look like with his ass shaved. :^)

It's bad enough his back legs don't work, but now
his front legs just look ridiculous.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Ephemeral, Defemoral

Sit, stand, kneel, repeat.
I can't believe it's December 23 already. This Christmas sure snuck up on me. I only just returned home from nearly a week in Michigan. My aunt and godmother's funeral was a sad occasion, but it was very nice to reconnect with family and friends I haven't seen in years.

I'd forgotten how Catholic my upbringing was until we were back in tiny St. Patrick's church. Listening to the priest berate the assembled mourners who were only there to pay their respects to a woman they loved reminded me why I'm no longer religious.

I returned home last Saturday to find that my poor kitty's limp had gotten worse. I'd taken Rusty to the vet a few weeks ago and while she couldn't find anything specifically wrong with his leg, she suggested I bring him back for x-rays if he doesn't get any better. While I was away my little buddy seemed to go from playful kitten to grumpy old man, so back to the vet we went on Monday.

He's got JB's hips
and my tail.
Four hours and five hundred dollars later we were told Rusty has two fractured hips! Evidently this type of hip problem is common in male cats who get neutered while still very young. Something about the femoral growth plates not getting the hormones they need to develop completely. Cats with this condition typically begin showing signs of hip problems at around 18 months of age.

There wasn't really any question that JB and I would opt for surgical repair. After all, when JB's hip went bad I didn't put him to sleep; we got it fixed. So Monday morning at 8:30am Rusty is going in for double FHO surgery. Femoral Head Ostectomy is a procedure where they remove the femoral head and neck, which is the ball part of the hip joint.

This is your cat on
pain killers.
I learned that because cats are small and light, they can get by without a complete hip joint as the bone heals and their muscles learn to compensate. The prognosis is excellent as, in most cases, these cats regain full use of their hind legs and return to their normal activity levels.

Of course, this will take several months of recovery. It's going to be an interesting new year.

Monday, December 14, 2015

One Step Forward...

I'm still trying to get up to speed for the holidays. The condo renovations are approximately 95% complete. That's down from a high of 99% on November 30th before I discovered a leak from my clogged air conditioner condensation drain soaked about 100 square feet of my brand new hardwood.

The good news is that it looks like we'll be able to save the flooring, however the baseboards ripped up by the remediation crew in order to dry inside the walls still need to be replaced. The damage extended to two storage closets, so all the items which are usually kept out of sight are now piled high in my blogging den.

Since all the noisy fans and dehumidifiers have finally been taken away, we were able to get the tree up this weekend. Then I got the sad news that my godmother passed away so I'll be spending several days this week in Michigan.

This doesn't give me much time for my usual pre-Christmas tasks of shopping, baking and crafting but I'll do my best. I got all the ingredients for a gingerbread project, although I'm still not sure what I'm going to construct. It's going to be hard to beat last year's edible tableau of StevieB topping an anonymous trick behind an Eagle dumpster. Any ideas?

Again this year I'm relying on The Crafty Lumberjacks for holiday inspiration. I really liked their idea of lighting the Charlie Brown themed shipping box which is being offered by the US Postal Service this year. While the exact box those hunky lumberjacks used was easy to find, the most difficult and frustrating part of the entire project was the 30 minutes waiting in the post office line to buy the damn thing.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Metaphoric Christmas

I read with great enjoyment Stevie B's blog post about picking out a Christmas tree. (Go read "Christmas Tree".) One of the things I love about Stevie's writing is the layers of symbolism he weaves throughout anecdotal tales of his day-to-day life. In this case it isn't hard to see the plastic tree that never changes from one year to the next, eventually becoming a begrudged chore to deal with, as representing his life in his previous relationship.

By way of contrast, Stevie's new life is represented by a genuine, living evergreen. This experience is shared with Stevie's roommate, who is also out of a long-term relationship and who is also hot (and available), and Stevie's new romantic partner who (by cultural happenstance and not extreme youth) is experiencing this holiday ritual for the very first time. Through his boyfriend's eyes, Stevie gets to relive happy memories while viewing his current reality with a fresh, child-like perspective.

Trekking up a mounting to stand in the cold and mud is Stevie's acknowledgement that the process of ending a long-term relationship and building a new life can't be undertaken without some amount of pain and messiness. Sometimes our fear of this discomfort can keep us fluffing the same plastic tree a year or two longer than we should.

Another brilliantly crafted post, Stevie B. Bravo!