I REGRET NOTHING.

In case you missed it: HBO took THREE attempts at a live video before they managed to melt the ice block down far enough to show us the premiere date. All told, six figures’ worth of people spent more than a half hour glued to Facebook and literally watching ice melt.

We got it, though! Season 7 of Game of Thrones premieres on July 16th, 2017!

 

Declawing is a net negative for cat welfare

There’s a bill going through the New Jersey legislature to criminalize declawing as animal cruelty. Apparently one of the primary defenses of declawing from the veterinary community is that some owners have their cats euthanized because they’re fed up with the scratching, so in that sense, declawing keeps a lot of cats alive.

Then in the Facebook comments on the article, someone says spaying/neutering is mutilating the animal’s genitals, and nobody seems to find anything wrong with that, so, therefore, mutilating their paws should be okay.

Right. So, here’s the difference between one type of mutilation practiced on companion animals (spay/neuter) and another (declawing): spaying and neutering cats actually achieves what declawing is supposed to do.

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I just can’t get excited over a steak

Everyone’s talking about the travesty that is Trumpty Numpty ordering a $54 steak well-done and covering it in ketchup. And sure, that sounds obnoxious, but Kate Harding on Facebook posted a photo of a guy holding up a sign at a protest rally: “HE DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A DOG.”

I mean…that tells you so much more about the SCROTUS’s character than how he eats a steak. Even Nixon had a dog! I have this headcanon where Trumpty Numpty is so gross, even my brother’s dog wouldn’t get close enough to accept a treat from him. He and Melania once got a little pooch for Barron, and that dog was Barron’s best friend whenever his dad was away, but it turned into a little killing machine whenever The Donald showed up, so they had to give it back. Cats are just as bad; they constantly try to escape the penthouse, and they’d rather fall off the top of Trump Tower than stay one more minute in that man’s presence. Cats love Melania (although I don’t let her off the hook), and dogs love Barron, but all companion animals flee at the sight of Commander-in-Cheeto.

 

A cat is not an old couch.

On Saturday, I adopted a second cat. I call her Lady Lavender, she’s about a year old, and she’s the sweetest, friendliest little kitty you’ve ever seen.

Lavender came to me from a friend of a friend. She was a stray living at a gas station and begging for food at a nearby laundromat. Her foster, Annie, found her at the gas station and asked the employees for permission to take her home, which they granted. By then, the cat was heavily pregnant, and gave birth to five kittens mere hours after Annie brought her home. She was happy to become an indoor kitty and took to eating about eight large cans of wet food per day while nursing her litter. It’s not that she was a big cat and needed all that protein in the long-term, but she was underweight and needed to fill out, in addition to having five babies to feed.

Anyway, Annie found people to adopt the kittens right away, but still had no home for the mama kitty, so she asked for help from her Ravelry friends. My friend Debbie shared her post on Facebook of this gorgeous little young mama tortie in need of a home, and I expressed interest. Annie got her spayed, let her rest for the week, and brought her to my house on Saturday afternoon. For now, I am site-swapping her and Purrion between a bedroom and the house at large until they get acquainted by scent.

You know what pisses me off? This cat was a stray until a few months ago, and she’s the farthest thing from feral. She’s affectionate, gentle and agreeable, which means she had to have been socialized by humans before she ended up on the street. Someone had this sweet little kitten in their home, and someone left her out on the street without first getting her spayed. She was left to beg for scraps for months, and she went through an entire pregnancy, before a nice human decided to take her home. Because she was lucky enough to have a good foster mom, her babies will not join a feral cat colony. Because she was a mostly-adult cat rather than a dainty kitten, it wasn’t easy to find her a permanent home.

For the love of Pete, folks, a cat is not just a thing you leave out on the front stoop when you need to make room for something else. This is a 20-year commitment, and there are options aside from chucking them out and hoping for the best. If you must surrender your cat, make sure it’s spayed/neutered first so it won’t create hundreds more cats with nowhere to go. If you must surrender the cat before you have a chance to get it fixed, surrender it to an animal rescue that’ll make sure it’s fixed and vaccinated and will make an effort to put the cat in a good home. Do not abandon an intact cat to fend for itself.

In which my cat is still outside.

I’ve made a bit of progress on my displaced indoor cat.

I took the day off work and spent about two hours just walking all over the neighborhood with Purrion’s favorite tassel toy. Didn’t see any sign of the cat, but my neighbors two doors up said they’d seen a “black streak” get chased under their back deck by another cat. 

Eventually, I went down to the police station, and the ladies in Communications helped to connect me with Animal Control. They have lent me a humane trap and wildlife camera, which are now set up in my backyard. The shelter folks say it generally takes a cat going hungry for 2-3 weeks before it’s desperate enough to walk into a trap, and I hate the idea of my cat being outside for that long, but if that’s what it takes to get him back in my house, then I’m glad for the trap.

A bit earlier this afternoon, after doing a bit of housecleaning, I went outside again and…I saw my cat. 

Of course he’s still not home with me. He’ll let me see him in daylight, but he won’t come close enough to touch him.

He seems to like hanging out under the back deck at the house two doors up from me, so, yes, that “black streak” getting chased under there by another cat was probably my Purrion. That yard is where he seems to be hanging out for the time being. I’ve approached a couple of times, and I managed to engage him a little bit with his favorite tassel toy, but he’ll only interact with me a very little bit before he pulls away again.

Anyway, he looks healthy, I have a good point of reference for his location, and I feel better for having seen him. The neighbors in that house have seen him, so we’re on the same page. He’ll come back to my house when he’s ready.

Now I can’t help but think back to that conversation I had with Bill at AAA Emergency Tree Service, in which he told me to get on with my day rather than pay hundreds of dollars for one of their guys to come over and get him out of the tree.

In a limited sense, Bill was right, in that Purrion did eventually come down from the tree. Unfortunately, he’s still out of my hands two days later. I would have gladly paid several hundred dollars to have him brought down from the tree and into my house, rather than spend all this time trying to get him back. I don’t know how many more days it’ll take before Purrion comes home. I don’t know how much longer he’ll go hungry before he’s back inside. I don’t know what kind of shape he’ll be in when he reaches the point of coming back to me. Yes, I would have happily paid for him to be professionally de-treed after only a couple of hours, rather than let him stay out in the neighborhood for an undetermined number of days. I would have paid that much to correct my mistake.

The ladies in Communications at my local police station are awesome. The nice people at the animal shelter are awesome. The guy who picked up the phone at the tree service, however? Not so much.

I will not make that mistake again.

Don’t worry, this isn’t about politics. It’s not about Game of Thrones, either.

It’s about my cat. I did something stupid, he got away from me, and now he’s stuck out in the cold.

Purrion is an indoor kitty, and I made the mistake of taking him out to my backyard. I won’t try to justify this dim-witted idea of super-fun leash-training in my backyard, only that I did not anticipate his response. Short story shorter, he freaked the fuck out like I was trying to kill him, he escaped his harness, and he ran up my maple tree.

I guess his carrier is the better option after all. Lesson learned! Now where the fuck is my cat and how do I get him back into my warm house in one piece?

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They’re giving me a mallet and I need a syringe.

I feel like I’m walking this tightrope between Xanax and coffee. If I don’t drink coffee at all, I’m non-functional. If I drink too much coffee too fast, I’m uncomfortable all day long.

(And of course if I don’t take the Xanax, I’m constantly on the edge of a panic attack.)

One of these days, I’ll figure out just the right schedule for taking my Xanax, and just the right amount of coffee to drink and the right pace to drink it. By then, maybe I’ll be free of panic disorder and I’ll only have to medicate for generalized anxiety.

I’m glad to have the Xanax for now, but I hope it isn’t a long-term thing. It works basically by hammering the nervous system down until it can’t cause any serious problems. I think I can do better than that.

(Right now I’ve had two cups of coffee for the day, and I’ve been struggling to stay awake since before 4PM.)

 

This is not encouraging.

As I’ve mentioned, my mental health has been trending downward in recent months, and I’m trying to get help. My old family doc has retired since I last saw him, so I paid a visit to his successor, who gave me a referral to a psychiatrist. But he didn’t tell me what I’d have to do to sign on as a new patient with this psychiatrist’s practice.

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