Ahhhhh

Yesterday was an extremely pleasant day. I could really use that after the stress of this situation. Butterscotch was bright all day, although he napped a lot, of course. I worked at home in the morning, and he slept next to my keyboard the whole time. It was wonderfully idyllic.

For lunch I picked up Dale at his new office, and we went to the co-op, both to get food and allow me to shop. I’m definitely going through some kind of transformation. While I’ve been working on openness with people in general, I’ve never felt as open. I had conversations with three people at the store. The fish guy was smoothing the ice in his display case, and I asked him if he was a frustrated sculptor. He said no, although he does have an art degree. Liberal Arts makes the world go around! We then talked fish. At the deli counter, the woman asked if she could help me, and I said YES! She appreciated my excitement. At the checkout, I got into a conversation (I don’t remember how) with the guy about Saturday Night Live, and the skit that Dan Akroyd did where he imitated Julia Child. I watched myself during these interactions, enjoying the openness.

Dale and I had a nice lunch, then returned to my house to put groceries away and research who we were going to vote for in the primary. Dale did some mantras with Butterscotch. As it was raining, I took Dale home, instead of his taking his bike.

Upon returning home, I walked to the Post Office with my big new umbrella to vote. I ran into my neighbor Mary. I told her about Butterscotch. She was sad to hear it; she and Zane lost a cat just last year. At the polling place my neighbor Carol was working, so I told her as well. She said she’d think happy kitty thoughts for him. More and more support.

I walked back home and worked a few hours. A big, messy, complex query in SQL Server. Way fun. <g>

At 3 we went to Cynthia’s for another session. Butterscotch has never enjoyed riding in the car. He always has complained. Not really any more. He seemed to get a little excited as we neared Cynthia’s place. I was concerned about his PCV being 14 after the last transfusion, and then dropping to 12 the next morning before I picked him up. Cynthia told me not to worry – there’s sampling error in there, especially since the numbers are low. Butterscotch was very bright, and clinically looked much better. She suggested that these cells might last another 4 – 5 days. I was incredulous, although I would certainly love that.

We returned home where I made a nice salmon steak, salad and rice. Dr. Wagner had left a message around 5; she called saying she was paranoid and wanted to know how we were doing. Is that great or what? I worked until about 11:30 or so. Chester turned me on to Josh Groban, who has an amazingly beautiful voice. I listened to his album repeatedly while I worked.

We went to bed, him doing the sphinx kitty thing on my chest, then he went off to do whatever he does a night, and I went to sleep.

* * *

*Sigh* Another short night’s sleep. Butterscotch woke me up around 5. He was digging or something at my shoulder. I need to explain that a previous roommate’s cat, Molly, used to go under the covers and lay next to me from time to time. I thought that was really neat, but Butterscotch never once did it, despite my invitations. Well, this morning while he was digging, it seemed like it was the edge of the blanket he was working on. I lifted the edge, and lo and behold, he walked down my body and laid down between my calves. I worried, thinking this was another example of ‘cat going to dark place to die’ syndrome. So I turned on the light, picked up my watch, and took his pulse. 100 bpm. Wow, that’s really good! (Dr. Wagner is having me watch out for a consistent pulse above 240 bpm, which would be a sign that he is crashing and needs another transfusion). I decided he was just trying something different, and I could relax.

I listened to the radio and relaxed for about an hour, then fell asleep for an hour or two. Still not enough, but oh well. I got up and started my day. I got an email from Barb in Detroit asking how the boy was, and what my plans were for coming to Detroit weekend after next to teach. I sent her and Sharon an email that I decided not to go, and detailed all the reasons. Sharon shot me back an email saying she supported my decision. More support.

Since I’ve been behind on hours, I decided to work at home for several hours today. I finished the big, ugly query, and the page that it creates. Beautiful. Boy my job is fun sometimes.

I had a nice coach call with Patricia this morning, talking mostly during my turn about Butterscotch and the experience I’m having with all of this. I also said I was going to give Northwest a call to see if I could get away without a change fee for next weekend’s ticket because of Butterscotch’s illness. We’ll see about that. She suggested that he may have crawled under the covers this morning because he’s feeling more open with me as well. Neat idea. And yet more support from that call.

At noon we went to the vet hospital, so that he could get his levels checked to make sure the Cyclosporin was dosed properly, as well as to get a PCV. Why does it seem I’m always driving through campus between classes? And why don’t I remember it being such a madhouse at this time when I was going to school? Maybe because I wasn’t trying to drive through the crowds with a cat on my lap. As we approached the hospital, he started whining. He knows where he’s going! Or he’s reinforced for it, or whatever. He can distinguish going to the hospital and going to Cynthia’s.

Brittany did his intake. He was a big complainer today! She was very pleased at how clinically bright he was. Color was good, as was pulse, and all the rest. All inputs and outputs are great. I brought the treats with me, and gave one to her to feed him, so that perhaps we could reinforce him to like being here. Yeah, right. He wouldn’t eat the treat. I think he’s actually getting reinforced that when there’s a treat, there’s a yucky medicine or needle. He actually did a low growl while Brittany palpated his abdomen and checked his pulse, etc. Wow. I held and pet him while she did her work.

[As I write this, Butterscotch came up and sat on the desk, watching my hands as though it were interesting. He just stepped down onto my lap, and is now curled up. How did I get this lucky?]

I waited for a few minutes for Dr. Wagner to come in. Butterscotch was checking out the room. When Dr. Wagner and Brittany came in, he was urinating in the corner. I guess it’s been a while since he went. We cleaned it up and laughed. Dr. Wagner was thoroughly pleased with how he was doing. When I told her his pulse has been consistently between 100 and 125 bpm, she seemed surprised and quite pleased. It’s higher at the hospital, which they’re used to, of course. I thanked her for her call last night. She really does care. I gave her some dried shrimp treats that I bought for Butterscotch that he dislikes. I figured they could use them, or give them to the donor kitties. It’s the least I could do for them, since they’re helping Butterscotch stay alive.

They took him back to get a blood sample, and I waited in the waiting room. Brittany brought him back to me, and I sat holding him while they put the sample in the centrifuge to get the PCV. After a few minutes he got antsy and wanted off my lap. Not a good idea in a vet hospital, where there are dogs around. I informed the receptionist, and took him back into an exam room, so that he could roam. I then discovered why he was antsy – he needed to poop. And where did he do it? Right on the drain plate – smart kitty! I cleaned it up. Does poop qualify as bio hazard? I figured might as well, and threw it in there. They use some icky-smelling cleaner stuff at the hospital. Nature’s Miracle works so much better.

I thought I saw Brittany and Dr. Wagner walk past, and stuck my head out. They came in, and were also amused with him. Apart from his marrow, he’s quite healthy – even gaining a bit of weight. His PCV is between 10 and 12 – what he left with! I was incredibly happy. He’s maintaining this blood quite well. I asked if it would be safe for him to go outside in his harness – I thought he might pick something up since he’s immunodeficient. Dr. Wagner said it should be fine, just avoid other animals.

It’s quite clear to me now how much the health of the animals affects the doctors and staff. Past meetings were mostly very serious. This one was much lighter. I think we’re all much happier now that he’s stable. And everyone there just loves him! The receptionists always beam when they see him (I’m just the human), and people often remark how much they like him. See how lucky I am? I paid for today and left.

I usually drive to the hospital taking University Ave. and turning on Charter, and come back along Observatory Dr. I don’t know why, yet now it’s habit. When I got to the corner of Observatory and Park, I stopped at the stop sign, and rolled forward, waiting for the herd of students so that I could turn right. It was class change time again – how does this always seem to happen? As I was slowly creeping forward, a car came from my left and honked at me. Some … hmmm. Family show. I’ll be nice. Man and his wife in a nice car. There, I handled that well. Anyway, when I looked at him, he motioned with his thumb that I should back up and let him through, as though he had right of way. Are ya kidding? Pfff – I was already in the intersection! I motioned HIM with MY thumb to back up, and continued creeping forward with about 3 inches between his bumper and the side of my car. I’m a very patient person, but that kind of undeserved entitlement gets my goat. And I learned a very important lesson while driving in Chicago with Suzanne years ago: whoever is in front will win.

We got back and had lunch (yes, we both ate). I then worked into the afternoon. Kelly called to check in, and we had a nice conversation. Yet more support.

With little sleep and everything going on, I was pooped by 5 pm. I laid down and took a nap for about two hours. Boy, I needed that! I got up and cleaned the kitchen while Eric listened to the September 11 stuff. I didn’t think about that much today – I’ve already processed a lot about that, and the one year anniversary seems a bit arbitrary to me. I think about it often, and don’t need a special day. Sounds like neat stuff happened, though. I hope people got good healing out of it. I completely took apart and washed Butterscotch’s water dish/fountain, and put in the new homeopathics that Cynthia gave me. He got up and drank a bunch of water, and I mixed some tuna with digestive clay for him. I wish he’d eat more of that; he really prefers his kibble.

I then had some dinner out on the back patio while I put Butterscotch back in his harness. We came back in when the mosquitoes came out. The last thing I need is for some mosquito to attack his shaved portions and give him West Nile Virus!

Sandi called me and we had a good conversation. I laughed and laughed! Oh, I need the laughter after all the tears of the past week! Very healing. I helped her walk through fixing her computer.

And here I am typing this now. Butterscotch is sitting across my lap like a tiger sitting on a branch – you know the pose. I think I’ll call Mom and have a chat.

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