Tag Archives: pip

Stupid lungs


Bleh—stupid lungs. I think I just used the last of my spare inhaler.

Feels like a big hand is squeezing tightly around my ribs.

  • If I go to the nurse practitioner, she’s going to tell me to blow into the air-thingy, determine that I’m not getting enough air out, and then prescribe me at least one inhaler and maybe an antibiotic, but maybe not because it’s probably viral. And she’ll tell me to rest. Real rest. Not work at home rest. 
  • If I go to the acupuncturist he’s going to treat me once or twice a week for a few weeks, which will feel good, but maybe not give me any immediate relief. He’ll also send me home with some lung exercises and a Chinese herb or two.

Both will probably ask me if I’m undergoing any extra stress. Maybe I’ll see if I can get an inhaler refill first. If they let me, I can then make an appointment this week with the acupuncturist.

Pip continues to have problems with her pain medication affecting her perceptions. She just about fell off the cat tree backwards just now trying to jump to the top. And she has more divots of fur out around her eyes. Now we think it’s possible that’s she’s been itching and scratching her face too hard (instead of running into things) since she rubbed her face really hard today and then hubby noticed a new divot. We considered discontinuing the med, but decided not to, as it only goes into Wednesday—but we’re not leaving her unsupervised.

Here’s to weekends at home


In spite of the fact that my husband and I have been sick for a week (is this turning into bronchitis?!) and I’ve been feeling crappy off and on for a few weeks now, I just had a great weekend. Sometimes a quiet weekend at home is exactly what I need. No need to leave the house (except for the yard, or a walk around the neighborhood), and certainly no reason to drive anywhere.

Hubby and I did mostly our own thing, except for watching Rome together, an old series we’re working our way through on Netflix discs. I read most of Will Potter’s excellent Green is the New Red, which I’m going to finish after this post. I caught up on a bunch of vegan podcasts while doing stuff around the house. I henna’d my hair. I started some lentils sprouting in a jar, which is something I’ve been wanting to try for a while. 

It was a slightly warm and sunny weekend, so I was able to take Pip, Isis, and the dogs out into the backyard to hang out a little. (Gordy and Nevermore were not very interested, but Gordy logged some good time on the porch. Caesar even came out to the porch for a bit.) I took Ruby for a walk, trimmed the dog’s nails, and brushed Bubba and gave him a bath, which hadn’t happened for a looong time. Due to his health issues, his coat has not been in the greatest shape lately, and he seems to always be shedding and shaggy—half a pug of fur is now in the back yard. This evening I even had a little time to research some news for the next show.

Poor Pip, the pain med that the doctor gave her for the extraction seriously cracks her out. Fairly immediately, her eyes glaze over and she loses coordination. In fact, we’ve had to keep an extra eye on her. This ordinarily very agile cat is having problems judging the leap to the cat tree, etc. And she somehow banged herself up in the night—she has a divot of fur out next to each eye (worse near her right eye). It could be that she had a tussle with one of the other cats, but I don’t think so. So tonight we’ll make sure to confine her to the bedroom. I’d almost rather not give her the pain med if its going to mess her up like that, but then I don’t know how bad the extraction might be hurting and she can’t tell me. Yesterday she did seem to be uncomfortable eating, so it probably does hurt—a lot. At least I know she loves going outside and was able to do that for her.

Both days I began to feel tired after about 4 hours, so it was great to have nothing that had to get done. Hopefully it was enough rest to kick this and be able to start my work week feeling good.

The wrath of calico


Pip is not a happy camper. We decided it was time to scrape some money together and take one of the animals in for a teeth cleaning. Even though everybody needs it, at an average of $500 a pop with exam, blood work, and the dental, it doesn’t happen often enough.

So, we chose Pip, because she is the senior cat (at 10, and now that Connecticut is gone, she is the cat friend I’ve had the longest, although Nevermore and Gordy are about 10 as well). Pip seemed to need it most, and we also wanted to get her checked out in general, as she seems to have been drinking extra water in the last few months.

She came through the dental fine, having one small tooth pulled, which is not too bad considering the length of time since her last cleaning. And her blood work showed a small creatinine elevation, which could indicate a preliminary problem with her kidneys, but nothing major yet. She obviously is out of sorts, a bit groggy, and she’s a little pissed. We have 2 meds and a mouth rinse to administer 2x daily for 5 days and she is going to be a pain in the ass, living up to her calico reputation. Pip is a beautiful, smart, curious, independent, and lively cat, but at the same time she is quick to show her displeasure.

The weekend is supposed to be sunny. I have been very under the weather the last few days, but I think it will do us both good to go out in the yard and get a little sun, if it’s warm enough. Pip is constantly begging to go outside or trying to escape (sometimes she is successful—she never goes far, but we try to keep it from happening as we live by busy streets). I take her out once in a while with me, but I have to keep a close eye on her because she likes nothing more than to jump the fence and explore the sagebrush field behind us, or the neighbor’s yard, keeping just out of my reach while I try to grab her. I adopted Pip from the Santa Cruz SPCA in 2001. She was a four-month old gregarious stray kitten who had been found in a parking lot. Even then, her adventurous spirit was evident. I hope she is back to her old self soon.

I’m singing my song inside of my fur

Cat Dreams book cover

So I had Ursula Le Guin on my mind and I decided to order some of her books from the library that I might not have come across before. I discovered a series in the teen section that I’ve not yet read: Gifts, Voices, and Powers, which I’ll be checking out, and this gem of a children’s book: Cat Dreams (illustrated by S. D. Schindler).

Last night, to wind down after a frustrating day, I got out Cat Dreams to take a look before bed. It’s aimed, I would guess, at very small children, or those just learning to read. The artwork is superb and the main character calico cat (who is unnamed in the book) looks remarkably like my Pip, with nearly identical markings – even down to the way her nose is unevenly bisected by the abrupt color division of grey and peach – although Pip may be a slightly more faded version. The cat even has a similar body type. If you’ve ever had a calico cat, you’ll know that they are sweet, independent, and have a reputation for being the devil when out of their comfort zone (like at the vet).

Pip, the cat

Pip - look closely, & you'll see Ruby the greyhound in the background

I love this book because it is engagingly simple – cat thought bubbles. “It’s fun to run. I love to leap. But now I think I’ll go to sleep.” And the cat has that purposeful look on her face as she stretches her leg down to the quilt on the sofa. And then the cat dreams, “Oh, how nice! It’s raining mice!” and we see exquisite little mice of different sizes and colors gently falling, the cat reaching a paw out for one. But somehow, the picture is not sinister – even though the obvious next step would be for the cat to pounce and devour.

Dogs run away, huge bowls of kibbles and cream appear in the “good dream.” A catnip tree is climbed and jays fly after the cat, causing her to fall out of the tree in the “bad dream.” Funny thing is, as soon as she wakes from the dream, she thinks, “I need a lap. I need her lap” and we see just a glimpse of a person reading a book, almost off-screen. And by the next page, she’s in “her lap,” snuggling up. And this is magical: “I’m singing my song inside of my fur. Purr …  Purr …  Purr …  Purr …” I wish I had a child to share this book with.