Ready, Set, PANIC!

It was a quiet Saturday, spent entirely at home playing video games and loafing around on the internet. There were no events worth noting; no unusual sounds or moments of conflict between the cats (tension had been high ever since we brought home Fang-A-Lang. My cats did not view this interloper with friendly eyes). It was a day completely without remark.

Which made it all the more shocking that night when I noticed my tiny black cat Shy had blood all over her nose and mouth.

I had gone into the bathroom to wash my hands and Shy had followed me, hoping for love and pettin’s. I saw what looked like a large bump over her nose which seemed out of place. I looked closer and noticed it was a build up of dried blood. There was more blood all around her nose and mouth and it was definitely hers and not from something else.

Shy is my baby. (Well, my fur baby now that my uterus is working on an actual people baby.) I’ve had her ever since she was a tiny kitten and my mom adopted her on my behalf from one of her neighbors whose cat had had kittens. I still remember getting the text message that had a picture of a small, kitten no bigger than a blob of ink, with the words, “I adopted a kitten for you! I named her Chicago but you can call her Shy.” For the record, I NEVER call her Chicago. She has always been Shy or more frequently, my little Shy Guy (named after the adorable masked Mario villains).


Not the picture I was sent, but a perfect example of her becoming a Kitty-Bun


There is little point in arguing with my mom when she has decided something and honestly the kitten was so cute I didn’t really want to argue it all that much. With no protests from me, I was driving down to pick up the little gal, cat carrier in tow.

Yeah, she lasted maybe five minutes in that thing. Her miniscule pleas and tiny, outstretching paws reaching out of the carrier wore my heart down instantly. I released her from the carrier before we even made it down the street and we drove the rest of the way home with her either asleep in my lap or perched on my shoulder, looking out the window.

She has been my baby pretty much ever since. To this day, I am the only person she routinely cuddles and gives affection to. I am able to hold her on her back, in my arms like a baby and she utters no cries of protest. But woe be to those who see this display and decide to imitate my hold on her. Then the claws come out. And the teeth. And the hissing. And rowling. General asshole behavior.


Such rudeness.


Needless to say when I saw the blood I flipped. My. Shit. Frequently. Until it was evenly toasted on both sides. I was the perfect example of a hyperbolic reaction and probably would have made a wonderful poster woman for Hysterical Cat Ladies: The Movie.

And of course we discovered this at 11:00pm on a Saturday night, when the vet is closed and won’t be open again till Monday. We looked her over from all angles and since she could breathe and was eating and drinking regularly we decided we could probably hold off on the emergency vet and their $500 walking in the door fee.

Shy was still looking and acting like she was totally fine. She seemed ignorant to the fact that her nose looked like it had lost a fight with a rock. Even though she was acting fine and healthy, I was still unable to relax and slept like crap that whole night. All of us were completely baffled on what could have happened to Shy. We had all been home all day and had heard nothing to suggest pain or injury to anyone. Surely an altercation between cats would have created some sort of sound? The fact that we couldn’t tell if she was wounded externally or if the blood was bubbling up out of her nose was also worrisome. Monday could not come fast enough for me.

Fortunately I was able to score an early appointment with my vet and brought Shy in quickly. It was not a pleasant visit. Shy is not a very tolerant cat when it comes to new people and she hated being touched by the vet or the tech. Whenever the tech held Shy so the vet could try to look at her face, Shy scream-rowled at the top of her lungs until they let go. As soon as they let go she shut up. It would have been funny if it wasn’t so humiliating to be honest.

In the end I had to hold Shy on her back, like a baby in my arms and then the vet was able to get close enough to look at her nose. We still don’t know how she did this, but it seems that Shy somehow scraped her face; the area starting from her upper lip all the way to the top of her nose had apparently been scraped open. We don’t know if she tried to jump somewhere stupid and ended up biffing it or what. However she cheese-grated her face she managed to do it quietly since Friday night she had been completely uninjured.

Fortunately the wound was over all mild and required no special care other than to keep an eye on it and bring her in again if it started looking infected (it never did, thank goodness). Shy was brought home and immediately passed out from the stress the whole visit had brought onto her and I have to say I ended up joining her in that nap because damn, being worried about your pet is exhausting.



How Do You Get a Cat to Leave Your Knitting Alone?

No, I’m afraid this post doesn’t have advice for those with similarly rambunctious cats, I really am asking here. I’ve had cats for longer than I’ve been knitting and while the two things seem like something that pairs well together (if the knitters I know are any indication) there can be… Problems.

The two cats I’ve had forever, Monty and Shy, have never really given me much grief when I knit. Sure Monty may stare at the yarn with lust in his eyes and occasionally he’ll think of taking a swat at it but he is easily deterred with a sharp *SSST* noise or a simple wave of my hand. Shy has been more apt to get into my yarn stash when I’m not there and play with the things she finds. Many the woeful night when I had to stay up and detangle a particularly sad skein that had been part of Shy’s wild romp. There’s nothing quite as disheartening as coming home to find your expensive mail-order yak yarn wound around the table and chair legs with sections chewed into oblivion. Let’s just say that I have never NOT had inappropriate thoughts about cat skin slippers.

But Shy getting into my yarn just encourages me to make sure I put my yarn fully away for the evening instead of giving into my slovenly habits and letting it sit out in a heap. An easy fix. Our new cat Fang-A-Lang however, is a whole other bucket of snakes.


You know what I have to say to that? PBBTTHHHH!


Don’t get me wrong, Fang is… A good cat. She’s a good cat for at least 18 hours a day (which if memory serves me is how many hours a day cats spend sleeping). But when she’s awake? She is an unstoppable playing machine.

She wants to play with anything and everything all the time and there is no stopping her. Fang will entertain herself for hours with a piece of fluff she finds on the floor. She likes to chase strings or sticks or anything at all, as long as it’s moving. You can see where this is going in regards to knitting.

It wouldn’t be so bad if there was a way to discourage her or let her know that something is Not for Playing. Maybe there is a magical thing that makes her stop but I haven’t found it yet. Noises do nothing. If I use my hand to try to separate her from whatever it is she’s playing with she assumes my hand is now part of the Game and begins attacking me. And Fang-A-Lang does not pull punches. When she bites or hits with her claws, she does so with everything she’s got. I haven’t had any skin piercing bites yet (thank god) but I have been covered in her scratches before. Yarn is just too much of a temptation for her.

Right now my only “solution” has been to knit while she sleeps (in a separate room of course). Fortunately she sleeps a lot. She does have a tendency to be a snuggler, but I am not Fang’s favorite snuggle buddy. No, that honor goes to my husband Matt, who is still Fang’s BFF and #1 favorite person. If he’s home, she’s gonna be all up on his lap.


Or his butt. I can’t blame her though, it is way more comfortable to lounge on than his lap.


She may be a pain in the butt when it comes to playtime but I guess she is a good cat. She just needs to learn how to keep her paws off my yarn and everything will be gravy.

This is Kind of Gross

Well, it finally happened. I had been doing so good but now all my obsessive hand washing and hygienic habits have been for naught; I finally caught an awful winter cold.

In my defense, this is all Matt’s fault. Red caught a vicious bug that was floating around at a convention we were at and I had to the good sense to stay the fuck away from him while his head dripped with mucus and sorrow. Matt, rather than take my (some call inhuman) approach to shunning Red like a ye olde leper, spent time around him as normal and didn’t really double up on his hand washing. So he caught the virus and being ever the generous man that he is, passed it on to me.

I am glad that I at least live in a time period where we have drugs to help with congestion and the like that pregnant women can actually take. Early on my doctor gave me a helpful info packet that included a comprehensive list of medications that are safe for me to take, organized by what problem you’re trying to solve. So I haven’t been having to rely on wishes upon stars or drinking some horrifying herbal concoction or whatever it was women way back in the day had to do. Probably just suffer through it and still carry on with their lives like normal people. Ha! I scoff at such things. Viva the modern age which gloriously allows me to wallow in bed, surrounded by damp tissues and other wonderful conveniences such as Netflix and indoor toilets.

I am firmly in my second trimester now at 16 and a half weeks and I think I can firmly say that whoever tells you that pregnancy is a “beautiful” thing must have a very different definition of beauty than I. I mean, if by beautiful they mean, “Holy crap it’s so crazy to think of how another human being is being grown inside you RIGHT NOW and they’re gonna come out and eventually be another grown-up JUST LIKE YOU” then yes, I agree with them. If, however, they are angling for the more traditional definition of the word, such as, “visually pleasing and attractive” then they are invited to lick each and every one of my shoe bottoms till they shine.

I have never felt more gross or unattractive in my life. It doesn’t help that my skin, ever the sensitive, delicate beast that it is, decided that these hormones were worth reverting back to high school for. And it’s not just my face that is so pock marked that I look like I’m cosplaying as a Smallpox victim; I am breaking out in places I have never broken out on before. My shoulders, my back, my sides, my chest, and especially my stomach are so covered in angry red zits that I look like some sort of fucked up planetarium. I’m serious, I think I have the Pleiades on my left boob. It is not a look that makes me want to strut my stuff or show off my growing baby bump with any sense of pride. I’m definitely leaning more towards, “The Man in the Iron Mask” aesthetic of dressing myself.

It didn’t help that pretty much all of the baby update website stuff I use is overflowing with such sentiments such as, “Oh now is the time when pregnant women start to glow! Be prepared for a never ending cascade of compliments and jealousy on the luscious new state of your skin that 99 out of 100 women list as, ‘the best pregnancy perk ever’.” The first time I had to read something like that, it miffed me, sure. The fifth time it got brought up I karate chopped my computer screen in half and hurled the pieces across the room while shouting obscenities. I mean, I could still be a model, sure. I just would have to be okay with having the word, “BEFORE” above my head in big bold letters in some acne treatment ad.

Most of the stuff I’ve been reading about the second trimester has been making me angry. All those promises of the more miserable symptoms most women experience in the first trimester start winding down now make my blood boil. I have had no winding down of symptoms, in fact some of the more miserable ones have been ramping up in cruel defiance.

The worst one being my nausea. First trimester nausea for me was a lot of feeling bad and an inability to eat food coupled with maybe a handful of times throwing up on an empty stomach, but mostly just dry heaving and feeling like poo. Now I feel pretty good most of the time, aside from still having extreme food aversion. Man, there sure is nothing quite as fun as going, “Oh my god I’m starving and need to eat but literally NOTHING in the world sounds good or appetizing right now.” But if I make myself eat even if it doesn’t sound good? I’ve just started a coin flip where either A) I feel like butt and am otherwise okay or B) I will throw up everything I just ate and then some more stuff just in case any of it slipped by.

I have never thrown up so much in my life. Poor Matt, quite a few times now he comes home from work and is like, “How are you doing?” Just asking a general question, making conversation, you know, not looking for anything more than a quick, “I’m fine, how are you?” Instead he gets treated to a green-around-the-gills me as I end up saying something like, “I need to throw up,” before tottling to the bathroom and yakking my soul away. He is very sweet and helps hold my hair back or rubs my back gently but it’s not really the “welcome home” he was looking for. (So far the worst thing to barf has been chicken nuggets. Ugh, like throwing up sand. The easiest was a peach smoothie I made in an attempt to be healthy. That had a funny side effect of Matt asking me why it smelled like peaches as he held back my hair and I tried to laugh but was throwing up too much and it ended up going up my nose. Burned like a SOB, let me tell you.)

I keep hoping that I’ll get to that magical land everyone keeps telling me about, with their enjoying being pregnant thing but I’ll get by even if I stay in God This Freaking Sucks Land. Now, back to my den of sick. I have some TV shows that are perfect for drifting in and out of sleep to.