Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Boris Has Decided To Stay

IMG_1791.JPG, originally uploaded by Mnemosyne_LA.

I took Boris in on Friday to get examined and have blood drawn to find out where we stand, because it's been six weeks since they told us to take him home to die.

The vet called today and said, "I'm calling about Boris, the cat with the amazing regenerating kidneys."

His levels are still about twice over normal ... but that means that they're at less than half of what they were a month ago. Apparently subcutaneous fluid does a lot more good than we were led to believe.

Now our main concern is that he's a little anemic, so we have to give him an extremely expensive drug for two weeks to increase his red blood cells. Well, extremely expensive if you're giving it to a 150-pound human. It's only kinda expensive for an 8-pound cat.

All we can think right now is that he decided that his life is too good to leave right now. He has two monkeys to pet and feed him, he gets to drink out of the bathtub, and he has his best buddy in the whole world, Keaton, to clean him and play with him.

Monday, May 28, 2007

My ball is bigger than yours

Big Ball.JPG, originally uploaded by Mnemosyne_LA.

What else would you expect from a yarn called "Magnum"?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Connemara Scarf

You know how your mom always tells you that something worth doing is worth the effort, even if it's a pain? That's what this scarf was for me.

First off, it was only my second time trying to follow a pattern, and the first one where the majority of the pattern wasn't "Stockinette stitch for 4 inches." I actually had a repeating stitch pattern that I had to follow in eight-row repeats, and it was HARD for a beginner like me to get the hang of it.

The end was worked first; I frogged that three times. That's not counting me trying to figure out how much to add so I could pick up the 25 stitches I needed to so I could knit the scarf body. Then I had trouble figuring out the pattern repeat of the scarf body, so I ended up frogging that twice before I did the test swatch you see above and got the hang of it.

The cables were the easiest part of it by far. If you're intimidated by cables, don't be. All you do is move a few stitches to a different needle, knit their neighbors, and then knit the reserved stitches. It took me maybe five seconds to get the hang of it, though I did have to keep checking if I was supposed to be holding the cable needle to the front or to the back for that particular row. And the results are pretty spectacular for something so simple.

Then I discovered that the second end that I'd knitted -- and bound off -- was too long for the scarf body ... which I had already bound off. Which is where the magic of blocking comes in ....

It took the scarf three full days to dry after I wet-blocked it in cold water and a little Euculan, but I was able to get the end to fit to the body and sew it together with my absolutely awful hand-sewing. (Not one of my talents, to say the least.)

After all of this drama, G. knew he was required to love the scarf but, luckily for our marriage, he does seem to genuinely love it. I've come into our home office in the morning to find him sitting in his bathrobe with the scarf around his neck, and he's marveled several times at how warm and soft it is. Debbie Bliss Cashmerino claims another victim.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday Stashblogging

IMG_1853.JPG, originally uploaded by Mnemosyne_LA.

Since I've already blogged about my current and ongoing cat issues, I'm doing Stashblogging today instead (though with bonus cat included).

Compared to some of the yarn stashes I've seen online, mine seems a little ... puny. And yet it's plenty to keep me busy for the next year or so.

The outer bag is a Ziploc XXL, which reaches about to my armpit (I'm 5'3" if that gives you some perspective). Inside, I put each individual yarn in its own baggie, ranging from 1 gallon for small amounts to 2 gallons for sweater-size amounts.

And, yes, I've added to it since I took this picture. No, I'm not an addict -- why do you ask?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

42 Days Later ...

IMG_1863.JPG, originally uploaded by Mnemosyne_LA.

You may have noticed that blogging suddenly ceased. Here's the timeline:

About six weeks ago, I noticed on a Sunday night that Boris (he's the gray one) was extremely lethargic and seemed very, very ill. I packed him up and took him to the emergency vet, worried that he was having another recurrence of Feline Urinary Syndrome (where his urethra gets blocked).

The vet had much worse news for us -- not only were his kidney values off the charts, but his heart was arrhythmic. Our two choices were to check him into the hospital for a week-long regime of intravenous fluids while being hooked up to a heart monitor, or to take him home and make him comfortable.

Boris is 14. I've had him since he was a four-month-old kitten. We couldn't, in good conscience, put him through that at his age. So we took him home.

We had him rechecked by our regular vet the next day, and they had the same kidney results, though the arrhythmia had cleared up with the subcutaneous fluids they gave him at the emergency vet. (In retrospect, the arrhythmia she heard was probably due to dehydration, but we were too panicky to realize that at the time.) They gave us a bag of subcutaneous fluids for us to administer ourselves, a cream to increase his appetite, and sent us home so we could wait for him to die.

We took him home and we waited.

And we waited.

We're still waiting.

Not only is he still alive six weeks after he went into acute kidney failure, he seems to be feeling a little better than he did six weeks ago. He finally started eating again on a semi-regular basis last week (no more force-feeding -- whoo-hoo!). A couple of days ago, he decided that my knitting needles were his personal play toys.

So now we don't know what the hell to think, and neither does our vet. His tests show that he has very little kidney function, but he seems to have decided that kidneys are for OTHER cats, not for him.

In other words: the crisis is over. I will be posting a memorial to him someday, but not quite yet. Soon, but not yet. And I can get back to blogging now that I don't have to worry every single day that he's going to die the very same day that I post a cheerful knitting picture.

Oh, crap, I just jinxed us, didn't I?