nepenthe: (scully knows the drill)
Me: *Removes Ampersand from desk chair* *Sits*
Ampersand: *Runs and hides under bed*

20 min-ish later

Ampersand: "Mew!"
Me: "What's wrong, Ampersand?"
Ampersand: *Piteous* "Meeeeew."
Me: *Stands up to check on Ampersand*
Ampersand: *Darts out from under the bed to jump up on desk chair, lies down*
Me: "Right. I'll just work on my laptop in the living room with Coco, shall I?"
Ampersand: *Unrepentant* 

nepenthe: (Calvin Reality Ruins my Life)
Coco has a new hobby. She claws my bedspread but instead of retracting them to get them out like every other cat on the planet, she chews them out. Rinse, repeat. 

Here is a video of Ampersand and I watching on as Coco does this. Over. And over. And over. 

She can do this for hours.

Ampersand wonders why I have brought this creature into our home.

Edit: Here's a small sampling of Coco's fine work:

Coco Pics!

Jun. 21st, 2013 12:06 pm
nepenthe: (Default)
Gratuitous Chere Coco Chanel, The Detroyer pics!

Why Mom never gets any work done:

A Coco Box:

But she's so cute:

And my baby, Ampersand:

Coco and Ampersand got along. Once.

nepenthe: (Red Flowers)
I woke up this morning to all my trash bags pulled from their roll and strewn all over my kitchen floor. The large paper bag I was using for all my recycling stuff has been destroyed. This brings Coco total shit destroyed to several strands of DMC thread, a worry doll I made, part of a plant, and a loaf of bread (tore through the plastic bag and knocked it on the floor). This doesn't include all the times she's knocked over the trash can and recycling. Don't tell me the reason she destroys all my things because she doesn't have enough to entertain her. Au contraire. She's destroyed 2 of the seven cat toys floating around this apartment. One of them Ampersand's favorite toy.

Screw cat food. I'm gonna go broke amusing these cats.

Edit: Also, the latex gloves I use for de-pitting cherries, fabric dying, and cleaning have been destroyed. 
nepenthe: (Default)

I have two cats who are spatially challenged.

Ampersand cannot lay down in a lap. She gets on the lap, finds a place where she wants to lay her head, and then lets the rest of her body fall where it will whether or not there’s anything under it. More often than not, there’s nothing and she goes splat.

Chere Coco cannot jump. She either under-estimates how much effort she needs, like attempting to reach the couch but ends up having to claw her way up, or over estimates. Yesterday she tried to get on the narrow kitchen windowsill. She overshot and slammed into the glass like a confused bird. Without any purchase on the narrow sill, she slid down into the trashcan, upset the trash and spread garbage all over my floor as she fled. Which explains why I sometimes come home to trash all over my floor.

Had a passing fancy that I’d like to attend Gallifrey One. Turns out, it’s in February during the season where I can’t take vacation time no thanks to work.

Either A: So much for that idea

Or B: Maybe find some other job beforehand.

Chances of B are unlikely.   

Edit: Just found Coco using her claws to climb her way up the clothes in my closet. Clawing. Up. My. Clothes. This is right out.

nepenthe: (Calvin Reality Ruins my Life)

Am miserable, for many a reason. I can’t do anything right. Nothing. At work, I need a min of 75 sales to keep myself a nice paycheck. I can expect to make about 3-4 reservations a day. At LEAST one. On Monday, I managed to get myself to 74. I could totally manage five more in two days, even if it’s slow. Tuesday, I got nothing. Okay, not good. But not the end of the world. I can still pull through and manage one measly reservation. I mean, it’s, like, statistically impossible to go TWO WHOLE DAYS without a single reservation. Right?

Guess who couldn't get ONE in TWO DAYS? You guessed it!

So not being able to get ONE more reservation has cost me about $400 in pay. And these are already the slow months. Considering last month I was TWO away from 100 reservations and that cost me about $700—this fucking disappointing, paycheck murdering job. I don’t like my job. I really don’t like the ‘tiered’ incentive system. I hate sales. I HATE SALES. I hate talking to other human beings all day, given that human beings are incredibly, incredibly stupid.

This past week, I had a real, live adult human say, “I live in Florida and I want to cruise to Hawaii”. Note, there’s no question there. Already, #1 pet peeve achieved. Usually, this sort of statement is the question, "I'd like to go to Hawai'i. I live in Florida, so could you give me a price for air as well as price out the cruise for me?" But no one asks this. NO ONE. EVER.

My response? “We have a 7 day Hawai’i interisland itinerary roundtrip from Honolulu. I can price that out with air, if you're trying to say you need flight. What airport would you like to fly out from?” And then she treats me like I’m the idiot. “I said I wanted a cruise from Florida to Hawaii.” My response? “Are you saying you want to take a ship that leaves out from a Florida port that goes to Hawaii.” “Yes.” “And back?” (like I’m stupid) “Yes.” And I flat out said, “Ma’am, there’s no cruise line that does that.” “Well, why not?” “You do realize that the state you live in is in the Atlantic ocean?” “Of course.” “And that Hawai’i is in the Pacific?” Silence as her brain muscles slowly, slowly begin to churn. “And between these oceans are the continents of North and South America blocking any direct route, right? If I were to guess as to how long it would take, well. We have a panama canal cruise that takes 15 days to get from Miami to Los Angeles. That’s the most direct route. Then throw on another 10-ish days to get to Hawai’i, then there’s the week to cruise the islands, then you have to, you know. Sail back. All in all, it would take two months. So that’s why no one has a cruise from Florida to Hawai’i and I wouldn’t hold out hope anyone will change their mind.”

That was on a day that I made reservations, by the way.

Then there was my choice to get another cat. I got another cat so Ampersand would have a friend, someone to keep her company when I can’t spend time with her. Except now I have two cats. And Ampersand has far, far, far LESS time to spend with me as Coco is actually cray-cray. An attention whore and I suspect a little evil. I suspect introducing them won’t go well. At all. It might be a long, long time before they get along. If they ever get along. Might be a long time before Coco chills the fuck out.

But I need to sleep, and how. It’s going to be a LOOOOOOOOONG day tomorrow, trying to intro the cats and keep the peace and not have Coco murder me in my sleep.  

nepenthe: (Content)

I broke down and adopted a new kitty.

I’ve been thinking about adopting a friend for Ampersand for a long time—not long after I got her, actually (I’d hoped to find Bunny and imagined the two of them would become friends and I’d have one big happy family). From all accounts and one run-in, Ampersand gets along with other cats well, like Ichabod.

This kitty is a pretty kitty. She’s a grey and tan calico with white paws. Or will be white paws once she’s clean (the Mesa shelter? Yeah. Not the greatest at cat grooming if her response to my first brushing and the mass of fur I scraped off of her is any indicator of her two weeks of misery). This kitty was in with another unrelated cat and got on with other kitties in a kitty room, so I have high hopes that she and Ampersand will get along. She’s amazingly sweet for having been spayed, micro-chipped, and relocated all in one day. Most of this evening she’s been camped out under my bed (as you would be, too), but as soon as I made it clear that if she comes out, she gets brushing she’s been all, “OMG, I love you, don’t stop, yes, wipe down my bottom—when I had an accident at the clinic, no one bothered to clean me up. Is this WATER? OMG, I love water, let me lay beside it.”

And if I was wondering whether on not this girl was a lap girl, I have my answer; by not paying her attention for five whole minutes, I get a lap full of fluffy, purring, sharp-clawed kneading kitty. I only got two claws clipped before she cottoned on to what I was up to, but damn are those things loaded. Ha! Got two more! Note to self; might need to buy another scratching post (she’s punching holes in my faux-leather chairs like they’re wax).

Will post photos later. In the meantime, the cats will remain separated. For one, this kitty needs to acclimatize. Also, she’s sneezing and itching her ears a lot; I suspect she might have something like a kitty cold (like Bunny did when I adopted her from the shelter) and ear mites which I DO NOT want her passing on to Ampersand. 


Jun. 1st, 2012 07:03 pm
nepenthe: (Content)

Coach was having a sale, purses 60% off. Which only takes them down to ‘expensive’ instead of ‘outlandishly expensive, I cannot afford’ and I broke down on a black tote. It was that or a beauteous pink one, but as I already bought a pink/orange/red purse which is amazing and was $40, more than I’ve paid for a purse in a long time. I figured this Coach bag I was about to shell out $90 on should be something sensible that will last many years, as I sure as hell am not buying another one. Not for a good long while, at any rate.  Besides, my coral red/pink bag has gotten me a lot of compliments and it’s nothing brand-name special.

I’m still on my high from ‘Cactus-Con’ (what the kids call the Phoenix Comic-Con). I don’t ever want to come down.

Next up, my elder sister’s wedding!

I’ll be flying to Washington, DC for the second time in my life on Tuesday. I’m ecstatic to see my niece and my sisters and meet their new pets and I’ve only met my sister’s fiancé, Eric, once before in Japan. He’s awesome and they were ridiculously happy and I’ve not heard anything bad about him (aside from the time he foolishly cut pork chops in the direction of HIMSELF and stabbed HIMSELF in the stomach, then called my sister to tell her instead of GOING TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM—apparently he has a terrible sense of self-preservation). My twin and Eric’s sister-in-law are the other two in the wedding party and both are super-pregnant. My elder sister originally ordered some nice-looking grey dresses that looked like they could be easily adjusted for the ladies with the bellies, except when they arrived last week, they discovered they looked terrible and had boning, of all ridiculous shit. With only about a week and a half to the big day she’s ordered maternity bridesmaid dresses that, in my opinion, actually look better than the first set.  Only problem is me, as I am not a maternity size 5. At all. So. I have a size 5 maternity dress I will have a day to tailor to a not-pregnant 0. BAM, costume experience coming into play. I will tailor the shit outta that dress. You guys do not even know—all Danielle cares about are these freaking dresses. She waited until last month to find a CATERER because all she can think about are the dresses. While I empathize, (who spent months working on a dress?) I can’t imagine freaking out as much as she has on a dress she’s not making. Somebody else does all the work, you come in to have it tailored, pick it up, and you’re done. Danielle has gone through 3 dresses; one with pockets my twin wisely talked her out of (IT WAS A WEDDING DRESS. WITH POCKETS. POCKETS!!!), one which was gawdawful hideous and according to my twin, made Danielle look ‘like a walking cardboard box.’ This last one the twin is relieved to say looks fantastic. Now I must unleash all the meager skills I have to not f-up her wedding photos.

Natalie will be the flower girl and was super-excited to have a new dress. The twin took her in to be fitted and when shown her dress, Natalie was distraught. There were no flowers on her dress!!! How was she supposed to be a flower girl if there weren’t flowers on her dress??!!

While I’m out there, it will also be Natalie’s birthday! I mailed out a box of presents (books, an enormous, soft stuffed turtle and an Olivia the Pig doll, plus stuff for the new baby boy on the way). You guys don’t even know how much I’m looking forward to taking Natalie out to the zoo and the park and being there for cake and candles and presents, then Danielle’s big day and our family just being together. I mean, we’re all messed up and yeah, Dad will probably drink too much booze and possibly say asshole things BUT I WILL NOT LET ANYTHING RUIN MY TRIP.

I have a nice elderly lady coming in to feed and water & while I’m out of town, as Joe from work won’t be able to. She came over and met the little girl yesterday and & seemed to really like her (yay!), rubbing against her legs and attacking her fingers. It’ll be nice not to worry about my baby while I’m out of town and nicer yet not to leave her at a lock-up.

I will now get back to doing what I meant to do, which was work on story. But srsly, it’s been awhile since things have come together so well for me. Maybe I’m finally getting the hang of this ‘life’ thing.  

nepenthe: (Content)
So I bought Ampersand a cat tree. Here's some really poorly lit video of her checking it out and me talking to her like the craziest cat lady who was ever cray-cray.

nepenthe: (Calvin Reality Ruins my Life)

So &’s been licking bald spots into her fur these past few weeks.

Did I solve this problem by utilizing my networking skillz and call the vet I know (apparently, my name is listed under her phone contact list) who happens to be the best vet who ever veterinarianed? No. Because I didn’t want to bother her during her off hours without consulting fees or anything. So. I took & into the vet and they checked her for the things I’d called in saying I thought it might be: for lice, ringworm, et all. I should have been suspicious that the doctor checked for the stuff I said I was concerned about it being, but didn’t offer any other ideas about what else it might be. He combed & for lice, noted that there was no redness, wounds or puss, and yes, her skin pigment had turned black and it wasn’t just her black fur growing back in.  And was very nonplussed  about this because nothing looked ‘wrong’. I should have refused to pay the vet visit fee when it was so clear something was wrong. I was so annoyed by the shoulder-shrugging as an acceptable explanation, I commented that, ‘I think something more is wrong with her. I mean, in humans, it’s usually a bad sign when we rip out chunks of hair and our skin pigment changes color.’ And he didn’t recognize that as the insult I totally meant it to be. 

So I paid the $70 they charged me to say there wasn’t anything wrong with my cat (who had licked chunks of fur out of her skin and her skin had TURNED BLACK) and went back home. The vet said he’d call to check up on & in a week (he never did).  And STILL I didn't call the Super Vet because, well, &’s fur was growing back and maybe it was a fluke.

A day later, there was another bald spot on her back foot.

And then this morning, I noticed another chuck missing on the inside of one of her back legs.

I couldn’t stand the thought of going back to a vet who’d say, ‘I can’t think of anything that could be wrong, except for there being 4 bald spots on your cat and the skin blackening—so she’s probably fine’ so I did what I SHOULD HAVE DONE FROM THE START and called Super-Vet.

The conversation went like this:

nepenthe: Help! My cat’s licking chucks of fur out of her skin, and when it starts to heal, the pigment turns black!  The other vet says nothing’s wrong, but clearly this is not normal.

Super-Vet:  Did they check for lice?

nepenthe: Yes—with a comb, and for ring worm—when he said he didn’t think it looked like ringworm, the ENGLISH MAJOR was not pleased and asked for it to be checked under black light, like actual doctors do.

Super-Vet: Good girl! How old is &?

nepenthe: About a year-ish.

Super-Vet: Food allergy.

nepenthe: . . .? Really?

Super-Vet: Yep. Just like people pets can have allergies too, and it makes their skin itch in different places.

And then Super-Vet gave me instructions, actual SOLUTIONS and I’m just. Just. IT WAS SUCH AN OBVIOUS ANSWER. About a month ago & got sick and was puking up everywhere and then refused to eat her food and I actually suspected the food so I switched to a higher-quality brand and wasn’t sure if that did the trick, but & was better.  I didn’t make the connection that she went from puking up the food (she was puking because she was allergic—that’s why she had no fever and all the tests came back negative except for her liver that first go round. I was right when I told the vet that it sounded like food poisoning—it sorta was, but not) to itchy. Not as bad, but certainly not good.

Once again, I’m mad that I didn’t just call Super-Vet at the start. Hell, she said she had my name in the phone and it was never any bother so. Yeah. No more of that pussy-footing around when &’s a sick kitty. I will call the doc I know isn't a nitwit FIRST.

Cat Tags

Jan. 11th, 2012 07:05 pm
nepenthe: (Content)
*Ring, ring* 

nepenthe: *answers cell phone* Hello?
caller: Hello, this is Kevin, with Pet Tags. Is this, Legal-Name-Here?
nepenthe: Yes!
Kevin: I'm calling about the order you placed today for your cat's name tag. In the name line, all you've got is the & symbol. You know. An ampersand.
nepenthe: That's because my cat's name is Ampersand.
Kevin: . . .
Kevin: . . .
Kevin: . . . are you sure people will get it?
nepenthe: Well, her name is Ampersand and it's an ampersand on her tag. That's straight forward to me.
Kevin: I can't argue. I'll get it engraved this evening.
nepenthe: Thank you, sir.

What makes it better is that I'm pretty sure that it's Kevin who makes the tags and engraves them himself. Awesome.


Jan. 5th, 2012 09:48 pm
nepenthe: (Feather)
I decided to venture out of my cooking comfort zone and made a batch of yummy pork tenderloin in redwine vinaigrette with a side of wild rice and mushrooms. Neither recipe was a quick meal, that's for sure; 2 hours to marinade the pork, 1 hour, 15 minutes to bake it. Then there was the prepping of the mushrooms and wild rice which had to be sauteed for 20 min, then that had to be in the oven for an hour and a half (and I could have done with half the bag of rice, not the full, which I think was my only 'mistake' but even that turned out well, so). The payoff was a bevvy of deliciousness. The pork was white all the way through, no pink, but it was so tender it tasted pink--not in the way that cherry cake tastes pink. Nevermind. Ya'll know what I mean. 

Ampersand loved her special bites of pork (tried to convince me she was still starving--I told her she can have more tomorrow night, and the night after, and the night after, so there's no need to eat all of her portion nao). She's working out this whole seating-myself-on-the-human's-lap thing, which is an improvement. The non-stop tail thwacking is a bit annoying, especially when I'm trying to sleep. No one has claimed her yet. It has been about a month. Think I'm gonna order her name tags and assume she's here for the durration, for all intents and purposes.

That's a wrap. All's well that tastes delicious.

O, and here are some Amper photos!


Dec. 21st, 2011 10:42 pm
nepenthe: (baubles)

Ampersand has eaten!!!  

I took her back to the vet this afternoon--they wanted to check her again. This time I went home with meds for Amper's tummy and the recommendation to try giving her chicken baby food. She didn't eat anything before I went in to work.

Then, when I got home, I was greeted by Ampersand at the door, crying as per usual. Scooped hard food out to a crying and excited Amper, and when I put it in the dish, she nommed happily. Once she was done, she came out to find me paying bills and is now laying on my laps.

Am relieved she's feeling so much better.

nepenthe: (Calvin Reality Ruins my Life)
Ampersand is still refusing noms. The vet said that if she's still refusing noms this afternoon to bring her in, but I work afternoons and evening. So. Don't know what to do. If I had a syringe, I'd force her to have a little water, then take her in first thing tomorrow morning--I don't dare let her go any longer w/o food. They hydrated her yesterday, which meant she had normal bowel and potty, but this morning she hasn't gone poopy and the pee was little tiny tinkles. Not normal.

Considering this cat hasn't let me eat a meal in peace nor left me alone the moment I've awoken in the morning to the food dish, this total lack of ANY interest in food is a huge 360. Disturbing, even. Her purr motor is predominantly in the 'off' position, whereas before you couldn't touch her without starting it up. 

Looks like I'll be spending my holiday money on vet bills again.

nepenthe: (Calvin Reality Ruins my Life)

Ampersand is sick. She ate food yesterday morning. That afternoon, she threw up. And again. And again. I gave her a small dinner, but that came up. She threw up until she didn’t have anything but a little bile. Poor baby. I stayed up with her until I was fairly sure she wouldn’t toss up anymore. Let her hide out at the top of the bookshelf. 

Took her in to the vet this morning. They ran tests, did an x-ray. No fever. Nothing definitive. They hydrated her and gave her meds for an upset tummy. When I got her home, she went to the nest I made with an old sweater in her chair at the window and slept there. All Day. Most of the evening.

The vet said she’d be up for nomming bites around now; she suggested a light, bland diet of chicken and rice. Ampersand has been a ravenous eater and really, really, really likes chicken.  

She won’t even take a whiff of the noms. Turns her nose up entirely. I upped the ante to Thai chicken soup, then TUNA.

Ampersand has refused TUNA.

I will try, try again. If she still won’t eat noms in the morning, I’ll call the vet. Maybe get a syringe and if I have to force-feed her, I will.

Poor Amper. 


nepenthe: (Default)

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