Buffy dreams, kitty hospitals and a fog of anxiety


My current WIP, soon to be a nostalgic sweater pattern on Craftzine.

We’ve been re-watching (well, me re-watching; Ron watching for the first time) old episodes of Buffy. Right now we’re on Season 3 and I’m getting to see a lot of old eps I haven’t watched since they aired, which is great fun because I only remember the broad strokes. Ooh, that Xander makes me so mad in Season 3! And Wesley! Rgh! I like that the men of Buffy are most often the petty ones. (Or maybe it’s actually just equal and only feels lopsided because on TV it’s so often the other way round?)

So naturally, I had a Buffy dream last night. I’m kind of surprised it’s taken this long for them to kick in because I usually get television dreams a couple days into a marathon. Last night I had a dream about kissing Spike that made my heart pound so dramatically that it woke me up. We weren’t making out or anything, just kissing so softly we barely touching, but in my dream it was exhilarating and I woke up with a mad adrenaline surge and my heart racing so much I was practically gasping, which was a little embarrassing (even though at the moment, I was the only one who knew).

Did I mention I’m 40?

When I went back to sleep, my thrilling Buffy dreams didn’t resume. Instead I was balancing my checking account online and I had all these charges from my new ATM card that I’d forgotten to record, and as a result, had bounced several checks and was having to call around and explain. That dream was much more realistic, and also made me wake up a little mortified.

Again: 40.

If you had asked me at 16 to describe the 40-year-old me’s dream life, I wouldn’t have expected this. Nor that the second dream just as apt to be, you know, my reality.

We’re barely into the new year (that is, we’re well into the new year, but it feels like it just started) and my grasp of time is as tenuous as ever. I’d been so glad for my open February, but it flew by before I knew what happened, and now we’re a third into March and it’s all a blur.

My February crafting was only marginally successful. I did manage to knock out my pound of handspun again, which was comprised of my Spinsters Club batt plus a bunch of Roving from Triple R Farm (Rhinebeck booty).

The other 13 ounces of February's handspun

The other 13 ounces of February's handspun

From this:

Rhinebeck Fiber: Triple R Farm wool & silk roving

and this

Rhinebeck Fiber: Triple R Farm wool roving

There was about twice as much of the first as the second, so alternated an ounce of red with half an ounce of mutli, then plied them from opposite ends of the progression, so the finished yarn should have roughly even stripes of red plied to itself and red plied to the stripey stuff. It’s a nice sturdy DK and will probably become a lightweight sweater.

I’m right now battling a breath-sucking tide of general anxiety. That’s the worst, the vague kind that’s difficult to diffuse because it’s so diffuse itself.

Freddy was really sick last week and had to go to the kitty hospital for the better part of the week. He seems to be doing well now, and now he’s on a very extravagant Rx food that makes Sugarfoot’s fancy prescription food look like a $4 generic from Target. But cats don’t eat much, so it’s not a terrific burden. (It’s funny how when your pet’s sick, money is no object, but as soon as they’re out of the woods, you start grousing about dollars. It’s like that Seinfeld joke about the check coming at the beginning of the meal.)

Anyway, for the next month, in addition to the special food, he’s supposed to get subcutaneous fluids twice a week to make sure his kidneys keep nice and clean.

The vet said to nuke the bag for a minute to get it to room temperature, but she’d already taken the plug out when she showed me the process, so when I nuked it, it flopped out of the bowl I’d propped it up in and two thirds of it spilled all over the microwave while I was facing the other way fiddling with the tubing. Yay! $20 all over my counter. Then trying to get it in was a comedy of errors, only comedy isn’t exactly the right word. More of Ron struggling with Freddy in a towel and me sticking the poor cat half a dozen times like a pincushion only to accidentally pull it right back out and squirt water all over the room. Again and again, and punctuated with me & Ron growling (him) and/or screeching (me) at each other. Finally, I had to give up and take a break, and I’m not psyched about replaying that little farce again later tonight.

Maybe because the strain of Pollyannaing had gotten to me, maybe because I’m disgusted with myself for my laziness and incompetence in general, maybe because I’m irritated I can’t afford to go to Berlin for a few days at the beginning of Ron’s next tour as I’d hoped, even with my mom’s cheapie tickets, because we closed our credit cards and can no longer pretend the imaginary money is real. Maybe I’m just cranky from the belly full of cheap grocery store Chinese food that’s turned me into a remorseless farting machine. But whatever the root cause, the fluids debacle dropped me in a pool of looming panic. It’s kind of suffocating me. I think I’ll go hula hoop a bit and see if my mood improves.

If I still feel shitty in a little while, I’m make two lists, one called Poor Me and one called Quit Being Such a Titty Baby. Poor Me will enumerate my woes and Titty Baby will count my blessings. Hopefully the second list will be much longer.

12 Replies to “Buffy dreams, kitty hospitals and a fog of anxiety”

  1. I’m guessing the vet prescribed you crappy Science Diet dry food… so…. please consider switching your kitty to wet food. Then they’re getting some of the moisture they need from the food, which helps the kidneys and maybe you won’t have to give fluids in the long term. (Tho, if it’s gotten to this point already, you probably will.) Check out this website: http://www.catinfo.org/ for lots of good info. Prescription food is generally total crap and you can get actual good quality food that is better for your cat and is often cheaper.

    Freddy will get used to the fluids and it won’t be such a struggle, I just about guarantee it. I had a diabetic cat and tested his blood sugar at home for years- it was a HUGe struggle at first, then he figured out that a) it wasn’t going to kill him, and b) he got food afterwards. Mostly he liked b.

    Anyway, I know I have gone crazy cat lady again, but I wish you luck with the fluids and with getting rid of the bad mood too! Taking care of a sick pet can be super stressful, but I promise it gets easier.

  2. Well, add “I’m an awesome Yarn School Goddess” and “people love my blog” to your titty baby list, kay?

    Something about February kicked everyone in the stomach this year, and March need to shape the hell up. I’ll get on that, for my sake as much as yours.

    Here’s hoping that the lamb part shows up soon!

  3. No, she actually wanted him on the wet & that’s what he ate in the pokey, but now that he’s feeling better, he won’t touch the stuff. Neither cat has ever been much for wet food. But they have a fountain and drink plenty of water, so I’m trying not to be dismayed.

    My vet said she’s seen many cats (including older cats), with borderline kidney disease rebound after a stint with fluids and a switch to the k/d food. She said they’d had half a dozen cats in the 10-year range come back and live another 5 healthy years, so she’s optimistic for him.

    I’m always skeptical about the science diet stuff, too, since I’m always hearing it berated, and especially since we’re in Kansas where it’s made, so that’s what everyone carries. But it’s done well for Sugarfoot, who’s prone to UTI and got a bad one right away a couple years back when I switched her to a highly rated natural food; she’s been back on the c/d and trouble free since.

    The trouble with Freddy is we don’t know exactly what happened, did he eat something weird (we try to be careful, but it’s a huge place and he’s sneaky), was it a minor UTI that seemed to clear up but traveled to his kidneys, or does he just have below-average kidneys? The trouble with pets is they can’t tell you what’s wrong and their cues are so subtle until they’re actually quite sick.

    I know the fluids won’t be such a drag in time–I gave my old dog allergy shots for years and the first couple weeks were a nightmare–but I do hope it’s just this month! Thanks for the encouragement! Things always look better the next day.

  4. Sometimes I wish I was as busy as you. I’m so bored. If I had endless closets and boxes to organize and a whole school to decorate, I’d be in hog heaven!

    BTW, I just recently learned to make soap and it’s SO much fun. I think you’ll really like it! Have a good time!

  5. I’m glad your vet seems optimistic. I’d still advocate for the wet food, though, and it doesn’t have to be the prescription stuff as it doesn’t really do anything special other than have a lot of especially nasty junk in it. Corn and pork by-products, if I remember off the top of my head. Not MEAT which is what cats are supposed to eat. Anyway I’ll shut up now. =)

    I’ve never heard of a dog getting allergy shots- cool!

  6. Yeah, but they just won’t eat wet food unless they’re really sick. I like that wet food is 70% water, but as long as they’re otherwise fine, I’m cool with them preferring dry because wet is stinky and messy and involves lots of packaging and water waste. Honestly, I’d just as soon just feed them liver or meat–I fed my dogs a real food diet for years–but a really high-protein diet is also hard on the kidneys, so I’m content to let someone else do my pet food math. They do have a vested interest in keeping my pet alive and eating their expensive kidney food, so I’m sure they pay attention to the formulation.

    My old vet in Austin actually became a vet because she had a beloved dog whose old age she wanted to improve. If I hadn’t moved out here to the school, I could totally see myself starting a pre-vet major just to have happier, healthier pets. As it is, I wish I knew a nutritional scientist to give me a kidney friendly homemade cat food recipe. Since I avoid processed food, it seems weird to feed it to my pets. But I just don’t fully trust books & the internet to have any better info than my vet, especially in a crisis situation–there’s too much of an anti-science/conspiracy bias out there in the raw and real food community–or at least there was, last time I was looking, and it turned me off.

    The dog allergy shots actually did work! She was a disaster before them! They did a skin patch test and formulated a special mix. It didn’t cure her entirely, since once they start licking, it’s becomes a hobby–but it did eliminate the frantic, fevered itching and licking, and the need for prednisone. The sores went away, but she did still love to calmly lick off most of the hair she could reach, so it looked like I had buzzed her coat into a jaunty little short-sleeved jacket. Apparently the licking makes them kind of high, so it’s very hard to kick. My old vet said sometimes they have luck weaning dogs off licking with narcotics! Bananas!

  7. If it helps to know this, the cat cannot feel it when you stick the needle in right through the skin at the nape of the neck, where the momma cat bites down to pick up her kitten. I know this for reals because one of my cats had diabetes, requiring two injections a day of insulin. The prick of the needle never seemed to bother him, although he did eventually get his cranky nose out of joint with the overall fuss.

    Sub-q fluids needles are thicker than insulin syringe needle, I imagine, but the same principle holds!

  8. It was great seeing you at Jeff City. Wish we could have sat down and talked more. I love reading your blog. Your handspun looks great.

    How did the boot felting go? I almost took that and later wished I had. Instead, I ended up with a lot of practical classes. I am so in agreement about being careful in letting fun techniques dictate your knitting, because in clothing, some of it is gawdy, crazy and weird – and yet at 50, I’m starting to revel in the weirdnessness and not care. I’m becoming one of those weird aunts.

    I laughed so hard at your idea to do a Poor Me and Titty Baby list. Good idea! You always make me smile and are so insightful.

  9. Hi Nikol,
    I am a quilting educator by trade but I love to knit in my spare time. I came across the Woodland Shawl Pattern and just love the look. I have a sock yarn from a sock club that I did not use and thought it would make this pattern in a scarf. I know the cast on is 41 and you start the the beginning and ending rows in a 1×1 rib starting with a knit1 and ending with a knit2 but do you change the pattern set up row as well as the beginning of each row with either a Ki or P1 instead of K2 or P2.
    Thank you for your help.

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