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October 2007
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December 2007

trivial and not

No Nantucket pictures today, since I can't quite get the convergence of natural light and a camera-wielding human to work out. Tomorrow, tho.

Two little bites, before I go scrub my mildewy bathroom ceiling*:

1) I don't know if I've ever before mentioned how much I love Duran Duran. Long story short - very, very, oh-so-very much. Especially if John Taylor is involved. I would still give some major appendage to be able to breathe the same air as him, much less touch the hem of his garment.**

The boys have had some creatively eh years but the new album, which you know damn well I'm going to have to buy***, seems like a return to their Notorious form, which was my favorite form. While everyone is all abuzz about how the "Falling Down" video is about one of the producer's ex-girlfriends, what caught my eye is the knitting. Having been institutionalized myself, I think I can categorically say that knitting needles would be verboten. Everything else is true to life, tho. Yes, all crazy people are that hot, as are their docs. No, really. It's a den of hotness.

2) I don't know if I've mentioned how much I love Maureen McHugh's writing. Read this post about Iraq and see if you don't agree that it is one of the most deft, compassionate and honest pieces you've read.

* Old house + no ventilation in upstairs bath = mildewy ceiling. Every six months I give it a scrub. Since my dad will be in town Wednesday, the time has come again.

** Yes, the Featureless Saint is aware. He is secure in his manhood. Besides, I don't give him crap about his Charlize Theron thing.

*** Unless someone wants to get it for me for Christmas...

I come not to praise Mooch but to bury him

Yesterday, we put the Mooch in the garden.

I had to pick him up at the vet's, which is where he was being kept until we could get a hole dug. I brought a box. I figured it would be big enough, simply because it was a box he had used as a bed in the past.

The vet tech took the box and came back a few minutes later. "He doesn't fit," she said, "since I can't really curl him up because he's frozen." She dug out a roll of packing tape and left again.

When she returned, she hadn't me the box, which was half taped shut. A blue bag poked out of the other end.

"It's a little awkward," she said, apologetically.

"Of course it is," I said. "He was that kind of cat."


The Pie Goddess, the Grill Master and kids brought flowers, picked because they looked strange, like Mooch.

We untaped his awkward box and placed him in the ground.


We did unzip it a) to make sure that we can the right catsicle, b) to make sure his favorite toy was in there with him and c) to let wee critters in to do their work of returning him to his base elements. Which were base indeed.

Words were said. A haiku from Scott's sister was read:

redolent of pee
a home lacks its psycho cat
the trout stands alone

Dirt was flung on his body, as were flowers.


Right now, the rock marks the spot. Eventually, after the spring thaw, which we hope won't heave him out of the ground in a rejection by the earth type deal, we'll get a more appropriate marker. Maybe a rock that warns of evil beneath. Something along the lines of abandon all hope all ye who dig here.

Trout, since I mentioned him, seems to be handling his grief.


I keep bursting into tears -- but worry not for the Trout. He's very handsome. Dim as a bucket of hair, but handsome.


I had some time to finish up some knitting while sitting with the ailing Mooch.


Modeling shots -- and a post that doesn't mention cats either living or dead -- tomorrow.

the post I didn't want to write

The Mooch is dead. Long live the Mooch!

Yesterday afternoon, it all became clear -- and oddly OK. Still horribly sad, mind, but OK. While Mooch's Moochness was still in his pointy little head, his body was just falling apart around him. His kidneys were shot as was his bladder. Walking was a chore. He was completely incontinent. It was time.

So I gave up and just hung out with him, which was melancholy at best. The weather was clement so we sat on the porch for a bit.


I took some blurry pictures.


He did some personal grooming.


After walking Maddy to school today, I put the Mooch in his crate with his favorite toy and drove him to the vet. She sedated him, then gave the Moocher the pink shot. By 9:30, he was gone, off to the land where there are thousands of warm laps, dozens of slow mice and millions of bowls of tuna. And where a cat no longer has use for kidneys, functioning or no.

He did, in true Mooch style, leave me something to remember him by, a way to keep in mind who he truly was. This morning, as we were getting ready to head out the door, he lost bladder control while resting on top of the heating vent in my office, so now whenever the heat is on, the room I spent the most time in smells like hot pee.

Stupid cat.

My fave picture of the beast is here, btw. It really captures his j'ne-se Mooch.

Mooch was the biggest pain in the ass I have ever known. Yet I miss the fuzzy little bastard and am really glad that I got to spend 24 hours with him at home before he died. Life's just a kick in the head.

On Saturday morning, we'll plant him in the backyard, in a part of the garden where we're fine with nothing ever growing again. Words will be said. Come by if you're in the area and want to fling some dirt on the Mooch's remains.

Today I'll finish cleaning up urine and breaking down the Mooch hospital (as Maddy called it) that we'd set up in the downstairs bathroom. There may be more tears. Or not. I'm starting to feel too wrung out to cry.

Thanks for all of the well wishes and advice. They've meant a lot and I am grateful.

Kiss the critters you live with tonight, even the annoying, smelly and psychotic ones. You'll miss 'em when they go.

the mind reels

* Women: did you know that your body produces thousands of potentially life saving cells each month and your just blithely disposing of them? Did you also know that there is clearly a marketing opportunity in pretty much everything? The latest piece of weird junk mail I got was for C'elle. You just have to visit the site to get the full impact. Prepare yourself for the jaw-dropping, um, jaw-droppingness of it.

* From the ridiculous to the sublime: chocolate turkeys. How cute are these? And here I thought the penguins were the last word in chocolate cuteness.

* In case the idea of a spa tour seems to decadent, head to the Shack Up Inn, where they put the "beer" in B&B.  (Actually, I love this idea. Not sure I want to stay in one -- but I love the idea. Hat tip to the blogless Stephanie.)

Small Mooch update - I get the feeling the end is nigh. His clever little brain is still in there but his body is just falling apart. Plus, he now smells as eeeeeevil as his personality, which can't be good. Very sad -- but recognize the inevitable. More later, maybe. Hope for the best, I guess -- but that might just be letting him go.

stupid cat, 3

An update, then this will cease to be the "what's happening to Mooch" blog, unless he does something truly noteworthy, like a cure for cancer or self-opening tuna cans.

Shortly, I am heading to the vet to pick him up. He's acting like himself -- which is to say eating in great volume, pooping and complaining -- but his blood levels are still wonky -- which means this is chronic renal failure rather than the acute sort. What that means is that he could live another few days or another few years. We just don't know. But do any of us really know? Really?

The upside is that, while I'm at the vet, I'll be trained to give the cat subcutaneous fluids, which means that I'll get to stick him with a needle every day. This makes up for the nine thousand times he's drawn my blood by deciding to jump on my head from his perch on the top of a door. Sweet, sweet karma.

I'll let you know how the jabbing goes -- but I am not the squeamish sort and think the biggest problem will be keeping him still.

And so, links to keep you amused:

Watched Darkon this afternoon while catching up on some silly paperwork. I understand the impulse to dress up like warriors and fight over imaginary lands. It seems to be great therapy for some and builds whole sense of connection among people of a similar ilk. Which is great and all. But I still just don't get it -- or, rather, I seem to be able to scratch that itch with reading and find it odd that others can't do the same. Each, own. YMMV. Lather, rinse, repeat.

As a documentary film, tho, it was a good 15-20 minutes too long.

Eisha mentioned that her hubby's new school put them up at LaTourelle resort and spa when he came to Ithaca for his interview because all of the other hotels were full that weekend. I made the mistake of signing up for their email specials list and now I'm all lusting and bitter. I have spa envy.

Here's my latest book idea -- I get to go to spas, try all of the wacky body treatments, and write about them. It'd be huge, I tell you, huge!


Just when you thought you'd seen it all -- extreme knitting needles. I'm fairly certain that these will not be allowed on an airplane, even if you could get them through the door.

stupid cat, 2

This morning, it looked like the Moocher was stable enough to come home. That is not the case. His blood levels of Creatinine and BUN keep bouncing around and he's still on an IV. So while it looked good this a.m., it is now not-so-good.

How like the Mooch to keep us all guessing. I'm also bummed because I was looking forward to having him home. Which is completely unexpected.

Stupid cat.

We'll see where we are tomorrow morning. And then I'll figure out which kid to pawn to pay for it.

In happier news, Josh Wolk is writing Amazing Race recaps again. I cannot tell you how happy this makes me. Seriously. Like giddy.

stupid cat

Last night, shortly before dinner, we got a call from the vet with Mooch's latest results. The news was fairly dire and we made an appointment for early this morning to see the big fat eeeeeevil cat, say our goodbyes and give him the shot. I spent pretty much the entire night in tears. Stupid cat. They find their way into your life, you know?

Maddy, when I told her why I was crying, she simply said that this meant we could put him in the backyard near Sabian, the cat who died shortly after we moved here. When I explained that I would much rather have him alive and in the house, she just looked at me incredulously.

So we drafted someone to come keep an eye on the kids long enough for us to run out there this morning and send him off.

As it turns out, he's determined to keep us guessing.


By the time we left this morning, he'd plowed through one bowl of food and was yowling for more. So, the Mooch -- who is not out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination -- is still alive. Stupid cat, making me cry all night.

While we were at the vet's, however, we nearly adopted these two:


Mooch's photo negative, above.

And Trout's photo negative, in the box.

If you are in the area and in the market for a kitten, gimme a holler. I know where you can get some cuties.

Updates as they warrant.

Random stuff.

Quote of the day will be along later. First, this, which made me LOL:

Hat tip to scalzi.

Joss Whedon's rant on why writers are on strike and why really good writing is harder than you think.

Free rice! Let's be honest, tho. It's not about the rice. It's about seeing how big your vocabulary is. And if you don't understand that sentence, click on the link. All will be revealed.

Researchers say it's OK to be overweight -- Unless you're pregnant. Oh -- and breastfeeding does give an infant an IQ advantage, unless, of course, it doesn't. 

Redneck Mother, who I totally need to have a beer with, takes on book prudes.  It's the sort of story that makes you cock (heh) your head to one side at look at would-be censors like a dog who doesn't understand the noise that she's hearing.

Consumer Reports AdWatch takes on drug ads. Be sure to watch the video.

Mooch update - 24 hours in to the treatment and he's eating, drinking and complaining again. Too soon to tell how much damage has been done but these are good signs. We'll know more by late Saturday. And, yes, my unexpected sadness about the Mooch is surprising to me, too. Thanks for all of the kind thoughts. They are appreciated more than you know.