Friday, February 29, 2008

Cersei is spayed

She had her big operation today. Hopefully her only surgery. Poor girl feels like shit, I'm sure. She's so sore! And still doped up - I gave her a 1/4 c of some dry food while I fed the horses, and after we got home she puked.

$266. Ouch. But she got valium beforehand, ketamine for the surgery, a big shot of morphine and some metacam for today, and a bottle of metacam for this week. Also a rabies tag, giardia booster, and I paid for the preop bloodwork.

She's sleeping on the bed right now. Maybe I can convince her to eat a bite later on. Hopefully once the drugs wear off shell bounce right back!

Also my wrist feels a lot better in the brace today. Sore when I take it off to wash hands but fine while its braced. Yay.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

C is still recovering.

He doesnt yowl anymore when I scruff him for his antibiotics. He has learned that if he opens his mouth he gets nasty water squirted in there. I have to pry his teeth open with the syringe tip now. Clever boy.

I finally went to the dr for my aching wrist. I inflamed a tendon in my thumb about three months ago and Ive been hoping it would heal on its own but it didnt. Almost thru w oral prednisone, and i got a shot of cortisone in the problem tendon and a wrist brace. It is v. hard to type in the brace so this post probably "sounds" different. Anyway i have to wear brace til I see dr again on the 10th. Surely I will have relearned how to type by then cause I'm at about 25 wpm right now. :(

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Curtis :)

He had kitty food poisoning - probably from munching on a bone that Cersei was working on. The vet gave me 5 days of Panacur (in case it's a parasite) and a whole bunch of antibiotics. He was a little dehydrated, so they were going to give him some sub-q fluids - but he sank all his claws to the hilt into the vet tech, so they decided he wasn't *that* dehydrated and let him go :)

Of course the antibiotics are pills. Fortunately, they're small so I'm just mixing them with water and syringing them into him. I scruff him, wait for him to open his mouth to yowl, and put a half cc of the worst-tasting water in the world down his throat.

He feels a lot better, but he's not well yet. He perked up a lot Monday evening, so I was tempted to not give him antibiotics at all. But he's still licking his butt a lot so I'm going to do the whole round.

Yesterday it got COLD again (from 45 down to 35 during the day) so I didn't ride. Actually, it was so cold that I stayed at work til 8, then went by and fed as fast as I could. The horses always think they're starving, and I needed the hours. It's warming back up today - back in the 40s. I'm not sure what we're doing at work today, but I'll probably work late again. Maybe I'll ride Quinn tomorrow.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Curtis! :(

Last night he was definitely sick. He kept yowling and mrraooowing and then staring at his butt. Then running away from his butt. I felt so bad for him, but it was funny as hell too.

I decided he wasn't going to die overnight and went to bed.

This morning, I wondered if he had died overnight - he didn't come out for a good five minutes after the rest of us woke up. Jerome batted at my nose and pulled on my hair til I woke up, then I petted him and Cersei til she woke up. I took Cersei out, worrying about Curtis the whole time, and when I came back in he had emerged, looking like utter hell. He had that sick-cat rumpled fur thing, and his entire butt area was soaked because he'd been licking it all night. And he couldn't walk more than four steps before he had to sit down and lick his butt again. Poor dude!

But I had to go to class, so I left everybody alone til I got back at 1. I boxed up Curtis, grabbed Cersei, and we headed to the vet. Cersei got to visit while the poor cat was thoroughly examined. He was slightly dehydrated, full of poo bacteria, and feverish. The vet thought he might as well give Curtis some sub-q fluids, until Curtis sank every one of his claws as deep as possible in the vet tech. Then we decided that he wasn't that dehydrated. I headed home with 5 days of cat-dose Panacur and a whole bunch of cat antibiotics.

We stopped off at the barn. I let Curtis out of the box to roam around the truck while Cersei and I dealt with the horses. It was a fabulous day - 60s and cloudy - so I grabbed Champ and took him and Cersei across the street to the soybean field. We walked over to the field, then trotted and cantered up the length of it. Then we turned around and gaited back a bit, then had a nice hand gallop and a really wonderful collected canter down the field. It was barely a workout for Champ but plenty of exercise for Cersei!

Champ got to hang out near the barn grazing while I set everybody up. Then I let Champ in the paddock and shooed the other horses off the gate so my other three could come in. Poppy charged right past Megan's hateful herd, but I had to whack Megan's paint pony with the leadrope to move her out of the way so Quinn could come in. Then I had to yell and run and wave my arms to make Megan's evil palomino mare stop hassling Silky. Silky kept me in between her and the palomino and walked right up to the gate with me. No ropes - ropes are for people whose horses don't like them :P

Other than that, it's been school work feed animals go to sleep and repeat. Ugh.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Oil change, owie, guns, etc

Monday I changed my oil, by myself, for the first time. Woo! Mostly woo, anyway. I've been watching Stephen do it for years and I knew I could, in theory, take care of it. I already had a used oil pan and the socket wrench to take the plug out. My truck needed an oil change, it was a beautiful day, and Stephen was in Mississippi working. So I did it.

I made a mess, but not too bad. Pro tips:
1. Put a lot of old feed sacks under there.
2. Stay under there while it's draining, because you'll need to move the pan around a bit.
3. Give the puppy something to play with so she doesn't run off with your paper towels.
4. Buy the right oil, dammit.

Yep, I grabbed a 5-qt jug of 10W40, which is totally the wrong oil but won't make my truck explode or anything. If it's not raining this afternoon, I'm going to re-change it today; if it's raining, I'll do it tomorrow.

Yesterday I was outside the law school smoking. I finished up my coffee, took the lid off my travel mug, and poured the dregs over the edge of the railing. And I dropped the lid over the railing. Dammit!

I could walk down a lot of steps and around a bunch of bushes to pick up the lid, or I could walk down a few steps and through some bushes. Of course I chose the lazy route. I headed through the bushes - those gnarly little scrubby cedars - and tripped, and fell, and landed with my right kneecap ON a giant knarly branch. It hurt so bad I wanted to puke. Instead, I picked myself back up, limped over and rescued my coffee cup lid, and went the LONG way back to the door.

It could've been worse, of course. I did land squarely on my kneecap, not on those delicate tendons in my knee. It hurts worse today, but not as much worse as I thought. It's not broken and I'll live. :)

Way back when I took my carry permit class at Rangemaster, I went ahead and signed up for the handgun level two class. I was supposed to take the second class in December, but that didn't work out so I rescheduled it for yesterday and today. I am really pleasantly surprised at the quality of the class!

The first hour was classroom stuff. The instructor talked for a bit then showed a video. Yes, you are more important than the guy trying to kill you. Don't ever go anywhere with that guy, because you'll just end up dead. Fight dirty. Be aware of your surroundings and think ahead of what you're going to do if something happens.
This part isn't so hard for me. I decided a while back that keeping me alive is more important than keeping alive someone who wants to kill me. And the horses have really made being alert my default behavior. Of course, it's not quite the kind of alert that the gun people want - I'm always in the back of my mind looking around for Horse Eating Monsters. :P But it's a start!

For the last 3 hours, we did range work. They broke down each movement and drilled us on it quite well. How to pull your gun, go to ready, find the trigger point, shoot, reload, etc. I shot REALLY well, actually. Of course, we were at about 3 yards, but I still sent a lot of bullets through the same hole. I saved my target and I might put up a pic of it :) I got to practice clearing my gun quite often because I'm not smacking the magazine in hard enough when I reload, which leads to misfiring, which leads to re-smacking and reracking the gun. I'm getting better!

Horses next.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Silky and Cersei

Gave Cersei her heartworm pill tonight.

Also, Silky's still not eating very well. It takes her forever to nibble on a single scoop of grain, and she never finishes the whole thing before she quits eating. Bored? Full? Tired? I don't know, and it worries me. I'm going to call the vet this week and see if she has any advice.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Definitely Jerome

I kept trying out Jamal, and other J-type names, and other names in general, but he's a Jerome. That's his name.

Also I appear to have completely broken my addiction to the thermostat. Living in that unheated house for two months, plus the fact that Cersei pants if it's above 71 in the apartment, means that I have the thermostat set on 65 and I'm happy. Honestly, it hardly ever kicks on - my neighbors keep their places so warm that my place stays at 69 or 70 all on its own.

Cersei has been teething this week. Friday (2-8) she started losing her incisors, and I think today she's got all new ones. They're very pretty, but I think everything about her is pretty. I've been taking her everywhere I possibly can - to my parents', to Stephen's place, to work today. She's in the truck asleep while I'm in class right now. (It's still cool enough that I'm not worried about her overheating, and I'm only in class for an hour at a time today.)

She's juuuuust starting to test me. She won't always come when I call anymore. She was chewing on a carpet strip:

and of course I freaked out and told her "no ma'am" and took it away. She kept going and finding different pieces of carpet strip to chew on and giving me the most wicked little looks about them. So uppity!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Jerome? Jamal?

Looks siamese
Originally uploaded by Funder.

I like Jerome, and Graham likes Jamal. I suspect I shall win because I am the one who actually lives with the cat, but I'm giving Jamal a test run.

Here's his story:
Remember the rednecks I got Cersei from? Yeah, back in October they brought home a pregnant kitten from the barn. Like a typical teenage momma cat, she didn't have a clue what to do with the two babies, and they were about to die at two days old when my friend Jen took them.

Jen bottlefed both babies and kept them alive and thriving and happy. Her husband was all "NO MORE CATS" so I said if she really couldn't find a home for one or both, I'd take them. She found one a home and I relented and took this guy today.

Actually, I begged her to give me the little dude. I've started taking Cersei most everywhere I go, so Curtis has been spending a lot of time alone. Way more time alone than a healthy young cat should spend. Every night when Cersei and I get home tired, Curtis is just delighted to see us. He's always got a massive case of the zoomies. He pogos around the apartment. He comes purring up to me and then attacks my hand. If I get up to get some water or something, he latches on to my foot/leg and I have to drag him around like a furry toothy ball-&-chain. The night he tried to climb the walls, I called Jen.

Now, I don't mind the zoomies. Kittens are assholes and he's just full of energy. But I think both kitties will be happier together.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Oh, and Silky

Last weekend through Tuesday, we had some lovely unseasonable weather. It was really humid and in the 70s for a few days, but we all knew it couldn't last. Tuesday a very big cold front came in. We got hella thunderstorms and quite a few tornadoes, and after the cold front rolled it the temperature dropped almost 30 degrees.

Anyway, I dithered about the pros and cons of putting the horses up vs. keeping them out, and the threats of golf ball sized hail plus the sure knowledge that it was going to pour down rain convinced me to put them up for the night. I gave everybody a big pile of hay but no grain, because I didn't want to tempt fate and have one of them colic.

Wednesday when I went out, I grained everybody in their stalls then made a point to take each one out and groom each individually. Brushed and wormed Champ, brushed and wormed and trimmed Poppy's bridle path, brushed and wormed and clipped Quinn's goat-hair* and trimmed her toes. Then I got Silky out and I was shocked.

*She looked like a goat with all that shaggy hair under her face. I didn't take off her whiskers, but I got curious about what her face looked like, so I trimmed the goaty part. She's got a pretty head!

Silky hadn't eaten all of her hay, which was unusual. Her hair was laying flat from getting wet the day before, and she looked like a walking bag of bones. She was very subdued and quiet. I was afraid to worm her. I was kind of afraid she'd die overnight - I had a friend count heads and make sure there were three dark horses in my field this morning.

Well, she didn't die overnight, and she looked a little perkier this afternoon. This is really hard. Now I understand what people say when they say it's hard to keep weight on an old horse. I can barely get her back to a decent-looking weight before she loses 50 lbs overnight again. At least she doesn't seem unhappy - tired sometimes, and quiet, but she seems content. Sigh.

Woops, it's been a while

Got some catching up to do here.

2-1 Jaime had to go. I'm not saying this lightly - the dog was making my life completely miserable and I'm sure he wasn't too happy either. He's just too hound-doggy or too retarded or something to ever be happy in an apartment, and we were driving each other nuts. He made me cry out of sheer frustration three times that week. He never listened to me, he never learned a word of English (I don't think he even knew his name?) and he barked and clawed things constantly. Keeping him wasn't fair to either of us, and it was never going to get any better.

Cersei didn't miss him one bit, either.

2-6 I dewormed everybody except Silky with ivermectin. I plan to deworm her this weekend.

2-4 I de-fleaed the cat and dog with that liquid you put between the shoulder blades. Should be good for a month; the pup is always picking up fleas from the barn.

2-6 I checked everybody's feet. Poppy needs his backs trimmed, badly. Took a bit off of Quinn's front toes again - maybe they're decontracting some. I so wish I'd taken good pics of them when I first got her! Must stay on top of handling her feet and make some progress with her. She's quite sweet and is warming up to me really well, though.

2-2 YAY I RODE YAY! Took Champ on a short but very fun ride. He's such an awesome horse. Lots of leg cues. Some gaiting, some trotting, some mad galloping and some quite nice cantering in circles. We jumped some ditches too!

Cersei is such a good puppy. She's really calm for her age, and she really listens quite well. We're working on a few things - she has to wait calmly for me to tell her to jump out of the truck, and she has to eat in her crate. And dammit, Cersei, STOP SQUEAKING THE DAMN CAT! Of course, the damn cat instigates the fights and has a great time, but she shouldn't be biting him hard enough to make him squeak. Period.

Tomorrow I'm getting the damn cat a damn buddy. Curtis has hit the full-fledged bored asshole kitten stage. Cersei and I aren't home enough to give him the attention and playtime he really needs, which means that he rampages around the house like an evil maniac for hours after we get home tired. Anyway, Jen has a kitten the same age as Curtis that she bottle-fed from a 2 day old. Her husband wants the kitten gone and I think Curtis needs a buddy. She's dropping him off at the vet for his neutering and I'm picking him up. Pictures tomorrow!