Moving slowly onwards

Because, you know, I MUST have a cat companion. I can’t exist without one, I now know that.

There was a time, after Chic died, when I thought I could: although I’d attempted to follow his subtle instructions for how to manage without him and had two Russian Blues, one after the other, they were disasters (as I wrote). And after on-selling the second one I was convinced I was OK without.

Then Leanne-up-the-corridor gave me a small ginger kitty and that was that. I’d got to a point where I could tolerate the movement about me and not give a rat’s arse about the untidiness created. And not only that, but the ineffable comfort ! – oh, the comfort of that little body …

So here’s where I’m at.

A really delightful couple who are fosterers for Project Meow (remember ?) came by yesterday with regard to my wish to adopt (cough !) Darling Scotty.

He looks incredibly like a tabby I once had, with his anxious eyes, whose name was Dr McCoy ! – and I’d also had Captain Kirk and Mr Spock, so this one could be the missing member of the quartet.

I’m off to see him on Tuesday.

And there remains in the mix, still, this feller:

whose name is Odin. He doesn’t look all that fearsome, does he ?! To me, he looks as if he needs to be clutched and kissed on – much as does Scotty. Well, in truth, I would probably do that to any cat as nice-looking as these two.

Although Odin is via a different fostering-out organisation, he too is a Project Meow moggy, I’m happy to say. But the potential problem here is that I have NO IDEA where he is currently living: he could be in Eltham, or bloody Frankston !, for all I know. And if he is on the other side of Melbourne, I shan’t be going to look at him. Why not ? – because I will not cart him all the way from there to Geelong: he would end up in emotional tatters.

So. That’s where I am. I have some hope for a life better than mine has been for the last two weeks.

STOP PRESS:

Odin is out of the equation. His fosterer, a sweet Canadian lass called Stephanie, tells me there are a couple of issues that I, reluctantly having to admit to this alarming number of years and concomitant lack of fitness/ability to be a physical carer, would not be able to surmount. Goodbye, Odin, you beautiful cuddly moggy … But Stephanie has bonded with him, and thinks she will change from being a fosterer to being an owner.   :)

It’s looking very like the anxious-eyed one will become the h’object of my h’affections, then, eh ? This will depend entirely upon his reaction to me. But I don’t see how ANY cat could resist this large, warm, affectionate cat-platform that is your author …

A little normalcy would be sensible

So I’m reverting to posting about craft: those disinterested in knitting (or at other times in crochet) may toddle off. Hoo-roo, pro tem

Here’s where I’m up to with my entry for “We The Makers Design Festival” in what is now my town:

Samantha-the-designer knitted hers – oh, I believe I’ve already described her original version: hang on a tick … yes, in this post. Briefly, then, I wanted to use a third colour – White Gum Wool calls it “Natural”, and it’s a wonderful faintly creamy white – but not as Samantha offered as a possibility when discussing her pattern:

I didn’t want to do that because the switch from the 3-colours ball to the white left that colour-change purl line at the back, and it stuck out like d*gs’ b*lls, as I believe I have described something else I made …

ANYWAY !

So I knitted the garter stitch by continuing with the 3-colours ball, and switched to the white for the lace ! The colour-change at the back is FAR less obvious:

And the other different thing I added was to knit an extra row of the 3-colour after the final garter stitch row, then a purl row of the white before I started the lace. It isn’t noticeable; but it means that the first lace row – you know, with holes in ! – doesn’t start with the new colour.

And yes, for those eagle-eyed among you: I had to rotate the image a fair bit to get it straight, so I cloned the carpet in. I was once good at that kind of stuff, but that was when I had a WONDERFUL photo-editing software that Chic had taught me to use, called … called … Photo [something] 10. Not Paint. Not Shop. Bugger it ! – I wish I could remember: it was swallowed by another one around 2013 … {Oh for heaven’s sake, M-R: FORGET IT !}

So that’s where I’m at, and enjoying it much more now that I have a new cable needle – ChiaoGoo 4 in 32″. Poifick.

WWND ?

Yes: what would Nev do ?

As I believe the sun shines from her fundament, I needed to find this out. So, yesterday I took a taxi over there, and found to my delight that there wasn’t a single client+animal combo in sight. I had arrived with my Visa card to pay for the little memorial I’m having made to hold some of Lui’s ashes, and then Chic and he can be side by side.

There was a moment when the two girls who were manning the desk kind of looked at me in polite disbelief. This was when (yet another confession coming up) Bec told me the total amount due and I fell back, alarmed: “But”, I cried, “I didn’t want an individual cremation – just a bit of his ashes, you know ?” Then the look. Short pause. Bec went into the surgery area to speak to Nev, while Ella looked a bit embarrassed. The penny dropped. The revelation hit me: “Nothing of him could be obtained without an individual cremation !” An expression of intense relief came over Ella’s face, and at the same moment Bec came back with My Heroine.

Having repaired (to an extent) my reputation as a human being with a brain, I was then able to put my question to her: do I—“Yes !” she interrupted me: “you do. I know Lui is irreplaceable, but you must replace him !” – with which wondrous conundrum the decision was made.

There’s a totally admirable woman here in Geelong who has set up Project Meow, and a large effort of the project is run by participating vet practices. Ella’s best friend works at one of these, and she gave her a call right away; then came back to say that they actually have a 2-y-o available right now. Alas ! – it’s a female. I’ve had/known nothing but male cats all my life, and I’m used to them; but it was a conversation-continuer, that little mog. In the end the decision is that I am to obtain through this vet practice, a cat that is

  1. male
  2. a kitten or not older than 12 months
  3. a ginger tabby

If you are thinking “Oh, she believes she’ll simply have Lui 2.0”, you’re not absolutely correct. Remember WWND ? – Nev really likes marmalade tabbies (of whom at least 75% are male – did you know ?), and can see no reason at all why I shouldn’t continue the trend started more than 12½ years ago (Lui would have turned 13 in about three weeks’ time): “they’re almost always lovely cats, with great personalities and nice natures”. So that’s it.

There’s the little creature who brought me nothing but joy for all those years – over there in the side column …

Lui’s vet Nev

Here’s an SMS exchange between me and Nev, starting last evening (Saturday !) at around 7:15 pm.

I lied. I MUST ask you: the underneath of Lui’s paw he can’t leave alone and it’s bloody now. He’s fine except for that, but I don’t think he’ll stop. What should I do, please, Nev ?

Hi I’m sorry I just got your message. Can you bandage at all? Or could we get a plastic cone for him but that doesn’t seems fair. 

That came in at ten to 11, but I was out cold by then.

I apologize, Nev. I’m projecting my emotional response to this awful wound onto Lui, who isn’t really fussed about it. Could I take him in tomorrow for someone to clip the two claws and clean and bandage his paw ?

7:40 am that was, but I knew she’d still be asleep. Just wanted the question asked.

Absolutely. So he’s eating and happy enough otherwise ?

8:50 on a Sunday morning !

He is. It’s extraordinary. I can’t look at his paw though, but I’ll have to in case it’s actually bleeding. Thanks for being there to help with … being there.

Not a problem. I’m actually coming into Geelong for lunch today. I could meet you at the clinic this afternoon if you think it needs attention today ?

Hang on –  I’ll check …

No, dear Nev – it seems to’ve stopped oozing ! You are the best of women. (hug emoji)

Ok. Well we’ll see where it’s at tomorrow. But let me know if any different today. (hug emoji)

Indeed. Why should you have a day off ?!

Such a pity this already grossly-overworked veterinarian is so selfish, eh ?

Oh, hang on: that’d be me.

M-J’s post reminded me …

The BikerChick may not see this until she gets back from her totally undeserved holiday; but it was her post today that recalled to mind the following list of instructions:

How To Give A CAT A Pill

      1. Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.
      2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.
      3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.
      4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm, holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.
      5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.
      6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth Drop pill down ruler and rub cat’s throat vigorously.
      7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.
      8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.
      9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink 1 beer to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse’s forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.
      10. Retrieve cat from neighbour’s shed. Get another pill. Open another beer. Place cat in cupboard, and close door on to neck, to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.
      11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Drink beer. Fetch bottle of scotch. Pour shot, drink. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Apply whisky compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss back another shot. Throw away T-shirt and fetch new one from bedroom.
      12. Call fire department to retrieve the damn cat from across the road. Apologize to neighbour who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil wrap.
      13. Tie the little bastard’s front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy-duty pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of fillet steak. Be rough about it. Hold head vertically and pour 2 pints of water down throat to wash pill down.
      14. Consume remainder of scotch. Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.
      15. Arrange for RSPCA to collect mutant cat from hell and call local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.

      How To Give A DOG A Pill

      1. Wrap it in bacon.
      2. Toss it in the air.

*************************

I believe I ought add a couple of lines here re my own cat, yes ?

Lui is doing OK. Just fine, actually, considering. His levels of affection have risen noticeably, so that I get all manner of additional cuddling, lucky me !

He does have a worrying tendency to nadge away at the paw with the tumour, and I can’t stop him. It’s even a bit bloody at the tip, under the sole remaining unclipped claw – which I suppose they left because they thought it would hurt him if they tried to clip it.  We have an appointment next Thursday evening; and frankly I don’t think they could do anything about this … or shall I be brave and try to clip the claw off myself ?

:-\

The news is all bad

Nev wasn’t happy with last week’s attempt at a chest X-ray and had another done before performing the biopsy.

She was right: a large dark mass is there on a lung.

No point doing the biopsy: so he won’t have a much more sore paw – for a while, anyway.

The diagnosis is in and the prognosis is obvious.

As always, it’s just a matter of time: it was the same with Chic. And I must couple the two together: each one I have loved with all my heart and then some, regardless of one’s being my husband and lover and the other my cat.

It was Chic who made me understand (eventually) that I should get a cat after he’d gone.

Pain management from now on.

Lung cancer has taken and will take the two beings most deeply imprinted, late, on me.

 

Last year’s non-winner

Brioche knitting – in my terms that’s 2-colour brioche knitting – about which I wrote in one of my Pages cannot be over-hyped. It’s simply glorious, and that’s that.

Its range is from, say, this:

to this:

and that’s just from one designer !

So, because I give every appearance of having finally come to terms with how to carry out this wonderful craft – not counting all the mistakes, but I also know how to repair them ! – I shall boldly go where no man has gone before display what I made last year.

That’s a kind of arty arrangement. Not.

The ticket identifying this article as having been made by moi is still attached. My problem is that I know nobody who barracks for the Hawks.

Anyone (read: Hannah) who’s genuinely interested in learning brioche should be encouraged by seeing that I have already done so. And if a lazy old woman who can’t maintain interest in most things, and whose levels of concentration are … well, not high ! is able to make this fairly simple scarf, bloody ANYONE can !

I have spoken.

 

But is it just ‘busy work’ ?

Nope.

Here are the three pictures again. I should omit the definite article, because they’re not the same ones.

Main side.

Contrast side.

Main side covexed to allow contrast side to be seen.

So, why ?

Because I suddenly realized what I’d done: started out using a 3.25 circular because that’s the standard when knitting with fingering weight wool. I considered the image of Samantha holding her shawl, and thought to myself – yes, more than a little late ! – “3.25 those stitches ain’t. I had best check the pattern …”

I did. It told me to use a 3.75 – two sizes up. In fact I decided to go with 4, would you believe ?: it’s the only way I can produce brioche stitches that resemble hers in any way.    :\

I often wonder why I do stuff like this. I mean, not check ALL the details – and beforehand ! I said to my younger sister P on the phone that I am the original bull in the china shop, and I think that covers going at everything like a looney and not taking the time needed.

Do you observe what else I changed …?