Himalayan Torture Tricks & Assassination Attempts

Once again, I am being lazy and brought this over from my original blog. He hasn't stopped!
Original post date: June 23, 2007

My beautiful cat, I am convinced he was in "Black Ops" in his previous life! He has (since he was a he) tried several times to choke me, to trip me in the dark, or to just simply suffocate me. In spite of this, I appear to be the only human that he likes and he is the biggest 'fraidy cat I have ever seen. He doesn't like loud noises, quick movements, men in general, or, wind! On the other hand, he is not afraid of thunderstorms! In spite of all of his fears, he is a sweet loving cat who like to snuggle, purrs like a Harley and drools when he is happy.

Back to the opening gambit - he likes to lie on my chest/stomach when I am reading in bed. I think most cats do this, however, he tries to get as close to my face as he can, then braces himself, with one paw on each side of my throat. Unfortunately he manages to place said paws right over the carotid arteries. You know, the really important ones - the same ones that wrestlers, police and military types use to render a subject unconscious? I had at one time considered finding myself a gorget to wear, but decided that armour might be a little excessive in this situation, not to mention probably more uncomfortable than just moving the cat. He second favorite trick while in that position, purring and drooling, is to sneeze - directly into my face.

Oh, I haven't mentioned that I am actually allergic to cats. I can put up with a bit of stuffiness from the hair, but the snot in the face, or getting scratched, or the drool, causes me to break out in hives and itchies. Really not appreciated!

He has tried the usual tricks of sitting at the top of the stairs in the dark, (he picked that one up from Shadow, my brothers black cat) he has tried dashing between my feet when I am in a hurry and the old standby of just lying down on my face when I am asleep. He doesn't put much effort into these, as I am sure he thinks they are beneath him.

His torture tricks are the newest and latest though. Beats the hell out of anything Jack Bauer can come up with! Since my cancer surgeries put an end to his favorite position on my chest, he has taken a liking to wrapping himself around my head. This was, by the way, great when I had no hair! He usually restricted this activity to while I was reading and when I turned out the light would bugger off on his usual hunt for food and litter box. Since I am now recovered, he has decided he can stay there while I sleep, or join me when he has done his rounds. New wrinkle though, he is now lying in such a manner that his head is pointing to the foot of the bed on the side nearest the door, his tail toward the headboard on the window side. I sleep facing the door more often than the window. He will hear that sound that only cats can hear and turn his head toward the door. Great no problem. Then, he has to look toward the window, make sure the noise wasn't outside. BIG PROBLEM! This movement causes his long slender whiskers to enter my nasal passages in a rather rude and abrupt manner! It doesn't matter how soundly asleep I am, this move is guaranteed to wake me. Worse yet, is when I am not yet asleep, but just about to drift off....I have enough trouble getting to sleep these days, that timing is enough to keep me awake for hours after I throw his little butt out of bed. Of course, if I happen to be facing the window, I get the fluffy tail and he won't keep it still.

Wake up and feed me damn it! No whisker tickles here, he jumps onto the bed on the far side from where I am sleeping and charges with all his might! Slamming his 10 lbs into my lower back, over and over until I get up. Interspersed into the slamming is his howl, this is where the Siamese side of him really shines! If I dare to turn over onto my back but don't get up, or at least pay him some attention (there is food & water down 24/7), he will jump directly onto me - he aims for soft body parts and particularly likes the spot right over the (generally full) bladder.

This cat has one of the most intriguing personalities of any animal I have ever known (and that includes some humans too). I am truly delighted and frustrated by him on a daily basis and hope that he will be with me for a very long time to come.

I forgot to mention in the original post, that his new sleeping position wrapped around my head, while great when I had no hair, is not so great now that I am being forced through menopause and have night sweats!

Sorry for the bad picture quality, I only have a really old web cam.

Hope you enjoy. Good morning!


My bout with cancer

May 15th, 2006, I went for a mammogram. I had a lump in my breast that I thought needed to be checked again. I say again because in April of the year prior to that I had had a benign fibrous tumor removed from my right breast. While checking the incision, I thought I had felt another lump and mentioned it to my surgeon. She found the lump and did a fine needle aspiration in her office. (By the way, I learned later, don't do this!) It came back negative. Rather than sending me for a mammogram, she had me go to the hospital, where she proceeded to do a blind (no ultrasound) core biopsy. (Again, don't do this!) Never in all my forty some years of having tests done have I had to call the Doctor to get results - I didn't hear anything, so assumed all was well.

So, as I said, I went for a mammogram about a year after this as it felt like the lump was bigger. My G.P. didn't tell the clinic that there was a lump, so I had to return that afternoon for the ultrasound core biopsy, which gave them time to get the results from my surgeons test a year prior. This is when I was told don't have a fine needle aspiration or a blind core biopsy. Well, the surgeon, had missed the lump and gotten scar tissue! But, I never got called!

Two weeks later, I get a message from my Dr.'s office to make an appointment to see him. I call and set one up for two days later. I get a message the next day asking if I could call about my appointment. I call and they ask if I could come in that day. Well, now I don't need to go in, I know what he is going to say.

I am right, I have breast cancer. He has set up an appointment for the following week with ... you got it in one, the same surgeon! So, I tell him the tale of discovering this lump and how I am not really happy with this surgeon (he has nothing on file from her!), but, he suggests if I can, she is the fastest way to deal with this! He will try to get me in elsewhere if I really want. Well, I am really not happy, but by the same token, I think, it may well have been benign last year anyway and then I would have ignored it this year.

So, I get home and my first thought is to call my best friend Emily - then - I think, I can't! Her husband is dying of cancer, the last thing she needs is me bawling on her shoulder! So, I call my sister ( she would have been first if it weren't for my being broke and the call being long distance) and bawl on her shoulder. I had done really well, right up until I had to say the words to someone else.

So, I had the surgery on my breast on June 5th. They took just the lump and a lymph node to test. The lymph node, upon close examination proved to have a trace of cancer, so, they went in and took lymph nodes from under my right arm on July 5th. My sister came down from G.P. to babysit me for both of the surgeries and then ran me about the city right after getting me out of hospital. These were both day surgeries, the first I was in for about 6 hours, the second they kept me for closer to 10 hours. Woohoo! Gotta love medical care these days!

I went through chemo and radiation, but, I will save those experiences for another post.

Good Morning.


Lions & Tiger & Bears, Oh my!

I pulled this post from my original blog, because I thought I did a pretty good job of it. Original date: 07/09/11

What a great day Monday was! We saw lions & tigers & bears & so many other things!

I have been wanting to get out of the city now for months, seems more like years! Odin, I hate not having a car! It's a good thing I have friends. Emily & Shayne & I went to Innisfail to see the Discovery Wildlife Park.

First off, I have to say I couldn't live in Innisfail, they have the Purina plant there and when we were there on Monday, I don't know what they were doing, but when you were downwind of it... Sick yeesch! From what we overheard, that is not normal, but still, it was worse than P & G's pulp mill in G.P.

We went to the park in order to get there in the morning for the first show, only to find out that they were not working the cats Monday, as they had just been fed and they don't work well on full tummies. So, we went into town and had some lunch and killed some time and went back to see the bear show. Now, I said we had a good time, but, we also felt a bit cheated. Emily had phoned to make sure they were open still on Monday and was told that the small animal show would not be on, but the cats and bears would be. So, of course not getting the cat show was a bit disappointing. Well, we were early for the bear show and so, we wandered around and looked at the other animals. They have Monkeys, a Badger, a Beaver, a Racoon, a Porcupine (he was hiding, we couldn't see him), a Bobcat, an Alligator, Ostriches, Camels, Reahs (a relative of the Ostrich), Mule deer, Reindeer, Elk, a Bison, Lions, Tigers, Jaguars (one black, one spotted) and of course Bears. They have Black Bears, they have a Cinnamon Bear(a Black Bear of a different colour)
& Kodiak Bears. On to the Bear show...these Bears have movie credits and the woman who has trained them gives the talk and has them show us what they can do on command. Of course on Monday, she had had dental surgery and couldn't speak clearly and being doped up only gave half a show (well, we assume half - she showed us three and pictures were taken with a fourth). Second disappointment. Sad No, we didn't get pictures - are you nuts! I am not kissing a Grizzly and then paying $20.00!

We did have a good time, oh, there is also a reptile room and a room with cute rodents - hamsters & rats & what might have been chinchillas. Emily bought me a sweatshirt, in fact she paid my way for the whole day as an early birthday gift. On the way home we stopped at Rocky Mtn House, decided it was too early to eat, so went up to Crimson Lake and had a look around - very pretty and quiet on a Monday. We then went back to Rocky and had a pretty bad supper.

Ah well! In spite of everything we did have a pretty good day overall. It was relaxing and good company. I got to get out of the city.

Of course, as I was typing the list of animals, I realized that the potential is there for them to feed one to the other! I am pretty sure they don't, they are a zoo after all.

We thought we might like to go back again maybe next year when Emily's back is feeling better and maybe get the whole package, all three shows, maybe then we will get a picture - for sure a camel ride!

Good night.


Do you eat dinner at the table?

This question was posted on Facebook the other day and it reminded me of all the fun and learning that went on at our table growing up. I have that table in my little apartment and have finally found some chairs to use at it. It is a wonderful old drop leaf/gate leg table that I think is Maple and it is great for the apartment because I can leave the leaves down in order to have room to move. However, if I decide to actually eat at it, or ever have company, I have room to seat four comfortably - because I only have four chairs.

Growing up we sat six there almost every night until my oldest brother went off to university, (then five, then four). It was a bit crowed with six, but we managed and we talked about everything! From the kids days at school to Dad's day at work, Mom's day at home or shopping or painting or whatever project she was working on. There is a ten year age gap between the oldest and me (the youngest), so if topics got over our heads, or there were words we didn't understand, we were sent off to get the dictionary or the encyclopaedia. This of course threw the topic off course in an entirely different direction.

There were nights that we would sit there for the longest time after supper just talking, maybe not all of us, but most of us and it would vary from night to night. We learned so much sitting at that table too. We had a reservior right across the street that we could watch from the kitchen table. We had Trumpeter Swans every summer and of course, ducks and geese and seagulls. Dad tried to teach us how to read the weather from the clouds, I remember some of it, but, not a lot. We faced south, so we got to see the best sunrises and sunsets colour the sky. I remember one winter morning dad showing me the Morning Star.

Weekends and holidays we would also have breakfast and lunch together when possible. Dad worked close enough (and the city was not so large then) that he was able to come home for lunch, so unless we were off playing somewhere far, far away, we would have lunch together.

If I had a family of my own, I am pretty sure that I would eat at the table, mostly because it is easier to clean up messes from hard surfaces than from couches or carpets. I will eat at table (now that I have chairs) if I am eating messy foods like spaghetti or soup. Otherwise, I am on the couch, or at my computer. I have heard though that you don't eat as much if you are at table and pay attention to your food. So, maybe I should eat there more often.

That's it for today, thanks for dropping by.
Good Afternoon

Here I Am!

Hello all, this is my first real blog on a grown up site! I am so excited, I have no idea what to talk about, or even what I am doing! I expect this first blog to be fairly short, but, you never know what will happen.

Oh, already I am excited about how much better this is. I was blogging (just until I got used to the idea) over on windows live pages.....we will leave the past behind us. This is so much better!

So, what can I tell you, hmmmm, I had breast cancer last year, so, this year, I am trying to make improvements in my lifestyle. It is going to be a tough row to hoe, but, after chemo and radiation, maybe not that bad.

I have to: quit smoking; eat better; exercise more. That covers the physical - for my mental health, oh, who knows! I have to quit worrying; learn to relax and meditate; stop trying to be a perfectionist. And probably a million more things that I can't think of right now for both categories.

Well, that is a brief introduction to me. I won't be posting daily, I am far to lazy for that (oh, something else to work on), but, stop by once in awhile and see if I've said anything you feel strongly enough about to comment on.