Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Hole in The House, Nanowrimo Bust, and No Snow

November was just a bad month all around. In fact, most of this year has just been sad, what with the cats' health and not writing and gradually getting exercised to death.

The worst part was that Dusty's health did not improve. He started slipping back down the health hill, getting weaker and not eating. I made an appointment for the doc to see both Dusty and Asuka and get his opinion on options.

He told us the straight, bleak truth: Dusty wasn't going to get better on his own, and most of the options were not comfortable ones. Things like feeding tubes and subcutaneous fluid shots, etc. And none of it would necessarily help. He said that at some point you have to decide when you're doing it for the health and well-being of the cat, and when you're doing it for yourself. That struck a chord with both me and Logan.

When he examined Asuka, he noted her breathing was a bit heavier than usual, which I had also noticed. He told us that he didn't recommend any more surgeries to remove lumps because it had likely metastasized to her lungs now anyway. He did suggest a steroid that would help her appetite and help her general health. Then he left us alone to discuss options.

I told Logan that I couldn't bear the thought of putting Dusty through any more pain, but that I also could not stand the idea of bringing him home and watching him die slowly. I had watched several beloved cats die because we couldn't take them to the vet when I was growing up. Logan agreed: we were both there to love him and pet him as we said goodbye, and he could go to sleep without any pain. As for Asuka, we decided to get the steroid.

When he came back, the vet gave Dusty a sedative. He fell asleep in Logan's lap. A little while later, the vet returned with an assistant to give him the final shot. He said that Dusty was gone so fast, he was probably on the way out with the sedative. We knew that he must have been a very sick kitty indeed.

They left so we could say our goodbyes. Then the assistant returned to make a print from his paw to craft an ornament with his name and paw print on it. We decided to have him cremated, since the ground is frozen, and we wouldn't be able to bury him sufficiently with our shallow ground. That way, we could keep his ashes until the time Asuka passes, so we can release their ashes somewhere together, maybe on one of our favorite hikes.

I am extremely grateful to our vet for being straightforward with us, instead of leading us on with promises that make money but don't help. He truly cares about animals and wants them to be happy as much as we do.

Asuka is doing well on the steroid. She's eating like crazy and still seems pretty healthy despite the huge lumps and the breathing. She's even demanding people food, like meat and cheese, which she never had before. She sits by my side and I feed her little bits of meat from my stew as I'm eating. At this point, she can eat whatever she wants. I still give her the Life Gold on her evening food. She's sleeping in my lap as I type this, purring.

There's a hole in the house without Dusty here. It feels so wrong. I keep glancing up, expecting to see him sitting at the top of the stairs. Without him as a buffer, Daisy and Asuka have not been getting along so well. But I know Dusty's in a better place, healthy and fluffy. The gold tin with his ashes sits above the window with his Stuffed Dusty toy and the paw print ornament. I have no idea how much longer Asuka will be with us, but I intend to keep her as happy as I can for as long as I can.

This all pretty much spelled disaster for Nanowrimo. I attended one writing meeting, and wrote a little over one thousand words. Then I never even so much as glanced at the website or tried to write another word. I felt sucked dry of imagination, inspiration, and drive.

Part of that is also due to the fact that I'm working my butt off at the club. We lost three instructors over the summer, and two more with pregnancies. One of those instructors is back, but the other instructor carrying the club with me is going on vacation this month. I'll be teaching fourteen hours a week until middle of January, fifteen hours a week a couple of those weeks. And that's only if no one else asks me to sub for them.

I'm happy to be able to help people out, but I tell you what, I'm tired. This is my last two-day weekend for a while, and I'll probably spend it sleeping.

To top it all off, there's no snow here! We got two brief little spits, but the wind blew it all away almost immediately. The winds have been awful, this current blast being the worst of all. Once, when climbing into the car in a store parking lot, I couldn't close my door. I pulled with all my strength, with both hands, and with one foot braced. I guess the gusts have been up to eighty-five miles an hour in some places. It sure feels like it. I hope we have it before Christmas rolls around. I even prefer the below zero temps to this wind. At least that gave us some beautiful frost.

So, generally depressing. But I'm trying to find some bright spots. We still have Asuka, and she still seems to be enjoying life. Daisy, Bruno, and Uffda all seem happy. I talked to some people with Alaska Cat Adoption about the possibility of fostering in the future. Logan got a promotion to a position he was hoping to get. And all this exercising keeps me looking hot. :)

Since 2012 was almost nil in writing production (I did sell one erotic story, and I'm still waiting to hear on another horror story), I plan on restarting my commitment to Write 1 Sub 1 for 2013. I hope to make it a better year than 2011 was for my writing.

That is, as long as the world doesn't end on December 21st. ;)

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