2020/11/16

Roll Call

Da Goddess @ 11:39

For anyone keeping track, the animal count here has been rising the last few months. It’s risen again.

Not counting the massive flock of crows that descend upon us each day, the current total is as follows:

Dogs: 4. Badger, Bandit, Bentley, Bristol. Bentley just joined the pack.

Cats: 3. Fletch (mine). Tiger Lily and Zelda (not so much mine, though I put in the time and effort).

Goats: 2. Bella and Bamberella. I’m not spending time with them the way I used to. I don’t want the kittens over there as the goats have some respiratory thing they can’t kick.

Humans: 5. Most of the time. 3 in the main house — usually, some times a couple more. 1 downstairs neighbor. 1 in my place.

It can feel very crowded when everyone is here at the same time. I don’t necessarily mind all the animals, but I do mind some of the humans when they fail to act responsibly. It’s a lot of stress I don’t need when I have kittens clawing at and climbing the door because they’re starving and thirsty. At one point, the main house folks were out of town for a week and KNEW the cats were out of food before they left. I know this because I had told them. I’d told two of them. I cannot abide negligence when it comes to animals, children, and the elderly.

There are a lot of stressors with the people in the main house and I have made aware the problems with them to the property manager because I no longer have the bandwidth to handle most of them myself. I’m officially the old guy of the neighborhood yelling at kids to get off my lawn.

One of the issues has been resolved, but we’ll see how long that lasts. I’m not hopeful. Not hopeful at all. Why? Because another one of the issues was with the dogs (I love them, but believe me when I say that’s a lot of dog shit that’s never picked up and a good deal of it is in the yard right where I can smell it). It turns out they were only approved for two dogs. Their response to the reminder from the property manager was to add a fourth. Again, dog shit. And the barking at night when they’re all left here alone is both comforting and irritating. Comforting in that I know no one could ever sneak onto the property without the four furry alarms sounding. Irritating because it goes on for hours at a time, sometimes very very very very very late. It’s just a lot. A LOT.

So, grumpy oldster that I am, I’ve been weighing all my options. I’ve been looking for a new home. The obstacles I’m facing are: 1. Cost. It’s stupid how much even a one bedroom costs in the worst part of town. 2. Availability. With Covid decimating jobs, everyone is economizing and cheaper places go quickly. 3. Cat-friendly places are few and far between. I’ve looked at places I can rent by myself (see items 1 and 2) and shared rentals. The problem with shared rentals is the ludicrous restrictions regarding cats. Outside only (not my boy; he’s strictly indoors unless on a leash and would never survive) or I’d have to keep him in my room. We went from 1200+sq ft to 400sq ft and that was hard enough. Trying to keep him in one small bedroom would be the death of him. And me. As Pam has noted with her dogs, since moving out on my own and ESPECIALLY during the pandemic, my attachment to and codependence on my fuzznugget is off the charts. Which is also why I can’t imagine giving him up just for a place to call home.

What am I going to do after next month? I have no fucking clue.

In the meantime, I’m doing my best to survive the ever-expanding roster of living and breathing creatures here on the lovely single acre I call home.

the kittens at rest

2020/11/03

Life Amongst the Ruins

Da Goddess @ 00:32

That title means nothing. Not a damn thing. I just really liked how it sounded in my head.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. It does kind of feel like my life is in ruins, which is ridiculous since I’m finally getting all my medical shit taken care of (work comp notwithstanding) and I’m feeling better than I have in a while. It’s more that I feel overwhelmed by a lot of what’s happening.

Diabetes: check
Blood pressure: check
Cholesterol: check
Mammogram: yeah, a whole other can of worms
Podiatry: if you have diabetes, podiatry becomes a “thing”
Ophthalmology: upcoming

Like I said, a lot of stuff happening at once. My mammogram was scheduled, rescheduled, and finally happened. Before I even left the building, I was called back to talk to the radiologist. She called my doc and got the okay to do a diagnostic mammo because of what she saw on the screening one. Within the space of an hour, I was screened, diagnostic’d, scheduled for an ultrasound, and scheduled for a biopsy (“better to schedule it and then cancel if it’s not needed than to need it and have to wait,” they said). See? A lot of shit at once.

Oddly enough, I’m okay with all of the shit coming down around my ears. This is what happens when you don’t have access to healthcare for an extended period of time. It’s just a lot to take in all of a sudden. My head is just now slowing the spin, this dizziness is starting to ease up, and I’m happy with how everything is being handled. Go figure.

In other news, Fletch doesn’t care much for the kittens. It’s weird, because he talks to them and will flop onto his back, enticing them to come closer, but they’ve become too wary since he hisses at them and seems to prefer hanging out with the dogs. (I don’t think he truly prefers the dogs; I honestly think it’s more a case of the devil he knows.) Still, I have high hopes for him to eventually be the elder statesman of the feline kingdom here. I’d like to see him rule with a benevolent paw and embrace these youngsters for the lovely creatures they are.

I may be wanting the impossible. I’m probably wanting the impossible. I’m totally expecting too much from a fuzzy being who’s been living the good life of an only cat for (probably) too many years.

At least I can count on the drama of the animals to keep me distracted from worrying about my health issues. That’s a good thing and I’ll take it any day of the week.

Lily finds her light

2020/10/19

Just Call Me Wilford

Da Goddess @ 02:04

After getting all my lab results from my brand new primary care physician (it’s been so so so many years since I had one), it’s been determined that I have full-blown diabeetus, just like Mr. Brimley.

In fact, chances are, I’ve had it for years.

Now, armed with my glucometer, lancets, and test strips, I can monitor exactly how rotten I feel at various times throughout the day.

Imagine my dismay when my pre-breakfast, post-walk reading was 431. Worse, my pre-dinner glucose was so high I only got “high” as my reading, meaning it was over 600. Not anywhere close to anything adjacent to the neighborhood of “yikes, that’s not great.” It does, however, explain why I feel like shit most of the time.

I’ve had three doses of metformin thus far. Two of atorvastatin. Two of lisinopril. I’ve turned down cookies from the neighbors in the main house. I walked my ass off despite severe lower back pain (I almost fell three times in the course of one walk, which is why I always carry my phone). I was busy all day long with various chores and playtime with the dogs, goats, kittens, and Fletchy*. My reading should have been lower. I’m praying for better results by the end of the week or I’m calling the doc.

Since I was an educator for new diabetics at Children’s back in the day, I have a good amount of knowledge on hand. What I don’t have experience with is the metformin and the other meds. I know it’ll likely take at least a week before I start to see my numbers come down, but I don’t like having to wait. I want instantaneous results! (I am well aware it doesn’t work like that.)

So, this is where I am now. Diabetic and impatient. But also hopeful. And grateful. Who knows how much longer I’d have had if I’d not been diagnosed and treated.

* Fletch is now an ambassador for cats who are adjusting to life amongst other animals. He even laid down for Badger, the youngest and most rambunctious of the dogs. When he met Zelda, the gorgeous gray kitty, she’d hissed up a storm and jumped from the second story porch we have. She was fine after the landing and was reacting to the dogs, not my sweet boy. Later, Fletch hissed and yowled a bit when they again met again, holding a grudge. It’ll take time for him to realize she was just afraid of the situation and not him.

2020/10/06

And, We’re Back

Da Goddess @ 10:59

Sometimes my internet connection is so poor I can’t even get more than two words down before I lose the signal and all ability to post.

I’m actually okay with that. I know, right? Me? Yeah, me. But it’s true.

Without TV and internet access, I’ve found I’m surprisingly fine. I’ve been watching DVDs and reading and doing weird things like, oh I don’t know…the dishes. Or I’m out hanging with the goats or the dogs. Or with the dogs and my cat. Yes! The cat has decided he doesn’t mind the dogs.

The other morning, Fletchy flopped down in front of Bandit and offered up his belly. OMG! It was adorable and so very very very very trusting. Bandit wasn’t sure what he should do beyond giving the belly a sniff and then walking around the cat, which led to Fletch trying to play with the dog. Big ol’ Bandit was very tentative about the invitation to play because he’s been around cats enough to know it could very well be a trap. But, it wasn’t. Fletchy just wanted a little fun.

The more the cat’s around the dogs, the more I realize just how much he needs a friend. Not that I’m going to be bringing any new fuzzy pals into the family. I just see what he so desperately wants and needs. So, I encourage the friendships with the dogs as often as possible. Maybe someday we’ll be in a position to expand our family. I just know it’s not happening any time soon.

And since I have a good signal, I’m going to have a go at uploading some photos.

TTFN!

2020/09/13

Balls. Big, Big Balls.

Da Goddess @ 10:45

The renters in the main house here on the property have the two dogs who live here full-time and then there’s the son’s dog. Since the young son isn’t here on a regular basis, neither is his very funny canine.

Part catahoula, part lab(?), part clown, this dog is constantly looking for things to do. That’s part and parcel of being a pup, but it also speaks of the way he’s being raised. Badger’s owner is training him to do pool/water rescues and to also be a good horseman’s dog. It’s a delight to watch.

Recently, Badger’s developed into more of a grown dog and has lost much of his puppiness. Gone are the too big feet and the comical poses. Now he has an enormous noggin (it’s planet-like in size) and a sureness of foot, which are lovely. He also has ginormous balls. His balls are so big they align themselves NOT side-by-side, but rather front to back. Big, big, huge balls befitting a stud bull or horse.

Said balls got Badger in trouble not long ago. Seems the female dog here was in heat and somehow got out. Badger boy did what nature told him must be done and the two dogs went at it like…well, animals. Thankfully, no pregnancy. But this led to the owners to FINALLY deciding to neuter and spay the two dogs. Why it wasn’t done sooner, I have no idea.

Other than the german shepherd, Lady, we had when I was very young, every dog or cat we owned as a family, and the ones I’ve had on my own, have been fixed. I was taught it was responsible ownership and a kindness to our dear companions. I still believe that wholeheartedly. Aside from reducing pet overpopulation, spaying and neutering reduce the likelihood of diseases — cancer, in particular — of the reproductive sort. For me, this is paramount. If we can spare our beloved companions from illness, we should. So, that’s what I’ve always done and I tend to look at people who don’t do this for their pets with my head atilt like Bopper, the RCA dog. I just don’t get it. There are so many companion animals living life on the streets and/or sitting in shelters awaiting a death sentence.

So. Yes, I looked at the owners here in (with? Or just…) askance. How and why do you NOT spay or neuter your dogs? Especially when you have a male and female who spend a lot of time together. Especially when you don’t want puppies.

I guess the pregnancy scare was just the thing they needed because both dogs are going in for their surgeries today (or maybe tomorrow since nobody seems to be able to remember the days of the week anymore due to quarantine brain). I am breathing a big sigh of relief.

And so it goes here in the heart of my little world. No pregnancy scares in the future for the sweet dogs who live on this land with me. No tempting balls of fluff and utter cuteness in my path. No chances of cancer of the reproductive organs for two beautiful furry friends.

Oh, and those massive balls will no longer have to go through life in one-by-one, single-file formation.

2020/09/05

How to Deal with the Heat

Da Goddess @ 09:26

The dogs have decided to play before it’s too hot to play.

Extreme heat advisory is in effect for the weekend and beyond.

I may throw myself into the pool soon.

Playing before it gets too hot.

2020/09/01

Not My Dogs

Da Goddess @ 09:06

Since the new tenants in the main house moved in, I’ve benefited from the fact that they have dogs. I get to pet, play with, and just sit quietly with the dogs almost any time I want.

Big boy Bandit and I became fast friends while his sister went to work with their mom. Bandit and Fletch have even developed a nice little friendship since he visits so frequently. It’s pretty adorable. While they don’t cuddle or anything, there’s an easy vibe of chill between them I love to see. Bandit is a mellow boy and has no interest in chasing the cat or doing more than sniffing him or occasionally giving him a lick. Fletch will allows this and rarely does more than give a short, soft meow and has only once attempted a pathetic hiss. He wasn’t perturbed at all; it was, for the most part, a demonstration that he could, if need be, become riled. Even the one time raising of his paw was done sans claw. More like “I’ll bop you one, Mr. D.O.G., if I feel you deserve it.” Yeah, even his displays of catitude are mild. He really seems to enjoy his new interspecies friendship.

Bandit’s also a big old fuzzy love muffin around me. He checks on me throughout the day, lies at my feet, and does his best to be my protector. It’s the sweetest thing. Because it’s often just me (and Fletch, of course) on the property all day, he watches over me (us) and does his best to bring joy to my doorstep. He succeeds. With flying colors. Whenever he’s not around, I miss his solid and affectionate presence. He’s really a lovely, kind, gentle soul.

Now, Bristol, she’s a different story. Yes, she’s rather laid back for a herding dog, but she does have an energy about her that’s undeniable. And while she’s always gentle and calm around Fletch, she simply prefers…me. I’m not sure what it is, but she has decided I’m cool and am her favorite non-family person.

I’ve only ever had one other dog get so excited to see me: The Smash Family dog (God rest her beautiful soul). Back in the day, Tori would turn herself inside out and upside down while absolutely losing her head whenever she saw me. One time, the (former) Mrs. Smash needed to borrow some scrubs and a stethoscope for a play and she reported back to me that Tori went crazy when the items were brought in the house, all because she could smell me on them. I was just as taken with her and this behavior always tickled me. On the penultimate day of Tori’s life, I was able to spend time with her, photographing her and just loving on her. She was very weak and unsteady, but she was happy to see me like she always had been, just unable to wriggle and be silly with her affection. I was honored to have been a part of her life, but even more honored to have been loved by her.

And now Bristol reminds me of Tori, what with her enthusiastic greetings and her inability to show even the slightest bit of moderation in her efforts to let me know she’s glad I’m around. Last night, after being away from the old homestead for less than 48 hours, she spotted me and sped over to me to say hello. Her mom kept trying to calm her and apologized repeatedly for Bristol’s excessive behavior. “I don’t know why she’s like this with you. She never does this with anyone else! I’m so sorry!” I told her not to worry and that I was pleased that the dog likes me so much. And then I told her about the only other sweet girl who acted the same way when she’d see me. We decided Tori must have chosen Bristol to be the conduit for her to keep loving me.

This morning, she approached me with the same wild, unbridled joy as she had last night. She settled down as I pet her and talked with her — Bandit patiently waiting for his turn for pets and scritches — and then she ran off after hearing the baby goats because she simply MUST check on them every time they bleat. Once she ascertained they were okay, she bounded up the stairs and gave me another ebullient hello, though slightly toned down. I ruffled her fur and gave her a lot of pets and scritches. Forty minutes later, she and Bandit have both picked their spots to lie down and conduct their sentry duties up here on my porch.

There’s just something so wonderful about knowing you’re loved by not-my-dog dogs. You know they don’t have to love you. However, when they do, it’s incredibly heartwarming and you can’t help but feel special.

To all the not-my-dogs out there, I love you!

P.S. Bristol might be preggers. I know I can’t afford to have a puppy, but I have a feeling I’m going to be in big trouble when/if there are pups.

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