Tag Archives: nature

Cancer, Cider, and the Autumnal Equinox.

So many cat meds. So few cats.

We have three cats. Isis is perfectly healthy, Jupiter has a heart condition and recently had a tumor and several cysts removed and thinks she is perfectly healthy, and Lexus, their mother, is not so good. 2012 hasn’t been a great year for health. Our turtle died on Valentine’s Day, Lexus had 5 tumors removed in March, my grandmother passed a couple of months ago, and my dad was in the hospital for several weeks. He has since returned home and is doing great, so that’s one silver lining! 🙂

We knew the chances of Lexus’ cancer coming back/spreading was likely. I’ve learned that mammary cancer in cats is almost always 90% malignant, and feline mammary adenocarinomas are aggressive and invasive, most often spreading to the lymph nodes and organs. This is what has happened to our cat. Lexus and I recently made the 3-hour trek to Columbus, OH, so she could see one of the veterinary oncologists at Ohio State University’s vet school. And let me tell you, they are fantastic there. So wonderful and caring. Before I drove up there, we knew her cancer had come back, but not to what extent, or what we could do for her. During the time while the kitty was sedated for her chest x-rays, I did get to go to Barnes & Noble and eat at P.F. Changs , so it wasn’t a completely awful day.

So now we have the information and means to make her comfortable. My husband got Lexus when she was a kitten, thirteen years ago. His roommate had a boy cat and well … you know. So we’ve had Lexus for 13+ years, and the other two for 12. I know taking care of an ill person is not the same as an ill pet, but we are still taking care of a living creature. She has a personality, quirks, does different things than our other cats, all the sorts of things that make a living thing distinguishable from another of the same species. It is a strange experience, sort of surreal I guess, to know this little furball that has been with us everyday for 13 years won’t be here much longer. In a way, I think I am glad to go through it. And I’m glad that we taking care of her, and especially happy that we are on vacation right now, so we can spend more time with her. She’s on a steroid and appetite stimulant, and it’s been a bit frustrating to find something she will eat besides the endless packets of Starkist tuna. 🙂 She did devour 2 slices of ham the other day, and, of course, still loves having the middle part of an ice cream sandwich, which pretty much means I get to eat ice cream sandwiches. Win-win.

And speaking of things I like to consume, I picked up some Woodchuck Pumpkin Cider. It’s pretty good. Surprisingly, even. A bit sweet, not overly carbonated. A friend is up this weekend, and instead of making beer as he and my husband do, we are attempting to make a hard apple cider. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

Woodchuck Pumpkin Cider

Today is also the Autumnal Equinox, or the first day of fall for all you non-equinox knowing peeps out there. Today marks my favorite time of the year. I adore fall: the colors of the leaves, the cooler weather, warm apple cider with cinnamon sticks, cooler weather, flowering mums and pumpkins everywhere, and did I mention the weather??!! Perfect temperatures in the fall and spring. Makes me wish I could stop time and stay in an eternal loop of fall and spring, with maybe a couple of weeks of summer or winter thrown in.


Gnolls? In Westfall? No, sorry. Moles in West Virginia

So far, the wildlife tally in West Virginia is:

1 mountain goat

1 blue-tailed skink

2 turkey

Several hippity-hoppity bunnies

Deer – We’ve lost count. One of the three frequenting the area by our porch keeps giving me the evil eye.

1 Mole.

Yup, a mole. My husband was outside grilling and knocked on the porch door, urging me to come outside. He thought, at first, that a rat ran by the edge of the porch, and the realized it was a little black mole. It kept going up and down the side of the building, trying to find its hole. At one point it would have run over my bare toes had I not moved my feet.

I did snap a few photos of the adorable little fellow, but this one was the best.

And it did, eventually, find the way back to its hole in the ground, next to the porch belonging to the apartment across the hall.

Spring in Old Louisville

This is how many of the streets in Old Louisville look during springtime. Bradford Pears and Dogwoods blooming in front of 100+ year-old houses. There are Magnolia trees along the street where my parents live, and the flowers smell heavenly. Spring and fall are my favorite times of the year. I’m not much for winter. Even though I love snow, I hate driving in it and I hate the cold. March, for me, brings the clock-change forward, more sun, more green outside, and trees that bud and bloom. When you drive down a tree-canopied street, it’s almost magical. Tiny white petals swirl down from above, and over the pavement.

Spring is a time to treasure for those who love the outdoors, and trees. 🙂 Too soon the millions of white blooms will give way to green leaves, and even though the view is still beautiful, it’s not quite the same.

A Perfect Morning

It is just after noon and I have been sitting on my couch since 6:30am, alternating between editing, writing new material and playing WoW. But the nicest part of my day has been outside.
It snowed very early this morning and while we have less than an inch, it is beautiful. All morning I’ve had the tv on the Soundscapes Channel, listening to quiet music. In the trees just beyond our porch, birds have been chirping and calling all morning. We have the most adorable little birds that love to scale up the wall at the end of the porch-brown birds with a deep yellow belly. They have been intriguing one of our cats all morning. There are also cardinals, which provide a striking contrast to the leafless trees and grey skies.
Snow will be swirling down on and off through the day, giving me something else to gaze at in my peaceful day. Now all I need is birdseed. Our empty bird feeder is not making my chirping friends happy.

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