Right on schedule

The embroidery commission is going well. I’ve gotten about one third of the second bear paw filled in, and once that’s done I can stitch together the messenger bag (which shouldn’t take too long). After that, I have sewing work to do for my husband and for our Arts and Sciences competition in July, plus some embroidery for gifting.

I hope I’m not getting myself too deep into anything. So far, my embroidery projects have been short and sweet. Small pieces that could be completed in a short time frame. The gift embroidery, though, and any for A&S, could end up being more than I can chew up and spit out. I want to make nice things for people, but I also want to get Book 2 back on track.

Not that Book 1 is even close to ready. It’s still in the latest rounds of line edits, which means there will be even more work to do on it once it returns. How much work? Well, I won’t know until the edits come back. So I’m chewing on my nails (metaphorically) as I wait for my manuscript to be emailed back with the editing notes. I’m kind of afraid to start back on Book 2 until Book 1 is back, because there were such sweeping changes to Book 2’s plot/story after the new ending of Book 1 that if I change too much more I’ll just be creating more work for myself. One of the flaws of being a pantser, I guess. If I had plotted I might have it easier, but the major plot points are still valid–for now. We’ll see what the edits reveal.

Work is work. That’s nothing much new. There could be potential drama afoot in the coming weeks, but it’s something that’s beyond my control so I just have to have faith that things will work out.

The house is close to done. I’m stressing over things like the final loan approval and the eventual move, but all I can do about it is, well, stress. And that’s not doing me any good.

Tomorrow is longsword class for the rapier academy I’m in. My husband isn’t really keen on longsword, so I will probably have to go to this class–and most of them in the foreseeable future–by myself. Maybe I’ll get a ride to the class. Let him have the car for a bit (also, I won’t have to drive at night if I get a ride…I freaking hate driving at night).

River and Rory are getting along swimmingly. Right now Rory is giving River a bath, and she seems pretty content with it. They keep each other company when my husband and I are away at SCA events or other things, so that’s good.

So, in summary: embroidery good, books stalled, house stressful, and kittehs are being cute.

Advertisements

A River runs through

Today, our little “family” (myself, my husband, and our cat Rory) became complete with the addition of this tiny little darling:

IMG_20180317_164006434.jpg

Meet River, Rory’s new little playmate. Yep, we’re those annoying Whovians. Get over it 😉

River’s been home now for almost two hours, and she and Rory have been cautiously ignoring each other for about an hour. There was a lot of hissing and growling on both sides when she first arrived, and they haven’t been very close to each other, but I’m optimistic that once they get used to each other they’ll get along swimmingly.

Rory has always enjoyed playing with the cats living at my parents’ house when he went over there to visit, but he’s never had a permanent “sibling” living with him. He’s been, essentially, an “only child,” which means he’s never had to share his territory. For an animal like a cat, that’s a huge adjustment to make. I think they’ll be okay though. I wouldn’t be surprised if they start getting along within a couple of days at most.

I’m happy that River feels safe enough here to doze a bit. She’s still wary enough to fight going fully into a deep sleep, but she’s doing really well. I look forward to when she and Rory start playing together and cuddling and all the things that kitties do when they’re friends.

Pitter-patter

No, no, it’s not what you might think. We’re not “expecting”–ZERO chance of that–but we’re expecting to be expanding our family soon. Our little Rory-kins is about to be a big kitty in a bigger house than he’s used to, and since we’ll be free from apartment life we’ve decided it’s high time we get him a little friend to play with.

We’re looking at two prospects in Phoenix, but one of them is highly sought-after according to the foster owner, so it will likely be the other. We’d like either one of them, really, and they’re both so stinkin’ cute on the Petfinder site! The best thing is both pet profiles state that the kittens do well with other cats, so that’s a definite bonus. We’d hate to go through the adoption process only to find that Cat X has territory issues or something.

Fingers crossed that Rory has a little brother or sister soon!

The Fugitive (Or, Rory’s Big Adventure)

20160310_195913

Hug your kids, ladies and gentlemen…whether they’re human babies or furbabies or even iguana babies. Hug them. Every day.

I learned this in a big way yesterday. With a cat who’s only ever indoors (or, when visiting at my parents’ house, in a walled-in back yard), it had never occurred to me that he might get loose or get lost. When he got out and went on his hundred-yard adventure, I discovered the terror of a parent whose “child” is lost.

Yeah, I know, some of you will say that he’s “just a cat.” Let me tell you, Rory is not “just a cat.” He is an awesome cat. He’s cool. He’s the most social cat I’ve ever known. He’s uber affectionate. He misses us when we’re gone, he spends more time in the room with us than he does in other parts of the apartment, and he gets distraught if we leave him for anything more than a few hours. He is, for all intents an purposes, my furry, purry kid. Plain and simple.

As a cat, though, Rory did not understand the consequences of jumping down out of the screenless open window yesterday at the buttcrack of 3:00 a.m. No, all he understood was freedom!!!! That freedom may have only carried him a couple of buildings over in the complex, but it was far enough that my heart broke and my nerves were frayed beyond belief. Words cannot describe the dread that settled in the pit of my stomach.

Rory’s walkabout may have started at 3:00, but my heart attack started at 3:45. It was about that time, five minutes after my husband’s alarm woke us both up, that I became concerned. Rory, on occasion, fails to wake me up before said alarm. It happens. Maybe those days he wants to “sleep in” too. One thing he never fails to do, however, is come running and meowing when the alarm goes off, because that’s breakfast time. Rory and breakfast go together like peas and carrots. I swear that little furball can tell time; he’ll often start begging for his half a can of wet food just minutes before the alarm goes off. It’s like he can tell–how he does it without a concept of clocks and schedules I don’t know, but he does it.

I asked my husband if he’d seen Rory, because a little nagging voice in the back of my head was screaming “ALERT! ALERT!” Something was wrong…I just didn’t know what.

My husband, who had opened the apartment windows because of the failure of the air conditioning unit to cool the apartment below 84 degrees at night (which was hotter than the outside temperature), figured Rory was just lying on a windowsill, chilling as he watched the pigeons do their thing outside.

Rory was not in the windowsill.

The window did not have a screen.

Rory was gone.

Yeah, panic definitely set in. I threw the front door open and looked at the balcony. No Rory. I put on some shoes and checked the neighbor’s adjoining balcony. No Rory. I checked under the bed, under the couch, behind furniture…no Rory.

Fuck.

Why did we open a window that was missing its screen? Well, if we’d realized that the apartment maintenance crew had not replaced said screen when they took out the window unit that had been there a couple of months ago, we would not have opened it. If maintenance had told us they hadn’t replaced it, we would have harassed them until there was a new screen installed. We would not have risked Rory’s safety like that.

So Rory was gone. We checked our security cameras and watched in horror as he jumped off the sill onto the balcony, sniffed around a bit, and started down the steps. It was the worst feeling I’d ever had; I could see him leaving, but since it had been nearly an hour before we woke up I was powerless to stop it.

After the initial freight train to the chest, I regained enough composure to Google the local PD’s non-emergency line and leave a description of Rory for them. Surely some insomniac neighbor had seen him and called in the “stray” cat with tags. Surely.

Nope. No such luck. The police department hadn’t had any early morning calls of a cat loose in the complex, and the animal control office wouldn’t be open for another six hours.

What to do? It was still way before dawn, so I couldn’t go door-to-door in the complex without pissing off a lot of people. After a lot of fretting, I decided to make a flyer.

Rory lost 1

Hooray for Photoshop, and hooray for Rory being so photogenic. Still, it was too early to be handing out said flyers, so I ventured out with my trusty phone/flashlight and Rory’s treats and started searching the complex. I looked at the porch of every downstairs apartment. I looked in the pool area. I looked in the laundry room. No Rory.

Defeated, I returned to the apartment and started sharing the crap out of the above image. I shared to my Facebook page in a public post (so others could share it as well). I shared it to friends who live in the area. I shared it to friends who lived in the area who might still know people here. I shared it to friends in other cities in this state in case they knew people here. I shared it to local Facebook groups for lost pets. Inside, the panic swelled to the point where I couldn’t even eat. Fuck food; Rory was missing.

With nothing else to do until the sun came up (and potentially more neighbors woke up), I sat at the computer and fretted. I told myself that any second someone would message that they had found Rory and brought him safely inside and were waiting for me to come get him. No such luck.

After dawn, my husband and I split up and searched the complex again. I handed out flyers to a couple of people who were awake and outside already. I looked once again at the first floor porches, hoping that I would see him better now that the sun was up. We came up with zilch. Wherever Rory was, it wasn’t anywhere we could see him by walking around.

My mom eventually woke up and saw my frantic posts. She called and said she was going to come help look for him. I fretted some more. The wait for time to go to work was agonizing, because I knew I couldn’t call in sick and I was terrified that I’d get a text saying Rory was found dead at the side of the road somewhere.

Now, I don’t know what Rory was doing during this time, but considering he was finally discovered by a neighbor on a balcony a couple of buildings over, “trapped” by a puddle of water, it’s likely he was scared shitless because he thought he couldn’t get home. Oh, sure, the first little while was probably exciting. All the smells and sounds and sights. The rain that came to barricade him from leaving the balcony was probably not as exciting for him.

I was already at work when he was brought home, but thankfully my husband called and left a message with the receptionist that he was found. A trillion-ton weight was lifted off my shoulders. Rory was home. Safe. Alive. Aside from being scared and hungry and slightly overheated, he was fine.

It’s not likely that Rory will learn his lesson from this. If he has another opportunity to go on an adventure, he’ll probably take advantage of it. He’s a cat; they’re curious. My husband and I, however, are determined to be more vigilant. We’ve complained to the apartment management about the neglect of the window screen. Last night, we turned on a multitude of fans rather than opening that window. (The A/C is still not working properly.)

Rory’s none the worse for the wear after his Big Adventure, but we’re still going to be careful.

Hug your kids, ladies and gentlemen. Whether fleshy or furry or scaly or whatever. Hug your kids.

All things must come to an end

Nearly fifteen years ago I bought the first–and only–pet that was my very own. I fell in love with a kitten up for adoption from a shelter, and before I even signed the papers I had named her Annabelle.

I kinda didn’t tell my dad I was getting her until I got her home.

Annabelle was my only constant for the next nine years, even my sole companion during the month I spent living by myself in an extended-stay motel during my transition to Arizona. She was my baby.

When I moved in with my then-boyfriend, I had to leave her at my parents’ house due to roommate issues (the issue being that it was the roommate’s house and he didn’t want another cat living there). When we moved into our first apartment shortly before getting married, we couldn’t afford rent for two cats, so Annabelle stayed at Mom and Dad’s. When our cat Luna died, we weren’t ready for another cat yet–and by that time, Annabelle was getting on in years & had settled into life at my parents’ house…without me. She ran from me when I came over to visit more often than not, and the few times she did come out of hiding it was to beg for food or treats. I had become a stranger.

We got Rory about six months after Luna died, and since Annabelle was comfortable where she was, we decided against uprooting her and bringing her into a new environment with a new, rambunctious kitten.

A few months ago, Annabelle started losing some weight.

She started losing a lot of weight.

Now, with her only eating with the aid of an appetite stimulant and throwing up what little she does eat, I have a decision to make. She may not really be “my” cat anymore (at least not in her eyes), but she’s still, well, my cat.

My sister’s cat, Chelsea, had a long death. She was put to sleep eventually, but she got emaciated to the point of having to be force-fed and had necrotic sores on her. She looked like something out of Pet Sematary. Literally. It was scary. I don’t want that for Annabelle. I don’t want to “kill” her, but I don’t want her to suffer. She’s old. She’s lived a good life…and nearly half that life has been without me. So what am I to do?

I thought hard about it. I didn’t want to make the decision too hastily, but I also didn’t want to drag out her life if she was suffering in any way. The image of the last time I saw my sister’s cat was enough. I’m not going to let Annabelle turn into that.

So either today or Monday (depending on when the vet can get her in), I am prepared to make one of the toughest decisions of my life. I’m going to say good-bye to my baby and let her go peacefully. It’s the least I can do for the kitten that used to chase her tail on my neck, that hid under the blankets during the road trip to Arizona, that would sit on my lap & purr while I played World of Warcraft before work.

What was going to be a nice, relaxing weekend of cosplay work will now be a weekend of mourning and trying to focus on what now seems insignificant.

Here’s to you, Annabelle. You were and are an awesome cat.

200297_10150456242965604_5312734_n

There but not there

He sat in silence, tail twitching, ears turned towards his target.

Pulling my legs up onto the couch (theoretically a place safe from whatever it was that he was hunting), I peeked over the edge, trying to spy what he stalked. I saw nothing, and for some reason an icy chill crawled up my spine. Was it a harmless bug? Was it–*gasp*–a spider? I didn’t know if I could handle a spider on my own. Eight-legged demons, they are.

Without warning he pounced, and I felt myself jump despite my determination to remain calm. Did he get it?

No, it seemed he didn’t. When he stood back to observe his handiwork, there was nothing on the floor. I relaxed for a moment until his body went rigid again…save for that twitching tail.

Dare I get off the couch to see what it was? If I put my feet down, would The Thing Beneath bite me? I swallowed back a lump of fear and ever-so-slowly began to get up, keeping the cat between me and whatever it was he was determined to murder. Inch by inch, I got down on my knees and bent over, looking under the couch, praying it was a ball of lint or long-lost cat toy.

Nothing. There was nothing.

The cat still stalked this nothing for several minutes before following me into the other room, the nothing-that-he-thought-was-something apparently forgotten.

Shaking my head, I chuckled to myself as I turned out the lights and snuggled next to my sleeping husband. It was just my imagination, I thought, or perhaps the cat’s. Nothing more.

Then I heard a door open and close.

We have no roommates.

The life of a cat

Man, some days I wish I could be a housecat.

Sleeping all the time. When I’m not sleeping, I’m eating, drinking, or playing. I have people that love me. I have food provided. I have sand to poop in.

Any surface is a bed. Any surface. I can get comfortable in the most uncomfortable of positions. My house is my domain, even when I’m the smallest person there.

Any thing is a toy. Any thing. A ball. A bell. A pen. A ball of my own fur. The only limits to my play are the limits to my imagination … which has no limits.

I am loved so much. I get petted and scratched and snuggled. My every need provided, my every want met.

Some days I wish I could be a housecat.