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May. 20th, 2009 12:45 pm
sareini: default (American Gods - organising gods/cats)
I haven't been around for a while, have I? Yeah, I could claim that having to effectively share a computer with Nick has made it difficult to get onto lj much, but really, it's not that hard to get to the computer when he's asleep, so... Anyway, I'm making an effort to be back again now.

The Bad News )

The Good News )

So that's the big news that's happened to us over the past few months.
sareini: default (Number 13)
It is cold. -6 degrees celsius (that's 21.2 degrees fahrenheit) to be exact. As a result, Nick is wearing socks on his hands a la Jeff Hardy (I've threatened to get some brightly coloured fabric dyes and paint stripes on them) and Jelli, once she's on our laps or in fact anywhere where there's a duvet or chance for warmth, refuses to move. She's perfectly happy to employ her claws in this as well.

In trying to keep my hands unfrozen and have the blood keep running through them, I'm trying to knit gloves. Only I don't have any sircular needles and I don't know how to shape fingers, so they're likely to end up as some sort of freaky handwarmers or something...

Oh, and there's also snow. I hate my country's weather.
sareini: default (Xmas)
Here's hoping everyone had a good Christmas/Giftmas/whatever you choose to call it.

My presents this year...

- chocolates from Jelli
- pyjamas from Nick's mother
- DVD of Dead Set from Nick's mother
- a couple of scented candles from Nick's mother
- some Winnie the Pooh shower gel from Nick's mother

- DVD of Diary of the Dead from Nick
- DVD of The Shining from Nick
- DVD of Candyman from Nick
- DVD of Lord of Illusions from Nick
- DVD of The Cottage from Nick

...yes, that is a lot of DVDs. But I'm happy, of course.

I got Nick a book about hating Bill O'Reilly, a Vampire Counts batallion box, a box of Twiglets and the DVD of Iron Man. Nick was so happy with the Iron Man DVD that I almost wouldn't have had to get him anything else. It was good to watch him marking out like a giddy kid.
sareini: default (000 cats)
It is incredibly difficult to do any kind of work when your cat thinks that you will disappear forever if she lets you out of her sight for more than ten seconds, and insists on talking to you non-stop as well, while perched on your knee and severely limiting your movement.

That is all.
sareini: default (000 cats)
It is cold here. Too cold to do very much but complain about the cold, as is the British tradition.

I got my hair cut at the weekend, thanks to Nick the Hairdresser (his secret talent, useful for when we don't have the money for getting my hair cur by a professional). Apparently I now look a little like Dorothy Parker. Whether or not that's a good thing I don't know; I just know that I like it.

Jelli has been having a mad day; hurtling round everywhere, jumping on things and generally being a streak of black and white fur about the house, who periodically stops dead to clean a paw slowly and carefully, and then zooms off into another room again.

Also, I've had a headache for two days. It's very annoying and distracting from my writing, which I've really got to catch up on after I've had a bath. Bleh.
sareini: ('everything is true')
First off I want to thank everyone for their comments, hugs and everything else over the past week. It's been difficult getting used to the house without Mac - I keep thinking I see him out of the corner of my eye - but it's been getting slowly easier.

As for the rest of the week... well, I'd have to say that the most exciting thing that's happened recently was me dying my hair. My hair is now what the box called "ultraviolet" - except that when I seach for that colour on the net to show it to you all, it appears to have ceased to exist. Instead, the closest I can come up with is "mystic violet", which you can see here.

...It actually is pretty much the same colour, now that I look at it. I'd put a photo of my own self up, but as my only camera is on my mobile phone and that won't now even connect to the network to send pictures, this is the best I can manage for now.

Nick also let me buy a few things on eBay, so I got myself a few DVD. I got C.H.U.D, Malevolence, A Blade in the Dark and, after so many years of searching, Nightbreed (only it's a foreign copy and so called Cabal. It also has Italian subtitles, so I expect in a few weeks I'll be able to say "God's an astronaut, Oz is over the rainbow, and Midian's where the monsters live" in Italian... And to keep my hands occupied, I got a Winnie the Pooh cross-stitch book that came complete with a kit, and several balls of wool to make Nick a scarf in time for winter. Unfortunately they haven't sent all the wool yet, so I'm still waiting to start that...

But otherwise, things have been pretty quiet. Since we took Jelli to the vets her face and shoulder have been healing up very well too, so it obviously wasn't ringworm and we won't have to take her back to the vets this week (a relief for all of us).

I'm also thinking about staqrting up a kind of garden in our backyard. Since it's all concreted over and we're (a) renting and (b) dirt poor, it would likely be limited to a couple of those rectangular windowbox-type things that you can have on the ground, but I'm a little sick of looking out and seeing just an expance of mottled grey. Especially when the next-door neighbour has such a good garden too...
sareini: default (Default)
When Mac was a kitten, we were told by the vets that he had a heart murmur. We were worried about it, but he never showed any symptoms and, as he grew older, the problem apparently disappeared (according to the vets). So eventually we didn't give it a second thought.

Read more... )

And that's been about all the salient points of the past week.
sareini: default (ME Awareness)
First off, the good news:

'Seven genetic types of ME' found

This is obviously bloody marvelous news. One of the biggest problems with treating CFS/ME has always been that, because there isn't a specific way of testing of it or diagnosing it (other than, "We've looked at everything else and come up with nothing, so let's say you have ME," which is how I was diagnosed), it's also pretty much impossible to treat. After all, if you don't know what's causing it how can you treat it? But this could pretty much start the ball rolling on getting further insights into the causes of CFS/ME, and as a consequence how to treat it.

Oh, and it's a score against the doctors and the like who kept on insisting it was "all in the mind".

In more general health news... Hay fever season is in full flow in our house. Nick has it, I have it and poor Jelli has it. The only one not suffering is Mac, and even he jumps when one of us sneezes.

All three of us have the itchy faces and skin - poor Jelli is the worst, as she ends up scratching herself so hard she makes herself bleed and gouges tufts of fur off her jawline. On the other hand, she still looks so much better than she did two years ago when we first met her and she was living outside and getting pwned by the pollen count. We're thinking we're going to have to take her to the vets to see if they can give hay fever stuff to cats (poor thing'll probably have to have an injection, but we're hoping that if it comes to that she won't go on a killing spree; besides, the last time we took her to the vets she was a little angel - surprisingly - and the worst thing she did was passively-aggressivly shed on the exam table).

Nick was pretty bad until a couple of days ago, when I went and got him some Clarityn. Before that, he was having sneezing fits that were lasting for five minutes at a time, and his eyes were threatening to swell shut. On the plus side, we think he's only allergic to the pollon that's about at this time of year (as opposed to me, who reacts to it all) so hopefully that should die down in a few weeks.

As for me... my face and arms itch. The membranes in my nose and the roof of my mouth have dried out and are itching. My eyes are sore and stinging. But all of these are relatively minor compared to my biggest hay fever symptom - I can't breathe. Yes, the pollen is now officially trying to suffocate me, and I get to spend half my day struggling to take a full breath. I know I need to go to the doctors with this, and I intend to try tomorrow, but the problem is that, unless I get a taxi, I have to walk - past grass and flowers and trees and through air full of the stuff that's apparently choking me to death. It's a Catch-22.
sareini: (cat)
Mac found a worm last night.

It was raining pretty heavily yesterday evening, and so this work must have come out from underground and somehow made its way into our kitchen. So when I came through to make myself dinner, I found Mac on the floor, watching this worm intently as it squirmed along the floor. Occasionally he'd lean in to sniff tenatively at it, but back up if it started to curl towards him. He obviously had no idea what to make of it.

Mac is fascinated by "stuff that moves". He tries to catch small spiders, not because he's hunting them, but because they move fast and he doesn't know what they are, so he wants a closer look. Larger spiders (ie. the big bastard of a spider that lives in various parts of our house whose mandibles are clearly visible) worry him somewhat though, and he prefers to just watch them from a distance.

He once caught a bee by accident. We found him sitting with it between hit paws, batting at it gently to try to make it move. If it had tried to sting him it didn't succeed, likely because of his thick fur, because he suffered absolutely no ill effects.

Jelli, of course, is the complete opposite. Insects? Meh. I'm sleeping/cleaning/eating. Go bother someone else about them.
sareini: Official NaNo participant icon (NaNoWriMo)
I *am* still alive!

I just had a really exhausting week-and-a-half (or so). I'd go into detail, but I'm saving that for later, plus, I know that if I do, I'll end up forgetting what I actually want to write about, get distracted and end up getting nothing done for most of the day).

I have started NaNo though, despite the pull of City of... (although stress levels are rising there - again, I'll talk more later), and have mangaged to get to a grand total of 1,517 words so far, which according to the spreadsheet I downloaded means I'm 3% done. Which I think is an average start, if nothing else.

Especially because Jelli has apparently taught Mac one of her favourite tricks.

Whenever Jelli sees me writing, be it on the computer or on a notepad, she immediately comes over and either sits on the notepad or gets between me and the keyboard. Either she thinks very little of my writing or she considers the whole practice to be a waste of good stroking time, but the end result is the same. And now Mac's started doing it - or his best approximation, as he can't climb up on my computer desk. Instead he tries to scale the back of my chair. He's gotten the "sitting on notepads" thing down pat though.

If they weren't so damn cute and appealing when they do it, I'd shut them in a closet...
sareini: default (000 cats)
We just had an escape attempt.

I'd popped outside to check on the 'cat shed', making sure there was fresh water and the like, and I got talking to our next-door neighbour (I also got barked at a lot by the holidaying Rottie, who in fact got so worryingly aggressive that she had to get taken inside. Yes, I saw that her tail was wagging as she barked and made little growls at me, but that doesn't change the fact that she's never done that to anyone before and was really not at all happy to see me. If it had been Nick there, he'd have just gone.). At one point I opened the back door a crack to let Mac out, because he never goes far anyway and is still scared of our next-door neighbour.

So, we were talking about cats and, coincidentally, I was just saying about how Jelli doesn't come out because she's blind, when next-door neighbour says "Oh, there she is!"

I look around and Jelli is poking her head out of the slightly-open back door. Oh crap.

Even Mac knew that this was not good and attempted to get his sister to go back in, but she was having none of it. She sauntered out into the back yard and started investigating. And there was me without my protective clothing.

Jelli will only let Nick pick her up, you see. Anyone else suffers the death of a thousand very sharp claws in whatever bits of soft flesh she can sink them into. And Jelli was currently wandering down, collarless, chipless and with questionable eyesight, to the end of the garden where there were numerous holes in wire fencing and wooden gate for her to get out through.

I did seriously consider just forgoing the risk and picking her up (I figured I could always go to the hospital later), but in the end I just legged it upstairs and woke Nick, who quickly threw pants on (shame they were the ones with the loose waist elastic that meant they started to slip down when he was outside) and came down to retrieve Jelli. There was a moment of panic when we couldn't see her... but she was just behind an old fridge, sniffing at the ground (we think that's where the other cats who visit go to the bathroom, because Mac really likes to sniff that spot as well). Then Nick just picked her up and took her back in, while she just made a token struggle.

Gods, my heart is still racing. Until today, Jelli has never shown any interest in the outside since we moved. Really, if it wasn't for her eyes and the fact that we don't have a catflap (which would mean that we'd have to leave the door open 24/7) we'd have no problem in letting her out either. But she can't see very well, she doesn't know the area, and she doesn't have any identification on her...

We may well have to get her chipped as a precautionary measure even if we don't plan to let her out again (she doesn't like collars)...
sareini: default (Blogathon)
[Note: This is a sticky post. The actual Blogathon posts are to be found below this one. Just scroll on down.]

If you've wandered onto this blog at some point during July 2007, particularly between the 28th and 29th, you're most likely here because of Blogathon. Or you could have been here before, but are wondering just what in the blue hell is going on with all the posts. This post is (theoretically) supposed to answer those questions.

So, what is Blogathon anyway? )

Who are you blogging for, then? )

What are you going to be doing during this Blogathon? )

Gas Leak!

Jul. 30th, 2007 12:42 pm
sareini: default (chaos...)
Well, that has to be one of the least fun ways to start a week off, ever.

Read the exciting - kind of - tale here! )

And now I'm going back to bed. If there's another gas leak, I'll take the explosion risk, thank you very much.
sareini: default (American Gods - organising gods/cats)
Jelli here again. Mummy asked if I could mention another blogger in this entry who's doing good things, so I'm pointing out Feral, Not Homeless. They're blogging for a charity which looks after feral cats - cats who don't live with owners because they like living outside or they're not good with people. When I was a stray cat I knew some feral cats, and they were very nice and really deserve to be looked after, even if they aren't all fluffy and cuddly like certain other stinky kitties who will remain nameless...



This is a very strange movie. It's about a man who's a private detective who gets hired by a mysterious man to find someone who disappeared several years ago and owes the mysterious man something important. So the detective goes looking for the man and finds all sorts of voodoo stuff and black magic. It all gets very confusing at the end, as it turns out that no-one is who they said they were or who they even thought they were, but Mummy and Daddy both like it so it must be good (Mummy and Daddy rarely agree on films, because Mummy likes stuff with zombies and stuff and Daddy likes what Mummy calls 'teen comedies').

***

And unlike my brother, I don't forget the movie quote!

“Well of course. It’s far too dangerous to jump through fire with your clothes on.”
sareini: default (abstract)
Hi, Jelli here. And unlike what my stinky little bother said, I'm not lazy. I just thought that he should post first or he'd be bothering me the whole time I was posting. Because he's a pain like that.



Mummy and Daddy watched this film together once. Daddy swore and shouted at it a lot. Mummy laughed a lot. I think she was laughing at Daddy.

Apparently the movie is supposed to be based on something that happened about 100 or so years ago (whch is a really long time!), when there was this bad man called Jack the Ripper going around and killing ladies, and the film is supposed to be about the policemen who were trying to catch him. Only they didn't, I think, and no-one knows who he really was even now. Although the film says differently, which was one of the things Daddy was yelling about - he says that the person the movie says was the killer definitely wasn't (and I don't think my Daddy is ever wrong, so there!) and they were being very stupid about the whole thing.

The person playing the policman trying to find the Jack the Ripper person had a strange accent too. Daddy shouted about that as well. I liked his friend though, he was funny.

...really, Daddy was angry at a lot of this movie, which made Mummy laugh a lot. Until he threatened to throw a book at the TV.

***

Now I've got another quote for the movie quiz:

“There is no good and evil. There’s just fun and boring.”

Today...

May. 22nd, 2007 09:02 pm
sareini: default (Bubba Ho Tep)
First and foremost...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY [livejournal.com profile] ebon_bear!
Not to mention a happy honourary birthday to Jelli as well, as it's been a year (give or take a few days) since she decided we were interesting enough people to move in with.


Nick's brother [livejournal.com profile] wantmybed is up at the moment, gracing his brother with his presence for his birthday and buying him stuff like this month's issue of Powerslam and Green Goblin figurines. Right now they're downstairs playing poker, with Mac occasionally trying to join in by trying to grab the cards as they're dealt or pouncing the chips, which is quite possibly one of the most adorable things ever.

In other news...

I have a job. I got a letter this morning from the stock taker - sorry, contractual auditor - people, and they've put me on their database to get work. It's casual, as and when required, but with any luck I can still get a reasonable amount from it. Even working once a week for them would get about £200 a month for us, which would help a lot.

Becuase it's casual, however, I'm still looking for work, and I've got an assessment-interview on Thurday with BT for a job of "Foundation Billing Advisor", which sounds really good. So at this rate I might end up with two jobs for a while...
sareini: default (Bast)
...although this one's a little smarter than our one.

Cat gets bus to shops

It's the Daily Anyurism, true, but it's still a nice story, and that cat is obviously (a) very friendly, or it wouldn't be happy being photographed like that, (b) well looked-after, and (c) quite a resourceful kitty.

Our Mac would never use a bus, though. Even if he did manage to get past us to the outside world and didn't instantly run back in because he got scared of all the scary loud noises and people, he'd have no idea what a bus was. He's barely grasped the concept of not sticking his face in Jelli's when she's sleeping so that when she wakes up the first thing she sees isn't a great grinning expance of black-and-white fur which she invariably hits as a reflex action...
sareini: default (American Gods - organising gods/cats)
So there I am, sprawled on the living room floor with a cat on my hip, eating Milka chocolate and watching Junk (Japanese zombie film, lives up to its name for the most part) when my phone rings.

It's a lady ringing to talk to me about the job I applied for with British Home Stores in an admin/HR role.

Thank Eris I'm not a bad actress is all I can say, because I don't remember applying to BHS for a job (then again, most of the jobs I apply for don't say who they're with on the initial application details). Thankfully, I managed to bluff my way through the impromptu telephone interview (including questions such as "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" and "Why do you want to work for BHS?")

It also apparently helped my case that Jelli decided to start talking to me while I was on the phone, prompting me to apologise to the lady for any strange sounds she was hearing. Turns out the lady was also a cat lover, and had in fact just lost her cat of 19 years (!). So after our cat-lover solidarity was established, things went smoother.

I now have a (provisional) in-person interview next Thursday at 11:30. I should probably work out what job it is that I've applied for and look up some stuff about BHS before then...

Vet Visit

Mar. 8th, 2007 05:59 pm
sareini: default (000 cats)
Took Mac to the vet's this afternoon. He's had this recurring problem for months of scabs in various places on his body and the top of his head, which were bothering him and worrying us. He had scabs when we first got him, but at first we thought he'd been burned by something. Becuase he's a long-haired cat we thought he might have had excema or something.

So, first we had the fun and games of getting him in the carrier, because Mac might not be the brightest cat out there but he generally knows what the carrier means. Also, as the carrier is old the front has to be help in place with things like tie-twists, surgical tape and wool. So we get Mac in the carrier and Nick goes off to call a taxi.

It takes Mac, who still sometimes falls off windowsills, four minutes to figure out where the weak spots are in the front of the carrier and get out. Nick gets back a minute later to find Mac sitting there, proud as anything that he got out, while I'm on the floor in hysterics and Jelli sits there looking at him incredulously.

We manage to get him back in the carrier, and it's off to the vet's. Thankfully Mac likes car journeys so that's not a problem. Don't have to wait long before I see the vet either (Nick having gone on to do the shopping).

Now, Mac is a timid cat, but he also doesn't have a mean bone in his body so he's no problem for the vet. He just tries to ooze his way out of the hands of whoever's holding him while he's being checked over, in true ragdoll cat style. Still, it wasn't a problem, and the vet quickly diagnosed his problem.

He has fleas. Again. We have no idea where he's got them, either, as he was treated for them when we first got him, as was Jelli when he gave them to her, the house has been thoroughly bug-bombed to get rid of any in the carpets, and both of them are indoor-only cats so they couldn't have caught them from any other cats. But there you have it. He has fleas - admittedly not as bad as when we first got him - and he's allergic to them. So we've been given some Frontline for him and Jelli, some spray for the carpets (which I have to pick up tomorrow) and an anti-inflammatory to stop things from itching too much. The last part was fun - it was an injection, and Mac recognised what was coming, so when the vet went to get the medicines, he leapt out of my hands and tried to hide behind the fridge in the exam room. Thankfully the vet wasn't bothered and got him out with ease (like I said, Mac just doesn't know how to fight, so he just became a pool of black fur in the vet's arms), but then I had to close my eyes for the injection.

Then it was time to pay. £49.80.

I only had £30 on me. I've got to pay the rest tomorrow. Insurance won't cover it as we have to pay the first £60 anyway (although I'm now so glad we got them insured!) and you have to pay in full and then claim back anyway. No credit or payment plans here. So I'm just bloody glad it wasn't more serious.

We're back home now, and Mac has been fed copious amounts of treats for being a good boy and had a big fuss made over him. Later on, when Nick's back, we've got to put the Frontline on him and Jelli (and take Mac's collar off for 24 hours, which he won't be happy about), which will be a whole other load of fun.

I guess I should just be glad it was 'just' fleas, but at the same time I now need a job again even more, as it's going to cost a small fortune whenever we have to take one of these to the vet's. And Jelli will go in fighting, which will only add to the fun...
sareini: default (000 cats)
Over the Christmas period we discovered something about Jelli which has me rather worried (and more than a little upset that we only noticed it now).

Jelli is nearly blind.

We realised this because we had to spend a fair bit of time without power over the Christmas period (once because of a power cut and once because the damn electric meter goes through credit faster than I go through After Eights - three empty boxes in my room lay claim to that). Both times we were without power overnight, which meant that the house was pretty much pitch black. We had to go round with torches and candles to get any light.

Now, Mac was fine with this, bounded around the place like nothing was wrong. But Jelli got scared. Ran around in her room in the dark trying to find things. And ran away from us when we came in because she couldn't see, only hear the door opening. In the end we had to put two candles in her room so she wasn't in complete darkness (and then I lay awake for the rest of the night worrying even though the candles were 'safe' ones and in a place where they couldn't be knocked over or set anything on fire).

So after that we got to thinking about things. I remembered that Jelli has always had problems with being in the dark, and then we realised that every time she's taken swipes at us and/or hissed it's because we've moved or touched her too quickly. Her pupils rarely if ever go small - they're always quile large, and I don't think I remember then changing size any time recently. She's also scared of sudden noises.

Finally, after talking about it we realised that she always travels the same routes when going round her room. In fact, she's never deviated from a route to get from A to B once she's discovered it.

So like I said, Jelli is nearly blind (not completely, as she can follow movement of a sort, once she knows someone is there or they're wearing bright-coloured clothing) and may well have been since we met her. Her right eye (the one that was originally injured when we met her) is considerably worse than her left, so it looks like the injury did do more damage than we realised, but we probably wouldn't have been able to do anything about it anyway as it took her so long to trust us that it had healed by the time she moved in.

I've been looking up resources on blind cats and found this page, which pretty much describes Jelli's behaviour exactly. It also suggests possible causes for the blindness, so we may be taking the poor thing to the vet's in a couple of weeks (once Nick gets paid, as even though they're insured we still have to pay the first £60 of any treatment) to see if this is in any way treatable.

I just feel so bad that we never noticed until now. I man, sure, she's never bumped ito things or anything like that that would have alerted us to the fact that she couldn't see, but I still feel like we should have noticed before now...

*is bad cat owner*

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