sareini: default (Bast)
We're having a thunderstorm right now. Poor Suki is afraid of the thunder, and thinks it's chasing her. Every time she hears a rumble, she gets up and moves as quickly as her arthritic legs can carry her to go hide in a corner, only to move again the next time there's a rumble.

Ironically, Sandy is completely non-plussed about it all.
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: 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 (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? )
sareini: default (American Gods - organising gods/cats)
I watched The Omen (1976 version) last night/this morning (I've not been sleeping much the past few days).

I am now starting to consider the possibility that Mac is the AntiKitten.


Jun. 10th, 2007 09:50 am
sareini: default (speechless)
After waking up significantly earlier than I had planned because of Mac (who, it turned out, had been sick and wanted (a) comforting and (b) to be assured that he wasn't in trouble, poor baby) I have just watched 28 Weeks Later.

I am now sufficiently creeped out and depressed to go off to work later today.

I'll post more on the movie when I've had more time to think about it and check up on a few things (re. plot holes and proceedures).

But seriously, I hope this at least mollifies the people who complained that one of the endings in 28 Days Later wasn't downbeat enough...


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

HAPPY BIRTHDAY [ 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 [ 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*
sareini: default (Silent Night Deadly Night)
So, how was everyone else's day?

I got woken at about 8 by means of being climbed on by a kitten (who's not so much a kitten any more now that he's grown into an almost full-grown tomcat who's absolutely huge, but I digress), and woke Nick. Nick wasn't too happy as he didn't want to be woken before 10am, but such is life.


I got three DVDs - Land of the Dead, Braindead and House of 1000 Corpses from Nick, and three graphic novels - Batman/Aliens, Batman - A Lonely Place of Dying and Batman: Bruce Wayne - Murderer?, also from Nick.

From Nick's mother I got two packs of drawing pencils - one set of charcoal shading pencils and one set of fineline drawing pencils - and a latch-hook rug kit of Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore. Since I've never even considered making a rug before this was mildly bewildering, but it's not that difficult to get the hang of at all and good for keeping your hands occupied while you're watching TV.

From 'Jelli and Mac' I got a chocolate reindeer.

As for Nick - well, I got him three DVDs - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, V for Vendetta and This is Spinal Tap, a pair of Winnie the Pooh socks and a Mint Chocolate Orange. On Wednesday I'm also getting him a late present of a bottle of mint chocolate Bailey's. He also got a chocolate Santa from 'the cats', and several books from his mother and father that I can't remember the names of right now except that most were about politics (and one wrestling - The Death of WCW.

We got Jelli a new soft, fluffy cat bed to sleep on, which she currently doesn't trust and steps around whenever she can. We got Mac a scratching post/tree that he can also sit on - he was completely clueless as to what to do until Nick actually had to pick him up and sit him on the damn thing. After which he spent about an hour sitting on it like Lord Nelson on his column. We also gave both of them lots of cat treats and little toys - Mac has a big fluffy mouse on a cord that he chases everywhere, and Jelli has a little plastic ball that she likes to bat around the room.

After all that, we spent the rest of the day just sitting round watching DVDs and eating Christmas dinner. Nick had steak burgers with onion rings, chips and cheesy nacho wedges, and I had a butterflied fillet of lamb with a winter spiced glaze - which all seemed to go wrong somewhere, because even though I had it in the oven for the required time at the required temperature, when I came to eat it it wasn't just pink in the middle, it was bright red and bleeding.

Tomorrow I'm even getting Nick to watch Land of the Dead with me - not because I'm converting him to the zombie cause, but because he'll watch anything with Dennis Hopper in it... I might also be able to get him to watch House of 1,000 Corpses because of Sheri Moon too...
sareini: default (Bast)
Nick and I just watched a wonderful documentary on the Buddhist temple in Thailand which has become a sanctuary for tigers (as well as a lot of other animals). It was all started several years ago, when a Buddhist monk living in his isolated monastery with various animals was brought a pair of orphaned tiger cubs. He took them in and hand-reared them without any experience in looking after big cats before, and the two thrived. After that, people began to bring other orphaned tiger cubs to him to care for, and now the monastery has a total of 17 tigers living on their grounds - seven who were brought there as cubs and ten who have been born there.

It's an incredible place, where the tigers get to loll around in the afternoon or swim in their swimming hole, and are cared for by the monks who feel it it their duty. The tigers themselves are quite, quite domesticated (I don't say tame, because I have no doubt that if anyone came to that place with less-than-good intentions they wouldn't leave with all their limbs) and prefer to spend their days trying to pounce the sandles of their monk-keepers, or just lie around and be petted.

The monastery is currently building a nature reserve on an island on their land, where the tigers can live as tigers properly so that they can eventually be released back into the wild to repopulate the tiger population. Because of the Buddhist vows of poverty (these vows are very strict here, as the monks aren't allowed to even touch money) this is being done entirely by donation.

I've decided that one day, when my health is better, I want to go there and volunteer. What they're doing is just so wonderful and incredible that I can't help but want to help.

Official site

UK tribute site

Fish Oils

Dec. 15th, 2006 06:39 pm
sareini: default (000 cats)
According to the majority of ads for multivitamins (and some milk, strangely enough), the latest 'wonder supplement' is Omega 3 fish oils. Apparently, they improve your brainpower or IQ or something like that.

Well, according to the bag of cat food we have for Mac (which is also almost scarily expensive, but boy does he love it), it will also give my cats a silky, shiny coat.

It's strange, but I never thought that brainpower and a healthy-looking coat generally went hand-in-hand together... Also, I'm not sure the Omega 3 is working on Mac's brain too well, as he keeps periodically launching himself from one end of the living room into the office door like a Polaris rocket trying to get in... and still hasn't figured out that the door is locked...

(Also, I'm not at all sure about this new update journal page...)
sareini: default (Bast)
I just had a strange experience down at the local pet shop.

I was there trying to pick up some "James Wellbeloved Duck and Rice" dry cat food for Mac, who loves the stuff and generally hoovers it down within minutes. Whhile I was there I noticed a dog at the other end of the shop - one of those terriers that's about the size of a springer spaniel and has fur that makes it look like it has a handlebar moustache or whatever. It was wagging its tail at me and seemed eager to meet me.

The dog's owner was the guy running the shop, and he came over to ask if I was finding everything ok. I said I hadn't noticed the dog at first and he said he was a big soft thing and invited me over to stroke him.

Now, I've grown up around dogs - I had a Springer Spaniel till I was 13, and when I lived with my brother he had a Newfoundland. Moat of my relatives have had dogs. I know how to handle myself around dogs (unlike poor Nick, he had half his face eaten by one several years ago and has been scared nearly witless by them ever since). So I go up and let the dog sniff me, joking that I probably smell of lunch to him because I've had cats all over me.

When I go to pet him, though, he snaps at me and starts barking wildly. And won't stop barking, in fact, until his owner takes him into the back room and shuts him in there. Apparently the dog's never done that to anyone before (except one guy who's a bit of a bastard who likes to tease him). Owner was very apologetic about the whole thing, but it got me thinking:

Has my association with Bast given me the 'wrong' aura to dogs? When I was younger, it was cats who never liked me; it was only after Bast started keeping an eye on me and offering her help that I suddenly became a friend to cats. I can't help but wonder if it's been reversed somehow...
sareini: default (B5 - karma)
I had plans for this evening. Plans that involved writing, including a couple of things I really need to get stuff down for (not saying whether NaNo might have been one of them).

But then I got upstairs, and turned the computer on, and discovered that Issue 8 (and all the Veteran Rewards - I have 21 months' worth) had gone live on CoH. So, cue nearly an hour's worth of downloading and applying files, followed by an hour and a half of testing new stuff out. Imagika now has a rainbow aura when she runs, when I get round to it several characters will be getting trenchcoats... but unfortunately I didn't have the privileges to edit Evil Industries' base to add in the weapon racks.

After that, I figure I'll have an early night and go downstairs to check on the cats before bed. I go into the office and discover that Jelli has eaten her dinner a little too fast and been sick twice - one time on Nick's work contract. She's rather upset by this - the being sick and the being in a room with sick that hasn't been cleaned up yet - so I had to clean all that up, get her a bowl of water in case she wanted to drink something that wouldn't upset her stomach too much, sneak a couple of drops of Rescue Remedy on her coat to try to soothe her, and sit with her till she felt better. All of which took another hour. I am now shattered.

I suppose I should just be thankful the mattress hasn't deflated again.
sareini: default (Delerium)
I'm having an... interesting day.

Very early this morning, Macavity the Monster Kitten decided he wanted to play with me. Since I was asleep, he had to do this by jumping on my bed and climbing all over me. Then, when I wasn't responsive enough, he decided to pounce dustbunnies that were apparently hiding under the mattress... and inadvertantly punctured said mattress (yes, I'm currently sleeping on an air mattress).

So, not only have I been looking for this damn puncture, but I've also been trying to re-inflate the mattress - which is no mean feat when you realise that not only am I fighting against a puncture I haven't found yet, but also that this is one of those air mattresses that can only be inflated by hand (or foot as the case may be). No fancy air pumps here.

I'd be mad at Mac, if it wasn't for the fact that he's adorably cute when he's hunting dustbunnies, and it wasn't as though he actually knew that his claws could do that to my bed...

I've also been playing online poker. With only play money, I'm afraid, which is unfortunate because it turns out I'm not all that bad at it. Or at the very least nearly everyone else is crap at it. I've already won over 10k of play money (I won 5k in one hand with a Dead Man's Hand - Aces and Eights), and this morning was even treated to a mini-fight when one guy didn't likethat he'd been beaten by another guy's bluff, and became convinced that the guy was cheating from it. So it looks like the time I've spent watching Nick play has worked out well for me.
sareini: ('everything is true')
Gods, I've not been properly online in days. First I got smacked with a dose of that good ole' CFS exhaustion (that is, more than usual), which left me crawling out of bed and barely able to do anything past the basics of keeping yourself alive. Then, just as I was starting to feel human again, I think I caught a mini-bug that Nick had and passed onto me. Still got that, actually. It's not fun.

So, what's been happening in the Meat-World while I've been gone?

The House )

The Cats )

The Novel )

So that's what's been happening. Now, to feed the cats...

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