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...

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 (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...

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 (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: default (000 cats)
I told you that when Kerry came round on Sunday she took some photos of the cats for me. Well, she's finally been able to send them to me, so I'm putting them up for all to see now. They were taken on her camera phone because she couldn't find her actual digital camera, but they're still really good.

Cat picspam beyond this point )


Nov. 14th, 2006 12:55 pm
sareini: (surprised)
I'm having something of a mixed day today.

Earlier I was about to go downstairs when I slipped on a mouse mat that Mac has taken as one of his toys. Thankfully I didn't fall down the stairs as I was facing the wrong way, but I did hyperextend my leg, put my back out and, as the coup de grace... I sat down hard on a plug that was lying with its prongs up.

So yeah, ow. It's like living in a bloody cartoon sometimes.

On the other hand, ntl came and fitted our digital TV and phone line (although we couldn't find a phone that works so far) and I'm most certainly going to hit 20k in NaNo today.

I just have to find a rubber cushion to sit on first.
sareini: default (Number 142)
Kerry came down to see me today and took me to lunch and the cinema as a kind of belated birthday present. I felt bad that I didn't have any money to contribute (loan people having not got back to us yet and my IB not cashable till Wednesday) when Kerry doesn't have much money right now either - I may well end up helping her with getting her council to give her HB as they've rather royally fucked up, quelle surprise - and was going to be perfectly happy to stay home, cook for her and watch DVDs, but Kerry didn't mind. Kerry is lovely.

We went to the Wetherspoons in town for lunch, where I ordered a baked potato with cheese (it was one of the cheapest things on the menu) and Kerry had a nut roast. The food then took a whole hour to get to us, and when it finally did arrive they got my order wrong and brought me a tuna mayo potato instead. And there was hardly any cheese on the potato when it did arrive, and Kerry's nut roast paractically needed a lumphammer to break it. Not too brilliant a showing.

We then went to the cinema and saw Borat, because after waiting an hour for the food and then accidentally getting lost on the way to the cinema, it was the only thing starting at that time other than an Adam Sandler movie. I might say more about Borat later, but for now... I went through the film not knowing whether I should be amused, horrified, outraged or all of the above.

After that she came back to the house for a bit, where she was introduced to the cats (Jelli took straight to her, which I've pretty much never seen, and even Mac didn't run and hide the moment he saw her) and took several pictures of them which I will probably post up here when she e-mails them to me. We also sat around and looked at photos of her salsa class, her rich boyfriend (he wants to take her to Cuba!) and her nephew Phillip who looks kind of like Stewie from Family Guy.

And that was my Sunday. Now I really should do some writing...
sareini: Official NaNo participant icon (NaNoWriMo)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
14,974 / 50,000

Ok, things are going better now. Starting to get away from the setup and into the actual horror/action of the story. I am mildly concerned that I might have too much setup which leads to a too-slow buildup, but I guess if that's the case I can just edit like mad when I finally finish and come to go over it. I just need to remember that this month, at least, is just for getting the damn thing down...

Also don't know how much time I'll have to write tomorrow, as Kerry is coming down to see me. The theory is that we'll be going out for something to eat and to the cinema, but that may be subject to change as I have absolutely no money till Wednesday (we spent the last of our funds yesterday on kitty litter). So we might end up in the living room watching DVDs and eating what food we have in the freezer (thankfully there's plenty of that)...

Also discovered the source of the mystery puddles on my bed - it was Mac, who apparently decided to start widdlling on my bed. Which would have been bad enough, except that he did it while I was in it. He was thoroughly told off for that (I was so angry that I scared him into running away from me for five minutes, which made me feel really bad once I calmed down), and we've moved his litter box out into the upstairs landing in the hope of reminding him that he isn't to go anywhere but there. Currently he's watching me trying with some interest.

Edit: Also, having just loaded a word count widget from the NaNo site, I am amazed to see that I'm actually over 1k ahead of the word count I should be at! I'd worked it out that I was supposed to be at 16,667 (that's the daily count of 1,667 multiplied by 10), but apparently my dyscalcula has struch again. Or maybe I'm reading the widget wrong. Anyway, I should probably stop procrastinating now...

NaNo Comic

Nov. 5th, 2006 09:49 am
sareini: default (Bast)
I just saw this on the NaNo site and had to post it here... This is almost exactly what Mac was doing when I was using my computer, and pretty much what Jelli occasionally does at the moment...

Cats and NaNo

NaNo Day 3

Nov. 4th, 2006 07:58 pm
sareini: default (Blackadder - Bugger)
(This would, of course, have been up much earlier if it hadn't been for lj being down for most of the day)

5510 words... and my NaNo curse has hit early this year.

My computer has died. The motherboard (probably) to be exact. So I'm limited to using Nick's computer when he's not, which isn't usually that often, till we can get a new one. Bugger.

And just to make matters even worse, I sliced open a knuckle on a cat food lid earlier, and the damn thing just wouldn't stop bleeding! In the end, and to try to stop it getting infected because we can't find the plasters, I had to wrap it in tissue paper and then bind it up with medical tape - which is fine except that now I can't bend that finger at all. I guess I should just be thankful that it's on my right hand and not my left, of I'd be completely done for.

In other news, there's fireworks going off like mad outside this evening, what with it being the day before Bonfire Night. I was worried that the cats wouldn't like all the explosions, but they're quite thoroughly nonplussed. Currently Mac is asleep in front of the fire, oblivious to everything, while Jelli is sitting up on Nick's computer desk and cleaning herself. She does look up when one of these really loud macaroons, or shells or whatever they're called, goes off, but other than that it's business as usual for her. I guess, in Jelli's case, she's used to them from being a street cat, and in Mac's case he's too young/daft to properly fathom what's going on...
sareini: default (American gods - riding the lightning)
Right, time for more updates as to what happened while we were stuck permanently in the MeatWorld for two weeks...

(As a brief aside, Mac is currently lying on top of my computer monitor, peering over the edge and resting his head in his front paws. It's one of those moments where I'm kicking myself for not having a working camera to hand.)

I turned 27 on the 26th October (a birthday I share with [ profile] mistri, so belated birthday greetings there!), which ended up being a rather low-key affair as we had no money. In the end I was just able to go down to the corner shop and get myself a few chocolate bars, which I ate while Nick and I sprawled on the mattress and watched Versus (I asked to watch it specially, and as it was my birthday Nick couldn't really refuse. In the end, he really liked it). It is slightly depressing that I wasn't really able to do anything for my birthday, but really, it's not like we had many options. Plus Kerry might be coming down this weekend, so that'll be cool if she can manage it.

Also, Halloween was mine and Nick's five-year anniversary (which is wood, for anyone wondering, which led to a lot of "Got wood?" jokes about the house when we found out. We're so juvenile). We never planned it or anything, it was just one of those things that happened.

As has become customary for our anniversaries, I cooked a special meal (bought from M&S, but since they're post and expensive it still counts). Nick had 21-day matured steak with a peppercorn coating, and I had pork medallions with a cider and brambley apple sauce. Nick did lower the tone of the meal ever so slightly by insisting on having Rosti with his steak, but I suppose it could have been worse - he could have wanted chips. Nick also didn't have a dessert because he doesn't like them, but I had a toffee sundae. All in all, it was very nice, even if we did have to eat while Nick was catching up with all his work...

And that's about it for the highlights of our downtime. I'm off to have breakfast now, and see if I can get to 4k before lunch.
sareini: default (B5 - socks)
So, let's try this again, shall we?

About an hour after I posted last week, the net went down. Bloody NTL. Turns out that they hadn't transferred our account to our new address, so their system wouldn't give us net access. Add to this the problems of Nick having lost my phone charger, Nick's own phone having just about the worst reception ever in this new place which ment that I kept losing the connecton halfway through phone calls, the fqact that we had no spare money to use a payphone (and, incidentally, that there are none anywhere around... very strange) and the fact that NTL's customer support are, of course, even less competent to be advising and fixing problems than my kitten who hasn't figured out how to stop running down the stairs yet and keeps bouncing off walls, and you'll understand why we didn't actually get the net back till yesterday evening. What fun.

So, what's been happening in the past week?

Insert flashback effect here )

Despite everything, I still started NaNo yesterday (my lovely new duvet is wonderful to be under when writing). After one day's writing (interrupted by frequent bouts of cat management, one shopping trip, an anniversary meal and sleep) I'm on 1,822. Which doesn't seem as much as some people's (I get paranoid), but is at least ahead of the 1,667 that the NaNo spreadsheet says you should aim for each day. With any luck I'll get Nick to set my computer up leter today and then I'll see about typing out some of what I've done so far (I don't like Nick's keyboard; the keys tend to stick or not register with me because I have a lighter touch than him). Now, however, I am offf to feed the cats and myself. And put the fire on, because it's bloody freezing and we haven't figured out how the radiators work yet.

Back later (unless NTL mess up again), with the tales of my birthday and our fifth anniversary...

I'm Back!

Oct. 27th, 2006 10:00 am
sareini: Image of the Bursar from the Discworld universe (Bursar)
...well, more or less. We haven't gotten the net connected up to my computer yet, so right now I'm on Nick's computer in his office (yes, we/he has an office now, not just the box room where we store all the stuff that we don't have room for anywhere else and Mac).

Read on... )

Off to try to get the SS office now. I'll be back when I remember more stuff that I wanted to say.
sareini: (cat)
Mac has been retrieved from the vets, brought home in a taxi and repatriated to his room upstairs, where he was given fresh water and a little bit of food (so as not to upset his stomach too much). He sat quietly in his carrier the whole time we were waiting for the taxi and on the journey home, but the moment we walked through the door and he realised where he was he started trying to get out. Once he was out he was delighted to see me and spent about ten minutes trying to fit his head in my armpit in that time-honoured way of showing affection.

The vet nurse said he wasn't too happy with what had happened, which was understandable, but when he saw me he immediately perked up. They also said he had been really good, so I get to be proud of my well-behaved cat. He also has no stitches - apparently the cut they make is so small that there's no need for any - or, at the very least, none that need to be taken out, although we have to keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't lick them too much.

Re. heart murmur - it's entirely up to us as to whether we do anything about it. I think we will somewhere down the line, but not for a few weeks, unless something happens to make us worry/change our minds. Nick's mother also told him (when he e-mailed her about it) that their cat Taylor also has a heart murmur and he has absolutely no problems. So right now I think our best bet is to get the insurance started, wait a few weeks and then take him in for a checkup and see where we go from there.

Re. fleas - we've been given some vet-grade Frontline now to try on him, and hopefully that'll have some effect. Gods alone know what we'll do if it doesn't...

Finally, I finally managed to upload some pictures of him! So now you can all see who we've been flapping over these past couple of weeks:

Photos! )
sareini: default (Bast)
Vets called again while I was going through the checkout at Sainsbury's.

Operation went fine, Mac is fine, awake already and (by the sound of things) charming the pants off the nurses. I can pick him up any time after 3pm.

Only problem: he still has fleas, even after the flea spary we've used on his room and the rest of the house, the 'spot-on' stuff weput directly onto him and the 'silent pump-action' spray which was anything but and which caused him to go hide in a corner for several minutes. They're going to give us some vet-grade stuff which we can put on him and hopefully that'll solve that problem (please; my ankles and lower legs look like a running flea buffet).

When I go to pick him up I'll ask more about the heart murmur, what treatments/diagnoses there are, how much it would cost and potential problems with the insurance. But right now I'm jusr happy he's okay.

Mac Update

Sep. 21st, 2006 10:53 am
sareini: default (Bast)
A lady from the vet's just called.

Mac has a heart murmur.

Heart Murmurs in Cats

"A heart murmur may be heard by your veterinary surgeon when he listens to your cat's heart. A heart murmur is caused by turbulent blood flow within the heart or the large vessels exiting the heart. This results in an abnormal noise which can be detected by the vet during examination. Heart murmurs are assessed and graded according to certain criteria. Grades I-VI are documented (I being the most mild and VI the most severe) and recorded. The grading system is based largely on how loud the murmur is compared to the other normal heart sounds but other factors are also considered."

They wanted to ask us if we were still okay with going ahead with the neutering, because there was a slightly higher risk of problems with the anaesthetic, or if we wanted to wait and have him properly checked out. Problem is, he'll need to be checked out via an ultrasound, which will be both costly and all the way over in Stone, which is where the vet hospital with the nearest pet ultrasound is.

Yes, I cried when I put the phone down. Jelli wandered in to see what the matter was, and at the very least acted concerned when I told her. Nick didn't know what a heart murmur was, so I had to try to explain it, and then he did a ritual asking Lucifer to help and accidentally cut his forearm too deep and had to spend five minutes pressing kitchen towels onto it. Meanwhile the stress is causing my IBS to flare up, so I'm in pain on top of everything else.

I decided to go ahead with the neutering (putting my trust in the vets), and when I go to pick him up this afternoon I'll have to ask about what to do next. We were already looking into getting the two of them insured, of course, but the problem is that most pet insurers won't pay for things that were diagnosed before the cover started - which puts us in an awkward position here. After all, how were we to know? But I'm laying odds on an ultrasound at a vet hospital is going to be costly.

Right now, I'm kind of at a loss as to what to do. I've got to go shopping soon, and do other stuff, but I still feel like I'm going to start crying at any moment, and even reading that most cats with heart murmurs have long and happy lives isn't helping me too much.

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