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Cats @ MindSay


Obligatory Freakout (Maternal)

We're taking Shadow to the vet soon.  A vet we've never been to, because they're one of two places open on Sundays, and this is one is a good 40 miles closer (have I ever worded in an entry how much I HATE living up here??).  But he's MISERABLE. 


On Friday, I noticed he was extra moody.  Now, that's saying something.  Shadow is BEYOND moody and temperamental; he can go from purring to aiming for your eye and back to purring after he's hurt you and doesn't recognize that that ISN'T the kitty way.  But he was just...I can't word it.  But I noticed that when he was eating (my little fat boy LOVES to eat!), he was GROWLING.  No one was near him, just him and his pellets, and he was GROWLING at them.  I told my mom I thought he had a toothache because of what he was doing.   And when I went to sleep, I bumped into the blanket hanging off my bed and it YOWLED at me. 


You guys, he's been my cat 10 1/2 years and he's NEVER gone under anything besides a car when it's raining outside.  EVER.

Didn't see him AT ALL Saturday morning before I went bridesmaid dress shopping.  Usually I can atleast catch a glimpse of him somewhere, but not at all.  Then, couldn't find him when we got home at about 4:15, even though everyone was sure he wasn't out.  Finally got him in the basement, carried him up and gave him treats.  Then I was showing my dad how swollen under his chin looked.  I guess I accidentally brushed against it.


I have NEVER heard a noise like that.  Holy shit, it was the kind of noise you keep hearing, like if you've witnessed a car accident or something.  I cried a little bit knowing I hurt him.


Which brings us to this morning, with him again under my bed, still growling as he chews, and me terrified.


What if something is REALLY wrong?  How can I be a crazy cat lady without a cat??  Who's going to entertain me with his learned tricks?  Who is going to answer to the 50,000 nicknames he's got? No other creature is smart enough to know as much as he does! 


This CANNOT be a big deal.  It needs to be an icky tooth and that's all.


No jaw tumor/cancer like Ace.  I can't go through with that again.



Cross 'Em Off
WOW - this week has felt like non-stop progression of shortening my 'Never Have I Ever' list.  Have you ever played that game?  I mean, usually, the things people say in that game are a lot more interesting, but...these are not (I'm not usually all that interesting, though ;) ).  However, they are definitely things that are brand-new to me, and it feels a little strange with some of them.

No Longer Have I Never:

- Driven the scary hills of Heath alone.  And lived to tell the tale about it.
- Dyed my hair (basically the same shade as what I had, semi-permanent/washes-out-in-6-weeks color, but now with less white ones!)
- Had a personal training session at a gym (semi-depressing but can only go, down, from here)
- Been to the bowling alley in the town my parents live in even though they've lived here for 5 years and we've been coming up here to visit since I was EIGHT.  Still haven't BOWLED there, but I have now officially been there.
- Been so productive while going into work on a Saturday! I mean.... seriously, I was a little sad Lindsay was like 'I'm going to be there all day Saturday, you should come in, too' and she didn't show up, but I turned my music up (I'm uploading CDs to my work computer again SHHHH) and got more done between 9:30 and 3:00 on the nose than I ever have in my LIFE.  More than 3 days' of attempts, usually.
- Gone 3 weeks without going in for a weekend!  Pathetic, but true.  I even texted a friend to say 'scale of 1 - 10, how proud are you that I've been working for 3 whole weeks and THIS is the 1st weekend day I've gone in?' and he wrote back '16.89' because he knows I usually spend one or both days inside a freezing school building.

- Meeting Erica and her mom in Hartford on Tuesday to have lunch at The Chowda Paht.  SO excited for good food and good people.
- New  York on Saturday; THANK THE LORD.
- Next paycheck is going to SUCK.  All of next week is vacation, and then the following week I have to miss Monday and Friday.  So out of 10 days of pay, I'll be earning...3.  And then taxed on them.  DREADING that because that's right around the time student loans are due.
- Winter carnival on Friday was adoooooooooorable and I had a lot of fun handing out hot chocolate with Grace and Jacqui.  I know more of the kids' names than I thought I did.  And scarier, who's in which class.
- THREE nights this week, Shadow (aka the most unfriendly cat IN THE WORLD) has decided that instead of lamely sleeping on the floor somewhere, it would be a better idea to purr like a real cat and cozy-up on my bed.  The 1st night I was awoken to him using my head/hair as a scratching post, the night after that he took up 9/10 of the bed and is def the reason for my stiff neck, and then last night, like friggin' Baby Bear, he got it just right.  Kept my side warm, made me laugh w/ his noises and purring, stayed straight through my alarm at 6, and didn't hurt me once. 
- Potluck dinner tonight w/ my old roomies.  PRAYING that neighbor guy who comes on too strong is not nearby.
- Anyone reading this watch Top Chef?  I reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally wait Richard to win.  And I loooove Carla, but I don't know if she is deserving of the win. But she is FUN to watch!

Eventful Morning
So, I wake up nice and early this morning, check my email to see if there were any job offers (none :( ), and crawl back into bed to read the last 50 or 60 pages of the book I started yesterday (I'd say 'impressive' but it was chick-lit, very little plot to get through, and pretty excepted...but enjoyable, nonetheless).

Then I hear the dog going nuts.  Now, she goes nuts over just about everything, but mostly it's our cat Shadow (who has a billion nicknames that might show up in this entry).  I pull on shoes and go outside.  Her leash is stretched all the way across the lawn towards Gaiga's house, a spot my cat frequents because they have a large field (FULL of mice) and as of this summer ... ducks.  5 little ducks in a flimsy pen.  Shadow, who once took down a squirrel and frequently attacks bunnies and humans (he's also the cat who took a swipe at a bear that wandered onto our lawn the first summer we lived in Mass), has been found over by their home very often.

When I go today, however, the ducks are on the loose...oh, and apparently, now they have chickens!  I saw at least 6, all different crazy colors, good in size.  I was talking to the fowl when Shadork hopped out of a wood pile - he was a little overwhelmed by their numbers, but I could tell he was more than intrigued and plotting someone's demise.  I lure Shadow back across the street (most people don't believe it, but Shadow understands English quite well; he knows 'come', he knows 'food', he knows 'asshole' for sure, etc.), go inside, bring him a big pile of deliciousness, and he leaves. 

About an hour goes by, and I nervously go across the street because I hear a LOT of bird noises (I also REALLY don't want to be cleaning).  To my relief, no Shad in sight; but no chickens either.  And the ducks are getting MEGA close to me instead of skittering away like they always do when someone approaches.  They're pecking at the grass, but coming up empty.  'Aha!' I think.  'You're hungry.  What do you guys eat?  Popcorn kernels?  OOOh, I know!  I'll make you some popcorn!'.
Bring the popcorn back, they rush over, I throw a handful, they start to peck. 
The chickens come over, same.
 Throw another handful for good measure.
They're not eating.

Perplexed, I go back to my house and research feeding ducks (after I wash m'hands, of course).  I stumble upon this:
Absolute NO-NO's
• Bread, bread products, popcorn, pretzels, chips, crackers...
These foods are extrememly [sic] damaging to your pet duck's long-term health. Ducks in the wild will eat the junky stuff first, ignoring the healthy foods they need. Feeding wild ducks conditions them to human contact and should be avoided. Read my article on feeding wild ducks for more information. Back to your pet duck...
I start FLIPPING OUT.  I mean, they're not my pets...hell, I've only spoken to the owners like, twice since they moved in in June.  My next conversation is NOT going to be 'Sorry I killed your ducks with my snackfood'.  So I run back across the street with a plastic bag and start grabbing popcorn left and right like a madwoman.  The ducks come over, seemingly mad that I am taking away this sustenance, so I yell, "I'm just trying to save your lives!" and then thank G-d that there is no car in the driveway and noone has come out during this entire ordeal.

Man; growing up, we fed the ducks at the duckpond popcorn all the time.  And they LOVED it.  Who knew?

Doomed to a life of misery.
WARNING:  children and those sensitive to animal abuse, you might not want to read this. 

Cat and dogs killed for meat and fur. 
They are farmed and bred in horrible conditions, and then ultimately killed in the most inhumane way.   The less the fur is damaged the more valuable, thus they'll skin the animal alive, often chopping off the legs and crushing it so it cannot put up a fight. 
The freshest meat is sought.  The adrenaline the animal gives off under fear and pain suffered supposedly makes the meat more tender and promotes male virility to those that consume it.  The methods of killing are slow, torturous hanging, torching, slamming to the ground, clubbing, boiling the animal.... sometimes the animal is still twiching for life as it is transported away for it's final death immediately before consumption. 
The images and videos below are graphic.   They are not the worst unfortunately.
If you cannot watch, thanks for at least reading.  
Spread the word.  Teach your kids to respect living beings.   Donate.  Tell all of your friends and relatives that live in Asia about it. 

These animals aren't our enemies, they're not wild animals, these are domesticated animals capable of love, emotion and diehard loyalty to humans.   Some are not farmed but stolen from family homes.  To their murderers, they still wag their tail, fear and bewilderment in their eyes, they plead for safety by their pitiful meows.  Watching a video of a malnutritioned mother cat trying to nurse and care for her dehydrated and sickly kittens even when held captive under horrible conditions, I have to indecent and cold hearted are we as humans compared to this 4 legged animal.  

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