Thursday, May 29, 2008

Amber & Whiskers

Whenever I am feeling blue, I like to think about kitty whiskers. Whiskers are kind of magical. They're so airy and elegant. Sometimes you forget they're there, but then the sun catches them just right and you notice there are even eyebrow whiskers. Whiskers are like kitty love, reaching out to those around them.

Sometimes, people have whiskers too.
James often grows fancy-shaped whiskers for the week of NYU graduations to match his bagpipes.

Shelley sent this picture of Matthew to show us his whiskers.

But somehow, people whiskers don't hold the magic for me that kitty whiskers do. James took this photo of Baby Scarlett working her kitty magic with her whiskers.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Amber & Pulling a Kevin

Kevin has this cool thing about him where he can make his knee pop out of joint. He can't do it on demand, and it's excrutiatingly painful, but still. Way cool.

So this morning, I decided to be way cool just like Kevin. Coming down the steps to the D train, I managed to step wrong and felt my knee sort of scrape against itself. And then I couldn't straighten out my leg. When I got on the train, I laid down on the bench on my side and straightened it out. Fun!

Now, I'm totally pulling a Woody and limping.

I am such a copy cat.

P.S. Note the new feature added today over on the right, TIGGY OF THE WINK. She deserves a little spotlight.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Amber & Baby Woody

Woody seems to be making real progress with his healing leg. He's definitely putting weight on it, and is very active. Kevin and CRD were very impressed when they came over to make me dinner on Sunday. (Thanks for having me, boys.) He hates physical therapy, but who can blame him?

Remember when he was a little frizzy ball of snake-eyed love in my mom's bathroom? I sure love him to pieces.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Amber & Walruses

I just read this fascinating article about Walruses in The New York Times. Turns out, beneath the three inches of blubber, these little buddies are pretty darn smart-- and cuddly! The scientist in the article refers to them as "pussycats." Apparently, they like it when you blow in their faces. In kittycats, that makes them swallow which is helpful when giving them meds.

Four things I learned from the article follow.

1. The whiskers are called vibrissae, and they use them to find food through the "seabed’s dark murk."

2. The walrus is the only living representative of the family Odobenidae, which means that they walk with their teeth. They use their tusks to pull themselves up out of the water onto icesheets.

3. Walruses can "sing nonstop for days at a time, and their songs can be heard up to 10 miles away. " (Maybe my next door neighbor with the loud music is really a walrus? Next time I see him, I'll blow in his face.)

4. A walrus eats a "huge numbers of bivalves, maybe 7,000 a day. " That's alot of clams.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Amber & The Hood

My new neighborhood has an award-winning musical written all about it, The Heights. I live three blocks south of the G.W., so I feel like I should go see this musical to learn more about my home base.

Notice the bunch of people dancing and singing on the steps in front of an apartment building? Now I know that what woke me up at 3 a.m. last night was actually the sound of "an exhilarating journey into one of Manhattan's most vibrant communities, where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open, and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Amber & Suture Removal

First things first: Woody is doing well. (Hence the smiling cat. Which is not Woody.) Dr. Pacchiana says that his incision is healing relatively well and that the knee repair feels solid. He showed me some techniques to use for the physical therapy (not Woody's fave) and said to try taking off the collar, but to make sure he didn't immediately go after the wound.

Of course, as soon as I took off the collar, he went straight for licking, so he's back in his Elizabethan get-up.

Now, we need 8 weeks of restricted activities and then the boy will be as good as refurbished.

Bodies are pretty amazing things. God bless, Modern Medicine.

And, special thanks to Jimmy for coming for moral and photographic support.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Amber & Day Off

Yesterday was my Day Off. It was really, really nice to sleep in (Tiggy waited until 7:30 to wake me), make the weekend morning coffee run, and just sit.

Woody spent most of the day next to me, or on my lap. We watched Point Break together, and Woody let me know he didn't think it was very good by dozing off for most of it.

Then, in the afternoon, Kevin came up to visit. We mostly sat with Boo Boo Kitty, and then went to Nuñez to buy a toilet brush, Ook hooks, and a broom. Special thanks to Kevin for hanging stuff on the walls and helping our apartment feel more homey.

Then, in the evening, Woody and I watched some Doctor Who and snuggled.

Kevin thought his incision was healing nicely, despite his spitfire. He's do for stitches out on Tuesday!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Amber & Spitfires

The vet was right. Woody is a spitfire.
This morning, he seemed pretty ouchy. We had been doing physical therapy where I flex his leg and then wait for him to extend it, and then flex it again. I had been trying to guide him into extending it, but he resists and I'm not sure how hard to pull. So, he was reclined on the bathroom floor when I went in to take my shower. I closed him in the bathroom with me, thinking, ladies and gentlemen, where could a cat go in a bathroom?

Imagine my surprise when suddenly he was in the shower with me. He was wearing his collar and it started to fill up with water, risking potential drowning.

This will give you the general idea, only imagine a collar on him and a bare back half.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Amber & Flower Essences

You might think that the essence of a flower is prettiness. But it's more complicated and medicinal than that. Last night, Diana brought me two Bach Flower Essences for Woody: Agrimony and Crab Apple. I am a firm believer in the power of the Bach Remedies. I have been giving Woody Rescue Remedy as a general helper in this very stressful time for him. We give that one to him orally; I put four drops on his nose and he licks them off. (He likes brandy.)

Then, I've been mixing up a blend to spray around the resty den and the house more generally. Our blend includes more Rescue Remedy, Chicory (meant to help him be less clingy when I am home), Impatiens (to help him be calm when in the resty den).

The new remedies will help him deal with his stitches. Crab Apple will help prevent his compulsive licking of his boo boo leg, and Agrimony will help him have a calmer mind more generally while recovering from his surgery. For his two new ones, I am rubbing them on his fur.
I've seen these remedies work first-hand when Woody and Tiggworth were at their most fightingest. I sure hope they help the baby feel better now. Thank you, Diana.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Amber & The Best Laid Schemes

Robert Burns knows exactly how I feel today. I am scheduled to have Friend Club with Diana tonight and meant to make a crock pot dish for us to eat. Only, caring for Woody takes up far more time and effort than allows for much self-care. Not only did I not do laundry (thank goodness for Andy and Strawberry Shortcake) but I also did not:
  1. Take out the trash
  2. Clean the mess in my kitchen
  3. Lint roller the couch (aka Tiggy's Sheddy Place)
  4. Pick up my pajamas off the floor in the bathroom
  5. Buy, make, or think about food.
Instead, I:
  1. Let Woody out of the resty den when I got home at 7:00
  2. Held up a dish of food so he could eat
  3. Fed him water from a syringe
  4. Cleaned up the resty den (which he had trashed) and changed his litter
  5. Let him lay on a pillow in my lap from 7:30 until detectives knocked on my door at 9:00
  6. Ate dinner with him laying on my lap at 9:15
  7. Put him back in the resty den for sleeps at 10:00
  8. Went to bed.
I sure hope Diana likes ordering in and sitting on a filthy floor.
Sigh. My wee-bit housie, too, in ruin! At least I am not alone; I have plenty of mouses for company.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Amber & Modern Medicine

It was a busy weekend! Woody came home on Sunday night, shaved below his kitty waist (and looking quite chicken-like) stitched on his boo boo leg and wearing an Elizabethan collar. He was pretty miserable that first night, but did manage to sleep pretty well on the floor in my sleeping bag with me. He was happier yesterday, although he is quite a "spitfire," as the attending vet called him. He managed to squirm out of three different collars and, this morning, over-turned his litter even though I had taped it to the bottom of the resty den. The key difficulty with this recovery is going to be getting him to rest. We can't tempt fate by over-using the knee before its ready.

Poor kitty baby.

Many thanks to Nick for visiting us and for being such a good buddy for Woody.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Amber & Kitty Recovery

Right now, as I post, Woody is in recovery from surgery. Yesterday, we went to see the wonderous and trust-worthy Dr. Schaubhut who demonstrated that there was no question that the original diagnosis had been correct: he had a torn cruciate ligament. But, not in keeping with the advice of the ER vet, there was no chance of recovery without surgery. Kitty stifle ligaments can't heal themselves.

So, Dr. Schaubhut referred us to Dr. Pacchiana who saw him this morning, confirmed Schaubhut's information, and admitted him for surgery.

The boy has a long recovery ahead of him. He will likely come home tomorrow, and then for 8 weeks need to be crated, possibly with a neck cone. And, within a week, we will need to start kitty physical therapy on the leg. I imagine it will look something like this.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Amber & Death by Cuteness


That's Conchita. Conchita is a wee baby white-naped Mangabey monkey who was born in a London Zoo. She has attached to a Teddy Bear for comfort since her mommy monkey can't raise her. She is the cutest Baby Animal I have ever seen.

Conchita likes smiling.

And biting noses.

I like Conchita. You can see her in cutie action here, after the British man.

I can't stand how cute she is.

Add to cart, please.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Amber & Remakes

Imagine my surprise this morning when, on the way out of the Bedford Park subway station, I noticed next to the ad for this product which involuntary caught my eye (for obvious reasons)... ad for this.

That's right: Shannon Dougherty has stolen my movie name, a crime almost on par with stealing a baby name. It was bad enough when Lita Ford stole it for her song, but to name your cheesy soon-to-video action move after the "definitive, apocalyptic, nihilistic, science-fiction film noir of all time" is really cheap and unnecessary. Can't you think of your own movie name? And I love gay spies, but come on!

How could you hope to compete or rob prestige from this?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Amber & Pink

I have a weird relationship with pink. (Not Pink. I don't even know her.)
I wore alot of it in high school, mostly in the form of dusty rose cardigans and pants with a roll-down top. My favorite was a light pink turtleneck with little red rosebuds all over it.

In Madisonwisconsin, I bought a pink hoody to wear around the house. The main motivation in selecting pink was that it wouldn't show too much cat fur-- either the pale fur of Woody or the mysterious and varied hairs of Tiggy Winkle.

But now, I find myself in love with pink. It goes so nicely with navy and black and is so fresh and springy.

I am totally wearing this jacket today. Who am I? Is pink part of my new signature style?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Amber & Goals

I have set five small, quality-of-life-related goals for the week.
They are as follows.

1. Take my daily vitamin.
I tend to use my daily vitamin as more of a weekly vitamin. This week, I am going to take one every morning with my oatmeal. So that I don't forget, I have put the vitamin bottle inside the oatmeal canister.

2. Do yoga twice a day.
I had been really good about this, but then I got tired. I have been skipping the morning yoga in favor of sleeping in or deep conditioning my hair. That, as we know, is really just robbing Petermeyer to pay Paulbeason.

3. Knit daily.
Knitting is relaxing and something I can do while watching programs or spending time with Woody. My current project is a scarf for my mom for Mother's Day. Originally, it was for Christmas, but, luckily, with global warming, she can wear it year-round.

4. Eat well.
I've been thinking about what I eat and it sucks. I just mailed my check to join my local CSA (which uses the same farm as Kevin & Diana's) but I am really going to make a point of eating better this week. I am going to start with a nicoise salad for dinner tonight.

5. Blog.
It's good for me, and for you!