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Please stop by and have a look, and leave a comment if you're so inclined. She was a beautiful girl, and I promise there are some very cute shots in there. :-)
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Many thanks to everyone who took a moment to write condolences and well-wishes concerning Mina's untimely death. Reading your words of comfort helped ease my heartache.

We've gotten through the first couple of days without her. Emmie, our other cat, seems to have realized that I'm no longer "spoken for" and crawled onto my chest for a cuddle this afternoon; I'm so very glad about that, because I was afraid that I was going to be completely bereft of cuddles now that Mina is gone.

It's sinking in, between waves of grief, that there was really nothing we could have done for her. Feline leukemia has no treatment. And that she was lucky to have drawn the "least painful option" card, because anemia sapped her strength but probably wasn't particularly painful, unlike some of the other conditions that FL can lead to in its final stages.

In a month we'll get Emmie tested to see if she's contracted it also. However, two vets that we've spoken to so far think it's likely she hasn't; as an older cat (around 14), she probably has a degree of natural immunity to it, so even if Mina was shedding the virus for several days she's likely shaken it off.

Memories of Mina to follow, when I'm emotionally coherent enough to write them. She was an affectionate girl with a big personality. The gap she's left in our lives will take quite a while to fill again with other things. Here are some photos of her:

My sweet little girl... gone, but never forgotten )

*sniffle*... *sigh*

And just so they don't die too... my dragons.

Adopt one today! / Adopt one today! / Adopt one today! / Adopt one today!
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Mina is dead. We took her to the vet and had to have her put down immediately.

Feline leukemia. The vet figures she was infected when she was a kitten living with her feral mother.

We are both in shock. And the apartment has a horrible emptiness to it now.
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Some highlights.

1) Well, thanks to [ profile] eastpath I now know what happened on the bridge yesterday. A garbage truck caught fire. There's a video included in the link.

2) On my way to the Hydro building to pay our bill, I came across a huge crowd of people in the little square in the middle of the City Hall complex. They were watching -- I kid you not -- a group of folk-dancing policemen. Man, were those feet flying! Video:

3) The mobile vet came, examined our cats, and ate some raspberry jelly roll with a cup of coffee. Mina is healthy as a horse, but 2 pounds overweight; he detected some wheezing in her breathing and advised us to cut down on her food, which we'll be doing immediately. He also gave her her shots.

Emmie is healthy overall for her age (13), but her right shoulder is arthritic, as is her lower back. Poor baby! She was in moderate pain when the vet rotated her shoulder, and he estimates that her pain under normal circumstances is probably slight. He gave us some glucosamine capsules, which include an additional element whose name I can't quite remember, and told us to give her the contents of one capsule once a day in wet food. She also has a spot of gum disease at the base of her upper left canine, so we'll have to pick up a kitty toothbrush and some toothpaste for her. He didn't give Emmie any shots because of her age; our main concern, distemper, is apparently something that cats develop an immunity to as they get older.

When we told him that we'd been told by the Corydon Animal Hospital vet that Mina has incipient cataracts, he had us catch her again so that he could examine her eyes. In his opinion, they're perfectly fine. Hopefully he's correct in guessing that someone had an "overactive imagination" when making the previous diagnosis.

4) George and I just finished having dinner, so now I'm going to jump back on the MM project and lay color guides onto as many pages as I can (the final step before recreating the color). I hope to get them all done this evening.
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A lot of blog-worthy things seem to be happening today.

I just went to pour my second cup of coffee from the new coffee carafe.

Note to self: ONLY turn the top one quarter turn to the right. Do NOT turn it any further, or it will come off while you are pouring, resulting in a deluge of coffee across the table, down to the floor -- and right on top of the cat, who was innocently drinking from her water bowl at the time.

Fortunately Mina doesn't seem the worse for wear -- just wetter, and I wiped her off as best I could. Poor little girl.
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Mina appears to be pretty much recovered. Her eyes are dry, she doesn't sound sniffly any more, and her activity levels are at 95% of normal. And Emmie, Gods be praised, is in good health as well.

So what was it? I'm going to send an email to Dr. M (a vet clinic that allows email, imagine that!) and float the feline herpes suggestion. Based on what I've read there is no blood test diagnostic -- the tests are based on secretions from the eyes/nose/throat -- so it may be that we can't test for it unless it flares up again. *sigh*

I got up this morning, cleaned the place up from a Full Moon Group get-together last night, took out the libation to be poured on the ground under a tree in front of our building, and helped George change the light bulb in the kitchen. Whew. It doesn't sound like much, but I feel like I've accomplished a lot already. (Apologies to [ profile] morgaine_inanna... a few people got lost in the call list shuffle this month, and I didn't realize you'd been missed until Saturday afternoon, which of course was much too late to call. We'll definitely catch you next month!)

For a cool photo from last night, check out my Project 365 blog at:

Now I get to do 20 pages of MM. Oh, what joy is mine.
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Terri picked me up at 6:30 pm and we went for dinner at the Pancake House (awful coffee and awful service, bad enough to make us reconsider EVER going back). On the way out to her car, I checked the mail -- and found a cheque from DC Comics for $177. For Albion British royalties on reprints. I've seldom been so happy to see a piece of paper.

After dinner Terri took me to Safeway so I could do some grocery shopping. "Some" turned out to be a full cartload, but now George and I set for the next several days, except for bread (which I, being a bread snob, insist on having as fresh as possible). We can concentrate on work, which is SUCH a relief. Terri, if you're reading this, thanks again for your generosity in terms of your car and your time. :-)

Tomorrow night is the Full Moon Group outer court ritual, so the day as a whole is shot: I'll be busy tidying the place up and cleaning the bathroom, since we've let housekeeping slide completely over the last week or so. I still don't have a rite in mind, although since tomorrow night will be a waxing moon heading toward a full lunar eclipse, I'm considering having the people in circle talk about an experience where they went into darkness but emerged with wisdom, experience, profit, or something else positive.

I posted a question about Mina on Yahoo!Answers in the Cats section. A couple of responders have suggested that she might have feline herpes, which she might have picked up in her mother's womb and which may have lain dormant all this time. I'm going to stick with my see-how-she-is-in-a-week plan, and if she's still sniffly next Friday I'll call Dr. M back and float the herpes boat to see if he salutes.

If it is herpes, what compromised her system enough to let it flare up? I suspect that it might be the fact that I've been feeding her senior cat formula hard food for the last several weeks, as opposed to her regular adult formula hard food. But she's back on her regular food now, so well, we'll just have to see. Feline herpes isn't contagious to humans but is HIGHLY contagious between cats, so if Mina has it, Emmie has it too, and just isn't manifesting it. *sigh* Another bridge to be crossed at a future point.

Back to flatting MM.
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I just got off the phone with Dr. M, and he's scratching his head in complete puzzlement. He has no idea why Mina's eyes are watering in the absence of any other symptom except the occasional sneeze. He ran down a list of possible causes with me -- an infection in kittenhood, excessive stress, new potourri or incense, the use of Carpet Fresh or paint -- none of which fit Mina's situation. It's possible that it might be an allergy, but the fact that only one eye was watering initially is very strange.

We left off with the agreement that I'd bring Mina in again in a week if she hasn't improved, or sooner if she starts producing infected mucous or goes off her food.

This is so, SO frustrating. The mystery is driving me crazy more than anything else, since Mina doesn't seem to be suffering. This morning she was scampering around, chasing after a bit of popcorn that George brushed off the couch, and begging for some of my breakfast yogurt.

GrrrrRRRRGGGGG! What an infuriating little beast. I love her dearly, but right now I'm very worried about her.
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Mina's left eye is now offending her as much as her right. Water water, dribble dribble, *atchoo atchoo!*.

Oh, fuck. Back to the vet we go tomorrow... perhaps. I left a message today asking Dr. M to call me tomorrow (since he wasn't in today) and perhaps we can get away with one of us going down to the clinic and picking up some antibiotics.

Poor little girl. I wish there was something I could do to help her.
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We took Mina to the vet this afternoon because (as you will remember, O Faithful Readers) her right eye has been leaking clear fluid since Saturday morning. The vet did a thorough exam and was left scratching his head. Quote: "There is NOTHING wrong with this cat!"

So no explanation for the tears and the occasional sneezes, except for the possibility that our other cat, Emmie, clocked Mina in the eye with a paw while they were play fighting. The vet did a special dye test designed to show any scratches or ulcerations on the cornea, and nothing presented itself. (The test caused Mina's eye to fluoresce deep emerald green in the darkened exam room, which was just TOO cool.) The rest of the examination (minus the anal thermometer insertion, which has been replaced with an in-the-ear digital version) showed Mina to be a robustly healthy little beast. We've been instructed to see how she is on Thursday or Friday; the vet thinks that by then the situation will have cleared up on its own. If not, we're to bring her back in.

The funny thing is this: Dr. M, the vet in question, was always one of my mother's favorite vets. Seeing him in action today, I remember why. He and my mother relate to cats in exactly the same way, right down to the not-necessary-for-the-examination cuddles and kisses. He remarked several times on what a "nice cat" Mina is, and about the softness of her coat, her pretty eyes, and so forth. Hee.

Also, it turns out that Mina HAD been at Corydon Animal Hospital before -- the scan of her microchip pulled her up in their system. Apparently three years ago she had "incipient cataracts", something I wasn't aware of, and that condition has not gotten worse in the meantime. According to Dr. M it is something we will never have to worry about. Funny... I thought "incipient" implied "coming in the future"... but I'm glad that it won't affect Mina's future quality of life.

And a bonus: the clinic carries Eukanuba brand cat food, including Mina's brand in large bags. Now I don't have to go to hell and gone to pick up more food for her (the closest pet stores that carry it are way out by my mother's former apartment and far up Main Street). This is wonderful news, and I picked up a bag to take home with us today.

Total cost for our adventure in veterinary medicine: $104.69, including the bag of food, which was about $25. And we're probably going to get a lot of that back from PetPlan. *crosses fingers* I could actually go and check out the policy online, but right now I just can't be arsed.

George and I have splurged and ordered Chinese food for dinner, since we're both so tired and SO hungry. I'm about to start on some MM flatting tests to see how George can most efficiently help me to meet my deadline, since he has a lot to do himself in the next couple of weeks.

Oh, and my period is probably only a couple of days away. That probably explains why I was feeling like such shit yesterday and am not feeling much better today.

A couple of photos of Mina at the clinic behind the cut, including one of the Eye Dye of DOOM )
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Mina's eye looks better today: it seems to have largely stopped leaking and she's holding it almost fully open. Also she's doing more typically "Mina" things, including getting up on her hind legs and putting her front paws on my thighs to ask for cuddles, which she wasn't yesterday. I'm starting to think that Emmie might have just clocked her a good one in the face while they were playing, and her sniffles have been the result of her watering eye draining into her sinuses. If that's the case then she'll probably continue to get better on her own.

George and I just spent about two hours looking at stuff on the Zuda site, which is a series of competitions by various artists from which DC Comics will be picking new properties to develop. So far one of my favorites is Joe Comics, a hilarious take on superhero concepts and conventions.

Joe, to the villain Mr. Roboto, who has just finished declaiming grandly: "Is that drool on your lips?

Mr. Roboto, wiping his mouth: "Nonsense. It's just condensation from my ice cold robotic soul."

I laughed on almost every page of the proposal, an achievement for which the writer deserves the heartiest of congratulations.

George and I spent all that time because we're considering submitting a proposal ourselves. Assuming we decide to do so, the hard part will be coming up with a concept that we can (a) convey to the readers on the site in eight frames, and (b) both agree on. *sigh*

Today I start on the latest MM project.

Oh, ye Gods... Emmie just came into the studio to get a drink of water from Mina's water dish, and as she hunkered down to start licking, she sneezed. It was a very small sneeze, but oh please, Whoever is listening, don't let HER come down with something too. That would mean that with Mina still watery, George sniffling with a cold, and me hacking because I have a persistant piece of dust caught in my throat, everyone in the household is suffering.
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Last night the Full Moon Group inner court held a dinner, get-together, and ritual for one of our members who's been having a hard time with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as the result of an armed robbery she suffered a few months back. I think it went quite well; everyone worked together with a pleasing rhythm, and I don't think I've EVER laughed that much in circle when, as the amulet was being passed around for each person to sew a token onto it, we started talking about very humorous matters. "Mirth and reverence", indeed.

After everyone had gone home I collapsed into bed and slept like the dead. This morning my back is hardly hurting at all in spite of sitting on the floor for part of the ritual last night. Perhaps whatever-it-is that's plaguing me is finally letting up.

News on the Mina front: About fifteen minutes ago I was sitting at the coffee table eating my breakfast, a bowl of low-fat vanilla yogurt with granola mixed in. Mina, who is usually about as observant and responsive as a stump, took a real interest in what I was doing. She came and sat in front of the table, looking at me intently. Then she jumped up on the table and sat gazing at the bowl in my hand. Then she slowly came forward and, with a tentative tongue, licked the edge of the bowl.

I shooed her away a little, scooped up a bit of yogurt on one finger, and offered it to her. She yummed it right up.

... my cat likes low-fat vanilla yogurt. The cat who NEVER takes any interest in human food. I guess I never noticed before because I've only recently begun to eat yogurt. I only gave her a little bit -- we'll see what it does to her digestive system.
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Truly, the best toy in the world is an empty printer box.

Pics of Emmie and Mina behind the cut )

Much one-cat-in-the-box-while-the-other-cat-stalked-and-pounced ensued. :-)
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Last night was the final wedding rehearsal for [ profile] diamond_lies and her fiance. Both families were present so that we were able to do a full runthrough with their participation. Just before Robin and I left, [ profile] diamond_lies gave us each a gift -- for Robin a beautiful handmade blank book, and for me a soapstone tealight holder and essential oil diffuser with a pentacle theme. :-)

Thanks to [ profile] eastpath, I had most of my parts memorized. Almost. I'll have to put in some time tonight getting them letter-perfect.

Fast forward to this morning, while George and I were having coffee on our new couch.

Picture of new couch behind the cut )

Emmie, lying between us, suddenly saw something move on the other side of the window -- perhaps a dragonfly, perhaps a leaf. At any rate, she suddenly took a flying leap at it. BANG! Her paws hit the window frame, but whatever it was had vanished.

She continued to watch the window avidly, and in the end I took pity on her for not catching what she wanted and broke open a tin of sardines for her and Mina. Well, actually just for Emmie, because Mina, as it turns out, doesn't know how to eat fish. She licked it for a couple of minutes and then abandoned it. Compare that to Emmie, who wolfed her sardine down and then went looking for more... *sigh*

About an hour after that I went out grocery shopping. $110 dollars later, our pantry is much more full.

I am currently doing laundry. Yeah, fun times all around. I have an evening full of memorization ahead of me, so wish me luck.
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Because I just downloaded a bunch of photos from our camera.

Cats, an altar, and my mother )

Whew... I just got an email from the HB editor, asking when the issue would be done.


No Easter dinner in Selkirk for me, then.

Oh, and another photo that popped up in old posts to my Photobucket account...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Just because pink!Darth Maul is so, so utterly wrong.
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