Tag Archives: Wisp

Wisp in repose

So Wisp is now comfortable sleeping next to me on the couch while I work, at least some of the time.

She is not, however, comfortable with my exercise routine. Tuesday, I decided to complete my morning exercises while Wisp was eating breakfast, and she stopped and stared. Even when I did ones that didn’t jar the floor like the jumping jacks do, the unexpected behavior made her very uneasy so she went to the door and waited to be let out. A challenge, as she’s going to have to get used to our antics to be comfortable as an inside or inside/outside cat.Now that she’s eating a lot of breakfast inside, I realize she stalks it. Crouches down and skulks over from being petted as if the food was going to get up and run if it saw her. It’s most amusing.

As for the dogs, Plushie is recovering well. In fact, he’s reached the point where he thinks he’s fine and wants to run around and be a regular healthy dog again. We are restricting that, at least until his appointment next week. He doesn’t approve. Trixie’s itching and the corresponding self-chewing have resurfaced; apparently the shot she got in early August wore off and the dermaquin ain’t fixing the problem. We’ll take her in when Plushie gets his checkup and have them give her another anti-itch shot. In the meantime she’s stuck in the collar of shame. It’s the only way she won’t chew herself, which may have something to do with why she got an upset tummy Thursday — lord knows what she’s chewing off her feet.

The collars we use are stiffened fabric which works very well. It’s less jarring than the hard plastic ones when they bump into anything and the narrowed field of vision seems to calm them a lot. Still, I hope we can remove them soon.#SFWApro. Photos are mine.

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So, goals for August

Fifty percent accomplished. Persistently succumbing to doing just one more Leaf … or two … or three … did not do my writing goals any favors. And I overshot my budget again, due to a medical bill or two and paying for Wisp’s vet care.

On the plus side, we did get Wisp to the vet, which was a goal we really needed to achieve. Unhappy as she was, she doesn’t seem to have taken it amiss at all; Monday she showed up, came in for breakfast and then sat in my lap.That’s a definite win for August.

#SFWApro.

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Wisp is our babe behind bars!

Yep, we did it! We caught Wisp and took her to the vet on Wednesday for a complete medical checkup, plus getting her microchipped. She’s really ours now (okay, she has been for a while). Unsurprisingly she didn’t like it any more than these women — luckily Wisp isn’t packing heat.It was quite a busy week for vet visits. We took Plush and Trixie in for some booster shots on Saturday, forgetting to give them painkiller first. They were miserable the rest of the day and on into the next morning. Plus Trixie wouldn’t pee or poop for the vets and Plushie wouldn’t poop so I had to bring in samples during the week. At least I combined the Plush poop delivery with bringing in Wisp.

I really had my doubts we could get her to go into the pet carrier while either of us was close, even with food inside. But just like last year, she suddenly started being more comfortable with me standing around. This morning, I did my best to look uninterested and stare off into the distance while Wisp crept into the carrier, then I spun and closed the door (fortunately she tucked her tail inside when I did, or I’d have had to leave it open). Game over! She made the most pitiable mews of misery all the way there and back.

As they had to sedate her, we were supposed to keep her inside and safe for 24 hours while the drugs wore off. Wisp, however, was not keen on this. When we released her in the living room (dogs securely upstairs) she went over to the French doors and tried to get out.We bought her off for a while with food and with petting, but ultimately I thought she’d be less stressed outside, so I opened the door. She was much calmer than last year, when she bolted out of sight, and eventually settled into a shady spot under the deck stairs. I do hope she’ll be okay, but we let her out last year and it turned out fine.

So that’s done. Woot! Next up, working to get her comfortable with being inside for long stretches, even if we can’t make her a totally inside cat.

Oh, and the vet says she’s in great shape: no worms, parasites, fleas, etc, everything in good shape, so we’ve been doing a good job. I’m quite happy to hear that.

#SFWpro. All rights to poster image remain with current holder.

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Nature photography

I saw this the other day while walking Trixie. It amused me.Here’s the plant in our container garden, now at least six feet tall and blooming.

While I don’t have a photo, Wisp came into the house Monday and checked out the downstairs for the first time in months. As usual, as soon as she realized I was following her, she decided she wanted out again. Then next morning, during the rain from Isaias, she came in and got breakfast.Then TYG let Trixie come downstairs and I spent about thirty minutes petting both animals and making sure neither one went for the other. We had one quick squabble, no teeth or claws deployed on either side.Finally Trixie settled with me on the couch and Wisp took up residence on the pillow. Eventually she went out after the rain had died.

#SFWApro. Photos are mine.

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Animal tales

So late Sunday night, Plushie, for no discernible reason, jumped off the bed, whimpering in pain. We’ve no idea; could just be that one of his sore spots (he likes to chew himself) got bumped. But he decided the only security was to be found pressing up very close to his daddy. Which was sweet, but the position he picked (and wouldn’t budge from) left me in too awkward a position myself to sleep. After about fifteen minutes I gave up and went to sleep in the spare bedroom. Except I didn’t sleep: Monday was a long slog.

At lunch, I walked Plushie and Wisp started to come over and get a little petting. But then one of the children on our street came up to talk and Wisp froze. I could almost see her torn between the desire to rub up against me and the Stranger Danger posed by this seven year old. I made it up to her with some snuggling on the front steps later.

Then in the evening we had some guys show up to deliver some new bookcases. Somehow, Plushie got past the gate barring off the living room, then ran outside, triggering a very loud demand from TYG that I find him (one of the guys was unintentionally obstructing her from catching him). I rushed out and fortunately Plushie hadn’t gone further than the walkway, where he was begging for attention from one of the other dudes. I grabbed him up and carried him back inside before he could get any ideas about exploring or challenging the next bicycle rider to go by. Scary, but it turned out okay.

That’s life with pets. And it’s a good excuse to show these photos of a dead mole we found in the front yard, and what it looked like after it had decayed for a few days.

#SFWApro. Images are mine.

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I have a dream …

Quite a few of them this week, for whatever reason.

I dreamed I was making out with TYG and our downstairs alarm went off. The dream-alarm actually woke me up (I checked to confirm the house had not, in fact, been broken into).

I dreamed I was flirting with women at a con, and it was going very well. Then I became consumed by guilt at the thought of cheating and backed out of doing anything. Why does my subconscious throw attractive women at me and then tell me not to touch them?

I dreamed TYG was having to attend weekly Zoom meetings running 5-10 PM on Sunday evenings. I’m glad that one was imaginary.

I have nothing deep to say about any of these, so I’ll wrap up with a photo of me scratching Wisp.#SFWApro.

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Second month of writing while quarantined; how’d I do?

Decently. I met 58 percent of my goals which is better than the last two months (particularly March). Part of that’s because my goal list has dwindled — nothing that involves hanging out with people besides TYG, no plans to catch plays or go to museums, etc. Not even visiting the nearby coffee/tea shop, though I did order some tea from them (I’d like them to be there when this mess ends).

I do not see this changing any time soon. Durham’s stay-in-place order ends the 15th of this month, but TYG and I were social distancing before it became official and we’re still going to stick with it. This shit is scary; much as I’d like to see my friends other than on Zoom, it won’t be happening soon. When? I wish I knew.

The improvement in goal-meeting also reflects that I’m adapting. I’m getting exercise done, cooking regularly and managing to get work done despite a lot of extra dog care. And my Leaf work hasn’t started up again which meant I had a lot more time to work on my own stuff. Much as I enjoy that, I’d prefer to have steady income; next month I’ll be working on drumming up new clients, as a good freelancer should.

As I mentioned last week, I finished the latest drafts of Undead Sexist Cliches and Impossible Takes a Little Longer. I submitted four short stories, finished an untitled first draft, rewrote Laughter of the Dark and Glory That Was and finished Death Is Like a Box of Chocolates. I resumed work on proofing and correcting Questionable Minds, though I’m far from where I wanted to be (the extra work on the other two books had to come out of something).

The biggest obstacle to getting even more done is that Trixie’s injury requires a lot more time. A lot more watching to ensure she isn’t doing anything to hurt her leg. Walking her separately from Plushie — if I’m doing both morning walks or both lunch walks (or both of both) that adds up to quite a bit more time (same if TYG’s doing the work). So this month I’m assuming I’ll start work 8:30 AM, work for two hours, get four hours in the afternoon and make up the last hour of my day after dinner. Planning for that will make me less frustrated in the morning, I think, which should help me focus better.

For today’s visual entertainment here’s something Wisp (I assume) puked up on our front stoop. You can make out the eye of whatever she ate.#SFWApro.

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Filed under Impossible Takes a Little Longer, Personal, Short Stories, The Dog Ate My Homework, Time management and goals, Undead Sexist Cliches: The Book, Writing

Cats, distractions and undead sexist cliches: My week at work

This was a somewhat frustrating week. Despite working in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep and getting up early generally, I actually fell short of my desired 35 hours. Extra dog walking and multiple food and item deliveries sucked up a surprising amount of time. Worse, in the time that was left, I sometimes wound up too frazzed to focus and working in too-small bursts of time to build up any steam. Can’t be helped though: TYG’s job is less flexible than mine so I can adjust my schedule more easily (my boss is very understanding). I really must find ways to keep my focus despite distractions, though. Particularly when Leaf work gets started again — for some reason that suffers in the current environment more than anything else.

On the plus side, it seems I can work with Wisp snuggling in my lap.

So what did I get done? Well, I finally got the abortion/birth control chapter of Undead Sexist Cliches worked out and footnoted. I had to rearrange it a lot to work logically and clear up a lot of repeated information, plus adding some scientific detail (no, abortions do not cause breast cancer or depression). I also made a rough outline of Chapter Nine, on the concept of a sexual marketplace (the assumption women are supposed to trade sex for marriage). That should make it easier when I start on it next week.

I finished a couple of chapters of Impossible Takes a Little Longer. Now I’m up to the climax, but the changes I’ve made already will mandate more changes; one character who played a major role is dead, for instance, so not so major. I want this draft done this month.

I read my revised version of The Glory That Was to the writers’ group Tuesday night and got generally favorable responses. The big change from the previous draft was shifting from third person to multiple first-persons, and it seems to have worked. However there was a general consensus the opening was too rushed for anyone to find their feet, so that’ll be my primary concern on the next draft.

Oh, and over at Atomic Junkshop we’re suffering some puzzling tech problems. One post I made this week vanished, came back and now it’s vanished again. Very annoying.

Have a great weekend. Here’s another photo of Wisp, scrunching her eyes shut in response to getting petted.#SFWApro. Photos are mine.

 

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Did I mention I sold a story this week?

I did? Well here’s another link to it anyway. And to my currently free e-book, Philosophy and Fairytales. That sales lasts through April 20. And I have an article on bystanders in Golden Age Batman stories up on Atomic Junkshop (the cover to the right is actually from the late 1950s, by Sheldon Moldoff).

Now, as to new work: this was a fairly good week. A lot of extra dog care in the mornings, but I still managed to be productive (though as usual not as productive as I think I should be). I’m doing my best to squeeze out as much of my own work as possible before my Leaf articles start up again.

I rewrote one of my older stories The Glory That Was, for reading to the writer’s group next week (one of our Zoom meetings). I’d thought I’d just touch it up to fix a few flaws, but I wound up writing it in rotating first-person POV (Elizabeth, Molly and Dianne) which took a lot more time than planned. I think it’s vastly improved, but we’ll see what the group thinks. That used up most of my short-story writing time, so a couple of other stories I’d planned to work on, I didn’t get to.

I finished another chapter of Impossible Takes a Little Longer. I’m approaching the climax now, and once again it’s going to take a lot of changes; characters who were alive are now dead, KC knows much more about how things work than she did and I have no idea how to explain the rest without massive info-dumping. But my gut’s steered me well so far, so hopefully it’ll keep guiding me right.

I got a massive amount of the abortion/birth control chapter in Undead Sexist Cliches done and footnoted. There’s still quite a bit left as the forced-birth movement spews out so much bullshit. For example, Human Life International argues that having consensual sex while using birth control is rape. That’s one of many.

I also read aloud several chapters of Questionable Minds and noted down the points where it needs editing, either for typos or because my phrasing is poor.

Trixie is doing much better. She’s able to take short walks of up to five minutes at a time, which is much more fun for her. Easier for us too, as I can wait longer for her to make a poop before hauling her inside. And she’s so happy walking and enjoying the outdoors (the photo below shows her doing it a couple of years back, when she was at her shaggiest).

 

Unfortunately, she’s increasingly determined and eager to jump up and down and run wherever she wants, so it’s essential to watch her constantly. We now have a cage upstairs and one down so wherever she is, we can lock her up if we have to do something (use the restroom, cook, whatever).

We’ve decided to try bringing Wisp into the house once Trixie’s back to full health. That gives us about six weeks to work out the details. This week she came up and sat with me on the couch again a couple of times; one time was during a Zoom “Shut Up and Write” meeting and as soon as the voices came over the computer, she ran.

Have a great weekend everyone. Stay safe.

#SFWApro. All rights to photos remain with current holders.

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Filed under Impossible Takes a Little Longer, Nonfiction, Personal, Short Stories, The Dog Ate My Homework, Time management and goals, Undead Sexist Cliches: The Book, Writing

In spite of her rage, she is still just a chihuahua/cairn terrier mix in a cage

So Monday we took Trixie in for surgery on her bad knee. She’s improved a lot since the accident, but it doesn’t look like she’s going to heal completely, so this is the best option. But not an easy option. Because we have eight weeks of crate rest ahead, and she has to wear the cone of shame for the first two weeks to avoid licking her stitches and infecting them. A week and a half to go! But the vet says the surgery went well, so we’re not going to screw it up.

Wisp came in Tuesday, after Trixie was back from the hospital and seemed quite intrigued by the set-up. Trixie, not so much. She’s getting less petting and cuddles, can’t sleep in the bed with us — misery for my little snuggler. But I make sure to make time for opening the cage and giving her some attention.

Fortunately it’s okay for her to stand on the leg and walk a couple of steps, so taking her for potty breaks isn’t as frustrating as when she first injured her leg. She’s much more likely to go rather than decide it’s too uncomfortable; I hope that’s a good sign.

Plushie is baffled why he can’t play and rough-house with her, but he’s been baffled by that since she got injured. Come to think of it, he’s baffled quite a lot; he isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Trixie spends most of the day upstairs with TYG, but comes down for medical care. TYG takes care of the meds, I walk Trixie and do the physical therapy her leg requires. So far everything’s going smoothly; the real challenge will probably be in a month when she feels ready to run and jump and we’ll have to discourage her. Positive thoughts and/or prayers appreciated.

And while Trixie and Plushie were both upstairs yesterday, Wisp came in. I didn’t want to stop work so I just stayed on the couch and she jumped up and went to sleep next to me. It was delightful, and if she’ll keep doing that, it’ll be easier to have her around without losing my workflow.#SFWApro. Photos are mine

 

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