Huh, it’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog entry. So let’s do some catch-up to the present, I guess.
fluffy rambles (cats)
Rambles that are fluffy, by fluffy
My basement studio setup is coming along slowly but surely. I ended up buying a used ADAT preamp to expand my existing audio interface (rather than buying a new interface/patchbay/etc.) and it mostly works great, although I’m going to see if I can hack an S/PDIF decoder into a word clock source for it so that the 18i8 can be master (which makes a couple of things easier to deal with).
For now I’m using my old MacBook as the recording computer. It only has a 500GB drive, though, and I couldn’t find the power adapter for my external HDD enclosure, so I decided to try just running Native Instruments off of my NAS over gigabit Ethernet. Nearly every install failed with a nonsensical “malformed XML document” error, which turns out to be a known issue with attempting to install to a NAS. Oh well. Hopefully that PSU turns up soon. I’m sure it’s in the bottom of whichever box I end up unpacking last.
(The PSU isn’t anything particularly exotic in principle, just a 12V 2A center-positive wallwart, but for some reason all the 12V center-positive wallwarts I can find can’t accommodate its extra-thick center pin.)
But anyway, today I finally got to the point where I could hook up my piano, and so I played piano for the first time since April, which felt nice. I can’t believe I let it be this long. I guess I really thought the backyard shed studio would go a lot more quickly!
When I adopted Fiona, Werner was grumpy about it but Fiona was so optimistic that she won Werner over pretty quickly.
Now that I’ve adopted Tyler, Fiona is being grumpy and hostile, while Tyler is trying to be optimistic about making friends. It’s such a weird change in attitude from a cat who previously seemed to be friendly and happy about others.
I mean I know I’m being overly-optimistic here. She’s mostly only seen a single other cat for the last 9 years, and her best friend died 5 days ago. Change is hard. She might miss Werner, and I definitely miss Werner. I can’t help but feel like this was a mistake to readopt so quickly, but on the other hand, Fiona was definitely feeling lonely being the only cat around (and she’s been getting frustrated with how Werner hasn’t wanted to play for the last year or so anyway), and it’s not like she’d be likely to get any friendlier to new cats as time passed with her being the only cat around.
I’m definitely sticking with this decision, even if I’m feeling kind of awful about making it. But I also felt awful about putting Werner through stress when I adopted Fiona (right after the stress of moving to Seattle!), and I also felt awful about “replacing Chris” so quickly and impulsively when I adopted Werner.
Tyler hasn’t even been here for 12 hours yet, and it always takes time for anyone to adjust to change. I’m optimistic that they’ll be friends soon, even if not right away.
I remember it took a month or two for Toby to warm up to Shooby, and then they were the best of friends. Every cat pair has a different dynamic which emerges on its own timeline.
I just want Fiona to be happy, even if that means she’s very upset for the next little while.
It hasn’t even been a week since Werner died, but Fiona was clearly in need of another friend, and I figured that I should get her one while she still had a chance of retaining her mothering instinct which made her get along so well with Werner.
So, I went to the Burien animal shelter and asked to see a couple of cats, Tyler and Wasabi, and explained the situation. The person there said Tyler would almost certainly be a perfect choice while Wasabi would have posed some problems. I met them both, and Tyler immediately got extremely affectionate and friendly to me, while Wasabi was a bit more murdery.
Anyway, right now Fiona is upset that there’s another cat in the house, but not so upset as to actually fight him. She’s hissing at him a bunch and occasionally growling, while Tyler is behaving the same to her as she did to Werner. It’s an interesting dynamic. (And, of course, Tyler is the same age that Fiona was, and Fiona’s the same age that Werner was.)
I expect it’ll be a few days before things settle down, but hopefully they will without too much bloodshed. And hey, they’re already hanging out under the bed together. Ish.
Meanwhile, I need to remind myself that I’m not replacing Werner, I’m just continuing the chain of affection.
People keep on reaching out to me about Werner, which I greatly appreciate. I feel like I had gotten most of my grieving out of my system during the two months leading up to his death, though. Ever since I buried him yesterday I’ve felt, for the most part, fine. A certain clarity, a fog has lifted, and all that. I think my worry about Werner had been weighing me down greatly and now that he’s resting forever and at peace, everything is fine. Or at least better.
I’m still sad about his absence, and when I think about his final moments or look at any of the mementos I tear up a bit. But they’re mostly tears of joy, I think.
Fiona’s also gotten a lot happier too. I think she was spending a lot of time worrying about him and trying to take care of him, and it was wearing on her. Today she was extremely cuddly and affectionate with me for the first time since… well, since Werner got sick, I think. And she had a lot more energy for playing than in recent memory, too.
Today I stopped by his little grave and said some words to him, and Fiona came over too and sniffed a bit and rolled around. I think she can maybe smell him in there. Of course I’m going to visit him every day or so in order to water the hydrangeas, and I’ll probably be saying hi to him each time for a while, but as with all things that’ll probably fade. But I had put a Werner pin on the fence behind him, just a little reminder of him to see each time, at least until a raccoon steals it for being too shiny.
(Okay, thinking about visiting him makes me cry too.)
So, I had a very bad experience with my doctor with this latest chronic pain flare (and the short-term disability leave situation), and with encouragement from my therapist I am switching to a different doctor. The doctor I’m switching to specializes in LGBT healthcare (and apparently 10% of his patients are trans) and also has a specific interest in treating chronic conditions, which is what I need.
I’ve also gone back to my self-determined physical therapy regimen. You know, the one that my GP and the pain doc and physical therapist she referred me to all think will cause more injury, even though it’s always helped me in the past. So far it feels like I’m actually making progress on recovery.
After he’d finished his course of antibiotics and antacid, he was doing pretty well. But today he’s started having bile vomit again, and he seems to be losing weight again as well. I think I also caught him drooling a little. It’s all very mild right now, but during the last scare it also started out pretty mild until it suddenly wasn’t.
He doesn’t seem to be in pain, at least, but he might be on the way out after all.
One funny thing is that he’s got no interest in dry cat food at all anymore (he’s probably finding it too hard to chew what with his horrible teeth) but he’s become extremely interested in everything I’m eating… salads, macaroni and cheese, sandwiches, pretzels, that sort of thing. I’ll give him little tidbits of the stuff he’s curious about, which at least makes him really happy, even if it’s probably not very good for him. But it brings him some amount of joy and that’s what’s important.
Werner was unable to keep his liquid antibiotics down so yesterday I got him pills instead, at least for one of them (unfortunately the other one was liquid-only). He’s of course been lethargic but generally happy most of the time, and during my birthday party yesterday he mostly just hung out in my bedroom, but occasionally said hi to people — very uncharacteristic for him, and towards the end I even took him around to everyone to get pettings.
Anyway, today he’s been feeling a bit better, and I had a cheeseburger for lunch, which he got really interested in and wanted some of. So I decided that he can, in fact, haz cheezburger, and he’s enjoying it quite a lot, and eating way more than I’ve seen him eat lately. Really going to town on it. (I tried taking a picture for the meme™ but he was way more interested in snarfing it down than waiting for me to manage to get any shots in. Oh well.)
He’s such a good little guy.
Werner doesn’t seem to have a lot of time left.
What are some of the things going on in my life? Ugh, where to start.
So I learned two things about Werner today.
First, it turns out he was born either in early 2002 or late 2001, making him at least 18 years old, not 17 as I previously thought.
Secondly, the person I adopted him from is named Maelyn Dean. Congratulations, Maelyn! I’m so happy for you. I’ve been reading Real Life Comics since pretty close to the beginning, and could never bring myself to remove the RSS feed from my reader. Now I’m really glad for that.
I love how far the world of webcomics has come when it comes to trans acceptance, too. Back when I was starting out around 20 years ago, any time I brought up trans stuff in my deeply-personal comics I’d just get trolls shouting “NOBODY CARES!” at me, and I felt more comfortable just withdrawing and being evasive and metaphorical about it all. But since then, especially in the last few years, it’s become such a joyous world of acceptance and loveliness, and it’s amazing to see so many stories being told by people who are finally feeling comfortable being themselves after so long.
Comics are such a great medium for storytelling and I really want to get back into it at some point. Hopefully soon.