January 10, 2011

Pittsburgh Wrap-Up

Posted in Look tagged , , , , at 8:20 pm by onetinyacorn

It was so wonderful to go back to the place that has always felt most like home to me–Pittsburgh. Aside from seeing great friends and enjoying a magical wedding, these were the highlights:

* Strawberry pancakes at Pamela’s diner

* Visiting the Strip District and witnessing the hustle and bustle

* Museums and galleries! I went to the Society for Contemporary Craft, Hunt Botanical Institute, and the Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History. My favorite this time was Hunt–there’s a botanical illustration exhibit up there that I found breathtaking.

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November 5, 2010

Introducing: Ember!

Posted in Look tagged , , , , , at 1:33 pm by onetinyacorn

With some trepidation, we visited the local animal shelter recently. We were still reeling from the loss of Argento, but Mars seemed lonely, so we wanted to find a playmate for him. We spied a four-month-old kitten named Button, who was reaching her little paw out to us from between the wires of her cage. She was very playful and cuddly, which is exactly what we were looking for. I had read that female cats tend to be less affectionate than male cats, but our interaction at the shelter seemed to refute that.

So, several days later, we incorporated a new kitten into our lives, renaming her Ember. She came from the mean streets of Jackson, Wyoming (fun fact: Teton County, where Jackson is located, is one of the richest counties in the U.S. It is also one of the two Wyoming counties that went for Obama in 2008—the other being Albany county, which we live in). Her owner picked her from a shelter in Jackson, moved her to Laramie, and then decided that he or she couldn’t keep her. She’s a punk rock kitty: she has two tiny green dots tattooed in her left ear. Apparently, they do that in Teton County when their shelter animals are spayed or neutered.

After a few days of hissing and pouting (Mars), our two cats became the best of friends. So far, we’ve had really great luck with that, even though we never manage to follow the “rules” of introducing new cats (one cat always escapes and meets the intruder). Enough babbling. You want to see photos!

September 27, 2010

R.I.P. Argento

Posted in Make tagged , , at 4:38 pm by onetinyacorn

Within the past week, we went from thinking that we had a happy, healthy young cat to discovering that he had terminal cancer and being forced to make the difficult decision to end his suffering. This has been extremely hard on us. We did everything right: made sure he was up-to-date on all his vaccines, tested him for feline leukemia and FIV when he was a kitten, fed him excellent-quality food, and made sure he had plenty of toys to play with. So as a public service announcement, here’s what I’ve learned in the past week:

  • While the presence of feline leukemia makes it much more likely that a cat will develop lymphoma (what Argento had), some cats just develop it (Argie definitely did not have feline leukemia).
  • Get your cat or kitten tested for feline leukemia as soon as you get him or her. The disease is highly contagious.
  • Cats are very stoic about their pain. The only outward sign that anything was wrong that Argento displayed was slightly more rapid breathing. An x-ray revealed fluid in his lungs, and only by analyzing that fluid was the vet able to conclude that Argento had cancer. The rapid breathing was a sign that the fluid in his lungs made it uncomfortable for him to draw breaths. Several days later, he stopped eating as well.
  • In part because he developed lymphoma at such a young age (only a year and a half old), his chances of survival were zero. Even if we had decided to put him through chemotherapy–a decision we did not feel comfortable with, since it inflicts so much pain–he still would not have survived much longer.
  • An x-ray showing fluid in the lungs could be either pneumonia, lymphoma, or heart disease. The only way to know for sure is to have the vet analyze the fluid.

Argento was such a sweet, gentle cat. It pains us to lose him, but he did give us the gift of one and a half happy years. He also turned me into a Cat Person (I always grew up around dogs). We’re scattering his ashes over Lake Marie soon. In his memory, we’re also crafting toys, blankets, and beds to donate to Laramie Animal Shelter.

April 1, 2009 – September 22, 2010

November 1, 2009

Halloweeeeeeen

Posted in Look tagged , , , , , at 10:44 pm by onetinyacorn

Truth be told, I was not as excited about Halloween this year as I have been in past years. I missed my friends, and thought about how much fun they were probably having in their far-flung locales. Me? I dressed up as a Persian cat: I wore a gold brocade dress, and cat ears that I made out of silk shantung. Black eyeliner worked well to create whiskers and a black nose. Mars was kinda freaked out when I put on the ears–suddenly, he didn’t know what to make of me.

During the morning, I passed out bookmarks and stickers to the parade of little dinosaurs and monkeys that were trick-or-treating downtown. My favorite costume was the baby dressed like a lobster, sitting in a stock pot and pushed along in a stroller by his/her parents, who were dressed like chefs. In the evening, we went out to eat–in costume–and then heard a few bands at a bar. It was alright. Nothing too amazing. Lots of Maxes from Where the Wild Things Are, so I’m glad I nixed that idea. There was an awesome bridezilla: a bride/Godzilla hybrid.

Happy Halloween, Wyoming-style

Meeting of the Minds

Catnap

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