Technically, I didn’t go anywhere, I was still here, just not HERE. *points at WordPress* Admittedly, I’ve been more active on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.
My responsibilities shifted a bit. Though I didn’t mention it on here previously, one of the new responsibilities I took on began November 1st. I’m the National co-First Officer of the Covenant of the Goddess. My new term began the day after I finished my term as First Officer of the Orange County Local Council for Covenant of the Goddess. Though it’s not my first time on the national board, it is the first time I’ve served as NFO, and in the 40 years the organization has been in existence, I’m the first person of color to ever serve as NFO. What a strange thing to be “the first” of.
So far much of my time as co-NFO has been spent cleaning our Facebook page of spam, moderating comments, replying to comments, and answering emails. That alone is nearly a full time job. It’s amazing that despite our large following how many of them have no idea that CoG is an actual organization, not just a Facebook page for people who believe in the Goddess.
So, after I became co-NFO of course then it was Thanksgiving, Winter Solstice, New Year’s Eve, and my birthday in fairly rapid succession. Interspersed with preparing my students for initiation into my coven, teaching students for my ritual arts class, hosting Meetups, HOA president (what is this, my 3rd or 4th year now?), HoC business, getting ready for Pantheacon (then not going because of a family emergency), family and home life.
Oh, and we also got a new insanely rambunctious kitten. Her name is Clementine. Unfortunately, our house wasn’t kitten-proofed prior to her arrival so there was a lot of damage done to my ancestor altar and plants. C’est la vie!
At any rate, I’ve returned and am trying to get back in the groove, so to speak.
Oh, also, if you’ve sent me an email via this site in the last few months, you’re going to need to resend it to me. I was having issues with my email. I’ve since resolved the issue.
When using the downstairs restroom, Finnegan kitty often runs in as I’m closing the door. Apparently, he feels I am incapable of doing this sort of thing alone.
He’s a bit OCD and has a routine he repeats every time he joins me. He runs in just as I’m sliding the door closed, leaps up to the top of the tank, makes a big stretch with his front paws up along the corner of the wall next to the toilet with his back paws still on the tank, then he comes back with all four paws on the tank while rubbing his head on the corner of the tank and looking up at me. It’s silly and cute and he’s done this for over 4 years now. Afterwards, he usually rolls around on the floor by my feet terrorizing whatever bit of fluff is trapped in the corner under the cabinets.
It’s completely routine and I’m so used to it that it seems odd if he doesn’t do it.
But today something changed… he jumped up on the tank as usual, did his big stretch, but I think he must’ve miscalculated his footing, I’m not entirely sure as I was busy at the time. It seemed he slipped and fell a bit. He was struggling to get his front half back onto the tank. The space between the toilet and wall is narrow and he was having some difficulty gaining his footing. I didn’t really notice until the toilet flushed because he was scrambling to regain footing and flushed it himeself.
I have to admit, the manual flush toilet flushing is mildly disconcerting when you’re not expecting it.
After I rescued him from certain headache he thanked me by “killing” a dangerous bug (read: spot of dirt) on the baseboard to prove what a great hunter he is. I feel much safer now.
Holey guacamole, where does the time go?! Life got super busy again, and frankly time just slipped on by.
Well, as you may (or may not) have assumed, in the time since my second to last post I did indeed get married. We took a week off for our honeymoon. We had amazing, wonderful, and horrifying adventures. If I ever get to a point of wanting to retell it all I will explain in a different post. Once we returned we began to settle into our new cohabitation and married life together; so far it’s been quite wonderful.
June and July, all I remember are veterinarian visits for my cat, BBK. So many freaking visits to heal him for what turned out to be a simple issue, but it just seemed like the vets were guessing and over medicating him. Because of this, it messed up his insulin and his heart stopped, two different times in one day, each time at a different hospital; regular and emergency. It was horrible. Luckily they got him back up and healing and the initial issue for which he was being treated is gone.
Earlier in the year I had committed myself to hosting a class reunion in early August for my elementary and middle schools. So in the midst of all the vet and pet drama I also needed to focus on putting this event together. It was a bit of work, but fortunately I had some help from a dear friend and my husband.
The reunion was a wonderful day! It started out as a BBQ picnic in Mile Square (because it is) Regional Park. People brought their yearbooks and one person brought their gym uniform from middle school. We all marveled at how tiny the uniform was and essentially how not tiny we are now. This same person also brought several toys from the 80’s and was prepared to play a selection of 80’s music for us, but the cd player didn’t want to work.
As the sun began to set we packed up and headed to a classmate’s home. He has a large assortment of 80’s video arcade games, perhaps, about 30 of them. All my favorites were there: Tempest, Mach 3, Paperboy, and Tron. We played for a few hours and spent more time catching up on each others lives.
August was also the beginning of the countdown to the month of weddings. Spent time coordinating with fellow bridesmaids and bride to choose bridesmaid dresses, as well as coordinate with friends to get the wedding shower of wedding #2 (now known as wedding #3) together. That was a minor disaster. What is it about weddings that brings the most “interesting” behaviour out in people? Honestly, that rant could be an entire post or two on it’s own.
September is just 5 days in and already I’m booked for the month. I hosted my 6th annual Mega Meetup picnic on the 1st. An event meant to bring people together for a massive topic crossover social gathering. Last year we had 13 groups and 50 attendees. Lots of great crossovers from anime, Star Trek, and Harry Potter to Wicca, Golden Age pirates, and music, and so much more. This year was a smaller affair of only 7 groups and 30 people. The ridiculous heat and humidity didn’t help and likely kept folks away, but this event normally takes place in May not September. Luckily we had a nice location with lots of shade and a breeze.
This month I’m hosting the co-ed wedding shower for wedding #3 and the next day I’m officiating wedding #1. Wedding #1: My cousin, an officer in the Air Force, is going to marry the love of his life, his same-sex partner of 8 years. I’m truly excited for the two of them, and incredibly honoured he asked me to officiate. It’s going to be a lovely ceremony set on the beach at sunset.
The following week I’ll officiate wedding #2 for my BFF. They are one of my successful matchmaking couples.
Then that moves us into October, where the first weekend I will be emceeing and managing the entertainment stage for Pagan Pride Los Angeles. The following week is our girls night/bachelorette party for the bride of wedding #3… industrial music club. Then wedding #3, another example of my successful matchmaking skills, and this time I am the matron of honour.
Weddings, weddings, weddings! So much excitement! 🙂
After all the celebrations we cap off a month long of flurried activity with my favourite holiday of the year: Samhain (Sow-wen), or as most of you refer to it -Halloween. It’s the Wiccan New Year! It’s also a home-slide into more holidays and fun for the next several months. Looking forward to a plethora of celebratory events!
Friday Dec 21st I took BigBoy kitty into the vet after he began to display unusual symptoms. He was defecating unexpectedly. Not that he was simply dealing with diarrhea, no, I mean unexpectedly, even to him!
The first symptom that I noticed was when he was lying on his side on the floor. My back was turned, but I heard a noise and turned around to find that he had pooped. However, it happened so fast that even he was surprised and jumped up quickly because it startled him. Which, now that it’s done and over with and he’s ok, I can totally laugh about it, but at the moment it happened I was worried.
He wandered off to the cool tile floor of the kitchen and sat in what I call the “loaf” position. That’s when a cat sits with all their paws tucked in and look a bit like a loaf of bread.
He never hangs out in the kitchen, so that alone was a sign. I went to check on him after I cleaned up the mess. I went to pet him and I got near his sides in front of his back legs and he squealed.
Ok, just so you understand… BBK (BigBoy kitty) is a LARGE cat. He’s not just overweight, as some might claim; he also has a very large build. His skull is much bigger than my fist and his front paws are as wide as 3 of my fingers across. He walks like a small gray fuzzy bull. I often say he reminds me of the bulldog from Tom and Jerry cartoons. He’s lost weight and is down to 25.8 lbs. He doesn’t eat people food and doesn’t eat any more or less than his siblings who are all much more “normal” sized cats. His brother Ed is big as well, but very lean.
Granted, with his size you might think he has an equally impressive voice. I tend to liken him to Mike Tyson in that regard. He’s a big cat, with a much higher pitched meow than you would expect. However, when I tell you BBK squealed, this is not at all a normal noise to come from him.
Just to be sure, I tenderly prodded at his sides with a more investigative determination. I wanted to know if he squealed just because he wants to be left alone or are his sides tender. I determined that indeed he was tender.
He had a couple more incidents, and knowing he’s diabetic (I give him insulin shots twice a day) I didn’t want to take any chances so I rushed him to see the vet.
He was understandably unhappy about being crated and put into the car. He bitched the entire ride there. It’s a good thing I don’t speak Catonese and there were no kids in the car, because I suspect he was being less than kind in his language.
We got in there about an hour before closing. Eventually we were brought into a room. I contacted Chris so he’d know what was going on and could meet us there.
A new vet entered the exam room. She was so new she informed me she’d only been in California for the past month and had been on staff for just about one week.
Based on her reaction to him coming out of his carrier, I don’t believe she thought his name would be so literal, she appeared surprised at how big and strong he was. She informed me of a number of issues; his weight (which she mentioned about 5 times during the exam), the fact he has tartar on his teeth (also noted about 4 times), but no info on how to solve either of those issues, nor anything related to his actual problem.
For some reason she focused on his ability to urinate, except, it’s not an issue. I witnessed him in the litter box earlier doing that exact function with no problem. I really wasn’t sure what her deal was, but she was really focused on that particular non-issue.
She suggested a lot of procedures: blood analysis, urine analysis, x-rays, etc; all to determine if he had a blocked urinary tract… except, again, that wasn’t the issue. I did voice it, numerous times that this was a non-issue for him. I have another cat for which this is a constant concern so he’s on prescription food which keeps his system flowing, if you know what I mean. He’s good, and I’ve seen when he’s bad, so I know what to expect.
Once I agreed to the course of investigation they took BBK back to get poked and prodded. At some point, she came up front to tell me the x-rays revealed nothing so they were doing an ultra-sound. This was to check his kidneys and liver, which thus far were showing to be healthy. I mentioned my concern about his glucose level and so they did a stick test to check him. Again, he was fine. However, they were unable to obtain urine.
We took him home with plans to bring him back to retrieve urine for analysis. I got him in the house, opened his carrier door… Wow. I got the cat version of “eff you, lady!” I had to give him his insulin, which of course did not endear me any further to him at that moment, only to find he needed a bath. He smelled of rubbing alcohol around his tummy, and had blood all over his neck, presumably from one of the blood draws. I wiped him clean as best as he would allow so I opted to just dose him and leave him be until morning. The bath could wait for a little while, no need to traumatize him any further.
Next morning the vet called to tell me nothing new. Oh sure she said some things, like he had cholesterol, which was annoying to learn. He doesn’t eat wet food, nor any people food, save for the occasional bit of tuna. His food is a turkey and oatmeal kibble that I choose because he and his siblings are intolerant of corn, which unfortunately is in almost every freakin’ dry cat food out there. So I’m thinking, “isn’t oatmeal supposed to help with cholesterol?”
Again she brought up the fact that he’s fat and had tartar. I was beginning to doubt her ability as a vet mainly because she kept stating things that were obvious, but nothing that had to do with the reason I brought him to see them in the first place.
They still wanted to do a urine analysis, so we agreed to bring him back in on Sunday morning. We went in just as they opened and after waiting ½ an hour to have him returned to me, the vet tech brings him out and explains they were unable to get anything from him. They asked if he could stay the night, at no charge, so they could collect a urine sample and I could get him in the morning on Monday. Reluctantly I agreed.
At some point we had gone out later that day and returned home. Upon doing so I immediately went to get BBK’s insulin ready. I stopped just as I got to the fridge and remembered he wasn’t even home. I spent most of the night missing him.
Monday morning I got a call they were able to get a sample, but that he was also laying in said sample. I was asked to come for him closer to closing time as they were going to give him a bath. Since it was Christmas Eve they were closing at noon so I only needed to wait a couple of hours.
After I retrieved him from the vet, the whole ride home he was complaining. “How dare you leave me over night in that horrible place…” is what I suspect he’s saying. Once we get home and I release him from his carrier he just walks away from me. You could tell he was just done.
Later on I found him helping gravity hold my bed down. I go to pet him and I realized he smells like fresh clean laundry. He looked fluffier as well! (Is “fluffier” even a word?)
The vet called me Wednesday morning about the urine analysis. Guess what? THERE’S NOTHING WRONG. Of course there’s nothing wrong! THAT wasn’t the issue. Frankly, I have no idea what the issue was because it discontinued after Friday. This pet hospital normally has awesome service. This is the first time in perhaps 20 years that I ever felt as though I was pushed into unnecessary services. On the one hand I’m glad all is well, but on the other hand I felt as though I never had the original issue addressed despite voicing it repeatedly.
Since Friday he’s been just fine. He does what he’s always done and meanders about the house. It was a fine way to add unnecessary stress and unexpected expense to my holiday weekend.
I’m posting this, partly because for you it might be random, but for me it’s been stuck in my head since the guys were singing it at our geek karaoke event about a week ago. We have video of that somewhere, if it gets posted I shall share. In the meantime, enjoy!
We celebrated the coming apocalypse by going to sleep early, all of us; Chris, 6 cats, and myself. All but one cat slept on the bed. I felt like I was in the middle of a Tetris game most of the night. Every time I tried to move in my sleep I had to reposition my legs between cats or make sure I wasn’t rolling onto another cat. Plus I was much too warm to sleep with any covers.
Chris got up early to go to work, because even though there was concern expressed all across Facebook about a coming apocalypse, folks still had to go to work the next day.
The sun was just rising as he left so I went to my desk, turned on my computer and opened the blinds behind my monitor, which looks out to the east, so I could enjoy the rising sun on winter solstice as I take care of some work. It was a very pleasant morning. I was filled with joy thinking about the year ahead and how as the sun shines more and more with each passing day, it brings us closer and closer to our wedding date. A little sappy, I know, but it’s how I was feeling.
After returning home from a lunch meeting I proceeded to make a phone call to a business. It’s an 800 number and for some reason I kept making a mistake dialing, but on the third try I got through… or so I thought. I heard a recording that said I had been selected as a winner for a 2 day cruise to the Bahamas.
Uh,… wait. What?
I was told I won and regardless of which button I pushed I was taken to an operator to discuss my prize. I was informed I won a 2 day 2 night cruise to the Bahamas, all meals and entertainment included and it was good for any time up to 18 months.
But wait… there’s more!
The rest of the spiel explained that I’d also have to pay the “government port fees” which were $59 per person or a total of $118, assuming I was bringing Chris, and gratuity at a rate of $12 per day. At first I thought that overall it wasn’t a bad deal, however, there was a lot of pressure to pay for the port fees right then and there and not when I book the cruise. That made me suspicious and uncertain.
At the time the person giving me the details was telling me about the cruise I thought it might make a fun honeymoon for me and Chris, but the pressure to pay right away just didn’t sit well with me. So, I’m sure the “travel coordinator” (as he was called) thought it would get me to pay up faster if my fiance was there to hear the great news as well. So we looped Chris in on a conference call. During that call Chris and I were both looking the cruise line company up online for reviews to see if it was a scam, all the while communicating to each other privately via text messages. I found a review on a website called Cruise Critic and learned this company gives a multi-hour timeshare presentation while you’re on the cruise or on the island.
Now, while this guy is on the phone telling me all the details about what you do and don’t get included in the free 2 day 2 night cruise, Finnegan, my red-headed trouble maker was all over the house just making a ruckus. I had to keep getting up from my chair and shoo him off the ancestor altar, or away from collection of papers, or off the glass Horus altar, or… I think you get the picture. I was all over the place, while still on the phone, ushering this bratty kitty off of places he knows not to be. My cats might not be fluent in speaking English, but they sure as heck know what I’m saying. Trust me!
So a moment comes when I can finally relax and write down a bunch of details. I suddenly become aware something isn’t right. I look behind me and my bratty brat is sitting in a big plastic salad bowl. Not really unusual for him, he loved snuggling in bowls. But he was sitting upright, and oddly so. As I’m listening to this guy talk about the possibility of extending our stay on the islands and getting a return trip to Florida on the cruise lines I realize Finn is urinating in the bowl.
It’s not like you can stop a cat mid-stream, and there wasn’t anything in the bowl (thankfully), but REALLY dude?! REALLY?!?
At this point Chris and I decided to decline the “free” cruise. It was just a sales pitch for timeshare property anyway.
I’m not sure how Finn got out of that bowl. I managed to get off the phone call just as he finished. Thing is Finn urinates in the sink sometimes, so to squat in a big bowl might not have seemed too odd, except there’s no drain in a bowl. Fortunately, as he scrambled to get out he did not tip the bowl over, but instead he knocked over a bunch of glasses.
Finn is my youngest, about 5 years old, the tallest cat in the house, and my big baby. The gals at the vet giggle when I bring him in and give them his name. His full name is Finnegan McCooligan the Red-Tabby Hooligan and he clearly likes to live up to it.
Unfortunately, that was the better part of my day. The eldest of my male cats fell sick just as I was getting my feast food ready for solstice ritual with my coven. So I scooped him up and rushed off to the vet where I waited nervously for several hours as they assessed his condition. As of my writing this post we have little information yet, but they did rule out a number of issues which I was very grateful were not the problem. I should learn more tomorrow when they do more tests on him.
I ended up staying home to keep a watchful eye on him instead of spending the solstice with my magickal family. Family is family is family and he’s just as important to me as anyone else. So if possible, would those of you reading this post please keep my Big Boy kitty in your thoughts and prayers for a full healthy recovery. I’d greatly appreciate it.
Blessings of the Winter Solstice to each and every one of you! I hope you enjoy the ever growing return of the sun as it brightens the sky and warms your heart.
Not so RANDOM MUSIC
Jethro Tull are a British rock group who Initially playing blues rock with an experimental flavour, they have also incorporated elements of classical music, folk music, jazz, hard rock and art rock into their music.
The band have sold more than 60 million albums worldwide in a career that has spanned more than forty years.