Cats, Coasters, and Books

Last week, I rushed one of my parents’ cats, a black kitty named Stealth, to the vet.  A couple days before, he acted aggressive towards me, which was quite unusual.  When I explained this to my parents later, they commented that they had not noticed anything odd about his behavior.  And it was true.  He was his normal, bratty self.  I decided that I caught him during a particularly cranky episode.  Until last Tuesday morning.

I work graveyard, so I was up early in the morning to see this.  I happened to look out into the kitchen and saw Stealth in the litter box.  It is hard to explain why, but I realized immediately that something was very wrong.  He strained and strained, but nothing happened.  When he finally left the litter box, it became clear how uncomfortable he was.  He tried again a few minutes later, with similar results.  I watched as he very reluctantly jumped down from the kitchen table.  We had a gate up to keep our dogs in the kitchen.  Normally, he bounds over this with no problem.  That morning, he walked up to it and peered over the gate, but clearly did not want to jump again.  I lifted the gate to let him through and continued to watch as he tried to find a comfortable position to curl up in.  He looked so miserable that I dug up the number to the emergency vet and called.

I did not even get halfway through describing the trouble he had in the litter box.  “Is this a male cat?” “Yes.”  “He needs to be seen as soon as possible.” So, I woke my parents at 0400 and told them I was rushing him in.  Mom accompanied me.  Stealth protested the carrier rather bitterly the entire trip in.  The vet quickly confirmed that he had a urinary blockage, but said she believed it had been caught early enough to prevent damage to other organs.  During this conversation she also remarked at how glossy his coat was and how athletic he appeared to be, the latter of which (combined with his size of more than 15 pounds) made it difficult to hold on to him.  Mom and I found humor in that.

Stealth was immediately placed on pain medications as the vet prepared to clear the blockage.  He ended up staying until Wednesday evening.  During this time, his litter mate, Tuxedo, was inconsolable.  However, they have been slow to warm back up to each other since he came home.  I suspect the smell of the vet and the medication he is on played a role in this.

I kept him away from the other kitties for the first couple days.  He actually did this mostly on his own, though I enforced it by shutting the door to the room he chose to hide out in.  He is on a special diet, and will likely have to be for the foreseeable future.  Thankfully, we have found food that he will eat.  He and Tux are on that food exclusively.  I am still feeding my kitties regular food, which does not cause trouble as they eat in a separate part of the house.  Stealth is getting better each day.  I knew things were going well when I had to chase him around the house late last week during an attempt to give him his evening dose of pain medication, a tradition we observe any time I try to give him flea treatments.  We are certainly keeping an eye on him, but he seems his normal self.  Minus the patches where they shaved him during treatment.  And his trimmed talons.

I am glad, because the last few trips to the vet have not ended well.  Cats are usually so good at hiding their symptoms that a  vet trip comes too late to do anything more than make the cat comfortable during their last days.  I still cry over the loss of my Cheddar, so I was very happy that Stealth’s illness was caught quickly.

In other news, I have been working my way through two large cross-stitch projects rather slowly.  I have taken short breaks and stitched ornaments or coasters.

Celtic Knot Coaster

This actually took me quite a while to do, since I was working on it mostly during my lunch breaks at work.  I grew annoyed with the colors at one point, too.  I was not sure I would hold on to it once I finished it, but the satisfaction of getting it done has changed my opinion of it drastically.  This is the first project I have turned into a coaster.  And I use it.

Christmas Bear

I think I managed not to break a needle on this project, though not from lack of trying. Plastic canvas is hard for me to work on. My hands cramp up faster than when I stitch ornaments on regular Aida. While I will probably do an Christmas ornament here and there, I have plenty of non-Christmas ornaments and such to stitch through, too. My goal is to try and get through some of my ever-growing stash of tiny kits.


Can anyone guess which obnoxious song was going through my head as I stitched this?

Acorn Wreath

I liked this kit so much that I ended up buying two. During two separate trips to Hobby Lobby. This is the problem with kits I really like. I do not always remember if I have them, so if I like them enough, I tend to buy them and realize later that I already had one. This is an ornament kit, but I decided to turn one into a coaster. I think it turned out nicely, though I was not thrilled with the quality of thread that came with the kit. It kept shredding and tearing apart. This frustrated me, because it took time to trim the thread, tie it off, and then start with a new thread and hope it did not tear again too soon. I also worried that I might not have enough thread to finish the project. Fortunately, it turned out I did. I will be wary of kits from this company in the future, though I already have a number of their ornaments to stitch through.


While my larger projects have featured felines over the past couple years, my smaller ornaments have a bit more variety. Once I get away from the Christmas ornaments, of course. I enjoyed stitching this, though a few of the colors were so close that I had to look at them in the daylight and hope I guessed correctly.

I have also been trying to catch up on reading.  Last year, I started the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series.  I blame my partner at work for this, because he is a big fan of the books and enjoys the TV series, too.  I still have to read the fifth book.  I am in no hurry to get through that, since I do not like waiting for the next book of a series to come out, and I am doing that with too many series already.  Heh.  We recently commiserated about the sixth book being delayed.  I am also reading the “Longmire” and “Dresden” series, as well as a few odds and ends that pique my interest.  I am looking for new series to explore, too.


About emeree

I am an Air Force veteran. I served as a Security Forces troop for nearly seven years and reached the rank of Staff Sergeant before separating in 2008. My tours of duty were in England and Oklahoma. I live in the Seattle area, which is where I grew up. I used my GI Bill and earned a degree from the University of Washington. I currently work in downtown Seattle and experience all the adventure that comes with that.
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