Friday, December 21, 2007

Windin' Down - a Good Thing

We're in the last days of 2007. Christmas is next Monday night - I think I'm glad I'm not knitting anything for anyone for Christmas. I haven't had a great deal of time this last week. There were some big huge things, which had the potential to be Not Great or Not Bad, and at my age (relatively considerable) Anticipation can be delicious or....apprehensive.

There were two Big Events to look forward to: Lilliane's ultrasound, to see how serious her heart murmur was, and #2 Son's court appearance regarding visitation with his young son and related matters. This last was of particular interest, for obvious reasons and because I was anxious to know about when we could see the grandchildren for Christmas. Truth is, we're hoping we can commandeer invite some grandchildren over to help decorate the tree. It's down to the wire, and the "It's a Solstice Tree, it's pretending to be a Thor's Oak" story is getting weaker and more feeble by the day.

So the first Major Event of the week was Lilliane's ultrasound. We have a pretty old pet carrier. It's cardboard, and has a clear, heavy plastic domed top on it. When we bring it upstairs and sit it on the floor, open, both kitties sniff around it curiously. Fortunately they don't remember that it's not something they love. But when the Moment of Reckoning comes and someone is lovingly picked up and stroked and cuddled -- and headed for that carrier, the memory comes flashing back. It's amazing how sweet, loving fuzzy babies can morph into pinwheeling, razor-clawed, hissing, spitting Demons. With teeth. Sharp ones.

So this time we were smart. I gave Lilly a sock full of that high-powered catnip stuff. She's Susceptible. She licked it and kicked on it and sucked on it and got downright loopy. She hopped up onto the top shelf of the cat tree and settled in for a woozy daydream. I picked her up, cuddled her, stroked her -- and it wasn't until she realized she was suspended over the open carrier that she changed her mind. Her eyes flew open and she attempted to brace all four legs against the opening. Luckily, I was able to wedge her in and close the lid with no blood being drawn. And she was all right too.

We seat-belted the carrier into the back seat and I settled in next to her, where we spent the twenty-minute drive with me hovering over the cover cooing and talking and soothing.....and Lilliane sitting square in the middle of the carrier meaowing non-stop. I couldn't hear her through the air holes on the sides, but by the look in her eyes I'm guessing she wasn't saying things like "Thanks, Mom, I've so looked forward to a scenic journey outside of that tiny cramped house of ours." (My poor BEHBEH!)

Mr Dearling carried the carrier in and set it on the floor while we checked in. I don't know if she could see the cages full of darling, adorable, winsome, fluffy, appealing noisy feisty little kittens across the room.

We went into the examining room to wait, where she we wouldn't be tempted further by the kittens; also, there is always the possibility that someone will come in with DAWGS. Lilliane is virginal when it comes to contact with DAWGS, and I wasn't interested in checking out her reaction, should that occur.

Lilliane checks things out from the safety of her carrier.

The Cat Cardiologist was delayed by getting stuck behind an auto accident on the Beltline, but eventually came hustling in, and we liked her immediately. She came in bearing several large black bags like laptop totes, and set about getting things in order. Her gear, when it was set up, consisted of what looked like a large laptop computer with an unusual keyboard; on the front was a short wand in a holster attached by a cord to the unit. Next to that she put a printer. NOTE: ponder this: our CAT has a cardiologist; there is an ultrasound machine that can be carried by a normal-sized woman in a shoulder bag; it IS the 21st century.

The upshot was this: Dr Hattie gently wrapped Lilliane in a towel and sat on a chair in front of her Amazing Machine, holding her tenderly on her lap. Mr Dearling sat right next to her and my chair was just behind, and our instructions were to just talk to Lilliane and pet her. As we did this, Dr Hattie slid the Magic Wand over her side, producing one of those triangular black-and-white images on the screen. She spent a few minutes, occasionally pressing a key on the keyboard, and explained what she was seeing.

This is Lilliane's HEART! Seen as if from the very inside her furry little body!

To make reasonable a long story....she keyed in those explanatory letters, showed us the film in motion and printed out this image. Then she took various measurements (thickness of heart walls, dimensions of chambers &c) and printed THOSE out for us. NOTE: Lilliane lay perfectly quietly in her arms, unmoving and apparently unrattled. She was Perfection in Brown Stripes, bless her little.........

PERFECT HEART! Yes, I am delighted to report that this examination revealed that she may have a little "click" intermittently, perhaps a valve snapping shut, but her heart is "within normal limits" in each and every capacity. Dare I admit it? I got a little verklempt , a tad teary-eyed. No medications, no need for being quiet (like THAT could happen, Lilly is a pistol!)

One down, with the best possible outcome. Lilliane came home in triumph.

Incidentally, Mr Dearling was very interested in Dr Hattie's mobile ultrasound, and learned that they go for about $60,000. I'd call that "money well-spent", and I say KUDOS to Dr Hattie and the University School of Veterinary Medicine whence she comes.

One down. The next event was the Son's Court Appearance, and the details of that need not be laid out -- if you've had a similar experience, you know; if you have not, be thankful. Suffice it to say only that my apprehension was greater for this than for Lilly (obviously). That is not the way one would choose to spend any of the hours allotted to one's lifetime. However - that situation was resolved in a very satisfactory way as well, and - call me a Selfish Ol' Granny - I can count on seeing Son and Grandchildren Christmas Eve day, and I am in fine fettle to prepare for what will be a very merry time. My relief at the outcome of all the stressful meetings of the week is downright palpable, and I could not imagine a dearer present for any holiday. I am a Happy Woman.

Last little Tid-bits of Joy: last week Mr Dearling appeared on National now, but it was the early Sunday morning local news show, in the dress of the voyageur, to talk about our new Fur Post at the Museum:

He's the one on the right. That's his Very Best Shirt, made of linen and appropriately gaudy for the French love of ornament. Also -- that's the first knitted toque I made -- not a great image, but that's what they look like. (I only have five more to finish, by the way.)

Also last week there was a big sale at our Museum Shop, and Mr Dearling obtained for me something that had stood in the hallway at the Museum since I started there as a volunteer: Jonny-the-Clown. I couldn't believe it when he told me Jonny was in the sale; nothing for it, I wanted Jonny-the-Clown. Since he came home, Jonny has been very helpful around the house.

Jonny-the-Clown helps with the dishes, and Evangeline is waiting for him to give her a little treat.

He's almost a member of the family, and is allowed Full Refrigerator Privilges. So far I'd have to say that it seems he's not going to add much the household grocery bills....I haven't seen that he's actually eaten anything!

In conclusion, this week ended in Pleasant Company and Food (always a good thing). Wednesday night was the Historical Society-wide reception, with a fine array of little nibblies. There were some of those wee spiral sandwiches, delicious meatballs, miniature chicken eggrolls, brie and fruit--and tiny creampuffs. All very nice indeed! Last night one of our former colleagues from the Museum came over for dinner (a fascinating young man with great stories about travels to Alaska and to Czechoslovakia, and his lovely friend who works in a marvelous little shop on State Street). It was one of those charming, relaxed evenings spent in fine company which are not only pleasurable but restorative.

And you've surely noticed the dearth of mention of KNITTING or READING (although at least there were CATS). I did knit some while waiting at Court; I also read a few pages of "The Secret Life of Bees" which I am continuing to enjoy and RECOMMEND (go out and get it NOW or put it on your Santy list, you will NOT be disappointed!). However, tonight is Late Night at the Sow's Ear and I mean to go and make up for the week by a few hours of Fast and Furious Knitting. I will report progress in near future.

To sum up the week? WHEW!


Anonymous said...

So much love and good news all in one post! I'm happy for Lucianne, #2 son/grandchildren, and everyone D-H-related. Mr. Dearling looks like a snuggler to me. imnsho, that is the best kind of sweetie to have. Reading your post, I wish we lived closer so we could all gather 'round someone's kitchen table, knit, drink wine/whatever, and laugh all night.

Kitty Mommy said...

Oh, so glad to hear all the good news regarding fur children and grandchildren! What a relief for you.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad for all your happy news. My sister just had kitty problems too, and I think she may have spent more $$ on that than she did on her own health care this year! Now that pet insurance isn't looking so bad, huh?

Marjorie said...

The Clown be taller than you is! _evil_grin_ from yer meddlesome et.

And of course, much relief and answer to prayer on all counts!


Jane said...

Miss Lily is quite the pretty cat! And how wonderful that her heart is in good working order. And to have good grandkid news on top of that must have really made your holiday. Have a good one!!