Saturday, January 23, 2010 know the drill

Cats. Our poor Lilliane (shown here exhibiting one of her highly-developed skills) had a Little Problem. You always hear that the goggies exhibit their pain, and whine and whimper and basically let you know if they don't feel good. But such behavior is not in the make-up of the Pampered Daughters of Bast. So the other evening, when my friend Donna and I were enjoying our weekly "Knit and Giggle", Lilli came to join us on the couch. seemed to me she couldn't quite get comfortable. And later, when Evangeline came along, Lilli growled and hissed! She has never....and I do mean NE-VAR...done that. Oh, she hissed a tad at the boykitty here temporarily once. But not the rest of all this.

Nothing for it, we took her to the Kind and Friendly Dr. Smith.

Oh - I might add that she has been throwing up too - but it seemed more like the result of eating too fast.

Well! The visit to the K&F Dr Smith revealed something else. WARNING: those of delicate constitutions might skip down a ways, though *I* have a delicate constitution and will not dwell on details.

Lilliane apparently had overful anal glands. (Who knew?) Seems that, in the wild, when cats are being chased and terrorized, they spray from those glands, and so have no such problems. Well, Lilliane was born in the vet's office,and the closest she's ever been to "the wild" is if we're watching National Geographic.

So they did rude things to her, out of our kenning (fortunately); we have a choice of how to prevent this in future: a)chase her around the house until she's terrorized enough to spray; b) feed her Metamucil. GUESS OUR CHOICE!?!?!

So, after another trying period of Mutual Hostility when she came home, the "Cats" portion of this blog seems to be back to normal. And if Mr Dearling and I ever need Metamucil (I'm not sure what people take it for but a lot of beautiful models on teevee seem to enjoy it) we'll have plenty. It comes in huge drums.

STICKS! Now tell me, doesn't this look like an old pioneer-y basket full o' old-timey pioneer-y knittin' up? Well,regardless of your opinion, yes, it does. And it's going with me, dressed in my best old-timey (OK, I heard that - "old-timER) way, for this afternoon's hijinks.

In case you're somewhere else, or hadn't heard, "Little House on the Prairie: the Musical" is playing here in Madison at our wonderful Overture Center. And between the matinee and evening performances, we (in this case "we" means Mr Dearling, myself, and two fellow museum colleagues) are participating in something called a "hootnanny". In this case, "hootnanny" means: a variety of child-friendly activities about pioneer life for the amusement and edification of children and their Big Folks who are either just finished seeing -- or are waiting to see -- the show.

So I'm going to wear my prairie-style dress (which I often just wear day-by-day) with an apron and sun bonnet; I'll have my beautiful handspun (thanks, Otter-Dottir, for the spinning!) which I've begun knitting into a shawl, on one set of (genuine antique wooden) needles, and a scarf on another set of the same.

Now, I WILL say (unashamedly)that I think this whole bit looks marvelously authentic. The yarn is natural colors (still "in the grease", which I love) and the needles really ARE old...I haven't the provenance, but they're perfect in appearance. And the basket? One of my all-time favorites of all -- and it was barter payment for a toque, which renders it more precious. I may tuck in a darning egg and drop spindle for further "dressing".

Lest anyone think there's no "real" knitting going on, I'm near done with this toque (several have preceded this one) and it will be on its way before too long. It's unique, black stripe and all, but so it was requested, so will it be done.In fact, it's already on the decreasing needles.

And last, if I were keeping strictly to my title, would be BOOKS. Oh, I'm reading, like a madwoman. (Yeah, I know, "whyn't you brush your hair?" NEVERMIND!) However, I will here illustrate not the reading of books, nor yet the writing thereof, though there is some of that going on too. No - I will here address the rearranging of books and other things, otherwise: what passes for Redecoration at Chez Catssticksandbooks! Yes, near 30 years in this house, and I've made some Changes! So here are my improvements:

I got a new switchplate for my Writing Room. Small change, I admit it, but this is beautiful. The picture looks awfully yellow-y (although the wall color's pretty accurate) but if this isn't stunning nothing is. And it seems to me that some culture somewhere says that dragonflies carry ideas from the gods or some such thing; in any event, she does look like a muse, n'est-ce pas?

Now, truth to tell, neither Mr Dearling nor I notice things like kitchen curtains so much. Oh, we move them in the spring when the morning sun shines in and we're trying to sit at the table; I close them TIGHT if there's another cat outside to prevent Evangeline turning into a Wild Killer Territorial Hunter (and attacks Lilliane, poor thing). Otherwise....meh! But the other ones (and no, I'm not going to find a picture of them) were really just about disintegrating, and these caught my eye. Now I see them up? Ooooh yeah. Really smartens up the place, and they're denser than the otherswere, too. I DO have a touch of Martha Stewart!

And last, the most major change: new teevee and new teevee stand!Mr Dearling much admired to have a new teevee, and the plan is, we're going to get rid of the cable (most of my favorite shows are on CBS anyway) - but this new teevee, with some newly acquired cords*, can be attached to the laptop and we can see anything on line.....ON THE TEEVEE! Imagine Cute Overload on a 32" screen! And what with Hulu and some freebies from Netflix, &c &c. we are SO in business!

*Mr Dearling, in spite of protestations to the contrary, loves fooling around with cords and lines and wires and stuff - this truly IS a boy thang.

I LOVES me my new "teevee stand". In a previous life, it was a handsome sideboard in a formal dining room. (There was another piece that sat on top with a mirror and a leaded-glass lighted curio cabinet -- we "re-donated" that and left it.)

So now, instead of holding fine table linens and sterling silver - it holds DVDs and tapes; my soprano recorders and music; my candles and incense...and there's a drawer for Mr Dearling's cords and wires and stuff! I like the way it looks - and I think it's a Happy Piece of Furniture (which may have had some nervous moments sitting in the St. Vincent's furniture department).

And "a fine": I posted my other entertainment center on Craigslist and had an immediate response - it was picked up within the hour to replace a piece that had been stolen from a single mom by an ex when he moved out, taking her furniture along! How cool is that?

Soooo....what's new wit' you?


Anonymous said...

I'm in mourning for Zoe, Neil Gaiman's kitteh who is dying. My own are frightfully healthy, thank FSM. You are such an authenticity nut, I love it!

Jamwes said...

There are ways to relieve those glands manually, if you are so inclined to sticking your finger in places it should not go...

Linda L. said...

Not going to comment about the poor kitteh. Ew.

But I would like to know where did you find the lovely switchplate? You see, there's this little niece-ling and her Oma that I know...

Marjorie said...

Is that the front window, and all is Rearranged too? Nice! Want I should come over & check it out? :)

Molly Bee said...

Man! I bow to you oh Queen of All Things Domestic! Great looking tv stand! And I LOVE the switch plate. Dragonflies are my thang!

Alwen said...

My poor doggie, Truffles, has the opposite problem - when she gets scared, she sprays her anal glands.

I have had the experience of see her run away and leave the spray droplets in midair, like a cartoon roadrunner.

And then, the bath.

Ryan said...

I love switchplates in general. First thing I do when I move into a new place is change all the tacky, cream-colored, plastic ones to brass. Only, recently I discovered artsy ones like the one you put up so the brass ones are rapidly going the way of the tacky, cream-colored, plastic ones. Fun!

Anne said...

Oh, I feel your pain re kitties! I had to take my beloved Escamillo to the vet last week. Long story short, he has crystals in his urine. We are modifying his diet (and by default, Carmen's as well) by slowly decreasing the "old" food and increasing the new food that is supposed to be better for urinary tract health. I hope. He seems fine. Love your knitting basket and lovely antique needles!

Marjorie said...

:peeking in: nope, no update yet! C'mon, et! Rock that update!