Why I Didn’t Write This Weekend

Internet, I swear… I have a really good reason.

 

His name is Saffron.

 

Let me ‘splain.

 

Saturday was “annual kitty torturing day” at my house.  For those of you new to the party, that’s how my cats view their annual checkup.  It’s nothing horrendous: the usual listen to heart and lungs, palpitate abdomen, check eyes, ears, and teeth, stick thermometer up butt, and stab with a needle or two (vaccine SCIENCE!).  But, apparently, this is a really big deal when you’re a 14 pound cat.

 

I mean, I don’t enjoy my doctor’s visits either, but I have to shut up when he does most of the above (though the thermometer goes in my mouth because I’m a big girl).  I also have the benefit of understanding the importance of the visit; a bit of trivia I have not succeeded in imparting onto the cats.  So for them, this time of year is a REALLY BIG DEAL.

 

In fact, my boy kitty hates it so much that last year we had to drug him just to get through unscathed.

 

Fortunately, last year, it worked.  This year… not so much.

 

It looked promising, he took the meds easily and tolerated the wonderful tech weighing him to see if he’d lost weight like he was supposed to (he hadn’t).  He explored the exam room like a champ with slightly wobbly legs.  He even jumped onto my lap for a snuggle and attempted to get up on the exam table.

 

Then he saw his sister, who was hiding behind the black laptop like she does every year, trying to blend in and hope that, this once, we forget to examine her.  Apparently, this was a traumatic thing for Saffron, and he started to growl and hiss (the working theory is that he didn’t recognize her.  Or that he was being a jerk).  I thought it was still going to be manageable, if difficult.  The vet came in, did her essential oil magic (the cats smelled really good) and gave Saffron some (dried and fresh) catnip, which calmed him enough that he didn’t mind us being there, examining Socks, whom he was still growling at.

 

He started to get antsy so we ended up taking Socks to the back room (surgery) to give him a break with the lights out, and finished her exam there.  For various disgusting reasons involving glands needing to be expressed, it turned out to be a good thing that we’d moved.  Then we put Socks in her carrier in the hallway and went back to get Saffron.

 

Who had spent the whole time prowling and stalking and generally pretending to be a wild jungle cat.  We (the vet and I) had come in to get his vaccines to prep in the back room in preparation for the usual brief exam, stabby, and put kitty back in carrier when we made the unforgivable mistake of trying to leave the room without him getting out.

 

Internet… my cat bit the vet.  He ran into the hallway, clawed onto her leg, and bit her knee.  And when she tried to close the other exam room door (which was open to the front, where he could escape, he metaphorically lost his sh*t.  When I tried to help the vet, he attacked me.

 

I have to say, that having a cat claw in your bottom lip while simultaneously having your index finger bitten is not pleasant.  Nor is having a cat claw stuck in your forearm with said cat growling and hissing while you’re trying to contain the copious amounts of blood gushing from your lip.  My utmost support to the vet tech trainee who did what neither the vet nor I could do and caught Saffron underneath a quilt and held him there without getting a scratch.  At this point, he also literally lost his sh*t.

 

At this point, I decided that Saffron had enough and needed to take a nice, long nap.  So we put him in a box.

 

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And then we filled that box with gas (kitty nitrous oxide) and waited until he fell asleep.  Then we pulled him out and got on with many things we couldn’t when he was awake.

 

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It was a more thorough exam than I usually get, and included blood and urine panels (and faeces, fresh from the floor) because why not?  He’s the cat version of middle aged and he’s probably due for a good workup.  And it wouldn’t hurt to check his blood work since he’s overweight.

 

We plopped his doped up body into the cat carrier (he barely fit all splayed out like that), I nursed my wounds, hung around until he was more or less awake, paid up, and headed home.

 

Where I had a VERY snuggly Saffron.

 

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They warned me that he would be snuggly, but I was unprepared for how vocal he would be.  He spent most of Saturday sitting and crying, even when asleep.  It was kind of heartbreaking.

 

He also spent about two hours carrying a yellow toy mouse around in his mouth like it was his baby.  He barely put it down to eat.  And yes, my big macho cat cuddled with it.

 

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Even on Sunday, he was still pretty snuggly, which made it hard to get any work done.

 

But Internet?  With something this cute, I find it hard to justify doing anything else but cuddle all day.

 

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I’m sure you understand.

So… This Happened

So…

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This happened.

 

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Then this happened.

 

All in all, it’s been a pretty amazing week so far (and it’s not over yet!).  Some highlights include:

  • Tea with friends new and old
  • Meeting an adorable pair of newlyweds and some newcomers at the Meet and Greet
  • Writing in a neat little bagel shop we discovered
  • Reaching my 50K in NaNo (and promptly doing nothing for 48 hours afterwards)
  • Overdosing on candy
  • Finding the perfect gift for my ML Secret Santa
  • Petting a shark and a ray
  • Eating my first sushi boat
  • Visiting the Office of Letters and Light and learning that I look great in a Viking hat
  • Watching a beautiful Pacific Octopus charm the employees of the aquarium
  • Baby Ostriches!!!
  • Dim sum in China Town
  • Meeting colourful characters on the streets of San Fran

 

Watch for more pictures and updates next week, as I’ll have more to share soon!  Tomorrow, we bike across the Golden Gate.  Wish my rear end luck (it’ll need it).  Until then?

 

Have a baby ostrich.

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“Real” Writer – Part Two

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Image from Dreamstime

 

So… I have an update on my last post (delay courtesy of Thanksgiving weekend!).  I heard back last Monday from the editor and learned that my story wasn’t accepted.  I’m trying to see this as an opportunity to send the story to another market and maybe hear back more quickly, but it’s my first rejection and I can’t pretend that I wasn’t a little upset.  Still, all I can do is move on and keep trying.  One day, I’ll get my first yes.

 

Fortunately, I didn’t have to think too hard about it over the weekend, as I spent some time with my parents, helping them build a deck and playing with their new dog Gypsy.  She’s six and was rescued from a broken home, and she’s the sweetest little girl that I’ve ever met.   Only time will tell if she gets along with my cats (they have yet to be introduced).

Rest and Recovery

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Image from Dreamstime

 

So I took Thursday and Friday off this week.  The plan, initially, had been to take the cats to the vet, rest, and WRITE.  A lot.

 

Sadly, only two of these things happened.

 

I did indeed get the cats to the vet, and it was a resounding success.  Much better, and more hilarious, than in previous years, and I only have one scratch to show for it.  The scratch was a direct result of my impatience and my cat’s desire not to go in the carrier, rather than from the visit itself, so I can’t even count it as a strike against the experiment.

 

I also got lots of resting done.  You see, my handsomer half managed to get a stomach flu mid-week, and I caught it too.  Sadly, the half of Thursday and the Friday I had envisioned spending writing in the silence of my house were spent curled up on the couch drinking gingerale and cleaning off my PVR.

 

I only finally felt up to writing/doing anything yesterday, and that mostly surrounded knitting.  I wrote a chapter in my novel yesterday and another one today, so I feel pretty good about that, but I am still weak and (now) behind on my Camp NaNo goals.  Fortunately, the fact that I was ahead earlier in the week and that I wrote an extra 500 words both yesterday and today mean that I’m now only a day behind, but that’s not entirely comforting to the girl who’s usually confidently ahead by three or four days.

 

Anyway, I was definitely sick (when I’m too sick for surf and turf, I’m too sick for anything), so I’m comforting myself with the knowledge that resting was more important.  And it’s not worth getting angry at myself over now that I’m nearly caught back up.  Life is going to throw curve balls like that at me, and I think it’s the recovery from the setback that’s important.

 

And I’m well on my way to recovery!

Flying High

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Photo from Dreamstime

This week, I drugged my cat.

 

No, not with anything illegal, and not without the enthusiastic agreement of my veterinarian.

 

You see, he hates his vet with a fiery passion that has led to the drawing of some blood from an unfortunate vet tech and the near injury of some of the rest of us.  He wasn’t always like this, but one year he decided that he didn’t like the way that his vet smelled and annual visits have been difficult for us all ever since.  Unfortunately, he has one of those coming up.

 

This year we’re trying a sedative to ease him through the visit (hopefully it will all be a beautiful dream).  Like a responsible pet owner I tried the sedative out in advance of the visit.  I naively thought that it would work, but it turned out that it didn’t calm my cat so much as it made him manically snugly and kept him (and thus us) up all night crying.  Last night I tried a different combination the vet prescribed, which seemed to work a lot better.

 

But what does all of this have to do with writing?

 

I’m glad you asked, because it’s quite simple.  Tuesday night, when my poor boy was wandering the house crying and couldn’t settle, he kept us all up with his woe.  And really, isn’t that what characters do?  Keep nagging us about everything that’s wrong in their lives until we just sit down and solve their problems for us.

 

At least my characters do that.  Your mileage may vary.

 

I didn’t want to drug my cat, and I’ve tried every other option before getting to this point.  That’s similar to writing too: sometimes we all have to do things that we don’t want to do.  I don’t want to kill characters, or torture them, or hurt them, or really put them in any bad situations at all!  I like my characters, in a way that I can only hope the reader will too.  But it’s for the growth of the character and ultimately the good of the story, so I must sometimes do things to my wonderful characters that I hate doing.

 

I suppose that’s part of what being a writer is all about: listening to the story and helping it unfold in the way that it wants to be.  And I guess sometimes that’s easy and other days it keeps us up all night and leaves us surviving off coffee for the rest of the day.

 

When was the last time something kept you up all night?