Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday-3:30pm-Goodbye Karma

I am going to write this right now while I am still holding myself together.  From Friday to Saturday things with Karma's ear went horribly wrong.  Her ear was even more swollen, was suddenly turning purple, and there was bleeding!  She had been hiding under the bed--came out Saturday night.  I called McFamily right away and the emergency vet.  Dagan took us over.
 The vet was an absolutely wonderful guy!  He loves cats--even had a calico tattooed on his upper arm--and Karma even liked him!  Tolerating touching without hissing counts as liking...sick as she was she still hissed at every other person who came near her.  :)
  Karma needed surgery to have a tube put in her ear.  We left and went to McFamily's to wait for the phone call that she was waking up after surgery and could go home.  But when he called (must have been close to 2am) he had bad news.  Karma had more wrong with her than just the aural hemotoma of her ear.
She had Feline Infectious Anemia.  It's a parasite that attaches to the red blood cells and kills them.  She actually needed a blood transfusion, but he said that might not help her much at all, anyways, because she was probably already suffering organ damage.  She'd dropped from close to 20 lbs down to 14 pounds.  She also had blood in her urine so they did an ultrasound and she had an inflamed bladder--probably from stress. 
Puzzling as to where she got this, but it is actually possible that she could have been a carrier and even had it from birth and then the stress of the move set it off.  She was one very sick kitten when I brought her home all those years ago.  The vet at that time said she was probably born with the internal parasites she had--and Karma had ear mites really bad, her eyes matted up, but I can't remember if she had fleas back then.  They can get this anemia from fleas, mites, or even mosquitoes, apparently.  She hadn't had any fleas or ear mites since she was a kitten.
Anyways, the only one slim chance she had was to try to give her a couple medications and pain medicine for 24 to 48 hours and then see if her red blood cell count had risen.  If not...  
That was why her ear went berzerk and wouldn't heal--extremely low red blood cell count.  
Dagan brought us home.  I did want to try the last ditch effort for the day or two.
Karma was just fine with the gentle squeezing of her ear to milk the blood out.  In fact she purred when I was doing that.  But the ear would fill up again--because of the low clotting.  He warned about that being a bad sign.  I had to keep a close watch on her because of the risk of sudden death from hemorrhaging.  Any number of things could go wrong.  It was a shock to find out how ill she was!
I was supposed to give her the meds when I got home.  The medication to attempt to kill off the parasites and not kill Karma was horrendous!  They warned me that it made them drool terribly for like 20 minutes or so.  That was an understatement!!  She wretched and drooled and panted and cried!  It was horrible!  After a half an hour it subsided but she was limp and lifeless.  Must be almost like chemo!
I decided right then that the odds were so slim that this was not worth it.  This was way worse than a bit of drooling!  I was not going to torture poor Karma for days.  Even if that worked, it would be a slow recovery and she very likely had other issues that could be potentially lethal, regardless.  (This really hit home when you read it all in the email that emergency sent to her vet's office.)
So, I removed the cone and just gave her pain medication.  I told Dagan and Leah (who agreed with me) that I needed to bring her in Monday to have her put to sleep.  I was just going to spend some nice quiet time with her, pray there wasn't a horrible, painful death in the meantime (but did pray for a peaceful, painless one at home--no such luck), and give her pain meds every 6 hours.
These pictures were taken Sunday morning with her shaved ear and tube.  She'd had her second does of pain medication and was feeling a little better.  Briefly walked around a tiny bit.
She refused to eat or drink, though.  She started up with an occasional deep loose sounding cough and she had a few wet sneezes--she was starting to get something--pneumonia or a bad cold.  She seemed to have occasional trouble swallowing...just normal swallowing.  Sometimes her breathing  sounded a bit too noisy.  She didn't want move.  
You know when it is time. 
She spent 90% of the time on my bed from when we got home from the emergency vet until we went to the regular vet this afternoon.  And I spent nearly that entire time lying next to her on the bed.  The only time she totally relaxed and laid her head down was if I laid next to her and put my arm around her.  And she'd purr and purr until she fell asleep.  She'd never sleep very long.  I had to get up sometimes (pain) to stretch a bit (had my arm around her but I didn't want the weight of my arm on her, so I had to hold it up a bit) and to get her pain meds and milk her ear tube...and as soon as she saw me coming back she'd start purring. 
So I spent the last day and a half snuggled with Karma.  I can still almost hear that happy motor going and feel it against my chest and arm.  She just wanted me near.
Leah brought us over to the regular vets this afternoon while her brother, Aaron could be there while Ian took his nap.  Karma never even cried in the car--or emergency night, either.  She was so not herself.  They brought us to a little room and let me sit with Karma to calm her down--keeping my arm around her in her carrier.  (Karma was never a lap cat--we just took the top half off the carrier).  They took her away to start an IV and we never even heard Karma. (Normally she would have been growling and hissing.)  Then they left Leah and I alone in the room with her.  I had time to calm her down and to tell her they were all done and she'd be fine.  When I was ready--and Karma was as calm as she was going to be--we put a card under the door to let them know we were ready for the vet to come in.
I had one arm around her and the other hand under her head.  I felt every muscle in her body completely relax as I was telling her...don't worry...we're all done, Karma.  They wrapped her like a baby in her towel I always used in her carrier.
Good-bye Miss Karma.
We had a precious, sweet time together before she left.  Private and peaceful--just like she loved our life to be.  I am so thankful for pain medication.    
I will be on hiatus.  
Let's just say that if you don't hear from me all is well.  If there are any problems with the eye surgeries, etc--Leah offered to post for me.  But for now...just need some time.
Thank you everybody who has loved Miss Crabbypants, too, over the years.  She would have been 12 in a couple weeks.  I feel blessed to have had our last private, quiet time together.  I can still feel the rumbly soft fur under my fingers and hear her purring in my ear.  

Friday, January 20, 2017


Good Morning!
I promised you eye doctor news so here we go.
Okay, I don't have macular degeneration.  :)  Dr. Grosz said I have cataracts in both eyes, an epiretinal membrane in my right eye (like a layer of saran wrap on the back of the inside of my eye), and pseudoexfoliation of the lense capsule in my left eye (the bag the lense sits in is a bit larger so that the lense is loose).
Leah is so smart.  She recorded the entire results conversation on her cell phone and sent it to me so I could listen to it again last night.  (I didn't even know you could record audio with a cell phone.)
The saran wrap isn't bad yet.  If it interferes more with my vision down the road a different kind of surgeon could remove it.  The loose lense bag could be an issue during surgery (usually not), but could mean the new lense could shift and/or float away into my eye (again, a different surgeon to fix that).  Not usually a problem, though, and he's done many thousands of surgeries.  Some people might need a different type of lense put in 10-15 years down the road. 
Leave it to me to have more things I have never heard of, eh?  LOL!
Wednesday January 25th I have my pre-op physical exam with Dr. Topley.
Wednesday February 8th I have cataract surgery on the left eye with the loose bag.  Thursday morning, February 9th, I have to go back to Dr. Grosz for a post-op check up.  Sometime about a week after surgery I go for a follow-up to Dr. Dye.
Thursday February 23rd I have cataract surgery on my right eye.  Friday morning, February 24th, I have a post-op check up with Dr. Grosz.  Sometime about a week after that I have a follow-up with Dr. Dye.  About a month after my second surgery I can get tested for my new glasses.  I should see better far away.  
Oh, and I will be putting in three different kinds of eye drops on a schedule for a month or so.
The two weeks between surgeries I will have a hard time seeing and might even have trouble watching TV, I guess, because I am extremely nearsighted and my eyes will be so different with one done and one not done.  Leah is going to set me up with her audio books.  I doubt I will be online much at all.  Other than to let you know I am surviving--LOL!
I haven't even gotten back to those of you who have been commenting recently.  For a while here I might just respond to questions and not necessarily be able to get back to each comment.  But they are greatly appreciated!  Greatly!  I can use the moral support.  The eye thing still freaks me out.  Not sure why?  I should think about that.  
Anyways, here's something funny for you!  McFamily's grass is so plush and thick that when I walked barefoot on it this summer I didn't feel like I ever touched the earth.  Leah uses organic fertilizer...and the rabbits all know it!
Little did McFamily know that they would be "feeding" the rabbits this winter and watching rabbit games, too--LOL!
Gramma loves these little videos!
Ian and the toy dinosaur.
Miss Karma...well, I have been encouraging her to sleep and rest.  She even spent all day yesterday on my bed and I brought her in little bits of dry food and even brought her in some water in a small cup so that she had no reason to walk about unless she had to go to the bathroom.  She shakes her head a lot more when she is walking.  She gets her calming spray on her collar.  I'm hoping for the best...but only time will tell.  So far so good, though.
I was so drained and sore since the appointment, the heating pad has been my best friend--LOL!  I think I might be able to work on letters again now today.  (You know I'm in bad shape when I can't even write--LOL!)  
I'll leave you with McFamily pictures from the McGregor Christmas in northern Minnesota the beginning of January.
Ian has a Fargo hat like Daddy's--LOL!
Mama, Ian, and Daddy sitting on a snowbank. 
They were up in Warroad, Minnesota by the Canadian border.  Yup--we need to be bundled up when it's below zero.
Well, that's about it.  Forgive me if you don't privately hear from me as often for a while.  I'll try to post as often as I can on the blog.  I am reading blog posts as much as possible till the surgery, even if I don't always comment.  Thank you for all the prayers, positive energy, and good thoughts sent to Miss Karma.  :) :)  
Love and hugs!
"Ring the bell that still can ring.
Forget the perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in."
Leonard Cohen

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tuesday-1:15pm-late Christmas

Karma watching the jackrabbits.  
You can see her one ear up and one ear down.
Dagan, Leah, Ian, and Leah's brother, Aaron, came on Sunday for our McFamily Christmas.  We ordered in Chinese, they went out with an ice chopper to get my garage door open again, and before they left Dagan got the screen door open more than the 4 inches I could manage and shoveled off the patio for me.  (That's the grouse waiting up on the snow pile to get a turn after the rabbits were done.) 
 I did get a long video of Ian opening up Gramma's presents.  Between Dagan and Leah, they filmed till the battery died--LOL! 
Monday morning at 7:30 Karma was crying and howling and frantic again.  Yes!  She had re-injured the ear!  Good Lord!  It was just starting to go down, too, and she had been doing fine.
I calmed her down quite a bit and texted Dagan and Leah to let them know that I might need a ride to the vets.  By 9:30 she was sleeping, silently in her deep cat bed in the studio.  She snuck off under my bed in the afternoon and never came out all day and night.  But she was quiet and not shaking her head under there, so I let her be.
This morning she climbed up her cat steps into the bed around 8:30 (yes, Karma has steps but I don't yet--LOL!).  She had eaten, drank water, and been in her litter box so she was functioning.  I brought her into the bedroom before Caroline came this morning and shut the door--less stress for her while Caroline cleans.  Karma's now about the same as she was last time.
I disturbed her while she was sleeping.  
Hard to show you the ear--how fat it is--because she gets really upset if I touch it, of course.  And we want her to rest and sleep...and heal!! 
Now, if she will just leave it alone and quit shaking her head!  But can she stop being a head shaker after going on twelve years?!  :(
If it happens again--we may have to go to the vet.  I think I'm almost having a harder time handling this than Karma!  I am trying to avoid surgery because, as we know, Karma can beat her ears till they are bloody with a cone on.  I can't imagine she would EVER leave stitches, drainage, or bandages alone.  At least if it heals on its own she won't get an infection.  But will she ever leave it alone enough TO heal?  That is the big question.
Leah and I switched craft night to tonight.
Tomorrow is my eye appointment and the big verdict.  Leah will come in with me for the results this time so there will a second set of ears and one less foggy brain.  (If I even make it there--all this stress wreaks havoc with the IBS.) 
In the 20s today and then supposed to be in the 30s for days!  Going to feel like spring out there and we will have a lot of melting.  Now that we had our Christmas and the garage door opens again, it is time to take the little tree down and haul out the few decorations.  My twinkly colored lights are staying permanently, though.  :)
I'll be back to let you know the verdict on my eyes as soon as I am able.  :)  
No matter what is going on in your life or the world...all the little Ians...these new souls...lift your spirits and blanket you in hope.  Later...
"Holiness comes wrapped in the ordinary.  There are burning bushes all around you.  Every tree is full of angels.  Hidden beauty is waiting in every crumb."
Macrina Wiederkehr

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Saturday-1pm--52 Stories #2

Goodness sakes!  
There is just too much going on around here lately.  Well, I had wanted to blog more often again this coming year.  Be careful what you ask for, eh?  LOL!
First of all--some good news.  
Chester is alive and well!
 I saw him eating at the patio, but as I was getting my cell phone to take a picture this bag blew in and scared him off a ways.
There is occasionally trash--especially plastic bags--that fly around and around in huge circles outside here.  Karma thinks they are alive and watches them intently.
Anyways, I saw Chester on Thursday--tada!
(As usual, I will progress chronologically.)
Thursday was the day the ladies had said would be the get-together day at around 1:30pm, right?  And they planned to do some coloring.  So, I had searched out my 15 year old adult coloring books, some colored pencils I don't like (Memories--too hard)...
...and sorted through the old zendala forms I had printed off when I was in that online group years ago.  The lady had large and small versions but I never did do the small ones and finally quit printing those off. 
Some of you may remember the zendalas.  They are fun to doodle on.  I prefered to do my own doodles and not use the official zentangles (can find those online, too). 
Anyways, I had it all packed up.  Wanted to donate the coloring books, colored pencils, and the stack of zendala forms I won't use.  (I kept the large ones I hadn't done yet.)  But...the Community Room was dark and no one was there.  I waited around for about 20 minutes and went home.  ??
If they meant to start next week why didn't they say so?  I had mentioned I couldn't stay long this week because of the frig repairman coming.  Oh well.  I saw a notepad and pen on the table (was supposed to be for ordering in a booklet left on the table)--wrote "Thursday--no one showed up--Rita".
 This coming week the odds are not good that I will be able to make it as I have the eye doctor appointment on Wednesday and am usually shot for a day or two after any appointments.  We'll see, but it is highly unlikely.
Anyways, the repairman came early (they had asked me if that was okay and I had told them it was).  Needed to order a part and will probably be back next week.  They'll call.  Really nice young man.  He was concerned about the temperature--freezer not freezing all the way and frig not cooling very well.  So we are ordering in for Christmas dinner tomorrow.  ;)
The Girls are around and come in to fast as they can now that the big jackrabbits have discovered the food supply--LOL!  They sometimes wait around nearby, as you can see, till the rabbits take off.
On Friday Chester was back again! 
 I know you can't tell from this side, but it is Chester.
I am always extra glad to see him.  :) 
When the rabbits took off...The Girls came in.  Works out okay because the rabbits go for the black oil sunflower seeds first and chew them up whole...but The Girls prefer the small seed. 
Getting closer to dusk...Chester came back again!!  I got a video.
And as long as I was sitting there watching the rabbits...
Here's 52 Stories #2...all about where you were born and grew up.
Then the bad news...
Yesterday afternoon Karma was suddenly crying and howling and shaking her head!  Here the skin of her ear was filling up with fluid!  I calmed her down a bit...started to get ready to make a trip to the vets (truth--wasn't even dressed yet) but she retreated under the bed and was quiet.  ??
So I hit the web and searched for swollen cat ears.  Immediately found information and pictures.  Apparently this is not uncommon in cats and dogs, but I have never heard of it before...not even in all my years working pet shops.  Karma has an Aural Hematoma.  Could be from scratching too hard but more likely from shaking her head and hitting her ear on something hard.
Karma's always been a head shaker.  She rubs her head against--well, everything!  And then shakes her head really hard.  You can hear her ears smack against furniture or the frig or a door frame...wherever.  Seems like I am always asking her--"Doesn't that hurt!!"  
Well, she must have hit it just right.  They said it happens really fast--and it did!  And it must have hurt like hell at the time.  Her ear is all swollen full of fluid and from what I could find online it will heal on its own but it takes a long time--possibly a month--and Miss Karma will have a cauliflower ear like a boxer.  Deformed and crumply.  It probably won't stand up anymore, so she'll have one ear up and one crinkly ear down.
If the animal is in pain, they can do surgery to drain it--but then you deal with drainage, scars, and infections.  Plus, they can get these again.  Otherwise, you can let them heal on their own.  The body will absorb the blood and fluid in the ear over time.
  Karma's been okay since the initial shock.  
I wish she'd stop shaking her head though. 
It has to feel weird and lopsided.  She isn't doing it too much, though, because it has to hurt some.  Well--she's not scratching her ears, at least, eh?  LOL!  Karma's been wanting extra attention and cuddles here and there.  Some reassurance that everything is okay.
How she managed to NOT do this to herself in her lifetime is an amazing thing to me now that I know about it.  I think of all the ear smacking I have heard over the years--ouch!  I had no idea she could actually break a blood vessel in her ear.  Goodness gracious!
So that's what's happening up here in Fargo.  Tomorrow afternoon McFamily will arrive and I promise I am going to try to get video of Ian opening presents this time!!  :):)  Probably see you soon!  
"Just because you are happy it does not mean that the day is perfect but that you have looked beyond its imperfections."
Bob Marley

Thursday, January 12, 2017


Good Morning!
Quick post.
Before I forget...I can read YouTube comments but haven't been able to respond to any at all recently.  I'll keep trying, but please know that I read and appreciate every one.
We had Library Day here on Tuesday.  (I was able to renew the two audio books I never touched the previous two weeks--LOL!)  When I arrived there were several ladies spread out around a table coloring on adult coloring book pages.  The roads were bad so Kirsten was late.  I sat at the table with the ladies but didn't really feel like coloring.  Great idea for a group activity, though.
A frozen Kirsten arrived.  People waited in line and looked through all the selections she brought with this time.  I was asked if I wanted to stay and color, but I decided to go home.  When I got home I thought--well, I would like to work on some more card fronts, though.  I thought of my New Year's Eve card for the year about the power of love and being more open...
  So I packed up the tape and papers, grabbed my red coffee thermos, and went back down.  Through the conversation it was decided that an informal (not on the calendar) afternoon group would be nice.  People could bring whatever they wanted to work on or just come by to chat.  (Sounds like the idea Leah and I had at the same time when I first moved in, right?)  Thursdays at around 1:30pm was picked.   
So, I will go down for a while this afternoon.  BUT--I actually have a repairman coming to look at my frig between 3-4pm (and the lady said he might come earlier even if he's running ahead of schedule).  Shock!  I had called Nazar Monday--left a message to tell him the frig is making a loud racket and isn't freezing things solid in the freezer anymore.  He never returned my call but a lady called me late that afternoon to set up an appointment to check the frig.  I was shocked--LOL!  Maybe things are looking up, eh?
Monday I saw this rabbit eating on the patio...broke my heart.
I haven't seen Chester since then, though.  I'm keeping an eye out.  (Those of you who remember Gunsmoke will know why I call him Chester.)  Poor thing!  I sure hope it's okay.  Was getting around and eating, so maybe there's a chance.  I'll let you know if I ever see Chester again.
When Leah was here Monday for crafts we played with the new toy.  Fancied up a set of 12 winter cards--had put together previously.  (We get the basic paper on and then can add whatever we want on the top.)
We used the new Stick It double sided paper on the card stock before we cut the sentiments.  Awesome!  Instead of burnishing them down on the front of the card with a bone folder you can just run them through the die cut machine again and that's it!  Whoohoo!  
Seven of these are already in the mail today and five more are set to start.  Could have used a few more--LOL!  Well, gives me a good reason to make more cards, eh?  
I shall.  I shall.  
Well, this is a quick post for me.  
Just wanted to pop in.
Wind chill warnings again the last couple days.  
22 to 24 below at night...
and that's the regular temperature.  
We are having our McFamily Christmas on Sunday!  I haven't seen Mr. Ian since before Christmas so Gramma is excited.  He'll get to open his toys!  I really need to remember to take pictures...or a video!  (Videos seem to possibly be my thing this year so I hope you like them.)    
Bye for now!  :) :)
"Be humble for you are made of Earth.
Be noble for you are made of stars."
Serbian Proverb

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Saturday-2:45pm-52 Stories vlog #1

Good Afternoon!
I did my burning bowl ceremony on New Year's Eve...
...and picked my angel card for the year.
Now that's a card I've never gotten before.
All about the power of love.
A great reminder for me for this coming year. 
I had been sick all week--from Monday night till last night.  Leah was home sick-ish, too, and Ian threw up.  No craft night last week.  Dagan had to cancel his heart-pacemaker appointment in Minneapolis because of sickness and winter storms.  We had two of them in two days.  This was the first one.  You can see the critters were digging for seed.
The snow was light and fluffy.  I went out and shoveled and swept snow away from center of the patio... I could put out some seed for The Girls.
I was taking pictures of the snow plow...
...clearing off the parking lot next door...
...for all my readers who are unfamiliar with snow life...
...when I thought... dumb!  
You could take a video!

The guys came to clear off the sidewalks, too.
All this snow had come down lightly on to glare ice from the Christmas ice storm... these guys were not lifting their feet as they shuffled along over the ice.
Since the snow was light and fluffy...
...the storm and wind the following day created beautiful, sparkly drifts on my patio! 
You may notice it was so cold and windy even the critters hadn't been by yet.
I do love snow drifts...well, and sand drifting, too.  
Nature's artwork.
But it didn't remain pristine for long--LOL!  By the next morning you could tell we'd had a lot of visitors.
It was too cold to shovel again.  Miss Karma was remembering the porch at the old aprtment, I think.  She cried at the door until...
...I got her some snow to eat.  
Some of you may remember how Karma loved to go out on the snowy porch for just a minute, race back in, turn around and eat her white footprints on the rug--LOL!
The Girls... have competition!
One jackrabbit in particular hangs about someplace during the day and likes to scare away The Girls when they come to eat.
Quite a snoopy character.
Not very afraid of me and less so of Miss Karma, to her chagrin.
I took a video the second day Miss Karma had noticed (been awake) to see the jackrabbits.

The first night she saw them I took lots of pictures...
...but didn't think of a video.
She sat and cried like she wanted me to give her one of them--LOL!
She kept trying to lunge at them...

...but even with her face glued to the window they came right back, sat and ate inches from her nose.
They were more interested in keeping an eye on each other.
They chased each other all over the place.
Rabbit games!!
Karma couldn't believe her eyes.
Talk about nature shows...
...on her CatTV.
They learned to ignore her lunging, pawing at the glass, and crying... about 15-20 minutes.
So Karma has mostly watched them from a comfortable prone position since then.
I was hoping to get video of the rabbit games, but that didn't happen.  Just like when you're trying to get a child to do something for other people and they give you that blank what-on-earth-are-you-talking-about look--LOL!
But since I had the cell phone out...
I decided to start the 52 stories I plan to do this year since I remembered the first question about how did you get your name?  So I have episode one...while you watch jackrabbits.
And before I forget...those of you who haven't had comments from me for a while...for some reason I am unable to comment on over half my blogspot bloggers, none of the wordpress bloggers, and over half of the youtube videos I can't comment on, either.  Blogger had already quit sending me notification emails for some of my commenters and now I haven't been getting emails telling me when people comment on my blog on facebook, either.  I don't know what is going on with google.  I can read everything, of course...and I do.  But at this rate pretty soon this is going to turn into a one-way conversation.  :(  So I am especially grateful to those of you who email me and/or write letters!!  :)
Oh, and don't worry about The Girls.  They still manage to make it over to gobble seed a few times a day.  Rabbits apparently don't make the best sentrys--LOL!
Hope you enjoy the videos!  
You should hear from me at least once a week this year with a new story (or old to some of you who have known me for years--LOL!).
We're supposed to make it into the low teens for a few days now starting tomorrow.  Man!  It's just stayed cold-cold-cold.  Stay safe--warm or cool, as the case may be.  Till next time.  :) :)
"Live in the present.  Do the things that need to be done.  Do all the good you can each day.  The future will unfold."
Peace Pilgrim