It’s been an eventful three weeks since my last posting, so let me catch y’all up on things.
As you’re probably sick of hearing, I have two cats. Well, actually I have just Deathwalker. Allegedly FloCat is my uncle’s. However, nobody cleared this with The Fur and FloCat adopted me such that she spends every possible minute camped out on my lap. Sigh, cats. On Sunday (7 Aug) I finally pried her offa my lap so I could go to bed. My right leg was a bit stiff with a pain up near my groin. I figured that this was because I had propped the leg up to provide a Superior Lap Experience for FloCat and that would be the end of it.
I wake up the next morning (8 Aug), and I can barely walk. I managed to get downstairs to prosecute Cat Breakfast and that was it; I didn’t bother with coffee. That should’ve been the wake-up for me, since I never ever skip the Holy And Sacred Elixir Of Life thing. Anyway, I get back upstairs and it was then that I noticed that my right leg was really swollen and red. Time to call the ambulance. It was apparently a slow day here in town because both the EMTs and the fire department got here before I could grab some stuff. Getting downstairs the final time that day was a study in agony. They toss my sorry behind onto the gurney and cart me off to the ER. Turns out that I had somehow developed a “DVT”, a Deep Vein Thrombosis, which is MedSpeak for a blood clot.
Spent a week in the hospital getting pumped full of blood thinners (2.5 liters of Heparyn and enough Coumadin for an observer to think they were M&Ms) This is a personal record for me: normally my interaction with a hospital is measured in hours (to address the latest generally self-inflicted insult to my body, although there have been a few times where I had some help), but a friggin week!
So my leg is still swollen, and I’m told that this will take awhile to go away, since all those blood thinners simply reduced the clot to the point that blood can flow around it and it will take some unspecified number of weeks for the clot to completely dissolve. Bugger all. Then there are the doctors and the office visits. Blecch. A little background: the college I attended was actually a university and it had a Med School. I knew this because the PreMeds were the guys you visited to score some really nice home-made recreational pharmaceuticals. Hey, it was the Seventies. The major upshot of this is that I refuse to worship at the Altar Of Medicine. Yeah, doctors, nurses, etc., provide a vitally needed service but I refuse to swallow the whole Recently Descended From Olympus crap that many of them give off. Must be something about going to a dorm room and seeing dried out pizzas and piles of dirty laundry lying on the floor.
An unusual and eventful time, right? But wait! There’s more!
The house here is a Craftsman. No, I’m not talking about the style of furniture/architecture from the very end of the 19th Century. I’m talking Craftsman as in Sears: a hundred years or so ago, you could open up your Sears catalogue (remember those? No? What did I tell you about getting off my lawn?) and order a house. Yep, an entire house. There were several styles and sizes to choose from. You sent in your payment, and a few weeks later you went down to the train depot and collected a bunch of large wooden crates and some detailed assembly instructions. Everything was identified, cut and measured, and you just followed the directions and at the end of it you had a house. (Aside: unsurprisingly, almost every one of these kit houses are to be found within a mile of the local train station. Seriously large crates, my friend)
Again, this is Florida and the local flora and fauna don’t need to hibernate. Plus, everything grows to a large size since there isn’t any of that pesky frozen weather that kills everything off towards the end of the year. So yes, we gots us some termites. Gourmet ones who really enjoy munching on some antique lumber. In order to deal with the little(?) b@st@rds, the house needed to be tented and pumped full of bug killer, which meant that we needed to be Elsewhere for this project. One of the neighbors moved so that house was empty, which was a blessing since it removed the trouble we’d have faced trying to find a hotel that would accept cats.
Which is the next part.
The guys showed up and started to drape the house with these gigantic tarps. Time to scoop up the Fur and GTFO, except that there weren’t any cats to be found. Typical. We tried calling them, but they weren’t having any part of that, so we had to go and look for them and dig them out. For those of you who don’t live with cats, one of their abilities is to shrink down in size so that they can jam themselves into impossibly small spaces. Apparently, cats don’t study physics and can ignore all that stuff about matter needing to occupy a given volume of space. Recall that I’m now sporting a swollen (and painful!) leg, and I’m crawling all over the place trying to find a couple of individuals who do not wish to be found. Grrr. Another talent that your Standard Issue pussycat has is the ability to completely ignore the rules that govern movement, so as you’re closing in on the little furry guy, he/she will simply vanish from in front of you and reappear someplace else. A place even more inaccessible than where they just were, of course. Cats.
Eventually everyone got corralled and unceremoniously tossed in the cat carrier. For their part, they were enthusiastically expressing their opinions about this dastardly attack on their persons and dignities. For our part, we were enthusiastically bleeding for our trouble. We get across the street and poof! Not a cat to be seen anywhere. Took them about six hours to realize that although this was a strange place, we weren’t going to be dining on catburgers. Three days later we got to repeat the ordeal all over again so we could go home. The only saving grace this time was that there was no hurry, so I was able to grab them one at a time to bring them back home. Now, people who study such things tell us that cats don’t have as many muscles in their faces as do dogs, so a lot of the time that you get the Inscrutable Look from the cat is due to the fact that they simply don’t possess the ability to do otherwise. Don’t buy into that; not even for a microsecond. I had exactly zero doubt as to what both of them thought about size and opposable thumbs. Fortunately, they went back to familiar territory, so the readjustment was much shorter. Mostly. FLoCat is still downstairs sulking, which is another of the Feline Talents. The young Lord, on the other hand, got over the trauma quickly and is sprawled in the window napping as I type this.
So that’s been my August. And there’s still another week to go. Sheesh.