michaeldthomas: (Default)
As some of you may remember, my grandfather has been in poor health. He's been feeling awful recently, so my family finally convinced him to get checked out by his doctor. His blood work showed very low levels of hemoglobin, so they got him in for a CAT scan. They had suspected bladder cancer for some time, so nobody was surprised when they found a tumor.

My grandfather is 85 and lost my grandmother a year ago. He doesn't want any treatment, not even a blood transfusion to boost his hemoglobin levels.

This is very hard for me. I'm very close to my grandfather. He's pretty much my father figure. There was a time that I was seriously thinking about changing my last name to his.

In other sad news, we've decided that we need to bring Xander back to the shelter. He keeps attacking Caitlin. After he chewed through her feeding tubes, we decided that we would have to bring him back if he hurt Caitlin or her equipment again since Caitlin's safety obviously comes first.  He's decided that it's fun to gnaw on Cait's left ear. Caitlin can't defend her left side, so he ends up making her ear all red. Xander doesn't draw blood, but it does make her cry. During the day, I've been pulling him off and correcting him. Last night, Xander decided that this would be a fun game at 4am.  That's obviously unacceptable. He's also still chewing up any plastic that he can find. He bit right through a phone cord yesterday.

He can be such a sweet kitten. I really want to keep him, but we can't risk him seriously hurting Cait.
michaeldthomas: (Bad Kitten!)
Time unknown: Xander chews on the top corner of the Paul McGann Doctor Who: The Movie Script Book. It's gotten worse reviews.

10:35 pm: Xander's front paws and face fall into the toilet as he's investigating.

7:00 am: Chews up Caitlin's tubing that is providing her overnight feed. Pump continues to pump formula onto the floor. Caitlin alerts us by crying from the air that got into her stomach. I fix that by venting. Luckily, she still received most of her overnight feeding.

8:30 am: As I am taping down power cords, we catch him in the process of chewing up the cord to [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne's cell phone charger. Lynne thinks it's a good excuse to buy a better cell phone.

10:00 am: Lynne leaves to buy chew toys, water gun, and no-chew spray.

10:15 am: I catch him chewing up Caitlin's Miley Cyrus doll. Xander is quite the critic.

10:30 am:  Xander decides it's time again to nom Caitlin's left ear.

11:00 am: Xander cuddles up next to me and purrs as I write this blog. 
michaeldthomas: (Default)
Lynne is off at the American Library Association annual conference today. She's doing well. She actually got to meet her Special Collections 2.0 editor in real life. It seems that her editor adored the book.

Here are some random thoughts for the day:

1- We finally watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind last night. Wow. I can't believe it took us so long to see it. Actually, I can. Lynne and I used to be big film fans up until about 7 years ago. Life with Caitlin, however, has made it hard to keep up with anything other than the big explosion films. Anyway, ESOTSM was exquisite. That's what an SF film can be. It was smart, funny, layered, and still accessible. 

Lynne and I ended up in our usual mock fight after watching a Kate Winslet movie. You see, I'm convinced that she resembles Kate Winslet. She thinks I'm wonderfully delusional. :-)

2- The kitten is teething up a storm. Cait now has some Barbies without hands and feet. At least he's left the Doctor Who figures alone. The big problem is that he thinks Caitlin is a big kitten. This would be fine except he keeps nomming her arms and ears. Cait doesn't mind her arms, but she cries when the kitten gnaws at her left ear. He isn't drawing blood, but we have to keep a close eye on the little scamp.

3- I'm reading [livejournal.com profile] matociquala's Dust

4- I haven't recovered from CONvergence yet. 

5- I finally finished the Doctor Who Magazine 200 Golden Moments Special. It was equal parts brilliant and mediocre. It would be nice if DWM could find some new contributors to these specials. I'm getting tired of always hearing from the same 50 people who wrote for the UK fanzines in the 80s and 90s. It's not that they're bad at what they do, it's just that I would like to hear some fresh opinions and insights.
michaeldthomas: (Caitlin 08)
I think [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne covered most of the action around here in her LJ. Thursday was our long day of routine check-ups at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. The morning involved a contrast study for her G-tube. That's basically an X-ray to check that the tube from her side into her stomach is still the right size. If she grows too much, there's a chance that we could accidentally pump formula straight into her abdomen. That would be a BAD THING. Anyway, it still fits.

The next appointment was with the her Rehabilitative Specialist. This doctor helps to coordinate all of her therapy and equipment. She was blown away by Caitlin's progress. I'm glad that we're still doing all of the right things.

After that grueling day, we spent Friday feeding Caitlin by mouth with her Speech Therapist and getting a black kitten named Xander. The feeding went well. Right now, Caitlin gets about a teaspoon worth of flavored water thickened to a nectar consistency per day. I think she would rather be eating pizza, but you have to start somewhere. :)

Xander has nicely adjusted to life around here. He's very sweet and cuddly. He alternates between an hour playing and then an hour sleeping. He purrs a lot and likes to hang out with his new family. Marie cat still hisses at him if he gets too close, but she's otherwise accepting his presence. Xander is definitely the right cat for us. He's gentle, playful, and affectionate. We chose well.
michaeldthomas: (Molly)
Molly took a turn for the worse this morning. Lynne is taking her to get euthanized while I watch Caitlin.

She was a marvelous little kitten. We only had her for five months, but it felt like many wonderful years. There wasn't a bad bone in that little cat's body. She was full of love, wanting nothing more than to cuddle with her family all the time.

I'm really going to miss her.
michaeldthomas: (Molly)
This has been a bad day. After noticing that one of the cats urinated out of the box, it soon became clear that something was wrong with Molly. We brought her to our vet; he immediately noticed that she had lost weight and had an abdomen full of fluid. He suspected Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) and suggested that we take her to the shelter vet.

The shelter vet concurred. Molly probably has it. We'll know for sure by Monday. It is fatal.

Molly is now home with the family. The vet sent us home with fancy food to keep her eating and comfortable. Once she gets too sick, we're supposed to bring her back to be put down. Since this was something contracted at the shelter, we get a replacement kitten when we're ready. The shelter vet was very sweet and understanding.

We are all devastated. Molly is the sweetest cat in the world, and she is so good with Caitlin. I can't imagine any kitten ever replacing her.
michaeldthomas: (Caitlin 08)
On the plus side, Caitlin hasn't thrown up since last night. We didn't give her an overnight feed, so hopefully we can reintroduce her feeds later today. On the minus side, Caitlin woke up with a big seizure. She's now sleeping off her Diastat.

In other news, Molly the kitten seems to have herpes conjunctivitis in her left eye. Lucky for us, the vet was willing diagnose it over the phone. I'm very happy that I don't have to figure out a way to transport Caitlin and the kitten to the vet today. [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne is going to pick up some ointment on the way home.

From the not everything sucks files, many of our friends and the fans of [livejournal.com profile] eeknight have contributed to the RAMP Wheel-A-Thon. We're only $165 short of our fundraising goal. The Wheel-A-Thon is tomorrow, so there's still time to make a donation.
michaeldthomas: (Doctor Venture)
Six things make a post.

1- I’m watching the Cubs game (no shock). I’m pretty sure that that there are pixies and brownies that float around Carlos Zambrano’s head that only he can see. Sometimes he yells at them, and sometimes they goad him into doing crazy things. I think that my theory explains much.

2- Murder Ballads is 70% revised. I hit a rough patch this week, but overall I’m still pretty happy with it. My goal is to have the whole damn thing revised and in the hands of my beta readers by WindyCon. I’m also going to be workshopping the first chapter at the con. I wish that I could also send in the second chapter, but that puts the manuscript at 1000 words over the maximum of 7500 words.

3- I am really slogging through the Fluid Links's writing. I’ve reached the point where I have to contact some of the authors for interviews or other requests. The results have been...interesting.

4- The call is out for Chicago TARDIS panel ideas. I’ve been working with the Mad Norwegian on some topics. Feel free to make suggestions.

5- We bought a laser pointer for the cats. Molly enjoys it. I feel really lazy when I use it.

6- This has been my week for beta reading with stuff to critique from [livejournal.com profile] kelly_swails and [livejournal.com profile] torresroman. Beta reading is fun, but a bit exhausting. I’m beginning to think that this writing lark might be hard work. ;)
michaeldthomas: (Han Solo)
Thoughts from the first half of the week:

1- Our friends Sarah and David had a sad Monday; they had to put down their beloved cat, Ronny. Caitlin and I spent the evening at their house trying to help keep things from getting too morose. Our solution: watching the horrendously bad/unintentionally comic G.I. Joe: The Movie. This was the TV movie that effectively killed the G.I. Joe franchise for 20 years. The gist of the film is that they ret-con everything. The cartoon had been about a special forces military group versus crazy world terrorists. Think S.H.I.E.L.D. versus HYDRA. In this movie, they decided that Cobra Commander was a member of a race of snake people that once ruled the earth like the Silurians on Doctor Who. Now the snake people are back with their odd organic tech trying to mutate humanity. Their battle cry is “COBRA LA LA LA LA LA!” It would be hard for this movie to make less sense. Oh, I almost forgot Don Johnson starring as Lt. Falcon, a rule breaker who discovers the true meaning of being a Joe. Ugh.

2- I posted last year about the cowardly and terrible terrorist attacks of 2001. I know that we all still have strong feelings and emotions about that day and its legacy. I think it’s important that today we try to remember that it was a day that many people lost friends and loved ones in an act of senseless brutality.

3- The Cubs won last night. I am off the ledge for a moment.

4- We watched the first half of the Bond film License to Kill with [livejournal.com profile] kevinsom. I forgot how awful that film is. It’s like a grim, boring episode of Miami Vice.

5- The writing keeps rolling, and Caitlin still thrives at school. That’s about all I can hope for.

6- Gregory McDonald passed away, one of my favorite authors. His books are a master class in writing dialogue. He will be missed.

Just finished reading- China Mountain Zhang by Maureen McHugh (gorgeous and brilliant)
Currently reading- Blood and Iron by Elizabeth Bear
michaeldthomas: (Molly)
until the kitten falls in the toilet.

Pictures of her first bath will follow.

Happy Day

Aug. 8th, 2008 04:35 pm
michaeldthomas: (Barcelona!)
I am very happy today.

1- [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne's home!

2- Caitlin had good therapies. Her reading is really coming along. Who knew that she could read the word whiskers?

3- I love my Molly kitten. She's a hoot.

4- I am almost at the halfway point with the novel revisions. It's slow going, but at least there's progress. I still don't hate my novel.

5- I kicked out a lot of Fluid Links's writing this week. It's always a happy thing when I produce more work than expected.

6- I'm going to be in a music video tomorrow for my friend David's band, Oh, Alchemy.

7- We have plans with [livejournal.com profile] torresroman and spouse tonight, and with [livejournal.com profile] bifemmefatale and family on Sunday.

8- The Cubs won again. The team is still rolling.

Just finished reading- Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
Currently reading- Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

Insomnia

Aug. 7th, 2008 12:33 am
michaeldthomas: (YANA)
Ugh. I can't sleep. The kitten is confused. She is my shadowcat, following me everywhere.


I miss [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne. She's good at stopping my racing thoughts.
michaeldthomas: (Caitlin 08)
Caitlin is in bed, and I have a Molly kitty in my lap.

Tonight was less than fun. A line of storms whipped through the area. Sirens went off, and I got to carry my daughter down to our unfinished basement to wait it out. No tornadoes dropped down around here, and we still have power. Both are very good things.

Well, I’m off to bed.

Awake

Jul. 30th, 2008 06:39 am
michaeldthomas: (Molly)
Molly woke us up with the first tendrils of sunlight. It's hard to sleep when a kitten is rubbing her face on your nose. I had trouble going back to slumberland, so [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne kicked me out of bed and told me to go write.

I protested, but she was right. If I'm up without the girl, I should take advantage of that time.

I didn't get anything major done, but I continued the rewrite of Murder Ballads. It felt good to be working with my fiction again after a week of of only dealing with the nonfiction. I love writing Fluid Links, but I get itchy if I take too long a break from the novel.

Just finished reading: The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
It was brilliant. Powers is definitely a writer's writer. That was a masterclass in plotting.

Currently reading: Bangkok 8 by John Burdett

Molly!

Jul. 26th, 2008 10:30 pm
michaeldthomas: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne has some pictures up. :)
michaeldthomas: (Caitlin 08)
As soon as [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne gets back from the store, we're going to pick up our new kitten. Her real name is Molly. She's cute and sweet.
michaeldthomas: (Joey)
My cat is gone. I keep catching him out of the corner of my eye, thinking that he’s about to jump up to get petted. Joey was a large cat, so it was always fairly thunderous when he made that leap onto the couch or bed. Now there’s nothing.

It was rough this morning. Caitlin had a big seizure at 5:40. After she fell asleep from the Diastat. Lynne and I returned to our bed. That was usually the point that Joey would come to us to give comfort. He always did after Caitlin had a big spasm. Cute and purring, he would just rub on you until you petted him and felt better.

We’ve had a lot of death this year. I lost an uncle, a close cousin, the father of a good friend, a couple of the Aicardi girls, and a very dear friend well before her time. I have absolutely nothing profound to add, I just want it stop happening so damn much.

I ended up taking care of Joey by myself yesterday. It was very difficult. I broke down for a minute or two, and then I got back to business. I did the best I could for him.

I miss him terribly.

Thank you, everybody who gave condolences. It did help.
michaeldthomas: (Joey)
We has sick kitty.

It’s a little tense around here today. Joey isn’t feeling well. He’s been lethargic since Friday. I made a Monday appointment for him almost as soon as he got lethargic, but he’s now a little bit worse. He’s still eating a little and using the box, but he is really out of it. This morning his breathing started to get a little short and raspy. Of course, we immediately called the vet. The vet says it’s probably an upper-respiratory thing, and we can wait until his Monday appointment. Still, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t really worried.

Lynne and I are very close to Joey Cat. Lynne got him 11 years ago as a kitten back when she was alone in Philadelphia. When I entered the picture, Joseph and I bonded. He is my cat. He checks up on me, sits in my lap, and is generally the most awesome cat ever. It’s been two years since we lost Sarah Cat to diabetes. We just aren’t ready to lose him, too. Of course, who is ever ready to lose somebody that they love.

I’m tired of illness and death.

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michaeldthomas

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