Friday, September 28, 2007

Why I Can't Finish My Quilt

There's a large, furry weight on my quilt, anchoring the cloth so that it won't go through my sewing machine.
This weighty thing also takes lightning-swift swipes at the thread, the needle, and my hand, which disturbs the sewing zen.
It only disappears when the long, unattached binding strip, trailing across the desk and floor, attracts its attention, and its claws.
I love my Spock-cat.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

kitten problems

We are not doing well with kittens.

Spock (one-year-old silver tabby) is fine (probably -- see Isis, below).

Citrus (12-week old orange tabby) was diagnosed with a previous spinal injury that left him gimpy and not reliable in the litterbox. Our vet adopted him from us and is rehabilitating him for placement in a home that can handle his special needs. (I love my vet!)

Isis, Citrus's replacement, (10-week-old tortoise shell) tested positive for feline leukemia. I didn't realize how bad this is -- basically, it's a death sentence*. And it's extremely infectious to other cats. She is currently isolated in a bathroom until we get the results from a more accurate laboratory test. If that is positive (and the vet says it almost certainly will be), we'll have to euthanize her.

The vet feels that Spock's risk of having contracted it from her is low, as he is older and more resistant, and has only spent one week with her. Nevertheless we will have to have him retested in four to six months.

So it's kind of a hard weekend, with Isis basically on death row until we get the second test results. It should come in Monday or Tuesday. In the meantime, we are trying to give her love and attention without focusing on the outcome. She deserves all the love she can get.

Think good thoughts for my daughter, please. She is taking it hard.

*I understand that one can keep a cat with feline leukemia comfortable as long as possible -- apparently 85% die within three years -- but not with other cats free of the disease. We don't think it's fair to Spock to keep her, or fair to Isis to keep her in a very confined, separate space long-term. While there is a small chance that she could overcome the infection, it is only a small chance, and would take months before we knew for sure.

ETA: On September 24, the second test came back positive, and we put Isis down. My vet was wonderful, treating Isis tenderly and crying right along with me.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

what time is it?

Photo by Duncan McNeil (dmcneil) on, under a Creative Commons license.
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So am I nuts, or what?

This morning I had coffee with some very good friends in a local cafe. It's brand new, with minimal decorating. Other than furniture and a small fireplace, the most prominent piece in the room is an enormous clock, probably 2 1/2 feet across, visible from every seat and table (not the clock above -- that one is in Scotland).

I've been there four times. Every time, the clock has shown the wrong time. It's not just a little off -- it's way off, not even close to the hour or minute.

The first time, I figured the place was new, with many details not yet worked out (want cream or milk in your self-serve coffee? You have to ask for it. The cashier hands you a gallon jug.).

By the fourth time, I was amused and a little irritated. I'm enjoying a coffee, staring at an enormous clock face which tells me it is 4:24 in the afternoon. Huh. I thought it was more like 9 in the morning. Silly me.

It's not important, just disconcerting. So today I timidly asked the cashier if she could maybe set the clock to the proper time.

She looked at me like I was nuts. "It's decorative," she said. "It doesn't need to be set."

I hemmed a bit and commented that it was running, so would it be too difficult to just set it to the right time? "I don't have the authority to do that," she replied.

Um, perhaps the manager could set it? "He doesn't have that authority. Only Corporate does."

I must have looked astonished, because she got defensive. "Look," she said, "we figure everyone has a watch or a cell phone. No one needs to look at the clock for the time."

I was speechless.

But am I nuts?

(p.s. You still have to ask for the gallon jug to put white in your coffee.)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

kitty video

Nothing extraordinary here, just our cats being cute.

Citrus, the little orange kitten, has some congenital problems that make it difficult for him to walk,* so it warms my heart to see him having fun.

*The vet assures me he's not in pain, and he can walk, albeit a bit unsteadily.

Friday, September 07, 2007


My mother-in-law passed on last year. She was a woman of remarkable generosity and talent. As the wife of a Navy officer, she moved her family across the country -- and an ocean -- many times with efficiency and grace. And she was thrifty: she could squeeze a dime till it screamed, let alone squeaked.

One of her talents was sewing, from cushions to tailored suits. And by going through her sewing supplies, I'm awed once again by her thriftiness. Several spools had different threads on them, just dabs of each. I'm guessing that she wound leftover bobbin thread onto empty spools to save for the next time she needed that color.

She saved every snap and fastener, even if its mate were gone. Perhaps she saved them for mending, or just from habit.
And there were jars upon boxes of buttons, sorted by color and sometimes type: I wonder what she used the purple buttons for. Clearly most of the buttons were used, cut from old clothing. Somebody must have worn a lot of shirts with little white buttons!

I'm sorting through the threads, buttons, notions, needles, and fabrics, choosing some to keep and some to pass on to others. (If anyone needs grey buttons, I think I have several pounds of them.) While I don't keep my thread ends, I am going to put one of the multi-colored spools on my sewing table to remind me of my mother-in-law, her talents, and her thrift.