8/3 -- Rascal Update
Rascal by our sliding-glass door

I think the above picture is the best one I've taken with my digital camera so far. And next to a photograph taken by one of Bill's friends and given to us as a gift, it's my favorite picture of Rascal. He tends to be a terrible photo subject -- point a camera at him and he usually stops whatever photoworthy thing he's doing and saunters over to sniff the lens. That's why so many of the pictures of him on Bill's cat nerd page show him sleeping. It's practically the only time he'll hold a pose.

Rascal had a checkup this week, and I'm thrilled to report that he's coming along like gangbusters. (If you just recently tuned in, Rascal developed diabetes complications earlier this year. He was in bad, bad shape for a while.) He's gained back three pounds. He's still somewhat skinny, but at least he doesn't look like he'd blow away in a breeze anymore. And as he's diabetic, it's probably just as well if he doesn't return to his previous tank-like dimensions.

He's perky and feisty and feels good enough to pick fights with Mindy and Cleo. Or bolt out the front door when we come home from work. (He never gets very far. He's lived in one-level apartments all his life and the stairs outside our door totally confound him. When he figures out how stairs work, we're really going to have trouble on our hands.)

I also think that connecting with our house-calling vets is one of the best things that's happened to us this year. If you're in the Herndon-Reston area and want their contact info, let me know. I can't recommend them enough. Even if they were assholes, the house calls alone would probably be worth it; they spare the cats so much trauma. But our vet and her assistant are incredibly nice, caring people. They were genuinely delighted to see how well Rascal was doing. "Are you sure this is the same cat?" the doctor asked more than once. "When I came in the door, I wasn't sure. His face is filling out and his coat's so shiny now!"

I've mentally dubbed her assistant "Harry Potter." The first time he came to our apartment, he was wearing a brightly-patterned shirt with some sort of stars-and-wizards motif. I took in the shirt, the dark hair, and the glasses all at once, and it popped right into my head: Harry Potter grown up. I like Harry Potter, so it's a compliment. (I haven't shared this with him, however. But I mean it in a good way.) Anyhow, on Wednesday morning I saw Harry Potter cuddle Rascal and give him a kiss between the ears while they were getting their various needles and vials ready. I've never seen a vet or an assistant do that to any of my animals. And it's great. It's cool that they care that much.

With Rascal's renewed vigor came more resistance to the vets, but I'm honestly glad to see him putting up a fight. He'd slip out of their hands and arc through the air like a dolphin leaping above water. The first time they came to see him, he didn't even struggle when Dr. Foster trimmed his claws. That speaks volumes about how miserably sick he must have been feeling, because clipping a healthy Rascal's claws is a bloody ordeal that leaves everyone with battle scars.

So he's doing better. I'm getting my baby back. Not to sound too drama-queenish, but for a while this year I was just terrified that we were going to lose him. Cats don't suddenly drop more than 50% of their body weight for any good reason. I'm still disgusted with myself for letting him go until he was a fur-covered sack of bones before finally consenting to call in a vet. What the hell was I thinking?

And I'm more grateful than I could ever express that he's recovering. It's just so nice to be able to scoop him up and feel him heavier in my hands again, and give him a little hug and feel him purring when I press him close. Really -- just a simple moment like that can dispel an entire day's worth of Bad Mood Mojo.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Indulging my inner hit slut

(It's probably about time to declare Clix another failed experiment...)

The next entry.

Previously, in Insomniaville ...

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