9/30 -- Buh-bye, September.
Rascal Bag-Leg

Up there is Rascal wearing a bandage to cover the catheter in his leg and his best "What in the HELL are you people doing to me now!?" face.

Goodbye, September. Get the fucking hell out of here, September. Feel that WHAM, September? That was the door hitting you in the ass. Hard.

September couldn't end without one last awful and traumatic thing happening -- a week ago, Rascal started declining. Fast. We'd gotten a little too nonchalant about Rascal's diabetes in the last couple of months or so, perhaps. When he started showing some disturbing signs of backsliding -- knocking us over to slurp up water from the bathroom faucet, draining the water bowls -- we said "Oh, we better call the vet about that soon."

We'll never be that casual about his health again. I'm only thankful we got a chance to learn our lesson with him, because for a while there it looked like we were going to lose him. He developed a condition known as ketoacidosis. Some diabetic cats don't come out of that alive. Rascal did, finally, but I'm pretty sure he cashed in a couple of his nine lives to get back to us.

He'd done well with daytime vet care on Saturday and Sunday, but by Sunday night he was going downhill fast. On Monday morning I stumbled out of bed with that spooky "Something's wrong" feeling and found Bill huddled over the bathroom rug stroking what looked like a completely lifeless Rascal. "Oh my god. He died. Bill's trying to tidy him up before I see him", I thought in a panic. He wasn't dead, obviously, but when we left him with our vet, we hadn't been in the car ten minutes before they called us on Bill's cellphone to tell us that they were going to have to start some pretty aggressive treatment to try to save him.

I won't give a blow-by-blow of everything that happened next. Somehow, thanks to some kind of minor miracle, he started turning around on Tuesday. We'd left a cat that looked unresponsive and three-fourths dead at an emergency vet clinic in Vienna on Monday night. But when we picked him up on Tuesday morning to take him back to our regular vet, he was alert and chirpy and sassy. I've never been so happy to feel him struggle to get out of my arms.

By Tuesday night, our vet carried him out to us and said to our great surprise "I'm going to let you take him home. He's eating. He's had his insulin. He should be fine." I didn't know about that. She'd said that on Sunday, too, and we nearly lost him that night. But this time, she was right. After spending one last day at the vet's office to monitor his glucose levels, he came home for good.

For now, anyhow. Things are going to change dramatically for him. As much as I like our house-call vets, it's obvious that the home treatment wasn't cutting it for him. He's going to have to be taken to the vet's office much more often to be monitored. And he gets insulin twice a day now, which means that we had to get up early this weekend to give him his morning shot on time.

But we woke up with him nestled between us both those days. He hasn't done that in a while and I like to think that it's his way of telling us he isn't ready to leave us yet, any more than we're ready to see him go. He's worth any trouble we have to go through now to make sure he stays healthy.

Because I always complained about the people at my previous job, I just wanted to say this for the record: My supervisor now is extremely cool. Really, unbelievably, utterly cool. He's had a very sick dog for the last few months, and he completely understood what I was going through last week. I stayed home from work for a "mental health day" on Tuesday and gave some half-assed excuse about having a migraine, and then felt bad for lying about it. He already knew Rascal was sick, and I know he would have accepted the truth.

Not much else has been going on. If September brought one good thing, it was the advent of fall weather here. I've had to remember to put on a coat the last few mornings, and I love it. It still warms up to the 70s in the daytime, but I've left the sliding door open at night to drink in the chilly air. It's about time. It really is.

To celebrate the end of September, here's some random cat silliness:

Cleo v. Ash

Cleo is not fond of our new talking Ash (from "Army of Darkness") action figure. Cleo does not appreciate being addressed as a "primitive screwhead." Cleo didn't find it nearly as funny as Bill and I did that the flash on our digital camera apparently triggers the sensor mechanism that makes Ash talk.

Hey! Why aren't you posting in the forum? I promise we aren't fighting over politics there.

The next entry.

Previously, in Insomniaville ...

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