dianeduane: (Default)
You missed.
"You missed."

And right there you can see why.

That's Mr. Goodman. He's the last of  our cats. All his previous companions have departed our household over the last few years due either to old age (Mr. Squeak was eighteen when his body simply wore out) or an increasingly frequent and profoundly upsetting new form of attrition: roadkill.

The little country road which was very quiet when we moved here -- it'd be an event if a car passed more than once an hour -- has become busier and busier over the last few years. Our house is badly placed in that we're just past a sharp curve which forces drivers to slow down... and after that, they then (in the all-too-familiar manner of frustrated Irish drivers in the countryside) immediately hit the gas again.  They don't much care what's in front of them when they speed up, it seems.

Bubble, Beemer, and little Pip were all lost to us this way. In all cases it was mercifully instantaneous... not that this was much consolation. They had all been raised as outdoor countryside cats:  keeping them in was never a realostic option. They lived happy lives until those lives stopped. Now only Goodman's left, and he's sad, because until now he's never been alone in his life. We've been holding off on dealing with this while we started working out how to handle the problem, since we really don't want to lose any more cats the way Beems, Bubs and Pipkin went. 

Now, though, it's time to get Mr. G.  some friends, and we have a request in at the best of our local rural vets for a pair of female littermates, eight weeks old. But these guys are going to be actively dissuaded from going out in the road. We're going to be installing in-the-ground pet security fencing, the kind that keeps the pet from crossing it. Goodman won't mind this, as he doesn't roam much at his age (he's thirteen and was neutered early) and the kittens won't mind either; our yard's a good size inside the fencing, and they'll have plenty of room to do the usual crazy kitten things. (And ideally they'll run Goodman ragged, which he'll enjoy. Even at thirteen he has a lot of fun in him: when he gets the wind up his tail, his "handbrake turns" on the tile at the bottom of the stairs are something to see.)

Last week we ran a sale at our Ebooks Direct store to help defray the costs of the fencing (which are fairly hefty). Since we're not quite where we need to be on this as yet, I've asked our store manager to rev up the discount codes and start the sale going again. We're deepening the discount a little, too: until further notice, everybody can have 60% off anything in the store. The discount code is JUNEJULY -- if you need info on how to use the discounts at our shop, it's here.

All the ebooks in our catalog are included -- you can browse the catalog here to see what we have to offer. Newest in the store are the Peter Morwood "Horse Lord" prequels Greylady and Widowmaker, and DD's new ebooks Raetian Tales 1: A Wind from the South and Stealing the Elf-King's Roses: The Author's Cut; and of course we also feature (and are discounting) the 9-volume Young Wizards International Edition complete sets.

All you have to do to obtain the discount is use the discount code / coupon code JUNEJULY during the checkout process. As mentioned above, instructions about how and when to put the code in are here.

If you feel inclined to pass news about the sale on to others by Tweeting or retweeting, blogging, reblogging (from Tumblr), sharing (on Google + or Facebook), or whatever, that would be very kind of you, and Peter and I and Goodman will all thank you very much indeed.  (But you knew that.)   :)


dianeduane: (Default)
Just a quick thank-you to those who've tweeted and emailed over the weekend to ask how Squeaky is.

For the last few months he'd become increasingly subdued and lethargic at home. Initially we put this down to the aftereffects of a bitterly cold and snowy winter, during which he actively refused to go out very much, and to Squeak's considerable age (he's somewhere in the neighborhood of eighteen years old). But when he also started losing weight over the last month and getting actively frail, we became a lot more concerned.

On Friday we got him to the best of the local veterinary practices in our area for a checkup and to have bloods drawn. When the results came in on Saturday morning, the vet called us and asked us to bring him in immediately for hospitalization, the diagnosis being chronic renal failure.

Squeaky's spent the weekend on IVs, essentially having his kidneys flushed clean, being hydrated and stuffed full of steroids and various other medications, and being evaluated to see whether his renal disease can be managed through diet and medication or not. His condition has been improving -- the vet told us today that when he was admitted "he'd let us do anything we wanted with him" but that now "his personality was coming out a lot more" -- meaning, I strongly suspect, the part of his personality usually expressed with his claws when something happens that Mr. Squeak considers inconsistent with his dignity. Since he has only two teeth left, I suspect they aren't that much of an issue. But even in his frail state he still has a skogkatt's big catcher's-mitt paws, and packs a wallop when he hits someone with them. Squeak's padawan apprentice Mr. Goodman, having been on the receiving end of smacking from these weapons from a young age, still treats Squeak with great respect even though he outweighs Squeaky by 50%.

Anyway, the hospital is looking at being ready to release him to home care tomorrow sometime. In the short term Squeak will now need the expected special renal diet, and probably diuretics as well, and monthly injections of this and that to help metabolize the built-up toxins that his kidneys and liver are no longer capable of handling unassisted. Only time will tell at this point how long the treatment will extend his life.

Naturally we're overjoyed that our old friend isn't going to have to depart the household just yet. What the future will hold remains to be revealed (but then that's the way things usually go anyway...). The only thing we can be sure about right now is the vet bills. (And for those of you who've been idly considering a subscription to The Big Meow, or picking up a copy of the Uptown Local and Other Interventions anthology ebook, or something else from the DianeDuane.com ebook shop, let me suggest that this would absolutely be the perfect moment for it.)

In any case, thanks again to all those who inquired about Squeaky's health. We can't wait to get him home.

May 2017

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