Monday, September 29, 2008

Merlin the Kitten

This is Merlin a few weeks after being rescued...

He was rescued from the gutter (for real) when he was about 4 weeks old. He should have weighed at least one pound but he only weighed 9 ounces. He had over 100 fleas and was too weak to swallow kitten formula dripped into his mouth. He could barely lift his head and had lost his meow, probably from crying for help for a very, very long time. He was having trouble breathing and was breathing through his mouth.

I gave him a subcutaneous infusion of fluid and bathed him to rid him of the fleas and the water turned red with his blood. After three hours of no improvement, I took him to the emergency pet hospital. He had been attacked by so many fleas that he was severely anemic. He barely had enough red blood cells in his body to carry enough oxygen to sustain life. He stayed the night in the hospital and received an immediate blood transfusion. He is the "Six Hundred Dollar Man-Cat."

Throughout the next day, he improved every few hours. By the end of the day he was vigorously sucking down kitten formula. By the end of the second day, he could walk. He gained about one ounce per day for a week, finally hitting the one pound mark. He continued to gain for another 5 days, putting on some fat. Suddenly, he slept for nearly 12 hours straight and when he woke up he was taller! He now had enough reserves to grow. Over a month later, he got his meow back. It didn't come suddenly, but little by little and it's still getting stronger.

In all of these pictures, Merlin weighed what Gwyneth Rose weighed at birth. Gwyneth was born 15+ weeks early. You can see his size when compared to a full-grown Sam. Can you imagine a little human baby the size of a 6 week old kitten?

This is Merlin playing with Mischa, a four month old kitten I rescued after he tried jumping head-first through a chainlink fence. Thankfully, he didn't hang himself. He now lives with a nice family all his own.

And this is Merlin with my Velvet. Velvet is full grown and is average in size, but a little stocky. Not to be mistaken with overweight. She's just as stocky as my Sammy is lithe.

Merlin is now over 2 1/2 pounds and will be getting neutered soon and adopted to a new home. He does have a strange thing going on, his all black fur has slowly been turning white. At first, just at the base of his tail, then up his back in two stripes like a skunk, and now the only all black part he has is the top of his head and his ears. I'll be consulting a vet this week because it's very strange, though otherwise he seems perfectly healthy.

And that is the story of Merlin and how he survived and is turning from a black cat into a white one.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Modern Woman

This gave me a good laugh. It's what I bought a couple weeks ago at W-Mart the night before I drove to Fresno to visit my aunt. It was about 9:30pm and when I saw this combination of stuff on the conveyor belt I started laughing. I mean, let's face it, the nail polish screams "girly-girl," the frozen dinner screams "too busy to cook, or can't cook, but cares about her health" the romantic novel screams "air-head Cinderella," and the motor oil screams "Super Self-Sufficient Modern Woman who understands and takes care of the innards of her car herself!" Looks like I'm pretty well-rounded! Oh, and that frozen dinner was about the best I've EVER eaten!

What's the oddest group of stuff you've ever bought late at night?

Apple's Custom Jammies

How could I resist these? Were they made for Apple and me or what?

Honestly, today was full of emotional ups and downs. It was the day my fencing club has its annual beach picnic. It's a day I look forward to all year long. I'm already looking forward to next year's event. I was wondering if it's possible that Apple will be with me for it next year, or the year after that?

Sadly, this time last year, I came home after the picnic to find my cat, Max, sprawled on the kitchen floor, unable to get up. A few hours later, he died in my arms. Whenever I think about it, I feel like it's only been four months since this happened, not an entire year.

This year, I'm preparing to say goodbye to my cat Bianca. She is in her final time of life as she goes through cancer. It's in her head, around her left jaw bone. Her face is now very assymetrical and it's very difficult for her to eat. Her skin is somehow effected, it's thickened and stiffened and her tongue is also effected to a degree. I give her subcutaneous fluids every few days, pain medication and I prepare her food so that it's easier for her to eat it.

It was also, exactly, at this time, that my TuTu began the process that turned out to be the natural end of her very long life.

Now that I've written this, I can see why I was driven to shop this weekend, a lot, while I should have been saving as much money as possible. Here's the list of items in this picture left to right:

    · Foam Building Blocks for my daycare
    · DVD for me (family-type movie)
    · Kitten socks & tights for Apple
    · 6 Outfits for Apple, all sizes
    · Hair bows for Apple
    · CD of Feng Shui music for relaxation
    · Foam Alphabet Blocks for my daycare
    · Toy tool kit (B-day present for 2 yr. old)

Here are the socks and tights up close since they are my favorites. In fact, I'm going to search all the Gymborees in my area to find a large size in the tights.

Apple's Dresser

This was the last thing on my list of what I wanted for Apple's room. I'm going to paint it white, of course, to match her crib, and put nice new knobs on it, probably glass, to match the lamp. Oh, I guess I forgot to take a picture of the lamp. Hang on and I'll go take one...

Anyway, back to the dresser, it was a whole $45 (craigslist) and it's solid wood, though the drawers are not dove-tail constructed. It was EXACTLY what I wanted - under 4" wide, bun feet, two columns of drawers and not too tall. I can put a changing mat on the top if Apple is young, and she can reach the top when she's a few years old. It doesn't look baby-ish so it will grow with her room. I'll put a mirror above it on the wall. I can just picture her around 8 years old with her jewelery box, lamp, comb and brush and little nick-knacks on the top of it.

The lamp is from Target. I agonized over it and the lamp shade, but when I got it home, it was perfect. I'm looking forward to putting everything together. I'll do it when her referral is closer or when I'm done with the REALLY, REALLY BIG - HUGE thing.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fashion Show Friday 3

Alas, pictures! I still haven't found the USB cable to my camera so I bought another one. For your viewing pleasure, I present the latest fashion wear I've purchased for Apple, modeled by a mannequin. To view each item larger, simply click on the image.

Designed by Wendy Bellissimo is a dainty cotton crepe summer dress with a drop-waist and matching sun hat.

This fun bubble romper is a hand-me-down. The colorful jungle print will be fun to match with polkadot tights and a brightly colored shirt if it fits Apple in winter instead of summer.

Apple will be ready for the beach, or, at least the poolside in Guangzhou in this basic set mix & matched from the sale rack. The little doll is by Carolle and seems to have been a very limited production run.

Gymboree has done it again. I believe this dress is part of the Neapolitan line that came out in early spring 2008. I found it at a baby resale store and can image Apple's first stroller portrait in this dress. I particularly love the hat with its side bow.

I was lucky to walk away with this comfy set, a long-sleeved t-shirt hoodie and leggings with an appliqued and embroidered elephant design along the hem. I wish you could feel how super-soft the fabric is. I'll give you a hint as to where I purchased it: "If they could just stay little 'til their ______ wear out!" If you know the answer or want to guess, please post a comment.

I have noticed that my photos don't seem very vibrant and always come out rather dark. I edit them before posting them, but I'm still not satisfied. If anyone is tech-savvy, I'd love some advice. For some reason, I don't think I had this problem when I first got the camera so perhaps I've done something to the camera settings or my monitor settings.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Long Month

I haven't been posting because I've been insanely busy, plus I've misplaced my USB cable to my camera and can't download any of the pictures or videos I've taken.

Quick highlight:

    · I've got 6 kids enrolled now in my daycare.
    · I've had 2 unrelated foster kittens.
    · I still have 1 of the kittens, who was saved from the brink of death.
    · My cat, Bianca, has a tumor in her head.
    · I've gotten more baby clothes.
    · We had a horrendous heatwave without A/C, even in the car.
    · I'm working on something REALLY, REALLY BIG - HUGE, in fact!
    · I attended a singles conference this weekend.
    · I moved storage places and will moving more this week.
    · Shana, Sophie Lu's mom, had a baby girl!

17 Months Since LID