K, I’m exhausted, plus hard times for kitties!

Today I took my mother for her follow up appointment with the specialist, to tell her how her scope went.

The one she still thinks didn’t happen, because she doesn’t remember the procedure.

The one where, even after the explanation by the pharmacist that seemed to mollify her, she still thinks prescribed her new medications, replacing other medications she suddenly now things worked so well (which rather contradicts why she went to the doctor over concerns that lead her to this specialist in the first place).

It didn’t help that, once we got there, we ended up waiting in the examination room for an hour before he came to see her!

My mother wasn’t at her worse behaviour towards me, but she certainly wasn’t having one of her better days.

I am so exhausted.

As for her procedure, they found no problems. No damage to her esophagus or trachea at all. No, he didn’t change her medications on her and did not give her any new prescriptions.

As for her not remembering the procedure, he talked about the medicine they put into her IV (she’d never mentioned an IV to me; only the throat spray) and how he’d talked to her about not finding any reason to take any samples…

It wasn’t until we were driving home that something finally cleared up for me. After her procedure, she talked to me about how a doctor she’d never seen before had spoken to her and told her they didn’t “finish” because she was on blood thinners, so she was convinced that taking samples was THE reason she was there, but they didn’t do anything at all, because she didn’t stop her blood thinners.

On the drive home, she suddenly asked me, was this the same doctor that we saw last time?

Yes, it was.

She didn’t recognise him. It must be because he was wearing a mask.

No, he wasn’t. No one at the clinic was wearing a mask.

Which is when I asked her if she hadn’t recognized him at the hospital. There was a pause, and I could almost hear the “click” in her brain, and she said, no, she hadn’t.

All this time, she thought the procedure had been done by a completely different doctor she’d never met before.

Once she realized what was going on, she commented that she’s been having a harder time remembering faces.

!!

There was a whole lot of other stuff we talked about during the hours I spent with her, and most of them were not pleasant. Even telling her mundane stuff, like how we had to replace the parts inside the toilet tank, and need to call a plumber for the bathroom fixtures, she suddenly went off on a tangent about how I only ever talk about “bad” stuff, and how if I only went to church, we would have blessings and nothing would ever go wrong anymore. *sigh* She’s been watching too much TV prosperity gospel. Particularly stuff by people on talk shows, selling their books. God is not a magic genie in a bottle, there to answer our wishes.

It gets really mentally exhausting trying to keep up with the sudden changes in topic or getting blindsided by illogical assumptions.

It made the hours seem so much longer, that’s for sure.

But, it went over okay overall, even if she went off on how she wished she never saw this doctor, and that the procedure was a total waste of time, etc., etc.

I was more than happy to get home.

Before I settled in for the evening, though, I decided to feed the outside cats, first.

When I go into the old kitchen, the cats in the sun room hear the noises I make and get pretty active. I started to hear a very unusual meowing, though. One I did not recognise. I opened the inner door to see, and discovered The Distinguished Guest was there.

Then he turned to walk towards an empty food bowl.

Using only three legs.

He wasn’t putting any weight on one front paw, if he could avoid it. I couldn’t see any blood or obvious injury, but recently we’d heard a cat fight outside, and when my daughter checked, she saw it was Shop Towel and TDG again – the two toms that wander in and out, but don’t live here.

I’m so glad we brought Potato Beetle inside.

Poor TDG is having a really hard time, but he won’t let us near him. He was hungry enough to not run away completely while I was putting kibble out, but he did keep running off to other trays, as I moved around.

I’m still sure that he used to be a pet that got dumped. When he first showed up, he did allow us to pet him, but now he’s gotten completely feral.

I really don’t know how to help him. I don’t want to contact the rescue about him. For starters, we have no way of knowing when he’ll be around, so it’s not like we can count on trapping him. Plus, she’s still recovering from major surgery.

She did contact me last night, sharing about how Cabbages, the bitties, and the other outside kittens that got adopted out.

Including Plushy, who just went through some major surgery, too!

Thankfully, he went to a family of means!

He had been perfectly fine until one morning, he threw up and there was blood. They immediately took him to a vet. They X-rayed him and found an intestinal blockage, from a twist. It’s the sort of thing that can happen randomly and has no specific cause. They put him into surgery immediately, and found all his intestines were messed up. It ended up taking a team of 3 vets 4 hours (and $6000, up front!!!!) to save him. Apparently, they were amazed he didn’t die as a kitten, with how is insides looked. !!!

He is now on special food, because his intestines are now shorter, but is doing fine. In fact, other than throwing up blood that one time, there had been no sign of any problems at all! While he was living with the cat lady and getting vet care, there was no sign of problems. Of course, while he was living here, when he finally decided that human contact was an enjoyable thing, we saw no issues, either. Yet, apparently his insides were messed up and, while it’s not actually unusual, when it happens, they usually die as kittens.

The Cat Lady even commented about how so many cats from us have had problems. With Tissue, it was behavioural. Cabbages had her major health problems (she’s doing fantastic now, and angry at the Cat Lady for being chastised after stealing a chicken leg off the counter), Muffin is a total homewrecker that is all over her husband, but won’t let the Cat Lady come near her, and of the two bitties they still have, the tuxedo turns out to have a “grade 3” heart murmur, which is apparently the most common type. Not a major issue, but still something to keep an ear on.

The bitties are going to be fixed during spring break, and they are totally loving life with the Cat Lady and the other rescues!

I wonder if we’d ever even discover they had issues if they had remained yard cats? Yard cats tend to have such short life spans, we’d probably never know if they disappeared because of something like this, or if a coyote or eagle or something got them.

I’m just glad the family that has Plushy now was both willing and able to have her taken care of!

The Re-Farmer

Plans? What are those?

Today turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous day! Just look at that sky!

It was nice and mild, with almost no wind, too.

Among my plans for the day was to take my mother’s car out for a test run, but also get some seeds started, now that the living room is barricaded from the cats and the shop lights are hung up by the window the current seedlings will be rotated to.

Well, that changed.

First, I got a call from my mother.

She was upset, because the specialist had put her on new medication, and she hasn’t been feeling well since the procedure she still thinks didn’t happen, and he’s not her doctor, so why did he change her blood thinners to something else?

After asking questions, things became less clear! I couldn’t tell if she had a new medication added to her bubble packs, or if there was a new medication outside of her bubble packs, or what was going on with her blood thinners, which were now a different colour, and another pill was now a different size and no longer has a number on it, and…

I asked if she could read or spell to me the name of the new medication, but she just started talking about her blood thinners, and how she hasn’t been feeling well since the procedure and it’s because the specialist changed her medication… but she got her prescriptions delivered only recently, so she’s only been on these “new” medications for a few days. But she was telling me it’s the new medications that where making her not feel well…

It got very confusing.

So…

I asked if she wanted me to come over to take a look.

Well, she did need to go to the bank, and the pharmacy, and she’s running out of groceries…

Well, now!

So we worked out a time for me to come over, and for me to pick up lunch, since her fridge is getting empty… oh, and I’d better make sure the girls would take over for me at home, so that I could stay with her for a long time.

*sigh*

All righty, then!

So I talked to the girls about what I needed to get done, so that I could at least have space to start on the seeds, then headed to bed.

It was a very cat-interrupted night, so I didn’t get much sleep.

Then, I made a discovery when I popped out to use the bathroom during the night, then paused to talk to my husband.

The door of the cat barrier was open.

I know I latched it after I turned the lights over the aquarium greenhouses off. Did someone open it during the night? My husband had seen it open, but thought I’d done that deliberately. I mentioned it to the girls, and they basically said the same thing.

So I latched it again, after making sure there were no cats in the living room, and went back to bed.

In the morning, it was open again, and the living room was full of cats.

After spending some time checking the hook and eye latch and trying to figure out what was going on, my husband suggested pulling on the bottom of the door, like a cat might do.

Sure enough, a couple of pulls on the bottom of the door, and the hook bounced right out of the screw eye and the door swung open a few inches.

Well.

So much for a cat barricade!

I let the girls know what we found, so they could figure something out while I was away.

Because I didn’t have a chance to test drive my mother’s car to see if that shudder was done, now that I’d knocked the ice away from the moving parts of one wheel, I used our van. My mother has a little folding step stool she can use to help her climb into the van.

I left early enough to hit a bank machine before going to the Chinese restaurant for the lunch that she wanted (but no rice, because rice makes her cough… ???), only to find the door locked. Again! The sign said they were open 7 days a week, and they should have been open for more than an hour, by the time I got there. The last time I tried to go there was when I spent the night at my mother’s after her scope procedure, and she wanted take out for supper, and they were closed then, too. Was the restaurant gone?

I decided to go with the fall back option and went to the gas station that has the most awesome fried chicken and potato wedges (just chicken for me, since I’ve given up starches and sugar for Lent; the breading on the chicken is pushing it! ๐Ÿ˜), though my mother has decided it makes her sick. While paying for it, I asked about the Chinese restaurant, and it turns out that they are now closed on Mondays – they just haven’t changed their signs yet!

Good to know!

Thankfully, my mother didn’t complain too much about the fried chicken, though she did mock me a bit for not eating any potatoes. Because, of course… ๐Ÿ˜„

After lunch, I got her to show me her pills, and we got out her bubble pack. She showed me the pills that were now different; she had called them pink, but they were more orange than the lighter yellow they had been before – and in certain lights, those lighter yellow ones had looked pink to me in the past, so that had added to my confusion! She had the prescription list from an old bubble pack that I could compare with.

There were no new medications, and no changes to her dosages.

The only difference was the prefix to the name of her blood thinners, which I told her probably meant they were from a different company.

But why would this doctor change her medications? He’s not her doctor!

Since one of her stops was the pharmacy, I told her we could ask them, but said again, she has no new medications, and no new doses, so it must be a different company – and the doctor would have nothing to do with that. It’s just that sometimes, one brand isn’t available, so the pharmacy has to substitute with another brand that’s the same thing. This has happened to my husband’s medications quite a few times, over the years. She was not reassured, but looking forward to talking to the pharmacist about it.

Before we headed out, though, my brother had reminded me to call for maintenance to tend to my mother’s shower drain. She hasn’t been showering for about a month now, because so much water accumulates at the bottom, she has to stop before it starts flooding into the rest of the bathroom. She’s been refusing to call because the call goes to the city, and that’s really bad and a waste, and she shouldn’t have to call anyone, she should just tell someone here (who that someone is I’m not sure, since she still believes the social workers from the Senior’s Centre are managers for her building), and so on. So before we headed out, I tried calling the number for the department that owns her building, only to get a recording giving me another number for maintenance calls. I didn’t have paper and pen, so I hung up and started getting paper and pen together – until my mother brought me a letter that had the maintenance number right there! She could have given that to me right from the start, instead of directing me to the other number. ๐Ÿ˜„ It was an 800 number, so not long distance, which she was concerned about, too.

I called the number, followed the automated system, and found myself talking to what sounded like a guy in his truck. Talk about going right to the source! I explained the issue, with my mother confirming details and giving permission for them to enter her place if she wasn’t home.

That being arranged, we headed out.

Sure enough, when we talked to the pharmacist, the change in her pills was exactly what I thought it was. Just a change in companies. Seeing my mother’s concern, the pharmacist took the time to explain how it works legally for when they have to do substitutions, and that if it’s made by a generic company, they have to prove to the government that the pills are exactly the same for doses, etc. before they can be approved as a substitute. When she could see my mother’s eyes start glazing over, she started explaining more to me, so that I could “translate” things in vocabulary my mother would understand. She did such a great job of it, my mother was actually reassured, and that’s saying something!

The last stop for her errands was the grocery store and, by then, it was getting to be too much for her. Even with the stool, by the end of it, she was having a really hard time getting into the van. She was even saying to me, when we get a new vehicle, to make sure it has a handle by the door that she can grab onto! There actually are handles for the seats by the sliding doors, but when we tried having her climb into the middle of the van, instead of the front seat, it was even worse! Her knees are definitely giving her a hard time – which she has also been trying to blame on her medications, because now she thinks they should somehow make her knees better, even though none of them are painkillers or related to her knees in any way. She’s been on these meds for more than a decade, and before the car accident that messed up her one knee in particular, so I don’t know why she would think that!

I might be doing more grocery trips for her, while she stays home! Mind you, with so many errands to run today, it was a lot more stress on her knees than just a grocery trip would be.

Once back at her place, with everything put away, we settled down for a cup of tea. She kept offering me pie or toast or cookies or crackers – the crackers don’t have sugar! – to go with the tea, and made sure I knew how silly she thought it was for me to give up sugar and starches! I told her she could have whatever she wanted with her tea, and didn’t have to change anything for me, but she went with just tea, too.

While we were having our tea, there was a knock at the door.

It was someone to tend to my mother’s shower drain! I couldn’t believe it! I was expecting someone to show up sometime in a few days, not right away!

The woman turned out to be a manager for the building, and she used the same super powerful stuff we had tried on our own drain when the water from the washing machine kept backing up the drain. The smell was really awful, even with the door closed and the fan on in the bathroom. As she was leaving we talked for a bit in the doorway as I asked for instructions, which helped – except that one of my mother’s neighbours popped out and started yelling and ranting at her for talking in the doorway, because everyone could hear us.

The manager took it in stride, like someone who has dealt with plenty of this sort of thing before!

We also had a small world moment; it turns out she’s related to my SIL, and has known her and my brother for many years! Too funny!

One of the things she said to do was run cold water for a while and, if it still backed up, to let a specific person know when she came in, in a couple of days, and they’d go from there. I waited a while after she left, then ran the water…

… and heard some very familiar sounds, as gurgling water filled the pipe before starting to fill the bottom of the shower!

So I quickly ran out in the off chance she hadn’t left yet, and caught her just as she was returning to the building to fill out a log book.

I was able to give her a good description of what I was hearing as the water backed up, and she was all “you’ve dealt with this before, have you?” ๐Ÿ˜„ Why yes! Yes, I have! I told her about having to get about 30 feet of drain pipe augured. At this point, it has to go to a plumber, so she told me she’d call to make those arrangements as soon as she got back to her vehicle. The plumber might come tonight, but more likely tomorrow.

!!!

I couldn’t believe how fast it was being dealt with! And to think my mother has been putting up with this, and sponge bathing, for a month because she wouldn’t make the maintenance call!

We had a chance to talk some more about our my brother and his wife – she thinks they’re fantastic, too! – and when she found out where I lived, she asked if I happened to know…

Sure enough, we have mutual friends, too!

That done, I updated my mother about the plumber needing to come in and when he might show up. After that, I did have to go before the post office closed, as my husband messaged me to let me know a package had arrived.

Since it was such a nice day, I didn’t stay home long. Instead, I switched keys and left to test drive my mother’s car. If the shuddering was no longer there, I planned to go into town and run it through a car wash to get any last ice and dirt out from the undercarriage and wheels. If it was still shuddering, I’d turn around and come home, instead.

The car was definitely running better. Of course, on the gravel road, I couldn’t really tell at all, but once I reached our little hamlet, it seemed to be running pretty smoothly – at least while I was on smooth parts of the road! Once I got to highway speeds, I could still feel some shuddering, but was that the wheel, or the road conditions? Of course, I was paranoid the whole way, but did keep going to town.

When I parked to run in and buy a car wash, the driver’s side was facing the sun. As I returned to the car, I could see that the last chunk of ice I couldn’t break off had finally fallen loose. Landing on the moving parts, of course! ๐Ÿ˜„ At least I could just knock it off, easily!

What a difference it made. While it hadn’t been bad before, the ride home was noticeably smoother, even on the rougher parts of the road! What a relief! We had been so concerned that something had broken, and it was just a matter of finding and clearing ice out of one wheel. Blows me away how it had made the entire car shudder to such an extreme!

Too bad I hadn’t been able to do this yesterday, so that I could have used my mother’s car to run her errands, today!

Ah, well. It’s taken care of now.

Once at home, I found the girls had taken care of things for me, including moving the hook part of the hook and eye latch, so it wouldn’t bounce out anymore. The only concern is that there’s still a lot of play at the bottom of the door, and Tissue is the one who’s been digging at it. She is a remarkably muscular cat, and if any of them manage to pull it out enough to get through, it’ll be her! A second latch should solve that, I think, but the package I got had only two of them, and we’ve got one on each side, so we can latch is closed behind us when going into the living room.

The main thing is, tomorrow, I need to finally get more seeds started! Tonight, I’ll be going through the packets again to bring out the ones that need to be started this early, and set a few of them up to soak overnight.

It’s a few days late, but it should still be okay, I think.

Until then, I can prep some trays and get some Jiffy pellets soaking overnight, too.

I’m just so excited to be able to finally plant seeds again! The gardening bug it hitting hard, with these mild temperatures we’ve been having, even though the ground it still covered with a couple of feet of snow. ๐Ÿ˜„

The Re-Farmer

This and that…

Yesterday, I double checked with the garage to make sure they were ready to have our van towed over. Then I pumped the flat tire enough to be able to back it out of the garage without driving on the rim. We have a compressor, but the hose couldn’t possibly reach that far (I am considering making an opening in the wall so that the hose end could be passed through, in case we find ourselves in this situation again in the future), but I have a hand pump with a built in pressure gauge. I was able to get to about 20psi when I started hearing the hissing. I ended up slapping a couple of pieces of duct tape over the hole so I could get a bit more air into the tire without it leaking faster than I could pump!

We have a compressor, but the hose couldn’t possibly reach that far (I am considering making an opening in the wall so that the hose end could be passed through, in case we find ourselves in this situation again in the future), but I have a hand pump with a built in pressure gauge. I was able to get to about 20psi when I started hearing the hissing. I ended up slapping a couple of pieces of duct tape over the hole so I could get a bit more air into the tire without it leaking faster than I could pump! All I needed to do was back it out and leave it lined up with the driveway, so the tow truck could easily access it.

Then I called CAA and arranged the tow. The dispatcher couldn’t find our address, of course, since the maps have us on an “un-named road”. She got the directions in the notes, and then I got a call from the towing company soon after. Turns out, they were the same company that towed our van that last time we had to call, more than a year ago. It was the owner that called me, and he remembered taking directions from me before!

Then it was a matter of waiting until a driver was free. I was originally given a wait time of about an hour and a half. About an hour later, I got a robo call saying it would be another 45 minutes. I just hung up from that call when the phone rang again, and it was a real human, calling to make sure I knew about the delay, and apologizing for it.

I’ve always had excellent service with CAA!

I hadn’t get much sleep while at my mother’s, so I set a timer for half an hour so I could close my eyes for a bit. Of course, the cats made sure I still didn’t get much sleep! ๐Ÿ˜„ At one point, I had Fenrir on my hip, Ginger using one hand as a pillow, Butterscotch head butting my other hand, demanding pets – and then Potato Beetle decided it was a good time to walk across me and settle on my shoulder! All four of them, purring like mad.

Eventually, I de-catted myself, got up and went into the kitchen, before going back to monitoring the live feed on the driveway security camera.

I did a double take after glancing out the kitchen window.

The van was gone! We never heard or saw a thing! I thought they’d at least need me to sign something, but nope. The keys were in the van, so the driver had all he needed.

When I checked the trail cam files this morning, I could watch as he backed up our driveway, then left with the van loaded on the flatbed. From the time stamp, he left about 5 or 10 minutes before I got up, and about half an hour earlier than expected!

Today, they were able to check it out and, unfortunately – though not surprisingly, to be honest – it can’t be repaired. I’m going to need a new tire. I ended up going for the less expensive option. If things go as hoped, we won’t be driving the van for long, anyhow. So a new tire has been ordered. When it’s time to pick up the van, I’ll have a chat with him about how things went at the car auction. The fact that he didn’t call me about it tells me he didn’t find anything to meet our needs.

While waiting for the tow truck, I called the clinic to make a follow up appointment for my mother with the specialist. While doing that, I brought up my mother’s confusion about the procedure not being finished somehow, because she was still on her blood thinners. It turns out that the letter they give out is a standard letter that needs to be updated. They don’t ask people to stop taking blood thinners for a scope anymore. Only if they see something of concern and want to take samples for a biopsy will they then book another appointment, and this time the patient would stop taking any blood thinners. If they had seen anything of concern and wanted her to come back, the letter even explained that a doctor would have discussed that with the patient while they were still in the recovery room.

The clinic already had the report, though, and she was able to read it to me. They looked at both her esophagus and her trachea, and everything was “unremarkable”. They saw nothing to warrant taking any samples.

So when I got through to my mother later on, I explained it all to her, including what was in the report.

My mother was immediately suspicous.

It took some questioning, but it turns out that, because my mother doesn’t actually remember the procedure – she doesn’t even remember being taken from and returned to the recovery room – and she has had zero discomfort from it, she doesn’t think it happened. As far as she’s concerned, they had her in the room, sprayed her throat, then came back to tell her they couldn’t finish the procedure because she was on blood thinners and sent her home.

I explained to her again what the doctor had said about light sedation, and that she might not remember anything.

It wasn’t enough. She has convinced herself that the procedure never happened, because she feels no difference after it and doesn’t remember it. She even started saying that the spray didn’t do anything, though she was still feeling the effects of it when I got her home, and had explained why they instructed not to eat or drink anything for at least 2 hours.

*sigh*

Her follow up appointment isn’t until near the end of March. Hopefully, she’ll understand that her lack of memory is due to the light sedation, and that roughly 2 hours of her morning didn’t just disappear.

Anyhow.

With the van waiting for a new tire, and not having to go anywhere until we get it back, I think today is going to be a nice quiet day, after all!

The Re-Farmer

Oh, look! You’re home!

What I found when I looked out the kitchen window this morning.

The babies were running all over the branches, enjoying the sunshine and mild temperatures!

The cats are going to miss that tree when we finally have it cut down. This is a job to hire experts for, since it’s so close to the house and overhanging the roof again. We can see that it’s been cut back a few times, but still left to regrow. Unfortunately, there are now cracks in the basement wall under the kitchen from the roots, and a number of patio blocks are lifted out of place. Still, I’d like to keep enough of the trunk to turn it into a bench or a table. Preferably a table.

Anyhow.

I’m home!

Technically, I should still be at my mothers for another hour, but she was feeling so good, she basically kicked me out. ๐Ÿ˜„ She slept really well, has no residual pain or discomfort from the scope, and is just doing great overall.

The only downside is that, while she was still in the recovery room, they told her there was something they didn’t do, because she was on blood thinners. The blood thinners the doctor’s notes specifically said she could keep taking. When she first told me about it, she was still pretty confused. Recovering from being partially sedated certainly didn’t help. However, they gave her a letter with recovery instructions to take home. While she was napping, I took a look, and there was a note about it. They did not take any samples while doing the scope, because she was on the blood thinners. Which makes sense, since taking samples could have left her bleeding.

The problem is, the more she thinks about it, the more she’s convincing herself that the procedure was a waste of time. She went through all that preparation for nothing. She’s forgetting that the reason she was there was for the scope. The doctor did say that they might want to take samples, too, but not necessarily. Considering that his notes said she didn’t have to stop taking her blood thinners, clearly he did not see it as an issue. However, my mother no longer remembers much about what he said, and is busily rewriting everything in her mind, because they told her that they didn’t do something extra.

Well, I need to call the doctor and make a follow up appointment for her. Hopefully, he’ll be able to reassure her.

The main thing is that it’s over and done with, and everything went well!

As for staying with my mother, that was… mostly good. She tried to go on some racist rants a few times, but I’ve learned how best to cut that off. When I told her I’d brought my own Lent food, she started telling me that that was only Friday’s and Ash Wednesday. It took me a moment to figure out she was talking about the traditional fasting from meat on Fridays. So I told her, that’s not what I was doing, and explained about cutting sugar and starchy food. She quite enjoyed the food I brought – I made sure to bring enough to share – but kept trying to offer me bread or cookies! Which I didn’t mind to much, since I was actually expecting her to become angry and start lecturing me on how I was doing it wrong somehow. So it really did go well, overall!

Now that I’m home, it’s time to get busy. On the list is contacting the garage before arranging to get the van brought in – and find out if he had any success at the car auction!

The Re-Farmer

Long day, and still chill!

Well, I’m happy to say that my mother’s car ran well today, though it certainly did not enjoy starting! I made sure to give it time to warm up in the garage, before taking it out into that wind.

My first stop was to the post office, where I had several packages to pick up. One of them was these:

The heated gloves my husband got for me!

They were listed as XL, but they fit quite snugly when I tried them on. They were too stiff to wear while driving, though, so I went back to my mittens!

These have some interesting features. Obviously, they have batteries. The USB charging cable can charge both at the same time, so I’ve got that happening right now.

The third finger on each hand has a finger loop on it. You can just see one on the right glove. I have no idea what that’s for. The finger tips are touch screen compatible. They have wrist loops to keep them from getting lost, as well as being water resistant and having adjustable cuffs.

It wasn’t until I got home that I discovered that one of the other parcels was also something my husband had ordered for me. A new pair of the “Military Tactical work boots” to replace the ones he got me last year. I love the side zipper feature on these, and wore them almost constantly, until the leather finally split and cracked on the side of one boot. This time, as soon as he unboxed them, my husband treated them with some leather conditioner – something we actually found while cleaning up the basement. A full gallon jug of it, barely used! He plans to treat the leather regularly with it, so hopefully this pair will last longer.

One other thing that came in the mail was particularly important: my husband’s disabled parking permit! He doesn’t get out much, but when he does, it will make things much easier for him to be park closer.

After picking everything up at the post office, it was off to my mother’s town. The roads were not too bad, though I was driving against blowing snow. Stopping for gas in the wind wasn’t too bad, either. Then it was off to get my mother’s prescriptions, hit the bank, then stop at the Chinese food place to pick up lunch. I even managed to get to my mother’s a bit earlier than I was shooting for!

We had a decent amount of time to visit and have lunch (breakfast, for me!), then head out early for her appointment. I’m glad we did leave early; it was blowing snow the whole way, with very little shelter along the route. Even as small as the profile of my mother’s car is, I could feel us being buffeted, and the engine working to maintain speed against the wind. The place was easy to find, and had plenty of parking, so we didn’t even lose time with that, and got there about half an hour early.

The specialist my mother was seeing shares a building with another clinic and a pharmacy. As we came in, there were signs all over, saying that even though there are no longer any restrictions, they still required masks. Which is bizarre, since yet another study was just released showing that wearing masks or not makes no difference in preventing the spread of respiratory viruses, even when comparing surgical masks with N95 masks, at all (there’s now close to 80 such studies, just in the last few years, with exactly the same end results). You’d think the medical community would be on top of this sort of thing. We passed several of these signs just going through the two sets of doors; I’m not sure my mother even saw them. There were even stand alone signs scattered around main lobby area. As we entered, a woman wearing a mask started coming over, asking which doctor we were there to see. I gave the name and she directed us to the doors behind us. Doors that didn’t have a single sign on them. We walked in, and there wasn’t a mask in sight. Not the receptionist, not the other patients, and not the doctor. It was like a sanctuary of sanity in a sea of junk science!

Getting there early meant we got brought into the examination room early, but the doctor took longer with another patient, so he actually saw us late. Which was fine, except my mother got it in her head that the car would freeze and not start because we were waiting soooo long. I reminded her that I spent more time with her in her apartment before we headed out, and the car started just fine. Plus, the day was still getting warmer! She wasn’t satisfied until the doctor finally came in and she brought it up with him – and he promised to give us a boost if the car didn’t start! ๐Ÿ˜„

The visit started out a bit confusing, because we were thinking we were there about her breathing issues, but this was a referral about her acid reflux. When she gets really bad heart burn while lying down, she also has trouble breathing, and thinks she’s having a heart attack. Her heart checked out extremely healthy – fantastic for someone in her 90’s – but she still can’t accept that there’s nothing wrong with her heart. The doctor tried questioning her, but eventually started explaining things more to me, while simplifying things for my mother, as he figured out that I would be working to explain things to her later on. He asked her all kinds of questions, but it’s really hard to get clear answers from her, because she keeps wanting to talk about other things.

One of the things that came out is that my mother has been taking all her pills – she thinks she’s taking a lot, but really, it’s not that many – with food. She’s on a medication for acid reflux, that is in her bubble packs as a morning pill. It is NOT supposed to be taken with food, which I never saw indicated anywhere. She should also be taking it in the evening. She takes her evening pills at 5pm, but doesn’t go to bed until 11, so we talked about changing the timing.

After questioning her more, he decided it was appropriate to get a scope done on her, to check if there is any damage from the reflux. Then he talked to her about dietary changes. I recognized what he was talking about and reminded my mother that I’d given her a printout of what foods were good and which weren’t, and she said she never looks at it. *sigh* High acid foods are things she should be avoiding, like citrus fruits, onions and garlic, and tomatoes.

My mother loves her onions and tomatoes.

My sister recently gave her onions and a jar of tomatoes from her garden.

I’ve sent the food list to my sister, and we’ve talked about this before, but my sister just seems to forget completely!

A few more things were discussed, and then we headed out, stopping to get some information about the scope from the receptionist.

My mother was already trying to back out of it, asking if she really needed to get it done.

*sigh*

When she has these “attacks”, she gets really scared and things she is literally dying. But she hasn’t had one in a while, so now she doesn’t want to actually do anything about it.

The appointment was set for the end of this month and, after checking with my mother, my number got put down as the person to call with more information and instructions, closer to the date, which I will then pass on and explain to her. We also got a printout for her about the procedure and what she needs to do in advance. That was something for us to go over when I got her home.

I had offered to help my mother with shopping if she felt up to it, but she wanted to do that in her own town. All she needed was milk, anyhow. I did realize, with the longish drive ahead, it would be a good idea to find a public washroom before we got on the highway. There was a Walmart handy, so I ended up going in, while she stayed warm in the car, so I picked up milk for her, anyhow! I’m glad it worked out that way because, by the time we got her home, I don’t think either of us was up to a grocery trip!

I then spent perhaps an hour going through things with her. While driving home and talking about her medication change, she suddenly told me she was already taking that one pill (she didn’t understand what it was for, even though it has been explained to her by me, my brother and her doctor) in the evening. That was something the specialist should have been told! She was still taking it with food, though, and too early, so we worked out that she would be taking that one pill shortly before bed. I had quite a time convincing her that it was ONLY the one pill that needed to be changed, and that she didn’t need to change anything else. She kept thinking she shouldn’t take any of them with food now, but I know for sure that at least one of them is supposed to be taken with food. Then we went over the printout. I marked out on her calendar, when she needs to stop taking things like blood thinners (and confirming which of her pills is a blood thinner – when the doctor had asked about them, she couldn’t remember exactly why she was on them, other than “they are to prevent stroke”, and she’s been on them longer than we’ve been back, so I don’t know, either), vitamins, aspirin, etc, when to start fasting, and when not to take any of her meds at all. Then more notes were written down inside the cover of her bubble packs, complete with little drawings of the pill shapes.

While going through the printout, I got to the part where it said they would have her lying down on her left side.

But she can’t lie on her left side, she tells me. If she does, she gets the pain and problems with breathing.

????

Yes, she’s mentioned that she slept on her side (which is recommended for reflux) to the doctor, but didn’t specify why she slept only on her right side.

Turns out that she gets these attacks every time she tries sleeping on her left side. They happen when she’s on her right side, only sometimes, and that’s when she wants to go to a doctor about it.

That was something the specialist should have been told, but she seemed surprised that this wasn’t automatically understood when she had said she slept on her side!

*sigh*

It took some doing, but we got through it. Before I left, she paid me back for the lunch and gas, so before heading home, I stopped at the bank again to do a deposit, then went back to the gas station to fill the tank again. Driving against the wind really did a number on the mileage!

I am so glad I had the wind at my back for the drive home.

Where my mother is, it is sheltered, but the gas station is not. WOW did the wind increase since morning! It’s still blowing now. Even though the temperature is a relatively warm -18C/about 0F, the wind chill was about -33C/-27F. I think the wind chill was even colder while I was filling the tank again! It was absolutely brutal! I picked up a couple other little things then headed back to the car, pausing to check for messages from the family before I left. Which is the only reason I saw the notification from my bank about the purchase I’d just made.

The number was very off.

They forgot to charge me for the gas!

So I went back in and paid for it. ๐Ÿ˜„

I’m glad I caught it when I did, or I wouldn’t have seen it until I got home.

And I was sure glad to get home! The running around is pretty draining, but all that time trying to explain things to my mother gets pretty difficult after a while, even though she was definitely having one of her good days.

I’m glad it got done, though.

I’ll also be glad when this chill finally ends. It’s still only -18C/about 0F out there, and the wind chill is still at -33C/-27F! If the forecast is right, the winds will die down in a few hours, and then things will steadily warm up over the next while.

I’m looking forward the air no longer hurting my face!

The Re-Farmer

That’s how she rolls!

When checking on the seed starts in the big aquarium greenhouse, I’m usually greeted by this…

Beep Beep absolutely LOVES those aquarium lights. They are nice and warm, and I think she really appreciates that, after all her winters outdoors!

Also, isn’t that the most adorable tongue blep? ๐Ÿ˜‚

The down side, she rolls around so much, she starts pushing the one raised light fixture around. I’ve even found it with one end pushed right off the tank! The other light lies flush on the surface, so the frame of the wire mesh covers holds it in place.

In other things…

This afternoon, my husband and I had our rescheduled joint doctor’s appointment. When the phone range this morning, my immediate thought was that it was going to be rescheduled again! It turned out to be someone from home care doing his annual follow up call. The only thing we have from home care is my husband’s hospital bed, so most of the call was to make sure our postal and physical address was still the same.

My husband and I left very early for the appointment. It’s a good thing we did start heading out so early! I went out ahead to get my husband’s walker through the sun room doors (we need to find threshold ramps, but of the ones I looked at, they all seem to be the wrong height), then got the van set up and backed out of the garage a bit. Normally, I would have driven the van right to the house, but we haven’t been able to clear such a large area of snow. I had made sure the path to the garage was wide enough for the walker, and as clear of snow as possible, but anything beyond where there are actual sidewalk blocks will always be a bit rough on the wheels.

I did wonder, though, when I saw my husband hobbling to the van, without his walker.

It turned out he left through the main doors, not the sun room (which would have avoided stairs). He was expecting the walker to be at the main doors, and when he didn’t see it, he just kept going to the van!

When I saw him, I told him I’d go bring the walker, and he was all confused until I pointed out where it was sitting (the cats love the padded seat on that thing!). He went back to get it himself. I remembered just in time to ask if he had his wallet, with his health care card. Nope! He completely forgot! So I dashed inside to get that. By the time we were on the road, it was about 15 minutes later than I had been shooting for, but that is exactly why I factor in so much extra time!

The drive out was very rough on him. Especially the half mile or so of gravel road, just before the highway. It was a complete washboard, and there was no way to avoid it. The best I could do was slow down a bit, but all that did was give him slightly less pain for a longer time. Even on the highway, every now and then there would be a rough spot there was no way to avoid. He spent most of the time doing breathing exercises and meditation to help control the pain (yes, he was on painkillers), and the nausea that came with it.

We made a short stop to pick up a bit of gas and breakfast, which I had also factored in to my timeline, and got to the clinic about forty minutes before our appointment.

The clinic doors had signs saying, it’s cold and flu season, wear a mask! As if that ever made a difference. ๐Ÿ™„ We weren’t wearing any when we came in, and they didn’t say anything, but my husband still asked about wearing one. I think he felt other patients were having a problem with it, though the staff certainly didn’t. They know full well how useless they are. I couldn’t find the Mingle Masks that used to be in our van – I think my daughter might have thrown them out while cleaning out the front of the van, when we thought we’d be able to use it as a trade in – but I’d grabbed the last ones from the box we’d bought several years ago. It’s been so long, my husband forgot how to wear them! ๐Ÿ˜„

He then settled in for what he expected to be a long and painful wait, only for us to be called in just a few minutes later! My husband didn’t have a lot to cover. We started the paperwork to get a disabled parking permit, which now has to be done online with a doctor. The last time we did it, several years ago, we weren’t sure how it was done in this province, and left the paperwork with the doctor, thinking they had to send it in. Turns out, that’s not how it works here. After the doctor did the online paperwork and printed it out, there was a part for me to fill out as the emergency contact person, then details my husband had to include and sign for. Then it went to the reception desk, where we had to pay a fee to the doctor – cash or check only, and I thankfully had our checkbook – which was $30. Then we get the paperwork back and have to mail it out to a central office, along with a check for $15, for the placard to be mailed back to us. The alternative would be to drive to the city, find the place, then pay for and pick up the placard there.

In the province we lived in before, it was all covered. Even the doctor was able to waive the paperwork fee. All we had to do was bring a prescription to anywhere that did vehicle license and registration, and we’d get a placard immediately.

My husband rarely goes anywhere, but being able to park closer when he does would be a huge improvement for him.

After my husband left to do his bloodwork, I had my own appointment. I am now OFF that injection that was doing such nasty things to my insides. My husband is on the same injection for something else, and his dose got increased, so I’ll just give my fresh new refill to him. I’m now back on the medication I was on before that had no side effects with me, and worked just fine.

I also talked to him about whether or not it was time for me to apply for disability myself, because of the osteoarthritis. The last time I saw him, I got X-rays of my hands, and they only showed the beginnings of arthritis. I’m also not on any prescriptions for arthritis, so I simply wouldn’t be considered “disabled” enough to qualify for CPP Disability.

The hands are just the newest thing; my hips, knees and feet have been bothering me for a very long time. I even told him, I have no problem doing big things, like wielding a chain saw or pushing wheelbarrows around, but I need to use the bath chair to take a shower, I can’t take a bath, I struggle to do stairs, and can barely open a jar, because I’ve lost so much grip strength due to pain in my finger joints.

We talked about the painkillers I’m on now, which is just extra strength acetaminophen that I take morning and evening, and it’s not really cutting it anymore. So he gave me a prescription to try for 2 weeks, also taken morning and evening, to see how it works for me. That got faxed to the pharmacy, so I’ll be able to get that filled for the weekend, when I’ll be able to go into town to pick it up.

And we were done. I didn’t even get a requisition for bloodwork. I went to the lab to find the technician was still trying to find a vein in my husband’s arm and asked him about the parking permit application. It was at the reception desk, so I was able to write a check for that. By the time he was done and we were on our way home, we still had 10 minutes before our joint appointments were scheduled to start!

I love that when we come in early at this clinic, we almost always get seen early, too!

My husband was more than happy to get home, though that last push through the snowy paths with his walker was a lot more difficult than the first time around. He ended up going in through the main doors rather than fight through that last bit of snowy path to the sun room, and I took care of putting the walker away. Which certainly startled quite a few cats when I banged and rattled through the door with it! ๐Ÿ˜„ While we are at a relatively mild -9C/16F right now, the wind chill is supposedly -19C/-2F. I say “supposedly”, because we have been getting some nasty gusts of wind that make it feel even colder. The cats are quite enjoying the shelter of the sun room, that’s for sure!

Tomorrow, we’re supposed to have a high of -14C/7F and, if all goes to plan, that’s when I’ll be heading to the city for our Costco trip. After tomorrow, temperatures are supposed to drop to a high of -22C/-8F and stay chilly for a while, though the long range forecasts are not showing temperatures as cold as they did when I last checked them.

The weather app that came with my desktop provides interesting extra information, including average and record highs and low. The 30 year record high for today was 3C/37F, back in 2006 – but the record low in 1997 was -36C/-33F! I’m quite happy with a mere -9C/16F right now, even with the wind chill!

This winter has been the mildest – and closest to average – winter we’ve had since moving out here! I’m really, really appreciating it!

The Re-Farmer

Well, that opens up our day

But first, the cuties!

How many cats do you see?

There’s actually five. It’s hard to see, but there are three cats along the bottom of the window. When I took the picture, I could see the one on the far left moving around. It wasn’t until I uploaded the picture to my desktop and used the auto photo fix to see if it would be any clearer, that I spotted the one way in the back!

It feels so strange to look out our bathroom window and see only a couple of cats on the swing bench, instead of dozen or more. In fact, yesterday I actually looked out once and saw NO cats in there at all! The cats are definitely enjoying the relatively mild temperatures, and using the cat house instead of the sun room. This morning, I counted only seventeen cats, and only two of those were adults. Junk Pile and Caramel. I still can’t get near Junk Pile but, every now and then, I’ve managed to sneak a quick pet on Caramel, while she’s on the cat house roof.

She doesn’t like that, though.

In other things, my husband and I were supposed to be out today. Last month, we had consecutive appointments with our doctor (having the same doctor saves a lot of time and travel!) that got rescheduled to today. Just a little while ago, we got a call from the clinic. A very apologetic receptionist was calling to reschedule us again! She was able to book us for the earliest appointment she could find next week, though, so at least we won’t have more than a month to wait!

So that opens up my day. A trip to the doctor is about 40 minutes on the highway, plus town driving and usually a stop at the gas station along the way, too. We like to arrive early which, at this clinic, often meant actually getting in to see the doctor early. They’re good about that. We’re both going to be getting our regular blood tests done. Lab and X-ray is right there, so what usually happens is, my husband and I go in together for his appointment (I’m there to keep him honest! LOL He has a terrible habit of making light of what he’s going through, which is not a good thing to do with the doctor), then he goes to do his more extensive lab work while I have my appointment. Then I get my lab work done, which tends to be much faster. This way, we get home as quickly as possible, with the least amount of time for my husband painfully sitting in the waiting room.

Between the driving and the appointments, adjusting to make it as comfortable and least painful for my husband, it takes up quite a bit of time, and most of that time is spent driving “gently”. He feels every little bump and vibration, painfully, so I am a lot more careful about things like how quickly I accelerate or decelerate, taking turns, etc.

Gosh. Now I have a whole day freed up! What shall I do with myself?

I guess I ought to clean out the litter boxes in my office I’d asked the girls to do while we were gone.

๐Ÿคจ

The Re-Farmer

Changes in plans, and a little bit of everything

Yesterday, we got our quarter beef in!

We had to juggle a bit to be able to close the freezer lid. No, it’s not completely full of beef – there’s other stuff underneath – but I’d say over half the freezer is now packages of beef.

After I took the picture, I dug out a couple of packages of T-bone steaks to thaw out for today! It’s been soooo long since we’ve had a good steak!

I love how big the stew packages are this time. They’re not visible, but there’s also about two dozen 2 pound packages of ground beef in there.

Today’s plans, however, had already changed before I went to bed!

I got a call from my brother. He’d just talked to my mother, and he was asking if I could take her to the hospital today. !!! My mother thinks she’s got a UTI again (she is likely right), but she told my brother more than she told me, and it’s more of a problem than I knew. My guess is, she was hoping my brother would drop everything, drive all the way to her place, then take her to the hospital and sit with her, like he had done the last time this happened. She’s been suffering for more than a week, but had only just tried calling the community health number yesterday. She can’t handle the automated phone systems, so she just hit 0 and left a message. Twice. No response.

So today, my plan was to call our doctor’s clinic, which is in a town about 40-45 minutes drive from my place, as soon as it opened (after doing my rounds; head count of 27 this morning, and I couldn’t see the new bitty). I wanted to see if I could make arrangements with them, or see if I should take her to the hospital (our doctor’s clinic shares a building with the hospital).

Then I got a call from the home care worker that last assessed my mother. They got her messages from yesterday, and followed up. The person who normally answered the phone doesn’t work on Wednesdays. *sigh* My mother seemed confused about things, so he wanted to clear things up with me, but she had already told him about going to her doctor today.

One of the things my mother has been pushing to do is change doctors again. There aren’t full time doctors locally, which is why we now to go another town. Plus, the local doctor, who came in from the city once a week, was female, and my mother doesn’t like female doctors. Apparently, there is now a new doctor, though. He might even be there full time now, instead of coming in from the city. I’m not sure. Our doctor in the other town isn’t white, and my mother doesn’t like that about as much as she doesn’t like female doctors. Having a closer doctor would be better for her (but he’s Greek; not sure if that’s white enough for her), however there have been issues in the past with getting good care locally. The hospital just doesn’t have the resources. Whether she switches doctors or not, she won’t be happy. She’s convinced she has cancer or something, but the doctors are keeping it a secret from her.

Anyhow.

I called the clinic right after it opened, but the line was already busy, so I called my mom and told her what I was working on. She was already getting ready to leave! When I got through to the clinic, however, it turned out her doctor had an opening, so I was able to make an appointment for her this afternoon.

So I called my mother back and we worked out a plan. I’ll be heading over to her place early enough to have lunch (she requested Chinese food this time! ๐Ÿ˜), and we wouldn’t be in any hurry about leaving. I will be using our van, as it’s better for winter road conditions, so we’ll have to remember to bring her little stool to help her get in and out.

Which means I’m going to be out for most of today.

Ah, well. At least it’s supposed to be a relatively mild day today. Things are supposed to get colder again tomorrow, and I’d rather not be driving my 91 yr old mother around in the cold! We still need to do at least one trip to the city for our monthly stocking up, but thanks to the trip I did manage to make – and the beef delivery! – plus our current state of supplies, there is no urgency on that.

I really like being well stocked. It takes a lot of pressure off. It wouldn’t be as big a deal if we were still living in the city, but it makes a huge difference living in the boonies, and winter is coming on!

In other things, I talked to the cat lady yesterday evening. She showed my pictures of the new bitty to a vet already. Given the size, they agree that it is younger than the other bitties. Once we are sure there are no siblings, she wants to take it in. Like the other cats, it probably already has upper respiratory issues, and being so young, they don’t expect it would survive the winter, either, even in the relative warmth and comfort of the heated cat shelter. The new bitty will join the other bitty. Things have changed there, too. He is not going to the lady that took the other two. Instead, he will be going to the cat lady’s cousin! He’ll be going to his new home after Christmas. Maybe, he’ll have a little orange buddy going with him? Wouldn’t that be cool! Also, she has managed to find homes for 6 cats she was fostering! She will have room for more, soon.

So we will continue to monitor and, if things go as I expect, we will have an orange bitty in the house tonight.

We shall see! It’s not like anything seems to be going to plan, today! ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„

The Re-Farmer

Getting better, and it’s a smol cat!

Yesterday, the entire family spent as much time as possible in bed, getting plenty of rest and fluids to get over our colds. I’m happy to say we’re all improved quite a bit today. Yesterday, I had to get the girls to do the morning cat feeding, but today, I was able to do it myself again.

Look what I found!

So smol!!!

This is one of the kittens from what had been the youngest litter until the bitties showed up. We’ve had some progress socializing them, though it’s hard to tell at times. There are so many white and grey kittens from two litters – eight, altogether – and they run around so much, it’s hard to keep track of them. I think this is one that has allowed me to pick it up before, but I’m not sure!

This morning, I did a head count and reached 27. Then I counted again and counted 28. I get a different number, every time I try to count heads! ๐Ÿ˜„

Yesterday, we were predicted to hit 4C/40F, but ended up reaching at least 5C/41F. Today, we’re supposed to reach a high of 3C/37F. My husband’s disability payments come in on the last business day of the month (private insurance) and third last business day of the month (CPP Disability). However, then those days fall on a Monday, as the CPP Disability has this month, it actually shows up in our account on Saturday. So we got his payment today. Normally, I would take advantage of that, and the warm temperatures, and head into the city to do our first big stock up shop for the month. However, when I was cleaning out the ground floor litter boxes this morning (we were behind on that, with everyone being sick!), I actually broke into a sweat. So while I’m feeling a lot better today, I’m still weak as a kitten (a smol kitten!), and definitely not well enough to drive to the city. We’ll see how things are over the next couple of days. I hope I can make the trip tomorrow, because the forecast for the day after says to expect snow showers. I’d really prefer not to be driving on that. More because I don’t trust other drivers! ๐Ÿ˜

So today is going to be another quiet day of focusing on recovery.

The Re-Farmer

Goodbye, Bitty, and the kindness of strangers

Well, it’s done.

Cheddar was willing to cuddle, but when Bitty started trying to get under him to nurse, it was a bit too much!

The cat lady now has the bitty baby. She plans to put him on antibiotics right away, since his eyes are leaky (I don’t include the lysine with the inside cats’ kibble). She showed me pictures of his siblings, which is when I discovered even more good news. When she told me she found someone who worked in a vet clinic willing to adopt Bitty, I figured this was someone different, but it turned out that this is the same person who is adopting the other two! This is someone who had lost her two cats after 18 years, not long ago. For her to now adopt three yard kittens from the same litter is just amazing! I had sent photos to the cat lady, so I’m guessing she at least saw pictures of him, but that’s it.

I had an extra surprise when the cat lady and I met up in town.

Another donated cat bed, more blankets, and 6 bags of kibble! Plus treats.

The cat bed will go into the cats’ house. Maybe the blankets, too. Those are knitted and donated by volunteers.

As for Bitty, he settled into the cat carrier and never made a peep until just before he got transferred over.

I gave him the hat he likes to sleep in to keep. I can make another one!

Previously, we had talked about getting the last 2 indoor females done, plus one outdoor male. The cat lady would have come to our place, driven them to another city, further away, to get done, then hung on to them for a week to recover, then bring them back here.

Clearly, something had happened, and she never got back to me on that.

It turns out that she’s been having issues with vets cancelling appointments, lack of communication, and even people she’s trying to help making it harder for her. Plus, vet costs are getting astronomical. There isn’t much we can do to help, but I can at least drive the cats to the local vet, or meet her in town like today. Apparently, this is not common. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ However, our sun room is now winterized, and our nearest vet has moved to a new, bigger, location, so we can take care of things like driving the cats to and from, and have a recovery room for them.

She also has funds left from a generous donation specifically to have cats spayed and neutered in the area – and where we live is considered “in the area” because we are willing and able to drive them to town. It turns out there is a sports celebrity that has a cottage in the area, and after she was the only person willing to come out to help a stray in -40C/-40F, this is his way of saying thankyou. As long as she spends the money on spays and neuters, he will be making monthly donations!

I brought up that, because we had so many kittens this year, we really need to focus on getting outside females done. Once she was assured that we had a place for them to recover, and that we could drive them in, she said she would try the nearest vet clinic again. If all goes well, we will get two females, then two males, done before Christmas – and before the real cold is expected to set in! I’m still holding out for a mild winter, but January and February are typically the most several months (and the reason we work to have at least a couple months of supplies in stock, in case we can’t get out!).

So she will work to arrange that, then get back to me, and we’ll have to work on socializing more of the females! Calicos and torties are almost always female, but they won’t let us near them. The white and greys are getting friendlier, but we’re having a hard time telling them apart, and only a couple are confirmed male. When the girls were tending the fire pit yesterday, they had cats all over them, and every now and then would pick up a white and grey kitten, only to realize it wasn’t one of the friendlies they were expecting.

A good excuse to get the fire pit going more often! ๐Ÿ˜

The only down side is, certain mystery health issues came back with a vengeance. My breathing issues came back a few days ago and it doesn’t seem to matter if I’m sitting or standing, lying down or leaning. Even when I was helping my mother with her shopping yesterday, I had to pause a few times because I was starting to get dizzy and ill. I made sure my mother never saw it, though! Then last night, the mystery pain in my side suddenly hit me while I tried to get into bed, making it difficult to sleep even after the spasms were under control. The pain hasn’t gone away, and at times I am having trouble standing upright.

I should go to the doctor about it, but I don’t see the point. Clinics still have to demand masks, and I can’t wear a mask. I mean, who thinks making someone with breathing difficulties wear a breathing barrier makes sense? Never mind that it’s been repeatedly demonstrated to have no benefit, while causing plenty of harm. The other thing is, I was referred to a respiratory specialist over 2 years ago, and have still heard nothing. My mother hasn’t heard from the kidney specialist she was referred to, either. Unless it’s the Vid, or an emergency, people just aren’t getting health care right now, and those testing positive for the Vid are being badly damaged or killed by the treatment protocols. Frankly, I don’t think it’s even safe for someone like me – old, broken and fat – to go to a doctor right now. I could barely get taken seriously even before all this BS. Nothing like being sent to test after test, scan after scan, procedure after procedure, with all the tests coming back normal to have doctors start looking at you funny and suggesting it’s all in your head. If they can’t find it, it must not exist.

Bah. I’m just venting right now. I’m having trouble sitting up in my chair and breathing properly as I type this, and it’s distracting.

So, back to the topic at hand!

The Bitty is now away with the cat lady, and will be reunited with his siblings in a wonderful new forever home.

I’m going to miss him, but I’m so very happy for all the bitties!

The Re-Farmer