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cats, trains and bats - The Villages

hutch0
Date: 2008-07-11 23:35
Subject: cats, trains and bats
Security: Public
Location:the utility room in the sky
Mood:tiredtired
Music:the alan parsons project
I've been having something of a long dark teatime of the soul this week. Nothing profound, just a bunch of stuff that's piled up and got the better of me. Commuting has been more difficult than usual this week, due to the various farces that are the London Underground and First Capital Connect, and that always grinds flat spots on me. I've been getting home sevenish, cooking dinner, eating dinner, conking out in front of News 24, regaining consciousness around ten o'clock, then dragging myself upstairs and staring in horror at a story I really ought to have finished by now, because the deadline is so close I can hear it approaching. And staring. And staring. I don't know if you've ever had a really neat idea for a story, sat down to write it, got the first couple of paragraphs down, and then ground to a complete halt, as if the thing that connects the words in your head to your fingers has short-circuited. That's what it's like. Normally deadlines don't faze me; I sail right up to them and deliver the bacon and people are either quite admiring that I can do that or really pissed off that I do it. This time, the wheels have come off. I know what I want to do, I have the whole story in my head, it should be a simple matter of transcribing it, but every time I sit down to do it, nothing happens.
Last Sunday morning our neighbour on the ground floor knocked on the door and presented us with a bit of facia which had apparently fallen off the dormer of our loft conversion sometime on Saturday and crashed down into the garden. This has really got beyond the joke; we can't use the Shower In The Sky because the shower tray's not properly supported and every time we try and use it a gap opens up between the tray and the wall - even though the builders were here last month to fix it. Not being able to use the shower is an inconvenience. Bits falling off the outside of the house is rather more serious. Someone's going to get hurt. I think Bogna's winding up to sue the builders - she got a surveyor in on Tuesday to do an independent report. A representative of the builders was supposed to be here as well, because of the bits falling off the house, but he cried off. Something had come up. The need to take the piss, obviously.
I was interviewing someone this week and the conversation got around to ages and life expectancies (it was one of those sort of stories) and it turned out that we were both forty-seven. Which reminded me that I'm now about nine years younger than my father was when he died, and about twelve years younger than my mother was when she died. I talked to the (still sadly LJ-less) OJM about this a couple of years ago and then I buried it, but it's begun to bother me again.
Kuron, one of our cats, has been losing weight for the past month or so. He doesn't seem ill - he's as big a pain in the arse as he's ever been and he's certainly not off his food - but we took him to the vet a week or so ago to get him checked over. The vet did the usual stuff and couldn't find anything wrong with him, but the x-ray machine at his practice isn't exactly cutting-edge and he recommended we take him up to the Queen Mother Hospital at the Royal Veterinary College in Potters Bar for a second opinion because they have state-of-the-art equipment to do x-rays and sonography and diagnostic equipment local vets can only dream of. We know the Queen Mother Hospital of old, from Dougal's bout of pyothorax four years ago, and they're marvellous people - I've told Bogna I want to be treated by them if I get really sick - so Bogna took Kuron up there on Thursday. And it seems all the obvious options are absent. All they've managed to find is that he's anaemic. Now, this may be because the bloods were taken under deep sedation - he's not nearly as chilled as Dougal, who you can stick a needle into and he'll just purr hopefully - and may have affected the results, so they're going to keep him in over the weekend and do some more blood tests when the effects of the sedative have worn off. We're going up to see him tomorrow, although I suspect he won't want to come home: he's found himself in a place where people give him total attention twenty-four hours a day and cater to his every whim, which we are unable to do because we are not twenty-four-hour veterinary professionals. We'll see.
Finally, because pds_lit is a fan of bats, I offer you this, and I want to ask a question of the members of The Villages Women's Institute. I'm not really intimately familiar with this subject, but just how hungover would you have to be not to notice there was a bat nesting in your bra?
I've also been having terrible dreams. I got about three hours' sleep last night, maybe five the night before. When I do wake up I feel awful, physically and mentally, although once my brain's booted-up, around two in the afternoon, I've been producing heroic amounts of copy. Which makes my employers happy. I suspect I can keep doing this for quite a long time, although not for ever. Which is a bridge we'll have to cross one day.
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pds_lit: Red Cat Quilt
User: pds_lit
Date: 2008-07-12 00:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Red Cat Quilt
LOLROF! Bats! Ya gotta love them, Dearest would say they get their priorities right. Ha!

I can't imagine harboring a bat in my bra and not knowing about it. She must have been having more than few drinks. :)
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-07-12 23:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Glad you liked that one; I figured if you'd spotted it you would have posted it.
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RealThog: real copies!
User: realthog
Date: 2008-07-12 00:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:real copies!

I think the bat story is really sweet!

"just how hungover would you have to be not to notice there was a bat nesting in your bra?"

The story says it was a *baby* bat, so it may have been quite small and weighed very little. Also, it says the bat was asleep in the padding, not just within the cup. I imagine it'd be quite easy to miss if you were getting dressed in a rush.

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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-07-12 23:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Tell me, how do you know so much about bra-related matters...?
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Chris
User: camies
Date: 2008-07-12 16:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm older than my mother was when she died. It does occur to me to worry about it sometimes but as practically every other relative has lived into their 80s it is probably a statistical blip. How have other members of your family fared? Is there any medical reason for being concerned by this or is it just a feeling of Mortality?
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RealThog: real copies!
User: realthog
Date: 2008-07-12 23:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:real copies!

I'm significantly older than my father was when he died -- of heart failure, in fact, so the past few weeks have been a time of reflection, among other things. Luckily my mum lived to be 96, which is encouraging . . .
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jmward14
User: jmward14
Date: 2008-07-13 01:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, it was an FF. If your sizes are anything like ours, that's a REALLY REALLY BIG (shouting optional) bra. I can't imagine being drunk enough to ignore anything in my bra, but given the Boobie Trap LOLCAT a few weeks ago, the teenager in question may not be the only one. Oy!
As for the other stuff {{{{{hutch0}}}}} sending lots of hugs and healing mojo to you and Kuron. Hope it's something very simple for the kitty. With regards to you, I'm pretty sure it's exhaustion and stress. Fingers crossed getting the renovation corrected won't be as horrendous as the original remodel.
Healing hugs,
Jean Marie
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-07-14 22:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I have no idea what FF means; from now on I'm going to defer to Thog on bra-related matters, him being so much older and more worldly than me.
I'll be okay. The (still sadly-LJless) OJM will tell you I'm prone to moments like that; it was just unfortunate that I was within reach of the internet this time. Certainly tiredness came into it. As for stress, well, compared with some people I lead a blissfully stress-free life. I imagine most of the people of Darfur would happily swap with me. It's not mutual, though.
As for Kuron, well, he's certainly anaemic. Whether that explains the weight-loss, I don't know. He's been poked and prodded and x-rayed and sonographed and (excuse me) CAT-scanned and biopsied and had blood taken and today they took a bone-marrow sample. Poor little sod; what with all the other operations he's had he's roughly thirty percent cat and seventy percent scar tissue by now. What we do know is that his lungs are clear, he has a heart murmur (although they detected a murmur in Dougal when he was up there and it may be a breed thing - it certainly hasn't bothered Dougal, who now weighs as much as a two-year-old child and is as strong as Andre the Giant) and he has polycystic kidneys - again, a common thing with Persians, apparently, and they work fine.
So, we'll see. He's coming home tomorrow while we wait for the results of the latest battery of tests.
And as for getting the problems in the Bedroom In The Sky fixed, nothing could be as horrendous as the original remodel, which as you know took me to the outer limits of sanity (never a great distance, in my case) Again, we'll see.
Thxs for the hugs.
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User: sarcobatus
Date: 2008-07-13 15:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:blue fairy
Hey, Hutch -- hope you get to feeling better, you and your kitty both.

Now, as for the baby bat: more amazing than the bat nesting inside the young woman's bra is the woman's bra size, 34FF, which makes me think the little bat was a male -- as Realthog pointed out, he had his priorities right.

The woman confusing the bat with her vibrating phone provokes even funnier conclusions . . . lol.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-07-14 22:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Many thanks; I'll pass on your best wishes to Kuron when I see him tomorrow.
Is 34FF...unusual in some way?
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Kat: faithful friend is medicine
User: artykat
Date: 2008-07-13 17:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:faithful friend is medicine
Awwww <<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>> big hugs. I know you will get over this bad patch but it really is awful whilst you're in it (for you).

Hope your kitty gets better soon.

And glad that you still have your sense of humor-- why else would you have been able to post that article about the bat! It is amazing that there was room for a bat, if she needed a size 34FFF---If I wore that bra, there'd be room for a family of four to move in!

Take care, my friend...
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-07-14 22:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You're right, it is just a bad patch, and I will get over it. I'll be back to my usual depressed, cynical, grumpy sunny self again soon.
We'll see what happens with Kuron. The great thing is he's in the best possible hands. The Queen Mother Hospital is one of the best veterinary teaching hospitals in the country; everyone really loves what they're doing and they love animals and a bit of a medical mystery is great for the students, so we know he's getting the best care possible. We're lucky to have them more or less on our doorstep; Bogna said there was someone there the other day who'd brought his pet from Kent. Which is a distance.
And will someone please explain the significance of 34FF in this story? Is this some impenetrable female revenge for men not explaining cricket to them?
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2008-07-14 16:27 (UTC)
Subject: Sorry for the double post ...
Live journal didn't like my post and I didn't bother to puzzle out why until was already posted it in this odd way.

Huzzahs to Bogna for pursuing corrective measures in the case of your construction nightmares.

-- the OJM
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2008-07-14 16:19 (UTC)
Subject: apologies for the late posting...
There being a reference to my self-sameness in your blog entry, it compels me to post a comment. Apologies for the lateness of it; I have been in Argentina for a month. (For those who wish to know -- Buenos Aires looks and acts like a massive European with an infrastructure crumbling at a rate that defies explanation, grafiti on every surface, copious amounts of dog crap on every sidewalk and uninteresting restaurants. The warmth of the people of BsAs is hidden beneath alternativing layers of institutionalized woundeness, inexplicable pride, and existential angst. The genuinely friendly people and diverse geography of the rest of the country approaches levels of beauty and complexity that can barely be described in mere words.)

Commuting -- The experience in BsAs has, however, brought into sharp focus why the horrors of your daily commute on public transport is so much a part of you and your writing. It really is quite unnatural to be with so very many people and have absolutely no relationship with any of them day in and day out. Sardines in a can, cattle walking into the slaughter house, and all those metaphors. My heart goes out to you. Still and all, in one 20 minute journey crushed up against a man I will never see again, we went from two people whom could not and would not make eye contact to two people getting to know each other through a game of eye escondido fighting the compulsion to smile to two people sharing the stories of separate lives in wordless study of each others' faces to two old amigos exchanging wistful winks as we parted company for all time. A daily dose of anything less than that could kill a person. Lo siento.

Mortality issues -- For those who care, I told Hutch NOT to bury the subject, but would he listen to his ancient friend? Noooooooo. You're in my prayers, li'l Davey. Cycle of life, deeper meanings to life and death, yada, yada, yada. --- Insert copious amounts of virtual hugs here. ---

Pet issues -- Emotional attachment to our pets can be so strong. Best wishes for the meaningful resolution of Dougal's health worries.

Bat story -- Having had a shelf au natural approaching FF while nursing and being the mother of three teenaged daughters, I can say with some confidence that a bra padded out to 34FF by design requires copious amounts of padding indeed. They simply are not manufactured to "slightly enhance" a build, but decidedly for the purpose of creating a fantasyland for casual onlooker. The cosy darkness of such environs hanging out on the clothesline would in truth be a cossetting cradle for the cuddly chiropteral comrade.

Dreams -- Watch out you'll have to get a dream dictionary and start analyzing the symbolism.

Hugs and kisses,
-- the other Jean-Marie
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-07-14 22:30 (UTC)
Subject: Re: apologies for the late posting...
Yes, you did tell me not to bury it, and when have I ever listened to you? Ta for the hugs.
You see, you're doing the 34FF thing too. It's like some kind of conspiracy. Although I need more time to think about the `shelf au naturel.'
I'm not sure about analysing the symbolism of my dreams. Last night I was in court on a murder charge and Denny Crane was defending me. Bloody funny, though.
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