Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A Trip to the Vet

One of my cats is getting up there in age, and after the recent death of my friend's older feline, I got a little paranoid. So the other day when he started vomiting and then keeled over I was more than slightly alarmed. So I picked the nearest vet and took him in.

Trips to the vet are even more nerve-wracking then trips to the doctor because you are dealing with an extremely unhappy animal who has no idea what is going on. Getting my cat into the carrier is an experience, sort of like trying to squeeze a car into a jar of applesauce. If a car could be really pissed off and scratch the shit out of you. I have tried wrapping the cat in towel, and other tried and true techniques which others swear by, but the result is always the same: befuddled and angry cat, exhausted and injured owner.

I haven't taken my cat to the vet in about seven years. I guess this makes me a horrible pet-owner, but I have indoor cats that lie around all day and play with lint. Not exactly a life-threatening environment. So I am not used to the holy terror that is the vets' waiting room. Imagine if you will, a room filled with frightened animals, all barking, meowing, and hissing in some kind of dischordant ode to panic and chaos. It is pretty clear that some of these animals know exactly why they are there, and are not thrilled at the prospect of what is about to happen to them. Then imagine sitting in this room for over an hour. These are what good times are made of. They should really provide a bar, or at least a complimentary shot of whisky to the pet-owners.

After we were finally brought into the examination room, they weighed my cat and then felt it necessary to have me hold him down while they took his temperature. For some bizarre reason Franklin was none too happy about having a thermometer shoved up hs ass and put up quite a fight. The nurse (or whatever she is called in vet-speak), said, "Oh, I had better get some help!" as though it was unusual for a pet to be so put off by this obviously delightful experience. So two vet-nurses held my poor cat down while they took his temperature. He was rewarded by a cat treat which seems like a fair trade, sort of like being given a manicure after having your face ripped off. After his examination I was told he seemed fine and he gladly went back into his carrier, away from the horrilbe probing hands of his arch-nemisis.

I went for the full blood-workup recommended for aging cats, so I can have some piece of mind over his general health. So to recap: Having your cat raped by a thermometer, $165. Misplaced sense of pride over being a responsible pet-owner, priceless.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

A Really Dull Cutting Edge

I have recently invested in a bunch of gadgets for myself. By gadgets I mean a digital camera and cable TV. These probably don't qualify as gadgets for the rest of the world, but in the low-rent technological bubble I live in, they fall into that category.

So first of all, cable TV is great! Wow! Have you seen this? Not only are there high-brow interesting science shows on the Discovery Channel (MythBusters) and the Science Channel (World of Tomorrow, What Really Killed the Dinosaurs), but enough cheesy, embarassing, and ultimately satisfying shows to kill an entire weekend-full of time. Taradise? Yes! (How much idiocy can be contained in one person? Tara Reid will show you!) GhostHunters? Absolutely! (My favorite because they never seem to actually find evidence of ghosts). My Sweet Sixteen! Amazing! (Spoiled rich brats with zero self-esteem berate their parents and various people in their employ in order to pull off stunningly shallow and horrible sweet sixteen parties! Yay!) Seriously, check out this cable thing.

My digital camera: I haven't owned a camera in years. My new and proud ownership has helped me reach the conclusion that the main reason to own pets is so that you have something to take pictures of when you buy a new camera. I now have about a zillion pictures of my two cats, for no apparent reason. I mean they pretty much look the same in every picture. I so far have only one picture of a human being, a friend of mine who got suckered into letting me take a picture while traveling in a cab with me. No escape = awesome photo opportunity.

I feel so modern. Maybe one of these days I will even get an i-pod.

Baby steps, baby steps....

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


I just returned from a 5 day vacation in Traverse City, Michigan (the cherry capital of the world!), which is a beautiful town on Lake Michigan. I went to see my old roommate of 4 years, Lisa, her husband Scott, and their wicked smart 14-month-old baby boy Alexander. It was an awesome time which made me nostalgic for the old days living with one of my best friends. It was also an animal-heavy vacation, as Lisa has two cats and a dog, her mother, who lives nearby, has two Maltese, and her sister who was also visiting has an adorable but unfriendly and emotionally damaged Pekingese. It was like living in some kind of low-rent Animal Planet episode. This is par for the course with Lisa--when we lived together we had a small zoo (several pet rats, guinea pigs, a doberman, and a cat) squeezed into our small Lower East Side apartment. Ah, Good Times.

I notice that all of my trips lately center around visiting my friends with kids, including my upcoming trips to LA and London. Clearly, my biological clock is in a completely different time zone than the majority of my friends.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Always Look On the Bright Side

My parents went on vacation this week. As usual, I received an optimistic email from my dad on the subject:

Headline: Wills and living wills

Text: desk drawer in the den, Love, Dad

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Check it.

The secrets of Bush's amazing powers of oration.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Brood

I just returned from a much needed break, a weekend in the Berkshires with my family. While there were elements of this mini-vacation that were less than ideal (6 hours driving each way with my parents, sharing a hotel room with my parents, spending a lot of time with my parents), the plus side was catching up with the Ukrainian branch of my family and hanging out with my nieces and nephews. Man, are they adorable.

I have four Ukrainian cousins all of whom are married, plus the four children aged 1 and a half to 3. Quite a rambunctious bunch. Dinners were an event. Fortunately I got to just hang out with with the kids and play hide-and-seek, Uno, Good Robot Vs. Bad Robot (an awesome game made up by my brilliant three year old nephew, I swear he will be a millionaire one day), plus caught crickets, crawfish, and frogs. I never really had to be responsible or play disciplinarian. Plus as the aunt they never see, I was a hot commodity and was fought over constantly. There is a beautiful irony that I only find the adulation I seek while visiting my own family.