gamiila: (kittens)
I won't be adding the line 'Project manager Social Media' to my cv, after all.

Thankfully, I've got my moggies to keep me from wallowing in self-pity; mostly through righteous anger because they won't let me sit in my very own chair!





(yes, Manasse is curled up in the same chair. I'm experimenting with several throws to protect it from their fur and claws.
gamiila: (kittens)
Perhaps it's because the days are growing shorter again, or maybe it's because I'm spending more time at home, that I'm suddenly lavishing attention on my interior. I only went out for some groceries, but instead I came back with this throw (and two matching cushion covers). It looked good in the shop, but now that I've put it on the couch, I'm not so sure...It looks a bit 70s to me.

they seem to like it, though... )
gamiila: (Default)


This is invariably what happens whenever I sit down at my desk: within two to three minutes, both Leila and Manasse take up their positions on either side of the laptop. Sweet, really. Also, exasperating.
gamiila: (Default)
The other day, [livejournal.com profile] ezagaaikwe pointed out that I hadn't posted any pictures of my cats in a while. I then put up a few pictures of Manasse, who out of the three of them, is easiest to photograph, as he isn't camera-shy (unlike Clio) or unable to sit still (unlike Clio again); while Leila on the other hand doesn't mind to have her picture taken, as long as it's the same picture over and over again. She has one pose that works for her, and sticks to it.

Anyway, you'll find my two girl kitties as they were this morning behind the cut.

Clio & Leila )
gamiila: (Default)
Leila walks like she's just stepped off a horse, all four feet planted wide. She still can't keep her head up very well, and it droops to the side a little, but she's coming on in leaps and bounds. This morning, however clumsily she did it, she made it back to her old spot on the pillow next to my face, and purred and purred. I can't tell you how happy I was to see things returning to normal again in my household.

I bumped into an old friend from uni when I went out for groceries. She looked like shit and I was immediately concerned. I knew her boyfriend had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer some time ago (three years ago, in fact) and I learned that they had just been told he'd have another year at most. Her eyes were big with unshed tears, and I felt for her.

On the way back, I bumped into my nephew Mick, who's now gainfully employed making a nuisance of himself in the streets on behalf of the World Wildlife Fund, by stopping people and asking them to donate to the charity. It can't be easy; he'd been there an hour and a half, and he still hadn't been pledged a single eurocent, but he didn't seem too downhearted about it. I'm glad to see him out and about again, too...he'd been in a depressed state since November, when he decided there was no point in going to school anymore.

I'm seriously tempted to join David Berkeley for his upcoming tour of the South-East in June. Oh! to be in England, in the summertime... Since P. never came back to me with an offer, I reckon I'm free to dispose of my time any way I like.

Oh Leila!

Apr. 18th, 2008 02:41 pm
gamiila: (Default)
How wonderful to see Leila up and about again, moving about the place like a listing galleon it's true, but seemingly growing in confidence and agility every hour. I couldn't have dared hope for such an outcome when I found her on the kitchen floor on Tuesday morning. Unfortunately though, now that one problem appears to have been overcome, another has presented itself: Leila, being the highly strung cat that she is, has responded to the stress of the last few days by developing the unrelated (to the ataxia, I mean) condition of urge bladder again. So now she's back on bladder relaxants, and hating me for administering them.

After five years, I've finally found a use for the Private (Just Me)-setting LJ offers: lyrics! When we were in our teens, my sister and I came across Mum's painstakingly transcribed and beautifully embellished songbooks of the 50s, and were inspired to do the same for the songs of the artists of our day that we liked. Monique gave up on the effort pretty quickly as I recall, but I kept it going for years. When I swapped my pen for a typewriter, I did my best to type up all my handwritten transcriptions; but when the typewriter gave way to a computer, I couldn't be bothered to go to all that trouble again. Then the other day, while clearing out the junk room (I had to keep myself busy in the times that Leila was asleep), I came across those hundreds of typed up pages again. And I suddenly thought, why don't I transpose them to my LJ? That way, they'll never get mouldy and I'll know where to look if I ever need to find the words to a song so old I only half-remember them. Although now that I've done a few, I must say it does look weird to see these lyrics that have no bearing on my life whatsoever in among my normal posts when I log in, and I'm not sure whether it was such a good idea to begin with. There's plenty of lyrics sites on the Web; I may just decide to rely on those in future, and throw my own collection away. After all, I didn't miss it all those years I forgot I had it.
gamiila: (Default)
Leila is on the mend!

She's a long way from alright, but she's definitely getting better. Look, she's sitting up and feeding without needing any help from me or the much-hated pipette!




She's still very wobbly, and as you can see from the picture, has a tendency to lean over to the left, but her eyes can focus again, she's very close to being her normal chatty self, and she does seem to be getting stronger with every day that passes. I'm sure it won't be long before she'll regain control of her bowel and bladder, and her equilibrium should start to gradually improve over the next week or so.

The vet was very pleased with her progress this morning, as was I. She was given a vitamin shot and was put on a drip again to take care of any possible dehydration issues, but we weren't asked to make another appointment. This must mean that in the vet's considered opinion, Leila's well on the way to recovery; a view I began to believe in as well when she insisted on climbing into my lap immediately after her breakfast:

gamiila: (Default)
I woke up this morning and Leila wasn't in her usual place, on the pillow to the left of me. Stranger still, there were some cat droppings next to the bed, which I couldn't explain as I'd cleaned the litter box only the night before. She didn't answer or come running when I called, and when I went looking for her, I found her huddled on the kitchen floor, hiding away in the space between the cooker and the kitchen cabinets. I knew something was wrong the minute I picked her up; she was floppy and unresponsive, and most worryingly of all, her eyes were darting all over the place. So I put her back down and made her walk...and she couldn't. She couldn't seem to coordinate her movements and her hind quarters kept giving out on her. I rang Jobsworth to let him know I wouldn't be coming in today, and I rang the vet to tell her I thought my cat had suffered a brain haemorrhage during the night. I have just returned from the consultation.

The good news is, it needn't be that cerebral haemorrhage I'd feared. I'd reached that conclusion on the basis of one of my previous cats, Dickie, displaying the same symptoms 13 years ago, and I had to have her put to sleep; but veterinary science appears to have come on since then and Leila's condition has now been diagnosed as vestibular ataxia. The bad news is that in this early stage, it's impossible to tell whether we're dealing with central or peripheral vestibular ataxia. If it should be the first, then the prognosis is bleak; if the latter, she ought to improve with treatment over the next 3-4 days. She's been given a steroid injection, and another one to combat the nausea she's experiencing (as evidenced by her throwing up just before we left to see the vet), and I have been given strict instructions to keep her warm, safe and to make sure she gets enough food and water down her, for which purpose I have been given a special kind of formula food and a syringe. If despite my best efforts to force feed her, she still refuses to take nourishment, I am to go back to the vet's to have her put on a drip tomorrow.

There's a slight chance the ataxia may be caused by a brain tumour, and to show it, there's the option of a CT scan being performed, but it's priced at 700 euros and the vet didn't recommend it at this stage. I can always push for it if Leila doesn't improve in the next few days.

Poor little puss. I've put her in a cardboard box lined with old towels, as the vet's explained that it's best to keep her in a small and confined space for now: it should help keep the nausea to a minimum. I've also called work to let them know I'm taking the rest of the week off to care for my cat.
gamiila: (Default)
My sister's recently found a nice sofa in a secondhand furniture shop, and because I was at a bit of a loose end this afternoon, I decided to go and see if I could find something for the home there, too. I couldn't -- my sister must have bought the only decent stick of furniture that place ever possessed. Never mind, I thought, and started back towards the centre of town when I passed by another furniture shop; and this one was having a clearance sale. I had a look around, but even with prices reduced by 50%, most of the items on sale were still outside my price range. Then my eye happened to fall on this pouf.

I had a devil of a time bringing it home, as I had to carry it halfway across town. My arms still hurt, and it's been here for 6 or 7 hours...The cats were most intrigued by this strange new object having appeared suddenly in the middle of their lounge; but after sniffing it and reaching the conclusion that it would make the perfect place for a snooze, Leila claimed it for her own, letting the others know they weren't welcome to share it with her:



Of course, Manasse couldn't allow this state of affairs to continue for very long, and after a short siege, lay claim to victory:



But Leila's a plucky puss, who regrouped quickly and banished her brother to a discarded shoe box in the other room:

where he sat feeling very sorry for himself until I came in and shooed him out.

Kitty pics

Aug. 24th, 2007 11:15 am
gamiila: (Default)
From Wikipedia, I've learned that a group of cats is referred to as a clowder. I never knew that, same as I didn't know that the word for a neutered male is a gib, or that a female cat is a queen. I wonder if these terms are only used by breeders and people who take their cats to shows.

My moggies will never win any prizes, but that won't stop me showing you them. They've been my constant companions while I've been recuperating; lying down next to me or sitting down on top of me, sometimes the three of them together, sometimes just the two.

like this morning )
gamiila: (Default)
It's taken me something like 2 whole hours, but my new 20" LCD-TV that is digital- and HDTV-ready is now properly set up and working fine!

Though it does look a bit conspicuous there in that corner where my TV's always lived...I know a 20" screen isn't that big, but it's the biggest I've ever owned...and the flattest. It's as if the whole room's been thrown off kilter, but I guess it's just me being silly because I'm used to things being more substantial-looking. I'm also a little bit concerned that if one of the cats (I'm not naming any names but *cough*Clio!*cough*) would jump up and swat the screen with her paw like she always does when Meerkat Manor is on, it'll fall over on top of her. Perhaps I should have mounted it on the wall, after all...

Speaking of cats and concerns: I came home from the place where I got my new set from to find that for the first time in almost 2 weeks, there were the tell-tale signs of a cat with urinary tract problems in the hall. Poor Manasse! he seemed to be doing so well! He's finished his meds, and none of my cats has had any chance to eat anything they shouldn't over the past few weeks, so I'm stumped to explain this sudden relapse. Needless to say, I'll be keeping a close eye on him for the next day or two.

However, there is some good news too: Leila left her hideyhole yesterday afternoon and hasn't gone back there since. She's behaving like she's never been affected by Manasse's little trip to the vet at all; and I could almost wish she'd crawl back under the sofa again. She'd be far less of a handful then.

I realised something yesterday: I really really really really really really don't care about Doctor Who anymore. I've been trying to get back into it for more than a season, or ever since Christmas 2005, but I'm sorry, I just can't do it. Ten, for all his ruffable hair and sexy glasses, just strikes me as a shouty emo and worst of all, boring and predictable lightweight, and the stories seem to get ever sillier. The recent Dalek episodes seemed to illustrate this quite sufficiently, but last night's The Lazarus Experience or whatever it was called, underlined it even more. Having said that -- I will of course tune in for Capt. Jack's return in 2 weeks time.

Misery

Apr. 25th, 2007 09:45 am
gamiila: (Default)
Do you remember when two years ago, Leila went into a state after I brought Manasse home from the vet's, and stayed in a permanent panic for 5 whole months? She was in it again this morning, hiding away under the sofa, hunched up, ears back, tail tucked tightly around her; her big round eyes presenting a picture of abject misery. She scratched me in the face when I tried to get her out. It bled like a mother, but it's as nothing to how my heart bleeds for her this morning.
gamiila: (Default)
My Leila is such a darling pussycat. She's always by my side, and when she sits in my lap, she buries her face in my armpit. At night, she stretches out on my pillow, and holds my head in her paws. She likes to lick my face and eyelids -- she's terribly affectionate, but knows I don't appreciate having my skin licked raw night after night; hence the vice-like grip. When she's afraid, she runs to me (last night e.g., when there was a thunderstorm right above our heads, with rolling thunder and blinding flashes of light), and purs and purs. She's always purring. And when she walks, she doesn't walk -- she minces. She's cute as a button, but most of all, my Leila is my darling pussycat.
gamiila: (Default)
Just now, there was a godawful commotion in my living room, and when I went to investigate, I found that a goldfinch had somehow found its way into my flat and was desperately trying to get away from Leila and Manasse. Leila? Yes, her hunting instinct had taken over and she'd left the safety of the bathroom to chase after the hapless little bird. I tried my best to catch it, so that I could release it outside unharmed, but unfortunately, all my efforts did was drive it straight into Leila's reach. She jumped up and killed it, snapping its neck in less than a second. Manasse stood and cheered, and Leila took her trophy back to the bathroom with her. I let her play with it for a few minutes, then I took it and threw it out.

Leila's now strutting about the flat looking for it, licking her chops and looking very pleased with herself. Manasse follows her in total awe, like a little boy trailing after his favourite football hero in the hope of getting an autograph. Clio's lying low somewhere, probably pondering the question what this'll mean to the hierarchy and her place in it. For the last few weeks, she's been trying to assert her dominance over Leila, and there have been several really bad fights between the two, in which it seemed that, with the help of Manasse, she was getting the upper hand. With Manasse back in Leila's camp, she can't be too sure of that anymore...Kitty politics are endlessly fascinating to watch.

Anyway, Leila's euphoric; and seems to have forgotten that she's afraid to go in the other rooms. I'm hoping today's excitement will help restore her confidence, and then the poor little goldfinch won't have died in vain.
gamiila: (Default)
All of you who've commented on my last message, seeking to cheer me up. All of you who didn't, but tut-tutted at your screens and sent good vibes my way. All of you who've rooted for me, who've had fingers and toes crossed for months on end...All of you who believe in me, even and especially when I don't believe in myself. Your thoughts, comments, vibes, all help to make me see things in perspective, and not to take them and myself too seriously. You ground me. I love you.

This morning couldn't have started off any better. I woke up feeling something I hadn't in months: Leila, licking my eyelids with her rough kitty tongue. It hurt, but it was a good hurt because it was Leila, who for the first time in ages had moved out of the bathroom and jumped up on my bed, purring like mad and not taking any notice of the other two cats already enjoying a cosy snuggle.

So I stayed in way past the time I normally get up to go to work. I called the plumber, to sort out my loo once and for all. I called Jobsworth and told him I had to take up emergency leave. He's just called back to say he's not happy about me taking up emergency leave this week when I already took two days off last week for the same reason. Was it really necessary for me to have a working loo? No, of course not. I'll just shit in a bucket until my retirement, and then I'll be free to dispose of my time and have things done round the house at no inconvenience to him at all! What is he like? I was so looking forward to being shot of him...

Anyway, the sun's shining, it's a lovely September morning, and I've got things to do.

Loot!

Aug. 29th, 2005 12:40 pm
gamiila: (Default)
4 More hours...Then I'll know whether the report that will be sent to the Home Office HR department will be favourable or not. I'm hoping, praying even, that I won't be disappointed. I've looked at my performance in the assessment every way I could this past week, and apart from some minor points, I can't think of any reason why they would not recommend me. I carried out the tasks they set me, I answered their questions honestly, I dealt with the stress. I may have been rather nervous, but under the circumstances, that was to be expected, wasn't it? Of course, I don't know how the others did, whether they did better in the tests, or had more of a poker face than I...

I took Leila to the vet's this morning. That cat -- if it's not one thing, it's another. She appears to have somehow injured her hind leg. Poor Leila; it would seem that the washing machine is not such a safe place to hide, after all. I did the laundry 2 days ago, and somehow Leila managed to get herself drenched in soapy water. I didn't think anything of it, but when she'd dried out and her fur stuck every which way, I decided to give her a bath. She fought me tooth and nail. The next day, she still looked a fright so I bathed her again, this time noticing that she only started to yell and claw her way out of the sink if I touched her right leg. Last night, I noticed she wasn't putting any weight on that leg, and this morning, when she almost ripped me to shreds as I was trying to get the last of the soap out of her fur, I noticed that the leg was swollen and hot to the touch, as if an infection had set in. So I took her to the vet's and sure enough, it seems she must have got stuck, and in trying to free herself twisted her leg, and pulled one or two muscles. This is probably when she fell in the water. My manipulating her to get her cleaned up hasn't helped either, and now she's on a course of anti-biotics and painkillers. It should clear up within 10 days; if not, we'll have to have her x-rayed.

I told the vet all about our excursion to the outlet centre yesterday, and she told me about her shopping trips to Lille (Northern France); and this conversation reminded me that I hadn't shown you the best of my loot. Well, here it is: my gorgeous coat

back )

and my 7 euro shoes )

Also, that last picture gives an indication of how and where I store my shoes. Yes, there's shoe boxes littered all over my place, though I do tend to keep most of them in my bedroom.
gamiila: (Default)
For the past couple of days, Leila's been cautiously exploring her surroundings. At the slightest sound, she'll scoot away under the sofa or run back to the safety of her hidey-hole behind the washing machine, but at least she's no longer content to spend all her time in such places. The other day, she turned up for a quick look-see when I was opening a tin of catfood in the kitchen, and yesterday, she came to greet me at the door when I came home, apparently unfazed by the fact that Manasse was trailing just a few steps behind!

I'm so pleased, and so proud of her, my brave little puddytat.
gamiila: (Default)
I really don't know what else to try with Leila anymore. She's been in a near constant state of panic and distress for almost 4 months. Best Friend has offered to take her in for a week or two, to see if she'll be able to (re-)socialise with other cats in a completely new environment. She's got 3 of her own, 2 of which have only just been added to her household in the previous week. Which means that the pecking order hasn't fully been established yet, and she thought it might help give Leila's confidence a boost. OTOH, it could send her into an even deeper state of catatonia and depression... Luckily, Best Friend has quite a big house; there'll be plenty of places Leila can hide if she decides she doesn't like the change.

The vet keeps pressing me to make a choice, based on which cat means the most to me, but how can she ask me this? They may not be my children, but they're my babies, both of them! How can I choose between the cat that saved me, and the cat I've wished for?

In exactly 16 days from now, it will have been 20 years since Aloysius came into my life. He was a two day old orphaned kitten, a blind little helpless ball of black fluff, that I had to take care of because nobody else thought they could do it. He thrived and grew into a beautiful big black cat who sometimes acted as though he thought he was a man, sleeping stretched out next to me with his head on a pillow and his body under the covers and accompanied me on grocery runs and walks through the park. He and I were very close -- in fact, it was something of a love affair. I thought it would be me and him forever, but then he died, 5 years ago this October.

At first, I didn't think I wanted another cat ever again. But 6 months later, I was going up the wall, I so missed having a cat around. So I went looking for a kitten, and I knew exactly what it was I was looking for. I knew I didn't want a black cat, and I didn't want a female. The number of kittens I was offered when I said I didn't want one! There weren't any to be had by the time I decided I did. Two months later, I was desperate. So when my sister told me that one of her co-worker's sister was looking to rehome a kitten, I didn't ask whether it were male or female, black or white -- I just wanted it. Two days later, I met 5-week old Leila (who was then saddled with the name 'Psycho' for no other reason than that her mother's owner thought it funny -- clearly, this was a cat that needed rescuing). And she did the strangest thing: she left her brothers and sisters to their game while I was leaning against the kitchen sink making polite conversation with her 1st human family, and clawed her way up my trouser leg, up my jacket, right up to my shoulder, stretched her paw across to touch my nose, and when I turned my head towards her, opened her mouth and said "meow". She was the wrong sex and the wrong colour, but five minutes later, I took her home.

Six weeks after that, I bought 9-week old Clio in a pet shop. I was on the bus and it was purely by accident that I saw the sign proclaiming 'Kittens For Sale'. I got off at the next stop, and ran all the way back. Again, I didn't get a choice: Clio was the last one left -- no one had wanted her, probably because she's quite shy. Their loss: she's a lovely cat -- shy, but playful, loving, and very clever.

For 3 years, I was very happy with my two girls. Then my longing for a tom cat was reawakened when a colleague who was about to go on a trip around the world mentioned her cat had had a litter, and she needed to find homes for the li'l uns...I resisted the temptation at first, but when 2 days before she was due to fly out she called me in a panic to say that a prospective owner had backed out and she urgently needed someone to take the last remaining two kittens off her hands, and she mentioned one of them was male, I said I'd take him. The next day, I went to fetch him home.

I gave him the name Manasse for a reason: he's the cat 'who makes forget'.

I'm not nearly as close with him as I was with Aloysius. Yet I can't bear the thought of having to part with him. He's a very independent cat, who up until recently needed no one but his surrogate mum Leila. But now that she's turned against him, he doesn't know what to do with himself and looks to me for reassurance. He's started to 'talk' to me, and comes for a cuddle now once in a while, which I like. The other day, he even had a five minute lie down in my lap. His look told me not to make anything of it, but still...He's not really a people cat, like Leila who likes nothing better than to be around and preferably sat next to or on a person...any person will do, although she does love me best, of course...

How can I send either one of them away?
gamiila: (Default)
Ouch! Somehow, some time between going to bed last night and getting up again this morning, I've managed to throw my back out. How on earth did I do that? The pain is forcing me to walk gingerly, like an old, old woman; and to sit very, very still with my back up straight against the chair. And even then, it hurts. If it hasn't improved by tonight, I'm breaking out the aspirin...

My closest colleague's off on holiday for the next two weeks, and I'm inundated with work, his and mine. Strangely, I don't mind too much, presumably 'cause I'm still in with a chance of landing that Home Office job. I know it may still all go pear-shaped after the next test and interview, but I don't want to think about that possibility now. I've got to remain positive or I might as well just give up.

I will miss the easy Internet-access I have here, though...and the international environment, with colleagues and clients from all over the world. I'll also miss our lack of a dress code; for the past decade I've been able to wear pretty much what I liked to work -- but if I go to work at the Home Office, formal attire is a must. I'll have to invest in power suits heavily. I hope they won't mind my more colourful shoes, although I suppose my yellow boots and fuchsia trainers are definitely out. :(

And I suppose I'll miss certain people as well, although in all the years I've worked here only two have become friends IRL as well, and one of them's already moved back to England...I certainly won't be sorry to lose contact with Jobsworth, though I'm sure that, come my last day, he'll make the requisite noises about me staying in touch and me promising to not be a stranger...Ah! how wonderful to be daydreaming like this!

But back in the real world, my Leila's not getting any better -- in fact, she seems to be getting more stressed out with every day that passes. She never ventured out from underneath the sofa anymore, just huddled there meowing pitifully. And kept doing her business there, too, expecting me to clean up after her! So I've relocated her to the bathroom, but it's not a real solution -- she's still terrified, and hides behind the washing machine. I can't leave her locked in there for more than a day or two, that'd be inhumane, wouldn't it?

Perhaps I had better make inquiries to have her rehomed...
gamiila: (Default)
After coming home, Leila's spent the last week hiding behind the washing machine. When I'd come home, I'd get her out and she'd press her shivering little body close to me, or try to get in my clothing so that she wouldn't have to be exposed to that big nasty world out there where ball-less Manasse insisted he was still the same Manasse she'd lovingly adopted a year ago...

So I took her back to the vet's last night and now she's on tranquillizers/anxiety blockers - hopefully, they'll start having an effect soon because when I left home this morning, Leila had withdrawn into her hideyhole again.

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gamiila

December 2012

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