gamiila: (not important)
...not that I ever really did imagine it, but...

I'll be turning 50 in two days time. And like every other birthday I've had so far, it will come and go without any fuss. Mum phoned yesterday, to ask what I was planning on doing, and then invited herself round for coffee. I expect she'll bring me a card and a bunch of flowers; we'll sit and chat for an hour, and that'll be it.

I never really gave it much thought, but if someone had told me 25 years ago that my 50th birthday would be as uneventful as this, I would probably not have believed them. I would also probably not have believed that at 50, I would still be single (which I honestly don't mind), and unemployed (which I emphatically do). But...here we are.

Quick question: does anyone have any (home) remedies to recommend to stop a cat from overgrooming? I noticed the other day that Manasse has lost most of the fur on his abdomen; and no, he does not have fleas, or a flea allergy. I went to the pet shop but they just sold me a salve that he licked right off again...
gamiila: (cat)
A new month brings new opportunities! I was approached by a recruiter for a large telecom company who thought they might have an opening for me, and so I've agreed to meet with them on Monday. It would be another interim job, looking after large business accounts, and the profile seems to fit so...fingers crossed (again)!

In other news, today's the day when Manasse, the benjamin in my household, turns 8 years old. Converted into human years, this makes him almost as old as I am (48 to my 49). He's been eluding me all day, refusing to sit for his portrait, but I managed to snap his picture anyway when he let his guard down momentarily.

birthday boy )
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: (hard at work)
The weather's been quite mild for the time of year...until today when suddenly, there's another cold snap. Of course there is -- today's the day my central heating system is being brought into the 21st century, after all.

So, I woke up early and tidied up before Willem and his gang would get here. I don't know why I was so houseproud because within minutes of their arrival, they had trashed the place. The heating is off, all doors are open, and the hall and living room are covered in dust and debris. Moreover, when I snuck a peak a minute ago (the men having gone off to get some more tools and things from the van), I found that a hole had appeared in my kitchen ceiling! I hadn't been prepared for this! though I suppose it's to do with the flue.


Look at that hole!


Inspector Manasse doesn't seem too impressed )

Meanwhile, I'm sat here, slowly turning to ice.
gamiila: (cat)


Usually, I'm out like a light once my head hits the pillow, but last night I just couldn't get to sleep. So I sat up and took this picture of my constant companion, who couldn't seem to settle either.

I'd been invited to a networking workshop by the JobCentre, and kept the appointment even though on the face of it I may no longer need it...but you never know what people you may meet and what meeting them may mean to you in the future. And, I met someone who'd just been made redundant (December) from hp! He was the first person I spoke to after we'd been welcomed and told to mingle and find out about each other, and my jaw dropped when he told me what compnay he'd worked for during the last 17 years.

In many of the job interviews I've had in the last few months, I've been asked the question as to where I'd like to be in 5 years' time. Now the meme wants me to disclose where I see myself 10 years from now! Well, my answer is and always will be that I have no clearly defined long-term plan. 5 Or 10 years down the line makes no difference to me; as long as I'm hale and healthy, and hopefully, happy, I shall be content.

the rest of the days )
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)
LJ is being a complete pain again...but [livejournal.com profile] ezagaaikwe asked for cat picspam so cat picspam she will get, even if it means I'm going to have to do this in several installments. Seriously, as Scrapbook refuses to play ball, I've had to reactivate my Photobucket-account, which had lain dormant for some years, and then to rack my brain as to how to import the pictures into my journal...where's the FAQ when you need it?

Who's a pretty boy, then? )

I'm freezing. The sun shone brightly this morning so I opted for a skirt and a light jacket, then caught my death hanging around Rotterdam Central Station in the icy winds waiting for my uncle to come pick me up. At my dad's cremation ceremony, I'd promised I'd visit him and my aunt soon; but I've never been much of a family-minded person, and 'soon' is rather an elastic concept in my book. Still, they hadn't forgotten and that's how I came to be so flipping cold. None of us had stopped to realise Rotterdam would pretty much come to a standstill because of the annual marathon being run today.

This particular uncle (let's call him Piet, 'cause that's his name) is my dad's youngest brother --Dad was the eldest of three, but the middle brother cut off all ties with his birth family when he got married and moved to Germany, for reasons no one knows or understands-- and is a lot like him, physically as well as in temperament, though I've always thought him to be kinder, somehow. I wouldn't say Dad was intentionally unkind often, but he certainly was never a patient man; and he could, and sometimes did, yell and throw his weight around. By contrast, I don't think I've heard my uncle raise his voice even once. When he was in the home, uncle Piet was my father's lifeline; rain or shine, he always came to visit him at least once every fortnight, which I know meant the world to my father. He didn't have that many visitors apart from me and my mum, as most all his chums had predeceased him.

So I spent the afternoon in idle chitchat with really the sweetest people in the world, who fed me pie and soup, and when they drove me back to the station took the initiative to exchange mobile phone numbers. My uncle, ever the gentleman, opened the car door for me and hugging me tight, thanked me from the bottom of his heart for having come to see them. There were tears in his eyes as he said it, and I wish I could have said we'll do this again some time...but it would only have been a lie. A little white one, but still...Like I said, I'm not that big on family, and it'll probably be months, if not years, before I'll think to call again.

Wasted day

Jun. 9th, 2009 09:53 pm
gamiila: (Default)
I waited in for the repair man to come and fix my hot water all day. They never showed.

In the evening, I took Manasse to the vet's for his 6 months check-up. His heart is doing fine and his health overall seems to have improved quite significantly according to the vet, but now it seems his blood pressure is dangerously high. She's given me another set of pills and wants me to bring him in again in a fortnight. Oh joy.

Just when we got home, my mum rang with the news that my uncle Piet, my father's best friend and my mum's deceased sister's husband, had died of lung cancer this afternoon, 7 days shy of his 80th birthday.
gamiila: (Default)
Thank God it's come! We're moving office over the weekend, which means that today will be my last ever day in Nieuwegein. Bye bye 2 hour commute; from Monday morning onwards I'll no longer have to leave the house at the crack of dawn. We're being moved to Crédit Agricole's headquarters in The Netherlands in Amsterdam, which is only an hour away from my door.

This morning just as I was getting ready to leave, Manasse squatted down on my pillows and proceeded to do a No. 1 - I shouted at him but then noticed that he'd been peeing blood. Poor thing! Because I'd been late coming home this last week, because of daily delays on the train service, I hadn't been able to pick up his diet food from the vet's before they closed. Since he had to eat, I'd given him ordinary cat food, hoping it wouldn't do him any harm...now it seems it has. What am I going to do with him over the weekend, though?

ETA: Sorted. The movers came and shut us down at 10am, taking our desks, chairs and computers away from us. My manager wasn't happy about it, but apparently it had been higher management's intention all along and they'd just failed to communicate that to her, so in the end all she could do was send us home by 10:30...which meant I had ample time to drop in at the vet's surgery and pick up the necessary supplies.
gamiila: (Default)





"Do you mind? I'm trying to get some kip here, woman!"
gamiila: (Default)
...I've found a way to feed Manasse his meds without having to rely on his good will and appetite (as in peppering/sprinkling his food with them) or resorting to violence (as in grabbing hold of him, prising open his mouth, and popping a pill into it): after crushing the tablets and grinding them down to a very fine powder, I rolled a little clump of butter over it until it had all been mixed up, and then smeared it around Manasse's mouth. This prompted him to lick his chops and give me a look that said "I suppose you think this is funny, do you?" -- well no, not exactly, but I think I've been very clever and this is how things are going to be from here on in, or until I can think of an even better way to do it.

I called my new manager and was told I could take it easy on Monday -- she wouldn't expect me in before 9:30am, she said.
gamiila: (Default)


Manasse had his ultrasound this morning. He protested loudly and generally behaved as if he was being slaughtered (he can be such a drama queen!), but despite all his wriggling the vet was able to see that yes, we were definitely dealing with a thickening of the walls of the left atrium and a beginning problem with some of the ventricles, so he's going to have to go on another diet now and will be requiring meds, fed daily to him, for the rest of his life.

I'm told I'm to avoid stressing him out, so no more popping pills into his mouth -- instead, I am to crush them and sprinkle them over his food. I do like this idea, but...my flat is mostly open plan. My cats eat in the kitchen, and share the same bowls. This wasn't a problem when Leila and Manasse were both on the same diet, but now that Manasse is to go on another, I don't know how I'm supposed to make sure he eats his own and not his sister's food. If they had a specific dinner time, I could lock him in the bathroom with a bowlful of medicated food; but since my cats typically just take a few bites when their food is placed in front of them, then wander off and come back to it whenever they feel like it, I don't think that is going to work. Does this dilemma sound familiar to anyone on my flist, and if so, do you have any helpful hints for me?

Oh dear

Oct. 21st, 2008 11:36 am
gamiila: (Default)
This morning, I found out that I'd read the instructions wrong: I was to feed Manasse 5 times a day, not give him a tablet 5 times a day. If I'd turned over the packet, I would have seen that I was actually to give him 1/4 tablet once a day...so no wonder he hasn't been puking since coming home from the vet's yesterday: he's had 20 times the prescribed dose of medication! After speaking to the vet, I'm reassured that my mistake isn't likely to kill him, though it did make me feel extremely sheepish.

The only worry now is, that Manasse still refuses to eat anything, which makes this the third consecutive day of his fast. He is drinking plenty of water, but I'm informed that the feline metabolism isn't designed to cope well with prolonged periods of fasting and shuts down a hell of a lot quicker than a human's would under the same circumstances. Just a few days of not eating can already cause massive problems, I'm told; and so I'm hoping that once he realises later in the day that "hey! I haven't been nauseous for a while", he'll get his appetite back and will consent to at least taste the new diet food I've got in for him.

And, for my random observation of the day: it seems that lately, every time I turn on the telly, there's a film or TV drama starring Rhys Ifans, which means that consequently, he's fast becoming one of my favourite contemporary actors.

Poor baby

Oct. 20th, 2008 01:01 pm
gamiila: (Default)
Manasse has been vomiting since Friday night. It's not food he throws up; neither is it plants or hairballs. Mostly it's just a clear liquid, and quite a lot of it...He does this about 4 or 5 times a day, and 1 or 2 times at night. He's got me really worried, also because I can see he's feeling nauseous (he's smacking his lips and swallowing like cats do when they don't feel well, and meows plaintively just before the heaving starts -- which is good, because it allows me just enough time to pick him up and carry him to the linoleum in the kitchen). Wouldn't you know it? My cat gets ill just before I'm due to go off on a city break to New York...

Still, that's not the worst of it. I've been out of work for 3 months, have not been able to claim benefit, and am now really starting to feel the pinch. Of course, I will start earning again soon, but until my first paycheck comes through at the end of next month, money is going to be extremely tight.

I had to stop by the vet's this morning to pick up the special diet foods both Leila and Manasse require (KER-CHING!), and hoping they could give me some helpful hints described my baby's symptoms...but of course they're not in the business of handing out free advice and so I'm taking him in this afternoon for a proper examination. I do want him to get well again, but I wish he could have picked another, less strapped-for-cash moment.

As it is, I'm seriously questioning the wisdom of going to New York while skint and worrying about my moggie's health, but when all's said and done, the tickets are bought and paid for, it's only a couple of days, and if I have to be skint anywhere, I'd rather be skint but having a ball over there than skint and stuck in the same old rut here.

_________________________________________________________________


ETA: 16:07pm - Back from the vet. Somehow, in the last year and without my noticing it, Manasse has picked up a heart murmur, bad teeth, and a mysterious thickening of his stomach lining. For now, he's been given a jab, sundry pills, and a new diet, while I have been given instructions to administer the tablets 5 times a day, with some of the food, starting...immediately; there's not a moment to waste!

I came out on top in the wrestling match that ensued (my hands are in tatters, but the first pill went down his gullet eventually), but he's spat out the food and sits in a corner glowering at me. The vet wants a full update on the situation tomorrow, and for us to come back in to have an ultrasound done later in the week.
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.

Poor baby

Apr. 24th, 2007 09:18 pm
gamiila: (Default)
Manasse has a bacterial urinary tract infection, caused by struvite stones. The vet's given him some antibiotics and a bladder relaxant, and he will have to go on a special low magnesium diet. He will have to be on this diet for the rest of his life, and so will the girls. This cat food can only be obtained from the vet, at a ludicrously high price (9 100gr packages have cost me 70 euros, and as I have 3 cats to feed, this won't last me more than a few days) -- if I don't win the lottery, my darlings will soon, literally, eat me out of house and home.
gamiila: (Default)
I've known for several years that I've been living with a neurotic cat. Now, it looks like I may be living with two. Manasse is currently showing all the symptoms of 'urge bladder', the same nervous affliction that Leila's suffered in the past and that according to the vet, is wholly stress-induced and ultimately psychological.

::sigh::

I love my cats, and I flatter myself that they love me, but when two of them start pissing blood and the third won't eat while I'm away, how can I ever go on holiday again?

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