Cat Scratch Fever

Before Ted Nugent went completely insane he wrote and recorded the 32nd best all time Rock and Roll song.

Cat Scratch Fever

Cat Scratch Fever (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That’s not my opinion but some rock and roll mag from 2009. In 1977, if we had today’s vernacular, we would say “Cat Scratch Fever” went viral. “Cat Scratch Fever” was a common street slang term for syphilis  in the ’70s and the song mentions “[going] to the doctor” and that “you know you got it when/you goin’ insane/It makes a grown man cry”.



When I felt my cat, KC, Monday morning, I didn’t think he had syphilis, but it seemed a cat fever was brewing. A few days ago, after his normal play-day of chasing leaves, stalking birds to no avail and pretending he’s a Bengal tiger, he slinked into the house, climbed under a chair and disappeared for a day.
But here it was Monday, just hours away from needing to complete my packing for my Indiana trip, and KC is not doing well.

Under is ample fur and girth (he’s a 16 pound Bengal tiger) I discovered a nasty looking bite. And it looked infected. I wondered how the other varmint looked, but KC definitely didn’t look good. I called my vet’s office and couldn’t get in til late in the day.  Stress was building.

I arrived at 4pm and had never seen the waiting room, any waiting room, this jammed. Before I could size up the many animals and their owners, the staff apologized for the air conditioning not working. It was probably around 95 in the room. There was barking like I’d never heard.

One lady had six dogs on six leashes. The only thing they had in common was their hatred of my cat, the only cat. I sat KC in his carry-kennel across from the six dogs and next to a golden lab wearing a neck cone and joining in his hatred for poor KC.  KC just gave out little muted squeaks. He thought he had come to “cat hell.”

Next to us was a man, even older than me, with a dog older than both of us. He also hated cats but hated moving his body even more.

Eventually the six dogs on six leashes went back, then the mangy old tired dog left, and finally the lab with a cone-collar was called. It was after 5pm and I felt like I was already back in the humid Mid-west. Water was dripping down my back and KC was still sending out little sad squeaks.

We were called and it didn’t take long for a diagnosis. No Cat Scratch Fever, but KC is spending his spring break in the hospital, with draining tubes, cone-collar, heavy antibiotics and surrounded by strange howls and cries.

I’m not going to miss my plane, but KC is going to miss stalking leaves for a few days.
Cat with speech bubble

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What day is this…Monday?

Pretend it’s Monday and the blog I accidentally published a few minutes ago didn’t really happen.  My cat got into a yard fight with another cat and instead hitting the “save” button I hit the “publish” button.

So…I’m actually going to Indiana on Tuesday, 4/22.  I wanted to get a start on the Monday blog.  Looks like I got a very early start.

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Flying with Clocks and Planes

Time to fly to Indiana tomorrow. I accept the science of aerodynamics and know somehow, someway, that heavy beast lifts off the ground.
Toy Airplane

I understand with simple reasoning why time flies. Each year is faster than the last – in our minds. But time only exists in our minds. When a 10 year old kid is enjoying an endless summer (remember?), it really does seem endless. After all, one year at that age is 10% of our ten year old life.

Next Sunday my mom starts her 10th decade on earth. One year is only 1% of her life. Her last ten years have flown by at the same “mind-speed” as only one year did when she was ten years old.

As for each of us, aging does weird things to our mind clocks. It seems I was just back in Indiana visiting a rather depressed mother who didn’t want to be in a nursing home. To bring her some cheer, maybe a smile, I told her I would fly back and throw her a 99th birthday party the end of April.

She said, “Absolutely not!” She didn’t want no damn party. She was through with parties. Her broken foot had not healed well and she was unable to return home after therapy. While sitting for five months in a wheel chair those old leg muscles had atrophied. She couldn’t stand without falling over. A nursing home was not her “end of life” plans. Dying at home, like Dad did, that was her only prayer.

The nursing home trap is very similar to the emotional stages of grief. First, my mom was in denial…believing she would get stronger and walk out of that place. Second stage was anger. She was mostly pissed at her God for sticking her there. Her third stage was bargaining. She figured if she prayed, pleaded and bargained, she could trade her death now instead of a younger person or child. Nope, she was still stuck there. The fourth stage was depression. Especially over the holidays and throughout the polar vortex. She saw nothing but snow, ice, wind, rain and icicles out her small window for months on end.

Then the fifth stage finally appeared a month ago. Acceptance. Her voice was higher, happier, and filled with plans. She now wanted that birthday party. She really loved her room-mate. She likes being helped with her shower twice a week. She likes the caring staff that brings her pills, fluffs her pillows, and hugs her. Suddenly the food seemed to improve overnight. The five pounds she lost have suddenly become eight pounds found. She’s tipping the scale at 103 and bitching about it.

So a party we will have. You’re all invited. If you’re in the Lafayette, Indiana area this Sunday, 4/27…come sing Happy 99th Birthday with us.Happy Birthday MOM

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Faceless Friday THREE

Continuing my Facial Fridays, I’m amazed at what we do to our countenance to appease our mirror glances. People have their mugs pulled, tugged and cut upon because, in their opinion, they must maintain a youthful appearance or it’s all over. Kaput. Dust. And then many become almost unrecognizable, some even downright ugly. Whatever happened to Kenny Rogers?
Kenny Rogers

 Kim Novak?
Kim Novak 81 yrs old

 Bruce Jenner??
Bruce Jenner

 Maybe there is only one doctor in Hollywood doing these messed up do-overs, and he only has his first client for a template.

Michael Jackson

 Whatever….have a Faceless laugh

Faceless 6

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MSG and ME

We’ve picked on the poor Chinese restaurants for decades about their use of MSG in cooking. I believe a large majority of restaurants use MSG. My “MSG Headache” is a special kind of headache I only get from MSG. I have rarely had any kind of headache in my life, except the kind from colds, flu or the proverbial hangover headache.  They are nothing like the MSG headache.

An Australian/New Zealand joint study found that 1% of people have reaction to MSG. Headache is one reaction, numbness, tingling, and weakness are other reactions. I’ll have to check my bank statements, but I didn’t think I was in the dreaded 1%. Looks like I am, but for a different reason.

I am curious if any of you readers have an MSG reaction.  What is it?
man with headache
We have always thought we experience four main tastes-bitter, salty, sour and sweet. Many scientists are now including a fifth taste called “umami” which is the taste from MSG.

I don’t know if my taste buds experience a “umami” taste. I don’t recognize MSG when I taste it in foods…only the headache that starts about two hours later and continues for a few hours after waking in the morning.

I know a restaurant can make so-so food “come alive” with tastiness by adding MSG. It actually enhances the other four taste sensations.

MSG has been found “safe.” I don’t doubt it, we don’t seem to be dying or catching any MSG diseases. If get an MSG headache two hours after dining, I make a note to cross that restaurant off my list.

MSG also comes in most pre-packaged foods, so I try to stay away from them.

It took years for me to realize the cause of this strange “hollow-feeling head-ache.” When I did I started researching and reading.

I only remember to say “No MSG, please” when I go to a Chinese restaurant. The truth is I haven’t had an MSG headache from Asian food in many years. It usually comes from other mainstream places I don’t think about stating, “No MSG, please.”

What about you? Am I the only crazy one here?

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A White Page

That’s all there is. That blank sheet of paper staring back at me. Sometimes I see a little horned devil, smiling, knowing the only way to cover him up is with words. Words that have no meaning- or rhyme or reasoning.

Is reasoning the key? Get my intuition happening and listen to my rational mind. Nope.  I discovered some time ago, my rational mind sucks. I assume my rational mind will give me truth, because after all, our society bows to the rational mind.

The white, blank page knows that my rationality drains all the fascinating, juicy, exciting, interesting things to write about. I leave the rational mind behind, and my intuition returns which I need to uncover words. Then the little horned smiley-faced devil disappears.

Michelangelo looked at a block of blank white marble and somehow he saw a large muscular man with a peculiar little penis.  My devil on the blank white page isn’t even horny-just horned.

This is a regular occurrence for anyone writing a blog, a poem, a memoir, or a novel. It’s usually called writers’ block. It’s a strange feeling that says, “Maybe you’ve written every word, story, scene and memory that’s in your internal hard-drive. There are no more words.”

sleepy writer

But you learn to ignore those feelings. It’s that old rational mind again. That mind that wants to be perfect.

I realized this past weekend I’m sitting at a clean, organized un-cluttered desk. Last week I did the ritual. It had probably been a year or more. I cleaned my desk off. What a mistake. A messy clutter has hidden treasures-notes, ideas, unpaid bills, old business cards- a life being lived- not a tidy suspended animation of held breath. Clutter is rich with words and forgotten memories.

Then, with new mail, new magazines, honey-do lists, a bit of clutter returns. It only takes a few days to find new words, recall old memories. Paragraph by paragraph my strange made-up characters come to life again. I discover I’m not just making things up. I’m writing about you, or maybe you, or me. I understand if I’m not writing nice things about you, maybe you should have behaved better.

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Faceless Friday TWO

I like talking about faces so I will continue my Friday postings with more about our faces.

Most of the time we think we are controlling our faces. Sometimes we think others make our faces look angry, surprised, happy or sad.

angry face

Our faces just naturally follow our emotions. But, sometimes we lose control of our faces. Sometimes our taste buds make our faces do all kinds of crazy things.

If you have two minutes, check out these faces below.  No, it’s not cat’s, but babies’ faces, after their very first experience with lemons. FUN!!

And another Faceless Friday cartoon:
Faceless 3

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