Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dixie Newton, 1997 - 2008

Her name was Dixie, though she went by many others: Dissy (Dixie slurred, lol,) Demon Cat, Evil Kitty, Pissy, Smelly Cat, Princess Furball. She was born in early April 1997. I decided April 1 was appropriate. We found her up a small tree at a friend's house near Danville, Indiana, in May of that year, right before my birthday. I told John I was keeping her. There was no discussion. She was mine.She was feisty right from the start. Some called her mean. I called her selective. She would let most people stroke her three or four times, then she'd bite them. I could get away with it for much longer. She liked getting her ears rubbed while lying on my chest, poking her head up underneath whatever I happened to be reading, purring and drooling. I had never seen a cat drool before. She was a weirdo. She and I went together like peas and carrots.
The dogs were scared of her, especially Lili, the Great Dane, even though Lili outweighed her by 120 pounds. A couple of smacks to the snout, and Dixie took control of the Animal Division of the Newton Family. She was a really cool kitty. She was my kitty.

When I took her to the vet yesterday for her shots, I was stunned to find out she was so sick. Her little lungs were riddled with cancer, her little heart failing, her breathing incredibly labored. Today I had to do the only humane thing I could for her. I had to end her suffering. After being her cat mom for over 11 years, it's extremely hard to let go. But it's all I could do.

So here's to my little Demon Cat, who I'm sure is up at Rainbow Bridge right now terrorizing her dalmatian brothers who went before her: Dugan (2004) and Barney (2006.) Give 'em hell, girl.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Damn Cat

So I took Dixie the Demon Cat in for her vaccinations and exam. I came home without a cat.

I told the vet that she hadn't been eating much over the past several weeks, and I had noticed last week that she was breathing funny, like panting for no reason. And she doesn't come out from under the bed much anymore. Dr. M. wanted to address that before anything else. She weighed her--6.5 lbs. She had lost about 3 lbs. About a third of her body weight. So she did an x-ray of her lungs, and they're filled with something. Whether it's fluid or tumors, she couldn't tell. So they're keeping her overnight and doing some bloodwork and giving her a shot to dry up her lungs, if it's even fluid in there, and then she'll do the x-ray again. I should know tomorrow.

None of the situations look good. It could be cancer, primary heart failure, or, best-case scenario, secondary heart disease from hyperthyroidism. It looks like I may have another horrible decision to make tomorrow. I'm not sure I can deal with this right now. But what can you do.

I know a lot of people will say, "She's just a cat." But she's been with me for over 11 years. Sort of the only constant in my life. When my husband took off, she was still there. When my parents didn't speak to me for two years, she was still there. She was there when I was fat. She was there when I dropped a good chunk of the weight. Through training for every marathon, for both triathlons, for my decision to go back to school, she was there, doing her 3 AM breath checks ("Okay, the Food Lady is still alive. There will be kibble in the morning.") Every book I've read in the past 11 years, she has plopped her big furry butt on and purred away. Sorry guys. She's not just a cat to me.

S :(

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Holy. Mother. of. God.

My afternoon class is Medical Q&A. I have to stenotype words like antihypertensive, thrombophlebitis, atheromatous, costophrenic. Crap. I'm having enough trouble with, "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, a crime is a violation of a statute of this state."


My friend Melanie took this class a couple of terms ago. I've already offered her $20 per transcript ;)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hurricane Panels

Here they are. Aren't they attractive?? The neighbors (and the homeowner's association) had better get used to them, because these bastards are staying up for a while. Maybe my dad will take them down when he does his Annual Cuss-Like-a-Trucker-Christmas-Light-Hanging Extravaganza (earmuffs, kids!!)

Update 8/19: Ummm, nothing happened. Barely even got any rain. Which is a good thing...

Laziness extended by one more day

Hillsborough County (where I go to school) has shut down the schools tomorrow, along with everyone else except Pasco (where I live.) That's fine; I was dreading getting up at 0430 anyway....

Brooke just called, and we were talking about what it was like when she lived in St. Pete for several years. I guess people would hole up in bars for the duration of the storm and make it one big party. Sounds kinda fun :)

Hurricane party at my house!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fay, Fay, Stay Away...

So this will be my first hurricane/tropical storm/tropical whatever. People around here seem pretty unconcerned about it, so I guess I won't panic. My mom, however, has pretty much gone into Defcon-We're-All-Gonna-Die mode. Every candle we own has a lighter in it and is on the kitchen counter. We know where all the flashlights are and they all have fresh batteries. We have enough bottled water to fill a swimming pool out back. The generator has been dug out from the back of the garage. The vehicles have all been gassed up, in case we need to make a hasty retreat to Alabama. And I was informed that we're putting up the hurricane panels on the side windows when she gets home from work tomorrow, which should be super-fun. She and I don't work that well together, so it's shaping up to be BitchFest 2008.

Ten bucks says we just get a good drenching, with no added drama.

Friday, August 15, 2008

You're probably saying, "WTF??" right about now...


It's real, I promise. Although I used regular periods rather than the steno FPLT. That is all I have to say about that.

If you can transcribe this, call me. 727-534-5791. We can discuss it ;)

SHAUPB (that's my name)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

We both survived

The Great Babysitting Experiment of 2008 :)

He's walking pretty well already, which makes it difficult to keep track of him. This is why baby gates were invented (not just for dogs and for me to bust my ass on.)

(I would like it noted that the scratch on his face was there when I got him...)

Friday, August 08, 2008

Friggin' Neck....

It still hurts. I'm still not sure what I did to it, but I wish it would go away already :(

So in deciding whether to do my missed run from yesterday or to ride as planned, I asked my friends which I should do. Holly asked me what I needed to do more. I figure with a marathon coming up in just over three weeks, I needed the run more. It was not a pretty run. Cut it short at three miles. But it's better than nothing.

Song of the day: I'm completely digging this song and replayed it three times--Country Man by Luke Bryan. He's adorable and a goofball, so he earns Hot Country Singer status in my book.

(Hey, does the fact that I've actually *been* in a deer stand make me a bona fide redneck?)

Tomorrow is yet another long run. What the hell was I thinking??

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Best Invention EVER

The Tide Pen.

Those of you who know me have a pretty good idea why ;-P

Hump Day Run

Broke in my new shoes on a hot, sweaty 4-miler this morning. They're kind of ugly, but they feel good :)

I wonder if I'll ever stop thinking, "Hey, I used to know a guy who could fix that" every time I run by a broken garage door. I also wonder if this super-sexy farmer tan on my legs will ever go away.

Yesterday's OCN: 45 minutes. Nothing exciting.

I work tonight, but I don't know who I close with, so God knows when I'll get out. I'll be available by text until at least 10 PM ;)

Song of the day: "Yee Haw" by Jake Owen. Just because it's that kind of day :)

Sunday, August 03, 2008

RR: Top Gun Sprint Triathlon

**Linae got some post-race pictures from Saturday. They can be found here.

It was better. Much, much, much better than my first. Certainly still some room for improvement, but I'm happy with my performance.

Spent the night prior to the race at Linae and Joe's, where we had pizza, watched a goofy movie (I'm telling you guys--next time, Talladega Nights!!) and I made friends with the Dobie. Was finally able to get a little sleep, and woke up at 5:30 race morning. To quote Joe, "Nothing good happens at 5 AM..."

I'd been a bit anxious about this race, mostly from my prior experience: The swim still freaks me out; what if the G-D bike breaks? what if I get lost? But I felt a lot better after getting into Fort Desoto and seeing that this was a really well-organized event. That, and even *I* couldn't get lost in the park--there's one road, and volunteers/officials everywhere. I felt fairly relaxed going into the water. We were the last wave, which made me happy. Nobody to swim over me :) I did manage to swallow a decent mouthful of tasty saltwater, but I didn't drown, so it's all good.

The bike was fairly uneventful. I felt like I was going to retch through most of it. Around mile 8, I saw a dude blow past me. I thought to myself, "Does it say "86" on his leg??" Yep. I got passed on the bike by an 86 year old man. Note to self: More saddle time, please. ((sigh))

The run was hot. As usual, it took me about 1/2 mile to get the jello-y feeling out of my legs. And then, about 3/4 of a mile into the run, the dry heaving started. I got off the trail a bit, stopped, and there it was: the saltwater. Gross. Only the second time I've puked in a race (frankly, I thought it would have come much sooner.) The other time was the Kiawah Island marathon two years ago. I spewed on someone's lawn in front of the ginormous tree in their front yard. Anyway, I felt better and managed to finish in 1:45:28. Certainly not fast, but definitely something to work to beat in October :)

A few firsts: My first triathlon puke; first time I left the finish line with a guy on each side of me (okay, so it was Linae and Joe's friend Kurt and an Army guy of all of maybe 23 years old, but still ;) ) And it was the first time I've done tequila shots out of the trunk of a car at 10 AM. (Note to self: No tequila before noon.)

I'll be back at Fort Desoto in October. As I've been told time and again, "You can never leave The Firm." It seems I don't want to.