Sunday, September 21, 2014


We had hoped that the lump on Annabelle's lower jaw was just an infection because the vet was able to extract some fluid from it, but we gave her all the antibiotics he prescribed and the lump never shrank appreciably. Sister A. had the impression from the vet visit last time that he didn't really think it was "just" an infection, but it was worth a try. A. took Annabelle back to the vet last Thursday to have the lump looked at again and, unfortunately, the news wasn't good.

The lump was a big tumor that had grown to an inch long inside her little mouth. We had noticed that she seemed to be having trouble eating and drinking. The vet said this type of mouth cancer grows and spreads all over really fast. We kinda knew this was coming and had talked it over. We didn't want Annabelle to suffer, so we decided to let her go over the Rainbow Bridge.

We'd only had her 2.5 years. She came to us as a refugee when her previous owner, the grandmother of a friend of ours, had to go into a nursing home (and, as it happened, never came out). She was a pretty thing, despite her runny eyes--mostly white with a calico tail and ears she stole from some other kitty, and one brown spot on her rump. She always greeted us when we came in the door, rubbing all over our shoes and jeans. She became very attached to A., and if A. stayed out in the yard too long working, Annabelle would "scold" her when she came in. She loved to nap on top of A's bed pillows, play with an old pink shoe lace, and follow A. all over the house. She also liked to sit on the back of the living room couch, watching the birds out in the yard and chirping at them non-stop. And each time she finished her dinner, she would proceed to stampede from one end of the house to the other, the thunder of her tiny feet on the cork flooring sounding like a herd of tiny horses.

She also threw up rather a lot, but we were getting that under control by only feeding her little bits at a time. She was not a self-regulating sort of kitty. :)

But now her health problems are all over. Annabelle is sitting on her Gram's lap, purring up a storm.

Have a good time, sweetie.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Plumbing and flooring done, cat situation in progress...

My bathroom and the floors in & around my bedroom were completely finished by last Wednesday. I very much enjoyed having my en suite potty back and all to myself that evening. The tiger stripe bamboo that was replaced looks exactly like what was there, and everything in my bathroom looks the same, so there's not much point in putting up new pix of it.

In the middle of the leak and repairs, we noticed that Annabelle, our youngest kitty, had a big, hard lump on the lower left side of her jaw, so Sister A. took her to the vet last week. The vet got some fluid from it, so we are trying antibiotics on her. Hopefully, it's just an infection and not a fast-spreading mouth tumor. We'll know by how well it responds to the antibiotics. We're pretty sure it's shrinking now, although the lump is still hard. If it's not all gone by the time she finishes her antibiotics, we'll have to get a biopsy.

In order to get medicine into Annabelle (because bagging her in a towel and trying to shoot it into her mouth with the dropper did not go well), we're feeding her stinky goodness with gravy and mixing it up really well. So far, so good.

Minnie and Sammi have caught the scent of meat, too, and are enjoying Annabelle's new diet now & then (sans antibiotics, of course). Minnie hasn't had wet food in so long, it's pitiful--I used to give it to her every morning, but stopped when I moved in with A. because she doesn't like the smell. Hmph. I may be rethinking that move--it's not really fair to Minnie.

Back to house stuff, we have a bit of insurance money left over from the repairs, so we're going to have Frank the Handyman build a wee, short wall along the west side of the front yard (can't really call it a "knee wall"; maybe an "ankle wall"), which will match the one our east-side neighbors have (except ours will be red brick, where theirs is blond). It'll look quite nice & neat. I'll get a pic of what I'm talking about next weekend.

Next weekend, WHEN I DON'T HAVE TO WORK AT THE LIBRARY, hallelujah, because they're having the September book sale & I am sooooo not a people-person, therefore will NOT be manning the cash register or whatever. Sister A. will work some that weekend--she can have it! I don't mind grunt work, but I draw the line at volunteering for hours of social awkwardness. I get enough of that at my real job. :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Plumbing/flooring update

The plumber's scanner guy did an ultrasound on our floors to find the leak, and it turned out that my vanity and all my floorboards had to come out, along with some boards in the hallway, the hall closet, and my bedroom. The plumber was able to jackhammer out a pretty small hole to get to the leak. That's the newer gray square to the left in the pic below.

The insurance adjustor came by to witness our travail and scared the crap out of us by saying that ALL of the flooring in all three bedrooms, the hall, AND the living room had to come up because it couldn't be matched. That meant every stick in those rooms had to be packed up and/or moved (for the third time, counting moving in and the previous remodel). I nearly had a heart attack. Fortunately, the reality isn't so bad--we were able to custom-order the same tiger stripe bamboo that we had put in before, and although it won't be the same dye lot (are floorboards dyed?), it'll be close enough and our handyman can feather it in with the previous boards to make it look good.

All the cork flooring in my bathroom has to be replaced, but cork is easy (and we were able to order the same cork as before). In the meantime, of course, my pot sits in my tub and the floor is nekkid.

The leak itself was fixed by the Wednesday after we noticed it. While working on the pipe in my bathroom by himself, though, the plumber had a bit of a problem. He turned the water on to test it and the pipe went a-gusher all over the room. He came running through the house to the back to shut the water off, chanting, "Not good, not good, not good." It was too funny! The problem turned out to be a pipe fitting that didn't (fit, that is), not another hole. He got it fixed properly the next day.

Speaking of the hole, here it is (two shots of same):

That tiny hole caused the entire problem and thousands of dollars worth of repairs.

By Thursday, the leak was fixed, the wet areas were drying out (we had big fans running day and night since discovering the leak), and we were able to move home after only six nights in the hotel. Sister A. was even able to do laundry at home that day. We were sure glad to be back in our own beds with our kitties, who were slightly freaked out from all the repairmen and neither of us being home at night.

My vanity is a little warped at the base, but Frank the Handyman says he can sand it down, paint it, and it'll be fine, so that saves us replacement cost.

The floorboards we ordered have already arrived and Frank picked them up for us today; they're now acclimating in the kitchen. Minnie has inspected all the materials--she's very efficient.

The red tube is a roll of underlayment. The big box isn't connected with the leak--that's a dishwasher we bought shortly before we discovered the leak. Yes, Miss I'll-Never-Own-a-Dishwasher (and that person is Not Me) finally decided she wanted one. We've decided to make up the cost of the dishwasher with a little of the insurance money, which means I get my savings back AND I still get a dishwasher! Woo-hoo!

Frank will start work on my bathroom and the flooring in about a week. I am soooooo looking forward to having my bathroom back!