Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Last Tuesday, our cat Misha had an ultrasound so we could learn more details about his chronic pancreatitis and kidney disease.
The results: he has chronic pancreatitis and kidney disease. Nothing we didn't already know. Sigh...oh well, I guess the important thing was to rule out more serious conditions. So the vet prescribed some fatty acids for the kidney disease and Tramadol for the mild pain from the pancreatitis. Great, right?
When I gave him the Tramadol, first he got sick, then he...well, it can only be described as "tripping." He sat in the middle of the floor, pupils fully dilated, staring around at...absolutely nothing. Then he'd move into another room, with great purpose, and do the same thing. Head right, head forward, head left. It was like he was stalking a herd of mice who weren't there.
Of course we called the ER (this was almost midnight), and they said that as long as he didn't get sick again or start acting drunk and disoriented, not to worry, it would wear off (apparently it's okay for cats to act stoned, but not drunk). So we slept in shifts that night--watching Misha trot, sit, stare right, stare forward, stare left, then run up or down the stairs and start all over again.
It was weird.
But it turns out, there's a LOLcat for everything, so I give you this intermission to Misha's story:
The next morning he stopped staring long enough to eat, then he was back on the prowl, hunting pixies. His regular vet said it would be safe to leave him alone, though maybe we should consider putting him in the bedroom so he wouldn't fall down the stairs.
And we did have to leave him, since Meadow needed to go to Vienna, VA, for an MRI for her back. She had surgery two years ago for five (!!) herniated discs, and while the surgery helped A LOT (saved her life, really), she's never gotten back to normal activity. So her new vet (a sports medicine specialist--don't laugh, she's a greyhound, so I figured who better to treat a former professional athlete than a sports medicine doc?) wants to try some new therapies to help her pain, and for that he needed an MRI to see where the problem was located. Being a dog, she can't just point to her back and say, "It hurts here."
All went well with the MRI, and when we got home, Misha was alive but still tripping. By Saturday he was back to normal, but the poor little dude went almost 48 hours without sleeping. Since cats sleep roughly 20 hours a day, that would be like a human going about 3-4 days without sleep.
In better Misha news, I finally got around to resetting his Twitter password (which I'd forgotten), so he's tweeting again.
Enough about the beasts! They take over my life as it is. I want to tell you about two new books that come out today, and one that was released last week, when I was too busy carting Misha around to blog about it.
The first is an AMAZING new YA paranormal called Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton. I read this a couple of weeks ago on my trip to Branson and had to force myself to stop halfway through because I was afraid I wouldn't have anything to read on my return trip!
This urban fantasy is downright electric. It takes place in a future New Orleans known as New 2, a city so ravaged by floods and hurricanes that the US gave up on it. The nation sold off the city to the Novem, nine very old families who run the city and protect it from the worst of the supernatural forces. The main character, Ari, comes from a tragic lineage and must delve into great evil to find out more about the curse that drove her mother to kill herself at age 21.
I can't say much more without spoiling the treasures within the book. Every page reveals a new horror, but also a new humanity. The misfit cast members are so real and sympathetic, despite their unusual traits (such as Violet, an adorable ten-year-old girl with fangs and a pet alligator named Pascal), that I can't help but feel hope for Ari despite her cursed destiny.
The world-building is great, too--it's complex without being overwhelming, and I understood how the pieces fit together, or at least had the sense that Keaton understands and will reveal all when the time is right. In other words, I never had one of those, "Wait...what?" moments.
The other new release is Anton Strout's Dead Waters, the fourth in his Simon Canderous series. I haven't read this installment yet, but the series keeps getting better and better, so I have high hopes for it. If I ever make up that "If You Like the WVMP Books" page on my website, these novels will definitely be on it--they've got humor, lots of undead action, and a main character living in our world, not a souped-up, over-glamorized version. I feel like I could step off a bus in Manhattan, shamble through a coffee shop, straight into Simon Canderous's office at the Department of Extraordinary Affairs. Not that I would want to--I've got my own piles of paperwork, thanks.
Plus, there's a main character named after someone from Mystery Science Theater:3000. What could be cooler?
For more on this series, jump in the JeriBlog Wayback Machine and read an interview I did with Anton when Book One, Dead to Me, came out in 2008. We were so young then.
The first shall be last! Or something. February 15 saw the release of Shannon Delany's Secrets and Shadows, the much-anticipated sequel to 13 to Life.
Shannon took part in my Blogtoberfest in late 2009, and I also talked about how much I love 13 to Life last year when it was released. If you haven't tried this series yet, what are you waiting for? The third installment comes out in August.
Wow. Longest Tidbit Tuesday ever.