Monday, May 23, 2011

Castor: Forever Loved- March 29, 1999-May 22, 2011

Where to start?  It's had to describe anything that's been a part of one's life for nearly half of it... even harder when that "thing" was a living being whom you loved.
  Castor was born as one of seven kittens to a mother owned by a couple other college kids in the town my university is located.  He and Pollux were the only two Siamese looking kittens in the entire litter.  We wanted named that wold reflect their twin-like appearance and ran through several, rejecting the most obvious ones like "Cain and Abel," "Romulus and Remus," and "Heckle and Jeckle."  I came up with the idea of Castor and Pollux.

From Wikipedia:
"In the myth the twins shared the same mother but had different fathers which meant that Pollux was immortal and Castor was mortal. When Castor died, Pollux asked Zeus to let him share his own immortality with his twin to keep them together and they were transformed into the Gemini constellation. The pair were regarded as the patrons of sailors, to whom they appeared as St. Elmo's fire."

 It took a while to figure out which was which, but their personalities helped make the distinction.  Spookily enough the mythological Pollux also outlived his brother.  That thought has been haunting me for about a year now...

Castor wasn't the runt of the litter but he was the smaller of the two.  I started referring to him as "my littlest love."  It stuck even when he became the bigger of them.  Even after baby Confetti came into our lives.  He loved playing fetch with paper wads, eating canned pasta (I didn't start him on that), and being outside on walks.  And people.  Being a university student I had friends coming and going almost every day.  Castor loved everyone and just knew they were there to see him.

Saturday morning everything was as normal as it had been for weeks.  Then right as the vet's office closed, Castor took a turn for the worse.  FH and I debated and decided we would wait and see if he was really in pain or if he might be able to wait until Monday morning.  He seemed fine through Saturday evening but Sunday morning was a different story.

He was so tired and couldn't walk on his own any longer.  Thankfully our vet works for the emergency clinic, so they were willing to work with us and our special needs.  FH and I decided (with our vet) months ago that we wanted a necropsy preformed so we'd be better prepared if Pollux starts showing these signs.  Usually the emergency clinic doesn't hold bodies for testing, but after a couple of phone calls the arrangements were made.

Everyone got to say good-bye here at home.  Castor loved on Artie like always.  Pollux has been increasingly upset for the last few days and didn't want to have much to do with his brother.  They did touch noses one last time though.

It was bittersweet letting him go.  Stopping the pain outweighed our own sadness though.  Castor was relaxed the whole time, from the car ride to the end.  In fact I'll swear to my dying day that he looked relieved.

Pollux and Artie are both sad and confused.  I'm hoping Artie can keep Pollux from slipping into a depressed funk.  Tempie hasn't noticed Castor's absence yet but she will eventually.  As for me, I'm stuck between relief that he's not hurting and being totally shattered that my baby's gone.  We've been preparing for this day since before moving to this house last year.  In fact we weren't sure he'd see his 12th birthday, but he fought hard to stay with us.

I believe he's earned the rest.  I know he's basking in the sun at the Rainbow Bridge with Confetti, 'Bert, and their Uncle Meat Loaf.  I'll see them all again eventually.
Good-bye, Castor, my littlest love. I will love you forever. See you at the Rainbow Bridge.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wow I Can Sign In Again!

Alright so apparently I can log back into the blog.  This is good.

I've been wanting to get on here and say I haven't done a single bit of stitching or worked on any minis since I mailed Kim her package of goodies.

Castor is slowing down more rapidly than before.  His mobility has decreased quite a bit.  He still eats, drinks, uses his box, and asks to go out into the sunshine though.  And it seems he's quite taken with Artan.
The vet decided at this point it won't hurt Castor to be around him even though we can't test Artie for FIV and leukemia yet.  In fact it seems to be helping, so he gets unrestricted access.

As for the rest of my time... 

Artie is now quite mobile whenever he's not asleep.  We have cordoned off rooms of the house, both upstairs and down, so he can have safe areas to run around in.  Keeping him out of trouble has just become a full-time job!
Pollux is lamenting Artan's recent discovery of pouncing.  FH laughing at him doesn't help matters.

Speaking of FH his grades were finally posted.  He passed with A's in both classes, which means he officially has his master's degree in computer science.  Life is more normal than it was before, even with Artie's addition to the household.

I'm going to try and get more mini time in as Artie gets weaned, but I may not have time for blogging.  So here's hoping whenever I get back I'll have more pictures from both the Panda Nursery and (hopefully) Rose Cuttings!

Monday, May 9, 2011

More Baby Pictures!

We're figuring out our new routine now, so I'm hoping to get back to the Panda Nursery in the morning.  Thanks to Casey I found a gloss sealer that should be safe on the mural paper. I figured a few baby kitten pictures would make for nice filler. ;-)

I don't think I'll be able to post every day for a while, but I'm going to try for M/W/F.  Hopefully I can get plenty of things done when Artie is sleeping! 

Friday, May 6, 2011

News of the Feline Persuasion

I know I said I was going to not blog about Castor's illness anymore, but honestly we didn't think he'd make it this far.

He wasn't looking too well today so FH and I took him to the vet.  Apparently his liver is now involved which is why he's not doing well this week.  An exact quote from today was, "one liver value was so high my machine couldn't read it."  Not good.  The vet gave him a different antibiotic and we're going back in two weeks to check his liver function again.  If it doesn't help then we're going to have to start figuring out what's best for Castor.

As I type this Castor is snoozing on a lawn chair on the sun porch.  A little later I think I'm going to put his harness on his for a stroll around the back gardens.

We ended up coming home with some medicine for me too, which was totally unexpected.

He was found in a woodpile by a very sweet man who is extremely allergic to cats and has a young human baby that needs his love and attention.

The vet says he's approximately three weeks old, around the same age Confetti was when I brought her home.  Right now we're keeping him separated from the big cats, for their own health.  But Pollux is very curious about him and likes to be able to see him.  I make all kinds of sweet talk to the big boys so they know this is an ok thing. 

Currently he does not have a name but we're pondering a few.  He goes back to the vet in two weeks too so we can check him for FIV and leukemia.  The plan is to foster him until he's old enough for a new home.  We'll see how well that works.

***Edit:  His name is Artan, which is Gaelic for "little bear."  He sounds like a bear cub when he cries.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Of Pandas and Stitching

Allusions to Steinbeck aside, I have fun news!

First the mural paper for the Panda Nursery arrived and it looks fabulous!
 I have two sheet and plan on starting at each front corner and wrapping them around to the back.  If for whatever reason the ends do not meet all the way in the back I will hide that fact with a strip of white wood.

The question now is: do I spray the paper like I usually do to protect it from the elements and if so, what should I use?  I don't want to detract from the nice glossy sheen, but I don't want the paper to get easily damaged either.  The stuff I normally use on my regular wallpaper would dull the image too much.  What do you all think?

I also ordered this little book from the same shop.  It had been so long that I'd forgotten about it. 
 On the stitching front, I borrowed "Achoo!" and "Flowerpot Kitty" back from our vets to put them in the Guild's Judged Show last Saturday.  "Achoo!" took the blue ribbon in the commercial counted cross stitch category and one of the three Judge's Choice ribbons!
"Flowerpot Kitty" scored fairly well too, but not high enough to tie with the red ribbon winner.  All in all I'm happy about the whole state of affairs.  I just wish I could've gotten "Rose Cuttings" done in time. 

I'm off to do some mini stitching for Kim, the Panda Nursery, and then work on "Rose Cuttings" tonight.  It's going to feel so good having a needle and floss in my hands again.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Peoria Area Stitcher's Guild

It's done.  Now back to normalcy.

My personal website has been taken done temporarily until I learn the right language to have them both on the same server.  So if anyone looks for Kat's Paw Creations, it will be gone for a while.

I'm going to go finish (finally) another stitched thing for Kim now.  She's been exceedingly patient while I tried to balance the critters, the website, FH, and stitching.  Thanks, Kim.

Oh and FH is done with school.  Grades aren't posted yet.  We'll know Firday if he graduated or not.


The Guild website should be up and running no later than midnight tonight, my time.  FH takes his last final exam in a few hours.  Life, minis, stitching, and blogging should sort of get back to normal... for a while anyway.

Back soon!