Introducing #ArtShopaholism and #BiblioShopaholism

I feel the need to introduce two new (I think) hashtags with a related vibe to #Procrastibaking–that bad habit where you bake some elaborate cookie/cake/ instead of cooking a healthy dinner or cleaning the house.

#ArtShopaholism: Not actually making art but, instead, shopping and/or obsessing over art supplies. I’ve found drawing useful, but it’s a skill you have to practice in order to get any good at. To counter this I’m only allowing myself to draw with whatever crappy ballpoint pen I have on me. No thinking about, buying or obsessing over having the “right” pen pencil or sketchpad.

#BiblioShopaholism: Shopping for books rather than:

A) Picking them up at the public library.
B) Reading.

Our Radioactive Cat

We have two senior cats. One of those cats, Buck, has had a lot of health issues over the years, including heart problems, digestive issues and a blood clot. He’s likely on eight of his nine lives and can add another health problem to his long list: hyperthyroidism.

Thankfully this can be fixed with an expensive radioactive iodine therapy. He’s such a sweet cat that I thought we owed him a chance, plus the alternative treatments, a special diet or pills, just won’t work well for him.

Waiting for food.

Radioactive iodine therapy involves one shot and several days at a treatment facility to let the radioactivity levels subside. It doesn’t cause the cat any pain, but they can’t be around people or other animals for a few days. When he gets back we have to minimize contact with him for awhile and scoop out his litter into a bucket that has to sit for a few weeks before we can dispose of it.

I’ve never been to a vet as organized and efficient as the folks doing this treatment, Advanced Veterinary Medical Imaging in Tustin. They send a daily spreadsheet update, call frequently and there’s even a webcam in Buck’s cage which has allowed us to watch him beg for food and hide from the vet techs. I really wish our human health system in the country spent a little more money on communicating with patients and families. It would make life easier for everyone including our overworked doctors and nurses.

Mr. Buck came to us over a decade ago as a kitten from a neighbor who found him unconscious in a driveway. I feel privileged to have lived with this feline in all his ups and downs and when the time came to make the decision on this treatment I didn’t think about it long. We’re fortunate to be able to afford it and I felt an obligation to make whatever time we have left with him as comfortable as possible.

Until this absence this week, I didn’t fully realize what a presence he is, the way he bosses the dog, the other cat and even us around. The house is haunted by his absence, by the way he bangs on the window by the bed to wake me up at 5:30 for breakfast, his nocturnal zooms and his conspicuous midday napping.