Meanwhile...

Jun. 26th, 2017 11:44 pm
owlmoose: (ffix - garnet)
[personal profile] owlmoose
This past weekend was super and fabulous. I was fortunate enough to be able to snag four tickets to Hamilton for this past Friday, and I invited [personal profile] justira and [twitter.com profile] kaytaylorrea to join me. They both came into town, [personal profile] justira with their partner in tow, and the four of us had a great time not just at the show, but hanging out in SF.

Friday's show was a matinee, so we grabbed a quick lunch beforehand, then an early dinner after. The show was just as wonderful the second time, and in some ways I feel like it was better -- when I went in April, this particular troupe had been together for less than a month. Now that they've had two more months to work together, the ensemble gelled more, and I saw more nuances in some of the performances. I also saw a couple of different actors, in particular a different Angelica, and although her voice wasn't quite as powerful, I loved the acting choices she brought to the role. Another thing I noticed overall is just how funny this performance was -- this particular cast plays up the humorous moments in the songs and the choreography in a way I found really effective.

All three of my co-attendees loved the show as well, despite bringing very different levels of familiarity with it (one who has listened to the album a million times, one who'd never heard the music but read all the lyrics in advance, and one coming in almost completely cold), and it was fun to talk about how their various expectations colored their watching experience.

On Saturday, [personal profile] justira and I met up with [personal profile] forestofglory to wander the Ferry Building and Farmers Market. We noshed our way through, one of my favorite ways to eat breakfast in the city, including some breakfast ice cream at Humphry Slocombe (taking advantage of the lack of line). After that I met Kay for a Giants game; our boys lost (not unsurprisingly; the team is TERRIBLE this year), but we still had fun. Then we all (minus [personal profile] forestofglory, who had a prior engagement) gathered at my place for more chatting and hanging out until far too late, chattering about fandom and everything else under the sun, driving poor T to distraction I'm sure. I was particularly happy to see how well everyone clicked, considering that my two guests didn't really know each other before the weekend. There's nothing better than introducing two friends and watching them develop a quick rapport. :)

As Kay said a couple of times over the weekend, our parents were wrong: always make friends with strangers on the Internet. Sure, there's a risk, as people are always a risk, but the rewards are one thousand percent worth it.

decide for me

Jun. 26th, 2017 11:44 pm
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
I am supposed to go to rounds every Tuesday from 6 to 7 at the raptor rehab where I volunteer. It's good to be up-to-date on protocols, and to get the news about the cases. On the other hand, there is always a lot of information I don't need, and there are other ways to get the information I do need.

Tomorrow night there is a storytelling event at a coffee house from 7 to 9. "The event will showcase a selection of community storytellers sharing stories on the theme of food and farm. We’ve invited six storytellers — writers, poets, performers, journalists, speakers — to prepare true, personal stories and share them in front of a live audience." I'd like to go. I am always interested in anything that could help me become a better storyteller.

I could skip rounds.
I could leave rounds 10 minutes early and go to both, but I hate getting up when everyone else is still sitting patiently, and also that would be a very long evening for me.
I could just stay home. Staying home is always good.
owlmoose: (Obamoose '08)
[personal profile] owlmoose
This is it folks, this is the big one. I don't need to tell you that, I suppose, but here we are. Even in California, where my Senators are firmly No-votes and leaders in the resistance, there are things we can do to stand up and fight -- here's a short to-do list for anyone who lives in a state with two Democratic Senators.

A few links on healthcare:

And other things:
  • The Brookings Institution put out a scathing editorial on voter suppression in the United States, a good overview of recent court decisions with some damning statistics.

  • The Associated Press published a report on the effects of gerrymandering, and it's not pretty.

  • It probably shouldn't come as a surprise that the Democrats lost the special election in Georgia's 6th Congressional District, and in fact the narrow loss continues the trend of being competitive in districts that ought to be safe GOP, but given how much effort and money we poured into that district, it's also understandable that people were disappointed. But the rush of pundits and BernieBots to blame Nancy Pelosi for the loss is both a headscratcher, and almost unbearably stupid. Charles Pierce explains why.

  • And maybe before you get too invested in demonizing one of the most powerful women in the Democratic party, maybe you should consider who is in the trenches, doing the actual work in places like the Georgia 6th.

  • Meanwhile, another Congressional special election flew completely under the radar: the South Carolina 5th. The Republican won that seat as well, but by an even smaller margin. This is not a seat that any polls suggested ought to be competitive, and the Democrats spent almost no money here. This ought to scare the GOP; we'll see if they heed the warning.

  • Maryland and the District of Columbia have sued Donald Trump for violations of the emoluments clause and other conflict of interest laws.

(no subject)

Jun. 26th, 2017 05:05 pm
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
It's twenty years today since the first Harry Potter book was published. I didn't read it at the time - I entered around the time Azkaban came out - but it was a book destined to work change in my life and bring me into the world of fandom, from whence came this blog. I'm more irritated with than appreciative of JK Rowling of late, but HP got me through the end of grad school, cemented a variety of awesome friendships, and introduced me to this thing called fanfic.

So, in celebration of all that is good about HP, here's the very first piece of fanfic I ever wrote, a good 12.5 years ago now. Excuse purple prose and such - I was a newbie :D

[Bonfire Night], Remus/Sirius, G, ~1500 words.
Remus has toffee, and it's not the only thing that Sirius wants

(no subject)

Jun. 26th, 2017 11:33 am
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
Thank you a thousand times over to everyone who's bought me a cup of coffee. I'm especially touched by the single cup donations - you have no idea. And I'm working on my feelings of guilt and shame around this whole bankruptcy business. I'm turning things around in my mind piece by piece and I will absolutely get there, I promise.

I went to see my psychiatrist this morning. They had me pee in a cup to make sure I wasn't abusing Adderall, which is either a really smart policy choice or kind of invasive - I can't quite figure out how I feel about it. And then I was seen by the nurse, who had just stuck herself with a needle by accident and almost passed out because she hates needles (and yet is a nurse?). She asked me what are, apparently, some standard questions about how patients are doing, one of which asked me to say if I was partially recovered, almost recovered, or cured. "Are you kidding me?" was not an acceptable answer (though she was amused). The whole experience was so odd. Were there more options near me I think I'd be looking for a new one, but my friend G has been to the only other psychiatrist recommended in a 75-mile area, and he refused to prescribe on the first visit. Which again - perhaps a smart policy? But it left her without any ADHD meds and he had no openings on his calendar until the end of July.

*hands*

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

About Bypassing

Jun. 26th, 2017 06:21 am
[syndicated profile] velveteenrabbi_feed

Posted by rbarenblat@gmail.com (Velveteen Rabbi)

Spiritual-bypassingA few days ago I mentioned spiritual bypassing in my commentary on a short Hasidic text. A few of you reached out to me after that post went out, asking for more about spiritual bypassing: what it it, how can you recognize it, why is it important. 

For a basic introduction, here's a good article by Dr. Ingrid Mathieu: Beware of Spiritual Bypass. Dr. Robert Masters also offers a great essay about bypassing, calling it Avoidance in holy drag. His book Spiritual Bypassing is a classic in my field, and with good reason.

Spiritual bypassing is a defense mechanism in which one uses spirituality in order to avoid uncomfortable or painful feelings. Maybe one wants to avoid anger, or grief, or loss, or boundaries. So instead of feeling that anger (or grief, or loss, or boundary, or whatever the thing in question may be), one papers it over, and calls the papering-over "spiritual." 

(The image illustrating this post is a great example of spiritual bypassing in pop culture: Princess Unikitty from the LEGO movie. She's a sparkling rainbow unicorn, and she over-focuses on the positive, refusing to acknowledge anything that hurts... until she reaches her breaking point, whereupon all the negativity she denied herself causes her to boil over in rage. Image via Stephanie Lin.)

It's easy to mis-use spirituality to justify avoidance of things that are painful or uncomfortable, like anger or conflict or boundaries. But this is not spiritually healthy, even though it disguises itself as spiritual. It is a spiritual sickness, disguised as spiritual health.

Authentic spiritual life calls us to experience what is: all of what is. And that includes the things we tend to categorize as "dark" or negative: pain, sorrow, loss, rejection, grief. (I wrote about that recently in my review of Barbara Brown Taylor's Learning to Walk in the Dark.) 

The Jewish mystical tradition describes God via a series of qualities that exist in holy balance, such as chesed (lovingkindness) and gevurah (boundaries / strength / judgment). When someone leans so far toward chesed that they reject its healthy balancing with gevurah, that's spiritual bypassing.

When a spiritual leader serving a community where there has been abuse (whether sexual, emotional, ethical, spiritual, or all of the above) ignores the abuse, or urges community members to rush to healing before there has been justice for the abused, that's spiritual bypassing.

When someone doesn't want to feel angry, or isn't comfortable with conflict, so they over-focus on sweetness and light while sweeping their anger under the rug (or encouraging others to sweep anger under the rug), that's spiritual bypassing.

When someone doesn't want to be constrained by someone else's interpersonal or systemic boundary, so they transgress it while convincing themselves that the boundary really shouldn't apply to them anyway, that's spiritual bypassing.

In all of these instances, the quality that's chosen for over-focus -- whether it be healing, or sweetness, or lovingkindness -- is in and of itself a good quality. That's part of the challenge: everyone likes healing and sweetness and lovingkindness, right? But these qualities are only healthy when they're used honestly, authentically, and safely -- and, as the Hasidic text I translated last week suggests, when they're in appropriate balance with qualities like judgment and healthy boundaries.

If I pursue healing at someone else's expense, then that healing is not only false but damaging. If I pursue pleasantries in an abusive context instead of naming the abuse for what it is, then my sweetness is not only false but also complicit in the abuse. If I disregard someone's boundaries because I think I should be exempt from their rules, then my "love" will cause hurt.

Even gratitude, the middah (quality) to which I most often gravitate, can be used in spiritual bypassing. When faced with trauma or grief, if I leap too quickly to "let me find something to be grateful for so I don't have to feel this thing that hurts," then the gratitude practice that's such a core part of my spiritual life becomes a tool for bypassing the thing I need to actually feel.

Spiritual bypassing is what Reb Zalman z"l used to call "whipped cream on garbage:" a sweet topping disguising something rotten underneath.

Spiritual bypassing pretends to make things better, but it actually makes them worse. If a wound is infected, then suturing it and simply hiding the infection will not help the infection to heal. If a relationship is abusive, then pretending that it's healthy will not help the person who is being abused. (For that matter, it also doesn't help the abuser to name and recover from their own trauma.) Spiritual bypassing does serious damage to people and communities.

Authentic spiritual life calls us to feel what we feel, even when what we feel is uncomfortable or painful. Authentic spiritual life calls us to speak truth, even when we'd rather pretend there are no difficult truths to be spoken. Authentic spiritual life calls us to pursue justice, even when we'd rather imagine that if we close our eyes to injustice it will simply go away on its own. 

Any spiritual leader who claims otherwise is not worthy of the title. 

 

Lufra

Jun. 26th, 2017 01:44 pm
luthien: (Default)
[personal profile] luthien

Lufra has been with us five days now, and he’s nine weeks old today. He’s a lovely, happy smart little guy. He’s already worked out that if I throw the ball and he brings it back, I will throw it again! So he’s learned how to fetch all by himself.

Caring for him has been a welcome distraction from our sadness over losing our cat Cleo so suddenly. D says that joy of life just emanates from that little dog, and he’s absolutely right.

One of Lufra’s favourite things in the world is an uggboot, and here he is with two of mine. I’m very tall and so I have quite large feet, but my boots still give a good sense of how small he still is.







(no subject)

Jun. 25th, 2017 05:00 pm
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
Sunday has been slow and pleasant. I went for a walk early, before most of the neighborhood was awake, and I did about 3000 steps. Talked to my mom - wow, the judicious editing that went on in that conversation, because I absolutely was not going to tell her about the bankruptcy - and to another friend, and then, bit by bit, tidied my house. I cleaned up the kitchen, did a whole bunch of laundry, and pulled together my clothes for my trip to Boston this week.

It's a lightning trip - the folks organizing my meeting have me arriving late on Wednesday night and leaving again Friday afternoon. Between times I am booked solid. I'm excited to be part of the stuff we'll be working on this week, but I wish I had more time to see the city, and to see friends (several of whom are on here). I'll be so near and yet so far.

I've spent a little time with the numbers from the bankruptcy today and it's going to be mighty close. I'm locked into contracts on my cell phone and cable/wifi. My car insurance is sky high, of course, because of the accident, and my initial looking around suggests I won't get better rates elsewhere with that on my record. The places I can economize most are going to be on utilities (using the a/c units as sparingly as possible), and food. I am lucky in many, many ways - I get to keep the house, I get to keep my stuff, and I can make cooking into a challenge so that I try to find the cheapest ways possible to eat well. (I know there are some great websites out there about this). There are positives here. But I'm also being realistic about the fact that it will be a long, hard slog.

One of the slogs will be getting from today to payday (which is Friday). I will be reimbursed all the expenses related to my trip, but that means I have to outlay them first, and I am broke. So please forgive this, but I'm sticking a little 'buy me a coffee' button on this post. It's through Kofi, which gives a person the ability to literally donate the cost of a coffee to someone else. I don't deserve support - god knows I have done this financial stuff to myself - but if you have a cup of coffee to spare, I would be so grateful.

And now I'm going to go resolutely not think about things and fold laundry.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Baby birds!

Jun. 25th, 2017 12:54 pm
marinarusalka: (Default)
[personal profile] marinarusalka
The gulls and cormorants at the imaginatively named Bird Island in Pt. Lobos have had their chicks. \

Click on the thumbnails to see the bigger pictures.







appropriate icon

Jun. 25th, 2017 06:34 pm
kutsuwamushi: (gotta bail)
[personal profile] kutsuwamushi
I learned about My Dad Wrote A Porno late - I've been catching up over the summer.

If you don't know about it, here's the basics: A guy's dad decides to write "erotic literature," after having never written anything else in his life. Instead of pretending it didn't happen, the guy grabs his two friends and reads it aloud to them on a weekly podcast.

It becomes a podcast sensation because it's super fucking funny.

What really charms me about the whole show is how innocent the three of them are. They're not prudish exactly - it's more that they're discovering the joy of terrible erotic literature for the first time*. Sometimes I just want to say, "Oh, bless them."

The novel itself is perfect. It's not really shocking - so far the most out-there fetish involves some unwise usage of spaghetti sauce. It's just really, really bad writing all-around, and sometimes makes you question what is going on in the author's head (if anything). My favorite WTF moments aren't even during the sex scenes - although those are also pretty WTF due to the author's terrible grasp of female anatomy.

* Oh my God, I just realized that it's basically an audio version of a fanfic MSTing. I just remember that fanfic MSTing was a thing! And that I did them!
morgandawn: (Art Noveau Blue)
[personal profile] morgandawn
Posted in full at: http://ift.tt/2sQ52mP on June 25, 2017 at 10:38AM

Tags:IFTTT, Fauxthentic History, DWCrosspost

Tumblr post (this is likely a reblog, and may have more pictures over there)

Signal Boost!

Jun. 25th, 2017 12:27 pm
aerye: (Default)
[personal profile] aerye

Drawesome on DW
[community profile] drawesome: A Drawing Community for Fan-Artists

My Cleo

Jun. 25th, 2017 10:54 pm
luthien: (Default)
[personal profile] luthien
 I posted this on tumblr yesterday, and since I want to be able to find it again, I'm also posting it here.



CLEO
 


1 October 2002 - 22 June 2017
 
~
 
Let me tell you about my cat Cleo.
 
For a start, she wasn’t supposed to come to us at all. She wasn’t supposed to live beyond babyhood.
 
D and I had lost  two fluffy cats over the previous 18 months – one to the untreatable and fatal Feline Infectious Peritonitis, which she’d likely been carrying since she was born, and the other to a long term heart condition – so we were down to two cats and it felt wrong. So we – well, it was mostly I if I’m being truthful – decided to get a couple of short-haired male kittens. We had two middle-aged short-haired female cats at the time, so I thought two boy kittens would be a good balance. I’ve always preferred short-haired cats, and our two previous fluffy cats had come to us from owners who could no longer keep them, so adopting them had been more accident than design.
 
I found a beautiful grey and white short-haired male kitten online, so we went off to see the lady who was fostering him. She was fostering about half a dozen other kittens as well, so, after a lot of playing with kittens – what a chore! - I chose the grey and white kitten and a short-haired ginger male kitten. Oh, I’m sorry, said the fosterer, there’s another person interested in the ginger kitten. Would any of the other kittens do?
 
There were a couple of short-haired male tabby kittens, but they were a bit shyer than what I wanted in a kitten. There were also a couple of female kittens, and I kept coming back to look at the little fluffy one. She was a dark tabby, but other than her colouring, her little face looked just like Molly, my fluffy tortie who had died of FIP the year before. It was as if Molly had come back to us, so of course I decided on the little fluffy girl kitten.
 
Oh, that one, said the fosterer. She’s one of a litter that was on death row at the pound. She’s lucky to be here at all.
 
I had to wait a week while the kittens were desexed before I could pick them up, and a couple of days before I was due to get them the fosterer contacted me again. The person who’d been intending to adopt the ginger kitten now no longer wanted him, so would I like him instead of the little fluffy girl? 
 
It was tempting, but I’d made the decision to adopt the girl, so in the meantime she hadn’t been available to other potential owners. So I said no to the ginger, and a few days later I picked up my little grey and white boy and my little fluffy tabby girl.
 
I called the grey and white boy Harry, after Harry Potter, but I was a bit stuck on what to call the girl. The shelter had named her Princess, and yes, she was one, but I wanted her to have a name from us. So, against my better judgement, I asked D to think of a name for her.  
 
His first suggestion was Jaeger Panther, after a WWII German tank. When I said no to that one, he gave it some actual serious thought and suggested Cleo as her stable name – but Jaeger Panther would still be her racing name!
 
So she was officially Princess Cleopatra Jaeger Panther. But she was always just Cleo to us.
 
Cleo was a bouncy, silly kitten, which irritated Harry, who always took life more seriously. She was also a bit shy with it, though, and I remember having to drag her out from under the couch and make her come and socialise fairly often. Like our previous fluffy cats, she took to D very quickly. Meanwhile, she and I were friends, but not best friends.
 

 


This was back in the days when we lived in the Mountains, so I used to let the cats out during the day. I did this gradually once they were a few months old, and always supervised until they were big enough to have enough sense to look after themselves.


 

One day when Cleo was less than a year old, I heard her crying from near the back door, so I came out to see what the trouble was – and realised the crying was coming from above the back door. She was standing on the edge of the roof, looking down, and clearly had no idea at all how to get down. I knew how she’d got up there, from the embankment by the shed to the shed roof, and then it was just a short leap from the shed roof to the roof of the house. She’d come around the side of the house and explored the roof, and then realised that she had no idea how she’d got there, or how to get down again.
 
 If you’ve ever had a cat, there have probably been times when the cat has managed to get up somewhere high and then decided it couldn’t get down. So I did what most of us do in that situation: I held out my arms and called Cleo’s name. Usually, in this situation, the cat just looks at you, and eventually gets down by itself. But in this case? Cleo actually jumped, and I caught her.

 
 

 
It was probably around that time that I first started calling her my silly woolly, and little miss fluffy brain, with much love.

 


When Harry and Cleo were almost five years old, Harry died from kidney failure. It was a terrible blow. He was a lovely, sooky cat, and I was his special human. So then of the two short-haired male kittens I’d intended to get that day back in 2002, I only had the accidental fluffy girl left.


 

And the accidental fluffy girl grew into quite a big cat. I’ve had fluffy cats that were very dainty underneath all the fur, but that wasn’t Cleo. She was a solid cat, around 6kg in her prime.






 
She also grew up to be a real character. She was the most talkative cat I’ve ever had. If you said anything to her, she would almost always reply. Repeatedly. And she would often tell you how she felt, whether you wanted to know or not. In her later years, she took to meowing at me non-stop, regardless of what I was doing or if I was in the middle of talking to someone, if she was determined to have some attention Right Then. She got used to me telling her not to yell at me. You can see and hear a video of her talking… and talking and talking here.




 
She never really got on with the other cats. She did try at first - as you can see in the pics above, with Ebby, who was going through flea allergy problems right then - but I think her body language looked wrong to the short-haired cats. It wasn’t that she was speaking a different language, but it was definitely a different dialect, and in the end she gave up and decided to be solitary. By the time Sasha – a short-haired male ginger kitten at last! - came to us in 2008 and tried very hard to make friends with Cleo, she simply ignored him. However, they both coveted my lap on winter nights, so they would both get on my lap and pretend that the other cat wasn’t there. When I was going through pictures to use in this post, I found a lot along these lines:




 
 
Cleo always loved going outside in the daytime. We had a huge, beautiful garden when we lived in the Mountains, and she never went very far. She was an excellent border guard if an intruder!cat happened to come visiting. She liked sitting under a bush opposite the back door – even in the depths of winter, when the short-haired cats didn’t want to go outside. Her woolly coat was perfectly designed for her to live in the Mountains climate.


Less than a year after we moved from the Mountains to where we are now, we lost Ebony, our old black cat. She was almost nineteen years old, and we’d got her as a kitten when we’d first moved in together, so she’d always been the senior cat of the household. And now, suddenly, Cleo was the senior cat. It didn’t suit her. She’d always been a silly, bouncy woolly, and she just didn’t have the gravitas of Ebony. But after a while we got used to Cleo being the oldest, and realised that she was actually starting to get old.

 

 
 
Cleo was also a huge sook, and absolutely adored a cuddle. A few years ago – five? More? I can’t remember for sure – she discovered that I was willing to baby her in ways that D wouldn’t, and she switched her allegiance. Suddenly, I was her favourite person. I would cradle her like a baby and she would purr like a chainsaw – she had a great loud purr. She liked to fall against my chest and tuck her head under my chin. In recent times, her favourite thing was to climb up onto my shoulder when I was sitting in the recliner and flop with her back legs hanging down my chest while she purred in my ear. 
 
She would also sometimes flop right across my collarbone, and just lounge there as if she really was a feline Cleopatra. I’d usually be chatting to Nym on IM when this happened, and I often couldn’t see the screen properly, or use more than one finger on the keyboard, so Nym would get messages saying things like, “A, tyuping fro undrt woo;;y.”
 

 

 

Cleo used to follow me around, too. A couple of years ago, after never being a Bed Cat – our bed always belonged to Ebony, because she was Top Cat, and then Indy, the grey boy we got after Harry died, inherited it from her when he became Top Cat – Cleo suddenly decided to be brave and stake a claim for part of the bed. But she would only sit on the bed if I was there. I tend to go to bed very late, so Cleo would wait up too, sometimes making pointed comments to let me know that she’d like to go to bed now, please. I often woke up to this view:


 

She LOVED being the Special Cat, and being allowed to go out onto the patio in the daytime, after several years being an indoor only cat after we moved to our current house. As I said, she was getting old, and she didn’t want to wander. She just wanted to be outside in the garden, and not just in the cat run where Those Other Cats had to go. It’s not the Mountains, but it’s still sub-alpine here, so her thick, woolly coat was perfect for being outside in the winter here, too. And of course it was nice out there in the shade in the summer, too:









 

And that was our Cleo, and our life with her, until those two pit bulls turned up in our backyard the other day. You can’t possibly blame me as much as I blame myself for letting her outside when the new front fence was being installed, but you just don’t EXPECT a pair of marauding dogs IN YOUR BACKYARD, particularly when you are right there yourself.
 
This got awfully long, but I’m utterly heartbroken about the way Cleo left us, and I wanted to write down just who she was.
 
I’ve been talking to dog people recently, in the course of preparing for and getting our new puppy, and one of them mentioned that they thought cats weren’t as individual as dogs, and that cats were all pretty similar.
 
That hasn’t been my experience at all. D and I have had ten cats over the last – god – 23 years, and they’ve all been absolute individuals. Every cat has been as different as different could be from every other, and none more so than my dear old woolly.
 
She was with us for fourteen and a half years. Her not being here just feels wrong. I miss her so much. She could be annoying, and I even miss that. I miss her flopping on my shoulder and making my neck hurt from the weight (on my herniated disc – thanks, cat). There is an empty space where my Cleo should be, and nothing will ever fill it.
 
Goodbye, dear Woolly. We will always miss you.

 

 

End note: Sorry this isn't cut! I did try, but I just couldn't get the script to cooperate!
luthien: (Default)
[personal profile] luthien
 I posted this on tumblr on Friday.

This week has been a week I’ll never forget, in both good and bad ways.

On Wednesday morning, we finally got our gorgeous little sheltie puppy, Lufra. He’s a little sweetheart, confident and curious and happy as well as beautiful. I took him to the vet yesterday for a check-up, and the vet was very happy with him in every way. The vet introduced Lufra to his own dog, to see how he got on with other dogs. Lufra wasn’t at all shy, but he also wasn’t too pushy or forward in a way that might annoy another dog. Pretty much perfect. He’s going to be a great dog - once we start getting on top of his house training and cat training, anyway.

And that brings me to the other thing that happened on Wednesday.

Those of you who’ve been reading this blog for a while will know that we have a large cat run attached to the side of our house, and that since we moved here a few years ago, our cats don’t go anywhere else outside. The exception has been Cleo, my old woolly cat, who’s been going out to the patio behind the front fence to snooze most days for the past couple of years.

This week, we’ve been having our front fence replaced. The fencing guy was working on the fence on Wednesday afternoon, but there wasn’t much fence there yet. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have let Cleo out, but D and I were also out there, and she wasn’t freaked out by the fencing guy, so when she went to the door and waited for it to open I… let her out. I will always regret that decision. 

I went along the patio along the side of the house to the backyard where D was, to see how he was going with something he was working on, and Cleo followed me. I was just standing there, talking to D, and Cleo was on the lawn nearby, when two large dogs just… appeared. They were American Pit Bulls. They took one look at Cleo and attacked.

D and I both fought back. D got between Cleo and the dogs, and managed to get hold of her, but in her panic she attacked him, and left some deep scratches on his face right near his eye. D dropped Cleo and she ran for the fence. He lost his glasses and had so much blood in his eyes he couldn’t see. I had lost a shoe and fallen over on the grass. Meanwhile, the dogs had caught up to Cleo over by the side fence, so I ran over there, still holding my shoe, and hit one of the dogs with it, over and over.

The fencing guy, who hadn’t heard anything because he was wearing ear protectors, noticed the commotion when things moved over to the fence, and he ran down and threatened the dogs with whatever large tool he was using at the time. Faced by three hostile humans, the dogs finally decided it wasn’t worth it, and retreated.

I grabbed Cleo, who was now going into shock so she didn’t attack me, left D bleeding all over the bathroom, and rushed her to the vet.

I was waiting at the vet’s for ages, but finally the vet came and talked to me. What he had to say gave me cause to hope. Cleo didn’t appear to be as badly hurt as she might have been. Her breathing had stabilised and her lungs were okay. The x-rays showed that her back and pelvis and other bones were okay, too. She couldn’t stand or walk because her back legs couldn’t hold her weight, but he thought that was because of torn muscles rather than anything else. They’d shaved her back end and found several puncture marks, but her thick fur had stopped the dogs from easily sinking their teeth in. The vet was still cautiously hopeful that she would recover, and that I could probably take her home the next evening.

While I was at the vet’s, D called the government’s animal services department and reported the attack. After I came home, I persuaded him to go to a doctor and get patched up. He has some impressive plasters on his face and hands, and will probably have scars, but he’s incredibly lucky that Cleo didn’t get his eye - and also that the dogs didn’t attack us, for that matter. AND that little Lufra was not out there with us. He would have had no chance at all against those dogs.

But our luck ran out. The vet called first thing the next morning (yesterday morning) to say that Cleo had died in the night. He’s still not sure entirely what killed her, because the most likely causes of fatality should have shown symptoms earlier and didn’t, but it’s a good bet that organ failure was involved somehow.

So I have my new puppy, but my dear old Woolly is gone. She was fourteen and a half, and I’d had her since she was a little kitten. She was getting old, but she’d always been in excellent health, and it was entirely possible that we could have had her for another four or five years.

I’ll write a post about her later or tomorrow or in the next couple of days. I still can’t quite believe that she’s just… gone. And I will always blame myself that I couldn’t protect her better, and that I let her out that afternoon - but not as much as I blame the owner of those two dogs.

D heard back from the animal services department this afternoon. They told him that they believe the dogs were involved in another attack later that same evening, and if we see them again we should calll animal services right away.

So here’s hoping they manage to catch up with the dogs and their owner before they have the chance to attack someone else’s beloved pet - or, god forbid, a child.
 

(no subject)

Jun. 25th, 2017 07:24 am
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
Yesterday was a good day - a lovely respite from the week. In the morning I took coffee over to my friends who had been holding a yard sale since 6.30am, and then hung out with them until the yard sale was over. (Another friend bought me a rocking chair at said yard sale - it's the chair in which we all rocked my friend's children when they were babies. Awwww.) Then I took two of the assembled friends' kids to an open art morning at the new local art collective, and I ended up painting something myself. Someone had painted a canvas and didn't like the end result, so I painted over it with all kinds of geometric shapes. Here's what it looked like part-way through:

art I made

I had no idea what I was doing, but it was super calming and fun and the kids had a blast. I got to bring the painting home, so now it's on the wall on my stairs. Yay!

In the afternoon I went for a walk around the local lake with another friend. It was a gorgeous day - 74F and breezy, which made walking an absolute joy. We had lemonade afterwards at the coffeeshop, then we picked up her husband from the train station and I dropped them both back at home. I joined my yard-sale friend and her kids for dinner, and then finished out the day with some Tiny House Nation (the best!) and an early night.

As I lay in bed I found myself trying to do an accounting of where I hadn't been at my best that day - where I was thoughtless or short-tempered or . . . you get the idea. And I realized - this is a hold over from the merciless church I was raised within, which taught us that we had to mentally list our sins every night and pray for forgiveness or we'd go to hell if we died in our sleep. (And you couldn't review what you had done that was good, because that would lead to the sin of pride, ergo . . . )

Wow.

What a soul-sucking habit! I've been doing this review of the day in my head for years, but only just realized where it's rooted. So I set my mind on a different course with love, and marveled again that I am as functional as I am given the particular circumstances of my childhood. Yikes.

I don't know what today brings, save a hope to go outside a bunch since it's again a beautiful day. Have lovely Sundays, everyone (or Monday if you're already there!)