Wednesday, February 07, 2007

ETC: News of the Mundane

Item 1. We recently got a new toaster. Our upgrade from a two-slice to a four-slice model came after we realized that the short bald guy with the funny walk who's moved in with us doesn't show any sign of leaving soon, and it seems that his toast needs are increasing exponentially. We had our previous toaster for ten years, and this new one has made me realize how much I dislike change. I was USED to the old toaster, goddammit, and I don't like being forced to learn new technologies, especially before I've had coffee.

Item 2. I don't know if I've mentioned this here before, but our cat Puck, my faithful comrade for more than fifteen years and counting, recently won his battle with cancer. Our vet speculates that, based on the location of the tumour (between his shoulder blades), and its type (insert medical jargon I can't remember), it could have been a reaction to having been over-vaccinated.

So a note to all you cat people out there: While I'm not advocating that you refrain from having your pets vaccinated, especially if they're the outdoorsy type, I would recommend that you ask your vet about a titer test, which measures the amount of immunity remaining in your pet's system, and then discuss a scaled-back vaccination schedule with your vet. Also, if you notice any funny sores on your pet that don't seem to be healing, no matter how big or small, get them checked out. Puck survived this scare because Rusty is a hypochondriac. I feel terribly guilty when I imagine what might have happened if this matter had been left solely in my lackadaisical hands.

Item 3: Weirdly apropos of the above, Sam just got his last set of vaccine boosters (until he's around five, that is). After the third and final shot, he got a little sticker that says "I was brave for my shots!" and let me tell you, that sticker is a baldfaced lie. Not only did he scream and cry during and between each shot, he entered some kind of rage fugue for about twenty minutes after they were over. I'm told that this state of transcendental fury is more commonly known as a "tantrum" but that seems like a mighty small word for such a big state of mind. He's been fine ever since, but MAN.

Also, I'm not looking for a vaccination debate (so please keep it to yourself or direct it over here if you're looking for a fight), but I'm not the only parent who's ever spent the first night post-vaccine worrying that their kid is going to have a bad reaction and die in their sleep, right? Normal, this is?

Item 4: In the good news department, Rusty recently bought a handful of raffle tickets supporting a local charity, and we just got the call that we won not once but TWICE. Strangely, both the prizes were gift certificates to two different but equally excellent bakeries in our 'hood. Drunk on this wave of good luck, we tore the house apart looking for all our old unchecked lottery tickets, but when we looked up the numbers, no luck.

And so ends... NEWS... of the MUNDANE!


Anne-Marie said...

When the nurse tried to give (my) Sam the same sticker, he screamed out "NOOOOOOO!" and almost pushed her out of her chair.

Smart kid. Fortunately for us, I had secretly bought choo-choo stickers and Sam's never been one to say no to choo-choo.... it was our saving grace.

p.s. other random thoughts - I keep forgetting to tell you - we were walking by Bump 'N Grind last Friday afternoon and there was a BUTT NAKED guy inside, reciting poetry on the stage. Hum, I needed some strong coffee after that one. And let me tell ya, it was chilly outside!

Beth said...

I never get a sticker that says "I was brave for my shots" when I get a needle and I always thought that it was because I cry and scream and have a tantrum. That, and because I am 30 years old. Next time I need a shot, I'm going to *demand* that sticker!

Anonymous said...

Another alternative to titers for vaccinations (although titers are perfectly good, you still have to vaccinate every few years and most places require the rabies vaccine no matter what) are Purevax vaccines. I think they're produced by Merial (I work for a vet, not the drug company), and they use a live virus rather than dead cells to vaccinate, with prevents against the type of cancer associated with the vaccination site. They also make intranasal vaccines (which aren't as hard to administrate as you might think), so you ought to ask your vet about that.

Anonymous said...

So glad your Puck kitty is OK! Excellent point on the Purevax vaccines and vaccine titers. However if conventional vaccines must be given, ask your vet to inject on either back leg as far down as possible, or over the tail. If your cat does develop a vaccine-associated sarcoma (soft tissue tumor), amputating the tail or leg can save their life. I know, amputation sounds awful, but a three-legged cat or dog can have excellent quality of life.

Blathering Idiot said...

On the whole vaccine (animals not kiddos) thing. Take the time to love your kitties, including getting through all that long hair if they are Maine Coon (as was my big guy) or a similar long haired type. I loved my guy and snuggled him, but no one ever told me to check those vaccine prone spots regularly and my Rigoletto was not as lucky as your Puck. Hugs to Puck and I am glad his yuckiness was caught early.

As far as Sam, I agree with him. Mom tells me I always screamed and pouted and my head spun 'round with aclarity when those shots came anywhere near...

Doppelganger said...

Oh no, Blathering Idiot! (It seems wrong to call you that, somehow, in this context.) I just read your comment, and I'm so, so sorry for the loss of your Rigoletto. I love Maine Coons -- they're so gorgeous and have such big personalities. I'm sure Rigoletto was a shining testament to his breed.