It never rains but it pours

So as I noted in the previous entry, last week on Tuesday my dog Kinsey was diagnosed with end stage kidney failure and we made the decision to let her go on Friday. We took a few days to spoil her and prepare ourselves.

It was like Kinsey understood what the vet was saying, cause after we took her home on Tuesday she got very sick very fast. She had been pretty crotchety before but suddenly she couldn’t walk at all without help, often couldn’t even stand up on her own without a push from me.

I stayed up for 48 hours straight in her last days because she kept trying to walk places, getting stuck and becoming extremely distressed. I don’t know if she was in pain but she was frustrated and confused.

So on Friday we cooked a steak for Kinsey and after that the vet came over. It was very hard to say goodbye to her but Michael and I were 120% sure it was the right thing for Kinsey. It would have been cruel to make her wait any longer. She would have been 17 in a few weeks.

During this time I noticed Carmen, one of our two cats, was acting grumpy and distant and was off her food. Initially we thought she was just stressed cause of the situation. But this morning, on further reflection, I decided she probably had a urinary tract infection and so I took her to the vet’s.

The vet confirmed a UTI but also noticed some other alarming things and did some tests and x-rays. It turned out Carmen’s kidneys and liver were failing and she had a mass on her abdomen that was probably cancer. The vet pretty much said there was nothing to be done.

I called Michael and he came over and Carmen went peacefully to sleep with us holding her. She was only twelve.

Two of our three beloved pets are gone in just a few days. Both of them often kept me company while I worked on cases.

I still plan to resume updates etc tomorrow. No point just sitting around wallowing in grief.

It’ll feel so strange, working in my office with just one cat hanging around.

Everyone has been so supportive and I want to thank all of you. I love you guys more than you know.

Wedding pics just dropped!

I know you guys had asked to see some of the pics from my wedding, and they have finally arrived! Now, there are exactly 299 of them and I’m not going to post them all, but here’s some of the highlights.

Me and Dad going up the aisle:

Us all at the altar:

Michael sliding the ring on my finger:

Michael walking me down the aisle at the end:

Us leaving the church after I got rid of that scarf the priest made me wear:

Masks were required at the wedding for everyone (except the priest I guess, and also one lady in the back at the groom’s side) but once the ceremony was over and almost everyone had left the church we took some mask-less photos. So here you go:

Me and my bridesmaids:

Me alone, smiling at my bouquet:

Michael and I at the altar:

Us at the church door:

Us in silhouette so it looks romantic:

The photographer was Taylor Ford; look her up if you’re getting married in Ohio or Indiana and want her to take pictures. I think they turned out really well.

I hope everyone is keeping safe these days

I don’t have much to report during this uncertain time other than to say Michael and I are doing well and I hope everyone else been doing well also and taking as many precautions as they can.

My dog Kinsey is keeping a close eye on us. This picture is from the other night when she was trying to get Michael and me to go to bed. She doesn’t want to go to bed unless we’ve at least gone into the bedroom (she sleeps on a dog bed in the walk-in closet) and gets most upset if we stay up past our bedtime watching TV in the living room or whatever. She doesn’t jump around and snort at us like she used to, but still paws at us insistently and comes right up close to me and stares at me like this:

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She is a good girl. Now 15 and a half! Taking her out for walks is one of the only legit ways I can escape the house. We can’t go further than around the block because she gets tired after that. But it’s enough.

There hasn’t been much crime news to report but I’m sure all sorts of things are going to come out of the woodwork once the shut-down period ends. Already, one guy did his wife in and tried to cover it up by claiming she’d died of COVID-19. She has not been located yet, but he’s been charged with murder.

Stay safe. Wash your hands. Stay home if you can.

Followup

So Michael is still in the hospital and they’re thinking he will be until Monday. There’s a lot of fluid backed up around his heart that they’re trying to flush out.

They’re saying his is a mild case. They think chances are he caught some kind of virus last winter and it lay in wait for a few months and then decided to start kicking his butt. If the congestive heart failure was caused by a viral infection — which is usually the case with younger patients like Michael — he can make a full recovery.

My own father developed severe congestive heart failure out of nowhere six or seven years ago, and they were predicting he’d die or at least need a transplant, but then he inexplicably got better just as quickly and mysteriously as he’d gotten sick, and his cardiologist called him a medical miracle. They think Dad’s CHF was also caused by a virus.

I saw Michael today and he looks and feels a lot better, though he’s tired and spends most of his time sleeping. He was chronically sleep deprived anyway, and this whole “sleep sitting up” thing the last several weeks hasn’t helped. While at the hospital I signed papers to be his medical proxy if necessary.

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Our friends have been awesome, helping both of us out a lot. They were worried about me but I’m doing fine actually. He’s in the hospital, he’s where he needs to be, and he’s getting better. There’s nothing more I can do for him at this point, besides visit, and I’m doing that.

I think our pets are confused by Michael’s absence. Our one cat, Carmen, keeps wandering around looking in all the rooms and I swear she’s looking for him.

Merry Christmas everyone!

I know the holiday season can be difficult for people who have lost loved ones, either to death or disappearance. It’ll be hard for my family this year as we lost my brother Brendan in February; he died in a work accident at 49.

My heart goes out to all the families and friends of missing persons this year. I hope next year provides you with answers as to what happened.

Michael, Kinsey, the cats and I will be spending Christmas with our families. Christmas Eve with my family, Christmas Day with his.

I am grateful to all my Charley Project fans and blog readers and I hope y’all have a merry Christmas this year.

Doing a bit better

I wrote several days ago about how I was not doing well because I was off my meds due to an insurance hiccup.

Well, I’ve filled out the necessary papers and it’s just a matter of waiting for my insurance to process them. And my psychiatric clinic has stepped up in the meantime. They provided me with medication, and the promise of more until my insurance will start covering things again.

My Thanksgiving was okay, although exhausting. Michael and I went to my family’s meal at my sister’s, then a few hours later we went out to a restaurant with his parents. One of the things I’m most thankful for this year is my dog Kinsey. She is the sweetest dog and she has gotten me on a regular schedule (she fusses at me unless I go to bed when she wants) and gotten me exercise out in the fresh air (between two and four walks a day).

Kinsey’s birthday is on the 27th. She will be fifteen years old. I cherish every day I have with her. And she is a very happy dog now.

Here is Kinsey on the 12th:

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And here I am on the 15th, the night I went to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra:

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I’m actually wearing lipstick one of you sent me.

Updates should start again tomorrow.

All is well

It’s been 22 days since my last vomiting cycle started and I am not sick yet.

My primary care clinic suggested that, as these were happening every three weeks and generally started several days before the start of my menstrual period, perhaps it was a hormonal thing. So they put me on the Pill.

Maybe the Pill is working. It’s a bit early to tell yet, since these cycles haven’t been occurring EXACTLY every three weeks, but I am hopeful.

All is reasonably well on my end. I’m very happy I adopted Kinsey. It’s hard to believe it’s been less than two months since she came to live with us. She’s such a sweetheart, and very laid-back and chill, which suits me just fine. She and the cats are getting along fine.

Here she is begging salami off me:

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And here I am, as of a few minutes ago, with Orville in the background:

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All is well, doggo-wise

My adoption of Kinsey into our home has gone swimmingly. She always wants to be with me and here she is in my office settling down for the night:

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She has a dog bed but doesn’t always want to use it. The cats are weirded out by her but very curious about her.

When they’re in the same room together, Carmen just sits and stares intensely at her, and will sometimes raise her back when Kinsey gets too close for comfort, but there has been any aggression or even hissing. So far, Kinsey has really noticed her exactly one time. She was like, “Oh, what’s that? *sniff sniff sniff* Not interesting. I’ll back to following the hooman.”

Aria on the other hand keeps creeping up to where Kinsey is, then retreating and hiding, then creeping up again, closer each time. Tonight as Michael and I watched TV in the living room and Kinsey lay curled up on the floor, Aria got within like four inches of her before losing her nerve and fleeing.

I don’t know if they’ll ever be friends but right now I’m delighted that they just tolerate each other. Kinsey has no prior experience with house cats at all, only ferals.

We gave her a bath tonight in the yard, Michael and I, using a hose, a kiddie paddling pool, a bucket, Dawn Dish Soap and a judicious application of dog treats. She’ll get a proper bath done by professionals at the vet’s office a week from tomorrow, but in the meantime she at least smells better.

She’s shedding like mad, she’s half Labrador Retriever and half Husky and has the Husky undercoat. She’s shedding 2.5 dogs a day and no matter how much I brush it’s never enough. She leaves a trail of black fur wherever she goes. Ima have to vacuum. Michael’s parents will be thrilled when they find out about her (not).

As for today’s updates, the Rosselys Felix Hernandez case is particularly sordid and upsetting. As her fifteen-year-old daughter was a missing child for two months and presumed to be in the company of a suspected sexual predator, her name and photos were publicized and are plastered all over the internet. But I decided not to name her in the casefile, since she is a rape victim and a minor. Poor kid.

Perhaps with all these charges against Mr. York he might be persuaded to talk about his wife’s case with more candor than he has in the past. He’s probably going to prison for a very long time in any case. Better to go as a wife-killer than as a child rapist, I would think. Or maybe York told Rosselys’s daughter some things while they were together this spring.

So I am a dog mom now

These past several days I’ve had a guest, and we’ve been doing quite delightful but exhausting labor. He left this morning and I went to do what I had been postponing until his departure: adopt my mom’s dog.

I had made the decision to adopt her about two weeks ago, but had in the intervening time been getting materials etc. together, and it would have been inconvenient if she’d been here at the same time as my guest. But now she is here. Meet Kinsey:

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Before I let her in the house I gave her a thorough brushing, and she will need more of that as she’s shedding. Michael and I are going to give her a bath outside tomorrow; she smells pretty bad. I just got back from taking her for her first walk in her new home. She sniffed many things, went #1 and drank from a puddle.

The cats are very suspicious about the huge furry creature currently occupying their mom’s office, but Kinsey has paid almost no attention to them in the limited opportunities she’s had. I’ve got the office door shut right now, as Kinsey is out of her crate and chilling on the ground behind me.

After she gets her bath and doesn’t smell so much we’ll see about letting her explore the rest of the house. The plan is, until she and the cats are used to each other, to leave the office door open but crate her whenever the humans are out of the house.

I’m hoping one of these times I might return home to find the cats and Kinsey in my office sniffing each other through the bars. I think they will grow to tolerate each other pretty soon and who knows, maybe they will be friends.

Kinsey’s flea treatment has worked and the hair is already growing back on her bald spot. I think she’s got some mats on her haunches as she doesn’t like me brushing there, but that’s what really needs brushing the most. Michael will help me. He isn’t terribly enthusiastic about getting a dog, being more of a cat person, but he is committed to letting her live out her senior years here. I wouldn’t have taken her otherwise.