Well that was a stressful day. Yesterday. No need to test my adaptive abilities. Really. First there’s 8 hours of jackhammering, wherein I almost lost my mind, but then Kitten decides to eat thread.

So I’ve been quilting since I was about 22 years old. I’ve sewn longer than that, largely around cats, so yeah, I’m aware that thread and cats are a bad mix. I’ve had multiple cats over the years who were thread-munchers. Some even tried to get bits out of the trashcans, so I had to work hard to keep it away from them. But these two that I have now…well, Midnight likes the poly/nylon-y stuff, but I never leave that on the sewing machine because that stuff is really bad for them. I’ve pulled it out of a couple of cats who literally stalked the machine until I went to pee, and then went for the thread. It’s one of the reasons I always use the quilt under the machine to cover the machine when I’m not sewing. Cat can’t sit on quilt. Cat can’t eat thread.

But the regular sewing stuff, these two cats have never given a shit about it. They sit back behind the machine all the time and have always left it alone. And Kitten’s been here for 6 years, so I don’t know what bug got in her ear, but I turned around, maybe 5 minutes after she went to sit back there, and she was swallowing black thread like there was no tomorrow. Yeah, I pulled. I’ve pulled (gently of course) on multiple cats and been successful. Not yesterday. It was stuck. Dammit. Well, I cut as much as a could (a foot or so) and then called the vet, who had me call the emergency vet. Damn cat. She’s the most expensive cat I’ve ever owned now, between the nasty dental surgery a few years back (she’s got some genetic thing and had to have 12 teeth removed) and this thread thing. They sedated her, tried to release the thread (it was around her tongue). Pulled gently, it’s stuck. Scoped her. By then it was in her intestines and they couldn’t get at it.

So those who have gone through this realize how much money all this costs, and it’s funny, because I went into this summer for the first time in YEARS (like pre-divorce, baby) feeling like my head was (temporarily, due to upcoming college payments) semi-above water. Well yeah. And that was after the car costs from last month, which were fairly horrendous. But I thought I could get through the summer and actually pay the mortgage and groceries and half of the boychild’s health insurance, due on August 1. Because I’m a teacher, and I don’t get paid until the end of August. Summers always make my guts clench financially. But this year seemed doable (unlike last year, which was a giant clusterfuck until I sold a quilt).

So yeah, Kitten had surgery last night. Luckily it was quick and easy and her intestines weren’t shredded by thread and she’s recovering, but she doesn’t want to eat. And every time the doc calls to update me, they reassure me that they’ll do everything they can to make the cost as low as possible, probably because I completely lost it in the exam room. Well. You know. I guess life just wants to remind me that I am not in control. Like I didn’t already know that.

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She’s making a funny face because she only has one fang and it sometimes gets stuck on her lip.

So I had to get one of those pet loans, which luckily I qualify for, and when I start getting paid again, I’ll pay it off quickly (I’ve done this before)…but it means all the extra money I’m earning now is no longer being put away for college. So there we are. I don’t even have a total cost yet on the cat, but I know it’s bad. But she’s also my baby and my responsibility, so I didn’t really feel like I could do anything else. I know some cats pass these just fine, but it’s not a huge percentage. So the quicker I did stuff, the easier it would be on her.

And yeah, I guess my takeaway is to hide the thread no matter how the cat acts about it for the first 6 years, because cats do stupid shit just like humans do.  And she’s gonna be fine. And I’m gonna find the money somewhere. Here she is just yesterday, schooling Simba in cat/dog interactions.

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I spent the rest of the evening trying to focus on the copyediting, once they stopped jackhammering…Simba is such a goofball.

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Realizing that my ancient keyboard really is nonfunctional if you’re trying to FIND a specific letter or whatever…

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The kids have been complaining about it for years, but whatever. I type mostly from position, not watching keys…it’s been an issue with the copyediting in the last few weeks though, so I had ordered a new one. Work expense. Which I’m now questioning, like I’m going to be questioning every damn penny for the rest of the summer. And it is probably 15 years old. They did come out in 2005…so maybe it’s only 11 years old. Anyway, I must be rough on certain keys…

Girlchild made dinner and the vet called with the post-surgery news in the middle of that. At least it was quick and there were no complications.

After I finished the first run-through on the lesson I was copyediting, I gave myself permission to iron. It was probably 10:30 by then. I did the octopus, the grassy knoll (OK, it’s not really a knoll), a giant artery (the aorta or some version of it anyway), and the cactus. There’s some cactus pieces.

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While I was working, I was listening to and watching a few of the Coursera courses I’m signed up for this summer. I’m taking two basic college chemistry classes, because I will be teaching a lot more of that this coming year, and I’m decidedly shaky on it. I haven’t had chemistry since high school and I was never great at it, which might make you worry about my teaching it, but trust me…I’ll understand it or I’ll figure it out as I go. I didn’t know anything really about light before I started teaching it, and I did OK. The new standards move the content around quite a bit, and it’s hard to go from being a life science teacher to being a middle-school, 7th-grade science teacher in the days of NGSS if your background is biology. So I’m working on it. Boychild keeps trying to answer my questions, which mostly center around WHY, proving I haven’t changed at all from high school. WHY do electrons do that? WHY do they get excited. WHY do we call it light when it’s really EM radiation? Or IS it? Fuck. I’m still in lesson 1. Let’s hope I figure it out. I have a couple of books from NSTA called Faking It…written specifically for teachers who have to teach this stuff. I might want to read them quickly.

I’m also taking a class called Sexing the Canvas, about art and gender, which not surprisingly, I know quite a bit about. So I watched some videos, did some math (ugh), and took a quiz last night. I think I’m gonna fail the chemistry quizzes, but I’m really just trying to get the concepts more than understand how to work all the equations. We don’t do a lot of equations in 7th grade. I think. I’m OK with failing my first college class (not for credit) at 49 years old.

So I’m in the low 1300s now in the pieces…coming up is a lung and a tiger and then…well…Kitten…because she’s been in a ton of my quilts.

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And I hope she’s in a ton more of them. Thread-free.

One Response to Thread-Free

  1. I sure am with you on the “why” questions. I kept asking “Why do you assume that?” and “Why do you think that’s how to measure that?” until my high school physics teacher, quite exasperated, said, “In science, we don’t ask ‘why,’ we ask ‘how.’ That did it for me. I don’t think they’re mutually exclusive, and if you don’t ask ‘why?’ what does the ‘how’ even mean?

    I got the chemistry prize in high school because it was more like math. I remember absolutely nothing. I couldn’t even explain what the periodic table IS. I couldn’t balance an equation if my life depended on it. My husband won the chemistry prize at his high school and he remembers EVERYTHING. But then, he does. Remember everything, that is. Most of what I learned went in the ears and out the pen on the exam, never finding a good place to sit in the flimsy data base that is my brain. Guess that’s another subject!

    And I am happy to hear the cat is ok. I miss my cats, brothers Lentil and Orzo. They are with the cat sitter. We knew we’d rent, and no one, absolutely no one, will rent to two cats. I did have to LOCK away the yarn from them! They figured out how to open the closet door!


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