Archive | November 2015

Studying hard, making plans

At the end of this semester, I’ll have one more official course and three teach thyself languages still to conquer, before being qualified for a front end dev job. I keep checking on the tech listings every week coming out of Israel and so have a pulse on the minimums needed to score a decent job. At the end of this semester I’ll have core JavaScript, PHP, Python and MySQL down (and fluency in HTML and CSS goes without saying). I’ll have JSON, AJAX, XML, and XSLT under my belt with a fingernail’s grasp and need to work with them more. Next semester should see the official Photoshop course (and the certificate for front-end dev) completed. I’ve got to add a really good grasp of Node.js, JQuery, and Ruby on Rails to my arsenal. I need to put together a portfolio showing off all these skills. Then, hopefully, I’ll be ready for bear.

On the garden front: The weather here is only just starting to turn chilly and I’ve got to steel my backbone to pull out the okra. It is still producing, though the productivity has really fallen off and, rather than 24hours from flower to table, it is more like 3 days. Someone came along and stole approximately 30 of our eggplants (and a few cucumbers and tomatoes) in two ‘sweeps’ a couple of weeks apart. They did leave us one of those “decorative” wooden eggplants in their place. Ummm, yeah, thanks but no thanks. I’ve got 9 cabbages in the ground and 7 cabbage seedlings nearly ready for transplant. The cabbage and lettuce seeds I’d planted two weeks ago were killed in the flood we had, but I’ve got more started.

I’ll update on the cats soon.

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Losing Mischa

Yes, it has been a really long while since I’ve updated. I’ve both been busy and felt very boring as I’ve just been steeped in trying to get my head around coding in various languages. I promise an update, but first…Mischa.

On Friday, I lost Mischa, my chat mechant. I had him for nearly 17 wonderful years and literally traveled the world with him. As a tiny kitten, he came with me to Germany every summer. He drove with me cross-country in the U.S. (twice!) traveling from coast to coast. In fact, Mischa visited every State in the U.S. except for Hawaii, Alaska, and North Dakota. He got to visit (ok, airports and hotel rooms) in Paris, Switzerland, Belgium, and the Netherlands. He was a kitty oleh for 10 years and his ashes will be buried next to his dearest friend Pandy back home in Israel. He had a really good and loved life right up to his very last day.

Thursday last, I noticed in the morning that he didn’t eat much of his wet food. He went from plate to plate, nibbling only a little bit here and there. That was not like Mischa — he has always been a maniac over wet food and I always gave him double what the other kitties get. I noted it but it didn’t set off any sort of alarm bells –sometimes cats just don’t eat with gusto. We had to take Batya in to the vet to have a glucose curve done on her (she has been diagnosed as diabetic and I needed to see how the dosage of her twice-daily insulin shots are handling it) and after I dropped Batya off I had a host of errands to run. I picked Batya back up in the late afternoon on the flip side of my errands and came home and knew immediately that there was something wrong. Mischa seemed confused, he kept laying down in places he doesn’t usually lay, going to the water bowls but not drinking…fifteen minutes after I got back, I was on the phone with the vet clinic making an appointment for him for the next morning. Four hours later, after he again didn’t eat and just seemed absolutely not himself, we took him to the emergency clinic.

They gave him fluids and were concerned that he was anemic but, otherwise his vital signs were good and he was “in great shape for a cat this age”. Since I had the appointment for early in the morning, they didn’t do bloodwork but did give him some anti-nausea medication. I brought him home and he both ate and drank normally but I really thought, as did the vet at the EC, that he might be having problems with his kidneys. At the vet the next morning, she also thought he might be experiencing, potentially life-ending, kidney failure. They ran bloodwork and some other tests and when she came back in I nearly collapsed with relief at her news. She said, “his vitals are fine, his kidneys are fine.” Then her face nearly collapsed when we exclaimed with relief and she had to say, “but the news is not good.”

Mischa had aggressive lymphoma and they could give him meds to keep him comfortable for a couple of days only. He could live in discomfort and pain for weeks, maybe even a couple of months, with medication. I was not about to go there. We talked about all the options and the only one that made any sense was to let him go, to not prolong and not subject him to pain and discomfort just to prolong his life for my selfish needs of not wanting to lose him –not today, not…

He went to sleep in my arms, loved, purring at being petted where he best loved having pet, and he lived his last day as he’d lived all the others since I rescued him at 3 weeks of age — loved, comforted, comforting, vibrant, happy and King of the Cats.