Saturday, November 26, 2011

Yet another bite...

OK, so my last post left off talking about the seagull incident. I didn't mention that there was another bite that same day. Not another seagull. Not another mouse. This time was a feral cat.

Remember this post about the feral cat colony in Fortescue? My sister and I were feeding the cats, hoping to catch some of them and get them neutered, but of course we were not fully prepared. No cat cage, no gloves... nothing but a bag of cat chow and high hopes of saving a life or two.

To make a long story short (I have to get ready to go to work), I ended up getting bitten by one of the cats. I didn't get a picture of it, but it looked something like this:

scary black cat

It wasn't the cat's fault. The poor thing was scared. Still, I ended with some kitty fangs in my hand. You know what that means... The next day I called my doctor's office to see if I needed an antibiotic. The nurse told me that they send all cat bites to the ER. Seriously? The Emergency Room? I told her that it wasn't serious at all, definitely NOT an emergency. She said that is standard procedure. I insisted on seeing a doctor before being sent to the ER, so they reluctantly gave me an appointment.

The nurse who came to the waiting room to take me back to an exam room looked at me and said "You're the mouse girl!" What have you gotten into now? After briefly explaining, she said "I want to follow you around for a week. You must have a fascinating life." Fascinating? Yeah, right.

The doctor agreed that it wasn't serious, and gave me an antibiotic but told me that I had to be seen again in a week. Even if it was completely healed, I HAD to go back and let them see the wound. I figured that was better than going to the ER, so I agreed.

One week later, I go back to the doctor. After the routine blood pressure, pulse, temperature check, she examines the seagull and cat bites and then says that even though everything was healing nicely, she wanted me to get a rabies antibody test. Apparently I had a fever. Great. There was no way I could have rabies. I figured she was just being overly thorough. I took the paperwork, "filed" it in the glove compartment of my car, and figured she would never know if I got the test or not.

A week goes by, and I am really feeling like crap. Tired all the time, headache-y, stiff neck, eyes hurt. All of the classic signs of a fever. I took my temperature. It was 100.2. I take some Advil, and get on with my day. Next day, feeling like crap again, temp was 99.9. Holy crap, could I have rabies????

I dug the paperwork for bloodwork out of my glove compartment and hauled my fevered self to the lab. Two (feverish) days go by, then three, then four. I don't hear a word. I call the doctor's office on day 5. I am told it takes at least a week for a rabies test, sometimes two weeks. Then there was the Thanksgiving holiday... I tell the nurse I still have a fever, she wants me to come in right away. I put her off, figuring there is no point in being seen without the results of the bloodwork. At this point I'm thinking rabies is a possibility...

Fortunately, the nurse called yesterday. NO RABIES!!! Yay! Time to do a happy dance! Since I still have a fever, they put me on another antibiotic. The third one in as many months. Let's hope this one knocks the hell out of whatever is wreaking havoc with my body!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Another bite.

First things first... Happy Thanksgiving to all! Yes, I know it's not until tomorrow, but I am working tomorrow, and don't know if I will get a chance to blog.

Yes, that's right. I am working. On Thanksgiving. Glitter World is open, so I will be putting on my happy face and ringing up tons of glitter-covered-crap that people just can't live without and feel the need to buy on Thanksgiving Day. It's not so bad, really. It's just another thing to be thankful for, right? A job. Two jobs, actually. So many people would be thrilled to be working tomorrow, or any day at all, that I don't feel as though I can complain about working. At least I don't have to cook a Thanksgiving meal. Cracker Barrel, here we come! Yet another thing to be thankful for!

What else am I thankful for? Emma, Tara and Cooper, of course. Although they have their cute little noses out of joint because their little mousey brothers Stevie and Carlos got their pictures in the last blog post. Was there a single picture of the dogs? Nope. Sure, the dogs were mentioned in passing, but apparently that wasn't sufficient, and their egos have taken a hit. So, without further ado, I give you (drumroll, please)...

Cooper, Emma and Tara!

Cooper, Emma, Tara
I wanted to get a picture of them doing something cute, but this is what they do 99% of the time. This photo is unusual in that all three babes are in one photo--a rare occurrence! I am so thankful that they are happy and healthy, particularly as Cooper and Emma would technically qualify as "seniors", although both can still act very much like puppies on occasion.

Here is another picture of the babes from today when I ran home from work to let then out at lunchtime.

Tara & Cooper

That's Tara and Cooper. (Emma was camera shy.) It was raining, and Tara and Cooper hate getting their feet wet. I was standing out in the rain, getting soaked, cajoling and pleading with them to "come down and do pee pees". They are doing their best to ignore me. Notice the closed eyes... It kills me that the think that if they can't see me, I can't see them. Silly babes.

At the risk of doggie overload, here is a picture of Cooper and Tara from last week.

Cooper, Tara & Hanna
The chicken on the gate? That's Hanna. She is (or was) the neighbor's chicken. She has been living here for a couple of years. Notice Emma is not in this picture. She's afraid of Hanna. I know, I know... a bird dog who is afraid of a chicken. My dad says I have single-handedly ruined the breed by coddling my sweet babes.

Anyway, Cooper quickly lost interest, but not Tara. She and Hanna had a standoff, and I was about to be late for work.

Tara & Hanna
The only thing I could do was "shoooo" Hanna off the gate.


Oh my, look at that ugly scar on my hand... We'll come back to that later.

Hanna decided she didn't want to be "shoooo'd" and found somewhere else to perch. On me.

She stayed on my arm until I walked to the woods and found a tree limb for her to perch on. Silly bird.

Back to the scar...
Seagull Scar
Ugly, isn't it? It's about six weeks old now, so it's actually looking a LOT better than it did. How did I get it? Another bite. It was more like a rip, really. My sister and I were on the beach at Fortescue, and a woman down the beach was fishing, and a seagull got caught in her fishing line. How? I have no idea. I've never seen that happen before.

Of course, I go running down the beach to lend a hand, and the seagull bites the hand that frees it! It wasn't his fault, though. The poor thing was terrified. The fishing line was wrapped around both wings and both feet. Between the three of us we managed to get him free and he flew away (thank-you-baby-jesus) leaving nothing but three happy women, and some blood on the beach. My blood, not his.

Fortunately, the seagull was not harmed in any way.

Fortunately, I now have a house a Fortescue, so was able to go and wash the wound with antibacterial soap & wrap it up.

Fortunately, I recently had a tetanus shot, (you know... from the mouse bites) so I feel protected from any heebie jeebies that seagulls might carry.

Unfortunately, I have an ugly scar, despite the use of Vitamin E cream.

Unfortunately, seagulls creep me out now. This is what I imagine every seagull is saying to me:

Mean seagull

Unfortunately, the seagull incident was not the end of my adventures that day...

Stay tuned for another bite. Literally.

Monday, November 21, 2011

At long last...

Finally, a blog post! I appreciate the emails and Ravelry messages I've gotten over the past couple of months, but want to assure you that everything here is fine. Mom and dad are doing great. The dogs are all happy, healthy and always looking for trouble. I've just been so busy, working at the museum and at Glitter World. I have so much to get everyone caught up on that there is no way I can do it in one post. In the first place, I would be up all night working on it, and in the second place, it would bore you all to tears.

Have you ever heard the joke about "How do you eat an elephant?" Answer: One bite at a time. Anyway, I have a big ol' elephant of stuff to share, and will be writing "bites" until I get caught up. Now for the first bite. No pun intended... You'll understand this later on.

A couple of months ago, my niece who works at the local PetSmart posted a picture of a blind mouse in need of a home on her Facebook page. Apparently this little guy came into the store for sale and was missing an eye and she was afraid it would become "snake food". It's bad enough for these little mousies to be sold for food (yes, I know about the circle of life and the food chain and all that, but I don't want to see it or allow it to happen on my watch, you know?) but this poor little guy would never see the snake coming at him and have no chance at all to get away.

Well, since I am not using credit cards, I had to wait 3 days until payday to go at get little Stevie. (I named him after Stevie Wonder, being blind and all) Not having had any caged pets since I was a kid, I needed the cage, litter, bottles, dishes, food, etc. and had to wait until I got the cash. So, on payday I went to PetSmart and bought this:

Stevie, Carlos & Cliff
It's not just a simple cage, it's an apartment tower of mousey-fun! I went with the super-size accommodations, because Stevie was in a cage with two other mice, and I didn't want to buy just Stevie and have him miss his little friends. Of course, I couldn't choose which of the other two mice to buy, and if I only bought one, the other one would be all alone, so of course I had to buy all three mice.

Admittedly, I had no idea what I was getting into, and I don't recommend anyone purchase a pet if they do not fully understand what the care of that pet entails. In fact, I have never had any great fondness for mice. Really, I hate the little suckers. Correction... I USED to hate the little suckers. Somehow I managed to convince myself that little Stevie was going to be snake bait and I was his only hope for survival. So, I just jumped in with both feet and am in this for the long haul...for better or for worse.

Better: There is a Rat and Mouse Club of America and the people on the forums there are very helpful to newbies like me.

Better: They are all boys, so there will not be any additional mice.

Worse: They are all boys, and boys will fight to the death as they mature.

Worse: I had to purchase two additional cages to prevent mouse homicide... or mouse-icide????

Worse: Boy mice are notoriously stinky, and one boy mouse smells as bad as five girl mice.

Worse: My laundry room immediately took on the odor of 15 mice. We're talking really, really stinky.

Better: My sister's secretary took one of the mice off of my hands.

Worse: The laundry room still smelled like it had 10 mice. Still really, really stinky.

Better: There is a product that you add to their water bottles and it helps to neutralize the odor of mouse urine.

Worse: It takes several weeks to get the odor down to a manageable level.

Worse: Mice bite. They bite and hang on with a vengeance even when you are screaming and trying to shake them off of your hand.

Worse: If you are bitten by a mouse (or two, or three) you need to get a tetanus shot and an antibiotic. Just add the co-pay and prescription to the cost of the mice, cages, litter, food, water additive, etc., etc., etc. Also, the doctor has to call the county board of health and then tells you to monitor the mice for any non-mouse-like behavior. Rabies, you know.

Better: I have two new little souls that it is surprisingly easy to love. Here is little Stevie:

Stevie Wonder

And here is a picture of both Carlos Ruiz and Stevie Wonder:


My stinky boys. Priceless.

Stay tuned for future bites. Literally.