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2015

Last Friday, I picked up two cats that my husband and I adopted from the local SPCA.  One female and one male, both young adults.  The male is a blue/grey part Siamese with a voice that is like fingernails on a blackboard but he is adorable.  The female is an exquisite tabby with markings like I have never seen.  Both had to go directly to the vet’s office before we could pick them up so they could be neutered/spayed.  Turns out, the female had already BEEN spayed but the staff at the vet’s office said she had no scar and no tattoo, which is apparently a way of telling in some cases, so they did an exploratory and had “two doctors examining her”.  They said that they would still charge me for the surgery but that they would give me a “discount.”  I did not argue with them.  We picked the cats up on Friday morning and were immediately aware of the fact that she hated him.  He is a very lively little guy who wants to be friends with every four legged creature he can find, including my son’s dog.  He is just a silly little guy and I do mean little.  He is either younger than they thought or he is the smallest “adult” I have ever seen.  In any event, I paid very close attention to both of them to be sure that they were eating, drinking, and using the litter boxes.  I gave her her own because it was clear that she was not going to ever be comfortable near him.  I did not see her use it at all.  She slept with me on Friday night and on Saturday morning, I was covered with a heated throw and she laid down on my chest and PEE’D.  I was stunned because she did so laying down and then she left.  The throw is made of particularly soft microfleece and I thought that maybe the warmth and the softness relaxed her so much that she just lost control.  I called the vet’s office but we were in the middle of a snowstorm and they were closed.  I thought I would just monitor her carefully and see what happened.  My husband took her into his room which is around the corner and down the hall from mine.  It is filled with “stuff” that he is trying to save from the fire.  Stuff that he cannot let go of and that he is “working” on.  I thought we were going to have to move because the smell was pretty overwhelming and the landlady was not happy.  In any event, he had the cat from Saturday until Monday and she was very relaxed and happy.  I thought that perhaps she could not use the litter box because of discomfort but she did use it to have a bowel movement.  I made her come out of his room on Monday because I felt that she needed to interact with the other cat.  It was pretty disastrous, she just growled and smacked him and he just kept trying to entice her to play with him.  I STILL did not see her urinate in the box.  I went to bed on Monday night and realized that a different throw that I have on my bed had also been used as a litter box and my PILLOWS had that unmistakable smell of urine almost knocked me off my bed.  I knew then that we had a real problem.  I called the SPCA Tuesday morning and I specifically asked them if she was surrendered by an owner because of a problem with urinary incontinence. They assured me that was not the case and that she had always used the litter box at the shelter.  I called a different vet and told them what had happened and asked if they would see her.  My husband and son are both in love with this cat…not that she has not won my heart but I am the CLEANER.  I am the one impacted by the smell and the laundry.  Both of them have said they will “help”…help WHAT?  My husband cannot smell anything, for all I know, she used his entire room as a litter box, you can’t move around in there.  The vet kept her overnight and then called and spoke to my husband yesterday while I was at work and said she could be picked up late in the afternoon.  She had an infection “from the surgery.”  When we went to pick her up, they said she has to be on a special…VERY EXPENSIVE diet.  I asked why she would need this special diet if this was just an acute infection.  The vet did not want to speak to me and kept sending out her very uncomfortable office manager.  I told her that there is NO WAY that I can afford a 6 lb bag of cat food that costs close to $40 or tiny cans of moist food that cost close to $1.50.  I told them that I have no choice but to return her to the shelter because I cannot have her urinating on my bedding,  my rugs, my pillows…my son who already owes me a small fortune said he would help to pay for the food and my husband said he will help with the cleaning.  They are both delusional if they think I am going to believe that.  I cried all the way home from the vet, I have to call the shelter this morning and tell them that she will be coming back.  Someone will get a real deal if they adopt her because I have just spent close to $300 on her care.  Perhaps, once she heals, she will be alright in a one pet home, with her own space but I cannot take this on and I am being loaded with guilt from the “men” in my life.  I am very sad, I am not smoking over it but I sure am losing a lot of tears.  She has gone on the rug at the entryway this morning and is pacing, clearly looking for another place to go.  The vet’s office asked if I have a laundry room and I said yes but it is filled with clean laundry that is STORED in there. I guess I am writing to vent. This is going to be a very difficult day…taking her to the shelter, feeling like a monster, dealing with the fact that she may not be adoptable.  They are a no kill shelter but I am not sure that is doing her any favors.  

elvan

400 Days!

Posted by elvan Feb 23, 2015

If I had tried to look that far ahead 400 days ago, I would never have been able to handle everything that has happened in those 400 days.  Sometimes, it feels like no time has passed and then it seems more like 400 YEARS than days.  I could never have anticipated all that has happened and I could never have adequately prepared myself either.  Smoking would not have changed anything, well, that’s a lie, it would have advanced my COPD, made my emphysema worse and my wallet even lighter.  I would not have earned the admiration and respect of many people I did not expect to be so incredibly supportive. People who never smoked somehow really stepped up and told me how happy they were, how proud of me they felt.  NML lived up to its reputation with my moods swinging back and forth and up and down like a trapeze and people probably getting really tired of me talking about quitting.  It was a very big part of my progress.  I felt that every milestone I reached should be shared.  One of my friends, a smoker, asked me if I ever went to EX any more.  I told her that I go there every day.  She asked me why and I asked her who she thought supported me when I first quit.  I told her that if everyone got to a year and stopped coming, the site would not exist.  She thought about that for a minute and then said she never thought of that.  I told her to think of what AA would be like if only people who just stopped drinking came to meetings.  What about Weight Watchers or any other support group?  It’s like an extension of No Man’s Land.  I seriously believe that smokers pose the biggest risk to ex-smokers.  They have all of their excuses for why they cannot quit, they are “unique” just like I was, just like ALL of us were. Now we are on this journey together and we are here to help each other in any way that we can, to listen, to understand, to just BE there.  We are like a pyramid and if one of us falls, the rest have to reposition themselves to remain stable but we each own our OWN quits, we are all responsible to ourselves for how we take care of OUR quits.  No one can quit for you and no one can MAKE you smoke. Every person here wishes you the very best and every person here wants you to succeed, this is a family in and of itself and we know each other in ways that our OTHER family members will never know.

To each person here, I extend my hand in my commitment to stay smoke free and in my gratitude for you being here, no matter where you are in your quit, you are more valuable than you could possibly know. Something you say, something you share could be exactly what someone here needs more than you could possibly imagine. I sincerely love each and every one of you!

Have an amazing week, month, year, LIFE!

elvan

Notifications from site

Posted by elvan Feb 3, 2015

I just got an email from Admin and they were unaware of it but they are working on it so, hopefully, all will be back to normal soon. Hope everyone has a wonderful day.

I am not getting email notifications of other blogs or of comments or messages so I think there may be something going on with the site...or else my poor body is sending out messages to the world telling it that I am shot for the night.

In any event, I am going to take everyone's advice and go to bed.  I work the next two days but if I don't comment on a blog or a message...it isn't because I am ignoring people.  

Thank you, everyone, for your loving comments on my novella of a blog.  

Gentle hugs,

Ellen

We took our daughter from Virginia to Brooklyn, NY on Saturday.  We had hoped to leave no later than noon on Saturday but did not get out of here until after 2:00.  The drive there was uneventful…long but uneventful.  We got to the hotel where our daughter had booked us a room.  She booked it because it had free parking listed…there were no parking spots left when we got there.   It was after 9:00 so we were pretty late.  Our daughter spoke to the person at the desk and she was told that we could park on the street, that there is lots of neighborhood parking.  Our daughter told us to find a place and park because she had to call a cab to get to her apartment to pick up a key from her roommates. They were going out at 9:30 and she wanted to be able to move stuff in there in the morning.  My husband and I drove around the block and found ONE place that did not have a hydrant or a no parking sign.  It was almost precisely parallel to the hotel but on the other side of the block.  We parked the car and took OUR stuff and covered the rest and, of course, locked the car.  I had a three bags, none of them were terribly heavy but my shoulder thought differently.  My husband was a good ten feet behind me carrying two heavier bags but he limps so badly that I did not want him to carry mine.  By the time we got to the hotel, my shoulder was very discolored, close to black and clearly swollen.  I just wanted to sleep.  Our daughter got back, went to the car and got HER stuff and ordered food and I tried to sleep.  My shoulder was not having it, I was having such spasms that it looked like I was having chills.  Eventually, I fell asleep for a while.

In the morning, we went to the apartment and had to, once again, look for a parking spot.  We dropped our daughter off at the door and she had some things to carry in, she said to call as soon as we found a place to park.  Several times around several blocks and we found a spot that was a block away but on the same street.  We parked and called our daughter and then my husband guarded the car while she and I took things to the apartment, I carried only very light items.  I wanted to see the inside of the place…eeewwww!  I don’t know how NY landlords can get away with renting places that are such crap.  It’s extortion, pure and simple.  SHE thinks it’s great because she has her own bedroom and her OWN bathroom…woo hoo!  After several trips carrying small items from the car up to the second floor, my breathing was really giving me a hard time so I asked my husband if he could help carry a couple of items.  He was more than willing but he limps SO BADLY that my daughter could get from the car to the apartment and up the stairs and back again before he was halfway there.  It was a very long move.  My daughter came back to the car and said, “He CANNOT go up and down those stairs.”  I went back to carrying small items and then we were down to two really large and heavy boxes.  My husband said that this was ridiculous, other people were double parking in front of places with their hazard lights on and not walking up and down the street.  He said he was going to drive around the block and come back and park in front of the apartment.  He got lost.  We stood outside for 25 minutes and my daughter called him and asked him where he was and directed him to the building.  Once the last load was moved in, we were supposed to go to IKEA for a bed.  OMG, first of all, I HATE shopping and secondly, I HATE crowds.  That store is like a city filled with people looking for things.  Once my daughter decided on a bed…we had to go back down I have no idea how many floors to go FIND the boxes with the bed parts in them and the mattress.  (She also had to get a coffee table and an end table that roommates are pitching in on).  She was rushing to go find the things and upset because her father was so slow so I told her to just go and we would meet her down there.  I did not dare to leave him because God knows he would still be there wandering and wondering.  We finally got to the ground floor, found our daughter, and loaded her cart with the stuff she bought.  It took the next hour and a half to get to the front of the checkout line.  I could not believe the number of people who kept cutting in front of us in line until I finally made it very clear that we were in LINE!  A couple more tried but I suspect the fire coming out of my eyes told them not to keep pushing.  The stuff JUST got into the van but there was no room for a third person.  I offered to climb in UNDER the mattress and actually tried to do so but I could not breathe in that position so I had to get out.  My daughter scrunched herself up and got into a small spot.  She is five inches taller than I am and I really did not think she could fit.  We got the stuff to the apartment and then she wanted to take us to a neighborhood bagel shop to send some NY bagels back with us and to find a hardware store that was still open at 5:00 on Sunday afternoon so she could buy a TOILET seat.  Seriously, is that not a landlord’s job?  We found a store, got the seat and dropped her off at the apartment and said our goodbyes.  We had the navigation set up on my phone but my husband does not follow the directions so we ended up lost again but we FINALLY got to the Holland Tunnel and our daughter texted me that the seat would not bolt on.  Today, I told her to take the damn thing to another hardware store and ask for advice, they gave her new screws and bolts and it FITS.  We had a horrendous ride home because the storm started up just as we were leaving NJ.  It was terrifying. I forgot to mention that my shoulder dislocated when my husband opened the van door and I did not know he was there, I jumped and the shoulder slipped, took over an hour to get it back in place.  It was seriously a horrendous trip. We got home SAFELY at a little after 1:00AM.  Today has been a lost day, I have texted back and forth with my daughter who said “thank you so much, I am so sorry that you are both broken in half.” Glad she has a sense of humor.  She is “safely” moved in, now to finish furnishing her room and to FIND A JOB!  She has lots of connections, at least she thinks she does.  I am glad to be back in my apartment even though I do not consider it to be home, never will. 

Hope everyone had a good weekend!  I can tell you that I would EASILY have smoked a pack of cigarettes on the ride home.