In Which I am the Cat Toy of the Universe

I once developed a theory of how life works. In this theory, the universe is a cat and we are its toy. It makes perfect sense. You know how there are times where it feels that every time you try to get up, you get knocked down again? Am I the only one who thinks that’s exactly how a cat keeps batting away at a toy (or mouse) over and over again, patiently waiting between each swat until the "subject" starts twitching again? Until you just can't do it anymore and roll over, bear your throat (yes, I’m aware that’s for dogs, work with me) and whimper uncle. At this point, the universe/cat gets back up, an expression of "well, all you had to do was say you needed a break" and walks away to wash its face while you catch your breath. When you're back up again, this time with feet firmly planted on the ground, it comes back and meows in your face to play some more. And that is the Cat Toy Theory in a nutshell.

It all started a month a go when my DVD burner died and set off an avalanche of calamity, to the point where I’ve considered renaming my home Disaster Central. I got a new one, booked a guy to come install it and last Thursday, he did. When he’d finished, I asked him to take a look at my registry – figured the reason my computer had slowed down in the last month or so was a cluttered registry and I know enough to know that I don’t know enough about computers to fix that myself. He looked at it and told me that I was thisclose to the blue screen of death and there was nothing he could do. Considering I’d just spent $200 on a new DVD burner and installation, this was not amusing. In retrospect, there are several indicators that I was hosed on many levels and I susp[ect Staples Easy Task Force is not there to fix your computer, they’re there to convince you to buy a new one. But that realization came later, because I’d been having so many problems with the thing that he made perfect sense. As I was considering buying a new hard drive and paying to get that installed, it occurred to me that a new computer wouldn't cost much more than that. And I'd been planning to get a new beastie within the next year, so I decided to go that route and through a friend of a friend made arrangements to get one built (!) with so many bells and whistles it’d fly so fast, it’d practically levitate. While this was being done, I started backing everything up. Which takes a surprisingly long time, even though you back up most of your stuff every month.

The day after, Mojo went to a specialist in internal medicine and was subjected to enough tests that I probably financed a new wing of the clinic. And started wondering if Mojo’s a relation of WT’s Belle, a.k.a. The Walking Disaster. The vet was convinced she had ulcerative colitis, with a small possibility of cancer. I bit my nails for a week and then the vet called with the results. Aside from a vitamin deficiency, the tests shower that Mojo is a completely healthy cat. The major bowel issues, extreme stomach acidity and resulting pain, lethargy, barfing, etc., which clearly compromise her quality of life significantly have left no mark anywhere in her system. After much research, the specialist has concluded that The Wondercat has what for cats is a very rare condition: gas. And so now she’s on antibiotics (to get rid of bad bacteria), B-12 shots and a friend of mine has volunteered to for the next 3 weeks attempt to medicate The Hellcat with Ovol (for babies with colic), which she tolerates, as well as an anti-acid/motility liquid that has her spitting and clawing and squirming like an armful of eels. I have good friends.

Add general wrangling of agencies and individuals mandated to help, but requiring more than usual handholding and cattleprods to actually move and then only slowly, renewal of various memberships, insurance, anti-virus software, replacement of software (a pox upon Microsoft’s name) and when last week, it started looking like the batteries on my chair are going (those suckers are way more expensive than a pair of AAs), it became clear that I have two options. Well, three, I guess. Take to my bed and weep (boring); watch a lot of movies with explosions and mayhem while I snack on things that aren't good for me; or start a business on the nearest street corner wearing an electric blue spandex miniskirt and too much makeup.

While I decide, I’m going to surrender, whimper uncle and hope the blasted Cosmic Feline clues in and gives me a break...

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