May 28th, 2005



This continues to be the year that is determined to stomp my ass flat and keep me so freaked out that I can't write. Really, I've not had a year this vile since 1995, and every time I think the shitstorm has finally passed, here comes a few more clouds. Since I have a very firm, nigh unto unshakeable, conviction that LJs and blogs are to be reserved only for those things that you genuinely mean to be put before the public, I'm not going to get into most of this stuff. Most of what the shitstorms have been. Private demons are private for a reason.

I will say that Sophie's quick recovery from the carnassial extraction was short-lived. All week, her condition continued to deteriorate. She wound up back at the vet on Thursday, at which point I realised that the vets in question were possibly quacks. Yesterday, we took Sophie to a better vet, and by the time we got her there she was hardly moving or reacting to anything. What the quack vet had determined to be post-operative "depression," the new vet feared was a systemic blood infection. She was severely dehydrated, and there were fears of worse things still. When we left her, I figured that was the last time that I would ever see her alive. About 8 p.m. last night, the vet called to say that the good news was the worst thing that was wrong with Sophie was that she's diabetic (the quack vet had noted elevated glucose levels, but told us it wasn't a problem). Of course, that's also the bad news. With proper treatment, twice-daily insulin shots, she might live several more years. But my life isn't exactly amenable to taking care of a diabetic cat. There's really no one here but me and Kathryn to see that she gets the shots in question, and we often have to be out of town. So, we're presently making the extremely difficult decision as to whether or not to put her up for adoption to a hospice or individual who treats elderly, diabetic cats. Compared to some of the things that have happened to me the last few months (which I have not written of here, of which I shall not write of here), this is probably small potatoes. But Sophie and I have been together for fifteen years (she's probably sixteen years old).

When I found Sophie at the Birmingham Humane Society, I adopted her because I knew the odds for adult cats. I was 25 and lived in the little place on 16th St. South, and Sophie spent most of her time in the woods on Red Mountain. When I moved to Athens in April '94, she went with me. When I moved back to Birmingham in '97, so did she. Sophie has been there all along, long before I'd sold or published a single story or novel, back when my life was always chaos, and I lived half of it in drag clubs and bars. I have only a couple of friends whom I've known longer than Sophie's been with me. She has been a still point for me through many terrible times, and she was there for all the amazing good stuff, too. I can hardly imagine the world without her. But I know that if I try to handle this whole diabetic thing myself, we'll both suffer, and Spooky, too — so, I'm faced with this decision. And over a thousand dollars in vet bills, though, fortunately, Spooky's parents are taking care of a large part of that. Thank you, Richard and Carol.

And just so you have something here that is not entirely depressing, this link.
  • Current Music
    The Decemberists, "Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect"

Addendum: eBay, pretty words

I was just listening to The Decemberists' Picaresque and was moved to post the lyrics which follow. Perhaps they will even inspire someone to check out The Decemberists who hasn't yet done so; no dren, this band is keeping me vaguely sane lately, and surely that counts as a good recommendation. Also, we have finally added an uncorrected ARC of To Charles Fort, With Love to our eBay auctions.

"The Infanta" (The Decemberists)

Here she comes in her palanquin on the back of an elephant,
on a bed made of linen and sequins and silk.
All astride on her father's line
with the king and his concubines
and her nurse with her pitchers of liquors and milk.

And we'll all come praise the infanta.
And we'll all come praise the infanta.

Among five-score pachyderm, each canopied and passengered,
sit the duke and the duchess' luscious young girls,
within sight of the baroness (seething spite
for this live largess,) by her side
sits the baron. Her barrenness barbs her.

And we'll all come praise the infanta.
And we'll all come praise the infanta.

A phalanx on camelback, thirty ranks
on her forward tack follow close,
their shiny bright standards a'waving.
While behind, in their coaching fours, ride the wives of the king of Moors
and the veiled young virgin, the prince's betrothed.

And we'll all come praise the infanta.
And we'll all come praise the infanta.

And as she sits upon her place, her innocence laid on her face,
from all atop the parapets blow a multitude of coronets,
melodies rhapsodical and fair.
And all our hearts afire, the sky ablaze with cannonfire,
we all raise our voices to the air, to the air...

And above all this falderal, on a bed made of chaparral,
she is laid, a coronal placed on her brow.
And the babe, all in slumbered dreams
of a place filled with quiet screams,
and the lake where her cradle was pulled from the water.

And we'll all come praise the infanta.
And we'll all come praise the infanta.
And we'll all come praise the infanta.
And we'll all come praise the infanta.
  • Current Music
    VNV Nation, "Homeward"