Tomorrow we take Intrepid back to the very special vet in Santa Cruz (a long trip for us) for his umpteenth follow-up. He eats like a pig but is skinny as a snake's shed carcas. According to the local vet, there is no hope for him because his kidneys and pancreas are functioning at less than optimum levels. We were told that the only thing we can do is feed him chicken but without expectation for improvement. So, we took him to a specialist, who did new blood tests and found out why his organs are not functioning properly, as well as why he keeps throwing up and has lost nearly three pounds (of an original 12 pounds; vet says 10 1/2 is his proper weight). So, things are looking up, but we are aware that the reason he is not flourishing is malabsorption and that this is a chronic and life-shortening condition. He is just such a neat little cat that we want to do whatever we can to help him last as happily as possible as long as possible.
He started life as a scruffy little thing. He was found in 2005 in the grass, sans mother, by a professor who worked for me in Amman, Jordan, a country where pets are not common. The professor knew that Dr. Elizabeth would take care of the little thing, and he brought him to me. He was a starving little thing, and I could hear him crying the entire length of the three-landing staircase. When he discovered the food bowl, he did not leave it for two weeks, except to use the litter box. He even slept beside it. In time, he learned to play and explore, earning his name. Once weaned from life beside the food bowl, his curiosity led him to test and try out everything. There was nothing he was afraid of; that continues to this day. In fact, when we took him to the vet on an emergency trip a couple of Sundays ago, the vet on duty commented on the fact that he attempted to stare him down. "Mr. Look Me Straight in the Eye," he called him and explained that feral cats have no fear of looking people in the eye the way that domestic cats tend to.
Well, back to the vet tomorrow. Please say a few prayers for our "Trep."
This site was originally designed for linking the longer family posts and pictures that did not fit easily on my main blog, 100th Lamb. Over time this blog has become the story of our family, past and present. More recently, I have been posting excerpts from a new book I am writing about our family experiences: Raising God's Rainbow Makers. Here you will also find my conversion story. Many thanks to the followers of this site for becoming part of our family.
Most Recent Updates
Daily updates on family members who are "in the family news" are available on the Twitterlets.
Nathaniel and Nikolina have moved into a more normal set of life activities, now possible with the stabilization of Nikolina's health. Some of her routine care has been transferred from Stanford University Hospital to local doctors. This makes life easier for everyone. With her gross motor development delayed because of disabilities and surgery, Nikolina has been progressing in fine motor development faster than typically expected and is now beginning to draw and to type. Of course, Nathaniel is a great help to her in this respect.
Updated pictures of Nathaniel and Nikolina are added periodically at the end of the post about them.
Here is a picture of Nikolina that Shane took at a local restaurant. That smile on her face never goes away; I think she knows how lucky she is to be alive -- and to be intellectually normal and performing at age level is absolutely remarkable. (She still is missing some body parts, but she has never needed a feeding tube or any other kind of support since being released from the hospital.)
Pictures from our house blessing have now been added. Click here to see them: house blessing.
I am the mother of 4 birth children (plus 3 others who lived with us) and grandmother of 2, all of them exceptional children. Married for 42 years, I grew up in Maine, live in California, and work in many places in education, linguistics, and program management. In my spare time, I rescue and tame feral cats and have the scars to prove it. A long-time ignorantly blissful atheist converted by a theophanic experience to Catholicism,
I am now a joyful catechist. Oh, I also authored a dozen books, two under my pen name of Mahlou (Blest Atheist and A Believer-in-Waiting's First Encounters with God).
Using Elizabeth (me) as the center (only because I am the one doing the blogging), here is how the clan is related:
Wife/Mother: Elizabeth Husband/Father: Donnie
Birth children, in birth order: Lizzie Noelle Shane Doah
Here are the three children who came to live with us, in order of when they arrived: Blaine (from the barrio of Salts) Shura (from Siberia) Ksenya (from Moscow)
There were also others who lived with us for a year or more: Vanessa and her three children (abandoned mother) Rollie (my brother) Victoria (my sister) George (a colleague of Donnie's who could not find a place to rent because he was black living in a principally white location)
And then there is my Maine farm family: mother: Ma father: Dad (deceased 36 years) Children (oldest to youngest): Elizabeth (me) Katrina Danielle Willie Rollie Keith Sharon Victoria
And, of course, our cats: Murjan Intrepid Simone
With time, I will add to the content. In the meanwhile, see the alphabetical listing under "family members" below to find out about those for whom I have posts.
100th Lamb. This is my main blog, the one I keep most updated. I link from there to here when I want to use one or another of my writings there.
Mahlou Musings. This site contains excerpts from my various publications.
Modern Mysticism. This blog discusses the mystical in our pragmatic, practical, realistic, and rational 21st century world and is to those who spend some or much of their time in an irrational/mystical relationship with God. If such things do not strain your credulity, you are welcome to follow the blog and participate in it.
The Burning House
"The Burning House" by William Smith copyright 2009
I dreamed a dream of a burning house With brothers and sisters and a cold bitter spouse. The halls were all crooked, the doors were ajar. I heard all their cries from the road in my car.
I put on the brakes and came to a stop While an old jackrabbit went hippity hop. I looked back again, and the house was ablaze. The people inside just looked in a daze.
The curtains were tattered, the roof was not straight. The hinges were knocked off the broken front gate. The paint was all weathered, and the shutters hung loose. A shadow on the barn door looked like a noose.
A kid outside shouted, "There's a fire there, you see". But Mama kept screaming, "Come back here to me". "No, I cannot, ‘cause your house is on fire". But nobody listened as the flames grew still higher.
Once in a while a child would run out, But Mama and Papa would just scream and shout. The kid in the yard would utter a scream As a child ran back in as if in a dream.
Soon the house burned right to the ground. The kid in the yard made not a sound. I opened the door, and she sat on the seat. She didn't look back because of the heat.
I stepped on the gas, and we sped away. I opened my mouth, but what can you say? "They had to go back," was her soft reply. All of them chose their way to die.
I turned on the light; she was just seventeen. She was the prettiest girl I'd ever seen. I'll never forget the night I stopped there, ‘Cause I married that girl with the long, flowing hair.