what a day

So, I spent the first half of my birthday in an emergency room and the second half asleep. I went in thinking that I would rather get it over with and have all the tests done at once, than go through a series of visits with specialists and drive all over town getting tests done. Seemed like a good plan, except they diagnosed me with Acid Reflux, and I don’t actually have any of the symptoms listed in the post-treatment info sheet. I have abdominal pain, but it’s not heartburn and it’s nowhere near my esophagus. They also said it might be an ulcer (somewhat more likely, but I still have my doubts) but I’ll have to see a specialist to know for sure. In the end, I’m back where I started and $100 short. Good grief 😦 .

a tough decision

After many failed attempts, we finally managed to get Crookshanks (one of our outdoor kitties) to go to the vet. A few months ago he developed this weird growth in his ear and, though it only looked like an infection at first, it turned into a nasty bloody mass rather quickly. Since he’s an outdoor cat, getting him into a carrier was a trial, and we ended up having to ask the vet for a sedative to calm him down before we could take him in for a visit.

Crookshanks

The test results came back and the vet says he has FIV (feline aids) in addition to the tumor in his ear. The lab tests for cancer haven’t returned yet, but they wanted me to decide whether they should put him to sleep because of the FIV, or proceed with the ear surgery and hope for the best. It was a tough decision to make under pressure, but I decided to let them go through with the surgery. I’ve read that cats can live for years with FIV and do just fine; and he’s such a young cat, I’m hopeful and think that he’ll recover once the tumor has been removed and he can eat without pain. He’s so sweet-tempered and silly, I didn’t think it right to euthanize him if he’s still strong and healthy. Aside from the ear, he’s fine. It’s just that the growth was so large that he could barely eat. With that gone, he should improve.

Update

Surgery went well, so he’s home now, but still sedated and very weak. I hate seeing him like that, unable to stand and move around — it reminds me of when Didymus was ill a few years ago, before we knew that he has diabetes and he was wasting away fast. The vet said the growth went deep into his ear, so they had to go inside to get it out. He’ll be in pain for a few days and we have to watch to make sure that he doesn’t remove his stitches if he scratches himself.

Mars Candy Kills

I don’t support all of PETA’s actions, but this is one effort I’m totally rallying for:

Mars Candy Kills

Got a sweet tooth? Think twice before picking up a Mars candy bar! You should know that candymaker Mars, Inc.—creator of M&M’s, Snickers, Twix, Dove, Three Musketeers, Starburst, Skittles, and other candies—funds deadly animal tests, even though there are more reliable human studies and not one of the tests is required by law.

Mars recently funded a deadly experiment on rats to determine the effects of chocolate ingredients on their blood vessels. Experimenters force-fed the rats by shoving plastic tubes down their throats and then cut open the rats’ legs to expose an artery, which was clamped shut to block blood flow. After the experiment, the animals were killed. Mars has also funded cruel experiments in which mice were fed a candy ingredient and forced to swim in a pool of a water mixed with white paint. The mice had to find a hidden platform to avoid drowning, only to be killed and dissected later on. In yet another experiment supported by Mars, rats were fed cocoa and anesthetized with carbon dioxide so that their blood could be collected by injecting a needle directly into their hearts, which can lead to internal bleeding and other deadly complications.

Click here to find out more about Mars’ cruel experiments.

Mars’ top competitor, Hershey’s, has pledged not to fund or conduct experiments on animals. Other major food corporations—including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Ocean Spray, Welch’s, and POM Wonderful—have also publicly ended animal tests after hearing from PETA.

lost in translation

I’ve always wondered what Blanc Mange tasted like (I read far too many British books, so my quest for food cited by “INSERT RANDOM BRITISH AUTHOR” is never-ending)… Well, it seems I’ve been eating it for years, as my mom makes it for my dad all the time. Except, I only knew it by its Spanish name: Natilla. And my mom doesn’t go for the molded look, she just sets it in ramekins, so I never made the connection between the images of Blanc Mange that on Google image search, and the stuff in my kitchen.

So, a while ago, I asked my mom to make me some as a birthday treat, after finding a recipe on an English Recipes blog, and she just looked at me incredulously and told me that its the same recipe she has always used (minus the lemon peel, apparently my dad doesn’t like it). Go fig. At least I can now name the stuff when a non-Spanish speaker wants to know what it is.

sinful

These are quite neat, so I thought I’d share.

The “Seven Deadly Glasses” – a limited edition, handmade wineglass collection (ie – something only a moneyed type can afford), that celebrates the seven deadly sins.

Personally, I think they look like something that would have been used to torture heretics in the Tower of London… but they’re still quite nifty.

munch and brunch

Yay! I called in the reservation for my birthday brunch and they gave me the room that I had been secretly hoping for: The Library 😀 . I’ve never been to JohnMartin’s and I love breakfast, so I’m kind of excited about all this. It’s been ages since I’ve hosted a proper birthday party with more than just a couple of friends, so it was a mess trying to figure out where I could go that would be nice, but moderately priced (let’s face it, most of my friends are students, which means that they’re as broke as I am), and within easy distance.

As Em says, “ME MO SSS A SSS!” 😉