Saturday, 31 January 2009

Pinky's Mysterious Visitor!

Some of my dear readers' curiosity was piqued by Pinky's cute visitor. Sadly, this isn't a kitteh who has permanently adopted him. Pinky was in his front garden sorting out his recycling when the kitty came running down the steps, rubbed all round Pinky's legs and looked at him appealingly. Pinky stopped to stroke and talk to the kitty, saying things like, "What a friendly kitty you are" and "Where do you come from? Shouldn't you go home now? Your beans will be missing you". The kitty stayed even while Pinky was still sorting out his recycling and wasn't fazed at all by all the activity and clattering (all the empty booze bottles, har har har!).

When Pinky went back into the house, the kitty rushed in past him. S/he was so affectionate but Pinky didn't think s/he was a stray looking for a home coz s/he looked so well fed, with lovely, glossy furs. S/he had a good look round the downstairs of the house and at some stage started scratching the carpet. Pinky gently put a stop to this. He managed to take a snapshot, which as you will have seen is a bit blurry, coz this is one active cat!

The kitteh wasn't wearing a collar, so after a while Pinky decided the only thing to do was to get him/her to go out. He had to shut the door very quickly coz s/he didn't want to go and in fact hung round for some time crying to come back in! You can probably imagine how this wrenched Pinky's heartstrings but he could see this was no stray and s/he would have to find his/her way home (in the absence of any identification).

Time passed...

Then today
I got this email from Pinky;

"The mystery of the visiting cat is now solved. A young lad called to ask if I'd seen his cat - he had a photo of the cat with him. Went and got my camera and showed him my picture and he said it was definitely his cat. My picture was taken 10 days ago but the cat was 'at home' yesterday. It seems the cat keeps on going 'walkabouts' and the lad had a suspicion someone was feeding her(?) I recommended he fitted a collar so folk would know she belonged to someone but he said his mum wouldn't allow it as she's concerned the cat might strangle herself. I told the lad about the collars with the elasticised section but I don't think it will do much good. He lives in Vale Road, the other side of the railway line, where D used to live so she's travelling quite a way."

I replied:

“I'm glad the mystery is solved but I'm worried that the mum won't allow the cat to wear a collar. Bad news, specially in light of her wide-ranging "territory". Actually I'm wondering if "she" is an unneutered tom, as they tend to have a much bigger territory than neutered males and spayed females. Did you ask the lad if the cat is microchipped? I hope s/he is! Did you ask the boy for a contact number in case s/he shows up again? It also worries me that s/he has a lot of traffic around on his/her route to yours and all other places within a similar radius of Vale Road. Anyhoo, you may have noticed some curiosity amongst the readers of my blog so I'll be able to explain to them better now! I just hope s/he doesn't get him/herself into trouble!”

In other news, I've deleted my guestbook by mistake! Aaaaarrrgh! I've emailed Slide to see if I can recover it. To lose over 110 guests would break my heart, all those signatures mean so much to me. I was just trying to delete some duplicated messages... Le Grand Sigh!!! (I've plagiarised this from somecat, can't remember who, so sorry!)

:) xxx

Friday, 23 January 2009

Sleep Meme

Karen Jo tagged me for this meme, which originated with Mimi Lenox of Blog Blast for Peace fame, also known as the Queen of Memes.

1. How long do you sleep each night?
About naught to eleven h

2. Do you fall asleep easily?

Usually, unless I’m worried about stuff.

3. Do you fall asleep at times not in your bed?
Yes. I will fall asleep on my sofa watching T
V or even sitting at the computer most nights.

4. Do you listen to music or u
se white noise to sleep?
I have to have the radio on.

5. Do you sleep through the night or get up a couple of times?
I generally sleep through the night. Sometimes I get up once.

6. Do you have trouble sleeping away from your own bed?
Yes. It takes me a long time to get to sl
eep in a strange bed and sometimes I only sleep fitfully or not at all.

7. Do you need an alarm clock to get you up?
Yes, if I have to get up, otherwise I sleep... and sleep... and sleep...

8. Do you ever take medication to help you sleep?
Not often, though it has been known.

9. Do you/have you slept with pets?
The cats who owned me usually slept with me. If for some reason they didn’t I would investigate. There was usually some mischief apaw, like an intruding moth or spider who needed dealing with (though Ollie wouldn’t deal with spiders after he got bitten on the nose by one, though that’s another story… He wasn’t poisoned, BTW, it was just a common or garden huge Briti
sh spider, not a banana tarantula import!)

'Night 'night all, have a great weekend!

I will tag Mickey, Georgia and Tillie, Andrée, Chica and Pumuckl

:) xxx

Monday, 19 January 2009

Neurological Tests

It's been nearly a week now since I went to Hurstwood Park Neurological Centre to have tests to see if I still have a brain and I know you're all, dear readers, agog (probably not!) to know how I got on.

The appointment was for 9.30 a.m. and the journey time took ages coz the traffic was, well, rush-hour traffic! Anyhoo, we arrived at 9.33, which was a "penguin blog language" miracle and didn't matter coz I was shown to the dayroom and there I languished for yonks! (Funny how hospitals seem to have removed all their clocks and I didn't have my watch coz the blurb accompanying my appointment letter advised against wearing any sort of jewellery.)

After a long and boring sojourn, a nice, kind young porter showed up and led me to the MRI Unit. This was not without its excitement because one of the doors en route was locked and none of the staff's cards would open it. There were people unable to get through from the other side! My porter went off to investigate... I waited... Another bloke showed up and unlocked the door. The general concensus of opinion was that the door should be left open. It was, and I waited... My porter returned and we finally arrived at the MRI Unit.

I waited... and waited... Eventually a chap came out and guided me to where to leave my clothes and put on a hospital gown, saying he would be back in about five minutes.

I waited, and waited some more...

Eventually he came back and the scan proceeded uneventfully, except about five minutes in, "Keep still!". "I am." "No, you're moving." "Sorry! I didn't know I was." ::Thinks, "I'm just breathing." (Breathes more shallowly while wondering how long I can last with so little oxygen)
::. Later... "Penny, are you okay?" "Hurrrrrppphh, gulp, yes." "Okay, keep still or I can't get a clear picture!" ::?!?:: "Okay, sorry!"

Eventually that was over and after another long wait I was guided back to the ward dayroom. After a short wait (yay!) I was taken to another room to have some more tests. They told me what these are called but I can't remember. It sounded like someone's name and all I can think of is Munchausen's, but I know that's not right coz there was nothing by proxy with these tests, hahaha!

The first one involved me looking at a chequerboard pattern with a red rugby ball in the middle, first with one eye, then with the other.

In the second I had wear headphones and listen to clicks in one ear and white noise in the other, then t'other way round.

In the third I had one foot, then the other, electrocuted!
Aaaaaarrrrrgggghhh!!! The doctor told me that this test would be no worse than getting a shock from a car door (something I hate but only lasts about a second) but, dear readers, have you ever touched an electric fence? (I have). And have you ever had to put each foot on that electric fence for, like, five hours (15 minutes or so)? I say again, "Aaaaaarrrrrgggghhh!!! *

Through all these tests I had to "relax" and keep my "mouth open". I'm a tense, twitchy person; and have you ever tried to swallow with your mouth open? On the one hand your mouth feels really dry, but on the other you have saliva dribbling from each corner... Okay, probably too much information!

Eventually that was over and I went back to the ward dayroom. There I met a nice lady who had had to give up her bed temporarily for an outpatient. Guess who? Yup, yours truly.

After another long wait, made more pleasant by conversation with the nice lady, a doctor came in and said that she needed to steal some of my blood and that my lumbar puncture would have to be postponed for at least one and a half hours because that was how long it would take the lab to do the tests. Apparently she had come to steal my bloods before, she thought, I would have gone to MRI, but I'd already gone. Considering I waited for about two weeks before I was taken to MRI, I can only assume she didn't come on duty till later or was busy. Anyhoo, she was very nice and got someone to bring me some lunch. Yay! I was famished! She suggested I went walkabout while waiting for the lp, but not till after she'd returned with a form for me to sign. I waited and my new friend and I chatted...

After an hour or so I needed a pee and a cup of coffee, not necessarily in that order, so I went in search of the coffee machine. In my lost ramblings around the corridors, I espied the doctor who had stolen my bloods. "Hello nice doctor in the green skirt," I said (I hadn't been able to read her name badge before) "Sorry to bother you, but could you point me in the direction of the coffee machine?" "Oh, I was just coming to get you," she said. "The blood tests came back earlier than normal and your clotting is fine, so I'm going to do the procedure now. Follow me." I did and she let me go for a pee while she went to wash her hands.

The nice doctor in the green skirt was very gentle with me and I only felt a few short twinges. The procedure took a little longer than average coz my spinal fluid came out slowly. The NDITGS said this was probably because I am small and my "spaces" are small.

I then had to lie flat for an hour (very boring) and drink loads of water. Have you ever tried to drink through a straw while lying flat? I apologised to my new friend for making her pillow wet. I really hope she does okay. Her hands and feet have gone numb and lost all strength. The doctors don't know why. They think "maybe" it's due to the chemotherapy she had for cancer and will wear off... but they don't really know. Please purr for her. I wish I knew her name.

* From

Evoked potentials (also called evoked response) measure the electrical signals to the brain generated by hearing, touch, or sight. These tests are used to assess sensory nerve problems and confirm neurological conditions including multiple sclerosis, brain tumor, acoustic neuroma (small tumors of the inner ear), and spinal cord injury. Evoked potentials are also used to test sight and hearing (especially in infants and young children), monitor brain activity among coma patients, and confirm brain death.

Testing may take place in a doctor’s office or hospital setting. It is painless and risk-free. Two sets of needle electrodes are used to test for nerve damage. One set of electrodes, which will be used to measure the electrophysiological response to stimuli, is attached to the patient’s scalp using conducting paste. The second set of electrodes is attached to the part of the body to be tested. The physician then records the amount of time it takes for the impulse generated by stimuli to reach the brain. Under normal circumstances, the process of signal transmission is instantaneous.

Auditory evoked potentials (also called brain stem auditory evoked response) are used to assess high-frequency hearing loss, diagnose any damage to the acoustic nerve and auditory pathways in the brainstem, and detect acoustic neuromas. The patient sits in a soundproof room and wears headphones. Clicking sounds are delivered one at a time to one ear while a masking sound is sent to the other ear. Each ear is usually tested twice, and the entire procedure takes about 45 minutes.

Visual evoked potentials detect loss of vision from optic nerve damage (in particular, damage caused by multiple sclerosis). The patient sits close to a screen and is asked to focus on the center of a shifting checkerboard pattern. Only one eye is tested at a time; the other eye is either kept closed or covered with a patch. Each eye is usually tested twice. Testing takes 30-45 minutes.

Somatosensory evoked potentials measure response from stimuli to the peripheral nerves and can detect nerve or spinal cord damage or nerve degeneration from multiple sclerosis and other degenerating diseases. Tiny electrical shocks are delivered by electrode to a nerve in an arm or leg. Responses to the shocks, which may be delivered for more than a minute at a time, are recorded. This test usually lasts less than an hour.”

Sorry this is so long but hope it gave you a giggle!


:) xxx

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Best Pet Blog 2008

The winner of the Best Pet Blog 2008 was Cute Overload. Congratulations CO! It's a great site, but is it a "Pet Blog"? Okay, it features "pets", but is it a "blog"? Inmyhumbleopinionforwhatit'sworth I don't think so. Well, perhaps it sorta is, I dunno... Anyhoo, it beat the foul-mouthed "penguin" blog, which has to be good. That may be a blog but it has little to do with "pets". In fact it has little to do with what this blogger, for one, wants to read at all!

Our lovely Daisy came third, but in my opinion, and I suspect in the opinions of most (probably all) of the Cat Blogosphere, she is Number One. Yay for Daisy! We luvzya girl!


:) xxx


I forgot to thank Skeezix for the graphic. Not that he's compained, but having realised my omission, you know, credit due!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Saturday Dinner

I put my reading glasses on to read the cooking destructions and was horrified to see the price! I could have sent out for a curry for only a little more cost and it would have lasted me for two meals.

It better be good.

It was, but not that good!

Tomorrow I go to the Neurological Centre to have my lumbar puncture and some other tests. Please purr for me!

Hope you're all having a great weekend.

:) xxx

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

My final December Doodle Week offering(s). Sunday, 28th December: "Let it Snow!"

You may need to click to biggify to read the conversation.


:) xxx

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Holiday on the Doodle Beach

Well, here I am with my penultimate doodle for December's Doodle Week. This is Saturday, 27th December's offering. A little over a week late... Doh!

:) xxx