23 July, 2008
Hybrid Car Drivers: That little sticker you got for your car entitles you to drive in the carpool lane, even when you're all by your self in your car. THAT IS ALL IT ENTITLES YOU TO. It does NOT mean you're allowed to run red lights and stop signs, thereby put the safety of pedestrians and law-abiding drivers and bicyclists in danger.
Pedestrians: When you see the big red hand, that means DO NOT CROSS THE STREET. It is not meant to beckon you to cross against your light, thereby endangering the safety of law-abiding drivers and bicyclists who have to either stop or swerve to avoid you. Unless you're having a heart attack or bleeding profusely, you can cool your heels for 30 seconds until the light changes and it's safe (and legal!) for you to cross.
Are we all clear on this now? Good. That is all.
22 July, 2008
Obviously, this applies to telling people they sound sexist or fat phobic or homophobic or anti-(insert religion here) or...well, loads of things, really. I appreciate how it emphasizes focusing on the ACTION and not speculating on what is "inside" someone. Though it's difficult, sometimes, when someone has said something that is a real trigger for me.
20 July, 2008
Raisins. Yes, I said raisins. Grapes, grape juice and wine are bad, too, but for this post we'll just focus on the raisins, shall we?
And how did I come by this pearl of knowledge, you ask? Because someone got into the (very tasty) raisin scones my good friend made and brought over for us HUMANS to enjoy. Wirehead and I had some with a cup of tea before we headed to the navy base for a shoot last weekend. When I returned home, I discovered a trail of scone crumbs and there were teeth scrapes on the two remaining scones in the container. As I was vacuuming up the crumbs from the floor, I wondered about the raisins. How many might he have eaten? Did it matter? They're just raisins. They can't be bad for cats. Can they? I exchanged a few worried text messages with wirehead, who told me how many he used in the entire recipe and I tried to calculate how many Simon may have eaten. I guessed he ate 10 raisins.
My first-aid and cat care books weren't really specific about the toxicity of raisins, so I turned to Google only to find that the internets are kind of all over the place on the issue. They were pretty consistent in declaring them highly toxic for dogs, but wavered on whether they were bad for cats (because, evidently, dogs love them some People Food, but cats are such finicky eaters they don't eat stuff like scones. **SNORT**). I tried to go to bed, since by this time it was well after midnight, but Simon was hyper and my "spidey sense" was still tingling. After a few minutes, I was scrolling through the contacts list on my iPhone until I came upon Bay Area Veterinary Specialists, the 24-hour emergency hospital we had been to just a few weeks ago. The receptionist spoke to the on-duty vet for a few minutes, then came back on the line and said as far as they knew raisins are more toxic for dogs than for cats but they gave me the phone number for the ASPCA Poison Control Line. At this point, I was so completely exhausted, and Simon hadn't vomited and certainly didn't look or act sick. I thought of just going back to bed. But I just couldn't do it, so I dialed the toll-free number.
I spoke with a "Dr. Smith" there and she asked the usual questions, "How many did he eat?" "How much does he weigh?" "Has he had any vomiting, etc.?" I told her he looked and acted normal and that I thought he ate about 10 raisins, total and he weighs around 11 or 12 pounds. The words I really wanted to hear at that moment were, "OK just keep an eye on him for the next day or two and take him to his vet if he shows any signs of sickness."
Instead, she told me I should either take him to a 24-hour vet, or attempt to induce vomiting myself by giving him 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide. Thank goodness I still have a bottle of peroxide on hand. I frantically tore through the kitchen drawers trying to find a suitable measuring spoon and a medicine syringe to give him the peroxide. While I was doing that, Simon was helping himself to Billie's food, which I let him do because I had read in one of my books that it helps to induce vomiting if the pet eats a little something first. I finally found a measuring spoon and an old eyedropper from a herb tincture. I rinsed the eyedropper thoroughly and brought Simon into the bathroom with me. He did fight me a little, trying to get the peroxide down him a dropper full at a time, but bless his heart, he took pretty much all of it. The ASPCA vet said it might take up to 10 minutes: He was horking after two or three. I counted nine raisins. And I STILL want to know what my prize is for guessing how many raisins were in the jar!
I phoned the ASPCA back (they charge $60 for a consultation, but you get a case number and can call back on that number as often as necessary) and explained what had happened. They said I should keep an eye on him over the next 24-48 hours and that it wouldn't be a bad idea to take him to his regular vet. So, he had a couple of follow-up blood tests with his vet, to make sure his kidney values were stable (and to give him a little "fluid flab" to help flush out his system) and I'm happy (and very very relieved) to report that he is just fine.
So, here's a list of things that Simon has gotten into and generally how freaked out you should be if your dog or cat gets into the same thing. I have also included the ASPCA Poison Control number and a link to their web page. I hope you never have to refer to them, but judging by the amount of traffic this blog gets from people wondering if gerbera daisies are toxic to their cats, it may prove useful.
06 July, 2008
I realize I haven't done a Simon Sunday post in a while. Not to worry, he is just fine and back to 100% (well, minus that one toenail he ripped off trying to jump from my head to the top of the heater)!
Despite the fact that in this photo he looks like a perfect angel (complete with a halo glowing over his head!), he has added a new bit of obnoxiousness to his palette. Now, usually starting around 5:00 a.m., he'll sigh very loudly while melodramatically flopping himself down next to me in bed, with his fuzzy arse strategically placed near my head. He then slaps my face with his tail, and, when I protest, will turn and look at me like, "Oh, is that thing hitting you? Soooooooo sorry! I just can NOT control it!" I should take and post a video of it, but that would mean subjecting the world to me just waking up and, well, they'd probably NIPSA my Flickr account if I did that.
04 July, 2008
Because he thinks "mental distress" is not an acceptable health issue for late-term abortions.
"Now, I don’t think that “mental distress” qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term. Otherwise, as long as there is such a medical exception in place, I think we can prohibit late-term abortions. "
I've got news for Senator Obama. Mental illness (including distress) is not a mere temper tantrum where you can put pregnant woman in time out until she "gets over it". Mental distress is a very serious medical issue and, yes, it can raise "real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term," if she is under such great distress that she might harm herself and/or her fetus.
Ceiling H. Cat, how can he NOT GET THAT?!?
So tell me again why NARAL couldn't wait to support him...
(h/t to Melissa at Shakesville, who actually made my point much more coherently than I just did)