Saturday, September 15, 2012

Two Weekends and that Week in Between

It's been a frantic week! Fortunately, I had two lovely weekends on either side. 

Last Saturday, I spent a wonderful day with my good friends celebrating one of my best friend, Melanie's, birthday. It was great to see her and my friend Sarah and spend the day with them. We had lunch at one of her favorite spots in Amherst and then went to the winery for a tasting. Fun day all around.

Sunday, looking for something to do, Seth and I decided to travel to local Deerfield and hit up some of the farm stands that dot Routes 5 and 10. We shopped at Ciesluk's, where we got golden raspberries, strawberries, apples, pumpkin bread, and tomatoes; and at M&M Green Valley Produce where we got basil, fresh mozzarella, cheese and herb ciabattas, and honey sticks (for my next long run). 

With our local produce, we did an all local dinner of caprese salad and bread. Very tasty!

I was glad to have such a nice weekend because this week was a doozy! On Tuesday, the day before the Phonathon began at work, Seth and I arrived home (late because Seth had some car trouble that morning) to find our poor baby kitty had been sick. 

Since anyone who had a cat knows that a cat throwing up is not cause of alarm, I cleaned it up, and we went about our business -- Seth was working that night and we needed to get some dinner. 

Unfortunately, Lily proceeded to keep acting unwell. She went in and out of her litter box, paced the house unable to lie down and get comfortable, threw up some more, and, most disturbing, began to "cry." Also, at times, she was respirating very rapidly, something I found concerning considering our previous cat William had passed away due to a respiratory condition.

Worried, I called the emergency vet in South Deerfield who advised us to bring in Lily. Easier said than done, as our cat becomes feral when exposed to adverse conditions, such as those required to get her into the cat carrier. 

After almost four hours, a lot of hissing on Lily's part and crying on my part, Seth and I were able to get Lily into her carrier and to the emergency vet. I was afraid that her problems were the result of some sort of blockage. Fortunately, this was not the case, an x-ray ruled this out. Instead, she had some intense constipation that was causing her problems and required medication.  

Since Lily is unable to go to the normal vet because she gets to agitated, while at the emergency vet, they did a blood work-up. (This was also to rule out concerns with her current problem.) It turns out that the x-rays and blood work turned up a few things. 

First, my cat has asthma. There is nothing to do about this other than to monitor her. This was probably the reason she was breathing so quickly earlier in the evening. If a cat has an asthma attack, they will make a coughing noise like they are trying to have a hairball but without anything happening. Knowing this, we can monitor Lily. We haven't seen her have an attack before, so there is little cause for concern here.

Second, Lily's blood work was a bit high for her liver and calcium levels. The oddity on the blood work for the liver could have been due to the stress, and is probably not too much to worry about. Her high calcium was less likely a stress factor. In cats, too much calcium in the blood can lead to crystallizing in the kidneys which causes damage. You can check your cat for problems by monitoring their drinking and urination -- in both cases too much is bad. 

Ideally, we'd bring Lily to our normal vet in a few months to have her blood work re-tested, but because of the stress involved with getting Lily to any vet, the doctor at the emergency vet advised that we just monitor her for signs of change as, to date, her behavior has been normal.

We finally got home from the vet at midnight. The house was trashed from getting the cat into the carrier, and we were exhausted. Lily had medicine at the vet, enough to get her through the night. In the morning, we had to go to the store and pick up MiraLax, which she'd take for three days for her constipation. We were also advised to get Laxatone, a hairball medication to give to Lily twice weekly. She's had a lot of problems with hairballs this summer and this product will help her hairballs and digestion overall.

I'm happy to report that late Wednesday, Lily had her food and some medicine and is proceeding to do much better. We'll keep an eye on her, of course, but, honestly, we always do. With me switching back to working more evenings, Lily will have more company at home, as I'll be home in the day and Seth will be here in the evenings. 

Needless to say, with all the goings-on with Lily, it was a bit of a stressful week. I was very excited that my mother was coming to visit this weekend.

Today, Mom and I had a wonderful visit and a fun day at the Deerfield Craft Fair. What an amazing craft fair. For anyone on in the area, I highly recommend it. The vendors are great -- a very eclectic group of crafts from very talented people!

Right away after arriving at the fair, Mom and I were drawn in by a milliner, Blue Moon Design Studio. There, I was able to get Mom and awesome early birthday present, a blue pillbox with a handspun yarn pin attached. Super cool!

I also ended up getting Lily a gift at the fair from Primitive House Farm. The item, a catnip sachet with bell. This gift was a big hit with our fuzzy lady of the house who was last seen with her arms wrapped around it in joy!

My final item of the day was a gift from my mother from The Arunshard Pottery, a beautiful aqua blue cup, the perfect size for steeping tea Asian style. The cup features a cute little thumb rest.

Mom also purchased some other very cool items at the fair including some earrings, a pendant, an ironwork sculpture for the garden, and a really neat chicken baker from the same place as my mug. 

We also saw an amazing vendor, Samgine Fine Art Photography, where the artist was creating pictures from patent submissions. I didn't purchase anything because it was out of my price point at the moment, but I will definitely keep an eye on his work.

It was perfect weather for the craft fair, and we spend many fun hours there. On our way out of Deerfield, we stopped off at Richardson's Candy Kitchen for some excellent handmade chocolates. This was later followed by a trip to Atkins for some of their famous cider doughnuts and dinner at Amherst Brewing Company, where we had a super gigantic pretzel and cocktails. It was lovely to have a fun, relaxing, stress-free day after the long week. 

Tomorrow, Sunday, I am back to running (after taking a break today from my long run because I was too tired from the week). This is my last long run before the Hogsback Half Marathon next Saturday. Yikes -- the last half mile of the race looks scary with a big climb. Wish me luck!

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