Saturday, May 9, 2020

A Stimulus Story

Hi, guys. Long time, no post.

Those of you who are friends, or at least Facebook friends, IRL know a lot of this story already. This is for my faithful Drunkards who maybe only know me from my unfortunately sporadic posts.

You may remember that in February of this year - February, pre-pandemic, isn't that wild? - Precocious Daughter and I were fortunate to bring The Chonk into our lives.

This handsome large boy right here.
The Chonk lived with PDaughter in her campus apartment, and they were very happy. Then...

Well, in mid-March PDaughter and The Chonk came home for Spring Break and never went back. Classes were canceled. The world changed. And The Chonk went from a stable, unchanging life with one human mom to moving twice in two months with new humans and a Siamese Kitten who didn't necessarily relish a new feline roommate.

He got stressed, as one might imagine. He stopped eating. And he got feline fatty liver disease.

Here are some links about this ailment:

If you don't want to peruse those links, I'll spell it out: When a change in a cat's routine causes stress, he is likely to stop eating, resulting in fatty liver disease. Without aggressive treatment (or even with it), the prognosis for recovery is about 20%.

The Chonk came very close to death, my friends.

Fortunately, we got him to the vet on time, and the vet was fantastic. FANTASTIC. Operating as an essential business in the midst of this COVID-19 awfulness, they were fully committed to the recovery of The Chonk.

When antibiotics and force-feedings at home failed to keep our boy from fading, the vet took him for a period of time, giving him IV fluids and general TLC. And after several days, he responded.

I have never been so happy to pay a vet bill as I was the day we brought The Chonk home.

He's been back with us for five days, and after a couple of touch-and-go days when his appetite still seemed lacking, The Chonk is eating with a vengeance. He's even venturing to eat the Siamese Kitten's food when she's not looking. And that's fine, because The Chonk is nowhere near chonky after this ordeal. He's painfully thin, and we're doing our best to get him back to a normal weight, let alone his former chonkfulness.

Bottom line: I have been extremely fortunate during the current global crisis. I've been working full-time (on only slightly reduced hours), I got a healthy tax rebate just before the shit hit the fan, and I was among the first to receive my stimulus check. The Chonk's illness was emotionally extremely draining, but I was able to get him the care he needed to recover.

So here's the thing.

The Chonk's vet bills - including vet exams, hospitalizations, medicine, and special food - totaled almost exactly USD $1,500.

PDaughter chipped in $300.

Which means my cost to treat The Chonk was $1,200.

Or exactly one government stimulus check.

I don't think much about divine providence, chance, or the like.

But the fact is that the government sent me exactly what I needed to pay my vet bill.

Call it what you will. I'm just happy our formerly chonky boy is still with us.

Not sure if this picture shows it well,
but he is no longer chonky.
As I grieve for every human who has been affected with COVID-19, I also rejoice for the life of this tuxedo-boy who will live to love us for many more days.

I hope you are all well, Drunkards. My family (PD, cats, and all) loves you.

Saturday, April 18, 2020


Things are changing so fast.

On Thursday, Dallas County (where I live) decreed that we must wear "face coverings," i.e. masks whenever we go out in public.


I've been pretty good during this pandemic. I have.

I go to work every day because I'm employed by an essential business. I encounter fewer than 10 people a day. I go to the grocery store once a week. I haven't bought freaking toilet paper in more than a month.


But something about the face mask order just broke me.

Because face masks don't protect the assholes I encounter in the course of my *extremely limited* interaction with them.

They literally...marginally...protect other people from my random coughs, sneezes, and utterances of the words "thank you" and "stay six feet back, mofo."

(ASIDE: I totally got into it with some asshole who acted all offended at a retail store when I told them to get the fuck six feet away from me. Word to the wise: I will kick you in the real or imagined balls if you don't respect my social distance, fuckers.)


I was feeling so low, Drunkards. SO. LOW.

And then I got home and told Precocious Daughter about the masks order. And I asked her if she would be interested in going through my fabric stash to find material that we might use to make masks.


What would I do without this  20 yo wonderchild?

We've been making masks, you guys. She's my cutter and pinner, and I am chief sewer and assembler.

Ten hundred million thousand thanks to Tiana's Closet for providing the pattern and instructions we've been using. Seriously, guys, send her some love.

We now have masks to die for. (Pictures coming soon...promise.)

Just the act of sewing these things - maybe 15 minutes each, tops - has given me life, and hope, and has made me smile. Not bad for one little face mask.

I will live to see another day or week of this pandemic nonsense.

(If you want/need a mask, I'll soon post a link on my FB page to request one. Promise.)