We had our ferret, frankie, put down last week. It was not an easy decision and I don't know how to feel about it.
We got her off a craigslist ad just a year and a half ago, and she was skinny but seemed okay. The ad said she was about two years old. Ferrets are supposed to live 8-10 years. Our veterinarian said it's hard to tell age, but frankie seemed much older than two years. would craigslist lie, I asked?
Skinny ferrets are common, in ferret communities people are always trading tips of help them gain weight, but frankie was never all that interested in eating. she did not like treats like meat fat or egg yolks that our other ferret, watson, just gobbled up.
then she started losing hair and the vet said she had an adrenal disease, so we got her a hormone implant and that helped for about a year. then the year was up and she needed a new one, but this one didn't take... she was still losing weight and hair, so we tried another implant which the vet said was really rare, usually they just start working. and each time they have to basically cut her neck open for this thing and we'd have to monitor the healing, it was expensive. and poor frankie, right?
Marc had called the vet about her continued decline but was told there might not be much more we can do. Then on Friday he found her in worse shape, barely moving, wouldn't eat our drink or use her litter box (not that she's ever been great at it), yellowing spotted skin and she seemed to have a hard time using her back legs. our vet wasn't answering the phone. the message said they were closed, the website said they should be open, no call back by noon. maybe he should have GONE but they're all curbside only, and what would they do? so he talked to me then he took her to the humane society and had her euthanized.
I mean, should we have tried more medical stuff? She was scampering around a week ago, what if she just got some little infection we should have tried treating?
On the other hand the vet has gotten plenty of time with her and we've spent well over $1000 over the course of the year and she was never healthy, adrenal disease leads to cancer and is fatal.
And the other other hand, we have had small pets like guinea pigs that I think had too long and hard of a death. I kind of blame the vet for prolonging treatment, even when I said very clearly "I understand that it's a guinea pig." I was left guilty about what we made that little animal suffer through in the weeks that followed, after being told by a vet that a partially paralyzed guinea pig might get better. after that, marc and I told each other we would err on the side of euthanasia if we were in doubt. and this was really the result.
josie was very sad because even though frankie was sick and weird and hairless and pooped everywhere, she was our special little princess ferret and loved dearly, the ferret most likely to crawl up and fall asleep on you. I don't know what the right answer is.
We're hanging out together watching Big Bang Theory, an episode where Penny is having some financial issues... her car broke down, lent her ex bf money, not a movie star, behind on rent, etc. That's the conflict, hilarity ensues and all will be fine in 20 minutes because it's a sitcom.
All the sudden Olive, age 7, is SOBBING, looks at me with tears streaming down her face and says "I'm scared to grow up I don't want to need money! I don't even know what I'm going to be!"
SERIOUSLY. movies about vampires or zombies are not scary to her. but ADULTHOOD and all its baggage was suddenly terrifying? I felt awful! Took her into my lap and wrapped my arms around her and said it's okay, it's okay, let's watch something else. You don't have to come to terms with adulthood right now on top of starting the second grade this month.
I tried to tell her that
1) growing up is awesome. remember, I have a candy bowl on my desk?
2) growing up is a LONG WAYS AWAY, you've got YEARS. elementary, middle and high school, then college, and then
3) it doesn't even matter people switch jobs all the time. if you become a teacher and decide you wanted to be a doctor, have at it. if you become an engineer and decide you should have been an artist, great. You do not have to pick your career when you're 7.
4) finally, if you're worried about money, you can still live with me and I will give you money, okay? I love you.
I wasn't sure if it helped or not. Olive just gets really heavy thoughts! One day she asked if we'd ever thought of putting her into an orphanage. I told her of course not, where would she get that? Even if Marc and I both died, she'd just live with all the other family members we have. THAT set her off! my reassuring plans just reminded her that WE CAN DIE and she freaked. She already tells us that she's sad when we drive past gravesites because she "misses all the dead people", and she does not know anyone who's died. Where does she get this stuff?
in all honestly, I found myself wondering at work the next day if being a grownup was that awesome. I was having a day. pressures from many angles. but we keep going, and fix things, and work together, and I get to go chat with people to get my feelings out. she is surrounded by second graders, with a developing little mind hasn't had much time to contemplate life's big mysteries.
no sitcoms for a while, huh?
"Quarantine activities" - that's the label I give to low-stress activities that occupy time when one is stuck at home. Organizing my stationary collection, sewing black flowers for a halloween garland, painting rocks, baking muffins, dusting more often than I have ever dusted. They need a soundtrack. Podcasts are nice, but lately my kick has been listening to live concert albums from various artists because they remind me of a happier time. I've learned that there are SO MANY live albums that I never noticed! Everybody who's anybody puts one out, they must be easier, you're touring anyway why not record it for the masses?
A live album has a nice flow of a wide array of an artist's best songs over the years. Sometimes you hear them mentioned something interesting, a backstory or comment that adds context. And the best part, you hear the world before we had covid-19. A cheering, happy crowd... and singing. so much singing together. I have been to concerts like that. I've yelled HEY HEY while karate chopping to "yoshimi battles the pink robots" at a flaming lips concert - wayne actually stops everyone and makes the crowd do it better after our first attempt. I've been up close to the stage backing up Ben Folds with soaring "ahs" on "Not the same" (this one took some pre-direction choral training from Ben... it was worth it!). And some nine million years ago I pressed up against who knows what sweaty people to sing "Tonight Tonight" on the floor in front of the Smashing Pumpkins.
There are no more gatherings of 5000 people singing together.
So what is there? Dar Williams has a live album that I found so charming and happy! Coldplay live from Brazil has SO many Portuguese-speakers singing in English, what must that be like? Last year a bunch of artists got together for Joni Mitchell's 75th birthday, and Seal did such a beautiful version of Both Sides Now that it more than makes up for the fact that Kris Kristofferson shouldn't have tried "Case of You". There's Pearl Jam live from Wrigley Field, Sleater-Kinney live from Paris, Aimee Man's live album is from a repurposed warehouse in Brooklyn. And since I was a teenager, I've loved the Barenaked Ladies' Rock Spectacle that did better than many of their studio albums.
I am by myself in my room, but mentally transported to all these places and better times and thinking of all the concerts that happened around me on the planet. It reminds me that we have been brought together many, many times.
I am not the only one here playing pokemon go so I might as well write about it. Do I spend too much time doing player battles? maybe! But it's a relaxing escape, and the best part... time limited each day. You can only do so many battles, and I'd call it maybe an hour of them, and then you're shut off. This is healthy.
On reddit everybody says they hate the player battles because the game is glitchy (true) and it's a "stupid paper rock scissors"... but that last part makes it fun. I think they're just mad that there's finally a component of the game they can't win every single time. They take it too seriously.
fairy beats fighting. fighting beats steel. steel beats fairy.
obviously not everybody hates it, because any time you want to battle, you can enter and get instantly matched up with an opponent. it is constant.
I started out picking the pokemon team that everybody else put out. if everyone kept beating me with skarmory (steel/flying) or azumarill (water/fairy) I'd think, "well then I need to throw out skarmory and azumarill!" and then it's a contest of whose skarmory is SLIGHTLY BETTER and gets to sky attack first, or we battle our two azumarills in the most boring match ever trying to "not effective" each other to death. But when the master leagues came around, I adopted a different strategy of trying to watch the trends, which do change from day to day, and try to pick the pokemon that would beat whatever everybody else is throwing down.
so we're in great league week right now, everything under 1500 cp, and my team is:
Wigglytuff with charm, ice beam, play rough - for taking giant chunks out of obstagoons, altaria, the occasional umbreon. faced with a grass pokemon I can sometimes ice beam it but it takes a long time.
Fire Castform with ember and weather ball - it's fire so anything grass goes down quickly and it can take out all those Skarmory
Serperior with vine whip and leaf tornado - grass to take out the azumarill, leaf tornado lowers opponent's attack.
My all-time stats show me winning about half the time. I feel like recently I'm averaging more 3/5, but there are bad days. I have a tough decision to make if someone throws an Ivysaur first... they have poison moves that will take out my wigglytuff. but if I switch to castform to kill it with fire, they can switch something water to kill it and with the switching time limit I'm stuck. that is the game, and you deal.
I never run from a match. I finish every one even if I'm losing. Learn what other attacks affect my team. Other people run away and let me win and that's great, but I am a pokemon trainer of honor.
Kansas did its thing when it can't just have its transitional season. Usually we will have some incredibly beautiful September days, and maybe that can happen, but not in early september. It was in the 90s, and then we were warned about a cold front, and it was rainy with a high of 50. We brought out the fall clothes, wondered wtf happened, asked if we should turn furnaces on... but not my family of course! we stuck it out!
we let the house get cold, then the next week would be 80 and warm it back up again.
I know I talk about how I hate air conditioning... cold week was actually a reminder of that. While I didn't like being cold, I could accept it. I'd thrown on sweats and get under a blanket and have my laptop on me and feel warmer. For some reason, I can't cozy up in air conditioning when I'm cold. I just wish it would stop constantly blowing. I'm more okay with cold weather than I am cold AC.
Finally, I am sad to say that my exercise motivation was ZAPPED by the temperature change. When it's 90 degrees I'm like okay, gotta get up early to run when it's only 70, don't want to be too hot, let's do this! But a cool and let's face it rainy week in the 50s? I gave up. I did not want to run at all. I wanted to stay in bed, eat a soup with a lot of crackers, read books and stop weighing myself. need some winter weight, right? whatever, I'm listening to my body.