The Weekly Bindi – Week 7

My cat has a weird habit.

She likes to be with me.

That in itself is not weird but the fact that we’ve got a whole house of beds and couches and open-shelf wardrobes with lots of comfy warm clothes to snuggle into and get hair all over and yet… she chooses to curl up on boxes or plastic bags or guitar amplifiers instead.

I’m in the computer room right now and where is she?

Curled up on the box my new keyboard came in, right behind me.

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Comfortable Cat is Uncomfortably Comfortable.

Both very sweet and infuriating.

The Weekly Bindi – Week 6

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Watching the birdies from the couch.

So, we had a bit of a scare this week.

On Wednesday evening after popping in on Mum on the way home from work, I was greeted by a scene out of a horror movie.

Pools of very bloody bile everywhere.

It seems that Bindi’s tummy irritation flared up in a huge way again and she had thrown up all over the house.

My little Bindipuss wasn’t quite herself. She was wandering around the place looking a bit off. No winding figure eights around my ankles trying to trip me up as I walked down the hallway. No trying to herd me towards the food bowl. No noise.

It was the “no noise” bit that worried me the most. Anyone who knows Bindi knows she is a vocal cat when it comes to when she thinks it’s dinner time (aka ALL THE TIME) so for her to be near silent and not begging for food? Was not good.

Upset, I wandered around and cleaned up all the mess, getting increasingly distressed as I found each new puddle – the next one slightly bloodier than the last. I could track her movements through the house.

So the next day we were off to the vet for a new round of investigations and ended up bringing her home again with some new meds which, while they had the advantage of settling her nausea, also totally killed her appetite and even will to drink anything. I had to force-feed her water with a syringe to make sure she stayed hydrated because I wasn’t about to let a repeat of the near disaster of two years ago happen again. Three more days of this and I couldn’t take it so Saturday morning I took her back to the vet and cried “TELL ME WHAT’S WRONG WITH HER!”

He couldn’t really give me an answer – the little shit of an animal was, by all outward appearances, fit as a fiddle. She didn’t even have a temperature. So of course the vet was looking at me as if saying, “Woman, you are wasting my time” while going through the motions of telling me everything that he didn’t think was wrong with her. In the end we mutually agreed to take her off the medication (with the exception of the gel for her hyperthyroid) and see if her appetite came back. So long as she wasn’t throwing up anymore, she was in no danger of expiring.

Sure enough, a day later and with no extra meds in her system, she’s now picking at food and getting noisy again.

The relief is, of course, short-lived. Noisy Bindi is very, very annoying.

But I’ll still take Noisy Bindi over Scarily Quiet Bindi any day.

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“Are you really gonna take more photos, Mum? I. Don’t. Think. So.”

And since she was posing so nicely, I managed to get another nice shot of Dugite before she decided to go “Nope, nope, nope” and wander off again.

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This cat always looks like she’s thinking “Fuck you, human.”

The Weekly Bindi – Week 4. And Dugite.

It’s not entirely fair that Dugite doesn’t get a look in, though she is notoriously difficult to photograph. So here’s a high-key noir shot of my little black shadow.

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Dugite.
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She always manages to look confused.
Renlish.com - The Weekly Bindi
A far cry from the sick little thing of 12 months ago.

I dressed up. In public. With other weird and wonderful people.

This momentous occasion was called Supanova and OMG IT WAS SO MUCH FUN.

Picture, if you will, a 35 year-old newly converted convention groupie squealing like a school girl who’s just seen a penis for the first time.

Yeah.

That’s me.

And you still can’t get the grin off my face for love nor money.

I’ve been to a convention before and to be honest I wasn’t that taken with it – though that might have had something to do with the organisation of the event itself and the general people it attracted. I wasn’t really sold.

Then a friend of mine said “Come to America to DragonCon!” (another blog on that later) so I thought I’d get some practice in for that as well as geeking out with some other friends at a local con first. And of course my friends knew about my steampunk outfit and insisted that I wear it.  Considering how much I loved wearing it the first time for Anya’s wedding, I was more than happy to wear it a second time – so long as they dressed up too.

Yes, there is always a caveat with me.

It wasn’t without some trepidation that I drove myself into Ascot Vale a couple weeks back – and not without some difficulty, too – do you have any idea how tricky it is driving in a corset? I had to reposition all my mirrors because suddenly I was sitting up very, very straight. But anyway, yes… trepidation, self-consciousness, etc, etc, etc. I was feeling all the Bad Things™.

I need not have bothered feeling shy or out of place once I got there.

The first people to walk by me were Capt’n Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones and a Xena (Warrior Princess) in full regalia.

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Me and Sandy in our steampunkiness. My theme was explorer/collector and she was a tinkerer.

Supanova was like something I had never experienced before. It was a place where people could revel in their fandoms, be their favourite characters and stretch their creative muscle. My efforts (and my mother’s efforts) with my own costume paled in comparison to some of the others who were there.

Alas and alack, I didn’t have my camera with me (sort of forgot in the excitement of everything) and so I don’t have any pictures but but a few that were taken of me by other folk. But these links will give you a good idea of the costumes and creations that were wandering around en masse throughout the day…

Slippery Photography – SupaNova 2014.

OzGeeks Supanova 2014 gallery.

Reg Kg’s Supanova Flickr set.

Anyhoo, aside from all the costume fun and madness, there was much shopping to be done. And boy did I shop. Foolishly I’d only taken about $40 with me to the con because; “Pfft, what am I going to buy?”

Huge mistake.

So after an ATM was located, about $250 made a lovely whooshing noise right out of my bank account. I don’t mind though, I got some beautiful artwork from a bunch of Australian artists – everything from a book of dragons by Emerson Ward to a beautiful Doctor Who print done in Mucha style created by Striped Designs and a fantastic print of Ash from Army of Darkness by Adam Nichols.

The huge draw cards for Supanova (and other conventions like it) are the appearances of the stars of the various geek and cult shows, past and present, that turn up to do panels/talks, autographs and signings. It’s all very cool and exciting. Sadly though, I am a book geek and not really a TV geek (unless you count Firefly or Game of Thrones or Big Bang Theory), so when it comes to meeting authors, I am extremely fangirly.

So imagine my shock – and subsequent joy – when one of Sandy’s friends said that Traci Harding was at Supanova.

Ahem. Guess which fangirl did NOT read her convention guide?

I knew Jim Butcher (of Dresden Files fame) was going to be there and I had been looking forward to meeting him but I had no idea Traci was going to be there too. I very nearly went into conniptions. Traci Harding was probably one of my favourite authors when I was in my last year of high school and all through uni and my early working days. Her books got a little weird for me after a while though I’ve since rediscovered a love for them – just in time for the release of the Ancient Future omnibus to be released.

So, yes… This happened:

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Me. And Traci Harding. AHHHHHHHHHHH!

She was adorable and so nice. And my mother will not forgive me for not taking her along – never mind the fact that she was in Canberra that weekend!

Anyway, shortly after my run-in with my ultimate fandom, a girl from one of the publishing house stalls called Sandy and I over and asked if our costumes were Steampunk.

I am fairly certain the look on my face said; “I mean, really? You have to ask?”

In any case, we said yes and she was all, “Do you KNOW Michael Pryor?! He’s all Steampunk too! Can we get a photo of you all together?”

I didn’t know who Michael Pryor was but Sandy, who is a big fan of his, certainly did and she filled me in as we waited to meet him. Steampunk author? OH, HELLS YES.

So then this happened:

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Michael, Sandy and moi!

He was absolutely delightful and I am definitely looking forward to reading his novels.

It feels great to have a substantial TBR pile again. Books are my happy.

And I’m fairly sure that the girl at the Dymocks stand thought I was insane because I went back about four times to buy books to be signed. Hee.

And of course somewhere in between all of that I also met Jim Butcher (who is windswept and interesting) and a little-known NZ-come-Aussie author by the name of Ged Maybury who was just so cute and adorable in a sad puppy-ish kind of way that I had to buy his book without even knowing anything about it.

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THE LEWTZ! Many books!
Top: Traci Harding – The Ancient Future
Middle Left: Michael Pryor – The Laws of Magic (Book 1)
Middle Right: Ged Maybury – Into the Storm’s Domain (Book 1)
Bottom: Jim Butcher – Changes (Dresden Files Book 12)

So yes. Supanova. Much fun.

Quietly going to see if I can get to the Sydney one in June…

The Weekly Bindi – Week 2

It’s still “this week”. I don’t really have a schedule for TWB, though I will aim for a Sunday/Monday night posting. It’s the end of the week now, though, but it still counts! Also, I don’t think I mentioned in my intro TWB post but any picture on any device counts. Cats have relatively short lives. If my cat’s going to do something cute I will take a picture with the nearest device able to do so, whether it’s my camera, my phone or my computer. (Which explains this week’s picture.)

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A calculated move – reaching over to type means that she’ll get a belly-rub along the way.

Since starting her medication and obviously feeling better, Bindi has been slightly less neurotic and way more snuggly, particularly with me. I suspect it’s probably got more to do with the fact that it’s starting to get colder but I’ll take what I can get!

I took her for another blood test at the beginning of the week to see how her thyroid was reading now that she’s been on medication for a month and a half and yay, she’s completely normal. As in middle-of-the-range normal. Like a cat without a thyroid problem. Fortunately her kidneys are still in great shape too – hyperthyroidism in cats can often mask a more serious problem, that being kidney disease. The cat’s system is working so hard and fast to keep going that it actually helps with kidney failure, but once things are working normally, the kidneys can go kerplunkt too.

To be honest, I saw a change within a few days of starting the medication, even though we had been told it usually took at least two months for improvements to be visible. I thought it was my imagination but after two weeks even the Manbeast was asking me if I thought she looked better. She’s all glossy and she doesn’t feel so fragile. She’s even moving better too.

Our next step is to decide whether we want to go the radiation treatment for a permanent cure (or at least a 95% chance of permanent cure) or keep on with the ear gel. The radiation treatment will be around the $1500-1800 mark all up. The ear gel is a daily treatment for the rest of her life at about $100 a month. Both are big costs. I have friends who balk at the idea of spending that much on a cat; they look at me horrified when I tell them that I spent several thousand dollars on her when she was ill a couple of years ago only for her to get better on her own for the most part.

Yeah, there are some who would let nature take it’s course and I understand that. But I want Bindi to live the best possible life she can for as long as she can. In any case, I’ll let you know what we decide in a couple weeks.

The Weekly Bindi – Week 1 (Project 52)

I figured I needed a new project with which to entertain myself and what’s better than tormenting a cat with a camera once a week?

The Weekly Bindi is a Project 52 I’ve decided to start in an effort to record the life of my cat, Bindi. At least once a week for a year.

Bindi is my little tabby cat – originally a big-eared foundling from a country property. I snaffled her and her sister (Dugite) about 13 years ago now under the pretense of doing a good deed and taking them to the Lort Smith to be rehomed. Err… well… they didn’t quite make it.

However I will always maintain that keeping them was ultimately not my decision but the manbeast’s who, in his infinite wisdom, gave them names.

It was a done deal after that.

Anyhoo… fast forward about eleven years and you have one very sick Bindi and one very unemployed Ren. After a vet bill that didn’t leave me with much change out of $3000 OR a diagnosis as to why my cat was suddenly at death’s door, I realised that my little Bindi-puss was not going to live forever, even if she did pull through whatever it was that made her so ill.

Fortunately she survived but two years later she has an extremely sensitive gut and a severe case of hyperthyroidism, the latter of which requires very expensive medication I get to rub into her ears twice a day for the rest of her life. A small price to pay for a little creature who is essentially my little depression dialysis machine. She takes all the sad and turns it into happy. Even the manbeast knows that when I am particularly down I need a Bindi cuddle.

Because her illness has aged her so much, I don’t want to be caught without pictures of her when she does finally kick the proverbial. Hence the Weekly Bindi.

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Long-suffering puss.