Tag Archives: Kotoko

Two Steps Back –And Forward Again! ๐Ÿ™Œ

Yesterday was a hard day. It kinda started Tuesday night when we went to bed and noticed Kotoko hadn’t joined us as is her usual routine. She was hiding in an unusual little nook under my studio bed and looked quite unhappy.

This was coupled with her vomiting even on an empty stomach (white foam) over the last few days, something that intensified in the previous 24 hours, with her appetite quite reduced. Since she had some loose stool as well during this period, and because she is old, it all became very concerning. Her hiding like that from us was the most unusual part.

We hoped so much to avoid a vet appointment, because it was at a minimum a $300 expense that we could ill afford. But yesterday morning, it became clear that we had to go, as she continued to hide from us and throw up. I took this picture right as we were leaving for the vet. She behaved very well.

On the one hand, thanks to the appointment I confirmed her ears are okay, her spotty eye is fine, the lump on her back leg is fatty tissue, and her teeth are also okay. She was given medication to control the vomiting, which has helped (she didn’t vomit anymore since yesterday morning) and a bunch of blood work, the results of which we should have today.

But on the other hand, I was SO discouraged. It was so hard to raise this month’s $500 for this month’s debt to take some stress off Christopher’s plate. I was so proud –even though I still have to raise more before November. But after the vet bill, we were set back around $300 (there was an additional $25 for other items for her):

To have such an amount removed from all of my efforts this month nearly made me cry with frustration. I’m drawing all the time, trying my best to make things okay, but I can’t catch up like this. We received a significant amount of help yesterday but it had us over $200 in the hole still. So even this morning, I was really sad about that.

It was when I came back from my walk that I had Christopher check and realized just how much we received in donations (since I had them sent directly to his PayPal) and my mind was blown!!

The entire vet bill and additional meds were covered thanks to your generous donations! ๐Ÿ˜ญ The $500 I made to put towards our house debt are once again, untouched. And, most importantly, Kotoko is feeling better. This photo is from the way back from the vet (I know, the photos are very similar) but even then, because of the fluids and anti-nausea meds, she was feeling better:

It took a while for the fluids to go into her (something for which they took her to the back) so I fooled around with the Jurassic World Alive app on my phone while we waited…

Anyway, I just want to reiterate how grateful I am, all I wanted was to not have this be such a painful hit for our finances, discouraging as it was, and in the end we received so much help that we didn’t have to lose the money saved for the debt. I am so grateful to everyone who donated!

To continue in regards to yesterday. When we got back home, though I was trying to stay cheerful for Christopher (who I could tell was doing the same) I felt really low. Christopher did his best to cheer me up, he treated me to Chipotle and Starbucks on the same day. But it took a while until I felt okay again.

At least though, I managed to push through my hated task of cleaning the porch. And boy, did I hate it. But it is done, and by the time night fell, I finally let the cats outside again, to their utter delight. They’re still there now, enjoying themselves:

I also planted more grass for them to eat while they are on the porch, something I know they miss a lot.

The place looks a good bit emptier with all that I’ve thrown away, but that’s fine. It looks clean. And since this was something that was angering and depressing me so much, I expect my mood to continue to improve today and over the weekend, every time I see it. ๐Ÿ˜Š I’m also gonna clean up the house a little bit, since I am considering having a party the weekend after this one. ๐Ÿค”

During one of my cleaning breaks yesterday, while having my coffee, I read some of this book I got at the Swap Shop…

It’s very simple, but quite adorable. I like it because the stories are not about bears in general but about teddy bears specifically (as in, toys).

And that brings me to now! I’m having breakfast with Picaรฑa as I work on this post.

Anyway, today I really need to catch up on artwork, as much as I can. Things are not delayed per the queue, but they are per my monetary personal goals. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ This week just kinda went to heck, though thanks to everyone’s support it is turning around again! ๐ŸŽ‰

Say Hello To A Brand New Week! โœจ

Hi guys! I hope your week is off to a good start. Mine feels like a continuation of the weekend, because Christopher stayed home and we spent almost the entire day together. It was so nice!

I went on my two walks. It was raining hard for the first one but I went anyway. I was quite soaked when I got home but that’s alright. I wasn’t going to let anything stop me –not when I’ve managed to lose five pounds in a week! I’m ecstatic and I feel so energized. If I don’t walk my walks now, I feel antsy. ๐Ÿ˜

For my second walk it wasn’t raining so I took a couple of photos:

I also said hi to my little owl friends:

I came home with more snails again, oops. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ I need to stop.

Christopher and I watched a documentary on movie ratings and the last Jurassic World movie, Fallen Kingdom. I really liked it. Blue is so cute, I’m so glad I have such a nice toy of her.

While we watched the first movie, our elderly cat, Kotoko, climbed quite high on the cat tree. She seemed pleased with herself, but it made Christopher a little nervous. ๐Ÿ˜…

In between movies we went to have Starbucks and to walk around Target. Since I’d already had lunch, I just got my coffee and Christopher had pizza. I bothered him by taking photos.

At Target I got a new blouse and two more musical dinos for my sand/beach bucket:

I also found a Snap Squad velociraptor! It was the only one. It’s so cute.

Tomorrow I’m going to visit my mom, so I’m looking forward to that. It’ll be a busy day though, because I didn’t manage to finish today’s warm-up. So tomorrow I have to make really sure I stay on track, the whole day.

Still –it’s okay. I was happy that I spent time with Christopher today. Tomorrow I’ll catch up for sure!

Weekend Wind-Down ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚

Today was so, so lovely. This entire weekend was. There’s a healing quality to certain days, that leave you feeling like you can do anything, and that life is really worth living. I feel that way right now.

This morning I took a different route on my walk. It’s kinda bland. Tomorrow I may do my usual one. It’s nice to do something different though, so, since I do two walks a day, I may do this one in the morning and the other one in the evening. I took a couple of photos during this walk…

Here’s a squirrel I met! He had a nut. Or maybe it was a kernel of popcorn? Either way he was obviously protective of his loot:

After my walk, I sat with Christopher while he had breakfast. We watched a movie (we’re getting through all of the Jurassic Park/Jurassic World movies). I took this photo of him because Kotoko and Tomoyo were waiting for him to finish his cereal so they could drink his leftover milk. The atmosphere was… intense.

After the movie was done our friend came over, and we went to lunch together, and then to Spirit Halloween. I brought Circo with me:

Whenever I’m in the backseat like this and the two of them are just talking their talk in the front, I feel so small. It’s definitely a very Little feeling and for sure part of why I felt so content the entire evening. It just does something for me. Ironic, I hated the back seat when I was actually little.

We had Chipotle for lunch. I hadn’t had it in forever. I find myself enjoying meals like these much more happily now that I am exercising and watching what I eat.

At Spirit Halloween I bought a couple of fishnet stockings which are an… unusual addition to my wardrobe. ๐Ÿ˜ But as I said, I’m branching out. I also got a couple of new skirtalls in the mail, very cool ones (as in, the fabric is very breathable) that should work well for my walks in the heat. I’ll be trying those out tomorrow.

After we got back from Spirit Halloween, the three of us watched the first Jurassic World movie. It was so cozy and I don’t remember feeling so utterly content in a while. It was my second time watching this movie. I liked it much better this time around. Tomorrow Christopher and I might watch the next one.

I was super happy with how today’s warm-up came out. I’m finally giving myself license to play around with brushes and other commercial-use assets. Even though assets such as these brushes, or patterns, or commercial-use stock photography are literally made for artists to use, I always felt very reluctant to take advantage. I’ve gotten over that mental block, however, and it is bringing me a lot of joy in these latest few drawings.

I guess that’s all I have to share today, other than, I just feel so happy. I have not felt this happy in a long time. And seeing Christopher also be happy, after such a nice day, is a feeling that utterly completes me. He’s been so stressed. I know not every day can feel this way, but I’ll treasure the memory of each and every day that does.

A Rainy Tuesday: Little Stuff + Ultrasound โ˜”๐ŸŒ

Iโ€™m not dying of breast cancer!


So, context. You may remember I started having breast ultrasounds a year and a half ago because my doctor found a lump. That was scary. So it turned out, my breast tissue is kinda fucked up, though it’s not exactly abnormal. I have several cysts.

This isn’t uncommon, but not super normal either. One particular cyst/mass was a bit different and all the ultrasounds are to monitor it multiple times a year for two years. So far so good –today was my third. But today I was very scared.

The reason is that two months ago I began having localized pain in one of my breasts. On a very specific spot. It was bothersome and scary. I was prepared to need at a minimum a biopsy… turns out an old cyst decided to start shrinking, and that’s been causing the annoyance.

When I was told all was good today, they told me it’d been two years and I needed no more tests until 40. So when, 15 minutes later, I got a phone call telling me the doctor wanted me to return in six months, I was apprehensive.

Turns out they’d just miscalculated, and it’ll be two years in six months. So basically that’s my boob story. I’m kind of acclimated to the idea of getting some sort of cancer because I think that’s more common the longer humans manage to live. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ So I’m careful and prepared.

(I say coolly, after pissing my pants in fear for days)

๐Ÿฑ Kitty Ramble ๐Ÿฑ

Look into the void and despair:

She was crying at me because I was leaving the house to go for my ultrasound.

I post a lot about Tomoyo (even though my favorite, my โ€œheart catโ€ is my little Rosie) because Tomoyo is the worst cat Iโ€™ve ever had, in many ways. Her health is, to put it in plain terms, generally “not great”. She almost died as a kitten, I nursed her through a particularly terrible night, lying her on my chest trying to keep her fever managed. She has asthma, and when I call her neurotic I mean that in a clinical, not in a funny way.

She has many destructive compulsions. She is very high strung, almost feral, and responded poorly to the many anxiety meds we tried. Add to her health issues (physical and mental) the fact that giving any medication to this cat is a terrible ordeal. You name it, we’ve tried it. It often ends in blood (ours) and Tomoyo’s emotional distress.

Often, decisions need to be made with our vet in regards to what meds to give and if any, along with how much to feed her (leading to her weight gain) had to be balanced with her behavior: this medicine may improve her life, but is the distress worth it? If we fed her less, she would be healthier, but so destructive that she would have had to be rehomed or put down. They are one and the same, by the way. I’m sure if I tried to rehome her, another person would put her down for serious behavioral issues. And I’ll never allow that to happen. Not unless she’s viciously attacking me, the other cats or herself.

In many ways Tomoyo has made our lives worse and more stressful. My response to this has been to shower her with love. If rehoming her meant SHE can be happier, some of her problems better managed, Iโ€™m sure I would. BUTโ€ฆ โ€ฆit doesnโ€™t. I doubt anyone else would put the time, money and patience we have put into this cat. She wonโ€™t even cuddle with you. I think anyone else might put her down. So Iโ€™ll never let her go.

I hold onto the good moments instead. Such as, after using the inhaler for a few weeks โ€”an experience that invariable ended with me bleeding and Tomoyo hiding for hoursโ€” one day she realized it helped. Now she takes deep breaths and purrs while I do it. (Though she still fights when I grab her to do this, and screams, and scratches me with her back legsโ€ฆ you have to realize this is a mild reaction for Tomoyo. That would give some idea of what a bad reaction might be.)

When she began to relax during the inhaler procedure I could have cried. When she began to fall asleep by my computer, belly-up (this cat that never feels safe enough to relax in that way) I could have, too.

I know I have to love Tomoyo on her own terms. I do my best for her. My closeness with her is directly connected to how difficult she is. But she is also a very loving cat…

Also, a chonky, neurotic, asthmatic devil incarnate.

The interruption in petting prompted an audible sigh and loud, dog-like โ€œHUFFโ€

At one point today, she saw her own butt as she left the desk corner. There is a camera pointed behind my monitor where she sleeps. I like watching her while I work. Well, she FREAKED. She thought she saw another cat (and, well, she did!) but by the time she approached the screen, the other black cat was mysteriously “gone”… lol ๐Ÿ˜…

๐ŸŒˆ Bonus Kotoko ๐ŸŒˆ

The old lady surprises us sometimes by climbing the cat tree.

After the relief of my ultrasound, I went to Dollar Tree and Five Below. I got some more things for the upcoming sleepover with my friend Shelly, some more stuff for scrapbooking, and other odds and ends.

While I was at the store Christopher messaged me so I could pick my goodies from the Dinosaur World gift shop (he’s currently at NATIA and managed to get away to do me that huge favor, since going to Dinosaur World is something that I don’t expect to happen again for years). I can’t wait to show those things off when he’s back! He got me a velociraptor lamp and a framed holographic picture.

At Five Below I spotted a wild smol-spots:

I always, always treat myself after a scary ultrasound (or blood draw/shot). For my goodies I got some Lisa Frank stickers, some animal/critter “mood” stickers, cute bird and birthday stickers, an InuYasha keychain I’ll turn into a necklace, more crayons, three mini Jurassic Park baby dinos and two greeting cards plus a pack of Alphabet flash cards with Sesame Street characters, for scrapbooking. ๐Ÿ˜Š

I got two more really big coloring books for the sleepover –I guess we have quite enough now, but I won’t post those so I can surprise my friend in case she sees this post. ๐Ÿ˜

In the afternoon I finished pressure washing the porch and putting everything back outside. I had to pressure wash the porch while it rained. Because I had all the porch stuff inside and need to clean the house tomorrow, I just had to finish today, there was no way around it. It wasn’t super fun, but it is done now.

I had a wee dinner, but it filled me up. Three little sandwiches and some baked kale chips.

I didn’t get to scrapbook today, but it was an extremely accomplished day all the same. It’s actually been a string of very fruitful days. I also just completed the daily warm-up as I wrap up this post. Time to get ready for bed. Goodnight, everyone!

Best House+Petsitters Ever ๐Ÿฑ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ 

Because we were gone for such a long time, we had three different friends care for our pets and house –one came two different days, another was supposed to come just once but came twice a whole bunch of time because our AC had issues that were super annoying to fix, and a third stayed almost an entire week for work-related reasons and in the meantime took excellent care of our pets too.

This last friend, Bert, was also nice enough to send me photos and video. This was a big deal to me because I missed the cats so, so very much. He even sent me video of the snails, but I didn’t include that in this post because it’s just the tank. I wanted to make a post for the rest though.

Here’s three of the kitties (Rosemary, Elliot and Kotoko):

And now for videos… first, Elliot:

Then my beloved Rosie…

And Kotoko…

Finally, sweet little Satan Tomoyo:

It’s so wonderful to be back home with them. I missed them more than I can put into words!

Have Some Purrs ๐Ÿฑ๐Ÿ’•

I got some kitty videos from the past couple of days to share. First up is Kotoko, spending time in her box by my side:

Then it’s Tomoyo. Tomoyo does not usually spend time upstairs because she has a tendency to destroy things. But she had an asthma attack the other day and after the (distressing) treatment has been clingy and sad. So I let her spend the whole day with me.

She behaved very well, and seemed more relaxed than even on normal days. Unfortunately, when she’s feeling 100%, she would be being a terror up here… ๐Ÿ˜…