Pure As the Driven Slush: Heather Corinna's Journal and Diary, Online since 1999

Archive for the 'critters' Category

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

It seems clear that Flora — AKA Screamy Cat — is in her last days. I took some time off this weekend, am still, and beyond Netflix marathons, it’s mostly been spent caring for her. She’s at the point where walking is clearly painful due to weakness, and getting her to eat or drink is a trial, at best, even after I went and made her a batch of the homemade food all the cats I have ever had have snarfed like nobody’s business when ill. She’s always been tiny, never weighing more than 9 pounds, but now she’s down to five.

About a month ago, we had a crap confluence of pet events around here that seems to have begun with flea season here on the island, something we were totally unprepared for, and so they basically caught us unprepared and seized their moment, investing all the pets and causing all of us to itch for weeks.  I still have scabs on my ankles just from how thick they were outside in the grass.  It’s nuts. So, she got the fleas, then also got a UTI, at the same time one of her nails had a bad injury.  That meant a bunch of different meds, and I think all of that, combined with her age, was just too much for her.  The vet tested her for everything, and save that UTI, which went away, there is nothing technically wrong with her.  She’s just really damn old.

People who know us well know that Flora is really a goldfish.

Around 1992, when I first opened the little alternative school that I ran for a few years, one of my very first wee students came into the place I had set up and created with such care, looked around, then announced, “This is not a real school.” I think I probably gasped, I was so heartbroken. In asking for the criteria of such a determination, he explained to me that real schools have an orange goldfish in a bowl, something everyone knows. Duh. I tried to explain that no matter how much care I give them, I seem to be terrible with fish. I tried to explain that already, there were three cats at the school (and have I mentioned that despite a near-lifetime of having cats around, I’ve always been allergic to them?  Oh yes.), even though they mostly stayed in my office. No explanation would do. I mean, that was all fine and well and good, but it just wasn’t a real school because of this fish issue, and that was just that.

There was a pet store a few blocks away, so — very much needing my school to be a real school, darnit — I asked if we all took a walk down there and got one, with the understanding the kinds would need to help care for the goldfish, if that would fix the problem. This was met with agreement.  So, off we went.

When we got there, did they have every kind and color of fish under the sun?  Oh yes, they did — well, almost. All except goldfish, of course: there were no orange goldfish. In the middle of a desperate discussion with the petshop owner about what fish might look orange under different light, I heard the little guy saying, “Heather, I found it!” Thank christ. I walked to where he was.

He was standing in front of a little cage full of mostly sleeping kittens, save one very rambunctious and especially tiny calico who was jumping all over all of them.  “That’s a very cute kitten,” I said.  “So, where’s that fish?”

“She’s got orange on her,” he said.

“She most certainly does,” I said.  Then we had this same exchange about three or four times.

“She’s got —” he went to say again.

“Orange,” I said. “I know, she’s got orange on her, I’ve got it. Are you saying she’s an orange fish? I know you know she’s a cat. We have cats at the school already, three cats, which is already a lot of cats, I think. And just because they don’t have orange goldfish here doesn’t mean they aren’t somewhere else. I can go to another pet store myself later if this is really important to me — erm, you.”

“She’s got orange,” he said. “And I really like her. She’s funny. She’ll do.”

And so she was, and so she did.

At the time I got her, my hair was down to my waist, and the first few mornings I woke up, I’d be all “Ugh!  My head feels like a bowling ball, what the hell?” This was because she’d nest in there while I slept, continuing to hold on after I stood up.  A few years later, we had an insanely hot summer, and I was also very tired of people mistaking me for Rapunzel and thinking I was in need of rescue, so I shaved my head.  (An experience which taught me many things, the biggest one being that I have a very round head and face, which means that instead of looking hot and butch with a shaved head, I look like a Cabbage Patch Kid. Yay.) She was very unhappy with me for years until most of it grew back.

The other cats made a point of hiding from the kids at the school: not this one. She was playful and friendly and awesome with all of them: they adored her. There were kerfuffles about who got to rest with her at naptime: some years, we even had to make a schedule. A couple years later, in an ironic twist, we were at another pet store and brought back a white lop rabbit who was in a cage with a bunch of dwarf rabbits hopping all over his poor head, after the sympathies for bouncy animals had apparently switched. The other cats were mortified by this: but Flora and Moe often played together.

After I had to close the school  in ‘97, I was in a horrendous financial spot for a while, including having to spend some of a Chicago winter without decent heat and sans electricity or gas. Flora, with the other cats, made it through our awful spot, making do on about as little food as I did, save that the cats could eat the leftover meatstuffs I’d manage to gather from the school lunches at the school I was working at then for my Montessori internship. When I moved to Minneapolis in ‘98, she had to stay with an ex of mine for about six months in Chicago. Flora has always hated being in any kind of moving anything, so moving four unruly cats at once in an 8-hour-drive just was not doable, and she was always the most socially flexible of all the cats. When we finally did get her, she howled the whole. Drive. There.

When Sofi, my pug, came into our lives as a very small puppy, the other cats tried to kill her. For reals. Once I walked into the kitchen and Rita, my eldest cat at the time, in cahoots with another of them, were trying to push knives from the counter unto the unsuspecting puppy below. Flora, on the other hand, often circled the pug, hissing at the other cats. She slept near the puppy, she helped guard her when she ate, she did her level best to teach her all the things puppies ought to know, like why not to grab cat tails and how to clean your face (my dog still bathes herself like a cat sometimes: it’s ridiculous). When Rita began to die, Flora kept her company when the other two cats wouldn’t have anything to do with her. When I was crying my eyes out for days after euthanizing Rita, Flora worked in tandem with Sofi to keep me in fuzzy cuddles.

When I moved to Seattle, Flora howled the whole plane ride over, managing to drown out my own sobbing and very graciously make herself the hated enemy of every other poor fool on that flight so it didn’t have to be me. That’s about the same time Flora learned to yell all night and sometimes all day, for reasons unbenownst to anyone (though my guess is that always living in tiny places with lots of animals, the adjustment to a big old house with its own noises and only one other pet was not easy: it wasn’t easy for me, either, and I felt like howling sometimes, too).

She got a serious kidney infection somewhere in there, something that had felled another cat of mind years back — the lone cat who lived a normal kitty lifetime, unlike my others who all seem to want to hit 20 — and the few days she spent at the vet, they didn’t want to give her back. She’s a very loveable fish: everyone thinks so. They were particularly wooed by the way she lies which everyone instinctively calls Superman: stretching both her arms as far in front of her as possible and just kind of freezing like she’s flying, a posture she often did in the times she spent in my hair when I first got her.

When Blue moved his big dog into the mix, at a time when it was just Sofi and Flora left — a smaller family I think they were both enjoying — Flora was very whatever about it.  Fur did not fly between cat and new dog. When we moved to the island, she delighted in looking out the window at he world outside. When mice found their way in here, despite having only one sad old tooth left in her little mouth, she caught one. She woke us up in the middle of the night with extra-loud yelling. We came out, and she had it in her mouth like, “Umm, okay, I got this thing I think I’m supposed to get.  But I think I’m supposed to do something next I do not want to and also lack the tools to execute.”  The mouse was looking clearly confused. Flora dropped the mouse and it ran away, probably feeling awfully grateful that day for what is, potentially, the world’s most gentle cat.

I have listened to this cat yelling and screaming for hours sometimes, for no reason I know of, where nothing makes her stop.  She has driven me up a fucking wall with that yelling. But you know, I’ll look at her little fishy face, and pretty much think, “Ah, well.  When I get that old, I’m going to annoy the crap out of everyone, too.” Then I’ll bitch about it some more, of course.

She stopped yelling a couple weeks back. I do not miss that yelling. Not even close.  But after a few days without it, it was hard not to know that it probably meant something was wrong.

I’m really hoping I won’t need to put her to sleep.  It’s not a political stance; I’m someone who feels very strongly that if and when life is ending and it hurts and has nothing good to offer, that whether we’re talking about my pets or me, making it better by making it stop is a good thing. But I had a horrible experience putting Rita down, the last animal I went through this with.  Our regular vet was sick that day and his replacement was a shitheel who basically grabbed my cat from me, jabbed her with a needle and put her down while she screamed.  I know that likely wouldn’t happen again, but I’m just really hoping that Flora will pass quietly here while I have her set up to be as cozy as possible and die in a much better, less traumatic way.

Mind, if she keeps going without eating, or barely doing so, or seems to be in real pain rather than just really out of it, I’ll cave, because I don’t want her to be uncomfortable.

It’s weird, Flora dying, weird and so sad.  She’s been an awesome cat, a very strange, very awesome cat. But she’s also the last of my kitty brood, and I won’t be having cats again for a while, something I decided about the time we got Flora. I’m not allergic to her, specifically, thanks to a parent at the school who was a vet tech and who gave me some tricks when she was a kitten, but I am to most other cats, and my skin and sinuses need a break.  It’s also really hard to be able to go places when you have more than one kind of pet, and the dogs really are more than enough for us to care for here, as it is. Plus, I can only take so many vet bills and so many elderly cat experiences.

I was never a “cat person,” whatever that means.  In Chicago, you can’t be a renter and have dogs, so cats it was. Plus, almost all my cats save Flora — though really, even she in some ways — just kind of seemed to find me, rather than the other way round. But I like and understand dogs. I like cats, but I do not even remotely understand them.  I feel about cats the way I think John Gray feels about people: I would need to construct some kind of bullshit philosophy in order to grok their motives or behavior or to make them make sense in my own limited understanding of life.

So, with the end of Flora comes, first of all, the end of Flora.  Flora who I have loved and who has loved me, a big bunch of kids, my pug and other critters and pretty much anything and everyone else she’s come across. By the time a pet of mine gets to this age, I always think I’m so ready for this, but then, you know, I get there and it’s always so much harder than I thought it would be. I’m a very sad camper right now. And it’s also kind of the end of an era, one which started with the first member of my personal kitty brood when I was 18; the end of a kitty family which has, at times — thanks to a stay who entered our midst, had sex with other cats in our building, then left her kittens — been as large a group as eight. There have been some of the roughest times in my life where at least one of those cats was there, and we could morosely sit with booze in hand and catnip on face and say, “Hey, life fucking sucks, doesn’t it? But here’s lookin’ at you, cat.”

And now it’s down to one, this delicate, little one, and then, it seems, to none. And that’s just weird. And sad. Really sad.

Who knows, maybe she’ll turn around: they do that sometimes. But not only do I doubt it (I tried to feed her three times in the midst of writing this, and she just refuses to eat or drink), I just wanted to sing her silly kitty praises and take some time to tell her tales while it was all in my head.

So, here is looking at you, my little cat/fish with the orange on you. May you fall asleep soon, gently, and dream marvelous, endless dreams of hair to nest in, howls to howl, and big oceans it makes no sense at all for you to be swimming in, except to us, for whom you’ve sometimes magically made some important things real.

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Ugh, my poor old cat.

So, for those of who who have followed my pet sagas for the 10+ years I’ve been keeping this journal, I’m down to one. When I started writing here, I had four cats. In the interim, two have had to be euthanized — Rosie got severe kidney failure when she was 11, and I had to euthanize Rita when she was almost 20.  I had to find a different home for Rosie’s sister Zoe in ‘05 because after years of having her, I developed really intense allergies to her to the point I couldn’t even pet her anymore. Which leaves Flora.

People who know me in person know that Flora, while seemingly a very small calico cat, is actually an orange goldfish. (I’ll get to that in a second.) She’s almost 18 now. It was Flora who assigned herself the role of Sofia’s protector when she was a puppy and the other cats clearly wanted her dead. I earnestly watched one of my cats kick a knife off a counter when Sofia was walking under it once, I kid you not. Flora has always been tiny, never more than 8 pounds, but over the last few years, she’s been around 6.  At this point, I’m guessing five.

She’s been one of those old cats that will seem to be taking a turn for the worse, and you worry she’s starting to go, but then she’ll turn a corner out of nowhere and be totally fine for months.  Just the other night, I was saying that she seemed to be okay now, and that I might just get lucky and have a pet go, when she’s going to, in her sleep for a change, like my bunny did ten years ago. She’s still pretty spry, seems to hear and see okay, still eats decently.

I so shouldn’t have said that.  Two days ago, I found blood in her urine, and she keeps just going off by herself.  last night she was just acting really weird and listless.  I slept downstairs with her because I was so worried. She seems a little bit better this morning, but not much.  And I don’t know what to do.

When pets get really old, I don’t like to subject them to a lot of tests or treatments: it strikes me as needlessly unpleasant and painful for them.  With my cats, too, because they’re indoor, I have never done vaccines for them.  They seem to live longer when I don’t.  So, when I do have to take them to the vet, they often insist on those when I’d prefer not to.

I need to switch vets anyway.  The vet I have used for Sofia is very conveniently a few blocks away, but they’re expensive as hell, and I haven’t been very satisfied with them.  Sofi gets chronic ear infections.  Our vet in Minneapolis did great with these, just vacuuming out her ears now and then (with a machine our current vet doesn’t have), while I did gentle ear washes for her regularly.  This one keeps giving her the same round of meds that keeps not working, and isn’t open to trying anything else. I recently discovered there’s a naturopathic vet about 20 blocks away, so have been planning to give them a shot soon to see if I like them better.

So, the crux is, do I go ahead and make an appointment for both of them?  Or do I let Flora’s little old body either work through this like it has with other things before or let her just let go if that’s what’s going on?I have no idea, but I’m leaning towards taking her to the vet, in hopes that since this one is a naturopath, they’ll understand that a) I don’t want to do any vaccines and b) I don’t want to do any treatments for her which will ask a lot of her old body, or potentially cause her to suffer additionally in any way.

No matter what happens, Flora will be my last cat for a while, which is a strange thing. I’ve had cats since I found Rita starving to death under a van in the winter in 1988.  I’m actually not a cat person, but I have loved my cats, and when it came to being a renter in Chicago, dogs were totally out of the question. I had as many as I did due to a stray my college roomie brought in who promptly went into heat, screwed every other cat in a ten mile radius, and wound up pregnant in milliseconds: Rosie and Zoe were from that brood.

When I first started my little alternative school in ‘93, I did so with no capital at all. Nearly everything in there was either dumpster-dived or something I built with my hands. I was exceptionally proud of being able to make something out of nothing like that.  So, when one of my first wee students came in, cased the place, and remarked that it “wasn’t a real school” I was crestfallen.  In asking why, I was informed that real schools have orange goldfish in a bowl.  This little boy could not tell me the origin of this particular standard, but he was quite firm in it.

I tried to explain that I was horrible with fish, going right back to my first fish in the 5th grade, which I’d won at a school carnival.

My mother works in infection control, an amazingly perfect job for her because she is and has always been profoundly germaphobic. If she could have sprayed my sister and I head-to-toe with Lysol when we came in from playing, she would have. There was a year as a child where I kept a secret collection of pigeons under the nearby El tracks. Likely not knowing what I was doing with them, the man who ran the corner grocery would give me plastic milk crates and I set them up like a little aviary condo dealie back where no one could see. I’d grab old bread and whatnot from his dumpster and set the pigeons up there, sitting and playing with them when they came to hang out, making room assignments and gently moderating squabbles between neighbors. The volume and pitch of scream that issued from my mother’s mouth when she got off the El one day to catch of glimpse of her kid and walked back to find me with a dirty pigeon in each hand is one I have yet to ever hear the likes of again. If a casting agent for a B-movie had been nearby, he would have snapped my mother up instantly, heralding her a star. My evening at home after that day is an experience in scrubbing and sanitation I think only Karen Silkwood shared.

Anyway, unbenownst to me, when cleaning out my fish’s bowl, she felt the need to sanitize it in ways you are not supposed to. I came home one day, slipped my shoes off, went to check on my fish, and saw only a bowl with water in it: no fish.  In yelling to my Mom I couldn’t find him anywhere, I then felt a sickening squish between my toes.  Said fish had clearly suicidally jumped out of the bowl and unto the floor.  And I had stepped on him, and had to rinse pieces of him from my feet, bawling. No more fish for me for a long time.  later when I tried, no matter what I did, they always wound up floating belly-up.  I gave up on fish.

Even this story (told in a far less horrific way, mind) did not deter this kid. So, we agreed that we’d take a field trip to the pet store, the kids would learn how to take care of the fish so it could hopefully avoid my curse, and he would then agree he was, in fact, attending a “real school.”

Of course, did they have EVERY freaking color of fish that day but orange?  Of course they did. Then I hear the kid calling my name from across the store saying he found one. Thank christ. Except that when I got there, he was standing in front of a cage full of sleeping kitten, save one calico troublemaker pouncing on all of them, to their great annoyance. He’s pointing at her. I say that is a very cute cat. He says “She has orange.” I agree that she does have orange, but that she is a CAT, not a fish, and there are three cats at school already. He repeats that she has orange several times, firmly. I repeat my end of the conversation. We make no headway at all. I ask him if — if — we get said cat-with-orange if she will fulfill the requirement for an orange fish, a conversation one would only have with a four-year-old. He is quite certain she will.

And thus, we left with a very fluffy fish with orange who made our school real. Suffice it to say, as the token goldfish for a handful of kids, and the baby of a larger cat brood, she’s been through a lot and is a resilient little thing. It’s really sad to realize she may be getting to the end, here.

Like I said, she’ll also be the last for a while.  With the two dogs, now, and a possible move in the next year, less pets is better than more, and I’m also actually mildly allergic to most cats, so I’d like at least a few years without any skin rashes or sinus issues. But I’ve had cats my whole adult life (so has Blue: in fact, he was also there when Zoe and Rosie were born in our living room), and life without them seems strange.

I’m getting maudlin now, perhaps needlessly.  And I still need to decide what the heck to do about Flora right now.

Update:  I went ahead and took her into our existing vet, who was exceptionally great about seeing all of us on short notice, and with getting a look at her and giving me a set of options.

Ultimately, I decided to choose the option of having them take her overnight to get some fluids in her (she was way dehydrated), try and get her temp up (it was very low), try to get her to eat, and to run some tests to see what’s going on.  Euthanizing her today was put out there as an option, but without knowing if this is just about age, something terminal, something that would require a lot of care or suffering on her part, I wasn’t ready to make that call.  She also just wasn’t giving me the vibe that’s what she wanted, and the pets I have had to put down have all always done that.

1/31 Update: Friday afternoon I got Flora and brought her back home.  She no longer looked like (still doesn’t) she was moments away from death’s door.  The treatment they gave her for two nights seemed to make a really big difference, and they landed pretty soundly on a severe kidney infection diagnosis.

So, she needs IV fluids here at home indefinitely, which I think I can swing.  She’s still eating very little, but she is behaving a lot different and looks a lot better.  She’s got a little abode here in the living room on an ottoman with a heating pad, which she seems to like, and has walked around a little bit, too.

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Just a couple short hours ago, I began the time off I said I was going to take last month.

To prepare for it, in the last week I earnestly can’t think of a freaking minute I wasn’t working.  But I got one of my local volunteers trained in, deposit-paid, and raring to go to effectively be my body double for the minimum work that has to be done each day to keep Scarleteen running smoothly, and I got a few updates up before I headed out, too.  I had a meeting with my new intern (did I mention I have one?  I do: it’s very exciting) yesterday, so she’s all set to get started on her projects.  The bills are paid.  The clinic knows I’m AWOL through the 14th.  I have my Reality Check pieces for the next two weeks sent in.  I just need to push a couple buttons in a bit to add an update to the members area of this site.

I don’t have an autoresponder set for my email, because the last time I did that, it autoresponded retroactively to every email I ever got.  Oops. Not doing that again.  I do have a form letter ready I can cut as paste as needed, though, and should only need to check the work emails briefly every few days. As much of the world as I can possibly inform knows that for the next weekish, I’m off-duty and Not To Be Bothered.

I have a headache, of course, from all of that work in preparation, but I predict that it will soon pass.  Especially since as I write this, I’m sitting on the futon on the porch during this lovely, sunny day, having taken a walk and ingested a quite delicious lunch paired with a very tall glass of juice.  I’m writing now as a sort of welcoming-in ceremony for my beyond-needed, very-much-desired and first-ever-of-its-length Staycation.

Big breath in, even longer one out.  Sun on the face, sun on the feet.  Pug snoozing happily beside. Headache feels better already.

What’s the plan?  For the rest of today it’s probably utter sloth.  I intend to sit out here, moving on to a book, for as long as it stays warm and sunny.  I might grab a hoop and play in the yard for a bit, but then again, I might not.  A Buffy marathon may happen later, or I may marathon something far more silly, who knows.  Even though I ordered in last night because I was on a work bender, I’ll probably do it again tonight.

Tomorrow, if the weather provides, I want to roll out of bed whenever I do, have some coffee WITHOUT starting my workday at the same time, and then grab my bike and go for a seriously long ride, stopping at the market on the way back to get some dinner goodies, maybe some champagne for mimosas for me, me and only me.  I want to get cracking on one of the rooms that wants tidying, then I’m going to steam my face, take the longest bath in recorded history, sit with a wad of the color conditioner I like in my hair to put some of my red back where it belongs, try and nap, read some books and maybe take the pug on an evening stroll.

Thursday I want to spend the day just out in my neighborhood with no specific intent or plans. I actually got quite a few things done on my to-do-during-vacation list already that would not have been big stressors, but not so much fun, either, like making the garden path and getting kitchen curtains up. So, I have even more free time than I thought I would to do things like just bum around Ballard. I also want to get the damn hoop isolations down that I’ve been so frustrated trying to learn.  Little more tidying, but not much.  Thursday night I’m going out with a friend I have not seen in forever, and have seriously missed.

Friday I just try and keep my marbles together and not wear a path in the floors from excitedly pacing.

Because Friday night Blue gets here, after having driven across the country since Monday with a car overflowing with his worldly possessions as well as a nice, big (well, by her standards) dog for Sofia.  Sofia has always wanted a big dog: when they walk past her, she will often sit down on the sidewalk and moon over them as they walk away, gazing in rapt adoration. So, as far as she and I are concerned, Blue’s dog is a present for her. I know, I just objectified a dog. I’m a terrible person.

We’ve recognized, for the record, that this is — in my estimation — all approximately 33% certifiably insane.  Mind, a compelling argument could be made that the whole of my work and my life is, which either makes everything I do crazy or nothing I do crazy: I’m not sure which.  But even by my lunatic-fringe standards, this is, partially, a little nuts.

There are sensible parts of this, to be sure.  We have been reconnected for over a year and a half, we have been together again for nearing a year, and we’ve lived together before very well, and that was before either of us really knew how to live with anybody.  Blue has wanted great big changes in his life for years: he’s getting them.  We know full well that if we had him come here and we didn’t cohabitate, we’d basically just be paying two rents to still be in the same place every night, anyway.  Plus, I like this old house, I don’t want to move until I can move to the islands ideally, I can’t afford it all by myself nor would I want such a big place just for myself, and if I got a roommate who had to live with the two of us fully reunited after seventeen years apart, they’d be wanting to rip out their own eyeballs and eardrums in no time flat.  See? Crazy = practical.

Know what else?  We both could use a big dose of doing something a bit loony.  For myself, I get few opportunities to do so anymore, and I like the freedom of this, the kinda-unpredictability of this.  I won’t say I don’t certainly have moments where I’m not like, “What on EARTH are we doing?”  I do.  But then I have this pretty simple answer I don’t have to think too hard about, which has something to do with following my guts, what they’re saying now and have said more than once before now.  It also has something to do with this strong, mutual knowing what we want and need, and a knowing we fit both for each other, now and in the past.  Really, the real question when it comes to pretty much all of this isn’t about what we’re doing now, but what the hell each of us, at given times, was possibly thinking in choosing not to do this until now.

Friday night it’s pretty much going to be car arrives, two people squealing like small children and scaring the crap out of the neighbors, arranging the dogs and getting some sort of leg up on making up for a fuck of a lot of lost time in several departments.
So, yeah, that’s Friday.  And Saturday, and…well, no more budgeting days for us at that point. If history repeats itself — which, in our case, it clearly tends to a lot — I imagine that by Sunday night we might just consider leaving the house.  Maybe.  From then through the rest of my days off, I imagine we’ll tackle quite a lot of the things I have left on that list I made last month of what I’d like to do with my time off.  Maybe we’ll grab the dogs and go to Vashon for a day or visit the zoo, we’ll get started on the settling in of stuff, who knows, but I assure you, it’ll all be good.

And after all this, my time for myself, my time once Blue completes his Odyssian journey here — a rather stellar combination, if you ask me — I imagine that when the time to get back to work rolls around again, this girl is going to be feeling a whole lot better.

Hello, vacation. You have no idea how happy I am to meet you.

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

I’m crazy-busy with a ton of work this week (including some rather unexpected whistle-blowing), but I just had to pop in for a minute to share.

I just walked away from my computer to make some tea, and when I came back, I found Flora, my cat, perched on top of my laptop…where she’d entered “BV” into the Mac spotlight application.

Now, I have no idea why, exactly, my cat decided she needed to research bacterial vaginosis, but I’m mighty impressed with her ingenuity.