Alice the Rat is Still Alive

Alice the Rat is still alive. Almost two weeks ago she fell from her UFO – a perch near the top of her cage. She landed on her feet nut did not move. When Elizabeth picked up and took her out of the cage, she had a massive spasm and flew into the air. We caught her in mid air. She was very sluggish. We put her on the table and she pulled herself around. She appeared to have had a stroke. After a couple of hours she was doing better.

Over the next few days we hand fed her soft foods and had her frequently out of her cage. After her owner came home, Alice was held and cuddled almost all the time. Usually by her owner, though the rest of us took turns.

Kangaroo Care for Rats: We would sit, usually somewhat reclined, and kept Alice on our chests, close to the heart, nice and warm. We fed her via syringe. We found that if we put her on her back and cuddled her, she could still self-groom. She did not have to fight gravity or lift her body weight or support herself on her hind legs and most rats do when they self-groom.

Last Tuesday she got worse. Her feet were purple, she was catatonic, and would not eat or drink. We could not syringe her. She could not do any self-grooming, and she had discharge around her eyes. We kept her clean. On Wednesday she was the same. By Thursday afternoon she had become responsive, and was self-grooming. She was eating again, though the mixture of milk and ice cream gave her diarrhea.

Since then, she has stayed about the same. After eating she gets somewhat catatonic as she digests. She stays on someone’s chest, nice and warm, self grooms, has hiccoughs, moves slightly, and sleeps or lays awake looking around.

It has been twelve days and Alice the Rat keeps hanging in there. She has a strong will to live, and is being treated better than most of the rats in this world, like the pet rats that came before her: Nina, Fern and Charlie.



Remembering: Carla Louise Boe

Went to a Celebration of Life at a campground just south of Duncan in the Cowichan Valley for Carla Louise Boe. I did not know her, but it was also to be a reunion of her pets. We have Annie (registered name: ExcessBaggage Annika), a Swedish Vallhund, who needed to be placed in a good home after Carla’s death. I was unfamiliar with the breed previously.

The only other dog of Carla’s to be brought to this gathering was Mikkael. It was great to see him.

New Puppy

We put a deposit on a new puppy. The mother is a chocolate lab. The pups are six days old. We’ll visit in a couple of weeks to review them before choosing one. People in my house are excited.

Remembrance Day 2013

I attended the ceremony at Veteran’s Memorial Park today. I like the monument, modelled after the Canadian one at Vimy Ridge. I have a distant memory of visiting the Vimy Ridge Memorial when I was very young. I remember viewing those columns/tower through the VW window as we drove up. I wonder if that made such an impression, which is the reason I like looking at towers and skyscrapers now?

Protected: Soest, Germany

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Birthday Girl

My daughter Kassidy enters the double digits today, born ten years ago. It is so nice to see her, healthy, active, and physically able to do what she wants. That is not how it started out, with a complicated pregnancy, her mother on bed rest for months just trying to keep her alive, and then after her birth, Kassidy spent three months in hospital, on oxygen for 89 days. You can read her story of the complicated pregnancy and birth on her website, Kassidy’s Story.

I did not finish the story after the birth. It was therapeutic to write at the time. We were busy with so much, spending so much time at the hospital, and looking after the rest of the family, though her sister became an excellent cook when she tired of the monotony of my famous dish of chicken thighs, potatoes and carrots.

The prognosis for most of Kassidy’s early life was bleak. We were warned that if she lived, she could be sickly, require oxygen at home, would have asthma or other lung conditions, or could be severely physically disabled.

She made it through all that, and her five bouts of pneumonia. She has no lingering lung or physical health issues, and is very bright, an excellent speller and grammarian, and loves nature and being in her garden.

Kassidy is a testament to perseverance in the face of adversity, and to keep up hope, to keep trying, to be optimistic, and to recall the Stockdale Paradox.

Richard Matheson

I heard Richard Matheson died two days ago, June 23, 2013, at the age of 87. He was quite the author. My first exposure to his work was when I read his short story Born of Man and Woman when I was around 10. It was in a collection, the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. What a story! So short, so many questions left unanswered. That was his first short story.

He went on to write so many stories, and screenplays, with some excellent ones being:

He was such a prolific writer and monumentally influential that his stories will probably be retold for centuries.

Noreen Louise O’Hara

My cousin Noreen died on November 22, 2008 at 3:45 am at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, exactly three years ago today. It was two weeks after her 42nd birthday. At her funeral, a small funeral at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Chilliwack, after her brothers spoke, I said these words. They are based on notes I read from my BlackBerry. Her brothers thought that was appropriate, because when Noreen was in the hospital, I would visit her and afterwards, write and email a report for them. (more…)

Australian Drinking & Driving Ad

This very powerful drinking & driving commercial from Australia should be required viewing for every idiot who has a few and thinks ‘I’m OK, I can drive.’

Aunt Marie

I received sad news today, on the passing of my Aunt Marie, Mary Segatore. (more…)