Cold Turkey

Yesterday, I confessed to an addiction.  Today, I’ll tell you about another.

I’ve been a drug addict for six years.  It’s true.  Every single day for the last six years, I have taken mood altering substances that my body very quickly became dependent upon and without which I turned into an unrecognizable monster oddly reminiscent of an enormous ass, but one that would sooner kill you then feel like you’ve let him down or disappointed him in anyway.

I’m not talking about anything you’d snort or inject, in fact, I’d have to check with Ex Con Older Brother to be sure, but I don’t think you could even buy these drugs on the street.  The internet?  Sure.  But not the street.  No, the drugs I’m talking about are the Doctor sanctioned, Government approved, Pharmaceutical Company foisted kind.  Yes, that’s right.  I’ve been taking Anti-Depressants for the last six years.

Today, however, marks the last day of this addictive behavior.  No longer will I assault my synaptic pathways with artificial fortification.  No longer will I ingest these foreign substances to do what they will with my psyche.

[ Gosh, I feel a little like I should be standing barefoot on a couch after an overnight drinking party shouting at my friends about our flaccid penises (peni?) and making deals about losing our virginity by prom night.  And if you don’t get that reference – American Pie – then I don’t want to be your friend anyway.]

Today I am taking back control of my emotional well being.  It isn’t actually, really cold turkey  I made this decision back in April when I was taking 300 Milligrams of Welbutrin and 40 milligrams of Celexa on a daily basis.  I felt like I was in a haze all the time.  I felt like I wasn’t able to access my feelings.  Like I wasn’t having a genuine experience.  And I felt like this ride was never going to end unless I stepped on the breaks and got out of the car.  So I did.

This whole ordeal started a little over six years ago–  Well, really it started 33 years ago with my childhood and my genetics and my divorced parents and my general state of misery, but I don’t have all day to write and you don’t have all day to read and if I tried to put it all in here, WordPress very well might explode, but not before you found me boring and hit that nifty little arrow in the upper right corner to take you to the next random post!  So with that being said…

We’ll pick up this ordeal six years ago.  I had been working for about four months for The Company that Created the HMO and wasn’t really loving it (I was an Administrative Assistant for fuck’s sake) but it followed a nine month period of unemployment where I could barely pay for my car with the unemployment checks I received ever other week, let alone rent and utilities, or assisting Green M&M, who graciously allowed me to move in with her, with expenses.  I had been drinking a lot, and feeling really dejected because I wasn’t able to find another job and I was at a really low point in my emotional cycle.  So when the opportunity with The Company came along, I really had not choice but to take it.

One day I had had a blow up with a co-worker and I didn’t know what to do about it so I made an appointment with the Employee Assistance Program Counselor, ostensibly to talk about work relations and how I could deal with this person.  I sat for an hour with this Counselor who talked to me for five minutes about my coworker problem and then asked me all kinds of questions about my life, my childhood, how I live now, etc., etc., etc.  Then she said, “You sound depressed to me.  Here.  The Company that Created the HMO offers all these classes and they’re bound to fix you.”

OK, so that last part may not have come out quite like that, but all these years later, that’s how I feel about it.  The counselor referred me to the Oakland Adult Psychiatry department of The Company that Created the HMO where I was pared up with a Psychologist that I would get to see once every six weeks (whether I needed it or not, I guess.)  They never did offer me any assistance with the coworker and we continued to have conflict until the day she went on maternity leave and then decided not to come back.

Once every six weeks, I’d go to this appointment with this woman who looked strangely like a Yahoo Messenger avatar making the “angry” face and who always made me feel inferior and pathetic.  She kept urging me to go to this Depression Overview Class that was offered.  It was supposed to give me a better understanding of what I’m dealing with and was a precursor to the eight week Depression Management Class she also wanted me to take.  I resisted it for some time but it was obvious to me that I was not going to get what I needed from attending these sessions with Avatar Face and something had to give so I went.

Up to that point, I had been determined that I was not going to take medication and I did not want anyone else to know what I was going through.  I resisted the class because then people would know.  I gave in and attended the class and one of the things they focused on in this class (not even 2 hours) was the idea of medication, how it works, and why I should take it.  I will acknowledge that it has been six years.  I will acknowledge that I was uncomfortable in the situation and wanted to go home.  And I will acknowledge that I was desperate for someone, somehow to make me better and take all this pain away.

All those acknowledgments being put out there, do not change the fact that what I remember the instructor of this overview class saying was that I’d take meds for two to three years and that while I was taking them, not only would the stabilize my neurotransmitters but it would correct the problem in my brain that causes the imbalance in the first place.  So, OK.  Two or three years…  I can accept that.  Especially if I’ll be all better after.

I set an appointment with a Psychiatrist at The Company and got a prescription from her for Paxil.  The prescription was, take 10 milligrams a day for the first week and then bump it up to 20.  About this time I inquired with Ex Con Older Brother who I knew was also taking Paxil and he informed me that it worked, for him, like flipping a switch.  That he started taking it and almost instantly things changed.  I really wanted that for myself so within six weeks, with the Psychiatrist’s approval I increased my dosage twice, first to 30 milligrams and then to 40.

It took a little while for it to completely kick in but once it did, I felt great.  Best I’ve ever felt.  I had confidence, I enjoyed people, I was in great emotional shape.  It was around this time that Green M&M and I decided that neither of us had anything to lose and so we decided to give a “friends with benefits” scenario a try.  This was when I found out that some of those side effects they tell you about were going to be a problem.  I was having serious sexual side effects and couldn’t’ get past them.

I asked my doctor to help me out with this problem and her solution was to take me off the Paxil and put me on Welbutrin.  Her instructions were to taper off the Paxil over the course of 10 days.  Which I did.  Which is when the aforementioned unrecognizable, enormous ass, monster appeared.

I crack jokes and be obnoxious about this because it’s easier to face, but the truth is, it was an emotionally excruciating, hold on for dear life, MY GOD HE’S GONNA BLOW, volatile two weeks and I really didn’t think I was going to make it.  It’s easier to laugh now.  I’m reminded of a Saturday Night Live commercial parody not too long ago about a Birth Control Pill that would make a woman have her period only once a year.  In the fast talking, fine print they talk about how during that one week-end out of the year you better hold on to your hat ’cause your gonna lose your shit, etc., etc., etc.  It says that you should alert your law enforcement officials as they may wish to lock you up as a preemptive measure.  That’s how I felt.

When I think about these times I feel a tremendous amount of gratitude toward Green as well as some shame over the way I acted.  In truth her actions set me off on more than one occasion but my reactions were out of control excessive and she put up with a lot of vitriol from me during that period of time.  It would probably have been easier for her to just walk away, but she didn’t.  She stood by me and for that I’ll be eternally grateful.

Anyway, once the psychotic episode passed and I was back to “normal” whatever that is, I was on just the 300 Miligrams of Welbutrin.  It’s the only Anti-Depressant with little or now sexual side effects.  What I’ve learned in the recent past is that it’s also commonly know to increase anxiety in those who are prone to it (I am.)

I took Welbutrin by itself for nearly four years, never really feeling like it was doing me any good, but afraid to say anything for fear of what they’d recommend next.  But when the time came that I couldn’t stand it anymore, this image approximates what I was feeling.  I felt like I was standing right down there at the bottom of this mammoth wall of rock, knowing that on the other side of this structure was millions of gallons of water just waiting to burst through and destroy me.  I felt like I was standing at the bottom of that wall looking up at the top, and just watching as the wall slowly crumbled knowing that at any moment the water could break through and all would be lost.

At that point my Psychiatrist recommended adding the Celexa to the mix, and while I’ll admit that it did seem to help for a time, it really just put me on top of the dam.  No longer was the wall crumbling.  No longer did I fear that it would all come crashing down on me.  Instead, I was standing on the road, looking out at all the water, all the feelings and emotions, knowing that disaster lay before me, but then again so did the potential for good.  But either way, I couldn’t get to it.  It was inaccessible.  And if I tried, I just might drown.

It’s strange, but knowing that all that was there, and that I couldn’t get to it had a two fold effect on me.  First it sent me into a deep despair.  On the advice of my therapist I took a leave of absence from work and went into an outpatient treatment program that is offered by The Company that Created the HMO.  I don’t particularly feel like the program itself offered me anything of value, other than time away from work to regroup and collect my thoughts.  But six weeks later when I was back at work full time and I was more in control again, I realized something else.

In a very real way, the meds have been that dam for six long years.  The only reason those millions of gallons of water are back there waiting to crush me, is because I built the dam and backed it up, rather than making an effort to tread it as it flowed through.

I never wanted the drugs.  I never should have taken the drugs.  I will never again take the drugs.  What I needed was therapy.  I needed steady care from someone who could help me to come to terms with my issues and help me to find that I’d be OK all the same.  I needed a life vest and a kayak, and an oar (am I over-doing the metaphor?)

I took the drugs because I heard “You’ll take them for two years and you’ll be fixed.”  I took the drugs because The Company that Created the HMO isn’t interested in dealing with life long problems, they want to send you to a class that amounts to them saying “Suck it up.  You’ll be fine.”  I took the drugs because once I started them, I was afraid to stop, lest I end up in that puddle of anger and tears and desperation on the floor in my closet that I had been during the Paxil/Welbutrin transition.  I took the drugs because I didn’t know how not to.

But I finally made a decision.  The best decision I’ve made for myself in a long time.  I will not take the drugs anymore.  I started this process in April.  I was taking two tablets of each medication.  So starting on May 1st, I took one and three quarters.  On June 1st, I reduced it to one and one half, etc., until today, Friday, October 31, 2008.  THE last day, I will take my drugs.  Starting tomorrow, I will be drug free.  Starting tomorrow the last brick will have been removed from that dam.  The waters will flow freely and I will wade through them until I’ve learned to swim peacefully from shore to shore.  It may be a struggle sometimes.  Some days will surely be worse than others, but so far I’m strong and steady.  The current isn’t that bad.

I Am Still a Heba Hate-a

I have a problem.  An addiction actually.  I’ve tried to deny it for a long time, but it seems clear that I can’t pretend any more…

Hello, my name is Kevin and I’m a TV-aholic.  I’ve tried to cut back.  I’ve tried to stop watching, but they just keep making new and better shows that grab my attention and that I have to check out and then they turn out to be good and I keep watching them.  Every Summer, I swear that I’m not going to take on any new programs.  I’m not going to add to my number of hours of programming.  And every year I fail.

Four years ago, Green M&M and I moved into a new apartment that didn’t get standard cable service.  The company that did provide service, was only selling DirecTV though a cable connection and for a lot more money.  So we decided to sign up directly with DirecTV and cut out the middleman.  At the time that I was setting up our service they were running a special.  Receivers and dish for up to four rooms absolutely free with a two year contract.  But even more importantly to me, I could upgrade one of those receivers to a Tivo receiver for only $99.00.

I had heard about but had never experienced the wonder that is the Tivo.  Pause and rewind live TV?  Digitally record hours of television without having to worry about tapes and timer settings?  Listening to the b-doop, B-doop, B-DOOP, as I fast forward over the commercials I’d NEVER have to watch again?  What’s not to love!?!  Oh and did I mention that this receiver could record two separate shows at the same time?  My television viewing opportunities were endless! Heaven really is a place on earth!  Thank you Belinda Carlisle!

It is because of this perfection in a box that I never watch TV shows while they’re airing.  First, I always have a backlog of TV shows to watch, not a huge backlog, but I’m usually watching yesterday’s programming today, and today’s programming tomorrow.  Second, if I watched TV shows while they were on, I couldn’t enjoy the b-doop, B-doop, B-DOOP, because I’d have no choice but to watch the fucking commercials!  As a result, I know that I am a day behind on the Heba hating bandwagon but I couldn’t not join in on the Heba hate!

Unsvelt Girl who Runs is a member on the forums on the Runner’s World Website and apparently her gaggle of friends there had all kinds of venom to spew about Heba yesterday after Tuesday nights broadcast of The Biggest Loser.  Yesterday afternoon a chat window popped up on my computer screen and it was she, asking, “What’s up with Heba?”  I of course had no idea of what she spoke.  But I told her what I knew and sent her the link to my previous Heba hating blog post.  After that, I was jonesing to get home and turn on my beloved DVR and find out what kind of evil, beastly shit she pulled this week.

I wasn’t disappointed.  Well, I was disappointed.  I’m always disappointed to see people make idiots of themselves on National Television…  Or Local Television…  Or one on one for that matter.  But I got the information I was seeking and I don’t guess I can ask for much more than that.

So, if you even care about such things, I’m sure you can imagine how sad it was for Phil to come back to his room on The Biggest Loser Campus last week to find that Amy P., his wife, had in fact been eliminated and sent home.  There he was, along with the rest of the black team, having a quiet, somber dinner, when in marches the Blue Team (read: Gang) to intrude on their solace and make a scene about the perceived evil deeds of one Phil P.

“I hear you’re still saying hateful things about me.  I want to know why?”  Said the Evil War Lord, Heba.

But as if that weren’t bad enough, the other three Blue Team roughians– er, members, Brady, Vicky and Amy C. all joined in.  On a side note.  I thought there was hope for Amy C.  I thought how unfortunate that she got stuck with this bad crowd.  Wouldn’t it be poetic justice if one by one the evil three got sent home and here was Amy C., left behind to make something of herself and her experience.  Alas, ’twas not to be.

So Phil freely admitted that he approached Brady about forming an alliance to send Heba home.  He also pointed out that it was purely game play and that’s what the show is about.  He has never been shown saying anything derogatory about her.

Heba was on a rant about how he’s always been hateful to her and treated her so badly and she just can’t understand why (Gee, I wonder) and how she had never done anything to him.

But here’s the best part.  She sat there, looked Phil in the eyes and said, “I just want you to know that I forgive you.  I’m the bigger person and I forgive you.  You have to live with what you’ve done.”  Um…  Earth to Heba…  the moment you say, “I’m the bigger person” you lost all hope of being the bigger person.

The most pathetic part of this whole thing, to me, is this.  Heba and her husband came on the show this season because they’re newly weds and they want to start a family in a couple years and she wants to make sure she’s healthy enough to have a baby.  I can only feel sorry for any unfortunate child, cursed enough to have such a horrible person for a mother.  This is going to sound bad, but I hope she’s barren and I hope she can’t ever afford – or is never approved for – adoption.  People like her should not be allowed to procreate.

Last night, I reached a conclusion.  No matter who ultimately loses the highest percentage of their body weight and wins the show, Heba is now and will always THE BIGGEST LOSER.

Poop

Well, it would be interesting to know how many people read this post JUST BECAUSE IT’S CALLED “Poop”.

When I spoke to Scared Kitty‘s Doctor on Friday he told me to give SK the weekend and see if he has a bowel movement.  IF he does, than he’s pretty much fine (Thank God!) and if not to give them a call and bring him back in.

Well, when I woke up on Saturday morning, there it was, like a sacred golden chalice, or the Holy Grail (I guess technically those are the same things, huh?) right in the middle of the couch cushion.  One single, solitary, tiny turd.  I didn’t even care that it was on the couch!

It was one week to the day since his last bowel movement and I was starting to worry again that maybe he wasn’t ok after all, but he gave me “the sign” if you will.

We’re still working on full recovery.  He doesn’t eat a whole lot.  While his evil plan to get himself canned food has worked like a charm, he still is only eating about one 3 oz can a day (which means lots of expensive canned food is being thrown out – none to happy about that) but it’s a start.

I Have-a the Hate-a for Heba

OK, so I don’t watch a lot of “Reality TV”.  I think it’s lame and contrived and the people on them usually suck.  All the “game play” that’s involved and the manipulation just pushes all the wrong buttons with me and makes me angry and hate the people involved.

There are a handful of these “Reality TV” shows I do like though.  Most of them are shows that do not involve this type of manipulation.  For instance:

DANCING WITH THE STARS

I love Dancing with the Stars!  I admit that when the show first started 4 years ago I thought it was going to be a ridiculous, lame show.  Really, who wants to watch a bunch of B-list celebrities and has-beens make idiots of themselves and dance (badly) for however many weeks.  I was so not going to watch it.  And then I found out that Kelly Monaco was going to be one of the contestants.  I used to like General Hospital.  I used to like her character on General Hospital.  I wanted to see how she would do and maybe support her.  She was terrible!  At first.  I was really disappointed to see that she wasn’t any better than she was.  But the show was more interesting than I anticipated, and the musical selections, while not always particularly fitting to the dance style, were interesting, and on more than a few occasions I have been reminded of old music that I liked and wanted to have on my iPod.  And then Kelly impressed me.

She was genuinely terrible in the first episode.  Looking back, I can’t remember if she really was worse than Trista Sutter or not, but somehow she survived the first elimination.  She also showed that she would take the show more seriously.  She actually listened to the judges critiques.  She worked on the things they asked her to work on and she showed she could put in the work and improve.  She won the first perfect score of the series and ultimately, she was the first Dancing with the Stars champion, and in my opinion, well deservedly.  John O’Hurley, however was a perfect example of what I hate about so many reality shows.  He was a sore loser.  Plain and simple.

Over the years the celebrities that have been on Dancing with the Starts have covered the gamut.  There are definitely a plethora of B-list celebrities and has-beens, but there are also some contestants who really are quite talented.  I’ll never forget Stacey Keibler and her unexpected natural talent.  I’ll also never forget how she threw the competition away in the finals because of an injured ankle.  Not that I don’t think Drew Lachey deserved to win but it was a real competition up until that point.

THE MOLE

The Mole was another example of an excellent “Reality TV” show.  I was late to that party, as it was one of the first round of these shows and I was staunchly opposed to jumping on the “Reality TV” band wagon.  But some way through the first season it got my attention and I decided that I was interested in checking it out for the second season.  (The fact that Anderson Cooper was the host didn’t hurt any either!)  Then of course it ended, until this past year when it was brought back and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Missed Mr. C. quite a bit though.

I like The Mole, because it’s interactive, in that the viewers get to try and guess who the Mole is, along with the players.  But I also like that the contestants can’t directly sabotage each other in the game.  Players are eliminated based on their scores on a test each week, which is based on things they may or may not have observed over the course of the competition.  If they guess correctly who the mole is, they stay in the game.  The one person who gets the lowest score on the test goes home, and it’s not because someone betrayed them or because they were less conniving than others, it’s because they made the wrong guess about who they thought the mole was.

THE BIGGEST LOSER

I only started watching this show recently, and only because I like Alison Sweeney.  I wanted to see how she did as a host.  The idea of watching a “Reality TV” show about a bunch of fat people who feel sorry for themselves and lose a bunch of weight in an unnatural amount of time and only because they have nothing to do with their time but work out for hours a day everyday with supervision for four months, was of no interest to me.  I never imagined a show like that would work and I wasn’t about to throw away hours of my time watching it.

The show, once I did start to watch it really grabbed my attention, which was unexpected.  It’s a really emotional experience for me in a number of ways.  As an overweight man, it’s emotional for me to see these unhappy people get this once in a lifetime opportunity to change their lives for the better.  To see the nearly miraculous transformations that they undergo, is, I’ll be honest, a little jealousy inducing.  Especially when you consider the fact that while I probably wouldn’t really ever go on such a show, they wouldn’t have me if I wanted to.  I’m not fat enough!

My first season to watch this show was the season when Jillian Michaels came back.  I thought she was horrible.  I thought she was harsh and unkind and way too hard on her players.  By the same token, I was absolutely in love with Bob Harper.  He’s beautiful.  I love his ink.  He’s got that sexy slightly southern accent.  And the shot in the show’s opening of him on the balance beam with all his weight on his hands with his feet out to the side always starts a little party in my pants.

Now, however, many seasons later, my opinions have changed.  I still think Bob is sexy and I wouldn’t kick him outta my bed, but I also think he’s too into the game play aspect of the show and not enough focused on the players.  Jillian, on the other hand has shown several times over, that she wants her team members to succeed.  She doesn’t care about the game.  She wants every one of her team members to do the best they can, to make a change for the better and to be the happiest people each of them can be.  Jillian’s Mother is a therapist and it’s clear that Jillian has either been through therapy herself, or she’s paid attention to her mother’s wisdom.

This season is only 6 weeks in and already she’s helped Michelle and Renee (mostly Michelle) to mend their relationship.  Renee is Michelle’s mother, and for reasons that have not been revealed, Renee walked out on Michelle’s father and took two of the three daughters with her, while Michelle was away in college.  Michelle felt abandoned and betrayed, and she hadn’t interacted with her mother for several years before coming on the show.  Michelle was ready to pack her bags and leave because she felt she was betraying her father by being there and by working on her relationship with Renee.  Jillian helped her work through that.

This season is only 6 weeks in and already she’s helped Colleen begin to overcome her self doubt and her fear of heights.  This week she took her team to a ropes course and she helped Colleen to overcome her fears and climb the 20 foot pole to the platform at the top and jump off.

I don’t mean to over inflate Jillian’s saintliness (in this same episode she said, “In this weeks ‘last chance workout’ I want to make someone throw up.” with a wicked smile on her face.) But she’s demonstrated that she genuinely cares about her contestants.  She wants the best for them.  She wants them each to accomplish as much as they can while on The Biggest Loser Campus.  I was right.  Jillian is harsh and mean and hard on her players…  and they usually love her for it.  I could use a little Jillian in my own life from time to time.

I like The Biggest Loser because the elimination is only partially based on popularity or game play (usually).  The elimination starts with the weigh-in (which needs to be revamped but that’s another subject entirely) by finding out which team (first and then two individuals later) has the lesser percentage of weight loss for the week.  Then the members of that team must decide whom to eliminate.  Ideally the decision is based on a thoughtful consideration between “who is my biggest threat” and “who can help keep us from coming back to elimination next week.”  Usually, that’s how it seems to go down…

Not this week.

This leads me back to the title of this post.  There is a player on this season of The Biggest Loser named Heba.  Heba is evil and despicable and must be destroyed.  I pray that her comeuppance is coming!

It started last week or the week before when the shows challenge was a “temptation” challenge.  The challenge was simple.  The players were lead into a room that was piled high with all the things they should not be eating.  Brownies and Reese’s and Krispy Kremes.  They brought them into the room, showed them the food, explained the game to them and then turned the lights off.  Ali (Alison Sweeney) donned a pair of night vision goggles so that she could see what was happening and the rest of them were in complete darkness.  The deal was that the player who ate the most calories in this challenge would get to choose which players would go on which team and be with which trainer.  (This season was “Biggest Loser Families” and two of the families had already had one member sent home.  They started out as teams of two and they were now going to be restructured to the traditional Blue team and Black team.)

Almost as soon as the lights were turned out, Heba piped up and suggested that she was “willing to take the hit” and she’d eat A doughnut and then she’d keep the teams as is, with the trainers they’d already been working with.  She felt like she had to stay with Bob Harper and she was willing to do whatever it took to make it happen.  The challenge was for 10 minutes and there was quite a bit of decent in the group about whether or not they were willing to put their trust in Heba and let it go down that way.  I won’t bore you with the details.  If you care, you probably saw it.  But the point is, Heba won the challenge and got to determine the teams, but not before being pissed off at one of the other players, Phil.

She was given one hour to decide how she wanted to align the teams and in the end she kept herself on Bob’s team, along with a married couple, Vicky and Brady who she had befriended.  She essentially aligned the teams the way the were before, with the exception of Phil.  She put him on Jillian’s team while keeping his wife, Amy P.,  on Bob’s team.  She presented it, in the room, almost believably – but not quite, that she felt it was the only fair thing to do, because their were only two men left in the game and she had put one on each team.  The problem is, every one saw through it, and in her “confessional” interview, she made comments along the lines of “if you mess with me…”  She made it clear that she was going to split Phil and Amy P. up just to hurt the guy and she made it clear that she was going to put him on the other team so she wouldn’t have to deal with him anymore.

This week, Heba’s team was the lesser team and had to eliminate someone.  Unfortunately, Amy P. fell short and the team eliminated her.  Vicky and Brady both said that they were eliminating her because they believed her absence from the campus would weaken Phil, and strengthen their chances.  I hated them in that moment for being so petty and childish, but at least they were honest about their reasons.  Heba was the last to reveal her vote and she claimed that she “struggled” with her decision between two players, but in the end she voted for Amy P. because Amy P. posed a bigger threat to her.  REALLY!?!  Amy P. posed a bigger threat than Brady, the 280 pound man?  Yeah, uh huh!  I’m buying it.  Got any swamp land you want to sell me with that?

You may be wondering why I have some much vitriol about this, and to be honest, I wonder too.  The only thing I can figure is this.  Phil and Amy P. are good people.  They have a difficult life having three relatively young kids, one of whom is autistic.  They recognized that they needed help to make this goal happen and when they got to the Biggest Loser Campus they worked hard.  They have shown caring and concern for their fellow contestants and have shown that they deserve to be there.

Heba has been evil and vindictive since arriving and has shown that she revels in those characteristics.  She’s proud of herself and her behavior and thinks she deserves to be rewarded for it.  I find myself hating her, and I just hope and pray that in the very near future, something will happen in the game to make it possible for her to be eliminated and that when she is, it is with just as much ceremony and piousness as she has shown.

I recognize that this situation draws a parallel with my own real life circumstances and that’s why it hits me so hard, but I have real difficulty with people who manipulate and belittle other’s to get there way and I hate it with the red hot passion of a thousand firey suns when evil triumphs over good.  It happens way too much in this world and I wish I could make it stop!

All Part of My Evil Plan

My name is Scared Kitty. I’m told I’m “16 years” old. I like that number better. As far as I know I’m 56 cat years old.

Finally, my evil plan has come together.

When I was just a wee Scared Kitty I was introduced to the joy that is wet cat food. My Daddy has always fed me dry food. I like it when it’s a freshly opened bag. Daddy has to parse it out to me a little at a time, though, or I’ll eat too much, too fast. Then I go and barf it on the couch, or the carpeted part of the floor (I wonder if that’s why there’s no carpet where we live now?) or on a bed. That part’s not so much fun, but the food sure tastes good.

Anyway, 39 cat years ago, my Aunt was really fat. I mean, she was REALLY fat! She had this big ole belly that used to swing back and forth when she’d walk, and it almost dragged on the floor. When I was new in the house, I used to like to play with my Aunt and Uncle. Uncle Muppet was really grumpy. He’d grunt and growl at me and sometimes he’d bat at my head and run away. Aunt Miss Kitty though, she was more fun. Mostly she was just too fat to run away so she’d just plop down on the floor and take it. I’d pounce on her and bite her neck and she’d just sigh and wait till Daddy or Vengeful Grandma yelled at me and made me go for time out. They didn’t know it but I did it on purpose. I was sleepy and needed a nap but I was trying to hide it. I’d jump on Aunt Miss Kitty and they’d make me go in my Daddy’s room and they’d close the door. I’d take a quick cat nap (I wonder why they call it that?) and then I’d be ready to come out and be good for a while.

Well, finally Vengeful Grandma decided that Aunt Miss Kitty was too fat so she put her on a diet. She made Aunt Miss Kitty eat this funny food that was supposed to make her loose weight, but she didn’t really like it. I guess it musta been really nasty because she would always throw it up after she ate. Pretty soon Vengeful Grandma gave up on the idea and let Aunt Miss Kitty come back to eating the same old stuff as me and Uncle Muppet. It was weird though, ‘cause all of a sudden she didn’t really like that food either. Pretty soon she just stopped eating all together.

Vengeful Grandma got nervous and took Aunt Miss Kitty to the mean ole doctors (sure was glad I didn’t have to go.) They said she was allergic to something they called “fillers”. Don’t know what that means. I think all food is filling if you eat enough of it. Anyway, they said that she couldn’t eat the stuff me and Uncle Muppet were eating, anymore. They gave her some fancy shmancy stuff that was supposed to be sooo much better than what we were eatin’. Pfft. Whatever. Joke was on them. She didn’t eat that stuff either. It did get kinda scary though. Pretty soon Aunt Miss Kitty was so skinny you could count her ribs… I mean, you could if you knew your numbers.

Vengeful Grandma went away for a couple days. They said my Aunt CPA Sis did something exciting. College Graduation? Who wants College? I think you have to leave the house for that. Ewww. But it was a big deal to Vengeful Grandma so everybody packed up, including Aunt Miss Kitty (but not Uncle Muppet and me) and left. I heard Aunt Miss Kitty didn’t actually go with them. I heard she had to go stay with the mean Doctor.  Yikes! Don’t really know what happened, but I heard she went a little bonkers when the nurse opened a can of wet food to purée and put in Aunt Miss Kitty’s tummy.

When everybody came home, something wonderful happened. Vengeful Grandma started feeding this fancy new wet food to Aunt Miss Kitty. It smelled sooo good. I don’t know what a venison is but I sure smelled tasty. Only thing is, they wouldn’t let me have it. She didn’t seem so interested with it to me. She still wanted to eat my food. So Vengeful Grandma decided we had to eat at specific times. Uncle Muppet and me would eat in Daddy’s bedroom with the door closed and Aunt Miss Kitty ate in Vengeful Grandma’s room. Every day at six and six we would go in our rooms and eat. It was pretty awesome though, ‘cause Aunt Miss Kitty never quite finished her food. When they’d let me outta Daddy’s room, I’d go straight to her bowl and eat whatever venison was left. Mmmm. Yum!

Well, 30 cat years ago, the rug was pulled out from under me. Mean ole, Aunt CPA Sis stuck me in a bag with windows and took me outta the house. They took me on a long ride in the car. I hate that. But then they took me to this loud scary place, and on a thing that made my ears hurt. And when it was all over I was in a weird place, but my Daddy was there. After a week, Vengeful Grandma and Aunt CPA Sis left, but they didn’t take me with them. Ever since then it’s been nothing but dry food, and it’s always there. Even when it’s not six.

Well, it’s been 30 cat years but I finally figured out my evil plan. I stopped eating. I didn’t really drink enough water. I started barfing a lot. Pretty soon there was nothin’ in the barf but water. Daddy got worried. I guess my fur was lookin’ pretty shabby. Daddy brushed me and got a whole bunch of hair off me. He said it looked like something called a trouble—triple—Tribble? Don’t know. I still didn’t look too good though and I was kinda pooped for a while after that. Daddy calls it evening crazies, but I just call it running around a little nuts. Whatever you call it, I didn’t have the energy for it anymore.

Then my evil plan backfired a little. Once day last week, Daddy came home and brought that bag up. He took me to another mean ole Doctor. He pulled on my eye lids and tried to make me open my mouth. He squeezed my tummy and my back. He put a cold round thing on my sides. They said he was listening to my heart, but I don’t see how. His ears weren’t anywhere near me! And then he stuck a thing in my butt and then said my temperature was low.

They took some blood and made me pee in a cup and put some water in my back ‘cause they said I was dehydr—dehide—I needed water. Daddy looked worried when he took me home.

It was a kinda long week-end and he kept giving me something called baby-food. Don’t know what baby in its right mind would eat that stuff. It’s icky. But it all paid off. Last night?!? Last night, Daddy came home with some of that yummy wet food and I went to town! Good stuff!!! He says I get that from now on, so I guess my evil plan worked after all!

Genius! Sheer Evil Genius!

Evening Crazies, Coming Soon to a Kitty Near… Me

Scared Kitty‘s results came back clean, thank God!  It was a pretty rough night of worry.  But fortunately, it seems Scared Kitty will likely be just fine.

I took Scared Kitty to the Alameda Pet Hospital yesterday afternoon to be examined and checked out.  The initial examination did indicate that he was slightly dehydrated and that he had “stool in his colon”.  I believe that translates as, “He’s constipated.”   The doctor was dutiful and listed for me all the possibilities and indicated that in a cat of SK‘s age, we have to look at a lot of possible issues.  He listed things like Kidney Disease, Thyroid problems and Cancer.  The kidney disease and cancer hit me hard as that’s what Vengeful Mother was told about her cat “Miss Kitty” before she had to be put to sleep.

The vet did a physical examination, and then took him into the lab to gather a blood and urine sample and administer a “sub-cutaneous saline bubble”, read water bubble.  I was also told to buy some good old fashioned baby food and try to get him to eat that.  It seems really strange to buy baby food for my cat (and it lends support to my “this is as close as I’m going to get to parenthood” argument) but it seems to be of interest to him.  The only problem is he doesn’t eat very much at a time and if it’s left sitting out it gets a dry crustiness on the top of it after a while.

I brought Scared Kitty back home before going to get the baby food and as soon as I let him out of his carrier, he made a b-line for his food bowl and ate several pieces of his normal food.  I called the Vet but they said that he needs the ‘bland diet” to settle his stomach so I went ahead and got the baby food.

The vet called me today at 12:02 (I was told between 12 and 5 – Big points for the vet!) and said that the blood work and urine analysis were pretty favorable.  Healthy kidneys and thyroid and no indication of cancer.  The only point of concern was that some of his liver enzymes were “slightly elevated” which could indicated a “mild inflammation” of either his liver or his pancreas.  Then he asked me if his condition had changed.  Thanks the Good Lord, it had!

I made the decision last night to stay home from work today, in part to “take care of my sick child”, which is somewhat true, in that he did need to be monitored and fed.  But I also, wasn’t sure how things were going to turn out, and if today was going to turn out to be some of the last few hours of his life, I wanted to spend them with him!  The bonus to that decision was that I was able to sleep in as well.  When I opened my bedroom door this morning (scared kitty isn’t allowed in my bedroom) I immediately saw a piece of cat poop on the floor.  I have never been so happy! to see cat poop outside of the litter pan before.  There were a couple places where he pooped and some of it was of a diarrhea consistency, but at least he moved his bowels.  The water bubble was absorbed almost completely within a few hours.  And almost immediately his coat started to look better.  We may be in good shape after all.

The Vet said to keep feeding him the baby food and keep an eye on him over the week-end and then check back in with him on Monday.  If he’s not doing better than I need to bring him in so they can x-ray his abdomen to see what they might see.  But it looks promising.

Today, Scared Kitty has an optimistic and encouraged daddy!

Where have my Evening Crazies Gone?

Scared Kitty is sick.  Or at least he might be.  He hasn’t eaten in two or three days (that I can tell), he hasn’t had a bowel movement, he doesn’t even seem to be drinking water.  The last few days he’s vomited several times but it’s been all clear fluid.  His breath smells really foul and not like average kitty breath smells.  His coat has been really shabby and last night I brushed a tribble off of him.  He isn’t completely without energy, but he’s slowed down quite a bit.  It’s all somewhat sudden.  As recently as this week-end he had the Evening Crazies.

Today he goes to the vet and I’m really worried about what they will tell me.  This is the closest I’ve ever been (and probably ever will be) to being a parent.  And if this is what parenthood is like, I want no part of it.

Today, Scared Kitty has a Scared Daddy.