sihayadesigns: (Me: Illustrated)
How can I put into words what Nox meant to me?

Nox became a part of our family in late summer, 2009. In a way, he picked us. On the way out of the cat cages at BARCS, something swiped my jeans. I looked down and saw nothing. But then when I got to my knees, I saw him: pitch black, skinny as a whip. Giant radar dish ears and a shaved tail. I held him and fell in love instantly.

The new kitten

Lots of words and pictures. )

So many people have been reaching out with condolences. Thank you for them. But please know that I am really, very overwhelmed and deep in my grief right now. Every text or email or card starts the waterworks again, and I need to give myself permission to not engage for a while. I hope you understand.
sihayadesigns: (Me: Illustrated)
At 12:40pm, Nox passed very peacefully at home, surrounded by his family. We had the great fortune to find a vet who does in-home visits on Christmas, and she gently aided us in getting through the process. He was warm, pillowed by our arms, and he went easily and with many kisses.

After Friday's visit to the vet, Nox declined rather quickly. By yesterday evening, his breathing was shallow and he'd begun having problems walking. We knew it was time, and he was ready. We called the vet, put an air mattress by the Christmas tree, and he spent his last night comfortably resting with us in the glow of soft lights, which he loved.

Today, we kissed him and told him how much joy he brought us, and how he was the most beautiful cat we've ever laid eyes on. I loved him since the first moment I saw him.

I will probably post tomorrow or the day after-- a list of things I loved about him that I do not want to forget. It will doubtless be a very long list. He was my little fuzzy son, that once-in-a-lifetime special cat who just becomes part of you. My days will be very quiet now.

Lazy Noxman
sihayadesigns: (Sense8: I lost a flip flop)
Right now, my life is a bouquet of stress. Many different varieties of stress.

1. My little brother got married this weekend. It was a pretty good trip, despite the long, long, long hours in the car, and the fact that there is nothing my digestive tract hates more than traveling. Doubly so now that I've been on a relatively low-carb diet for two months. All of the rich/carb-y food of traveling/the reception have been wreaking havoc on my stomach. Not to mention, it cost us $500 to travel to the wedding. I was glad I went, but we are buying a house right now, and that's $500 I didn't really have.

2. Did I mention homebuying is expensive? Jesus christ. And the paperwork. The paperwork has given Jason a whole swath of new grey hair. We are going through a CDA loan because it gives us an extra $5,000 towards closing costs. Unfortunately, CDAs are bonkers. We have had to file paperwork to certify that money transfers from one spouse to another do not constitute "gifts," but rather "here's my half of rent/BGE/Verizon/etc." They are going over all of our finances with the finest of fine tooth combs.

3. Our being away apparently threw the cats into tailspin. Nox puked everywhere. Olive poo-sploded the second we got in the door (which was not later than her usual bathroom time). Mim developed an acute UTI, and we have a vet appt for her at 4:30. She's currently unhappily chilling out in a crate with a tiny little litterbox, and peeing tiny dimes of pee every five minutes. I caught it relatively quickly-- the behavior started about two hours ago-- but still. More money. At this point, I am resolved to never again leave the house, because inevitably, one of the cats requires a vet visit within 48 hours of my return.

4. It's a good thing I had a sale pre-set to go and began advertising it last week. So far, it's been modest, but assuming I can actually get some work done this week amid a stream of constant interruptions (not even exaggerating a little), I will be putting up 40+ new pieces and that should be nice money if some of them sell.

movingsale copy

20% off of everything at Sihaya Designs, and 20% of all candles at Sihaya And Company. Yes, there are deals for combined shipping if you want candles AND jewelry. Yes, there are deals for combined shipping if you want earrings tonight and a pendant on Friday. Details are here.

5. I also had to unexpectedly buy a new computer battery & charger, because mine straight-up died last week. JFC, I feel cursed.

6. In the realm of cool-ish news, last week, I was dealing with the kind of insomnia that left me greeting the sunrise. So instead, I channeled it into a project: The Black Tapes Mysteries Resource. It was really neat when The Black Tapes tweeted it out to their followers. I've gotten a fair readership in a relatively short time.


I think that's all that's fit to print. I desperately need a shower, so I'mma go do that before I lose my ever loving mind. Or cry. Crying is becoming more and more of an option.
sihayadesigns: (Default)
1. Nox started eating again, hallelujah. We're not entirely sure what it was that finally broke his hunger strike-- in the past month, we took him off chemo (which doesn't generally make him nauseated, but seemed like a good idea), started a stomach-coating med 30 mins before mealtimes, put him on (and then weaned him off) an anti-nausea med, and started an appetite stimulant. Nothing had an immediate effect, but regardless, earlier this week, he started eating again! Our plan is to hold to our current regimen for another week and then see if adding his chemo back in changes anything. I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off my chest. I wish to god we knew why this happens every Autumn.

2. Special Effects, maker of the best crayola hair dyes in the world, is experiencing another one of their production hiccups, and they've been out of my regular dye for MONTHS. I am officially out, and my roots are kinda bananas. So. I guess I'm going to have a purple-to-pink ombre for awhile. Honestly, I really would like to do teal, but at this point, I don't think I could strip enough pink out to get a nice teal going, so. Meh. I was thinking I might try Punky Colors, but all of the reviews say it's got a 2 week bright stage in the hair... I've gotten spoiled by only having to do my hair every 5-6 weeks. I'm just not willing to do a touch up every other week.

3. I just bought supplies for my winter run of candles. I let people vote on my company FB page, and I'm doing preorders for my friends. I don't actually make much profit on the candles, but I like making them. It's a fun creative exercise. Part of the lack of profit is because I do my own scent blending, rather than just adding one pre-fabbed fragrance to the wax. So each blend I do usually has at least 3 notes in it-- all of that adds up. Plus the glossy labels and the candle glitter... but they are super pretty. The blends that I'm making for sure are:

a) An evergreen and ice blend - something that smells like cold air whipping through a snowy forest.
b) A rich, sensual spiced amber. The idea came about from the "candletime" idea that I've seen floating around social media in response to holiday madness. It's all about taking time to snuggle up with candle light, a mug of something warm, and a good book. My brain translated that to rich, spicy resins.
c) Santa's Visit - cherry pipe tobacco, a burning hearth, and subtle tree notes.
d) A classic garland-- a realistic tree scent with spiced pomanders and some cranberry notes.

There's also a secret blend I'm working on partially as a joke-- I came across a fragrance oil called "ESSENCE OF JESUS" that made me go "ohhhhh myyyyyyyy," particularly as it's composed of notes one would usually find in pretty sensual blends. So I'm going to make a VERY limited number of candles in the vein with frankincense, myrrh, precious spices, and a little bit of a vanilla patchouli base to round it out. I've sold 7 already in preorders, which means batch one will have 5 left. I suppose if I like it enough, I can always rename it and add it in.

I also got some other notes to do experiemental holiday blends... I'm envisioning a roses-and-pinecones scent, but I've been having a hard time finding the right rose for the scent I'm envisioning. I want a really crisp, greenery-fresh rose note like PBSW's Roses In The Snow or BPAL's Rose Red. I swear, I have sniffed at least 10 rose scents in my search. And they're all very nice. They're just not... the one.

ANYWAY, the 8oz candle tins are going to sell at the usual $11/each, so if you're interested in a preorder, LMK. I'll make the greenlit candles at the end of next week, to ship Thanksgiving week.

4. Speaking of Holidays... I am going to be that person that puts their tree up way too early this year. We're decorating this weekend. I need the light. We're also planning a trip up to Valley View Farms sometime soon, not that we need any new ornaments. It's just a tradition. That, and a meal at Atwaters, yumm. Jason also really wants to go up to see the Christmas display at Longwood, which looks really nice. I've never seen the holiday display.

5. I'm not sure how big the Sihaya Designs holiday retail collection will be this year, but I've started working on it. It'll be the usual mix of stocking stuffer earrings, earring wardrobes, and fancy wirework. At least, it will if I can power through this weird wire slump I've been in for the last few days. Everything I've made has either looked like a uterus or a Very Fancy Penis. Paging Dr. Freud...
sihayadesigns: (Default)
Jason and I got back from Salem last night around midnight. Much more successful attempt at a vacation than this year's trip to the Outer Banks. There were a few down notes, but overall, a good time was had. The trip. )

Most of my pictures from the trip are up at my Instagram! Holy cats, we did a lot.

As for other goings-on:

-- I made it to Faire once this season. I had a better time than expected (since I've been in a weird headspace lately), and it was nice to not be scrambling from one show to the next. Mostly, I wandered. It was exactly what I needed, along with good times with fun friends (Jen & Laura).

-- I attended a Witches' Tea Party at [ profile] damejenn's, which was EXQUISITELY decorated. The refreshments provided were well-chosen and delicious. The company was delightful. I made fun cupcakes. Again, pics at Instagram.

-- I've been working on getting a handle on my situational depression and anxiety. I only had one anxiety attack the whole time I was in Salem. Part of that was knowing that the kitties were in excellent hands. Abby is a godsend. But Nox is a bit thinner than I'm used to seeing him, and he's due for a vet appointment in a week, so I'm trying to manage the anxiety that comes from that. We had a great snuggle earlier today, and he's still eating, even if he's being a super fussbutt about it. Good thoughts appreciated.

-- The next two weeks are going to be mostly me completing the next FaerieMag order. It's smaller this month, probably because they ordered so much stock last month that they're still working through. This batch is mostly holiday stuff, and, for the most part, not as work-intensive. Which means I might be able to put out a small holiday retail collection this year, huzzah.

-- Transcendence is headlining the All Seasons Hafla on Sunday!
sihayadesigns: (Default)
So, backstory: last week, we had to take Mim to the vet. She had a UTI, which is a quick and easy fix, but while we were there, the vet noticed that her mouth area was red and inflamed. We had never noticed because we only ever see her front teeth, which are absolutely fine, but at least 10 of her back teeth need to be pulled. We don't know WHY, but some cats are just genetically prone to dental issues, and it seems Mim is one of those cats.

So Jason and I have been playing a bit of jenga with our finances, figuring out how to eek out the 1K (or more) that such extensive surgery would cost. We only ever spend food costs when we go to NC (his dad pays for the house the whole family stays in while we're there). Most of our trip to Salem is already paid and non-refundable. So we were starting up a saving plan to get it taken care of in the next 6 months, because we don't want Mim to be uncomfortable, even if she doesn't show us that she is. (Seriously, she eats like a little snarfling piglet.)

We'd always joked that Mim was our 'easy' cat-- Olive cost us THOUSANDS when she started to lose her legs (and we spend around $50/month on wipes and pads for when we help her go to the bathroom), and Nox's cancer meds cost around $200/month. Between medical stuff and specialty foods (Mim is allergic to wheat, Nox is the world's pickiest eater), we spend roughly $450/month on cat care, not to mention paying for twice-daily petsitters when we travel, because Olive can't use a litterbox. So to hear that we were gonna be in for at least another 1K with little warning was pretty damn stressful.

Well, Jason comes home crying tonight because his coworker, Mollie, and the rest of their team put together a fundraiser behind his back and raised the 1K for the surgery!

Like, whoa. Whoa. Totally unexpected whoa. I'm floored by the generosity of these people. And this is part of why I call Mollie 'Supergirl.' There are days I wonder if she's not actually a superhero, forreals.
sihayadesigns: (Default)
Labradorite piece auction to benefit Fatty, Amy & Justin's kitty, who needs $$$ surgery.

To bid and to read Fatty's story, visit here:

Animal Fund Labradorite Auction Piece
sihayadesigns: (Default)
My laptop is dead. Hopefully, it will be resurrected-- right before it crapped out, it refused to recognize my AC adapter, which has indeed seen better days. So I ordered a new one and hopefully that will fix it. In the meanwhile, I'm surviving through a combo of using my smartphone and hopping on Jason's computer if I need to write something more long-form. Which, indeed, I shall be doing later this week-- more on that when it manifests. But it's good stuff.

Work-wise, nearly all of the jewelry that I'm dropping off to Faerie Magazine on Tuesday has already sold. Yeah, I'd say the transition to doing wholesale work has gone swimmingly. At this point, they've bought/sold roughly 500 of my pieces since October, and they're placing another large-ish order later this week. Things have been going really great with the team there, and I'm so happy.

Honestly, I thought I'd be more frustrated/bored making the same pool of work in a wholesale format, but it turns out I'm not. I think I was approaching a sort of creative fatigue after 7+ years of retail collections, not to mention, the fear of "okay, if I splurge on this stone / this material / etc, what happens if it doesn't sell?" Having a regular wholesale gig brings me a new audience and a little more stability so that I can make those gambles more often, and instead of feeling pressured to create, I can make them as the creativity inspires me. I feel much more chill about it.

I don't know what the wholesale/retail balance is going to be in 2015. Right now, I'm focusing on wholesale because it's going SO WELL. But I have a slew of Shard of Light pendants to make next week for commissions, and after that, I need to decide what my first retail collection of 2015 will be. (Probably something appropriate for Art of the Belly in March.) It's just nice to be able to take a bit of a breath, you know?

Aaaanywho, things are, *knock on wood*, going ok for the moment, dead laptop aside. I am behind on my correspondence (as always). I have a stack of "thank you for sending me a holiday card" notes to send. This winter, so far (again, *knock on wood*), is kicking last winter's ass. But I think that's because Nox has been maintaining. He's a bit picky about food, but overall ok. We're a little nervous about his white blood cell count since he restarted his chemo regimen last week-- I really don't want to take him off of it. So good thoughts would be very appreciated there.

I leave you with this awesome piece of artwork that Austen Marie drew of me. I plan to use it over at The Enchanted Mirror once I have a working laptop again.

sihayadesigns: (Magic: Luna)
It's been a while since I've done a substantive life-update in long-form. As more and more people move from LJ, it's been harder to keep in the habit of writing. In short, things are pretty good.

Work: It's the busy season. I've been working up a storm. The Halloween update just went live last Friday, which is terrible timing (nobody checks the Friday before a holiday weekend), so I'm going to try to do more promo this weekend.

Cobwebs 2014

I need to get with the Faerie Magazine People and ask about their next order so I can plan out my timeline for Holiday stuff. Speaking of, I am IN the Autumn Faerie Magazine-- or at least some of my moss jewelry is. Woot.

NC: Annual trip to the Outer Banks came and went. It's always so nicely quiet down there in late Sept/ early Oct. Unfortunately, it always falls during my busiest season. I worked through most of the days Jason was on the beach. The bright side to this is that my temporary office space was in the crow's nest of the beach house, and the views were spectacular. It had a reclining chair, so I ate breakfast and read a book and listened to the ocean in the morning.

There were lots of delicious seafoods eaten, girlie nail-painting time with my sister in law, and hanging out on the beach at night.

Cats: Nox had a major checkup on Saturday. He's gained weight, although not as much as we thought he did (he may be trading muscle for fat, idk), and his ultrasound came back good. Waiting for the results of his blood panel over the long weekend was torture. Monday was lost in anxiety attacks. Abby came over to watch movies with me so I wouldn't be alone and at the sole mercy of the brain weasels.

The doc called mercifully early this morning-- white blood cell counts were slightly low (an expected results of his steroid use) and his platelets were also low (an expected result of his chemo pill). The vet assured me that this is "part of the process" and not a cause for panic. We're taking him off the chemo pill for three weeks, and then will re-do the bloodwork. I have been doing... ok with this. I keep reminding myself that our vet is an excellent vet and has always been very honest with us about everything. If he says it's normal/expected, then it is. Still, my little dude has cancer, and that never really gets easier for me. The last few days have been hard, and I have felt a little fragile. But he's not manifesting many symptoms of sickness, and he's still pretty happy about all of his favorite things. He's also been extra snuggly as the weather gets cold, and has been all about the hugs and kisses. I love this cat so much.

Faire: I made it to faire twice this season, huzzah. The first was the weekend of my birthday, and I had not been partaking in wine for over a month. Three glasses, and I was quite drunk. Surprised the heck out of me, my lord. So yeah, we tapped out by 4:30 because I was like "nope, I need to go be unconscious, thanks." Diana and I went this past weekend, which was a much better time. The weather was glorious and slightly crisp. We got to watch Casey's Guinness World Record Attempt (and success), we ate things on sticks, and we watched pub sing as darkness descended.

Walking around with Diana, who is incredibly attractive and also having of the fantastically-colored hair, we got a lot of photo requests. Which-- that's always something I've found odd about faire. Not odd bad, but just... odd. I mean, photographers documenting the general faire atmosphere is one thing. But for years, I've had perfect strangers ask to take pictures with me, which is just so strange to me. Why would you want a photo with a perfect stranger? And someone who is not one of the faire's actors/performers? I don't get it. Generally, I say yes, because quite frankly I find it much less bothersome than people who try to photograph me without asking / without my knowledge, but it is still something I don't think I'll ever understand.

As for costuming, for my birthday I splurged on a new corset from Moresca. My first overbust in like six or seven years! I am sad that the gold part is not more yellow (so my initial idea for costuming TOTALLY didn't work), but I raided my dance skirts collection and found two outfits that work quite nicely! Outfits! )

Jason: and I have been doing a ridiculous workout regimen, T25. I am a few days behind because of the update and the day lost to anxiety, but though the scale doesn't seem to be shifting too much, my clothes feel more comfortable. I'm having more of an issue with the restrictive diet in the season of pumpkin flavored everything. Very hard to resist all of the delicious seasonal baked goods.

This weekend is our 5 year wedding anniversary, so we're going to Gettysburg for foliage watching, historical stuff, and a ghost tour.

Hocus Pocus: I am handling this mostly on FB, but in case you are not a FB person (and also someone I know IRL), the Hocus Pocus gathering is going to be Sunday the 26th. Second movie will be Cabin In The Woods.

So, that's it. It's a mixed bag. I'm stressed. I could use more hugs. But there are good things happening, too.

Easy day.

May. 19th, 2014 11:50 am
sihayadesigns: (Magic: Glass lotus)
Wow, so... "new livejournal." It's pretty Tumblr-esque. I'll have to see if it grows on me.

Today, I am having a relaxing day. This weekend was about hunting for a new place to live (hence why I skipped the Transcendence performance at Fez Tones), and then some chilled out social time afterwards. Unfortunately, nothing promising yet on the living space front, though I am making some calls and tracking down private rentals to visit for next weekend. But social time was good! Saturday night, we played Cards Against Humanity with Brooke & Tim. Sunday was Thai food and another fun card game, Gloom, with Jenn & Todd. Gloom is, essentially, Edward Gorey meets Aubrey Beardsley: The Game. If you like the Lemony Snicket books, you'll probably like this, too. Anyhow, really fun! Will have to get a copy.

What things have I not talked about in my flurry of activity? Well, Spoutwood went well. I made enough $$$ to dig myself out of the financial hole that being too sick to work for two months caused. I may not have much left over, but that's infinitely preferable to being in the red. Performing with Transcendence was good, as usual, but I preferred last year's stage to this one. We were mainstage performers this year, which is exciting, but that meant we were sharing the stage with large bands and all of their equipment. Even when they did their best to clear room for us, I was still tripping over mics and trying not to run into drum kits. I never felt like I was entirely focusing on the performance aspect, and so next year I hope we can figure out a better workaround or go back to a less-cluttered stage.

The cats are doing well. Nox is putting some weight back on and overall being less fussy about food. The chemo regimen is greatly bettering his quality of life. We have been spending a lot of cuddle time together, he and I. He is a very happy cat who takes his pills and gets on with his life. I love him so much sometimes I think my heart will burst.

I am NOT looking forward to packing/moving. I have SO. MUCH. STUFF. in my studio that all I can think is "noooooooooooooooo."

My nephew is at that five month old stage where he looks like the Michelin Man. It is very likely my parents will try to attain custody after some preliminary legal hurdles are out of the way. The further away that child is from my sister, the more functional he will be.

My brother is being moved to Hawaii for three years by his job. I am intensely jealous. And sad, because I genuinely like hanging out with my brother. Genuinely liking hanging out with any member of my family is such an anomaly that I'm pretty bummed. But happy for him.

Fandom is good right now. If you're not watching Orphan Black, ye gods and little fishes, you ought to be. The Emmys need to be just a shower of awards for that show, and a crown for Tatiana Maslany. Anything less is a crime.

Jason is adjusting to his CGMS. It's working well as an early warning system, but he's having other health issues right now that are still complicating his efforts to keep his blood sugars consistent. Diabetes sucks not only because it sucks all by itself, but because it causes other, seemingly unrelated things not to work, too. Fuck diabetes, is what I'm saying.

I've been less consistent with the beauty blog, but back to posting this week. I bought myself a really pretty lipstick at Sephora that should be delivered tomorrow, and I can't WAIT to write about that. /magpie

So, there you have it. Nothing terribly interesting. But after the winter I had, uninteresting is okay by me.

The ick.

Jan. 6th, 2014 09:53 am
sihayadesigns: (Magic: The raven)
I have the ick. Specifically, some sort of virus that's affecting my throat and the lymph nodes in it. I don't think it's bacterial, like strep, based on a visual inspection, so for the time being, I'm just going to rest my voice and drink lots of warm liquids. Otherwise, I feel pretty okay, but it's just annoying and limiting. I have lots of delicious cheese in my fridge that's not getting eaten until the ick departs.

Aside from that, I can't do much work until my supply order comes in with stuff for this month's custom pieces and new sterling. Should be here shortly, but until then, I'm twiddling my thumbs. I have to pack a few orders, and I have to do a preliminary swatch for a custom order, but that's it. I may do swatches for the beauty blog, since I have lots of things to swatch. While I feel like ass, I look okay.

Nox had his 1 month post-chemo checkup. He lost 2 oz, but is otherwise doing really well. The vet suggested we supplement him with Innova dry food if he'll eat it, which is iffy. He seems to respond best to puree textured at the moment. But his bloodwork looked good. So there's that.

Anxiety continues to suck. Grief is continuing to sneak up on me, particularly at night. It's all part of the process, I guess.


Nov. 22nd, 2013 05:28 pm
sihayadesigns: (Buffy: Get back up)
My beloved furmonster, Nox, has small cell intestinal cancer.

The vet said we caught it as early as we could have, and it has not yet spread to the lymph nodes.

We're looking at two years, more or less, with him if he responds well to the chemo, which he has a good shot at doing. We're not sure which course of action we're going to do just yet, but there will be chemo in about a week.

Jason and I are absolutely gutted.

Thank you to those of you who sat with us this week during the very difficult waiting period. We will continue to appreciate your support in the next week or two, as we get through crisis mode.

My heart is shattered. He was the one that was supposed to play with our children.
sihayadesigns: (Me: Faerie Mask)
-- Oh, daylight savings. How you completely eff me up. No kidding, I have gone to sleep at 9 or 10 twice this week. Me, the nightowl, who will happily work until 2am. Something about it getting dark so early just makes me want to eat dinner and sleep.

-- As far as Nox goes, with the appetite stimulant, he has been eating, but will only touch dry food. This is fine for now, but in the long run, I want to get him back on wet food. Boy cats and a diet of only dry don't mesh very well. Two vets have given us the diagnosis of "huh" as far as he is concerned, after 2 blood tests, 2 ultrasounds, and an x-ray. So it's treating the symptoms and seeing how he does there. My main goal is getting him in the habit of eating again, re-training his brain to see food as good stuff.

-- Olive hates that Nox has been getting so much attention and has been extra bossy and extra clingy. We bought some Feliway to help him relax, and it had the complete opposite reaction on her for a few days. She became a surly, hissing demon at everyone in the household. I am reminded of what the Pax did to a small portion of the population...

-- To console me on a particularly rough night, [ profile] tamnonlinear brought over a terribad 1960's filmed version of the Ballad of Tam Lin, starring Ava Gardner and Ian McShane (as a young stud who had not yet grown into his teeth). It was... innnnnnnnnnnteresting. Better with herbal enhancement.

-- Anxiety sucks. There's just no other way to put it. This time of year is hard for me without any kind of triggers, but add in a major illness for one of my furkids, and it meant periodic crying jags to the point where I actually ran out of tears and started dry-crying. It's exhausting. Hence the herbal enhancement.

-- Work is... okay, I suppose. I delivered a 72 pc wholesale order to a well-known resort this week, and the gift shop manager is thrilled. I'm hoping that maybe that opens some doors. Wholesale may not be quite as lucrative as retail, but it's guaranteed money, which is excellent in the slow months. I'm also keeping my eye on a few vending days for the holiday season. Which-- I'm already way, way late getting started on holiday things. But I'm just not feeling it this year. Maybe it's the Christmas creep that started in fucking September, but I have very little inspiration. I'll be repeating some of my traditional pieces and bestsellers, but for other things, my motivation's a little shot. The remainder of this week is about finishing custom work up, and then I want to scrabble a small holiday update together by the first week of December. Which is late, but, I can't help it. I had an incredibly busy Autumn season, both professionally and personally. Maybe I just need to experiment.

-- I really have to do a Disney post.

-- My sister had her baby shower. And her husband got out of prison just in time to come, isn't that nice? God bless my family. We all smiled tightly and got through it with lots of raised eyebrows and euphemisms.

-- I did host my other, youngest sister for a sleepover last week. She's doing great. Doing college, about to start the process to become an EMT. So it balances, I guess.

-- This icon, by the by, is from a picture [ profile] twelvepetals shot for her portfolio a few weekends back. I'll be posting some full-sizes soonish. In the meanwhile, you can go like Vasilion Photography on Facebook.

-- I'm volunteering at FaerieCon this weekend. Vending fees were stupidly high, so I opted out, but I still wanted to be involved. I'll be manning the merch table on Friday for a shift, and then helping artists execute their Faerie Academy workshops all afternoon on Saturday. Probably doing the Bad Faeries Ball.

-- My self-care time has been consumed with reading. I read Seanan McGuire-as-Mira Grant's Feed, which I wholeheartedly recommend for those who like thrillers. I am not as happy about the second book in the trilogy, Deadline. SPOILERS! ) Anyway, I'll finish up with Blackout for the sake of completeness. I'll leave you with a final word of advice: don't read the alternative ending to Feed unless you want to depress yourself into a black hole. Plus, it's just not as good as the published one.
sihayadesigns: (Me: Faerie Mask)
Shaved Belly

Yesterday, Nox spent all day at the vet. He got another blood test, another ultrasound, and an x-ray. The only thing that turned up was a slighty subdued white blood cell count, not even enough that it concerned my vet very much. He said that the values could be explained by a mild virus or even a recently fought-off infection. He's sending his labs out to another vet for a second opinion today, and I should hear back.

Overall, he's guardedly optimistic. He's happy he didn't find anything, because he was mainly looking for terrible things like tumors and masses-- things that go malignant and spread very quickly. On the other hand, we don't have any way to explain his anorexia.

The good news is that we are having his appetite stimulants compounded into an easier to administer form. Two vet techs had a rough time pilling him yesterday. He actually woke us up in the middle of the night begging for food, which has never happened before. And then he ate his entire calorie recommendation with no prompting or prodding. So that's good!

He's also now on a broad-spectrum antibiotic.

Apparently he fell asleep during the ultrasound. No restraints necessary. No idea why he can bliss out in unfamiliar surroundings, but the sound of a door opening at home sends him across the room in a panic.

Our vet is the best vet. He comped us the x-ray because he did it more out of personal curiosity. Considering I got a fair bit of orders thanks to the sale, Jason and I are going to make a donation to their needy cat fund in its amount. That seems only fair.

So that's where we are. Crossing my fingers and hoping he continues to eat. Now to pack a mountain of orders.

Vet sale!

Nov. 2nd, 2013 11:16 am
sihayadesigns: (Me: Faerie Mask)
Nox is not getting better. He's barely eating. We are probably going back to the vet sooner than one week. I've been having crying jags.

I don't know what it is, but he's started drinking a lot more water, which tends to be either kidneys or diabetes. In other words, expensive things, and we've already spent over $500 on him. The well is running dry.

So. I am having a vet sale at Sihaya Designs. The coupon code HANDSOMENOX will get you 25% OFF.

Please, please share this far and wide.
sihayadesigns: (Me: new wings)
I am back from sunny (and extra-hot) Florida. I have pictures and thoughts and a big post to write about it. Just not now.

Now is a 72 pc order to finish. And then a bunch of custom orders on top of that.

Plus, I think I need a vacation from my vacation-- it was very busy and action-packed, so I didn't get much downtime at all, which is something I very much need to be functional and not snappish.

Add to that that we didn't exactly have a smooth re-entry-- we came home to Olive with a UTI, and had to immediately steam clean the carpet because hi, two Virgos here. Cannot ever deal with the smell of cat pee lingering. Can't do it. The best compliment people give us when they come over is that they can't smell that we have three cats. I aim to keep it that way. Olive is on meds but is super unhappy that she's having to stay in her large dog crate with frequent changings until they kick in. She is yelling at me every time I move or make a noise. It is wearing on my last nerve.

Okay, I have a LOT of work to complete and not a lot of time to do it in. Until then, I'll be a bit quiet.
sihayadesigns: (Me: new wings)
Dr. Zumpano says Nox is in perfect health. Bloodwork was normal. Kidneys are fine. Liver's showing no indication of FLD. He's just a butt.

We were given some appetite stimulants. A tiny 1/4 pill dose. He will not eat it in cheese, chicken, or Nutri-cal. All three things, he consumed, but spat out the pill. We gave up and will try again tonight.

He did eat a FULL CAN of Weruva this morning.

It did tickle me that Dr. Z said that Nox is the cat-equivalent of a 6'8" linebacker. Everyone in the office was totally flabbergasted at how humongous and muscle-y he is.

In other news, I am preparing to raise unholy hell on FedEx. I ordered cute vacation clothes, which were shipped in two packages. I paid for express mail. Yesterday, the asshole left me a "sorry we missed you" tag when I was home ALL DAY. Didn't knock or ring the bell. I called, reported this, and they made notes in their system to leave it at the apartment office today, since I am at Terra Firma. I also signed off on the tag to do the same and left another clear sign to deliver to the apartment office.

Box 1: Delivery exception. Then, a half hour later, delivered.
Box 2: Delivery exception, not delivered.

Called the leasing office, waiting on a call back.

So help me god, those fuckers will turn that truck around.

Oh, cat.

Oct. 7th, 2013 10:32 am
sihayadesigns: (Pride & Prejudice: Darcy is excited)
Every Autumn, Nox decides he does not want to eat cat food. He announces it by very suddenly stopping eating altogether, sending J and I into a panic. We sit with him by his bowl so he can prissily peck at it secure in the knowledge that we are watching him. We try new foods, which are generally rejected. We buy him chicken and hand-feed it to him in small strips (this, he heartily enjoys).

I think it's because we tend to travel in the Autumn, usually a week in NC and then our anniversary trip. He doesn't like that one bit and demands special attention.

Today's victory is that I have him happily eating the expensive as fuck fancy chicken by Weruva, which is basically people food, out of people bowls, in the bedroom by himself. An exquisite fine meal at a private table. But he's eating.

And in a month, he'll go right back to eating his usual.

sihayadesigns: (Me: new wings)
In the past four nights, we have been visited three times by a cat that I have started calling Loudmouth.

Thursday night, I was up late working, and I had the back door open so that the cool night air could come through the screen. I heard scratching on the screen and came out of my office to yell at Nox or Mim, who I presumed were getting very excited about seeing a bird or a deer.

But it was a black tuxedo cat, who to me looks male, but I have no way of knowing. I'd seen a black tux cat around for the last few months, though only ever while driving away-- I presumed, by the area I saw him, that he was an indoor/outdoor cat of someone in the residential complex one over from us.

My apartment complex used to have two outdoor cats attached to it (Jadie & Apollo), and one very dedicated cat lady who took care of them. But Apollo got hurt somehow, or so I heard, so the lady trapped them and whisked them off. I'd seen her with them before, and they'd come right up, nuzzle, allow her to hold and hug them. So I am hoping they are now in a good home, though I have no contact info to make sure.

So I guess this leaves Loudmouth, who I'd never seen show up for the cat lady's feedings, anyway.

Loudmouth has decided it is my job to feed him. He found the house with the sucker light. I thought we'd uninstalled it, but alas. He's been showing up between nine and ten, signalling his arrival with a persistent wail. He will eat the food I set out for him with me sitting quietly by, no more than a foot or two away, and sniffed my hand gingerly on the first night we met. No pettings, though, and after he eats, he'll sit near me for about five minutes and wail at me like he's having a conversation. I'm not sure how old he is, but he looks young-ish, though not a kitten. His coat looks decent, and he's thin but not skinny. Clearly he's had some good relations with people, but he's primarily interested in food for the moment.

I'm not really sure what to do about Loudmouth. I set up a crate with blankets in case he wants a safe enclosed place to sleep, and though he's investigated it, he has not used it. Given that he seems very food-motivated, it should be easy enough to trap him.

The problem is-- what happens when he's trapped? The trip to the vet aside, he seems like he might be able to be socialized if someone had the patience for his exceptional talkativeness. I worry about my area because cars aside, we have foxes.

He absolutely cannot come in the apartment. I have no place to put him, even temporarily, and three cats for this space is absolute max. Not to mention, when we took in Mim, she gave everybody fleas and lots of secondary problems that result from fleas. To say Jason was displeased about this would be a massive, massive understatement. So if I couldn't find a foster for him, he'd be a TNR case, and I'd be the one feeding him until we find a new place-- and we will probably start searching soon, since we're beginning to outgrow this one.

Also, Olive was NOT HAVING IT when he was trying to talk to her through the screen. Mim was chattering excitedly at him like he was her new best friend (Mim loves EVERYONE), and Nox was coolly observing from afar. No hissing, nothing. But Bean was so pissed that another cat was near her turf that she was pacing crankily, hissing at Nox and Mim, since they were close. Even if we did have a bigger space, fostering is not likely in the cards as long as we have Olive. She was pissed. She has shown, from previous additions to the household, that she will stay pissed for weeks to months, no matter how gently she is introduced to another cat. Hell, she still has her spats with Nox. She is very territorial and set in her ways. Jason and I have often joked that having a human baby in the house might be an issue for her.

Local shelters are full to the seams-- I know that BARCS is well over-populated, and he'd likely be happier as a TNR if a shelter is the only other option.

Loudmouth Loudmouth

Cat-rescuing friends-- ideas?
sihayadesigns: (Labyrinth: Ballroom scene)
It's to the vet with Olive later today. For the past 48 hours, she's been suddenly, ceaselessly incontinent. We've been voiding her bladder like normal, and still, she's dribbling constantly. The last time this happened, it was a UTI, though I assume it could also be a change in her neurological status.

She's not very happy about being confined to her kitty condo until we leave, however, and is letting everyone know it. Loudly. Good lord, cat, please cry yourself to sleep.

ETA: Yup, just a UTI. She's on meds and a helluva lot of catnip.

Everyone at our vet's office (Pikesville Animal Hospital, best vets EVER) fell in love with her "squishy face," even after she peed everywhere. So that's good!
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