Thursday, September 27, 2007

Updates of All Kinds

First of all, thanks to so many of you for the book orders! I really appreciate you thinking of me and my family. I just finished sending all the Paypal bills so if you are looking for yours, check your in-box. I'll keep you updated on when I'm shipping via this blog. And of course, I'll take orders via mail or whenever you're ready!

Julia had her follow-up visit to the surgeon Tuesday. Although we weren’t told anything definitive, we know that Julia’s eyes aren’t infected and that they are healing as can be expected. They are still puffy and there is a lot of blood on the white part of her eye. She also has a bit of discharge from the eye which is normal.


As for success of the operation, it is still too early to tell. The doctor said it takes a while for the brain to adjust to the new alignment. Julia’s brain has been so busy trying to compensate for the inward misalignment that it will take a while to train itself. Julia hasn’t said whether she sees better or worse but the double vision has gone away.

My sister Laurie spoke with a friend of hers in her 40’s who had the same surgery as a child at the exact ages Juila had hers (4 and 9). She said that when she gets tired, her eyes drift and she still walks into things. She also said she has trouble w/ depth perception (we don’t think Julia has any depth perception whatsoever) and she always takes stairs carefully. The good thing is, this woman has had a career, children, and has a Master’s degree from Harvard. Although I could care less about the MS from Harvard, I do worry about my child growing up and living on her own and trying to drive a car. I know these things are natural for any mother to worry about, but I worry extra hard about Julia. I guess if I had other children, they would distract me somewhat from the worry?

But we do have the kittens and they sure are cute. We’re having a lot of luck with finding homes for them. Our friend Marie who is cat crazy too and has more cats than we do, can’t believe we had a litter of 5 red striped kitties. She says they are probably all males - she said she has never heard of a female red cat. Has anyone else? Just wondering. I’m still in awe of their cuteness. They are getting much more friendly and using the litter box some.


The coyotes have been howling and hooping it up like crazy the past week. I wake up every night wondering what the noise is. Last night I thought it was the siren for the nuclear power plant in Vernon, VT going off it was so loud and so odd. Thank goodness it was only the local wildlife. We haven’t lost any sheep up here yet this summer but we worry everyday. The dogs sleep outside so that they will keep the coyotes away from the livestock.

Our cat population has gone down this summer. We haven’t seen Boo-Boo-Boo, Flora, nor Templeton in over eight weeks. We’ll never know what happened to them. But as with cats, there is always a chance they will show up one day. Lily Pons was gone for five weeks and we thought she would never return. But then she did and now we have these cute things. We have yet to name them because it is really hard to tell them all apart.

Lily Pons is the most amazing cat - her natural instincts overwhelm me. This morning I was working on some things in my studio and I had the door open. She crept out the door without her kittens. About a half hour later I heard some odd noises out in the garden. A few minutes later, she dragged in a dead squirrel. She took it upstairs to the kitchen to her kittens. Four of them wanted to nurse but the fifth took that squirrel and growled like crazy and ate it. A good hunter in the making, for sure.

When I first starting visiting Mark’s farm way back when, his mom had a tom-cat named Frenchie. He was the sweetest thing but he was always getting into fights. He would come home beat up with a torn ear or a scratched face, rest up and go back out there again. One day he disappeared and never returned.

Over a and a half year later, a cat that looked like Frenchie appeared at the door. Sure as anything, it was Frenchie. He died two days later. There's a great children's book called The Cat Who Walked Across France. Lovely story about a grey cat and its adventures with wonderful illustrations. Animal mysteries continue to amaze me.

15 comments:

Helen said...

Red females are rarer than the males, but not impossible. When I was growing up we had a female red cat who had the most beautiful golden orange eyes; I've heard that female reds usually have green eyes. Her litters both consisted of two ginger boys and three tortoiseshell (calico) girls.

Later on, we had a ginger-and-white girl (with green eyes) and she got pregnant at five months and had very little idea of what to do with her kittens: she tried to feed them raw fish when they were a couple of weeks old. If she could have found a squirrel, I'm sure she would have offered them that too. Most of that litter died (and one was killed by a neighbour's tom-cat) but she was successful with the second litter. She died after being hit by a car when she was crossing the road to go up the railway line looking for rats. Life without cats is very dull, I find.

Your kittens make very good desktop wallpaper. :)

Anonymous said...

I have two red striped females although one I am convinced is transgenered as she acts like a male cat. This one is red red red the other like the lightest red in your picture. Their Mom and Dad were both reds as well and feral which is a challenge to tame. Gold eyes. Their brother is a black and white tabby and their two other siblings were red as well I think one female and one male.
Love your pictures!
Hugs Ruth

KnitNana said...

My Blonde Bombshell was a red female with blue eyes and came from a long line of little red girls with blue eyes and white eyeliner - but only 20% of red kitties are female, which is why you don't see them that often. (Why, um, yes, I DO work for a vet...! lol!)

Wish I were close enough to adopt one of your little ones - they're adorable...
(((hugs)))

maymomvt (or Sarah) said...

OK. I want your book, one of your kittens, AND your sunflowers! I'm glad things look good for Julia's eyes.

Willow said...

Julia can always live in Boston and ride the subway and never need to learn to drive a car. Or do it the way my dd MamaMia does: 21, married, has her dh drive her around because she's afraid to learn to drive.
I surely hope Templeton turns up! You never know with cats.

PatB said...

When my son was 5 we moved to a different house and one day he told me the mover men were going to bring us a cat. I asked him if the cat had a name and he said "Yes, Morris." The conversation continued and finally I had to tell him that mover men don't bring cats, you have to go to the cat shop to get them. Of course, we went to the cat shop/Humane Society and the only cat that looked vaguely like Morris was a 4 month old red striped female. Even though she looked like a male and had a male name she was a girly girl and lived to be 20 years old. RIP sweetheart.

Marcy said...

Stop it, Kristen! Stop it right now! No more kitty pictures!

Mia said...

I had the same surgery at 4 and 7. I had a third surgery at 35 using the adjustable sutures. Before I never had any vision in my bad eye. And I have never had any depth perception. If I am really tired, my eye will drift out a little bit still but no where it used to be. I have vision in my bad eye after the last surgery. It took about a year for my body to get used to is. I have side vision nothing straight on so I still lack depth perception. I drive and the lack of depth perception has not stopped me from doing what I want. I do not parallel park though since that requires depth perception. I have apparently learned how to compensate for the lack of depth perception. After her eyes have healed , maybe a session or two with a OT who specializes with visual problems might help. Stairs are something that I am cautious with still. But there are ways to compensate that others will never notice.

Sarah said...

My problem was nothing like Julia's, at least in total. It's the lazy eye syndrome, but in stead of double vision, my brain shut down vision completely to the areas of my left eye that were shared with my right. If that makes sense. Basically, I have peripheral vision only in the left eye, which does drift when I'm tired or sick. No, I don't drive a car, either, but I've found ways around it and have a successful business.

On red females, I've been owned by five different ones in my life thus far. Two were more peach than orange, though.

Suzanne said...

I had always heard that orange cats were male and I have one but I am glad to hear that it isn't always so.

I have 2 cats or I would be begging for a kitten.

I love the Sunflowers, too.

Quatrefoil said...

I have a bright orange female cat, and my mother also has an unrelated one. I have never seen a male tortoiseshell one though. Your kittens are desperately cute.

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

Oh, if we were close they would be coming here!
The only trouble is, this latest lot of cats we got in different colours as we are worried shooters mistake our red ones for foxes, Tracey

Anonymous said...

I've had two female red cats. One with golden eyes and one with green eyes. I'd never heard that they are rare.

Kieren said...

OOOH I want a kitty! OUr old kitty died at 20 a few months ago, I still think the black pillow on my bed is her when I walk by...
Kieren in CA

Jean said...

I would have said they had to be five boys ... but your more knowledgeable commentators would indicate otherwise.

Our dear old cat always knew when her children needed a Mouse Lesson (roughly, at five weeks). She would bring one in, alive, I'm afraid, and sit with her tail demurely wrapped around her toes and watch them practice on it, intervening only if necessary.