Thursday, January 22, 2009

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Punk

Courtesy of Dr Peabody's WABAC Machine, I give you "A Portrait of the Author as a Young Punk."

Taken at Tim Kingston's flat in San Francisco, October 1989. I adore my new scanner!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Originally uploaded by Artemis Rich
My boy is gone.

Thank you all for your kind words and support.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Originally uploaded by Artemis Rich
Tomorrow is the day. Please keep your candles lit, to light him the way home.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wolfie Update

Wolfie in the Sun
Originally uploaded by Artemis Rich
Home from the vet. Mojo was able to get off work early (he works only about a mile away from the veterinary office) and I picked him up from work and he and Arabis went to the park while I took the Wolf-Cat to the doctor.

And brought him home.

We have a bit of a reprieve and a modicum of hope.

Before anything else, I'd like to say that Doctor Hack of Codornices Veterinary Clinic in Albany is wonderful, as are the staff that I interacted with. Doctor Hack was ready as soon as I arrived and spent about 45 minutes with Wolf and I, going over his past history and checking him very thoroughly. He was compassionate, gentle and genuinely concerned.

Wolfie's weight is down to 7 pounds, 5 ounces. He's always been rangy for a Maine Coon, topping out at a healthy and trim 14 pounds. Today he was an emaciated wreck. I don't know if you've ever seen a cat with sunken eyes before, but it's an alarming thing.

I had been monitoring Wolfie's hydration level since the morning, checking him periodically, and by the time we got to the vet, he was showing signs. Dr Hack agreed and Wolf was given 120ccs of subcutaneous fluid and they took blood to run a full screen and a urine sample.

Dr Hack and I will talk in the morning and decide what the next step is based on the results of the lab work. If an ultrasound is necessary, they have an in-house radiology technician on Saturday, so we can act swiftly.

Wolfie was a champ the entire time. He took to Dr Hack and allowed himself to be handled (this is the cat with "CAUTION" written on the top of all his past charts). He was not so docile with the technician, however. I supposed he decided that after the indignity of the rectal thermometer, nothing would phase him.

On the trip over, Wolfie sat calmly and quietly in the carrier, like a Chinese lion statue, occasionally licking my fingers through the bars of the door and responding with small mews whenever I would talk or sing to him. None of this is normal behavior. Car trips usually inspire him to sing the entire cannon of Klingon Opera as he knows it (my boy soprano).

In the back seat on the drive to Albany, Arabis sang two songs, the first being adapted from Dora the Explorer with the refrain changed to: "Where are we going? (clap clap clap) To Wolfie's doctor!"

And from Wonder Pets: "Wolfie is sick. Take him to the doctor. This is sewious. We have to help him. To save the Wolfie. Wheeee! Wonder Pets, Wonder Pets, we're on our way. To help the baby Wolfie and save the day. We're not too big and we're not too tough but when work together we've got the right stuff. Gooooooo, Wonder Pets!"

My daughter. I think I'll keep her.

"Shall I just make him as comfortable as possible tonight?" I asked Dr Hack as we left.

"We're not entirely at that point yet," he replied. "Let's see what the labs say tomorrow."

He ate little food when I brought him home and I'm going out to buy him some chicken later on. So we wait.

Thank you for all your candles lit and thoughts sent. I am holding them close, for both of us. As my friend Vulkie says, "(Maine Coons) are not really cats. They are super beings inhabiting feline bodies." It's true. I try to explain him to people who have never spent time with a Maine Coon and they don't believe or understand the stories. The best description I can come up with is this: you know how cats see things that people can't? Maine Coons see things that other cats can't even see.

I can't write anymore without breaking down. We're not out of the woods yet, but the forest is a bit lighter. The only member of the household unhappy with this is Isabelle, his sister, who looked disgusted that I brought him back home. She'll get over it.


Originally uploaded by Artemis Rich
I think my boy is dying. He has stopped eating today. I am taking him to a vet this afternoon, recommended by my old vets in the City. Until then, we wait.

We'll have been together 15 years this month. In just a couple of days, in fact. My heart is breaking and I have to hold it together for Arabis, who doesn't realize anything is wrong. I started crying on the phone with the vet receptionist but she was really nice.

My fuzzy love boy, the Maine Coon of my heart. Please send prayers and light candles to Bast, St Francis, whoever you have ties to. Please.

Monday, January 05, 2009


I begin to see

The haunted are
by specters of the
because they want to be

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Tony Guzman's Memorial

For those of us who knew and loved Tony and worked with him years ago.

I received a message yesterday from Sarah, Tony's niece with information about the memorial service.

WHEN: Saturday, 10 January 2009 at 3:00 PM

WHERE: Unitarian Universalitst Church, 2425 Sierra Blvd, Sacramento CA

Donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association, the Sierra Club or the SPCA.

My heart is too heavy to write more. The Sacramento Bee obituary is here.

Photo by Martin Nagle.