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People say life is the thing, but I prefer reading*

T minus 15 days

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Roo has a cancerous tumour in her leg.

She was looking a bit peaky the day after my hen party - I'd stayed at my mum's house that night and when I got home the following day she was curled up under the desk in our spare room, staring at the wall. She wasn't eating or drinking, and she was holding one of her back paws up off the ground when she walked (which she was avoiding as much as she could). We took her to the vet the next day, and his verdict was that he thought she'd damaged her achilles tendon. There was a swelling on her leg which he said could either be bruising from tendon damage, or 'something more sinister'.

He took a sample and it turns out it was the something more sinister. The vet says her prognosis is quite good, although typically for our cats, it's quite a rare kind of tumour. I forget now what he called it (I was too busy trying not to cry to write it down) but it's basically sending little tendrils of cancer into the surrounding area of her leg. There is some good(ish) news, which is that the tumour isn't the kind that affects the bloodstream and permeates the whole body. Which is something.

She's going in for an operation on Monday. The vet will try and remove the tumour but if it's affecting her achilles tendon or is particularly advanced, he may have to resort to amputating her back leg. The tumour is in an awkward place where there's not much surrounding tissue, and removing enough tissue to get rid of all the nasty stuff will be difficult. It may be that the only way to prevent the cancer from coming back is to amputate her leg. If that's the case, her and Coco are going to look a right pair - one three-legged cat and one gammy-legged cat. But I don't care about that, so long as she comes through it. When I was little I always had a toy hospital on the go for teddy-bears with one ear and no eyes, or dolls with no hair and biro all over their faces. So as long as Roo is ok, I'm totally fine with missing limbs.

I've had a bad feeling about this from the beginning, and I'm totally gutted that I was right. I've been a useless lump all day at work and the Boy and I have to go out tonight, which I couldn't be less enthusiastic about. Hopefully Roo will be on the mend by the time of the wedding and the honeymoon because I don't know if I'll be able to go off to the other side of the globe for two weeks if she's not.

I'm sure plenty of people will read this and think, 'Jeez it's just a cat! Get over it...' but I love my little cats - me, the Boy, Roo and Coco are like a little family (albeit with one half being slightly furrier than the other, and a different species).

I can't imagine Roo not being there, purring like a little machine when I get home from work - happy to see me no matter what. I am keeping all available appendages crossed for her.

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The Blogger, The Black Cat, and The Dangerous Driver

Friday, August 17, 2007

Coco, my little black cat, crosses my path about a hundred times a day but I've never connected this to any particular episodes of good or bad luck. I'm considering revising this opinion after this morning's events, however. According to Wikipedia, black cats can be considered both bad and good omens, depending on where you live. As I live in Scotland, where 'if a black cat crosses your path it is meant to be a definite sign of good things to come'1, I'm going for the latter, and thanking my lucky stars for my black cat, and the protective aura she cast over me before I left my house this morning.

I was a split second away from being hit by a car on my way to work this morning.

I was at the pedestrian crossing on the main road where I live (which is a major commuter route into Edinburgh). The traffic lights were at red and the green man had just come on to signal that it was safe for pedestrians to cross. A big truck had stopped in the lane closest to the pavement, I walked in front of it and was about to step into the second lane of traffic when I looked to my right, and saw a car come flying through the red lights at a speed that suggested the driver had no idea there was even a set of traffic lights there, let alone that they were at red. I felt the breeze of the car passing about a foot in front of me. Then, as if that wasn't bad enough, the car behind went through the lights as well. So if the first guy hadn't got me, the second one could have a pop too.

Both of them were going far too fast and even if they'd been paying attention to the lights there's no way they would've been able to stop. If the driver in the first car had stopped suddenly, the car behind would have smashed into him.

As I stood in the middle of the road, in shock at the close shave, the driver of the truck honked his horn at the two cars to alert them to what they had just done, but they hadn't even slowed down and they both drove off, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they'd been about a foot away from hitting a pedestrian. A pedestrian who would have HUNTED THEM DOWN AND KILLED THEM if they had ruined her upcoming wedding.

If I'd been just one or two steps in front of where I was he would've hit me full on. I keep thinking about what would've happened if I had stepped out in front of that car, and it's freaking me out. Would I have walked away unscathed? Maybe a broken leg? Fractured skull? Or would I be another statistic - one of those poor bastards that die on the road every day? Road casualties in the UK may be at an all time low, but you still hear stories in the news almost every day of someone who has lost their life on the road.

I don't know why the two cars didn't stop but I hope it was just a momentary lapse, and that they got as much of a fright as I did - maybe that will make them a bit more careful next time.

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T minus 27 days

Friday, August 10, 2007

It's approaching 11pm on Friday night, and I'm just back from getting my legs (and various other bits) waxed. The only appointment I could get was for 9pm. How bizarre. It was kinda nice walking about Edinburgh though, the Festival's just beginning and it's actually ok when you're not battling your way through the milling tourists to get to/from work.

The reason for this twilight waxing is that it's my hen party tomorrow. I'm having a kids party for grown ups - including hen-party bags, vodka-jelly and ice cream, and a naked butler. I wanted to get a bouncy castle but it was going to be too expensive (the butler alone is £180 for 2 hours!) so I had to abandon that plan. My sister (Chief Bridesmaid) is taking her job alarmingly seriously however, and has apparently arranged 'activities' so goodness knows what's going to happen.

I didn't want to do the whole weekend away thing that seems to be the norm these days. Maybe it's because I live in a city that's fairly popular with the hen/stag weekend market, and the thought of tripping round Newcastle wearing a hot pink sparkly stetson, or losing my passport in Prague, made my toes curl. Not that there's anything wrong with that - the Boy had his stag do in Newquay last weekend and had a ball*. But it's not for me. So I'm having the party tomorrow, and my workmates are taking me out for a night on the town at the end of August. That probably will involve some form of pink sparkly headgear but I can handle it for one night.

*With the possible exception of the hour he had to spend wearing a Borat style mankini, poor thing.

I'm nervous about tomorrow, in much the same way I used to get before birthday parties when I was little - 'what if no-one shows up', 'what if the people that do show up have a horrible time', 'what if something goes terribly wrong and my mum doesn't see the funny side of all the willy shaped ice cubes'. You know the kind of thing. But I'm sure a vodka-jelly shot will ease those worries riiight away.

Posting might be, er, sporadic for the next wee whiley. As you can see from the title it's not long till The Big Day and things are a bit hectic. I'll try and post a picture of the naked butler though.

Wish me luck.

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*Logan Pearsall Smith

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