Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A break from the cat saga to go back to regular blogging. One short note to those of you who donated, if you haven't received a follow up email from me, please check your regular in boxes or junk email boxes. I sent a mass email, so your spam filters may have gallantly fought me off. If so...hey, they were just doing their job.

Last night, Shannon and I went to the Radiohead concert at the Hollywood Bowl. A few months ago, I'd sat with my finger at the ready to click on the mouse once the tickets went on sale, then watched as Ticketmaster's computer did its best to find me the "best available" or any tickets at all as it processed the thousands upon thousands of requests it was getting from people wanting the same thing. Luck shined on me that day and I got two tickets in a decent area. In fact, until the concert, I wasn't aware just how lucky. Many concert goers that we spoke to had bought them off Craigslist, or eBay and paid much more than face value. I knew that both concerts had sold out within minutes, but damn.

We pulled up and parked, during that process learning that the pre-mixed cosmo that Shannon had made for me wasn't going to be let in the venue because the Bowl, famous for letting you BYOB, wasn't having it for this concert. This included the Liquid Lunch box that Shannon bought for me last Christmas because it included glass. So, we broke out the goods in the tandem parking lot under a canopy of trees, among the cars and passing humanity. In front of us were two Indian men who had broken out their drinks and food, who we really enjoyed talking to. One was an on-set photographer and the other was an architect. They were having a husband's night out and were just the coolest guys ever. One of them took this picture of Shannon and me.

Shannon and Me @ Radiohead - Hollywood Bowl

That was Shannon's first full cosmo, even though he made them for me. I encouraged him since he hadn't brought beer, having planned to buy them inside. Seriously, it takes a man to be able to hold the pink drink in public. But, like I've said about cosmos before, they're strong enough for a man, but made for a woman. So, all was good.

The concert was fantastic. It was the most crowded I've ever seen the Bowl. Ever. And I've been to sold out events. For some reason, the place just seemed extra packed, from when we entered to when we sat down. It was the hottest ticket in town, and that was obvious. However, everyone was in good spirits, in a festive and cooperative mood and it was just a good vibe all around. We met several people that night and had great conversations as well as many of those precious passing moments with other people. Below is a video that I took of us if you want to enjoy seven seconds of the concert with us.

It was just a great night, with the band playing under a sky where the big dipper hung low, the sea of bodies moving in time to the pulses of the music and just being in the moment. After the whole kitty and neighbor stress, it was the perfect thing that I needed. To just relax every muscle in my body and let the music in.

So that's exactly what I did.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

We did it! I'm completely blown away. I'll be posting soon but right now I'm at a loss for words. For once.

Total Bill: $2700
Total Raised: $2700

You guys rule. I'm so touched by this and all your sweet emails.

UPDATE: Here are the most recent pictures of the Maine Coon cat I rescued, his story below. The thing on his face is a feeding tube, now removed since he's eating! The first pic is right when I was at the vet and picked him up, the night after surgery. The second is him making himself at home in my kitchen closet. You can click on the pics for a larger photo. Again, none of this would have been possible without your generous donations. I'm just blown away by the response.

Groggy on the MendFeeling Even Better

Extracted flip flopHe had an obstruction in his intestines due to his previous owner allowing him to eat her flip flops. Once again, no, I'm not kidding. This is the actual large chunk that he swallowed that they removed. (Yes, I photographed it because that's how I roll). That's my index finger in the photograph for size comparison. Now, he's on the mend!

Thank you to those of you who donated to help this wonderful cat heal!! Here are some blogs, in alphabetical order, of those who donated. I asked their permission to post them. Please check them out and give them a read! Oh, and if they have comments, tell them how much they rock.

Adrasteias Labyrinth
Barefoot in the Park
Knitty Banter
Truly Regal Manners

And Lorna, who I already link to at the right. If I've left anyone out, let me know!

Here is the story:

This pledge drive was not for me, but for the vet bills for a cat that I rescued from a neighbor who lives in squalor.

I have a 25-year-old neighbor whom I discovered was living in filth and squalor. When I saw how she was living, I asked her to let me help her clean her apartment to relieve her from the inhuman conditions. When I saw it; trash piled two feet high, cat feces, food and litter all over the floor, soiled sanitary napkins (no, I'm not kidding) piled by her bed and on the floor in the bathroom, thousands of ants in the freezer, living room and in the bathroom, months worth of discarded food rotting in take-out bags all over the floor, mixed with her clothes in the bedroom and bathroom, piles of clothes in her bedroom, never washed and caked in cat urine, a fridge full of rotting food, other food that had spilled on the floor and never been picked up. I could go on, but no descriptions will do it justice. When I worked on "The Wire," I saw abandoned crack squats that were more sanitary and in better condition. I was shocked and the next day staged a mini-intervention, if you will. I sat her down and told her that she couldn't live like that, offering help to "get her out from under it." I was also greatly concerned about the sweet, beautiful Maine Coon cat that she had adopted from the shelter a few months back. A shelter that had entrusted him to her to give it a healthy, safe living environment. Because I'd heard from other neighbors that this woman was living substandardly, I'd been keeping an eye on the cat and taking an active role in educating her on cat care. I bought her brushes, play toys and medicine. It was me that she turned to this week when the cat became ill and unable to keep food down. I asked to see the cat, she told me she'd bring him down since her apartment was "messy." Instead, I followed her up because I wanted to see the environment that he was living in. It was then when I peeked through the blinds that I saw the true horror of her living conditions. I knew that the cat was in danger. It was obvious, just from what I knew about her that she had neglected this cat and provided an unhealthy environment that had made it sick. She told me a vet had told her to "keep an eye on him," but I had doubts that she'd even called a vet.

On day two of helping this woman clean herself out from under the filth, the cat exhibited some alarming symptoms, including tremors and disorientation. It was heartbreaking, to see the friendly, loving and social animal that I met a few months ago become the animal I was seeing in front of me. Scared, sick, shaking and so disoriented due to malnutrition and dehydration (caused by the vomiting) that it was walking backward and in circles. I told her we had to get him to an emergency vet immediately, so off we drove to one in Studio City.

The vet rushed him in when he saw the tremors and we sat and waited while they treated him. I knew that there was no way that I was going to allow this beautiful cat, who didn't ask for this and that had this done to him, go back into that home. While we were there, I was able to pull the vet aside and explain the conditions that the cat had come from to help them better diagnose him.

A bit later, the vet came out with an estimate and not surprisingly, the woman was shocked. I let her process it for a few minutes, then made her a deal. I would pay for the vet care, but she had to allow me to adopt the cat. For a few agonizing minutes, she processed this, and then agreed. I can't describe the denial, cluelessness and disconnected mental state this woman was in when she first thought that I'd pay it and let her take him back after he got healthy. During this time I also spoke to her mother over the phone (she had asked me to talk to her mother to try to convince her to pay for the bill) about the extent of the danger that her daughter was in and my plans to take ownership of the cat.

This is the cat. These photos were taken in my apartment (he came over to visit) before he became ill due to neglect and the filthy conditions in which he was living.

Main Coon cat needs help

Main Coon cat needs help

Friday, August 08, 2008

I had a fantastic birthday and thank you to those of you who wished me a happy birthday. You did yourselves proud, and therefore the blog will continue. ;)I know you were all losing sleep over it.

For my birthday, Shannon took me out for a wonderful, and I mean wonderful dinner at SaddlePeak Lodge. He made sure that we had a table by the fireplace and it was just a spectacular time. I had a delicious antelope dish. Yes, antelope. The Lodge is known for its game cuisine and it did not disappoint. Fabulous from appetizer to desert.

After that, we headed to Villa where after a week worth of networking by Shannon, we got on the list. After our first clueless attempt at breaking through the iron curtain door policy, I wanted to see if we could get into the club for my birthday. It was a fun challenge that Shannon managed to pull off. Apparently, being on the list doesn't guarantee you entry, so we were prepared for plan B if it didn't pan out.

Well, after all the networking and getting on the list, we walked up to the door all prepared to give our names to the gatekeeper. Imagine our surprise when the doorman took one look at us and let us right in, no questions asked.

Happy feckin' birthday to me.

We got inside and did a little victory dance to the thumping music, then headed right to the bar. It was a great end cap to a perfect night. I took this picture of us inside.

Me and Shannon @ Villa

So, my big birthday rocked, and thanks again to all of you who wrote to wish me a happy one.

It was indeed that and more.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Happy big milestone birthday to me. I better get some happy birthday emails from you readers because this is a big one. Oh yeeeah.

[EVIL VOICE]If I don't...you won't see the blog alive again![/EVIL VOICE]