Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Everything on a stick is shtick at the Minnesota State Fair. The put-it-on-a-stick rage started in the 1980s when someone observed that a variety of foods were positioned on a short wooden stick to make it easier for people to consume several at one time. Since then more and more items have been shoved onto a stick. Pickles, cheese, pie, casserole, fried candy bars, breakfast balls, scotch eggs, and the list continues. Minnesotans tend to have oddly dry humor, probably developed during the cold months of winter.

Returned to the Minnesota State Fair on Tuesday, August 30th. Volunteered with a nonprofit. Arrived early since my shift began at 8:45am. Helped until 1pm. Much more pleasant experience than during the weekend. Fewer peole made the lines shorter. The weather was cloudy and cool with intermittent light precipitation. I am not sweet enough to melt in the rain and I forgot my jacket. Damply toured the Grandstand, Heritage Square and the Hippodrome. Nice to see lots of people celebrating the end of Ramadan at the fair.

Military Appreciation Day brought a lot of active duty, veterans and their family and friends to the fair. I currently have two cousins in the “sand-box,” a nephew-in-law who will be returning to that area soon, and another nephew who has recently come back from a hot spot. Lots of vets in my family, my dad served, and my uncle died in Vietnam. We can trace our military involvement to at least the Civil War. I visited the Lost Heroes Art Quilt in the lower level of the Grandstand. It made me cry. War is such a waste.

The State Fair daily program guide should include a musical genre behind the names of performers. I have no idea what type of music the Fairlanes, Gallivanters or Big Tree Bonsai perform. Ten perky folks had a lot of fun with band tunes ala Brass Messengers. The smooth jazzy sound of the Barbary Coast Dixieland Show Band soothed my mood. Three year old Jacob stole the show of Chuck Thiel & The Jolly Rambler’s peppy polka. Sad to have missed Wally Pikal but I was volunteering while he concurrently played multiple instruments.

Interesting to sit, close your eyes and listen. I sat on a granite bench outside the Horticulture Building and simultaneously heard polka from the International Bazaar, acapella singing from the Bandshell, and faint rock-n-roll from a radio station. Laughter, chatter, kids screaming/crying, and cash registers clanging like a bell, as the cash drawer slams shut. No need to bring along music when a cacophony of sound is available at the fair.

Zen Garden would be a terrific addition to the Minnesota State Fair. Have a space that is soundproofed, cool in temperature, and lower light level. Relaxing harp music would play in the background as a light scent of flowers waifs through the air. People can sit on carpets, pillows or lounge on hammocks. Silence would be required. No talking, just resting. Pay for a half an hour to relax before returning to the pell-mell of the fair. Check your shoes at the door, and enter peace.

Mmm, sounds good to me.
© 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011


Broke my “no weekend rule” and ventured to the Minnesota State Fair on Sunday, August 28th, 2011. Parked my auto for free in the back yard of friends and walked two blocks to a gate. Sidewalk to sidewalk sea of humanity. Met other friends whose kids were performing. Their teenaged daughter is accustomed to the stage and glowed. Her teeth are bright enough for a Dentyne commercial. First performance for their six year old son and he was giddy. He thought that everyone was applauding just for him. Oh, the energy of youth. They departed and I walked around.

International Bazaar market is a profound improvement from the old crumbly structure that was in that location for eons. Watched the Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, featuring the world’s first break-dance routine. Joyful kids in colorful costumes. Sensuality oozed from the Charanga Tropical musicians. Their group of 14 barely fit the stage. Myriad dancers moved to the Cuban-Latin beat. I wish that I had a dance partner! The Bazaar has second small performance space and it was wonderful that the Japanese dance troupe sought audience participation. Glad that the food options have expanded to include Halal, though no one can eat before sunset until Ramadan has concluded. I wonder if Kosher is available anywhere on the fairgrounds. Fruit stands available for vegetarians and vegans.

Sauntered over to the Epiphany Diner for a final meal. Sad that this is its last year at the fair. It is increasingly difficult to convince people to join anything these days or even sign up to volunteer. Consumed the roast beef sandwich. The beef was overcooked and dry but lots of flavor. Watched the parade pass by since it is impossible to move when the crowd bunches. Lots of people chugging down 5 Hour Energy Drink samples. I wouldn’t want to try it for the first time at the fair. Listened to Banjo Boys playing sprite Dixieland music in the Ramberg Senior Center. Mightily creative artwork is in the Center, I especially like the quilts.

Walked through the Food Building, overpriced for small portions. Wandered through the Merchandise Mart, surprised that people would purchase some of the items and carry them throughout the rest of their day. The Horticulture Building is a perennial highlight. Glad that seed art continues though Lillian Colter (extraordinary seed artist) has died. Fresh flowers make the building smell nice. The wine-growing branch was packed with people so it makes since that they will be moving into the old Epiphany Diner location next year.

People watching is always amusing. Some black clothed dude with six inch gold boots was clomping around with Alice Cooper eye stripes. He was in his 50s and it could not of been comfortable. Shocked that so many people let their kids go barefoot. Adults are responsible since kids may not be able to make the best judgment. The fair is a dangerous place and not clean. Why bring a kid who won't remember the experience?

Waited and waited for the Ricky Skaggs performance to begin in the Bandshell at 8:30pm. I really wish the evening performance would begin at 7 or 7:30pm. The spectacularly nice weather gave way to coolness as the sun set. He and his band give a good performance. He wasn’t feeling well and said that his sister was dying from cancer. Even though he is a professional, I’m certain that it affected his energy level. He seemed a lot spunkier the last time that I saw his show. The music was rather loud so I put in my earplugs.

Long walk back to the gate when the Skaggs show concluded at 9:45pm. If the performance had started earlier, the shuttle trolley could have taken me part of the journey. I was darn tootin’ tired by the time I got home. Took a shower and went to bed. Feeling a bit rough today. The fair is so loud that it is unnerving.

Visit #1 done for 2011.
© 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Celebrating twenty years, the weather was glorious for the Powderhorn Art Fair. I perused the temporary inhabitants of white tents circling the lake on Saturday, August 6th. I knew enough to arrive about an hour before the fair began to secure a parking spot nearby. I brought along a book to read while I waited. for information.

As always, I have a few ideas for possible improvement. Signage is needed from the main thoroughfares to Powderhorn Park located in the Phillips Neighborhood in south Minneapolis. I used to work a few blocks from the park and am familiar with the area. I noticed many people driving around looking confused. It would be nice to have a promotional item highlighting the simultaneous art fairs and the easiest method to travel between them with lots of bike racks. A free trolley service or something similar to the State Fair transportation system would be a real bonus. I’d love to be able to park one place and visit the locations easily. Otherwise, some people may get lost on the regular MTC bus routes. The Information Booth signs need to be larger and more obvious, they were not distinguishable to distribute the printed information guides, which were very nicely written.

Demonstrations in the Community Area of the fair were terrific. Christian & Michelle Davies wool spinning was nice to watch, too Some nonprofit groups were involved in displaying the creations of their clients or cooperative group, which was wonderful. Surprised that Heart of the Beast Puppet Theatre or a May Day Parade group was not present, it would have added a nice performance element. I could not locate the “Tea House” to hear the entertainment. There were no signs or schedule posted. Great to have food vendors scattered throughout the grounds. Could use more wastepaper and recycling baskets. Perhaps partner with the Living Green Expo for a waste-free event and feature artists who practice waste-free processes. Fabulous to have free water available, I always bring my own aluminum water bottle to fill.

Several artists had unique creations, please visit these selected artist’s websites or give them a call. Let them know you saw them on this blog.
Best of Show:
* Tom Ashworth specializes in humorous black walnut characters from an alternate universe. The sculptures have a surprising mix of attachments ranging from medallions to pool balls. Awesomely creative, a WOW! Best of Show! 651-636-1060

Awards of Merit:
* Andrew Johnson makes quirky tableaus that look like small paintings until you notice that the various stitches appear like paint strokes.
* Linda Day’s clay makes you smile. Interesting interpretations of cups, teapots, clocks, and other objects with silly illustrations.
* Jackson Mwaura is a skilled soapstone sculptor. He makes the common human forms, funny animals and a profoundly cute painted hippo.
* Jeff & Darlene Dawald make fine art jewelry with personality. Gorgeous silver smithing, animals, and shapes with fun designs. Energy exudes from their metal.
* Kevin Kluever has a soothing zen-like approach to landscapes. The light is warm and the scenes are charming. Breathe deep and relax…
* Demetra Saloutos offers a wide selection. She welds funky vine trellis and bird watering bowls with a labyrinth. Free cat hair with purchase (good humor). 608-873-1842
* Daron W. Krueger takes magnificent photos. My favorite is a tree located at the summit of a low hill in farm-land (a few miles from his home in North Dakota). He chronicles the tree through the seasons and I adore it when the pale winter sky blends with the snow-covered land to erase the horizon line. Something I experienced as a kid growing up in the prairie. Winter can be nasty but beautiful, too.
* Melvin McGee is a graphic artist who paints busy worlds with capricious animals in vivid tones. Very humorous images.
* Robin (mystery of a last name) creates whimsical animal sculptures. Very cool.

NOTE TO ARTISTS: Please have a business card within easy reach of the opening of your booth. Include website and all contact information. Don’t be rude and growl, “I don’t ship” because you will scare away potential customers. The person asking may seek you at another show but will avoid an artist with a negative attitude. Obviously, the artists listed above all had cards and were friendly.

Sadly, I twisted my right ankle upon departing the park. I limped to the car and had to drive home. It is an old injury, which flares up at the most inopportune times. I iced the ankle but it continued to swell. I can’t afford to see a doctor about it right now. Disappointed not to visit the Loring Park Art Fair and the Uptown Art Fair. I was looking forward to the trifecta but alas…

Read reviews of the Highland Fest Art Fair on August 5th and the Art-A-Whirl Artcrawl on June 23rd. We are blessed with so many talented people! Sorry it takes me a while to write the review but its been a busy month and I carefully consider who I want to recommend. I take lots of cards and narrow down the list to a few.

Create every day.
© 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011


The Minnesota State Fair, that is. I have been attending since I was eight years old. My first trip was with my older sibling and her fiancé. I had grown up at the local county fair because our parents had an arts & crafts booth starting when I was two years old. We sold our crafts at small fairs throughout Minnesota and lots of fall/holiday craft shows. I was accustomed to a fair but the size of the state fair was amazing to me. In one day my eyes were opened and my feet covered with blisters.

4-H brought me to the fair for about a dozen years. I earned several annual trips via an exhibit from the county fair. I enjoyed meeting kids from around the state. Judging was a bit frightening but I always earned a blue and sometimes a purple ribbon. Three days to run around the fair, very fun indeed. When I turned 16 I joined the Minnesota State Arts-In program. We would meet for a week in early August to prepare the shows. During the 1980s we had a traveling troupe “roving players”, performance in the building “Harkness Stage Players”, and kids crafts with “Art In The Park” in the Machinery Hill Park across from the 4-H Building. That was when farm equipment actually filled the north end of the fairgrounds. Artsies would arrive the day before the fair began and stay the first nine days.

Absolutely exhausting and absolutely worth missing a couple days of school. Thankfully, my teachers never hassled me since I would let them know about my absence in advance. Arts-In probably saved my life because I lived in a small community and was labeled as the “odd duck” due to my unique personality. At Arts-In I was accepted and met kids who were weirder than me. Isolation makes for self-destruction but I made lifelong friends and it raised my self-confidence considerably. Plus, if you can endure more than a week at the State Fair, life’s other troubles are more manageable. View and donate to sponsor a 4-Her’s involvement!

When I entered college I served as a 4-H Exhibit Assistant. We would work on preparations for a week after the Arts-In group departed. We would return the Monday before the State Fair began to register exhibits delivered by the County Extension Agents. I was assigned specific project areas and had to cleverly display the myriad varied exhibits. Every delivery was a surprise. One year I was stymied by a sculpture made of barbed wire. Quite hazardous to fairgoers who wander aimlessly and don’t watch for dangers. I pushed it up against the wall and surrounded it with layers of plants. I had to guard the “stroller zone” where kids in strollers lean out to touch anything that they can. I breathed a sigh of relief that no one was injured and no clothing torn by the exhibit. The artist was disappointed that I wasn’t able to put it out on the floor but understood why I had to mitigate harm. Strenuous work and by day nine I was pooped. I was glad when Livestock Weekend began because our workload with exhibits lightened to almost nothing. That was back when livestock ended the fair, now it starts it because the University of Minnesota needs their dorm space for returning students before Labor Day.

I judged 4-H at the fair for several years. I felt honored to lead the discussions. Most of the 4-H’ers were outstanding and their talent awed me. Sometimes a slacker would somehow win a trip to the fair, they would earn only a red or white ribbon. Blue means that the 4-H’er did a really good job at explaining their project but the exhibit did not have to be perfect. Learning from mistakes is quite valuable, too. I haven’t judged for a few years but hope to return at some time.

Volunteering at the fair is perfect. The group that I volunteer with gives me a free entry ticket. Friends who reside a few blocks from an entry gate permit me park for free in their back yard. I help out for 4 hours or so and walk around the fair the rest of the time. I prioritize my journey to visit the best buildings first and make time to enjoy the entertainment. I never miss the 4-H Arts-In show, which is still going strong after almost 40 years. Now kids and grandkids of the original Arts-In group perform. Long Live Artsies!

I volunteer about 4 times during each fair and prefer weekday mornings because the weekends are too crowded. I get a touch of agoraphobia when I see a mass of people filling a street. I have to avert my eyes and look down or I start having a panic attack. I print my name and address on stickers so that I don’t waste time filling out forms for drawings. Never include a phone number or email address and add a line on the bottom “No mailing list, please.”

People watching at the fair is superb. You never know who or what will walk by. Just sit on a bench and chuckle. I always seem to bump into people that I know. Due to my lack of luxury money, I have a budget for each journey. I permit myself to purchase one or two consumables but only if I would not be able to buy them elsewhere, like Sweet Martha’s Cookies or Tom Thumb Donuts. I take note of other items that I would like to procure and check them out after the fair. I have no desire to buy XYZ and tote it around with me all day. I don’t pick up much literature for the same reason.

I am perplexed by some of the fairgoers. Why wear flip-flops or high heels to walk on cement and asphalt? Are they seeking blisters, pain and possibly a sprained ankle? Inappropriate clothing is also an oddity. Do they plan to find a lover by wearing short-shorts, revealing ripped clothing, breasts hanging out, or men with super tight pants and no shirt? I feel repulsed. Public display of affection can be nauseating. Hug, hand holding, sitting near each other, and brief kisses are okay but groping and grinding should be reserved for private. I’m sure lots of babies have been conceived on the fairgrounds, especially when the farm equipment provided myriad hiding places. I just don’t want to see it.

See ya at the fair!
© 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011


Peruse previous reviews posted on July 12th, June 6th, May 9th, April 10th, February 17th, 2011 and September 14th, 2010. Please join the followers of this blog, link on Facebook and Twitter. I welcome suggestions of books to read which are available in the library system (MELSA in the Twin Cities, MN area). Alas, I do not have the budget to purchase at this time.

Plainsong by Kent Haruf Four and a half worms
Wow, captivated by the simple complexity of the story. The boys’ attackers would have been prosecuted, though. Author doesn’t quite articulate the thoughts of the female characters. I’d love to read more about the McPherons; they remind me of some bachelor farmers that I knew as a kid.

Black Mamba Boy by Natifa Mohamed Four worms
Yeah, a book with a map! Much easier to follow the story by knowing where the character is located during his travels. Gritty tale of a young boy’s struggle to grow up during war and its aftermath. Good examination of the character’s inner journey however the final chapter should have been fleshed out a bit more. Perhaps the story will be continued in another book… England?

Little Indiscretions by Carmen Posadas Three and a half worms
Profoundly clever with a creepy romantic storyline. Lots of humor. The mystery gets confusing at times, perhaps due to the translation. I wish that I knew more about Spanish culture because I’m certain that there are many more layers to the story. Could be a movie (please, no Hollywood actors…).

The Cat Who Went to Paris by Peter Gethers Two worms
Cute photo of the main character on the dust jacket. Spoiled the story in the first chapter. Some delightful tales but it is mostly boring. He is absolutely gaga for the feline. It would be compelling to learn how he dealt with the loss of such a beloved animal.

Cat’s Eyewitness by Rita Mae Brown & Sweetie Pie Brown Two worms
Odd to have cats and dogs use human sentence structure but interesting to speculate what they are thinking. At least the female lead sounds like an average middle-aged person. Rather obvious mystery. Too much religious content and didn’t need the romance angle.

I pine for female mystery writers who don’t rely upon romance as a tool. Some of the characters should be average sized. Too many are skinny and pretty. I’d relate better to a 40-year-old sleuth with wrinkles, aches and pains. Praise to Rita Mae Brown for penning a realistic female main character.

Let me know your suggestions!
© 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Different is good, strength in variety. No human is superior. Period. End of Discussion.

Domination due to gender, ethnicity, age, size, physical ability or genetic trait is hooey. Domination due to religion, class, county of origin, socio-economics or any other reason is stupid. No god(s) of any gender, religious or social leaders can say that one human is better than another. We are all unique. Unique is good. If we were the same, life would be boring. Let’s examine gender, first. The past is the past, I won’t rant about the systematic trampling of women’s rights for thousands of years.

Polygamy is usually one male and multiple women and still occurs today, even in America. That is oppression when it occurs in advanced* societies. It means that the one male is more important than the females. What a bunch of crap. Some sex-addicted man decided to justify his libido by stating that “God” had ordained that multiple wives were acceptable or that he is powerful as a leader and can be greedy. What a lie. If women were allowed to have multiple husbands, then perhaps I wouldn’t be so irritated. It’s about equity and basic human rights. If one male can have multiple spouses, so should I. Just because a male has gonads, does not make him superior to me. Females are not chattel (domesticated animal).

Genital mutilation is reprehensible. Castrating females is horrific. Many girls die after the procedure. It does not promote virginity; they are physically scarred and will not be able to enjoy sex. Many mutilated women die in childbirth. Male circumcision should only be done for medical purposes. During the Briss of my friend’s son, the Rabbi only pricked the foreskin with a pin for a drop of blood instead of removing it. Much more humane because babies feel pain.

Our genitalia exist for a reason, don’t mess with it unless there is a medical need or gender reassignment. Yes, some people are born in the wrong body. I know a several transgender and intrasex people and they are much happier after gradual transition and surgery.

I am shocked by the sexism that still occurs in music videos and popular culture, like reality tv. The females are nearly naked and usually in submissive postures. What is most appalling is when female singers or groups do it to themselves. Dancing With The Stars and So You Think You Can Dance television shows regularly feature nearly naked women dancing with fully clothed men. I would not be bothered by the nearly naked women if the men are nearly naked too. I don’t give a crap if it’s the “standard for ballroom dancing” modernity is about equity. Let the women lead half the time, why must they always follow? This is the 21st Century of measured time, right??? I am repulsed that NBC will be airing a show about Playboy Bunnies this fall, how degrading!

Calling a mature woman “girl” is humiliating. My girlhood ended when puberty started. I became a “young lady” when my period began at the age of nine. I was a “young woman” during my teen years but I became a full-blown woman when I moved out of my parent’s home at the age of eighteen. Don’t ever refer to me as a girl. I don’t like the title “Miss” either. “Ms.” is more appropriate because marital status should not matter. I will never change my last name to my hubby’s because I am not his property. I’ll hyphen if he hyphens. I would be open to combining the letters of our names or creating a unique last name.

Equity matters,
Ms. Musing

NOTE: * = advanced society means that it is industrialized or exposed to “modernity.” I am not commenting on traditional societies where only the community leader is permitted several wives, that is a different situation.
© 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011


Scratching an internal itch is impossible. You cannot physically reach in and satisfy the horrid feeling. Yes, I am speaking of vaginal yeast infection. Gasp. It is much worse than any epidural skin itch. I was plagued with frequent infections during college, probably due to stress. Yeast is naturally occurring and generally does not pose a problem. However, the results are painful when it grows out of balance. It is always best to check with your physician before using an alternative healing method. I am writing about what works for me, it may not work for you.

Back in days of yon, a woman would have to visit the doctor, endure an uncomfortable procedure to obtain a sample from the vaginal wall, and wait for the results to show that yeast was present. You’d then have to procure a prescription and get it filled at the pharmacy. This process could take several days and the agony grew as the yeast organisms multiplied. Thankfully, the previously prescribed salve is now available Over The Counter but it is rather expensive. The next time you get the itch, buy the OTC treatment, use it, and keep the plastic applicator (it resembles the tube used to insert tampons). Wash the applicator and store it someplace. Inevitably you shall need it again.

Yogurt is good to eat but it might thwart a nasty yeast infection, in my opinion. A doctor informed me of this “folk remedy” because I was at the clinic so often during my 20s. This will sound gross but it works for me. Use plain yogurt, not greek-style, no flavors and especially no added fruit. Wash your hands. Fill the applicator with the plain yogurt (about two tablespoons) and inject the contents into your vaginal cavity. It works best when lying down and relaxing the muscles. Remove the applicator and wash it and your hands. Reapply every four hours, as needed. Healing depends upon how long it takes for the friendly microbes in the yogurt to eat the yeast. The yogurt is a bit cool from the refrigerator but it won’t cause harm internally.

Place a pad (sanitary napkin) on your underwear. A tampon will not work and would actually destroy the yogurt. A bit of the extra whey (clear fluid) from the yogurt and milk solids will accumulate on the pad. It is better there than leaking through your undies. Don’t change out the pad more than twice per day, otherwise it will dry out the yogurt and make it useless. Some of the solids will wash off when you urinate so don’t be surprised when pee looks milky. Yes, you will slightly smell of yogurt but it is better than itching. Even if I’m not itching during the evening I apply yogurt before bedtime so I don’t wake up wanting to scream. Another alternative is diluted vinegar, but I personally prefer yogurt.

Perhaps it’s due to the stress of unemployment but I have experienced several infections during the past year. Sometimes it only takes a couple applications for the yogurt treatment to work, but it may take two or three days. I eat the leftover yogurt with fruit. If I had a beau, he might find the yogurt flavor appealing…

Remember to always consult your physician, Medical Doctor, or clinic personnel before trying an alternative healing method. This blog does not constitute medical advice. I am not a medical doctor or medical professional. I am just writing about what works for me. You are responsible for your own actions.

Avoiding the itch.
© 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011


Despite the horridly hot and humid weather, artisans displayed their wares at the Highland Fest located in St. Paul, MN. I enjoy attending small festivals that aren’t too commercialized. The fest has become more sophisticated but it still retains the neighborhood charm. Free music, carnival rides, kids events, and bingo are enjoyable.

Outdoor events offer opportunities and challenges. The fest started Friday afternoon July 15th and unfortunately many vendors were harmed overnight by a storm’s wind and torrential rain. It was sad to see the destruction when I visited on Saturday. I hope they all had insurance to cover the damage.

Please let the artist know that you saw them mentioned on this blog. They are not listed in any particular order. Check out their site and consider purchasing!

* Julie Peterson & Sara Ruhnow create cool mosaics using buttons, marbles and several types of medium. I really liked the mirror-encrusted guitar.
* Phil Holtan turns out beautiful burl (berle) wood bowls and flower vases. Polished to a soft sheen.
* E. Alejandro Ortega’s custom leatherwork smelled wonderful. He makes funky masks, animals and would delight real-life fantasy gamers who reenact battles with swords, shields, and sheaths (ComiCon, CONvergence, etc). He's cute, too...
* Abbi A. Allan paints dreamy images of goldfish and sculpts frilly ceramic bowls that mimic the flowing tails of the fish.
* Tino Lopez-Montoya sculpts Dia de los Muertos day-of-the-dead inspired dogs. Oddly cute and clever. Perfect gift for veterinarians and anyone who loves or works with canines (breeders, groomers, trainers, etc).
* Adama Sow sculpts bright rainbow colored bowls and neat ceramic colanders. Nice to see pottery with brilliant tones.
* Laura Holewa has a community of fun little bright clay monsters to scare away the ones in your closet.

I shy away from mass-produced pieces. Some of the artists (not listed here) had items that looked like they were made in a factory. Good for uniformity but I kinda like the variety of flaws within individual pieces of artwork.

Many of the artists have a website, Facebook page, blog, and/or Twitter account, so there are several methods to view their newest creations. Check out “Artists of the Whirl” on June 23rd, 2011 for the Art A Whirl Art crawl reviews.

Support an artist today, buy their creations!
© 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Dear little kitty, why do you puke? I love you ever so but don’t really want to hear, watch or clean up your vomit. I have a strong gage reflex and sometimes react when I have to deal with your up-chuck. I have learned to chew on Altoid strong peppermints to relieve the pressure in my throat.

Tillie, the fifteen month old cat, has been nauseated every week or two since spring began. I attributed it to the fact that this is her first year to shed and her fur is rather long. I procured some Science Diet Hairball Control food. We were nearly hairball free for several months. The cats have an open bowl and they are both active enough that weight isn’t a problem.

However, for whatever reason she kept getting ill on Wednesday, July 27th and was lethargic by the next day. When she refused to drink water I knew that it was serious. Zozo keep chirping “no” to Tillie. I took her to the veterinarian’s office. Thankfully, my favorite vet Paul was available. He loves golden retriever dogs but cats are a close second. He poked and prodded her. He could not find anything wrong via a visual or physical exterior exam. He had a vet technician hold her while he looked at the back of her tongue to see if she had somehow swallowed a string. Apparently string does not “just pass through” but can get tangled at the end of the tongue or bunch up in the intestines. Dental floss can be deadly to cats because it can stick to the inside of the intestines. Tillie purred the whole time except for the exam of her tongue and insertion of the temperature probe into her tush. I wouldn’t like it either.

I keep the house clean but Tillie has the habit of exploring and finding a variety of items to munch upon. A couple weeks ago she consumed tape. She puked it out and was fine. I wonder what caused this illness. She can’t tell me in human words what is wrong. Her body temperature was slightly elevated but that could be due to the dehydration.

Dr. Paul prescribed subcutaneous fluid so the technician placed it in-between her shoulder blades. The cat’s body will absorb the fluid to rehydrate itself. Paul administered a shot to reduce the urge to throw up for 24 hours. I procured a couple cans of Hill’s I/D canned food for gastrointestinal health. It is supposed to be okay for the sensitive stomach. He urged me to give her small amounts of the food until I knew that she wasn’t going to get sick. This hour long visit cost $160, wowza.

When I brought her home I removed all the dry food. I opened the canned food and she was interested. I fed her about a teaspoon to see how her stomach reacted. Thankfully, all was well so I fed her a tablespoon about an hour later. Success, so two tablespoons another hour later. Good news. Two tablespoons every hour or so. Zozo got the dry food while I fed Tillie her canned food. I went to bed at 11pm but I could not leave out food for either of them. I had to visit the bathroom at 5:30am and was met with the loud protest of hungry felines. I dragged myself to the kitchen to feed Tillie her two tablespoons and Zozo her dry food. Afterwards I managed to sleep another hour on Friday morning.

I was feeling confident so I added five pieces of Hairball Control to the 7am feeding. Foolish me! She threw it all up. Ugh. Switched to regular Science Diet Adult Cat food and added five pieces to the next feeding. Success. All stayed down. The following feeding I added ten pieces to the last of her canned food. No nausea for two hours and she began to run around more. Not quite back to 100% but acting better.

With a heavy heart, I had to leave Tillie and Zozo to attend to some family matters out of town. I didn’t have time to arrange for my friend Sally to check on them while I was absent. I was gone from Friday afternoon until Sunday around 10am. I was profoundly worried about Tillie. I would never forgive myself if she were still ill or dead when I returned home. I’ve grown attached to the trouble-making fur producer. I walked into the door and was greeted by a healthy cat, yeah!! She was feeling so well that during my absence she decided to pull out Kleenexes and shred them. My irritation was overcome by relief.

I still don’t know why she became ill. I’ll keep the cats on the regular adult food for a couple weeks and then experiment with hairball control. If she throws up again the hairball control food will be dumped into the compost bin. I'll have to figure out another method to reduce the puke. Tillie wanted a lot of affection on Sunday so I showered her with several tummy rubs. She purred in return.

Happiness is a contented kitty’s purr.
© 2011