Animals

Three weeks have passed since my last post, and that’s both good and bad. Bad because I vowed to do more writing this year, and lately I haven’t lived up to that lately. But it’s also good because it’s a product of being busy with other things — namely, the new house. I heard going into this that home ownership is a journey, not a destination, and I’ve found that to be apt advice. There’s always something to do: painting, cleaning, organizing, more cleaning … the challenge is keeping the to-do list reasonably short.

And last week, Kacey and I welcomed the newest (and so far only) quadruped additions to the house: a pair of cats named Frisky and Daisy, who we adopted from BARCS (Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter). We’ve had trouble finding a good name for the cat on the right, who is 99.99 percent white, with fur as soft as down. She’s also gone by the names Whitecat, Powder, Snowball and Aspirin, among others.

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Cats? Yes, cats. Two of them. It has nothing to do with allergies, and it has mostly to do with independence. Dogs require considerable upkeep and constant attention. Cats, on the other hand, don’t much mind being home alone for eight or 10 hours at a time. They’re also pretty quiet. All pluses in my book. Cats do generally get a bad rap for being boring and/or antisocial, which is why Kacey and I focused on adopting two who showed energy and a friendly nature. With Frisky, he has more energy than he knows what to do with. In a little over a week, he’s has proved himself to be one of the most energetic cats I’ve ever seen. Yesterday I introduced him to one of those bird-feather-on-a-string toys, and he sprinted back and forth across the floor for about 15 minutes, without a break, until he was panting and making scary-looking faces . I’ve never seen a cat hyperventilate, but I’m wondering now whether I should get a miniature oxygen tank and mask to supplement this bird toy.

As for other updates, I saw the hand doctor at Hopkins today, and for once I received good news during a doctor visit: The bones in my right middle and index fingers have shown improvement from my last visit (in May). Since that May visit, I’ve been treating my hand at least three hours a day (and sometimes much more) with a device that creates an electromagnetic field. According to some experts, this type of treatment (called “stim” or “bone stim”) helps stimulate bone growth. According to others, including the hand specialist at Hopkins, there’s no hard proof showing that it works. This is where the saying from Statistics 101 — “Correlation doesn’t equal causation” — applies: No one can prove that the stim machine has caused bone to regrow where it wasn’t growing before, but that is what’s happening, so I’m going to keep doing it.

The trial is officially scheduled for a week from today, but it likely will be postponed 45 days or so. Postponements are common for this kind of trial, but it’s frustrating to see firsthand how slowly the system works. That would make three postponements so far. I have a lot more to say related to this issue but I’m going to save that for a separate post.

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