Baby Girl Melanoma!!
March 9, 2011

Get in the cat carrier, Baby...just get in please.

I noticed this strange thing on my beloved Baby Girl’s right hip maybe a month ago…and I thought at first it was a tick….about the same size, dark brown…almost black. So I got out my trusty tweezers and alcohol, ready  to do what I had done many times before on various animals…remove the darn thing. But I couldn’t get under it…. and B to the G made how she felt about me trying, painfully clear.

I attempted this again a few days later…same results. So clearly, if this is a tick it is deeply embedded, and Dr. Donna is not gonna be able to handle this one. Or…it’s something else, like a growth. So I made an appointment with my vet one morning before work….and off we go.

The trusty Pet Taxi....Baby hates it...

Dr. Cohen looks at it and says, “It’s definitely not a tick“…..and he squeezes it a little and rubs it …here’s the weird thing…dark pigment came off on his finger. Eeuuuw. He continued, “It’s definitely a growth of some kind…good you didn’t try to remove it(true dat-could have been messy)…..but what worries me is the pigmented nature of it.” He said to leave Baby there for the day, and they would remove the growth that afternoon….”Whatever it is, it probably needs to come off.”  Poor Baby Girl.

Baby's incision..stitches come out next week....

I picked her up that evening…she was a little sad and still a bit woozy, but otherwise fine(nothing seems to dent Baby’s appetite-that girl can eat!)….and it was yesterday that Dr. Cohen called me with the biopsy results. Benign melanoma,(have you ever heard of that on a cat?) but some of the cells in one part of it were atypical. Not good. But the doc had removed a wide margin of skin around the lesion, and all those margins were clear. He said, “Keep on eye on that area  in the future and let me know if anything appears anywhere else.” He was actually amazed that I found that one, because Baby is, as he referred to her, “heavily furred“. Yeah she is, Baby doesn’t fool around when it comes to fur…she’s all in.  So just a heads up to pet owners…it sometimes pays to do the thorough petting session. And B to the G sends her furry love….

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Adventures in Babysitting….Spencer and me
March 30, 2010

Spencer says....where's the food, lady?

This past weekend…ok, Saturday night, not the entire weekend….I had my first assignment of babysitting my grand-cat….my daughter’s beloved rescue kitty Spencer. This was a big deal…I did not want to screw up. And she is understandably more concerned about Spence these days, as she just learned he has feline CRF…chronic renal failure. The vet told her, “Spencer will not live a normal life span.” It was a real kick in the head….she just adopted him in January, totally fell in love, and now this. So he went home with a prescription diet which cost loads of money of course, and a $300 vet bill. Yeah.  So that’s that…though right now Spencer seems happy and feels good…she just hopes she will have him for perhaps a few more years if all goes well.

You see why she was loath to leave him, but I assured her I have cared for many cats in my day, and was totally up to the assignment…so I decided to stay in her apartment Saturday night…brought in some carry out for dinner, watched Kentucky get their kotuckus handed to them on a platter, turned off the lights from 8:30 -9:30 as per Earth Hour, petted Spencer a lot and just hung out. Her little abode is so cozy and has such a pretty view over Roland Park….though I found outright away why she has a sleep mask on her nightstand….it is bright in there at night with the general glow from all the lights out there. Sleep was….intermittant…Spencer likes to walk all over you a lot, and jump on and off the bed all night, and occasionally nuzzle your armpit for a pet. Maybe she’s used to it.

A pot of green tea, an almond croissant and jazz.....love it.

Sunday morning I went for a walk, and ended up in the Chocolatea  Cafe for a bite of breakfast…such a cute place.  Ordered a pot of decaf Sencha green tea, which comes from the region near Mt Fuji, an unbelieveably good almond croissant, and read a little  Washington Post someone had conveniently left behind.    also does hot breakfasts with eggs and waffles….I didn’t realize that until I saw someone else’s order go by. And while the website doesn’t say it’s open Sunday mornings, it is. Oh, and they do sell some fabulous looking chocolates!

Cute interior of Chocolatea...

Odds and ends department….I was excited to hear from Marshall Chapman, the singer I wrote about last week….she said, “I’m so glad you love my song “Leaving Loachapoka”!
Thanks for the mention.
Love on …
Marshall”

And regarding school lunches and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution program to bring some nutrition sanity to the lunchroom…Diana wrote, ” Hi Donna,
Hope you and others can take a moment to check out the blog by a teacher who wishes to remain anonymous regarding school lunches. What she is doing is right in line with Jamie Oliver. I hope this will get other people involved in doing the right thing for our children called Fed Up With School Lunch…here’s a link. 

Done Diana, done…and it is thought-provoking reading. Thanks.

And Betty wrote, “My friend and I were talking about your blog and she mentioned that you were “fond” of a fat free peanut butter. She said you thought it was great and I should find out b/c she knows I love peanut butter. Would be great to save calories!”

Actually Betty….that is Jennifer Franciotti who digs the  low fat(not fat free)peanut butter …I just texted her for the answer…she says it is called Better ‘n Peanut Butter….she gets it at  Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, and  it has 2.5 grams of fat and 100 calories a serving. I asked if it was actually better than peanut butter….she replied, “Well, it’s better than nothing.” But she likes it….