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It's been an odd old week...
Though it's getting colder, the weather is still sunny and dry. (The icon is more in hope than anticipation.) There is a huge crop of acorns, horse chestnuts, wild apples, haws, rosehips and rowanberries, and there will be photographs in a while. It's the last week in October, and the place is full of Red Admirals, looking so smart they must be presumed to be newly out of the chrysalis.

Gaddafi is dead and there are lots of people being holier than thou about taking him alive. Of course, they are generally not those whose families were 'disappeared' or tortured under his rule...

Then we lost Marco Simoncelli in a horrific MotoGP crash, which was just plain unlucky. I have always been amazed at the way MotoGP riders walk away from crashes - not this time. That's two motorsport fatal casualties within the month. Of course, back in the 50s and 60s, you could expect at least a couple of deaths a season, at least in F1. Safety is so much better nowadays, so when tragedy strikes it is unexpected.

On the other hand, Frankel was at his imperious best in the QE2 Stakes on Champion's Day at Ascot a week last Saturday


but Masterminded just didn't turn up at Aintree.

Meanwhile, at home, Xolo, who had such a bad time last winter has been losing weight, and since last Thursday has not been eating. She even turned down tuna. She also found it difficult to move, and was obviously in pain. When we took her in to the vets this morning we were sure it would be her last trip, but she is still alive, even though now at the vet hospital on a drip. Scott-the-vet decided it looked like an infection, took a blood test. Her kidneys are bad, but there is still a chance she might have a few more months with us if we can get her through this, so she's on antibiotics and a drip and she'll be tested again in 48 hours to see if she's responding.

This week was always going to be fraught. They are replacing the gas main on our side of the cul-de-sac, and have now dug up the drives of five houses, all of which are either fenced, plated, or fenced and plated. Half of the rest of the road is either dug up or fenced. The place has acquired a portaloo, a transport container which contains all their gear and, sometimes, a teeny-weeney digging machine (a road drill on tracks), as well as several more holes and a lot of paint. They don't have to move our meter or replace the spur to our house, as they did that when we had a leak a few months back. However, they are scheduled to turn us off on Thursday when they replace the main and, for this, we need to be in all day. Luckily, there is no agility training. Tomorrow, Ina heads off to her sister's housewarming. Considering the other family guests, she may have to be poured into bed on her return.

Wednesday we take Kurt in for his injections and hear the worst, or best, about Xolo.

Thursday we are gasless.

Friday... well, we may be picking up Xolo from the vet. Or we may be going to see Tintin.

And, somewhere in this mess, we have to lay some more floor tiles. And I have beta reading to do. Waaaaaaa!

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How old is Xolo? It sounds like she's had a good life with you. Still, poor sick kitty...

The northeast U.S. got much more rain than normal in the last few months. Too bad you couldn't take some.

Xolo is just over ten. She was in the first litter of Oriental Shorthairs that we bred, and she was a working queen until we neutered her a few years back. The cat in the icon - Kurt - is her son.

Breeding queens are much more prone to mammary cancer (the opposite of humans, in fact.) We lost her mother to this disease last year, then Xolo was diagnosed with it last winter. The operation that stripped out the cancer went wrong. She developed necrosis, and all the dead skin had to be removed. She was in the vet hospital for two months and, though she finally came back to us, the prognosis was never good. (Survival rate for mammary cancer is about 10% in cats.)

This is a recent photo

Xolo on the Sofa

I didn't know that about breeding queens. Poor, poor Xolo. Surgery complications suck, and cancer sucks in its own right.

But she loved her kittens...

I'm sure she did. I love kittens, too! Ah, the compromises of life.

I miss having kittens in the house. Here is Xolo with one of her litters...

Xolo and the Lupin III Litter

They look like they were a handful for her at that point... :)

Her mother always helped out! Her last litter was a problem one, and only two kits survived. I have pictures of her, her mother, and her adolescent son - who all insisted on looking after the kits - sprawled in the heated basket with the two kits, very much pushed for space, clinging to them.

You just reminded me that I have a pocketful of sweet chestnuts (tiddlers, mostly, but just about big enough to be worth eating) picked up in the woods this afternoon. It would be a waste to eat them when I'm full of beef stew and potatoes, so I think I'll be having chestnuts for lunch tomorrow.

Around here it's only horse chestnuts (mostly in our garden). The one crop that the locals seem to get to before us in the forest is the sweet chestnuts (which I love).

Last year I found two sweet chestnut trees and managed to collect enough nuts for a snack meal. This year my husband reports that there are plenty of prickly cases on the ground, but the contents appear to have been eaten! :(

I'm not going to weep for Gadaffi, but I would rather have seen the bastard on trial. I also wonder just how many politicians and businessmen both in Libya and worldwide were mightily relived that he was killed before he could drop them all in it.

There was a Lybian professor who wrote the most wonderful angry poem (and it was a poem) about Gadaffi's death which was broadcast on the World Service. (Apparently it's on Facebook, which I do not do.) If you'd heard it, it was very difficult to argue about his fierce joy in the man's death. (Both his father and brother had been tortured and killed by Gadaffi's thugs.)


Facebook recording http://soundcloud.com/rebeccakesby1/khaled-mattawa-poem-after-42?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=twitter&utm_content=http://soundcloud.com/rebeccakesby1/khaled-mattawa-poem-after-42

Edited at 2011-10-24 07:20 pm (UTC)

*fingers crossed for Xolo*
I hope she's OK.

Poor Xolo :-(

She has extraordinary eyes, doesn't she? Very beautiful.

That green is superb. Unfortunately, that particular line has no surviving breeding animals, which is a pity as that bright green is now rarer than it should be in Orientals.

So worried about Xolo. Really, really hope she bounces back. Sending my best wishes your way, however little they are worth.

And wow, you are busy.

Not as busy as you are, I suspect.

You good wishes are worth a lot.

Poor Xolo! She is such a beautiful cat.

I hope she responds to treatment.

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