Dream of the Dolphin
a.k.a.
Confessions of a Post-Graduate Pity Whore

Free Story!

Thursday, September 28, 2006
 

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Actually, there's not much sweet about it. It involves a lot of mess and hysterics and pounding heads afterward...

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

So for the past couple weeks, all my free time has been taken up by two things. One has been Waking City (which ends tonight, after which we unlock the clubhouse), and the other has been the kittens. The kittens were so sick when we got them, but we didn't begrudge the vet bills because the Mum brought them to us, we were already looking after Mortimer, and Antigone all but asked us to help them. We've spent the time since the trip to the vet getting up extra early to go out back and medicate six (increasingly healthy) kittens plus Mortimer, often ending up covered head to toe in cat food in our efforts to get each of them medicated. Often, it involved crushing a pill up into food, grabbing a kitten, flipping it upside down, forcing its mouth open and jamming the food in (whereupon the kitten realized "oh wait, I LIKE this stuff!"). The afternoons are spent playing with the kittens bejfore the whole messy medication process is repeated in the evening.

But again, we didn't much care that we ended up filthy and disgusting. Because the kittens were visibly improving so quickly and gaining strength every day. We knew it would be worth it.

More and more people came forward to volunteer to take a kitten once they were weaned. With three weeks to go, over half the litter was placed.

And then, one day, we couldn't find them. It took two days and some door knocking to track them down.

The kittens, when they weren't in our parking lot playing or sleeping in their bed, had a hiding spot at the other side of the fence at the back of the lot. The owner of that house came down one day to find them playing, whereupon she promptly called her daughter in law, who came and took five of the six kittens to the humane society, leaving behind a distraught Ducky, Mortimer, and Cass.

We panicked. If you'll recall, we couldn't take them in to the humane society because they had told us point blank that sick kittens would be euthanized to prevent the spread of disease to the other cats. Fortunately, we'd been medicating them long enough that it looks like that won't be a problem.

So we had to reunite the litter this morning. Ducky and Mortimer were upset, and it's getting colder.

We couldn't get anywhere near Cass -- we have to try again later. But we did manage to get Ducky and Mortimer. They started crying (Mortimer in particular), Cass started crying, we started crying and couldn't really stop. The kittens were so terrified. We knew that getting the litter and their brother back together, where they would be warm and medically cared for, was the best thing for them. But we almost couldn't do it.

We finally made it to the Humane Society. But it was before adoption hours. So they wouldn't let us see our kittens. Not even Tigs, who we were planning on keeping. They won't put him on hold either, so we really have to trust to luck when he comes up for adoption and hope we get to him first. We both broke down into hysterics at that point, and stood in the lobby, sobbing.

We were annoying and persistent enough that they did put Mortimer and Ducky with the others. They'd wanted to separate Mortimer. We swore we'd take him back if they did that. Mortimer dotes on those kittens, he looks after them, and was even more upset than Cassie that they'd been taken. He's such a good brother.

We still may take him back. We plan on visiting, and when the kittens go up for adoption, taking whichever is happiest to see us. We're not sure.

As I may have mentioned, this is a decision that we thought we'd had another three weeks to make.

But right now, my God, it hurts.

( 1:10 PM ) Sarah Jane ~





Wednesday, September 20, 2006
 

Kitten Aid

Okay, so here's the story: we have a feral cat living in our backyard. She managed to find the two biggest (and poorest) suckers in the Playter Estates, and came to us when she had her kittens four months ago. Mama Cass is one of the most affectionate cats we've ever met, so we couldn't say no to Sheldon, Molly, and Mortimer. We managed to find homes for Sheldon and Molly, and continued to tame Mortimer (he's really great now -- he loves to play and cuddle).

So of course, Cass brought us her second litter. Of six. Who were all really sick. So of course, suckers that we are, we took them to the vet.

Which ended up costing over $400. That's including a 15% "good samaritan" discount.

Neither of us have this. We looked at each other in horror when the vet told us this -- at which point Antigone popped her head out of the carrier, squeaked at me, and climbed up my shirt to nestle under my chin and purr. Fuzzy cute manipulative bastard. So we've worked out a way that we should be okay by consolidating our groceries and eating as cheaply as we can for the next few months, but we could use some help.



So if you would like to help (clockwise from left) Ducky, Mr. Plumperton (Plum), Poppy, Antigone (Tigs), Murgatroyd, Mortimer and Ralphie and Cass, here are some things you can do:

  1. Help us find a home for them. This, more than anything else, is the most important thing. This family seems to be genetically predisposed to being affectionate, they've all been absolutely wonderful cats. And hey, this batch of kittens has already been to the vet, all of them have been innoculated against fleas, and the kittens (and Mort) come with antibiotics to clear up the last of their colds. So spread it around -- there must be somebody out there looking for a companion animal, and these ones come pre-tested. The kittens will be ready to leave their mum in four weeks, and Mortimer is ready now.
  2. Moral support. Seriously, we know most of my readers are in the same financial boat, and just having someone cheering us on and saying "yes, not leaving these kittens to die like the fourth kitten in Cass's last litter is a good thing".
  3. Food. Especially wet food, which is how we're getting the antibiotics into the kittens because their throats are too tiny to swallow the pills, and they're going through it fast. But they also eat dry food (as do Cass and Morty), so if you or anyone you know has any to spare and, you know, a way to get it to us, it would help us out a lot. Nine felines (Dad comes over to mooch a lot when we're not around to run him off -- we're rather irked that Dad essentially "belongs" to the neighbour next door, who refuses to neuter him because "he wouldn't be able to survive outside") eat a lot of food.
  4. Finances. This is the step that morally bothers me the most, and the one I'm most reluctant to include, but we need another tube of the eye medication, and we're both strapped right now. So if anybody can't do any of the three things above and would still like some way to help, and has something to spare, you can paypal dolphin__girl (at) hotmail (dot) com (two underscores in dolphin__girl) and mark it "Kitten Aid".
  5. And just to reiterate again, the most important thing is to get the word out so we can adopt them. We've tried animal rescues without success, and the humane society has told us point blank they don't have room for kittens right now, and any sick animals coming in will be euthanized to avoid getting the rest of them sick. So it's up to us to find them homes.

Thanks!

( 9:29 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Saturday, September 16, 2006
 

Reality, Schmeality

In online reality news, further to my lonelygirl post of a few days ago, someone found the mysterious Cassie bag. If you go back to Cassie's original video, her comment no longer says "help me". Rather, she seems pissed.

I love living in the future.

And in our own real life reality game, things got off to a good start with Waking City today. We spend five hours running around Riverdale Farm, a cemetary, and U of T campus solving clues and learning more about the shadowy Murdrum corporation, and the possible involvement of aliens/zombies/vampires. Which is an insane amount of fun, as it turns out.


( 11:14 PM ) Sarah Jane ~





Thursday, September 14, 2006
 

Storytelling in the Digital Age

For those bubble beings like me who are always the last to pick up on "pop-culture phenomena", I spent a good long while yesterday being entertained by the lonelygirl15 saga.

It began here (they're posted in reverse chronological order, so go to the end for the first video), with lonelygirl15. At first, the videos appeared to be random and cute video diaries from a young, pretty, and somewhat geeky homeschooled girl with strict religious parents. But as the videos progressed, a sinister subplot began emerging involving her parents, her friend Daniel (whose own videos can be found here), and her unnamed religion.

It didn't take long for people online to start smelling a hoax, and many originally thought it was some sort of viral marketing for a horror movie. But when the identity of the actress playing Bree was uncovered, the creators came out and admitted what the lonelygirl15 videos actually are:

A story. Told in Youtube videos.

Some people are OMGOUTRAGED!!!1! that Bree isn't real, and that they have been somehow deceived. But I think this form of storytelling is actually pretty cool.

As LonesomeOctober (who may or may not be involved) points out, stuff like this isn't entirely new and has its roots in The Beast, created by Sean Stewart's company for Spielberg's AI (which I thought was really intriguing when it came out). And fictional blogs are becoming quite the norm, though many are merely blogs "written by" fictional characters or historical figures, and few that I've seen actually tell any sort of narrative.

But as a storytelling form, I'm just surprised it's taken this long for someone to use Youtube in this way (and kinda sorry I didn't think of it first). I'm enjoying it; the story's not as bad as some people are making it out to be (albeit somewhat cliched), and the creators have as much as said that the fans are shaping where it's going, which is kind of neat.

And now an element of Blair-witchy geocaching has entered into the network with a contribution (which may or may not be officially connected) from Cassie, mentioned in Bree's "Swimming!" video as having disappeared.

I made the mistake of watching this thing before bed, and actually expansinated myself into sleeplessness for a bit afterward. Nothing makes for creepy like harsh whispering. The whispering, ostensibly from the missing (or deceased) Cassie states "I was here," and after seeing something fall into the same reservior in which Bree was swimming, tells the viewer to "come and get it". In the comment thread, someone who claims to live in the area has promised to go with a friend on Friday to see if there's anything in the water.

I, for one, really want to know if they find anything.

( 10:21 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Friday, September 08, 2006
 

My Head -- bursting with Random Useless Stuff!

All things considered, I didn't watch a lot of TV when I was a kid. But the stuff I did watch -- Thundercats, Today's Special, and Dr. Snuggles in particular -- I was absolutely devoted to.

Yet there's one show I remember loving, though I can only remember bits and pieces of random episodes. That show? Punky Brewster. But not the one that 99.9% of the people who actually know what I'm talking about are thinking of. Most people think of this when they think Punky Brewster. They think the show that dared to push boundaries, etc. etc. etc.

Me? I only knew that show existed because I stumbled upon it by accident. When looking for this one.

I just found that link. It's been almost twenty years since I last heard that song. And not only have I been singing it with disturbing regularity for almost twenty years, as it turns out I had it almost word for word.

Though really, anyone who knew me as a kid understands why the latter version was my favourite.

( 11:56 PM ) Sarah Jane ~





Sarah Jane Elliott
The often frustrating progress of my life and writing...

(Once known as "The Mystic's Dream", now known as "Dream of the Dolphin", but inclined to change title depending on what's stuck in my head)

Okay, I liked "Confessions of a Post Graduate Pity Whore" a lot more than I thought I would. That line is still hilarious. But I've started writing again, so it's time to go back to before. :o)





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