Gang aft a-gley

Ah, my dear friends, I have a terrible dilemma before me.  Both Olga and Natalia wish to be my wife; each has written several times to me of their passion. They are equally attractive; both are looking for love, but neither appears to be able to do laundry.

Well.  That’s really not a dilemma at all, is it?

So, today was an odd day.  One of those days where Things Got Done, but they were Entirely the Wrong Things.  On the other hand, a day that includes a milkshake and an unexpected ride in the country can’t be too far awry.

At least, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

I did make it to gym and waked for miles.  My “gym book” this go is a Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal, and a buncha other awards, soon, I’m told to be  Major Motion Picture.  Again.

AWIT was published when I was 10 years old.  Despite this, I didn’t read it (the first time) until I was an adult.  It was sitting on a table in EJ Korvette’s in…damned if I remember — Towson, probably.  Anyhow, remainder table, one among many of its own kind, and many others, not necessary of its kind.  I was waiting for my then-boyfriend to finish up doing something or another, and started to read AWIT, as the most interesting looking book on the table, and by the time he re-appeared, I’d tessered once already and wasn’t about to miss the rest of the story.  It was a buck I never regretted spending.

I read AWIT a couple times since then, but not for 20 years or so — found the sequels, but none of them held my interest beyond the first two pages. . .  So, yanno, life goes on; so many books, so little time; and all like that.

But AWIT is going to be coming out as a movie next year; this time, so the hype goes, done right, which means that lots of people who read it as kids, and who imprinted on it, are re-reading.  And some are being disappointed, and blogging about their disappointment (one more time from the choir: What an age we live in).  Now, by the time I’d read AWIT, I’d read. . .a buncha books, many of them science fiction/fantasy (Back when I started reading sf/f, you could easily read the monthly titles, and still have room left over for others kinds of books.  It just wasn’t possible, if you were any shakes of a reader at all, to read only science fiction.).  I thought AWIT was a good enough book.  Certainly, the Mrs. Whatsit, Who, and Which have pleasantly improved my inner life.  Meg irritated me — but Meg was supposed to irritate me.  Partly, after all, this was a story about Meg coming to terms with Meg, and if she could stand it, so could I.

I did have some reservations about the sudden appearance and utter acceptance of Calvin, especially the part where he liked Meg straight off.  Otherwise, he seemed like good enough kid.

Charles Wallace was being set up either as John the Baptist, or the new Christ figure, but I’d already read Perelandra, and Out of the Silent Planet and whassis — That Hideous Strength.  Plus, I’d been raised Roman Catholic.  All of which meant I was pretty good at ignoring the God-stuff and following the story along.

So, anyhow.  I read it back then; liked it well enough.  Read it a couple times more and liked it on rereads.

This time, I’m still liking it.  Meg perhaps annoys me less, but, then I know how the story goes, more or less.  I find that I misplaced a couple things on the timeline, but no big surprises so far. . .The Happy Medium, surprisingly or not, irritates me more than Meg does this time.  Hmm.

One of the reviewers I read was saddened by the fact that AWIT didn’t sing for them anymore, and blamed — the 60s (given a 1962 pub date, and its long history of rejection, AWIT was probably written in the late 50s).  The 60s, said the reviewer are just too unbelievable to a person of modern sensibility, and the story therefore suffers from its setting.

I will go on record here as saying that the 60s setting doesn’t detract from the story  at all, for this reviewer.  OTOH, I lived through the 60s.

So, that.

After gym, I ran the rest of the errands on my list — sadly, neither CVS nor Agway had any of the bug repellents I had pinned my hopes upon, so I wound up ordering from the internet, rather than shopping locally.

Agway did provide me with a ginormous lacy yellow day lily, a hug pot of bee balm and a Jimmy hosta with white bells (the hosta on the other end of the property have blue/purple bells).  I have probably under-bought, but the wallet gets a vote, and this will at least start a Cat Garden Renaissance.

For those keeping score at home, I remain Utterly Delighted with my new fountain pen, which has scarcely been out of my hand since I bought it.  So delighted am I, that I have purchased another Pilot Metropolitan, this is the formal White Tiger color scheme, and blue ink, so I will have a fine signing pen at Confluence.

And that?  Really is all the news that’s fit to print.

Everybody stay cool, or warm, as appropriate.

Everything Upcoming!

We’ve had some queries about upcoming publications, and upcoming appearances, and, and — herewith an attempt to get them all in one place, for you, and for us.  Please note that the list is probably not complete; it’s only as complete as far as we know, as of Right Now.

Upcoming Appearances
May 1Ask Me Anything, Reddit, starting 12 noon
May 13: Meet ‘n Greet and book signing, Barnes and Noble, at 9 Market Place Drive, Augusta, Maine, from 1 – 3pm
August 4-6Confluence, in Pittsburgh, Lee and Miller will be writer Guests of Honor
March 9-11, 2018: MidSouthCon, in Memphis, Lee and Miller, writer Guests of Honor

Upcoming Interviews
April edition of The Intergalactic Medicine Show: Lee and Miller interview, reprint story, and! sample chapter

Upcoming Publications
April 15 +/-: “Cutting Corners,”
May 2: The Gathering Edge, hardcover, ebook, audiobook, Baen & Audible
June 6: “Wise Child,” in Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF, Volume 3, Baen
August:  “Dawn’s Early Light,” in All Hail Our Robot Conquerors, Zombies Need Brains
December 15 +/-: Short Story,
January 2, 2018Neogenesis
TBA: “Excerpts from Two Lives,” in Ships of the Line, Baen

The way life should be

Yesterday, we had precipitation.  There was some confusion amongst the Weatherbeans in their lofty towers of ice and sunshine regarding the form in which the precipitation would finally manifest.  The Weather Wheel spun from snow, to sleet, to freezing rain, ice pellets, and the ever-popular wintry mix, until the Weatherbeans in their wise frustration threw their hands in the air and said, “It is on the back of the wind.”

And so it was.

We here at the Cat Farm were blessed with snow.  Quite a lot of snow, very wet and heavy, since the temperatures never really got much below 31F/0C.  I had tried to do the Wise Thing and perform preliminary snow removal yesterday evening, before the skylight absolutely went.  This resulted in me sliding on the ice beneath the snow and falling flat on my face.  I therefore rethought the situation, with Steve’s pointed input, and decided to do snow removal this morning, when there was more traction between boot soles and ice.

Today, it’s quite pretty out, with sticky snow stuck to all the tree branches and Everything Else, and the sun beaming down from a blue and cloudless sky.

I have done two rounds of snow relocation, in prep for the plowguy.  The first round was Before Coffee, to clear the steps and make a path in the direction of the cars.  I came in to warm up — actually, to cool down; it gets hot when you shovel snow under the smiling sun — had a cup of chocolate coffee that Steve had ready for me, and an oatmeal cookie.

Round Two saw the cars cleared, for values of clear meaning that the driver can see out the front and back windows, after which I had Second Breakfast: coffee, cottage cheese, and leftover stuffing.  The breakfast of champions.

We are now on Plowguy Watch, and my jeans are in the dryer.

For those who may have never done snow relocation on a bright and sunny day in Maine, a few notes.

The snow was so white and reflective under the sun that the only way I could find and follow the paths I had made was to look for the blue inside the outline of my footprints.  I have a great fondness for blue snow, which I don’t think I ever saw before we came to Maine.

Also, the trees are, as stated above, bearing a significant burden of snow on each and all of their branches.  Yes, the smiling sun and the playful breeze are assisting in the removal of this burden, but it’s a tricky process.

While I was outside on Round Two, the neighbor across the road lost a branch from the tree closest to his house.  I heard a crrraaackkk and looked up in time to see the branch tumbling down in slo-mo, and a cloud of snow-dust dancing and twinkling against the perfect blue sky.

This is the time when we are at risk for losing power, because the lines are every bit as coated as the trees, and subject to the same forces.  And once again, we are grateful for the generator.

For the moment, my snow worship is done.  Sprite is already asleep in her basket on my desk, and I guess I’ll take her hint and get to work.

Everybody have a safe, pleasant day.


Wednesday To-Do List

  1. Do dishes
  2. Clean cat fountain
  3. Clean bathroom
  4. Print out section to be hand-edited
  5. Prep Number Ten Ox and load thumb drive with working files
  6. Pack
  7. Explain the schedule for the next few days to Trooper and Scrabble (also to Belle and Sprite, who will immediately forget all about it, and start to panic about elevensies on Thursday, whereupon Trooper or Scrabble will have to talk them down and Review)

Steve and I will be handing the Keys to the Cat Farm to the housesitter early tomorrow morning, after which we’ll be getting on the road to Providence, and the Rhode Island Comic Con.  Since this convention doesn’t have a literature track, we will not be doing any panels, or readings, but we will be at the Wordfire Press booth in the Dealer’s Room at Booth 124, signing books and creating mischief.

Everybody stay safe.


Cold hearted orb that rules the night. . .

Amazonian updates at half-past Rolanni’s first cup of coffee. . .

The kindle edition of The Crystal Variation is this morning not for sale at Amazon.  If you, as another Friend of Liad did, need to read the Crystal books right now on your kindle, please purchase the omnibus from Baen.  Here’s your link.

Courier Run, Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 18 is on sale in the Kindle Store, but God She knows which edition it is they’re selling (the Warning Triangle is still present on the page, warning the unwary of TYPOS), or if they’ll continue selling the book in any edition at all in five days.  At this point, I have so many multiple, and confusing emails from Amazon that I’m forced to believe that one tributary of the Big River doesn’t know what the other tributaries are doing.

The Hugo Awards were presented last night in Kansas City.  Congratulations to all the winners! Here’s the list of finalists and winners.

Yesterday was a lovely, full working day — and the laundry’s almost done, too!  Today is breezy and sunny and oh, so tempting to go to the ocean, or at least the shore — however!  It is a Sunday in August.  I will, therefore, stay home and?  Work.

On the subject of Housekeeping:  WordPress helpfully closed comments in the Spoiler Thread for Alliance of Equals.  They have been re-opened, and (unless there’s a sudden massive upsweep in comments, in which case the moderator will withhold her hand) will be closed by the moderator on August 31.

I think that’s it for Sunday morning — except, yanno, more coffee! and more laundry!  and more words!

Everybody be good.

Here, have a nice, long snippet for Sunday:

That being the case, he was merely Theo’s brother — an unhappy circumstance, given that Theo’s home culture held that the proper duty of women was to protect and care for the lesser sex. Even his position as her elder did not weigh nearly so much as the fact that he was male. His necessities must naturally wait upon his sister’s.

Still, he had played the kin card cannily, hoping that the joyous occasion of a niece might tempt her where a brother did not. It appeared, however, that he had miscalculated.

Today’s blog post is brought to you by The Moody Blues, “Day Begins,” from the album Days of Future Passed, which I adored, back in the day, and which I don’t even own anymore.  Ah, Life.  Here’s your link.

Catching up from the book tour

So, back from the micro-mini book tour!

It was lovely to see so many happy faces, to have a chance to chat, to read, and, of course, to sign books.

We want to thank Maria Perry, Patty Cryan, and Brian for hosting us.  You guys rock!


Frequent auditors of this journal will recall that I have long had a love affair with socks.

When packing for the overnight in Wocester, I forgot to pack socks, which I’ve never done before (my default being to pack too many socks); I briefly panicked; and Steve offered to lend his spare pair to the cause.  Fortunately, there was a strip mall right across the street from our hotel, where we paused to eat a very pleasant lunch at Jasmine, then proceeded to the end of the mall and the TJ Maxx.

Where I found socks!  Even, dare I say it, socks that coincided with my Sock Ethic.  One pair was black with white splotches; the other pair had block prints of purple, yellow, and blue-and-white stripe on the foot part, and skinny yellow, pink, red, blue, green strips running up the calf.  I purchased these with glee; the cashier agreed that they were very spiffy socks and!

When I got back to the hotel and actually looked at my receipt, I find that the socks were “men’s furnishings”.  Really?  The label says they are Happy Socks, created in Finland, so if anyone reading here is suffering from Sock Ennui, you might want to check them out.


Thanks to everyone who replied to the Buy My Book post in the various venues, and in email.  Many notes were supportive;  a few folks, naturally enough, want to argue, which is kind of too bad, and I wish them a long life.

Which brings up another topic.

You will perhaps recall that, back in March, Belle and I had a bet about eArc sales for Alliance of Equals.  I said we could sell more than 500; Belle took leave to doubt it.  On the other paw, Sprite was of the opinion that we could earn out our advance on eArc sales.

I am pleased to announce that I won both of those bets.  We hear that we sold more than three times that 500 copies Belle thought we couldn’t manage, but!  we didn’t earn out the advance.

It’s always gratifying to win a bet, of course, but both Belle and Sprite pay in kibble.

To those who bought eArcs — thank you so much!

Which brings up another idea — possibly half-baked.

I’m told that benefit accrues to titles on Amazon that gain certain numbers of reader reviews.  At the moment, the various levels escape me (maybe someone who has Google-fu and a couple minutes can find that information…).  The last couple Liaden books received 106, 88, and 163 reader reviews, respectively.  It would be Very Cool if Alliance could hit 200 reader reviews.  Note: These are honest reviews, not just one-liner, filler reviews, like “I really like this book.”

Do you think we can do it?  We beat Belle, after all, and she’s Pretty Shrewd.


For those who missed the news, Steve and I did an interview on the Baen Free Radio Hour.  It aired Friday.  Here’s your link.


Today, now that we’re home, I have accounts to do, and laundry to wash.  Steve and I need to go over the story notes I made before we headed off into the world.  And so on.

What did y’all do while we were away?

Many thanks to William Kilmer for the photograph from our signing at Annie’s Book Stop, Friday, July 9, 2016.

Steve Sharon Annie Book Stop July 9 2016

But I got cat class and I got cat style

So, the big news this morning is!

The Cat Farm cats have been interviewed by Annie’s Book Stop.  They talk about their writers, their favorite spots to sleep, and how they deal with the notoriety that comes with being Internet Stars.  Here’s your link.

You still have a few days to read “Wise Child” on the Baen website.  Here’s your link.

As of yesterday at about 4:00 pm EDT, the personalized books and some few just-signed had arrived at Uncle Hugo’s in Minneapolis. In addition, the remaining cases were on a UPS truck headed for the same location.  They are expected to arrive on Thursday, July 7.

We’ve heard from two libraries that have received their copies of Alliance of Equals, and a report of a sighting in the wild, at a BN in Denton, Texas.  Anyone have any other sightings to report?  Amazon, which often jumps the gun on these things, is, last time I looked, still holding the line at “this item will ship on July 5.”

I will set up a spoiler discussion space on Blog Without a Name, and pin it to the top, before we get crazy next week, so folks who read Really Fast have a place to Talk About It where they won’t spoil things for the slower readers among us.

In other news, we had a series of rain squalls come through East Winslow last night, culminating in a Pretty Impressive Thunderstorm right around midnight.  This morning, as Steve pointed out, the pine trees are a-glitter with jewels.

. . .I don’t really think there’s much else to report.  Today’s activities include starting the laundry and deciding what we’re going to read from Alliance of Equals.  We’ve read Chapter Seven a couple times now, and we’d like to do something fresh.

It’s a glorious morning so far, here in the Deep Woods; blue skies and breeze; going to warm up this afternoon, of course, but, hey — it’s July.

Those who celebrate the upcoming holiday — have a great weekend.  Those who do not celebrate the upcoming holiday — y’all have a great weekend, too.


Progress on Book the Next
38,510/100,000 OR 38.5% complete

“Please understand that I must ask: Have you SEEN something?”

Observation Post June 30 2016

Today’s blog title brought to you by the Stray Cats, “Stray Cat Strut.”  Here’s your link.

If it’s June 25. . .

. . .it must be the Belleversary!

Yes, as unbelievable as it may seem, one year ago today, we brought Kelimcoons Belle of the Ball to the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory.  She retired graciously to the chamber prepared for her, to rest from the rigors of her journey.  She had a mouthful of food, a visit to the necessary, and a brief bath before strolling out to Greet Her People, and conduct a survey of her new kingdom.

We were, of course, planning a Festivity to commemorate the day, complete with dancing and fireworks, but Belle has asked for a more restrained and dignified celebration. Therefore, we all plan on having a nap today, in honor of herself.  Belle is, as always, leading the way.

In other news!

I wrote yesterday.  Quite a lot, actually, for values of Quite a Lot that include 2,140 new words in Book the Next. After I ripped out the scene that didn’t work, we had a net gain to the manuscript of!  76 words.

It was rather an exciting day, as writers count these things.  I had a Good Idea, then!  I had a Better Idea; the story is back on track with no violence done the characters, their relationship, and! without invoking the Gods of Plot.  Which is good.  I really don’t like invoking the Gods of Plot.  Which reminds me to sweep the altar, which has gotten dusty.

In addition to the celebration of Belle’s arrival among us, today’s schedule includes deploying the vacuum cleaner, doing the dishes, and — getting back to work on the WiP.  No, no, the excitement never does stop; but we’re used to it.

For those keeping score at home, there were no checks in the mail today, and a bill arrived by email.

No questions to answer today, though people continue to find the Roll Call and check in.  Thank you!

. . .and I think that’s catches us all up.  It’s an absolutely gorgeous day here in the middle of Maine, perfect for all kinds of Summery Activities.  Hope it’s the same, where you are.


Progress on Book the Next
35,765/100,000 OR 35.77% complete

Not truth. Something more primal than mere truth. Something from deep in the core of him, incontrovertible, beyond any argument or logic.

Belleversary June 25 2016 One

By Grabthar’s Hammer, by the suns of Warvan, you. . .will be. . .remembered

Or, to riff off of Oscar Wilde: To lose David Bowie is a tragedy; to lose David Bowie and Alan Rickman inside of one week can only be carelessness.

. . .Well.  And no one ever said that the universe cared. . .


So, today.

Today was vacuum the house day, and make lentil stew for lunch day.  Since I’m a linear girl, I was going to vacuum first, then make stew.

That plan got kicked out when Dyson (the vacuum cleaner is a Dyson, name changed from The New Vacuum a couple years ago when I realized that we’d purchased it with royalty money from Meisha Merlin, which has been closed for eight years). . .when Dyson screamed a mighty scream, which usually means that a string has gotten ’round the rollerbar, or cat fur. . .

Well, it was cat fur — about a coon cat’s worth of cat fur — and it looked for a while there that the cats’ clever plan to murder the cat-eating machine had borne fruit, because I couldn’t even get the face-plate off to begin to deal with the problem.

Steve saved the day, with Trooper and Sprite close at hand, to observe the process.

I fear they may have a upgraded murder plan in the works.

While Steve was working on Dyson, I started the lentil stew, and observed progress on The Leeewit, which I had resurrected in order to try my hand at Linux one! more! time!

. . .this may require some background.

See, like Everyone Else on PC World, I have been being badgered by Microsoft for months and months, to take my “free” upgrade to Windows 10 (I run Windows 7).  In addition to being a Linear Girl, I am a Girl Who Does Not Like to Fix What Ain’t Broke, and I have been ignoring these importunate messages.

However, it seems that Microsoft will eventually just be pushing 10 down as an “upgrade,” which is horrifying beyond belief.  The desktop is my work machine. And though it is backed up, my life is on this machine.  I cannot risk losing anything.

So, I figured that I would install Windows 10 on Number 10 Ox, the Acer laptop, also running Windows 7 Pro, and Pay Attention.

The installation went smoothly, though it was slow (by today’s standards; I’m old enough to remember having to pretty much block out a day to sit in front of the computer and swap out a quarter-zillion disks-then-a slightly lesser number of CDs), but it was after the install that the fun began.

That was when I tried to find and turn off all of the spyware and “helpful” options in the “free” software.  Stuff like — if a computer on the internet is updating to Windows 10 and your computer happens to be on the internet, too, it may be pressed into server duty, in order to serve software to this other computer.  And — oooooh, keystroke logger! and we’ll helpfully send those keystrokes to Microsoft, so your computing experience can be “fine-tuned”.  Dude!  I work on this machine, and the internet is more often on than not.  Are you really going to be pushing ads for the Quality Inn Solcintra to my computer?

Long story short, the experience left me wanting to never do it again.  Apple is too expensive for me, and subject to its own slings, if not outright arrows, so the obvious answer is — Linux.

Long-time readers of Eagles Over the Kennebec, will recall that I at one point had a Linux box.  There was an uneasy peace between us, and occasional flashes of real affection, but we never loved each other.  And eventually, I went back to Windows, as being easier on my brain.

I am told that nowadays Linux Mint is Doing The Thing Right, so I pulled the Leeewit, the by-today’s-standards-ancient Asus eeePC, out of the closet and downloaded the newest Mint (which for some reason is called Cinnamon) to it.  Then, of course I couldn’t install it, because even the best software can’t wipe the drive it’s living on, then install itself.  Duh.

Steve once again came to the rescue, downloading the OS to a stick.  We then had to go ’round the barn three times in order to convince Leeewit to actually boot from the stick, but we got there eventually, and as I type, I have a functioning 32-bit Atom-powered netbook running a full edition of Mint Cinnamon (Rosa) 17.3.  LibreOffice comes with, so I’m ready to rumble, and?

We shall see.

Somewhere around all those adventures, lunch was served and eaten, and vacuuming was done.

I wanted to talk about vacuuming.  Well, actually, I want to talk about Trooper.

Let it be said upfront that Trooper is Not Dyson’s Biggest Fan.  When the machine roars to life, he immediately runs to my office (my office being, despite innumerable demonstrations to the contrary) considered by catkind to be Safe.  Sprite makes right for the basement, and Scrabble — poor Scrabble — freezes on top of the file cabinet in Steve’s office, and (unless I want a drooling, shivering basket case on my hands, which I don’t) must be picked up and brought to the basement stairs.  When you put her down, she wails piteously, runs down to the bottom of the steps, and gazes up at you, still wailing, until you close the door and get on with things.

Today, however, when I escorted Scrabble to the stairs, and she descended, crying — Today, Trooper came out of my office, and went downstairs, pausing a few steps above her, and spoke to her in his mid-range, not-squeaky voice — and here’s the amazing part — Scrabble not only didn’t lay into him with ears back and claws extended, she actually stopped crying, and accepted a head-butt.

I am amazed.

I also learned today that Belle?  Can levitate.

I thought she’d gone downstairs, like the practical mom-cat she is.  I thought wrong.  She had retired into the basement of the Cat Castle; all the way in the back corner of the basement, where she was apparently determined to wait it out.

Then the vacuum entered the living room, approaching the Cat Castle, and — she lost her nerve.

Remember that I thought she’d gone downstairs, and thus was completely taken by surprise by the Very Large Orange Feline bursting out of the basement and into the air.  I swear she was heading directly for my head, did a mid-flight adjustment, landed on the far side of the Mencken table, and bolted for — downstairs?

Silly person.

Under the bed.

I collapsed, heart pounding.

And Belle has a new nickname to go along with “Mom.”

Flying Lion.

And so that.

Time for me to get to work.

Here, have a picture of Trooper, bird-watching.

Trooper bird watching Jan 10 2016

Gang agley

So, yesterday was a wash.  Woke up with a headache, and decided that I’d take two aspirin and soldier on.  Turns out that the headache was tougher than that, and! tougher than everything else in hand, so — long story short — I didn’t dare go in to the manuscript, because my brain actually hurt.  I took a nap, did some lightweight research, and sorted out some stuff I’d been meaning to get out of the recipe file.  Then I went to bed early, weighted down with coon cats.  Not my most productive day ever.

While I was napping the Guy from Dead River — which is not the title of a novel by Edna Ferber, though it ought to be — came by to scope out the placement of the propane tanks while will provide juice to our generator when it is installed.

Now. . .we call this the House of Negative Feng Shui for a reason.  The people who built the place had a Positive Genius for Wrong Placement.  The living room and kitchen are placed so that they will catch the full fury (insomuch as Maine has such fury) of the summer sunshine, and! most of the snow winds.  This means that the front of the house (pre-roofed-deck, thank you, Todd) was a broiler in the summer, with the added bonus of not being to get out the kitchen (main) door in the winter, because the wind dumps All The Snow exactly in front of the door.

On top of this, the house is sited too close to the road, and too close to the eastern boundary, which is the only rational place for a garage, since all the doors are on that side of the house.

Anyhow, yesterday, and the Guy From Dead River — who discovers that the the Only Possible Place (by Code) to site the propane tanks is where the propane tank for our stove is now — on the farthest side of the property from the generator.  And?  Yep, you got it; there’s only one place where the generator may (by Code) be sited.

“Gonna have to do a lot of trenching,” said The Guy.

On the other hand, he didn’t say that it couldn’t be done.

Though he did say that he needed to talk to his boss.


In other news, frequent auditors of this journal will recall that Belle had been limping off her right leg, and we took her into the vets a few weeks ago to be sure she hadn’t sprained or broken a paw/leg.  At that point, the vet found no indication of a break, but suspected soft tissue trauma.  She prescribed three days of pain killers, and warned us that soft tissue injuries take a Very Long Time to heal.

The limp hasn’t slowed Belle down; and, if it’s gotten no better; it hasn’t seemed to get any worse.  So, we decided to Be Aware, but not panic.

Fast forward to Monday, when I was grooming the cats.  I took hold of Belle’s right leg, stretched it out along my arm, and pressed her foot pad to shoot her claws.  I cut the first claw on the right foot — and when I moved on to the second claw, Belle let out a scream, and jerked forward, as if she was going to bite me — and then dropped back, looking Very Embarrassed, indeed, while being Not At All Interested in having me touch her paw again.

“I think I found the problem,” I told Steve, after we’d all gotten settled down.

“Right,” he said, and phoned the vet for an appointment.

Which was for today, at 8:30 am.  A thorough exam was made, including x-rays of both feet, and — diagnosis still inconclusive.  There does seem to be tenderness in the right foot, but no evidence of infection, or of a break. We have glucosamine to put in her food, to see if that helps with the situation.

Belle rode to and from the vet on my lap, wearing the Royal Ruff, which is Standard Traveling Livery for all the coon cats here at the Cat Farm.  None of them cares to travel in the palanquin, so they’ve learned to tolerate a small dog harness with a clip-on leash, and the ruff.  Both Trooper and Sprite drool in the car — less on my lap than in the carrier — and the ruff helps them preserve their dignity, not to mention keeping most of the cat spit off my hands.  Belle is a neater traveler, but this was her first time on my lap, and we wanted to be sure.

She did fine on the ride to and from, and at the vet’s, and is now sleeping the sleep of the Justly Exhausted on the copilot’s chair in my room.

Now, it’s time to get to work.

Here’s a picture of Sprite, wearing the Royal Ruff:

Sprite wearing her lace Jan 1 2015