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A blog friend lost one of her beloved kittehs.  I don’t know exactly when it happened or under what circumstances, only that he had been missing for three days and that they had been searching frantically for him.  I know exactly how she’s feeling; as devastated and grief stricken as I felt when I lost my kitteh Shadow on a terrible Friday in October of 2004.  It happened so suddenly, out of the blue. My heart goes out to her and her family.

I was supposed to go daddy-sit yesterday so my mom could go to her music club luncheon.  I was supposed to be there at 11:15, but she called about 5 of 11:00 to ask if I could come over right then.  She said he had awakened at 5 a.m. this morning with another one of his spells of disorientation and hallucinations, where he thinks he’s someplace out of doors and that there are a bunch of people standing around.  She had gotten him up for a while, and tried to get him to eat something, but he hadn’t eaten anything to speak of.  She had put him back to bed by the time I got there hoping that a nice nap would help the way it had before.  She was supposed to give the invocation at the music club luncheon, so she only went long enough to “invoke” and to get her food boxed up so she could bring it home.

Needless to say, I was somewhat apprehensive about staying with my dad as for some reason he doesn’t seem to be able to hear/understand my voice as well as he can my mom’s – perhaps it has to do with my voice being higher pitched, or me not talking loud enough or something — and I wasn’t sure what I could do for him if he started getting agitated.  Fortunately, nothing like that happened.  I sat in the bedroom in the rocking chair they’ve had since shortly before they had me — I was rocked in it as a baby — and knitted, and all was quiet on the western front.

After mom came back, she asked me about those kind of cups for toddlers — sippy cups, they’re called — and I went on line, saw that K-Mart had some which were thermally lined, and went down and got four with cars on. All my dad will drink is this instant cappuccino mix, but he tends to try to drink when he’s not sitting straight up, and some of it invariably “gets away from him.”  My mom thought a sippy cup would work better (if we can get him to use it!).  It would also tend to control the amount he tries to swallow at a time, and maybe he won’t choke so badly.  His epiglottis is incompetent, and doesn’t seal off his windpipe properly when he swallows.  Inevitably, some food or drink will go down the wrong way, and he’ll have a coughing fit. (– probably another reason he doesn’t eat very much — after he’s had a couple of coughing fits, he’s too exhausted to eat any more.)  He’s supposed to eat thickened liquids, pudding consistency, but he won’t.  One presumes that, since the cups are dishwasher safe, they’ll hold his hot cappuccino, and this will solve the problem — always assuming we can convince him to use them, that is.  If he will use them, they may work in his favor.  They have a thermal liner, and will likely keep his cappuccino hotter longer.  The cups have nice red cars on them.  Unfortunately, at 91, he’s a bit too old and too big for the matching Dale Earnhardt, Jr., child’s car seat.

After I got home, I was going to spend a quiet evening reading blogs, but when  I tried to look something up, the search engine kept coming up as Bing instead of Google.  I have no patience with companies that bundle their search engine software (like Bing) with some other company’s software so that while you’re installing the software you want on your computer, Bing does a stealth install of their software, typically resetting your browser to Internet Explorer and/or messing up all your browser settings.  Microsoft have made it as difficult as possible for you to find it and get rid of it, so even though people don’t especially want it, the less computer savvy among them have to just put up with it because they don’t know how to get rid of it.– which is the whole strategy.  In this particular case, Bing didn’t show up on the list of programs, or add-ons or extensions, and the only way I could get rid of it was to reset all my Firefox browser parameters to default, which meant all my add-ons and extensions got uninstalled, including NewsFox, and I had to reinstall them all and fix the settings on them back the way I had them.  It took me hours to get NewsFox set back up like I wanted it, and in the process, I lost all the blog posts I hadn’t read yet, and the ones I was keeping so I could read other people’s comments to my comments.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to reload all my blogs and webcomics, or I would have been three times as pissed off as I was.  I wasn’t in the mood to go blog by blog and webcomic by webcomic to see what, if anything, had gotten marked as “read” that shouldn’t have been.  Maybe this afternoon.  I think I’ve had all the fun I can stand for the moment (not!),