st_aurafina: A shiny green chilli (Food: Green Chilli)
[personal profile] st_aurafina
Cat update

Baggins is doing okay! He's eating and purring and getting hugs and slowly looking less ragged. We have to give him sub-cutaneous fluids twice a day, which horrifies and shocks him. This is significantly harder in a strong, recovering cat than it ever was in our elderly tiny cat who passed a few years ago! The first time, we forgot to warm up the fluid - we didn't do that for Missy when she was passing - but the vets suggested it, and the second time, Baggins fought and cried a bit at the start but then kind of subsided and accepted it. Then he retreated to his basket and gave us a thousand yard stare of angry death wish, which, to be honest, is a good sign.

When we brought him home yesterday, all the sub-q fluids had gone down to the skin in his hind legs, making him look like he had pantaloons or saddlebags on, which was so sad. And from the venom, and probably from being curled in a cage for most of a week, he was walking with a kind of waddle-swagger - which he determinedly did right around the house to check everything - it was very cowboy. But very sad. Today he's walking normally, and his pantaloons are almost gone.

His creatinine kinase levels in his blood are high but not catastrophic - the snake venom makes muscle tissue break down in the same way that marathon runners who get extremely dehydrated get muscle meltdown, and that's really dangerous for his kidneys to clear, so we need to keep flushing and flushing the fluids through him, so his kidneys can do all this work without damage. I'm really glad that the baseline kidney panel they ran early on was 100% fine, because it means he was a big, strong, healthy cat when he got bitten. For an eleven year old Oriental cat, that's amazing to start with, and gives him the best chance.

He's lost so much weight, but he's always had a good appetite and is taking to the task of snarfing up food whenever we give it to him, so that's reassuring.



Snake Update
We found experts! They came up from Geelong on the day that I called them, it was awesome. They were massive nerds like us, loved our nerdy bookshelves and the nerdy names we gave our cats and considering they had to go right through everything in the house, it actually felt much safer and familiar than you would think. Social anxiety and snake anxiety aside, it was about as good as that experience could be. If anyone of my Aussie flist needs a rec for a local snake team, drop me a PM because I'd rec them.



They found a place under the kitchen sink, where there's a hole cut into the wood of the cabinetry that's bigger than the plumbing pipes that go through it, and said that's the most likely point of ingress. They've stuffed it with steel wool for now, and we can fill it more with polyfilla later if we want to. If you're a ground-floor Aussie person, check in your kitchen sink cupboard because apparently this is not an uncommon thing. Do not poke your fingers in that hole, either. Just push the steel wool in. /protip.

The other (more terrifying) option is that it ran from the block which was getting mowed next door, hid IN THE TRACK OF THE SLIDING DOOR OF THE LAUNDRY AND SLITHERED IN WITH THE PERSON OPENING THE DOOR. And then, presumably under the broom closet door to hide until later, when it got to the cat. The thing is, that I'm pretty sure we were there when Baggins got bitten - there was a moment on the Thursday night when the two cats leapt out of their basket in horror, that real vertical leap of fear that cats do, and that means that while we were in the house, it got from wherever it entered to the cat's electric blanket bed. And I saw nothing. I mean, I know a snake is stealthy by nature. But I'm really, really good at seeing detail - I walk into a room and see spiders easily. I think it's part of being ASD and prone to sensory overload - I see detail and movement over-easily, I am neurologically the person in the cave that gets to sort the poison berries from the non-poison berries, and I saw nothing. IT'S SCARY!! (I mean this is all pop-psychology bullshit, but I do really have this knack for spotting things, and I spotted nothing. And I feel bad. And what would I have done anyway, if I'd seen it? Honestly.)

They're 99.99% sure that the snake is gone. Which is great, and about the best we can hope for in a rural setting. They're sure that it came from the block next door, because they checked it out, and it's full of fallen trees and rubbish that snakes love to live in. They were satisfyingly horrified that it only gets mowed once a year, and told us in some outrage that it was both a snake and fire hazard. (We know - we're the ones who dobbed the dude into the council last year.) They're going to write us a letter to send to the council, on official snake-handler letterhead. This will help because we've started a country-town small-scale slander campaign that we're hoping will get back to the guy's mum, who is a ferocious dragon.



Quick Recipe Friday
You'd think I'd had no time to bake, wouldn't you? Ha! Every time I picked up a spatula, drama did happen. It was eerie. (Or I pick up a spatula very frequently.)

Something I cooked recently:
Ottolenghi’s Lemon-Semolina Cake

I made it in muffin form, I made the olive oil variant, and they're really good. But my oven cooked the tops really, really quickly, so next time I'm putting the temp down and the time longer. I will never learn, with my terrible, terrible oven, but I can't stand the idea of having tradies in the house right now to put in a new one, so I have to suck it up. Under the over-brown top though, they're nice and moist, are keeping for longer than muffins would, and the lemon taste is really good. Definitely a good GF option for a small, snacky/tea time cake or muffin thing

ETA: After [personal profile] lilacsigil said that the muffins were a little grittier in texture than she expected, I have discovered that semolina is not polenta. I like the slightly gritty texture, but perhaps next time I'll try actual semolina flour rather than polenta. But I thought they were the same!!

Trail Mix Energy Bites
I made these on Sunday, and Baggins started getting sick right in the middle of it, so I forgot to put the rolled oats in. They actually came out okay - but more of a confection than a snack food, if you know what I mean. They're nice! They're not technically a FODMAP friendly food, because of the honey and the fruit. And the pretzels, of which I had none so I smushed up some Ritz instead, but when we needed something sweet for our shocky little selves after the vet visits, they were awesome. Salty-sweet and satisfying. I will be trying them again with the oats in this time.



Something I have concrete plans to cook soon:
It is gnocchi weekend! It's nice and cool today, so I'm going to be roasting potatoes and making... Omg, I didn't bookmark my gnocchi recipe. *freaking out* It was a roast potato one, it worked really great, omg, I shouldn't even need a recipe! But I am a bad granddaughter and do not know it by heart, ohnoes.

I will use this one from the Guardian: How to make the perfect gnocchi though it be filled with terrible copy.

And I'm going to scoop out some of that potato mash and making this potato focaccia I linked last Friday.

I've got a bottle of passata that I'm going to oomph up with some fresh herbs, and bake the gnocchi in that - eat some, freeze some for Christmas meal time, and hopefully all will be good.


Something I'm idly planning to cook in the future:

Shredded chicken, cucumber and noodle salad

I'm still craving weird things, and single-ingredient foods, like, apparently cucumber. Also this looks nice and summery.

Walnut pesto
I have a bulk bag of walnuts, and I'm still looking for a good sandwich condiment that I can keep the garlic out of.


Yay getting back on track with posting, yay for a better cat, yay for a (probably probably) snake free house.

Date: 2016-12-17 03:24 am (UTC)
nomnivore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nomnivore
I'm so glad to hear Baggins is on the mend and that your home is snake free!

Date: 2016-12-17 03:31 am (UTC)
sharpest_asp: Black and white art of a hissing snake arounda  dagger (Default)
From: [personal profile] sharpest_asp
So glad kitty is better!

Date: 2016-12-17 03:37 am (UTC)
adafrog: (Default)
From: [personal profile] adafrog
That is great that the expert helped you so much. Glad Baggins is feeling more cranky/better. :)

Ooh, good luck getting the mom involved. Sounds like he deserves it.

Date: 2016-12-18 06:27 pm (UTC)
adafrog: (Default)
From: [personal profile] adafrog
So good that they were also thinking of the snakes. I'm no keen on them, but they are part of the ecosystem.

Oh yeah.

Date: 2016-12-18 07:27 pm (UTC)
lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)
From: [personal profile] lizcommotion
I must admit I cackled when I got to that part of your story. Very glad that Baggins is okay and well enough to give you death glares.

Date: 2016-12-17 04:01 am (UTC)
snickfic: (Willow magic)
From: [personal profile] snickfic
Official snake-handler letterhead! A somewhat cheering resolution to an otherwise horrifying tale. Glad to hear the snake is probably gone. D:

Date: 2016-12-17 04:05 am (UTC)
out_there: B-Day Present '05 (Default)
From: [personal profile] out_there
I'm glad Baggins is recovering. And no longer wearing pantaloons.

And I'm even more glad the house is certified snake free. It's good to know about the gap around plumbing. Our kitchen had that but we filled it in for the sake of tidiness. Not getting snakes is a bonus.

Date: 2016-12-17 05:25 am (UTC)
umadoshi: (kittens - Jinksy - top of stairs)
From: [personal profile] umadoshi
Hooray for such good updates!

Date: 2016-12-17 05:43 am (UTC)
yuuago: (BlackJack - Snap)
From: [personal profile] yuuago
I'm really glad to hear that your cat is doing okay. <3

Aside from that, mmm gnocchi. :9 Delicious!

Date: 2016-12-17 07:20 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] nixwilliams
Go, snake-nerds!

Date: 2016-12-17 08:39 am (UTC)
weaver: (Default)
From: [personal profile] weaver
Poor Baggins! And poor you, having to go through all of that. I'm not terrified or phobic of snakes, but I do have a verrrrry healthy respect, and the thought that one could be living in your house .... gosh, just no. I'm so glad you found good experts. (And I will definitely hit you up for the name, if I need snake experts in future!)

My aunt lost her Jack Russell to a tiger snake the first year they moved out of Melbourne to a country area, and the cat they got to replace it the next year, too. I think they're better at keeping them safe now. But it's heartbreaking. I'm glad Baggins is OK.

Date: 2016-12-17 09:48 am (UTC)
dancing_serpent: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dancing_serpent
Those are great news. Poor kitty, but I'm happy to hear he's doing better. And yay for the snake-nerds and their assessment. Official letters can be a lot of help, and I wish you success. *hugs and pets*

Date: 2016-12-17 04:02 pm (UTC)
hope: Art of a woman writing from tour poster (Default)
From: [personal profile] hope
Jesus, what a nightmare!! I'm SO GLAD Baggins is recovering well.

Date: 2016-12-17 04:10 pm (UTC)
rthstewart: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rthstewart
I am so glad he's OK and that you are getting a measure of security again. This is all just terrifying to think how it got in and I'm so glad the experts were helpful.

Date: 2016-12-17 07:13 pm (UTC)
alchemise: Stargate: season 1 Daniel (Default)
From: [personal profile] alchemise
I'm glad to hear your kitty is doing better! What a scary situation.

Date: 2016-12-17 09:01 pm (UTC)
gwyn: (emma crime)
From: [personal profile] gwyn
Okay, somehow I missed this story, but I can infer that your kitty got bitten by poisonous snek and that is horrible! You must have been so scared. I am glad that I know the spoiler and he's doing okay.

Date: 2016-12-18 02:00 am (UTC)
clare_dragonfly: woman with green feathery wings, text: stories last longer: but only by becoming only stories (Default)
From: [personal profile] clare_dragonfly
I'm so glad Baggins is doing better!

Date: 2016-12-18 04:34 am (UTC)
chanter_greenie: Commander Seth Goddard of Space Cases fame (SC: Goddard - do the best they can)
From: [personal profile] chanter_greenie
Oh, poor meower! :( Very glad he's slowly but surely healing up. Poor kitty. *pets*

Dear snake, buzz off! Leave the nice people and kitties alone! Go after some local outdoor mice/rats or something. Yeesh. Grumpily, Chanter in the States.

The commander in the icon would be, it's fair to say, unimpressed with the invading wildlife.

Date: 2016-12-19 10:29 am (UTC)
dolorosa_12: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dolorosa_12
Glad to hear Baggins is on the mend, and that the snake people were so helpful.

Thanks also for those recipes, which sound fantastic. I'll have to try them!

Date: 2016-12-19 02:10 pm (UTC)
lurkingcat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lurkingcat
Just catching up on DW and OMG, Poor Baggins! So glad he's feeling better.

Date: 2016-12-19 02:31 pm (UTC)
singe: The word Singe with a backdrop of flames. (Default)
From: [personal profile] singe
Poor kitty! I'm glad he's feeling better. I lost a dog to a rattlesnake and it was just heartbreaking.

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