Tintin is Dying

Tintin is dying.

For eight years Tintin has been our faithful companion. When we lived in the apartment on North Knott, Kris wanted a cat despite the fact that they were prohibited by the rental agreement. We visited the Humane Society in Turner (just outside of Salem) and Kris immediately fell in love with a pure-white cat with pale blue eyes. He looked frightened and dull to me. I thought she should choose a frisky (and cute) little kitten. She ignored my suggestion, and we took the white cat home.

We wanted to name the cat Snowy, after the dog in the Tintin comics, but we thought that name was too wimpy. We named him Tintin instead.

At first Tintin was jumpy; he was quick to claw and bite. Kris surmises he may have come from an abusive home, but soon she and Tintin had formed a bond that has lasted to this day.

When we moved to the house (and, at the same time, acquired my cat, Toto), Tintin became a very happy cat. He loves to roam the yard, to sit in the flower beds, to lay in the sun. We have a stone cat statue that has become his best friend. (None of the other cats are as accepting of him as Stony is.) He loves to sit on Kris’ lap, and he’ll even tolerate my attention.

Tintin is well-loved and an important part of our small family.

Over the past several months he’s been losing weight. His appetite has diminished significantly. At the end of April I noticed that he was drinking a large amount of water. Also at that time, Kris noticed that she was having to change the litter box two or three times a week instead of just once a week. I spoke with Mac, who has some background in vet medicine, and he advised that we have Tintin examined immediately.

Tintin has diabetes. The vet says that he could maybe live another year if: (a) we sent Tintin to board at the vet for a week while they established an insulin regime and (b) we game him insulin injections twice daily for the rest of his life. Kris is not willing to do this. Neither am I.

Tintin is a happy cat, even if his health is failing. He cannot jump up onto the bed anymore. He can’t jump onto the bathroom counter, either, but we’ve trained him to use the toilet as a step. He is beginning to look emaciated. His left eye at times looks cloudy, as if it may be going blind. He drinks about eight ounces of water a day. Minimum. He doesn’t eat much. I think that he only has a few weeks in his tired body, but believe that Kris is expecting months. But he can still sit on Kris’ lap while they watch The Price Is Right. He can still lay out on the patio, basking in the sun. He can still come running (slower than before) to lick out a bowl of ice cream. He’s never been happier, from what we can tell.

Tintin rolling on the patio

I’m sad to be losing a friend like Tintin. He is a good cat, loving and gentle. Kris will be heart-broken, and so will I.


On 12 October 2004 (06:11 PM),
bill said:

Spoil Tintin…i am writing you as part of my grieving. Tigger my 12 year old cat died yesterday at 7:44. We had to put him to sleep he had terminal cancer. The procedure was performed here at the house. It is a peaceful process, i never thought that i would get so attached. My prayers are with you and your family…God Bless.

Bachelor Life

Yesterday was relaxing, which is nice. Kris and I did get up at 4:30 a.m. (which is not relaxing) in order to get her to the airport for her flight to Virginia. On the way home, I stopped and Mac and Pam’s where they graciously served me breakfast. I also made a jaunt over to Powell’s Books where I picked up: Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain, the first volume of Proust’s Rememberance of Things Past (I think the first volume is called Cities on the Plains, but I’m not sure — it doesn’t matter since it’s one book in seven volumes), Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, and Contact by Carl Sagan.

I came home and played some Diablo II. Of course. I’m working on my hardcore Paladin (Linus Torvalds), but the going is slow. It’s slow because (a) I’m playing a Paladin, a character type with which I am unfamiliar (and find a little tedious) and (b) in hardcore, you just cannot take the risks that you can take in regular mode. I’m finding that I need to retreat far more often than I normally would. In normal mode, if you die you start back in town. In hardcore mode, if you die the game is over. So, I’m running away quite a bit.

I watched a little of the Mariners game, but they were getting blown out by the Toronto Blue Jays 11-3. The Mariners lost two of three to the Blue Jays, so after Seattle won its first nine series of the year, it finally dropped one. The team’s pitching has been a little shaky during the past week. I’m curious to see how things go over the next week or two. The fast (20-4) start was nice, but it’d be even better if the Mariners could play above .500 for the rest of the season.

After talking to Kris in the evening (her trip was fine), I played some more Diablo II. Before bed, I started Twain’s Life on the Mississippi. I’ve never read any of his extended work, only short bits here and there. He is a fine writer, I must say, easy with the language and able to tell a compelling story. Certainly a change from the drudgery of Asimov, which I’ve been trying to get through for book group. I’ve never read Huckleberry Finn before, but I think I just may do so after I finish Asimov’s Prelude to Foundation.


Have I tried to post an entry from within Linux before? I can’t remember. I’m going to try it now. My browser, Opera is choking on some of the code, though: instead of having a huge area in which to type, I’ve got a tiny little box. We’ll see if it works.

The 2001 Hugo Award nominations have been announced. Maybe they were announced a while ago. I don’t know. I just found them, though, and the nominations for best novel are:

  • A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
  • Calculating God by Robert Sawyer
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
  • Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson
  • The Sky Road by Ken MacLeod

Sometimes I worry that I have some creeping fatal disease. I’m not a hyponchondriac or anything (well, I don’t think I am, anyhow), but sometimes I worry that I have a Brain Cloud or something similar.

For example: last night Kris and I ate exactly the same thing for dinner. (Actually, I had two Burgerville cheeseburgers and she only had one Burgerville cheeseburger.) Yet, I ended up with intense stomach cramps. I ended up squirting like a goose. She got to relax and watch the Mariners move to 22-6.

This morning, I woke up with a black tongue. That’s right. I said a black fucking tongue. What in the hell is that? My mouth was all pasty and my saliva was black and my entire tongue was black. Holy cats! (A web search reveals this is a potential side-effect of taking Pepto-Bismol type products, so it’s likely nothing.)

Sometimes I worry.

So, I redid my mix. It’s much better now, has more cohesion, and is fun to listen to. Here’s how it ended up:

  1. The Boy Who Giggled So Sweet (Emiliana Torrini)
  2. Central Reservation (Beth Orton)
  3. No Angel (Dido)
  4. Sweet Jane (Cowboy Junkies)
  5. Babylon (David Gray)
  6. Alison (Everything But the Girl)
  7. The Girl From Ipanema (Bebel Gilberto)
  8. Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps (Doris Day)
  9. One (Aimee Mann)
  10. Why (Gus Gus w/Emiliana Torrini)
  11. Life in Mono (Mono)
  12. Sleep the Clock Around (Belle and Sebastian)
  13. Unemployed in Summertime (Emiliana Torrini)
  14. Mr. Zebra (Tori Amos)
  15. Nothing is Good Enough (Aimee Mann)
  16. There’s Too Much Love (Belle and Sebastian)
  17. Mad About You (Hooverphonic)
  18. She Cries Your Name (Beth Orton)
  19. Woman’s Realm (Belle and Sebastian)
  20. Tonight and the Rest of My Life (Nina Gordon)

I like it.

For whatever reason, I’ve always had an aversion to doctors. I can be so miserable that I can barely function and still I’ll be reluctant to schedule an appointment. However, the swelling in my abdomen and the soreness in my shoulder have gone on long enough to concern even me. I’ve made an appointment for next Friday at 2:30. I hope I live that long.

With Kris going on a business trip to Virginia, I’m going to have about ten days to myself. With some of that time, I’m going to be playing Diablo II. I’m going to be testing the water with a hardcore character or two. I like the idea of having death be final. Novel for a video game, eh?

I just played a little with a Paladin. I got careless and died on the Stony Field. That’s right, the Stony Field. sigh That’s what happens when you wander a third level character into a spot designed for sixth level characters and then you encounter a lightning-enchanted boss while surrounded by Fallen. (I’ll be this makes no sense to people who have never played the game.)

I’ve discovered (or re-discovered) a couple of cool things about the game. Chief among these is that it is compatible with my Sound Blaster Live‘s environmental audio effects, meaning that I get surround-sound from my speakers. Coolness. For some reason, the environmental effects were switched off (maybe they are in the default install?) and so I wasn’t getting the full glory. Now I have birds and crickets and monsters emitting noises from all four corners of the screen.

I only discovered this when I turned the game’s music off so that I could listen to Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. When I was making daily sales calls, I listened to classical music almost exclusively. Tonight I realized that I haven’t really listened to classical music in almost five years, despite having a small collection of it. Guess what? Time to change that. I enjoy it, and was even learning something about various styles and composers before I stopped listening. I’m going to make an effort to listen again.

Dane’s worried that the swelling in my abdomen might be appendicitis. I’m pretty sure it’s not. Don’t worry, Dane. The swelling is just below my ribs, which I believe is way too high for the appendix. I do have a doctor’s appointment, though, and I’ll have Pam (who is a doctor, though actually a pathologist so maybe that isn’t much help) look at it tomorrow to see if she thinks it needs immediate attention. I’m positive it’s fine, though, and is just some minor thing that may need treatment to go away.

Back to Diablo II.