Monday, June 25, 2012

Senior cats and junior colleagues

Not, as in, señor cats, which of course they are, but as in senior, as in they are getting old. :( Nooooo!

I took them to the vet and I guess everything was ok (one peeve is that they put me and the cats in the exam room but when they take them into the back to draw blood, they do most of the exam there so I don't get to watch and ask questions as they go, grumble.), but the vet noted that as of next year they would be considered "seniors," and she wanted to do some more extensive checkups on them then. And they need teeth cleanings, which is also freaking me out from a cost and a worry-about-my-kitties-under-anaesthesia standpoint. Yes, I am the type of person who mourns my cats' impending old age a year early. It's who I am. Deal with it.

One of the other postdocs mentioned that teeth cleanings are not completely necessary, especially the way the vet talked about it (more about tartar than any infections or rotten teeth as of yet) and she said that just having teeth pulled later was a cheaper way to go. Yeah, I replied, but they are so good at making me feel guilty at the vet's, like I am somehow a terrible caretaker if I don't do everything they suggest. This postdoc had worked as a vet assistant before going to college, and she pointed out that vets know this and are very good at working on your guilt to "upsell" procedures, procedures that would have seemed utterly ridiculous and unnecessary just a few years ago when pets were not seen as substitute children and anthropomorphized the way they are now. Which is true and yet I am contemplating getting my cats' teeth cleaned come fall when they have their "dental special."

In related news, the cats have gained weight, and I want to track the food I give them much more carefully and get them to lose some of the weight. Of course, I too have been circling around the same five pounds or so on the scale and could do with losing it myself (well and more than that, actually). Putting all of us on a diet at the same time has caused problems, however. I don't need hungry cats nagging me for snacks when I am also grumpy and hungry. Furthermore I believe that cats have secret mind-rays and can make you hungry when they are hungry (Loquito has a powerful, unblinking stare he uses to get my attention when meowing doesn't work), and this also contributes to my snacking. It's not me, I swear --- it's the cats! They have mind control!

Other than that? Things are quiet and slow around here. I wish I could report massive progress on the book manuscript, but it is inching along. I gave up and played computer games for hours over the weekend, which didn't help me with getting these library books read and returned or the chapter revised, but now I am bored with the games so perhaps I have worked that out of my system. It doesn't help that everyone seems to be gone right now. The few people who are in town keep blowing off or bowing out of my invitations to go places and do things, which makes me feel paranoid that I am one of Those People who is annoying and unpleasant to hang out with. It's also tough when you are the lone single person, as other people are getting their RDA daily people-intake from spouses and kids and whatnot, and would rather chill at home with them than go out and see people in town. Unfortunately, the single postdocs have all left for the summer.

Even more unfortunately (from my standpoint) Angry Anarchist Postdoc got a tenure-track job! So hooray for him! I hope. It is one of those places on the earth I would not want to move to, and frankly, just couldn't navigate as a female alone. The Angry Anarchist constantly slags on how terrible America is (and I quite agree), but I wonder how it will feel being in a completely new and alien culture that doesn't particularly value the "American-ness" he hates or the anarchist philosophies he loves. And I wonder how isolating it will be not speaking the language at all ---- to say nothing about how difficult it will be teaching English literature as a foreign language! Anyway, I looked at those kinds of jobs and did not apply,  and he did, so he knows what he is getting in to. I will miss such a good beer-drinking and hiking companion, though.

I am less than hopeful about the "new class" of postdocs coming in, mainly because there don't seem to be any coming in. The pay is too low, the amount of relocation funding laughable. I am, on the one hand, glad that this is becoming an active problem for the department and it is making them confront the lowness of their pay scale. On the other hand, what does it say about me if I was stupid enough to come here despite the fact that I have dug myself into a financial hole? There might be some who show up, since one prof mentioned they were pushing their negotiation time limit. It would be nice to bring in some new friends for me to hang out with. Especially since The Angry Anarchist is gone and another postdoc is just up and quitting. It would be even nicer if they could throw some more money or fewer courses our way, but I'm not holding my breath. If not for me, then for the cats. Think of the kitties, oh department chair! They need their senior pensions.

1 comment:

Shedding Khawatir said...

My cats got the same teeth comments--I started giving them dry food once a day and now their teeth are fine. So if you don't already, you could try this and save the bills and anesthesia!