Rat antibiotics (ratty-biotics?) ordered. That's the thing that was worrying me most. Rats die of respiratory illness. I mean, they have limited lifespans to begin with, but with pets the aim is to keep them alive long enough for them to die of inoperable tumors and senility instead. You know, just like your human relatives.

The people who sold me illegal Amoxi-Drops last time are gone, probably because they were selling illegal Amoxi-Drops, so this time they got a bottle of Fish Mox. No one in their right mind is going to bring a tank of fish into the vet's office to get them diagnosed with fin rot, so the vendors just sell you capsules of amoxicillin powder and conspicuously don't tell you it's the same stuff you use on your own kids. They kind of figure either you know what you're doing, or you know where to get replacement fish. I can work Google and do basic algebra, so I just compound it with honey or something and un-snot my rats without supervision.

[The down side is that it makes them all burbly, same as people. You can buy probiotic supplements for small animals, or you can do what I do, which is smear everybody in the cage with Yoplait and let nature take its course. It may or may not bother you that the rats come out of it smelling like peach yogurt. YMMV.]

Keyboard borrowed. More of a relief than it should be, honestly. Onscreen keyboards are kind of terrible. Not being able to write anything of any length was driving me insane. I actually went through the craft cabinet at one point and dug out a notebook and pens. PENS. Argh, my electronic little soul. I got half a thing written and then gave up, because handwriting is grindingly slow when you type everything at dictation speed.

The phone is staying on. Although the idea of being completely incommunicado freaked me out enough that I've signed up for one of those free SMS app things, that give you a phone number so you can get texts on an untethered tablet. It only works when I'm in range of wifi, as the phone is not smart enough to run it and the Android Kindle has no 3G access, but at least it's something? Anyone who has my regular phone number is welcome to text me and ask what the new one is. Theoretically I can also make calls with the app, but I don't have a proper headset and I think that might cost money. SMS is ad-supported-free.

I want to thank Cat, Catherine, Kat, Kath, the other Kat, Cathy, Kate, Kitty (Jesus -- can I just start calling one of you Brunhilde or something?), Noe, Cari, Phoebe, Anne, Toni, Stephanie, Brenna, Vickie, MB, somebody who signs his emails 'Thor', and anyone else I've missed because I'm tired and their name isn't popping up in my inbox, for donating money and food and info and time and and and. Truth be told, I've been living on peanut butter sandwiches for months, trying to hold out until I could get things fixed without committing a federal crime, and when you do that long enough you just sort of forget that better meals exist out of self-defense. Even the critters are getting kind of tired of it, and one of their favorite treats is ketchup packets.

I feel very guilty when I post things like that and people respond by trying to help. I only do it when that gets outweighed by the guilt of not posting anything and knowing that nobody knows why, including the people who throw a dollar a month at me on Patreon. I start going 'the dog ate my homework' and I get paranoid that nobody will ever believe that, so I better come armed with proof that there does exist a dog, the dog's official pedigree, photos of the dog in context at my house, the slobbery worksheet, notarized testimony from a zoological odontologist that the tooth marks thereon are canid in nature, etc.

I should probably just post photos of critters instead, but mine are double rexes and it's summer, so they all look like toddlers who have just discovered they can cut their own hair with safety scissors. Lord Dimwit Flathead the Excessive technically only has one bald spot, it's just most of his backside and part of his underbelly. They're all perfectly functional rats, less the WHRNK noises and the usual hay fever, they just look defective.

Now that I have a way to type again, I'll try to get back on some sort of regular posting schedule.


  1. So glad to see you have your sense of humor back! Give the rats a scratch from me.

    1. My sense of humor never left. I intentionally edit it out of serious pieces like that. If I don't, people think 'I'm starving' is just me being hyperbolic. Nobody starves in first-world countries anymore. Right? :/


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