Thursday, September 20, 2007

Raku is No More

sad news. Raku is dead. Raku was bulbcat #2, my flashllight protector, and one of the nicest, coolest cats you could meet. so otherwordly in fact sometimes i'd think of him as a little man in a cat costume. he really was that different. he had such a sweet nature and never clawed at anyone that i know of.

he displayed some breathing problems at the end of August standing with his elbows out. his lungs weren't filling to capacity and not enough air was getting in to his body. the vet determined that an X-ray was needed but to put him under when he was only getting about 10% of the oxygen he should have been breathing was too dangerous. they put him in an oxygen tent overnight before performing the X-ray the next morning and unfortunately found "something" in his chest area that could possibly have been a tumor.

Raku and i

100ml of chyle (a milky fluid) was removed from his lungs and he seemed to perk up, although he'd initially alternate one bad day then one good day. Raku then appeared to be on the mend and the family started to get their hopes up. even last Saturday i was thinking that maybe we should let him out again (he was kept inside since the trip to the vet). he was jumping on to the front window ledge and even playing games with our other cat Pushkin.

sadly my beautiful boy was unable to roam free again, he developed major breathing difficulties on monday morning and was rushed to the vet by my father and younger brother to be put down. we had the option of trying to drain his lungs again, but that would have been just a selfish motive. of course we wanted to keep him but we knew his days were numbered two weeks ago. we were just fortunate to have had a little more time with him and thankfully his suffering was mercifully short.

Raku with shaved patch behind right elbow.


Monday, September 17, 2007


Bulbgirl and i went to a talk on zen buddhism on saturday, although we did turn up a little late. there was a traffic jam on the road into Glasgow, it's a bad sign when your bus driver gets out of the bus to take a look, multiple times! a lot of people were getting agitated and Bulbgirl said more than once "this is ridiculous." if there was anyone who needed a spot of zen meditation then, it was her. having rushed out of the shower after painting the hall, then managing to get paint on her new shoes as we exited the flat, she tried to rub it off with leaves as we waited for a bus. not a happy bunny really.

i on the other hand felt like the "calm little centre of the universe". once you are late and can't really do anything about it, why worry? realising that we were going to be late i phoned my brother who was coming to the zen meeting also. as it turns out he was in a car a few metres behind the bus we were on. another friend who was also coming along was a stuck on a bus a little ahead, but within sight of ours. we jumped out of the bus and got in the car, enabling us to be slightly less late than we would have been once the traffic started flowing.

getting to hillhead library approximately half an hour late we turned off mobile phones and things that may make a noise, as we snuck into the hall just as the audience finished a meditation practice. luckily we weren't there moments earlier or we'd have disturbed them.

the zen buddhist priest was from Sweden and was funnier than expected. her name was Sensei Kanja Odland, from Sweden. she was an artist and cared for the elderly, before working full time in zen since 1995. she talked about her not really planning to be a buddhist priest and how it's not for everyone. it's not really like there are courses out there on how to become a woman buddhist priest. taking time to meditate each day was the focus of the talk (even though we missed the first bit), to consciously slow down and place your awareness on something as simple as your breathing.

meditation is supposed to have beneficial effects on a body's health, although Kanja Odland said she had not taken part in any scientific trials. talking with her after i likened the effect of meditating to 'spacing out' in a flotation tank. her husband had tried it, she said but she herself had not. zazen means sitting meditation, i wonder if there is a word for floating meditation?