It seems like 2008 was a really wild and crazy year for just about everyone we know — no less for Joe and I.  Before the memories fade too far into the distance, I thought I’d do a brief summary.  Then I can stash all the grief where it belongs — the past.

Q1 (Jan-March) — Black Cat, Giallo Hotel

It all started looking like Lilith had a cold — her nose was runny.  We gave it a week — the normal time for a virus to run its course — and took her to the vet.  It wasn’t a cold.  After some tests, it seemed likely that she had nasal lymphoma.  There was only one way to be certain it was cancer — take her to a specialist for a rhinoscopy.  We had the money for that.  We paid it, Lilith had the surgery, and we got good news and bad news.  Bad news: it was definitely lymphoma, it wasn’t really curable, and we didn’t have the money for things like chemotherapy.  Good news:  the rhinoscopy left Lilith feeling much better, almost as if she wasn’t sick at all.  We had some more time with her.  No telling how much.

At the same time, Joe was working like crazy on the last episodes of the latest, biggest, meanest Afterhell story:  “Bloodbath at the Giallo Hotel.”  The final installments went out over the podcast feed, and Joe compiled the story in time to send it off for the Mark Time/Ogle Awards.

Q2 (April – June) — Farewell, and a Mention

After six weeks of good health, Lilith took a bad turn for the worse in early April.  We and the vets did what we could, but there wasn’t much left.  At the end of April, we had her euthanized.  It broke our hearts.  After almost exactly ten years with us, she was gone.  Lilith had adopted Joe back in 1998, and he was always her person.  He has begun to tell her story in his own blog.

Not long after we said goodbye to Lilith, we got surprising news from the folks at the Mark Time/Ogle Awards.  Afterhell Volume 3: Bloodbath at the Giallo Hotel had earned an Honorable Mention Ogle award.

And at about the same time we realized that Kyouju wasn’t well.  More vet visits, more bad news and good news.  Bad news:  he had a hyperactive thyroid, not uncommon in older cats but relatively rare in a nine-year-old.  The treatment: radioactive iodine, involving a four-day vet hospital stay and four weeks of isolation and minimal contact with us.  The good news:  He was completely cured.  Even before we could let him out of his cage, he was putting the pounds he had lost back on.  Joe’s written about this in detail, too.

I’ll cover the second half of the year soon.

Rollercoaster Year in Review, part one
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