Biting the hand that feeds you

I had a good physical therapy session today. During my neck strengthening exercises I found the “sweet spot’, an exact position that, if I hold my neck in it, gets rid of all of the pain and most of the pins and needles. This is a major step – now that we’ve found the position we can use it to eventually reposition the disc bulge and get it off the nerve roots. I left with directions for exercises to do moderately over the weekend.

I finally got my hands on a copy of the MRI results on Wednesday, and they explain why the pain has been so intractable. While I do have a rather broad disc bulge at cervical vertebrae C6-7, I’ve also got abnormalities at C3-4, C4-5 and C5-6. Interestingly, there’s been a lot of previous damage to the left side of my neck, though all of that has been totally asymptomatic. (I think my days of roller-coastering are over.) Some of the positions and strengthening exercises that should have been working won’t work because of the left neck damage, and part of the reason I’ve ended up in more pain after some of my PT’s is because we’d been working some of the other damaged areas trying to strengthen my neck to support the C6-7 damage. We’ve pulled way back on those exercises, and as a result I’m actually feeling pretty good at the moment.

Cats. Too damned smart for their own good. Or at least they’re too damned smart for my own good. The feeding regimen goes something like this”

first feeding of the day: The Salamander’s responsibility before she leaves for work
second feeding of the day: Whoever gets to it first, with Cats In Question not fed before 5:00
third feeding of the day: The Socialist’s responsibility.

The Cats usually begin The Dinnerbowl Vigil about an hour before they traditionally get fed. Vigil included vocalizations whenever any Human-types make the mistake of acknowledging the Cats or get within a fifty-foot radius of one of the food bowls. Once fed, the Cats back off until about an hour before the nest feeding.

It has always worked that, if I get home and Warrior Princess asks for food, then they haven’t been fed. If one of the two designated nitwit cats asked, I’d know better than to trust them, and would check with The Socialist. But W.P. has traditionally been trustworthy when it comes to second feeding. If she doesn’t ask, then I know the troop has been fed.

The darned cats have turned out to be far cleverer than I’d given them credit for. Ringleader Warrior Princess has discovered that if she yowls when I get home, she gets fed. Clueless and Grey Menace chime in on the harmony parts of course. But twice now I have now fallen victim to W.P.’s wiles. I hate it when my pets are smarter than I am.

I think I may have come up with a solution, though. We usually keep the food scoop in the cat food container. This morning I left the scoop on top of the container though. If I come home and the scoop is inside the container, then I’ll know that the Socialist has fed them. If it’s still on top, then I feed them.

God help me if W.P. learns to put the scoop away.

The Socialist is not convinced the scratch on my bumper was intentional (though I still am). He’s suggested any number of other possibilities, like shopping cart or passing purse. The scratch is low and curved though. Most natural hazards would leave a straight scratch. And anyone carrying a purse that low either has really weak arm muscles or is built like an orangutan. He thinks that a compound he has to remove scratches may work on this one, though it’s going to take a LOT of elbow grease to make it happen. He volunteered to work on it for me, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. He’s a good man, even if he just doing it so he doesn’t have to listen to me whine about the scratch.

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