The eclipse was a big deal all over, it seems, and for this I am happy. Maybe some children will get interested in science. Maybe some people will decide to look at more in the natural world and learn to love it and help keep so much of it from being destroyed. If nothing else it got people to pull their noses out of their electronics for a change and get outside, people who would not normally do so. Back in 2016 there was a solar eclipse only visible in Africa. Regretful I could not get to see it I did a post all about the cultural and historical impact of eclipses, because as I said then, I love everything astronomical. Eclipses are a really fascinating subject too.
I almost didn’t get to see this one, either. Some time late Saturday night, little Charli, my foster kitty (this foster will probably fail) developed very runny diarrhea. Yuck. But I wasn’t sure it was her. Her territory is the kitchen, but both Simba and Cloud like to hang out there as well and she has learned to tolerate them. By the middle of Sunday I knew it was her since she also was losing her appetite. Thankfully when I called the vet first thing Monday they had several openings that afternoon. I guess I can thank the eclipse for that, too. She was feral and although now she is very affectionate and wants petting and attention, Dr Jekyll disappears when it is time to get in the carrier and Cat Hyde comes out. I finally caught her when she went under the futon bed and I surrounded it with open carries (yes, I have that many). After playing whack a mole for almost an hour through the bed slats she paused in front of a carrier which contained one of the catnip kicker toys I bought from an Etsy store. To my amazement and relief she went in of her own accord and I quickly shut the door. By this time we were very late but I had warned the front desk this might happen. They took her in as a drop off and on my way out two of the techs were looking at the eclipse. One loaned me her glasses so I actually got to see it after all.
When I came back to pick up Charli later in the afternoon the diagnosis was clostridium of some kind. It’s everywhere, naturally occurring in the human body and the soil, but it’s an anaerobic bacteria so it’s not like she picked it up off the surface of something. Determined to figure out the cause I read a stack of studies on the darned bugs but there is a lot that’s still not well understood. In any event I used enough bleach on the kitchen for a level 5 bio-lab so hopefully we will get no more.
She has a pill to take each evening and special sensitive stomach food to eat for a while. This pill can be crushed and slipped in the wet food and that night I anxiously watched to see if she would eat it. She did, but not all of it. Her appetite was not back to normal. Tuesday she ate more at breakfast but I found it worked best if I let her eat a little, then took the food away moistened it with water and waited to present it again, whereupon she would eat more. She doesn’t like it from the refrigerator, most cats don’t, but small amounts warm up quickly so it works. I am bacteria conscious now.
On a happier note, my friend Melita announced she’s gotten an internship at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center in Monoma Wisconsin. When I got really got excited at her good fortune she admitted she did not know much about it at first but now was getting more and more enthused. Aldo Leopold was a conservationist and pioneering environmentalist. After working many years for the Forest Service he bought eighty acres in the sand country of central Wisconsin, an area that had been logged, swept by repeated fires, overgrazed by dairy cows, and left barren. He turned this land into a test area for his theories and eventually wrote his best-selling A Sand County Almanac (1949), about it, finishing just prior to his death. I have read almost all his writing, truly wonderful works about conservation with balance and use of natural resources without needless destruction. This will be wonderful for Melita. She at one time lived in an RV and traveled the country picking up trash because she hated how people abused the land. This is not to say she is an angry person, she is one of the gentlest souls I know. She justs cares about our world very intensely.