May 30th, 2006


On hyperthermia amd dehydration in skunks

Discovered the limits of Hobkin's heat tolerance yesterday. We'd set the A/C to 81, trying to save energy and money, but it seems that's too warm for the lil guy. Yesterday morning, he had a bad tummy and then wasn't interested in breakfast. Loss of appetite is extremely worrisome in a skunk, so much fretting commenced.

fosteronfilm suggested that Hobkin might be dehydrated from his bad tummy, so, feeling rather dubious, I scooped him up to see whether I could force some water into him.

Normally, Hobkin doesn't drink water. And I mean at all. The closest he's come to drinking out of his water bowl is dipping his paw in and then licking it, and even that's pretty rare. We still leave fresh water out for him, just in case, but he's knocked the bowl over more often than he's drunk from it--and it takes quite a bit of effort to tip it as it's secured to his pen. In the past, when I've tried to feed him water out of a syringe, he's batted it out of my hands and spat or shook what little fluid I could get into his mouth back out. He just doesn't like water, the goofball.

But yesterday, although he whined and glared at me, he readily swallowed something like 12ccs. It seems the heat had dehydrated him, and he wasn't hungry because he was thirsty. But figuring out the problem didn't get us much closer to a solution. How does one re-hydrate an animal that doesn't drink and won't eat? We could take him to the vet's and have them inject fluid into him subcutaneously, but that would've stressed and freaked him out. Plus, I didn't think he was that badly dehydrated. We could try buying some flavored Pedialyte or Gatorade, but that's a last-ditch sort of effort as I don't like the idea of him having all that sugar. Also, there's no guarantee he'd like that any better. When we had to force electrolytes and fluids into the ferrets they were quite underwhelmed by the stuff (as I am--Gatorade, yuk). Also, last I checked, fresh watermelon wasn't quite in season, and again, re-hydrating him with watermelon would've involved more sugar than I'm comfortable with him having.

After some brainstorming and much anxiety, I came up with the answer: A cottage cheese smoothie. I used a fork to mush up a teaspoon of cottage cheese in about 18ccs of water and added some diced bok choy, and Hobkin lapped it right up! Three servings of cottage cheese smoothie later, and he's himself again--running amok, stomping at shadows, and begging for treats. Whew. I kept pushing liquids the rest of the day; his lunch was more smoothie along with bok choy and celery, vegetables high in liquid, and I added enough water to his dinner lentils and rice mixture to make it a pudding.

Definitely going to keep that in mind for future need. My next plan had been to make him a veggie shake--cottage cheese, a bit of milk, plenty of water, and various vegetables in a blender. But fortunately I didn't have to break out the blender.

And yes, we've now cranked on the A/C.


Writing Stuff

Got an email from Lynne Jamneck--a writer who I'll be sharing a ToC with in mroctober's So Fey antho--asking for an interview and inviting me to contribute to an anthology she's editing, Lesbian Sleuths & the Supernatural, to be published by Regal Crest Enterprises. Of course, I said yes to both. The anthology also has an open call for submissions:

An Anthology of Lesbian Sleuths & the Supernatural
(Women Writers Only)

Word Length: 7,000 - 10,000 words
Payment: $100 Flat Fee Per Story
Submission Period: July 2006 - November 2006
Reading Period: December 2006 - April 2007

Ghosts, haunted castles, and things that go bump in the night. A trip to Egypt; the mummies and the pull of a primordial tomb. Ancient Aztec ruins and the burning fever of a jungle. Is a sinister cult operating in a small town near you? Do you feel the pull of something otherworldly just beyond the veil of everyday? The supernatural have existed in cultures for thousands of years, all around the world.

I am looking for stories that explore these and other weird happenings, and are centered around a 'whodunit' type conundrum. The sleuth of the story-whether amateur or professional-must be a lesbian character. No excessive violence. Humor is welcome. No fan fiction. Character driven stories with strong emphasis on storytelling essential.

If you're looking for a reference/indication of the types of stories I'm looking for, you should familiarize yourself with the following authors:

H.P. Lovecraft
Agatha Christie
Ray Bradbury
Arthur Conan Doyle
Harlan Ellison
Kim Antieau
Kathe Koja

Submissions should be unpublished, original short stories. If you feel you have a story that does not fit that word count but would be perfect for the anthology, please query to Be sure your submission includes your surface mailing address and phone number in addition to a valid return email address.

Submissions (disposable copies) should be sent to:

Lynne Jamneck
129 Layard Street
Invercargill, 9501
New Zealand

Exceptions can be made for email subs, but query first to:

New Words:
- 1100 on the article for Writing-World and it's at zero draft. It needs a few editing passes, but I'm hoping to send it off today.

- 60-day "although it's a really fun concept and a wonderfully creative POV choice, this one doesn't quite work for Escape Pod" with invitation to submit again from sfeley on a reprint. Snartleblast. But I'll show him! I just launched two new submissions his way, mwa ha ha haaaa!

Erm, yeah. My wingstubs have been really hurting these last few days. I popped two Tramadol, and they're not helping the pain, but I think they've made me a loopy.

Club 100 For Writers