And so, in a whirlwind of fluttering paper, it's official. I survived my first session!
To celebrate, we took Hobkin to the vet yesterday. Yah, it wasn't so much to celebrate, but we'd been putting it off until after session to make sure I could be there.
As vet visits go, it wasn't too bad, certainly not as traumatic as last time, thanks almost completely to Sevoflurane (Ultane). Yep, we gassed Hobkin so the vet could do the exam. fosteronfilm and I were very hesitant about it, as neither of us liked the idea of Hobkin being put under a general anesthesia. But Hobkin huffed and growled at the vet as soon as he got close to him--after letting strangers pet him in the waiting room without even blinking. It was pretty obvious the lil guy wasn't going to let the vet touch him without a major fight. So, weighing gassing him versus totally stressing him out by having to restrain him, the gas seemed like a better idea. We didn't like it, but, hell, animals have died from heart attacks from the stress of being restrained too. Plus, Sevoflurane is safer even than Isoflurane, which was the gold standard in safe anesthesia gases.
They rolled in a portable gas unit. I insisted upon being the one to restrain Hobkin and hold the mask over his face to put him under. Frankly, I don't think anyone else could've done it as the fuzzwit didn't like the apparatus or the sweet smell of the initial oxygen and fought it. But he's less likely to freak out if I'm holding him, and he'll tolerate being restrained best from me. The vet gave him the lightest dose possible, so light in fact that Hobkin woke up at the needle prick when the vet tried to draw blood (and failed). I was actually glad that Hobkin woke up, so I knew how lightly he was under. 'Course they had to increase the concentration then to get him under again, but I knew he wasn't out deep.
There were two vet assistants helping, one of which I really liked. He kept his hand on Hobkin the whole time he was out, with a finger right over his heart to make sure it was still going strong. And when the vet couldn't draw blood after several tries, he handed the needle over to this assistant who got it on his first try.
Poor Hobkin. I've had less-than-stellar phlebotomy experiences where they've had to jab me multiple times and moved the needle around trying to find my vein. I suspect he's probably sore and possibly bruised today.
The vet was able to do a complete exam while Hobkin was out, including a good look at his teeth. I peered over the vet's shoulder so I could see them too. Normally, I'm limited to gazing into Hobkin's mouth when he yawns and pulling his lips back when he's asleep to check his gums. I saw tartar and a bit of redness, but the vet said that he looks pretty good, better than a lot of five-year-olds skunks he's seen, and that he doesn't need to have his teeth cleaned yet. He recommended we try Pounce Tartar Control cat treats since Hobkin's ambivalent about the Greenies.
Then they switched him to oxygen, and Hobkin snapped right awake--looking quite startled, like he had no idea where he was or how he'd gotten there. I cuddled him, Matthew paid our bill, and home we went.
I think Hobkin's a little grumpy at us. And skunks do a pretty good miffed:
After stomping at us and doing a couple skunk laps around the house, he scampered under the hutch to sulk:
But he came out later to snuggle and sleep with me after dinner, so it seems we're forgiven. And we should get the results of his blood work back tomorrow.
* Which is amusing to listen to and watch until one realizes that nearly all the bills are passing without any sort of discussion or debate. But at least those bills should be Conference Committee substitutes which, theoretically, have been hashed out in committee.
Did some more novel research. Gearing up for the effort. Trying to set myself reasonable word count goals. If I can manage 500 words a day (assuming 5 days of writing a week), I should be able to complete a 40K YA novel in 4 months. Theoretically.
- Galley proofs from Darker Matter for "The End of the Universe."
Three painfully near misses:
- 19-days to a "We really like this story, and we held it until the final cut. Typeface, however, is notoriously inelastic, which forces us to return stories we might otherwise have bought" from the Sword & Sorceress 22 anthology. Wah! I'd really thought this one was a good fit. And I would have loved to have broken into this fantasy institution anthology series.
- 7-day "This is charming, whimsical, and funny, but . . ." from Spacesuits & Sixguns with a charming, whimsical, and funny invite to submit again.
- 61-day "After a great deal of discussion, we ultimately decided to pass on it. We liked this story a lot, but . . . " from Shiny with a "would love to see more submissions from you."
Ouch, ouch, and ouch. While these types of rejects are far better than say-nothing forms, and I greatly appreciate the editors taking the time to give me a nod and kind word, they're also absolutely agonizing.