Things have been fairly routine around here. Well, routine can mean different things to different people. Mostly it was the weekend when things were happening….
Tasha developed disturbing symptoms that appeared to be cystitis. Frequent urination, straining at the litter box, inappropriate urination, and restlessness/meowing all presented themselves. The symptoms had come and gone about a week earlier, but reoccurred with a vengeance late last week. So I took off early Friday and delivered one unhappy kitty to the vet; her symptoms had calmed so it was the trip to the vet that displeased her. Tests showed no crystals in her urine but there were signs of a bladder infection so poor Tasha got a penicillin injection and is receiving a week-long course of twice-a-day oral antibiotics to try and knock out whatever bug was causing her discomfort. She's tolerating the dosing well in part because I've (finally) become somewhat adept at the eyedropper. Kitty seems to be back to normal. We'll hear from Dr. B concerning lab results today or tomorrow.
Saturday my car went to the "car vet" –dealer service– for regular maintenance. They checked our record and found it's time for the timing belt to be replaced! Oh, joy: another big, unexpected expense! It's better than having the darned thing break which, we were told, does enough damage to the engine to cost on the order of $3,500 to fix. Still we didn't see this one coming.
Saturday night I had the observatory open from 9 to 11:00 PM at the behest of the student environmental group. This open night was to be a part of their Earth Day activities. A bat had moved back into the dome and/or shutter as had a bird or two. I chased the bat out of the dome and, before leaving, turned up the obnoxious "sonic repellent" that had been successful in keeping "Baxter" away. Unfortunately –or not, given sky conditions– this was also the college Springfest and the poor old observatory was up against a pop music concert, an orientation day, and several other activities. With many alternatives and little promotion we had only two visitors –a student couple– all night. Gave them a look at Saturn with moons Titan, Rhea, and Dione visible and told them about the observatory, telescope, etc. Sky conditions were clear but seeing was generally not very good with high-altitude water vapor preventing the sky from being very black. I couldn't find dim objects, not even M44 (The Beehive star cluster) but Saturn looked surprisingly good; the shadow of the ring system could be seen on the planetary body. Maybe a hint, now and again, at cloud banding on the planet. I took a look at Mars but between seeing preventing high-power views and with Mars receding and becoming quite small, it was less interesting than usual. That was about it for observing! I was happy to head home.
Sunday activity was chosen by She Who Must be Obeyed so we took our first bicycle ride of the season… the flat and easy rail-to-trail facility that runs through Oberlin. The weather was clear and cool with temperatures of about 65 degrees and light wind. The riding was easy and pleasant though we both wound up with sore-ish muscles from that short and easy 27-mile jaunt! Felt pitiable but it's been many months since we've been on two wheels. Lunch at Oberlin's Quizno's was very good and did not make us feel more guilt. One weird experience: when we parked our bikes at Quizno's my wireless bicycle computer, instead of registering zero miles-per-hour was reading upwards of 65 miles-per-hour whilst standing still! Apparently some radio source inside the building was causing the bizarre behavior. We didn't think about photographing the display until later and, when we returned to the sandwich shop to reproduce the experience, nothing happened! Cool photo gets away.
In all this weekend of cats, bats, and bikes was a good one.