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Happy Tuesday, everybody!  Today is the day when Homer's Odyssey finally makes its paperback debut!  To celebrate, I'm giving away five free, paw-tographed copies of the book!



Tomorrow is a big day--it's the day when Homer's Odyssey finally comes out in paperback!  If you're reading this on my website, then you've already seen the new cover art (doesn't Homer look gorgeous?!?).  In addition to the new cover, the paperback also contains a new Afterword and never-before-published photos of Homer and the gang.

There's still a Vashti-shaped hole in our hearts, and I know there will be for quite some time, but I'm told that life must go on.  Indeed, I have no choice--the paperback edition of Homer's Odyssey goes on sale on Tuesday.  To say that I'm frighteningly behind on everything related to the launch would be an understatement.  My editor called yesterday to see how things were going, and I had to confess that I'd done exactly nothing this week--unless you count eating TastyCakes, watching Gilmore Girls reruns, and lying in bed with Homer on my chest and Scarlett on my belly as doing something.

I wrote my very first blog entry for this website almost exactly one year ago today, noting that I was five minutes late getting to the newspaper that morning and this is what happened:



This morning, Laurence and I made the very difficult decision to put Vashti to sleep.  Without dwelling on morbid details, I'll just say that the past few days have been very bad.  It was time.  We were both with her in the vet's office until the end.  It is a credit to both Vashti and the medical team that's been caring for her that there wasn't a single dry eye among the staff.

Vashti was 14 years old.

I've been trying to think what I would write about her that I haven't written already.  This time, though, I think Laurence put it best.  "The eternal feminine," he said.  "That's what Vashti will always be to me."

Greetings, all!  Sorry for the long silence since my last update...the paperback edition of Homer's Odyssey comes out two weeks from yesterday (gulp!), and I've been busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest.  (Thank you, Dolly Parton, for that colorful colloquialism...)

Happy Monday, everybody!  The paperback release of Homer's Odyssey is two weeks from tomorrow (gulp)!  Hard to believe it's already been a year since the book came out...

In other news, the international editions of the book continue to do well--check out this review from Sunday's Mail in the UK!   (You'll have to click on the image to make it large enough to read.)

Happy Monday!  I've posted an interview I did with Temple Grandin--New York Times bestselling author of Animals Make Us Human and Animals in Translation--over on DiscDish.com.  We discuss the HBO biopic Temple Grandin and, of course, animals.  Check it out! :-)

http://www.discdish.com/index.php/2010/08/16/interview-temple-grandin-of-the-hbo-film-temple-grandin/
At long last, the superheroes the world has been waiting for...

Thrill to the adventures of two crime-fighting super-felines!  Learn the REAL story behind the capping of the Gulf oil spill!  Watch as Homer the Fearless Feline, along with Ajax the Bionic Kitty, swoop in to save mankind in its darkest hour!

When all hope seems lost, when human strength has tried and failed, that's when it's time to call in



Click here for Episode #1: Of Origins and Oil Spills:

www.thehandicats.com

Click it, read it, SHARE IT, love it!  :-D

Last week, I went in for the first of what will be a series of outpatient "procedures"--completely elective, completely minor, and completely cosmetic.  Also, intensely frakking painful. I pride myself on my high pain threshold--I even get cavities filled without Novocaine because I'm just that butch--but this...yowza.  So painful is the procedure and the recovery that they sent me home with Vicodin and codeine.

Hey!  It's a review of the book from all the way in Scotland!  Finally a review of one of the foreign editions written in a language I can understand.  ;-)

Thank you so much to EVERYBODY for your kind thoughts and words these past few days.  They really help keep me going!  :-)

I also wanted to send my best wishes out to Mrs. Debbie Clark and hubby--I hope his back is feeling better and that he'll be able to come home from the hospital soon!  You've all been in my thoughts...
Vashti, about five minutes ago




Vashti came home on Saturday afternoon, and has just been so, so happy to be here.  We, of course, are spoiling her rotten to the very best of our ability.  ;-)



So Vashti had her ultrasound today, and the results were...inconclusive.  There's fluid in her abdomen that shouldn't be there, and which probably caused all her vomiting and discomfort of the past few days.  It may be the result of an irregularity in her heartbeat (which isn't a stretch, because Vashti's had a heart murmur her whole life), or it could be the result of a "mass" in her abdomen.  If the problem is with her heartbeat, there's medication that should help regulate it.  If the problem is that there's a tumor, then there's nothing we can do except keep Vashti comfortable for as long as we can.  Even a benign/non-cancerous tumor would be terminal at this point, because Vashti--given all her other problems--isn't a candidate for surgery.



I brought Vashti to the hospital this morning, where she will remain at least overnight, and possibly for the next few days.  We're just not sure about anything at this point.

Vashti had a very bad night last night.  Her new blood-pressure medication is not agreeing with her stomach or GI tract at all, and...well, let's just say that neither of us got much sleep last night.

The worst of it seems to be over.  Vashti's clearly feeling a lot better, I've cleaned her up, and I've already spoken with the vet about changing her meds.  In the meantime, Vashti has been pretty insistent today (in her own gentle way) about my lying on the bed in our guest bedroom/home office so she can snooze on top of me.  Which--given how exhausted I am right this minute--is just fine by me!  ;-)

They say a picture's worth a thousand words.  And since I don't have the time to write anything close to a thousand words right now, I'll let these shots--taken over the course of a laaaaaaazy weekend (lazy for the cats, anyway)--speak for themselves.

Happy Tuesday, y'all!  :-D

COMING THIS SUMMER TO A WEBSITE NEAR YOU...

By day they're two ordinary, affectionate house cats.  But when humanity faces its darkest hour, when all hope seems lost, when the cries for justice grow so loud they reach the most sensitive ears, then it's time to call upon...



They're not handicapped, they're handi-kickass! *






Release date: August 2, 2010.

(story by Laurence Lerman, based on characters created by Gwen Cooper)

*click the image above to see a larger version of The Handicats! logo

Happy Monday!  My mom is on her way to the airport, and a great weekend was had by all.  The kitties were happy to see their "grandma" (well, except for Scarlett--who, in fairness, is never happy to see anybody other than me), we ate way more than any three people should eat over the course of a weekend, and I introduced my mother to the wonders of Pinkberry, which is now her new addiction.