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Michael W Seidel

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Silicon Valley refugee, semi-retired from corporate life, fully retired USAF, standard issue white male liberal writer. Married with cats. Partial to the sea. Sometimes clothed, usually sporting a van Dyke. Religiously drinks coffee, enjoys imbibing good beer and red wine. Partial to music, especially the 1970s classic rock of Pink Floyd and the Who. Enjoys reading, writing and fantasizing about other worlds and lives while taking long walks.

Tucker, Again

I noticed I'd posted about Tucker a while ago, so I'd thought I'd provide an update. 

We still battle his feline stomatitis gingivitis but we've made progress. He's not allowed kibble. That's a challenge, because he loves kibble. The kibble causes flare ups - gum inflammation, infections, pain and drooling - making his life miserable and generating a truly foul dragon breath. Well, it's expected from an illness, no? Besides that, I squirt his mouth twice a day with L-lysine dissolved in water. The amino acid helps enormously. I've also started using Petlifz Peppermint Oralcare on his teeth. That was something new started in Feb. This week I added turmeric to his food. It's a natural anti-inflammatory. He's not fond of either the turmeric nor the peppermint oralcare. BUT, his fur has grown back and is clean and glossy, there's no nasty breath, his appetite is terrific, and he's bursting with energy. He follows me about, sleeping or visiting close at hand when I'm in the house. When the pain and infections flare up, we take him in for Depo Medrol and antibiotics, but I want to avoid those, because of their side effects and the damage they do to their organs.

Now, about that energy....

He's still a fighter. No other cat is completely safe from his advances. This is problematic. Quinn, 'our' cat, can co-exist with him but no other. We bring in Meep to protect him from foul weather. He belongs to people around the corner but they don't permit this sweetheart into their house, so we take him in, feed him, and let him sleep in the guest room, with the door closed. He has food, a litter box, water. He scratches on the door when he wants to leave and we let him out. To do that, we need to first isolate Tucker somewhere, or Tucker will go after him. Tucker has learned that I disapprove of that. I'm able to show him the squirt gun and warn him, "Stay back," and successfully let Meep depart.

We're also providing safe haven to Stubby. Stubby is a chubby tail-less black cat with a white triangle on his chest. He's very sweet. But Tucker and Meep both want to fight Stubby. (Stubby is my name for him. Not original. My wife calls him Boo Radley, someone who appears to perhaps be a monster but who is very sweet.) Stubby stays in the master bedroom. We've searched for his people without luck. Now a friend has recommended an animal psychic. She's used her numerous times with great results, so we'll go that route, as the current living situation, segregating cats, isn't feasible.

Meanwhile, Quinn, the lovable black paw, gets along with all of them. I did see Meep flee Quinn once, which made me laugh. Quinn's battle with moths, spiders and paper wrappers are epic, as he bats them and jumps back, leery of the threat they represent. He's not a fighter. Most days, though, Meep and Quinn do the standard nose exchange of info when they meet. Quinn does like with Stubby and sleeps near Stubby without problem on the bed, and eats alongside him. He'll sleep on me by Tucker but only after carefully vetting Tucker's intentions. 

Recent comment in this post
Rosy Cole
So good to have an update on how your felines are ordering society. Bless their furry paws ... Read More
Friday, 04 March 2016 11:41
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1 Comment

Oh, the Fun

I've written before, this is the best part, when I'm finishing one novel - Book 1 - and its been edited and revised, and the second one is being completed - Book 2, but it needs revised and edited - and I embark about sketching deeper ideas about the conclusion, Book 3. The muses are unleashed and run amok through my mind. Ideas spill, spread and crash like the restless sea. Creativity blossoms and the energy explodes. I get so excited at these intersections about what has been done and what remains. To look forward and see and sense the possibilities that can be written is so stimulating and invigorating, I laugh to myself as I write.

Yes, this the best, when the material is being formulated as its rawest, drawing me in. This is the best, when concerns over story arc, plotting, dialogue, grammar and punctuation, and all the mechanics of writing and editing are cast aside for the sheer unbridled spontaneity of creativity. This is the best. I wish you could be in my mind now and glimpse the profusion of expanding, outrageous ideas, the sort of plotting, concept and character ideas that make the Invisible Reader spying on the process laugh in amazed delight. 

Yes, this is the best, when it's unfettered writing like crazy. I wish everyone could experience such joy.

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The Webs

The web trapped my wife today. That isn’t news. Webs capture everyone, all the time, usually without their awareness. I don’t know how much awareness she experiences that the web has taken her in. She’s intelligent and articulate but….


Yes, she has buts. It’s not personal against her. We all have buts embedded in our personalities that keep us shy of perfection. I have them. I think I’m aware of most of the buts that mar my perfection but I’m probably ignorant of several. It’s the nature of the web, this web of logic, emotions, experiences and perceptions through which we live, act and think, that we can’t understand all the strands and the tugs manifested on existence. Vibrations ripple through and we react, sometimes catching ourselves in the act, sometimes stopping ourselves from going further but sometimes justifying not stopping ourselves and letting ourselves react, even though we know, that’s not good, reminding ourselves, a bill will come later. “What was wrong with them?” we sometimes ask. “Why did they act like that? They know better than that.” Yes, sometimes we forget the web’s nature and its influences.

Webs trap the cats and the neighbors. Webs snare shoppers and vacationers, drivers. Webs surely trap politicians and business people. Some are better than others about dealing with their webs, a number that doesn’t include me. My webs are old but strong. I’ve been in them so long, they’ve become a comfortable hammock from where I view the world. It’s comfortable, but it remains a web.

Like right now. I think, so I write, responding to the vibrations felt in my web.


Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

Recent Comments
Just thinking along those same lines today, Michael. Oh the webs weave...
Thursday, 27 August 2015 01:29
Michael W Seidel
I know, Annette, and as you begin glimpsing them and work harder to understand them, you gain so much more insight. It brings bala... Read More
Saturday, 29 August 2015 19:53
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Back to Tucker

I'd announced I was having Tucker's teeth removed. To those unaware or requiring reminders, Tucker is the black and white enigma, a desperate and hungry cat who showed up a few years ago. He kindly adopted us, granting us permission to let him into our house and onto our laps, deigning to eat the food we offered. We were grateful, as we always are when others demonstrate preference in our company and delight in our companionship. 

Beloved Scheckter the Ginger Bear had just passed away. We'd battled gingivitis stomatitis with him. Then Lady began suffering the same. Such heartache we endured, commiserating with their pain, bleeding and swelling as their gums, teeth and bodies betrayed them. Now Tucker has it. That's it, I thought. What can I do about this curse. I removed Tucker from unhealthy foods, especially those with gluten. Kibble was taken away from him as it tore up his swollen, inflamed gums. Like other cats with this affliction, he began associating his food bowls with his pain. I worked around that, feeding him on paper plates, paper towels, by hand. Pain, food and I became synonymous in his view. My wife fed him by hand. I combated his anxiety with aromatherapy. His trust of my wife soon evaporated as well. It was a rolling ocean of pain, suffering, bleeding, fleeing, weight loss and miserable. Cortisone shots and cleaning his teeth provided temporary relief and we'd begin with fresh hope. Sadly, though, I saw little other choice than follow the vet's suggestion and have teeth removed.

No, my wife said. Try other things first. Fried with frustration, I grimaced and agreed. Truthfully, I didn't want to do it but I was tired. I was already providing him probiotics and had changed his diet. Raw diets sometimes worked but are work and time intensive and cause other issues. Lysine worked for some.

I would try lysine. 

Lysine tastes bitter to humans and salty, they say, to cats. Cats aren't fond of it. I bought 500 mill capsules. Breaking them open, I mix about a third of a capsule with a teaspoon of water and fill a syringe. Then I hold him between my legs, seduce him with strokes and soothing words, and shoot it into his mouth. 

Astonishingly, after several weeks of this, combined with the probiotics and an all 'wet food', gluten free diet, this appears to be working. Tucker hasn't bled in weeks. He's not drooling. His breath remains foul but food, bowls and I are no longer the enemy. He's going through four to six small cans of cat food a day, gaining weight and relaxing, and he still has his teeth.

It's not over but I'm pleased with his progress and glean reminders about life from the venture. Try, try, try, and then try more. Learn, think and attempt something else. Although weariness can overtake me, I shouldn't let it force me to yield. And, of course, trust my wife, she who must not be named, she who must be obeyed. 

Time to go write like crazy, at least one more time.

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
Michael, this must be very distressing. I wonder if it would be worth contacting Darlene Arden who used to be on Red Room. You may... Read More
Friday, 21 August 2015 17:17
Michael W Seidel
Hi Rosy, thanks for the recommendation and sympathy. Her site and books are another good reference. There's never too many good re... Read More
Sunday, 23 August 2015 18:51
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