Living Outside the Stacks

Navigating through life away from the library


Things that Leave Me Scratchin’ My Head {Coffee Talk}

Coffee Talk {Living Outside the Stacks}1. Pregnancy tests aren’t just for solving those “Am I or aren’t I” riddles anymore. Apparently, pregnancy tests can diagnose testicular cancer. I know, right? How in the world do we know this? Well, some guy decided to take a pregnancy test as a joke and the dang thing came back positive! After posting the test online, some folks told old boy that he needed to go to the doctor’s and get checked out. Turns out he had a small testicular tumor. Duuude… You can look up all the medical jargon on your own but the quick story is that pregnancy tests detect the amount of the hormone beta human chorionic gonadotropin {hCG} in a woman’s urine. The hCG lebels help to determine how far alng a woman is in her pregnancy. This same hormone is present in males who have testicular cancer. Mind blown.

2. A mail carrier in Denver has been put on administrative leave for stepping around the body of a man who collapsed and died near his front door. In the mailman’s defense, it was around Halloween and he thought the body was a mannequin or some left over Halloween decorations. See, that’s why I don’t decorate my house for Halloween.

3. Speaking of dead bodies, Sherman Hemsley still hasn’t been buried. For three months, his body has been sitting in an El Paso funeral home while his former business manager, a long lost brother and a “cousin” fight over the actor’s estate. Seriously, people, y’all can’t show the man some respect and allow him to be buriedTriflin‘.

What had you scratchin’ your head this week?


RIP: Elvis the Hamster

Elvis and Koda

Elvis and Koda

This has been a tough week for my children.  This morning, Elvis the Hamster passed away, eight days after we lost his friend, Koda the Hamster. Miss 13 and Miss 14 were concerned that Elvis not be alone when he took his final breath, so I sat with him when they couldn’t be there and Squeekerz, our Jack Russell Terrier and Chihuahua mix, sat with him the rest of the time.

Elvis was definitely the friendlier of the two hamsters, he loved to be held and talked to.  In fact, if you walked past his cage, he would immediately stop whatever he was doing and run over to the door, look at you with his big black eyes and do everything possible to get your attention ~ including hanging from the top rungs of his cage.

The girls took his passing as well as can be expected.  We knew he was leaving us to join his friend Koda and we are happy to have had him for the brief time that he lived with us.


Koda’s Vigil

Koda playing on his wheel

Today Miss 14 came into the living room, her eyes brimming with tears, “Mom, something’s wrong with Koda!  He isn’t moving.”  I jumped up from the sofa and ran into her room, followed by my husband and, sure enough, there was Koda, lying on the floor of his cage.  Not moving.

My husband and I peered into the cage, breaths held, praying the hamster was still alive.  After a few minutes, I called it.  Koda hadn’t moved in the 5 minutes we stood staring at him.  Then we saw him inhale and exhale deeply.  That was all.  He didn’t move, he didn’t open his eyes, he just inhaled and exhaled very deeply…  We’ve called it twice in the last two hours and each time we see him take a deep breath.  We’ve decided to stop calling it.   So now we wait.

Poor Miss 14 is beside herself with grief.  She’s picked Koda up and talked to him.  She’s stroked his fur and begged him to stay with her.  There is nothing more heartbreaking than watching your child watch her pet die.  Each of the kids has paraded into Miss 14’s room to peer at Koda and offer words of support and comfort.  Right now, I’m so very proud of them.

My hope is that he’s not suffering and that he will go gently.

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