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SparksJuly 5, 2007

Oh, I had the best Fourth of July. It was the first I've ever spent by myself -- because my birthday is the next day, I usually try to make a party out of seeing the fireworks, and there is always something Going On.

But last night I had worked all day, and working fire dispatch on fourth of July is a chore. I worked a couple of several-alarm vegetation fires that just about killed me (new computer system, we're all struggling). So by the time I got home, I was too tired to trek into the City where Lala had a show, and everyone seemed to be doing something far away, and I didn't want to drive, so I settled on the couch and ate crab cakes that I found in the freezer, made a Tom Collins, and watched Sex and the City reruns. It was awesome, actually. Just what I needed to relax.

Then the booms started. And got bigger. I live in an area of East Oakland where, although even sparklers are illegal, people still have fireworks as big as any in an officially sanctioned city show, you know, the HUGE ones, and as night dropped, and the sky started to light up, I got more and more anxious to see fireworks.

But I still didn't really want to go anywhere. So I went up the hill that I can see from the living room window. I sat on on the side of the road, and oh my god, it was amazing. It was clear last night, the only Fourth I can ever remember being like that in the Bay Area, EVER, and I could see the San Mateo Bridge, most of Oakland, all of Alameda, right over the Bay to San Francisco, and all the way around to Mount Tam.

The Oakland floor below me was SO GORGEOUS. Wherever I turned my eyes, at least three or four huge fireworks were exploding in my line of sight, and scores more flashed to the left and right, filling my peripheral vision. It sounded like what I imagine war would sound like, the hills echoing and filling with the booms and blasts. It was devastatingly thrilling, but only a few people were pulled over on the hill with me. One young family held up their baby and pointed, "Que bonita! Mira! Mira!" Then they left, and an older woman pulled up with her granddaughter and we all stood marvelling at this, the best show in the Bay Area. It was warm, and clear, and bright, and LOUD, and wonderful.

Know what else is wonderful?

My cat. Digit is getting better and better. I found him yesterday with his e-collar off. Yes, he does have thumbs, but that's ridiculous. We were lucky and he hadn't yet ripped out his drain or any stitches. While I was struggling to get it back on him, he got pissy and started growling and hissing. He struck out at me with his many claws a few times, and I growled and snapped back. I was mightily irritated until I realized that HE'S BACK! My jerkface cat is just that again, a jerkface. And if he's acting like an ass and scratching me, he's feeling SO MUCH BETTER. Yay! Hooray for my little jerkface! (Who purrs often and cuddles and belies his jerkiness, but we won't tell.)

Wanna see?


Big Paws Frankenbutt


Scritch! He has two eyes! Ole Winky no longer.


And Erika did this for me:


HA! Hahahahaha.

Sweater drawing will be held on Saturday! I am using the time between then and now to put all you darlings into the database that Fund-Raising-Fool Claudia sent me. I don't know what I'd do without it..... So stay tuned!


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that old digit is the absolutely best birthday present ever. i am so glad to see him looking better. and happy birthday to you!

awe, both his eyes are open :-)

Lucky you! That sounds like an amazing way to spend the evening. Yay for Digit! He already looks so much better.

Oh yeah... Happy Birthday!!!

Yay! Digit's looking really good! Happy birthday!!!!!!!!

Oh he IS looking so much better! The fact that he can look so indignant in that last photo is a very good sign.

You have to tell him though that he is wearing it with such grace it really does look more like an Elizabethan collar than the collar-of-shame.

Happy Happy Happy Day to you! And, yes, Digit looks absolutely pissed! Isn't that great! Thanks for sharing your fireworks with us - me? I was asleep :0)

Happy birthday! So glad Digit's doing better.

Happy birthday, Rachel. I'm so glad Digit made it back to celebrate with you. Give him a scritch for me.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I'm just so plesed to watch the return of Digit. And envious of your night; I heard various booms but knew there were too many trees around for me to see anything, and I couldn't leave the sleeping, pool-tuckered kiddos ~ XXO

Sounds like a prefect pre-birthday celebration!! Happy Birthday, Rachael!!

And Ole Winky/Digit, you are looking fine, fine, fine!! I see thousands of days of relaxing IN THE HOUSE ahead for you :)

He looks so dignified in that collar!!

The fireworks sound wonderful. Hope the kitties weren't too freaked out.

Ha-ha. My mom always said the same thing about me when I was sick. Once I started acting snarky again, she's day, "Humph. Guess someone is feeling better."

So glad to hear Digit is back.

Happy Birthday! Our cat, Pancho (he who was buried with the tuna & tequila), used to USE his satellite dish to scratch out his stitches (try explaining that to the vet)! So keep an eye on that little bugger, now that he's feeling better. His eye looks great!

The collar... love it. We call that thing an Elizabethan collar, and, judging by his indignant look (which is wonderful to see!!!!), Digit is not a fan of the theater. Digit is an amazing beastie - congrats on having him home.

Happy Birthday!!!

That last pic of Digit is hella funny.

Happy Birthday!

Go Digit go!

Happy birthday, darling. I'll wish you the best birthday ever but that's probably already a given.

That sour expression cracks me up. I love that after his ordeal, Digit still has the dignity to stand up tall and refuse to be made silly by that collar. Now all he needs is a gold watch on a chain, and a waistcoat to tuck it into.

What a curmudgeon! :)

Happy birthday! Thanks for the kitty pix...

Oh, he looks so, so much better! Yay, Digit!

I have a grumpy, swipe-y, bite-y cat, too, and I wouldn't have it any other way. It makes it all the sweeter when he curls up with me to watch tv.

Happy Birthday!

Digit looks like a blue-blood in that collar. Should it be "Sir Digit" from now on?

My polydactyl grumpus, Simon, is currently suffering from severe nose-out-of-joint syndrome, due to arrival of small kitten Milo. He hissed and swatted at me yesterday. Sigh.

Hooray! He looks great!

Happy Birthday. :)

Go, Digit! I too have seen fireworks like that, rising up throughout the east bay, and you know that most of them aren't legally supposed to be there, but they're darn pretty anyhow.

Happy birthday! Oh, that last picture. Oh, my. I think, when he is better, there might be retribution.

Yeah for cat thumbs!!! If he is using his thumbs, he is definitely feeling better. He is looking so much better.

And Happy Birthday!!!

Happy Birthday!

Oh, Digit. You are so cute, in your snarly, scratchy, jerkface way. So happy to see him looking so pissed off...he's definitely getting better!

HAHAHAHA! That is hysterical! And YAY! He's back, and also, Happy Birthday!!

Rachy-pooh, OMG I can't believe Digit came home! I'm so happy for you!!!! I came on your site to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY because I only have your old email address (writerach@yahoo ? Don't think you use that one anymore) and I couldn't believe my eyes.... WOW that is an amazing story. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Email me with your correct email address please. Or call me next time you're working. XOXO ~Nichole

Happy Birthday! Digit is going to get you for that last picture. LOL! He's looking much much better.

Happy birthday old sock!

He looks 1000% better! Thanks for the update.

Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday to you!

Mr. Digit looks wonderful! I'm SO glad he's on the mend and being ornry :)

Digit is looking wonderful. Hope you are having a wonderful bday.

Happy Birthday!!!
I'm so glad that you had such a spectacular fireworks display near your place! :o)
and Digit is looking awesome!!!
i can't believe that his eye healed so well! it's like nothing ever happened to it!!!
our furry friends are amazing, aren't they?! and that is great that his spunk is coming back too! that is definitely a Good Sign!

U Laff U Die is hil-ar-ious!!! I am so happy that your Mr Handsome is back. :-)

Handsome Devil!! The Digit updates make me So Happpyyyy!!

Happiest birthday!

He's really looking much better! And I love that he's got his old fiestiness back! He'll be out of the lampshade in no time. :)

Oh! And happy birthday!

It's great to see both eyes open and looking relatively perky...if not a bit disgruntled. Of course, I'd probably feel that way too if I had a big piece of annoying plastic around my neck.

But it's good to hear that Digit is doing much better. :-)

D'oh...I forgot!

Happy Birthday!

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He's pulling off the e-collar with such grace and style.

I had a cat once who had a tendency to lick herself bare and start to make sores on her hindside, so she had to wear it all the time for years. Then, we got a puppy that we ended up neutering. He needed her collar for a couple of weeks (yeah, they were the same size), and she never scratched again. I think she might have been lonely and the dog fulfilled some need in her (they say that big cats in zoos tend to lick their butts bare out of boredom).

So that's where we should go next year! Above us is Skyline, and I think crowded. Being in the middle of the fireworks is pretty exciting too, but not as pretty - they don't all get high enough to see. I've always thought the Oakland flats must look stunning on the Fourth. And you're right - clear skies!

Happy Birthday! Sapo verde to you!

Yay grouchy Digit!

Happy Birthday - and Digit was the perfect present, was he not?

I am glad Digit is recovering...happy birthday to you too!

I'm so sorry. I laffed.

my boyfriend and i sat on his roof for the oakland "show" - it was great (his neighbors were big contributors!) i love oakland.

The very best, most romantic date I ever had was the 3rd of July and people were already setting off fireworks and it was just magical. Serendipity. Gotta love it.

I'm so glad Digit is doing better! That is amazing. And the growling & hissing is a GOOD sign.
I made it to the Whoreshoes show! It was an awesome night. I was looking for you, now I know where you were!

Yay Digit! He's looking *so* much better!

Happy Birthday. :)

Hpy Brthday I wuz so waytin fer a cheezburgr pic I wuz. Stroo.

Imagine how much money you and my sister could raise for some sort of knitter kitty charity...boggles the mind.

Digit is looking great and ornery is a good thing. I'll be moving heaven and earth to get some of my peeps to Smiley's, so I'm buying you a birthday drinkeepoo chica!

Your 4th sounds great! Happy Birthday - hope it was fab, as well.

Happy Birthday! So glad that your lolcat is looking better. Hiss and spit, baby, hiss and spit!

TWO EYES!!!!! TWO CLEAR AND ANGRY ASS EYES!!!!! That's just fantastic. I thought he had lost the one with the fox tail. I'm so glad I was wrong.

What a great birthday present! Thank you for sharing your joy with us. I needed it today.

Happy birthday! I landed here from hizKNITS, and this is the first I've read about Digit (awesome name for a polydactyl) and omg I'm crying for you. No birthday present could ever replace having your baby come home like that.

I am glad Digit is home to help you have a good birthday! I love that last pic, by the way.

Digit looks like the cat version of that old grizzled guy who wouldn't give kids their balls back if they landed accidentally in his yard. So glad he's feeling better!

Whee, snarky, scratchy, grumpy growly cat whose eye is open - three cheers! (I hope you have gloves. [g]) After the Elizabethan ruff comments, I keep thinking: "I am Deegit. You put zis collar on me. Prepare to die."

Somehow doesn't have the same ring as Erika's, though...

Happy Birthday, and love that 4th. I sorta had the same thing, only saw it from my balcony. And no sirens, either. Fun!

Happy Birthday!!!! Sounds like you had a perfect 4th, too. Glad to know Digit is back to being his old jerkface self.

lolcat is too funny! Glad to see the eye is healing so well. Sounds like your birfday was fabulous - ooooohhhhs and aaaahhhs all around.

I had to put an E-collar on my dog a few weeks ago and she hated every minute of it. I'm just glad she doesn't have kitty cat claws. I can't imagine the fight that would require.

You've been nominated as a blog I might enjoy and here I am! I hope that your cat gets well soon.

That's so funny. And 2 eyes -- yay!

Aww poor thing has his butt shaved! One of my cats, Shady, had to get her butt shaved too! She got attacked by... something, we're not sure. A stray cat or maybe a raccoon.


Happy belated birthday. I'm so glad that your boy is on the mend.

Happy (belated) birthday!!

I'm so glad that Digit is better. It is the best kind of birthday gift!

He really is a handsome cat. I love tabbies best; they've got the right combination of spunk and dignity.

You should totally submit that last picture to the lolcats site. Awesome!

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