Tuesday, March 20, 2007

House Ways & Means

Even when you try to calculate cost it’s easy to over look things. I added it up today and I spent nearly $350 on cement board, thin-set, fiberglass tape, nails, and a jig saw blade. I didn’t really figure any of that in to the cost at all. It makes me wonder what other hidden or forgotten costs are out there waiting for me.

The important thing is, it’s in. Today I finished installing the cement board, with the exception of the area under the tub. I’ve purchased the board, but it wasn’t installed on purpose. More on that later. Tomorrow, I think - I hope - I can start mudding the cement board. This is done with the thin-set and fiberglass tape.

When I went down to get the thin-set on Sunday they had 5 different flavors of Versabond thin-set to chose from. I walked over to the little desk and asked the guy which one is recommended for tub surrounds. He hops in to action and runs over and grabs me a caulking tube of Liquid Nails for tile. I looked at him and said, “No, thin-set for setting tiles. There are several types over there. Which one is best for tub surrounds”. He takes me over to the different stacks and says, “Well, let’s see.” One at a time he starts reading the instructions on the back. The guy had no idea what he was doing. I said, “Thanks, I’ll research it on my own”.

I tried to search on my own and found several different threads on Versabond Thin-set on many different forums, but no one ever says which one is best for what. The only distinction people seem to make is between white and gray, depending on which color grout you’re going to do. One was a quick-set, so I ruled that out. The one I went with was the most expensive. It is the premium grade white, rated for high bond strength and flexibility. Again, this is earthquake country, so the more things hold on to each other, and are flexible, the better.

In other news, I had to take Mort to the vet today. He has an ear infection and an upper respiratory infection. He’s been coughing, sneezing, and blowing little bubbles out of his nose for the past week, and he just really hasn’t been his same effervescent self. He's only drawn blood on me twice in the past week. That is well below par. At first I thought it was just hair balls or something, but it’s not getting better. He had the same ear infection less than a year ago. He’s getting ear drops and that pink bubble gum smelling antibiotic twice a day. That is loads of fun for both of us.

The really bad part is, the doctor thinks there is a chance it could be the on-set of feline AIDS. He told me 1 in 7 stray cats that live their lives on the street die from feline AIDS. Those are pretty sobering statistics. I’ve only had Mort about 4 years, and he’s well over 10 years old, so that means he spent most of his life on the mean streets of Eureka. The fact that the ear infection has come back so quickly, and it’s coupled with a respiratory ailment, has the doctor a little worried.

The doc said it takes 5 to 7 years from the time a cat contracts AIDS for symptoms to appear, so Mort is right in that sweet spot for seeing the first signs. I asked if living in a feculent hell-hole – I’m referring to The Petch House, not the mean streets of Eureka – could have caused any of the infections. He said that it shouldn’t bother Mort at all. That kind of makes sense really, cats live there whole lives a few inches off the ground and are constantly crawling in filth. At least mine are.

The plan is to use this current regiment of antibiotics for a week. If there is no change then we’ll try something stronger. If it still doesn’t get better in another week, then I’ll bring him in for an AIDS test and a feline leukemia test. Fingers crossed!


Leslie said...

Awww, I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for a quick recovery for Mort!

Gene said...

Sorry to hear Mort is sick. We've got two cats, both indoor-only (except brief, supervised trips into the yard), in part because of stuff like FIV. Though Rosie was outdoor before we got her, and I don't really know about Star's early childhood before the previous owner got her.

Re: the wonderful advice you got on thinset at the store...that store wouldn't happen to be Home Depot, would it? That sort of thing sounds right up their alley ;)

Greg said...

No, it wasn't an HD, but I guess it could have been. This was the local home center.

I understand why people have indoor cats, but my cats just love the outdoors so much I couldn't deprive them of it, even if it means the possibility of a shorter life. Life is a risk. I take the risk, and I wouldn't have it any other way, why shouldn't they.

Kathy said...

I am so sorry about Mort. I've never heard about AIDS in animals. I hope it's just a cold.

mindy said...

Hoping you hear good news about Mort (which is an awesome name, btw).

Karen said...

Gosh I hope that Mort will be OK. You right on about letting them be out and free though.Who wants to live in a bubble. I will keep my fingers and toes crossed.
I love the stories about Mort especially when he draws blood. They are my favorite. He reminds me of a cat that my husband had. His name was Blackie which was short for Black Mother Fcuker. A very cool cat who taught himself to go on the toilet.


BTW the subway ceramics link didn't work for me. I clicked on it and it came up with an error message.

Alicia said...

One of my cats had a weird immune thing happen, and the first idea was feline leukemia or aids. If you have a reasonably priced vet option, I would get the tests just to make sure. You only need to test one of the cats--if one has it, they both do. It really calmed me down to know I wasn't looking at a shortened lifespan and lots of pain. Also, there are vaccinations, worth it if you are letting them outside.

Everyone does guilt when their pet is sick. Imagine the guilt parents have over children's illness.