I’m selling some of my VK collection! All prices in USD. Will ship within 3 days of payment. PayPal only! Use goods and services to protect us both, unless I know you well. Please keep in mind the US postal service prices suck. Smoke free home. Any questions please DM me on Twitter @AUTOMATIONxAIR
Note – CDs don’t come with trading cards unless specified.
HypMic ARB’s 1st Anniversary Event includes a merchandise present giveaway! Unfortunately, to win the physical merchandise, you need a Japanese address. You can use whatever proxy service you like if you don’t live in Japan. If you need one, I recommend Tenso, which will give you an address you can use.
Grand Prize (10 winners): HypMic -A.R.B- 1st ANNIVERSARY limited acrylic POP stand
First Prize (600 total winners): HypMic -A.R.B.- 1st ANNIVERSARY limited Divisional Ball-point Pens (100 winners per division)
Runner-up Prize (1000 winners): G Collect ticket x 1
How to Apply
The entry period is from 2021/3/17~3/31 10:59 JST. Even if you have the lottery tickets from the event, you have to fill out the form in order to actually win prizes.
From your home screen, select the black 1st Anniversary icon on the right hand side of the screen.
You’ll want to scroll all the way to the bottom of this screen, then click on the Present Campaign banner.
On the pop up, you’ll want to scroll all the way down and click the pink エントリー button to open the entry form. This also shows you how many lottery tickets you have (max 10).
This form will open in your browser. Scroll to the bottom, click the radio button to accept the terms, and hit Next.
The next page will load, with your IDs pre-filled out (I erased mine for privacy, ignore the red box). What you need to worry about is the メールアドレス field (the bottom box here). This is where you put in your email address.
Scroll down further and you get the option of choosing which item to enter for. While you have a better chance of winning the pens, the stands are cooler (in my opinion). Once you select an option, click next.
And that’s it! If you win, you’ll get an email with further instructions on getting your prize. If you’re a lucky winner and need help with anything else, let me know and I can help you out!
I’ve seen a lot of confusion around the HypMic ARB 1st anniversary event, and since I’ve already helped with some of it, I thought I’d write up a guide for anyone new or confused about how it works!
I already finished a lot of it so I’m going to be taking caps from both my game and my friend’s game, so sorry if it’s a little inconsistent, but hopefully this helps! Sorry if it’s a bit long!
So the home screen has been redesigned! I’ll go through each icon, starting in the top left, and work my way around the screen:
Info: News and updates on the game Present: Where all of your gifts and in-game rewards go Pass: Where the different monthly passes are for sale, or you claim daily rewards if you purchased a pass Menu: The menu, haha My men: Where the cards you’ve collected live Mission: All of the current quests available Story: Event stories and normal stories Shop: Buy stuff! G collect: The gatcha, where you pull for cards Rhyme Strike: A rhyming game to earn rewards and refresh your rise (the blue lightning bolt) Killer scratch: The rhythm game itself 1st ARB Anniversary banner: Displays event progress with links to the reward shop and other event related things 1st Anniversary icon: Full events within the 1st anniversary
Here’s your main event page. I’ll explain each section:
Back: Go to previous page イベント説明: Explanation of event ミッション: Links to the event missions page ショップ: Takes you to the gem shop
Top: Current number of accumulated event points (shown here as 934,266 pt) Points until next reward: Shows how many points until your next tier bonus (here is 3,234 pt). Click the pink button for full tier list. Event item tickets: How many tickets you currently have for redemption (here is 15,680). Click the pink button to open the event exchange shop Ranking: Current event ranking among all players (here is 14,160) SSR banner: Takes you to the G-collect page Killer Scratch: Takes you to the main game Cards: Takes you to your team setup
This is probably where you’ll spend a lot of time during this event! There are guides out there for the main mission page (seen here) so I’m just going to breeze over it. The tabs are for daily, weekly, general, and event missions.
Daily missions: Refresh at midnight JST. Right now, there’s play Killer Scratch and pull from the DJpt G collect gatcha. The bottom gems task is for completing both of those tasks. Weekly missions: Refresh weekly (I wanna say on Monday? I don’t pay attention lol oops). The tasks are to do a certain number of songs in each category (club, spade, heart, diamond, and free) as well as play Rhyme Strike 3 times. General missions: One-time game goals that refresh to new tasks once you finish the current one. These change depending on progress Event missions: Missions that aren’t part of an event stamp card. Usually for things like playing newly added songs. Right now is for the B-parts of the new Buster Bros!!! songs.
Main Event Missions
This is where your main event bingo cards live. There are 4 total, and you get bonuses for completing each sheet as well as all missions. The cards can only be worked on one at a time in order. The bottom box on the right tells you what you get on your next bingo of 3 in a row. The box will show you all of those rewards. Full clear: 50 gems Sheet clear: One event prize entry ticket
I’m going to go over each card and the tasks. They are all in the same 3×3 grid, so I will be going in order from left to right, top row to bottom row.
Bingo Mission 1: Top left: Earn 1,000 event tickets by playing Killer Scratch Top middle: Play Killer Scratch with less than 30 misses (in one song) Top right: Use 5 rise points in one Killer Scratch song (the lightning bolts – should be set at 5 as a default) Mid left: Earn SS rank on one song in Killer Scratch Middle: Earn S rank or above on one song in Killer Scratch Mid right: Earn A rank or above on one song in Killer Scratch Bottom left: Earn B rank or above on one song in Killer Scratch Bottom middle: Earn C rank or above on one song in Killer Scratch Bottom right: Earn D rank or above on one song in Killer Scratch
Bingo Mission 2: Top left: Earn 2,500 event tickets by playing Killer Scratch Top middle: Play Killer Scratch with less than 25 misses (in one song) Top right: Use 5 rise points in one Killer Scratch song (the lightning bolts – should be set at 5 as a default) Mid left: Exchange for one item in the event shop Middle: Play one free song in Killer Scratch (look for the white icon with two microphones on the song title card) Mid right: Play one spade song in Killer Scratch (look for the blue spade icon on the song title card) Bottom left: Play one heart song in Killer Scratch (look for the red heart icon on the song title card) Bottom middle: Play one diamond song in Killer Scratch (look for the yellow diamond icon on the song title card) Bottom right: Play one club song in Killer Scratch (look for the green club icon on the song title card)
Bingo Mission 3: Top left: Earn 5,000 event tickets by playing Killer Scratch Top middle: Play Killer Scratch with less than 20 misses (in one song) Top right: Use 5 rise points in one Killer Scratch song (the lightning bolts – should be set at 5 as a default) Mid left: Play 「ヒプノシスマイク -Alternative Rap Battle-」on normal difficulty or higher (clicking the button will take you to the song) Middle: Play 「Survival of the Illest」on normal difficulty or higher (clicking the button will take you to the song) Mid right: Play 「ヒプノシスマイク -Division Rap Battle-」on normal difficulty or higher (clicking the button will take you to the song) Bottom left: Earn a score of 110,000 or higher on「おはようイケブクロ」 *can’t use autoplay cassettes (clicking the button will take you to the song) Bottom middle: Earn a score of 110,000 or higher on「Stella」*can’t use autoplay cassettes (clicking the button will take you to the song) Bottom right: Earn a score of 110,000 or higher on「あゝオオサカdreamin’night」 *can’t use autoplay cassettes (clicking the button will take you to the song)
Bingo Mission 4: Top left: Earn 5,000 event tickets by playing Killer Scratch Top middle: Play Killer Scratch on normal difficulty with less than 20 misses (in one song) Top right: Use 5 rise points in one Killer Scratch song (the lightning bolts – should be set at 5 as a default) Mid left: Earn a combo of 110 or higher on「シノギ (Dead Pools)」*can’t use autoplay cassettes (clicking the button will take you to the song) Middle: Earn a combo of 160 or higher on「パピヨン」*can’t use autoplay cassettes (clicking the button will take you to the song) Mid right: Earn a combo of 170 or higher on「Bad Ass Temple Funky Sounds」*can’t use autoplay cassettes (clicking the button will take you to the song) Bottom left: Earn a score of 200,000 or higher on「ヒプノシスマイク -Division Battle Anthem-」*can’t use autoplay cassettes (clicking the button will take you to the song) Bottom middle: Earn a score of 200,000 or higher on「T.D.D LEGEND」*can’t use autoplay cassettes (clicking the button will take you to the song) Bottom right: Earn a score of 200,000 or higher on「Hoodstar」*can’t use autoplay cassettes (clicking the button will take you to the song)
Unique to this event are division missions. Each division has three cards, one for each member. The tasks are all the same, just divided up by unique member. These can be worked on simultaneously. A full card clear earns you a 1st anniversary G Collect ticket, and a clear of a division earns you a roulette ticket.
Many of these tasks build on each other, so I am going to lay them out in the order that makes the most sense to complete them most efficiently. Follow below, repeating for each member, to fill out all the cards!
Play Killer Scratch with (member) on your team. This completes the middle square which rewards the 1st anniversary chibi SR card. All other missions require this card!
Play Killer Scratch with (member)’s 1st anniversary chibi card on your team. I recommend playing as many times as needed to get the chibi card to level 50 (these level REALLY fast so it should only take like 3 rounds). This will complete the top left, top right, and bottom right squares.
Evolve the chibi card (See My Men guide). This will complete the bottom left and give you a copy of the chibi card.
Raise the chibi card’s leader skill to level 2 by fusing the chibi cards together (See My Men guide). This unlocks the top middle and gives what you need for the next step.
Raise the chibi card’s auto-skill to level 5 (see My Men guide). This will complete the bottom middle and give you what you need for the next step.
Raise the chibi card’s auto-skill to level 10 (see My Men guide). This will complete the middle left and give you a copy of the chibi card.
Raise the chibi card’s leader skill to level 5 by fusing chibi cards together. SEE BELOW. This will be the last and hardest step, but will complete the bingo card by unlocking the middle right.
These bingo cards only give you 3 copies of the chibi card. You need a total of 5 copies to max out the leader skill. So, where do the extra two come from?
These Select tickets!! There are two main ways to earn these:
As tier rewards for earning event points
Trading in event tickets in the event shop
BECAUSE THEY ARE LIMITED, keep careful track of how many you earn and what you use them on! (Overnight, they decided to up the limit of the 7,500 price point to 60, so there should be no problem getting enough if you make a mistake) Since you need two per member, you need 36 total. You might also get some as roulette rewards (I can’t remember completely). You can earn a total of 18 from earning event points just by playing, with the last one coming once you reach 540,000 points. An additional 72 can be traded for with event tickets in the event shop (shown above).
So, how do you use them?
From your home screen, open your menu:
Once on the menu screen, click アイテム icon. This is your list of items. Once on the item screen, click the third tab:
You’ll have more or less than this based on how long you’ve been playing, but the ticket should have a ! on the top corner when you have them for trade in, along with the number you currently own. Click on this icon to initiate trade-in.
Once you confirm you want to use the ticket, the window will pop up to let you choose which one you want. Make sure you’re keeping track so you don’t trade too many of one character! Once traded, the cards will be delivered to your present box.
Because of how this event works, you’ll get real familiar with this screen.
カード一覧 : General list of all of your cards 編成 : Team formations – groups of 5 you play Killer Scratch with 進化: Evolution – where you evolve your cards レベルアップ強化 – Level-up enhancement – where you increase your card’s level with exp stickers オートスキル強化 – Auto-skill enhancement – where you level up your card’s auto-skill (the skills that kick in automatically now and then while playing) リーダースキル強化 – Leader skill enhancement – where you level up your card’s leader skill (the team leader, in the center, has a special skill effect on the team. This varies by card). カード売却 – Card Sale – where you sell back duplicate cards you no longer need (you CANNOT get them back, so use carefully!!)
First we’ll go over the evolution page. When a card is at its max normal level, it is ready to be evolved. If you have the items you need, the card will show a pink ! in the bottom corner, like Rei and Rosho do here.
Clicking a card brings you to the evolution screen. If it’s not ready to be evolved, the icons to the right will be greyed out and it will tell you what you need of each. The pink button below each icon lets you exchange coins or tickets you get from resale for the items you need. If you have the required items, the pink button at the bottom will be clickable, and you’ll evolve your card! Evolved cards gain new art, and will be highlighted by a rainbow border. You can also increase the level by ten once a card is evolved.
The auto-skill enhancement screen is similar to the evolution screen, only it displays the current auto-skill level in the top left. If you have the required items to increase a card’s auto-skill, there will be a pink ! box on the bottom, like Jyushi here.
The screen works the same as the evolution screen, only this time you see the card’s auto-skill levels on the left. The important part for our purposes is the items in the top of the right box. If you don’t have what you need to level up the auto-skill, the icons to the right will be greyed out and it will tell you what you need of each. The pink button below each icon lets you exchange coins or tickets you get from resale for the items you need. If you have the required items, the pink button at the bottom will be clickable, and you can level up your card’s auto-skill! Each card’s auto-skill can go to level 10, and must be leveled one level at a time.
The skill stars on the bottom are a general item you can exchange for or buy that allow you to increase the auto-skill without the other coins. These are more rare so I didn’t cover them here.
Leader Skill Enhancement
The leader skill enhancement screen is similar to the other screens, only it displays the current leader skill level in the top left. If you have the required items to increase a card’s leader skill there will be a pink ! box on the bottom, like Doppo and Hifumi here.
The screen works the same as the auto-skill screen, only this time you see the card’s leader skill level on the left. The important part for our purposes is the items in the top of the right box. To level up a leader skill, you need to have an exact duplicate of that card. Each card’s leader skill can go up to 5, and must be leveled one level at a time.
The skill star materials on the bottom are a general item you can exchange for or buy that allow you to increase the leader skill without having a copy of the card. These are more rare so I didn’t cover them here.
G collect & Pull Tickets
This event is unique in that there are a bunch of different types of G collect tickets available to be exchanged for pulls in the various gatchas.
In my image we have from left to right: Normal G collect ticket: use on the monthly or regular G-collect 10-pull normal G-collect ticket: same as above only to pull 10 times 1st anniversary G-collect ticket: use to pull from any of the event division gatchas 10-pull 1st anniversary ticket: same as before, only pull 10 times Revival SSR G-collect ticket: use to pull from the special gatcha with past event SSRs in it
Normal and 1st Anniversary G Collects
Each G Collect page is more or less set up the same way. There are various numbers at the top, which are (from left to right): Total gems owned, number of paid gems owned, number of free gems owned, number of single pull tickets, number of ten pull tickets.
Currently, there are only two normal G collect gatchas going on. The first is the March G Collect with Ramuda as the banner (featured SSR cards are Fling Posse’s My Life series). The second is the permanent A.R.B G Collect banner (second to last). Right now these are the only two you can use the normal G Collect pull tickets on.
There are also six 1st Anniversary G collect gatchas, separated by division. Each one includes only cards from that division, with the featured cards being the new 1st Anniversary SSRs. These are the gatchas you can use the 1st Anniversary G Collect tickets on.
The pages are set up in the same fashion. The pink buttons under the banner name: left one shows the cards and their rates, while the right shows details on the featured cards.
Next we have three giant buttons, which are used to pull. The first button (with the 60 gems on top) allows one pull per day using 60 paid gems. These can only be acquired by using real money. If you’re free to play, chances are you’ll never get to use this button.
The next button (with 250 gems or 1 ticket above) is used for a single pull. Each pull costs 1 ticket or 250 gems (of any type).
The last button (with 2,500 gems or 1 ticket above) is used for 10-pulls. Each 10 pull is guaranteed to have at least one SR or better type card.
When you click on a button (either single or ten pull), you are first presented with the above screen. To the left is the number of pull tickets you have available, and the right is the number of gems you have. Select the white button to use a ticket or the pink to use gems.
If you choose to use gems, you’ll see this screen. This confirms how many paid gems you own (left) and how many free (right). The game always uses free gems first. If you’re ok with the amount, hit ok to make your pull!
If you choose to use a ticket, it will give you a confirmation screen of the type of ticket you’re using. To go ahead with the pull, click ok.
Special Revival SSR G collect
New for this event is a Revival SSR G Collect. This contains select SSR cards from the past year’s events. The only way to get tickets to pull are from the event shop, and it’s limited to three total pulls. I believe on the third pull, you can exchange a card for one of your choice. Once I get enough points for my third pull I will update this guide!
DJ Point G Collect
At the very bottom of the list is the DJ pt G Collect. This is where you can exchange DJ points for stickers, candy for Rhyme Strike, or normal cards. New to this update is the ability to do a free 10 pull once a day. Additional pulls use banked DJ points, which you earn from playing the game.
Event Exchange Shop
From the event page, you can access the event exchange shop, where you can trade in your event tickets for useful items! I’m not going to go over all of the various stickers available, since those are explained in other guides, but I will touch on the unique items you’ll probably be most interested in.
SSR確定復刻シナリオGコレチケット: The first three options here are the Revival SSR G collect tickets. These are used to pull from the special revival gatcha featuring event SSRs from the first year of events. The tickets are all the same, they just require different amounts of event tickets, which is why there are 3 entries. Each one can only be redeemed once.
抽選券[3/31 10:59まで交換可）: A lottery ticket to win prizes. Some of the prizes are physical merchandise, which can only be received if you have a Japanese address (or a proxy address within Japan). I will write a short guide on how to redeem these in a separate post. You can exchange for 3 lottery tickets through this shop.
セレクトチケット：1stあにばーさりー: The top three are Select Tickets for the 1st anniversary chibi cards. As explained previously, you need these to help complete your event missions. You might not need them all if you were smart about your exchanges! You can exchange for 6 each at the first two price points, then up to 60 at the 7,500 price.
スキルスターマテリアル：SSR : If you collect 10 of these, you can increase an SSR card’s leader skill by 1. You can exchange for 2 of these.
スペシャルスキルスター：SR : This is used to raise the leader skill of an SR card by 1. You can exchange for 2 of these.
トレードチケット: Event trade ticket. These can be exchanged by going to the shop and selecting the Event Item Exchange (last option). Then, click the banner with the gold tickets. You can use these on unique collab cards or event bookmarks to unlock event stories.
ルーレットチケット：1st Anniv. : A roulette ticket for the 1st Anniversary roulette. Can be exchanged up to 5 times.
RIO’S キッチンセット: This bookmark is used to unlock all stories in the Rio’s Kitchen event scenario. This is useful if you missed the original event. Once unlocked, go to Story, and select the RIO’S キッチン banner to view the stories. Each story awards rise drinks when viewed the first time.
ヒプマイクエスト前編セット: This bookmark is used to unlock all stories in the HypMic Quest Part 1 event scenario. This is useful if you missed the original event. Once unlocked, go to Story, and select the ヒプマイクエスト前編 banner to view the stories. Each story awards 50 gems when viewed the first time.
ヒプマイクエスト後編セット: This bookmark is used to unlock all stories in the HypMic Quest Part 2 event scenario. This is useful if you missed the original event. Once unlocked, go to Story, and select the ヒプマイクエスト後編 banner to view the stories. Each story awards 50 gems when viewed the first time.
フローイングヘアダラーの追跡セット: This bookmark is used to unlock all stories in the Flowing Hair Dollar Pursuit event scenario. This is useful if you missed the original event. Once unlocked, go to Story, and select the フローイングヘアダラーの追跡 banner to view the stories. Each story awards 50 gems when viewed the first time.
成敗！東都スカイハイタワー活劇セット: This bookmark is used to unlock all stories in the Success or Failure! Toto Sky High Tower Swashbuckler event scenario. This is useful if you missed the original event. Once unlocked, go to Story, and select the 成敗！東都スカイハイタワー活劇 banner to view the stories. Each story awards 50 gems when viewed the first time.
Search for アキハバラセット: This bookmark is used to unlock all stories in the Search for Akihabara event scenario. This is useful if you missed the original event. Once unlocked, go to Story, and select the Search for アキハバラ banner to view the stories. Each story awards 50 gems when viewed the first time.
パニックatマウンテン！セット: This bookmark is used to unlock all stories in the Panic at the Mountain! event scenario. This is useful if you missed the original event. Once unlocked, go to Story, and select the パニックatマウンテン！ banner to view the stories. Each story awards 50 gems when viewed the first time.
ビビッと！セット: This bookmark is used to unlock all stories in the Surprised! scenario. This is useful if you missed the original event. Once unlocked, go to Story, and select the ビビッと！ banner to view the stories. Each story awards 50 gems when viewed the first time.
恥すて弾けろハロウィンナイト！セット: This bookmark is used to unlock all stories in the Shame on you, Halloween Night! event scenario. This is useful if you missed the original event. Once unlocked, go to Story, and select the 恥すて弾けろハロウィンナイト！ banner to view the stories. Each story awards 50 gems when viewed the first time.
Break into! 前編セット: This bookmark is used to unlock all stories in the Break into! Part 1 scenario. This is useful if you missed the original event. Once unlocked, go to Story, and select the Break into! 前編 banner to view the stories. Each story awards 50 gems when viewed the first time.
Break into! 後編セット: This bookmark is used to unlock all stories in the Break into! Part 2 scenario. This is useful if you missed the original event. Once unlocked, go to Story, and select the Break into! 後編 banner to view the stories. Each story awards 50 gems when viewed the first time.
鬼の吉日セット: This bookmark is used to unlock all stories in the Demon’s Auspicious Day event scenario. This is useful if you missed the original event. Once unlocked, go to Story, and select the 鬼の吉日 banner to view the stories. Each story awards 50 gems when viewed the first time.
聖しこの夜はあなたとともにセット: This bookmark is used to unlock all stories in the Holy Night with You event scenario. This is useful if you missed the original event. Once unlocked, go to Story, and select the 聖しこの夜はあなたとともに banner to view the stories. Each story awards 50 gems when viewed the first time.
デンジャラス・ペンションセット: This bookmark is used to unlock all stories in the Dangerous Pension event scenario. This is useful if you missed the original event. Once unlocked, go to Story, and select the デンジャラス・ペンション banner to view the stories. Each story awards 50 gems when viewed the first time.
幻太郎のネオ昔話セット: This bookmark is used to unlock all stories in the Gentaro’s Neo-Folktale event scenario. This is useful if you missed the original event. Once unlocked, go to Story, and select the 幻太郎のネオ昔話 banner to view the stories. Each story awards 50 gems when viewed the first time.
不良警察官の小事件簿セット: This bookmark is used to unlock all stories in the Dirty Cop’s Small Case event scenario. This is useful if you missed the original event. Once unlocked, go to Story, and select the 不良警察官の小事件簿 banner to view the stories. Each story awards 50 gems when viewed the first time.
わらしベリーマンの奔走セット: This bookmark is used to unlock all stories in the Straw Berry Man’s struggle event scenario. This is useful if you missed the original event. Once unlocked, go to Story, and select the わらしベリーマンの奔走 banner to view the stories. Each story awards 50 gems when viewed the first time.
Other Event Things
From the home page on your game, if you click the button that says 1st Anniversary, there are two important sections you should check out.
First is the Roulette. As you finish your missions and earn event points, you’ll be awarded roulette cards (you can also purchase them from the event exchange shop). If you have them, the number will be displayed here by the roulette wheel. You can then click to run the roulette, and keep going until you’re out of tickets.
Second, if you scroll down, there’s a wallpaper campaign button.
As you collect the 1st anniversary chibi cards, you’ll unlock rewards. Once you’ve collected all of them, you get a banner you can use on your profile, as well as unlock the pink link to download smartphone wallpapers of each of the chibi art!
Thank you for reading this far!
Hopefully I covered most of the useful information here! Please see my next post for information on the merchandise lottery. If you have any questions or need more clarification, leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can! Enjoy!
I’m able to do my best thanks to everyone’s comments. Thank you.
A lot of you also said “You don’t have to force yourself to write in your blog!”, but unlike Twitter, updating in the Salon isn’t tough at all, so I think when I have time I’ll continue to update here. Because it’s really not a burden at all.
Still, the contents are going to be very real and the complete opposite of the dreamy content you would expect, so I’m going to affix the hashtag #KOJI闘病 (Koji’s fight against illness) Reading such a realistic blog will probably be hard at times, so feel free to wait until a day when your feelings have calmed down to read them.
First day in the hospital. It was a day of turbulent waves, alternating between difficult moments and free time. I was also able to ask about my detailed treatment schedule. It seems like it’s going to be a lot tougher than I initially thought… I have no choice but to do my best, so I’ve decided I’ll get through this!
I still have some time today and tomorrow, but from the day after tomorrow for a number of days after that, I feel like I don’t know if I’ll be able to show up. So if I stop writing here, just think “He’s really doing his best.”
But I also feel like it’s going to be ok. I wanted to try saying something carefree like that.
It seems like I have free time today until light’s out. I think I’m going to relax for a bit, then sleep properly after light’s out, then work hard to treat my body.
It’s been a long time since I posted here, but recent life events have made me want to start writing normally again about my life.
Sunday, February 12, one week before my 32nd birthday, I lost my father suddenly to a heart attack. He was 65. We hadn’t seen it coming.
I know he wasn’t in tip top shape – his doctor had been on him to reduce his sweets intake, which he had been doing for the most part – but we still never suspected something like this would claim his life. Mom pointed out that he’d been complaining of indigestion in the months leading up to it, and I can’t help but wonder if maybe it was something cardiovascular masquerading as stomach issues.
Going back to that day, my best friend and roommate, Lisa, and I had gone to eat lunch at a fast-casual Japanese place we’d never tried before en route to downtown St. Louis to catch a few more Porygon before the Valentine’s event ended. We had gone Pokemon hunting the day before with two of her coworkers and managed to catch quite a few, but wanting to make it to lunch in time with my parents had cut the day short and I found myself lacking about 16 candy that I wanted.
Though the restaurant was a little disappointing, we pulled out with our bellies full. My phone rang – it was my mom, and I answered with a cheerful hello. But there was panic in her voice.
“Katie, something happened to your dad. He collapsed in the garage… The paramedics have been working on him for a while but I don’t know..”
I immediately started to panic myself. Something twisted in the pit of my stomach. I asked her if I should come home, and she said yes, so, since I fortunately had not gotten back on the interstate yet, quickly changed lanes to head back home. It was about 15-20 from my location to my parents’ house, but that day the drive seemed to last hours.
The whole time, I was in tears, mumbling to myself. “Please be ok, please God be ok…” Beside me, Lisa reached over to pat my leg as I drove, trying to calm me so I wouldn’t drive erratically.
As I pulled onto their street, police cars, a fire truck, and an ambulance lined the side. I parked behind them, two houses down, and ran to the house – I left my purse and jacket in the car. As I got there, I ran up to the garage, where mom had said he had been.
There I saw him, laying on the ground, a white sheet on his torso. A police woman quickly ushered me away to the front porch (the garage is on the side of the house, not the front, so I couldn’t see what was going on) and had a paramedic talk to me.
They had pronounced him.
It was as though the ground was ripped out from under my feet.
It hurt, so much. I immediately went to my mom and held her, both of us crying. Lisa hugged us as well and cried with us, since he was like a second father to her. We saw my parents almost every day, from running errands with them to eating dinner to going to sporting events with my dad.
The rest of the day is a messy blur of tears. My brother and half-sister showed up, just as shocked as us. The funeral home came and took him away. They set up a meeting for the following day. I got the story from mom of what happened…
They had just returned home from eating lunch. Dad hadn’t even gone inside; he wanted to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to cut down some branches from the pine tree in front that were damaged in an ice storm the month before. Mom had gone inside and was laying down. After a bit, her phone rang. It was my dad, and she could tell something was wrong. “I need you…” he said. She asked where he was. In the garage. So she ran out, phone in hand, and found him laying on the ground. He reached up for her, she took his hand, and he passed out.
She fumbled with her phone to call 911 and tried her best to do CPR while waiting on the ambulance. She said it took about 5 minutes for them to arrive, but it felt like ages. I know she blames herself for not calling fast enough, for not doing CPR right, but honestly, from what she said, it was likely too late already.
The firemen cut down the branch for us before departing.
The last week and a half have felt like an eternity. We had the stress of planning a funeral with no idea what to do, of figuring out where we go from here. Mom hasn’t been working; dad was providing and wanted to work a few more years before retirement so he could “pay off his toys”. We’re trying to figure out how soon she can get payouts, if she’ll be able to keep the house, and whether or not she’ll be forced to go back to work. This is all outside our comfort zones, and we feel like fish out of water – never mind not even having the time to properly grieve my father’s loss.
In addition to gathering photos for the visitation and writing my dad’s eulogy, my mom’s brother, whom I hadn’t seen in years, flew in for the funeral and stayed at my house. Even though I took a week off school and work, I barely had any rest. I had to wake early on my birthday to take my uncle to the airport, and the day passed with a whimper – not even a cake (which I did get, though a few days late).
Even returning to school and work has been hard. I missed a math test that I had to make up. I had to cram two weeks of homework into just a few days. At work, once again, my coworkers neglected my birthday (it’s custom to pass around a birthday card for all to sign, but not once since I began working here have I received one). I did receive two sympathy cards, though, and just reading them made me start to tear up again.
Despite the stress, my dad has been laid to rest in a national cemetery. He was a 20 year Army retiree and veteran, so he received a spot to rest, overlooking the Mississippi river, along with military honors – Army pallbearers, presentation of the flag to my mother, a rifle volley, and the playing of taps. All in all, it was lovely, but it still doesn’t feel right.
My dad was one of my best friends.
We shared many hobbies. Photography, astronomy, hockey, technology, just to name a few. We spent lots of time together. I ate with my parents nearly daily, and I was always happy to run them around or just provide company if they needed me. My dad would always message me on Google talk first thing in the morning – usually to report on that morning’s cat antics.
He was a smart man, a silently caring man, one who was always there to bail me out of trouble if I needed him. He never forgot a birthday or anniversary. He loved to learn, and loved to share his knowledge. He was opinionated, but wouldn’t force his opinions on others. He was kind. He was funny. He was the best dad I could ask for, and I miss him more than I could ever put into words.
I want to try to document my fondest memories with him before they start to fade. Like going to the Winter Classic in January, the first one ever in St. Louis. Of going to many hockey games, particularly this year, when we bought a 12-game pack to see the Blues play. Of going to take photos together. Of going to look at the stars together.
It hurts, and it probably will for a long time. I still expect him to message me any minute. I even had a moment of wanting to tell him about NASA’s planetary discovery yesterday, only to despair when I remembered that he’s not there.
I’m terrible with grief. I’ve really only lost my grandparents – my mom’s parents were gone before I was even born, and though I have lost both of my dad’s parents, they lived out in Arizona for most of my life, so I never was super close to them. I cried a little when they died, but it didn’t feel like a knife to the chest or a kick in the gut the way this does. I don’t really know how to process a loss this close to home.
To my friends – please forgive me if I’m not quite right for a while.
I’m a bit late in writing about this, but last Friday, I took my first steps into making my own raw cat food. Feeding the bunch quality canned food was getting expensive, and even then it didn’t always sit well with them, so Lisa and I decided that going raw would probably be better for them. I talked my mom into trying it out, and she purchased the grinder on the condition that I would make the food for her crew, too. Once I had everything, I got to work!
I used the recipe from Dr. Lisa Pearson at catinfo.org, though for my first batch, I did completely raw (instead of the partially cooked version she uses). I might try the partially cooked version the next time I make a batch.
Lisa helped document the process, so here we go!
The grinder and the dry ingredients I used. Most I purchased from iHerb.com. Use the link or enter code GZP451 to save $5 on your first order! The Fish Oil I got in a BOGO sale from Walgreens. Salt is from Walmart.
Rio and Aya had to inspect the grinder, as Omi watched on.
Sogo wasn’t too sure about this.
I started off by rinsing all of the chicken thighs to get the surface bacteria off. If I decide to do the partially cooked version next time, this step won’t be necessary.
30 lbs. of chicken thighs + 2.5 lbs of chicken livers… I think I need to buy some more big bowls before my next batch!
I used this big tub for mixing. I would have benefited from one slightly smaller, but the store I was at didn’t have anything smaller that would still hold it all, so this was good enough.
Omi looking on.
Phantom knows there’s chicken.
Meanwhile, Aya makes a game out of playing with Omi’s tail.
Phantom: “Where’s the chicken, minion?”
First off, I put the fish oil capsules in the water to dissolve them (they ended up swelling and emptying, but the shells didn’t dissolve completely. Might run them through the grinder next time).
Sogo watches on as I break open the vitamin capsules.
Sogo: “What are these weird things?”
Sogo: “Are you sure this is edible?”
Adding the powdered taurine – necessary when not using fresh hearts.
Of course Aya had to see what was going on.
Aya: “I don’t trust this!”
Lots of mixing!
Sogo: “I don’t think you know what you’re doing!”
After the vitamins were mixed with the water came the fun part – prepping the chicken for grinding!
I had to cut the thighs into chunks that would fit in the grinder. As I went, I removed about 50% of the skins, as well as 25% of the bones to keep the ratios correct. As I did this, I prepared a bowl of chunked meat to add a little bit for the cats to chew on for dental health. This was the longest part of the whole process – 30 lbs is a lot of chicken!
Once everything was processed, I started grinding! This was easiest with a bowl in the sink to catch the ground chicken. That thing is loud – I think I’ll get ear plugs to use from now on. It worked very well, though. We only had one jam, and a quick reverse cleared it right up.
Adding the ground meat to the vitamin mix.
The mound grows…
And after a thorough mixing by hand, the batch is complete!
From there, things got messy as we packed the finished food into mason jars. This batch made just over 36 pint-sized jars, or 4 jars per cat (5 cats of mine and 4 of my mom’s).
And here we have the finished product, ready to freeze!
The whole batch made approximately enough for 12-14 days per cat. I haven’t crunched the exact numbers yet, but my early figures put the cost at around 60-90 cents per cat per day, much less than buying a good quality canned food.
Of course there comes the matter of transitioning. Our cats were used to a canned food only diet, so it’s been slightly easier working the new food into their diet. Rio was the only one of the bunch who took to the new food right away, gobbling it down with no problem (as well as eating what the other cats wouldn’t touch!)
Since the others are being buttheads, we are currently mixing a small amount of commercial canned food in with their raw food, and they’re finishing it all. We’re very slowly lessening the amount of the commercial food mixed in, with the hopes that eventually we can cut it out altogether.
My mom is having more trouble with her crew, though, as they’re used to mostly kibble, with a little bit of canned food once a day. She has a bunch of super picky eaters, and they don’t even seem to want to eat it mixed in. We might try a few of the suggestions listed on Dr. Pearson’s page and see what we can come up with for them.
This is a huge undertaking but I think once we get them on the right track it will be super beneficial for everyone!
Anyone who knows me knows that I am what you might call a Crazy Cat Lady. I grew up with both dogs and cats, but felines were always my favorite. Now that I’m living away from my parents, I have continued on the long and winding path of the insane feline lover.
Omi, March 2015
When my roomie and I first moved out on our own, we each took our cat with us, giving us a grand total of two. Omi was my clingy and needy black baby (who is actually the elder, currently 13 years old) and Phantom was her crazy grey cat (who we now believe to be at least part Korat). This was an acceptable amount of cats for us, and worked perfectly well for the first three years we were on our own.
Phantom, January 2016
Then, in the fateful summer of 2014, I waltzed into a pet store with the intention of maybe picking up some cat food. It was my mother who really needed to be there; I was just along for the ride. Right by the entrance doors, a rescue group had a few cages set up, and inside were an assortment of kittens.
One kitten in particular caught my eye, with the way she was climbing the sides of her cage like a crazy monkey. She was a calico, and while I normally hadn’t given calicoes much thought (as some of their patterns I’m not particularly fond of), something about hers pleased me. It was an impulse adoption for sure, but she ended up coming home with us, and we named her Rio.
Rio, January 2016
Rio pretty much took over the place as soon as we brought her in. The first day, we left my room door open, with a big TV box blocking the way (so the boys couldn’t get in, but she couldn’t get out). By the time we came home from work, the box was knocked over, and the fearless kitten was out roaming around. In no time, she was the mother of the bunch, grooming the boys into submission and giving Phantom a much needed playmate. (Omi, while playful on his own, has never really gotten along with Phantom in terms of play – it usually ends in hissing).
And it was there that I said I was good – no more cats. At least not until we got a house, or one of the other cats passed away (something I hope never happens – hah!)
Cue a moment of weakness.
Aya and Phantom, September 2015
I saw her picture on the Missouri Humane Society’s website. She was adorable and black, and I fell in love right away. However, she was a kitten, and I didn’t have anywhere near the adoption fee for one. But, they just HAD to run a special on kitten adoptions. I just HAD to swing by after work one day.
Our cat count increased to four: two boys, two girls, all nutters.
OK, I admit this was pushing it. For just the two of us, it was a lot to handle. However, I knew we could manage. Aya has turned out to be a handful, though. Christmas tree scaler, poster clawer, and expert of the extended meow, she’s fit in rather nicely with the younger group, zooming around the apartment with them whenever she gets a wild hair up her bum.
It was there that I anticipated our family stopping, and it likely would have, if not for some unsavory neighbors a few buildings over.
This apartment, you see, was on our way out of the complex. In the spring, when driving by, we noticed a calico cat sitting on the deck of this apartment, watching the cars go by. The weather was lovely, and I didn’t think much of the owners wanting their little kitty to get some sunshine and fresh air. It continued into the summer, when temperatures were rather mild, and we looked forward to seeing her there.
Late summer, we stopped seeing her, and didn’t see her throughout the fall. It was early December when we noticed a tiny calico cat sitting on the outside steps leading up to that particular apartment. I don’t know if it was the same cat or not, and judging by her size I guess not, but we figured she just got out and her owners would get her back in once they got home.
However, that night, I came home from class and she was still outside. It was cold and expected to get rather chilly that night, so after much fussing and debating, I went up and knocked on the door.
“Do you have a calico cat who got out?”
“I don’t know what she is, but yeah, we have a cat.”
“I have her in my car currently. It’s pretty cold out and I didn’t want to her to freeze.”
“Oh she’s crazy. She runs out all the time, we can’t keep her in.”
I hand her the cat. She walks a few steps, and the cat bolts from her arms. “See, crazy, I told you!”
I go home, assuming poor little calico is inside and warm and that would be the end of that.
The next day, she’s outside.
I didn’t see her that evening, but the morning after, in below freezing temperatures, she was still there.
I came home from work, she was still outside.
That was the last straw.
I went home, grabbed my cat cage, and went to pick her up. She was so trusting, coming right up to me and rubbing against my legs, purring and lapping up attention. We fed her, and she just gobbled it up like it had been a long time.
We decided to at least keep her for a while, to make sure that she could warm up and build up her strength. She had been acting a little more standoffish, though, and would growl and spit if we pet her in a certain spot. We figured something was wrong, so we took her to the vet.
She was without a microchip. They tested her for Feline Leukemia, worms, and examined her. She had a fever, and it seemed like a bite somewhere on her, causing the fever and pain. I have never seen a cat put up so much of a fight during a vet exam, but she did NOT want to let them draw blood. Poor baby.
We received a course of pain meds and antibiotics for her, both of which were a pain, but seemed to do the trick. Of course, during the course of these meds, we ran into another problem – my roomie fell in love.
And so it came to pass that not four, but five felines lived under one roof – officially turning it into the Crazy Cat Lady House.
Sogo, January 2016
PS – Due to roomie being jobless and the crunch of the end of year, we had a GoFundMe account set up to cover Sogo’s vet care. Thanks to my wonderful family, our goal has been met, but there are still more costs to come. She needs rabies shots, and she might not be spayed, which would put even more strain on us. If you want to contribute, you can visit the page here.
I keep meaning to post more, and life keeps getting in the way. I figured what better time to try and get back into the habit than the beginning of the new year?
2015 was rough. Among many things, I turned 30. My roommate lost her job, leading to increased financial pressure at home. My mood has been far from stable. I fractured my foot. My car was backed into. Record flooding in my area closed out the year.
As the flood waters receded, the sun came out for the first time in what felt like forever today. I’m thankful that I live at a high enough altitude that the flooding didn’t impact me personally. On December 30th, I went down to check out the waters of the Meramec River about 12 hours before they crested in nearby Valley Park, MO, where Interstate 44 at highway 141 was submerged. It was a surreal scene, to see an intersection I go through regularly completely shut down due to water.
I went back today and took more photos, which I will post later on. For now, you can see my album from the 30th here.
2015 wasn’t entirely bad, though. I started to fit in more at my new job. I expanded my doll family. A lot. I also expanded my cat family. I’ve become a slightly better photographer.
I still feel, though, like in the grand scheme of things, 2015 is a year that I’d not like to repeat. As I rang in the new year, with my best friend Lisa, my parents, and my Uncle Larry, I resolved that somehow, this year would be different. Somehow, I would make things better. Even if just a little at a time.
Then I promptly knocked over – and broke – a jar containing decorative sea shells.
Quite the unfortunate beginning, for sure.
After much needed rest, things weren’t exactly better. Moods around me were sour, which is a bad thing for an empathetic person like me, and after taking photos of the flood waters, I wound up with a hell of a migraine. I had to rest in a dark room for about two hours, even then waking up woozy, but at least I awoke with my darling calico, Rio, snuggled beside my legs. Usually, she sleeps with my room mate, so it was a welcome surprise.
Though 2016 might not have kicked off in the best way, I’m still hoping that things will slowly get better.
Here are the other photos I took. Most of them were around my parents’ house, but the Ferris wheel was taken at Manchester Homecoming, my city’s yearly fall festival. I didn’t really get to spend much time there this year, but I couldn’t help but take some nice photos! (Even if Lisa says I was cheating by using a remote shutter… pshhh)
To get some shots for my photo class, my roomie Lisa and I headed down to Laumeier Sculpture Park. We exhausted ourselves slightly, but I managed to get some good shots. In my next post, I’ll show off the random other photos I took while working on my assignment.