Sunday, April 24, 2005

Who are you, and what have you done with my cat?

One of the most fun parts of watching the boys practice Cat Fu is watching them stalk each other. One of them will crouch very low to the ground and sort of wiggle his hindquarters as a warmup before launching himself at his brother.

So imagine my surprise when I saw Emily do the pre-launch wiggle on the bed, then pounce on Whitey as he walked past on the floor. No growling, no hissing, just what seemed to be a playful pounce.

I think Whitey was even more surprised than I was, actually. They wrestled for a second or two then went their separate ways.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Photo Friday: Cat Nap Carrier

They say to train your cats to like cat carriers so when you need to transport them, they don't get stressed. Our cave cat clearly is not stressed by his choice of nap locations.


Now if we could just teach Emily to love carriers ...

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Well, maybe some birds

Whitey informs us that he will waive his No Birds rule for fish-flavored birds. Chicken and salmon flavored food is on the approved list.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Spring Landscaping

Someone missed the hall litterbox, and left a puddle between the box and wall. We think.

We're not sure because a local landscaper came through and did his best to cover the problem. He moved an inch high dune of litter from inside the litterbox to between the box and the wall.

When I found this pawwork, I had to stop and admire the effort before cleaning it up.

(There was a tiny puddle left under the edge of the litterbox where it had seeped. But the landscaper had gotten everywhere he could reach.)

Monday, April 18, 2005

More tummy trouble

Somewhere in there recently, Emily threw up again.

We argued all weekend about giving her more Tagament without abusing her, but all our alternative delivery methods (like dripping it on her paw) failed to deliver.

We're not quite sure what to do ...

Friday, April 15, 2005

Weighing in

Emily's illness was affecting her appetite there for a while, and it shows. She's down to 6.5 pounds, from 7.0 last month. Fortunately, she seems to actually like her prescription diet and has been eating more consistently lately.

Billy is still gaining, up to 14.5 pounds from 14 last month. It's probably just as well that we've quit giving him 24-hour access to food.

The big surprise is Whitey, who gained a full pound and a half in spite of his sudden finickiness. He's up to 13 pounds and seems to be trying to catch his brother.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

For The Birds

In the midst of our other dietary adventures, Whitey has decided act like a teenager and be fickle about what he eats in terms of IAMS wet food.

He ate chicken one evening, and then refused to touch it for the rest of the can (four servings per tiger in each can). Chow-line Billy pinch hit, and ate it for him, while Whitey survived on kibble.

Whitey had previously liked both cat fish and ocean fish, then more recently refused turkey. Now he's been wolfing down the current favor, Lamb and Rice.

Katherine thinks she has figured it out: no birds!

Lucky for Whitey, all the IAMS have not more than 0.025% Magnesium; cheap cat food (especially fish flavors) can have more, which is dangerous to their long term health.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Spring break at the Kitten Farm

Yesterday was the first truly warm day of spring, so we shut the heat off and opened most of the windows. I'm not sure the boys slept all day. Instead, they circulated among the windows, watching all the fascinating sights and sounds, shoving each other off window sills, and generally trying to keep track of everything. Even Emily was much more active than her norm.

They did wake us up for breakfast this morning, but were pretty quiet overnight, too. (We've started picking their food up again to make sure Emily eats her special diet. Morning wakeups are an unfortunate side effect of that.)

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

A new diet for Emily

Emily's blood work came back. Apparently she has early stage kidney disease, resulting in waste building up in her bloodstream, resulting in nausea. The Tagamet seems to be helping, so we're to keep giving her that for another day or so. The vet has also prescribed a special diet with restricted protein and salts (phosphorus, sodium, etc.). No sooner have we gotten all three cats eating the same stuff than we have to reshuffle again. Sigh...

Friday, April 1, 2005

Photo Friday: Emily at Play?

With Emily under the weather (we think), she deserves a Photo Friday Spotlight. This photo is from last summer, when we first introduced Emily to a catnap mouse. Unfortunately, she views most of our presents to her with the same suspicion she shows here.

(I still think she's cute to give it a shot)

She just wants our undivided devotion, is all.


The Pharmacy America Trusts

Emily has been to the vet.

They discovered what we knew, which is Emily can be quite agile when you're doing things she doesn't like. I think it took them three tries to draw a blood sample, so she is shaved in three different places.

They are checking her for possible kidney failure, which in turn could be giving her an ulcer.

For the ulcer we were sent to get over the counter liquid Tagamet, which doesn't exist -- you can only get the liquid form by prescription.

So back to the Vet for a prescription.

We have now have an official Walgreens prescription for Cat Derbyshire, with a dosage of 0.3 ml every 12 hours to be given orally to Emily.

The label does mention both Cat and Emily in different places. It's all rather surreal, especially the note on the standard paper work that they need her birthday ...

More fun than humans should be allowed to have

The feline contingent has brought us hours of fun and excitement over the last few days.

First, our on again, off again relationship with the Littermaid is off again, and permanently. No sooner had we redeployed it than someone (we suspect Emily) issued a negative review in the form of a small lake next to the box. Adding to our joy, a significant part of the box's upper reaches got wet, too: the upper ledge, the track that the litter scoop rides on, etc. Which reminded us of one of the reasons why we retired the box in the first place. It's very difficult to keep clean, as it has lots of nooks and crannies that tend to accumulate crud. (I'll spare you any details of the crud, but this is a litter box we're talking about.) We've both got far better things to do with our lives than scrub a "labor-saving" device. If a few minutes with a hose won't get it clean, it fails the test. Out it went.

Then Whitey developed a case of diarrhea and started refusing to eat his canned food. We haven't sorted out whether he rejected the food because it made him sick, or whether being sick affected his appetite, or whether the two events are completely unrelated. We've cut back on the kitty treats and will wait and see.

Last, but by no means least, we've talked about Emily's tendency to throw up mostly water before. That happened again yesterday. We've always figured it was just a side effect of drinking too much, too fast, and not worried about it. But today's vomiting episode involved tiny white and red bits in pink fluid. Yes, the red bits looked remarkably like blood, and yes, we're worried. She's off to the vet this afternoon.