Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I'll take Emily's Health for $500, Alex

A: Emily making retching noises.
Q: What wakes up the humans to run around at 5:15 AM looking for things to clean up?

The weird thing was, while Emily did gurgle loud enough wake both of us, we couldn't find anything. I had offered to clean up after Emily, but I looked and looked and finally got Katherine to help look.


Which is good.

We think.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Better purring through chemistry

I've figured out how to give Tagamet to Emily single-handed, which is less traumatic all around. Still, after a few days she catches on and starts avoiding me... Anyway, gave her seven doses between last Sunday (May 22) and Thursday (May 26), with one missed dose on Wednesday night. That seems to have settled her stomach for the time being, so she's off the medicine until it starts acting up again.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Photo Friday: Any port in a storm

As noted, Whitey loves boxes. After I received a small order from Amazon.com, he found a match made in heaven (if you like a snug fit, which he does).


Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Emily threw up again this morning, this despite us dosing her with Tagament three times in past 48 hours.

Time for another vet visit?

(Not to be confused with the vet visit, she's actually been in pretty good spirits the last couple of days, and remains her functional and moderately active self.)

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Emily Tummy Double Feature

Emily threw up around dawn today. Clear liquid, no big deal.

Unfortunately, she also threw up midafternoon. Even though it was clear again, Katherine and I decided we need to get out the hated Tagament again.


Saturday, May 21, 2005

Lights, Contractors, Action!

The Kitten Farm itself has been upgraded by professional help.

We previously mentioned both the security issues of only using cats to guard the farm, and our water damage. The bathroom took four days (with a day off in the middle), and we did a ([expletive] expensive)) bonus round of electrical work on Friday.

We now have:

  • A replacement bathroom fan/light
  • A reinstalled ceiling fan/light in my office.
  • A brand new ceiling fan in the master bedroom
  • A replacement back porch light with a motion detector
  • Three additional external lights with motion detectors

Not to mention the rebuilt tub stall.

A new phone jack in the basement for our server (in fact, the machine this blog is hosted on) and moving our main thermosat will be done Wednesday, just so we can scare the cats again.

(Actually, the cats are getting used to the traffic. I don't know if that's a good thing, as high voltage and fur don't mix.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Road Trip

As previously noted, the boys like to curl up in their cat carriers and sleep. They are much less cheerful about the car, which always seems to take them to the house of torture known as the vet. We need to work on that, as having two unhappy cats meowing in the back seat tends to grate on the driver's nerves.

Both boys are now vaccinated for rabies and distemper for another year. Billy has been told to lose a pound or two, so we need to keep a closer eye on how much he's actually eating.

The doctor agreed with our conclusion about Emily and Tagamet: give it to her if her stomach is actively upset, but there's a quality of life balance to consider, too. If/when we do have to start dosing her regularly, he knows a compounding pharmacist who can mix up cat-friendly flavors. (I agree with Emily that the formula we have now is pretty vile.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Man the Lifeboats

Due to long term water damage, we have contractors in to rebuild the bathroom tub stall this week, taking it down to the studs.

This invasion means we have three cats hiding in various places, including Billy well hidden under Katherine's office futon. (As previously noted, some mighty hunter!)

Monday, May 16, 2005

Monday morning, 4 AM

At 4 AM I woke up to the sound of Emily throwing up. At least it was all clear liquid, implying she has been drinking too much water again.

I cleaned it up and sprayed de-odorizer; the spray had dried when I got up for real at 7 AM.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Photo Friday: Catzilla!

Speaking of Billy's Catzilla physique, we have a picture Billy will sure to want the negative of (so he can shred it).


He looks lazy, but he was actually quite engaged; he was about to attack an off-camera feather overhead.

Tipping the scales

We've been noticing that Emily's appetite seems to be better, and the monthly weigh-in confirms it. She's back to 7.0 pounds, from 6.5 last month. She feels better, too, less like she's wasting away.

Whitey is stable at 13.0 pounds.

Billy is working to maintain his Catzilla-like figure. He's all the way up to 15.5 pounds, up a full pound from last month. I'd be worried, except he still looks sleek and is as active as ever. He's just plain big. Still, since he's visiting the vet next week anyway, I'll be sure to get an expert opinion.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Mother of all SpiderCats

No, this isn't post about Whitey. Rather, it's about the other Spidercat, Emily.

Tiger Tower has a enclosed condo, a mezzine level above it, two balconies (rather like steps on the opposite sides of the main post), and the penthouse. The entire affair is covered in rugs for comfort and traction. (Photos coming, we promise).

Emily was on the lower balcony being petted, and she decided to retire to the penthouse. She didn't hop up to the second balcony and then up through the opening in the floor of the penthouse. No, she unsheathed her claws and climbed straight up the center post, and leaned outward (i.e. backwards) to go up over the rim of the penthouse rail.

Her fluid climbing motion makes Whitey look like a amateur.

While Emily has shown many times she has a proper feline jump, she's never done serious climbing in her almost full year living here.

Who knew?

(I swear, she pulls stuff like this just to show she's still got it when I'm depressed about her.)

Paging the Feline Tooth Fairy

Yesterday morning I found what looks like the top of a feline sized molar on the bathroom floor. Very odd.

No unique complains from anyone, and a casual look at the boys didn't reveal anything. (Emily never goes in the bathroom.)

The boys need booster shots soon, we'll have them checked then.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Sunshine of My Life

Random update ...

We sprayed the (dry) cat fountain components with Bitter Apple. This seems to have have the desired effect of restricting Whitey to drinking from it, as opposed to disassembling it.

When I got up this morning and went into the upstairs hall, Emily was in the penthouse of Tiger Tower again. She smoothly strolled down a couple of levels to be better petted. She was absolutely delighted when I ran the window blinds up to get her warm sunshine.

We remain worried about Emily, but not about her visits to Tiger Tower. She just plain likes it, and clearly can navigate its levels with ease.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

How do you mend a broken heart (and tummy?)

The good news: Emily is hanging out in new and interesting places, like the top of tiger tower.

The bad news: I think she's hanging out there because she's a afraid of the humans trapping her in the bedroom and forcing bad liquid down her throat.

She's gotten so skittish after several days of medicine I raised the white flag, and (after having pushed for it previously) told Katherine we need to lay off for a while. The Tagament is supposed to make Emily feel better, but if she's afraid all of time because of the treatments, I won't begin to claim she feels better.

This morning, she got a kitty treat for breakfast dessert and help being tucked under the covers, but no medicine.

I'm very sad we can't help our elder cat.

Monday, May 9, 2005

The Engineers of Dawn

This house has great pride in Engineers, and Whitey is our best feline engineer.

That is, except for the fact he does his best work at the crack of dawn, which is when he decided to try to disassemble the bedroom fountain for the second time in a week. After 5 minutes of prying noises, I misted him, which actually is really a bad idea, since the fountain exists for him to use.

At a more reasonable hour, Whitey also had to examine the strike plate on the door in my office after I caught it on belt loop and pulled a screw loose. He was very cute, reaching up his back legs to examine it. I half expected him to unsheathe a claw to use as a screwdriver and fix it on spot.

The kid was born to figure out how the world works from a feline point of view. I just wish he would figure it out at noon, not dawn. That, and wear safety goggles.

Sunday, May 8, 2005


Clearly, our watch cats don't scare the thieves off or dial 911 after the fact.

Last Thursday (28 April) we zipped from Boston to Seattle for the weekend, leaving our cats in the capable hands of Jen, our cat sitter.

On Sunday a week ago at 5 AM Seattle time (8 AM at the kitten farm), Jen called to tell us our house had been broken into, as evidenced by a window being wide open and the screen up.

First and foremost, Jen verified all the cats were accounted for. It appears it didn't occur to them to go wandering out. They may have been asleep, and if they did jump up to the open window sill they may not have liked the six foot drop into the cold rainy night. Still, I am relieved that we got them implanted with id microchips last fall, in case they did get out.

As for property loss, the thieves were in hurry, and while stuff got tossed about, they didn't do wanton damage. Very little was taken. (In case the wrong people are reading this, I will pass on detailing on anything they missed.)

Jen was perhaps shaken more than we were -- when we paid her bill, we made she sure she got a combat bonus. (She is paid to look for trouble while we are gone; however, it is hard to pay a person enough to actually find trouble.)

Needless to say, we were quite awake after the phone call; at least at it was only 30 minutes before the alarm would have gone off for our crack of dawn flight home.

Saturday, May 7, 2005

Tummy Trouble Redux

Emily continues to have stomach problems (including throwing up) and low appetite.

We've got her back on the Tagament, which she hates, but we think she needs.

Friday, May 6, 2005

Photo Friday: More Then and Now

Today, we have kitten Billy and adult Billy, at the top the stairs.

2004-07-Billy-Stairs.jpg  2005-04-Billy-Attention.jpg

The adult picture is a little grainy. but it does show Billy's luxurious whiskers in the sun light.

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

ping ... nap nap nap

No, we didn't all go catatonic, or even take long cat naps.

The available typists have been really busy, including a 72 hour round trip to the other coast. (The cats make lousy watchcreatures, more on that later.)

We promise, at least Photo Friday will return this week.