Monday, October 31, 2005

Pounce Forward, Fall Back

Daylight saving time ended in New England this weekend. This means we get up an hour later.

Unfortunately, no one gave the cats a copy of the memo.

This means their solar calibrated morning routine has them awake and ready for attention based on CST (Cat Standard Time).

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Photo Weekend Extra: Heisen Cats no more ?

In our never ending quest to serve our readers (both of you), we have obtained the latest in techology to better catch our feline employers in the act and share them with you. As a sample, here's Emily greeting us when we walked in the door with our new camera phones.

Emily on stairs via camera phone

To be honest, we didn't get the phones for the cameras (we didn't have a choice given the other features we wanted), but they could reduce the incidents of Heisen Cats around here.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Turn for the better (Winning Lottery Numbers)

Emily is up to 6 lbs., 1.5 oz, which is two ounces since Wednesday. More important than the amount of gain, she's definitely going up, rather than down. Her appetite also seems substantially better. Yay!

Billy, meanwhile, weighed in at 15 lbs., 4.5 oz. Whitey was 13 lbs. 7 oz., which is a 5 oz jump in just a few days. However, this weight was after dinner, and the previous weight was before, which could explain much of the difference.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Photo Friday: Self Storing Cats Revisited

Just for the record, it doesn't take new shelves to store the cats. Rather, they have been happy to store themselves in our permanent furnishings, including jumping into the hutch built into the bedroom closet.

Boys in the Hutch

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Daily Stench

Emily's stench, of course. Even with the stuff we're pumping into her, she's still not well.

She threw up on the bedroom floor after Katherine left for class and before I got home (at least upstairs).

Tagamet was given to her again, this time organized with Katherine so we only dosed her once.

Preciousss ....

I was playing with the boys a bit while making dinner, and when I had to tend to the stove Katherine stepped in. She discovered first hand what I already knew (and she had observed from afar) ... Billy doesn't like to give up pom-poms when he catches them.

She basically had to chase him all over the house and finally pried it out of his mouth by hand. She still has all her fingers (kids, don't try that at home).

Unfortunately, chasing him around the house every time he catches the teaser takes the fun out of it...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Winning Lottery Numbers

  • Emily - 5 lbs, 15.5 oz.
  • Whitey - 13 lbs, 2.5 oz.
  • Billy - 15 lbs, 5 oz.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

0.3 ml for you, and 0.3 ml for you, and ...

The boys are really annoyed about being used as training dummies for giving medicine via a syringe into the mouth. So annoyed they both let me try again immediately. Most be something to do with my using 1% milk to practice with.

On a more serious note ...

I just gave Emily her evening Tagamet (which I'm generally afraid to do) and a kitty treat.

I don't know if I hit the spot with Tagamet.

I know she ate the kitty treat, because she threw it up less than ten minutes later. Not good.

Later ...

It gets worse. That was a second (double) dose I gave Emily, Katherine had already given her her evening Tagamet.

At least Emily (for now) has kept dinner down.

Monday, October 24, 2005


When I went downstairs to get the paper this morning, I found Emily, awake, on the front hall stairs by herself. Emily is never there when I go downstairs, her normal place at that hour is on the bed outboard of Katherine.

It makes me sad to suspect that Emily got up because she was uncomfortable.

Here we go again

Another day, another vet visit for Emily. This is the third trip this month, so the fact that she didn't hide under the bed when I got the carrier out is a sure sign that she isn't feeling well.

This time we had blood work done. The good news is that her kidney function is pretty much where it was back in April. The special diet is doing what it should and keeping her kidneys happy. Or at least keeping them from becoming more unhappy.

The bad news is elevated calcium, which could mean anything from osteoporosis to stomach cancer. Her continuing digestive problems could likewise be due to anything from a stomach ulcer to a tumor.

An ultrasound would detect a tumor, but there just aren't many treatment options for a sixteen year old cat. Both surgery and chemotherapy are right out. So we're debating whether to get the test done or not.

Meanwhile, the doctor has added an anti-nausea potion to her medication regime. It's the same stuff the boys took back when they first arrived. If I remember, they didn't mind the taste too much. Sigh...

Ninth life?

Emily continues to have good days and bad days.

She seemed happier towards the end of last week, and was keeping everything down, so we started her slowly on wet food again.

Unfortunely, she threw up twice over the weekend, the first time a pink stream (hopefully food), the second time mostly water.

(This just in, she threw up again today just before breakfast after she got her morning Tagamet.)

The up shot of all this is that Emily has another vet appointment this morning.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Winning Lottery Numbers

  • Emily - 5 lbs, 15 oz.
  • Whitey - 13 lbs, 4.5 oz.
  • Billy - 15 lbs, 3 oz.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Winning Lottery Numbers

  • Emily - 5 lbs, 13.5 oz.
  • Whitey - n/a
  • Billy - n/a

Weekend photo extra: Spider Hunting

The boys found a fly (aka self-propelled cat toy) last week. They wouldn't hold still long enough for us to take pictures, but they looked a lot like this.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Winning Lottery Numbers

  • Emily - 5 lbs, 14 oz.
  • Whitey - 13 lbs, 0 oz.
  • Billy - 15 lbs, 4 oz.

Emily continues to drop, ever so slightly. We need more data for a trend.

Photo Friday: More Chaise Lounge

This is actually a picture of adult Billy from last spring doing something previously tried by kitten Whitey, namely testing one of my dresser drawers as a chaise lounge.

Billy on Chaise Lounge

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Winning Lottery Numbers

  • Emily - 5 lbs, 15 1/2 oz.
  • Whitey - 13 lbs, 4 oz.
  • Billy - 15 lbs, 5 1/2 oz.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Winning Lottery Numbers

  • Emily - 6 lbs, 1 1/2 oz.
  • Whitey - 13 lbs, 4 oz.
  • Billy - 15 lbs, 7 oz.

Step Right Up ...

We can say after the first day (yesterday) of working with the new scale that the hardest part is not getting any of the cats onto the scale. Rather it's keeping the other two cats off the scale while the current subject eats his/her kitten treat during their weigh in.

Even Emily didn't mind being picked up to be set on the scale. (Well, she did mind a little, but was perfectly calm once placed on the flat scale with a treat.)

The boys didn't need to be picked up, they were happy to follow the treat up to the table holding the scale.

Had we known it was this easy (and relatively affordable), we would have bought a scale for the kids a year ago.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Winning Lottery Numbers

Actually, the numbers are for the current feline weights:

  • Emily 6 lbs, 1 oz.
  • Whitey 13 lbs, 5 oz
  • Billy 15 lbs, 7.5 oz


With all of Emily's problems including her weight loss, it was time to get a more accurate scale than the human's bathroom scale we use to measure all the four footed ones with.

I had previously been online and seen an array of pet and infant scales (it seems the same devices serve both groups).

When I checked in person at PetCo, they didn't have a scale, but someone suggested Bed Bath & Beyond. I checked their web site and yes, they had one. I went down to the nearest store (where I have never been, I've always been to the location I knew about near a mall). I found myself in shopping nirvana, with a pet store, Bed Bath & Beyond, an office supply store, cell phone store ...

Unfortunately, the Bed Bath & Beyond didn't have the scale, it appears to be a online only option.

However, the shopping nirvana also included a Babies"R"Us, which has (Ta da) baby scales. I found a nice low one with a pan big enough to hold Catzilla (and kitty treat lure); Emily could bring a friend her size if she wanted to.

If only making a our little girl healthy was as easy.

once more ...

Emily threw up after snack time again. Katherine will call the vet tomorrow.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Back to the vet

We continue to have both litterbox and vomiting problems with Emily.
Dropping her wet food didn't help, nor did adding the second litterbox to the her closet to give her a choice.

We could blame the litterboxes on her being a fickle witch, but the vomiting after meals is downright scary.

This is bad, so it was off to the vet, where the most interesting thing we discovered was she has dropped half pound since her recent checkup. Everythinge else seemed normal for her. They gave to her fluids, suggested we give her the Tagamet before (not after) meals, and sent her home.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Photo Friday: Engineer's Assistant

Katherine not only gets feline help at work, she gets it on projects around the house, too. Here's Billy helping with the final adjustments to the entertainment center.

Billy helping adjust the entertainment center

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

You want me to use that?

For reasons known only to her dilute calico self, Emily has decided that she doesn't like the closet litterbox. This presents a problem, since that's the only one she has access to when eating. (For those just joining us, she eats in the bedroom to keep the boys from annoying her and/or raiding her food.) We've found some sort of mess in there just about every day this week.

After much frustration, we've decided the problem is that the closet litterbox is the most heavily used one in the house. If cleaning and food service are not properly synchronized, she'll decide the box is too dirty to use. Or, she'll use it once with no trouble, then go back to it a short time later and decide it is too dirty, what with that fresh waste and all.

The problem may have been exacerbated by the migration of the hallway litterbox. It's en route to the closet, but is currently at the top of the stairs outside my office. Her majesty appears to prefer a bit more privacy. So. We'll be expediting the move to the closet, thereby nearly doubling the available litter area.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Wasting Time (or more exactly, Waste Product Time)

The expanding scope of new problems is getting old.

We had another solid mess up against the wall in the litterbox closet caused by Emily. We don't know exactly what she is protesting.

We also (we think) Emily threw up in the hall, it looked vaguely like a hairball to Katherine. I wasn't sure, but I was sure I wasn't gonna dissect it.

As result of the litterbox rejection, we're considering moving the hall box into the closet. Our previous plan was to retire the hall box completely, it doesn't get used much where it is, and is in the way. Either plan requires teaching the cats the hall litterbox is now in the closet, so yesterday evening the box moved the length of the hall to outside the bedroom door. It will make another jump in a day or two.

Saturday, October 8, 2005

New and interesting stenches

Cat urine in the bathroom? What's up with that? We haven't had a mistake outside of the immediate litterbox areas in more than a year. Best I can figure is the one of the boys managed to get trapped in there. There's a doorstop to keep the door from swinging closed, but they've shown they can pry it loose if they try.

Emily's digestion seems to be especially vulnerable to stress, as she showed this morning. She tossed up her tummy medicine and the treat I gave her along with it, for no reason I can see except frustration with stupid humans who don't speak cat.

In other news, the monthly weigh-in puts Whitey at 13.0 pounds, Billy at 15.5 pounds, and Emily at 6.5 pounds. That puts all three of them down a half-pound since last month, which seems as likely to be due to scale flakiness as anything else.

Friday, October 7, 2005

Photo Friday: Mother's Little Helper

The nature of my job is that some days I spend a lot of time on the phone. On one of those days last week, Emily decided that I needed help with this task. (Or else, knowing Emily, she decided I was giving the phone too much attention and her too little.) So she sat down on my notes. I moved my notepad. She sat on it again. Finally, I gave up, and wrote around her.

I guess I should be happy that she didn't decide the pen was a fun toy, too, huh?

Any readers who think the content of the notes is the most interesting about this entry may want to visit my business site.

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

On my honor, I will try

Writer and cat valet Lynn Viehl has posted a collection of resolutions for cats. Very funny. Read the comments, too.

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Happy Birthday Auntie Em!

Emily turned 16 over the weekend. Much to her dismay, we celebrated by taking her to the vet for a checkup. She passed with flying colors. However, as the vet explained, 16 in cat years is about 74 in people years. She's in great shape for a 94-year old lady, but she's still long past her kittenhood. It's not surprising that she has good days and bad days.

Sunday, October 2, 2005

Every Thing Old is New Again

While cleaning the downstairs (kitten pantry) litterbox this morning, I realized what we originally put in that corner of the kitchen when we moved in.

Specifically, before the kitten pantry was the network pantry, it was the Puppy Pantry -- we had the crate for Winnie the Paws sitting there.

Putting pet supplies there again completes the cycle.

Bow - woof!