Friday, August 31, 2007

Photo Friday: A New Era in Self Storing Cats

Katherine has said that we are lucky that the boys lack thumbs. My response is usually that since they each have four paws and fangs, it's mental more than physical -- their gifts lie in places other than tool use.

It sucks to be (mostly) right. Even lacking thumbs, they sometimes can play against type and figure out mechanical devices.

Because of this cleverness, we're in trouble. The boys have figured to how to open the standard model of the built in cabinets in the Kitten Farm West, and by standard I mean every kitchen and bathroom cabinet, from under the sinks to over the refrigerator. Which opens up the exploring of places with fragile glass, nasty chemicals, and kitty treats.

Rubber bands have been placed across the knobs of the most critical cabinets. Magnet latches have also been purchased. If the latches don't provide enough resistance, we'll go to child-proof latches.

Billy opening cabinet

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


We've been weighing the boys regularly, but have been somewhat inconsistent about actually posting the weights. We'll try to do better, honest!

In any case, they don't seem to have suffered too much in their recent digestive adventures. Billy came in at 13 lbs 7 oz, Whitey at 13 lbs 7.5 oz.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Found on the Net

Drew feels very bad when he bumps into one of the boys by mistake. So bad that he feels compelled to apologize with kitty treats. I've always suspected that the boys know this, and throw themselves in his path deliberately.

It turns out that this phenomenon is well-documented among those who study cat physics:
Henry’s Law of Refrigerator Observation: If a cat watches a refrigerator long enough, someone will come along and take out something good to eat.

Revised Henry’s Law of Kitchen Appliance Observation: If a cat watches a refrigerator, a stove, a kitchen cupboard or a microwave oven long enough, someone will come along and take out something good to eat.

Partington’s Addition to Revised Henry’s Laws of Kitchen Appliance Observation: If a cat stands directly behind a human in the kitchen, its tail will be trodden on; the human will then offer the cat something good to eat by way of apology.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Is our nightmare over?

Thursday, in the middle of Whitey's health crisis, Billy came down with vomiting and a nasty bout of diarrhea, then quit eating. Since, as previously documented, Billy will eat anything, this was worrisome. We guessed it was probably because we switched over to the c/d food too quickly. Whitey was unaffected because he wasn't eating at all in this period, but Billy was getting double portions.

We switched both boys back to Iams, figuring we'd start the switch over again once things stabilized. By yesterday, both were pretty much back to their normal selves, but we scheduled an appointment this morning just to double check. Both boys got clean bills of health, although with a touch of gingivitis. We'll worry about that some other time...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bootsies, the Mighty Hunter

It would appear the the boys understand windows better than their Bluegrass Niece Bootsies does, in particular as it applies to hunting.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Photo Friday: Welcome to the Neighborhood

Sometimes it takes time to get to know your neighbors. I hadn't seen this guy before tonight. He appeared in the yard around dusk, promptly caught and devoured a mouse, and stuck around long enough for me to not only dig out the camera but swap lenses.

This was taken with a long lens; I wasn't able to get as close as this picture suggests. Still, he's far too fat and comfortable around humans to be truly feral. I wonder where home is?

The boys, meanwhile, were fascinated but not distressed by our visitor. But then, he stayed "out there" and didn't get too close to their windows.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Somewhere, Emily is purring

Whitey still wasn't eating this morning, so back to the vet he went. They said he's becoming dehydrated (uh oh), gave him subcutaneous fluids, a prescription for Pepcid to settle his stomach, and instructions to come back again tomorrow if he still isn't eating.

On the way to the drugstore, I remembered that the vet suggested meat-flavored baby food as an alternative when Emily was sick. So I got some. Whitey rejected the portion that I spiked with Pepcid, but otherwise wolfed down almost the whole jar. Yay!

Of course, if he's really channeling his aunt, he will now refuse to eat anything other than baby food. Sigh...

As a side note, he is (not surprisingly) becoming extremely suspicious of his carrier. I had to get out the ShrimpNip to persuade him to get in it this morning. ShrimpNip is essentially crack for kittens: dried shrimp tossed with catnip. It stinks to high heaven, but overcomes almost all feline stubbornness.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Picky, picky, picky!

Whitey doesn't want to eat his most recent IAMS wet food either, that is, what we were feeding him last week before switching to prescription food.

However, he did lower himself to eat most of a different (yummier?) flavor of IAMS wet food serverd to him this morning. He skipped the IAMS dry food in the same bowl (our standard presentation), but we still have progress.

Billy, by the way, will eat anything Whitey doesn't -- this week's menu, last week's menu, next week's menu, it doesn't matter. We've taken to providing Whitey's meals in at least semi-privacy so Billy doesn't get double portions.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Just like Old Times

Things are not all roses with Whitey, he's mostly stopped eating as of yesterday evening. This could be the change in diet to prescription food, or the antibotic bothering him. We can't tell.

This morning, he threw up to boot. Katherine said that the vomit was the color of his antibotic.

In any case, it was off to vet again for him for a urine sample. Since his bladder was empty when he arrived, he got to be their guest the whole day.

The new good news: His tests came back clean, so we can drop the evil antiobotic.

The bad news: He'll only eat kitty treats (not even his old food), and we refuse to fill him on treats.

He's reminding us how fickle his aunt Emily could be, ages ago.

Monday, August 13, 2007

It's all good

Nothing but good news from Whitey's ultrasound. No large stones. No sand grains. Some mucus and thickening of the bladder wall, both of which are consistent with an infection. He needs to go back for a urine sample in a week, but it looks like we'll get out of this without serious problems. Yay!

Whitey says his stomach is cold, as they had to shave his nice luxurious tummy fur. I reminded him that it will grow back.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Whitey's big adventure

Here we go again. Whitey couldn't stay out of the litterbox yesterday, and off we went to the vet to have his urinary tract examined. (I don't blame him for not enjoying this project. A catheter was involved.) They found some signs of an infection, and prescribed amoxicillin. More worrisome, though, they found a pretty high concentration of crystals in his urine. That's potentially life threatening in male cats, since the urethra takes a fairly convoluted path and is easily blocked. EEK!

He's off to the vet again this morning for an ultrasound to see if there are any large stones. Meanwhile, we're switching both boys over to prescription food for feline lower urinary tract disease: lower minerals, plus it's supposed to change the bladder pH to minimize crystal formation.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Photo Friday: Puppy Sitting

The now departed Winnie was our guest for a for a week in early 2004. She spent time in the same backyard she first saw as a puppy. We loved having her, although her visit helped lead us to the realization we're better equipped to be cat valets than dog walkers.