Monday, November 9, 2020

Give Blood

Oscar is at the vet, a 90-day follow up his thyroid zap In August. (We can also toss his radioactive litter this week.)

Vet tech: "Oscar, we need a blood sample."
Oscar: "Nope. Nope. Nope. You want blood, take your own, human."

I left him there while they plan their next move.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Penwiper, the Fluffy Cuddler

For the record, Penwiper is our only cat ever who trusted humans enough to be cradled on his back like a human baby and be petted there.

PW even can have his white tummy rubbed a bit, unlike say the Detweiler's now long departed Radar, who invited you to rub his tummy in order to set up his Venus Flytrap-like feline pounce. (He was FAST, too!)

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Closing the Books

 I was paying other bills online, so I browsed over to the King County Pet Licensing site, and I closed out the records for Billy & Whitey.

Farewell, old friends.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Catzilla Coda (all nine lives are precious)

The departure of the Catzilla Brothers left us with a number of things we have no use for in the foreseeable future.  My favorite rescue organization, MEOW Cat Rescue, is closed because of COVID-19, but I asked the right people, and they took a shipment from us.

Today I dropped off:
  •  Two jumbo litter boxes
  •  A box of 1 ml syringes
  •  Food
    •  KD prescription canned food (most of a case)
    •  Non-prescription canned food (most of a case)
    •  Bag of TikiCat Sticks (liquid gravy treats)
  •  For subcutaneous fluids
    •  3 bags Ringer's lactate solution
    •  10 burettes
    •  ~ a dozen needles

All of these items were never used.  (Billy was actually put down before the burettes ordered for him arrived.)

The gift of Billy & Whitey, our first rescue cats, to those still waiting.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Requiem for the Spider-Cat

Our Last Picture of Whitey
Whitey Asleep in My Office a few Days Ago

A few days ago, I wrote I didn't know how Whitey was taking the passing of Billy, his littermate and life long housemate. We wonder if he was saddened by his brother's passing, for Whitey's own time comforting us was cut short today.

I rose at 7 AM this morning, a few minutes early, raked the litter box, and was feeding the younger cats by 7:35. They both finished their meals in one sitting; Oscar did not get the whim as he often does these days to finish upstairs in private. Katherine came down to feed Whitey, and we agreed to take showers and go get bagels before the heat of the day (with a projected high of 96ยบ). I headed up to take my shower while Katherine finished in the kitchen, including unpacking wet food ordered for the Catzillas.

We never made it to bagels. Katherine came in the bathroom as I was drying off, and said, "We need to take Whitey to the vet. He had a seizure." 

She thought he was still breathing. I told her to get dressed, and I did the same.

When we got downstairs, he was still unconscious on the living floor. Katherine called an emergency vet, who referred her to two more. I looked up the number for Emerald City Emergency Clinic (where we had taken Billy in June) and called them. We decided to go there, and Katherine poured Whitey into a carrier. We agreed on the way in that he might not make it. 

With Conv-19 restrictions, they came out to the car to take him in his carrier into the building. As soon they started to check him, they called us, and gave us the news.

With great sadness we announce that Whitey, age 16 and a half, was pronounced deceased today at ~ 9:00 AM at Emerald City Emergency Clinic in Seattle. He was predeceased by his brother Billy by four days, and is survived by his foster nephews Oscar and Penwiper.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Legends of Long Ago

"For it is the doom of man they forget" -- Merlin

I erred when I launched, it wasn't quite complete. It turns out I had not reviewed a good portion of the 11K photos I have on my disk; I didn't realize a number are missing tags for various cats.   

Because of this, I'll reload the site this weekend (it will grow ~ 25%). I'll also reload as well, as it has the same problem.

But my point (for now) is not kitten pictures; it's that looking through the archives reminded me of what Billy had lost over the years.  Much of it he lost long ago enough that I'd forgotten he had it.  

He used to hang out on (or least visit) ... 

  • the top of cat towers.  
  • the pony wall which acts as the railing for the stairs.
  • the top of kitchen cabinets
  • the middle of kitchen cabinets
  • the top of bookshelves
  • the middle of active bookshelves

All of that petered out so long enough ago that I had forgotten the breath of his abilities.

So yes, our Senior Prince is due for his rest.

Rest In Peace, Your Highness.

The Catzilla Left Behind

Someone asked how Whitey is taking the passing of Billy, his littermate and housemate from birth. The honest answer is I don't know. 

They were often in the same room together peacefully, and we have numerous pictures of them curled up together. At the same time, they really did lead separate lives. More of Whitey's memorable interactions in the past few years have been with his nemesis Penwiper than with his brother. 

(Mostly, the Catzilla Brothers, always fed simultaneously, sampled each other's food under the theory the contents of the other bowl always tastes better. This does not aid tracking intake!) 

Whitey meowed A LOT last night between 1 AM and 5 AM, but that has not been unheard of over the past year as his eating habits have gotten flaky. He's also been meowing this morning even as I write this.

(Katherine notes he also mournfully meowed when Billy was in the clinic.  Who knows?)

The thing that I just noticed is that he sat up in the blue chair and meowed. Normally, when he wants food, he comes to the human and meows directly at him/her.

He quieted each time for a bit after getting food or affection; food seems to quiet him longer. He looked headed for another nap in the blue chair, but then just seemed restless.

Stress eating? (No idea.)

Now he's stretched out on the floor for a nap. All I can say to our new Senior Prince is, "Sleep well."

p.s. Katherine said "He was pretty restless last night. He's often restless lately, but maybe more than usual."  That seems accurate.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Requiem for the Mighty Hunter

"When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life"
-- Samuel Johnson

Billy Yesterday

In the past two months, kidney disease reduced Billy to 11 pounds from 12, and it sapped his energy. Daily intravenous fluid and other medical efforts could not compensate enough.

Billy was tired. 

Billy's love of life could be measured by a Whiskas Kitty Treat. In his prime, the Mighty Hunter expended whatever it took to corner a such treat:

  • Tossed gently? Caught in his mouth.
  • Thrown hard? Up with a paw like an outfielder.
  • Under a hutch? Diving after it.
  • On top of a cabinet? The leap of a Spider-cat.
  • Dropped in a puzzle box? The hours of fun promised on the carton became seconds.
  • Thrown to a nearby housemate? "Possession is 9/10's of the law, dude."

If his irrationally exuberant efforts knocked a treat he had already chased to the end of the room to the other end, off he would go after it again.

Sadly, Billy's prime is long past.

In the past week, for the first time it was safe to cradle a kitty treat, even an extra yummy Blue Buffalo treat, in the palm of one's hand to offer to Billy. The gentleness with which he took it was very sweet, but it was also not the zealous Billy we knew.

Last night Katherine handed out treats, and Whitey stole Billy's own treats from under his nose.

That Billy had stopped making efforts to extend a paw for a treat dropped a foot away said how drained he was, how close he was to end of the line.

Thus with great sadness we announce that Billy, age 16 and a half, was put to sleep today at ~ 6:15 PM at Kenmore Veterinary Hospital. Katherine was with him as he slipped away. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, I waited in the car; I had already said goodbye with a few last Blue Buffalo treats. 

Billy is survived by his littermate Whitey, and his foster nephews Oscar and Penwiper.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Closing Things Out

Billy intermittently likes to sleep in the dresser drawer for my shorts. He's sometimes been nervous about jumping up when he's wanted the drawer, and so we have also opened the drawer down and to the left as needed to help him climb up.

We've left both drawers open all the time for the past two weeks or so.

I don't think Billy wants to make the effort anymore, and his time is short. (He goes to the vet tomorrow at 2:30 pm.) So I closed the drawers this evening.

I cried. I've cried a lot today.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Twilight of a Mighty Hunter

Over the past month, Billy's kidney disease has made him slide from just under 12 pounds to 11 pounds 1 ounce.

This morning, Billy tried to hop up on my (low) desk and failed to get his hind legs up.  He fell back on the floor, unharmed.  I scooped him up and put him on the desk. He got a drink and then hopped down cleanly. 

This from a cat who for over a decade easily leaped from floor to kitchen counter and then up to cabinet tops high above the humans.

I don't know why he didn't use the short tower by my desk just now; he routinely uses its mate in the kitchen up to the kitchen counter.  He must think he's still got it for my my desk, which is lower than standard.  He doesn't, not really.

He didn't seem to have good day yesterday, and today isn't looking great, either.  If he has enough subpar days in a week, we'll need to talk about giving him the long rest he deserves.

Billy was supposed to live forever.  It was hard to write this post.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Billy in the hospital

 [This originally written on Facebook, and is posted retroactively here for posterity.]

Billy's kidney bloodwork came back from the Kenmore Vet. It has landed him a multi-day stay in the hospital.

Like his brother, Billy has long term kidney issues, but multiple indicators have spiked which suggest a UTI has reached his kidneys. Treatment is subcutis fluids and antibiotics at levels we can't give him at home.

Because Kenmore Veterinary Hospital is a daytime operation, we were going to take him to AES Kirkland, but they are short staffed.  Thus, we all got a trip to Emerald City Emergency Clinic down in Wallingford.  

We left Billy there before he got examined, we're waiting for the call with a status update now.

Update: Vet has called.  No new news really.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Giving a Extra Paw

Ever since we've allowed Billy on the end of the counter across from the kitty treat cabinet, Bill has used the kitchen wastebasket to cut his vertical leap by six inches or so.  Alas, in the last year even the wastebasket has been stretch for him at age 16. 

Today I did something about it for him, dragging a dining room chair next to the wastebasket as a test of an intermediate step. A few kitty treats showed him the path; he now moves up and down between floor and counter with little issue. I'm happy to see our senior prince moving more easily again.

I'll replace the chair with a small cat tower the next time I'm to PetCo.