Friday, January 26, 2024

The March of Kitty Treats

"Dragons live forever, but not so little kittens …"

At 13 1/2 years old, Penwiper is still a reasonably limber jumper & climber. But he's no longer quite in the prime of life.

Last week I heard a scrambling noise that sounded like he had missed a jump onto the upstairs hall railing.  This is something that he had consistently made for years.

In the past few weeks, I also noticed that he gets onto the kitchen counter for kitty treats differently. Rather than him doing a direct jump from the floor to the counter, he takes the scenic route via the wastebasket at the end of counter as an intermediate step. This is not a terrible thing, but it does say that he's not feeling like two-year-old catten anymore.

Friday, January 5, 2024

A Healthy Start to the Feline New Year

At his last routine exam in early December, we were told Penwiper needed his teeth cleaned and gingivitis taken care of.

This was delayed because the vet had heard an odd heartbeat and wanted him to be checked by specialist before he was sedated. We did that the following week, and he came out with a clean bill of health. (Excellent news!)

Yesterday was dental day. Penwiper had to skip breakfast, and Katherine delivered him to the veterinarian for the dental work at 11 AM. They were short handed, and so he didn't even get sedated until ~ 2:30 PM. He was home, awake but wobbly, by 6 PM. He's been getting back to his normal purring self since.

The good news is that he required no extractions, just the cleaning and the treatment of his gingivitis.

More good news is that after coming home, by bedtime he nommed not one but two cans of wet food, and then he wiped out the kibble left for him overnight.

(And the vet said he would not be hungry. Hah!)

Monday, September 25, 2023

A Kitten in His Natural Habitat

Since the early days of the Summerhill Kitten Farm, the Brothers Catzilla loved diving into luggage, including each one stretching out in half of Katherine's Tumi suit bag (AKA the big Tumi). The boys are gone but not forgotten. Meanwhile the big Tumi lives on, but it's mostly in retirement; these days Katherine mostly uses a small Tumi which can be carried on.

Alas, because the small Tumi has gotten used more (and sometimes been checked on the way home), after one too many encounters with evil baggage handlers it has died. Katherine replaced it this week; as the current Senior Prince, Penwiper knew his ancient duty and checked it out the first time she opened it:

Penwiper Checking Out the New Tumi Carry-on

All is right with the world.

Friday, September 8, 2023

Mellow Mealtime

It has been seven weeks since Oscar went over the Rainbow Bridge, leaving Penwiper as the sole Feline Overlord in residence at the Kitten Farm PNW. One could think we now have no cats; we just have Katherine, myself, and Penwiper, nine pounds of a tuxedo-clad, self confident, happy, sociable person with four paws.

For example, things are more relaxed at mealtime. Penwiper appears for breakfast & dinner, but (unlike Oscar) he doesn't make a production of it; he knows the people-with-thumbs will look after him reasonably promptly. At dawn, he'll quietly appear, make his presence known by a quiet snuggle of a valet, and move on. Oscar used to loudly meow indignantly at the perceived slow service, which resulted in him regularly being booted out of the bedroom and the door shut behind him. Penwiper will occasionally quietly meow in the morning, but the door hasn't been shut on him yet.

It doesn't hurt that with only one Feline Overlord, we still measure his kibble, but we now leave his dish down; when he doesn't finish promptly he can graze at will.

And he is his sociable self, gently expanding his love mongering to fill the void of his departed housemates. 

Life is quietly good.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Requiem for the World's Cutest Kitten

Oscar in his last sunbeam on hIs last day
Oscar in His Final Sunbeam on His Last Day

I realized some time ago that Oscar (like Billy before him) no longer bounded up the stairs like a limber cat in his prime. Simply put, he was no longer a young kitten. Blood work in past year said he was declining; it said he had both kidney disease and lymphoma. His behavior changed as well; he was a suspect in a number of urine stains around the house in past few months.

Life went on, until this week.

Monday morning, Oscar stopped eating; he left most of his breakfast. Mid-morning I called Kenmore Veterinary Hospital to have him checked; their first appointment available was this afternoon (Wednesday).

Tuesday, he did eat half his breakfast, and at noon he stomped into my office demanding lunch. He actually killed half the food left over from breakfast, his most solid meals in a day and half.

That was all he ate before going to Vet this afternoon.

When he was examined, his heart & lungs were normal. However, he was slightly dehydrated and virtually all his lymph nodes were swelled. Based on that and the previous bloodwork, the diagnosis was metastatic lymphoma. Knowing how badly Oscar would take any treatment, we made the sad choice to cut short his suffering.
Thus with great sadness we announce that Oscar, age 15 and a half, was put to sleep today shortly after 4 PM at Kenmore Veterinary Hospital. He is survived by his sole remaining housemate, Penwiper.

Monday, January 9, 2023

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum (TNG edition)

Neither Katherine nor I have traveled much since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic; I haven't been away at all, and Katherine's only trip was to provide aid & comfort to her only brother after he led with his shoulder into a tree while skiing a year ago. But yesterday I drove her down to SeaTac to put her on a plane for ASU Winter Intensive, which runs until Friday in Florida (lucky her!). 

The only problem is, she didn't tell Oscar, much less get his permission. This leaves the Assistant Cat Valet [Probationary] (that is me) picking up the pieces, including meals, litter box cleaning, and of course snuggles.  

Oscar has already demanded snuggle sessions twice, and who am I to argue?

(I've already cut my indoor walking exercise a bit for the week to leave slack for feline servitude.)

Monday, September 19, 2022

A Good Thing

I think we did a Good Thing.

During what turned out to be the final summer of the Brothers Catzilla, we acquired three short cat towers, mostly to encourage Billy to take incremental routes up to desks and counters that he had leaped onto in a single bound in his prime. He took some of the hints but not all of them.

Oscar may still look like the World's Cutest Kitten, but he now is 14 years old (the same age we adopted Emily). He doesn't act as spry as he used to. Oscar (harmlessly) missed the jump onto my desk a couple of weeks ago; now each time he looks up from the floor to my desk, he hesitates and measures the jump two or three times as if he is not sure he can make it. 

Over the weekend we put shortest Memorial Billy Tower at the corner of my desk; Oscar took one look at it and bounded up.  And better still, nearly every time he looks at my desk, he comes up via the tower without hesitation.

My desk and I are almost too popular now.

Oscar napping on the tower newly positioned for bounding up to my desk