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Archive for November, 2008

The cats’ “Aunt Terry” gave them a new pet tent for camping in the kitchen. It’s an adorable pop-up tent – I think she got it at Big Lots.

Jellybean was first to fall in love with it. (At least until what must have been some “blitz attack” because one day I discovered poop in the tent as well as lots of fur tufts nearby – and Jellybean hasn’t really used the tent since.)

Jellybean comfy in the tent

Jellybean comfy in the tent

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My friend Adrienne suggested perhaps what my blog needs is more pictures of my cute cats.  My cats ARE very very cute, in my opinion.  Oh, they’re a little rough around the edges, most of them, and they’re not babies (the youngest is about ten years old) but I think they are pretty much adorable most of the time – when they’re not fighting amongst each other or acting as destructive forces of other sorts, or just annoying the crud out of me… they’re VERY cute.

Anyway, a few weeks ago we held a “catnip wake” in honor of Afer, Omaha, and several of our friends’ cats that passed away recently (including Rumpelmintz’s cyber-boyfriend and Studley’s cyber-girlfriend/wife).

The wake started with an assortment of catnip toys. Jellybean did not participate. Catnip toys are not sufficient lure for her to leave her perch on top of the kitchen cat tree and chance proximity to the other cats.

Catnip wake

Catnip wake

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I’m not the world’s best “piller”, but I consider myself fairly adept at medicating cats. Not only have I had (and have) several cats with medical needs, but I also volunteered for a few years in a cat shelter’s clinic. I can pop a pill down an average cat’s throat. For your “more difficult” cat, I’ve learned most of the “tricks” – using a pill gun, “hiding” the pill in food, a bit of cheese, a bit of cream cheese, a bit of real mayonnaise, a soft treat…

You can get many, if not most, medications compounded into flavored liquids or even treats, which can make medicating the difficult cat a lot easier. Some medications can be compounded into transdermel gels you rub on the ear.

Pill Pockets are a handy little trick in the medicating bag. The ingredients make me cringe (corn syrup? pregelantized corn? wheat flour? wheat gluten? starch? soy protean?) However, they are relatively inexpensive, readily available, and easy to use. So, when I found out I’d be medicating my formerly-feral one-eyed wonder cat, Studley, I decided to go with Pill Pockets when cheese failed me. (Cheese “breaded” in freeze-dried turkey treat crumbs did work nicely, but I’m admittedly too lazy to prepare elaborate appetizers for my cat twice a day.)
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Mean green cleaning bean

I hired a new cleaning lady last week. She’s FANTASTIC. I told my mother she would love her. New cleaning lady doesn’t believe in mops – floors should be cleaned on your hands and knees, so you get all the corners. Dusting requires rags and cleanser, not just brushing with a duster. Blinds should be cleaned slat by slat. The first visit, she cleaned the upstairs windows – inside AND outside.

Sure, I should save the money – but honestly, I find cleaning the entire house and all the special projects, my full-time job, caring for cats, my side business, and serving as President of Feline Outreach all overwhelming at times – and I think I deserve this for myself. I had a cleaning lady back in my pre-crazy cat lady days and it was immensely helpful, and I’ve decided I need one again.

So, today is visit number two and after introductory hello’s (to me AND the cats) she got to work. She started on the second floor. While she was upstairs, I balanced my checkbook. Then, I tackled cleaning the cat’s water fountain, which had some nasty hard water build-up that needed to be soaked and chiseled off with a knife.
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Kidney disease

Feline kidney disease, a.k.a. chronic renal failure (CRF), a.k.a. chronic renal insufficiency… a bit of a daunting topic for me to tackle in a quick lunchtime blog post, I’ll admit. However, I get asked about kidney disease a LOT, so I’m going to give it a stab.

Cause

First, I’ll say upfront I am CONVINCED that dry food leads to the preponderance of kidney disease )(and urinary tract disorders and other ailments) we see today.  I could kick myself when I think of the idiocy of treating my first older cat with CRF with sub-q fluids, all the while feeding her a DRY (kibble) diet.  Moisture is imperative for good kidney and urinary tract health.  While cats fed only dry food drink more water, they do not drink ENOUGH additional water.  Studies showed the dry fed cats’ urine was less dilute (contained less water).

Once kidney (renal) function is lost, generally it cannot be regained.  So, when I get a call, email, or post asking about a cat with renal insufficiency and whether the cat can be helped, I’m honest.  The progress of the failure can be slowed, maybe (optimistically) stopped, but what is lost is GONE and will not return.
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Imagine the future of food.

People shop for groceries at large outlets, filled with aisles of canned and boxed and bagged meals. Each meal shows a nutritional analysis, and most are certified “nutritionally complete” by a government agency.  Long gone are the frozen and fresh food sections. Oh, they exist in a few pricey boutiques, but for the most part, our meals come from bags, boxes, and cans – dumped into a bowl. Some of the meals are more tasty than others, most are pretty much the same. The labels show pretty pictures of images from the past – turkey dinners with the trimmings; chicken, vegetable, and rice casseroles; even leg of lamb with mint jelly. The contents of the packages bear some vague resemblance to these dinners of the past.  Among the vast assortment of nutritionally-balanced meals are various “treats” of processed cookies, cakes, chips, and crackers.
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I miss

I miss waking up each morning and looking over to see Monet sitting on my chest near the window.

I miss Lovey throwing her front legs around my neck so we could “dance” together.

I miss Molly’s little face peeking up over the kitchen counter.

I miss Elsinore licking the white vase.

I miss Meow Meow gumming my arm when she got over-excited.

I miss watching Latifah eat her food enthusiastically, bopping other cats on the head to get theirs.

I miss giving Afer sub-q fluids while she purred and rolled over so I could rub her belly.

I miss coming home each night to see Omaha waiting for me, holding him and listening to his deep belly purr.

I miss them.  Loved and Lost.

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