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Posts Tagged ‘Rumpelmintz’

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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Friends of mine compared dry food to doughnuts, candy, or chips recently.  They noted that a little bit given to a healthy cat, probably won’t hurt them.  I actually agree – but if your cat is anemic, vomiting and/or has diarrhea/constipation, is borderline diabetic (or full-blown diabetic), obese, or has a tendancy to develop urinary tract stones – I would argue (once again) they should be given absolutely NO DRY FOOD!

I DO understand about some special cases, but in my opinion there’s a difference between understanding your choices and the risks and benefits of those choices and choosing something for which you feel the benefits outweigh the risks… and making a choice ignoring the evidence, justifying your decision with “my vet said” or “well, all my cats in the past” or “I know cats that”… like the people that *know* canned/raw is better for diabetics but don’t want to bother with the “effort” required to open a can twice a day. 
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We had a ton of storms yesterday.  Lots of rain, thunder, and lightening.  For once, I got lucky and I actually landed up commuting when it wasn’t horrible out and got home pretty dry.  I was nearly done with evening “cat chores” when the radio announced there were three of four tornadoes sited.  One was destined to reach a neighborhood very close to mine in ten minutes. 

What to do?  Of course it wasn’t my neighborhood, but it was close enough that did I really want to take that risk?  Not like I could manage to get eight cats downstairs quickly.  So, I sprang into action (and if you knew me, you’d know just how ludicrous the idea of me “springing” into anything is.)

I finished giving Afer her sub-q fluids, then dished out their food.  Why would I choose to feed my cats at this moment?  Easy – so they’d stay put, in the kitchen, and I didn’t have to chase them all over the house.
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Blood Clot! Or not.

Rumpelmintz got a dental Wednesday. As I noted, something seemed very wrong when I got her home. Her rear left leg wasn’t working, she was falling over. I called my friend (former veterinary assistant, and cool under pressure) screaming “OMG! Rumpelmintz’s leg is broken!” She asked a few questions, and quickly ascertained it was NOT broken. It was probably just the anesthesia wearing off, but told me to keep an eye on it. By Friday, it wasn’t much better and I made an appointment to take her back to the veterinarian.

In my usual over-reactive way, I captured her limp on video, complete with slow motion and titles. I brought it on CD with me to the vet’s office. The vet examined her thoroughly and assured me it was NOT a thrown blood clot. It was merely some pain and inflammation from the IM injections given prior to anesthesia. (She most likely made it worse by struggling.) If needed, I can give her some Metacam to help with the inflammation and pain.

The vet was, as usual, wonderful. They didn’t charge me for the visit, and responded to my apologies with “I’d rather see you bring her in, overly concerned, then let it go if it was really something serious”.

While I was there, I picked up some injectable famotadine and syringes for injecting B-complex into the sub-q fluid bags. The receptionist chuckled, saying I always have a “list” of things I want. They know I’m “special” (meaning high-maintenance and crazy). The vet asked to keep the CD with the movie on it. I suspect they’ll all be watching it, complete with popcorn, laughing their heads off at the crazy cat lady’s video of her cat’s leg.

Video of Rumpelmintz’s Leg

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It’s been one of those weeks… or months.

It’s been CRAZY busy at work.  We have a huge project going on that I’m immersed in and we’re under the gun.  So, I’ve been putting in extra hours, staying late, and doing some work from home in the evenings and on weekends.

I had the brilliant idea to schedule dentals for three of my cats:  Rumpelmintz, Omaha, and Jellybean.  Jellybean had been for a regular exam in November, and the vet noted severe tartar, etc., so she needed a cleaning.  Rumpelmintz had been acting funny around mealtime – eating a few bites, then running away from the bowl and stealing food from another cat instead – a possible indication she was having some pain eating (and thought it was caused by her particular bowl).  Omaha almost always indicates tooth pain, pawing at his mouth.  Has since before I adopted him.  Since he can’t be examined while conscious, I just schedule a dental about once a year, and they gas him down and examine and clean him all at once.

I decided that rather than take a cat for a dental once every couple weeks, I’d take all three at once.  It’d be time-effective, and I could charge the cost to my Care Credit card and pay it off over time with interest deferred.  One thing I neglected to consider in all this, is I now have THREE CATS on antibiotics and pain meds twice daily – in addition to all the usual cat medications, sub-q fluids, and insulin injections.  Jellybean and Rumpelmintz are both very difficult to pill, though I manage.  Pilling them twice daily does NOT add joy and sunshine to my mornings or evenings.

 To top it off, we got some bad news.  Omaha’s always had the mouth issues, as well as issues with arthritis and hip problems.  He had a couple surgeries on his hips  before I adopted him.  X-rays Wednesday revealed a bone chip in one hip, also that he had malformed carpas (wrists).  The vet was surprised he could walk at all.  In addition, when they went to clean his teeth, they discovered his enamel was just flaking off.  That means his teeth are very sensitive and uncomfortable.  I guess neither the hips or teeth are something new, but now I know about them and can worry about them.  My poor little man.  They gave me a referral to a dentistry/surgery specialist who he will see in early January.

 On top of that, when I got Rumpelmintz home she was falling over and her back legs didn’t work properly.  She was the last one to be gassed down, so perhaps it was just the anesthesia wearing off – but now it’s Friday and one back leg still isn’t right.  So, now I’m concerned she may have thrown a blood clot.  She’ll go back to the vet Saturday to be examined.

I don’t want to ask “what else can happen?” because I don’t want to find out.

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My friend Heather has inspired me to make some small steps toward being more eco-friendly. I started with some easy things. Rather than scooping the litter boxes and putting the “nasties” in an empty (used for cat food) plastic freezer bag, I’d use paper bags. Hopefully, even though they’re still going to landfills they’ll eventually disintegrate so future generations aren’t dealing with plastic bags full of cat poo. Also, rather than putting the homemade cat food in those plastic freezer bags, I’m using plastic tubs, which can be washed and reused. Baby steps.

The drawback to the tubs is the food takes much longer to warm than in the bags. I was tossing a bag of food in a bowl of warm water before meals, doing some other things, then pulling it out and serving. I’m doing the same with the tubs, but perhaps because they float so they’re not surrounded by warm water, they just don’t warm nearly as quickly. This morning, the food was still cold – still frozen in the center, but I had to get going (see Late-ness) so I just stirred it up and served it.

The cats were HORRIFIED. Louie didn’t eat. Afer ate only a little. Omaha barely nibbled. Rumpelmintz was yelling and complaining and hitting other cats for eating any of the cold breakfast, as they might convince me this was acceptable.

Studley and Latifah still ate well. Latifah ate her own and tried to finish everyone else’s. She said she didn’t mind.

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I planned an “early night” last night.  I was plenty tired, because of the time change, and thought it’d be a good opportunity to catch up on some sleep.  It was a disappointment. 

It took me a while to fall asleep – then I woke up around 2:00 because my legs hurt – so I rubbed menthol gel on them.  Then I woke up around 3:00 because Studley was playing “How loud can I make Jellybean scream” and Louie was cheering him on, so I made both boys leave the den and I shut the den door.  Then I woke up around 4:00 because Omaha and Rumpelmintz were fighting over who got to sleep on my right side.  Then I woke up around 5:00 because Latifah decided to come upstairs into the bedroom and was fighting with Omaha… so I let her go in the den with Jellybean.

I got up this morning to find Latifah had pooped on the bathroom floor, Omaha had pooped in his pants, and one of the cats had a hairball in the living room.  There was also a “shortbread cookie heist” in the den.  The cats had managed to get a tub of Trader Joe’s shortbread cookies off the top of the desk, get the lid off, and there were shortbread cookies with bites out of them all over the floor, desk, etc.  (When I questioned them about it, they said they did it to save me from the cookies.)  My suspicion on the shortbread cookie massacre is that either:

1) As part of the “Let’s see how loud we can make Jellybean scream” game, Jellybean climbed up to on top of the desk, and knocked the tub of cookies off the desk and the lid came off when they hit the floor – and the cats tested them to see if they were any good. (I didn’t notice them when I made the boys leave the room – but it was dark and I was half-asleep so I just removed larger furry objects, leaving smaller screaming furry objects in the room, and shut the door.)

or

2) Jellybean and Latifah were in cahoots and managed to get them off the desk and tasted while they were in there together.

or

3)  A combination of the above.

Latifah and Jellybean are the most likely suspects for the little kitty bite-sized missing bits from the cookies, as they are both carbohydrate addicts. Jellybean has been caught red-handed eating bites out of a blueberry waffle before…. and staff at the shelter used to laugh at how they could feed Latifah bites of bread.  Jellybean’s blood sugar was only 90 this morning (still no insulin since Dec. 31, 2006!), whereas Latifah’s blood sugar was 225 – further indicating Latifah in the crime.

I also discovered this morning that my favorite radio station, which was all music, all the time (no annoying talk), with a wide variety of music – had suddenly changed formats to all talk, all the time.  

To top off the morning, Studley sprayed pee on the back door, then Omaha pooped on the bedroom floor.  Glorious morning.  One bit of happiness – I started reading the “Crazy Aunt Purl” book, aka “Drunk, Divorced & Covered with Cat Hair”.  It is not a disappointment.  Though I don’t knit, I love Laurie Perry’s style of writing, and who can’t relate to her feelings of disappointment and frustration with life. The first chapter, where she has to resort to repairing her skirt at work with staples, is priceless.  If you haven’t already, you should check out her blog at crazyauntpurl.com, and buy her book!

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