Monday, October 13, 2014

Annual vet visit #2

Surprisingly, both boys were actually quite easy to get into the travel crates. In the car on the way over, they (mostly Elbie) sang the song of their people.

To give Elbie some time to settle down, Monkey went first. He didn't want to get out (like last year), but was very well-behaved when being checked over. He weighed 5.7 kg (+0.5 kg from last year's checkup). I asked the vet for suggestions, and she said he could be given diet food or senior cat food (also less calorific), but we'd need to keep an eye on Elbie's weight at the same time, so that he doesn't go ultra-slim.

She also said that the problem with restricting foods for cats is that if they're hungry and feel they're not getting enough food, they'll make sure to get it in other ways. Either by going to other houses and demand a feed or by hunting - and the Monkey does like to hunt. So it's tricky business. On the other hand, she wasn't concerned for him right now, but more as a precaution for the future, so that he doesn't develop diabetes. On the other hand, considering they're both on a grain free, low-carb diet, that should be a good way to lowering the risk anyway, which is why I'm a bit hesitant to go out and buy random diet or senior food - most foods out there are quite bad ingredient-wise ... including the premium brands. Daisy had a much easier time with hairballs after switching from Hill's Senior Anti-hairball food to Applaws, which doesn't make any particular claims about reducing hairballs or anything like that. But I digress. Fortunately, there's not a lot they can catch from eating butterflies, though, so that's good!

I held him close as I was talking to the vet, and he seemed to like that. When he got a bit too close to Elbie's travel cage, Elbie swiped at him and hissed. He got his booster shot, a worming tablet, and had already been checked over, so he went back into his travel cage with what seemed like relief.

Elbie was not a happy bunny. He growled, but managed to be quiet long enough for the vet to listen to his heart and lungs. He weighed 4.5 kg (I think, which is +0.7 kg), but the vet agreed with me that it was because he's filled out from a lanky teenager into an adult cat's body, and it's fine. I mentioned the over-grooming, and suggested I use Feliway to see if that helps, which I had recently thought of doing. I got a couple of diffusers and used when they first moved in, so just need to find them and get some refills. I could also give him a capsule of something which is a serotonin precursor, essentially giving him happy pills I guess, but I'm a bit hesitant. Will see how he does with Feliway first.

Stress and anxiety can lead to urinary tract problems, which is worse in male cats than females apparently. I've not noticed him having any toilet issues, which is good, but preventative measures are better than emergency treatments after the fact. Maybe I'll try the Bach Rescue Remedy again as well. It could be something like him being unsettled by us putting up a Christmas tree, which is why it seems to recur in the weeks before Christmas. An eye is kept on him, at any rate.

He also got his booster and a worming pill and then jumped on the floor rather than back in his travel cage, so I had to pick him up and help him inside. While he still sang the song of his people in the car on the way back, it wasn't nearly as much as on the way there.

But yeah, basically, they are both perfectly healthy three-year-old cats and fingers crossed they won't have to see the vet until this time again next year. :)

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Annual vet visit booked!

The boys are now booked in for their annual vet appointment.

I'll definitely discuss Monkey's weight with them, because while the vet last year wasn't concerned, I'm sure he's put more weight on since then, so now I'M concerned. I wake up most mornings with him happily asleep on my hip, which I love and adore, but he's heavy enough to give me a back ache. While I can't turn around in bed without going "oww" is unfortunate, I'm more concerned about him. He weighs a ton, seriously, and I want a vet's take on it.

As for Elbie, he might weigh slightly more than last year, but that's only because he's filled out into a proper adult cat size now, so his weight is of no concern. I will discuss his tendency to over-groom, though. He never does it to the point where the skin goes raw and bleeds, it's just that he licks away the hair, and it seems to be a cyclical thing. In the autumn, his belly will get a full coating of hair and then around Christmas, it starts to go again.

At any rate, I want to make sure there's nothing physically wrong with either of them.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Well, they did share over half their lives with her

Maybe I've been thinking about it wrong. While they all tolerated each other and occasionally managed a curious sniff (soon interrupted by batting of paws on both sides), I never really saw them as friends.

Daisy and Monkey seemed to have a kind of timeshare going on with sleeping spots and lap time, and Daisy and Elbie would occasionally be found asleep on the bed at the same time (not cuddled up, though, and generally when Elbie woke up and noticed she was there, he would leave). Occasionally they'd let us cuddle two at the same time.

But when you think about the age when we got the boys (1.5 years) and the age they are now (3 years & ~4 months), they've shared a bit over half their lives with her, and there's a big possibility that they are actually grieving too, in their own ways. Extra cuddles are already given.



Monday, October 06, 2014

Magic Blanket trumps outside

You know the weather's rubbish when it's morning and Elbie chooses the bed instead of staying outside, even when the back door's open. (Well, it's closed now, because cold.) On the plus side, because of the weather, the Magic Blanket is out, and he really likes it.


Friday, September 26, 2014

RIP beloved fluffball

(2003-06-23 [not her birthday, but the day she became mine] to 2014-09-26)


After a sudden blood clot to her legs on Tuesday, and other underlying health issues of which we were not previously aware, the vets were unable to save her, and we've had to bid her farewell today.

You will be in our hearts, and still be part of our clothing and assorted furniture for some time, and we'll miss you. Thank you for the past eleven years, and may you rest in peace.

Update on Daisy #2

When we went to see Daisy yesterday, she seemed okay, and she had a pulse in her left leg finally. We agreed with the vet to give her until Saturday to see if there would be a pulse in the right one, as we were told she wouldn't survive an amputation.

On the scan, they found a slight heart defect, and on x-rays, she had a couple of big masses in her lungs, so she wouldn't have lived through surgery, and it wouldn't be fair on her either, being rather old. They couldn't confirm lung cancer without a biopsy, but she wouldn't have long to live even if she pulled through the embolism.

We thought maybe if she survived this, we could take her home and let her spend however much time she had left at home (they said she wouldn't be in pain from the lungs). But that was if she got a pulse in her right leg, because the leg needed to be alive.

This morning, the vet phoned to say that she'd had a bad night. They'd tried to reduce the diuretics (that kept fluid from her lungs), but they had to increase it again and put her on oxygen, and a while there it was touch and go, to the point where they were on the verge of calling us, but with the oxygen, she picked up a little.

There was still no pulse in her right leg this morning, so we went in to say goodbye, as she might not live through another night. She seemed to take it in her stride. She looked very comfortable on the bed she was in, and I had the bed on my lap in the end. She passed away peacefully while we both stroked her gently. It seemed she took the decision for us in the end, and she seemed at peace. Now her struggle is over and she finally gets to rest.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Update on Daisy #1

Daisy has been diagnosed with a feline aortic thromboembolism (or something like that). Her potassium was a tad high but still within range, so they're keeping an eye on it. White blood cell count was a bit high, indicating an infection or inflammation, so she's on antibiotics for that. As well as being on a drip for fluids, she's on Methadone (!) for pain management, which has made her more comfortable, if completely stoned ... We went to see her today, and while she was woozy, she seemed to like us touching her.

They're still trying to figure out the cause - likely either an undiagnosed heart condition or a tumour somewhere - but nothing conclusive yet. Her left leg is slightly warmer today and has some feeling in it. She's tried to move around a little as well, which is good.

When I phoned this evening there wasn't really anything new to tell, but they've said to take it day by day and they're trying to keep her comfortable while trying to find the cause. If they find they can no longer keep her comfortable, then they won't go any further.

I brought in a little pillow for her, one mum made especially for her, so she'd have something smelling of home, and they said it was great because they wanted to keep a part of her slightly elevated. We're going to check back tomorrow and hope there are some news.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What turned out to be the last photo of Daisy

2014-09-05 00.01.34
Taken 5 September 2014

This may well end up being the last photo I ever took of Daisy. (EDIT: It was.)

I didn't see her this morning, but sometimes their whereabouts aren't obvioius, so not unusual as such. Heard a noise that normally indicates Monkey has found a bug/butterfly/mouse to play with, so went to check. No, it was Daisy trying to move because her back legs were paralysed. Phoned the vet in hysterics.

Blood clot.

The prognosis isn't good. They've taken her in to try and treat it, and if she doesn't improve in the next 24 hours or so, she'll need to be put to sleep because there's nothing more they can do. If she improves, they can do tests and find out the underlying cause, but she'll need to be on medication for the rest of her life and is likely to have another blood clot again within the next six months.

She seemed fine yesterday, and by this time tomorrow, she might have left a Daisy-sized hole in our hearts and lives.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

And no net ensnares me!

It's summer so we have the small top/ventilation window open. This was left open as we went away for a few hours, but the cats have always ignored it anyway. In bed, trying to sleep, I hear a meow ... from outside. It's Elbie.

We don't recall him shooting past us as we came in the door this evening, and he was definitely there when I left the house (when he came in around 3pm, I shut the back door to make sure he was inside for when I was going out a bit later). The bug/pollen filter cloth on the bedroom window had fallen down, I noticed when coming to bed, but that's not unusual. The blinds are normally down but I left them only halfway down so they could look out the window - and because I had already needed to put it back once today.

Anyway, I let him in. Two minutes later, he's at the window pawing at the cloth, trying to get out again. I pull the blinds down, he tries to go around it. So I guess now we sleep with windows closed at night. :/ Also closed the bathroom window so he doesn't give that one a try instead. He can be out all day long (and he is) but at night, I want them all safely inside, and apparently that now requires windows to be shut.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

History repeating itself

Dear non-voting citizens of the European Union,

If you have ever felt intellectually superior to Americans because they elected George W Bush as president - twice - please note that you have now put Nazis in a position of power. Again.

Last time we put Nazis in a position of power, millions of innocent people died. Perhaps you expect a different outcome than genocide? They say the definition of madness is to do the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

So to all of you who didn't vote: FUCK YOU. Your ancestors fought the Nazis in World War II in order to protect YOUR freedom, and you should be ashamed of yourself for throwing victory back in the faces of those brave men and women who fought and died only so that you could decide it was too much of a hassle to drag yourself to a polling station last week.

If you didn't vote because you're against "the system", you need to be a part of "the system" in order to change it. The Nazis didn't sit around growling about Jews in beer halls and occasionally kick the shit out of communists - they got organised, started a party and got voted into power. Newsflash: THIS IS HAPPENING AGAIN AND THIS TIME IT'S ALL OVER EUROPE. You CAN change the system, but you have to do it from the inside, not sit around and complain about how corrupt it is. Play the game, but play it better, and for goodness' sake play it without burning Reichstags, books, and millions of people.

That is all.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Local Wildlife 1 - Monkey 0

Heard a squeak from the bathroom, and saw Monkey being very interested in something that had run behind the litter box. Butterflies and bugs don't squeak, so here's a chance to save a life! It was a tiny little brown mouse, which I scooped up in the glass normally reserved for spiders and took outside, and it walked off.

It could be argued that in this case, perhaps I should've let Monkey at it, it being a mouse and all, but ... it was tiny and cute and I got to it before any real harm had been done, and I didn't have to clean up a bloody mess. #win

Friday, April 18, 2014

Here's looking at you, hoomin

So I go to pull down the bedroom blinds and think I see Elbie's reflection in the window, but it isn't. It must be a cat on the other side of the window. For a couple of seconds I wonder how on earth Elbie got out ... and then I recognise the face. It's Red, our frequent visitor.

Of course, when I get close enough to turn on my bedside lamp to see who it is, he jumps down on to the fence and then down to the ground. So now he's taking a leaf from Elbie's book and getting on the extension roof as well! Red has now been upgraded to creepy, because seeing him outside the window looking in ... that's such a horror film trope.

Monday, April 14, 2014

A smartphone with a good camera, finally!

My new mobile phone (it's a Samsung Galaxy Ace 3) has a very good camera, apparently, so here's a picture of cutestuff who has been very cuddly today. Normally he'll only really come for a cuddle at night. Today, he's also taken to a cuddle in the middle of the night AND when it was time to get up in the morning.

2014-04-03 11.15.08

Maybe he's just happy we opened one of the bedroom windows for him the other night so he could get in. I called for him to come in several times, but he didn't appear. Hubby went upstairs and outside the bathroom window was ... Elbie, who couldn't quite figure out all he had to do was to jump in through the window. I went and got the keys for the bedroom windows instead, as they open like doors, and called him over. We think he might have been up there a while and then got confused and uncertain as to how to get back down, as he was meowing outside the bathroom window.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Little Psychopath

That's it. I'm buying a collar and this time the bell stays on and Monkey doesn't go outside without it. Or Dexter, as we're considering changing his name to now. Sure, cats are sociopaths, but coming upstairs and finding feathers and blood splatter in the bathroom is creepy, because it means somewhere in the house, there is now a dead (or gravely injured) bird. It was on the floor, in the study, very dead. Poor thing. (He didn't even bother gifting it, hence why I'm underlining sociopath.)

Why is Monkey the prime suspect? Daisy has hardly ever chased so much as a fly and certainly never brought anything back with her. Elbie was outside, and he's more of a watcher. Monkey will hunt anything that moves and brought in a disturbing amount of butterflies last summer (maybe half of which I managed to save), and he loves carrying toys around in his mouth. And at the same time, he's super cute and cuddly (especially when he thinks we're about to feed him because we're in the kitchen), and had a good snooze on my lap this evening because he's adorable ... when inside the house.

It shows how different cats really are, and over the past 15 months, I've realised that Daisy's been a good and relatively "easy" first cat. We got to learn how cats behave and what they're like, she didn't catch fleas, and the clean-up jobs were restricted to hairballs and occasionally wrestling in the shower (long-haired + runny tummy = smelly cat). But then again, when you get a cat that actually has a hunting instinct, you're not really prepared for it. So yeah. Next time I get a collar, I won't get rid of the annoying bell because I really don't want to make a habit of having to clean blood off our floors, walls, ceiling, and windows, and scooping dead birds off the floor.

R.I.P. little bird. May you find a safer perch in the next life.