Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Annual vet visit #3

When you have help, it's fairly easy to box up a couple of cats! :)

Elbie made his objections known all the way to the vets, with Monkey occasionally chiming in. Nothing unusual there, then. What was more unusual was this morning, when Elbie came for a cuddle. He loves snuggling up to Furdaddy, and while his purrs are normally on the discreet side (Monkey is loud, Daisy was even louder), this morning he really turned the volume up. A good, long cuddle it was too.

This time Elbie got to go first. While being a bit squirmy, he wasn't quite as uncooperative as he has been previous years. He weighed in - once we got all four paws on the scales - at 4.49 kg, which is similar to last year. Vet was happy with his condition and said he seemed fine, gave him his booster and a worming tablet and he could then retreat back into the travel crate.

Monkey was very unwilling to leave the safety of his travel crate. We tried tipping him out of it, but he held on with his claws. Once unhooked, he weighed in at 5.75 kg, which is similar to when he was weighed back in August. Told the vet he seems fine and back to normal since his hospital visit, and once checked over, boosted and de-wormed, he was also happy to go back into his travel arrangements.

Mentioned that Elbie is very active and spends most of his time outside, while Monkey mainly stays inside and is less active ... unless it's summer and he's outside chasing butterflies. On the plus side, I recently got a ball-chase speedway thing to keep them entertained and Monkey has taken to playing with it quite regularly, which is good.

It might just be that Elbie likes being outside simply because that way he doesn't have to deal with Monkey as much, because it does seem like Monkey likes to play with Elbie more than Elbie wants to be played with. However, if the door is kept closed and both are inside, they do seem to get along. Found them both on the bed (not together, obviously) the other day. It's as if they do that sort of thing as long as they're not spotted - and as soon as they are, they go to separate beds. Cats, eh?

But yes, all in all, the vet visit was pretty quick and went fine. Let's hope we won't have to go there again until October next year!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

In Memory of Daisy

It was winter. In the cellar of a house on the edge of an east Scanian (Skåne) village a young cat appeared. She seemed to be in reasonably good health: good body condition, not bedraggled or injured, but her tummy was upset. There was no collar on her and no other markings to indicate where she might have come from.

The family in whose house she had appeared had her scanned for a microchip, but there was none. They advertised for a found cat, but no one came forward to claim her as being lost. In the end, the family kept her and named her Daisy.

From her brown colourpoint looks and the way she'd go floppy when lifted up, they surmised she was a Ragdoll. Why would a pedigree cat go missing and no one come forward for her?

After being found, they discovered she hadn't been neutered - one of the incumbent cats of the house got her pregnant. Five kittens in total, but one of them died. They were all beautiful, a mix of Ragdoll and Oriental (black Siamese). Apparently no one thought to take any pictures of them.

The first time I met Daisy was in late November 2002, when I spent a weekend over at my friend's house. The two brothers of the house, Wizzard (the black Oriental mentioned above) and Gizmo (a one-toothed Siamese whose purr sounded just like a two-stroke engine), were fairly quick to say hello and ask for cuddles, but Daisy was a bit more reserved.

The first photo I ever took of her, November 2002.

This friend had three indoor cats and a number of ones that lived outdoors. Oh, how I wanted to have a cat too.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The nocturnal adventures of Elbie

Elbie: Catching up on some well-deserved sleep, seeing as how I was out all night protecting our territory against intruders. You're welcome, by the way.

Me: Elbie's catching up on some sleep after making his humans NOT sleep very well at all, because he didn't show up to be let in last night, nor did he come when called, and we were worried sick something had happened to him and that being the reason for his uncharacteristic absense.

This morning, after Monkey had been given his drugged-up tuna breakfast, I left the back door open and continued preparing human breakfast. There was a noise of a cat eating biscuits, and when I looked over to double-check ... there was a red tail. The prodigal son had returned! So today I'm being Bad Mami and keeping the back door shut, but neither cat seems to mind. They're both happily dozing in separate rooms.

EDIT: Bad Mami relented around lunchtime, because me getting something to eat woke the cats ... who then wanted to go outside. Elbie did agree to being summoned tonight and we can now sleep soundly knowing he's safely inside the house with us. Plus we should be getting his awesome bedtime cuddles! :)

Friday, August 07, 2015

Feline non-recognition aggression is a thing

So hey, apparently there's a thing called "feline non-recognition aggression" which is pretty common when a cat returns from a hospital visit. Basically, the other cat (who stayed at home, a.k.a. Elbie) doesn't recognise the smell of the other cat and feels threatened. Speaking from personal experience here, lots of hissing and growling ensues.

It should settle down after a few days, but there are a few things you can do to help them get along. Feliway is one, wiping the "intruder" with wet cloth to get rid of the hospital scent is another, keeping them separate and slowly reintroduce them a third, and so on.

Fun times!

On the plus side, Monkey has been on me most of the day - starting out with sleeping on me in bed (which I have missed the past few days), then being in my lap for most of the rest. He's had more lap time than usual, and that's saying something! He was also a good boy earlier and had his meds, so hoping to repeat that in about an hour or so.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Return of the Monkey

Monkey's back home and currently enjoying a good snooze behind me on the sofa. :)

He's on a number of drugs for a while but at least he's feeling better and is back home with us.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

The medical adventures of Monkey

Oh, sweet little Monkeypoops. In mid-July, he was seeming a bit off and I discovered he had a bald lump on his chin. Took him to the vets - he had an abcess (perhaps he'd been getting a bit too rough and tumble with Elbie, who knows). They lanced it and he was given penicillin and painkillers and within a couple of days he was back to his normal self.

Late last night as I was going to the loo, I discovered him in front of the litter trays. Gave him a cuddle, but he seemed very lethargic and not wanting to move. Went to get some treats to see if he was interested in eating, and he showed some interest, but moved very hesitantly and slowly. He licked his bum several times and he also tried to go to the tray and straining but nothing was happening. Seemed like constipation or something, but because he was seeming uncomfortable and in pain, I phoned the vets.

If it was constipation, they advised he would need to be seen, but not as urgently as if it was a urinary blockage. As I couldn't say either way, they advised bringing him in. So, well past 2am, we drove to the vet hospital (the one where Daisy was taken) where he was seen by a vet, who diagnosed it as a urinary tract issue. Luckily, we caught it at a point where it wasn't critical. They took him in for observation, and when they phoned this morning it was to say that a muscle relaxant hadn't worked (in case of a muscle spasm causing his inability to urinate), so they'd put in a catheter, and there were some crystals in the pee. Fortunately it went in okay, but they're still observing him to see if the blockage has been removed, and so on, but he's still going to be in hospital for a couple of days.

Our poor little guy. :(

Phoned the vets to check on him and they said he was comfortable, if a bit drowsy. Just grateful that when he's feeling unwell, you can REALLY tell, meaning you can get him to the vets in time before it reaches a critical stage.

Get well soon, sweetheart!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Suddenly he's the slimmer of the year

I took Monkey to the vets last week, because he's looking a lot slimmer now than he used to. This is technically a very good thing, because he needed to lose weight, but when you've not really done anything differently to promote this, such as changing food or quantity of food, you get concerned. Unexplained weightloss is generally not considered a good sign.

The vet checked him over thoroughly and said that he seems perfectly fine. A weigh-in revealed him to be 25 grams (0.88 oz) less than at their annual in October, and 25g really isn't much of a weight loss at all. I think he had started to lose weight before then, though, and he had just eaten before we left. (Speaking of which, he really didn't want to go and complained in the car all the way there. Bless.)

The advice she gave me was that we could check him again in a month's time, and maybe take a blood sample to check kidney and liver function (a tumour wouldn't show up anyway) if I really wanted to be on the safe side, but to all intents and purposes, he's a healthy 3.5-year-old and still on the heavy side, to be honest.

But I'm keeping an eye on him. I wasn't paranoid enough with Daisy, and I'd rather be safe than sorry. Although, I spoke to the vet about her, and even if I had brought her in earlier, any changes when listening to her chest could just as easily have been interpreted as old age rather than anything serious.

How's Elbie? He was caught in a sudden flurry of hail about twenty minutes ago and took shelter in the cat (dog) house in the garden. I called him, but he didn't want to run through the hail to come inside. As soon as it let up a bit, he came running, and is now looking out the window next to me, and just gave me a look to say "okay, it stopped - can I go back out now?"

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Things you learn in therapy: Re-frame it

One of the things you learn when you go see a cognitive behaviour therapist (or indeed any therapist, I suppose) is to re-frame things. This means that you learn to look at things from a different perspective, and that there is no right or wrong.

Let's say you discuss your childhood with said therapist. You talk about how you may have felt abandoned by one or both of your parents at different times, but at the same time, you wonder why you'd say that because it simply wasn't true. I mean, you weren't actually abandoned abandoned, because your parents were there, or they were returned to you, or whatever.

What a therapist does is to tell you that there is no right or wrong, because what's important isn't whether or not you were actually abandoned, that's beside the point. (Unless you were, in which case I'm sorry that happened to you, but that's not the point I'm trying to make.)

If you look back at the situation as an adult, you might say "but that's bollocks, I wasn't abandoned! My parents looked after me very well!" and feel bad because you're obviously being unfair to your totally non-abandoning parents. This is where the "no right or wrong" thing comes in. That they didn't actually abandon you doesn't matter right now, because the issue is that your younger self had the feeling of abandonment. It doesn't necessarily mean that your parents did anything wrong.

Going on from that, instead of getting hung up on details, you need to acknowledge that your younger self felt abandoned, even if it's not factually correct, and that's the feeling that needs addressing and until you've acknowledged the emotion you can't work through it. It's not about blaming anyone (i.e. your parents); it's just about how you felt at the time, and why that was.

It could be anything. Perhaps you happened to have been a complete dick towards an older sibling, which you realise as you got older and (hopefully) stopped being so annoying. Instead of thinking of your younger self as being a complete arsehole, stop and think about why you acted that way. It could have been because you felt lonely, or that you wanted some attention from the formerly youngest sibling who probably saw you as an imposter when you came along and therefore naturally wasn't too keen on you. What does that say about you as a child, and your sibling as a child, and you both together as children? (Yes, perhaps you just were just a horrible younger sibling, that's also an option, but surely that says a bunch about you as a child as well.)

Not just "wow, I was an annoying little shit to my sibling", but rather "wow, I was a lonely and frustrated child who took it out on my older sibling when s/he wouldn't give me the attention I needed."

Re-frame it.