Tag: Cats

Reactions to declawing

After Kiesha died, I adopted BrieBrie and Phaedra fron Cat Angels rescue.  The two kitties have had their challenges, but for the most part they are very sweet. When I adopted them, I signed a contract stating I would never let them be out door cats or have them declawed.

Last night, I started watching a video about one vet’s fight against declawing cats. I couldn’t even get through the credits. I had to shut the show off.

Why would anyone mutilate a cat’s paws like that? If you have cats, then you adapt or teach them not to do things by providing alternatives that are more appealing.

It was very depressing. I went upstairs and played with the cats as therapy.

Ambush’s ashes

I picked up Ambush’s ashes today: a little white box in a purple velvet bag that says “Until we meet again at the rainbow bridge.” My poor little buddy.

I held it together until the person at the clinic handed me the bag with Ambush’s ashes. I’ve cried almost every time I’ve seen something that reminds me of Ambush. Places where he used to sleep. Clothes coming out of the dryer still covered in his hair. His favorite toys scattered around the house. His box of ashes was small: tiny compared to his once 18-pound marshmallow form. The tininess of the box seemed symbolic of how much weight he had lost (9 pounds) and how, in the space of a few weeks, he had become a shell of his former self.

ambush.jpgAfter you lose a pet, you catch glimpses of them in places where they used to sleep, where they used to eat, where you used to trip over them. I’ve caught glimpses of Ambush’s shadow in the kitchen sleeping on his back and on the bed in the morning. Stella and Kiesha are still wandering around at night meowing, but not as much. They seem to be adapting.

A friend asked me if I had brought Ambush’s body home to show the other kitties so they would understand that he had passed. No, I had not. It was everything I could do to stay with him as he was euthanized. I couldn’t bear the thought of bringing his body home to an apartment and then taking his body back. It was so hard to make the decision to put him down and spend those last moments with him. It’s been almost two weeks since he died and I can only just now look at his pictures without crying. (Writing this has me in tears.)

His ashes are up on the cabinet so he can watch everything going on. He’s there with Basette’s ashes. My poor two kitties who died from diabetes. (This blog was started in part to tell Basette’s and Isis’ stories.)

So Ambush is home and will stay with me in his little bag until I buy a permanent home, some place with a garden worthy of my two lost kitties.

Stella is in my lap meowing at me and pushing her face against my fingers as I try to type. There is a lightning storm outside: steady, constant rain punctuated by bursts of thunder. Fitting. Ambush would have been sleeping under my desk during a lightning storm. He never did like the noise.

Ambush, last day. Purring.

Ambush in TN just before the move to NC, 2007

Ambush had a plastic fetish. He would often pull out all of the plastic bags.


Kitty updates

Kiesha had a urinary tract infection. She has been on Clavamox (antibiotic) for a few days and is not doing well on them. She keeps throwing up. Poor kitty. She’s being switched to an injectable antibiotic. Hopefully this time it will help…

Ambush and Stella both seem to be doing better. Their UTIs have passed and they are romping around the house as usual.

Now that the kitties are all on their way to being healthy, it’s now hairball season. I love squishy presents in the morning!

Why did Ceffyl disappear again?

Ceffyl has been stressed:

  • Three sick cats: two have recovered from a UTI, third might have one (or she has a behavioral issue).
  • My mare, Isis, was diagnosed with EPM (serious neurological disease) and just finished the first month of treatment. All of this started in May. If you know me, then you know this is my kid and anything that happens to her gets me Seriously Upset.
  • Unsure about my job.

I’ve had plenty of times when my horses and cats were sick. Ambush is my second diabetic cat. Isis has insulin resistance (equine metabolic disorder) which is rather like a pre-diabetic condition in a horse. She was diagnosed about five years ago, so I’m used to dealing with her special requirements. EPM is a whole second level…

However, when you’ve just spent half of your savings on your horse and cats, and suddenly the income source (with which savings can be replenished) might be gone…It’s nerve wracking.

I love my job: fun technology, gaming nights on Wednesdays, and a bunch of great people. What’s not to like? Of course, there is no official news and nothing that says I’m in danger. However, the under currents have a similar feel to other times when I’ve been laid off.

My concern about the job is not an extension of my emotional reaction to Isis’ EPM or the cats’ illnesses/misbehaving. There are specific reasons I’m concerned and they are not related to my job performance.

I know, theoretically, that there is nothing I can do about being laid off and I shouldn’t worry about it. It will either happen or it won’t.

I am being proactive, both at work and outside of work. At work, I’m making suggestions to help sales and reduce costs. Long hours, being seen, and all that. Outside of work, I’m getting my freelancing going again, I’m out networking, and I’m sending off resumes. I’ve applied for 15+ positions over the past three weeks. (Of these, two have sent rejection letters and the rest have been silent.) I’ve drummed up business leads for freelancing through networking, but no real paid gigs.

From what I’ve read on the tech writing lists, it’s very hard getting an interview much less landing a position. Employers have their pick of candidates. As a candidate, I have to be extra aggressive to make sure and contact people about my resume if I don’t hear back. I haven’t done that. Maybe I’m only half-heartedly searching because I don’t want to admit that there might be Something Bad coming.

Any way you slice it, I’m wired and stressed. I’ve used some of my stress management techniques and am carefully trying to pick my way through to juggle everything and build savings.

The barn has been my sanity and also a mixed blessing. Everything is right in the world when I’m with Isis–and then I think about Isis’ battle with EPM. Watching Isis walk around dragging her back foot has been hard — but her movement has also gotten better. She’s not dragging it as much as she was. She’s able to step underneath herself cleanly, where as in June she could barely step to the side. (Next Tuesday her blood will be tested for EPM again — and we will know if one month treatment is enough or if another month of Oh-My-God-Expensive-Stuff is needed.)

Ten weeks since I’ve ridden Isis and counting. (Although we’re getting ready to break Kasane, so I’ll be riding before Isis has fully recovered.)

Thanks for listening to the rambling vent. I could use a break but I don’t have the funds to do it. Everything is focused on freelancing, job hunting, and Isis. There comes a point when you just have to write everything out.

Illnesses invade! Run!

I have a sinus infection, Isis has EPM, and Ambush and Stella have urinary tract infections (UTIs). Recovery is on its way through…

The day after Isis came home from the hospital, Ambush had a sugar crash. He was unaware of anyone or anything that happened to him. A trip to the vet, some good wet food and blood glucose test later, he was on the road to recovery. The next day he went back to the vet’s for a full day of testing. Ambush’s blood sugar plummeted from 350 in the morning (no insulin injection that morning or the night before) to about 40 or so four hours after the vet gave him the insulin injection. His liver enzymes were normal except for one.

He was started on a 10-day regimen of Clavamox (antibioitic), which did not sit well with his stomach. Kitty had the runs bad and stopped eating. His blood suagar levels were all over the place because of he lost his appetite. We stopped the Clavamox, put him on a regular “catkins” diet (Innova EVO dry and wet food for all of the kitties), and worked on getting his appetite and litter box routine back to normal. After a few days (and a litlte plain yogurt later), everything was back to normal.

Ambush goes back to the vet either on Friday or next Monday for his antibiotic injection. After the UTI is gone, we’ll get his insulin dose figured out again so he isn’t drinking so much water.

Right around June 22, Stella started peeing on my bed: three times in 24 hours. She was also sleepling a lot more than normal. My bed has a plastic cover. Part of the side-effect of Stella’s kidney disease is that she has “accidents” on my bed periodically. I went through every set of sheets I had, dropped Stella into the bathroom as a containment area, and called the vet. Stella came back positive for a UTI and received an antibiotic injection last week. She is feeling better and is back out. No more peeing on the bed for the past four days, yay! Why do I feel like I just jinxed myself?

It has been difficult dealing with so many sick animals and then getting sick myself. The doctor declared yesterday that I have the beginnings of a sinus infection and gave me some antibiotics. I’ve been getting a fever most afternoons this week. I’ve been at work in the morning and from home in the afternoon. Very glad to be some place that is flexible enough to let me do that.

Mean Kitty Song!

If you havne’t seen this YouTube video, it’s hysterical. Watch the antics of a mean kitty while his human sings about how mean the kitty Sparta is (not really mean, just wants attention). Very cute.

Stella play-bites when she is very excited. She has never broken skin but she will nip. She loves to rough-house like Sparta does. Ambush will also play hard and likes to have his rump patted. In his youth, he also used to play fetch like Sparta does.

Warning: You won’t be able to get this song out of your head!

Trouble in apartmentland

At about 9:00 this morning, I woke up and saw water pouring down next to the bedroom window. I thought it was caused by a strange rain storm, so I went back to bed.

I woke up this morning to the sound of a police officer pounding on my door. I scrambled up, grabbed my bathrobe, and answered the door. The officer asked me if I had heard a fire alarm (nope, no alarm in here) or noticed sprinklers going off (nope, apartment was dry).

Apparently, the cold weather caused the a sprinkler pipe to burst and pour water down my patio roof. Luckily, no water came into my apartment (or so I thought at the time). The firemen were able to get the sprinkler water turned off until the apartment maintenance people could fix the issue.

Read More Trouble in apartmentland

Catching up

A lot has happened in the past few weeks. I’ll write some posts to catch up. Here’s the brief list:

  • New horse: Kasane is the primary reason why I have not been posting much on here. I’ll write a long post about here with pictures.
  • Stella: She has been fighting a urinary tract infection and appears to finally be over it. She’s also getting one pill per day for her high blood pressure. She isn’t happy about that.
  • Riding lessons: Isis and I have been working on whoa and dressage. We went on a trail ride and she didn’t want to stop.

Work has been busy, but good.

That’s it, in brief.

Stella has a UTI

Stella had blood in her urine this morning. She was straining every few minutes and was not comfortable. Poor kitty. I had no idea what was wrong. I’ve never seen a cat with a UTI with so much blood in her urine.

Stella stayed at the vet’s today. I got a call this afternoont: the vet thinks Stella has a UTI. A bad one, but that’s better than what I was worried she might have. Stella’s kidney functions are going to be tested, too.

Stella is supposed to be on high blood pressure medicine, but honestly I haven’t been able to get much into her. She has been surprising good with subcutaneous fluids, but shoving a pill or two down her throat is something else entirely. Need to try other tactics besides crushing the pills and putting them in food.

The vet is talking about Stella getting 1-3 pills per day. This won’t be pretty.

Stella and the bed, part 2

It was late when I went to bed on Sunday night. I’d had a nice evening playing Guild Wars with a friend. Stella had been curled up by my monitor for most of the evening. I crawled into bed, pulled up the covers, and smelled cat urine. Stella had peed on the covers again. (I love waterproof mattress covers!)

A friend of mine suggested that Stella be checked for a UTI just to make sure there wasn’t else going on (besides behavioral issues). Stella has an appointment on Friday.

Noises in the wall

I’m getting ready for bed and I can hear something crawling in the ceiling. Not loud, but scurrying. Knocking against the light fixture in the bathroom last night. Tonight it’s in my kitchen wall.

Scratch, scurry, scratch: some small rodent or critter maybe stuck or exploring. My cats are enthralled: they follow the sound from room to room staring at the ceiling and walls.

I pity anything that gets into this apartment. A former barn cat, a former street cat, and a playful hunter would have a ball.