amethyst73: (Default)
As pretty much all of you know, Huz and I have had cats for years. Back in March, we lost Fluffy Cat (memorial post yet to be done), bringing us down to just one cat for the first time in our lives. [Gasp!] Penny Cat clearly missed her feline companions, and we knew we wanted more cats. So yesterday (5/20/17), we brought home two 2-month-old kittens from Peninsula Humane Society

(All the images should be clickable if you want to see big versions!)

A mostly-gray tortoiseshell kitten, looking at the viewer.
This little girl was named Pinta back at the shelter, but we've named her Luna.

A gray and white kitten, playing with a green pipe cleaner
This little boy was called Santiago at the shelter. We're not 100% sure, but we think his name is Tigger.

They figured out the bed....
Tortoise-shell kitten peering sleepily out of a green cat bed  Two kittens in the green cat bed. The gray and white kitten is looking directly at the camera, and the tortoiseshell one is flopped on her back.

...and how to climb onto the second pantry shelf.
A set of tall white shelves, mostly filled with pantry essentials. The second shelf from the bottom has two kittens on it, looking at the camera.

Today they figured out how to climb the gates that were keeping them in the kitchen:
Tortoiseshell kitten sitting atop a pet gate blocking the lower part of a kitchen doorway    Gray and white kitten atop a different pet gate from the previous shot. He is looking down and clearly getting ready to jump off the gate into the rest of the house.

Penny Cat is not entirely pleased by the invasion of these new felines into her territory, but she hasn't done anything worse than hiss and growl at them.
A white and brown cat, lying casually on a table with a yellow tablecloth. Her expression is dignified.

We'll keep you posted as new developments occur!

amethyst73: (tazz)
Tazz was one of our first two cats.  He and his brother Bernie were included in the package when we bought our house in 2002.  We had always wanted cats, and the previous owners didn’t have room for them where they were moving, so we took them on.  The two boys lived outside for the first few years, where they played in the yard, hung out on the deck, and took shelter in the garage when it rained.  Tazz had a buddy in his outdoor, a little black kitty who later joined our household.  We’d often come home to find Tazz and Billie in the front yard, Billie intently doing whatever she was doing and Tazz watching closely.

About the same time that we brought Bernie into the house to care for his sun-induced carcinoma, we brought Tazz in too.  At first Tazz was not happy at being inside, and would tell us repeatedly, at length, and at high volume just how displeased he was at the whole situation.  But he figured out pretty quickly that being inside at night was considerably more comfortable than being outside, and he adapted quickly.
Cut for length; kitty medical woes near the end )
Thank you, Tazz, for teaching us how to be kitty parents.  You were an awesome, amazing, adaptable kitty, and we will always love you.
amethyst73: (tazz)
Our cat Penny bit the vet last week in a fit of terror.  We've baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies for him, and I enclosed the following note (more or less; I cursed myself about two seconds after sealing the envelope)
Dear [vet],
I am very sorry I bit you last week.  I was very scared but I am still sorry.  I asked my humans how I could apologize to you and they said what about a nice gift and I thought I could give you my favorite catnip toy even though that would be hard for me but they thought you would like cookies better. I hope you like the cookies and I am very sorry.
Your friend,
Penelope Eastman (dictated to Catharine Eastman)


Wow.  I never post here anymore.

I've got a tumblr account that I'm using mostly for embroidery stuff (at any rate that's the plan); my username is ceastman73.  onyoukai, I think you said you had a tumblr?  What's the address?
amethyst73: (tazz)

About a year after we moved into our current home, three feral kittens showed up in the neighborhood, often hanging out in our yard and driveway.  The next-door neighbors assured us that they would take care of the kittens, and we thought no more about it.  Callie and her several siblings, who came along about a year later, introduced us to the feral cat population problem in California.

Callie was a pretty little calico, mostly white with harlequin patches of black and orange here and there.  The coloration around her right eye was quite striking: surrounded by an orange patch, she had a thin outline of black right around the eye that looked exactly like eyeliner.  Her fur was fairly soft, somewhere between the wiry stiffness of Mouse and the velvet of Billie.  Her skull had a prominent ridge at the back which always surprised me when I petted her.

But it took a while to learn the softness of her fur and the shape of her skull, because she was even shyer than the other kittens in the litter. We barely knew she existed for a few months after we first saw her siblings; I suppose she might have belonged to some other feral group. After some work, our backside neighbor L managed to catch her and get her spayed.  For some time after this traumatic experience, Callie refused to let any of us come near her, though she happily ate the kibble we left outside for her.

After a few years, Callie gradually lost her fear of humans.  She regularly came in to both our and L’s house.  If it was particularly cold, we’d sometimes let her spend the night, though she often yowled to be let out at five in the morning.  Over the last few months, she became quite social, demanding to be petted and jumping up onto the futon and next to or onto our laps if we were sitting there.  She was really quite affectionate if given the chance, and was even willing to approach strangers to be petted.

She was an excellent hunter and would announce her latest kill on our back porch.  After the first time that she brought her prey inside for our approval, we learned to step outside to praise her instead… and then go inside while she completed the messy business of playing with and eating her kill.  (There was one episode when she hadn’t done in her catch quite as thoroughly as one might like, and the squeak that the poor injured mouse made as it tried - and failed - to escape subsequent capture sounded _exactly_ like a squeaky cat toy.)  Despite her being fed by two households and supplementing her own diet occasionally, she never gained much weight.

Possible TMI: discussion of kitty woes including cancer and inappropriate defecation )

May you romp in fields filled with fat mice, kitty buddies, and loving humans.  We’ll miss you, Callie.
amethyst73: (tazz)
Tazz is adapting to his new condition astoundingly quickly.  He can haul himself around surprisingly well, and is able to get himself in and out of the litter box (yay!).  He's always happy to see me in the morning, because that means he gets his canned food, which is awesome as far as he's concerned.  His locomotion is kind of staggery because it seems more like he's lost his balance in his back half as much as he's lost his strength, so his back end sways back and forth.  And sometimes it falls.  When it does, Tazz just kind of stops and takes stock of the situation, and is able to get himself back up and going again pretty darned quickly.

We love our kitty, and are delighted that he's doing so well!
amethyst73: (tazz)
So after looking at some perfectly normal to not-a-smoking-gun test results, the vet took an X-ray of Tazz's lower back, and found a probable cause: Tazz has a slipped disc, poor guy.  We're going to go with the (recommended) conservative treatment approach, which is to increase his prednisolone (or prednisone, I can never remember which cat is taking which variant) dose to a full tab daily, up from his current half tab.  It is hoped that over the course of 3-4 months, Tazz will at least get no worse, and will hopefully regain some of the strength in his hindquarters.  He's comfortable and can come on home tonight.

(The not recommended, aggressive course of treatment, for those who are curious, is an MRI and surgery.)

His current state, however, makes our lives kind of complicated.  He's effectively bedridden, which means that he needs the same kind of care as a human bedridden patient: we need to figure out how to 'turn' him so that he doesn't get kitty bed sores.  Which means one of us needs to come home at midday to care for him, or we need to stagger our work schedules, or Huz may work from home a little more frequently than he does now.

Tazz also can't get into the litter box without help.  He's been great so far about not going wherever he happens to be parked at the time, but it's another thing we'll need to keep an eye on - his skin could get irritated if it's dampened by pee a significant fraction of the time.

So, I'm glad it's not more serious than it is. There was a decent chance that the cause was going to be liver failure (he's, well, old, and he has mild renal disease already) or cancer (he's got a previously-quiescent mass on his pancreas, which could have metastasized onto his spine).  A slipped disc, while massively inconvenient for him and his humans, isn't going to be a direct cause of death.


Sep. 10th, 2013 10:58 pm
amethyst73: (tazz)
Tazz Cat (the cat pictured in my regular user icon) has quite suddenly lost all strength in his back legs.  He was fine yesterday and limping some this morning, and tonight he can't really drag himself around.  It looks kind of like a partial paralysis.  No idea what's causing it, but, well, he's 19...

Will go to vet tomorrow and see what's what.
amethyst73: (Default)
Cat schedule for the next 5-7 days:

- Insert Clavamox pill into Pill Pocket.  Give to Billie Cat.  Follow up with treats.  (Not hard.)
- Try to get Mouse Cat to sit still long enough to apply warm compress to abscess on rump. (Hard.)

MIDDAY (if we're home):
- Try to get Mouse Cat to sit still long enough to apply warm compress to abscess on rump, again. (Hard.)

- Administer prednisone and famotidine pill to Tazz Cat.  Reward with as much canned food as he wants.  (Pretty trivial, unless he's so excited he won't sit still for the pill gun.)
- Insert Clavamox pill into Pill Pocket.  Give to Billie Cat.  Follow up with treats.  (Not hard.)
- Insert prednisolone into Pill Pocket.  Give to Billie Cat.  Follow up with treats.  (Not hard, done only every other evening.)
- Hope that Mouse Cat has forgotten that sitting on Peter's lap generally ends up with warm compress applied to backside; attempt to apply compress yet again.  Hope that eventually Mouse Cat finds warm wet cloth applied to backside makes him feel better as abscess heals.

Right.  And I'm supposed to do the rest of my life when?
amethyst73: (Default)
Billie had to take a trip to the vet emergency room Tuesday night - she was having a lot of trouble urinating, and once I read about the danger to a blocked cat, to the emergency room we went.  Fortunately, she wasn't blocked.  Instead, she had about a zillion crystals in her urine (which was bloody and looked infected).  She got an antibiotics shot, pain meds, and some food that's supposed to make it easier for her to urinate, but she's still straining and producing very little.  So, off to the regular vet she'll go this afternoon.
amethyst73: (Default)
Fluffy Cat has to go to UC Davis in a week and a half to get radiation treatment for a recurrent spot on his nose. His appointment is at 10 AM on a Monday. I don't know whether the vet med hospital at UC Davis will consent to board him the night before, but I'm guessing not. So, I have questions for the Interwebs:

• Do you know of kennels in the Davis area that board cats and are open for dropoffs late Sunday?

• Have you ever stayed at a hotel that accepted cats with guests? What was the experience like? Did the cat stay in the room with you, or were there separate accomodations?

• We're likely to have some time to kill while Fluffy gets irradiated. Any ideas on things we should see while we're in Davis?
amethyst73: (Default)
On the theory that the large red (slightly swollen) itchy area around the bite is an allergic reaction, I've taken a tablet of (expired) Benadryl.  We'll see whether that does any good.

Oh, right.

Dec. 10th, 2010 09:27 pm
amethyst73: (Default)
It's nice to be reminded of why we don't ever get a Christmas tree....
.. ya know, without having to actually experience the destruction ourselves.  :)
amethyst73: (Default)
A 400-series Roomba side brush, shown below,

is an acceptable toy, as far as cats are concerned.

How do I know this?  Let me tell you a brief story.

Last weekend, we ran our Roomba in the kitchen area, as we generally do on weekends.  When we returned, we found it out of battery power (unsurprising) and without its little side brush, which does have a tendency to occasionally fall off. 

We looked in the Roomba's vacuum chamber, as it has been known to eat its own parts, but did not see the side brush.

We looked around the margins of the kitchen area, but did not see the side brush.  We looked harder, in all the corners and crannies that the brush could conceivably have escaped to under its own power, but alas, to no avail.

We did hypothesize that perhaps one of the indoor cats had thought it was a nice toy and made off with it to some completely unrelated corner of the house.  Superficial inspection of the usual spots (under the futon and the dining table) also failed to turn it up.  I went ahead and ordered a replacement brush off of Amazon yesterday.

Guess what was sitting in the middle of the living room floor, innocent as you please, when I got back from church this afternoon??

Well, it'll be good to have a spare around, in case the cats kidnap the side brush for fun and games in the future.  Meanwhile, I wonder if I should go look for my umbrella under the futon as well...
amethyst73: (Default)
Tazz had his imaging done today.  (He didn't need anesthesia for it - he's such a mellow kitty!)  The vet found a large tumor, attached as far as she could tell to his pancreas.  She recommends not taking any action because, well:
- if it's benign, no big deal (but given the weight loss and the anemia, I'm thinking that's not all that likely)
- if it's malignant, unfortunately there's no good treatment for a cancer there; in the literature, cats with cancer in that location don't generally live longer than a year no matter what.  So there's no real point in, e.g. a biopsy.

Poor sweetie.  It's not completely unexpected, but it is still very sad.  Tazz came with the house we bought 8.5 years ago, and has been part of our family ever since.  His brother died of skin cancer a few years back, so we knew there was a genetic predilection for it in the line.  And he's around 15 years old, so it's not like (if this is malignant) it's cutting him down in the prime of life or anything.

In a way, it's a relief that surgery and chemotherapy aren't recommended.  His brother Bernie went through a lot of that sort of thing, and did it very bravely, but it was a lot.  We're just supposed to make Tazz a happy cat - feed him whatever he wants, give him lots of love... which we will certainly do.
amethyst73: (Default)
Complicated cats
find frenzied family fun
minding medicines.

Fall seems to be a favored time in our household for cats to have expensive and/or worrisome medical issues.  Here's the list of who's been doing what. )

Meantime, we are hoping to find a permanent home for our newest addition, Little Cat.  Little Cat is a <1 yr old female who started coming to our yard back in June or so.  She is now spayed and up on her shots.  She's brave, pretty friendly, quite curious, playful, and a very sweet little cat - but six cats is really too much for us to handle long-term.  PLEASE contact me if you're interested in adopting her!
amethyst73: (Default)
So, Billie cat didn't have a standard abscess. Kitty medical TMI )
amethyst73: (Default)
One of the cats has swelling around her right eye. Looks a little like the not-burst-abscess that she had on the *other* side a month or two ago.

Dangit, kitty, we're going away again next Monday night! Why do you choose 'now' as a time to have medical issues??


On the good side, Mom's doing pretty well - I talked to her on the phone this evening for, like 15 minutes! (Previous conversations had been ~5 min at most before she got breathless.) And Dad's home, and glad to be home.
amethyst73: (Default)
Nora the Piano Cat has been playing piano for some time on youtube, apparently. Mindaugas Piecaitis saw some of her videos, and wrote a quite lovely piece around them. 

It's under 5 minutes long, and all lovers of cats and/or music deserve to take a look.  Worksafe.


amethyst73: (Default)

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