Tag Archives: cats

Bad Dog-Mom = Great Cat-Mom

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It’s been cold lately, and even though she has a thick fur coat, the dog refuses to understand that she is only allowed on the couch when she is invited. She’s been in a slow shed since about August, so is definitely not welcome on my awesome couch.

After I caught her sneaking up there while I was still home, I started leaving things in the way so she would take the damn hint. Sometimes it would be a random ladder that was to hand (what, you don’t have ladders just leaning around in your living room?), but lately it has been a couple of empty boxes.

Of course, the cats were in ecstasy that I had boxes just leaning around in my living room. But it got better when I put them on the couch. Double the fun!

This morning I had another brilliant idea. I tucked a corner of the blanket that lives on the couch into the box before I left for work. Nine hours later, I come home and iDJ immediately asks me, “Guess where Spotty is?”

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I have turned Spot into the happiest cat in Ireland.

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Laser-eyes courtesy of the iPhone flash: needed as it is lovely and dark and warm and soft in the box now.

I need this.

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I saw this most amazing thing on Facebook today, via Etsy.

Cat Battle-Armor. Can you just imagine the number of photos I would put up? Anyone want to give me €395 just to see the pictures I’d share?

I managed to steal a screen shot photo. I loooove this! Even better that the model looks like a Bengal.

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It’s a proper harness. I would walk Spot everywhere if this was mine.

Cat-People Problems

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I was sitting in my usual indoor place last night: on the floor in front of the fire. I am the cat’s favourite place to nap, so of course I ended up with both of them on my legs.

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This was fine, for a while.

Until I had to pee.

I really didn’t want to wake them up. As you do.

So I slipped out of my sweatpants (and booties) and left them there while I went upstairs to do the necessary.

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Total success. I even managed to get back into my sweats again without either cat leaving.

Spoiled? Nahhhhhhh.

Sad post: you may want to skip this.

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I came to the top of a hill that leads to a curve to the left. I saw the high visibility jackets of several walkers, the right lane was clear, so I signalled and moved out nearly entirely into the right lane to give them room. Something came out from the right side of the road angling toward the walkers. I hit it. It wasn’t a very hard or loud hit, but I knew I had hit whatever it was. I wasn’t sure it was an animal, just something white moving fast. I thought it was a dog, I thought I had run over a dog! I had a coworker driving right behind me (who knew it was me in front) so I indicated for him to follow me and we pulled in at the garage in town (about a half-mile up the road) and I asked him if he saw me hit a dog. He saw something in the road, yes. There was fur on my tire: white fur. I was so shaken I couldn’t keep the car running, I kept stalling it. I went home and asked my husband to drive me as I was really shaken up. My coworker followed to make sure I was okay. I kept thinking: There were walkers, they were right there – they couldn’t have missed it. I thought that if it was a dog and they would have stopped to help, or an owner would have been close.

It wasn’t a dog. It was a cat. For me, that is worse. Cats have always been my first love. It also meant the walkers didn’t care, and left her lying in the road. Cats are legally considered vermin in Ireland.

She glowed stark white in our headlights. We pulled in, I took a deep breath and got out to walk back and face what I had done. Hubby offered, but no – I had to do this.

She was dead. A calico. Mostly white with black and red patches. I felt her neck, no pulse; her ribs moved in not-right-ways. I knew she was gone. There was a tear in her fur and I could see muscle at her elbow, but not much blood – she had died instantly. I couldn’t pick her up, because I didn’t want to see if the damage underneath was worse than on top; because she was still warm and soft. But I took her scruff and pulled her a few feet into the safety of a farmer’s gate. There is no side-of-the-road at all in this stretch of road, hence my moving out so far for the walkers.

She looked well cared-for, not a stray. Sparkling clean white, not skinny, no dirt around her face or ears. Someone’s pet.

I got back in the car, hubby asked should we try to find the owners. Yes. We went to the nearest house. I knocked, stuttered out what happened and described a calico with black and orange patches. Made circles with my shaking hands to show about how big the patches of black and red were. I had to do it twice – once for the man and once for the woman who came to the door. It wasn’t their cat; theirs was in the shed. But they’d lost two cats since they’d lived there, on the road. Maybe the neighbour on the other side of the road? But they thought her cat was black and white, not calico. They rang her. Her cat was out. We saw her flashlight and went back to the car, turned around and went back. The woman I spoke to came down the road with a flashlight, too.

We parked again facing the kitty and an older woman who was looking at her. It was her cat. In the headlights I could suddenly see that what I took for orange patches was blood and wounds. Oh no, no. I hugged the woman and told her how sorry I was.

Kitty’s name was Sheba. She was about six. She was a mostly-wild stray from a hay loft, had been socialised pretty good and was now indoors at lot, but had wanted to go out tonight (right before I came though) “because it was a nice night.” Her owner always made sure she was inside before she went to bed at night. She would have gone looking later if Sheba didn’t come back in. But by then…other cars wouldn’t have left much. That would have been worse. She thanked me for stopping. I offered to help move the body. The other neighbour offered to help move the body. I was still shaking, my mouth tasted of ashes and my fingers smelled of blood.

I immediately hugged both my cats when I got home.

I thought it was a dog, a small aggressive chasing-type like a Jack Russel. I thought it was charging at the walkers. Now I think the strangers walking past scared Sheba and she was running for home and safety. If I hadn’t been in the other lane, she would have made it. Her timing would have been just fine.

But…if she hadn’t been out at all, she would still be alive. If it had been anyone else who had hit her, she’d have been a grey and bloody flattened splotch by the time her owner went looking. I know it is a touchy subject, indoor or outdoor cats. And a stray is especially impossible to keep indoors, even if you want to. I guess if you live right on a road with an 80KPH speed limit (and I was doing it, for a change, the car is having more issues and slower is better), you can’t expect your cats to live a long and healthy life.

But. If you love your cat, and care about other people, too – don’t let them out. Your thinking that kitty is happier running through the fields doesn’t nearly make up for what I’ve been through tonight.

Good News about Spot!

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Took Spottie-Pants to the vet this morning. It wasn’t the vet we’d expected, it was the same fella that was working yesterday. Oh well…

He confirmed that it was not the turkey. Whew! He also doesn’t think there was any blockage, as he would have puked up more than just clear liquid. He said Spot had a nice full bladder (of course he did, he didn’t get to pee before we left the house!) and the colour of his gums was good, and he did several pinch-tests of his scruff to check for dehydration. All okay.

Meanwhile Spot was not himself at all. Curled up in a towel, hiding his face, not even slightly interested in checking things out. This is why I wanted the first vet – so he could see the difference in personality. Sigh.

Doc gave him a shot of steroids, and one of antibiotics – just to cover all bases, the magic combination. We also brought home pills of both – I will be having some good fun the next few days. Pilling the animals is my job. Thankfully I’m good at it. I asked how soon could we expect the steroid to work at giving him an appetite – by tonight? He doubtfully said maybe…

By lunchtime when hubby came home, he saw a marked improvement. Spot was in the window waiting for him, and while he didn’t eat any of the tuna offered, he was checking out the food area. He seemed nearly back to normal.

When I got home he was waiting at the door, said hello to me, and followed me into the kitchen. I unpacked my leftover lunch, offered him a bit of chicken (he loves this chicken, and refused it twice yesterday). He ate it! Hubby went off doing errands and I started the dishes. Suddenly I had two kitty feet planted on my thigh, and a little brown and white face looking up at me and asking for scratches.

I’d say that really was a magic shot. I am SO relieved! While we still don’t know why he did this, I’m happy enough that he seems to be getting over it right quick, with a little help.

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Spot update

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Thank you all for your comments and suggestions and support. I posted and then went straight to bed, so please forgive me for not responding to any of you as I normally would – another day has now passed and it is best to just do an update post.

Spot spent another night about the same as the last one – he would sit where you out him but didn’t want to move around much on his own.

First thing this morning, I rang the vet. Background – our vet is run by brothers and they are in the office on alternate days. So the one who saw Spot on Saturday wasn’t the one I spoke to today, and if I’d gone in, it would have been the one who didn’t see him so recently. Sometimes I appreciate that I can have one veterinarian office with two opinions, but not this time.

I explained the situation, and he didn’t seem overly concerned. Basically I was told that I could bring him in if I felt like it, and that I could keep trying to tempt Spottie with treats. He didn’t seem to think the raw turkey was the catalyst.

Thinking over it again, Spot had the turkey at about 5pm and wanted more when I got up at 7:30am (and he only had the tiniest amount in the morning, not even a spoonful – he’s not used to treats in the morning). If he was going to have a problem from the turkey, shouldn’t it have hit overnight? When I have something that disagrees with me, I know it within six hours or less, and I’m dammed sure kitty metabolisms are faster. So. Maybe he ate something during the day on Monday when we weren’t home? Like plastic? A plant?

Whatever is wrong, I went to work with a heavy heart today. I hated to ‘wait and see’ another day, but I wanted to get the first vet again, and I wanted to warn my boss that I might be in late.

Do any of you feel nervous when asking for time off work to care for a sick pet? I know if I had kids no one would bat an eye. But it’s an animal. And worse, for Irish people – it’s “just a cat.” Don’t forget, they are still classed as vermin here – the same as mice or rats or badgers or mink or foxes…

But I did give warning, and that made me feel better. Because my boss said “poor cat”, and didn’t make a horrible joke or sneer at me. Whew. I know now that if I’m not happy how tonight and tomorrow go, I have a free pass with no further stress.

Now – Spot came downstairs on his own when I got home, and while he didn’t respond to my greeting, he did head right for the litterbox and had a pee. Since he leaves his tail outside the box when he goes (it’s the type with a hood and door), I could see from his habitual tail-pumping that it was a normal length pee, and didn’t cause him any pain. So he must be drinking, even if I’ve not seen him do so. He refused my attempts to give him his favourite chicken this morning, and again when I got home. He also refused some raw chicken, even though I put it in front of both him and Lokii in the hopes that his competitive spirit would overcome his lack of interest. Nope.

But! He is downstairs, and jumped up on iDJ’s lap earlier all on his own. He showed interest in playing with a bit of string, and he has responded vocally when when we say hello to him – he sounds a bit hoarse, however. He rubbed against the brush when offered (until Lokes saw it and butted in), and is rising to meet a hand that is petting him instead of just accepting it. He’s been up and down the stairs a few times, and is now cuddled with his brother in front of the fire. I’ll be in there with them soon, as it’s gotten pretty cold out here.

I’m reposting one of my favourite pictures of him.

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I think I made Spot worse

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Hiya. I’m still in a bad headspace because of Spottie’s disease which has evidenced itself in a really bad way; I did something really stupid on Sunday. I rather thought that talking about him on the blog would make it better – isn’t that what everyone says? I know I keep the serious shit to myself. The things that “get” to me simmer below the surface: I don’t even realise that I’ve gone a bit insane. I don’t even realise I’ve changed. I don’t realise that I’m not 100% – not that I ever really am at 100%. Who is?

I screwed up with Spot, it seems. We had a turkey on Sunday, and it of course came with all the ooky bits like gizzards and skin and liver and heart. Yuck – but great for feeding raw to your animals. Now, I know not to give too much of the liver at one time, that’s some strong stuff. I cut little chunks off of everything and both cats were gobbling it up (excuse the pun). I was happy, as they didn’t want any ooky bits of our last turkey – probably last November. I thought, ‘fantastic, all that natural moisture will be great for Spot!’ So, I let him have a bit more than I normally would have. He wanted more!

Apparently not so much. He didn’t want his wet food last evening. Lokii didn’t eat it either. Now, I amn’t sure exactly why Lokes didn’t. Either it smelled funny, or he knew his brother wasn’t feeling good and preferred to take care of him over having a tasty snack.

Lokii has been stuck like glue to Spot’s side. Spot has just been sitting, in the loaf-of-bread-pose, most of the time since last evening. He doesn’t want loving. He will cuddle if placed on a lap or under the bedcovers with a person. He doesn’t want food. I haven’t seen him drink, but have seen him pee. He barfed a few times, nothing but clear liquid. Hubby slept in the spare room, because Spot was curled up dead centre under his pillow and he didn’t want to disturb him. I didn’t sleep much last night, waking up to see how Spot was doing, and missing the human body in my bed, too.

He’s better tonight, but despite showing excitement over his favourite treat, he didn’t eat any. Currently he’s curled up in the crook of my knee, in front of the fire, with Lokii being the bread-loaf next to him, keeping watch.

I’m not too surprised that Lokii is such a good caregiver. I know Spot would probably prefer to feel terrible all by himself – that’s what cats do. Lokes refuses to leave his side, however. He always has refused to take no for an answer from his big brother.

I really want to post some fun pictures that I took before all this shit came down, but it seems I’m still not ready – this post started off as a general update on Spot, to segue into fun pics. But I’m not ready. So here’s a great pic of the boys trying to share our bar-stool chair, taken on Friday.

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iCat?

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I’m sitting here on my arse in front of the fire, as I do. Goofing off online, as we all do. My Siamese Lokii always hangs out with me when the fire is lit, because it’s a fire and he’s a Siamese. Wee sleekit heatseeking missiles, them Siameses.

Anyhoo, I was checking my email. And there was a comment from my blog-friend Minlit! Well, for some reason Lokii was fascinated with her simple, black circle Gravitar image. So he stuck his nose on it. Apparently kitty-noses work like people-fingers, as Minlit’s Gravitar page opened right up in Safari. How cute! Of course then the black circle was a lot larger, so he tried to touch it with his paw a few times, hoping it would move.

He got bored, and I went back to my mailbox. Instantly he touched the circle and we were back to Safari again. Left paw on the screen, pat pat pat. Ha! So I opened up my one and only ‘cat game’ for iPad (it was free, and it kinda sucks). He proceeded to ignore it entirely. Sigh.

I got off my arse and got my phone, so I could take a pic of him in case he went after the Gravitar again. Sat back down, opened my mail… Nothing. Little bastard!

I’m stubborn, however. And I found out that if I wobbled the iPad on my leg, he thought what was on the screen was moving. Hehehe:

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Lokes managed to open the page in Safari a third time, good boy!

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And that’s my excitement for the night.

Lokii-Mon(ster)

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I’ve not devoted a post to my little Siamese boy Lokii in a while. Actually, it’s been over a year since “Let’s Meet Lokii” and “Let’s Meet Lokii’s Dark Side”. However, he’s been disgustingly adorable the last few days, (and it’s not even that cold in here!) so I got the chance was forced by cuteness to take a few pics.

First, a shot from Monday, when he was helping me watch a David Attenborough documentary on predators and prey. I’ve never caught him really watching TV like this before (but he is fascinated with iPad games, not even the ones made for cats). Not sure if it’s the size of the new screen, or the lions on it that got him so interested.

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Wednesday night, Lokii came to bed with me. I always curl up on my left, with my iPad open to an e-book propped against hubby’s pillow. He Lokii-poked to get under the covers, and curled against my chest with his head under my chin and, as it happened, his whole head in my right hand. He fell asleep, purring, and after a while the purring dropped into silence. Then…a while later…a faint rumble started again. Neither he nor I had moved or made a sound – it was just him waking up a tiny bit and realising where he was and who he was with. That’s cat love for sure, and it gave me a much needed happy feeling after a hard day. (Apologies to Cats n Co for pretty much reposting my comment on her blog on ‘Do Cats Love?‘)

Thursday we had a really, really hot fire going. Too hot for me, but just about right for the heat-seeking Si-missile that is Lokii-mon. He was so happy sprawling in different directions on my legs that I couldn’t conceive of getting up to get a better camera. Sadly, these pics are all from my ever-present iPad and they are accordingly terrible. Sorry. Hope the cuteness shines thru all the static caused by taking close-ups by firelight!

Ahh, laps. And fire. Ahhh. That’s a yawn, he’s not about to eat me. Promise.

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See? Chin-scratches. Nothing could be better, for him. Me? I had to take this, and the next few pics, with my nose. Yep. One hand is holding the iPad, one is scratching precious kitteh – my nose was my only option!

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Ooh, that’s nice, we loves a finger in our ear.

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And ear-scrunches from the outside are nice, too!

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More ears? Heaven, I’m in heaven…

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Who gave you permission to stop with the ear-love?

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Okay, no more petting…guess I’ll just enjoy this fire instead.

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Ahhh. *yawn*

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But things are back to normal now. I’ve spent a good part of my Friday evening sewing up the holes he’s chewed in the new dog bed. Sigh.

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That’s the biggest of dozens of holes I had to sew shut. I need advice! I’m really worried he’s going to get horribly sick from eating fabric. We can’t stop him. Take away one thing, he finds something else. He’s really great at listening, remembering, and not returning to the scene of the crime again when we say NO! (ok, I say, as I’m the observant one) but he is also good at making sure he never hears ‘no’ in the first place. There’s no blockage in his guts – yet – but I don’t want there to be one.

How can such a smart kitty be so damn dumb?