I think this needs a meme. Anyone?
In keeping with the last post with a musical title.
Our next door neighbors have started to let their cat outside. She is spayed, and has a bell on her collar – both good things!
But man, she sure pisses my Spottie-Cat off! The dog doesn’t know what to think. Chase? Not chase? She usually picks ‘whining in just that high-pitched-note that makes Spiders want to scream.’
Sorry – I’m still trying to get the hang of embedding videos. Let’s try Spot being a contortionist again, and see if this works:
Thank you for your patience and advice!
I know I personally don’t like to sign up to anything online that wants my email address. But The Petition Site has proven to me that they don’t sell my address over the years I’ve used it. You also can opt out of posting your name publicly.
So please – if you are reluctant to sign an online petition for those reasons, change your mind for this? “Stop killing stray dogs/cats and initiate a humane Stray Animal Management in Bar, Montenegro”
One of the first blogs I ever followed and had follow me in return was all about a simply stunning Oriental Shorthair named Osyaka. In the years that we have been blog buddies, I have come to call her a friend.
However, what she does when not taking stunning photos of her beautiful cat is heart-wrenchingly hard. Hard to read about, hard to see, and hard on her mentally, financially and physically.
My friend has a mission to help the cats of Montenegro, where she lives. It is a beautiful place, a member of the UN and an applicant to the European Union, with a harsh history of war and has only been independent since 2006. Montenegro is putting a lot of effort into to be a tourist destination and has had good success.
However, they aren’t taking care of their animals. Stray dogs and cats roam the streets. The dogs are roaming in packs and killing the stray cats. There are no shelters. Worst of all, the animals that don’t die by other means are being poisoned secretly without any interference by – and possibly the support of – the authorities.
Please sign, please share. No one is listening unless we shout loud.
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.