Tag Archives For: cat

24 Oct, 2015

Animal Updates

/ posted in: Pets

Paul Update

(Yes, I am aware this is the same picture I keep posting of Paul but he is elusive, like a trying to photograph a snow leopard….)

We adopted Paul close to 3 weeks ago now. The first week was rough. He hid constantly. I had to beg him to eat. Our only signs of progress was when he would move a little towards my hand if I reached under the bed to pet him.

I was really worried because we were heading on vacation for the next week. I have a great pet sitting service that comes in but I didn’t want to upend his world all over again. They ended up setting him all up in the bedroom and keeping him closed in there because he was hiding from them and they weren’t sure he was eating. They gave him as much attention as he’d allow.

The night we came home I walked into the bathroom and saw movement behind me. I turned around and there was Paul, standing up like a normal cat. I had only ever seen him move in a crouch. Here he was walking around the bedroom like he owned the place. That night he jumped on the bed but bolted when he realized there were 2 humans, a dog, and a cat already on it. I figure he’d been sleeping on it all week and was quite put out that suddenly we were all sleeping on HIS bed!

Now he’s pretty darn brave. He comes out mostly at night and hides under something during the day. He’s jumping up on the bed at night to get petting. He doesn’t stay long but that seems to be because he loses interest more than him being too scared. He likes to sit with the husband on the couch in the morning for petting. I think he’s starting to eat out of the communal cat bowl. He still gets overwhelmed by Freckles’ love especially when she hits him in the head with her tail but he seems more exasperated than scared.


 

Jules

Jules is our parrot.  She’s been here for 5 years.  She doesn’t talk.  On the first morning after her adoption she said, “Hello” to me when I uncovered her cage.  She has said nothing since.  She vocalizes all the time but no words.

The other day the husband decided to open a few windows.  After a while a strong breeze blew through on and startled her.  She fell off her perch.  (She gets dramatic when startled.)  She climbed back up, looked at him, and said clear as day, “It’s cold.”  He stared at her and said, “Sorry.  I’ll close the window.”  He did and she was satisfied.

I wasn’t home and he was quite put out when he relayed this story.  He said that she had been holding out on us.  Not only can she talk but she talks in sentences.  It seems uncharitable that she breaks 5 years of silence just to complain though. 

I went out and opened the cage.  She’s been being a complete b!tch recently about coming out of her cage.  She hasn’t wanted too and a few times I forced her out because I didn’t want her to get in the habit of being cage-bound.  That night I just wanted to pet her but she strolled right out onto my arm like it was normal.  I have a working theory that the real Jules died while we were on vacation and the pet sitters got us a new bird.  I’m ok with that because this bird is much nicer.

09 Oct, 2015

Introducing — Paul!

/ posted in: Pets

We have a new family member here.  Things have been rough since losing Riley but I had been on the lookout for a new cat.  Cats generally just show up but the husband was getting impatient.

Last Sunday we went to an auto parts store.  There is a large private animal shelter next door.  The husband was staring at it.  He said that I hadn’t even looked there.  I said that I had looked on the website.  He kept staring.  I asked if he wanted to go in.  He said yes.

I told him that this was a bad time to get a cat because we are going on vacation soon.  He agreed to just look.  I should have known better.

The cats at this shelter are kept in small glass rooms in groups of about 5-6 cats.  You can go into each room and sit in a chair and meet the cats.  When the husband walked up to room 10 he saw a large tiger cat sitting on a cat tree by the window cleaning himself.  He was impressed by the cleanliness.  Riley was a bit lacking in personal hygiene.  Powder would occasionally make a point to walk up and sniff his head and walk away in disgust.  That would shame him into bathing himself.

This was a quiet cat who liked getting petted but wasn’t obnoxious about it.  He was born at the shelter in 2013.  His name was Terry.  He was adopted when he was 3 months old. He was returned 11 months later for being too active.  (Seriously?  They had him through the horrible kitten crazy months.  He had probably almost outgrown the crazy when they brought him back.) He’s been at the shelter since last July.  His first family named him Paul.  Who names a cat Paul?  It is sticking though.

He got vaccinated before we left the shelter so he was quite angry.  He spent the first night hiding in the computer room.

The second day I made him get out from under a dresser and told him I was tired of his self-indulgent pity party. I moved him to a bathroom with no hiding spaces. I also brought home a pheromone collar to calm him. It worked. In 15 minutes he was demanding belly rubs.

The next day he moved to the bedroom and therefore had to interact with Freckles and Powder.  Powder is pointedly ignoring him.  Freckles wants to be friends so badly!  Every time he came out from under the bed, she’d be in his face wanting to love him.  The dog has no chill.  He ignored her except for the one time he smacked her for putting her nose in his ear.

He has been staying either under the bed or in the closet.  He likes to be petted a lot but won’t initiate.  He also isn’t eating to my liking.  He’s getting canned food to try to get him to eat and that is making everyone else so jealous.  He’s learning to eat while a dog is literally trying to break through the door to get to the yummy food.

Now he has full run of the house.  He goes out of the bedroom at night.  The first night he was roaming I found some cat toys that I haven’t seen in years spread out in the living room.  He’s starting to walk over to me to get petted instead of making me crawl under the bed.  We keep reminding ourselves that this is normal cat behavior.  Living with aggressively friendly cats can make you forget that.  I do NOTHING alone with Powder around.  Riley used to think that when I sat on the toilet it meant that I wanted a cuddle.  But even as in your face as Riley could be, he only did it for a few minutes a day.  Powder’s constant need to supervise my every move is an anomaly in the cat world, not Paul’s behavior.

I think he’s going to be fine.  It won’t surprise if he eventually comes more out of his shell.  It has been less than an week so far.  Someday I may look back on this post and laugh about talking about his shyness.

13 Jun, 2014

No More Self Improvement

/ posted in: Work

I am a sarcastic person.  I know this.  I don’t mind this but occasionally I get to thinking that I should give more compliments out to people I work with because they do a good job under hard circumstances.

Last week we had a cat come in to get scheduled for a spay.  In the course of her pre-op check we discovered she had a disease.  We wanted to get some additional blood tests.  She was done.  She had waited in the waiting room, been poked and prodded, and now she was done.  We weren’t going to get that blood.  As one my acupuncture teachers said, “The first rule of working with kitties is (bows with hands in front of heart) Respect The Kitty.”

So one of the techs suggested that since it wasn’t an emergency situation she should go home and come back in a week or so.  We’d take her right back with no waiting and pull the blood.  That happened yesterday.  The tech that had suggested it was busy elsewhere and didn’t know that the cat had come back and that it had worked perfectly.  I decided to tell her.

“C came back today and they did want you suggested and just brought her in immediately and pulled the blood.  It went fine.”

“Shut up!”

“What?!  Remember C from last week where we needed the extra blood and you said to come back when she calmed down?”

“I have no idea what you are talking about right now but I’m sure you are being sassy.”

“No, I’m being nice and complimentary about your idea.”

She stared at me suspiciously.  “Okaaaay…”

Eventually she remembered that she had a good idea and sort of accepted that I was complimenting her.  Later I saw our boss.

“Hey, I’d like to lodge a complaint.  I was trying to be a fine and upstanding coworker and gave THAT ONE (I pointed at the tech) a compliment on a fine idea she had and she told me to shut up.”  I gave him a dramatic replay of the conversation.

He looked at me sadly and shook his head.  “I lose respect for you every time you are nice, especially to (he pointed at the tech who we both get along with well).  I prefer you sassy.”

Obviously niceness is not for me but I’m going to work on it now that I know it really messes with their minds!

 

08 Apr, 2014

A Mouse in the House

/ posted in: Pets

When we went to bed last night the husband asked me if Riley had come back in.  I didn’t know that he had gone out.  I was surprised because it was raining.  I might have whined a bit about “my poor RiRi.”  The husband got up to see where he was.  Riley came running back in the house as soon as the door opened.

That should have been it.  About 5 minutes later the husband and I realized we were alone in bed.  That’s odd.  We should have had 2 dogs and at least one cat.  Then the commotion started in the dining room.  The husband got up.  He came back to inform me that my “poor RiRi” had brought something in the house.

Freckles was under the dining room table hopping up and down.  Powder was sitting near her.  Riley was on the table pretending that he had nothing to do with anything.  I’m not sure where Under the Bed Dog was but I’m sure she was hiding.

Closer inspection revealed that Freckles had a mouse.  She wanted the mouse to stay between her front legs.  It is possible that she was trying to shield it from a very interested Powder.  She knows what cats do to mice and has tried to take them away from the cats before.  This mouse wasn’t cooperating.  It kept running away.  So Freckles would jump up, catch it in her mouth, lie down, and spit it out between her front legs again over and over. Freckles has a tendency to rescue rodents to death.

(I was impressed by her ability to catch it, usually in midair.  If you threw a treat to her it would bounce off her head.)

I grabbed a dish towel and told Freckles that she needed to give the mouse to me.  She didn’t want to.  It got away and was retrieved a few more times before I got the towel over it.  I wrapped it up and released it outside.  It is probably now trying to explain how it was abducted to the other mice and signing up for a lifetime of therapy.

 

 

 

23 Jan, 2014

Domestic bliss

/ posted in: FamilyPets

The other day I came upon the husband sitting on the couch crooning sweet nothings to Powder, who was sitting happily on his chest.  It was so cute.  It was the kind of scene that gives you the warm fuzzies until you notice what he is saying.

“You are such a good kitty.  You are so soft and take such good care of your fur.  You are going to make a really good scarf someday.  I’m just going to have my good friend Cruella DeVil come over.”

04 Jan, 2014

Cabin Fever

/ posted in: Pets

We have a wee bit of snow.

It is causing much cabin fever among the inmates here. Look at all the sad that has fallen down and almost crushed Freckles in the back of this picture.

There is so much sad that all she can do is lay around and sigh. Sometimes she can manage a wag or two but they are slow, sad wags. She can go outside and play in the snow but then she realizes that it is freaking cold out even with a built in fur coat and she hustles back.

Riley is about out of his brain. He needs to get outside to chase and kill. He is trying to cope by killing things like garland in the house. We are being tolerant. Better garland than us. The other day Powder was walking past him and he grabbed her hind leg and fake bit it like he was a lion taking down a zebra. We all stared at him until he let go.

He sits and stares out the back door and then looks at me reproachfully because I won’t make it better. We stop him from going out but you can’t always stop stupid. He rushes out between the dog’s legs when she is coming inside.

Five minutes later:

I call this one “STFU and Let Me In!”

21 Oct, 2013

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

/ posted in: Pets

Riley has gotten bored with killing chipmunks.  It was too easy.  For most of the month he’s been practicing catch and release.  He catches them, brings them up on the porch, and lets them go.

We considered the possibility that he may be waiting for them to get bigger and juicier.

Me:  “He’s farming?”
The husband: “I think it is more like ranching.”

And then the neighbor intervened.  This neighbor likes the bloodthirsty side of Riley.  He has complimented him on laying waste to the local mouse population.  He came over this weekend and commented to the husband and Riley that Riley was slacking because there were still lots of chipmunks around.

I have been presented with multiple dead chipmunks every day since.

13 Sep, 2013

My Poor Clients

/ posted in: Work

After considerable thought I have come to the conclusion that many of my clients must be exceedingly poor, bless their hearts.

They do not appear to be able to afford to buy clothing that contains enough fabric to adequately cover everything on them that ought to be covered, the poor dears.

You may say that it is not my place to judge but as a veterinarian, unfortunately, I am often put in close contact with my clients’ personal parts. Therefore, I tend to notice these things more than say, a bank teller would. If you bring in your small dog or cat, you put them on the table. I’m across the table and I’m looking down at your Precious – and your cleavage. If Fluffikins decides to hide from me, guess who has to gently remove her from between your breasts without being accused of copping a feel? Seriously, there should be a class on this in vet school. It is a skill.

People with big dogs aren’t exempt. Then I’m on the floor while they may be on a chair so I’m at chest level to the owners. Or, their dog decides to hide between their legs adding crotch extraction to my job skills. Let’s not forget the energetic dog that the owner tries to hold which makes me worry if there is about to be a wardrobe malfunction.

I’ve requested that we post signs on the front doors saying that we require breasts to be covered before entering. I’ve offered to get large coats from the thrift store to give to clients who seem to have forgotten large portions of their clothing at home like fancy restaurants that loaned out jackets and ties used to do. My suggestions usually just remind my male boss that he needs to spend more time in the exam rooms.

I’m not sure if all this exposure is turning me into a prude or a connoisseur. I feel very strongly now that if you are going to have your naughty bits all up in my face that you should have appropriate foundation undergarments. I understand that time and gravity take their toll but bra technology is amazing nowadays. Scaffolding is available. There is no reason to have your nipples at your waist. Yeah, I’m talking to you, 80+ year old lady in the strapless sundress who chose that day to go au naturale and to all the ladies obviously wearing a stretched out piece of cheapo lingerie that you bought 20 years ago.

I wish I could write prescriptions to fix this. “Yes, Fluffy needs this antibiotic for her skin and I need to refer you to Marlene down at Macy’s. She’ll measure you for an appropriate bra. They are having a sale next week. I’ll schedule you an appointment.”
_____________________________________________

Two of our best recent client stories involve ladies who were obviously “poor”.

The first was told to me by a male technician. (This proves that it is not just me that notices these things.) He set up the story by saying that it involved a lady who “was under the impression that the shirt she was wearing was a dress.”

She brought in a new kitten. She said it was 6 months old at registration. When he got it out of the carrier it appeared younger so he asked her if she was sure on the age. She said that she was because it had been born in May. It was August at the time. (Go ahead, do the math. Count on your fingers. Recheck it a few times. I’ll wait.)

Unless the kitten had gone off time traveling for a bit in July, it was 3 months old. This matters because 3 month olds and 6 month olds do not receive the same vaccinations. It was the size of a 3 month old and had the baby teeth that a 3 month old would have. He pointed this out. She insisted it was born in May and was 6 months old.

He went and got the doctor. He told her the trouble and she checked. It was 3 months old. The owner insisted it was 6 months. Finally the owner’s friend, who had been quiet up to this point, turned to her friend and yelled, “I TOLD YOU that you need to quit smoking so much weed! It is messing with your brain!”

_____________

I had a client, who fussed with her clothes continuously because she was seconds away from a wardrobe malfunction at any given time, bring in two kittens. She said they were sisters. She had had one for a few weeks and then she went back to the same place a few days ago and got the other. The new kitten was 1 pound smaller than the first kitten. The new kitten was very skinny but that wouldn’t explain the size difference entirely. They looked like there was about a month difference in ages. I asked her, “Are you sure these girls are littermates?”

She replied in a sad voice, “Yes, I just got the second one and I haven’t had time to set up a second litter box.”

29 Aug, 2013

Crime and Punishment

/ posted in: Pets

I was punished.

My crime was pet sitting.  Dog sitting specifically.  If you are keeping track – and Powder is – we have two instances of allowing unauthorized canines in the house for extended periods this year.  That is coming dangerously close to becoming a habit.

When Under the Bed Dog came, Powder made herself scarce.  I naively figured she’d be back to cuddling in bed as soon as the dog left.  I should have known better.  This is the cat who sat shiva on the wardrobe for 18 months after we got Freckles to Make A Point (emphasis hers).  She’d probably still be there if we hadn’t moved the bed she used to get up there and had to Learn To Deal (emphasis mine).

The day after UTB dog left Powder would sit next to me but not touching.  She would then pointedly ignore me.  If I wasn’t noticing that she was ignoring me, there would be quick meows to make sure I knew that she was having nothing to do with me.  Since she was sitting right there, if I would pet her or hug her, well, that was on me.  She was not encouraging it.  She would just sit stiffly with haughty disapproval.

I would point out to her that the offending canines belonged to the husband’s brother and ex-wife respectively so maybe her complaints are being directed towards the wrong party.  But, as a fellow female she obviously recognizes who is in charge around here and therefore I get the blame.

Last night she decided that I was repentant enough and decided to cuddle on me in bed.  I guess I’m forgiven.  This time.

08 Jul, 2013

Springy

/ posted in: PetsWork

I recently got this new pain medication in for cats. Cats are hard to medicate for pain because everything kills their kidneys. There are no pain medications for cats labeled for use in cats in the U.S. for more than 3 days. Some of the drugs we have are used in Europe and Canada everyday but that’s technically illegal here.

This medication is called Devcor and it is an over the counter supplement made with anti-inflammatory herbs. I love some other products from the company so I decided to try this out. I haven’t had any complaints about it not working and even had some positive feedback on it (rare).

Powder is 11 now and is losing her jump. That’s a good sign of arthritis in cats. I’ve put some strategically placed steps around the house for her to get to her stuff. I’ve given her pain meds when she is really bad but we all know that vets are the worst pet owners around so she isn’t on pain meds all the time. Cobbler’s kids have no shoes and all that.

Yesterday she was bad. She was crawling up the bed because she couldn’t make the jump so I gave her some devcor. A few hours later I had to yell at her before she got on top of the birdcage. It must be good stuff!

02 Apr, 2013

The Couch Chronicles

/ posted in: Pets

Ever since I met the husband six years ago we have been looking for a couch.  He wanted a sectional like his neighbor had.  Of course that couch came from a store that didn’t exist any more.

So for the past six years we’ve been testing sectionals.  He wanted leather.  I wanted comfy.  I can test every couch in a store in a few minutes.  I sit down.  I stand up.  I declare it uncomfortable.  Why would anyone want to buy a couch that isn’t comfy?

The other problem is cheapness.  We don’t believe in borrowing money for something like a couch so we need to save up for it and this is expensive.

Long, long, long story short he called me a week or so ago at work and said he bought a couch.  I went after work to see it.  He was leading me through the store and I saw one sectional.  I thought “At least I know he didn’t buy that one.”  Of course, he sat down on that one.  It is hideously ugly but it is comfy.

It is coming today.  Last night we moved the old couch.  The animals were horrified.  Powder used to panic when furniture was moved.  Her first people abandoned her when they moved.  She thought furniture moving meant we were leaving her.  Now she’s had enough moves to know she’s coming with but she was pissy.  “Why can’t we just pick a house and stay there?”

The overall worry though was “Where are we going to sit?”  Neither Powder or Freckles, my delicate little flowers, would consider sitting on the floor.  Who does that?  They are civilized pets.

All the comfys

Freckles spent the morning guarding the remaining piece of furniture in the living room. It also had all the pillows and an afghan on it for added bonus comfies.

New couch

Right now she is a bit afraid of the new couch. It is also cold so she doesn’t want to sit on it. I laid down on the couch and she immediately laid on top of me. Yep, we buy a sectional big enough for everyone to stretch out on and she’s still laying on me. Why am I not surprised?

02 Apr, 2013

Cuddly Kitty

/ posted in: Pets

Riley is a thug but he needs cuddles from his mommy daily. This is especially true if we go away. We went to my parents’ for Easter. We were only gone around 24 hrs and the pet sitter (or Staff as Powder sees them) came once. It wasn’t like he was abandoned in the wilderness. But, he needs lots of cuddles to make up for it.

He is a big cat. He’s twice Powder’s size. She, however, is the Queen and even though he sometimes chases her there are two things that are inviolate.

  1. If Riley is eating and Powder wants to eat, Riley leaves.
  2. If Riley is laying on my chest in bed and Powder comes into the room, Riley leaves.

This is understood.  She only has to look at him and he scuttles away like he’s been beaten for this infraction before.  I was going to write about how I didn’t understand why he reacts this way but I realized that I sometimes don’t roll over in bed if she is giving me The Look.

Yesterday Powder was laying on my chest and Riley jumped up on the bed.  I assumed he didn’t realize she was there and that he would leave.  But, he was singleminded in pursuit of his cuddle.  He walked up to me and laid down on my chest – pushing her out of the way.  Two humans and a dog held their breath.  This was very bold stuff.  Riley was facing me with his back to Powder.  As he settled in I saw the look on his face.  The horrified look that said he realized that he had just made a huge tactical error.  We are waited and then Powder just laid back down on my stomach.  I think she was just as stunned as everyone else.

So does this signal a change of rules in the house?  Last night Riley was laying on my chest.  We heard the footsteps of Powder coming into the bedroom.  Riley lit out of there like a shot.  Once might be forgiven but I think he’s toeing the line right now.

 

16 Dec, 2012

A Daring Rescue

/ posted in: Work

I was leaving work on Friday when I saw a cat that hangs out sometimes in the parking lot stroll into 4 lanes of traffic. He strolled. He didn’t dash out into traffic. From my vantage point I couldn’t see him in the road but the cars never slowed so I thought maybe he made it through. I pulled forward enough to see the road and he was there rolling end over end and then pulled himself off the road into a stand of trees.

I’m a vet. You can’t really let that kind of thing go. I parked my car and flagged down a staff member and we mounted a rescue. She ran across the road and I went to find capture equipment and more help.

We gathered up a net, a carrier, towels, and a flashlight. We managed to catch him but he was not happy about it. Then we had to get back to the clinic.

Remember there are four lanes of traffic. One way was clear but there was about to be a lot of traffic coming when the light down the way turned green. The other way was solid traffic. One of my techs had the brilliant idea to cross halfway. That’s a fine idea if there is a place to stand in the middle. Or if the traffic the other way stops before the light turned green and the rest of the traffic started bearing down on us. Or if we weren’t all wearing dark clothing at night. Or we weren’t carrying a big carrier full of pissed off cat. We pretty much darted into traffic and made it through with better luck than the kitty. There was screaming. I think it was me.

After that we had to figure out what to do with the kitty. He was angry. A tech suited up with gloves and towels (run me into traffic, will you?) and pinned him in the carrier and I stuck him with a syringeful of antibiotics through the holes in the carrier. We fed him some food laced with painkillers. Then we left him to calm down overnight.

He didn’t. We quickly realized that this was not someone’s beloved lap kitty. We had a full-on feral tom cat with aspirations to be a mountain lion on our hands. He was dubbed “Mr. Cuddles” after he attacked us repeatedly.

His back end was obviously broken. I sedated him. Three times. It finally took. We scanned him for a microchip in case he had people. He didn’t have a chip so I euthanized him because he was suffering and wasn’t going to be amenable to handling to try to fix him.

The addendum to this story is the reaction of the significant others of myself and the two people who helped catch him. All of them told us that we were complete idiots for trying to catch an injured cat. The tech said her fiance just kept asking, “Why?” She said that she thought he was misunderstanding the story so she’d start over. “There was this cat. He got hit.” It was obvious to her.

Maybe it is just vet people. It either changes you or you have to be crazy to go into the field.

23 Jul, 2012

Taste Testing

/ posted in: PetsWork

I’ve been taking an online Chinese food therapy course.  I’m most of the way through the lectures so I decided to start making some of the foods and testing them out on my pets.

First up – asparagus:

I kept hearing over and over in lectures that cats love asparagus.  That seems odd.  But last night I steamed a big bunch of asparagus for dinner.  I took the left overs and started chopping up the flowery end finely to offer the cats when I noticed Freckles.  She was at my feet in full on begging mode.  She usually reserves that for getting steak or cheese from her daddy.  I handed her a piece of stalk.  She slurped it up and kept begging.  Usually with veggies she takes it enthusiastically and then is disappointed that it isn’t something better.  She never lost her love for the asparagus.

I put the finely chopped flowery part in the cat bowl.  Powder gobbled it all down.  She had been eating her dry food but stopped and preferentially ate the asparagus. This is a cat who once ate an entire salad so I wanted to test Riley too.  I didn’t have a chance until this morning.  I had two ziploc bags.  One had chopped up stems for Freckles and one had chopped up flowers for the cats.  I put some in the cat bowl but Riley wasn’t allowed to have any.  Powder got them all.  So I went and hand fed Riley and he loved them too.

Meanwhile, I went to feed Freckles and left the stem bag open.  I came back to Powder with her whole head in the bag, gobbling up huge mouthfuls of asparagus stems.

Result – asparagus gets three enthusiastic paws up but the only vegetarian (Jules the parrot) hated it so she gave it one beak down.

Recipe two – marrow soup

Here’s where we get into hard things for vegetarians.  It called for chicken bones.  I don’t have that.  So I collected a steak bone and a pork shoulder bone from the husband’s meals this week.  Then I put them in a big pot, covered them with water, added 1/4 cup of vinegar and a handful of baby carrots.  The vinegar and carrots are to make the broth acidic enough to leech the minerals from the bones and dissolve them enough to release the marrow.  I cooked it on low for 5 hours.  The pork bone dissolved enough to let me crack the bone.  The steak bone didn’t do much.  Using the chicken bones makes more sense now because they would probably totally dissolve.

I strained out the broth and threw out the bones and carrots.

Results:

Cats- 2 huge paws down.  Maybe there was too much vinegar taste

Freckles – The. Best. Thing. Ever!!  I gave her a bit of soup and I’ve never seen her so happy.  She kept going back to the bowl to check if more had magically appeared.  I had a hard time getting her to come to bed since she wanted to stay by her bowl just in case.  For now she’ll be getting a bit daily until this batch is gone.  I guess the husband is going to have to start eating chicken wings every so often so I can get bones. 

Marrow soup is full of minerals and in Chinese terms it is a jing tonic.  That means that it is good for very young and very old animals because it has a lot of easily digestible nutrients from the marrow. 

More tasting testing to come…

26 Apr, 2012

The Mighty Hunters

/ posted in: Pets

I don’t think the rodents around my house have had any predators for a while.  The other day Riley showed up with the body of the biggest, furriest mouse I’ve ever seen.  Mice don’t get that big if they have to run for their lives instead of shoveling food into their mouths nonstop.  We’d been joking that it probably walked up to Riley and introduced himself because it didn’t know to be afraid.

Now we know that it might be true.  Yesterday Freckles caught a mouse.  She didn’t really mean too.  She wanted to play with it.  She carried it around by the tail.  Then it didn’t want to play anymore. 

The SO got her to let it go but it was damaged so he called over an expert killer.  Freckles didn’t want to let Riley have her new friend but the SO lured her into the house with promises of cheese.  That trumps everything except maybe Greenies in FrecklesWorld.  Riley removed the evidence and we are telling Freckles that her mouse friend went to live on a farm where there is lots of grain to eat.

03 Apr, 2012

Headline cat news

/ posted in: Pets

I noticed recently when I’m camping in my old house that the cats in the neighborhood are acting strangely.  There’s the yellow cat who always used to slink down the sidewalk across the street from our house.  He seemed a very skittish fellow.  I saw him the other day. He was walking down the middle of the street confident.  He wasn’t even looking over his shoulder like the hounds of hell were about to show up.  Other cats seem strangely bold lately too.  I realized that there must have been a news article in the kitty newspaper.

Local Crime Lord Really Gone

The hopeful rumor swirling through the neighborhood was confirmed this week.  The horrible bully who occupied the corner of Chestnut Street is truly gone.

Riley, age 5, has terrorized local cats since he moved to the neighborhood from the country in 2008.

“He was always there, watching,” reported one terrified neighbor.  “He’d sit on the porch with his man person and watch everything we did.  You knew you were in trouble if he got up and came down the stairs.”

Riley was known for his intimidation but he has had a little known soft side.  “He used to let me eat catnip with him in his garden,” said a small calico.  “He’d beat up anyone else who tried though.”

Oldtimers remember that he did defeat the previous cat ruler Lester after Lester attacked Riley’s housemate.  Even a later injury didn’t slow down Riley’s reign of terror.  “Even when he was unable to use his front leg at all, he’d just look at me and my blood would run cold.  Now that it seems that he is really gone I feel like I can walk the streets safely,” said Yellow Cat.
Local squirrels were asked about their memories of this scourge but their replies can not be printed in a family paper. 

It sort of makes me want to bring him back for a night just to keep all the cats guessing.

28 Mar, 2012

When good dogs go bad

/ posted in: Pets

One night I noticed Powder standing on her hind legs trying to look in the garbage.  That was weird.  That cat doesn’t normally acknowledge lowly things like garbage. 

All during the night Freckles was restless.  She was up and down off the bed.  I got up and let her out in the middle of the night.  It didn’t help. 

When morning came I saw the problem.  Someone had knocked over the garbage and spread it about until they unearthed a chicken carcass.  It was in the middle of the kitchen untouched.  The untouchedness led me to conclude that it was Freckles.  She had taken it out and then got so guilty that she couldn’t even snack on it.

I walked back into the bedroom and looked at Powder and Freckles.  Powder did not deign to acknowledge my stare.  She maintained her air of being so above petty concerns like humans and dogs.  Freckles, on the other hand, was a wreck.  She knew she had been bad and was busted.  She started whimpering and crying and snuggling up to the SO and begging for her life. 

We laid in bed and cuddled her.  She was punishing herself more than we ever could.  But, the cat – who probably put her up to it given her previous interest in the garbage – finally couldn’t take it any longer.  She calmly walked across the bed and proceeded to smack Freckles repeatedly on the head.  The message was clear.  “They got no proof on us if you don’t confess, you worthless mutt.” 

There was one other player.  Jules had a clear view of the crime from her cage.  She was squawking early that morning.  Apparently she was ratting out the wrong doers.  Now if we could just convince her to talk and learn everyone’s names we’d know exactly what happened. 

10 Mar, 2012

Fur Was Flyin’

/ posted in: Pets

Woke up this morning to screaming cats. I wandered out to the kitchen when it seemed it wasn’t stopping. There were clumps of fur in the hallway. Clumps of fur in the living room. These led up to a Riley cat who was sitting there as innocent as you please. But, he had tufts of fur hanging loose all over his body and there was a clump of fur hanging out of the side of his mouth. I was about to yell at him for picking on his sister when Powder nonchalantly wandered past. She had clumps of fur hanging out of her mouth too.

Neither one of them is telling. What happens in the living room stays in the living room.

11 Jan, 2012

The Cat Plan

/ posted in: Pets

I got out a suitcase to start packing for my trip yesterday.  Riley looked annoyed.  They don’t like it when suitcases come out.  It means I’m going somewhere and that upsets their apple carts.  They have no idea how upset they are about to be.

Tomorrow morning I am taking them both to the new house before work.  This is so Riley doesn’t escape and so Powder doesn’t have a nervous breakdown.  She’s a bit neurotic. 

Our bathroom is small and narrow.  It is just an inch wider than our bathmat.  (This will be known in the future as “Remember when we had a big bathroom?” because the new bathrooms are TINY but I digress.)  When Powder comes in the bathroom she contorts herself around the door so she can step on tile and not step on the mat.  She slinks around the mat over to the toilet to see me because obviously I’m in there just wishing I had a cat to pet.  When she leaves she can step on the mat and walk directly to the door.  But, if she needs to come back to me she has to jump off the mat and walk on tile again.  She’s special.

She was also abandoned as a kitten when her owners moved and left her and her littermates.  She freaked out when we moved furniture out before.  So to spare her delicate sensibilities they are going tomorrow.

I’ll let them run around the whole house tomorrow.  I’ll go back Friday on the way to the airport and lock them in the bedroom.  On Saturday they need to get locked into the hall bathroom until everything is unpacked.  This will royally piss them off but they are just going to have to deal! 

UA-56222504-1