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Breakfast of Horror

I woke up this morning, early. I have a client meeting to get ready for. I showered, dressed, slapped on maked-up, then made my way downstairs to prepare the morning meal for my cats.

I grabbed a few cans of cat food and blended them together, then microwaved the mush to add a nice, appetizing aroma to their breakfast. I divided up the bowl of food onto smaller plates, then began serving them. I feed the cats in order and they each have their own place to eat. This keeps everyone calm and avoids fights. As long as I'm consistent, they follow suit.

I begin with Spencer and Bob because they'll trip me if I don't feed them first. Nicky gives me a froggy-meow as I place the food before him and his baby-seal-like 22 lb sister, Nora. Just another morning in the woods. Just another day. No big deal.

The next two to be fed are Gracie and her daughter, Petunia. I began to place their food down when I noticed something wrong. Before I could utter a scream, I realized there was a dead field mouse next to Gracie's plate. Resigned to the fact that my cats are going to do this from time to time, I simply put Gracie's food down, fed the remaining cat, Cricket, then picked up my camera. How Gracie can be so blase about eating breakfast next to a dead mouse is beyond my understanding. I felt badly for the poor mouse, laying there so still, as though he was a discarded leftover, to be ignored and unimportant forever more.

The little mouse is now in the lap of my Buddha garden statue, out in the front yard where his remains may benefit other beings who need him to live. Meanwhile, Gracie is going to get de-wormed!

On today's menu...or next to it on the floor

So, where was I?

Geez, time flies. Seems like just yesterday I was complaining about hunting down cat urine markings and now look it's almost August! Yeah, call me a slacker, but I have a good excuse for not posting over these past few weeks. No. It wasn't Bob. Bob is doing well. He's basically stable and if he vomits, I have fairly reliable ways to manage the problem until it subsides. Bob's due for some updated tests, but it's been almost 6 weeks without a Vet visit, so why look for trouble?

So what was Bob's final diagnosis? Who knows. All I know is I'm out $6800.00!

My life with cats has been on the back burner. I've been at my Mother's house every day for the past month, cleaning it out, preparing and having an Estate (bomb!) sale and then doing the final clean out before the new owners move in. In this lousy housing market, Mum's house sold in a few DAYS. The owner's wanted to take possession quickly, so I had to move fast to make their deadline.

Of course, where is my brother? He is suppose to help me? No. He is busy, as usual. Now he is on vacation in Australia. Before that he was in San Francisco, Chicago, Paris, India! Uh huh. Thanks brother. I could have and did do it without you. Who cares that the temps were in the 90's, humid, no A/C and the mold, dust and mildew I snorted was enough to shorten my life span.


I'm lucky I have some very good friends. They pitched in, coming to help after they got out of work each evening, schlepping over folding tables and helping me price about 50 Hallmark Holiday Ornaments, which, did not sell! My good friends even bought me dinner or took a day off to be there with me during the hours of the Estate Sale. That, my friend, IS a good friend. So thank you to them and they know who they are!

I haven't been able to resume fostering kittens. It's been four months without the sound of romping, under 10 pound cat sounds. I miss it. Now that the house is sold and I'm in the final stretch of getting the Estate through Probate, I can make the call to Monica, to get me some nice little furballs and get back in the game.

Sadly, I hear that adoptions are DOWN. A factor of the economy, no doubt. The kittens we have gotten in have been more skittish than normal. It's been a bad year for our rescue group and I'm sure the same can be said for many other groups, as well. Com'on folks! Get out there and adopt a homeless cat!

Okay, I'm gonna dig up some crap to talk about. In the meantime, hey, you guys can post things here, too ya know! I'm just sayin'...

Living in a Urine-nation

I wonder when my life changed from living in relaxed, clean, dry surroundings, to a wild state of prowling and searching for pee strikes, cat marking, whiz on walls. I think my mistake was to volunteer with a rescue group that had/has? some of the longest placement records in history. It takes them soooo long to place an animal, that most fosters just give up and adopt their foster cat or dog. Does this make sense? No. Me neither. That's why I don't volunteer with them any more.

I also have to blame myself, again, because I won't re-home Petunia. The Animal Communicator told me Petunia admitted to being the phantom-peer (mostly, not exclusively). She also said that Petunia would prefer to live on her own and be the only cat in the home. I agree. The problem is, Petunia is 5 and Petunia's mother, Gracie is here, too. Do I have to adopt them both out together? I like Gracie. I like Petunia, too, but it's tough to like a cat who has single-tractly ruined so much of my house.

There I was, with a black light in one hand and a bottle of Zero Odor in the other. Aside from the fact that I was terribly alarmed by the suddenly visible bacterial stains on my microwave door and on my countertop, I was flat out sad to see how many urine markings were on places I thought I had been keeping an eye on. They were not visible in daylight and there was no smell. No, really!

I found about six big locations and got them cleaned up. I was too distressed to even look upstairs. What will I find? Whiz oh my art deco dresser? Or worse in my nice, what-I-thought-was-clean-bathroom?

Why? Why? Why must they do this? I've tried Feliway everywhere. I love those SSScat things, but they are troublesome if you walk in the location where they are aimed. Why can't they just all get along. Bob has been here for almost two years now, so there are no changes to the household and I had to stop fostering while Bob was sick, so it's been quiet for months.

So can I please have a break from this now? Sometimes I just want to light a match and walk away from all of this, but I know I would be sad and I'd miss my cool lamps, at least. Ugh. I can't wait 10 or more years until they all get too old to do anything other than nap.

What should I do? What if I find Petunia a good home and it keeps going on? I would feel like I failed her if I let her go, but part of me feels sure she would be so happy to get lots of attention. She IS a friendly, playful cat. She even chats with me and does a few tricks.

I don't count peeing on the back door a trick.

So how are all of you doing? Keep me posted. Hope you're all doing well, not getting flooded out or fighting fires in your yard or sweltering in the heat. Me? I have A/C, a black light, paper towels and a dream. I guess I'll just head back out with the black and and finish my mission.

Smile Break


And before you say it, NO, I didn't let Bob eat the Lavender!

Bupdate? Updob?

Time flies when you're spending all your remaining credit on Vet bills!

The breathless anxiety I experienced has waned, thankfully. I had the worst outbreak of Eczema of my entire life. Stress induced? YES! I know, this is not about ME ME ME, but when one cat gets sick, we all suffer! I can't begin to guess at how much sleep I've lost or how many bottles of Eucerin I've gone through. I think I've gotten to a point where if I hear Bob vomit, a patch of eczema appears on me somewhere.

Can you believe it's been almost six weeks since Bob fell ill? It seems like a miserable constant that's been going on a lot longer. That said, Bob is now off Doxy, THANK GOD and I only have to give him the teeniest tiny-est bit of Pepcid AC and Reglan. By Wednesday, that will be it. Of course, that won't be it because as of this morning, Bob has a NEW symptom.

Check this out:

Bobs ear.jpg

Bob broke out in some sort of rash a few days ago. HIs scalp turned magenta and it was hot to the touch. He wasn't messing with it, but I certainly worried that he was going to begin having breathing problems on top of the rash. This looked like an allergic reaction to something. The next day it was gone. A day later, oops. It's back, but this time it's raised and bloody.


I spoke with my friend, a Vet Tech named Deb. Deb is always calm. Deb never shows fear. I bet Deb doesn't have Eczema breakouts, either.

Now Deb tells me not to worry if Bob isn't scratching at it. Gee, I haven't SEEN him do that, but I don't watch him all day. He also started HIDING somewhere in the house, which freaks me out. I know cats go hide when they are going to DIE, so I'm not keen on not knowing where Bob is hiding. With all the crap in this house, it's pretty easy for him to melt into the spaces between the piles. He could easily be secretly scratching when I'm not looking OR he rubbed up against some box of itch causing bacteria or who knows what.

Maybe Bob has eczema now?

I'll Budate, Updob or fill you in on the latest news once there is some. Until then, I must go scratch myself and hope that Bob has the good sense not to do the same thing.

Hey! I know! Let's Enter a Contest that can Kill our Cats!

meow mix.jpg

Sure! You think you know your cat so well that you can actually Think Like a Cat? Shove your beloved cat into a carrier and head right down to the open auditions happening across this great country of ours where you and your cat can participate in a FUN (not!) Game Show! But hey, make sure you read the fine print! If your cat is DEAD you get disqualified!

Gosh, that just seems rough to me! Come on already! Where's the fun in that?

What I don't understand, is after reading the mountain of fine print, it never says anything about the "Cat-testants" needing to be properly Vetted before they are exposed to all the other "Cat-testants." Their concern? If the cat would harm or bite someone, not if, say, oh, it has a URI and is coughing all over the place or Feline Leukemia or anything else that is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS BETWEEN OTHER CATS!!!!!!

I hope I missed something in the legal tome that's part of this contest. I hope they have something that states clearly that not only must cats be in "good health" that that health must be proven by a signed document from a Vet. This is the only way to make sure you don't have an outbreak of illness from the one person who didn't bring a perfectly healthy cat to the audition.

My goodness, would YOU enter this contest? Would you want to subject your cat to enormous stress, possible illness, just to make a buck or, ugh, BE ON TV?!

Yes, the potential Grand Prize, which "may be awarded" is a million bucks, but what you and your cat have to succeed at doing for the money is very difficult, at best. I'd have to wonder if it's worth the risk. No thanks. I'd rather stay home.

What do you think?

The Terrible Case of Mysterious Tummy Trouble

Bob's been off his anti-nausea meds for a week and the vomiting has returned. At first, I hoped it was due to a tiny hairball that he expelled, but later in the day he vomited again and this time it was all his food. My heart is broken. I'm frustrated and angry and tired. I so want Bob to bounce back and stabilize, but perhaps his belly didn't get enough rest or perhaps I allowed him access to too much of that tempting high fat dry food? I blame myself, but in my defense I've been trying so hard to get Bob to eat an adequate amount of food that I will let him have just about anything he wants, within reason.

My search for the low fat canned food that he will LOVE continues. I'm at the point of ordering a case of food, just to try one can. I stopped myself, but you can see I'm struggling. I add baby food, I warm up the food, I try a bit of this, a bit of that. Bob eats a little, then goes away. If I have to feed him 6 times a day, then I would do that, but I just worry he's not getting enough overall.

Bob is thinner and his coat is not so great. I brush him so he looks nice and I do see him cleaning himself, still. He enjoys some play time and he seems to go to Nick or Nora to be comforted by their friendship. Bob's still Bob, but for how much longer? He slips along this slope on a downward track. I know where the bottom will take him. I'm endlessly sad. I can't cure old age, so I take it one day at a time and try to enjoy every purr and take some comfort in every mouthful of food I see him eat.

I could opt to do exploratory surgery on him, but I think it's too much. We don't know how old Bob really is and he may be well into his teens. Is that fair to do to him? I think not. I think he needs to just enjoy a quiet life, with all the supportive care I can give him at home.

Bob never would have lived this long without me adopting him after my Mother passed away. He would have long ago died from neglect-the shame I carry with me. My own, dear, Mother, truly could have been labeled as treating her animals cruelly. She never took her cats to the Vet, even to be neutered or get basic wellness exams. She said it was cruel to frighten them and put them under a knife. She let one of her cats die from a blockage. Once I found out, I stopped speaking to her for months. We always battled each other about this.

We were such polar opposites, I often wondered if I really was her daughter. For someone who would feed any and all animals that came near her home, when those animals needed her most, she turned away and claimed it was "Nature" and to just let them be. So they would die. She would have hated all I've done for Bob, claiming it a foolish waste of money. Just let him go outside until he didn't home one day. That would be her answer. I can't do that. I'm not going to give up, but I sure wish I knew how to cure this mysterious case of Bob's tummy trouble.

Off Meds

Bob's list of medications is down to only taking Doxy to kill off that haemobartonella parasite. Other than that, the meds to keep him from vomiting are long worn off. From what I can tell, Bob has been successfully keeping his food down this week. He's had a bit of that nice fattening dry food and kept that down, too. I'm VERY glad!

Bob's appetite has been all over the place. His love for dry food really keeps him going, but I can't offer it to him all the time. I just can't. It's too much fat. That said, at least he's interested in eating most times and even if he doesn't eat a lot, he eats. He'll pick at the other cat's bowls, too, so this is all good to me. In the last two days, Bob's been a bit more frisky, as well. He was playing rather spritely and he was laying belly up for the first time in well over a year. He looked very content.

Although he's still very thin, Bob's still hanging in there and that's what matters to me. It's also been two weeks since he's been to a Vet, which I am VERY grateful for—more than anything else. Keeping Bob home to relax and recover is the best medicine I can think of and it seems to be working.

Are we all done talking about Bob? Nope. Still don't know what was WRONG with him, but he'll have a blood test in a few more weeks to check some of his levels and perhaps that will tell us more OR perhaps I should stop wondering and just enjoy the boy!

The Jury is Still Out

Bob continues to pass the days without much change. As of last night he is off Flagyl and now I will begin to worry again. Will he be able to keep his food down? This is a big week for Bob. If he can continue to eat, at least small meals and not vomit, I think he'll be all right. He still has one more Cerenia to take, which will keep his belly quiet, but by later in the week, the true test will come. This is where I'll start to know if Bob is slipping down that slope or if he has recovered enough to suffer more simply from "Old Cat" ailments, than from anything in particular.

Bob's PLI test came back SlIGHTLY elevated. Well, gee, they FINALL did the test AFTER he'd been getting IV's for 2 weeks, so sure, the results are not remarkable. They suggest to repeat the test in two weeks. Really nothing has been found so far, other than the haemobartonella.

Bob's appetite fluctuates and I'm complicating things by continuing to try new foods to encourage him to eat and eat more than just a lick of broth. This morning he ate really well for me and that was great. He'll also happily eat that nice fattening grain-free dry food. He ate so much of it that he vomited it all back up. A big fist-size blow out. After that I've been more careful, letting him have access to small amounts and he's been keeping that down. He only gets the dry once per day and at such a small amount, I'm not going to sweat it.

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