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File Under: “My Cat is Insane”

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Spencer flailing around in the hopes that the string toy will accidently fall into his waiting arms. Getting up to chase after it seems like just too much work.

Vet Week 2010

It wasn't enough to take SEVEN foster cats to the Vet on Tuesday. Of course I have my OWN cats who need occasional vet care, too. Right. I DO have my OWN cats. I keep forgetting about them!

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He looks so sweet because his is still DRUGGED in this photo!

Spencer was up first. He wasn't too thrilled about being at the Vet. He was due for a dental cleaning and WAY overdue for a CLAW (talons of DOOM) TRIM. To make things easier, I brought a “to do” list for Dr. Larry and to make SURE he trimmed Spencer's claws (TOD), I wrote: “Please trim the Little Fu@ker's claws...” I figure, humor is a good way to drill in the request to get those claws trimmed. Spencer LOVES to sit on my chest at night and no matter how far I pull the covers up, he has a way of sneaking his claws around the edges and digging those tips right into my shoulder. I will do what it takes to get some relief.

Spencer wheezes. After thousands of dollars spent on tests, it was determined that Spencer has scar tissue in his right sinus from an old URI (from before I adopted him). Because his breathing is effected, I always worry about him going under anesthesia AND he does NOT like to be messed with while at the Vet, too. So he can get himself VERY worked up and out of breath from fighting everyone who has to handle him. He will hiss and spit and make life HELL for everyone at Maple Ridge. He really IS a nice cat, but just not when he's getting a cath removed.

One of the other things on my list was to check Spencer's bald patches to determine if, indeed he has symmetrical alopecia or not. If you recall, Spencer looked like this (see below) a few months ago.

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So, the ”Little Fu@ker” (now his new nickname) got his teeth cleaned, his claws trimmed and his fur combed. His fur is growing back nicely, so Spencer isn't sick. Hurrah! That said, I GAVE SPENCER THE BALD PATCHES FROM RIPPING OUT HIS MATS. MY BAD!. In my own defense, Spencer DOES have very soft, delicate fur. I know. Call the Cops on me! I'm sorry, Spencer!

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Spencer is getting ready to kick some ass. Ears are locked and sphincters are loaded.

I"m not even sure if I should write the next bit 'cause I'm really going to look bad! Spencer also lost 10 oz in a few MONTHS. That's a LOT of weight. So now I'm starving him, too! First abuse, then starving. Great. Actually, I've taken him OFF dry food. No more for him AND I have been transitioning him to a RAW diet. He gets a combo of RAW and canned grain-free. Apparently, I can give him a bit more than I was. Will fix that. His weight is great. He's just under 13 lbs.

This is where I shine as a cat-mom: Spencer's wheezing is almost GONE! We're sure it's due to his diet change and possibly his weight loss, but most likely the dry food was irritating him in some way. So there! I'm not a complete Cat-Mommy Dearest!

I also brought Bob Dole in to see Dr. Larry. Bob's been vomiting a bit and also sneezing. Since he's FIV+, I don't want to risk him getting REALLY sick. Right now Bob has no fever and I needed them to take his temperature (I am NOT going to check that on my own! I would like to keep both my hands, after all). Bob was congested, but not bad. He got some Convenia and we'll wait and see how he does. So far, whatever he has is mild. Thank goodness. Super-Deb combed out Bob's fur which he couldn't decide if he loved or hated her doing. SD even combed off some poop particles. Okay, dingle berries. Anyway, Bob is a bit happier for it. Well, okay, I'M HAPPIER for it. Super Deb was shocked that Bob would “go out looking like that.” SD was right. Bob should start wearing pants.

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Bob lost 8 oz, too! Starving your cats, Robin? Say no!

Spencer (aka, Little Fu@ker) got through his dental, then drove me INSANE once we got home. I wasn't supposed to feed him and he was supposed to be confined to a room for the night. He clawed at the bedroom door, desperate to get out. He would not stop no matter how many times I yelled, cajolled, begged. Around 10pm I gave up and fed him some broth. That wasn't enough, so he returned to trying to claw a hole through the door. I was so happy he was okay and so pissed because he can really be an annoying maniac some times. By 11pm I had enough. There was NO WAY anyone was going to sleep unless loonie-boy got FED and got FED NOW. Who cares if his body temperature lowered from eating? I'll set him on fire so he will be warm after he eats.

I AM JUST JOKING. No need to call the authorities, but he was really being a pain in the ass.

All is well for now. Tomorrow Jennifer will bring Comet and Rudy here, then we'll drive over to visit Dr. Larry and Super Deb. I hope that we can get the ball rolling on ruling out Ringworm and also find some answers regarding why Rudy isn't recovering from the URI.

That will add up to four trips to the Vet in five days. I hope I don't have some sort of Vet-visiting disorder. Granted I DO enjoy chatting with Dr. Larry, Super Deb, Jessica and everyone else at Maple Ridge, but it IS a bit embarrassing to think if I had been going to the gym as often as I go to the Vet I would certainly look like a super model by now.

Spencer Knows...

Sam came into my office to talk to me about the kittens. I had just stopped crying and, of course, started right up again once he took my hand. We both talked about how terrible the news was and how frustrating it all is...then something strange happened.

My big pouffy cat, Spencer ran into the room. He came over to me and put his front paws on my leg. Spencer NEVER does this. I could tell he was trying to get on my lap, circling me for a better angle to jump. He came at me a few times, paws on my legs. Finally, I sat back and put my legs together and patted my chest. He jumped up on me and started to purr loudly, rubbing his face against mine.

In the six years I've had Spencer, he has NEVER tried to get in my lap while I work. At night when I sit on the sofa, sure or when I'm laying in bed he'll drop onto my face! But...never in my office, when I'm so very sad.

I honestly think he was trying to comfort me. Or maybe he just wanted lunch?

What I Want For Christmas

I've decided I want someone to build me a "safe room" in my house. You know, those rooms you hide in that even some crazed assassin with a battering ram can't enter if you happen to be the victim of a home invasion.

I'm not particularly fearful of someone breaking into my house while I'm here. I just want a place to EAT MY LEFTOVER MEATLOAF SANDWICH IN PEACE!!!


Back From the Vet. Stupid Pet Owner or RINGWORM?!

Sam and I have a running joke. Often, we'll be watching mind-numbing tv shows about "real" life murder mysteries. Nine times out of ten, the narrator says; "We'll never really know for sure..." This is after we spent an HOUR of our time watching and wondering how the story will end. To hear it's "we'll never really know" not only defeats the entire purpose of watching the show in the first place, it also pisses me off good!

If I'm going to waste my time in front of the TV, I need RESOLUTION (pardon the pun).

So my dear Spencer and I went to visit Dr. Larry. I was fully prepared for him to give me shit about ripping out my own cat's fur, that I'm a stupid pet owner and it's nothing to worry about-other than being stupid makes me worry. I just wasn't careful enough removing Spencer's mats and "baldness happens."

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Dr Larry didn't let me down. After a few minutes pretending he was calling the "authorities" to report me for abusing my cat, he sat down to take a good look.

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The two, nearly symmetrical bald patches don't have any crusting or oozing. They're both about 2 x 3 inches. The skin is pink. Spencer doesn't seem to be itchy. Dr. Larry turned off the lights. We weren't alone so there was no hope for a makeout session. Dang! Oh, he was just using the Wood's Lamp to check for...oh shit...RINGWORM!

The smile on my face weakened into a razor straight line. I kept thinking; Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit! NOT RINGWORM!!!!!!

I looked while Dr. Larry was talking. He saw some slightly reflective scaly areas that were tiny. One of the bald spots had a slight pale white edge to it.

Well? Was it RINGWORM?

"We can't really be sure right now."

SHIT! It's like watching 48 Hrs! Change the channel! Change the channel!

With no better programming available, I was stuck in an answerless void. Dr. Larry removed a few of Spencer's hairs and placed them into a vial with some goop in it (that is a technical term; goop). The test for ringworm takes 2-3 WEEKS. Meanwhile, there is nothing else to be done. We decided to run a full blood panel to rule out hypothyroid (even if it's rare in most cats, I've already had one cat who had it and Dr. Larry knows my cats get weird stuff-it's almost a rule). Plus, Spencer is due for a dental in January AND we can also check his BUN because now that we know he's a purebred Weegie (well, sort of), we're going to watchout for polycystic kidney disease, too. See? I'm smart! I know stuff! I spent $220 on the Vet visit. Wait? Is that smart? Not so sure.

Spencer did not care to have his blood drawn, as usual, but this time Super Deb showed me she still had all her fingers attached to her hand, after the blood draw was finished. The only injury was to the towel they restrained Spencer with. It had to be put down due to it being ripped to shreds.

So am I a stupid pet owner?

We'll never really know for sure...

How Brief This Joy.

After all my excitement over Spencer possibly being more Norwegian Forest Cat than mixed breed, tonight I was petting him and was suddenly alarmed by what I found.

Spencer had a LARGE bald spot behind his right shoulder blade! A few days ago I thought his fur looked a bit odd. I could see his pink skin appear as stripes through his dense coat. I didn't think anything of it until I saw the big bald spot. I thought that perhaps I caused it yesterday when I combed out a good sized mat. The matted fur was in the same area, but the mat was not THAT BIG. This is a BIG area.

I checked Spencer's left side and I saw the same thing-a big bald patch. I almost threw up. My gorgeous baby's fur is gone. The skin is pink, smooth, no signs of broken hairs, blood, scabs, nothing. Perfectly clear of fur.

I Googled: "causes of hair loss in felines" and saw far too many possibilities from symmetrical alopecia to hyperthyroidism to mange, flea bites, ringworm, dermatitis. Oh God. Here we go again. Another cat with skin problems. It could also be caused by anxiety.

Spencer has been fine. Just fine. He had a a few fleas a few months ago. He was given Advantage once a month for the past three months. He never had it before then. Was it the Advantage? Wouldn't he be bald where the Advantage was applied?

I have no answers. It's not an emergency, so I'll attempt to get to sleep. Dr. Larry isn't in until TUESDAY. I'll call tomorrow to give them a heads up. If they think Spencer needs to come in sooner than Tuesday, I'll be ready.

There are things I can bear-being fat, I can bear being estranged from some of my family members, but not this...I get so much joy out of seeing Spencer. His little wiggle-walk and super pouffy butt fluff (aka, fluffocks). He just makes me smile every day. Even if he lost all his fur, I would love him just as much, but my heart would break. He's so magnificent. Yes, I'm deeply attached to him. He's my boy and I love him, dearly. I'm not over's just that I feel this tightening in my heart.

What does this mean for Spencer? What will come of this discovery? Is this going to get worse? What will happen to my boy and how can I make it better as soon as possible?

Oh no! Oh no!

The Secret That's Right Under Your Nose & Will Change Your LIfe Forever!

During the course of my life, I've never had a purebred cat. All my cats were rescued from the Pound or sort of fell into my lap. While I figure one day I'll find a purebred that needs to be rescued, for now it's just me and a house full of "mutts." That is...

...until I decided to watch Cats 101 on Animal Planet this afternoon.

I was intrigued by their teaser ad, showing the selection of cats they were to highlight. There was a Havana Brown, Abyssinian, Ocicat, blah blah blah, Norwegian Forest Cat. I did a double-take. The cat they were showing was a doppleganger for Spencer. As the show began, my heart started to race. Was I having a heart attack or was I just excited the Spencer had a secret that was about to be that would "change our lives FOREVER" (that quoted part should be read with great authority and grandeur and maybe a bit of reverb).

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So I sat there and watched and listened. The narrator talked about some of the traits of the Norwegian Forest Cat. Things like, tufted toes (check!), big-ass bushy tail (check!, though he didn't say "big ass"), tail often has a WHITE TIP (CHECK!), triangular shaped head with really fluffy ear fur (CHECK!), thick double-layer coat (CHECK!!!), extra "pouff" around the head (CHECK!!!) rounded tipped ears (CHECK!!!).

Look at his tail! See the white tip? See the look of dementia on his face? Wait, that's not a it?

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Holy crap. Spencer's gotta be a Norwegian Forest Cat! I went online and looked at some Breeder's photos. You tell me Spencer does not look like this guy!! Spencer is just as pouffy! What do you think??

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CH Meisterhaus Talia of LostWoods. photo:

Is my precious pouff a "Wegie?" I feel like I just won the Lottery!

Did Anyone See Spencer?

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I was cleaning the floor in the Foster Cat Room, so I tossed everything onto the bed to get it out of the way. Somehow Spencer navigated between the pile of stuff and settled into the corner, quickly passing out cold. This is how he "helps" me clean. He keeps me company while I work. I guess I could use him as a mop, that would actually help, but I doubt he would like being dipped in floor cleaner.

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BTW, though he does not have the following of Sockington, I will say that Spencer has his own fan club, too. So there! So what if it's only a few people! They count!

Does My Butt Look Big in This Cat Condo?

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Either my cats are oddly gigantic or this heated Kitty Cabin is too small. Spencer CAN squeeze himself into this thing, but he's more likely to get stuck in the opening, which causes him to freak out and run excitedly around the house. At least it got him to move!

Please accept this goofy photo as my Blog offering for today. I'm still wiped out from the past two weeks and yesterday, spent at an Adoption Event in a bit too warm weather, tapped me. I promise to get you updated on TWEETIE (many updates there), as well as poor Pixie, the other fosters, Bob Dole, Nicky and Gracie. Lots going on!

Stay tuned!


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