Who Does She Think She Is?

Cats

Blog Post

Cat-astrophe

Posted by Joni in Cats, General

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This may be something you cat lovers already knew, but I didn’t. So in case it’s new to you, too, I’m sharing it here. I’ve had cats since I was six years old. Now most of my cats have not been as active as Duncan is. He’s a ball of energy. If I could hook him up to a generator, I’d have lights for a year.

He’s got these feather wand toys that I bought at PetSmart that he absolutely loves. They can be interactive toys, but he also plays with them by himself. He even drags them up and down the stairs. And entertains himself when we are upstairs in my office, and when I’m away at work.

Last night when I got home, the first thing I noticed was that he wasn’t at the back door. Normally, he hears the alarm being turned off and runs to the kitchen door to wait for me, chirping and telling me about his evening.

I had to call him, loudly, several times. Even when he’s upstairs, asleep, he never fails to come to my call. This time, he finally came, after about five shout-outs. He came from Robert’s room. I was standing in the living room by the fireplace mantel, taking off my shoes. He ran past me, meowing. Behind him was part of his cat toy. WTF?

The potentially dangerous cat toy.

He ran into the dining room and started to go under the table. I flipped the light on, and picked him up. Part of the string that held the “feather” was wrapped so tightly around his back legs that it’s a wonder he could walk at all. I grabbed him and was finally able, after a bit of work, to free his back legs from the wand’s string. It took several more minutes to unravel the string completely. By this time, Duncan had run to the sofa. I went and sat down with him and he covered me with head butts and kisses. I sat there and held and comforted him for a few minutes. Clearly, I had come to his rescue and I was his hero.

I have no idea how long he’d been that way. I had been gone from the house for about 8 hours. And what would have happened if it had gotten wound around his neck instead? I don’t even want to think about that. This particular wand has been retired. I won’t use it at all anymore. And definitely won’t leave it out for him to play with unsupervised. I feel like a very bad cat mom. The other wands seem to be safe. Since there is no string involved, there’s nothing for him to get caught up on. So I’ll keep these out for him.

Duncan’s Safe Toy Inventory

Feather Teaser
Feather Bobble Balls
Canvas Mice

Blog Post

Things I Learned From My Cat

Posted by Joni in Cats

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  1. Enjoy the simple things in life. Yeah, like batting a paper wad around my office when a perfectly good plush cat toy that I spent upwards of $5 for at the pet store languishes, ignored.
  2. It’s never too early to eat breakfast! Nope. We never say “no” to a good meal. That’s one rule I can really wrap my head around! Heading down to breakfast as soon as I hit “Publish” on this post, as a matter of fact!
  3. Sleeping on your back with your legs in the air might not be lady-like (but he’s a guy, so who cares?), but it sure makes for some restful sleep.
  4. Play fighting is good exercise and a great way to bond with your opponent. (And if you’re lucky, you get a cat treat afterward.)
  5. Who doesn’t enjoy a small bowl of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream on a hot summer day?
  6. I can help my human with the housework by banking off the threshold to the kitchen and sliding across the tile floor on my belly. Well at least a foot-wide swath of the kitchen floor is now clean. (And I do this on the living room floor too!)

Blog Post

My Beautiful Daisy Mouse…

Posted by Joni in Cats, General

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There is a flower within my heart, // Daisy, Daisy, // Planted one day by a glancing dart, // Planted by Daisy Bell…

~~ “Daisy Bell,” Harry Dacre (1892)

As most of you who know me know, I lost my sweet old orange tabby, Sunny, in January 2010, to HCM. It took me over a year to get over his loss. I finally was able, after two “misfires” to find the “purrfect” cat, a sweet moggie named Daisy whom I adopted from the Montgomery County Animal Shelter on May 10. Things were going swimmingly even though it seemed like she was the most finicky eater on the planet. There was never that problem with my other cats, Sunny or Simon, my Maine Coon. Both had healthy appetites. In fact those two ate like truck drivers.

So when she didn’t seem to live and die by the food dish, I didn’t think anything of it. I thought, well, she’s a girl, maybe she’s just a dainty eater. But last Tuesday, she started throwing up and became quite listless. I took her to the vet the next day who ran some bloodwork on her. It turns out she was in liver failure. Her BUN and creatinine were through the roof, many many times their normal values. The vet explained she was living on her fat reserves and that explained the more than two pound weight loss from her original checkup on May 20 to this day (June 22).

The vet gave me some anti-nausea tablets, an appetite stimulant, some yummy food and some syringes. We tried valiantly, she and I. Me to get the food and pills down her throat, and she to try to keep them down without throwing up. But that didn’t seem to be happening and she quickly withdrew and stopped hanging out in her usual spots, the two sunny windowsills in my office. She also stopped coming downstairs when she heard me coming home at night. I’d go upstairs and find her in my half bath upstairs, next to the toilet. I kept water in several places for her, and she was drinking. But she simply couldn’t keep food or pills down.

I went back to the vet and picked up some injectible anti-nausea medication and started giving her that, but that didn’t work either. The mere act of me picking her up and trying to hold her brought on waves of nausea. This is no live for her or me. So, this past Thursday I took her back to the vet for one last round of x-rays and a sonogram. Because I wanted to know if there was anything that we could possibly do, if there was any obstruction somewhere, anywhere, along her plumbing that would cause her problems. They seemed to come on so suddenly. But alas, the tests showed nothing.

I made the decision that morning to end her suffering. She deserved better than the last 10 days she’d been having. So I stayed with her to the end. We had about 30 minutes of painfree time together, me kissing the top of her head and calling her my sweet chola girl and telling her what a sweet and beautiful cat she was and how much I would miss her and she, finally able to relax and be herself, purring and looking up at me with that sweet expression of hers. And she enjoyed those last chin scratches I gave her. Then the vet administered the final shot and in about five more minutes she had crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. As a FB friend said, I hope she’s chasing moths and butterflies there with Sunny and Simon.

I didn’t have her long, but I loved her so much. She was a very special cat to me because she taught me something very important: That I could love another creature after Sunny. But also that my heart was just as easily broken now as it was then.

I don’t know if I will get another cat. I know I won’t any time soon. I still miss her and still cry when I think about how shortchanged we both were. So enjoy these photos that I was able to snap of Daisy in those happy first few weeks.

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A Cat Waits

Posted by Joni in Cats

This is standard operating procedure at our house morning, noon and night.

Sunny: “It’s 8:00 a.m. and we don’t got no stinkin entrees?”

Blog Post

Jubilate Agno

Posted by Joni in Bookish, Cats

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Greg at My Life as a Fischer has a sidebar link to Ten Cat-mandments. They reminded me quite a bit of a poem by an 18th century poet (whom some called a madman), Christopher Smart, “Jubilate Agno” (Rejoice in the Lamb), which is over 1200 lines long! He adapted the exhalted form of the responsive readings in the Anglican Church liturgy to write, in part, about an ordinary subject, his cat, Geoffrey. I have excerpted some of this fantastic poem. I have yet to find it in its entirety, on the Web or elsewhere:

Blog Post

It’s a Cat Eat Mouse World Out There!

Posted by Joni in Cats

Here’s a photo to prove it. Someone posted this in alt.pets.cats, and it serves as my current wallpaper. I think this cat’s toes are adorable. I’d just love to kiss them. But no kitty kisses; I know where his lips have been!